((Starfleet Academy Grounds, San Francisco, Earth - 2396))
Torrential rain was pouring down on the gardens of the academy campus after an extremely hot week. Cadets and instructors alike fled the sudden rain, while a few unwitting ones enjoyed the sudden coolness of the change in the weather and frolicked in the newly formed puddles.
Telas: Your medical education now?
Ikaia could remember the Academy grounds. He glanced around at the scene.
Wong: Yes. I think this was a few weeks into the school year. But I can’t tell what year this is. Septembers are typically quite ah…. Wet.
Ikaia watched a Klingon run up the steps of the Academy. A bag was slung over his shoulders with a granola bar hanging out of his mouth for breakfast. That, Ikaia knew, was himself as a cadet. Cadet Wong was making his way up the steps until he literally ran into someone else….
Cadet Wong: Ah! I’m sorry!
The petite Vulcan looked up...and then had to look even higher until she could meet the young Klingon's eyes. Before she answered, she paused for a moment to tuck one of the wild locks of hair that framed her face behind her pointy ear.
Alieth: There is no need for apology where there is no offence.
Cadet Wong: Are you okay? You didn’t break anything, did you?
That phrase was greeted with a characteristic eyebrow raise and a spark, a certain je ne sais quoi in her eyes that she made an effort to conceal as soon as it appeared.
Alieth: I dare say I am a little tougher than you might expect.
Ikaia, the older one, looked back at Telas at that moment.
Wong: Oh! I know this day! This was the first time I ever met Alieth. I know it seems like a rocky first meeting. But she’s my best friend. I’d do just about anything for her.
The white shadow of the Vulcan tilted his head.
Telas: An acquaintance? Or something else?
Wong: Heh… We were close at the Academy. We had many of the same classes together, and our dorms were just a few rooms apart from each other. Ha! I remember helping her through Bedside Manners class, where we came up with gummy bears and lollipops for an assignment. Oh! Also, I remember the first time she got sick with the flu. I think it was October of that year. It might have been November of the next. Anyway, I was looking out for her. I ended up sick part way while looking after her. That sort of thing kinda happened with us.
Telas: It seems you were close, but I wonder how this affects our search.
Wong: Anyway, sorry. I just kind of miss interacting with her on the regular like we did at the Academy. We’re posted on two different assignments. Right now, it’s just whenever we can.
Before the Telas could say something else, the Wong from the past interjected.
Cadet Wong: I’m still really sorry about everything. Er! My name is Ikaia, by the way. Ah! Just in case you need to find me again for any reason. Is there any way I can help you?
Alieth: Actually, you could do something for me.
Cadet Wong: Uh, sure! I mean, it’s the least I can do for almost knocking you over. Heh!
Alieth: Your jacket, I need it.
Cadet Wong: You need my jacket? Uhh...
The young Klingon tilted his head. The Vulcan he had just met definitely seemed cold. He supposed he could loan her his jacket for now. He removed the bag he had slung around his shoulders and took off his jacket.
Cadet Wong: Okay well ahhh… here you go. ::He passes over his jacket:: Oh uh! By the way, I don’t think I got your name.
Without another word, the petite woman draped her jacket over her shoulders and head, in a sort of makeshift hood, before turning around, the loose sleeves of the garment fluttering behind her.
The rain was pouring down, and the petite Vulcan began to move away in a manner that could not be described as a trot, but was certainly faster than her usual pace. At a certain point, she turned to face the Klingon one last time.
Alieth: Alieth, my name is Alieth.
Cadet Wong: Alieth…
Without looking back, she stepped through the shadows of the older Wong and Telas and followed her path, straight and steady, towards one of the nearest buildings. No sooner had she disappeared than black stains appeared where her feet had hit the pavement, the bitumen-like substance they had been chasing.
The stain seemed to shift, shivering in the freezing San Francisco rain, until it crept along the walls of the building around the door she had left, forming a black frame around the half-open lintel.
Telas: Our route is clear this time. :: Nodding to Wong:: Lead the way.
Ikaia saw the door open up. He walked over to it. As he walked through, the pathway didn’t look so clear this time. In fact, it looked hazy and unclear. He could feel fear start to grip at him. It settled into his throat and lungs. Something about this door was scaring him. He swallowed hard as he stepped through.
((Unknown location - 2373))
Everything was fuzzy, the outlines blurred, and the colour faded, as if seen through a distorted lens in a dim light.
Yet there was a man. A Klingon, his blond hair spreading over the armour that protected his back. He said something, words as indistinct as the image, echoes half-heard and barely understandable. A red light flashed to the right of the visitors and made the man turn. He held something in his arms, a small package wrapped in a blanket with a symbol embroidered in gold. The only definite thing in the whole scene. The man muttered something, hurriedly, and lifted the package to his forehead. The sheet slipped to one side, revealing the baby it protected. The man rested the ridges of his forehead against the infant's soft ridges and said something else before cradling the baby in a capsule-like cot and locked it, just to run off, unsheathing the disruptor that hung from his hip…
The whole scene made Ikaia feel uncomfortable. He couldn’t see the blond Klingon’s features, as if they were non-existent. He knew this couldn’t be him. As a pacifist, the idea of running off to do battle felt wrong to him. He was a healer. He believed strongly in the Oath he had sworn himself to. So if this Klingon wasn’t him. Then maybe it was….
Wong: …. Dad? Bio dad? No… I… I don’t understand. This doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t remember this.
The memory itself was as if Ikaia were looking through water. Distorted and unclear. The only familiar thing to him was that blanket. His parents held on to it back on the Hawaiian islands. Perhaps he should have another look at that blanket the next time he spoke to them.
Telas: That is not why we have come here, and the answers for which we seek the clues will be lost among the questions that this memory raises.
Ikaia rubbed at his temples, trying to will away the headache that was forming. None of this was making sense. He felt shaken by this scene. Everything told him that he didn’t want to be here.
Wong: I really don’t feel comfortable here. It just feels so wrong. I don’t know why.
The world seemed to tremble around them, the walls crumbled, shattered in a tide of intermingling colours. The floor itself seemed to fluctuate, chunks breaking off the deck to fall into a black void, blacker than the emptiness of space. The tall Vulcan, the pallid glow of his body almost consumed by the jet blackness that threatened to consume everything, took a step forward and rested his hand on Wong's shoulder, shaking it with urgency.
Telas: The door Ikaia Wong, open the door.
He allowed his hands to finally drop to his side as the next door was visible. The oozing scar across the ground led to it. Ikaia walked up to the door. He glanced over his shoulders one more time. The blond Klingon was long gone. Whatever chaos had taken place was now silent. That unsettling quietness seemed to have stretched on forever until the cries of a baby Klingon cut through the air. Ikaia had a troubled expression on his face. This whole memory shook him up and bothered him on a certain level. He quietly walked through the door and left.
((Bridge - Deck 1 - USS Veritas - 239711.02))
Ikaia stepped through the door and onto the bridge of the Veritas. He looked surprised to be here. Ikaia started walking through the scene.
Navarro: Captain… there seems to be a problem.
Ensign Wong: Things seem to be a bit sticky on my end. It’s like trying to drink an iced cappuccino and having ice suddenly get stuck in the straw.
Navarro: Something is interfering with the transporter signal.
Rahman: Ensign Wong, try boosting the annular confinement beam.
Ensign Wong: Alright. I’ll give that a shot. ::His fingers moved over the controls again as he attempts to adjust the beam::
Rahman: Helm, lay us on top of them if you have to.
Flynn: On it.
Ikaia walked around to finally where he could see himself. Just an ensign at this point. He remembered this day. It was a trial by fire for him. He didn’t even have the time to get himself acquainted with the ship before he was thrust into the role of managing the transporters. He looked back at Telas.
Wong: Wait a minute… I think this was my first day at my first posting. Any moment now, that transporter array is going to blow from me adjusting the beam. It left the transporter room one hell of a mess.
Telas: Does it sound like danger. ::The Vulcan took a step towards the centre of the bridge and folded his hands in his flowing sleeves as he observed Ensign Wong.:: Casualties, or something that weighs on your conscience?
Wong: Nobody died. We patched them up and took them to sickbay.
Telas: I see, even so, a day worth remembering..
The ship performed a deep dive over the wreck, engines roaring to keep from plummeting into the surface as the Dunbar had, before the transporter room called in.
Transporter Room: =/\= Captain, we have a survivor. They need medical attention immed- =/\=
The call cut out by the sound of an explosion. An alert rang from the engineering station, and the captain quickly went over to see what had caused the alarm.
Rahman: The transporter array just blew! Helm, back us off from this rock.
Ikaia continued to walk around the scene. He stopped just short of the ensign version of himself again. The ensign looked shocked and horrified at what just happened. This was his first day, and he had already blown up a transporter by accident. Because of this, people were hurt.
Wong: Logically, I know it was just an accident and that it could have happened to anyone. But I still feel a bit guilty about my role in this. I remember feeling guilty then and now that I’ve had a chance to look back on it, I still feel a bit guilty now. It doesn’t feel as bad as it did back then. Back then, it felt like I had ended my career before it even started.
The Vulcan raised a very white eyebrow at that comment.
Telas: A bit of a dramatic flair, considering the circumstances…
Wong: Dramatic, yes. It’s still one of those things I still think about. Before I was called up to the bridge, I was enjoying a cup of ramen and then suddenly, I was just thrown into this. I’ll never forget it.
Telas: I thi-....
Before the Vulcan could add one, the main screen seemed to crack. The image on the screen flickered and blinked for a second before becoming fixed in a blackness they knew well. It threw its tendrils from the screens to the ceiling and floor, crawling, searching, menacing.
The ceiling seemed to give an inch, the floor to rise another inch.
Telas: Looks like we are getting close... quick Mister Wong, one door more…
Ikaia could see the tendrils forming over the surfaces of the consoles. It was worming its way through the very fabric of this memory. Ikaia could see the next door. It had blended itself into the bridge. He moved quickly towards it and stepped through.
Lieutenant Ikaia Wong PA-C
Chief Medical Officer
Doctor Telas, MD
Mind, katra and psionics Specialist
Vulcana Regar, Vulcan