December 19, 2007

Zion's Children pt 5

There were no private rooms in this infirmary, instead a series of large rooms that served as wards. There were rows of cots filling the main ward, each filled with a sick colonist. Lily assumed that originally the sick had been separated by gender, and maybe age, but sheer volume had pressed the need to use every cot. Some of the filled cots had covers pulled up over their faces to indicate that they had expired. From what she could see, the cots were filled as soon as they were emptied, the new patients waiting nearby for the sheets to be changed.

Both ConFleet nurses and female colonists were moving among the cots, caring for the sick. The male colonists seemed reserved for the removal of the dead bodies, though that could be a quick assumption. One woman, obviously not ConFleet, paused in her duties to watch the three officers move through. Lily looked at her as long as she could. The other woman was shorter than Lily, with waves of long brown hair cascading down her shoulders. Her eyes were piercing, even at a distance and Lily thought they were blue. The colonist wasn't as thin, but she wasn't fat either, just solid with womanly curves.

Lily didn't know why, but there was something strikingly familiar about this woman. She as certainly attention grabbing. Maybe if she had a chance, the two would meet while caring for the patients and Lily could learn more. Not that it mattered, as she didn't come here to make friends.

"Do you notice that there aren't any ConFleet among the sick?" murmured Byrin to her and Freeman.

"We've noticed," Freeman said as softly, his eyes demanding Byrin's silence.

Lily took a closer look, and was shocked to see that the men were right. How could a deadly illness that was so contagious not be spread even to ConFleet personnel? While they were highly immunized, there was no immunization for this disease.

"Ah, here's Doctor Alexander." Freeman hurried his steps and came to a halt in front of a tall man in white robes. "Doctor Alexander! Here is the doctor ConFleet has sent us to help you."

The man turned and Lily could see the strain about his eyes. He was an older man, with a shock of white hair that made him seem older than he actually was. His hazel eyes were sad and compassionate, even though they were lines with both stress and fatigue. His eyebrows climbed his forehead as he took in the newcomers.

"No one told me they were sending Doctor Gold!" Alexander exclaimed. He held out his right hand and gladly shook Byrin's hand. "Well, well, well. Maybe now we'll get someplace."

Byrin, used to having to introduce himself before he was recognized, let his hand be shook and said solemnly, "Pleased to meet you, Doctor."

"Doctor," interrupted Freeman. "This is Lieutenant Lily Bennett, one of the nurses they sent."

"A pleasure to meet you," Lily said, trying not to be offended at his lack of recognition of her. But then, why should he? Unlike the doctor, she was just another medical officer and Gold was a genius.

"Likewise." Alexander grinned broadly, a new glimmer in his eyes. "Now you, my flower, can call me Marcus. Let's see, where has Miriam gotten off to?" He turned to a nearby nurse. "Eva, quick, find me Miri and bring her here."

The nurse nodded, and went to find the one requested.

Alexander turned back to the new comers and further explained saying, "Miri isn't ConFleet, but there's no one I'd rather have in charge of my nurses."

"That's highly unusual," Lily commented. "Don't the officers complain?"

"No, they don't," the white haired doctor answered. "Put simply, everyone loves Miri and gladly follows here orders. Not that she has to actually order people around."

Lily wasn't sure she liked the idea, as she would now be the ranking nurse, but wasn't presently in an atmosphere to comment. Maybe later, when there wasn't such a audience.

"Ah, here she is!" Alexander beamed as brightly as any proud father could have. "Miri, this is Doctor Byrin Gold and Nurse Lily Bennett. Gold, Lily, this is Miriam Brightfame."

To Lily's delight, it was the very woman that had earlier caught her attention.

"Pleased to meet you," Miri said sincerely. She smiled, her blue eyes crinkling prettily at the corners, and held out her hand to be shaken.

"Likewise," said Lily, unable to stop her own smile as she shook the offered hand.

Byrin shook her hand as well, but he only smiled at her.

December 17, 2007

Zion's Children Pt 4

Lily Bennett sighed in relief as she set her bag on the soft-carpeted floor of her assigned rooms. Unlike the commander, she welcomed the sight of the furnished room. Her first fear upon being told of her new assignment was that she would have to live in primitive conditions. She hadn’t told the brash young doctor that she had grown up on a colony world much like Zeta Muria.

There were colony worlds, and then there were colony worlds. Political dissidents established the very first colony worlds, as well as those sent into exile, often against their own will. Zeta Muria was one of them, as was her home world of Beta Talisman. Her ancestors had been herded into a ship along with other religious zealots and sentence to death among the stars. Their ship had drifted for untold years after the hyperdrive had failed them, and they had eventually been forced to land on the first inhabitable planet they found. If it hadn’t been for the earthquakes it would have been ideal, but they’d had no choice. People who had been used to some level of comfort suddenly had to become frontiersmen.

Shaking off her melancholy, Lily set about unpacking her bag and arranging the few mementoes she carried with her. The past was the past and no amount of prayer could change it. She wanted nothing more that to cure these people and return to the civilization of the Core Worlds.

After showering in a real shower and changing into a fresh uniform, the solemn nurse returned to the front desk. Freeman was still waiting there and looked as though he hadn’t moved the entire time she’d been gone.

While they waited for the doctor, Lily decided to make some conversation as it felt too awkward to her to stand there in silence.

“How long have you been here, Lieutenant?” she asked.

“I came out with the General fifteen years ago.”

“You’ve been here fifteen years? Do you ever get home?” Lily couldn’t fathom being in one place that long.

Freeman looked confused. “This is my home.”

“Ok,” she said, drawing the word out in disbelief.

“I was born in space,” Freeman explained. “I never had a home until I was assigned here. My family comes once in a while, but they never stay long. They don’t like being tied down.”

“I see.” Personally, Lily could understand the feeling. She never wanted to be tied down to one place or person. She didn’t have time for sentimental foolishness. She couldn’t.

“Ah, here comes Doctor Gold,” declared Freeman as he spied the approaching doctor.

As the three set off on another trip, Lily looked slyly at the doctor. Truly he was a good-looking man, even if you didn’t like his type. He was tall and his blond hair had natural red highlights in it. His blue eyes were strikingly sharp and open. Gold’s features were fine, as if his face had been chiseled to create the angles and then sanded to soften the edges. And his smile could stop a woman’s heart if he wasn’t careful. She almost regretted that he wasn’t a Christian and therefore considerable for her, but given his love of the frontier, perhaps it wasn’t a bad thing.

The infirmary, three blocks away from the housing, and was as she expected…primitive. It was a whitewashed one-story clapboard and stone building whose only redeeming quality was that it was large. It easily covered twice as much ground as the Housing building. The interior reflected the exterior, but at least it was clean and had good lighting. Even above the smell of disinfectant, there was the overriding smell of death.

Lily wanted to go home.

December 16, 2007

Zion's Children Pt 3

The general had been a fat man once, but now he was a skeletal figure. His skin sagged grotesquely under his chin, and his beige uniform was clearly too big for him. There were dark bags under his eyes, and his over all pallor was almost a match for his uniform. To Byrin, the man looked like death warmed over. He wondered if the man had been ill recently, and if he had been...what had he suffered from?

Looking up from his desk, Hiawithus blinked rapidly as he took the two in. "Only two? I thought Command was sending more! We're not a small colony for Pete's sake!"

"There are two more on the ship still," Byrin volunteered. "They were indisposed and told us to go on ahead of them." Which was true enough. "Sir, I am..."

"I know who you are, Gold," interrupted the general, in a tone that was far from friendly. His tone changed only slightly for the better as he looked at the one woman in the room. "And you by your pips would be Bennett. I've always thought that the Conglomerate was against this outpost, indeed against this very colony since it's uncovering. Now...I know it." The general stood and walked sadly away from his desk to the room's small window. "Gold, I don't care that you are the most brilliant doctor this galaxy has seen in a hundred're only here for show. Once this colony is destroyed by this abominable plague, they will be justified to withdraw this outpost and point to you and say 'We gave it our best, but it just wasn't meant to be'. What a waste. These people are a precious lot and no one cares what happens to them."

"I care, sir," Bennett said softly.

"I don't doubt that you do. I've studied your file, Bennett." For a moment, the general's tone soften. But not for long. "Yours too, Gold." His tone suggested that he was far from impressed with the young doctor. "Jonathan, show them to their lodging and then to the Infirmary. I want them tending to these people at once and I want them working on finding a cure."

"Yes sir," Freeman answered, snapping off a tired salute that his commanding officer didn't even see. He turned and left, clearly expecting the doctor and nurse to follow.

They had no choice but to do exactly that. Byrin glanced down at Bennett, but the nurse wasn't even looking at him. She hadn't looked straight at him since he'd suggested four days into the trip that she share his quarters with him. The woman had acted like she'd never been hit upon before. Byrin sighed at the memory and returned to inspecting the scenery as they left the building.

Not only was the sky here bluer than Earth's, almost purple, but the clouds seemed to have a bluish tint as well. Byrin saw birds gliding on high thermals and wondered what kind they were. The few trees he had seen so far were bare and he wondered if this part of the planet was in its autumn or winter. It seemed too warm to be that time of year, but then he wasn't overly familiar with this planet.

The trio walked across the street, or what served as the main street. Far to the left, Byring could make out what he thought was a glimmer of water, and wondered if they were on the edge of a large lake or small sea. This road had been paved once, but it had clearly been some years since it had been maintained. They walked by several potholes, some of them large. The building they were heading for, just a bit up the road from the general's office, was a large three-story red brick building that boldly claimed that it was "Conglomerate Housing".

"Wait, Conglomerate Housing? But the General's office is in a clapboard building." Byrin often had issues with the style and comfort the Conglomerate insisted on, even in frontier territory, but wondered at the discrepancy. Even if the general was eccentric, it made no sense to him.

"Where would you rather live?" Bennett asked acerbically. "I'd much rather live in comfort and work in hell than the other way around."

Byrin picked up on the biting tone of her voice and winced. Yes, he had discovered a lot about his companions on the trip out here. All three of the women with him disagreed with him on many topics, including a frontier assignment.

As they climbed the steps to the building, Freeman spoke. "Yes, this building and our other office building is rather out of place on this quaint world. And the general's preference does seem odd, but now would not be the time or the place to discuss it."

Freeman saw that they were given their room assignments at the front desk and said he would expect them back in half an hour.

Byrin sighed as the lift doors closed behind Bennett as she got off on the second floor. He was eternally grateful that they'd been assigned to different floors. For a brief moment he wondered where the other two nurses had been assigned.

With an indifferent attitude, he stepped out onto the third floor landing. He took in the Conglomerate decor without a second glance. The colors were the same on a thousand worlds; golden yellow and sage green, often with a dash of navy blue for accent.

The young doctor found his room easily and unlocked it with the pass card he'd been given downstairs. He stood in the doorway for a moment, wondering what he had expected. A small living room greeted him, with a fully furnished kitchenette visible to the right. There were two doors off the the left, presumably entryways for the bedroom and bath. The living room sported a long yellow and green couch with two matching armchairs all around a fetching glass coffee table. There were, of course, various accents of flowers and artwork scattered about. The large window on the wall across from the main doorway looked like a Picture Window, one that could be set to show whatever view from whatever planet you desired if you didn't like the natural view out the window. In the right corner near the window was a workstation complete with desk and computer. If he was of a mind to, Byrin could probably dial up his mother on the Earth/Lunar Colony and let her know that he'd arrived safely.

And the people outside the building were dying.

December 14, 2007

Zion's Children Pt 2

As the mismatched threesome made their way across the landing field, Byrin was only vaguely aware of Bennett at his side. He liked the nurse and knew that, had certain things been different, they would have been sleeping with each other long before the trip out here had ended. However the blond woman was vehemently opposed to sex outside of marriage as she was a diehard Christian. When on a ship as small as the Solar Winds and on a trip as long as they were, you learned a lot about your shipmates. Not only was Bennett a Christian, the other two women with them were lovers and the captain of the ship had loud flatulence. Given the thin nature of the walls, it had been a long trip indeed.

The doctor sighed, wishing to banish all thoughts of the past trip from his mind. Glancing around, he took a deeper look at the area surrounding him. The landing pad was situated on top of a hill, and the valley below gave evidence of what used to be a prosperous village…city? At the edge of the inhabited area, he had no trouble spotting the ConFleet buildings. They were simply the most modern buildings present.

Also easy to spot were the body bags lining the field outside of a long building only a mile from the modern buildings. Piles of them. As they came down the winding path, Byrin watched as a mixture of ConFleet personnel and native colonists loading the filled bags onto the backs of old gasoline engine trucks. Their destination was as easy to spot as the bags. Off to the west of town, was the graveyard. The bare ground showed the new graves and the falling trees showed how the forest was being cleared to make room for more.

Other than that, there were few people to be seen. Byrin counted perhaps a dozen. He wondered if that meant the others in this area had run away, or if they were already dead. It was a disheartening thought, and he wondered if he had been sent to save only a dozen people.

He didn't have time now to ponder the source of the different spots of thick smoke on the far side of the valley, but he made note to find out what was going on there. He hoped they weren't burning bodies; the very thought was distasteful.

Freeman led the two past the first ConFleet building, and into a small clapboard building across the street. It looked no different than the buildings around it, right down to the faded whitewash. It was a one-story building resembling a box with windows and looked more suited to Earth’s American pioneer era.

“Why are we going in here?” Bennett asked.

“Because this is where the General keeps his office,” Freeman replied as he opened the door. He took the time to sign them in on an electronic notepad at the front desk.

“Are you serious?”

Byrin looked at the nurse with impatience. “So, the General's eccentric. Is it any of your concern?”

Freeman cleared his throat. “Follow me.” He led the way again, this time down a narrow hallway that caused them to walk in single file even though it was unnecessary. The office farthest back, indeed, at the very end of the hallway, had a dim gold plate attached to the door bearing the unlikely name and title of ‘General Archibald Hiawithus, III’. On this door, Freeman knocked firmly and awaited the barked command to enter.

The general’s aide opened the heavy door and announced, “I’ve brought them, sir.”

December 12, 2007

Zion's Children - Pt 1

Zion's Children
by - R.A. Slater

This is a piece of originial fiction, from start to finish.

He was born to be a doctor, and he was born to doctor on the frontier. That's why he had jumped, almost literally, at this chance to be posted on the remotest of the Fringe Outposts. The people of Zeta Muria were in the midst of battling a violent plague and needed the galaxy's best medical mind and the Conglomerate's best technology. He was that mind, and Byrin Gold brought with him every scrap of the latest technology HQ had allowed him to bring.

Byrin had worked hard in medical school, and twice as hard at his internship, but none of that had prepared him for what he found when he stepped off of the gangplank of the G.C.S Solar Winds that first afternoon onto the reddish soil of Zeta Muria.

Bennett, the highest ranking nurse sent with him, said it best as she came to an abrupt stop by his side. She looked across the valley below them and sighed deeply. "They've sent us to hell."

The commanding officer in Byrin took over. "Belay that Lieutenant." He might agree, but that didn't mean he was going to freely broadcast his opinions. A ConFleet officer just didn't do least, not in public where opnions could be overheard by superior officers or civilians. The young doctor shouldered his dufflebag and began walking briskly across the gravel of the open landing field. He looked briefly at the outlying scenery and decided that if it weren't for the obvious colorings of death, this would have been a beautiful world with it's red soil and not quite purple sky.

A tall man, flanked by a beefy looking woman, both CF officers, met them mid field. It was the man who spoke, his words fired rapidly as though he were afraid of interruption. "I am Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Freeman, aide to the General." His darker skin hinted at his families background. "Are you the doctor?"

"I am," Byrin asnwered. He waved his hand towards Bennett. "This is Lieutenant Lily Bennet, my ranking nurse. There are two more nurses, but they are still on board."

The good doctor didn't mention that the two women had turned out to be frailer than they looked and were probably still in the head puking their guts out due to the rough atmospheric entry and the ground landing that hadn't been much better.

"Very well," Freeman said, said, his manner relaxing. "I will leave First Ensign Talzman to escort them and will take escort the two of you to the General myself. He is most anxious." The man nodded curtly to the woman with him, and had barely received the 'Aye sir' from her before turning and taking off at a quick pace.

Both Byrin and Bennett were left with no choice but to follow after him.

December 09, 2007

The Next Undiscovered Country...

I've got a couple different directions I could go next, story wise.

  • Zion's Children - What if Hitler wasn't defeated as quickly as he had been in our time? What would have emerged? In this alternate timeline, Hitler's regime wasn't taken down until years after space flight had been developed, allowing him and his regime to ship Jews and other dissidents off planet and into the deep reaches of space. As these castaways struggled to build a working society and just plain survive in the wildernesses where they landed, Hitler's Regime was finally defeated. But was the defeat as thurough as they thought, or did the anti-semitism live on? Dr. Byron Gold begins to question this as he is faced with a dying planet...a plague that targets only those with a certain DNA code. He struggles to find the cure, as the people he has begun to know and love continue to die around him. {This one has the most work done}

  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Pressed for Murder - CSI fan fiction. Instead of finding the plates for his next job, the pressman finds his co-worker bloody and nearly unconsious. The video surveillance tapes have been altered, leaving a blank window when anyone could have walked in and out of the room unseen...but otherwise show only her and the pressmen leaving and entering. Follow the crime scene crew as they try to find out who tried to kill her. Her attacker will be only one of the surprises revealed. {not as formulated yet, still in theory}

  • After Sanctuary - Would be a look back on Q as Ian and Virginia's first time after the Sanctuary District. How did she end up there, what happened to her there, and why don't they talk about it that much?

Not sure which story I'm going to start posting next, but look for the next post of...whatever...soon. Any thoughts anyone? :)

December 08, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - Epilogue

Captain's Personal Log:

The Borg are gone. I felt their demise...their whisper in my mind is gone. Simply gone. It as though for the first time since my assimilation, I am alone in my head and no longer have to look over a mental shoulder. Oddly enough, I did not feel their complete end until Virginia was in sickbay.

With the Borg gone, the Federation faces as new day. The War Council has largely been disbanded, some members staying on to form a new council. Aside from StarFleet's normal mandate of space exploration, we have added a Reclamation mission. The Enterprise will be but one of several ships heading into what was Borg space to see what remains and what can be reclaimed.
It has been barely 2 hours since the departure of Virginia and Q, and the Empress and Ambassador...though I now have the strange compulsion to refer to Q as Ian.

I am looking forward to dinner with Beverly tonight, with only a small amount of anxiety. I cannot deny the arguements that have been made. But there still resides in my memory a glimpse of what Guinan called a 'future imperfect'. She claims that future that Q shuffled me back and forth through is but one glance of what could be...the future is liquid she says, constanly shifting depending on the choices we make. It brings to mind the experiences we've had with parrallel of how our lives could have been had different choices been made. Perhaps a romance with Beverly need not end badly.

Sometimes I there a parrallel universe where Will Riker survived Soran's attacks...or a universe where the Borg prevails? It is sometimes a disturbing thought, wondering such things. Which reality is more real, I wonder? Perhaps it doesn't just make the most of the reality I am in.

December 05, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - pt 55

"Even now, the Oryon Council is being arrested," Empress Rixa said. "I shall serve the rest of my time without a Council, Virginia shall appoint a new one when she assumes the thrown."

"Then she's still going to be Empress?" Picard asked.

"Of course. It is futile to resist prophecy...and destiny," Rixa said, her eyes on Q and Virginia. Her eyes suggested that she sensed something far beyond the physical. Raven-Cloud's eyes suggested the same. "Our people have stagnated for years, Picard...and Virginia is the stick that has stirred the waters and upset the 'status quo' of our lives. And there have been many that have resented that...many have resented her very birth. Some have said that because she was concieved by coersion she should never have been allowed to be a legitimate heir, or even to live. Regardles of how life is concieved, it is still an act of God. He is the lifegiver." Rixa sighed. "I don't expect you to understand, any of you, the politics that have plagued her life...simply because I allowed her to be born. Her mother...her mother understood, even though she hated the child as much as she did the father. Perhaps more. I will never understand why she insisted on raising Virginia, but since it was the only way she would allow the girl to be born, we had little choice. Virginia's upbringing has been a source of much contention."

"So wasn't Ian's," remarked Raven-Cloud softly.

"As it is with all hybrid's," Rixa said. "They are a much..."

The soft sound of Virginia's voice drew there attention to the bed where she lay. Her body bore no marks from being assimilated, both of her cobalt blue eyes were there as her lids fluttered open.

"Ian," she had whispered, and now whispered again.

"Yes, my love?" his voice almost but not quite hoarse.

"Sanc...sanctuary..." Her hand came up to touch his face, to run her fingers through his black hair. "Can you take me to where we went after the Sancuary Discrict? Please?"

"I would love to, but I have no idea what condition it's in, sweetheart...I haven't been there for years..." he answered, his hands caressing her face as well. Brushing hair that wasn't there before away from her face, he delighted in the smile on her face.

Both were oblivious to their audience. Until Rixa interrupted, saying, "I've seen to its care, Ian. It's fine. Go ahead and take her. You have a year before anyone will bother you."

Q/Ian took his eyes off Virginia for a heartbeat to look at Rixa in surprise...and then thanks. "Yes, Your Majesty."

Then the two disappeared in a flash of light.

"Showoff," Rixa said with a smile.

"That was beautiful," commented the long silent Deanna Troi. The other two women with her voiced their quiet agreement.

"There is nothing more beautiful than true love," Rixa said. "The kind that last years of seperation...real or imagined. The kind of love that perseverse through trials. And cannot be resisted." She looked pointedly at Picard, barely glancing at his red-headed flame. Then her eyes waxed reminiscent. "Those two are like opposite poles of a magnet. They were meant from each other from the beginning, I think, even more than Marcus. He was a good man, but Ian understands her far better. At any rate, we must be going." Rixa turned her blue eyes back to Picard and smiled. "I'll try to give you more warning before I visit again, Picard. I know how you don't like surprises like this. And think about what I said."

"I will Your Majesty, but before you go...I thought Q said you were dying?" Picard asked, his curiousity piqued.

The sparkle in her eyes was nothing short of pure mischief, and the captain knew where Virginia got her love of innocent mischief from. "Aren't we all? Part of the charade, my dear captain, to flush out the true feelings of the Council. And what better way than a dying queen to see whether they want the hieress or not? They were the ones being tested, not her. Come Raven-Cloud. Good-bye Captain...and crew." She gave them all a solemn nod, then she and Raven-Cloud disappeared in a much more subdued flash of light.

There was a brief moment of silence.

"I like her," Doctor Crusher decided.

"So do I. She reminds me of Virginia," Deanna said.

"What did she mean, Jean-Luc? About you were to think on what she said?" Crusher asked, not quite as innocently as she seemed.

Picard looked a little uncomfortable, but then relaxed. "Why don't we discuss it over dinner, Beverly?"

"I think that would be lovely." She flashed him a bright smile.

"Now, since this crisis is over...I have to inform the War Council of the proceedings. I do hope that the Empress or the Ambassador remembered to clear Virginia's year with Q...Ian...with StarFleet Headquarters."

"I doubt they would say 'no' to her," remarked Guinan.

"I don't think I'd have it in me either. She strikes me as a formidible woman." Picard looked at Beverly. "I'll talk to you later."

"Yes Captain."

"Deanna, please come with me. I'll need a statement about what happened out there."

"Aye sir."

The two left, leaving Guinan alone with the doctor who returned to her duties after a brief word of parting.

Guinan smiled. Things felt...right. In this she was comforted as she returned to Ten-Forward.

All that's left is an epilogue

December 03, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - pt 54

Q/Ian shut out the conversation behind him. He barely registered the fact that the Empress herself had made her presence known. He stilled at the head of Virginia's bed, his heart filled with echos of her pain. She was perilously balanced between life and death, and he knew that her link to him was probably the only thing saving her life.

"I'm here, sweetheart," he said softly, his hands coming to both sides of her head. Closing his eyes, he deepened that link...reaching to her through their Bond.

It was violent, the sensations he had to push through...which he shouldn't have had to do, there should have been no resistance at all...but then he remembered the Borg and how they did things. Not only had they assimilated a drunk Gandraleayian half-breed...but one who was Bonded to another of her who wasn't drunk. Belatedly he wondered how much of a role he had played in the demise of the Borg. Probably more than he realized, but less than he would have liked. Because he had felt that other Presence as well, and knew He had far more to do with their demise than either he or Virginia. They had both been vessels.

Jars of clay...

Virginia? It had been her thought. There was no doubt in him about that. Q/Ian chased it down like a bloodhound on the scent.

Broken jar...light shines through better...

Her presence met him halfway. Virginia...his thoughts were an intimate whisper.

Help me...

Follow me...Clinging to her presence, feeling her clinging to him with a strength he had forgotten she had, Q/Ian led her back through the miasma of pain left behind by the Borg...

Why is this still here? I don't understand Ian...I felt them die...

I don't know, sweetheart...

*Perhaps we didn't all die quite like you think!* came a third voice, sinister and cruel, its seductiveness long lost.

In this mental netherworld, the Bonded pair had run into the remains of the Borg Queen.

There was stunned silence.


...isn't this an interesting turn of events?

*Why shouldn't it be? You have a strong body....I think I like it...*

Don't get used to it. The two thought together. Had there been smiles in this world, they would have shared one now. Instead, they shared the feeling that would have went with the smile. The comfort of knowing that they were together, finishing each others 'one' as two people could become and still remain themselves.

Once again minds were pitted against each other. Only this time, the Borg Queen was squaring off against the combined minds of Virginia and Q/Ian...and of course, the God that went with them. It didn't last long. The Queen died quickly and quietly.

I'm confused...Virginia asked in the silence...the painless silence that ensued. Why did she survive our last battle? Why didn't she die with the rest? Why did God...?

Perhaps so that we could win together? Come dear...follow me out...

November 26, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - pt 53

Deanna Troi joined Picard and Guinan on the edge of the activity in Sick Bay. "How is she?"

"Doctor Crusher is still working on her," Picard replied. "She hasn't told us anything yet."

The three stood in silence.

"She's in so much pain," Deanna whispered. "But it's deeper than the physical pain. She's lost in a sea of...Borg."

"But they were destroyed," Picard said. "We saw the explosions."

"I don't know how else to describe it, Captain. Whatever is left of in her..."

Crusher approached them then. "That would explain why I can't revive her."

"Can't revive her?" Picard asked sharply.

"No. She's been extracted from their machinery, and it will take some time before we can do the grafts that were begun for her...but her mind is...rebelling. I've never seen anything like it."

Deanna sighed in frustration. "Where is Q? She was trusting him to show up."

Guinan raised a hand, halting further conversation.

"Guinan?" Picard asked.

"They're watching."

"Who?" asked Crusher.

"She is no doubt referring to the Oryon Council," came a measured voice.

The four turned in the direction of the voice and beheld two men. Q they knew, but the man holding him by the shoulder wasn't as familiar. He was taller than Q, with darker hair and a darker complexion.

"Their eyes are riveted to this moment," continued Ambassador Raven-Cloud.

Picard left his crew and walked up to Q. " have to heal her...I know you can...either one of you."

"It's not that simple," Q replied, his own eyes were riveted to Virginia's prone form.

"But you love her!" argued Picard. "What simpler reason could you have for healing her? And she loves you."

"I know," whispered Q.

"Then what are you waiting for?" Picard turned to the ambassador, a man he'd only ever seen in news releases. "Please, you must let go of him. She's destined to be your can't just let her die."

"What do you know of her destiny?" questioned Raven-Cloud, truly curious.

"I know the prophecy that surrounds her. 'Born of Sol and Gandraleay, bloods mixed to form a new Star. She shall rise from the ashes of death, heralding the dawning of a new age for Gandraleay. As a pebble ripples water, so shall she bring change to her people both near and far.' There are more. You can't just let her die because the change she brings frightens you."

Sick bay was silent save for the sounds of the medical equipment.

"Our prophecies are not common knowledge," Raven-Cloud commented, not offended but troubled.

"I shared them with him," said Guinan, coming to the captain's side.

"And how do you know them?" Raven-Cloud asked.

"Virginia told me."

Raven-Cloud sighed. "That is one of the very reasons why the Council distrusts her. If she cannot keep something confidential..."

"They distrust her because she brings change," argued Picard. "She threatens the way you've always done things. And why they want her dead." He looked at Q, made sure he had the others attention. "And that is why they're keeping you from healing her."

Q looked at Raven-Cloud, whose face was as shocked as his own.

Raven-Cloud let go of Q. "Go to her."

Q wasted no time with questions, but moved quickly across the room to the woman his heart beat for.

"How did you know?" Raven-Cloud asked Picard.

The Enterprise captain shrugged. "Do you deny it?"

"Of course he doesn't," answered a strong feminine voice. "He and Ian have been working for centuries to uncover this plot."

Picard, usually ruffled at unexpected and sudden visitors, turned calmly at the new voice. The family resemblance was uncanny, but he asked anyway, "And you are?"

The tall woman smiled, "Why, my dear captain, I am Rixa Champlagne, Empress of the Gandraleayian Empire and more importantly, Virginia's grandmother."

November 24, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - Pt. 52

Hours had passed since the shuttle Andromeda had crossed over into Borg space.

Picard was ill at ease, to say the least. Not that he showed it at all. Had Ro turned around from Conn, or Crusher from Helm, they would have seen the picture of calm control. Had Worf given up his faithful glaring into the view screen, he would have thought his captain immovable. Had Deanna sat at his side, she would have felt the unrest and unease inside of him and would have asked him what was wrong. No doubt she would have asked to speak with him in his Ready Room. But she wasn't here.

What had they been thinking? Sending two women into a battle zone with no back up. Boothby would have his hide if he was still alive.

"Captain," announced Data from Tactical. "Sensors are showing a widespread disturbance in Borg space."

"A disturbance?" Picard rose to his feet. "Onscreen."

"At maximum magnification, clarity will be somewhat of an issue," said Data, his fingers flying across the controls. "I will attempt to clean the images."

The view wasn't clear...but it was clear enough to see tiny explosions dotting the star field.

"Where's the Andromeda?" Picard asked.

"The explosions are causing interference," Data answered. "I am unable to ... the Andromeda is hailing us."


"Aye Captain."

Deanna's voice filled the bridge, broken up with static. "...prise, this is ... meda. Mission accom..."

Then nothing but static.

"Captain," interrupted Worf. "At Warp one we can signifigantly reduce..."

"Agreed. Make it so." Picard barely heard his first officer voicing the orders to go to Warp speed as he left the bridge. "Sickbay," he instructed the turbolift. Tapping his commbadge he said, "Transporter room 1...prepare for emergency medical transport as soon as the shuttle is within range."

"Aye Captain," came the feminine reply. "We will be in range in just under two minutes."

"That quickly?"

"Yes sir. Admiral Hamilton and Reg, er...Lt. Barclay did some upgrading before she left."

"I see. Very well. As soon as you can." Picard terminated the conversation and waited as the turbolift carried him closer to sickbay.

He arrived in time to see a half-borged Virginia materializing on a specialized bio-bed. Her body had been butchered, he could see that even from across the room.

Guinan stepped up beside him, her normally tranquil face pained. "I would guess that Doctor Crusher wouldn't wants us to get in the way."

"Probably not," replied Picard. The two stepped closer anyway listening as Crusher calmly issued orders and wielded different instruments. Stopping at a safe distance, the two watched.

"Now...we wait," commented Guinan.

November 22, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - pt 51

In that dark dimension where Q had hidden himself and later been joined by Gandraleayian Ambassador Raven-Cloud, Q - that cynical menace - was on his knees with tears streaming from his face.

"Please...let me go to her..." Q begged.

There were tears on Raven-Cloud's face as well. He was an empathic being, and he could feel his old friend's pain he restrained him. Truthfully, the restraint hurt him as well. "Not yet."

"Why?" He had followed her lead and lowered the Muting on their Bond. He wanted to reach out to her, especially when the Borg began to assimilate her, but he had sensed her need to just know that he was there. He had to wait for her to reach out to him. And then...he had never imagine such pain. Fire running across his skin wouldn't have hurt as bad as the Borg asserting their will over Virginia's. He couldn't feel her now. Their Bond hadn't been Broken, he could feel that much and that meant she was still alive in that husk of a body. But all he could feel was numbness...and he couldn't even tell if it was her pain or his own.

"He has to be moved by her sacrifice," Raven-Cloud answered. "He has to make a plea for her life."

"Why isn't my plea good enough?" Anger kindled deep in Q. He was tired of the meddling ways of his people. Always meddling. They couldn't leave well enough alone to Fate and destiny and God.

"Who better to plead the case of a half-breed than a full-blooded human?"

"I am! I've been by her side since the beginning...the only one who's known her longer as a friend is Rachel and Rachel forfeited her position long ago when she made the case against me. No one knows her strengths and weaknesses better..."

"And no one is more impartial than you are." Raven-Cloud wiped the tears from his face. The backlash of emotions coming from the pairbond was near staggering. "Dammit, Ian...Picard isn't stupid..."

"If Picard hasn't learned anything yet, and lets her die..."

"I'm telling you it won't happen. He'll figure out what the Council is waiting for. He was able to figure out that she's being tested."

"Tried by fire, you mean."

"Trust me..."

"Trust you? If it wasn't for you none of us would be in this position in the first place!"

" have to believe that I've changed. One can't work with Virginia for any amount of time and not end up changing."

Q had no reply. Deep within, he felt something begin to She was leaving, she was dying, and he was being held back. He could only scream in frustration and despair.

November 20, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - Pt 50

One hour stretched into two, and then three. Deanna stood a vigilant guard at her station, never once leaving or letting her eyes waver. Although the Borg were a Collective body, there was still a myriad of emotions from the various Cubes that assaulted her senses. She knew that she didn't have to have her mental shields lowered, but she didn't want to miss a single nuance of the events happening around her.

Each time Admiral Hamilton's vital signs spiked at all, her hand would hover over the controls ready to beam her superior officer over at the first sign of trouble. But each time, the readings would stabilize. Until they must have started assimilating her. Then the heart rate and breathing remained high for several long minutes, occasionally spiking higher, until they all of a sudden dropped and evened out into what Deanna knew to be normal readings for a Borg.

Deanna could not stop herself from tensing. It took her a moment to realize that it wasn't her own emotion, but that of the Borg. She glanced at the other screen the Admiral had pointed out and was surprised to see it alive with readings. The Borg were in turmoil. She wondered what the Admiral was doing to cause such a thing. She took a deep breath to steady herself and reached out Empathically ---- but she was too far away to sense anything more than turmoil and fear and anger.

A Borg Cube suddenly exploded, causing Deanna to jump. It was close enough to rock the shuttle gently. She looked at the readings on both screens, and saw that the Admiral's life signs had slipped lower and that Borg Cube after Borg cube were beginning to explode. She of course could see no pattern to it, though she was sure that there must be.

Virginia's life signs were still above the level she had indicated, but Deanna wasted no time in beaming her back. The half-borged woman had barely finished materializing on the platform when that Borg Cube exploded as well. Deanna turned in time to catch the falling woman, barely able to hold onto her. Borg attachments were heavy.

"I am Borg...I am Borg..." issued out of the Admiral's stiff mouth over and over again in a bland monotone. Her one eye had a dead look in it, beyond that of a Drone. Her body was limp and unmoving except for a twitch that coincided with the word Borg as she spoke.

"We have to get out of here Admiral," Deanna said, more for her own comfort. The emotions issuing from her though were nothing close to being dead...the intensity being so strong that Deann threw her mental shields up in defense. She struggled to get Virginia away from the transporter pad, but decided to leave her there. She flew to the pilots chair as the shuttle rocked from the continuous explosions. For a moment, her eyes were riveted to the exploding Cubes. "My God," she muttered by reflex.

Shields were holding strong and steady, no doubt something else the Admiral and Reg had "tweaked". Deanna wasn't the best pilot, but she was more than adequate. It was easy for her to turn the ship around and kick it into Warp.

Opening communications, she contacted the Enterprise. "Enterprise, this is shuttle Andromeda. Mission accomplished..."

November 13, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - Pt 49

Perhaps because she was expecting the pain, it didn't hurt as badly as she recalled from Picard's memories...or perhaps because she was more used to pain, it didn't hurt as bad. Or maybe the pain was so bad that she was actually in shock and it just didn't register. Virginia didn't know.

They had strapped her down, something that made sense because one certainly didn't want the subject to suddenly bolt when they saw the wicked looking assortment of instruments brought out. The long needle they were presently wielding her way particularly terrified Virginia and she closed her remaining eye. They had already taken the other one, though they hadn't plugged the new improved version in yet.

Lt. Haskas had tortured her with needle when she had been his prisoner in the Eugenics War. Slowly, methodically tortured her over a matter of several days. She hadn't liked needles before that...but afterwards, she abhorred them.

The needle bore deep into her, delivering a powerful serum designed to weaken her mental facilities and allowed the Collective Consciousness to indwell her.

There was nothing gentle about the intrusion of the Borg consciousness into her mind. One moment she was alone in her thoughts, save for the comforting Presence, and then suddenly they were there. There was no order to the cacophony of voices suddenly in her head. It was worse than her normal telepathy, a thousand times worse. She struggled against them...struggled to retain her identity, her wasn't an easy thing for her to give control of that type over to anyone. Her body might be immobile, but her mind fought and clawed for survival.

And beneath the pain, beneath the voices, beneath the drugged obedience of the Borg consciousness...there lay an undercurrent of despair and anguish. Loved ones that had been left behind, or killed, when they had been assimilated by this madness. Guilt for having done the same to thousands of other people who had their own loved ones. Grief for the worlds they had devastated. Muted, far beneath the layers, but she sensed it. And compassionate woman that she was, Virginia grieved for them....grieved for the broken dreams, for the lives stolen and destroyed...

"Lord," her heart asked. "Is there no way to save them? Free them?"

Most of them have been dead for years, their bodies kept alive and used by this machination evil. For the rest, their only freedom can be found in death.

Then the Queen came into the struggle. "I thought you wanted this?" she mocked. "Oh, they all fight at first..."

Mid sentence, Virginia seized the Queen's mind with her own. "I will not rest until you are destroyed!"

Wordlessly the Queen fought back, trying to assert her will over the other woman.

Virginia dug deep, accessing the despair and the guilt the Borg felt...and she threw it into the face of the Borg. "Do you see what you have done? This is not order, this in not optimum...this is evil...we were not created for this..."

"The Borg were created to conquer and assimilate...we are Optimum," argued the Queen. "We are perfection..."

" experiment gone wrong!"

The two fought...minds sparring in the dark void...until at last, The Queen was overcome when a third presence entered into the fray. A Being so powerful, so frightening. It wasn't the Q...those she knew. She wasn't afraid of them, they had never bothered her. But this Being that came with the half-breed was more powerful than the Q. He was someone she knew from a memory of a memory...memories of memories as she was filled not only with her own memories, but those of thousands upon thousands of drones. She had long ago rejected Him, before she had ever been assimilated, as had many of her drones. She rejected Him now, even as the other woman clung to Him.

One by one, the Borg were overwhelmed...and then the order to self-destruct was issued...

November 12, 2007

Resistance is Futile - pt 48

Three levels up, Virginia began to trek deeper into the Borg's cube. She could still feel God's leading, His gentle nudges, though there was no conversation. So far, she had seen no Borg drones...but she could hear them. She held her breath as she turned each corner, but each time she found an empty corridor.

The odor remained consistent, as did the oppressive humidity. No wonder the Borg had to assimilate one in their right mind would choose to live here.

A drone!

Virginia froze, watching in silence as he...she? by her without even glancing at her. But it didn't stop her from seeing the deadness in the eyes. Watching the retreating back of the drone for just a moment, she continued on her way. Left here, then a right...and then a chamber.


She had the sense that she was in the center of the cube, even though she had lost all sense of direction by now. Usually she could spin around in circles and still tell you which direction was which when she stopped, but ever since she had beamed over here that sense had vanished. Maybe it was the humidity.

The albino-white queen sat on a raised chair in the center of this dark chamber, though it wasn't quite a throne. Her attention was on a wall of monitors that displayed either different corridor of her cube, or what looked like different sections of space...including a close up shot of the small StarFleet shuttle.

Several different drones worked around their queen. Virginia crept further in, holding herself tensely. Something told her that the time for skulking was over.

The Queen rose from her seat and turned to face her, and for her part, Virgina didn't stumble in her pace. With a sensuous grace that was very unBorg-like, the Queen approached her.

"I've been watching you," the Queen said.

While this surprised and unnerved Virginia, she didn't let it show. "I'm here to be assimilated."

"I feel like I ought to know you," the Queen said as the two came to a stand still on front of each other. "You were in Locutus's memories of his old life."

"The life he returned to," the admiral replied.

"For now." The Queen reached out and lifted Virginia's chin with her fingertips. "Your name is Hamilton...a person of rank among those yet to be assimilated."

"I was. Until I realized that there is no point fighting you, that you're going to win anyway...and they drummed me out of the service."

"I almost believe you half-breed. Why would a woman of your power...who could destroy me with a thought...not do so, but instead ask to be assimilated?"

"My powers are useless. I've been drinking and that turns them off. But once you assimilate me, and the alcohol leaves me powers will be at your disposal and you will be able to overcome the Federation at last."

"What makes you think I need your powers to succeed?" the Queen asked haughtily, her fingers tightening on the others chin.

"Well, what you've been doing so far hasn't been working has it?"

"It has been difficult," the Queen admitted, dropping her grip on Virginia. "I've certainly never had anyone ask to be assimilated before, but far be it from me to refuse you. Drone 186, escort this woman to the assimilation chambers."

The nameless drone approached and took hold of Virgina's arm. It was a firm grip, but it didn't hurt. And the drone wasted no time in moving her along.

"You won't regret this," Virginia said to the Queen.

"I know." The Queen turned her back and dismissed the woman from her thoughts. She had a new war strategy to plan.

November 06, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - pt 47

The area that Virginia materialized in looked typical of a Borg was dark and looked more like a hastily assembled junk pile or a pile of scrap metal than the interior of a spacefaring vessel. There was a smell that was far from pleasant, a smell that she remembered only from the memories of those like Picard and Seven of Nine.

Not knowing where she was going, just flying by the seat of her pants like she had done for years, she began to walk off to her right. It led deeper into the ship, so it made sense to her.

Before you go...

Virginia stopped in her tracks at a Voice she had not heard for years. He had probably been there all along, but when Marcus had died, she had really rather ignored God as it didn't seem fair to her the life she had been dealt. But He was making it a little hard to ignore Him now. "What?" she said into the emptiness. It was far from quiet here, with that constant humming of the Borg machinery, so the fact that she could hear Him was something extraordinary. Though to be fair, the Voice was as much inside as it was from outside.

Do you really think you ought to be doing this without Me?

"Do you really care?"

I wouldn't ask if I didn't.

"Good point." Virginia sighed. "Why Lord? Why would You want me after I've been so angry with You and ignored You?"

Because I love you. You are my child, and I would not want you doing this alone.

He still loved her. "What happens if I do this alone?" she asked out of curiosity, knowing that He wouldn't translate her question as further rebellion.

You will be overcome and you will die...such a death that Ian would not be able to save you from.

So, the question really was about how much she really wanted to live. Would it really be so bad to die? Her people would be taken care of...Mariah would be an excellent Empress in her stead.

It is not Mariah's time to rule your people. I have set you in the life I have for a purpose...and for a time such as this. Even now I am working in the hearts of the Council members...appealing for mercy on your behalf...Ian's too.

"Why me? They don't need me or want me! I'll have to fight for everything I see for them."

Not as hard as you think, but you are will have a fight on your hands over some things. But they do need you...more than they want to admit. You bring to them the message of humility and sacrifice. You bring innocence...yes, innocence...with you. And a strength that can only be found by going through the fire of life. I did not give your father race the powers I did to make their lives easier...but that is how they use them...and it grieves Me. Which is why I am giving them a ruler who is half human...because while the mix brings brings greater power...and the instability creates a deeper reliance in Me.

"And I do know how to function without my powers." Virginia sighed, then asked, "Are you sure? Because I've been accused of being proud and arrogant."

Have you been?

"At times. Even now, I worry that the only reason I'm doing this is out of pride. But Lord...sometimes I really am the best person for a mission..."

If you go in alone, without Me...this mission will be out of pride my daughter...

"And pride comes before the fall." Virginia drew a deep breath. "Would You come with me? Even though I've sinned greatly since I left you...I've slept around...and to be honest, Lord...if Ian rescues me...I...want him Lord..." All those admissions hurt, though that last was harder to admit than that she had sinned.

There was a chuckle...yes, a chuckle in reply... Daughter, I knew of your sins when they occured...and I know of the joy they brought you...and the deep sorrow. I knew all this when I stopped you to talk with you....even when I said that I love you. As for Ian...though you were Bonded in sin, outside of the laws of the land and outside My are Bonded...far deeper than you ever were with Marcus...he is as your husband.

Virginia didn't know how to respond to that. "But they Exiled him...because of me," she said, grief was heavy in her voice. "Won't they ask for the Bond to be Broken when I go to the throne? I don't know if I could do that, Lord. I don't want to lose him."


She hesitated only a moment before saying the words..."Because I love him."

Do you trust Me?

"Do I have a choice?!" Virginia laughed at herself, pleased when He laughed with her. "Don't answer that. I know I always have a choice."

I know your heart daughter...and I will not fail you. Can you name one time when I did?

"Marcus," she answered without hesistation. "I prayed and You still let him die."

It was his time, child. He had already lived longer than any human should. And while he was an excellent husband for was only for a time. I could have let you prolong his life, I could have prolonged his life...but he is not the one that would be best to rule along side you.

"Damn," she muttered...then started. She had just sworn while talking to God! "Oops, sorry." Then she thought about what He had said. She had to admit, Marcus wouldn't have been very good ruling next to her....not because he didn't have the head for it...but because of his dislike for her people. That and he had so little knowledge about her people...truthfully, she didn't know that much herself. She had yet to even set foot on Gandraleay. She dared to consider Ian...if he wasn't considered an Exile...he'd be great. He had the knowledge...he had his Special Ops background...he knew when to let her have her own way, and when to come in and rescue her when her own way landed her in hot water...he wasn't afraid to challenge her... "I don't know how you're gonna do it, but it'll be interesting to watch."

Oh, I have my ideas. Again, that chuckle. Now, since we are going at this together...How about turning left and shimmying up the outside corridors for a few levels before going in deeper?

"Why not? Makes no sense to me, but ok." Decision to trust made, Virginia did an about face. As she went...slowly...inch by inch...she relaxed the Muting on her Bond with Ian. She didn't reach out to him...she just wanted to know he was there.

November 05, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - pt 46

The shuttle hovered far from the Borg cubes. Closer than before certainly.

"Are we in transporter range?" Deanna asked.

"Not quite, but almost." Virginia was busy at the small transporter unit. "Come here."

The Betazoid rose from her seat and stood close to the unit. "Then why have we stopped?"

"So I can tweak this a little more and boost the power and then we'll be in transporter range. Do you see the differences on the screen from what you're already used to?"

Deanna moved around to stand behind the console and studied the mentioned console. It did looked different, with a small screen that looked almost like a medical tricorder display. "I see the differences," Deanna said simply.

"Good. The small screen you see will soon be displaying my life signs." Virginia stood from where she had been kneeling, with her head in the console on the opposite side of Deanna. She tapped a few keys, and came to stand next to Deanna. Her finger tapped the screen that was no alive with lights. "These lines here are my pulse and heart rate. This one is my respiratory rate." She tapped a spot and they suddenly dropped. "Doctor Crusher said that this is what they'll look like once I've been fully assimilated. If they drop below this level...or if this screen over here," Virginia drew Deanna's attention to a smaller screen to the right, "shows any anomaly...beam me out of there as fast as you can and get this ship headed home. Where we are right now, we are out of their reported transporter range. They shouldn't be able to shoot you either, unless they've assimilated some new weapon technology in the past month. So, keep an eye on these monitors and be ready to act in a heartbeat."

Deanna nodded.

"Are you religious at all, Counselor?"

"Not really."

"That's too bad. I'd have liked knowing I had someone praying for me while I was in there. No matter..maybe Ian is." Virginia sighed. She bent low and flipped a panel open. "All right..there we go. We're ready." She straightened and climbed onto the small transporter pad. "At your convenience, Counselor."

Deanna's hand hovered over the controls. "Godspeed, Admiral." Her hands moved effortlessly and the admiral disappeared in the shimmering lights of the transporter beam. Alone, her eyes riveted themselves to the two screens she had been told to watch.

November 04, 2007

Resistance is Futile - Pt 45

As Virginia surveyed the Borg ship in the distance, the only word that came to mind was an old earth slang comment she had heard in a movie once. No two ways about it...the Borg ship was gianormous.

It hung in the distance, surrounded by scores of other ships of the same kind. One cube in a rubix cube. Stacked like pieces on a three dimensional chess board.

She hated tri-d made no sense to her. Spock always claimed that it was because her mind had trouble thinking on only a three dimensional level. The conversation had taken place long after they had become intimate, long after they had mindmelded. She had caught the 'only' in his comment and had asked about it. Spock had raised that eyebrow of his. "Virginia," he said in that 'it's only logical' tone of his, "Your mind, like mine, is a hybrid between that of two races. And the human mind does not meld well with the Gandraleayian mind. They are considered the most unbalanced creatures, and often times dangerous. However, yours is one of the better balanced minds. This means that your mind works at a level far above the norm for humans. You not only see things as they are...but as they could be. And sometimes, you see things as they should be, even though they are not. This your mind does without conscious thought or effort. You also have a tendancy to see far beyond one moment in time, again without your needing to focus on it at all. So for you to focus on something so trivial and simple as tri-dimensional slows you down."

Deanna thought it odd that at a time when her vision was filled with an endless sea of Borg cubes, she could find herself distracted by the emotions of the person next to her. And with such clarity. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that the Admiral was without her powers. "What are you remembering?" she boldly asked.

"A conversation between Spock and I about the reason why I haved such a hard time with tri-dimensional chess," Virginia answered. Shields were up and at a mid level frequency that was even now shifting to keep the Borg confused. "That's what the Borg ships reminded me of...a tri-d chess board. I hate that game. Spock claimed that it was too simple for me. I also think he said I have a hyper active mind."

The other woman caught the humor in the statement and couldn't stop from lightly laughing. "I'm sure he didn't mean it that way. Although I must admit that you are a highly driven woman."

"Ian always called me focused," Virgina said softly. "Marcus referred to me as high strung. You know...the more I look at these cube ships...the more I see the system to it. I mean, we are talking about the Borg...they don't just stack their cubes without reason. Even we have a certain way we place our ships when traveling in a fleet. What we put the ship carrying the highest ranking official in the middle...better protection that way."

Deanna viewed the ships again. "Do you think they do the same?"

"I don't know. If our intelligence information is correct...each ship carries its own Queen...With a Matrix Queen over several ships. Nothing has ever been said about an "alpha' over them all."

The counselor dared to ask, "What does 'logic' tell you?"

"Logic? Logic tells me to turn this damn ship around and abort the entire thing." In her minds eye, Virginia saw Spock's eyebrow raise and she winced at his imaginary scrutiny. "Ok, that's not logic...that's fear talking. Logically, since the Borg have been compared to know, the entire hive would make sense for there to be an Alpha Queen."

The two considered the starfield before them.

"If I were a Borg Queen..." mused Virginia. "Where would I put myself?"

"What do you mean?"

"Do I hide myself behind the underlings...or do I put myself out front, where it is least likely to be suspected. Even though it's the most dangerous, but hey...we're the superior race, right?"

Deanna caught on to her thinking. "Right. And we're in our own borders, so what danger is there really?"

"Shouldn't be any...we've assimilated everything worth assimilating and destroyed the rest." Virginia paused and decided to guess. "We're going to that ship...there." The admiral pointed to a dot on her display screen. It was a ship about midlevel and only a few rows in.

Deanna swallowed hard. "Then let's go."

Virginia nodded, though her hand hesitated over the controls. "Deanna?"

"Yes Admiral?"

"I'm scared."

Deanna reach out and patted the other's shoulder. "So am I."

Comforted by their shared fear, Virginia nudged the ship into motion.

November 03, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - pt 44

"It almost sounds like she loves you," Raven-Cloud commented into the hidden spot where Q had sequestered himself.

Q looked at his newly arrived visitor in annoyance, but didn't comment.

Raven-Cloud chuckled. "I'd forgotten how passionate she can be when riled. Why didn't that come out at your trial? And did she really seduce you?"

"It didn't come out because her father didn't believe it had happened and because they viewed her as too unstable at the time to be a viable witness."

"You didn't answer the other question."

Q took a deep breath, almost a sigh. "You're right I didn't. Yes, Virginia took advantage of me in a weak moment. I suppose you want to hear the story?"

"Not for my own purposes. The Council will want to know what happened...and why you never said a word about it before. Although I would be grateful if you didn't go into detail for all of it."

"I didn't say anything because I was protecting her. Our people have punished her enough, and I couldn't stand the thought of her being punished for this. And the only thing seduction is, is to convince someone to do something they already want to do. So, I probably could have fought her off if I had really wanted to."

"What happened?" asked the solemn ambassador.

"She had a nightmare. It seemed like every time she regained a piece of her mind back after Marcus' death...something about it triggered a reoccurring nightmare she'd been having. I guess she even had it while in the Sanctuary."

Raven-Cloud nodded. "Many bad things happened to her in there."

"I lost count of the times she woke me up while screaming in her sleep. This particular night...she had woke me up from a rather erotic dream about her. So when I was holding her..." Q made a frustrated sigh. "We were both in our nightclothes and, well, my body wasn't exactly subtle that night. I tried to apologize, and to leave her...I thought for sure she was offended and would never be comfortable around me again. She grabbed ahold of me before I could even get off the bed...and kissed me...rather unchastely. I tried to tell her all the reason why we shouldn't...but she wrapped herself around me. She kept telling me that I wanted to. And I did Raven, it's not like I could call her a liar. And so...I did...I made love with her."

Raven-Cloud cleared his throat. "I think most men would find it hard not to give in to that. She is a beautiful woman...and determined."

"I had...I still have the hardest time telling her no. For anything." Q sighed. "Is that enough?"

"When did you realize the two of you had Bonded?"

"At the time, neither one of us realized it until she went to leave the room. She turned and told me I could get out of her mind. Imagine our surprise when I couldn't. She flipped out...we fought for hours. In retrospect, I think we both knew when it happened."

"Did you offer to have it Broken?"

"Yes. I've asked her that several times over the years. Each time she damn near takes my head off."

"Interesting. Do you suppose it's because she's afraid it will be like when Marcus died...or because she loves you?"

"I've always thought she was afraid. After that outburst...I don't know. I know what I want to believe."

Raven-Cloud paused, unsure of how to ask his next question. "Since that time, have the two of you...?"

"With you as her watchdog? No, Raven, we haven't been physically intimate since then. There have been times when she's needed me...but we rarely ever lift the Muting off our Bond...and touching is something we don't do often, and then it is very guarded."

"Is that by your choice, or hers?"

Q shrugged. "Mostly hers. I won't deny that I wish things had been different, but for so long...she seemed to hate the very sight of me...except when she needed me. And if we don't touch....I won't be tempted to try anything she doesn't want. I'm half afraid, that after this Borg thing is over and she is well...she won't want anything to do with me again. Which is a moot point I guess since I'm an Exile not allowed contact with others."

"The Council will probably want to conduct a review of your trial." Raven-Cloud snorted, a loud sound in the darkness. "It'll give them something to do while..."

"While what?"

"Do you trust me, Ian?"

At first, he was taken aback at the use of his old name. But then Q considered the other man. They had a history together, as did most men of their race and ages. Raven-Cloud was a pure-blood a few centuries older than himself, but the elder had never held the younger's mixed heritage against him as others in Special Ops had. So, almost all their history was good...all except for that one time...but...that was a long time ago. "Yes," Q decided. "I trust you."

"The Council has given their permission for you to rescue Virginia...on one condition. That you wait until my say so before you do."

"No other catch?" Q asked, surprised.

"Actually, yes there was....but after what I've just heard...I will do everything in my power to have it reconsidered and voted against."

"What?" dread filled Q's voice.

Raven-Cloud hesitated. "They wanted you to Break your Bond with her...willingly and sacrificially. To prove that your love for her is real. But, you say you've offered...and I heard her words to the Trio woman. I think that if they were to have you do that...just the notion would cause her to panic."

He considered. "It probably would."

"So. You stay here, mind your watch...and I'll be back shortly."

"Try to hurry," requested Q.

"I'll do my best."

And again Q was alone in the darkness, watching...

November 02, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - pt 43

Little was said between the counselor and the admiral for the first several hours beyond the needed working conversation. Close to half an hour had stretched by in total silence.

"So," said Deanna. "Exactly how close are we to Borg Space?"

"We should be in their borders within 6 hours," Virginia answered. "And that's at Warp 3. Reg and I tweaked the warp drive when La Forge wasn't looking."

"And sensor range?"

Virginia shrugged. "It depends on where their patrol ships are. They might be able to pick us up on sensors already."

Deanna turned in her seat. "You sound like you don't know for sure."

"I don't."

"But..." The dark-haired woman recalled the rumor that the admiral had been drinking at her wedding reception. And she well knew what alcohol did to the other woman. "Have you been drinking?"

"Like a fish," the admiral answer honestly. "Up until yesterday."

"Your powers..."

The accusation hung thick in the air, though unspoken.

"My powers are unneeded for this mission, Deanna."

Deanna's voice was cold when she spoke again. "You're not going to rescue me after all."

"'re going to rescue me." The admiral spoke without hesitation, giving Deanna no chance to reply. "Reg and I rewired the transporter system so you'll be able to pick me out of the crowd after I've beamed over. You'll have to keep a close eye on my life signs and that of the Borg ship. We can't have you pulling me out too soon...and I'd hate to have you pull me out too late. Even if Ian were to rescue me, I'd still have that memory and that particular one would suck."

"Ian?" asked Deanna.

"You know him as Q." Virginia sighed, regretting her decision not to let the good doctor talk to her friend. "Look, Doctor Crusher is even now preparing sickbay to undo the assimilation process. Ian...Q...might not even need to lift a finger, something I know the Oryon Council would hope for."

"But, why are you doing this?"

"Do you really want to be the one to be assimilated?"

"Well, no. Does the War Council know you've decided to take my place?"

"Not on your life. They'd've court martialed me for just thinking it. Which they might do yet. Yeah, they probably will. But I couldn't let them do this to anyone. If you'd refused, they'd have ordered you. And if you had still refused, they'd have drummed you out of the Fleet. They'd have faked the charges, since we couldn't let it go on record that we were discharging you for refusing orders to march into Borg territory and let yourself be assimilated. Don't look so disbelieving...those contingencies were discussed."


"Why what?"

"Why are you taking my place, and why not tell me sooner?"

"I thought we'd been over that. You said you didn't really want to be assimilated."

"And you do?" Deanna asked.

The admiral was silent before answering. "It's better this way, Deanna. I know that you're not unfamiliar with the pain and terror that comes with war and undercover missions and whatnot. I know that you would be able to withstand the horror of assimilation. So my decision has nothing to do with you personally, and it was made before I ever met you. I've been commanding missions before I was 18. I wasn't always followed at first, but once my team realized that I would ask nothing of them that I wouldn't do myself they followed me to the end. Even when they died. But I learned that I hate sending people to their death. I've come close to death a couple hundred thousand different times, usually before breakfast. And to be honest, I find that it's easier to send myself in to face that possibility than it is to send others."

"It's about guilt then?" the counselor asked.

"No. I have a hero complex. Usually I have my powers...but not this time. It's about..."

"Prooving that you can still win without them?"

"Maybe. I hadn't thought about it quite like that."

"And what happens if you do die this time? Because of your selfish desire to proove yourself better than the rest of your people? Who will rule your people then?" Never in her life would Deanna been able to imagine herself talking so to Admiral Hamilton, but the woman seemed unoffended. "You can't just leave them without a ruler. You have to think beyond yourself. Your first duty is to your people, not to yourself."

"If I die...and Ian doesn't rescue me...then my daughter Mariah will rule in my stead. She is my oldest daughter, and she has had far more training at court than I, and she has the heir gift of the mind access."

"You cannot depend on Q," Deanna said harshly. "He is irresponsible and juvenile. His arrogant cruelness has led my ship into danger too many times and cost the lives of the crew. And to depend on one who has been exiled from your people only further serves to alienate you from the people you would rule. They would not have named him a member of the Rogue Q faction had he not been so deserving."

Virginia rose angrily. "Do not speak so of a man you do not know! He has saved my life more times than I can count...when Michael raped me, he was the one who held me afterwards and Healed me...when my own people would have left me for dead, he came after me, when my husband had died and my mind was lost and I was wandering Earth...they didn't look for me, they didn't even try...Ian searched until he found me and he kept me safe until I was able to remember who I was and function again. His only crime was to sleep with the Daughter-Heir...He was named Q because I seduced him...but they claimed that it was the other way around, that all he wanted was to be Bonded with me because I'm heir to the throne. I know that man, Counselor...He was the first one the heir gift of the mind access manifested itself...and I know there was no deceit in him. I know. He only ever wanted what was best for me. He's never had any designs on the throne. But when I tried to testify on his behalf, I was told to sit down and shut people wouldn't even listen to me. What he is now...the man that you know...comes from a heart of bitterness. His people banished him...for my crime. My crime, counselor."

Counselor Troi was speachless. The emotions coming from the enraged woman were a bit overwhelming. The best she could manage to say was, "I didn't know."

Virginia calmed. Some. "Remember that the next time you go to speak of a person you don't know. Or even if you do know them...because chances are, you don't know them half as well as you think you do."

"I will."

November 01, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - pt 42

Guinan watched from Ten-Forward, not knowing if her friend's shuttle would be going by the windows, but unwilling to miss it if it did. Borg Space was dead ahead in this direction, she knew that without needing a navigational console or star map. Home used to be right...there. Her eyes picked out the dim pinprick that used to be her sun. But knowing Virginia, she might well circle the long way around.

Guinan," he replied coolly, gazing out the window next to her. "I had thought about watching from shuttle bay and bothering Picard at the same time, but the view just wouldn't be the same."

"Is she going to come this way?" Guinan asked.

"Yes. No trying to sneak in this time, she's going boldly into the lion's den." Q pointed. "There she is."

The shuttle was barely visible, but Guinan could just make out the silver white form as it pulled away from the ship at impulse speed. The two watched in silence until the warp tale appeared and the small ship disappeared from sight.

"So," said Q.

"She's going to take Deanna's place, isn't she?" Guinan asked, fearing the answer she felt she already knew.

"Of course," the other alien answered. "She could do no less."

"Is it because of what happened with Picard?"

"No. She had already decided to do this before she had even met Deanna. Some things about Virginia will never change. She does her best to bend to the changing times, but in her heart...when it comes to war...there can be no other way. Her own people sent her into battle time and time again during the Eugenics and Third World War, half expecting her to die, most wanting her to. Each time made her stronger and more resistant to pain and defeat. Each time set in her heart a desire to protect others from the pain she felt."

"She's never felt the pain that the Borg inflicts," Guinan pointed out.

"Hasn't she? Virginia has experienced that pain through friendship with you think you are immune to the mind access she inherited? She felt your pain upon meeting you just as she felt Picard's pain the first time he looked in her eyes."

"Virginia was drunk the first time we met."

Q sighed. "It only postponed the Access, Guinan."

Guinan was introspective. "She's never mentioned it."

"Of course not. She well knew your desire not to speak of the Borg."

The hostess nodded. "You will be there to rescue her if things go sour, won't you?"

"Even without the Council's permission if necessary."

Guinan smiled. "That never has stopped you from helping her before."

"Guinan, there is one thing that the Borg are right about in this life. Resistance truly is futile. I can no more deny her than I could deny myself. These three things continue forever: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of love.*"

She turned to asked him what he meant...but he was gone. Guinan sighed. "How typical."


* 1 Corinthians 13:13 New Century Version paraphrased

October 31, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - pt 41

The time between Virginia sitting and talking with her friend in Ten-Forward and the time for the shuttlecraft departure flew by quickly. She got a little sleep that night and had spent much time the next day with Reg working on the transporters, stopping long enough in the evening to chat with Doctor Crusher about various medical things. That other woman had been more than cooperative, though concerned over not telling Captain Picard and Deanna about the change in plans.

"Beverly," the admiral had said quietly, earnestly. "As far as I am concerned, too many people know about my plans. If it were not for my insane desire to continue living, you would not even know. I will tell Deanna when she needs to know."

Beverly had tilted her head. "No offense Admiral, but this is my friend we're talking about."

"Understood. And knowing your friend as well as you do, don't you think she'll try talking me out of it?"

The red head had nodded. "And that would be a bad thing?"

Virginia's eyebrows had risen at that, not unlike a former Vulcan lover of hers. "Yes, because of all the people I know, Deanna would be one of the few who could talk me out of this. And my mind will not be changed."

Beverly had seemed to understand her determination. Because she had nodded again and changed the subject.

And now it was almost time. Admiral Hamilton stood in the shuttle bay, going over a last few technical details with Chief La Forge. Her mood dark, she was dressed in black fatigues with her hair pulled tightly back, tied into a little bun at the nape of her neck. Picard, looking from a distance, thought it was a sad beauty he was seeing, but as he was unaware of her plans, he didn't understand it.

Deanna, entering with her husband at her side, was also dressed in black fatigues, though hers were more form fitting that the admiral's. Her hair was pulled back into a long braid that ran down her back. She paused mid-stride, causing her husband to come up short.

"Deanna?" Worf asked, his usual gruff Klingon voice somehow gentled for his beautiful wife.

"Something's different," Deanna said softly, as if not wanting to be heard. "Something's wrong."

"Do you know what?"

Deanna shook her head.

"Is something wrong?" asked Picard, approaching the couple. Having worked with the counselor for as long as he had, the captain had learned to read her expressions to know when something was bothering her about a situation.

"Yes," Deanna answered. "But I'm not sure what. The emotions I'm sensing in the room are quite varied. I'm sensing..." The Empath paused in shock. "I'm sensing the admiral's emotions."

"Is that not normal?" Picard asked.

"No, I mean...since I've met her, of course I've been able to sense her emotions. She's never been able to completely shield herself, so there's always been leakage. But...there's a difference that concerns me."

"How so?" asked Picard with a sharp tone.

Deanna struggled for words. It was always so difficult to put these things into words that non-empaths could understand. "Her emotions are sharper, clearer, more defined. Like she's not even trying to keep them silent. Or can't. And they're the emotions of a woman resigned to death."

Both men looked disturbed and concerned.

Worf bristled. "If she has received orders not to rescue Deanna, would she tell us?"

Picard looked unsure.

"It's not like that," Deanna insisted.

"It's not too late to turn around, Deanna." Picard said. His hand had begun to move toward his comm badge to order such a thing.

"No. I'm still going."

"It is the honorable thing to do," Worf said grimly.

The three stood in silence a moment.

Virginia chose that moment to approach. She had seen their conversation, and thought to interrupt, but decided to wait at a safe distance out of earshot for a lull such as this. "Are you ready?" she asked, addressing Deanna.

The Betazoid woman's chin rose. "I am. I'll just go into the shuttle and wait...unless there is something else you wish me to do?"

"No, you may go. Have you and Worf...?"

"We've said or goodbyes," the other woman answered.

"Very well." Virginia nodded and watched with the men as she walked briskly across the shuttle bay and disappeared into the shuttlecraft. "A brave woman."

"And honorable," growled Worf. "Hear my words as a husband...bring her back to me." He bared his teeth at her and walked away.

Picard looked startled, even as Virginia rolled her eyes.

"Klingons," she muttered.

"Now remember Admiral, it was you who said that we needed them as allies." Picard teased, seeing that she was unoffended at his first officers behavior. Still, Picard would have a word to say to him later.

"Don't remind me." The alien woman sighed and straightened her clothes. "Jean-Luc..."

Picard caught something in her eyes. And wondered if perhaps he was seeing what Deanna had been sensing.

"Jean-Luc, I'll never forget you, you know that don't you? Even though things didn't turn out the way ... well, since we both love others, perhaps things turned out the way they were meant to."

"Perhaps so," he said with a sad smile. She was saying goodbye, he realized. "Do you regret our time together?"

"Some of it," she said honestly. "But it is in the past, and some things can't be taken back."

He couldn't even say that it had been enjoyable, because it certainly hadn't been completely enjoyable for her. Oh, her body might have...but at what cost to her heart? It was a wonder Q let him live. "Virginia, I'm sorry."

"I know. But it wasn't meant to be."

"For our hearts belong to another." He gave her a smile, wondering if she realized what she had said eariler, about loving another. For surely, she had meant Q. Ian as she called him. "Even so, Virginia...try to bring yourself back as well."

Virginia looked at him curiously. "It is my intention."


She kissed him on the cheek. "Thanks for being a friend." And then she too turned and walked the same path as Deanna had, with as much determination in her gate.

Picard waited for her to disappear inside, and the door begin to shut before returning to the observation lounge.

The time had come.

October 30, 2007

Resistance is Futile - pt 40

Guinan was surprised to see Virginia walk back into Ten-Forward. Surprising Guinan wasn't something easily or often done. But of all the people she knew, Virginia was the most adept at surprising her.

Virginia, her eyes red with her recent tears, walked up to where her friend stood at the bar. "I saw him."

"Q? I mean..."


Guinan didn't know what to say. Which is something else that didn't happen very often. "Virginia..."

The younger woman raised her arm...and set a half empty bottle of Romulan Ale on the bar in front of Guinan. "I could have just flushed this down the head or gotten rid of it in the disposal. But I thought it more important that I give it to you. So that you could know, and know that it was my own choice. I just..."

Guinan pulled the bottle from Virginia's light grasp. "I understand."

"You do?"

"Yes." Guinan then pushed the bottle back to Virginia. "Now...the disposal is right over there."

Virginia followed her friend's guesture. Her expression firmed as she picked the bottle back up and walked the distance to the disposal with a determined gate. She did not hesitate in relieving herself of the bottle. This mission accomplished, her shoulders relaxed as though released from the weight of the universe. She breathed a deep sigh.

Guinan led her friend to a far corner of Ten-Forward and sat with her. "What happened?"


"When you saw him?"

Virginia shrugged. "We talked some, he dried my tears."

"Is he why you decided to give your bottle of Ale up?"

Again the alien princess shrugged. "Yes, and no. He was the first one to ever try to get me to stop drinking."

"You've always given Marcus the credit for that."

"And he still deserves it. If Marcus hadn't stayed with me, loved me the way he did, worked with me, then I'd have never survived the China incident. I'd probably have killed myself with alcohol."

Guinan was silent a moment, knowing that the time when she lost her young daughter in China on a movie shoot was still a sensitive subject for Virginia. "But Ian didn't do any of those things?"

"He tried. That first weekend he found me drunk. But I was young and angry and he was only my teacher and my friend. He did the one thing that would have saved me...he told on me."

"I don't understand." Which is something else Guinan didn't say often.

"My drinking was something I was able to keep secret from Marcus. Ian told him. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't help Marcus too. I could be somewhat ... ah ... stubborn ... when I was younger."

"You don't say," Guinan said deadpan.

Virginia blushed. "Even more than I am now."

"So, what now?"

"Once again I march into the breach between life and death, once more hoping he'll be there to rescue me should things go sour."

Guinan's head cocked as she listened. "Go on."

"Not much I can share, my friend. This is one mission I'm keeping under wraps. I've only told one other person, and she's not telling. Although I have no doubt that Ian's probably why he's even around."

"I see." Guinan folded her hands on the table top. "Perhaps he's around because he loves you."

"Maybe," Virginia said softly, surprising her friend by blushing.

It wasn't that Guinan had never seen Virginia blush. In fact, it hadn't been that long ago that Virginia had been blushing at Jean-Luc's presence. Guinan had hoped that things between the two would work out, but she hadn't counted on the captain's still loving Crusher. Come to think of it, Guinan had experienced a lot of surprises ever since Virginia had come on board. But there was something different about this blush. Because it was brought on by Q, and that was something Guinan had never seen before.

"What's changed?" Guinan asked.

If anything, Virginia blushed a deeper shade of red. "Nothing."

Guinan, in her wisdom, let it drop at that.

October 28, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - Pt 39

Virginia lay for long hours on the couch, watching the start slide effortlessly by the windows. They weren't singing, but then there was no reason for them too. He was gone again, to that place where she knew he was watching but beyond her perception.

She wanted him to come back, wanted him to spirit her away from the madness that was approaching. But she couldn't bring herself to ask for him. She was still too proud, and her heart was still smarting.

Toying with the stopper to her bottle of Ale, Virginia's mind went back over the years. As much as she loved Marcus, and as much as he loved her...he hadn't been the first one to confront her about her drinking problem. She had been her early twenties. And far from home, new to the Hollywood scene and overwhelmed by the glitz. She and Marcus were newlyweds, maybe five years, or was it six...but he hadn't caught on to her drinking problem yet. As complete as the Bonds were, it was still possible to keep secrets from the other. She knew that Marcus had kept things from her from time to time, and he hadn't always shared. And this had been her secret.

Ian had found her one weekend while Marcus had been away on a long business trip. He had been negotiating copywrite rights with a Chinese firm for a movie they were going to be doing there, and for some reason she didn't remember now, she had stayed home. Maybe she'd been in the middle of filming something and couldn't leave? Who knew now, and it didn't matter anyway. But it had been a long time without him...and Justin had been hitting on her...and all the girls couldn't understand why she didn't just sleep with him since her husband was away. So, Virginia had locked herself away and drank...and drank...Finding her in her own vomit, Ian had hustled her into the shower, clothes and all.

It had been the first time the two of them had really fought. She had been less than her usual sweet self. She had a memory of kicking him at least once that weekend. He had begged and pleaded, raising his voice to her only twice during it all. Finding her resisting common sense, he had left her alone. But Marcus knew about her drinking problem when he came home, so it hadn't been a hard guess as to where Ian had left. Although it was possible that her control had slipped at some point and he had found out through their Bond.

Virginia sat up, deciding once again that she had had enough. It wasn't going to take months like it did after Marcus had come home from that trip. He wasn't here to help her like before. Then he had cut back on all his trips, going no where even overnight without her. He hadn't suffocated her, but he had made himself more than available.

She paused at the disposal unit. It would be so easy to just get rid of it. But would be a victory, but victories were always better shared. With a toss of her head, she turned and left her quarters.

October 27, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - pt 38

It had been a good day. Virginia had worked most of the afternoon with Reg on the transporters on the shuttlecraft and had even worked on the other shuttlecraft for quite some time. She had also enjoyed a leisurely dinner in Ten Forward with Reg, and a few others who had wandered in. It had been good to get reaquainted with Laren and Arnold and Red-22.

But now she was tired. She had had a long day, and she and Reg had agreed to meet early to get a jump on the ship's transporters. Entering her quarters, Virginia was quick to shed her clothes and slip into more comfortable clothes. She raked her hands through her hair and flopped rather inelegantly on the long couch that faced the windows...where she had left the bottle of Ale.

Taking the half empty bottle in her hands, Virginia sighed. She really shouldn't. She had a long day ahead of her tomorrow...Reg was counting on her to help with the ships transporters. And she had more than enough alcohol in her system to last until after the mission. But her 'tired' wasn't just from physical fact, very little of it was from that...Her 'tired' came from the weight of her burden. From the weight of this mission. From the weight of her heartbreak...not just with Jean-Luc, although that was a disappointment and even now, an embarrassment. That after so long, she should be so weak to masculine attention. How she missed her beloved deep the shame she felt for betraying him with Ian...the shame she felt for missing that man as well.

At the thought of Ian, Virginia's skin prickled. Her fingers toying with the neck of the bottle, she looked about. She could feel nothing and no one...and she didn't dare skim along the Bond they shared for fear of drawing his attention, even Muted as it was. But still... "You're watching, aren't you?" she said to the thin air. "I can't see you...or feel you...Sometimes I just wish you'd..."

"Wish I'd what?" Ian/Q asked gently, quietly appearing at her feet. Kneeling no less!

"I just wish you'd go away," she said, tears slipping from her eyes. Her heart contradicted her because she was insanely glad that he had decided to show himself to her.

He reached out and, with a gentleness known to only her, he wiped away her tears. "No you don't."

Frustration flitted across her face, tears increasing despite his efforts. "Can't you ever just agree with me? Must you always contradict me?"

Ian/Q's smile was gentle, and amused. "I think that if you remember long enough back, there have been plenty of times I've agreed with you...even though we both know you were wrong."

She didn't answer.

"Please don't drink the rest of this," he said, clearly posing it as a request. His other hand reached out and covered her hand that rested on the bottle. "Please, Virgina."

"I'm a lost cause, Ian," Virginia said, her hand involuntarily tightening around the bottle.

"No, you're not. Have you forgotten everything you once believed?"

"That was a long time ago," she said bitterly. "He has forgotten me."

"No, He hasn't...He's just waiting for you to call on Him again."

"Am I always such a failure in your eyes?" The bitterness in her voice turned to anger.

"Far from it," Ian/Q answered. "I'm sorry if coming to you now was the wrong thing to do..."

"It wasn't..." As quickly as that, she was back to being heartbroken. For the man before her, that she couldn't admit to loving after such a long denial.

They sat in silence. He was still catching her tears. Each lost in their own thoughts.

"I'm going to leave now,"Ian/Q said after a long moment of watching the various emotions skitter across her face. "Please, just...don't finish this bottle." He paused, waiting to see if she would answer him, if she would say anything at all, if she would hand the bottle for him to take. When she didn't, he leaned forward and planted a gentle kiss on her forehead. And then as quietly as he appeared, he was gone.

Tears flowed in earnest now. Never had she felt his absence as keenly as now...and this when their Bond was Muted! Virginia hugged the bottle of blue liquid close to her, wanting it now more than ever.