SIM:Lt Fletcher & LtJG Devar: No Control

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::Erik rubbed his eyes and resituated himself in his chair. He had been sitting in that chair for the past half-hour, hoping to see some change out of Alana. He had recently taken some neural scans and had found that a lot had been changed within the telepathic section of her brain. It appeared as though it had been, "rewritten" in a sense. This news startled him. He did not know if this change was temporary...or worse, permanent. The brain often eluded medical science, no matter how advanced or proficient it have evolved into over the last century.::

::The darkness had only lasted for a few short seconds, to her recollection anyway, before seeing fuzzy images in a dimly lit room. Alana could feel restraints rubbing across her skin. Her body had become stiff and fitted firmly into place on the bio-bed. She had no idea where she was, what had happened, or any other details that one might take for granted. All she could hear were the whispers pounding into her mind. Their presence drove her mad.::

Devar: (piercing scream) No! NO! Feri `anae-katona!

::Erik's eyes snapped open at the sound of her piercing scream. The words that escaped her lips were of her native tongue. Alana felt warm bodies and menacing psyches approach her as she began to weep tears of pain. He rose from his chair and stood next to her as she started to fight against the restraints. She fought as fiercely as she could against them, but to no avail. Any physical contact could not be connected. Her efforts were met with reddening whelps across her legs and arms, where she had been restrained on a more serious level. It hurt. Alana's body hurt, her brain hurt...everything ached in deathly pain.::

Fletcher: (Almost in a whisper) Shh, Alana. It's okay...shh.

::The words struck her like a hot steam iron. It was not enough that she could hear their thoughts, uncontrolled and condense, but she could also recognize their words. Something deep inside Devar snapped as she began to fight against the restraints once again.::

"The girl's gone psycho!"

"You cannot harm the star serpents. I am the guardian..."

"I am Tireza Brex...we are one in the same."

::Echoes. The counselor heard the echoes of their thoughts. This band did not only come from the beings in this room, but from others far away from her. It was like nothing she had experienced before...and, if she had, it had been omitted from her realization. The coldness once again penetrated deep through her like arctic ice rippling through warm water. It was then, she felt a set of hands press gently against her shoulder, pushing her down. It was a touch of concern and amiability. Alana desisted in her maddening urge to fight back against these unknowns. The familiar voice spoke to her firmly, yet in a gentle whisper.::

Fletcher: Alana.

::He tightened his grip on her shoulders ever so slightly. She felt the reassurance in his voice as it coated with warmth and respect. Devar felt the strong tides of pain slightly subsiding.::

Fletcher: Alana, calm down. You're going to hurt yourself.

Devar: (a bit more calmly) Where... where am I? How did I get here?

Fletcher: You're in sickbay. How you got here? That's a long story, but I can shorten it up. You made telepathic contact with some space dwelling Serpentai, and the intensity caused some...problems. The Sebation coursing through you...

::She thought a moment.::

Devar: Serpentai?

Fletcher: Yes. A telepathic race of some kind.

::That's right. She had failed her mission. Feelings of foolishness mingled with her pain. Devar's voice grew cold as her eyes glazed over with a distant quality. She was starting to loose control again.::

Devar: I can't screen... the voices... `anae-katona! They do not... they persist. I cannot screen them out...

::Alana looked up at him, her eyes glancing down to the blood beading through her skin from nearly impaling her appendages against the bio-bed's safety protocols. Obviously, they thought she was a danger to them and herself.::

::That last part totally through Erik off. The fact she was talking in her native tongue, which he knew none of, didn't help the matter.::

Fletcher: What? Can't screen what voices?

Devar: "Mental noise"...everyone's thoughts on the ship. The must've chemically altered my psilosynine temporarily during the communication attempt.

::The counselor paused as she looked up to the concern flushing across the Terran doctor's face. He was genuinely worried, this much Alana could gather. She became worried herself. This recent act of events would certainly deem her a liability to Starfleet. Devar feared the outcome as she tried to suppress the boiling urge and ignoring the mental noise coursing throughout her mind. It heated her blood, pounded in her skull and made her eyes burn with tears. Erik noticed her tears and had to stop tears of his own.::

Fletcher: Alana...?

::He searched her eyes. In them he could see much turmoil and pain.::

Fletcher: What's going on in...there?

Devar: Gerdenolda!

::Pausing, Alana recognized her folly and shook the noise as best as she could. She had shouted out against them. Against all the pain coursing through her. The counselor instantly felt remorse as she looked to the doctor sheepishly.::

Devar: Sorry... Really, I am. It's just...

::Alana sobbed as the voices persisted again. The annoying waves of her disheveled hair infuriated her even further as she let out a scream of bloody mercy. Erik whispered words and hushed tones of comfort to her, calming the nerves that ate throughout her petite form. Her hand hit the soft bio-bed in agitation. Erik wiped a single tear off his cheek as he watched her sob and fight the restraints. He leaned in close to her ear and whispered softly.::

Fletcher: Alana...we'll get through this. You can fight it, you're strong enough. Concentrate on the sound of my voice. Alana...

::He smiled as he noticed her calming down. Once she opened her eyes, Erik pulled back a bit and made eye contact. Alana instantly thought of Makra. She did not want him to see her like this. By goddess, she didn't want anyone seeing her like this...her friends Danny Wilde, Idril Mar, Caleb Zaahn; her sister Carmen, let alone the man she bestowed the title Imzadi to. It was bad enough that Erik had to see her like this, but he alone was instrumental to her recovery.::

Devar: (trembling) What have you found, Doctor? Please, be honest. I value the ethics in...pure, untainted news.

::Erik took a deep breath.::

Fletcher: Well, once we disconnected you from the machine, your neural and vital signs dropped to a critical level...killing you instantly. We revived you then brought you back here.

::He took another breath.::

Fletcher: After running some scans, it appears that the Sebation changed some things in the telepathic portion of your brain. They were heightened, to almost a dangerous level, which may explain your difficulty in screening thoughts...

::She listened as he continued to explain the full dilemma. From what she could make out, it appeared that the experience she had undergone altered her frame of mind. He had explained that she had, at one point, died in the chair. It was then that the medical staff immediately reported her to sickbay to evaluate her condition under intense scrutiny. In neural scans, they had concluded that the Sebation energies had mingled with her own telepathic capabilities, heightening them as she contacted the beings. The Sebation took over, corrupting several wavelengths thus disabling her screening capabilities and reinstating her telepathic abilities on a dangerous level. It was unknown how long this change would last, or even if it would dissipate. Devar noted the concern in his voice, but became hopeful for a positive outcome despite her current condition.::

Devar: So, what do you plan I cannot...

::Pausing, Alana closed her eyes as a tide of thoughts eroded right through her. It was invading the very woman she was. Erik's eyes filled with worry as she struggled to compose herself and her thoughts. It was times like these that he got down hard on himself, wishing he could do something immediately to fix it...but not able to do anything. Continuing, she retorted a little more softly.::

Devar: I cannot control this. I will grow mad if it continues...

Fletcher: I came up with an idea while you were sleeping. The discovery of Carmen being your half-sister and all the complications made me think of it. If you recall, she had a neural inhibitor implanted in her brain? I was thinking that maybe we could do the same with you. We could have the settings set low enough for you to still use your empathy and telepathy, just not as strong as it is now...

::Erik searched her eyes.::

Devar: Doctor, as worthy a notion that is I cannot find myself stuck with a neural implant my entire life. I hate those things...

::She paused again, fighting the voices. This time, her fight was a bit more feral against them than before. Alana had found herself calming a bit, able to reinforce breathing techniques taught to her by her Vulcan teachers as a child. It worked. It did not matter if it was temporary, it worked for the moment and that was a hopeful sign.::

Devar: Is there any medication you can administer? I do not relish the thought of those things. I've never liked inhibitors. You know that.

::She gave a weak smile to help alleviate the tension.::

Fletcher: There is a medicine I can administer that would help. I don't know why I didn't think of it before...

Devar: The noise reminds me of some of the patients they have in the University of Betazed. I...

::Alana paused, suppressing the voices slightly but they were still mockingly fierce. She shouted her words, over the noise in her pounding in her skull. Even through her trials and tribulations, Erik seemed collected and cool. The counselor appreciated that.::

Devar: ...I exhibited the same tendencies as a child, I was told. The Vulcans taught me how to mind-meld and certain mental techniques, which enabled the screening. Is there any reasonable conclusion that this could be done again? That this is only temporary... That I can wear an inhibitor...

::She tilted her head slightly as she shuddered at the thought.::

Devar: ...wear the inhibitor outwardly, as I engage in possible doses of drugs and meditation techniques?

Fletcher: That would work. I would like to keep you in sickbay through this though, so I can keep an eye on you. We can set up anything you need in here for your meditations. You would need a dose of the medication twice a day...we can see how that works if you wish. If this is temporary, that should take care of the problem.

::Alana smiled, despite the flooding psyches haunting her mind.::

Devar: I would like to try that first before the option of surgery. If this thing is indeed temporary, I would like a chance for my body to heal itself before I engage the ailments of going under the knife.

Fletcher: All right. I'll give you a little bit now, it should block a lot of the noise for a few hours...give you some time to think in silence.

::As Erik began to fidget around with his medical supplies, Alana looked over to him then down to her whelped ankles. Sadness filled her face.::

Devar: I failed them.

Fletcher: Failed whom?

Devar: Captain Anassasi, LtCmd Kare'en... the whole ship, Trill... I lost crucial contact with the Serpentai.

::Erik stood up from his work and turned around, still holding a hypospray.::

Fletcher: (Sternly) Thinking like that Alana won't help you, or any of us. It won't help you through this at all.

::He paused and took a breath. She [...]ed her head as he continued.::

Fletcher: I'll tell you something only a few select people know.

::Erik accessed his memories and began to explain.::

Fletcher: Back when I was an Ensign and just a Medical Officer, I lost a patient. She had been hit with a neural weapon, and there was nothing I could do about it. After that, I completely shut down on myself. I couldn't talk to anyone, look at anyone and I was afraid to even give someone a mild painkiller with a hypospray.

::Erik's eyes watered as the memories flooded in. Alana could feel his pain and her heart reached out to him.::

Fletcher: A good friend of mine, Myriah Caragan, stayed there with me and helped me through it. She explained to me that it wasn't my fault. There was nothing anybody could do to stop her from dying...over time I began to accept that. It would not help anybody for me to shut down and stay away. In the same way, this crew needs you. If you begin to blame yourself and lose all trust in your abilities, it is *then* that you fail us. There was nothing you could have done to stop what happened...

::Erik watched as Alana thought about what he had just said. She contemplated his words. The counselor knew such instances were in his personal psychological file, although to explain such things to her on a personal level was...enlightening. He drew closer with the hypospray and injected some of the fluid into her neck. The fluid was warming and tingling as it made its way up into her skull. It left a calming sensation within her. Realization had hit her that she had been so consumed about her situation...the noise, the events...that all her training and logic left her.::

Devar: You have a very wise friend there, Erik. It is common for one to be absorbed with feelings of doing something better...something different that could've changed the situation to what they wish. Not everyone is capable of being the hero of every instance.

::She paused.::

Devar: Our worse critic, sometimes, is often the very person that lives in each and every one of us.

::The Betazoid then gave the most radiant smile since this experience engaged.::

Devar: Thank you.

::Pausing for a moment, she continued.::

Devar: Perhaps Myriah and yourself should consider side careers in counseling? The fleet could always use well, sensitive and encouraging minds.

::Erik let a smile and a small laugh escaped his lips.::

Fletcher: I haven't seen or spoken to Myriah in a few years, but I'm sure it would be fun. This ship has a good enough Counselor though.

::He started to loosen the restraints, treating the whelps as he spoke. Using a dermal regenerator to heal some of the skin damage and burns, the Doctor proceeded to wrap her ankles with soft gauze. Alana watched him work, her mind finally at peace.::

Fletcher: There that should do it.

Devar: I suppose I am off duty until time permits me to better health? I am anxious to be back on duty as soon as humanly possible.

Fletcher: (Frowning) It may take a little longer than you hope, Alana. I don't know exactly how long this recovery will take.

::Alana [...]ed an eyebrow and sighed. She knew it wouldn't be *that* easy.

Devar: How does Command intend in establishing connection again with the Serpentai?

Fletcher: I haven't heard anything on this end, so I'm not quite sure.

Devar: I suppose they will try my proposed method with LtCmd Kare'en, by the means of dreamscaping. Interesting. Doctor, I can at least be of some help and assist you in the matter, then? I have some experience in the field if you'd like to use me.

Fletcher: (Smiling) If you're up to it, I could definitely use the help.

::The counselor sat up with a grin.::

Devar: Of course I am. The only concern I have are these medical gowns... I insist in climbing into uniform or more comfortable, civilian clothing.

::Erik only grinned lightly as he called for one of the nurses to fetch Alana some clothing and meditation materials.::

Lieutenant Erik Fletcher
Chief Medical Officer


LtJG Alana Devar