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When Family calls .. Part II

Posted on 07/08/2020 @ 7:00pm by Captain Hailey Konuha & Fleet Admiral Cerywyn

Mission: The Black Planet Rises
Location: Hailey Konuha's Quarters
Timeline: 242007.01

"Calm down, Capt!", Ibarra tried to soothe. "We'll take care of it. Calm down!" "Computer - send Adm Cerywyn a priority message to come to Capt Konuha's quarters immediately!" "Message sent", the computer chimed back in a calm manner.

Hailey continued to thrash around her quarters trying to pack some items in a bag in order to leave.

{{Calm, my dear}} came the disembodied voice in her mind. {{Calm}} Hailey stopped and closed her eyes to reach out with her mind but her thoughts were nothing but a jumble of images and words. {{Calm}} came the voice once more and Hailey slumped to the floor.

Cerywyn had just settled in her chair with a hot cup of tea and a stack of reports to read. Part of them were crew reports, various department heads updating her on changes or needed equipment repairs and resupply orders. Cerywyn was a gifted 'teep' with empathy and telepathy being her strongest 'gifts'. Some would argue they might be a curse and some days she might agree. In spite of what many thought, 'teeps' don't actively 'read' anyone. It's a violation of the deepest order - and for some cultures, a crime akin to the violest of sexual misdeeds. Instead, what most teeps do is become very sensitive to the people they know well and in Cerywyn's case, that was first and foremost her crew. Changes always required some time for her to get the feel of what was normal or not. Being back on the station and with the new crew changes this had been an ongoing train of thought for her for. People, lifeforms, to Cerywyn's mind, all have different auras which she can see passively. Crew become part of an overarching aura that feels 'normal'. Ripples in that normal usually get her attention. She was adjusting to being back on Cyrga. She, for the sentience was definitely feminine, was unlike she'd ever encountered before. Perhaps it was because she was thinking of the station that she sensed the disturbance. She frowned. Something was definitely wrong. She almost dropped her teacup as she quickly stood up and reached out a tentative mental brush to identify the disturbance. What she felt was abject grief. Wave after wave of it and it was coming from Hailey. They'd served together for so long, that for Cerywyn, like a mother hen, Hailey was never far from her thoughts. None of her crew was. As she flew out of her office, she called over her shoulder to Lt. Grace. "I'm on my way to the XO's quarters. Keep your comm link open. Something is very, very wrong." What she did know is that sentience of the station was soothing. Cerywyn could almost hear a mental melodic backnote as if someone were trying to quiet a frightened child, for Cyrga, they were all children. She'd sensed that when Cyrga had let her 'in'. She reached the XO's office a moment or two later, overode the command codes only to find Lt. Ibarra holding the XO in her lap.

"What happened? What's wrong?"

Ibarra looked up with overwhelming grief in her eyes and tears streaming down. "She got a comms from her father and learned that her mother died suddenly. She just absolutely lost it, Admiral. She started flailing around the room looking for stuff to "pack" and saying she needed to "go". Then she just collapsed. Maria was absently stroking Hailey's long, thick black hair. "I don't know what to do! I've never seen her like this before .. except ... with you .. all those years ago."

Cerywyn's frown deepend. "That's odd. Usually those types of communique's come through my office so I can make sure the officer involved isn't alone. I'm glad you were there for her." Let's get her up on the couch there. Ibarra looked at The Admiral, her eyebrow raised. "What? I'm stronger than I look" said the Admiral. She grabbed Hailey's legs and Ibarra caught her under the arms and the lifted her to the couch. That done, Cerywyn motioned Ibarra to take a seat as she herself moved around toward her head. Now that he was on the sofa she could easily touch both sides of her head at once. Standing behind her XO's head she muttered to herself "Let's see what's going on in there". Cerywyn did the equvialent of gently knock {{Hailey,.....}} and what met her was wave after wave of grief and anguish. Mother's and daughters - a bond no one had ever full explained. When that bond snapped, it could be, as was Hailey's case, traumatic. {{Hailey, I know you can hear me. You might not want to, but you do, you must.}} Cerywyn paused as she felt another presence joining her own. It was the timeless sentience of the station. Apparently it too was concerned. It was only the lightest of touches merely echoing Cerywyn's own voice with it's own soothing essense and then it with drew. Cerywyn knew what that meant. She muttered absently "you're strong enough to do this.." she heard a long forgotten command from her teacher. She sighed. Ibarra, can you get me a chair??

Ibarra nodded and pulled one over for the Admiral. "Here you go ma'am"

Cerywyn smiled wanly. "Thank you. Now, you need to stay here, and I don't know how long this is going to take, but I will tell you when I'm done, I'm going to feel like a wrung out wash cloth." She took the seat behind Hailey's head and leaned her head over Hailey's until her forehead almost touched hers, her hands on either side of her face. Ground and center she said to herself and then she balled her 'inner' self into the tighest of balls and flung the thread across ethereal distances until she landed with a delicately bell like click in Hailey's ball of grief. Very gently she began to untangle the mass of emotional knots until the tension in the knot unwound themselves. In the center of the mental mass was a very frightened little girl version of her XO. Cerywyn smiled softly. "Hello, Hailey."

Hailey was terrified. She was in a small room with no door. A mirror was hanging effortlessly in the air and Hailey caught the glimpse of herself. She was 9 years old. The events of her life played like a movie trailer on the walls. All the moments in her life that her Mom was there to comfort her when she scraped her knee or was scared of the dark. Moments of joy when her Mom took her to the Zoo or let her help her with a science experiment. The day Hailey graduated from the Academy and her Mom and Dad beaming like a newly formed star. Then swirling lights and anguish and then the whole room went black.

Hailey couldn't see her own hand. She groped for the walls trying to find a way out. Banging on the walls and screaming, "Let me out of here!" but to no avail. After what seemed like an eternity, she finally just curled into a ball in a corner and began to sob. "Mom!", she managed to get out but no answer came. She lay there rocking slowing while the tears continued to stream and her body shook from fright and sadness. Suddenly, a small white light - almost like a pin hole in the middle of the room began to form. The light source grew bigger into the size of a small ball and then finally flashed and disappeared. What was left in it's place was the shimmering aura of a female that Hailey felt like she should know but couldn't regain the memory. The female approached her and bent down to her. "Hello Hailey", she said.

"Hel-l-l-o", Hailey stammered. "I want to go home .. to my Mom!", she pleaded. "Can you help me get home? Are you an angel!?"

Cerywyn's mental image walked over and sat down beside the young lass. "Well, I can help you get home, and no, I'm not an angel. But, I am here to help you." Cerywyn put all the years of trust behind her thought. Something was really amiss. Cerywyn knew there'd been no communique - she'd not have let something like that slip but she couldn't trace that until she dealt with the very real grief Hailey was experiencing. She reached out her mental hand to the young girl. "Everything really will be alright." She paused and turned her gaze to meet that of the child. "I know this is really hard and I know you're very sad. But, I promise, everything will be set to right again. Let's go find your other self, shall we?"

Hailey felt both comforted and confused. The lady angel was calming for sure, but her "other self"? What did that mean? Hailey reached out a tentative hand and took the lady angel's in her's. Immediately she felt better, calmer, less afraid. She locked eyes with the lady angel, "My Mom died and I wasn't there. I left her alone and I promised her I never would. Now what do I do?" Hailey began to quietly sobbed again.

Cerywyn nodded, her face showing concern as she listened to the little girl. She turned, knelt down and wrapped her arms around the sobbing child." {{It's alright. Shhush now. Let's dry those tears.}} She lifted the little girl's face. Inside the little girl was the young woman her XO had become. "I know it hurts right now. I know that you're confused and frightened. Sometimes, when we feel that way, we just want to hide away." She continued to hold the little girl until her sobs seemed to have run their course. She tilted the little girl's head. "A good cry is a good start." By now they'd reached what looked like a door. Cerywyn paused. "It's time to go home now, Hailey." Cerywyn then did something she'd not done for anyone. In this mental moment, anything was possible. As she stood before the little girl, she began to change and grow smaller, younger until she was about the little girl's size and age. The pitch of her voice was slightly higher but the eyes were still hers. She smiled and then shimmered back into her normal frame. "You see, I know you're hiding behind the little girl. This is where I need you to trust me. I need you, Hailey. We can face anything together, but not here - out there and out there, you're not a little girl. There is a very worried Lt. Ibarra on the other side of that door. A very worried me. But, I can't force you. You have to want to willingly come back, come back to the sorrow and sadness, but with those of us who want to help you."

Hailey understood everything the lady angel was telling her, yet still felt trepidation. Her whole body shook as she tried to decide to stay or go back to whoever this "Lt Ibarra" was .. Hailey looked long and hard into the eyes of the lady angel. "Ok - I'll go with you", she said. "But only if you promise to help me find my Mom!", she added quickly. "Will you? Do you promise? Pinky swear?"

Cerywyn couldn't help but chuckle. She leaned down and extended her pinky finger. "I promise, pinky swear."

Hailey reached for the doorknob and turned it gently. Reality seemed to rush past her faster than Warp 10. It was dizzying and she lost all track of where she was and where she'd been ... then all went dark.

Light almost hurt her eyes as Hailey's fluttered open. She was on her couch in her quarters with Cerywyn's face inches from her's and Lt Ibarra standing close by anxiously pacing back and forth. Hailey did a double-take as the world became more solidified. "Admiral? What's going on?< she managed weakly not wanting to move with Cerywyn's visage so close to hers. She took only a moment and tears rolled down her face as the memory of the comms came ramming back into her brain. "Mom?"

Cerywyn leaned back in the chair, grateful she'd thought to put herself in it before. She looked at her watch - it had taken longer than expected. She closed her eyes and pushed the fatigue down. "Let's do this a bit differently. I'd like to see the file you were sent. Something is quite amiss here." She leaned over and patted Hailey's hand. "You're going to have continue to trust me. Call it a hunch if you will."

Hailey lifted her head as an attempt to get up and found a raging headache had attached itself to her. She pulled herself up into a sitting position and looked around. Lt. Ibarra hustled over and sat down next to her putting an arm around her and asking if she was OK. Hailey nodded in affirmation. "I'm fine, Maria .... I think." Hailey stood up slowly letting the pounding in her head subside to a dull roar before she addressed the Admiral. "Ma'am ... what's going on. What do you means something's amiss?" Hailey pointed to the comms on her desk that was left open. "It's pulled up over there, Admiral." Hailey walked over to where Cerywyn was standing. "Cerywyn, what the hell is going on around here?"

Cerywyn tapped the control panel quickly scanning the recording. She closed the window and then opened a command screen. "Computer display all incoming transmissions for Captain Hailey Konhua." The computer chirped and the screen registered "No data to display." She sighed. "Just as I thought. The message is a distraction, Captain. I was designed to confuse and distract." She raised an eyebrow. "Did you think to contact your father...? At Hailey's look of horror and confusion, Cerywyn turned to the console and input her commands. "The nice thing about being an Admiral is your transmissions get put through immediately" she said with a wan smile. While the computer twirped along. "Transmission complete, channel open" responded the computer. "On screen." A moment later the screen flared to life. "Admiral? Is something wrong with ..." Cerywyn was already motioning Hailey to the screen. "Both of your parents are just fine." Her face flickered with anger, albeit briefly. "You've been the unwitting victim of a very cruel move..." Talk to your parents, Captain. When you're done and caught up here, we can debreif in my office. Cerywyn nodded to Lt. Ibarra. "You were very good today. I'll take my leave now." She strode to the doors which opened and closed silently at her departure.

Hailey was in disbelief. "Mom! Mom are your OK?", she scrambled to say. Ilene Konuha was as healthy as a woman of her age could be. She smiled at the screen. "Of course, Hailey. My dear! What on Earth is wrong my darling?", she said soothingly. Hailey recounted the transmission that rocked her world to her parents. "Who would do such a despicable act, Hailey?" demanded her father. Jeremy Konuha was visibly upset at the notion. "I don't know, Dad. But I intend to find out! I won't let this one go!"

Hailey and her parents took the opportunity to catch up briefly before saying their goodbyes. "Mom, Dad - I'll send a comms to you soon and let you know what we find out. In the meantime - please stay away from any viruses!" Ilene chuckled and blew her daughter a kiss. "We'll talk soon, honey!"

Hailey pressed the button and the communication ended. She looked over at Lt Ibarra who was still lingering about. "Maria, I'm fine. You can leave now. I promise if if need something I'll contact you first." Lt Ibaraa nodded in agreement and glided through the door quickly.

Rage burned inside Konuha. Part was for being the object of the ruse. Part was for being susceptible enough to fall for it. She made a silent vow to find out the culprit and Hades help them when she did find them. She drew a long deep breath to calm herself and then laid down for some much needed sleep. Tomorrow was still a work day.

 

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