This section written by Joy Jones, Tina Whitehair, and Michelle Turchiano
Tay was lost in thought after her examination and talking with Sil. Just thinking about the jumbled memories in her mind made her head hurt. None of them made any sense. She remembered fight with Sil about something, something that seemed important at the time, but now. She shook her head.
She looked up when she heard a familiar voice. Another voice she missed but wasn’t sure for how long. Sil said the last time Tay saw any of them was about three days ago, but it felt like years.
“T’Ani,” she whispered.
The Vulcan woman stepped up to the biobed and took her friend’s hand. “How are you feeling?”
“A little confused to be honest,” Tay replied. “Kahless, I can’t, for the life of me remember anything and whenever I try my head feels ready to explode with my jumbled memories.”
Concern shone in T’Ani’s eyes as she listened to her friend. “Perhaps you should not try so hard just yet. You seem to have been through some sort of ordeal and it might be best to get some rest before we proceed.”
She paused a moment before she sighed, “Maybe when you are feeling up to it, we can try a mind meld and then hopefully your memories will have a smoother flow and not be so overwhelming.”
Tay grabbed her friend’s hand when another memory assaulted her. T’Ani was upset about something... upset with Tay. She didn’t like the feeling of those memories. “I want to do it now, T.”
T’Ani sighed, “I’m not sure that is the best idea, Tay. I want to help you, but not at your expense.”
“Please, I need to,” she replied. “You know I don’t normally ask for help, but something is wrong. Everything is wrong and I can’t stand not being able to figure it out!”
T’Ani was quiet for a few moments as she contemplated what to do. Finally, she relented, “All right, but on one condition. If I sense that you are getting too upset or that you are pushing, I’m stopping it. Understood?”
Tay nodded. “I understand. Um, maybe we should see if Sil wants to be here?”
T’Ani replied, “That was my next move. I would not feel comfortable with proceeding without at least speaking to her first. We’ve all been through a lot and there is a lot currently going on.”
“Right. Did she tell you that this guy who disappeared with Krothos... I think I’ve seen him before.”
T’Ani shook her head, “I haven’t had much of a chance to speak with her yet. Not in depth anyways. So, you do have some memories then...they are just not in order?”
“A little, but none of them make any sense. I remember yelling at Sil, a maze of underground caverns, cold, painsticks, and a blue box. I even remember someone from Starfleet telling me to find Sil and...” Tay paused before taking a breath. “And kill her.”
Upon hearing the last, T’Ani took a step back from the biobed. “Did someone in particular give that order?”
“I--I don’t know. That’s all I can remember. I think I was sent to Rura Penthe because I refused,” Tay said, eyes wide.
T’Ani composed herself and stepped forward again and reassuringly stated, “That’s all right. Forgive me, I was pressing. Can I get you anything?”
Tay was about to say no but her stomach growled. “Well,” she said, blushing. “I guess so.”
T’Ani laughed softly, “I think I remember your favorites. I’ll go grab you something and see if I can find Sil as well. In the meantime...”
She looked around to make sure no one was looking and reached into one of the medical storage cabinets and beamed and she tossed the twinkie to her friend. “You never know when there might be an emergency.”
Tay laughed, accepting the treat. “Thank you! I do enjoy a twinkie. Although if my father ever heard me say that...”
T’Ani grinned, “He’ll never hear it from any of us, rest assured.”
She was heading for the door when she turned back, “Tay...it is good to see you. I know you don’t feel it right now, but you seem more like yourself than you did before you left.”
Tay wasn’t sure how to respond to that because she couldn’t remember how she acted before she left. It couldn’t have been good considering the fact that she was yelling at Sil for some reason. But why had she been? She always said she would follow Sil to Sto-Vo-Kor and back.
T’Ani made her way quietly through the corridor, wondering what all her friend had seen since she’d been gone and what could have happened to her that would have messed with her memory. She headed to the mess hall to get some things for Tay to eat and then set out to find Sil. They needed answers, not only to what had happened to Tay but also to Krothos and it seemed their friend held the key.
Sil looked up from her desk when the door buzzer went. "Come."
T’Ani walked into the office and offered a smile, “How are you holding up?”
Sil smiled. “I feel better now that Aquila is on the way. Did you find anything new?”
She sighed, “Not yet. I’m actually here because I wanted to speak with you about Tay.”
Sil turned her monitor off and looked at her seriously. “Okay.”
T’Ani nodded, “I’m actually headed back there now, bringing her something to eat. She’s...asked me to mind meld with her to help her remember. I thought she should take some recovery time first, but she’s being very insistent. I thought if we did move forward with this, you would want to be there.”
Sil stood up. “I’ll do whatever I can to help. Let’s go.”
The two swiftly headed back and T’Ani noted the look of relief on Tay’s face when they entered the room. “I picked out some of your favorites.”
Tay smiled at her friend. “Thanks, T. It looks good,” she said then looked over at Sil. “I know you probably think this is a bad idea but I need to know what happened to me. I need to know why someone ordered me to kill you!”
“Kill me?” Sil’s brows lifted. “That’s rather dramatic, isn’t it?”
“Maybe, but that’s one of the flashes of memories I keep getting. I think it was an order from someone in Starfleet.”
Sil glanced at T’Ani and frowned. “I could have understood that before--but this is a new timeline. Did you know that, Tay?”
Tay was silent for a moment. She shook her head in confusion. “No, I didn’t... How the hell did we end up in a new timeline?”
“Well...it’s a long story. But, as you are feeling better and start moving around the ‘base, you’ll notice some people that were gone never left--and others never came. In any case, it would be important to know from what timeline that order came.”
T’Ani looked at Tay. “Anytime you’re ready. You just let me know.”
She was glad that as they had talked, her friend had been eating. She didn’t like the thought of her being any more vulnerable than she already seemed once they started this.
“Lets do this, T,” Tay said. “Maybe we can even figure out what timeline I was in through the meld.”
T’Ani nodded and with a look at Sil, she stepped forward. The two had melded enough times before that she didn’t need to explain what would happen next, but she did say, “I need you to just be calm. If your memories are as jumbled as you say, you’re going to need to give me more control than you’d probably like.”
“I trust you,” Tay replied with a nod taking several calming breaths. “Okay.”
T’Ani took a deep breath of her own and closed her eyes as she gently eased them into the meld. She could feel the pull of resistance and said her friend’s name aloud. This seemed to remind her and the feeling eased. Just...take your time.
Tay was able to let her mind flow. She saw an argument with Sil and she knew that what she said to her friend was horrible and Tay really hadn’t meant it. She realized she had been jealous of T’Ani and the fact that she had been able to be with Paval and Tay had never been able to be with Trip more than once.
She knew she had grown since then and she would be apologizing to both women once this was over. Tay suddenly saw herself in Starfleet Headquarters. She had been so angry but the moment she stepped up to Admiral Maxim and he told her she was going have to kill Sil she shook her head.
That’s when he ordered her to be sent to Rura Penthe. The next memory took her through mines and caverns. She was shivering and defied each one of her guards. They zapped her with painsticks but she defied them again and again.
The man in the Blue Box appeared one night. He said he was called The Doctor and he had to save her because she was in the wrong place and the wrong time. In a flash he returned her to a shuttlecraft and sent her back to Starbase Karma.
Slowly, T’Ani started untangling their thoughts and sending out reassuring vibes. Once she was finished, both took a moment before opening their eyes, as they regained their senses. “Are you all right?"
“I... I don’t really know,” she replied with a frown. Those memories were not what she expected but now that she had them all she could do was remember everything in full detail. She thought dealing with painsticks would be worse but it was actually her fight with Sil.
Watching her friend’s face, she could guess what it was that was going through her mind. She looked to Sil and then back at Tay, “Would you like for me to leave for a few moments?”
“If you don’t mind, T,” she replied, taking her friends hand. “Thank you.”
The Vulcan woman smiled, “You’re welcome.” She then looked to Sil, “I am going to get back to work on our little mystery here. I’ll see you both later.”
As Sildya turned back to see Tay’s anxious expression, she found that above all she wanted to reassure the young woman that the past was the past--something that often felt uncertain here on SBK, for all of them!
“Tay,” she took her hand. “Please don’t worry. I was hurt, terribly hurt, by what you said to me that day. But in the end I think we all learned something. Some of my very best friends formed lifelong relationships with me because they were able to be upset with me. I’m just glad you’re back and that now we know Admiral Maxim was the person who gave you the order you refused and sent you away. As for T’Ani...I hope you don’t feel jealous any more. Everyone’s path is different. We all serve Time in our own way.”
It took a minute for Tay to compose her thoughts. Once she did she looked at Sil and smiled. “This meld has been an eye opener for me. I am very upset at what I said and how I felt. It may take some time to forgive myself, but I know I can since you have. We’ll figure this out together, just as we always have.”