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Part of Starbase Bravo: Q3 2400

A suspicion confronted

Starbase Bravo
August 2400
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Cynndle lifted his head, blinked his eyes and yawned as he looked around. Spotting the clock display on the computer he was sitting at muttered a curse under his breath, it read 7:49. Shifting he stood slowly and stretched feeling a kink in his neck as he had apparently fallen asleep at his desk following the odd run-in with Heriah the night before and the subsequent review he had done of Trill and symbiont pairings.

“How the hell am I going to bring this up…” he said as he rubbed his hands over his face. “That definitely wasn’t Heriah last night.” He sat there and thought about it for a few minutes before making up his mind and moving over to his bedroom, quickly showered and threw on a new outfit as he was off-shift today. As he left his quarters he grabbed a coffee from the replicator and headed towards Heriah’s quarters. As he walked he knew he had to be careful about how he would bring up that he had run into Rex walking around in Heriah’s body the night before, it definitely should not have been able to do that.

A few minutes later he stood outside Heriah’s quarters and raised his hand to the buzzer. Getting his nerves back under control he exhaled and tapped the buzzer, ‘I hope she is in here..’

Heriah was in her quarters. So far, the morning comprised of her waking up and almost literally jumping from her bed. There had come little information from Rex but she had been able to feel a restless wakefulness about him. Nevermind the unmade bed or that she wore only two undergarments; underwear and an oversized nightshirt with the wide neck hanging down her shoulder. Heriah had paced about while feeling herself over. Her skin had felt a little numb, almost clammy but with some perspiration. She had been feeling out of sorts and immediately sent a verbal message to Elegy that she would be out sick this day.

Heriah had felt this way only a few times before and these scenes always lead up to a meeting with Rikata Mol. He was, of course, not aboard the starbase and Heriah certainly did not want to speak to her boss about this. They would only talk about things she already knew.

’If you want to speak to a counselor, speak to yourself.’

“Quiet you.”

’See? There you go.’

Heriah thought about the benzocyatizine hypospray of hers. Since the refill request from Dr. Longfellow was approved, she really wanted to ween herself off of it, to keep from becoming dependent again, addicted.

“Ooohhh,” she moaned as an anxious nervousness spread over her like a wave.

She hurriedly scurried to the lavatory and snatched up her monocorder. Returning to the main part of her quarters, she awkwardly grabbed at her hypospray and tried not to drop it while putting the monocorder upon her finger.

It was right then that the door chime sounded. Forgetting how she was dressed and ignoring the state of her hair, she went to the door.

“Yes,” she said as it began to slide open, “what is…oh.” She recognized who had come calling. Cynndle was not in uniform but certainly looked as though he too had a rough night. “Cynndle. I…didn’t know we had a session today. I…uh…called out sick. Can we see about…”

Cynndle was still lost in thought when the door opened and cut Heriah off without thinking, “No, but I do need to talk…” he said before registering what she was wearing. He blink twice when he say Heriah, “Oh, Hey. No, um…” he stammered slightly losing his train of thought. “No, we didn’t have a session. I had something that I needed to talk to about. I can come back later if that would be better.” he said gesturing towards her as he clearly tried to look at her face.

“Yeah, that would be great,” she said. “I had a really crazy dream last night and…” Heriah’s eyes went wide as a wild realization slammed across her face, exploded in her mind. Her eyes were fixed to Cynndle’s as the recollection became full.

’We need to call security.’

“We need to call security,” she said.

’There is a rogue telepath on board.’

“There is a rogue telepath on board.”

’Messing with our dreams.’

“And they are manipulating our dreams.”

’Get him inside before someone sees.’

“Get…in here,” she motioned almost frantically. “Come in, come in.”

Heriah stepped away and paced about, holding her hypospray in one hand almost like a weapon and the monocorder on her other hand, clinging to the end of her index finger, flashing red. She tended to neither. “We need to peruse a list of recently arrived telepaths,” she began.

Cynndle looked at Heriah, “Sorry, what? A Rogue telepath?” he responded as a confused look crossed his face. The confused look turned to a frown as he eyed Heriah, “How do you know this? We can notify security but we do need to talk about something else.” With that, he stepped inside and watched her pace across the room; his concern growing and his suspicion that something was off with her connection to the symbiote Rex only being reaffirmed.

’A telepath is the only thing that makes sense.’

“A rogue telepath is the only way this makes sense. See, I had this insane dream last night. You were there and…” She stopped pacing and looked at Cynndle, again noticing his appearance; possibly also a rough night. “If you had a crazy dream, you would tell me, right?”

Cynndle listen to her and nodded before interjecting and pointing towards the monocorder, “Should that be flashing red Heriah?”

“Flashing red? Wha…?” and she brought her hand up to see that the hypospray was, in fact, not flashing red. Upon looking at her other hand, “Frell,” was all she said. Heriah looked at the hypospray and her hand began to shake with nervousness. Her skin felt sweaty again and her spots had that cold yet fiery sensation to them. From her forehead and stretching all the way down her legs, they were probably taking on a reddish hue. So soon after discovering and admitting that she had begun taking more and eventually overdosing on the stuff, Heriah did not want to take too much of the benzo again. She brought her thumb up but could not seem to find it in herself to press any of the buttons.

“Can you,” she started stepping toward Cynndle, “set this to one dose?” She did manage to turn the hypospray over in her hand and held it out for him to take.

Cynndle looked and her and relaxed visibly, the frown easing from his face and replaced with mild concern and worry for Heriah. “Sure,” he said and reached out slowly to take the hypospray from her hand. He flipped it over, looked at the settings and clicked his tongue as he lowered the dose setting. “One Dose,” he said and held it up to showing her.

Heriah turned her back to him and pulled what hair she could to one side. Tilting her head in that direction, she exposed her neck. “And hit me with it right here.” From deep within, Heriah felt a building desire to refuse a dose of the benzo. “Do it quick. Even if I change my mind.”

“Ok, be still….Sorry what? Change your mind?” Cynndle asked even as he put one hand on her shoulder, as her hair brushed over his hand and brought the hypospray up to her exposed neck.

“Just hit me with it!” she exclaimed. “Do it!”

’He hasn’t the balls to do it. Take it from him. As before; three doses.’

Heriah balled her free hand, stilling herself against the desire to refuse Cynndle’s aide. His hand on her shoulder, though, felt caring and calming. It was a cool and somehow warm breeze providing comfort in the icy and somehow fiery sensation coursing through her body. Her skin tightened but she forced herself to relax.

“Ok,” he muttered softly and pressed the hypospray against her neck and pressed the release injecting one dose of benzo into Heriah. As soon as he did he stepped back, kidding good have from get shoulder and calmly said, “All done, good are you feeling?” He watched her with a degree of uncertainty, Heriah definitely was not acting like herself.

Heriah felt the cold issuance of the benzocyatizine enter her bloodstream and circulate about. That cooling sensation first hit her brain and then dissipated from there. The medication was doing its job nonetheless. She stood there a moment, her eyes pressed shut, simply breathing. Finally taking a step forward, “yes, I…feel better.” She stepped to her desk, turned and leaned, half-sitting, against it. She buried her face in her hands and breathed deeply. Minute whimpers escaped her mouth as she was nearing a state of sobbing but managed to hold that at bay. Rubbing her face a few times, she straightened and retrieved her face from the confines of her palms. Her eyes were somewhat bloodshot.

Heriah let her hands fall to her sides and, continuing to relax, placed her hands upon the desk to help hold her up. The monocorder upon her finger stopped flashing red and became a solid red. “I assume,” she started, “that I did not have a dream last night.” Her admittance came with the sound of disgust in her voice. Still, there was relief that the recent episode had passed. “That you and I met in the corridor last night.”

’Why else would he be here? It’s not like he cares for you.’

Heriah ignored the internal dialogue. The benzo would soon be levelling out her isoboramine and Rex’s bantering would cease.

“Did we…meet last night?” she asked.

Cynndle smiled at her, the worry clearly visible on his face. “Yeah, I was on my way back from meeting with an old friend and literally ran into you in the corridor. It took me a bit to put it together when we were talking as I was a bit tipsy but you were not yourself and well rather rude, combative and dismissive of people,” he said as he absently played with his hands. “It wasn’t until you left and I got to my quarters that it clicked but I think it was Rex who I was speaking to last night and from what I know of Trills and the symbiote that isn’t meant to happen. Rex mentioned things that you have eluded to but never spoke of directly, that was the tip-off.” Pausing for a moment he exhaled and continued, “Are you ok? Should I take you to medical?”

“I’m fine,” she shook her head. Bring her hand up, she showed him the monocorder on her finger. It had finally illuminated a solid green light. She removed it from her finger and shamefully placed it upon the desk. “Symbiontambulism,” she connected eyes with Cynndle. “It is when the symbiont manages to take over functionality of a sleeping host. Seldom is it chronic but it is always looked down upon, by other Joined Trill, as a sign,” she sniffled, “sign of weakness…incompatibility,” sniffle, “rejection.” She breathed deep, trying to hold back the emotion. Heriah pressed her eyes shut and shook her head. A singular tear fell from her eye. “Rex’s two previous hosts did not last five years before they died. I am a little more than a year after joining. That leaves me with…” and her words turned into whimpers, her thoughts too chaotic to do the math.

“Damn, that is rough I am sorry.” He said pausing, “I wouldn’t count you out yet though,” he said as he stood up and moved to lean against the table beside her. “What can I do to help?”

Heriah gave a single laugh as she thought, ’Kill me now.’ And that thought was not even emanating from Rex. She provided words to her thought however with, “I bet you would like that, wouldn’t you?” but all she noticed was her bare legs; remembered she slept in only her underwear.

Awkwardly attempting to cover herself with her large shirt, “Oh Cyn, I’m sorry.” Heriah went and retrieved a set of the Starfleet issued PT shorts and slipped into them.

“Keep tabs on me maybe,” she said in response to his inquiry. “Check on me at random. Call at night and order me to use that thing,” she motioned toward the monocorder. “Even make sure I take the benzo when I need. I uh…” she stood before Cynndle and looked at him, but kept looking away as she admitted, “I overdosed on the stuff not long ago. Started taking double doses…then triple.” Shaking her head, “I don’t know if I can trust myself.”

“I can do that, definitely do that Heriah.” Cynndle said as he put a hand on her left shoulder. “We will get you through this. I have no doubt about that. If you ever feel yourself slipping you message me right away.”  He looked around the room and clicked his tongue a few times as he thought. “I think you need to speak to someone about this. Medical maybe or…” he paused for a moment, “Elegy, I know he’s your commanding officer but he’s Trill and may have some insight. That and he should know about this.”

Heriah shrugged at the thought. “I told some of what I am dealing with to Dr. Longfellow. I was hoping he could…” and she shrugged as a way of finishing her thought which disappeared about as fast as the doctor himself. “And Elegy?” She looked at Cynndle in an are-you-serious kind of way. “Trill yes, but he is unjoined. He wouldn’t understand. Just imagine how that conversation would go down; telling my LT and boss that his most recent addition to the team cannot hold it together. Next thing I know, I’m on a transport back to Earth.”

’So much for surrounding myself with those who know and love me.’

Heriah could see he was about to speak so she interjected with, “Let’s just keep this between us, you and I, for now.” She put her hand upon his hand upon her shoulder. “I am asking for your help. I am also asking that we keep this to ourselves for now. The next time something like this happens, I will let you drag me to Elegy, or to Sick Bay, or one then the other. Let’s work on this together before we bring in others. I am not really close to anyone, not as close as I feel with you.”

Cynndle frowned at that and smiled sadly, “I get how you are feeling, the worry, fear, I get that, wanting to keep it to yourself but can you honestly say that this was the first time, have you had any other dreams like the one you thought you had last night?” He paused watching her think for a second and continued but not before a concerning thought passed through his mind, ‘A blond woman, Trill DNA…’, “What about you patients, what if one of them comes to see you at a very vulnerable point and they meet Rex. Look I only was speaking to him? Rex for a few minutes and he was trying to hide that it was not you but what if he started talking to someone who was needing your help,” Cynndle said and shook his head, “think of the damage he could do? How would you feel after that? Even if it means a leave of absence for a bit isn’t that the right thing to do? Who knows, Elegy may not be joined but I gather he is a stand-up guy, he will listen and I know he will try to help you and so will I. You are an officer of the fleet, and one who looks out for our wellbeing, let us look out for yours now.” He said softly, “It will be ok.”

A nervous anxiety tickled at her spine as Cynndle started speaking. It continued to spread over her body as he continued. By the time he finished, Heriah was standing there, before him, minutely shaking with nerves. So soon after spilling the beans to Dr. Longfellow, she did the same with Cynndle. Now, she was being asked to spill them to someone else, her boss. Before Starbase Bravo, the only person she ever spilled the beans to was Rikata Mol. The confidence it was going to take to share all this with three people and for it to not get out to the general population was almost too much for her to accept.

Besides, ’Rikata the Mole did share some information with Elegy already. Might as well find out what he shared.’

Heriah visibly relaxed and, with a sigh, “You make a good point.” She nodded away at her understanding. “And no, this was not the first time I have had such a dream. With your help though, perhaps it could be the last.” She gave him a small smile. “I will speak with Elegy. It is almost time for him to review my progress anyway.”

Cynndle could feel Heriah shaking ever so slightly as he stood before her. “I’m glad you agree. Though the other dreams are concerning, lets make sure it was your last.” He took a step back and sighed. “Do you want to go now? Well once dressed?”

’He wanted you to talk. You talked. He wants you to talk to someone else. You agreed. Now he wants you to go right now? Taking a mile after being given an inch much?’

“I’ll…go tomorrow,” she said. “Promise.” Heriah fiddled with her own fingers. “I already took sick leave today. I just want to relax and collect my thoughts, you know? I’ll do some meditation, reading. I’ve been working on a poem. It’s not good,” she nearly laughed, “and still needs work.”

“That’s fair.” Cynndle said, “I will message you later though this we how you are doing. If you start to feel off let me know or go straight to medical.”

“I will,” she said. Heriah grabbed the monocorder. “Call me via the computer tonight and,” holding it up, “tell me to use this thing. The hypospray is already set to a single dose. If needed, I’ll hit myself with it.”

’The party. Don’t forget…’

“Oh, and…the Post Crisis Summit get-together…thing. I hear it is in a couple of days. If it is all the same to you, I would still like to go.”

Cynndle smirked at that, “Yeah, I’m still up for that. Any word on dress code?” he said as he turned to leave.

“Casual.”