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Lifeline
Posted on October 16th, 2006 by Ian Blackthorne

The doors parted, light streaming into Ian’s darkened quarters as the Admiral strode quickly inside and across the room to his comm terminal. “Computer, open a channel to Ambassador Blackthorne’s office, Bureau of Diplomatic Affairs, Betazed.” After a few moments the receptionist answered, and upon seeing his face, wordlessly transferred him on to the Ambassador. Luckily it was the middle of the day in Betazed’s capitol city.

Jaina Blackthorne appeared on the screen, beaming face surrounded by tumbling raven hair, obviously pleased to see her son on the other end. “Ian! To what do I owe the Admiral’s call?”

Ian looked at his mother for a long moment, wanting so badly to tell her that she had a grandson. This night seemingly interminable, he had only himself learned the news a few hours ago and hadn’t been given time to properly come to terms with it. Now wouldn’t do either, and a lengthy conversation with his mother would do T’Kirr no good; he had to keep this short and to the point. “Mum, my Chief of Science, a Vulcan woman, has been mentally assaulted somehow, by another Vulcan… she’s dying. Our doctors are powerless to stop it, and were she on Betazed I’d call for a Healer. We have no Healers though, and you’re the only one that I know. I need to know how to help her.”

Her black eyes narrowed, showing the crow’s feet developing around them. “Mmmmm. You will have to do it, Ian.” Apparently, his got his directness from his mother.

“I was rather afraid you’d say that. I rarely use my empathic ability as it is, only to read the occasional emotion of an adversary, and something like this is way beyond-”

“You know the techniques,” Jaina softly interjected.

“I do?”

She nodded. “Think back to when you were a child, and I would soothe your tears; it was more than just my words that did so. Healing is not so different.”

“A child’s crying versus serious psychic trauma, Mum.”

“The principle is the same, only the scale is different.”

Ian put a fist to his chin, leaning on the desk as he thought, remembering her soothing mental caresses. “Are my abilities strong enough? I’m only half Betazoid.”

“That is not a liability, but a strength. The human emotional fortitude is in you as well, and you will need it to help your Science Officer.” Folding her hands in front of her, she smiled at the screen. “Just think back to some of the exercises I taught you so long ago. Prepare your mind before you begin.”

Ian thought back and was able to easily recall the exercises his mother had taught him to clear his mind and strengthen it. “Yes, I remember them. It’s been so long since I’ve paid them much attention.”

“I know. You shut them out after Elizabeth left you because they brought you pain, but that is of no consequence now. You have a life to save and must prepare yourself for a bit more pain, I’m afraid.” Leaning closer to the screen, she added, “Both hers and yours.”

He nodded slowly as the weight of hers words fell upon him. “Then I know what I must do. Thank you, Mum.”

Jaina smiled reassuringly at her son. “You can do this, Ian. Be well and I love you.”

“I love you too, Mum.” Cutting the commlink, he closed his eyes and began to clear his mind, tuning out the emotional din surrounding him that he’d ignored for so long, focusing on one cry of anguish seemingly so far away.

He opened his eyes twenty minutes later, his face uncharacteristically serene, and exited his quarters on his way to Sickbay.


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