Star Trek PBEM Sim / Star Trek RPG
OUR STAR TREK PBEM STORIES: TO SLEEP, PER CHANCE TO DREAM...AND REMEMBER
Title: To Sleep, Perchance to Dream... And Remember, Part Five
Location: Pandora's Box
Setting: CO's Quarters
Captain Nikolai Kamranov fell asleep quickly trying a gentle version of dreaming
techniques he had learned decades ago that was part of his extensive training.
His training had included many components from different Ops. These particular
techniques gave him a better chance of survival against various brainwashing
techniques and helped him still to be able to carry out his deep cover missions.
The training started decades ago according to official sources when he first
joined Starfleet Intelligence with the Vulcans against the Romulans. If they had
known all of his history before joining, the argument could have been made that
it started in his earliest childhood years.
Kamranov's specialties under any identity were infiltration and extraction. This
often required very clever and novel ways to enter a place such as a prison,
mental institution or behind enemy lines. The hardest was always when the other
side used telepaths and severe interrogation methods for screening people before
they were permitted to enter. In order to help facilitate the deception there
were a number of special procedures that the Federation and others like the
Romulans and Cardassians used. These gave new meaning to the Intel term of deep
In these situations, an operative was given a new identity with false memories
and the previous one was suppressed. He or she was made to believe the new
identity and all the details of a life that never existed were real. If the
procedures were done right, the operative would be more able to resist
telepathic intrusion, interrogations, lie detectors and even a variety of truth
compelling drugs. Kamranov had had performed a variety of these missions
against heavy odds, going so deep undercover that he never knew what his former
identity was until he was activated.
This method allowed him to become well placed and living out an ordinary life
with even the best trained telepaths unsuspecting because he had really believed
he was someone else. Other times it helped him play the part of a prisoner and
committed person to a mental institution so that no one knew who he really was
and why he was there. The mission then usually was either an extraction or to
communicate with a prisoner or "patient". Kamranov had much experience doing
this and not just in enemy territory. This also included infiltrating areas of
the Federation that had been compromised by spies and moles. The fact that he
was Human helped these deceptions greatly as many engaged in telepathic warfare
discounted his race as no match for theirs in this arena of deception.
This ability to come out of a deep cover mission clear headed when activated and
reorient himself quickly to his last identify translated into other areas as
well, such as coming out of the mind wipes and recovering an identity as he was
doing now. It was not something easy for most to do, but he was very good at
simultaneously figuring out who he was and rolling with the punches and how best
to achieve the mission in progress.
Something, however, was seriously wrong this time and Kamranov was very aware of
it. He knew he should have been able to reintegrate previous identities by now
while he resumed the one of Kamranov. There was so much of the Kamranov identity
that did not make sense to him, including that he was married. While he knew
that information was supposed to remain suppressed to protect his family, there
were too many things that didn't add up about the resumed identity. He knew that
he should at least feel on some level he had a girlfriend waiting for him, but
there was nothing like that. It felt instead like that part of him had died and
that whoever she was had died. It was some sort of feeling akin to the death of
a loved one, not the lesser but still strong feelings of separation. There was
something about his last or one of his last identities that seemed to be tugging
at him, taking him away from his current one. He didn't know quite how to
explain it to himself or Dr. S'Traht his personal physician onboard Pandora's
He hoped by initiating these dream recovery protocols that would to help
remember things and solve problems at a less than conscious level. He knew that
since his memories, if they still existed, were not to be found in the waking
world the path back to them might have triggers at a less than conscious level
for safe keeping until some codeword was given or until the external environment
He settled into a deep sleep and began to dream. The first dream did not appear
remarkable and he would not remember it. He was walking in a forest in the
darkness of night without a moon. There was heavy condensation in the air. In
the dream a low hanging fog had rolled in hours earlier. The late evening insect
life hummed a few bars of a song he could not remember in a manner that does not
seem odd in the dream world. There were other codes for his subconscious mind to
find hidden in this dream but he did not notice them.
Niko stopped for a moment to make out a distant sound. It was the screech of a
bird of prey. He climbed a tree to see beyond the forest and saw the hawk like
bird soaring on a thermal in search of prey. The predator shortly found it in
the form of a rodent out to get some food. It seemed to Nikolai that the rodent
knew the hawk was there but still took a chance trying to make a break in the
tree lines to find food. The mammal was unsuccessful. The hawk swooped down and
caught it tight between its talons.
Nikolai was not alarmed. He knew he had seen things like this before in the
realms of nature and man. There was a place for both prey and predator in the
order of things. Each had its part to play. The calm cool predator watching for
those below to make a mistake to make his move had his role. The prey below
driven into a misstep of being flushed out into the open on some elusive false
promise had its place in things also.
He continued and kept walking searching for something. The dream repeated
several times until he saw a faint trail and path. It led him up to an apple
orchard with many varieties of this Earther fruit in many different colors, hues
and shades. He looked up at a tree full of very bright red apples and took one.
He held and turned the shiny gleaming fruit that looked almost lacquered in his
hand for several rotations. He stared at it for a long time wondering if it was
safe to eat or if there was more to this attractive fruit than met the eye.
At this point he started to remember the dream when it began as one or part of
one he had had before. With a few sparse interludes, this same dream was
repeated more times and progressed the story in the dream world further.
By the third dream of the repeating series that he was able to remember on some
level, he became vestigially aware of a cloaked gray figure haunting the dream
somewhere in the background. After that he actively tried to find the identity
of this Spectre. From time to time he saw further glimpses of the figure. It was
part of the background or observing him at different times. He began to slowly
realize that this phantom followed him in his dreams and was perhaps at some
level in each and every one of them.
When he tried to get closer to see who was under the hooded gray cloak, the
figure increased the distance and become further obscured. Whatever the
partially veiled face was, it became so shrouded in a fog that any eye color or
shape of nose and mouth were impossible to make out. He tried something else for
a while, concentrating on his foot prints disappearing in the fog and other
things. This helped some in getting him closer to the Spectre, but it was still
too elusive to recognize.
Niko grew tired trying to chase it and fell asleep in the dream and would enter
another. And so it continued for many more dreams. The most he could see at any
time of the Spectre the cloak, a few long golden ringlets of hair showing at
different times and the tips of a pair of neatly polished Starfleet boots.
In a chair nearby, Emma mindsat Niko while he slept. The chair was like many of
his things, well made, very utilitarian and not too soft. She fidgeted trying to
get comfortable until she finally did and began to read one of the books she had
taken off his shelves earlier. She was very distracted and it was hard for her
to read while watching her old partner. A lot of things raced through her head
and didn't make sense to her. After visiting with him and watching him now, she
had even more questions to toss into that pile.
Her biggest concern was why if Niko was having such a hard time with having an
older identity and memory restored, why was she sent on a training mission? The
mission surely should have waited so she could have sat him a few nights until
things worked out. It was against standard protocol for these things to leave
the operative alone those first few nights while the memories and identities
were getting sorted out. This was for their protection and that of the Service.
The mindsitting was largely uneventful for the last three hours. She had pushed
herself hard and was exhausted. The procedure she had used to transport herself
and mask her presence on Pandora's Box made her more tired and unsettled.
In contrast, being near her old partner and mentor made her feel safe and
nostalgic. It didn't matter that he needed her more in very physical real ways
than she needed him psychologically and emotionally. It was much more than he
had saved her life several times or that she loved him. She knew after so many
years with him that as bad and impossible the situations she had been in with
him that he'd pull them through. There was something that gave a very safe
feeling to be around him and around someone who could pull victory out of defeat
and beat the odds like he could in that methodical calculating way of his. She
knew he was uniquely positioned here on Pandora's Box as Commanding officer of
elite joint Ops units having had himself a broader experience than the others
involved. Niko had worked with or been a part of a number of different Ops
including the three most important ones for their upcoming missions, SpecOps,
PysOps and TempOps.
Emma's mind began to wander while Alan, as he was called before, slept. She
started to recall a few missions they had done before and the good people they
had both known and lost. Her friendís soft snoring made a familiar white noise
in the background. She starting to drift off herself one of last times she
mindsat her old partner. It was with his last identity, just a few months ago at
Starbase 45 in his temporary quarters there...
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CO, Captain Nikolai Kamranov
CMO, Commander Vilotanzia Bounlutay
ACEO,Lieutenant Commander Piper Chayton
COMMO, Lieutenant Llewellyn Moreau
AIO, Lieutenant Peel
VLO, Sublieutenant Yunarra
AIO, Ensign Molly Ferweiler
Pandora's Box...Some things are best left unopened...
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