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Part of USS Damascus: M1: Just A Gentle Touch and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

15) The Shackles Within Dreams – Part 1

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November 2400
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The brief wave of wind let the leaves move from left to right. The smell of oak wood and plants was all around. Bird-like creatures were chirping and flying around. Sazra opened her eyes and felt as if she had hit a cargo container with the severity of her head pain. Her blurry vision got sharper as she noticed her left eye was different. It was not mechanical and more organic. She narrowed her eyes to make the vision sharper. Sitting up slowly, she saw that she was on the ground of a large branch. 

The surrounding was quite a stunning view. The atmosphere was light purple beyond the red and blue leaves. Other branches were coming from the one she was lying on, making Sazra look more around her. It was only then she noticed that she was laying some path made out of a tree branch. She took a deep breath and nodded slowly to herself. “It seems I have made the right call.” 

“You have” A child’s voice came from Sazra’s side. 

Looking immediately at her side, Sazra saw a young girl sitting on a branch. “You were the one that invaded my mind?” She wondered where she was and if this was the cause of it. 

“We might have played a part in it, but basically, it was the only way to get someone in here” The girl waved her hands around. “Welcome to the mind of a… How did you call it again? Crystalline Entity?” She snaps her fingers. “Yes, that are the words.”

Sazra felt in disbelief that she was actually in the mind of such a giant creature. “The questions for me right now. Why am I here right now? Why does the entity desire to have contact with a telepathic, and who are you” Getting on her feet, she had difficulty getting her balance. Something felt off about this realm or dimension. What would one call a dream world such as this?

For a moment, the girl didn’t answer and had that expression of thinking about what to say next. Wiggling from back to front with her feet as she noticed Sazra having difficulty staying on her feet. “Hmm, yes, that is the problem. There are various factors to consider in the current situation. You are perhaps the first being to ever be in the space mind of a crystalline entity. We believe there was an android before this that had somehow connected with one of our brethren. So maybe you are the second if you count that android” She nodded. “But your brain is organic. Your processing is different. Your way of creating data from point a,” she lifts the right hand, “to point b” lifts the left hand, “is different by itself. So we can only calculate that you will have a good few moments to stay here. Hmm, yes, we have to hurry” She hops off the branch and jumps into nothingness. 

Quickly moving forward to the edge, looking downwards, “Wait, what happened?” She then noticed the child next to her looking over her shoulder downwards and back quickly off. “How did you….”

Looking away from the downward back to Sazra “Well, you were looking down there. Perhaps you were seeing something fascinating” She placed her hands behind her back as her brown locks covered her left eye. “You are fascinating Captain” She stared at her for a moment. “That being said, back to your questions. We desire to contact someone that can process a way of communication. We do not use machines or metal to communicate with each other. We are beyond that. It’s so barbaric to share communication with that kind of level” She giggles and starts to walk past Sazra. “That being said, it also poses a problem. Because we are so advanced in our communication, we cannot contact minor and underdeveloped creatures” She pointed her hand to Sazra. “Like yourself” She waved her hand to follow her as she continued her path.

Sazra followed her and ignored the insults of being minor and undeveloped beings. “So why do you desire to contact us then?” She was doing her best to keep her balance but had difficulty adjusting. Sazra stopped, noticed some red leaves dropping, then turned to her left to see a rotten branch fall down from their side. 

The girl was looking at the same branch that fell, and she looked sad with a tip of frustrated. “Because we were lured into here by our greed. You know our history. We devour planets, asteroids, and well ships like yours to feed our needs and ability to travel” The girl continued her walk. “But this blood dilithium, as you call it was a blooming source of infinite possibilities. We could silence our hunger for good with this kind of quick-growing resource, and we were lured here.” 

“We? There are more of you hiding around?” Sazra stated with a slight concerning tone in her voice. If there were more creatures like her in the area, then Starfleet would have a problem. 

“Not quite, we defer ourselves as one being, but we are not she or he in your limited thinking capacity. We are more than that” The girl didn’t turn around and walked slowly over the branch. “But we shall continue the story. The blood dilithium did flourish throughout various sectors, and we calculated that we required a source to comprehend our desires. However…” 

“You were wrong” Sazra spoke, coming to a stop and seeing the girl stopping now and looking over her shoulder. “The spacial anomaly and the density make it difficult to navigate through it. Seeing how it affects me, I could only imagine the severity that this density affects a creature like yourself. You were overwhelmed by it, right?” 

The girl looked up for a second and then turned back forward to continue her walk “To let our arrogance get the better of us, but yes, you are right. We were not participating in the possibility that such a spacial anomaly would have much effect on us. The density had a problem, it blinded us, and we were numb by this. Fear kicked in, and we attacked anything near us” She stopped at a broken branch and pointed down.

Sazra looked down at the broken branch, and the main tree was visible now through the light purple fog. It was now visible to her that the tree was sick and had a red rash covering various locations as an infection slowly killing the tree “You are dying?”

“If we probed your mind correctly, this is what happens to telepathic beings. We are consumed by whatever this blood dilithium is. We might be an all-knowing being. But even this is beyond our scoop of realization of what is happening. Our reactions are getting unpredictable, and it got worse with the arrival of that ship we are unable to find” 

Nodding to that statement, “Devore, they are holding some leverage to you. To try to control you and weaponize you against their enemies?” Sazra could only conclude this “But what are they doing to keep you in place? What is this leash?” 

“Blood Dilithium” The girl spoke with a grudge of frustration. “They have some device to amplify the usage of the crystal that could not only blind us but steer us as well. We receive a certain amount of pain if we go in a certain direction” Looking at Sazra “We need to get these shackles off us. So we can leave this place for good. Our interest in the blood dilithium or this part of space has lost our taste of interest.” 

Crossing her arms, “I can see why,” Sazra concluded, “But that doesn’t explain what you want me to do. I am not even fully telepathic. How is this even possible?”

“Your species is telepathic sensitive as your doctor had mentioned. This means you cannot receive the full force of the amplifying force of the blood dilithium. To simplify it, the source of the force is not the blood dilithium. The blood dilithium amplifies whatever is coming out of the spacial anomalous.” 

That did make more sense in the bigger picture, as the blood dilithium shouldn’t have had such severe effects on her brain while doing this mission. Did Starfleet make a calculation error in assuming that telepathic sensitivity would not be affected? Sazra shrugged a bit as suddenly the tree shook severely, which made Sazra drop to her knees to get a better grip. “What is going on!” 

The girl looked up. “Our internal thinking is being damaged more and more. We need your help to free us from these shackles” Her eyes followed another branch falling. “We require you to fight in here and out there” The girl looked at Sazra. “That weapon will help you free us from these shackles.” 

“What weapon?” Sazra looked to her right side, seeing a pocket with a phaser. “How….” Looking back and trying to get back on her feet after the shaking stopped, “What am I supposed to do? This is not real!”

A smile appeared on her face. “This is very real, not fiction. This is not a dream, as you might have presumed. You are really in the space mind of a crystalline entity. You require removing these shackles, and we can regain our strength to withstand the brute force of the blood dilithium.” The girl points to the beginning of the branch closer to the tree, where a red-purple-looking pus is formed. “Make your way up the tree, Captain. We shall await you there” With a brief wind, the girl disappeared in red and purple leaves off the branch. 

Taking a deep breath as Sazra shrugged, grabbing the phaser out of her holster. “Great, why am I getting myself in such impossible missions” She started to walk at the pus. “Wait, she said that I am not in a dream world. Does that mean I can die?” Sazra felt a certain fear settle in her as she shook her head and aimed her phaser. “No time to second doubt myself,” Firing at the pus. It took a good few seconds before it turned gray and cracked into ash. It opened a new path for her to resume. 

Comments

  • Interesting that the entity was actually trying to connect with you for you to help them get free from the grasp of the Devore and the Blood Dilithium. Though I am curious to see why Sazra and not a full-blown telepath. Was she the only one that was really available since the others were left back at the outpost? I liked the part where Sazra said "Great, why am I getting myself in such impossible missions." That kinda made me chuckle a bit, I mean we all seem to find ourselves in weird and impossible missions at times like it is apart of exploration. Great job and can't wait to see how Sazra free this creature.

    December 11, 2022