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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 35 First Draft
05-13-2011, 06:00 PM
Sickbay was a busy place, but Trin was already on the way out before Renesia could continue her rant about Starfleet, politics, and Ferengi cuisine… Days like this didn’t exist for Trin before he had joined the Dre symbiont. Yet, they have been haunting him ever since. Within minutes he could feel his usual calm disappear, from now until long after his shift was over he would snap commands at those who had to listen, and would continue to argue with the voices of former hosts, or with those unfortunate crew members who happened to engage him in conversation.

When Trin steped out of the Turbolift to enter the bridge, a young talaxian ensign approaches him just to be directed elsewhere by Todd the first officer. The way in which the ensign was carrying his data padd, made it very clear that he had just arrived from the academy. When Todd prevented the new crewmember from facing his captain, saving Trin and the ensign from embarrassment. “Commander Todd, I ll be in my ready room” Trin announced somewhat more formal then was common for him. Todd understood, if only Trin could better comprehend what triggered these fits of bad temper in him. …

Pouring ale from his personal stack into a glass he sat at his desk. The Ver’thrax had been on relief duties for quite some time. It’s relatively large cargo holds were filled with supplies, to be delivered to various planets across the Regulus sector and the bordering Arucanis arm. The expanded medical facilities were filled with wounded casualties of a natural disaster in a nearby system. Nothing seemed to require his immediate attention.

On normal days Mhai’Dre's voice would be his most trusted adviser. He always admired her resolve and cunning, as much her unceasing passion for doing the right thing. They had become inseparable parts of him. It was hard to understand why Mhai would suddenly target her passions against Trin. What could upset a woman of her composure and go completely unnoticed by Trin? Unlike the memories of other hosts, it was as if Mhai prevented Trin from simply accessing her memories. Most of her life was filled with secrecy after she had fallen in love with a Romulan commander. Both Nveid and Mhai would have been outcast if their love had been conducted publicly. But before either had to choose sides, their relationship continued in secrecy for almost 15 standard years.

Trin focused on the time his mood swing had started earlier. He was standing in sickbay, surrounded by civilian causalities of the planetary disaster. Of the 280 patients that had beamed on board, Renesia’s team had miraculously managed to save 278. Thinking about his medical officer, Trin felt a sudden sense of pride. He had trusted and supported the sometimes impatient and eccentric Betazoid. But once she had discovered her interest in medicine her record was one of the most impressive in Starfleet history.

Mhai never liked Betazoids or any telepaths. In an attempt to protect herself and Nveid, Mhai had undertaken years of training among Vulcan reunificationists, who subverted various levels of both the Romulan Star Empire and Starfleet in an attempt to work together. The group was a mix of Vulcans, Romulans and Remans who trained each other to use their mental capacities as a means of protection. Had she not had the experiences of the Dre symbiont, it would have been impossible for her to distribute her mind so freely among this group, and yet finding a way back into her own persona. After years of practice, she had learned to interfere her normal stream of consciousness by jumping into the thought patterns and memories of previous hosts. The only thing that Mhai never anticipated was the way in which her powers to disguise her emotions and thoughts would prevent even future hosts from accessing her conscious. Until this day it felt like no one but Nveid would ever know the truth about Mhair.

Trin had only vague recollections of Mhai’s interrogations on board the USS Malis. Mhai’s training prevented that. She was captured by a Vulcan spy from Starfleet intelligence at a secret meeting on Earth. Her training successfully prevented her from revealing other members of her cell. So the intensity of the interrogations began to increase. Mhai realized that Starfleet would always find a way to make the golden rules and principals of the Federation be coherent but simply not apply in cases where they were inconvenient. How else could her interrogators torture her, a citizen of the UFP?

For 10 days the Vulcan accompanied by his Betazoid colleagues were trying to break into her consciousness. It felt like she had to relive every death of a loved one, all the horror and pain of her previous hosts two times over, always at the brick of loosing herself in a net of lies designed for her to reveal other members of her cell. There were brief moments of foolish victory when she succeeded in unlocking the blocks that ensured the logical purity of her Vulcan interrogator. Those rare moments of triumph were followed by brief spans in which she could guide her own consciousness ascension to its rightful place. She had managed to conceal a small tissue, and it became her sole anker to reality.

When Nveid and the crew of the Terix located and destroyed the Malis to liberate her, there was no return to the Federation or the Trill homeworld. She was a criminal for seeking peace with the wrong people. Mhai underwent cosmetic surgery, papers and evidence were forged, and she joined the Terix’ crew. At long last she could be with Nveid. Although the original tissue had been destroyed when the Terix crew broke into her cell, the habit of always carrying a tissue stayed with her until their retirement on Romulus.

Once more Trin, dwelled on the fact that there would never be Romulan silk again after the Hobus incident. “Computer, show me the report on the two civilian casualties on board.” “Processing….” But Trin didn’t need to look at the screen anymore, he suddenly new what Mhai had immediately recognized while he was to busy looking elsewhere. He stood up, and went to the mortuary. The two corpses we’re lying in a stasis field waiting to be buried according to the customs of the disaster victims. An elderly couple, and in the left hand of the female corpse there it was, a piece of grey fabric, shimmering in the cold light of the stasis field.

Although little pieces of Romulan silk had always been popular around the galaxy, their subtleties were usually lost on those who owned them. Unlike their replicated counterparts, Romulan silk remained a craft and Romulan craftsmen took pride in their work. Their pride was only second to their pride into the empire, and on occasions not even that. The intense dedication to such seemingly mundane objects embedded a special quality in them. Thanks to Mhai, Trin immediately realized that the silk came from a master crafter of the southern River delta of Jullha province. This was not the cheap junk that still found its way from the outer colonies of Psi Velorum, how did it end up here?

He caught a glimpse of Mhai’s reflection in one of the LCARS screens:
“You have always been more Vulcan then any of them, stop fighting your grief. We have taken the children and wives of previous hosts to their graves. Suppressing or clinging to grief will only consume us both. Remember, after the Borg had killed A’ev, how Nveid wouldn’t stop reciting classical Vulcan poetry in his lousy accent until you gave up and faced you emotions openly? Share your pain, and pride with me, so I can honor their memory.

“Oh those are fancy napkins, I didn’t know the replicator could make these” Renesia said while sitting at the dinner table inside Trin’dre’s quarters. It was obvious that she sensed their significance to her CO and decided to let her curiosity get the better of her. “Romulan Silk, crafted in Jullha province, some of the finest ever made.” Trin replied, “Oh another one of those presents you inherited from Mhai?” Todd said while enjoying his meal, “Yes, just like these daily meals with my officers. It was important to Mhai to be herself around her crew, I like the idea.”