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Old October 15 2012, 11:47 PM   #62
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UT:TFV - Part II - Scorched Earths (Chapter 3 continued)

Chapter 3 <cont’d>

Counselor’s Office, Deck 4
USS Europa

Although it wasn’t entirely unheard of for a Vulcan member of Starfleet to seek out counseling services, it was a statistical rarity. For that reason, when Verrik had contacted Counselor Dao Liu on short notice to arrange this meeting, Liu was intrigued.

Like nearly all ‘traditional’ Vulcans, Verrik at least outwardly appeared to be very much in control of his emotions. He was calm, rational, and eminently sensible, and Liu hadn’t noticed any behaviors from Verrik that could be deemed unusual.

Upon his arrival at Liu’s office, Verrik appeared somewhat tense. That, in and of itself, was enough to pique Liu’s professional interest.

“Lieutenant, please have a seat,” Liu offered.

“I would prefer to stand, thank you,” Verrik replied stiffly.

Liu gestured his consent to this, and settled back into his chair as Verrik stepped over to the cabin’s viewport. The stars streaked past with what Liu had always found to be a comforting monotony.

“What can I help you with, Mister Verrik?” Liu prompted after a long moment’s silence from the Vulcan.

Despite his already perfect posture, Verrik seemed to straighten even further, as though girding himself for an unpleasant experience. “Counselor, I have recently begun to experience lapses in memory that I am unable to explain.”

Liu decided to approach the exchange from a Vulcan-like perspective, and discarded any further attempts to put Verrik at ease. Vulcans were direct, and so he would be as well. “Please elaborate,” Liu replied.

“Twice now I have been involved in dynamic situations that afterwards I am unable to remember with any clarity. This is unprecedented for me, and therefore, most troubling. Like the majority of my people, I was trained from youth in eidetic mental disciplines that give me near perfect recollection.”

“Were you injured in either of these situations, Lieutenant? Perhaps the memory issues stem from a physical trauma of some kind?”

Verrik spared a glance over his shoulder at Liu. “I was moderately injured during the first of the two occurrences, but I suffered no cranial trauma. I received a full medical workup after that incident, and I had myself checked again by Lieutenant Taiee following the second event. Scans confirm there is no known physical basis for these memory lapses.”

Liu pondered that for a time. “Can you be more specific in regards to the two occurrences?”

“The first time was when the Amon cube ship appeared through the subspace portal. Apparently, I began firing before the captain had even issued the order to do so. I engaged the Amon with my phaser when they boarded the bridge, and then physically after I was disarmed until such time as I was overwhelmed.”

Verrik finally turned to face the counselor. “I can remember every detail of the encounter leading up to the aperture opening, and everything after the Amon departed with Captain Sandhurst, but nothing of the battle itself. I have even watched the ship’s visual recorder in an attempt to refresh my recollection, to no avail.”

Liu nodded, making notes on a padd. “And the second event?”

“The second time was during our next encounter with the Amon when Captain T’Ser gave the order to fire on their ship with the Alpha Weapon. I stunned Commander Lar’ragos when he charged the captain. I have no memory of doing so.”

After scribbling a few more notes with a stylus, Liu posited, “At first blush, Lieutenant, I see two possibilities. The first is that these events were traumatic to you in some non-physical way that has inhibited your ability to remember them as a result. Perhaps on a sub-conscious level, you were affected more significantly than you realize.”

“Unlikely,” Verrik offered immediately.

Liu fought against allowing a dubious expression to settle onto his features. Instead, he asked, “Why do you believe that?”

“I have meditated extensively in regards to these occurrences, Counselor. I have spent countless hours delving into both my conscious and sub-conscious thoughts, and I can find no logical reason that either event would prove so traumatic that it might affect my memory.”

Liu inclined his head, tabling that discussion for the moment. “The second possibility is that something the Amon are emitting may have interfered with your short-term memory. Both these events took place during our encounters with the Amon, and Sandhurst himself has said their life-essence energy affected him strongly on a psycho-physical level.”

Verrik paused to consider that. “It would make sense from a causality perspective, if not for the dreams.”

Liu quirked an eyebrow in a surprisingly Vulcan-like gesture of curiosity. “Dreams?”

Only now did Verrik finally sit, easing down into a chair across from Liu with almost exaggerated care. “I have been experiencing unsettling dreams for the past few months, ones that I cannot account for.”

“I doubt I need to remind you that dreams are our brains’ way of codifying and processing our daily experiences into retrievable memory engrams, Lieutenant. As such, they don’t necessarily make sense, or follow logical patterns, even in Vulcans.”

“Would that were so,” Verrik replied heavily. “These dreams do follow a logical progression. Additionally, they seem much more like memories than dreams in their content. I have experienced many of them more than once, and they unfold exactly the same way without fail.”

“Just to be clear,” Liu asked, “these are not your memories that you’re dreaming about?”

“Correct,” Verrik answered.

“Tell me about them.”

“They are invariably of old Vulcan, during the days of Surak. The dreams take place against the backdrop of the Great Schism, the last near-apocalyptic war that engulfed our world.”

“Could these be remnants of history lessons you learned as a child, or snippets of historical documentaries or dramas you’ve watched?”

“I do not believe so,” Verrik replied, a far-away cast to his eyes as he revisited those dreams in that moment. “They seem to be the recollections of a single person, a female soldier involved in the war. She fought on behalf of those opposed to Surak’s teachings, and committed various… morally questionable acts against those espousing The Teacher’s path to logic.”

Liu looked surprised. “That’s a lot of detail to have culled from a dream.”

“Dreams,” Verrik corrected, emphasizing the plurality. “And I have studied them extensively in my meditations. Again, they do not correspond directly to any historical events I have learned of during my education or viewed in an entertainment venue.”

Setting down his padd, Liu leaned forward. “Okay, Lieutenant, what’s say we try and find you some answers?”

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