Episode 4 - Truth, Justice, and the Federation Way
Location: Sickbay, USS Arcadia
Timeline: 1605 Hours, MD 1 (March 3, 2393)
This post is partially adapted from Family - Part 2 "A Father's Love".
Meg and Marion went into the kitchen to grab the stuffed peppers and salad as Theo walked into the dining room with a bowl containing enough spaghetti to feed a small country. She was followed by Nigel, who was carrying two platters of lahmahjoon. As Theo was walking over, she smiled at the young woman sitting at one end of the rectangular dinner table. "I remembered that you liked my homemade noodles and tomato sauce, so I made a little bit for you."
Terri broke into a big smile. "That's my favorite!" Rubbing her hands in anticipation, she impatiently waited for the plate to be set down on the table. Once it was down, she rolled up her sleeves and dug in.
As Terri rolled up her sleeves, Theo noticed a nasty-looking cut on her arm. Her motherly instincts kicked in, and she said, "Oh my! Terri, what happened to you? Let me go get some antiseptic . . ."
"Oh, that's nothing." She dismissed it with a shrug. "I was on my way here, and there were a bunch of people protesting in front of the War Memorial. Some of them had signs that said some stupid stuff about dad, so I introduced them to my best friend." She formed her free hand into a fist and waved it in mid air with a smug grin on her face.
Nigel rolled his eyes. *Kids... always getting into trouble...* he thought, chuckling slightly.
Theo shot him a warning glare and said to Terri, "Honey, don't put yourself in danger like that. Those low-down bullies aren't worth your time or suffering." She put her hand over Terri's injured forearm and frowned in concern. "Are you sure you'll be alright? I don't want you getting an infection or something."
There was not a trace of care on Terri's face as she devoured the pasta. "Really. It's nothing. Dad always says I'm tough like . . ."
"You are tough like your mom." That's what her dad always said.
The grin on Terri's face faded a little before she forced it back. "Nah, I'm fine. I promise."
". . . Alright," Theo replied, skeptically. She trusted that Terri would use her own good judgement. Everyone had already begun eating, so she served herself a small portion of everything. "So tell me, how have things been?"
"Oh, it's fine I guess." Said Terri as she helped herself to a large slice of lahmahjoon. "I have a new project to work on at R&D so that's exciting. Also the landlord finally fixed the replicator at my place last week, but then the sonic shower stopped working so I had to move back in with Michaela. It was great to be back home, but then there was the, you know, anniversary. I tried to cheer her up, but nothing worked, just like last year. Or the year before that. Or the one before that . . ." Her voice trailed off as she began prodding her food aimlessly with her forks.
Looking back up at Theo, she asked, "Have you heard anything from dad? He hasn't responded to my messages in weeks."
Theo was a bit surprised, but she tried to hide it. "I haven't, no," she replied, and then in an attempt to reassure her, she said, "I'm sure he's just busy with work. Being a commander of an entire sector can be pretty time-consuming." She smiled softly, hoping that it would make her feel better. She knew what Terri's birthday meant to the admiral, and she knew that it must be a hard time for him, but Terri was a human being who deserved her father's love, even during hard times.
"That's what Captain Ishikawa said." Said Terri.
Theo smiled sympathetically, "If both of us said it, then it must be right, right?"
Terri nodded, though not entirely convinced.
"Do you think," She asked, this time without looking up from her food. "Do you think that if my mom had not . . . I mean, if she had not . . . If I had not . . ."
"You mean if you had not killed her?" Came the retort, but it was not Theo's voice.
Looking back up, Terri saw a gray-haired admiral standing before her. She looked around. They were inside the old Bunker Hill's sickbay.
"Dad, I . . . I didn't . . ." She stuttered.
"But you did." said the admiral as he stepped to the side and turned, revealing a scene of frenzied activities behind him as a group of doctors worked frantically around a biobed.
"Her vitals are deteriorating rapidly. We have to deliver now."
"Prepare for fetal transport."
"Locking onto the baby's coordinates. Initiating umbilical cord separation. Energizing."
Blue transporter beams shimmered inside a nearby medical incubator and mere seconds later a clarion cry of life reverberated throughout the sickbay.
"The lieutenant is going into shock."
"Increase chlorofine to 22 milligrams."
"It's not working. Depolarization of her basal ganglia is accelerating much faster than we anticipated."
"Prepare for neuropolaric induction. Set the cortical inhibitor to 85%, and bring me the neural modulator."
". . . she's gone."
"I said bring me the neural modulator!"
"She's gone, Doctor. There's nothing we can do."
A long sigh.
"Tell Captain Lee . . ."
The doctor's voice began to fade, and everything fell silent. Even the baby's cries were gone, and soon so were the doctors and the gray-haired admiral.
A teary eyed Terri was left to stand over the lifeless Marine on the biobed, and on the other side stood her father in his old uniform with a captain's rank pips on his collar. He was young and without the slightest hint of gray in his hair, but the melancholy in his countenance, the barely contained tears in his eyes, he was broken.
Terri's voice faltered as her hand reached out to the dark-haired woman on the bed. "Mom . . . "
The captain looked dolefully over the Marine on the bio bed.
"She was the love of my life. She was my best friend."
His voice turned bitter as he looked up at Terri.
"But now she's gone, and it's all because of you. You! Why? Why did you do this to her? Why did you do this to me?"
"I . . ."
"We never wanted you, Terri. It was all a mistake. You were a mistake." Looking down, he let out a woeful sigh and tugged a loose strand of hair behind the Marine's ear. "A fateful mistake."
"Dad . . ."
The man shook his head. "Don't call me that. You have no right to call me that. Leave. You don't belong here, Terri. Leave! Haven't you hurt enough people already? Your mom, Alex, Erin, Michaela . . . you have hurt everyone I have ever cared about. Get out! Get off my ship!!"
"No, Dad, no . . ." Terri cried and struggled to grasp the fading image of her father. All for naught.
"No!!!" She cried again, this time her eyes opened wide with despair, and she would have tumbled off her bed if not for the Bajoran sitting by her.
"Terri, Terri, it's OK, it's alright. I'm here." Said Lieutenant Laren Alenis as she gently held onto the short haired blonde.
Terri instinctively struggled against the hold, but stopped as soon as she recognized the person holding her.
"Alenis?" She pulled her close and held her tightly. "Alenis."
It was a dream. A nightmare. But why did it feel so real? No matter, it's over.
Terri took the next few moments to savor Alenis' embrace before letting her go.
"What happened?" She asked, glancing around the unfamiliar sickbay.
"The USS Arcadia picked up our distress call and saved us from the Klingons. We are in their sickbay now. You were unconscious for a few hours, but Doctor T'Lor said you should make a full recovery."
"The captain and Themie?"
"Captain Ishikawa is OK, and they have started repair on Themie. She should be ready to fly again in a day or two."
Terri nodded in relief.
"What year is it?"
"2393." Terri mumbled to herself. Her initial calculations had been perfect, but she couldn't fully compensate for the temporal field disruption caused by the firefight with the Klingons inside the time stream. All that phaser and disruptor discharges must have thrown them off the intended temporal coordinates. It was not her fault, of course; the chrono-generator wasn't supposed to be ready for another week. If only she had had more time to calibrate . . . Ugh, stupid Klingons.
She need to take a look of the generator - hopefully it wasn't too damaged - but that would have to wait for now as she had a far bigger and far more serious problem to deal with: that incessant grumbling in her tummy.
"Ugh, I'm starving. Can we go to the mess hall? They still have mess hall in this time line, right?"
Alenis chuckled. "Oh, we can do a lot better than the mess hall. Did you know that they have a Big Belly Burger on deck 2?"
Terri's eyes opened wide in anticipation. "No kidding."
"No kidding at all." said a familiar voice from behind them, "as a matter of fact, they are having a special on all their cheese burgers and Toscili fries right now."
Alenis stood up from her seat, still holding Terri's hands. "Captain."
Terri turned in her bed, and her heart sank.
"Dad . . ."
Lieutenant Terri C. Lee
Chief Science Officer
(NPC - Oliver)
Lieutenant Laren Alenis
Chief Intelligence Officer
(NPC - Oliver)
Captain Oliver A. Lee
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
Commander Theo Dolarian
(Formerly USS Bunker Hill)