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Uncomfortable Reunions

Posted on Mon Jun 27th, 2016 @ 6:20am by David Hawkins

Mission: Homecoming (Reborn)
Location: Memphis Island
Timeline: 2 days after 'Too Good to be True'

ON

When the hospital finally deemed her well enough to go out they released her, and the first thing M’Gann asked for was Miko. It had been so long since she had seen him, aside from his rescue when she escaped to the Songbird. When she saw him she knelt down and gave him a tight hug. One of his legs was in a cast, but he seemed to get around just fine by hobbling along. He was just about as frail looking as M’Gann did; he was malnourished, and his fur looked very dull and thin unlike what it did thirteen months ago. But it was still him, she knew it was him.

Deciding it was best to let him get some rest, she asked one of the nurses to accompany her. Part of her was nervous about meeting with Hawkins mainly because of the resemblance to her captor, and despite having the guts to meet with him she refused to do so alone. She figured if anyone were up for the job, it would be a nurse, that way if she were to get too worn out or something happened there would be someone to help. A little color had returned to her skin, and she was still much thinner than before, but at least she looked healthier and not like death. She was clad in loose clothing, a green shirt and black lounge pants. The shirt, despite being in her size, hung off her frame limply, like it was hung on a drying rack.

The wind started to pick up as David stood in a button up t-shirt and jeans standing in front of a holographic monument. The light blew Federation insignia rotated counterclockwise as it flashed slight specks that were like stars behind it. It was about eight feet tall and was projected out of a white marble rectangular cube. He leaned down and ran his hand over the engravement.

In memory of the fallen in the Battle of Phantom Pain

A sigh escaped his lips as he stood up finally and moved to a holographic console. Before him he saw the names of those that he had failed. Each name was a reminder of the lost soul that looked up to him in some way, fashion or form as he was in charge of them all. It was a constant stinge to stand before it, but he held firm. Deep down, he was tempted to break the temporal Prime Directive and save those lives, but it was finally left him after months of counseling sections.

When the two made it to the top of the hill, M’Gann took a breather on a nearby bench, insisting to the nurse that she was fine, just winded. As she caught her breath, she looked out over the scenery and saw Hawkins standing there in front of something she could pick out as a holographic projection of an insignia. She could also see him typing something into a holographic console, but what he was looking at she couldn’t tell.

She didn’t realize she had been clenching her fists until the nurse put a gentle hand on her shoulder. “If you’re not ready you don’t have to do this,” the nurse offered.

M’Gann took a deep breath before standing, “It's fine. I’ll have to eventually.” Looking over to Hawkins, she fought back her fight-or-flight response by taking another breath before heading over to where he was.

As she got closer, she could see that he was looking through the names of everyone who was on the saucer section during that fight. The view behind the insignia dropped away to the wide expanse of the ocean, its waves silently lapping against the shore below. The blonde stopped about six feet away from him. “They did all they could,” she softly said to him.

He could tell whose voice it was but only took a deep breath and nodded. “I failed you all. I came here multiple times asking for each and everyone of these people’s forgiveness, knowing I wouldn’t get a response,” he explained in a low voice admitting to her. It wasn’t as though he wanted the forgiveness. “I understand you weren’t here. Hell…” He paused and looked up once again before he continued. “... you probably don’t believe it.” He looked over at her and saw the slight hesitation of fear and trust in her eyes.

“I failed you… What happened to you…” David paused again and shook his head as he looked at the ocean. It was eating him inside. Hell he deserved it completely, and he should have been the one to be messed up, or tortured, or even killed. But it was hard. It was Resolute all over again.

“Stop it,” she replied, rubbing her arm as she watched him. “You made the right decision, and it saved lives didn’t it?” She paused again, understanding where he was coming from. “Where I was...” She stopped, closing her eyes for a moment as the echoes of the explosions came back to her, followed by the taunting and disapproving eyes from the simulations. She wanted to tell him everything, but what Arvix and the others did to her… she wasn’t ready. “You don’t know what happened to me…” her voice came out nearly a whisper.

“No…” he nodded in agreement as he sighed pushing back his own thoughts and hatred of himself before offering to sit on a near bench.

When he gestured to the bench, M’Gann instinctively put her hands up to protect herself and took several steps back. “Please don’t hurt me…” she squeaked before she could catch herself.

All David could do was grind his teeth and slammed his eyes shut as he tried to act as it wasn’t his fault. He took in a deep breath went to the bench and sat down. “You called to meet up with me,” He started, ignoring everything that they had talked about trying to make it short for her so she could leave the area and be away from him. He kept his head focused on the rotating holographic image before the ocean below the cliff.

The blonde took a shaky breath, mentally chastising herself for the reaction, before dropping her hands to wrap around herself. She stared at the monument, reading the text a couple times before glancing at him. “I know that my story may seem crazy…”

“Admiral Kathryn Janeway came back to life from a Q she knew and raised… for like a week. You came back from another universe from what reports I have read. Hell, we live in an age of time travelling Prime Directives and Mirror Universe’s crazy is the new normal,” he finally stated with an eyebrow rose but still stared at the monument.

“Not mirror,” she corrected. Taking a breath, she finished her thought. “... it was a parallel universe. Similar concept, different progression of events. Too similar…” Looking out over the cliff and at the ocean, she added, “Everything that I’m going to tell you actually happened, but it was there. Some of the nurses didn’t believe me because it sounded ridiculous, but I insist that it's the truth.”

“I'm willing to listen if you are ready to talk about it,” David said as he finally looked up at her.

Swallowing the lump in her throat, she began to tell him, still keeping her distance from the bench he was sitting on. She could see it affected him that she behaved like that towards him, and it made her hate the General even more. “There was the fight, we were outnumbered, and in the end the saucer section was destroyed. I take it that bit is consistent with this universe?”

He simply nodded as he crossed his arms over his chest. “That's where we lost you and all those that moved to the saucer section.”

M’Gann nodded, staring at the ground. “I don’t know exactly what happened, but my guess is a rift opened during the explosion, for a moment, and caught Miko and I. After, I was taken to a starbase for treatment, and that’s when I found out that the saucer section had been destroyed.

“The fight lasted for two more days, but the fleet was outnumbered.” Her hands clenched into fists at her sides as she recalled what happened next. “The engineering section of the Gladiator was surrounded, and you- sorry,” she stopped herself, “he had no choice but to surrender the ship. It was broadcast across the entire quadrant, they took him captive and demanded access to Headquarters. If you refused, you would be made to watch them die in front of you.

“Everyone on that ship was killed in front of you,” she breathed, shutting her eyes against the memory. She felt like crying again, but she tried holding it back. It was evident in her voice, though, as it strained not to crack. She didn’t realize that she had switched from ‘he’ to ‘you.’ “All but one. Mercia was brought forward and pushed to her knees, and then you broke. There was something in your eyes… you couldn’t watch her die.” The blonde swallowed the lump in her throat again, “you helped them take over Starfleet, either killing or detaining the Admirals, and then they formed the New Federation Order. At that point I was on the run, and trying to figure out where I was because it just didn't feel right…” She paused, unable to look at him as she tried to compose herself.

“A couple months later you were publicly executed, but then you came back to interrogate me. You-” she shook her head as she caught herself, “I’m sorry. You and he look so much alike. He said that the one who was executed was trussed up to look like him, and he was actually working for COIL during the fight and now for the Order. He brought this…” she clenched her eyes shut as the memory came back to her, her knuckles growing white as she clenched her fists. “... he brought this old device over, a-a box with two metal rods attached to it. He… the… he stabbed the rods into my thighs, and if I-I didn’t answer, he- he would t-turn the dial. I-I didn't know what he wanted, and… and…” M’Gann stopped herself, bring a fist up to her mouth as she tried not to cry, her eyes still clenched tightly shut as if she could shut out the memory.

There was no words that could come to the surface to bring an ease to her tortured soul now. He knew all to well what lingered in his past and if he had crossed that line, he was well aware of how far that rabbit hole would go. The years and years of training and life experience as a marine and commander and a historian, he knew all to well as the ways to mess with a person's mind. To be honest, there was no end to what a person could do to another. It was truly a horrible thought as one, but to see the outcome of what those lingering thoughts and actions could have caused someone, especially someone so close...

The blonde swallowed, taking in a shaky breath. Her mind was still torn over what was the truth, and she felt that if anyone could tell her, it was David. "You... did you come to help us, or did... did you leave us to die?" she whispered. After the dreams Arvix manipulated and the many sessions convincing her of the latter, she had her doubts. It didn't help that some of her interrogations were done by him, or rather, his counterpart. "I want to trust you, hell I know I can... they just... what I thought to be true was manipulated, twisted, and I-I don't know what's real."

He lowered his head and leaned forward to rest his arms on his knees as he searched the right words to say. The stare into the pavement his feet rested on brought no answer whatsoever to bare. It was plan and bare. There was no problems it held but time and weather that would take its toll on it. How simple it would be just to only focus on a simple thing and nothing else.

"We watched as the saucer section blew up at the attack of the oncoming ships that we were trying to intercept. Waves of ships crossed into our paths to which slowed us down..." David started as remembered the last battle he was in. "... and for a brief moment, we crossed those lines you were put through. All rules and regulations were out of the window. I didn't care. I wanted them to suffer. All of them. Illegal weapons that both the romulans and our allies had, I authorized against C.O.I.L. The battle was over when. The Battle was over within 28 hours. 24 hours after that... I handed in my resignation."

M'Gann felt like she needed to sit down, but the only other spot than the rocky ground was the bench David was sitting on, and she wasn’t sure she was ready to take that step. "For me," she quietly said, "... the battle lasted three and a half days. It was terrible... reinforcements kept being called in, but once they showed up they never left the fight. The Memoria, the Harbinger, the Athena... they fought, but it wasn't enough." She bit her lip, as if she had more to say but didn't want to say it, and insisted to the nurse that she was fine.

He looked up at her and nodded slowly. "I don't know what to say. All there is to say is its over and moved on. It isn't easy, but its the only thing we can do."

Her eyes shut again as she tried to take slow breaths to fight down the panic that was building inside her. She felt her eyes starting to sting with un-fallen tears, and she ever so slightly shook her head as she hugged herself even tighter. It was possible that it could still happen. She knew Arvix. She knew what lengths he would go to to get her back.

David looked at her and sighed trying to think of the right thing to say, but there wasn't anything. What else could he do? He had exhausted all avenues and yet he was still at the same point that anyone else would be in. "Look... I..."

"No," M'Gann interrupted, avoiding his gaze. She shook her head, "it's not over yet, David. The Order, they..." as much as she tried to keep herself together she could hear her voice cracking painfully in her throat, "... they know. I-I couldn’t take it anymore, and I-I told them about the existence of other universes. Th-they humored the idea of jumping between the two, b-but when I-I did it..." Tears began to streak down her face as she realized what she had done. "Th-they needed proof that prototype worked, and now that they know they're going t-to build it and... and make the jump. When th-they get here, th-they're going t-to come after me, and when they see that S-Starfleet is s-still here... oh Rassilon, history is going t-to repeat itself! People will die again, and they'll win like last t-time."

She found herself sinking to her knees as her shoulders trembled. "I s-spent fourteen months trying t-to keep them away from this universe, a-and it was m-my own escape that helps th-them... all of m-my friends a-and m-y family are going t-to die, and it will b-be all my fault!" M'Gann buried her head in her hands as her shoulders shook, and from them a broken voice asked, "What have I done..."

Without thinking, he slowly reached out to her, "None of this is your fault. Nothing at all..."

When she looked up at him, her eyes widened with panic when she saw he was closer, his hand reaching out toward her. The flashback of a very similar face, with that sick grin and the cigar in his gloved fingers, danced through her head. This made her scream and move to defend herself, and as she leaned back her feet came forward and lashed out at him.

The crack of bone reached her ears, and she moved her hands away from her face a little to look at him and gasped. Did... did she do that? Oh Rassilon there was blood. "I..." the blonde scrambled away from him, her eyes wide as she watched David's nose gush with blood. She was speechless... did-did she just attack him??

The nurse rushed to Hawkins' side and ran the tricorder's scanner over his face. "You definitely have a broken nose, sir. We should head back to the hospital to get you treated." Turning to M'Gann, she added, "miss, you'll need to come back as well so you can rest."

Still petrified, the blonde swallowed before giving a shaky nod. Still keeping her distance, she stood while keeping her eyes on the two as the nurse helped him up.

TBC...

 

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