“Deanna! Deanna!” Riker yelled through the darkness of
the rain and the loud crashing sound of the thunder.
Blinding flashes of lightening bolted across the
blackened sky, the sudden light made him blink and
shield his eyes. “De---Ann---Na!” With spotlight in
hand he desperately searched the thickly wooded area,
of the planet. The trees bent and swayed by the force
of the wind that moved in the darkness. The wind sang
its own lonely song of hopelessness as it howled
around the trees.
He had been searching for over an hour by himself. His
heart panicked as he searched through the forest,
hoping and praying he would find her. The Captain had
ordered the rest of the crew to beam back onto the
ship, due to the uncertain threatening weather
patterns of the planet. He had practically begged the
Captain to allow him to stay on the surface and
continue the search alone.
[[Enterprise to Commander Riker]] the voice on the
other side of his com-badge stated firmly.
Riker inhaled deeply and tapped the small metal object
on his chest. [[Riker here]] he answered, dreading
what he knew was going to be said.
[[Commander we are beaming you up.]] 
‘Oh Gods…no’ Riker thought to himself…instead he
tapped his com-badge and replied, [[Sir, with all due
respect. I would like to remain on the surface and
continue the search for the Counselor.]]
[[Negative Number One. The planet's surface has become
too unstable]]
[[Sir, I’m sure just a few more minutes…]] Riker
attempted to bargain with the Starship Captain.
[[Return to the ship now, Commander]] the Captain
[[Sir?]] Riker tried to interrupt.
[[You have your orders Commander]] The captain stated
in a very serious 'this discussion is over' tone of
Riker stood silently for a moment and looked up into
the sky…he searched through the pitch darkness of the
clouds.  The rain stung against his face as it poured
down with a force. “Gods, Deanna where are you!” he
screamed into the thunder. The only answer he received
was a blinding bolt of lightening.
Desperately he tried to sense her, but could not.
Desperately he tried to feel her, but could not.
He tried to reach out with his mind but to no avail.
The thoughts of her dying on this God forsaken planet
gripped around his heart…and worse the fear of knowing
he had abandoned her enveloped him with a much worse
sickening fear that welled up in his stomach.
Riker was about to tear the badge off of his uniform.
His mind was screaming ‘to hell with Starfleet’. 
He reached for the gold badge on his chest, when the
shimmering flickering lights of the transporter beam
began to dissolve his molecules and he was unwillingly
transported back to the ship.
Without the Counselor of the USS Enterprise.

Chapter 2  “The Darkness of the Wind”

Riker sat in the quiet living quarters, nursing a
drink. He looked out of the huge window of his home,
and noticed the heat lightening.  The same brilliant
flash of light that when it faded, one second later
had seemed to have taken Deanna with it.  With each
new flash of the light, he remembered the day almost a
year ago when he was forced to leave Deanna Troi on
that planet. Beverly Crusher had sedated him, and the
next thing he knew it was five days later and the
hellish planet was light years away. Beverly had told
him there could have been no way that Deanna could
have possibly survived.  After that knowledge, he had
resigned himself to the fate that his whole world was
gone. Nothing mattered anymore. He had been suspended
from Starfleet three months ago for ‘conduct
unbecoming of a superior officer’.  So here he sat, in
a lonely planet side apartment on earth.
A female body stepped out of the bedroom; she was
wrapped in a sheet…as she approached the drinking
“A little early to be drinking, don’t you think?” she
“Some drink coffee. Some drink tea.” He answered. His
voice was hollow. “I drink this.” He raised the glass
up to her as if he was toasting something, and then he
finished the shot glass of whiskey.
“Will?” she stated his name as if she were requesting
something. “You are constantly drinking, do you think
you may have a drinking problem?”
“If I do…” Gods what was her name his brain went
blank, then he suddenly remembered he couldn’t say her
name because he never took the time to ask. “I’d be
the first synthoholic in Starfleet.” He refilled his
shot glass.
“That isn’t synthohol.” She observed as she walked
closer to him.
“Who the hell are you?” he asked through glaring
bloodshot eyes, he was beginning to get annoyed. “My
mother died years ago. And I don’t remember asking for
a Therapist.”
He began to treat women like they were a slab of meat,
only for physical sex. He’d get what he wanted by
wining and dining them and then he would throw them
away. Hell, half of the time he didn’t even ask them
their names, and if he did he was usually too drunk to
remember it. The woman standing before him was no
“I thought you and I had something special last
night.” She said, “Why did you ask me to spend the
night? Only to be rude to me the next morning. All you
wanted was sex, is that it?”
“Look, I’m sorry.” He apologized. But he made no
effort to come close to her; all he really wanted was
for her to leave. “Forgive me.” Not really caring if
she forgave him or not.
“I think I should just leave.” She stated.  He looked
up at her, and could tell she wanted him to comment.
Perhaps she wanted him to say something idiotic like,
‘please stay’ he sat silently for a moment. He looked
at her and noticed that she wasn’t really all that
attractive, her neck was too long, she was too skinny,
and he hated her hair color.
“Yeah, I think you should.” He answered as he downed
the shot glass of whiskey.
“Fine.” She huffed as she headed back towards the
bedroom to get dressed. “ I won’t be back.”
“Bitch.” He mouthed the word to no one. He ran his
fingers through his uncombed hair and exhaled.
Outside the lightening flashed becoming more and more
of a reminder to him…a reminder that Deanna Troi had
suddenly vanished from his life forever. He took a
hefty swig from the bottle, hoping that the whiskey
would make the lightening go away, make the memories
go away. He had become too protective of Deanna, he
had even admitted that fact to himself on several
occasions. But yet he had no control of his emotions
or his actions when it came to her well being. 
He had failed.
He had failed himself by not being able to save her.
He had failed her, by leaving the area.
He had sworn to himself that never again would he
allow himself to become that close to another being,
especially a woman.  
“Maybe you should drink with this.” She stated as she
dropped the holo-photo on his lap. “Goodbye.” Was all
this entirely too skinny, long necked woman said,
before he heard the door hiss shut behind her.
He turned the holo-photo on. It had been on the table
beside his bed. He stared at the face of Deanna. It
had been taken at her birthday party aboard the
Enterprise. A portrait of the two of them embracing
one another, her head was resting gently on his chest.
Her black eyes sparkled with life and laughter. Her
face was perfect, her neck, and her body all of it was
perfect. He would give anything to hear her laughter
again. He would even gladly take a reprimand from her
for drinking too much, and eating too little. And he
could hear her now, as she scolded him on the
misconduct charges.
Gods, he missed her. “I’m so sorry, Imzadi.” He softly
said as tears filled his eyes. He stared at her
transparent face through the holo-photo.  He missed
her so much at times his stomach would twist and turn
in pain. 
“Get over it, Riker….” He shook his head as he turned
the holo-photo off, blinking back the tears. As if he
could shake his head and shake away the memories of
that horrible day. “Nothing worse than a damn crying
drunk.” He took another swig from the bottle. He
swallowed hard, praying that the alcohol would take
effect soon and join the already existent alcohol that
was flowing throughout his bloodstream.
But mostly he drank to make the pain go away, the
consistent pain that slashed through his heart every
day. The pain that would only subside while he was in
an intoxicated passed out slumber. A pain that hurt
worse as the heat lightening flashed outside, making
him flinch with each burst of instant light.

Chapter 3 “The Darkness of the Wind”

“Son. You need to get a hold of yourself.” Kyle Riker
stated. The concern in his voice was genuine. “You’re
throwing your career and your life away.”
“Yep.” Riker spoke to the inside of his shot glass.
“When was the last time you went outside? Took a
“Why do you care.” Riker stated with sarcasm.  This
wasn’t a question.
“Son, you’ve had enough to drink.”
“What’s wrong dad? You’ve got one son in a Cardassian
prison camp and the other one has become a drunk.
Afraid it might reflect contradiction on you’re
impeccable Starfleet career?” Riker almost laughed.
“I don’t care about my career, son.” Kyle reached over
and grabbed onto the bottle stopping Will from pouring
another drink. “I care about you.”
“Since when?” Riker jerked his arm free; he stood and
walked across the room. He turned on his heels and
yelled waving the bottle at his father. “Since when!
You don’t give a shit about Tom or me! As long as you
don’t have to face the fact that your sons failed in
“What Tom did, he paid for. I had nothing to do with
his actions.” Kyle stated softly.
“Really?” Riker rounded on his father. “I know Tom
personally and I know what Tom’s childhood was like.
He lost his mother just like I did… his father is a
heartless bastard, just like mine is…and he lost his…”
his voice trailed off. He couldn’t finish the
sentence, he swallowed hard and his voice turned into
a whisper… “ Like I did.”
“Son, that’s what all of this is about isn’t it?” Kyle
Riker approached his son. Ignoring the fact that he
had just referred to him as a heartless bastard, he
knew his son was lashing out in anger, and he just
happened to be the nearest target. He reached to touch
his son’s shoulder.  “It’s about Deanna Troi.”
“Is Tom still incarcerated? You said ‘he already paid.
Is he free?” Riker wanted to change the subject; he
had no desire to discuss Deanna or anything pertaining
to her. He wanted to wallow in his own grief, all by
himself, just as he had always done.
“He’s out of prison if that’s what you mean…”
“Where is he?” Riker asked with urgency, his federal
blue eyes focused on his father.
“Son…Tom is in Alaska. He was in pretty bad shape when
he was released. He was suffering from malnutrition…he
had been beaten…and…”
“You helped to free him?” Riker quickly cut in.
Will’s father nodded, “I pulled a few strings, yes.
But,” Kyle Riker added, “that’s not why I’m here.”
“ You’re here to save me…just like you did Tom.” Riker
targeted his gaze on his father, he stood there
silently for a moment and then exploded.  “What
fucking strings are you going to pull for me? ”  Riker
yelled his question; his voice calmed down as he
continued.  “You’re older and now you want to be a
father figure. Damn, that’s a joke…I wonder how Tom
reacted to your sudden paternal concern.” He laughed
at the thought of Tom’s reaction to his father coming
to save the day. He took another swig from the bottle
before he continued.  “Well” he glared at his father.
“I don’t need you’re fraudulent pity…so you can do one
of two things…Kiss my ass or just leave.  It’s your
“This isn’t about Tom or me, Will. You can yell at me
all you want. I can take it. Hell, I probably even
deserve it. Everyone knows that I was a terrible
father. But it’s about…” His father stated softly,
“It’s about you.  It’s about the fact that you feel
like you’ve failed Deanna.”
Will Riker didn’t respond. The silence that filled the
room like a thick smoke was the only confirmation Kyle
Riker needed to absolute the conclusion that he had
already formed in his mind. His son was hurting, and
he was hurting badly.  “I know what it’s like to lose
someone you love, son.” The older Riker sounded as if
he shared his son’s sorrow; he reached out and touched
his son’s arm.
“Yeah, well how come it took you so long to come to
me?” Will jerked his arm away from his father and eyed
him suspiciously. “It’s only been almost a year. A
little too late for condolences, don’t you think?” He
took a drink from the bottle, swallowed hard and then
glared at his father, daring him to reach for the
bottle again or make some remark about him drinking.
His father didn’t.
“It’s never too late, son.”
Will didn’t hear his father’s last words…his mind was
light years away. Tom, why was he thinking about Tom?
Suddenly he felt as if he could relate to his twin
self. Tom had been in a prison, just as he was now.
Tom’s being an invisible force field around him,
Will’s was an invisible force field around his heart.
‘A little to late for condolences...’ the words Will
Riker had just spoken rang through his mind.  He not
only said them to his father, but he was also speaking
to himself. Tom could take Deanna’s place; he was the
only person in the entire universe that remotely knew
Deanna as well as he did. He was the closest thing to
Deanna that he could think of. Deanna’s mother hadn’t
blamed him for the events, but yet…Riker couldn’t look
at Lwaxanna. Her house, her face…all of it was a
painful reminder of Deanna Troi. Tom was a straw, no
matter how thin or inadequate that straw happened to
be, Riker knew one thing…he needed it. He needed it to
“Son…” his father’s words snapped Riker’s head towards
his father, back into the reality of the present.
“Dad, look…” Riker cut him off quickly. “I’ve got to
get out of here.” He quickly grabbed his coat and
walked towards the door. He had no desire in revealing
all of the unhealed wounds of his soul. The wounds his
father knew existed, and he desperately wanted to help
heal. Riker had a purpose now, even if it was
artificial.  He had to speak to Tom. If he were going
to screw Starfleet, his career or even himself, then
he and his other self would do it together. Deanna’s
one wish was that the two of them be together as
friends, as brothers, as anything but enemies.  If
nothing else, Riker concluded, he knew Tom would at
least drink with him. Somewhere in his warped way of
thinking, Riker thought that if he could talk to Tom,
perhaps if he could befriend Tom…maybe it would take
away or heal all of the pain of not being able to save
“Where are you going?”
“I want to go home. I need to go home.” Riker stated
as he walked through the door, leaving a concerned
father standing in the middle of his living room. Kyle
Riker stared at the half empty bottle of whiskey that
sat on the coffee table.  He silently prayed that his
son wasn’t going to go and do something impetuous,
although he could sense that his son was about to make
a big mistake.

Chapter 4 “The Darkness of the Wind”

“Well, well well…” Tom said with raised eyebrows, as
he watched the front door open of the log house he
grew up in. The cold air blasted through the house as
the door opened. “Look whose come for dinner.”
“Tom.” His father warned as he helped Will with the
luggage. Both men stepped through the archway of the
“Dad when you said you were going to take care of
something…I had no idea it would be the great
Starfleet Commander William T. Riker. Should I feel
honored? Or ashamed?”
“Hello, Tom.” Riker simply replied, as he turned and
shut the front door. “Looks like you and dad made
“We had a talk. You moving back home?”  Thomas
observed thinking Will had two suitcases and that was
too much luggage for a Riker who was just going to
stay for a weekend.
“Something like that.” Riker stated quietly as he
stood in the middle of the room.
Thomas Riker flopped back down on the couch and rested
his criss-crossed at the ankle feet on the coffee
table. “Which bedroom does he sleep in Dad? Mine or
Riker glared at the duplicate of himself. “Mine.”
Riker answered him with certainty. “Get your damn feet
off of mom’s table.” He ordered as he slapped Thomas’
socked foot with his hand.
Thomas immediately removed his feet. He stood at
attention and saluted Riker.   “Permission to speak
candidly, Sir?” Thomas continued, without missing a
beat. “You look like hell, Commander. You also stink,
Sir.  Like rotten whiskey.”  Thomas fixed his gaze on
Will, he never moved. He noticed the black circles
under his duplicate’s eyes, and the haggard look that
spanned across his face.
“Nice to see you too, brother.” Riker answered. Thomas
was thinner, apparently from the lack of food. He was
clean-shaven and his hair was longer than Starfleet
issue. Riker stared at his brother for only an
instant. He never really liked Thomas, but no man
deserved to be starved half to death. He saw Thomas
and his brain flashed back to the time on the
Enterprise when Deanna had loved this man. She had
been in love with Thomas, his brain flashed. The least
he could do was be polite. “At ease” he quietly
laughed as he stated the command trying to lighten up
the spirit of tension between the two.
“I bet you’re happy to see me.” Thomas replied as his
shoulders fell.  He silently studied his duplicate,
something was wrong. Will was too passive. The Will
Riker he had last seen would have smacked him with
some witty smart-assed remark for calling him brother,
let alone saluting him. “Did you get hit in the head?”
Thomas had to push…it was his nature.
“Will, I’ll put your suitcase in the spare bedroom…you
and Tom can divide the things that belong to the two
of you…. Is that all right?” Kyle Riker cut in. He was
glad that the two boys weren’t at each other’s throats
“Yeah. He can have all of it…it belongs to him
anyway.” Riker nodded towards his duplicate.
“Damn that was easy. Too easy.” Thomas stated in a
laughing form of shock. “Weren’t you the one who told
me I gave up too easy?” Thomas noticed that there
definitely was something wrong with Will Riker.
Riker didn’t answer. He seemed uneasy, nervous….
Almost restless.
“You okay?” Thomas asked. He looked puzzled and
“Yeah, I think I just need some sleep. It was a long
flight.” Riker inhaled and exhaled. Hoping Tom would
believe his lie. He ignored his duplicate’s stares; it
made him feel uneasy. He definitely was in no mood for
a fight, and if he were he would probably let Tom beat
the shit out of him.  He deserved that; he deserved a
beating from someone who was just as angry as he was.
From someone who loved Deanna just as much as he did.
If the situation had been vise-versa Riker would
definitely beat the shit out of Tom, or even kill him.
It was just a matter of time before Tom released his
anger on Riker and beat him to a pulp; he knew that
for certain.
“All right, son. Tom and I will take your luggage up
“If you’ll excuse me.” Riker nodded to his father and
Tom before he excused himself from the room. “I’ll
take the luggage but thanks for the offer, Dad.” He
grabbed both of his suitcases and headed up the
“What the hell is wrong with him?” Thomas asked, as he
watched Will ascend the stairs. Making sure he was out
of listening distance.
His father answered quietly. “He just wanted to come
home Tom.”
Thomas glanced down at the floor as if he was studying
something on the carpet. Something was definitely
wrong.  Why would his father leave to bring his
Starfleet minded duplicate home? Why would Will even
want to come home? Why was Will so passive? Will
Riker’s spirit was definitely broken, something had
made it snap in two like a twig. But what?  What was
the one thing that could have broken him like that? He
inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly before he looked up.
“What happened to Deanna?” Thomas asked, his voice
sounded harsh and impatient. His eyes locked onto his

“You son of a bitch!” Thomas grabbed Will by the shirt
and drug him off of the bed. “ Where is she?” He
demanded. Grabbing Riker by the front of his shirt and
bringing his face close to his.
“She’s gone.” Will stated quietly, knowing that Thomas
would beat him into a senseless stupor…and yet he
wanted him too.
“We lost her on a planet, almost a year ago.”
“You bastard!” Thomas growled at Riker. “I told you to
take care of her!”
“I know.” Riker seemed almost ashamed as he remembered
that horrible day that suddenly flashed before his
eyes. Thomas stared at him for a moment. Then with a
solid fist he reared back and made perfect contact
with Will’s jaw. Riker’s body flew back onto the bed.
“Get up.” Thomas whispered his federal blue eyes
flashed with anger.
Riker stood to his feet, only to be hit again by
Thomas. The second blow busted Riker’s lip; he tasted
his own blood as it poured out of his mouth.
“You want me to beat the shit out you don’t you?” His
face turned red with anger. Thomas was breathing heavy
as he attempted to control his temper. “Fight back.”
He ordered quietly with his teeth clenched.
“No.” Riker stated as he fixed his gaze on Thomas.
Thomas stood and locked his eyes on him. He took a
third swing and made contact with Riker’s head…this
time his knuckle made a small cut above his right eye.
The blood flowed freely down Riker’s face. He wiped it
off with the back of his hand as he glanced at his
hand and then back at Thomas. Waiting patiently for
the next blow.
“You cowardly bastard.” Thomas’ tone of voice dared
him to fight back.
Riker didn’t answer; he licked his busted lip. His
head was beginning to throb. He stood silently and
gazed into the same angry eyes that faced him every
day in the mirror. He knew Thomas wanted him to fight
back. Thomas wanted to be punished for leaving Deanna.
He blamed himself too.
Thomas’ jaw was set with bitterness and hate towards
Riker. “That’s why you came back. You knew I’d be
pissed. And you’re going to let me just beat the shit
out of you, because you feel you deserve it.”
There was a long awkward pause between the two men.
“Yeah.” Riker finally answered. Thomas took one last
swing with a huge angry rock solid punch. It was that
punch that knocked Riker out, his body flew back onto
the bed unconscious.
“As you wish Commander.” Thomas mumbled. He rubbed his
knuckles, and then turned as he exited the bedroom,
shutting the door behind him.

Chapter 5  “The Darkness of the wind”

“So do you plan to just stay drunk?” Thomas opened the
door and poked his head in.
Riker turned and looked at his duplicate. “If you’ve
come to take another swing at me…. I’m at your
“I should.” Thomas stated, “But I can see you’re
beating yourself enough as it is.” There was sympathy
to his voice. He smiled at Will as he walked into the
small wooden building that was on their property.
Riker didn’t answer he simply put a log in the old
fashioned wood stove that was in the small shed like
building. “I used to come out here as a kid to think.”
“I know.” Thomas replied. “I thought I’d find you
“Yeah.” Will stated as he dusted the wood off of his
hands. “I forgot for a moment who I was talking to.”
Thomas sat down on the floor and crossed his ankles,
leaning on his arms. “Hand me that bottle.” He reached
out for the bottle of whiskey. “That is if you don’t
mind drinking after an ex-convict.”
“If you don’t mind sharing with a man who has been
suspended from Starfleet.”
“Suspended?” Thomas sounded shocked. “For what?” he
almost laughed.
“Conduct unbecoming of a Starfleet officer.” Will
stated in his most Starfleet voice. He handed Thomas
the bottle of whiskey.
“What did you do?” Thomas took a swig of the whiskey;
it burnt his throat going down. He swallowed hard. It
had been a long time since he’d had real whiskey. “Or
who did you do?” he passed the bottle back to Riker.
“An admiral’s wife.” Riker took the whiskey bottle and
chugged a drink. He wiped off his mouth before he
continued. “I got drunk, slept with his wife and
proceeded to get sick all over his carpet.” He rubbed
his beard as if in thought for an instant. “I’m not
sure what was unbecoming, me screwing his wife or me
regurgitating on his carpet.” He looked at Thomas and
“I guess that depends on what she looked like. Pass
that bottle again.” He reached out for the bottle.
“How long you been out?” Will asked as he relayed the
bottle to Thomas. He sat on the floor across from his
“About six months. Dad’s been good to me.” He took a
drink. “He got me out, I think he put his soul up as a
collateral, and the promise that I’d never get into
anymore trouble.”
“You and dad came to a reconciliation… I take it.”
“What the hell he’s getting old. The two of you seem
to get along.”
“What the hell he’s getting old.” Riker repeated
Thomas’ words, as he reached for the bottle again.
Thomas passed him the bottle.
“So what now?” Thomas asked. “What are you going to
“Just get drunk.” Riker took a big drink, filling up
both of his cheeks with the liquid. He swallowed hard.
“Then stay drunk.”
“You going back to Starfleet?”
“No, I think I’d rather just get drunk. It’s a way of
life that I’ve adapted to quite well.”
“I see.”
“Can I tell you a secret. Something I’ve never told
anyone.” Will stated. There was a serious undertone to
his voice, as if he were really going to reveal
“I hated Mrs. Goldsmith. Gods how I hated that woman.”
Riker recalled the old woman that had been hired to
stay with him while his father was away.
“Gee, Will I feel honored that you would entrust me
with such a revelation. But, that’s not a secret to
me, because I hated her too.” He closed his eyes
tightly as he swallowed the stiff shot of whiskey. “
Remember when I, you, us, we were little and that old
bitch used to scare the shit out of me, you, ah…hell….
The both of us?”
“Yeah, you, we, I, used to crawl under the bed, every
time she came to the my, your, our bedroom door.” Will
recalled the grumpy babysitter.
“She was the meanest babysitter…. What happened to
her?”  Thomas recalled.
“Hell, she’s probably dead. She was a hundred years
old when she stayed with me, you, us.”
“To Mrs. Goldsmith” Thomas held up the bottle and
toasted the craggy old baby-sitter. “May her scary old
ass rest in peace.”
There was a long pause in the conversation.
“Tell me what happened.” Will knew what he was
talking about. He looked at his twin and frowned, he
looked at him as if he were looking through him. He
inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly. He was silent for a
moment. “All right, you deserve the truth.” Riker
began and relayed the whole story to Thomas, how one
minute Deanna was there and the next she was gone. No
sign no trace…nothing. He relayed how he wanted to say
to hell with Starfleet and stay, how they had sedated
him, because they were in fear that he was a threat to
himself and the ship. He relayed how Captain Picard
had referred to him as being possibly mutinous. Deanna
and the planet were light years away, and there was no
way she could have survived.  Riker ended his story in
“Damn…nothing worse than a crying drunk.” He quickly
wiped the moisture from his face.
“Oh shit.” Thomas stated in almost a whisper. He felt
Will’s pain, she was his Imzadi too. He closed his
eyes as if he just wanted to take away the nightmarish
words he had just heard.
“Pass me that bottle.” Riker quickly stated as he
attempted to compose himself.
“Tears and whiskey.” Thomas was sorry that he had made
the statement, but now it was too late to take it
back. He handed Will the bottle. “They say it’s the
only thing that’s been proven to break a man’s
spirit.” He smiled. “That’s what I’ve heard anyway.”
“Just pass the damn bottle, brother.”
“You just called me brother…” Thomas was clearly
impressed. “Damn you are drunk.” He almost laughed.
“You’re all I’ve got left of Deanna.” The words were
out of Riker’s mouth before he realized what he had
just said. He fixed his gaze on his brother, the words
he had just spoken were sincere, and Thomas knew it.
“I’m a fluke. A transporter accident.” Thomas
nervously laughed.
“I’m a drunk. A disgrace to Starfleet.” Riker laughed
out loud, as he took another drink. He wanted to get
drunk. He wanted to drown all of the painful memories
of Deanna. “So which one of us is the older brother?”
he asked as he removed the bottle from his lips,
wiping his mouth with his shirt.
“What?” Thomas said through squinted eyes.
“Which one of us is the older brother? We have to be
twins…because I sure as hell am not going to go around
and explain that complicated transporter accident shit
every time. Hell, I’m not even sure I can totally
comprehend it myself.  It’s easier and quicker to
say…yeah, we’re twins. You’d agree with that wouldn’t
you? I sure as hell would if I were you, which I am.”
“You lie now?”
“Not exactly a lie. It’s just…. Making our current
situation uncomplicated, that’s all.”
“We need another bottle of whiskey.” Thomas stated as
he tossed the empty bottle aside. “That would
definitely make our current situation uncomplicated.”
“All right.” Riker answered as he reached over and
opened the second bottle. He took a drink of it and
passed it to Thomas.
“You think maybe we should go eat dinner?” Thomas
asked before he took another drink.
“Nah…who needs food?” as soon as the words came out of
his mouth he regretted them, the realization that his
brother had been almost starved to death in a
Cardassian prison camp, suddenly flooded his mind.  He
closed his eyes tight as if he wanted to take away the
words he had just said. “No offense.” He finally
“None taken. Can I tell you a secret?” Thomas asked.
“There used to be this old cemetery on the hill, it
was an old ancient burial ground. I took this girl up
there once…. Anyway, that cemetery scared the shit out
of me…. And it was the…”
“The fastest sex I’ve ever had in my life.” Riker
finished his story, and then he started to laugh.
Knowing that he and Thomas had shared the same
experience, because they were the same people. “She
and I ran out of there, I don’t even think my pants
were buttoned at the time.”
“Who’s telling this damn story?” he asked. Thomas said
with some irritation to his voice. “Plus it’s my
“Bull shit!” Riker balked behind his laughter. “I know
exactly what happened. And I know who she was.” He
noticed the glare that Thomas was giving him, and
decided not to provoke a drinking man, especially when
the drunk was himself or Thomas Riker. He raised both
hands in surrender towards his duplicate and smiled.
“But, it can be your secret.”
“Thank you, that’s very generous of you.”
“You’re welcome.”
“I got it!” Thomas clapped his hands together, and
suddenly leapt to his feet.
“Got what?” Riker looked up at Thomas in puzzlement.
“The perfect solution to our quandary. Who ever
passes out first…then he can be the---baby brother---“
he emphasized the words with the famous Riker smile.
“Deal?  You still are a gambling man, aren’t you?”
“Hell, you’re already drunk…no contest. But,” he
added. “You’ve got a deal, little brother.” He
returned Thomas’ smile with one of his own.
Thomas sat back down. Throughout the rest of the night
and into the early hours of the morning, Will and Tom
finished the bottles of whiskey…they talked about
everything, anything and sometimes nothing.  They
laughed together and they cried together. They argued
with each other, and at one point almost came to
blows, but quickly resolved it with another drink of
whiskey or another story.   And for the first time in
each of their lives they realized and they were two
separate minds, who through each of their totally
different experiences they could rely on one another
and together there was strength.  They realized that
that Deanna had been right…  correct in the fact that
they refined and entreated the other one, they were
never meant to be a hindrance to one another. They
needed one another. They had become brothers.
“I bet we could raise some hell.” Thomas stated with a
nod. “The four of you and the six of me.” He crossed
his intoxicated blue eyes as he attempted to focus on
“What kind of hell?”
“Just typical Starfleet can kiss my ass hell.” Thomas
answered. His voice took a sudden change. “ I’m hot,
are you hot?” he began to stand to his feet. “You’ve
got it too damn hot in here.”
“I was in love with her!” Riker yelled the words out
into the air.
“Damn you’re a boisterous drunk aren’t you?”
“I loved her!” Riker’s drunken voice blurted out
again, as if he were trying to convince Thomas of
“Me too.” Thomas replied. He straightened his posture
and stumbled across the small wooden floor. He stood
in front of the stove, and almost burned his hand as
he reached for the metal piping of the old stove in
order to turn the damper down. “Ouch…damn thing is
hot.” He quickly shook his wrist as if it were on
“I really loved her.” Riker stated in a normal tone
this time; there was a tinge of desperation and
honesty to his voice.
“I know. We got any more whiskey?” Thomas asked… as he
examined the empty bottle.  He then tossed it across
the floor.
“Yeah. In the house.”
“Go get it.”
“Kiss my ass.” Will laughed. “It’s cold out there. You
go get it.”
“All right…since you’ve asked so nicely.” Thomas
turned to leave. He suddenly turned around holding up
one single finger. “I’ll go with you to find her.” The
drunkenness in his voice took a sudden turn and there
was sincere sympathy as he stated to his duplicate.
“You need her.”  Then he repeated softly to no one in
particular. “We’ve got to find her…” He then dropped
face first, like a huge tree falling flat. His body
made a thud as it landed on the hard wooden floor. He
moaned and rolled over.
“Goodnight, little brother.” Will grunted as he
staggered across the floor and fought the blanket that
at first refused to release itself from the old wooden
cot. He awkwardly covered Thomas with the blanket,
including is head. “You better not get sick…or I’ll
kill ya.” Riker turned, he inhaled and fell to the
floor in a drunken heap beside his duplicate.

Chapter 6  “The Darkness of the Wind”

The air suddenly became cool and the odor of autumn
leaves filled her nostrils. The lightening was gone.
The wind was gone. She stood in the middle of Town
What town?
Where was she?
Where were the others?
Where was Will?
Pedestrians hurried about in and out of shops. Up and
down sidewalks, all sorts, shapes and sizes of men and
women, children and household pets going about their
activities of daily living. The odd thing was that no
one seemed to notice anyone else.
Deanna tapped her com-badge.
“Troi to Enterprise”
“Troi to Riker”
Again, Nothing the same deadly silences.
One minute she was standing near Worf and the next a
sudden burst of lightening and now here she stood.
“Will!” her mind screamed. She looked to and fro
around her. She tried desperately to search for him to
reach him with her mind.
Deanna wandered around the small town for what seemed
like hours. She had continuously attempted to reach
the ship on her com-badge but to no avail. The sound
of DING-DING- rang though her ears; the huge town
clock proudly announced the time. The huge hands of
the clock stood vertically erect as it announced six
Deanna was beginning to get cold, the night air was
moving in. The sidewalks were becoming sparse of
people. As she wandered about the town, everything
seemed gray and discolored and dingy.  Lights of the
houses were beginning to light up inside the small
“Will?” her mind focused on her Imzadi. “Where are
A man’s gently understanding voice pulled her from her
thoughts. “Miss?” his voiced questioned behind her.
“Are you all right?”
“I appear to be lost. Could you tell me where I am?”
she asked the kind hearted man. He was in his sixties
and he was dressed in an overcoat with a top hat. He
took off his hat and smiled. His head had a ring of
gray that circled the sides of his baldheaded top.
“I will personally welcome you to our quaint little
village, of Forest Falls. He smiled. I’m the baker.
Whittier, Jake Whittier.” He extended his hand towards
her in greeting. “You are actually standing in front
of my bakery.” He gestured with his arm the huge white
frosted letters as they proclaimed. JAKES BREAD AND
BAKERY across the huge plate glass window.
“I’m sorry…” Deanna began to apologize. “I will move…”
she began.
“Oh no need to be sorry, my dear.” The kind man
interrupted her. “The sun should be setting soon and
the air will be quite cold.  It is much too cold for a
girl to be out. I extend my invitation to you, inside
of my small yet, adequate home. I am quite sincere in
my offer.” He smiled.
“All right.” There was reluctance to her voice.
The door to the bakery opened up, a woman’s head
peeked out. “Jake? Quick! Come inside at once. It is
much too cold to be standing outside” She stated as if
she were afraid for her husband’s safety.
“Fiona, I have made a new friend.” He said with a
glint in his eye.
“No more talk. Quick! Hurry, Hurry come inside.” She
grabbed her husband’s arm and drug him inside the
shop. Deanna followed. The woman immediately closed
the door to the small bakery. She took the lantern
that she was holding and guided the two up the steep
wooden steps to the full sized apartment that rested
above the bakery.
Once inside of the home dwelling, the old woman turned
and faced Deanna. “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to frighten
you my dear. But my husband will catch his death of
the cold if he stays outside in the cool night air too
long, he recently just recovered from an illness.” She
stated with a voice that was as kind as her husband’s.
“It isn’t wise to be out in the night air so soon,
Jake.” She scolded the old man; her voice was tinged
with concern.  “The illness could return.” She
suddenly stopped speaking as if she was remembering
something. “I could not deal with the fear of living
without you.” She said in a low whisper.
“Was it a serious illness?” Deanna asked. She could
sense the apprehension in the older woman’s voice.
The woman took off her wire-rimmed glasses and cleaned
them on her apron. She looked over to her husband and
then back at Deanna and sighed. She put her glasses
back on and stated. “Yes, he almost died of the
pneumonia.” She inhaled and exhaled. “But, he is well
now.” She quickly assured herself. “I can see that a
young girl like you needs food and shelter, so that
she does not become ill.”  She stated with a concerned
motherly tone to her voice.
“Are you hungry?” The older man asked, attempting to
change the subject.
“I suppose a little.”
“I will heat you up some broth and bread.” The older
woman stated with a smile as she went off into the
kitchen. “It has been a long time since my husband and
I have had company for dinner.”
“What is your name?” the older man asked as he removed
his coat and carefully placed it on the coat rack.
“Deanna. Deanna Troi.”
“You are not from around here are you Miss Troi.”
“No. No I’m not.”
“As I improperly introduced myself earlier, I am Jake
Whittier and that is my wife Fiona.” He stated with a
kind voice. “She is quite protective of me, as you can
see.” His smile was warm and inviting.  “Forgive us
for not properly introducing ourselves to you earlier.
We are very please to meet you, Miss Troi. You are
welcome to lodge here for the night if you would
“I really don’t mean to be a bother.”
“No bother, my dear.” The voice of Fiona sounded as
she brought in a tray of food. She placed it on the
table on the other side of the room. “We wouldn’t hear
of sending you back outside after dark. As a matter of
fact, my husband and I, “she glance to her husband
with a smile, he returned her glance with a nod. “We
have a help wanted sign down in the bakery’s front
window. And you are more than welcome to apply. The
job includes room and meals and a very small salary.”
“All right. I believe the proper thing to do is to
find employment.” Deanna stated as she sipped the
broth. She had to do something at least until Will and
the Enterprise found her.
The older man clapped his hands as if to say this
conversation is over. “Very well.” He smiled. “We
welcome you, Deanna.” He gestured with a sweep of his
arm towards the small table. “Come, let’s eat.”

Deanna had been working behind the counter of the
bakery for almost a year; it was all she could do.
There wasn’t a huge demand for a counselor in a town
that only had a population of one hundred and ten
people. Although the town was very small, it resembled
more of a village than a town; she had become quite
popular. The citizens of the town all grew to know her
and respect her for the kindness she had shown to
anyone who came into the shop.
Her life aboard the Enterprise was becoming a thing of
the past, along with her career as a professional
counselor. Fiona and Jake had basically adopted her as
their own daughter, they even insisted that she call
them “Aunt Fiona and Uncle Jake.”
Deanna had finally come to the conclusion that the
crew of the USS Enterprise probably gave her a funeral
complete with full Starfleet honors. She smiled at the
thought of Thomas and how he must of felt being
abandon by his ship and crewmates. Although Thomas was
alone, he had no Jake or Fiona to talk to. Her heart
went out to him at times. She remembered the talk she
had had with him in ten forward. She remembered him
saying, “after so long you realize they aren’t coming
back, because there isn’t anyone to come back for.”
Her heart went out to her mother; she tried not to
think of her mother. It hurt too much. She felt pity
for her mother and the agony she must be going
through. She knew that even with her mother’s keen
telepathic abilities she couldn’t get through. Deanna
had tried for needless hours to contact Will, using
their link. Over the span of the last six months her
attempts to find her lost shipmates became less and
less frequent. She had learned to close her mind to
the people around her; none of the citizens were
empathic or telepathic.

She often smiled as her thoughts drifted towards Will
and his adventurous nature. Will…daring and dashing
young William T. Riker. What would he say if he could
see her baking bread? She could see his smile, and
imagine what he would say as she removed the hot
loaves from the oven.  She smiled at the thought.  The
end result to all of her daydreaming was always the
same…it always ended with a warm smile as she
remembered Will. Her warm smile was soon replaced with
grief and sorrow as she remembered how much she truly
missed him.
She had to let go. She had to move on. Yet, deep
inside of her heart. She couldn’t let go…she thought
time and time again of Imzadi…Imzadi was forever. She
thought about Tom, and that perhaps the Imzadi bond
was all Thomas had to hold onto while he was so alone
for so long.
The pure undying power of Imzadi.
“Deanna. Stop this!” she said aloud to herself, as she
wrapped the loaf of warm bread and set it on the
“Stop what, Dear?” Aunt Fiona asked as she walked
behind her.
“Stop daydreaming. I’m thinking too much again.”
Deanna answered, as she wiped her hands on her apron.
“A young girl like you should be thinking about a
husband and starting a family.” The older woman stated
with an absolute.
“I suppose.” Deanna answered dryly.
“Fredrick Masters, now he is a nice young man. He
comes in here everyday for biscuits, and the dear man
doesn’t even eat them.” The woman said with a smile, “
I hear, he feeds them to the birds. In hopes that you
will join him someday in the park.” She stated with
“I believe that too.”
I think he is interested in you.” She whispered as
she walked in front of her heading towards the front
counter of the small bakery.
“Yes, well…you realize you sound like my biological
mother.” Deanna answered attempting to lighten the
“And this is your way of telling an old woman to mind
her own business?” She stated with a glint in her eye
as she removed the coins from the drawer, placing them
in a small leather pouch.  “I get the hint, dear. Now
you must go.” She herded Deanna out of the shop. “ It
is time to eat your lunch.”
“Yes, Aunt Fiona.” Deanna answered with a smile.  She
removed her apron and walked up the winding wooden
stairs to the apartment.

Chapter 7 “The Darkness of the Wind”

The wind was dark and blustery; it cut through their
jackets like a knife. The air of the woods whistled
around the dark thicket of trees. Thomas and William
Riker stood stiff as their molecules formed a
silhouette that glistened against the darkness of the
Giving one another a quick nod as they materialized,
both men looked around the planet in which Deanna Troi
had disappeared.
“Thanks.” Riker stated as he secured the backpack onto
his back.
“Don’t thank me. Thank those nasty little sky traders
for giving us a lift.” Thomas answered. “And just
think, all it cost us was a box of Chinese finger
“After you told them they were torture devices.” Riker
laughed. “I can’t believe you told them you stole them
from a Cardassian prison camp.”
“Hey, they are.”
“Yeah, if you’re an idiot….” He looked at Thomas and
remembered the time Data got his index fingers stuck
in one at the captain’s table. “Or Data.” He added
with a chuckle.
After securing his own backpack to his back, Thomas
looked at his duplicate and then scanned the area with
his eyes. What is this place? He thought as he looked
around. The wind was howling through the trees and the
air was dark. He took out his searchlight from his
jacket and turned it on. He waved the light in a
sweeping motion across the area. All he could see for
miles was forest.
“What the hell kind of planet is this?” he asked in
Riker took out his spotlight and scanned the area,
revealing only trees and timber. The wind was howling
swiftly around the forest, the trees swayed to the
dark forces of the wind.
Riker didn’t answer. He couldn’t, his mind became
flooded with the images of him searching frantically
for Deanna, and the deafening silence of not hearing
her voice. 
He inhaled deeply…and exhaled slowly. Pulling the
collar of his jacket up around his neck, then with a
nod he directed his brother forward. Thomas followed
beside Riker as they searched the lonely isolated
planet. “Where in the hell do we begin?” Thomas asked
himself as he followed Will. After all it had been
almost a year since Will had seen Deanna.
“She was standing over there.” Will said loudly to
Thomas.  He tried to speak above the howling winds of
the planet. He pointed in the direction that he was
referring to.
Thomas nodded and both men headed towards the spot
where Deanna had last been seen. Both knew it was a
long shot, a very long shot, but they had to try.
Will had explained how the lightening had seemed to
pick up Deanna, silently he was hoping it would pick
him up too. Not knowing if it would mean his death, or
perhaps a portal where Deanna could have been
transferred to. He was hoping for the latter of the

Both men spent what seemed like hours of scanning and
taking tri-corder readings, before Thomas spoke up,
“We are going to have to find shelter soon.”  He said,
trying to raise his voice above the sounds of the
howling winds and the oncoming thunder.  “It sounds
like a storm is coming this way.”
Riker nodded his agreement. He folded his tri-corder
and put it in his pocket. He motioned with his head
towards the direction he intended for them go.
They found a nearby cave and decided to camp there for
the night. Taking his phaser Tom targeted some nearby
rocks, they glowed with a brilliant red brightness as
they served two purposes, that of giving some
illumination and heating up the cold dark cave.
Both Will and Tom were silent as they unpacked some of
their belongings and prepared to settle down for the
night. With their minds considering what possibly
could have happened to Deanna and praying and hoping
they would find her.
“I’m going to go outside and check out the weather
conditions.” Will finally spoke, breaking the silence.
Thomas simply looked at his brother silently for a
moment before Will continued. “I think you should come
with me, if there is some sort of strange intelligence
to the weather conditions out there, then I would feel
a lot more at ease if….” He trailed off. His words
stopped short. He realized that he was becoming too
overprotective of Thomas. Thomas realized it too.
Will apologized. “I’m sorry.”
“I could use some air, anyway.” Thomas shrugged it
off. He knew that this was Will’s nature and no one
could change him.

The bolts of lightening flashed throughout the
darkened skies. The wind howled around the trees, as
the two men stood outside of the cave.
Suddenly a flash of lightening enveloped around Will.
Will tried to yell his brothers name, as the
brightness enveloped around his body. His voice was
silent; the words would not come out.
Thomas immediately turned and dove towards Will and
wrapped his arms securely around his brother’s legs.
In a fraction of an instant both men disappeared, as
if the lightening had taken them with it.

“Where in the hell are we?” Thomas untangled himself
from his brother. He stood to his feet and looked
around the town’s square. Will rose to his feet and
scanned the area.
“It looks like a town of some sort.” Will answered.
“Well, Toto.” Thomas stated to no one in particular.
“I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”
“Me either, Dorothy.” Will answered dryly as he looked
around, pedestrians were walking to and fro, hurrying
about their business. All citizens were blinded to
their presence, the two men who were identical
standing side by side in the middle of the towns’
“Let’s investigate this place, it looks like it came
right out of the early 1700’s.” Thomas said. He was
already walking away from Will.
Will closed his eyes tightly for an instant and
concentrated before he followed Tom. ~~ Imzadi ~~ Will
sent out with his mind into the coolness of the air,
hoping he would get a response.  Not knowing if she
was even in this small town or not. Praying that she
was still alive.

Deanna watched as a flock of pigeons gathered around a
handful of breadcrumbs she had recently tossed onto
the flat tarred rooftop of the bakery. She often ate
her lunch on the roof, enjoying the crisp air and
watching the birds as they gathered around her. The
birds eagerly waiting for food scraps they had quickly
learned to expect.
The birds cooed as they pecked at and picked up the
pieces of crust with their beaks. She watched as their
feathers ruffled backwards against the crisp cold
breeze. Suddenly the pigeons flew away as if they were
frightened by something. She looked around her.
“Imzadi?” her mind questioned.
A smile spread across her face, she suddenly stood to
her feet. She quickly turned around on her heels
expecting to see him standing there like her knight in
shining armor. Strong and handsome with arms open, she
was ready to leap into them. “Will!” she happily cried
out as her heart leaped within her chest.
There was no one there.
No Will. No one. 
Then she realized that she was alone on the roof.
Just the sound of her heart as it sank deeper in her
But had she really expected anyone to really be there?

Chills ran down her spine as goose bumps raised across
her arms. She wrapped her arms tightly around her
breasts, and shuddered at what she was sensing.
Something wasn’t right. She felt him, but she also
could sense Tom, she felt Thomas Riker so strongly…but
how? Her mind became confused as the thoughts ran and
took over her logic.
How could Tom? The last she had heard he was in a
Cardassian prison camp. How could Will? Were they
together? Were they…How? When…did they…?
“This is mad.” She said to herself, as she shook her
head attempting to remove the uncontrollable thoughts
from her head.  She brushed the loose crumbs off of
her dress and walked across the roof and descended
down the wooden spiraling stairs.

Chapter 8 “The Darkness of the Wind”

Will and Tom wandered around the town, and entered
many shops and talked to many people. Asking if they
had seen Deanna or knew of Deanna. No one would
answer, and if they did it was as if they were
frightened to talk to the two strangers. Will felt
they were protecting Deanna from the two identical
strangers. The citizen’s voices held a paranoid
response, as if they were afraid they would get
punished if they revealed too much.
Will and Tom entered yet another small building.
“FOREST FALLS PUB’ the words were written across the
large plate glass window. There was a gruff looking
man who was built like he had been working out daily
with Worf. His biceps were as large as Will’s thighs.
And his neck was non existent.  This man was
definitely a massive amount of flesh and muscle.
“May I help you?” The big muscular man asked as the
two strangers walked into his pub, his bald shaven
head shined against the lighting in the pub. “You two
bear a striking resemblance to one another?” he was
clearly impressed at the remarkable mien one had with
the other.
“Yeah, we’re twins.” Tom said as he quickly glanced
over to Will and smiled his mind flashed the
conversation he and Will had had in the old shed,
about explaining the transporter accident.
“Which one of you is the oldest?” The man asked, as he
threw the towel over his right muscular shoulder.
“He is.” Tom leaned on the old wooden bar and smiled.
“By eight seconds.”
“This is truly rare.” The husky man said as he looked
from one Riker to the other. “What can I get for you
“We are looking for someone. A lady.” Will stepped
into the conversation. “She’s a little over five feet
tall and she has black eyes…dark long hair….”
“There are many fine women in town who have dark eyes
and long raven hair.” the barkeeper smiled as he sat
two ales in front of the men.
“Yes, I’m sure there is.” Thomas stated. He quickly
glanced to Will and then back to the barkeeper. “But
we are looking for one who is named Deanna.”
“I know of only one woman named Deanna. The niece of
Jake and Fiona Whittier, Deanna is her name.” The huge
muscular man stated without emotion.
Will took a drink of the dark liquid in the glass mug.
“Could you tell us where we might find this Deanna?”
he asked trying not to sound too anxious. After all
this was the first positive response that they
received all day.
“Yes, she…..” he began.
“Good Day, Mr. Troyhill.” A stern voice interrupted
the man’s sentence as it called from the entrance door
of the bar. All three men turned their heads around
towards the sound of the voice. “I came in for a
drink.” A man dressed in a black suit, and carrying a
slim black cane walked across the wooden floor he
approached the bar. “I am here to pick up the rent.”
“Yes, Mr. Masters.” The man answered nervously. “The
rent money is in the back.” With a jerk of his head
towards the back of the bar. “I will go get it for
you.” He exited through the thick black curtain of the
bar that covered the doorway.
“Thank you.” He answered dryly. His gaze was targeted
upon Will and Tom. “Good day, Gentlemen.” He said with
a nod and a touch of the rim of his top hat. He placed
the long slim cane across the bar in front of him.
“Please forgive me, but I happened to overhear your
conversation.” He stated casually as he removed his
black leather gloves one finger at a time.  “You are
looking for someone?”  Will stared blankly at the man,
not really knowing why…but he took a sudden dislike to
“It is a small town.” Masters continued with calmness
to his voice. “Perhaps I could be of some assistance.
My name is Masters, Fredrick Masters.” He introduced
himself extending his hand in greeting.
“Tom. Tom Riker and this is my brother Will.” Tom said
as he shook the man’s hand. Tom knew by Will’s
expression that Will wasn’t going to be too friendly.
“Will.” The man shook Will’s hand reluctantly in
greeting.  Will made sure that his grip on the man’s
hand was just a little too strong and firm, the man
quickly exited his hand from Will’s greeting.  “The
two of you I understand are twins?” he said ignoring
the discomforting squeeze Will had put on his hand.
“And you are looking for someone?”
“Yes, we are.” Thomas said. “My brother and I are
looking for a friend of ours.”
“A friend? Ah, yes….” He said with a slow nod of his
head. “Perhaps I can help you in locating her. Of
course that is,  if I know her.” He smiled a fake
“I don’t believe we ever said it was a her.” Will said
as he sipped his drink.
“Yes, I would just assume that it would be a female. I
happened to overhear part of your earlier
conversation. ” The man began to feel uneasy as the
two men stared at him with the same expression on
their faces. Both Will and Tom’s federal blue eyes
glared thoughtfully at the man.
Thomas began to describe Deanna to Fredrick Masters.
Will knew instinctively that Masters knew exactly whom
Tom was talking about.
“Yes, Deanna…” Masters finally said with a fake
saddened smile. “She was quite lovely wasn’t she?  She
and I were married almost ten months ago.”
His statement made Will stop drinking and stare
blankly at him.
“She was expecting our first child” Master’s
continued without missing a beat.
“You speak of her as in past tense.” Thomas observed.
Will continued to stare blankly at the man.
“Yes, she died due to complications caused by the
pregnancy.” He stated with remorse in his voice, as if
he were remembering some painful memories.
“Died?” Will thought to himself in disbelief, he
looked through Mr. Masters as if his mind were light
years away.
“She insisted on having the child regardless of the
adverse reactions it would have on her physical body.”
Masters continued.
Riker’s heart flipped about three times. He suddenly
felt sick to his stomach and his head began to throb.
“What are you saying?” he whispered through confused
eyes that were focused on Masters.  “Wait…wait.” He
quietly stammered holding his hands up in surrender.
“You’re telling me, Deanna’s dead?”
“Yes. The tragedy happened five days ago.” Master’s
quietly whispered.
“What about the baby?” Will forced the words out.
“Where is the baby?” he asked almost in a whisper.
“The baby unfortunately did not survive. I lost them
both.” He said in his most convincing voice, he
lowered his head as if he were going to shed tears,
his mind recalled painful memories.

Thomas stood silently, his eyes moved from Will to Mr.
Masters and then back to Will. He could tell by the
look in his brother’s eyes that Will Riker had just
been crushed. Will’s face suddenly took on a tired,
sad and aged almost instantly before his eyes. He
placed his hands over his clean-shaven face and rubbed
as he thoughtfully looked up at the ceiling. His gaze
fell back upon Mr. Masters. His emotions suddenly
exploded. “You son of a bitch!” Thomas lunged forward
like a madman and grabbed the man by the lapel of his
coat. “You’re lying!” He glared into the man’s eyes,
as he shoved his body backward onto the wooden bar of
the pub. “She’s not dead!” he said through clenched
teeth. The man’s head was lying face up on the bar;
his spine bent backwards, as his eyes grew wide with
“Please.” The man sounded insulted, trying to keep
calm.  “I assure you sir, I am not lying. If you would
kindly let go of….”
Thomas then took the long black cane and held it
firmly across the man’s throat. “Shut up!” Thomas
glared his warning. “You’ve said enough.”
“Reach out for Deanna, Will!” Thomas quickly diverted
his attention to his bother, he held the man securely
in his grasp ignoring Master’s constant pleas to be
released and that he was not lying.
“Whaa?” Will said, still disorientated from the man’s
previous words. Totally unaware of his surroundings or
that Tom had this man in a death hold up against the
“Imzadi, damn it!” Tom insisted directing his anger
now towards Riker. “Reach for it. Use it!”
“Sir!” Masters began to protest as he gasp for breath.
Thomas held tightly to the cane as it barred across
the squirming man’s throat. His voice was filled with
bitterness and hate towards this man he had securely
in his grasp. “If you say one more word, I swear I’ll
end your life right here.”
The man began to gasp for breath as Thomas applied
more pressure to the cane, seriously cutting off his
major supply of oxygen.
Will inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly as he attempted
to clear his mind. He knew he had to focus. He shut
his eyes tightly as his mind reached out.
~~ Deanna ~~ his mind called out, searching for her.
After a moment, he looked at Tom and swallowed hard.
He shook his head no. “She’s out there!” Thomas
reconfirmed loudly to Will.  “I know it! Will I know
Knowing that the power of the bond was all he had to
hold onto for the eight years he spent on that
damnable planet. And it was all he had in those
inhuman Cardassian prison camps. It was the power of
the Imzadi bond that had many, many times saved his
life. It was that bond that he had depended on, more
so than Deanna herself. He relied on the bond, it had
become his only means of existence it had become his
air. As if a light flashed before his eyes he
understood. He was more dependent on the bond, whereas
his brother had become more dependent upon Deanna.
He understood for the first time.  That his brother
was in love with Deanna and not the bond they shared.
With or without the bond Will loved Deanna.  He had
become totally dependent upon her. He had learned over
the years to love her, and not the bond. Thomas had
learned over the years of hardships to love the mental
presence of the bond and not the woman.
He realized that he could finally let go of the woman,
for the bond was eternal. It was Imzadi.
Will was willing to release the bond, all he wanted
was the woman. She was his Imzadi.
And he knew beyond anything that he had ever felt in
his life that Deanna Troi could be both, the bond
Thomas needed to survive and the woman Will needed to
exist. She had been both all along.  But the
selfishness and the hatred the two of them shared
towards one another had blinded them to what Deanna
had attempted to teach them all along.

Across town, Deanna Troi instantly froze. She felt the
blood drain from her face.   She heard him, she sensed
him. She had heard his voice as he called out her
name. She then quickly whipped her head around and
stared beyond the blank wall as if someone was
standing there.
“Are you all right?” Fiona asked in her usual motherly
tone, as she touched the young empath’s shoulder.
“I’m not sure.” Deanna mumbled. Her stare never left
the wall.
“You must sit down.” Fiona insisted as she took a hold
of her arm and herded her to a nearby chair. Deanna
stiffly sat down in the chair Fiona had practically
pushed her into. “That oven gets hot…. Much too hot.”
Fiona attempted to make an excuse for Deanna’s sudden
change of attitude. Deanna looked down at her hands
and studied them as if they weren’t a part of her
“He’s here.” She quietly whispered to her hands as she
began to wring them together.  Her eyes suddenly
filled with tears. “He’s calling to me.” She whispered
under her breath.
“Who?” the old woman asked her voice was full of
puzzlement. “Who is calling to you, Dear?”
“Will…” Deanna answered quietly through the tears.
“Who?” the older woman asked a second time, as she
knelt down by the upset empath. Fiona placed her hands
on top of Deanna’s hands in order steady Deanna’s
hands.  “Who is Will, Deanna?”
Standing up as if she were the only one in the room,
Deanna headed towards the huge plate glass window. She
looked through the glass out into the street. With
both arms wrapped tightly around her body. She cleared
her mind; it had been so long since she had sensed
“I will call upon the doctor.” The older woman stated
with urgency, as she stood to her feet and exited the
bakery. She hurriedly ran down the street towards the
town’s doctor’s office.
Deanna was totally unaware of the older woman’s
leaving the small bakery. Her mind was focused
intently on Will Riker. 
~~ Deanna ~~ she heard Will’s voice in her mind.

“Oh my gods.” She spoke quietly through the plate
glass window, as if her mind was seeing something. She
sensed Will, he was heart broken, desperate and his
mind was frantically attempting to reach her.
She immediately ripped off the apron that she had on,
tossed it on the floor and darted out of the small
bakery door.  She ran at full speed down the dusty
road of the small town.

Chapter 9 “The Darkness of the Wind”

“What’s going on?” The voice of the barkeeper sounded
as he returned from the back of the pub.
“Help!” Masters struggled with the word as he gasped
for breath.
The muscle bound barkeeper quickly grabbed Will by the
back collar of his jacket and slung him onto the floor
as if he were a rag doll.
Thomas let go of Masters and took a swing at the
barkeeper with the long black cane; it broke in half
over the man’s back. The big muscle bound barkeeper
simply smiled at Thomas as he hit him squarely in the
jaw with his entire steel fist. Thomas staggered
backwards; he shook the stars out of his head, and
charged at the man like a mad bull. Will ran behind
the man and attempted to piggyback ride him in order
to grab his jaw, so that he could have some leverage
in snapping the man's neck. The man simply flinched
slightly and smiled at Thomas, totally ignoring Will.
He clasped both of his hands together and brought them
down on the back of Thomas’ neck.  He then picked up
Thomas and swung him around tossing him like a bag of
garbage. Thomas landed with a thud against the wall.
He then flipped Will off of his back with little or no
effort, he slammed William’s body onto the floor.
Riker rolled over in pain, he thought for a moment
that his back was broken.
He moaned as he struggled to his feet. If he were
going to die, he wouldn’t die without a fight.
He stood to his feet and saw Thomas as he picked up a
chair and hit the man across the jaw with the sturdy
wooden chair. The chair broke into pieces yet the
giant didn’t flinch. He hit Thomas squarely in the jaw
sending his body backward into a table, crashing the
table and his body into a heap onto the floor. Thomas
slowly began to rise.
Will was getting ready to charge again, when his head
snapped at the sound of several men that entered the
“They tried to kill me!” Master’s barked at the band
of men, his hands were still wrapped around his
reddened throat.
Thomas heard the men; it caught him suddenly off
guard.  He felt the bottle as it shattered across the
back of his skull, knocking him out cold.
“You bastard…” Riker glared as he readied himself for
the attack.
Suddenly Deanna came running through the door of the
pub, bypassing the men that were attempting to
surround Riker.  “Will!” he heard the voice of Deanna
as she called out his name.
“Deanna!” ” He yelled back. Frantically searching for
her with his eyes.
“Noooooo.” Were the last words he heard her scream, as
the arrow from the crossbow imbedded itself into his
body. He fell to his knees slowly. His hands clutched
the arrow, attempting to remove it from his chest.
That was when he had seen her…. He saw Deanna; her
eyes were filled with tears as she fought through the
crowd to get near him. He slowly fell to the floor.
And everything in Riker’s world faded to black.

Deanna’s eyes widened in terror as she saw Will
collapse onto the floor. She attempted to run towards
him. A large hand grabbed her hair from behind
snapping her body backwards.
“Let me go.” She struggled attempting to release the
hand from her hair. “I must go to him.” She cried.
“Not so fast, little one.” The man laughed as he held
tight to Deanna’s hair. Deanna sensed that this cocky
young henchman of Master’s was enjoying this game.
“He’s hurt!” She cried again. “Please, let me go.”

Fredrick quickly composed himself as he corrected his
posture and straightened his ruffled shirt. They
mustn’t ever find her he thought. He put on his best
poker face and looked at Deanna, as she struggled to
free herself. “What is going on here?” He asked as if
he had just walked into the pub. “Let her go!” he
commanded the young man. The young guard obeyed and
released her.
Deanna immediately ran over to Riker, not really
knowing what to do. She lifted his head and he moaned
it was the sweetest sound Deanna had ever heard. She
released a sigh of relief.  “He needs medical
attention!” she cried to the crowd of men. She gently
picked up his head and rested it on her lap. She
quickly glanced up at the gawking crowd and then back
to Will.  She ripped off a piece of her dress and
attempted to stop the profuse bleeding of his wound.
She began wrapping the tattered piece of material
around the bottom of the arrow that protruded out of
his chest, the arrow had hit him in the breast area.
“Please somebody get a Doctor.” She sobbed the words
as she gently placed the back of her hand against the
side of Will’s face. She ripped off another piece of
her dress and made a cushion for his arm to rest on.
Masters simply nodded towards one of his men, as the
man slowly approached the sobbing counselor, he
silently like a cat after it’s prey crept up behind
her. Deanna turned around suddenly, and before she
could react she felt the white handkerchief and the
hand as it covered her mouth and nose. She struggled,
but to no avail. The chloroform had taken over her
senses as she slowly closed her eyes and collapsed.

“Take these two interfering outsiders and drop them in
the forest.” Masters instructed the handful of men
that were standing beside him.
“If we take them to the forest, this one will surely
die.” One man said with a tinge of apprehension to his
“And so shall you, if you do not do as I say.” Masters
threatened; there was an evil coolness to his voice as
he scooped up Deanna in his arms.

Chapter 10  “The Darkness of the Wind”

“Hey, Will?” Thomas said as he slapped his brother on
the side of his face with his hand. “Come on Will,
wake up.”
Will Riker slowly came to. “What happened?” he said as
he fluttered his eyelids and the face of Thomas came
into focus. He winced in pain as the wound from the
arrow in his chest began to throb.
“You were shot with an arrow.” Thomas said. “I had to
remove it, you passed out.”
“Oh yeah….” Riker recalled the intense excruciating
pain from his brother’s surgical techniques. “You’d
make a lousy physician.” He half smiled.
“I know, it was really difficult passing medical at
the academy. Never cared too much for the sight of
suffering people.”
“Me either.” Will smiled. “I was more apt in tactical
maneuvers when I was at the academy.”
“You don’t say, so was I.” Thomas said, with a tinge
of fake astonishment to his voice.
“Deanna?” Will said.  He remembered her yelling his
name. “Where is Deanna?” he struggled to raise himself
on his elbows. He was still weak from the wounds from
the arrow.
“You’ve got it for her bad.” Thomas smiled, “Deanna is
alive, don’t worry.”
“How do you know?”
“I can feel her.” Thomas stated with certainty. “In
here.” He thumped on his chest.
Will shook his head, attempting to shake away the
dizziness from his head. He knew what Thomas was
saying was true. “Just how many bottles did they crash
into your skull, Tom? Help me to my feet.” He held out
his hand for Thomas to pull him to his feet, normally
a Riker wouldn’t ask for assistance, but this was Tom.
“Must have shattered about half a case. It sure as
hell feels like it anyway.” Thomas exaggerated, with a
“Hell of a waste of good whiskey, if you ask me.”
Thomas smiled at his brother’s attempt to make a joke.
He helped Will to his feet by grabbing him under his
non-injured shoulder. With a quick hoist, Will was
standing with Thomas standing beside him.
“Deanna came running into the pub and yelled my name,
then that arrow hit me, I guess I passed out.” Will
explained as he stood still for a moment steadying his
“You saw Deanna?” There was enthusiasm to Tom’s voice.
“You got it? Can you stand now?” he asked, ready to
help Will if he needed it.
“Yeah, I’m okay.” He straightened his posture. He
glanced over at Thomas and smiled. “I saw Deanna.”
Thomas for the first time in days noticed the sparkle
of life that had returned to Will’s blue eyes.
“You ready to walk?”
“Yeah, I think so.” Both men began to walk through the
darkened woods. They heard the distant sound of a
night owl. Its voice sounded hollow and lonely and
“Hey Tom how did you know that Fredrick Masters was
“I called out to Deanna and I sensed her. You see, I
use the mental bond more than you do.” He pushed the
leaves and brush aside as he made his way through the
forest. “You depend on Deanna the person; I depend on
Deanna, the empath…the bond…up here.” He tapped is
head with his index finger.  “I’ve learned a lot about
it, how to use it to my advantage, how to block it
when I need to.” He spoke as if what he was saying was
the most elementary thing in the universe.  “Hell, I’m
getting as good at using it as Deanna is, I think.  I
need it … you need her. She belongs as a person to
you.  She belongs as a mental friend to me. You
“What in the hell are you talking about?” Will asked
through squinted eyes, totally clueless as to what
Thomas was saying.  “Thomas if you’re still in love
with Deanna just say so.”
“I do love her and I always will…But, not in the way
you think.” Thomas explained. “Not in the same way
you…I mean I don’t want to marry her or anything. Not
anymore at least. I mean Deanna is okay, really more
than okay actually she’s a lot more than just okay.”
He began to stumble over the words. “But, she’s not
the woman I want to marry. She’s outgrown me, but the
bond hasn’t. I still need that, just like you need
her. I’ve got a lot of years to make up for and a lot
of women to have relationships with.  There’s no way
she would tolerate that lifestyle; you and I both know
that.  As a person you need her more than I do. All I
want is for her to be happy, and who else could treat
her like she needs to be treated than the spitting
image of me, and that’s you.” He smiled, knowing he
just confused the hell out of his brother more.  His
voiced took a sudden change as he stopped walking and
rubbed his head. “I must’ve forgot a piece of glass, I
think I’ve got it right…. Ouch.” he winced as his
fingers pulled out a small shattered piece of glass
from the top of his head.

“I definitely think you’ve got something that’s not
right, in your head.” Riker laughed, his voice then
changed to a serious tone.  “Let me see if you’ve got
all the glass out.”
“Hell no.” Thomas protested moving his head quickly
away from Will.  “You almost flunked out of medical
remember?” His voice took a sudden nervous laugh.
“There’s no way in hell you’re touching me.”
“Well, you’re going to have to seek medical attention
on that head of yours.” Will said with a fatherly
“Still the over protective big brother, even after
being speared by an arrow.  The damn thing almost hit
your heart.”
“Nah, it missed my heart by a mile.” Will shrugged it
off, as they walked through the darkened woods. “Where
in the world did you get this sling anyway?” Will
asked referring to the make shift sling that was
mobilizing his injured shoulder, it was a material
that he had never seen before.
“Beats the hell out of me. It was under your arm.”
~~~ Imzadi ~~~ Will heard the word in his mind. So did
Thomas. Both men suddenly froze and quickly turned
around and stared at one another.
“We’ve got to find Deanna.” Will stated knowing that
Thomas had heard the same voice he had.
“You find Deanna. I’m going to kill that lying bastard
with the sissy cane.”
“You do what you have to do, and I’ll do what I have
to do.” Will stated with a smile.
“I plan to big brother.” Thomas smiled with an
identical expression that matched Will’s  “I plan to.”
He repeated.

“The sun’s coming up. It will be day light soon.” Will
said as they continued to walk through the thick
woods. “We need to find a place to lodge, sleep in the
day and travel at night. You look like you could use
some sleep. Are you okay?”
“You’d make a good mother someday” Thomas’ remark made
Will give him a look. “I mean….” He continued, “You
really need to resolve those issues you have with
being over protective, you know that?”
“I like my issues just fine.” Riker stated, never
removing his gaze from the woods in front of him.
“Now that Deanna’s alive and all we have to do is go
get her, you can take all of that over protective
Starfleet knight in shining armor shit and push it off
on her. I think she finds it flattering.” He smiled at
Will.  “Then you can leave me the hell alone.” He
said.  He tilted his head towards Will and added, “You
can finally get off of my ass, and quit asking if I’m
okay all the time.”
“I’ll always be on your ass, Tom. That will never
change.” He looked at his duplicate and smiled. “Looks
like there might be an abandoned cabin, over there.”
He pointed towards the cabin in the distance.
“What if it’s not abandoned? Then what?” Thomas
continued to walk.
“Then little brother, you get to turn on the old Riker
charm if it’s a lady or kick some ass if it’s big and
ugly.” Both men headed towards the cabin in the woods.

The sun was beginning to rise, as the men approached
the small log cabin in the woods.
“We can stay here big brother.” Thomas said.
“Big brother?” Riker laughed.  “By what? Eight
seconds? What the hell was that all about? You could
of said one minute or something but eight seconds, who
in the hell is going to believe that?”
“The same people who believe that we are twins.” he
returned the gesture with a smile.
Both men cautiously walked into the abandoned log
cabin. It had been deserted years ago. Thomas took the
phaser and lit the small fireplace.
“Be right back, I’m going hunting.” He stated as he
put the phaser back in his jacket.
“Hunting? For what?” William asked, he was genuinely
concerned. His overprotective nature suddenly came to
the surface, again. Tom smiled knowing that Will Riker
always looked out for the safety of everyone, his ship
and his crew and everyone else aboard his ship. But
mostly he looked out for his own; Deanna and Thomas
were definitely defined as his own.
“For food, you know, breakfast?”
“Be careful, and if that lightening….” Will trailed
off, stopping himself from being too demanding, or
over protective.
Will’s quiet statement made Thomas turn and look at
him. “Not this mother hen nonsense again.” Tom whined
as he headed towards the door.

Chapter 11..”The Darkness of the Wind.”

Deanna woke up and she was lying on a small hard bed,
with only a wool blanket covering the hard slab of
concrete. She quickly tried to gather herself and her
senses as she looked around her surroundings. She was
in a small cell, in a dungeon of some sort. She stared
at the uneaten metal tray of food that rested on the
floor in front of the heavy iron door.

She slowly stood to her feet. She felt dizzy and
quickly sat back down on the small cot. The smell of
the cell filled her senses with the sickening aroma of
decomposed food and rancid body odor, the stench began
to make her head hurt.
She finally stood to her feet, she began to walk
around the small dark room, and only to be stopped by
a heavy chain and a shackle that was securely wrapped
around her ankle.
She noticed a small lantern that was lit on a nearby
stone table. She walked towards the door of the small
cell…her shackles stopped her from reaching the door.
She glanced around the room and the huge gargoyles
that were carved into the walls of the small cell
staring down upon her they had a menacing almost eerie

How had this happened? What had she done to deserve
this? Who had she wronged? Her mind swam with all
sorts of questions as she stared blankly at the fire
that glowed from the lantern that sat on the table of
her small cell.

Deanna stood with both arms wrapped securely around
her. She sensed a life form. She heard the footsteps
as they came closer to her cell. She sensed that it
was human.
“Is anyone here?” she yelled at the heavy iron door,
attempting to get as close to the door as her chain
around her ankle would allow. “Anyone at all, please!”
she cried out.
“You’d be wise to eat, young Miss.” The female voice
yelled a muffled warning through the peephole of
Deanna’s cell. “It may be your last.” The woman said
with an evil laugh.
“Who are you?” Deanna cried. “Why are you holding me
The woman did not answer. She simple opened the
peephole of Deanna’s cell and her bloodshot eyeball
glared through the door. Deanna heard the jingle of
heavy keys as the heavy iron door opened with a loud
creaking sound.
“You’d best be quiet.” The old woman warned.
“You can’t keep me in here.”
The old woman remained silent as she collected the
silver metal dishes.
“He’s out there and he won’t stop until he finds me.”
Deanna continued.  Yet the old woman remained silent.
She simply looked at Deanna and smiled. “He won’t
stop, I assure you. And if he has to assassinate you
to save me.” Deanna warned with certainty. “He will.”
“The last woman that was held in this cell was
beheaded last eve near sundown, Miss. It would be wise
not to temper the master.”
“Who is the master?” Deanna asked, she ignored the
fear that was beginning to rise in her throat.
“Hold your tongue!” The old woman turned on her heels.
“Do you realize where you are?”  there was an
arrogance to her voice.
“Your young gentleman friend, will never find you.”
She glared; Deanna sensed the satisfaction to her
voice. “And if he does, I assure you.” She emphasized,
“His head will be severed from his body and put on
display in a glass trophy case…. By that time, you
will be wed, and with child.” The old woman walked
through the steel door and with a loud echo the door
shut. Deanna heard the keys as they locked the heavy
metal door.
“What?” Deanna flopped down on the hard concrete slab
bed; she couldn’t believe the old woman’s words.
The old woman turned the key to the cell door.

“You said she would fall in love with me.” Fredrick
Masters growled, as he grabbed the old woman’s arm in
a threatening manner.
“She will.” The old woman stammered as he looked down
at the hand on her arm and then back at Masters. “She
must be bitten by the serpent thrice.  The inside of
its belly has the power to insure that she becomes
your beloved.”
“Are you sure?” Masters glared at the Doctor.
“Yes! I am a physician.” The old woman sounded
“You practice sorcery. You deal with potions, spells,
and incantations.” Masters balked in laughter, as he
roughly let go of the evil old woman’s arm.
There was an awkward silence between the two, as they
glared at one another.
“Your fee.” Masters plopped down a small leather pouch
of gold coins that clanged as it hit the palm of the
old woman’s hand. “It is a sizable amount, I assure
you.” He raised a menacing finger at the woman. “And
if you fail in this small task that I ask of you…. I
expect to be reimbursed of course.” He stated coolly.
“I shall have you beheaded.” He quickly turned on his
heels and exited the dark hallways of the dungeon.


Chapter 12 “Darkness of the Wind.”

Thomas returned to the cabin sometime later with a
small wild beast. He had killed it with his laser.
“Are you all right?” he asked Will, noticing the
haggard look his duplicate had in his eyes.
“Yeah. It looks as if my injuries are mending. I think
I’m just tired from all of that wonderful surgery you
performed on me.” Noticing the slain animal that
spread across Tom’s shoulders he asked. “What exactly
is that thing you’ve got draped across your
“Damned if I know.” Thomas answered, “But, everything
is edible right? It’s a swine of some kind. I think?”
He dropped the slain animal on the floor of the cabin,
and added. “You can cook it.”
“Me?” Will asked as if he were in shock. “You killed
it! You cook it.” He demanded of his duplicate.
“I’m not cooking that thing. You’re the expert chef
“So are you.” Will retaliated.
“I guess we could fire a laser blast on it and cook
it.” Thomas said as he cocked his head towards the
dead animal that lay on the floor, not sure of what to
do with it.
“Why would you slay something that you have no idea
what it is?” Will added with a chuckle.
“Gee, I don’t know, Will. I thought you might be
hungry. But, apparently I’ve overlooked the fact that
your diet consist of liquids only.”
“Thomas.” Will’s voice suddenly grew serious. “Thank
you. But, I’ll be damned if I argue with myself all
day…. Myself of course, being you.”
“Fine. I’ll cook it. Do you like your food stunned or
totally evaporated.” Thomas stated as he targeted the
dead beast with his laser gun.
“Wait!” Will called out holding his hands up in the
air. “All right. I’ll cook it. You’re so juvenile
sometimes.” Will’s voice sounded annoyed.
“I guess I take after my big brother.” Thomas added
with a teasing sparkle to his eyes.
“Big brother is right, after all. I’m the one with the
beard.” Will teased. “Perhaps you’ll be able to grow
one someday.”
“I shaved off my beard for a reason. You spend years
in a Cardassian prison camp and the damn thing gets
really dirty. It can drive a man nuts.” Tom defended
his clean-shaven look.
“Right.” Will said with a roll of his eyes, and a
lopsided smile.
After both men had eaten they decided to get some
sleep in the abandoned cabin they had happened upon in
the woods. Afraid to travel in the daytime, they had
both agreed to sleep in the day and travel at night…in
order to perhaps go back into town and attempt to talk
to Deanna.
“Tom?” Will stated as he stared at the glowing rocks
that were in the fireplace.
“Thank you.” Will stated. “I mean for helping me find
Deanna.  If it hadn’t been for you, I probably would
have never attempted to find her. I thought she had
vanished forever.”
“She means as much to me as she does to you.” Tom was
quick to add the last sentence.  “In a different way
of course. Your wounds are apparently making you
delirious.” Thomas said, attempting to change the
“You’re really in tune with her aren’t you? Mentally
that is.”
“I guess so. She’s all I had while I spent all those
years alone. I swear there were times when I thought I
would go crazy. And somehow, she knew. She would send
peace and comfort. She helped me through it. The most
amazing thing about Deanna was that she never let me
There was a silence between the two men as they
concentrated on what the tiny Betazoid had meant to
each of them.


Chapter 13 “Darkness of the Wind”

As Will lay there in the cabin, he heard the hard
breathing of Thomas who lay in quiet slumber across
the room. Sleep refused to come to Will.  His thoughts
drifted to Deanna, wondering where she was. How she
was? She was so young when they had first met. She
being a serious psychology student and he young,
dashing, with a devil may care attitude, a strong
brass Starfleet officer. He remembered their first
conversation. How he fell hopelessly, and helplessly
in love with her.  And how shocked he was when he had
seen her for the second time on the Enterprise, that
was the one and only time that William T. Riker had
found himself totally speechless. He smiled at the
thought of the look on his face as she approached him
as she was exiting out of the turbo-lift.
Throughout their service on the Enterprise, there had
been a half million things he had wanted to say to
her, but there never seemed to be any time. Or it was
the wrong time. He remembered the times when he would
get upset, or frightened. And a single touch would
calm his spirit. Or he would be having a rough day on
the ship, and one smile would make the day seem so
much brighter. He smiled at the thought.
He had realized that he had taken it all for granted.
“Youth.” He said aloud to himself. “It will either
come back and haunt you.” He sighed. “Or send you to
“What?” the muffled sleepy reply of Thomas’ voice from
across the room sounded. Will’s head snapped as he was
suddenly jolted back into reality by the sound of
Thomas’ voice.
“Nothing. Go back to sleep.” Will answered. He watched
as Tom rolled over on the floor and how he almost
immediately fell back to sleep.
Will’s brain flashed with the revelation that Thomas
had been the same dashing young Starfleet officer that
had fallen deeply in love with the same young
psychology student. He was the same man who had had
that first conversation. Every aspect of their lives
was identical…but yet as he heard the breathing of his
duplicate across the room, the old feelings of
jealousy began to rise up in his soul. He shook his
head as if to shake away all of the silliness of his
own thoughts.
He had to tell Deanna, he had to tell her how he felt.
His brain grasped the horrifying possibility that
there may never be time to say what he had always
wanted to say.
~~ Deanna ~~ Will’s mind reached out to her. What had
to be said now, could only be sent silently between
their two beating hearts.
It was difficult for him; he was so out of practice.
He had taken it all for granted.
Suddenly Will Riker felt that he had finally broken
through, he had reached her. He rolled over, and a
peaceful sleep filled his being.

Deanna’s face clouded with fear as the gargoyles that
were carved in the walls of the dingy cell stared at
her. Each one had a demonic stare that she could not
release herself from. Each one seemed to be screaming,
mocking her….’He will die! He will die!” they chanted
over and over again in her mind.  And for a moment her
mind envisioned Will Riker’s head in a glass trophy
case, just as the old woman had threatened.
“Oh, Will.” Deanna cried. “I’m afraid, so very
afraid.” No one was there to comfort her. No strong
arms reached out to pull her into a tight embrace, an
embrace that could only come from Will Riker.  
~~ Will? ~~ She reached out with her mind, swallowing
the fear that was now beginning to rise in her throat.
Her mind felt a strong, yet tender embrace that had
the power to chase away all the demons of the
Suddenly Deanna Troi was no longer afraid of the dimly
lit, damp dungeon.

“Wake Up!” the haggard old voice of the woman yelled,
as Deanna focused on the small opening of the door to
her cell.
“You must eat your broth and bread.” The woman scolded
as she reached down and picked up the uneaten tray of
food. “You will need all your strength for your
“I have no husband.” Deanna glared.
“He will have a wife.” She glared at the young
“He may have a wife.” Deanna was determined. “But, it
won’t be me.” She protested, refusing to show her
The old woman’s body was only a faceless shadow as she
stood silently. She studied the young, beautiful
counselor as a cat who was patiently watching a small
mouse hole. Suddenly her mood changed.  “The master
has paid the marriage portion for you, and he shall
have you.” Her voice was now full of venom.
“What marriage portion? Are you speaking of a dowry?”
Deanna asked the thought of someone paying a dowry was
absurd to her…she laughed aloud at the thought.
The old haggard looking woman simply stared blankly at
her, refusing to speak.
“Aunt Fiona and Uncle Jake will be looking for me.”
Deanna reminded the old woman.
“Looking for you?” the old woman laughed mockingly.
“You are at home as we speak.”
“What? What are you talking about?” Deanna’s tone of
voice demanded a response. She tried to stand to her
feet and lunge at the woman only to be stopped by the
heavy iron shackles around her ankles.
“Your gentlemen friends aren’t the only ones to have a
twin.” The old woman hissed as she shut the heavy iron
door to the cell.
Deanna stared blankly at the door the woman had just
walked through. Her brain frantically trying to absorb
the words she had just heard.
“You must look out for snakes.” The old woman called
through the peephole of the heavy metal door. Deanna
heard the jingle of the keys as the door locked.

Once the two men arrived back into the small village,
the huge hands of the clock seemed to dance as it sang
the hour of eleven. The shutters to all of the town’s
shops were closed. The town appeared to be abandoned
and still.
“We need to stay low.” Thomas said with a glance from
the clock back to Will. The lanterns that lit up the
streets were dimly lit, as the candles that were
covered under the globes of glass halloed towards the
streets.  “We have to find this Fiona and Jake
Whittier. The barkeeper said that Deanna was staying
with them.”
“Agreed” Will winced in pain, as he adjusted the sling
on his arm.  His shoulder and chest area was hurting
like hell. He felt the throbbing of the wound, he knew
that the area had fever in it. And it was almost
assuredly getting infected.
Thomas noticed the scarlet patch of blood that was
seeping through the make shift bandage. He looked at
his duplicate through narrowed eyes. He noticed the
beads of perspiration as they ran down Will’s face,
yet the night air was cool.
“Let’s get the hell out of here.” Will said ignoring
his brother’s stare, and the pain in his chest as he
walked towards the back streets of the small town. The
men searched throughout the town looking for a back
entrance to the bakery. Will felt suddenly dizzy.
“Hey.” Thomas said as he kept a protective eye on his
brother. “You need to rest for awhile.”
“No, I’m okay.” Will insisted as he shut his eyes
tightly, and re-opened them.
“Like hell you are.” Thomas said. “You sit down. I’ll
go find some water or something to use as dry
bandages. It looks like you’re bleeding again.”
Will slid down the side of the brick wall of the back
of on of the buildings. He found he no longer had the
strength to stand.
“I’ll be back.” Thomas said with a gentle touch to his
brother’s shoulder. He hurried off down the alleyways
of the town.

"Psssssst" an old woman’s voice called to Will from
the darkness of the alley.
With split second timing Will had his phaser aimed and
ready, targeted at the old woman who was standing in
the shadows of the streets. She was dressed in rags
and her face was covered with soot and ashes.
"I mean you no harm" the woman almost pleaded, as she
held up her hands in surrender. She looked at the
weapon in Will’s hand and then back towards him. 
Will slowly lowered the futuristic weapon and with a
nod and addressed the old woman. "Who are you?" he
asked. "And what in the hell are you doing out here in
the middle of the night?" He winced in pain as the
words came out of his mouth.
"I could ask you the same." She said with a crackle to
her voice. Will stared at the woman through squinted
The old woman’s gaze fell upon him. "You are injured.
What happened?" she asked.
"Accident." Will answered dryly. He had no desire to
talk to this old woman.
"You are always having accidents." She scolded through
a hoarse voice. "But, they are not!" she snapped.
"Hey. Who the hell are you?" Will asked defensively.
He winced in pain as he struggled to stand on his
feet. After several attempts he gave up. He couldn’t
The old woman turned her head slowly towards the
street and then back to Will. 
"Who? Who are you looking for?" she asked
This old woman reminded Will of the old witch that he
had often read about in fairy tales. He rolled his
eyes at the thought and continued his conversation
with the scraggly old woman. "Who says I’m looking for
anyone?" Will stated with sarcasm. 
"I do. Now who are you looking for?" the old woman
"None of your damn business!" Will snapped. After all
who in the hell was this? 
"Deanna." The old woman stated with a drag to her
Will’s head snapped as he heard the old woman say
Deanna’s name. "You know her?" Will asked. There was a
hint of anticipation to his voice.
"Yes. I know her." The old woman answered. "She has a
very kind heart. She gives an old homeless woman like
me, cheese and bread to eat."
"Can you tell you tell me where I could find her?" He
asked through the pain.
"For a price." The woman negotiated. 
"What price?" Will glared. His patience was running
thin with this old dodger. His body hurt like hell and
his head began to throb.
"Your soul." The woman said dryly. And with that she
immediately vanished, as if she were a Q.
"What the hell is this place?" Will said aloud in
total disbelief, as he looked out into the dimness of
the town.

Deanna suddenly felt the long slick sliminess of
something as it slowly crawled around her ankle.
"Oh my gods, it’s a snake!" her mind screamed. She
felt the serpent as it slimed up the calf of her leg.
It wrapped itself slowly around her calves and it
began to slide across her silky smooth skin. Her heart
was racing and her breathing increased as she held on
tight to her ability not to scream. She clinched her
mouth shut. She heard the hissing of it, as its tongue
touched her knee. It twisted and slithered along her
body. Beads of sweat began to form on her face. Her
ears heard the voices outside of the heavy metal door
of the dungeon. She couldn’t respond. She couldn’t
focus. Her mind whirled in fear. The slimy slithering
serpent began to ascend up her leg and across her
lower thigh area. Deanna screamed as loud as she
could, before she felt the stinging bite of the
serpent upon her flesh. Suddenly everything in
Deanna’s world blackened as she collapsed to the hard
cell floor.

~~ Snake ~~ Thomas heard the voice in his mind, it
snapped his body around like a jolt of lightening. 
"Snake!" Thomas stated loudly. "Deanna’s been bitten
by a snake." Looking around him in the dark, isolated
town. He ran at full speed back to his brother, who
was resting in the darkened alleyways.

here is chapter 14 of the ongoing story...I hope you
guys like it.

Chapter 14 "The Darkness of the Wind."

Deanna rose up early in the morning. She had just
recently gotten into the habit of rising early and
picking red berries from the forest. She had her own
special way of picking berries; she would first gather
them and then eat them. She loved the taste of fresh
red berries.
"Where are you off to?" Aunt Fiona asked the young
Betazoid. "Shouldn’t you be in bed?"
"I feel fine, Aunt Fiona" Deanna insisted. "Really,
you mustn’t worry about me so much."
"But I do worry dear. You haven’t been yourself
lately. Not since that rather tragic accident in the
"Yes, it was tragic wasn’t it?" Deanna agreed. "Well."
She shrugged the incident of the tragic deaths of the
twins off. "I’m off to pick red berries." She stated
"I do not recall you ever picking berries, Deanna."
Fiona eyed the young Betazoid suspiciously.
"Well," Deanna snapped. "Get used to it!" She whirled
around and was gone. Fiona heard her footsteps as she
descended the stairway of the bakery.
"Jake?" Fiona requested her husband’s attention.
"Yes." Jake answered as he lowered the paper he was
"That is not the Deanna that I know." Fiona stated as
she wrung her hands on her apron. "That is not
Deanna." She repeated for the second time.
"Who is she?" Jake laughed, as he stood to his feet.
He placed a tender hand on his wife’s shoulder.
"I don’t know." Fiona stared blankly at her husband,
as if she were looking through him. "But, I assure you
that is not Deanna."
"I must go now and open the Bakery." Jake stated as he
grabbed his hat off of the coat rack. "We have to make
fresh bread. Perhaps, Deanna will bring back some red
berries, in order for us to make a few loaves of red
berry bread." He smiled.
"She has never picked red berries, Jake. She does not
care for the taste of them. Don’t you think that it is
rather odd that she has taken a sudden fondness for
"Perhaps she has recently acquired a taste for red
berries." He shrugged if off.
"And she is seeing, young Fredrick Masters." Fiona
added to prove her point that this was not the Deanna
that she had grown to know and love for the past year.
"Is that not what you wanted, Fiona?" Jake asked.
"Yes." Fiona admitted. "But, Deanna did not. Her heart
belongs to another."
"Fiona." Jake took his wife’s hand and gently kissed
it. "You worry far too much. Deanna is young, and she
will have many suitors."
"Perhaps." Fiona said with a slight smile. She could
not shake the uneasiness that she felt.
Both of their heads turned as they heard the banging
on the downstairs door.
"Customers so soon?" Jake said, as he put his hat on
his head. "We make very, very good bread. They can not
wait for us to open." He said with a twinkle in his
eye. Quickly kissing his wife on the cheek, he headed
towards the downstairs bakery.

"Just a minute." Jake called as he opened the back
door to the bakery. "We do not open for another hour
and a half."
Standing outside of the Bakery was two men. One
looking just like the other.
"May we speak with you, sir?" Thomas asked with the
politeness of a Starfleet officer. "I assure you all
we ask is a moment of your time."
Jake simply stood there and stared at the two men. He
glanced from one to the other. 
"We mean you no harm." Thomas added. "I give you my
word as a gentleman, sir."
Jake noticed Will. He was weak and his body was
covered with sweat. Jake noticed the bleeding wound on
his chest.
"Yes." Fiona quickly entered into the conversation.
"Please, forgive my husband. Come in."
Tom and Will entered the bakery. "You are injured."
Fiona quickly observed Will.
"Yes, my brother was struck by an arrow." Thomas said.
"Please, please rest." Fiona offered Will a chair.
"Let me get some fresh bandages for your wounds." She
quickly added. "Jake see to it that these two young
gentlemen are given food." Jake stood in silent awe,
making no attempt to move. "Now!" she ordered her
"Please excuse me." Jake nodded towards the two
"Fiona." Jake whispered as he took his wife by the
elbow. Making sure that the men could not hear him.
"These are the two twins that were supposedly killed
in the bar. They are thieves and murderers."
"As you can see they were not killed." Fiona
whispered. "They are not thieves. Nor are they
murderers, Jake Whittier. The wounded one…." She
trailed off as she glanced at Will. "We must help
"Why?" Jake asked, not knowing why his wife was so
adamant on helping these two men.
"Just as you felt towards Deanna when you first met
her. I feel for the wounded one, Jake. And his
brother, they have very kind eyes."
Jake simply stared at his wife silently. With a slow
nod of his head he replied. "As you wish, Fiona."
"Good." Fiona stated. "Now, you must take the wounded
one upstairs and hide him."
Jake turned around and headed back towards the table.
"We must take your brother upstairs. It is not safe to
be down here in the daytime. He needs medical help."
Both men helped Will up the stairs and placed him on
the sofa. Fiona quickly cleaned and dressed his
"Drink this." She commanded the Starfleet officer, as
she held a cup of broth in front of him.
"What is it?" Will asked. The smell was pungent and
almost sickening.
"It will take away the infection. You must drink it."
She ordered in a motherly tone. "You must drink this,
to make you feel better." She sounded like a doctor
who was giving a small child a vaccination.
Will drank the odd tasting broth. He coughed as the
taste of the herbs tickled his throat. "Oh my God…" he
gasped. "What the he…" he suddenly stopped his
profanity. "What is this, ma’am?" he asked trying his
best to be polite.
He looked over and noticed the lopsided smile on
Thomas’ face. 
"What are your names?" Jake asked as he sat the cup of
ale in front of Tom.
"I’m Thomas…Thomas Riker. And that is my brother
William." Thomas extended his hand out in greeting.
Jake shook Thomas’ hand.
"Riker? She often daydreams of a man called Riker."
Fiona said with a smile, as she gathered up the old
Both men looked at Fiona at the same time. With the
same look of surprise.
"What was it you wanted to speak to me about?" Jake
asked as he released the handshake.
"We are looking for Deanna." Thomas answered. "We
heard that we could find her here."
"Does she belong to you?" Jake asked.
"To me?" Thomas answered not really knowing where this
question was coming from. "I’m sorry I don’t
"Is she your beloved?" Jake asked bluntly. "Is she
your wife?" without missing a beat he continued. "Is
she the one you have chosen to bear your children?" he
drilled Thomas with questions.
Thomas looked over at Will and simply rose his
eyebrows, as if he were looking to Will for an answer.

"Excuse me, Sir." Will stepped into the conversation.
He slowly stood to his feet. 
"You would like to speak, Mr. Riker?" Jake glanced
over at Will.
"Yes, if I may. Deanna is from our…town. She
disappeared over a year ago." Will explained. "My
brother and I have simply come to rescue her. To bring
her home, I assure you sir, we mean her no harm
"And what town would that be?" Jake asked, both Will
and Tom could tell that this older man was very
"Valdez." Thomas answered.
"I have never heard of a town by that name." 
"It is far away." Thomas answered.
"If you would, explain to me how she became lost? How
did she disappear?" Jake asked. Will could tell this
wasn’t going to be easy.
"There was a storm." Will answered. "I lost her in the
storm." He stated quietly, as if he were remembering
that hellish day. His voice was full of regret as if
he blamed himself for her disappearance. "I looked for
her for hours, but to no avail. She had simply
"Yes, sir." Will answered, giving the older gentleman
the same amount of respect that he would give to a
Starfleet admiral.
"Why has it taken you so long to rescue her?" Jake
asked, his voice softened as he spoke.
"I had no idea….as to her whereabouts, Sir." Will
admitted, his voice full of honest sincerity as he
spoke. "Fortunately, my brother and I happened to
come upon her in this town."
"Who told you that she was staying with us?"
"The barkeeper, Sir. I believe his name was Truehill."
"Ah yes….Mr. Truehill." Jake nodded his head slowly.
He rubbed his chin with his finger and thumb. "Did the
two of you attempt to rob the pub?"
"No, Sir." Will answered. "We did not."
"Tell me? Did you attempt to murder Mr. Masters?"
"Sir." Thomas answered. "I became angry when Mr.
Master’s lied to my brother." He glanced over at Will.
"My temper ran away with me and I reacted too
"Mr. Masters lied?" Fiona asked, her gaze was upon
Thomas now. "How?"
Thomas relayed the story of how Masters had lied about
Deanna and that the two of them had been married, how
she died in childbirth. He told them of the events in
the bar and how Will had stated Deanna came rushing in
screaming Will’s name. Of how they woke up in the
forest. Both Fiona and Jake stared blankly at the two
men. Absorbing everything that was said. Fiona looked
over to Jake and with a simple nod of her head. Jake
stood silent for awhile. He breathed in deeply and
exhaled slowly. 
Walking over to Will, he placed a hand on Will’s
shoulder and quietly stated, "You shall take your
Deanna home, Son." 
"Thank you, Sir." Will smiled and nodded his head.

"Aunt Fiona?" They heard the voice of Deanna call
from the bottom of the stairs.

Here is, yet another chapter of this story that I have
no idea of what I'm doing.... Hope you enjoy this.
Thank you all so much for the great feedback.

Chapter 15 "Darkness of the Wind" 

"Quick! You must hide." Fiona warned, grabbing Will by
the arm she herded him towards the bedroom of the
small tenement. "You too. Quickly, come! Quickly!" she
motioned towards Thomas.
"Why must we hide?" Will asked totally confused by the
woman’s sudden change in attitude.
"Trust me, young man." She stated with urgency.
"Please, you must trust me. Now….. come quickly."
Both men followed as Fiona herded them into the

"Jake that is not Deanna." Fiona quietly warned, so
that the two outsiders were out of range of hearing
the conversation between she and her husband. 
"Fiona." Jake stated in a tone that should have hushed
his wife. She simply chose to ignore him.
"Trust me, my husband." Fiona said as a definite. "Ask
her of Will Riker, when she returns. From what these
two young gentlemen tell us, she should of course
remember them."

"Uncle Jake." Deanna smiled as she entered into the
small dwelling above the bakery. "I picked some nice
red berries this morning."
"That is nice, my dear." Jake answered.
"Why have you not opened the bakery, Uncle? Isn’t it
the right time?" Deanna asked, as she emptied her
bucket of red berries into the small basin that served
as a sink.
"Hello, dear." Fiona greeted the young Betazoid.
Pretending nothing was wrong.
"Aunt Fiona." Deanna greeted her. "I was just asking
Uncle Jake why he has not opened the bakery yet? Is he
"Deanna, I talked to a young man earlier. Perhaps you
know him."
"Perhaps." Deanna stated as she washed the berries.
"His name is William. William Riker."
"I do not recall that name…is he a patron of the
"No, no he is not." Jake answered; he gave Fiona a
glance and continued. "Tell me, Deanna. Perhaps you
and I could have lunch on the roof this afternoon. We
could eat on the rooftop and feed the pigeons." He
stated with loving-kindness.
"I hate pigeons, Uncle." Deanna laughed. "You are
aware of that, aren’t you?"
"Yes, please forgive an old man. My mind forgets so
many things these days." Jake pretended not to be
alarmed by her words.
"Fiona, I believe you are speaking the truth." Jake
whispered, as he looked down at his wife, his eyes
were full of sadness. "Go, go get the out of towners."
He stated quietly.
Fiona turned and walked towards the bedroom.

"Deanna?" Will requested softly. He slowly walked
towards the young girl who continued to wash off the
berries. "Deanna?"
She stood silently refusing to turn around.
"Deanna are you all right?" He asked more out of
confusion, as he slowly approached her from across the
"Stay away from her Will." Thomas cautioned. He
grabbed his brother’s arm attempting to stop him from
approaching Deanna.
Will jerked his arm free of his brother’s grip.
"What?" he quietly challenged his duplicate. 

Deanna turned around. She immediately froze at the
sight of the two identical human beings. Her eyes
widened as she stood silently.
As if an alarm suddenly went off inside of his head,
Thomas stood erect and protested. "That’s not Deanna,
damn it!" He reached into his pocket and pulled out a
phaser and targeted the young Betazoid. "Where’s
Deanna!" Thomas snapped at the woman standing before
him. "Where the hell is she?" His tone of voice
demanded an answer.
"Thomas!" He commanded, using a familiar Starfleet
tone to his voice.
"That’s not Deanna." Thomas’ jaw was set as he glared
at his brother.
"Stand down, Thomas." Will ordered his brother,
directing his attention towards the weapon that was
aimed and ready. "I said stand down!" he repeated
louder and more stern.
Thomas lowered the weapon. He stepped forward and
grabbed Deanna by the shoulders and twirled her
around. "Where the hell is she?" he glared at the dark
eyed woman.
"Stop." Deanna struggled. "Let me go." 
"Let her go Tom." Will sounded not really knowing what
the hell was going on. He took his good arm and shoved
Thomas away from Deanna. "What in the hell do you
think you’re doing?" Will asked, as he fixed his gaze
on his brother.
Jake and Fiona stood silently as they watched the two
brothers stand up to one another.
Thomas wasn’t really sure if he could handle Will’s
jealous temper, this imposter of Deanna and Jake all
at the same time. "That’s not Deanna." He repeated to
his brother softly for the third time. 
Deanna simply stood there and looked from one Riker to
the other, and then back towards Thomas.
"Where’s the snake?" Thomas asked the imposter of
"What?" She asked as if she were in shock. 
"The snake damn it!" Thomas argued.
"What the hell are you talking about Tom? What snake?"
Will was totally confused.
"Deanna’s been bitten by a snake." Thomas answered,
never leaving his glaring steady gaze from the woman
standing in front of him.
"What?" Will whispered. Now he was totally lost. How
did Thomas know about Deanna? What damn snake was he
talking about? A lump of fear rose in his throat at
the possibility that perhaps Thomas may be right.
"You are quite the fighter aren’t you?" She stood firm
and directed her question towards Thomas, totally
ignoring his question about the serpent. "How did she
ever fall in love with someone like you?" 
Thomas lunged for the woman. He was ready to strangle
some answers out of her. 

Fiona and Jake’s eyes gaped in horror as the image of
Deanna suddenly began to transform into the haggard
old woman Will had seen in the alleyways. And with a
blink of an eye she was gone.

All of the inhabitants of the room stood silently,
their minds swirling from the recent events of the
Thomas breathed in deeply and exhaled slowly. After
much consideration he finally turned and spoke to
Will. "If it offends you that I can read Deanna better
than you, I’m sorry." His voice took a sudden turn as
he stated sharply. "You either deal with it or stay
the hell out of my way."

Thomas’ bluntness had stung Will, he stood silently as
he watched his duplicate turn and walk out of the
room. Thomas was determined; there was no doubt about
it. He was determined to find Deanna, and nothing or
no one was going to stop him, including his duplicate,
Will Riker. The old woman’s words repeated over and
over in Will’s head. "How did she ever fall in love
with someone like you?" 
Was Deanna in love with Thomas?

Here is another chapter of the ongoing, what in the
heck am I doing here story...hope you list peoples
enjoy it. Now, I'm off to make some coffee and do some
reading there's lots of fab stories here.

Chapter 16 

Will and Tom had exited the town by hiding in the
small carriage Fiona and Jake had often used to
deliver baked goods and bread to regular customers in
the wee hours of the morning. Jake thought it would be
the best way to conceal the two out of towners and
take them to the outskirts of the town.
As both men exited the carriage, "Please, I beg of
you. Find her. Bring her home." Fiona asked as she
held Will’s hand gently. Will noticed the pleading
look in the old woman’s eyes. His heart went out to
her instantly.
"I plan to ma’am." He replied with a smile, a gentle
squeeze of her hand.
"You must take the medicine if your wound becomes
inflamed again. It will ward off the infection." She
handed Will a small leather pouch of powder, that
resembled more like herbs than anything else. Will’s
chest was feeling better although is arm was still
securely in a sling, at least the bleeding had
stopped. The pain was nearly gone and the redness had
He nodded at the old woman and smiled. "I’ll do that."
He stated softly.
Thomas hadn’t spoken to anyone since the encounter he
and Will had had in the dwelling above the bakery. It
was clear that his mind was preoccupied with other
things and Will knew those other things were Deanna
Troi. It made him feel uneasy, and insecure. Will
blamed himself for not telling Deanna how he felt, at
least Thomas had made his feelings very clear during
his short stay on the Enterprise. Perhaps Thomas was
the better of the two.
"The Masters estate is just two miles over that ridge.
We dare not come any closer than this. He has henchmen
that guard his estate, and they will see every move
you make. I warn you. You must both be very careful."

"What sort of monster would take our Deanna, Jake?"
Fiona asked, attempting to block the tears that were
now forming in her eyes. "She has never hurt anyone,
nor has she ever spoken a harsh word."
"Fredrick Masters, Fiona. He is the vile fellow that
has done this." Jake said as his anger began to rise.
"I am most certain of this."
Fiona bit her lip; she absorbed the words of her
husband. She quickly brushed the tears from her eyes
and composed herself. "You two must go now." She
instructed, pretending to be strong not only for
herself but for her husband. 
"God’s speed." Jake said with a nod as he helped his
wife into the carriage.
Both men watched silently as the horse and carriage
disappeared from view down the long winding path
heading back towards town. Will glanced over at Tom
and with a nod of his head both men proceeded through
the woods towards the Masters’ Estate. A journey into
a house that they were unsure of. A journey into a
place, that would surely alter both of their lives
forever and ever.

Deanna was sitting on the cot in her small cell. The
cell was dim only illuminated by the glowing embers of
a lantern in the corner. Her body ached from sleeping
on the hard bed of concrete. She noticed that her
ankles were beginning to swell from the grip of the
iron shackles that confined her movements.
She heard the distant sounds of footsteps as they
approached her cell. The jingling of keys was soon
followed by a gruff demanding voice. "Get in there!"
The heavy iron door shut with a loud noise. Deanna
squinted at the person who lay on the floor of her
cell. He was sick, and weak. He had been badly beaten,
he rolled over in pain on the cold concrete floor.
"Thomas!" Deanna cried as she lunged towards his
bruised body. She was stopped abruptly by the shackles
and chains that bound her to the wall of cell. Thomas
opened his eyes, his beautiful blue denim eyes flashed
in astonishment at the young Betazoid.
"Deanna." He winced in pain, as he struggle to stand
to his feet. Slowly rising he half crawled and
half-walked towards her. He stood erect and squared
his shoulders and embraced her, tightly. Raising her
head up with his hand he kissed her, deeply. 
Something wasn’t right. Deanna’s brain whirled with
confusion. She sensed it and she knew it for a fact
this wasn’t Thomas.
"Let me go!" she demanded as she pushed herself away
from his embrace, backing out of his arms.
She stood and glared at him, eyeing him up and down.
"Deanna it’s me, Thomas." The tall handsome man stated
softly as he took a step towards her. He had the sound
of Thomas’ voice; he had the look of Thomas in his
face. He had the same broad shoulders, and the same
masculine jaw line, with the same little boy cleft in
the middle of his chin. But this wasn’t Thomas. And
this wasn’t Will.
"Stay away." She warned as she swallowed the fear that
was beginning to rise in her throat.
Thomas simply stood and eyed her. His face was masked
with confusion.
"Where’s Will?" her question demanded an answer.
"Deanna, Will’s dead." Thomas stated bluntly. "The
arrow was fatal, he died shortly after the accident."
Deanna suddenly found herself dizzy. Will’s dead? Her
brain flashed, yet unable to comprehend the words. All
of the blood rushed to her face and she felt as if she
were going to faint. "You lie." She softly whispered.
She rose her eyes and found her courage, "You are full
of deception." She glared.
"Deanna we need to get out of here." Thomas quickly
changed the subject, "My head hurts and I’m not in the
mood to argue." He reached out and grabbed her by the
"Be in the mood for this." She rounded and for the
first time in her life, Deanna Troi slapped Thomas
Riker in the face.
He quickly backed away from her. He placed his hand
over the now reddened fingerprinted impression she had
left on the side of his face, as if the palm of his
hand could absorb the sting of the blow. He simply
glared at her, his eyes full of shock.
Out of nowhere he raised his hand to strike back, then
he suddenly stopped himself and lowered his hand.
"Fine." He snapped. "You can stay here and rot for all
I care."
The door to the small dungeon cell as if by magic
opened. He turned and walked through the archway of
the cell…he turned around and stated from the hallway.
"If you ever strike me again." His voice dripped with
venom. " I will kill you."
The door closed and locked. She heard the heavy
footsteps of anger; she listened in silence, as they
slowly became more distant.
Deanna’s body fell to her knees; she wept openly into
her hands that cupped her tears. Seeing Thomas was
what she had hoped for. It was what she had prayed
for. She knew he would save her, she knew it. She
remembered his face, the same face that looked exactly
like Will. Will…. to see Will again. To have him truly
hold her, embrace her. 
Then just as suddenly she heard something. She quickly
wiped away the tears from her eyes, and focused on the
sound. It was a familiar sound. Her eyes froze at the
sight of the six-foot long slimy serpent. Its black
shiny body looked almost metallic as it slithered
towards her. Its flat head slowly rose, and stayed
that way as if it were frozen. She could see the thin
forked tongue of the vile creature as it hissed at
her. It’s beady eyes flashed with evil. Before she
could blink, the serpent struck her at lightening
speed. Its long fangs buried themselves into her skin.
The poison it emitted stung like a thousand wasps that
were attacking a small child. Deanna screamed the only
word she could grasp. 
"Imzadi" her mind called out in terror. Everything in
Deanna’s world turned black, as she fainted and
collapsed onto the hard concrete cold floor.
She never heard or saw the old woman, which stood
outside of her cell. She never saw how the old woman
held the serpent in her hands, cradling it like it was
a beloved pet. The old woman stared into the black
deadly eyes of the snake.
"One more time." She hissed. "Just one more time, my
pet. " She gave the serpent a gentle kiss on its flat
head and walked down the long corridor of the dungeon.

Walking towards the estate. Thomas suddenly froze. He
whirled around in an instant. "Deanna!" he yelled,
completely unaware of Will standing beside him.
"What." Will sounded confused and alarmed.
"Come on. We’ve got to save her!" Thomas said with
urgency to his voice. He quickly moved around Will and
was ready to dart off.
"Wait!" Will lunged and grabbed Tom by the arm
stopping him. "Just what the hell is going on Tom?"
His anger was showing as his voice rose.
"Will we don’t have time for jealousy!" Thomas jerked
his arm free from his brother’s grasp.
"I say we make time." Will demanded. "Now, what’s
going on between you and Deanna?" 
"I heard her scream. Up here." Thomas tapped the side
of his head with his finger, his voice rose along with
his anger. "And if you weren’t so stubborn and
Starfleet proud, you would have heard her too."
"I gave up Starfleet a long time ago." Will argued. He
felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand as he
postured himself in defense.
"Like hell you have." Thomas challenged; he stood tall
and was ready to fight. 

here is another chapter...hope you guys enjoy this
one, well this is it for today. Thanks for all of the
wonderful feedback you've given so far.
patty :)

Chapter 17 
"Darkness of the Wind"

"I gave up my pride." Will yelled as his emotions
exploded. "When I had to leave Deanna on that
god-awful planet, not only did I forsake her, that
event sucked out every ounce of blood in me. I
replaced that life force with whiskey, Thomas." Will
yelled. "I became a drunk and a bum! And being a
naturally born bastard that I inherited from my
father’s side, I screwed anything and everything, then
I threw them away. Any species! Anytime! I didn’t
care! Hell, half the time I didn’t even bathe. Does
that sound like Starfleet Pride?" Will yelled.
"Then why in the hell didn’t you ever tell her? You
were too damn noble. You once told me that you knew
what you had, and what you wanted and I would be wise
to do the same. But, you were too prideful to voice
that to the one that really mattered. Why in the hell
didn’t you ever tell Deanna?" Thomas yelled back.
"God-damn it, she’s your Imzadi!"
"Everyone on that ship knew I was in love with Deanna.
Everyone but Me! I needed her; I had to be with her. I
couldn’t bear losing her again. I made myself believe
that she was just a close friend. And you know why I
did that? Because I was a coward! A coward that hid
behind Starfleet protocol and Starfleet brass, and
whatever hell reasons I could think of. Is that what
you wanted to hear? Is that want you want me to
confess? I was a coward all right? I was a Coward!!!" 

There was a thick silence that passed between the two

"I gave up command after command for her. I accepted
only one promotion, the one position I was most
comfortable with." Will’s voice lowered as he shook
his head and half smiled at his own ignorance. "I was
the proud Captain of the starship COWARD! And my
number one was Commander Ass-hole."
"Why me, Will? Why in the hell did you come to me?" he
glared at his duplicate. His voice took a sudden turn
to its normal volume as he asked, "It wasn’t just to
beat the shit out of you was it? Because right now,
I’d really like to."
"You were all I had left, Thomas." Will sounded
ashamed as his voice lowered. "You were the last true
tie that I had to Deanna. You were the only person in
the universe that knew her as well as I did, and I
needed you. I needed you to survive." He looked at his
twin and added. "And right now I’d love to beat the
shit out of you too."
"It doesn’t look like you’re in any position to
fight, Will." Thomas finally said, breaking the
silence. "I mean if you want to fight me. You’d really
be fighting yourself, while yourself is in actuality
impaired." He stated referring to Will’s injured body.
"And that’s suppose to make sense?" Will shook his
"If you want…. Take the first swing, but I can
guarantee this fact. That if you do." He paused
slightly, "I will swing back." He stated with
confidence. "And you will be hurt."
"Don’t threaten me Thomas." Will stood erect.
"No threat. Just using your words, that’s all."
"My words?" Will seemed confused, then as if he
suddenly recalled the incident Thomas was referring
to. "I said those same words to that Taylor kid in
elementary school."
"Yes you did." Thomas stated never wavering.
Both men studied each other, then they both broke out
into a smile. "I’d kick your ass anyway." Will finally
stated letting down his guard.
"You’d kick my ass?" Thomas laughed.
"In a heartbeat."
"Look Will, I’ve told you before Deanna and I share a
bond that is mental. I’m well aware of the fact that
the two of you share a physical one. My mental bond is
stronger than your physical one. And your physical one
is stronger than the mental one. And I’m perfectly
fine with that, it’s something I have grown to accept
over the years. I do not want Deanna physically, but I
need her mentally. Can you even begin to comprehend
what I’m trying to say?"
"You’re the brains and I’m the brawn?"
Thomas rolled his eyes at his brother. "It’s only a
matter of time before the two of you can have the same
mental awareness, just put down your guard and let it
happen. Maybe as you grow older your skull will get
thinner, just like your hair line."
"Deanna referred to me as being ‘a little more
seasoned’." Riker stated with a smile as he remembered
the conversation he and Deanna had in ten forward.
"Never did she mention balding hair."
"Seasoned?" Tom cringed at the thought. "That’s a
horrible thing to say to a man." 
"Don’t remind me." Riker said with a lopsided smile.
Thomas had repeated the same words he had said to
Deanna. He put his arm around his brother’s shoulder
and smiled. "Let’s go get Deanna, and on the way you
can tell me what’s happening with her."
"Get your ass transferred off of the USS COWARD

This chapter is for sarajayne, who has to...in her
story, Put all of Will's missing parts back in his
body!!! :)

Chapter 18 "Darkness of the Wind"

The men had arrived at the residence of Fredrick
Masters, crouching down in a patch of nearby tall
grass. The sky had an orange glow that seemed to
spread across the horizon. Giving the huge mansion
more of an eerie effect.
"You see any guards?" Thomas asked. "Jake said he had
guards that would see everything we did."
"I don’t see any." 
"That witch has probably got some sort of crystal
"What?" Will turned his head towards Thomas in
"Well, we definitely are not in Kansas." Thomas said
as he observed the huge estate, it looked like a
medieval castle. Complete with the gargoyle figures
above the homestead, proudly positioned watching,
protecting the land. "And that doesn’t look like the
castle of Oz."
"Will you shut up." Will responded. This wasn’t a
"Those damn things are scary." Tom said directing his
statement towards the stone-faced gargoyle statues
that sat proud above the estate. He checked his weapon
for what Will thought was the tenth time.
"Are you scared?" Will teased.
"No. I just feel like a damn sitting duck." Thomas
whispered with apprehension. He put his phaser inside
of his jacket pocket.
Both men stood to their feet and proceeded towards the
dark dreary castle structure of Fredrick Masters.
"It’ll probably be better if we separate, you take the
West side of the castle and I’ll take the East side."
Will instructed.
"Oh yeah, I get to run into the wicked witch of the
West." Tom replied. Will just stood and shook his
"All right." Thomas sighed, and gave his approval with
a nod of his head. Both men began to separate. 

The two brothers were about three feet apart from one
another when Will whirled around suddenly, his eyes
grew wide, as a huge animal/humanoid furry creature
was approaching and it was charging towards them. Its
eyes began to glow red as it lunged at Thomas. "Tom!"
Will yelled as he dove towards Thomas, to shove him
out of the way and immediately withdrew his weapon and
began to fire. Riker continued to fire at the beast.
The beast howled in pain as it almost faltered to its
knees. It quickly stood up and charged another deadly
attack on the two men.
Riker fired again, his only thought was to keep Thomas
and himself alive. Almost like magic it quickly
lunged towards Tom; grabbed him by the shoulder and
threw him to the ground. Hovering over Thomas the
beast began to scream in fury as it picked him up off
of the ground again.
Riker exhaled. He knew that one wrong move on his part
would cost Thomas his life. Suddenly his emotions
exploded. "You bastard!" Will yelled as he witnessed
the body of his duplicate, struggle in vain to free
himself from the huge beast. He continued his
onslaught of rapid laser fire. It had little effect on
the huge beast only stopping it momentarily. Finally
it let out a scream, and directed its attention
towards Will. Whirled around and vanished, still
holding Tom in its grip taking him along with it. 

Thomas stood in a stall, there was no light and the
room was pitch black. He began to feel around, he
couldn’t move. With his arms barely extended out he
could touch the sides. He raised his arms up; the
ceiling was less than six inches above his head. What
the hell was this? Some sort of iron vertical casket
he thought. "Damn." He exhaled, at least in the
Cardassian prison cell he had more room to move
With a squeaking sound, the small peephole of the
small-boxed coffin allowed a ray of light in.
"Where is your brother?" the gruff voice on the other
side of the peephole demanded.
"He’s in here with me. Along with that big fuzzy
bastard you had attack us." Thomas replied
sarcastically to the ray of light. "We’d like to thank
you for the spacious accommodation you’ve provided."
Thomas replied. He suddenly became thankful that he
wasn’t claustrophobic.
"I see you have maintained your wit, Mr. Riker." Tom
heard another voice outside of the box. His mind
recognized it as Fredrick Masters.
"Are you going to tell me where your bother is?"
Masters asked.
"Why don’t you step in here. There’s just enough room
for you to kiss my ass."
There was no response from outside of the iron
enclosure. "Hey, Fred?" Thomas pushed his luck, he had
to it was his nature. "Nice little torture device
you’ve constructed here." Thomas said to the small
"Oh I don’t plan to torture you, Mr. Riker." Masters
replied coolly. "You shall lay under the guillotine at
the setting of the sun this eve. And myself and my
fiancé Deanna shall watch."
"Yeah, well. She’s seen worse." Thomas shrugged it

"You shall address me with respect!" Fredrick Masters
sounded insulted. "Do you have any idea of whom you
are speaking to?"
"Look, Fred. I can see you’re still pissed off over
that little bar room incident." Thomas answered
casually. "Sorry about your cane, by the way." 
"Silence!" The gruff voice of the other man sounded.
The peephole of the vertical iron box was closed and
Thomas stood in the blackness. He could hear as the
footsteps of the men faded away.
"Damn." He said quietly to himself. He noticed how his
body began to sweat; it was hot in the iron box, too
hot. "Cut my head off? That is if I don’t suffocate in
here first." He thought.

"Is there anything you would like to say before you
die?" The executioner asked in a gruff voice.
Thomas simply stood there with his hands bound behind
his back and silently stared at the evil looking man.
Finally he spoke, "Yeah. How in the hell did you get
that scar on your face?" Thomas was speaking about the
executioner’s huge ugly scar that ran alongside his
cheek, giving him a more menacing look. 
The man simply glared at Thomas, making no effort to
answer him. He held the axe firmly in his hand, as he
looked over towards Fredrick Masters who was standing
there as a silent spectator to this sport. He had
Deanna at his side. She stood there silently as if she
were frozen and watched in horror, her mouth was
gagged with a cloth. Thomas could tell that Masters
was enjoying Deanna’s distress.
"Are you going to tell me where your bother is?"
Masters asked.
"He’s dead." Thomas glared. "Complication of
Masters didn’t answer. Tom could tell by the look on
his face that he did not appreciate Tom’s wit. He
glanced over at the executioner.
The guard with the huge scar across his face shoved
Tom down and placed his head on the guillotine block.
The only thing Tom could do now was stare at the
bottom of the brown whicker basket that would soon be
holding his severed head. His stomach began to feel
sick and churn at the very thought of it. He slowly
closed his eyes.
~~~ Goodbye Imzadi ~~~ he sent to Deanna. 

Thomas couldn’t see the slow nod of Masters head as he
directed his silent orders to the executioner. The
huge scar faced man slowly raised his axe ready to cut
the rope that would release the razor sharp deadly
blade, plummeting across his neck.

Suddenly Thomas heard a loud scream as if a phaser had
just vaporized someone. Before he could respond, two
strong hands grabbed his shoulders and flung his body
backward out of the guillotine box, he couldn’t help
but notice that the executioner was gone.
"Oh man, am I glad to see you." Thomas sounded
relieved and happy at the same time.
"What are big brother’s for?" Will responded as he
grabbed Thomas under the shoulders and effortlessly
stood him to his feet. Will noticed how Masters had
grabbed Deanna by the arm and was running at full
speed. "The bastards taken Deanna."
"He won’t get far. " Thomas attempted to turn his
head around to look at his brother who was now cutting
the heavy ropes that bound his hands behind his back. 
Then Will Riker did something that he never thought he
would do, he spun Thomas around; reached out and
hugged his duplicate, and to his surprise his brother
returned the hug. 
"You okay?" Will asked. Releasing the hug, firmly
holding Thomas’ shoulders.
"Yeah." Thomas nodded his head. He was suddenly
thankful he still had one to nod. "That was a close
call." He answered letting out a slow breath. 
"Can you follow Deanna?"
"You’re the only one that can lead me to her, Tom."
Will stated. A look of surprise spanned across Tom’s
features. Will actually trusted him, he trusted his
mental telepathy he had with Deanna. And there wasn’t
a hint of jealousy to his voice.
"You’re more mentally in tune with her than I am. We
both know that." Will said as he began scanning the
area with his eyes, looking for more henchmen. "We can
use that as an advantage." Will continued to explain.
"Yeah." Thomas answered with a nod of his head.
"That wicked witch of the West is around here
somewhere." Will stated, trying to make light of the
tense situation. 
"Deanna’s this way." Thomas turned and began to walk
away from his brother. 
Will stood there for only a moment, then he stepped
over and picked up the brown whicker basket. "Hey!" he
called to his brother. "You want to keep this as a
souvenir?" he held the basket in his hand, and a smile
across his face. 
Thomas flashed Will an obscene gesture with his hand,
along with one of his famous Riker grins. He turned
and took off running down the pathways of the garden.
Riker couldn’t hide the smile that spread across his
face. "His head’s too big, wouldn’t fit in it anyway."
Riker said to himself as he threw down the basket. He
turned and took off running at full speed, soon
catching up with Tom.

Here is another Chapter of "Darkness of the Wind"
thank you so much for the feedback, you guys are
GREAT!! Hope you enjoy this.

Chapter 19 "Darkness of the Wind."

A storm was brewing on the horizon and it was headed
towards the castle. Riker shuddered at he witnessed
the lightening, his brain flashed back to the time
when he had forsaken Deanna on that planet so log ago.
God’s he hated the lightening. But if saving Deanna
meant that he had to face his greatest fear he would. 
"We need to get inside, before the lightening grabs
one of us." Will observed.
~~~ Deanna? ~~~ Thomas sent, as he rounded the corner
of the estate.
~~~ I’m here, in the great room. He’s taking me to the
dungeon. ~~~
~~~ We’re coming ~~~~ Thomas sent.
~~~ Will? ~~~
Thomas smiled to himself. Deanna’s first concern as
always was Will Riker. 
~~ He’s with me and he’s okay. ~~ Thomas sent words of
comfort to Deanna.
"Where is she?"
"In the great room, they are headed back to the
dungeon." Thomas answered.
"Let’s go!" Will commanded, as he rounded the corner
and entered into the huge doors of the castle. 
Both men descended down to the bottom of the long
winding narrow stairs to the dungeon. Will was holding
the torch as Thomas who also grabbed a torch followed
in the rear, armed and ready to fire.
"The witch has her." Thomas whispered under his
"It’ll probably be better if we separate. She can’t
keep up with the both of us. You take the West Side
of the dungeon, and I’ll take the East Side." Will
"Oh yeah, I get to run into the wicked witch of the
West." Tom replied. Will just stood and shook his
head. Those were the same words he had spoken before.
"All right." Thomas sighed, and gave is approval with
a nod of his head. Both men began to separate.
Will headed down the east corridor and Thomas headed
down the west.
"Halt!" the voice of the old hag called out from
nowhere. "You can’t save her!"
Both men immediately jumped at the sound of the voice
that echoed in the darkness of the dimly lit dungeon. 
Coming from out of the shadows was the haggard old
woman, who had Deanna in her grasp. "I said…. Halt!"
she commanded. Will found himself immediately frozen
and couldn’t’ move. "You can’t save her, for when the
serpent strikes…. She shall fall in love with the
Master, and forever be his."
Out of the shadows of the darkness, the huge six foot
long black slithery snake appeared….it slowly slimed
along the damp cement floor of the dungeon. It
slithered towards Will, and raised its ugly flat head.
He noticed its huge long red forked tongue as it
hissed in front of him. The black beady eyes that were
looking at him with the same intent as if it was
peeping into a bird’s nest full of eggs, it open its
mouth revealing the huge fangs that dripped with
poison, hypnotizing him. 
"What sorcery is this that you are able to read the
young maidens mind?" 
"Oh shit." he thought unable to move due to the old
hag’s spell. 
"Tell me. Or my pet shall surely strike, and you will
be dead in less than a minute."
Will couldn’t move. He tried desperately but he
couldn’t move since the old woman’s spell was
powerful. He looked towards Deanna as if to say
goodbye. The large serpent coiled itself and was ready
to strike the ex-commander of the Enterprise.

~~~ Thomas, Help him! ~~~ Deanna cried out in her
mind. ~~~ The snake! You must help him! ~~~

Thomas instantly spun around at the sound of Deanna’s
voice. He ran frantically down the corridors of the
dungeon. His brain displayed visions of his brother
withering in pain from the huge serpent’s bite. He
wasn’t too crazy about Will in the past but he had
grown to really respect him in the last few days. Will
had at least been totally honest with him, about his
feelings for Deanna. And he knew that Deanna was
totally in love with Will. All of this flashed through
his mind in an instant. 
With lightening speed he rounded the corner and fired
his phaser at the serpent, the red line ray sizzled as
it hit the huge serpent burning its flesh. 
The old woman shrieked in terror, her screams echoed
down the long corridors of the dungeon. She suddenly
vanished leaving only the echo of her scream.
Will who had been freed from the old woman’s spell ran
towards Deanna and immediately embraced her in his
arms tightly.
Thomas breathed in and out and quickly composed
himself. He stood momentarily and watched the two
lovers as they were reunited. He saw how the tears
flowed freely from both of their faces. 
"Hey, brother?" he finally stated with a tap on Will’s
shoulder. "My turn."
Will smiled and stepped back, Thomas then gave Deanna
a huge hug, lifting her feet off of the floor. "Thank
you, Thomas." Deanna said after he lowered her to the
floor again. "For everything." He knew she meant
helping Will find her, and for saving Will’s life.
"Well, don’t thank me yet." He said with a smile,
"We’ve still got to get out of Oz."
"What?" Deanna asked totally clueless as to what Oz
was or what he was referring to.
"Shut up, Tom." Will warned sternly. "This isn’t Oz…."
He smirked. "No more about Oz all right?"
"Fine with me…." Thomas said with a mischievous grin,
"After you…." he gestured with his arm extended.
"Scarecrow." Thomas had to push it, it was his nature.
Will decided to ignore his brother. He wrapped a
protective arm around Deanna’s waist and headed down
the long dark corridors of the dungeon. Thomas
followed behind.

"Hey Will?" Tom stated as they reached the outside of
the mansion. 
"Want to play guillotine?" Thomas asked with a twinkle
in his eye. "I think it’s your turn."
Not appreciating his brother’s sense of humor, he
looked over and saw the guillotine that was standing
tall in the middle of the garden of the mansion. Its
shiny silver blade glared a strong reflection, against
the sun. He shuddered at the thought of his head
landing inside that little basket. "I’ll pass." He
answered dryly.
"Thomas!" Deanna sounded appalled.
Tom simply shrugged and flashed Will a lopsided grin.
Will in return flashed Thomas an obscene gesture with
his hand. Deanna spun around, just in time to see Will
quickly lower his hand. "William…." She warned
Thomas knew deep within him that the spirit of
Commander William T. Riker had returned. And he was
thankful for it.

Darkness of the Wind Chapter 20

Will woke up slowly, he attempted to focus his eyes on
the man who was roaming about their campsite. "Tom?"
his voice dragging from the herbs that Tom had
insisted he take, then remembered coughing and gagging
from the taste of it. 
"Where’s Deanna?" he asked, as he raised his head.
Before Tom could answer he asked, "Is Deanna okay?" He
inquired with a start, as he turned his head looking
for Deanna. 
" Oh shit, there he goes again." Thomas answered. " At
least you’re asking about Deanna instead of me." 
"Damn…" he winced in pain as he attempted to raise
himself on his elbows. He had to know where Deanna
"She’s okay, Will…. She’s right here." Thomas stated
softly. "You had a rough night, that wound started
bleeding again. You passed out half way, I had to
carry you."
"Gee, thanks." Will said under his breath.
"Don’t get up, Will." Deanna instructed as she pushed
Will back onto his makeshift cot. 
"The wound from that arrow has become inflamed again.
You need to take some more medicine."
"Yuck." Will made a face.
"Will, Tom told me how you threw away your sling." She
sounded almost scolding. "Why did you do that?"
"Comes by naturally, I guess." Will answered behind
his nervous smile. He was happy to hear her scolding
voice again. He noticed the concern behind her dark
"I’ll go scout out the area, and then we can head back
into town." Thomas said suddenly feeling awkward. He
knew that Deanna and Will needed to be alone. He
picked up the phaser, and walked away from the
Riker pulled Deanna into close embrace. "Imzadi" she
whispered. He did not answer her or speak. He
couldn’t. His voice was lost behind his emotions. He
simply stroked her long black hair and held her
tightly. He was so grateful. Grateful that she was
alive and that they had been reunited again. He was
grateful to the gods and even more grateful to Tom.
Will lifted Deanna’s chin with his fingers and looked
into her onyx eyes. They glistened with tears;
tenderly his lips met hers as they kissed. She felt
his relief, his concern and his love as she returned
the kiss. "I love you." He whispered not giving her
time to respond; after all it was the first time he
had said those three words to her since they had
served on the Enterprise together. He quickly
captured her lips again, as he gently pulled her onto
the blanket with him. 
"Hey!" Thomas voice called from the campsite. Will
rose and snapped his pants. Giving Deanna a quick
glance as she buttoned the last button on her blouse.
She stood to her feet and straightened her clothing
she nodded at Riker. "Yeah." He called out. Returning
his glance to Deanna with a smile.
"Masters and his men are heading this way." He quickly
stated as he approached the camping area. "Come on,
Deanna. We’ve got to move." Suddenly grabbing Deanna’s
arm, he tugged her forward impatiently.
"Tom!" Deanna stated, jerking her arm free.
"Come on! It’s not safe." he grabbed for her arm
"Hey." Will stated loudly, taking a step toward Tom.
Deanna ran behind Will and grabbed the phaser, she
immediately targeted Thomas and before anyone could
object she fired, hitting Thomas squarely in the
chest. Will watched in horror as his duplicate
shrieked loudly and vaporized into thin air.
"What the hell?" he whispered in disbelief to himself.
His voice changed and he charged, "Deanna, what in the
hell are you doing?" his voice rose louder than what
he had intended.
"That wasn’t Tom?" Deanna stated with an absolute, the
phaser was still in her hand.
"Well, where the hell is Tom?" Will stated now more
alarmed at his brother’s disappearance.
"He’s up on the hill."
"Stay here." Will ordered Deanna as he took off full
speed towards the hillside in search for his brother. 
"Thomas!" Will yelled. "Tom!" he repeated out into the
hill side of the forest. His brain flashed back to a
time when he searched frantically for Deanna. He
prayed the same thing hadn’t happened to Thomas. He
quickly glanced over at the waterfront. With his
weapon aimed and ready, not knowing if Thomas had been
attacked or was lying dead somewhere. "Oh gods." He
whispered. "Tom!" he yelled even louder into the
"What?" came a voice behind a tree. 
"Thomas!" Will sighed a sigh of relief, as he started
to run up the hill towards his duplicate. Deanna
grabbing his arm stopped him. "No Will." She warned
softly. "That isn’t Thomas."
"I told you to stay at the campsite, Deanna." 
"You need my help, Will." Deanna stated firmly, "I
won’t allow you to be killed."
"Hey, brother." Thomas stated in his usual tone of
voice, as he approached the two. "What the hells the
yelling about?" Thomas suddenly froze as he stood
there and studied Deanna. He cocked his head sideways.
"That’s not Deanna, Will." Thomas stated with a
warning voice. "Stand away from her."
"That’s not Thomas, Will." Deanna sounded desperate
Riker couldn’t believe it. He looked at Deanna and
then to Tom and then back to Deanna.
"Pissed because I killed your pet?" Thomas asked the
woman who was standing beside Will.
"Upset because I was rescued and your little plan was
foiled?" Deanna retorted back at the man who was
standing opposite Will.
"Well, let’s see brother." Thomas stated with a Riker
smile. "It looks as if you are going to have to
distinguish between the two of us. Which one of us is
"Oh my Gods…Imzadi." Deanna whispered, grabbing onto
Will’s arm. Will thought for sure this was the real
Deanna, after all she referred to him as Imzadi.
"Nothing like this ever happened in Oz." Thomas
stated, with a half smile. Will swung his head around
and he thought for sure that this was the real Thomas.
Who else would talk about Oz but Thomas?
He knew one of them was lying. 
He knew that one of them was an imposter.
And he knew that one would have to die.
But which one?

I have no idea of what I'm doing, I hit the send
button too soon last time and this time, I've got a
jagillion people talking to me at once....
so lets try this again, sorry 'bout the first post..
here is the last installment of "Darkness of the Wind"
hope you guys enjoyed this story, and thank you all
for your interest in it.
Well, that's about it for me.

"Darkness of the Wind"
Chapter 21

It was almost dark and the citizens of Forest Falls
had all gathered around the huge town clock. Jake and
Fiona were telling them of their experience with the
witch, and the two twins that had come into town.
"Why should we believe you?" A man from the crowd
called out. Mumbled voices of the town people echoed
his question.
"I speak the truth." Jake raised his voice above the
voices. Raising his hands in surrender to hush the
voices of the citizens. 
"She was a witch and she vanished before our eyes."
Fiona called out.
"We must…." Jake called out. "We must bring our niece
safely home…Please." he yelled out. "Please."
"Fredrick Masters, is the culprit." Jake called out.
"He has kidnapped our niece and he attempted to murder
the two twin out of towners." He continued. 
"What if it were your family member?" Fiona called
out. "If it were your daughter he had kidnapped, or
your sons he tried to murder?"
"He speaks the truth." A strong voice from the crowd
called out. Fiona grabbed her husband’s arm and stood
on her tiptoes to see above the heads of people, to
view that person who was speaking so loudly in their
defense. "I was the man who, Fredrick Masters
instructed to take the wounded twins to the outskirts
of town."
"I witnessed that!" another voice called out.
"And so did I." Another man’s voiced called above the
All the voices of the citizens became mumbled as they
spoke in hushed tones to one another over the recent
"We must arrest Fredrick Masters."
"And destroy the witch!" A huge burly man called out.
The men of Forest Falls all gathered together and set
out. Some on foot, some in carriage and others on
horseback. They had every intention of bringing in
Fredrick Masters.

For an instant Will Riker shut his eyes and with all
the strength he could muster within himself, in
desperation his mind attempted to scream out. Gods,
he was so out of practice. He had taken it all for
The bond. 
His brother. 
One thing he knew was that his brother had never let
go to the mental bond as he had.
~~~ Imzadi ~~~ Will’s mind screamed out. Praying it
would reach the one person that could send him peace
and comfort. Imzadi, it was the only word he knew now.
The only word he could think of that stood for truth.
The only word in the universe that made sense to him.
He now understood where Thomas was coming from and
what he had meant by saying how he depended on the
bond. Thomas needed the bond to survive. It was, for
many years it was the only thing he had to hold on to;
the only truth that existed all of those years in his
lonely, lonely world.
~~~ I’ll always be with you Will. ~~~ He heard her
response. He heard the voice of his Imzadi, and it
sounded so sweet. It rang loud and clear, revealing a
truth and a peace that flooded his soul. He breathed
in deeply and exhaled slowly. Before anything else
could be said, with lightening speed, he quickly drew
his phaser and targeted Deanna, he shut his eyes and
fired. She shrieked in agony as her body vaporized
into nothingness. 
"Immmzzzaaadddii" were her last words she cried as she
dematerialized into thin air.
He looked over at his brother, and attempted to hide
the emotions that were now showing on his face. 
The smile across Tom’s face slowly grew from ear to
ear. Thomas Riker reached over and embraced his
brother. "I told you, you could do it." He stated with
a soft voice of encouragement and a smile of
"Yeah." Will stated just as softly. "I thought I had
lost it. It feels good."
"Sure does, brother." Thomas smiled, "It sure does."
he added.
"Your becoming awfully….huggy…." Will said with a
"Let’s go back to Deanna." Will turned and was already
walking towards the campsite.
"Huggy?" Thomas stated with a squint of his eyes. "I
hug you for the first time in years…and you say I’m
getting too huggy." Thomas spoke to his brother’s
back, he stood and watched as Will walked away, and
was heading back down the hill.
"Hey Will!" Thomas yelled out to his brother.
Will turned around just in time to see Thomas flash
him an obscene gesture with his hand, along with an
added lopsided smile and a raise of his eyebrows. He
quickly scrambled down the hill to catch up with his

Thomas, Will and Deanna were walking down the path
headed back towards town. When Thomas saw over the
horizon the mob of people that were gathered, and they
were heading their way.
"Oh my gods." He said coming to an abrupt stop. 
"Who is that?" Will said, as he squinted his eyes, all
he could see was hundreds and hundreds of people.
"Well, I don’t think their from Munchkin Land."
"Will you shut up, Thomas!" Will scolded.
"Aunt Fiona!" Deanna yelled with a wave of her arm in
the air. "Uncle Jake!" she took off running across the
wooded area towards the crowd of citizens.
Both men looked at one another and shrugged, they
quickly followed after Deanna.

They were finally home, back in Valdez, Alaska. Kyle
Riker was standing there on the porch anxiously
awaiting the boys arrival. He was surprised and joyful
when Deanna accompanied them up the wooden steps. He
greeted her warmly with a hug and a welcoming smile. 
He knew that this was the key. This tiny little woman
was the key to his son’s happiness, both of his sons
and he would be eternally grateful to her. Her
disappearance brought the two boys together and her
return cemented their relationship. 

"Deanna this is delicious, you baked this yourself?"
Kyle Riker marveled as he ate the slice of fresh baked
bread, as Deanna removed another loaf from the oven.
"Yes, as soon as I arrived on that planet, I got a job
at a bakery." She placed the warm loaf of bread on the
hotplate. She began to remove her oven mitts. "I was
staying with an older, very sweet and loving couple.
Their names were Fiona and Jake Whittier. They owned
‘JAKES BREAD AND BAKERY’ they taught me how to bake
fresh bread and pastries."
"Well, you learn very well."

"Bullshit!" Will yelled from the living room. Both
Deanna and Kyle turned their heads to see what the
commotion was all about in the other room of the
"Oh yeah. Well, she’s going to chew your ass out. You
know it and I know it." Thomas retaliated. 
"What’s this all about boys?" Kyle Riker asked as he
stepped into the room.
Both men quickly turned and saw their dad and Deanna
standing with arms folded expecting an answer.
"We were just talking….." Will stumbled on the words.
He quickly glanced over to Thomas. "About…..about…" 
"About how Deanna will have a chance to get in contact
with her mother, she and Will can go back to Betazed
for awhile." Thomas quickly interrupted.
"And this would cause such a heated discussion?"
Deanna didn’t believe a word of it, and they knew it.
Still Thomas had to press forward. "Will’s got some
extended leave from Starfleet and he…."
"You’ve got extended leave?" Deanna turned her
attention towards Will. "Why?" she sounded puzzled and
"I just needed……"
"Yeah, the admiral gave him some……." Thomas looked at
Will with a lopsided grin. He leaned back in his chair
and placed his feet on the coffee table. "Sick leave."
He added with a cock of his head and a raise of his
"Shut up, Tom!" Will warned rather abruptly. He
slapped Tom’s foot hard. "And get your damn feet off
of mom’s table."
Both Kyle and Deanna looked at one another, and then
back towards the two men.
"I’m not even going to ask." Deanna said as she held
her hands up in surrender. Taking steps towards Will, 
"There are certain things that……We’ll just call….…."
she looked at Will Riker and whispered as she placed
the tip of her index finger in the bearded cleft of
his chin, "Riker’s secrets." She turned and walked
"Hey Tom?" Will in a very hushed tone called to his
brother, as Tom watched Deanna turn and walk away.
Thomas slowly turned his head towards his duplicate.
Will flashed him an obscene gesture with his hand,
along with a famous Riker smile.
"William!" Deanna scolded, as she continued to walk
towards the kitchen never turning around.
Both men looked at one another in shock. "How does she
do that?" they both wondered.

Will knowing that Deanna was back and she was laying
safely in his arms, smiled as he slowly drifted off to
sleep. Secure in the fact that they were together
again, and the relationship was going to work this
time. He would quit Starfleet if it meant keeping
Deanna. She had become number one in his life not his
career. He has learned that the day he was ready to
throw down his 
Com-badge for her, and he knew beyond a shadow of a
doubt he would do it again. It would be the first
real sleep he would experience in almost a year. A
sleep that wasn’t alcohol induced. His demons were
finally at rest. It felt good. He felt good.
~~ Goodnight Thomas. ~~ Deanna sent to Tom as she
began to drift off to sleep. She was nestled safely
inside of Will’s protective masculine arms. She was
where she wanted to be. She was where she had always
dreamt of being. She was where she was meant to be.
She snuggled in closer to Will as her eyes began to
drift off to sleep.
~~ Goodnight Deanna ~~ Thomas sent back to her from
his bedroom, he rolled over and pulled the heavy
blanket up around his neck. The Imzadi bond was there
and he could sense her. He and Will had finally
admitted their love and mutual need for one another,
and both understood what the other needed from their
Imzadi. After spending years and years alone, with no
one but Deanna’s ever-steady presence in his mind,
Thomas Riker was finally accepted for who he was, and
for the first time in his existence he felt whole. 
His heart had finally learned how to smile as he
drifted off to sleep.