Posted by Lieutenant Junior Grade Sharah Fayth (Medical) in side-sim True North
At first, Sharah was numb. She couldn’t quite process the implications. She kept telling herself it was just a possibility, but she honestly didn’t believe that. She reported for her duty shift, performed outstandingly, then left to who knows where and then was seen again back in sickbay. At first it was a relief to go into sickbay and do her job. Do what she was trained to do. To help people, get rid of their pain, make them feel better. Years before Sharah ever joined Star Fleet, she’d discovered she had a natural ability to calm her patients. When other children got hurt or were sick she had been able to soothe them and help them be calm. This has continued into her career. It didn’t work unless the person wanted to feel better. Sharah never forced anyone to feel a certain way (though she had always suspected. Someone told her once that they smelled their grandmother’s cookies. She thought that had sounded very comforting at the time.
But now she just didn’t want to be around people. The thing was Sharah liked people she just couldn’t function without a lot of time to herself. This wasn’t that though, she needed to think to process to come to terms with how her world had shifted.
Then, Sharah was angry. If what Markus said held even a grain of truth, and the stories certainly could be interpreted that way, then her people knew how to help others like her. If not with absolutes, at least with knowledge. And yet they allowed people like her to suffer needlessly. They called them prodigies, super sensitives, all kinds of polite terms. But behind closed doors the doctors and psychologists thought much different things calling them sick, damaged, monsters, anomalies, a developmental aberration. She went over the stories again, pouring over them, starting with a blank PaDD and starting over, making the connections between the old stories and she found there was a gap. Some time several hundred years ago the stories stopped. And then suddenly there were records of people like her, the references much more in line with what they were told now. Born with their gifts turned on and unable to cope, pain, overwhelm, psychological and physiological damage.
Trying to be the researcher she was, she created an uplink. “Computer access Betazed library database. Cross reference with the national ecology institute and the Betazed school of Psychology and the planetary medical database.” Moments later =/\=UPLINK CONNECTED.=/\= “Computer cross reference the patient files of Kicid Une and Jeerrihi Ma from the 1900s Terran calendar. Are there any widespread illnesses or natural disasters or unexplained scientific phenomena?” The computer worked quietly for several minutes. =/\=NEGATIVE=/\= “Are there any references to alien visitors in the records?” That question left the computer to mull for several minutes. =/\=THERE ARE NO OFFICIAL RECORDS OF SUCH EVENTS IN THE PUBLIC BETAZOID LIBRARY.=/\= Sharah looked up, “But what about private libraries?” =/\=PLEASE MAKE A FORMAL REQUEST.=/\= “Oh shut up. Disconnect library link up.”
The computer beeped and Sharah paced angrily across her quarters angrily throwing pillows and anything else she could get her hands on. It was a long night for Sharah. Unwilling to go out and run into others, she alternately paced, sat, cried, and raged against - life. And the confusion was only made worse by the noise of hundreds of other minds.
In the long hours between shifts, when Sharah could find stillness, if not quiet, she found her mind inexorably searching the noise for Markus. Like a reflex, like the needle of a compass always pointing north. After she had roused from her faint the only reason she could find for it was a sudden drop in her blood pressure. She could only conclude that she was over tired, over stimulated, and the sudden revelation had shocked her significantly. They had finished the meal Markus had made, talked for quite a bit longer, but eventually they both knew she needed sleep. Now, Sharah wished he had stayed, that she could talk to him. That out of everyone and anyone, he understood. And she simply…she smiled for the first time in days…she liked him, a lot.
Sharah passing out had sent Markus into a big of a panic. Feeling her mind whirling, and then suddenly she was out? He’d grabbed a tricorder from the desk. While it wasn’t rated for the much more detailed scans of a medical tricorder, it could still easily monitor vitals and give basic assessments. Blood pressure had gone out of whack. But it seemed to start coming back within moments. When she’d roused he’d been all sorts of relieved, but still worried. She gave herself a good once over, and seeme dokay. It didn’t stop him from worrying like a mother hen. It eased some though when she seemed to not be concerned. Then more when they turned to food. Truth be told he didn’t taste it much.
And as much as he would have liked to build an impenetrable thought-fortress, it wouldn’t help. She was a radio telescope that was lsitening on every band. And he was close and a pretty pure signal. Instead, he tried to put the conversation out of his mind. He succeeded only for a little while. By then, he hoped there was enough noise to drown him out, that he could hide in the static field. That alone made him feel even more guilty. He didn’t really want to hide from her, but he didn’t want to make her feel worse either with his own guilt.
It was a damn stupid thing to do, to just run his head like that. Information hazards were a real problem, and he’d dropped one on her without thinking. And it kind of broke her world view. He was a miserable, rotten friend, and damn irresponsible as a scientist. People had a right to the truth, and it as his job to find it. But that only stretched so far as their ability to handle those truths, or potential truths. Some people, when exposed to some information hazards, like The Basalisk… couldn’t handle it, and reacted negatively. Some even took their own life. He doubted it was that level of dangerous to Shar. But still, he knew he’d hurt her, damaged her, in ways he couldn’t even begin to guess at.
Miserable didn’t really cover how he felt.
He didn’t show up for Alpha shift. Or Beta shift. Nobody had seen him out and about. Just a notice in the system that his projects were on hold, he was taking a personal day. Sheridan could handle things in the meantime.
The next day he did show up. But he didn’t. Unkempt and rumpled, dark circles around his eyes. It seemed he hadn’t slept. Or if he did, there was no rest. He did the job though. And for a while he was able to forget, and seemed to liven up a little. When asked if he was alright, he waved it away. It was nothing. He didn’t want to talk about it. There was work to do. So on and so forth.
Then back to his quarters. Eat. Crap. Sleep. Work. Eat. Crap. Sleep. Rinse repeat.
He didn’t make anything, neither tinkering or cooking. For a while he messed with some games on his computer system, but quickly tired of them. Then turned to his guitar which he half-heartedly plucked at and toyed with. He did launch into a few songs here and there, but after a while grew quite still and resigned. Eventually … going to bed.
Rinse. Repeat. Going through the motions of the day. Putting on a fake smile when he needed to. But he wasn’t there. Not really. Still stuck in that moment. wishing like hell he hadn’t said anything. And missing her like he had a hole ripped in him.
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