Chapter 1: Thunderstorm
The weather outside was terrifying. Heavy clouds rising to the sky, black as the sea, shuttered by thunder and lightning. My view wanders around but the darkness that surrounded me made it nearly impossible to see anything but the falling rain outside.
“That was a really bad idea.” With a deep sigh I sunk back in the driver seat of my brother´s car, another bad decision to take it, instead of mine and slow down a little bit more. At this speed it will take hours to get back home.
I should have taken the offer from my brother, to stay overnight, but I was tired from my long day at work and want nothing more than to sleep in my own bed. Now it looks like, that I would sleep in his car.
A sound like from hell itself cuts the clouds and a lightning strokes into a lonely tree next to me. I flinched a bit and wondered about myself. I´m not afraid in thunderstorm, but this was heavy and the blinking on the display of the car don´t made it better. It´s getting colder with every mile I pass by and soon the streets will get slippery. Something the cars wants to show me in a very dramatic way.
“Oh shut up, you’re a car, not a spaceship!”
I hit a button on the wheel, resulting in another beeping. My phone rings and this time I was grateful the car has also a button for this. I take the call and could only smile a little, as I hear the voice on the end of the line.
“Turn around!” Marcus, my brother sounds seriously. “The world is going down out here.”
“Noo, I don´t see that.” I turn on the fog lights, don’t helpful at all. “And I don´t come back, I have not a clue where I am at the moment, so I take the way that I know.”
“Ahh, says the Queen of the Queens.” Another brash sound interrupted us and I twisted my eyes. “Your car makes a strange noise, again! How could you stand this? It drives me nuts and I only borrowed it till tomorrow.”
“Come on, it´s great!” The little boy in my brother takes command. “It´s a little like being the captain of the Enterprise.”
“Nope.” I raised my finger to tip on the display. “It sounds more like the beeping of that funny landing pod from the last episode.” The car switched to another notice, something about the engine or so.
“The good one?”
“More like the mournful whine it made right before blowing Pike out into space.” I made the mistake to try to read the error message and the car gave me a shock be sliding to the wrong side. I grabbed the wheel so hard my knuckles turned white.
“Oh my gosh.” I breathed hardly, that was close. “I hang up, I need my senses together.”
“Call me, when you arrived at home.“
“I try my best.”
“Not funny Cathrin. Drive carefully.”
“Again, I try my best. Kiss the boys from me.”
“I try my best.”
With a smile on my face I cut up the call and focused again on the street. The clouds are illuminated by the thunderbolts, a strange red and yellow gleaming followed them. And then my world turns upside down. Right in front of me a bright light appeared, it looked frightening like rear lights and I imagined seeing people standing around.
With full force I stepped on the brake and…nothing. The car shoots right through the lights, leaving me no way to averted the crash this way, so I did the next best thing that goes through my mind, I grabbed the wheel, turn it around and regretted it instantly.
I felt the car breaking out, twisting around its own axis and throwing me hardly back in the seat. The safety belt punched against my thorax, takes my breath shortly away and I lose my orientation. Something hit my head and I felt blood running through my eyes. Then I saw it, a big tree and I rushing directly through it. That hit I won´t survive and still the car don´t reacted to anything I could do preventing it.
I grabbed the door handle, a useless reaction done in panic and fear. Then my car jumps, was tired up in the air and that was the moment, I was sure, I´m dying right know. I closed my eyes, muttered a prayer and hoped it would happened quickly. But nothing happened.
Slowly I opened my eyes again and couldn´t believe, what I saw. The clouds are gone, the clear sky was right in front of me with the glowing moon getting near to me.
“Oh no, no, no.” I start screaming, but my voice sounds strangely far away, like it was not mine anymore. My body was numb, my hands still at the wheel, unable to lose it or to make any other action at all.
Nothing of the things I saw or felt make sense in any way, like all physical laws where gone in the blink of an eye. Space, time and even reality lost its meaning to me and I could not say if it were hours, days, years or centuries I stuck in this red nightmare, that pulled me away from all I knew.
Lastly I gave up, closed my eyes again and revealed to the madly thoughts and the fear that flows over me.
But it was not the end…
With a deafening crash the car hit solid ground, after the feeling of eternity and ripped me out of my unconsciousness. My body reacted faster than my brain and I stepped on the break and finally it gripped. The tires squeaked, again I was throwing around and imagined people who jumped out of my way.
“Stop!” A rumble and at last the car stopped.
Oh please, let anybody be alright. Please let me not run over somebody.
In panic I released the seat belt, stumbled out of the car, prevented myself from slipping on the ground, than turned around.
“Is everybody okay?”
I broke up, before I could said anything else. I was inside a building, maybe I crushed into it or maybe I lay somewhere bleeding and dying. Both could be possible, but I was tempted to toke the second opinion, then what I saw right in front of me, wasn´t possible. I hold up my hand and a dozen hands around followed that move.
I stared at the man who gave this order, blinking and asking myself again, what the hell are going on here. Something burned in my eye, as I laid my hand on my forehead, a burning pain forced me to toke my fingers back and as I looked at them, there were covered in blood.
“Oh, that couldn´t be good.”
My legs started to shaking, my knees get weak. Whatever it was, that holds me up in a straight position, loses slowly its effect. Before my eyes I could see stars sparkling and although I was pretty sure I didn´t move, everything in my head starts spinning around.
“Are you alright?”
The pictures before me, didn´t fit the thoughts in my head. As I looked up again, my brain concluded in not working anymore. Slowly I blinked at the man, dressed up in a blue Starfleet uniform and felt my mouth ankle twitched a little. I knew this man, but that could not be real, this was impossible!
“Ehm.” I swallowed, searching for words, I closed my eyes. “I don´t know.” With another step forwards he stood right in front of me, someone companied him on his left side. I looked up.
This eyes, his voice.
“But I think I´ve already lose my mind.”
That was the last thing I remembered clearly, then my mind gave up and toked the rest of me with it. I tilt forward and barley realized that someone picked me up, than everything turned black and I get carried away.
Chapter 2: Dream, Nightmare or something else?
The crew of the Discovery tries to find out, where their mysterious visitor came from...
He had been through many strange things. Some of it creepy and savage, others were beautiful and exciting but this here, was absolutely unbelievable.
“Okay. And know from the beginning and please, slowly.“ Pike crossed his arms and try to follow the words from his chief medical officer.
“I don´t know how this is even possible but she is a human being, like you and I.” Dr. Pollard pointed at her still unconscious patient. “And in the view of her not treated anomalies and diseases and the medical deposits, who by the way where ridiculous easy to medicate, I would guess she was born at the end of the 20th Century and I estimate her at the age of 33 years.” She turned her gaze now to the captain. “She is a bit shaken up, had a lightly cut on her forehead and I´m sure, a hell of a shock and an enormous headache when she wakes up but no other injuries at all.”
“Is it possible to wake her up?” Pike watched her thorax moved slowly up and down. Someone get her out of her bloody clothes and dressed her in a Discovery hospital shirt.
“I don´t recommended this.” Pollard checked her vital signs. “If our surmises are correct, then, from the moment on, she awakes, she will have a lot of things to process.” She sighed a bit. „Everything here would be new for her and assuredly frightening.”
“Oh yes, definitely.” Pike hesitated shortly, than he placed his hand carefully on her shoulder. “Call me, when she awakes.”
Captain Pike sat on the head of the conference table, surrounded by some of his officers and listened to the words of Ensign Tilly. As always, he was impressed by the speed of words that popped out of the young woman´s mouth, but this times it seemed even Silvia Tilly are lost in words.
“Altogether, this is a car from the early 21th Century. Markings are set 2018 and the brand dates back from Germany.”
“So, she is German?” Detmer smiled a bit, she although was born in this country.
“Those cars were very popular around the world this time.” Spock shifted some pictures. “But we found documents in those languages, so it substantiated our presumption.”
“What else we got?“ Pike watched at the photos Tilly brings up.
“Some CD´s, new clothes.“ Silvia smirked a little. „“Some really cool shoes and her handbag.“
“Under the passenger seat we found her smartphone.” Burnham slipped it to Pike, he grabbed it and turned it around. “Nothing unusual at that times, but hers barely used.”
The display was broken but still worked, Chris tipped on it. It showed the unidentified woman, two little boys on her side.
“Oh man.” Chris presented the phone to Burnham. „Please tell me, that they are not hers.“
“Dr. Pollard didn´t found any indication for pregnancies or childbirth, but there is a certain similarity between them, maybe her nephews or brothers.”
“Did we have a name?” Saru taken the phone from Pike and considered it in curiosity. “Or did we call her farther the unknown.“
„She still didn´t awake.“ Pike rose from his chair. “Dr. Pollard would give her the opportunity to do it on her own time.”
“Wise decision.“ Spock turned off the screen. „How do we proceed?“
„Owo, ensure she gets a quarters, when she´s allowed to leave sick bay.” The captain turned around to dissolved the meeting.
“Shouldn´t we take her to the brig?“ Agent Tyler interrupted him. “I mean, we still don´t know who she is or where she came from. Maybe she´s not that harmless then she seemed.”
Pike stared at him, bite back his snappy answer. He and Tyler just approached a little and he didn´t want to start another argument. Just because he didn´t like what he did, didn´t meant that he couldn´t like him.
“Dr. Pollard found no hints of a hidden identity.” Tilly chooses Pikes site. “It were mean to put her in a cell, if she´s been to those things we guess.
“You both made your point clear.” Pike looked back and forth between them. “Commander Nhan, turn off one of the security guards, till we know who she is, someone should guide her all the time.” Another look goes to his officers. “Anybody alright with that?“ They nodded at him. „Good, keep on your researches, please keep me informed.”
Everyone confirmed, than the briefing been resolved and they turn to execute their commands.
“How is this possible?” Burnham turned around to look at Pike. “Did we do something to bring her here? Is it a result of the signals?”
“I guess only time will tell us this.” The Captain leaned again his desk. “Or we are lucky and she knows the answer.”
“Would you bet?” She smiled at him.
“Captain Pike please to the sick bay.”
“No I wouldn´t but maybe we now get some context.” He looked up, than he catches her gaze, a knowing smile on his lips. “Do you want to accompany?
„Yes Sir! Thank you.“
How could I describe this to you?
Imagine your mind like the desktop of your computer, the icons are your memories. All the things you go through, everything you ever loved, made, learned, watched… I could go on with that, but I guess you got the point.
Now something or someone took some of those icons and put them away, not deleting it, just out of your reach, of your sight, but not so far away that you didn´t had a glimpse of them from time to time. This someone put your memories in little boxes, sealed with something like a password or a key you don´t have and thrown it in the transitions of a labyrinth. So near and so far at the same time.
Or if this explanation fits you better. Like memories taken away with a wand from a wizards mind, putted in little bottles and placed away on an unreachable cupboard. You knew they are there but you unable to get it.
Oh and the best is yet to come. Me, sitting there and watch helplessly how this happens to me.
I knew so many things.
I go through every war Starfleet has been, had mourned every lost and fight and now I could even say, what this wars were about.
I followed a starship halfway through the galaxy but I just remember that the captain was a women.
I could name every captain of the Enterprise, in the right sequence but yet this list vanished right before my eyes, left just the taste of a cup of earl grey tea and been replaced by only one sentence.
The Captain of the Enterprise is Christopher Pike.
Pike…I tried to remember the things I knew about him but even them were cloaked under a vail, not so sealed like the other ones but still not touchable.
So this list goes on and on and it felt like eternity but I wasn’t able to open my eyes, to move or to get away from this torture. I run, hide in the darkest corner of my mind and hope that all this wasn´t more than a really, really bad nightmare.
Before I get lost in something like a panic attack, I sense a strange feeling in my head, like a big cotton ball that droops over me, calms me down and cuts me up, taking me finally away to a deep, dreamless sleep.
Red, everything was red and it seemed like forever till it decided to left me. It was not pitch black where I was, but even it was not totally bright. As well as it wasn´t noisy or quiet at all. A little while ago, someone talked by side, maybe about me, I hadn´t understood anything of it and after a short time there were silence again. A blanket laid on me but I couldn´t take it of my body, so I stopped trying. The pillow was soft but a little weird at all. Slowly I tried to move my head a bit.
That hurts, but the question was, why? A doll throb goes down my spine. I pinched my eyes before I decided to open them up, I was curious what was going on. It took some seconds to get a clear view at all, than I looked at a weird ceiling light. A moving shadow catches my attention and I turned my head. A dark skinned lady looked at me, her eyes warm and carrying with that special glance in it, that only doctors could do. That would explain her white clothes and the silver badge…
I raised my hand, searching for the wound on my forehead, but there was nothing and my explanation for this distracting view before my eyes was blown away like dandelion seeds. So I closed my eyes again.
“How do you feel?”
“Shaken up.” I took a deep breath, than I opened my eyes and gazed at the other visitors on my left side. “And I think I getting crazy.”
The doctor raised a funny instrument and headed it over my body. I followed her with my eyes, then I glanced to the other forms and then I felt how my temper raised.
“Okay, who wants to mess around with me?” I started to move but that the doctor don´t agreed and so she pushed me back into the bed.
“You should take it slowly.” Her hard look at me didn’t have the effect she wished for. She would be the first doctor that scares me.
“I don´t want! I just want to go home! My mother and I.“ I took a deep breath, a try to calm myself, than I dropped back again. “That´s not funny anymore.”
The man and the women shared a quick look, then he nod to the doctor and she left those funny little gathering.
“I can imagine that this is hard for you to take but maybe you found it reassuring that it is also for us.” He smiled at me and damn, that looks cute. As well as I had it in my memory.
„Would you reveal us your name?“ And her voice was as beautiful as I expected it.
I sighed, sit up and breathed deeply. “My name is Cathrin Zimmer.” I looked at him and cut him up, before he could said something. “Listen, I really appreciate what is going on here. Someone really make an effort and I´m sure that costs a hell out of money but.” I shook my head. “That’s not as half as funny as you may think it is.”
Again they exchanged views, than he takes a step towards me. Somethings emanating from him, something I couldn´t arranged, so I looked up in his blue eyes, as he continued to speak.
“What do you think, where you are?” He was persistent. Now I´m even more annoyed that I didn´t get the name from this actor last week. I preferred to get me some ice crème while the intro was playing.
“I guess I´m on a film set or some kind of an escape room or I lay dying in my car somewhere in the middle of nowhere.” Now I get started right. “She is Commander Michael Burnham and you are Captain Christopher Pike.” I pointed around me. “This is some place set up like the infirmary of the USS Discovery and I must confess that it looks fantastic but I´m not up to it. I had a long, long day and a horrible way home, so please, can I lay down on my couch finally?”
“You think this is a TV show?” Pike tilted his head. “Or a movie?”
“Yes!” I nodded, not the best idea. My head quitted this with a heavy throb, followed by some ugly stars before my eyes and everything starts to move.
“Calm down.” Burnham steps towards me too. „How could we make you clear that this here is real? That nothing stepped out your imagination or someone else?”
I would started to laugh, she couldn´t be serious, but her gaze left me no doubt on her genuine intensions and so I did her the favor and looked around. And then slowly, really slowly I recognized some things, I didn´t see before. On the bed next to me lays another patient, he seemed to be injured, his values on the display behind him fluctuated up and down. The doctors working at her office, a woman stepped inside and the slices turned opaque.
Outside on the hallway someone or something passed by. It has a giant head and as it toke a brief look inside, I must covered my mouth with my hand, otherwise I would had start screaming. No special effect make-up have had done those effect. It blinked at me, differently with every eye.
“That wasn´t the best timing.” Pike caught my attention as he raised his hand. I flinched back and he paused in his movement.
“That´s impossible! I mean.” My brain needed a confirmation of that, what I started slowly to realize. I raised my hand, its shaking demented and I couldn´t believe that I am going to do that. Guardedly I tipped against the badge on his uniform, than I placed my whole hand upon his breast. Unsure about what to do now, he cast a look to Burnham, but didn´t do anything to stop me.
I sensed how his heart beats under my fingers, the fabric felt strangely, sturdy and supple at the same time, I never saw something like that before. I looked up from my hand, right into his eyes and that was the moment I recognized it.
An expression no actor could work out ever. A combination of the burden of command on his shoulders, mixed up with kindness, warmth and the unbreakable recognition that he knows exactly what he wants. At this moment I didn´t even know, but it would cost me some time to get completely behind this look but in this second now, it was enough to break the protective shield, my mind build up around that unbelievable knowledge and as he suspected what is going on inside of me, he laid his hand on mine, still placed over his heart.
His touch was like a shock. I heard myself gasped for air, than I teared up my eyes.
“Hey, everything’s alright.” He tightly enclosed my hand with his. “Nothing will happen to you.”
His other hand landed on my shoulder, like he must prevented me from running away and to be honest, that’s exactly what goes through my mind right now.
“Cathrin look at me! I will not let anything happen to you!” With his blue eyes he gazed directly into my green and that took something from the panic away that threatens to overwhelm me. “Nobody here does!”
I take a look over my shoulder right to Burnham and she softly smiled at me. “I knew, it is much required but I guess we must trust each other, to understand what is happening here.”
“That sounds good.” I replied her smile, then I looked at Pike again. “I think you could release me now.”
“But don´t run away.” He smiled so bright, that his dimples were shown, a totally different smile than before and I liked it too.
“I´ll try.” Then I pulled back my hand, he let it go and takes his hand from my shoulder. Ironically it had doesn´t bother me, if he had leaved it there.
“So from the beginning?“ He placed a hand on his chest. „Christopher Pike.“
„Michael Burnham.“ She reached out her hand and I grab it for a shake. We both shared a smile.
“Cathrin Zimmer.“ Then I felt another need in my body. “Is there anything to eat on this spaceship? I´m starving. How long did I passed out?“
„More than two days.“ Pike pointed at the door, smiling at my confused look. “Let´s get some food for you.”
Chapter 3: Let´s start with something simple.
Here comes part 3 of the "pilot story". But there is more to come!
Here I am, dressed in some black sports clothes, between those folks, all dressed up in those sophisticated blue uniforms and I felt how everyone was looking at me.
“So, you say, what you want and.”
“I know.” I squinted at my companion. “The magic box will prepare it.” I must have had seen it a thousand times, but to do it now by myself, that was more than worn. “It is only.” I let my head hang down before I moved aside. Behind my back a little jam had formed and probably the only reason no one starts to grouse were, that Captain Pike stands next to me.
“That was not a good Idea.” I looked around. “I guess I want to get out of here.”
Beside me another Alien steps towards the Replicator and orders something, I couldn´t even pronounce and I was totally sure, I won´t see it. So I just went off, runs against someone and only my decency kept me from cry out.
“Excuse me Linus.” Pike was back again, puts on arm around me and guided me out of the mess hall.
“Okay, take a deep breath.” He turned me around, placed his hands upon my shoulders and watched my in my eyes. “This was Linus, a Saurian, a nice guy and the one by the Replicator was Tok´mer, but why he eats that, I do not understand.” He grinded. “Or what he is eating.”
I, on the other hand, was just starring at him, committed not completely lose my composure.
“Let´s take a few steps.” He placed a hand in my back and so softly forced me to go with him, as he started to move. “I have another idea.”
Pike guided me through a jumble of corridors, into a turbolift and this one took us to his Ready Room. Without any resistance I endured that all. Whatever it was that was happened to me, now it slowly demanded it´s tribute. I was tired and done in. Every part of my body feels like I was gone through a hard fight and the headache didn´t want to get better. Pike pulled me to the couch and as he sat down, I followed him and sunk in the padding.
“Let´s start with something simple.” Again he smiled so outrageously nice at me. “Coffee?”
„Yes, sounds good.“ I watched him, as he picked up two cups and then came back to me.
“Listen, I know, that´s a hell of a lot to take.” He turned towards me. “And I wish, I could gave you all time of the world to get yourself together but I fear time is on our shoulders and god knows what else.”
“I´m sorry. It is only.” I closed my eyes and now a tear runs down my cheek, so long I could have avoided it, but now. I sunk back in the pillows. “I fear, I´m not only a time traveler.“ I cross eyed at him. „I guess, I am from another reality.“
„How do you mean that?“
“You still know for sure, that I told you, I knew you and all that here?” I make a gesture that included the whole room.
“Lively.” He leaned forward to grab one cup than he placed it in my hands.
“For me that leaves only one conclusion and just for the case I´m wrong, please don´t laugh at me, otherwise I crawl in a hole forever.”
“I would never do that.”
I believed him and so I told him the theory I got in my mind for the last two days.
“I´ve been ripped out from my life, where your life is only a fiction, a very good one, well thought through but yet pure imagination. I know what happens in the future because I´ve seen it, till a time more than two hundred years ahead but strangely I started to forget it and I can do nothing to prevent it. I have no idea how this could be possible, but I´m here, so somehow it is possible.” I sighed. “So I come from another reality and from another time.”
I imagined that he was actually a little impressed by my execution because he took a moment before he talked again.
“What lead you to that conclusion?”
“If you like, I´m a nerd.” I penetrated myself to a smile. “Is this term still used?”
Okay, with a closer look everyone here was a nerd, so maybe they called it normal.
“I think nerds never die out.” He was twitching his eyebrows. “Probably I am also one.”
„Of course but don´t tell anyone.“
I sip some coffee, it was bitter, he added no milk and I decided not to tell him but something in my face must revealed me because he stud up to and came back with a little milk jug, than he picked his cup.
“I could never go back home.” I shrugged my mouth a little.
“We do not know that yet, I got my best people on it and they not used to give up.” He smiled again.
„I hope your right.“
But as I looked at him now, I could see in his eyes that he didn´t quite believed himself. His following comment emphasized this even more.
“If we didn´t can bring you back, and I say expressly if, I´m sure we found something, that you can do here.” He hold his hand up. „But again, we don´t give up.“
„I know.“ I tried to smile a bit. „I should stopping thinking so much about this.“
“You should try to get some rest.” He stood up and walked through his desk, activating the comm. “Ensign Tilly to the ready room.” Pike looked at me, that I took as an opportunity to join him. “Silvia Tilly, I think you will like her. She gets you to your quarters.”
“I get my own quarters?” That didn´t felt very good, it sounds more like, found your way with it, you stay here.
“There you get some rest, get some time on your own.” He raised one eyebrow. “Unless you will go back to sick bay?”
“No, please not. I have the feeling, the lady-doctor sees me a bit as her trail rabbit.”
The doorbell got his reply to that. A few seconds later a redhead walked in, I knew her too and I got the feeling, that this day at least will get a good ending.
Again I passed out for nearly 24 hours. Tilly´s explanations and her lightspeed guiding tour through the ship finished me off and I still wondered how I get in the bed in the quarters.
Wait, wrong. My bed, in my quarters.
It didn´t get better the more often I said this to myself. The guard that started following me anytime I left this rooms didn´t help either.
“Captains Order.“ That was all the very quiet man said to me before he or one of his colleagues keep my company. I was so happy this morning, when I left the quarters to took part a briefing, that Commander Nhan stands before my doors.
She engaged me in a nicely conversation and we made our way through the ship. She guided me into the ready room where Pike and his officers awaited me.
I took a set on the briefing table and started waiting for the things that are to come.
“Are you feeling better?” Pike looked at me.
„I work on it.” I tipped against my forehead. “It still hurts, when I try to remember something. Dr. Pollard get me something, maybe it helps this time.”
„Okay.“ He coughed and the room felt silent. “We all know, why we are here.” A brief look flited to me, I catched it and nodded a little.
“Hey everyone.“ I smiled at the crewmembers that where all looking at me so I hoped I could tell my story accident free. “My name is Cathrin Zimmer and I´m born in the year 1986, October 31 if you want it exactly.”
“Whacked up.” That comes from Tillys place and she immediately clenched her lips together. “Sorry.”
“On my way home the weather turns, a horrible thunderstorm started and the next time I saw clear, I was hear.” I spread my arms. “From 2019 to 2257.”
“Did you do anything to produce those jump?” Burnham started tipping on a tablet.
“Not that I know of.” But I think again. “No, everything was like always. I drove home from a visit at my brother and his children. The only difference was that I got his car, he needed the trailer hitch on mine.” A few asking view. „A device to transport big things.“ I must smile a little. „I actually thought, you all have to explain me thinks.”
“I´m sure that will start soon.“ The man, who introduced himself as Lieutenant Spock turned to me. “So you guess you are from another reality?“
„I don´t know, maybe?” I shrugged with my shoulders. “I mean, it cannot be that everything developed like some Science Fiction Author has come up with.”
“Improbable.” He starts to search something too.
“That phenomenon that brings you here, we call the Red Angel. It is sometimes accompanied with the appearance of some signals, those we could limited analyze till yet.” Pike leans towards me. “What we knew is that there are temporal components but that seems not to be all.”
“Furthermore they take us to places where great changes or catastrophes are taking place.” Saru, the first officer reported the word. „Like on my home world Kaminar.“
„I hope it was something good?“
“Time will tell.” He nodded at me.
Though Pike gained my access to the computer, but I barely got time to learn more than the names of the core crew.
“So, why did it send this time someone from another time and reality to us?” Lieutenant Commander Stamets smiled at me, it was a little hard for me to replied it. “Oh no worry, we find it out. We always do.”
“Thank you.” I looked at the man that didn´t said a word. Ash Tyler, but so far as I knew he should be on Qo´noS. And he don´t spoke much.
„So the Red Angel?“ I pressed my lips together, trying not to giggle. „Is that an official name?“
“You don´t like it?” Spocks gaze bored into mine, that maybe should scared me, but it doesn´t.
“Well, I don´t dislike it.” I twitched with my nose. „It sounds just very spiritually for a huddle of scientist or a Vulcan.” I could see a lightly surprised look on Spocks face, that maked Stamets giggle.
“I knew, I like you.” His warm view flited to me. „After that even a little bit more.”
Pike giggled too and Burnham twisted her eyes.
“I don´t want to insult anybody.” I tried an apologetic look at Spock. “But blame it on the medication I just can imagine some form, sitting on a cloud, playing harp and wearing a red dress instead of something white.” Now Tilly chortled and even Saru seemed amused. I squinted at Pike. „Sorry Captain.“
I could saw how he hardly tries to get himself together but then reminds somehow that he is the captain.
“So you don´t believe in angels?”
“My grandmother always said, there are more things between earth and space than for us to understand.”
“It doesn´t have to be called heaven?” Between Michaels brows a lightly line was shown.
“My grandmother was been religious but she was not naive.” I smiled a bit. “In her bookshelf you could found the Bible next to every book of Stephen Hawing, but her faith gets her to World War Two, the times that followed and kept her sane the years my grandfather was missing.” I looked at the picture on the screen. “I believe in angels, but I never imagine them like that.”
“Did you see the angel?“ Another question from Michael.
„No, I haven´t. I just remembered those red light and the next thing I know is, that I stumbled out of my car in your shuttle bay.”
“Excuse me, but you didn´t appear to be afraid of this situation.” Now Tyler opens his mouth. It was our first personal meeting, okay I seen him before.
“Why should I?”
“The whole situation. A strange place filled up with strange people.” He looked at me, for me it sounds like he descripted his one situation. I swallowed a little and as I spoke again, I could hear my voice tremble a bit.
“It´s not that, that I have no fear but now, here in this room, nobody is helped when I broke down.” I looked at him and could see that he regretted his question. “It is enough that it happened every night when I try to fall asleep.”
And with this few word my good mood pops away like a soap bubble and strangely toke everyone´s with it.
“Okay.” Pike clap his hands together. “Let us take a break from here.”
“Aye Sir.” The officers stand up and leaved the ready room.
Tilly steps towards me. “Hey, wanna get some coffee and cake, I´m done with my shift in an hour.”
“Thanks Silvia.” I smiled at her. “I meet you at the mess hall or me and my guide.”
She left and I was alone with Pike, we both ware sitting still on that great table. It seemed a lighting had burned it long ago and I start moving my fingers over that scar.
“I hoped they got better news for you.” He smiled at me.
“It´s okay.” I lifted my right shoulder a little. “Maybe someday.” Or never. That thought made me sad.
“Cathrin listen.” He tipped on my arm and I took my view from the table up to him. “It´s only a few days and we just scratched the surface and to make matters even worse, we had to deal with so much things that got high priority from Starfleet.”
“Captain.” I cut him off. “You don´t have explain yourself to me, I understand this, really.” He shortly placed his hand upon mine.
“We will find a way and until that.”
He get up, offers me a hand and I took it. With lightness he pulled me up from the chair, than he leaded me to that door the others had used. It opened up and I followed him through it. I feel my eyes getting big as I recognized where I stand. I was on the bridge, the screen shows the space, so clear like I had never seen it before. And for the first time until days my heart gets a little bit lighter. Everyone smiled at me, Burnhams winks briefly and I returned it. I felt a gentle touch on my arm and turned towards it. Captain Pike looked at me, something in his eyes that just let my smile, than he joined me.
“Welcome on Discovery.”
Chapter 4: Now comes the night.
Contains Spoilers from “Project Daedalus” (Ep.9)
Named after the song Now comes the night from Rob Thomas.
Cathrin gets more in touch with her new situation. A little sad chapter...
There are a lot of things to learn, when you came to a new place. Some are little, others are big, some are annoying and some are never changed. Or, like me, you have to learn everything new.
After an awkward conversation with Dr. Pollard I knew that PMS and all that it comes with are still sucks, better to handle but still ugh…
What also sucks were that jeans from the 21th century are not made to be worn in the engine room of a space ship. I ripped it, while Commander Stamets showed me the spore drive, I still not sure how it actually happened but that’s are the story, how I get my own Discovery uniform.
Tilly was so nice to introduce me the strange bathroom and helped me with most of the commonplace things. I got an impressive ship plan from Commander Saru along with another guided tour. I apologized to Mr. Spock, our start was not the best but after that, we had a nice conversation and found some common ground to build our friendship on. Who had thought that?
Lt. Commander Airiam tried her best to teach me something she called Kadis Kot but she had to recognized like many others before her, that I´m absolutely inappropriately for any kind of board game. We switched instead to a lovely cup of hot chocolate and had a nice conversation about home and family. More members of the primary bridge crew jointed us and on these late afternoon, I first get a glimpse of what could become my new home, maybe family.
„Please tell everyone, I love them.”
I felt my lips start to shiver. I pressed my hand over my mouth to stop myself from crying and was damned like everyone on the bridge, to watch the following seconds helplessly, unable to do anything to prevent it.
Than the unbelievable happened. A hollow crack and the merciless vacuum of space took Airiam away. I heard myself gasp for air, a tear ran down my cheek. She was gone. Shock, Sorrow, Pain flooded her friends on the bridge, let them all remained in silence unable to do anything. From the corner of my eye I could see how Tilly starts trembling, struggling with herself, than she starts running.
“Silvia.“ I teared myself from my solidification and followed her. I catched her at the turbolift, jumped inside and put my arms around her before she could start protesting.
“It´s okay.“ I firmly pressed her against me. „I´m here.“ . Before the doors closed, I could see Pike took a look at me, then Tilly and I were alone and she starts uncontrolled crying in my arms.
The Lift stops at least three times before she was ready to step of. I put my arm around her and hold her hand.
“Really Sil, it´s okay.” I towed her to the mess hall, placed her on a chair and took a seat beside her. “Your aloud to mourn.” I closed my hand around hers. „Everyone has, everyone will.“
„She is.“ Tilly bitted her lip. „She was my friend an now she´s gone.“ I said nothing, let her talk. “For no reason and we should go on like nothing happened?”
“Nobody required that.” To be honest, I had no idea what the Starfleet protocol provided in such a case but I was sure, that it offered time to mourn, everything else wouldn´t fit. “Take your time.”
I looked up as Detmer and Owo entered the room, raised my hand and waved them towards us. They sit beside us, both shocked, not so heavy as Tilly, but almost enough. I stand up to get everyone some tea or coffee, asked if they want something to eat, than I sit again.
“Can I do something else for you?” Nobody response, so I continued to talk. “Talk to each other, if you feel about it. Remember, she did it for you all, for the entire crew, to save you.”
“You are here too.” Rhys joined us meanwhile, now he looked at me. “I guess you both understand each other well."
“Well, if you would say it like that. I barely knew her.” I smiled softly. “Should I look after Burnham for you?”
“Oh shit, I totally forgot her!” Tilly jumped to her shaky legs, brushing away the tears from her face.
“Okay, sit down.” I stood up too and pushed her back to her chair. “I do that, than I inform you.” I placed my hands upon her shoulders. “She´s surely still in sick bay. All good!“
I smiled, than I walked away, hoping I was right with my guess. Halfway through I ran into Spocks arms.
“Ah finally.” I gazed at him.
“I was searching for you too.” He considered me with his usual view. “I´m just back from sick bay.”
“You were with Michael.” Thank God someone, but I kept that to myself.
“I was, yes.” He did something that could be a sigh. “She will be back on her feet soon, but Dr. Pollard would keep her a little longer under observation.
“She was hardly attacked by Lt. Commander Airiam.” He broke off. “Well, rather by the entity that controls her.”
“That doesn´t make it easier.” I let my head hang down. “Do you know anything about Commander Nhan?”
“Still in surgery.” Than he looked at me. „How is the rest of the primary bridge crew?“
“I put them around a table in the mess hall, I guess, there still sit there. “ Another name came through my mind. “Commander Stamets?”
“Dr. Culber are with him.“
“Is that a good idea?” I raised an eyebrow.
“Maybe not our best option but in the lack of other options, not the worst. They are in the reception room in Deck 3, Commander Saru and some other crew members along.”
“Captain Pike?” I forgot him too. „He was not with my group.“
„Neither with mine. Maybe he is with Admiral Cornwell?“
We both shared a moment in silence, than looked at each other and spook simultaneously.
“Alright.” I shortly scratched my nose. “Would you be so friendly and inform the others how your sister is doing?”
“That should be feasible.” Spock nodded. „She sleeps at the moment. Someone should look after the Captain.” He looked at me.
“Well, I can do that.”
“Let me know, if you need help.” Than he left me, a little confused what to think about that comment, so I turned around heading to the Captains quarter. I pushed the doorbell, but still didn´t received an answer after my third try. I knocked gently.
“Captain?” I listened but again nothing. So next try. I turned around and headed through the bridge.
Only a few crewmembers passed me by, everyone looked sad and depressed. One the bridge the same picture, just a skeleton staff, engrossed in silence. I passed them and reached the doors to the ready room, the doors won´t open, so I knocked softly.
I entered and looked around. He sat on the couch in the rear part of the room, his collar released and his jacket half unzipped. Pike looked distracted and weary, I was not totally sure, but he probably had to fight with his tears as well.
“Hi.” I smiled lithely at him.
“Hey.” He looked at me. “Can I do something for you?
“Actually I wanted to ask you that.” I pointed towards him and with a wink he indicated me, to sit down. I walked across, sat down, than I looked at him. With sad eyes he gazed back. “Can I do something for you?”
Now he smiled a little bit.
“Do you know how Tilly is doing?”
“She´s sad, shocked, but not so upset as the time she left the bridge. Most of your primary bridge crew are at the mess hall, I think it´s good for them to be together for a while. Spock told me, that Michael is so far as it possible, okay. Nhan gets back on her feet too.”
“Thank you.” His eyes were still on me. “You don´t have to do this.”
“But I want, I can´t do nothing else.” My mouth twitched shortly. “And now it´s your turn.”
Again he smiled al little, started do say something but then brook with nothing.
“Chris.” I looked at him, probably a bit surprised, nevertheless I was pleased by his offer.
“Okay, Chris.” Shortly I hesitated, than I grabbed his hand. “I don´t know how Starfleet goes through those things, but that wasn´t easy for you at all. You must get some rest even if it is just for a few hours. The crew needs someone that gives them hold and I believe that someone is you.” That actually made him a bit embarrassed.
“I have a thousand things to do.”
“They surely don´t run away and are still here after some hours of sleep.”
“I didn´t have that time.” He softly shook his head.
“In that case coffee and a shower?” I pressed his hand, than I stood up and noticed, how he looked after me.
„Yes, please.“ Pike leaned back, now a little bit eased. I came back with the cups and pressed one in his hands.
“Did you know her well?” I placed my hands around my coffee and took a small sip.
“Unfortunately not.” He sighed. „I have not been here for so long. She was nice, amenable, always with an open ear for her friends and popular by the whole crew.” He gazed in his cup, than to me. “What about you?”
“Me?” I shrugged my shoulders. “I really don´t know anybody here, but Airiam was always nice to me. She told me a game, I guess Kadis-Kot?” He nodded, so I moved on. “I would like to know her better.”
Then we remain silent for a little while, sipping our coffee, both followed our own thoughts. That´s when it happened to me for the first time. Everyone I ever had known are dead, without exception. I took a deep breath, sniffed a little.
“Everything okay?” Pike turned off his cup.
“Yes, it´s only.” I shortly closed my eyes, released a deep breath, than gazed at him. “Another time, don´t let me keep you longer.” I stud up and he followed me. “Shower was settled.”
“I didn´t forget.” He still looked heartbreaking shocked. I remembered darkly, that he didn´t handle it well to lose people. Every loss touched his heart and he mourned all of it honest and sincere. “But you should follow your own advice. To help hundreds of people to mourning is not exactly conducive to the mood.”
“I could make it an order.” This got us both a little chuckle.
“No, you couldn´t.” Then I spread my arms and gave him a hug. For a moment he seemed to hesitated, than he replied it. I leaned back a little and looked at him. „But nice try.“
We released each other than I turned to go.
„Cathrin.“ I took a look over my shoulder as he accosted me. “Thank you.“
„Don´t mention it.“
I left the ready room and headed to my quarters. For a brief second I wondered, that nobody followed me. But with all that happened the last hours, I just had been forgotten and right now I was very happy about it. I entered my rooms, goes through the bathroom and following Chris “Order” to take care of myself. I stepped into the shower, closed my eyes and let the water wash my tears away.
Everything my new friends and companions had told me twirled in my head and made me even more sad and I had to agree Chris, it had been a lot for me too.
I finished, dressed in my pyjamas and laid down on my bed. Eventually I felt asleep but neither is was very long or especially good. Some more hard days are to come and if I just had suspected how hard, I would try harder to have a good night.
Chapter 5: Right into the cold water.
An awkward conversation, an unexpected turn and a moment that gets lost….
Warning for some blood (not much but better you know it)
“You want me to do what!?”
“You must tell Captain Pike that Captain Georgiou isn´t the one he used to know.”
Okay, I didn’t mishear that, but that doesn´t change my thought that the two officers right in front of me are losing their minds.
“He don´t know it.” Saru tilted his head. “Some of the events of our trip to the Mirror Universe are subjected to secrecy, among them Georgiou´s origin.
“Yeah, I knew that all.” I looked at him. “But.”
“For each of us it´s command refusal, high treason and whatever the upper command still comes.” Burnham leans towards me. “But it doesn’t work that Captain Pike didn´t know about that things, even now she works so closely with us.”
“And the Captain wouldn´t allowed anyone of us to tell him.” With one step Saru was on my side. “Right from the start, it was the wrong decision to concealed it from him and after she appeared here as an agent form Section 31, Admiral Cornwell should have inaugurated him.”
“But she didn’t.“ Michael sighed. „And we couldn´t.“
„But I could.“ I nodded, that made sense to me. I would tell him just another memory, something that sneaked into my thoughts. Strangely my memories from Discovery were always clear and overall completely. “How do I do it?”
„You go to him and jump into the cold water.”
“Well, that sounds refreshing.” I gave a long breath, stood up and gazed at both of them. “Where do I found him?”
Saru accompanied me to the ready room. Still I wasn´t allowed to move freely on board but with the first officer guiding me personally, even the head of security it´s perfectly acceptable with that.
We reached the bridge and actually Pike wasn´t there. Saru pointed to the ready room. He will not further come with me and with twenty Officers on my six, he unlikely thinks I would do any nonsense.
I paused a moment, took a deep breath, than I went through the door. That was something I still found strange. You had to knock on every door accept here. Just when Pike wanted to be on his own, the room was closed.
I stepped inside and found him sitting on his desk. He looked up, smiled at me but I turned around and was ready to leave again, then I hold up my hand to stop myself, turned around again, stepped forward and the door closed behind me.
“Can I help you?“ Understandably he darted a confusing gaze at me.
„Well, no.“ I bit on my lower lip. How do you start such a conversation? “But I must talk to you.” He pointed at the chair in front of his desk. I swiped down my uniform, my hands started to sweat right now, than I set down. How would he react? I didn´t knew him enough but I experienced him as calm and considered.
“What´s on your mind, Cathrin?” Now he looked at me, like I was used to.
“To be honest, it lay heavy in my stomach.” I expel some air. “Puh.” I gazed at him. “You wouldn´t like that.”
“I guess you say that.”
“Its about Captain Georgiou.” Pike´s hand shot up, apparently he wouldn´t me to speak on.
“No, you must hear that!” I stood up again and started to walk up and down the room. “She is not the person, for which you hold her. She is from the mirror universe and she is, if you like it, the incarnated evil.” Okay, maybe this was lightly over the top but it ensured that he kept his renewed objection to himself.
“The Philippa Georgiou that you knew died at the battle at the binary stars. That woman you worked with the whole time are the dished imperator of the Terran Empire and quasi the embodiment of everything you could imagine in your worsted nightmares. She is a psychopathic murderess, sadistically and savage. I saw her doing this, I would love to forget and for me it was all fictional.” I hold on for a minute, then turned around and looked at him. “I knew, Captain Georgiou was an old friend of you, but you shouldn´t trust this woman. She smiled at your face, while she is poisoning your coffee behind your back.”
Pike blinked really slowly, than he seemed to have to force himself, to open up his eyes to look at me again.
“Ahh and now you threw me out.” I took a step backwards. “I knew that sounds unbelievable but you need to know that.”
“Do you have any prove for that.” He stood up from his chair and walked around his desk.
“I didn’t.” I watched him, as he came to me. With every step he got closer, the more I had to lean back, to look him in his face. “I can only ask you to trust me, even if you know me too little for that.” I hoped my eyes said exactly what i wanted them to say.
“That sounds incredible.” He finally stopped in front of me.
“I know.” I pinched my lips. “But.”
“I believe you, it´s only.” Pike slowly shook his head, I could see how he bites his tongue.
“There is a reason why I telling you that.” I gave him a tight look. “Why none of your officers stood here.” His eyes grew a little. „Even if they could have explained it much more better to you.“
“Those informations are confidential.” He sighed again and looked like he would rather be somewhere else.
“Not for me.” I smiled lightly at him. „For me it is just a memory I´m telling you. Nobody can fault me, nobody can reproach me with orders or high treason and if someone asked, we just had a cup of coffee together.”
“You are not subjected to the command of Starfleet but your still under our protection. If that comes out.”
“I don´t say anything, if you say nothing.” He had to smile about that for a moment. “It´s enough, if you know it.”
“Did Leland know it?”
“Yes. I didn´t know, how much he knew, but he is adept.” I tilted my head a little bit. “I´m sorry, certainly that doesn’t feel so great.”
“Well, I got that feeling more often since Section 31 showed off.” He clicked with his tongue. “Thanks, that lighten ups the darkness a little.”
“Your welcome.” I placed a finger on my lips. “But reveal nothing.”
“I will not say a word about it.”
“Okay, than I don´t want to disturb you anymore.” I nodded at him, turned around and wanted to go.
“What are you going to do now?” He leaned against his desk, his long legs crossed, a lightly smile on his lips.
“Nothing.” I shrugged my shoulders. „I would look for one of your nice security officers and let him followed me through the ship.”
“I think we can do without it in the future.”
“Really?” I narrowed one eye, fixing him. „You don´t want to annoy me either? That would be mean.”
“No, I being serious. I think, you proven often enough, that I could trust you.“
“Thank you.” I didn´t make any sense, but I felt a little touched by that.
“Commander Nhan.” It took a second till she responded.
“The security escort for Ms. Zimmer are canceled. Till now she got free access all around.”
“After we have done that.” He rejected from his desk and walked toward me. “How about…? Are you hungry?”
“Yes.” I nodded a little unsure. “Sure.”
Shortly he laid a hand on my back and pushed me through the door. We left the room and took the turbolift. We left it on the right deck and strolled through the hallways.
„You never noticed anything?“ From the side I looked at him.
“I noticed that she has changed, that she was not longer the person I knew back from our days on the academy.” He avoided a crew member than he closed to me again. “But I blame it on her experience during the war, the explosive force of our situation or the urgency of our mission.”
“Unfortunately I can´t understand that.” Now I must sidestepped from a hurrying officer. I stumbled slightly against Pike and he caught me. “Sorry. Thank you.“
„For what?“ He smirked at me, than he pushed me back on my feet.
“For not dropping me.”
I replied the smile and ignoring the prickle that extended from the spot, where he had touched me.
“Always my pleasure.”
I just noticed, that we are not heading to the mess hall. I turned on my on axis.
“Where are we going?”
“You can guess three times.” A little to amused he looked at me.
“I guess, that makes you too much fun. “ I raised an eyebrow. “However, I must made it from A to B without getting lost every time.” I raised one finger. “That was the only benefit of being followed all the time, at least I didn´t get lost.”
“You´ll get it sorted out.” He was still smirking. “I´m waiting.”
“Okay.” I stopped, looking around. „We didn´t go to my quarters or yours.“
“Mmh.” We reached the next crossroad. “We didn´t go to the Arboretum?”
“Ahh, you payed attention.” He twitched his eyebrows.
“The last few days I had a lot of time to read.” I turned left.
“Nope, wrong.“ He interrupted me, grabbed my arm and pulled me in the opposite direction.
“If we continue like that, we never get anywhere.” I curled my nose. “I thought you were hungry?”
„I am.“ Now he stopped, looking at me. „You only have one try left.”
“That’s mean!” Actually it wasn´t, but I´m taking good care, not too told him that. This was just too much fun, and for the first time in days, it changed my mind. I raised my hands, moving them a little. “Is there something like a bar here?”
“No. That was the last try.” He leaned towards me. “But nice thought.”
“All right then Christopher Pike.” I put my hands on my hips and tried to made myself as tall as possible. Given my height, which were rather tiny compared to his 6.1, that certainly did not look particularly threatening. “I´m really hungry and I get stinky when I don´t get anything to eat.
He didn´t even tried to disguise his chuckling, than he looked right into my eyes.
“What no?” The little façade that I had built up popped like a soap bubble. Why must he look at my like that?
“You didn’t scare me with that.”
„I wouldn´t scare you. Okay maybe a little.” I let it got. „But I´m really hungry.“
Still laughing, he pushed me on again and through the next round.
„Here we wanted to go.”
“And where is here?”
„Ahh!“. I looked around. Overall it looked exactly like the mess hall just a little smaller and with some more armchairs in the corner. “I´ve never been here before.”
We get us something to eat, than we took a seat in the corner.
“Do you eat here usually?” I started to eat.
“No, but experience has shown that it is very crowded at the mess hall at the time and I thought you might want to talk a bit.”
My answer was a little smile.
“There has been flying a lot around your ears the last weeks.” He started pecking in his pasta. “How are you holding up?”
I swallowed that bit in my mouth. “Quite well, I guess.” I took my teacup in my hands. “Actually, I´m not sure about that. The time since I came here was like a rollercoaster ride. There are so much things happened that I couldn´t even imagined and my head still plays tricks on me.”
“How do you mean that?”
“It´s strange.” I leaned back. „Every time, if I try to remember anything clearly it seems that this memory fades away or getting blurred. If it’s like something does not want me to remember, and when I do, it's like a blow I cannot avoid.”
„Maybe you tried too hard. Let it come to you.” He raised his fork.
“Unfortunately, I just have the feeling that I don´t have the time for that.“ I observed him, as he continued to eat, until he realized that I was watching him. He swallowed, than looked at me as well.
“Do I have sauce on my lip or something?” Pike pulled in his lower lip to test this thesis.
“No, I just had a strange feeling.” In fact, a few pictures in my head just started to take over the supremacy.
“Good or bad?”
“I don´t know.”
I fixed my eyes on his and did not even notice how I almost stared at him. Something was there. I knew there were stories about Christopher Pike but already in the first night here, I had noticed how much had slipped from me, but apparently it was not gone, just stowed somewhere well, but now something bubbled back to the surface again. There were confusing pictures, mixed up with noises and oddly enough some feelings. An odd, but familiar taste spread on my tongue.
I heard someone saying my name, but was not sure, if it was just in my imagination. It sounds peculiar far away.
I felt someone jerked on my knee, that forced me to turn towards this motion and that dull veil teared a bit.
“Chris?” I blinked slowly, he had leaned against me, concern in his eyes. I suddenly tasted blood, grabbed my nose, and felt like I was getting sick when I looked at my bloody fingers.
“Okay, we should go to sick bay.” Pike grabbed a napkin, putted it in my trembling fingers and I pressed it against my nose. Then I realized how he put his arm around me and pulled me to my feet, well he tried. I blinked at him, but it felt wrong and as if it was the hardest thing I had done lately.
“Whoa, Cathrin, Cathrin!”
I noticed how the room tilted forward or was it me?
My torso was stopped by something hard, than I felt how I lost grip and someone, anything in my brain made me suspected that it was probably Captain Pike, lifted me up.
“Stay with me, yes?”
I could saw him right in front of me and somehow managed it to lay my head against his shoulder. Than somehow everything blurred to blue and silver, pervaded by flashes of light and whispering voices.
That wasn´t what he expected when he asked her to eat with him. He just wanted to knew how she was feeling and if she managed to settle in slowly, maybe he just wanted to spend a little time with her, okay he definitely wanted to spend time with her, but that's not how he had imagined it.
“Cathrin, keep your eyes open!”
Again she blinked at him so strangely but he took it as a good sign that she was still holding the napkin in front of her nose. He stepped into the turbolift, ignoring the gaze that a technical tossed at him.
Pike looked at her. He would not said that she was about to lose consciousness, but this here wasn´t normal. Her eyes flickered as if searching for something, but she did not seem to find it. She pushed her back briefly, as if she was trying to fight back against something, her head rolled backwards.
He let her legs slide of his arms, put her down on the floor, placed his free hand on her cheek and pulled her towards him.
“Look at me!”
Carefully, he raised her head and her eyes finally found his.
“Hey, I have no clue, where you are at the moment, but you must don´t lose yourself in it!”
“I.” He could see how she swallowed. “I´m on the Enterprise?”
“No you don´t! You are on Discovery.”
The most terrible scenarios raged through his thoughts in this moment. “Damn, what takes so long?”
Finally the lift stopped. Pike picked her up again and nearly ran the last few meters to the sick bay.
The doctor stormed at him then guided him through the next biobed. Carefully Chris put her on it, and then he stepped back.
“Captain, what happened?”Pollard immediately started to examined her. Cathrin was pale and shaking, her eyes were wide open, but instead of wandering around the room, as she had a few minutes ago, she now starred at Pike. She was afraid, that he could see and even if he just got in the way here that look pinned him in place.
“Sorry.” He teared himself away and looked at the doctor. “We were eating, than she starts starring, was strangely absent and her nose starts blooding.”
Pollard took a little lamp and shines in her eyes, she closed it and turned away. “Okay, that’s a good sign.” The doctor observed the display behind her patient.
“No signs for a cerebral haemorrhage or a tumor.” The nurse hands her a hypospray, she adjusted something and putted it on Cathrin´s neck. Immediately Chris could see her relax, then she took a deep breath and closed her eyes. “Cathrin can you hear me?” Pollard placed a sensor on her temple than continue to took a blood sample.
“There we go.” The doctor placed a hand on her shoulder. “Do you know where you are?”
“I consider in sick bay.”
“What ship?” Pike stepped towards the bed, for this he got an evil look from the doctor but he ignored it.
“Discovery.” She opened her eyes slightly and squinted at him. “And I knew, we´ve gone through this conversation in a similar way before.”
Relieved, he breathed through. Too much relieved how he recognized.
“Whats going on here?”
“You had a kind of an attack.” Dr. Pollard checked on her pupil response again than typed in something in the device on Cathrin´s head. “Has something like this ever happened to you?”
„No, never.“ She stroked her head. „I always had a good condition.“
“Okay.” Again Pollard took a look at her vital signs, there now normal again. “Take a deep breath, I'll take a look at you again.”
She left and Pike stepped closer towards the bed.
“Are you really okay?” He had lowered his head slightly.
“I´m feeling a little bit sick.” She sat up and grabbed the cloth a nurse left her to clean her up. Carefully, she wiped her nose, than looked at him. “Is that mine?”
Pike followed her pointing finger towards the blots on his uniform.
“Um yes.” Again he looked at her. There was still that concern in his eyes he had been looking at her earlier.
“I didn´t know.” She pulled her legs up and wrapped her arms around it. “It was like a deep, deep dream I couldn´t escape from.”
“You said, you were on the Enterprise.” Pike crossed his arms, while she raised an eyebrow.
“I´ve never entered another spaceship than this one.” Cathrin turned towards him and dangled her legs from the bed. “I really said, I was there?”
“If I understood it correctly, yes.”
„Maybe I thought about you and my brain linked them together.”
“We probably will not know.”
He released his arms, hesitated a moment and then put them on her shoulders. She looked up into his eyes and he moved a little closer to her. Oh damn, he had never noticed what beautiful eyes she had and this was probably the most inappropriate moment to be aware of it.
“What?” Lightly she smiled at him.
“This time you really scared me.” Chris had to pull himself together that he did not let his hands move to her face. “Can you promise me that you will never do this again?”
“I can try.” She laid one hand on his arm. „Thank you for taking care of me.“
“Well, it was my pleasure.”
Than she released him and he had to admit that he didn´t like that she did that but he forced himself to let her go too. Even if it took him some more seconds.
“Must I stay here?”
“No you must.” Dr. Pollard cames back. „Your laboratory values are perfectly fine, your organs are working normal and I can´t found any cause for your attack.” The Doctor looked at her. “But we still didn´t know what causes your partial amnesia or what triggers the release of the locked memories. Maybe that is the normal way if they came back.”
“Sounds unpleasant.” Cathrin shrugged her shoulders.
„Probably both.“ Pollard twitched with her muzzle. „You should take it easy, maybe not be alone for the next few hours and carry the sensor until tomorrow morning.”
“I´ll do it.”
“And get in touch immediately when things get worse.” Strictly she looked at her. “This also could be an aftereffect of your long journey, since we have no experience here, we should definitely keep this in mind.”
“Yes Doc.” Cathrin nodded, what Pollard replied than she discharged her and left them alone.
“That was it then with my short-term freedom.”
“I´m sure we will found a suitable solution.”
I started sliding from the bed, as I felt how Pike putted a hand in my back. I just wanted to joke that it was not necessary, but a few violent stars before my eyes made it clear that it actually was necessary. “Whuu.” I blinked hard and held onto him. “I guess that spaceship is busted.”
“I´m brave and say it´s not the ship.” Pike smirked at me, still holding me. “You feel better?”
“I think so.” Slowly I took my hands of his arms. I wanted to be sure that my legs are really carried me. I took a deep breath as I got a positive feedback than I looked at him. “You can release me now.”
“Sure?” He raised his eyebrowes, his gaze still on mine and I was so tempted to denied that question but something held me back and so this moment passes by and he released his grip, also a little bit slower than I expected it.
“So, I'm running after you now or what have you planned?”
“Well, that sounds tempting but now I have some appointments with department heads and officers and Dr. Pollard ordered you to rest up and that´s about the complete opposite of it.” He walked over through the com system.
“Captain Pike to Ensign Tilly.” I smiled when I realized what he was getting at.
“Did you got some time to keep company to Ms. Zimmer?”
“Of course Sir.”
“We are on sick bay.”
“What? Why? Is everything alright?“
„Just come here Ensign.“
I had to giggle when I saw his expression.
“I always thought Louvier talks a lot.” He stepped towards me again. “Then I met Silvia Tilly.”
“I find her adorable.” I shrugged my shoulders. „Who is Louvier?“
„My chief engineer on the Enterprise.” An impudent expression crept around his eyes. “You don´t know that?”
“Oh my gosh, Cathrin! What happened? Are you alright?“ We heard Tilly before we saw her, she rushed over to me, throwed her arms around me, than realized that the captain stood right next to her.
“Sir, Ensign Tilly logs in as ordered.“
„Thanks Ensign.“ Pike looked at us. „Cathrin would you be so nice and inform Tilly, I´m already late and remember to call when you are not feeling well.”
“Good.” And with a smile he left us and I was surprised that Tilly could actually pull it together until he was outside the door.
“Go on, get out of it. I have had enough drama and catastrophes lately, I can´t handle any more.”
“I will do my best to do no drama and cause no catastrophes.” I looked at her. “And if you have nothing else to do, I would be looking for a coffee and finally something to eat.”
“Sounds good. You look like you needed both badly.”
Chapter 6: An unexpectedly nice evening.
Now it get´s a little romantic!
It was peaceful onboard of Discovery. The ship had a settled day and night routine and while the first and second shifts are fully occupied you could recognized that at the third there was only a skeleton staff on duty.
I laid awake on my bed, starring at the ceiling of my quarters. I´m getting more and more sure that it was really mine. Tilly and Burnham didn´t said it but they looked concerned as both tried to serve me an explanation they were hoping for that I didn´t understood it. For their misfortune I had understood mostly of it and for the rest of the evening the mood was in the basement. We had some espressos and ice crème but that didn´t cheered us up, instead, something of that kept me awake now.
I rolled out of my bed, grabbed my jacket, some of the clothes Tilly procured me. Radiant she had shown me how she had done that. In principle, I could get any piece of clothing that I wanted, but I stocked on the Starfleet standard wardrobe. To get me something more personal would felt like giving up and I was not ready for that. Not quite yet. I slipped in my sport shoes, left my quarters and began to roam the corridors of the ship.
It still was such a strange feeling to be here. In a spaceship, with nothing but the vacuum of the universe around us. Actually this should panic me, but it didn’t. From the lecture that Spock had given me was especially memorable that a lot had to happen, that the outside came inside, unless we were attacked, but that was another story.After a while I found myself right before the cargo bay where my car was stored. I put my hand in my pocket and my fingers hit my car key. A stupid habit but again I had the feeling I would gave up every hope to get home if I didn´t have it with me. I stepped inside and the lights started up. I looked around and noticed that no one was here. I pulled the key from my pocket, pressed the button and my car blinked at me.
Someone must fixed the battery, couldn´t be so hard. After all, Warp was the place to go, and a 21st century battery was probably for the trainee. Despite the wild ride that lay behind us, the car was completely undamaged; I walked around it and then opened the trunk. Most of my stuff where still in there. I went to the driver side and let me slide on the seat. I turned on the music, increased the volume a bit and closed my eyes for a moment. My fingers crossed the steering wheel than I fold down the sun visor. A picture failed out. I catch it. It showed my brother, his wife and their two children. Number three was still on its way.
I shocked my head. That phrasing wasn´t right but I couldn´t corrected myself to the right term. Before I could started ruminating about it, the passenger door clattered and suddenly Captain Pike sat next to me.
He wear some sport clothes, heavy breathing, it seemed that he comes right out of a training session. He gasped for a moment, than looked at me. “Can´t sleep?”
I shrugged my shoulders, than turned down the music.
“I get used to the idea that this is now my home and right at the moment I find it incredibly difficult to stand that idea.”
I gave him the photo. He glanced at it, then looked back at me, but said nothing.
“My family. My brother, my sister in law and their children.” I took the photo back. “She is pregnant.“ I broke off. „Was pregnant and I just realized I never saw the baby.” I sighed. “But it doesn´t matter. It´s been dead since hundreds of years, as well as everyone I knew.”
“Cathrin, don´t do that.” He turned towards me. “That doesn´t lead you anywhere, it only pulls you into a hole you may not get out of.”
I saw him hesitated for a moment than he grabbed my hand and closed his fingers around it.
“How can I handle this?” I looked at our tangled hands and suddenly I had the feeling that if he let go of me, I would lose myself in the infinity surrounding us. “Everyone I've ever known is dead.”
“Give yourself some time to mourn, then let them go” He smiled softly. “It may sound cruel, but you can´t chance it. They lived their life, yours is still ahead of you.” I dropped my head against the seat then looked at him. “And you certainly never expected such a direction?”
“I really don´t have that.” I gazed at Chris, he too had leaned back and closed his eyes. Right in this moment he just seemed to be at peace with himself and the world, as if there weren´t this incredible problem he was beating around with and he could sit here forever and just listen to music. Chris still holds my hand, like he had never done anything else before.
I turned to him, this movement caused him to look at me again.
“What keeps you awake?” I smiled at him. „And just don´t be fooled into saying that the music was too loud.”
“You don´t really want to hear that.” He closed his eyes again but now I could see, how it works in him.
"It is long and boring and for the most not very nice.”
“And what if I tell you that I already know a lot about you, maybe more than you suspected?”
Now he gazed right into my eyes. I could read surprise in it, but also found traces of what he had gone through. So I was even more surprised that he was the way he was.
“I knew what happened on Rigel and on Talos. I know that it still bothers you that Starfleet has not ordered back the Enterprise during the war.” A faint smile crept around his lips. I stopped, I didn´t want to penetrate too much into his privacy.
“That would be pretty much the saddest highlights. Some time ago I was almost ready to plunk down everything. I wanted to go back to earth, breed horses.” Chris sighed. “I don´t even know, just far away from all this here.”
“What has changed your mind?”
“Good question.” He looked at me. „Friends, fellowship, they oath I swore. For every bad thing that happened, there was always something good that convinced me otherwise.” He made a move that closed in the whole Discovery. “I sometimes think the command here is good for me, even if it pulls me back to the Enterprise.”
“It is said that sleep should help.”
“I heard that too.” Now he smiled again even if he couldn’t completely displaced the melancholy from the moment before. “But there are days your mind wouldn´t let rest you.”
“Oh yes! That is a feeling I know very well.” I smiled at him.
„What are you doing against it?”
“In fact, I always found it very relaxing to drive around, hang on my thoughts, listening to music. But that's bad for the environment, so I turned to running.” He laughed, than he tugged at his shirt.
“Well, there we have something in common.” He looked to the side and his eyes felt on our hands.
“Excuse me.” He loosened his grip around my hand and I had to force myself to do the same.
“For what?” I was almost amazed at my answer, but was glad that it made him laugh.
“I don´t want to be insensitive but how about something for a chance, maybe something cheerful?”
“That sounds wonderful!” I swung out of the car, on the other side he did the same, over the roof of the car we looked at each other. “But I will not run around with you, because that would be absolutely humiliated for me.”
Again he laughed. “I can perfectly adjust to your speed.”
“Great! So we go on a walk?” I twitched my eyebrows, close the door and went to the trunk. I heard him closing the door too, than I followed me.
“Captain Pike.” I squinted at him, trying not to laugh. „Is it possible that you are just curios?”
“Don´t be upset.” He grabbed after my tablet. „But this here is like history to touch.“ I smiled at him, this I could understand.
Chris squinted at me. “Would you let me drive?”
“Pardon?” I looked around. Sure, there was room, but nearly not enough to drive around. “In here?”
“At some point, let us say, when we are on earth. There are still streets.“ His eyes were still on mine and I was pretty sure, that this view could get him a lot.
“Can it be that you are putting together a fairly romantic idea of that in your mind?”
“Maybe.” He sat down on the frame of the trunk and I did the same. “I´m from Mojave, Arizona. A wonderful place, a piece of heaven. There is nothing that resembles the sky there on a starry night.”
I remembered the picture hanging in his ready room. He listened shortly to the song that played. As he spoke again, something in his voice had changed. There was a certain yearning in it now. I could feel it with every word he said and caught myself imagining sitting next to him.
“The sun sets, the windows half way down and this song on the radio.”
“I somehow guessed that you like it.” I grabbed my tablet and handed it to him. “Lady Antebellum, Heart of the World.” I looked at him. „In my time you send an MP3 or borrowed a CD to get a song.”
“That changed a little, I could show you if you want.” He began to scroll through my playlist.
“Yes, sure. I can´t annoy the whole spaceship with my music, primarily because it is stone old.”
“What would you say if I told you that some people guess your time was the best in music history?” He gave me back the tablet and I stored it in my back pack.
“That I have to believe you, but couldn´t understand it.” I grimaced. “Just at the time when I came here, there were things.” I shocked my head. “Of those I wouldn´t be sad if they had disappeared in the sinking.” I suppressed a yawn.
“You should go back to bed.” He leaned over and nudged me.
“You too.” I nudged him back. „You are the captain, if you fall asleep on the command chair that certainly does not look particularly trustworthy with the crew.”
“I think that once happened to Captain Mitchell. That still causes unsightly jokes at the academy even today.” I had to giggle at that imagination. “This is not necessarily the legacy I want to leave behind.”
“You are kidding, right?” I got up, pulled my bag out of the trunk and was about to throw the backpack over when he took it from my hand. “Thank you.”
He got up too, I closed the trunk and then the car.
“You are Christopher Pike, Captain of the Enterprise and the Discovery and after all I knew, already a legend. Your legacy will be guiding all captains after you. Even a funny little anecdote couldn´t change that.”
Oh wow, stop! That was new. Where did those pictures came from?
I blinked a little as my mind tries to sort out the new memories. No good one, to be honest. As I looked up again, he glanced at me as if he couldn´t believe what I just said. I barely couldn´t believe it myself.
He stood right in front of me, looking at me with those incredible blue eyes, giving me the feeling; I would be everything for him, what counts. The butterflies that rose in my stomach in that second’s didn´t make it easier to stand his view.
“Cathrin, what are you keeping from me?”
I closed my eyes. I knew this question had to come at some point and I had unconsciously said too much before.
“Chris don´t.” I placed my right hand on his chest. Underneath my fingers I could feel his heart beating, more violent than a few days ago on the infirmary and a part of me wished, that it was because of me and not because of the question he had just asked me. I had no clue this time, that I actually was the reason his heart beat increased.I could not guess that this was exactly why he was so nervous.
“Please don´t ask me that.” I looked into his eyes.
“What do you think, what I tell you?” I swallowed.
There were two possible scenarios I had for him in mind, none of which I liked and I would not tell him that. I would not break his heart or throw him into a hole in which he was not supposed to be. I could see how he fought with himself, the curiosity against the reason and I hoped so much that he would opt for the latter but I barely knew him for guessing that.
“Then lie to me. “ He put his hand on mine again, I closed my eyes. “Just don´t tell me everything.” I smiled weakly. He was persistent, but that I already knew.
„At sometime in the future after being a wonderful Captain for very long time you will be promoted and if I still know, you´ll go to the academy.” I had to concentrate but I couldn´t go on. Again that happened, which I had experienced the last few days. If I tried to grab a memory that comes back to me, to get a closer look at it, they slipped from me, disappeared and left me with a feeling like someone was blocking me. Keeping me away from it.
“No luck again?” Pike didn´t missed my confused face.
“That was already everything.” I looked at him again. „I know there is more, but I can´t remember it.” A little lie but he would get me instantly to sick bay, if he gets only the smallest suspect somethings not okay. His hand moved slowly to my wrist and I felt him searching for my pulse. I pinched my lips for a moment.
“What are you doing?”
“I want to find out if you are lying?” He raised his eyebrows.
“This is not going to work.” I sneaked my hand out of his grip, well I tried. He held me tight and that drove my heartbeat even further. He had to feel that because something changed in his eyes, than slowly, really slowly he released me, his fingertips brushed softly over my skin.
“For what?” I backed away a few millimeters. “A few confused thoughts?”
„An unexpectedly nice evening.” His eyes stuck to mine for a few seconds longer than usual than he threw the backpack over one shoulder. “But we agreed before, that we should sleep.”
“You were curious.”
“Guilty as charged.” He smiled at me that dimpled smile I liked so much on him and as much as I hated to let this moment pass, it was almost midnight and so we left the cargo bay and hit the path to our quarters.
“You have not answered my question.”
“I have just delivered an extremely confusing answer to you.” I grinned at him.
“I don´t mean that.”
“Ohhh! You mean if I let you drive?” My grin widened. „Do you have a driver´s license?”
“Of course, I´m even allowed to fly a spaceship.” He replied the grin.
„That´s not the same.“ I shrugged with one shoulder. “I´m talking about a two hundred years old car, with gear shift. I do not know that I've ever met an American who could ride a circuit.”
“Hey.” He raised an eyebrow. “Okay, I can´t check that.” I laughed as he raised a finger and continued to talking. “But, I already drove a car.”
“And that I can´t check.” I stopped at the door to my quarters, expectantly he looked at me, like a little boy on Christmas. I squinted my eyes then sighed dramatically. “All right, if it ever takes us to Earth, I´ll let you drive.”
“Promised?” He emphasized the whole thing with a heartbreaking look.
“Promised.” I rolled my eyes but couldn´t help smiling. “Did you learn that on Starfleet Academy?”
“From a hard to see through First Officer.”
“Ahh.” I opened the door and he handed me the backpack. “Thank you.” Our hands touched each other fleetingly.
“No, thank you.” He smiled at me. „Sleep well.“
„I´ll try my best.“ I waved to him. “You too.”
“Let´s talk about it tomorrow. Good night.”
Then he turned and walked a few doors further. I looked after him for a few seconds, then closed the door and had to gather for a moment so that I didn´t run after him.
What had just happened?
At some point I had caught myself flirting with him and if I remembered correctly, he also with me.
Wearily I slipped into the bedroom, leaving me as I was falling on my bed, took of my shoes and cuddled me in my pillow. Actually, I just wanted to sleep, but as soon as I closed my eyes, I saw Chris again in front of me. His smile, his eyes, his voice. I breathed in deeply.
I rolled onto my back and stared at the ceiling again. I found him attractive, I even found him damn attractive. And I liked him, I liked him from the first second on and with every second we just spend together I liked him even more. The imagination how he would behave when he was behind the wheel makes me smile but I would have to wait a while for it.
For now, I enjoyed the warm feeling that was just spreading in me, a feeling I hadn´t for a long time, maybe I felt nothing like this before and since days, that was the first time, there was something like hope inside of me. Even though it was now more hope for the future.
Maybe I could let it go easier than I thought.
Chapter 7: Firelight - Part I: Fire & Ice
This is the first part of a four part story.
Warnings: Blood, Fear, some way of torture,… I made an extra warning for every chapter!
„And today we learn that not everything can produced by a replicator.” Lieutenant Stamets smiled at me, checking another point on his list. I squinted on his PADD, this list seemed to go to infinity.
“Where do you store all that?” I was looking after another pallet of dark grey containers that just passed us by.
“I mean, this ship is big, but that?”
“Much will be exchanged immediately, installed or stowed so that it does not stand out.” He pulled me aside as something was carted past that occupied the whole corridor. “That has to go into the engine room.”
A few hours ago, the Discovery had docked at a Starfleet utility station since then it has been here like a bazaar.
“Hey!” Tilly just turned the corner. „Have the energy coils already been there?”
“Should have been on one of the last containers.” Stamets looked at his list. “And they should be in the engine room.”
„Great.“ She turned towards me. „Captain Pike want to talk to you, he said it is urgent.”
I shrugged my eyebrows. “What did I do?”
“He didn´t say that.” She smiled. “Any ideas?”
“Not at the moment.” I sighed. „I would say, have fun, but.“ I pointed to another load of spare parts.
“Are you kidding? That’s like Christmas!”
Smiling, I turned around and left the two alone with their toys. What could Pike want from me? Especially what he couldn´t tell me earlier as we had a cup of coffee together. A group of technicians was working on the bridge as I walked across it. I stepped through the doors of the ready room and found Pike sitting behind his desk.
He seemed to read something important, at least he looked like he had had better news before. Even when he looked up and smiled at me slightly, he still looked as if something had grossed his day enormous.
“Okay if you look like that I don´t know if I really want to be here.” I pointed at the door behind me.
“Sit down please.”
“Wow.” I dropped to the chair in front of his desk. “Not even a hello? Did I do something?”
He sighed heavily. “No, but I´m afraid I screwed it up.” He looked at me with an apologetic look.
“And you tell me that because?” I raised my eyebrows.
Captain Pike got up, walked around his table and instead sat down on the chair next to me.
“Captain Leland is here.” I blinked at him, a heavy stone dumped through my stomach. “He wants to talk to you.”
“Leland.” I narrowed my eyes. „Section 31, again.“ I jumped up, he looked after me.
„I don´t want to talk to him!” I glared at him. The last time I talked to Leland, rather with his hologram, still scared me. I was not keen to meet him in person. “He is a mean and manipulative ass.” Now he glared at me. “Yes, I know, he is your friend but he is a bugger.” I made no effort to pack that nicely. “He wants to put me in some lab or something to get me out of what I can not tell him!”
“I will not allow that!” He raised his voice a little.
“And you think that interests him?” Me too getting a bit louder. “He would make it an order or bring on any other legal trick.“ Okay, now I´m already too loud. “I reported Admiral Cornwell anything I know, even as Agent Tyler and I didn´t know how often we both talked about it!”
“I know all this!”
I was sure we were heard on the bridge right now. He raised a hand placatory, calmly he looked at me. As he continued to speak, he lowered his voice again.
“Listen, I'm not particularly keen on it either, but unfortunately it was a pretty clear command.”
“Great!” I also tried to pull myself together. „I don´t even belong to Starfleet.“
I felt a touch on my wrist and winced slightly. Pike pulled gently on my arm, I resisted for a moment, then stumbled upon him. For the first time I wished he would let me go.
“A suggestion.” He swung out of his chair. “We're going there together now, I will not leave you alone and I will not let Leland take you out of here.”
“You had already said that.” Now I felt sorry about losing my temper. It was not his fault and my anger had met with him the wrong one. The completely wrong one.
“I was not sure if you got it.” He looked at me. “Let us go. Maybe after that the day could get better.”
„Listen, I can only tell you again and again.“ I sank back in the chair, this conversation begans to annoy me. “Yes, when I arrived here I knew things into the future in two hundred years, but I have no access to it anymore. It´s like something blocking me.”
„But you also said it happened that every now and then somethings came up again.” Leland sat in front of me, as unsympathetic as I remembered him.
“Yes, but that feels like flashbacks. I can´t classify them, much less can I control them.”
“Leland, maybe we should give this thing more time.” Pike had kept his promise, even when Leland tried to kick him out, he had insisted on staying here. Now he was sitting next to me and his presence was the only thing that kept me from freaking out. “Cathrin is still getting used to her new situation and I believe is not an advantage if we push her or whatever else you think of.”
“Time Pike?” Leland smiled wearily. „That´s the only thing we didn´t have.”
“Captain, I would like to help prevent wars and catastrophes, to stop thousands, maybe millions of living beings are dying, but I can´t!” I glanced at him, still the hope in my mind, that he would understood it. “My head doesn´t allow it, no matter how hard I try.” I stroked my legs, I didn´t want him to see how badly my hands were shaking. This man scared me and that was something I couldn´t stand very well.
“You told Captain Pike what is supposed to be happened in his future!” Leland pointed at Christopher. He sighed and shook his head.
“That was a coincidence, something arbitrary, that had resulted from the situation.” I clawed my fingers in the fabric of my pants. Unexpectedly, hidden under the table top, I felt how Chris placed his hand on mine, holding it tight. I moved my thumb over the back of his hand, thankful to have something to keep me calm.
“It was out of a conversation.” Pike punished his shoulders back. “And to be honest, that wasn´t very groundbreaking findings.“ I could already kissed him for not wanting to beat this battle yet.
“Forgive me, if I don´t believe you Christopher, your report on the whole thing, came very late and was quite poor.” Leland rose from his chair, immediately followed by Pike. “But good, let´s try it with time, but don´t think you´ll get so much from it.” Leland stares at me, his dark eyes drilled into mine and I must force myself not to look away. “Find a way to get on that or I will find one.”
Then he rushed off without a word of farewell and Pike and I were alone in the office.
„Well that was lovely.“ Pike turned back to me. I jerked with the corner of my mouth, I couldn´t do more than that at the moment.
“I got a bad feeling about that thing, especially because I seem to be the thing.” I fidgeted for a moment, then stood up.
“For now.” I put my head back before I let hang it down. “You have heard was he has said, he will not let rest it.” For the first time since I landed here, real fear crept into my thoughts.
“We will find a solution.” Christopher came to me. “We always do.” I gave him a small smile, at least I tried.
“I would like to believe you.”
“You can.” He put his finger under my chin, softly he lifted my head a little then he closed his arms around me. I was totally taken by surprise and almost wanted to wriggle out of his grip again but then I gave in and also closed my arms around him. I laid my head against his chest and heard his heart beat. As he leaned his head against mine I closed my eyes.
“We don´t leave anybody behind and if necessary, I give my life for nothing to happen to you.”
That he had closed his eyes too, I couldn´t see. I squeezed closer to him instead, relishing the feeling that his words had triggered in me. It felt so good to be in his arms as if that was the perfect place for me to be. Each fiber in my body screamed at me as he wanted to let go of me.
“Please don´t.” I only whispered. “Just for a moment.”
I felt him pulling me back into his embrace, his hand moved slowly up my back before he put it on the back of my head, with the other he held me so tightly he could.
"I feel like the loneliest person in the universe and if you let me go now, I am afraid that nothing will keep me here anymore.”
I felt myself start to shiver but didn´t know if I was just upset or just cold. Maybe everything together or something completely different.
“You´re not.“ Now he pushed me off a bit, just so far as he could look at me. “And if nothing holds you, then I hold you.”
He smiled and at the latest, I no longer had any doubt that his every word was to be taken at face value. And it made the feelings that I cherished for him grow a little bit more again.
“How about we leave this hospitable place and get you a big piece of cake?"
I raised an eyebrow. „You don´t know me as good as you think.”
“I´m working on it.” He smiled at me. “But I´m pretty sure about that.”
“Okay, point for you.” I tapped him briefly on the chest and he used that as an opportunity to release the hug, but somehow I felt it was just as hard for him as it was for me.
“All right, get out of here.”
“You don´t have to tell that twice.”
We left the office and strolled comfortably through the hectic space station.
“Is it always so busy here?” It seemed a bit overcrowded given the rather narrow passageways.
"No, this is actually a mere transhipment station, when we drop, the supply ship disappears again and there is only a small crew left behind." He raised his hand to show me the way. "Constantly staffed and research stations are much bigger and better equipped." He looked at me as I sucked in every word he said. "To be honest, I wouldn´t even drink a coffee here."
"I thought that came out of the replicator all over?" I looked at him.
"Well, let's say so." Pike grinned widely. "It also has something to do with where the replicator stands and how it is set and apparently they prefer tea here."
"What is left of tea?"
"Nothing. If you want some. "
"Uhh. Sounds like real thrill. "I shook myself. We turned a corner and passed something that looked like the engine room.
"Okay, that looks like on an antique cargo ship. How old is this station?
"It was one of the first deep space stations." Pike pulled me aside as a technician hurried past with an unknown component. "It's off duty in a few weeks, this is likely to be the last major transaction that is taking place."
"Then I can feel really honored."
Then something crashed and the whole station began to shake. I caught Pike slightly as he stumbled against me, but another explosion almost knocked us both down and he caught me before I got to know the grid.
"What was that?" I looked around while Pike was pulling out his communicator.
"Captain Pike to Discovery, what happened here?"
"We're working on it, but nothing indicates an attack." Owo's voice came from the device.
I heard someone screaming and saw someone just stumble out of the door we just passed.
"Oh my god." I left Pike and ran.
But I didn´t listen to him, but stormed through the entrance and found myself in the middle of a battlefield. One of the machines seemed to have exploded, in any case it was burning on every corner and the air was filled with smoke.
I heard the scream again, looked around and spotted the technician from just under an energy coil.
Behind me, I could see Pike storming into the room.
"Chris, I need help over here!" I rushed toward the man and dropped to the floor next to him.
He had a severely bleeding headache, was smeared with blood and was just beginning to fall in shock. The explosion or a falling component had shredded his left leg.
"Hey hello." I put a hand to his cheek and forced his attention to me "Tell me your name." I searched for his pulse, he walked frantically and irregularly.
"No, don´t get up." Pike now knelt in front of me and pushed the wounded man down again.
"Well, I'm Cathrin and that." I pointed to the captain. "This is Chris." Pike smiled slightly. "And you?"
"Darryl." He groaned in pain, then wanted to move again.
"You should stop that." I tore open my zipper, took off my jacket and slipped it under his leg, then pulled up my sleeves, knotted, and pulled them shut. "I apologize for that." I handed Pike a sleeve, unsure he took it in his hand. "Pull tight."
We pulled on the sleeves, Darryl screamed and then started to whimper. But it helped, the blood flowed now much slower. I closed the knot, then let my gaze wander over his chest, a piece of glass stuck in it, near his heart.
"Pull 'em out, pull!" Again he raised his head.
"No, no, no, no way!" I wrung down the hand he just reached out. "That thing is probably keeping you alive."
"I don´t want to die." He started shaking. "My wife, we get a baby."
"Darryl." He squirmed in pain, I looked around but could not find a first aid kit.
"I've already requested help, can´t take much longer." Pike looked at me. He just wanted to open his mouth when I held him with a look.
"Darryl, Darryl, listen to me!" I put my hands to his face and leaned toward him. "You will not die here, we will not let that happen! You will survive this, go back to your family and live a happy and long life, and if you don´t listen to me, I let him make an order out of it. "I pointed briefly to Pike, Darryl's eyes followed my finger, then he saw me again. "Did you understand me?"
"Tell me about your baby." I smiled at him. "Do you know what it will be?"
"A boy." Darryl rolled his eyes, slowly it became difficult to keep him awake, blood loss and shock took his toll. Pike reached for his hand.
"Nice." I carefully pulled the fabric of his jacket aside. Little blood seeped from the wound, at least externally. "Does he already have a name?"
Finally I saw how Dr. Pollard and her team materialized in front of the engine room.
"No, we just can´t think of one." Darryl smiled weakly. "Every suggestion my wife makes is worse than the one before." Pike backed away as the doctor finally reached us.
"How about Christopher?"
"That sounds good." He closed his eyes briefly.
I looked at Pollard. "I could only ligature the wound, there is a splinter in his chest, his pulse is weak and he is just losing consciousness."
"Okay, I'll take care of him." Pollard immediately began investigating him, then gave the order and the transporter carried them away to the Discovery. I dropped back and got shaky on my legs.
I barely stood, when another explosion shook the station and the lights switched to red alarm, a siren thundered and everyone who stood hurried to safety.
"They're evacuating, we need to get out of here right now!" Pike grabbed my arm and together we ran out of the engine room, which was starting to break into pieces around us.
"Pike on Discovery, two to beam!" We ran further away from the explosion. Lead shattered and forced us to duck. I stumbled and fell to the ground.
"Shit!" I looked back, panic crawling through me, like the fire roller just shooting out of the engine room.
Pike grabbed me under one arm, but the next bang knocked him over too. He rolled away from me and banged his head against the wall.
"Chris!" Before I could even think of coming to him, the transporter finally caught us and seconds later we landed on the transporter platform.
"Oh, I'm sure that was more than hair-sharp." I looked back at Tilly, who was pure relief, and grinned at her. "It smells like burnt hair right here?"
Then I rolled over and my good mood faded a bit.
"Chris!" I pulled my legs up and crawled toward him. "Everything okay?
Dizzy, he sat up, I squatting and helping him get into a fairly upright position. Then he started to get up and I followed him. Slowly and shakily, he came to his feet. He had a violently bleeding wound on his forehead.
"Slowly." I held my arms so that I could catch him in distress. I could try, he would probably knock me over. He blinked in a strange way and whiteness.
"Okay, that's enough." I grabbed his arm and put it over my shoulders. "We're going to the infirmary." Carefully, I guided him down the steps of the platform. "Tilly, can you announce us?"
"Sure." She looked at me. "Are you getting along?"
"I think so." I pulled my lips into a smile, then looked at him. "What did you mean Chris?"
"I mean, I'm sure I'll have a headache tomorrow."
Chapter 8: Firelight - Part II: Let´s try Starfleet.
Here is part 2/4! This time a little more from Pikes perspective.
I hope you all enjoy it! And thank you for your Kudos!
We left the transporter room and reached the sick bay in a few minutes. Surprisingly, we met Dr. Culber, in view of the many injured from the station, he seemed to help out.
“Captain Pike!” “He turned to us, took Pike’s other arm and together we put him on a bed. "What happened?” He walked away to get bandages and a tricorder.
“We were overturned and unfortunately a steel beam got in the way of his landing.” I unzipped Pike’s jacket and helped him to undress. “Lie down.”
“Yeah, that sounds good.” He sank down on the cushions. Meanwhile, he was a little pale around the nose.
“Here.” Culber handed me some compresses.
“Thanks.” I gently pushed it onto the wound and Pike flinched imperceptibly. Culber began to examine his head while I started to wipe the blood from his face.
“What about the station?”
“Captain, you have a capable crew to take care of it.” Culber grinned at me, I gladly replied. “You should take care of yourself for five minutes.” He looked at his ads. “Okay, that looks good. No bleeding, no injuries, no concussion, the blow just knocked you out for a moment. "He put down the tricorder and picked up a skin regenerator, before he put it on, he looked at me.
"Do you want to give it a try?”
“Really?” I looked at the doctor, then at the device in his hand. “Yes, of course.” I let go of the compresses and went to the other side of the bed.
“I’ll show you how.” Culber gave me the regenerator.
“I’m not asked?” Pike followed me with his eyes.
“Don´t worry, I’ll stop her from doing anything nonsense with your head.”
The device was a bit bigger and heavier than a permanent marker and I had to keep it that way as well. Culber explained the speed I had to hold and the button I had to press. I held the device just above Pike’s skin, then activated the regenerator and began to guide it over his forehead. He squinted up, which didn´t necessarily make my nerves calm down.
“That looks good. Just keep going, I’ll be right back. "Culber hurried to another injured who was just ushered in.
"Wait, what?” My eyes darted after him, then back to the task he had assigned me. Now Pike looked really suspicious.
“Don´t look like that!” I tried not to look at him.
“How am I supposed to look?” He started to grin.
“Hey, don´t move!” I reached the end of the wound and switched off the regenerator after it closed. “Okay.” Just now I did realize how much I had been tensing up around the instrument.
Pike raised a hand and stroked the now-healed skin. “I’ll look at it later, but my head is still up.”
“I can change that, too.” I looked at him maliciously as he wanted to get up. “What do you think you are doing?” I crossed my arms.
“I have to go to the bridge.” He looked at me as if I had lost my mind. “The station has just exploded, I’m very sure despite the bump.”
“Well, we can´t change that anyway.” I grabbed his jacket, that stopped him first. “That’s why I’m pretty sure, when Dr. Culber comes back, he order you to take a break for today. ”
He grinned at me. “I keep the bet.”
“Okay, Captain.” Culber stepped back to us, pulled out a hypospray, and then looked at Pike. “Against the headache.” He injected it and then looked at him. “You should take a break for today. The evacuation is complete, there are no dead to complain and all injured will get through.” He answered my question in advance. “Do you make sure he keeps his feet still?”
“Me?” I pointed to me for support. “I don´t know if I see myself capable for that.”
“I’m still in attendance.” Pike got up from the bed. “And I can take care of myself.”
“Don´t try to make a fool of yourself.” Culber smiled at me, then Pike. “I want to see you again tonight.” Then he went to look after his other patients.
Pike looked at me, then reached out to grab his jacket from me.
“I think it´s done.” I turned it so that he could see the bloodstains. “But not everything is yours.”
“You should change, too.” He pointed to my smeared clothes.
“Yes, it looks like that.”
We smiled at each other, then left the sick bay and made our way to our quarters.
“May I ask you something?”
“Of course.” I looked at him.
“What did you do in your time? I mean professionally. ”
“I had just finished paramedic training, previously I was a surgical nurse.” I smiled at him.
“So you knew what you were doing.” A smile crept around his lips.
“Eh, no. I just reacted. "I stopped. "I have never experienced something like that.”
“Nevertheless, you saved his life.” Pike looked at me, I prefer to ground. “Maybe this would be something for you?”
“I should work in the sick bay?”
“Why not?” He put a hand behind my back and we walked on. “That seems to lie to you.”
“I don´t know.” I shrugged my shoulders. "There is so much to learn here, I feel like I’m missing so much when I’m committed to something and I don´t always want to look like I don´t know what’s going on.“
"You underestimate yourself. You barely stand out. "A crew member walked by and looked at us with wide eyes. This displeased Pikes claim of just a huge damper. I grinned at him.
"Do you want to reconsider that?”
He cleared his throat. “I would also be staring if I would see us like this.
I looked down at myself. “Yeah, okay, we look like we bathed in blood.”
“I know you like showering with water, but you’d better put it down with the sound shower.” He pointed to my glued hair, I glanced at my braid, not wanting to know what the rest of me looked like. “Works better.”
“Good to know.” We reached my quarters. “Do you know what’s missing on this incredibly cool and awesome spaceship?”
“No, but I think you’ll tell me right away.”
“A bathtub.” Pike laughed. “Or isn´t that done anymore in the 23century?”
"Not at all.” He raised his eyebrows.
“Anyway, I don´t want to watch how all the dirt swims around in front of me.” I opened the door. “You owe me another piece of cake.”
“I didn´t forget. Let’s say in two hours at the mess hall? ”
“That should be done. Don´t forget to report to Dr. Culber again.”
“I knew you would say that.”
“Another point for you.”
We said goodbye and I hurried to get into the bathroom. I took off the bloody uniform and threw it into the laundry shaft, my jacket would be useless anyway. I turned it and pulled the badge down. But it was Chris jacket, I had forgotten that I still had it in my hand, but since it also looked like they were swimming through blood, I also threw it away and put the badge so that I would not forget it later.
For a moment, I was tempted to take a shower with water, but the thought of how the blood drained from my body made me gasp for a moment, so I took Pike’s advice to heart and stepped under the sound shower. It felt strange when the warm impulses swept over me and carried away all the dirt and blood.
In fact, it was a pretty good feeling, it would probably have been impossible to do with water. So I just stood there for five minutes, feeling the warmth that had now spread through the cabin, then turned on the water and closed my eyes.
It did so well, and scared away the last few dark thoughts still haunting my head. I almost forgot that the whole mess had just happened because Leland wanted to talk to me. But we didn´t think that the whole station would fly around our ears.
I turned the sound shower on for a moment and was dry in a few seconds, then I got dressed and reached for a fresh T-shirt. Going out, I tied my hair back and put the badge in my pocket.
A strange noise grabbed my attention for a moment, but there were enough and constantly new ones on this ship. I looked for my communicator and activated it.
“Zimmer at Pike.” I pulled some fresh boots out of the closet.
“I still have your badge if you were searching for it. Your jacket was over.”
“I wondered where I forgot it.” I could hear the shower running.
“I didn´t want to bother you. See you soon!.“ I hung up, trying to dispel the thought of Christopher Pike standing in the shower. Unsuccessful. Instead, it made me smile all over my face.
"Hello Cathrin.” I jumped up and stared into the face of someone dressed all in black, a phaser in her hand and a bad look on her face.
“Who are you, what the hell are you doing in my quarters?”
“I think we have a date.”
Before I could do anything, something hit me in the face and threw me to the ground. I gasped and tasted blood. When I looked down, I could see blood dripping on the carpet. Curiously enough, the thought of that the shower was for the barrel, was the last thing that flashed through my mind when something hit me again and drove me into unconsciousness.
The dull feeling in his head reminded him that he was supposed to take a break, but the captain he was had driven him to the bridge. He wanted to have at least a brief update on the situation before taking care of himself.
The station had actually fallen victim to their age. The three large docked spaceships had been too much for the outdated power lines and had led to an overload in the main energy core. As he already knew, all the crew members had survived and were now on the cargo ship, which would take them to the nearest starbase.
Leland’s ship had disappeared, but Owo couldn´t tell if it was gone or camouflaged, and that was just what made him nervous.
Leland had changed since their days at the academy, that had made the conversation an hour ago even more clearer. Chris didn´t want to imagine what would have been happened if had he not accompanied Cathrin, surely it would have taken an unpleasant turn for her.
He thanked the bridge crew and handed the commando to Commander Saru for the rest of the day, then set off as ordered to report to the infirmary.
The calm that surrounded him in the turbolift, along with the unexpectedly free afternoon, allowed him to calm down his thoughts the first time since days and he caught himself smiling as he remembered the moment he had Cathrin in his arms.
It had felt so damn good and when she had asked him not to let her go, he could no longer ignore the butterflies in his stomach, his feelings for her. Chris had almost forgotten what it felt like to do more than serve Starfleet. He was starving for love and affection and he was tired of fighting it. The first time he had become aware of this, was on Talos, Vina would never have been able to get so close to him if he had not sealed himself off like this.
What had come closest to a date in the last five years had been a dinner with a lieutenant, he had only engaged in because Una had not stopped bothering him. To say it ended in a series of embarrassing moments would be grossly understated.
He reached the infirmary, after all the injured had been brought to the cargo ship, it was pleasantly quiet here. Dr. Culber was still here and Pike was glad the doctor was working again. The constant doing nothing had done his situation not well.
“Captain.” He nodded at him to sit on the bed in front of him. “I have to admit, I actually expected to have to get you out of your quarters.”
“Then I’m happy that I’ve exceeded your expectations.”
“What’s the head doing?” Culber pulled out a small lamp and checked Pike’s pupil reaction.
“It doesn´t really hurt, but it’s not pleasant.” Chris stroked the spot where the cut had been.
“I’ll give you some painkillers for tonight.” Culber finished his investigation with a quick scan of the brain.
“Your values look good, you should be back on the dam tomorrow, Sir.”
“Thanks Doc!” Chris leaned on the bed. “Do you have a moment?”
“How much time does Cathrin spend here?”
Culber’s face was captured by a broad grin.
“She past every now and then, looks on, asks, she knows her way around, even if she tries to cover it up.” The doctor raised a hand. “I could use her well here, but I think she’s not ready to make a final decision. She spends a lot of time with Tilly.”
“I know.” Pike slid back from the treatment bed to his feet. “She practices with her for the commando training program and she’s good at it.”
Let’s try Starfleet.
These were Cathrin’s words when she had asked him to join the participants in the program. He could remember exactly how she had tried her best to cover up her insecurity. She had no idea what awaited her, what she was getting into and yet, there was this twinkle in her eyes, the way she wore the uniform that Stamets had just given her and the smile that told him that she would not be getting down so fast.
A throat cleared him from his thoughts.
“It’s none of my business, Captain.” Culber glanced around, then at the captain and Pike immediately wondered what he had done.
“You both should find out what that is between you.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Ohh Christopher.” The doctor patted his shoulder briefly. “Think well if you want to lie.” Culber raised an eyebrow. “I studied psychology for a couple of semesters. And most of all, you shouldn´t lie to yourselves. ”
But before Chris could answer, Ensign Tilly jogged into the infirmary. Seeking, she looked around before she turned to the captain.
“Are you feeling better, Sir?”
“Everything is all right again, thanks.” He smiled at her. “Can we help you?”
“I’m looking for Cathrin, she’s not in her quarters and well, she’s not with you either.” Tilly pushed a nervous grin behind. “Sir.”
“All right.” Pike frowned. “Did you try to reach her via the comm?”
“A few times, but you know that she always forgets her communicator.”
“Yes.” Apart from that, a bad feeling spread in him.
“Chris, what are you thinking about?” Culber looked at him.
“Nothing good.” He pulled out his communicator. “Pike on bridge.”
“Owosekun can you tell me where Ms. Zimmer is right now?”
The information took a few seconds longer than he was used to by the OPS officers. He closed his eyes as she finally spoke again.
“Sir, she is not on board!”
Tilly teared her eyes. “What?”
“But I can see a faint transporter signature in their quarters.”
“Captain Pike!” Ash Tyler stormed to the infirmary. “Sir, we have a problem!”
“If I’m right, you have a problem!” Pike felt himself getting angry, and unfortunately, his anger would hit the Section 31 liaison officer, again. Bad Timing following that man.
“Okay, gentlemen.” Culber pushed between the two men. “This is the infirmary, so get it together!”
“Tyler if I find out that you are behind it!”
“Sir, I’m not here to argue with you and yes, this time I can even understand why you are mad at me but we should really get together and for the protocol, I have nothing to do with it!”
“Let’s say I believe you.” Pike took a deep breath. “Where is she?”
Tyler’s answer was a mystery, but Chris understood immediately what he was getting at.
“It´s one of Leland’s agents, there are interrogators within Section 31, and aspiring agents are always on the lookout for a way to move up quickly, regardless of casualties or Starfleet regulations.”
“Tilly to the bridge, report I’m on Shuttle 1 with Agent Tyler. We’re leaving Discovery.”
“Sir, what should I tell Commander Saru where you go?”
Pike exchanged glances with Tyler, a mute agreement in both men’s eyes. The knowledge that they would break the law, more than that, they would revert to direct orders from the High Command, and in that case it was punishable by death.
“It’s better if he don´t know it.”
Chapter 9: Firelight - Part III: A planet the sun forgot.
Thank you all for your Kudos!
Here comes part 3 of 4!
Warnings: Fear, some kind of torture, violence. At all, not the happiest part of this story.
The next few hours, maybe even days, I didn´t really know, felt like something was trying to pull my thoughts out of my body, but my body did not give in and that made someone pretty angry.
I was pretty sure I was aboard a shuttle, at least that told me the dull feeling in my stomach. Something rough hit me on my shoulder, pierced my brain and forced me to open my eyes. A throbbing pain shot through my jaw and made me moan.
“Enough sleep sweetheart.”
“What the hell?” I grabbed my head to keep from falling, then sank back against a metallic wall.
“Oh, get a little hard on yourself.” Someone pushed into my field of vision.
“Who are you?” I grimaced when I realized who my host was, it was the agent who had been with Leland, her name was Prescot or something.
“I already told Leland everything I know and Cornwell.”
"Psst.” She put a finger on my lips. Shocked, I broke off. “I know, and it was pretty poor.” It was probably supposed to look cute when she slightly tilted her head and blinked at me. “Well, I decided, I take that in my tender hands.”
“Let me guess.” It was burning on my lip, where her finger had been, so I fumbled around on it myself. My lower lip was torn open, that was it. “Leland doesn´t know about it.”
“Of course not.” She smiled again her witch smile. “Leland is a wimp, ridiculously easy to control and has not had a long time to report.”
“Ah ha.” I closed my eyes and moved my jaw slightly, it hurts too. Not as much as what she did next.
“Shit, what’s that?” I winced as she removed a hypospray from my neck.
“That will help you to remember.” She looked at me.
“Did you even listen? I can´t remember, the little bit I know came from coincidences and situations. Any attempt to access it, has been a complete flop. ”
“That’s why we’re trying this now.” The agent lifted the hypospray. “We didn´t get that far with Spock, but I was very curious how that might work.”
I did not have time to analyze the implications of her words, before my eyes everything began to turn, my brain seemed to defend itself against what she had given me, with everything it could find in its arsenal. Pain, pictures, every feeling that I had at some point collapsed on me and let me tip forward on the floor. I felt something paralyzing me, it even prevented me from closing my eyes, so all I could do was stare at the ceiling of the shuttle until Prescot leaned close to me.
“Mmh, the dose was probably too high.” I saw her shrug a thousand times. “Anyway.” Then she dropped to her knees in front of me. “So Cathrin, let’s hear, how the hell did you get here?”
“What?” I tried to fight the nausea down. “I don´t know that!”
“Just don´t come up with the idea of claiming these strange signals are responsible for it.” She pushed me back as I tried to straighten up. “Lie down!”
I growled as I hit the ground again.
“I wouldn´t like to ask again.”
“I don´t know!” The cold metal on my cheek was doing well. “Burnham has not figured it out yet.”
“Oh, she will.” Prescot’s smile looked like a snake’s. That made me choke again. “But that takes me too long.” She grabbed my braid and pulled me up. “Let’s try something different.”
She pushed me away and I couldn´t catch myself, as my head unrestrained hit the ground, I had to throw up. With a groan I rolled onto my back, still unable to close my eyes or move in coordination.
Gradually, I saw her walk past me, sit down in the cockpit of the shuttle and enter a course. No sooner had she entered her coordinator than an alarm rang.
“The Federation with its narrow-minded policies.” She switched off the warning tone, then gave me a look that made me shudder down into my confused innermost.
“I’m sure that will be a charming excursion.” Then she activated the warp drive. “Could only be that it doesn´t go out well for everyone.”
The picture in front of my eyes blurred, but the last thing I saw, let all hope in me collapsed. The computer displayed our new course on the screen.
“No, please don´t.” I fought against the wave of unconsciousness that just moved over me. “Please…”
Then I felt my body tension get lost, my head rolled over and my eyes closed.
At some point I came back to myself, the drugs that she had given me were still burning in my bloodstream, their effect did not seem to end. My fear paralyzed me, the images in my head drove me to the brink of madness. I felt tears rolling down my face, they burned like fire on my skin. Any nerve phage that was not completely overloaded, seemed to consist only of pain. Cold crawled through my fingers, making them stiff and I was sure that would spread into my body soon.
I winced as my numb fingertips hit something metallic. It had rounded edges, its surface both smooth and rough, traversed by lines or symbols, and above a curve were elevations. Eager to finally have found something that didn´t seem to come from the arsenal of Dante’s Inferno, my brain plunged onto this piece of metal in my hand. Trembling, I stroked it, groped it and counted the small round sublimities.
One, two, three, four.
I exhaled slightly, closing my eyelids over my exhausted eyes. It was his badge, I still had it in my pocket, I closed my fingers tightly, holding it tight and crafting myself a mantra that would hopefully keep me sane.
That’s real, you can hold on to it while it’s there, you have something that they can´t take you. That will protect you.
He will protect you.
“Can you hear me? What did you do with her? ”
“I tried to help her memory on the jumps.”
Two women argued together, one voice I knew, unfortunately, but the second?
“Stop looking at me so horrified, I know what your, let’s call it hosts, do here.”
“It will be hard to help her.” The other woman spoke again, but it sounded strange. “Her thoughts must first come to rest, her body must regenerate.”
“I don´t want you to help her, I want you to use her memories for me.”
“That’s not how it works.”
I felt that I was lying on a comfortable surface, I was not covered, but I was not cold or otherwise uncomfortable. However, someone stopped me when I wanted to sit up.
“No, not.” A few hands landed on my shoulders, pushing me back. “You really shouldn´t get up yet.” That was the woman from earlier, she smiled mildly at me and then let go of me.
“Who are you?” She was beautiful, but somehow scary. Blonde long hair fell over her shoulders and I guess that her dress was too short and her shoes were totally inappropriate for this environment.
“I’m Vina.” She looked at me. “You are on Talos and safe for now.”
“Vina?” I squinted, why did I know that name? I didn´t say anything, the thoughts in my head still felt like they were being jumbled up in a washing machine.
“We will try to help you.”
“Do you read my thoughts?”
She stepped aside for a moment, I following her gaze and finding three weird figures standing at the end of the room. They had huge heads, a slight green cast and looked at me like I was a lab rat.
“Oh, yes, right.” I closed my eyes again. “Talos, there was something.”
“It’s one of the few memories that clearly exists in your mind right now.”
“Okay, that makes sense and that’s the way it used to be.” I just assumed they knew what was wrong with me or Prescot had told them. “Where?”
“Here. Did you think you were going to get rid of me? ”
“It will probably still be allowed to hope.” I pinched my thumb and forefinger against my nose root.
“These headaches are killing me.” I blinked hard.
“We couldn´t help you, your body needs to break down the chemical first.” Vina now put her hand behind my back and helped me sit up. “Slowly.”
Immediately, everything turned and I held onto her a little.
“Phew okay.” I put a hand on my stomach. “Maybe that was not the best idea.” I made her understand that I wanted to lie down again and she also helped me. “Thank you.”
“You should try to gain something.”
“The last thing in there came out very effectively.” Now Prescot was standing by my bedside. “Maybe it’s better she leaves that.”
“A glass of water would be nice.” I tried to ignore her and looked at Vina instead. “If it doesn´t mind.”
She smiled, then almost floated away. Man, how I missed to wear high heels. I took the opportunity and glared at Prescot.
“Hey, what’s your problem?”
“My problem is you.” She leaned against the couch and leaned over to me. “In your lovely head are a few things on which Starfleet is almost as keen as on Spock’s, but while they would only read it and stow away somewhere, there is something more substantial in them.”
“I’m reluctant to bring bad news, but they don´t have it here with profit and trade.” I took a breath. “Unless you hug the Ferengi, then you might be lucky.” I raised my eyebrows. “Okay, that was new.”
“Ah, see.” She put her hand to my chin and turned me roughly in her direction. “You just have to drill long enough.”
“Long is the keyword.” I tried to look at her as evil as possible. “It takes time, if I should remember.”
“Yes, maybe.” She pointed in the direction in which just the Talosians have disappeared. “But they certainly have ways to speed things up.”
“They will not do that!” Vina was back, a vessel in her hand. “It’s not their style. They read thoughts to learn so.”
“So, if they don´t learn anything from her, then I don´t know.” Prescot turned and walked towards the Talosians. “She´s from the past, from another time and reality.” I felt bad again as she spokes on. “Supposedly she knows things, up to hundreds of years into the future. Wouldn´t it be tempting to see that? ”
“Here, then you feel better.” Vina helped me put something on, then she held the bottle to my lips and I drank the liquid. Immediately I wanted to vomit again. “Try to keep it to yourself.”
I choked it down again and slid out of her arms back onto the small pillow. I closed my eyes and in front of them pictures flashed, that I couldn´t initially assign. But I knew the blue eyes that looked at me.
But he looked strange, as if someone had put on a costume that looked like Chris but not really fit, as if he would play the role but go his own way.
I took a deep breath, then jerked off again. I tried to hold on to this look, but slipped away and tore everything that was just so clear together with me, back into the vortex, from which I still couldn´t free myself.
“Cathrin, don´t try to fight it.” Her melodic voice sneaked back into my mind. “We want to help you.”
Given Prescot’s attempt to promote me like an entertainment program, I could hardly believe her. It felt like I was pulling in a thousand directions at the same time. I saw the Enterprise with all its commanders, the Borg, the Romulans, the Dominion, but as soon as I saw anything clear, it was torn from me as if someone wanted to prevent me from remembering later. Then it became too much for me and I gave up and let myself be carried away by whom or whatever.
Something familiar crawled through my nose into my brain, it took a moment to assign it.
I whispered softly, just so I could be sure my thoughts wouldn´t play a trick on me again. Once again, I closed my fingers around the badge in my pocket, still hoping that it would be my anchor in reality.
I shook my head, I didn´t dare to open my eyes. “Please don´t, you will be executed or you…”
Now I felt a hand on my arm. Instead of calming me, it made me nervous. I felt my heart start beating faster, adrenaline rushing back through my veins.
“That will not happen.” Then he paused. “What about her?”
“Agent Prescot has given her a remedy to make her memories accessible, but instead she just buried her deeper inside. Not even for the Talosians was it possible to get them out. ”
I heard him sigh, which somehow made me cramp myself even more.
“No, this is not possible.”
“Cathrin.” Pike pulled away from Vina, leaned toward me, then gently put his hand on my cheek. “Open your eyes, look at me!”
It sounded like a command and the part of me that slowly began to feel comfortable in Starfleet came to grips with it. I opened my eyes, looked into Christopher Pike’s face and instantly felt my eyes grow to twice their size. My battered body tried to get away from him. It just didn´t get too far.
I rolled to the side of the couch and could barely put my legs down, before I would have slammed like a wet sack to the ground. Instead, I fell into his outstretched arms and was pulled back.
“Let me go.” I squirmed with all the strength I had left, it was not much anymore.
“That’s not real!” My legs slid away, then I slid down on him, feeling his knees fall and lift me up.
“It’s real!” He looked at Vina, she came before his question.
“There is a memory in her mind that relates to this place and she doesn´t seem to get away from it.” She looked at him. “It includes you.”
My head rolled against his chest and he turned his attention to me. He felt the tension drain from my body, my hand just resting on his shoulder, slipping slowly down his chest.
“I can´t stay here any longer, she needs a doctor and.”
“I understand.” She smiled sadly. “It was clear from the first second when I saw how you looked at her. You love her.”
“Vina.” Pike took a deep breath.
"You never looked at me like that.“
"I am so sorry.”
“What are you sorry for?” This on seemed a little easier to her. “That you have found someone to give you what you need?” She took a step towards him and put a hand to his cheek. “I have decided to stay here, not you and it would be unfair for you to stop living your life.”
“Don´t wait too long.” Then she stepped back from him. “In my experience, that’s not the right way. Don´t worry, I’m fine. ”
“I wish you all the best.”
“I wish you the same.”
Pike pulled his communicator from his belt and snapped it open.
“Pike to Tyler, two to beam.”
Then the transporter beam enveloped them and carried Pike away from Vina one last time, and although it took a few more days for him to admit that, he really could let her go this time.
As soon as the transporter dropped him off in the shuttle, he could feel a huge tension fell from him. Not that he felt directly threatened, but it was better to know that they would leave this planet in a few minutes.
“Finally.” Ash Tyler jumped up and came to him. His eyes fell on Cathrin. She lay unconscious in the captain’s arms, was incredibly pale, trembling and you could see in her face that a battle had rage in her head. “Oh, that doesn´t look good.”
Carefully, he put his hands around Cathrin’s head as Pike went to his knees to lay her on the floor.
“It is not.” Chris reached for the Med-Kit he had received from Dr. Culber. “OK.” He pulled out one of the neural emitters and tried to activate it, but his trembling fingers thwarted him. “Damn it.”
“I can do that.”
Tyler took the device from him, activated it and put it to her temple, then repeated the process on the other side. He allowed himself to watch the captain briefly as he prepared the hypospray, as Culber had shown them.
During the entire flight Pike had been unusually quiet, nervous and very distracted for his circumstances. He seemed to have pulled himself together for the mission, but now he also noticed how this day claimed its toll. The slight head injury of this morning would do the rest.
“Okay, that seems to work.” Ash grabbed the hypospray, put it on Cathrin’s neck, and injected the drug cocktail. Almost immediately, she seemed to relax, she started to breathe more regularly and the flashing lights on the emitters were less hectic.
“We should be frowned upon from here, I’m not at all anxious to find out what surprises Prescot still has in store.” Pike just wanted to get up from the floor, when he felt Tyler’s hand on his shoulder. The agent smiled slightly at him, then looked at Cathrin.
“Stay with her, I’ll do it.”
Ash’s answer was a small nod, then he hurried forward into the cockpit and shortly thereafter the shuttle took off and left Talos IV.
Chris sank to the floor beside Cathrin, throwing a blanket over her and then looking at her.
Was that his fault? Should he have clarified his point of view to Leland?
In front of him, he could see the shuttle plunge into space and sink into the warp seconds later.
“I’ll contact Discovery as soon as we’ve passed Star Base 11.” Tyler got up, rummaged in one of the equipment rucksacks, and came to him. “Here, you should have a drink.”
“Thank you.” Pike accepted the bottle and took a long sip. Tyler sat down opposite him, drank too, then looked at the captain.
“It’s not your fault Sir.” Ash briefly checked the settings of the medical devices. “Captain Leland has some agents who would like to dispute his position.”
“I had to ask.” Pike’s mouth twitched briefly.
“I know.” Tyler did the same. “She’s also my friend, if I had known, I would have warned you. I know she means a lot to you.”
Pike took a deep breath. He was probably a worse actor than he had thought.
“We should be in radio range in thirty minutes.” He got up and went back into the cockpit.
Ash was fine. Pike and he were far from being friends, but the captain looked as if he could use some encouraging words, even though he was not the best officer for the job.
“No persecutors or other anomalies.”
“OK.” Chris stroked his face. That was at least halfway good news.
He hesitated for a moment, then reached out and grabbed her hand. They almost disappeared in his and was cold. Tyler took care of everything, so he admitted he just didn´t have to be the captain. His head sank against his hand, which he had laid around hers, then he closed his eyes.
He had no idea what he meant to call what bound them, but right now it felt like it ran through his fingers even before he could name it. He raised his head and looked at her.
“Cathrin.” In front of his eyes he could see her looking at him with her green eyes.
“Hold on, please.” He stroked a strand from her face.
“Do not give up.”
Chapter 10: Firelight - Part IV: I know your story but tell me again...
Thanks for all the kudos and comment!
So here the last part of this story! I hope you all enjoy it!
No warnings for this part, only if you a afraid of comfort, fluff,.., and so on.
The upcoming parts are much more lighter!
Within a few hours or days, I found myself again, lying somewhere and not quite master of my senses. I had a headache, dull, not the stinging one Prescot had caused me. It beeped behind me, could be my heartbeat or something else. Maybe the countdown to the apocalypse.
“Hey, can you hear me?”
Okay, I didn´t expect that. I hesitantly opened my eyes, then turned to the unexpected visitor.
“Ash?” I took a deep breath and blinked, the hospital ward light hurt in my eyes. When I looked back, he smiled at me. “What are you doing here?”
“I keep your company.” He put the PADD in his hand on the table to his left. “How are you?”
“A headache and.” I sighed. “I feel like there is too much going on up there.”
“Dr. Pollard thought it would stop, your nerves were completely overloaded, not to mention the chaos in your head .”
“You were with the Captain on Talos.” I swallowed hard. “What.”
“Nothing is going to happen, it has not been recorded in any logbook, and Section 31 has been quite messy.” He didn´t seem really sad about it. “After a very nice chat with Captain Pike, Leland has decided to let it go.”
“What a surprise. What about Prescot? ”
“Disappeared, but I think she will reappear.”
“Like a bad penny.” I raised my eyebrows, which made Tyler smile.
“I’ve heard that before.” He got up. “I tell Captain Pike that you are awake, I´m sure he wants to see you.”
“I´m not allowed to go?”
“What do you think?” He grinned at me. “We’ve fished you from a forbidden planet, to blunt with the fiercest psychotropic drugs known to Starfleet, until a few hours ago, you were babbling and before that we fear you get lost in your mind, so?”
“May I spend a while here.”
“One hundred points.” He put a hand on my shoulder. “Glad to see you are better again.”
He said goodbye and I watched a nurse checking my values, then Pollard came to me and we led by and large the same conversation as I just had with Tyler.
Then I slept a little, managed to eat a soup and organize a coffee.
“Here are your stuff.” Pollard came to me again.
“Are you still in pain?”
“No, I’m just tired.” I smiled at her, which she returned.
“Well, then I would say you can sleep in your quarters, but call if you are not feeling well and certainly tomorrow morning.”
"I will, thank you doctor.”
I reached for the bag she had brought to me. I pulled out my pants, slipped inside. Before putting on the shirt, I checked for traces of blood on it, but thankfully, it was clean. I put it on, the shoes followed.
Slowly I slid to my feet and waited a moment, until my sense of balance worked again, then I stroked my pants along and encountered some resistance.
I narrowed my eyes, put my hand in my pocket and pulled out something golden. I smiled as I realized it was Pike’s badge. I closed my fingers around it and put my hand briefly on my heart.
“I knew you had to have it.” Chris stood next to me with a smile on his face that didn´t could hide his concern.
“A miracle, that I have not lost it in all this mess.” I looked at him. “Are you really Christopher Pike?”
“Of course.” He leaned against the bed too. “We are now too far away from Talos for such illusions.” Then he raised his hand and stroked my arm, I closing my eyes, enjoying the feeling of his fingers on my skin. He was still sitting there when I opened it again. “Convinced?”
“I think so.” I turned the badge between my hands, then extended it to him and put it in his hand. “Thanks, I think that helped me, too.”
“Then maybe you should keep it.” He handed it back to me.
“So to speak, as a lucky charm?” I closed my fingers around the piece of metal.
“Sounds good.” He smiled at me. “You were released?”
“More or less. Dr. Pollard said I can sleep in my quarters. ”
“Shall I accompany you?”
Normally, I would have said yes, but I just wanted to be alone. So much was going around in my head, even as far as he was concerned.
His doppelganger on Talos, Vina, Pike himself, his fate.
“Chris, please don´t be mad at me, but I think I would like to be alone for a while.” I hesitated a moment, then put a hand on his arm. “I don´t know what the Talosians did to me, or any after-effects of Prescots.” I sighed. “Call it treatment.” I smiled weakly. “I have to sort a few things.”
“I understand that.” He put his hand on mine, then pushed away from the bed and pulled me with him. “But if you are after a bit of company, then I’m just a touch of a button away.”
“Thanks.” I squeezed his hand briefly, then released him and he left with a last smile.
I watched him as he left the sick bay, then I turned to go and tried to get into my quarters without much contact to the crew. I went through the door and enjoyed the silence that spread with its fallin around me. It smelled familiar, was warm and only I was here. No one in my head, no one spitting in my thoughts or wanting to know something that I couldn´t give.
And yet, there were fragments left behind that were not there before. I started to undress and went to the bedroom. All hurts and I longed for a bath, but that was not possible here, so I went into the shower, turned it up and hoped that the hot water would have a similar effect. I leaned against the wall and closed my eyes.
Perhaps that was not the best idea, Chris immediately appeared before my inner eyes, but not the one that I would have loved to have with me now, but the one who pursued me since Talos.
I knew this picture.
Christopher Pike, in a futuristic wheelchair, robbed of his body, a shadow of himself, but unlike what I knew, that was not the end.
I heard a voice in my head, a voice that told me that I had changed his fate. When I asked how I should do that, or if I had already done that, I didn´t get an answer again, instead I saw this Pike rise from the chair, smile at me and then disappeared. I opened my eyes, turned off the water and stepped out of the shower. I had to tell him before the pictures disappeared and I couldn´t enter it into the computer, it was something that only he was allowed to hear and then best forget.
I slipped into a fresh shirt, a pair of trousers, then I walked out of my quarters like I was.
I reached his quarters surprisingly quickly, rang the bell and had to wait a moment before he opened the door.
“Cathrin?” He stared at me. “Everything OK?”
“Yes why? May I come in?”
“Ehm, sure.” He stepped aside and followed me confused, then closed the door. “Are you alright?”
“Still tired, but I have to tell you something before I go to sleep.”
“I’m brave and guess you’re coming right out of the shower.” I watched him disappear into his bathroom and come back with a towel. “Without detours.”
“Oh.” I looked at the sleeve of my shirt, it was wet in some places and now that he had addressed it, my underwear felt like bathing suits. “Thanks.” I began to dry my hair, and noticed that he, too, was not wearing a uniform, but a towel and a t-shirt that he had apparently thrown over quickly.
“You have no pants on.” I stared at him for a moment, then turned around.
“Um, you also got me out of the shower.” I heard him walk away, then rustle cloth before he came back.
“Sorry,” I glanced over my shoulder, then turned back. Now he wore a sweatpants. “But I have to tell you something.”
“Okay.” He pointed to his sofa. “Do we want to sit down?”
I nodded, then sat on the couch and took a deep breath.
“I remembered what I saw and it had to do with you.”
“I understand.” He nodded to me and I kept talking.
“But I need to know if you really want to hear that. It’s not nice and maybe a little selfish to burden you with it. ”
“It would be selfish to leave you alone with that.”
“All right.” I took a deep breath. “I told you, you would go to the Academy after you were promoted?”
“There will be an accident there. On an academy ship it will come to a radiation incident. "Now that I said it out loud, I could feel how close it was to me. I turned to him and grabbed his hand. "I…”
“Keep going.” He closed his fingers around my hand.
“In an attempt to rescue some cadets, you will be so contaminated that your neural pathways will no longer be able to supply your body. Your brain will still work, but you will be confined to a wheelchair and the only way to communicate will be a flashing light that signals yes or no. ”
I pinched my lips as I felt a tear run out of my eye.
“And when is that supposed to happen?” I could see in his eyes that he was struggling with it, even though he tried not to show it.
“This is not your fate anymore.” I was surprised that I was whispering now.
“What do you mean?” Now he looked completely confused.
“Apparently, that’s one of the reasons I’m here.” His grip on my hand tightened. “I should stop that, but I don´t know how to do it.”
“Maybe it’s enough that I know it now.” I thought he looked a bit shaken. “That you are here.”
"That sounds almost too easy to be true.” A slight smile crept on my lips. “But it’s a nice thought.”
“May I ask you for something?” I shifted a little closer to him. “Don´t mention it in your logbook, I’m scared of what’s going to happen if someone finds out. I’ll write it down, on a piece of paper, and so I’ll do it with everything I’ll come up with in the future. ”
“Sounds like a sensible suggestion.” Now he was smiling again. “I promise this will stay with us and that it will not stand between us.”
“I just told you something incredible.”
“I’m glad you did, you shouldn´t have to deal with that all by yourselves. You don´t know what’s coming, it’s better to share that burden. "He leaned in a bit to meet me. "And above all, you don´t do it overtired, we can continue tomorrow. Go to bed, that´s an order. ”
I had to smile. “Aye Captain!” I got up from the sofa. “You should do that too. I’m sure that was not an easy day for you. "
He sank back and ran both hands through his hair.
"You don´t know how right you are.” He glanced at me.
“If you need an open ear.” I smiled slightly.
“I don´t want to impose that on you too.”
“You wouldn´t.“ I put my hands together in front of my stomach. He took a deep breath, then sighed and straightened up again.
"Vina and me.” He looked at me. “Or rather, that me that still exists on Talos, have a weird past.” Chris glanced at me. “But you probably know that.”
“Yes.” I handed him my hand. “Do we want to take a few steps?”
“Not a bad idea.” He reached for my hand and I, at least pretended to help him up. “Wait a minute.” He disappeared into his bedroom and came back with a jacket. “Pull them on.”
“Thanks.” He helped me in, then closed the zipper. “Come on, let´s go.”
We left his quarters and strolled silently through the corridors of the Discovery for a while. At some point he grabbed my hand, looked at me briefly then he pulled me towards in one of the common rooms. At that time there was nobody here, I guessed it was going towards midnight. Outside, space passed by, traced with the blue flicker of the warp drive. I let him pull me to one of the seats that were set in the frames of the windows. We sat down and I crossed my legs to a cross-legged position.
“Talos almost destroyed me.” He sat opposite me, one leg he had put on, the other dangling from the edge of the bench. “It came at a time when I didn´t feel well, and for a while it was like I left more on this planet than I could handle.”
I knew what had happened to him there. It was inconceivable to me, especially now that I knew him better, and yet I could only guess what he had been through.
“We managed to escape, but I had nightmares, daydreams, sometimes I didn´t know what reality was and what illusion.” He looked outside. “It took me a long time to get back to the dam. I could distract myself with my work, but in the evening, when I was alone, everything came up again. Dr. Boyd said back then that I had a PTSD, maybe even a depressive phase, after having a name it became easier to handle. It only got worse when we almost missed the war with the Klingons. ”
“Burnham told me the Enterprise was the last resort for the Federation. I wouldn´t necessarily call that a miss. ”
“Still, it’s not easy to watch when everything you’ve been fighting for is going to hell.”
“Mmh, I’m sure your mother doesn´t like to hear you cursing.” That helped a little, he had to smile about that. I personally thought it was sexy.
“I thought I was over it, but then only the Talosians could help Spock out of his dilemma and quite apart from that, trips to Talos are forbidden and punishable by death.”
“Wow, the Federation doesn´t do things by halves, does it?”
“Excuse me.” I made it clear to him with a wave of his hand that he could go on when he was ready.
“I had to put this crew in danger and mine.” He paused. “Set my demons, if you will.”
“Vina didn´t look really demonic.” I pulled my shoulders up a bit. “A little bit scary maybe.”
“Yes.” He cleared his throat. “That was also my first thought then, but I let myself be lulled by the Talosians and developed feelings that I was not prepared for, nor could I use them in this situation, and that’s what I was still feeling. Vinas appearance a few weeks ago was like a knockout blow, almost throwing me back into my abyss. I was so overwhelmed that for a moment I was ready to throw everything overboard.”
“What stopped you?”
“Spock, Burnham, the responsibility for the crew.” The following seemed to be difficult for him. “Real affection, feelings that had had time to evolve instead of being imprinted in an illusion or being driven in with punishment.”
“What do you do when you have the choice between dying and suffering?”
“That was the decision then, but the captain not only hits it for himself, but for his crew, his ship. I decided then, as I did the last time, to fight and I thought, this time I would have finally left this section behind me. ”
“And then I came.” I raised my eyebrows. “And forced you again to deal with it.”
“This time it was different.” He smiled at me. “I knew what I was getting into, could prepare myself and did it to rescue someone from my crew.” He put his hand on my knee. “To save you and I was ready to do more for this than just fight my demons.”
“And yet you wonder if you made a mistake?”
“No mistake, but maybe I hurt somebody who has already suffered too much.”
“I think we can´t imagine how Vina really lives on Talos, how she lives with her Pike.” I briefly made a wry grimace. “I’ve met him and even though he looks like you, it’s not you.”
“How is he?”
"Different.“ I looked at him.
The twinkle in his eyes, the dimples that showed when he had to laugh and that would probably make him still look like a teenager in twenty years, the tone in his voice, the feel of his skin on mine when he touched me, no matter if it happens accidentally or intentionally.
"He hardly has any of you, and he’s probably developed in a very different direction than you in that second you left the planet. The Talosians form him after Vinas thoughts and dreams, the few real impressions she has of you are probably so watered down that it has nothing to do with the real Christopher Pike. ”
“I think so too.” He withdrew his hand. “It may sound strange, but this time I really could leave her, leave this place. It’s part of my past and that’s where it’s in the right place. It has haunted me long enough and I’m sick of turning it over and over again and I don´t want to think about it anymore. ”
“That sounds like a good plan.” I smiled at him. “If you forget it, I will remind you.”
“I had not expected anything else.” Now he handed me his hand to help me up. I untied my legs, turned and slid off the bench, then he put his hand on my arm. “Thank you Cathrin, that did a surprisingly good job.”
He ran his thumb over the fabric of the jacket, just hard enough for me to feel it on my skin.
“Whenever you need me.” I put a hand on his on my arm.
“I want to give that back.”
“Thanks.” I smiled slightly. “But not today. If I remember correctly, some time ago you told me to go to bed and before that, I’ve heard it from Dr. Pollard. ”
“Right, you should rest.” He pushed me towards the door and we took the way back, which we had come.
“And even if I said it before, you should too.” I nudged my arm briefly against his. “You’re better off now.”
He took me to my quarters, I opened the door and then looked at him.
“I think I can do the rest alone. What about you?”
“If we start like this now, then none of us will go to bed today.” Now he smiled that smile that I found so incredibly sweet about him and I joined him.
“But I’m sure it would be fun.”
Then I surprised myself and him by standing on tiptoe, leaning against him and placing a soft kiss on his forehead.
“Good night Chris.” I backed away, his eyes closed briefly, then he looked at me. “Sleep well.”
“You too Cathrin, good night.”
He was still standing there when I entered the quarters and the door closed behind me. I had to shake my head briefly about myself, of what I had actually wanted to do, I had been able to hold myself back.
None of us was in condition today to deal with it and now I also felt the ordeal of the last few days. Slowly, I went to the bedroom and began to undress. My clothes were still gorge and I swapped my underwear for a dry set, just like the pants, when I was about to grab a fresh T-shirt, my gaze fell on his jacket, which I had worn. I turned around, reached for it and pulled it over again.
As soon as it lay on my shoulders, his smell came back into my nose. The same scent, as on Talos, as it always surrounded him. A mixture of sandalwood, some citrus notes and his very own touch. I buried my nose in the collar, took a deep breath and closed my eyes with a small sigh. As I was, I dropped into my bed, wrapped myself in my blanket and fell asleep after a few minutes.
Chapter 11: Welcome to Starfleet!
This one is a little lighter! Something funny after the big trouble last time, with a romantic touch.
Cathrin receives some unexpected suprises. Its a two part story. Here comes the first!
I put the cylinder in the hub, turned it in the required direction, then closed the drawer and turned to the control. I thought for a moment, then reached out a finger and entered the commands that Tilly had called me.
“Stop it.” Then she interrupted me. “Are you sure?” I squinted at her, then pinched my eyebrows and went through my steps again.
I swung around and tapped the buttons below. I didn´t see, how Silvia smiled satisfied, I just saw that the screen actually confirmed to me that the spore drive was now ready for use. Of course only theoretically.
“I can´t believe it!” I jerked my hands up. “This is awesome!”
“When it´s going gets tough, it’s of course something completely different.”
“Of course, I don´t intend to make that my main task.” Nevertheless, I couldn´t help it to smile over my ears. “But it’s good to know that I can help at least a bit in an emergency.”
“After the break, let’s try again.” She pulled out the container and placed it next to the console. “Let’s see what’s stuck.”
“How mean.” I puckered my nose as Tilly wiped a macro aside.
“I have two more settings to check, then we can go.”
“No hurry.” I smiled at her, then we left the engine room and made our way to the bridge “I’m really holding you from nothing more important?”
“On the contrary!” She beamed at me. “Thanks to you, I can practice the same way, as I instructed subordinates, please excuse the term.”
“It’s like that somehow.” I grinned at her. “And you’re doing great!”
“So you would not mind if Commander Saru were watching us?”
“Why? It’s a great opportunity for you." We left the turbolift and entered the bridge. "But you must not be angry if I embarrass you.”
“You, embarrass me?” She stopped and gave me a weird look. “You even looked elegant when you came from Starbase 10, completely covered in blood.”
“Well then, I’ll embarrass you elegantly.” I looked to the side as I noticed that everyone was looking at us. I squinted at Tilly, who grinned and then shrugged. “Sil, what’s going on here?”
“Ms. Zimmer.” The voice made me sigh very inelegantly, but I pulled myself together and turned to her.
“Admiral Cornwell. It´s nice to see you again. "I cleared my throat, not even I missed that this had not sounded so straightforward.
“It’s nice to see you doing well.” She raised her hand and beckoned to me. “Don´t worry, I will not bite you.”
“I didn´t accept it either.” Nevertheless, I knew that I didn´t respond very quickly to her request.
“I want to apologize.” That made me open my eyes widely.
“Admiral, I think there is nothing to excuse. You can´t be fault for Agent Prescot kidnapping me from the Discovery.”
“Still.” She interrupted me. “Our urge to fulfill the tasks that we face as efficiently as possible sometimes unfortunately makes us forget that there are guidelines, oaths and orders that we have to adhere to.” A small smile crept over her face. “And with us, I mean in this case, section 31.” She lowered her voice slightly. “And my person.”
“I think that sometimes happens to us all like this.” I took the hand that she held out to me. This time, I didn´t hesitate when I grabbed her. “But I appreciate it, thank you, Admiral.”
“Good, after that’s settled.” She reached past Pike for something that rested on the arm of the command chair. I used that second to look at the captain, but this time I didn´t make it out of him. Cornwell turned back to me.
“Ms. Zimmer, you acted level-headed and calmly in a situation in which others had lost more than their nerves. You saved a life by risking your own and that. "She lifted something up. "Are exactly the conditions that Starfleet expects from their officers.”
“What’s going on here?” I gave Christopher a quick look, he smiled at me.
“We have forwarded your data to HQ.” He replied. “It’ll take a while, but when it’s over, you’re officially citizens of the United Federation of Planets, like everyone here.” Pike made a move that included everyone on the bridge.
“This is just the beginning and there is certainly still a long way to go, which I will follow with great interest, but for now.” Cornwell handed me a badge. “Welcome to Starfleet.”
That was Tilly, then she started to clap and the whole crew agreed. For a few seconds, I didn´t know what was happening to me, then I took the badge from Cornwell’s fingers and stared at it. It was one of the silver ones, not yet assigned to a department, but when I turned it over my name was on the back.
“Congratulations.” She put a hand on my arm, then smiled at me. “Don´t let me regret that.”
“I’m doing my best, Mam.”
“May I now?” Tilly suddenly stood behind me and Cornwell had not really let me go yet, then she fell on my neck. “Oh, I’m so happy!”
“What do you think, how I feel?”
“Congratulations!” Silvia pushed me on to Michael, who hugged me as well.
Spock followed this, I accepted the handshake as extremely warmhearted, as did Saru’s tender patting my shoulder. It joined the entire bridge crew, which almost made me cry, but I pulled myself together until.
“I hate to be the spoilsport.” Pike raised his voice slightly. “But we have to take the admiral home. Set course to starbase 14, Warp 5 ”
“Aye Sir.” Detmer grinned at me, then sat back down at her station and executed the order. The rest of the crew also turned to his duties.
“Do you have a moment?” He spoke again in normal volume.
“Yes Sir.” I looked around. “Where is the admiral? I still wanted to thank her. ”
“I think she can handle it.” He asked me to come with him and I followed him into his ready room.
The door closed behind us and I ran into him when he stopped without warning.
“Oops, sorry.” I grinned at him.
“I will survive it. May I?”
He reached for the hand I still held the badge with and lifted it. Then he tapped my fingers and I opened them. His fingertips brushed against my palm as he picked it up.
“That.” He hesitated almost imperceptibly, then tethered the delta to the designated spot. “Are you wearing there.”
“Aye Captain.” Now I had to swallow hard, it didn´t help that he locked me in his arms and I automatically put mine around his shoulders.
“Congratulations, Cathrin.” I heard his voice right next to my ear, involuntarily it shot a shiver down my spine.
“Thanks Chris!” I hugged him tightly. Far too long, as it would have been appropriate, then we let go of each other.
“I hope that was fine.” He pointed towards the bridge. “Ensign Tilly was of the opinion that this must celebrate this big.”
“Yeah, all right.” I turned to follow him as he walked to his desk, typed in something, and continued toward the conference table, when I noticed something. “Wait, why must?”
He laughed, then leaned against the table. “I told her that I’m the wrong person for that.”
“What are you the wrong person for?” I joined him and sat down next to him on the table.
“Sitting on the table is not entirely in accordance with the regulations”. He gave me a grinning look.
“Oh, I’m on duty?” I jerked my nose.
“Well, uniform, badge.” He moved his hand up and down in front of me “So, yes, as far as that applies in your case.”
I was spurred on by my good mood and leaned against him a little.
“Chris?” I shrugged my eyebrows.
“Yes please.” He did it like me, also a big smile on his face.
“You try to distract me and don´t say that it isn´t so.”
“I don´t know what you mean.”
He tore himself away from my eyes and walked on again, strangely towards the desk. He squinted almost imperceptibly, then moved on.
“All right, where were we?”
“You were lying to me.”
“Um.” He made a funny face, then pointed to the replicator. “How about something to drink?”
“Gladly. Truth serum? ”
“I was thinking more about champagne.”
“Okay.” I straightened up a bit. “The box are able to made such chic things. ”
“No, not really.“ Chris pulled out a bottle from the fridge, which I just noticed for the first time, from the closet next to two glasses.
"Wow, there is still something like that?” I slipped to my feet and walked over to him.
“Of course.” He tore open the lock, released the cage, and removed the cork from the bottle. Didn´t find the content so great and gushed happily out of the bottle.
“Oh, be careful!” I reached for the glasses frantically and held them under the bottle. Just didn´t helped much.
What he couldn´t catch with his mouth ran over his fingers and dripped onto the floor. I couldn´t help but given the situation and the face that he made and started to laugh.
“Okay, I’m out of practice.” He joined me, then shook a few drops from his hand. “That was planned differently.”
“Really?” I found a napkin and he handed me in exchange for it the bottle. I turned and poured us both. Again, it foamed properly. I held the glass to my lips and sipped the foam.
“I could do that better once.” I handed him his empty glass and poured it, fortunately, accident-free.
“What a mess.” He threw the napkin back on the shelf, then looked at me. “But the stuff from the replicator is inedible.” I glanced over his shoulder.
“Some other seemingly too.”
“Oh yes.” Then he pulled himself together for a moment, raised his glass and looked at me. “On you and may the stars always be favorable to you.” I couldn´t think of anything, so I clink my glass at his and we both took a sip.
“Do not get me wrong.” I looked at him. “This is wonderful, but it did leave me a feeling like you’re just trying to distract me.”
He smiled, then turned his glass between his fingers before he took mine from me and put them both on the coffee table.
“Tilly insisted on throwing a party.” Pike squinted at me. “And after all that has happened lately, I think that’s a brilliant idea.”
“Ah ha.” I grinned at him.
“They are in the lounge 3 now and prepare everything.”
“And you pulled the short match and have to keep me as inconspicuous as possible.” I made a few quotes with my fingers in the air. “Steer there.”
“Which I don´t seem to be very adept at. But you can´t do everything. ”
I shrugged, then reached out and told him I wanted my glass back. With a big grin he pushed it into my fingers. I started, draining it all at once and making him understand that he ought to do the same. He smiled and accepted the request. When he pulled away, he raised an eyebrow. I noticed immediately how the alcohol went to my head.
“I usually give the orders.” He reached for the bottle and poured another.
“ I will try to pull myself together in the future.” I did the same. “At the moment, I’m not giving any orders, except maybe to the replicator.” He laughed at that again, which died down a bit as I drank the glass out again.
“Whoa Cathrin, slow.” He fished the glass out of my fingers, and I grinned at him.
“Two things you should know about me.”
“I’m all ears.” He put the glasses away again.
“Although I like to dance, I’m not a party person at all.”
“Sounds contradictory, but good.” He smirked at me sweetly. “What is number two?”
“I don´t actually drink.” I put my hands around his shoulders again. “Mostly because I don´t tolerate alcohol, especially champagne.” I felt him put his hands on my arms.
“What you don´t say?” That he at least tried not to laugh at me, I expected him very high. “Come on, let’s bring you to your party before you didn´t get there anymore.” He pulled my arms off his shoulders, but he did not let go of my hand.
“On one condition.” I raised my finger, which I pulled back in, realizing how stupid that would look like. “Actually two.”
“Let them hear.”
“I would like a glass of water.” So I went past him, poured one and emptied it just as I had done before with the champagne. “Better.”
“Okay, we’re holding on.”
With a small jerk he pulled me back to himself. My sense of balance, however, was already confused enough that it made me stumble and I trickled him into his arms.
“No more drinks for you, not today.” He held me until everything had stopped spinning.
“Good idea.” I smiled at him.
“What is condition number two?”
“You have to dance with me.”
Chapter 12: Shut up and dance. (Welcome to Starfleet - Part 2)
I must thank my friend for the idea, I hadn´t planed to write that party anyway but here it is! I was in a totally funny mood as I wrote it, so I hope it makes you smile!
Had I remembered this evening later, I would have known that it still had some knowledge prepared for me.
Cognition number one was that spaceships were damn labyrinths, that got even worse when you had one sitting like me, and already get lost in a sober state.
Cognition number two was that I should really keep my hands off champagne, no matter what the situation was. Should I marry someday there would be served water … well, as I said, I will not remember this evening.
“Okay, stopover.” Chris, who had hacked me in, pulled me around a corner, causing me to stumble again. Before I had an answer, Hugh grinned at me.
“What are we doing in the sick bay?”
“Oh yeah, I can see where the problem lies.” The doc and the captain exchanged an amused look. “On it.”
“Where on it?” I still didn´t know what to do here. “If there’s going to be a party here, that’s a funny theme. Hey, what will that be? ”
Pike pushed me to the treatment bed, grabbed my hip and sat me on it.
“Hey, wow, that was impressive!” I grinned at him. “Is that possible …?”
“Cathrin!” Culber interrupted me and stopped me from saying something very, very stupid.
“Just be quiet for a moment, trust me.” He raised a hypospray. “That will help you to break down the alcohol a little faster. You’ll still have a hangover and feel shitty tomorrow, but it prevents you from stepping away completely. ”
“There exists something like that?” I squinted at the injector in his hand. “What do you want with the syringe?”
“Captain, what did you do with her?” Culber grinned at him, bringing him a very evil look from Pike.
“I said I’m not the right man for this job.”
“So you decided to get her drunk?”
“She drank two glasses of champagne!” Pike felt compelled to defend himself. “Who could have guessed that?” He caught the hand, with which I have just started to beat after hypospray as if it were an annoying fly.
“I just want to annoy you.” Culber put the syringe against my neck and squeezed.
“Ouch.” I glared at the doctor.
“That couldn´t have hurt!” He grinned at me, then turned around, fetching a glass of water and throwing an effervescent tablet into it. “Drink up.”
“He said no more drinks.” Now I started waving my finger in front of Pike’s nose.
“In God´s name, drink that glass of water!” Pike shook his head, caught my hand again and squeezed it on my lap, then sighed slightly. “Please.”
“Okay.” I let him press the glass into my free hand, started, emptied it all in one and gave it back to Hugh.
“Impressive.” Culber patted Chris on the shoulder. “I understand how that happened.”
“Gnahh.” I shook myself. “I suppose that must taste so awful?”
“Punishment must be.” Chris released me. “And?”
I had to blink a couple of times, then the desired effect would set in, I felt the mist clear a little and the heavy feeling on my tongue disappear, followed by the funny feeling in my legs.
“Wow.” I stretched a little. “That’s weird.”
“Enjoy it as long as it lasts.” Culber drove along my body with a tricoder. “And drink nothing alcoholic again, then it turns into the opposite.”
“Oh, I’m not going to touch anything anymore.” I slid back onto my feet, still feeling a little dizzy, but not nearly as drunk as a few minutes ago.
“And I take care that it stays that way.” Chris’s face spoke volumes, calling the expression amused would be a laughable understatement.
“Are you coming with us Hugh?”
“I have another hour of service before I come.” He smiled at me. “Have fun and don´t forget to be surprised.”
“Oh, I found a solution for that.” I turned around slightly and grinned at Pike. “I’m just saying he betrayed it to me, then nobody can blame me for not being happy enough.”
Hugh started to laugh as Pike stared at me in disbelief.
“Good, right?” I nodded, then turned and left the sick bay. I just wanted to turn left as.
“Thanks.” I glanced at the men, turned and ran away.
"You should follow her Captain before she does something stupid.“
"For example?” Chris raised his hands, before he turned around and ran after me. “Cathrin slowly.”
I turned to him as he unlocked me.
“That’s weird.” I was sure that my eyes had to be huge by now, at least that’s how it felt.
“You are still drunk, your body can only better catalyze it.” Pike reached for my arm again. “So please, take care that you don´t catch anything alcoholic again, then that ends up really bad.”
“You speak from personal experience?” I looked at him.
“Oh yes and no, I will not tell you this now.” He stopped in front of the lounge.
“I know.” He put his hands on my shoulders and looked at me. “Last chance to run away.”
“No, I think I can handle this.” I looked at him. “If you take care of me.” Oh yes, I was definitely drunk.
“Have I ever done anything else?”
With these words, he pushed me through the door and I was greeted with a big hello, interrupted by the question of where I had spent so long. I was amazed by the party location. Although I had been here before, but it had definitely looked different, which brought me to cognition number 3.
Party decoration in the 23rd century was futuristic. There was nothing that didn´t blink and flashed.
There were many crew members, some of whom I only knew fleetingly, others I had never met before, but everyone embraced me so warmly that I couldn´t help but love each one of them. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Chris always trying to stay close to me, careful that I really didn´t get anything alcoholic in my hands, which was extremely difficult since almost everyone put a glass in my hand.
Luckily, that got better as everyone pressed through and Tilly picked up the scepter. I immediately recognized where she had the music from when the first bars came out of the speakers, she had found my music files somewhere.
“Oh God Sil!” I beamed at her as she came to jump on me.
“I hope you are not angry, but I thought you would enjoy it?”
“Of course I enjoy it, I love it!”
I let her pull me onto the dance floor and within a few seconds I found myself in a crowd of dancing and celebrating Starfleet members. So controlled they otherwise worked, they could pretty well let the sow out and what surprised me most of all was, that Michael was probably the most boisterous dancer. Unlike Pike and Spock who stood in a corner, talking and watching.
Both did their best not to be asked to dance. I knew that Spock couldn´t or didn´t want to dance, that he had even told me, why Chris didn´t danced escaped my knowledge.
And since I had made it a condition that he would have to dance with me when we went to this party, it was probably me to get him out of this corner. So I turned by Rhys, who was a towering dancer, and approached Chris.
“All right.” I took his glass out of his hand and set it down. “You agreed to dance with me.”
“Did I do that?” He laughed slightly.
“Don´t act like that.” I grabbed his hand and pulled him to me. “I am the one with the fogging brain.”
“I work on the contrary.”
“And don´t come to assert the idea you cannot dance. "I put my arms around his shoulders. "I’m pretty sure there is a Starfleet rule somewhere around that charges a Captain to take a dance class or two.”
“That would be new to me.” Nevertheless, he started to move with me to the beat of the current song.
Shut up and dance.
Somebody probably thought of me when they wrote it. The fleet number drifted on the dance floor and as good as any leftover started to dance and finally Pike was infected by the good mood. I kept finding myself watching him. He was even damn good at dancing and the part of me that was still dizzy wondered what else he could do with those hips. I felt someone bump into my back, turned around and found me right in front of him, laughing, he took my hand and I turned to him under his arm.
“You lied to me.”
“Fibbed, that’s different.” Chris grabbed me, then we turned on our own axis.
“Quibbling.” I pushed around him, now we stood back to back again. He looked at me over his shoulder. Something had changed in his eyes.
“I have not heard that for ages.”
“Well, I’m by definition terribly old-fashioned.” I grabbed the hand he hold out to me and now he turned towards me and before I knew it, changed the music and the fast beat gave way to a soft number.
The song was Ancient, Lenny Kravitz, Believe in you.
Chris pulled me into his arms. Then I felt his hand in my back. I had the feeling that the warmth of his hand pervaded my skin, but that was probably just the effect of the alcohol.
We stood so close together that our cheeks touched, I felt his breath brush over my skin, his scent enveloped me. Slowly we moved to the beat of the music, much too close and far too insensitive.
I lifted my head slightly and looked directly into his eyes. The tenderness and the desire that I could read in it almost knocked me over at that moment. My eyes flickered to his lips, his perfectly curved, inviting lips … oh dear, that was going in a direction I didn´t intend. I was so caught up in him and my own thoughts that I didn´t even notice how the song ended and he broke away from me.
What the hell was I doing here right now. It had only been a blink of an eye and I would have kissed him, here in front of the entire crew and I was sure that he was not the only one who had noticed that.
I had to get out of here, now! Apart from the fact that this could have been more than embarrassing, I felt the dim feeling of the previous time coming back. Without another word I turned around and could barely stop myself from running. I needed fresh air, urgently or at least a few feet between me and the crew. However, I heard someone following me.
“Hey Cathrin, wait!” Of course it was Christopher. “Where do you want to go?”
“I just got sick, there was probably some alcohol in the last drink.” He made a completely unbiased impression, he had not noticed anything? Or was I drunker than I thought?
“I’ll take you to your quarters.”
“No!” I shook my head, not a good idea. “I can go alone, really, is not my first intoxication.”
“I’m responsible for this ship and I’ll bring you.” He smiled incredibly sweetly at me, which I just couldn´t use right now. “You mostly get lost, even in a sober condition.”
He wrapped an arm around my waist to support me and I tried to lean against him for a moment, my head was buzzing and my legs were as wobbly as pudding, but I just didn´t want him near me.
"No, honestly.” I easily pushed him away. “Let me go, I’ll manage. Go back in. ”
“What am I supposed to do there if the main person is missing?”
With a sigh, I gave up and let him take me to my quarters, he would not give in anyway. The way seemed to me endless this time and the silence between us didn´t make it any better.
“Thanks.” As soon as I arrived at my door, I twisted out of his grip, well, I had it, he didn´t let go of my hand.
“Cathrin.” He bit his lower lip. “I’m sorry, I.”
“What?” I felt the heat rushing to my face.
“The situation earlier.” He raised his hand. “I.” Again he interrupted himself and I suddenly realized that I hadn´t imagined anything by any means. "God, you don´t believe how much I would like to kiss you.”
I stared at him, swaying between falling into his arms and running away.
“But not like that, not in front of the whole crew and not when you’re drunk.”
“I don´t know what you mean.” Run away, definitely run away! I went back a little and the door opened. Slowly my hand slipped out of his.
“Wait, let me.” He tried to hold me, but I somehow managed to push my arm behind me. “Cathrin, please.”
“No, all right.” I raised my hand, smiled at him and waved briefly. “Much fun yet!”
The door closed and I dropped against it.
Oh God, oh God, oh God, what had I just started? Was I totally nuts? Try to kiss the captain? In front of the whole crew? And yet…oh how much I want to kiss him but he was right, not like this. We must found another way but definitely not tonight.
I needed time to think and needed a cold shower and a damn strong coffee.
That brought me to Cognition Number 4. Never dance with someone you like when you’re drunk that will definitely end in a disaster.
As said, I wouldn´t remember that evening.
Chapter 13: Crossroads Part I - I never wanted to do that.
This one starts with a difficult decision and a little less Chris in it(Sorry for that, but he has his big moment in the next chapter.) Its a three part long story, here is the first.
Warnings: Blood, violence, death,…
Tyler’s eyes had something of a teacher who didn´t know what to do with his student. Like me, he stupidly had no choice.
The whole thing had started as kind of flight lesson, but then we had received a weak emergency call and since the shuttle was already on the move, Pike had decided that we could take a look at it. We all counted on a false alarm, but were instantly better informed when our shuttle exited Warp. The small cargo ship in front of us drove impulsively in the room, didn´t respond to our calls and the scans indicated that his crew, apart from a few, irregular signs of life, was no longer available.
Tyler had dropped the shuttle in the hangar and continued to direct me into my first field mission.
“Okay, I don´t like it, but I cannot look around in it all by myself.” He pulled out a gear belt, put it over me and closed it in front. “Too tight?”
“I don´t know?” I watched him, a mixture of excitement and naked fear dancing tango in my stomach. “What should happen with it?”
“Communicator.” He held out the box to me, I put it away. “Tricorder.” I reached for the device. He sighed, then slipped something into my belt, dropped slightly to his knees, and fastened a strap around my thigh. “Phaser.” He turned and picked up one of the weapons from the wall.
“Great.” I joined his sigh. “Must that be?”
“It’s regulation. You will not need it.”
“Your word in God’s ear canal.” I grinned at him, then I looked at the black weapon in my hand.
“It’s set for stun.” Ash just put his own gun away, then leaned in to me. “So you change the attitude, well as I said, we don´t need that.”
“But good to know.” Then I grabbed the phaser and looked at it. “And now?”
He activated the opener for the ramp on the small spaceship, lifted his phaser lightly and we watched as it lowered and dulled on the ground. Slowly we left the ship and entered the freighter. Tyler threw a small ball in the air, which immediately began to collect data.
“I’m not a pro, but it’s pretty quiet here.” I turned briefly around my axis, it was dark and cold.
“Which would made our theory that the com system just has failed, for the ton.” Ash nodded towards the exit. “Let’s start on the bridge.”
“What’s that thing?” I looked at our companion.
“An observation drone. It tracks our movements and can help us if we lose our bearings. ”
“That would be my part then.” I smiled at him, he returned it, then we moved on.
Also out here it was very quiet. The lights flashed and some sparks flew through the area.
“What happened here?”
“It looks like an overvoltage has damaged the wires.” Ash glanced at one of the displays, which, too, flickered only lightly. He typed something in. “But the computer doesn´t give anything.”
“So in the old-fashioned way.”
“I allow myself to claim that we both understand two completely different things about that.”
“That could be quite possible.” I glanced back over my shoulder. “How big is such a cargo ship?”
“That depends on the class.” Tyler pointed to the left. “There are some that are just big enough for a few containers, some so huge that they can transport all the equipment needed to rebuild a colony.”
“Wow, like a ship of the galaxy class?” I took a quick look into the corridor that went off to the right, this was empty too.
“What’s a galaxy class ship?” Tyler raised an eyebrow.
“Well, the Enterprise.” I looked at him.
“Um no.” Now he came up to me. “The Enterprise belongs to the Constitution class.”
“Oh.” I pulled my eyebrows together.
“Are you alright?”
“Yes.” I didn´t take my smile off myself. “Yeah, all right, that just happened to me somehow like that.” I kept pointing, then I started walking and he followed me.
“Do you have that more often?”
“This was the first time since Talos.” I thought for a moment. “And the first time it relates to anything other than the people I met here.”
“What do you make of it?”
“I don´t know.” I squinted at him. “Above all, I don´t know if I should tell you.” He laughed briefly. “It was enough for me Prescot missed a hell of a trip, I don´t want to know what Leland comes up with.”
“Captain Leland is a lot less bad.” Tyler shook his head for a moment.
“You know how that sounded?”
“Yes, but it was already out of my mouth.”
We turned a corner and both stopped dead in our tracks. In front of us, a trail of blood spread, which quickly ended in a pool of blood.
“Oh, bad.” I glanced at him.
“Okay, you need the phaser.”
“I was afraid you would say that.” I did, however, comply with his order. Slowly we moved on.
“Carefully.” Tyler made me understand that I should stay behind him, then we started. As we passed the bloodstain, I lit it with the Phaser’s faint lamp.
“Is that pink?” Again my brain threw a rag and I answered myself. “Klingons have pink blood.”
“How do you know that?” I raised an eyebrow, he did it to me. “Yes, right, sorry. However, that does not make our situation any better. ”
“I thought there was peace between the Klingon Empire and the Federation?” I had to see that I got on with my research.
“That’s the way it is, but not everyone sees it and there are always black sheep´s. Even in the Federation. ”
“Ohh, that I know.”
“Stop.” He stretched out his arm and I ran into it, then saw what alarmed him. A few feet away, a body lay on the ground. “I hate to say it, could be your responsibility.”
“Medicine and so on? I’m not up to it.”
“Mmh.” I followed him to the body, then dropped the phaser. “I don´t think I’m comfortable with it.” Slowly, I went to my knees and pulled the tricorder anyway. Tyler had been so far-sighted as to give me a medical one. “And I don´t think this thing is familiar with it either.” I tried to get out of the confusing data that the device showed me. “Okay, he seems to be dead.”
Tyler didn´t say anything, instead he stood behind me, his weapon at the ready and alerted to the tips of his hair. “Do you see why?”
“I cannot see any big injuries.” I knelt down and leaned over the dead man. “Or something that looks like the hit of a weapon.”
“But?” He looked over my shoulder.
“He looks sick. He has bled from the body orifices I can see. "I refrained from pulling up his eyelids, but I was sure they would be bloodshot. "His skin looks swollen and sore.” I raised the phaser and lit it up. “Apparently he has also bleed out of his digestive system.” Now I lit Tyler. “I suppose Klingons have such organs?” His answer was another slate look. “Hey, I’ve never seen a real Klingon, so apart from you and I think that doesn´t count.”
He started walking up and down a few steps. “Maybe 50 percent.”
“Do you know what a hemorrhagic fever is?” Now he looked at me questioningly. “It is a virus form on Earth, maybe something exists on other planets, unfortunately I don´t know that.” I got up again. “It’s a cruel way to die, the organs liquefy, you bleed from all orifices in the body, and if you don´t burn till high fever, you’ll suffocate your own blood or bleed inside.”
“I didn´t touch him.” I stared at Tyler as he came to me wide-eyed, grabbing my arm and starting to pull me away. “Ash, what’s up?”
“This is not a good sign.” He pointed to the corpse. “It’s contagious and far more dangerous than what you’ve just told me.” When I finally adjusted to his pace, he let go of me. “He was certainly not alone.”
“If you wanted to scare me.”
Then something crashed into Ash with unimaginable force, knocking him off his feet, flinging him against the nearest wall, before twisting with a gruesome growl.
“Oh, great God.”
I backed away as my brain caught what was building up in front of me. So that was a Klingon, alive and apparently angry. “Ash!” I looked around frantically, then my eyes fell on the phaser in my hand. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Tyler wobbly on his legs, shaking his head, then running and leaping with all his might against the attacker in front of me.
The Klingon swung a kind of sword. Tyler bent down and the blade missed him very sharply, but she caught me by the arm. I shouted for a moment, rolling over and falling to the ground. The phaser slipped out of my hand and down the hall a few yards away. A scream made me drive around and I could just see the Klingon twisted Tylers arm and slammed him against the door frame, dazed, he fell to the ground and remained lying.
Panic crept up in me as the Klingon now turned back to me. Growling, he came slowly closer. I felt like a prey he had chosen to play with. I pushed away and crawled toward the phaser on the ground more than I ran, but something caught my boot and pulled me back just as my fingers tips reached the gun’s handle. Helplessly I had to watch as it slipped away and the Klingon dragged me back.
I reached out with my free leg and kicked him as hard as I could against his nose. He hissed and released me. Blood spurted from it, but I paid no attention to it, came to my feet, stumbled to my gun, tore it up and squeezed.
Horrified, I watched him stumble for a moment, shaking himself as if the stun beam were an annoying insect, then he relented.
“Cathrin!” Tyler came slowly to himself, so I slowed down and was lucky that the beefy Klingon had not expected that and took a moment to realize that I ran past him to Tyler.
“Ash, come on, we have to get out of here!” I grabbed him under his arm and was surprised to find that despite his slender figure, he was surprisingly heavy. Behind us our attacker roared, drew another weapon and rushed towards us.
“Shoot ‘em.” Ash could hardly speak in pain, but somehow managed to shove his phaser into my hand. I raised the gun and squeezed again. Again no effect. Ash rolled his eyes and began to slide out of my arms again.
I hesitated a moment, then turned the phaser fully open and pointed it forward again. But then I couldn´t do it. I couldn´t shoot.
Tyler tore me down with him again, again he had to fight for his consciousness, but I with very different things. When the Klingon screamed again, he stood directly in front of us, his sword raised and his gaze fixed on Tyler. But before he could deliver the fatal blow, something inside me burned and I pulled the trigger. The strong beam hit him right on the head and I could see right away that this time it didn´t missed his effect. A terrible grunt slipped from his throat as he folded over me and fell to my feet.
I gasped and slipped back a bit, but before I could bang through, a pained sound from Tyler’s direction stopped me.
“Ash!” I slipped over to him. He was bleeding from a cut on his cheek, his lip was slightly torn and he held his arm. “Can you get up?”
“Yeah, just get out of here.” He scrambled to his feet and this time I somehow managed to get him on his feet. “This way.”
“Okay.” I put his good arm over my shoulders and hoped he would have the strength to get through to the shuttle. Surprised by myself, we found the way back to the hangar faster than expected. I dragged him into the shuttle, slid down to the floor, and closed the ramp with a quick handshake. Nobody would get through that for now.
Completely exhausted, I slapped myself on the floor, my muscles burned, my heart beat so hard it was almost blowing, and every breath burned like crazy. The fabric of my uniform was sticking to me and my hands were shaking.
“Ahhh.” Tyler rolled away when the attempt to get up failed.
“Wait.” I pulled myself together, grabbed the first aid kit and crawled to him. I pulled out a tricorder, then crossed his arm. “He dislocated your shoulder.”
“What you don´t say.” He squinted hard. “Do you have painkillers in there?”
“If we don´t fix that, you might lose your arm.” I started looking for a hypospray. “Muscle Relaxation.”
Annoyed, I dumped the case and searched for an ampoule of the drug. “Ah.” I put it in the spray and pressed it to Tyler’s neck.
“Do you want to tell me what this is going to be?”
“I don´t think so.” I smiled weakly at him. “Sit up.” With a groan, he responded to the request. I loaded an ampoule of the strongest painkiller I found into the spray, then I inject it. “It should be better now.”
“Okay and what’s that for?”
“You´ll notice.” I grabbed his arm, knelt in front of him and looked at him. “Sorry.”
I pressed his upper body against the wall and then his arm back until I heard it crack loudly. It even hurt me. That he was screaming so much didn´t really make it any better.
“Are you crazy !?” He glared at me evilly.
“It would have been even worse if I had warned you.” I let go of his arm and dropped back onto my feet. “I’m sorry, but now it should be better immediately.”
He took a breath, apparently he wanted to scold another round, but just when he opened his mouth, he apparently decided otherwise.
“I’m right.” I raised my eyebrows.
“You are.” Carefully, he began to move his injured arm.
“What was that?” I got up from the floor and looked out the window of the shuttle.
“I guess, pirates, looters. Will you help me? ”
“Sure.” I went back and helped him get up. “Slowly.”
“Whoa, what did you give me?” He held his head. “Not that it doesn´t feel good.”
“A relaxant and painkiller.” I brought him forward and just wanted to put him in the pilot’s seat as he waved off.
“No, this place.” He swung himself into the co-pilot’s. “If I lose consciousness, you have to fly the ship.”
“Sure.” I grinned at him. “Any other wishes?”
“You’re fine.” Now he grinned.
“Can you still pull yourself together a little bit?” I started to ran up the shuttle’s systems. “I have no idea what I have to do.” Somehow I managed to get the engines started.
“Oh, look at that.” Tyler sank back into the seat. “Something stuck. Now this switch. ”
“Okay.” I followed his finger, then accelerated and left this inhospitable place. “How did I set a course?” I looked to the right, but instead of answering, Tyler’s head rolled backwards. “Ash!” I yelled at him, which made him start up again. “Don´t leave me alone now.”
“Trying to connect Discovery, maybe they could pick us up.”
“Yeah, that sounds good.” I looked out the window. “Could they shoot us?”
“I think that’s unlikely.”
Tyler’s breathing was heavy, he fought the medications and the stuff that his own body was spilling out, but he wouldn´t be able to last forever. “What these Klingons had, also attacks the logical thinking. They only act, react. ”
“Yeah well, save your energy, it’ll take a while before we get home.” I tried to remember Kelya’s flying lesson and carried out the necessary orders to reach Discovery.
“Shuttle three to Discovery, come in, please.” I listened to the silence that followed.
“Shuttle three, here Discovery, we’ll hear you.” Pike’s voice came from the com, shortly thereafter the screen came on and we saw the bridge. “Everything OK?”
“Um, no, not really.” I smiled quickly. “We were attacked when we entered the damaged ship.”
“Who attacked you?”
“Klingon.” I was aware that my voice sounded a bit shrill. “And they were huge and incredibly bad. Well, actually it was only one. ”
“Cathrin.” Ash muttered softly.
“Oh, right. Tyler is injured and busy not totally losing consciousness. ”
“Where are you?” Pike signaled to Owo and I could see her fingers flying over the console.
“I don´t know.” My eyes darted over the displays of the shuttle. “How…”
“Calm, we’ll help you through.” Pike turned to Burnham. “Can we find them?”
“As long as they keep the frequency open, that should not be a problem.”
“See,” he turned back to us. “All good.”
I smiled crooked, then something else caught my attention. “There are a lot of colorful lights here all at once.” I squinted. “I think the cargo ship explodes!”
“Start the impulse engines!” Pikes voice let me twitch briefly. “Left from you. Fingers on the control and slowly push forward. ”
It took me a second to find the control panel, then I put my fingers on it and executed Pike’s instructions.
“Good.” He tried to smile encouragingly, well, as far as I could see, then I felt the blast of the collapsing freighter hit our hull and before I knew it, Tyler and I flung it out of the seats and threw ourselves through the small spaceship. Tyler slapped the floor, lay there and I rolled to my back.
“Cathrin! Do you hear us? "That was Michael’s voice. "Ash, get in touch!”
“Detmer set course, max Warp.”
I opened my eyes, rolling over and cursing softly.
“I clearly spend too much time on the ground of those things.” I scrambled up from them and looked ahead. The shuttle had turned and I could see the still smoldering remains of the freighter.
“Shuttle three please respond!”
“Yeah, here Zimmer, we’re still alive, just shaken up a bit.” I went to Tyler and turned him carefully on the back. “Right now you are really to be envied.”
Then it flashed again. A blue beam covered the ship and I felt something pull us backwards.
“Discovery here, we have you.”
“Understood.” I slumped against the wall next to Tyler, then closed my eyes briefly and didn´t open them until I felt the shuttle touched down and opened from the outside.
Chapter 14: Crossroads Part II - Save in my arms
First, thank you all for your kudos. I´m so happy your still following my story!
Now it gets a little romantic, a lot of comfort and fluff in this part. Chris helps Cathrin to get through some hard hours, in his very own way. (Part 2/3).
The skin regenerator hummed softly, did its work and the cut on my upper arm disappeared.
“Any other wounds?” Pollard looked at me.
“Um.” I narrowed my eyes for a moment, then shook my head. “Blue spots sure, but no, nothing serious.”
“And the other thing?” The doctor lowered the tricorder.
“Alright.” I waved off. “Really.”
I knew she didn´t believe me, but she was fine with my answer, for now. “That was good work with Tyler’s shoulder.” She put a hand on my arm, then smiled and left.
“Thanks.” I looked to the left, where Tyler had just been taken care of by a nurse. I watched her until she finished her work and left.
“How are you?”
“I already felt better.” He grinned slightly. “But also significantly worse.”
“I know that.” Somehow, I wrestled with a grin, then I looked at my hands. I had washed them and I knew it was impossible, but I still had the feeling of them being stuck with blood.
“It’s getting better, believe me.” Tyler tore me out of my thoughts.
“Don´t be mad at me if I’m not necessarily inclined to believe you.”
Before we could go on, Captain Pike entered the infirmary, relieved to smile at us, then stepped between our chairs.
“I had expected worse when we caught your distress call. Nice to see that you are doing well. ”
“Thank you Sir.” Tyler nodded, I did the same, but said nothing.
“What happened? That should be a short reconnaissance flight. ”
“A few Klingons thwarted us, they had something known as blood fever.”
“Will you clear me up?” Pike crossed his arms.
“It’s a viral disease that destroys the nerves, which leads to inevitable death after a brief period of madness and aggression.” Tyler sighed. “It only rarely breaks out, but if.”
“In darker times warriors have often been willfully infected with it, the result.”
“I can imagine it vividly.”
I swallowed, I had listened to this all in silence. I knew that Tyler was doing this only so broadly because he wanted to cheer me up, but it didn´t help. I felt like I started to panic, my brain bombarded me in an endless loop with the seconds in which I had to do something that I had not imagined in my darkest dreams.
I heard Tyler shouting, myself screaming and the horrible growl of my opponent before collapsing in front of me with an equally horrible rattle.
I winced when Captain Pike spoke to me. Quickly I blinked and wiped my face, I didn´t realize how I started to cry. Both men looked at me and I couldn´t bear any of these looks, so I jumped up and ran.
Just out here, somewhere else, where I could crawl into a dark hole and wait until the darkness had completely swallowed me up.
Pike turned to Tyler, but he anticipated the question he wanted to ask.
“She had to shoot the Klingon who attacked me.” He hung his head. “I was unconscious, otherwise I wouldn´t have allowed it.”
“Shit.” He looked at the door, then Ash again. “Can I leave you alone?”
“Yes, of course, I´m okay.”
Then Pike also ran and hoped that he would reach her as soon as possible.
I ran into Linus with full force, he catches me and starred at me with his big black eyes.
“I’m sorry.” I felt the air go away as the crew members standing by us looked at us. “Really, was not an intention.”
I turned away from him and refrained from running again, but my fear, panic and disgust for myself continued to drive me through the corridors.
“Hey Cathrin.” I spun around as Tilly approached me. As soon as her eyes fell on my face, the smile died on hers. “What’s happening?”
“Not Silvia.” I raised my hands, I didn´t want her to speak to me. “Leave me.” Then I ran again and left her standing there, stunned.
Only a few seconds later, the captain ran into her arms.
“Tilly did you see Cathrin?” He was already looking around.
“She took this way, sir!” She pointed in the direction I had disappeared. “What’s going on?”
“I don´t know yet.” Then, more to himself then to Tilly. “But I fear nothing good.”
I kept walking, the crew’s looks and shouts behind me, and it happened, what had to happen. At some point I lost my bearings and ended up in a dead end by one of the viewing windows. I clapped my hands over my mouth as I felt how a scream crept up my throat. I didn´t want anyone to hear me, just didn´t really help. I could hear the echo from my voice and couldn´t believe that this sound belongs to me.
Footsteps caught my ear and as I looked up I could see Pike approaching me. I didn´t want him to see me like that but I was unable to move.
Meanwhile, my breath was only flat and hectic, the running around just had not helped and sooner or later I would run out of air. Even now, stars flashed in front of my eyes.
“Cathrin!” He didn´t run any more, but came quickly to me, then grabbed me by my shoulders.
“Breathe in!” He looked hard in my eyes, but it didn´t help, I gasped more and more, my nerves were completely overwrought, I couldn´t think straight and now my stomach began to rebel. I choked, but managed not to vomit in front of him, but the illusion that he had missed that, I didn´t gave in.
“Come on.” He grabbed my arm and after I still didn´t knew where I was, I had no idea how long it took him to lead me through a door and close it behind us. Again I choked and this time, I wouldn´t be able to hold it.
“In there.” He pushed me gently but firmly towards a bathroom and I collapsed just in time in front of a toilet.
How long I crouched there, I don´t remember. All I could do was feel how with each further vomiting, everything in me cramped more and the dark hole in me grew bigger and bigger and stifled every clear thought in the bud. At some point I was so exhausted that I could barely stand on my knees. That’s when I felt the first time, how he gently stroking my back. A towel pushed into my field of view. My fingers were shaking so hard that I could hardly reach it, but I didn´t want to give myself the nakedness that he would help me with this. Everything starts to hurt already, and I needed my last bit of strength, to stop myself from breaking down. I wiped my mouth, then closed my eyes.
When I opened them again, my gaze fell on the blood that still sticks on my uniform. So I tried my best to get rid of the jacket, but I couldn´t even reach for the zipper. Immediately that caused a new wave of panic shoot through my body and I started hyperventilating again. All at once I felt like I was suffocating. Again, my body rebelled as if trying to push my thoughts repel. But it wouldn´t succeed this time either.
I felt Pike grabbing at me, ripping open the collar of the uniform together with its zipper and pulling the jacket off my arms just as fast and hard. He threw it out of the bathroom, then pushed me against the wall and dropped to his knees in front of me. His blue eyes bored into mine green.
“You must try to calm down.”
He also began to take off his jacket, sat down in front of me, pulled me astride his lap and wrapped his arms around me. He held me so tight that I could barely breathe, but strangely enough, it calmed me down, albeit infinitely slowly.
Had my brain worked, I would have guessed that he was doing exactly what to do in such a situation. Body contact and pressure, no matter how awkward that would look.
“Breathe slowly.” I heard his voice right next to my ear. “Try adjusting to my rhythm.” I nodded hectically. I closed my eyes and held my breath for a moment, then adjusted my breath to his. My chest felt tight, every time I breathed it burned my lungs, but part of me imagined that it helped.
“I cannot.” Tears came to my eyes again, they burned like fire on my skin, but I couldn´t stop crying.
“You must.” He tightened his arms around my torso. “Otherwise I’ll have to take you to the sick bay.” That had the opposite effect he hoped for, I felt as I tensed again. “I didn´t say I would do it.”
“I shot him.” Only now did I manage to put my arms around his shoulders to hold on tight.
“You saved Tyler’s life.” He released his grip a little, carefully began to stroke my back. He had to feel that my muscles were still cramped up. I did, it felt like I was turning to stone. “That doesn´t undo it, but it will help you.”
“No buts. Both of you would be dead or worse if you had not. ”
I began to shiver, my body eliminated the adrenaline that it couldn´t use anymore, and apparently had no desire to help my brain continue to crack. Carefully, he slid his hand behind my back, and I flinched when I felt his touch on my skin, it hit me completely unexpectedly, but just as quickly he pulled it back.
“You’re freezing cold.” He released his grip enough for him to look at me. I couldn´t see it, but I could not look particularly good. “Your lips are already turning blue.”
“If you say that.”
It struggled every fiber of my body as he loosened his grip, somehow managed to push me with a fluid motion off its lap, while rising from the ground.
“Computer increase room temperature by three degrees.” Pike went through the room and turned on the water of the tub, set a temperature and left the room briefly. Trembling, I slid against the wall, leaning my head back and closing my eyes. That was not a good idea, immediately the events of the last hour flashed in my mind. I gasped sharply as I felt a hand on my shoulder and someone shook me softly.
"Don´t fall back again.”
“Captain?” I blinked at him, apparently my brain had trouble understanding what was real and what was memory. My eyes darted past him. “You have a bathtub?”
“It also has to have one or the other advantage when you’re the captain,.” He smiled slightly at me, then he reached under my arms and pulled me from the floor. I did my best to help at least a little, but that couldn´t be much, and I felt him holding me. “Sit down.”
“Okay.” He placed me on the edge of the tub and I already felt the warmth of the water under me.
“You’ll undress now and lay in there.” I somehow managed to throw a look at him, which in the beginning expressed what shot through the small part of my brain that was not spinning. “I’m waiting outside, no worries, I’m not looking.” He grinned at me broadly, even making me smile a little.
“I picked some things out for you.” He pointed to the small armchair in the corner. “Not very fancy, but it will do. On the sink is still a fresh toothbrush and I’m sorry, I have only my shower gel here.”
"Never mind.” I blinked tiredly. “I like how you smell.” Why the hell did I say that? “Excuse me.”
His answer was a smile, then he crouched down in front of me. “I’m outside when you need me.” Then he grabbed my hands, squeezed them briefly, got up, and went outside. As soon as he had left the room, the previously transparent glass surfaces became milky and opaque and I was alone.
I took a deep breath, then struggled up from the tub and headed for the sink. The sight in the mirror was pure horror. My eyes were fire-red, deep circles underneath, and the runny and smeared mascara didn´t make it any better. I was pale and when I raised my hand, it was still shaking. I turned on the tap, threw a load of water in my face and then began to brush my teeth. That was really necessary, as soon as I spit out, at least the strange feeling disappeared on my tongue. I slowly undressed and tried to pile up my cloth in a way, that didn´t look quite desperate.
It was a weird feeling to stand naked in his bathroom, so I hurried to get into the tub. The hot water tingling on my skin, but almost instantaneously my cramped muscles relaxed and with a comforting sigh I sank into the light foam. It really smelt like him and I felt how that relaxed me too, more than I wanted to admit at that moment. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and dived. The feeling of the water around me finally drove the cold out of my body, pulling away dirt and grime, and I fancied that some of it fell away when I reappeared. For a few minutes I just allowed myself to lie there and either close my eyes or look at the picture on the wall opposite. It simulated the warp plow, maybe it was also a projection of our current speed.
“Is everything alright with you?”
I turned my head to the side. I could see he was sitting on the floor in front of the bathroom, his back against the glass wall by the door.
“Yes, thank you, all right.” I smiled slightly. “Does that calm you?”
“What exactly?” He turned his head slightly.
“The picture on the wall.” I looked at the stars.
“Sometimes.” He sounded tired too. I had no idea what time it was. It could be in the middle of the night. “It helps to think. This is something that doesn´t change, no matter how bad all is, the stars don´t care. ”
“Nice thought.” I ran my hand through the last bit of foam on the water.
“Don´t try to fall asleep. Otherwise I have to fish you out of the tub. ”
I pinched my lips, I don´t know how he found that thought, but I found it somehow exciting.
“Have I been in here for a long time?”
“Maybe an hour or so.” I couldn´t see him grinning, but I was sure he did.
“What?” I sat up jerkily, a wave of water sloshing over the edge. “Oh crap!”
“This is a spaceship, not a sailing ship.”
“Very funny.” I looked around for a towel. “Um, where are?”
“On your left.”
I found them where he said so I pulled my legs up, got up, and carefully climbed out of the tub. I wrapped myself in the warm towel and began to dry myself with another one. I stood briefly under the sound shower and let the ultrasonic waves blow the remaining drops of water from my body and my hair.
I slipped into my underwear, then grabbed the things he had put out for me. It was a pajama pants that was, of course, too long and too wide and a t-shirt. I grinned when I saw that it was one with an Enterprise logo. I tied a knot in the side of the shirt, then pulled the strap on so tight that I wouldn´t lose it and left the bathroom.
Pike was still sitting on the floor in front of it, a book in his hand, which he lowered as I opened the door. He looked up and smiled at me, I gave it back.
“That looks much better.”
“Well, how to take it.” I watched him get up off the floor, then tugged at the shirt. “Homesick?”
“Sometimes.” He raised his eyebrows. “I didn´t have anything else left.”
He also wore a pair of pajama pants, a T-shirt, his hair was a bit messy and he looked tired.
“Sometimes.” I smiled as well, then wrapped my arms around my upper body. I was tired too and started to feel cold again. “I should go to sleep.” I pointed toward the bathroom. “Would you mind if I pick it up tomorrow?”
“You shouldn´t be alone tonight.” He looked at me, and under other circumstances, that look would have softened my knees, but I was more likely to run away. “Don´t worry, I will not bite.” He stroked my arm. “But it would be better, you stay. If you were in sick bay, Dr. Pollard will not let you go either.”
I nodded, though I didn´t really know what to think of it.
“Do you want to eat something?”
“No, I’m not hungry.” I stifled a yawn. “I just want to sleep.”
“That’s the easy part.” Pike ranged me his hand. I hesitated for a moment, then grabbed it and let him lead me to his bed. That was a strange feeling, I couldn´t describe it exactly.
“Left or right?” He pulled another blanket out of the closet.
“Anyway.” I looked around uncertainly. “As you like more.”
He laughed slightly, then folded the blanket over the bed and sat on it.
“What time is it at all?” I looked at him as he yawned a little and I had to smile. He had no idea how incredibly cute he looked at that moment and, terribly the reason for it, I couldn´t imagine anything better than to snuggle up to him and hope that I would sleep all night.
“Something between 23.00 and 24.00.”
“I’ll keep you from sleeping.” I remembered that I was no longer a teenager, but an adult woman, well, at least halfway, so I walked over to the other side of the bed and slipped under the blanket he’d brought me.
“Just a little bit.” He dropped back, rolled over and then faced me. I slid closer to him, feeling trembling again and he was warm.
“Thanks Chris.” I put my hand briefly on his arm and he winced. “Sorry, I never have cold hands.” I rubbed my fingers together.
“Cold is an understatement.” He grinned at me. “Come here.“
I hesitated for a moment, but then the shivering triumphed over my timidity, and I slid closer to him, letting him put his arm around me, pulling me towards, so I could only lay my head on his chest. He threw the blanket over us and put his other arm around me. I closed my eyes and snuggled up against him. He was warm, smelled incredibly good, and he radiated a calm that caught me immediately and soothed more than any pill could have done. I still shivered, but I noticed how it got less.
“Yes, much better.” That he smiled broadly as I said that, I couldn´t see. I pushed a little closer to him, no way I would go out of here and if that damn spaceship exploded.
“Tell me something about you.” He started stroking my arm.
“What do you want to know?”
“Mmh.” The sound made his chest vibrate. “Where have you always wanted to go?”
I didn´t have to think about it for long.
“I always wanted to visit Hawaii. All islands, preferably forever. The sea, the sun, the beach. "I sighed a little. "I always imagined what it would be like to live on an island.” I had to laugh a little. “For me that was unbelievably far away, tens of thousands of miles and far too expensive.” I put my hand over his heart and could feel it beating under my fingers.
“What about you? Where does it attract someone when you can fly to the stars? "He laughed a little, then slipped his fingers between mine, he sighed slightly.
"Home. To the city where I was born. Mojave, in Arizona. "His chest was rising and falling evenly, along with the rhythm of his heart, the warmth of his body and the sound of his voice that enveloped me and carried me away. "When the nights are clear, you can see the Milky Way.”
“The picture in your ready room.” I was almost asleep, yet the photo with the falling stars came to my mind. “Did you take that by yourself?”
"Yes.“ He also sounded tired. "It’s been a couple of years since I was there, it was in the middle of the night when I took this picture, the next day the Enterprise mission started.”
“You have not been home for five years?”
“I hope I can do it when this mission comes to an end.”
“Mmh, sounds good.” It was rude, but I kept on lulling myself to sleep.
Everything on me wanted to sleep, even if a part of me would have preferred nothing more than to listen on to him, but it was just hopelessly inferior. I closed my fingers around his and fell asleep.
Chris looked away as he felt her breathing steadier and more and more relaxed. He raised his hand, brushed her hair back a little and saw that she had fallen asleep. Despite the tension of the last few hours, she now seemed to feel better.
She looked peaceful, a light smile on her lips, her hand still clutching his, one leg slightly on his and he could feel that she was slowly getting warmer.
It was this moment, along with so many others recently, that he had to admit that he felt more for her and the thought that she might disappear as suddenly as she did into his life, took his breath away for a moment, but it vanished as she jerked in his arms, wiping that feeling aside. She made a sound that sounded like a little purr, then took a deep breath and he couldn´t help but smile.
Chris got the idea that this was exactly what he had been missing in the last few years. That someone was there when he fell asleep and still was at his side when he woke up. Who stood behind him and still went their own way. Be there no matter how hard life and duty would be.
Leaning slightly to Cathrin, he breathed a kiss on her head, then allowed himself to fall into the feeling that he was flowing through him.
That’s it, he was sure. It was in every single one of her looks, in the little touches, in the gestures they shared. This feeling and everything that could become of it, he wanted. Forever.
After a few minutes he fell asleep and slept better than he had in years
Chapter 15: Crossroads Part III - Fate, Time and Destiny
I wish you all a very Happy Christmas!
The last part of this story. It´s kind of a sum up but I had to bring it forwards and it didn´t fit the next part so. Here are the “ending” of the night together, the morning after and a look through the following week. I changed the series storyline a bit, you´ll see.
Warning: Comfort, a touch of romance and sadly some hard decisions and death.
I jerked slightly, but calmed down immediately, realizing that it had only been a dream. Well, this time anyway. I was still dead tired, but opened my eyes briefly and took a moment, until I had processed the picture in front of my eyes.
Lying beside me, peacefully asleep and as relaxed as I’d ever seen him, was Captain Chris Pike.
How did that happen?
I let my eyes wander through the dark room. The pale light was enough to make me realize that I was not in my quarters and consequently was not lying in my bed. The insight wiped the drowsiness a little aside, but unfortunately also left the reason why I was here. I sat up and took a deep breath.
Right, I had lost my nerve and that was right down the line. He had insisted that I slept here and now I understood why. If I had been alone now, my thoughts would have started to turn around this horrible event of a few hours ago, now I pulled myself together, if only because I didn´t want to wake him.
I sat there for a while watching him sleep. His chest was rising and falling evenly, in between he made something that sounded like a growl. I had to clench my lips, otherwise I would have giggled.
Then something else came to my mind. It felt so good to be here with him. I remembered the feeling that flowed through me as I lay in his arms, the warmth, his heartbeat, his scent. His voice and words keeping me sane.
It was a long time since I felt that way and yes, it felt damn good. I sat back on the mattress, rolled over and looked out of the window for a moment. How big was the likelihood of finding someone like him in the middle of this huge galaxy, even through space and time? And yet he was right next to me and with every moment we spend together, the feeling that I should exactly be here, on his side, grows more and more, wiping away all the doubts and uncertainties I had, leaving just affection, warmth, love and everything that goes with it.
Right now he was moving. I glanced over my shoulder, sleepily blinking at me.
“Everything alright?” He stroked his nose, totally drowsy.
“Yeah, all right.” I smiled, than I raised my hand and softly brushed back his hair. “Go back to sleep.”
He slipped close to me until he was right behind me, he pushed his arm past my head, then put his other arm around me and cuddled up to me. I closed my eyes, it felt so unbelievably good and when I felt his breath brush against my neck, I had to pit myself together, not throwing all the rules of propriety overboard, kissing him and seeing where that leads. I felt his breath calm down again, so I took it as a sign that he had fallen asleep again. I closed my fingers around his hand, cuddling as close to him as I could, then I let myself be carried off again.
Later on the next day.
Tilly was impressive, I could not say otherwise, but it was certainly twenty light years ahead of me, at least, because for a good five minutes I didn´t understand a word she said.
“You look like you just had a little stroke.” Her head moved into my field of vision.
“Not that, I’m just trying not to look like I lost the lineup.” I grinned at her.
“Sorry,” Tilly replied. “I forgot you’re still in the beginning.”
“At the very beginning. That’s when I lost the thread. "I pointed towards warp drive. "And I just get the feeling that this is not really my thing.”
“It doesn´t have to, but it’s part of the basic knowledge.” Silvia shrugged.
“Then surely there are textbooks or something?” I pushed away from the console I was leaning against.
“Yeah, that’s a good idea!” I chuckled as her eyes widened. “I’ll send you a list, let’s say last high school year?”
“I was never in high school. That means differently in Germany, but I think I should be able to cope with that. ”
“If not, you can ask.” She started dubbing something on a data pad.
“Tell Tilly, is the memory of the ship’s computer unlimited?”
“No, not at all. Much of it relates to the network of the Federation, in which we are in contact and regularly updates itself. The memories of the Constituting class are huge, but that also depends on the way of they missions. So far out there, the contact with one of the homeworlds of the Federation is very difficult to impossible. ”
“Okay, you see.” I pointed to her. “I understood that.”
“Small cattle are also crap.” She returned it, then handed me the pad. “You should be busy for a while.”
“I have to go to the bridge, will you come with me?”
“I think I’ll skip that.” I raised my eyebrows. “At least for today.”
“Will we have dinner later?”
Together we left the engine room.
“Yes, at the end of your shift?”
“Yep, I’ll ask Micheal.”
“I just wanted to suggest.”
Tilly entered the turbolift, I stopped for a moment. “See you!”
The doors closed and I moved on to my quarters. I had something else to do now. Since yesterday I pushed that before me. Since leaving Pike’s quarters the morning after my collapse, I had somehow avoided him, that was mean and unfair, because on the whole I remembered from that night was, how I had slept in his arms and that he had looked after me wonderfully.
I went to my bedroom and grabbed the little box on my bedside table. Somehow it seemed to me that a simple thank you was not enough.
“Computer, where can I find Captain Pike?”
“Captain Pike is in his ready room.”
“Thanks.” I grimaced, it still felt funny to talk to a computer.
I made my way to the destination it had called me, avoiding the bridge and directly taking the turbolift to his office. I pressed the door opener, waited until he bade me in and then went through the door.
“Hello.” He was kneeling straight in front of one of the cabinets on the side, but looked up as I stepped beside him.
“Hi, am I disturbing you somehow?” I grinned at him.
“No, not really. I try to work out something, and was disturbed by the crooked bottle. "Pike chuckled as I started to smile. "Okay, that sounded a bit crazy.”
“I strongly suspect that the problem you’re breeding over either takes you pretty much or is a mystery.”
“Let’s say a mix of both.” He finally got off the floor. “But I think there is just some light coming into the darkness.”
I smiled at him. “You wonder why I’m avoiding you?”
“A little.” He reached out and offered me a seat on the couch where he sat down. “You were gone when I woke up.”
“I´m so sorry about that, it was not really intentional.” I sat down, stroked my pants and then took a deep breath. “To be honest, I was a little embarrassed to see you again.”
“Why?” He smiled so broadly that it showed his dimples.
“Seriously?” I sighed slightly. “I honestly wondered how I can look you in the eye again. I didn´t even thank you before I left. "Now I peek carefully in his direction.
He was still smiling, but far more gentle. "Would that have been so difficult?”
“I don´t know yet.” I returned it, then hesitated a moment before placing my hand on his. “Thank you, Christopher.”
“I liked to do that.” He closed his fingers around mine. “How are you?”
“It’s still a weird feeling.” I pulled my shoulders up a bit. “But I’m not crying every now and then, if I have to remember that. ”
“Can you sleep?”
“Shall I be honest?” I pinched my lips for a moment. No, I couldn´t say that and yet I wanted it.
“Not as good as the night with you.” I inhaled a bit hectic. “It’s getting better.” I didn´t give him a chance to say anything about it, but if I hadn´t turned away at the moment, I could have seen him getting a little blushed. “I have something for you.”
I pulled the little box out of my pocket, turned around and could only wonder for a moment about his confused face before he wiped it aside with a smile.
“Here.” I pushed the not even palm-sized box into his hand.
“What’s that?” He smiled at me, then looked at the gift box.
Smiling, he opened the package and one of the small disks that they used to listen to music rumbled on his hand. He took it between two fingers and held it up with a questioning face.
“Under normal circumstances, I would have baked a box of cookies, but on a spaceship you cannot bake cookies. I learned today. "I grinned at him. "What a pity, because I bake dazzling cookies.”
“I believe you immediately.” He lifted the disk smiling. “It may look like that, but unfortunately not edible.”
“I rummaged through my music collection and put on it, which I thought you liked.” I tapped the piece of technology. “There are cheesy, snappy and horribly old-fashioned songs, but maybe you like it.”
He was really touched that I could see the way he closed his fingers around it. “Thank you.” He got up, went to his desk and put it on one of the interfaces.
"Your welcome, it should be my thanks.“
Chris sat down easily on his desk and started calling up the data.
"I hope it worked.” I also got up and walked over to him. “Was my first try.”
He grinned, looked at me briefly, then went on searching. “I assume there is a story to each of these songs?”
“Not necessarily.” I stood next to him and looked over his shoulder. “Some are just good. May I?”
I tapped a file. “This one is great for driving.” From the loudspeaker came the first notes of U2, The Unforgetable Fire, then I scrolled on.
“I’ll just believe you now.”
“Right.” I shrugged my eyebrows. “Didn´t think about it.” I tapped another file, anyway, I wanted it when he came before me and choses the song directly beyond it. I smiled. “I started with that.”
“That haunted me as a catchy tune for a few days.”
“I’m sorry.” I nudged him. “With this that doesn´t happen anymore.”
Chris laughed a little, then pushed away from his desk. “Or it gets worse.”
“Could happen.” I walked around the table and was about to head for the door when I felt him reach for my hand.
“Do you have a moment?” He looked into my eyes. “It certainly doesn´t hurt either.”
“Okay.” I let myself be withdrawn from him. “I don´t have a whole spaceship waiting for me.”
“Are even two.” I didn´t want to hear that, but I didn´t show it. “I just want to try something.”
Carefully, he pulled me close, put one hand behind my back, and with the other he reached for mine and held it up, I guessed what he was getting at and put my hand on his shoulder.
“Computer from beginning.” The song started from the beginning and he looked at me now.
“What will that be?” I grinned at him.
“You know how to dance waltz?”
"I could do it in the 21st century.”
“I believe that has not changed.” He took a step and I followed him, as I had learned it from an eternity ago. Pike raised an eyebrow. “No, everything like always.”
“From your or my point of view?” I let him push me in a spin.
“That’s a good question.” He just wanted to pull me back when the doorbell rang. I stumbled and slammed straight into him. “Oops.” He caught me and held me tight. “I had planned that differently.”
“I believe you even.”
With his hand on my hip, he pulled me closer, started stroking his thumb up and down, a look in his eyes I could give up everything right now. I loved how he looked at me in this moment and I wished he would never stop it again.
“Somebody wants something from you.” Why couldn´t I shut up, just for one time?
Carefully he put his forehead against mine, closed his eyes and I couldn´t help but smile at the sight.
The thought took everything in my head and why not? I leaned against him and nudged his nose lightly. He didn´t back off, but started stroking my nose with the tip of his. But again, destiny wasn´t on our side.
It rang again and with a sigh that sounded more like a little curse, he let me go, stopped the recording and then invited the visitor in.
Ash Tyler entered the ready room and nodded at us. “Captain, can I talk to you briefly?”
“Of course Mr. Tyler.” He looked at me. “Thanks, that helped me a lot.”
“I have to thank you, sir.” I nodded my farewell to the two men, then left the room through the access I had just entered through, not without first cursing Ash for his appearance.
Right after that moment I was ready to bet everything on it, that this following day could be ours, that we ended up together in some way. In this night I found myself again in his bed, but not the way I wished for.
I had barely left the ready room when the red alarm made me flinch. I turned on my heel and ran back to the bridge. I was not part of the bridge crew, but as part of these still mysterious events, I wanted to know what was going on.
Another signal had arrived and it was supposed to lead us into the klingon territory, to a planet no one had ever heard of, and from the first moment we did, I felt it would have been better that it stayed that way.
In the next few hours the events unfolded and I found myself with Christopher in the biggest dispute we ever had and will have.
I couldn´t believe that he wanted to beam alone on a planet, of which little more was known, as there was a klingon monastery and something was preserved, which was known as timecrystals. My suggestion to accompany him, he declined with a very clear command, even my objections that it would be sure permitted for me as a civilian, he didn´t accepted.
So I just could watch helplessly as the transporter carried him away. It felt like an eternity till he came back and the look with which he looked at me, before he wordlessly left the transporter room, went deep down into my soul. Something had to happen down there.
It took me hours before I found Chris, and the time after that was blurred into a cloud of fear and tears. Just when we thought we had fated fate, time had made it clear to us that we couldn´t escape it. I needed all my strength, warmth, and yes, in any way, love to sustain him, to prevent him from get lost in the gloomy thoughts that surrounded him in that night. I could only hold on to him and keep saying that everything would be fine, while the nightmares kept him from sleeping, finding peace for what was ahead of us.
Chris later told me that he believed that he could only pass this test, that he was only able to control his senses because he knew what this crystal would show him, and yet, it had changed him and it took a long time, until he had recovered to some extent.
He also had not much time in the next few days for some calm moments. Tilly and Burnham came up with an unbelievable idea of how we could protect the data from Control and even I could come up with a proposal that would save the whole Discovery and its crew. An idea from an old sci-fi series, who would have thought that would be really useful?
Nevertheless, the price was high. Chris had sacrificed his fate for it, we suffered heavy losses and Stamets was still recovering from his life-threatening injuries. The damage to the Discovery was considerable and the spore drive was destroyed.
And we lost Captain Leland.
There was no way to separate him and Control and so Georgiou and Pike had found no other way out than to kill him. When the shuttle, into which we had been able to load the Sphere’s data store, disappeared into the wormhole created by Michael, Captain Georgiou, Chris and I stood in the engine room, watching Leland die.
Despite everything that had happened, they had been friends and I could see Chris heart breaking as he could do nothing to save him.
It was hard to join the party that followed Michael’s return, and Starfleet’s instruction never again to talk about the incidents that accompanied the signals didn´t make it any easier.
I hoped that time, as much as I cursed it, would gradually heal those wounds, and when I left my quarters the next morning, I even believed it for a while, but then a crossroads opened in front of me and I had to decide which way I wanted to take.
On the next day
Another branch appeared in front of me, I hesitated for a moment, then turned right and found the next checkpoint. I reached out and slapped my hand, waiting to see where it was going to send me. The path went towards the engine room. I turned around and ran again. That was a strange competition, but alright, it was supposed to test orientation under time pressure and load, and I found myself pretty good at it. Now it all just mattered what my time was. I accelerated even more, ignoring the scream of my muscles and shooting into the hallway that would take me to the engine room. The seconds passed and when I was almost sure that I had lost my way, I saw my goal. I grinned, made a final turn, and stepped through the light barrier that marked the finish line.
“Huh.” I stopped and leaned on my legs. A few legs were in my field of vision. One of them I recognized right away. “Hey Tilly.” I briefly raised my hand.
“Hey.” She sounded too hurry, but was so fit that she could hold a water bottle in my face. “Just arrived.”
“Ah.” I straightened up and took a long sip. In the background I got to see how my colleagues stormed into the room one by one.
“Ms. Zimmer. "Saru’s voice made me straighten up.
"Commander.” I smiled at him, well I tried.
“Congratulations.” He nodded to me. “You were second after Ensign Tilly.”
“No, seriously?” I stared at him, then at his pad, which he turned so I could see it. Tilly had arrived before me just ten seconds. “Wow, look at that.”
“Two weeks ago you get lost constantly.” Tilly punched me.
“You cannot do everything.” I jabbed back.
“Well done, both of you.” Saru nodded to us, then looked at me. “I release you, if you would like to attend the morning’s shadow exercise.”
“Would I be qualified at all?” The rest of the content of the bottle disappeared inside me.
“Well, maybe not one hundred percent, but there’s no question you’d learn a lot.”
“Okay, I’m in.” I grinned at him. “What should go wrong?”
Saru’s smile finally made me guess a little, that Tilly was chuckling next to me didn´t make it any better.
“Didn´t I catch something?”
“No, I’ll tell you right away.” Tilly grabbed another bottle, then handed me it. “Let´s eat something?”
“Sure, I am dying of hunger.”
Saru dismissed us, than tell the others their results.
“Would it be unreasonable to pull in a huge sundae now?” I unscrewed the cap of the bottle.
“I think we burned enough calories.” Tilly did the same.
I was grateful for the distraction by the CTP the last few days. Since the mystery of the apparitions was solved and averted the impending disaster, I felt increasingly useless. I didn´t know yet what to do with myself here. Although I did a kind of internship with Dr. Culber, but without training at the academy, that wouldn´t get me any further, even though he never tired of assuring me how great I would be. The next few days I will have to decide and that was just incredibly difficult and actually I just didn´t want to deal with it.
The hoped-for distraction came halfway towards the team café. Pike came swiftly towards us, but slowed when he saw us.
“Let me guess.” He spread his arms. “I am too late?”
“So much.” I raised my hand and held my thumb and index finger just above each other.
“But yes Sir.” Tilly grinned. “You´re late.”
“Commander Saru is still in the engine room.”
“We’ll be meeting later anyway.” Pike waved his hand. He was on amazingly good mood. Well, even in the worst situations he was hard to beat his positive mood, even after the last events, but just now he was almost too euphoric. Tilly and I exchanged a look.
“Um, Sir, are you alright?”
“Yes, excellent Tilly, thanks for asking.” He returned her smile.
“Are you telling us what makes you so overjoyed or should we guess?” I raised my eyebrows. Now he laughed right.
“I’ve just talked to Number One, the Enterprise systems are restored, the ship is ready to go.” I hoped I wouldn´t let the smile fall from my face but I couldn´t prevent it from freezing. “We are expected in a few days on earth.”
“You can go home.” Tilly joined him smiling. “Well, as far as you can say that.”
“That’s the way to say that.” Pike’s gaze moved in my direction. “And you are remarkably quiet Cathrin.”
“I’m almost run an hour around, I’m hungry. "I pulled myself together. "But yes, that’s great! It lasted long enough, right? ”
“Just long enough.” He looked at us, then past us as Saru turned the corner. “Excuse me, please.”
“Of course Sir.” Tilly stepped aside and I watched him go past us.
“That’s unbelievable news, finally there are a few good ones.”
Silvia went on, but I just saw myself unable to even move. Instead, I stared at Pike as he exchanged a few words with Saru, then the conversation ended and he turned to me. His eyes met mine directly and I struggled to pull away. I could see him tremble briefly, so I did the first thing that came to my mind, smiled at him, turned around and started to catch up with Silvia.
The following hour seemed like an eternity and I was more than relieved when the doors of my quarters finally closed behind me. I knew that day would come, I knew it because I had seen it and I knew it because he had told me, but a part of me had hoped that something would change and he would be around for a while, stay longer on the Discovery. At least until I knew what it was or could be between us.
A look out the window told me we were already on Warp, the destination was not hard to guess.
Christopher Pike would be leaving my life in a few hours, and given the size of the galaxy and the enormous amount of spaceships, I would probably never see him again. Even if I completed the Academy successfully, no one could guarantee that I would end up on the Enterprise or back here. Maybe I had this, whatever that was between us, the last weeks just imagined and he would go without me hugging him, hold on or finally kiss.
I just felt lost, like never before since my arrival here, not even when I had to fear that Cornwell delivered me to Section 31, I still had hope and I was painfully aware of why I had had this hope.
Chris had always been at my side, I never had to face these catastrophes and incisive events alone.
I just sat down on the floor where I had just stood. I couldn´t believe that day should be tomorrow and I couldn´t do anything about it. I couldn´t ask a Starfleet captain to didn´t go back to his ship, especially if that ship was the USS Enterprise and the Captain, Christopher Pike.
The only thing I could comfort myself with was that I had probably prevented him from having to submit to this terrible fate, which had come up in my world as a particularly mean author.
I lay down and stared at the ceiling. I could go to him now, it was only a few meters to his quarters. I could knock and finally put an end to this back and forth, and I surprised myself with it, as I put my legs back on, got up, and left my quarters. Then I stood in front of his door and then my courage left me a little. I didn´t know if he was there, actually, I didn´t know what I wanted to say, but I raised my hand and let it wander over the bell, then I pulled it away and took a step back.
I couldn´t, I just couldn´t do it, so I turned and walked back. This time, I went straight to my bedroom, changed my clothes, and fell completely to my bed. Thanks to the orienteering, I fell asleep immediately, but it was not going to be a particularly good night.
Chapter 16: Enterprise
Hello and Happy New Year!
Like the title spoils it goes now to another spaceship but for whom…you must read to get to know it. ;)
The Discovery jumped out of the warp, flew a small loop and then turned to its assigned place at the space dock. As soon as it arrived, a squadron of maintenance robots began to make their way over the hull. In the distance I heard a muffled roar, probably the spacecraft was just docked to the station. I let out a sigh, then tormented myself out of bed and slipped into the small bathroom that belonged to my quarters on board and put me in the shower.
It was still strange that it was an ultrasound shower, but it did its work, although I still preferred water from time to time. I stopped until the shower shut off automatically stepped out and looked around for my things.
Next to the chair by my bed lay my Discovery’s dark blue uniform. I reached for it and picked it up. I just felt like it was somehow repugnant to put on, the first time ever. Sometimes it was strange, sometimes exhausting, and from time to time I caught myself wondering how I would ever wear it. I thought for a moment how long I’d been wearing it, maybe two or three months, barely worth mentioning, but my life before seemed so far away and, moreover, it was gone forever.
I slipped on the leather leggings, pulled the boots over them and put the blue-silver dress on. Slowly I closed the zipper and looked at myself in the mirror. Who would have thought that blue would suit me so well? I tapped the badge on my chest. It bore the Science Department symbol, Burnham and Tilly had decided that it was the best fit at the moment. After all, everything here was science for me, it started with the most commonplace things and ended with the crash course on warp theory that Stamets had been considering yesterday. My head was still buzzing, he had been so fond of saying that most of them did that on the first lap.
I stepped to the window and my heart slipped into my pants. There it was, the USS Enterprise. It gleamed in the pale light of the station, also populated by the little robots and brightly lit inside. The whole crew was fired up and after all that seemed to be expected of me, I played with, but actually I was more like crying. Discovery’s mission was over, a success that meant Pike would go.
Yesterday came the news that the Enterprise had been restored and so we had set out to deliver their previous captain back to his actual ship. I left my quarters and thought for a moment about having breakfast, but I was not hungry, not even for coffee.
“Hey you little grouch!” Before I realized what hit me, Tilly nudged me. A bright smile on her face and excited as a little child at Christmas.
“Good morning Tilly!” I also wrestled with a smile. “What did you have for breakfast?”
“Fruit salad.” She grinned. “Espresso, a lot of espresso!”
“No, just say?” That made me laugh, Silvia’s coffee consumption struck mine to length.
“Have you seen it? That should be possible from your quarters! ”
“Yes, I saw it. It’s tall and white and glittering out there. "I raised my hand. "Honestly, I’ve just seen Tinkerbell fly over it, now even fairy dust sticks to it.” Then I blew my cheeks, the sarcasm probably had not even escaped her.
“Oookay.” Silvia stopped. Her hand shot forward, forcing me to stop as well. “What has spoiled your mood?”
“Nothing spoiled my mood.” She walked on again, and since I had nothing else to do, I followed her. “I only slept badly and have not had breakfast yet.”
“Ah ha.” She looked at me. “You want me to believe that?”
“Why should I lie to you?”
“Nobody said anything about lying, but you don´t tell me everything, do you?” Her smile softened a little. “Do you want to talk about it?”
Now I stopped, she turned to me.
“It’s really nothing.”
“The whole crew is bursting with enthusiasm, only you look like you’re going to a funeral.”
I pinched my lips.
“Tilly, what happens to me now?” I looked down. Pike’s departure was not the only thing that bothered me. “As long as these phenomena were still puzzles, I had a task here, I was considered a part of it, well, anyway, and now?” I looked at her. “What if Starfleet decides they doesn´t need me, what should I do? I don´t know anyone here and you will not be here forever. Or worse, they ’ll ban me to some lab to find out how I came here. ”
“Captain Pike will not allow that.” The way she said that, it should have lifted my spirits, but didn´t.
“He’s leaving Tilly!” I sighed. “He’s going to this huge ship and then he’s gone, probably for five years!” I raised my hand to emphasize the whole thing and above all keep me from howling. “He will not know if they don´t want it.”
“I don´t believe that.”
I wiped a tear from my cheek. “What if I land on earth, motherhood alone, somewhere I really do not belong.”
“You can stay here.” Tilly took my hand.
“How long will you be here?” I tilted my head slightly. “At some point you have to leave the Discovery, that CTP sees that before and then?”
“What about Michael?”
“We are friends yes, but not as good as you and me.” I forced a smile, she replied sadly. Even Silvia Tilly, the cheerfulness in person, had to realize that she just couldn´t cheer me up. “I’m sorry, I’ll spoil your mood.” I turned and beckoned her to walk away. “See you later!”
“Cathrin!” Silvia let hang her head down, I couldn´t see it, that would probably have given me the rest for the time being.
I don´t know how long I wandered around. Everywhere only smiling faces and happy people. The landing here, followed by a speedy home leave. The crew would again get a new captain and this turnaround was already felt in the air. When I looked up again, I was facing the captain’s ready room. I didn´t know if he was there, today the roster seemed to be upside down and he probably had a lot to do to get his belongings back on the Enterprise. Nevertheless, I was still at his door after five minutes.
The last few weeks whirled through my head and didn´t necessarily make me brave. So much connected me now with Chris and I still had no idea what to do with these feelings. He seemed to be similar, because as much as I sometimes felt he was looking for my closeness, he seemed so insecure at some times. But that didn´t get me anywhere right now. So I gave a jerk, pressed the door knob and was immediately admitted.
In fact, there was some chaos behind it and Captain Pike put something in a box.
“Hey Cathrin. Come in. "I smiled at him as I entered. "Were we supposed to meet?”
“No Captain.” I wondered again how quickly I had internalized the official manners here. Behind him, through the window, I could see a part of the saucer section of the Enterprise. Involuntarily, I pulled my nose. “I just… I wanted to.” I broke off and shook my head. “I don´t know what I wanted.”
Pike straightened up and looked at me. “Everything alright?” He closed the box and stepped around his desk. “You look like someone died.”
“Well,” I grinned crookedly. “Everyone I once knew.” Man, today I was really the cheerfulness in person.
“Sorry.” He looked at me, concerned. “I didn´t think.”
I smiled at him. “Do you need help?” I pointed to the smorgasbord of memorabilia and odds and ends.
“Yes.” He pointed to some pictures in the back of the room and I took it as an opportunity to collect them. “So, tell me why you don´t stick to the window like everyone else who is not on duty or even ask me if they can visit the Enterprise.”
“Do you know one spaceship, you know them all.” I put some pictures in the box to my left, then I looked around and jerked back, as he suddenly stood in front of me. Too close.
“You just didn´t say that?” His eyebrows went dangerously far.
“I have. Why?” I put a fossil in the box, then I looked back at him. On his face was an expression of sheer amusement mixed with utter incomprehension. “Was that wrong?”
“If anyone has doubts that you are a member of Starfleet, say exactly that sentence. It wipes all ambiguity aside. ”
I stared at him, then pushed the stone I was about to put away into his hand and walked past him to the door. I didn´t know why, but I had to get out of here. Maybe it was the way he said it or what he said, but all of a sudden, I felt like it wouldn´t do me any good if I stayed around longer pretending that everything was alright.
“Okay, now I’ve said something wrong.”
Even before I reached the door, he caught up with me, grabbed my arm and stopped me. I pulled my arm, but I couldn´t free myself. I wanted to look at him as evil as possible, but I had not turned around properly yet, as my purpose crumbled. He looked at me with his blue eyes, warm, compassionate and with just the right amount of question marks in it.
“That was kind of mean.” I closed my eyes. “Although you certainly didn´t mean it that way. I’m sorry, I’m a bit sensitive today. ”
“No, I’m sorry.” Slowly he released me. I caught myself, as I didn´t want him to withdraw his hand. “Are you telling me why I’m making you so angry?”
“Ah, don´t lie.” He smiled at me. “Since you came in here, something is seething inside of you and I have the slightest fear that it has anything to do with me.”
“Oh no, don´t start that way, that means nothing good at all.” He put a hand behind my back and pushed me to the couch. “Besides, I think we’ve already left that far behind.” He looked at me with a warm look, just as he had done in the night when he’d stopped me from spinning. Why couldn´t I snap my fingers and be back in his bed. Those few hours when it was only us. No spaceships, no Starfleet, only he, holding me in his arms.
"Okay Chris.“ I let him stuff me into the upholstery and then watched him leave to get some coffee.
"I’m all ears.” He came back and pushed a cup into my hands, then sat down in the black chair
How should I do that? I could hardly tell him he should not go. Just the thought made me stomach ache, had hardly let me sleep and made sure that I had scared out my best friend. But it had to go, otherwise it would tear me apart.
“You go away.” I focused on the coffee, a bubble of air hanging from the edge of the cup, which seemed to me, to be a good distraction. So I couldn´t see, as well as he didn´t try to look at me directly.
“And every time I look out the window, the huge spaceship out there makes it clear to me that it’s not someday, but soon, damn soon.” I tilted my head back as I felt a tear dripped in the coffee.
I gasped but it didn´t help my voice was still shaking.
“And you don´t just go away.” Now I looked at him and I didn´t care that he saw me crying, he should calmly see what was going on. The rest of the crew didn´t howl because it had been drummed into them at the Academy.
“You go on board of the Enterprise and then disappear for maybe five years, where no one has ever been before.” I blinked briefly, making more tears roll out of my eyes, so I preferred closing them, otherwise I wouldn´t get out of the following bring.
“You know Chris, I have only you.” I could see him swallow hard when I looked back at him. “I have you and I have Tilly.” I set my cup down when I felt my hands start to shake. “Isn´t that a good reason for a bad mood?”
He looked at me, then got up and sat down next to me, taking me by surprise as locking me in his arms.
I couldn´t guess, how much he these words had hit him. Only much later did he tell me about his thoughts at that moment.
Chris held me tight. I also wrapped my arms around him and pulled him close to me, if this was the last time I was in his arms, then I wanted to include every detail of it in me, but he let me go too fast and I did same with him.
“Thanks.” I wiped my face, but just didn´t help, as if I tried it with a smile. “It was not planned that way.”
“How was it planned?” His voice was slightly brittle, he raised his hand and brushed away some tears from my check.
“Actually, I wanted to make a funny, maybe even witty remark, wish you all the best, and ask that you write to me if you can find a mailbox in space.”
He laughed lightly, I knew he liked that. Pike had a weakness for old-fashioned things and what was more old-fashioned than someone from the past? “Yeah, that’s how I thought it would be.”
That was flattered, but if I had told the truth, I would have broken down.
“I’ll write to you with pleasure.” Pike was still smiling, then something in his expression changed and he grabbed my hand. “Or you could come with me.”
I chuckled, I just couldn´t do anything else, apparently he took the opportunity to speak again.
“You could experience things that are unimaginable.”
“Um, I.” I got up, suddenly I had an urgent need to move. “And what am I doing on board this.” I waved toward the window.
“Spaceship.” He grinned.
“Yes, exactly.” I turned around to him again. “What am I doing there?”
“If you say yes, I would ask my chief physician if he takes you under his wing.” He too stood up. “I have seen how you deal with patients. You calmed a man who was about to die, only by talking to him. I’m sure Dr. Boyd would gladly make you a paramedic or a doctor. "He leaned against the window that gave the best view of the ship, but he looked at me. He was really serious and something made me suspect that he didn´t had this idea spontaneous.
Slowly I stepped next to him and also looked out at the Enterprise and suddenly, as cheesy as it sounds, it didn´t look threatening to me anymore. Now I had an idea of what everyone else saw in it. Now it wouldn´t take anything away from me, maybe even give something that I didn´t even know I could have. And who knows what else.
"Cathrin.” His voice broke my mind, I looked at him and he grinned all over his face. “Caught.”
“What?” I blinked a few times. “I have not said yes yet.”
“You didn´t say it out loud, but there’s such a glint in your eyes.” His finger moved slightly closer to my face. “I’ve never seen you like that before.”
“Do you spend so much time looking me in the eye?” Inwardly, I kicked myself for it, instantly in the butt. How could I do something like that?
The only thing that kept me from running away was that he was apparently also realizing that this was not the best formulation. Before I could do anything stupid, I turned my gaze outside again.
“Nice ship, right?”
I shrugged with one shoulder. “Mmh.” I squinted at him, then pulled a pout.
“If you want to work there, you should start liking it.”
“I think I’ll manage that.” I smiled at him, then nodded and for a moment I felt as if a ton of stones were falling from his heart. “Yes, I would like to come with you. On the Enterprise. "I pointed outside. "Whatever you need me for.”
His answer was a big smile, than he looked at me a little more seriously. “You will not regret it.”
“Let’s see.” I sighed slightly, than something else came through my mind. “Now I just have to say it to Tilly.”
“She’ll understand.” Pike walked past me to his desk. “I’ll give you to Number One, she’ll assign you a quarters and tell you everything else. Contact her when you’re on board. "
Oh, he definitely hadn´t this idea spontaneous.
"I will.” I looked at him, then gave myself a jerk and hugged him. It took a moment, then he closed his arms around me and pushed me. “Thanks Chris.” I had to smile at myself when I heard how incredibly relieved I sounded.
“I gladly did.” Slowly, very slowly, he released me and before I knew what I was doing, I leaned against him and pressed a kiss on his cheek. He leaned against my face for a moment, then looked at me, gently stroking a strand of hair from my face.
“You should go, you have a lot to do. See you later.”
“See you later.”
Then I left the ready room and could hardly believe what had happened in the last few minutes. I was still so confused that I didn´t even notice how I took the wrong door and suddenly stood on the bridge.
“Oh, sorry!” I opened my eyes.
“Good morning!” Michael grinned at me from her station.
“Good morning!” I replied, then thought for a moment before going to her. “Am I disrupting?”
“No, I just finish my report, then I wanted to have a drink with Tilly. Are you coming with me?”
Now or never.
“How about it, I have to go over there.” I pointed through the bridge fixed towards the Enterprise. Burnham chuckled.
“Tilly will be thrilled.”
Twenty minutes later we found ourselves in one of the corridors of the Enterprise. There was organized chaos on the ship, all working to make everything ready for the upcoming journey to Earth.
“Ohh, I cannot believe it.” Tilly beamed all over her face. “We are here, aboard the Enterprise.”
Michael and I exchanged a look. She had been here before, and I probably lacked some context to understand that fascination. Anyway, Tilly was in good company. The crew members of the Discovery immediately stood out among the Enterprise in their dark uniforms, but no one seemed to consciously take notice of them. We were far from the only ones who walked around with wide eyes.
“Okay, where are we going first?”
“I don´t think we can just snoop around here.” Burnham pointed to the right, the way to the bridge. “They are still a little nervous about the incident.”
“Understandable.” But didn´t change Tilly’s wandering gaze.
“So, what do you suggest?” I started to look around myself, after all, this was my new home.
“We start on the bridge. I suppose we find Spock there, he can certainly give us information.”
“An extremely logical approach, Commander.” I grinned at her. I would miss that. Both would be incredibly missing. And still I had no idea how I would bring that to the table.
With the turbolift we reached the bridge and were then all a little lost around. They was a lot bigger than the Discovery. More stations, more people. The Enterprise was larger overall than Discovery, had more crew members and belonged to a very different ship class. So much I knew before, the rest would follow.
Tilly grinned slightly, then made room for Spock to greet his sister. It turned out volcanically cool, then he turned to us.
“You want a tour?” Tilly grinned widely, she was almost bursting with enthusiasm.
“That really is not necessary.” I nodded to him.
“We don´t want to disturb you.” Michael looked around. “We manage alone, you have to.”
“I have time and you don´t bother.” He interrupted her. “We’re breaking into a new deep space exploration, so it’ll be a while before we meet again.”
I was almost surprised by the sudden arrival of sentimentality, seemingly the last few incidents had broken open a couple of barriers that had made the two of them so hard.
The turbolift went up again and this time Number One came out. When she saw us, she headed for us.
“Hello. Nice to see you all here. "She smiled. "Doing well.”
“Thank you Mam.”
“Spock offered to show us the ship.” Michael nodded to her.
“Of course he has.” She pulled a small disk out of the pile, which she carried with her. “Take good care of Ms. Zimmer and here’s your assignment and everything you need to know for now. Everything else follows. ”
Tilly squealed, Michael flipped her jaw down. I squinted at the first officer of the Enterprise, her lips arching apologetically.
“Oh, that’s where I met the faux pas. I apologize for that, but now that it’s out. You still have to change your clothes and see Dr. Boyd when you’re ready. ”
“Thank you Mam.”
Then she started to disappear as quickly as possible. With her, she seemed to take all the words my girlfriends had to think about, so Spock broke the silence.
“I think we should move to a quieter place.” He pointed to the PADD and I turned it so he could read my room number. “Well, let’s start there.”
Chapter 17: Farewell
I think the title say it all. In this part they say goodbye to Discovery, in the second part hello to Enterprise. And I´ll bring on a character I personally loved from the first second (beside Chris Pike).
“You stay here !?“
Tilly stared at me. Guiltily I looked aside, but met Michael’s eyes.
"This is…! I mean …! "She dropped onto the sofa that belonged to my quarters. "I don´t know what I mean.”
“Cathrin, you’ll be gone for almost five years.” Burnham sat down too. Spock stood in another corner, which I found strange, but at least he saved his words. I grinned that we probably still had enough time to talk. I knew that Michael wanted to scare me, but she had to realize it would not work.
“I know, but honestly, who should I miss but you?” I smiled at the two. “And you probably will not be on Discovery forever.”
“Five years ?!” Silvia stood up. “Five years!”
“Not continuous, Ensign.” Spock finally said something.
“Five years!” Higher rank or no, she glared at the Vulcan, then at me again. “Do you know what can happen at this time?”
“No, but I’m sure when I get back there’s at least one Lieutenant Tilly standing in front of me.” I smiled, taking the wind out of her sails a little. “Maybe under Captain Burnham.” Now I turned to Michael. “Or Saru, or, or.”
“And what about you?”
“Maybe I’m a paramedic by then.” I shrugged. “Or a doctor, or I can find something completely different here.” My gaze wandered out into the vastness of space. “It is said that there are infinity widths.”
“What gave you that idea?“
"Captain Pike offered it to me, I suppose, quite simply.”
Now that they had all the information, I expected that they would try to convince me otherwise.
“Wow, that’s crazy.” Tilly started to laugh.
“That’s an incredible opportunity!” Michael beamed at me.
Slowly I turned to Spock, who raised an eyebrow and I put that on the list of puzzles to solve for the next five years.
“You are not angry?” I sat down too.
“Why should we be angry?”
“Are you kidding?”
“It somehow takes a different direction than I thought.” I smiled at them.
“Of course we’ll miss you, but hey, we can write.” Tilly jumped up now, as did Michael.
“But how would it be we if we help you move now?”
“Everything I have fits in two small suitcases.”
“What about your car?”
I sighed. Right, my car was still in the shuttle hangar of the Discovery. Maybe there was a place here somewhere, until I finally knew what I wanted to do with it.
“I’m getting it brought here.” Spock came up to us. “I’m sure Chief Louvier will find a place for it.”
“Okay, then I suggest we meet in your quarters on the Discovery. Shall we say in an hour? ”
So my friends and colleagues said goodbye and with the typical hiss of the door, I was alone in this, still very poor-looking quarters. Slowly I walked through the small living area into the bedroom, adjoining a bathroom. I guessed it had to be an officer’s quarters. I would probably have to thank Number One for that. I went to the wardrobe, pulled it up and had to smile at the sight. There was a row of light blue uniform jackets, dresses, trousers, skirts, boots. I only had to organize civilian clothes. Finally something I must do.
I stroke the fabric. It felt a little lighter than the one I was wearing. I took one of the jackets from the hanger, plus pants and boots. Then I undressed, put my old uniform neatly and stowed it in the closet. I slipped into the new clothes, closed the zipper and then looked at myself in the mirror. I looked different, but it felt right, and I wondered again, if I had been born two hundred years later, if I would have landed with Starfleet.
Now it was official. I was no longer a member of the crew of Discovery, I now belonged to the Enterprise. I hoped she would become my family as well. I stroked my jacket, then left the quarters, hoping to find my way to the infirmary. Dr. Boyd would surely expected me.
He talked fast and he kept going up and down uninterruptedly. But surprisingly, I got everything. I was probably not out of practice and doctors seemed to stay doctors, no matter how much time passed. Now Dr. Boyd, head physician on the Enterprise, stood and turned to me.
“You look less confused than I assumed.”
“That’s a good thing, isn´t it?” I smiled at him.
“I would say so.” He leaned against his desk. “The captain was pretty impressed with what you did on Star Base 10.”
My mouth twitched slightly. “I did what everyone would have done.”
“Everybody freaks out at some point, that varies depending on the amount of blood or body parts.” Boyd pushed off again, I watched him go to a console. I liked him already. “How about the following suggestion?” He pulled a medical record from a drawer, typed a few commands, slid it into the console, and then turned back to me. “We are about four days on the way to Earth.” It beep, he pulled the tray from the console and handed it to me. “Read this, join me in the next few days at work and before we go, we’ll decide what to do with you.”
I reached for the tray, it showed the symbol of the Starfleet Academy, the training course for the paramedic. I smiled a little.
“Ask me if you don´t get something.”
He ran again and I took the opportunity to follow him.
“Doctor.” He glanced at me. “Not sir. That makes me feel older than I already am. Or Phillip, but only if I behave like a complete idiot. ”
“OK. Do you do that more often? ”
“They say so.” He looked at his tray, then looked up and seemed surprised that I was still there. “Don´t you have anything else to do?”
“I thought I should follow you?”
“Not today.” Boyd smiled at me. “Surely you have enough to do and your friends are definitely waiting for a goodbye.”
I almost forgot that. I swallowed slightly.
“It’ll be easier if you don´t put it off.” He put a hand on my arm for a moment. “We will spend a lot of time together. Let’s go. "He gave the whole thing a nod, so I thanked him with a smile and left the infirmary.
I turned off somewhere wrong, because instead in one of the transporter rooms, I landed again on the bridge.
"Oh, that seems somehow to be my thing today.”
“Back here?” Spock caught me. “You got lost.”
“Is there any plan from this boat here?” I made a movement that encompassed the whole ship.
“Don´t let the captain hear that.” He reprimanded me. “I’ll give you a plan. Where do you want to go?”
“Discovery.” I turned back to the turbolift. “I have to pack a little something and say goodbye to my friends.”
“I bring you.”
So he joined me in the turbolift and chose the appropriate deck, which I hope would keep in mind. And a few minutes later we were in the transporter room.
“Thanks, Spock.” I smiled at him. “I think we’ll meet more often now?”
“If you wish for that.”
“Uh, well, I thought because I live on this ship now and you live here.” God, it sounded like I was going to hack him. “Forget what I said.”
“You are a friend of my sister, of course we will have to do with each other.” He tilted his head slightly. “Maybe we will become friends too?”
“You and me?” I went up to the platform. “I am a very emotional person.”
“That doesn´t have to be a bad thing.” He stopped the transport process. “See you later.”
“Yes, see you later.”
My confusion was still in place when I materialized on Discovery. Luckily there was only the transport chief, so I hurried to get into my quarters. I was late, Tilly and Michael would be here any moment. So I threw everything I found in my suitcase and hoped I wouldn´t forget anything. I was halfway through my rooms when there was a knock.
The door opened and my girlfriends entered. The good mood of the hour before had disappeared, I already noticed that before they had entered correctly.
“Please don´t.” I looked at them. Michael was still in control, I wouldn´t have expected otherwise, but Tilly’s eyes were slightly red and she was holding something. “I have to pull myself together anyway.”
"I’m sorry, but I just realized what it means you leave.”
“Tilly.” Burnham nudged her.
“I just cannot stop.”
I didn´t know if I should find it sad or sweet, I got her a handkerchief and handed her.
“Thanks.” She somehow managed a smile.
“When did you leave?” Michael looked at my suitcases.
“All I have to do is check that I have everything and then my luggage will be taken away and when Pike says goodbye to you later, I’ll say goodbye too.”
“Ohhh, that will come too.” Tilly sniffed again. “Do I have to listen to this?”
“Yes, you have to. You owe much to the captain.”
“Tribblepoo. Then I need more handkerchiefs. "She looked down briefly. "Oh, that’s for you.”
“What’s that?” I took the present, it was soft and pressed together.
“You’re alone on the Enterprise, well, not really, but it takes a while to make friends and that’s why.”
I tore open the paper, a light gray blanket fell out. “Tilly, that’s yours.”
“Now it’s yours.” She grinned. “I expect you to bring it back to me somehow, someday.”
“I have nothing for you. For neither of you. ”
“You don´t need too.” Michael grinned at me. “We just want you to come back, that’s all.”
“I will do my best.”
“Okay, let’s get ready for Pike’s farewell. See you soon! "Burnham put his arm around Tilly and shoved her to the door.
"See you soon!”
They left and I became painfully aware that I wouldn´t see them for a long time. I had to distract myself, otherwise I started to cry. So I began to stuff the blanket in the suitcase, shut it and managed to close the closures. I quickly went around and was surprised that I had actually forgotten nothing, so I closed the two bags and then opened my communicator.
“Zimmer at Enterprise.”
“Here Transporter Room 4.”
“I had my luggage ready to beam.”
“Roger that. Quarters 2518? ”
“Exactly.” As soon as I said that, a golden light caught the suitcases and a blink of an eye later, it had disappeared.
“Your other piece of luggage was taken to the shuttle hangar and secured there.”
Slowly I closed the communicator, then I looked around in the now empty quarters. Although it had only been my home for a short time, I had only moved once and now twice in a very short time.
“Take care Discovery.” I took a deep breath. “It was interesting with you.”
Then it rang at the door and I wondered if it was Tilly again.
The door opened and Captain Pike entered. He now wore his golden uniform and also in his eyes swung a little melancholy.
Anyway he wriggled a smile as he looked at me.
“Wow, you look great.” I spread my arms and turned briefly. “It really suits you.”
“You too.” I smiled back, yes, he looked damned good. “But I think the blue had something for itself.”
“Yes, me too.” He looked around, then slowly started to walk around. “Ready to pack?”
“I didn´t have much here. The Enterprise just beamed it over. "I looked at him, he looked sad. "What do you have?”
He sits down on the couch. “I didn´t think it would be so hard for me.”
“You will get your ship back.” I sat next to him. “I thought you were happy.”
“I am, of course.” He jumped up and started walking back and forth. “But I still feel like letting the crew down.”
“You don´t do that. It was clear it was just for this mission, wasn´t it? "I thought I remembered that Stamets had said something like that.
"Yes, of course, but we’ve been through a lot.”
“You and the Enterprise crew are not?” Pike smiled at me. “I think nobody is mad at you here. I think you did more for the crew than you know. "I straightened up. "I don´t know all the details, but they had been through a lot before you took command.”
“Yes.” He raised an eyebrow. “Thank you.”
“I also believe, to those things belongs a bit melancholy. "I shrugged my eyebrows. "If nobody cries, then something goes wrong.”
He smiled, then offered his hand to me. I hesitated for a second, then grabbed it and let him help me off the sofa. He cocked his head to one side and sighed slightly.
“I hope I’m not crying.”
Captain Pike was probably the only one who didn´t fight with tears when he said his farewell words on the bridge.
“I want to thank you all. We’ve been through a lot together, skidded through many dangers, and I think I remember laughing from time to time. "He looked around at the officers on the bridge. I had joined Tilly and watched him speak his last words as Commander of Discovery.
"I wish you all the best.” Pike smiled in the round. “Your new captain is lucky and could be proud of you all. Every one of you has grown dear to me, despite the short and turbulent time, I will never forget what you all did for me. "He sighed slightly. "Take care of yourself.”
“You too Captain Pike.” That came from Saru and after he had said that, the crew started to clap and the ranks broke up. Some stepped forward to say good-bye to him personally, so it seemed to me as I turned to meet Detmer and Owo.
“Oh hello.” I smiled at them.
“We just wanted to say goodbye.” Owo put an arm around me for a moment, which I replied, Detmer did the same.
“I hope you find a new home on the Enterprise.”
“I hope so too.” I was touched, I didn´t think I was so popular. “Take care of yourselves!”
I looked after them, followed by a few short handshakes, before Saru came up to me.
“Commander.” I nodded to him. “I wanted to thank you for always being so patient with me.”
“Cathrin, you have always been a good listener.” He put a hand on my shoulder for a moment. “I wish you all the best.”
“Oh Saru.” I put my hand on his, which was still on my shoulder. “I really will miss you.”
“I want to give that back.” Then he went on. As long as the new captain was not on board, he was in command. I thought he deserved to be promoted to captain.
I looked around the bridge one last time. Pike was exchanging a few words with Owosekun. On the other hand, all that remained for me was to prepare myself for the hardest farewell. I went to Michael and Silvia, who stood next to the turbolift.
“Now it’s time.” I sighed heavily, then pinched my lips. “You two are the best friends I could have found and you don´t even believe how hard it is for me.” I blinked a few times.
“I wish you all the best Cathrin.” Michael grabbed my hand and I squeezed it.
“I can only give that back.” I reached out and closed mine on Tilly’s. With her other, she wiped a few tears from her face.
“I really want to tell you something nice, or something terribly profound or inspirational, but you see where that leads.” She pointed to her face. “I’ll just write it down and send it to you.”
I laughed, then I pulled both of them over and put my arms around them, both returned it and so we stood there. Happy and sad at the same time. I closed my eyes for a moment and when I opened them again I saw Pike standing behind us.
“I hate to bother, but we have to go.”
“Yes.” I took a deep breath, then released them. “I’ll miss you so terribly.” I took a step back.
“Who do you say that to?” Tilly glanced at Pike, opened her mouth, but immediately closed it again.
“I’m curious how our paths cross again Ensign Tilly.” Pike shook her hand and the already completely resolved Tilly shook it briefly. “I’m sure you will make your way.”
“Michael.” He nodded to her. The two had already talked, I knew that.
“All the best Sir.” She put an arm around Tilly and pulled her slightly to one side.
“You too.” Then he looked at me. “Can we?”
“Yes.” I returned it and we entered the turbolift.
“Captain Pike.” Suddenly Saru stood with Burnham and Tilly. “Take good care of her!”
Pike smiled, then nodded to the Kelpian and I waved to my friends before the doors closed.
“Transporter room four.” Pike gave the order, then looked at me. “Well, nobody cried, so it was not so good?”
I smiled weakly, then my feelings thwarted me. I was so determined not to cry, but now, in here and with the chaos in my head, I couldn´t help it longer.
“No, it was wonderful.” The rest went down in a sob and I put my hand over my mouth.
“Oh hey, what’s going on?” He teared his eyes and turned to me.
I sniffed aloud, that couldn´t look very elegant, then I looked at him. “Sorry.” I wiped my face but that didn`t really make it any better. “It’s just.” Again I sniffed and suddenly I felt him put his arms around me and I returned it without hesitation, grateful to be able to hold me anywhere.
“Don´t tell me you’ve changed your mind.”
I smiled slightly, but he couldn´t see that. He held me so tight that I could feel his heartbeat and his heart beat fast.
“No, I didn´t change my mind.” Pike took a deep breath, he didn´t even bother to hide his relief. I pushed him away from me for a moment and grinned at him. “What about you?”
“What should be with me?”
“Do you already regret your offer?” The lift stopped, I released him. Chris hesitated for a moment, then joined me.
“No, I don´t.” He smiled broadly at me, catching the next tear that leaves my eyes with his thumb. “Everything okay?”
“All right.” I followed him as he started to walk. “I was just torn all day and it seems that the point was reached where it wanted to get out.” I closed up to him, then something struck me. I tapped the wet spot on his shoulder. “Sorry.”
“Barely noticeable.” He winked at me.
I withdrew my hand as we reached the transporter room. At the entrance I had deposited a bag, strangely, had still found some that had to go with me. I just wanted to throw them over my shoulder when Pike took them from my hand.
“I’ll take it.”
We nodded to the transporter officer, then we entered the platform. I turned slowly once more, then my eyes met Chris’ again. I smiled, which he took as an opportunity to give the order for the transporter.
Then the transporter carried us away from Discovery.