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Not Quite by the Books

Posted on Mon Jul 18th, 2016 @ 9:44pm by Lieutenant Lixor Nabohn

Mission: Homecoming (Reborn)
Location: Memphis Island :: Apartment Complex
Timeline: 3 Days After 'Is It Really You?'


Lixor breathed in deeply as he stepped as his mind raced over what he had learned. In his hand was a PADD filled with the information from the Thunderbird he was hoping M'Gann would be willing to go over with him. Dredging up what must have been a painful event wasn't his idea of fun but yet it needed to be addressed, no question about that. Secretly he hoped it would break down whatever barriers were keeping things locked up inside her so it could be dealt with and the Blonde could assume her Role as Chief once again.

Once they determined that she was safe enough to live on her own, the hospital put M'Gann into an apartment to give her a more comfortable living space. She still had regular checkups, but she was so used to being called for testing that it didn’t make any difference in her brain. When they first showed her the place, the blonde broke down and cried when she saw that she would be alone. No Miko. No Lauren. She asked, begged to have them stay with her so she wouldn’t be alone, but they wanted to keep Miko for a couple more days before releasing him. She then learned that her apartment wasn't completely secured to her; if they believed she was going to harm herself or worse, an override code could be entered to grant access to anyone who had it. She knew David and Mercia had the code, but she hadn’t seen them since the incident with David.

The blonde currently sat on the couch, her arms wrapped around her knees to hold them up at her chest, her cheeks streaked with the tears that had dried on her face. She stopped crying a couple hours ago, but didn't have the motivation or the desire to do anything. She was still in denial about Lauren’s death, and M'Gann didn't even have a picture or a lock of hair or anything to remember her by. It put a hole in her chest, a dull throb of pain that never really went away. The computer chirped, reminding her to eat, but she didn’t move to get anything. What was the point? Her body would only make her throw it up, which was one of the unfortunate withdrawal symptoms of all the drugs that had been pumped into her system. She would still get moments of shaking and a cold sweat, but no matter what happened she had yet to push the call button the doctors gave her. She didn't want to go back to the hospital wing; it reminded her too much of the labs, and the nightmares were bad enough that the nurses had to sedate her to put her into a dreamless sleep.

M'Gann was pulled out of her thoughts when her door chimed. Part of her was hoping it was someone other than a nurse visiting her, but at the same time she didn’t know if she could handle people she knew seeing her. She couldn’t ignore it either; until she was healthier the doctor recommended that she stay in her quarters, and given that she was still experiencing withdrawal it might be best not to have her out in public when another episode occurred. "Who is it?" She asked. Her voice sounded like sandpaper, strained and scratchy from her crying.

"It's Lixor," the man said. His face took on a concerned look and breathed in deeply, "I wanted to talk to you about something but I can come back later if that would be better." To be honest her really didn't want to have to come back and he had been looking forward to seeing his superior but from the sound of things that decision really needed to be made by her.

Could he handle seeing her like this? Wiping her eyes with the sleeves of her long-sleeved shirt, she stared at the door for a long moment as she considered letting him in. She had let him when she was still at the hospital. So why was it different? Was it perhaps the first time, she requested him to visit? She glanced at the picture frame holding an image of her family on the coffee table, her reflection blinking back at her in the glass. There was no way she was going to be able to hide how much she had been crying. "It's open," she mumbled, loud enough for the computer to recognize it and open the doors for him while keeping her gaze low.

The blue man raised an eyebrow as the door slid open not hearing her reply clearly then tilted his head letting a faint smile cross his face as he entered, "I've got those reports..." He stopped mid thought and let his smile fade away altogether. Lixor recognized the signs, the look on her face, her posture and paused for a moment, "Oh M'Gann, can I you like a hug?"

"What did you want to talk about?" she asked, ignoring his question. Glancing up at him for a moment, she noticed that he had a PaDD in hand and the concern in his eyes before her alarm chirped again. She stood, her movements slow as she made her way to the small kitchen to replicate something for her to eat. "Can I get you anything?" she offered, cringing a little at how scratchy her voice sounded.

"Glass of water would be fine," Lixor replied as he watched the blonde responde to the alarm. He knew somethign was wrong and he had been warned of her condition. The facts as others saw them and the advice to stay away from her didn't set well with a man who had been through tough times himself. As a gang leader he had been moody too but showing weakness could get you removed from your positon or killed rather quicky. Still the blue man had learned that often there was a silent cry for help that went unheeded and if he could help her he wasn't about let her down.

"How do you like your new place," he asked hoping to draw the woman out.

The blonde asked for the drink and a cup of mixed fruit, her voice quiet as she spoke to the computer. After the items materialized she manually pressed a button on the replicator to silence the alarm before grabbing both and walking back to the couch. "It's..." she paused to find the right words as she handed him the water before returning to her spot as one with the couch. "... I don't. It's lonely. They're keeping Miko for a couple more days..." A part of her wanted to rush over to MIH and take Miko away from them, because last time she was told 'a couple days' it ended up being for over a year while they ran experiments on him, on both of them. "... and Lauren, she's dead. You would’ve liked her," she glanced up to fully look at him. Her eyes showed her heartbreak where her body couldn’t. They started to sting again, but she knew nothing would come out, not after the past several hours. "She was so compassionate, and sweet, and her smile..." She closed her eyes for a moment before opening them to stare at the fruit in her hands.

Lixor accepted the water but kept his hazel eyes on M'Gann knowing something was amiss, "I'm sure I would have." he sat the drink down without taking a sip on an end table not far way and added the PaDD realizing something more important was going on here than what it contained. He knelt on the floor so his eyes were the same level as her and offered a faint smile, "would you like to tell me about her, what Lauren meant to you?"

M'Gann stared at the ground, partially to avoid his gaze. "She was my girlfriend," she began, poking halfheartedly at the fruit before setting the bowl on the coffee table. The action involved leaning a little close to Lixor, and as she did she turned her head away, as if she were embarrassed. Leaning back into her curled up position, she continued, "she would care for me after... after the sessions. She kept me alive and gave me something to hold on to. Lauren was my anchor, and now she’s gone and..." M'Gann let the sentence trail off as she rested her forehead on her knees, her hands gripping her calves as she forced herself to take deep breaths.

"Oh M'Gann," Lixor said first placing a comforting hand on her shoulder, "I'm so sorry." He had heard the phrase, after the sessions' and decided not to comment on it for the moment but making a mental note of the fact. "It must hurt a great deal," he said trying to create something positive in his words. His eyes glistened a little from the moisture building in them. He wasn't a man given to crying but her words reminded him of his mother and how she cared for him, "she will always be a part of you."

"It feels like someone stabbed me in the chest," she quietly explained, her words somewhat muffled. The blonde clenched her eyes shut when he placed a hand on her shoulder, and a couple tears that hadn't fallen yet managed to sneak out and leave wet spots on her knees. "It's my fault she's gone... I was s-so focused on coming back here that I missed the woman right in front of me, and... and she's dead because of me..." Part of her wished that she had never made the jump, so her Lauren would still be alive, but then the two would have to be constantly on the run from the Order just to stay alive. If she had stayed within the Order's headquarters, she likely would've been killed once Arvix was done with her.

The blue man was silent for a moment bight his lip slight. Words were hard to come by and it seemed saying anything couldn't convey the comfort he wanted to give her but he hoped his being there would help.

He remembered something his mother used to say. Death prevalent both from the lack of resources and from the violence that surrounded them. When someone they had allowed to become close had passed she would tell him the same thing.

"My," he began to speak softly leaning slightly forward, "my mother... used to say...." Lixor stopped unable to finish the sentence surrendering to the inner pain and allowing the tears that welled in his eyes to begin their cascade down his face.

Taking a breath, M'Gann glanced up and stared at him in shock when she saw tears running down his cheeks. She had never seen him cry before. Lifting a hand, she reached for his face but paused for a moment, as if considering her actions before taking her thumb and gently wiping his tears away. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to make you cry..." she said, her words gentle. She could feel guilt starting to well up inside her as she continued to stare at him. Swallowing the lump in her throat, she leaned forward and pulled him into a hug, unsure if he needed it but completely sure she did.

Lixor didn't mind at all the touch, it was what he wanted though he was not sure why. He leaned in allowing the hug to engulf him and hoping she needed it as much as he did.

"Don't be sorry M'Gann," the man whispered, "I'm not, it's what being alive is about."

The blonde gave a small nod into his shoulder, holding on for another moment before pulling away. She looked at him for a moment before reaching across the couch to the end table and picking up his glass of water. "Here, you should re-hydrate yourself," she suggested, offering it to him. "Tears tend to take out a lot of water from the body."

He nodded and smiled sheepishly at the woman, "been a long time."

Crying was not something he did often. It came on because of who was crying and because of the memories of his mother it had invoked. There was something about M'Gann, something special that pulled Lixor closer into a relationship than anyone else had been able to. She made him feel things he had kept pressed deep within. Seeing her in anguish was more than he could stand although most women tend to have a greater affect on him than what another male would it was still the blonde that called up the greatest response. His hazel eyes resting gently on the woman and hoping she was mentally in a better place than she was a few moments earlier.

"I," he began after taking a sip of water, "I wanted to discuss the logs from the USS Thunderbird with you, if that's ok."

M'Gann shifted into a cross-legged position while she watched him drink the water, silently judging herself for not following her own advice. Looking at the fruit again, she reached for the bowl and set it in her lap. "Sure," she replied, gesturing for him to take a seat. "I don't have anything else to do," she added as a halfhearted attempt at humor.

Lixor nodded and tilted his head as he sat near the woman, "you sure you don't want some water or something before we get started," he asked stalling a little longer, "I'd be happy to get it for you."

He held the PaDD up to look at the screen as if the gesture might keep M'Gann from realizing how attached he was getting to her, "It seems as if something happened just before the explosion, I'm not sure exactly what."

M'Gann shook her head to the offer and watched him as he read the data. "The Thunderbird was there during the fight?" She asked, a little surprised. Most of her wasn't shocked by it, because at the time she was blind, but it came as a surprise to her that they still had those sensor logs. She then glanced at the PaDD in his hand, "can I...?"

"Sure," Lixor said raising his eyebrows and passing the device to the woman, "I thought you knew the Thunderbird was there?"

"I'm sure there were several other ships there, but I was more focused on trying to save people," she admitted. Taking the tablet into her hands, she looked at the data. Sure enough, a fraction of a second before the explosion there was... something. Normally she would've passed it off as a glitch in the sensors, but she remembered a specific part of her blueprints, and the data was almost identical. "The anomaly..." she breathed, rereading to be sure. M'Gann then reached over and grabbed another device, and began writing on it. Her brow furrowed as she strained to remember what she had written when she made her prototype, but she remembered enough of it. It was the one part that she had troubles with, because she was trying to recreate a natural phenomenon.

"Anomaly," Lixor questioned, "I thought the same thing but the data doesn't mach up quite right."

"Because it's not a normal anomaly..." she muttered, her focus on the tablet. Finishing, the blonde looked over her work before glancing again at the data. "I'll be damned..." M'Gann fished through the data to find the most recent occurrence of the anomaly, doing a search for it to save time. One other result popped up, and she rotated the PaDD and had the device display both sets of data before handing it back to him. "These are two sensor readings on different dates. One from fourteen months ago, and the second one from five days ago. They're identical. And this," she handed him the other tablet, "... was the data I had written to make my prototype work so I could make it back. They're almost the same, with some minor differences." She noticed one of those differences was the effect of the radiation, which she guessed was what killed Lauren. She felt her throat tighten again, but knew that she couldn’t have guessed that without looking at the actual sensor data to compare.

"The anomaly," she concluded, "was a rift between two universes. That's why it doesn't look like the ones from the Academy textbook. This one gave off a lot of radiation and would only be open for a couple seconds at most, so it was stable for a moment before its own radiation collapsed it. There have been similar instances when people have reportedly jumped into a Mirror Universe, but never something like this."

The blue man nodded as he contemplated what he was looking at, "so the first one is a naturally occurring phenomenon while the other is..." He looked back up at M'Gann, "the other is you, you created this one, to get back, that's what you meant isn't it?"

M'Gann simply nodded her response.

He tapped the screen saving the information sets and pulled up another record, "this is from my time away from the Gladiator," he said as his brow furrowed, "it's similar in signature but lacks the torialus ring set here and here that was in the naturally occurring one. He bit his lip, "you know I think they might be related, I mean a ripple affect of one created the other."

With his face getting a little paler he handed back the device so M'Gann could see, "I should have gotten out of the temple sooner but the Commodore...." He paused, "sorry this isn't my time for stories and that mystery can wait."

The blonde grasped the tablet in his hands and looked at it closely. He was right, the torialus ring was missing in the record he gave her, whereas it was present in the natural one. It was also absent in her own rift. Glancing back up at him, she noted his paler complexion. "Wait, Lixor, what is it? What about the temple?" she asked, an uneasy feeling in her stomach. If the rifts were appearing elsewhere... could it mean that the Order was testing the prototype?

"No," Lixor said with a sigh, "I'm afraid it had been abandoned for six millennia, "I'm afraid the Commodore is responsible for this." He pressed his lips together then looked M'Gann in the eye, "the Azzians worship or at least did worship time and dimension he couldn't leave well enough alone."

"I'm sorry M'Gann," the blue man began again, "I think perhaps we started this whole thing."

M'Gann could only stare at the blue man sitting across from her, trying to comprehend what he was even saying. To her, he sounded nuts. "How could you be to blame for this if both events happened before and after that time period? The first rift opened fourteen months ago, and I opened the second one. The two are not related to the temple or the Azzians or Commodore Vav, I-I'm not understanding you," she claimed, slightly shaking her head.

Lixor Smiled, "I'm afraid I don't understand all the temporal science used by the Azzians and they weren't around to ask because our Commodore refused their help." He hesitated a moment then began again, "the man also likes to, touch, things too much. No telling what he set off in those chambers."

"Your right," he finally added, "there may not be a connection, perhaps I'm overthinking this."

M'Gann let a silence envelop them for a bit, partly because she was thinking about it but also because she had nothing to say. She looked at the data on the tablets again before putting them on the coffee table. "I really do appreciate you coming over, Lixor," she finally said, her words soft. "It's been too quiet here."

"I can imagine," Lixor replied softly. He took in a breath and leaned slightly forward, "you can alway call me M'Gann I'll be happy swing by." he chuckled, "I can even scrounge up a party with food an friends if you'd like." He paused for a moment and added, "you mean a lot to me and, well, I really like being with you."

The blonde nodded silently. It was still hard to grasp that her friends and former crewmates were alive, and part of her felt like a party with them may make things uncomfortable. "I'll take a rain check on a, uh... party," she finally replied. Bringing her knees back up to her chest, she wrapped her arms around them as she continued, "I don't know if I'm ready to see everyone yet. It was hard enough to see Mercia and Lizzy alive and well... but I remember watching them die, Lixor. All of them. When I see them, it's like I'm staring at ghosts." She hugged her knees tighter as she was reminded of what Arvix would tell her numerous times, that it was her fault they died. "I still hear their screams, I still see their faces frozen in terror... it's hard to forget, and because of that..." the blonde shook her head a little, "I'm just not ready."

For a moment Lixor was silent. There really were no words say, "whenever you want to talk I'm always willing to listen" he offered.

He remembered loosing important people in his own life but none of them came back, they were gone forever. Seeing them again would elicit a different response than the beautiful blonde he was with now was having. He drew in a deep breath and then cane an knelt down near his friend. He didn't touch her, just stayed close looking up at the hurting woman, "I've lost friends, many friends, but they won't come back, can't come back, you have M'Gann and so have your friends, don't let them go again."

"I lost them all once," M'Gann muttered, looking up at him, "some, like Lauren, won't come back. I don't want to lose them again. I can’t lose them, I can’t lose you..." What would happen to her if she lost more people she cared about? The possibility of losing her friends and crew again... she didn't even want to think about it. There was so much on her mind, however, and she thought about Mercia’s words back at the hospital. She wanted, hell she needed to tell someone, but everyone she has tried talking to just didn't seem to get it. M'Gann's hazel eyes met Lixor's; she trusted him, and knew he would listen to her, but it would have to come in time. "Thank you for stopping by. I hope that I helped make some sense of those anomalies."



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