Cry for Help
Posted on Saturday, 20 November 2021 - 6:02pm by Lieutenant Alex Kingsley & Commander Soral
Operation: Mirror of Madness
Location: Personal Quarters
Never in her life had it been something she excelled at, even in those rare times when her husband attempted to guide her. Yet her dreams had left her troubled. Concerned for his safety and somehow, this felt like the right thing to do. Or at least try, since actual sleep now eluded her. Dimming the lights she stood for a moment, watching as the individual candles she had placed around the room created a soft, comforting light. The light from each flame seemed to dance, calling to her and to memories buried deep.
And then she was falling...
With a resounding thud which seemed to echo, she hit the floor hard. Only, it wasn't the carpeted floor of her quarters but cold hard metal. Winded she glanced around her, recognising her surroundings from her dream. And Soral!
He was just inches from her, unconscious and to her mind it looked as though he were barely breathing. Panic gripped her and she twisted, reaching for him until a high heeled boot hit the floor just in front of her, an almost mirror image of herself looking down at her. Yet it wasn't her...
"Its rather sad," Lexi mused as she crouched down between the two. "I rather like you. So... innocent. I on the other hand, am not. I've killed, I've even enjoyed it more often than not. And I love my husband in ways even you cannot truly understand. But you will. Time for games is over. We will soon reach Vulcan and when we do, Soral and I are going home. To our children.
Family is everything, don't you think? You have your doubts, I know. This is a very different life to the one I lived. But deep down you understand, I'm sure. Soral and I will be together again and you... you will thank me for ending your existence once your bond breaks. You are stronger than even you know but not strong enough so there is no point in fighting it. Instead, consider this a gift. Time to be with your Soral. In a manner of speaking. As long as he breathes, your bond will let you stay here. When it breaks, well... you can stay here and be comforted in knowing that soon you wont feel anything anymore. Don't worry, provided they don't interfere, I have no intention of harming any of your little friends. Tempting though it may be."
And then she was gone, leaving Alex and Soral alone with a million questions tumbling through her mind as she reached out and took hold of his hand. An act that seemed to sap all of her energy for such a simple thing.
"Soral? Please," Alex whispered as she pulled herself closer to him. And though she could feel him, she herself felt like a ghost. As if she had no real substance wherever this place was. "Soral! You have to wake up."
If he heard her, he gave no sign. Slowly she looked around, finding a tiny window which looked out into the dark. She saw nothing to identify where they were - or rather, where she now suspected Soral was. It certainly wasn't Vulcan.
She forced herself to concentrate and more and more details came into focus. It looked like the inside of a shuttle, or maybe a transport. Perhaps the cockpit, from the various displays and consoles. But it wasn't in flight, judging by what she could see inside and the world seemed tilted at an odd angle, as if they had crashed. Which explained the red light bathing the interior.
It made no sense but she knew in her very core that this was real. How, she had no idea.
"Soral, please! You have to wake up, you need to get out of here," she whispered as she tugged on his arm, growling in frustration when it did no good. Exhausted she lay at his side, staring out at the stars with a certainty that she was as trapped here as he was.
It was a long time since Soral moved. He sensed a presence in his mind. A low groan sounded.
“Soral, please,” Alex whispered. She had heard him, she was sure. “For me, please… you have to wake up.”
Wake up and what? Fix everything. Make all the madness make sense. Forgive her? Regardless, she couldn’t just let him lie here, alone in the dark. And as exhausting as it was to move or to touch him, she had to get through to him somehow. She rested her forehead against his, trying to focus on nothing else but him. Calling his name out into the void that separated them.
Soral's eyes fluttered. "Alex..." Her name was whispered and low. He followed her voice and her call along the bond. "There...isn't much time."
“What can I do?” She replied, urgency clear in her voice.
Soral had gotten a good look at the particular hell that he'd been dumped in. This was a decommissioned Starfleet research base. He'd been here before. "I am dying." He simply said. "There is a double...that is not from our world."
Her guilt raged as she whispered, “he’s on Vulcan.” Closing her eyes she tried to keep the focus on him. “You have to get up, Soral. Call for help…”
He sighed, "There is...a substation a mile from where I am but...I cannot make it." He looked at her his eyes filled with pain and sorrow.
“You have to Soral,” she told him firmly. “Or send a distress signal… something to get attention! Please. You can’t give up.”
He studied her. "You must break our bond. You must survive."
“No!” Her eyes widened, horrified by what he was asking. “Think of another way. Fight Soral! I won’t break our bond and wouldn’t even know how. If … if that is what you want then you do it! I’m not giving up.”
He studied her a moment. In his mind meld with his mirror self he'd learned much of the life that Soral and Lexi lived. "This...relay still functions, I served here briefly a long time ago. You must search my mind, find the mental map. If you can gain an image of the mail control room you can use your abilities to press the locator button."
She stared at him a long moment before realising he was being entirely serious. “Soral, I’m not you. I’ve never-“ she fell silent. This was wasting what little time they had. “I’ll need your help.”
He gave a nod. "I shall guide you. Focus on our bond."
Alex frowned as she closed her eyes, trying to exclude all else. “Show me the room,” she whispered.
His mind went into a bunker like building. A long dark hallway lead to a fork in the road with three paths. The middle path had a door at the end of it. He walked her down that hall in his mind and to the door. "This is where it becomes...difficult."
Now? It was already exhausting. She was untrained, and maintaining the focus on him was difficult enough. She eyed the door wearily. “Seems solid as a rock,” she observed, reaching out with her minds eye and feeling cold metal under her fingertips.
"You will need to open it with your mind...this...will be painful. It will be a shock for your body back on the ship."
Her body… that wasn’t quite true anymore but all she said was a single word. “How?”
"Your abilities we will have to jolt them to unlock the door. Then you must rest, you must leave and rest. I will...do the rest." Or at least he'd try to.
“I’m not leaving you,” she whispered. Not again. Not alone. “Before… in case I don’t get to say it… I’m sorry. I can’t ask forgiveness for something unforgivable… I…”. She had no words. How did you describe being yourself but not. Two halves of the same, yet different. Of having memories not your own but of you, of having bonded with two versions of the same man who were also themselves different. And yet there were things they shared. Their love for her. Alex and Lexi.
She faced the door, steeling herself as she said, “let’s do this.”
He gave a nod. "See the door in your mind. Describe it to me."
“It’s a door…” she said softly before taking a deep breath and staring at the door. “It’s grey, metallic. Like the door to our quarters. There is a panel to the right, control panel I assume. Same configuration…”
"Alright. I want you to look at the panel, note the lights, note the sounds and try to see past them. Try to see a pattern in the blinking. Touch the panel and try to feel a current that is running through it, like the heartbeat of the panel."
“Sounds easy,” she said with heavy sarcasm. Focusing, following Soral’s guidance and instruction, she focused all her energy on the panel as she pictured the inner workings, of sending a pulse of energy to release the locking mechanism. After two failed attempts she didn’t think a third was in her, feeling the bond to Soral beginning to wane. She reached out, gripping his hand. She had to do this. For him.
With a last concerted effort the door in front of her began to slide open even as she fell to her hands and knees, breathing hard and feeling as if she had just run a marathon.
As soon as she was able, she hauled herself back to her feet and stepped into a dark circular room where consoles lined the walls from floor to ceiling. “Which one?” She asked.
"Blue panel, the sequence is blue, green, green, red." That, he knew, would set a repeat signal, or at least he hoped, unless he was imagining all this in the hours before his mind shut down.
“Soral -“ she turned toward him as she lost her grip on his hand and his voice seemed more distant. She was running out of time. She ran to the console he had told her, which with a touch flickered to life.
She put everything she had into typing in the sequence, almost screaming in frustration when she had to start again. And then putting all her energy into the last touch. Beneath her it began to flash, indicating it was active. “It worked! Soral it worked!”
The statement came out in a whisper as she fell to the deck, the darkness drawing in. She searched around her for any sign of Soral but there was nothing. She was alone as the darkness claimed her.
Fragments of broken glass reflected the light from the candles as each piece rained down on the floor. The priceless antique mirror destroyed in the blink of an eye, appearing to shatter of its own accord. Picking herself up off the floor, Lexi surveyed the damage and slowly smiled as she looked towards the meditation candle her husband often used, reaching out a hand and watching with satisfaction as it flew into her grasp with minimal effort.
With a calm confidence she placed it in the centre of the table, taking up position and beginning to meditate. Her mind reaching out for that of her beloved... he had been waiting for her and now she was ready to return to his side.
Through the bond which had been forged years before she reached out for him, smiling as she felt his mind welcome her touch. A tear fell down her cheek, knowing how close she had come to losing everything. Losing their future. She revelled in the familiar, quickly assuring herself that he was safe and well.
I missed you…