Author :Alanna Lionne
Title : The Fire In Which We Burn
Rating : Like most things, a PG or mild PG-13
Pairing : This is the second in my ‘The Other Imzadi’ series, which follows two entirely different Imzadis…
Summary : Too much to write in one sentence.
Feedback : The usual
Author’s Note and Disclaimer : Usual stuff about Paramount. This was written before Sarah Brightman songs were inserted into every one of my stories. Some of the characters are mine and solely mine, so if you actually find them interesting enough to use, ask me first.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Chapter One
Continued from “Gone With the Enterprise”
Scarlett jumped up, her heart pounding. “For heaven’s sake, Wesley, what are you doing here?” She knew very well he was over five hundred light years away.
else do you think I’m doing here?” he asked. “I’m here to stop you, that’s
“What did I do?”
“Why do you have to go and waste your powers on stopping time?” he said in a sneering tone. “Why not use them to make you the best of the best…the most powerful person on the ship…the best in Starfleet…how about it?”
Like taking candy from a baby, he thought. Hearing that made Scarlett’s blood run cold. Then she realized that Wesley was five hundred light years away. This imposter who stood before her was not Wesley. Not her Wesley.
“Nice try, Q,” she said. Wesley, standing in front of her, disappeared, to be replaced by Q. “Outwitted, again,” he sighed. “Picard was so much easier to fool.”
“Well,” Scarlett shot back, any slight hint of fear erased, “Picard was a crazy old bald man who was so wrapped up in the Prime Directive that he couldn’t see past his own sensors.” Q appeared surprised, and then began applauding. “Well said, Commander Troi.” Then he disappeared.
Unfreezing time, Scarlett spent the next four months
doing what she usually did: got up, went to the bridge and spent another boring
day staring into open space. The only things that did happen in those four
months can be summed up like this:
a: Abbie met Lieutenant Adam Schmidt, a young man working in engineering. They began seeing each other.
b. Judd took extended sick leave when the NBA finals were on.
c. Steryko left for Vulcan to visit his sister and his mother.
d. Wesley returned two months after Q’s visit.
Scarlett was again bored to dirt when she was forced to begin her “confinement” by Wesley, who refused to let her work each day. To try and clean up her “bored to dirt” feeling, she programmed about seven holodeck programs, downloaded five more novels onto the computer, and (gasp) read Wesley’ s personal log. It was boring, but it was the only interesting thing to do.
It was about twenty-two days into the “confinement” that she drew the line. She and Wesley were playing poker, a game he had picked up at the Academy and she had learned on the Carlin. Suddenly, a red alert was sounded, and Will’s voice said, “All senior staff report to the observation lounge!” He sounded harried.
jumped up. Wesley began to protest. She glared at him. “He said ‘all senior
staff’. I’m senior staff, aren’t I?”
Up in the observation lounge, Will, Deanna, Steryko, Commander Timon de Belle, Wesley and an obviously elated Scarlett gathered.
Romulans have broken off their peace treaty,” Will said, his tone grave. “They
have attacked four Federations outposts in their empire: one on Angrosi VI,
Trtio, and two on Resoaip IX. Hundreds are dead. We have contacted the Romulan
Senate and they refuse to divulge any information. Starfleet has assigned us to
stop the Romulans from destroying any more outposts.”
“Why would they do something like this?” Deanna asked in her ever-calm manner.
“Because they’re vicious traitors who will put an arm around your shoulder one minute and stab you in the back the next!” Scarlett snapped. Wesley tugged at her sleeve. “Scarlett, hello?” Scarlett turned the color of her name. “Oops. Sorry, Deanna.”
“With your temper, we wouldn’t need phasers and torpedoes to defend ourselves,” Will joked in a bright manner quite different from his dark one a minute before.
Suddenly, the ship shook violently. Everyone gripped the side of their hard, gray chairs for support. When he could, Will took a hand off his armrest, hit his commbadge/logo thing and yelled, “Lieutenant Erickson! Report!”
“A Romulan war bird has just decloaked off the aft bow and fired upon us,” Caroline Erickson shouted back. On the bridge, chaos reigned. Madison Carmichael was attempting to assess the damage to the Titan. Abbie Carmichael was firing back at the Romulans. Judd Iverson was trying not to lose the NBA scores newly released from Earth on the main computer. No one even bothered to look up as the party from the observation lounge thundered in. Without a word to anyone, they all resumed their usual seats: Will in the center of the bridge, Scarlett to his left, Deanna to his right. Optical, Navigational and Weapons systems were occupied by, Madison, Wesley and Abbie, respectively. Steryko and Caroline operated the Tactical station. And Judd simply hung around.
“Fire back!” Will yelled.
“That’s what she’s been doing!” Scarlett yelled back. Will looked over at her. “Scarlett, you’re a Q. Make them stop.”
“There are some instances to draw the line!” Scarlett told him. “This is one of them. For simple and dire things, like life support, yes. Dying and Romulan attacks, no.” Will glared at her. So did Deanna. For some reason, Deanna felt anger boiling up at her. “I hate you!” she heard herself yell, and immediately regretted it. Everyone on the bridge turned to stare at her. Scarlett bit her lip, tears welling up in her eyes. Frowning, she tried to disguise them. Instead she disappeared.
In her quarters, Scarlett sat on the bed and stared at the wall. Why? Why had Deanna said she hated her? Should she have stopped the Romulans? Or not—
was suddenly over come by a crippling force pain that seemed to wash over her.
What was that for? She wondered. Had she hurt herself somehow?
Gasping, she realized what it was. Grabbing a stopwatch from her nightstand, she timed it. When another wave of pain came, she stopped timing. Fifteen minutes. Not bad.
Up on the bridge, Wesley turned the ship 180 degrees to the port, as Will had ordered a second before. He was focusing on the task at hand, not at his trembling hand as it turned the ship, not at the limp form of Ensign Huffy behind him. Those Romulans had destroyed another outpost on Tyy VIII, killing over five hundred. Now they fired at the Titan.
Five hours. They had been at the fruitless attack for five hours. After Wesley felt like he could scream, the Romulan ship exploded.
No torpedoes had been fired. No phasers, either. The ship had just exploded. Wesley stared at it, open-mouthed. He was in disbelief. How could it have just exploded? Had it been the warp core? Or had it been…
jumped up from his Navigational console, banging his knee on it. “Ouch! Captain, I request permission to
return to my quarters.”
Puzzled, Will said, “Permission granted.”
Exhausted, and the bed’s white silk sheets stained red, Scarlett Maria Troi, Commander and First Officer aboard the U.S.S. Titan, remained firm in her decision.
“No,” she told Virginia Hartleis, the doctor. “I will not allow you to kill my baby. Never.” Virginia pleaded with her. “Please, Commander, you are just making it worse for the child. End her life now, and ease the suffering.”
was just about to give her a piece of her mind when Wesley entered the
quarters. Quickly sizing up the situation, he ran to the bedside. “What’s
“Your child has a terrible ailment,” Virginia told him. “Something that will kill her if she survives the birth. I am trying to convince your wife to let me end the child’s life.” She sounded like she was rattling off a paragraph from a medical textbook. Scarlett made her disappear with a bit of strength left in her. “Never,” she gasped out. “I will never allow her to do that. Would your mother even suggest a thing like that? Would she, Wesley? Would she?”
“I don’t think so,” Wesley replied. Scarlett clutched his uniform shirtsleeve. “Oh, please Wesley, bring her here. Bring her here.” Then realizing he couldn’t, she said, “Oh well, I suppose I’ll have to do it, then.”
“No,” Wesley said, in a firm tone Scarlett had never heard before. “Save your strength. I’ll have her transported here.”
“Do it, Wesley,” she whispered. “But for goodness sake, do it quickly.” Wesley took one look at her, with her black hair matted to her forehead with sweat, and her scarlet silk ruffled dress spread out, and hurried out of the room.
At Starfleet Medical, Beverly Crusher, Wesley’s mother and Scarlett’s mother-in-law, was having the usual day: a few surgeries, a broken limb, and Andersen Beninski calling in sick. Typical.
Suddenly, Amy Chaffer, an intern with a surprising amount of talent, tapped her on the shoulder. “Doctor, there’s a Priority One message coming in for you from the U.S.S. Titan.” Beverly’s stomach knotted, and the first thought that came to mind was, “Wesley died.” Shoving that thought to the back of her mind, she told Amy, “I’ll take it in my office.” She hurried over to the Spartan office in the corner of the large main sick bay and punched a few buttons on a small computer resting comfortably on the desk. The words, scrolling across the screen as fast as a ship at warp one, read:
The first thing you probably thought when you heard this message was a Priority One communication, you probably assumed I died. I am alive and well, but my wife and your daughter-in-law, Scarlett, is having her baby a month before she is supposed to and, according to the ship’s doctor, before Scarlett made her disappear, there are complications. Please, Mom, beam out to the Titan as soon as you can, or your grandchild may die before it is even born, taking Scarlett, who means the world to me, with it.
Beverly unknotted her stomach, grabbed a bag of medical supplies and headed for the transporter, yelling to Amy, “I have to transport to the Titan. Keep things together until I get back.”
“What for?” Amy asked.
Beverly paused, and smiled. “I have to deliver my granddaughter.”
Wesley grasped Scarlett’s hand, nervously running his fingers up her hand. She didn’t seem to notice. Suddenly, the door to their quarters opened, and Beverly stood there, in all her glory. “No time to waste,” she said, and rushed over to the bed.
The course for Maiden XIII had been plotted and set in. “Engage,” Will ordered. He loved ordering courses set, for a reason he didn’t quite understand.
voice broke over the communication channel. It sounded a lot like Beverly
Crusher, a friend of both Will and Deanna’s from the Enterprise, and Wesley’s
mother. “Captain Riker and Counselor Troi, please report to my son’s quarters.
There’s someone they’d like you to meet.”
Scarlett gazed at the small bundle in her arms, wrapped in a blue silk blanket. Her daughter had been born just a minute before, and yes, both had survived. She was exhausted, though, and so was the baby.
and Will entered. Deanna saw the blue bundle in Scarlett’s arms and rushed up
to her. “Aww,” she gushed. “Is it a boy or a girl?”
“Girl,” Scarlett informed her proudly. “Want to hold her?” Deanna accepted the baby gently. The girl snuggled up against her, yawning. She was tiny, with her mother’s dark brown hair and Wesley’s creamy brown eyes. “What are you going to name her?”
“We’re not quite sure,” Wesley began, but Scarlett interrupted him. “Desiree,” she answered. “Desiree Anomaly.” And so, Desiree Anomaly she became.
Within days, however, Desiree began to have an ashen color to her. She would no longer except food, and would sleep more often than any baby should. Wesley’s mother remained on the Titan, taking charge of the infirmary for a brief time, so Scarlett brought Desiree to her.
“Something’s wrong,” she told her. “She’s not eating, and sleeping for long stretches of time. And do you see the gray color her skin has become?”
Beverly was grave as she told Scarlett that it was Huygria’s Syndrome, and it would kill Desiree in a matter of weeks.
Upon the news, Scarlett took to her bed. She would drink little and eat even less. She became pale and even thinner than she naturally was. She stared at the blank walls, and never spoke. Wesley was worried about her, so he asked Deanna to visit with her, and try to re-ignite the spark that had left her emerald eyes, now listless. Deanna obliged, as she had exciting news she couldn’t wait to tell her cousin.
Deanna pressed the doorbell on Scarlett’s quarters.
No response. She pressed it again. Nothing. Finally she overrode the lock and
entered. Scarlett stared at her as she entered. “Just dropped by to see how you
were,” Deanna said, cheerfully. “I have something exciting I couldn’t wait to
tell you.” Instead of the usual, “What? What? Oh, Deanna, tell me! You know I
can’t stand suspense!” she received a simple stare. She strode over to the
replicator. “Bryvoian Spring Water, cold and a chocolate fudge sundae, with hot
chocolate sauce.” In a shimmer of light they appeared. Deanna picked the water
up and placed it on the table. She then took the hot fudge sundae and lounged
in the scarlet couch. “Will and I have decided to adopt a baby from an
orphanage on Rysaa. The paperwork should be filled out and the baby should be
here in September.” Scarlett said
nothing.” Scarlett was still silent. Finally she burst out in tears. “It’s not
fair!” she wept. “You’re gaining a boy or girl—“
“It’s a girl.”
“Girl—and I’m losing Desiree. Don’t you understand? While you’re watching your daughter learn to crawl, walk, talk, read and all that junk, I’ll be mourning Desiree. Desiree will die practically before she was ever really a baby. It’s just not fair!” And with that she flung herself face first into her pillow. Realizing her mistake, Deanna gently shook Scarlett’s shoulder. “Scarlett—“
“Go away!” Scarlett yelled into the pillow. Deanna turned away. “I’m not leaving,” she said, sitting down in the same chair as before and taking another scoop of ice cream.
And so she sat there. And sat there. Scarlett remained buried in the pillow. Deanna replicated another chocolate sundae, but let it rest on the table for a while. After six hours, she began to worry. What if indeed Scarlett was dead, but Desiree lived on? How would Wesley care for her and work in engineering and at the helm, as he frequently changed stations. Would she have to become Desiree’s guardian?
Finally, ten hours later, Wesley came in, gray bags under his eyes, his hair messed up and his feet dragging. He barely acknowledged Deanna as he trudged into the sonic shower. At the sound of the shower, Scarlett moved her head slightly, taking care not to let Deanna notice. Deanna was staring out at the stars. While her gaze was directed out into space, Scarlett made herself disappear. At the sudden flash of light, Deanna let out a little scream and jumped. When she saw nothing, she turned back to the stars. Then she stopped.
Nothing? She had seen nothing?
She had seen nothing!
Desiree Anomaly lay on a tiny crib, surrounded by strange people. One had flame colored orange hair, with eyes that seemed to smile at her. Her skin was pale, and she seemed to have a piece of machinery stuck in her hand. Desiree stared up at her, trying to pull the machinery out of the woman’s hand, so she could do other things with it, her ashen skin becoming lighter. Had her mouth not been dry, she would have asked for some water. Then again, newborns aren’t supposed to know how to speak, so Desiree clammed up. She would have walked out of the crib, too, but newborns aren’t supposed to know how to walk, either, so she stayed put. Or she would have teleported herself out, but newborns definitely aren’t supposed to know how to teleport, so she resisted the temptation.
She was still trying to figure out a way out of this plastic prison when a tall woman with long, tumbling black hair and dark green eyes drifted in. She was wearing a long, pink-red dress and a silver chain around her wrist. She floated over to the enclosure and pressed her nose up against it. She never spoke, but Desiree heard a voice tell her, “Don’t worry, Desi. You’ll be all right. Just hang in there.” Then, right before Desiree’s eyes, the woman with the long black hair disappeared.
The flame-orange haired woman came over with the piece of machinery in her hand and began running it up and down the plastic prison. Her mouth opened wide as she read something on the side of the machinery that Desiree couldn’t see. She mouthed something and a man came running over. He re-read the other side of the machinery and mouthed something to the flame-orange woman. The flame-orange woman hit a little silver thing pinned to her shirt and mouthed something else. Then she bent down and smiled at Desiree. Desiree smiled back.
Wesley came out of the sonic shower, drying his hair with a large white towel. Scarlett was lounging on the bed, knitting something white, full of tangles, that was already about five feet long. “What is that?” he asked.
She shrugged. “Just a blanket for Desiree.” He frowned. “I guess Deanna is a better counselor than I thought,” he murmured. Scarlett continued knitting. “I have a strange feeling that Desiree is going to turn out okay,” she informed him. Wesley stared at her. “Don’t tell me you….” His voice trailed off as he made a snapping motion with his fingers. Pulling the yarn off her wooden needles, Scarlett said, “I haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about.”
Wesley’s mother broke over the communication channel. “Please report to sick bay,” she said simply.
Desiree Anomaly was cured. Her chocolate brown eyes were crystal clear and she smiled happily at the two people who entered the room. One of them was the black haired woman she had seen earlier, but the other, a man, had brown hair and eyes. When they drew closer, Desiree saw that the black haired woman’s hair was really a dark brown. The woman picked her up and tore off a piece of her dress to wrap Desiree in. In her arms Desiree felt secure and safe. She snuggled up against the woman and yawned.
With her daughter alive and well and sleeping in her tanned arms, Scarlett couldn’t have been happier. She held Desiree tightly as the family headed back towards their quarters.
The wail of Desiree pierced the night. “It’s your turn to see what’s wrong,” Scarlett murmured, rolling over and pulling the covers over her head. “I got up last time.”
“No, I did,” Wesley murmured back. Scarlett rolled out of bed. “Fine. I’ll do this one, and you do the next two.” Wesley barely nodded. Scarlett walked dozily into the room, now the nursery, which had been previously the solarium. Desiree lay on the soft wool blanket Scarlett had knitted, cooing happily. In her mind she was thinking, “I don’t want to sleep! I want to go see the bridge!” Scarlett picked her up. “Go to sleep, Desi.” Desiree sighed and began wailing. Scarlett rocked her gently and began singing a song her father had sung to her.
“Some think the universe is made for fun and frolic
And so do I. And so do I.
Some think it is well to be all melancholic, to die and nigh
But no, not I!
Listen, listen! Listen as I sing.
Listen, listen! Listen as I sing.
Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep!
Close your baby eyes and go back to sleep.”
Desiree had dozed off. Scarlett set her back in the
crib and tiptoed back into bed. As she pulled the covers up over her, Wesley
whispered, “I didn’t know you could sing like that.”
“Oh yeah, didn’t I tell you? Before Desiree was born I programmed opera singing lessons and finally a performance into the holodeck computer. Before I could sing pretty well. Now I can sing a whole lot better. Wesley? Wesley? Are you listening?” Wesley had fallen asleep again.
“You look tired.”
Those were the first words out of Deanna’s mouth the next morning when Scarlett sleepily sunk down into her chair on the bridge. She yawned. “I was up all night with Desiree. So was Wesley. I swear, we took sleep for granted before she was born.” Deanna laughed to herself. “I suppose that’s possible.” She paused. “I wonder if that’s going to happen to Will and I?” Scarlett was about to answer that she doubted it when a shimmer of light in the corner of the bridge caught her eye.
“What on Rysaa is that?” she muttered, almost instinctively, although she knew just what it was. Some poor soul from the Q Continuum had been stripped of their powers (she would have been more than happy to be that poor soul) and the Continuum decided to dump them on the Titan for the crew to handle.
Upon sight of the flushed middle-aged woman with russet eyes and long, auburn hair that fell over her shoulders in ringlets, wearing nothing but a tight, low-cut white dress with a tiny skirt that barely covered two inches of her legs, Scarlett yawned. Terrific. Her aunt Christine had now been humanized and left on the ship like a baby on a doorstep. Now not only would she be up all night with Desiree, undoubtedly her flamboyant aunt Christine would stir up a little trouble of her own.
By then she had fritted away enough time that Christine had stood up and crossed over to her chair. Glancing around, she said, “I guess this will have to do.” Scarlett broke away from her fantasy. “What did you do now?”
Her aunt shrugged. “Besides making Andorra XXXI explode, cause a volcano to erupt on Oahu, causing the deaths of thousands of people and then misplaced the most esteemed judge in all the Continuum somehow, nothing.” Scarlett rolled her eyes. “And then they stripped you of your powers.”
you’re going to stay here as a human, like Q did when he was stripped of his
powers or Q the Sequel when he was stripped of his powers and stay
“Honestly, Aunt Christine, with you around, Desiree is going to pick up some pretty lousy habits.” Christine raised an eyebrow. “Desiree? Who is Desiree?”
Flash. They were gone. Flash. They were back, Christine cradling Desiree. “Aww,” she said. “Goodbye!” Scarlett exclaimed and with a flash of light her aunt disappeared. Falling back into her chair. “For goodness sakes, that woman is going to drive me out of my mind!”
“I know what you mean,” Deanna replied, thinking of her own mother and the things she did.
One Year and a Half On
Christine stayed for a year. During that time, she took a job as a childcare worker and cook’s assistant. She seemed very content in her jobs.
Also in that time, she nearly killed the Prime Minister of Hanadaraistain with putting too much salt in his drink, and managed to nearly launch a war against the Federation.
Deanna and Will’s six-month-old daughter arrived on the Titan on September 4th. She had silky brown hair and big blue eyes that just made your heart melt. She was named Honor Jane.
In January, Scarlett and Wesley were pleased to learn that two more babies in their family were on the way. Scarlett was surprised—after Desiree she expected that she wouldn’t be able to have any more children—nonetheless, she was thrilled. This time, she took the vacation with pleasure. She downloaded fifteen holo-novels, and read some of them to Desiree, who was now a year old. Desiree had begun to show signs of very well developed Q powers, and Scarlett was less than pleased. Nevertheless, she let Desiree show off the powers by learning to crawl and say a few simple words very early.
Desiree seemed fascinated at the twins, even though they were not yet born. She drew a very “fine” picture of them and gave it to her mother, who she called, “Ami”, the ancient Indian name for “Mother”. Her Ami was delighted with the picture, which showed Desiree holding the babies after they were born, and Desiree and her Ami drawing pictures and reading before the babies were born.
Scarlett had to laugh at the picture. She was depicted as a big black and red scribble with a lump the size of a beach ball sticking out of the side.
She laughed about it all day until she stopped to check something on the dresser. Glancing up and seeing her reflection, she realized she was smuggling a beach ball around all this time. She was no longer the beautiful young girl she had been when she first met Wesley. She leaned over close to the mirror and pulled on her face, expecting to see bags and wrinkles under her eyes, and gray hair falling into her eyes. Instead she saw the unlined face and black hair falling into her emerald eyes that she saw all along. Maybe she did appear to be smuggling a beach ball, but as she attempted unsuccessfully to come to an upright position once more, she thought to herself about how wonderful it felt. Not to try and stand up, of course, but to realize that there were two little babies inside of her.
Just then Desiree came crawling in, holding a little toy worm that squeaked when you pressed it. Scarlett sighed and leaned over once more. “Hey, Desi,” she said when she picked her up. “How’s my little Desi?” Desi smiled, showing one tiny tooth poking through her gums.
Scarlett sat down on the bed and set Desi down beside her. Desi began to crawl toward the edge of the bed. Suddenly, she felt herself being lifted up. “Hey, big sister,” her Ami told her. “You can’t be doing those kinds of things! What would the babies think?” Desiree giggled, obviously pleased that she was going to be the baby any longer.
A sudden instinct told Scarlett to look out the window. She looked, knowing from previous experiences that her instincts were usually right. Outside, shimmering into view was a Klingon Bird-of-Prey. Normally the Klingons were friendly, but this ship seemed to have a menacing air to it. All of a sudden, a green bolt of light shot out of the front of the ship and headed straight towards the window. There was a huge flash of light as every item in the family of three’s quarters vanished. There was a second flash as the two people inside it vanished. And there was a third and final flash of light as the room exploded.
Will Riker felt the jolt from the bridge. “What was that?” he demanded. Madison read off the report that was coming in on her console. “A Klingon Bird-of-Prey decloaked off the starboard bow and fired a photon torpedo. It completely destroyed decks 16 through 18. Casualties and fatalities are being reported.” Will gritted his teeth. “Raise shields and aim for their weapons systems.”
“The Klingon ship has cloaked, sir!” reported Caroline. Will swore under his breath. “Steryko and Wesley, join me in the observation lounge. Deanna, report to the bridge, Lieutenant Erickson, you have the bridge.”
The doors to the observation lounge slid open with a loud creak. Will stepped in without looking, and ran into the couch. He swore again. “Who put this couch in the observation lounge?” he yelled.
Someone sitting on the couch turned. “Oh, sorry, Will,” his first officer apologized. “I didn’t think you’d be using the observation lounge.”
“Move all this…junk!”
“Of course. Your quarters are open. We’ll just go—“
“No! Stay here! We’ll use my ready-room.”
“Why? To talk about these positively dreadful Klingons who almost killed poor little Desiree?” She reached down and picked up the baby. “It’s all right, Desi. I won’t let those Klingons hurt you.” Will rolled his eyes, but thought about how he would feel about Honor. A knot formed in his stomach. Where was Honor, anyway? There’s no time to worry, he thought, fighting the surging emotion. I—we—have to save the Titan. As if reading his mind—which she did—Scarlett said, “Here, let me clear this out.” Within a nanosecond everything except for the couch, Scarlett and Desiree disappeared—and the old table and chairs reappeared. “I liked it better the way it was before,” Scarlett admitted. “Go on.”
“These aren’t ordinary Klingons,” Will began.
“Duh,” Scarlett muttered.
He shot her a look, and continued, “The Empire says that they have no ships unaccounted for—except for the Na’Vokh, a ship that disappeared fourteen years ago.