Episode 4 - Truth, Justice, and the Federation Way
Location: USS Arcadia, Silent Triangle
Timeline: 0712 Hours, MD 2 (March 4, 2393)
[Previously in A Question of Fate]
. . . . . .
"Korra?" The word escaped from Kevan's 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."
. . . . . .
::Holodeck 8, Deck 23::
Korra cursed as she struggled to unfold her hiking staff. It's bad enough that they had a brat on board who not only came from the future, but also called her mom and Oliver dad. Now because the stupid staff refused to unfold like it was supposed to, she couldn't even enjoy the hiking and not think about the mess Terri's presence had thrown her relationship with Oliver into.
"Arrg!!" The brunette growled in frustration and flung the staff against a nearby rock formation, breaking it in half.
And where the heck was Dash?!
"Don't tell me now you changed your mind about the walk?" Kevan asked from behind her. His face was pensive, controlled, and his body was tense, a change from the casual swagger he usually reserved for her presence. "I was hoping it would distract you from the fact that I forgot that bottle of ale I promised we could share."
The Marine pilot shot him a sharp look. "Don't you patronize me. I don't need a stupid staff to hike."
"Clearly." He looked around the holodeck environment, sighting the path that they were intended to follow. "So this is Oliver's hiking program, huh?" he asked, emphasizing the Captain's name more than he would have intended. "He's happy to let you use it?"
"I can use it whenever I feel like it." said Korra as she picked up her backpack and strapped it on. "You have a problem with it?"
"It sounds like I'm not the one with a problem," he replied, trudging forward.
The Marine arched an annoyed eyebrow. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"You're doing that thing. Where you're pissed at everything - including me." He paused. "So when were you going to tell me about her? That is what you're screaming and shouting about, right?"
Korra stopped abruptly in her path and turned. "I'm NOT screaming!" She shouted before realizing that's exactly what she was doing. "Arghh." she grunted.
Taking a deep breath, she looked out into the distance and let herself be calmed by the stunning view of Lake El'nar, one of Oliver's favorite spots on Betazed.
"How did you find out?" she finally asked.
"Does it matter?" Kevan grunted. He watched her from afar as she stared out over the vista. Sure, it was beautiful - and so was she - and the sun was glorious, but there was a storm brewing in the space between them. "I hoped you might have wanted to tell me yourself." He let out a sigh. He loathed these emotional 'chick flick' moments, baring the soul and getting over-dramatic about things. "I get it, you're not sure how to react. I wouldn't be either. I'd just prefer you to be honest with me."
"What's there to be honest about?" said Korra without looking at him. "For all I know the girl and Ishikawa made the whole thing up. I don't trust the Trill." A brief pause. "The other one."
"Good to know," he acknowledged her last statement while simultaneously brushing it off. "There's no reason for all this deception. And while Captain Ishikawa might sound like a politician, Lieutenant Lee definitely doesn't. She sounded genuine when I spoke to her."
"What? You talked to the brat?! Why? When? Why the hell didn't you tell me?! What did she say you?" the Marine spewed out her questions faster than her PW-324B could spew out bullets.
"She got herself arrested for brawling with a cadet," he explained without missing a beat. "So naturally I heard about it and decided to speak to her for myself about the incident. She was very forthright, if not particularly apologetic." I wonder where she gets that from, he mused silently. "Before you get yourself all worked-up, I said nothing about our relationship; at the time I had no idea she was your temporally-displaced future child...sorry, 'brat'."
Korra shot him a look, and without a word she resumed her trek up the mountain trail. A few moments passed before she asked with a tinge of curiosity in her voice, "Did she win?"
"That Cadet will think twice about going back to any bars, put it that way," Kevan replied. He drew alongside her, hesitantly looking down and thinking about taking hold of her hand. The courage didn't come. "For what it's worth it turns-out I'm some sort of war hero in the future. Commanded an entire fleet into battle."
At least the brat knew how to win a fist fight, Korra thought to herself. But why should that matter?
"Congratulations." She said. The word came out with more sarcasm than she had intended, but with all that's going on, she wasn't exactly in the mood to apologize. But again, she rarely was.
"I'm just saying - I'm kind-of a big deal where she comes from. Maybe I should go talk to her for you..." he suggested.
Korra stopped abruptly in her track. "What? No! Why?" she blurted out. "Why would you want to do that?"
"I dunno." He shrugged. "I guess if you feel awkward about talking to one another it might help to have someone who could bridge that gap. Unless you really don't want to talk to her?"
"I'm not feeling awkward!" the Marine retorted without much thought.
Kevan looked at her, a smile forming on his face that seemed to wash away his earlier stand-offishness, if only for a few seconds. In the mood she was in it was hard not to think of her as cute. Had he honestly just come up with that word? Didn't seem right, true as it might be.
"No doubt you've spoken at length to Oliver about this? Funny how people bond over shared parenthood."
The truth was, Korra hadn't spoken to Oliver since he persuaded her to meet Terri in her temporary quarters yesterday. As far as she was concerned, there was nothing to talk about, and if Oliver knew what's best for him, he would leave her be, and he had. He did know her well.
"We don't need bonding." the Marine retorted as she resumed her trek up the mountain. She had no intention of explaining to Kevan everything that had happened between her and Oliver.
"Of course not," Kevan commented knowingly, holding back as she marched ahead of him. "Captain Ishikawa said as much."
Abruptly stopping in her track again, Korra turned around. It was either exasperation or horror in her eyes. It's hard to tell.
"What did she tell you?!"
"Not much. Something about destiny, true love, all that." Kevan turned to the vista again, taking a deep breath. "Oliver and Korra. The way she describes it...it's like a fairy tale."
For a moment Korra was at a loss for words. A fairy tale, that's how she had once imagined it would be: two best friends, growing up together, falling in love, living happily ever after. But fairy tales were never real, just like dreams. A child's dream. No, she cared too much for what they already had to risk it all. She couldn't.
Besides, it wouldn't be fair to the man standing before her.
Then suddenly she grabbed the back of the Trill's neck and pulled him towards herself.
"Fairy tales are never real." she said before kissing him with all the intensity she could muster.
He was initially surprised, but a heartbeat later he was returning her kiss. The pent-up frustration and emotion washed away in that wordless moment, just the two of them.
Finally letting him go, she let out a quiet sigh. "This is."
Captain Korra Ymir
Squadron Leader, VMFA-31
USS Arcadia NCC-89015
(NPC - Oliver)
Lieutenant Kevan Dash
Chief of Security
USS Arcadia NCC-89015