March 17, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - Pt 11

"But Little One...why so soon?" Lwaxana Troi inquired of her daughter in her usual demanding way. "The ceremony and reception will be thrown together! Barely fitting for a woman of your station. I'll barely have time to change after I arrive!"

"Then the sooner you get started packing, the sooner you'll get here," Deanna replied.

Lwaxana made a disgusted sound. "Mr Homn is already packing. You didn't answer my question."

"No, I didn't." Deanna sighed. "Mother, all I can tell you is that I have a mission to go on shortly and I wish to marry Worf before I go."

The formidable Betazoid woman on the screen grew silent. "A dangerous mission then," she said at last. "One you're afraid will kill you."

"Actually, my safety is guaranteed."

"If it's Starfleet, safety is never guaranteed." It didn't take telepathy or empathy to hear the anger in her mother's voice.

"Mother...please...I'm going to be married...Can't you please be happy?"

"Happy? How can I be happy when you're determined to go off and get yourself killed?"

"I told you..."

"Yes, I know...your safety is 'guaranteed'. We will discuss this further when I arrive."

The screen cleared and showed its usual 'End of Transmission' logo.

"Great," muttered Deanna.

"Do not expect Sirella to be any happier," Worf commented from behind her. "She will be furious not to be able to approve you through the Bre'Nan ritual first."

"No, I don't expect she'll be thrilled." Deanna stood and moved gracefully across the room to sit next to her beloved on the couch. "They really ought to be glad that we're allowing them time to get here - we could be married first thing in the morning."

"Agreed," said the Klingon. "However, I doubt they would see it that way."

"You're right, they wouldn't." Deanna snuggled close to her soon-to-be husband. "Is there any chance that Sirella will cast you out of your Klingon family?"

"There is a possibility," Worf admitted. "However, I believe that when Sirella learns of your mission...your courage to face such a dishonorable challenge with honor...she will approve of our marriage."

"And if she doesn't?"

"Then the House of Martok will be short one Klingon."

Deanna kissed his cheek. "Do you want to finish our plans tonight, or wait till morning?"

Worf sighed contentedly, but was unable to answer as the comm warbled.

"Commander Worf," said Data. "You have an incoming communication from the Blade of Honor. Shall I put it through to Counselor Troi's quarters?"

"Yes, please." Worf rose and went to the console Deanna had just left. He pressed a key, and the matriarch of the House of Martok appeared on the screen. "Lady Sirella, I have been trying to reach you."

"So I have heard. I am on my way to meet your prospective bride. I will be rendezvousing with the Enterprise in 21 hours. Be prepared. Sirella out."

The screen darkened and Worf groaned.

"Just in time for the wedding," Deanna commented. "How convenient."

Worf groaned again. "She will not be happy."

Deanna chuckled. "You said as much earlier. So...about those plans..."

The Klingon turned to her, his face relaxing with a smile. "Later...I have other things in mind for right now..."

March 15, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - Pt 10

The lighting in the Holodeck was muted, the 'light' coming from a programmed moon that rode low on the horizon of a peaceful sea.

"Picard," Virginia said with a sigh as she tugged her shoes off. Followed by her socks so that she was wiggling her bare toes in the sand. "I've lost count of how long it has been since I've had a moonlit stroll along the beach. Even a holographic one."

"Virginia, me Jean-Luc." He was lost in her eyes as he spoke, admiring how the moonlight added an extra glimmer. At least, he thought it was the moonlight. Even in the dim lighting, he could see her blush.

"All right, Jean-Luc." Virginia looked up and down the stretch of beach that had been programmed in. To their right, the moonlight reflected off sheer rock cliffs that climbed the sky. "I don't recognize this place. Is it real, or a fabrication?"

"I believe it is a fabrication based on several different real places, but I don't know which ones," Picard answered.

"It's pretty," she said softly. "For a simulation."

Picard chuckled. "Come, let's walk." He offered her his arm, smiling broadly when she put her hand in the crook of his arm. "Virginia," he said after walking several yards in comfortable silence.

"Yes, Jean-Luc?"

"How telepathic are you?"

Her sigh was audible over the sound of the gentle waves lapping the beachfront. "Too telepathic. Before you came into 10-Forward earlier, I was complaining to Guinan about how telepathically noisy this ship is."

"You can't shield it out?" He knew that Troi often kept her strong shields in place as often as she could because of this same reason.

"I can shut the worst of it out. Most of the time though, it's a soft a bee buzzing against the screen wanting to get in...a constant wind...waves against the shore. It's why I spent almost twenty years of my life drunk."

"Counselor Troi told me of the effect that alcohol has on you."

"Yes, I know. It's a struggle not to abuse that effect. It was easier when Marcus was alive, he..." Virginia bit her lip and trailed off.

Picard glanced down at her. "It occurs to me, you have me at a distinct disadvantage. You know all that there is to know about me, at a moments glance, while I know nothing more about you than the common man."

"You're hardly a common man. But you're right, it's a pretty rotten deal," she said, agreeing with his assessment. "I didn't ask for it, didn't ask to be born to an alien father...part of a powerful race that doesn't mind if everyone thinks they're as omniscient as God when they're not. I don't know everything there is to know about you...for an instant I did, but most of that knowledge fades within minutes. And to be honest, I was rather distracted by your Borg experience, that I noticed little else at the time. Your thoughts are strangely silent to me...even know, I can hear the buzz of the rest of the ship, but my sensing of you is...quieter. Almost like you're a Vulcan or another telepath. Their thoughts are often much quieter." She stopped walking and as the captain turned to look at her, she looked up at him accusingly. "And I can not believe how you let me ramble on!"

Picard smiled, reaching up to touch her cheek with his fingers. "Perhaps it is because I like the sound of your voice."

Virginia clearly didn't have an answer for that.

Gently, he drew his fingers along her jawline. "You are a beautiful woman, in or out of uniform. You live up to your reputation of being a bold, confident woman...but when you 'ramble', as you call it, you reveal your vulnerable side. And I find that an intriguing paradox...a mystery even...and I love a mystery..."

Virginia stood there, listening as the buzz of the ship left, hearing only his voice, feeling the touch of his fingers against his skin, seeing only the intensity of his gaze. "Are...are you going to kiss me?"

Jean-Luc stepped closer, his hand moving to cup her face in his palm. "Do you want me to kiss you?"

"Ye..." His lips covered hers, and she was lost in the moment. Her arms went around him, pulling him closer. He deepened the kiss, his arms wrapping tightly around her, trapping her in a wonderful embrace. When he pulled his lips back, she pressed forward, not wanting to end the kiss. The resulting kiss, left them both breathless. "Wow," she whispered.

"I'm glad you liked it," he murmured in her ear. This time, instead of offering his arm, he took her hand in his. "Come, walk with me. Talk to me, tell me your fears, your hopes...tell me even about Marcus..."

"Is that all you want?" teased Virginia.

"For now. But perhaps, before long, we will find that we both want more."

March 06, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - Pt. 9

Jean-Luc Picard's gaze traveled across the room, to where Admiral Hamilton sat at the bar as he pondered Counselor Troi's question. To his surprise, the admiral was engaged in conversation with Worf, and appeared to be enjoying it, even laughing out loud. What, he wondered, would it be like to make her laugh? Other, less chaste thoughts ran through his mind. Thoughts of what it would be like to her her sighs of delight as he touched her and caressed her. What it would be like to release the passion locked inside her. "What I want...I would love to be alone with her for more than five minutes and talk about anything other than the Borg, regulations, and this blasted mission."

"Then I would suggest a walk in the arboretum. If you prefer more privacy, then I would suggest a Holodeck. Worf and I had Holodeck 3 reserved this evening, there's still an hour left..."

"I couldn't," he protested.

"I insist," said Deanna, smiling widely. "Besides, Worf and I have a wedding to plan."

Picard considered this, almost taking another sip of his drink before remembering that the tea was cold. He set the cup down, pushing it away from him. "Thank you Counselor, I think I will. Good evening." He rose to his feet with purpose, and walked calmly across the room to stand next to Virginia.

Worf, standing on the other side of the admiral, straightened to attention. "Captain."

Virginia looked up from her dessert, a thin ribbon of chocolate syrup on her top lip. "Oh, Picard!" She licked her lips. "You and Counselor Troi were talking and I didn't want to interrupt, so I decided to have chocolate while I waited."

"We're through now," he answered, the whimsical tone of her comment causing him to smile.

"Good." She paused for a bite of her cake, this time the chocolate syrup coated her bottom lip. "Mmm," she said as she licked it away. "Oh, our orders! We are to change course 24 hours after the wedding, and then the warp factor is 'captain's discretion'."

Worf, seeing that he was no longer needed, or noticed, slipped away quietly.

"Understood," answered Picard in response to the orders the admiral had delivered. "Admiral..." His voice lowered, softened in tone. "Virginia...I happen to know that Holodeck 3 is free, would you care to join me for a walk?"

"I'd love to," she answered without hesitation. She rose to her feet, dessert forgotten.

Side by side, the captain and the admiral, the man and the woman, left 10-Forward.

"The next couple of days should be interesting," Guinan said to Deanna and Worf as they watched their commanding officers depart.

"They're absolutely glowing," sighed Deanna.

Both women looked to Worf.

"Cute couple."

March 03, 2007

Resistance Is Futile - Pt. 8

"We are sorry to have interrupted," said Deanna to the captain once her fiance was gone.

Captain Picard smiled. "I know you are. However, I'm still not sure whether to pursue this attraction so it's probably a good thing you interrupted us."

"Which is why you came to 10-Forward at this hour?" Deanna offered him an amused smile. "Captain, I've been able to do some checking into other matters this evening, and I can tell you that your attraction to her is not a side affect of the initial mind access."

"You're sure?"

"Quite sure. It's actually one of the gifts manifested in the Gandraleayian Royal line and even then specifically in the heirs. It has been noted over the years that people either love Virginia Hamilton, or they hate her. The initial mind access allows her to determine which side a person falls on."

"That sounds like a valuable asset," Picard commented.

"It is. It is also a burden to her, I can sense that much about her." Deanna leaned forward and lowered her voice. "Captain, forgive me for being blunt, but this must be said. Are you aware of the regulations regarding relationships with Gandraleayians?"

"You can't be serious. There are regulations for that?" Picard hadn't heard of anything of that nature accept for Deltans.

"Yes, and they aren't light. Most of them are on the Gandraleayian end of things, but they make sure that the Federation is well aware of them. Since Admiral Hamilton's birth, the Gandraleayians have been increasingly strict with their own people, to the point of casting out those who show consistent rebellion to the rules. Some regulations are more ethical than others...such as no using their powers to coerce or seduce, such as her father did. However, there is a rule stating that they are not allowed to use their powers to enhance the sexual pleasure of a non-Gandraleayian partner. Although there isn't a regulation, it is not considered favorable to have a partner who doesn't have Gandraleayian blood in them, even for a half-breed. Admiral Hamilton's marriage to a full-blooded human during her youth almost cost her the throne. Which could have been sticky since they consider the mind access gift to be a divine sign." Deanna paused, clearly considering whether to say anymore.

"Go on," Picard prompted.

"Admiral Hamilton is unique in that the consumption of alcoholic beverages interferes with the use of her powers. It even renders her telepathy useless. So...since the death of her husband Marcus...her sexual experiences with a non-Gandraleayian partner must be while she's under the influence of alcohol..."

"That's ridiculous," stated Picard.

"Especially since this regulations exists for her alone to deter her from entering into a relationship with a human. Apparently the Gandraleayian monarchy considers us beneath them. We spoke earlier of her people testing her, Captain. It's not the people who are concerned...the common people adore Admiral Hamilton, and many are truly outraged at how the royal family and government officials treat her. The royal family and the government officials really don't want her on the throne, and go the extra mile to make her life miserable. Truthfully, it is part of the reason why I've agreed to this show them that Virginia belongs on that throne."

"Damn," the captain muttered. "I'm surprised you had time to find all this since we spoke."

Deanna smiled. "Most of it is from Worf. Klingons know a great deal about Gandraleayians, and Admiral Hamilton in particular. A case of knowing your enemy. Apparently, there is some bad blood between her and the Klingons; I couldn't get Worf to tell me why."

"I see." Picard took a sip of his tea, which had long since grown cold, causing him to grimace in disgust. "What do I do now?"

The counselor turned the question around. "What do you want to do?"

"Counselor, what you've just told me implies that I may very well be part of their test. What I want could be the wrong thing for her." His head turned as the doors to 10-Forward slid open and the woman of his interest walked in. Her gate halted as she became aware of his attention and her hands fluttered to her stomach. She glanced at him and Deanna before turning to head for the bar.

Deanna followed his gaze and smiled gently. "Don't you think she should be a part of the decision? I mean, we sit here discussing it like she has no say in the matter. Whether one considers her old or young, she is still of legal consenting age. I don't think it will take you too long to figure out whether she would welcome a relationship with you or not."

"She did say I smelled nice."

"I would say that's a positive sign. So captain...what do you want to do?"