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 cover.

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 Box.

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 supported it.

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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Character Biographies:

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

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Pandora's Box...Some things are best left unopened...




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