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Back ro reality

Posted on Sunday 17 March 2024 @ 11:22 by Captain Melody Jones & Commander Caroline Miller & Lieutenant Nir’anyar

Mission: The Search
Location: Sickbay, USS Merlin
Timeline: MD1 2130
1471 words - 2.9 OF Standard Post Measure


Melody entered sickbay and was relieved to find Anya there.

"Hey. How are you doing?" She asked as she came over to her.

Anya had been reading the lists of those still missing and two names kept her focus. Caroline and Matthew. Neither of them had been found after the incident with the nexus. Thoughts of her illusion were still emblazoned in her mind. Would she have been happier accepting it knowing that her best friend and the man she loved had both not been found? Her eyes were puffy and the blue tone of her skin was paler as if she had been crying but at the approach of Captain Jones, she wiped her eyes quickly, pushing aside the report and turning her attention to the Merlin reports instead.
"Captain... I'm just going over the medical reports" she lied. "What can I do for you tonight?"

"I wanted to check in on you actually, I'm.... I'm glad you chose to return to the Merlin." She said trying to keep her face neutral as she broached a subject that was clearly a sore spot for her.

"We lost...." She stopped and started again. "About 30%, roughly 500 of the crew chose to stay in the Nexus... Including the XO..... Lieutenant Draxx...." her voice trailed off as tears welled in her eyes which she quickly brushed away. "I haven't told Sansa yet..."

"I didn't know Mathias was missing... So is Matthew" she said quietly wiping away the last errant tear that was cutting a path down her cheek. "Perhaps staying in that Nexus would have been better than dealing with all of this!"

Melody took a deep breath. "We can't let ourselves think like that Lieutenant. From what we know of the Nexus, time has no meaning there so if they did come back they could go anywhere, anytime. Maybe they just got lost...."

She straightened her uniform top. "Were there any other complications from the rest of the crew?"

"Nothing that has been reported... Lieutenant Zirvell has a few bruises but other than that I think the crew needs a Counsellor more than it needs a Doctor!" Anya waved a hand at the chair across from her as she lifted the teapot that was still steaming on the corner of her desk. "Would you care for some tea?"

Melody nodded, sitting down opposite Anya. "I'm afraid we're without a counsellor right now so we'll have to manage with a Doctor. Before we encountered the Nexus, the engines, sensors and communications were disabled. It looks like sabotage."

She felt hollow knowing that Caroline was no longer around and Anya was having to pick up her duties until they could find a replacement. She took a deep breath, pushing aside her own sorrow, there were bigger things that needed to be addressed.
"I remember... Do we know who it was... Did they make it off of Merlin before our encounter with the Nexus?"

Melody shook her head. "I was just discussing this with our new first officer. I've appointed Commander th'Zaanaq to that position. Don't worry, everyone calls him Commander Ras. it's just easier to pronounce. He's the one who led the team that came into the Nexus to save the crew. To answer your question, we just don't know at this point who it was, if they were transported to the Nexus with the rest of us or if they came back. I've sent the Commander to see all department heads so we can discuss any staff that needs replacing including....."

Melody's mouth dropped open as when she looked up, there stood behind Anya as if she had just materialised out of thin air, as naked as the day she was born was..

"Caroline!" Melody finally managed to blurt out.

Caroline did several long blinks as if being brought out of a deep dream. "I was skinny dipping with my husband in the lake back home. How? Where is he? How did I get here? Perhaps we ought to replicate a uniform?" she said covering her bits as best she could.

Melody jumped up out of her chair and, grabbing a blanket quickly wrapped it around Caroline as she hugged her. "I'm so glad to see you. I thought you weren't coming back."

"Coming back?" Caroline said. "From where? I don't understand what's going on." She said pulling the blanket around her tighter.

"The entire crew was transported into the Nexus." Melody explained. "Apparently, The Nexus is more than just a reality, it is somehow alive with a consciousness and I was able to convince it to give the crew the choice to stay or return. About 500 of the crew chose to remain in the Nexus."

"I don't remember being given a choice or speaking with any consciousness," Caroline said. "Did my husband remain?" she asked really confused.

Melody paused uncomfortably. "I'm afraid so. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," she added as she held her friend close. "We didn't think you were coming back at first since the majority of the crew all arrived back at the same time... wait a minute." She raised her voice slightly but then was interrupted by her comm badge beeping.

"Sansa to Melody. Mom! Dad's back! He's in our quarters."

Melody allowed herself a small smile. "That's great news Sweetie. I'll be there shortly." She then addressed the computer. "Computer, apart from Commander Miller and Lieutenant Draxx, have any other crew members appeared onboard in the last 5 minutes?"

The computer beeped and then responded "Negative."

Anya was just sat in her chair still staring at Caroline, emotion building to a point that she knew she wouldn't be able to hold back the tears. Having Caroline back was just one little win to her after a long list of failures, loss and heartache.

"It's good to see you Caroline!"

The blonde nodded and smiled. "None of it was real then? I remember being at a birthday party you threw," she said sadly. It was like being ripped from heaven. Yet it seemed she had made the choice to leave.

"You were there?" Anya asked having assumed that the people around her had just been part of the illusion and not real. It had been so surreal that it wasn't really a surprise to the Benzite but if she had known she would have tried to get back to that moment. "I started to figure it out... I almost took off the Captain's head at one point and Zirvell... well let's just say it was a glancing blow so he'll be fine!"

"I was there," Caroline said. "And I was completely submerged. I had no idea. But I must have eventually or well I wouldn't be back with Draxx. Yes hang on it told us together. He convinced me it wasn't real. He nearly fished Seklar with a rod," she added. Yes, some things were coming back.

The Benzite couldn't contain it any longer and she rushed forward pulling Caroline into a hug that was closer to a stranglehold.
"I have a feeling this is going to take a long time for many people to get over... Between the two of us we might have our work cut out for us".

"I concur," Caroline said awkwardly trying to return the hug and not let the blanket slip. "I'm still coming to terms with it. So the 500 crew that have stayed. That's it then? They are never to return? Are there families and lovers separated now?"

Melody lowered her head and shrugged her shoulders. "I... I honestly don't know. The... The entity I spoke to in the Nexus agreed to return those who wanted to come back altogether but.... The Nexus exist outside of our space-time continuum. The fact that you returned slightly later than the rest of us shows there could be complications so who knows what could affect it. Could a stray thought while returning cause a person to appear anywhere and anywhen? We may never know."

"It may be better not to think about it. Metaphysical thought concepts are a real mind bend!" Anya added, the entire situation still weighing on her heavily. She decided she needed time to think.

Melody nodded in agreement. "Caroline, you better get back to your quarters and.... put some clothes on." She tapped her comm badge. "Jones to transporter room one. Lock onto Commander Miller in sickbay and standby to beam her to her quarters."

The voice came back "Locked on and standing by Captain."


●● Lieutenant Nir’anyar
Chief Medical Officer
USS Merlin

●●● Commander Caroline Miller
Chief Counselor
USS Merlin

●●●● Captain Melody Jones
Commanding Officer
USS Merlin


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