There had been an explosion, a desperate situation and a last-ditch measure and, then... A black blur until she woke up there, in that blue dodecahedron festooned with gold. And then, the boundaries of her memory were blurred, frayed and tangled with the memories of another woman, with no clear boundary where one began and the other ended. After-effects of something she had been warned against.
Alieth: I'll— I WILL get better. I just need a moment... a moment until we figure out where we are, and I figure out exactly who I am.
Or so she expected.
Reynolds: The fact there’s any confusion over that is a problem. ::She raised her eyebrows, emphasising her point.:: Not to mention it seems to be making you ill.
She stared at the woman crouched beside her, a dermal kit in one hand and the medkit open near her feet. For a moment, her attention was drawn to that face, the ghost of two superimposed faces on the same countenance, one her own and the other not, or... perhaps it was the other way around?
Whatever it was, her eyes soon wandered to the device she was holding and the work she was performing. A part of her mind registered it as "beginner's level" and "in dire need of a refresher in order to conform to minimum work standards".
After all, her standards as a Vulcan and former CMO of a large starship were rather demanding. Angled eyebrows puckered up on her face. Because... that was her, wasn't she?
Her line of thought was interrupted when the other woman (Fortune, Corliss, rank: Lieutenant, counsellor, member of the Gorkon crew since 239510.03) knelt beside her, apparently unsure of what to do with her hands. In anticipation of an unwelcome contact, she shrank back slightly. A very Vulcan thing of hers...isn't it? Was that her? The Vulcan, the standoffish, cold and rational woman? The maverick to her people, yet aloof and curt to everyone else?
Fortune: You're Lieutenant Alieth, we're...well, we're together, here, in this place, and it is 2398. I'd offer you some water but...
The petite woman nodded, a motion that elicited a dry retch.
Alieth: Alieth, yeah...whether:: o0 hell no, that was not her at all 0o::... What has... what has happened?
It was not the counsellor who answered, but the woman who had stolen her face... because, that was what had happened, wasn't it?
Reynolds: Well, we’re both touch telepaths and neither of us were prepared. ::She glanced at Fortune.:: I think she’s ended up with more of my inner world stamped on the inside of her skull than anyone needs.
Fortune:...you both feel very...off.
The petite woman nodded slightly, this time dodging the wave of nausea. It was an apt enough description. Even more so when, something told her that their situation was dire.
Reynolds: Can you help her? If she’s lost in my memories, I don’t think I’m the right one to lead her back out. I’d probably just make it worse.
Fortune: Got it.
Corliss shifted, and made a strange arrangement with her hands and jacket, covering them.
Fortune: Alieth, I'm going to touch your shoulder, not skin. Just breathe, okay? Let's syphon through the memories, we'll lock them up and take care of it once we're back onboard, okay?
The woman tensed at that phrase, a learned muscular reaction, something that was not as it should be. However, neither of the two sets of memories that vied to occupy her mind seemed too fond of physical contact, so she didn't exactly know where the distaste came from.
Alieth: Is it strictly required? Can we...
Before she could even finish proposing an alternative, the woman caught her by the shoulders, holding her in place. Somehow the light touch was gentle, almost like a bird's feather stroke across her shoulders. Despite this, she failed to find comfort in it, quite the opposite in fact.
Fortune: You're Lieutenant Alieth aboard the USS Gorkon. It's 2398, you're here with the Admiral and the Counselor. Repeat it. It'll help ground you, I promise.
She cocked an eyebrow, but still, she complied.
Alieth: I'm Alieth, Lieutenant, serving on the USS Gorkon. The year is 2398. I am in the company of Admiral...
Her voice trailed off there, at the edge where everything seemed to blur together.
Fortune: Repeat, concentrate. Deep breaths. Lieutenant Alieth aboard the USS Gorkon. 2398. You are you and no one else. ::she took a breath, looking at Alieth in the eyes.:: Breathe. They're overwhelming you. Relax. You are Lieutenant Alieth.
She breathed in for a moment, letting the charged air fill her lungs. Her two perfectly symmetrical lungs. She wasn't quite sure how she was aware of that little fact. In any case, as she breathed in deeply, she noticed a stagnant taste in the air at the back of her palate.
Alieth: Lieutenant Alieth aboard the USS Gorkon. 2398.
The petite woman nodded briefly. The nausea was still with her, but this time it was milder, more controllable. She closed her eyelids (first one pair, then the other) and repeated.
Alieth: Ot-lan1 Al’rig-pseth2, USS Gorkon. 2398.
The words rolled off her mouth easily this time, thick, complex, with the marked accent that characterised the people of Chi-ree, with the husky sound of the te-Vikram3 people who had long refused to dwell in the cities and had instead lived, as nomads, in the sands of the desert.
That was her... most definitely, isn't she? Even the parts she hid even from herself. Even the parts that usually she refrained highlighting.
Alieth: That is my name, with no adaptation so that off-worlders will be able to pronounce it.
Just then, the corners of the room shimmered, a carousel of light moving along the edges until it concentrated on the face just above them, creating a spiral of blue-golden light above them. Barely a second later, a disembodied voice with an exotic and strange pitch echoed through the room.
The petite Vulcan (Vulcan, not deltan/human hybrid) blinked a couple of times and tilted her head... something she regretted almost instantly.
Alieth: That Does not sound like anything I have ever heard before, any ideas?
1 Ot-lan -> Lieutenant
2Al’rig-pseth -> Desert-Branch, Vulcan form of Alieth’s given name.
3 te-Vikram -> Ancient Vulcan faction that mostly dissolved when the Great Ships left Vulcan. They were known to be a violent yet traditional group that resisted the technological changes on their homeworld, declaring such acts as heresy. Despite this though, they were known to create remarkable pieces of psionic technology.