Summary: Riker vs Riker, Picard vs Luxanna, Deanna vs the abyss,
and you still have no clue <g>
Disclaimer: ST: TNG characters portrayed belong to Paramount
Television. No copyright infringement intended. All other characters
depicted are purely fictional and any similarities to actual people are
Feedback: Would be nice.
Author's Note: Credit where credit is due...
Sand worms of Arrakis are from the book Dune by Frank Herbert
Macho man is sung by the Village People
Story Written October 2001
It was an undisputed fact in the Medical Profession, among Starfleet,
and even in non-Starfleet circles - Dr. Allan Allen was a genius. By
the time he had achieved his Ph.D. in Psychology/Psychiatry at age
twelve; he had placed the influence of every one from Freud to
MacKenzie firmly back in their respective centuries. It was now the
era of AA.
The amazing thing was that none of that showed in his attitude. AA
was one of the guys. He just happened to be a genius.
The genius looked at his patient and sighed. "Remind me one more
time why you cannot speak with Counselor Troi?"
"She is the source of the problem!" Riker repeated forcibly.
It had taken AA six months of dealing with this Commander and all he
as an acknowledged genius in his field had managed to solicit was
that Deanna Troi was the source of this man's problem. He tried
again. "Will, if you do not speak with me I cannot help you. If you are
not ready to reach out for help these sessions are only going to
increase your stress."
William T. Riker First Officer of the Starship Enterprise, Flagship of
the Federation and defender of freedom in the known Universe was
afraid to let his walls down. That being the case why did he continue
to come here and waste his time not to mention that of a man of the
caliber of AA? He took a deep breath. "I lover her." He whispered.
AA had withdrawn as he waited for the Commander to consult with
himself. As such he nearly missed the breakthrough when it finally
Having said the words once he was empowered to repeat with more
conviction. "I love her."
"I see." AA said and he did. "There is a but in there."
Riker nodded. AA said nothing. Riker continued. "We are in the
same chain of command but even more she is involved with someone
"Indeed fraternization among personnel in the same chain of
command is frowned upon by the military, however, you said even
more so... are you indicating that you would peruse the Counselor
Riker paused. He was a man of action, a military man a ladies man.
Deanna Troi had somehow managed to have him rethink all that he
was and she wasn't even aware of the effect. "You must understand
that Deanna and I are Imzadi and ..."
AA stopped him "Imzadi?"
"A Betazed term for soul mates but more than that. To me it means
that I was born for her and no one else and she for me. The reason I
exist was not to blaze a trail through space with the Enterprise but to
be there for her. If she did not exist there would be no reason for my
existence." Now that the dam had broken all came flowing out.
"Can Imzadi be one way?" This is fascinating AA thought.
"Yet you indicate that she is involved with someone else."
"I didn't say we couldn't stray from the path."
"Ah." AA said. "You however are not convinced."
"I didn't say that." Riker got defensive.
AA consulted his chart, he didn't really have to but when he placed
clients on the spot he usually did it without the spotlight. He read,
"You cannot sleep, you eating habits are askew and you cannot speak
with the ship's counselor." He paused then looked at Riker. "This is
not the pattern of a man in sync with his environment."
The twin tones indicating a message sounded. The Captain's voice
followed. "All Senior personnel report to the conference room."
Saved by the bell Riker thought. "Computer save program."
"End program." AA and his office fizzled and the matrix of the
holodeck appeared. Riker stepped out into reality and headed for the
+ + +
He was the one before the last to enter the room Deanna had not
arrived yet. He paused - the atmosphere in the room was tangible.
Worf and Data looked uncomfortable an impossibility he knew but
there you had it.
He sat and his antenna went up. The away team had consisted of
Deanna, Worf and Data. There sat Worf and Data but no Deanna. He
faced his Captain.
"Counselor Troi has gone missing." Picard stated.
Riker struggled to remain professional "Missing sir."
"We were returning from the planet, the three of us beamed up but
only two arrived." Date explained. "There was no malfunction of the
equipment neither is the Counselor down below and we have
established that she is not onboard either."
Riker tapped his com badge "Computer locate Counselor Troi."
"Counselor Troi is not onboard." The neutral voice replied.
"As I said sir we have established that she is not onboard." Date
"Sir I request a team to return to the planet to search for the
Counselor." Even a request from Worf sounded like a demand.
"Make it so, take Geordi with you." Picard anticipated him "Number
One I need you here with Data to launch and investigation from this
end. Starfleet officers do not just go missing. I want answers.
+ + +
Riker looked at the man in the mirror and thought [Six weeks! It had
been six weeks and the combined forces of the formidable Enterprise
had not been able to find Imzadi!]
Life had to continue and the Captain had finally conceded that Troi
was gone and that the disappearance would remain one of the
mysteries of the Universe.
Even in the depths of his despair he gave his image a rueful smile as
he remembered the arrival of Luxanna Troi, Deanna's formidable
mother. The Enterprise had trembled at her approach.
Three weeks earlier.
Riker knew that Luxanna Troi had arrived on board. The first sign
was the disappearance of the Captain. He, Riker had sent Worf as
Chief or Security to meet her. Not quite protocol particularly under the
circumstances but understandable. Send the immovable object to
meet the irresistible force.
The irresistible force had soon arrived in the ready room
"Jean Luc..." She began
He called Riker in. Picard would face the sand worms of Arrakis by
himself before he faced a Betazed telepathic worried mother all-
alone. He almost sighed out loud when Riker entered.
The force whirled round and aimed at him. "... and you. You so called
Imzadi." Riker started "I am telepathic you think I don't KNOW! How
could you lose my daughter!" She turned to face Picard. "I demand
my daughter and I demand an explanation of this behaviour!"
"Mrs. Troi..." He corrected "Luzanna. We are doing all in out
find the Counselor..." again he corrected "... Deanna."
She took a deep breath and swelled to twice her size it seemed to
Will. "That is why you need reinforcements. I am a full telepath. I will
scan for my child and I will find her."
[END OF FLASHBACK]
But it had been in vain. If a telepathic mother could not find her child,
what of them? Riker stared at himself. He'd aged. Yep. He'd aged.
There were definitely more gray hairs and even his beard was turning
now. And there was no way that those lines were laugh lines. What
had he to laugh at over the past few weeks?
He moved into his bedroom and dropped onto the bed. He
remembered a lullaby he mother used to sing to him "Macho macho
man I want to be a macho man..." [And there you have it.] He thought
[You are a macho man and all alone.] He rolled over onto the bed
and stayed that way till it was time to report to the bridge.
+ + +
Riker was in the turbo lift on his way to engineering. He and Geordi
had their usual monthly inspection. He was in there alone. Alone with
his thoughts and as usual they had but one focus ... Deanna Troi.
It was the one-year anniversary of her disappearance he had finally
come to grips with the fact that the woman he loved was gone. He
refused to accept that she was dead. That he would never do. He had
no idea, which was worse, to loose her to Worf or to loose her to... to
what? They had never found out what had happened.
The crime in the whole situation was that he knew he loved her. He
had succumbed to the cliché of time. We have time. We are Imzadi.
We will be. His conversation with AA came back to him "If she did not
exist there would be no reason for my existence." [She does not exist
so what am I?]
The twin tones indicating a message sounded and as more often than
not the Captain's voice followed. "All Senior personnel report to
"Bridge!" Riker corrected his course from engineering then "Pause."
The lift did as instructed. [Did he just say medical? ... He did!] Riker
altered his destination "Medical."
+ + +
Riker was human. Male. Born on earth. His public claim to fame was
the Enterprise and his private was Imzadi. Truth be told he needed
more lessons in the trombone but hey he was no musician he was the
First Officer of the Enterprise. That day all that changed.
He approached medical and heard her. [Imzadi] he stopped abruptly
and the Ensign following bumped into him.
"Sorry sir." She said.
He stopped her "Did you hear that!"
"Hear what sir."
He paused "Nothing... on your way."
"Aye sir" The Ensign scuttled away before the redoubtable
Commander called her back.
There it was again! [Imzadi] he did a three sixty degree turn on his
heal and looked around. Nothing. He approached medical and
stepped toward the door ... it automatically opened.
He wished the floor would open up too.
The door opening caused four sets of eyes to look up and focus on
him. Captain Picard, Dr. Crusher, Lieutenant Worf and
He swallowed hard took a deep breath and walked in. She was
holding Worf's hand and Worf turned to face her with a tenderness the
likes of which Riker had not known existed in Klingon DNA. And why
not? They had been seeing each other long before her
disappearance. Now he was REALLY alone. She called mentally to
[Imzadi] he replied. She smiled at him. Had she heard? He wasn't
sure Deanna was empathic and telepathic; Geordi he had no such ability.
He fought to maintain the tentative grip he had on himself and his
sanity. He hid behind protocol "Counselor. Welcome back. Nice of
you to return to us."
"Thank you Will."
"Doctor." Picard said.
"I can find nothing wrong with her. She is fit and ready for duty any
time you want."
The door opened to allow Data and Geordi access. This time five sets
of eyes looked up.
The visor Geordi wore usually blocked his eye movements but any one
above the age of five knew they were bulging at that moment.
"Counselor?" He looked round in total confusion.
"Fascinating." Was all Data said.
"Indeed." The Captain took charge. "Counselor what is the last
"Beaming up... and seeing Chief O'Biran ogle me."
"Excuse me..." Riker interrupted "... what do you mean ogle you."
"Well... " She was uncomfortable something was obviously wrong.
She clung to Worf but instinctively called to Riker [Imzadi].
He saw her grip on Worf tighten and the knot in his stomach
constricted. He heard her [Imzadi].
"Well..." she repeated. "Data, Worf and I beamed up, but when
to the landing pad I was the only one there. They were long gone and
the Chief seemed surprised to see me. He just gaped. Next thing I
know he calls Beverly." Slowed her speech down. "Who - had ... the -
same - reaction." She surveyed the group. Really looked at them.
"Something is wrong."
"Fascinating." Data repeated. "You have no memory between leaving
the planet surface and arriving on the Enterprise."
"People don't usually carry memories of teleportatation Data." She
"Deanna." In an effort to break the news Picard had used her first
name. "To use an military term you are overdue and presumed lost."
"Sir?" She was confused.
"You have been missing for exactly one year six hours and twenty
three minutes." Data volunteered; he stopped short of the seconds he
noticed it irritated the Captain.
She looked to Worf. Riker gritted his teeth. "A year? I've been gone a
year?" She leaned her head on the Klingon's chest.
This homecoming was going to make a man of Riker or kill him.
"Counselor do you remember anything else?"
She shook her head.
Picard snorted in exasperation "We are no nearer to solving this
conundrum than when it began." No one answered. "Worf escort the
Counselor to her quarters."
"Resume duties people." Picard commanded.
It was the longest inspection of engineering that Riker had ever
+ + +
The first thing Deanna had done after Worf had delivered her to her
quarters was to check the star date. Data had been correct not that
she had doubted him but there it was confirmed. It was one year later
and she had not a clue as to what had happened.
+ + +
It had taken a week but the shock waves of Deanna's return had
finally subsided and life onboard had returned to normal, if normal
meant encountering some new phenomenon every other day.
Deanna was restless. Will was avoiding her and Worf was irritating
her. Why? She could not answer to either action or reaction.
She needed help. She was professional enough to recognize that but
when the only Counselor on board needs a Counselor what does she
She headed to the holodeck maybe she could go horseback riding
that should take her mind off things.
She arrived at the panel and scammed the database. There was one
program she found that made her forget the original plan of riding.
There was a program stored of Dr. Allan Allen! She could not believe
her eyes. Who ... no forget who... Why would someone need such a
program? Then she remembered. With the lack of a Counselor there
had to be compensations... and the Captain's explanation that he just
had not got round to it was fishy to say the least.
A section of the program had been saved and a password added but
the essence of the program was available for use. Horseback riding
forgotten she activated the program and stepped into Dr. Allen's
"Commander!" Dr. Allan Allen stepped forward then paused. He
realized that this was not Commander Riker. As the only person who
used the program AA had fallen into the trap of dealing with only one
client. He compensated. "Please state the nature of your business."
"I am Commander Deanna Troi." She said "Ship's Counselor."
"A Counselor in need of a Counselor."
"Exactly, but I need to change the settings do you mind?"
"Not at all it is your program to run."
"You are self aware?" She asked.
"I am Dr. Allan Allen." The holo gram replied.
"Computer ... arch." Deanna called and the arch appeared. She
changed the parameters of the program and the office shimmered into
an undulating meadow with a gentle breeze on a glorious day. "That's
better. Let's walk."
They did exactly that... walk and talk.
She lost track of time until the twin tones signifying a message
sounded, "Warning thirty minutes remain until your holodeck quota for
the next seven days is used." The computer sounded.
Deanna was stunned. How could she have been in here so long?
"Computer repeat warning in fifteen minutes." She needed to wind up
this session. There was a tone to indicate that the command had been
The twin tones repeated, "Warning fifteen minutes remain until your
holodeck quota for the next seven days is used."
"Computer... save program under Troi... " She thought for a second
"... walk and talk."
"Exit program." She stepped out as the scene disappeared. She
would not be able to access the suite for another seven days but that
was ok she knew what had to be done.
+ + +
She sat in Ten Forward with Beverly Crusher and indulged in a
chocolate ice cream while Beverly drank...
"What are you drinking?" Deanna asked.
"A Ferengie Worm wine." Beverly grinned.
"I don't want to know."
"It's alright it's non alcoholic." Beverly assured her.
The doors to Ten Forward opened and Riker walked in. "He looks
tired and worn." Deanna observed.
Beverly did not feign ignorance of the subject being discussed. "You
"How do you mean."
"Deanna you have been back... what six months?" Beverly started.
"Have you even spoken to him? Really spoken with him?"
Troi paused. "He's in need of a Counselor?"
[Give me strength] Crusher thought. "He's in need of you." Deanna
almost chocked on the ice cream. She glared at her friend. "You are
with Worf and so he will not make a move."
"... and how do come by all this information dear Doctor?"
"I'm sequestered in medical not cut off from society." Beverly said.
"Hmmm" Deanna replied, "By the way there is no Worf and I. That
has been over for at least five months. So much for your finger on the
pulse of Enterprise." She was triumphant in her retort. As she chatted
with Beverly she watched Riker take a seat. [Imzadi] she thought and
watched him stiffen.
[Imzadi] he replied and she heard.
+ + +
Riker walked into Ten Forward and almost walked right back out. He
spotted Deanna and Beverly the moment he walked in, but headed to
the bar instead.
"Commander." Guinan said.
"A beer." He ordered. Guinan nodded and passed the beverage. He
grunted thanks and headed for an empty table. He was in no mood for
Guinan returned to washing up as she marveled on the needless
complexities of the human courting ritual.
[Imzadi] Riker stiffened she had called to him but why? Who cared?
He replied. [Imzadi]
[Imzadi huh] Guinan had heard and was convinced that she would
never understand the human courting rites and if Imzadi was involved
she really didn't have the next thousand years to figure it out.
+ + +
For the most part Deanna was a laid back person who was happy to
go with the flow as Ensign Archer liked to say. There were times
however when the aspects of her mother flared. When the Betazed/Human
hybrid blood boiled and the Universe had to be held by
the tail and shaken.
This was such a time.
She reached up and pressed the button.
"Enter!" The doors opened and Deanna Troi stepped into the quarters
of William T. Riker.
+ + +
Dr. Allan Allen sat at his desk with the fingertips of his right hand
lightly touching the fingertips of his left hand. Together they formed a
"So you have come to say goodbye Commander." AA said as he
contemplated his client.
"Your Imzadi came home."
"Computer end program." Deanna said.