[USS Vanguard] Reality Crashes

  • From: Kent Kavan <tonykavan@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 6 Dec 2004 22:37:37 -0800 (PST)

Petty Officer Craig Kavan
Craig left the three cadets, one of them holding the angry ball of fur, at a 
dead run for the closest transporter room.  Fear made his blood freeze and his 
thoughts turned to the worst case scenario.  But as the cool tingle of the 
transporter swept over him Craig had a memory of his wife Kelly lying in a 
hospital bed, hooked to several machines and gradually dying.
As he stepped off the transporter pad at the San Francisco Hospital more 
memories...  Arwen standing next to Kelly's bed as the doctor shut the machine 
off that maintained Kelly's life support.  He heard the heart monitor begin a 
steady whine as his wife's heart stopped...  His daughter clinging to him in 
the hospital chapel, both of them sobbing uncontrollably after Kelly's death.  
None of it made sense, he'd put Arwen in bed that morning.  She was less than a 
year old, and certainly not wearing a cadet uniform.  Then there was the 
conversation he'd had with Ceelak...
Craig stopped in the corridor and grabbed his chest as he sank to his knees.  A 
sudden pain had flared up and for a brief moment he thought he was having a 
heart attack.  The world suddenly began to spin and his last concious thought 
was the feeling of the cold tile floor against his face when he fell.
Slowly, Craig opened his eyes and realized he was lying in a hospital bed.  Not 
only that, he was strapped down and unable to move.  His throat was dry and 
parched, and it took a few moments for his vision to focus.
When it did, he saw a young woman with dark hair leaning over him.  At first, 
he thought she was a doctor, she was wearing a lab coat and stethascope...
"I'm not sure why you were unable to fully accept my little version of reality. 
 But I guess it is of small importance."
A flurry of memories flooded back into Craig's mind as everything came crashing 
back.  They weren't visions, Kelly really was dead...  This was all some sort 
of twisted illusion.
The woman saw the panic and realization on Craig's face.  
"I'm sorry, how rude of me.  We've never been introduced Chief.  My name is 
Qbed, of the Q continuum."  She leaned down over him as she continued, "You 
almost had the he-she convinced that something was amiss as well.  That means 
that I can't let you out to play with the others, I'm afraid that you are going 
to have to sit the rest of this one out.  Nothing personal."
Tears began streaming down his cheeks and Qbed looked puzzled.  Craig hadn't 
figured why she was doing this, but he knew what she had done.
"Leave me."  Was all he could think to say.
"What do you mean?"
"My wife is dead, but here she's still alive."  Craig sobbed.  "When you're 
done playing whatever game...  Just leave me in this reality."
For a moment, the woman almost looked sympathetic.  For a moment, then it was 
gone.  "I can't do that.  I still haven't decided exactly how this is going 
end..."  She suddenly brightened.  "I know, I can have a little fun with you as 
well.  Later anyway, but for now I can't have you following me and ruining the 
rest of my fun."
A snap of her fingers, bright light, and Craig was suddenly alone on the bridge 
of the Vanguard.  Qbed's voice came over the intercomm.  
"Don't do anything stupid.  It wouldn't be good if the Borg found your ship 
while the crew is gone."
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