[USS Vanguard] Re: What to do with a Cerberus that bites you?

  • From: Kieran Darkwater <kierandarkwater@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ncv80221@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2006 10:45:10 +0000 (GMT)

Kieran didn?t feel the contact at all as the Vanguard settled into place 
against the docking clamps, and barely registered the announcement they were 
alongside and leave had started. Out in the main bay, his department finished 
up their reports and experiments over the next half hour or so and slowly, one 
by one, trooped out to their various enjoyments.

?Sir,? he looked up to see Lieutenant Gardner in the doorway, ?we?re heading to 
the base for a meal. Would you like to join us??

?No, thank you, Sean.? He didn?t know how he?d managed it ? probably it was 
more to do with the people he?d inherited in the department than anything ? but 
he?d managed not to alienate them with his markedly different style of 
management. He was a little more distant, a little more disciplinarian, but he 
was still fair and rewarded good work with praise as much as he pointed out 
sloppy or poor performance. Another benefit of inheriting good people was how 
infrequently he?d had to be a disciplinarian.

Now, though, he found himself eyeing the roster of possible replacement 
personnel, and one name leapt to the top of the list. She wasn?t applying for 
the science department, but the list was circulated whole, and his commentary 
wasn?t required, but he opened the entry anyway, morbid curiosity capturing his 
mind as the memory echo surged from the back of his mind.


?I?d rather see Lieutenant Leonov, actually.? (Kieran) replied, which startled 
(Challis) slightly.

?Ana Leonov? She?s on duty, I?m afraid.?

?Not tha.. no? Ana Leonid?s physical body must be aboard somewhere? I?d like to 
visit her ? we were close, once.?

?I don?t think I could?? Challis began, but a quiet voice from the doorway 
interrupted her.

?Let him.? Ana said, quietly, her eyes searching Kieran?s for a moment. ?It?s 
been a long time, Kieran.?

?Nearly six months.? He replied, quietly. Challis took her cue, excused 
herself, and returned to work. ?I tried to call ahead, to let you know I would 
be coming.? He explained.

?How are you?? she asked, ignoring the offering, caught somewhere between 
delight and anger.

?I?ve been busy ? work, mainly. I finally finished ?Lord of the Rings? last 
month, though. I was laid up after a mission inj?. Injury.? He tailed off, 
quietly, and her jaw tightened up a little more as he followed her into a 

?You could have sent messages.? She offered. ?Called once in a while. What 
happened to ?Till Death Do Us Part??. You offered that, remember, on the 

?I remember.? He snapped back. ?You declined, as I recall. You ?didn?t need all 
that pomp and ceremony?.?

?So you just forgot about me, did you?? The doors hissed open to reveal a 
stark, sterile, computer laden room somewhere in the heart of the ship. 
Monitors and readouts lined the walls, and conduits and channels gathered into 
banks around the narrow bed located in the midst of it all. A thin, frail, bony 
figure ? dressed in a perfectly tailored StarFleet uniform ? nestled amidst it 
all, locked into connectors and sensors, an elaborate mesh of interfaces and 
support equipment. Sat within it, the only truly clear piece of vision in the 
entire room, were the two deep, crystal blue eyes of what was left of Ana 
Leonov, rolling downward slightly to stare at him as she had for those nine 
long hours in the cave on Calenset seven.

?I could never forget, Ana. Never?? he said, and she didn?t need the 
holographic presence to see the tears glistening in his eyes.
  It wasn?t /his/ memory, as such, a fragment of an echo of a future that might 
not occur here, but the pain it brought with it was real, the anguish and the 
ache for something not lost but put out of reach forever.
  Could he handle having her on the ship, knowing what might happen? Could he 
deny her the chance to serve where she wanted, knowing he might be saving her? 
well, not her life, not even her career? Was it just selfish to not want to go 
through that? It would be painful, for everyone, but was it guaranteed.
  /You?d think,/ he finally decided, tossing the padd back onto the desk, 
/serving aboard the temporal flagship of the fleet would have taught me better 
than to get hung up on these sort of stupid questions?/
  He rubbed at the bridge of his nose, feeling the pressure of a headache 
building, and rose to collect his thoughts, wandering seemingly at random for a 
while until a gaggle of familiar voices brought him back to the present.
  Clustered at a nearby table were some of the Vanguard?s command staff, Santos 
and Desdemona.
  ?Room for another?? he asked, dragging a chair into place from a nearby table 
as they all shuffled round to make space. ?Just milk, please.? He asked the 
waiter, straddling the chair and leaning his arms on the back.
  ?So, what?s been happening in the universe while we?ve been away??
  Sorry for the delay - hellish week for study :) Good to be back, though!

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