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

Another Journey to the Center of the Mind

Heriah's Quarters
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Heriah had the Amboy Dukes original version of <I>Journey to the Center of the Mind</i> playing at low volume and on repeat. A Vulcan ceremonial meditation candle burned on a table in the center of her quarters. She sat in her nightgown at her computer terminal. This was not going to be an attempt at meditation in the gym, punching the bag. This was not shadow boxing alone in her quarters. And this was not going to be a kneel in silence, watching behind closed eyes, style meditation.

One of the methods Rikata mentioned to her once was art. She did that once already making a replicated painting that hung on the wall in her quarters. Heriah refused to even attempt music then decided that perhaps it could be in her future. This meditative session however was being spent on writing poetry.

After a day of hearing many people talk about their varied issues, having to deal with her boss’s questions…or the questions she envisioned him asking over and over again…after a day of constant arguments with Rex and putting forth a front to keep her inner struggle simply that…inner. After all that, Heriah felt the necessity of meditation.

She had the music, the lighting, the candle, she had herself settled at her computer and had the screen filled with blankness and a flashing cursor at the top left of the screen.

“Oh what do I write?” She looked up hoping an answer would come from somewhere.

‘Severing an arm I…’

“Stop it Rex,” shouted into the air. “Why always so violent. Just…for once…”

Randomly drumming her fingers and nervously tapping her heels, she decided to get something down and work from there.

“Roses are red, violets…Forget that.”

Delete. Delete. Delete.

“I sever my mind from the local spaces…What does that even mean?”

Delete. Delete. Delete.

“Deep dark dank depths…Reads like the beginnings of a suicide note.”

Delete. Delete. Delete.

Heriah thought about nothing and recognized the constant whirring ever going in the back of her mind. <I>Journey to the Center of the Mind</i> faded back in.

There came a vast void of inner thought. An empty space she needed to fill. It reminded her of the day of her Joining. The day Heriah Khatain was no more. She was so excited on that day and felt only hours from being complete in life. It was truly an honor. Though Trills never felt the emptiness, they were all taught of the nerve cluster the symbiont would attach to, but they could never feel it.

It was not until Heriah was laid out on a table, cut open, until Rex was squirming into her belly, writhing back and forth working away at the membrane covering that nerve cluster. As it was being wiped away, Heriah started to understand the vastness of the mind, the emptiness of space, just how incomplete she was, how nothing had mattered nor would ever matter. That nerve cluster, without a membrane and without something attached to it, would driver her mad.

And in that stretch of eternity between the removal of that membrane and the attachment with her symbiont, madness started seeping in. Though her eyes registered her surroundings, in her mind, the real world was nothing, nothing at all. Just a vast emptiness without air to breath or ground to walk upon or sights to see or sounds to hear. Madness was a void, a void of all things, a world where any and all things that could be sensed was replaced with nothing.

After such a short span of eternity, did another presence clamp down upon that emptiness; Rex. The symbiont, Rex, bit down and attached to that nerve cluster filling Heriah with life, the lives of all previous hosts, their emotions, choices, doings, mistakes, and another form of madness.

Heriah had seen the video recorded of her Joining and could only stand there covering her mouth watching herself scream and curse, watching as she appeared like a child possessed in those old Earth movies.

Heriah returned from her inner voyage, heard the song start over again, opened her eyes and saw a few lines of text written out. She corrected some of the spelling and wording. What was there made little sense then it came together. The imagery seemed to mesh with her thoughts. The words flowed like water pouring out the hearts of both Heriah and Rex.

The poem, as it took shape, seemed to be something amazing yet dark at the same time, as though the reader would fully understand her entire Joined life and the lives of hosts previous. All the feelings and emotions and fears and loves and losses all contained within something most beautiful. And that is how she ended her poem.

“…residing inside the most beautiful.”