A Mirror Shattered #69, #70 "The truth of her orders."

[ON:] [Sickbay]

"'Scuse me, ma'am." Hannah said rapidly steeping past people. "Out of my way." Hannah growled at the CPO who greeted her at the door. She pushed past him, and walked over to the bed in the middle of the room. "What the Hell, Sulan?" she said angrily. She felt betrayed and scared - she'd thought Sulan was her friend, and now this?

Sulan opened her eyes, ending her meditation session. She'd heard Hannah approach. The quickness in her footsteps, and the smell of the stress hormones in her sweat told her of the girl's anger. "Greetings Hannah. I trust you are well?" She said calmly, measuring the girl's responses.

"Oh no, no more of this pretending to be nice to me bull." Hannah retorted. "Did you just attack the Executive Officer?"

"Yes." She said simply. "It appears that I did." She looked around the sickbay. There were fewer people in it now. She looked up at the girl's angry expression. "You seem quite upset with me. Would you care to talk about it?"

"I thought we were friends, Sulan." Hannah said, close to tears. "You and me - I thought we were close...I thought I knew you, and then this? You attacked the XO - you tried to kill her!"

Sulan remains silent for a moment, before speaking quietly. "I... I thought I could withstand the mental deterioration I was suffering. I was wrong." She looked away from her. "You helped me, though you do not realize it. Your friendship, sustained me. Allowed me to hold out as long as I did."

"Mental deterioration? I don't understand..." Hannah asked confused.

"It's a long story. But sufficeive to say, I am normal for now. So please, don't give up on me just yet." Angela's orders about O'Driscoll played through her mind again, making her words sound hollow.

"No, it doesn't work like that Sulan." Hannah said. "You tell me what's going on, or...or..." her voice trailed off.

"It's not really something I can discuss. All I can do is ask your forgiveness." said Sulan artlessly.

"And I can't give it to you. Not unless I know why." said Hanah.

Sulan's face showed no expression, but under the surface, she felt hurt and lost. "It is regrettable you feel that way." She said tonelessly.

"Fine." Hannah said, and turned. "I don't have time for this."

"Wait." She said trying to stop her. "Are you certain this is what you want?" "Absolutely." Hannah said, turning back.

"I see." She said quietly. "I should thank you for resolving my ridiculous over expectations of you. It simple proves that logical and emotional minds cannot form friendships." There was a hint of bitterness in her tone.

"Sules, please, just level with me. I do want to be your friend...and somewhere, deep down inside of me, I still am." Hannah paused. "But I can't be your friend if I'm constantly afraid that you're going to stab me in the back..."

"And... this fear you feel... do you think I would do the same to you as I apparently did to Petrova?" said Sulan, unsure what to say.

"I didn't think you'd do it to her...I still have trouble believing it's true. I...don't truly believe that you'd hurt me, but after today...I don't understand, Sules - who are you?" said Hannah.

"You wish to know the truth? Very well. My original mission aboard this vessel was to terminate you. Though I did not realize that till I came aboard. The fact that I refused, and broke with my former employers, is the reason for my illness. It was a safety measure, to stop me from betraying them. Does the truth give you comfort now?" Sulan said a little acidly.

Hannah grabbed a nearby biobed to keep her balance. "I...you...who..."

"Correct." Sulan said staring at her. "I was sent to kill you, and make it look as though you'd sabotaged this vessel. Your father, apparently, made some bitter enemies."

"So all this - the pranks, the jokes, the climbing...it was all lies? Just to get close to me?"

(17:54:04) the_pensive_one: "No. That was genuine." She pauses. "My orders were supposed to be followed some time ago. I am even confident in the identity of my replacement."

"Sules...I...I don't know what to say." Hannah looked at her feet. "I don't know what to believe any more. But I can tell you this:" She looked up. "Promise me you're for real - that you didn't meant to hurt the XO, that you never intended to hurt me...and I'll believe you. So help me, Sules, I'll believe you."

"I... would have followed my orders had I not gotten to know you. Please understand, that up until that point, such missions were all I knew. I believed what I was doing was correct, and that you were a danger to the federation. I was to construct a small neutronium bomb, and place it in the warp core along with your prints and DNA traces. Then, lure you to engineering, and shoot you, claiming I'd caught you in the act. As for the XO, though we disagree, I never would have harmed a superior officer, had I been in control of myself."

"You would have killed me?" Hannah said, her face confused. "What did I do that would have merited...death?"

"Yes." Sulan said directly. "There was I time I would have slain you. As for the reason for the order of your termination, I can only guess that the sins of your father have been visited upon you. I realize what I've told you is difficult to bear, but you must realize that my replacement will soon strike at the first opportunity. You must research your father's past, and find out who ordered me sent and why."

"Who...who is your replacement?" Hannah asked hesitantly.

"A young woman named Angela. She is the one who wounded my cheek. Her personality and mine are nearly identical, and as such, I believe I can predict her methods. But in order to do this, you'll have to remain silent about what I've told you. I cannot protect you from a federation prison."

Hannah looked at her solidly. "How many people have you...no, don't answer that. I don't want to know. What you've told me...I don't know how to deal with this." She sighed. "I won't tell anyone, Sulan, but...I need some time to think." She turned and left, tears streaming from her eyes.

Sulan watched as the girl departed. Hannah's body language showed that she was under severe emotional distress. This fact could not be helped. If only the girl had the benefit of Vulcan emotional training, she wouldn't have to suffer in such a manner.

Sulan's thoughts turned to Angela. Indeed, their personalities were indeed nearly identical. But why? The only logical reason was that both her and Angela's personality had been altered at some point in the past. Though she had no memory of it, it was not surprising. Memories could be overwritten easily. And if her and Angela's personalities were nearly identical, then logically, it must be assumed that a majority of her own personality was manufactured. If that were so, then everything that -all her thoughts, reactions, and beliefs- could have been written in a mind wiper's script.

"Just who am I, really?" she asked herself quietly, not having an answer.