[USS Vanguard] Recovery, Rebuilding and Rememberance

  • From: Jayne Deaux <jaynedeaux@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 22:30:42 -0700 (PDT)

**  Desdemona Barrett-Brown **
**  Carillon / Kate's Ranch **
**during "The Morning After"**

Kate had refused to leave the remains of her ranch,
and Des had stayed with her, doing her best to help
comfort the woman and salvage what they could from the

They had taken horses and circled the surrounding
land.  Though the cattle not killed by the Breen had
fled the pen, most of the fences surrounding the ranch
proper were intact and the livestock hadn't wandered

By the time Santos and the others had returned to see
to the captured Breen, the two of them had managed to
round up and do a head count--slightly over half had
been lost--and the cattle were grazing blithely in the
newly repaired pen as if last night's savage attack
hadn't happened.

Kate herself was not as unscathed by the occurence. 
Mud streaked and tattered, she stared off into the
desert landscape.  Des knew the expression on her face
well; it was the look of one who has lost everything,
suddenly and without reason.  Beneath that was a
steely resolve.  Kate would rebuild.  The town would
rebuild.  Life would go on.  But, it would never be
the same.

"It's a shame their first contact was with these damn
Breen raiders.  I can't imagine how confusing and
frightening this must be for them."  Santos' comment
wasn't really directed at anyone, but Des, standing
nearby, turned her attention away from poor Kate and
answered him.

"They'll adapt."  She managed a weak smile.  "Everyone
does, eventually."

"You did a fine job here; I'm glad you were on the
away team."

"Me, too."  She smiled.  "I told you I was no stranger
to ranch work.  But thanks."

Kieran Darkwater was ambling towards them, intent on
speaking with Santos.  Des toook her cue to leave the
officers to their business, and touched the
Commodore's shoulder lightly.  "Excuse me, Nick."

Darkwater and Santos spoke in low tones, and Des
didn't try to listen to their conversation.  As she
headed towards what was left of the barn, Cynan
approached, heading in Santos and Darkwaters'

She nodded at Cynan in passing, and mader her way to
the ramshackle, leaning wall that was once a barn. 
The horses were tied by the trough, and Des filled
their feed sacks from a steel drum that had mercifully
been untouched.  She brushed their coats and whispered
softly to calm them, all the while tugged at by a
sense of deja vu.

She was so lost in reverie that she didn't even notice
the raised voices of the men a few minutes later.  She
kept seeing the ruins of another ranch, one back on
earth in the late 1890's.  The scorching flames, the
braying of the cattle, and gunfire... wicked, hateful
gunfire that had shattered what had been her wedding

The Widow Brown turned away, not wanting the others to
see the tears gathering in her eyes.  She caressed the
plain golden ring hanging from the chain around her
neck, a lump forming in her throat.  The passing
centuries had done nothing to dull the intensity of
the memories of that night.


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