It was all part of Baras’ plan. A twenty year scheme to overthrow the Emperor without so much as a fight. The boy would be the perfect way to monitor the Emperor. Everything fell painfully into place. And all it cost was the sanity of one person. If he didn’t know it then he knew it now. Not that that counted for much.
“I think he’s waking up,” said a voice. Imperial, female.
“Good. I swear I’ve fixed this man up more times than I can count,” said another voice in reply. Female, non-Imperial. Where was he?
He tried to sit up, but was stopped by two pairs of hands gently pushing him back into a bed. Medical bay. He had to be in the medical bay. He relaxed and kept his eyes closed.
“You’re lucky our friend was here, I’m a terrible medic. I… might be prone to fits of panic,” said the first voice.
“That is not comforting,” Quinn murmured quietly. “Where am I?”
“A dream world,” replied the second voice.
His eyes popped open. He tried to focus, but his vision was filled with hazy fog.
“Don’t worry, you’re not dead,” the second voice said with a small laugh. “You can’t dream and be dead.”
“Where’s my body? Why can’t I see anything?”
“The rest of you is aboard the Dominator,” the first voice said, a hint of sadness in her tone. “Your body is likely floating in a kolto tank which would explain the blurred vision. This is just a dream, Malavai.”
“Do I know you?” he asked.
“Sort of,” replied the second voice. “It’s complicated and we don’t have time to explain it in great detail. You’ll just have to trust us.”
“How do I get back?”
“This part of you will need to heal first. We can put you in the tank if you would like,” answered the first voice.
Quinn winced and moved to cover his ears.
“There’s no need to shout,” he groused.
They might have answered him, he wasn’t entirely sure. He was entirely sure of screaming. Thousands of voices howling in pain and misery, different pitches, different styles. They hurt and they were hurting him. So much pain. So much suffering. So much screaming. All of it in his ears, all of it bouncing around his skull. He wanted to crack his cranium open to relieve the pressure, to halt the screams of anguish.
A cool hand settled upon his forehead and calmed him, calmed the screams, stopped the pain. It was so familiar, yet so far away.
“Hush now, Malavai,” said a quiet voice. Female, Imperial, familiar. “You require rest. When you awaken, you’ll be back in your body.” There was a pause before the voice spoke again, her voice very soft and distant. “I’m always watching, Malavai.”