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Paradox by the dashboard lights

Posted on Mon Jun 16th, 2014 @ 7:45am by Lieutenant Hedy Lamarr & Vice Admiral Rhenora Kaylen

Mission: The Great Hunt
Location: Science Lab 3, Deck 5
Timeline: 2386

" I was going to say I'm sorry for your loss" Rhenora said, honesty warming her voice as she turned to regard the defeated woman before her. " It hurts to lose a partner, it's a wound that never heals. Ever."

"No... no it doesn't," McCray replied, her voice a ragged whisper, her eyes downcast. "She was going to kill herself, that night on the Sunfire when I met her. She just felt so alone. But..." Tears welled up and flowed freely before she brought her gaze up to meet with that of Kaylen Rhenora.

"I can't help but think it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't brought her with me. That maybe if I had kept her in her own time, where she belonged..." Liviana chuckled ruefully. "She always said she belonged with me, wherever that was. But... I can't help but think, you know?"

" It was her choice to make, you must let yourself acknowledge that. Rain was a very complex woman. We had some great times over the years, but towards the last time I saw her her world had grown dark and few could reach her, despite how we tried." Rhenora admitted, recalling the last times she'd seen the Betazoid.

"She was all right, she was just... lonely. Gods above and below, she had such a crush on you, and you never even realized it, did you?" the auburn-haired handful sighed, mopping at her tears with a small smile.

" I couldn't realise it, I was promised to another at the time" Kaylen hung her head a little, watching as the pieces of the puzzle dropped into place and finally made sense. " She must have known that, Jeremiah was my love at that time, until he passed to walk with the Prophets..." The last words were quiet and haunted, as though a wound had never healed and was rarely spoken of.

"Nah... she never said it, but I knew. That's why she was so upset on the Sunfire... she just couldn't get you to see her." The weary traveler sighed, then shifted her grip to the edge of the console. When she spoke, her voice was earnest and there was genuine compassion. "I'm sorry about your Jeremiah. I know you loved him very much."

" He was a wonderful man. I miss him every day still despite the years that have passed. Time is a harsh companion, particularly in this line of work" She admitted sadly " Those you love are used as targets, as political pawns for exploitation by others at their bent will, and you're powerless to stop it for fear of increasing their power over you."

"Or you check back on them and find that they've grown old while you were gone, busy doing other things, seeing other places, or adrift in time." McCray sighed heavily, then picked her gaze up to meet that of the Admiral's. "I'm sorry I ditched you on the Sunfire. The damn dragon lady... it doesn't matter. I was sh'toophing fit for your ship, and it was a bad idea in the first place."

" We needed you, and you're welcome to come back anytime you feel like it. Commodore S'Thenosis is no longer on board so you won't have an issue with her," Rhenora admitted. "She was re-assigned for the present time being, Lieutenant Martin is my First Officer."

That got something out of the time traveler that she had never seen before- a look of surprise. "Resigned? Really? Wait- Martin? Jonathan Martin, from the Alamo?"

" That would be him," Rhenora replied simply, wondering what connection what about to be made.

"Huh. That's... interesting. So... still the Sunfire-D?" McCray asked cautiously. Clearly there was something afoot here.

" We haven't crashed her since... last time." There was a pause when she recalled the last time they did actually crash was on Canis Major.. and the ship was repaired afterwards " Nope... we got her back in the sky.. so it would be the time before that... or was it...nope...the C crash landed....we replaced her with the D.... it's only crashed once that I can remember..."

"Well, that... is interesting..." McCray murmured, then her eyes came up to meet that of the Admiral's. "Yes, you change time, foreknowledge of it gets a little off. It's why I am a lousy historian... I don't mess with the fixed points in time, but my adventures and the changes that I make tend to have... a ripple effect. And suddenly the future isn't necessarily the one that I recall, because.. well. Gotta love paradox, eh?"

"Where will you go after this?" Rhenora asked quietly, almost hesitant to know the answer. McCray sounded like she'd been through the proverbial wringer, and despite the fact how the two of them never seemed to agree on anything at all, it still seemed right that the older Admiral at least TRY to make things a little easier on her.

There was a moment of hesitation there, where those angular auburn brows came together a bit and McCray avoided eye contact, before she picked her gaze up to meet that of the Sunfire commander.

"I think I might go make a change in my own timeline," she admitted quietly. "If you're serious about your offer." As she spoke, her words began coming faster, tumbling out of the woman like a dammed river that was being released. "Look, I'm never going to be a model officer and neither is Rain. But she's brilliant and brave and fierce and funny and... well, my prognosticational abilities won't exactly be on par, but I'm still the smartest scientist in the fleet." While it might have seemed to be an idle boast, in McCray's case her knowledge of future technologies and mastery of dozens of different versions of technologies actually lent credence to her claim... plus there was no denying that the woman was simply dead brilliant in her own right.

" You can do that?" Rhenora's eyebrow rose a little. She was aware of McCray's mastery of various forms of the ability to move through time, but changing your own timeline took balls of steel.

Those odd eyes returned to pale silver again, and she met Rhenora's gaze once more. "Look... she didn't really like the past, she just came with me because we were Imzadi. And in the end, it got her killed. It's risky, but... yeah. I can go avert the course of events and change my own timeline... which, of course, should cause this version of me to no longer exist. But hey, that's paradox for ya, right?" The sultry scientist offered a short barking laugh that was somehow bereft of humor.


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