Mr. Powell was bleeding. Too many people were bleeding, too many were hurt, but it was him who she was drawn to. The man with the kind hazel eyes. She knelt at his side, trying to treat his injuries, though the way his arm hung indicated that the blood loss might be the least of his wounds.
It was the one she was equipped to help with, and she held pressure on the worst of the cuts, the bad one on his hip. The station shook under her, screamed under the hate of whatever was attacking them, but Eden managed, somehow, to stay steady.
His skin was pale, and his heart raced. Shock. Shock can kill. She remembered her mother’s words from her first aid lessons, and focused herself on the moment. Control the bleeding. Control the shock. Help him calm down.
Eden hadn’t been able to speak for the last fifteen minutes. Too much was happening, too much noise, too many emotions around her. She fought to keep from turning inward, from hiding inside herself. I have to help him keep calm…
There was a broad door with a single aperture – an indentation, about an Imperial foot wide, level with Eden’s face. A keyhole. She took the disc from its pouch at her side, stepped forward. “A key for a keyhole,” she whispered. “Let’s see if it fits.”
“Should I be ready for something terrible?” Ral’s hand rested on her phaser.
“Given our luck,” Eden murmured, pressing the disc to the hole. It fit perfectly, and a series of red lines flashed out from it before the door dematerialized, key and all.
The next room had power. Lights. A huge console marked with Tkon runes.
“Careful,” Eden murmured, leading the others into the chamber.
“A lifetime spent here, and I never imagined something like this. Working Tkon technology,” Powell whispered.
“This could be a key to saving the galaxy,” Eden said.
Retreating into herself.
If Eden couldn’t speak, couldn’t find words, there was something else she could do to help calm Mr. Powell, whose eyes darted about wildly. Something else she could do to help him live until someone who could really help him was free.
She closed her eyes, focused. Not on the chaos outside, or the kind man’s blood soaking through her clothing, but on herself. On the places deep inside her. The places where she had to keep peace, all the time, to hold her shields in place. To keep her mind her, her heart her own.
Some of her mother’s people – very few, now, but many in older and more superstitious days – would consider her a monster for what she could do. An abomination for actually doing it. But there was no other choice. Mr. Powell was going to die, she could feel him dying, his shock shoving his blood pressure down to the point that it could not serve his organs even as his bleeding slowed.
She found that peace, the peace that lay at the core of her, and focused there, let it fill her. Let it reach her fingertips and her toes, her eyes and her nose. Every bit of her. Even the hateful thing that lashed at the station seemed to pause, though she held herself back from it. Whatever it was, she was terrified to touch it.
Eden let that calm concentrate in her hands, opened her eyes.
She was half-human, not a telepath. But she was one of the most powerful empaths Betazed had produced in a generation, and her talents, uniquely among those as powerful as she was, were not simply receptive, were not limited to feeling the emotions of others.
She pushed, came against the natural resistance of any mind to invasion. One last chance to rethink her actions.
Pushed again, and Mr. Powell’s barriers, like those of nearly any human under the pressure she exerted with next to no effort, simply collapsed. They would recover, given a few days, but his heart was open to her.
She fed her peace into him, and his heart slowed, his blood pressure normalized. Life slowly rose once more in him.
She drew her mind back into herself, tucked her heart away once more. Opened her eyes to the world around her.
Mr. Powell’s breath was shallow but regular and even. The deck heaved under her once more.