Hurt & Comfort

Book 10: Elusive Comfort

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Chapter 10: Subconscious Infiltration

There was a quiet knock on the door.

"Mr. Summers?" Chris asked apprehensively when he answered it.

"We're outside class Chris. You can call me Scott." He said with a smile.

Chris nodded shyly and withdrew into the room inviting Scott and Matt in.

"Your father asked me to check in on you. How are you doing?" Scott asked casually.

"I'm fine Mr. Um, Scott." Chris quickly corrected before continuing, "William and Ronny are going to spend the night here with me."

Scott gave a gentle nod and asked, "What kinds of plans do you three have for tonight?"

"Ronny wants to watch Godzilla movies, William's never seen any." Chris said happily.

"Hi Matt." Ronny said as he walked into the room.

"How ya doin kid?" Matt asked with a smile.

"I'm going to be staying here tonight, that's okay isn't it?" Ronny asked cautiously.

"Yeah." Matt said with assurance.

"Later William's going to show us how to play a new game." Chris said to Scott.

"Well you guys have fun. Do you have the office number downstairs?" Scott asked curiously.

"Yeah, right by the phone." Chris said and pointed to the pad sitting a few feet away.

"Okay, if you need anything, call me. I have the office number forwarded to my phone." Scott said seriously.

"You guys have fun." Scott said and turned for the door.

"Thank you, we will." Chris said as he watched Scott and Matt leave the room.

* * * * *

Bobby held Robert close as he whispered, "That was the most wonderful thing I've ever felt."

"I have no words." Robert responded.

"It's a good thing your fathers told us we can't go any farther, much more would kill me." Bobby said as he snuggled even closer to Robert.

"I never imagined the fulfillment I would experience by tasting your seed, knowing that a part of you is inside me, now a part of me." Robert said in a dreamy tone.

"And now you are forever a part of me too Robby. No matter what happens, I'll always have a part of you inside me." Bobby said in a quieter voice.

"I love you Bobby." Robert said in a whisper.

"I love you too Robby." Bobby said as he drifted into sleep.

* * * * *

"Can I talk to you guys about something?" Chris asked seriously.

"Sure, anything." Ronny said and looked to see agreement on William's face.

"You've got to promise not to tease me about it. I don't know if I can even say it." Chris trailed off.

"Is it about sex?" Ronny asked carefully.

"No." Chris said with surprise.

"Good. I've had enough of that with Bobby and John. So what's up Chris?" Ronny asked casually.

"You guys are going to think I'm a monster." Chris said and turned away.

"Chris, this subject is obviously causing you distress. I will promise not to judge you for what you are going to say." William said in a flat tone.

Chris looked cautiously at William and nodded.

"Whatever it is, I probably done worse." Ronny said frankly.

"I doubt it." Chris mumbled to the floor.

"Just tell us. It's eating you up and we ain't gonna mess with you about it. We're not like that." Ronny said, a bit forcefully.

"I killed my parents." Chris said in a mumble.

"Angel and Julia?" Ronny asked in shock as he looked quickly around the room.

"No, my real parents. My mutant power blasted them and they fell apart." Chris said quickly.

"Oh. Um. You win. But just so you know, I came in a close second." Ronny said shyly.

Chris looked at Ronny curiously.

"I killed my dad... pretty much the same way you killed your parents, I guess. My mutant thing kind of squished him." Ronny said with an uncomfortable look.

"Oh." Chris said in a whisper.

"I am sorry, but I have no emotional revelation to share with you. Andrew and Alan are the only parents I have ever known." William said shyly.

Ronny looked at William's sullen expression and couldn't help but smile.

"That's okay, you don't have to kill your parents to hang around with us." Ronny finished with a chuckle.

Chris began to laugh.

Ronny and William both looked at him with matching curious expressions.

"Sorry. It's just... I thought... You wouldn't want to hang around with me... if I told you." Chris said in almost hysterical laughter.

"Amusing." William said in his best Borg tone.

That made Ronny break into laughter too.

* * * * *

Bobby awoke to Robert's thrashing.

"Tavi!" Robert gasped in his sleep as he seemed to be struggling.

"Shhh. It's okay Robert, it's only a bad dream." Bobby soothed gently.

"No! TAVI!" Robert screamed in anguish as he sat upright still fighting his unseen attackers.

"NO! STOP! THEY'RE KILLING HIM!" Robert screamed and started hitting himself, seemingly trying to free himself from being restrained.

Bobby thought frantically, trying to decide what to do. Finally he called out mentally, //PROFESSOR! Robert's hurting himself and I can't wake him up! HE NEEDS HELP NOW!//

"It's okay Robby, I'm here. There's nothing to worry about now." Bobby said more loudly and with more panic in his voice.

"Tavi. They took Tavi! Stop them!" Robert screamed as tears started running down his cheeks.

"I'll try Robby, I promise." Bobby said as his own tears started to fall.

"NO! TAVI!" Robert screamed again and started fighting his unseen enemies with renewed vigor.

There was a knock on Bobby's door and he barely heard, "Unlock the door. It's Dr. McCoy."

Bobby ran to the door and released the lock as he heard Robert fall from the bed.

"He won't wake up. Help him. Please help him." Bobby said in hysteria.

Hank quickly surveyed the situation and said, "Call Andrew, Trey and John and have them meet me in MedLab immediately."

"You've got to help him. He can't wake up!" Bobby tried to explain.

"Bobby!" Hank barked as he picked Robert up.

Bobby looked at Hank with a blank expression.

"Do you want to help Robert?" Hank asked seriously.

"Yes. Please." Bobby whimpered.

"Put on some clothes. Call Andrew, Trey and John and tell them to come to MedLab." Hank said firmly and adjusted his grip on Robert who was struggling in his arms.

"Clothes, Andrew, Trey, John, MedLab." Bobby said semi-coherently.

"When you've done all that, you can come down and check on Robert. Now get to it." Hank said and carried his squirming and fighting patient out into the hall.

"Clothes, Andrew, Trey, John, MedLab." Bobby chanted as he pulled on some sweat pants.

* * * * *

"Hello?" Alan said groggily as he answered the phone.

"What!?" He asked and sat up in bed, startling Andrew awake.

"He's not here, try Clark and John's room." Alan said quickly.

"We'll be right there." Alan said and hung up the phone.

"What's wrong love?" Andrew asked with concern.

"Something's wrong with Robert. Bobby was too out of it to say much more than Hank needs you, Trey and John in MedLab immediately." Alan said as he grabbed his clothes from beside the bed.

"I'll grab my MedKit and port over." Andrew said and hit the floor running.

"I'm going to wake Icheb and let him know what's going on." Alan said as he pulled on his shirt.

"Why don't you ask Dad?" Andrew asked as he started pulling on his own clothes.

"He doesn't know the regeneration interrupt code." Alan said and waited for Andrew to finish getting dressed.

"You're right love, but could you wake Dad anyway? I'd like him to be there for Robert." Andrew asked hopefully.

"And for you?" Alan asked knowingly.

"Yeah, love you." Andrew said and moved in for a quick but earnest kiss.

"We'll be there soon." Alan said as he watched Andrew port directly to MedLab.

* * * * *

"Eyleish bolegg kah tah, neveree." Alan said forcefully as he walked into Icheb's bedroom.

Icheb's eyes opened and he looked at his dad with concern.

"Something's wrong with Robert. He's in MedLab with your Father and Hank. Will you take care of the kids for us?" Alan asked desperately.

"Of course Dad. Do you know what is wrong with him?" Icheb asked as he stepped down from his alcove.

"No. But it's bad enough for Hank to call for your father and Trey in the middle of the night. I've got to go wake Lee, Andrew wants him there." Alan said quickly.

"William should also be present. He and Robert have a special bond which might be beneficial." Icheb said as he followed Alan into the hall.

"He's in Chris' room, can you call him?" Alan asked as he knocked on Lee's door.

"Right away." Icheb said as he hurried to the main part of the house.

"What's going on?" Slash asked sleepily from his doorway.

"Something happened to Robert. He's in the MedLab at the mansion." Alan said as Lee opened his door.

"Andrew needs you. One of the kids is hurt and he wants you to be there." Alan said quickly.

"Which one?" Lee asked as he rushed to grab his clothes.

"Robert. I'll tell you what little I know while I drive you over." Alan said quickly.

"Can I come too?" Slash asked hesitantly.

"If you can hurry." Alan said frantically.

Slash ran back into his room and came out less than a minute later, fully dressed.

"What happened to your hair?" Lee asked as they hurried down the hall.

"It's part of my body so it turns white again while I'm sleeping. I have to use my power on it to make it black again every morning when I wake up." Slash said, then pulled on his coat as they hurried out the door.

* * * * *

"Bobby?" Trey asked quietly as he opened the bedroom door.

"Trey, something's wrong with Robert, Dr. McCoy needs you and John in MedLab." Bobby said quickly.

"Why does he need John?" Trey asked in confusion.

"I don't know, he said he needed John, so he needs John. Get him and get down there now!" Bobby said and ran toward the elevator.

"What is it Trey?" Clark asked sleepily.

"Something is wrong with Robert. Would you wake John and accompany him to MedLab? I will go now." Trey said as he pulled on his clothes.

"We'll be down in just a minute." Clark said as he turned to shake John awake.

* * * * *

"Huh?" Chris asked blearily as he answered the phone.

"Um, yeah. William it's for you." Chris said and pitched the phone to William who was laying on the couch.

"Hello?" William said cautiously.

"I was not able to achieve sleep, I will be there immediately." William said and got up.

"What is it William?" Chris asked sleepily.

"I must go to MedLab. Something has happened to Robert, Icheb did not know any details." William said quickly.

"Do you want us to go with you?" Chris asked as he slowly sat up in his sleeping bag.

"No. If there is any way you can be of assistance, I will call you." William said with certainty.

"Yeah. Sounds good." Chris said and laid back down.

William hurried out of the room.

* * * * *

"Andrew, I need you to scan him and pull up his base readings. I don't know what's normal for him." Hank barked as soon as Andrew appeared.

"Right away." Andrew said as his Starfleet FieldMed training kicked in and took over.

"His blood pressure and heart rate are elevated, but not dangerously. His neural activity is all over the place." Andrew said as he looked at the readings.

"Any indication of a foreign substance or toxin in his system?" Hank asked quickly.

"No... I don't think so. His Borg physiology is so active that it's making it hard to tell with any degree of accuracy." Andrew said in frustration.

"I asked Bobby to call Trey. Hopefully he's on his way." Hank said as he watched his patient helplessly.

"Can I help?" The professor asked as he entered the room.

"I don't know, we haven't found a systemic cause for whatever this is. I suppose it could be psychological in nature." Hank said speculatively.

"Let me try." Professor Xavier said as he moved his chair to the head of the bed.

"It's Professor Xavier. I won't hurt you Robert, I'm here to help." Professor Xavier said in a soothing tone as he projected the same message into Robert's mind.

//TAVI! YOU'VE GOT TO HELP TAVI!// Robert's mind screamed.

"Do you know anyone named 'Tavi' in Robert's past. He seems to be fixated on the idea that Tavi needs help." Professor Xavier said, trying to shield himself from Robert's mental screams of terror.

"No, I don't know anyone by that name." Andrew said in thought.

"Father, how can I help?" Trey asked as he entered the room.

"Get what you need to check out Robert's Borg components, something's wrong and we can't find out what's causing it." Andrew said and gestured to a portal that formed to reveal the display of Trey's Borg equipment.

Trey looked at the display with question for an instant before grabbing three items and running to Robert's side.

There was a long moment of silence that was only interrupted by Roberts grunts as he struggled.

"He is generating new hardware... but the configuration is not familiar." Trey said as he tried to localize his scans.

"Can you tell *why* he's generating new hardware?" Andrew asked quickly.

"I would need to access his personal data node to do so, which I cannot do in his agitated state." Trey said seriously.

"How is he?" Bobby asked, out of breath, as he ran into the MedLab.

"He's no worse." Hank said carefully, then asked, "Is John on his way?"

"Yeah, he'll be here in a minute." Bobby said as he walked to Robert's side.

"Can I be of assistance?" William asked quietly as he walked into the room.

"TAVI!" Robert gasped at the sound of William's voice.

"Come here. Talk to him, tell him you're alright." Professor Xavier said as he sensed a calming in Robert.

"I am here. I am well. Can you talk to me?" William asked carefully.

"Tavi genustivus menchia bleggatook mnemetemai, chenchu Ki. Gustavishtavi, midrah e polen." Robert said as tears of relief started pouring down his face.

"What did he say?" Hank asked as he watched Robert calm into a normal dream state.

"He expressed his relief that I am well. Then said he thought I had been abducted." William said in confusion.

"What language is that? The translator in the tricorder didn't recognize it." Andrew asked curiously.

"It is Androkonese from our home world. I have no memory of that world, but my language skills seem to have been unaffected by my assimilation." William said speculatively.

"So you're Tavi?" Bobby asked.

"Perhaps." William said uncertainly.

"William, can you access his personal data node and determine the purpose of the hardware he is generating. His power is diminishing to an unhealthy level." Trey said firmly.

William nodded and injected his tubules into the personal data node on Robert's chest.

"What can I do Dr. McCoy?" John asked as he and Clark hurried into the room.

"Take care of Bobby." Hank said quickly.

"Come on Bobby, let's get out of Hank's way. He'll tell us when Robert's all better." John said as he put an arm around Bobby.

"Let's sit down for a minute Bobby." Clark suggested from his other side.

"I've got it." Professor Xavier said in concentration.

"What is it?" Andrew asked immediately.

"It's a memory fragment... no, it's more... . It's trying to override his conscious mind." Professor Xavier said with difficulty.

"Can you get rid of it?" Andrew asked quietly.

"Yes, but the question I must ask is, should I?" Professor Xavier asked slowly, obviously dividing his attention between conversation and Robert's mind.

"If it's hurting him, you should get rid of it." Andrew said with certainty.

"I believe this is the core of his identity from before he was assimilated. Knowing that, do you still want it destroyed?" Professor Xavier asked calmly.

"Andy, I think we need to discuss this." Alan said from the doorway.

Andrew nodded and watched as Alan and Lee walked to stand by him.

"Bobby, come here. You're part of this too." Alan said with authority.

Bobby walked to stand with Alan, Andrew and Lee. Slash walked to the chairs to sit with Clark and John.

"Anyone have any opinion?" Alan asked as he looked around the group.

"What are our options Professor?" Andrew asked seriously.

"First option: It is possible to destroy the core with little to no risk of injury to the personality we know as Robert. Second: It is possible to compartmentalize the personalities which would be a short term solution. The risk to Robert is moderate to serious because it could very well have the long term effect of a permanent multiple personality disorder if the compartments are left in place too long. The third option is to attempt integration of the original core personality into Robert's existing personality, the risk is low to moderate since mnemo manipulation isn't my forte. I believe I can reattach enough mnemo triggers to allow the breach to seal without significant distress." Professor Xavier said as he focused even more deeply into Robert's mind.

"Alan, what do you think?" Andrew asked in thought.

"I don't know love. I think option two is too dangerous. We can either have Robert as he was and remove any chance of him recovering his lost identity from before or we can take the chance with memories." Alan said as he pondered his choice.

"William, you know Robert better than any of us, what do you think he would want?" Bobby asked as he looked helplessly at Robert's sleeping body.

"All of us, the former Borg, live with a void where our true selves used to be. If you ask Trey, Jimmy or Janine they would say the same thing. Any risk is acceptable to regain what was stolen from us." William said quietly, then in a voice of certainty he continued, "He would want the memories returned."

"How does that sound to you professor?" Andrew asked.

"I will begin the process immediately." Professor Xavier answered.

"Thanks Bobby. I was about to choose to destroy everything he was to protect who he is." Andrew said quietly.

"I know. After this is done, I don't even know if he'll still love me." Bobby said with pain.

Silence fell over the room until Trey made an abrupt announcement. "His power level has fallen below a safe level."

"Should we put him in his regeneration alcove?" Andrew asked, clutching at anything that might help.

"Yes. That should stop the hardware generation, at the same time it would recharge his systems." Trey said in thought.

"No." William said as he looked up from Robert's personal data node.

"William, he needs to recharge." Andrew tried to explain.

"No. You cannot reset his system, or interrupt the hardware generation. It would harm the baby."

To Be Continued...