"Inner Conflict"
[previous post was "How Things Change" by the amazing Hanali]

Setting: Moon of PI ALPHA III, Outside the SPHINX
Stardate: 30148.0945

A little while back Shar'El had stepped out of the SPHINX to gather her thoughts after the draining, deep memory scan of Lieutenant Paquette.  The scan had been needed to help keep the CEO calm while Doctor Doyanne and Ensign Ttosk attended to the Engineer's most immediate medical needs.

Physically, Shar'El would have needed several minutes to recuperate from such a deep scan, but it was the memories that the Ullian had forced back into the light of day that had proven to be the difficult part to deal with.  Because of the intensity of the scan and how deep that single bit of Sonja's past had been buried in her psyche, the ILO had been forced to experience ever imaginable aspects of that memory.

Everything had come to a perfect stand-still while Shar'El experienced all of the sounds, textured and flavor of that one specific memory.  The vividness of the emotions had been such that the memory had almost become a part of the ILO's own personal history.  The Ullian had needed to take time to separate herself from the event and memory that she had never actually experienced.

The unexpected arrival of Doctor Mizore had not at all helped to ease the Ullian's abrasive mood.  The fact that Seska had simply wanted to check up on Shar'El had been noble, especially when taking into account the Bajoran's own physical condition, but still it had not been necessary. At least as far as the ILO had deemed it to be.

Images of BAJOR and its five moons began to flood Shar'El's mind as these same images appeared uncontrollably to Seska.  That memory was soon followed by images of times spent with a friend during the Cardassian occupation, memories that concluded with the death of that friend.

Shar'El did her best to block those memories, but Seska had been broadcasting these with such strength that the Ullian, in her current weakened state, could do nothing about it. From the death of her friend, the mental images and recollections went to the exploits of the Bajoran's father which only added to the intensity of the memories.

The ILO shifted her feet to help steady her posture for fear that she might end up losing her physical balance in response to the myriad of images that came from the Bajoran Doctor. Something had triggered this volley of memories in Mizore and she had been powerless to do anything about it, as Shar'El had been powerless to block them from seeing all of them.

Like the storm that had seen their ship crash, the flood of memories finally receded giving both women the chance to catch their proverbial breath and regain what little mental posture they could manage.  Seska and Shar'El shared a lengthy look, neither one able to conjure the words that would adequately address what they had shared.  The aCMO knew that her sudden outburst of memories had been picked up by the ILO, the expression on the Ullian's face having been more than enough of a hint to that effect.  Shar'El on her side knew that this had not been of Seska's conscious doing and that something else had caused this to happen.

Despite this mutual understanding, only silence stood between the two women as each tried to move past what had come to be.

"I am sorry," Seska finally said before taking in a long, deep breath.

"I understand," Shar'El replied in a whispered voice. "At least I think I do.  This place, this moon, is playing with us, testing us in way that I suspect even our great and powerful leader did not expect."

"This universe has a way of doing that," the Bajoran said sounding almost Vulcan in her emotional detachment, a fain hint of a memory hinting to the time she had lost while trapped by the Prophets inside their Celestial Temple.

Another silence was shared between the women, this one tempered by two weak yet genuine smiles which instantly vanished when the Acting First Officer stepped out of the SPHINX and joined the other two standing officer.

"Is everything alright?" Maya asked, having been concerned by the sudden disappearance of both the aCMO and ILO.

"Everything is fine Commander," the ILO replied, not truly wanting to go into any details as to what had actually taken place.

"I came out to make sure that Ensign Shar'El was medically fit and noted some strange tricorder readings that I had wanted to bring to your attention," Seska skillfully said, shifting the attention of their superior away from them and onto the tricorder readings the aCMO presented to scientist-at-heart Shillian.

Tiffany Reeve

Ensign Shar'El
Intel Liaison Officer