It happened during meditation.
My mind funneled into the void, swirling, sinking… it was almost too fast until I reached the depth of nothingness. No quiet hum of minds, no stability, no reassurance. A whole planet of telepaths destroyed. That which was once my anchor was now desolate and cold. For the very first time in my life, I felt utterly alone.
In this void, a darker, deeper hole existed. Even though my mother was not telepathic her esper ratings would gradually increase as her association with my father grew. She was always there, deep in the recess of my mind. Warm and comforting. So many times when I was younger I would just meditate until I was so far down that I could feel her mind, tangible, corporal. Under all the buzz of Vulcan, I could find her. I was too embarrassed as a kid to ask for a hug, and in these nights of self isolation, it was the closest I got to that all encompassing warmth.
But her mental arms lay cold, barren.
And that's when it happened. When I could no longer reach out and feel her, I shook. My Vulcan control faltered and my meditation broke into sobs of grief. They weren't audible, they couldn't be detected physically, but mentally the tremors ripped through the intricate blocks of my mind. I was trapped beneath them for the longest time. Memory upon memory flooded back with such force I could barely hold on.
I thought the memories would consume me. I thought for a moment that I wouldn't break through them, or find the will to emerge from their depths.
I could tell my physical body had slumped forward in a not so Vulcan gesture. I expected that body to hit my meditation mat and lay dazed for hours until my mental abilities regained their composure. Six days ago, I was a graduate securing my place in the world. Five days ago I had become captain and lost an entire race, my race, to a future being. A day previous, I attended my mother's resting service with no Katra or even a Katric Ark to house her. And now today, I am but a broken half-breed embracing that unknown splice of my genetics with fear and uncertainty. I could hardly be blamed. But guilt wracked my senses like never before.
There was nothing Vulcan in the way that I grieved. And more so, I felt something impossible. Through all the torments of my childhood, I had not shed a single tear. Obviously Vulcan physiology made crying impossible. I figured my mixed genetics had shriveled any tear ducts available. But on this night something welled beneath the surface. Something pushed through my barriers. It was bright and cool all at once. It was solid and firm in front of me. I gasped, thrown from the inner recesses of my mind and watched, wide eyed as an unbearable wetness pooled beneath my eyes. But all I could see was gold. All I could feel was my forehead pressed against a soft mass, and that wetness dripping from my eyes.
It wasn't a waterfall of tears. In fact it was only two. But the effect was that of a storm.
My hands hung at my sides. Dangling from when they were ripped apart and the mental congress broken. Cold and empty I gripped at the solid form before me.
It took another moment for the two pieces, mind and body, to remerge. I sighed, feeling the pulls of my mind reorder themselves and the grief that had shaken me become sediment, layering the foundation for the new structures of my mental control. One by one, I began replacing the blocks. I focused on the physical barrier within my clutches as a stepping stone for regaining my mental focus. I could see every piece. Every shattered memory and feeling. I took grief first and placed it in the cool river of my mind where it could be polished and eventually buried. I took the loss of a billion telepaths and created a memory, a home for them in the hole they left. I took my own misguided notions of love and remembered my father's words. I took my hatred for him and cooled it. Being the only parent I had left, it wasn't a bond I wished to break. Not after feeling how horrible the first had been. I took all my knowledge and reordered it chronologically from when it was learned. I took all my experiences and put them above the knowledge and soon I could see my identity reshape against the haphazard restoration of my mind.
Physical awareness began next. My telepathic abilities followed and met an enormous input flooding back at me. Tender, human emotions filled me. They were as warm as my mother's love and reminded me of the mental hugs I sought as a child. Only this was tangible and real. My eyes blinked and met resistance. Gold fabric stuck to my eyelashes and a large warm hand kept me still. I breathed deeply, inhaling a strong commanding scent.
I could feel the gentle hum of his mind. It shook me to full awareness and as soon as I realize who exactly had been my anchor through it all; I became all kinds of embarrassed.
My arms found his shoulders and pushed lightly. My eyes, though wanting to look at nothing but the floor, met his.
They were soft and knowing, accepting as nothing I'd ever felt. His hand cupped over mine, the one that still gripped at his arms. I shuddered at the overwhelming connection and mental stability he offered. How easily he affected my control.
I slipped my hand from under his and stood, shaky at first but soon my equilibrium reset itself and kept me upright.
He followed, stared and waited.
After I did not speak he found it necessary to do so.
"I'm sorry if I intruded. I made several hails and personal calls but you would not answer. I became worried and came to your quarters. You still wouldn't answer me. I didn't mean to get so close. You spoke though. You said, "Amanda" and your eyes became hazy. I have to admit I was scared. Are… are you okay?"
My throat rippled and closed.
"Yes. I am fine." I stared at the two dotted stains on the Captain's shoulder and stilled.
"What were you… I'm sorry, I'll go." The Captain brushed by me to leave, his shoulder sliding past mine in an enormous field of heat and energy. The feeling became precious to me and was awarded its own section within my mind.
"Captain." I stopped him before he slipped out of my quarters.
Those two words mended all misgivings between us. His nod sealed the sutures and when he left I allowed a small human smile.
The first of many while serving aboard the U.S.S Enterprise under the command of Captain James T. Kirk.