USS Omaha
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Nightmares and Kindling

Posted on Mon Jul 6, 2020 @ 1:47am by Lieutenant JG Jayden Bren & Lieutenant JG Gairon Jaggar
Edited on on Mon Jul 6, 2020 @ 1:55am

Mission: Episode 1: The Milk Run
Location: Jayden's Quarters
Timeline: Mission Day 3 at 0230

After leaving the lounge, Gairon had gone back to his quarters.  It was almost 2400 when he walked inside.  He'd enjoyed catching up with an old friend, but it really hadn't helped him adjust to the time difference on the Omaha.  He moved the aquarium he'd had sent over and finished setting it up and he unpacked the rest of his things.  That took a good hour, and he still wasn't that tired.  But he decided to just lay down anyway, hoping he could get some rest if nothing else.



He tried a few Vulcan meditation techniques and did fall asleep shortly after that. 



Almost immediately he began to dream. It was pleasant enough at first, he was on a beach with a warm sun and a nice cooling breeze.  It was if he could actually smell the brine in the air. He closed his eyes in the dream and that's when everything shifted.



When he opened his eyes, he was no longer on a beach, but in a seedy little bar, on a backwater planet.  The bar looked like something out of the twenty-first century, there was even a hazy cloud of smoke hanging near the ceiling.



The dream was no longer a dream, it was a nightmare and not just a nightmare caused by a case of space lag or a few too many drinks before bedtime.  It wa a nightmare shaped by history and reality.  He was looking down onto Ajais's bloody face and unseeing eyes.



Then someone was shooting at him, a phaser blast singing the hair on the right side of his face.  If he didn't get up and run, right then he would die.  He didn't want to live not without the man he loved, but somehow instinct cut in and he struggled to his feet.  They became entangled in something he couldn't see and he pitched forward and woke up, his feet entangled in the sheets, and his face bathed in sweat.



It took him several minutes to get his breathing under control, and he lay there for several minutes more.  Knowing he couldn't get back to sleep anytime soon, or worse yet that he could, he disentangled his feet threw on a pair of grey running shorts and black A-shirt and, after checking on the location of Jayden's quarters headed there.



He didn't really want to, he hated being an imposition, or showing a weakness, but he needed to talk to someone and at least he knew the pilot.  He made his way to the other's cabin and pressed the chime.



Jayden had stayed in the lounge a bit longer than Gairon.  While his quarters had a small window, the lounge had a much better view.  There was something about the stars streaking past while at warp that helped relax him.



While the lounge itself was open all day the galley closed at 0200 so Jayden took that as being time to head to bed.  He would need to be up for his shift in a few hours anyway.  Opting to take the long route to his quarters to help get used to the ship, Jayden arrived and began stripping down and getting ready for bed.  He was just finishing up sonic flossing when he heard his door chime.  Throwing on a grey t-shirt on top of his basketball shorts, he called "come on in!" as he exited the bathroom.



As the doors swished open at his beckon, he saw Gairon on the other side and could tell that something was bothering him.  "Gairon?" he asked, "What's wrong?"



The Counselor gave him a sheepish look.  "Sorry," he said, "you're probably going to think this is awfully forward of me.  But, I just had a nightmare, flashback really.  It was when I found Ajais.  It was a little too graphic, a little too real."



Jayden tilted his head to the left a little, he felt sorry for Gairon feeling the need to apologise for something like that.  It only made sense that he would be the one the Orion would come to, being that he's the only one he knows on the ship.  "Please, don't apologise.  Come on in and have a seat," he said, quickly moving to clear a moving box from the sofa.  "Can I get you some Denobulan Chamomile or anything?"



"I've never had that before, sounds good," Gairon replied as he took the offered chair.   "Any chance that it has real alcohol in it?"



Jayden laughed a little.  "Oh-no, none at all.  It has neuro-relaxive properties... helps calm down your mind.  Sounds like you might need it."  he responded, walking up to the replicator.  "One Denobulan Chamomile.  Fifty-one point six degrees."



"That actually sounds better than alcohol, I definitely need to get my mind off things. "  He leaned back in the chair and closed his eyes.  "It's been years since I've had a nightmare like that.  I'd almost forgotten what they were like."



Taking the glass out of the replicator, Jayden made his way over to the sofa.  "Would you like to talk about it?  I know how hard losing your spouse can be, even if it's been a long time so whatever you need, I'm here for it."



He took the glass from the other officer, took a long sip then set it down.  "It was during the evacuation, the Federation in their infinite wisdom had us take people to this shithole of a planet called Arioan II.  The people were okay for the most part," he clarified, "it was the planet itself."



"Anyway, we went out for the evening to this place called the Vulgar Unicorn.  After a while I wanted to leave, he wanted to stick around.  I should have insisted.  If I had, if we'd left when I wanted to he wouldn't be dead."



"From what you told me about him at the bar, I think it would have been hard to change his mind," Jayden said.  "You know it wasn't your fault though, right?" he asked.



"Yeah, he could be pretty stubborn sometimes.  And yeah," he paused pointing to his head, "I know here it wasn't my fault, but sometimes my heart, my gut, something tells me it was.  Sometimes, I can't get that thought to go away. Those are my worst days."



He took another sip of his drink, eyes still closed.



Opening his eyes and blinking back tears he said, "He bled out on the floor of this bathroom. This dirty, grimy floor."



Jayden moved a little closer to Gairon and placed his hand on Gairon's arm.  "I'm sorry, Gairon.  That sounds awful and I can't imagine what you went through, what you're continuing to go through.  Did they find the person responsible?"



The Orion flinched when Jayden first touched him, but then he relaxed.  "No, they never found him.  He was just some hired thug,  people on my old ship, an Orion merchant vessel hired him.   I'm still not sure exactly why.  Some old dispute."



"If I find him... he won't have to worry about winding up in a penal colony."



Jayden nodded, people took loss in many ways, and anger was not at all uncommon even under normal circumstances.  To have lost a loved one in such a way, and to not have received any closure, the anger Gairon felt was completely understandable to Jayden.



"I don't know what to say, Gairon,"  Jayden said, after a brief pause.  "It's so tragic, it's no wonder why you'd have nightmares about it.  Any idea why you might have had one after so long without them?"



"I don't know for sure, probably because I'm wired and still getting used to the time difference.  That and we were talking about him earlier."



"Thanks for being understanding.  I think it helped."



"I'm not sure if I can sleep anymore tonight, but there's no sense both of us being up.  Maybe I should just go."



"You don't have to go." Jayden smiled.  "I've had plenty of restless nights during the academy and throughout the disciplinary hearing process.  I've figured out how to function a few days without sleep." he continued, smiling again.



Jayden had an easy smile and Gairon could hear the innuendo in his voice.  That caused the corners of his own lips to curl up, if only slightly.  "And just what are you proposing  Lieutenant Bren?"



Jayden tilted his head a bit.  He wasn't entirely meaning to come off the way Gairon was taking it, but he wasn't going to argue with it either, and if it helped him then all the better.  "I could show you a few of my tricks to get my mind off things... if you'd like, that is."



"I think I would like that a lot," he replied meaning it even if the tricks he was talking about turned out to be meditation techniques.



"Come on, let's head this way," Jayden said, grabbing Gairon's hand and pulling him off the sofa and towards the other side of his quarters.



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