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Along Comes a Visitor

Posted on 29 Oct 2023 @ 10:19am by Commander Elleese Elloyia & Crewman Apprentice Unknown 'Weirdo'

1,455 words; about a 7 minute read

Mission: Miranda

There were more people he wanted to check up on before returning to sickbay and continue to help out there. On his way to the next, he paused the turbolift and took the time to fortify the walls of his mind. It was strange, he did it almost but not quite by instinct, he knew what he needed to do without knowing how he knew. If old reflexes did indeed die hard, he reflected, then this had to be an old one indeed.

Once he had sealed his mind tight, allowing no thoughts to escape and only the minimum amount of emotions, he continued on his way. It was strange to walk around like this, all walled up tight and locked in: the few people he passed on his way felt - well, they didn't feel like anything. Holodeck drama ghosts. How strange to think this was what it felt like for non-telepaths! Like training to walk around with the blindfold, but then, more or less, the other way around.

He arrived at his destination and touched the chime to announce his presence to the woman inside.

Elleese was indeed in her quarters when the chime rang, although she had managed to be in her office for two hours earlier. She had somewhat lost track of the time that had passed since people started falling ill, but she knew it had been more than a day... She had slept at least once or twice during that time, at least.

At the sound, she looked up from where she was sitting on the small sofa of her "living area." She recognized the mental signature on the other side of the door, even if it was only that. The mind was not open in the way non-empath/non-telepaths were...but there was still enough to recognize. "Enter," she called curiously, just loud enough to be heard but only just that much. Any more volume would hurt her head.

He entered her quarters, remembering to remove the mask as he did this time. "Hi there," he said with his sunny smile. "I was just wondering how you were holding up here. With everything which is going on." His eyes quickly roamed over her, taking in what his mind could now only barely preceive.

Elleese offered a spare smile. "As well as can be expected," she said, honest and vague at once. "I am sure you can feel how...overwhelming the ship is at the moment." Though from the looks of things, he was handling it better than her.

"Oh yes, quite. It's a lot to take in, eh? People who have lost control, their minds adrift…" His strange mind threw up something he had read about once when he was browsing through medical files, a few days ago during one of his scarce dinner breaks. "Neural blockers. Have you tried them, to block out the noise while all this is going on?" He waved around with one arm, indicating the general chaos and mayhem around them.

"In the past," she said thoughtfully. "They had some limited effect in some situations, but as they require a doctor's oversight, I did not wish to bother the medical staff while they have so much else to handle." She tilted her throbbing head slightly. "How are you handling it all?" Once a counselor always a counselor, after all. It was hard to escape a calling.

"Oh, I'm good," he said airily. "It's easier to compartimentalise for me, I guess. Which might say something interesting about the circumstances under which I grew up compared to yours, but that's hardly relevant now. And I require little sleep, so I've been helping out here and there. Incidentally, if you're looking for a more quiet place, there's a very nice out of the way cargo bay on deck 28. Larger than your quarters, and pretty much a the furthest away from any mind you can get. It's not exactly psy-null, ship's too small and too crowded for it, but it's the next best thing to it. Maybe you could beam a bunch of pillows in if you want to get a bit of rest."

She inclined her head slightly. "Thank you for the suggestion," she said. "To be honest, however, I hope that I should soon have gained enough control over the effect on me so I can go help out as well. In preparing for the command test, I did have to study and do some cross-training in other departments. I know many areas of the ship are very understaffed right now. I hope to shortly fill in some gaps." It would be a lot of effort, but she couldn't sit and do nothing for all this time.

"Truthfully, so do I." This was the not-so-airy, more serious side of the weird man coming to the front for a change. "But since I haven't officially completed Starfleet Academy yet, there's little I can do. Other than visit some people and help out in sickbay, bringing people something to eat and to drink, hold a bowl, clean things up. Which, of course, is also more than a little needed."

"It is a lot, really," Elleese agreed gently. "Especially since those crew who are not ill are going to be focused on other things, leaving precious few people able to do all of that when it is as critical as everything else. People may not think it is at first, until they need it." She smiled ruefully.

He smiled back, aiming for a comforting smile, but he had no idea whether he could manage one at this point. "There are only so many hours in a day, and there's only so much one person can do. I know the medical staff is working round the clock, on minimal sleep. Other departments have been cannibalised to help out in the critical areas." He sighed. "I don't envy the command staff." Certainly not knowing Kristina's condition. He wondered how the captain was faring. Was he ill as well? He certainly wasn't in sickbay – or in the morgue, for that matter. That was the best he could say.

The Betazoid nodded, just a little. "Yes, that is true. There are only so many hours and only so much that any of us can do, but we do the best we can in such trying circumstances." Taking in a slow breath, she pushed herself to her feet with a faint smile. "Even when it is difficult. Perhaps especially so, since that is when it is needed most. I am sure that those you are helping are grateful. Or will be once they regain their minds again."

He looked startled for a moment, as if he hadn't even considered that. "That is, provided they even remember," he then said with a brief flash of his old smile. "But regardless of people being grateful, everyone simply does what they can. So, for that matter… is there anything I can do for you?"

"No," she said with a gentle smile, "but I appreciate the visit. That has helped in its own way. I feel like I am ready to go see where I can make myself of service on the ship. Where are you headed next? I hope you are getting rest and eating well yourself while making sure others do the same."

"Oh, I've made it a habit that each time I bring someone something to eat and drink I take something for myself as well. As for rest, I don't require much. I mean, if I were to take some now, I'd only feel itchy and restless until I get up and help out again. Once my body lets me know I need sleep I'll just find a quiet corner and get some rest, don't worry." He stretched to his full length and shook his curly hair back. "I'll be heading back to sickbay. Diving in again." Glancing at the mask he still held in his hand, he grinned briefly again. "Might bring these to my quarters first. I'm not sure everyone would appreciate seeing this outfit there."

She laughed quietly. "If they actually believed what they saw in the first place," she commented. "It does not sound like much of anyone but the doctors and nurses are lucid down there."

"True," he replied with a nod. "Might leave it on for a bit then. Might at least give the doctors a laugh. Stars know they can use it." He tossed the mask up, caught it deftly again and placed it back on his head. "I'll be off then," he said in a slightly muffled voice. "Do take care!" And with that he was gone, in his usual somewhat abrupt fashion.


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