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Aftermath Part 3

Posted on Tue Nov 2nd, 2021 @ 11:53pm by Admiral Taka Sito & Captain Tyzon Laque & Commander Jason Taron & Commander Shoniara T’ghann Dex M.D & Lieutenant Junior Grade Borvan Pirek MD & Balev T’ghrek of the House of O’Kaan Ambassador

Mission: Episode 3: The Night The Light Went Out at Sigma Station
Location: USS Polaris
Timeline: Current

Mean While in Sickbay

Zach finished his hanger bay inspection and returned to sickbay. Upon entering he saw the 2 doctors and Captain Laque talking.
“Could someone order Dr Dex to pretend to be a good patient?”

Everybody looked towards him. Shoniara’s face broke into a smile when she saw him. “I am being a good patient Lieutenant. Hungry, but good. Eating for three you know.”

“How can you be hungry? You ate enough to kill an elephant, and I swear I saw Puss shake his head in disbelief. Well when you get released to your quarters I will solve the hungry issue. Now behave.”

At that moment sickbay doors opened again followed by the entrance of Ambassador6 Th’grek. He stopped and looked at the crowd. “Am I missing something?” He asked. He did not wait for an answer but walked over to Shoniara. “How are you this morning sister?” Surprisingly she looked at him without saying anything and turned her head away. “Zach.” She looked at him from across sickbay pain in her eyes.

Zach sees the pain on her face. Zach turned and faced everyone. “Could we have a minute alone please? Ambassador, you may stay.”

Zach waited until the room had cleared and faced Shoniara. “Why the pained look? Just so you know I have had a talk with the ambassador the other night. He told me a lot of things that he thought I should know. I’m still here. I thought Vulcans didn’t get scared considering how illogical it is. Right?”

“I am only half Vulcan and I have had many emotions recently.” She looked at them..her eyes suddenly realising, You think I am still might be Ardera don’t you?”

Zach heard the doubt, the concern in her voice. Zach walked to the bed and took her hand. “Do I think you are Ardera? No, I don’t think your Ardera. However, when you were sleeping the other night you called out my name. It was said in a passionate, lustful even romantic way. A way that you have never expressed before. You yourself said that Ardera was in love with me, in her own way. No I don’t think that you are Ardera but I want to be sure that it is you saying things without influence from her. Understand? You brother is concerned and wanted to know for sure that you, are you.”

“I don’t know, it’s that simple. I have all that Ardera was inside my mind a part of me mixed up with everything I feel, if that means I am Ardera then yes I still am. I feel the love she had for you…but ..” she looked around. “ I don’t want to discuss my feelings for you here, in front of everyone.” She slightly applied a little pressure to his hand and then pulled hers away. I will submit to a meld brother, Zach, Ty if that is what it takes.” She looked at each of them. “But I am the Chief Medical Officer on this ship and intend to carry on with that role, I also have another soul to think about. I have been injected with Borg technology without my consent and that scares me. I am going to become a mother much sooner than I ever thought, I have a father who does not know about his child and I do not know if I will ever see him again.” Her voice began to raise and the bio monitor alarmed. “My head” She screamed loudly in pain.

Pirek started “Try to relax Shoniara.” He said as he began to assess the changes, Ench’ra applied another hypo to her and she fell back. “There are problems in her neural synapses Borvan, she is unable to cope with Arderas’ memories on the Vulcan side of her brain. We have to put her back in stasis until we know how to reverse this. Shoniara looked very scared seemingly unable to speak.

Zach walked over and took hold of her hand. He stared into her eyes, “there is another reason that we want to make sure that you area free of her. There is security of the ship in the slim chance that any semblance of Ardera is physically there. Yes you have her memories, and that is fine. Either way my feelings haven’t/won’t change. I just want to be sure of who I’m talking too. As to the meld, that is up to you and your brother.”
Maybe we should have that talk soon.”

T’ghrek said in a soft voice, “Shoniara listen to me, listen to my voice, will you meld with me?” She nodded mutely eyes wide, his fingers applied themselves to the side of her heat. He looked into her eyes. “My mind to your mind, my thoughts to your thoughts.” Shoniara relaxed. T’ghrek’s arms began to shake as he delved into his sister’s mind. Deeper and deeper he went finding Ardera’s memories mixed up with hers, as they began to seep into his mind tears began to slip from his eyes. He found the thoughts that held Shoniara to life, there it was, the part of her that loved Zach was separate from Arderas love. He slipped out of her mind, he would not tell that to anyone, that was to be between her and Zach. He had seen that she still loved Jacques but did not think she would ever see him again. He flooded her mind with stabilising thoughts and left her mind. He looked at her. She spoke “now you see T’ghrek.” He nodded.

T’ghrek spoke to the now reassembled group. “Captain the only thing that remains of Ardera in my sister are her memories. These memories are difficult for her to process and we will need to work on that with meditation and more melds. To my mind however she is very capable of resuming her duties when she is physically fit. I must inform you all that I have found this extremely unsavoury. I will retire to my quarters. Captain, Commander,” he nodded towards Ty and Jason turned and left.

Shoniara had been given enough sedative to induce sleep and she lay there still her skin almost translucent and her hair wet around her face.

Zach waited until everyone had left the room. He found a towel and wiped her brow and cheeks, wiping the wetness away. He stared down at her for awhile as she slept. After awhile he bent down and gave her a soft kiss on the forehead. He softly whispered, “ I think I may love you Shoniara. I’m right here.”
He stared at her for another moment, then went and sat down in a chair.

When she awoke she felt much better, a lot of the duality and mix of memories between Ardera and herself had begun to develop their own neural pathways in her brain. She looked over to where Zack sat sleeping in the chair.

Ench’ra saw her looking towards him. “He has been here all night Shoniara. He cares about you, more than a little I think. How are you feeling?”

She could not stop looking at Zach, her feelings for him were very much turning into love for the Lieutenant, but she felt like she still loved Jacques and if she gave her life to Zach would he love Grace as his own?. “sorry Ench’ra, yes I am feeling a lot better thank you. If possible I would like to get out of sickbay today if everything Is fine with Grace? I will take few days and return on light duties as I am anxious to get back to work and normality.”

“I agree it would be better for you to be out of sickbay, all your injuries have healed we just need to perform a few more tests on Grace. The Ambassador was in to see you earlier but as you were asleep he said he would return later.”

Zach awoke to voices and women looking at him. “ well look who finally got up. So I hear you might go back to your quarters today. You will be more comfortable and Puss likes it better there.”

“It will certainly be more comfortable, especially with you there …. Sometimes whenever you can, and, we need to talk, alone with no distractions, I have a lot to say to you.” She smiled. “And no doubt you have a lot to say to me ?”

“ Puss, I think we are about to have a serious discussion. Very well. It will be ladies first. Maybe over food. That sound good to you Puss? Of course it does. What about you Grace? Food sound good? Give mommy a small kick if you agree.”

Zach feigns fear if Grace actually kicks.

“Zach put your hand here,” she indicated her bump.

Zach slowly walks over to Shoniara and places his hand on her stomach. “Well the way she is moving in there, I would say that she will be very active, forceful and strong. Right, like I would know.”

Shoniara smiled, “ I don’t know what she will be like Zach, I worry about the Borg nanobots, they have increased her growth rate by three months and she continues to mature at a frightening rate she will be born in just over three months.. whatever happens she is my child and will be loved. Do y0u ever want children Zach?”

“I figure that when I meet the right woman I’m sure children will be there at some future time, or already in place. So yes kids will be in the picture at some point.”

“She will come out talking and bossing people around. But in such a cute way. Do I ever want children? With the right person, sure. As long as they weren’t like me growing up.”

“You once told me you did not like the boy you were back then why if you don’t mind telling me. Zach I want to know everything about you.”
She reached up and pulled his face down to hers and kissed him gently on his mouth.

Zach was a little shocked, and surprised when Shoniara pulled him down into a kiss. He didn’t know how deeply she might feel for him. He contemplated those feelings when the door to sickbay opened.

“Shoniara, can I come in and see you” a little voice said from the sickbay door. Etienne stood there. Shoniara opened up her arms “of course you can, I missed you so much .” Etienne ran into her arms and jumped up onto the bio bed. “I missed you so much and I could not tell my dad because he has gone away…do you know where he is?” Etienne looked earnestly at her. “My love I do not know, he is on a mission possibly for a long time.” She cuddled him rocking him. “Can I live with you?” He asked. She closed her eyes. “We shall have to see Etienne, not just yet anyway. You will have a new sister soon you know.” He smiled through his tears, “yes I can feel her kicking, her name is Grace you know.” Shoniara smiled. “I know my love. Now jump down and say hello to Zach.”

Etienne jumped down and held his hand out to Zach. “Please to meet you Lieutenant, My name is Etienne Theriault and I am 10 years old “

“Hello Etienne. Pleased to meet you sir. You are very grown up for 10.”

“I have to go to school now Marina is waiting for me. goodbye Lieutenant.” He waved at Shoniara, “maybe I’ll see you later” he said as he ran off.

Shoniara looked at him. “So you see Zach things are…complicated, how are you at handling complications if it means having me in your life.”

“Life is full of complications. That is part of life. A little bit logical, a little bit common sense, a little bit respectful discipline and love. That about covers it maybe.”

“Will you kiss me Zach? “

Zach bends down, cups Shoniara’s face in his hands, and gave her as gentle a kiss as she gave him.”

She responded pulling his mouth back down on to hers kissing him deeply and hungrily. She let him go scared now of his reaction to her more demanding kiss . She realised she wanted him, not just as a friend but a deeper part of her life yet she was still conflicted with a loyalty to Jacques. She decided to let Zach choose.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

Zach responded to her kiss with more of the same. They broke the kiss reluctantly.
“There is no need to be sorry. You are a very passionate woman, who loves deeply and completely. Which leads to this situation. When I talked with your brother I told him this. I’m a one woman man looking for a one man woman. I’m not overly jealous, but I won’t share. I know you love Jacques but are uncertain of where he is, how he is, is he alive? If he is alive and comes back, he will go on another mission followed by another mission for long periods of time. You will be left with uncertainty while he is gone. You have Grace to worry about, and Entienne also. So this is something you need to work out on your own. You can choose Jacques and wait for him, and we will be friends. Or you can take me as I am and I will help with the 2 little one to the best of my ability. I think the time for decisions has arrived.”

Captain Tyzon and Commander Teron were conversing with the other Dr.'s and SickBay staff when suddenly both Jason and Ty felt a overwhelming emotion of love that practically consumed the the entire room.

"Excuse me just one moment Dr. Borvan, this is interesting, but there is something going on here that must be delt with." Ty said

"By all means Captain. The study of Cardassian brains can wait." Dr. Borvan said.

Ty entered the main room just in time to see Lt. Chase and Shoniara kiss.

Loudly, he made a noise to let the interloping couple know that he was there. "Cough. Cough.. Cough."

"Excuse me me you too, but Lt. Chase I need to speak with you private in the hall. Can you come with me please?" Tyzon asked the youngest member of his Senior Staff.

“Yes sir. I’ll be right there.” Zach turned to Shoniara and said, “I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

"Zach, I know that you are barely out of the academy and this is your first post under me, but I think there are things that we need to discuss."

“Yes sir. I’m a little confused sir. Have I done something wrong?”

"Now I know what is going on and I do not like it. I know that you were starting to fall in love with Ardrea when she was with us and now it looks like those feelings are being transferred to Shoniara, who was the host for Ardrea for sometime, but those feelings cannot be. She is having a child that is not yours. Shoniara is in love with Colonel Jaques. Now I am going to give you something. This is a request, not an order. You may choose not to listen and to follow your heart and not your head and you are going down a path that you will have to walk alone. When Jaques returns and finds that you are trying to worm your way into his relationship with Shoniara, he will not be very happy. Remember he a Colonel after all. So this is my advise to you my young Lieutenant. Be a friend to Shoniara Dex and friend only. Any romantic feelings you have for her, you need to put them aside for your sake. I do not want what could be a beautiful friendship be torn apart, because of jealousy. Zach, I am not telling who you should fall in love with, the heart wants what the heart wants, but take it from a guy who knows. You will be the broken one in this and it will end up badly. I need you apart of my crew because of your skills. I made you a provisional Lt for a solid reason and gave you responsibilities that far surpasses someone of that rank and you have performed them with utmost skill and determination that a young man of your age has. That I commend you for, but what is going on in there is a transfer of emotions. That needs to stop. Colonel will return and when he does, you will be the one that loses. I am not taking sides, but take it from a wise man that knows from my own previous experience with Jason. When we were you age, I was sent and paired with someone that I knew loved me and wanted to be with me and well I cheated on Jason. I hurt him badly and Jason refused to speak to me or even look in my direction for months, but I knew that my Jason would come around and finally it happened that he couldn't see being with anyone but me and I knew deep down that I wanted to be with him too. So do yourself, Shoniara and little Grace, a favor and friendzone this for now. Do you understand what I am trying to convey here Lt?"

“Sir, they told us at the Academy that the Captain knows all. But sir, you are wrong on a few things. First, I never had feelings for Ardera. My feelings have always been for Shoniara, as a friend. Sir, I appreciate the trust you have put in me. I might not have gotten the opportunity anywhere else. Yes she does love Jacques but Jacques isn’t here. He may never be here. You also know that he may never return. Your Chief Medical Officer, a pregnant half Vulcan female is my friend. She has been through a lot. She is scared about the future. She worries constantly about the feelings she had for Jacques and what is developing for me. What will happen to Grace without a dad? What will happen to Etienne without a dad? Who will care for him? Right now I’m all she has. I have told her that I will help out where ever I can. Yes, Jacques may return and they get back together. I’m outranked on all fronts and I accept that. Will/would I be hurt, yes. But for now she needs my help and support. If it evolves into more that is her decision. A decision that will be made by her because I have told her that I am a one woman man and I won’t share. So thank you for your advice. The decision will ultimately be Shoniara’s and no one else’s.

"Good, I will take my leave and you can go back to Dr. Dex, but heed my warning. If you do not make that right choice you will end up being hurt and I do not want that for you or anyone under my command. Dismissed Lt."

“Yes sir.” Zach turned and walked back in to see Shoniara. “Well that was an interesting talk. Love advice from our Captain. He is concerned about my getting hurt. Things that we have both thought about. A lot.-

Shoniara’s face darkened “You mean the Captain wanted to talk to you about us?… I don’t believe it…how dare he!” She was furious. “Borvan” she called Pirek over. “Get me up and out of here right now. I need to get back to my quarters, shower and put my uniform on. I need to speak to the Captain, Zach I have a good mind to resign right now.” She moved her legs off the biobed and jumped down onto the floor. Unfortunately for the doctor her legs gave way and she slid none too gracefully to the floor. “Well I may need a little help to do this.” She smiled ruefully.

Ench’ra spoke calm and reasonable. “Shoniara you know you need to rest, you can do that in your quarters or you can do it here under sedation the choice is yours. I am sure you would not have this in your sickbay?” She looked at him and said darkly. “Ench’ra you forget, it IS my sickbay.…but you are right if I can have help I will go there now, unless you have not finished with me?”

“I am sorry Doctor Dex I spoke out of turn.” Said Ench’ra. “Lieutenant Chase can you escort the Doctor to her quarters, the Ambassadors guards will go with you and will stand guard outside. If she tries to leave please notify me and I will admit her back here and as her doctor sedate her. You see Shoniara it may be your sickbay but I AM your doctor.” ‘Hoisted by me own petard’ she thought to herself. To be honest she still felt far from well and the kiss she had given and elicited from Zach bothered her if truth be known they needed to talk in privacy. She felt Grace kick and move inside her and she wondered how she had let things get this mixed up.

“I will visit you in your quarters to give you a mild sedative Shoniara” Pirek said. “If you want to speak to Captain Laque he will have to visit you in your quarters, but with you in this state I would not advise it. It is not like you, and not like a Vulcan….yes yes I know!” He raised both hands” half Vulcan.”

Zach stood there laughing and shaking his head at a doctor on the floor and a doctor acting tough. “I need to come to sickbay more often just for the shows. Now, if you two, doctors, are done establishing superiority I will get Dr Dex to her quarters. First, do you need help getting up or do you want to do it yourself. Ok, here. Take my arm and get up. Now let’s get you to your quarters.”

Zach put his arm around her waist to help support her and led her to the turbolift, then to her quarters. He led her inside and helped her get into bed. He made some hot tea for her.

“I agree that all though the Captain is the Captain he shouldn’t be involving himself in peoples private lives, unless it hampers their job performance. I know that he had good intentions, but it was an invasion upon our lives. Of course it was just advice and not an order. You need to get some rest now.”
Zach goes out and assumes his post on the couch.

She sat up and threw the covers off her legs and attempted to stand. “You’re damn right he should not be involving himself, he has taken too much on himself.” Her voice raising she walked out to him. “Help me get a shower and fresh uniform and get me to the bridge…bother Dr Ench’ra…..ooh perhaps not.” She turned to go back to bed. “I am being really stupid aren’t I?”

Zach can hardly keep from laughing at her antics. “Now where is all the cool, logical, calculating that Vulcans are know for. Calm under fire and all that. Stupid, yes you are being stupidly irrational. It might not be so stupidly irrational when you can stand for more than 5 seconds, and not have your blood pressure go thru the roof. Now, get back in bed or I will call those 2 guards out there to help strap you down in bed, or I call your doctor and have him sedate you for a week. Then you will still need time to recuperate after that. So what’s it going to be, Doctor?

She shrugged, “I shall get back into bed. She did so, then threw back the cover again and stood up again. “Where is Puss Zach, I have not seen him all day?” Her voice wavered, “ever since the cargo bay…I worry where the things I love are.” The door chimed and Pirek entered. “I have your sedative Shoniara” he saw her standing and sighed. “What’s going on now?”

“The last time I saw him was in sickbay. I will find him. Dr Pirek. How are you? Show me how to do the sedative and I will administer it if needed. You know I will. Will that be good enough for you? Thanks Doctor. I’ll let you know if there is a need for you.”

Zach escorted the doctor out then walked back to the bed. “Now let’s establish something right now. When we tell you to do something like get into bed and rest so you can regain your strength, we are doing it for your benefit, not ours. Now get back into bed. Please. Now I want you to lay there and do something for me. Turn the human half of your brain off for awhile. It is confusing you and muddling your brain function. Now your human emotions are all over the board. Turn it off for now and turn on the Vulcans half. You know the issues before you, you know the problems presented and how they need to be solved. Use that logical calculating mind and come up with some logical solutions. I would suggest calling the ambassador and see if you both can come to a workable solution. He might even be of help with people above our pay grade. Ok, I’m done. Now lay there and work the problem, otherwise I put you to sleep.”

“I understand Zach but remember I am half Riasan not human, that DNA is much different to that of a human. If you can get me Puss I can meditate, he is not just a pet, he is a linked part of my Vulcan DNA. T’ghrek melded him to me because my Riasan half did not blend with the Vulcan half. Ardera’s invasion of my mind has altered that state. T’ghrek will have to meld with us both to replace that. I am afraid Ardera’s presence in my mind was not good. It has…altered me and I am not sure you would want to carry on even being friends with me let alone have romantic relationship. This is going to take time Zach. I do not know how to separate my feelings for you from my feelings for Jacques. In many ways I do not think I will ever see him again yet he is Graces father and I have a responsibility towards Etienne. At some stage yes, I will have to move in with him and be his mother.” After that speech she sighed and found tears on her cheeks. She wiped them away angrily. “Sometimes Zach I wish Ardera had managed to take my life in that cargo bay on Sigma station. Now, do me a favour give me the sedative so I can at least rest, and please remove the phaser rifle in case I decide to use it.” With that she lay still and drew the cover up to her chin.

Zach looked at Shoniara as she talked and got more and more depressed himself. “I will find Puss as I’m pretty sure I know where he is. I will also contact your brother and inform him that a meld is needed. I will forget that you said you were dead instead of facing life. We will get rid of Ardera so you can think clearly. I know that you have feelings for both Jacques and me. I will accept whatever decision you make, but I ask that you don’t take too long in making that decision. It isn’t good for either one of us to prolong things.”
He walks to her bed and gently wiped the tears from her cheeks. He administered the sedative as shown, then bent down and lightly kissed her forehead. “Sleep my friend” he whispered.

He retreated to the main room and touched his comm badge. “Lt Chase to Major Kerrigan.”

“Yes Lt, what can I do for you?”

“Do you know where Puss is?”

“As a matter of fact I do. Etienne thought Puss was lonely so he had him in the other room playing.”

“Thank you Major. I will be there shortly to get Puss. Dr Dex is asking for Puss. Chase out.”

Well that’s one problem taken care of. Now for problem #2.

“Lt Chase to Ambassador T’ghrek.”

“T’ghrek here. What can I do for you Lt? How is my sister?”

“Well that is why I’m calling. I’m concerned about her mental condition. She is depressed. She is agonizing over decisions about Grace and Etienne, me or Jacques. She has requested a meld with her and Puss to get rid of Ardera and maybe supply some guidance with her decisions. She is sedated right now, so maybe this evening.”

“Very well. I will be there then. Take care of my sister for me.”

“Yes sir. I will.”

Zach leaves and goes to Major Kerrigans quarters and retrieved Puss. He takes Puss back to Shoniara and Puss layed down beside the bed and went to sleep. Zach went back to his couch and sat.

Even sleep did not give her mind any rest, Ardera’s life seemed to still overshadow hers. She dreamed of the cargo bay over and over again, falling and the dreadful pain that had ripped through her. Dreams of Grace as a Borg drone being killed by Zach, Jacques coming home to find his daughter dead. Zach deciding he no longer wanted her, even as a friend. Her ordered Vulcan mind becoming the fire in which she lived. She moaned and cried out “HELP ME” her mind tried to help her waken but she seemed unable to rouse from the nightmare. Without pause she was there when the news came of her beloved brothers disappearance It switched to Ensara’s 9th planet, Mark and Shasta screaming for her as she watched their flesh consumed by fire until there were no more cries and their bodies fell to dust. She thrashed she felt the rending pain of the burns that still scarred her back and hand. The blessed feeling of the first flush of narcotic filling her system. Her breathing slowed and her eyes rolled, she was completely alone the void black and filled with moving shapes. The Vulcan part of her brain that had worked so hard to ground her after Ardera’s mind rape began to fail. She was no longer able to hold back her fears and they consumed her. She screamed out, over and over as she began to dream over again.

Zach heard her pleas of “help me” in her sleep, and rushed to her bedside. He sat on the bed, cradled her tightly in his arms and slowly rocked her. Softly repeating, “I’m here Shoniara, your safe.”

Zach touched his comm badge. “Lt Chase to Ambassador T’ghrek. Sir, I really could use your help in your sisters quarters. She keeps crying out for help. I feel so helpless that I can’t do anything to help. She has me worried. I don’t know if you can meld with her while unconscious but your the only one that can help. Hurry please.”

Ench’ra entered Dex’s quarters to find her being cradled by Zach Chase. “Lieutenant the Ambassador asked me to report here immediately as you are having some problems with Shoniara.” He walked up to the bed and snapped open his medical tricorder…it beeped with a strident tone indicating fluctuating life signs. “What happened?” He asked Zach.

“She keep crying out “help me”, over and over. She was very restless. I know she has been upset over decisions that she needs to make. She is worried about her connection with Ardera. She is worried about what that connection may do to her. She is worried about Grace being a borg. Don’t know if that could happen or not, but she has mentioned it. I really hope that a meld with her brother with help solve some of this. She really has me worried.”

Ench’ra looked at him. “You are right to be worried Lieutenant. We need to transport her to the Ambassadors ship right now. Can you arrange us beaming to sickbay on the T’Planna-Hath immediately, and you are welcome to accompany her we may need you, if you agree to go into her mind to bring her home.

“Very well. Move over here by the bed. Come here Puss. Stand by me.”

“Lt Chase to transporter room 1. Lock onto my comm badge and beam 4 immediately to the sickbay on the T’Planna-Hath. Engage.”

They shimmered into being in sickbay on the Vulcan flagship. The sickbay were not much different apart from the bio monitors designed to monitor the Vulcans unique physiology. The smell of incense permeated the bay Shoniara was in. Ench’ra pointed out to Zach that there were specialised monitors for Vulcan brain function which Shoniara was now connected to. A technician was preparing her for joining by placing what looked like magnetic electrodes to the base of her neck. T’ghrek swept into sickbay saw Zach and said “this is good Lieutenant, you have been with her since the start of this process which I believe was in the cargo bay where she was injured.” He did not wait for her reply, “ah Puss is here also. Lieutenant Chase….Zach if I may call you that? Have you ever been involved in a mind meld?”

“Just once when the Captain had us try to reach out to Sigma Station. Don’t know if I provided much to the process, but I’m here to help. Tell me what you need me to do.”

“This is much different, it is very personal process. Usually with a meld they’re is an exchange of memories but this will be different. My sister is lost inside herself, it looks like this Ardera violated her mind and, with everything else she has suffered over the last few weeks her mind is collapsing. Think of it a relentless waves on a Sandy shore, unable to be stopped, eroding everything in its path. Once this is over she will no longer have any of Ardera’s memories, in fact she may have a blank space where Ardera once was. I will join you into her mind, once inside you must find Ardera and somehow enjoin her to come out of Shoniara’s mind with you, if she realises this she may try to trick you but you must not let her. Once I can see you I will take over and remove Ardera from you. I must tell you that there may be some danger to you if you also get lost inside Shoniara’s brain. Once it is ended you will have alik with her that will last until one of you dies, you will always know when one or other of you is in trouble, or in extreme happiness. I just have to ask you if you are happy to continue?”

“Whatever it takes to get Shoniara back to herself. I can think of worse things than being linked to her.”

“Thank you Lieutenant, one question, is your Captain aware of the situation. I would hate to be unaware of protocol, after all you are both officers under his command?”

“No he hasn’t as it has happened quickly. He did stop and gave me relationship advice. I will notify him and have him join us.”

“Lt Chase to Captain Laque. Sir, could you and Jason come to the sickbay on the T’Planna-Hath. We are going to perform a mind meld and thought you should be informed.”

“Thank you Lieutenant but I am not sure there will be time. Are you ready? Please lie on the biobed next to Shoniara, you may hold her hand if you wish, it is sometimes better to have a physical contact. You may feel a little drowsy and then a feeling of pushing inside your head. Once you are there you will know as you will be inside her memories. Good luck Zach.”

“Well he has been informed anyways. Yes I will hold her hand.”

Zach lies on the biobed beside Shoniara, feeling her softness along side her toughness. He takes her hand closes his eyes. And waits.

The lights seemed to dim as T’ghrek stood behind the pair Hand in hand. Puss climbed up and laid next to Shoniara and as T’ghrek placed a hand on Zachs temple and one on Shoniara’s he began to purr low and soft. The soft scent of relaxing incense enriched the air. He placed one finger on Zach’s cheek and pressed. In a soft voice he said “ my thoughts to transfer your thoughts to each other inside your minds, be one mind together, travel safely and leave quickly.” He repeated it several times and waited.

Zach heard the soft voice of T’ghrek and the presence of Puss also on the table. He could feel his mind start to drift. The next moment he was seeing images that wasn’t his own. He caught glimpses of an all engulfing fire, long periods of rehab, the struggle of a half Vulcan to learn logic and the disdain for a half Vulcan to endure. There were private images and feelings for Jacques and images of myself. Then he felt Ardera. He tried to drift closer to the dark cloud of Ardera. His mind reached out to Ardera. “Ardera if you ever loved me, come join me and leave Shoniara. That’s it, come let’s be together.” He watched as the darkness slowly moved towards him, until they actually came into contact. Now he could see the things of Ardera that Shoniara saw and scared her also. He would try to hold onto to Ardera until the Ambassador cleared everyone’s minds.”

Shoniara watched him inside her mind she wanted him to know she loved him but could not tell him until she was sure. She did not want loose him and was scared of telling him that they had to wait until she was ready, that she did not think of anyone but him despite her love for Jacques, it was all she could do to think of Grace and Etienne, she could not leave the child without a parent. She showed him a glance of her giving herself to him, making love so softy and with such passion it made her cry but, she was not ready. Ardera was so conflicted, her hold over Shoniara’s mind was so strong and she knew that letting go of her would mean letting go of Zach. ‘Will we be together Zach, will you hold me in your arms if I do not kill this mind we are in. I want to end her, I always have been jealous of her and how you felt for each other. She did not even want to acknowledge it Zach, where I would have given you everything, been the best lover you have ever known, I would have used her body to pleasure you in ways you never knew and will never know. If you cannot have her do you want me to destroy her mind? Do you not feel the hatred I have for her, all for you Zach, all for you. Tell me you love me and not her’ Dark clouds caressed with fire began to cloud the corners of his mind and he could feel the heat. Shoniara called to him in love and softness I love you Zach, when you touch me I want to explode, my heart…….Your heart…Ardera’s voice screamed at her…leave him alone ! He is MINE.I will kill your mind, turn you into the child you should be you will never LOVE ANYONE her voice screamed. Ardera was truly mad. She pulled away from Zach, if I go with you I will be nowhere, at least here I can work on her to make her be with you, but it will be me you are with. Tell me you do not love her?

Zach heard conflicting voices. He heard the soft voice of Shoniara expressing her love for him. He knew that in this moment he had to ignore her and lie to Ardera. “Ardera, she already loves Jacques more than she does me. I know that. When he returns she will go back to him. So unless you come with me, then I will be alone. Come with me and make me happy.”

Ardera pouted, “but you want this body, I know that, take it now, take me and be happy this way I know when you first saw me you wanted me, I can make her your slave.” Her voice wavered.

“Ardera, pouting is not becoming of a mighty warrior. Making someone my slave is not me. I want someone willing to be with me. Are you willing to be with me, or not? Do you love me or are you blinded by hate for someone that has done nothing to you. What do you say?

Ardera extended her hand and took his, “where will you take me?”

“Ardera, I will take you to a place where you will hate no more, okay?

“I do not know how to do anything but hate Zach I am tired of it, so tired, give me peace then. I will come with you.” Shoniara’s mind bathed them both with love and peace that neither of them had ever known. “Goodbye Ardera” she whispered. “Zach give me back my peace.? Take her to T’ghrek.

“Come Ardera. Come with me. I will teach you how to not hate any more. So come. Let’s take a walk.”
He will start walking toward where he can see a powerful white presence. “See that whiteness? That is where we will find peace, not hate. Won’t it be good to not hate? I’ll bet your a nice person when your free of hate. Now come.”

Ardera walked with him until they came to the soft whiteness of eternity. She walked with him into it until she was taken from him, something made him look round and he saw Shoniara in a golden haze looking at him, she smiled and nodded to him. Her thanks and love washed over him. Lieutenant Chase…Zach, this is T’ghrek you can come home now, breathe deeply and think of peace, you will sleep now and wake refreshed and happy. Sleep now Zach, sleep.

Zach led Ardera in to the soft whiteness of eternity. “Bye Ardera, I hope you find the peace and lose of hate that your seeking.”

Zach turned and saw Shoniara smiling at him, love and thanks pouring from her. He nodded and and sent love back towards her. He smiled back at her.

He heard T’ghrek say, “come on home, breathe deeply.” He sent thoughts of peace outward as he started to breathe deeply. Then went into a sleep.

Shoniara and Zach slept side by side holding each other’s hand, they were smiling but neither of them were dreaming. Ardera had gone for good.

As he slept he dreamed of what a life with Shoniara would be like.

“Zach, Zach, Lieutenant Chase.” Ench’ra woke him. “You have been sleeping for 4 hours. If you feel rested you can go back to the Polaris or you can stay here. Shoniara will remain asleep for another 12 hours or so to allow her mind to completely recover from the meld.” He looked at Zach. “it is the first meld you have ever undertaken, can I ask what it was like for you? You do not have to answer if you do not want to.”

Zach woke up slowly at the prodding of Ench’ra. He sat up, stretched and stood slowly. “Being the first time, I would say strange. I initially saw some images of Shoniara from her childhood. I didn’t have time to do much exploring. I saw a darkness, like a cloud in a thunderstorm. I knew that had to be Ardera so that was my assigned mission. Get her to hook on to me, then move her. Once she came to me I saw a white light, a peaceful presence and I just felt that is where I was to go. I did see Shoniara in the end, shing and smiling so I guess a successful mission. I think I had better get back and get some work done.”

Zach touch his comm badge. “Lt Chase to transporter room 1. One to beam to the group commanders office. Engage.”

Zach materialized in his office. He sat down at his desk and started going over requisition form, training sheets, inventory and the rest of his paperwork.

Shoniara lay on the biobed on the Vulcan ship. T’ghrek, who had been resting was now looking over her. Now he had to reintegrate Puss into he unconscious mind. There was a peace about sickbay on the Vulcan ship that was not present on the Polaris and he wished he had taken the Captain up on his offer to have her transported aboard much earlier. “How is the child Ench’ra?” He asked.

“Growing well sir, just over 4 months gestation now, and, it looks like she will have some enhanced Vulcan abilities.”

T’ghrek raised an eyebrow. “In what way?” He asked.

Ench’ra replied, “we are not exactly sure yet sir but it looks like she has developed some telepathic abilities. The tests we have performed show she is able to communicate with Shoniara.”

T’ghrek looked at Shoniara “what have you gotten yourself into little sister?” He asked and proceed with Puss at his side to ensure that she would have the mind of the Sehlat to enhance her meditation.

She woke a few hours later rested and calm. Ardera had gone, there was nothing of her left. She remembered Zach inside her mind leading Ardera out into the light and then he was gone. She had wanted him to spend more time inside her mind so he could see what she was unable to say. Ench’ra cleared her to return to the Polaris on reduced duties although T’ghrek had asked her to resign her commission and return to Vulcan with him. She had refused, her home was with the crew she served and the people she loved Ty, Jason, Jacques, Etienne and Zach, dear Zach. She returned to her quarters with Puss, showered and dressed herself in a fresh uniform. She turned around examining herself in the mirror, the sleek muscular body had changed over the last few weeks her cheeks looked a little hollow she was definitely paler and now, of course she had a growing bump. She put her hands down examining her pregnancy. Grace moved with her hands and, suddenly a whisper of a small voice entered Shoniara’s mind. It was indecipherable but there. Shoniara smiled. She obtained her blue doctors coat and put it on. Putting on her communicator she left for sickbay with Puss. The huge feline went with her everywhere his large head with her hand resting on it.

Pirek beamed when he saw her, “Now that is more like it Doctor,” she went into her office and replicated a dela leaf tea and sat down. She indicated Pirek to sit also. She sipped her tea. “Borvan I wanted to thank you for what you have done over the last few weeks, I know it must have been difficult for you, thrown in at the deep end. The reports I have had from the Command staff and crew members regarding you have been outstanding and, I would like you rewarded in some way.” But.…” he said, she held her hand up, “let me finish, You have helped save my life several times and worked with Dr Ench’ra to the betterment of my position. I will speak to the Captain about you.” She finished her tea and replicated another one. She smiled “Ench’ra tells me I need to keep my fluids up. Now I know I am returning on light duties only but, if you need to take some personal time?” She asked. Pirek smiled, “sickbay has been quiet lately, well apart from you!” She smiled. “Sorry about that.”

A couple of hours later she decided to seek out Zach, they needed to speak. =/\= Doctor Dex to Lieutenant Chase =/\=

=^= Chase here. Good to hear your voice. I take it the mission was a success? What can I do for you? =^=

=/\= I wondered if you would like to come for dinner, we need to discuss things, say 19.00 my quarters?=/\= Very well. 1900 it is. Chase out. =^=

Zach finished this stack of papers and called it a day. He went to his quarters where he showered and put on a clean uniform. At precisely 1900 he hit her door buzzer.

Shoniara had changed into a blue silk dress with her House of O’Kaan blue and scarlet robes. She had considered staying in her uniform but if truth be told it was tight in all the wrong places. She had gotten used to not wearing it and now with Grace she felt self conscious.

“Come in Zach, she called.”

Zach entered Shoniara’s quarters and stopped and stared when he saw her. “Absolutely stunning, and the robes aren’t that bad either.” He walked toward her, arms spread, looking for a hug. As they embraced he said, “I seem to be holding you a lot lately. Not that it’s a bad thing.”

She kissed him on the cheek and held him to her. She released him “you always seem to say the nicest thing, and you smell wonderful.” She smiled. “Would you like anything to drink?”

“A drink would be nice. Just because I’m a little shy doesn’t mean I don’t know somethings. What I said was true. Stunning. Even little Grace.”

She smiled ruefully “not so little now here, feel and listen.” She placed his hand on her bump and said “Grace kick Zach 4 times.” She laughed.

“So everyone needs to stay away from the feet. Maybe she is saying that she is going to be a kick boxer. Opponents beware. She sure do kick strong.”

She poured Zach a drink, “thank you for your compliments, I know you mean them. Sit, dinner will not be long. We are starting with a Vulcan salad and then steak, I’m sorry it’s replicated but I didn’t have time. There are so many things I do not know about you yet. I’ll pour myself a mineral water and join you on the couch.”

“Most meals are replicated in this day and age. It’s just quicker and easier. Well I’m sure that in time you will know everything about me that you want to know. So I’m pretty sure that you had specific things you wanted to talk about. We will be comfortable on the couch to talk.”

She sat close to him, all she wanted him to do was to take her into his arms but, after this talk she thought he might leave and never touch her again, talking to her only when it was needed. But, she had to tell him.

“You know I love you Zach?” She took a sip of her water. I have loved you since Sigma Station. If I were free I would blend my life to yours and give you all of myself.” She paused. I still do not know what to do about Jacques, I still love him but I do not think I will see him again, in fact somehow I know it. You have told me countless times that you are a one woman man.” She stood somehow unable to sit. Can you wait for me until Grace is born. If he has not returned by then I will happily give myself to you.” She sat again and took his hand. “Talk to me?”

Zach saw the tension in her body language as she talked. He took her hand and pulled her down to the couch. “I know that you love Jacques and that you love me. Dilemma in the making. Let me explain one woman man. When I love someone it is her and her alone. It also means that til death do us part there is no one coming back trying to take you back. I will boldly say that we have had more experiences as friends than you two had as lovers. Except for Grace. I will wait for you until Grace is born. My important question is, what will you do when he comes back a month later and wants you back. That’s my problem.”

“If I am with you what I decide will stand, I am not a whore!” She stood. “Do you want to eat?” What she really wanted was for him to take her in his arms, comfort her and tell her everything would be all right. But, that would not happen.

Zach walked close to her and wrapped his arms around her. “I can’t say it will be all right, but we will work it out. For the record I didn’t call you a whore or intimate that you were. I asked a very pertinent question. That was all. I need assurances just like you. I will wait and will be here when she is born. Now let’s eat before I wither away to nothing.”

She set the salad out along with the steak, eggs vegetables and potatoes. Suddenly she had lost her appetite. They sat down and Puss suddenly appeared at Zachs side. She picked at her food. “One question that worries me is if we are together and then Jacques returns will you be able to work under him? I have no idea how he would behave. If there is a problem we could leave, I would go in a heartbeat even though I love this ship and my job. T’ghrek has offered me a position on Vulcan, just you me and Grace. I still need to talk to Ty about interfering between us, I suppose he meant it for the best. How is the food?

“The food is excellent. What’s wrong Puss? You hungry too?” Zach scratched the ears on the big headed cat. “I would try to work with him. I don’t know if he is vengeful or not. I guess time would tell. If we had to leave and go to Vulcan, then so be it. As long as the 4 of us were together. Right Puss?”

Puss merowed and wandered round to Shoniara who gave him the rest of her meal. “It would be so complicated. Your promotion here on the ship, Captain Laque saw something in you, you could rise through the ranks to Commander, even Captain one day. If we moved to another ship, that might be a better option but I WILL not let you suffer by loving me.” She hit the table with her fist. “You know as a Vulcan I am much older than you, even with my Riasan half I could live until I am 140, how do you feel about that, so many things Zach. Next year I will have to go through my Pon Farr, do you know what that is?

She rose with her drink and sat back down on the couch. “Then in the meantime there is Etienne, he is a 10 year old boy who is loosing his father . In the interim I am going to have to move in with him, I can’t abdicate my responsibility to him and If Jacques does not come back then I will adopt him, I love him no less. That means an extra ‘ready made’ family member who may resent you, after all he is becoming a teenager.” She took another drink. “I’m sorry I have replicated something called ‘spotted dick’ for dessert. It is a baked sponge pudding with currents and raisins served with custard.” She smiled “ very stodgy but tasty.”

“Life is full of complications and decisions. You try to make the best decision based on the information you have at hand. I know, you know, and the Captain knows that this job is way above my rank and experience. But as soldiers we do as we are told and do the best we can. Yes Etienne. I think we will have less trouble with him than you think. He loves you and Puss. He likes me, I think. Hey, you should go easy on the drinks, especially considering Grace. Your older than me. Wow, I never would have known that considering I’m about the youngest person on board. Yes you may live to 140. My family is stubborn and tend to live into our 90’s, so not a whole lot of difference.

I have heard of Pon Farr. Can’t say that I know everything about it, but it happens every so often? So, why would I suffer by loving you except for a possible jealous ex-boyfriend. Well of course some Vulcans might look down on me, but hey, I would have an ambassador for a brother in law. What could go wrong?

Spotted Dick? Who said that Vulcans have no sense of humor.”

She laughed, “one of the things I love about you is that you have the power to make this Vulcan laugh. As for the dessert I am not sure why you are laughing, I believe it is from a region called England on Earth. Because Vulcans do not show emotion does not mean they do not have it. Emotions are suppressed especially sexual ones. Every seven years or so these sexual repression’s come to the surface, unfortunately it makes us more aggressive sexually, so our partners have to put up with that.” She stood and served the pudding handing it to Zach. “Enjoy” she said.

“Well I guess it’s an achievement to make an emotionless Vulcan laugh. As for the Pon Farr, I guess sacrifices must be made.”

Zach digs into the pudding with gusto. “Not bad considering the name.”

“Okay, what do you mean ‘considering the name?” She was genuinely puzzled. The door chime to her quarters sounded. “Come in” she said standing.
Marina Kerrigan entered. “Hi Dex I hope you….oh sorry I did not know you had company.” Dex started towards her, “why would you, please come in Marina, Marina this is Lieutenant Zach Chase I do not know If you have met?”

“Hello Major. It’s good to see you again. Yes we have met, but informally and quickly in passing.”

“Would you like a drink Marina?” Marina looked discomforted. “No, no thank you I cant stay, I just wanted to talk about Etienne.”

Shoniara looked concerned. “Is everything alright?”

Marina sighed…”well yes, and no. I am finding it difficult looking after him with my shifts, training and..”

Shonira interrupted her, “yes I am so sorry, now that I am back I was going to speak to you “

Marina carried on, “well you see he is becoming quite a handful , he never stops going on about you, when are you going to see him , when are you going to move in. He’s not sleeping, his schoolwork is slipping.Shoniara I know he is not your responsibility but then neither is he mine.” Shoniara hugged her as she seemed near to tears.

“You have that wrong Marina, Etienne IS my responsibility but with my injury and recovery things have just taken longer. I had a problem with my mind, I’m not sure what or why.” She looked at Zach. “But I was going to contact you to let you know I will be moving in with him tomorrow if you can hang on until then?”

Marina seemed stumped for words. “Oh…are you sure?”

“Well Marina is there an alternative?” She said softly. “How do we know Jacques is ever coming home, we both know how dangerous his job is and I think by now he would at least have gotten a message to us. So, if you can occasionally help out that is my decision. Are we clear?”

Marina nodded, “yes, thank you, I have been do worried…l’ll get back to him now with the news.” She looked at Zach, “nice to meet you again Lieutenant.” And left.

“Well” she said as she sat down next to Him. “What do you think about that?”

“Well a few things. He will calm down once your with him. There will have to be a talk with him about us and how he feels about that. Would he be accepting of that? There might be a problem to consider. These are your quarters? Are they larger enough for you and him? Those are the Colonels quarters. At some point in time he will be asked to leave those quarters for your quarters. Will he accept that, which would mean that his dad isn’t coming home, and a new dad in the picture. I think things will improve until he has to leave those quarters.

On a slightly different topic. How do certain Vulcans feel about marriage? Or more specifically, marriage to me? That’s something else to consider.”

“Marriage would be the only way To go for ‘certain Vulcans’ I fervently believe in marriage forever, no jumping out if things get rough, stay together, work through things, enjoy the differences. My parents had a very happy marriage and I miss my brother so much, I still wonder if he is really dead or just lost somewhere .” She sighed. “These quarters are not big enough for me, Etienne Puss and Duke so I was planning on just moving in to Jacques quarters for the interim. It would be unfair to take Etienne away from somewhere that is familiar. Does that bother you?”

“Ok the marriage question is settled. I would propose that we have the ceremony the day prior to your delivery date. That way Grace comes into the world with a dad. Of course the date will continually change, but we just need a simple little wedding. Will the Ambassador be ok with this?

As to the Etienne situation. I would have an honest talk with him. Explain the why me and not his dad. Let him decide if he wants in our family or not, then we will have to figure out how to adopt him. After Grace is born I would suggest a move out of the Colonels quarters to act as a closure of sorts and a new beginning.”

“Zach I have another question. I cannot remember certain things, what happened to my mind, I have blank spaces where I am Sure I have seen someone, done things that I do not know about. T’ghrek and Ench’ra tell me to meditate but I am wondering if it will affect my work, I am truly worried.”

“I don’t know what or if I should say anything. It might go against the ambassadors wishes or best intentions. I will say this much. What you did do, wasn’t t your doing. You were under control of Ardera. Yes you did try to damage the ship, but you were acting so out of character that the crew got suspicious and corrected what you tried to do. Just promise me that you won’t go walking around the ship in your pajamas anymore. Ok?”

She took his hand, “now you really are scaring me, Zach who is Ardera?” If I do not know what is in my mind that should be there how do I know if any decision I make is right, what does that do to us, and pyjamas? Shoniara looked scared “how can I do my job correctly if I am second guessing my thoughts all the time?

Zach was shocked. She didn’t know Ardera? They must have wiped part of her memory. “I honestly don’t know why you don’t. All of this mind melding is new to me. To get the answers your looking for you should talk with your brother and the dr. They said meditate. Maybe that is what’s needed. I don’t know. So you should talk to them.”

“I AM SICK OF TALKING” she shouted, “ I just want my life back again, to know who I am.” She jumped up. “Did not even want a child at this time in my life, now I have two, when I don’t even know who I am!……I want to be alone Zach. Please. ” Her face was blank as she sat down and looked into space. “I have to go back.”

Zach stood and looked at her sadly. He slowly nodded. “As you wish. Bye Puss.”

Zach turned and walked out of Shoniara’s quarters, maybe her life. He didn’t know. He went to one of his favorite spots on the ship. The observation deck. He just and looked out at the stars. His mind blank and his body numb.

“Lt Chase to T’ghrek. Sir I don’t know why you wiped her memory, or what you did to her during the meld, but you and the good doctor had better get to her quarters and fix what it is you did. Without her memory she is doubting everything she does. Chase out”

Now that he had worked up a fury he headed to the gym to work out some of those feelings.

Shoniara sat for a while, she was not sure of anything, who was she? She seemed to recall Sigma Station and cargo bay 6. She knew she had to check for wounded. Making up her mind she fed Puss and told him to stay, dressed in her uniform checked a phaser out of the armoury and headed out. Arriving at transporter room 2 she asked the technician to beam her directly to cargo bay 6 on Sigma Station. He wanted to ask her why but as a Commander he figured she knew what she was doing. The blue light dissipated and she stood in the cargo bay. There were two members of a Ciatian crew disloading supplies as she appeared that were extremely surprised to see her. “GET OUT” she shouted, GET BACK TO YOUR STATIONS” They ran. She could hear the bombardment from the Breen ships and smell the explosions all around her. Here In the cargo bay it was quieter. She padded around the crates, “Hello?” She whispered. No one replied. She took out her medical tricorder and scanned for life signs. There were none. She slid down the side of crate and stared into space. She felt sure this was where she was supposed to be to regain her memories. She took out her phaser and thumbed through the settings idly. Vulcans did not on the whole commit suicide, but then she was only half Vulcan. Grace kicked up a storm inside her and it felt like a wound….she remembered a wound, how did she get it, the pain split her in two and for a moment there was clarity. ‘There was someone up there, in the darkness on top of the crates. “Help” she called “I am a doctor are you wounded?” There was no reply. ‘The could be injured and unable to call out for help, she looked to press her combadge and realised it was not there. “I’m coming” she called and began to free climb the tower of crates.

“Security to Lt Chase. Sir cargo bay 6 reports that Dr Dex entered the bay. She then ordered everyone out at phaser point. Orders?”

“Very well. Seal the exits. No one in. Contact Ambassador T’ghrek and his doctor. Bring them up to speed. Tell them we fix the problem now. Then beam them to the cargo bay. Chase out.”

Zach arrived at the cargo bay and entered quietly. He search until he found her sitting by a pile of crates. He stepped in to the open slowly.

“Hey Shoniara what are you doing down here? Why do you have your phaser out? Are Grace and you ok? I got worried when I went to check up on you and you were gone. You mean a lot to me you know.”

She looked up surprised. “I know you” she said softly, “you are Lieutenant Chase, you were here….I thought there was someone wounded in here I tried to climb but couldn’t get there. I remember them, it was a woman, someone you love.”

T’ghrek and Ench’ra appeared in the red glow of the T’Planna-Hath’s transporter. She turned the phaser on them, “intruders” and fired at Enc’ra. The shot hit him squarely in the gut and he fell stunned. T’ghrek dived out of the way.

Zach moves slowly in front of Shoniara, shielding everyone else. To fire on them, she has to shoot him first.

Zach knelt down to her level and looked her directly in her eyes, holding the contact. “Shoniara, I have only loved one person on this ship and that is you. You and Grace. Please put the phaser down so we can talk. Ok?”

“Ambassador, are you ok? Good. Now you can see that whatever you did during the meld has done to her. You will fix this here and now. If we have to wait for the dr to revive we will, but this ends now.”

Zach continued holding eye contact as he talked. “Shoniara, do you know who these to men are? The one you shot is a Vulcan doctor and the one behind me is your brother T’ghrek. They are here to help you find your missing memory pieces. Maybe you should tell T’ghrek that we are talking marriage and how excited you are. Will you give me the phaser? I promise no harm will come to you.”

Zach slowly holds out his hand and slowly reaches for the phaser. He places his hand on top of hers gently. “Please give it to me Shoniara.”

She felt his hand on top of hers. “I know you.” She said looking distantly into his face. Her finger began to depress the trigger as she slowly turned the phaser on herself. “I can’t live without my memories.” and pulled the trigger. “No” shouted T’ghrek.

Zach felt her finger tighten to squeeze the trigger so he was able to redirect the shot so it only grazed her shoulder. Zach violently grabbed the phaser from her hand.
“If I didn’t love you so much…..”
Zach put his hand on her stomach. “Grace, this is daddy. I know you can hear me. If your ok give one good kick.” Zach smiled as he received a kick in reply. Tears streaming down his face he looked Shoniara in the eyes. “Don’t you ever ever try something like that again. We have a lifetime of new memories to make.”
“Ambassador, come over here and do what you need to do. Then you can tell me later what you did in the first place, and how you fixed it. And that my future wife will be herself again.”

As the ambassador came to her side, Zach walked to the doctor, woke him up, then departed the cargo bay as quickly as he could.”

Shoniara was once again on the T’Planna-Hath, not in sickbay but in quarters just opposite. She had been searched to make sure she had no more weapons on her and the door was guarded with instructions not to let her out. T’ghrek and Ench’ra were in deep conversation about how to help Shoniara. The removal of the memories of Ardera had caused her to loose vital memories that she needed to be herself. They debated whether to reintroduce Ardera’s memories but then realised that it would just retrograde the whole situation. T’ghrek wanted to take her back to Vulcan but Ench’ra felt sure that with guided meditation and rest her memories would reset themselves. Puss was brought over from the Polaris and Captain Lacque informed that his CMO would be staying on the Vulcan flagship. She knew Puss which was a good thing but had now stopped eating. She did not sleep and had to be sedated to do so. The rest of the time she sat looking at the wall and talking to Grace. T’ghrek meditated with her 3 times daily. He and Ench’ra had developed a plan, some of the memories she had lost would be returned but needed Zach’s input.

=/\= T’ghrek to Lieutenant Chase please respond =/\=

=^= Chase here. Go ahead ambassador. =^=

=/\= My sister is not improving on her own so I have decided to try to put back some of Ardera’s memories, rather like a puzzle and we need your help. You spent most of that time near or with her and I would like to know which memories you think would help her and which would not, I note that you have not been to see her and am concerned as to why?”

“Simple answer is I’m trying to allow the people that broke her, time to fix her. She needs to remember Ardera as much as it pains me to say it. It you could put all those memories back in without Ardera DNA that is what I would do. If anything concerning Ardera memory wise would put her DNA back in, then I would leave all memories of Ardera out. She doubts herself because she doesn’t know what she might do or what she is missing.

I’ll come see her tomorrow.”

During the following night the T’al-T’lath Ritual was undertaken to reinsert the basic memories of Ardera taken from Shoniara. She now knew what Ardera had done whilst aboard the Polaris and that she hosted some of her memories for short periods. It was not perfect by any means but she was herself again. The memory of stunning DrEnch’ra and the second wiser to the cargo bay was taken from her. They moved her to better quarters but still had security outside her door. She had showered and had had a new uniform replicated for her. She refused breakfast so was given a hypo of nutrients for Grace who was continuing to grow. She waited for Zach to come to see her.

Zach remembered the first time they were together. She was confined to bed so he fed her. So we will do it again. Might just trigger something. So steak, eggs, bacon, toast and orange juice.

“Lt Chase to transporter room 1. I need to be beamed to the corridor outside Dr Dex’s quarters on the Vulcan ship. Energize.”

Zach materialized outside the door. He straightened his uniform. He buzzed her door. “Room service. Open up please.”

“Come in” she called. The door opened and there he was Zach. She smiled and remembered that she loved him. “I missed you,” she said her eyes dark in her white skin.

“Who am I? What am I to you? This is a repeat of the first meal I served you in sickbay. Now eat or I don’t come back.

For the record I’ve missed you more than you will ever know. Your well being is all that matters.”

“I remember who I am again. Ardera seems like dream I had but I know she was real. In a way she brought us together so she is a part of me that I will remember. Before I eat, and I will eat some eggs and toast and the juice I need you to kiss me before I get all eggy and embarrassed.”

“It’s good to have you back.” He walks up to her takes her face in his hands then gently kisses her lips. Then he wraps his arms around her tightly for a longer more passionate kiss.

Backing off he says, “one last question. What will we be in a few months?”

“We will be parents of who seems to be a very active precocious baby if Jacques has returned I don’t know if he will fight for Grace, If Jacques has not returned we will also have a teenage boy and making our plans for our life together. We need to take time for just us together. It has to work.”

“There. Now that wasn’t so hard to remember now was it. Have you discussed this with your brother and received his blessing? You should at least inform him if you haven’t. Now sit down and eat or else I give it to this poor starving cat.”

She laughed, she felt for the first time in a long while. She put the eggs on the buttered toast and savoured the taste, she spoke with her mouth full. “No, to be honest he will be angry. He will say it is not honourable, the same as Captain Lacque I think. “ butter dripped down her chin and she wiped it away ruefully. “I need to move in with Etienne first, that is what worries me now. I do not want him to see us in a romantic way yet it would be too much for him. I can’t help but still love his father and him but I think Etienne would do better living with us. This is not a life for a young boy and if indeed his father is gone he will need you so we must go carefully.” She drank her juice. “Do you agree my love?”

“I agree. The other romantic things have to wait awhile anyways. Still think that an honest talk with Etienne is needed. The why’s and maybes and who. Give him a chance to digest before anything official takes place.”

“If I think there is a chance I will approach it, but not yet. I think it wise if you spend some time with him. Take him flying….she touched her bump, I’m afraid my flying will have to wait now. Borvan wants me to take light duties until Grace is born. You know the Captain may make it impossible for us to stay on the Polaris. Have you thought want you would like to do?” She could not help but caress his face, her fingers lingering on his lips. I can’t help but want you Zach, all of you, feel your body together with mine. I am a very…..energetic lover.” She laughed “well maybe not at the moment. Do you want me in that way?”

“We will find things to do with him. My flying time has been very limited lately. If we don’t stay on the Polaris then where do we go, the Vulcan ship? I’m sure I could find a suitable job where ever we may end up. As long as we are together.” Zach nips at her fingers. “Yes I want to feel your body together with mine, but that has to wait for now. We will see where the future takes us.”

“I do not want this in any way detrimental to your career in Starfleet, they need good doctors anywhere and I will still have my Commander status. They did offer me a posting on Earth but I wanted the Polaris, if we could stay ….” She let that thought drift. “Thank you for breakfast I’m tired now and will sleep for a while. I love you.”

“My career will survive. If it isn’t Starfleet, then it will be planet side. Good doctors are always needed. We will be fine. I love you.” He moves forward and gives her a light kiss.

He leaves and returns to his quarters for his own nap.

Packing her meditation lamp, Puss food and her personal belongings she looked around her quarters. So much had happed here, meeting Jacques, tenderness and love and pain and argument. Then Zach, funny, gentle caring and loving. What would happen from now on would determine her life and the nature of her family. She walked out with Puss and arrived at Jacques quarters she pressed the chime and heard a young voice welcoming her. The door opened and Etienne was already running into her arms, Duke was barking, Puss was growling and the situation threatened to break into a standoff between the large dog and Sehlat. “Puss T’a-Lath! She exclaimed. The Sehlat stood proud and walked over to Duke’s bed and lay in it. Dukes head moved from side to side as though he could not believe what was happening. “Help me with my things Etienne?” He grabbed her possessions ran into the bedroom and threw them on the bed. She sat down tired already.
“You look tired,” Etienne said and came and sat beside her. “I will look after you from now on until dad gets home, I am the man here now.”

She immediately felt conflicted. “You know your father is on a very dangerous mission and he has been gone a long time now?”

“Yes I know Marina has been talking about it but I know dad is very brave and clever he will come home.”

She sighed. “Do you have homework darling?” She asked. “Yes, I was just starting it when you arrived.

” Well carry on with that and I will unpack my things and make dinner okay?” He laughed and smiled his looks telling her he was Overjoyed have her there. “Yes and I will help you with dinner “ he skipped off to his room and she decided she would check his homework.
She walked into the bedroom and her heart swelled. This was the bed that They had first made love, that they had shared quiet moments together and promised to love each other forever. She put her possessions on the bathroom and holo photos of T’ghrek, her parents and Telvan her brother. She had no pictures of Jacques or Zach and that seemed to be proper in her mind. She had been so sure she wanted a life with Zach and now in this place filled with memories she was no longer so. Maybe if Zach visited them here things would feel different. She darkened the room and meditated for a short while. She must have fallen asleep as when she woke Etienne was sitting beside the bed watching her looking worried. She sat up on her elbows.

“What is wrong Etienne?” She asked.

“You were calling out in your sleep.”

She went cold, ‘Surak no!’ “What was I saying?”

“You were calling out for someone asking for help but I couldn’t make it out.” She ruffled his hair, he tutted and slicked it back.

“Etienne we have to have a couple of ground rules. If the door to this bedroom is closed you must never come in knock first okay?” He nodded and smiled slightly slyly.

“I know dad put that door on so you could have private time.”

“She nodded, yes that is right. Also I will be asking Lieutenant Chase to visit us from time to time. He is a good friend of mine and likes you very much okay?”

“And I like him, maybe he will help me walk Duke on the holodeck?”

Shoniara raised an eyebrow “ I am sure he will, and Puss can go with you. Now what have you been doing for homework?” She got up and re rendered the living area and almost cried. Etienne had laid the table out himself and had replicated some flowers and put them in a vase on the table top. “This is beautiful Etienne, thank you. He grabbed her and pulled himself to him. “I love you and want you to be well for when dad comes home.” She tried to redirect him.

“You know young man doing this for me will not stop me from asking about your homework. What have you been doing today.

“Learning about Articles of Federation.”

“That sounds very interesting now show me before dinner.” He ran into his room and reappeared with a padd which he gave to her as she began to read.
After dinner he played with Puss and Duke and then fed them. “Now wash your face, clean your teeth and get into your pyjamas. What does your dad do when you are going to bed?”

“Nothing really I am too old for stories now, he just makes sure I am alright and we sometimes talk.” His eyes filled with tears “I miss my dad so much” he said. She held her arms open and he cuddled her and cried.

After Etienne had gone to bed she changed into more comfortable clothes, checked with Borvan that sickbay was running smoothly and sat back with a padd full of reports to catch up on with a dela leaf tea. It was quiet, Duke was sleeping and Puss was curled up on top of him obviously finding the big dog a comfy billet. She swung her legs up onto the couch and worked. After an hour or so she stopped and realised she had not yet spoken to the Captain about non interference in her relationships and also regarding the mission.Grace was performing somersaults as usual and she felt bruised.’Grace darling I wish you would just stop for a minute’ she thought. Surprisingly she did, absolutely still. Shoniara opened her mind and whispered to Grace, ‘are you happy little one?’ The thought was returned as a whisper in her mind yes mama I am happy I want to be born.’ ‘All in good time little one’Shoniara whispered back and put her hands around Grace. She had an immense feeling of well-being and happiness. She checked again on Etienne and took herself to bed. “Computer turn out the lights” she said as the room was plunged into darkness. The bed felt empty and she could swear it smelt of Jacques. She lay for a while looking up at the ceiling and gradually drifted off to sleep.

She woke sometime during the night to find Jacques sitting on the bed watching her his hand caressing her shoulder. “I knew you would be here waiting for me Shoniara.” She swallowed not knowing what to do. “Whe..when did you.get back?” She stumbled her breath catching. She blinked and he had gone. The darkness remained.

Not having slept she got up early showered dressed and had Etienne’s cereal ready for him. She made sure he had washed dressed and his school bag was ready. Just before he left he turned and looked at her “Dad came to see me in the night, he said he was going to see you, did he.” She swallowed “sounds like you had a good dream Etienne, no I did not dream at all last night now off.” She swatted him gently on the behind and he turned and rushed back holding her round her legs. “I love you.” He said. “And I love you too now go.” He left for school. She took Duke and Puss to the holodeck for a long walk and returned just in time to remember the Captain And their overdue talk.

Zach finished another shift of sifting papers. No wonder commanders were always in a bad mood. He will try to not let it get to him. Up ahead, heading in his direction came a large cat and a huge dog pulling a boy.

“Hey Etienne. Who is walking who? It appears that you could use some help? Want me to take Puss?”

“Hey Lt Chase. Yes, Duke thinks he is the boss. It takes both my hands to hold him. Here, you take Puss.”

“Etienne, call me Zach. Hey Puss. You been behaving today? You what? Been sleeping on the dog? And he lets you? Well you probably keep him warm. So anything exciting happen in school today?”

“No Zach. Nothing exciting happens in school.”

“Ok, what did you learn today?”


“Then we need to find you a better teacher so you learn something. You should strive to learn something new every day. Even if it is a little something.”

“Maybe. Did Shoniara tell you I saw my dad last night? She said I must have been dreaming. It was so real. Just like he was right there.”

“Well it was at least a good dream, right? Well I think they are starting to tire. We should get you home.”

The 4 of them made their way back to Jacques quarters. They entered and got the animal’s settled.

“Time for homework little man.”

“Ok Zach.”

Zach gives him a hug then shoo shoo him away.

Zach goes to find Shoniara. He gives her a hug and kiss. “Did he tell you about his dream?”

“Yes, he told me this morning, asked me if I had had the same dream, thanks for helping him with the walks, Duke is too big for him but he is a good protector.” She sat on the couch and took her boots off. “You know women used to get swollen feet when they were pregnant all this time and guess what…they still do. Borvan says I might have to finish working sooner than I had wanted until Grace is born. The faster she grows the harder it is for my body to keep up with her.” She put her feet up. Zach if you are staying would you mind replicating dinner. We are starting on another round of crew physicals and it’s hard work being on your feet all day. Borvan has taken some of the strain but he’s taken enough strain lately. I was going to offer to do,some nights for him but Ench’ra has forbidden it and to be honest what would I do with Etienne?” She moaned as she stretched her toes. “This mother thing does not set well with a Chief Medical officers brief. At least I will be able to take Grace to work with me apart from away missions of course…..Oh my.” She reached for small hypo dialled it and depressed it into her neck. “Headaches as well.

Mean while USS Polaris Bridge
Captain Laque and Commander Teron were sitting the Captain's Ready room discussing what to do with the missing Marine Officer.

"I want to mount a rescue mission for our dear Colonel." Captain Laque said
"I think that would be a great idea. I am sure that Shoniara would be pleased that her lover was to return home to her. Do you want to call her, or should I?" Commander Teron asked

"Actually, I want to to call two parties. I need our most skilled fighter on this as well. So I think Lt. Chase, fits that bill." Captain Laque said

So he pressed his commbage. =/\= Commnder Dex and Lt. Chase, please report to my ready room. I have some news that you will to your liking. Laque out.=/\=

Dex raised her eyebrow at Zach and pressed her comm =/\= Dex and Chase to Captain Laque, on our way =/\= they made sure Etienne would be alright and hand in hand went up to,the bridge disengaging hands just before they entered the ready room.

"Good, thank you both for coming so quickly." Ty said

Ty gets up and walks over to Dr. Dex and kneels down. "I did want to say that I am sorry that I interfered with Zach and you, but it was for Graces' sake. Everything that I do, I have the best interest of the crew and what is between you two is between you two, but I want to remind you that I am empath and the emotions that I got just filled the entire ship. So Dr. Dex, Lt. Chase, please forgive me."

“Ty for my part I forgive you, the subject of Jacques is still very dear to me although I feel he is dead already. I had a visit from him last night so did Etienne almost as if he were saying goodbye.” Dex’s eyes filled with tears.

Ty placed a hand on Dr. Dexs' stomach. "Oh my gosh, Grace is going to be in this world any day now. It's going to be a great day when she is born. She is going to beautiful like her mother, and strong just like her father." Ty got back up, that is what I wanted to talk to both you about. First of all LT. Chase, you have shown outstanding leadership throughout this whole ordeal, so I am writing to StarFleet, to make your acting LTJG for real. Congratulations, my young friend. Next, I need your help Zach, I need those skills of yours. This will be hush hush. We will be going on our own "Black Ops" mission, to bring the good Colonel and his crew home. Oh, I almost forgot Shonaira, the next time you see Dr. Borvan, please have him report here. I was going to call him too, but I wanted to talk to you too first. I did get your report Shoniara and I think the recommendations that you have made are spot on. I want them done as soon as you are able. If need be, please borrow from the Science department, to get the things done that you need. As for you Mr Chase, no more of this LT. stuff, you are Mr. Chase from now one. Get used to it, because you will be hearing it a lot. Oh and one last thing. Commander Teron. Jason, you have been my right hand man and it was not even your place. You have stepped in like a Number 1 should be, but your official job has not started yet. How would you like to be my XO, from now until we go home?"

"Ty. I mean.... Captain Laque, really? You can't be serious. I mean you are serious. Me? Really XO of Star Fleets newest and fastest flagship? Not only do I get to share your heart with you, but also the Bridge This is all to much I think I am going to pass out." Jason said

Jason stood up too fast and fainted right before everyone’s eyes.

"Dr. Dex, if you could be so kind as to wake Jason?" Captain Laque asked

Shoniara bent down, “can you help me get him up onto the couch Zach, thank you. She elevated Jason’s legs. “Jason, can you hear me it’s Shoniara. She tapped his cheeks lightly and waited for him to come round.

Zach went over to help Shoniara with the passed out Jason.

"Thank you Dr. Dex. Now on to new business. According the intelligence, that Star Fleet has on the Pirexian ships, which isn't much, actual it's no intelligence at all, so we are going to do this blind. Mr. Chase, you are going to lead the assault, on the lead vessel, while they are distracted, I will go undercover as a Pirexian soldier to infiltrate their ranks, retrieve the good Colonel and bring him home. That is where you come in Dr. Dex. I need you to cosmetically change my appearance, so I look like a Pirexian male. Can you do that? Why am I questioning, of course you can. I mean you you have Ardea's memories correct? Tyzon asked

“Captain, I only have partial memories from Ardera now but yes I can make you look like a Pirexan male but I have worries about the other beings in the time ship. They have much superior weaponry and can travel through time, you might be lost” she looked at Zach “and I would hate to loose you.”

Sir, I have to agree. Their goal was to capture or destroy this ship. We stopped that. To risk the finest ship in the fleet might be a bit rash against unknown odds.

"What am I going to do while you are gone?" Jason asked, still bewildered at the good news.

"You are going to replaced Leo Pard. He now will be the second offer and you will be in command while I am away. Do not worry Jas... I am coming home as well." Captain Laque said.

"When will all this take place?" Jason asked

"Tomorrow at 0800hrs, to be exact. I want to hit them before they have a chance to order a counter strike. Now this won’t be easy, but we have gotten out of tighter scrapes then this." Captain Laque said.

"Dr. Dex, I will be joining you in Sickbay at 05:30 to get the cosmetics completed. I that all right with you?" Ty asked

“Yes sir I will be ready.”

"Mr. Chase, please make sure that you have a full complement of ships. IF anyone has any sort of flying training, they are yours. I want to hit them hard and fast. So lets get to work folks, we have lots of plans. They took from us our Colonel and we took from them their best spy, mine the Colonel is coming home, and I think that Pirexians' are not going to like it, but we will get him back."

End of Episode 3 and final tags.


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