<FWG> (USS Meridian) "Life By Eyes Flashing" Pt. 4

  • From: Brad Ruder <kylepiercecpa@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: fwgalaxy@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2007 12:49:31 -0800 (PST)

From the USS Meridian...
  "Life By Eyes Flashing"
  Part Four - The Side Effect
  by Lieutenant Ethan Chastain
  Special Guest Writer:
  Lyryn Cate as Commander Sylvia Warren
  It had been a long month and a half. There were doctors everywhere with 
scanners and PADDs, documenting God-knows what, and he was always escorted by 
an orderly that looked as if he'd rather be tanning on a Risan beach than 
walking through a dimly lit medical research facility on the fringes of 
Federation space. Kallon, Ethan thought his name was, always had a scowl on his 
face. Such a bright moment before getting hyposprayed eighteen times with 
fifteen different medicines.
  The doors whisked open and Ethan walked into the room. It was as sterile as 
ever; maybe even more so than when he was there two days before. "Heya Doc," 
Ethan said as he sat on the biobed and removed his shirt. The white-haired 
doctor was at a table across the room at a massive replicator. If he hadn't 
gone to medical school and knew exactly what everything did, he would've been 
scared to death. "What's on the agenda for today?" 
  "Just another round of neural stimulators, Mr. Chastain," Sylvia Warren 
smiled kindly, checking the calibrations on the hypospray. "Nothing out of the 
ordinary," she added with a hint of irony. "How are you feeling today?" 
  "Not bad, thank you. The last round of tests left me a little queasy, but I 
think that was from the inhibitors to prevent the spread into the 
cardiovascular symptoms. Does that sound about right?" He always smiled when he 
recited the stuff he remembered from the weekly briefings. The research was in 
his room too, but he remembered the things that were important. "How are the 
other patients faring? Same as me, I hope?" 
  "Pretty much the same," she said offhandedly, laying out the series of hypos. 
"And the queasiness should be mild and ease up quick enough. Are you ready?" 
Sylvia carried a tray with the objects next to the bio-bed and quickly ran a 
  Ethan sighed, "Do I have much of a choice? Three in the neck, one in the 
upper arm, two above the heart on the chest, and one in the abdominal area. 
It's like clockwork, Doctor. I think I've told you this a hundred times, but I 
wanted to be the research for this test, remember? That's why I was here. I 
didn't want to be poked and prodded, but somehow I was convinced by this old 
crone to do it in the name of science and medicine." He grinned. 
  "Who still has her touch," she chuckled. "Ah, to be thirty years younger. And 
it is research. You are doing the most important part, Ethan. Don't make me 
give you the speech again." Winking, Sylvia began to administer the doses 
  "Yeah, yeah," Ethan smirked as he felt the injections. They stung and 
throbbed a bit, but it wasn't anything that he couldn't handle. He closed his 
eyes and breathed deep as he felt the medicine course throughout his body. The 
one in the abdominal caused his stomach muscles to clench and he felt like he 
was going to throw up. He coughed a bit and then laid back down as she walked 
away. "Each time it gets worse and worse, you realized that right?" 
  "That's what they tell me, but it'll pass quickly enough. It's not unbearable 
is it now, Ethan?" She looked down at him with slight disapproval. But only 
slight. She actually had an affinity for the boy. 
  "Only four and a half months to go, right? I'll manage." He pulled his shirt 
on, suddenly feeling a bit light-headed, and turned to his escort. "All right, 
Benson, to my quarters!"
  The tall man scowled, but there was a hint of a smile Ethan was sure, and 
motioned towards the door. "Right away sir. Want me to smile at ya and shine 
your shoes for ya?" The man broke a smile, for the first time ever. It had been 
an ongoing joke between the two of them for a couple of weeks, but the man 
never showed emotion; Vulcan in training, he was sure of it. Ethan did, in all 
actuality, feel like royalty. He knew there were at least a dozen others, but 
he felt special.
  "Thanks, Kallon, you've got a great sense of humor." Ethan stopped at the 
door, and leaned around his follower, "And, Doc, if you want to come and 
observe my progress, don't hesitate to make your presence known so I don't turn 
around and have you staring back at me. It's enough to screw up my head enough 
to spoil your experiments." 
  "Go home Ethan," she teased, going back to her scan comparisons from before 
and after. 
  "Grow old, Doc," Ethan teased in reply and then left.
  The walk back to his cell was the same one that he'd made a million times 
before. He saw people curled up in corners and laying on their cots, a couple 
more people had been restrained to their bunks. It was those that Ethan felt 
the most sorry for, those that couldn't handle it and realized - albeit too 
late - that what they had gotten into was way over their head. Ethan was doing 
all right and managing. Being away from everything, everyone, was a hard thing 
to deal with.
  His thoughts drifted to Tyler. The young man was no doubt serving happily in 
a state-of-the-art sickbay on some ship roaming the cosmos. For the first time 
since he'd made the decision, Ethan felt jealous that he wasn't out there too. 
It would end up just like it was, Ethan continually tried to reassure himself, 
Tyler and he would live out the lives that they had planned. The forcefield 
sizzled away as he was snapped back to reality.
  "Come and go as you please," Ethan told Kallon as the man stepped back and 
began walking away, "I don't mind the solitude, but the isolation sucks!" He 
smiled to himself as he laid down on his cot, folding his hands behind his 
head. For now, it was just another day down and another one to go. He was still 
living by his new motto: one day at a time.
  Sylvia finished running Ethan's scans through the computer, comparing them to 
the ones before and the ones before that. Every change was noted and charted. 
When something... "Interesting," she commented, tapping the stylus from a PADD 
to her lips. Brow slightly furrowed, she decided to check in with the boy to 
ease her mind. Setting down at the console, the doctor activated the com. "So, 
still nauseous?" she asked, a might bit cheerier than she really meant to.
  "Damn it all, Doc," Ethan said, bolting upright and putting a hand to his 
chest, "What part of 'tell me the next time you're watching me' didn't you 
understand? And, yes, but still mildly. Why?"
  "I was getting to that part. Hey, Ethan, I'm watching you." He could hear the 
bit of smirk in her voice. "Monitoring your vital signs." Sylvia hadn't mean to 
frighten him. Sometimes her impatience got the better of her. 
  Something was off. "Doctor?" His voice and tone were suddenly official. 
"What's up? Is everything all right?" 
  "You tell me, you're the one with the accelerated heart rate. How do you 
  "I'm doing just fine. Feeling a bit gross, but I've been reading this really 
cool ancient horror novel," Ethan was going to get the PADD off the table of 
his cell when he turned and saw it airborne at him. He ducked and it clattered 
into the forcefield. Hearing and watching it ripple in effect as the PADD skid 
across the floor, Ethan looked at it unsure of what had happened. "What the 
hell was that?" 
  Sylvia jumped when the object sizzled for a split second against the field. 
What the hell was that? "I - I don't know," she said, looking around, trying to 
understand. Get control of yourself, she admonished. You'll scare him 
senseless. She took a deep breath. "I'm sure it's nothing, Ethan. But I need 
you to try and calm down, hon. Your heart rate is elevated and those cardio 
inhibiting drugs only go so far. We don't want to damage your heart." 
  "Damage my heart? This study was a neurological study! I need to sit down," 
he turned just in time to see the chair slide across the floor and hit him in 
the legs. He doubled over and took the chair down with him. His face hit the 
not-so-welcoming floor and he tasted blood. "What the hell is going on?" 
Medical issues, for the first time ever, scared him. 
  Narrowing her eyes, Sylvia watched with disbelief. That neural pathway change 
was minute. It couldn't... right area of the brain, though... "Now, Ethan, calm 
down. We've talked about this before. We inject the inhibitors to protect your 
other organs while the drug runs through your bloodstream. Just a precaution. 
Only and extra precaution. There's no need to worry," she tried to soothe. 
  "No need to worry?!" Ethan was on his feet, a trickle of blood silently 
caressing his chin. He wiped it away, "I just almost lost by head to a flying 
book and I almost took a header into concrete thanks to a chair that can't stay 
inanimate. Calming down is not something I want to do." It was all happening so 
suddenly. His normal time in his cell had been turned upside-down; all this was 
  No, no, no. Slyvia closed her eyes, squeezing them tightly shut, trying to 
recall anything she could. She closed the com-link for a few seconds in order 
to take a few panicky breaths where he couldn't hear her. Reopening the 
channel, the doctor spoke slow and kindly, "Ethan, hon, I need you to do 
something for me, okay?" 
  "Yeah?" His eyes were full of panic. 
  The epitome of calm, Sylvia, you didn't make it this far by panicking. "I 
need you to sit down." His heart rate was way too high. "And I need you to 
focus on my voice, taking a deep breath. You're letting this scare you and we 
really need to get your pulse down." She didn't want to resort to more drugs at 
this point. His blood was already pumping those treacherous chemicals around 
faster than it should be. 
  He shook his head, "No, last time I wanted to sit down I found myself on the 
floor and bleeding! I need to get out of here, lower the force - " His mind 
went on fire. The forcefield crackled as if his hand was touching it, but there 
was nothing in contact with it. He could almost ... feel the energy. It surged 
through his head and his hands went there as if he could do something to stop 
it. The white pain was so intense he found his knees buckling. Crashing to the 
floor he found himself almost whimpering. "It - it - it hurts. Help me." 
  "Ethan!" the doctor commanded. "Stop panicking and focus on my voice. Do you 
hear me? Ethan? Listen to me, just my voice. Concentrate. Do this for me, hon. 
Listen to me talk." 
  "I ... can't ... it ... it ... hurts too ... much." His brain was on fire, 
rapidly turning to smoldering ash and glowing embers just meters from a 
training medical physician; he had to admit, in between bursts of immense pain, 
that his situation had a shred of irony. "Make it stop!" 
  "I can't make it stop!" A shred of desparation tinged her voice. She 
couldn't... couldn't lower the forcefield. It was against all protocol. Even to 
save the boy's life. He was beginning to become a medical experiment gone 
wrong. "Ethan, you have to do this. You're stronger, smarter..." He can?t take 
this, she thought, moving out from behind the console to the edge of the field. 
"Look at me," she commanded, dropping to her knees, slightly aged joints 
cracking with the effort though she didn't notice. 
  He looked up at her, his blinks became sporadic as he forced himself with all 
his will to stare her in the eye. Slowly, as he watched nothing but her, the 
painful sensations ceased and he reverted to whatever he was before. "What the 
hell was that? I could see and feel and touch the energy of that field without 
trying. I just did it, like I was pulling on it. The chair and the book too."
  Breathing heavily, Sylvia didn't break eye contact with Ethan, her warm blue 
eyes surrounded by laugh lines keeping his in check. "Much better. I knew you 
were stronger than that." She nodded slightly. "Tell me what you feel."
  "I don't know. I feel, everything. I can't explain it."
  "Okay, let's start with your head. Pounding? Ache? Rushing?"
  "Alive. It is ... buzzing."
  "Heart pounding?" He was breathing more normally. That was a good sign. 
"Feeling dizzy?"
  "No, neither. I felt connected to them as if they were apart of me." Ethan 
stood up and turned his gaze at the PADD that had found a resting place on his 
bed and enclosed in shadow. "I can almost feel it." He reached out with his 
hand and it floated off the ground and out from under his cot. It rose into the 
air and he moved his hand and moved it around and rotated it up in front of the 
doctor. "Read me the title."
  Sylvia was too amazed to speak. It was a... a... it was totally unexpected. 
Incredibly so. And the control. That quickly. She felt faint herself. I created 
this, she thought.
  Everything around him buzzed with its own, how could he explain it, life 
force. Everything there in that small room became something to him. He looked 
at the doctor and then closed his eyes. The chair rose up off the ground, the 
PADD stayed floating where she could see it, and the table lifted along with 
the bed. "It's amazing. It's exhilarating. The feeling ... it's so powerful."
  I created this... created... the thought continually looped through the 
doctor's mind as she was already formulating the tests and procedures to 
follow. And security. 
  Power. It was in Ethan's hands now. No longer in hers. The question was, what 
had she really created and what would the consequences be? Would he cope with 
the responsibility of power? Would he be her monster? Am I Frankenstein? she 
wondered as she stared at the title by Mary Shelley floating before her eyes. 
All under Ethan's control.
  And, as easy as he picked it up, everything slammed down to the floor. "I 
think that it is time that I check out of here, Doctor Warren. This is not what 
I signed up for."
  "Don't be rash, Ethan. This is a tremendous breakthrough." Slowly standing to 
her feet, she never lost eye contact with the young man.
  "I'm not being rash," his voice was smooth and steady, "You wanted to test an 
accelerate for neurological medicine, and I've suddenly been struck with the 
ability of telekinesis. A tremendous breakthrough, yes, but not something that 
I will stick around for. You've discovered how to tamper with the universe. I 
can't let you continue experimenting on me. I can only hope that I am a special 
case that the conditions were right."
  "You know I can't allow you to leave until the course is complete. Six 
months, Ethan. That was the agreement." She couldn't let such a discovery slip 
from her fingers.
  He shook his head vigorously. He knew it was a ploy. Six months for the 
initial study and he would be duped, or forced, into more studies after that. 
"No, the agreement was for the accelerates. This, well this doesn't come close 
to what was going to be covered. I'm leaving this establishment, Doctor. And 
you would be wise to let me."
  "I'm not in control of that." She was pushing, testing the limit and she knew 
  "I'll give you one more chance before I walk out of here on my own." He 
wasn't entire sure that he could do it, but his experience with the items in 
his 'cell', as he now deemed it, made him more than comfortable attempting to 
get out on his own. Ethan had taken an oath to do no harm, but he would do what 
was necessary to walk out of the facility as a free man. "Doctor, please."
  Tears welled in her tired eyes. "Ethan, don't do this."
  "Don't do what? Don't leave and get back to the life that I left behind? I 
won't stay here to be locked up and tested like a guinea pig. And you know that 
your higher-ups, when they find out about this, will want to keep me here 
longer. I will no longer be a volunteer, but a prisoner." He took a step 
towards the invisible field, a tone of pleading and desperation in his voice. 
The thought of being locked away forever scared him to death. 
  "Ethan." All the attachment that she'd come to feel for the young man was 
poured into that word. "I'm no longer watching you," she said softly, as she 
turned and walked away.
  This was his chance. He thought about it, thought about it hard, and he could 
feel the panel on the opposite wall. And, in a mere instant, the electricity of 
the forcefield dissipated into oblivion and he stepped out into the corridor a 
free man - almost. Commander Warren?s retreating form, hunched over from 
painful crying, turned a corner and disappeared.
  "Thank you," he muttered, knowing full well she didn?t hear him. Taking a 
couple of steps he found himself staring at an orderly.
  Kallon met his gaze and refused to move. "Mr. Chastain, I think it would be 
wise for you to step back into your cell. Or, if you force me, I will put you 
back there by any means necessary."
  "For your sake, Kallon, you should stand aside." Ethan watched the man, the 
large man, fold his arms. The man meant business, Ethan knew. There was a new 
feeling in that instant. Ethan could feel Kallon?s life force. Much like his 
ability to sense the chair, he could feel the man. He wondered...
  Kallon made a step towards him with his arms outstretched. Ethan acted as he 
focused his mind. Kallon lifted up off his feet and moved back with alarming 
speed. The sound of his skull impacting the wall was enough to make Ethan 
cringe; he was soon realizing that he didn?t know his own strength. "I?m 
sorry," he stated genuinely as he walked past the unconscious man.
  He made his way to the shuttlebay virtually unharassed. Ethan would like to 
have thanked Commander Warren for that. He activated the shuttle and saw the 
panel blinking. He smiled as he activated the communications and found his 
transfer orders to report to the USS Dresdin. His status was an experiment 
washout. Smiling, he piloted into the atmosphere.
  New powers or not, he was still Ethan Chastain. New powers or not, he was 
still human. 
  It was confusing and exciting all at the same time. Exploration of his new 
abilities were already enticing him. And, for a couple of minutes, he piloted 
the ship with his mind as best he could. He wasn?t really good at it yet. But, 
with practice, he figured it could prove to be a gift.
  His new fear: could Tyler accept him with his new talent?

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