"Pictures" By Lt. Sara Crusher. Sara sat on her bedroom floor with her back pressed against the foot of her bed, her knees were drawn in close to her chest, her chin resting gently on top of them, and her arms were stretched out and wrapped around her legs. Her gaze was fixed on a large cedar chest that sat a few feet in front of her. The chest was old and worn and with in it’s faded finished walls and behind it ’s built in lock were the memories of a very confused red head. To Sara the things that were held inside that chest were not only trinkets and bobbles from her childhood but she hoped that some where in there were also answers. Answers that would explain the what and why behind her selective memory block. It bothered Sara more then she let on that there was a part of her life that she couldn’t remember. Sara shifted her position so she was sitting in front of the chest. She ran her hand along the smooth surface until it landed on the chest’s only decoration. A carving of her family’s coat of arms adorned the front of the chest, Sara pressed the center of the craving and then released it. The front of the craving opened and a long black key fell into Sara’s hand. She closed the hidden compartment and then placed the key in the chest’s lock. Her hand held the key nervously and for a moment Sara was almost afraid to turn it, but after taking a deep breath she slowly turned the key. Sara’s heart seemed to skip a beat when she heard the familiar click of the lock opening. The faint scent of cedar wafted up from the chest as Sara opened it. Her eyes quickly scanned the contents and then smiled at the few familiar things that were on top. She reached in and pulled out a pair of kid sized tap shoes. She could hardly believe that after all those years of being in the chest, that the shoes were still as shiny as they were the day her Aunt Beverly gave them to her. Sara’s aunt loved to dance and was more then thrilled when Sara had asked her to teach her how. Sara loved it and even continued to keep up her lessons after her aunt returned to ship duty via holo chip recordings. Hidden under a small white blanket with little yellow chicks and ducklings, that Sara quickly hid under the comforter on her bed just in case Cyanah popped in, Sara found several framed pictures. One was of her mother who sat regally in the command chair of the USS Aztec, the ship she commanded before taking the teaching job at the academy. One was of her and her bother at their grandparents’ fiftieth wedding anniversary and the last one was of her and her best friend Alexis. They had both just turned ten years old and their mom’s had given them a trip to Disney Universe on Pluto for their birthdays, which were only seven days apart. The picture, which was in a pink furry frame that read Princesses on the top in blue glitter, was of the two standing in front of the entrance gate with Whinne the Pooh, and Tigger. Sara laughed out loud when she pulled out the small teddy bear necklace she use to wear when her family still lived on her mother’s ship. She had thought at the time that the small gold bear was just that, a small gold bear at the end of a gold chin, she didn’t find out until she was sixteen that the trinket was really a way for her mother and her security staff to keep tabs on her since she had the annoying habit of getting into the Jeffery tubes. Each item Sara pulled form the chest brought back a memory, but not the memories she was looking for. As she looked through an old picture album she was starting to think that there was nothing in there that would help her piece together the fragments and flashes of her past that floated in her mind. She half heartedly looked at the pictures of family vacations, her and her brother goofing around, her and her friends standing around with their skate boards and roller blades, and her school pictures. Even the pictures of Kedo Linford who was her first real crush, and Terry Sweeney, her first boy friend only got a mild sigh from her. Although, she did smile when she thought about all the dorks, geeks and losers she had to go though before finally finding Cyanah. Sara put the album aside and went back into the chest. She moved things around and took a few more things out but didn’t really pay much attention to anything until she came across something a little odd. A stone. She picked it up and held it in her hands. It was flat, oval shaped, about the size of a small dinner plate and was very smooth. She trailed her finger across the surface and tilted her head to the side. "What on Earth am I doing with a rock?" She turned it over and blinked when she noticed there was writing on it. The hand writing was unfamiliar but very elegant. "Co. Kerry Ireland. Summer of ‘65." Sara read out loud. "65. I would have been nine." She leaned back against the bed again and traced the black painted on words with the tip of her finger. "I guess I have been to Ireland." Letting her head lean back onto the bed, Sara closed her eyes and sighed. "Why can’t I remember ever going to Ireland? You would think I’d remember a trip like that." Sara brought her hand up to brush some hair out of her face and then let it fall to her side. Her head jerked up when her hand brushed against the corner of another picture album. After placing the stone on the floor next to her Sara picked up the album and looked at it. It looked as if it were home made with it’s quilted cover and embroidering. "Irish Summers." and "S.A.C" Had been sown into the dark green fabric of the cover in gold thread and in the same elegant handwriting that was on the stone. Opening the album carefully Sara started at the first page. There were four pictures of herself standing in front of a stone wall. "First trip. Summer of ‘63. Sara age seven." She said out loud as she read the hand written notes under the first picture. Each picture after that had the year and her age. "Summer of 64. Sara age eight.. Summer of 65. Sara age nine. Summer of 66. Sara age ten." Sara’s hand started to shake. This was no longer just a small fraction of her life. She couldn’t remember any of those trips. On the next page she flipped too, Sara found a picture of herself kneeling once again in front of the stone wall. She had her arms wrapped around a beautiful Irish Setter and the words beneath it read, "Sara and Flynn. ‘65." Flynn? She thought to herself. Then she smiled, "He was always with me. Keeping me out of trouble most of the time." Sara huffed playfully. "He was such a tattle tale." *** Bark! Bark! Sara looked back at the braking dog and tried to hush him. "Quiet, Flynn. They’re in the kitchen they can hear you ya know." Flynn continued to bark as he watched Sara climbing onto the wall, his tail waving franticly behind him. "Will you hush.. I’m not going to get hurt. I just wanna try and make it from here to the gate." Sara smiled down at the dog as she balanced herself on the stone wall. "See. I can do this." Some of the stones where loose and others slick from the morning rain but Sara stepped carefully one foot in front of the next and made sure to balance herself. She grinned happily as she approached the gate but just as she was sure she was about to make it her foot slipped out from under her and she fell off the wall and into a waiting pair of arms. Her eyes had been clinched tight as she waited for the ground to hit but when she felt someone catch her she kept them close fearing who that might be. "Sara Anastasia Crusher!" Sara flinched. "Didn't I just tell you not even ten minutes ago not to climb onto the wall?" Sara opened her eyes when she felt her feet hit the ground. She nodded slowly as she stared at a pair of jean clad legs. "You could have broken you neck falling off the wall like that!" There was a loud sigh. "I’m sorry." Sara said softly. There was another sigh and Sara knew the young woman standing before her was shaking her head as she pinched the bridge of her nose. "You’re gonna be sorry if you ever try that again. Now get your little butt in the house, you can sit on your little stool in the corner until I get back from the market. Then when I do get back your going to help me put the stones back that slipped off the wall before lunch. Understood?" Sara nodded. "Yes Ma’am." *** Sara shook off the new memory and stared down at the picture and then over to the stone. "That was one of the stones that slipped off the wall that day!" She shouted. She remembered the whole event but not the woman. Sara sighed and shook her head, she was starting to feel as if she were in an episode of an old twentieth century cartoon called the Muppet Babies that she and her brother use to watch. All they ever got to see of their nanny was her green and white stripped socks and hear her voice. The next picture caused Sara to blink several times. It was of her and a very handsome young man in his early twenties. He sat on the hearth of the same stone fire place Sara had seen in the memory flash she had had in New York. Flynn was sitting on the floor next to the young man and Sara was on his lap. He had the softest eyes and the warmest smile and Sara could remember thinking he was the coolest thing ever. *** Sara sat quietly on the little stool that sat in the corner of the living room with her head in her hands. She listened to the turf fire crackle in the fire place and to the sounds coming from the kitchen that meant lunch would be ready soon. She sighed and mentally yelled at herself for disobeying her again. She hated letting her down so much that her stomach turned with guilt. "There’s me best wee girl!" Came a voice from behind her. It took everything in Sara not to bounce off her stool. "Brennan!" She shouted back as she continued to look at the wall. "What did ye do this time?" Brennan asked as he picked Sara up off the stool. She flashed a brief smile as she wrapped her tiny arms around his neck. "I tried to walk across the wall after she told me not to." Brennan shook his head. "That bit of daring fairy in you again." He chuckled a bit. Sara nodded. "You’d better put me back before she gets back from the market. I don’t want her to yell at you too." Brennan laughed and then nodded. "She don’t scare me.. But your right I should put you back." Brennan? Where had Sara seen that name before? She closed the album and stood slowly and started to pace the room, both to help her think and because she had lost all feeling in her legs from sitting on the floor. Slowly things where coming back but she was still missing the main link. What was it? Or better yet *who* was it that was behind her blocking all of this out. Sara growled in frustration which made her cat look at her funny. "What!?" Sara huffed at her. "This is driving me nuts!" Gypsy continued to look at Sara funny before hopping into the chest. Sara laughed. "Get of there you silly cat." She walked over and picked the small black cat up and then looked down into the chest. Half a sliver picture frame which had been hidden under her old cheerleading uniform caught her attention. Sara placed the cat on the bed and then reached down to pick up the picture. "Sickbay to Crusher." Jenny’s voice cut though the stillness of the room like a hot knife though butter. "medical emergency." Sara let go of the corner of the frame to tap her comm badge. "On my way." She sighed heavily and rubbed the back of her neck as she closed the lid of the chest. She walked away from the chest with out seeing the picture, "oh well," She thought to herself as she walked out of her quarters. "What's a few more hours, right. Maybe I should ease up and stop pushing it. It’ll come.. Won’t it?"