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...