Episode 9: The Road Not Taken, Part I

Oct 30 2004, 10:41 PM

Admiral Tom Garrison - Office

Tom sat at his desk, doing pretty much nothing. He was trying to get some work done but he found he couldn't concentrate on anything. All he could think about was the fact that Yasha was supposed to be arriving sometime today. He knew this meeting could be one of the most important meetings he'd ever been a part of. The support of a Romulan rebellion could be just what they needed to break the current stalemate with the Alliance and begin turning things in their favor.

After a few more minutes of trying - and failing - to get anything done, he let out a long sigh and stood up. He stretched his aching muscles. He had been up all night. It was stupid, he knew that, he should be rested for today. But there was no way he would have fallen asleep. There was too much on his mind.

He walked out of his office and out into the OCC. It was still early, none of the day shift had even reported yet. He was about to ask the officer on duty, a young Lt. Commander he didn't know the name of, if there were any signs of cloaked ships nearby, but decided not to. When Yasha arrives, I'll know. Relax, Tom. All this apprehension won't get you anywhere.

He headed for the turbolift. "The Deck," he called out as he got in. The turbolift sped away towards his destination. He was hoping a nice breakfast at the Double~Helix would help him relax.
Nov 5 2004, 09:46 PM

Admiral Tom Garrison – Double~Helix

Tom sat at a table in the corner of the Double~Helix enjoying a light breakfast. A waiter came over and refilled his mug. Tom smiled at the young man and picked up the mug, holding it close to his face. He breathed in the wonderful scent, and as he did so he realized how long it had been since he had taken the time to eat a proper breakfast.

I’ve been so busy, so consumed with everything that’s been happening, I don’t ever take time for the little things anymore. I really need to work on that. He took a sip from the mug and started to set it back down. Movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention and he glanced over towards the bar. Suddenly he froze, holding the coffee mug halfway between his mouth and the table.

There, standing at the bar, was… No, it can’t be. How is that possible? Anika? Tom stared at the woman’s back for another minute, and the more he stared the more he was sure it was her. The body, the hair, the shape of the head. It was definitely his wife, the woman he thought had been dead for the past ten years.

Tom set the mug down and started to stand up. “Anik…” he started to call out as he stepped towards the bar. Just at that moment the woman turned around to leave and faced his direction. It wasn’t Anika.

Tom stood there in shock as the woman left. After a minute he sat back down. What just happened? he wondered to himself. That used to happen right after she died, but that hasn’t happened to me in years. Where the hell did that come from?

Tom sat there and pondered what happened.
Will Karelia
Nov 5 2004, 10:27 PM

Lieutenant Will Karelia - Crew Quarters, Deck 9

Will sat in his chair, reading an original copy of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in his hand. He recieved the book from his grandfather for his 12th birthday, and still enjoyed reading it to this day. He read on to a page describing Indy and his adventures on the top of a moving train. His eyes stop on the words "Dr. Fantasy's Magic Caboose".

Will chuckled a bit. "Ha, magic caboose. That reminds me of the time..."

Karelia's mind wandered to a memory, seemingly distant. At first, he struggled to remember where he was.

Traverse City, Michigan, Earth

Now he remembered. He was on Earth, at his home, with his wife, Crystal. A little girl stepped out of the back door to the house. She ran up to Will, and he picked her up and cradled her in his arms delicately. He felt some kinship or connection to this girl, and he loved her dearly. Who was she?

Rachel. My daughter.

It was becoming clearer. He was on Earth, with his family, having a little bit of fun in the backyard. The girl, Rachel, seemed excited about something.

"Daddy, c'mere, lookit' dis! Lookit' my train, with the..."

Rachel's voice began to take a backseat to Wills curiosity of the small child's toy in front of him. It seemed strangely familiar, also.

"...and the magic caboose in the back!"

Deck 9, Crew Quarters, Starbase 001

"...reminds me of the time that... Wait a minute, I don't have a daughter. Or a wife. Now that I think of it, none of that has ever happened to me before."

Will placed his bookmark in the book and set it on his coffee table.

"Oh well, I'm probably just tired. Some sleep will do me good."

Karelia climbed into bed, turned out the light, and fell asleep within a matter of seconds.
Nov 6 2004, 12:17 PM

Lieutenant Commander Rune Sith - The Deck

Sith was walking along the 2nd Level of The Deck, crossing the bridge over the main area below, when he saw a few technicians putting the finishing touches on a small Bajoran Temple accross the way.

He walked over curiously where one Bajoran had been overseeing its production. "I didn't know we were building one of these here."
"Commander, you were one of the five Federation Officers who signed its construction permits two weeks ago, remember?" The Bajoran female asked.
Sith looked to the side for a second, "Oh right! I'm sorry, I must've totally forgotten."
She seemed to understand. "Are you familiar with the Bajoran faith?"
"Somewhat," Sith replied uncomfortably... "It's my understanding the Prophets once occupied the Wormhole near your homeworld."
She nodded, "And now they're everywhere, looking after all Bajorans throughout the Galaxy no-matter where we are."

Sith continued to feel uncomfortable, knowing the truth as he knew it. But he glanced over at the Temple nevertheless. It was then an idea that was buried within him ever since he saw this Temple started to surface.

"Is there anyway to actually speak to the Prophets?" He asked, stepping towards it in awe.
"By prayer, Commander. They listen to anyone who calls out to them."
Sith had a little difficulty believing this, especially if he was going to try to contact Julia. "No, I mean another way. Like a telepathic link or something?"
"I'm not an Minister or anything, but I believe they will listen if you truly believe in them." She then placed her hand upon his ear, attempting to read his genuine interest.

But a moment later she softly let go and stepped back in confusion and shock. She opened her mouth to say something, but was speechless.

Before Sith could respond to her reaction, he was interrupted by the sound of crashing below! Sith looked over the edge and down to the lower Deck finding that someone in a torn cloak had accidentally tripped and knocked over a pile of pots sitting outside a nearby restaurant. The man below quickly made peace with the restaurant owner and instead of helping to clean up, continued walking away in a nervous hurry.

What the--??

Sith glanced back and found the Bajoran girl kneeling in deep stressing thought within the Temple for some reason. He then glanced back to the Deck below and saw the man was getting away. The Commander had no choice and decided to follow the man before he would lose him. Sith regretted the fact he had to leave, giving him an incentive to find out what was up with this person even more. He began walking quickly.
Nov 6 2004, 05:57 PM

Lattrel Ottel - Angeles Crest, California. Earth. (a holosuite program)

"This place is really nice," Ottel reluctantly admitted.

"I told you," Shani said, "and you didn't even want to come."

The two of them were sitting on a stretched blanket, on a small knoll amidst the rocky mountains of Southern California. The towering trees at the bottom of the knoll cast ominous shadows across, but beauty remained the dominating force, and a great part of it was due to the view. The clear sky allowed the couple to see as far as Catalina island, swimming in the blue waves of the Pacific Ocean. The sun would be rising soon, and that's what they were here to see.

Ottel remembered the conversation they had had early in the morning. They had just woken up, and he kept staring at the overwhelmingly bright rays of the sun just peering from behind Earth.

"Isn't it funny, Shani, how we just never look?" he had said. He regretted that now.

"What?," she had asked, still fighting off her body's overwhelming desire to go back to sleep. "What are you talking about?"

"The sun, Shani. The sun. We just never look at it anymore. For some, it has even become a nuisance, something that they have to turn their heads from when it's too bright."

"Philosophizing again?" Shani had asked. "Tell you what, you want to see a good sunrise, I'll show you a good sunrise."

It took some convincing, but she did manage to drag him to the holosuite. He had argued that a false sunrise wasn't going to do anything, but she was persistent. Well, they were here now, and he was beginning to enjoy himself.

"Why did you pick this program?" he asked. "There were several hundred programs suitable for viewing the sunrise, and none of them featured a place as cold as this."

"Oh, grow up! I've been here before." she answered. "My family came from Pasadena."

They kept on talking, Ottel mostly complaining, although it was only to make Shani angry, and she knew it as well. The morning sun began to shine over the mountains on the east.

"There's your sunrise, Ottel. Watch it."

Ottel watched. It was truly beautiful, or rather magnificent. Second after second he became more and more grateful that Shani had dragged him in here. The mountains were illuminated one by one, and their surfaces, covered in shadows just moments before, glistened under the healing light of the sun. A large rocky surface on a mountainside just in front of them still seemed cold and distant, but not for long. As the first rays hit its surface, the light was reflected off in a whirlwind of different colors that hit Ottel in the eye.
Captain Archer
Nov 6 2004, 11:40 PM

Ambassador Michael Larkin-Quarters

Michael made his way to the table where he had laid his breakfast a few minutes before, and grabbed a bite on his way past to the wall monitor. “Computer open a subspace channel to the U.S.S Gambit.”

“Acknowledged. Standby.”

The computer processed his request and finally beeped. “Link established, opening channel.”

A man’s voice cut in “This is the Gambit go ahead.”

Michael paused trying to remember the comm. officer’s name. “Jacobson?”

“Jameson sir.”

“Jameson sorry, this is Ambassador Larkin, can you patch me through to Captain Hurst?”

“One moment sir.” A standby screen came up; Michael took the opportunity to remove a small box from the drawer next to the monitor and examined its contents.

Perfect. It should be considering what I paid for it. He closed it back up and stuck it back in its drawer. Just as he closed the drawer Jen’s smiling face appeared on the screen

“To what do I owe the pleasure?” She asked

“Just wanted to see if you’ll be able to make it back to the station for dinner this evening?”

She looked around her desk. “I’m not sure, but I’ll try my best.” She let out a sigh. “I have a new respect for Hardgrove.”

Michael seemed puzzled “How so?”

“Well putting up with all this paperwork, the daily routines of ship’s business…. and on top of that, he had to put up with me as a first officer.”

Michael laughed “Well, I’ve got to get going, just let me know when you get back, I’ll cook us dinner.”

“Sounds great, I’ll talk to you when I get back.”

“Oh Jen, apologize to Jacobson for me.”


Michael let out a sigh, “Your comm. officer…Jameson.”

She laughed, “Will do, Hurst out.”

Michael closed the channel and headed towards his door.

Double Helix Bar

Michael made his way over to the bar “Ottel, got a minute?”

Ottel put down a rag and made his way over to Michael. “Of course. What can I do for you?”

Michael smirked “Don’t you think you’ve taken enough of my money?”

Ottel laughed heartily. “What can I say you have expensive taste.”

Michael nodded “Seriously, I just wanted to thank you again, I just wasn’t expecting it so soon.”

Ottel stepped back and took a bough. “Ask and you shall receive.” Ottel stepped back up to the bar, leaned in, and whispered, “So when is it going to happen?”

Michael leaned in even closer “You’ll find out when everyone else does.” He started to walk away and turned around “And Ottel…”

Ottel held up a hand. “I know…I know, not a word.”

Michael pointed at him “If I hear any rumors I’ll know where the leak came from so be sure you don’t let it slip. I’ve got connections, I’ll have Commander Sith throw you in the brig.”

Michael heard Ottel laugh as he headed off to the turbolift that would take him to his office.

Command Center

Michael nodded to a couple of officers as they walked past him he stepped through the double doors leading to the offices and arrived at his. Upon entering, the computer alerted him to several new communications. “Play back in order.”

The first message was an old friend from high school. The second was the one that really caught his attention, it was from his mother:

Michael I would like you to get a hold of me as soon as possible.
What could be the problem “Computer open a channel to this terminal.” Michael typed in the identification code of his mother’s communication terminal.

“Link established.”

His mother appeared on the view screen. “Michael.”

“Mother what is it, your call sounded urgent.”

She nodded, “It is. The strangest thing happened to me this morning….your going to think I’m insane.”

“What is it mom?”

“This morning I got out of bed, went into the bathroom, and when I came back out I could have sworn…..”

“What…what happened?”

“I could have sworn your father was lying in the bed.”

Michael was speechless. “I know it sounds crazy, but it was real Michael as real as I am talking to you know.”

Michael was still astonished “Mom, I know how things can sometimes seem real, but it was just a daydream of some kind, perhaps it's because of the fact that dad was killed around this time of year.”

His mother looked angry at the suggestion “I know what I saw Michael.”

“Mom, I’ve got to get to work, I’ll have to talk to you later about this.”

"Alright, but promise me you'll contact me before the day is out."

"I promise." Michael was still a bit disturbed by this, but tried his best to go about his business.
Nov 7 2004, 02:41 AM

Lieutenant J.G. Paul Avery – London Shuttle Depot

As Big Ben began to toll its signal of the noon hour, Lieutenant Paul Avery sat waiting for a shuttle to arrive that would ferry him to his new assignment on Starbase 001. It would be his first assignment after his court martial and eight months in prison. As he watched a little girl playing with her doll nearby, Avery’s thoughts began to drift back to the events that occurred a year ago that had led to his current situation.
Bridge, USS Apollo (One Year Earlier)

“Sir, there’s an unauthorized shuttle launch in progress.”

Captain Adelson orders, “lock a tractor beam onto the shuttle.” Avery! I knew that he wouldn’t stand by and ignore the distress call we received, the captain thought angrily.

“It’s too late, sir. He’s already gone to warp.”

Lieutenant Commander Paul Avery – Shuttlecraft Aries

I can’t believe that Starfleet is ignoring a ship in distress. What has the universe come to? Even if a war with the Alliance would be catastrophic for the Federation, Avery still could not come to terms with Captain Adelson’s decision to ignore the cargo ship Caprica’s call for help.

Avery neared the coordinates of the Caprica and discovered a Cardassian scout ship firing on their engines. The cargo ship slowed to a halt as her engines became badly damaged. Avery pushed the engines of the Aries to the limit, but he was too late.

“Sarah!” cried Avery as he watched helplessly as the Cardassian ship fired again on the Caprica. The vessel burst into flames and vaporized Avery’s wife Sarah and daughter Elizabeth. Avery’s grief suddenly turned into rage, and he changed course to intercept the Cardassian vessel.

His assault was short lived as a Cardassian frigate dropped out of warp and locked a tractor beam onto the shuttle. Avery lost consciousness as a transporter beam enveloped him.

Lieutenant Commander Paul Avery - Cardassia Prime

“Oh, you and I are going to become very close. Like friends,” joked a Cardassian soldier as he pushed Avery down the hall of a prison facility on Cardassia Prime. As the door to his cell was being opened, an alert klaxon sounded and a voice announced, “Security to Level 3 Corridor C. We have a break out.” The Cardassian shoved Avery into the dank cell that would become Avery’s home for the next two months.

Lieutenant Commander Paul Avery - Earth, Starfleet Headquarters

Avery stood before a group of Starfleet admirals and awaited their judgment for his actions in stealing a shuttlecraft two months earlier. The Cardassians had lost interest in torturing him and decided to sell him as labor to a Ferengi merchant. Avery then was able to overtake the fat Ferengi and use his ship to travel back to Federation space. Unfortunately, the only welcome he received was a court martial.

Admiral Jenco rang the bell on the table and announced the verdict, “Lieutenant Commander Paul Avery. You have been found guilty of disobeying the direct order of a superior officer, theft and destruction of a Federation shuttlecraft, and conduct unbecoming of a Starfleet officer. It is the judgment of this court that you be reduced in rank to Lieutenant Junior Grade and sentenced to eight months at a Federation detention center. This court martial is adjourned.”
Lieutenant J.G. Paul Avery – London Shuttle Depot

The whine of an approaching shuttlecraft brought Avery out of his reflection on past events. As he looked over at the little blond girl playing with her doll, she looked up and smiled. She waved and cried out, “Hi, Daddy!”

Avery was perplexed as the little girl looked just like his daughter Elizabeth, but that was impossible. He had seen the Caprica explode. Avery rubbed his eyes and looked again, but the girl had disappeared.
Nov 8 2004, 04:46 PM

Lieutenant Commander Rune Sith - Corridors

Sith ran to a stop in the Corridors, out of breath. He had lost the person he was following. "Zeta, after him!"

*Click!* Zeta said and then lept off his arm, running down the hallway.

"Computer, Query: Person, Section W-34, 1-minute ago... The guy I was chasing."

*No persons or objects other than Lieutenant Commander Sith were in that timeframe-location,* the female Computer voice replied.

Could it be I just imagined the whole thing??

Meanwhile, in an empty, dark and smaller rather rarely-used hallway, a Corvallen had secured an internal-sensor dampening field. When he was done he approached another just like him. "Our lifesigns are temporarily relocated throughout the station; and according to the Station's schedules, no one will be passing through this area for the next five minutes."

"What about other people?"

"Freida has set up decoys for them. Relax, Kyst Blacksun doesn't know about this."

The other nodded, "This has got to be one of the most biggest trades ever done in Syndicate history! I still can't believe one of our people were able to get their hands on one of these."

"No kidding. And 001 is the perfect place to do it. Think about it, both the Syndicate and the Smugglers are welcome here. It can't get anymore perfect."

Suddenly, the taller hooded man approached, handing them a large glass ball. In it was a semi-glowing Orb shaped like a spool.

"Finally," the first Corvallen said. "Don't you think that dark-cloak makes you stand out?"

"Nevermind that! I think I hear them coming."

Down the next Corridor, a Bolian and an Idanian had made their way towards the rondezvous point.

"Does Ottel know about this?" One of them asked.

"No. He would never approve of a trade in the first place. But don't worry, once he sees what we acquired, he'll look past all that."

"I've never seen him look past anything," he said as they suddenly found themselves approaching the Syndicate. It was then his eye caught onto the Orb in the Corvallen's hands. "But perhaps he may be persuaded..."

"Do you have the money?" The Corvallen asked.

The Idanian took out some credit-chips and handed them over, "This is one expensive Orb."

"Believe me, this is a rarity."

"I hope you got your receipt for that," Sith's voice broke through.

The group looked around frantically, finding Sith accross the way, leaning against a wall with his arms crossed.

"It's a Federation Officer!"

"We're busted! Stop him!"

Sith moved in and swiped out his phaser, but dropped it suddenly when he was tackled into the wall by the Bolian. He quickly kneed the Bolian towards the group, and into one of the Corvallens.

Sith multi-jabbed into both the Idanian's and other Corvallen's lower-torso and chest. Both were knocked back, causing the glass-ball to go flying. Sith grabbed the glass-ball out of mid air.

"What is this thing?" He looked at it in confusion.

"Krone! Take care of him," the lead Corvallen urked in pain.

The coat-wearing Nausicaan suddenly unveiled his hood and peered at Sith menacingly.

Sith looked up and recognized him from the Vellous, "Wait a sec..."

"Commander, what an unpleasant surprise." Krone smirked, "I think this is the last I'll ever take orders from you."

Krone threw his coat to the floor and ran for Sith. He lept a giant leg to kick for Sith's side-head but Sith blocked it with both forearms... barely. The forceful leg continued on, pushing Sith's blocking-stance back.

Sith grabbed the leg with a hooked arm and pulled Krone in, thrusting his free-palm for Krone's chest. But Krone snatched Sith's incoming wrist out of mid-speed and pulled Sith in also, so that Sith's head would line up with his elbow.

WHAP! Sith was elbowed in the forehead, knocking him back and making him let go of the leg, but not the Orb. Krone took a stance, bending both legs and focusing his punches towards Sith.

Sith threw the Orb up, straight above him, to free his arm and began working the incoming punches. He diverted fist after fist--- Crap! I underestimated Krone's strength!

He jumped above Krone and kicked him in the face. Krone fell back hard as Sith caught the Orb and landed on both feet ...blood dripping from his forehead. He looked around and found the others had ran off.

"Yarrggh!!!" Krone got up and tackled Sith from the back. But before they would fall, Sith spun himself in midflight, rotating Krone to the floor and Sith's knee to Krone's jaw.

THUK! Sith kneed Krone in the jaw as their positions switched and Krone's back hit the floor. Sith kneeled next to him and grabbed Krone's shirt-collar in anger. "I'm not done with you..."

But Krone slammed his shin into Sith's skull, and lept to his feet. He then jabbed for Sith as Sith got up, but was blocked. Sith threw the Orb into Krone's hands and punched Krone multiple times, with a final uppercut to Krone's already broken jaw. Krone dropped the Orb from feeling the pain, and was forced to turn around and skimp off down the Corridor, dripping blood. Sith ran after, but fell to his knees in pain.

He fell next to the Orb where he clutched his cut-head. "Ugh!! I hope this doesn't leave a mark..."  
Will Karelia
Nov 8 2004, 09:22 PM

Lieutenant Will Karelia, Crew Quarters, Deck 9


Will woke up with a jolt. He stared at the ceiling menacingly.

"THANK YOU, COMPUTER!" he replied.

"Please restate request."

"I really hate that thing. Why can't it ever... just... leave me alone?"

Will stepped into the sonic shower, and proceeded to clean himself. Ten minutes later, he stepped out, got a fresh uniform out of the drawer, and put it on. He left his quarters and turned toward the turbolift. Upon his entrance, the computer asked, "Please state your destination."

Will replied, "Oh, back again? Here to taunt me?"

"Please restate request."

"Never mind. Deck One, Operations/Command Center."

The turbolift dumped him off on the OCC about a 30 seconds later. He immediately looked at the command chair to see who was in command. To his dismay, he saw Lt. Commander Sullivan.

"Ahh, Lieutenant. You are..." Sullivan checked the stations chronometer, "...17 seconds late for your shift. That's the third time in the past two weeks. Didn't they teach you punctuality at the Academy?"

"Yes, they did, sir." Will replied, biting out the words, and placing special emphasis on the word 'sir'. If it weren't for the command chain, Will would have punched Sullivan square in the jaw long ago. "Permission to speak freely, Commander?"

"Oh, what now, Lieutenant? Fine."

"You have been busting my chops ever since I got here from the Enterprise. Why do you hate me so much?"

"Because, Lieutenant, you're not easy to get along with. Now, don't you have some computer recalibrations to work on?"

"I'm sure I do." Will was taken aback. "What?! I'm hard to get along with? Ooh, if only you didn't outrank me, buddy!"

Will began working at his console, fuming.
Captain Archer
Nov 9 2004, 08:59 PM

Ambassador Michael Larkin-Double Helix Bar

Michael had taken a seat in the rear of the bar not ten minutes ago. He continued to nibble at his lunch, while going over a draft for a proposal to the War Council on a minor matter. He reached for his drink and as he glanced up, he froze with the cup part way to his lips. Standing at the bar was a man who looked exactly like his father; in fact, Michael was certain it was his father. He closed his eyes hard, and then opened them again and the man was gone. He sat his cup back down on the bar and walked out onto the deck.


“I know how it sounds Doctor, but it was much more than a daydream.” Michael sat on the biobed while Doctor Lauren examined him.

“I’m not saying I don’t believe you, but think about it for a moment. How could your father who, by your own admission has been dead for several years, be standing at a bar on a space station?”

Michael grabbed his head. “There is something else Doc, my mother contacted me this morning and claimed to have seen my father this morning also.”

Lauren closed the tricorder and took a seat next to him on the biobed. “Ambassador…Michael, maybe you need some rest, take the rest of the day off, clear your head.”

Michael got down off the biobed. “Perhaps your right Doctor, I’ll do just that.”

He reached the door when he felt a hand on his shoulder, he turned. “I also wanted to thank you Ambassador.”

Michael looked confused. “For what?”

She smiled. “I’ve heard that you went to bat for me, concerning my sister.”

Michael was a little concerned since the meeting had been classified. “How did you know that?” He inquired.

“I just assumed that since she was allowed to come, that the Admiral wouldn’t have let her had he not had the full support of the War Council.”

Michael smiled. “I’m willing to work with anyone who is interested in peace.”

Doctor Lauren nodded “I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.” She took her hand off his shoulder and he continued out the door.


“Michael, I apologize for worrying you like that this morning.” Michael listened to his mother apologize, but the words sound hollow.

“Mom, I had a similar experience this afternoon at lunch.”

She seemed to take more interest in the conversation. “Tell me about it.”

Michael though a moment. “There’s not much to tell, I looked up and saw a man who looked exactly like dad.”

His mother almost burst into tears “Oh…. I thought I was losing my mind.” Michael wished he could tell her different.

“Mom, is there something you’re not telling me?” He found it odd that she would react so strongly to an isolated incident.

“Like what?”

“Did you have more of these…hallucinations?” She looked down.

“Mom I need to know.”

She looked back up. “I’ve seen him several times over the past few days.”

Michael put his head in his hands.
Nov 9 2004, 02:20 PM

Doctor Ullii Lauren - Sickbay

It's evening already, Ullii realised as she glanced at the time-display on the wall. She had spent the entire day fixing minor bumps and bruises; mostly holodeck related accidents.

"There. All finished."

The little girl sitting on the bed was looking up smiling at her.

"Now next time you want to help mommy slay klingons, you should use a better weapon than Murphy."

She clung to her stuffed animal and smiled shamefully. "Yes ma'am. Thank you ma'am."

"I'm terrably sorry about this, doctor. I swear I didn't see her follow me into the holodeck. I just looked around and the klingon had her by the throat! I disabled the program as soon as I could!"

"Don't worry about it." She laughed. She found the whole thing quite ammusing, but didn't want to upset the mother. "Doctor-Patient confidentiality, remember?"

"Thank you doctor." She then turned to her daughter, "Now Mila, remember what we're going to tell daddy?"

"Ummm... You were in a garden on the holodeck, and I followed you and tripped and fell on a watermellon." She smiled proudly from ear to ear, having remembered everything.

"And what of the klingons I was fighting?"

"What klingons?"

"That's-a-girl. Now come on, before daddy starts to get worried about where we are." She turned to Ullii again, "Thank's again doctor."

"No worries." She watched as the two of them left the sickbay. "Well that's everybo..." She looked around to make sure noone was left, but then she saw someone sitting on a biobed on the other side of the huge sickbay. "Oh? I didn't see anyone come in..." The patient was sitting with his back facing Ullii. She approached him, and put her hand on his shoulder.

"Can I help yo--Aah!" She screamed as the face that turned to meet hers was the unmistakable treacherous face of her father. He laughed madly at her, and then dissapeared into thin air. Ullii was dumbstruck. Was she going mad? Perhaps the Tal-Shiar was still aboard the station, and were playing tricks on her? She looked around the room to see if anyone had seen her.

A nurse nearby had watched the whole thing (excluding the apperation of the dead romulan), but pretended he had'nt seen a thing when Ullii looked his way. He would notify the councillor later.

Ullii decided it was best to go to sleep. "Ensign Hayman, I'm going to retire to bed early. Can you stay a few minutes until the night shift arrives?"

He saluted casually. "Of course, Doctor. See you in the morning." For a catscan He thought to himself as he watched her leave.
Nov 9 2004, 03:26 PM

Ambassidor Yasha Lauren - Transport Shuttle Galga-VII

Yasha had left immediately after Ullii's invitation. I am excited to see my sister, yet I must be careful. This whole thing may be a trap, but even if it is, they'll know my sincerity when I give them all this information. She stared at the PADD sitting in the empty chair next to her. What a thing to keep laying around like that. If the Alliance knew it was here, sitting in my chair, every Alliance ship in the quadrant would be chasing me. She thought about securing it in a force-field protected container, but changed her mind. She liked taking risks. And if anyone tried to take it, they'd die in the process.

"Now exiting Trans-Warp Conduit. Warning! Now entering Federation Space!" The yellow-alert signal started automatically.

"Computer, cancel alert." the pulsating yellow lights stopped.

=/\= "Romulan Vessel. You will stop your engines, and identify yourself." =/\=

She brought the small ship to a stop. =/\= "I am Ambassador Yasha Lauren of the Romulan Star Empire. I come in peace and friendship on errand to Starbase 001. I am now sending my security clearance" =/\=

She waited a few moments, and then came the reply, =/\= "Welcome, Ambassador. The federation greets you. Please procede on a direct course to Sector 001. An escort has been assigned to protect you." =/\=

=/\= "Acknowledged. Lauren out." =/\= Well, that was nice. I was expecting an argument. An escort eh?"

She looked out of her window and saw six fighters take formation around her.

=/\= "This is Captain Mars, of the Federation Fighter Squad Ranger-7, Division 92, Border Patrol. Welcome to Federation Space, Ambassador. There have been some skirmishes in the area recently, and we have been assigned to protect you. We can detect no weapons on your ship, so we ask that you join our formation in a defensive stance." =/\=

=/\= "Thank you for your warm welcome, Captain. Now joining formation. Your protection is appreciated, and welcomed." =/\= It was a courteous lie. She was quite capable of defending herself, but she didn't want to let them know that. Two of the Fighters took a holographic appearance to match her ship. A neat trick, but nothing that would fool a competent opponent. Suddenly all seven ships went into warp.

"Computer, ETA to Starbase 001."

"Estimated time to arrival at Starbase 001 is 22 hours and 4 minutes, at current speed of warp 9.74."

She turned on some music and declined her chair. Still a while to go.
Nov 9 2004, 04:13 PM

Captain Samantha Halliwell ~ Her Office

Samantha Halliwell sat looking out at the stairs in her office, her thoughts were on the conversation she and Hardgrove had about him finally finding out about his son, Matthew. It had puzzled her, she had brought her son to live with her and she didn't even prepare for the chance that he would find out eventually. How could she be so careless?

She couldn't sit still any longer, Halliwell quickly got out her seat and started to pace the length of her office with a padd in her hand, she had reports to fill in and new people to greet who were going to arrive at the station within the hour. Fustrated, she sat back down at the desk and reached out for her mug of coffee, she lifted it to her lips and immediately spat it back out. "Pah," she muttered looking at the ice cold liquid, "Could use something a bit stronger." She placed the cup down and knew that was out of the question while she was on duty.

Halliwell was about to start pacing when an even more brilliant idea. Why pace your office, when you can pace the length of the starbase? and with that idea, she headed out the door.
Nov 9 2004, 05:12 PM

Fleet Captain Drayson Hardgrove: His office.

Drayson sat deep in thaught, it had been three days since Sam had introduced Mathew (his son ) to him.

He had shut himself off from the world. He hadn't left his office since that night and wasn't quite sure he ever would. Was he ready to be a father? How would he ever catch up on the time he lost not being with him?

He had listen to Samanthas explanation and understood why she did what she did. Had he been forced to do the same he might have. She confesed how sorry she was and that once she knew she was pregnant that they had allready agreed to seperate.

The part he was haveing a hard time to undersatand was why she never told him. Maybe she was afraid of what he might say or what might happen if he knew.

He had been playing the night over and over in his head. Daraysons father had taught him that you can't change the past when they had lost his mother. He owed it to The boy ... er Mathew to try to be a good father and he owed Sam a chance at forgiveness.

Hardgove had never stop loveing her even when they had agreed to seperate he promised himself he would never loose her.

He Knew how he felt but what about Sam? Could they ever get back together?

Three days of locking himself away was too long , he needed some air . He quickly left his desk and left his office .
As he locked the door behind him he decided to go for a walk around the base to clear his head.
Nov 9 2004, 10:27 PM

Lieutenant Commander Daniel Clark – The Deck

Clark rubbed his eyes as he walked down the wide corridor. 23 hour shifts should be illegal. He opened his eyes to the door of his quarters and stopped. I’m far too tired to sleep. Turning around he started walking; rubbing his right temple. This headache doesn’t help either. Entering the nearest turbo-lift, he activated his neural-optical connection to the Station’s systems, and selected the infirmary; followed by the computer’s chime of acknowledgment. He flinched as a sharp pain jolted his temple, worsening the headache.

“Computer, deactivate interface Clark-1.”


The doors to the infirmary entrance slid opened as the lift came to a stop. Clark walked into the large room, spotting a young doctor on her way out. She seemed preoccupied.

“Ah, doctor. Just the—“

“I’m sorry…” She cut in, “I’m, uhh… just on my way out,” and continued walking.

Clark turned on his heel to face her, “Are you alright doctor?”

She turned her head slightly, “Yeah, I’m fine…” and walked around the corner out of sight.

“It’s been a long day.” A voice came from behind him.

“Tell me about it.” Clark spun back around to face the nurse left in charge, “What can you give me for a headache?”

15 Minutes Later - The Deck

Clark left the infirmary as soon as he could; something about the empty room gave him the creeps. The heavy feeling in his head was gone, due to the small dose of painkillers given him, but the edge was still there. He began heading for a nearby turbo-lift, but stopped himself. It wasn’t that late in the evening, there were bound to be people around, so for the first time in… well, a while, he headed to do a little socializing. Just for a bit. Besides, Neala’s got the evening shift covered… there shouldn’t be any problems.

The Double~Helix was the first-– well, only place he thought of, so he made his way across The Deck and into the large bar. It was relatively quiet for the time. He crossed the dimly lit floor and sat down at the bar.

“And what can I get for you this evening? Commander…”

“Hmm? Oh, Lieutenant Commander Clark. I’ll have a… uhh… whatever you would recommend.”

“Clark, eh? Good to meet you.” The bartender began mixing a drink, “The name’s Ottel, and I am the owner of this quality establishment.” He smiled as he spread his arms out to the bar.
Kaley Winters
Nov 10 2004, 01:59 AM

Early hours of the morning.
The bed was warm all around Kaley, and she snuggled down deeper under the covers, trying to hide herself from the world for the last few minutes. It would soon be time for her to get up, but if she tried hard enough; maybe she could wish the day away, and so again she rolled over to face the wall.

It didn’t occur to her that the wall was on the wrong side of the bed.

=^=The time is 0500 hours=^= droned the computer a few minutes later.

Still working on autopilot, she sat up and pushed the covers away. The lights, on low revealed little of the room around her, just as she liked it on these early starts when she would rather be sleeping for a few more hours, and her brain lagged severely behind her body in its ability to shift itself into gear. Hesitantly, and knowing that she hadn’t unpacked her slippers yet, she swung her legs over the edge of the bed.

When her feet collided with the wall, she realized that there was something very very wrong.

=^=Lights full=^= she ordered.

She was in a room that she didn’t recognize, surrounded by belongings that were not hers. A uniform shirt in science blue lay tossed over the back of a chair, but the markings, and the design of the shirt was foreign. Similarly, there was a combadge on the small table beside the bed, but its design was just plain odd. It looked well suited to the uniform.

Confused now, and not knowing what to do, she turned to the computer for advice.

=^=Computer, where am I?=^=

=^=Crew quarters, deck 9, Starbase 001=^= came the unfeeling reply.

In one short answer that machine had managed to tear the floor from under her. Her head was spinning and she had no idea how she was going to deal with this. Still not thinking, she stumbled towards the door, intent on finding someone who could help her, but with no idea what she would tell them when she found them.

Still in her nightwear she began walking the corridor, almost wishing that she had stayed put. It was too late now, the computer would not recognize her to let her back in again so she was stuck where she was, being avoided by each and every person she passed. Why would no one answer her call of “Please help me! I don’t know where I am"

Finally someone approached her, or rather two someones. Dressed in the yellow that once indicated the systems operations divisions, and each was armed with a phaser…….

“Please Ma’am, come with us. You’re under arrest for drunk and disorderly behavior.” She could take no more, her mind assaulted from every side with confusion and the unfamiliar, and darkness surrounded her.
Nov 11 2004, 07:34 AM

Captain Samantha Halliwell ~ Wandering around Starbase 001


Halliwell finally looked up from the file she had been engrossed in while waiting for the turbolift. She glanced to her left to the source of the voice, Ensign Gillian Sadler, a medic currently working onboard the base.

"Ensign. How are you?"

"Not too bad," Sadler replied with a bright smile, "Just on my way to sickbay, yourself?"

Halliwell stepped into the turbolift, "Just having a wander around," she admitted, "You know, seeing where I end up," she returned the smile and nodded her head slowly.

The turbolift came to a stop and Sadler got off, "Captain."

It left Samantha alone with her thoughts again as the lift carried on. It stopped and the doors opened, "Drayson," she said somewhat surprised.

"Sam," he said stepping in. With that, nothing more was said, she glanced sideways to him, opened her mouth and then thought against it. The rest of the journey was completed in silence.
Nov 13 2004, 12:41 AM

Admiral Tom Garrison - OCC

Tom was standing off to one side in the expansive Operations Command Center, watching everybody go about their duties. After finishing breakfast he had gone back to his office and gotten some more paperwork done, but now he was just waiting for Yasha to show up. He didn't want to start anything that would take a lot of time, because he knew once she arrived he would have his hands full. But in the meantime, he was bored.

He let his eyes drift over the room. He noticed how smoothly everybody operated. Every person in the room had a job to do and they were doing it.

Like a well oiled machine.

His eyes came to rest on Lt. Karelia, who was hunched over his terminal. His brow was furrowed and he was furiously tapping buttons. Tom watched him for a minute, wondering what was keeping him so interested. Suddenly Karelia sat up straight in his seat, a look of both confusion and concern on his face. Tom watched as he hit his comm badge.

"Captain Halliwell, report to the Command Center."

Tom took a step forward, noting the urgency in the young Lieutenant's voice.

"On my way," he heard Halliwell reply. "What's the problem?" Apparently she had noticed the concern as well.

"There's a strange energy reading out in space, sir. It's massive, completely off the scale. And it's headed directly for us."

"How long do we have?" Sam asked. Tom noticed her voice sounded a bit strained, as if she was running. He heard somebody cry "look out" through the comm system, and realized she was probably hurrying to get up here as quickly as possible.

"I can't tell sir," Will replied. "The sensors can't make anything of these readings...."

Suddenly the station shook. "It's here!" Tom heard Will call out. It's right ---"

Admiral Tom Garrison, Location Unknown


He groaned.

"Tom? Can you hear me?" Tom became aware of a woman calling out his name. He peeked one eye open and was blinded by the light. He winced in pain and squeezed his eye shut again.

"Tom, answer if you can hear what I'm saying."

"I..." He said feebly. "I hear you." His senses were starting to clear, and he tried opening an eye again. His head felt like a thousand needles were being poked into it, but the pain wasn't as bad this time. He opened the other eye, and for a moment saw only bluriness.

"What? Where am I?" He called out. He could see the shape of a woman in front of him, but couldn't make out who she was.

"You must have hit your head harder than I thought. You're on the Nobel, of course."

Tom tried to sit up but fell back down. He was still unsure of what was going on. "The what?" he asked. "Where's Captain Halliwell?"

"Who? Tom, you're starting to worry me."

Tom closed his eyes for a minute and took a deep breath. When he opened them again his vision had cleared. He tried to sit up, slower this time, and managed to struggle up halfway between sitting and laying down. He looked at the woman kneeling over him. He gasped.

"Anika? Anika?!" He cried out.

"Yes, that's my name silly. I think we better look for a port nearby. You might need a doctor."

He ignored what she said. "But how....? What? How did I get of 001?"

Suddenly her expression changed. She looked away for a second, and when she looked back there was sadness in her eyes. "Oh Tom. Not that again? Honey, 001 is just a dream. You've never even set foot on the station."

He puzzled over what she was saying. It was starting to make sense, he was starting to remember. "Yes, yes. Now I remember. We're on the Nobel, headed for Vulcan. Carrying a full load of Tarkelian Tea."

Anika smiled. She instantly looked less worried. "That's right."

Tom tried to stand up. "Help me up," he called out to her. She stood up and offered him her hand, which he took it. He looked up into her eyes for a minute and smiled, and then pulled himself up.

"What happened?" he asked as he felt the throbbing pain in his head.

"Space turbulence. You know how these old cargo ships are, no power to spare for the latest improvements in inertial dampeners. But it serves you right, I told you to wear your safety harness as we passed through. But you wouldn't listen..."

Tom smiled. "Nag, nag, nag," he muttered. She responded by punching him in the shoulder.

"I see you're feeling better already," she grumbled. Come on, let's get you below decks. I need to treat that head wound. She headed off for a nearby door and Tom followed, rubbing his sore shoulder.
Nov 13 2004, 06:51 AM

Samantha Halliwell ~ Halliwell Residence

Halliwell looked around her seemingly new surroundings. The last thing she remembered was running up to the OOC but now she was, she did a 360 turn.
She was in her bedroom in her family home, but how? Carefully she walked over to the dresser where there was a photo of her mother, she picked it up and looked at it for a moment.

"Samantha, sweetheart."

That was a woman's voice, but here in her home. That was impossible, only she, her father and her son Matthew lived in the house. Halliwell put the photo back down then left her bedroom, "Samantha, didn't you hear me?"

Halliwell stopped dead in her tracks.

"What's wrong," the woman looked behind her then back to Halliwell. "You look like you've seen a ghost?"

Samantha took one more step forward, "Mom?"

"Well yes, that's what you've been calling me for the past 30 years." She smiled to her daughter. "Drayson called, he said he'll be round to pick Matthew up at 10 'o' clock. You know it's good to see you two are still speaking to one another."

Samantha couldn't do anything but nod slowly as she took in the information. She took another step forward and reached out to her mother's face, and her eyes watered slightly at the sight of her Carol Halliwell. This couldn't be possible, her mother had died shortly after she had given birth to her. Her father and brother had raised her. But here she stood before her.

"Samantha, what's wrong with you? You're acting strange. Are you nervous about Captain Major coming to talk to you about that posting onboard the Starbase?" Carol put an arm on her shoulder, Samantha looked to it then back to Carol.

"Yeah I guess I am, it's an ideal posting but I'm not sure if I have what it takes to be the first officer."
"He asked you remember," Carol said as they walked towards the stairs, "He wouldn't have done if he didn't think you could do it."
"I suppose you're right. I'd better get Matthew up and dressed."

"I'll go make you some breakfast." Carol walked down the stairs.

Samantha watched her mother intently, in disbelief. Her mind was still clouded with thoughts of being onboard a starbase. Must be a dream she reasoned with herself, she frowned as Carol disapeared out of sight.
Captain Archer
Nov 13 2004, 12:58 PM

Ambassador Michael Larkin-Office

Michael had returned to his office to finish some work, before the arrival of Yasha. He sat the padd he had been working on down and leaned back in his chair. He recalled Doctor Lauren’s advice that he needed a break, so he decided to rest his eyes. As he drifted towards sleep, he was suddenly jerked back awake by low rumble that got louder. He attempted to open his eyes but his vision was blurred.

“Michael we're going to be late, hurry up in there.”

Michael’s eyes finally adjusted and he was looking up at a familiar ceiling, he sat up and looked around. 
Why does this feel so familiar? He got off the bed he was laying on. “Computer end program.” Nothing happened “Computer respond.” Still nothing. He walked over to a window in the bedroom and looked out across a massive yard “My god.” Michael whispered, he finally realized where he was. He made his way over to the desk in the room and picked up a padd off the desk, it contained the letter that was sent to him almost a decade ago. He read the letter:
To: Michael Larkin

Mr. Larkin, your application has been reviewed and you have been granted acceptance to Starfleet Academy.
“Michael last time, then were leaving without you.” He put the letter down without finishing it, and headed to the door that leads out to the family room, and sure enough, that’s where it lead and standing at the far end of the room was his father. “Dad!” Michael almost ran over to his father “I can’t believe it’s you.”

Michael embraced his father, his father patted him on the back. “What’s gotten into you?”

Michael pulled away and gathered himself. Then he placed his hands on his father’s shoulders “It’s been so long…I’ve missed you?”

“You act like you haven’t seen me in years? Come on we better get going, they won’t hold our table forever.”

Michael and both of his parents headed out the door.
Will Karelia
Nov 13 2004, 03:14 PM

William Karelia, Location Unknown

Will woke up to a wet cloth touching this forehead. he opened his eyes, and was stunned instantly.

"Crystal? Is that you?"

"Yes, who else would it be? That bump must be worse than I thought." she replied in her sweet voice.

"Crystal, what are you doing on the station?"

"On the...? What station? What are you talking about?"

Will sat up, incredibly confused.

"What's wrong, honey?" Crystal asked.

"Honey? You haven't called me that in... in years. In fact, I haven't even seen you since I left for the Enterprise. What's going on? Why am I here?"

"Why are you here? You live here! Don't you remember?"

"I... I live here? The last I remember, I was on the starbase, and... and..."

"C'mon, you need to move around a bit. Come walk with me."

Will took the woman's hand, and she pulled him to his feet. They left the house, and began walking down the street. Will, still confused, decided to stop in at the nearest comm-booth and contact the station. As he walked up to the machine, it asked him in a familiar and loathed voice:

"Please state request."

"Open communication to Starbase 001. Direct communication to Admiral Thomas Garrison."

"There is no one by that name present on Starbase 001."

"No one by that name?" he said, confused. "Open secure communication to Starbase 001."

"Security authorization required."

"Recognize Lieutenant William Karelia. Authorization Karelia-three-eight-Delta-Tango."

"Invalid authorization code."

Crystal's voice came from behind him. "Give it up, Will. I don't know what you dreamt while you were out, but you're not in Starfleet."

"But I have to contact the station! They might know what's wrong!"

"There's nothing wrong! All you need right now is to relax and enjoy the afternoon."

Will thought for a moment. He stared into her sparkling eyes, and she began to smile.

"You're probably right. It's most likely just a dream. Lets go."
Oct 8 2004, 12:57 PM

Captian Kyst Blacksun: Unknown.

Kyst woke up to the suns rays shining down on her face. The sound of ocean waves crashed against the sides of the ships hull as it glided through the surf. Kyst opened her closed eyes and took a long whiff of the salty air. She stretched too shake off the sleep, and then sat up.

Kyst looked out to the open sea in front of her and for the first time in a long time felt at peace. Placing her hand on her thigh she found it bare and relived she was dressed in only a bikini and matching top. It took a second to register why, and blamed the sluggishness on her having been asleep. She and Drayson were picking up Mathew his son to visit.

They had decided to take the hamily boat christened The Black Sparrow in honor of one of her grandfather heroes from earth ancient history.

Kyst Crossed her arms over her chest as she smiled thinking she'd get to see her good friend Sam again and that they might visit while Drayson got his boy ready for the voyage to the Family beach house.
Oct 8 2004, 12:57 PM

Drayson Hardgrove: The Black Sparrow

Drayson slowly picked himself off the deck the last wave they had hit had thrown him off his feet. He smiled as he saw his sister standing on the deck staring out toward their destination.

He retook the helm and steadied the course. He smiled to himself as he thought of finally spending time with Mathew. He had been so busy lately working for the family's freighter business. He was glad he was able to convince his father to let him handle the Earth office so he could spend more time with Mathew and Sam.

How he wanted more time with Sam. He just hope that there was a chance that they could get back together. He'd soon find out.
Nov 13 2004, 06:53 PM

Lieutenant Commander Rune Sith - Desert Planet

Sith was shocked through and through along with the glass-ball that sit beside where he was on both knees. The shock was painful and dizzying, sending flowing currents of energy around him and the glass-ball. "Aaauuhhhh!!!!"

And then the currents of energy stopped. He let go of his head, looking down and breathing hard. There was an eerie silence all around, except for a faint wind from the south. It was a level wind, neither cold and neither warm. When he tried looking straight ahead, he flinched.

"Argh!" He didn't feel at all like recovering, or making an effort to heal. But as he felt his forehead, the wound had disappeared. "What the heck?" Sith looked around and found he was on a desert surface with mountains in the great distance. Under his toes and knees lay a flat and hard cracked desert floor, while above and all around was a dark-red sky.

Someone must've transported me here, he thought. But something in the back of his mind told him, this was not any place near where he came from. That same something which was quickly fading, also told him that that was not a transport; and most of all... this was not just a dream. Not the one he was supposed to have.
Nov 13 2004, 10:18 PM

Major Lietra Kayana - Bajor

Lietra suddenly felt dizzy and leaned against a wall. She closed her eyes for a second as the wave of diziness passed over her and slowly subsided.

"Are you ok?"

She opened her eyes and looked at the man before her. She nodded. "Yeah..." she said somewhat hesitantly.

"You don't sound convinced," the man said.

Lietra thought for a second. "No, I'm fine. I don't know, for a second I felt as though I was somewhere else. Weird. Anyway, yeah. I'm ok."

He let the matter drop. They both turned back to the podium on stage. The two of them were standing just off-stage where the audience couldn't see them. First Minister Hallan was delivering a speech to the packed Hall. All of the Ministers and Vedeks were there, and the Kai stood next to Hallan. There were countless news recorders in the back of the room recording every word. Lietra began paying attention to what he was saying.

"... all wondering what this announcement is. Without delaying any further I would like to introduce to you Major Lietra Kayana, a member of our militia."

Lietra took a deep breath and walked out onto the stage. All of Bajor was waiting for her announcement.
Nov 14 2004, 04:01 AM

Commander Tanik - His Office

Tanik was sulking. He had not spoken to a single human soul since he got the message from his wife. He had merely gone through his normal routine as if he were a zombie, and most of the staff were steering clear of him because of his odd behavior. His mind was jumble.

The message had put a cap on 16 years of searching and hope. Yes, he had seen the moving image of Rhiana and heard her voice for the first time in 16 years, but it paradoxically came with the knowledge that she was, in fact, dead - for 16 years. For 16 years, he had the gut feeling that she was still alive. For 16 years, he was wrong. For 16 years, a rebellion had been stirring deep inside the iron wall of the Romulan Empire - a rebellion that his own wife had started. A rebellion that his own wife had kept an absolute secret from him. A rebellion that he agreed with absolutely. This was her legacy.

And, in a small way, her legacy would be coming on the station shortly. He knew he had to meet this young lady and become a part of the cause, however he could.

Tanik still felt as if he had been pounded into the ground with a sledgehammer.

Suddenly, a flash overtook him. Before he could possibly comprehend what was happening, he was in another place.

Tanik's heart was beating heavily. After the disorientation passed, he quickly took in his surroundings. He realized that he was in his home - his house in the ancient and grandiose Imperial City on Romulus.

He could almost look up and see the metaphorical sledgehammer come down once more.

"Tanik? Is that really you?" a female voice breathed behind him. He didn't have to turn around to know who the voice belonged to, and he almost did not want to turn around - out of fear that nothing would be there.

However, he was not presented with that choice. A slender hand took ahold of his right shoulder and turned him around.

Tanik felt the sledgehammer make contact.
Nov 14 2004, 04:20 AM

Admiral Tom Garrison - Cargo Ship Nobel

Tom sat on the bridge of the Nobel, watching the stars fly by on the viewscreen. Anika was below decks getting some sleep, leaving Tom alone with his thoughts. He decided to record a personal log entry. It was something he liked to keep just to clear his mind. Anika had no idea he kept it, and he kept it well hidden in the ship's computer. He pushed a few buttons on the terminal in front of him and then entered his security code. A red light came on, indicating it was recording.

"Tom's personal log. January 4, 2753.

"Today was a rather eventful day compared to the boredom of the last few weeks. We hit a stronger than normal pocket of space turbulence earlier today, one of the strongest I ever remember hitting. It completely threw me out of my seat and I smashed my head against the wall. Knocked me out cold, plus left a nasty gash in the back of my head. Ani fixed me up though, so I'm only left with a splitting headache now.

"When I woke up I couldn't figure out where I was at first. That dream I used to have - the one where I was an admiral on Starbase 001 - I woke up convinced that was reality. I think it really hurt Ani, although she tried to cover it up. It took us a long time to work through all of the mess with leaving Starfleet, I really hope what happened today doesn't drag all of that back up again.

"There's not much else to say. The ship's operating just fine. I remember how worried I was when Ani and I bought this thing and set out on our cargo runs. Neither of us have expertise in engineering, and the thought of only the two of us running the entire ship was pretty scary. But those Bolian traders were right - this thing does run itself. In almost 10 years, there've been no major problems.

"Sometimes I wish there were actually more problems than there are. This can get pretty boring sometimes. But I'm with Ani, so it's ok."

He hit a button and shut the log off. He made a minor course correction and then leaned back in his seat with a smile.

Not exactly the excitement of Starfleet, but I can do what I want when I want and I have my beautiful wife by my side. That counts as a good life.

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