Feelings on Loan
Posted on Fri Jul 9, 2021 @ 12:58am by Lieutenant JG Sibyl Danzer
Edited on on Fri Jul 9, 2021 @ 12:59am
As the team returned from the Illiran expedition into the Borg's foothold, now finding themselves on the transporter pad, Sibyl sought around her compatriots for the 'normal' feelings: the adrenaline of coming out of a tight spot, the great relief of having survived, the stirred up aggression of some who defended with deadly force, the cool focus that kept driving some forward to deliver the findings. Sibyl drew all of these around her in order to push back the echoing terror of the hive mind left gripping all of her nerves.
It was a trick Sibyl had learned as a young adult, a pre-teen, really— in which she had found when she was overwhelmed and she needed to keep her composure, she could seek out and borrow the feelings of other people.
She could sense all of those people surrounding her, let them cascade around her like water and imagine that was how she felt too. It was a lie to herself, an act, one that she could never maintain for very long, but usually for long enough to last for general purposes.
So as the team carried on— stripping down gear, being scrubbed for nanites, and debriefing— all the while Sibyl seemed to fit right along, answering as called on and not generally standing out. To everyone else she seemed perfectly normal- neither strangely disaffected nor overly emotive. No one seemed at all the wiser.
As the team finally went their separate ways on different tasks and briefings, Sibyl eventually stood alone in a passage, and having no more borrowed feelings immediately at hand to balance her own emotions with, was struck full with sheer hopeless torment. Her body began with tremors against her will and she knew she could not deny it: it was real, and she had felt it.
Ducking into a nearby empty conference room, Sibyl locked the door, and pressed her back against it; the burden of the Illiran-borgs' living deaths drew her to the floor like a stone, where she let the imperative sobbing have its way.