Author : Alanna Lionne

Title : Gone With the Enterprise

Rating : Like most things, a PG or mild PG-13

Pairing : This is the first 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

                                    Annoying Doorbells, Personal Logs and A Transporter

            "Captain's personal log," began Jean-Luc Picard, age 60, "stardate 41567.2. We are awaiting the arrival of an experienced officer and as we are told, engineer, from the U.S.S. Carlin. Our warp drive was damaged and we are literally "dead in space". However, some delay has kept this officer on the-" He was interrupted by that ANNOYING BUZZING DOORBELL!!! (Here's a secret: the reason he sounds so cross and never speaks in complete senteces is because of his annoying doorbell).

            "Come!" he said gruffly. The doors opened and his first officer, William Riker, stepped through. He was a tall, dark-haired human with a slight mischevious glint to his eye. "The Carlin is beaming their officer over." Jean-Luc jumped up, relieved they were finally sending him (or her) over. He merrily strode out the door.


 Arriving in the transporter room, the two found waiting perhaps the most beautiful woman on the ship: Deanna Troi. She was half-human, half-Betazoid and therefore made an excellent ship's counselor. (Because she could sense emotions)

            Suddenly the transporter began to glow in front of them, and a shimmering figure materalized. She was as tall as Deanna, perhaps taller, with long, slightly curly black hair and sparkling, yet secretive emerald green eyes, and was wearing a typical Starfleet uniform, in scarlet.

             "Scarlett Troi is my name," she said, stepping off of the transport platform. "Fixing your warp drive is my game." Deanna didn't know what to say. So she sent her cousin a telepatic message.

            Scarlett, what are you doing here? I thought you were still on Betazed. And who's really supposed to be fixing our warp drive?

            Without moving her lips, Scarlett replied, I am fixing your warp drive and no, I'm obviously not on Betazed anymore.

            Deanna felt Will's eyes boring into the back on her head. Look, we'll talk later.

Taking Scarlett by the hair she said, "Captain, Will, I'd like you to meet my cousin, Scarlett Troi."

The captain extended his hand, and Scarlett rolled her eyes. "You expect me to kiss your hand? C'mon. How tacky can you get?" Will stifled a smile. Scarlett looked down her nose at him disprovingly. "Don't think such things, Commander. Your captain certainly won't like it." Jean-Luc glared at Will and Scarlett both. "I'm not in the mood for jokes," he said sternly. "We need our warp drive fixed." Scarlett retrieved her newly-beamed aboard bag. "That's why I'm here," she replied cheerfully. "You better show me where your engineering is." When no one said anything, her mood shifted. "All right, I'll show myself," she said, imitating Jean-Luc's stern voice. ‘’You’re in hot water this time, Number One.’’ She was gone before anyone could reply.

            Left in her wake, Will turned to Deanna. "Mother's side, right?" Staring at the door, she said, very softly, "How did you guess?"




                                                            Chapter Two

                                    Wesley, A Book and A Bunch of Clothes

            Scarlett found the Enterprise to more confusing than she had imagined. It was a bunch of twisting, maze-like tunnels. After leaving the transporter room, she found herself going around and around. After what must have been the seventeeth time, she started looking for someone to give her directions on how to get off of the boring deck. Her head was turned and she didn't see the boy, his nose buried into an old-fashioned Earth book, eyes cast down, until they ran into each other. Scarlett's bag popped open and her things went everywhere.

            "Oh! I'm sorry!" exclaimed the boy, bending down to retrieve the things. Scarlett went down too, her mind zooming in on his thoughts. Who is this beautiful girl? he was thinking. Scarlett giggled in her head. This boy was nice!

            As he stood up, everything retrieved, he said, "H-hi. My name is, um, um,-"

            Wesley! his brain was screaming. Wesley Crusher!

            Scarlett felt it right to step in here. "Wesley Crusher?"

            "Yeah. How did you know?" Scarlett felt her cheeks turn the color of her name. "Um, you see, I, um--" She paused and said, "My name is Scarlett Troi. Does that explain anything?"

            "Oh, so you're Betazoid!" said the boy. "Cool." Scarlett smiled. "Anyway, can you tell me where the ship's engineering is?" Wesley wasn't about to let go just yet. "It would be a lot easier for me to show you," he replied. Scarlett felt like her face was about to break. "All right," she said shyly. To Wesley it was an act of kindness. To Scarlett it was a heroric deed.



                                                Chapter Three

                                    Annoying Doorbells Ring Again

            A few hours later it was the annoying doorbell on Scarlett's quarters that was ringing. From outside, Deanna waited as patiently as possible. She was somewhat miffed with her cousin, although she didn't know why. Finally, she could wait no longer. "Computer, override locks on these quarters," she said, and the doors opened. When Deanna stepped in, she was expecting the ordinary quarters, but Scarlett added a few personal touches. The bed had a shimmering cover on it, and a wispy scarlet drape graced the space around it. On the table, a little fountain bubbled. The windows now had satin scarlet curtains. But her cousin was nowhere to be seen.

            "Scarlett!" called Deanna. She heard nothing. She tried another attempt. "Scarlettamaria Troi!" she called again. (Scarlett hated the name Scarlettamaria, so she told everyone her name was Scarlett) Then she noticed a padd laying on the table, dangerously close to the edge. She took it carefully into her hands, not knowing what to expect. "Dearest Deanna," she read aloud, "while wandering through this maze of passageways you call a ship, I literally ran into a charming boy named Wesley Crusher. He showed me where your engineering room was, and then invited me to dinner, which is the reason why you're reading this note. Obviously, I said yes. Don't expect me back too soon. Love ya lots. Your head-over-heels cousin, Scarlett." With a sigh, Deanna dropped the padd back on the table. "She's beginning to remind me of Mother," she murmured. Then she tried to telepathically tell Scarlett to come home. However, she didn't have complete telepathic connection.....


Meanwhile, in the quarters Wesley shared with his mother, he and Scarlett were eating a delicious dinner and enjoying fascinating conversation. Wesley yearned for a way to impress his date, and once he said, "When I was fifteen, Captain Picard made me acting ensign. People say I'm the youngest officer ever."

            "Mind if I tell you a story?" asked Scarlett. When Wesley shook his head, she continued,"My mother was-"

            Then she heard, Scarlettamaria, you come here now. Deanna had finally made connection. Scarlett jumped up from the table, nearly spilling her glass. "Wesley, I have to go," she blurted out. Wesley stood up, concerned, saying, No, Scarlett, no! But then he said, "Can I walk you to your quarters?"

            Thank goodness! Scarlett nearly exclaimed, but caught herself. "That would be nice, Wesley."


When Scarlett walked through the doors to her room, she saw a  miffed Deanna sitting on her scarlet pillow. And Deanna saw a cocky young Betazoid girl, wearing a traditional dress from their homeplanet, who fiddled with a silver object that looked much like a phaser.

The stare of her cousin told Scarlett this was not going to be fun. "Sit down and tell me what's going on here," said Deanna, nearly commanding. Timidly, she did as she was told. I don't want to say anything. It's too hard. It's too painful. It's too--

            I get your point, Deanna replied. What happened?

            Scarlett sighed out loud. It was like this. My mother was so proud of you that she wanted me to be a counselor, too, just like you. So she sent me off to learn the basics. But I didn't want to do that. I wanted to command my own starship. But Mother insisted. So I went off. And one day, when our warp core malfunctioned, I accidentially bumped into a computer panel and fixed it. People started calling me "Wonder Woman" but I was only eleven. Does that name have some kind of special meaning to it with humans? Anyway, I later caught the captain when he was tripping. So he made me lieutenant commander. And I'm thinking "How dim is this guy?" But anyway, I stayed on the ship, met up with your mother a few times--Here she frowned--And now I'm here. Ta-da. Anyway, Deanna, my mother and father are both dead. And according to the traditions of Betazed, I have to live with Aunt Lwaxana. Oh bundle of joy. But I was hoping I could just stay on the Carlin. Think you can pull a few strings? Deanna pulled her cousin close to her. A tear fell on Scarlett's hair. She barely mumbled, "Yes." The anger was gone. Only compassion remained.




                                                Chapter Four

                        Betazoid Clothes, An Embarassed Captain and A Kiss

            The next day, Scarlett donned something more comfortable to her: a scarlet knee-length dress and black leggings. Her black boots laced up to her mid-shins. A few diamonds glittered at the dress collar.  A scarlet hat with turned up ends alighted on her head. She barely remembered to put on the little commbadge thing, remembering all this protocol was keeping her on the Carlin.

            When Wesley appeared at her door, two things happened. One: Scarlett nearly jumped him and two: Wesley's eyes widened. "Where'd you get that?" he said.

            "It's what in on Betazed," replied Scarlett, her eyes never leaving his. "Oh, sorry about the interruption last night. It's family business."

            "No big deal," Wesley said. "The past is the past. Anyway, where do you need me to escort you to today?"

            "The bridge."

            Wesley's eyes grew large again. "I don't know," he said skeptically. "Captain Picard's awfully picky about his equipment. Why do you want to go there?"

            "I need to show them how to get Warp 9.5 working when I get it installed and I need to see if Jean-I mean, Captain Picard is all right. Something happened last night, Wesley. I know it." The two strode down the hall while she said this, and Wesley caught a turbolift. Inside, Scarlett gave Wesley a quick peck on the cheek. "Dinner again tonight?" she said, completely changing the subject. Blushing, Wesley said, "Sure. How about Ten-Forward?"

            "Ten what?"
            "Ten-Forward. It's the best social place on the ship. It's not just a restaraunt, it's a gathering place and sometimes home to special events."

            "Oh yes, we have one of those on the Carlin. It's "The Mess Hall" but it's usually more of "The Messy Hall."

            By this time, the turbolift had arrived at the bridge and the two stepped out.

Jean-Luc turned at the sound of the doors. Oh no, here comes trouble, he thought.

Scarlett stepped toward him. "Excuse me?" she said, obviously angry. "I believe you are mistaken. My name is Scarlett, and if you want to be formal, Scarlettamaria Troi. But I know why you don't like me. It was the bad experience with your daughter."

Everyone turned to stare at the captain, even Deanna, who for any matter should have sensed it coming. "Her name was Alexis (charming name)," she continued, hopping up onto the rail, "and she was really your brother's daughter, but he abandoned her with you and thus you adopted her. And then she was taken away and killed. That has to be painful. But even though it's hard for you to like kids, do ya have to hate them? There are many nice children out there, including Wesley-"She put her delicate hand on his shoulder-"but next year, according to ancient Earth laws, he won't be a child anymore. Will you hate him for being a child? Open your eyes, Je-Captain Picard. Everyone, well, with the exception of this fine man Data here, was a child. How about your first officer, eh?" She slid down the railing until she was sitting next to him. "Do you hate him for being a child?" She got off and walked over to Deanna. "And my lovely cousin Deanna? Do you hate her? I don't think so. And so, um, Captain, you must have to hate yourself for being a child at one point in your life. That was when you had a full head of hair-" Here she paused and recited a rather naughty poem going somewhat like this:

            "That is a replicator

            That is a chair.

            You are a man who has no hair."

She took a deep breath and said, "But I can see you don't hate yourself (or your hair loss). What do you have to say on the matter now, Mr. Pickard--er, sorry, Picard. Huh?"

            The captain, taken aback, tripped over his own words like over untied shoelaces. "I, um, you see-" Finally he sighed and admitted, "You have outwitted me. I apologize, Commander. You too, Wesley. I just didn't realize..."

            "That's okay. Just DON'T DO IT AGAIN!!" exclaimed Scarlett.

            "I agree," said Wesley.

            Suddenly, Data said, "Sir, sensors are picking up an unidentified ship ahead." Picard slid foward just a bit. "On screen," he ordered. A large, beige ship with a clunky helm ornament that looked like a giant potato came into view.

            "What???" Jean-Luc breathed. A potato! What an awful thing to put on the helm. I've only seen one person who would actually be brainless enough put a potato on their helm. No, it couldn't be.....

            "Hail them," he demanded. Wesley did as he ordered. "No response, sir," he replied. Scarlett moved closer to her cousin. They want something, Deanna, she barely murmured in her head. I don't know what...

            I sense it, too, she told Scarlett. The girl wrung her hands. She couldn't stand suspense. She stepped forward toward Jean-Luc. "Something's going to happen," she said. The captain didn't reply. Suddenly, he began to disappear. "Raise shi-" he said before he was gone.


                                                Chapter Five

                                     A Vanishing Act, Shields and The Holodeck

            "You heard the man, raise shields, red alert," Will said. At the sound of the siren, Scarlett jumped and landed with a bump on Will's lap. "Sorry, sir," she said, acting demotedly, but with a certain glint to her eyes, and climbed out.  Wesley was smiling. Will was not.  "What's so funny, Wesley?" asked Scarlett angrily. The smile quickly vanished. "Nothing," he muttered.

            Suddenly what appeared to be Jean-Luc—smiling--appeared on the viewer. "Beam me over," he told everyone. "A junk collector took me by accident." Then he disappeared.

            "Lower shields," ordered Will.

            "No, don't!" exclaimed Scarlett. Will turned to look at her, his expression not pleased. "And why not?" he asked harshly. The young Betazoid girl was still transfixed to the viewer. "That's not Captain Picard. I don't know who it is, but it's definitely not your captain." Do you sense that, Deanna? she added.

            Will rose. "Wes, I'd like to speak with you. Alone. Data, you have the bridge." He strode out. I do not like this girl, he thought haughtily. 

            "I'll get the helm," said Scarlett, moving over as Wesley pushed the panel over. Sitting down and sliding the panel back into place, she told him, "Go on. Go listen to your "commanding officer." She glowered. "See if I care." Data looked at her before going over to the captain's empty chair.  "This is what humans call anger, correct?"

            "I would know, wouldn't I?" Scarlett replied harshly. "If I was human!" She sighed. "Sorry, Data. I guess I am angry." She stared out at the mysterious ship. The images of the endless sky, the giant potato and the brilliant stars seemed to blend together. She closed her eyes, and desperately tried to pry into the Jean-Luc lookalike's thoughts.

            Meanwhile, Wesley sat across from Will in his own quarters. Even the familiar place made him on edge. "Wesley, it has been noted that you have spent a lot of time with this Scarlett," Will said. "How much do you know about her?"

            "Not much," Wesley replied. "I do know she's Betazoid--completely Betazoid--and is sixteen years old. Her father died when she was very young and her mother just a few years ago. That's all. She can be trusted. If she can't, no one can."

            "For only knowing her one day, Wes, that's a lot to say."

            "'s more than that. It's not just the "She's pretty enough. She'll do" sort of thing. It's more." But the idea that maybe Scarlett was a Romulan or Breen or Ferenghi, for that matter in disguise, haunted him.

            While all this was going on, Scarlett had been listening to it all. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't hear the lookalike's thoughts. But she could hear Will's and Wesley's. I'm positive she's lying to us about Captain Picard, thought Will.  When the two returned to the bridge, he said, "I'll take the helm now, Scarlett." But his mind thought, I wonder if I can trust her...

            "That's Commander Troi to you," she snapped, and yanked the control panel out.  "What did I do?" Wesley asked. "It's not what you did, it's what you thought," she replied. "Fine!" shouted Wesley as Scarlett stormed into the turbolift. "Fine!" she screamed back.

             She thought, making sure her cousin heard it, Don't come looking for me, Deanna, as the turbolift doors closed. And she was gone. Making sure Scarlett was definitely gone, Deanna followed her footsteps. "Wait!" shouted Wesley, and caught the next turbolift just before the doors would have closed.

            The duo thouroghly scoured the ship before Wesley finally said, "Computer, locate Scarlett Troi."

            "Scarlett Troi is in holodeck 1," said the mechanical voice. Deanna and Wesley exchanged glances and quickly took off. When they entered the holodeck, neither recognized the place. It was large and grand, with many glass windows. They were on a balcony that overlooked men in handsome tuxedos and women in beautiful dresses. Each wore a red slash across their front. Scarlett was not visible. "How are we going to find her without raising her attention?" asked Wesley.

Deanna had an answer to that. "Computer, make Wesley and I look more...appropriate for this setting." In a split second, the order was carried out. Wesley looked down to find himself wearing a grey tuxedo decorated with the typical red slash and many shiny medals. The shoulders had golden tops. He turned to look at Deanna and was amazed. She, too, was wearing the red slash, but it decorated the front of a lacy white dress. Her hair was pulled back and in ringlets. White gloves matched the dainty slippers and parosal. "This is certainly different," she said as the two stepped down the stairs and into the crowd. No sooner had she spoken than they were surronded by dancers, talking pleasantly. Suddenly, Wesley heard Scarlett's voice. It was coming from their right.

            "You are a good dancer--excuse me, I don't know your name," said a tall young man, holding tightly to  the girl.

            "Maria," replied Scarlett, "Maria, um, Sergeiyeveina. Ouch! Hey, don't step on the feet!" Seeing the two together brought a tear to Wesley's eye. Not a tear of sadness.  It was so funny! But this was his Scarlett, not that hologram's.  "Computer, exit program," he said. Scarlett stumbled back as her partner disappeared. She turned toward Wesley, her eyes glistening with tears of joy, not laughter, not sadness. "I knew you'd come for me, Wesley," she said quietly. Wesley stepped toward her. "Computer, play music."

            "Specify," the voice said.

            "Do I have to spell it out? Play some music, or I'll smash your rusty bolts to dust," put in Scarlett, but it was obvious she wasn't serious. She took Wesley's hand in her own, he wound his arm around her and they danced a slow waltz to the old Earth music, even though Wesley kept stepping on Scarlett's shoes. To be young and in love, Deanna thought. She turned and left the two alone.






Chapter Six

                                    A Sleeping Gown, A Phaser and An Evil Man 

            A long while later, Scarlett practically raced through the halls in her Russian court dress, a long dress much like Deanna's, except with a longer train. People stared at her as she passed them by. Her quarters were three floors below and she had to risk taking a turbolift--she could never climb through the vast tunnels of the ship in this outfit. She was able to catch a turbolift, fortunately, but she entered to find Will, Data and another man she had never seen before wearing a metal visor over his eyes. Before she could escape, the doors closed behind her. All three men stared at her, Will with an eyebrow raised in his "Okay, that's really weird" fashion. "Why am I wearing this dress?" she said, answering a thought by Will. "That's a very good question. You see, it's kind of a long story. And I've got to work a little more on your warp core because I said it would be working before you could say 'Warp 9' but a few things went a little nutty including Jean--er, Captain Picard's disappearance--by the way, is he back? Yes? Hmm. This I've got to see." The turbolift arrived at her floor.
"Well, gentlemen, it was nice talking to you. Gotta go. Ta ta. So long. Bye." With that she turned and fled down the hall, nearly tripping on her train. I am so glad to be out of there, she thought. But Jean-Luc is back? No, it couldn't be him. It has to be the man we saw on the viewer. When she entered her quarters, she couldn't believe what she saw. The rooms were in disarray. The drape was ripped into shreds and laying on the floor. The soft silk pillow was torn open. Soft feathers were everywhere, like snow, which lightly dusted the floor of her quarters. Her clothes were spread out, a few damaged. She sighed as she picked up her old, comfortable, scarlet muslin gown she usually wore to bed. The shoulders were ripped off and the bottom gone. Her white dimity gown would have to do for tonight. As she slipped out of her court dress and into the clothes she had worn earlier, she just knew "Jean-Luc" had ramsacked her room, but why? There was nothing she had of value--except for the necklace given to her by the Queen of Pyoria just last year. What would he want with it? And how would he know she had it? She never told a soul, not even Deanna. By this time, she was completely dressed. She stepped out into the hall and found Wesley hovering around her door. "Okay, what do you want now?" she said teasingly. She began walking down the hall, Wesley following her. "I'm going try again to get into Starfleet Academy soon and if I have some kind of experience it will look better on my application," he said.

            "So you want to help?"
            "Exactly." Scarlett paused. "Okay, you can. But don't do anything you're unsure without asking me first. I mean, we don't want this ship blowing up or anything, right?"



            Hours later, the two came laughing out of engineering. At first Scarlett had been shocked to find that the man in charge of it all was the man with the metal visor from the turbolift, who introduced himself as Lieutenant Geordi La Forge. His rank meant nothing to the girl, who just wanted to go ahead and get to work so she could make tracks for the book Ella Enchanted, stuffed under a pillow in her quarters. The hours had passed by something like this:

                        "Laser scanner."

                        "Laser scanner."

                        "Digital wrench."

                        "Digital wrench, digital wrench. Aha! Digital wrench."

"Commander Troi, do you hear me?"
"Yes, Will--Commander Riker, sir?"
"We just lost our view of space--the viewer is playing an ancient Earth television show identified as "I Love Lucy."

"Sorry about that, sir. We'll get it fixed right away. Wesley! I need that laser scanner again."

                        "You have the laser scanner."

                        "No, I--oh, here it is. Got space again, Commander Riker?"


                        "Laser screwdriver, Wesley. How about now?"

                        "Now it's playing a show called, let's see here, um, "Gilligan's Island."

                        "Augh! Wesley, hand me that tool."

                        "Which tool?"

                        "That tool, right there. No, not that one. That one."


                        "How about now, Criker?"

                        "Excuse me? What did you say?"

                        "I said, 'How about now, Commander Riker?' Wesley, stop laughing!"

                        "You said what?"

                        "How About Now, Commander Riker?'."


                        "HOW ABOUT NOW, COMMANDER RIKER!!"


                        "Oh, forget it."

            Back in the present, the two were still laughing about the viewer playing the two television shows and how Scarlett had called Commander Riker "Criker." As they rounded the corner, Scarlett saw the most awful thing she had ever seen.

            It was girl. She was crying, and  thus her long hay gold hair was wet. A phaser was aimed at her head. And that phaser was held by Jean-Luc Picard.



                                                Chapter Seven

                                    A Threat, a Klingon and a Bothersome Brother

            "Take one move and I shoot," growled Jean-Luc, yanking the girl closer to him by her hair. The girl began to cry harder. "It's okay, Adrianna," said Wesley soothingly. Adrianna sniffed, her tears still flowing openely down her face. The two older kids looked at each other. They had no choice but to just stay where they were and watch Adrianna suffer. Scarlett, however, began the same difficult process her cousin had done to contact her....


Up on the bridge, Deanna was aware that something was wrong. She just didn't know what. Suddenly Scarlett's voice broke through her head. Deanna, you have to help us.

 "Something's wrong," she said. Criker turned to look at her. "What do you mean?" he asked.

It's Adrianna Lewison, rang through Deanna's head. "It's Adrianna Lewison," she finally replied. Criker signaled to a Klingon named Worf. "Aye, sir," he said and strode out of the bridge.


Scarlett still didn't know if her telepathic connection had worked to tell her cousin what was happening. If it doesn't, she thought, someone's bound to come along sometime or another. But, suprisingly, no one did. Just as she was about to give up, Worf turned to corner. Klingon, thought Scarlett. Worf suddenly laid the man unconcious with a blow to the back of his head. The phaser slipped from his grasp, but he held tight to Adrianna's hair. Wesley slid forward to pull it out, and the man looked up with an evil gleam to his eye. He grasped the phaser once more, this time aiming it at Wesley. "No!" screamed Scarlett as the man put his thumb to the trigger. She suddenly kicked her foot forward, hitting the man hard in the stomach. He fell back, writhing in pain. This time, his fingers let go of Adrianna's hair. Scarlett scooped the girl up in her arms and began running down the hall to her quarters, Wesley and Worf both in hot pursuit. When they were safely inside, Scarlett said, "Computer, lock doors. Answer only to my voice command. No one else. Got it?" The computer complied, and they could hear furious banging on the outside of the door. Scarlett held the girl even tighter to her. "We might have to stay in here for a long time," she said into Adrianna's ear. "But we'll be okay."

            "But what about my parents?" Scarlett stopped to think. "You'll see them pretty soon," Wesley put in. Scarlett shot him a thankful look. "Would you like anything to eat or drink?" she asked Adrianna. "Cookies," she replied, knowing very well her mother would not like her eating something like that.


A few hours later, Wesley and Scarlett were the only ones in the room, eating a small bowl of speghytte beif from Scarlett's home planet and looking over everything they could find on Jean-Luc. Suddenly Scarlett, laying on the couch, bolted upright, a datapadd in her hand. "Wesley, listen to this. Jean-Luc Picard had a twin brother, Claude` Mignon Picard, who disappeared in 2356. He was last seen in 2364 in a Klingon bird of prey, tracking down the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D. That's this ship!" she exclaimed, jumping up from the couch. "It has to be Claude`!" she continued excitedly. "Adrianna must have suprised him or something while he was trying to work out battle plans or whatever but I do know this." She began to pace. "He most certainly is trying to take over this vessel, and then," she concluded in a lowered voice, "he will destroy Earth."


On the now cloaked potato ship, a mysterious figure struggled at his bindings.


A few minutes later, Scarlett and Wesley stretched one of Scarlett's deep blue ball gown sashes across the hallway by Jean-Luc's quarters. Down the hall, Deanna opened one of the doors to the many tunnels of the ship. "Okay, let's go over this one more time," said Scarlett. "We have Claude` beamed out of his quarters and into the hall. He rushes back to his quarters, because there's obviously something important in there, trips on the sash, flies into the tube, and Deanna, you lock him in and he's trapped." Touching the commbadge thing, she rapped out her rank and said, "Transporter room 1, beam Jean-Luc Picard into the hallway outside his quarters." Nearly instantly, Claude` was there. He took off in a mad run for his quarters, and, as Scarlett had predicted, tripped on the sash and flew into the tunnel, where Deanna bagged him. "Yes!" exclaimed Scarlett, and she and Wesely hi-fived. Deanna just smiled and thought, Good work.


Later, Deanna walked into Scarlett's quarters just as Scarlett was walking out wearing a light blue dress with embroidered pictures of sunsets, red roses and little scotty dogs. Her eyes were sparkling like the little diamonds on her uniform."Where are you going?" Deanna asked.

            "Wesley and I are having dinner at, oh, what is it called, Ten-Forward," she said, blushing. Before she could do anything else, Wesley appeared at her door. "Oh, hi, Counselor Troi," he said, before shifting his attention to Scarlett. "Hello...Scarlett." As he took her hand and they strode down the hall, Deanna could hear Scarlett murmur back, "Hello, my Wesley imzadi." Scarlett had refered to Wesley as her loved one. Deanna felt her feelings rush toward her: sadness, for a love lost, anger, for her cousin stealing her catch phrase, happiness, for Scarlett and more things she did not know.





Chapter Eight

                                    A Dinner Date, An Game of Poker and A Sleeping Ship

            When Scarlett first imagined the this Ten-Forward place, she thought of a dull room where people sat around and ate. Was she ever wrong. When she and Wesley walked in, she saw a game of poker in the corner, Criker among the players. Oh, bundle of joy, thought Scarlett, and small band playing jazz There were also people spread out across the room, some at the bar, others at the tables. A woman behind the counter of the bar called out, "Hey, Wesley, who's your friend?" As Wesley responded, Scarlett let her attention drift the poker game. She had played it on the Carlin, perhaps they wouldn't mind if she joined in. Wesley seemed pretty engaged in the conversation, so she walked over. "Mind if I join in?" she asked. An older woman with curly light brown hair smiled. "Of course," she replied, and dealt the cards. "I bet ten," she continued. The bet was passed around until it came to Scarlett. "Ten and I raise you a hundred," she said. Criker raised his eyebrows. "What makes you think you can make such a bold bet?" he asked. Scarlett smiled. "'In your honor, a royal flush,'" she quoted from an old Earth movie, "The Parent Trap,’’ showing her cards to the group. Wesley suddenly appeared. "Well, got to fly, nice playing with you, though. How about some other time?" With that, she turned and joined Wesley at a table by the window. He was looking at a holo-menu. "May I recommend the Titarian souffle`? It's delicious," he said. "And if you're feeling down, it really makes you feel better." He glanced up at her. "What's wrong?" Scarlett sighed. "My mother loved Titarian souffle`. Sometimes she and I would go and sit in the sunroom and gaze out at the lake while eating a big bowl of it. You're right, it does make you feel better." She began gazing up and down at the menu and finally decided on Yotegan Chicken. Wesley ordered the souffle`. He then sat staring into Scarlett's emerald eyes. What to say ? he wondered.  Scarlett jumped in. "Where are your parents, Wesley?" she asked.

            "My mother used to be the doctor here," he responded, "now she's over at Starfleet Medical. My father died many years ago. I miss him." Their food suddenly arrived. Wesley stabbed his souffle` and it deflated with a ffff. Scarlett felt his pain, and suddenly said, "So, what did you think of the uh, situation with Adrianna Lewison today?"

            The time zipped by. When Scarlett found herself in bed, she was too excited to sleep. And, listening to Wesley's thoughts, she knew he was, too.


The morning of Scarlett's third day on the Enterprise dawned with amazing brightness. But in her first minutes of wakefulness (she had finally drifted off) she knew something was wrong. She tried to listen to Criker's thoughts, but she heard nothing. What's going on? she asked herself with alarm. She was only picking up the thoughts of Wesley and the woman from the poker game last night. Deanna! she thought in panic. She jumped from her bed and into the hall. Her feet tripped over the long white dimity, and, while trying to keep from falling, she ran into Wesley. "What's happening?" she cried out. Wesley took a minute to answer, looking at her in her long, no shoulders, drawstrings, sleeping dress and loose hair. Scarlett grew impatient. "Wesley!" she snapped. Wesley shook his head. "What was the question? Oh, yeah. What's going on. I don't know, really. From what I heard it's some kind of sleeping gas or something like that." Scarlett took off once more. "Come on!" she yelled over her shoulder. They were soon running side by side."Why weren't we affected?" Scarlett asked, not slowing her pace, knowing very well why she was not, but not daring enough to tell him. Wesley just shrugged. "Where are we going?"

            "The transporter room. I have a feeling Claude` Picard has escaped-" she paused in her speech-"No, he has escaped, at least from the tube we capture him in. We're going toward Earth--probably Warp 9--and the only chance we have to save it is to overtake Claude` Picard." She strode boldly into the transporter room.


A few minutes later Scarlett and Wesley appeared on the bridge in the shimmering column of the transporter. Scarlett immediatly sensed Claude` Picard wasn't there. But her cousin was. "Deanna!" she exclaimed and hurried over to the slumped figure. She hurriedly checked for life signs. Okay. Phew. That was close. She looked up at Wesley. "Glass of Zimbarian water. I need a glass of Zimbarian water. There's a replicator over there. Hidden. Trust me." In a zip he was gone, and in a zip he was back. "Sorry about this, Deanna," she murmured and dumped the contents of the glass onto her face. Deanna awakened with a start."What happened?" she asked, getting to her feet. "We'll explain that later," said Scarlett. "Right now we've got a planet to save." She turned at the sound of two doors opening simaltaneously. From one stepped Claude` and from the other stepped Data. He pulled a phaser, and Scarlett, seeing his response, did the same. "Let's turn the tables," she said, "You take one move, and I shoot." Wesley shook his head. If only I had a phaser, he thought. Claude` turned, as if to run, and Scarlett shot right into his back. He crumpled to the ground. "I suggest you take him to a place that'll confine him," she said. Data slung the man over his shoulder and easily dragged him off the bridge. Scarlett went over to the captain's chair. "'Scuse me, Criker," she muttered and pushed him out of the chair. He fell the floor with a thud. She took his place, Deanna settled into her usual chair and Wesley took his place at the helm. "Hey, Wes, set a course for where we lost Captain Picard. Warp 9," said Scarlett, a feeling of excitement racing through her. Deanna smiled. She could sense that excitement.

            "We're ready, Scar-er, Commander," said Wesley. Scarlett leaned forward. "Let's rock and roll." With that, the Enterprise shot away in a blur of light.




Chapter Nine

                                    A Mouthful of Fuzz, A Wet Commander and a Cloaked Ship

            A little later Commander Riker came to his senses and swallowed a big ball of fuzz. "Ugh!" he said and looked up. Wesley and Data were at the helm, Deanna was in her place and--Scarlett had the bridge. He stood up and realized he was soaking wet. "Okay, what's going on here?" he asked.

            "You're not too happy, are you, Commander Riker?" asked Scarlett, stifling a laugh. Wesley turned around. "You're wet because Zimbarian water is the best cure for sleeping gas. At least that's what she said." He turned back. Criker turned his attention to the girl, eyes ablaze. "Explain yourself, Commander Troi." Scarlett rose, hands behind her back. "You see, it goes something like this," she began, and related the whole story of Claude` Picard and why she soaked him with Zimbarian water. "And that's all there is to say." Criker stared at her thoughtfully. Then he said, "What do you think, Deanna?"

            "He's very angry, but it's undirected anger. Almost as if he's angry with the whole ship." Wesley suddenly turned his attention to Scarlett. We're at the place, he thought, knowing she could hear. She nodded.  Then she said, so all could hear, "Wesley says we're at the place where the ship disappeared. It's got to be there. It is there. It's just cloaked."Criker looked suprised. But he regained his composure and said, "How are we going to de-cloak it?"

            "There are ways around that," Scarlett said slyly. She moved to the first officer's unoccupied chair and pulled out the hidden computer panel. She began to work.

            In about thirty seconds, she exclaimed, "Got it!" The potato ship was in full sight on the viewer. By now the others were awakening. "Why are we back here?" asked one of the young ensigns (older than Scarlett). Scarlett turned and rolled her eyes at the ensign. "Why do you think? To play ping pong? Don't think so." Criker was halfway to the turbolift. "Data, Worf, Commander Troi-"

            "I prefer Scarlett," replied the girl.

            "Whatever. Wesley, you have the bridge." Deanna leaped from her seat. "Let me come too!" she said, not wanting to leave Scarlett alone. Scarlett wasn't happy. "I don't need your help, Deanna!" she exclaimed angrily just before the doors closed.


The away team were on board the ship before you could say, "Beam us over". It was brightly lit, so bright Criker covered his eyes. Can't stand a little sun, Criker? smirked Scarlett. A fountain bubbled in the corner, a large picture of a lovely young girl, her smile scribbled over and darts sticking out of it. Alexis, Scarlett thought sadly.

            "Okay, split up," said Criker. Data and Worf were gone before he finished speaking, and Scarlett found herself paired with Criker. They took off down a corridor. Scarlett stopped suddenly in front of an intricately carved door. "He's in here," she told Criker. "He wouldn't be in some place so obvious," he replied.

            "That's the point," Scarlett shot back.

            "Did I ask you?"
            "No. I asked myself."

            "That's not the way it works."

            "It is now."

            "Listen to me, Miss Troi. I am your commanding officer. You will do what I say."

            "I don't take commands from anybody, Criker."

            "That's what you called me! I hate it."

            "Criker! Criker! Criker!"

            "Stop circling me."

            "I told you. I don't take commands from anybody."

            "Will you listen to me for one minute?"

            "Will is your name, not mine. My name is Scarlett-"

            "I know what your name is!"

            "Now, how did we get my name into something about doors?"
            "I don't know. Anyway, that door is the right door."

            "Fine. I'll go through this door, you go somewhere else."

            Scarlett, who knew where Jean-Luc was by tapping into his thoughts, went through the door. The room was grandoise, with a large silk couch, a second fountain large enough to bathe in, a turbolift that led up to a loft, where an humongous overstuffed bed was, covered in a crimson velvet coverlet. Then Scarlett heard a sound. It came from one of the few dark corners of the room. Startled, she drew her phaser and advanced.



                                                Chapter Eleven

                                    Alexis, A Bunch of Books and a Warp Core Breach

            Meanwhile, Criker had stumbled onto a small room, unlike the rest of the ship. It had a low, hard cot with a thin, scratchy wool blanket. It had padd-books laid on it, a small stuffed dog, a white silk dress and a....body. It was well preserved, blue eyes wide open, shoulder-length orange hair tied back with a green ribbon, wearing a blue satin dress with pink trim, obviously extended to cover her long, graceful legs. Yet another padd lay on top of her. This one said, in slim, curly writing, "To My Dear Jean-Luc".

While Criker was discovering the body, Scarlett was hunting for the origin of the mysterious noise. Suddenly she saw a figure coming toward her. "Don't move," she said, as she took a step toward it. "Captain Jean-Luc," she said. "Wait. How do I know you're not Claude`?"

            "Commander Troi, I'm Jean-Luc." Scarlett lowed her phaser. "It's good to see you again. Well, you know what I mean."

            "It's all that no good brother of mine," said Jean-Luc, frowning. Then, the ship shook violently. Scarlett was thrown off her feet and hit her head on the fountain. As the ship rocked again, Jean-Luc picked her up. (As she was still) Until now, he realized, he had never seen how beautiful she was. Although much like Counselor Troi, Scarlett's hair was a tinge darker. But he had no time to admire this, as he was nearly thrown down by a shudder of the ship. He hit Scarlett's commbadge thing with his chin. "Number One, report!" he barked.

            "Good to hear your voice, Captain," said Criker. "This ship isn't going to last. According to Data, we have two minutes and 47 seconds to get out. The only place we can beam out is 17 meters from your location."

            "See you there," proclaimed Jean-Luc and strode quicky out of the room. He expected this to be a simple escape...until he saw the body Criker held onto. Instantly memories came flooding back: the first time he had met her, the white satin handkerchief she had sewn. "Only the best for you," she'd exclaimed. He nearly dropped Scarlett to the floor. "Hey! Um, Jean-Luc, I don't think right now is the time for an emotional attack," she said, not opening her eyes. (A free ride is a free ride) She had felt his pain, his sadness. Criker hit his commbadge thing. "Riker to transporter room one. Six to beam up." And they were gone. Even Alexis.


Wesley had been excited for his first time having the bridge. But when he saw the ship explode, he bit his lip. Deanna, sensing his nervousnes (she was nervous, too!) contacted the transporter room. "Do you have them?"

            "What do you think?" said an all-to-familiar voice. Wesley grinned.


Wesley's mother turned out to be the current doctor on the Enterprise. When she insisted everybody be checked out (she had found radiation on Claude`'s ship) Scarlett merely shook her head and said, "Sorry. I have places to go and people to see." With that, she ran into the hall, where she and Wesley embraced fondly.





Chapter Twelve

                        The Celebration, Confessions, and Departing

            That night was a celebration of both Captain Picard's return and the fact that the ship could continue it's real mission. Scarlett attended, of course, wearing the Pyorrion necklace and a stunning black velveteen dress with black sequins. She gracefully drifted at Wesley's side, her eyes sparkling again. She was sorry that their warp drive was fixed--for this meant she would have to go back to the Carlin. "Nothing ever happens there," she told Jean-Luc and Geordi La Forge. She knew she would miss both of them, as well as the good android Data, Wesley's mother, little Adrianna Lewison (who attended the celebration). She would not, of course, miss "Criker". But her heart would ache for Wesley. She might have missed Deanna, too, but she and Deanna still weren't speaking. She pulled Wesley to a corner and said, "Wesley, I have something very important to tell you." Her heart was racing and her palms were sweaty. "I-I, uh-"

Deanna, I guess I was wrong, she tried to tell her cousin. I guess I need your help after all. How do I tell Wesley I love him?

            Finally! Deanna thought, sighing. Just say it, Scarlett. You'll be fine. Scarlett took a deep breath. "Wesley, I have grown very close to your over the last few days. I will be so sorry to go because, well, Wesley, I...I love you." Wesley looked deeply into her eyes. "I do, too." Before she could say anything, one of Wesley's friends came up to him. "Where've you been, Wes?" Wesley looked at Scarlett apologetically, and began to answer him. Scarlett glanced at him. Life is good, she thought. So good. She sauntered over to Jean-Luc, who was alone. He was thinking about Alexis. "You can't hold onto her forever," Scarlett said softly. "You can keep her journal, but you can't keep the sadness. She'll always be in your memory, Jean-Luc." He looked at her. "I suppose you're right," he said. Then he completely changed the subject. "I have to apologize again for the "Trouble" thing. It was completely wrong on my part."

            "Like I said, no big deal." She stood up on a chair. "Hey! Everybody! I'd like to propose a toast to everyone aboard this ship. You're very exciting people. And Adrianna, you're going to be a terrific person. I'll miss you all." Except you, Criker, she thought.


Early the next morning, Jean-Luc, Criker, Deanna and Wesley were in the transporter room to say good-bye. Scarlett had something for each of them. "Jean-Luc," she said, handing him a large bottle, "I heard you like ships in bottles. Here you go. Keep it safe. And er, Criker, here's a package of Zimbarian water. I wasn't going to give you anything, but hey. Deanna, I thought you might like to hold onto the necklace the Queen of Pyoria gave me. And Wesley, I just like to give you this box. It's not just any box. Don't open until I'm gone." She gave them all one last look. "Oh, I can't stand long good-byes." She jumped up on the transporter pad, bag in hand. "We will meet again." And she was gone. Wesley opened the box. "Wesley, you probably opened this box the moment I left," said a hologram Scarlett. "You dirty rat! Close it and save it for when you really miss me." And so he did...but that moment turned out to be two seconds later.



                                                Chapter Thirteen

                                                Fourteen Years Later

            Jean-Luc and Wesley's mother were conversing at Deanna's wedding to Criker, when a voice broke through. "Mom! Captain!" yelled Wesley, running up to them. He was wearing a lieutenant's uniform. He was one talented kid, no one could deny that. He had left his career a little too early, but he had returned. No doubt he would be the best of the best. "I have the night duty shift in engineering," Wesley was saying, "We have a double-refracting warp core matrix with twin inter-mix chambers that-"

            His attention drifted as a pretty young girl passed by...a very familiar pretty young girl wearing a white silk dress uniform top covered with sequins, and a short strand of white sapphires. She smiled at him, and he inched after her. "See ya later, Mom," he said. Where have I seen that girl before? Jean-Luc wondered. Meanwhile, Wesley said, "Hi. I'm Wesley. What's your name?" The girl stared at him with wide eyes. "Wesley? I didn't recognize you. You're even more handsome now than before." He was looking confused, so she continued, "Don't you remember? Claude` Picard? The Zimbarian water thing? I'm Scarlett! Scarlett-"

            "Maria Troi," finished Wesley. He did remember. This was Scarlett now? She was taller, that was for sure, and she was definitely more beautiful.  "Thank you," she said. She gave him a quick peck on the cheek. "So," he said, pulling her over to a table, "what did you do after the Enterprise incident?"

            "Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Except for actually attending Starfleet Academy. I passed with flying colors." She paused. "I'm not bragging, am I?"

            "Not at all."

            "Okay. Life wasn't the same after the Enterprise thing. Did you get my letters? No? Oh, that's too bad.  Well, we're here now. Where are you doing now?"

            "I'm going with Commander--Captain Riker to his new ship, the Titan." She gasped. "You are? So am I! I"m going to be his first officer.What a bundle of joy. But it was either this or living with my aunt. You've met her, right? Right? Oh. I feel for you." Wesley recognized the look she was giving him. It was the way she used to gaze into his eyes before she said something marvelous. "Scarlett!" called Deanna, waving her over to her table. "Hold you horses, Deanna!" Scarlett shouted. "See you later, Wesley." As she drifted to Deanna's table, Wesley sighed. Criker came over to him. "Wesley, was that the girl who called me Criker?"

            "Mmm," Wesley said.

            "Ugh!" Criker exclaimed.

            "Darling!" sighed Wesley dreamily.


Scarlett was the first aboard the brand new U.S.S. Titan. It was similar to the Enterprise, except sleeker and darker, not in lighting, however,  inside. When she first beamed on, a tall blue man, with aqua eyes and hair, a Zimbarian, babbled, "Cyksh kyl'mer keshqpult." Translation: Welcome.

            "Cyksh kyl'mer keshqpult tenuosh. Argge wqqi hyshppm nba?" Translation: Welcome yourself. Can you speak English?

            "Yes, of course. I hope you will find our hospitality quite good," said the Zimbarian as Scarlett stepped off the platform. "Look. All I want is a tour of the ship. Not the Zimbarian Greeting Squad. Okay?" The Zimbarian bowed nervously and began babbling to himself in his language. Scarlett rolled her eyes and followed him.

            The first hall was long and black coated, with sleek grey floors and dark green doors. The Zimbarian stopped in front of one of the doors. "These are your quarters. I hope you find them satisfactory." The doors slid open, and Scarlett stepped in. The bed was in one corner, looking out the large windows. A long table stood over to the side, by the replicator, a few couches in the center,  and the sonic shower was to the left. Scarlett threw herself on the bed. Nexsaan down. Very comfortable. She felt something hard, long and smooth under her. What's this? she thought, pulling it out. It was a padd for writing and such. Acsessing it, she hit, "Dear Wesley, Guess what. The beds here are Nexsaan down and the ship is an awesome sight. How long will you be visiting your family? Criker and Deanna won't be here for at least a week, although it's supposed to be earlier. Something is going to happen. I know it. Well, I have to go. Your Scarlett." She found her eyelids drooping. She hadn't had any sleep for 48 hours. With that, she was asleep.



Hours later, she woke with a small scream. She had just had a dream of something awful! The Enterprise was practically being pulled to bits by a Romulan warbird! Relax, she told herself, it's only a dream. She rolled off the bed and checked the small clock. Fourteen hundred hours! She was supposed to be on the bridge for something or another she couldn't remember in thirty minutes. She leaped to her feet and ran to the bag she had brought, the same bag she had had when she was sixteen. How long ago that seemed! I haven't changed, she reminded herself. I still won't take orders from Criker. I still love Wesley. I'm still the same. Finding a deep magenta dress that trailed behind her on the ground, and had slits on the side that went up to her mid calves, she pulled that on, ditching her uniform on the bed. The commbadge thing was completely awful with this dress, so she let it stay on the uniform. Then the doorbell sounded. This doorbell wasn't any less annoying then the Enterprise ones. "Come in!" she called, and twirled around, the dress flying out beside her. As the doors slid open, Wesley was there. "Oh, Wesley!" Scarlett cried. She flung her arms around his neck. "I thought you wouldn't be here for days!" Wesley shook his head. "I left their planet this morning and came here Warp 9. I just wanted to see the place." And you, Scarlett heard him think. She let her arms fall. "I have to be on the bridge in just a few minutes." She rushed out. "Are you coming, or not?"





                                                Chapter Fourteen

                                    The Bridge, The Triplets and a Helm

            The halls were suprisingly easy to navigate in this ship. Scarlett ran onto the bridge and stopped to a screeching halt. There were three young women at the helm, the three typical chairs of command, and Scarlett realized, with suprise, that one of them was hers. While no one paid any attention to her, she whistled and shouted, "Hey! Everybody listen!" The girl on the end of the three at the helm turned. "We don't have any time for jokes, lady," she said.

            "But I'm the first officer!"

            "Yeah, right. If you were the first officer, you wouldn't be wearing that dress."

            "Well, maybe I'm not from Earth. As I matter of fact, I'm not. I'm from the Nep-yar Forest on Betazed. Care to introduce me to the crew?"

            "Why should I? It's none of your business."

            The seemingly identical girl to the one who was speaking said, "Oh, give it a rest, Madison." She stood up and walked over to Scarlett. "Hi. My name is Tatiana Carmicheal . That was my sister Madison and the other one is Abbie Jaspreet. That one is Steryko. He's a Vulcan. That boy with the spiky hair is Judd." Judd was a very weird man with black hair sticking out of his ears and a bunch of matching messy hair on his large head. "Their names are Crazy, Creepy and Contispated," he said. Scarlett shook her head. "I'm Scarlettamaria Troi, but call me Scarlett. Not Commander Scarlett, or Commander Troi, for that matter, because there would be one too many C. Trois around here, or else I'll teach you a lesson right there, right now. I mean it. And this, this is Wesley." Tatiana could tell by the way Scarlett looked at Wesley that she loved him. And so did she.



Scarlett found Wesley tailing after her on her way back to her quarters. "What do you want?" she asked.. Wesley shook his head. "I remember when you were on the Enterprise and we fixed the warp drive."

            "I fixed the warp drive. You handed me tools."

            "Whatever," Wesley replied. "I just wanted to ask you to come to the holodeck with me tonight."

            "They have a holodeck?" Scarlett asked. "Good! I'll be there." She turned to enter her quarters. "See you." The special gaze fell upon them, and she, as the dictionary would put it, "touched him gently with her lips". She turned suddenly and ran into her quarters. Wesley was in a dreamy trance as he headed for his own quarters, so that explained why he bumped straight into the triplets. "Hello," crooned Abbie Jaspreet.

            "How ya doing?" said Madison, trying to gaze into his unfocused eyes.

            "Do you want to come to the On the Ship restuarant with me?" asked Tatiana.

            Now Wesley didn't notice any of this as he tried to walk on, not knowing they were there. They blocked his way. Madison suddenly seized him roughly by the uniform shirt and pulled him into a kiss. Wesley's eyes were angry as he struggled to escape. Scarlett just happened to stick her head out of her quarters to ask him something a split second after Madison grabbed him. Her eyes grew wide and hurt. That hurt changed to anger and she stormed down the hall. Wesley suddenly pushed away from Madison. "Scarlett! Come back!" he cried and ran after her. "Just look what you've caused," he called over his shoulder to Madison. "Scarlett!"

            Madison turned to Tatiana. "Great idea, Tatiana," she said sarcastically. "Using Abbie Jaspreet and I to get Wesley for you. Can't you tell that he's in love with. with--oh what's-her-name? You just want him because he looks nice. You are so greedy! Come on, Abbie." The two girls linked arms and strode down the hall. Tatiana just seized her commbadge thing and threw it angrily to the floor.

            Meanwhile, Wesley had finally caught up with Scarlett. "Scarlett, won't you listen?" Scarlett just turned away bad-temperdly and said, "Computer, can you transport from this location?"


            "Beam me to Room 456, Deck 8." And she was gone. Wesley turned and ran as fast as he could to Scarlett's quarters. "Computer, open this door."

            "This door has been sealed by Commander Scarlett Troi."

            "Scarlett, open up. Please." When several minutes of begging and pleading ended, Wesley shocked himself by running to the nearest replicator. It may not seem all that amazing, but read on.


Scarlett finally heard Wesley leave. She opened the door and stared out at engineering, across the hall, angrily. Why did Wesley have to go and pretend he loved her when he really loved Madison What's-Her-Name? If he didn't want to be with her anymore, why didn't he just say it? Maybe she could learn by listening to his thoughts. No. She couldn't let that interfere with their relationship.

            Wesley appeared in front of her. One hand was behind his back. "Scarlett, I can explain for that." She turned away. "Go away, Wesley." Wesley wasn't about to give up. "Listen to me." Then the story poured out. Scarlett looked at him. "It was an accident?" she said slowly, trying to understand. Wesley nodded. He pulled his arm out from behind his back. A large bouquet of flowers was in it. "Here," he said and handed it to her. She smelled them. "They're beautiful. Wait--you're up to something. I know it." She then noticed the scarlet diamond sparkling in the carnation. "What?" she said to herself and gently wiggled it out. It was a ring with a pure gold band. "Wesley," she breathed, looking up at him. He took a deep breath. "Scarlett, I know you love me and I love you. Will you marry me?"

            "Yes!" exclaimed Scarlett. "Of course. But we have to wait until Deanna and Criker get here. Oh, and the guest list! Deanna and the crew, of course, Jean-Luc Picard, my friends Carson and Kristen from the Carlin, Adrianna Lewison, everyone from the Enterprise! I suppose we'll have to invite my aunt Lwaxana, and Evan VanderHoff from Earth and oh! I have so much to do!" She kissed Wesley gently on the cheek and ran screaming with excitement into her quarters. She just ducked back in time to grab the bouquet. Wesley walke away in a state of pure happiness, nothing else.


A week later, Scarlett was there when Deanna and Criker beamed aboard. The Zimbarian Greeting Squad began his typical greeting, and Criker's eyes zoomed in on Scarlett. "Yes, you might ask what I am doing here," she said. "Guess what. I'm your first officer. No, I'm not glad either. But it was either you or my aunt, so I picked you." She draped one arm over his shoulder, the other over Deanna's. "What do you two think of Wesley Crusher?"

            "He's a very nice boy," said Deanna, "very sure of himself and compassionate. I'd spend a long time naming his good qualities."

            "How about you, Criker?" Scarlett asked.

            "He's nice. Why are you asking me?"

            "Why are you telling me?" Scarlett retorted. "In exactly seven days, two hours, thirty-four minutes and fifty-seconds, Wesley will be part of our big, happy family." She shot a look at Criker, her eyebrows in a solid line.
            Deanna shrieked like a teenager, and Scarlett stumbled back, tripping on the transporter and falling. "What was that for?" she asked. Deanna threw her arms around Scarlett. "I'm just excited, that's all!"


Five days later, Scarlett's quarters were the place to be for the bridal shower. Adrianna Lewison sat upright on one of the couches, eating a bowl of Titarian souffle`. Her mother was chatting away with Wesley's mother Beverly. Deanna's mother and Scarlett's aunt Lwaxana was begging Scarlett to tell her if the ceremony was going to be the tradition Betazoid one or the Earth one. A rather unusal woman whose hat once knocked Scarlett to the ground was trying to get a Duckarian woman to come out of the sonic shower. Scarlett finally said, "Okay, who invited the Duckarian?"

            "I thought you did," Deanna responded.

            "I thought you did," Scarlett told her

             The Duckarian woman was beamed back onto her ship.

            "Just tell me if there are going to be clothes or not," Lwaxana said."If you don't, I won't come."  Scarlett sighed. "Yes, there are going to be clothes."
            "Phew!" said Beverly.


                                                Chapter Fifteen

                                                The Wedding

            The hall outside of On the Ship restuaraunt was completely deserted, except for Scarlett, Deanna and Adrianna. "Are you ready?" Deanna asked her cousin. "If I'm not ready, this ship is an inflatable duck," Scarlett said. The doors slid open, and she walked in, bouquet in hand.

            Wesley was overcome by the sight of his beautiful bride. She was wearing a white dress of imported silk and duchesse satin she had embroidered herself in a 16th century Scottish motif. Her hair was side of her head, and the Pyorrian necklace graced her neck. She smiled at Wesley, waved to Kristen and Carson, did the Vulcan "Live Long and Prosper" thing to Evan. She didn't even let the sight of Criker as Wesley's best man ruin the happiest day of her life yet. As she reached Wesley, Jean-Luc Picard, specially retrieved for the wedding, began the ceremony. When he came to the part that Scarlett was supposed to say, "I do" she said, "Ghty'ge yingh." Wesley said, "What she said." And they kissed. They were together. Together forever.

            At the end of their long kiss, Scarlett frowned and said,"There's something wrong. Out there." She pointed to the open space. Suddenly, the ship rocked. Criker hit his commbadge thing and said, "Raise shields! Now! Red alert!" He glanced at Scarlett. "Sorry to ruin your wedding, Mrs. Crusher-Troi,whatever, but we've got a ship to save." Scarlett nodded. "I know."

            A shimmering beam in the corner caught her attention. A transporter. Suddenly six armed Romulans were there, firing madly at the crowd. Scarlett grabbed the phaser concealed beneath her dress and fired back. One Romulan fell over. She let the long beam graze the other five, two of which joined their buddy on the ground. "Computer!" she yelled over the phaser fire, "Beam Adrianna Lewison to a place without Romulans."


            "I don't care! Anywhere in the ship." Adrianna was gone. Criker felled a Romulan with a blast from his phaser. "Hey! Romulan guy! I'm over here!" said Scarlett, trying to get the last one's attention. When he fired, she dodged by jumping to one side. "Oh! Missed me. Try, try, again, you bad guy!" He shot a long shot at her. She jumped up on the counter and leaped up to hang on a long metal bar. The shot went right under her legs.  "Nice try. Now come on.  You can do it. Aim right for the shiny white stones." He aimed and Scarlett flattened herself to the countertop. "Ooh. Tough break there." She took her own phaser and brought him to the ground. Twirling it like an old Western gun, she blew off pretend smoke. "If we didn't hate each other,

I might ask how you do it all," Criker said. "All in a day's work," she said. "Now let's go give some Romulans the old razzle dazzle." And with that she wheeled out of the door.

            More Romulans were in the halls, firing at innocent people. One of the triplets (who were not invited to the wedding) was trying to fend off a Romulan with her fists, dodging the shots from his weapon. Her sister seized a metal bar from a replicator and whumped him over the head with it. He fell with a sickening thud. "Nice one!" called Scarlett. "Thanks!" said one. "Just so you know, I'm Abbie Jaspreet. Call me Abbie. And you know Madison." More fire pinged around them. Scarlett groaned. "Terrific time for intros," she said. Then an idea hit her. I hope this works. She barely missed a shot as she hurried to the replicator. "Computer, can you replicate me Rocketblades?"



Romulans were dropping like flies at the fire of Criker's phaser. He kicked one in the stomach and then shot him right where he kicked him. Sidestepping, he missed a plank that one Romulan was wielding, only to dive forward again when his phaser was knocked out of his hand. He wasn't able to reach it.The Romulan who got it aimed it at his chest and said, "Any last words?" Criker sighed. This was the end of him.

            "Yeah! See ya! Wouldn't want to be ya!" said Scarlett, zooming around the corner on what appeared to be shoes with rockets, a second pair slung over her shoulder, phaser in hand. She shot him and his comrades before he could respond. Tossing the second pair of Rocketblades, she said, "Put these on in there. They have shields from your upper leg up." She pointed to her quarters. "There's no Romulans in there. I'll unlock it." When he hesitiated, she said, "Well? Go!" He dashed in. Scarlett shot off on her Rocketblades toward the intercrossing tunnels. There were Romulans on the bridge, she knew, now she had to get them before they could completely take over the ship.


Commander Gormet of the Romulan Warbird Ogre smiled in satisfaction. A whole Federation starship was his--with not only one but two captains aboard! And the legendary commander, too. He heard she was also quite beautiful. Yes, he decided. She would make a rather fine wife. Scarlett shot in from the tubes. "Sorry, but this legendary commander is taken," she said and shot her phaser. Gormet was out before he knew what hit him. Scarlett whipped around at just the right moment before a Romulan would have knocked her out. She responded by knocking him out. Then she felt fire rip through her leg. She gritted her teeth, and bent over backwards to shoot the Romulan. That took care of the bridge.  Criker appeared suddenly in the turbolift. "Oh, hi, Criker," said Scarlett, standing upright. "Knock any Romulans out?" Criker nodded. "Twenty-seven, last count. Why did you help me back in the hall?"

            "Look. We're in this together, right? Might as well make the best of it."

            "So you'll take orders from me?"

            "Um, let me think about that. No!" She grimaced. Criker was at her side in an instant.   "You're hurt!"
            "It's just a scratch. I'll be fine."

            "If that's a scratch, I'd hate to see what you'd call a real wound." Scarlett looked at him. "Now look who's quoting ancient Earth," she said with as much of a smile as she could muster.




                                                Chapter Sixteen

                                                The Problem with Q (and Scarlett)

            About six months later, Scarlett sat in her very own first officer's chair. Criker and Deanna were to her left. Wesley was at the helm, with Abbie Jaspreet and Madison to either side. Tatiana had been switched to the Chicagus the week after the Romulan attack; she said it was impossible for her to continue here. Judd was blabbing on and on to another girl named Caroline about Ou-Gi-Yh, some card game. Caroline was trying to ignore him. It was a seemingly normal day, Scarlett said to herself, a break from the past two days which had been days she was sick, until the wall appeared.

            It was practically endless, blocking their way to Yotega 5. Will (that was how Scarlett now referred to him) said, "Not now!" Scarlett stared at the wall. "No!" Suddenly a blinding light was there, and a man in an admiral's uniform appeared. "It's the Q," said Will with a frown. "Ahh, I see Picard's little fledgling has learned to fly," said Q. The bridge was suddenly gone; Scarlett, Will and Deanna found themselves in Will's ready room. Q sat in the chair that was usually occupied by Will. "And Picard's little fledgling is also a lovebird," he said. "But I wasn't invited to the wedding. How sad." Then he saw Scarlett. "Ah, a double Deanna Troi," he said, striding up to her. He stroked her chin. "And I trust she is just as sweet and quiet as the real Deanna Troi?" Scarlett slapped him across the face. "Does that answer your question?" she said tempermentally. A white lightning bolt shot out of his hands to zap her, however, Scarlett caught it in her hand and crushed it. "Guess your powers are zilch," she said. Will and Deanna gaped at her. "How did you do that?" Will asked. "I can't tell you. Not yet. But don't show fear. He can smell it," Scarlett whispered, covering one side of her mouth. She turned back to the Q. "Now how powerful do you think you are?" In a blink of an eye, they found themselves on a Romulan War Bird. Scarlett slapped a hand to her forehead. "Oh boy," she muttered just before the firing began. She reached for her phaser, but it was gone with the wind. "Q!" she yelled angrily. He appeared. "What do you want, Q girl?" he asked, crossing his arms. Scarlett didn't let her guard down. "Look, I'll make you a deal," she said, leaning over and whispering in his ear.
            Deanna and Will were still hearing "Q girl" over and over. {A Q?} Will thought. Scarlett was still whispering in Q's ear. Suddenly his annoying smile spread over his face. "Hmm, that is something to consider," he said, snapping his fingers and disappearing. Scarlett snapped her own fingers and tossed the two phasers that appeared to her cousins. "Wish me luck," she said before disappearing around the corner. The blinding light flashed again, and Scarlett, blowing on her fingers, strode back around the corner. "That was fun," she said, before collapsing on the floor. Deanna dropped to her knees to see if she was alive. She was barely breathing. "She's dying," she said fearfully. Will tried to hit his commbadge thing, but it just made a sad clicking noise. He hurried over to a control panel and began searching for his ship. "It's nowhere nearby," he said. "We're in one of Q's fantasies. Again." He yelled, "Q, look what you did!" but his cry fell on deaf ears. Scarlett sighed, then leaped to her feet. "What? Scared you?" she asked with a laugh. Deanna nearly cried with joy. Then Scarlett snapped her fingers again, and they found themselves on the ship. Wesley ran over to his wife. "Are you okay?" he asked with concern. Scarlett sighed. "Wesley, we have to go."

            "Go? Go where? How long?" Before she could reply, Q was back. "The Continuum accepts your offer," he said. "Come along."

            "I'm not going unless Wesley goes," she responded. "And if you're not going to do that, you might as well-" They were both gone, Scarlett, Wesley and Q.



                                                Chapter Seventeen

            Inside the Continuum, Which, Need I Say, Is Not The Best Place to Be

            Scarlett had been to the Continuum before, when she was young, from the day she was born until eight she had made yearly visits to her aunts. It was, all in all, an okay place, most of the time, except for the court, which she had visited once. Her father was on trial for having a half-mortal child, which was, of course her. She had been no older than four, yet she found the trial very insulting.

            This trip found them in a room with no doors or windows. "Go on," Q said, again crossing his arms, "if my own son can use Q powers like you use a computer, a half-mortal girl like yourself should be able to. Show me. Now. " Scarlett felt a memory racing back. The man testifying against her father. He had curly brown hair and the most unusual brown eyes. Q had them, too. "I remember you," she said. "You were the prosecuter. You were the man that had my father killed." Wesley was startled. "You never told me that," he whispered.

            "If I told you, the Q would come after us," she said. Then she leaned over and said, very quietly, "Watch this." Then she clicked her fingers, and Q had the head of a duck. "Aflack!" he said. Scarlett giggled quickly before Q transformed himself back. "Well done, young mortal," he said. Scarlett felt her temper rise. "You say that one more time," she told him angrily. And he did. Scarlett seized the phaser that suddenly appeared, and fired two warning shots. Into his head. Unfortunately, they had no effect. "Now, wouldn't it be interesting to see you marry my son. You're a perfect match," he said with a quirk, and then, doing the typical Q "I want something" thing, a young man, looking much like his father, appeared, and stumbled back.  "Is this one of your fantasies?" he asked, looking at Scarlett. She's much too pretty to be real, he thought.

            "Q," said Q to his son, "meet Scarlettamaria Troi, the half Q, half human."
            "Actually," Scarlett said, "I'm no longer Scarlettamaria Troi. I am Scarlett Maria Crusher, but I like being called Scarlett Troi, and I'm not marrying any Q, no how, no way, don't think so. Turn me into an ameba if you want, but I will not marry a Q.  And I am not a human. I am 100% Betazoid, and proud of it. Do I make myself clear?"

"Ha!" laughed Q the Sequel. Scarlett narrowed her eyebrows, then without hesitation, turned him to stone. "It should wear off," she said. "Eventually." Q Senior turned her into a frog, for a split second, then she transformed herself back. "Wesley, go!" she exclaimed, snapping her fingers. "No, Scar-" he said before finding himself back on the ship.

The Q powers flashed back and forth. Scarlett became a pig, a dog, a chinchilla and a turtle. Q became an eagle, a cat, a snake and a gecko. Q the Sequel was un-stoned, only to become a CD. Scarlett began to feel like it would never end.


Meanwhile, when Wesley flashed back onto the ship, he tripped back and fell on a computer panel. "Cloaking ship," the voice said. Will was startled. "We have a cloaking device?" he asked in amazement. Deanna rolled her eyes at him. As Wesley sat up, dazed, she hurried over to him. "Are you okay?" she asked. When he nodded, she said, "Where's Scarlett?"

"The Continuum," he replied. "She teleported me here. We have to go back for her!"

Will sighed. "In case you didn't notice, Wes, there's no way to get back. Scarlett was our only connection."

"Wait!" Wesley exclaimed. "I have an idea!" He snapped his fingers, but it didn't work. "At one point I thought I heard Q said that he had made me a Q. I guess not." He shuffled, sulking, out of the bridge.

"I didn't think he'd take it so harshly," said Will. Deanna turned to him. "How would you like to have your life change completely in just a few minutes?" she asked him, then followed Wesley out.


"Take that!" Scarlett yelled for what must have been the two-hundreth time. This was becoming TEDIOUS! Finally she said, "Q, stop." He stopped. "Surrendering?"

"Not on your life. But I will make you a deal." She paused. "I will stay in the Continuum, for one month in your time. Just one month. But I won't stay here without Wesley. If he's not here, neither am I." Q slithered up to her. "But a month is such as short time," he said, his voice smooth as silk. He reached for her chin again. "Won't you stay a little longer?"

Scarlett grabbed his wrist and pulled it away. "Do you want me to slap you again?" she asked. "You may be ageless, but you're not invincible." Q just smirked. "A month it is," he replied, clacking his fingers. The room changed to a Q courtroom, and Wesley was on trial. "Oh, no," Scarlett said. She glanced quickly at who was the judge. Q. She walked over to Wesley, a fake smile on her face. She opened her arms and embraced him. "We have to get out of here," she whispered in his ear. "I know," Wesley said, releasing her. Scarlett went over to Q. "Your Honor, I'm sure your trial on Wesley will go like that," she said, snapping her fingers. Q had glanced quickly at the audience, who were getting quite rowdy. "Get it on with!" one shouted. "Wesley Robert Crusher, the pathetic mortal," Q said, glancing back to where he had last seen them, "you are charged with--" he stopped. Wesley was gone, and Scarlett had gone with him.



                                                                                                                                                                                    Chapter Eighteen

                                                                                                                                                                                    Q's the Word

"Get out of here!" Scarlett screamed the moment she was back. "Warp 9.9. It's completely safe.  Go!" Abbie stabbed visciously at the panel, and the Titan shot off like a lightning bolt. Scarlett slid into her usual chair. "The Q is following," she said nervously.

"No, the Q is here," said Q, spread out on her lap, his hat slapping the side of Scarlett's cheek when he moved his head. "I'd just like to say," said Scarlett, teleporting herself away from him, "that you are a murderer. My father did nothing wrong. He was a Q who married the mortal girl Minevera, sister to the Betazoid ambassador Lwaxana. So what? Sure, he could have married a Q girl, but maybe he loved Minevera more than anyone else, like I love Wesley. And you, you despicable man, you put him on trial...for love! He loved her! You want to see what your trial," she spat out the word, "did to Minevera. I don't care if you do or not!" She clacked her fingers, and a hologram like figure stood in front of them. "Diary entry, Minevera Troi, August 16, 2356. Today is Maria's birthday. She is six years old. She is becoming quite a beautiful girl. Her father would be proud. The happiness of her birthday is dimmed by the fact that we will have to visit the Continuum tomorrow. Again. Ever since Alexanderdied, we have been looked down open by all that live there, except for dear Renee` and Christine, who have always kept us safe. However, I fear we will run into the dreadful Q, the one who killed my darling hus-" Q made Minevera disappear. "Lies," he said with disgust, "lies." Scarlett was ready to scream. "If you think that I am a liar, take it to court. And you are not going to be the judge," she said. Q snapped his fingers. "Let the games begin," he said. 

"This is the Continuum?" Abbie asked. Scarlett had to laugh at her disgust. "Pretty bad, huh?" she said. Wesley tapped her on the shoulder. "Look who is playing the prosecuter," he said. Scarlett looked. It was Q.
"Order!" yelled one of the six judges. "The prosecuter calls Scarlettamaria Troi to the stand." Scarlett stood before them. Q paced in front of her. "You'll never win," he said under his breath. "Are you," he continued, much louder, "or are you not, a half mortal?"

"Yes, I am. I will not deny it."

"Where'd you come from?"

"A small village of Betazed."

"When did you first come here?"

"The day I was born."

"If you had one last chance to use your Q powers, what would you do?"

"I would turn you into an ameba and have a lot of fun in the process."

"That's enough!" Q said. "I call-"

"Wait," Scarlett cut in, "It's my turn to call a witness. I call the Ambassador Lwaxana Troi to the stand." Deanna sighed. With a flash, Scarlett's aunt was there. "Where am I?" she asked, startled.

"Welcome to the Continuum," Scarlett told her. "Home to the most annoying person you'll ever meet." She shot Q a look. "Anyhow, you are on the trial of me, your sister and your brother-in-law. Just answer the questions. Name?"
"Lwaxana Troi, daughter of the-"

"We don't need to know what house you're from!"

"Well, sorry."

"That's okay. Minevera Troi was your younger sister, correct?"


"Did you see how much pain the unjustified killing of her husband caused her?"

"Who couldn't?"

"Okay, that's all I need to know. Goodbye." Her aunt disappeared. Witnesses were called, Q witness, Scarlett witness. Will was the last person called. I hope this turns out well, Scarlett said to Deanna. Then she glanced over to where Q began firing questions at Will.

"How are you related to Miss Mortal here?"
"She's Deanna's cousin, and I'm Deanna's husband."

"Do you know anything about her father?"

"No." Q turned to stand before the judges. "I say that Scarlettamaria Troi be sentenced to life in the Continuum, to make up for her father's betrayal." He smiled that slimy smile.

"What!" Scarlett exclaimed, jumping up. "But that's forever! I object! I refuse to live in the Continuum. Unless...."

"Unless?" prompted Q.

"Wesley becomes a Q, too."

"Never! We will not make a mere mortal a Q."

"Well, then I am not about to stay." The snapping fingers signaled that it was time to go. "Ta-ta, Q."


On the ship, Scarlett found herself at phaser point. "The judges agree. The mortal can live with us, not becoming one of us," Q said, "if you stay in the Continuum forever."

"I do get to visit my friends and family?"

"If you must," Q sighed. Scarlett turned to the recently returned bridge crew. "I will miss you all," she said, and ran to embrace Deanna. "I'll visit," she whispered. "I'll give you anything you want. Anything." She pulled away and looked at Will. "I guess you'll need a new first officer," she said with a smile. Will shook his head. "No, I already have one."


"Well, her mother called her Maria. She has long black hair and emerald eyes." Scarlett blushed, then said, "I'll be here in case anyone needs anything, no matter what." She pulled out a small disk. "I heard you like jazz," she said, then handed him a CD, which was Q the Sequel. "It's ancient Earth. The computer can tell you how to use it." She joined Wesley, who was standing by Q. "See you later," she said, and disappeared.



                                                                                                                                                                                    Chapter Nineteen

                                  One Year Later: The Lousy Lepointes

"Raise shields, engage cloaking device," Will ordered. They were in full swing battle with the Lepointes of Lepointeroia. They had highly advanced weapons, and as the ship shook from photon torpedo blast, Abbie reported, "Shields are at 5%, sir." Will gritted his teeth. They weren't going to make it. The Lepointes were about to blast them to pieces. They showed no mercy.

"Allow me," said a voice from behind. Will twisted in his chair, and there was Scarlett! She was wearing a silk dress with a skirt the color of a sunset, shimmering green sleeves and a blue bodice, with black ankle boots. She still wore the commbadge thing.

She strode up to where Judd had the helm, said, "Move, Judd." As he did, he said, "I know who you can be! Cuckoo!" Scarlett just shook her head and sat down. She hurriedly pressed some buttons on the control panel.

"They're firing," reported Caroline. Scarlett felt harried. She kept working as fast as she could. "Yes!" she cried as the torpedoes hit--the now fully operational shileds. She hi-fived Madison and Abbie. "No, I didn't use the Q powers, Abbie Jaspreet," she answered. Abbie  jumped. "I forgot you can read my mind," she said with a laugh. Scarlett just smiled. "So, anyone want to go on a little foregin experince trip?" she asked. Deanna sensed something was at foot. "To where?" she said. Scarlett shuffled her feet, and coughed the name into her hand.

"What? I didn't hear you."

"Um," Scarlett said and repeated the gesture.


"The Continuum," she blurted out. "Okay, I said it. Does anyone want to go? No one will disturb you. I promise.  I'm a reliable Q.  They won't pick on me or my friends. Or family. Oh, please come! Just for a short time. Wesley and I are so lonely there. Just me 'n him. No one else seems to like us. And I am not cranky, Judd!"

"But you're in denial,"

"I am not!"


"Judd, I am going to turn you into an ameba if you don't stop." Judd snapped his mouth closed. "Thank you." Scarlett turned back. "Anyone?" Abbie looked around, then stepped up. "I'm going," she said. "If you were lonely, wouldn't you want friends to be with you?"

"I'm in," Deanna said. "No doubt about it." Scarlett glanced over at Will. "How about you, Will? How about a little trip to the Continuum? Come on, do it for your cousin." Will rolled his eyes. "But the ship," he said, "who's going to take care of it?"

"Oh, that," Scarlett replied. "That will be taken care of. You will-"

Suddenly, the ship rattled violently. Scarlett gripped the nearest railing. "Those lousy Lepointes," she growled and rushed to the helm. "Shields are at 72%, Will." She looked up. "I think you need a first officer right now more than ever." She slid into the chair. "Who else is ready to rock and roll?"

"I'm not taking that helm," Judd said. "Fine. Be the tactical person. Wesley was always the best anyway." Wesley flashed into the picture. "Helm, Lieutenant," Scarlett said with a glint in her eye, the glint that sent shivers down Deanna's spine. Wesley grinned. "Yes, ma'am." He sat down and began pressing at the panel as the ship shook again. "I'm going over there to get their shields down," Scarlett suddenly announced. Will looked at her, alarmed. "But that's breaking the Prime Directive!" he exclaimed.

"The Prime Directive stinks!" Scarlett shot back. "I'm going over there. We have one chance of saving our skins, because life support is going to fail in ten minutes! And that one chance is to break the Prime Directive." She glared at Judd. "Anyone who argues further will be amebized."  The bright glare made Deanna look away. When she looked back back, Scarlett, Madison and Abbie were gone.


The Lepointes ship was similar to Claude` Picard's. It was large, brightly light and grand. Many of the long necked, orange skin, silver eyed Lepointes bustled around. Scarlett marched up to what seemed to be the head Lepointe and said, "Halt your attack."
He turned. "Ahh, my beauty," he said. Scarlett seized her phaser and held it to his head. "Say that one more time," she growled, "and I turn you into an ameba. Refuse to surrender, and I shoot." The Leopinte twitched nervously, then held up his long arms in surrender. Scarlett tossed phasers to Madison and Abbie. "Take them away," she said. Madison saluted. "Yes, ma'am!" The two began shuffling Lepointes out of the ship and into the brig. Scarlett found what seemed to be the bridge and slid into the captain's chair. "Very...comfortable," she said sarcastically.


Back on the bridge, Judd reported, "The Lepointes are hailing us, Captain."
"On screen," Will ordered and slid forward just a little. Deanna glanced at him. He was nervous.

"Salutations, Captain Will!" said a cheerful Scarlett Troi. "I'm working on getting life support on your ship back online. If it begins to fail, let me know. We've got a whole Lepointe ship to ourselves." Will twisted a little. "Good...good. I just don't know how to report you to the nearest admiral, Selene."

"Whoa. Rewind and freeze. Report me? For what?"

"You broke the Prime Directive."
"Prime Directive, huh? Don't tell me you haven't broken it once or twice? Eh!" Will looked a little downcast. "Well..."

"Sir, there's a fleet of Lepointe ships attacking from the rear," Judd said nervously. "And life support is failing on decks 4 and 5."

"Evacuate those decks," Will said with anxiety. "Scarlett, you need to get life support up!" He heard a click, and Scarlett replied, "It is up." Will glanced back at Judd. "Confirmed, sir. Life support is up." Will turned towards the viewer. "Did you..." he began and made the motion of snapping his fingers. Scarlett nodded slowly, a gleam in her eye. "Let's go show those Lepointes what we're made of. Get your weapons ready," she said and disappeared from the viewer. "You're going to do what she says?" Judd asked.

"You heard her, Mr. Iverson. Wesley, let's go!"

"Right." Wesley began tapping the panel, and the Titan, along with the captured Lepointe ship swung around.

Ready to rock their world? Deanna heard ring through her head. Her cousin was not forgetting she was a doubt about it.


Scarlett gripped the side of the rock hard chair. "Move around behind the last ship," she said, "so they can't see us unless they switch their viewer to rear view." Abbie did as she was told. "Something's up," she said with a smile. Scarlett just pointed at the back of the Lepointes shields. "They are none too bright," she said and gestured toward the arrow saying, "Shields." Madison grinned. "You want me to fire, right?"  Scarlett scolded her teasingly. "I'm supposed to be the mind reader here," she said. "But that's right." The brilliant bolts of orange light shot out of the Titan and the astray Lepointe ship simaltaneously. Scarlett grinned. "I see Will thinks for himself. What's the shield status?" Before Abbie could answer the ship lurched. "More lousy Lepointes," Scarlett muttered.

"Our shields are at 97%, theirs 10%," Abbie said. "Open a channel to the lead ship," Scarlett said.

"Channel open." A rather ugly Lepointe was clearly visible on the screen. He had a ruff of magenta hair on top of his head. Scarlett shuddered. "Hello, Amosix!" called out the Lepointe. "How goes the--wait, you're not Amosix!" Scarlett rose and strode up to where she could look him in the eye. "No, I'm not Amosix. My name is Commander Scarlettamaria Troi Crusher, to be formal, Scarlett to my friends, which you're not one of, so call me Commander Troi, please 'cause I go by my maiden name. Bljeghbe'chugh vaj blltegh."
"Klingon. Surrender or die." The Lepointe looked around nervously, then shoved his arms up in the air.  The viewer flicked off to space. Suddenly, a large metallic cube showed itself in front of the Lepointe ship. It began to emitt a long purple beam, englufing each ship, one by one. Scarlett stared at it. "What is that?" Madison was already punching the description of the ship into her panel. "The Borg," she read, "first seen in 2365 by Jean-Luc Picard, half-organic, half-machine. The ships are literally invincible, because they can repair themselves within an hour, depending on the damage. The cubes and spheres have long purple tractor beams which drain shields. Then the Borg vessel fires on the unlucky soul." She looked up. Scarlett was still staring out into space. "We don't have a prayer," she murmured.  The sudden flash, however, was all to familiar. "Q," she sighed. Q was draped across her arms, looking first at her, then at the Borg Cube. "Ooh, looks like you're out of your league, Commander Troi." She dumped him out. "I don't need your help, Q. No one does. I think you should take your hunk of worthless self and shape up or ship out." Madison and Abbie gawked at her. She continued to amaze them. Q, however, just held up a little dish, the kind amebas are put in. Scarlett just said, "You don't scare me, Q. I have relatives in the Continuum. They'll turn me back without a single thought. And I won't tell you who they are." Q just shrugged. "Well, can't say I didn't warn ya." He disappeared. Scarlett slid into the chair again. "Fire on them," she said, "randomly scattered. We've got to get them before they get us." The short, quick orange beam zoomed toward the Borg ship, which, much to Scarlett's suprise, took out a chunk of it. "Fire again." The order, carried out, damaged another part of the ship. Before Scarlett could open her mouth, the vessel blew up. Her jaw dropped. 

"We're being hailed," Madison said.

"On screen." A very relieved Will Riker was there. "I have only three things to say. One, I won't report you to Admiral Selene."
"Thank goodness! I never could stand Mean Bean Selene. She always tormented me. 'Work harder, Alexis.' I'd say, 'My name is Scarlett, not Alexis.' And she'd say, 'I must have gotten you confused with Captain Picard's daughter.' And I'd say, 'I guess you did.' And then she'd say-"

"We get the idea," Will broke in. "The other thing I wanted to say is that we're going to be towing the Lepointes to the nearest starbase. D' you and Wesley want to stick around, or head back to the Continuum?" Scarlett shuddered. "We're going to stick around. I hate the Continuum. What's the last thing?" Will opened his mouth, but was interrupted by Q. "Good show, Commander Troi! I see you passed your first test with ease!"

"First test? What?"

"Just to see if you could actually handle a crisis like such without your powers."

" Tests? Q, there were people in danger here! Madison! Abbie! Will! Deanna! Steryko! Judd! Well, he's a pathetic person but just the same-" Q just smirked. "Only two tests left, my young mortal." He disappeared. Scarlett just shook her head. "I wonder what the next tests will be," she murmured. "What was the last thing, Will?"

"It's the-" He began coughing uncontrolablly. He dropped to his knees and fell over, lifeless. Deanna tried to rush to his side, but she cried out in pain, pressing her fingers to her forehead. She fell into the just beginning lifeless pile.
Wesley now had the bridge. He stepped over to the captain's chair, but before he could get there, he turned to look at his wife. "Scar-" he yelled and drooped over.  Scarlett screamed and tried to teleport herself over there, but nothing happened. "That darned Q," she said under her breath. "I'm transporting over there," she told Abbie and Madison. "Computer, beam me over to the Titan."

"Transporters are off-line."

"Augh! Get me a shuttle then."
"There are no shuttles aboard this vessel."

"How about an escape pod?"

"No escape pods."

"Don't tell me you can't even get me a bicycle so I can peddle into endless space."


"I asked you not to tell me that." Scarlett crossed her arms. "Q! If this is another one of your mangy tests, I'm not standing for it." No response. "Maybe I should just hail another Federation vessel. Yeah, that's a good idea. I'll hail a Federation vessel. Madison, hail nearest Federation vessel."

"Opening channel," Madison responded. A tall, red-haired boy, no older than Wesley, stood in a dark ship in front of them. "I am Lieutenant Jason Frieson, acting captain of the U.S.S. Starshine. Identify yourself."

"I'm Commander Scarlett Maria Troi, first officer of the U.S.S. Titan. We have a problem aboard the ship, some sort of epidemic. I, Madison and Abigail Jaspreet Likelike are the only ones not infected. We need to get over to the ship. We need you to transport us out." Jason paused. "I can't do anything without Captain Kalakaua's permission." Scarlett just looked into his eyes. Her stare was hypnotizing, and the lieutenant gave in. "All right. We'll send a shuttle over to get you." Scarlett smiled. "Sorry to burst your bubble, Lieutenant Frieson," she said, "I'm married." Jason jumped. "I'll explain later," Scarlett told him, "just get a ship over here and get it fast." He saluted. "Yes, ma'am! It will take about two hours." Scarlett sighed as the screen showed only endless space again. She turned to Abbie. "Abbie, I want you to see if there's any possible way to get him here faster. Madison, let's see if we can get the shuttle bay doors open. We're going to welcome them with open arms." She spun around, her dress flaring out. "What was that, Madison? You like Jason Frieson?" Madison's cheeks turned a deep crimson. "He and I knew each other," she murmured, "from Lesanon, our home planet. We were in love as teenagers. I haven't seen him since Academy graduation. I missed him." Scarlett put her arm around Madison's shoulder, then plunked down on the floor. "I know how you feel," she said, then glanced at her ancient Earth watch. "We have a while. Let me tell you the story of Wesley and I. I grew up in the Nep-yar Forest on Betazed. I often ventured out into the forest, where there was a secret lake, and wrote in my diary. When my father was killed, my mother and I grew apart, bit by bit. She felt it was time for me to grow up. I was eleven years old. She sent me off to the Carlin, where I met my friends Carson and Kristen. We did everything together. One day, Kristen and I were going to the holodeck, but Kristen wanted to stop by engineering and visit her father, Andrew. When we got there, they were preparing to eject the warp core. I walked up to Alexei N. Reminev and told him to move out of the way. I reached into the dilithium crystal chamber and pulled them out. The warp core shut down. Lexei was hopping mad, but when he checked it out later, he found that the way I had shut down the warp core was the only way to end this situation. He threw a big party in the holodeck, in a Romanov ballroom. I wore the most beautiful satin dress, from my aunt, you see. Soon people were coming to me for their break-downs, from replicators to relationships. Years later, the Enterprise said, "Yo, Carlin! We need that officer of yours, and we need her fast." What they didn't know was that I wasn't even seventeen. My birthday was in seven months. You should have seen Jean-Luc's face when I met him. Yes, Abbie, I do call him Jean-Luc to his face. Anyway, I was wandering around the ship, lost, and I ran into Wesley. Literally. We hit it off right away. One thing led to another. We went off on this crazy mission to rescue Jean-Luc, I had to go, we left, I missed him, we met up at Deanna's wedding fourteen years later." She sighed dreamily. "We've been together ever since." Madison stared at her. "Wow. You were in love for fourteen years?" When Scarlett nodded, she whistled. "Whoa. That's even longer that Jason and I." Scarlett just stared out at the viewer. "Wesley," she said, "I hope he's all right." She shifted her attention. "Abbie, Madison, let's get a move on it. We have jobs to do and we're going to do them." She leaped up. "And besides, if we just sit around feeling sorry for ourselves, we'll just feel worse. Trust me." She backfliped down the hall, her skirt flying everywhere, and Madison hurrying after her.



                                      Chapter Twenty

             The Last Two Mangy Tests, A Klingon Heritage and Chains

Abbie could do nothing to speed up Jason's arrival, unfortunately. An endless two hours passed before a sleek, gray ship pulled into the Lepointe hangar. As the door lifted open, the three girls saw a crew of six. Jason Frieson was behind a tall, long-haired man with black skin and a ridge down his forehead. A Klingon. The Klingon bowed to the trio. "Greetings. I am Commander Deremin, first officer of the Starshine. You are acquainted with Lieutenant Frieson, this is his sister Ensign Louisa Frieson, their father Dr. Ezra Frieson, and their mother Lieutenant Commander Gretl Edmunson Frieson. The man in the back is Lieutenant Quentin." Quentin had a shock of strawberry blond hair, green eyes and a pair of thick black glasses perched upon his nose. Scarlett knew he wasn't who he said he was as soon as she set her eyes upon him. The man glared at her. "Problem?" he asked, his nose sticking up in the air. Scarlett shook her head. "No...not at all." Quentin muttered to himself and went to stand behind Gretl. Scarlett just rolled her eyes. "Real pleasant," she said sarcastically. Deremin shrugged. "You'll get used to him. Is this all your crew?" When Scarlett nodded, he motioned to the shuttle. "Come along."

The ship was smaller than it looked. There were three chairs....and one long bench for the rest of the crew. Scarlett scrunched onto it. "Madison! Get off my leg! You're crushing it!" Madison giggled. "I am not." Quentin was still glaring at them. "Do you mind?" Scarlett stared back at him. "You say you're a scientist?"
"Yes. I specialize in dilithium chrystals."

"Where do dilithium chrystals come from, exactly?"

"Dilithia." Now the shoe was on the other foot. Scarlett was glaring at Quentin. "You're no scientist. You don't even have blond hair. I don't know who you are, but you are no scientist." She yelled out to Deremin. "Hoi, Commander! You've got an unauthorized passenger back here. He claims to be a scientist specializing in dilithium chyrstals. He doesn't even know where they come from." Deremin didn't respond as the ship pulled into the shuttlebay. A mad scramble for the door resulted in Scarlett getting bowled over and pushed out first. She got to her feet and began running headlong for the shuttlebay doors. "To the bridge," she cried and snapped her fingers to see if her powers were back. No. Drat that Q.


The bridge was empty, Scarlett found when she reached it. "They were probably all taken to the infirmary," she murmured, and began to head down there. She saw a dark haired, Asian woman was going from bed to bed in the long room. "Who are you?" Scarlett demanded. The Asian woman glanced up. "I am Dr. Virginia Hartleis," she said. "I am the doctor aboard this ship." Scarlett suddenly noticed Wesley lying pitifully on a bed towards the end. She shrieked and ran down to him. "What's wrong?" she asked.

"He's dying. They all are." Scarlett knelt and began to cry. "'s just not possible...he wasn't sick or, this can't!" She leaped up and flew to Deanna's side. "" Her voice faultered as she realized. "Quentin," she said. "I must get Quentin immediatly." Virginia stared at her. "Quentin? Who's Quentin?" But it was too late. Scarlett had dashed out the door.

She ran down the hall, her skirt swishing wildly and her hair flying every which way. She saw Quentin rounding the corner ahead. "Q!" she shouted. "I know it's you. Q, I need your help." Q turned around. "I thought you didn't need my help...that I should get my hunk of worthless self and shape up or ship out." Scarlett shook her head. "I need your help. I mean it. I'll give almost anything to see these people alive and well again. Wesley. Deanna. Will. Steryko the Vulcan. Judd...well, maybe not Judd. But you get the picture." Q smiled. "Your mortal friends have made a suprising recovery," he said.     

"And my powers?"

"Will be restored to you when the last test is over."

"All right. I will take one more test. One and one alone. Is that clear enough for your small mind?"

"That's it. You're going down." He began moving toward Scarlett, who was jogging backwards down the hall. "You are no match for an athletic girl, ancient one!" she called, trying to aggrivate him. "I will never be as old as you. Ever. Face the facts, Q. I will always be better. Even without my Q powers. Your powers are just a cover-up for your weak self." Q was gaining on her. Scarlett never took her eyes off him. "Did I ever tell you that I have Klingon heritage?"

"You're lying to me," Q growled.

"Never." He was close enough to grab her blue boot, but she kicked forward, knocking him down. She pulled her boot from his grasp, then cried out. She could sense it. The Q were coming to the Titan. She was dead in the water.
"No," she told herself. "I'm not going to be beat by some people with pathetic powers. Don't think so." She backed up, took a running start, and leaped over Q. "Gotta fly!" She hit the ground, and, heart pounding, began running as fast as she could down the hall. She had to find some way to get her aunts Renee`, and Christine, to help her. They were some of the leading citizens of the Continuum. Obviously, Q wouldn't have picked on her if he knew. She whizzed by someone, who shouted, "Scarlett, wait!" She looked back. It was Wesley. He caught up with her. "Nice to see you, Wesley!" she exclaimed. "But we can't talk now. We've got a bunch of Continuum creeps coming who want nothing more than to pound you and I to little bits of dust."

"But haven't you got your powers?"

"Sorry to disappoint you, Wes," she replied before they they entered the shuttle bay. She yelled, "Hey, Ensign! Wake up! I need a shuttle and I need it now!" The young ensign, named Ashely Wilkenson, jolted awake. "Miss Scarlett," he said, tilting the the fedaro he always wore. "What're you 'ere for?"


"Yes, a shuttle! Well, we've got m'ny fine v'rities 'ere, such as the-"

"Ashley, there's no time for idle chit chat. Just give me the fastest shuttle you've got!"  Ashley pointed. "You're standing right in front of it." Scarlett whirled around. A small, gray, ship sat there. Scarlett sighed. "Guess it will have to do," she murmured and yanked open the door. The inside was even smaller. She sat in one of the controlling seats, Wesley in the other. She felt Wesley's elbow dig into her side. He was turning the shuttle on and checking the systems for problems. Just before slamming the door, Ashley said, "Good luck t' both of ye."  The shuttle began to rise slowly off the floor. Scarlett gritted her teeth. The Q could be here any minute and they could both be dead meat. She glanced over at Wesley. He was nervous. He was hiding something from her. She knew. "Tell me, Wesley," she said. "We're married. You can tell me your secrets and I can tell you mine." He looked at her. "I..I..can create another dimension," he stammered. "We can escape from the Q there. The only problem is that we might not get out." Scarlett sighed as they entered open space. "It's not worth the risk. I just wish you had told me sooner. I don't like when people keep secrets from me. But I've been keeping one from you. I am pregnant." Wesley jumped up, banging his knee hard on the panel. "What?!! How long have you known?"

"Just a few weeks. That's all. Augh!" Wesley looked straight ahead. The Q were blocking their way. Scarlett began furiously pounding the panel. "Watch this," she said with a gleam in her eye. The ship swung around and zoomed away from the endless chain-like wall. The Q followed, building speed as they came. Scarlett suddenly stopped it, whipped it to the side and zipped off in that direction. "Make wide zigzags," she told Wesley. "Jean-Luc made the mistake of going in a straight line. The Q can only travel in a straight line. We might be able to throw them off a little if we zig-zag." She glanced back. The Q were following, firing their own version of photon torpedoes. "If it's war they want," Scarlett said under her breath, "it's war they'll get." The ship rocked as the torpedoes hit the shields. "Let's fire."  The short orange bursts headed straight for the Q. The wall disappeared before the bursts hit. "They're gone for now," Scarlett told Wesley. "But they'll be back." A sudden flash told her that someone was. "We've missed you, Maria," said a soft, gentle voice from behind. Scarlett whirled around. "Christine Daae`! Renee` Livonette`! I haven't seen you in twenty-three years!" A tall, long, dark-brown haired woman opened her arms, her shimmersilk dress sleeves flaring out. Scarlett ran into them like she hadn't since she was six years old. The woman embraced her. "Scarlettamaria Troi. It's been too long, niece." Wesley raised his eyebrows. "Niece?" Scarlett turned back to him. "Yes. This are my aunts Christine and Renee`." The shorter, red-haired woman strode over to him. "And you are?" she asked in a husky voice. Wesley extended his hand. "Wesley Crusher." The woman looked him up and down before taking his hand.  "Duchess Renee` Livonette`, of the Continuum. My sister Christine Daae` is a Countess, of the Continuum." Scarlett, released from Christine's grasp, was at Wesley's side. "Wesley is a very good friend of mine....and he is also my husband." Christine gasped. "You didn't tell me you were married!" Scarlett nodded and Renee` shrieked. Then the ship rattled again. "We must return," Christine said solemnly. Scarlett sighed. "I suppose you must."  They were gone.  Scarlett turned back to the panel, but she was disappearing. "Wesley, go back to the Titan," she managed to say before going completely. Not again, Wesley thought. He reversed the ship and began heading forlornly back to the Titan.


Scarlett found herself chained to a wall in a dank, dark dungeon. One of her arms, she discovered, was not chained. As she tried to open the engraved silver locket hanging around her neck, in which she kept a lockpick, she saw the black boots. Her eyes traced up to black pant clad legs, which led to a maroon shirt, which led to the face of Q. "Why?" she demanded. "Why did you chain me up? Why not Q the Sequel, the little tag along, the annoying little-" Q tried to interrupt her, but she kept talking. "You should really get a copyright before there are more of you than this universe can stand. You know what I'm saying, right? Good. Don't give me that lip, old one. I know what you're thinking. Yes, I'm talking to you.  Oh, I just realized something hilarious.  You ready? You're sure? Okay. Here it goes: two of you are two too many! Ha ha ha!" Q just rolled his eyes. "I believe if I leave you here you will go absolutely mad." Scarlett glared at him. "I'm not the mad one here," she retorted. Q turned, but then whirled around. "Before I forget, only one thing will release you from your prision.  And you will be here until you can figure it out. Which may be until the end of eternity." He grinned. "And your little pet Wesley will be long dead." He disappeared before her eyes, and she reached for her lockpick.


Wesley docked at the shuttle bay, and sadly walked out, his head down, thinking that he might never get her back. He might never see her beautiful emerald eyes again, never hear her firey tongue lash out at some unfortunate soul, never feel the silkiness of her long black hair, which she had pulled back into tight curls lately, never-- He bumped right into Deanna. "Wesley," she said. "Where were you? Will's been looking for you everywhere. You and Scarlett. I'm just going to see if she's in her old quarters-"

"Don't bother," Wesley said. "She's not there. Q has done something with her. I have an eerie feeling that I will never see her again." He began to shuffle down the hall again, but Deanna followed him. "Eerie feeling?" Wesley didn't answer. He just sadly pressed the button to their quarters and entered. Deanna stepped forward one second too late. The doors had closed, and wouldn't open. "Computer, override lock." Nothing happened. She knocked. "Wesley, open this door."
"Not until you tell me what I want to know," came a muffled voice from inside.

"What do you want to know?"
"Your planet's death ritual."




                                                                                                                                                                                    Chapter Twenty-One

                                                                                                                                                                                    "Wesley, Snap Out of It!"

"What?!!" Will exclaimed. Deanna sighed. "He wanted to know the Betazed death ritual," she said. "It begins with a day long ceremony, where the dead person's eyes are removed and crystalized-" Will held up his hands. "Why did he want to know that?"

"The Q have it in their head that Scarlett must pass tests every once and a while to prove that she is one of them, but I think they're up to something else. I think they want to kill her. Wesley says he has an eerie feeling that he will never see her again, and I feel it, too." She stopped to take a deep breath, but before she could continue, a voice broke over the comm system. "This is Lieutenant Wesley Crusher speaking. Captain Riker, your ship is now under my control. I'm going to get Scarlett, whether you like it or not." Will shot up from his chair and bolted out the door, Deanna following right after him. Wesley was not on the bridge. "Oh no, Captain Riker, I'm not on the bridge. That's too obvious. No, I'm in a place where you'll never find me."  Will was irritated. "Wes, I know this is very hard for you but you need to listen to me-"

"No, listen to me. You might be my commanding officer, but love conquers everything. Including commanding officers. Get over it." Will strode quickly toward the turbolift. "Deck 16," he said. Deanna jumped in beside him one second before the doors would have closed. "Why are we going to Deck 16?" she asked. Will's eyes were sharp, as was his tone. "The holodeck is on Deck 16. If my theory is correct, Wesley sought cover in the holodeck. That's why we're going to Deck 16." The doors opened and the two walked out. "Are you sure, Will?" Deanna implored. He nodded. "I'm positive." He walked right into the holodeck, only to find that it was empty. Deanna rolled her eyes and leaned over to a computer panel. "Computer, locate Wesley Crusher."

The computer paused a split second and then said, "Wesley Crusher is en route to Deck 4, Deck 6, Deck 1-"

"Thank you." Deanna stuck her head into the holodeck. "Will, Wesley's in the turbolift." Will popped back out. "He was right above us all the time!" he exclaimed. They charged for the turbolift and went in. Deanna looked up. There was Wesley, hanging to the ceiling. "Captain Riker, Counselor-Commander Troi," he said with dismay and dropped down. Will stared at him. "Wesley, why?" he asked. When no answer followed, he said, "Wesley! Snap out of it!"  Wesley looked up at him. "I need her back, Captain,"  he replied. "I can't live without her now." Deanna stopped for a second. "I will help you, Wesley," she said gravely.


Scarlett struggled at the chains once more. She had tried everything. The lockpick, her teeth. She was getting a fever, she was sure of it. Finally she could stand it no longer. "Q, I have failed your tests and frankly, I don't care." When there was no response, she began to sob. "Q! I want nothing more than to return to my family. Rid me of my powers, I beg of you." She tried to drop to her knees, but the chains would not allow her. She lay flat against the wall and closed her eyes. She saw Wesley before her as clearly as she could see the wall earlier. She began to call out to him.


Wesley gripped the first officer's chair. He hadn't been the commander for years, just the commandee. He shot a quick look at Will and Deanna. Will seemed nervous and jumpy; Deanna seemed calm and composed. But her composure was broken when she cried out. Will looked at her with alarm. "What's wrong?" Deanna could not speak. Tears were running down her white face. Her eyes were squeezed shut. She shuddered violently. Will hit his commbadge. The grim voice of Virginia Hartleis answered him. "Yes?"

"We need a medical team up here now. Something terrible is happening to De-"

"No," the shaky whispering voice of Deanna Troi answered. "It's not me that something terrible's happening to. It's....oh Maria...."  Wesley shot out of his chair. "Can you hear her? What is she saying?" Deanna's eyes remained screwed shut. " me....I'm not a Q anymore....oh, I don't want to be....Q....Take my Q powers away.....I beg of me...." Wesley could stand it no longer. He felt a smooth sensation running through him, from the tips of his toes, to the hair on his head. It was powerful, and all that power was gathering in his fingertips. He raised them and directed them forward. A bright white light filled the room, fading to a rich pink. The others had to look away, and when they turned their eyes back, Wesley was gone.


Scarlett was running through a meadow, an endless meadow, filled with brightly colored flowers in full bloom. Her mother, in a long, beautiful white dress, was standing by one of the larger flowers, one that reached over seven feet. She opened her arms to her daughter, who tried to run toward them, but someone caught her by the shoulder. "You have passed," said a energetic voice. She turned to see Q. "I have not passed," she replied and began to run toward her mother again. Q held her to her place. "You're right, you haven't passed," he told Scarlett. "Wesley has. It was with his power that saved you. You are a Q once more."


Outside Scarlett's world, Wesley paced nervously. "You said she would snap out of it," he said to Q. He snapped his fingers. "Speed it up a little!" Scarlett slowly opened her eyes. The first thing she said was an order. "Release me. Now." Q folded his arms across his chest. "Release yourself. You can." Scarlett paused for a second, then, as the chains unlocked, ran to Wesley. "Oh Wesley, is it true? Did you save me?" Wesley looked at Q, puzzled, but he just nodded. "Uh, yeah," he replied. Scarlett glared at him. "Wesley, I may have been chained to a wall for-- how long? Five days? Okay--five days, but I can still tell what you're thinking. Wesley! Stop that! I won't--oh, oh! That's what you're thinking! Excellent idea!" She smiled at Q. "Kiss your powers good-bye!" When Q gasped, she said, "Well, Wesley and I better be going now." She waved cheerfully and disappeared. Q sank down onto the floor. "I gave you your powers back," he muttered, "but look how you repay me. This is pathetic."

Sighing, he snapped his fingers, just to remember how it felt, and was suprised to find himself on a Class L planet.…

                            Chapter Twenty-Two

"I'm Your Average, Legendary and Beautiful Commander. I Just Happen to Be a Q."

It was the typical day at Starfleet Medical Center, where Wesley's mother was in charge. A short ensign with shoulder-length blond hair was laying on a bed, where a team of doctors worked on his heart. "We're going to lose him," said one of them nervously. Wesley's mother, whose name was Beverly, hurried over. She began shouting out medical tools to the young and naive Lisel Jozejhii", who dropped one to the floor. A white liquid spilled out. Beverly slapped a hand to her forehead. Why couldn't she have gotten more experienced doctors?

A long buzz began to ring in her ears. She turned, but it was nearly too late. "There's nothing we can do," she said to the ensign's mother. The mother began to weep uncontrollably. The flash behind was one that was all too familiar. "Q," she sighed and spun around. The girl standing there shuddered. "Ooh, don't remind me. I can't understand why anyone likes that guy, anyway. Well, I was thinking that it was time we visited." Beverly raised an eyebrow. "In case you've forgotten, I'm your daughter-in-law? Scarlett Maria Troi, or Scarlettamaria Crusher, although I do prefer the maiden name, I don't really care,  First Officer of the U.S.S. Titan. If you want me to give the number, I can do that, too. NCC-51692."

"Oh....Why haven't I heard from Wesley for over a year?" Scarlett shook her head. "One second." God tells me that it's not your turn yet, Ensign Michael Crawford, she thought before the long line began its normal beeping again. "What the..." muttered Beverly.

"He's back to normal," reported Lisel. Beverly turned to her daughter-in-law. "Now tell me why I have not heard from Wesley in a year?"

"Well, we've been kind of busy in the Continuum. You know, just settling in."

"Did I hear you right? Continuum? A Q in Starfleet?"

"Yes. I'm your average, beautiful and legandary commander. I just happen to be a Q. We can't change who we are, you know. I didn't like who I was, but I learned to accept it. Wesley does. So should you. And if you don't, well, that's just too bad for you. You're stuck with me." She smiled. "There's a certain son of yours waiting around somewhere...." Wesley appeared and fell over. "Wesley!" exclaimed his mother and embraced him when he got to his feet. Scarlett hung back. This made her miss her mother more than ever. Her mother and her father. There was a statue of them in the Yik-Ami Village, the enscription bearing the words, "The Lady Minevera and the Honorable Alexander Troi." Two young girls hung to their legs. In smaller letters, it read, "With their daughters Linnea Angelica and Scarlettamaria." She shook her head. This was just making her ruin Wesley's joyful moment with his mother. But the joyful moment was broken. "I hate love stories," said a familiar voice. Too familiar. Scarlett saw Wesley turn. "Scarlett..." he murmured. "I know," Scarlett murmured back. She spun. "Don't you have something better to do? Like giving that, that son of yours what he deserves?" Q shook his head. "No." Scarlett gasped. "Never!" Q glared at her. "Never what?" I will never become Lucy VanPelt! Not on your life! Oh, close your mouth, Q. You are not a codfish. I said, "Close your mouth. Do you hear me? I said, do you hear me?" Q just stood there. Then they found themselves in an old Earth neighborhood. Scarlett glanced down. Her dress was a blue flowered one with a lacy underskirt. Looking up, she saw that Wesley was wearing a dark blue and green shirt with a pair of tan shorts. Deanna had a light blue dress with daisies all over. Her hair was...blond! Scarlett stifled a laugh.

Will was decked out in an orange shirt with a grey stripe around the middle and the same tan shorts as Wesley. His shoes were oversized and black. His hair was a reddish color, spiked. He had a crude painting in his hand. But the funniest thing was that he had shrunk at least a foot. He was now at Scarlett's mid-chest. "This is crazy," he muttered.

Wesley's mother was clothed in a blue dress, like the rest of the girls, but hers was covered with ivy vines. Her hair was extremely red. And I mean red. Redder than the embers from a dying fire. Beside her stood a sheepish Jean-Luc Picard. He was wearing a pair of black shorts and a yellow shirt with a black zigzag around the middle. "Why are you staring at me?" he asked. "You know me....Charlie Brown." Scarlett stared, wide-eyed. "You are not Charlie Brown. You are Captain Jean-Luc Picard, age 71, of the starship U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D or something like that. You had a daughter, Alexis Yvette` Picard, and an evil brother, Claude` Picard. You never married. You are intelligent, self-centered and moody." Jean-Luc shook his head. "I'm afraid I haven't the slightest idea of what you're talking about." Scarlett sighed and turned to her cousin. "Deanna, isn't he Jean-Luc Picard?" Deanna raised an eyebrow. "Deanna...who's Deanna? I like it! That's my new philosophy! Who's Deanna! That's a good philosophy!" She walked off, talking to herself. A sweet sound began to sound in Scarlett's ears. She turned to see Wesley bent over a piano, playing an old Earth song. She strode over to him and laid on his piano. "Play "Yik-Ami Elizabetha Legend," she breathed. "Play for me, Wesley." Wesley looked up. "Scarlett!" he exclaimed. "I don't know what's happening; I'm just drawn to the piano. I can't play anything else."

"Wesley, this is a Q fantasy. Something is fishy here and it's not the tuna suprise in the school cafeteria. Your mother is Peggy Jean, the Little Red Haired Girl....I am Lucy are Schroeder...Will is Franklin...Madison is Snoopy...Abbie is Woodstock....Deanna is Sally....Q is Linus....He's trying to kill us all....We must go." Suddenly, they were back on the Titan. "Okay, that was strange," Scarlett murmured. She glanced around. "Jean-Luc!" she exclaimed and walked over to him. "Haven't seen you since my wedding. What a joyous occasion. You'll never believe what happened in that time. Oh, you do want to know? Wesley was going to contact you, but we've been settling in."

"Oh," Jean-Luc said. "On the ship?" Scarlett smiled and shook her head. "No...the Continuum. Yes, Jean-Luc, I am a Q. Don't hate me for it. I can't change it. I don't use my powers like Q. I use them to save our skins-" A rattle of the ship told her it was time to save their skins. Wesley dashed over to the helm. "A strange reading, sir," he reported to the two captains, Will and Jean-Luc. "It's unlike anything I've ever seen before." He stopped, then continued, "They're hailing."

"On screen," the two captains said simaltaneously. A tall, spiky-haired young man stood there, probably one of the most handsome men Scarlett had ever seen. "Salutations. I am Obi-Wan Kenobi, and this ship is on a peaceful mission. Identify yourself." Scarlett stepped forward. "Obi-Wan Kenobi, eh? I am Commander Scarlett Maria Troi, Scarlett to my friends, don't call me it unless you are my friend. This is the U.S.S. Titan, NCC-51692. I am the first officer. William Riker is the captain; if you have official business, he's your guy. Otherwise, talk away." Obi-Wan paused, then turned back. "Master! I think you should see this." Scarlett shook her head. "They're too slow. I'm going over." Will sprang foward. "No! It might be a-" Scarlett was gone before he could finish. "Trap."


The ship was small and crowded. When Scarlett first appeared, a tall girl wearing an intriqute dress and white face makeup shrieked and fell back. "Take it easy," Scarlett said, prying into the depths of her mind. "What an interesting name...Sabe`. Where'd you get it?" Before Sabe` could answer, Scarlett whipped around to face a man holding a tube of light to her neck. "Sorry, sir Dude-With-The-Light-In-His-Hands, you can't kill me. Don't ask why. It's too difficult to explain." The man dis-ignited his tube of light and tucked it into his belt. Scarlett stared at him. "A Jedi, eh? Interesting name....Jedi. I've never heard it before. Where are you from, anyway?" A brown-haired girl wearing a flame colored robe stepped forward. "I am from Naboo. So are the other handmaidens and her Highness. The two Jedi, Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, are from Coruscant." Scarlett was still staring at Qui-Gon. "You're hiding something," she said. "Something not allowed." Suddenly, Obi-Wan jumped. "Master..."

"I sense it, too," Qui-Gon replied. Scarlett was started out of her searching the dungeons of his mind. "Sense what? What do you guys sense?" Obi-Wan was at the controls. "Our hyperdrive is down," he reported. "Do you have any weapons?" A tall man in a uniform shook his head. "We're peaceful people." Scarlett rolled her eyes. "I don't have time for this," she muttered before saying, "You're all coming with me."


Back on the Titan, everybody was tense. This ship could be a trap for the Titan. Wesley and Will were pacing. Deanna shook her head at them, but she felt like biting her nails.

Wesley jumped as someone tapped him on the shoulder. "Wesley, you can stop pacing now. You too, Will. I brought the people from the ship." The two Jedi had their lightsabers lit and held in front of them, in a defensive position. "Give me a break," Scarlett said under her breath and pulled her phaser from the belt around her waist. She whumped Qui-Gon over the head. He was out like a rock. Obi-Wan shrieked and ran her through with his lightsaber. Nothing happened. She snapped the lightsaber into her hand and flicked it off. "You've got to lose that thing," she said. Obi-Wan gaped at her. "I'm telling you, you can't kill me." Obi-Wan stared for a second longer, then fell over in a dead faint. Scarlett shook her head. "Sometimes I wonder how I find time for all of this," she said softly.

Will turned to the remaining guests, wide-eyed. Sorry about that, was on the tip of his tongue, but Scarlett gave him a steely glare, and instead he said, "We can offer your party quarters until we reach your destination." The uniformed man nodded. "The Queen will accept only the best." The Queen shook her head. "No, Captain Panaka, I can take the sparsest quarters, as long as everybody else is settled in." A sudden beeping noise caused one of the flame-colored girls to scream. "Intruder on Deck 25, sir," Wesley reported. Will motioned to Steryko, Judd and Caroline. "Commander, and you two ensigns, you're with me. Scarlett, you have the bridge." She was already in his chair. "Righto." He entered the turbolift. "Deck 25." The doors slid closed. "Hey, Deanna, do you think you could show our guests their quarters?" She glanced at the two Jedi on the ground. "And Dr. Hartleis." Before Deanna could move, one of the Lepointe ships surronding them powered up and zipped away, taking with it the other ships, harnassed by a tractor beam.


Deck 25 was mostly crew quarters. Will was the first out of the turbolift. Scanning the hallway, he noticed a figure clothed in black darting around the corner. He waved at the trio behind him to follow, and they swiftly followed. The figure came into Will's vision, and he fired at it. The figure whirled around, an lightsaber, this one red, in his hands. He deflected the phaser shots and began to charge them, lightsaber high over his head. Will began running, never taking his eyes off the figure. He almost ran by the little alcove that the other three were hiding in, but Caroline's hand shot out and pulled him back. "Nice to see you again, sir," she said. Will glared at her as the dark figure cornered them. "Oh great!" Judd exclaimed. "Now I won't get to see the Spurs game!"

"This is no time for sports!" Caroline said. "We have to save our lives." Steryko was feeling around behind him. "I believe I have found a solution." The doors slid open and they backed in. "Seal the doors!" Will exclaimed. The doors locked. He turned around to find the whole room was decked out in scarlet, with a few blue trimmings here and there. Something clicked in his head. "Figures we would wind up in Scarlett and Wesley's quarters," he muttered.

"Sir, look!" exclaimed Judd. The red lightsaber was sawing through the door.

"We're done for."


Qui-Gon Jinn regained his senses to find a boot resting on his chest, and a phaser pointed at his head. "Tell me what you know about this dark Jedi.....Darth Maul," Scarlett demanded, her finger ready to press the trigger.

"Let me up and I will tell you." Scarlett moved the boot from his chest and helped him up. "Talk." The phaser was still resting against his head. "Well, Darth Maul...Darth Maul. That name I don't know. But "Darth" is all to familiar. Darth is the title given to Sith Lords. They are bad news, and they could eliminate all the people on board."

"As I assumed," Scarlett murmured. She pointed a thumb at Obi-Wan. "Wake him up." Qui-Gon shrugged. "I can't do that." Scarlett was in no mood for games. "Well I can." Something shot out and shocked Obi-Wan. He jumped to his feet, lightsaber ready. Scarlett shook her head and deactivated his lightsaber, bringing it to her. "Seriously, I will throw that through the ceiling."

"Go ahead," Qui-Gon almost sneered. "All right, I will," Scarlett said. She tossed it up in the air. Just before it would have hit the ceiling, a hole appeared, and the lightsaber went right through. "No time to stand there, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You have to go wipe out Darth Maul."

"But my lightsaber--"

"Is in your belt, where you left it." Obi-Wan looked down in his belt to find his lightsaber was still there. He and Qui-Gon exchanged a look and headed for the turbolift. Scarlett slid into the captain's chair. "Wesley, set a pursuit course, Warp 9, for the Lepointes on my mark." An instinct told her to go. "Mark!" The Titan blasted away.


The lightsaber was still cutting through the door. Judd was still moaning over his Spurs game. Caroline was looking for interesting reading on the book shelf, trying to keep herself occupied. Steryko was still trying to find a logical way out of this. And William Thomas Riker, captain of the U.S.S. Titan, was still biting his nails. None of them deserved to die like this! He had a wife. Steryko had a daughter who was an ensign on some other ship, Caroline was barely twenty-two, and Judd....well, Judd was expendable. But that's not the point--

"Captain, I believe that our attacker has ceased," Steryko said. Will glanced at the door to see that it, half-melted through, was going to stay that way. The lightsaber was no longer cutting through it. Will arched his eyebrow. "I wonder what happened."

"I can tell you what happened," said a voice they had come to know so well. "Your precious Commander Troi has lost her mind."

"I have not!"

"You have too!"


"What did I do to deserve this?"

"What do you mean!?"

"Well, for one thing, I never wanted to be one of your kind. And you're not helping to change my mind." Will recognized the voices as Q's and Scarlett's, arguing.....again....but looking around, he didn't see anyone but Steryko, Caroline and Judd. Shrugging, he hit his commbadge and said, "Riker to Transporter Room 3. Beam Lieutenant Erickson, Ensign Iverson, Commander Steryko and I directly to the bridge."

"But sir," Caroline spoke up, "I"m only an ensign."

"Consider yourself promoted." Caroline's eyes widened, and she threw a stiff salute. "Yes sir!"


When they reappeared on the bridge, Will's first officer didn't even turn as she said, "We're following the Lepointes back to their planet.Correction, you're folllowing the Lepointes. I am not. Neither is Wesley."

"What?" Wesley asked. "I didn't know anything about this."

"Well, you do now. We are going back to the Continuum. We're not spending any more time with these pathetic mortals."
"Watch what you're saying, Commander!" Will said sharply.

"Why should I? You can't do anything about it." Will motioned to Steryko and he took her arm. "Take her to the brig."

"The brig? So what! It's a forcefield! I'll get out. I will! I will...." Her voice faded into the turbolift.


"Let me go!" the brig officer heard as someone struggled against his or her restrainer. He turned to see Steryko shove that person into the brig and activate the forcefield. His heavy footsteps vanished out the door. "Ensign Carter!" said the prisoner, who the man, named Eric, recognized as his commanding officer, stepping out of her containment field. Eric hit his commbadge. "Ensign Carter to security--"

But before he could finish, Scarlett was gone.


In the background he could hear water quietly rushing. Soft music also played, probably from Angel One, he realized. Looking up, he could see a bright moon. Something awful at his feet made him cringe. Glancing down, he noticed that some small tan things sat there. In fact, they were along the whole beach. "Ugh!" he exclaimed, and was about to leave when someone said from behind him,."Don't go." He turned to see a woman in a loose, white dress, her long blonde hair flowing behind her, standing there. "Mortal," he grunted.

"Perhaps I'm not," she replied and walked toward him. "Perhaps I am. But what has that got to do with this?"

"Quite a bit," he responded. "I am not a mortal. I am a-"

"Q. As am I."

"Have we met? I must have seen you in the Continuum. I have lived there for five billion years."

"The Continuum's a big place," she told him, gently running her fingers through his hair. "It's easy enough for two people not to know each other. But we do know each other now."

"You know, I've never liked blonde hair."

"Oh." She was orange-haired. "How about now?"


She had long, raven black hair. He knew he had seen that somewhere. "Now?"

"I know you!" he exclaimed.

"Of course you do, Q," she said, gazing into his eyes. "As I know you. Strange, isn't it, that we once considered each other enemies? Now we are lovers."

"Slow down. I thought you were married to that mortal, what's his name, Tesme?"

"Wesley. But he's just a mortal."

"And I have a wife-"

"Forget her." Q was smiling. "I just remembered--"

"I know." She was suddenly indignant. "Thanks a lot, slime brain."

"Fine words, coming from a half-mortal."

"You watch it."

"Why should I?"

"Put me back on my ship! Now! If you don't, why, why, I'll make you wish you've never been born!"

"Ooh, touchy, aren't you?"

"You know, in the mood I'm in right now, Q, if you weren't immortal, I'd kill you." Q was still smiling as he teleported the angry commander to a place she wished she could forget.....


The fierce yelling was a familiar sound to Scarlett's ears. She knew immediatly where she was. "Court," she groaned and got up from her laying position on the floor. The scruffy, strange residents of the Continuum were gathered around, yelling, shouting, calling out vile oaths. But from one corner, Scarlett saw her aunt Christine in one corner, looking very nervous. "Aunt Christine!" she called, but the dark woman just put a finger to her lips, and pointed to something directly in front of Scarlett. She looked. It was a chair of some sort, slowly sliding toward her. Squinting, she could make out red robes with a tall black hat. Then, a face. Whose, she didn't know--wait a minute. That could only be one person.


"Not again," she grumbled as he approached her. "Q-"

But then she stopped. The thing coming toward her was not Q. Nor was it his son, Q the Sequel. Or Renee` Livonette`, for that matter.

It was her own father, Alexander Nicholas Troi.


                Chapter Twenty-Three                                                                                                           

              Darth Maul Takes a Dirt Nap

Also Titled Scarlett Changes Her Name (Finally)                                                                                     

Meanwhile, back at the farm--er, Titan, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi were fighting the Sith. He was a very good fighter, with excellent blocking and parrying skills. Finally Qui-Gon could no longer take it. Reversing his lightsaber, he knocked the Sith under the chin. Maul stumbled back, suprised. A strange look came over Qui-Gon's face, a smile, a wicked one, as he ran the Sith through with his blade. He crumpled to the ground. "Well, that was easy," Obi-Wan heard Qui-Gon say. He must have gasped, because Qui-Gon stared at him. "What?"

"Master, if the Council had heard that...." Qui-Gon put a hand on Obi-Wan's shoulder. "The important thing is that they didn't and won't." He looked down at him. "Right?"

"Right. But something doesn't seem right here, Master. It feels to me that you are the one who is supposed to be lying there, and Darth Maul is the one who kills you." Qui-Gon shook his head. "Nonsense, Obi-Wan. This is the way it was supposed to be." Obi-Wan tried to shrug it off. "All right, Master." But he still couldn't shake the feeling.


Scarlett could do nothing but gape as her father slid closer and closer to her. He looked just as he did the day he died: His skin was perfectly white, his blue eyes clear and focused...on his daughter. "Scarlettamaria Troi," he said when he got very close.

"For the record, my name is Scarlett Maria Troi. I changed it."

"You changed it!" he sneered, milking the crowd for jeers. "Just like you mortals. Always changing your minds."

"As long as you've been away from me, mon pere, I really don't remember you being this way. You were always kind and-"
"Well, tough! You know, we can't change who we are. I've learned to accept it. So should you. Now, now, who said that? A certain Commander S. Troi, eh?"

"What has gotten into you? Next thing you're going to start criticizing Wesley."

"Wesley! Let's see here....Ah! Lieutenant Wesley Crusher, engineering and bridge, night shift. Your husband! And a mortal to boot! Daughter, you are indeed naive." Something clicked in his head. "What's this? You have a child?" Scarlett looked at her feet. "Well, not yet. But we will in July." Alexander spat out vile words. His daughter finally snapped. "My mother obviously made a grave mistake in marrying you!" she exclaimed. "You're no better than that scum Q himself."

"No!" Christine cried out and ran out in front of her older brother and his daughter. She dropped to her knees. "Scarlett...that scum Q is my husband." Scarlett was walking away when she heard this, and her steps skidded to a halt. "Wait--husband? Q? And that makes him--"

"A monkey's uncle," said the annoying voice in her head.

"Be quiet!" she hissed. "That makes me his niece...and Q the Sequel is my cousin!"

"Ugh," said another voice, suprisingly similar to Q's.

"Did I ask you?" she growled, and turned back to her aunt. "Do you mind?" she asked and made a finger snapping motion. "Be my guest," Christine replied. Scarlett snapped her fingers, and Q and Q the Sequel stood on the floor. "Now, Q, what have I told you about going into other people's heads?" Christine scolded her son. "Next time, I will not hesitiate to punish you."

"Your mother is absolutely right," Q agreed. "Did you like your time as an ameba?" Christine gave him the same stern look. "The same goes for you, Mister. I will not hesitate to punish you, either." Q kissed her hand. "My sincerest apologies, diamond...I will not do it again....forgive me?"

"Possibly. But you only have one more chance before I take you to the Continuum High Council." Q looked crestfallen. "Yes, sweetheart."

"Oh, be quiet!" exclaimed Alexander. "This is the trial of my daughter. Do you hear me? My daughter. Mine, mine, mine, mine!" Christine turned to him, her eyes ablaze. "Ndek lepack fes a lrex!" she shot back. Scarlett recognized it as the language of the Continuum...other than English. Her aunt had just told her father to put a cork in it. "Ndek lepack fes a lrex mejeck!" said her father. He had said, "Put a cork in it yourself!" Scarlett tossed a microphone to Q the Sequel. "Welcome to WWE Raw Wrestling!" she said into it. "I'm Scarlett Troi, and I'm bringing you all the action along with my partner, Q!" The crowd cheered. "In one corner of the ring," Q the Sequel said, "we have the mighty Q!"

"Otherwise known as Alexander Nicholas Troi," Scarlett put in. "And in the other corner, is my mother, the great Q!"

"Otherwise known as Christine Daae`. And our ringside reporter, the man you know, and love (or hate, for that matter) my uncle, his father, the fabulous....Q!" Here was where Q took over. "The two contenders are gearing up....the bell is rung...and sumo!" The two ran at each other. "You'll wish you've never been born, Tine!" shouted Alexander.

"Oh, I'm so scared!" Christine exclaimed. They continued to shout insults. Scarlett rolled her eyes. "I"m sorry, I just remembered an important engagement," she said to Q the Sequel. He didn't look at her. "Don't you have something to say to me?"

"'re not so bad after all. Deal?" Q (the normal--well, as normal as a Q can be--) made a coughing sound. Scarlett rolled her eyes again and said to him, "Okay....I'll stop calling you scum....if you'll stop calling me "a half-mortal" or pathetic mortal. Same goes for Wesley. Got it?" He saluted. "Yes, Commandant." She glared at him, and he reluctantly said, "Yes, Commander Troi...may I call you mon fille?"

"Quick and simple answer for you--no."


Okay, so life in Starfleet wasn't any easier than life in the Continuum. But it had some things that Scarlett seeing the look on Admiral Selene's face after her enemy had defied the Prime Directive--thirty-eight times, last count. Since she was eleven, that's an average of two times a year over a period of nineteen years. Not bad.

But she had no time to think about Admiral Selene. She, Will and Deanna had to bade the Naboo party farewell. The Jedi bowed respectfully to them, and Scarlett held out her hand for Obi-Wan to kiss. "You know, if I wasn't married, I might consider you as a possible candidate," she said. "If I was to ever become widowed--"

"Let's hope that day never comes, Madame," Obi-Wan replied. He climbed onto the transport pad, and Will went behind the controls. "Welcome aboard the Titan Transport System," he told them. "For those of you who have never used a transporter before, please remain very still while you are being transported. Do not attempt to use weapons of any kind during the transport. Thank you and enjoy your trip. We are now energizing."

The Naboo party was gone. "Well, I can't say I'm sad that they're gone," Scarlett said to her cousins. "But Wesley and I have to scram...we should be back in December. Oh, and Deanna, Happy Elisabetha Day." She disappeared.

"What in the name of the Prime Directive is Elisabetha Day?" Will asked.



                                            Chapter Twenty-Four

                        Five Months, and Fifty Continuum Years Later

Will and Deanna had just toasted the success of the new warp core with a special from their former captain--Chateau Picard. For some reason, Will began to kiss Deanna madly. "Stop!" she exclaimed teasingly. They were interrupted by the doorbell to the tune "Shave and a Haircut--Two Bits" on the doorbell. They exchanged a glance. Obviously. "Come in."

No one came in. Suddenly the replicator began to replicate something. "Boy, I thought you guys would never figure it out. It was getting very cramped in there." The voice was coming from a champagne glass sitting on the replicator pad. Will walked over and picked it up. A white mist came out of the glass, and floated around the quarters for a few seconds. Then it materialized into a wispy white satin dress, with a white velveeteen top to it.

"Well, I have to admit, white is not my favorite or best, for that matter, color, but it blended into the champagne," said the raven black haired girl in it. "Did you come alone?" Will asked.

"No, Wesley came--where is Wesley, anyway? Wesley! Wesley!!"

Help!" came from the replicator. "He must have gotten stuck," Scarlett reasoned. She went over to the replicator and tapped it sharply. "Wesley, are you in there?"

"Help!" it said again. Scarlett rolled her eyes and out of the replicator came a very small Wesley. "Sometimes I think it would just be easier to make you a Q," she told him before he became normal size. He just shook his head.

"Wait a second--on Earth it's February," Will realized. "You said you'd be back in December." Scarlett shrugged it off. "Well, for one thing, my aunt Renee` got into this huge fight with the Miskigons, and that took about ten years to get over."

"Ten years?" Deanna asked. "Oh yes," Scarlett replied. "Ten Continuum years, in otherwords, a month. And then my aunt Christine decided that she was going to misplace the Trerin moons,and to find that took a month. That's what caused the delay."


"Well, we're all very talkative, aren't we?"


The next day, Scarlett felt like she was in heaven walking onto the bridge. Smiling, she saw that Madison had dyed her hair blue, and Abbie's sported blonde streaks. Judd was wearing a Spurs shirt. "Hey, Judd, did the Spurs win the NBA finals?" she called out to him. He didn't reply, just kept throwing a basketball at the tactical station. Typical Judd. But the thing that caught her eye most was that something had re-decorated the first officer's chair--her chair--with scarlet silk. Poking a finger into it, she felt very soft stuffing. "Okay, who did this?" she asked with a smile.

"Guilty," chroused the bridge crew, except for Judd, who said, "Spurs vs. Lakers game tonight on Holodeck 5." Scarlett rolled her eyes as she plopped into the chair and said, "Sooo, Will, where are we off to?"

"The Supperson system. The inhabitants of the planet that was formerly home to Farpoint Station is going to attempt a reconstruction--and not with a living creature, this time."
"Aha. And you don't expect a totally awful experience with our best buddy, Q, like last time?"
"Not really. At least, that's what I assume."

"You assume too much," Scarlett answered with a smile.


So the mission was a boring one, at least it was boring by Scarlett's standards. There were no Romulans or Ferenghi beaming on to the ship, no phaser fights...just a few weeks of rebuilding Farpoint Station. Mostly she hung around the ship, which orbited the seventh planet in the Supperson system, but when Deanna, who had been overseeing the Titan crewmembers on the planet, brought back some purchases from the newly rebuilt marketplace, she couldn't help but get the tiniest bit excited.

"There's a platinum trombone for Will," she murmured, digging through the enormously large bag, "a bolt of new shimmersilk cloth for Mother--she's always complaining that I never bring her anything--let's see, a blanket for Ensign Caruso's new baby, a purple one with green embroidery, a few assorted things for me, and finally, this." She whipped out a long blue-red cloak, with tassels hanging from each side, and a silver clip at the top. "Imported from Wakikimaui 3."                                                                                                                          

"No offense, Deanna, but I don't think blue-red is exactly your color," Scarlett muttered. She didn't know why, but she was in a foul mood. Maybe it was just the fact that she was bored to dirt. Sighing, she stopped time.

Why she stopped time was a mystery to her. "Why?" she murmured as she mosied her way down the hall outside the transporter room. Perhaps it was just because Deanna didn't bring her anything. Maybe it was because Wesley had been sent to Starfleet Academy for a witness in some hearing. Or could it possibly be the fact that nothing exciting ever happened anymore?

Trying to find something to do, she wandered into the infirmary. Virginia Hartleis was injjecting a patient with hypospray. Another doctor was replicating something from the replicator. Both were paused into the middle of their tasks.

Nothing too interesting. She strolled out of the infirmary and headed for engineering. Lieutenant Commander Timon de Belle was working on the new shield modulations. Nothing too fascinating, so she found her way back to her quarters.      

        Lounging in a chair,  her guard down, she was suprised when Wesley walked in and yelled, ‘’Scarlett, what have you done ?!’’


                                              TO BE CONTINUED……