Episode 2- What's Lost Is Found
Location: CO’s Quarters
Timeline: 2389/08/16 1940 hrs
Yulin sat alone in his quarters. Cassandra was enjoying a meal with some of her departmental colleagues and he was left to enjoy some peace and quiet. Repairs were underway but things were under control.
But he couldn't enjoy it, for he was not at peace. Now that he wasn't on the bridge or in his office, he was able to finally think on Lyta's brainwashing. He wasn't sure why the Rall wanted to do this. Perhaps they hoped that when she was more mature she would more readily help the Rall with their genetic problem. Maybe they saw in her the potential for a psychic weapon of some kind.
So he sat alone in his quarters, sipping a synthehol drink he'd replicated himself, and stared out the window thinking about how to help his daughter.
His mind also came to Keri. Lyta's mother was suffering more than he. She hadn't said much to him about what had happened to the girl. He hoped she would come find him soon.
Keri had sat around in her quarters staring at the walls for what seemed like an eternity. Lyta had gone to her room and stayed there, not one word to her mother. Keri could feel the hate coming off her daughter in waves, so much so she couldn't stand it anymore. Leaving her quarters and Lyta's remaining security detail outside the door she walked along the corridor before finding herself outside Yulin's door. She reached out a shaking hand and pressed the door chime, tears streaming down her face.
Sensing Keri’s distress he immediately asked her to come in. He stood as the door opened and gestured for her to come to him and give him a hug.
Keri walked over to Yulin, she buried her head in his chest and let out her feelings crying until she couldn’t cry anymore.
He stood there, gently stroking her hair and letting her cry. When she stopped, he gently guided her to the couch, sat her down, and then walked to the replicator. A moment later, he was back with a nice cup of herbal tea to help calm her. "Here. Now, tell me. How is she?"
Keri took a deep breath and sipped her tea, she needed to be calm for the sake of the baby growing inside her. "She's not good Yulin! I've never felt such hate from Lyta before. She's shutting me out completely!!" She paused to take another deep breath and sip of her tea. "She hates me and she hates the baby! She thinks I'm trying to replace her."
“But you don’t and you’re not,” Yulin said. “There must be some way to convince her of that.”
"It would be easy if she allowed me into her mind but she's completely shut down!" Keri sighed. "The Rall have done a good job of convincing her that we're the enemy."
Yulin took a deep breath. “I’m not sure how much I want to hear this, but can you tell me why she feels so much hate towards me?”
"All I know is that she heard you making love with another woman. The Rall made her believe that you betrayed Cassandra and that Cassandra did the same to you!" She shook her head. "Why would Lyta believe them? She knows I would never hurt her and yet she believes everything they told her."
"I don't think they 'told' her anything, actually," Yulin answered. "I think they used audio, video, and telepathic suggestion, all of which are so much more powerful than words."
Keri nodded. "The Rall that was with her was a telepath. A doctor. He was just about to leave with Lyta when we were transported here." She shook her head.
"To be clear, any images she was shown either lacked context or were faked," Yulin added. "I didn't betray Cassandra, but...I was stripped naked and made to lie with another woman. Teela was a member of a very small Aionean resistance cell. I knew she was smarter than the rest so I, um, 'picked' her I guess you could say. We needed to make it look like we were complying with what the Rall wanted. The other women took her robe and stripped me of most of my clothes. We threw them my underwear to imply that we were mating. One walked in on us so we had to kiss with her on top of me. We had to make sounds, and make a big show of how I, um, finished the mating process. There were cameras in part of the room and audio equipment elsewhere, and I'm sure a telepath could have gleaned some terribly convincing memories from the girl who walked in on us. Plus, these Rall telepaths are devious. I bet they could use that bit of information to make very convincing explicit imagery. The poor girl probably saw pornographic images of her father bedding an Aionean."
Keri nodded. "I think all the rooms were monitored, it's the only way they'd know for sure that they're females were mating. I was lucky, the man I was with was more concerned about me than doing what the Rall wanted him to do. I'm willing to bet not all our crew were as fortunate as us. At least they didn't have Lyta paired with anyone."
“She was more valuable to them in other ways,” said Yulin. “Though it wouldn’t have surprised me if their long term plans involved her getting pregnant. The way she was brainwashed though, I doubt she would have minded.” He looked Keri in the eye. “We’ll save her. Don’t worry. You, me, Cassandra, Zuub, I’ll bet we’ll even have Verok on our side. We’ll get the real Lyta back.”
“I hope so Yulin, I really do!” Keri offered a brief smile. “I’m not sure how good a Counsellor I’m going to be right now but maybe helping others will help me too.” She sighed. “At least I hope so! Is there anyone in particular that I should be speaking to?”
"I don't mean to sound insensitive," Yulin said, "but I can't afford to have you be off your game right now. I've seen some of the initial results. Multiple crewmembers were assaulted, more were almost assaulted but managed to fight off their attackers. Many were badly hurt. Everyone lost a friend or two. I'm hoping that helping others will help you, because I need you to be strong."
“I will be, I promise.” Keri offered a smile. “I’ll speak to all those that need to talk, we all went through this together and I’ll do everything I can to help.”
"Perfect," Yulin replied. "In the meantime, we'll be arriving at Starbase 611 in two weeks. In the meantime, the Findlay’s counselor will be made available to us."
"That'll be a big help, I know I have you to talk to but having a Counsellor to talk to myself will help." She smiled.
"Do you want to sit with me a while?" Yulin asked. "I've just been sitting here staring out the window. Thinking. The quiet is nice. Share it with me?"
Keri nodded. "Just like we always used to back on the Reemal. Can I...lie my head on your shoulder while I sit next to you?"
Yulin smiled. "I wouldn't have it any other way." He looked ahead out the viewport, letting Keri rest her head against his shoulder, and looked out at the starry void.
Commander Yulin Rael
Commanding Officer, USS Atlantis
Lieutenant Keri Kelea
Chief Counselor, USS Atlantis