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(( Intensive Care, Sickbay ))<br /><br />
<nowiki>::</nowiki> Azin felt the material of his biobed, trying to induce some sort of familiar feeling. His movements were more like jerks and uncoordinated feeling around, then any coherent and tranquil attempt to 'read' the room around him like he usually did. His advanced senses were gone and now he was a shell, trying to make sense of the world without things he had since his...for lack of a better word, 'birth'.<nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />
<nowiki>::</nowiki> Getting little from his tactile senses, Azin sat up on the bed and tried to center himself, try and use what little in the way of sensation that he had left to discover the root of the problem. The problem was mental, so perhaps there was a mental solution, his mind was trained and sharp, he could defeat this, he need only try.In a way, his freedom from several sensory inputs was a blessing, it made centering himself more easy, and easier to quiet his thoughts.<nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> His mind was clear of all thoughts, slipping into a basic but effective meditative trance, he let an image of the Gardens of Kural-Hanesh bloom in his mind. He heard the trickle and sounds of the water, and once he had visualized it fully, he commanded the water to cease, and once again quiet took over his mind. Reaching out, Azin followed the silence, reaching out to touch the very fabric of life, the universe itself.<nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> Words entered his mind, thoughts, his, and others, memories, echoes of the utter wealth of things contained within him.<nowiki>::</nowiki> <br /><br />Disembodied Voice 1: :: A hissing whisper.:: Betrayer...<br /><br />Disembodied Voice 2: :: With the weight of orthodoxy behind it, passing down sentence.:: Heretic...<br /><br />Disembodied Voice 3: :: Old and aged, withered but in possession of strength.:: You will lead us to greatness. <br /><br />Disembodied Voice 1: :: Bitter.:: You will never walk among us again. <br /><br />Disembodied Voice 4: :: Sympathetic, caring.:: Why do you not walk among us?<br /><br />Disembodied Voice 2: :: Righteous, commanding.:: You pursue truth where there is none, you will find nothing but ruin down your path!<br /><br />Disembodied Voice 3: :: Reciting.:: "And so Adjen redeemed the Heretic of Aune, who surrendered andrenounced his heretical ways and walked among the righteous once more'. <br /><br />Azin's Disembodied Voice: :: Hesitant, in explanation.:: But my interpretation of scripture and revelation are... different, 'true' if you ask me.<br /><br />Azin's Disembodied Voice: :: Angry, though also in explanation.:: This data holds the future of my people! <br /><br />Azin's Disembodied Voice: :: Also angry, but in a pleading context,:: I can have peace in the palm of my hand! <br /><br />Disembodied Voice 1: :: With a bitter spat of a dying breath.:: Our names are prophecy, and yours means RUIN! <br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> Awakening from his meditations with a gasp, Azin was once again breathing heavily for air he did not need.<nowiki>::</nowiki> <br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> Many things were familiar in those voices, others were... alien, they weren't his memories. Of course, he had many of the collective memories of his entire people, and yet... nothing so potent, so... obviously dark. He heard the doors open, and he instinctively looked up to follow the sound, though it did him little good.<nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> CD followed the petty officer into the ICU area where Azin was. He wasn't sure where to begin with this patient, as Dokkarans weren't on his list of species he had any knowledge of. He did remember glancing over the file, but didn't see anything in there about how their brains were connected. <nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Azin: Lieutenant Chythar Skyfire?<br /><br />Skyfire: Correct. You would be Ensign Azin, I presume. You know me...how?<br /><br />Azin: <nowiki>::</nowiki> Apt, distant, professional, but not cold.<nowiki>::</nowiki> We have not met, but I know your name and record by heart, benefits of keen eyesight and memory, the former of which has now failed me.<br /><br />Skyfire: So I've heard.<br /><br />Azin: I was hoping to get a second opinion on that, Doctor Chythar Skyfire, or do you not intend to perform your own analysis? <br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> He was beginning to feel the stress. The stress of being the only senior MO on duty. In the midst of casualty reports and irate telepaths, he had to deal with this. He was fighting to keep his words in English as he continued to converse. Especially with the plant-man who was now in front of him, as Ensign Azin was starting to tread on the lieutenant's forced calm. <nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Skyfire: I intend to preform my own analysis. <nowiki>::</nowiki> pause, frustration hinting at the edge of his words <nowiki>::</nowiki> Ensign. However, I have no knowledge of how your species actually handles trauma of this nature. Dokkoran physiology wasn't covered when I was attending the academy. <br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> He was not to blame for his ignorance, no, that blame lay at the feet of his instructors, though Azin was hardly surprised. Such knowledge of an exceedingly rare species of advanced plantlife was hardly pragmatic, not to mention Azin was perfectly capable of healing himself given time. The speeding of his very slow regeneration process by using Ceata's soil was more than adequate to take care of any injury Azin would come across. He had only consulted the services of Starfleet doctors once, back on the Tiger when his leg was severely broken. Even that though, was a once in a century experience, and one Azin did plan on repeating.<nowiki>::</nowiki> <br /><br />Azin: And why should it? My people are hardly numerous, but suffice to say I can take care of my own medical needs Doctor, if you are, as you say, incapable of performing to my specific biological needs. <br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> The air was thick with tension and frustration; he couldn't sense it, and thought he was keeping it hidden behind his mental shielding -- that which was already weakened by the blast and the panic. oO Who does this Ensign think he is, anyway? Oo He ran the tricorder over Ensign Azin and attempted to make sense of the readings. Not having anything to compare it to, and the ship computers in Sickbay being down, he had no baseline. As he stared at the readings, he forced calm back into his words and attempted once again to achieve cooperation. <nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Skyfire: I wasn't asking if you were willing to submit to the examination. I was confirming that I wished to perform my own, and that I need you to explain to me how your brain works. <br /><br />Azin: <nowiki>::</nowiki> With a slight roll of his eyes.<nowiki>::</nowiki> It is you who are not listening...<br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> Though Azin didn't notice it, nor would anyone else, his behavior was starting to change, he was more... animated and clearly emotive than usual. Where once simple tones were the extent of his emotional expression, giving his words a cold and slight sting or weight, instead was tactless and utterly overt contempt previously expressed only in his thoughts. Most would assume it was just nerves, and Azin, Azin barely noticed that his thoughts had become his actions, his outward displays.<nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Skyfire: Look. You came to me for help. And I want to help you. You're talking to a Terran who has never seen or treated one of your number before. Stop being difficult and help me understand your physiology, Ensign. That's an order.<br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> That was the first time CD had ever felt the need to pull rank. Ever. It wasn't a feeling he liked. It made him uncomfortable, and he noted he was on the verge of Greek when he gave that order. Even worse for him, but what Lieutenant Rose might call a breakthrough -- was he recognized the fact he was nearing another language despite his stress level. <nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />oO Such indignation, really! Oo <br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki>Azin scoffed at the notion of being ordered, he had never answered to anyone in his life and he certainly was not going to start now. Slowly preparing a witty and utterly snide remark, he pulled himself back for a moment, and his regular self actualized for a moment. Part of him was reflecting on his actions in the past few minutes, what he had said. Though he did not know its source, not considered such remarks out of the ordinary, he reigned himself in before speaking again.<nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Azin: <nowiki>::</nowiki> Breathing in, then returning to his familiar monotone.<nowiki>::</nowiki> What is it you wish to know?<br /><br />Skyfire: <nowiki>::</nowiki> giving a sigh. oO Finally. Oo <nowiki>::</nowiki> Now, help me make sense of this. Your brain is connected to a central network of other Dokkorans? <br /><br />Azin: That is not how it works Doctor, I am not part of a hive mind...<br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> The doctor closed his eyes, taking another breath. oO This isn't the academy. You're a physician. You don't know anything about this species. Control yourself. Oo He needed to focus, but more than that -- he needed to learn. He was in Starfleet to learn about alien species. He was a xenobiologist, after all. This was an opportunity to receive the knowledge from the mouth of the proverbial horse -- in this case, a plant. oO Open your mind to the possibilities. Oo With another deep breath, he replied softly <nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Skyfire: You have my attention.<br /><br />Azin: I was born with a certain set of memories accumulated by my people over the past two centuries, while such knowledge is incredibly extensive, my collected experiences are just a small, randomized fraction of the total knowledge contained within the mind of The Lady.<br /><br />Skyfire: So...the centuries of knowledge functions...how?<br /><br /> Azin: It's a replacement for childhood, it allows us to be born both fully mature mentally and physically, but also have some semblance of identity and individuality. <br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> The information he was receiving made sense on some level, but due to the emotional stabilizer he had injected himself with, he felt that it was perhaps inhibiting his ability to completely comprehend. What he knew, or thought he knew, was all changed by the words of the fellow science officer. A blink of his eyes expressed momentary confusion. <nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Skyfire: Does that make you telepathic?<br /><br />Azin: Many people mistake us for telepaths yes, but rather Dokkarans have a few more senses then Humans do, and they are all very acute. Were they all functioning properly I wouldn't need my eyes to navigate, but alas. We also have an ability to link our nervous systems into those of another, producing an intense link in the melding of nervous systems. Among my own people we use this to convey memories, ideas, knowledge, all in a form that is unencumbered by language and the distortions it brings.<br /><br />Skyfire: Sort of like a Vulcan mind meld...What do you need from me?<br /><br />Azin: Usually we don't link with Anim...<br /><br />Skyfire: Azin?<br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> For a moment, Azin felt a very severe headache in the front of his 'brain', if one preferred to call it that. Breathing for a moment after the pain stopped, Azin then felt another wave of pain take over him, similar to what a brain hemorrhage had been described as. Falling back on his biobed, Azin passed out, and suddenly images flashed before his eyes as he felt his head spin. He saw several familiar images of his homeworld, mixed with several events from his own memories and past. Peppered in between those however were, flashes, flashes of images that while Azin did not immediately identify as being foreign, stood out to him as memories that were not his own.<nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> He saw planets and peoples, and.... rituals of some sort, great libraries stacked with volumes so high that it seemed beyond wasteful considering the effort required to reach those volumes. He also saw figures in black hooded capes, a familiar enough sight in his own memories, though this one was different. Mixed in with more familiar flashes of his own memories and those of his people, Azin saw a scene play out, an exchange. One of the hooded figures stood across from the others, reaching into their cloak they pulled out a small sphere and offered it to the other hooded figures. In return, the opposite figures presented them with a scroll of some sort. The hooded figures disappeared into the black, hazy landscape, leaving the lone hooded figure to open their new prize. The scroll contained images of anatomy, specifically the brain, and all written in a language Azin did not recognize. <nowiki>::</nowiki> <br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> The doctor noticed Azin began to collapse. Something wasn't sitting right, something more than the slight amount of Oxytacin in the atmospheric filters that had been put there to enhance the mental stabilization of the crew. <nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Skyfire: Azin! Stay with me, Ensign. :: He reached his hands out to place his hands on Azin's shoulders. ::<br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> Chythar's vision dimmed, his breathing became labored. Pain that made his head throb. Images that made no sense to him. A landscape of a foreign planet, hooded figures that led to blurring incoherent figures that passed through his field of vision. His mental shields held, though only barely. He became disoriented, the imbalance of chemicals caused by connecting with Azin causing the neurostabilizer he'd taken to fail. <nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> Before Azin could learn more, he felt hands on him, and as he was pulled back into reality, another set of memories and mental patterns flashed before him. Jumbled figures, strange languages, all appeared in a wall of text in front of him, and as his eyes tried to make sense of it all, the wall shifted into several other walls, trapping him in every time his mind tried to escape. Finally, the hands released, and Azin's vision went black again.<nowiki>::</nowiki> <br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> Familiar sensations flooded his mind: the loss of his mother when Romulus exploded. His mother's absence, that he'd felt before. The loss of his father when he died unexpectedly. His freeze-up during med school. His freeze-up in Sickbay with Silviera. His freeze-up on the bridge, which was caused by a flashback. His reluctance to let MacLaren go on a mission. His hearing loss when the bomb exploded nearby. His frantic hyperfocused mind when he presented the answer to the Romulan plight on Argurtha. His nervousness at receiving awards and promotions. The loss he felt when he lost Taybrim to the Darwin. The joy he felt at Taybrim's return. Everything convoluted and intensified, sending his brain into a sensory overload as he collapsed.<nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> Feeling the sensations of the biobed return to him, Azin sat up, hearing heavy breathing near him. <nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> Skyfire was lying on the floor. His eyes were closed, the pain too much for him to handle. Whatever mental shields that were in place had faded, the overload and imbalance causing what was left to fracture into nothingness. His breathing was labored, his body tense, every breath a fight to survive. Every breath an inhalation of the neurostabilizer he dumped into the atmosphere. He barely managed a coherent thought oO Sal...Oo He needed his friend's help, now more than he did before. As he inhaled, the neurostabilizer that had been dumped into the air began to take effect. His thoughts began to clear, the pain dulled enough for him to think at least a little bit. With a heavy labored breath, he asked <nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Skyfire: ...what....just happened...?<br /><br />Azin: <nowiki>::</nowiki> Azin followed the sound of the Doctor's voice and looked down.<nowiki>::</nowiki> Interesting...<br /><br />Skyfire: What's so interesting about sending me through...that meld? <br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> Azin didn't answer him, and CD wasn't really expecting an answer. He was in too much pain to care if he got an answer immediately. He hated the fact that rhetorical questions plagued him more often than he liked to admit. None of that mattered now. <nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> Doctor Chythar Skyfire had such an interesting mind, mazes, codes, encryptions, all running like computer code in an organic environment. Azin had seen his pain, the essence of who he was, perhaps not all of it, but enough to give Azin a completely new appreciation for the Doctor. 'More than meets the eye' was a popular sentiment in Azin's life, and now it appears he had uncovered two more mysteries to solve.<nowiki>::</nowiki> <br /><br />Azin: <nowiki>::</nowiki> Cold, far off and distant.<nowiki>::</nowiki> And now I see... <br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> Climbing off the biobed, Azin could feel the area around him as he normally would, most of his senses had returned, and were finally functioning properly in unison. His eyes however, were still in the dark, clouded by something, though Azin had been right, it was a mental problem. Bending over the panting, obviously pained Doctor, Azin spoke very slowly and softly.<nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Azin: What you just experienced was unintentional, and could have resulted in brain damage, I am sorry, but in doing so you have helped me a great deal. I can answer all of your questions in time, but I must ask for your help again. <br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> He knew he wasn't in any shape to move, but forced himself to his feet. He leaned against another biobed, and winced from the intense amount of pain as Azin gave a reply. oO Brain damage? oO Fine....I'll get an EMH to check me out after this mission is over... Oo The doctor tried to keep his footing, his entire body screaming in protest as he fought to stay upright. His headache remained, only dulled by the minor dose of the stabilizer. oO Keep breathing, CD. Keep breathing. Oo He blinked a few times to try and clear his vision which was still a bit blurry. <nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Skyfire: Tell me what you need, Azin. I'll do everything I can to help.<br /><br />Azin: When you touched me, our nervous systems were linked, I saw your mind and you saw mine, your glimpse might have been more localized than mine, but still quite an impressive feat for someone not trained in such things. Though considering its apparent physical affects, you might be lucky to have your mind fully intact... <br /><br />Skyfire: Go on...<br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> Azin felt the Doctor's breathing slow a bit, he was beginning to recover, physically at least.<nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Azin: ... Such mental strength is unusual in Humans, I may require more of you...<br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> Azin felt the pain of Doctor Chythar Skyfire, or at least, felt that he was in pain, so much was known by the way muscles flexed, which sections of the brain functioned and when, Azin could feel it all, along with his increased adrenal response.<nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Azin: <nowiki>::</nowiki>Back tracking for a moment, Azin spoke in a compassionate way not seen in quite a long while.<nowiki>::</nowiki> I fear I might have sapped your mental strength when we linked, by transferring the strength of your mind to mine, you have allowed me to break free of the essence within me that has been exacerbated by the anomaly's effects. <nowiki>::</nowiki> Putting a hand on the Doctor's shoulder, Azin spoke firmly but still with the same unusual compassion he was displaying.<nowiki>::</nowiki> Your mental capacity for putting up walls around your mind is impressive, such strength comes from confrontation, and I know you have had much pain in your life. <br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> That answer caught him by surprise. The already intense pain followed by the...gradual...or sudden, he wasn't sure...failing of his mental shielding. He needed to get them back up if he was going to be of any use to the ensign at all. <nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Skyfire: Alright. Give me a few more minutes to put them back up...whatever that...that was...destroyed them...I'm not telepathic, but there are a number of telepathic crew mates on this ship. The shields were necessary for me to not set them off, if you catch my drift. Your mind is...different.<br /><br />Azin: Yes, my mind is structured, and functions differently than yours, such a force is hard to protect against when one is unprepared. Your mind is quite resilient however, that transfer of fortitude has helped me immensely, I just hope you are able to survive the after effects...<br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> Seconds were precious, and the mental voices Azin reported hearing was like time in that it waits for no man or Dokkoran. He tried to rebuild his shields before anything else happened, recalling the lessons of his various mentors: Collim, Taybrim, and Solan. He needed to help Azin. He needed to help himself before he could help another. The pain was intense enough to be very distracting to his focus. With achy muscles and a throbbing head, he grabbed a empty hypospray and began to fill it up with a pain killer. He injected it into his neck, wincing a bit as it kicked in. <nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Skyfire: By the Inferno..... <nowiki>::</nowiki> muttering <nowiki>::</nowiki> It hurts like the inner ring of Hell...<br /><br />Azin: <nowiki>::</nowiki> Calm and distant, though slightly compassionate.<nowiki>::</nowiki> You require time to rest, sit down, and we shall speak for a while as you regain your strength. <br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> The medical officer had a seat in a nearby chair, closing his eyes. He had to tell Azin what it was he saw, regardless of whether he knew how to put it into words. It was required if this experiment was going to succeed. If anything, it would at least make him feel better. <nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Skyfire: I saw a landscape of a planet I didn't recognize. I saw several hooded figures, heard voices that sounded vaguely like you but other voices as well. I saw what I am guessing was some sort of ritual....and some sort of scroll type. Nothing that I could readily place. Nothing that made any sense. Not to me, anyway. How much of what I saw is yours, or from your collective consciousness?<br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> Azin considered carefully before answering the Doctor, whether that was a serious inquiry, or just idle curiosity was not known to him, such subtle complexities of interaction were not readily available to him by just reading physiological responses.<nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Azin: <nowiki>::</nowiki> Calm, composed, his coldness replaced by tranquility, still very stoic and monotone, but it possessed a softer edge.<nowiki>::</nowiki> It is interesting that you saw so far into my mind... those hooded figures are not known to me, and yet they are, those memories exist within me and are marked as mine, and yet I know they are not. <br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> The mind was indeed a very complicated organism, regardless of whether it was CD's own or Azin's. Memories were intangible things that were formed within the confines of the brain, that had some meaning. Yet in Azin's case, they had been consolidated into a collective consciousness that all Dokkorans are born with. Humans, if they were to have such neurochemistry or memories, would have centuries, no...several millennium, dating back from the time of the Neanderthals. He pushed those conundrums from his mind, and focused instead on rebuilding his shielding. <nowiki>::</nowiki> <br /><br />Skyfire: Did you recognize any of the items during that exchange I mentioned?<br /><br />Azin: No, the items exchanged are also unknown, I don't recognize them and I have an incredibly expansive knowledge about lore and esoteric knowledge.<br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> He took a breath and paused. He gained all this insight into Azin in just a few short seconds. The thought suddenly hit him oO How much does he know about me...? Oo He once again managed to force calm into his voice as he spoke again, which was half statement of fact based on this experience but half question at the same time. <nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Skyfire: You saw into my mind, then...<br /><br />Azin: I.. :: Azin was unusually careful to form his next few words carefully, simple as they may be.:: Yes, I did see things, images of your past, your pain, all of the things you carry with you. <br /><br />Skyfire: Don't tell anyone about me sending Vitor into a coma. I don't want that getting out.<br /><br />Azin: I can keep secrets Doctor Chythar Skyfire, if you ever know one thing about me, know that it is that... <br /><br />Skyfire: That's a good quality to have. I'll bear it in mind if I ever need to tell you something I don't want everyone to know about.<br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki> His breathing returned to some semblance of normal, at least what was normal for him in this situation. He had to focus further concentration than he thought he had in order to reconstruct what he lost during the exchange with Azin. The painkiller hadn't helped much, as he was still recovering from the extraordinary pain he was unaccustomed to feeling. He focused his efforts toward his mental shields once more, falling silent as he slowed his breathing to concentrate. Another five minutes of silent meditation passed before he dared to speak again. <nowiki>::</nowiki><br /><br />Skyfire: Shields are up. How are we going to do this?<br /><br />Azin: <nowiki>::</nowiki> His new normal tone of voice, though with increased confidence, perhaps gun-ho.<nowiki>::</nowiki> Prepare yourself Doctor, you need not do anything but act as my anchor, or a well of fortitude if you will...<br /><br />Skyfire: I don't know how my system will react. From what you told me, it's the only chance you have. Let's get this started. <br /><br /><nowiki>::</nowiki>Azin had admittedly performed few of these in his time, though he didn't see cause to tell that to Doctor Chythar Skyfire...
v<nowiki>::</nowiki> <br /><br />Azin: <nowiki>::</nowiki> Calm, serene, though with a certain sternness.<nowiki>::</nowiki> In order for ideas to live they must flower in the minds of others, once that process begins, they never die. <nowiki>::</nowiki> Reaching out his hands, hovering them just off Doctor Chythar Skyfire's face. <nowiki>::</nowiki> We understand through exchange, by the Light of the Goddess, we are one...
<br /><br />
TBC<br />Ensign Azin <br />Mission Specialist<br />USS Excalibur-A<br /><br />& <br /><br />Lieutenant JG Chythar Skyfire<br />Medical Officer<br />USS Excalibur-A<br />Assistant Wiki Keeper of USS Excalibur-A<br />Member of Species Development Committee<br />