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Sharing Is Caring? No?

Posted on Sat May 27th, 2023 @ 11:32am by Captain Akiva ben-Avram & Captain Mrazak & Lieutenant JG Ryland Dedeker & Lieutenant Sophie Xiong & Lieutenant Commander T'Bela & Lieutenant Commander Leonora Wolf MD & Lieutenant Teejay

Mission: Season 1 Interlude II (E5.5)
Location: shared dreamscape / Temtibi Lagoon - MT Atol
Timeline: night between ID 5 & 6, ID6 morning

Leah stared at faces in the dim light, all dressed in current Starfleet uniforms, but all carrying the colours of the intelligence division. Jonathan Cutteridge, Kalikuo Arija, Karna Zsan, Finely Chu and a few others...they were all talking to her at once, words intermingling, becoming a barely understandable jumble.

The space around them was one of old Romulan design, muted green, olive and brown colours, with some Klingon influence as well. The console layout was that of the 23rd century and the atmosphere felt old, very old. On the screen behind them there was a schematic of a torpedo shaped weapon.

None of them seemed to actually register the other, nor that they were talking over each other. Leah waved a had in front of them, trying to get their attention, but none of them even batted an eyelid at her.

Far and away from the secret meeting of spooks, but close enough for conscious awareness, there was a black cloud. Pitch darkness was dissected by pulsating beams of light in every color of the spectrum. Loud staccato beats drummed loud enough to be heard directly through the skull, bypassing the need for ears and potentially even obliterating the sense of external hearing altogether. Through the blinding, deafening kaleidoscope were glimpses of scantily clad dancers conducting a performance of pure hedonism. Amidst all of it was Ryland, sweaty and shirtless, his hair matted to his face and neck as he was intensely waving glow-sticks across the front of his body, dancing in cadence to lyrics that chanted endlessly at a sensually overwhelming volume.

"Ass, titties, ass-n-titties
Ass ass titties titties, ass-n-titties
Ass, titties, ass-n-titties
Ass-ass-titties-titties, ass-n-titties...

On the other side of the pitch black darkness, opposite from the Romulan-esque Klingon ship, there was a V'tosh Ka'tur clad in a humble gray robe. Knelt down in a garden of flowers, his brown fingers thumbed the stem of a rose, appraising its health, before gentling sweeping his fingers across the petals. Almost in response, the rose petals spread into a beautiful bloom that released a powerful aroma that made the V'tosh Ka'tur close his eyes and grin in delight. It was so... so...

"Ass, titties, ass-n-titties
Ass ass titties titt--

"What is that lekking abomination of the mind?!" shouted Mrazak. The previous serenity of his countenance transmuted into the familiar scowl he normally presented to the world around him. "May inferno find you!"

“I think it’s that guy over there,” came a voice from somewhere above him. There floated Sophie on a hovering Pegasus. “Is that Dedeker? It would be, wouldn’t it? Fooling around when I’ve been kidnapped by Betezoids.” Something about that wasn’t right, but Sophie couldn’t think straight.

"Watch out for my flowers!" Mrazak shrieked. Then, remembering himself, he cleared his throat and dropped his voice into a more commanding octave. "Xiong, what are you doing here?" The fact she was astride a winged horse did not immediately register as an abnormal sight.

“Riding a Pegasus, obviously,” replied Sophie as if it were the most natural of things to be doing. "His name is Ryland. He’s a good boy.”

"GET HIM AWAY FROM MY GARDEN!" Mrazak bellowed, his voice dropping below the vocal fry register.

“Perhaps it is you who should move your garden away from me.”

The voice seemed to come from the Pegasus, but his mouth did not move. Still, Sophie did not question it. “Yeah,” she put in. “Take your flowers and go. This is our airspace and we have every right to be here without your pollen mucking up the place!”

"My flowers and I were here first, you fool!" Mrazak clenched both hands into fists as he howled in anger.

“Well Ryland has been here for centuries!” countered Sophie irrationally. “He’s a Pegasus and they live forever!”

Adjacent to the warriors in the flower garden was a circle of Vulcans clad in religious vestments. Whatever they had been doing a moment prior was lost to the vicious debate that had overtaken them all. At the center of them was Brother Telum, the factotum for the V'tosh Ka'tur convention. Accusations were being slung at him for being caught in the act of Kolinahr by the brothers and sisters of his Order.

"Please, brethren, I beg of you to understand!" Telum clutched his hands together and piqued his voice in pleading. "This is not what it seems! I don't even know what I'm doing here!"

Truthfully, T’Bela didn’t know, either. Looking around at the scenes surrounding them, she tried to pick out the things that seemed out of place. There were too many to count. There was a girl on the back of a flying horse, a black cloud with obnoxious sounds coming from it- something about humanoid body parts- and of course, this nonsense.

I’m dreaming, she suddenly realized. And I can prove it. When I turn around, there with be a Nausican skipping through a tulip field with seven kittens following him. And there he was. Yep, this was definitely a dream. Time to have fun.

“If he were guilty of Kolinahr, would there be a rainbow coming out of his ass?” she pointed out calmly to the others, willing them to agree.

"Wha-wha-what?!" Telum shouted. While he was emitting colors of the rainbow from his posterior, the medium was far too tangible to be pure light.

"Sorcery!" shouted one of the other Vulcans Without Logic. "It is real!"

“Of course it is!” replied T’Bela, producing an ice cream cone from her sleeve. “And there’s enough for everybody!” she added, producing more of them and passing them around.

He lay in a field, blue sky overhead and the sound of birds off in the distance, probably singing from the boughs of tall trees he could just imagine in the distance. Idyllic, one might think, but as Teejay opened his eyes to drink in the wonders of long grass, fluffy white clouds and hopefully Leah beside him, he chuckled. He was alone - which was mildly disappointing - but beyond that was definitely interesting. Around him, surrounding his prone position in every direction, were mushrooms. Mushrooms of all shapes and sizes, mushrooms that moved to a soft, casual beat that his own hands tapped out against his knees. Which also, had mushrooms...

Wait, what?!

His belly rumbled, and taking the little pale brown capped fungi from his own legs, Teejay giggled as he placed them in his mouth and let his mind go to happy places. More popped into place, small and painless, growing atop his entire, very naked body and Teejay chose them one at a time at random, savouring the simple taste and the glowing after-effects in his brain.

“Try them with this,” came a voice from behind him. There stood T’Bela, offering a whole roasted pig that she produced from thin air. “Oh, you’ll need a fork. Here is one!” She announced, taking one from the disembodied hand that had appeared holding no fewer than three dozen forks.

The purple elephant that appeared before him was singing some song about... what was that? A dolphin? Teejay squinted, seeing neither T'Bela or the pig for what they truly were (if in fact any of this was even real at all) He didn't get up, but waved his hand 'hello' and started to watch the falling silver rain of what looked suspiciously like... cutlery?

"Ass, titties, ass-n-titties
Ass ass titties titt--

The strange filtered through the cacophony of voices speaking at Leah. "What the fuck?"

Leah had by this point given up on trying to get the group to start overlapping as they made literally no indication that any of them had heard her. So, as she looked around the darkened room, trying to find the source of the chant that entirely didn't fit the mood she noticed a black cloud seeping from a stone doorway? Or archway at the very least.

There were minuscule traces of light and colour at its very darkest edge, within the archway. Leah sighed, this was clearly not her memory. Well not fully at least - that event went quite differently in her recollection. A positive choice that had a very negative outcome.

Should she follow the ass-n-titties? A medieval torch that suddenly appeared in her hand certainly suggested that she enter the dark cloud. How did a dark cloud with a stone archway even appear in a memory all of a sudden?

"Not a memory." She realized, her own inner voice sounding off as a side narrator, rather than internal monologue. "But a dream." The voice sounded suspiciously like an ancient Earth narrator Sir David Attenborough. What?

"Ass, titties, ass-n-titties
Ass ass titties titties, ass-n-titties
Ass, titties, ass-n-titties
Ass-ass-titties-titties, ass-n-titties...

The chant became louder and rational analytical thought gave way to curiosity to explore this bizzare dream further.

And thus, Leah entered the dark cloud-filled archway. The torch went out almost instantly, and Leah moved to turn back and return to the relative familiarity of that room, but found her orientation lost. Which way was it? All she saw was dark, with intermittent flashes of some sort of colour or light, but to the side, not behind or in front as one would expect after a 180 turn.

With no recourse other than to follow the light, Leah progressed through until finally the archway lead towards a zany act of one Ryland Dedeker surrounded by a psychodelic array of light and sound.

"Ryland?" Leah yelled, her voice drowned out by the deafening sound.

“Join in!” suggested T’Bela, doing her best to imitate his dancing. “It’s fun!”

"What the hell?" The side voice, still sounding like Sir Attenborough, commented Leah's visible confusion. "Who are you? Ryland!" Leah stepped over to the man who was clearly 'working it'.

“I’m Princess Beatrix Nastyface of the house of Stinkbugs,” replied T’Bela. “And I’m here on the orders of the Earl of Mosquitoes to bring ice cream to the masses! Now dance! Dance for the Targs of gold and the old gods!” And she began dancing again.

The music came to a screeching halt. Glowsticks still in hand, Ryland looked around at the two women illuminated by the now stationary lights. "Wait. Is this one of those dreams?" His eyes darted back and forth between Leah and T'Bela. "I'm always down for a foxy blonde," he said in reference to Leah, but then he made finger-guns at T'Bela. "But something tells me I'll need extra strength lube for the Cardie." Rubbing his hands together, he said, "Let's get down to business. I'm sure you got friends coming. Always do. Don't wanna form a line."

"Lieutenant Dedeker!" Mrazak's commanding voice interrupted the sordid intentions that Ryland had just expressed. The Vulcan Without Logic stepped forward with an apron around his waist and garden soil streaked clear to his elbows. "You shall not copulate in my presence! That is a direct order!"

“Well, then you’d better get going because me and half naked dude are exchanging sex and ice cream cones,” T’Bela informed him. “And what are you doing in my dream?”

"This can't be your dream," Mrazak protested, "because it's mine!"

Leah listened to the exchange, there was something that...

"Shared dreams..." the David Attenborough inner voice of Leah's spoke up loudly, "Like in the sex fungus infection...did any of you have sex recently?" Said the voice as Leah looked positively mortified.

"Are you kidding?" Ryland balked at the question as if it were a joke. "This is Risa. Anybody not having sex is doing it wrong."

“Exactly what i was going to say,” put in T’Bela. “But, wait: fungus infection? What fungus infection?”

Ryland paled with a sudden guilty-as-all-hell look. "Yeah? Wh-what fungus infection?"

"Psolim Septicus, said the narrator voice of Leah's. "The thing Reggie ended up in hospital for undergoing aggressive treatment. He's not well." She said looking between Ryland and Mrazak. "We've been looking for you."

"It was then that the Norwegian woman realized..." The Attenborough voice continued, "that she must be infected too, as would Teejay be. Speaking of who..." Leah sighed at herself. "It looks like I caught it somehow too, must have been from the hospital...."

"Teejay, are you here?" Attenborough called for the Norwegian's mate.

Stark naked still, Teejay carefully handing out mushrooms to anyone within reach as he walked from sky/ceiling to ground level with zero regard for gravity or physics. "I wasn't," Teejay said. "Here. But I think was there. Where is here? And... oh!" He pointed and giggled. "Ryland. You really should have had sex with Reggie," he stated, clearly and loudly for all to hear. "Could have saved him."

“Psolim septicus,” muttered T’Bela, then more loudly, “if you will all excuse me, it’s time for me to wake up now.” She closed her eyes and suddenly, she was just not there anymore.

The ground began to shake and turn to quicksand as a massive object began to unearth itself. Once the grains of sand had fallen away, a large chrysalis became visible. Some sort of humming came from it. No, groaning. Muffled shouts, even. Soon a fist tore through the side followed by another. Eventually a very sticky Reginald Madison Hawthorne crawled out of the disgusting membrane and stood upright, dripping with ooze.

"Ryland!" he called out as he swiped muck from his face. "You sad sack, shitkickin', shit-dickin', knobslobbin', backstabbin', ratfuckin', piss-takin', taint-lickin, shit-stainin' asswipe! You left me to die!"

For once in his life, Ryland was left speechless. That was one impressive blue streak. The fact he looked guilty as hell didn't much help matters either.

“Oh, you’re still alive!” announced Sophie, now floating about ten feet off the ground on a rainbow colored cloud. “Relax, Hawthorne. If we’d left you to die, you’d be dead.” She glanced to her right. “I’ve got another cloud, if you want it,” she offered.

Leah had been too distracted watching Teejay in his naked state and handing out mushrooms to notice Sophie's initial appearance. "Wait...hold on. You knew about this?" She realized what Sophie had said. "God, you have as much sense as Ryland!" She looked over at the floating Engineer. "If you two had sex would have infected more people...this is spreading fast. Reggie is in serious trouble, guys. He doesn't look much different than this suspended in the air in the hospital."

Wolf began pacing. "Ryland. Global Security is looking for you. If you get captured you could be charged with trespass and vandalism. Sophie, if you were there and they can prove it you could be charged too. Fuck...we need to look at quarantine too and..."

"Just then the blonde norwegian heard a loud yet muffled, continuous bang." Attenborough narrated, although the sound could only really be heard by Leah and Teejay. "A muffled voice could be heard in the background. The voice continued saying.

Teejay stopped short and canted his head to the side. Then the other side, and then repeated the gesture. He looked to Leah who'd been saying a lot of words that hadn't registered at all and raised both his eyebrows. Then he brushed the 'shrooms from his body and shook himself in a wriggling shuffle that started at his shoulders and worked briskly down to his feet. Both hands picked drumsticks from out of nowhere and began to pick up the beach of the banging sound as he walked over to stand next to Leah and lean to whisper in her ear. Meanwhile...

"I'll show you quarantine!" Reggie lunged at Sophie with both fists upraised. "Then we'll see who's dead!"

Ryland jumped between them and locked one of Reggie's arms down with both of his own which he brought together in a hand squeeze. "Hands off the late, brother." Dropping weight, Ryland tried to hold Reggie in place, but the other man slipped free with an elasticity that was far beyond whatever muck he was covered with.

"Brother, huh?" Reggie was fuming. "Brothers don't leave brothers in a hole in the ground!" When he threw a punch at Ryland, his fist grew six times its normal size and sent Ryland sailing through the air. "Whoa!" Reggie stared at his enlarged fist and chuckled. "Hot damn!"

“Hey!” shouted Sophie, and a bolt of rainbow lightning shot out of her cloud towards Reggie. “Nobody messes with my friends!”

"You two idiots both messed with your friend," Leah sighed then turned to Mrazak and the others, "sir, we need to quarantine when we wake up."

"This," Teejay said, mostly to himself, "is some fucked up shit."

“He’s not my friend,” Sophie pointed out, indicating Reggie. “He just tagged along. And how am I supposed to quarantine? I’ve been kidnapped by Pakleds!”

"What?" Leah looked over, "are you hurt?"

"You've what now?" Teejay echoed Leah. "But you're here." And yet he knew that wasn't entirely accurate, the dreamstate becoming slightly more obvious as clarity thumped into his brain, one beat at a time. "Oh," he said, scratching his shoulder and frowning as he looked to Reggie. "Fuck."

"I am already quarantined," Mrazak said, ignoring all mention of Pakleds and kidnappings and injuries. The more he talked, the more transparent he became. "For my heart has been taken captive. I'm going where my heart will take me. I've got faith to believe I can do anything. I've got strength of the soul, and no one's going to bend or break me. I can reach any star. I've got faith... faith... faith of the heart." And then he vanished from the dreamscape as his conscious mind asserted itself.

"That's a very enterprising little poem you're reciting," noted Teejay as he looked through the Mrazak-ghost until that too vanished.

"What in the..." but she too was interrupted. "Oi, you lot! Git'up! Shit's fucked and we need your help!" A loud voice banged in Teejay and Leah's head. Leah disappeared out of the dreamscape first.

Without preamble, Sophie gasped as if hit in the face with cold water and she, too, disappeared.

Teejay looked to those remaining - Ryland, Reggie - and shrugged. "If you two are gonna kill each other, here's a good place to do it," he said, voice coloured with humour. "But I gotta go see a girl about some mushrooms.... Badger, badger, badger..."

And the now only half-naked, Vulcan-human hybrid exited stage left magnificently with a swish of a short-collared waist-length, white cape lined in bright blue that just appeared about his shoulders covering an equally newly-arrived lairy Hawaiian shirt.


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