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         Alexis blinked. "You know, I never considered what would have happened before. But she had to have had something going, I suppose. Why do you ask that?"

 

         "Well, think about it. You said that you only time you were doing any of this was AFTER the actual kidnappings, right?"

 

         "Right, at first because I was too young I suppose, and later, well, lets just say I had a tendency to run off at the mouth. Not a good quality to have in this situation."

 

         "But, my point is, look what happened with my mom. Up until today, she had no idea what happened to her own daughter....she didn't even remember having one to begin with. Now, we both know that this is nothing like her."

 

         "That's a good point," Alexis acknowledged. "But it really isn't uncommon for someone to block out a traumatic event, and along with it the people associated with it. In fact, I've seen it happen many times over the years."

 

         "Yes, Mandy. You remember what we told you about what my mother went though when we uncovered my sister's death, don't you?"

 

         "Of course I remember, Mom. That's the point. Don't you see, this whole day is entirely different from what happened to grandmother. She was in a comma for days, and it took major steps to get the events to come out, right? I mean is it all supposed to just flood out like this, without any real reason?"

 

         Alexis turned thoughtfully to Deanna. "You know, as strange as it sounds, there could be some truth to this idea. I mean, I've been dealing in cases like this my whole career, and I have never seen a repressed memory case that went as smoothly and quickly as this before."

 

         Deanna couldn't help feeling a bit skeptical. "But, the steps and signs were there, we just weren't looking at them all....at least not in connection to me. Think about it, the whole set of circumstances with Debbie Kelman, the fire, it was a near prefect trigger."

 

         "Yeah, except it was making ME crazy instead of you."

 

         "Was it really? I mean, I did essentially have a blackout in the lot this afternoon, that seems to have been the obvious beginning of it all. The fact that so little time passed between that event and the shock of seeing the personal items Amanda found could explain the speed and the intensity of the reaction. After all these experiences are different for each individual. As far as your reaction is concerned, you could have simply been picking up on the start of the avalanche so to speak."

 

         "I suppose it is possible, but Deanna, the things that happened here last night happened before you ever even got involved in that case. Besides, there's something about all of this I just don't like. There is an edge on it that just seems a little to familiar to me, too connected."

 

         "Couldn't that just be because you have faced such similar circumstances before?" Will offered quietly.

 

         "Certainly, but it is also possible that we're talking about both a case of manipulation and repression. If Jackie was involved in all of this, then this case is, as we have already discussed, very different from the status quo. It is possible that your memories were altered, intended to make certain that you believed your daughter was in faced dead, but that the false memories we so intense that you repressed them just as you would any other memory your mind was unable to handle."

 

         "That would explain why I am having trouble remembering only certain details, but you said yourself that this could all be a moot issue, that our case isn't even related to any of this."

 

         "I can work through some contacts at Fleet Headquarters, see if anyone in Internal can turn anything up." Will suggested.

 

         "No, even if you could find a lead on Jackie herself, chances are you'll just be led through a maze of files and red tape leading right back to what you already know. I still have some contacts with a few of the girls, who managed to get out with me, or shortly thereafter. One in particular, the woman who got me out, might be of some help."

 

         Deanna didn't quite know how to respond so she just mouth the words "thank you" in Alexis's direction. Somehow, in that moment it was all she could manage. Alexis nodded in answer, and left the Riker's with more unanswered questions then when she had arrived. She was still quite certain of the fact that this was Jackie's handiwork, but why should this case be so different? And if she wasn't the one who had manipulated them, and it was clear that someone had, who was it? And where did she fit in at all?