AN: It's kind of nice to have writing time again. Any readers still out there?

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Calliope sits cross-legged on her bed. The lights are turned off, leaving her in the dark, but she doesn't mind. Calling on some resource within, she looks through eyes that can see the room as if it were fully lit. She knows that she should be sleeping. This was the time where most crewmembers slept, and she has to report to Trance in a few hours, but she doesn't feel the need for rest.

She can feel it inside of her. At her core, that ball of flame. It had become a part of her, she had allowed it in. She had surrendered to it, and now it was there - but even still, it feels foreign. Strangely, though she has been added to, she feels emptier, as if something is missing.

Already, she muses, already her life onboard the Aulus Tacitus seems distant. Like it was a story she had heard, long ago. Leaning back into her pillow, Callie amuses herself for a while by closing her eyes and feeling the energy flow inside of her.

You have much power inside of you. You can do great things, a voice whispers from within her, and terrible things. Calliope smiles.

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At 0800 exactly, the door to med deck hisses open. As Trance turns to look, Calliope strides in. Trance quickly observes the way the girl walks, the colour in her cheeks. She appears healthy, quite a contrast to the fragile form that had occupied one of these beds just the day before. "Good morning, Callie." The golden woman offers, with a smile. Calliope returns the gesture and stands, hands clasped behind her back. "I'd like to start with a few quick medical tests, and then I want you to come with me to the hydroponics bay." Trance continues, and Calliope merely nods. She turns away to prepare some of the equipment.

Trance runs simple tests on the girl, recording her body temperature and scanning her physiology to see how much has been altered since her transformation. The girl sits quietly, seeming to be in thought, though she doesn't speak to Trance or even raise any questions about the tests she is performing.

Calliope sits on the examination table. Though her exterior is as still as a stone, inside her mind is racing.

You have much power inside of you. The voice whispers to her again. You must make sure it does not go to waste.

What do you mean? She asks the voice. Trance will teach me how to use it.

Do not listen to her. She will only give you limits, boundaries. Do not listen to her. The voice replies, growing softly insistent. Calliope merely sits in silence, reeling in confusion and doubt. Do not listen. The voice echoes one more time, and then falls silent.

Trance finishes the exam, and steps back from the table, looking Callie over. "Well, I'm all done." She says, her voice sounding too loud in the silent compartment. "Shall we move on?" Calliope nods, and slides off of the table.

They walk for several minutes down the passageways towards the hydroponics bay. Trance keeps stealing sideways glances at the silent girl walking beside her. "You're being awfully quiet, Calliope." She says, once the silence becomes too much for her to bear. "Are you feeling all right?"

"Yes." The girl answers, simply. Inside, Calliope is torn. This power inside of her still feels foreign, uncontrolled. And it is speaking to her. Not only is it speaking to her, it is telling her exactly what she wants to hear. Part of her is afraid of the sway it could hold over her. She takes a breath, ready to tell Trance of her concern, and opens her mouth.

Do not speak. The voice freezes her jaw before she can begin. Her heart rate increases as she feels the cold fingers of a power she can't control reach its way up her spine. Still, she opens her mouth again, and speaks in a quavery, hesitant voice.

"Trance?..."

DO NOT SPEAK! The voice thunders inside her, and a white hot pain blooms through her skull. She sways where she stands, and Trance turns to her in concern just quickly enough to catch her as she falls. Calliope closes her eyes against the pain. I will not speak. She tells the voice, as she whimpers inside of herself. She opens her eyes again to see Trance's face come into focus above her. Trance helps the girl into a sitting position.

"What happened, Callie? What is it?"

Calliope looks up at Trance for a moment, and Trance can see the warring emotions in the girl's eyes. Calliope takes a deep breath, and opens her mouth.

"Nothing." She replies.

Good.