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LtCmdr Merlin | Weird Dreams Waking

Posted on Tue Jan 29th, 2019 @ 4:52pm by Commander Evan Merlin

Mission: Lacuna
Location: Cold Station Theta
Timeline: SD 241801.29

Cold Station Theta's XO awoke with a gasp. He didn't sleep all that often, and when he did, he rarely dreamed. He had dreamed now, but as his mind reached for its contents, the dream unravelled into fragments, broken tatters that dissolved even as he strained to hold them. There were no dream-images, nothing he could actually remember. Only the mood remained, dark and forbidding. Something in the dream, that he realised all too clearly, had terrified him into waking. What was it? Something from his unknown past? A sense of dread for the future? Or an unknown threat nearby?

Muttering to himself: "And this is why I don't sleep much," he threw away the covers and padded to the wet cell. Nonsense, of course. Whatever his race or nature was required little sleep, regardless of dreams. But it was nice to have something to blame, something to take his mind away from the unsettling mood which clung to him.

He stuck his head under the cold tap, let the water run through his unruly hair and cool his face. Then he towelled himself dry, ran through the sonic shower and quickly dressed himself. All of the sudden his quarters, spacious though they were, seemed too constrained, too confining.

Half an hour's wandering later he found himself in the arboretum, on the shore of the artificial sea. He kicked off his boots and buried his bare feet in the sand. The last time he'd been here, he reflected, had been with Xue. He wondered how she was doing. She, and the unborn child which bound them both… The nature of their relationship was not such that they could call each other frequently, exchange the words that people who loved each other would usually say. He was a member of Starfleet and as such a representative of the Federation, she was not just Xue but also Empress of a major power on the Federation's doorstep. Any communication between them would be scrutinised by two powers, picked apart to see if their exchange was anything more than just lovers' talk. He missed her.

To his surprise he found he was weeping. Why? Because of the emptiness Xue had left behind? A lingering mood of his dream? Longing for his unknown past, his forgotten memories, the hole in his mind? Usually that didn't bother him. But as he looked at the rolling waves, he reflected that his mind was much like a true ocean, blue and glittering on top, but with unknown and unprobed depths. He shivered, though it wasn't really cold. He felt cold inside.

Abruptly he rose again. He picked up his boots in passing, but slung them over his shoulder instead of putting them on again, and walked barefoot through the arboretum to the exit. Driven by a sudden impulse, he headed to the nearest turbo lift. The carpet in the corridor felt warm and soft under his bare feet. He left a fading trail of sandy footsteps behind him – good thing the cleaning bots never complained.

This was one of the old, creaking turbolifts, and the rattling of the doors and the trembling gears were like an old song to the XO, a soothing lullaby. He placed one hand on the turbolift wall and murmured to the lift as it took him down and down and down.

Here the corridors were bare and utilitarian. No carpet underfoot, but cold plastic. No soft mood lights to reflect the 'nighttime' of the station, here the lights always shone at the same level, no matter what time. He made his way unerringly past storage rooms and long-term docking bays until he reached his destination. It was a smallish chamber with only one object in it: an oblong shape, two metres wide, three long, dark grey. No blinking lights, no outward markings, nothing to indicate where it had come from or how long it had floated in space. For some reason, it now stood on end instead of lying down, but other than that, he could discern no difference from how it looked the last time he'd been here.

The XO pressed the round identation and the escape pod irised open. He looked inside, expecting to see nothing but the space in which he had been lying when he'd been found. Instead, he found he could actually *step* inside.

He did, looked around. Inside, the room was at least twice as big as it had been. Still nothing else but some stuff which was presumably the life support system interface. He stepped outside again, walked around the escape pod, looked inside again. Then he scratched his head, making his wavy curls twist and dance. "Two questions," he muttered to himself. "Who installed the space folder inside, and where did they hide it?"

LtCmdr Evan Merlin
Executive Officer
Cold Station Theta


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