The lack of telepathy was one thing. He could be a late bloomer; sometimes children didn’t have womb-sight. It was uncommon but not unheard of.
But his eyes…they were huge, black, the pupils almost invisible against the darkness of his irises.
In the old days, to be marked so conspicuously was to be put to death at birth, so that the child would never have properly lived.
His parents did raise him, not as their own, but as a tolerated problem.
They never wondered what happened within those deep eyes.
My mother blamed herself for keeping me. She often said I should have been sent away or killed when I was born. She would cry and yell and always blamed me for Father leaving. In time, I began to blame myself.
When I was twelve and still not seeing, she started ‘treatments.’ They always hurt. She’d abuse me in all sorts of ways to get me to see. She was always deliberate.
She never gave any affection to me.
The older campers would take the younger ones out into the woods under the guise of finding nisep young. In actuality, they were abandoned to find their way back to the camp on their own.
Winter nights on this part of the continent were very dark, and the fog that came in even obscured the moon.
Almost all of the children had used their budding telepathy to get back to camp within a few hours.
Lon was found two days later, with a broken ankle and too many cuts to count.
I remember one day in primary school. We were at an assembly. Everyone else was ‘talking.’ I heard nothing. I looked with my eyes and saw how I was so apart it would not be worth integrating myself into these people.
One girl caught my eye and looked away so quickly I was sure she hadn’t seen me.
I heard the word freak in my head then. That was the first time I heard that word.
A few years after that, I remembered thanking the girl for telling me what I was.
One day when I was thirteen I was out walking and found an old bl’nim out in a park.
I took it with me to an old building where no one would see and I killed it. I choked it with my bare hands.
I had power then. When I was killing it I didn’t remember
anything, not being lost, not the treatment from just a few hours
When I would hurt myself I wouldn’t think of anything then, either.
I killed to forget myself.
I was thirteen. My mother had treated me and sent me to my room. It was just a week after I had killed the bl’nim.
I was curled up in my closet, crying and waiting for sleep. I remember feeling so horrible, knowing I was a terrible thing.
I knew, somehow, I had to punish myself.
I first hit my head against the walls within the closet so my mother would not hear. Later on, about a year afterwards, I started to cut my arms. I did it almost daily.
I am a Betazoid. I’m supposed to be telepathic.
I was born without the capacity for telepathy, though.
To be a Betazoid is to be telepathic. I’m the former but not the latter. How am I supposed to be what I am when the statement is contradictory?
What do you want me to say, Mister Tuvok? Do you want me to say I can be something that is completely against what is right, that I am an abomination, what?
What do you want me to be?
Lon took care to delete the program, twenty minutes after he’d made it. This had been the third time he had tried to use the holodeck to try to vent his killing rages. None of them had worked.
He walked out, staring at nothing and no one in particular. He had wondered why the mock killing wouldn’t help him. Now he could say why.
He wanted to make a change in something. It might be good or bad, but if it was a tangible change, that was what mattered.
He needed to do something that made a change.
It was so strange after the meld. I had felt what it was like to be peaceful for the first time in my life.
I could still feel the anger within me. I had told Tuvok that anger forces itself into you, like a parasite. I said that it controls you, and that much is true. Anger takes what it needs, it dictates your life, and leaves you nothing.
And yet, I loved the anger, the violence. I felt something when it was here. I feel very little, and it was something inside a void.
Happiness never came to me.
I said I’d seen many scars in the physicals he’d undergone, most of them seemingly deliberate, but had not seen any reason to report them. The majority of them were quite old.
I would surmise he stopped the self-mutilation when he joined the Maquis.
Tuvok agrees with the speculation. He also shows concern for the sessions where Suder’s childhood is brought up, as the memories might incite further self-inflicted wounds.
As a doctor, I hope Suder refrains from such behavior.
I feel nothing because I can’t allow myself to. Most of my life has been full of pain. I caused some of it, as did my mother and the people who were around me. I don’t think I’ve had an emotion since I was about fourteen. I’m thirty-five now. For twenty-one years I’ve kept my emotions under such a tight grip I’d forgotten about them until the meld.
If I’d allowed myself to feel my emotions I would have collapsed
under their weight.
His day had begun normally – woken up, eaten breakfast, and all that – and then, when he checked on his orchids, something strange happened.
It was when he was looking at the new one he’d made, and how it was alive and well. Something happened in his head then, something he couldn’t figure out.
It was so strange, so alien to his nature he couldn’t figure out what it was. The sensation came to him very suddenly and wouldn’t leave.
It wasn’t until much later, lying in bed, waiting for sleep, that Lon realized what he was feeling.
He was happy.
Notes: This is Tuvok speaking.
Mister Suder is a very odd case for me to deal with. In our last session, he spoke of feeling positive emotions for the first time in his life.
He spoke of the feelings as an outside being. He seemed to consider them a creature that would come and go as it pleased.
I recalled how he spoke of “the violence” after our initial meld. He saw the violence as a separate entity then as well.
I am uncertain if this lack of integration is harmful to mister Suder.
I hope in time he can accept all aspects of himself.
There…reach the button…there….
Lon flopped down onto the floor, breath coming with difficulty.
It was quiet in his body, very quiet, as his heart wasn’t beating anymore. He had a few seconds of life left, but they were pulling themselves onto infinity.
He saw his home, his mother, people he had killed, but those were swept away when he remembered his orchids. He had finally made something.
He had given life, instead of taking it.
Lon was tired. Not the exhaustion of sleeplessness or the weariness after battle, but lassitude.
‘I’ve swam across an ocean.’
‘And now I can sleep.'