Dox's Leap 11: Left Behind - Part 1 of 2
Posted on Wed Aug 12th, 2020 @ 12:21pm by Lieutenant Commander Mnhei'sahe Dox
The Bulikaya Particle
Location: The Multiverse, Romulus
Again, the momentary disorientation had begun to fade, faster and faster with each leap and Mnhei’sahe was alone in darkness. It wasn’t quite total darkness as the swirling shimmering on the edges of her vision began to fade slightly and coalesce into something more tangible. Feeling her pocket, Dox sighed as she could feel that folded square of the photo her Father had given her in the last timeline. That memento of a life unlived that had successfully traveled between dimensions with her. It was at least some relief to her now as she called out, “Hello?”
Hearing only her own voice echoing back as her eyes began to adjust to notice that she was somewhere underground, she did her best to orient herself. There was a dripping sound, like water off of pipes and it was cold and damp. Finally, after a few minutes, she could start making out shapes and had some idea where she was. It was a tunnel of some sort. Old stone walls dripped and pipes and tubing ran overhead. Under her feet was some kind of metal plating and a railing on either side of her. She was, perhaps, in a sewer or under a building somewhere, but she couldn’t place where. But she could see clearly enough to walk, so she started walking.
Wherever she was, she was learning that she there for a reason, so she started walking down the tunnel slowly. As she did, she heard her footsteps echoing back at her as there seemed to be a dim light around a corner at the end of the corridor she was in, about twenty meters ahead. Walking slowly, she reached the corner and peered around to see more corridor, with a greenish-gray metal door at the end. The kind with an old, manual latch on it to keep it locked. And along the wall next to the door, a flickering old light fixture over some kind of sign.
Being able to see just a bit more clearly, she stepped over to the door a bit quicker to see the sign. It was old and covered in a layer of grime that made it impossible to read, so she hesitantly raised her hand to wipe it clear enough to see. As she did, she let out the slightest of gasps.
It was a sign that read in Romulan, her native tongue, ’Iuruth Water Reclimation Facility 2’.
Back on Romulus again. Dox thought with a sigh. While the dimensional hopping that the Bulukiya particles in her system had caused were disorienting, she was doing her level best to keep track of her travels, and this was now her third leap to Romulus itself. Another two lives were being lived on Romulan Warbirds and another on the Romulan colony world of Mol Krunchi where she had been born. So many of her fates seemed linked to her blood ties to this world and her culture, and only one alternate life had been lived in Starfleet. And a very bleak one, at that. For a moment, she thought of what that might represent before returning to focus on the moment.
She knew that Iuruth was one of the poorer cities near the Capitol, but she had also never been there. As she stepped back slightly, she heard her footfalls echo yet again, but this time she also heard a breath.
A breath right behind her.
Before she could turn, Mnhei’sahe heard the click and hum of an activated weapon and saw a green glow from behind as she felt the front of a disruptor press firmly to the back of her neck. Freezing in place, she began to breathe a bit faster as she slowly raised her arms. This was becoming a very familiar sensation in these leaps and she thought to herself to remember to look behind her next time if she survived this one.
As she did, she heard a voice… raspy and low… almost whispering in Romulan. Clearly her own voice, yet again. “Who are you? What are you doing here? Talk if you enjoy having a head.”
A chill went down Mnhei’sahe’s spine at the voice she knew all too well. It was cracked and tired sounding. It had a harsh edge she knew all too well from her weakest moments. Familiar in all the wrong ways.
Slowly, she replied back in her native tongue. “My name is Mnhei’sahe.”
Now the gasp came from behind as the tip of the disruptor was pulled away and she heard a series of steps backward as her own voice replied. “No! No, that’s… Your name isn’t Mnhei’sahe! You’re LYING!! Turn around… slowly… NOW!”
Complying, she turned slowly, her hands still raised, to a startling sight. Standing two meters away in the dimly lit tunnel, was herself. Thinner with a slightly gaunt face, but it was her. Mnhei’sahe Dox.
The other her held a glowing green Disruptor up high with an almost panicked expression she was doing her level best to conceal, but Mnhei’sahe knew her own tells too well to be fooled by them. The other her was wearing almost all black. Black military boots half a size too big. Black cargo pants, a black shirt and a torn and grimy dark green jacket. Her eyes were a little sunken and there was a faint, 6 centimeter long scar running up the left side of her lips, crossing from top to bottom. But her hair was perhaps the most different. It was short-cropped, maybe an inch long, and dyed jet black.
It was different, but it was still her. The black hair automatically brought to her mind the old pictures she had seen of the face of her grandmother, Verelan t’Rul, to whom Mnhei’sahe bore a strong resemblance. This was not the first version of herself with such a short haircut she had seen, making her consider the look for a moment. Taking in the strange reflection, the other her did the same before speaking, still in Romulan. “You aren’t me? What is this? The Tal’Shiar sent you to mess with my head? Some kind of… altered agent? That’s a new one. Talk!”
Calmly, Mnhei’sahe kept her arms up. “Not the Tal’Shiar. It was a scientific accident that brought me here.”
Immediately, the other Dox stepped back further, dropping her guard ever so slightly. Then her eyes dropped to Mnhei’sahe’s crimson uniform tunic and the pips on her chest. Two solid and one black.
“Lieutenant COMMANDER, Dox?” She said, eyebrow raised as she slowly lowered the disruptor further. “She was a Lieutenant… not a commander! Nice try!”
“She?” Mnhei’sahe said softly to the twitchy, distorted reflection. “We were promoted shortly after returning to the Hera after being kidnapped by...”
“What?” Her reflection said, slightly confused and surprised, cutting Dox off. “You… you got back?”
As the disruptor slowly lowered, so too did Mnhei’sahe’s hands. “Yes. I…”
Then she paused as she realized what she was seeing. “Al’thindor… you didn’t… you weren’t rescued, were you?”
“Rescued? They didn’t even try” Then the other woman’s guard went back up and the disruptor raised. “No! This is some kind of trick! Another Tal’Shiar sweep of the underground trying to find me! Flush me out or replace me!”
“I’m not Tal’Shiar! I’m just… I’m you, Mnhei’…” Dox tried to say, but was cut off as the other woman came up quickly upon her, shoving the disruptor hard up to her face and shoving her back against the door with a stiff arm to her neck. She was faster and stronger, the reflection. Faster and stronger than Dox was currently, she thought as the woman hissed. ”NO! You’re not me. Not even close.”
The sound echoed down the corridor and back for a full five seconds before silence returned.
Very slowly, Dox turned her head and pushed the disruptor off of her cheek as the other-self breathed heavily in the corridor. After a moment, the other Dox spoke again. “Be careful saying that name, Lieutenant Commander. It’s not a safe name anymore. Not on Romulus.”
“Okay…” Dox said calmly as her other self stepped back slightly, Disruptor still raised. “So… what do I call you?”
“You know! That’s what you’re here for, isn’t it? You’re hunting down the ‘disruptive influence’. The terrorist. Mnhei’sahe t’Aan.” She said, sounding agitated again.
“Mother’s house name?” Dox said at the sound of t’Aan, a name she recognized immediatly. “Look, I’m not hunting you. I’m not Tal’Shiar. And this isn’t a trick.”
Tilting her head, the woman with the Disruptor narrowed her eyes, slightly. “Min. Just... Min. The other one… I only use when I need to. The Tal’Shiar… Rendal… they have sensors. Audio sweepers that listen for it. Few that can penetrate this deep, but no reason to keep tempting fate. This was… safer.”
“Okay, Min. Let’s just talk for a moment. I can tell you things. Things that nobody else knows, especially not the Tal-Shiar. Okay?” Dox said, working through things that had worked in past leaps, struggling to come up with something.
“Convince me quickly, or I pull the trigger, and nobody will even find the remaining particulate mass.” The other woman said, barely contained rage in her voice as the green glow of the disruptor tinted their faces to reinforce her point.
“If you’re here… then you escaped at some point, but I know what you didn’t give them on the warbird.” Dox said, fumbling through her own memories. “You kept your secrets close. You tried warning them against probing your mind for any of the things we had learned. Things about our contact with Gaia and how we allowed the shard of her that was trapped on the Hera to merge with us. And even when Sonak beamed us out into space so we could return that energy, in those few minutes, we felt complete for the first time in our lives.”
“We hated giving that up. We could see Rita and Asa’s SOULS. We could see the threads that contained all of reality.” Dox said, picking something uniquely personal. “It was something that we lost… until we bonded with Mona. And then, when we could see her beautiful glow, it gave us back the taste of that gift we had been given. With Mona, I can still touch that bigger piece of the universe that we lost when…”
Pulling apart, both women fell back slightly. Mnhei’sahe into the cold, metal door, and Min into the railing behind her in the corridor. “M… Mona… Mona. She’s… she’s still… They’re still...” Min whispered, tears beginning to well up in her eyes that she forced back down with an angry sneer.
In that moment, both women became intimately aware that both were who they claimed to be. And while the momentary connection was purely emotional, Mnhei’sahe felt the impossible sense of loss from her counterpart. “Your Mona?”
The reply was a cold glare, with eyes that have seen too much loss stared back and the other Dox’s face was a mask of barely contained rage, as she whispered. “She… they... were killed by the Tal’Shiar agents that attacked us. I failed. I got taken down and didn't save them. I felt them die in my mind. I can still feel that hole. EVERY second of every DAY.”
There was silence for a long moment as Min sniffed and collected herself. Crying was a luxury she hadn’t allowed herself in a long time and she had no intention of breaking that there. Watching, Dox realized that her story had convinced her counterpart, but also opened a very raw wound for the angry woman. Then, after the long silence had become too heavy, Min holstered her disruptor in her belt and gestured down the corridor. “Follow me, Lieutenant Commander. And watch your step.”
The rank was said with the edge of bitterness as the other Dox turned sharply and walked into the darkness with bizarre confidence. Quickly, Mnhei’sahe followed suit, coming right up behind herself as the light faded completely. The pair kept walking, Mnhei’sahe keeping her hands on the railing and listening to the echo of Min’s footfalls until they stopped. In the almost total darkness, she almost walked into herself. “How can you…” She started to speak but was cut off.
“I can’t. I listen, count the deck plates and remember. Now be quiet, sound travels a long way in here and we’ve been far too loud already.” Min said curtly in a hoarse whisper as Mnhei’sahe heard her bend down and pull up the deck plate in front of her. Then was the sound of a metal door in the concrete floor slide back. “You first, I need to lock the hatch behind us. Feel with your feet for the first rung and go slowly. There are 27 rungs total before you reach the bottom.”
“Okay.” Mnhei’sahe replied as she heard Min step over the panel to let her in. Feeling, there was a tunnel going straight down under the now raised deck plate and she felt for the rungs. They were cold and metal and slowly, she began climbing down the hole, counting. From above, she could hear the metal door slide shut and beyond it, as it shut, she heard the deck plate slide back down into place. There was a hard, clanking sound that must’ve been the lock mentioned.
After a slow minute of climbing, Dox felt her feet touch down on the bottom of the tunnel with a slight splash. There was standing water for sure, and a slight smell that said probably not just water. Hearing Mnhei’sahe sniff, Min said bluntly. “You’ll get used to it. Trust me, I know. Step to your left one half a meter and no more.”
Doing as instructed, Dox heard her unusual companion touch down and simply start walking in the total darkness. “Follow me.” Min said simply.
Walking, every couple of minutes, Min would shift slightly and whisper, ‘right’ or ‘left’ to indicate a turn in direction. It was another ten minutes of this before they stopped in front of… something. Mnhei’sahe couldn’t see a thing, but she was adjusting enough to feel the flow of air stop abruptly in front of them. There was the sound of a hatch opening and the rustle of old fashioned, metal keys. Then, after another moment, came a loud clang of metal on metal and a door that slowly was being pulled to the side. As it slid, a soft amber light came through the opening that, while dim, seemed almost too bright for a moment.
“Come on. Hurry up.” Min said as she stepped through the door. Mnhei’sahe followed, nervously into the dimly lit space. Once inside, her eyes still adjusting, Min slid the door closed again with a grunt and turned a large metal handle that locked it again.
As her eyes finally adjusted, Mnhei’sahe took the unusual space in. It was not unlike an underground bunker. The walls were curved stone, no more than three meters high at the highest with piping crisscrossing the ceiling. Along one wall were several green, metal crates with disruptor rifles sticking out. Behind them, more crates that appeared to have canned food of some kind in them. On the opposite wall was a small, tattered couch with a thin linen blanket and a rolled-up pad for a pillow. Next to that, a travel case with a few piles of unfolded clothes peeking out. On the wall above the bed, the source of the light: a small repurposed toolkit light bar strapped to one of the pipes.
On the floor, were several pads crisscrossing to provide some relief from the otherwise cold, stone surface. There was a small corridor to the back that she couldn’t quite see down, and against the far wall, a rotten wooden desk with piles of equipment on top. One piece of which resembled the comm unit of a Romulan shuttlecraft that had been pulled out and rewired. Which turned out to be exactly what it was as Min stepped over and punched in a code Mnhei’sahe couldn’t quite see. As she did, there was a light snap and hum of power and a green light came on. “T’Aan to tr’Maerk. False alarm, Drop back to green. Just another Set'leth in the tunnels. Stand down. Out.”
Over the comm, a man's voice replied, “Ie, Vriha'Erein. Out.” Mnhei’sahe knew the word, the Romulan equivalent of the rank of ‘Lieutenant’.
Turning, Min took her disruptor out and placed it on the table, turning off the jury-rigged comm unit before sitting in the rickety chair in front of it. “It’s not powerful, and doesn’t have any of the components that would allow me to get a message off-world, but it serves its purpose. You made a lot of noise in the tunnels. You’re lucky it was me that found you and not tr’Maerk. He would have just slit your throat and checked who you were later.”
Still standing, Mnhei’sahe folded her hands behind her back and nodded. “This is not my first one of these dimensional leaps. I’ve encountered 10 other versions of myself, and I always arrive somewhere near the other me.” Dox said, offering a bit more information before continuing. “As for your tr’Maerk, he sounds lovely.”
“Don’t be smug, Lieutenant Commander. And sit down. This isn’t a cadet review.” Min said sarcastically. “And yes, it’s been a while, so you’ll excuse me if I don’t have infinite patience for you doing your saddest attempt at pretending to be Rita.”
“Looks like you forgot why I… why we bother doing that.” Mnhei’sahe said as she sat on the weathered couch.
“I forgot a lot of things. I had to. But I remembered other things and learned plenty of new things, so it’s balanced out.” Min said. “And everyone else forgot about me, so… balance.”
“Is that what happened? You were forgotten here?” Mnhei’sahe asked, pointedly.
“WE, Lieutenant Commander. WE were forgotten here.” Min replied with a raised tone to her voice. “Which, I suppose isn’t fair, but you won’t begrudge me a little bitterness, all things considered, will you?” The follow up was said with dripping sarcasm and an uncomfortable smirk that showed off the long vertical scar that went across both of her lips.
“This?” Min pointed at the scar, noticing her other self staring. “Mother was there on that platform when they were to transfer me to the Tal’Shiar facility, in a Scorpion. She tried to rescue us, but she was shot down and killed. In the chaos of the moment, I broke away and leapt off of that platform when it became obvious that... nobody was coming.”
“Enalia and Rita? They… they didn’t try to rescue you?” Mnhei’sahe said, confused, but her strange, angry double narrowed her gaze as she listened.
“Heh. No. No rescue. Enalia… negotiated. She made lip service to trying to get me back, and Rendal had even let me see the holo of Enalia barely trying. Honestly, she looked bored having to make the effort. It was deemed a… political liability to rescue me.” Min hissed as she shuffled uncomfortably before continuing as Mnhei’sahe processed what she was hearing.
“As for the scar… t’Suil gave it to me. She dove in after me into the river and we were swept away. Turns out she didn’t appreciate my trying to drown her for her efforts, but I needed what she had, and I needed her dead. A month on that ship of playing nice. Of trying to do it the starfleet way, and Starfleet abandoned me. This was my last chance and all that anger built up and exploded. I couldn’t let Rendal or her people get their hands on me again, or get me into that facility where they would have broken my mind for sure, so I drown her little lap-dog in the river while she clawed at my face. Then, I took her clothes and ran. The complex was in the middle of nowhere, so I hunkered down in a series of caves I found in the woods that would block sensor scans and I waited. I had her comm badge, so with a little work I was able to deactivate the transponder. They couldn’t track it, but I could hear their comm traffic. You remember when Mother taught us how to do that, right?”
Mnhei’sahe simply nodded as she listened and Min continued. “And I waited… and waited until I couldn’t wait anymore. The nearest city was the Capitol, so I picked the other direction and started walking down river. I checked in five times a day for comm chatter about me, the Federation, the Hera, anything. But nothing. It was a three day walk to the next town, but I was able to get by with… animals in the woods. I learned what I needed to those first few days to not starve, thought it took a while for my stomach to agree with my choices.”
At that, Min cracked the slightest of smiles. “Anyway, you don’t need those wonderful details. To be blunt, what Starfleet had taught me proved useless in very short order and it became a matter of remembering every trick I learned as a smuggler. Stealing what I needed as quietly as possible, learning how to not be seen. So I found some better, less obvious clothes. Turned out that remembering how to steal things came back to me a little easier than I thought. Cut my hair and did my best to blend in as I walked the streets of Romulus for the first time… as a vagrant. It was… an eye opening experience.”
“But, the smaller villages… are like what they taught us about Earth in the early 20th century. Antiquated homes, almost non-existent technology in most. Pumps for well water, for Al’thindor’s sake. But the smaller, rural villages also were never shy for needing extra hands. So, I did what I could. I can still fix flitters and jury rig engines, and that became a… useful skill to farmers with equipment six generations old and I... got by. Found places willing to put up a woman as a farmhand and didn’t ask many questions. I was able to get my hands on hair dye and was able to blend in a little better.”
The tone turned somber. “Turns out the media services were… quite busy telling everyone to report the red-headed Starfleet spy for a hefty reward. ‘Mnhei’sahe Dox’ had a reputation and a well known face for anyone who could afford a computer to get the news feeds, so she couldn’t linger anywhere for long. I mean, red hair isn't nearly as rare as the presentation that the Military makes would have the rest of the galaxy think, but it was rare enough to stand out.”
“That was… the first few weeks.” Min ran her hands over her short cropped, black hair waiting for a reaction from her other self. Across the small room, none came as Mnhei’sahe simply sat and listened. Having already seen other versions of her life on Romulus, this version was a slap in the face and a reminder that when you don’t have the benefit of a noble house, the world was a very different place here. “living in barns and storage sheds, fixing flitters and tractors for room and board and trying to avoid the houses with enough money to decide I was useful enough to buy. Very hard to maintain a cover and keep your hair dyed when somebody owns you. But I got by. I kept listening when I could. Grandmother was still in the Senate, doing Rendal’s bidding. The military locked down hard on off-planet transit in the wake of the ‘federation incursion’ to attack a government facility. My escape was used as an excuse for the Tal’Shiar to crack down ever tighter on the population. I knew that the Hera wasn’t coming for me. They couldn’t. It would have been virtually impossible. And getting off world… even harder.”
“I… tried a few times. Found a vinter in the first week of my second month here that smuggled Kali-Fal off-world and tried to make a deal and almost got caught.” Min’s head dipped slightly as she recollected. “Which is to say I almost got caught. He did get caught. I… I tried not to think about what I saw the Tal’Shiar do to him… after I ran again.”
“But… actions have consequences, here. Mine… ours in particular.” She straightened up again and slipped the facade of control back on that Mnhei’sahe recognized too well. “Romulans that tried to help us died, Lieutenant Commander.”
“So, I had to adjust my course again. I wasn’t leaving any time soon, so I had to figure out how to stay and not get caught. Not get anyone else killed. So, I made my way to Iuruth.” She waved her arms dramatically for wasted effect. “One of many cities I’ve stayed in during my time here. It’s a poor city with little government oversight and vast farmland on its outskirts. It made it… easier to blend in. It is very much the kind of city poor enough to have very few within it to question my false names or invented stories. The media feeds needed screens to be seen, and the poorer towns simply didn't GET the news as a result.
A few more odd jobs got me lined up into the service of house Krahhlae of Iuruth a month and a half into my time here. He let me show him my skills and he hired me. Tr’Krahhlae owned the most successful farms in the provence who needed a young house servant with a strong back for his home and skills with engines to help keep the antiquated equipment on those farms running. And that’s what the master of the house got. I had a meager income with a room and a place to sleep so long as I serviced his needs.”
Now, Mnhei’sahe looked concerned. The tale digging in deeper than she could have imagined as her stomach turned. Seeing the reaction of the officer nowhere near as good as hiding her feelings as she had become, Min smirked and chuckled lightly. “Oh, calm down, your Starfleet is showing. It was manual labor. Scrubbing floors, doing laundry, cleaning out the dish trough, getting under the top of his flitter in the mornings and evenings. Farm equipment and technical maintenance work most of the day. Nothing lascivious, if that’s what you’re thinking. I got… fairly decent at it. And I learned a few other valuable lessons. Like how to keep that expression off of my face.”
“Of course, I had no papers. No real name to speak of. He looked the other way, but also made it clear that once… employed… I couldn’t simply quit and go on my way.” She continued. “As you well know, indentured servitude and a drastic class system are still very much in place here, and in my desire to get away, I stepped right into it.”
Pointing across the room at her double, Min sat forward. “There were… however… advantages. Tarjn tr’Krahhlae had money. He wasn’t rich by the standards of the bigger cities, but he had enough to waste on occasion. And he was easily manipulated into wasting it on some of the bigger and better toys to show off his modest station. Better computers and a modern comm-net interface for the house. And guess who installed and maintained it? His loyal new housegirl, Min.”
As she spoke, she got up and walked over to the crate and grabbed a can without a label. Pulling out a small pocket knife, Min carefully but quickly removed the lid of the can and picked up a small utensil that had been resting on a rag next to the lid to the crate. She started eating something that Mnhei’sahe couldn’t quite see or make out by smell, that almost looked like beans. As she ate, she kept talking. “So, I had access to decent communications equipment. Nothing fancy and nothing that could be made to communicate off-planet, but a far cry better than the repurposed comm badge that only got frequencies from one specific military channel. For a while, all I did was follow the planetary news cycles. No need to move too quickly. I needed more information, anyway.”
“So I watched when I could, which wasn’t often. Servants don’t get much leisure time, after all.” Min said as she pulled out a small travel container, emptied what was left in the can and sealed off the top. As she put the travel container aside, she stepped over to a small, portable matter replicator and tossed the can in. There was a hum for a second and a small light on the unit blinked green twice. “But I bided my time, learned, listened and waited. And over those few months, I worked. I worked as hard as I could… so that I became irreplaceable."
"Anyway, I had a roof over my head and was building that degree of… comfort… out of nothing. I could finally start acting. And start learning for real. And one of the first things I learned was that Grandmother was gone. Dead. Likely assassinated. But not before she named her… successor. Renal.”
“That was my last piece of family left. Starfleet abandoned me. Mona had been killed. My mother was dead. Then, Verelan was gone.” Min turned away from herself and leaned against the weapons crate. On the couch, Mnhei’sahe leaned forward, crossing her hands, trying to process the life that was hers and not hers. The decisions that she knew were her own under the circumstances described.
“What else did I have?.” Min’s voice dropped to a hoarse whisper. “Saving Verelan… getting revenge on Rendal… they had always stayed in the back of my mind while I was here as justification for… for not trying harder to leave. With that gone, I wasn’t able to pretend anymore. Pretend that I was… content… being someone’s property. Content living as I had been for what seemed like a lifetime in so little actual time. So I started to plan. I was going to escape or die trying.”
Then, the clearly weary, angry woman dipped her head. “Look… I have things I need to do, beyond telling you stories. There’s a spare cot in the other chamber that isn't comfortable, but if you need to sleep, just… whatever. Stay out of my way.”
It was clear that it was the emotion of trying to recount the tale far more than anything else that was getting to her, but she maintained the facade. “I’m on scanning duty right now, and I need to get on it. So… that doorway. I’ll tell you when I’m done.”
With that, Min turned her back on Dox and went back to the ramshackle communication station and put a pair of taped together old headphones on and began whatever ‘scanning duty’ meant. For a moment, there was a lingering silence, before Dox stepped through the narrow, stone doorway into the described chamber. There were easily a dozen crates of various size and aged distress stacked around her and a very small, moldy looking cot in the far corner under another, wall mounted emergency light that flickered dimly in the space.
Having listened, Dox suspected that her counterpart’s story had only begun, as she had to have been stuck on Romulus for almost a year now. But it was a year that appeared to have done significant damage to the young woman both physically and mentally and it ate at Dox as she wondered why THIS Enalia and Rita hadn’t come to rescue her as they did in her own reality.
Looking around the chamber, it was nothing more than a stoned off section of an old sewer station that had been turned into a room. Old pipes overhead dripped onto the damp floor with a drainage stopper in the center. It was no place to live, but it seemed to be all this version of herself had.
How could Rita and Enalia have left her… ME… here? Like this Dox thought to herself as she sat down on the rusty old cot and leaned back against the cold, stone wall that felt like a prison. As she tried to imagine what things must have been like for her here, she realized how easy it would have been for her to have become who Min was now. The counterpart in the other room lost everything, one after the other. And worst of all, she lost hope. That seemed to be what Romulus did best.
It killed hope.
To Be Continued…