Part of Starbase Bravo: Sundered Wings and Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Face on the Panel

Starbase Bravo - Heriah's Quarters
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Strobing lights bring a flitter to the eye

before you realized they are but only

corridor lights as you pass them all by.

 

This way and that, every which way you look

you have no knowledge of bearing or direction

As though page after page in a wordless book.

 

But there is the desire to venture forth

to find that one place you must destroy

and prove to everyone your lack of worth.

 

Finally a familiar face in a panel you are seeing

and you ignore its continued requests as it asks

“Rex, what are you doing?”

 

Pulling and pulling the face resists no more

revealing an area hidden behind filled with wires,

flashing lights, conduits, the brain, the core.

 

Pulling, tapping, reconnecting at random

there is only one end result in mind here

and that is a mind of nothing but bedlam.

 

“Rex, no. Doing this you cannot.”

but the face in the panel offers no more

you simply look at it and say, “Why not?”

 

Stop! There is another just off to the right

and you look only to see one small green-blooded

pointy-eared youngling standing in the light.

 

“Ssshhhhhh,” to your lips you press your finger

letting the little one only assume that to tell

another soul would bring about the gravest of danger.

 

Back at your work, you finish and are done

grabbing at the face on the panel

you replace it as you found it and are gone.

 

Again the passing lights, corridor after corridor

they all spin and blur and waft like a mist

to the point that you want to fall to the floor.

 

The usual hissing sounds and echoes in the head

as the lights fade dim and eventually go dark

leaving you with but a want to be back in bed.

 

Eternal darkness returns instead

That and a job well done

     Heriah shot up in her bed. Her covers falling off of her as her hair fell upon her face and entered her mouth as she breathed heavily. Her palms proved sweaty and further investigation proved the rest of her in a similar state.

She stood from her bed and stopped herself before starting away. She reached down and grabbed her hypospray and then marched her way across her quarters to the lavatory. Something felt weird and off and she could only verbally express the feeling as being ‘out of sorts.’

In the lavatory she located her mono-corder, her tricorder-like device designed for one thing. It fit on her index finger and registered her isoboramine level. The thing immediately flashed red the second she put it on. Snatching it off, she gave it a quick reset and replaced in on her finger. It flashed red.

Snatching it from her finger again, Heriah aimlessly tossed it behind her and violently grabbed at her hypospray. A few button pressings later and she was sending forth a dose of the benzocyatizine into her arm. She looked at herself in the mirror, messy hair, bags under her eyes, somewhat reddened spots and they did feel a little like icy fire.

She took a deep breath, held it and closed her eyes. Releasing it, she looked at her reflection once again.

“What…just what…is wrong with me? Frell it,” she said as she pressed the same sequence of buttons on the hypospray. Pressing it to her arm again, she let loose another dose.

It took a moment but the icy fire of her spots waned, the sweaty sensation lessened. That did nothing for her hair or bags under her eyes but there did come a squirm from within her torso. She felt a symbiontic awakening and the thoughts of Rex fully becoming hers as well. Her isoboramine was back up.

“Now that,” she said to her reflection, “was a weird dream.”

“Agreed.”

 

Comments

  • Loved this! I don't think I've seen anyone do a dream in poetic form like that before, and it's an absolutely superb choice. Dreams are, by their very nature, more like poetry than prose, and while they can be rendered in prose, I've always felt like doing it well is hard to pull off. Here, the poetic form literally creates that fragmented and innately emotional experience, and I felt like I got a very visceral look at how Heriah and Rex experience their joined existence alongside all the trauma of the past lives. The tension this scene sets, too, for Heriah's health, is great. Knowing that Isoboramine levels bottoming out is potentially deadly, it's great to see the actual effects of low levels explored in the minds of the two beings. Tension and character growth at the same time. I also enjoyed the use of the Farscape curse word, "Frell". :)

    June 7, 2022
  • I had to read this two or three times, trying to glean meaning from the dream. "Prove to everyone your lack of worth," is such a heartbreaking line. Is it how Heriah sees herself? Is it how Rex sees themselves? Is it how one of them sees the other? All the talk of wires, conduits, panels in the dream too. That's all sounding mighty familiar. Heriah's got the station's sabotage on her mind. It's also concerning that there's more characterisation of Heriah's resistance to Rex than in Heriah's waking prose. A couple final thoughts: "mono-corder" is cute. And oof, "Agreed," is the stuff of nightmares.

    June 9, 2022