Nope, not mine, Paramount owns them all. I'm just dabbling in their
unanswered question.

This is a very light story I started awhile ago, I know it doesn't start
that way, but TRUST ME ;-) Well light for me anyway....LOL

Deanna Troi sat across the desk from Doctor Beverly Crusher. She tapped her
fingers in annoyance, the doctor so engrossed in the PADD in front of her
she didn't notice.

"Don't you think Will is acting strangely?" Deanna stared at the doctor and
awaited a response, when nothing came she spoke again.

"Beverly! Have you heard anything I said?" Doctor Crusher pulled her gaze
from the PADD "I'm sorry Deanna, but these new studies on Klingon cell
rejuvenation are fascinating." Deanna let out a long sigh, her fascination
with Klingon anatomy not first and foremost in her mind.

"I was asking you about Will. Don't you think he's been acting strangely."
Beverly didn't give the question any thought, and returned her eyes to the

"How could you tell?"

"Very funny Beverly, but I'm serious. Ever since last night." Perhaps it was
the inflection in the Betazoid's words that suggested to Beverly that this
could be more interesting then Klingon Anatomy. She pushed the PADD aside,
and offered a sly smile to Deanna.

"Did something happen last night?" Both eyebrows rasing in mischievous
curiosity. Deanna shifted in her chair questioning her judgment about
sharing her news with Beverly.

"We've been keeping it quiet, but Will and I have been getting closer."

Beverly did her best to look amazed, her thoughts turning to the last few
months. . <Oh yea, very quiet Deanna. no one on the ship has noticed that
the two of you seem to be glued at the hip, or the stolen kisses when you
think no one is looking, or the footsies under the poker table.> Aloud she
only said. "Really?"

"Well, last night we...we...." Beverly bit her lip to hide her smile,
astonished how hard it was for Deanna to admit they had rekindled their
intimate relationship. She fixed her blue eyes on her friend.

"Does this mean you will be leaving the enterprise as well?"

Deanna straighten with the doctor's word, it was quite apparent by the
varying looks of disconcertion on her face she had no idea what Beverly was
talking about.

"Leaving the enterprise...why would you say that?" Deanna focused her mind
on the Doctor, trying to get a sense of what she was thinking, but the
doctor had become quite adept at shielding her feelings. The only clue that
was offered to her was the quick change of expression from delight, to
concern and confusion.

"I just figured you knew." Deanna folded her hands, and placed them over

"Knew what Beverly?" Doctor Crusher stood, and came to the front of desk,
she sat down beside Deanna and placed her hand on her shoulder.

"Didn't he tell you? What a snake." Deanna felt her stomach churn, as she
sensed Beverly's anger towards Will.

"He's been offered the Captaincy on the Venture."

"The Venture?" She knew of the ship. Starfleet had been working on it for
years. It would eventually overshadow the enterprise in Galaxy class
starships. It's capabilities to reach the deeper recess of space something
she had heard Will and Captain Picard discuss often.

"How long has he known Beverly?" Beverly placed her other hand on Deanna's
other shoulder, wishing for once she had kept her mouth shut.

"Jean Luc told me a few days ago.....Deanna, maybe he's decided to decline
the offer, or maybe he plans on taking you with him."

Deanna shot quickly to her feet and began pacing the room like a caged

"Decline the offer! No star fleet officer in their right mind would decline
the offer of the Venture!" Beverly sat quietly on the desk, and watched the
dark cloud of anger and hurt encircle her friend.

"And just exactly when was he planning on telling me this!?" Beverly took a
deep breath, and tried to hide her own anger with Will from Deanna.
"I know he loves you Deanna. He must have had his reasons for not telling
you." Deanna spun on her heels to face the doctor, her eyes ablaze with

"REASONS? REASONS?....what reasons could he possibly have to start something
he knew damn well he couldn't finish!"

"Deanna, He may have wanted to surprise you with.. umm a marriage proposal>"
The optimistic words of doctor crusher were quickly put to rest by Deanna.

"Maybe I don't want to marry him.....maybe this is something we should of
discussed before....." Her tears of hurt slipped through the fire of anger
that raged in her eyes. She tapped her comm badge with such force, Beverly
knew it must have hurt.

"Troi to Riker?"

"Riker here...what is it Deanna?" She could hear the smile in his voice, and
at this moment her only goal was to wipe it off his face.

"Where are you?"

"In my quarters." The smile ridden voice, quickly deepening to uneasiness.

"Don't go anywhere, I'm on my way. Troi out." She turned to leave sickbay
without giving Doctor Crusher a second look.

"Deanna, don't you think you should calm down before you speak with him?"
She didn't respond to the doctors warning, only stomped down the hall with
her fist clenched tightly at her side.

Beverly closed her eyes, not envying Will's inevitable encounter with the
flaring temper of Deanna Troi..

She wiped away the tears that had generated on her cheeks, hoping to hide
any vulnerabilities from Will. She didn't wait for an invitation to enter
before stomping into his quarters.

"What the hell were you thinking?!" It was evident by the lack of shock on
Will's face, he knew exactly what she was talking about.

"Slow down Deanna, I can explain." He put his hands on her shoulders but she
quickly jerked out of his grasp.

"Or were you thinking at all? When were you planning on telling me Will....
Today, tomorrow...or on your way to the transporter room to beam aboard the
Venture." He started to open his mouth to answer, but was quickly silenced
by her next wave of venom.

"Or is it like Beverly said, you would marry me...... You cocky son of a
bitch, how dare you assume anything! Do you actually believe I'd give up my
life here for YOU!" The anger that she seemed to be spreading through the
room, was settling on Will as well. He had heard enough.

"Don't flatter yourself counselor, marriage never occurred to me." The words
shot from his mouth in an attempt to hurt her, just she was hurting him. He
regretted them as she turned to face him, the anger in her eyes replaced
with tears of hurt. His anger tempered at the sight of her tears.

"Just let me explain." She wiped the tears that dripped on her cheeks, her
hands still trembling in response to her anger.

"I think I've hear.........."

They both lurched forward in response to the sudden movement of the
ship.....Will grabbing her before she hit the floor. The eyes that had been
filled with anger and hurt towards each other, quickly changing to looks of

"All senior staff report to the bridge!" The Captains stern voice sounded
through the ship.

Will released Deanna's arm, and nodded to her.....their personal feelings
put on hold as they headed to the bridge.

"What is it Captain?" His long strides brought him to the captain's side
quickly. Picard gestured to the viewscreen.

"What is that?" Will surveyed the sight on the viewscreen. Total blackness
enveloped the ship, the stars that normally surrounded them seemingly cut
away to enclose them in blackness. Amidst the darkness a lone object hung in
view, larger then anything Will had ever seen floating in space.

"We received an urgent distress call. After setting our coordinates to match
the signal we set off at warp six. In only moments the calling ceased and we
apparently entered this vortex."

"Or we were swallowed by it. I do not believe that our warp engines had time
to engage before entering the void." Worf's deep voice anticipated Riker's
next question.

"But that looks like a planet....it's too big to be a ship." Captain Picard
divided his attention between the viewscreen and his first officer.

"I agree number one. But all our attempts to hail it have failed."

"Or been deliberately ignored!" Worf responding in his usual suspicious

"Possibly Mister Worf, but we have received no life sign readings." He
turned his attentions toward Counselor Troi, she sat quietly in her chair
obviously reaching outside her self for answers. She answered her Captain's
question before it was ask.

"I'm not sensing anything, if there is life on the planet I am unable to
read it." Will watched Deanna for a moment before returning his gaze to the

"Suggest we beam to the planet Sir?" Captain Picard let out a deep sigh.

"That could be a problem Commander. It seems we're in a bit of a pickle."
Riker raised an eyebrow and started to speak, he was quickly interrupted by
the android.

"Query?....... Pickle?" Picard smiled at Will.

"Dilemma, Data." Data nodded, his brain zooming through it's memory.

"Ahh. Backed in a corner, sticky wicket, in a tough fix, Quagmire, a

"That's right mister Data. Anyway, it seems all ships power is in a
perpetual state of Flux. Our initial attempt to transfer power to the warp
engines, resulted in loss of life support on decks nine and ten." Will
walked closer to the viewscreen, propping his foot on the console stand
beside Data.

"Mister La Forge is working on the power terminals now in engineering. I
believe he could use all the help he can get." Will gave one last glimpse at
the viewscreen before turning to his Captain.

"Ay Sir, I'm on my way." He headed up the ramp to the turbo lift, listening
to Picard's orders to Troi. He held the doors until she stepped inside.

The doors slid shut Counselor Troi stating her destination. "The Captain
believes the families could use something to take there minds off our
present situation." Will nodded in agreement with the Captain's orders.

"Deanna, I know this isn't the time, or the........" His words interrupted
by the bright flash of light that filled the turbo lift. Three beings
shimmered into existence with the flash, knocking Deanna to the floor. It
took only seconds for the beings to grab Will and initiate another
transport. She only had an instant to think, she reached for her comm badge,
one of the woman noticing her intentions. The woman quickly reaching down to
trap Deanna in the wake of the transport beam.

As the transport released it's hold, she found herself alone in a room, Will
lying unconscious on the floor. .She hurried to him, knelling beside him.
"Will." Whatever they had done to him must have been very mild for he opened
his eyes with her first attempt to revive him. He ran his hand over the back
of his head, letting out a negligible groan of pain.

"I know your mad Deanna, but you didn't have to hit me."

"Believe me Commander if I had hit you you wouldn't have regained
consciousness so quickly." He smiled at her, as she helped him to his feet.
He glanced around the room. <Certainly not a cell> he thought. The floor was
covered in thick carpet, the walls in a pale yellow fabric, the furniture
all looked comfortable enough to sprawl out on. And with the pounding that
seemed to be circulating through his head he found the thought comforting.

"Refresh my memory Deanna. What the hell happened?" She looked up into his
eyes, she could see the pain he seemed to be in.

"I'm not sure. Three women just appeared in the turbo lift. They seemed to
be after only you, I just didn't want you to go anywhere without me."

He looked down on her, still massaging the back of his head. "Was that a jab
Deanna?" She gave him a sideways glance, and turned to the sound of the
doors opening. Two woman walked slowly into the room.

"You are the one we have chosen." The smaller female spoke, her voice filled
with a gentle sweetness. Deanna looked to Will, his eyes sliding over the
woman that had spoken. Her initial reaction of scolding him was quickly
silenced by her rational side. And she had no choice but to understand why
he looked at this woman in such a way. Never, in all her travels through the
galaxies had she seen anyone that possessed more beauty then this being in
front of her. If this woman had any imperfections they were buried
somewhere, even as she walked towards them, she appeared to be floating on

Will finally released the breath he had been holding since she entered the
room. But he couldn't pull his eyes from the vision in front of him. If he
had been able to create his version of the perfect woman, even his mind
wouldn't have been able to create such beauty.

"What are you thinking Will?" Deanna whispered.

Will jolted quickly to attention at the sound of Deanna's voice. "Nothing.
I'm thinking nothing." Deanna laughed silently taking pleasure in pulling
him from his thoughts. Will felt her satisfaction and offered her a slight

He cleared his throat before speaking, hoping his voice wouldn't crack
giving Deanna more ammunition then she already had.

"Chosen for what?" The woman walked slowly towards Will, placing one hand on
his chest, and cradling his face with the other.

"We have chosen you as the perfect man. You will be my Machnee, you will
help us procreate."

Will tried to swallow the smile that was threatening to break across his

"HA!!" Deanna couldn't help her response, and was rewarded with a
threatening look from Will.

The woman seemed unaware that Deanna was even in the room. "My name is
Alora. Your happiness is all that is important to us." Will took the woman's
hand from his face, and held it in his. "I'm Commander William Riker of the
starship enterprise. I'm pleased to meet you Alora." Will jumped slightly at
the sensation of Deanna's elbow in his side.

"Is she annoying to you?" Alora's musical voice filled the room.

"Humm, humm" Deanna's eyes widening as he struggled to answer, the smile
that he'd been trying to hide now fully enveloping his face.

"Sometimes she is, But I'm kinda use to it." Deanna shot him a look, his
chuckling grating on her. Alora moved back towards the other woman. Will
shrugged to Deanna, his irritating grin still covering his face. "Hey, I can
think of worse scenarios then this one." She rolled her eyes, and shook her
head in disgust.

"Yes, I'm sure you can Commander."

Will's emotions shifted quickly as he watched the two women huddled
together, it was quite apparent with the looks they were sending Deanna she
was an unwelcome visitor.

"We will be back soon." Alora spoke softly sending a suggestive smile his
way. Will attempted to return the smile, but his thoughts were fixed on
Deanna. He waited for the doors to slid shut before turning to her. Deanna
folded her arms across her chest, and looked up at Will.

"So tell me Commander, Has your ego deflated at all?"

"I don't know what your talking bout Deanna. My ego's the same as its always
been." He watched the amusement slide over her face. "So that would be a
no." He raised an eyebrow in amusement before taking on a serious hue.

"I don't think these women want you here Deanna."

"How astute Commander....What would ever make you say that?." He fastened
his gaze on her.

"What are you sensing from them?" With his words she wrapped her arms
tightly around herself, Will assumed to protect herself from whatever she
was sensing.

"Deanna?" He put his hand softly on her shoulder.

"It's eerie Will. It's so quiet." She rubbed her hands briskly up and down
her arms, as though she were cold, and trying to stimulate warmth.

"Deanna you've encounter lifeforms before that you couldn't read. Why is
this so frightening to you?" She put her hands on his chest as if she needed
to pull strength from him in order to go on.

"It's not the quiet....it's the waves of emotions that sweep into my mind,
and then are quickly silenced. As though someone is blocking me. It is not
coming from you, or the women...but someone else is here." She walked to the
small window on the far side of the room, deriving pleasure from the lush
landscape outside.

"Beautiful." Will joined her, and inhaled deeply with the sight.

Beautiful? I thought you hated snow?"

"I do...where to you see snow." Will shot her a perplexed expression. "What
are you seeing Deanna?" Deanna allowed the consolation of the view, and
Will's arm around her shoulder to comfort her for a moment. "A beautiful
garden filled with flowers, all hanging with the kiss of the morning dew."
Will looked again, his view filled with the snow-covered peaks of his home.
He only shrugged, he had encountered thought generated holograms like this
before, and he didn't find it worth exploring. He was more concerned with
this unknown that Deanna had spoke of. Both turned abruptly as the doors
slid open.

Alora and two other women all of equal beauty entered the room. "We have
decided she is expendable." She nodded her head towards Deanna, her golden
curls falling over her radiant green eyes. Will stepped in front of Deanna,
holding up his hand to the two women that approached her.

"Hold on." Alora nodded to the two women, Will noticing that it was his
wishes that seemed to matter to her.

"If you wish to make me happy. She will not be hurt." Alora deepened her
gaze on Will.

"This female is important to you?" Will nodded, and smiled provocatively to
her. The two women took Deanna by the arms and pulled her towards the door.
"Wait." Alora came closer to Will, placing her hand on his arm. "She will
not be harmed, if that is what you wish." Will sent a concerned look towards
Deanna as she was removed from the room.

<Be careful Imzadi> He heard the words in his mind, and returned a similar

He stiffened as Alora ran her hands over his chest. "Relax Will. We have all
the time in the world." He relaxed slightly as she removed her hand from
him. "We have supplied you with all the comforts we thought you would need.
Feel free to look around the ship. You are not a prisoner here." The
explorer in him took center stage for a moment with the realization that
this incredible place was a ship of some kind. "This is a ship?" She smiled

"Yes. An entire world encompassed inside a floating hull. After you clean
up, you should explore our world. I think you will find it most enjoyable.
You must be sterilized before entering the environment. We have taken care
of the female, although we had to limit her access....She's quite stubborn
isn't she?"

Will smiled knowingly. "She can be." He backed slowly towards the wall,
Alora's hungry eyes fixing on him. She ran her hand over his beard, smiling
with satisfaction. "Not until you are ready, Imzadi." He felt his jaw
tightened as the word floated from her mouth. "How do you know that word?"
His voice raising more then he'd intended.

"It does not please you?" Her green eyes sparkled with inquisitive

"NO, it doesn't please me."

"Very well....Will." She brushed her lips softly against his, and exited the

He centered himself for a moment, and reached out for Deanna. <I'm coming

<I know> sounded through his mind, followed by her gentle laughter. He
rolled his eyes as he realized she had been aware of his uneasy
feelings around Alora. As he neared the doors, a simulated voice sounded
through the room.

"Please sterilize." Will looked around, and entered the small room to his
right. After realizing it was only some sort of shower, he removed his
uniform and stepped into the stream of warm water. He hoped there was no
time quota to be met in order to be sanitized, because he made it as quick
as possible. He needed to get to Deanna, and make sure Alora was speaking
the truth about her well being. He spied the clothes that were neatly folded
on the vanity, and quickly slipped into them. He inhaled deeply as he
approached the doors, the aroma that seemed to fill the room quite
mesmerizing. He was relieved when the doors slid open..

"Unbelievable" His eyes met with a snow dusted meadow, spring blooms poking
their heads from beneath the white. He filled his lungs with the gentle
sting of the cold, a familiar sensation, and one he hadn't had in a while.
He walked for what seemed like miles, following Deanna's voice as best he
could. He nodded to the women he passed on his way, each one offering a
different kind of beauty. He felt his environment changing from the sting of
the cold, to the gentle breezes of the tropics. He recognized the scent of
Betazoid orchids, and felt Deanna's presence increase in his mind. It was
only moments before she walked into view, her body draped in a pale pink
dress. The silky fabric delicately accentuating the curves of her body, the
thin straps falling loosely off her ivory shoulders. He eyed her for a
moment before letting out an appreciative whistle. Her eyes in turn surveyed
him, his white baggy pants cut just above the ankle, the white wrap around
shirt exposing his bare chest.

"What is that you wearing?" She giggled with her words.

"I don't know, but I like it. Feel a little like Luke Skywalker." She raised
a questioning eyebrow.

"Nothing, just an old program Data was running." She accepted the
explanation, and continued

"Well what would this Luke Skywalker do in our situation?" Will waved his
hand in the air.

"No idea. I left, twentieth century scifi Deanna....pretty bad." She agreed
with his words, her face becoming serious. "The presence I spoke of....it's
a presence I've felt before. I know, I know this person....somewhere in my
past." He could see how her revelation was affecting her, by her broken
thoughts. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into a tight hug.

Alora hung back behind the dense covering of vines, she whispered softly to
the auburn haired woman that accompanied her. "In time he will find no need
for her, we must be patient. He is much stronger then I thought." Both women
turned with a start at the deep voice that whispered behind them. "Or his
feelings for the woman are. If he does not submit in forty eight
hours....she must be eliminated." The man shook his head, seemingly
regretting the order he had just given.

"Alora said you had restricted access. Did she explain that to you?" Deanna
pointed to the delicate chain that hung loosely around her ankle. "It seems
I'm only allowed access to the simulated environments. This anklet sets a
force field of sorts into motion. I notice your not wearing one." Will's
face light up in a devilish grin. "Hey, being a perfect man has it's

The inflection in his voice causing her too to smile at his words. "I still
think it's odd. they must know you want to escape." He took her hand, she
fell in beside him. They walked for hours through the lush greenery, Will
explaining his theories on why he felt he was given unlimited access to the

"It's hard to believe any species so sure of themselves, that they would
seemingly offer you access to an escape." Will's blue eyes reflected gray in
the simulated light.

"That does trouble me Deanna. Perhaps their not worried because there is no
escape from this place." She stopped walking and fixed her eyes on him.
"That doesn't sound like you. I thought Will Riker always had other

"Maybe he did....I just don't know, I feel a sense of hopelessness. Like all
my options have been spent, and I'm faced with one decision ....give up,
surrender, say the hell with it." Deanna felt his feelings wash over her, so
disquieting to sense them from someone like Will Riker. She pointed to the
dark veil that seemed to be sliding over the landscape.

"Must be some sort of sleep period." Will nodded to her, unable to shake the
feeling of dread that penetrated his core.

He awoke to the sound of his own scream, his body covered in sweat. He tried
to steady his breathing, but his heart was beating out of his chest.

"What is it Will?" she reached for his arm, he pulled quickly from her
touch. "Will, It's me...Deanna." His eyes were wide with fear, his chest
heaving heavily.

"We've gotta get out of here!" The tone in his voice sent a shiver through
her body.

"It was dream Will. Your all right.... your safe." She wrapped her arms
around his waist, thankful he didn't pull away from her touch. She felt his
heart rate slow, and his breathing return to normal, and that was when the
stray thought floated into her mind. She turned to face him, trying to keep
her voice as composed as possible.

"Borg?" He nodded in response to the word. " Like my mind was forcing me to

"Remember what Will." He looked at her, his eyes still wide with fear.


She understood the single word, and felt the same emotions in him now, as
the day he had stood on the bridge and given the order. She assumed the
helplessness he felt now, was equivalent to the helplessness he felt then.
But she offered him no verbal response only the solace of her body, to heal
his open wound.

As the light slowly restored itself through the simulated environment Deanna
was pleased, and somewhat surprised to find they were still alone. Will sat
up beside her, and let out a deep yawn.

"Are you feeling better this morning?"

"Yea I am. Thanks Deanna."

"For what Will?" She smiled slyly.

"For not analyzing me last night......but I do approve of your choice of
counseling techniques." He raised a mischievous eyebrow, and kissed her

"Ok. New day...new strategy. First we get that thing off your ankle." She
breathed a silent sigh of relief, as the Will Riker she knew stood in front
of her. He eyed the fragile chain around Deanna leg, and reached for the
tiny clasp.

"Shit." He was knocked back by the current that coursed through his body. He
sat stunned on the ground looking at Deanna.

"Well, that was a bad idea." She smiled at the understatement. "Are you all

"Yea, feeling more stupidity, then pain. I just don't think I'm giving these
'ladies' enough credit."

"Or someone?" He creased his brows at her. "The presence, again?"

"It comes and goes....but I sense that whoever, or whatever is trying to
shield itself is struggling more and more." He stood up, and helped her to
her feet. "Good...maybe he'll have no choice but to come out of hiding."

"May I see you for a moment?" The sweet voice of Alora floated on the
breeze. "You may return to the female later."

Will started to object, Deanna quieting his concern. <It's all right Will.
I'll be here when you get back.> He winked reassuringly, and headed off with

"Bitch" Will heard Deanna's word in his mind, and tried to silence his

Deanna watched as Will approached through the flower studded meadow.

"Hey this is nice Deanna." He admired the crystal blue water, cradled in the
arms of the mountains behind her. "I was beginning to think you never
thought of anything but gardens."

"Actually I created it from memory...it's Crater Lake. Great fishing here
you know." His smile covered his face. "Hum, little warmer then I remember
though. Hard to believe this dusting of snow can survive in this eighty
degree heat." She shrugged her shoulders. "Sorry, I did add my own

"Too bad we can't enjoy it." He reached down and pulled the anklet from her
ankle. She stared at him, her eyes wide with questions.

"Tell me Commander, what did you have to........." He held up his hand to
silence the question.

"Nothing I swear." She eyed him skeptically "I swear. I just ask her." The
playful grin on her face, vanished with his words.

"Who...ask who?" Will was bewildered by the sudden change in moods, and
answered quickly.


"And you didn't find that odd?" He looked at her totally perplexed as to why
she would be complaining about her freedom.

"Sort of...but I thought I'd seize the opportunity."

"Well I was thinking about this while you were gone. Alora didn't have to
bring me here. She had plenty of time to transport you off the enterprise
before anyone could have stopped them. Even if I had hit my comm badge."

"What are you saying Deanna?" He tried to look inside her, find the lost
piece of the puzzle she seemed to have found.

"She wanted me here, Will. Just as she wants me to have my freedom now. I
remember her expression when she looked to me on the turbo lift floor. She
looked like a lost child....a child who saw an opportunity and just grabbed
it." Will shifted his weight, the uneasy feeling inside him amplifying.

"Opportunity for what., Deanna?"

Deanna let her breath out slowly through her mouth, she hoped Will would
understand her next words.

"An opportunity for help Will. I believe all she has done, were just silent
pleas for help."

His intent blue eyes immersed themselves in hers, as he battled to fathom
what she had said.

No sooner had Deanna suspicions of Alora left her lips, then Alora appeared
in the meadow.

"It is time again Will." Deanna was surprised when he only nodded, and
followed her through the field of flowers. Deanna's first instinct to
follow, was quickly replaced with curiosity about the ship she now had
access to. She knew whatever it was Alora needed Will to do, he was not in
any jeopardy. As she turned to explore, the female in her shouted through
her mind to stop him, make sure he wasn't doing for Alora what she intended
him to do all along. But the starfleet officer in her won the battle, she
knew if Will had accepted Alora's advances she would know.

"And he would never do that." She spoke the words aloud, a gentle attempt to
convince herself.

She walked through the simulated environment she had created, the ground
slowly changing from the lush simulation, to the cold hard surface of metal.
Her senses filling themselves with the sensations of her surroundings. The
nauseating smell of fuel filled her nose, the air was filled with clouds of
gray smoke that circulated around the pillars of black metal. The lighting
was obscure, and the dull roar of machinery filled her ears. She allowed her
eyes to survey her surroundings, so many choices as to where to go. The
ramps and ladders that led to various parts of this massive ship all
illuminated in a green hue. If she stared to explore this place she could
travel through the endless passages for days, and never find her way back to
Will. But her eyes were drawn to one small ladder, it had no markings and
could have been missed if she wasn't practically standing on top of it.

"I guess I choose down." she whispered to herself. She wrapped her hands
around the cold metal, and started her long climb to the bottom of the
shaft. As her feet came to rest on the ground below she noticed the change,
the ground no longer a sheet of dense metal, but what appeared to be rock.
She walked slowly across the shiny black rock face, the lights from the
panels along the wall creating eerie shadows that played on her fears. She
stopped suddenly with the vaguely familiar sound that echoed through the
chamber. As the sound became louder, she pressed herself deeply into a
corner of the room. Only the ships lights flickered off her widened eyes as
the lifeform she knew to well, passed her hidden spot.

<Borg> The word sounded in her thoughts, her heart beating faster as she was
passed unnoticed. When the sound of the metallic footfalls fell away, she
pulled herself out of her hiding place and hurried to find Will. She quicken
her pace, the panic of what she had seen saturating her soul. She breathed a
sigh of relief as she wrapped her hands around the metal of her escape, and
proceeded to climb. The simultaneous sensation of the hand that wrapped
itself around her bare ankle, and the trepidation that shot through her,
caused her to release her hold on the metal railing.

She felt the arms that broke her fall, and breathed a sigh of relief as Will
Riker's blue eyes observed hers.

"Gods, Will!" She scolded him with her words, but pressed her body close to
his. "How did you find me?" He shrugged his shoulders, and shot her a
devilish smile.

"Will Riker school of thought. Always choose the unmarked passage, it proves
more interesting." He brushed a strand of her damp hair from her forehead,
and wiped the beads of sweat from underneath.

"So, Deanna. What has you so frightened?" She hesitated before explaining,
remembering his dream of the previous night.

"Your not going to believe this Will. I'm not sure I do. I saw a Borg." Her
eyes widen, his expression never wavering.

"Did you hear what I said, Will." He nodded nonchalantly.

"And a Borg is?" He opened his arms, in an inquiring way.

"Borg..... Cybergenic lifeform. Your maneuvers against them, saved Captain
Picard from assimilation. You do know Captain Picard?" Her fears over seeing
the Borg were nothing, compared to the waves of terror that ran through her
in response to the blank expression on his face.

"Of course I know Captain Picard. Are you all right Deanna?." She brushed a
stray lock of hair from his forehead, and searched his eyes.

"How long have you known Captain Picard?" It was obvious he was getting
frustrated with her questions. He let out a disgusted breath of air. "I
don't know what's wrong with you Deanna. But we don't have time for this."

"Just answer the question Will!" Her elevated tone, causing Will's eyes to
fix themselves on hers.

"I said that's enough lieutenant! ...Is that understood?" She stiffened with
his use of her rank, a rank she hadn't carried for years..

"Yes Sir." She stood straight, the quivering she felt inside, threatening to
break through her guise of strength.

She followed behind him as he led her over the jagged sheet of obsidian, the
word lieutenant bouncing off the interiors of her mind.

She tried to settle her fears as he led her closer to where she had
encountered the Borg. She was relieved as he veered down a separated passage
to her left and stopped.

"I'm sorry I yelled Deanna. But we both knew this would be difficult." She
nodded, knowing he was referring to serving aboard the same ship after all
their years apart.

"It's all right, Will. Tell me, where did Alora take you?"

"Sanitizing." He wiped some grease from her bare shoulder. "And from the
looks of things you could use one too." She shot a quick look to the pale
pink dress, that had faded to a shadow of gray, and attempted to wipe away
the smudges of grease.

"What is sanitizing?" A look of shock crossed his face with her question,
but she sensed his remorse about their earlier encounter, and knew he would
answer the question without bickering.

"It's great Deanna. Hard to explain though. It's not the feeling of the warm
water as much as the aromas that fill the room, and penetrate themselves
into each part of your body." She felt the emotions that stirred inside him,
a sense of arousal, followed by intense satisfaction.

"Will?" His eyes deepened in color, she could feel his resentment towards
her for pulling him from his thoughts.

"How did we get here? To this ship?" She watched him closely, his emotions
spiraling into a tailspin as he struggled to reach for an unknown she knew
he couldn't find. His memories had been wiped out in progression from future
to past, only dark voids remaining in the parts of his mind that had been
banished. She felt his pain and hopelessness as he clutched the sides of his
head, and fell to his knees. She offered him the only strength she could,
she held him close.... consoling him with her thoughts, as more doors
slammed shut in the depths of his mind.

Captain Picard paced the enterprise bridge, three days of hanging in limbo,
causing his facial features to tighten. All attempts to free themselves from
the void, and locate the commander and counselor had met with the same

"Sir, incoming communication from starfleet" Mr Worf's baritone voice
startled him from his thoughts. He turned quickly to face him,
communications had also been fluctuating and they had been unable to sound a
distress call.

"How is that possible, Mr Worf?"

"Unknown." <Unknown, unknown> The small word was grating on his nerves, it
seemed the only response he had gotten in three days.


A somewhat muted version of Admiral Ventess appeared on the screen.

"I'm actually looking for Commander Riker, Jean Luc. He has not yet
responded with his acceptence....." Captain Picard interrupted the Admiral,
his normally patient character wearing thin.

"With all due respect Admiral, Commander Riker's career is hardly a concern.
It's his life I'm concerned with. It seems Admiral we are in a bit of a
jam." He shot a silencing look to Data, as the android turned to inquire
about his terminology.

"And how is that Captain?" The Admiral appeared somewhat confused by the
statement. "Our sensors show you to be in the Zornon cluster, as ordered."

Captain Picard bit back his angry response to the Admiral detached reply.

"I'm afraid your sensors are mistaken Admiral, we appear to be in in some
kind of subspace void. All ship systems have failed, and we believe
Commander Riker, and Counselor Troi have been abducted." The Admiral eyed
him warily, sending similar looks to the rest of the crew.

"Captain.....the auoic emission in the Zoran cluster have been proven to
cause mild hallucinations. I suggest you check your fail safes, and have
Doctor Crusher check your crew for signs of auoric sickness." He thought it
impossible to feel more tension then he already felt, but this pompous
bureaucrat had increased his tension ten fold.

"This not an Hallucination Admiral! Two members of my crew are missing, the
enterprise is virtually a lifeless shell, and I think I've heard enough
about Auoic sickness! With all due respect Admiral....YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT

Picard moved closer to the viewscreen, hoping to enlarge his persona, and
wishing he could reach through time and space and shake the daylights out of
Admiral Ventess. The Admiral only settled back in his chair, and let out a
heavy sigh.

"Remain in Zornon space, we will sent the Athens to rendezvous with you. Oh
and Captain, that's an order." Captain Picard stared at the blank screen for
a moment, trying to forget that these were the people who were running star

"He did not believe you, Sir?" Captain Picard turned to face the android.

"No Data, he didn't. Admiral Ventess has spent too many years sitting in a
musty office watching the paint chip. He wouldn't know a subspace anomaly if
it bit him in the ass." He watched the perplexed expression encompass the
Android's face.

"I'll explain later Data." Data nodded and returned to Riker's chair.

"Sir..I'm receiving intermittent trace patterns on sensors." Captain Picard
shot quickly to the Klingons side, at this point the trace patterns of a
mosquito would be something.

Worf played his fingers over the display. "It is still unclear, but it
appears to be traces of Trilithium Resin."

Deanna sat up with a start, she massaged her shoulder that had been wedged
against the rock. She quickly looked around, her heart sinking at the
realization that Will was gone. She chastised herself for falling asleep,
and reached for him with her mind. She was met with only the rhythmic
dripping of the water that seeped through the rock. When last she had seen
him he had called her imzadi, and still questioned it's meaning. At his rate
of memory reduction, it was very possible he had reached the point where she
no longer was a part of his world. The thought, and the damp air that
surrounded her causing her to shudder. She got quickly to her feet walking
the cramps out of her stiff legs.

She felt the presence, before the cold wrinkled hand cupped her arm. She
turned to face the one that held her, a presence that had once been so
settling, twisting into a feeling of dread. Her eyes widened as she searched
the somewhat familiar face. Years of age had crept across his face, his
posture no longer straight and tall as she remembered, but crooked and

"Doctor B" she used the term she had used as a child. Doctor Bancroft had
been her father's dearest friend, and the person who had offered the most
comfort to her and her mother when he had died.

"Miss Deanna... whose smile can open the petals of a mahanu flower." She
fondly remembered the years he had convinced her it was her smile that
caused the Mahanu to open each evening. His timing always perfect, he would
bring her to the garden, and tell her to smile. As the smile broke on her
face, the delicate peach petals would open in response. She was almost six
before she realized it was the pull of the moons that actually caused the
event....but to this day it was one of her sweetest memories of childhood.

"I thought you were dead?" He nodded, and guided her gently through the

"That is what I needed people to think. I needed time to complete my studies
and actuate my plan." His voice was nothing like she remembered....it was
cold, and harsh, and filled with vengeance. She had also heard of his
studies, years later after he was thought to be dead. She never was able to
believe what she had been told....his use of live tissue, infused with that
of the deceased, and meshed with positronics, creating living breathing
beings. She shuttered at the thought of the alleged mutilations he had

Her breath caught in her throat, as she entered the brightly lit laboratory.
Her eyes meeting with the almost human expression of a borg.

"I had given up hope, until I found the renegade borg. If I completely
extinguish the brain, and infuse it with positronic stimulators, I am able
to widen the scope of brain function....one hundred percent use of brain
capacity." He pulled Alora to his side. "She is my perfection. All her vital
organs infused with machinery so intricately place that even your Doctor
Crusher would never know." Deanna only shook her head, horrified by the

"Don't be so self righteous Miss Deanna. I believe it was your people that
aided in the creation of these pitiful Borg."

"Where's Will?" He focused his eyes on her, she could see his insanity
swirling behind them.

"Don't you see? My creations are capable of reproduction, in time their kind
will eliminate fragile humans. Commander Riker's appointment as Captain of
the Venture, left me the perfect opportunity to infiltrate star fleet,
slowly and naturally. In time the cross breeding would do away with a need
for my help.....i will have created the perfect species."

Will Riker stepped from behind the large array of machinery that filled the
room. The flashing lights from the warp engines magnified the wild look in
his eyes. She ran to him and flung her arms around his neck. He stood
perfectly rigid, his eyes focused only on Alora.

"He doesn't know who you are, and he never will." Will pushed Deanna aside,
and walked closer to Alora. His hands and his eyes sliding sensually over
her body. Deanna felt the tears sting at her eyes as Will's mouth covered

"You see Miss Deanna, you have no imzadi. And now." He took her arm firmly
,Deanna breaking free of his weak grasp. She turned on her heels to run, the
heat of the phaser fire that brushed past her, stopping her in her tracks.
She turned to face the weapon, and the familiar face of the man that held

"Sorry lady, but I don't think the Doc wants you to go." Will Riker's
chilling voice and unbalanced eyes digging into her soul. He picked her up,
his face free of any emotion and placed her in the large metal chair in the
center of the lab. Without a second thought he turned his attentions back to
Alora, as the doctor fastened the last strap across her chest.

"Sir, gradual power restoration returning to the bridge." Captain Picard
turned his attentions from the viewscreen to his acting first officer.

"How gradual Mister Data?" Data scrutinized the screen in front of him.

"It appears to be increasing steadily." Captain Picard returned his eyes to
the planet and the fluctuations on it's exterior.

"Ah, perhaps our Commander Riker is busy with his handy word."

Negative sir, if Commander Riker is responsible for the transfer. He is
signing his own death warrant." Picard moved to the panel the android was
looking at, his frown deepening with the readings.

"A ship?"

"Yes Sir. It appears that the Trilithum resin, has mixed with the anti
matter and is feeding itself into the warp core." Captain Picard felt a rush
of adrenaline surge through him, at last there was something he could do.

"Scan for life signs, Mr. Worf." The Captain shot from one station to
another, a new hope welling inside him.

"Unable to penetrate shields. rerouting power..attempting electro plasma
system tap." Worf's hands darted over the panels.

"System tap unsucessful....Phase distortion increasing, ships power in
perpetual flux." Captain Picard shot a gratified look to the view screen.

"Good, let them see how it feels." He tapped his comm badge. "Mister Foley,
reconfigure all transporters for transport through anti matter field. and
stand by. Mister Worf release matter- anti matter spread, three bursts,
thirty second intervals." Worf hesitated for only a moment, as he looked
upon the determined face of his captain. "Aye sir."

Deanna struggled to free herself, reach for Will with her mind. She watched
the doctor as his hands played across the panels that would seal her fate.
Will finally turned to face her, one arm around Alora, the other still
gripping the alien weapon. As the doctor returned to her side she saw Will
nod to Alora, and release his hold on her.

"And now Miss. Deanna. I think it's time we said good-bye." She looked to
the doctor, tears dripping down her cheeks, not in response to her own death
but to what had happened to Will. She turned at the thunderous sound of the
warp engines, Alora's hands working the panels at it's side. The Doctor
quickly shot a look to Alora, attempting to reach her, stop her from her
quest. He was stopped in his tracks by Will Riker, eyes twinkling with
triumph, his weapon pushed tightly against the Doctor's chest.

"Stopped by your own creation... .poetic justice I'd say, Doctor
Frankenstien." The weapon Will held to the doctor's chest seemed of little
importance to him.

"Narrow minded fool!" The words flew from his mouth, as he reached for the
controls that would activate the chair where Deanna was still held prisoner.
Without a thought Will fired the weapon, the doctor vaporizing with the
impact. Will shot a quick look at the weapon in his hand, stunned by the
power it seemed to hold, before freeing Deanna from the chair.

"You all right?" Deanna only nodded, still bewildered by this unusual
alliance. He offered her a quick consoling smile, before turning his
attentions to Alora.

"No! What the hell are you doing?" Will's words contained particles of
anger, encased in shock. Deanna joined him at her side, the grip of the
transporter silencing his warnings.

They materialized on the enterprise bridge, the welcoming smiles ignored by
Deanna and Will.

Deanna pointed to the view screen. "There are at least seventy life forms on
the ship Sir." Captain Picard nodded to the counselor. "I'm well aware of
that counselor." he tapped his comm badge.

"Mister Foley, lock on the warp core beam it as far out of here as

Will felt an urgency welling inside him, his fears reinforced by the words
of the Klingon.

"Sir, the ship has raised its shields." Will walked closer to the
viewscreen, wishing he could reach through it and stop Alora in what she had
planned along.

"Mr. Whise. Turn the ship around, reroute all surplus power to the aft
shields." Will heard the Captains order...the incorrect assumption pulling
his thoughts from Alora to the enterprise.

"Belay that order, Mister Whise!" Will's hands sailed across the display
panel "Mister Whise...course laid in...Full reverse." With his order
Commander Riker and Counselor Troi returned their attention to the
viewscreen, Deanna took Will's hand in hers, offering him the only solace
she could.

As the stars began to appear around the enterprise, Captain Picard gave the
all stop. And in a blaze of colors the alien ship lost it's battle......the
explosion sealing the black cluster that had entrapped them.

The senior staff gathered in the conference room. After undergoing a battery
of tests, Commander Riker, and counselor Troi were found to be no worse for
wear ....and were returned to active duty.

"Quite ingenuus, number one. setting up an intravenous power tap between the
two ships. Though I must say a bit risky." Riker attempted a weak smile,
Deanna's thoughts picking up on his feelings of failure.

"Thank you Sir. But I couldn't have done it without her." Captain Picard
understood his first officers anguish, perhaps too well.

"Perhaps perfection is not all it would seem to be. And you did offer them
freedom Will, perhaps not the kind you chose for them.....but the only kind
they really wanted." Will nodded at his captains attempt to help him over
his guilt. Captain Picard eyed each of his crew, silently thanking each for
a job well done.

"Dismissed." The senior staff filed out of the conference room, Deanna and
Will the last to approach the doors.

"I'm sorry about the Venture, Will." Deanna shot the Commander a perplexed
expression, Riker only nodding an acknowledgment to his captain. The two
walked in silence to the turbo lift, as the doors slid shut... Deanna looked
up at Will. Will returned her gaze and offered an answer to her unasked

"Seems star fleet thinks our encounter with the auoic emissions, could
hamper my decision making abilities for awhile. They've awarded the ship to
Commander Shelby. and recalled the enterprise to earth." Deanna looked at
him in amazement, with all the question that turned in her mind only one
word left her lips. "Shelby?"

"Ironic isn't it?" That was all he said, amazingly enough Deanna sensed no
animosity about the decision, quite the opposite he seemed pleased with the

"Now, about this link you shared with Alora?" He smiled at her, slightly
amused by the glint of jealousy in her eyes.

"Simple, really. Her advanced brain was able to shield my thoughts, not only
from you, but doctor Bancroff as well. All I had to do was look insane, and
confused." Deanna smiled ruefully. "I'm sure that came fairly easy for you.
And your physical contact was also an act?" He bit back the grin that
threatened to break over his face. "Sure, That sort of thing comes easy to a
'cocky son of a bitch'." He sent her a victorious smile, as he threw her own
words back in her face. She stepped in front of him as the doors slid open.
"All in the line of duty, huh Commander?"

"Of course Deanna, an officer and a gentlemen that's me. Now if you wish to
continue this interrogation, meet me in my quarters in one hour." He winked
at her promisingly, and headed for his quarters.

After sounding the chimes for the third time, and receiving no answer, she
punched in Commander Riker's access code and entered his quarters. She heard
the sound of the shower, and sat down on the couch to wait. She picked up
the PADD that rested beside her, the one Will had been working on days
before, when she had stormed in in a rage. She smiled at the memory, all of
it seeming less important now. She scanned the entry, her eyes widened with
each word.

"Hey, What are you doing?!" Will pulled the PADD from her grasp, and threw
it on the chair beside him.

"You wanted to talk about Alora." Even as he spoke, his eyes admired her.
The deep red dress she was wearing slit high on her leg, and cut low in the
front, leaving just enough of her tantalizing body to his imagination.

She felt his desire, her own eyes admiring the man in front of her....His
pale blue shirt still hanging open revealing a chest still slightly damp
from showering, the color of his eyes had deepen in response to the passion
he was feeling. And all of a sudden her questions about Alora seemed
unimportant, the words she had read on the PADD sounding reassuringly in her
mind. ~Commander William T Riker, regrets to inform you he will be unable to
accept the appointment of Captain, to the federation star ship Venture.~

<Quite a turn of events> she thought, pushing his shirt off of his
shoulders, and lavishing kisses over his chest. She felt his heavy breath of
desire, as he swept her into his arms. He placed her gently on his bed, his
eyes never leaving hers. She smiled playfully, as his hand stroked the
curves of her breasts. He didn't acknowledge her as she spoke, but allowed
his tongue to continue the exploration his hands had began.

"I was thinking about what Doctor Bancroff said....so intricately placed,
even doctor crusher would never know. How do I know?" He pulled back
reluctantly, pulling his gaze from where it had been, to meet with her eyes.
His voice was rich, his eyes filled with hunger, his face slightly flushed
with the color of desire. .

"I guess you don't" She started to speak but he quickly covered her mouth
with his. He waited until he felt her body respond to the pleasure before
pulling away.

"But I'll guarantee you something." She raised an inquisitive eyebrow, he
leaned closer to her, the heat from his breath causing her skin to tingle.

"I am fully functional, and programmed in multiple techniques." The passion
in his voice momentarily replaced by a devilish chuckle..

She let out a soft giggle, licking her lips as though she could taste his

She let out a slow satisfied sigh, her body slowly sur coming to technique
number one.

END(or at least all we can see in a pg13 story:-)