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The Three of Us

Posted on Sat Nov 27th, 2021 @ 9:29pm by 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 4] A Hunting We Will Go
Location: USS Polaris

Shoniara awoke from her surgery looking for Zach holding Grace. She tried to sit up when she could not see them. Ench’ra pushed her back down. “Shoniara everything is alright. Grace and the Lieutenant are fine. There was a ……problem with one of the nurses.” Shoniara sat up despite his protestations. “Where is my daughter? I want to see her NOW Ench’ra!”

“Shoniara she is fine,” Borvan said, “You have a beautiful daughter. I am just keeping her for a moment to check her over.” He did not dare to tell her he was going to fix a broken arm sustained in the fall from the nurses arms and the slight lacerations to her neck caused by the knife.

“Where is Zach?” She demanded.

Borvan returned to Grace
who looked at him as if she knew who he was. “Now little one let’s fix you…..up….” He gasped and looked again. The lacerations made by the knife were gone, he checked her neck again and she chuckled. He checked her right arm but of the fracture there was no sign that too had healed itself. He found himself scratching his head and laughed. He ran a quick scan which confirmed what he had eventually thought. Grace’s nanobots had healed her.

Ench’ra called over to him, “please tell me she is unhurt Borvan? Do not worry Shoniara is asleep, I had to sedate her or she would have been up, jumping off the biobed and neither of our lives would have mattered..”

“Graces nanobots healed her!” Borvan said still quite not believing it. He picked Grace up and took her over to where her mother lay sleeping. She stretched out both her arms towards her wanting contact. They laid her on Shoniara’s chest and covered them up as Grace searched for he mothers breast and began to nurse. The only sound that could be heard was the contented sound of Grace enjoying her first meal. Borvan put his arm around Ench’ra despite the fact that Vulcans do not like to be touched. Ench’ra actually smiled at him.

Sickbay was a strange sight a sleeping mother, a nursing child, two doctors and six Vulcan ambassadorial guards a couple of meters from the bio bed facing outwards.

Back in his quarters Zach had finally calmed down. He gave Puss a huge hug and the big cat didn’t pull away. Zach stood. “Thank you Puss. Shall we go see our new family member. The big cat stood and walked to the door and waited. The pair gaily walked the corridor down to sickbay. He walked in to see the doctors with arms around each other, and then he saw Grace nursing. He broke into a relieved smile. Meanwhile Puss had walked to the table, sniffing. He gently nuzzled Grace.

Zach walked to the Ambassadorial Guards. “Gentlemen, I want to thank you for your assistance. Maybe someday I can return the favor.”

Zach walked the table and rubbed Grace on the back and kissed her head. He then went to a table and sat down.

The Ambassadorial guards left sickbay leaving two on guard outside. Grace hearing her fathers voice stopped suckling. She raised her arms and spoke one word in a very soft voice..”Daddy”

Pirek and Ench’ra could not believe their ears, this was a newborn baby, and she spoke.

“You here that guys? Not mommy, but daddy,” Zach said proudly.

Zach returned to the table and leaned down close to Grace. “Who is your favorite, mommy or daddy?”
Zach gave a little sideways glance and asked, “will you share?”

Grace looked at him and nodded through a lock of soft black hair and green eyes the colour of her mother’s. She raised her arms for him to pick her up.

Zach reached down and picked his little girl up. He hugged her tight, gave her a kiss on the forehead and her cheeks. “ I love you little Grace.”

Borvan looked at him. “Lieutenant we have to tell you that Grace sustained a broken arm when she fell. When I cam to mend it and take care of the lacerations to her neck they were already healed. She has the ability to heal herself to what extent we do not, and hope we never have to find out. She has the development of an 18 month old and, of course you have heard her speak..she is truly remarkable.”

Zach had to laugh. “Doctor, did you expect anything less? As fast as she developed? As feisty as she was wanting to get out? The 2 of you said that she would be special, have abilities. Well talking in the first few minutes would qualify as special.”

In a fake whisper he asked, “now how do I turn that off?”

Ench’ra then spoke. “Shoniara lost a lot of blood and we had to sedate her. I want to keep here here unconscious in sickbay overnight. If you are able to take Grace then I will provide you with milk for her feeds. If you want to stay here overnight we have a small room or we can provide a cot for you. It is up to you?”

“I will ask you this. If she were to wake up tonight and neither of us was here, would you want to face her? Right, I didn’t think so. I think we will just stay here and Grace can drink from the tap.”

‘T’ghrek entered sickbay. “Zach, I have spoken at length to the nurse and it seems she has an accomplice on board. She will not tell me who it is however. She is so full of hate for Grace and Shoniara. She is safely in the brig however and I have left guards there. She will have to wait for Captain Lacque to return do determine her fate. However I am worried that, if this accomplice is as full of hate as she is then their lives are still in danger.” He looked at Grace,
“That aside Zach can I hold my niece?”

“Here you can hold her. She actually called me dad already. If I have a say in the matter, since the Captain is gone on a mission and may or may not return, and with her being your sister I would think that you would have jurisdiction in this matter. I doubt that the acting commander would object. What do you think? Is there a way to get her to give up the information? For me if it is effective I don’t care about the methods.”

“Grace, this is your uncle.”

T’ghrek did not have much experience with children, being unmarried himself but Grace seemed to know what to do as she climbed into his arms. She put her cheek to his face and traced the sweep of his eyebrows with her finger and for a minute they were silent together…then T’ghrek pulled away..”I do believe my niece has the ability to read minds, or at least she will be able to In just a few years. Something it takes full Vulcans a lifetime to learn. She has her mother’s empathy, and her beauty.” He held her and they walked over to where Shoniara lay. “Doctor Ench’ra how long must she remain like this?…she should be with Zach and her daughter.”

Ench’ra looked at Borvan. “Ambassador during the altercation when I had to stop, she lost a lot of blood, with her weakened condition due to her pregnancy I recommend that she stay asleep at least overnight.”

T’ghrek nodded and walked back to Zach. “Strange and illogical as it is I find myself not wanting to give her back to you.” He handed her back, she seemed to have gone to sleep and there was a patch of dribble on T’ghrek’s gorgeous robes which he had not noticed. “As to your wish Zach, yes there is a way by mind meld but I cannot perform it without her permission, to Vulcans assaulting another’s mind without permission is a violation akin to rape. I am afraid as much as I too wish to know who the accomplice is I cannot. All I can do is offer my personal guard or we could transfer you all to my ship where you would be safer.”

Zach took his little girl back and cradled her gently. He stroked her cheek as she slept.

Zach looked the Ambassador in the eye. “I don’t understand you Vulcans yet. Maybe I never will. You will casually accept that she was going to, and would have killed your sister and niece, but mind rape is to unbearable to think about. I would think that murder would be a higher priority. Being on your ship won’t find the accomplice. If you prefer not to help, then maybe you should pull your guards and go back to your ship.”

Zach was barely containing his temper. He knew that he owed the Ambassador a great deal, but couldn’t figure out why he held back.

“It is not a pretence to help or not to help and I do not do anything casually. Being aboard my ship would be the logical way you would be safe at least tonight. I will gladly stand guard here all night by your side but as a Vulcan I will not invade someone’s mind against their will and if you were to ask my sister she would say the same.” He sighed, “if you are to marry her you will have no choice but to learn our ways or else fail to understand her.”

Zach stared intently at T’ghrek. “Just as the ways of my God seem strange at times, so Vulcan ways seem strange at times. There are things that I want her to teach me, things for me to learn. That I want to learn.
It might be considered foolish but I think I will decline both offers. If we go to your ship we won’t find the accomplice. Also with less Vulcans visible, might be more willing to take their shot. I will have some security measures in place.”

“Lt Chase to Ensign Garvey. Could you be ready to establish force fields around sickbay if you here me say, execute. The nurse has an accomplice. We will draw that person out. Acknowledge? Thanks. Chase out”

=/\= Ensign Garvey here sir, I do have some information for you, we found some Pirexan dna on the clothes that the nurse is wearing. where exactly in sickbay do you wish to have the force field, surely they may need sickbay during the night? =/\=

Grace woke up a s struggled in Zach’s arms “mummy” she said.

“Very well” said T’ghrek, “Dr Enchra you will stay here with my sister, see she comes to no harm.”

Ench’ra and Pirek were standing either side of Shoniara talking in low voices. “Is there a problem gentlemen?” T’ghrek asked.

Ench’ra nodded and looked serious, “Lieutenant Chase I am sorry to tell you that Shoniara is very ill.”

Zach walks to the table and placed Grace on Shoniara to feed. “Ok doctors. Tell me what’s wrong, and what your going to do to fix it.” Zach stood with arms crossed, waiting for an answer.

“You may not know that Vulcans do not sweat, their temperature is regulated by their constant low blood pressure. As she is only half Vulcan her blood pressure has been very high during her pregnancy. The nanobots that were introduced into Shoniara to help heal her after the incident on Sigma Station must have regulated this for her. Now they are gone, Grace has some but the ones that remained in Shoniara are now inert. We do not know why but it may have something to do with her giving birth and Enchra being unable to complete the surgery quickly enough. If we had more nanobots we could re introduce them into her but there are no more on the T’Planna Hath…… there is nothing we can do.”

T’ghrek drew himself up…”then we need to go to Vulcan and obtain some more. I can have a medical ship meet us halfway, possibly in four days at high warp. Will she survive until then?”

“Just a thought, but what if you gave her some of Grace’s blood. Maybe that will kick the nanobots in to action. Otherwise I guess we would have to take the Vulcans up on their offer. Would a blood transfusion do any good?”

“Yes Lieutenant that would help in the interim whilst the T’Planna Hath picks up the required nanobots. We have to be careful though, Grace’s body will need many nanobots to help maintain her. I don’t understand why she is so depleted, we are so sorry.”

Grace had now fallen asleep on her mother, they both looked angelic lying there still but a closer look would have seen their tears mixing together.

“I will leave now and contact Vulcan on the way.” T’ghrek moved over to where the pair lay sleeping. He caressed Graces cheek and kissed Shoniara.
“HAl-alnaTh my sister.” He looked at Zach.

“God speed T’ghrek. Just trust me when I say, they will be ok.”

He nodded, “just in case Zach I will be leaving ten of my personal guards with you to use as you please. They are the best at what they do, protection and have served me well.” He took one more look and left sickbay.

Pirek and Ench’ra began to prepare for the transfer of some of Grace’s blood to Shoniara. “How do we get Grace to cooperate in this?”
Before Zach could say anything it was as though he had something in his sounded like mumbling, buzzing of some kind..then distinctly he heard Shoniara’s whispering to him like a morning breeze ~ She is so beautiful our child…everything will be as it shall be remember I love you~ then it was gone.

Zach started to tear up as he walked to the bed. He leaned down and whispered in her ear, “She is just as beautiful as her mother. We are going to give you some of Grace’s blood. If doctors are willing I will give you a blood transfusion from me. You just keep on fighting as I know you will. I love you two.”

Zach closed his eyes and concentrated. He tried sending a message to Grace. “Help keep your mom alive for awhile. Give her some of your good blood. I love you Grace.”

Zach turned to the doctors. “When you are done with Grace I want to give some blood to help raise her blood supply. Any problems with that?”

Zach approached the Vulcan guards. “Gentlemen. I thank you for your help. I will leave most of the deployment up to you, but I will ask for 2 guards outside the door and 2 inside out of sight. Other than that I leave to your experience.”

Ench’ra took Zach aside, “I am sorry you will not be able to directly give blood to Shoniara, her blood is Vulcan and copper based, I am sure you have seen that it is green. We can however take the plasma from your blood and convert it into something that she could use for the moment. We are going to take some from Grace, it will not hurt her, nor will it hurt you. Know that Borvan and I will do everything in our power to keep her alive, if need be I will donate some of my Vulcan blood to her.”

Enchra took Grace and sat down with her on his knee. She smiled at him and gave him her tiny hand in his huge one. “Grace I am going to give some blood of yours to your mom okay. This will not hurt it is just cold. She turned to him and distinctly said “Hurry”. Ench’ra did a Vulcan double take and looked at Zach. He pressed the hypo to her skin and the chamber began to fill with green blood. When he had just a few mls he stopped.”This is all we need.” He put Grace on the floor and immediately Puss wandered over and lay down in front of her. He then proceeded to allow her to look into his ears and pull his tail. He licked her arm and she overbalanced onto the floor giggling.

“Oh didn’t you know she could talk? Daddy was her first word,” Zach said with a laugh. “It looks like Puss has a job as a baby sitter now.”

Ench’ra mixed Graces blood with the transfer medium and commenced the infusion. “This should help” said Borvan.

=/\= T’ghrek to Zach, I have kept the communicator I was given so I can talk to you direct.y whilst in range. I have spoken to the Vulcan medical council, they were not happy but once they realised the logic they agreed. I am leaving now at Warp 11 to meet them in 2 days in the noganis system. Good luck.”

“Good luck to you also T’ghrek. We will be waiting your return. Chase out.”

One of the Vulcan guards came up to Zach, “sir I do not think anyone should be let into sickbay unless they are personally known to you. One of my men will be behind that bulkhead there in the shadows, the other behind that coni Etienne over there.” He indicated. “I have the rest of my men at the turbolifts on this deck. If anybody comes through we will escort them. I hope that is satisfactory to you Sir?…..may I ask how the Commander is?”

“Yes very good. Stop everyone at the door to be let in by my. However I still want 2 inside, out of sight. I’m afraid that I may know them, let them in, and they are the enemy. If something does happen in here have your men follow my lead. I will try to handle it. I however want your men to take a shot even if it might hit me or Grace. Just don’t make it a kill shot. Maybe we should do maximum stun? You know your men. The Commander lost a lot of blood before she could be treated. As you know T’ghrek is enroute towards Vulcan to get some nanobots to speed up her recovery. Question, would your men be up to give a blood transfusion if asked?”

Zach turned to Dr Borvan. “Hey Doc. I may have some Vulcan blood for you if it becomes necessary.”

“Excellent though Sir” Borvan said.”in fact we need some now.” One of the guards stepped over as did another and then another. “We will all give if necessary for the Commander Sir.”

Puss had given up being tormented and moved away from Grace. She crawled after him appeared to think for a moment and then stood and took several steps towards Puss stretching out her hands and laughing. “Puss T’alanth!” she cooed. Everyone came to a stop and looked at her in amazement. “Daddy” she said and put her arms out sitting down on the floor.

Zach just had to laugh at Grace and was amazed at what she could do. “Doc, take your pick of volunteers.”
Zach walked over and picked Grace up, then went to sit in a chair. “Puss, don’t you like being a babysitter? It won’t be for long.” Zach slowly rocked Grace then leaned down to whisper in her ear. “Do you know who the accomplice is?”

She grabbed his hair and looked at him as though studying him. “Nalat’h” she said and then giggled. “Mummy” she then said stretching her arms out towards Shoniara. Shoniara was now on her third transfusion and the doctors had decided that this was enough for her. Again for a minute Zach heard the humming buzz, again Shoniara’s voice whispered to him ~protect her Zach, give her my life if necessary Nalat’h, I will always love you ~ then it was gone again, lost in the sounds of sickbay.

Zach walked to the bed and placed Grace on her chest. Zach walked over to the head guard. “What does Nalat’h mean?”

Zach walked back to the bed and whispered in Shoniara’s ear. “I won’t sacrifice either life. You both will be fine. I love you.”

“Nalat’h is the Vulcan word for grass sir.”

Ensign Garvey entered sickbay and headed for Zach. sir, did you get my message that we found Pirexan dna on some of the prisoners clothing?” He looked around and his eye lit on Grace. “She is a beautiful child sir, you are very lucky to have her, and if may say the lovely Doctor Dex, I hope she recovers. Anyway sir what do you wish me to do next?”

“Do you still have my force field order in effect? Turn them on at my EXECUTE order. Investigative work. Who was the nurses friends? Who has she been in contact with recently, frequently? Is she a member of anti-Borg group? If so are there other members on board? We have missed something, but what? Any unknown beams from unknown location?”

“Yes sir the force field order will be carried out by me. There have been no beams from any location, she does not seem to have any friends, she came on board at Sigma station, good verifiable references. No anti Borg membership that we can find out. I can return and interrogate her again..

=/\=This is the brig here, Lieutenant Chase the prisoner is dead. It looks like she took poison.=/\=

=^= Have the poison checked to determine what kind it is. Research where this poison can be found? Is there any known to be on this ship? Any on Sigma Station? Who would use this kind of poison? Chase out. =/\=

Marina Kerrigan put her head round the door. Lieutenant Chase, congratulations we heard that the Commander and you are now parents. I have Etienne here whom would love to meet the new baby, is there any chance he can?”

“Yes he can but you need to be quiet.”

Etienne was wearing a suit with a tie, Marina had Told him it was a little over the top but he had plans for this visit and wanted everything to go right including dressing to impress . He walked up to the biobed where Shoniara’s and Grace were sleeping.

“Gosh she is big, does she sleep a lot? and why is she sleeping on Shoniara? And what does she eat?” he said to Zach.

“Etienne you look very nice in your suit. You didn’t really need to dress up to see Shoniara. She has had an eventful morning. She can talk a little. She can walk a little. She can pick on Puss a lot. Babies need a lot of sleep. Listening to her moms heartbeat is soothing. Right now she drinks milk.”

“Hi there Puss, I haven’t seen you for a few days.” He ruffled the big cats head and Puss pushed himself into Etienne's legs in pleasure.
“Why is Shoniara asleep, can she wake up for me as I have something to ask?”

“They have her on medication to make her sleep. She has had some complications from her delivery, so no she won’t wake up now. But soon.”

Well since I can’t ask her can I speak to you Lieutenant Zach Chase?”

“Sure. You know you can talk to both of us.”

Etienne looked at Marina who nodded. He took Zach’s hand. “I don’t think my daddy is coming home now. He must have been very brave and has had to go away. “A tear ran down his cheek. You see Shoniara was going to be my mummy, daddy was going to ask her to marry him when he got home, and now..” he faltered “And now I am without a mummy or a daddy and…I was wondering if you would be my daddy and, I would like to have a sister too.” Tears were now streaming down his face. “I promise I will be very good, can Duke come too?” He grabbed Zach’s leg buried his face in his thigh and cried.

Zach hugged Etienne then held him at arms length. “Yes you dad is a brave man. Brave men do dangerous things and don’t always come back. You know, your mom and I talked about this just the other day. We were trying to see who we could find to be a big brother to Grace. I don’t suppose you would want the job. It would a lot of hard work keeping up with her. I’ll tell mom, when she wakes up that you want the job. Congratulations.”

Ensign Stephen Garvey, sat in the mess researching into the poison that was found on the now deceased prisoner. He had discovered the poison was very easy to obtain and there was a large store of it on Sigma Station. It had been used to kill the large population of Cardassian voles which had been introduced by the Ferengi, who surprised or not were also selling the poison to eradicate them. The then Captain of the station gladly bought a large stock. There the trail went cold as there was no way to tell who had brought the poison aboard. He smiled, Lieutenant Chase would be pleased with him, he wanted to get close to the upwardly mobile Lieutenant Chase in the hope he could bask in his reflected glory. He also wanted to be able to get closer to his partner Shoniara Dex. He had been dreaming about her for several months now, wanting to touch her, make love to her and to see her in sickbay so vulnerable excited him. The very fact that she had just given birth made her even more beautiful. He finished his drink and set off for Sickbay, maybe he could get nearer to her or even touch her if no one was looking. Maybe if he got friendly with the kid…..yes he thought he would try that.

Shoniara’s bio bed alarmed and Grace woke up crying. “ Mummy” she said putting her arms round Shoniara’s neck. Borvan picked her up and gave her to Zach. “What is happening Ench’ra?”

The small Vulcan Doctor was holding his medical tricorder. “It is as we feared the nanobots we transferred from Grace are becoming inert.” He held Borvan’s arm, “She is dying, we need those fresh nanobots. “

Borvan thought a moment. “We might be able to buy more time is we take another few from Grace and blend them with pure Vulcan blood, put them in growth medium in the depressurisation chamber. That might make them stronger.”

“Already on it Ench’ra said. He turned to Grace in Zach’s arms, “Grace your mummy….” He did not get any further than that as she held out her arm for him. He took the few millimetres of blood. Grace looked at Zach “Goodbye mummy” she buried her face in his chest and howled.

Zach picked up Grace and rocked her slowly and gave her small kisses. “It’s not goodbye mommy. It is mommy giving the doctors something to do so they don’t get bored.”

A few minutes later the blood was in the decompression chamber. They had given her some more Vulcan blood and some of Zach’s dried plasma and that seemed to stabilise her.

Ensign Garvey entered sickbay saw what was going on and headed straight for Zach. “Sir is it the right time to tell you what I have learned regarding the poison?”

“Let’s sit out here by the entrance so we don’t disturb the doctors. So what did you find out?”

“Sir the poison originated on Sigma station, it is used for killing vole infestations. They have rather a lot of it and don’t take much care. It seems available to anyone who wants it, and It is lethal.there was no way to check when it was brought aboard but now the transporter has been programmed to do so. No one on Sima will admit to knowing the nurse.Any further orders sir? Oh and by the way how is the Commander? I would like to pay my respects if I could?”

“I’m sure she would like that, but at this time I need to say no. She has had some issues and they have her sedated. I will inform her of your best wishes.”

“Then perhaps I could take little Grace off your hands for a time, I have 4 sisters so am used to children?”

“Ensign, my little girl stays here with her mother. Please stop pushing before I become testy and rude.”

The Vulcan guards stepped forward. Ensign Garvey smiled an insincere smile “of course sir, I will carry on with your orders.”

Inside sickbay Etienne was playing with Grace and Puss. He was telling her what a dog was and she was trying to make Pusses face into a dogs face. They seemed to get on well together. Shoniara lay still and pale as the new improved nanobots were introduced into her system. Then the ships comm sounded. Lieutenant Chase report to the bridge.

Zach goes to Marina. “Are you up to watching these 2? Understand that there is danger surrounding this room. Be vigilant. No one enters this room except the 2 doctors. Understand? Her life is in your hands for now.”

Zach goes to Vulcan detail leader. “I have been called to the bridge. It is a diversion. It has to be. Watch out for that Ensign that just left Something is wrong. He was very insistent that he get into the room. Be watchful and handle things as you see fit. Thank you.”

Zach enters the bridge. “Lt Chase reporting. Who called for me?”

As soon as Lieutenant Chase had left for the bridge Ensign Harvey headed towards sickbay, he was determined to get in to see Shoniara, he realised it was becoming an obsession but he needed to touch her or at least just look at her. He was about to enter sickbay when another approaching crew member spotted him. Garvey tried to blend into the bulkhead but it was too late. Ensign Strhall was a Bolian who had been at the Academy with Garvey. Even as a cadet Garvey had been an Ingratiating pain in the ass and nobody liked him.

“Hey ‘Grassy’ how are you doing?”

“Don’t call me that” Garvey said, he had picked up the nickname because he had actually been knocked on his ass during a fight and had had to survive a day of lectures with grass stains on his uniform.

Commander Teron sat in his chair on the bridge when Zach appeared. He looked bemused, “Lieutenant I believe congratulations are in order although I was sorry to hear Shoniara is unwell. I meant to come down but I figured things down there were a little busy. Anyway what is it?” He waited….

“Sir, so your saying I’m not needed here? Then my hunch is correct. They wanted me away from sickbay.”

“I am sorry no, there is nothing that needs your input here. You have enough to worry about..”

Zach departs the bridge headed for sickbay.

In the corridor outside sickbay Garvey was still engaged with Strhall. “Look I am very busy on business for Lieutenant Chase, I have to go.” He pushed passed him and disappeared into the nearest turbolift. Strhall shrugged and walked on, as he did he shivered. He really did not like the man.

Back inside sickbay things were not going well. The nanobots had been injected into Shoniara and she had immediately began to convulse. Ench’ra had had to completely knock her out so she was no longer breathing for herself, she was now completely on life support. Grace had seen this and was crying but Etienne had managed to distract her with more torture of poor Puss who bravely ‘took one for the team’. If the situation had not been so serious everyone would have laughed.

“Where is Chase?” Borvan asked, “If Shoniara is dying he should be here”.

Marina said “he was called to the bridge a few minutes ago.”

Borvan nodded and hoped he would return soon. They had just heard that T’ghrek had taken the nanobots on board and was on his way back. It would still take him 24 hours.

Zach arrives at sickbay to find Shoniara on a ventilator. “What happened?” He walked to the bed and brushed some hair back from her face. “Keep fighting, help is on the way,” he whispered.

“Borvan looked apologetic and grief stricken, “I am sorry our plan failed and she stopped breathing for herself, the bio bed has now taken over all her life functions.” He put his hand on Zach’s arm. “You need to prepare yourself for the fact that she might not survive this.. the good news is that T’ghrek is on his way.”

“She will survive this. Trust me.” Zach went and picked up Grace. “Remember when I asked if you knew the accomplice was? You said translated, grass. Will you tell daddy if you see him again?” Zach kissed her and put her back down to play.

Suddenly there was a commotion outside, one of the Vulcan guards entered. “Doctors, Lieutenant your Ensign is outside, he does not look good and he tells me he has been poisoned he..” Ensign Garvey fell through the doors unresponsive.

Borvan went over to him with a bio scanner…” it is indeed true he has been poisoned.” He motioned to the guard, “help me get him on to a biobed.” The Vulcan guard picked him up as though he were a matchstick and laid him on the biobed a few beds away from Shoniara.”

“Keep a low profile watch on him. I have a bad feeling.”

Borvan scanned the unconscious Garvey. The poison is the same one that killed the prisoner but it is just a small amount. He is very ill but will live, it is a good job he got here early. I’m sorry Lieutenant I know he was helping you. Who poisoned him though, that is the question.”

The Vulcan guard leader stood by Zach. “Do you have any change in orders sir?”

“Just keep your eyes open and be ready to move. That’s the best I can say for now.”

Whilst Dr Pirek was working on the stricken Ensign Etienne who by this time was carrying Grace went over to see what the commotion was about. He managed to get within several feet of him when Grace started struggling and screaming “daddy, daddy Nalat’h” then she was sick all over Etienne's new suit.

Zach moved quickly to the children. “Marina, could you please take Etienne and get him cleaned up.” Zach took Grace from Etienne and went to clean her up. Before he left he turned to the detail leader. “He is our confirmed suspect. He goes nowhere near Shoniara. Understand? Any force necessary.” Zach took Grace into the back for her first bath and a change of clothes.

Borvan worked on removing the poison from Garvey’s system, he wondered why Zach considered him as a suspect as he himself had been poisoned, however he had not liked Garvey from the moment he met him. He reminded him of some of the officials he had met on Cardasssia before he had left. Sickbay was slowing down for the night, the few cases the docotors had had were leaving after being discharged. Night shift began and two new nurses took over. Borvan went for a break leaving Ench’ra to cover sickbay. Garvey was now stable although apparently still unconscious. Shoniara was still alive.

Zach returned from giving Grace her bath. He went and placed her on Shoniara’s chest. He pulled a sheet up over them. He called the 2 doctors and detail leader to him. “See if you agree. He came in way to easily, almost willingly. He has at least one accomplice, maybe more. I need a guard on her door. No one enters with out a physical search and body scan. Their weapon of choice seems to be poison. So I need the doctors to have an antidote immediately available. Only the doctors will give medication and will get the medication themselves. No medication from nurses. Agreed?”

“There is no antidote to the poison Lieutenant Chase, possibly if it is administered in very small amounts it may be possible to flush it from the system as in Ensign Garvey’s case. But the rest we can do. The nurses on the night shift have been with is since we left the Starbase to visit Sigma Station. They were vetted for any membership of banned organisations and none had anything to do with Ardera. The Vulcan guard changed and a new guard took up position outside Shoniara’s door.

The human nurse black that had taken over the care of Garvey had already killed her counterpart. She had been chosen for her likeness to the nurse but knew she could be sacrificed for the good of the mission. She did not however know who the third member of the cell was. She had been primed with looking after Garvey and was seemingly diligent in her care of him. He was now awake although feigning unconsciousness. Through slight of hand he handed a small vial to the nurse who pocketed it. Garvey wondered how far away from Shoniara he was, he was now obsessed with her. He thought that he would kill Zach and that she would be his. He imagined taking her back to his quarters and forcing himself on her he liked his women to scream, it made him feel in charge. He even Imagined taking her in front of Zach. He wondered what it would take to make a Vulcan cry. It did not matter however anyone who had anything to do with the Borg would be sacrificed. He slept for a bit.

Zach decided that he would get a chair, try to get comfortable, and catch a short nap. He moved the chair to an out of sight corner were he could observe, unseen.

The night wore on and sickbay was quiet, only a few casualties appeared which were treated with efficiently and quickly by Dr Ench’ra. Neither doctor wanted to Leave once their shifts were over. They both cared so much about this new family and wanted the best outcome. Without the nanobots however the future for Shoniara would look very bleak. The Vulcan guards had changed and stood to attention both inside and outside sickbay. There was one positioned outside Shoniara’s door. They all had pulse rifles and wicked looking Vulcan blades strapped to their sides.

Suddenly Enchr’a’s communicator bleeped. =/\= T’Planna Hath to Dr Enchra =/\= He stopped what he was about to do and tapped it. =/\= This is T’ghrek we have the nanobots and are just about to enter the system, I will be there in four hours. How is my sister =/\=

Ench’ra replied =/\= Good to hear from you Ambassador. Shoniara is deteriorating but the nanobots will make all the difference =/\=

=/\= That is good to hear, is Zach still there ?=/\=

=/\= Of purse Ambassador he has not left her or Graces side =/\=

=/\= Good to hear my senses tell me that there is time yet for an attempt to be made on my sister and nieces life. Be vigilant. T’ghrek out.=/\=

Borvan looked over at Zach who appeared to be sleeping in the chair. “We will not disturb him, I do not think he has slept since Shoniara went into labour.”
Enchra agreed with him. I am just going to put Grace in her crib, she is fast asleep after her feed. I am going to try the rest of the blood we took from Zach with the reduced plasma. We just need to keep her going a little longer.”

“How is someone supposed to sleep with all that chattering going on,” Zach asked as he opened his eyes. “Bring her crib over here and I’ll keep an eye on her. It’s good to hear that T’ghrek will be here soon.”

Ench’ra went over to check on Ensign Garvey who was slowly returning to consciousness. After running a bio sensor check on him he realised that the Ensign was awake. “How are you feeling?” Ench’ra asked him.

“A little dizzy and nauseated Doctor, was anyone else poisoned or injured?”

Ench’ra thought that it was a strange question to ask but responded. “No you were the only victim Ensign.” He began to walk away.

“How is Shoniara?” Garvey asked.

Ench’ra was surprised that he had called her by her name, surely he was not that involved with the family.” He nodded curtly.

Doctor Dex is still with us, if you need any more information I suggest you take it up with Lieutenant Chase.”

Garvey laid back, he still had an ace up his sleeve, there was time yet.

Zach brought the crib over by his chair, out of the way still in view of Shoniara’s bed.

Borvan had placed Grace in her crib, she woke momentarily to give him a sloppy kiss on the cheek and then fell back asleep.” For some reason he felt extraordinarily happy, he smiled. “Sleep well little one” he whispered. He checked Shoniara tidied her up after Grace’s feed and began a fresh infusion of Vulcan and Zach’s plasma.” He sighed and stretched. His back was to the door so he did not see nurse Black enter, what he did feel however was the point of a phaser in his back.

“Keep quiet or You will die this phaser is on kill.” she whispered and closed the door leaving the Vulcan guard unaware outside. She smiled, now she would get the glory killing the doctor and her little Borg abomination. She had really wanted to use the poison and see them suffer but Lieutenant Chases order had put a stop to that. It was just lucky that they had hidden arms in sickbay.

Apparently the nurse was unaware that he was in a back corner, or didn’t see him as she was intent on her target. Zach saw the nurse come in and put a phaser in Borvan’s back. Zach drew his phaser and waited for a more clearer shot.

“We are the MANIL AREK and we are many.” She said and pulled Borvan back round the bio bed so he shielded her. She put the phaser to Shoniara’s head. Bring me the abomination” she said.

Zach stood up quietly, checks his phaser and puts it on heavy stun. He slowly advances on the bed, putting himself between the nurse and the crib. “GUARD, ENTER, Zach yelled. He continued to advance on a now startled nurse. The guard rushes in and is stunned to see a phaser in the hands of a nurse aimed at Shoniara. Zach says, “there is a physician, a sick doctor, a baby, a Vulcan guard, you and me. Who is the abomination? To me you are the abomination. Zach fires his phaser, hitting the nurse. She falls to the ground, unconscious.

Zach touches his comm badge. “Lt Chase to security. I have a prisoner for you in sickbay. Place in the brig, absolutely no visitors. Chase out

Zach puts his phaser on kill. Now time to confront the evil one. He motioned for the guard to join him. They head to Ensign Garvey’s room. They enter his room and he is laying on his bed. Zach said, “Ensign Garvey, stand up. You under arrest for murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.”

Garvey looked at Zach with hate in his face, “die borg lover.” Garvey pulled a phaser and tried to fire at Lt Chase. His body convulsed as he was hit by a phaser and rifle fire. “Dr Borvan, please come here,” Zach shouted. “Please check the body.” Dr Borvan came in and scanned the body. “He is dead.” He looked at Zach. “I’m sorry that it is my department that is causing you so much trouble.”

“Just take care of your boss.”

“Chase to security. Ensign Garvey is dead. He stupidly tried shooting a Vulcan guard. Notify his 2nd in command that he is now in charge. He has a new investigation to conduct. He needs to check out Manil Arek. It is some anti-Borg group. Also investigate the connection between Ensign Garvey, the poisoned nurse, the nurse currently in the brig. How many of the nurses on staff here now are members of that group. Also, contact Sigma Station and see who has been taking poison from the station.”

Zach returns to the crib and checks on Grace. She is still sleeping, so Zach sits back in his chair and relaxes.

Borvan checked on Shoniara with the Vulcan guard watching him closely. If he was honest with himself he would have said that he was very nervous under the tall Vulcan mans gaze. “Please stay in here with the Doctor, do not leave for any reason is that clear?” The guard nodded. Enc’ra looked shocked, he walked over to Zach relaxing. “How can you relax when you have just killed someone?” He asked.

Zach looked up at Ench’ra. “At the present time I haven’t learned the Vulcan skill of emotion suppression. On earth it would be looked at in a few different ways. Way 1 is he was duly killed in a self defense gunfight. He drew and fired first, he died. It’s called self defense. Way 2 it could be called street justice. He was an evil man with evil intentions. His death saved how many lives including those of Grace and Shoniara.
I won’t lose sleep if my family is safe. I just hope that this is the end.”

Enc’ra nodded. Hundreds of years ago Vulcans were ruled by their emotions, there was much fighting and killing, our society could not handle it and we were dying out. But we learnt emotional self control. We do have emotions but through our self control we suppress them. Shoniara might be able to help you do something of the same. But then she is only half Vulcan, it is difficult to understand how she balances both parts of herself to make the great Doctor and woman she is. I only hope she comes through this and you can have the family you deserve Lieutenant. But, I fear you will have your hands full with Grace.”

Just then Grace woke “Daddy Nalat’h gone?” she asked and held her arms out towards him.

Zach walks over and picks up Grace, hugs her, kisses her. He walks back to his chair and sits. “Yes Grace, Nalat’h is gone. May or may not be more.” Grace looked serious tears in her green eyes, “No daddy Nalat’h here.” She put her thumb in her mouth and sucked.

Zach addresses Enc’ra. “I intend to learn some of the emotion control techniques. Will I ever control my emotions to make Vulcans happy, no. Will I control my emotions better than now, yes. Sometimes emotions don’t matter in what happens. Did I intend to kill him going in, no. But circumstances dictated that he died. Did you ask the guard if he was/is relaxed when he helped terminate him, or do you save the emotion argument for non Vulcans? I admire lots of things about Vulcans that I admire. Even if I wanted to try and live up to Vulcan standards there is no way I can/could/will. Will I try to improve, yes.

“I had no need to ask the guard,” said Ench’ra” he is Vulcan, Vulcans do not ‘relax’ as humans do. To him it was what needed doing. In fact he is in with Shoniara now, he wanted to be in the room with her so no one would get passed him.”

“So I do an unemotional act but get criticized because I’m not Vulcan for doing the same thing as a Vulcan. On earth do you know what we would call you. A hypocrite. If you don’t know the word, look it up.” Zach turns and enters the room intent on putting Grace back in her crib and him sitting back down. To relax.

‘Lieutenant you have totally misunderstood what I have said.” He turned away, “ Humans, I will never understand them.” he sighed.

=/\= Commander Teron to Lieutenant Chase =/\=

“Chase here. Go ahead.”

=/\= we have reports of energy weapons being discharged down there, do you need help, are you all allright?=/\=

“ Yes we had another attempt on Grace actually. It was another nurse associated with a group called Manil Arek. Then our Ensign Garvey was killed when he fired on myself and one of the guards. Garvey was the only casualty. The nurse is in the brig.”

=/\= Fine Lieutenant I will look forward to your report. How is Shoniara? =/\=

“Not well. She lost a lot of blood in the initial attack. She has received blood from Grace, plasma from me, and blood from the guards. T’ghrek is a few hours out with more nanobots. Then she will recover fairly quickly I think.”

=/\= good keep us Informed up here, we are thinking of her =/\=

A blue skinned Andorian entered sickbay followed by one of the Vulcan guards. The Andorian spoke “Sir I am Lieutenant Ashok Isht I am…….sorry was Ensign Garvey’s Lt. I have been looking into the questions you wanted answers to. Would you like to know what I found out or would you prefer me to report to you some other time?”

“You may tell us what you have found. Most everyone here has an interest on what you have found. Hopefully you have actually found some answers.”

“The information on the sect Manil Arek is sketchy at best. It is a semi religious group begun we think on the colony of New Berlin approximately 10 years ago. It began as a kick back following Wolf 359. Since the medical experiments with Borg nanobots and the discovery of what they could do the sect made a comeback. There have been many killings of medical staff and patients who have been given or have experimented with these medical bots. These people are vicious and will kill anyone who gets in their way. They work in small cells of 3 to 5 so if interrogated they can only give their cells away. They are very good at concealing themselves as Ensign Garvey was a case in point. They are made up of many races, the ones we know about are Human, Vulcan, Breen, Ciatian, Risan, Andorian and Betazoid. It appears Garvey went through a sort of marriage with the dead nurse in order to bring her on board. We think he killed her to stop her talking. The prisoner currently in the brig is not talking but she has admitted to killing the nurse who’s place she took. One thing she did say was ‘Nalat’h is not even begun.’ If that means anything to you? “ he took a breath. “Finally Sigma Station did not keep any records of the poison used to kill the voles on the station. It appears they have been very lax as they have discovered a large amount unaccounted for.”

“Thank you Lieutenant. You have provided more information than we actually had before. I know you probably won’t find any connection but see if you can see if there is anything linking them to possibly others.”

The Lieutenant nodded, thank you, I will find out as much as I can. Will you want to interrogate the prisoner?”

“That is your area of expertise. I would however limit to a large degree the amount of visitors that she has. Hopefully she has been thoroughly checked for any foreign item/substances. I lead you to your job.”

“Of course she had a full scan search, she had a small bottle of the poison on her and we are studying it now. We think she was going to take it.”

“That would be a very real possibility.”

For a moment the slight buzzing sound filtered into Zach’s consciousness ~ danger~ it whispered as though it was coming from far away. ~I love you both
more than I have ever….. ~ then it stopped and gently faded away.

Zach puts his hand on his phaser. He moved closer to Grace in her crib. “Thanks LT. Keep us informed of your progress.” Zach started slowly scanning the room for anything amiss, or unknown persons coming in.

The Vulcan guard stood still to attention. “Is there anything wrong sir?” He asked Zach.

“Yes. I don’t know what, but something is about to happen. Soon I would say. Stay alert.”

“Yes sir, I heard the Lieutenant talking about Manil Arek, I have heard about them. They seem to believe in what they are doing.”

“Yes I would say they do believe they believe.” Zach will keep his hand close to his phaser, just in case.

“Sir” the guard resumed his position, he was no longer looking at Grace but all his attention was on Shoniara unconscious on the bio bed.”

Zach made a check on Grace, who was sleeping. He walked to Shoniara’s bed. He leaned down and whispered, “help will be here soon. Hold on.” He walked back to his chair. He sat down and pretend to sleep.He however remained alert and watchful.

Grace began to cry just a few minutes before the alarms on the bio bed shrilled across sickbay. Ench’ra and Pirek had been on conference in the office with coffee and they rushed in. Concerned they realised that despite their best efforts Shoniara was deteriorating. “Zach we now have to perform external stimulation, I am afraid she is dying and will be dead within the hour unless those nanobots get here.

Zach went and picked Grace up and slowly rocked her. “Do what you must doctor.”

Grace continued to cry “mummy, mummy.” She held her arms out to touch Shoniara.

Borvan applied the cortical stimulator “hopefully this will preserve her brain function” as Enchra initiated the support frame which applied external cardiac massage. Shoniara’s body jumped with each of the electrical impulses into her heart, her eyes opened and she stared unseeing. Grace continued to cry.
“Where the hell is T’ghrek?” Borvan shouted in anger. “She has been through so much and has not even held her child yet.”

“Doc, he will be here. Show some emotional control. You do what you can, don’t worry about what you can’t.” Zach looked down at Grace in his arms. “I want mummy too, but right now she is very sick. We hope for the best and hope that her brother gets here soon.” He hugged her tight. Humming a little tune in her ear. Talking with Grace helped keep his mind off the workings on the bed.

Ench’ra and Pirek continued to work in unison. Pirek began to sweat as he realised there was nothing else they could do. They restarted to infusion of Vulcan and Zach’s blood. The machine continued to breath for her and perfuse her brain and the cardiac stimulator kept her heart going.

Then Ench’ra received a hail.

=/\= Polaris sickbay this is the T’Planna Hath, we will be in range of the Ambassador beaming down with the medical supplies in 40 minutes, we will have to come out of warp suddenly to do so but we have done it before. T’Planna Hath out =/\=

Grace stopped crying and leant on Zach, she smiled at him played with his ear and giggled.

“See I told you that help was near Grace. Mummy will be ok.” He turned the tables on Grace and nibbled on her neck. She giggled and squirmed.

Zach walked to the bed and leaned down. “1 more hour Shoniara. Just 1 more hour and help will be here. Hold on. Grace wants her mummy. I love you deeply,” he whispered. He leaned down and kissed her cheek.

The Vulcan guards seemed to straighten up more and made a ring around Shoniara’s bio bed and inside and outside sickbay doors. The doctors worked on until Borvan said “her heart cannot take much more.” Ench’ra nodded, it is going to be too late.

“Doctor you will continue to do your duty until there is no more duty to perform. Understand?”

~ I love you forever~ came the whisper as though on the breeze.

Zach closed his eyes and cleared his mind. ~you haven’t even begun to love me yet so be positive~

TagThe Vulcan guards seemed to straighten up more and made a ring around Shoniara’s bio bed and inside and outside sickbay doors. The doctors worked on until Borvan said “her heart cannot take much more.” Ench’ra nodded, “it is going to be too late.” He put his hand on Zach’s shoulder. “Perhaps you should say your goodbyes?”

“I don’t give up on those I love, neither will you.”

Then a flash of blue light from a transporter beam and T’ghrek materialised in Sickbay. He noted what was going on immediately and handed the box containing the nanobots to Ench’ra.”

Enc’ra said nothing but he and Borvan prepared them for rapid infusion into Shoniara. Just as he was about to do so a voice rang out.

“STOP” one of the Vulcan guards nearest to Shoniara had his knife to her throat already drawing blood “Everybody stay where you are, he took aim at Enc’ra holding the infusion and fired. Ench’ra went down like a stone, Borvan dived to catch the precious nanobots infusion, caught it and hid behind another Vulcan guard. T’ghrek had drawn his arms. Shoniara went very still. “We are MANIL AREK the wind of death, we are everywhere. He plunged the knife into Shoniara’s neck

For Zach everything went in slow motion. He saw the Vulcan plunge the knife into Shoniara’s neck. Without thought and purely by reflex, Zach pulled his phaser and fired. The Vulcan dropped to the floor. If his love was to die, so would the assassin. All he could do was stand with his phaser pointed at the downed Vulcan.

For a moment everything stopped as though the horror was too much for the viewers. Then everything swung into action. T’ghrek ordered the dead would be assassin to be moved from everyone’s sight. The other guards took Enc’ra’s body and laid it reverently on a bio bed. Borvan swung into action activating the EMH. He started the nanobots infusion immediately pouring all of them at once into Shoniara’s dead body, there was now nothing to loose. The EMH worked on the massive injury to her neck. T’ghrek walked to his sister and placed his fingers on the side of her face and head and closed his eyes. He poured all his heart and all his healing into her forcing her brain to remember the first time they had met and all their dealings along the way. ‘You,WILL live my sister we have a family now they need you, I need you. The nanobots poured into her body rejoicing to be free and repaid her by repairing her heart and lungs. The bio bed readings showed massive increases in cardiac output and cerebral perfusion. The wound on her neck healed itself and she took a breath on her own, then another and another deep and slow returning to life as her arterial and venous circulation caused her skin to blush rosy pink. The white pallor slowly disappeared.

Zach stood there and sobbed. In anger at another attempt on his family, and relief as life flowed thru Shoniara again. He walked to the bed and placed Grace on Shoniara’s chest. He pulled the sheet up and covered Grace.

The bio sensor screamed in alarm to let them know it was no longer needed at that level and Borvan turned it off. He rushed over to Ench’ra but it was too late, he had given his life for Shoniara. He bunched his fists tears in his eyes, Ench’ra had become his good friend over the last few months, he had taught him so much. He swore Cardassian vengeance on Manil Arek. He turned and hugged Zach.

Zach returned the hug. “Thank you for all your help. If we drew some blood from Shoniara and gave it to Ench’ra would it do any good?”

“Good idea Zach but it is too late.” He turned away.

Ships security poured into sickbay phasers drawn and for a moment it looked as though there might be a Vulcan Polaris firefight. T’ghrek staggered back as white a Shoniara had been a few minutes ago. He looked at Zach, “She will live, you will have a wife and both of you have a daughter and I also will have you as family.

Zach turned to the Polaris security. “Stand down. We had another assassin attempt. Tell the Lt to continue his search for more members of this group. We don’t want them on board this ship.”
Zach turned to T’ghrek. “I thank you for your speedy trip. It has been a stressful few days. I hope that I don’t embarrass the Ambassador as one of his family members.”

T’ghrek looked at him. “You will not embarrass any of your family Zach Chase, I have seen you as protector of your family and the great love you have for my sister and little Grace. I will be proud to welcome you into the House of O’kaan….”he looked at Ench’ra, “He was a great Doctor and a good friend and he will be missed. I must track this cult down, to know that a member of my personal guard had been drawn into them….

“I agree. This cult must be found and eliminated as much as possible. If not, this family will always be in danger. Who would of thought that nursing professionals and your personal guard were all a part of this. Who do we trust in the future? Will we ever know peace?”

Shoniara’s eyes opened, “Zach” she called softly, “where are you, where is my child?”

“I’m right here talking to your brother. Look under the sheet, or cross your arms. She is right on your chest. She will be glad to see you.”

Shoniara looked down and Grace looked up. She picked her up and held her close to her, they didn’t have to speak everything was transferred without voice. Love that would last forever. Grace smiled and kissed her mother and laid her head on her neck.

“I don’t think there will ever be peace Zach but trust will be difficult for many people. This ‘Manil Arek seem to have its hooks in many races.”

“Yes I’m afraid so. Our profession is about danger. Kids shouldn’t have to worry about who they can trust or befriend. I guess life will be interesting. Keep me informed if you find their core group.”

“I will return to my ship with the body of Doctor Ench’ra, Shoniara will be most upset to hear of his death. She will of course know nothing about any of this. I know you will break it to her gently. I will stay with the Polaris until the Captain returns then head back to Vulcan. You are all welcome to join me?” He arched an eyebrow. Do you wish any of my guards to remain?”

“She will ask in a few days after not seeing him. I will say he went back to your ship. It might work. Dr Borvan will tell her he got shot, then I’m in trouble. He was a good man. He performed admirably. Give us a day or 2 for her to regain some strength, then yes we may come aboard until the Captain returns. I think that the danger is past for now. Maybe keep 4 until we come to visit, then they can stay with you.”

Zach walks over near the bed and takes in mother/daughter bonding time.

Shoniara and Grace slept for a while together. When she woke she was hungry and decided to get up, she lifted Grace up with her who remained asleep on her shoulder. “What happened here Zach? I feel I have been out for days” she thought for a while “last thing I remember I was trying to find you and Grace then I woke up now. I have so many questions and want to feel a real bed behind me.” Puss plodded over to her, she mussed his head. “Hello old thing.”

“Well you will stay here for a day. Then if things progress well enough we will go over to your brothers ship until the Captain returns. You have been out for awhile. You were really close to death, a couple of times. It has been excitement upon excitement. Hold your questions until we get to your brothers ship, then I will update everything. For now I’ll replicate some food, then you will bond and rest. Agreed?”

Zach goes to the replicator and makes tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and orange juice. He brings it back so she can eat.

She smiled at him and sitting down begins to eat, “ Surak this IS good Zach, I feel as though I have not eaten for weeks.” Grace sitting on her knee made a swipe for the grilled cheese sandwich which Shoniara only just managed to retrieve from her grasp.” Mmm Mummy.” She said….Shoniara kissed her nose.

Okay, shock number one she is talking! What was her first word?” She drank the orange juice down in one. “I feel so strong like I was never pregnant. I could start work right now.” She looked serious, “has Ty returned and have we had any news about Jacques? Has Grace been feeding all right, you put her on the breast whenever she wanted right? “She looked as though something had just connected in her brain.”what do you mean I nearly died twice?”

“First word, daddy. Yes she had several feedings. She wasn’t neglected. No Ty hasn’t returned, no word on Jacques. The rest will have to wait for later. Once Dr Borvan says your strong enough, we will transfer ships.”

She looked at him thoughtfully, “why do I know there is a lot you are not telling me, but I will be guided by you…….at least for day or two.” She finished her grilled cheese. “Borvan has not spoken to me since I woke and I notice the EMH has been here, I can tell, he leaves an awful mess in my sickbay.” She reached and pulled his face down to hers, inches from her lips, she ran her fingers over them. “You have been crying,Why my love?”

“Because you need to regain strength and all your faculties before you hear everything. Borvan may be reluctant to talk to you for a little while. Like I said a lot of disturbing thing has happened. I wouldn’t be too tough on him right now. To your last question the EMH should be a clue. Now I will go talk with the good dr, then I will return. I love you.” Zach gave her a big kiss, then pulled away.

Zach went to find Dr Borvan in his office. “Hey doc, are you ok? I just want to say again that you did a good job with Shoniara. Your patient is strong enough to complain about the mess in sickbay. I assured her that it would be taken care of. Now if you would come in in the morning and give her a checkup. If she is strong enough, which I think she will be, then we will transfer to the Vulcan ship until the Captain returns. I imagine there will be a shakeup thru out the ship, and Starfleet once all this becomes public. Get some rest. You have earned it.”

Zach returns to Shoniara’s side.

Shoniara had nodded off her head nodding down to her chest, Grace sat on her mother’s knee quite content to be there playing with the fine linen laces on Shoniara’s nightgown. Puss had also returned from under the biobed on the corner wheee he had taken refuge whilst the last moments of the tragedy had played out. He sat his head on Shoniara’s leg. He looked sad. He murrrowed as Zach approached.

Zach kneeled down a scratched the big cats ears. “What’s the matter Puss? Do we still have problems I don’t know about? Zach picked Grace up and returned her to her crib. Zach returned to his chair and prepared to keep watch.

Shoniara dreamed, at least it seemed like a dream but it seemed so real. She was there watching herself as she lay dying, she felt a pain in her neck and saw one of T’ghrek’s Vulcan guards with his bloody dagger in his hand. ‘Manil Arek, Manil Arek” what was that? she asked herself, Grace was crying in her crib and no one seemed to be taking notice, Zach stood there phaser in hand eyes looking onto the floor. Then she realised it was Lucan, she searched her mind and found it Manil Arek…Wind of Death, what did it mean and why was it connected to her?. She felt a surge of what felt like electricity inside her body and found herself returning to the shell that was Dex…”NO I AM NOT READY YET’ she shouted as she woke up.

Zach saw that Shoniara was a little restless in her sleep. That means that she is dreaming about something that will confuse her so apparently there will be hard questions when she wakes up. He would get a hold of T’ghrek and he would tell both of them what happened and answer multitude of questions. So he goes back to his chair and sits. He tries to relax his body and brain. He glanced over at Grace and she is sleeping good. He closes his eyes with a smile on his face.

Shoniara woke early and for the first time was awake when Grace fed. It felt wonderful to be so close to her daughter. She looked at her to see if she could see any of Jacques in her and decided it was her mouth. Her lips were wide and generous just like his. She mourned for him sure he was gone and hoped his last thoughts had been about her. He had been her only human lover and had been completely passionate. She was glad it had produced Grace. She looked across at Zach sleeping in the chair. He looked so young and she wondered about their future life together, she was looking forward to just being an ordinary family and she wanted to encourage him in his career. There was so much to think about. She saw Borvan begin his shift and closed her eyes. She did not want any other outside disruption to her thoughts. She could feel the nanobots inside her, an alien force yet part of her now, how would they affect Grace, would she grow up quickly. So many questions. She had a slight headache something she had never had before. Grace had finished and now was asleep smiling. Just a few minutes more of peace she thought, then she would ask Borvan if she was well enough to leave sickbay.

Grace woke again an hour later and Shoniara opened her eyes. It was time to move on. Grace wanted to go to her father. “Zach, are you awake?” Shoniara asked.

“Yes I’m awake. Just thinking.” Zach gets up and walks to the bed. He leans down and gives Shoniara a big kiss, and Grace a little kiss. He picked Grace up, and did a little toss in the air with her. He caught her then swung her a round. Grace is giggling and wants to do it again. “No once is enough. Don’t want to make mama bear mad.” He went and put her down by Puss who looked as if asking, why me?

“Borvan, can you check me out please I want to leave sickbay but will return to work in the next few days. Hopefully you and Ench’ra can take up the slack?” Pirek looked over to Zach.

“We will discuss work schedules later on the other ship. So be patient.”

“I will be as patient as I can with all these ‘bot’s inspiring me It feels like so many other people inside. Now Borvan do your work.”

Pirek performed his scans without talking or smiling he nodded. “Well it looks like you are cleared to go with a mostly clean bill of health, your cortical scans show an overstimulation of neural tissue. You may experience very strong dreams. Have you ever sleep walked.”

Shoniara nodded, “it’s strange you should mention that Borvan, I used to do a lot when I was younger, my parents had me see a therapist at one point when I went swimming in the ocean in New Berlin without even knowing it. Now can I go?”

He nodded. “Keep an eye out for her in case she does?” He asked Zach.

“I will do my best to watch out for her.”

She jumped down from the bio bed and stretched, her lithe body almost returned to normal after the birth, the surgical scar repaired courtesy of the nanobots. The only thing that bothered her were her breasts, incredibly large and full of milk she knew she was going to have to wear an industrial strength bra if she was going to go back to work. “Right, Zach, Puss, Grace…are we ready to go? And, where are we going?”

“We are beaming over to the ambassadors ship for a few days. I will let him know we are coming.”

“Lt Chase to T’ghrek. Your sister has been medically cleared and we will be beaming onto your ship shortly.”

“It is good to hear from you, I have your quarters ready and guarded accordingly, whenever you are ready.”

Shoniara yawned again. “I have no clothes for Grace we will have to replicate some.” Grace looked up from her tormenting of the great cat who looked thankful for the few seconds rest.” She turned to Zach, “I am worried about Borvan, he has never been like this before, what do you think?”

“All in due time. It will all be explained. Trust me.”

“Lt Chase to T’ghrek. We thank you for your hospitality. We would like to invite you over for dinner tonight. There is much we should probably discuss. See you soon.”

“It should be good to see my brother, has he met Grace yet?”

“Oh yes he has met Grace. She liked his ears.”

“Shall we go Zach, I am tired of these surroundings, and why do we have T’ghrek’s personal guards with us?” She looked bemused and a little lost as though her memories were there but covered by something she could not quite see through.

“Ok, let’s get to the transporter room. The guards are a part of our discussion that we will have with your brother tonight at dinner. So yes we are having company.” Zach motions for the guards to join them.

Shoniara took another look at Borvan and wondered what his problem was. She took Grace and held her as they walked to the transporter room. She made sure Puss was with them. “I’ve just had a though Zach, have you seen Etienne at all? He is so alone at the moment and I did so want him to be a part of this family.”

“Etienne is with Marina. We had a talk and he is very excited about joining our unofficial family. Oh, and Duke too. He will join us in a few days.


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