Author`s note: This story shoukdn`t be read by people younger than 12 because it contains a lot of cruelty. With this story I want to remind everybody of the cruelties happened during the Second World War, especially in the concentration camps.
Please send feedback of any kind. I`d be happy to receive it.
Chapter One " The End of the Mission"
Captains`log " Stardate 459992. We are happy to hear from Commander Riker that he has completed his mission and will return in one hour. From his voice I could hear how distracting the further experiences must have been for him. I have read some books myself about the cruelties the Nazis did to their prisoners. "
One hour later...
The familiar shimmer on the transpoter platform flickered. Deanna could not
wait to see Will again. He had been gone for three weeks now. She couldn`t comunicate
thru the link because it was the timeline that interrupted that special bond
which was still active, even though they hadn`t comunicated for years thru it.
The palms of her hands got wet and she could feel her heartbeat rising when she saw a silouette of her Imzadi. Yesterday, she had had a talk with Beverly about her feelings toward Will and found out that the feelings still existed. She wanted to tell him as soon as they would be alone. The whole night she had imagined how it would be to finally come back into his strong arms. How it would be to feel the warmth again and the love flowding from him to her. How it would taste, this love? From how she remembered it tastes very sweet.
And then the silouette went away and a person appeared. But it wasn`t Will. Not her Will. Not her Imazdi. The person collapsed on the platform and Beverly immediately rushed towards the man. Picard could see the horror on Deanna`s face. And he also felt this horror. Even Worf went pale. Picard stared at his Number One. There was no muscular man anymore. There was a nearly skeleton. The arms of Will were thin,even thiner than Deanna`s , his waist was thin, his legs. Picard could see all the bones in Will`s face. All the bones.... he opened his mouth to verbalize his horror,his feelings " Oh my God." he whisered in total shock.
Beverly bent over Will, looking at her readings:" He totally dehydrated, his is nearly starving, he must haven`t eaten for a week or more. He has lost a lot of wight,nearly no muscles anymore. From the wounds on his head I can tell that he was shaven violently."
She couldn`t go on anymore. Tears dwelled in her eyes.
Deanna sat next to her Imazdi and tried to establish a link " Can you hear me Imzadi?"
A very weak answer " Yes,Dee."
" Are you in pain anywhere?"
" No, I don`t feel any pain no more, for three weeks I haven`t felt pain."
" You will be okay, I promise."
"No, I will never be okay. I have seen the devil,I will never be okay."
And then the link collapsed.
" I have given him something for sleep. He will need it." Beverly explained when she saw Deanna`s face.
" He told me he isn`t in any pain....and that he will never be okay because he has seen the devil. Do you understand?"
she asked Jean-Luc and Beverly.
Jean-Luc stepped back, remembering the books he had read:" I think he refers on the Nazis and the concentration camp leaders. He looks as if he was in one. But how did he come there?"
Worf grouled:" Maybe he was captured during his mission?"
Deanna looked up:" But he wasn`t supposed to be in Germany. He only went to Leningrad to find this Alexander Barrington."
"Yes, but maybe the Germans had captured him."
Jean-Luc stopped the conversation with rising a hand:" Let`s wait til he is in a better condition. " He activated his combadge:" Picard toData."
"Data, I want you to check out the information Commander Riker has taken with him.Take Geordie with you."
"Will you have to eat something,please." Deanna pleaded
He shook his head stubbornly:" I haven`t eaten since two weeks, I don`t like eating anymore."
"I could give him an infusuion." Beverly suggested.
Will`s eyes widened n horror, he started screaming and crying:" No injection,infusions ,Bitte nicht ( please not)."
"Shh, it`s alright, Bev won`t do that." Deanna calmed him by caressing his hair.
" What did you say " Bitte nicht"? What does that mean?" she asked him.
Will looked at her:" It`s german, it means please not. I have said it a hundred times to this doctor,but....."
Then his voice trailed of and again tears streamed down his cheeks.
Deanna glanced at Beverly, both looked concerned.
" I better contact the Captain, he would want to know."
When Jean-Luc Picard entered sickbay he was, again, shocked when he saw Will.
Beverly explained what they had found out.
"Will, was the name of the doctor Mengele?"
Will shook his head. Picard taook out a breathe of relief.
" His name was Braun, Detlef Braun, he was worse than Mengele if you wanna know that. He didn`t try to find out about healing something. He wanted to find out how many different kinds of death there would be. He killed Sergej, he killed Karel and many many more."
Deanna`s cheeks got wet:" Oh my God, what you must have going thru."
Jean-Luc hated to ask but he had to,it was so important to Starfleet and the human race:" Will, could you save Alexander?"
"Yes, he escaped one week ago, I told him to leave for the United States and I told him that Tatiana and Anthony would be waiting."
"That means Dasha Barrington had been born, and we can live savely again."
Will nodded:" Savely but not better." And then he fell asleep.
Will went to his quarters, he wanted it so. He didn`t want to stay in sickbay,
everything reminded him of the sicbay in the concentration camp. He wanted to
be left alone, wanted to grief for his lost friends, for Sergej and Karel.Nobody
on this vessel, in this universe would understand him. Nobody had seen the terror,
the penalties, the beatings, the experiments, the ofen to burn people to death,
the wounded, the death. It was so much evil, so much pain.
His quarters lay in total darkness, he couldn`t look at the stars,too much light and light contained hope. Out of his jacket he took a photo. It showed him, Alexander ,Sergej and Karel, two days before they got caught,before they had to experience hell.
It shimmed. "Come." he said,making himself ready for answering another hundreds of questions,
It was Deanna. He put a smile on his face.
" You don`t have to fake that smile. I can see in your soul,do you remember ?" she said.
Will`s smile died away. " I am sorry." he said with a hurt undertone.
" I didn`t mean to hurt you,Imzadi. " Deanna said, now with a softer voice.
" What do you want,anyway?" he asked in a distant voice.
" I...I wanted to make sure you are allright."she studdered, not sure how to go on. He always had been the strong one,the one who held her. Not her,she had always been theone who needed comfort.Not him.
"Will, do you wanna talk about what had happened to you?"
"No." was his short answer.
She could feel the loss,the pain."Am I allowed to comfort you?" she asked.
He couldn`t quite understand why she asked. Normally she would have done it without asking. Especially after the last two months,after they had grown close again. He was confused.And then he felt her body against him. Her warmth andit felt good. He felt nearly human again. For so long he hadn`t felt comforting warmth.
The only warmth he had felt during the three weeks, was the need for warmth, the need for a human touch. Not the comforting one.He shuddered under her touch, he couldn`t help but starting to shake uncontrolable. She took his shaking,his fear,his pain.All that and more, she took it to release him of it and closed it into his heart and threw the key away,far away.
She kissed his forehead and his eyes.
After a few moments he whispered:" I don`t wanna sleep,don`t wanna close my eyes,never eat again. I always think I betray them."
Deanna was shocked, how could he think so?:" You don`t betray them by fighting for your life."
"Yes, I am. I always had the chance to return to you, I always knew I don`t belong there. They didn`t. The war, the pain,it was real to them. They never had the chance to come back here and go on living. For them it was no mission.For them it was life,Deanna."
Deanna gasped. How damaged his soul was. Was she able to heal his soul? Would he ever stop grieving?
Chapter Two " To Live with it"
It was two a.m. and it was dark. His cellmate Sergej lit a cigarette,the last he had. He watched the Germans watching them. There was a hole in the door thru which a german eyes would watch them,day and night. The eyes would never go away. Sergej had injuries, he was hit by a bullet and now his right leg was lame, still bleeding. But he took it like a man.He had lived in Leningrad during the German bombings, there he had lost his left lung. Will looked at him,amazed at his brave. And then a German officer came and took him away from Sergej. He was made kneeling down and he could feel a weapon in his neck.
Deanna felt Will`s trembling body,she touched his forehead,it was sweaty and he could smell the sweat coming from his whole body.
The German officer pushed the weapon in his neck,again and again,saying something
something in German,laughing. He understood the words " Konzentrationslager"
( concentration camp) and "Hölle" (hell).
And then he fired.
"No!" he screamed. Deanna shook him to make him wake up from his nightmare.
But he didn`t die. The German laughed, it was only to scare him, to show him a little bit of the hell that awaited him. And then someone shook him.
"Will,wake up,please Imzadi." He heard her voice,her soft voice.
"I am awake,jut a bad dream."
Will looked at her:" It was a ba bad dream.....about my time in the prison."
Deanna embraced him:" Oh Will, let me help you,please." Will shook his head:" Dee. I love you. But you can`t help me. Nobody can. I think it gets better during the time."
He kissed her long enough to make her shiver. She looked at him,her eyes sparkling. " You know what I would like to do now?" He smiled:" I can guess it. Is this your new technique to make me forget?" She stared at him, not getting the joke:" No, I only wanted to make you feel better." she said concerned. He laughed:" I didn`t mean it so." and kissed her mouth. She startedplaying with his tongue. And made herself comfortable on top of him. He teased her by kissing her neck. She laughed out loud and caressed his soft curly hair on his breast. Fastly they started to make love. When Deanna cried out, it echoed in his mind as if the young Polish girl from the camp had cried. Not for lust, but pain. He stopped, again wrapped in his memory. Deanna looked at him,confused,but fastly felt his discomfort:" Imzadi?"
He shook of the thought. He pushed way back in the darkest corner of his mind. But the face of the girl remained on the surface. The eyes without shimmer, the black rings, the pale skin, the bones,the dry lips.
He didn`t look at Deanna, he looked at the Polish girl when he said:" I`m sorry. Can`t help you."
In the ready room....
" So,tell us what you got, Mister Data." The golden faced man stood
up and walked in front of Beverly,Jean-Luc, Worf, Geordie and Deanna. "
We have found out from the data Commander Riker had with him, that the mission
went somehow wrong. He was captured at the borders of Leningrad,when the Germans
went away from Russia.They took Alexander, Commander Riker and Sergej Rumenkov
with them and put them to prison in Chemnitz and then were send to a concentration
" Oh my God." Beverly breathed hard.
"How long had he been there?" Captain Picard asked.
" About one and a half week. But it wasn`t the time which made him lose weight. The treatment was the problem. Commander Riker had been imprsioned as a political enemy. He was hit all the time, had no sleep, no food, nothing to drink."
Deanna put her head in her hand and started crying.
Worf looked away,he couldn`t take seeing Deanna crying. Jean-Luc looked to his crewmates:" I think it would be better to send Will to a vacation, he needs help, he cannot go on just like that. During the time he was on this mission I read a lot of the camps. It was total horror there,they killed them for nothing or made them work til death. They treated them bad, held them in bad condition. It was awful."
He paused. Geordie looked up:" How can we help Commander Riker?"
Everybody looked at Deanna:" I don`t know. I have dealt with a lot of people, have studied psychology. I don`t know how to help him. He won`t let me. "
Jean-Luc sighed:" I suggest the vacation,Doctor is there anything that would step in the way-medically?"
Beverly`s pale face started to work,her eyes concentrated:" No,physically he is allright. He put on wait, he drinks, just a few bruises."
Jean-Luc nodded:" Good, I will talk to Will."
He let a minute pass:" Dismissed"
In the Captain`s room...
Will sat in the chair,straight up. Jean-Luc smiled:" How are you,Will?"
Will didn`t move nor did his face expression change:" I am fine. When do I have your permission to work again?"
Picard coughed:" Actually I wanted to discuss a vacation with you. I believe you need time to....er.....work with your experience."
Will`s expression still did not change:" No." he simply said, sounding very calm.
"Will, I have read a lot about the concentration camps,it was hell there. People who went there needed a lot of years only to live with the experience."
Will made Picard stop with raising a hand:" You have read about it? I god damn have experienced it. Did turning the pages of the book hurt your fingers? Because I had been hurt, very much hurt. They squeezed my fingers until the skin broke and blood came out! They made my ankles crack by hanging me upside down. They made my back hurt by kicking into it! And you know what, that had only been the first day....out of 11 following. So do not tell me again you could know how it felt, what it takes to deal with it,Sir!"
Picard pressed his lips against each other, so that they turned white:" I am sorry for what you had to experience. But can`t you see that you need time to cope with it. To let out the pain and anger."
Will looked away:" I don`t need a vacation. I need my work."
Picard stood up and walked through the room,thinking. Will waited, also thinking.
"Good, I let you work,under one condition. Get help. Make appointments with Counsellor Troi or one of her assistances."
Will looked in the eyes of his friend:" Okay, I will do that. Thank you sir."
He went out, without looking at Picard again.
Deanna looked up and smiled:" Hey Imzadi."
He didn`t smile, he was angry:" You had a staff meeting....WITHOUT me."
She sat up straight:"Yes, but I can explain."
He came closer:" I talked to Captain Picard, he wanted me to go to a vacation. Was that your idea?"
"No. But I agreed. I can see your pain."
Then Will lost it:" You know what! Spare me your pitty! I can`t hear it anymore! I am still alive, I can eat,drink everything! I don`t need pitty, care or whatever! I am damn fine, you understand?" He wanted to go,but Deanna`s voice held him back:" Imzadi,you have hurt me." He looked at her,really looked at her. No single tear fell from her eyes,no sobs.But he could see how deeply he had hurt her. He could see it in her soul,in her eyes.
" I have never been so deeply hurt by anyone." she turned her back on him. And he left.
One month later....
Will sat on the bridge, he looked to the stars surrounding the vessel. He still
had nightmares. But he dealt with them. He went to Lieutanent Murdock for help
since he couldn`t go to Deanna, she was the best one.
But he faked her. It was easy compared to trying to fake Deanna. Doctor Murdock couldn`t read his soul, only analyze what he had told her. He had used the soft version, not the rough thruth that slowly shattered his heart to pieces. He had framed the picture of Alexander, Karel ,Sergej and him. He had used the old backpack he had bring with him as a memory box.
For everyone else he was back to normal, nobody could see the slowly process of getting mad.
He went to Ten Forward every day after shift,he didn`t want to be alone with his dreams and he went to the poker games. Deanna never came. But the others, they were there and he was brilliant,funny and wonderful.
He even had celebrated his birthday-with Deanna. After everybody left, he threw the cake away, the presents,everything. He had no birthday anymore.
He went to dangerous away missions never caring for his life, it didn`t matter to him.
But he celebrated Sergejs` birthday. He bought him a book, a translation of an ancient russian book. he had put it into his backpack, as well as his diary.
And he went on...with faking his life. He struggled a thousand times at night with saying sorry to Deanna. Sometimes on the bridge he tried to contact her but she refused. He looked at her but she didn`t look at him. She totally ignored him.
He suffered. But slowly even that went away, was pushed away by the memories. His present life wasn`t important anymore. He never deserved it. Never
Chapter Three " The Relapse"
Deanna sat on her desk. She studied Will`s file. She had begged for it. The
dispute they had wracked on her nerves. She so much wanted him to say sorry.
She almost wanted to say sorry by herself,only to come back into his arms.She
hated being apart from him. Yes, she was hurt, so hurt but she was also in love
with him ,ever had been. She would forgive him without a blink. She felt his
looks, knew he had probed into her several times. But she couldn`t let him in
so easily. Not then,but now?
She read his progress. It was fascinating. His psyche was healing good. She also read the stories he had told Doctor Murdock.
It was ugly, painful and horrorble to read it.
She put the file away. She couldn`t go on. She needed a break, a good cup of hot chocolate. And then it shimmed.
She let the person in,it was Beverly.
She smiled:" Hello Bev."
"Dee, how are you,we haven`t chatted for so long,I thought I`d come by."
"That`s nice. I thought about coming to you,but then got totally drawn up into work."
Bev took a look:" It`s Will`s file. I thought Doctor Murdock would counsel him."
Deanna blushed:"Well,....I wanted to see how he developes."
Bev smiled:" Mhm...I understand completely. He hasn`t said sorry,has he?"
"No." Deanna simply said.
"Too bad, you would make such a neat couple. You have been a neat one before... ."
"I know, before this mission." Deanna looked down.
Beverly saw the grief and pulled her towards her :" Oh Dea,I will help you to get Will back,he is just not himself in the moment."
Deanna freed herself out of the embrace:" What do you mean?"
"Haven`t you noticed? He pretends to be fine and for people who don`t know him, he is. But he is developing something."
"What?" Deanna `s right eyebrow flipped up.
"He is so distant.I mean,yes he is taking part in activities, he had celebrated his birthday...but inside he is completely unhappy.He wouldn`t even tell me what`s wrong when I asked. And we are good friends,have been serving together for five years now, that should be enough to tell me what`s wrong."
Deanna took the file again,something told her that the answers lay here."Do you think he isn`t making any progress with his mission,that he lies to Doctor Murdock?" she asks more to herself than to Beverly. But she answered anyway:" Could he lie to her so much?" Deanna`s lips held a weak smile:" You don`t know how Will can lie when..... ." She stopped, noticeing the danger.
"Oh gosh." she held a hand before her mouth:" It`s true, he still hasn`t worked out,Bev."
Beverly Crusher struggled with herself to ask the next question:" What happens to those people?"
Deanna went pale:" They..." she gulped away the frog in her throat:" They got overwhelmed,can`t take it anymore.....and break down,or worse, got mad and kill themselves."
" Run Will, run to the woods and hide!" Alexander screamed thru the
noise of the weapons. Karel was right behind Will when something hit him. Will
saw Karel flying in the air and landing hard on his back:"No!" he
screamed and ran to his friend.
Sergej and Alexander ran towards both."How is he?" Sergej asked in Russian. Will took his hand and closed Karel`s eyes:" He is dead."
Alexander hat the strengh to say nothing,but Sergej screamed and cried, until Alexander put his hand over Sergej`s mouth:" If you go on crying I kill you with my bare hands."And then they ran again."
Will`s sheets lay on the floor, his body was sweaty. He could smell the burned
trees the Germans hat set so that the Red Army could no longer hide in the woods.
He could see Alexander`s boots in front of him and felt Sergej`s hot breath in his neck. It was cold, they had German parckas, but they were no help.
Will ran out of his quarter`s never noticing that he was on the Enterprise. He ran thru the corridors.
"We need more supplies, we only have two guns." Alexander said,whispering. "I know a weapon chamber only 20 kilometres from here, it is used by the Germans for supply,but since everybody is fighting,it should be nearly undefeated." Sergej suggested.So they did."
Will unlocked the weapon storage and took out a phaser for him and two for his comrades which fell soundly to the floor. Will never knew.
"Captain, someone has gone to the weapon storage,three phasers are missing."
Picard turned around:" Who?"
Worf looked twice at his readings:" Commander Riker,sir."
Picard took a moment to think about it:" Get a security team there."
"Picard to Troi"
"Yes, captain." came the exotic voice.
" Come into my room. I need to talk to you."
Worf leaded the security team by himself,he wanted to make sure that noone
hurted Riker unneccessarily.
He saw him running towards a turbolift and shouted for him.
"The Germans,Shura, the Germans." Sergej screamed. Will took a glance
at the Germans, there was also Leutnant Braun,he was wearing a mean smile. Alexander
watched them. " Do we have to surrender?" Will asked him." And
then? Die like chicken? No, I will never surrender, I need to go back to Tatiana
and not rott away in a dark cell in dying Germany." He fired.
So did Will."
Worf`s security team was suprised when Will fired at them, screaming something
in Russian,talking to ghosts.
Worf hit him with one shot.
"Come." Picard answered, so that the door revealed Deanna Troi.
" You wanted to talk to me,Captain?"
"Yes, Will has been injured by the security team. He stole weapons from the storage. Worf said he was talking to ghosts, speaking Russian. Can you find a reason for that?"
Deanna needed a minute to cope with the information:" I....Doctor Murdock has worked with Will but I found out that he faked his healing process. Beverly told me he wouldn`t behave like himself. He went mad, couldn`t keep his barriers up. So he went thru it again, so that his mind can cope with it."
Picard looked pale,worried:" How can we help him?"
" He has to relive it. We have to be the people he sees in us. At what time does that start?"
"Worf said he named one of his "friends" Shura,which is the shorter form of Alexander. It means Alexander got away and Will and Sergej got caught."
"These are only 3 hours before he beams to us. That should work,but we need detailed information about that. Doctor Murdocks file is not detailed."
"Let`s go to Will`s quarters in order to find something." Picard said and rose,Deanna followed.
Chapter Four " Help me make it thru the night"
Deanna and Picard entered Will`s rooms. They searched it thru and thru and did not find anything. But then Deanna grabbed behind his bed. It was pure instinct,something told her to look up this corner. Was it the bond?
She didn`t know, but she found the blavk backpack. "Captain,look!" Picard opened it and let it fall on the bed.
"There is a framed picture, a knife, pants, a pullover, a necklace and.....there a book."
Deanna opened it:" It`s his diary." Picard excused himself in order to look how Will was doing. In his mind he wanted to respect the privacy of Will. Deanna was allowed to read everything he wrote,but he? Would he have wanted his captain to read it?
Will struggled hard to free himself, but his arms were tapped. He was still
caught in his memoriers and when Picard walked up to him, he saw Major Müller
in front of him,the camp leader.
" Bitte lassen Sie mich frei." ( Please let me go!) Will said in German. Picard didn`t say anything, he didn`t want to say something wrong.
Worf stood beside him. Will gulped:" What do you want Braun?" he asked scared. " Another injection?" Worf grouled.
Deanna had to throw over after the half of the diary. She then ran to sivkbay, she had found out about the last three hours.
Picard waited, so did Worf.
Deanna stepped in and looked at Will. His reddish,haunted eyes, the floppy hair,his sweaty body.
Will also looked at her, but his look was distant,he smiled:" Vera, my Vera you are here!"
She reacted after his diary:" Will! They held me here. I couldn`t escape fast enough."
Will looked away:" Do you still know what your name in Russian means?"
Deanna answered:" Faith, it means faith."
She showed the book to Picard, he read his role:" I am Major Müller, you have been caught by trying to escape, we have already murdered your friend Segej,now it`s your time to die."
"Sergej? He is dead? You murdered him?" Will looked horrorfied.
Picard read the next lines with disgust, he swallowed:" We haven`t murdered him, we slaughtered him to death."
Then he shoved the book over to Worf,he said:" Now we have this little injection for you. I wonder if it works." Then he laughed. It sounded more than a fake, but to Will it was real.
Picard grabbed Deanna by the hair and pulled a phaser out of his jacket. He held the phaser on her throat:" No, not Vera, you can have me but not her!"
Picard laughed out loud:" She is worthy to you, isn`t she?"
Will nodded:" Take me and leave her alone. Take me please, bitte!" he screamed. Deanna felt the turmoil, felt the fear and the great acceptance for Vera. She was almost envied,but she knew why Will was so afraid of Vera`s death. He had written down that she reminded him of Deanna.
But then Picard faked cutting her throat Will screamed and tried to free him, he cried out loud:" Shura! Shura help me! Help me !"
And then he cried,so hard that Deanna thought he`d never breath again. Beverly gave him a seducive and made him sleep.
Picard breathed hard:" It was the ugliest thing I have ever done."
Deanna looked at him, trembling:" I have read the book, I had to vomit. You can read it. You have to,to understand what Will went thru."
She bent over him and whispered:" I will take care of you. I will help you." She kissed his forehead and bent down his lock. His eyes flickered as if he answered. But his face did not show any emotion.
He awoke. He opened his eyes very slowly and then he saw her. Her beautiful
face surrounded by her black hair that framed her.She was sleeping. Her breath
was steady and calm and she had a smile on her face.
She opened her eyes, lieing her wonderful onyx eyes on him,making him shiver:" How are you Imzadi?"
His mouth felt horse:" I`m fine, had a bad dream."
She told him about what happened.
"Oh my god, I was really sick."
Deanna`s eyes showed sorrow:" It is not over yet. You will have nightmares."
"I can take that."
Deanna`s eyes never left him:" You think you can take that?"
He nodded,then direcly looking into her onyx eyes,making her shiffer:" But I need you to help me,comfort me."
Deanna smiled:" I can do that, but under one condition only."
He raised one eyebrow in astonishment:" That would be?"
She kissed him,now making him shiffer:"Never leave me again."
He looked at her,thinking. Then he kneeled down. Deanna put a hand to her mouth,her eyes widening in suprise.
" Deanna Troi would you give me the honor of becoming my wife?"
She cried,the tears streaming down her rosè cheeks. She could only nod, nothing to say,to think about. She had seen him doing a proposal in her dreams a hundred times. But none was as beautiful as this one.