A Question of Fate
Episode 4 - Truth, Justice, and the Federation Way
Location: USS Arcadia, Silent Triangle
Timeline: 2047 Hours, MD 1 (March 3, 2393)
::Guest Quarters, Deck 19::
"Now what?" Asked Commander Hekoa. "Lee is not going to just let us head to the Galeon System on our own, and if he finds out about Project Medusa . . ."
With a wave of her hand, Nami cut her first officer off in mid-sentence.
"He won't find out. Alenis has made sure the lab is completely inaccessible. And as soon as repair is finished, we'll proceed to the Galeon System whether he likes it or not. The Arcadia may have the most advanced sensors in 2393, but even they can't track us once we are cloaked."
"What about her?"
"Will she go along with the plan?"
"It doesn't matter. We are not bringing her to the Galeon System with us. After everything that she went through, the girl deserves to be with her parents."
Noticing her first officer's tightening brows, Nami added, "She doesn't know anything about Project Medusa. There's nothing she can tell them."
Hekoa didn't seem to be entirely convinced, but before he could voice his concern, the door chime rang.
"That's it for now, Commander." said Nami. "Let me know as soon as the repair is complete."
"Yes, Ma'am." Hekoa nodded before standing up and heading to the doors. As he approached, the doors hissed open, revealing the Arcadia's security chief on the other side. "Lieutenant Dash." He acknowledged the Trill's presence with a nod, but without waiting for a response, he stepped past him and disappeared into the corridor outside.
Kevan blinked at the Commander as he passed-by, but made no attempt to start a conversation. Instead he stepped-into the guest room that had been assigned to Captain Ishikawa while her ship was being repaired. The guest rooms themselves were lavish, and this one particularly so. Ishikawa clearly hadn't touched anything, the entire room as pristine as it had been prepared to be. Perhaps she simply wasn't used to such comforts where she came from, he noted.
"Captain Ishikawa," he noted, seeing her sat at the small glass table in the middle of the room. She was difficult to read, her face taut with years of hardship and stress. "You asked to speak to me?"
Nami gestured at the seat that had just been vacated by Hekoa. "Yes, please." As Dash took his seat, she continued. "Whatever the Council decides, Lieutenant, I'd like to thank you for your support at the briefing this afternoon. And since Lieutenant Lee refused do it, I'd also like to apologize for the altercation on deck 2 earlier. I appreciate that you didn't throw her in the brig for the night.”
“Thank you for recognising that, Captain,” Kevan nodded. “My colleagues are naturally suspicious. For me, Starfleet always has and always will stand for fairness and optimism rather than distrust and suspicion. We risk becoming like our enemies if we leave everyone at arms-length.” He paused. “As for the situation with Lieutenant Lee . . . there is no need to apologise. The actions of one do not reflect the feelings of the rest of this crew. The cadet involved will also be dealt with appropriately.”
He fixed Ishikawa with a look for a moment, studying her face for any sign of emotion. “When I heard that there was a Lieutenant with the same last name as the Captain involved I was initially concerned she might be a relative, but she wasn’t particularly forthcoming. I don’t know if Lee is a common name on Earth."
When Dash talked about "fairness and optimism," he sounded rather Oliver-esque. It was not an encouraging sign, but at the same time he did support her at the briefing. She would just have to prod him a bit more later and see if he could be counted on if things got ugly. But for now, she had called him for something else, something no less important than her own mission.
"I don't know, either, Lieutenant." said Nami as she crossed her legs and made herself more comfortable in the chair. "But Terri is indeed related to your captain. As a matter of fact, she's his daughter. Unfortunately she lost both of of her parents where we came from, and she's still having a difficult time reconciling that and the fact that both of her parents are alive and well here on the Arcadia. If you think temporal paradoxes are confusing, try throw in your family and loved ones, it's much worse. "
The statement caught him by surprise, his brow suddenly furrowing as he tried to understand the implications. "Does he know?" More to the point, should he know, considering the temporal prime directive? The second question went unasked as he waited for her to reply.
Nami drank from her glass of water and said, "Her father died in her arms, Lieutenant, and she didn't even have a chance to say goodbye. As for her mother, she lost her when she was still little. Not everyone gets a second chance like this, and I will not deprive her of the opportunity to be with her parents. Prime Directives be damned. So, yes, I told your captain about her, and Captain Ymir, too."
"Korra?" The word escaped from his lips before the penny dropped. He sat upright, blinking. "Her mother is Kor . . . Captain Ymir?" he exclaimed a little louder than intended. A number of thoughts ran through his head at the same time, trying to reconcile how Korra and Oliver came to have a child, how she had outlived both of them, and not to mention how his name hadn't featured anywhere in that statement.
It was clear to Nami that what she had said unsettled the other Trill quite a bit, but she pretended to not have noticed the rather obvious signs and nodded. "Yes, she is."
After a brief pause, she said, "Quite an extraordinary woman, Captain Ymir. She's the most fearless and strong-willed person I have ever met. And she and your Captain, they were a match made in the heavens. How could they not be? They had been the closest of friends growing up, even before that friendship inevitably blossomed into one of the most beautiful love stories you will ever hear, the kind of story you read in the holo novels and the movies, but never thought possible outside of fictions, but then you have Korra and Oliver. They were the envy of everyone who knew them."
"I don't usually believe in the immutability of fate, Lieutenant, which is why I'm here, trying to avert the terrible fate that the Federation suffered in my time line, but Korra and Oliver, in all my lives, I have never seen love as enduring and as unbreakable as theirs. There are no time lines, there is nothing, no gods or man, that can keep the two of them apart. I don't know why anyone would even try."
As she finished speaking, her eyes drifted away and into the empty space outside of the floor-to-ceiling windows of the guest quarters.
Kevan opened his mouth to speak, then closed it again. Then he stared at her in silence for a long time. Her face appeared distant, lost in either a memory or a thought that seemed to provide a strange sort of happiness. Inside his chest, his own heart ached as he considered the words she had just spoken, a part of him heartbroken while at the same time defiant and determine to prove her wrong.
"You knew them well, then." he managed to comment behind a veil of concentration. He shifted in his seat a little uncomfortably, desperate to shift the attention away from the subject. "I wonder, what do you know of me, Captain Ishikawa? Are my exploits in the future quite so . . . legendary?"
Looking back, Ishikawa drank from her glass of water. "They saved me from the slavers and gave me a new life, a life worth living. I owe them everything." She paused briefly before continuing with a small smile. "You rose to your own command, Lieutenant, one of the finest ships in the 7th Fleet. You even extricated the Seventh from the 2nd Battle of the Caldran System against overwhelming odds and before all was lost. I'd say that was very impressive."
She still hoped he could be an ally when the time came, and a little ego-stroking certainly wouldn't hurt.
"I am rather impressive, aren't I?" A satisfied grin crossed Kevan's face, for a moment banishing the negative thoughts running through his head. Command of an entire fleet sounded thrilling. By telling him she was probably bending a few Temporal Prime Directive rules, but he didn't mind. For all they knew the future she was talking about might already have changed. Then his thoughts were back to Korra and what Ishikawa had said about her destiny. He made a motion that suggested the conversation was drawing to a close. "Thank you for your kind words, Captain. If there is anything at all you need, I am at your disposal."
"I will." said Nami with a small smile. Judging by Dash's reactions, everything seemed to be working out just as planned. "And thank you, Lieutenant."
As the other Trill disappeared into the corridor outside of her temporary quarters, Nami felt a all too familiar sensation coursing through her head. Rubbing her temples, she grunted bitterly. "I told you to shut up. Why wouldn't you just listen!"
"He's a good man," the voice in her head was masculine, a little harder than the previous one. Mycah, the last host before Nami, had been a Starfleet officer too. His tone and inflection still had that officious nature to it even though it was only in her head. "You didn't tell him everything about the Caldran System; his actions there deserved far more credit than you gave him. Does he deserve what you're doing now after that?"
Nami stood up from her chair. "What he deserves is irrelevant. I'm doing this for Terri. She already lost her mother once, and her father . . . she deserves her family back, and no one can stand in the way of that."
"And what about his family? Didn't they deserve better too?" Mycah responded. "After Trill was reduced to ashes and the Federation surrendered, he still fought. At Rigel. At Arcanis. You know how hard he battled to continue the legacy of his idol. And after everything you did to Oliver-"
Nami's fist slammed into the bulkhead next to her. "I did what I had to do! The Seventh would have surrendered to the Dominion like the rest of the Fleet if I hadn't . . ."
She shook her head. Rubbing her temples, she walked over to the desk where a small medical kit sat.
". . . but they fought on because of the choice I made, and that bought us the time to finish the chrono-generator and gave us a chance to set things right."
She opened the med kit and inserted the cartridge into the hyperspray, but she didn't use it immediately. For a brief moment she looked at the device as if hesitating. Then the look in her eyes hardened.
"I don't need you to constantly remind me, Mycah." she said before pressing the hyperspray against her neck and putting an end to the whispering, at least for the moment.
"I loved him." she murmured.
Captain Nami Ishikawa
USS Themyscira NCC-85430
(NPC - Oliver)
Lieutenant Kevan Dash
Chief of Security
USS Arcadia NCC-89015