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Scattered Lives

Vilanne didn't exactly believe what she was reading. Everything sounded so foreign to her and none of it made sense; withstanding the timeline that really did work. She wasn't ready to accept it. Somehow, in the back of her mind, she always knew that Starfleet played games for their purposes, but never something as malicious as holding someone's life on hold for so many years and bringing them into a different era without them knowing it.


This was incomprehensible. The files on the PADD looked legitimate. The links and permissions all seemed plausible. The command sign-offs appeared real. The timeline was right in front of her, but why did she have so many memories that didn't fit.


She continued to dig through the mess. The scattered set of dates started to mesh when she got down to one of the notes from a Starfleet Specialist, who wrote about memory em-grams being written for this specific timeline and patient.


In a way, it was honoring that Starfleet thought enough about her to implant so much time and many resources into her - if it was all true. But why? She wasn't that special. Anyone could have studied all of the things she had.


And what was up with this Borg implant submission in the file?


She kept trying to turn her mind away from these awful things that she just couldn't believe to be true and focus back on the horrors of the Wyvern and the upcoming memorial service; even going to the lengths of putting Eva's picture up on her console, trying to distract herself and get some real work done, but in these 10 minutes she had in her office privately, she could not pull herself away.


It was like that novel you start on a Saturday afternoon, and you cannot put down the PADD to even make a meal in the mess hall because you just have to know what happens next and how the thing ends. This wasn't a novel though, it was some strange life that someone else had, before she did. She'd been living the afterthoughts of all this research, surgeries, em-gram implantation's, experiments, and whatever else they've done to her.


Was it the Borg activity she'd experienced that Starfleet felt so important to keep her on board such an important ship? Would it be her nanites, that clearly were still in her blood, according to the most recent incident.


She paused for the longest time, however, when she saw that Dr t'Tamarak was her attending, and even signed off on the blood results and surgery of one implant. 'One implant?' she thought, there are more? She pulled through the digital data stream, there were so many files on her medical situation. Where in the world was she when this was all going on. The very thought that her supposed friend, the friend that bailed on her out of medical for some other department, would hold this information from her. Vilanne wasn't ready to go there.


The medical notes referred to her as "the subject", "drone", and "assimilated". It described her medical situation in depth. There was a myo-neural cortical array implanted, which according to Starfleet Medical was standard in all Borg assimulants. They dealt with her grey-ashen skin back then with many combination hormone-pigmentation injections through osmosis. The exterior cybernetic implants were removed and multiple skin grafts and other biomolecular techniques were applied to make her appear normal. She was even given, which one doctor described as, "fountain of youth" therapy, to keep her at her current youthful age while they kept her in stasis for many years until they could full restore her to Starfleet as an officer.


She found it unsettling, however, that there was no result listed in the blood filtration techniques used to try and rid her body of the nanoprobes that had originally been injected to complete the drone assimilation process. Starfleet's medical techniques were certain far advanced, but they did not have a way of removing every drop of fluid from a body, sans killing them, to remove these.


The final notes from the Chief of Medicine at Starfleet HQ determined that since the nanites were relative to maintaining the health of the subject, that they would cease all treatment and research to remove such sustaining mechanisms."


They were leaving her with these foreign bodies floating around her body. She had not been sick very often, in fact, she had studied these foreign bodies at the academy. The academy - there's a thought, or was it. Were her memories of the academy real? Was the USS Ranger really her first ship, and USS Manticore her second?


At this point, Vilanne couldn't keep her thoughts straight. She wanted to cry, and yell, she felt like grieving, as if she needed to go kill something in the holodeck, and a plethora of other emotions. It was too much for her. Without being able to make a decision, she decided that Jami was probably the most likely candidate to hit this full on. She would have information others would not; and her hands were in this too, according to the files. She decided to send the message and have some face time, before her brain blew up.



* * * * *

It was a message she didn't quite expect to see, at least not now.


Everyone on the ship was focused on the apparent destruction of the Wyvern and its crew. In fact, Jami had just returned from planning their memorial service with Vilanne and was about to begin sorting through medical files when rumors that the Wyvern had been contacted brought her to the bridge, where she now sat, next to her husband, listening to the discussion going on around her, not wanting to interject for fear of breaking their concentration.


"So, we need to see what is behind that distorted space."


"If possible, yes. Whatever is out there, our sensors are not detecting it. However, the absence of any data is data in and of itself. We can make inferences regarding size."


"What about scanning in the theta band or one of the bands that our sensors don't normally use?"


"...and can we see what's back there?"


"We have run sensors at full spectrum, we are not receiving data at any band. It appears as if there is nothing in front of us."


And on it went. Jami's eyes shifted from Atragon to T'Prise to Faldek and back, wishing she'd been there from the beginning, her head spinning with the possibility that the Wyvern's crew was still alive.


Then came a tethered probe, another attempt to contact the crew after receiving what they all believed might be a message from them, and then a text on the XO command console:


~I have read my personal files. I presume you and I need to talk - in depth.~


Vilanne. Personal files. It took a while, but Jami finally sifted her memory enough to realize what Vilanne was talking about. Oh gods. With all that had been piled upon her lately - the shift to counseling, the loss of the Wyvern, and everything that went before - she had totally forgotten, and apparently Vilanne, as the newly appointed Chief of Medicine, had finally read her own file. How could I have been so stupid?


She excused herself from the bridge. Swallowing her self-deprecation and resolved to not make any assumptions, she vowed to let Vilanne lead the discussion.

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