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Dox 1-3: Unknown Vistas

Posted on Mon Aug 3rd, 2020 @ 1:19pm by Lieutenant Commander Mnhei'sahe Dox
Edited on on Wed Aug 19th, 2020 @ 9:48pm

Mission: The Bulikaya Particle
Location: The Multiverse
Timeline: 2397

The world before Lieutenant Commander Mnhei’sahe Dox had exploded in a burst of ultraviolet blue light. There was a rush of energy and she could feel what was described to her as Bulukiya particles flooding her body displacing her from reality.

It was a disorientating experience, to say the least.

In the brief moments before her exposure, she had learned what would happen and as her mind began to come back to her, she ran through the information she wasn’t expecting to have to remember quite so quickly. The information smugly conveyed by the temporal terrorist who had invaded the Hera. The young man with pointed ears, red hair, and blue eyes who called himself ‘Declan Dox’ and claimed to somehow be Mnhei’sahe and Rita Paris’ GRANDson from the future.

Who, as it turned out, clearly did NOT like either of them. A somewhat distressing realization in the moment that was no longer all that relevant to be concerned with, all things considered.

The Bulukiya particles, once absorbed, moved a subject across different dimensions. The leaps were supposed to start short at about 30 seconds, but double in length until they were spent and you were returned to the timeline you left from.

There was a momentary bout of dizziness and disorientation that was quickly replaced by some very real disorientation as, what she realized was deck plating under her feet, shifted hard away and she found herself flying face-first…

...Into herself.

"IMIRRHLHHSE!!!" both women cursed as they slammed together and went rolling in a heap across a particularly hard set of risers.

Trying to orient herself, she heard shouting in her native tongue of Romulan and looked around, grabbing her head. She was definitely on a Romulan bridge. A T’varo-class, she thought, but it looked different somehow. She turned back around to see the familiar face she has flown into. Behind her, rubbing her head was another version of herself. This other her had longer hair, down to her shoulders and was wearing some kind of black, leather-like top of crisscrossing black bands. On top of that, a long green canvas overcoat and green pants with knee-high black boots. On the hips of the other her, crossing belts and her curved Caitian swords.

On the sleeve of her jacket, the Artan family crest.

The other her was doing the same thing while two similarly dressed Romulan men had disruptors drawn, looking very confused and clearly waiting for instructions. Sighing, the long haired Dox shook her head and shouted to the room in Rihan. "Would it be too much trouble to get that cloak back up sometime before the Ekhesai is blasted to Areinnye?! We can’t let that Warbird patrol catch us, people."

Okay… I’m on an Artan-run Bird of Prey called ‘The Mercy’ running from Romulan military ships. Good to know. Dox thought, trying to catch her bearings as she felt a strange flush of energy within her.

"As for her, lower your weapons. I'll deal with her once we are NOT being shot at." The Artan-clad Dox said with a slight grin. From the guards and the rest of the crew of Romulan on the small bridge, Dox heard shouts of, "Ie, Baroness!"

The woman called Baroness pulled herself up and sat back down in the center chair of the bridge as she went back to work, sparing a glance for Mnhei’sahe, who was still a bit confused on the deck. But then, a shimmer of blue light began to overtake Dox as she began to leap again. “Uh… sorry. Looks like I won’t be sticking around to explain. But… uh… I don’t have anything to do with your battle here.”

When the deck of the ship vanished, she was surprised to feel it replaced by a relatively warm, wood floor.

“Ow. What in Areinnye?” She said, as she pulled herself up off the floor, rubbing her face as she looked around. She didn’t recognize the house she found herself in, but the trappings around her were familiar..

Surrounding her was a warm, provincial farmhouse that looked very much like the one she spent her teenage years in on Earth. Shawn and Juliet Dox’s home, where she railed against their affection as a petulant, angry young woman. This wasn’t that same house, but it felt like it. It looked very much like Earth and it was decorated with their things. Juliet’s photos on the wall that she remembered. The antique lamps she had almost destroyed in anger that first night. The old, amish chairs she used to pout in. The house was different, but it was sill so familiar that it made her gray heart ache in her side.

From behind, she heard the click and hum of a Romulan disruptor as she heard her own voice, shaking and afraid. “T… turn around. Turn around slowly and put your hands on the back of your head.”

”NOW!!!” her own voice screamed as Dox slowly complied. There, standing in the doorway to the kitchen was another version of herself. No pointed ears and no olive tint to her skin. Every bit the woman Dox would have been had she never left Earth for Starfleet and never had the human DNA overlays in her removed and had her Romulan heritage surgically restored.

“Okay, stay calm. Please, I can explain.” Dox said as she raised her hands at the clearly shocked counterpart with longer, curly hair pulled back in a sloppy ponytail. This version of her was wearing worn, denim overalls and a green flannel shirt. But the disruptor in her hands wasn’t anything she would have found anywhere in rural Ohio.

“I know what you are. Another Tal’Shiar operative. You’re not the first to try and take me. Now get on the ground. You know this has no stun setting and I’d rather not just kill you.” The other woman said, fear in her voice and a tremble in her hand.

“I’d rather not die… Melanie.. I’m guessing?” Dox said, assuming that this version of her still went by the human name she had been hidden with for years before remembering her true name. “But I’m not here with the Tal’Shiar. And I’m not here to hurt you.”

“I’ve heard that before. A few too many times, frankly. ON! THE! GROUND!” the other Dox screamed.

Slowly, the crimson-clad Starfleet officer complied and got down on her knees as she tried to speak softly and figure out what had happened in this woman’s life. “Okay. I’m on the ground. But I’m not the Tal’Shiar. I’m… you. I know it’s hard to explain, but.”

“So, what, some… agent doctored to look enough like me to, what, take my place while you sneak me away? KILL me like you did my mother? I’ll tell you what I told the others that came to me, like the one I took this off of. Tell your masters I'm never going back.” She said, turning the disruptor to full power. “Well… someone will have to tell them.”

Hearing the hum, Dox tucked over as she felt the tingle of the Bulukiya particles churning up again and vanished as the green beam from the disruptor lanced over where her head had just been a fraction of a second before.

Standing in the now quiet house, the woman still called Melanie Dox didn't know what had just happened. As far as she knew, another Romulan attacker had finally tracked her down... and that it was time to run again.

A minute Dox thought, feeling wooden floorboards replaced by metal deck plates as the telltale dizziness quickly faded and she finished her last second tuck and role into a new reality hoping to avoid being disintegrated by disruptor fire. I was on the Bird of Prey... maybe thirty seconds. Then a minute in the farmhouse. The leaps ARE doubling. And if he was right, I’m going to have twelve of these in total. Oh… I don’t like this math.

"My own face. I should have expected that, shouldn't I have?" Came her own voice again, echoing through wherever she was as she got up to her feet as quickly as she could.

Looking around, Dox quickly realized she was in flight deck two back in the Hera. Red Alert klaxons were going off and there, standing in front of her, was another her. This one also in a crimson Starfleet uniform, but with only one pip on the breast.

But more importantly, was where her hand was. It was resting just over the emergency purge button. With the klaxons going off, Dox's stomach tightened. She knew what this was. Her counterpart here had disabled the safeguards and was about to open the cargo bay doors into space.

It was the suicide method she had considered night after night as a child on the smuggling ship she was raised on. And the method that had become a reality for this version of herself in Starfleet. Dox knew she didn’t have long, but she needed to try and find out what had driven this version of herself this far.

With hollow eyes, the other Dox continued. "You… you used to look… kind of like my mother. But this is… much more fitting, isn't it? That you would come to me looking like me. But… it doesn't matter. Nothing matter's anymore. I can't do this anymore. I'm ready."

"Wait, what do you mean?! Who do you think... I am." It took a second, but she quickly pieced it together and the realization went off like a bomb in her mind. This other Dox thought that she was Death.

The thought sent a shudder down the displaced woman's spine, considering the intentions that the woman named Masato Rei had for her possible future. That, should she so choose, she one day might fulfill the very role this other Dox thought she was seeing. It was a thought she tried to regularly not focus on, but it felt like an uncomfortably real scenario in the moment.

Frantically, Dox's mind raced. She had under two minutes tops, here. There was no way or time to explain the reality. And the woman in front of her was preparing to die. Dox had to think, and think quickly. "Look... I know what you're thinking. I know how many times you thought of doing this as a child. But… you don't have to do this, Mnhei'sahe. What happened?"

"What… what happened? Has… has it been so long? Did you actually forget?" Her double said with a broken desperation in her voice.

One minute left…

"All this time and you've never come back. Every time I wanted to… and I was always alone. Ever since… since I let you and Schwien kill those men in the brig. The men I put in the brig and… in my anger… stood by and watched as you… took them." She said, her voice broken and weak.

"Since you two merged and left. Left me to pick up the pieces of my failure that…" her hand was shaking dangerously close to the pad as she spoke. "That led to everything falling apart. To having… nothing left."

Without all the details, it wasn't hard to extrapolate what must've happened. This Dox was never exonerated in the deaths of the prisoners in the brig. This Dox was demoted and demoralized. A single moment of inaction that clearly led to a downward spiral of further demotion and depression about to end in suicide.

"Look, Mnhei'sahe…" Dox thought quickly, trying to improvise. Not wanting her other self to press that button, even as she felt that strange tingle of the Bulukiya particles again. "What happened… it wasn't your fault. What… what has happened to… to ME… was affecting you.

Remembering what had really happened that must never have come to light here, Dox lied as she allowed her counterpart to believe she was the being known as Death. It was, on every possible level, a deeply uncomfortable thing to have to do, but it might have been the only way to do anything in the moment before it was too late.

"My aspect. My aura. It influenced your anger. Your darkest thoughts, just like it had for Enalia, who told you to go to the Brig with Schewin to handle them. You were NOT fully responsible. Neither was Enalia.” Dox spoke quickly as she felt herself starting to leave this reality and reinforced what she had learned, continuing to speak for Death herself, who was NOT here. “H… my merger with Schwein was unnatural! It damaged me and in that damage, my aspect was affecting YOU! I’m… I’m sorry… You must under…"

But before the words could make it out, Dox had vanished again in a wave of blue light, leaving her counterpart alone with only the sound of the klaxons and the security team working to get in.

Left standing there, alone. Ensign Mnhei'sahe Dox slowly, and with tear filled eyes, pulled her hand away from the button. In a few seconds, security would rush through those doors to the corridor and take her into custody. She would be taken to the brig and placed under protective custody. She would be sent back to Starfleet and sent for psych reevaluation. She would be stripped of that pip and the badge on her chest.

Her career was over, but for that exact moment, at least her life wasn’t. And for the first time in what felt like an eternity of self-loathing, that felt like it was enough.

To Be Continued…


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