SIM:Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Breeman, The Shadow, Renee - After Everything
Shortly after his rescue from the clutches of the alternate reality created by the shadow beings Renee ponders a woman he finds attractive while Kevin Breeman tries to explain what has been happening to the crew of the USS Calgary
((Trauma Center - Starbase 118))
((Cut to Renee Millar))
Breeman: Just give us back our people. I hate killing yours like this. Please?
::Renee just sits there listening to it all. For a while he needs to step back into his former self. Just for a while. Everything plays out as though he couldn't possibly just get up, grab that damned box, and shove it into the shadow's face.::
Shadow: Yes -- it will be better that way. Death in peace, not agony.
::The words are soft but unmistakeable. As opposed to the other officer's.::
Livingston: Then do it.
::Something catches his eye. He looks over, recognizes him from before. His hair is longer now, down to his shoulders. His shirt is open slightly and there are marks on his chest. The news reporter. He wanted to see a nebula for the first time in his life. 'They're giant clouds in space,' he told Renee once. Renee nodded, smiling politely. What else could he do? People wanted journalistic integrity from of a guy with the curiosity and mindset of a newborn child. Renee smiles at that.::
::Someone he saw once a while back appears nearby, wearing a roughed up starfleet uniform and looks across the room at everyone and gasps, holding a hand over his mouth.::
Man: Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!!! Oh god!!! I thought everyone was dead. Oh god!!!!!
::It's uncomfortable to watch. He looks back over to the doctor, who has walked over to speak with one of the officers near Kevin, and remembers what it was like finally to realize he was back.::
Millar: Uh, you are a telepath right? And I'm really alive?
::The questions were the hardest he'd ever asked. He wanted to recant the words, hoped the void wouldn't mind him daring to speak. But the doctor smiled, and he imagined Nietzsche couldn't possibly have been more wrong about abysses staring back at him and such. Instead all that ich und du stuff had returned again::
MacLaren: Aye, I am. Eh heard ye calling hello. My father is human, but my mother is Betazoid, and you are verra much alive. Do you still doubt it? Your friend, Commander Breeman, is right there. You can give me another poke if it helps. Do Eh not seem real to you?
Millar: I don't know... I was gone so long I just kinda.... stopped believing people existed because I could never talk to them even when they were right there.
::Even now he realizes how absurd he sounds, describing it. How could he have believed people didn't exist? How could he have become so egocentric?::
MacLaren: That is over now. Eh'm listening to you and so are the others. Were many people there with you? People who couldna speak? Is there a way to tell which of the shadows are people like you?
Millar: They all talked with each other.
::He shook his head. Were there others like him? Every day he'd watch the crew. The science officers would scan the surrounding space, the engineers would make sure the power transfer conduits were still properly... transferring... They'd talk to each other. They'd laugh sometimes, sometimes swear at each other or at themselves. He'd watch their most intimate moments, break in on lovemaking couples and wave his hands around hoping someone would at least notice he was there and show anger at his indecency, but nothing happened. Everybody could see each other...::
Millar: Unless they all ended up isolated like that. Jeez!!
MacLaren: We'd want to save all of you from the Calgary, but we need to protect ourselves from the Shadows that take seem to feed on us.
Millar: They feed on you? I don't even know what the shadows really are.
::He knows. At least he thinks he does. It's like falling off a bike for the first time, the way the ground seems to roll around you as though you're inside of it. And then you see a vid of the fall that somebody took as a joke. You roll out there on the ground for a few feet and then stop. It looks like any other fall, but for you it's the most intimate and unique experience that you can't begin to describe.::
::Is this all he was? A shadow? There's another flicker in his peripheral vision and there she is. A small wheelchair bearing a woman wearing rounded glasses. She looks back at him vacantly, and then looks away. He remembers those eyes, the way they'd periodically look in his direction in the mess hall on the Calgary, when he'd sit across from random women eating alone, pretending he was on a date. She looked back at him every now and then, away from her sandwich or her coffee, as though contemplating some part of the universe next door and never reaching a conclusion.
Was that what he was to her back there in the mess hall? An undefinable shadow? He wants to get up and off the bed, wants to go to her and see if she ever actually saw him. What if she says no? What if she thinks he's crazy? She wheels away and toward a nearby biobed, helped up onto it by a nurse. She lays down but even as she leans back and her head descends onto the pillow he hopes he'll see something from her, even a slight twitch of her neck. Nothing. He looks down again toward the floor, then up again. She's asleep now, just another anonymous solitary mind. And beautiful.::
((Cut to Shadow))
::There's a blur around me, and then the scene changes. I'm not in the station corridor any more. Or on the Calvary. I'm back on the biobed, sitting. My engineer from before is gone, busy with something else.::
::My other engineer, the secret sharer, is gone. Toward the Betazoid doctor there's a kid sitting there. He looks over at the girl with the wheelchair.
I always left him alone, didn't want to ruin his life. He seemed so peaceful eventually, wandering around like that. Even when I killed everyone in sickbay I.... even when I did that I left him alone.::
There's people popping out of nowhere around me. My engineer is the first. He holds his head a moment. After all I did jam a plasma coil into it more times than I can count. It still seems like everything that happened in sickbay was yesterday. The doctors were just doing their jobs, ignoring me. As usual. Then I picked up a laser scalpel and turned to the first one and I just ran it across his neck and watched the blood spatter all over everything. It was all an illusion, I told myself. But the pain was still there. I still want to kill myself.::
::This can't be real. Because he's standing right there. His neck is in one piece. He looks at me and I look away. He doesn't look back. But the universe knows. It has to know. I'm a bad man. I really am. And I'm not alone. The girl is there again. Her arms and legs look as though I never touched them. She looks at me and smiles curtly and then turns away. I can't help myself. I'm a bad man. I have to stop this. I raise my hand to my mouth, cover it as hard as I can, but the words come anyway, and I'm crying.::
Mirror Kevin Breeman: Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!!! Oh god!!! I thought everyone was dead. Oh god!!!!!
((Cut to Breeman))
Shadow: Yes -- it will be better that way. Death in peace, not agony.
::Kevin turned to hear Livingston say quickly,::
Livingston: Then do it.
::All around him he heard soft sounds of materializing atoms as entire people faded into view. Kevin nodded slightly, and could not help but smiling.::
Livingston: Commander – now what? How do we get them out of here? And make sure we get our people safely restored?
::Just then Ens. MacLaren approached and spoke quietly to Commander Walker.::
::Kevin watched intently, looking about himself occasionally. After a moment she jumped as she realized that people were appearing all around them.::
MacLaren: Eh'm sorry, Commander, Eh've got to help these people. Eh've delivered my message; Eh leave how to use it to you.
::Everyone seemed to be in one stage or another of a mental decay Kevin had very rarely seen. He remembered when his mother had taken him through the terminal care ward in a local hospital nearly 20 years ago, showing him people in various stages of death from one condition or another. She'd wanted him to understand that death was a normal part of life. A man had been there, propped up on a pillow and looking out from his bed. Kevin had walked by and it had seemed to him as though he were passing by the open ends of two pipes when he'd walked by the eyes in the middle of that vacant stare.::
"Why is he looking like that?"
::His mother had whispered back to him, "It's a condition called advanced decogitory shock. He was in the Dominion War. It happened then."
::He'd asked her several other questions, he imagined. But he forgot what those might have been. A stifled cry broke his reverie and he turned to see its source. A hazel-eyed man with medium-long hair held his hand over his mouth, tears running down his cheeks.::
::Kevin felt his mouth open slightly as the man looked directly at him. Then away. Then back again.::
Man: Jesus! Jesus!!!
::Kevin stepped closer, as more people faded into being, and shook his head. A small child appeared between them and a nurse whisked him away toward a biobed.::
Man: Jesus!!! Oh god!!! I thought everyone was dead. Oh god!!!!!
::The man let out a cry and fell to his knees. Kevin felt a horrible sense of sympathy and yet horror at seeing someone who looked so much like himself. He moved toward him and noticed something odd about his arms. The skin on his hands was beginning to blister.::
Man: Aallllllpppppmmmmm!!!!!! GGGaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!
::Kevin stepped back as several nurses tried to do something. He knew it was hopeless. It was hopeless because the man was him. He was Kevin materialized from another universe. And that was absolutely impossible. It was like conducting the double-slit experiment and having the electrons pass through both slits even while observed. But now someone was observing the man. Every electron gasped in agony at being discovered. And every atom was flying apart, particles scattering throughout millions of other universes, some perhaps even part of double-slit experiments in their own realities.
The man faded from view and all that was left was a crumpled starfleet uniform formerly worn by a chief engineer of the rank of Lieutennant Commander.::
Breeman: These people are all suffering from differing degrees of isolation. It's brought on by the way reality structured itself around them I think...
Breeman: It's the subspace folding in that nebula. It changes the probability functions on the particles making up all of these officers and puts them in a state of flux. They were able to observe their surroundings but had a limited and in some cases non-existent influence on them. Unfortunately I had to work that out by watching this man over here die.
Breeman: Because he was an exact copy of me from a different universe. You said something about mitochondria? Maybe they were drawing on them somehow at a subatomic level.... Aren't there a lot of chemical reactions occurring inside them that could be manipulated at a subatomic level to yield energy?
((OOC: Can backsim if you like))
((OOC: I need some orders, commander if you will :) ))
((Cut to Renee Millar))
::Everything is quieter now. It's been a while since that starfleet officer died. Nobody else has materialized like that. It's been pretty well organized now.::
::For Renee It's like losing his sea legs, the way he's popped back into society, into identity. It's strange how that works. One moment 'someone else' is as foreign a concept as a ten-sided triangle. Now just by existing he creates that concept and is someone else outside every mind in this room. And he likes that. He likes it very much. The doctor is away now so he hops off the bed and walks over to the girl with her wheelchair.::
::She's asleep, her eyes moving back and forth briskly. He tries to imagine what she's dreaming about. But that's knowledge that only she will ever experience. And he likes that. Gently he brushes her cheek with the back of his fingers.::
::"Welcome back," he says.::
I enjoyed writing this sim because it entailed packing three different perspectives (performed using distinctive styles of narration) into a single sim.
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