[USS Vanguard] A Happy Return

  • From: Jayne Deaux <jaynedeaux@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2001 18:43:31 -0800 (PST)

*Desdemona Barrett-Brown*
*     USS Vanguard      *
* immediately following *
*    Andy?s last post   *  

Desdemona sat at the bar of the Event Horizon, drink
in hand, gazing out at the stars.  Elsewhere in the
ship, she knew the Ferengi Trio were being held brig. 
Soon they would be taken to the authorities, and most
likely imprisoned for their crimes.  In a way, she
felt sorry for them, but in a way, she didn?t.  So
much, she thought, for the torrents of greed.

She looked up as the doors opened.  Captain Santos
entered the lounge.  She smiled as he approached.

?So,? she said, ?This makes twice you?ve saved me. 
It?s beginning to get embarrassing.?

?How so?? Santos took a seat beside her.

?Well,? she flashed that classic ?Desdemona? smile,
?I?m not exactly accustomed to playing the damsel in
distress.  A girl?s got to think of her reputation.?

?I don?t think you?ve lost face, Mrs. Barrett-Brown.?

She winced.  ?Would it kill you to call me Des??


After her chat with the captain, Des returned to her
quarters.  She had a full mind, and a lot of empty
hours to fill until she would return to work at the
lounge.  She hadn?t spoken to her Ferengi captors
since her rescue, and she knew that once the prisoners
were transferred she might never get the chance again.
 Her conversation with Halk had disturbed her deeply,
and she had to resolve these feelings it had brought
up.  Moreover, she had to make sure he would keep his
mouth shut about the past.

She made her way to the brig.  The three were held in
separate cells--for their own safety more than
anything else.  Tog sat in the corner, brooding.  Zom
looked as if he were on the verge of tears.  Halk, who
had been sitting, fairly leapt to his feet as she
entered.  The security officer on duty approached her.

?Something I can help you with, Miss Desdemona??

She explained that she wanted to speak to the
prisoner, Halk.  He looked doubtful, but consented.

Standing on the outside of the force field, Des looked
at Halk.  He was haggard and tired, looking like a man
whose spirit had been broken.

?I?m so glad you came to see me, Des.?  He said.

?Well, don?t throw me a parade just yet.?  She crossed
her arms.  ?Just what the hell were you thinking?  You
were going to kill us all!?

?I couldn?t bear to lose you again.?

?You never had me to begin with,? she snapped back.

?No,? Halk admitted.  ?But given time...  if only we?d
had more time.  I was starting to reach you; you can?t
deny that.?

?The hell I can?t,? Des nearly shouted,  ?Get this
through your think cranium:  I will never, ever love
you.  Ever.?

Halk was hurt, but he hid it in anger.  ?So, you?re
Federation now, is that it?  You can just turn your
back on everything, just like that.?

Des glanced over at the security guard, who was doing
his very to not pay attention top their conversation. 
She lowered the tone of her voice.

?I?m not Federation.  Nor was I ever Maquis.  I serve
nobody, understand?  I?m a free agent.?

?To the highest bidder??  Halk raised his chin.  ?Now
you really do sound like one of us.?

If not for the force field separating them, Des
would?ve slapped his face.  Her icy glare was enough
to make him shrink, though.

?Listen, Des, get him to drop the shield for a second.
 There?s something I want to give you.?

?What?  No!?  She balked, ?What do you think I am, an

?Please,? Halk?s eyes were sincere.  ?When we reach
the starbase, we?ll be taken away to face charges.  I
might never get to see you again.  I?ll never get
another chance to give you this.?

He reached into his shirt and pulled a plain golden
chain from around his neck.  On it were two wedding
bands, one plain and one ornate.  Des gasped.

?Where did you...?

?I?ve had them this whole time, for all these years. 
I had kept them to remind me of you, but...? He looked
into her eyes.  ?They don't belong to me, and neither
do you.? 

Without a word, Des reached out and turned off the
force field confining Halk.  The security officer
shouted in distress, bit neither Des nor Halk paid
attention.  Halk handed her the chain, and she hugged
him in gratitude.

?Goodbye, Desdemona,? said Halk, ?Good journey.?

They both stepped back as the security officer
reinstated the shield.  He turned to Desdemona.

?I?m going to have to ask you to leave,? he said,


Back in her quarters, Des looked at the two wedding
rings.  Both were centuries old, but still looked the
same to Desdemona as the day she had received each.  
She had worn the chain around her own neck through all
the years after leaving Earth for the last time, and
had thought she?d lost them forever when she awoke on
the Vanguard without them.

She put the chain around her neck, lowered the lights,
and fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.


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