BACKSTORY: In this story, Captain Gabriel Lorca does not die in the Terran Mirror Universe, but Emperor Phillipa Georgiou is beheaded. He and his army assume power and Michael Burnham agrees to stay with him, in exchange for the lives of the Discovery crew. But she is a bit put off to find that while Lorca keeps his word about Discovery, he is not so willing to keep his complete promise, with regards to their relationship. Because while Cadet Burnham has offered him her mind alone, Lorca wants much more than that.
While Michael is dealing with the possibility of having to share the new Emperor's bed, she also has to face the shocking fact that just like she had a 'brother' in Spock, Michael has a step-brother here, one who is a descendent from a Starlet captain that lived one hundred years ago in HER universe and went by the name, Jonathan Archer. And her counterpart's relationship with this 'sibling', was just as inappropriate as the one she had with Lorca.
Even though things look daunting for the former Starleet officer in her new world, Michael is determined to make Lorca and others, see that peace with other beings besides themselves, is indeed possible…by any means necessary.
Michael forced herself not to flinch, as Phillipa's head dropped onto the throne room floor with a thud. There were smiles and wolf whistles as a Kelpian slave hurried forward with a large basket and placed the former Emperor's head in it. She was not my, Phillipa! She was not my, Phillipa! Michael told herself as she felt Lorca's eyes upon her.
"Leave us!" Lorca told everyone. Commander Landry looked unsure but nodded to their men and they, along with the Kelpian slave, left the throne room.
It was just Lorca and Michael now. Michael walked towards the windows and looked out into space as she waited for him to say whatever it was he was going to say.
"I will tell Mr. Saru that Discovery is free to leave this universe without any obstruction from my people or myself."
Michael just nodded. She did not look at him. Lorca began to slowly make his way towards her, while still talking.
"I'm afraid though, I can only fulfill part of our deal." he said matter-of-factly. Michael turned to face him.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that you're in danger here. You were Georgiou's heir. Her known heir. Tradition would dictate that I kill you." he said quietly. Michael raised an eyebrow.
"What are you saying?" she asked, sensing that she would not be killed. And yet she didn't get where he was going with this. Yes, she supposed in this universe, she would be seen as some kind of threat to Lorca's regime. And yet everyone knew she was staying to…well…she didn't exactly know. She supposed he would ask for advice, support or know-how about matters. Lorca had said that he and her counterpart had planned on ruling here together…
Michael tensed up.
"What do you mean?" she asked Lorca again.
"I mean, Michael Burnham, that the only way to keep you safe here, is to marry you and make you my Empress." said, his facial expression now one of amusement. Only Michael didn't find any of this amusing at all!
"Empress Consort?" Michael half questioned and corrected him.
"No." Michael said, turning away from him again. "I only agreed…"
"I know what you agreed to. Notice that I didn't answer you when you made that condition? If you think for one moment, you are staying here with me so that we could continue the same sort of non-relationship we had in that other universe, you were sadly mistaken. I will make arrangements for a wedding. It will be the perfect event to let everyone understand that I now rule. That WE rule now, Michael." Lorca said, sensing her unhappiness over the situation.
"And if I don't agree to it?"
Lorca suddenly closed the distance between them and grabbed her by the shoulders—hard!
"You listen to me: I can do nothing but avenge your death if someone that has sworn fealty to me, decides to kill you to protect my regime! People know you are from another universe and people know that you tried to overthrow me with Georgiou not five minutes ago! The only way to keep you alive here is to make you my wife! And because I think I know you pretty damned well, the answer to your next question is a resounding NO. No, the marriage will not be in name only and children will be produced. Are you clear on that?" Lorca asked tightly.
Michael pulled herself from his grip and looked him the eye.
"Yes, your Imperial Majesty." Michael said just as tightly.
Lorca softened a bit. It would not do to make her any angrier than she already was. He realized what she had given up and how disappointed she was in him. She had refused to kill him, in front of Georgiou and in doing so, picked him over her. That pleased him immensely and made him want her all the more.
"I'll have one of the Kelpian's escort you to your room and attend to your needs. Then we will dine together later." Lorca told her. Michael nodded and she began to move around him, but he blocked her way.
"Don't be like this. If I thought there was nothing between us, I would've never asked you to stay here. Your pride is wounded and you hate being wrong. Rest and come dine with me later, ready to accept your destiny, understood?" Lorca asked softly.
Michael looked away from him and focused on the poor Kelpian, looking so much like her Mr. Saru, who had quietly appeared and seemed to be waiting to do what the new Emperor had asked. She left the throne room with him and Lorca watched them both until the doors closed behind them. He then turned and walked up the steps to sit on his throne. He tapped his fingers against the arm rest and thought about what he had NOT told Michael about her place in this Terran Universe. For while he had managed to save her, she had a brother— a step-brother, that Lorca would have to hunt down and kill to protect what was now his.
Michael dismissed the Kelpian and told him she would attend to her own needs. But he seemed hesitant and fearful.
"The Emperor has ordered me to attend to you. I must do as he commands." he told her.
Michael realized that the Kelpian was fearful that Lorca was just as cruel as Georgiou had been. She could not promise him that that was not true. She nodded to him.
"Fine. It will be fine. Do as you were ordered." Michael said softly. The Kelpian looked relieved.
"I will attend to preparing your bath." the Kelpian told her and disappeared to another room. Michael folded her arms and looked around her new 'home'. She didn't think she could do this alone. And she had told Lorca that hours before. But back then, she thought he was her captain of The Discovery. She could not have imagined any scenario that would've had her remain here in this universe, as his wife. She began to search her mind for a way out of that part of the deal, that had been made.
Michael closed her eyes, wishing that she could talk to Amanda right now. The only mother she had ever known, would've been able to counsel her on such matters. She opened her eyes again and briefly thought of Ash before the Kelpian returned and informed her that she had a transmission coming in.
"For me?" Michael asked, thinking it had to be someone from the crew of the Discovery. They were either going to say goodbye for good, or tell her they had found a way to bring her home without losing their own lives.
But when the transmission came in, a man stood before her in traditional Terran dress and yet, he looked oddly familiar. Like someone she had seen a picture of and couldn't place.
"Sister," Jonathan Archer said, looking her over through the hologram, "it is good to see you alive. I knew you would never let that bastard, Lorca, finish you off."
Michael just stared at the man. 'Sister'? As in this man was her brother?
"Michael? You are looking at me as if we've never met." Jonathan said coolly.
Michael decided there was no point in pretending.
"I don't know you. I'm sorry."
"And why is that?"
Michael eyed him.
"I think you know. Or you should by now. What I don't know, or fully understand, is who you are and how we're related?"
Jonathan's eyes roamed over here in a way that reminded Michael of the way Lorca looked at her, now that he had dropped all pretenses.
"The new Emperor has not explained things to you then?"
The doors to her quarters opened and Lorca walked in, saw who she was talking to and pulled out a device that cut off the communication. Jonathan's image disappeared and Michael now faced Lorca.
"You didn't tell me I had a brother here as well." she said in an even tone.
"Well, Michael, from what I read of your file, I didn't think you had much of one in Spock in the other universe. I just didn't want you to be disappointed again." Lorca said. "What did he say?"
"Nothing. Who is he exactly? He looks familiar though I'm sure I don't know him." Michael noted, more to herself than to Lorca.
Lorca leaned against a table and folded his arms.
"Phillipa Georgiou was married to Xavier Archer, who was then Emperor. Phillipa murdered his first wife, who was Jonathan's mother, married Xavier, then saw you with your parents at a Terran Day celebration and killed them so she could adopt you." Lorca said grimly. Michael backed away and realized that the Kelpian was still in the room, listening. She addressed him.
"Thank you for running my bath." she said and he nodded to her, bowed to Lorca then left the room. Once the doors were closed again, Michael resumed her questions.
"So then Phillipa murdered her husband so she could take over?" she asked.
"My honest opinion? No. He was just older than creation. And she couldn't stand Jonathan. She barely acknowledged him after she took over, then banished him once she realized how close he became with the other Michael. I almost lost my life for allowing that to happen." Lorca said matter-of-factly.
Suddenly, Michael realized just who 'Jonathan' was!
"He's Jonathan Archer of the U.S.S Enterprise! He was fundamental in forming the Federation and making it what it is today. But in this universe he's…he's what?" Michael asked, now staring at Lorca.
"An enemy of the Emperor. Your 'brother' has been trying to build an army, with traitorous humans and every other being in the universe. Phillipa was not about to let that happen and neither will I." Lorca said. He then reached for Michael's hand and pulled her towards the bed! Michael tried to pull her hand from his grip but it was tight.
"Captain, please…I'm not…"
Lorca stopped pulling on her and let get of her hand.
"Michael, I am no longer your captain. I'm the Emperor. We need this. We need to get this out of the way so that there will be no more barriers between us. Tyler was a Klingon and I should've known something was off when we were imprisoned together. I didn't and I blame myself for letting him anywhere near you."
"This isn't about Lieutenant Tyler. I can't…I'm not ready to be with you. Not right now." Michael said, backing away.
Lorca reached for her hand again and headed towards the bed!
"Didn't you hear me? I said…"
Lorca dropped her hand again, then grabbed her face and pulled her to him for a kiss! Michael felt her senses soar as his mouth plundered hers with a confidence that told her that Lorca and the other Michael Burnham, had done plenty of kissing before! Lorca pulled his lips from hers before his lust overcame him.
"This would have happened much sooner if I had not assigned Tilly as your roommate," he whispered against her, "but right now, you're going to give yourself to me and allow your body to find and take what it likes, are we clear?"
There was something about the way Lorca said that, mixed with his impenetrable blue eyes, that caused Michael to just nod and allow him to pull her to the bed.
Lorca was not wrong about Jonathan Archer.
He was trying to get his father's throne back. And if he had to do it with any form of life he could find, then so be it. He had never subscribed to the Terran Theory that humans ruled over all other beings, anyway.
And there had been a time when Michael had not, either.
But he never got a chance to take her away from that place. That place that his father presided over with his mother by his side. Jonathan could never shake the idea that Phillipa told Lorca to seduce Michael, just to keep her away from him. Not that it mattered. The prisoner they now had on their ship, a scurrilous man who went by the name of Harry Mudd, told them everything about the alternate universe he was from, and how the Michael that Jonathan had spoken briefly to, was also from there.
Somehow Lorca, after killing HIS Michael, had gotten her hands on another Michael, from another universe. Though to hear Harry Mudd tell it, Michael had been involved with a lieutenant that had been kept prisoner by Klingons, not Gabriel Lorca.
Sarek had confirmed that as well. Sarek, who had become more of a father to him than Xavier Archer could have ever been.
Sarek had managed to evacuate some beings from a nearby planet that the Emperor destroyed, and escape himself, unscathed. He was now in his cabin, meditating. Jonathan would not have disturbed him, ordinarily, but he knew that Sarek had met and read THIS Michael's mind. And Jonathan had to know what he saw.
Jonathan paused outside of Sarek's quarters on the ship. He knew his surrogate father well. Sarek would want to know what his true intentions were towards this Michael Burnham. Jonathan himself did not know. But he did need to ascertain what she was like, if she was to have any place in this fight against Lorca's empire. And he sensed Michael did indeed still have a place in this battle. Even if she was not the Michael he had once known.
Jonathan entered and the door slid closed behind him. Sarek had finished his meditations and acknowledged his presence.
Jonathan pulled up a chair while Sarek stayed on his knees on the floor.
"Sarek. I need to ask you what you saw when you read Michael's mind."
Sarek stared perceptively at him and Jonathan felt like sighing! He was not in the mood for a lecture and yet he did not quite have the courage to say that to Sarek's face. He never had.
"Your sister. You have rarely if ever spoke of her. Why?" Sarek asked patiently.
Jonathan hesitated for a long time before speaking.
"Because it hurt too much. Speaking of Michael brought back everything. Everything."
"Meaning your mother's murder and your father's death?" Sarek asked knowingly.
Jonathan nodded, before standing up and looking past Sarek and seeing the past.
"Yes," he finally said, "Phillipa had been a commander in my father's army, who's duty it was to protect my mother. One day she conveniently forgot to do so. Though the way things happened, no one believed that Phillipa Georgiou, didn't do everything she could to save the Empress."
"What happened?" Sarek asked.
"Phillipa was with my mother on a trip to Earth to see relatives. According to her, their transport was pulled into the tractor beam of a Klingon ship. Klingons raped and murdered my mother and Phillipa supposedly could do nothing about it."
"So, she returned to your father, alive, to tell this story?"
"Yes. And she had proof…my mother's head." Jonathan said hoarsely. " The only thing that keeps me from utterly loathing Klingons is that I don't believe the story."
"It sounds odd that Phillipa would have been left alive," Sarek mused, "and your father did not think it suspicious?"
Jonathan came back to himself and looked directly at Sarek.
"He had been seeing Phillipa behind my mother's back. He married her days after my mother was put to rest…or what was left of her. Shortly after, Michael joined us."
"How did that come about? Her joining your family?" Sarek asked. He was curious about this Michael Burnham. His mind meld with her, at first, had proved confusing. Then he began piecing together some things once he found out she was from an alternate universe. He was connected with this young woman in some way.
"My father and Phillipa brought her home claiming Klingons had killed her parents."
"Klingons again?" Sarek asked wryly.
"Yes," Jonathan answered just as sarcastically, "and I found out later that Phillipa murdered Michael's parents so she could adopt her. The reality was that Phillipa was not fit to be a parent and my father had no time for a young child. I was told to look after her. I did. Until she grew up and I could not see her as a child anymore…or as my sister."
Sarek bowed his head. He could feel Jonathan's shame.
"But you were not biologically related. I take it the new emperor fits into this story somehow?"
"Yes," Jonathan almost hissed, "my father died and Phillipa challenged my right to the throne. Phillipa and Lorca. They found 'evidence' that I had been planning to kill my father and I was made an offer: leave or perish in the dungeons."
Sarek raised a brow.
"Why didn't they just kill you?"
Jonathan smiled fondly.
"Michael. She begged for mercy on my behalf. In exchange, she would do whatever was asked of her, without giving her mother, or Lorca, any trouble. I think Michael's affair with Lorca had begun by then." Jonathan said, shaking his head.
Sarek had heard enough. He rose.
"What is it that you require of me, Jonathan?"
"Michael once saved me. This Michael, is in all likelihood, a prisoner of this throne. Mr. Mudd told me that this woman was raised by Vulcans, specifically by you. Is it possible to communicate with her through Vulcan means, even though it was not your Sarek that has the connection with her?"
"We can try. I don't understand the logic in it though. We have no way to get her back to where she belongs."
"Our prisoner does. I'll go and talk to him. You see if you can connect with her." Jonathan said, before leaving Sarek's quarters. Sarek stared at the closed door and tried to quell his suspicion that Jonathan had just lied to him about what his true intentions were towards Michael Burnham. He thought of what his wife, Amanda, would think about Jonathan's request? He knew that she would want him to help the man, that had been the son they wished they could have had. He sat down, closed his eyes and went about the business of reaching Michael Burnham.
Lorca's body was engulfed in Michael's and try as she might, she could not resist his lovemaking. She found herself helplessly riveted, engaging in his rhythm and wracked wth spasms of pleasure as Lorca thrust purposely, almost with staccato efficiency . His throbbing member squelched inside of her, as Michael arched her back in response to each one of his penetrations. When their shared passion finally overcame them, Lorca's deep groans filled her ears.
It was now quiet, and Lorca propped up on one elbow and stared at Michael, who had turned her face away from his. She was burning with shame, unable to believe she had given this man any part of herself. A part that she had not given to Ash. Why?
"You are staring at me." Michael finally said.
Lorca reached out to caress her arm.
"I liked it when you call me 'Captain', then seized ahold of me, you know, while we're in the throes of passion…"
Michael turned her head back towards him. They were both nude and she had lost all shyness in front of him. What was there to be shy about after this despicable act? She had been taught to suppress her feelings. And even with the few lovers she had had(they had actually been Vulcan), then Ash(who apparently had been a secret Klingon), this much intensity and fervor was foreign to her. She didn't know how to describe it, but something made her put her all into this act. She would have to contemplate what that was later.
"I don't want to talk about it. And where you had your tongue was unseemly." Michael sniffed.
"Where I had my tongue? Let me ask you this, 'Miss Priss', besides Tyler, what the hell kind of men have you been with?"
"What was that moniker you referred to me as?"
"Miss. Priss. It suits you." Lorca said, before capturing her lips for an unexpected, quick kiss and rising from the bed. It was as he stood that Landry hailed him.
"Yes?" Lorca answered.
"I have news about the Enterprise." Landry replied. Lorca nodded and Michael looked around for something to cover herself with, before getting out of bed. She could feel her body sill tingling but she pushed all of her feelings inward, so she could concentrate on what Lorca was told.
"The Enterprise? That's Jonathan's ship?" Michael asked.
"It is." Lorca said shortly. Michael sensed his reluctance to tell her anything and she tightened the sheet she had covered herself with, and moved to stand in front of him.
"You said you wanted us to rule together. If that is true, then I should know what is going on with that ship and it's captain." Michael said firmly.
"What's going on," Lorca said slowly, "is that Archer is a threat to my throne. He tried to usurp Phillipa and failed. He knows she's gone and now he's swinging around trying to find a way to take over. I'm not going to let that happen. I would like your help with that."
"You want my help in killing him?" Michael asked.
"I want your help in stopping him." Lorca half corrected her. Yes, he planned on killing Jonathan Archer. He was just as much a threat to this new empire he wanted to build, than Michael would ever be perceived to be. And Archer had assembled a coalition of beings that had grown so large, that they could conceivably best his army. He blamed Phillipa for not stopping her step-son while he was in the other universe. But as per the norm, he would have to clean up after her.
"I'll help you if you release the Kelpians. I don't want a slave."
"No." was Lorca's reply. "And I know you had a fondness for Saru…"
"And you didn't? Seriously, how can you come back here and see Kelpian's the same way?"
"Let's talk about it over dinner, okay?" he said, before grabbing one of her hands, putting it to his lips and kissing it. Michael stared after him as he left the room. What was that just now? A victory? A pseudo victory or what? He had not said no, exactly, but he had not agreed to it either.
Michael looked towards the bathing room and remembered the bath her 'slave' had run for her. Maybe the water was still warm. Michael made her way in there, dropped the sheet and descended into the water. It was still warm. She closed her eyes and relaxed, probably for the first time since she had left the Discovery.
Her mind replayed her time in bed with Lorca, then jumped to her time in bed with Ash. She then opened her eyes and emitted a squeak!
Sarek was standing at the edge of the bath! He looked as he had always looked. Non plussed by the situation.
"You are in a state of undress." he said, as if that confused him.
"I am bathing." Michael responded, sinking down lower in the water. What was this? She could sense that he was not her Sarek, but the man she had met here from before. But yet his ability to appear to her in this way, was the customary Vulcan Kantra that only occurred when a loved one was about to die.
"I am not dying," Michael said warily, "are you?"
"No. I am surprised it worked though. Considering that our lives intertwine from another time."
"Why have you come to me?" Michael asked.
"My captain asked that I check on you. He also asked, if possible, to communicate with you in this manner." Sarek responded.
"Jonathan Archer wants to communicate with me through the Kantra? How is that possible?"
"Through myself, of course. With your permission?"
Michael just nodded.
"You are the Emperor's prisoner?" Sarek asked.
"I am going to be his wife. At his insistence." Michael told him. Sarek was the one that nodded now. For whatever reason, Lorca did not want this woman killed. And she most assuredly would have been unless she was perceived not to be a threat. Becoming Lorca's wife was a way to disarm such notions.
"I will let my captain know of what is happening. The next time you see me, he will be with me." Sarek told her before disappearing. Michael slowly stood up out of the bath. If Sarek was involved with Captain Archer in someway, then maybe, just maybe, there was hope for her yet.
Lorca sat on his throne and watched the holographic images of Jonathan Archer’s Enterprise crew.
He didn’t like what he saw.
Sarek was his First Officer and surrogate father. His Head of Security was a Klingon! His name was ‘Worf’ and he had actually been raised by humans…
Lorca tore his eyes off of the information and looked at Landry.
“He’s from the future.” Lorca said. Landry nodded.
“Something has gotten screwed up. We just don’t know how or why. But many of the crewman Archer has on his ship, are from other times or other universes.” she said.
“And Georgiou knew none of this? How could she not have been keeping tabs on him?” Lorca asked with annoyance.
“She was too busy trying to avenge the other Michael’s death. And looking for you—through us.” Landry said quietly, trying to forget what it had been like to be locked in that Agonizer. Lorca touched her arm.
“It’s over. Shake it off and tell me who else is on Archer’s ship?” he told her. Landry nodded.
“A woman that has been identified as a Borg. Though no one has ever seen such a being before.”
Lorca looked at the blonde woman’s name—Seven of Nine. He glanced over at Landry.
“That’s her name?”
“Her real name is Annika Hansen. Your majesty, these beings that she comes from, are a threat from the future. Even one being here through other means, could be a problem.”
“If Archer has a way to assemble an army, against me, using beings from alternate universes, than we need to know how he’s doing it.” Lorca told her in a no nonsense tone. “We do have a spy on the Enterprise, don’t we?”
“Yes. All I’ve learned so far is that they have captured someone. Someone who knows something.” Landry replied. Lorca raised a brow.
“Someone who knows ‘something’?” Lorca said. “You’re going to need to step it up. That doesn’t tell me a damned thing.”
“I apologize but this prisoner of theirs was taken in hours ago. He came from an alternate universe. They have not interrogated him yet.” Landry told him. Lorca nodded, somewhat mollified.
“Keep me posted.” Lorca said, just as Michael walked into the room, dressed in the similar black clothing that they all wore. Michael had decided she actually liked the gold Terran uniforms better. She had also decided that for now, she would keep any contact with Jonathan Archer a secret from Lorca. While his having Sarek by his side, gave Archer the slight edge, Michael was beginning to ‘expect the unexpected’. For all she knew, she could be cutting her own throat with Lorca by doing this.
Actually, Michael knew she was.
Landry left the room without looking at her and Michael approached the holograms Lorca was looking at.
“This is the Enterprise crew?” Michael asked, eyeing Worf.
“Yes,” Lorca said sardonically, “it’s almost like that other overly idealistic universe, isn’t it? A Klingon here, a Romulan there, all living in ‘pseudo’ harmony.”
“Would that really be so horrible?” Michael asked. Lorca declined to answer that. He pointed at Seven of Nine.
“What do you know about the Borg? Landry seemed to think that somehow, Archer had brought in a future threat by adding her to his crew.”
Michael tore her eyes from his and stared at the beautiful woman.
“I could be wrong, but she looks as if she has cybemetic implants. Other than that I know nothing about it.” Michael said, frowning. She tore her eyes off of the woman and looked at Sarek. Lorca noticed.
“Apparently, after Jonathan left us, he was taken in by Sarek and his wife, Amanda. They became surrogate parents to him.”
“So Spock is where in this universe?” Michael asked.
“I don’t think he exists. I can’t be sure.” Lorca said, hitting a button so that the images disappeared.
“Sir…Your Majesty, if you want my help I need to know what I’m dealing with. So do you.” she said as a prompt for him to bring the images back up again.
“You’re willing to help me then? Even if Sarek is with Archer?”
“Help you do what? I’m sorry, but I have no idea what you want to do here. You’ve scoffed at the whole idea of Starleet. The world that Georgiou ruled was horrible. How are you going to be seen as any different to people than her?”
“I could ask the same of you, Michael. Are you really willing to accept your fate here and help me? Even if you don’t agree with everything I do?”
“I didn’t agree with everything on Discovery, but I helped you.” Michael said, locking eyes with him. Lorca sighed.
“We’ll see.” he said and pressed a button on the throne armrest.
“Pull the Enterprise in with the tractor beam.” he said.
“Yes, your Majesty.” a voice responded. Michael stared at Lorca in shock!
“What are you doing? Are we near the Enterprise?”
“No,” Lorca said shortly, “let’s just say that the other Michael and myself, were working on a secret weapon. One that would seal our power over every being flying in space.”
Michael raised a brow and waited for him to continue. Lorca noticed her skeptical expression.
“You don’t believe me?”
“Oh I believe you, your Majesty, I just don’t see how you’re going to pull a ship into a tractor beam, without being near it?”
Lorca didn’t answer that directly.
“I’m going to satisfy your curiosity and mine. We will interrogate the Enterprise crew and see if they have anything to offer my throne, if I allow them to live.”
“And Jonathan?” Michael asked.
“He dies regardless.” Lorca said, getting up and walking over to her. “You need to know that there are two sides to every story. I don’t know how much he told you before I cut off your communication, but things were complicated.”
“Meaning why he isn’t the Emperor now and you are?”
“No,” Lorca said patiently, “meaning why Georgiou became Emperor instead of Jonathan. I will admit to being complicit in that.”
“Why? You knew she didn’t belong on that throne.”
“WE knew she didn’t belong there, the other Michael and myself. But whether you believe this or not, Georgiou actually showed Jonathan mercy. She banished him while giving him his own ship. She underestimated him though.”
“Banished him because? Did it have something to do with me?”
Lorca folded his arms.
“Georgiou arranged a marriage for Jonathan. With a relative of hers. But he began carrying on with you instead. The bride-to-be was so heartbroken that she killed herself. Georgiou was furious with both of you. Furious that you had been corrupted and that her trust had been betrayed. The other Michael swore obedience if she let Jonathan live.”
Michael sensed that Lorca and her counterpart, picked up where she and Jonathan had left off. She had also heard enough. The other Michael Burnham had had affairs with a father figure and a surrogate brother. Such a thing would have never happened to her on Vulcan.
“What are you thinking? I can see you’re definitely thinking something.” Lorca said, half smiling.
“I was thinking that the unseemly life my counterpart had here, would never have happened in the other universe. On Vulcan.”
“Because? I mean I could see the Sarek part not happening but what about Spock?”
Michael rolled her eyes!
“Are we really going to discuss such a lurid non-event? I will help you interrogate your ‘prisoners’. But I will not participate in any killings.”
“That’s my girl! Thank you!” Lorca grinned, making an exaggerated bow towards her. Michael waited until he was done, then bowed to him slightly, before turning to leave.
She turned back to look at him.
“Dinner is in an hour. Our wedding is tomorrow and you’ll be sharing my bed tonight.”
Michael looked shocked!
“You expect us to copulate, yet again? Before our marriage?”
“Yes, Miss Priss, I expect us to ‘copulate’ like rabbits until the end of time. You are excused.” Lorca said still grinning at her. Michael squared her jaw and walked out of the throne room. The events of the evening she could deal with. But the more she heard about her ‘brother’, the more she realized she had to keep Lorca from executing him.
Captain Archer set what looked like a Mickey Mouse pez dispenser, on the table in front of Harry Mudd.
“You’re telling me,” Jonathan drawled, “that you came to be on this ship, via our transporter, with THIS?”
“I bought it at what’s known on Earth as a ‘garage sale’. It wasn’t anything that I was the slightest bit interested in, but my curiosity was peaked at the price.” Mudd said mysteriously.
“Which was?” Jonathan asked.
“$10,000 Earth dollars. At a garage sale! A Mickey Mouse Pez dispenser being sold for that much? The item was laughed at and many a buyer asked the seller if the price was a joke? The woman insisted it was not and that she was selling it for someone.”
“I never found that out. I did pay it though. With stolen money.” Mudd sniffed.
“Of course,” Jonathan said sarcastically, “so when did you find out that this Pez Dispenser was more than what it seemed?”
“Oh before payment! I went into the house with the woman and she dropped a lot of pretenses. Whomever had forced her to include the Parallax Converter in the sale…”
“Whoa! That is what it’s called? A ‘Parallax Converter’?”
“Yes,” Mudd replied, “and that the dispenser itself was used to disguise it. Ordinarily, I would have been wary of such a claim, but there was something about the seller. She knew nothing about nothing, if the truth be told. And she hinted that the seller was blackmailing her. She had been forced to include the item, in her own garage sale at that ridiculously high price.”
“How does it work?” Jonathan asked, still skeptical.
“You carry it with you when you are about to transport someplace. Only you do not open the head like you would a normal dispenser. You twist it, like a dial. While in mid transport. When you reach your destination, you will find the same people, for the most part, there. But the time is different or their behavior.”
“So you have no way of picking the universe you end up in? Meaning you came here by accident?” Jonathan asked, eyeing Mudd.
Harry Mudd’s response to that question was to give Jonathan a sly look.
“Beginner’s arrive by accident. I, sir, am no beginner.”
“And your purpose for beaming onto my ship is what, exactly?” Jonathan asked, leaning towards him.
“I had quite a nasty run in with you new ‘Emperor’ in a previous universe. I know you want to stop him. I am here to help, in anyway I can.” Mudd said, before his Head of Security’s voice, filled the room.
“Captain? We are being pulled into some sort of long distance tracking beam! I don’t know how or why…”
“I’ll be right there!” Jonathan snapped and stood up. Harry Mudd stood up as well.
“It’s Lorca! I need for you to beam me off of this ship before he gets his hands on me.” Mudd told him matter-of-factly.
“Everything shuts down when a ship is pulled into a tractor beam. You know that! And there is no way that Lorca could do something like that without being near our ship! This is something else. Stay here!” Jonathan ordered him and left the interrogation room. Sarek joined him on the elevator up to the bridge.
“Mr. Worf thinks we’re being pulled into some long range tractor beam.” Jonathan said, sighing. “The prisoner freaked when he heard that and thinks…”
“That is exactly what it is, Captain,” Sarek said patiently.
“How do you know that?”
“I just sense it. I communicated with Michael Burnham and I feel as if her surroundings are still with me.”
“There is no way such a thing is possible, Sarek!” Jonathan argued as the elevator doors opened and they stepped out on to the bridge. Seven of Nine glanced over at them. She was the Communications Officer on the Enterprise. Jonathan and herself and grown rather close in the past few months. So this course of action that he was choosing to take, that would bring him in contact with a Michael Burnham from another universe, made her uneasy. She shook off her doubts and concentrated on the problem at hand—that being that the Imperial Palace had a new secret weapon to keep all starships, and people, in line.
“What have we got?” Jonathan asked, sitting in the captain’s chair.
Worf was about to say something, when Seven of Nine spoke up.
“Captain, the Emperor is coming in now.” she said. Everyone on the bridge looked over as Gabriel’s image came in, nice and clear.
“Hello, Captain Archer. As you may have guessed, you are being pulled into a tractor beam. The how and why are not important. Your crew should be ready to surrender themselves into my custody when you arrive.”
Jonathan leaned forward and stared at Lorca with loathing.
“You’re invited to a wedding. My own. I will excuse the fact that no one on your bridge bowed. I will assume it’s from the shock of hearing about Georgiou’s death.”
Sarek stepped forward to play peacemaker. There was a certain amount of diplomacy needed here and right now, Jonathan could not seem to muster it.
“This is Sarek, First Office of the I.S.S. Enterprise. When we arrive, everyone you see here will be prepared to swear fealty to our new Emperor.”
“See that you are.” Lorca said, before cutting off communications. Archer’s crew had looked scared shitless! They had never expected that his reach could extend so far. That being deep space and once the weapon was perfected, it could possibly pull people off of planets with just a location and a tap of button.
The other Michael and himself had come with the idea. The engineer that helped them pull it off, was killed by Georgiou. Someone else would have to be trusted to finish his work.
A voice came in to the throne room.
“Your Majesty, the Enterprise in in our dock now.”
“Thank you.” Lorca said, before standing up and leaving to find Michael. He wanted her at his side when Jonathan saw them. He planned on forcing Jonathan to walk Michael down the aisle to him—before he died.
The crew of the I.S.S Enterprise descended the ramp with their hands on their heads. Captain Jonathan Archer came down first and stood before Emperor Lorca and the woman that would be his Empress—Michael Burnham. Two of Lorca’s guards stood on each side of Archer.
“Jonathan. Welcome back.” Lorca said quietly.
“Spare my crew. It’s me you want. I’m here.” Jonathan said, his eyes moving from Lorca’s and fixing on Michael’s. No, this was not his Michael. This woman had compassion. He could see it brimming in her eyes.
“That’s not how things are going to work. You’re going to spend some time in one of our Agonizer chambers. Naked. For a couple of hours. When you’re finished, you or one of your people, is going to tell us what you’ve been up to all of this time.” Lorca said and then motioned for the guards to take him away. Archer mouthed the words ‘I love you’ to Michael, before being dragged off! Michael’s eyes widened and she looked away quickly, but Lorca could see that something had happened between them in that moment.
His mind went from that to the the sight of Sarek, as he came down the plank, hands on his head, accompanied by two guards on each side of him.
“This isn’t necessary. Captain Archer is fully willing to cooperate with you, Your Majesty.” Sarek told Lorca.
“I didn’t get that impression.” Lorca said, eyeing him. “He seemed like he had…how do I put this…’attitude’.”
“I’m sure he didn’t mean to some across like that.” Sarek said calmly, his eyes moving from Lorca to Michael.
“Congratulations on your upcoming marriage.” he said.
“Thank you.” was Michael’s stiff reply. The sight of Sarek filled her with much sadness. In a perfect world, she’d be marrying a man she loved and Sarek himself would be walking her down the aisle. Amanda would be helping her with the preparations. Maybe even Spock would attend.
“Take him to interrogation room number one.” Lorca said and watched Michael, watch Sarek, be taken away. He slipped a firm arm around her waist.
“I will show him as much consideration as I can. Within reason. Now there is a Klingon coming down right now. I want you to interrogate him. Can you do that? For me?”
Michael eyed the Klingon, who was staring at her, not Lorca, with keen interest. She knew that in her time, he was from the future. Sometime in the future, Klingons were in Starfleet. Yes, she would be very interested in finding out just how he had come to be on this starship, when most of his people were with the resistance.
“Yes, Your Majesty.” she said and Lorca gave her middle a squeeze, before letting her go and walking off with Landry to see to Archer’s torture, personally. Michael looked at the guards.
“Put him in interrogation room number two.” she instructed them. Worf was lead off and Michael looked towards the plank and saw the one known as a ‘Borg’, come down the ramp, hands on top of her head. One of the guards tried to touch her breast and Michael walked up to him and backhanded him!
“If I ever see you doing anything like that again…” Michael seethed. The guard got down and kneeled, his head bowed.
“I am sorry, Your Highness! Please…” he trailed off, not wanting to go to an Agonizer.
“Just keep your hands to yourself. And stay out of my sight.” Michael sniffed. She then turned to Seven of Nine.
“I apologize for his poor conduct. It won’t happen again. Not while you are here.” Michael assured her.
“I was raped by Klingons once. I believe there were four. But I adjusted. Your guard does not bother me. Will I be assigned to an interrogation room?” she asked in an offhand manner.
“Uh. Yes.” Michael said and looked at two other guards. “Take her to number three.”
Seven of Nine was escorted off as other crew members continued to surrender themselves. A guard walked up to Michael as she pondered the woman’s casual demeanor.
“Your Highness, we have detected a life form that appears to be in hiding.”
“Well search the ship.” was all Michael said to that. She couldn’t blame anyone for hiding, for all the good it would do him or her. She turned to stare after Seven of Nine, closed her eyes and prepared herself to interrogate the Klingon known as ‘Worf’. Just as she was about to head towards an interrogation room, the sound of crying and braying, caught her attention. Michael turned and saw none other than Harry Mudd being dragged down the plank! Michael peered at him, wondering how or why a Harry Mudd from this universe would be on the Enterprise? Though it would figure that he would’ve been the crew member that had tried to hide!
“Thank God! Michael Burnham! Listen, I know you’re being forced to stay here with Lorca! Help me out! Let’s help each other!” Harry said, winking at her.
“The REAL universe, sister! And I can help us both get home but I’m going to need my freedom and my head!”
Michael decided that Mr. Mudd would be the first person she interrogated! She looked at the guards.
“Put him the last interrogation room.” Michael told them and Harry Mudd was dragged off, literally! Michael was about to follow after them, when Landry re-appeared.
“I thought the Emperor wanted you to interrogate the Klingon?” she asked. Landry didn’t trust this Michael Burnham anymore than she had trusted the other one. They had been playmates as a child until Georgiou had decided that it was beneath her daughter to consort with someone like her. That being someone of low birth.
“And I thought I was the one marrying the Emperor.” Michael responded coolly. “Don’t worry about what I’m doing.”
“I don’t trust you.”
“I don’t care. And if you say that to my face again, and I just might mention it to the Emperor. Who do you think he will side with?” Michael asked patiently. Landry looked down.
“Stay out of my affairs—and sight.” Michael said and watched as Landry gave her a truly half assed bow, before hurrying off. Michael rubbed the back of her neck and walked off to find out just what the hell Harry Mudd had been talking about! He had managed to come to this universe and not by way of Discovery. How? And did he know how to get back their world?
Jonathan Archer was indeed stripped naked and shoved inside of an Agonizer. Lorca stood with his arms folded, as the guard on controls, started off the level at four.
“Turn it up to eight.” Lorca said and watched as Archer dropped to the floor of the container, then pulled himself up and struggled to stay upright during his pain. Jonathan refused to give this bastard the satisfaction of seeing him writhing in pain—and yet it could not be helped. He was in a great deal of pain! But seeing Michael…even another version of her, was giving him the strength to get through this.
Meanwhile, Lorca watched with a clenched jaw, as Archer struggled to stay upright. Landry walked in and motioned to Lorca. He moved away from the guard at the controls and faced her.
“Michael Burnham chose to interrogate some straggler that we found hiding on the Enterprise, instead of the Klingon. Sir, I know you’re going to marry her but…”
“A straggler? This person was not one of the crew?” Lorca asked.
“No. I think they picked him up someplace.” Landry said and Lorca walked over to the guard and told him to turn everything off in Archer’s container. Lorca then walked over and opened the door.
“Who’s the coward that was hiding on your ship?” Lorca asked. “Answer correctly and I’ll give you a ten minute break.”
Jonathan took the door out of Lorca’s hands and closed it himself. Lorca nodded to the guard and the pain continued. He and Landry left the room and walked down a hallway.
“If Michael chose to question this person over the Klingon, then there is a reason for it. A good one. YOU interrogate the Klingon, Landry. Which room are they in?”
“The last one, sir.” Landry said, trying to hide her disappointment. She just didn’t want to see them all bested by someone else, maybe even Archer, all because Lorca could not control his obsession with Michael Burnham.
Meanwhile, Michael looked at the pez dispenser, then Mudd.
“THIS, is supposed to get us back home?”
“Captain Archer found it hard to believe too. Look, WE need to get out of here. Just take me to the transporter room and we can get back.”
“How does it work?” Michael asked skeptically.
“We don’t have time for that! Let’s just get out of here!”
“Mr. Mudd, do you know how you came to be here?” Michael asked calmly.
“How could I not? Lorca pulled us into a tractor beam.”
“A long range one. One that my counterpart and himself devised. I cannot allow a weapon like that to exist. Not here. I’m not leaving until it’s destroyed.”
“You are kidding?” Mudd asked contemptuously. “He’ll kill you!”
“I’m willing to die than let him continue to use this against people. He could find a way back to our universe and use it there. It has to stop here.”
“Well that’s very noble of you.” Mudd purred. “Now I have to ask you to please get me to the transporter room so I can get back!”
Lorca entered and Mudd grabbed the dispenser quickly and pocketed it. Lorca half shook his head. It would figure a low life like Harry Mudd would have a counterpart here! And what was that he was hiding…
“He just took something off of the table there. What do you have on you, Mudd? How come the guards didn’t search him?” Lorca demanded to know.
Michael faced him.
“He has a Pez Dispenser, Your Majesty.”
Lorca raised a brow.
“A Pez Dispenser. For candy. Only he ate it all. Probably from nervousness.” Michael lied.
“Let me see it.” Lorca said, holding out his hand. Mudd slowly pulled it out of his pocket and handed it to Michael, who handed it to Lorca. Lorca looked the cheap looking thing over, before tossing it back to Mudd.
“Are you part of Archer’s crew?”
Mudd realized that Lorca thought he actually belonged here! He eyed Michael and sensed she would cover for him, so he lied.
“But yet you acted dishonorably when asked to surrender?” Lorca asked.
“I was scared.”
“Surrendering can be scary.” Lorca said sarcastically, as his eyes roamed over him suspiciously. Michael could see he thought something was off.
“I wanted to make that he was not from the other universe. I have ascertained he is not.” Michael said.
Lorca stared at Harry Mudd for a long time, before finally looking over at Michael.
“Why would you have thought that? I mean how would he have gotten here?”
“I wanted to make sure he had not stowed away on Discovery and ended up here somehow. But again, I believe this one is from here.” Michael repeated.
“We’ll see if the other crew members back up his story. If they do, then he can swear fealty to me or die,” Lorca said and moved to stand in front of Mudd, “but if they’ve just met you or don’t know you or anything that smells like you’re not part of that crew, you’ll just die.”
Mudd struggled hard not to gulp! He also struggled hard to pretend as if this was the first time he was every laying eyes on Gabriel Lorca—ever! Lorca turned to Michael and was about to say something, when an alarm went off and an announcement about a ‘prisoner escaping’, blared through the palace ship!
“Archer!” Lorca almost growled and ran from the room! Michael turned to Mudd.
Mudd stood up.
“Where are we going?”
“To the transporter room while everyone is looking for Captain Archer! You go back to our universe and don’t come back here—ever!” Michael yelled over the loud alarm and they both hurried from the interrogation room.
“You’re a fool, Michael Burnham! You can’t stay here!” Mudd yelled as they moved down the hallways.
Michael ignored him as they moved casually through the melee of guards running every which way! They slowed down when they reached the transporter room. Michael entered first and found two guards knocked out! She did not see Jonathan Archer come up from behind her, and he put her in a mild choke hold that rendered her unconscious! Jonathan looked at Harry Mudd as he lowered Michael to the ground.
“Do as she wants and go!”
Harry Mudd could not believe the self sacrifice and bravery he had experienced here! It actually made him sick!
“What are you going to do? Lorca is just going to come after you for putting your hands on her!”
“Lorca is going to free my crew, in exchange for her. This palace ship used to belong to my family. I know every inch of it. I also know how to get back to my ship, with her, undetected. My crew, for Michael. And I can assure you, our new ‘Emperor’ will do anything to make sure that my sister is by his side.” Jonathan said.
“You know him better than I ever wanted to!” Harry exclaimed blithely as he stepped up onto the transporter. Jonathan worked the controls as Mudd pulled out the Pez Dispenser and turned the Mickey Mouse head, just as he began to disappear. Jonathan watched, still believing the Pez Dispenser thing was a con, before bending down and picking Micheal up. He threw her over his shoulder and stealthily left the transporter room. Michael for the lives of his crew.
And then Michael for himself.
Michael awakened with a start and sat up! What had happened?
Yes. She had been in the transporter room about to see Harry Mudd off and then—nothing. She sat up and looked around. Somehow the decor of this room did not match anything she had ever seen on the palace ship. But then again, she had not been everywhere on that structure.
A door slid back and Jonathan Archer entered, looking relieved to see her awake. He was wearing his Terran captain’s uniform and he moved quickly towards her and sat on the edge of the bed he had placed her on.
“I’m sorry I had to do that.”
“What happened? Did you stop me from helping Harry Mudd escape?”
“No.” Jonathan said shortly. “He’s gone. Supposedly.”
“What do you mean?” Michael said, now feeling more alert.
“I mean that he supposedly has returned to his own universe. I’m not sure I buy his ‘parallex converter’ pez dispenser.” Jonathan said wryly.
“Parallax Converter? That is what he called it?” Michael asked. “He never called it that when I questioned him.”
“I think we can both agree that Mr. Mudd liked to play both sides against the middle. How are you feeling?” he asked gently.
“Where are we?” Michael asked instead.
“We’re on the Enterprise.”
“The Enterprise? You rescued your crew and escaped?”
“No.” Jonathan said and stood up. Michael looked up at him.
“So you just escaped? With me?”
“This ship is still on the Palace Ship. I managed to get us on here secretly. Lorca has people searching for us now.”
Michael slowly stood up.
“What is going on? What is your play here?”
“My ‘play’, Michael from another universe, is to use you to get Lorca to release my crew.” Jonathan said in a matter-of-tact tone. “Then we will be on our way.”
Michael eyed him.
“That’s not happening. Lorca has no intention of letting you go. Maybe your crew, but not you. He sees you as a threat to his throne.”
Jonathan folded his arms.
“Did you know that Lorca, myself and you exist in 72 alternate universes?”
Michael was thrown by that statement. She shook her head.
“No. One is actually more than enough for me. How did you find that out?”
Jonathan did not answer. He turned away from her and Michael moved so that she was in front of him again.
“Call me Jonathan.”
“I think ‘Captain’ would be more appropriate.”
“I think the time for ‘appropriate’ is over, don’t you, Michael?”
Michael clenched her jaw.
“Fine. Jonathan, tell me how you managed to assemble a crew based on people from the future in this universe and others?”
“I’ll tell you what? How about we play ‘Quid Pro Quo’? You ask me something and I get to ask you something? Deal?”
Michael didn’t like that game. She never had. It always seemed like the person that asked her questions, received more information than she herself obtained. But in this instance, she had little choice if she wanted to learn anything about what was going on here.
“Fine.” she said primly. “Answer my question and then I will answer one of yours.”
“Okay, I managed to assemble the people I did with help.”
Jonathan smiled at her.
“That’s two questions. I get to ask one.”
Oh Joy, Michael thought. But she steeled herself for the inquiry.
“What was Lorca to you in your universe?”
“He was the Captain of a ship called The Discovery.”
“So you thought he was from your universe?”
“That’s two questions, but yes. Who helped you assemble your crew?”
Jonathan’s expression darkened.
“There are 72 alternate universes. At one point, I found what I thought was a 73rd. But it wasn’t.”
“It wasn’t what? A universe?”
“No. It was another dimension.” Jonathan replied uncomfortably.
Michael’s eyes widened!
“Another dimension? And someone there helped you?”
“You know,” Jonathan said, “quid pro quo can be slow and cumbersome. I think there’s a quicker way to find out what I need to know.”
Before Michael could think to move or act, Jonathan Archer grabbed her face and smothered her tempting mouth with his own. He could taste her sweetness and his stomach drew into tight knots. This Michael was aloof and distant, which was very fitting of a human that had been raised in the Vulcan culture. But unfortunately, the purpose of Archer’s kiss, was not one of pleasure.
When Jonathan Archer’s lips almost overpowered her own, Michael knew it was not from passion. Flashes of light erupted in her head and suddenly she could see Amanda, giving motherly advice to Jonathan not to hate Xavier Archer. She saw Sarek teaching him Vulcan ways and customs that he never broached with her. She saw the other Michael and Jonathan in the midst of passion and…
Michael saw something else. Jonathan, down on one knee bowing before a dark, hooded figure that she could not see clearly.
As quickly as the images appeared, they vanished and Jonathan pulled her down on to the bed with him and…
Michael wrenched away from his lips and got up quickly! She glared at him accusingly!
“Sarek taught you the ‘Vulcan Kiss’? How? Why? I thought only Vulcan’s knew those ways?” Michael asked, hurt. The Vulcan kiss was even more powerful than the mind meld, because the recipient of the kiss, could clearly see into the giver’s mind as well. But one couldn’t just kiss someone and hope to achieve that result. It had to be taught. THIS Sarek had taken the time to show Jonathan Archer things that HER Sarek couldn’t be bothered to show her!
Jonathan slowly stood up and peered at Michael.
“Sarek and Amanda have been like the parents I never had. Sarek the father I should have had. Yes, he taught me…”
Michael struggled to control her emotions and she whirled away from him and left the room! Jonathan quickly followed after her!
“I saw your childhood with Sarek! I know yours was not quite like mine and he favored his son over you! I know that nothing happened between Lorca and you until now, and i know about that Klingon guy! The one that tricked you!”
Michael stopped and pulled herself together, calling on the years of Vulcan ways that Sarek could be bothered to teach her, to calm herself. She turned and faced him.
“Who was that man? The one in the black hood? He’s the person that’s helping you, isn’t he?”
“It’s over for Lorca, Michael. And it’s over for you if you choose him over me. That is how powerful of an army I have.”
“That HE has.” Michael corrected him. “Let me leave. I will tell Lorca to let your crew go so you can leave.”
“Will you also tell him that he’s lost already?”
Michael nodded. For some reason, she felt deep disappointment in Jonathan Archer and yet she could not think as to why. She barely knew him. Maybe it was because she thought he was trying to create a world much like the one she had been forced to abandon. But it was clear all he wanted was to be Emperor.
Jonathan moved past her towards the bridge, feeling her disappointment in him. He was just as disappointed in himself, for making the deal he had made. He would be a shadow Emperor at best, with his benefactor pulling the strings. When Sarek realized what he had done, Jonathan hoped that he would forgive him. He hoped everyone would forgive what this universe was getting ready to turn in to.
Michael followed Jonathan on to the bridge and looked around. It was smaller than the Discovery. Jonathan sat in the captain’s chair and contacted Lorca. Soon, Lorca, with Landry and other soldiers in the background, appeared onscreen.
“You have less than five minutes to bring my fiancee to me. Otherwise I will begin executing your crew, one by one.” Lorca told him.
Michael appeared before him onscreen. Why she was surprised at the look of relief on Gabriel Lorca’s face, she did not know. But she was.
“Are you alright?” he asked in a tight sounding voice.
“We need to talk. Captain Archer is going to release me and then we need to talk.” was all Michael said. Lorca frowned and looked at Landry, who shrugged. Jonathan turned off the image and turned to her in her chair.
“I guess it’s too much for you to call me ‘Jonathan’, hey?” he asked, smiling wanly at her.
“Is it too late to stop this?” was Michael’s reply.
“Sarek doesn’t know, does he? Or your crew? Does that hooded man want the tractor beam technology or more?”
Jonathan stood up and took her arm.
“Let’s return you to Lorca. For now.” he said and walked with her off the bridge. Michael’s mind was a myriad of thoughts, as she wondered if she should even tell Lorca anything at all? Maybe it would be best to let Jonathan Archer and Gabriel Lorca destroy one another.
But she would get caught in the middle. And innocent beings of all stripes would pay the price. She had been stupid to think that this Jonathan Archer was anything like his descendant from long ago, mirror universe or not. She had been stupid to think that this man, who’s tight grip on her arm almost made her flinch, was trying to bring some sort of peace to this galaxy.
He wanted to be Emperor. And he didn’t care who he sought out or aligned himself with, to make that happen.
Jonathan hit the controls for the door to the ship to open. Michael was about to pull herself from his grip, when his hand squeezed her arm even tighter and his lips grazed her ear.
“You are a very big reason this is all happening, Michael. The person that is helping me is very interested in you. And I am very interested in our being together again. In every way.” he whispered. Michael yanked herself out of his grip and walked down the ramp to a waiting Lorca, and his security team. Lorca motioned for the men to go up the ramp and grab Archer, but Michael shook her head vehemently!
“We have to talk.” she said quietly.
Lorca’s eyes probed hers and he decided to trust her judgement.
“Let’s go to the throne room.”
“I don’t get what you are telling me, Michael! I don’t, I’m sorry! You said you saw into his mind…you don’t know how to do anything like that.” Lorca said. Landry was skeptical and the Kelpian that was assigned to care for Michael, was listening as well.
“Sarek taught him a Vulcan custom. It’s not something that’s usually done, but Sarek did it. He showed Captain Archer how to see a person’s past, and make that said person, see theirs. I saw something.” Michael said, suddenly feeling great sadness and jealously, over the fact that there was a version of Sarek that could be so giving to a surrogate son in one universe, but not to a daughter in another.
Lorca could see a cloud pass over her face, and he decided he would wait to ask her about that in private. If Archer had touched her inappropriately, he would die immediately.
“What did you see?” Lorca asked instead. Michael decided to just tell him.
“He has the crew he has, because he went to another dimension. There is some evil being there that helped him pull people from future and maybe even past universes. All kind of beings.”
“So,” Landry said, “he has a secret army of beings from these places. We suspected that.”
“No,” Michael said, “he has them for his crew. The person that is helping him is providing an army. An army and ships. I don’t think his crew knows about any of this. He said something else: he said that I’m instrumental in all of this, even though I don’t exist in this dimension. Your Majesty, he sounds so sure. He’s not frightened. I don’t think you can win this.” she told him.
Lorca eyed her. Yes, Michael seemed sure he couldn’t win this. But what was ‘this’? Lorca looked to the Kelpian and nodded.
“Take my fiancee back to our quarters and see to her needs. It’s been a trying day.” Lorca said, reaching for Michael’s hand and squeezing it. He watched her leave with the Kelpian, while he sorted out some things…
One, Michael did not have to tell him any of that. The fact that she did pleased him immensely.
Two, he needed to know what his time table was here. If Archer had gotten some sort of help with toppling him, then he needed to know exactly what he was up against and how long he had to prepare.
And three, Lorca suspected that Michael was secretly upset by this Sarek’s closeness with Archer. He had sensed ‘Daddy Issues’ between her and Sarek in the other universe. And because of that, he came to a decision.
He looked at Landry.
“Release Archer’s crew. All except the Vulcan. He stays here with us. And put him in our guest quarters.”
“Sir, is that wise?” Landry asked, appalled.
“No. But Archer won’t be expecting that. And I think Sarek is the only one that can find out just what Archer has in his arsenal against us.”
“Sir, with all due respect, he probably has nothing! He’s bluffing here! And your fiancee has fallen for…”
“Landry, she saw something! She saw something via a Vulcan method that Archer used on her. Now do as I ask and send Archer on his way!” he snapped, before leaving the throne room and heading towards his quarters. Meanwhile, Landry felt like all they had worked for, was slowly unraveling, no thanks to Michael Burnham.
The Kelpian slave met Lorca at the door. Lorca looked around him and saw that Michael was on the bed crying. He had never her cry before. Nor had he seen the other Michael cry, really, if the truth be told. He sighed. This was just more proof that a human should not be mixing with Vulcans! He excused the Kelpian and told him he would see to his fiancee himself.
The door slid closed after the slave and Lorca walked over to the bed and found Michael balled up, trying to bring her sobs under control. She sat up and swiped at her eyes. Lorca sat down on the end.
“Tell me why you’re crying? Please don’t tell me it has anything to do with sharing my bed tonight?” Lorca asked in a half, teasing manner. Michael looked away, ashamed. Why did it hurt her so much about Sarek? The Sarek here was not her Sarek and yet…she wished he was! How different he had seemed in the vision Jonathan Archer had forced upon her with his lips.
Lorca reached out and turned her face back towards his.
“I want you to stop this crying, Michael. I know that this is about Sarek. But there’s no time for it. Not if what you told me has any merit. But…” he trailed off. Michael sniffed and peered at him.
“But what, Your Majesty?” she sniffed.
“But, I’m not totally heartless. I’m going to detain Sarek here. I want him to help us find out what Archer is planning against us. And, maybe, you might enjoy getting to know him here too.”
Michael smiled. She couldn’t help it. She knew there was no time for such things, but his being here, even if he was not the Sarek that raised her, helped lift her spirits immeasurably.
“So,” Lorca said, tilting his head, “I take it from that smile that that would be to your liking?”
“It would,” Michael said cautiously, “make things easier. But I don’t know if keeping Sarek here against his will, is the right thing to do. Captain Archer will expect all of his crew to be on board of the Enterprise.”
“Come here.” Lorca said and Michael slid down over towards him. Lorca wrapped his arms around her in a cradling fashion and whispered against her ear.
“I’ll ask him to walk you down the aisle, in the most respectful way possible. He won’t be able to refuse. Now, is all of this enough to get you to call me ‘Captain’ in bed again?” he asked seductively.
Michael did not answer. She supposed it would suffice.
“Where is my First Officer?” Jonathan snapped. “I’m not leaving without him!”
“Tough!” Landry snapped back. “Just be lucky we’re letting any of you leave with your hides!”
Worf backed Captain Archer up.
“I don’t know what the meaning of this is, but if Sarek does not come with us, then none of us leave.” Worf told her. Seven of Nine was halfway up the ramp when she heard Worf issue that threat. She looked to Jonathan, who did not seem to be disagreeing with that assessment. She could not understand why Sarek would be kept at all? Did he offer some knowledge that Emperor Lorca found useful?
“Go or die.” Landry told them.
Jonathan turned to Worf.
“You’re in command. Take the rest of the crew and leave. I am staying.” Jonathan said, now looking directly into Landry’s eyes. That was fine with her! She didn’t think any of them should be freed. But Archer and the Vulcan, were the most important from what she could see. She nodded to two guards and they took Archer off to the Agonizers. Worf stared after his captain in disbelief.
“Get going, Klingon, before we change our minds.” Landry said.
Meanwhile, in the semi darkness of their bedroom, Michael bobbed steadily upon Lorca’s thick penetration, reveling in the sheer fullness of his organ inside of her. What was the matter with her? Why didn’t she protest even just a little bit, when he insisted on copulation twice in one day?
And for Gabriel Lorca a.k.a. Emperor Lorca, whatever Jonathan Archer was planning on doing to him, would have to take a back seat as he lost himself in Michael’s sweetness. Yes, yes, my beauty, he thought, I have waited for months to have you like this! His fingers dug almost painfully into her hips as Michael moved faster and faster, until the fire that he knew had always been between them, exploded into spasms of pleasure. Lorca refused to believe that anything that Jonathan Archer could plan, even with outside help, could possibly disrupt the life he planned here in this world, with this woman.
Of course, he would be wrong.
AUTHOR’S NOTE- This chapter introduces a bit of Star Wars.
Emperor Gabriel Lorca was not pleased to be awakened by the Kelpian slave, as he lay in bed with Michael, who was cocooned within his embrace. The slave had a message from Landry, which said that Archer was still on board and had been doing time in an agonizer booth for five hours.
Lorca gently untangled himself from Michael, dressed in an elaborate robe and left his quarters. Jonathan Archer had sent his crew along and stayed behind. Lorca shook his head. He had to give him points for nerve.
He entered the detention area and found Landry herself, at the controls. This time Archer was dressed and was pulling himself up off of the floor for another round. Lorca looked at Landry.
“I’ll take over. Leave us.” he said and Landry did as she was told. As soon as the detention room doors slid shut, Lorca walked up to Archer and stared at him.
“You know, officially, it is my wedding day. What’s the matter, Jonathan? No strength left to congratulate an old friend on his upcoming nuptials?”
“It has nothing to do with strength, Gabriel. I’m just not so inclined.” was Jonathan’s response.
“Because in your mind, there won’t be a wedding, right?”
Jonathan said nothing and his stare never wavered. It was the first time that Lorca felt what Michael had. That feeling of unease at how confident Jonathan seemed, when he was in no position to be so sure of himself.
“I was told you stayed because of the Vulcan. This is going to be his permanent residence, so it is indeed a shame you didn’t leave when I gave you the chance.” Lorca said.
“I’m not leaving without Sarek and you are not keeping him. And if you think you can use him to get to me…”
Lorca burst out laughing!
“Is that what you think? I mean yes, you are partially correct. But he’s here for Michael.”
For the first time since Jonathan Archer returned here, Lorca saw confusion register on his face.
“What are you talking about?”
“You didn’t know that Sarek raised her in the universe she’s from? Yes, and apparently your Sarek has shown you more affection, than her Sarek ever has towards her. So ‘Daddy’ is staying here.” Lorca told him, folding his arms. Jonathan looked away, as the pieces began to fall in place. THAT was why there was a connection between Sarek and Michael! That was why this Michael seemed so detached, formal and aloof.
He looked at Lorca again.
“I assumed Michael was upset because of the Vulcan technique I used to see in to her mind.” he replied.
“You mean that mind meld thing?”
“It’s called a ‘Vulcan Kiss’. You learn more that way.”
Lorca forced his facial expression to stay neutral and tried not to envision this bastard, putting his lips on Michael. Lorca walked over to the Agonizer controls.
“You know, it’s funny that we’re discussing kissing. Because you know what I remember? How it seemed as if ‘our’ Michael couldn’t kiss very well. It was like she didn’t do much of it at all. I had to teach her things that I guess you were too weak to show her? Or lame? I couldn’t figure out which and I was too much of a gentleman to ask. You know, when we were in bed.” Lorca told him.
Jonathan did not answer him.
“Now, MY Michael, the woman I am marrying, kisses very well, among other things. There was something between us from the very beginning in the other universe. So if part of your plans to bring down my empire, involve her being with you…”
“Gabriel, by the end of this day, I will be Emperor and your Michael, will be MY Michael.” Jonathan told him matter-of-factly. So matter-of-factly that Emperor Gabriel Lorca felt a pang of fear. One that he knew should be listened to. He turned the Agonizer up to the highest level and watched Jonathan Archer drop to the floor of his compartment in true ‘agony’. But that was not enough for Lorca, as he turned and walked out of the room. He was afraid he was going to have to break his promise to Michael. He walked up to two guards.
“Bring me the Vulcan. And my fiancee. ” he told them.
Michael was rudely pulled out of bed and allowed to dress, before she was marched to a room, where in which she found Lorca, Sarek and two guards for starters.
Captain Archer was dragged in and thrown next to her, moments later. Lorca’s eyes were on Michael for a long moment, before turning to Sarek.
“I need to know what your ‘son’ is planning against us. I want you to look into his mind and tell me.” Lorca requested. Sarek glanced at Jonathan, before focusing on Lorca.
“Your Majesty, I do not see the logic of performing such a task.”
Lorca’s eyes widened!
“Oh you don’t, do you? Do you see the ‘logic’ in not losing your head? Because that is what will happen if you don’t do as I’m asking!”
“Your Majesty,” Michael said, trying to keep her voice steady, “you promised me that no harm would come to him.”
“I’m sorry, but after what you told me, I felt stronger measures had to be taken.” Lorca said and looked at Jonathan.
“Tell me what I need to know or get your father here to do it. And do it quickly!” he snapped. Jonathan clenched his jaw.
He then spoke.
“I went to another dimension and found an ally.”
“So you’ve said already,” Lorca said sarcastically, “just who is this ally? Is it one person? Is it an army?”
“It is an Emperor.” Jonathan said calmly. Michael looked over at Sarek and could see the surprise on his face. It was clear he knew none of this. But Lorca’s focus was on Jonathan.
“What’s this ‘Emperor’s’ name?”
Jonathan paused before saying it.
“Palpatine. Okay, now we’re getting someplace. And just what can this Emperor Palpatine do?”
But it was Sarek that interrupted the interrogation by uttering, ‘my God, Jonathan’. Michael turned to look at him and the burgeoning fear that had spawned in the pit of her stomach, from the moment she was brought into the room, now gnawed within her incessently. She had never seen her father look so uneasy. Maybe even scared was the proper word.
“You know this Palpatine?” Lorca asked Sarek. But Sarek did not answer him. He walked up to Jonathan.
“We have formed our own army, Jonathan. We all would die for you. Tell the truth. All of it.”
“Our army wasn’t enough!” Jonathan suddenly yelled. “And I don’t want any of you to die for me! The Emperor will take care of all of this!”
“You went to the Infinite Dimension? How long until Palpatine arrives here?” Sarek asked coolly. Michael peered at him. She could hear that the modulation of his voice did not match the sense of urgency he was feeling. And that made her anxious.
Jonathan could barely meet Sarek’s eyes. He felt branded by the weight of Sarek’s disappointment in him.
“Jonathan, we cannot allow this universe to become like theirs. We cannot allow ourselves to be ruled by an empire such as that.”
Lorca was still confused.
“Sarek, you’ve been to this ‘Infinite Dimension’?” Lorca asked.
Sarek turned and faced Lorca.
“No. Not personally. I only know of one person that was trapped there. For twenty years. Only by chance did he make it back here. I looked into this man’s mind and saw atrocities that make Georgiou’s reign seem benevolent and kind.” Sarek said, before turning to Jonathan again.
“Palpatine wants to rule two universes in different dimensions?” Sarek asked.
“No,” Jonathan said, “he was defeated in his dimension. He wants to start over and…” he stopped, his eyes now boring in Michael’s.
“What?” Michael asked. “What? You said something to me about how none of this would have happened without me? I’ve never been to another dimension, Captain Archer.”
“No. You haven’t. But your biological father was from there.” Jonathan said quietly. Lorca moved to stand next to Michael.
“Biological father?” Lorca asked. He looked over at Michael. Michael shook her head.
“You’re telling me that the other Michael Burnham’s parents were from another dimension?” she asked him.
“Her father was. And so was yours.” Jonathan said gently, not wanting to upset her anymore than she was. “He was Palpatine’s only son, with a slave from a planet called Tatooine. No one even knew that the Emperor had children. When I was searching other universes for signs of humans or other species, that wanted to join my cause here, that was when I accidentally ended up there. The only thing that saved me was my connection to you, Michael.”
“Well isn’t that too bad,” Lorca interrupted sardonically, “because you lied to this Palpatine. You have no connection to either Michael.”
“He knows you killed OUR Michael, Gabriel. You will be the first to die when his space station arrives. And then, Michael and I will be married.” Jonathan told Lorca firmly. “That was the deal that was made.”
“Deal?!” Michael snapped. “I don’t even know any of this is true!”
“You saw it when I kissed you. He was the man in the hooded cloak.” Jonathan said. Michael began to back back in shock, while Lorca signaled to a guard. The guard removed a sword and swiftly beheaded Sarek! Jonathan cried out in anguish and Michael sank to the floor in shock! Lorca nodded to the guards again and they swiftly left the room. He stood over Jonathan, who was crouched over Sarek’s headless body. Michael sank to the floor, picked up Sarek’s head and then rose. Lorca looked over at Michael.
“Darling, I did not want to do this. But you now see the danger we are in. When does this ‘space station’ arrive, Archer? Tell me or else…”
“Or else I die?” Michael asked hoarsely, clutching Sarek’s head. “I gave myself to you. Willingly. I accepted the fact that I would have to live a life here with you and you…you did this thing!” she began to yell. Jonathan slowly rose as he noticed what Lorca apparently did not. That a transporter beam had encased Michael and was pulling her off of the palace ship! Jonathan ran to her and grabbed ahold of her, as they both disappeared!
Lorca could not believe that had happened! Landry burst in!
“Your Majesty, Discovery just transported someone off of this ship!” she told him. Lorca’s response was to backhand her viciously! She fell to the floor, next to Sarek’s headless body.
“Thank you, Commander. I know. They just took my fiancee and my enemy. Use the tractor beam to get them back here before they can escape back to their own universe.” Lorca said calmly. He did not take his eyes off of Landry as she scrambled to get up and leave the room. Once she left, Lorca dragged his eyes downwards towards Sarek. Once Michael was returned here, he would find a way to make her forgive him. He had to.
He left the room, ordering a Kelpian slave to get rid of Sarek’s body and moved with purpose towards the Throne Room. Mr. Saru, Tilly and Tyler, among others, would join this Sarek in death for trying to pull a fast one! They had made a deal and for them to swing back around here and…
Lorca threw open the doors to the room and then stopped short.
Landry, along with much of his security force, were on their knees in front of a shrouded figure with a horribly deformed face. There was an army of men, encased in white body armor, holding laser pistols on his people. Palpatine turned towards Lorca and beckoned him with a movement of his hand. Lorca felt himself being pulled towards the man that he now knew for certain, was this Palpatine. Lorca suddenly found himself before him, and the same force that had summoned him before this horrific looking stranger, also sank him to his knees.
“Gabriel Lorca,” Palpatine smiled,showing blackened teeth and red eyes, “where is Michael Burnham?”
Lorca looked up at him.
“Jonathan Archer abducted her to another universe.” he said.
It did not register to Michael that she had been pulled back into her universe and on to Discovery. She was on her knees on the transporter floor, clutching Sarek’s head with Jonathan Archer’s arms around her, protectively.
Sarek stared at his ward, holding HIS severed head and lifted a brow. Mr. Saru and Tilly began to move towards her when a voice commanded them to stay back.
It was the real Gabriel Lorca. He moved toward the Jonathan and Michael, then summoned security.
“I want them both detained.” he told them. Admiral Katrina Cornwell moved forward as well.
“Gabriel, I wasn’t happy with her being on board at first either, but she has proven herself capable. Besides, we cannot allow the secret of the existence of mirror universes, to get out.”
Sarek eyed Jonathan, who’s arms were still around Michael as he helped her up. He then looked at Captain Lorca.
“My ward needs medical attention. I would think that would be your first inclination towards her.” Sarek stated.
Jonathan stared at this Gabriel Lorca, before looking at Admiral Cornwell.
“Admiral, I’m Captain Jonathan Archer, descendent of Jonathan Archer of the U.S.S. Enterprise. And I am familiar with Starleet protocol. Captain Lorca here, has just returned from our mirror universe himself, correct?”
“Your point?” Captain Lorca asked coldly.
“My point, Captain, is that you are in all likelihood, unfit for command until you undergo a psychological exam. You are in no position to order Michael Burnham or myself, to be detained.” Jonathan stated firmly.
Lorca looked over at Katrina for back up and noticed her eyes taking Jonathan Archer in. He glanced over at Tilly, who appeared to be doing the same thing. Lorca took a deep breath.
“Admiral? You know I’m fit for command. Michael Burnham, helpful or not, is a prisoner who has yet to serve any time. Captain Archer is from a vicious, murderous universe that means mankind no good. For the well being of everyone on board Discovery, I think they should be put in detention.” Lorca advised.
But Admiral Cornwell dragged her eyes off of Jonathan and looked at Lorca.
“Let’s have the two of them checked out in medical. Then I want to hear their versions of what happened in the mirror universe.” she said, before turning and walking out of the transporter room. Lorca hurried after her and grabbed her arm!
“What are you dong, Gabriel?”
“What are you doing, Kat?! You made me look stupid and unfit back there!” he snapped.
Katrina Cornwell slowly removed his hand from her arm.
“Gabriel, you haven’t told us everything about where you really were. By your own admission, you were not in the Terran Universe. You were on a place called Earth Three, where in which you were president of the United States, I was your First Lady, Captain Archer was your VP and Michael Burnham was his wife. We unleashed an apocalyptic plague on the people living there and most everyone died.”
“What do you think I haven’t told you, Kat?” Lorca asked her.
“How did you get back here? You act as if you don’t know, but I think you do. And I think that more was going on between Archer, Burnham, myself and you, than you are letting on. Now once Captain Archer and Michael Burnham are cleared by medical, we will sit down and hear what they have to say about the Terran Universe.” Admiral Cornwell told him, before walking away. Lorca clenched his jaw, turned and walked back towards the transporter room. When he reached it, he found it empty. He looked towards the spot that Michael Burnham had reappeared in and felt his loins tighten unbearably. Katrina was right. A lot more had happened. More than he would ever admit to Starleet, officially.
Michael had been given a sedative to sleep. Jonathan didn’t really think she had needed one, but since she did re-appear in this universe carrying a severed head, he could see how it could look like a sedative might be a good idea.
He was in sick bay, sitting by her side, when Sarek entered. Jonathan stood up slowly, appraising this universe’s Sarek.
“We are ready to hear from you.” Sarek said, glancing over at Michael.
“I’m surprised you were sent to retrieve me.” Jonathan said.
“I wanted to check on my ward. Come. Everyone is waiting.”
They were about to leave, when Lieutenant Ash Tyler entered the room. Jonathan stopped and stared at him.
“I saw you. In Michael’s mind.”
Ash eyed Jonathan, before looking over at Sarek.
“What is this? Is Michael alright?”
Sarek nodded. Ash Tyler had proven himself to be quite the emissary between Klingons and Humans. What happened to him was unfortunate, but Tyler had turned what some might see as an affliction, into a calling.
“She was a bit taxed, but she is recovering. Admiral Cornwell would probably want you to hear what Captain Archer has to say.” Sarek told him.
Jonathan raised a brow.
“Uh, why? I don’t mean to be rude, but isn’t he the ‘secret Klingon’? You lied to Michael about who you were, didn’t you?”
“Secret Klingon?” Ash asked. “Really?”
“Captain Archer, “ Sarek said patiently, “Officer Tyler underwent a surgical procedure to fuse his own personality, with that of his Klingon counterpart.”
“His name was Voq, right?” Jonathan asked, unable to let it go. He had seen this man almost choke the life out of Michael and yet he was allowed to roam loose on this ship?
“And you’re from the Terran Universe. I do remember some of what the people were like there. And it seems to me that someone like you should be locked up.” Ash replied. Sarek buried the growing impatience, as was Vulcan custom when it came to emotions, he was having with these two men. Clearly, Michael had more than one man in her life that seemed determined to look after her welfare. And if he were asked his opinion on it, to be blunt, Sarek did not trust Captain Archer. He would have to hear more about him, however, to make a complete assessment on his character.
“Gentlemen, Michael is asleep. When she is able, she will give her account of what happened. Until then, Captain Archer, you will need to come with me. Lieutenant Tyler, I suggest you come along as well. While we have your version of events on record, it would be helpful if you sat in on the hearings.” Sarek announced.
Ash gave Archer and a look of disdain.
“I wouldn’t miss these hearings, Sarek. Of course I will sit in.” he said.
Jonathan sat at a round table, across from the real Captain Gabriel Lorca and quickly surmised that he was weak, something Jonathan would have never said about the bastard he was used to dealing with in the Terran Universe. He didn’t know why he thought that, but he did. He remembered Lorca’s insistence that himself and Michael be jailed. Jonathan had heard fear and anger in his voice at that time. Lorca may have had reason to feel that way, considering where he himself had been, but Jonathan Archer believed that a captain should never show the former of those two traits, in front of his crew.
Lorca felt Jonathan’s eyes on him and decided to ignore the bastard until it was time to question him. He knew Archer was sizing him up and could not shake the idea that he wanted to take over Discovery here. He was going to listen to Archer and Burnham’s stories, but his mind was already made up. Burnham was going to prison and Archer would accompany her, if for no other reason, so that Starleet could keep him from blabbing about the concept of a ‘mirror universe’.
Lorca’s eyes moved from Archer to Tyler, who he would have never let aboard this ship. He would’ve known something was off about the man from day one. But Katrina and Sarek, along with his superiors, had fantasies of Tyler being the ‘chosen one’ to help mend fences between Starleet and the Klingons.
Admiral Cornwell entered with Mr. Saru, Sarek and an officer that would record the proceedings. They took their places and Admiral Cornwell spoke.
“We are gathered here to conduct an inquiry pertaining to the events that occurred during an ion storm, some time ago, that revealed a ‘mirror universe’. Captain Archer, I apologize for the delay in beginning these proceedings, but as you know, we took a DNA sample from you and matched it with a stored one of the long deceased Captain Jonathan Archer, of this universe. You look exactly like him but of course, precautions had to be taken. Needless to say, it was confirmed that you are within the Archer family line.” Admiral Cornwell told him. Lorca refrained from rolling his eyes. He had known Katrina for years and he knew her ‘flirtatious’ tone from her ‘command’ one.
Jonathan sensed her interest in him and filed it away as something he could use for later. He had never seen her before and wondered just where she fit in in his universe?
Sarek took over.
“Captain, if you will, we would be very interested in hearing your version of events. Starting with how and why, my ward returned to this universe with my counterpart’s head within her hands?”
Jonathan cleared his throat.
“Michael did not kill him. Neither did I. It was Captain Lorca’s counterpart that murdered my first officer.”
Both Lorca and Sarek registered surprise, but with different facial expressions. Lorca looked surprised and Sarek looked mildly surprised with the lift of an eyebrow.
“You’re saying I cut off Ambassador Sarek’s head?” Lorca asked skeptically.
“You’re saying I was your First Officer?” Sarek asked, just as skeptically.
Jonathan leaned forward and nodded towards Mr. Saru and Ash.
“Your crew, from what I understand, are the ones that pulled us out of that universe with this ship’s transporter beam. Everyone on this crew at one time or another, spent some time in my universe and knows what the pecking order was there. There were no ‘ambassadors’. The human race ruled. I tried to to break away from that.” Jonathan explained.
Lorca nodded over to Sarek.
“By making a Vulcan your ‘token’ First Officer?”
“I resent that.” Jonathan replied coolly. “Sarek was more than capable. So was my Klingon Security Chief.”
“Alright,” Ash interrupted, “we get that you were ahead of your time there being all inclusive. Michael sacrificed herself to stay with Lorca and his empire. Where did YOU come from? I never saw you anywhere.”
“Once it became clear in certain circles, that Emperor Phillipa Georgiou was dead and that Gabriel Lorca was the new Emperor, I reached out to Michael. Sarek, my Sarek, had used a mind meld on her at an earlier time, and could see that she was not the Michael Burnham that I knew.” Jonathan said.
“So you knew when you made contact with her, that she was from another universe. What was your purpose in contacting her then? You knew she wouldn’t know you.” Lorca noted.
“I had plans to take my rightful place as Emperor. Phillipa Georgiou had married my father, after my mother died. Once my father passed away, I was kept from taking my rightful place on the throne by Georgiou and Lorca.”
Lorca nodded, seeing some of where this was going but not all of it. Did Archer think that Burnham could help him in someway? But before he could ask, Katrina asked a question of her own.
“So you reached out to Burnham via a transmission?”
“But what happened that made the two of you end up in the same place? You boarded the palace ship and the Emperor had no problem with that?”
“Lorca and the Michael Burnham I grew up with…”
“Grew up with?” Sarek interrupted.
“Yes. I was sixteen when my father and Georgiou adopted Michael. Actually, Georgiou killed Michael’s parents and took her.”
“Thank you for the clarification. Please continue.” Sarek said, but his mind was processing the similarities in Michael’s background in this alternate universe. While by different methods, Michael’s parents were killed in each one. And Jonathan, on some level, became a brother to her, much like Spock did in this universe and yet…there was something else that Sarek could not quite name, about Jonathan’s relationship with Michael. Something darker.
“Thank you, Ambassador. Lorca and the other Michael Burnham, along with an engineer that was killed by Georgiou, invented a long range tractor beam. It can pull any ship within the universe, no matter how far away, into the it’s beam and pull it on to the palace ship.”
“A long. Range. Tractor. Beam. That’s a joke, right?” Lorca asked. But Admiral Cornwell looked appalled!
“So your ship found itself pulled on to the palace ship, without that said ship being near yours?”
“Exactly, Admiral.” Jonathan said. “My ship and crew were hostages of Lorca’s and I was tortured. Lorca suspected that I had some kind of army that was coming for him, and he wanted to know how and why.”
“And did you?” Admiral Cornwell asked.
Jonathan lied. He decided he would tell Michael something different when she awoke. She would be angry, yes, but he was not about to tell these people about the Infinite Dimension. If Palpatine found his way here…
“No. There were rebels, of course, but nothing on any level that could best Lorca’s army.”
“So was my counterpart was beheaded as part of torture?” Sarek asked.
“Yes.” Jonathan said. “But it was aimed towards me. The usual means used to get the truth out of me, were not working. Lorca threatened to kill Sarek in order to get answers that I did not have.”
Lorca leaned back in his chair. Something about this story was off, but he couldn’t think as to what it was.
“So why didn’t you just make something up to spare your crew member? And why did Michael Burnham have the head?” Lorca asked, now folding his arms.
“I didn’t think your counterpart would really do anything. At least not with Michael present.”
“Why?” Lorca asked, looking puzzled.
Jonathan eyed him.
“Because he was pretty insistent on marrying her and making her his ‘Empress’. He had plans to let all of us go and keep Sarek there for her.”
Everyone looked around the room at one another in confusion! What???
Admiral Cornwell spoke.
“I’m sorry, Captain, but you’re losing us. Or at least you’re losing me. So you all were going to be released, even though no information had been obtained? But only Sarek was going to be kept because Michael Burnham wanted him there?”
“Captain,” Sarek said, “my ward would never have asked for such a thing to take place.”
Jonathan turned in his chair to look at him.
“Why? Because you don’t think she loved you in my universe as she does here? She was facing a life of loneliness and Lorca, in his ass backwards way, was going to keep him there to give her some comfort.”
“But I do not believe that Michael would have taken him up on that offer.” Ash said. “Sorry, but Michael and I are close…”
“You used to be before you tried to kill her, right?” Jonathan asked, smiling.
“We still are. She will understand what I went through.” Ash responded. “My point being, that she would never have put ANY version of Sarek in that kind of danger. She would have insisted that Lorca free him as well.”
“Well? What happened?” Captain Lorca asked.
“What happened was that despite Michael’s obvious Vulcan upbringing, she could not suppress her hurt and jealousy of MY relationship with Sarek. He and his wife, Amanda, became surrogate parents to me, once I was banished from my own empire. I learned Vulcan ways that she was never taught or learned and Michael took it badly.”
Lorca didn’t quite know what to make of all of this. For it seemed that the Terran version of himself had had feelings for the mutineer. Then again, he had them on Earth Three as well…
He looked over at Katrina, who was looking at him. She broke off eye contact and continued questioning Archer.
“Michael Burnham went into some kind of shock when the other Lorca had the other Sarek beheaded?”
“Exactly. I think it was just all too much. It was bad enough that she had been forced to share the other Lorca’s bed, but then to see her father murdered…”
“Okay,” Captain Lorca stood up, “you just keep right on being a smart ass! Admiral, Ambassador Sarek, I need to see you out in the hallway!”
Lorca left first and Katrina and Sarek slowly rose and joined him. Jonathan looked over at Mr. Saru, who had been quietly contemplating what he had heard.
“I would love a tour of the ship, once this is over, Mr. Saru.”
But before Mr. Saru could answer, Ash did.
“What do you think this is? A vacation getaway? As soon as we hear your story, you’re going to the brig. And then we listen to Michael’s story.”
“And she goes to the brig as well? Your captain was not here when she turned her life around. He seems determined to make sure she finishes her sentence.” Jonathan said.
“Captain Lorca is a fair man.” Mr. Saru said. “I’m sure once we hear from Burnham, it will become clear what needs to be done.”
Meanwhile, out in the hallway, Captain Lorca looked at Sarek.
“I don’t think we’re getting anywhere with him! He is holding back! I think you should perform a mind meld on him. We can find out what we need to know faster.” he said.
“I don’t see what else there is to learn.” Admiral Cornwell said. “We now need to decide as to whether we find a way to send Captain Archer back to his own universe, or somehow implement him here.”
And with those words, she turned and went back into the room. Lorca eyed Sarek.
“Something about his story bothers you, doesn’t it?”
“I will admit to being troubled by Captain Archer’s attachment to my ward. It’s not very brotherly. I would prefer we find a way to send him home.”
“Yeah, well, I didn’t believe him when he said he didn’t have an army. Look, whatever my counterpart is or was here, we inherently have the same instincts. And I don’t believe a version of myself would be so threatened by an army that could possibly topple his empire, if it truly did not exist.”
Sarek appeared to be thinking, then he spoke.
“We must also consider the possibility that the captain knows how to return to his own universe. Let us finish up and then talk to Michael. And if we learn nothing more from her, then I will perform a mind meld on Captain Archer.” Sarek told Lorca.
Michael awoke with a start and looked around! The medical assistant walked over to her.
“How do you feel?” she asked.
“Where is everyone?” Michael asked.
“Just rest. Let me get the doctor.” the said and left the room. Michael slowly laid back down but knew she shouldn’t be resting. There was so much she had to tell Admiral Cornwell, Sarek, Mr. Saru and…
And the real Captain Lorca.
Michael closed her eyes for a moment, still seeing the events in the Terran Universe, play out in her mind. Her time in bed with the Mirror Universe Lorca, Jonathan Archer’s Vulcan kiss and Sarek’s beheading. Not to mention Captain Archer’s admission of using an army from another dimension, to defeat Emperor Lorca.
No, she could not rest. This needed be known.
But when she opened her eyes, she gasped from fright! Some kind of image was trying to appear before her. Like a transmission that was going in and out, but would not come in clearly. It was a hooded being with red eyes.
Michael knew he was Palpatine. And somehow, someway, he was trying to get a message to her from the mirror universe? Or maybe from the Infinite Dimension.
She sat up and got out of bed. Michael had no time to wait for a doctor. If what Jonathan Archer had revealed was true, then her ‘grandfather’ was trying to make his way into this universe to do God knows what.
Michael was in such a hurry to get to the situation room, that she didn’t see Captain Lorca headed her way and ran right into him! He reached out to steady her and Michael moved out of his reach.
“Sir.” she said, composing herself.
“Burnham. I was coming to sick bay to see if you were awake. You are indeed that. Awake. I take it you are ready to give us your version of events?”
Michael stared at him oddly.
“You’re staring.” he said, uncomfortable by the fact that she seemed uncomfortable in his presence. Was it because she knew he felt she belonged in prison? Or had Archer told the truth about her having to ‘endure’ his counterpart’s bed?
“I am sorry, sir. It is just that I am pleased that you are so remarkably calm, given the circumstances.”
“Well it’s not ideal but it’s nothing to panic over.” he told her.
Michael lifted a brow.
“Really, sir? So you have a plan to keep Emperor Palpatine from invading this universe?”
Captain Lorca gave her a brief, blank stare before answering her.
“I see. Captain Archer omitted that fact. What else did he leave out?”
“Why don’t you come to the situation room and tell us yourself.” Lorca said. He knew it! He knew Archer was lying about something! And just from what he could see of Michael Burnham’s quiet,, yet low keyed panicked behavior, whatever it was was of the upmost importance. He took her elbow to escort her to the room, but again, Michael pulled out of his grip and walked ahead of him and into the room.
Once inside, Sarek and Ash stood up. Mr. Saru had returned to the bridge but Admiral Cornwell was still there.
“You are awake.” was all Sarek said. Michael nodded to him but her eyes locked with Ash’s. Ash smiled wanly at her and Michael smiled back, before sitting down. Captain Lorca walked around to his seat and Admiral Cornwell spoke.
“Michael Burnham, we are all quite eager to hear your version of the events that took place in the Terran Universe. We’ve heard from Captain Archer already.” she said.
“With all due respect, Admiral, I don’t think there is time to hear my story. I told Captain Lorca out in the hallway, that Captain Archer omitted a threat to this universe in his story, that we need to be ready for.”
Sarek lifted a brow. Ash frowned but Admiral Cornwell looked cool.
“You’re alleging that Captain Archer has lied?”
“I don’t know if omission is exactly lying, but when I mentioned ‘Emperor Palpatine’, Captain Lorca here seemed lost.” Michael replied.
“Emperor Palpatine?” Sarek asked. “This was someone you met in the Terran Universe?”
Michael looked at Sarek.
“No. Captain Archer revealed, right before our return to this universe, that in order to amass the army he needed to beat Emperor Georgiou and now Lorca, he traveled to other alternate universes. 72 to be exact. Then he accidentally went to a place that was in another dimension. A place known as the ‘Infinite Dimension’. The other Sarek knew of this place.” Michael told him.
Sarek shook his head slightly.
“I cannot say that I am aware of the existence of such a place.”
“Father, Captain Archer told me that my real, biological father was this Palpatine’s son. That he escaped him to come to this universe. When I awoke just now, I saw him.”
“Who?” Lorca asked.
“Palpatine.” Michael said, turning from Sarek. “I saw him in a vision…”
“Since when do you have ‘visions’?” Lorca asked. “I saw nothing about that in your medical file from before.”
Ash gave Lorca an annoyed look!
“Could you just hear her out without interrupting? I think she is trying to say that this ‘Palpatine’ is so close to our universe, that she can see him.” he said. Michael smiled gratefully at him and Lorca hid his annoyance at the look the two of them exchanged.
“I’m sorry. Please continue.” Lorca told her.
“This Emperor Palpatine runs an empire where in which he has a space station that can blow up planets. Captain Archer made some deal with him. One in which he would be made emperor and I was to be his wife.”
“What exactly did you mean when you said you saw this Palpatine?” Admiral Cornwell asked.
“He looked like a bad transmission, as if he were fading in and out. I think he took over the Terran Universe as soon as Captain Archer and myself were transported back here. If I’m seeing him this way, I feel it’s only a matter of time before he comes here and takes over.” Michael said firmly.
Sarek did not look fazed.
“Michael, I feel that we would have known on Vulcan if an inter dimensional being was on our planet. Your father came across as nothing other than human and from Earth, as did you. Captain Archer has told this lie just to get close to you. But, I will return to Vulcan to research this Emperor Palpatine, his possible relation to you and this ‘Infinite Dimension’.” Sarek said, as he stood up.
“You’re going now?” Admiral Cornwell asked.
“There could be some merit to this.” Sarek conceded. Ash stood up as well.
“Let me see what I can find out from some of my Klingon contacts.” he said, following after Sarek as they left the room. Michael stared after Ash. He now had ‘Klingon Contacts’? She slowly stood up but Captain Lorca’s voice stopped her.
“Admiral, could you leave Burnham and myself alone for a moment?”
Admiral Cornwell didn’t move.
“Why? Is there something else that needs to go into the record that I should know about?” she asked.
Captain Lorca nodded to the Officer that was recording the proceedings, and she stood up and left. Admiral Cornwell watched her leave but waited to get an answer to her question.
“Captain?” she asked. Captain Lorca nodded over to a part of the room away from Michael, and Katrina followed him there.
“Could you just give me some slack on this one? I need to speak to her alone.”
“And I think you need to be appreciative of the position you would be putting me in, if I did leave you alone with her. Captain Archer as much as said that your counterpart forced himself on her.”
“Really, Kat? You think I would ever do anything similar to someone? And how was he, by the way? I read YOUR report as well.”
“Don’t be flip, Gabriel.”
“I’m not being flip. I just want you to appreciate the fact that I knew that Archer was hiding something this whole time. But you were too busy flirting with him to really get at the truth.”
Admiral Katrina Cornwell rolled her eyes!
“I need to head back and do my own investigating of this ‘infinite dimension’. If you can find out what it is we should be looking out for from her, then by all means, question her. But don’t you dare accuse me of being derelict in my duty here, in some way.”
Captain Lorca said nothing and Katrina walked back over to the table to address Michael.
“We’re going to look into this Infinite Universe and act accordingly as to not end up under the rule of this Emperor. Are you comfortable being questioned by Captain Lorca, here?”
“I’m fine, Admiral. Thank you.”
Katrina nodded then turned and left. Captain Lorca waited until the doors slid closed, before sitting back down in a chair that was much closer to Michael than before.
“I wanted to speak to you alone because Captain Archer brought up some things that concern me.”
“Such as?” Michael asked.
“Archer alluded to a sexual relationship between my counterpart and yourself. He said that he planned on marrying you. Is that true?”
“Yes. I don’t see why you could not ask that in front of the Admiral though?”
“Because,” Captain Lorca said in a tight voice, “it was alleged that it was not consensual. That you were forced to go along with my counterpart’s sexual demands to survive.”
Michael didn’t really want to talk about any of this with him.
“Is any of this germane to the threat at hand, sir?”
Captain Lorca cleared his throat.
“Could you just give me some peace of mind?”
“Sir?” Michael asked, confused by the way he was looking at her.
“I just need to know that my counterpart did not conduct himself like some slobbering animal, with regards to you. Sexually.”
“Oh,” Michael nodded, understanding, “no, it was not like that.”
“Well what was it like?”
“Sir?” Michael asked and Lorca felt impatience creeping into his senses. He knew she was raised by Vulcans but clearly she had learned to suppress her human side as well!
“Maybe I’m not asking this right: how did the sexual encounters come about? Did my counterpart threaten to kill you if you did not sleep with him willingly?”
“No,” Michael said, uncomfortable, “it was not like that.”
“So you’ve said before. Maybe you can enlighten me what it WAS like?”
“I don’t see how that is germane to…” Michael was about to repeat when the ship clearly hit something! Captain Lorca got up quickly and hit an intercom on the wall!
“Mr. Saru! What is going on?” he asked tersely.
“We entered into what I thought was just a gaseous nebula cloud, but it appears to be something else—and never-ending.” he replied.
“I’m on my way to the bridge.” Captain Lorca told him.
But when Captain Lorca, followed by Michael, reached the bridge, they were both surprised to find Captain Archer already there, standing next to Mr. Saru in the captain’s chair!
“Excuse me? You can’t be on the bridge.” Captain Lorca said and signaled to security to take Archer away. But Jonathan faced him.
“This isn’t just a cloud Discovery has entered in to here! I have dealt with such a creature before in my own universe!”
“Creature?” Michael asked, frowning. She looked at the screen and saw nothing that looked like the physiology of a living being. It appeared as if they had entered a nebula cloud that had swallowed different sized craters. The ship nicked one of the ‘craters’ and sparks erupted from a console. Captain Lorca hit a button near his chair and asked engineering for a status report, just as security took Jonathan Archer away on the elevator.
Engineering told him that 40% of the warp drive had been damaged.
“And it’s going to get worse, Lorca, unless you fly this ship straight and don’t hit anything!” Jonathan yelled just as the doors closed. Michael looked at Lorca.
“Sir, if Captain Archer is familiar with what we are dealing with here…”
Lorca stood up from his chair and walked over to her.
“I would like for you to leave the bridge as well. I am still not convinced that Archer and yourself should not be shipped off to the nearest penal colony. I am going to show you some understanding by not detaining you to the brig or in your quarters, are we clear?”
“Yes, sir.” Michael said and moved to the elevator, ignoring Mr. Saru and some of the other crewmen’s stares. What she was ‘clear’ about is that the Terran Captain Lorca, would have taken any suggestion offered to save this ship from destruction. Granted, he was also trying to save himself, but if he had acted as the present Captain Lorca was at this moment, they would have perished long ago.
Jonathan was detained to his quarters and since Michael was not, she was allowed to go inside and see him. He stood up from his bunk and Michael waited until the doors closed to speak.
“How could you have omitted the Infinite Universe from your report? How? I am seeing visions of this ‘grandfather’ of mine. He is trying to come here.” Michael said pointedly.
“No one will be able to find any record of it and I plan to continue to deny the existence of it.” he told her matter-of-factly. Michael’s eyes widened!
“So you plan to publicly call me a liar?”
Jonathan closed the space between them and rested both hands on either side of her waist.
“It would be best if you just told officials that you were mistaken.” was his answer. Michael pulled out of his embrace and stared in disbelief!
“Why would you do this? This man is never going to allow you to rule in your own universe. Think of your crew and the many people that wanted to see you become emperor, that you have left behind to suffer under this new, oppressive rule. Help us stop him!”
“You don’t think I know what I have done?!” Jonathan suddenly snapped. “I have been there, Michael! I know why your father left! If a planet makes one wrong move or doesn’t fall into line with their empire, their planet gets blown into smithereens! I saw that too! But the only way to stop this, is to send you back to the other universe. And I have no intention of sacrificing you for the throne.”
Michael stared at him. Jonathan raised a brow.
“You’re staring.” he said. Michael shook her head quickly.
“I have a tendency to do that, I’m sorry. It’s just that I’m not following what you’re saying exactly. You told the other Lorca that there had been a martial contract between us? That Palpatine expected us to be wed?”
“He does. Or so he said. But I am easily expendable, something I have always recognized, if I don’t bend to his will. Michael, my seeking the throne was never about ruling Palpatine’s way. I just wanted to get Georgiou and Lorca out of the there. I thought I could figure out a way to get rid of Palpatine, once the throne was mine. The throne and you.” he said softly.
“Jonathan.” he corrected her.
“Jonathan. I am not your Michael. I am not your Michael anymore than I was Lorca’s. And in the end, you will have to either go back and deal with what has happened, or stay here and make some kind of life for yourself that does not include taking over Captain Lorca’s ship.”
“Just like you didn’t take over Captain Georgiou’s ship here?” Jonathan asked in a knowing tone.
“That was different.”
“In what way?”
Michael was about to say something, when the ship began shaking wildly for several long moments, before stopping abruptly. Jonathan went to the door, opened it and found his guards gone! He looked back at Michael, who looked as confused as he was. They ran from his room and headed towards the bridge.
Once they arrived, Captain Gabriel Lorca turned and stared at them. As did the rest of the crew. Michael saw they were no longer in the ‘creature cloud’.
“We are being pulled into a long range tractor beam.” he said in a low tone of voice, before the communications officer told him that the ‘Emperor’ wanted to speak the captain of Discovery. Michael looked at Jonathan, before facing Lorca.
“It’s the Emperor. It has to be. I will surrender myself and see if I can spare this crew.”
Lorca looked from her to Archer.
“Why don’t YOU surrender yourself and spare this crew? You know, since you lied to us about this whole situation?”
The communications officer coughed, getting their attention again!
“Captain, the person hailing us IS Captain Lorca!”
Captain Gabriel Lorca looked as if he were at a loss for words! His counterpart wanted an audience with them? He was the one pulling them into their tractor beam? There was no sign of a ship anywhere!
And yet it wasn’t as if he had not been warned about the existence of such a weapon. Jonathan took over!
“I will speak to the other Lorca. I will tell them that I killed you and sent Michael away. I will then surrender myself to him…”
“And what, Archer?! What happens if ‘I’ don’t find that acceptable?” Lorca almost barked. But Michael nodded.
“It’s a good plan. Captain Lorca, you need to hide. He will not bother to have anyone search this ship if he believes that Captain Archer killed you to take over it.”
“She’s right.” Jonathan said to her. “But I am not so sure he will believe that you are gone.”
“He isn’t supposed to.” Michael said calmly. “Because I will surrender myself as well.”
Mr. Saru didn’t like the sound of any of it, but they were running out of time!
“Captain? The Emperor is waiting.” he reminded him. Michael looked at Lorca.
“Go. Hide yourself. Captain Archer and I will deal with him.”
“I am NOT hiding…”
“You are saving your crew!” Jonathan snapped. “He only wants the two of us!”
Lorca nodded reluctantly, then left the bridge. Jonathan sat in the captain’s chair and nodded to the communications officer. Michael moved to stand next to Jonathan in his chair.
Terran Emperor Gabriel Lorca appeared.
He was holding Emperor Palpatine’s head, which he dropped to the floor with a thud for dramatic effect.
“Archer. I see you’ve taken over the ship.” he noted coolly.
“Your counterpart found his way back and I was forced to dispose of him. He showed the same lustful tendencies towards my fiancee that you did.” Jonathan replied.
“I want my Empress back. Michael, I saved you from a fate worse than death from your ‘grandfather’ here! Archer, you’re going to help me seal the inter dimensional breach YOU caused, when you came up with this half assed plan in the first place. And yes, you are still going to walk my fiancee down the aisle, before I kill you.” Emperor Lorca said, before his eyes moved to Michael’s.
“Hello.” he said to her. Michael cleared her throat.
“Hello.” she responded.
“I’ve missed you.” he said and Mr. Saru looked from the screen to Michael. It didn’t appear as if he held any malice towards Michael. Then again, she never said she was mistreated in anyway.
Jonathan spared Michael from having to answer him about that.
“How did you manage to best Palpatine? He was a master in the dark, mystic arts.”
“He was a master in nonsense and never you mind, Archer. When your ship in in our dock, I will decide as to whether your crew, which USED to be my crew, will be spared.”
“Your Majesty,” Michael said, trying not to sound panicked, “that isn’t necessary. We will just turn ourselves in when we dock, you can let Discovery go and we can all return to the Terran Universe.”
“Yes, well, that would be nice, but see Palpatine’s ‘storm troopers’, left me a bit short, security wise. So more than just yourselves are going to have to stay. I will see everyone in fifteen minutes.” Emperor Lorca said, before fading out.
Jonathan slowly stood up from his chair and faced the crew on the bridge.
“We are not going down without a fight.” he said and looked at the communications officer.
“Your name, Officer?”
“It’s Gilman, sir.” the young man said. “Oliver Gilman.”
“Gilman, you are going to hail every ship you can to come in and help us. Let’s hope that there is one that can get here in fifteen minutes. And if they can, we need for them to blast the palace ship’s tractor beam.” Jonathan said before looking at Mr. Saru.
“Mr. Saru, the bridge is yours.” he said and he nodded to Michael, as they both left. On the elevator, Michael looked up at him.
“What happens if no one can help?”
“We’ll just have to make sure that this universe’s Lorca is never discovered. I don’t personally care, but if he is found after our esteemed Emperor was told he was dead, then we both will pay for lying to him.” Jonathan said, just as the doors opened and they both stepped out. Michael followed him back to his quarters and waited until the door closed to be disagreeable.
“I still think I am the best play. I can convince him to spare everyone, including yourself! I will offer him more of whatever he asks!”
“Which will be what? Children?” Jonathan asked, his tone filled with jealousy.
“If it comes to that…”
Jonathan suddenly grabbed her shoulders and began shaking her!
“Do you think I would ever allow such a thing to take place? I couldn’t do anything before with the other Michael but we are not going down this road again! You keep telling me you are not ‘my Michael’! Yes you are! Every version of you that I ever meet will belong to me, that is how deep our connection is!”
Michael’s entire body weakened as Jonathan Archer’s mouth and tongue assaulted her. He began to lift her into his hardness, as his hands began removing her uniform. Soon, she felt his warm hands caressing her bare skin.
It was then she came to her senses.
“No! No, there is no time for this. An act of copulation now would not be logical.” she sniffed, pulling away from him and readjusting her clothing. A dazed and passion crazed Jonathan stared at her.
“Did you just say ‘copulation’?”
“I did. I don’t see what is so shocking about that word.”
“Well there’s nothing shocking about it. That’s the problem.” he smiled, giving her a quick and unexpected kiss before straightening his own uniform. Meanwhile, under the floorboards of the ship, Lorca stared at the Mickey Mouse Pez dispenser that held in his hands. He planned to use this on his counterpart and send him someplace, far, far away.
What no one on Discovery had quite yet realized, was that Emperor Lorca had intercepted two people transporting off of the ship, and brought them on to his own palace vessel: Admiral Cornwell and Sarek.
Lorca sat in front of Katrina Cornwell first, who could not stay calm. But it wasn’t out of panic. It was out of anger. She could not believe that his lovemaking had not given him away to her! She had known something was off, but not what. And now sitting before him and seeing his smug face, made her all the more livid!
“Kat, would you like some wine?”
“No.” she said shortly. “What is the meaning of this abduction?”
“I don’t consider wanting to catch up with an old friend, ‘abduction’? And we are old friends, aren’t we, Kat?”
“Don’t call me that. We’re not anything. What is the meaning of this?”
Lorca sat down next to her.
“Alright. ‘Admiral’. I want you to confirm that Archer killed my counterpart.”
Admiral Cornwell didn’t quite know how to answer that. Clearly, this fake Gabriel was given the impression that the real Gabriel was dead. But by whom?
“The last time I saw him, he was alive.”
“When was that?” Lorca asked.
“When was what?” Kat countered.
“When was the last time you saw him? Because if it was shortly before I pulled you on to this ship, then we have a problem.”
“You don’t need me to find something like that out. Tell me what you want or turn me loose.” Kat said in a testy tone.
“I think you just told me what I need to know,” Lorca said, standing and straightening his Terran style clothing and motioning to a guard, “take her to an Agonizer.’
The guard hurried over and yanked Kat up out of her seat! She began to writhe and struggle against his hold!
“An Agonizer? Wow, Fake Gabriel, that sounds ‘agonizing’! You can’t do any better than that?!” Kat snapped as she was dragged away. She caught Sarek’s eye as he was being escorted in. The doors closed and Sarek took the seat Emperor Lorca offered him.
“Sarek, we have never been formerly introduced: I am Emperor Gabriel Lorca, formerly Captain of the U.S.S. Discovery in your universe. I need for you to tell me if my counterpart is alive and on the ship that we have captured?”
“I did not realize you had done such a thing.” Sarek replied.
“I have. Now if you will please answer my question?”
“I have not seen him,” Sarek lied, “because Admiral Cornwell has been in charge of Discovery until a replacement could be found.”
“But you both were on Discovery at the same time, were you not? Because the good Admiral implied that he had been there.” Lorca said.
Sarek stared at him.
“You’re staring.” Lorca noted.
“That is because I am not unaware of your liaison with the Admiral. She was very upset by your intimate deception. She may have just been playing games with you.”
“iIntimate Deception’? I have to say, you Vulcans really have a way with words. A way that you passed down to Michael.”
“I don’t follow you.” Sarek said calmly.
“No, I’m sure you don’t. But I’m going to state my case: there was an accident here and another Sarek, from this universe died. I would very much appreciate it if you would stay here, just long enough to help Michael make the transition from her old universe to this one, and then you are free to leave. We’ll return you to your own time.”
“An accident? You mean the beheading?” Sarek asked, raising a brow. “Michael and Captain Archer didn’t say that was an accident.”
Lorca folded his arms.
“Oh, so you had some kind of formal inquiry about all of this? And what was said, exactly?”
Sarek slowly stood up.
“I know you were inappropriate with my ward. I know that Captain Archer wants to be inappropriate. Michael also spoke of this Emperor Palpatine, that apparently you have disposed of, being of some relation to her. I never found any evidence that her descendants were from another dimension, in the other world.”
“Yes, “ Lorca said slowly, “Michael comes from an interesting family line. It’s a shame that wasn’t discovered earlier in her life. So…back to my original question: you do, or don’t know whether my counterpart was killed?”
“And as I have said before, I have not seen him.” Sarek lied again, just as Landry came into the room.
“Your Majesty, The Discovery is in our hangar now. We’re sending the storm troopers aboard to bring out the hostages. We’ve now taken our ship back to our own world.”
“Good. Take him to the Agonizers and then join me in the hangar. Sarek, you’ll be released if I find no sign of another Gabriel Lorca. If I do, both the Admiral and yourself will perish.”
Sarek looked unfazed.
“And you think that will endear you to my ward? Killing me?”
Lorca cleared his throat.
“Your ‘ward’, likes me. She’s just ashamed of it. I could cut off your head and kill five other Sarek’s, in five other universes, and it wouldn’t change what’s between us.” Lorca said and nodded to Landry, who grabbed Sarek’s arm and escorted him from the room. Lorca then rubbed his hands together and wondered if Jonathan Archer had managed to undo what he and Michael had together, in such a short amount of time?
Emperor Lorca stepped on Jonathan Archer’s hand, as lay face down on the floor, with the rest of the Discovery crew. Tilly winced as she was then yanked up from the floor, by men in the oddest looking, white hardware, she had ever seen! Mr. Saru’s threat ganglia emerged at the sight of the storm troopers, but there was nothing to be done about it, as he too was dragged off. Meanwhile, Michael was still on board and Prime Lorca emerged from his hiding place, briefly, to give her instructions.
“I need for you to get him on board here.” he told her, as they both listened to the storm troopers get closer and closer to the room they were in.
“Sir, you cannot reveal yourself! We are outnumbered here!” Michael reminded him.
Lorca revealed the Mickey Mouse Pez Dispenser. Michael blinked.
“Where did you get that?”
“From a garage sale on Earth 3. Now there’s no time…”
“I have seen that same dispenser before! It only works if you’re in the transporter.”
“You know what this is?” Prime Lorca asked.
“Yes! Your plan, obviously, is to send your counterpart elsewhere. But we still have his people here and he’s added to his army, numerically. Someone else will just stop us!”
“Burnham, we don’t have much choice here! And I have never needed a transporter to use this!”
Michael eyed him.
“You said you found that on Earth 3? And not here in the Terran Universe? Where were you, exactly, when your counterpart was pretending to be you?”
“To use a phrase you are so fond of, ‘I don’t see how that is germane to the topic at hand’. Burnham, are you not one of my crew?”
“Yes, of course…”
“Then you follow my order and get him aboard here! Tell him you found me and I will only surrender myself to him.” Lorca told her.
Michael shook her head!
“I cannot do that! If I say you are here, then Captain Archer will be killed.”
“Captain Archer is going to be killed anyway! We can’t worry about him!”
“You cannot! I can! There is a way out of this where no one has to die! I just have to think of it…”
But their time was up. The door flung open and two storm troopers ordered them, blasters drawn, to surrender! But then something strange happened. Michael made a move to knock the blaster out of the first storm trooper’s hand. But instead of her hand connecting with it, it went flying out of his hand by magic or something! The other storm trooper, seeing this, turned and hurried down the hallway of Discovery, until he reached the plank!
“Your Majesty, there is one on board that is like Emperor Palpatine!” the storm trooper told Emperor Lorca. Lorca looked from the storm trooper, down to Archer, who just smiled. Meanwhile, Prime Lorca knocked out the remaining storm trooper and began removing his hardware.
“How did you do that?” Lorca asked, half looking at her.
“I don’t think I did anything.”
“Of course you did! You waved your hand and the blaster just went flying!” Lorca said, as he began to put the storm trooper outfit on himself. Michael slowly walked over to the fallen blaster and picked it up. She then walked back over to Lorca, who took it.
“Okay,” he said, managing the hardware, “we tell him that…”
Michael turned and faced him down.
“You have a disguise, sir. You don’t have to lure Emperor Lorca on to the ship now. Take him to another universe, another way. Without exposing Captain Archer. You can look as if you are taking me in. We can hide him under the floorboards.”
Prime Lorca said nothing to that. It was an alternate plan. He peered at her through the helmet. Michael Burnham had forced a weapon out of this guard’s hand by sheer force of will or something. And he could see she was dealing with what that meant. Maybe, for the crew of Discovery, this woman was their salvation. He gently took her by the arm.
“Let’s get this done, okay?” he asked gently. Michael nodded and they left the room, just as Terran Lorca and two other storm troopers, met them in the hallway. Emperor Lorca smiled at Michael.
“Hello, darling.” he said and then looked at the ‘storm trooper’, “release her. I’ll take care of her.”
Prime Lorca nodded and walked off with the other storm troopers. Michael pretended like he was just another guard, as he walked by her and faced her ‘fiancee’.
“Hello.” Michael said coolly.
“The other storm trooper told me that my counterpart was in there?”
Michael had forgotten that the storm trooper that got away, got a glimpse of Prime Lorca! Vulcan’s Ashes, Michael cursed.
“He is gone.”
“Gone?” Emperor Lorca asked. “What does that mean?”
“It means he had a device, similar to one that Harry Mudd carried when he was here. It allowed him to travel to another universe without the help of a transporter.” Michael told him, praying he did not check the room or floor boards and find the other stormtrooper!
“Mudd didn’t have anything on him. Just that…tell me you are not referring to that pez dispenser? So he lied about that as well? Is that how he escaped from here?”
“I would assume so, yes. Captain Archer helped him with that. Your Majesty, I know that Captain Archer lied about your counterpart being alive. But I would ask…”
“That I spare him?” Lorca asked sarcastically. He moved to close the space between them.
“Actually, I need his help. I’m going to send him to the other dimension to bring someone back to help you with your ‘gifts’.” he said, placing his hands on her shoulders. He could barely wait to be alone with her again! Knowing that she had so much power, flowing through her veins via her family lineage, made him want her all the more!
“That really isn’t necessary. I don’t have any gifts.”
“I know you threw a guard with just a wave of the hand. Like Palpatine could do.” he said, as he now ran both hands up and down her upper arms. Michael could feel his longing for her and fought against the returning ache she felt, when it came to being with him. Why had fate brought her back to him?
“I don’t think I did that.”
“I think you did.” he said, letting go of her to touch her face. When she tried to shy away, he kept a firm hold on it.
“I have Sarek and Admiral Cornwell here. If I looked through the records on this ship, about what you said happened between us, what would I find?” Lorca asked in a low voice. Michael pulled his hand from her face and looked away.
“The truth.” she answered.
“Oh,” Lorca grinned, “I just bet! Did you tell them that I forced myself on you?”
Michael looked at him again.
“I did what I did with you, to spare lives.”
Lorca now burst out laughing, something Michael did not find amusing!
“You are acting as if you do not believe me!”
“No, Miss Priss, I don’t believe you! Because I know you and I know us! Archer said that my counterpart was inappropriate with you? Is that another lie?”
“He is very different from you.”
“In what way?”
Michael took a deep breath.
“He is upstanding and…not you.”
“Meaning boring? Michael, let me tell you something, I’m glad he’s gone. I was going to kill him but I’m glad he left. Because I cannot believe that there is a version of myself that would have abandoned my crew under capture, or allowed Archer to take over my ship! Good riddance!”
Michael, for whatever reason, felt she had to defend Prime Lorca. Why, she did not know.
“It wasn’t like that.”
“Oh, he didn’t hide from me? He didn’t abandon his crew? How come no one knew he was here, when I was with Discovery?”
“I think he was someplace else. I am not sure.” Michael said uneasily. He was looking at her as if he wanted to devour her or something! Had he looked at her that way when he was pretending to be the real Captain Lorca?
“Alright, well I’ll find that out as well. From the records room.” he said, before Landry appeared behind him. She gave Michael a brief, disdainful glance, before Lorca turned to address her.
“Make sure all the prisoners are put in the Agonizer. Give Archer an extra helping.”
“Even the Vulcan?” Landry asked. Lorca glanced at Michael, before shaking his head.
“No. Release him. See that he is comfortable. My fiancee and I are going on a little trip.”
“Your Majesty?” Landry asked, not comprehending.
“We’re taking Discovery out for a small trip. We’ll be back shortly.” Lorca said and Landry bowed, before turning and leaving. Michael eyed him, then moved past him to go to the door, but found it closed and sealed. She turned back to him.
“What are you doing, your Majesty?”
“Let me ask you this: are you going to undress and wait for me in bed in the captain’s quarters? Or am I going to have to chase you all around on this ship?”
Michael rubbed the back of her neck.
“I suppose, if my surrender will save lives again, I would be willing to cooperate.”
“But of course.” Lorca said, smiling, as he took her hand and lead her to the quarters that he formerly occupied, as Captain of Discovery.
Terran Emperor Lorca sat in the captain’s chair of Discovery, naked, and stared out into space. The ship was in a remote mode, so he didn’t have to do much. He leaned back and marveled at how much he had missed actually being on this ship.
Correction. He marveled at how much he missed being in charge of this ship.
His tribble was still here and he had brought it out onto the bridge. It purred.
Lorca hit a button and a holographic file of Archer and Michael’s de-briefing appeared before his eyes to devour. He sipped a drink he had made for himself and gave Archer’s account a cursory glance. He then looked at what Michael said and saw there wasn’t much there about him. Just that Palpatine had paid her a visit? Is that what the file said?
No. Michael said she had seen him, like a hologram that faded in and out. Was that when Palpatine bestowed his powers upon her? Realizing he would have to get the answers from Michael, Lorca finished up his drink, set it on the armrest of his chair, then stood up and stroked the tribble for a few moments. He then headed back to his quarters, that were near the bridge itself. His bulbous penetration bobbed hypnotically, as the doors to his room slid open and he proceeded to rejoin Michael in bed.
Michael had just awakened, spent from their lovemaking. She spied Lorca’s bloated thickness pointing at her like a spear, as he padded towards the bed and got back in it to lay next to her. His fingers reached out to caress her bare skin.
“You glow after I’ve loved you. Did you know that?” he whispered, as his lips moved towards hers. But Michael stopped his mouth. Logic dictated that this could not keep going on! The crew of the Discovery were probably being tortured as they…as they continued to copulate! Skillfully copulate! And this time, on board this ship, Emperor Gabriel Lorca had made such exquisite love to her, that Michael had found herself floating away on cloud of delight. Lorca had actually sounded frantic as he tried to revive her!
Soon after, she had sensed he had left her and Michael knew that there was something she needed to take care of on this ship. Something she had forgotten about. But what was it?
Then it came to her: the guard. The one that the real Captain Lorca had knocked out and put under the floorboards. She could not allow him to awaken and alert this Lorca, to the fact that he had been tricked.
“What is it?” Lorca asked. “Are you still unwell?”
“I was never ‘unwell’. Just a bit overcome.” Michael said primly. Lorca held face within his hands.
“I could see that. I didn’t know whether to be flattered or upset.”
“I am fine.” she said, moving her hands to remove his from her face. He slowly let go of her.
“Okay, I know this mood.” he said, sitting up. “Playtime is over and you want answers. Am I close?”
But Michael surprised him with her answer to his question. It wasn’t really an answer, but more of a surprise deflection.
“I don’t suppose I could call you Gabriel?” she asked quietly.
“You want to call me Gabriel?” he asked, appearing to think about it. He nodded.
“Alright. You can. In private. Formalities have to be honored.” he said, reaching out to caress her arm.
“Fine. ‘Gabriel’, I want you to tell me what it is that Palpatine has passed on to me? What power did he have and how did you manage to best him?”
“I didn’t ‘best’ him, Michael, I just snuck up behind him while he was choking Landry and cut off his head. He had some sort of glowing sword with him. I used that.”
“What?” Michael asked, unable to make sense of what he was saying. Lorca got out of bed and put on a robe. He then reached his hand down towards her.
“Come with me. I want to show you something.”
Michael put on a robe, got out of bed and reluctantly took his hand. They walked out of his room and down a hallway that lead to the cafeteria. Michael assumed Lorca was going to want them to eat first before getting into details…though as she neared the room, she found that reasoning strange. It was just as the doors slid open, that Michael realized this visit to the cafeteria was not what it seemed.
And she was right.
A man, dressed in Starfleet clothing, was tied to a chair. He was also gagged. Lorca padded past him to fix himself some coffee. He then looked over at her.
“You like green tea, right?” he asked.
Michael said nothing, as her eyes went from him to the prisoner, whom she knew was the guard that Prime Lorca had put under the ship’s floor panels. Terran Lorca had found him.
Or maybe he had always known he was there.
Lorca walked back over to her and handed her her tea. She took it but set it down.
“What is the meaning of this?” she asked.
“Is he one of your crew? Because he’s been telling me that he was a storm trooper.”
“Oh.” was all Michael said. Suddenly, she really didn’t feel like lying anymore.
“He also said that you threw him across the room, like Palpatine could do, and when he awoke, he found himself under this ship’s floorboards.”
“Oh.” was all Michael could think to say again.
“Yes, ‘oh’ my darling! But even better, that means that my counterpart did not just transport to God knows where. He was one of the storm troopers that left Discovery and he’s now on the palace ship. So our time together has to end…unfortunately.” Lorca said, before pulling a blaster out of his robe pocket and killing the out-of-uniform storm trooper! Michael forced herself not to flinch as Lorca then sipped his coffee and stared at the body.
“He failed me. He’s better off.” Lorca said, setting down his cup and reaching for her hand again.
“Let’s go back to bed…”
But his words were cut off as the doors slid back and Prime Lorca, still dressed like a storm trooper, but without a helmet, set his phaser on stun and shot Terran Lorca! He fell to the floor, unconscious and Michael moved away from him to stand at Prime Lorca’s side.
“How did you get here?! I saw you walk off of this ship with the other guards!” Michael exclaimed.
“I managed to transport here with my little Pez friend.” Lorca said wistfully. He then looked her over.
“Are you alright?”
“Yes. I will change into my uniform and then we can rescue the others.” Michael said and just as Prime Lorca was about to say something to her, Terran Lorca came to and slowly stood up. He made a move to subdue his counterpart from behind with a chokehold, when Michael, sensing he was there, lifted her hand slightly…
Suddenly, Terran Lorca couldn’t breathe! He abruptly released Prime Lorca and began clawing at his own throat!
“Michael!” he rasped wildly. Prime Lorca watched his other self, struggle to keep from choking to death before his very eyes! He turned to Michael, who suddenly dropped her hand. Terran Lorca struggled to catch his breath on the floor. Prime Lorca walked up to her.
“We’re going to send him someplace else. I’m going to pretend to be him. Can you do what you just did, to get our people out of there?” Prime Lorca asked her, point blank.
“I don’t know! I don’t even know how or what I did! I just…just…suddenly knew I could! I don’t know that I could do it again!”
“Alright, let’s just take a breath and come up with a plan here.” Prime Lorca said, looking back at his counterpart, who had passed out. He looked at Michael again.
“I’m taking him down to the brig.”
Michael nodded and left the cafeteria, unable to get past the fact that for a second time, she displayed abilities she didn’t think were reasonably possible. Michael hurried back to the Captain’s quarters and got her clothing, then hurried back to her own quarters to shower. She stood under it a long time and wrestled with the uncomfortable fact that she did not hate being intimate with Terran Lorca. Once they returned to the palace ship, she would find Jonathan and ask him to fill in the details of her origin. Without knowing what this thing was that allowed her to move people and choke them, Michael could not control her newfound abilities.
Or were they newfound? Had she had them this whole time and Palpatine’s entrance into this universe triggered something? Something within her?
Her parents, her real parents, had been gone for so long now that sometimes it was hard to remember their faces. Michael closed her eyes and breathed in the steam. She had to find a way to control whatever power this was. She had thrown somebody and almost choked a man to death. If called to do either of these things again, she did not know if she could summon the ability to do so. She needed to know how.
Michael finished her shower and stopped to wipe the steam off of the mirror, before drying off and putting on a robe. She returned to her quarters and was more than a bit startled to find Prime Lorca waiting for her. He had been sitting on her bed and stood up when she returned.
“He’s down in the brig. He’s also tied up.”
Michael nodded. What was he doing in her room?
“That sounds fine, sir.” Michael said. Lorca hesitated before speaking.
“We need to talk.”
“I know. If you plan to be act as Emperor Lorca…”
“No,” Lorca said, “I think we need to talk about where I was, when he was here on Discovery.” Lorca replied quietly. Michael nodded and slowly sat down on Tilly’s cot.
“I am listening.” Michael said. Lorca sat back down on her cot.
“I was never in the Terran Universe. I think you’ve figured that out. I was in another universe, on a planet called ‘Earth Three’. It was called that for reasons that seem obvious. There were basically three Earth planets.”
“I see.” Michael said, waiting to hear more. Why did he feel as if he had to tell her this now?
“Long story short, Burnham, I was the President of the United States. Admiral Cornwell was my wife and the First Lady. Archer was my Vice President and you were his wife. You were also a doctor. A scientist.”
There was a silence and Michael just stared at him for a moment before speaking.
“The fact that you were aligned with a version of me, does not surprise me, Captain. Captain Archer told me he found 72 alternate realities and that we were in all of them.”
Lorca sighed and stood up. He then walked over to Tilly’s cot and sat down next to her.
“You had invented a a cure for cancer. A preventative airborne cure that we were going to release into the atmosphere. Anyone and everyone breathing would never have so much as a cancer gene.”
Michael thought that was interesting. At this point in time, one could get cancer but there was a cure for all forms of it.
“Go on.” she said.
“Burnham, I knew who you were before the ion storm. I had just never met you personally. So I didn’t quite understand why you were there with a descendent of Jonathan Archer, who was named ‘Jonathan’. Nor could I understand Georgiou’s counterpart being there.”
“Captain Georgiou was there?” Michael asked, now more than interested in his story.
“Yes.” Lorca said firmly. “And Archer was cheating on you with her. She was a mentor of yours or something. Just like she had been here. And she was sleeping with Archer AND Admiral Cornwell.”
“That sounds messy. Captain, I don’t understand where you are going with this? We need to come up with a plan as to how we’re going to get our people, back on this ship.”
“Burnham,” Lorca said tiredly, “what I am trying to say is that when Archer began raiding other universes for an army, he started something that needs to be stopped. Your counterpart on Earth 3 and myself were…involved. And we were going to do great things with that cure—until Archer and Georgiou corrupted the results.”
“Corrupted the results? What are you talking about?” Michael asked. But she could guess.
“When we released the cure it had been tampered with, unbeknownst to us. Once it became airborne, people began dying immediately. For some, the decomposition rate was rapid, for others, slow. Georgiou ‘corrected’ the problem and I was impeached. You were put on trial.”
Michael slowly stood up.
“Just like here. Sort of.”
Lorca stood up.
“Burnham, that is what I am trying to tell you! This is the second time I have run in to a version of you, where in which you were tried and…”
“And what?” Michael asked, knowing there was something he was not telling.
“There is always a version of myself that abducts you to another universe.”
Michael did not comprehend what Lorca was saying at first.
Then she did,
“You’re saying that my counterpart from Earth 3 was taken from there by another version of yourself?”
“Yes. He broke her out of her detainment cell and took her to another alternate universe. I read the Terran file. It is possible that the Michael Burnham that my Terran counterpart was accused of killing, isn’t dead after all. She could be in another universe as well.” Lorca said grimly. “And now with Archer not only going to alternate universes but other dimensions…well…you see what I’m getting at here?”
Before Michael could answer, Discovery rattled violently and Michael fell into Prime Lorca’s arms for a brief moment, as he tried to steady her. The ship righted itself soon after, and Michael pulled out of his hold quickly!
“What was that?” she asked tersely.
“The long range tractor beam.” Lorca said darkly.
“Long range tractor beam? Who would have given the order to pull us in? The Emperor is in the brig!” Michael exclaimed. Lorca and her hurried out of her room and ran to the brig. Emperor Lorca was unconscious and gagged. Michael looked at Prime Lorca.
“Maybe Sarek or Admiral Cornwell managed to get everyone out of this and they are rescuing us, instead go the other way around?” Michael theorized. But Lorca shook his head.
“Something about this feels wrong. I’m going to switch clothing with him. We won’t worry about your ‘gifts’. Let’s just make sure we can make people believe that I am the Emperor and that we are involved.” Lorca told her.
Michael said nothing to that and left the brig. She hurried up to the bridge and saw that Discovery had ten minutes until they would again be docked on the palace ship. She sat down at a console and pondered what Prime Lorca had told her. He was right. This did have to end. They had to find a way to close the pathway to 72 alternate universes and one alternate dimension.
There was something else. Something unmistakable. Prime Lorca had been in love with her counterpart on Earth 3. Much like how Terran Lorca and Archer were in love with another Michael Burnham. She did not intend on going through life being a ’Substitute Michael’, for some other version of herself that Lorca’s counterparts kept meeting. Though oddly, she was curious as to what version of Lorca had absconded with her Earth 3 counterpart?
Things had been simpler with Ash Tyler. Or they had seemed that way. Michael saw the tribble and got up. She picked it up, then sat down and rested it in her lap, stroking it. They now had seven minutes until they were once again aboard the palace ship.
Lorca slid his still unconscious, Terran counterpart, back under the floor boards of Discovery, then checked himself over in a mirror. He would have no problems fooling anyone, physically, that was for sure.
Discovery had almost finished docking and Lorca looked around for Burnham, who appeared by his side as they awaited the moment that they would open the doors and go down the plank.
“How do I look?” Lorca asked wryly.
“Like an Emperor.” Michael replied just as wryly.
“Alright, so how should we act? Would he grab your arm like a prisoner?” Lorca asked, his eyes probing hers.
Michael shook her head.
“The Terran version of yourself is actually very gentle when it come to my person.”
Lorca raised a brow.
“You’re kidding, right?”
“Why are you surprised? Despite his many, many flaws, for the most part he is caring when we are alone. Gentle, really.”
“Even in bed?” he asked, his eyes never leaving hers.
“Yes.” Michael said as the doors opened. Lorca took her hand, as he thought about her answer and walked down the plank with her, determined to fool everyone into thinking he was ‘Emperor Lorca’.
But they needn’t have bothered. For what they saw made them stop short.
Jonathan Archer was wearing traditional, Terran garb. Traditional, Imperial garb. His crew from Enterprise were by his side, along with many other species, including a few Kelpians. And they clearly weren’t slaves.
“Thank you, Captain Lorca for bringing back my fiancee. And nice try, Captain. You forgot to sneer. Where is the other one?” Archer asked.
“What is the meaning of this?” Michael asked, looking at Archer and Sarek, who stood nearby. But Prime Lorca noticed something. A wavy wall of sorts. And he saw someone walk through it. A figure in black, from head to toe. From his boots up to his helmet…
Jonathan knew who Captain Lorca was seeing. He took his eyes of of him and reached for Michael.
“I’m sorry but the wedding must proceed as planned.”
Michael moved out of his reach!
“What are you talking about? Everything is over! Palapatine is dead.” she argued. And that was when the strangest sounding noise, like a hissing sound made from a broken pipe, hit her senses. She saw the same, sinister looking black figure that Lorca had.
“Who is that, Captain Archer?” Michael asked, dragging her eyes off of the cloaked figure to look at Archer.
“He will be training you. We will be going to Infinite Dimension where Lord Vader will make sure you fulfill your destiny. Then you will return here and we will live as man and wife.” Jonathan said. He then reached for her face.
“I know he looks a bit…frightening. But I will be with you, by your side. We will then return here ready to do great things for this universe…and the Terran one.”
Michael wrenched herself from his grip!
“We need to talk! In private!”
“No, Michael. We need to be married. Now.” Jonathan said urgently.
Lorca had heard enough!
“This isn’t happening, Archer! You call of your demon boy back there or…”
Suddenly, Lorca couldn’t breathe and he dropped down to his knees! Everyone standing there at attention looked frightened or extremely uneasy! Michael faced down the black figure and closed her eyes, seeing the machinery that enable him to breath in her mind and then willfully crushing it without touching him! The Sith Lord known as Darth Vader, gasped grotesquely, before hurrying back through the wavy portal! It closed and Archer gaped at Michael and Lorca!
“He WILL be back and when he returns…”
“We will all die.” Sarek said calmly. “That is why we do not have much time. This portal come in exactly on this palace ship. We will leave and blow up this ship in the process. When someone tries to come through again…”
“They will die in space.” Lorca said, looking at Archer. “You’d better get your people out of here. We don’t know how long it will take for that thing to recover from whatever Burnham did to him!”
“Yes,” Michael said, “and we are taking OUR crew with us! You have ten minutes before we blow this thing!”
No one doubted Michael’s words. Nor had it been noticed that it was inappropriate that she give such an order. It was now clear what she could do and no one was going to question her. Or go against her word.
TWO MONTHS LATER-
Jonathan had decided to go with his Enterprise crew, while the remaining Terrans took off in ships with Emperor Lorca, who was still unconscious. The stormtroopers were given their own ship and they hauled ass to get away from the explosion, that would render the dimensional portal, useless.
Michael refused to say anything to Captain Jonathan Archer as he left with his crew. He had been planning on having her train with that evil monstrosity! Michael shivered, remembering every evil pore from the Sith Lord’s body. Somehow she could sense the pores. And she doubted very much she would have actually been ‘trained’. As Palpatine’s heir, she in most likelihood, would have been killed. And Jonathan was naive to think otherwise.
In the end, he wouldn’t have cared. She was just as expendable as the crew he professed to care for so much. Even that Borg woman.
Oddly, she thought of Terran Lorca. He would have known that that Sith Lord was a danger to her. He would have never taken such a chance with her safety or her life.
Sarek had managed to get her record cleared and her conviction overturned, because of the sacrifices she made to save the Discovery crew. But there was a problem. Prime Gabriel Lorca didn’t know if it would be safe to have her on Discovery, with what she could do. And it did not seem as if there was anyone around that knew why she had the powers she had, or how she could hone her skills. The whole concept was depressing.
She had returned to Vulcan with Sarek and took to her bed. Amanda closed her door when she saw her adopted daughter had finally fallen asleep. She then walked down a myriad of different hallways until she could rejoin Sarek and Lieutenant Ash Tyler.
“I’m sorry, Lieutenant Tyler. She just finally got off to sleep. Maybe you could come back?”
“Actually,” Sarek said, “I was thinking about showing the Lieutenant some of the Vulcan sites. Michael cannot sleep forever. We will be back in a few hours and then he can visit with her then.” Sarek said. Ash nodded to Amanda and he turned to leave the compound with Sarek. Michael had been through hell and he found that he needed to convince her that his Klingon nature, would not interfere with his feelings for her.
Amanda watched them leave and tried to quell her doubts. Sarek had told her about Ash and she just didn’t think that what had happened to him, was insurmountable. She didn’t think that Michael would be capable of giving him a chance. That and…and…Michael had told her what had happened between herself and the Terran Lorca. And whether her adopted daughter wanted to admit it or not, she had had feelings for him.
Sarek had returned with her to Vulcan and Amanda was shocked to see how tired Michael had looked. Privately, Sarek and confided that he suspected that her true family lineage, and the abilities that came with it, were responsible for her condition. They needed to find out what these powers were they she suddenly seemed to possess.
Amanda was no fool. Sarek was not showing Ash Tyler any ‘Vulcan Sites’.
Ash had found out something about Michael. Something he had shared with Sarek and now they were leaving to meet with someone else, someone that fill in some of the missing pieces.
Amanda turned back to look down the hallway where Michael’s room was. Rest is what she needed right now. They would deal with whatever they had to, later.
Meanwhile, Michael awakened and was jarred to find Captain Lorca sitting on the edge of her bed! She sat up and glanced down at herself. She was wearing modest looking bed wear, a black slip dress with spaghetti straps.
“Captain? How long have you been here?”
He looked at her oddly before answering.
“Long enough. We must go now.”
Michael eyed him. He sounded strange, like he had developed an accent she had never noticed before.
“Go? You didn’t want me on Discovery, remember? You indicated to Sarek that I was a danger. I still could be. I don’t know what I can do.”
“No. I don’t suppose you would, would you?” Lorca asked and stood up. Michael’s eyes took him in and she saw he was not wearing a traditional Starlet uniform. He was wearing all black. Her eyes went to a belt he wore around his waist. There was something hanging off of it that she felt as if she’d seen before. But where?
Her eyes went to his.
“Who are you?” she whispered.
“I’m Lord Gabriel Lorca. From the Infinite Dimension. You are the granddaughter of the late Emperor Palpatine. Emperor Vader wants you to take your proper place now…and he will want an apology for what you tried to do to him. Get up.”
Michael just stared at him, then waved her hand and he flew against one of the walls, hitting his head! Lord Lorca quickly recovered and pointed towards her! Her coverlet flew off and her body wrenched itself off of the bed and over to him! Michael was about to scream but as she came into his arms, he pressed a hand over her mouth!
“I will kill your mother and any other family you have in this compound, if you make a sound, are we clear? Nod if you understand?”
“And don’t think to try any Vulcan hijinks with me either. I have been sent to bring you to your proper home, where in which you will train under me. You will do as I say and if you choose not to, I will mar your lovely skin in ways you did not think were possible. Nod if you understand?” he asked again.
Michael nodded again, unable to believe this was happening! But Prime Lorca had warned her. Warned her about what Jonathan Archer had opened up when he raided alternate universes to amass an army.
Lord Lorca pushed her towards her closet and opened the door. Michael’s eyes widened as she could see there was a portal in there! There was a portal to the Infinite Dimension coming out of her closet??? How?
“Where are we going?!” Michael hissed as she began to writhe.
“You are fighting me.” Lord Lorca noted and let her go. He turned her around to face him.
“I just want to know where we are going?! I can’t just leave! I have responsibilities to Startleet…”
“I found you slumbering. No one that has responsibilities to anything, lies around sleeping.”
“I was resting! I was just…”
“Your explanations do not matter anymore, nor does this place we are leaving. Let’s go!” he said and moved her into the closet. As he was about to close the closet door behind him, Amanda walked in!
“MICHAEL!” she screamed. Lord Lorca pushed Michael through the portal and closed it quickly on his side! Michael backed away from him and looked around. They were on board some sort of transport ship. Lord Lorca’s eyes roamed over her.
“I just showed you mercy by not killing your mother. That was to instill good faith. Now you will show me the same by changing out of that ridiculous gown you are wearing and putting on the clothing in the other room. Your training will start now and by the time we reach the Death Star, you will be ready to accept your destiny as Palpatine’s heir.” Lord Lorca told her. “Your quarters are over there.”
Death Star??? Michael said nothing. It would not have been logical to do so at this point and time. She entered her quarters and found black clothing similar to what ‘Lord Lorca’ was wearing. She told herself that she had wanted to know the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of what she was and where she came from, but this was not the way she had envisioned going about it.
She decided she was going to watch, learn and do whatever it took to survive this, until she could find the proper portal back to her own time. After all, it wasn’t as if she had not been in this position before. But something did occur to her: Jonathan had indicated that because this was a different dimension, he had never encountered himself, or or anyone else he knew before ,here. If that was true, then why was there yet another version of Gabriel Lorca before her very eyes?
It was entirely possible that Jonathan Archer had not been the only being to stray into this universe. Maybe another version of Gabriel Lorca had as well? Maybe this man was from an alternate universe? She would have to find out.
Michael changed and re-joined Lord Lorca outside of her quarters. He looked her over and did not register approval or disapproval.
“Good. Now let’s begin with our first lesson.” he said.
Michael gasped as the first flying container, hit her on the side of the head!
“Concentrate!” Lord Lorca warned her. He then waved his hand and made other crates and containers, kept in storage on their transport ship, zoom towards her! And somehow she was supposed to use ‘the force’ to keep these items from striking her! One hit her again and she raised her hands in surrender!
“Can we take a break?”
“No.” Lord Lorca said curtly, as he sent a disc of some sort barreling straight at her! Michael raised the weapon he had given her, the ‘light saber’ and deflected it from hitting her, but she missed the next one. That one hit her hard and rendered her unconscious. Lord Lorca turned off his own saber and then stood over the unconscious woman that was supposedly Sheev Palpatine’s only known heir. Her lightsaber had flown out of her hand and was currently in the corner.
Lord Lorca attached his own lightsaber to his belt, bent down and picked Michael up. He carried her to her room, laid her on the bed and looked at the wound on the side of her head. He then stood up and left to go and get a medical kit. If he brought her to Emperor Vader in this condition, it would cause trouble. But not with Vader himself. Michael Burnham was unaware of a ‘surprise’ that was waiting for her, once they arrived on the Death Star.
He found what he was looking for in a compartment near the cockpit. The ship itself was on autopilot, which was convenient, considering his lack of pilot experience. That was one of the first things he noticed when he chased Jonathan Archer into this dimension. That almost everyone here, including women, had flown some sort of airship at one time or another. Lorca opened up the kit and checked to see that the required medicines were indeed inside, before heading back to Michael’s room.
He sat down on the edge of her bed and took out a small smelling salt, couched in a capsule. He broke it, then waved it under her nose. Michael awoke immediately and began coughing!
“Sit up.” he ordered her, handing her a glass of water. She sipped it, staring at him in confusion. Yes, this Michael had to have many questions. Ones that he couldn’t answer. Or he could but he didn’t think they were important for her to know. He took the water from her then took out tools so they he could stitch a cut on her forehead. Michael saw what he was about to do and began to get up.
“I appreciate what you are trying to do, but I can tend to myself.”
Lorca raised a brow.
“You can stitch yourself up?”
“Alright. I will leave you to it. Then I want you to rejoin me out in the hallway. We will resume your lessons.”
“Oh yes you can. If you can stitch your cut, you can resume our lesson. Lessons. I will give you fifteen minutes and if I don’t find your work sufficient, I will do the stitching myself.” he told her and stared to leave. But Michael wasn’t about to let him have the last word.
“You don’t belong here. In this dimension. And I was told that there were no versions of myself or you here.”
Lord Lorca turned to look at her.
“You were told that by whom? Jonathan Archer? The one from the Terran Universe?”
Michael didn’t answer that.
“How did you get here?” she asked.
Lord Lorca didn’t answer her. Or it seemed as if he wasn’t going to.
Then he did.
“I followed Archer here. My coming here was an accident. One that I have made the most of. You now have ten minutes.” Lord Lorca said, leaving and closing the door behind him. He then took a deep breath. He had done much of that, taking deep, calming breaths to get past his anger and hurt. This one was not HIS Michael.
And yet he recognized the sheer gall of that very thought. ‘His’ Michael. Michael Burnham had never belonged to him. Not really.
Lord Gabriel Lorca had never really truly met her. Until now.
Lorca moved away from the door, lost in thought. His mind went back to the universe he came from and a planet called Raxon 12. A penal colony. Actually, it was a penal empire, run by the Lorca family. Gabriel’s great, great grandfather, along with a five person expedition, had happened upon the planet. Happened upon it and made it the prison empire it was. Planets across the galaxy sent the worst of the worst to Raxon 12 Intergalactic Penitentiary.
Things were fine. For Gabriel. He had little to do with the business of prison reform and traveled, becoming a wealthy playboy known to women on many a planet. Lorca always thought wryly, that he was like ‘Bruce Wayne’ only without the mask, so to speak. Nor did have a need to avenge the wrongs done to others.
No. In the end, Gabriel Lorca of Raxon 12, only wanted to avenge the wrongs done to him. And that was where Michael Burnham came in.
His father had arranged a marriage for him with the daughter of a prominent Vulcan, who was a well known dignitary and scientist. Sarek and his wife, Phillipa had a daughter they had adopted from Earth. Her parents had been visiting Vulcan and their transport had crashed, leaving her orphaned. Lorca could not honestly say he cared about that, or the marriage or anything else except women and when he was going to inherit.
His father could not have just had him come into money when he was in his twenties. He could come into it when he married someone of Gabriel Sr.’s choosing. Lord Lorca had never allowed that stipulation to bother him. Probably because he had never met anyone he had wanted to marry and he was well compensated by just being single and the apple of his mother, Samantha’s, eye.
Then Gabriel Sr. died. Of a heart attack and suddenly, the penal colony was his responsibility. The money that came along with that, would come to him when he married the woman his father had arranged for him to wed—a younger woman named Michael Burnham that had been sent to a Starfleet Academy with the understanding that she could be whatever she wanted to be, until the time came for her to marry her betrothed.
Apparently that had not set well with Michael, nor had it set well with the Professor she was fucking, Jonathan Archer.
Lorca had been dismissive of Michael’s resentment because she had no choice. A wedding date was set and plans were made for Michael to come to Raxon 12 on a break from the academy, to get to know her betrothed. But something happened. Something that Lorca thought was cute—at first.
Michael did not arrive on Raxon 12. Her roommate at the academy, a busty, redhead named Sylvia Tilly, came instead, claiming to be Michael.
Now, Lorca was not about to introduce this young woman around as ‘Michael’, since many people knew what the real Michael looked like! But he told his mother and others that Michael had been delayed at school and would be there in a week. He then pretended to Tilly that he believed her story.
He also fucked her senseless. Over and over again and by the end of that week, Sylvia Tilly was making wedding preparations! She was actually going to see this ruse through! And that was when things stopped being cute.
Lorca had confronted Tilly, asking her just what the hell was going on and where the real Michael was? Tilly confessed everything: that Michael was in love with her professor at Starfleet and that they were planning on being married—secretly. Tilly also told Lorca that Michael resented being told who to marry.
Additionally, Tilly told Lorca she loved him and would be honored to be his wife. Lorca’s response was to put her in Raxon 12 prison for False Impersonation and Defraudment! It was done without a trial and Samantha Lorca was insistent on holding Sarek and Phillipa responsible, if they did not find Michael and force her to honor the betrothment.
Then there was the news that Michael could possibly be pregnant by this common, Earth professor! Lorca saw red and a few other colors before taking matters into his own hands. He hired someone to find Michael and Jonathan Archer, then made plans to confront them. He was going to kill Archer and drag Michael back to Raxon 12, threatening her friend Tilly with execution if she didn’t honor their agreement.
At one point he had found them, in the Starleet Academy dorms, screwing like rabbits! He had seen red and chased a naked Archer out of a window(all while Michael screamed her head off) and chased him across campus…just as a storm suddenly came out of nowhere and whisked him off to an Infinite Dimension. He had heard of such places existing, but had never really thought any of the stories were true. Until now.
The story got even stranger when he thought he had found Archer, and confronted him. But this man had been different and Lorca quickly sensed that this was not the same Archer he was hunting. Also during this case of mistaken identity, he stopped someone from trying to assassinate then Lord Darth Vader. Vader was surprised that he did not sense the threat and offered Lorca a place in the Empire, by his side.
Soon, Lorca was learning about the dark side of the force. It became clear to him that he was replacing something Vader wanted desperately in his life—his son. A son that apparently wanted nothing to do with him. And oddly, learning about the ways of the force, helped quell Lorca’s rage, some. He still had it, he just learned to to channel it better.
He found he liked life here in this universe and did not try to find his way back to his time. He had needed this. Something of his own away from Raxon 12. Away from a woman he was obsessed with and yet didn’t even know or love. Lorca was able to think of Michael and Jonathan as something he had put behind him.
Lorca told himself she was not the Michael that had tried to make a fool out of him. But when Palpatine and Vader explained who she was and how they wanted to make sure that she followed the path of the dark side, he was struck at how this Michael Burnham’s life seemed to parallel the one he was trying to forget. Then there was Archer…
Archer had asked Palpatine to find someone else to train Michael, other than Lorca and Palpatine agreed, thinking that Vader was more experienced and could get her up to speed faster. But then Palpatine was executed, by a version of himself and Vader took power, becoming Emperor. He bestowed the title ‘Lord’ on Lorca and together, it was decided that they would resume their alliance with Archer and his long range tractor beam.
But, Archer wanted the same deal as before: meaning he wanted a marriage with Michael. Lorca didn’t like it and warned Vader that the point of turning Michael, was to use her as an asset for THEM, not Archer or his universe. While Vader agreed with his assessment, something else unbelievable happened. Something that caused Vader to rule in Archer’s favor over his own.
Vader fell in love with one of Archer’s crew. And he wanted her for a wife. The woman was from a race called ‘The Borg’ and her name was Seven of Nine…
Michael opened her door, pulling Lord Lorca out of his morose thoughts. He eyed her cut. It looked like she had done a sufficient enough job. He pulled out his lightsaber again.
“Shall we continue?” he asked. But Michael could see he wasn’t really asking. She ignored her dizziness due to her injury and the fact that she had not eaten since she had been abducted. Michael told herself to put her hunger and discomfort aside, for now. She was learning about her past. Her true past and she couldn’t let anything or anyone stop that.
Michael ignited the lightsaber that she had been given. Yes, she was ready to continue. Until she dropped.
It would be hours later before Lord Lorca took pity on her, and ordered her to rest before dinner. Michael took a shower and changed into clothing that looked uniform like, before lying down on her cot and thinking about all that she had learned about ‘The Force’. What was the seemingly metaphysical power that she possessed, that did not seem to subscribe to a particular religious concept? There was a darkness to this power and yet, Michael did not consider herself to be of poor character, like Palpatine, Vader or even Lord Lorca. So with that reasoning, that meant there had to be a good side to this force concept.
And clearly, this was not an inherited power alone. Lord Lorca was from another dimension. He had said he had followed Captain Archer here. And yet he had a mastery of this ‘force’ that Michael could only hope to achieve. She suddenly sat up, pushing those negative thoughts from her mind. She now had a teacher and Lord Lorca seemed determine to turn her into what he was.
Lord Lorca knocked once, before her door slid open.
“I have prepared a dinner for the two of us.”
“I am not hungry. But thank you.” Michael said dismissively. Then she noticed he did not leave her doorway.
“You have not eaten since we left your realm.”
“You mean since you abducted me?”
Lord Lorca raised a brow.
“That didn’t have to happen. You could have stopped me.”
Michael rolled her eyes!
“Like that was going to happen. And if you had thought I could stop you, I doubt you would’ve even tried to kidnap me. I want to know what is going to be expected of me, once we reach this ‘Death Star’?”
“I’ll answer your questions over dinner.” Lord Lorca said pointedly, wondering if the Michael Burnham he had been betrothed to, had been this forward with her questions? Probably. Both of these women had Starfleet backgrounds. There was something about the Federation that encouraged that sort of thing in their officers.
Michael realized she would get no further with him until she did eat. With him. Michael got up and followed him towards a small sitting area with a table and two chairs. She was surprised to see a vase filled with flowers in the middle of the table. Michael sat on one side and Lord Lorca the other. She stared at him as he began to eat.
“You’re staring.” Lord Lorca said, between bites, eyeing her food. “You don’t like what I prepared?”
“I am being asked to eat food by someone that had abducted me. I don’t know what is in it.” Michael told him.
Lord Lorca smiled at that. Michael realized it was the first time she had seen this version of Lorca, do that.
“You think your food is drugged? Why would I do that?”
Michael leaned forward.
“Tell me how you came to be here? Tell me how you know what you know about this ‘force’? Tell me why I am still even relevant now that Palpatine is dead?”
“Are you going to eat? Because I believe our deal had something to do with that.” Lord Lorca told her. Michael reluctantly began to eat what was on her plate. Lord Lorca picked up a glass of wine and sipped it. He set it down and began to talk.
“You are going to be my apprentice. Emperor Vader wants you here, with us, because it is where you belong. I will train you and then you will be sent back to the Terran Universe to take your place by the new Emperor’s side. We plan to join the two universes together.” Lord Lorca told her.
Michael stopped eating.
“What are you talking about? You mean you’ve entered into an alliance with Emperor Lorca? Your counterpart? After he killed Palpatine?”
“No.” Lord Lorca said shortly. “Jonathan Archer is the Emperor now. And his deal still stands.”
Michael now stood up.
“The deal in which I marry him? No! No, no and no!”
Lord Lorca stood up as well. He was more than a bit surprised to find her so against marriage to Archer. She had liked him well enough where he came from!
“You don’t want to be married to him?”
“May I ask why not?”
“No you may not!” Michael huffed. “Now I am more than willing to be your student, apprentice or whatever. But that is as far is it goes!”
Lord Lorca clenched his jaw, then watched as Michael dropped to the floor! He shook his head, then stared down at her with regret. Yes, her food had been drugged. Yes, she was going to marry Emperor Archer because he was waiting for her on the Death Star to do just that!
But if he had known that this Michael cared nothing for him…Lord Lorca stared down at her. Was it possible that she could care for him instead of Archer? Could he get to know her as he should have his own betrothed, without Archer’s interference?
Lord Lorca shook his head again. He could not afford to think like that. He would train her then send her back with Archer to do their bidding in the Terran Universe. It was as simple as that.
Captain Archer, now Emperor Jonathan Archer of the Terran Universe, stood and watched Lord Lorca’s transport ship dock slowly. Too slowly.
It seemed like it had been a lifetime since he had seen Michael. And he knew she would be angry with him, hence the request to have her drugged when she arrived here. Archer looked around at the various droids and beings, working on this space station. A space station that could blow planets to pieces. And now he had given them additional power with his long range tractor beam technology.
Or Lorca’s technology.
It didn’t matter anymore and neither did Terran Lorca, though Archer was uneasy about the fact that he could not find him. Him, Landry or any of the others that had been loyal to him. They were enemies of his throne now, and he intended to make sure they couldn’t possibly rise up and threaten what was denied him by Georgiou, all those years ago.
Archer watched as the plank descended and tried not to think of what was about to happen. What Michael would learn when she awakened.
He also tried not to think of about Seven Of Nine and how he had betrayed her. But Vader’s desire for her, was unexpected! He would have never thought that Emperor Vader had any desires at all, beyond power, control and death. But then again, Archer was aware that he had a son running around someplace in this galaxy, that wanted nothing to do with him.
And neither did Seven of Nine. There had to be a way to get her back to the Terran Universe and out of Vader’s clutches! That was where Michael would come in. Hopefully.
Emperor Jonathan Archer walked towards the plank as Lord Gabriel Lorca descended, carrying an unconscious Michael over his shoulder. The sight of the two of them incensed him, temporarily, and he had to tell himself that THIS Lorca only cared about the things Vader did. Michael meant nothing to him.
A medical transport unit hurried up to Lorca, and Archer watched as Michael was placed on a gurney and…
Archer suddenly grabbed her face and glared at Lord Lorca!
“What the hell is this?”
Lord Lorca straightened his Imperial Uniform.
“What is what, ‘Your Highness’?”
“This cut on the side of her head! If you have harmed her in anyway…”
“Part of the training.” Lord Lorca said simply. “And there will be more bruising and cuts, as she learns the ways of the Force. Now, I am going to assume that Emperor Vader is waiting on us.”
Archer nodded to the droid medic unit and Michael was taken away. He faced Lord Lorca.
“He’s waiting for you. He’ll bring you up to speed. I am going to be getting married.”
Lord Lorca’s eyes roamed over Emperor Archer in confusion.
“What are you talking about?”
“I plan to marry Michael right now.”
“While she is not awake?” Lord Lorca asked in disbelief.
“Yes. It’s for the best.” Archer said and began to walk off, but Lord Lorca grabbed his arm!
“You are going to marry my apprentice in this manner because you know she cares nothing for you?”
Archer yanked his arm from Lorca’s hold!
“Don’t ever presume to put your hands on me in that manner again. And you know Michael has no ‘liking for me’, because? She told you this?”
Lord Lorca clenched his jaw.
“Emperor, do whatever it is you want. I just think it’s…uncouth to marry a woman in that condition. Now if you will excuse me, Emperor Vader is waiting.” Lord Lorca told him and walked off. Jonathan Archer stared at his back. Hard. That conversation was not of a teacher registering concern for his student.
No. From the time Lord Lorca had abducted Michael and brought her here, he began to develop feelings for her. Archer dragged his eyes off of Lorca’s back and moved to find Michael. Lorca’s feeling didn’t matter here in this universe. He would tolerate his being near Michael because there was a bigger picture at stake. A deal had been made and in order to fulfill it, his wife needed to become a Sith Lord. Case closed.
Michael awoke, disoriented and looked around. The first person she saw was Jonathan Archer. He was sitting by her bed and he had been holding one of her hands. He smiled down at her.
“There you are. How are you feeling?” he asked softly, now kissing her hand. She tried to pull it away but he held it firmly within his own.
“Why did you do this?”
Jonathan let go of her hand and steeled himself for her wrath.
“Why did I do what?”
“You had me kidnapped here! I thought when Palpatine was killed this was over!”
“Michael, I am the Emperor of the Terran Universe and you are now my wife. This whole thing will never be over. Deals have been made…”
Michael sat up!
“What are you talking about? We are not married! That’s not happening.”
“Because you think you can stop it, how?”
“I won’t agree to it and I have powers now.” Michael sniffed. “Now leave! Get out of here!”
“You are now wearing my wedding ring. I married you when you were out of it. I’m sorry I had to do that, but there is no time for whatever this is, Michael!”
Michael slowly slid out of bed.
“You married me while I was unconscious? Why, why would you do that?”
“Because I love you. And I want you. And if we are ever going to rule together, then we need to be as one. In every way.”
Michael just shook her head at him and backed away.
“You are so not the man I wanted you to be. Or who I thought you could be. I thought you were better than Terran Lorca. I thought you wanted to heal all the wrongs that existed in your world. But you are no different than him!”
Jonathan folded his arms and regarded her for a long time, before speaking.
“What are you angry about, exactly, Michael?”
“What do you mean?”
“Tell me what I did? Tell me that we don’t have something between us that could possibly last a life time, if given a chance? What have I done that is so unforgivable?”
“You’re not who I thought you were! That’s what’s unforgivable! The Jonathan Archer I thought I knew, or was getting to know, was like his descendent, even though you were from a horrible, xenophobic universe! The man I thought you were, would have never had a woman abducted, drugged and then married her without her permission!” she yelled. God, she couldn’t remember the last time she had yelled! Her emotions were always so suppressed…maybe it was the drug Lord Lorca had slipped into her food?
No. It was this horrible situation. She calmed down.
“What is it that will be expected of us, here?”
Jonathan knew that some sort of Vulcan coping function had kicked in with her. He closed the distance between them and rested his hands on her shoulders.
“Emperor Vader wants to marry Seven of Nine. I was forced to bring her here so that this could happen. I lied to her as to why we were here and when she found out, she tried to leave the ship. But her escape pod was captured by slavers. She is on a desert planet called Tattooine. Emperor Vader wants you to train with Lord Lorca, then go and rescue her.”
Michael pulled away from him.
“Oh my God…”
But Archer reached out and pulled her back to him.
“I want to make a deal with you. I want my marital privileges…”
“I want them,” he said a little more forcefully, “and if you find my bed, unacceptable, then I will never come near you again. I will take a mistress instead.”
Michael eyed him.
“You hate my lovemaking.” he replied.
Michael backed away a bit. She supposed that sounded fair enough.
“Alright.” she said. “But I think you should pick out a mistress as soon as possible.”
Jonathan raised a brow and refrained from smiling. He reached for her chin and kissed her softly.
“You’re not going to hate it. And you won’t be able to stay angry with me forever.”
Emperor Vader scarcely remembered Anakin Skywalker, the man he used to be, anymore. The years he had been imbedded in his life saving suit, had been many and the contraption, along with what was left of his body, had become one. Thoughts and ideas on marriage and women, had long left his brain.
Until he saw Seven Of Nine, one of Emperor Archer’s people, in the Terran Universe. She was uniquely, cyborg looking, and what had once been his genitals, suddenly came back to life…
It wasn’t as if he could be a real husband to this Borg woman. He could not leave this suit or he would die. And yet when he had first saw her, in the throne room on the palace ship, he had smiled. And smiling was painful for him.
Vader was staring out of a window in his own throne room, looking out at the vastness of space, when Lord Lorca arrived and got down on one knee.
“Your Highness, Michael Burnham is on the Death Star. I did not realize that Emperor Archer meant for the nuptials to take place while she was not awake.”
Emperor Vader turned from the window and stared at Lord Lorca.
“So? How Archer deals with marriage to Palatine’s brethren is his concern alone. I need to know how she is progressing with her training.”
“I did not have long with her, but I would say in a matter of weeks…”
“Lord Lorca, I do not have weeks. My fiancee was abducted by slavers. I need for your apprentice, and yourself, to go to Tatooine and rescue her. Then you are to bring her to me so we can be married.”
Lord Lorca watched Vader’s fist clench as those last words. He had no doubts whatsoever, that this Seven Of Nine had in all likelihood, run and gotten herself snatched by someone else.
“But of course. She’s catching on quickly. We should be able to leave soon and successfully return your fiancee to you.” Lord Lorca assured him.
“See that you do.” Vader said and turned away from him to stare back out of the window. Lord Lorca rose, turned and left the throne room. He tried to tell himself that what was being asked of him was not beyond the pale. But he was thrown by this whole ‘Vader wants a wife’ thing. He was not capable of making any being happy, physically. All he could offer was doom and gloom.
But it was not his concern. Lord Lorca returned to the docking bay and walked up the plank of his transport to retrieve his belongings. He could not help but wonder if Michael Burnham had awakened and found that she was now the Empress wife to a man she did not want to be with?
He figured he would find out soon enough.
Meanwhile, Jonathan could feel Michael’s hands practically yanking his hair out! The pain was irritating, but in a good way, as one of her hands clutched his back, while the other was snarled in his hair. Michael arched her back to in response to each one of Jonathan’s full hip and hammering penetrations.
Vulcan’s Ashes, Michael thought, she can’t let him know what he was doing to her! She couldn’t! But she couldn’t keep herself from responding to his unending cycle of almost furious, assertive, pumping thrusts. She had just planned to lie here and let him do as he wanted, but she knew she was going to…
Michael almost pulled out a chunk of Jonathan’s hair as she emitted a high pitched moan, that she had tried to keep buried within her! Jonathan’s lips buried themselves in her neck, and her groans were music to his ears. There was a fire between them that he was not about to put out, extinguish or allow to die. And once she screamed out his name in shattering ecstasy, Michael Burnham knew she was now truly married to Jonathan Archer.
“Oh no.” she whispered.
Those were the curse words Captain Lorca uttered as he looked in Michael’s closet and found nothing. Whatever portal had been there, was now sealed and probably gone forever. He could hear Amanda’s panicked rendition of what she saw, for the third time, from down below. How she saw someone that looked like himself, drag Michael into the closet and disappear.
Lorca slammed the closet door, just as Ash Tyler walked into the room. He eyed him warily, something Lorca found annoying.
“Lieutenant. You’re staring at me as if you think I’m responsible for this.”
“And you’re acting like you are.” was Tyler’s response as he moved around Lorca and opened the closet door. Ash moved aside the belongings that Michael had kept in there, and touched the wall. Lorca rolled his eyes and looked away. Tyler acted as if he could somehow ‘feel’ the invisible breach on the wall just by touching it! Lorca looked around the room for any signs of anything, when Tyler closed the closet door and faced him.
“I can feel some kind of energy on the closet wall.” he said, looking around.
“Is that right? Is that because of the Klingon inside of you? Why are you here?”
“What’s wrong with my being here, Captain? Sarek asked for my help on finding out Michael’s true origins and I came here to do so. Also, I don’t actually answer to you anymore. Now that I think about it, I never did. It was the other guy.” Ash said with contempt.
“Clearly there’s something you want to say?” Lorca said.
“You should have allowed Michael on to Discovery to resume her post. She doesn’t know what she is or where she comes from, with regards to this Infinite Universe. She would not have been a problem for you. And she wouldn’t have been abducted by some other version of you.” Ash answered.
Lorca had no words. None. Because he knew Ash was right. Nor was he about to admit that he didn’t refuse Burnham a place on Discovery, because he was frightened of any new found abilities she had.
Captain Gabriel Lorca had not allowed Michael Burnham back on Discovery, because there was something about her that fascinated him to the point of intoxication. Maybe it was how brilliance radiated in her dark eyes. Whatever it was, he didn’t need the distraction. He was trying to rebuild his reputation in Starleet and with his crew and he just…just didn’t need the trouble.
But obviously, Michael had needed Discovery.
Ash noticed Lorca didn’t seem to have an answer but didn’t have time to ponder it, as Admiral Katrina Cornwell walked into the room. She shook her head and closed the bedroom door.
“I have a hysterical mother downstairs, with a Vulcan husband that does not quite understand how their daughter could have disappeared to another universe from her own closet! Damnit, I thought we took care of closing that portal when we left the Terran Universe? Seriously, Gabriel, how did this happen?”
“You were there, Kat. You saw what was done and we thought it was over. We were wrong. I don’t see any point in rehashing this.” Lorca grumbled. “I don’t like it anymore than you do.”
Katrina looked from Lorca to Ash.
“Sarek said you two met with someone from this Infinite Universe? Do you think he’d know how to get someone back from it?”
“Admiral, if you don’t mind, I’d like to speak to you about my findings in private.”
Lorca rolled his eyes!
“What the hell does that mean?”
“It means that I don’t know who you really are, ‘Captain’. And I would like to tell my findings to the Admiral, without your listening in.” Ash said matter-of-factly.
Katrina nodded and they left the room. Lorca couldn’t believe his eyes, or the fact that Katrina had went along with it! He rubbed the back of his neck and decided to search Burnham’s room some more. Maybe he could find something that would give him a clue about…
He walked over to her nightstand and found a tricorder that had a label on it. It read ‘Diary’. Lorca raised a brow and decided that because this was an emergency, he would have to invade her privacy…
“I told Amanda everything about what happened with the Terran Lorca. I left nothing out. Even what things were like between us in bed…”
Lorca turned it off quickly, then looked at the bedroom door. He then started it up again…
“I hated the fact that he could bring out such a response within me. I just shamefully relaxed and enjoyed the feel of him inside of me. And he had a way of not allowing me to hide anything from him or pretend that I did not want him. But why did I want him? I never felt this way about him when I thought he was the real captain of Discovery. Amanda suggested that Terran Lorca actually cared for me in his own way and I was responding to that. Then I told her about Jonathan Archer…”
Lorca gritted his teeth and prepared to hear things he would not like.
“I have read everything about the original Jonathan Archer of our universe. He was a brilliant man and a pioneer. There should be more museums, at the very least, on Earth, in memory of him. So when I met his descendent, in the Terran Universe…looking exactly like him, I just couldn’t believe it. And despite the hatred that permeates there, he has strived to not give into it. He has a diverse crew and wants to make that world better than the one his father ruled. But then he sold out to darker forces to make that happen. He sold ME out to darker forces. The idea that he was not what i thought he was, makes me question my own intuitiveness…”
Lorca rolled his eyes! Every damned Jonathan Archer he had ever come across in a universe, ‘had never been what people thought he was’. The man was goddamned con artist, that said and did what he needed to do to get women into bed—period! But Lorca continued to listen…
“When he kissed me on Discovery, I honestly felt as if we could do great things together…”
“Kissed on Discovery?!” Lorca snapped to himself. He turned off the machine and took it off of the dresser. This was evidence. At least that’s what he planned on telling Sarek and Amanda. And it was. In a way. It was evidence he’d be listening to more of, by himself. Lorca looked over at the closet again. They didn’t know if that portal had been to the Infinite Universe or back to the Terran one? Maybe that had been his Terran self that had taken her?
But now, after listening to this recording, and seeing the slight mess that had been made in the room, as if there had been a tussle, Lorca was convinced that Michael Burnham had been abducted by a version of himself that she had not met before. So it was entirely possible that she had been taken to yet another universe.
Lorca sat down on the bed. He wondered if the answers they sought were in the Terran Universe? He could not get past the thought that the Archer from that universe, knew something about what had happened to Michael in this one.
Meanwhile, Admiral Cornwell struggled to hide her shock at what she was hearing from Ash.
“You say this man’s name was Wedge Antilles?”
“Yes.” Ash said. “He’s part of a rebellion that is working against the Empire that Michael’s grandfather helmed. It took a long time to gain his trust.”
“How did he get here? Because maybe that is the way to get Burnham back.”
“He isn’t saying. I had to get Sarek to do a mind meld on him to find out anything at all.”
“And you say that he was sent here to kill her?”
Ash nodded grimly.
“Word had gotten out that Palpatine had a powerful granddaughter infused with this Force. Their rebellion wanted to make sure she would not begin what they were fighting against, in another universe.” Ash said.
“Tell me that word about her being a mutineer didn’t get out?”
“Antilles found out she had started a war…indirectly. I hate to say this, Admiral, but maybe she’s lucky she was abducted. I hate saying that, but Antilles said that he was not even sure who the assassin was.”
“How is he not sure? I thought he was the assassin?”
“For the record, I don’t believe him about that. There’s just something about him that doesn’t say ‘assassin’. Sarek tried to get it out of him but found that somehow, he was able to resist more of the mind meld, than Sarek was comfortable with.”
“Where is this Wedge Antilles right now?”
“We left him at the market place.”
Katrina gave Ash a hard look.
“We need to find him.” she said, just as Lorca came out of Michael’s room and walked up to them.
“Can I know what’s going on? Finally?”
Katrina looked at him.
“Yes. I want Lieutenant Tyler and yourself to find someone and detain them. Tyler can fill you in.” she said resignedly.
INFINITE UNIVERSE—DEATH STAR
Michael had her back to Jonathan, as she lay on her side, pondering on what had just happened between them and what this meant for her life. She felt Jonathan’s hands brush against her back and he moved to spoon himself against her.
“Are you cold?” he whispered, noticing the goosebumps that appeared after he touched her.
“Yes.” she answered truthfully. Rooms on this space station were not welcoming, decor wise, and there was a vent above them that blew cold air down. She hadn’t noticed it until they were still, and finished with their wedded copulation.
“Hmmm.” Jonathan said, kissing the back of her neck. “So tell me: do I need to find a mistress?”
Michael refused to answer.
“Michael? I know you heard me.”
“Alright,” Michael said, scowling, “I suppose you do not. But you’ll have to restrain yourself here.”
“Because I’ll be training and I don’t want to become distracted.” Michael half lied. She had given herself to him in a way that terrified her, if she was honest with herself. It scared her because none of this could last. Not her marriage, not her place in this universe, none of it. She didn’t belong here. She didn’t belong in the Terran Universe either and the more she gave herself to Emperor Jonathan Archer and Emperor Gabriel Lorca, whatever universe they came from, the more she despaired. This cycle had to be broken. Michael could not keep meeting these two men, in different worlds, every couple of months!
And she couldn’t keep wanting both of them either.
Jonathan’s answer to that was to get out of bed and walk around to her side, so that she would be forced see him. And as her eyes were forced to take all of him in, it was clear that he wanted her again. Michael sat up and he gingerly sat down next to her on the bed.
“Nothing about what I wanted for the Terran Empire has changed, Michael. It hasn’t. For starters, the Kelpians are no longer slaves under my rule.”
Michael’s eyes searched his.
“Yes. Really. I released them and a few actually stayed on to work with Worf in Security.”
“Worf was the Klingon, right?”
“Yes. And he’s a good man. I only wish MY Sarek could have lived to see this.” Jonathan said quietly. Michael reached out to touch his hand.
“I wish he had too.” she said just quietly, just as a robot of some sort, walked in with a meal for them. Michael felt strange being naked in front of the droid. But Jonathan had no such hang ups.
“Just leave it. Thank you.” Jonathan told the droid.
“You’re welcome, You’re Majesty. The Emperor wishes to see both of you when you have finished breakfast.” the droid responded and turned to leave the room. Michael suddenly felt cold again.
“I do not like it here.” she said.
“Listen to me: you can do this and I am not going anywhere. I will stay here while you train with Lord Lorca and we will return to the Terran Universe and rule it. Right? Okay?” he said and gave her a quick kiss before standing up. “We shouldn’t keep Emperor Vader waiting, okay?”
Michael nodded but she was reminded with just those words, that chances were, neither her, or her new husband, would be ‘ruling’ anything. They would be in charge of whatever Emperor Vader wanted them to be in charge of.
Lord Lorca’s eyes roamed over Michael as he watched her enter the throne room with Archer. They were holding hands. Emperor Vader was not feeling sentimental or congratulatory…
“Emperor Lorca, it pleases me that you have brought your wife before me. I am waiting.” Vader hissed. Michael didn’t quite understand. Jonathan got down on one knee and bowed his head. Michael started to do the same, but Lord Lorca interrupted.
“The Emperor wants his apology. He could have died from what you did to him.” Lorca told her.
“Oh. I apologize, Emperor Vader.” Michael said.
“For?” Emperor Vader asked.
“For almost killing you. Accidentally.”
Lord Lorca glanced over at Emperor Vader, hoping that would do the trick here. He didn’t quite know that the Sith Lord expected. Michael was just trying to defend herself.
Emperor Vader said nothing for a moment before looking at Lorca.
“You can take your apprentice out of here. You have one day, then I want my fiancee rescued.” he grumbled. Jonathan lifted his head and rose.
“Who told you to get up?” Vader asked calmly. Jonathan slowly got back down on one knee. He had not realized that Michael would be taken from him instantly. But then again, Vader did seem eager to have Seven of Nine in his clutches. He still had not thought of a way to keep her from marrying Vader.
“Your Majesty,” Jonathan said, “I would just like to know when I could expect my wife back?”
“When Seven of Nine is on this Death Star.” Vader replied. Michael walked over to Jonathan and looked down at him.
“Rise.” she told him. Shocked, Lord Lorca looked to Vader, who’s expression was obviously not visible behind his mask. Jonathan slowly rose before standing beside Michael and facing Vader.
“I see,” Vader said slowly, “you have accepted your place as Palpatine’s granddaughter. No one else that had dared contradict me in such a disrespectful manner, would still be alive today.”
Michael knew she had been taking a risk there, but she sensed that Palpatine’s legacy was still a powerful one. And if that was true, then maybe she and Jonathan could lessen this universe’s influence over the Terran one.
“I mean no disrespect, Your Majesty. It is just that I am eager to get started on my training and return your ‘fiancee’ to you. I must say goodbye to my husband and I cannot do it with him on his knees.” Michael said solemnly. Lord Lorca almost smiled. Interesting explanation.
Emperor Vader, who had been sitting on his throne, rose and walked up to Michael and Jonathan. He stared at her but addressed Jonathan.
“Lord Lorca will be leaving with your wife now. They will train on Tatooine before rescuing my wife-to-be from whatever slavers have her.” Vader said. Jonathan knew that this was Vader’s way of punishing Michael, and himself, for her impertinence. He touched her face before Lord Lorca literally snatched her from him and walked out of the throne room with her. Once they were gone, Archer faced Vader.
“You wanted to speak to me about something?”
“Yes.” Vader said and walked to a window. A few Imperial fighter planes could be seen leaving the station. Archer had no choice but to wait for Vader to tell him what he wanted.
He finally did.
“I read your wife’s history. And there was one section that interested me.”
“Which part was that, Your Highness?”
Vader turned to look at him.
“The part about one Lieutenant Ash Tyler and his ‘Klingon Transplant’, so to speak.”
“I only heard bits and pieces…he is no longer in my wife’s life so…”
“Archer, I want you to go back to the prime universe that your wife is from, and bring me the doctor that melded a human and Klingon together.”
“You want the same thing.” Jonathan said quietly.
“I want to be a real husband to my wife. And I had someone in mind that I would like to merge with.”
“Who?” Archer asked, almost afraid to hear the answer.
“Lieutenant Tyler himself.” Vader hissed.
“Your Highness…he already has a Klingon named Voq within him…”
“The doctor that performed the surgery will just get rid of Voq and put ME inside of Tyler! Make it happen, Archer or you will never see your wife again.” Vader promised.
Meanwhile, hours later, Michael sat on an Imperial transport ship, not knowing what she was getting in to or what condition she would find Seven of Nine in. All she did know was that she was not about to bring her back to Vader. And if Jonathan Archer wanted their marriage to survive, then he’d help her find a way out of this for Seven of Nine.
Lord Lorca put the ship into auto pilot and moved to sit across from her at the table.
“How was your wedding night?”
“That’s none of your business.”
“You’re my apprentice and I am your master. I think I have every right…”
“Well you would be wrong!” Michael snapped and stood up. She walked over to a window to stare out and Lord Lorca stared at her with concern. Had she been only pretending to care for Archer earlier? Had things went badly the other night?
Nothing was said and finally, Michael turned to face him.
“How can you go along with this?”
“Go along with what?”
“Turning an innocent woman over to Vader! He can’t possibly make her or anyone or anything, happy! We have to do something! We can tell Vader that she died. Then send her back.”
Lord Lorca stood up and walked over to her.
“How many versions of myself have you met thus far?”
“Two. You’re the third.”
“Well clearly, you are confused as to what they would do for you, versus what I would be willing to do. Vader wants his bride. We will bring her to him. And I don’t want to hear any sort of talk again, about going against the Emperor. Are we clear?”
Michael turned away from him to stare out of the window.
“Are we clear?”
“No we are not!” Michael snapped, still looking out of the window. “And you can tell Vader that too!”
“And I can do that because you think he’ll do nothing to you? Like he did earlier?”
Michael turned to face him again.
“This is a regime change. That means that Palpatine had followers that might not be so open to Vader’s being Emperor now. All I have to do is make my presence known and suddenly, I have followers that want to be ME on that throne instead.”
“He’d kill you before he’d allow that to happen.” Lord Lorca warned her.
“But you’re going to teach me what he knows. What you know as well, and suddenly, I’ll have a chance against him.” Michael said firmly. Lord Lorca shook his head just as an alarm went off, signaling that they were near Tatooine. He stood up.
“What is going to happen is this: we are going to find out who has the Emperor’s fiancee and then we will buy her back.”
“I thought we were going to just rescue her?”
“If it comes to that, we will. But I am going to send this Seven of Nine, back to the Death Star, with another Imperial ship. We will stay on Tatooine to train.”
Michael’s eyes widened!
“I am staying on that planet? With you?”
“Was that always the plan?”
“Michael,” Lord Lorca said, “I can’t have you distracted by anything, if I am to train you. Tatooine has nothing to look at or see on it, except for desert. It will be the perfect place for you to learn the Sith ways.”
Michael said nothing as Lorca went to sit in the pilot’s chair. Michael stared at the back of his head, then looked around for something to bash his head in with. But her eyes could not find anything…
“I know you want to kill me.” Lord Lorca said without turning around. “But you will eventually turn from Archer and join Vader and myself here in this universe…permanently.” Lord Lorca told her, as they flew into Tatooine’s atmosphere. Too shocked to do anything but strap herself in for the landing, Michael stared at the back of her ‘master’s’ head as they prepared to find Seven of Nine.
Unfortunately, Seven of Nine was now one of Jabba The Hutt’s slave girls.
Actually, she was now his favorite, looks wise. Seven of Nine ignored the leers of the patrons, as she sat naked, astride Jabba’s bestial organ, that was not clearly visible under the mounds of flesh that made up his body. Her hands were cuffed on top of her head and her breasts swung heavily as she moved to and fro upon her new master’s, monstrous bulk. Every once and awhile, she looked back at him to maintain eye contact, as she had been ordered to do.
Seven of Nine could get through this. She could get through anything as long as she closed Jonathan Archer’s betrayal out of her mind. That, she could not stand.
And what was worse? Fate wise? Making forced love to this slimy animal, or becoming the wife of such a heinous being such as Emperor Vader. That made her shudder, and she was not one prone to fear. She was so lost in thought, that she did not see Lord Lorca and Michael walk in….
Michael gasped at the sight of her, forced couple with that beast and turned to run out of the establishment! She ran and ran until she stopped outside of a cantina to catch her breath! Jonathan had sold Seven of Nine out and he had thrown herself in as part of a deal with Vader. Just like with Terran Lorca, there had been a brief moment the other night, in bed with Jonathan, where she really thought that they could change things.
Lord Lorca caught up with her and grabbed her arm!
“Let go of me or I’ll make you let go of me!”
“I would like to see you try that, considering your failings in that establishment back there! You will go back to the ship and I will get Vader’s fiancee…”
“She is not his fiancee! She was lied to and tricked here! Just like I was forced here! How could you watch what was happening to her and not care?!” she snapped, wrenching her arm from his. She then ran and ran, until she got back to the ship. She closed the door but found that Lord Lorca had been on her heels the whole time! He was the one that closed the door, and he was the one that yanked her into his arms and claimed her mouth for his own! Michael pushed him away but he held her tightly and spoke.
“I will help that woman get away from Vader, but for a price. A price that I want to claim right here, right now.” he said urgently, covering her mouth again! Good God, Michael thought, was there no escaping the passion Lorca and Archer had for her? Was there any denying her feelings for both of them? No matter what universe she met them in?
Lorca and Michael tore at one another’s clothing, until they were free of it. Lorca backed Michael against one of the wall’s of the ship, his hands floating down to her buttocks to lift her. Michael gasped at the startling intrusion of his girth, as he repeatedly plunged hard into her, the force of it reaching her womb wth each stroke. This Michael Burnham was not the silly, cadet school girl he had been ordered to marry. This Michael Burnham was not blindly enamored with Professor Jonathan Archer.
This Michael Burnham, was his.
For Michael, Lord Lorca’s presence inside of her was hauntingly familiar, and she felt her world blurring as his throbbing organ bobbed hungrily around inside of her. She clung to him tightly as a shivering ecstasy overcame her. When it was over, Lord Lorca spoke quietly to her.
“I won’t have you sharing his bed.”
Michael stared up at him in a haze.
“This was a mistake…”
“Yes it is, my darling. It is a mistake to think that this won’t happen again, over and over. We will rescue the Emperor’s fiancee. We will then feign her death and then I will train you thoroughly, while making love to you whenever I wish. And then I will see to it that I return with you to the Terran Universe, to keep Archer away from you. If I have to kill him to do so, then so be it.”
Michael’s head began to clear, as she slowly let go of Lord Lorca and came to her senses.
“If you want Jonathan Archer out of my life for good, then you need to train me and send me back to my proper universe. The one you took me from.” she said quietly. Once there, Michael would figure out how to return this Lorca, that had made such savage love to her, back to his own time. He could not stay here anymore than she could.
ONE DAY LATER-INFINITE DIMENSION
Michael stood before Emperor Vader on the Death Star.
Jonathan Archer and Lord Gabriel Lorca, were on their knees, bowed before him.
“Tell me again, Michael Burnham, why it is that I am not to be married?” Vader asked. The usual hissing noise that followed when he spoke, filled the air. Michael refrained from turning to look at Lord Lorca and Jonathan. The three of them had agreed on this course of action and she needed to stick to the script. But she could feel Emperor Vader probing her mind. She was strong enough to withstand him. Maybe Lord Lorca was as well. But Jonathan…she just did not know. But what was done was done. They had no choice but to keep up their cover story.
“Seven of Nine was killed. By Jabba the Hutt.” Michael said calmly. “Apparently when she escaped Emperor Archer, she landed on Tatooine and fell into the hands of slavers…”
“Which we already knew.” Vader said in a cold, hissing voice. Michael cleared her throat.
“Yes, but we did not know that your fiancee had been forced to service Hutt personally. She tried to escape and was killed. Lord Lorca had the Storm Troopers look around and her body was never found. The Hutt Palace was then destroyed.”
There was a long and lengthy silence and Jonathan dared to raise his head and look over at Lord Gabriel Lorca. His mind took him back to when Michael and Lorca had brought Seven of Nine back to him on the palace ship in the Terran Universe. Seven of Nine was shaken, but recovered her aplomb and acted as if nothing had happened. Worf was not pleased about the way things had been handled, and Emperor or not, he had let Jonathan know it.
Jonathan felt horrific about it himself. He and Seven of Nine had been close for many years and if he could have stopped what happened to her, he would have. But Jonathan also believed that if she had just trusted him, and went along with the marriage to Vader, this would have never happened. Jonathan would have found a way to keep her from marrying Emperor Vader. He would have found a way of keeping her out of his bed as well.
Clearly, Lord Lorca over there, had been convinced by his wife, to do what he himself had been too late to do before harm came Seven of Nine’s way. But God help him, what Emperor Archer hated more than Seven of Nine’s vile experience, was the inarguable fact that for Lord Lorca to have agreed to anything Michael wanted, meant that he was far too attached to her than he needed to be. Jonathan hoped nothing more than training had been going on between them. And he intended to find out if there had been…
Lord Lorca felt that sonofabitch’s eyes on him, but ignored Archer. Michael was just barely fending off Emperor Vader’s suspicions and for that he blamed himself. He had thought his explanation of the events would have been enough to pacify the Emperor. But clearly Lorca had underestimated how much Vader had wanted this marriage—and Seven of Nine. He wondered if this situation could be rectified by giving Vader another woman? Maybe someone who would be more agreeable to sharing his bed, whatever that actually entailed?
Lorca too could feel Vader trying to pry into his mind, but he kept his thoughts clear. He continued to ignore Archer’s gaze.
Vader thought about crushing Michael’s windpipe. And not by using the Force! He was thinking of just grabbing her scrawny neck and squeezing! He didn’t believe any of this and was non plussed to see that clearly, Palatine’s grand spawn had managed to use her questionable charms on Lorca to get him to tell this lie. He glanced over at Archer and pried into his mind. Yes…Archer suspected that Lorca had seduced Michael Burnham…but that was all he could get out of his thoughts.
Vader decided to use another tactic. One that would throw them for a loop, so to speak.
“I accept the reality of my fiancee’s death. But I want to give her a proper burial. Bring me her body so that we can give her a proper send off.”
Micheal raised a brow.
“Here on the Death Star?”
“Where else?” Vader asked wryly. “This would have been her home. Our home.”
“Of course.” Michael said. Lord Lorca rose and walked to Michael’s side.
“Your Majesty, I ordered the Hutt Palace blown up. I don’t know that there would be any remains to be found.”
“Yes, I thought of that. But I have spoken to some of the Storm Troopers that were part of your ‘mission’. They assured me that there was no body to be found. And Hutt was not stupid. I am sure he disposed of her body elsewhere. Find it and bring her to me.”
Jonathan slowly rose and joined Michael and Lorca.
“Your Majesty, I would really like to return with my wife to the Terran Universe. For a short stay, of course. This whole mission was very trying on her.”
Vader didn’t answer.
But Lorca did.
“Absolutely not. It would interfere with her training.”
“Which clearly isn’t going well,” Jonathan responded, “since I believe your mission was to bring Seven of Nine back here. You failed and I’m sure no one feels worse about that than my wife.”
Lord Lorca glared at Archer! Oh, how he’d love to expose HIS part in this deception as well! He’d love to just say that Seven of Nine was back with Archer in the Terran Universe! But he had cut his own throat when he had agreed to go along with this. And he had agreed for only one reason.
“I think that I should find Seven of Nine’s body before returning,” she told Jonathan solemnly, “it would not be right to just return home without seeing this through.”
“I agree.” Vader finally replied. “Emperor Archer, I need to speak to Lord Lorca alone. You will say your goodbyes to your ‘Empress’ and then leave this universe.”
Jonathan nodded and reached for Michael’s arm. Michael gave Lord Lorca a quick look that Jonathan could not read, before he pulled her out of the throne room, leaving Lorca to face Vader alone.
“Your work, Lord Lorca, was uncharacteristically sloppy.” he noted. “Your efforts usually net better results. I want you to explain to me, again, what went wrong.”
“Your Majesty, the Hutts are gangsters. I believe they knew your fiancee was worth more than the usually fare around Tatooine. When we entered the palace and began asking questions, they got scared and killed her.”
“You announced your presence?” Vader inquired. “Instead of just taking her?”
Lord Lorca could see where Vader was going with this and tempered his next words.
“I know it was a mistake to announce our presence, but we do have that right as the governing body of this galaxy. And citizens are supposed to obey our orders. What happened to your fiancee was unfortunate.”
“Lord Lorca, I still have no real idea WHAT happened to her. Michael Burnham and yourself, along with a team of storm troopers, made your presence known and your intentions clear on Tatooine. I was not under the impression that that was the way you were going to go about extracting Seven of Nine from their clutches!”
“I knew you were in a hurry to be married. I thought going in, demanding her person be surrendered to us and leaving, was the best course.”
“They knew there would be repercussions for having her in the first place.” Vader said.
“Yes, I realize that now. That is why they killed her and got rid of any evidence that she was there.”
“But you knew she was there because Michael saw her?”
“That is what I am not quite following, Lord Lorca. My fiancee was ‘seen’ and then not taken into custody at that moment? Why?” Vader asked, his tone now seething again, when before it was actually quite calm.
Lorca realized he would have to reveal some of the truth, if he was to keep Vader from suspecting anything.
“Michael was distressed to witness your fiancee being forced into a depraved sexual act with Hutt. She fled the palace instead of taking action and I felt it was best to go after her. Unfortunately, that delay cost us our chance to rescue Seven of Nine. When I calmed her down and returned, we were told she had been killed trying to escape. I suspect she saw us and tried to come to us for help.” Lorca told him.
“So this is Michael Burnham’s fault?”
“To be honest, your Majesty, hers and yours. I wanted her to undergo more training before we took on a task such as this. If I had been alone…”
“Well then she can make up for her mistake by bringing me my fiancee’s body. You BOTH can. Do not fail me again.” Vader said, dismissing him. Lord Lorca bowed and left the throne room. He knew Vader was still suspicious and that would not do. Unfortunately, they would have to come up with the body of a Borg woman, that looked similar to Seven of Nine. They had no other options if they wanted to stay alive.
As he left Vader, Lorca’s attention moved from the task ahead, to Michael and Archer. If there was any way to blame this whole thing on Emperor Archer, so he could have Michael to himself, he would do it and gladly. He glared down towards the direction where Michael’s quarters were. She was there now. With Archer. ‘Emperor Archer’.
Michael felt funny. Funny being married and funny being an adulteress.
She was sitting down, trying to process the task ahead, when she felt Jonathan’s strong hands begin to massage her shoulders from behind. He was still standing.
“I know none of this has been easy on you.” he said softly. Michael reached behind her to remove his hands, but they tightened.
“No. It was not. How is Seven of Nine?” she asked.
“About as well as can be expected.” Jonathan replied and moved to sit down next to her. His eyes probed hers.
“I did not expect Lord Lorca to acquiesce so easily.” he said. Michael tore her eyes from his and he reached out to cup her chin, so that her eyes did meet his again.
“Why?” Jonathan asked. Michael started to remove his hand, but changed her mind.
“Because he saw how upset I was about Seven of Nine and what she was going through. He also saw how disappointed I was in you.” Michael said, now moving out of his grasp and standing up.
“Disappointed in me? What are you talking about, Michael?”
“You had to know what would happen to her on that planet! Or what was likely to happen to her! You should have seen her! That walrus looking…infection, was forcing her to perform depraved acts of copulation on his person! The moment she got away from you, Jonathan, you should have went after her!”
“You’re blaming ME for what happened to Seven of Nine?! Do you really think that I would’ve had anything like that happen to her?”
“But what? I’m not the ‘brave’ Lord Lorca, who can come up with an extraordinary deception to rescue the damsel in distress? Do you know the danger we are in now?”
“I know that and more.” Michael said. “We can’t keep doing this. The three of us. We can’t keep using one another, when we can’t be with the version of ourselves we want to be with. I will consult with Lord Lorca and find a way to bring Emperor Vader ‘someone’ that he can believe is Seven of Nine. But I am not returning to the Terran Universe as your Empress. I am staying here.”
Jonathan folded his arms.
“You won’t return with me, but you’ll stay here with what, the third version of Lorca you’ve met already? It’s okay to keep fucking him…”
“It’s called copulation!” Michael yelled out in a prissy manner! Jonathan suddenly grabbed her and pulled her body tightly against his!
“Really?! Is it? When we’re together it’s more than just some scientific way of coming together, Michael and you know it! You are MY Empress and if I have to frame Lord Lorca for this whole thing, I will! And who do you think Vader will believe? He was in my mind, Michael and he already knows I suspect that he seduced you! You do what you have to do to appease Vader but you WILL be coming back to me!”
Before Michael could think to act or even breathe, Jonathan Archer’s lips smothered hers in a devastating kiss, that weakened her senses. She struggled to muster up her innate Sith abilities(or they should have been by now), but nothing was coming. And that was because she didn’t want them to come. She wanted to go back to the Federation, in the Prime Universe and live her life.
But did she even have much of one there? Michael struggled to think about what she had back when she was under Georgiou. Before everything went to hell and back. Michael knew she couldn’t get that back. That life.
But as per the norm, whenever Michael Burnham was copulating with a version of Jonathan Archer or Gabriel Lorca, all reason and logic swam to the deep recesses of her mind. All she could focus on was his bare skin on hers and how his body was hard, rigid and ready. The relentless movement of his swollen organ within her and how her body jolted enthusiastically in response to each of his thrusts. Michael just barely heard Jonathan tell her he loved her, before her body was overcome with inflamed passion.
After, Michael walked with Jonathan to his ship, where he would then use a special set of coordinates to get back to the Terran Universe. Jonathan glanced at the ship, before focusing on her.
“Do what you need to do to appease Vader, and then come home for a short while. As a ruler, I need for everyone to understand that their Empress is just delayed and will be coming to be by side, shortly. Do you know what I am asking?” Jonathan asked.
Michael took a deep breath.
“I can’t promise that.”
“You can’t promise not to ‘copulate’ with Lorca? Uh, why?”
“For the same reason I cannot promise him I won’t copulate with you, when I do return as your Empress. Jonathan…we need to find the Michael Burnham that belongs in the Terran Universe. Lord Lorca needs to find the version of me that he truly seeks and I need to…”
“Go back to that half assed Klingon?” Jonathan asked sarcastically. “I could tell he still cares for you.”
“He is not an issue.”
“Hmmm.” was all Jonathan said, before giving her a quick kiss and walking towards his ship. Michael stood there as he boarded and the ship took off. It was as she stared out in the wondrous mystery of space, that she felt Lord Lorca’s arms snake around her middle from behind and turn her towards him.
“We need to find a body to deliver to Emperor Vader. One that was in an explosion and thus, can’t be easily identified as Borg. We’re going to return to Tatooine and deal with some of the slavers. One of them should be able to supply us with someone.” Lorca murmured, his eyes melting in hers. Michael blinked.
“Did you not feel Emperor Vader probing our minds? He does not believe Seven of Nine is dead and I don’t think that’s the way we should play this.”
“What do you suggest?” Lorca asked skeptically.
“We find someone else for him to marry. Someone not from Tatooine. Someone that will make Emperor Vader forget a woman he never met.” Michael said wryly. Lorca nodded as he removed his hands from around her middle.
“I was thinking something similar. I actually thought that maybe, this woman should come from another universe.”
“Another universe?” Michael asked, a bit surprised. “Is that really necessary? To go so far? You know the Emperor better than I do. Surely you know what type of woman he would like.”
“I think he was drawn to Seven of Nine because of her ‘mechanical’ looking appearance.” Lorca admitted. Michael nodded.
“She was mechanical while retaining her beauty.” Michael agreed. “Alright, I understand that we might not find such a woman like that here. So we should go back to the Terran Universe and find a woman there?”
“No.” Lorca said. “I was thinking it would be easier to find this woman, in the universe I am from.” he said quietly. Michael raised a brow suspiciously.
“You have someone in mind, don’t you?”
“Yes. But I need for you to trust me. Can you do that?” Lord Lorca asked her, forcing himself not to touch her in anyway, publicly. Two passing storm troopers had already glanced at them too long.
“I don’t know,” Michael said honestly, “because what we are asking of any woman here, is risky. How do we get this woman to agree never to disclose that this was a scheme in the first place?”
“Michael,” Lorca said patiently, “no woman is going to want to die. And Emperor Vader will surely find a way to dispose of all three of us, if this comes to light. We will leave for Tatooine and then return to my universe. We will find a woman there, come back and…”
“And what? How will we explain that we do not have Seven of Nine’s body? The Emperor did not ask to be brought another bride. He wants Seven of Nine. He wants proof that we aren’t lying to him.” Michael reminded him. Lorca placed his hands on her shoulders.
“I think the woman I have in mind, will be willing to do anything to help me.” Lord Lorca said, thinking of the busty Sylvia Tilly. She had been jailed, on his orders, once his universe’s Michael Burnham’s deception, had been exposed. But he wondered if she was still there? Had she been released when he disappeared?
It did not matter. If she was still on Raxon 12 and within the walls of his family prison, he would offer her her freedom in exchange for seducing Emperor Vader. But if she wasn’t, he would find another way to persuade her to go along with this.
He focused on Michael again and his lips sought hers suddenly and fervently, almost crushing her mouth with his! Lorca broke of the kiss and whispered against her.
“I need you right now.”
“Lord Lorca, we will have to wait until we are off of this Death Star.” Michael said breathlessly, hating herself for wanting two men. “Remember what we have been tasked to do.”
Lord Lorca nodded against her, then let go of her body and turned to walk out of the docking bay. He had to make preparations for his own ship, to pretend to take Michael and himself to Tatooine, and then return to his own time, and world.
DISCOVERY—THE PRIME UNIVERSE
Captain Lorca sat in his quarters, knowing full well that Ash Tyler/Voq or whatever the hell he called himself these days, Katrina, Sarek and the captured Wedge Antilles, were waiting to begin the interrogation in the situation room. But he could not quite pry himself away from Michael Burnham’s tricorder diary entries…
“I told him over and over again, how indecent he was being, using his tongue in that manner. But I couldn’t tell him anything to get him to stop. He tongued my flesh with slow, intimate strokes…”
Captain Lorca turned off the tricorder and painfully stood up. He walked off his desire and tried to think about the task at hand—getting information out of their prisoner. His doors suddenly opened and Sarek entered. Lorca tried to keep the guilt off of his face as he addressed him.
“I was just headed to the situation room.” Lorca said. Sarek acknowledged his words with a nod, looking around. He saw nothing pressing in Captain Lorca’s cabin, that should have caused any delay.
His eyes then fell upon Michael’s tricorder diary.
“You have my daughter’s tricorder within your possession. May I ask why?”
Lorca folded his arms.
Sarek raised a brow.
“Evidence in what way, Captain?”
“Evidence as to how and why we find Michael.”
“I do not follow you. And my wife would not either. I am afraid I am going to need that back.” Sarek said pointedly.
“That tricorder is a Federation issue which should have been returned to Discovery after your daughter’s discharge. So it stays with me.”
Sarek gave Lorca the most annoying, ‘knowing’ Vulcan look imaginable(at least Lorca found it annoying). But he said no more about the matter. He turned and left Lorca’s quarters. Once the doors closed, Lorca picked up the ‘evidence’, locked it in a safe and followed after Sarek towards the situation room. Once there, Lorca noticed the hard look Ash gave him. Katrina was too busy staring at Wedge, as if somehow her stare would pry the answers they sought, out of him.
“Mr. Antilles,” Lorca began, but Wedge interrupted him rudely.
“It’s Commander.” he said shortly.
“Actually it’s ‘Federation Prisoner’ in this dimension. And we do know you came from another one.” Lorca said, now sitting down at the head of the table.
Ash took over.
“Commander,” he began, “as you well know, Michael Burnham was abducted from this dimension and taken back to the one you come from. You intimated to us that you are part of a rogue group that is looking to stop Michael from becoming as powerful as her descendent, by killing her. The problem is, she is no longer here in this world. She was taken to your dimension by someone that resembles Captain Lorca, here.”
Wedge’s eyes slid over to Lorca.
“Yes. He does indeed resemble Lord Lorca.” Wedge allowed. Captain Lorca cleared his throat impatiently!
“We know you’re here to kill Michael Burnham. You or someone else, or you AND someone else. My point is I want to know HOW you arrived here? We know my counterpart came in through a closet on Vulcan. Tell is how you arrived here, NOW!”
Katrina rested a hand over Lorca’s and looked at Wedge.
“You look like a smart man, Commander Antilles. You know that whatever this dimensional breach is, it cannot continue. There should be no one that resembles Captain Lorca here, in your world. We need to know how to close it and return our people here.” Katrina told him.
Wedge said nothing for a moment, then leaned forward.
“We are aware that the dimensional tear needs to be closed. That is why Michael Burnham must be taken care of. I don’t like it anymore than you all do, but she is the reason this happened.”
Lorca raised a skeptical brow. Sarek took over the questioning.
“I find your logic faulty, Commander. How would a dimensional breach lay at the hands of a human? Isn’t it more likely that an inter-stellar event caused such an occurrence?”
“Your ‘daughter’s’ conception itself was the inter-stellar event,” Wedge told Sarek, “her parents were…well…in the middle of a sex act, on a ship, when they came through a great, white thunderstorm. Everyone knows how rare those storms are. Palpatine’s only son and his wife are caught in one, and conceive a child during it after years of infertility? That is no coincidence.”
“Uh, yes it is.” Lorca said sarcastically, looking at Wedge like he were insane! He then looked around at everyone else.
“Tell me you all aren’t buying this crap?”
“No. But I believe Commander Antilles believes it.”
“Not just me.” Wedge said. Ash leaned forward.
“Now that you know Michael is not here, is the assassin headed back to find her there?”
Wedge looked around the situation table uneasily.
“Why not? If assassinating Burhnam was the purpose of being here?” Katrina asked.
“The breach has had many, many repercussions. One of them has enabled my people to find assassins from other times and places.”
Captain Lorca stared at Wedge.
“Just say it, ‘Commander’. What have you done here? Who did you summon from ‘another time and place’ to murder Burnham?” he asked in a firm tone.
Wedge was silent. Sarek slowly stood up and walked over to him.
“Tell us what we want to know or I will find out the truth myself.” he told Wedge. Before Wedge could move, Ash got up quickly and yanked Wedge up out of his seat! He then kept the struggling man’s arms pinned behind him, as Sarek performed a mind meld upon him.
“Our minds are merging, Commander. I know what you know. I feel what you feel.” Sarek told him, as his hand touched Wedge’s forehead. Lorca and Katrina gaped at the sight and they could tell that Ash relaxed his hold on Wedge. Soon, Sarek’s hand fell away from Wedge and Ash deposited him into the chair.
“It is much worse than we thought.” Sarek said. Ash now glared down at Wedge before looking at Sarek.
“What?” Ash asked. Lorca stood up and walked over to the men. Wedge said nothing.
“Yes, what, Sarek? What did you find out?” Lorca asked.
“The assassin is a man from another universe in their dimension. And his name is Anakin Skywalker. And according to Commander Antilles, he has indeed left this dimension and returned to the one that Michael is in, to kill her. And the version of himself that lives there—Emperor Darth Vader.” Sarek said somberly.
Michael raised a brow at the name of the ship Lord Lorca and herself were leaving the Death Star in. It was called ‘Omega Global’ and did not appear to be Empire issue. Lord Lorca had cleared it with Emperor Vader, telling him that in order to retrieve Seven of Nine’s body, it would probably be best to go undercover. Michael still didn’t know of going to Lord Lorca’s universe and bringing back that version of Tilly, was the way to play this…
“You know, maybe there is a Seven of Nine there as well?” Michael asked, as Lord Lorca put the ship on autopilot. He then faced her.
“We’re not going to bring back anyone for Vader because we’re not coming back.” Lord Lorca said firmly and reached for Michael. But she backed away from him.
“What are talking about?” Michael asked, but she knew. Lord Gabriel Lorca wanted to return to his own universe and stay. Michael could not let that happen. She could not travel to yet another universe and confuse timelines. This had to end.
Lord Lorca reached for her again, this time seizing her by the waist and pulling her to him!
“I want you to come back with me. To Raxon 12. That is the planet I am from. I know I have not spoken of it much…I ended up here and didn’t want to return. Partly because of you.”
“Or a version of me?” Michael questioned. Lord Lorca nodded.
“I am through running. I belong in my own time with my own people. We don’t have to sacrifice anyone to Vader. We never have to see him again if we don’t want to.”
“Lord Lorca! The Emperor knew how to invade the Terran Universe and mine! You ended up here because there is a portal in your world as well! He will find us and then your world will be no better off than any of the others! Look, let’s go back to Tatooine and either find someone for the Emperor or find a body that he believes is Seven of Nine’s. It’s our only way out.” Michael insisted.
Before Lord Lorca could refuse, the ship shook so violently, that they were both thrown apart and onto the floor of the ship! Lord Lorca struggled to stand and hurry back to the controls as Michael slowly pulled herself up and joined him. Lord Lorca sat in the pilot’s chair, a look of confusion shadowing his face.
“What is it?” Michael asked.
“We are moving in reverse! I don’t understand why…”
“It’s Jonathan! He’s using the reverse tractor beam! But why? He knows what we have to do!” Michael breathed. Lord Lorca began to play with the controls but Michael stopped him.
“You know how this works. There is nothing we can do until we’re on his palace ship.” she said, but she bit her lip. Jonathan had wanted her with him, consequences be damned. For him to take a chance in angering Emperor Vader meant that he had a plan as well. One that would not end well for Lord Lorca.
Emperor Jonathan Archer stood next to Worf and Seven of Nine, as the Omega Global was forcefully docked and boarded. Four guards dragged Lord Lorca off of the ship as Michael hurried after them then stopped short!
A woman that looked a lot like her, was lying dead in front of Jonathan, Worf and Seven of Nine! Lord Lorca was allowed to stop and gape in front of the body, before being dragged off for torture in the Agonizers. Michael dragged her eyes off of ‘herself’, then looked at Jonathan.
“What is the meaning of this?” she asked her husband. Worf is the one that answered,
“The Terran version of yourself returned looking for help. She was killed before she could seek it.” he answered. Michael tore her eyes off of him and looked at Jonathan.
“What does he mean by that? Will someone tell me what’s going on?”
Seven of Nine chimed in.
“There was an assassin hired to kill you. I believe he murdered the wrong version of yourself. We have him in one of the Agonizer booths. He will talk soon enough.” she said coolly. Michael nodded uneasily, realizing that she didn’t quite know how to act around the Borg woman, after seeing her couple with Jabba. Michael eased her gaze off of her and settled on Jonathan again.
“Your Highness, the Emperor expects us to find a body to give to him. We cannot do that if Lord Lorca is locked up here.”
Jonathan nodded to Seven of Nine and Worf, who walked away. Two men covered the Terran Michael’s body and took it away. Michael clamped her lips together as she watched a dead version of herself be taken away to God knows where. Jonathan moved close to her and rested his hands on her upper arms.
“Are you alright? I know it must be unsettling to see yourself…in that way.” Jonathan said solemnly. But Michael’s eyes never left his.
“Shouldn’t I be asking you that? That woman that was carried out of here was your sister. The one you knew. The one you really loved.” Michael said quietly. Before Jonathan could respond, two people walked by them, bowed, and then went on their way. Jonathan noted the surprised look on her face.
“That is something you will have to get used to. You can’t look surprised or tell anyone that it isn’t necessary. You’re the Empress of the Terran Universe. You’re MY Empress. And there are some things you need to know about the assassin we are holding.”
“Okay, Your Highness, but first you have to let Lord Lorca out of the Agonizers.”
“Why?” Jonathan asked coolly.
“Because he helped save Seven Of Nine, for starters. He risked his life lying for us…”
“No one told him to. Just like no one told him to touch you. You’re his apprentice. Or that’s what you were supposed to be.” Jonathan said, his eyes accusatory.
“Jonathan,” Michael said, forgetting etiquette, “you can’t do this. Just let Lord Lorca go….”
“Michael,” Jonathan said patiently, “you know I can’t do that. I am just as much under Emperor Vader’s thumb as Lorca is. He stays here until I decide he doesn’t. You need rest. There is going to be a welcoming celebration tonight in your honor.”
Michael tried not to look as uneasy as she felt, but she couldn’t help it. Jonathan had just left the other universe, seemingly fine with the arrangement they were all forced in to. But he had changed his mind after their encounter together. Michael realized she had been foolish to think that Jonathan or Lord Lorca, would want to keep what was happening between them, going on indefinitely. Lord Lorca had been prepared to take her to his own universe to live.
Emperor Jonathan Archer was clearly prepared to do whatever it took, to keep her here permanently.
“Your Highness, Emperor Vader is expecting Seven of Nine’s body. That is where we were headed when you pulled us back here. He has to be dealt with.”
“And he will be.” Jonathan said, moving in towards her and planting a soft, nibbling kiss on her lips. He then let go of her and nodded towards two women dressed in royal attire.
“Your court ladies will escort you to our quarters. They will make sure you are well rested and then prepared for the feast tonight.” he said, giving the ladies a look Michael couldn’t read, before walking off. Michael started to hurry after him, but thought better of it. She sensed a different type of danger now. One that told her she had better go along with whatever Jonathan Archer, her husband, wanted—for now.
Meanwhile, Jonathan sat in the throne room for a short while and finally sighed with regret, before opening up a compartment in his chair, pushing two buttons and turning towards a screen. Emperor Vader’s image appeared.
“Emperor Archer. I did not expect to hear from you. Do you have something to report?” Vader asked.
“Yes. I do.” Jonathan said. “My people intercepted Lord Lorca absconding with my wife…and your fiancee.”
It was a damnable lie. One that Michael would in all likelihood, never forgive him for. And it could pose some danger to Seven of Nine. But he wanted every version of Gabriel Lorca out of his and Michael’s lives. And Michael didn’t seem to have the will or the strength to do it herself. So Jonathan was going to do it for her.
It was times like this, that made Emperor Vader glad that he did indeed wear a mask. He had hoped for a result like this. One that would force someone in this silly ‘love triangle’, to turn on the other. Seven of Nine would be his bride and he would make sure Lord Lorca paid for his treachery. Vader thought about killing Archer as well, but he did not want to de-stabalize the Terran World any further. It’s resources were tremendous assets to the Empire. And he did not want to send forces there to keep the people in line, while they fought one another as to whom should rule next. No, Archer had to stay alive and stay Emperor. It was really Michael that concerned him slightly.
“Emperor, while your loyalty is noted, I think you are forgetting something: the Empress. She will be unhappy that you have told me any of this.”
“She’ll push past my betrayal. If one could call it that. Lord Lorca seduced her when he was supposed to be training her…”
“Yes,” Vader interrupted, “that is the point you are missing. She is Palpatine’s granddaughter. He has already taught her much. She doesn’t have to submit to your will at all, does she?”
Jonathan sighed deeply before answering.
“There is more between us than anyone, including my wife, understands. She wouldn’t dare use any of her abilities on myself personally.”
“Or your people?” Vader asked. “I want Seven of Nine and Lord Lorca returned to my custody. Can you ensure that there will be no interference from her?”
“Actually,” Lord Lorca said, leaning forward, “I can return Lord Lorca to you. But, there is someone else here, that is quite eager to become your bride, Emperor. I was hoping you would meet with her before settling on Seven of Nine.”
Michael’s ‘court ladies’ walked back with her to the room she would now share with Jonathan. It was the same one she had shared with the Terran Lorca. As soon as the doors closed, Michael waved her hand in front of the women’s faces.
“You do not see me here. You will attend to other duties in anticipation of my arrival.” Michael told the women. The court ladies walked around her. One walked to a closet and pulled out clothing, while the other went to another room to draw a bath. Michael nodded, happy that some of the abilities Lord Lorca had taught her, could be used in this situation. She had been about to ease from the room, when another woman stepped inside. Michael peered at her. She was not quite human and yet what she was, escaped Michael for a brief second…
“I am Major Kira Nerys from the nearby planet of Bajor. The Emperor has asked me to serve as your personal body guard until we can find out what the assassin was after.” Kira said coolly.
Bajoran, Michael thought! Their people, in her world, were ruled by a people called the Cardassians.
“I don’t need protection, as everyone here should well know. But I am interested in interrogating the assassin.”
“The Emperor would have my head if you were involved in anything so coarse.” Kira said dismissively, walking around her and eyeing her court ladies. “They don’t seem to be paying you much attention. I’ll tell the Emperor that they need to be replaced.”
Michael had no idea if that meant Jonathan would kill them or what. She cleared her throat.
“That isn’t necessary. I just asked for a moment to myself and they are doing what I ordered.”
“By mind control?” Kira asked knowingly.
Michael did not answer that, not quite knowing what to make of Kira Nerys. Her tone just now was not accusatory. It was more like she was interested, for some reason. Seeing that Michael was not going to be forthcoming, Kira decided to be.
“Your Highness, you can confide in me because my stay as your guard will be temporary.”
Michael eyed her.
“I don’t follow you.”
“I have asked the Emperor to offer me as a bride to Emperor Vader, instead of Seven of Nine.”
Michael’s mouth dropped open briefly before closing!
“Major Kira…I don’t understand…”
“My people have been under the foot of another people. Emperor Vader’s power, his resources, could help free them.”
“You might not live to see that happen.” Michael cautioned her. “I am familiar with your people’s struggles under the Cardassians. I had hoped that in this universe, things were different.”
“They are not.” Kira said firmly. “But they could be. With a man such as Vader by my side, the power I could wield to free my people would be enormous. And of course, I would help Emperor Archer in anyway possible.”
Michael didn’t know what to say. There was something in this woman’s voice that held hope and desperation and yet without a hint of fear. Fear that she should have if she was going to share the bed of a man/machine such as Emperor Darth Vader.
“My husband agreed to this?” Michael asked, just as the door slid back and a man that she knew instinctively to be a shape shifter, walked in. He was odd looking, as if he were trying to imitate a human but couldn’t quite do it. Kira turned to him.
“Odo? What is it?”
“A ship locked on to the assassin and transported him out of the universe. The Emperor thinks it was Discovery.” Odo said, his eye straying from Kira to the Empress. There was something about this woman that he already sensed was untrustworthy.
“How did they arrive in our universe undetected?” Kira asked, annoyed.
“Probably by way of a cloaking device. The Emperor asked me advise you to prepare for the dinner this evening.” Odo told Kira. Michael noticed a look pass between them about this ‘dinner’. Kira nodded, then turned to bow to Michael, before leaving the room. Once she was gone, Odo turned an unsettling gaze on Michael.
“I am sure the assassin’s no longer being on the premises, is a relief to you, your Highness.”
“Actually,” Michael said, “I was thinking with Major Kira, Worf and yourself here, how did this assassin manage to kill the Terran version of myself in the first place? No offense but I don’t feel very safe.”
“Then it is a good thing that you are fully able to defend yourself.” was Odo’s reply. “Now if you will pardon me…”
“No actually, I won’t.” Michael said crisply. “I want to see Lord Lorca. And when I do, I want him removed from the Agonizers.”
Odo gave her a look she couldn’t read. She realized by his next words, that the expression on his face was one of confusion.
“He is no longer our prisoner, something I would have thought the Emperor would have informed you of. He was returned to Emperor Vader. I take it you did not know that?”
Michael clenched her jaw. Of course Odo knew she did not know that! But Michael kept her cool.
“Thank you for the information.” Michael said, now folding her arms. Odo took that as his dismissal and left the room without bowing. Michael exhaled when the door closed. Discovery had locked on to the assassin but not herself??? Why???
“I’m not even going to ask, why the hell Skywalker is here alone?! Where is Michael?” Ash asked, his manner impatient and surly.
“I made the call to only lock on to him.” Lorca explained in the situation room. “to saye Burnham’s life. I didn’t want this guy left there with her.”
“The Captain is right,” Katrina said calmly. “He could have done anything to her as soon as they both arrived here. Let’s question him, then go and get her out of there.”
But Ash stared at Lorca. For whatever reason, he did not believe Lorca’s reasoning. He believed, for some reason, that Lorca did not want Burnham back in this universe. He for damned sure didn’t want her back on Discovery, which is why this all happened in the first place. If she had been here, it would have been harder for anyone from another dimension to abscond with her.
“Let’s get him in here.” Lorca said, nodding to two guards. They left the room to go and get Anakin Skywalker. Sarek spoke.
“The man we are about to meet is a younger version of an evil being. It would be prudent not to mention what we know about his older self.”
“Agreed. Let’s just stick to the breach and Michael Burnham.” she said, just as the guards returned with a calm looking guy that really looked more like a teenaged boy. He wore a brown cloak and looked wilted from the Agonizer. There were also handprints around his throat.
“Why am I here? Who are you?” Anakin asked.
“We’ll be asking the questions around here,” Lorca said in a wry tone, “and your buddy, Mr. Antilles, told us about you.”
“You’re lying. Wedge would never…”
“It was coerced out of his mind,” Ash interrupted, “and we know you are attempting to assassinate all versions of Michael Burnham. We’re not about to let that happen.”
Sarek rose from his chair.
“Do you know where all of the different universal portals are?” he asked. Anakin smiled.
“We’re never going to stop trying to kill as many versions of her as we can. I managed to eliminate one that tried to seek help in the Terran Universe.”
Ash flinched at those words and Katrina and Sarek exchanged glances.
“I’m sure you think you won’t stop trying.” Lorca told him. “But we’re here to tell you that unless you stop all of this ‘alternate universal’ travel, some unexpected things will happen. Things that you didn’t count on.”
“What will happen is that every universe will be safe from an evil that surpasses anything you’ve seen in that Terran Universe.” Anakin said calmly. “And the only reason the new Emperor or even Palpatine, were able to get a foothold into any of them, was because of Michael Burnham. It won’t be long before Emperor Vader invades this universe.”
“Hmmm.” Lorca said. “Why don’t you tell us a little but more about Emperor Vader? What is known about him?”
Sarek gave Lorca a disapproving look.
“I think you should sent the prisoner back to his cell.” he said. “Then, Captain, we should talk. Alone.”
“He can go back to his cell for ten minutes. Then I want him brought back up here, where he will tell us what we want to know or else.” Lorca said, standing up and excusing himself. He returned to his quarters, made sure the door was locked before pulling out Michael’s tricorder diary again. He planned to listen to the whole thing before bringing her back to this universe and onto this ship. Hopefully, he could keep himself from seeking her bed. Or wanting to.
And with those thoughts, Captain Lorca turned on the tricorder diary again to listen to Michael’s innermost, personal thoughts about him, yet again. For at least ten minutes.
“It was almost as if Emperor Lorca’s shaft had grown two more inches since the last time…he was patient as I struggled to take all of him in…
Captain Lorca stopped the tricorder at those words, because his ten minutes were up. And so were Anakin Skywalker’s. He rubbed the back of his neck in frustration, not only at Michael Burnham’s words on the tricorder, but the situation itself was at a standstill, if the truth be told. They were no closer to identifying or closing any of the universal breeches, that had gotten them into this situation in the first place.
It was as Lorca placed the machine on a shelf, that he sensed a presence in his quarters! He turned suddenly to find himself face to face with another version of himself! One that he recognized instantly.
“That was me she was talking about on the tricorder,” Terran Lorca grinned, “and I am flattered as hell. I’m also sad that you’re shut away in here…doing God knows what to the sound of her voice.”
Before Captain Lorca could think to respond, Terran Lorca pulled out his phaser and killed the real Gabriel Lorca, Captain of the Discovery. The doors to the room opened and Terran Miles O’Brien entered as well.
“Is it done?” O’Brien asked.
“I could ask you the same thing.” Terran Lorca asked. “Did you reset the controls so this ship self destructs?”
“We have ten minutes to get out of here, use the portal and get back to the palace ship.” O’Brien advised, just as someone else transported into the room.
Gul Dukat. Ordinarily, Lorca would not have considered working with another species, but he had been away too long. Archer needed to disappear off of the throne and out of Michael’s bed. And it had taken cunning, determination and compromise, to come out of hiding with an army that was ready to defeat Archer and his alliance with the Empire.
“I have ships ready to destroy the palace ship, once Emperor Vader is aboard.” Gul Dukat reminded him. Hopefully this alliance would put him back in favor with his superiors, who he had displeased in the distant past.
Lorca rubbed his throat briefly before responding.
“I just need to take care of something here. Then we can begin the invasion.” Lorca told him. O’Brien said nothing but he didn’t like this. He didn’t mind the killing, but a deal had been put in place. One that gave the Cardassians another group of people to lord over—Vulcans. O’Brien didn’t quite know how Gul Dukat planned to pull THAT off, but he had overheard Lorca telling that goddamned Cardassian, that Michael Burnham would help them. All because she had been raised by them.
O’Brien didn’t know or care if that was true or not. What he didn’t want was to cross this Dukat and anyone else that might not take too kindly to that lie. If it was one. He thought about his wife, Keiko, who was still on the palace ship and swearing allegiance to Archer. She was primed and ready to play her part when the time came. Keiko and others. O’Brien pulled himself out of his own thoughts and concentrated on the conversation taking place between Lorca and Gul Dukat.
“There is nothing else to ‘take care of’, ‘Emperor’, if the ship is about to self destruct. The point is to give Michael Burnham no place to come back to, so she can help us enslave the Vulcans.”
Lorca bit his tongue. He thought the Cardassians were…well… not stupid but short sighted, which was why it had been relatively easy to convince them that they could actually enslave Vulcans! No one with half a brain cell in their head, thought that was possible! But not the Cardassians. The Bajorans weren’t enough for them and now they had great plans for both races of slaves. Plans that they thought could enrich their empire. Lorca didn’t much care what they did, as long as they could defeat Emperor Vader and his massive army.
“You’re forgetting the assassin that keeps popping up to kill different versions of my wife. We can’t take the chance that he gets his hands on her. Because then your plans for the Vulcans go kaput.” Lorca said drolly.
“Fine. Take care of him and then be ready to resume your place on the throne, Emperor Lorca.” Dukat told him. Lorca smiled.
“I’ve been ready.” was his answer.
Alarms went off, as it became clear that the ship was scheduled to self destruct in ten minutes, Captain Lorca was missing and that several intruders had beamed aboard the ship! Katrina couldn’t believe what she was hearing! Intruders had beamed aboard a ship that was about to explode? Why?
Ash/Voq, Mr. Saru and Sarek joined Katrina in the situation room…
“We have less then ten minutes, “ Ash said, “and it is looking more and more as if Captain Lorca did this and then beamed off of the ship.”
Sarek shook his head.
“Something about that explanation does not feel right. He is gone and yet three intruders that have yet to be found, are here?”
Ash’s lips tightened. No, that did not make a lot of sense.
“How is engineering doing on the override?” he asked Katrina.
“Someone knew what they were doing. There is no overriding the self destruct sequence. We’re starting the evacuations now. You should both get to a ship.” she advised them, just as the door opened and Terran Lorca walked in. Katrina frowned at him.
“Gabriel? Why are you out of uniform?”
“Why are you here?” Ash asked. “You should be leading the evacuations.”
But Saru correctly surmised the situation. Captain Lorca had not transported away from the danger…
“He is not our captain.” he said quietly. Katrina half gasped and peered at him, while Ash realized just who he WAS looking at.
Terran Lorca grinned at them!
“It’s nice to see all of you again too, believe it or not. Sorry that you’re going to die though. I can’t have anymore interference in my plans.”
“For Michael?” Ash asked, his tone slightly bitter. Lorca tilted his head towards him.
“Come on, Lieutenant. That dream has passed. You should find a nice Klingon girl and stop coveting my wife.”
“She is not your wife.” Sarek said calmly. “Not really. Where is Captain Lorca?”
“The one that belongs here? Oh he’s dead. I caught him listening to my wife’s private thoughts on her tricorder diary. Private thoughts about me.” he said, his eyes now locking with Katrina’s.
“Spare the crew and I will leave the ship with you as your prisoner.” Katrina told him.
“It’s a little late for that. I just need to know that the assassin that keeps killing every version of my wife, is secure. I’m taking him with me.” Terran Lorca told them.
“Do you really think Michael will forgive you once she finds out you blew all of us up?” Ash asked skeptically. “Then again, you don’t care about that, do you?”
Before Lorca could answer, Sarek spoke.
“You can kill us, but I think you will find that Emperor Archer has a claim on my daughter’s heart as well.” Sarek said. Terran Lorca ignored that and looked at Mr. Saru.
“I am willing to take whoever will swear allegiance to me, off of this ship.” he told him.
Mr. Saru just shook his head.
“Then I wish you all luck on your evacuation. Where is the assassin?” Lorca asked, just as Gul Dukat and O’Brien entered the room with Anakin Skywalker. Lorca nodded, then looked back at the others.
“You drugged him?”
“It was something that would last for ten minutes until he could be interrogated again.” Mr. Saru allowed.
“Good thinking, considering what these Jedi can do.” Lorca noted.
“Your ‘wife’ is one.” Katrina reminded him. Gul Dukat eyed Sarek with interest before answering.
“Even better.” Gul Dukat answered. “We will also be taking the Vulcan with us.”
If Sarek looked surprised or confused, he gave no indication of it.
Another Lady-In-Waiting was assigned to Michael, as she prepared for the ‘dinner’ with Emperor Vader. She tried not to think of Lord Lorca and what was being done to him. He probably wasn’t even still alive.
But there was another part of Michael that knew that Lord Gabriel Lorca could think on his feet. And he had spent time building a relationship with Vader. Maybe he had convinced the Sith Lord that he could still be of some use…
Michael felt Keiko struggling to pull the gold, strapless dress up over her breasts and felt uncomfortable with the whole ordeal. Clearly, the dress didn’t fit. She gently pulled away from her.
“Keiko, is it? I can finish this myself. Thank you.”
Keiko didn’t quite know how to respond. It was important not to allow Michael Burnham to be at that dinner tonight! The massacre would take place in the dining hall and the Emperor Lorca was unsure of just how skilled his wife was, in her abilities. She could be killed and there would be hell to pay if that happened. She briefly thought of her husband, Miles, and hoped everything was going according to plan.
“I need to make sure you have proper jewelry.”
“I can find my own jewelry. But thank you.” Michael said dismissively, watching as Keiko reluctantly left her quarters, but not really thinking anything of it. Clearly everyone feared Jonathan, which made him no better than Terran Lorca or even Georgiou. Meanwhile, Keiko left Michael and ran into another conspirator in the hallway.
“You were told not to leave her side.” he reminded her.
“She dismissed me. And she doesn’t seem to want any help. If I force my presence on her, the ‘Fake Emperor’ could punish me.” she complained softly.
“This is almost over. I’ll deal with Michael Burnham. Make yourself scarce. If word reaches Archer that you are not attending to his wife, then he’ll assume she’s ready for the dinner and come and find her. He needs to be in that dining hall tonight.” Thomas told her. Keiko nodded and hurried down a seldom used passage way, while Thomas took it upon himself to enter Michael’s quarters. He raised a brow as he spied Michael, taking off the dress and flinging on to a nearby chaise. Naked, she walked over to her closet and sighed, looking through clothing pieces that seemed to be for another woman in another life. Sensing that Keiko had returned, she began talking, while Thomas leaned against a pillar, with his arms folded, smiling.
“Keiko, maybe I could use your help. I just don’t think the gold is me. I’ll put on whatever you think I should wear in this closet.”
“I think you should wear what you have on now.” Thomas grinned and Michael slowly turned around to see some darkly bearded stranger in her room! She couldn’t even think to scream! She just waved her hand and Mr. Riker flew away from the pillar and against a wall! Michael watched him slowly get up and say ‘ow’, before pulling himself upright.
“If you don’t want to go flying into another wall, you’ll tell me who you are—right this instant!” Michael snapped, knowing that no trusted member of Jonathan’s regime would dare come in here like this!
Thomas said one more ‘ow’, before bowing, then returning to full height.
“I’m Commander Thomas Riker. I am in charge of the Emperor’s army.” he said, his eyes sliding over her naked form. Michael noted this and looked around for something to put on. A silver robe that was nearby, was her best option and she put it on, while still glaring at the ‘Commander’.
“Get out of here and I will think about not telling my husband about this.”
But Thomas didn’t leave. Instead, he began looking around until he found a set of drawers. He walked over and opened a middle one. Inside, he found the drug he needed. He pulled it out of it’s hiding place and then enclosed it surreptitiously within his hand, before turning back to her.
Michael didn’t think she had heard him right.
“Excuse me?” she said, readying herself to fling him away from her again.
“We are leaving, Michael Burnham. You have a greater purpose in another time. And I need for you to come with me. It would be nice if you were willing. But if not…”
Michael flung him against a pillar, just as Odo and two other men, hurried in and grabbed Riker up! Odo peered at Riker, before turning to Michael.
“Are you alright, Your Highness?”
“Do you care, Mr. Odo?” was Michael’s sarcastic reply, just as Jonathan hurried in.
“Riker? What is the meaning of this? Keiko said that you had broken in here and tried to assault my wife??? Tell me she’s lying!”
“She’s lying.” Thomas said simply, before being dragged off to the Agonizers. Odo waited for more direction from Emperor Archer but instead what he received was a tongue lashing!
“YOU brought him here, Mr. Odo. I want an explanation from you!” Jonathan snapped.
“And I will get it, through torture. I am just as appalled as you are by what happened—though I am still unsure of what actually took place.” Odo said, giving Michael a meaningful look. Michael did not return it. She looked at Jonathan.
“I need to speak to you. Alone.”
Jonathan nodded and turned to Odo.
“Leave us and make sure Riker is dealt with.” he told him coldly. Odo bowed before leaving. Michael waited until he was gone to speak.
“Something is going on here. Your Mr. Riker had plans to take me someplace else. I think to another universe. Your people here, are not loyal. I want to go down and find out what your Commander wanted.
Jonathan placed both hands on her shoulders.
“Not now. Let Odo…”
“Jonathan! Do you really trust him at this point to get any answers?! For all you know this is some kind of plot against you! Something is going on here and I think you need to cancel the dinner with Emperor Vader and find out!”
“And you know that I cannot ‘cancel’ plans with Vader. I will have my people look into what is happening here. But I cannot look as if I cannot handle this regime, Michael. Not in front of Vader.”
Michael said nothing to that and pulled out of his hold, turning away from him. She didn’t agree with the decision and honestly now wondered if Emperor Vader had had a hand in what Commander Riker had been planning? Vader would just love to see her disappear someplace.
Jonathan closed the short distance between them and kissed the back of her neck.
“I know you think I’m wrong here but I am not a fool.” he said, turning her around to face him. “I will have Mr. Worf and Seven of Nine look into this. But right now, we have to make sure that Emperor Vader approves of a new bride I found for him. You met Kira, didn’t you?”
Michael nodded but said nothing.
“I take it from your silence you don’t approve?” Jonathan asked sardonically.
“I think that what she is doing could backfire. Does he specifically know he’s coming here to take another bride? Or does he still think he’s leaving here with Seven of Nine somehow?”
“I told him of Kira’s interest. I have every reason to believe that Vader will forget Seven of Nine once he meets Kira.”
Michael said nothing and began to turn away but Jonathan firmly kept a hold on her shoulders, so she was still facing him.
“What? What is it?”
“Jonathan,” Michael said quietly, dropping the formalities, “I just don’t like this business of ‘giving’ Vader a bride. And he has nothing to offer any woman but misery.”
“Major Kira wants to do this.”
“I know she does. So that she can fight the Cardassians. I just think what she’s doing is sad and desperate. I would rather just interrogate your commander and not be a party to this ‘slave trade’.”
“Slave trade? Seriously, Michael, that’s what you think I’m doing?”
“I think Emperor Vader should be told to find his own women.” Michael groused. Jonathan’s hands dropped from her shoulders down to her middle.
“By whom? You? Are you going to tell him to ‘find his own women’?”
“Well then you just HAVE to be at the dinner tonight then, Empress Michael, because I will be waiting with baited breath for you to tell him that to his mask.” Jonathan grinned, kissing her quickly, before leaving her to finish getting ready. Michael stared at the closed doors to her quarters, before sinking into a nearby chair.
Terran Lorca, O’Brien, Sarek, an unconscious Anakin Skywalker and Gul Dukat, beamed onto the ship into Keiko and Miles’s quarters. Keiko hugged Miles with relief, before letting him go and facing Lorca and Dukat. Anakin was dumped to the floor.
“Thomas is in the Agonizers. He tried to keep the Empress from being in the dining hall and was discovered by Mr. Odo.”
“Then we have little time,” O’Brien said, “if Odo is suspicious.”
Lorca looked at O’Brien.
“You said he’s a shape shifter, right? Kill him and get Riker out of there. I’ll need him to take charge of the dining hall. Is Emperor Vader here?”
Keiko nodded. Lorca looked over at Dukat.
“Then it’s show time.”
“My men know what to do.” he said, leaving the quarters in a stealth manner. Keiko eyed Sarek, who said nothing. He just looked around with mild curiosity. Keiko pulled her husband aside.
“I thought you were going to try and convince the Emperor to not use Vulcans! I don’t like this part of the plan, Miles!” she hissed.
“You know you can’t tell Emperor Lorca anything he doesn’t want to hear! And he’s not the one that’s going to use them, that Cardassian is the one that thinks he can do it. I don’t like it either but we’re almost home here, darlin’. I’m going to get Thomas out.”
Keiko grabbed his arm, which Lorca noticed.
“Keiko? Have you told us everything?” Lorca asked in a prodding manner. He knew Keiko was not the treacherous type and that it had taken a lot of prodding from O’Brien to carry out this part of the plan. But what Keiko lacked in cunning, she made up for with loyalty to Lorca.
“I had to tell Archer that Thomas was up to something with the Empress, in order to cover myself. The only thing is, I think he was. Really up to something.” Keiko said.
O’Brien frowned and looked at Lorca, who set his jaw.
“Get Riker out of the Agonizer and then meet us in the dining hall.” Lorca said and moved to leave. O’Brien moved so that he was in front of him.
“When I free him, then what?”
“Then I’ll deal with whatever he might have been up to.” Lorca said grimly, before leaving the room first. O’Brien kissed his wife, then left as well. Keiko picked up a pillow and held it tightly to her chest, looking down at the still unconscious Jedi. Soon, either Emperor Archer would learn of her treachery and she, along with everyone else that tried to put Gabriel Lorca back on his throne, would be executed, or things would go back to the way they should be.
Emperor Archer was not pleased.
Michael was not by his side and he just knew she was trying to see Riker! There was a part of him that was seething at her outright refusal to do what he asked.
But there was also a part of him that remembered who Michael Burnham was. And he could not help but wonder if he should have just canceled this dinner and concentrated on the plot at hand? If there really was one? He rubbed the back of his neck with irritation, just as the chefs brought in a long tray full of food. In the middle of it, Major Kira Nerys sat naked, her small breasts pert and gleaming as she was carried towards Emperor Vader, who’s breathing was steady as he eyed her from under his mask.
“I must say, Emperor, this is quite a display.” Vader hissed.
Jonathan cleared his throat. This ‘display’ clearly had been Kira’s idea. He had no intention of eating any food that had been on the tray she had sat on. He was now happy Michael was NOT here! Seven of Nine was not present either…
The chefs lowered the tray onto the long, banquet table and Kira was helped off of the tray, fully naked as she stood in front of Emperor Vader’s tray. Jonathan was not one to shy away from nudity, but he honestly did not know where to look! He averted his eyes as she introduced herself to Vader…just as Odo walked in and grunted at the sight! Jonathan could not tell with Odo if it was a good grunt or a bad one. Then again, one never knew that with the shape shifter anyway.
“Your Highness,” Odo said, luring Jonathan away from the table, “we have intruders. Mr. Worf and Seven of Nine are dealing with it, but it is imperative that you leave with Emperor Vader. For safety’s sake!” he hissed.
“What has Riker done?” Jonathan asked, just as the banquet doors opened and an army of Cardassians hurried in, firing phasers! Emperor Vader, who’s leather glove had just finished squeezing Kira’s left breast, pulled away and deftly deflected every single shot away from himself and Kira! Odo pulled Kira underneath the table, not quite knowing how to feel about protecting her naked form, while Jonathan found himself staring at the Cardassian leader, Gul Dukat.
“Emperor Jonathan Archer. The False Emperor. I have been asked not to allow you to surrender, nor exhibit any mercy with regards to you.” Dukat told him. Jonathan, who’s hands were up in surrender, looked around Dukat and saw none other than Gabriel Lorca enter, along with other traitors…one of them he recognized as one of his chief engineers.
“What is the meaning of this?” Vader asked.
“The meaning is…” Lorca began just as Vader held up a hand to choke the life out of him! What had Archer allowed to happen here? And during dinner at that?
Another Cardassian brought in Seven of Nine roughly and tore her Terran uniform off of her! She writhed as Odo and Kira came up from under the table. Dukat spoke.
“I will kill both of your women, if you do not release Emperor Lorca.” Dukat told Vader. Vader did so, not because he was even the least bit intimidated. But he had made his choice and now seeing Seven of Nine, naked in her glory, made him want her all the more—and over Major Kira, unfortunately.
Lorca rubbed his throat, before pulling out his phaser and killing Jonathan Archer! Kira whimpered and Seven of Nine gaped, as he dropped to the ground. A howl came from Worf, who had just entered the banquet hall! Lorca turned and fired upon him but missed, allowing Worf to escape! Dukat shot Odo and he melted into some kind of goo, just as O’Brien came in and told Lorca that Commander Riker AND Michael Burnham were both missing.
Michael awoke with a start, disoriented and confused by her surroundings. She looked around and quickly ascertained she was on a ship, in someone’s quarters. Michael took a few deep breaths as she struggled to remember what had happened before she awoke just now.
She had been on the Terran palace ship and had snuck down to the torture chamber where the Agonizers were stored. But she found no one in any of them. She saw no guards and then…
Now she was awake and on a ship that was not the palace ship. The door slid open and a woman walked in. A woman with dark hair and a severe looking manner.
“Good,” she said crisply, “you’re awake. I’m Kathryn Janeway, Captain of Voyager.”
Michael eyed her.
“Voyager? Okay, I can see by your uniform that it is some sort of Federation issue,” Michael said, now standing up, “but how did I get here from the Terran ship?”
Janeway folded her arms.
“You were brought here by Commander Riker.”
“Ah, yes. Well you might as well tell me what it is you want from me, before I leave here.”
“I know that you have the ability to escape. But leaving will be impossible.” Janeway told her.
“Not if I force you to send a communication to the Emperor.” Michael disputed.
“That’s what I mean, Michael. You won’t be able to because you’re not in that universe any longer. Or that time.” Janeway said softly.
Michael’s eyes widened and she shoved past Janeway and out of room, only to find two guards pointing phasers at her! Michael used her abilities to yank the phasers out of their hands and into hers, before holding one on the guards, and one on Janeway.
“I think you need to explain what exactly is going on here.” Michael said with a calm she did not feel. Another door slid back and Riker emerged, wearing a grim expression. Janeway put an end to the stand off.
“Michael, there is no need for any of that. Thomas and I will explain everything. In the situation room.” she told her. Michael handed both phasers to her, glared at Riker and followed after Janeway. Riker walked over to the guards.
“See that our other prisoner is comfortable.” he told them.
Meanwhile, Michael sat in a chair and looked over her surroundings. This ship looked…well…futuristic. How far into the future had Thomas Riker kidnapped her to? And why? He had said something to her on the palace ship before Jonathan and Odo had come in. Something about taking her someplace. Michael gave him a dirty look as he entered and sat down next to Janeway.
Janeway was about to speak when someone else entered the room. Another man, who smiled at Michael before sitting down next to Riker. Michael smiled back, unable to ignore his attractiveness…
“Michael, this is Dr. Julian Bashir. He can explain what we want to do, a little better than we can.”
Riker raised a brow at those words. HE could explain what they wanted to do here, quite well, but he deferred to Kathryn.
“What you want to do?” Michael repeated. “First of all, what year am I in?”
“It is 2372.” Riker answered with a wink. Michael did not return the sentiment and tried to hide her growing horror…
“I am over a hundred years in the future? No thanks to HIM!” Michael snapped, glaring at Riker. Dr. Bashir leaned forward.
“Michael, I know this is a shock. But you are essentially, the only way we can close the portals. We are all here because your parents left one universe, to live in another, thus opening up the floodgates. Therefore it stands to reason, that you are the only way to close them.” Julian stated.
Michael raised a brow.
“I understand that. I have always understood that, to some degree. But the ‘how’ has escaped everyone on this point. That and the same love triangle plays out no matter what universe or future I am in.”
“You won’t find Archer or Lorca here.” Riker said firmly.
“Which is a good first step to closing the portals. By removing you from the time you belong in, the portals are shrinking, but not closing completely.” Janeway said. Michael leaned forward.
“Okay. Fine. Tell me what I have to do to seal them and go back home?” Michael asked, almost feeling relief that this never ending drama of lust, love, betrayal and confusion, would end for her.
“You have to have a child. By someone that is not Lorca or Archer.” Julian said gently. Janeway coughed, looking embarrassed and Riker just grinned at her! Michael slowly stood up.
“Your calculations are incorrect, I’m sure. That actually sounds patently ridiculous!” Michael scoffed.
“Why?” Riker asked, leaning back in his chair. “Because you can’t see yourself sleeping with any other men besides Archer or Lorca?”
Michael looked at Riker and concentrated, closing his windpipe! Riker leaned forward, gasping for air and Janeway tried to help him, before glaring at Michael!
“Enough! Release him!” Janeway ordered her. Michael slowly…very slowly, released Riker from her dark force grip, then sat down. Julian took in the display with much interest. Her Sith powers were quite formidable. Against enemies, and Michael Burnham needed to understand that Thomas Riker was not the enemy here.
Riker stared at her the same way all versions of Lorca and Archer stared at her, and Michael gritted her teeth! The colossal nerve of this man to think that after abducting her to another time, she would consider even looking his way! She ignored him and Janeway spoke again.
“Michael, just think about what we’ve told you.”
“I’ve thought about it and the answer is ‘no’. Now you might want to find a way to send me back to the time I belong in, otherwise, ALL of you might have a hard time breathing!” she snapped. Dr. Bashir responded.
“Michael, you were not the only one transported here. The Klingon that was known to Emperor Archer, accidentally got caught up in the time transfer. We have detained him. Maybe seeing a familiar face might help calm you a bit.”
Klingon? Worf? Michael barely knew him, so no, seeing him would not calm her. But he was trapped here, just like she was. He had to be wondering what happened and what was going on.
“Fine,” Michael answered, “would you show me where you’re keeping him, Dr. Bashir?”
“Of course.” Julian said and he stood up. They both left the situation room and once the doors closed, Janeway eyed Riker.
“Are you alright? Really?”
“In just the brief time I have been associated with this woman, I have been thrown against walls and choked. What is she going to think when she finds out that she has to have a baby by me?” Riker asked in a tone, that oddly, sounded worry free.
“Michael Burnham is a logical woman, no thanks to the Vulcans that raised her. She wants there portals closed just as much as we all do. We’ll just hold off on telling her that part just yet…since she seems so ‘fond’ of you.” Janeway said with a smile.
Riker still rubbed his throat.
“We got off to a bad start, that’s all.”
“Well, maybe she won’t be against it if we just inseminate her surgically. It’s impersonal and Michael won’t actually think that she was with you.”
Thomas Riker grinned at Janeway, then wagged a finger.
“No. This will be done the good, ole fashion way.”
“Thomas! She hates your guts!”
“She just thinks that she does. Vulcans, even humans that were raised as one, have the tendency to overthink things. Women like me. Michael just doesn’t realize that she does.”
Janeway lifted a brow.
“Or she really doesn’t.” she said wryly. “I think we ought to opt for a surgical option, with regards to this child.”
Worf was in a cell that detained him by way of a force field. He gave Michael a grim look when Dr. Bashir entered with her.
“I will leave the two of you alone to talk.” Julian said, before walking out. Michael saw no other security officer around but knew that they were probably being watched and recorded.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Worf. I’m sorry that you’ve gotten caught up in all of this.” was all Michael could say.
“I am not. I swore to protect you as the Empress of the Terran Empire. Emperor Jonathan Archer’s empire. He was a proud warrior. I was honored to know him.” Worf told her. Michael backed back a bit.
“Why are you speaking about Jonathan in the past tense? Something happened at that dinner with Vader, didn’t it?” Michael asked, her throat feeling dry.
“Yes,” Worf said bluntly, “it was a trap of some sort. Commander Riker was not who we thought he was and I did not have time to investigate the extent of his treachery. The former Emperor returned and assassinated Emperor Archer.”
Michael stared at him for a moment, trying to comprehend his words.
“The ‘former’ Emperor? You mean Emperor Lorca?”
“That is correct. I do not know where the coward was hiding this whole time, but he returned with an army of traitors and Cardassians.”
“Cardassians?” Michael asked in confusion, now thinking of Kira.
“Yes, which shows Lorca’s desperation to get back on that throne. Emperor Archer was changing things…changing the Terran ways. He just needed time…and fewer distractions.” Worf said, looking her in the eye.
“Meaning me?” Michael asked, but she wasn’t offended. For Worf was telling the truth.
“I sense I have not offended you.”
“No. But what was going on between the two Emperors and myself, happened in every universe. I couldn’t find a way to end it. No one could. Until now…supposedly.” Michael sighed, trying not to think of Jonathan. Why couldn’t Lorca just keep him prisoner or put him through the Agonizers or…
Just not kill him. This had to end. She could not go through caring for two men that just happened to be Gabriel Lorca and Jonathan Archer, in other universes. She just could not.
“What do you mean by that? Until now?” Worf asked suspiciously.
“I was told by the Captain of this vessel, that in order to close the universes, I have to have have a child by someone who is not Gabriel Lorca or Jonathan Archer.”
Worf raised a brow.
“That is patently ridiculous.”
“Thank you! That’s what I thought too!” Michael sniffed. “If for no other reason, but the fact that I don’t see what I have to be the one to make such a sacrifice? Any version of Lorca or Jonathan could impregnate a woman that is NOT me and that would end things as well!”
“Well,” Worf said, playing devil’s advocate, “you are the one that had parents from another universe. Maybe you are the key to this in someway? I suppose they have chosen the man for you to procreate with?”
“No. Not that I know of. But I’m suspicious of that Riker. If it’s him I’m not doing it.”
“We need to find a way to escape this ship and this universe. For all we know about this ship, it could be one that engages in a slave trade. A Klingon such as myself and a human woman that knows the ways of the Sith, could be very valuable.” Worf cautioned.
Oh God, Michael thought. She’d rather have a baby than end up a slave!
“Okay. Let me see if I can find out what these people may really want. I’ll see if I can get you released from here as well. But you’ll have to pretend to cooperate.” she warned him.
“I will do no such thing!” Worf scoffed. “For if I see Riker again I will kill him to avenge Emperor Archer! You should be doing the same!”
Frankly, she didn’t appreciate this Klingon telling her what she should, or should not be doing! Her thoughts flitted to Ash and the time he had tried to kill her, as Voq. She hated to be speciest, but she had yet to meet a Klingon, especially a male one, that didn’t have attitude. It was just as she was thinking those negative thoughts, that Riker stepped into the detention quarters.
“I thought you could use a tour of the ship.” Riker said, ignoring Worf. But the proud Klingon would not be disregarded so easily.
“You will die by my hand for what you did to Emperor Archer.” Worf said calmly. Riker dragged his eyes off of Michael and looked at Worf.
“I had no part in that.” he replied. Michael gave him a dirty look!
“Keiko and you tried to keep me from going to that dinner. You knew what was going to be done. You knew what Gabriel Lorca was up to. How could you?”
“How could I what, Michael? Make sure you weren’t killed?” Riker responded coolly.
“Jonathan didn’t deserve that. He didn’t deserve to be killed! You should have tried to help him!”
“I didn’t want to.” was Riker’s answer. Michael concentrated and began to choke him again! Riker fell back against the wall as Worf nodded approvingly! It pleased him that the Empress was thinking clearly now! Avenging her husband was all that mattered!
Riker managed to hit his insignia and rasped for help from Security! He couldn’t believe Michael was trying to kill him—again! How would they ever create a child when she was so sensitive and touchy? Two Security officers rushed in and Michael released her hold on Riker to back away. Riker clutched his throat and then noticed something about Michael…
“Stay back!” he managed to yell out. The officers saw immediately what Commander Riker was talking about and a confused Worf saw it, as soon as Michael turned to him. Pustules had broken out on Michael’s face and were in all likelihood, all over her body. Pustules that were a sign of ‘Time Pox’, and illness that was a cousin to Chicken Pox, but only occurred during the rare occurrence of someone traveling between two time periods—something Michael Burnham had definitely done.
Michael saw that her hands were breaking out and she suddenly felt weak. The floor was a welcome spot for her, as she slid down there and let darkness overtake her.
Dr. Bashir and a medical assistant, checked Michael’s vitals as Janeway joined Riker a few feet away…
“Time is of the essence here,” Janeway said in a low tone, “anyone could come after her with those portals still opened.”
“I realize that, better than anyone. But I’m beginning to think that we’re going to have no choice but to surgically inseminate her.” Riker said, biting back his disappointment at not being able to create a child the way HE wanted to.
“Well we have another problem: because Michael probably won’t cooperate, we’re going to have to lie about all of this. I say we impregnate her once Julian cures her of the time pox. We send her back to her own time and she will in all likelihood, think that the father of this child is either Gabriel Lorca or Jonathan Archer. Then we get someone to bring the child back here once he or she is born.”
Riker nodded. The plan was for him to raise his own child, within Starleet.
“Who were you thinking?” Riker asked.
“Garrick.” Janeway said. “Everyone knows he was part of the Obsidian Order and he is a relatively competent spy. We send him with her…”
“Okay,” Riker interrupted, “not that I’m doubting Garrick necessarily, but Michael will never trust someone that she knows is from here. I was thinking Worf.”
Janeway’s eyes widened!
“The Klingon? I don’t think that’s wise, considering her past with them.”
“Yes but his loyalty to her only exists because of Jonathan Archer. I think he will do as we ask, if for no other reason, to protect the honor of the fallen Emperor.” Riker said coolly. Janeway took a deep breath.
“Let me think about how we’re going to sell this to him. He’s not stupid.” Janeway reminded Riker, just as Michael began to wake up. Dr. Bashir joined them.
“I’m going to remove the pustules from her body but the virus will still be within her at least a day. This area will have to be quarantined.”
“Fine. Keep me updated.” Janeway said and walked out of the medical bay. Riker smiled laviciously at Michael, which earned him an eyeroll in response, before he left as well. Dr. Bashir took over from his assistant.
“How are you feeling?” he asked.
“Lousy. I cannot believe I have time pox.”
“You’ll be fine. And you won’t have it for long.”
“Dr. Bashir, I cannot stay here. There has to be some other way to close the portals than what was suggested.” Michael said firmly.
“I want you to rest now, Michael. We can discuss all of that when you’re better.” he said and moved to another part of the room to confer with his assistant. Michael clenched her jaw. Dr. Bashir’s response just now was not good. Not good at all.
SIX WEEKS LATER
Michael Burnham was returned to her own universe, blissfully unaware that she had been inseminated with Commander Thomas Riker’s child, during a surgical procedure that Dr. Bashir performed, supposedly to keep her Time Pox from returning. Michael was none the wiser, but she would be, any moment now…
She began putting on her Starfleet uniform. But she was not readying herself to begin her day on a Federation ship.
She was getting ready for a Federation hearing. Michael stood before her floor length mirror in her room on Vulcan, in Sarek and Amanda’s compound. Oddly, the hearing would take place on a planet called Risa, which was known for it’s fun in the sun and relaxing atmosphere. It seemed inconceivable that hearings that would speak of horrible things and tragedies, would be discussed there.
And unfortunately, Michael was the star witness. Sarek had to pull a lot of strings to make sure that she was seen as a victim and not the instigator of all that had happened in the Terran and Infinite Universes. Sarek himself was lucky to be home at all. He would be testifying as well, telling a panel and audience, about how Terran Emperor Lorca sent him back here in a rage, defying his agreement with Cardassians, after Michael seemingly disappeared.
Michael looked away from her mirror and over at her closet door. The last time she was in this room, Lord Lorca from the Infinite Universe had come out of that closet, via a portal and took her to another world. She looked away from the closet door, just as Amanda knocked, then entered. She appraised her daughter worriedly.
“Are you almost ready? Your father and Mr. Worf are making sure the ship is ready.”
Michael nodded, then turned away from the mirror to face her.
“How do I look? Like I’m ready to tell members of the Federation that I was married to two Emperors?”
Amanda stepped inside the room and closed the door.
“Honey, they won’t be interested in hearing any details of your relationships with those men. Those were forced. And if they try and pry, that is what you tell them. That you did what you had to do to survive.”
Michael nodded and Amanda decided to carefully broach another topic…
“It’s unfortunate that Mr. Worf was unable to return to his own universe.”
Michael nodded and sat down on her bed.
“Yes. He’s joining the Enterprise. I think he’ll like life better here than in the Terran Universe.”
“Has he said that?” Amanda asked.
“Has he said what?”
“That he likes life better here than where he’s from?”
Now Michael looked at her mother curiously
“No. Mother, I know that it’s been odd having him here at the compound…”
Amanda sat down next to her and reached for her hands.
“Honey, I just think it’s weird that he’s so obsessed with sticking close to you.”
Michael gave her mother a strange look.
“Worf is not ‘obsessed’ with me. I think it’s odd that you would think that.”
“Then why is he still here, Michael? He’s not here at the compound because he has no other place to go. He’s here to watch you. And that is what he is doing: watching you. Your father thinks there is nothing to my worries, but I just have a feeling about him.”
“Mother, Worf and Jonathan were very close. Jonathan loved me and he just wants to see that I am properly looked after. That is all. And I’m sure once the hearings are over, he’ll make a life for himself in Starfleet.”
Amanda said nothing and Michael realized that her mother was truly not convinced about what she had just said about Worf. Before she could question her any further, Amanda said something else.
“He and Ash have become good friends.” she noted.
Yes, Michael thought, she had noticed, but thought nothing of that really. Ash was still struggling trying to combine himself and Voq, a Klingon, within his body and soul. It seemed natural that he and Worf would bond.
“I like Ash.” Amanda said.
“I like him too.” Michael said, now standing up again. She didn’t really want to talk about Ash right now. What they had had, briefly, seemed so long ago. Long ago and not something that they could rekindle. She also didn’t understand where her mother was going with this.
Amanda stood up as well.
“I need to know if there is something between this Klingon and yourself? Because your reasoning about Jonathan Archer would make sense, if he were still alive. He isn’t. The two of you bonded because you were thrown into another quadrant, in another time. You should insist that he leave. Sarek should insist on it as well.”
“Am I missing something? Has Worf done something to offend you?”
“Michael, I am just thinking of you! You cannot put any of this behind you if there is such a blatant reminder of this whole ordeal, still within your midst. I like Mr. Worf. He is very gentlemanly but he IS hiding something. Sarek refuses to perform a mind meld upon him and…”
“You asked Father to do that?” Michael asked. “Look, I will heed your warning. I promise.”
Amanda did not like that answer, since it settled nothing. But she told herself that at least the subject had been broached. Michael would either deal with or not.
Worf had already been given a standard Federation uniform, for his rank of a Security Officer aboard the U.S.S., Enterprise. But for the hearing, he was given a more official looking uniform to wear, to appear before his superiors. He was sitting on the transport ship that would take them to Risa. Sarek had just left him to hurry Michael along.
He thought about this. About his having superiors and yet he knew none of them that well.
And yet, THIS world, this universe, was what Emperor Archer had tried to bring to the Terran world. He was still amazed at how many different beings, had a place in Starleet and in this world. And eventually, this would have been the norm if Lorca had not slain the true Emperor.
There was a part of him that wanted to find a way back and kill Lorca himself. And if he went along with what Captain Janeway and Commander Riker had asked of him, then that could be a reality.
But the longer he spent here on Vulcan, and the longer he spent in the company of Ash Tyler, the more he saw that Ash wanted to build something with Michael. And now Worf did not know if he could do as he had been asked. He did not know if he could take Michael’s baby and return it to the universe Janeway and Riker were from.
The assumption had been that all the portals were closed. But that was incorrect. The only one open was the one that would take Michael’s baby back to them. And with each passing day here, Worf found himself thinking…knowing, that he did not have it in him to abduct a child.
And Ash Tyler had become a big reason that Worf’s feelings had changed.
He found Ash’s life fascinating, especially when the Voq, Klingon in him, unwittingly showed itself. He also found Ash’s determination to make a place in Michael’s life, compelling. If Ash were willing to marry Michael, then that child could be raised with Klingon values, but not suffer the stigma of his or hers heritage…something that he discovered was prevailing in this reality. Klingon stigma, that is.
Yet, he had seen nothing from Michael to see that she returned Ash’s feelings. But Worf found that understandable, considering what she had been through. She had been in love with Emperor Archer and their love was constantly interfered with, by that seducer…Gabriel Lorca! On this morning, Worf found himself thinking about the careful choice of his words he would use when asked, with regards to that whole situation, when Ash came on to the transport. Worf stood up.
“Captain Tyler? I did not expect to see you here. I had been told you were already on Risa.” Worf said, taking notice of Ash’s Starfleet uniform.
“I wanted to be here for Michael.”
“It is very clear that you intend on pursuing a relationship with her.” Worf said. “But it seems rather one sided? If I am wrong about that…”
“No. There was a time…a point in the Terran universe, where Voq tried to kill her. I don’t know if she can ever get past that. I am trying to bring both Voq and Ash together…meld them as one. Sarek is helping me with that.” Ash confided.
Worf nodded but sensed that Ash was not just here to talk about his wishes for a relationship with Michael.
“There is something you want to say?” he prodded.
“Yes. There seems to be a bond between yourself and Michael. I need to know if you are the reason I’m getting nowhere with her.”
Worf raised a brow.
“I think you are aware of what the extent of my relationship with her is. Her parents were kind enough to give me a place to stay until I could begin my commission on the Enterprise. That is all.”
Ash folded his arms.
“I like you, Worf. I do. You get what I’m going through, for whatever reason. But, something else is going on here. And I really don’t want to learn about it during the hearing.”
“You’re calling me a liar?”
“No. I just think there is something else that you won’t say. Something about the experience Michael and yourself went through in that time, that was over 100 years into the future.” Ash said.
“There is nothing to tell. We were mistakingly taken there and then returned.”
Ash was about to say more, when Sarek and Michael entered. Michael smiled at Ash and Worf.
“I hope we’re not interrupting?” Michael asked, setting down a travel bag. Sarek said nothing. He was happy that Worf had bonded with Ash. There were things as a Vulcan, that he could not help Ash with. Mr. Worf’s presence here during this time had been most helpful.
“No,” Worf said, “the Lieutenant was just telling me about Risa. It sounds like a strange place to hold such a serious event.”
Michael nodded then wondered if she had nodded too fast, because suddenly, her world was swimming and the ground seemed to be leaving her feet…
Moments later, or maybe hours, Michael awoke in her bed in the compound. She tried to sit up but a smiling Amanda told her to lie back, while an unsmiling Sarek looked at her, then turned and left the room. Worf and Ash were outside in the hallway. The trip had been delayed for a day and Sarek had convinced the panel to put Michael and Worf’s testimony off by a day. That had not went over well and Sarek understood that. A captain had been murdered and the Discovery crew barely escaped with their lives, before their ship was blown up. Sabotage by people from a mirror universe had been the cause of it and there were more than a few that blamed Michael, even though she was not directly responsible.
“My daughter is with child,” Sarek said unemotionally, “and that will only compound this situation.”
“What situation?” Ash asked, his tone annoyed. “Michael didn’t do any of this! I was on Discovery when that other Lorca showed up there and admitted to killing our captain. I don’t get the attitude here.”
“I do.” Worf said. “I am not from here but I can see how some, may see Michael as the core reason for all of these events. There were people that blamed her in the Terran world as well.”
Sarek eyed Worf, before looking at Ash.
“You need to get to Risa. Only Mr. Worf’s and Michael’s testimony’s were put off.”
“I am not leaving Michael here to deal with this alone.” Ash said stoutly. “And unfortunately, her pregnancy is something that will have to be part of her testimony as well.”
Worf was silent. Yes, it would be but not for the reasons that Sarek and Ash were assuming. He could tell that they assumed that either Lorca or Emperor Archer was the father of the child. Just as Captain Janeway and Commander Riker had hoped…and yet, he sensed that Sarek was suspicious of something. Of what, Worf was unsure of.
“Then you should make arrangements to legitimately delay your presence, Lieutenant or you could be in trouble. Come. We will get in contact with Vice Admiral Cornwell.” Sarek told him.
Worf watched as Sarek and Ash walked off to another part of the compound, as he sank into a chair. He took out a special communication badge. One that would summon either Janeway or Riker here to this universe. One of them needed to know that the pregnancy had been discovered—by Michael herself.
“Where. Is. My. Empress?” Emperor Gabriel Lorca asked for the umpteenth time. “I refuse to believe that someone figured out how to close EVERY portal?!”
Miles O’Brien was uneasy. None of this was supposed to have happened. That being Michael Burnham not being here and a goddamned Klingon, being the reason for it. There were daily executions of the deceased Emperor Archer’s people. And the ones Lorca really hated, were kept for torture either by Agonizer, or given to the Cardassians.
Gul Dukat was in the room. He was also impatient. He had no doubts whatsoever that Emperor Lorca had lost his mind over Michael Burnham. And that meant that he was not fit to rule. He had already proven it by going back on his alliance with him to enslave the Vulcans.
“With all due respect, Your Highness, the missing Empress is the least of our problems. I will now concede that maybe my plans for the Vulcans were a bit lofty.”
“Try unrealistic.” O’Brien said, refraining from snorting.
“Fine. But we have a new problem that we are not addressing,” Dukat said, “and it concerns the changeling that was killed.”
Lorca rolled his eyes!
“YOU murdered him. And I had no idea that changelings were even in this universe! But that was Archer for you! Taking up with sub humans and the like! No offense, Dukat.”
Dukat stared malevolently at him.
“I think you meant every offense, Your Highness. But I could care less what you think of my people. We still have an alliance and I expect you to help me keep these changelings from attacking Cardassia.”
Lorca leaned forward.
“YOU killed the changeling. Not me.”
“I killed him to protect you and yours!” Dukat snapped.
“Well that’s your people’s problem, Dukat. You’ve never been able to see the value in keeping certain beings alive. A slave changeling would have been enormously more valuable than some lippy Vulcan. Frankly, I don’t see that we have anything else to talk about. Come back here when you can find a way to open up the portal dimensions and return my wife to me.” Lorca said coldly. How dare this Cardassion piece of filth, imply that there were more ‘important’ things to deal with before Michael? He had spent MONTHS planning a way to get his throne and wife back from Jonathan Archer. And what had come of it? Some spy from yet another place, had absconded with her with the help of a Klingon!
Dukat stood and left, without bowing. He planned to get in touch with Emperor Vader from the Infinite Universe. Maybe he could help with the angry changelings and their threat, while helping him pay back Lorca for his treachery.
Meanwhile, O’Brien spoke.
“Your Highness, was that wise? Dukat is a dangerous man.”
Lorca now focused on his engineer.
“We have a problem, Miles. With Michael not being here, I’ll need someone in my bed until she returns. Keiko will have to do.”
The audible gulp coming out of Miles O’Brien’s throat could have been heard around the galaxy!
“Every day, moment and hour, that you do not find a way to bring Michael back to me, Keiko will have to take her place. Find a way to bring her back to me, Miles. Do you understand?”
O’Brien nodded stiffly, then stood up and bowed before leaving the room. He understood. He understood alright! He understood that his wife would not be forced to submit to this Emperor’s lust if Jonathan Archer was still alive.
Michael was not stupid.
She had asked Amanda to get Mr. Worf and Amanda had went to do as she asked, but warily. Soon, Worf entered and Michael stood, ready to face him.
“How are you feeling?” he asked.
“Pregnant.” was her answer.
“We will assume that it is the late Emperor Archer’s child. We will find a way back to the Terran Universe where your son can claim the throne.”
Michael raised brow, smiling.
“Just like that? We just find a way back in and my son or DAUGHTER will be a baby Emperor?”
“We will have to get rid of Lorca, of course.” was Worf’s answer to that. Michael folded her arms.
“Do you remember what I told you in that other world?”
“I don’t know what you are referring to.”
“Ah. Well let me remind you, Worf. I was told that if I had a baby by someone that was neither Jonathan Archer nor Gabirel Lorca, the portals would close permanently. That I was the ‘key’ because of my Infinite Universe origins. The portals are now closed.”
Klingon men were not raised to be intimidated by ‘looks’ from women. Especially human ones. But Worf had to admit, Michael’s withering gaze was unsettling.
“We do not know why they are closed, Your Highness.”
“It’s Michael. And you know it’s Michael. Emperor Archer is dead and Emperor Lorca will never return here. And yet the portals have been closed for some time. Almost to the time of our return to this universe. If you know anything…”
“Alright,” Worf grumbled, figuring it was stupid to keep up the trickery that Janeway and Riker had devised, “my understanding of the situation is that you were impregnated while you were recovering from Time Pox.”
Michael’s jaw clenched.
“You allowed this to happen?”
“I did not know it had occurred until after.”
Michael now squinted at him!
“This child I’m carrying is Thomas Riker’s, isn’t it?” she asked, forcing herself to keep an even tone.
“That is my understanding, yes.”
There was a part of her that wanted to scream and tear his eyes out! Worf was so calm about this vile act, as if it were something common that happened everyday! He probably wouldn’t be if HE had been the one impregnated against his will! But her Vulcan raising would not allow her to present such a display.
“Why were we allowed to leave then? Or better yet, why weren’t YOU just allowed to leave? Riker and Janeway want this child, right?”
“Riker wants him or her, yes. I was supposed to give the baby to him.”
“You were just going to abduct my child? And how were you planning on getting back to that place? Is Riker here someplace?”
“The portal to that universe is not closed to me.” Worf replied. “Your High…Michael…I have been rethinking what I was asked to do.”
“I would hope so.” Michael relied sarcastically.
“And,” Worf continued, “I think it would be best if you kept the child from the Commander through marriage. Marry Lieutenant Tyler and raise him in the Klingon world.”
Before Michael could think to respond, her world swam again, only more violently! But this time, she did not faint or fall to the floor. A vision appeared before her.
It was Emperor Vader.
“Either come to the Infinite Universe and face me, once and for all, or I will come to you.” he said, before the vision ended and Michael found herself staring at Worf in disbelief!
“What happened just now?!” Worf almost barked.
“I can’t stay here. I have to return to the Infinite Universe and deal with Emperor Vader. Once and for all.” she said, now thinking of her child. She sensed Vader still, and she knew for certain that he not only knew of her unborn child but considered him or her, a threat.
But what Michael did not realize, was that Commander Riker was outside of the door to the room, listening, having been summoned by Worf. And he had no intention of allowing the mother of his child, to face the Emperor of the Infinite Universe alone.
Miles O’Brien found a way to break through one of the portals. The important one. The one that had absconded with Lorca’s Empress. But it opened for a brief moment. Long enough for O’Brien to send two men from the Emperor’s own security detail in to go in and find her.
But when the men came back, they did not have Michael Burnham.
They had Captain Kathryn Janeway. She was Captain of a ship called Voyager. And that would mean nothing to Emperor Lorca. Or would it?
Janeway kept her cool because there was nothing else she could do. Thomas Riker had returned to the universe that Michael Burnham belonged in, because Worf had sent word that her pregnancy had been discovered. She had not heard from Thomas since and then these…these…Terran bastards showed up using a portal that was supposed to be closed for good. She had surrendered herself to spare her crew and find out how the portal had been opened again…
What they did not know, was that Janeway had the means to leave anytime she wished. But she didn’t plan on doing that until she knew HOW these people had opened up a supposedly, permanently, closed portal.
Emperor Lorca walked into the ‘interrogation room’ that she had been deposited in. It was cozy looking room, for such a task. Janeway took in this Emperor’s state of dress, which was a gold, silk bathrobe. She had either interrupted a massage…or a bath…or God knows what else…
“My,” Janeway said, “such fancy attire for an interrogation.”
Lorca glanced down at himself, favored Janeway with a grim smile before standing next to a chair.
“You pulled my wife into your universe. I want her back. Nothing will happen to you if you just return her.”
Janeway pursed her lips before speaking.
“Your men did not find her there. She is not there.”
Lorca tilted his head.
“But you do admit that she was at one time, ‘there’?” he asked, eyeing her.
Janeway cleared her throat.
“There is no one on my ship, that does not belong there.” was her answer. Lorca smiled at her and stood up.
“You know, on those rare occasions that we get people from other ‘universes’, they are in shock and awe of their new surroundings. But not you.”
“Emperor, I am a Starfleet Captain. I know that probably means nothing here. But the position prepares you for ‘surprises’ such as this.”
Lorca folded his arms.
“I think you know that I am very familiar with Starfleet and how things work. I also think you are familiar with my wife, Michael Burnham. I want you to tell me where she is, or where you are hiding her. If you do not, then you’ll find our brand of torture here, is not the soft peddling crap of Starfleet protocol.” Lorca said firmly.
“I don’t know where your wife is. I don’t know Michael Burnham.”
“And you don’t know who the Klingon is that took her to your ship, hey?”
Janeway shrugged. Lorca smiled grimly.
“Alright, Captain. I’m sorry you’ve chosen to do things the hard way.” Lorca said as the doors opened and two Terran guards entered.
“Take her to the Agonizers. Put her in one for an hour and then we’ll see if she ‘remembers’ what she’s supposed to.” Lorca said. Janeway swallowed as the men grabbed her and took her from the room. O’Brien entered as they were leaving.
“So, she’s refusing to talk?” O’Brien asked carefully. He was trying to hide his horror at Lorca’s state of dress. He prayed the Emperor had not touched his Keiko.
Lorca tightened the belt on his robe.
“She is and I get why. And I don’t get why.” Lorca mused. “Protocol dictates not to tell an enemy anything, of course. But something else is going on here. Michael and the Klingon were brought to her ship by that Riker turncoat of Archer’s. And I think Janeway and Riker are the reasons the portals are plugged up. How long can you keep the portal open?”
“A couple of hours at most.” O’Brien answered.
“Well see if you can make it longer.” Lorca said and expected O’Brien to bow and leave. But instead, Miles just stood there.
“Was there something else?” Lorca asked, impatience brimming into his tone.
“I need to know about Keiko. Is she the reason you’re dressed that way?” Miles asked, with more daring than he knew was permissible with the Emperor. Lorca eyed him before speaking.
“Yes. Unfortunately Keiko is not being cooperative. I was chasing her around in my quarters when you informed me of our ‘guest’. Miles, I know what I’m asking of you is not easy. And because you are working so hard, I will allow Keiko to not take her place in my bed. Our hostage captain will no nicely until the Empress is returned to me.”
Miles grimaced! The Emperor planned on forcing himself on a woman prisoner after she had been in the Agonizers? Good God! This should not surprise him but it did. Before Lorca was Emperor, he never had to force any women to do anything. They threw themselves at him. He could have numerous women here if he wanted to and they would all come to him of their own free will. But this was different. In some ways, Emperor Gabriel Lorca was different. And he knew it had to do with Michael Burnham.
“Your Highness, I will do everything in my power to get our Empress back here and back to you.” Miles said. Lorca smiled at him before leaving the interrogation room. But Miles was damned serious! He feared for the unwilling women and God knows what other forms of life, that would be forced to submit to Lorca’s will, if he didn’t find a way to get Michael back here!
The first thought Emperor Vader had, when he was informed that that Cardassian, Dukat, wanted to see him, was to tell a few stormtroopers to take him to a holding cell. But then Kira told him who he was exactly. He had heard the loathing in her voice when she spoke of him and if he was honest, he found it sexy. Her hatred for the Cardassian that had helped enslave her people. Vader himself, could have cared less about the plight of the Bjorans in another universe. He cared little about slavery in his own universe. But he still wanted the foothole into the Terran Universe that he had had with the now deceased Jonathan Archer.
And Michael Burnham…Vader had realized Palpatine’s granddaughter was not only the key to opening up the other portals that had been closed before, but her unborn child was a great threat…left in her hands. Vader decided to let Dukat wait a bit while he paid a visit to an interrogation room. And that is where Lord Gabriel Lorca, who he had decided not to kill yet, and Seven of Nine, who was refusing to share his bed along with Kira, were waiting for him…
The doors to the room slid closed in an ominous and loud manner. Lord Lorca slowly stood up. Seven of Nine stood up as well, her eyes registering contempt.
“I do not give second chances. Or reprieves. But I need something. Something that supersedes our differences.” Vader said. Lord Lorca tried to quell the uneasiness in his stomach. He knew instinctively that whatever this was, it had to do with Michael. And he had no intention of betraying her in anyway. He glanced over at Seven of Nine, who actually answered.
“I cannot imagine what you could possibly want of me, that would have to do with Lord Lorca. Unless you plan to ask him to share your bed as well.” Seven of Nine said in a matter-of-fact, yet blithe tone.
“Kira Nerys is the only reason you are still alive.” Vader told her. “I am leaving it up to her to show you the error of your ways. You WILL cooperate in that regard.”
Seven of Nine said nothing to that. She sensed a way out of this. Vader would not be asking herself and Lord Lorca to take any sort of ‘meeting’ with him, unless he needed something. And whatever it is he asked, she would take that as an opportunity to find a way to escape this place and this universe. If Kira wanted to stay here, that was her prerogative.
Lord Lorca sensed something as well. He sensed a certain quiet desperation within Emperor Vader. And despite what had been done to him, Lorca did still consider Vader HIS Emperor.
“I am still here to serve you. Something I have told you over and over again.” Lord Lorca told him.
“Yes. You have. And you now have the chance to prove it. Both of you have the chance to prove it. It seems that the only portal still open is the one between this universe and the Terran one. Michael Burnham is the key to the mystery of why that is. I sense it. Her and her unborn child.” Vader hissed, now looking at Lorca.
Lorca tried to hide the fact that he flinched at those words. If Michael was pregnant, the child was his, this he was sure of. Yes, it could be Jonathan Archer’s, but now that Lorca knew that Michael’s pregnancy was part of the reason he had been summoned to this meeting, he was sure it was not Archer’s. Vader had plans for Michael and the child. He guessed this without being told. And the Emperor was giving him one last chance to prove his loyalty to the Empire and the Emperor himself. Lorca knew he would be expected to betray Michael and his child in someway. He glanced over at Seven of Nine. He didn’t quite get how she fit into any of this?
Vader answered that.
“Lord Lorca, I want you to bring me the child when he or she is born. I have been in contact with Michael Burnham. She will try and come here to stop me. To spare any threat to her unborn child. You will allow her to think that YOU already accomplished this feat. Then when the time comes, you will bring me the child.”
Lorca eyed him, then glanced at Seven of Nine, who spoke.
“What do I have to do with any of this?” she asked.
“You will take the child back to Tattooine and give it to your Hutt lover, to raise.”
Seven of Nine’s mouth dropped open!
“First of all,” she said in a slow, deliberate tone, "I was told that piece of filth was dead.”
“His palace was destroyed but I have good reason to believe that he did not perish.” was Vader’s response.
“And you want ME to actually look at the man that violated me?”
Vader walked up to her but Seven of Nine did not move.
“If you had just come to me, as you were supposed to do, to be my bride, you would not have been ‘violated’. That was your own doing. You should be fortunate that I would consider bedding you after knowing you had been with such filth.”
“I would say that you should be the one that should consider yourself ‘fortunate’, Emperor.” was Seven of Nine’s reply, before she felt her throat close up! She began to cough and gasp and Lord Lorca stepped in!
“Emperor! Emperor, she will do as she’s told! Release her!” he yelled. Vader squeezed a second longer, before releasing Seven of Nine! Lord Lorca held on to her, while she recovered from the near strangling. Lorca spoke.
“So, we are to wait until Michael comes to us?” he asked, trying to hide his excitement. He could not allow Vader to sense that he had no intention of allowing his child to endure such a fate. And he knew Vader was searching his very thoughts to ascertain even the slightest hint of possible betrayal. Lord Lorca would not allow him to find any. This was his chance to be reunited with Michael. And he would do nothing that might threaten that.
“Allow me to deal with her. Alone.” Lord Lorca requested of Vader, indicating Seven of Nine. Vader did not move, speak or hiss. After what seemed like an interminable amount of time, he nodded and left the room. Seven of Nine, now recovered, looked at him questioningly.
“I take it you have some sort of plan?”
“Surely you sensed this was our way out. We need to pretend to go along with what he wants.” Lord Lorca told her.
“I cannot hide my thoughts from him like you can.” she replied coolly. “I do not want to see Jabba again, nor would I consider taking a child to him. And why would he accept a baby from me?”
“You will tell him it is yours…by him. Or at least that is what we’re going to tell the Emperor.”
“You do understand that that Jabba will not believe that. A child that would come from our forced union, would not look human.”
“What we are going to do,” Lorca said, putting his hands on her shoulders, “is tell Hutt there is a child BEFORE he sees it. You will never go to him with my child.”
Seven of Nine gave him a skeptical look.
“You are sure this is your child?”
“I think if it were the late Archer’s, Vader would not be so worried.”
But Seven of Nine still looked skeptical.
“What?” Lord Lorca asked.
“You cannot be sure of that. And if the child is Emperor Archer’s, then the child needs to have his name. It is also all the more reason to return to the Terran Universe and make sure that Emperor Lorca is deposed. Lord Lorca…he is probably searching for a way to bring Michael to him as well.” Seven of Nine warned him.
Lord Lorca had not thought that far ahead, which was unlike him. But he nodded in agreement with her assessment, albeit grudgingly. When Michael did arrive here, the identity of the child’s father would have to be ascertained. If it was his, Lorca would find a way for them to escape Vader’s plans for them.
But if the child was Archer’s, yes, it would behoove him to allow what Seven of Nine spoke of, to happen. He could live with Michael carrying another man’s child. But he would not allow her to live in the Terran Universe with that other version of himself. He did not think he could stand it. Or live with it.
“What are you doing here?” Michael asked Thomas Riker. Worf had left her alone to think about how to proceed, with regards to Emperor Vader. She had finally come up with a plan. And she would need Worf’s help.
But when she left her room, in search of the Klingon, she stopped and stared down from the second floor. In the open sitting room, were Sarek, Amanda, Worf, Ash…and Thomas Riker. Michael felt her blood boil as she hurried down the stairs, ran up to Riker and slapped him hard!
“How dare you come here?!” Michael snapped, turning her glare from Riker to Worf! “How dare you conspire to bring him here! How long has he been in this compound? How long?!”
Ash moved to Michael’s side, feeling the same fury she felt. He had just been informed of who the father of Michael’s baby was and why it had been deemed necessary to impregnate her. He was so disappointed in Worf, he could barely speak. He had felt a kinship with the warrior Klingon and felt as if he had been betrayed. Worf had always been trying to push him to pursue Michael, knowing that it wouldn’t be possible. He knew she was carrying this bastard’s child before even Michael herself.
Riker stared her down.
“Worf informed me that Emperor Vader made contact with you. Through the Force.”
Michael said nothing to him and Amanda moved to her side as well.
“Sarek, really. This is all too much for her. She should rest and then we can discuss this later.” she suggested. Sarek calmly lifted a brow.
“Time is of the essence, Amanda. And I think Michael knows that better than anyone.” Sarek said, favoring his daughter with a no nonsense look. Thomas decided to speak his peace.
“I need to speak to Michael. Alone.”
“Why? So you can impregnate her against her will again? In her own home? No!” he said, putting an arm around Michael’s shoulders.
Worf looked at him.
“The Commander told you how this happened. He did not force himself upon her person and I would not have allowed such a vile act to take place.” Worf said. Michael looked at him.
“He may not have physically forced me, but you stood by and allowed them to just inseminate me!” Michael snapped at Worf. “Look, I don’t want to get into the specifics on how this happened. Emperor Vader is threatened by this child’s very existence. He either has to be destroyed or my child has to be hidden. And I don’t run or hide from anyone!”
Riker nodded to Sarek, who walked over to Ash and urged him to leave Riker and Michael alone. Michael touched Ash’s hand, as to imply that she would be alright, then watched as everyone left the room. Finally, Riker and herself were left alone.
“I think it’s time you stopped acting like a child,” Thomas said stoutly, “you can’t run off and do whatever you want when you have another life to consider.”
“That’s what you think I plan on doing?” Michael asked coldly.
“I know you think you have a plan. But that Infinite Universe should have never touched any of the other worlds. There was a reason you were hidden from Palpatine. And you have no chance at besting Emperor Vader. Our best plan of action is to make sure that he can never reach you or our child.”
Michael refrained from grimacing when Thomas said ‘our child’, but said nothing. Riker gently placed his hands on her shoulders.
“I think you’ve been through a hell of a time. Maybe you don’t see it that way, but being in love with two men…being forced to deal with them in different universes and somehow survive their worlds, couldn’t have been easy. This baby is the reason the portals are closed. I can travel through because I am this child’s father. You can travel as well. Because you are our baby’s mother. I am asking you not to do so. I am asking you to stay here and leave the Infinite Universe alone.” Thomas asked in a soft tone.
Michael pulled out of his hold.
“I think we both know that there isn’t much you can do to stop me. But if you’re really so concerned, then you can help me.”
Riker stared at her for a long while, weighing his options. Yes, Michael was powerful but untrained. He did not know much about the ways of the Jedi, but he knew that Lord Gabriel Lorca had not had time to train her properly. Probably because he was sleeping with her. Riker did not want Michael going back to that world and hooking back up with him. If he went with her, he could stop that from happening and make sure that Vader did neither Michael, nor their child, any harm.
“Alright. I’ll go with you. Now, what is your plan?” Riker asked, now sitting down. His tone was almost daring, as if Michael couldn’t possibly have a plan.
“The plan is to return to the Infinite Universe as bounty hunters. We will get aboard the Death Star by delivering a prisoner that Vader will be interested in. Someone he will find so distracting, that he won’t be expecting me.”
“But he can sense you, right?” Riker asked skeptically.
“Yes. But I think if he’s forced to face a younger version of himself, he won’t be able to give his intuition the full attention he should. We need to take Anakin Skywalker to Vader.” Michael told him. Riker now stood up again.
“The last I heard of him, he was in the Terran Universe?”
“Yes.” Michael replied.
“No. That’s two universes that we don’t belong in, Michael! And you can bet that Emperor Lorca is chomping at the bit to get you back! No!”
“Are you going to help me or not?” Michael asked, just as Riker’s comm badge crackled. Riker excused himself, touched it and walked across the room for a bit. Michael rubbed the back of her neck tiredly. Once this was over, this baby’s future had to be decided. Somehow, she could not see herself being a mother to a child of a father she barely knew. Oddly, she found herself staring at Riker, wondering what a girl child that had his eyes, would look like.
Michael looked away when Riker returned.
“It seems that I will be traveling to the Terran Universe. Alone.”
“Why? What’s happened?”
“Dr. Bashir said that the Terrans found a portal, albeit a temporary one, and took Captain Janeway. They were looking for you. I’m going to go get her back. I will pick up your prisoner while I’m there. Then we can discuss this at a later time…”
Michael folded her arms and scoffed!
“You plan to do all of that alone? Captain Janeway is probably in one of the Agonizers as we speak! There is no telling what will happen to you if Emperor Lorca sees you there! You need me!”
“To what?” Riker asked warily. “Because if Lorca sees you, he will make it his mission to keep you there with him permanently. I won’t take that chance.”
“Then we have to make sure that we rescue the Captain and Anakin Skywalker and not be seen by Emperor Lorca.” Michael said with a confidence she didn’t quite feel. And that was probably because she was unsure that she didn’t want to not be seen by the Terran Emperor, that still considered her to be his wife.
It was Dr. Julian Bashir that messed up Michael’s plan, accidentally, before it could even get off of the ground.
O’Brien managed to make one last dent in the portal that brought Janeway to them, before it seemingly closed for good. And two Terran guards grabbed Dr. Bashir and brought him to Lorca for interrogation. The guards nabbed Bashir as he just finished communicating with Riker. Emperor Lorca sensed that this bit of information was important and he planned to do whatever he had to do to this ‘doctor’, to get the information he needed to bring Michael back here.
But it would not take much effort. Dr. Bashir, for all of his Starleet training, was not good under duress. Meaning someone else’s duress. And once he was treated to a glimpse of what Janeway was going through in the Agonizers, Bashir knew he did not have time to wait for Riker to come here and rescue them.
Lorca opened the door to the interrogation room, now dressed in a black shirt and slacks. He was dressed this way in case he actually needed to travel somewhere himself, to retrieve Michael.
“Dr. Bashir. I’d keep you here but we have enough doctors.”
Julian raised a brow.
“Does that mean you intend to send Captain Janeway and myself back to our proper universe?” he asked sarcastically.
“I think you know the answer to that.” Lorca said grimly, signaling to the guards to leave. He then sat down across from Bashir, who was seated at a table.
“Let her go.” Bashir said.
“Where is my wife?” Lorca asked instead. “And no more crap. My guards heard you talking to Archer’s turncoat Commander or whatever the hell he was around here. He’s planning on coming here to rescue the good captain. That seems odd.”
“What’s odd about our wanting our captain back?” Bashir asked in a nonchalant manner.
“My wife’s name was overheard as well. Is this Riker with her?”
“I don’t know…” Bashir began but Lorca stood up and back handed him viciously! Bashir fell backwards out of the chair and down on to the floor! Lorca walked around the table and stood over him.
“This is what’s going to happen, ‘Doctor’. I am going to pull Captain Janeway out of the Agonizers, give her a couple of minutes to recover before I make love to her. Over and over again until she tells me where my wife is. Or she may not. She may grow to like me.” Lorca said, smiling down at him grimly.
“You would rape a woman…”
“No, sir! I don’t ‘rape’ people, especially women. No, in Captain Janeway’s case, she’s going to think that making love with me will save you from a horrible death. She won’t know that you in all likelihood, will be dead already. So, Dr. Bashir, this whole thing and how it goes down, is entirely up to you.”
Suddenly, the doors to the room slid open and O’Brien hurried in! He ignored Bashir’s position on the floor and looked at Lorca.
“Your Highness, the Empress has returned!”
Both Lorca and Bashir’s eyes registered surprise, but not for the same reasons. Dr. Bashir did not expect Thomas to come here with Michael and he now felt as if their sacrifices and efforts, to protect her and her unborn child, were for naught. Why would Riker have been so careless?
Or had Riker been careless? Was Michael here alone? Bashir didn’t understand it.
Lorca could not believe his ears! He couldn’t believe that Michael had returned here on her own! He didn’t think it was possible for her to return here. Lorca’s jaw tightened.
“She came by ship?” he asked O’Brien.
“Yes. And she appears to be alone.” he told Lorca. Lorca nodded, then glanced back at Bashir.
“Put him in the Agonizers.” was all he said before leaving the interrogation room. A part of him wanted to run to the docking bay, but he didn’t want to look overly eager. Michael had come to him…Michael had come to him willingly.
Meanwhile, Michael stood beside two Terran guards calmly, while two others searched the ship. They would find no sign of Thomas, because he had used a device that proved that the world, and time he was from, was far more advanced than the present one they were in. Thomas Riker carried with him a hand held transporter. It was a device that one could use independently, without the help of anyone working a transporter machine. Michael suspected that Captain Janeway had not used hers, so that she could glean information from Emperor Lorca. But that decision had put her in great peril. Michael just hoped that no one here knew the devices existed.
Lorca came into view and Michael could not ascertain his mood as he moved towards her. She steeled herself as he closed the distance between them, then met her eyes briefly, before looking to the guards.
“No one else is aboard.” one of the guards reported.
“I said I came alone.” Michael said quietly.
“Leave us.” Lorca said to the guards and they left the docking bay. Lorca tilted his head.
“So I get no ‘hello’ kiss or anything like that?” he asked in a teasing manner and Michael felt herself melting. But she told herself to stay strong. The child she was carrying was the key to keeping the portals to all other universes and dimensions, closed for good. She would tell him this and he would see that for the good of all mankind, he should turn over Anakin Skywalker to her.
“There can be no kissing or anything else.” Michael said primly, when Lorca tried to reach for her hand. “I am with child. And I need to go to the Infinite Universe and face Emperor Vader. In order to do that successfully, I need a distraction. You do still have Anakin Skywalker here, don’t you?”
Lorca just looked at her. Michael cleared her throat.
“He is still here, is he not?”
Lorca smiled patiently.
“Let’s go back to that ‘with child’ remark. Is that your way of saying you’re pregnant?”
“And it’s who’s child? Mine, hopefully. Or is it Archer’s?”
“I was impregnated.”
Lorca’s eyes widened!
“What the hell does that mean? When did this happen?”
Michael took a deep breath.
“I can’t explain it now. I just need Anakin Skywalker.”
“And I think if you don’t explain it anyway, I’m going to have to take you to interrogation.”
Michael felt her patience slipping…
“Your Highness, you know what I can do. I can get around you and find him myself.”
“Then do it. Use some of that Sith Lord voodoo on me. Go on, Michael, do it!”
Michael looked away and Lorca smiled.
“That’s better.” he said, taking her hand. “Now, we’re going to go to interrogation, where you are going to tell me what fiend ‘inpregnated’ you and where I can find him. Then we will deal with the fall out of this whole matter.”
Michael began to resist his hold on her hand!
“Your Highness…I will explain it…”
Lorca stopped pulling on her and stared into her eyes.
“I see that this ‘interrogation’ is going to have to take place in bed. Come, Miss Priss, I’ll get the answers I seek there.”
“How dare you presume that I would just submit to your caresses, and then tell you any secret that is in the deep recesses of my mind…”
That was all Lorca heard as he pulled her towards their quarters, that had been far too empty without her.
Thomas managed to knock out two Terran guards near the Agonizers, before turning the one off, that Captain Janeway had been imprisoned in. He opened the door and helped her out. He lead her to a chair and sat her in it. Needless to say, she looked awful. But she managed to pull herself together, as if realizing their time was limited.
“You shouldn’t have come!” she rasped wearily.
“And you should have you used your long distance transporter to get the hell out of here, as soon as you were put into one of those things!” Thomas hissed.
“And what good what that have done if they returned to our time, Thomas? Somehow they managed to find a way to us, despite the baby Michael is carrying! We need to find out how and why!” Janeway insisted.
“We need to deal with that later. Michael received a message from Emperor Vader.” he said solemnly.
Janeway eyed him.
“Via the Force, right?”
“Yes. Michael feels he knows about the child she is carrying and wants to destroy it. She wants to kill him before he gets the chance. I’m afraid I agree with her.”
“What does that mean? Where is Michael now? Did she go there?” Janeway asked, not liking this turn of events at all.
“She is here. Her plan is for the both of us to deliver a younger version of Vader to him. He will be so distracted by the sight of him and his presence, that that will give Michael the opportunity to kill him.”
Janeway hadn’t given the younger version of Emperor Vader any thought at all, actually. He would still be here, wouldn’t he? She looked around.
“Clearly he could escape the Agonizers. I’ll help you look for him and…someone is coming!” she hissed. Riker and Janeway both hid as Dr. Bashir was dragged towards the Agonizer she had been rescued from, by O’Brien. O’Brien noticed the two fallen guards and was heard calling more guards down to the Agonizers. Riker came out of his hiding place and leaped on O’Brien! Bashir helped him knock O’Brien out, while Janeway confiscated the weapons of the two guards and O’Brien. Janeway shook her head at Bashir.
“They managed to get back to our time again? To get you?” she asked, her voice registering despair.
“Yes,” Bashir admitted, “and I think that O’Brien here, is close to figuring out a way around Michael’s baby. Where is she? O’Brien told Lorca she was here.”
Riker sighed heavily.
“She is probably dealing with him in her own way. We need to find Skywalker.”
Bashir folded his arms.
“With what he can do, chances are he’s sedated someplace around here. O’Brien’s absence will be missed. It would help if we could find his exact location.” he said.
“Let’s hope Michael is taking care of that.” Janeway said, giving Thomas Riker a meaningful look. His return glance was nothing short of a scowl. The idea of Michael having to submit to Emperor Lorca in any sort of intimate manner, while she carried HIS child, just…just…
Riker cleared his mind. Michael knew how to handle him. He would just have to keep his mind on their mission. Finding Anakin Skywalker and transporting to the Infinite Universe with him.
Lorca had planned on taking his time with Michael and having her as many times, and ways, as possible. He felt her entire body jolt with each of his thrusts, and her groans filled his ears, as he buried another inch of his member within her. He loved with way her beautiful body quivered in response to his lovemaking.
He also loved how much information she gave him, as her body surrendered to his. Lorca hadn’t exactly liked what he heard, but he now knew what needed to be done. He reluctantly pulled his body from hers, before lying back against the pillows. Michael, who had now come back down to earth, felt like she always felt after making love with him. Ashamed that she couldn’t control her base impulses with this man. Or any other version of him.
“So…you’ll let me take Anakin with me.” Michael said, sitting up. Lorca looked at her, then slowly reached over to caress one of her breasts. He hated the thought that Riker’s child was sleeping inside of her. He would not allow the birth to take place…
“Did you not hear me tell you ‘no’?” Lorca asked gently, as he continued to touch her.
“I didn’t hear you say anything.” she admitted. Lorca smiled at her.
“Probably not. You told me what I needed to know.”
“I didn’t tell you anything!”
“Michael, how would I know that Archer’s people kidnapped you to a time that was over one hundred years in the future? That Klingon friend of Archer’s was with you…you were then sedated and impregnated with Riker’s child, something you didn’t know until recently and now you want to use Skywalker as bait and defeat Emperor Vader. Is that about the gist of it?” Lorca asked, now gently squeezing her breast.
Michael slapped his hand away!
“I told you all of that??? God, I hate you! Just give me…”
Lorca sat up and pulled her resisting body to his, wrapping his arms around her.
“Skywalker escaped. He’s not here. So you have nothing to bargain with. Now can you please let me handle this? You were defiled so that portals could be closed, and yet my top men managed to get one open, despite your pregnancy. They fed you a line of crap and I’m not going to put up with it anymore.” Lorca said, getting out of bed, naked and looking down at her.
“I want you to tell me if you really came here alone? Did you?”
Michael got out of bed and began to dress. She said nothing and Lorca wondered if she was formulating a lie to tell him or…
Suddenly, Emperor Gabriel Lorca found himself flung backwards against a wall! Hard! And it hurt!!! He moaned and gingerly began to stand. Michael walked over to him.
“I can read your thoughts. Did you know that? You were going to give me something so my child wouldn’t be born OR give my child to Emperor Vader. And you were going to lie to me about it. You’re also lying about Anakin not being here.” Michael said and began to use a mind trick on him…
You never saw me here. You will stay in this room for two days before coming out. Go back to the bed and lay down. Michael told Lorca. Lorca nodded slowly, then walked over to the bed to lay down. For two days. She reminded herself that not only had Lorca had evil intentions towards her baby, but he had murdered Jonathan. Michael sighed, giving him a final, wistful look, before leaving the room in search of Anakin Skywalker. But as she moved down a dark corridor, she saw Riker, with an unconscious Skywalker over his shoulder, followed by Bashir and Janeway!
“Thank God we found you!” Janeway exclaimed in a whisper. “Dr. Bashir and I will head back to our universe. Commander Riker and yourself…well…good luck.” Janeway told her. Michael nodded and watched as Janeway and Bashir took out their palm sized transporters and disappeared. Michael thought it was odd that they had not been searched when they were brought here.
“How did they manage to conceal those from the Terrans?” Michael asked.
“Is that really relevant right now, Michael?” Riker asked in a scolding tone.
“Meaning?” Michael asked, but she knew.
“Meaning, were you coming to find us because Lorca told you where Skywalker was? Or…”
“Or what?” Michael asked. “He did not tell me. I incapacitated him so he won’t be a problem. Let’s just transport back to the ship and get out of here.” Michael said crossly. Thomas Riker had some nerve questioning her like some jealous lover! Thomas said nothing more and he held on to Michael, with Anakin still slung over his shoulder, and they transported back to the ship. There were no guards outside of it and they seemed to have clear passage to leave. Michael had not expected any of this to be this easy. And there was a part of her that now wondered if they should be more on their guard than they were?
Thomas noted this as well, but wasn’t going to question it. The sooner they took their ‘prisoner’ back to the Infinite Universe and rid themselves of a possible life long threat, the sooner they could all get on with their lives. Riker managed to steer their ship out of the docking bay and into space, jumping to light speed rather quickly. He then began to put in special coordinates, ones that would take him to another world. Coordinates that Michael noticed.
“So how long have you known how to get to the Infinite Universe?”
“About as long as Jonathan Archer knew how to get there. I was there to collect information and these coordinates came in very handy.” Riker told her.
“It’s a shame you were so concerned about ‘coordinates’ and not Jonathan’s life. He could have used your help.”
Riker turned in his chair and stared at her in disbelief!
“Why are you blaming me for any of that? Your precious Lorca, whom I know you slept with, killed him! And yet you can give yourself willingly to him but not spare me so much as a glance!”
Michael rolled her eyes and moved away from him, shaking her head.
“Michael? Do you have an answer to that?”
“I was in love with Gabriel Lorca and Jonathan Archer. I feel nothing for you. You knew that and then chose to force me to carry your child anyway. I don’t even know that I was inseminated medically! For all I really know, you just jumped on me while I was in sick bay!”
“Wow, Michael. Really? You really think I would do something like that?”
Michael did not answer. But Thomas wanted one!
“Answer me, Michael!”
Michael still did not answer.
“Let me tell you something: Worf knew what was going to happen and didn’t like it, but he also knew what was at stake. If I had made love to you, while you were in sick bay, I wouldn’t be alive. Worf would have had my head.”
“You actually think that you would have been ‘making love to me’, while I was recovering from Time Pox? Flat on my back?”
“I didn’t mean anything by that.”
“Tell me, Commander, what are your plans once my baby is born? I know that Worf was supposed to steal my baby away from me and give it to you. But surely you know that’s out of the question now, don’t you?”
“I think,” Thomas said slowly, “we can come to a mutual understanding.”
“Yes, that being that I raise my own child and never see you again.”
“Not quite.” Riker said in a hard tone, just as Anakin began moaning! Riker hurried over, pulled out a syringe and injected it into Anakin’s neck! Michael watched as the Jedi’s eyes rolled back in his head and his eyes closed again. Riker stood up.
“That was close.”
Michael stared down at Anakin. Yes, it was. Because he was far stronger than herself when it came to the Force. She turned away from him and sat down. She suddenly felt queasy.
“Are you alright?” Riker asked, putting a hand on her shoulder.
“Just pregnant. And worried. I’ll go get our bounty hunter suits.” Michael said, standing up and walking off the bridge. Riker stared after her too. He was also worried. But not about her abilities or her will. There was another Gabriel Lorca in the Infinite Universe. And if Vader had not killed him, then he would be another hurdle they would have to get through.
Kira Nerys knew of Emperor Vader’s plans for Michael Burnham, her child and what she wanted Lord Lorca and Seven of Nine to do. But she thought Vader was a fool to think that just because Michael was not an expert in the Force, that that meant she was easily defeatable.
She understood why Seven of Nine refused to submit to Emperor Vader or his cock. Many people seemed to believe that Vader did not have one, after his ‘accident’, so many years ago. But that was the only part of him that did survive. His manhood had been effected but oddly, Kira believed that the lava that had burned most of his body, had somehow…she didn’t know quite how to say it, the lava had ‘joined’ as one with Vader’s organ. It pulsated like molten lava and throbbed. His metal covering was irritating to humanoid skin, but Kira ignored all of that. Gul Dukat was on this space station and she wanted Vader to realize that Cardassia needed to be conquered.
It was because of this dream, that Kira rode Vader’s raw, molten cock, delicately, her breasts bouncing wildly, while her hips bucked almost convulsively. His gloved hands roamed over her body as she moved upon him like a woman possessed, before she felt his seed empty into her. Afterwards, Vader always went over to a machine, that from what Kira could ascertain, seemed to make sure that his machine parts were working as they should. Soon, a metal plate covered his manhood and Kira sat up in bed.
“You haven’t told me what Gul Dukat wants?” Kira asked in a casual tone.
“He wants revenge on Emperor Lorca. And yet he is offering no plan as to how to achieve this. Therefore I have no use for him.” Vader rumbled, preparing to leave their bedroom suite. Kira stood up, naked.
“Let me deal with him.”
What Vader’s expression was, when he looked at her, Kira could not tell.
“Why? I hope you know, my dear, that freeing your people is not enough of an incentive…”
“And what if I could come up with a full proof plan to make sure that Michael Burnham’s child, is never a problem?”
“I have already thought of a plan…”
“A plan, Your Highness, that involves a reluctant woman that loathes you and a man that betrayed you for Michael Burnham. Do you really think that Lord Lorca is going to give her baby to a Hutt?”
“They will die if they betray me.” Vader told her.
“And then you still have the problem of a child that could be a future threat.” Kira warned him. Vader had to admit that he was not especially happy with Lord Lorca or Seven of Nine, but he had assumed that their keeping their lives, would be enough of an incentive for them. Maybe he was being short sighted in thinking that.
“Do you have an alternate suggestion?” he asked in a hissing tone.
“If I do, will you free my people and allow me to kill Gul Dukat?” Kira countered.
“Fine. Then let me handle Lord Lorca and Seven of Nine. Your plan is good, but it does not stop Michael Burnham’s future child from being a threat to you. I can ensure that neither Michael, or the child, will ever set foot in the Infinite Universe, ever again, once the child is born.”
Vader said nothing at first.
Then he spoke.
“I was hoping you had a better solution. One that was more clear. Because I know Michael Burnham is coming here. To me. To try and defeat me. My plan would be to kill her, but I see her defeating me, though it is not clear how. So my answer to your proposal is no.”
And with those words, Emperor Vader left his bedroom, and Kira, with a setback. One that she would make sure was temporary. She was Bajoran. Bajoran and Terran. Michael Burnham was the key to not only her freedom, but the power to defeat the Cardassians. Another idea began to take form. One where she made sure Michael defeated Vader and she used the power of this space station, to destroy Cardassia.
When Thomas Riker brought the ship out of light speed, he found that it was being bombarded with shards of something! Something that had most recently been blown up! The noise woke Michael, who sat upright in her chair next to Thomas!
“What is happening?!” Michael half yelled. She jumped when a chunk of metal hit their front ship window!
Thomas looked over at her, looking somewhat stunned.
“What?” Michael asked.
“These are the Death Star coordinates. Only there is no Death Star. Just pieces of something. Probably the Death Star.” he told her. Michael gaped in disbelief!
“You must have come out of light speed in the wrong location! I would feel if something had happened to…” she trailed off. Thomas stared at her. She was not telling him something.
“Michael? What is it?” Thomas asked, his tone much softer now.
Michael stared at him for a moment before speaking.
“I can’t feel the older Vader’s presence at all. But…I don’t know what that means exactly. I mean I never felt him all of the time anyway. Only when he was trying to send me some threatening message. But there is a void or an emptiness that I’m feeling. God, if only Lord Lorca was here! He could explain to me what this feeling was!” she huffed in frustration.
“Well he’s not! You’ll have to rely on your instincts. What do they tell you?” Thomas asked urgently.
“Honestly? That the rubble that is hitting us IS the Death Star and that everyone that had been aboard was blown up.”
Thomas stared at Michael in disbelief!
“What are you talking about? Do you know the kind of fire power it would’ve taken to blow something like that up? If anyone had had it, that thing would have been long gone, a long time ago!”
“Thomas, I don’t know the ‘how’ or ‘why’ of any of this! But either you have the wrong coordinates…or you have the right ones and pieces of what used to be here, are pummeling our ship.”
Before Thomas could think of an answer, a button indicating a ship that was near them, flashed. Michael eyed the schematics.
“That’s an escape pod. With two people aboard.” she said.
“And these people could very well be responsible for blowing up the Death Star. I say we return to the prime universe. We don’t have a problem here anymore.” Thomas said.
“And let the people that blew up Seven of Nine and Kira get away?”
Thomas gave her a knowing look.
“Is it really them you’re concerned with? Or is it Lord Lorca that you want to avenge?”
“Did I say anything about avenging anyone? I think we should find out what happened.”
“And I say this isn’t our universe. That means it’s none of our business.”
“Since when is that the Federation motto?” Michael continued to argue.
“Alright, Ms. Burnham, what do you want to do?”
“Let’s see if we can hail whoever is in the pod.”
“And then? Michael, the only reason we came here was to eliminate a threat. A threat to OUR unborn child. I know you don’t like my saying that but it’s true. You’re carrying MY child and I don’t want to put him or her in any more peril than they already are. These portals to other worlds need to stay closed.” Thomas said firmly.
Michael’s answer to that, was to reach around him quickly and press two buttons so she could contact someone in the pod. Thomas bit back his anger at this impossible woman and steeled himself to deal with the next threat—meaning whoever turned out to be in that pod. But before Michael could speak, the person in the pod, made their identity known.
“This is Captain Christopher Pike of the U.S.S. Enterprise, from the year 2257, requesting to board Shuttle Voyager.”
Thomas looked surprised, while Michael tried to figure out what this meant. Christopher Pike WAS captain of The Enterprise. Her brother Spock was serving under him as Lieutenant Commander. Why was Captain Pike in the Infinite Universe? Was Spock here too?
Thomas looked at her.
“Did you know he was here?” he asked her.
“How would I know that?”
“Sarek would have known.” Thomas said more to himself than her.
“Not necessarily. I don’t see why you’re quick to blame anyone here. If Captain Pike is here then there has to be a good reason for it.”
“Yes, Michael, like maybe he’s the one that blew up the Death Star! Him and whoever else is with him! There are rules in Starfleet and being able to blow up space stations from other universes, is not one of them! I am going to let him board only because we need answers.” Thomas said firmly, before making the arrangements to allow Pike’s escape pod to board. He then pulled out a phaser and began to leave the bridge.
“Do you really think you’re going to need that?” Michael asked, knowing in the back of her mind it was probably a good idea, but still feeling perplexed that someone from Starfleet could possibly be associated with this. Because Thomas was right. Blowing up a space station would only be acceptable if it had waged war on the Federation in their own time.
“I don’t know, Michael. We don’t know anything. And for all we know, the man coming on board here, isn’t really Captain Pike. Just stay here.” he told her, then sighed with frustration as Michael ignored him, pulled out a phaser and joined him.
“I know we’re not getting along too well here, but I am not about to let you face someone coming aboard here, alone.” Michael said.
Thomas nodded, very well aware that she didn’t even need the phaser to stop whatever trouble they might run in to. They both left the bridge and went to the small compartment that allowed their visitor, to leave their pod and come aboard. Doors opened and a man that looked very much like Captain Christopher Pike, of the U.S.S Enterprise, from Michael’s year, came aboard.
But he was not alone.
There was a Storm Trooper with him. Only Michael sensed something was off about the man underneath the uniform. The Storm Trooper took off his helmut and revealed himself to be yet another version of Jonathan Archer! Thomas’s jaw clenched at the sight of him, before her turned his full attention to Pike.
Pike spoke first.
“Commander Thomas Riker of the U.S.S. Voyager 2371? I’m Captain Christopher Pike and this is Grand Moff Jonathan Archer…”
“Pardon me, Captain, but I did live on the Death Star for a short amount of time. I only saw one Jonathan Archer and he was Emperor of the Terran Empire! If there had been two, and one of them having been a Grand Moff, I would’ve known!”
Pike gave Michael and amused smile.
“Surely you’re not calling me a liar now, are you, Commander?"
“No,” Michael said, feeling a bit flustered, “it’s just that I would have sensed TWO Jonathan Archer’s. Emperor Archer would have known. Lord Lorca would have told me.”
“Not necessarily,” Grand Moff Archer said, “and that is because my father used his powers to ensure that neither Lorca, nor Emperor Archer, would notice me.”
“Your father?” Thomas asked.
“Yes.” Grand Moff Archer said, resting the Storm Trooper helmut on a nearby console. “Emperor Vader ‘ took me under his wing around the same time Lorca arrived in our universe.”
Archer now looked at Michael and she found she couldn’t quite hold his gaze. She had never expected to see any version of Jonathan Archer again and looking at this man stirred up the same feelings that she had, whenever she looked at a version of Gabriel Lorca. She cleared her throat and looked at Captain Pike.
“Did you blow up the Death Star?”
“Spock did.” Pike answered ruefully.
Thomas looked a bit aghast!
“I’m sorry, Captain, but my Captain has been cooperating with the officials from your time. We knew of no plans to do this…”
“Yes, and I’m sorry about that. The plan was to keep Captain Janeway in the loop, but there was a feeling of failure with your plans, that we couldn’t let stand. And Spock did some calculations. Calculations that convinced us that Janeway, and yourself, were wrong about what was needed to close the portals for good.” Pike said.
Thomas took issue with that!
“We were wrong? Please clarify how the hell we could’ve been wrong?”
Grand Moff Archer gave Thomas a look that was almost akin to amusement.
“Now, now. Commander, don’t take this personally. Your scheme to impregnate the former Emperor’s granddaughter, has failed. It was a nice touch though, couching it as a way to close the portals for good…”
Thomas did not let Archer finish before he backhanded him! Michael put a hand on Thomas’s arm and looked at Jonathan, who didn’t even flinch. Pike took over.
“Okay, look, the simple fact of the matter is, Michael never belonged here. Her parents were from the Infinite Universe and she either belongs here or…”
“Or where?” Michael asked, suspecting what was about to be revealed to her.
“Or,” Jonathan said, not bothering to wipe the blood from his lip, “the past. A past long before your own. Preferably on Earth. And we think we have found such a place.”
Thomas’s eyes flashed with anger and indignation!
“This is a joke, right? Tell me you’re not about to send her to an Earth past, pregnant?!” Thomas snapped.
Pike looked at Archer.
“Take the younger version of Vader with you. What you do with him is up to you. The three of us will be returning to 2257 to work out the details of closing these portals.”
“Stop!” Michael almost barked. “I’m supposed to just turn over the younger version of Anakin Skywalker to a Grand Moff from the Empire? That would be irresponsible of Starfleet! Captain, you can’t allow this!”
“Commander Burnham, if we are ever going to end this endless loop of other versions of ourselves, infiltrating other universes, we have to go back to the Prime Directive. Grand Moff Archer will handle Anakin Skywalker as he sees fit. Is he still drugged?”
“None of us would still be alive if he weren’t.” Thomas said in a voice that sounded like sad acceptance. His mind was racing as he tried to figure out a way out of Michael’s planned fate. There was no way Janeway would go along with this. Or Worf or Sarek for that matter. And of what he had read about Christopher Pike, had never left Thomas with the feeling, that this was the sort of decision that he would go long with either.
Archer looked at Michael.
“Take me to him.” he said.
Michael and Grand Moff Archer, walked to the small, holding compartment that held Anakin Skywalker. He was still unconscious when Michael opened the doors. Archer nodded, then closed the doors again.
“I am somewhat versed in the Sith ways. If he gives me a problem on the way to the detention center, I will deal with him.” he said.
“Where is this detention center, if I may ask?” Michael asked, not liking this at all! Keeping Anakin in a detention center hinted of a decision to change history in this universe. To never allow Darth Vader to be. And while that seemed like not such a bad decision, on the surface, something about it didn’t sit well with her.
“It is on a planet called Hoth. It is winter twelve months of the year.” Archer said, reaching out to caress her arm. Michael swallowed.
“You might as well tell me how you know me.” she said.
“I know a version of you from Earth. We were in the Starfleet Academy together. I was your professor. And coincidentally, your parents were the same Vulcans that you know. You were failing some classes though.”
Michael have him a look of horror!
“I was ‘failing’ classes? That does not sound right!”
Jonathan smiled at that.
“Do you realize that in the short time I have met your acquaintance, that this is the first time I can say that you truly looked ‘horror stricken’. Nothing that Captain Pike and I have told you, before this moment, netted an expression such as the one I just witnessed.”
“Well I’m sorry, but that doesn’t sound right! Why would I fail anything?”
"Because of an affair you were having with one Professor Gabriel Lorca. Sarek brought me in as your tutor, unaware as to the real source of your academic troubles. I discovered pretty quickly what was going on and put an end to it.”
“Put an end to it, how?” Michael asked, almost afraid of the answer.
“We became lovers. And of course, I don’t like competition.” Archer said, suddenly pulling her to him. But Michael avoided his lips.
“Grand Moff Archer…”
“Jonathan, how did you get here? Was it some sort of ion storm?” Michael asked in an almost breathless whisper. She was struggling not to feel overwhelmed by the presence of a ‘Jonathan Archer’ again.
“I thought that at first. But Emperor Vader…Father, told me that the storm was orchestrated to bring me here. He didn’t completely trust Lord Lorca and he wanted me to keep an eye on him.”
“And Lord Lorca knew about you?” Michael asked.
“No. At least I don’t believe so. Lord Lorca did all of my father’s dirty work, which included abducting you and bringing you here. So he was not on the space station much.” he told her, before pulling Michael into his embrace again, this time, a bit more forcefully. Suddenly, Jonathan was wrenched away from her and thrown against a wall! Michael turned to see that the compartment doors were open and Anakin was wide awake! And by the looks of his facial expression, he was in no mood for any nonsense.
“Where am I?” he asked her coldly.
“You’re aboard a Federation Space Shuttle. You were rescued from the Terran prison.”
“Rescued? If I’m in Starfleet hands, I haven’t really been ‘saved’, have I?”
Michael noticed that Jonathan was slowly pulling himself up off of the ground, but she kept most of her attention on Anakin.
“We have returned to your universe. But it is a different time…”
“You don’t think I know what I become? Do you understand why I felt you had to be eliminated? I could kill you now but I sense the life within you. I also know, just from my time in the Terran world, that you have too many enemies to be a real threat to this universe.”
Michael said nothing to that, since she knew what he was talking about. She knew that Emperor Lorca would do his upmost to keep her safe, if she were to ever return there, but he could not stop the many factions that saw her place as his queen, as a threat.
Jonathan made his way back to them. Michael could see he was moving gingerly and there was a part of her that wanted to comfort him. But she did not dare. All of this had to end.
“I’m glad that nothing has to be explained to you, Anakin. So then you will come along with me peacefully?” Jonathan asked.
Anakin gave Jonathan a distinct ‘fuck you’ look, pulled out a hand held transporter, and disappeared! Jonathan gritted his teeth!
“How in the WORLD did he get ahold of one of those things??? Did Riker give him one? Did you?”
Michael pulled out her own, which had been attached to a utility belt on her waist. Jonathan saw it, then turned to go and confront Pike and Riker! Once he left, Michael realized that she needed to speak to Sarek about Spock. That meant she did not have time to hang around here and discuss the how and why of what happened in this universe. She now had a different path to follow. And if Spock was correct, the only way to keep these portals closed for good, without having to live here, was to live in the past.
Michael put in the proper coordinates and headed back home.
There was something about the way everyone looked at her, when Michael arrived at Sarek and Amanda’s compound, that told her that Spock had somehow gotten the bad news to them. Amanda looked horrified, Sarek looked unemotional, save for his mouth, which was pursed in a grim line. Worf was there and he looked as if he were on the verge of howling!
“I don’t have much time. Commander Riker and Captain Pike will probably soon be joining us. You have spoken with Spock?” Michael asked.
“He was in communication with us, yes.” Sarek said.
“Spock has been under some stress. I’m sure his calculations are wrong.” Amanda chimed in.
“I do not think he knows of what he speaks at all!” Worf snapped. “You have heard of this ‘Earth Past’ he thinks you should go to? Even with Sith powers, I do not think you could survive it. Neither you nor the child you are carrying!”
“No,” Michael said, trying to hide her fright, “I have no idea what time period he is sending me to or what is happening in it. I just know that Captain Pike seemed to agree with him.”
“And Commander Riker?” Amanda asked.
“He didn’t like the idea at all.” Michael admitted. “But I have to face the fact that I do not belong here. If I had been raised in the Infinite Universe, none of this would be happening. This baby being conceived, has not been enough. Another version of Jonathan Archer has been living there this whole time as well.”
Worf reacted visibly to that, but said nothing. Sarek approached her.
“What is it that you want to do? We can ignore Spock’s calculations and come up with another way.” he told her.
“There is no other way. I feel that. I don’t know how or why, but I do. It’s now a matter of making this happen. Probably the sooner the better.” Michael said, trying to sound sure of herself. Amanda turned and walked over to a window to stare out. Michael could feel her distress but could do nothing to lessen it. She faced her father and Worf.
“Where do I need to go?” she asked.
Worf looked away and left it up to Sarek to explain.
“You will need to go to a version of Earth that was experiencing an apocalypse.”
Michael almost gaped at her father!
“An apocalypse? Seriously?”
“It is the only way, according to Spock.” Sarek replied.
“What caused this apocalypse?” Michael asked.
“It is unknown,” Sarek replied, “but what is happening is that the undead walk the planet, leaving very few people alive. This was during the 21st century. So many of the modern devices that Earth has now, were not available then. It made it nearly impossible for most people to survive.”
Michael gave Sarek a confused look.
“Explain the ‘undead’ part? So they walk the earth and what?”
“They survive by feeding on the flesh of live people!” Worf bit out. “I am sorry but this solution is unacceptable! I am offering my hand in marriage to your daughter, Sarek! I will take her to to this God forsaken place and protect her and the child!”
Michael smiled at him and reached for his hand.
“Worf, I am the one that needs to leave if this is going to work. If other people enter a time period that they do not belong in…well…I have to go. Alone.” she said softly, squeezing his hand.
“We will have to figure out what you will need to survive. And there is always the chance…” Sarek faltered, feeling some emotion that he thought he had long suppressed, come out. Amanda turned from the window to look at him, tears glistening in her eyes. Michael realized that the sooner this happened, the sooner her family could recover from the shock and move on with their lives.
“I am going to begin packing. I suppose that I should begin thinking of this baby as well. He or she will need things.” Michael said and left the room. When she reached her upper level bedroom, she sat on the edge of her bed and put her head in her hands. This was…was…frightening. But somehow, someway, she would have to find a way to leave all that she knew and enter a barbaric world. And unrest and uncertainty, made people act like animals. She had to be prepared to fight for herself and her baby.
She felt gentle hands touch her head and she looked up, expecting to see Amanda.
Instead, she looked up into the eyes of one Emperor Gabriel Lorca! And she knew it was him because he said…
“Well, Miss Priss, I have finally caught up with you. And if you think I’m allowing you to leave for some cannibal planet, you have another thing coming!” he said, yanking her up and walking her towards her closet! That closet! Michael thought that the portal in there had been sealed for good!
Michael began to resist his hold!
“Your Highness, you can’t take me from here! We can’t keep doing this…”
She stopped suddenly when two undead things came out of the closet, growling and snarling! O’Brien was right behind them, and he carried some sort of metal box that appeared to control the things. He hit a button and the undead looking men, fell to their knees and began pleading for their lives!
“Please, Your Highness! I will control my hunger from now on! Please do not throw me into the fire pit!” one of them yelled. Michael knew that if they were any louder, Worf and Sarek would hear them.
Lorca ignored them and looked at O’Brien.
“Keep them under control, then leave them here. This will buy us some time with the Vulcan and Klingon until we can get back home.” Lorca told him, before pulling on Michael. She knew she should stop him from taking her back with him, but she could not take her eyes off of the undead men! They looked and smelled horrible! THIS was what she would’ve had to deal with???
Lorca seemed to read her mind.
“They couldn’t talk when we picked them up from that Earth planet. We get them here and they were jibber jabbering away! One of them bit one of Gul Dukat’s men and you should see how he looks now!” Lorca said, sounding amused.
“Your Highness, those things have to be destroyed! Let go of me and…”
Lorca stopped and placed his hands tightly on her shoulders.
“Did you want to go and live on a planet, by yourself, with a baby and those things? The answer is no. And no matter what kind of abilities you have, Michael, eventually, you and your child, would have become one of them! These people you call ‘family’, were willing to throw in the towel and let that happen to you. I say we use those undead things as an army, here.”
“That doesn’t stop the portals…”
“Michael, if I see someone in our world that doesn’t belong, meaning any other versions of Jonathan Archer, I’ll gladly kill them. Again and again. Now can we get going? Or am I going to have to carry you?”
It was on the tip of Michael’s tongue to ask him about how he planned to handle other versions of himself, but she didn’t. She could hear Sarek, Worf and now, Commander Riker, running down the hall towards her room. Emperor Lorca pulled her through the closet, before she could warn anyone, of the undead beings they would be facing when they entered. She had decided not to fight this particular fate—for now. She would stay in the Terran Universe as the Empress of one Gabriel Lorca, until she wasn’t. Again.