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Part of USS Odyssey: Into The Jaws of Death, Into The Mouth of Hell and Bravo Fleet: Blood Dilithium

When You’re Lost…

USS Odyssey (NCC-80000) Gradin Belt, Delta Quadrant
Stardate: 77838.6
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“I don’t understand; how are you all here?” Horin questioned after letting go of Hunsen. 

“We were trying to figure that out ourselves a moment ago,” Hunsen said as he looked upon the others that were with him. 

T’Rani stepped forward, “It is agreeable to see you, counsellor.” She said in her usual calm Vulcan manner. “We have theorised that somehow the combined influences of the blood dilithium and the telepathic pitcher plant have placed us all in some collective unconscious.”

“Wait, you know about the pitcher plant?” Horin asked, surprised to hear that revelation. “You were adamant that we would be rescuing a Brenari convoy.”

Hunsen nodded, “Before you arrived, we were all just sharing how the past twenty-four hours or more have been like out-of-body experiences for us all.” 

Flemen, who was with them, clarified that idea further. “Whatever took control over us, we’ve been consciously aware of but have not been able to control ourselves, if that makes sense?”

“So everything you’ve done, you’re aware of?” Horin said as she looked at Hunsen.

The chief engineer looked solemn as they all confirmed her question. He was now distant with his reaction, and it was clear he was ashamed of his actions. “I can’t believe what I’ve said and done, especially to the captain.”

“You weren’t in control; we know that,” Horin assured him. 

“Is the ship safe?” Samris asked next.

Horin looked at her deputy, “Commander Duncan and the others have secured it, but it won’t be long until those that are conscious succumb to the neurogenic field.”

“How are you here, Imzadi?” Hunsen asked. 

Unable to find the words straight away, Horin took a breath. “Starfleet has developed a device that allows telepaths to communicate via the blood dilithium. Lukiz, Corella and Slyvexs have linked such a contraption to the main deflector to allow me to attempt it. The telepathic pitcher plant is laced with blood dilithium crystal.”

“So, where is this place?” Flemen asked, looking around the massive rock formation they stood in. “And who are all these Brenari?”

Horin studied her surroundings one more time. The little girl from earlier had vanished, but the Brenari crowded around them, either huddling in groups or just glaring at them like unwelcome visitors to someone’s home. The counsellor looked at T’Rani, “You mentioned earlier about being a part of a collective unconscious; what makes you think that?”

T’Rani turned to Samris, who answered for them. “We remember being gassed out on the bridge, and then the next thing we know, we are here,” He gestured to their surroundings by waving both arms around. “We no longer sensed the thoughts and feelings of the others from the blood dilithium, but we knew of the neurogenic field. Somehow, this place has brought us here for a reason.”

“I believe if any of us were human, we would see this as being in purgatory,” T’Rani stated. “The fact we are experiencing the same things as one another but not in a conscious state proves we are in some sort of collective unconscious.”

“An interesting theory,” Horin said, though she agreed with the idea as being the likeliest of possibilities. “Wait for a second; how did you get others, like Cline and Keli, to join you?”

“Mind melds,” T’Rani answered. “The combined blood dilithium and telepathic pitcher plant reached out to me first, and somehow I became a vessel for uncovering what I could sense and was able to open their minds to the neurogenic field.”

“Those of us with limited telepathic or empathic abilities were dosed up on the sensation of blood dilithium once T’Rani illuminated the way,” Flemen added. “She had no idea what she was doing.”

“I believe the telepathic pitcher plant chose Commander Hunsen and me for our positions due to our powerful telepathic skills,” T’Rani shared. “Though I am confused as to why you were not affected.”

“Doctor Slyvexs thinks it maybe something to do with my pregnancy,” Horin explained. “Betazoid mothers are known to develop a strong protective bond with their infant while in the womb. It’s our natural instinct to safeguard them from external threats on a telepathic level that may have saved me from the neurogenic field.”

“Never mess with a Betazoid mother,” Tierra said as she joined the group and looked at Hunsen. “I’ve finished the count-up; everyone here has telepathy or empathic abilities and is from the Odyssey.”  

Hunsen thanked his senior assistant chief engineer for her work before returning to the previous conversation. “Now that we are all here, what do we do?”

“I’ve tried communicating with all of the Brenari that are here, but it’s almost as if we are talking to a wall when we speak to them,” Flemen added.

Samris crossed his arms as he considered their situation, “Craigen is right; it’s almost as if we’re invisible.”

“Not invisible,” T’Rani corrected him, “They can obviously sense our presence, but it is almost as if they are being stopped from speaking to us.”

“By whom?” Tierra asked. 

Searching around their location, Horin had an idea. “Well, one person could see me a moment ago; let’s find that young girl I arrived with. See if she could give us any more answers.”

Walking out of the rock formation, the large group of Starfleet officers moved through the crowds of Brenari, who didn’t say anything to them or each other. It felt eerie, almost like walking through a graveyard at night. All of their faces were expressionless, gormless as if no one was home. 

Leading the group, Horin found the girl standing in the desert chopping down the crimson-coloured cactuses. “Hello, again,” Horin said sweetly. 

The girl stopped using the axe in her hands and turned slowly towards Horin. “You found your friends.”

“I did,” Horin nodded. “I see you are chopping them down again.”

“I wanted to do it before they stopped me,” The girl pointed to the larger crowd behind the Starfleet officers. 

“Why are they stopping you?” Flemen questioned. 

The girl shrugged her shoulders. “They won’t tell me besides telling me they feel like they are home.” She looked at Horin, “You don’t need to be here; you could go home.”

“I could,” Horin agreed, “But I want to bring my friends home with me.”

The girl took in a breath and looked at everyone standing behind her. She pointed at Hunsen. “You called each other Imzadi; what is that?”

“It’s a Betazoid term that means beloved,” Horin smiled as she crouched down beside the girl. “Tremt and I love one another, and we’re having a child together.” The counsellor proceeded to touch her belly.

The girl looked at T’Rani and Samris, “Are you each other’s Imzadi? You two have a strong connection.”

Samris chuckled and shook his head, “No, Imzadi is only used by Betazoids.”

“Samris and I may appear similar, but that is due to our ancestors coming from the same world many generations ago,” T’Rani informed her. “However you are right that we have a strong connection with one another.”

Moving her eyes to the rest of the group, she looked at Flemen. “You have a strong connection with someone else….”

“Do I?” Flemen asked, puzzled by whom she was referring.

“Yes, but your connection is different,” The girl replied. “It is for a child similar to me. I can hear him calling for you. No, wait.” She paused. “He is speaking to you about a chocolate cake?”

Flemen chuckled. “You’re talking about S’Tem.”

“Yes, you have a strong connection with him,” The girl stated, almost repeating herself. “But he is not your offspring.”

“No, S’Tem is my friend’s son. A few of us help look after him.” Flemen said. 

“I once had a connection,” The girl said before taking her axe high into the air and bringing it crashing down on the cactus she was chopping down a moment ago, “but I cannot find them. These,” She pointed at the plant, “Stop me from seeing where I have to go.”

Hunsen then looked at Horin, and at that moment, both of them were starting to realise what was happening. 

“Do you need help removing them?” Hunsen asked.

The girl nodded, “They are making me feel sick, but I feel sad for those people who like them.”

Horin smiled at her. “We can help you.”

The girl smiled weakly. “I don’t know how to remove them; they are making me feel ill, but once I take one down, another one appears.”

“Let us discuss and see if we can come up with a plan to help,” Horin stated before she got up and walked over to the others. “I think I can work out what is happening here.”

“She’s the telepathic pitcher plant,” Hunsen stated.

Horin nodded in agreement, “And the cactuses are the blood dilithium that has laced itself to the pitcher plant.”

“Wait, what?” Flemen checked, confused. “How did we get to that idea so quickly?”

Horin smirked, and she looked at Samris, who soon understood her train of thought. “Samris, you want to explain?”

“It’s an interesting idea, but it does make sense,” Samris agreed with his superior. “This whole area is probably the unconscious collective manifestation of the neurogenic field. We are viewing it on a level that we can comprehend. This is the home for the telepathic pitcher plant, but the blood dilithium is stopping it from being a healthy one. I just don’t understand the Brenari involvement, though.”

Horin added more detail, “The crew of the Discovery found that somehow those Brenari that had died at the hands of the Devore have imprinted their consciousness to the blood dilithium. I think the blood dilithium that has laced itself within the telepathic pitcher plant is overwhelming the creature.”   

“Fascinating,” T’Rani said with a raised eyebrow. “Would that explain why it only connected with a few of us at the start?”

“Yes, probably,” Horin answered. “And by adding more of you to the neurogenic field, it’s probably trying to use our crew as a natural barrier from the Brenari. Like any child, it’s overwhelmed by feelings and sensations never experienced.”

“How do we help it?” Tierra asked. 

“She mentioned she felt ill by the blood dilithium crystals,” Flemen said, “So I remember when S’Tem had eaten way too much chocolate cake when I first babysat for Tomaz, that he felt a lot better when he puked up his guts and got it out of its system.”

“How do we make a bioplasmic creature make itself sick, Craigen?” Samris asked, not believing what he was hearing from his friend.

“No, no, don’t shoot down that idea,” Horin said. “I think I know how we do this.”

“Go on,” Hunsen said.

“I need to get back to the conscious world, but all of you need to help her chop down the cactuses. It might strengthen the neurogenic field and block whatever the blood dilithium is doing to the telepathic pitcher plant.”

Not entirely convinced, Horin explained her idea in more detail and eventually promised the little girl they would help her before she found a way to make herself wake up.


“Welcome back,” Doctor Slyvexs said faintly as she saw Horin open her eyes and start to flutter them. “How are you feeling?”

Horin shot up but straight away felt light-headed and dizzy. Slyvexs caught her while Jen took her other arm. “I’m fine,” She looked around and saw that some of her colleagues had passed out. “Is everyone okay?”

“There’s not many of us left who are awake,” Jen answered. “What did you learn?”

“The trumpet work,” Horin told him. “But it somehow took me into the neurogenic field that the blood dilithium crystal is interfering with. Our telepathic crew are there too, but we’ve got to help the pitcher plant remove the crystals. It’s making it unwell and unstable.”

“How do you know this?” Slyvexs asked. 

“I just do,” Horin said. “Trust me.”

The Denobulan doctor nodded. “We do; just tell us what the plan is.”

“We’re taking a page out of Craigen’s babysitting book,” Horin said as he pulled herself around and jumped off the small bed she had laid down on. 

Tomaz walked over, “Counsellor, is that such a wise idea?”

“It is, but we must do it before we are all….” She took a moment and felt another wave of dizziness wash over her. “Knocked out.”

Slyvexs called over Penelope as they started to plan their next steps.

Comments

  • I'm glad done one else went with a pitcher plant idea. Originally Posted finally I was going to do something with it but the story that I'm writing for the Osiris is where my head went, if that makes any sense. I love the idea of the pitcher plant being represented by the little girl and that she is trying to get rid of the blood lithium by chopping them down. Can't wait to see what the crew comes up with, the idea of making the plant some how puke its guts out to get rid of the lithium sounds interesting but than what happens to all that Dilithium?

    November 30, 2022
  • Gotta love the classic question every Starfleet crew should ask themselves: "How do we make a bioplasmic creature make itself sick?" lololol. I love it so much. All the puzzle pieces fit into place so beautifully. It's that thing where the clues didn't tell me all the answers, but they laid the foundation so perfectly. The metaphoric telepathic space was just as fun and trippy as I expected. Who knew I'd be rooting for them to SAVE the telepathic pitcher plant???

    December 6, 2022
  • It wouldn't be Voyager (or Trek) if some deeply powerful entity didn't take on the guise of something weaker and innocent - even if this telepathic pitcher plant IS legitimately a child. The thing in Voyager was a threat and got hurt - this time, Starfleet have to help/save the damn thing! Very Trek. ;)

    December 27, 2022
  • A nice turn on the pitcher plant concept and a great play on Starfleet’s general pledge to help those in need. This thing will grow up to be a threat but for now it’s just a kid and there isn’t even any real thought to helping it, all these officers and more importantly parents, just get on with helping a sick kid. Just so true. Loving it!

    March 24, 2023
  • Tremt Hunsen

    Executive Officer

  • Tomaz

    Chief Strategic Operations Officer
    Chief Intelligence Officer
    Second Officer

  • Craigen Flemen

    Chief Diplomatic Officer
    Staff Judge Advocate
    Third Officer

  • Slyvexs

    Captain of Medicine

  • Louwanna Horin

    Captain of Counselling

  • Tierra

    Chief Engineer

  • Penelope

    Emergency Command Hologram

  • T'Rani

    USS Themis
    Chief Flight Control Officer
    Second Officer
    Former Chief Flight Control Officer

  • Samris

    USS Themis
    Chief Counsellor
    Former Senior Assistant Chief Counsellor

  • Lukiz Jen

    USS Triton
    First Officer
    Former Chief Operations Officer