[USS Vanguard] RPG: Linear Lives

  • From: "Andy W. Ho" <andywoho@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2004 11:49:55 -0700 (PDT)

Capt. Dominic Santos & Desdemona Barrett-Brown
New Vanguard

[RP - Andy]

She found him some miles from New Vanguard. From the way he was
standing, she could tell that his eyes were closed, and so, he wasn't
really looking at the field he was facing.

Desdemona Barrett-Brown walked up to stand beside Dominic Cesar Santos,
and she sensed from his change in breathing that he knew she was there.

"How did you find me?" He opened one eye and peeked at her. "Oh, right.
Never mind. It's that voodoo you do." He shut both eyes and grinned.
"Don't bite my head off again. Not over that."

Could she trust him? What did she know about him? Well, everything. The
answer was: She knew everything about him. She only had to stand next
to his aura to know that. (Well, "aura" wasn't the right word, either,
but it was the closest to what a human would understand.)

The El-Aurian stood in that aura now, and she watched as Dominic Cesar
Santos was born. (He was stillborn. "We were going to name him
'Dominic,'" said his mother tearlessly.) She watched him repair the
bilge pump on his father's boat. (He drowned in the storm.). She
watched as he entered the Academy (He was imprisoned in New Zealand).
He walked away from Liza for what he thought would be the last time.
(As they burst from St. Joseph's in San Francisco, Bonaparte and Henny
and their friends threw rice. They squealed. The Starfleet cadets
formed an honor guard with their phaser rifles at parade rest.)

He defeated the Breen and escaped their ambush. (He was destroyed along
with the USS Gauntlet.) He watched as Kristen Stark died at Beta
Lachesis. (They stood together and smiled as the Vanguard surveyed the
Roman Senate.) He stood and bid Soman Drath goodbye. (Santos and The
Father cooed at Soman's baby boy in the Meditation Suite.) Sitting
happily at the bar in Event Horizon, he toasted Des. (Zena led the crew
in a toast to Dominic Santos, killed in action on Galinia-4.) Santos
silently mouthed "You may now kiss the bride" and looked on happily as
Dr. E'thexx did precisely that to Zena Quetan. (She clutched bitterly
at his tunic as they identified E'thexx in Dr. Droin's sickbay. Xristha
looked on, pained.)

She saw all this because she was able to see all the branches their
short, short lives would take. Often, it was difficult. It was like
trying to describe the tip of a matchstick with only a second to study
it before it was extinguished. Their lives were so brief. Hers, on the
other hand...so long. But could she trust him with her secret?

[RP - Raye]

?Listen, I?m sorry about that,? she said at last, ?The truth is I?ve
been purposefully ignoring my instincts on this one, Nick.?

?I can?t quite blame you,? Santos smiled at her, ?You and Elis are
pretty happy here.?

?Elis is,? Desdemona agreed, ?He has a family again.  But like you, I
have no family here.  Like you, I?m not part of whatever plays out
after the crash.?  She hesitated for a moment before adding:  ?I?m not
sure any of us are, really.?

?What do you mean??  Santos studied her, as if the answers to the
mysteries of New Vanguard were somehow hidden in the lines of her

?I?m not sure,? she admitted, ?But I?m starting to think that maybe our
sense of being out of place has less to do with the fact that we have
no supposed relatives here than I originally thought.?

?That maybe this bad feeling in my gut??

??isn?t just your primitive suspicion.?  She finished with that
familiar playful gleam in her eye.  Then her expression turned serious
and she continued, ?For every decision that you make, there are almost
infinite outcomes, it?s true.  But your lives are so linear.  You can
only wonder what might have been, but the choice has been made and so
you play it as it is.  No matter what happens to you, you have a sense
that things are in their natural order.  You might not like it; hell
you might hate it, but it is what it is and somehow it is as it should

?This isn?t as it should be,? Santos said, more to himself than to her.

?I don?t know exactly what?s going on here, Nick,? Des grasped his hand
suddenly, her eyes wide, ?But we have to be very careful.  I think
we?re in the wrong place at a very wrong time.?

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