297: Blank Canvas, Part One

by Vol Tryst and Zanh Liis
During and after The Party is Over, Part Two

-=Sickbay, USS Serendipity=-

The silence was excruciatingly uncomfortable. As if the only sound he could hear was similar to the hollow wind sound of a seashell that's held up to your ear. This room, this sickbay, this entire vessel was... void. Empty, as if he were on a ship filled with holograms. Just like this doctor was, this LMH, who had stopped poking and prodding him and was now standing at the medical console inputting information into a PADD.

"Gave us all quite a scare there m'boy." The Doctor said aloud, raising his gaze to look at Vol's back. After Vol had recovered from the initial shock of. . .whatever it was that happened to him, he sat completely still. Cross legged and facing away from the LMH and the front door of the Sickbay, he was visibly shaking, and almost never blinked.

Dalton McKay took note of his patient's irregular breathing, tense muscles, and tightened chest as he clutched his arms around his chest and shoulders. McKay was concerned that the man would stress himself into a heart attack, so he tried again to convince the man to lay down.

"Counselor, you just endured quite an ordeal, how 'bout some shut eye?"

Again, Vol refused to answer. The hologram sighed, and retreated into his adjoining office. He needed to look up past cases, about foreign bodies in the brains of Betazoids.

Vol was wringing his hands so hard that they were noticeably paler than the rest of his skin. His eyes were dry, his breathing still unpredictable,
uncontrolled. His face held a blank expression, and he rocked his body back and forth slowly, trying to console himself. It felt hopeless though. He could never recover from this, he simply could not function without his abilities.


Trick London and Zanh Liis took a long, silent turbolift ride from her private dining hall, where the evening's entertainment, and also what now appeared to the deliberate act of violence perpetrated against Vol Tryst, had occurred.

London knew enough of Zanh to wait for her to speak before trying to say anything, and she parted her lips several times, only to close them again without making a sound. He could feel the rage radiating from her, so fresh and raw that it drowned out nearly everything else that he could pick up from her, except one other emotion.


"London, I just arrested a very powerful man based on two words written on a paper napkin," Zanh said at last. "One hell of a bluff. You'd better be right about this. Explain to me, please, how you know that Blik injured Vol?"

"Captain, first please allow me to remind you that I am not a trained empath. I have the natural ability to sense what others are feeling thanks to my father's DNA, but I am not trained in the use of that talent."

"Halt lift," Zanh took a step closer to the man. Standing tall in her boots, she equaled him in height and stared directly into his eyes. "Do not back-peddle on me now. You said it was Blik. I need to know what you felt."

Trick nodded, and folded his arms. "All evening, I have sensed a great uneasiness coming from the Strasa whenever Vol tried to engage them, or even just as he observed them. They had obviously figured out that he was an empath, and then, when Vol appeared ill, I felt this wave of. . ." Trick searched for the correct word, as his eyes rolled upward and he contemplated his choices. "Satisfaction sweep over the group. Then, from Blik, I felt this overwhelming sense of relief, as well as true happiness. That was what struck me, and the feeling was so shocking that I dropped the tray."

Zanh listened mutely, twisting the chain of her earring between her fingers as she did so.

"He was happy that Vol was suffering. He was relieved that he'd done what he was supposed to do. I have no doubt, Captain, that he was carrying out orders to in some way incapacitate the empath."

Zanh sighed deeply, rocked her weight forward from her heels to her toes and back again, and then told the lift to resume course.

"The question remains, how did he do it, and when?" London added.

"I'm hoping that Doc McKay will be able to tell us. So I can give Security something to go on, to look for when they review the data from the surveillance cameras in the dining hall," Zanh said softly, once again twisting her earring chain. "I need you to listen carefully to everything he says, see if you can put it together with anything you saw or heard or felt tonight to try to give us a real case against Blik. Because right now. . ." Zanh didn't need to finish.

Right now, when it came to concrete evidence of foul play, they had nothing.

"Tryst is so young, he's just," she added, but the doors hissed open before her and she left the words hanging in the air as she moved quickly forward.

Ensign Vol Tryst
Ship's Counselor
USS Serendipity NCC-2012


-=/\=- Zanh Liis
Commanding Officer
USS Serendipity NCC-2012