Characters: Margaret Morgan, Dr. Kim Matsumoto
Kim escaped the docking bay only after the flow of wounded, dead and medics that were sorting them apart, slowed to a weary trickle. She eased past a line of cots, wiping her brow only to smudge herself further. The dark uniform was a kindness, hiding most of the other stains she’d accumulated in helping. Knowing she really should have been turning toward her own bed, she helped transfer one of the wounded down to Medlab One. She had her reasons.
Barely in the door and their patient eased into a proper bed, a shout drew Kim’s attention to the main room’s far corner. Morgan, struggling to sit up and no one to stop her in reach. Kim couldn’t have blamed any of the attendants. It hadn’t seemed Margaret Morgan was going to wake any time soon.
Stunned, Kim stared too long. Eyes crazed, Morgan looked at her without recognition and with a snarl, she slipped off the opposite side of the bed…
…And barely kept her knees from meeting the floor as she sagged. She gripped the side of the bed desperately.
“Meg?” Kim gasped. “What do you think you’re doing?” With new energy she moved around and caught Meg by the arm.
In all the noise of the injured minds around her, Kim hadn’t felt it at first, but with the contact her friend’s emotions exploded into her mind.
Agony, fear, grief. Morgan tried to pull away, and almost managed it as Kim’s hand slackened briefly. But it was only for an instant, and Kim only ended up adding another hand, taking her by the upper arms. The telepath met her friend’s eyes now, able to see and feel the disconnection. “Meg. It’s me.”
“PsiCop.” Morgan growled, ragged, the first word she had spoken.
Kim frowned without understanding, but felt the raw-edged nerves and she didn’t dare seek the answer. “There’s no PsiCops here. You’re on the Phoenix. Do you remember my name?” Does she remember her name?
“Phoenix?” She frowned, then shook her head. “Earth. Or Mars. Can’t fool me.” She tried to get away again.
Kim tightened her grip and looked over her shoulder for someone to help, but everyone else wrapped up in too many other crises. Hurriedly she searched her mind for some way to focus her friend. All the other options would have just caused more pain. “Does this look like either? Look around you. Are there Minbari on Earth? Do we have this kind of technology?”
Morgan obediently looked around. She shook her head again without recognition, but at least lost some of her franticness.
“What do you last remember?” Kim asked quietly.
Meg tried to think. “Street. Bura… grabbed, PsiCops. They tear–” She staggered, hands to her head as she started to relive it. Her voice started to spiral up in pain.
Kim shifted quickly to get an arm around her waist and eased her into the bedside chair. She didn’t have the strength to put a struggling person back into bed. “You’re not there any more.”
She put as much force behind the words as she dared, on the edge of full, telepathic contact.
It worked. Meg took deep, gulping breaths, forcing herself back to the present. “They… they tear my mind open, looking for something.” She managed to explain.
Kim suppressed a shudder. As long and as well as she’d come to know Meg, she’d never known. She wasn’t particularly surprised, though. Didn’t she still have her own secrets? “It’s the past. Do you remember this?” She moved one of Morgan’s hands down to the Isil’zha pin on her uniform. “This is what is now.”
Her fingers found the cool stone in it’s setting and looked down, then up at her. Her brow creased, trying.
“The Anla’shok. The Rangers. You’re aboard the Phoenix.” What’s left of it.
“Phoenix,” she repeated slow. The name was dimly starting to break through.
“Do you remember my name?” Kim repeated, then answered herself. “I’m Kim. A friend.”
The English word confused her, didn’t fit. Morgan frowned.
“Cyfeilles. You keep calling me that.”
She stared, then her eyes widened, understanding. “But what are you doing on– Wait.” She scowled down. There were pieces that still didn’t fit… but it was a start.
Kim let out a small sigh of relief, as much for the success as feeling the strain on her mind ease to a dull roar. “Sleep on it.” A slight order, but softly given.
“Nothing fits now, Cyfeilles,” Morgan whispered. “It happened again.”
“I know. But you’ll make it out again, too. Come on, get up on the bed,” Kim coaxed.
“I’d never finished from the first time.” But she didn’t fight, grabbing the bed to pull herself upright.
The pliancy was in itself disturbing to Kim. “You will,” she declared stubbornly. Helping her up, she closed shields around herself as tight as possible.
Morgan dragged herself into bed, only to hunch into a tight curl on her side. A worry frown settled into a deep crease between Kim’s brows. She pulled a blanket over her friend and looked to the side table for something to help.
“They wanted Ethan.” Meg’s voice was thick.
Kim didn’t understand, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t grieve for it. “I’m sorry.” With silent thanks for the efficiency of Mira’s staff, she found a glass of water and a few small packets. Recognizing one for a skin tab, she tore it open.
Morgan started at the sound, then sagged.
“This is just anti-inflammatory,” Kim reassured quickly, “but… do you want anything to help you sleep?”
She hesitated between the temptation of stopping one pain and fearing the possibility of another taking its place if she let herself sleep… and dream. “I’m afraid to, Cyfeilles. Can’t live that again.”
“I understand.” A light pressure and the skintab adhered to the back of Morgan’s hand. “This should at least bring down some of the pain and any inflammation,” she said quietly.
“Welcome.” Kim dropped the empty packet in the wastebasket. “I’m going to leave you to your rest, now. I’ll be back though, in a few hours.”
Kim paused, wishing she had something to offer, then turned away.
Morgan tried to relax, but the jumble of memories wouldn’t let her.
Pushing hair out of her face again, Kim walked wearily out of Medlab.
(C) 1998 Alida Saxon and Leslie McBride. All rights reserved.