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The Blind Leading The Blind, Part 2

Posted on Wednesday April 14, 2021 @ 4:17pm by Canaan Serine [GM] & Trinity Anderson & Torin Landry & Samantha Grayson [Trinity]
Edited on on Wednesday April 14, 2021 @ 5:07pm

Mission: Tributaries
Location: Science Lab Four, Deck 2
Timeline: Unknown

Previously, on Star Trek: Cardinal

Sam was too transfixed on Laurisviola to have been bothered by the tremors. She registered them, but she was utterly captivated by the change that Laurisviola had undergone. Was this some sort of metamorphosis? What were the galaxies she saw in each of the black orbs she took to be Laurisviola's eyes? And why did it seem that Laurisviola was different?

"Laurisviola, Watcher of the Exotic?" Sam half stated, half questioned. There was hesitation and nervousness in her voice as she did not quite sure this was the same Laurisviola she knew...

"Samantha Grayson, Daughter of the Realm Beyond." The booming voice echoed throughout the realm, its deep tenor pulsating throughout the Cardinal, reaching deep into the pit of the stomach of each crew member. "I am the Typhon of Time and Space - The Bringer of Glad Tidings for the Amenite people and the Tanzathyst Expanse." Laurisviola's vine-like appendages extended beyond its stalk, reaching for Sam and entwining her much as it had Maddie. The galaxies held in Laurisviola's eyes came to life as the creature entranced Sam, pulling her deeper into a melding of minds.

And, now, the continuation

Torin regained his step just in time to see Sam fall into the embrace. He pulled a utility knife from one of his pockets, approaching Laurisviola. The scientist in him wanted to see the result of this, but he wasn't sure if this was a violation. He stayed just out of reach. "Sam? Is everything okay?"

Trinity's phaser rifle, which had been slung across her shoulder since establishing Laurisviola was not a threat to the crew, now swung down her shoulder and rested in her arm, the nozzle pointed downwards for now as she attempted to study the situation. She held a hand out to Torin to caution the Doctor from acting rash even as she was pleasantly intrigued by the utility knife he was able to pull out.

She would have to address that issue later, but there were more important things to deal with for now.

Trinity studied Sam. The scientist did not seem to be in pain even as their alien guest's vines wrapped around her.

Trinity's first inclination was to respond forcefully to what appeared to be an act of aggression. Still, she restrained herself because she had the benefit of knowing that Laurisviola had earlier done the same thing with Maddy - although perhaps a bit less forcefully.

Just like with Laurisviola, this new being - whatever it was - could be making introductions for all she knew. Her gaze was directed squarely at the sentient plant, scrutinizing its posturing and behavior, searching for clues to its motive.

Although it looked very much like Laurisviola, it was different. The contrast was like night and day - even though, physically, it was the same creature. This new Laurisviola possessed a more commanding and imposing presence that sucked up all the attention in the room without as much as a single word - the kind that reminded her of her mother when she was 'the Admiral.' This creature was clearly used to dictating orders and not being questioned about them - very much unlike the more playful and curious mannerism of Laurisviola.

Furthermore, it had identified itself as the Bringer of Glad Tidings. Trinity had followed enough of the conversation with Laurisviola to know that this Bringer of Glad Tidings was at the apex of its culture. Besides... Sam had seemed eager to meet the Bringer of Glad Tidings... so was this a response to Sam's request?

Tapping her combadge, =^="Anderson to Serine, I think you'd better get over to Science Lab Four, sir. The Bringer of Glad Tidings... is here." =^= Laurisviola's god-made incarnate, Trinity, mused.

=^= "Here?" =^= Came the reply from the confused Expedition Leader, =^= "We're on our way." =^=

"Let's hope she lives up to her name," said Torin, who held his knife loose. His eyes scoured the new creature. The Bringer seemed to have a demanding aura, regal and sovereign in the way it held itself.

If Torin were of the same species, he could probably distinguish the two beyond that. However, the divide between humans and fungus was too strong.

"Just in case it doesn't," Trinity said, her voice low although her posture remained unchanged, "please tell me you are at least decent with that knife you are wielding." She was already thinking of a contingency plan should this new being not be as friendly as Laurisviola.

"I was able to fend off an Atralias Macaw with one before," said Torin, "I think I can handle a mushroom." He tossed the knife into the air in flex, but it landed on the floor next to him with a clink. He bent down to pick it back up.

Trinity facepalmed, shaking her head as she secretly tried to stifle a laugh despite the gravity of their current situation.

Samantha Anderson was transfixed and unable to move. She was in the here and now but yet away.

She was at once aware of the commotion in the room - hearing and watching the banter between Torin and Trinity and feeling the warm and penetrating vines of the Bringer of Glad Tidings as it wrapped her tightly in its embrace. At the same time, she was cast into the vast expanse of time and space, streams of information and visuals scrolling through her mind, faster than she could hold onto any of it.

She realized absently that the vines not only physically touched her but they penetrated her mind.

There was something familiar about this melding of the minds - not unlike a Vulcan mind-meld, which Samantha had experienced once before. This was something more. At first blush, there was nothing equitable in the melding of the minds. The presence and knowledge of the Bringer were vast and imposing in comparison to hers to the point of it being nearly overwhelming. Yet, there was a gentleness and warmth to the presence of the Bringer.

This, too, was familiar. It was not unlike the feeling a parent had for a child... a mother towards a daughter.

For a brief second, yet also paradoxically felt like an eternity, Sam was reminded of the image of a blonde-haired toddler running into her warm embrace. The grin on the child's face was as wide as the Thames, and her laughter seemed to echo and ripple through time and space.

"Zarah," Sam muttered, naming her long-deceased daughter just as the image vanished, and she felt the Bringer's presence more viscerally.

Samantha felt a mix of emotions - Disorientation, curiosity, surprise, and nervousness but the one emotion she realized that she did not feel fear.

Looking at the Scientist, Torin noticed her wane out of awareness. He turned to address The Bringer.

"What are you doing to her? Is she feeling pain?" He lacked Anderson or Serine's tact, but he felt the only way to get answers was by asking, not through scans.

The quiet comments exchanged between Trinity and Torin were not lost on The Bringer of Glad Tidings, yet seemingly ignored. Its senses were aware of all things in the here and in the now. Nothing escaped its attention - Nothing was unknown to it. Even this Unfamiliar Newness from the Realm Beyond was known to The Bringer of Glad Tidings, for it was inexplicably linked to the cosmos in concepts unfathomable to the mindless. It thought of these creatures as its children no less than it did the Amenite's, and no harm would come to them or any of its charges.

"Ease your mind, Torin Landry, Son of Perry and Zara Landry." Although the ship shook in response to the vibrations rippling throughout the realm, there was a soothing calmness in the beings' words, "No harm shall come to you or Samantha."

Words notwithstanding, The Bringer of Glad Tidings made its unspoken thoughts about the weapons handled by Trinity and Torin abundantly clear. With a speed and accuracy not previously witnessed by the crew, two of Laurisviola's appendages whipped through the air, striking the phaser rifle gripped in Trinity's hand and the knife clumsily retrieved by Torin with an audible snap of air. In an instant, the two weapons faded from existence in only what could be described as a mini lightning storm, the electricity of its charge crackling in the space between Laurisviola and the two crewmembers.

"Instruments of devastation have no place in the here and in the now, my beloved children." This time, when The Bringer of Glad Tidings spoke, the ship did not shake, and there was no booming voice. Instead, it was Samantha who spoke the words.

Torin looked down at his empty hands. He took a deep breath, folding his arms across his chest. There was nothing more that they could do at this point but to watch.

Trinity was taken aback by the sudden disappearance of her weapon, which seemed to have taken minimal effort from the Bringer. She was suddenly acutely aware of the creature's immense power. She was powerless against the Bringer, even more so now without a weapon.
There was nothing more unnerving for a security officer than that. Nevertheless, she took some measure of comfort in the words of the Bringer. If it was to be believed, they were not in danger.

"Samantha?" Trinity inquired.

"There is no need to be afraid, child," Samantha replied, her gaze lovingly shifting from Trinity to Torin. "It's me, Sam. The Bringer means us no harm."

Sam had clarity like she never had before. For the first time in her life, there were more answers than questions. She possessed, or rather was tapped into, a vast wealth of knowledge... answers to mysteries and problems colleagues had spent an entire lifetime trying to solve. Chronicles of sagas yet unknown and some that would never be. She possessed answers to questions that had not yet been asked and those that never would be.

She understood their current situation - understood where and when they were and what the Cardinal had unwittingly wandered into.

"All will be made clear in due time," Sam added with a gentle and patient smile. She could already sense the approach of several crew members just as easily as she could sense every Amenite stalk flourishing in the Expanse eagerly awaiting the resurgence, even as they worried about this unfamiliar newness in the now.

These were all her children. She would make sure no harm befell them.


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