SIM:Skyfire Genetic Variation

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Crew of Shemesh Colony

2398 skyfire.png

Lieutenant Commander Chythar Skyfire, MD

((Biosciences Seminar Room, USS Invicta))

:: The lights were dimmed and the large holographic projector at one end of the room displayed several strands of DNA, turning gently, their base pairs colour coded so that quick comparisons could be made. ::

:: Saveron stood, hands behind his back, looking at the chemical comparisons as the images moved. It was…
interesting. ::

:: The doors to the seminar room slid open and he cast a glance over his shoulder. ::

:: Chythar entered only moments behind the counselor. The message he’d received from Saveron seemed a wee bit cryptic to him and he didn’t know what to make of it at first. Presumably, it was good news. ::

Saveron: Sochya Doctor Skyfire, Counsellor Moonsong. :: He said formally, though this matter was a combination of professional and personal.  ::

Skyfire: Sochya, Doctor Saveron. Counselor. :: He kept his voice professional, as Saveron had apparently set the tone. ::

:: He got himself a cup of cocoa and had a seat at one end of the table, looking over the images on the screen. DNA strands, evidently. Their meaning had escaped him at first, as he hadn’t done a genetic sequencing in a long time, and he had a sip of his drink. ::

Skyfire: What have you found, Doctor?

::Raissa had sat down across from CD. There were shadows under her eyes as she stared down at her hands in silence. She had become thinner and no longer as animated as she had been in the past. The last few days had been very stressful on top of the continuing fatigue. . ::

:: Core had helped her with a few of his inherent disciplines when she called him to her quarters to aid her. But what she had picked up from him would take time to master, if that was even possible. The time she had spent with Tristam had helped her to cope a little. Focusing on one thing, or one voice helped, but when distracted it felt if the full brunt of every mind around her was battering her like tidal waves. She was rapidly coming to her wit’s end. And her sanity was becoming a little fragile. ::

:: CD’s brows furrowed in worry as he took a look at Ris. As though she hadn’t gotten any sleep since their away mission, or the departure of the Community representatives. He was concerned about her health, as both a friend and his chosen family. ::

Skyfire: You okay, Counselor?

:: She didn’t look up and her voice was quiet. ::

Moonsong: I’m fine. :: Pause. :: You were saying, Saveron?

:: She wasn’t ready to talk about it. She didn’t think CD would understand the full weight of her issues. Saveron had warned her of possible consequences. She had listened and tried to do what he suggested, but it was too little, too late. ::

:: He knew that response, and in his experience it was in the eye of the beholder: she wasn’t fine, but he wasn’t going to interrupt from Saveron’s thought process any more than he already had until a lull in the conversation arose. This wasn’t the right time to follow up with her.  ::

:: Saveron met Chythar’s glance as Raissa denied any problems; her lack of her usual energy was obvious. He could guess at the reason, he didn’t doubt that CD could too. For the moment however he focused on the subject at hand. ::

Saveron: Permit me to draw your attention to the DNA examples displayed. :: He indicated the floating holograms. :: These are the chromosome sections relevant to telepathy in humanoid species, displaying the most common gene sequences. From left to right they are: Terran, Betazoid, Vulcan.

:: The differences were highlighted for ease of reference. Unsurprisingly there were significant differences between all three sequences. ::

:: Raissa frowned slightly as she looked at the strands. She had a basic understanding of DNA, but as these were of different races, she didn’t see the significance. ::

:: Chythar too did not say anything. He sipped his cocoa, letting the Vulcan explain. As a xenobiologist, he was interested. Yet, there was something about his circumstances that he couldn’t place his finger on. It was strange, and he wanted to see what Saveron’s research had uncovered.  ::

Saveron: This is the structure of the ‘telepathy sensitive’ pre-mutation found in Terrans.

:: The Vulcan pressed a few keys and a fourth strand of DNA appeared. The structure was largely identical to the other Terran strand, but there was a change highlighted on one part of the strand; it matched a section of the sequence that was common to both Vulcans and Betazoids, and indeed all telepathic humanoids. ::

:: It seemed Chythar hadn’t read up on Terran telepathy since the academy, which was three years ago. If he wanted to get specific about his textbooks, he’d have to dig through his transcript to find it. And he didn’t want to because he was in a meeting right now. So, he asked the question. ::

Skyfire: Interesting. Is that uncommon in Terrans?

Saveron: The pre-mutation is not uncommon. Even without stimulus from outside sources it is probable that the Terran species would see an increase in the number of active telepaths born over the next few centuries.

:: Raissa rubbed her fingertips against her temple. ::

Moonsong: I don’t understand what you mean by… ‘pre-mutation’. There have been documented humans telepaths for the last couple centuries and records of telepaths dating back probably to our pre-history. Admittedly not common as it is for other races, but they do exist.

:: Her family had stories about the occasional sensitive who generally were shaman on her father’s side of the family. ::

:: Chythar had no knowledge of his own family history, as all that knowledge died with his parents. Therefore, he was the anomaly within the Skyfire bloodline. ::

Skyfire: Just to remind you, Doc… :: he directed the words to Saveron :: ...not everyone’s studied this to the level you have.

:: It was a timely reminder to the Vulcan that not everyone had done a PhD in comparative xenobiology. This was right up his field of research. He considered carefully before he sought to explain. ::

Saveron: Telepathy is not a simple trait; it is governed by several genes. :: He sought for a parallel. :: Just as, in order for a line of cells to become cancerous, several deleterious mutations must accumulate, so in order for a species to become telepathic, they require certain mutations in key points. A cell line with only one cancer-causing mutation, or ‘premutation’ is ‘pre-cancerous’, so are those with one telepathic mutation ‘pre-telepathic’ or ‘telepathy sensitive’. :: Something that was not particularly uncommon amongst Terrans. :: You both carry the Terran pre-mutation, amongst other factors.

:: He doubted that it would come as a surprise to either of them. By all accounts Alora would have it as well. ::

:: The young doc thought this was fascinating, though his understanding of what that meant was not very deep. ::

Skyfire: Interesting. :: He had another sip of cocoa, letting it continue.  ::

:: With a couple of keystrokes Saveron dismissed the spiral of Vulcan DNA, which had only been there for comparison, and brought up two more. These displayed some similarities to each other and to the Betazoid and Terran DNA, but there were also some intriguing differences. ::

Saveron: Raissa, this is your DNA. :: He highlighted one spiral. :: Note that you have both the Terran pre-mutation, the Betazoid empathy genes, and this novel mutation here. :: He further highlighted one particular point. :: I say ‘novel’ as it does not appear in the current genetic databases, but from your family history I anticipate that it is in fact at least several hundred years old.

Moonsong: More likely a thousand years. However, I’m not sure I understand… Betazoids are telepaths….and some humans. What does this mean?

:: Chythar watched in silence, fascinated by the revelations that the Vulcan was revealing. Granted, all that was revealed thus far was unique to Raissa’s DNA, save for the above mentioned point that he too had the pre-mutation gene. ::

Saveron: Together with the premutation, your novel mutation would itself induce a certain level of empathy or at least ESP. I anticipate that some of your ancestors may have carried a third mutation which you do not; you can see the primer here but the gene is standard. Your Betazoid ancestry conferred a strong level of empathy, but your Betazoid genes and Terran genes did not work together. However, it would appear that your time with the Community, and your exposure to other telepaths, has altered that. The orphaned primer sequence is now triggering your Betazoid abilities which in turn are enhancing your Terran predisposition and also triggering a gene further downstream which, to the best of my knowledge, has not previously been associated with telepathy in Terrans.

:: It was like her physics classes all over again. Mind numbing information that was spoken in a language she didn’t know. How to feel really stupid in one easy lesson. The fact that Saveron was not only an expert in his field, but since he was a Vulcan it was not a deliberate attempt on his part to make her feel like a toddler at a geology seminar. ::

Skyfire: Interesting.

:: He ran a free hand along his chin and sipped his cocoa again, wondering idly how his accidental contact made her dormant genetics light up like a Christmas tree. ::

Saveron: You are a research paper entirely unto yourself. :: He said to Raissa with a slight inclination of his head in acknowledgement. ::

:: He probably didn’t realize that was not a compliment. ::

Moonsong: Does this mean I cannot go back to my previous level?

Saveron: It is possible that you might revert without the Community’s stimulus, but unlikely. This upregulation appears quite stable.

:: Raissa put her hands to her face. She was already beyond the lessons her grandmother had taught her for dealing with her empathy. The crushing silence within and the constant pressure of other minds around her was equally crushing. ::

Moonsong: :: mutters to herself :: I’m a freak.

Skyfire: No you aren’t, Ris. Unique, but not a freak. oO I’m the freak here. Oo How does my accidental telepathic contact during the mission on DSX factor into this?

:: He couldn’t help feeling that there was something quirky about his DNA that made it likely he was the only known human with induced telepathy via someone else. Saveron knew most of the tale because of the mind meld they shared, followed by his admission during their last discussion about the accidental contact. This was not a subject he was looking forward to because it meant that he’d have to bury himself in studies pertaining to coping with the...with his unique evolution. More counseling. More meditation. All boring. ::

:: Observing Raissa’s distress, Saveron slid quietly into a seat at the table. ::

Saveron: I believe that the proper term would be a ‘jump in evolution’. :: He said gently. ::

Moonsong: Historically human telepaths are not T6… I can’t be...

:: Raissa was as good at denial as the next person despite evidence to the contrary. To top it off, she still wasn’t sure how CD’s contact caused such a change in her. She had a feeling she was about to get the answer to that question. Of course that was if the Vulcan kept it to small words she could comprehend. ::

Saveron : Yet evolution does not stop at the present Raissa. Humans have not previously been that strongly telepathic, :: he acknowledged :: but they are now.

:: Beginning with her. Though as he had pointed out, some of it was to do with her Betazoid heritage as well. Rising from his seat Saveron returned to the holographic display. ::

Saveron: You asked, Chythar, what influence your own contact has had on Raissa’s situation. The answer is that it acted as stimulus for her developing ability, as did the Community; just as skin which is abraded develops a callous, her telepathy was encouraged to develop and enhance through exposure to other telepaths. However our previous concern, that her DNA might exhibit changes that mimic your own, is not founded.

:: The Vulcan altered the highlighting to bring Skyfire’s DNA to the fore. Here there were several smaller sections marked in a different colour. ::

Saveron: Your situation is fascinating. :: Which was Vulcan for ‘I’m not going to focus on anything else for the next hour’. :: As you can see you harbour the Terran telepathic pre-mutation. :: One section lit up. :: As does the Counsellor. However you do not possess any further known mutations, and would have remained in the ‘Telepathy Sensitive’ state without further stimulus. However, your telepathic contact with the Dokkaran doctor has resulted in a self-defensive re-arrangement of your DNA in this region. :: He explained. ::

::Raissa stared at the DNA strands with the same understanding as she had felt with her own. Little. All she could comprehend was that their situations were different. ::

Skyfire: Evident by? :: This was truly fascinating, though Skyfire didn’t have much wracking around in his brainpan of what it was Saveron was getting at. ::

Saveron: Several transposons - small sections of DNA which are able to change their location within a sequence - have been liberated, and are in the process of re-arrangement. Your initial telepathic contact acted as the stimulus.

:: The Vulcan then went on to detail each transposon, it’s original location, it’s apparent path of relocation and the resulting effect on Skyfire’s telepathic status. ::

Saveron: I was able to culture a few cells and observe a rearrangement in real-time. What is apparent is that the rearrangements are still continuing, hence the changes in your telepathic abilities. Any further telepathic contact will likely encourage this rearrangement, potentially altering or enhancing your abilities. Our contact may have facilitated this. So I would suggest the question is not what you may have done to Raissa’s DNA, but what she may have done to yours. There is no way to know when, or even if, your DNA will stabilize into its final configuration.

:: The explanation turned long and complicated, but fascinating. After several paragraphs of what would bore an engineer, CD smiled softly as his DNA strand was revealed and the explanation continued. He wasn’t fond of the idea of requiring more counseling to deal with his issues, or the fact that he was going to eventually connect with other species. For now, it seemed as though his connection to Devlin would be sufficient to keep him from going insane, though that was still a horrifying thought when he realized his issues could spiral out of control. ::

Skyfire: I see...interesting.

Moonsong: We are… I am still confused. Did he affect my DNA or did I affect his?

Saveron: You affected each others’ indirectly, by providing telepathic stimulus which encouraged the expansion of your abilities. Neither of you directly affected the other’s DNA.

:: Which was vastly preferable. The kind of contact that could cause another’s DNA to mutate would likely be considered illegal. The Vulcan sat down at the table again, laced his fingers together and rested his hands on the table. ::

Saveron: I would note that both your cases are fascinating. However one would consider the impact which this has on yourselves.

:: For he was a doctor before a researcher; always there was the patient to consider. ::

Moonsong: It means I have no life.

:: She held her head in her hands. Because of Saveron’s Vulcan controls, she didn’t pick up much from him unless she deliberately initiated contact as she had accidentally a few days ago. She wasn’t sleeping and had started avoiding contact with others, even Carter. The minute she would try to relax, the roar of voices would descend and she ended up spending her time just trying to just block them out. ::

Skyfire: Not true, Ris.

:: He could point out that Raissa was very much alive, but Saveron knew from experience that was not her intended meaning. She referred to what Terrans called ‘living’, as opposed to merely ‘existing’. ::

Saveron: I would enquire as to the source of your distress.

:: Was it the lack of the Community minds, where there had been the reassuring presence? Or was there some other factor that was affecting the normally vibrant Counsellor? He wasn’t her treating physician, that was Doctor Skyfire, but as the most experienced telepath of the three and a doctor regardless, he could not help but want to alleviate her distress. ::

:: Raissa hesitated. She knew if she told the two of them to back off, they would. CD had never pushed her when she withdrew and Saveron would probably consider it bad manners. She was the one who pushed people. It was part of her job to get to the heart of a patient’s suppressed issues. And her mind circled back to Saveron’s question like a hamster in a wheel. ::

Moonsong: Silence within…. the roar… without. Too many voices… emotions...

:: He blew a strand of hair his still black hair out of his face, muscles tensing as he latched onto the words and felt the emotions. His hand tightened around the cup out of reflex, a bit of warm cocoa still within. He tried once again to adapt some mental shielding to prevent the onslaught he was experiencing from her. ::

Skyfire: I kind of know the feeling...

:: Saveron looked over at Chythar, met the other man’s gaze. He thought he understood what Raissa was saying; the loss of the Community had a far greater impact than even he had anticipated. ::

Saveron: The Community provided shielding abilities as well as company, did they not? :: He suggested gently. ::

Moonsong: They must have… I wasn’t at this level before them… They assumed… and I did too, that I would go back to what I was.

Skyfire: Whatever they taught you, I’d like to learn it...I’m thinking that may help…

Moonsong: They didn’t teach me anything. Their minds function… differently.

:: CD set what was left of his drink on the table, his hands gripping the arms of the chair. There was a moment in which his eyes met the Vulcan’s as though sizing him up or reading him, attempting to pick up on the calm that he was sorely lacking. ::

:: It earned Skyfire an enquiring look from the man he was watching. ::

Saveron: You appear to have something on your mind, Chythar, however unlike yourselves I cannot read it without contact.

:: He was a powerful telepath, but with that marked restriction. The Vulcan’s abilities required physical contact to operate, beyond that he had a mild empathic sense and nothing more. ::

Moonsong: If I’m broadcasting again, I’m sorry.

:: Raissa focused her fragile controls again to try to keep her mind within her own mind. She forced herself to ignore the urge to reach for the minds of the Community. They were no longer there to comfort and protect her. ::

Skyfire: I….would you believe me if I said I’m trying to find Saveron’s calm? When I needed to make sure I wasn’t crazy after seeing a fossilized Vulcan, I couldn’t sense him. Now I can...kind of.

Saveron: You sense the carrier wave.

:: Skyfire would be able to sense the presence of his mind but not the contents. If he concentrates Saveron could shield even that, but he had no need to. ::

Moonsong: I’ve heard of that before… I don’t remember where…

:: Chythar nodded slowly, able to sense him now with a basic awareness that he didn’t possess when he needed to verify that Saveron was alive instead of dead after the return from the past. ::

Skyfire: Right...

Saveron: I can offer to teach you both Vulcan shielding techniques, if you would consider such preferable.

:: Whether or not they would find them adaptable to their own situations was entirely up to them; his people’s way was not for everyone. ::

Skyfire: I would welcome it.

Moonsong: :: She shuddered and looked between Saveron and CD. :: I will take any help I can get.

:: Saveron turned to look directly at their suffering Counsellor. ::

Saveron: In the interim, fitting you with a telepathic dampening implant is an option. Or, if you wish, I can provide a temporary solution.

:: Uncharacteristically he held out his bare hand. ::

:: Raissa stared at him her dark eyes wide. The idea of suppressing her telepathy was not something she had even considered. It didn’t occur to her. She had been the one who pushed CD to wean himself off the chemical inhibitor he had concocted. The fact that he was back to using them felt like a step back in his progress. Her eyes dropped to his hand. Vulcans were not ones for casual contact. He was offering her help. ::

:: Trembling, her cold fingers slipped over his. ::

Moonsong: Please…. help me….

:: He met her gaze squarely, and with that contact his mind was suddenly more than a simple presence to her, all thoughts guarded. He was right there, closer and more immediate than any other, right in her personal space, save that in the realm of the mind there was no space. ::

:: For him where there had been silence there was that sudden, vibrant awareness of Raissa on a whole new level, the brilliance of the mind that, unlike her, he only ever saw one at a time, and that all too rarely. But when he did he perceived that mind in incredible depth. ::

Saveron: ~ I can help you, if you will allow me to.~

:: The contact did not have the same depth as the hand-to-face of a Mind Meld, but it was more than enough. ::

:: Chythar slowly set his now-empty mug on the table and leaned back in his chair, eyes closing for a brief moment. His head throbbed, and he suspected that he was being overloaded by the fear from Ris. The solution, however temporary, could at least be a starting point for adapting his own mental shielding. CD dimly recalled his own chemical inhibitor which he used during the mission, and was momentarily afraid he’d have to go back on it to control his abilities until he sorted them out. Again. He silently hoped he wasn’t transmitting those thoughts. ::

Skyfire: I’d advise that Saveron help you first. I can wait, elsewhere if need be.

Saveron: There is no need. :: He spoke simply, concentrating. ::

:: Raissa looked at CD. ::

Moonsong: I need you to stay… If this stops you from feeling me, then we need to know. I’m trying not to… broadcast… If I focus I can stop… but if I’m distracted….

Saveron: An external observer would be preferable.

:: Chythar would know immediately if Saveron’s efforts were effective. ::

:: Chythar nodded faintly in agreement as he attempted to readjust his mental shielding. While not exactly the perfect time to do so, this seemed as good a time as any to work on adjusting the filters within his mind. With a slow exhalation, he gave his answer. ::

Skyfire: Alright.

:: To him Raissa’s mind was shifting and billowing, the gentle reaching and perceptiveness of the Betazoid style of telepathy, but now greatly increased in power. She was too open, too receptive, her usual shield insufficient. Saveron’s own mind was like a fortress, thoughts completely walled away from the casual observer, emotions walled away even from those. Logic and order prevailed. ::

Saveron: ~ It is my intention to build you some temporary walls. ~

:: They would not last, they required maintenance and Raissa was not practiced in Vulcan techniques. But they would offer her some respite whilst she learned to build her own. ::

Moonsong: ~ Thank you…. ~

:: The kind of shields that would suit her and her new level of telepathy, she would have to develop over time herself. All he could do was give her, temporarily, what he himself used. Synaptic pattern transfer could only be done permanently by those with a lifetime of training in the practice, but anyone who had been through a mind-meld would know how easy it could be to temporarily take on some attributes of the other. And there had been a time in the Vulcan peoples’ distant past where force patterns had turned enemies into willing slaves. No more. ::

:: The walls suddenly appeared, generating seemingly out of nothing as Saveron copied his own telepathic wards for Raissa. Not the internal bulwarks of logic and emotional control, but the external barricades that kept out unwanted mental intrusion, and prevented unwanted telepathic perception. For a short time she would be detectable only as a presence, and detect others as the same; she would neither perceive nor project beyond that. It would not last. ::

:: Chythar watched in silence, dimly aware of them both. He couldn’t maintain a read on his sister of choice as the wards started to take effect, or on Saveron. His own shields, temporary and imprecise, had collapsed, and he knew it. Hopefully, they wouldn’t notice. Though they were both stronger telepaths than he was, so it would indubitably come to light if they checked him. ::

:: Once he was certain that the wards were as secure as he could make them, Saveron carefully withdrew his mind and hand from Raissa’s. ::

Saveron: I anticipate that the transplanted shielding will remain stable for approximately twelve hours.

:: That was the best that he could offer. He wasn’t trained for the kind of redactive telepathic moulding that would give Raissa lasting relief; she would have to learn the necessary skills herself. ::

Skyfire: I can sense you both...dimly….  :: He did not seem proud of that admission. Or about the fact that his own shields were hopelessly inferior to them both. ::

:: Raissa was barely aware that Saveron had withdrawn his grip on her hand. She reveled inwardly at the quiet. The alleviation of the pressure that had been constant for days. She took a deep breath and then let it out along with some of the tension that had kept her muscles locked. ::

:: The sensation was similar to her pre-Community state. She had an awareness of other minds around her. The ‘carrier wave’ as Saveron had called it. She understood more clearly now what that meant. While she still needed to learn to deal with the loss of the Community’s presence in her mind, at least now she could work on that. ::

Moonsong: We… I cannot express how grateful I am for this… respite.

Saveron: You are welcome. :: He said gravely. :: I would recommend that you utilize the time provided to rest and then strengthen your own shielding; it would be detrimental to your psyche for me to perform the procedure frequently.

:: He could do it once or twice, but she would have to learn to manage it for herself. ::

:: CD just remained silent. He wasn’t sure how he was supposed to react, and didn’t have any thoughts on what to say here. It all seemed so complicated somehow. ::

:: Finally she turned her attention to CD. She wasn’t the only one suffering. ::

Moonsong: Sensing the presence of other minds is… a natural part of being a telepath. Vulcans are the only ones I know of who can block their presence from another telepath.

:: She paused. CD had a history of not embracing his talent. While he no longer used the word ‘curse’, he did not view it as a gift or something fully part of him. ::

Saveron: Even for my people, rendering our own mental signature null to another telepath requires great concentration.

:: Even four-lobed brains produced a carrier wave; to appear completely inert to a telepath was very difficult. ::

Skyfire: So I noticed.

Saveron: The question is, how do you both intend to proceed, in light of your increasing abilities?

Skyfire: Your guess is as good as mine, doctor. :: He stared at his empty mug and pondered over his next words. ::

Moonsong: :: She looked down at her hands. :: I have to gain greater control. In order to do my job… I may have to do the one thing I don’t want to do. :: Pause. :: A neural inhibitor during working hours until I get control.

Skyfire: I think Saveron should oversee that treatment. I too need greater control, though I somehow got the feeling during the mission that my own recipe is no longer as effective as it used to be...

Saveron: I will do what I can. :: He assured them. :: Careful treatment combined with meditation and practice should allow you to develop the mental barriers that you will require in order to live with your heightened states of telepathy.

Moonsong: If… if this is what I have now become…. I have to adjust. :: She paused again. :: This will have a deep impact on my professional and personal life.

:: It was true. Being a powerful telepath had a profound impact on all aspects of one’s existence. He considered it vastly preferable that he was a touch telepath, and had to deliberately act to bring his abilities into play. The plight of a ranged telepath was not one for which he held any favour. ::

Saveron: As in all changes in life, it will be a time to re-assess and adjust. ::He said gently.::

:: Again, CD said nothing. He continued trying to read them both, that dim awareness his only clue that there were other minds in there with him. He closed his eyes and attempted to get a grip on his own shields, which he was struggling to rebuild. ::

:: Raissa frowned slightly as she looked at CD. Now that her mind was quieter and calmer, it was easier to focus. ::

Moonsong: CD… what are you trying to do?

Skyfire: Seeing how much I can pick up and rebuild shields, which suck.

Moonsong: I think you are trying to do things all at once. You need to practice patience too. Are you still feeling me? I mean beyond the general awareness?

Skyfire: Not at the same level I could before, no.

Moonsong: Then that is what you should feel. The carrier wave. The awareness of other minds without reading them. Nor am I reading you. I am aware of you, but I’m not reading your thoughts. :: Pause. :: Are you picking up anything other than that?

Skyfire: You mean besides Saveron’s practiced calm and the fact you’ve finally calmed down? :: He took a breath. :: Nope.

Moonsong: You need to look at that as… :: She frowned slightly looking for the right term. :: Background noise. :: She paused again. :: But with your telepathy level still unstable, you will need to learn a different kind of shielding than what I tried to teach you. I think Saveron’s method might work for you.

Saveron: It is possible, however as with Raissa it would be a temporary solution only.

Skyfire: I don’t know, doc. Last time we tried was a bit rough on both of us, remember?

Saveron: I have not forgotten. :: How could he forget? :: The choice is yours. I can only offer possible treatments. However your current state is not optimal.

:: The doctor did have a point, and Chythar wasn’t really in a mental state to argue with him. Or Ris. Lest she smack him again for being stubborn like one of her brothers. With a rather weak nod, he extended his hand and let Saveron do what he needed to, and attempted to keep his memories to himself. ::

Saveron: Do not anticipate trauma. :: He advised. ::

:: The contact was much shallower than the mind meld which they had used so that Chythar might show Saveron the source of his change and resulting trauma. This time the link was lighter, and briefer. Having already schooled his thoughts for the necessary transfer with Raissa, and knowing CD’s mind, it was a relatively quick process for Saveron to build the telepathic walls that he used, and then break the contact. ::

:: This time, the effects seemed fleeting. Like before, there was a brief flash in which Saveron saw the Romulan Embassy and the flash of Raissa’s question asking where everyone was. In that moment, she had managed to punch through his shields. This time, he was prepared for it and managed to take in a single breath. ::

:: Raissa folded her hands on the top of the table. With the walls Saveron had given her, she could not read what the two of them were doing on a mental level. Nor did she need to. It was the perfect opportunity to examine and study the shielding the Vulcan had given her. She wanted to learn what he had given her and mold it to fit her own purposes. ::

Saveron: Again, you will have perhaps twelve hours before those walls dissipate. I counsel you to study them, learn from them that which applies to yourself, and use that knowledge to build your own.

:: Every telepath’s mental barriers were different, which was why his would not last, transplanted into another mind. They would each have to find their own answers, but he could assist. ::

:: The doctor’s mind was shielded, for the moment. It would be a few hours at least for him to study them in great detail, and hopefully less time than that to attempt to adapt them. He didn’t know what his new telepathic level was, but somehow he had the feeling he didn’t want to find out. ::

Skyfire: Thank you. I’ll...I’ll let you know how it works out.

:: She didn’t notice when they were finished. She had focused inwardly, rediscovering her center of peace that she had used all her life. And she was half asleep since she had gotten so little rest during the last few days. ::

Skyfire: Ris?

:: CD glanced over at the counselor, and knew full well the effects of the last few days had taken their toll on them both. It was going to be one long day of sleep and meditation for him, and likely curling up with Devlin in between meditations. ::

Moonsong: :: Blinks. :: What?

Saveron: I would recommend that you both rest and use the opportunity to recuperate. :: He said gently. ::

:: Skyfire nodded. He was fine for the moment. He was going to be okay after some sleep and a few hours studying what Saveron had put in place for him. Hopefully. ::

Skyfire: I’ll be okay. You should get some rest too.

:: Raissa nodded, placing her hands flat on the table, she pushed herself out of her chair. ::

Moonsong: There is one more thing… a favor…

:: The Vulcan cocked his head and raised one eyebrow. ::

Skyfire: Favor?

Moonsong: Would the two of you examine Commander Core? I am not the scientists you are, but there is a disconnect between his ability to speak and his thoughts. I… I am able to read him in a way, and normally I shouldn’t be able to, but the Community had no problem with a four-lobed brain. They may have left that with me as well.

Saveron: Vulcans are able to read four-lobed individuals, but I would only do so with his permission. :: As he would only do with anyone. ::

:: CD knew of Core’s case, and was still working on it. He had been studying it, and it hadn’t enough time to finish or follow up. There probably wasn’t a connection between telepathy and Core’s speech problems, though it could have been an effect caused by the temporal incursion. ::

Skyfire: I will look into it further.

Moonsong: Now I will do as you both tell me. I am going to get some rest and then meditate. ::pause:: I cannot thank you enough. Both of you.

Saveron: You are welcome. Live long and prosper.

:: Chythar blinked for a few moments. How was he supposed to react? What did he do? He wasn’t sure, but he was glad he could help. ::

Skyfire: Glad I could help.

:: Quietly she left the room, heading toward her quarters for much needed sleep. She would consider the use of inhibitors later. At some point she would need to contact Carter. They needed to talk. ::

:: Chythar lingered for just a few seconds, then got up and took his leave as well. He felt there wasn’t anything further to say or ask until he’d had a chance to study the temporary shielding that the Vulcan had provided. His gaze locked with Saveron’s for a moment. ::

Skyfire: I’d be grateful for any insight you can provide into Tristam’s case. I have a couple theories I’d like to share with you.

Saveron: I would be honoured.

The End
Lieutenant Commander Saveron
USS Invicta

Lieutenant Chythar Skyfire
Chief Medical Officer
USS Invicta

Lieutenant Raissa Moonsong
Chief of Counseling
USS Invicta

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