The Looking Glass, Again
Mission: Side Stories
Edra was deep in thought as she exited the turbolift and began walking the length of the corridor. The revelation the night before had caught her off guard. Not her own admission about having been to another reality--though she wasn't normally so forthcoming about that--but Lt. Ghas' statement that he could tell she had been there. She had known from his profile that he was half El Aurian, and that meant he'd have special abilities. She had never thought he'd be able to see something about her that told him what had happened to her. That left her with some questions, which was why she stood outside his door with the chime announcing her arrival. She waited in casual clothes, hoping to convey that she wasn't here as the XO, but just another person.
It was as if he had materialized in front of her as she turned the corner. "Funny we should meet," Ghas said. This time he took the XO's advice and changed into more comfortable attire; a black sleeveless shirt and a pair of exercise pants. After their meeting in the Officer's Lounge, Evan returned to his quarters. Looking into the mirror he realized the color of his eyes shifted back to brown. He changed them back to blue.
"Am I assuming that our conversation earlier has you thinking about your 'journey," Ghas asked. "I often find it tough for others who have been through what you have. Especially when someone reminds them of such a thing."
Edra nodded. "I hadn't expected anyone I didn't know at the time to be able to guess that about me. I've spent a lot of time reflecting on that point in my life, so this isn't an unresolved issues thing. I was just caught off-guard." All of that was true, not just her attempting to brush off what had been a difficult period in her life. She was not expecting him to be a counselor since that wasn't his training. "But I was...am hoping to get your point of view of whatever you can read or sense. I confess, I don't know much about how your abilities work."
Ghas sighed. "The El-Aurian ability to sense changes in the timeline is a by-product of genetic engineering, old-fashioned evolution, and the fact that we live so damned long that we just know something isn't right."
He raised his hand quickly and guided Edra toward a small alcove in the corridor. Leaning against the bulkhead he continued. "Imagine going back to where you grew up. Rote memory kicks in and you can walk around the streets and know every sidewalk crack, every lamp, or where a certain store is without ever having to ask for directions."
"Then a year later you return and find that that store had closed and the building razed. It feels off walking those streets again. That's what it's like for us. We feel a shift in the timeline more strongly when we're closer to the cause of that shift. We are aware of the store even if the store isn't there anymore."
He shifted his feet, "When a person finds themselves in an alternate timeline, another universe. A trace of that universe remains on them like a second skin. It's creepy, I know-but, what I've learned is that most people who have been through it either learn to live with what they experienced or destroy themselves trying to shake off that skin."
Edra nodded after following him and taking a seat. She listened to his analogy and processed what he was telling her. It made sense, in a manner of speaking. "I have moved past a lot of what happened to me. There's still an occasional day of brooding, but on the whole, I'm just appreciative of what I've gotten back since I returned.
"I also came back with a child from that experience, so I'm not sure if you can sense that or her as well." It was strange, she didn't usually divulge that information, especially so soon, but something about him put her at ease, and she assumed it was another aspect of his heritage.
"Since I've not been around your child, I wouldn't know. Proximity to a person who has 'crossed over' strengthens the ability. To give an analogy. It's how we can feel someone hovering behind us. The closer they are, the more we feel that presence."
"I understand," she responded with a smile. "I just thought you should be aware if you did cross paths and felt the se thing." She paused a moment before asking, "Does the intensity fade over time, as we get farther from the crossover?"
"No. But, El Aurians have learned to push those feelings aside and accept that they exist. As you have learned to move past your own feelings." Ghas smiled in a slight manner. "It will be okay."