"Gentle Strength"
[Previous post: "Alone"]

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Corridor
Stardate: 63073.1050

Ensign Lopez had been unable to shake the memory of the small boy and his bloodied clothes despite the feeling of security the aCMO had been made to experience in the arms of the imposing engineer.  The words that the child had spoken incessantly echoed in Adriana's mind even though she had done her best to push them out of her thoughts.

The distressed caused by this had been such that the Ensign had even wished that the hallucination of her sister would appear to give the aCMO something else to focus on.  At least Adriana had been able to handle such visions and even come to reason with them on some far reached level, but the child's words and appearance had been beyond her ability to manage.

"Are you able to walk Healer?" the giant engineer asked.  Adriana looked into the man's white eyes and immediately understood that should her answer be anything else but a 'yes' he would not hesitate to fully take her into his arms and carry the aCMO to their destination.

"I can," the aCMO replied, almost fearing the feeling of the giant's arms no longer protecting her as they had.  "Thank you, for everything."

"It is an honor to serve," the massive CEO replied as he helped Adriana back to her feet.  The aCMO smiled in amazement as she considered the giant's strength in comparison to his delicate touch. How could a titan such as the Oltharian possess a touch that would have normally been attributed to an angel?

"It's his way," an all too familiar voice said.

Adriana quickly closed her eyes and willed her sister away; the aCMO had not wanted to have to deal with a hallucination while not being alone.

"Great," Amanda huffed in annoyance.  "First you want me here and now that I am here you want me to go away.  Not exactly the sisterly thing to do, especially not after everything that I have done for you.  The least you could do is acknowledge my presence."

"Get away from me!" the aCMO let out at the top of her lungs, the stress of her previous vision having had a far deeper impact on the ensign than she could have realized.

The CEO quickly took a step back before he realized that the statement had not been directed at him.  "Healer, is everything alright?"

Adriana looked around in search of her sister's hallucination but instead only found Doctor Summers and Elan looking back at her with visible puzzlement and concern.  The swelling of emotions quickly overwhelmed the aCMO who began to uncontrollably cry which made the Oltharian resume his earlier task of hugging the Ensign.

"I'm sorry," Adriana said sobbing.  "I'm just losing my mind."

"It's alright," Lea said in a supportive tone, her hand having landed on the aCMO's shoulder.  "It's this time distortion that is causing havoc with out minds."

"Space-time," Elan politely offered as a correction to the CMO's incomplete statement."

"Whatever," Doctor Summers sighed as she rolled her eyes.  "Call it a space born bowl of brain mush for all I care, the end result is the same; this situation is going to make us all *nuts* unless we find a way to get out of it."

"Annie," the CEO said to the ANUBIS' Avatar, "Take lead, we will be right behind you."  With that Elan wrapped one arm around Doctor Summers while keeping the other firmly around the still sobbing aCMO. The Oltharian had taken on the role of pillar of strength for both women as they proceeded to the ship's command deck and hopefully a solution to their predicament.

Marissa Montonera-Lombardi (mmlm24@gmail.com)

Ensign Adriana Lopez
Assistant Chief Medical Officer