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Dox's Leap 4: The Open Doors

Posted on Wed Aug 5th, 2020 @ 1:50pm by Lieutenant Mona Gonadie & Emergency Medical Hologram (Adam Power) Mk X & Kodria Mizu & Lieutenant Commander Mnhei'sahe Dox
Edited on on Wed Aug 19th, 2020 @ 9:49pm

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

“...Stand!!!” Dox yelled into the cool, sterile room she had appeared in. She had just been trying to convince an alternate version to not commit suicide and vanished in a wave of blue light, moved into a different dimension by the Bulukiya particles mid-sentence.

Now, as the momentary disorientation began to fade, Dox looked around and began to take in where she was. To her left was a large mirror, and around her was a number of screens and what looked like medical equipment. And to her right, was a large bed. And in that bed, strapped down and connected to various tubes and wires, was another her.

“Bhudt'e…” She muttered to herself, a Romulan expression of disbelief and concern that roughly translated to ‘oh, boy.

Stepping back slightly, she looked at her supine counterpart. Her hair had gray streaks in it and her head was half shaved along the sides with leads pressed against her temples. She had what looked like a feeding tube in her mouth, oxygen tubes in her nose and a fluid IV drip leading to one arm. The technology seems a bit old fashioned, but indicated that wherever she was, this version of her had to have been there in this state for a while to require that level of regular, daily maintenance.

The screens were also very modern LCARS Starfleet displays, and on her counterparts nightgown was a small gold delta pattern. Wherever she was, this was a Starfleet facility. From the lack of any feeling of vibration or the hum of a warp engine, Dox assumed she was likely on a planet or moon at least.

The room was cold. Not just chilly, which to her hot Romulan blood, most starships tended to be anyway, but directly cold as she exhaled and could see her breath linger in the air for a moment.

If the pattern holds, I’ll have four or so minutes here. Dox thought as she looked around, fixing on the mirror as she did. There was a tingling sensation along the back of her neck that wasn’t the bulukiya particles that she dismissed as anxiety.

“Hello? Is there anybody there? I assume there’s an observation room on the other side of this mirror? I can explain who I am and what’s going on, but seeing a face would certainly help.”

“I don’t have a lot of time and… what happened to… to herrrrrrr.” Dox said, her voice trailing off as the tingling in her head became like a wall of force in her mind and a sudden wave of impossible fatigue overtook her. An instant later, she felt all the energy leave her muscles as she began to collapse to the floor.

What felt like an instant later, Dox groggily opened her eyes and the strange medical bay was gone, and she appeared to be back on the Hera. Wait, what? She thought to herself as she slowly lifted herself off of the deck of what looked like the corridors of deck 8. I was only in there a few seconds. I can’t have already lept? Maybe the Hera figured out how to pull us back. But then... why am I in a corridor. It felt… wrong. It felt…

Like someone pushed their way into my mind. Or… Dox reasoned, looking around at the otherwise empty, dimly lit corridor. Pulled me into THEIRS.

“Computer.” Mnhei’sahe spoke up to the ceiling but heard nothing. Instead, tapped her commbadge, but again- nothing.

Slowly, Mnhei’sahe began walking down the corridor. There were no guards stationed outside the quarters for either Hera or Masato Rei, and the doors at each room wouldn’t open for her. She knocked on the door to Rei’s quarters and called out. “Rei… it’s… it’s Mnhei’sahe. Are you in there? Taxes?” She called out to the embodiment of death that was, perhaps, her most unusual friend. She even called out to the pale horse that was regularly by Rei’s side, but heard nothing. Even with the door locked, either could have simply passed through in their ethereal states to see her regardless, but they weren’t there.

Then, Mnhei’sahe felt something. Almost like a presence behind her that felt familiar that she couldn’t place for a moment. When she turned around at the inexplicable sensation, there was nothing. The corridor was empty, but it set her eyes down to her and Mona’s quarters. In that moment, she had a particularly cold thought and began heading down the corridor, beginning with a hesitant walk then breaking into a run as she arrived at the door to her own quarters. As with the other doors, it would not open. Frustrated, she slammed her fist on the door, banging loudly. “MONA! MONA, are you in there!? MONA!!!

As before, no answer.

Feeling a wave of panic, Mnhei’sahe began to try and access the entry pad to the side. It had power but refused to accept or acknowledge her access codes. After a few moments of frantic panic, something happened.


The voice filled her mind and there was a sensation of intense pressure that felt like gravity had increased ten-fold in an instant. Mnhei’sahe fell hard, back to her knees on the deck in front of the door to her quarters. The voice pushed its way into her mind somehow, and as she realized what was happening, Mnhei’sahe concentrated. As she did, she felt that impossible, arid heat threatening to steal her breath as she visualized the Vulcan of her mind and recalled her training at the tutelage of Commander Sonak. In her mind was the image of Mount Salaya on Vulcan, and she felt the pressure let up, at least enough to think clearly.

“What… what in Areinnye was that?” Mnhei’sahe muttered as she hesitantly rose to her feet, leaning against the corridor bulkhead. The voice had pushed powerfully past the barriers that had been put in her mind after months on mental training like they weren’t there. Now that she was actively aware of the presence, she was keeping it out.


Looking down, she saw three small drops of green on the deck by her feet and wiped her face. She was bleeding slightly from the nose. “Hnaev…” She cursed to herself as she went back to the door.

Thinking, she remembered being in the medical room. The wires fixed to her counterpart’s head. Her counterpart’s brain. The idea was itching at her mind, but in the tension of the moment, she couldn’t put her errant thoughts together yet.

“Okay… we do this the hard way.” Mnhei’sahe muttered under her breath, instinctively switching from Federation Standard to her own native Romulan. A habit she had a hard time breaking from since her month long captivity on a Romulan ship speaking nothing but her mother tongue all those months ago. She noticed, but in that moment, didn’t care as she felt for the edge of the door under the rim and began to pull with every ounce of strength she could.

It took nearly a minute of intense, physical effort, but eventually, the door budged and Mnhei’sahe could get her arm in enough to push it the rest of the way. Stepping inside, the room was dark. The only light coming in through the large, curved windows into space. Improbably, the plasteel had cracks in them. It was dark, but there was a smell that filled her senses. The copper twinge of old blood.

Feeling for the wall panel, Mnhei’sahe turned the lights on manually and she saw her quarters. It looked as though it had been torn apart. The beautiful curtains Mona had put up were shredded and in tatters at her feet. The Furniture looked ripped to shreds as if by an animal. The shelves smashed and all her possessions in pieces all around her. All around her, streaks of dried blood. Dried, once green blood. Smears on the walls and across most everything.

Looking to the left, the old kitchen was there. Still intact as it was before they had expanded their quarters, and there was no door to the children’s room, and therefore, no children’s room. It wasn’t much, but it gave Dox a window within which this reality must’ve diverged from her own.

“Did… did I do all this?” Mnhei’sahe whispered to herself as she stepped further in. As she did, she felt that pressure on her mind increased again. Whatever voice she had felt before seemed like it had an answer, but she had no intention of letting her guard down again to let it in. Still, the increased pressure was intense and she felt her nose start to drip again.

But Mnhei’sahe put it out of her mind as much as possible, wiping her green blood on the sleeve of her crimson tunic. The door to the bedroom was open, but looked as if a force had slammed them open hard. They were askew on their tracks and the room was dark. But regardless, Mnhei’sahe stepped in. The pressure on her mind increased as she felt whatever was causing it getting closer.

Reaching in, she felt for the manual wall pad and turned on the light. As the light went on, the room was intact. The curtains still hung and everything was in its place. But on the rounded, nest-like bed that she shared with Mona Gonadie, was a black torpedo tube. Looking, her heart sank and her stomach tightened. She knew well the old maritime tradition that Starfleet had adopted to use torpedo casings as coffins for burial amongst the stars in certain cases.

She slowly reached a hand towards the tube. Hesitantly at first, but after steeling herself, placed it on the shining, black tube.

It was warm. The sensation pushed into her mind as if her mental defenses simply didn’t exist, but rather than pressure or pain, it was more warmth. It was a momentary wave of warmth. Lavender warmth.

“M...Mona?” Dox whispered. But as she did, she felt a different kind of pressure. While she was empty in the room, she felt a wave of what she could only describe as pure force that pulled her from her feet and shoved her back from the bed and against the far bulkhead.

Banging her head against the wall and falling to the deck with a sharp pain, her concentration wavered and the booming voice returned to her mind.


And as she staggered back to her feet, her nose bleeding again, she now recognized the voice and knew exactly who was in that tube. “Mona…” she whispered. The voice was, once again, her own and it was forcing itself into her mind with a power that felt light-years beyond anything she had felt from either Sonak, the Ju’rot or even Anansi. And its source was getting closer.

Turning from the bed, Dox grabbed her head and realized that she had been here far longer than four minutes and still hadn’t lept, which made no sense to her. As she made her way back out into the main room of her quarters she worked out that if she never lept from the medical chamber, then she was still there and whatever this was had to be something else. Some kind of mindscape where the perception of time ran differently like in a dream. It, at least, would explain the missing crewmembers and constant pressure on her mental defenses.

Running into the corridor, Dox stopped dead before she felt a force pressing against her, pushing her off of her feet to the deck with a hard slap. Standing before her, was another version of herself who muttered almost silently, “Stop.”

Still in uniform, but it was stained and dirty looking. The other her was thinner and gaunt in the face, with sunken eyes. Her hair was noticeably longer, matted, and graying everywhere except where it was buzzed on the sides, just like the version in the bed. Not any older, but clearly more worn away.

Looking up, Mnhei’sahe tried to pull herself to her feet, but the other her simply tilted her head and the pressure returned and her knees buckled under her as she slammed back to the cold deck as if gravity had increased even harder than before. “No… not yet. You and I... we need to talk. Who… no… what are you? How are you here?”

And as the other her spoke, there was another wave of force and Mnhei’sahe felt a blackness push in around her. She pushed back against it in her mind, reinforcing her defenses and trying to stand. As she did, she felt nausea seep in as the pressure began to become a real thing again and she slid back on the deck. “Don't make me hurt you. Just stop fighting me, you’re not winning this.”

Looking back up, the other her’s eyes were different now. Completely black. “STOP!” She yelled, and the world went just as black.


The first thing Mnhei’sahe felt was pressure. That same pressure, forcing itself into her mind through the blackness of sleep. If that’s what it was. She had no sense of time having passed nor any memory of dreaming and she could tell she hadn’t yet lept. The blackness started to fade as she looked up through squinted eyes at the cracked windows of her quarters. Muttering in Rihan out of habit, she whispered. “What… what happened?”

Listening as she realized she was sitting on her own couch with her head flumped back, she heard the voice of the other her. “You were being difficult.” The other her was speaking English, without the hint of an accent that Mnhei’sahe had been working to quash that had come back since her month on the Warbird.

The other her chuckled and looked down for a second, then back up. “I didn’t know what you were at first. They keep me asleep so I won’t reach out with my mind consciously anymore, making me think you were just another part of the dream. Some… strange concoction of my subconscious to punish me some more. But I know my own mind… even now. So, you are me… but you aren’t a part of my mind. You’re REAL. What are you?”

“What? Can’t make me tell you?” Mnhei’sahe replied, tapping the side of her head, reinforcing her mental defenses and realizing that this was the OTHER Dox’s mindscape.

As she did, she watched her other self’s eyes go black again as she tilted her head. Immediately, Mnhei’sahe crumpled over in pain, held in place as if by an invisible grip. This might all be happening in her counterpart’s mind, but it hurt as much as if it were a real hand trying to crush her.

“I CAN, but you don’t want me to try that hard. Bringing you in here was... easy enough. But those defenses you have are quite strong. You probably wouldn’t survive if I broke completely through and I’d prefer to not kill you if possible.” The other her said, not moving from where she sat, her eyes still stark black.

The other her was beginning to read her mind, regardless of the defenses. Cracks were clearly forming through the pain and random thoughts were leaking out so Mnhei’sahe redoubled her efforts as the image of Mount Selaya returned in force. The other her sat back in a chair in the center of the room and sighed. “I can start breaking things, if you want. I don’t want to, but I will.”

Suddenly, Dox fell back to the deck, tumbling over the front of the couch. Then, there was an intense pressure in Mnhei’sahe’s right foot as if a vice was being twisted on it. “NNNNGGGGGG…” She moaned as she grabbed her foot and doubled back over. “O… okay… stop!” Mnhei’sahe groaned out, and the phantom pressure stopped.

Shaking out the pain that she knew was only in her mind, like all of this, but felt real all the same. she pushed herself back up to her feet and looked at the other version of herself. “Quid pro quo. I tell you something, you tell me something. Sound fair?”

The other her simply nodded and waited as Mnhei’sahe righted herself in front of the couch, shaking out her foot. “I’m you. I’m you from another reality. I’ve been… being moved through different realities and dimensions… encountering different versions of myself for a time then moving on. I was exposed to some kind of extra-dimensional particles that…”

As she spoke, the other Dox cricked an eyebrow and raised her hand, as if reaching for something in the air in front of her. As she did, Mnhei’sahe felt an intense pulling sensation and she lurched forward, feeling as if something was being pulled from her.

There was a moment of intense pain and she let out a gasp but felt all the air pulled from her as she did. Then, the familiar shimmer resumed and she wondered if she was about to leap again. But instead, she squinted through the pain and saw the shimmer slow and stop, and a single glowing blue light came from her and hovered in the air before her. As it did, the other her blinked and as she did, Mnhei’sahe fell back to the deck limply. None of what was happening here was necessarily real, but it felt real, and that was enough.

“That would be… this? Your body is filled with them. I can feel them pulling at you even now. Interesting.” The other her said as Mnhei’sahe struggled back to her feet, this time leaning heavily against the couch and dragging herself to her seat.

The small, blue glowing particle moved over to the other Dox’s hand, and she closed her fingers around it as it vanished into her. “If I weren’t… speeding up your perception of time in here, we never could have had this talk. But… it’s my mind and I can do what I want here. Still, you would think with everything that’s happened to us, we would stay away from unknown science.”

Catching her breath, Mnhei’sahe slumped in her seat. “Quid pro quo… I can’t do any of the things you’re doing. I can’t… pull people into my mind like this. Create this fantasy. Move things with my mind. What happened?”

Smirking slightly, the other Dox leaned over in the seat again. “Hera. Hera happened.”

“The eighth door of my mind had been cracked open by Mona’s helmet. It turned my mind into a… a beacon for psychic entities like Gaia and the Spider. I went to Hera for advice, and she offered to help me by opening ALL the doors in my mind so I could learn to control it. To learn to keep beings like Gaia out by… awakening me to my full potential as a Romulan. All the abilities our people abandoned when our ancestors left Vulcan.”

Mnhei’sahe’s eyes went wide. She remembered the offer well, and remembered choosing instead to let Sonak teach her to hone those skills gradually, over time. The harder path, but the potentially safer of the two. “And… and you accepted, didn’t you?”

Suddenly, the other Dox’s expression changed and her face twisted into a sneer, and as it did, Mnheisahe felt that mental pressure increase. “Of course I did. Gaia was coming and I had no way to keep her out of my mind. Rita… Rita tried to talk me out of it. Tried to get me to let SONAK train my mind and my mental defenses, but there wasn’t time, so I did what I had to do.”

The other her calmed down and the pressure abated slightly. Mnhei’sahe realized that the force from her mind was just a constant thing, not controlled, and its intensity was connected to her emotional state. “What happened?”

The other her sat back and sighed. “What do you think happened? Gaia came. We… we tried a mind-meld. Sonak linked my mind with his, Rita’s, Sam’s, Asa’s and… and Mona’s. He tried to use his discipline to help me control those open doors. Nobody knew what would happen. After Hera awakened me… I could hear their minds even before Sonak linked us… like whispers I couldn’t quite understand but also couldn’t silence them. They were just… just being pulled in. Sonak tried to help me to shut it out, but it was too much. Then… then Gaia came and we melded and…”

Suddenly, the bridge began to shudder as the other Dox spoke. Her fists were clenched and she was trembling in the chair as her emotions began spilling out as waves of force that shook the room within her mindscape. “M… Mnhie’sahe! Calm down!”

The other Dox stopped with a look of shock. She clearly hadn’t heard anyone call her by her own name in a while. “You need to calm down. Center yourself. Focus.”

Standing up, the other Dox looked angrier than before, and the waves intensified. Mnhei’sahe grabbed the back of her couch to hold on as the waves slid the couch back even further. As she did the other her shouted. “Calm down!? CALM DOWN!?!?! Do you have any idea what happened!?!? WHAT WE DID!?!?

With a fresh, green trickle of blood from her nose, Mnhei’sahe struggled against the force radiating from her other self and spoke as calmly as was possible. “What… what happened, Mnhei’sahe?”

As the other Dox saw the blood, she stood up, knocking back the chair and a look of panic swept across her face. “No… I… I don’t want it to happen again. I… I can’t… I can’t stop it.” As she did, the waves lessened a little bit.

As the waves abated, for just an instant, Dox felt it again. That presence from before, like a voice a mile away but just inside her ear. Shaking her head, the beleaguered Romulan focused on her defenses again and looked back to her counterpart.

“Then just… listen to my voice for a second. Concentrate on it and close your eyes. Try to remember those first lessons from Sonak. Do you remember the brazier he gave us… to help us concentrate?” Mnhei’sahe said, trying to keep her voice calm and even. Trying to remind her other self of the training that she hoped had happened before the Gaia incident in this reality.

“It… it doesn’t work. It’s not enough. Y… you don’t understand. With the doors opened, EVERYTHING is pulled into me. I can’t… I can’t stop it! Sonak couldn’t stop it.” The other Dox said, still stepping back, shaking her head. The reaction was a complete 180 from the angry, assertive woman from earlier. But it was reducing the waves of pressure on Mnhei’sahe’s mind.

“Is that what happened? During the meld, when Gaia came? You… you pulled them… her in, didn’t you? You couldn’t stop it from happening?” Mnhei’sahe said, standing up and trying to step across, closer to her other self.

As she did, the other Dox stopped and looked up at Mnhei’sahe, her eyes going black again. “SHUT UP!!!! she screamed, and as she did, Mnhei’sahe was shoved back again, slamming awkwardly into the couch, flipping painfully over it onto the deck behind. As she did, the small dining table, closer to the other Dox cracked and crumpled where it stood.

The waves of force intensified as Mnhei’sahe remained hunched over on the deck as the doppelganger shouted, “YOU DON’T KNOW!!! She died! She died in my MIND! Gaia looked down on us and judged us as pretentious, greedy, arrogant, and unworthy! And I PROVED it! I couldn’t stop it! I pulled her into my mind and she died! I killed MONA!!!!

Listening, Mnhei’sahe tried to crawl to her feet, but as the other Dox screamed, a wave of force shoved her against the far bulkhead as the rant continued, tears streaming down the doppelganger's cheeks. “I… I tried to stop Gaia! I begged her to stop, and my mind… it pulled at her too! It took a piece of HER and then… with that extra power, I started to pull at the rest! I couldn’t control anything. The others… they flew away from me. The ship started to shake...” As the counterpart described the memory, the ship in her mind also started shaking.

“Sonak stopped it! He broke the meld and stopped me, but it was too late! She was GONE! I… absorbed her! I killed her!” Now, the doppelganger was sobbing as she collapsed to her knees. That was what the torpedo tube was. A visualization of this version’s grief and guilt made manifest in this empty illusion of the Hera that her mind must have been stuck in.

Then, Dox felt it again, but clearer this time. That presence just over her shoulder. Warm and gentle. Reaching to her, but held back by the power of her counterpart’s mind.

“Have you been… here... since then? In your own mind?” Dox asked of her hysterical counterpart. “What happened afterwards?”

Sniffling, with her head down at the deck, the other Dox muttered her reply as the ship stopped shaking. “They… tried to help me. To tell me it wasn’t my fault. Sonak tried to teach me to control it. Hera tried to shut the doors she had opened. But nothing worked. I kept getting… getting stronger. I couldn’t shut it out, so I was brought here.”

With a wave of her arm, the setting dissolved around them like sand washed away by the tide, and they stood again in what looked like the hospital room. The bed and the machinery were gone, and it was just the two versions of Mnhei’sahe Dox.

“This is a Starfleet psych facility on Europa. Kilometers away from anyone I could hurt. The staff holographically monitors me from an orbital station. Our EMH… he gave himself a name… Adam. He transferred his Matrix here to help. There’s even a hologram of Kodria that they found hidden in the Hera’s computer that’s copied here now too. She comes and sits with me and talks to me, trying to help me get better. They’re… they’re trying to help me.” the bleak faced counterpart said as she rubbed the side of her head where her hair had been cut short.

“You, I’m guessing, didn’t accept Hera’s offer. You accepted Sonak’s training and didn’t end up… You didn’t kill your Mona. You didn’t steal a shard of Gaia from her, making yourself even more powerful. None of that happened for you, did it?” She asked, her voice tired and weak.

In spite of her mental defenses, Mnhei’sahe, but could already feel her other self pushing into her mind for the answers as her counterpart continued. “No, you took the harder road. I see it. You're... not blocking me anymore. It’s all in there.”

“What about who else is in here?” Dox said, looking at her weary-eyed double who simply looked confused.

“I get it now. I didn’t know what it was before, but I understand now. Mnhei’sahe, you need help, but you have it, you’re just not listening.” Dox said, putting her hand on her counterpart’s shoulder.

As Dox did, the counterpart shrugged it off and turned away, holding her head down as she did. “No, I don’t. You don’t know what you’re talking about. I'm ALONE!

“Only because you want to be. Look.” Dox said, and as she did, in the center of the empty room now sat the black torpedo tube that had been on the bed back in the dreamscape. “You pulled her into you. And whatever happened to her body out there, that was an accident. But in here... she’s trying to reach you. I’ve been feeling it the whole time I’ve been in here with you.”

“Let her.” Dox finished, stepping back slightly as her counterpart trembled, keeping her back to the tube.

“I… I killed her. I… I can’t… I can’t…” She whispered hoarsely. “She’ll… she’ll hate me.”

“I hate me.” her voice cracked, tears in her eyes.

“I could never hate you, my Minay,” came a weak voice, Mona’s teal and lavender energies finally seeping out of the torpedo casing now that she’d finally been acknowledged. “No Miradonian has ever harbored hate in their heart and I refuse to be the first. You are my bond-mate and as I have told you before, I will be with you until the day you die.”

Stepping back, Dox watched as Mona stepped closer to the broken counterpart, that crumbled to her knees in the bare room. “I… I wasn’t… I wasn’t strong enough to stop it. I… I… I… can’t…”

The small representation of the medical chamber began to shake with the force from the counterpart’s mind as she sobbed. “I… I… killed you. I reached out for you… but I couldn’t stop myself… I killed you.”

“Bodies die, my Minay,” Mona replied, her voice growing stronger as the casing started to melt away from an added golden and silver light. “But my spirit lives on through you. This is the way.”

“You called out to me and I shed my feathers to become a part of you. There is nothing to hate, nothing to forgive. This was my choice.” Mona now stood there, a shining version of herself where once a black torpedo casing once stood and from where her feet touched the deck, vibrantly colored flowers sprang forth. “I will always be here for you for my love is eternal and unconditional, my Minay. Trust in that.”

As the flowers spread around the counterpart Dox’s knees, the flowing teal and lavender energies seemed to envelop that Dox’s shoulders and flow within her. “Mona.... I don’t… I don’t know if I’m strong enough.”

Standing back up, the counterpart slowly turned around, her eyes still cast down as her own double from the Hera watched, tears in her own eyes at the magnificent sight. “I… love you. But… how do I live with what I did? What what I could do again to someone else?”

“Together, my Minay,” Mona replied simply as she reached out and pulled Mnhei’sahe to her. “We find those answers together, because we are bonded and no longer one and one. We are One.”

There was a burst of glorious light as seemingly every color Dox’s eyes could process flowed from the two forms as her counterpart clutched Mona tight. There was a wave of force that pushed Dox back slightly as she stumbled back slightly once again. And as the colors fused together to a brilliant white, she saw what appeared to be great wings of brilliance burst from Mona’s back and wrap themselves around the two women.

With eyes wide, Dox suddenly felt a strange sensation like a pinch to her neck as her already rapid Romulan pulse seemed to leap forward as she jerked up.

Then, the magnificent light faded back to the overhead light in the medical chamber as she gasped back awake. “Imirrhlhhse!!!”, she shouted, cursing in Rihan as she sat up from the floor and looked around quickly.

The various screens and monitors were shattered and slammed against the walls and the mirror was blown back into the other room, an observation chamber of some kind. Her counterpart was still in the bed, but standing to her side with a hypospray was Doctor Adam Power, and kneeling at her side with a concerned expression, was the holographic representation of Dox’s android niece from the future, Kodria.

“Your quantum signature says you’re not from this dimension,” rattled off Kodria as Doc Power stashed the hypo and started in with a tricorder and a dermal regenerator. “You shouldn’t be here.”

“But I’m sure you have a perfectly good explanation for why and for what just happened?” Adam added, his brows raised inquisitively as he worked. “And for the rather altered mental state of our Mnhei’sahe?”

Lifting herself up to her feet, Dox shook her head as the initial buzz of whatever stimulant was used to wake her up was still rather prominent in her. She also felt that her four minutes were very likely up here in the real world, where she was no longer having time stretched out for her. “Well… I don’t really have a lot of time to explain how I got here, as I can feel I’m about to leave. Sorry.”

“But, uh, I think I was able to help her. It’s Mona. Mona has been in there with her the whole time, but… she… your Mnhei’sahe… she locked her away out of guilt. But she’s free now. They.... they’re together again.”

“But… it means a lot to know that you two have been here for her this whole time.” Dox said, smiling at Adam and Kodria as she started to fade in a growing burst of incandescent blue.

“Thank you,” Kodria got out just before Dox vanished, a bright smile lighting up the young android’s face for the first time in a very long time.

Just then, several holographic displays popped up around the room, showing a change in bio-signs and Doc Power’s eyes went wide. “These readings... I think she might be waking up.”

As the two went to work, quickly removing the tubes from Dox’s mouth as Doc Power continued to monitor her vitals, Kodria put a hand on her beloved Aunt’s head, rubbing it gently.

“We’re here for you, Auntie. We’ve been waiting for you to come back to us.” If Kodria could cry, she would be doing so now.

Slowly, Mnhei’sahe’s eyes fluttered open weakly, looking into the wide eyes of the emotional android as a smile began to form on her gaunt face. With all of her strength, Mnhei’sahe lifted her arm to put her hand on Kodria as, weakly, her hoarse voice that hadn’t spoken in well over a year whispered out. “Kodi, I'm... We’re here.”

To Be Continued…


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