Characters: Katia Santiago
“Katia, you have been going at this for hours, and I have seen you take at least two stims within the past hour and a half. It is time for you to get some rest,” The Chief Engineer heard these words as if from a long way off. The heightened sensitivity and “floating” feeling that comes with exhaustion, threatening to overwhelm her at any minute. She had been going at this for hours, showing the various loaner personnel from the other White Star, where it was they needed help the most. Now, she was digging into a relay herself, trying to restore mainframe AI systems back to some semblance of normality. It wouldn’t be such a huge thing, if it weren’t for the fact that the AI was directly linked to the self-repair systems, and the sooner she got the AI running properly, she knew that some of the extra work, her people had been doing to keep thePhoenix even space-worthy would be eased.
So far, the self-repairing systems were working, but much slower than they should have been. The Phoenix had been injured badly, they all knew, but Katia wasn’t sure many people knew how much she had been hurt when she had been injured. Repairing the essentials had now come around to what Katia was trying to accomplish right at that moment. She had been stuck into the consoles, moving back and forth, splicing and cutting and wiring for how long now? 12 hours? 20? Katia wasn’t even sure she wanted to know.
“Katia!” the same voice, more insistent this time than it had been. “You need to come out of there, let me do some of the repairs on AI.”
At that, Santiago jerked, feeling as if she was falling, and it was then she realized how truly exhausted she really was. Slowly, as if she felt she was moving in almost slow motion, the Chief Engineer pulled herself out of the console and glared up at Darion, one of her primary technicians. It took her a moment to focus on the face before her and she shook her head to clear the cobwebs that had taken up residence since the last time she had rested.
He smiled a bit at her almost incoherent look and took her by the shoulders, leading her to her office to lie down on her cot. “I think you definitely need to sleep. Maybe for a couple days by the look of you!”
Katia smiled as she allowed Darion to guide her over and pressed her to sit down on the cot. “I think you are right,” she answered in a slurred tone, definitely not up to the tasks at hand at the moment.
“Lay down, sleepyhead and get some sleep. Tomorrow is soon enough to worry about our sorrows,” he said with a chuckle at the rhyme he had created. He was feeling a bit loopy too from lack of sleep, but was still coherent enough to function, and intended to do just that until Katia regained some of her senses.
Sleep overtook her and she slumped down on her cot, and the technician just reached over and adjusted her body so she would be more comfortable.
The darkness drifted past as it were almost like a palatable cloud that descended over her. She felt, rather than heard the sounds around her, and drifted further down into sleep … and the dreams that came with such a dead slumber. She floated above, as if looking down on the scene as it folded out before here. She was there again. That brief moment in time when she had been on Minbar, her daughters… the three of them, standing there. It couldn’t have been them. But, it had been.
Somehow, her jump into time had brought her to a place several years in her future. They were there. And, happy to be with her. It was one thing she could hold on to through all the darkness, and into the dawn. The dawn was coming. She felt it. And, one day soon, she would experience it as if she had been born to it instead of the darkness that she felt engulf her now.
Then, suddenly, he was there again. A face, she knew, but couldn’t quite recognize. Her husband. She knew that as she had known the baby in her Kira’s arms had been hers. The face … she tried to focus on it … it drifted before her, taunting her with its familiarity, but recognition was way beyond her comprehension. It was time, a whisper came to her. But, soon…..
She fought against that, wanting to know. Katia had never been one to patiently wait to know what was going on around her. She tried to force the face to come into her mind again, but the darkness engulfed her yet again. Not time…….
Suddenly she was once again in her office, her eyes snapped open and she glared up at the ceiling. It felt as if she had been asleep a matter of minutes, instead, as she looked over at the chrono, it showed her it had in reality been several hours. She rolled over onto her side, facing the wall, not ready to force herself to get up. If she could just get a couple more hours, she knew she would be ready to face whatever it was the dream had been trying to tell her. Maybe…..
Copyright (C) 1998 Tamara Friese. All rights reserved.