The morning brought a soft drizzling rain down over Izar. Winter was finally over and the temperatures on El Auria were warming up. Deran stood near the window, one palm resting up on the edge of the frame. Her brown eyes watched as the light rain danced on the slowly greening plants outside. Today, her friends were supposed to come by and take her out shopping. Deran hadn't had much time to do simple things like that, since the birth of her son, Tidus. Matthias, her husband, worked as Security for the Izar government. It was a job that took up much of his time. Deran worked as a gymnastics teacher at the local school. As a gymnastics teacher, Deran spent a lot of her time training herself and her students. Deran and Matthias had only been married for one year, before the birth of their son. She was proud when her own son, Tidus, had begun tumbling at a young age. He was proving to be an exceptional student. Matthias taught Deran martial arts. Something she quickly fell in love with. Her skills as a gymnast made her training easy and her fighting skills seemed second nature. When she wasn’t taking her young team to gymnastics competitions, Deran was competing alongside her husband in martial arts competitions. To her, there was nothing better then these ‘family’ outings. The work and her family near, made Deran feel alive and at the top of her world. The sun began to peak thru the rain clouds over Izar. It's rays shining thru the rain that still fell over the Beq house. Deran felt warm hands slide around her slender waist. A smile fell over her lips, forcing her dimples to show on her cheeks. Matthias moved close to her from behind, holding her in his arms. His own brown eyes watching the sun attempt to push the clouds away. "Now, don't think your going to get out of watching Tidus today," Deran's words playing with Matthias. "I am still going out with the girls." "I know, I know," Matthias smirked. He didn't mind watching Tidus. Just sometimes, it was not so easy without Deran. "You go have fun with your friends. Tidus and I will be just fine." Deran turned around in his arms and faced him. She smiled, her warm brown eyes searching deep into his. Deran lifted one of her hands up and ran her fingertips along his strong jawbone. "Good, as long as you and I have an understanding." She winked. The door toned, letting them know that someone was there. Deran grinned and slid out of Matthias's arms. "You just make sure that you boys stay out of trouble while I am gone." Matthias let go of Deran and raised his hands up on either side of him. "And just what kind of trouble could we possibly get into, Mrs. Beq?" The tone sounding pulled the toddling Tidus out of his room. Eager to see who was coming to visit, he came running out with a toy starship in his hands. Tidus saw that his mother was grabbing her bag and headed towards the door. He ran over to his mother, "Mitera, where are you going!?" Deran turned around and picked up her son and gave him a kiss. He wrapped his legs around her waist and grinned at her. "I am going out with the girls to go shopping. I will be back later. And maybe with something special for my good boys." She looked at Matthias, "Because they will be good." She gave him a playful look. Matthias smirked, holding the boy in his arms. "Of course, we will. Won't we, Tidus?" Tidus frowned a little, thinking about what she said. He didn’t like the thought of her going off with others and not him. But, the prospect of getting something special when she got back sounded pretty good. “Can I have a toy phaser?!” He blurted out. Deran chuckled and slid Tidus down from her arms. He was just getting way to big to hold anymore. But, he was still her baby. “I will see what I can find.” Deran then kissed Matthias, just this one was slower and longer. She pulled away with a smile. "Just make sure you are both careful." She looked a little worried, Deran wasn’t used to this idea of being without her ‘boys’. As she stepped away from them and opened the door, there stood one of her friend waiting. Deran gave Tidus a little wave good-bye and then blew a kiss to Matthias. Then she turned and stepped outside, closing the door behind her. Deran and her friends arrived at the mall with the excitement of a full days worth of shopping or at least browsing. With a smile planted firmly on Deran's lips, her brown orbs dancing over the items in the windows of the different merchants. And even tho the trip was more for herself and her friends, Deran couldn't help but keep a look out for something to get Tidus and Matthias. Mesia elbowed Deran in the arm, "So, our little hermit friend. What are you thinking about?" Deran's friend had noticed that she was a little quiet as the other two were chatting. Draylee nodded and chided, "Don't tell me that motherhood has taken your gift of chatting Deran?" Deran laughed and looked at her friends. "I am sorry, I guess it has a little. I was thinking about Tidus and Matthias. You know, wondering about what to get them." "No way," Draylee started, hooking her arm into Deran's and giving her a pull towards a dress shop. "We are shopping for you lady. Come on, let's get you dressed up." Draylee laughed as she yanked her friend into the shop. Mesia giggling behind them. "Today is all about Deran Beq, not the men." Deran grinned as she was drug into the shop. She looked around at the dresses and suits. They were beautiful. Deran couldn't think of the last time that she had bought herself a new dress. "Okay, okay. I get the idea." She raised a brow, smirking at her friends. Deran slid her arm from Draylee's and walked over to some black velvet dresses. Reaching out, she lifted up one that was marked her size and held out to look over it. Mesia smiled and walked over to look over Deran's shoulder at the dress. "Ohh yeah, that is seeeexy," she sang. "Try it on!" Deran bit her bottom lip as she smiled and then turned in place facing her friend. She put the dress over her slender long figure and gazed down at it. Then turned her brown eyes back up to Mesia and then over to Draylee, "Hmmm I don't know." Draylee grabbed Deran and pushed her towards the dressing room. "I know. Now go try it on. Sheesh, Deran. You are going to make this take all day, aren't you?!" Mesia laughed watching Deran as she walked thru the entrance to the dressing rooms. "That's all right. I can shop all day. So don't worry about me!" She sang out. Deran walked into the rooms, showing the attendant that she had one item. The attendant nodded for her to go to room number 6. Deran folded the dress over one of her arms, and walked into her dressing room. She closed the door behind her and hung the dress up on a hook. For a moment, the mirror caught Deran's attention. She looked at the reflection in the mirror slowly up and down. She wasn't as slender now as she was when she first met Matthias. Deran slid her hands down to her hips that seemed to have expanded at least an inch from their original form. Baby weight, Deran thought. That last inch wouldn't come off for nothing. Her brown eyes slid to the dress. It was black at least. And the black would hide that extra curve on her hips. Deran looked down and began to unbutton her blouse. But, then something made her stop. She thought she could hear a light hum moving thru out the room. Deran looked up and touched the door of the dressing room. It was vibrating ever so slightly. Her face changed to one of slight fear. "What's going on?" she whispered to herself. With one hand she unlocked the dressing room door, as the other pushed it open. Deran stepped out slowly into the dressing room corridor. Suddenly, there were the sounds of shots coming from outside the corridor. They were soon followed by screams and the sound of people yelling. Deran walked quietly to the end of the corridor and peaked around just in time to see a woman shot by a blast and fall to the floor. She quickly slid back behind the corridor wall. Leaning against it, Deran felt her heart begin to race and a swell in her throat. Frantically, Deran began to look around for someway to escape the fitting room. Deran took off back to the end of the fitting room. She found a door at the end and tried to open it. It was locked. Tears of fear were beginning to come to Deran's eyes. "Deran!" Deran turned around, hearing her name. It was Mesia. "They killed Draylee! We have to hide!" She was screaming and running towards Deran. "The door is locked!" she called out to her friend. Deran turned towards Mesia. "We have to go another way." Deran stepped towards Mesia and was about to reach out for her hand, when she heard the sound of a laser. Mesia stopped suddenly, her blue eyes wide in surprise. "Mesia?" questioned Deran, as her friend fell to the floor hard. When Mesia fell, Deran saw a strange alien behind her. It was like nothing she had ever seen. Almost humanoid, but covered in what seemed to be black plastic or latex and attached with wires and gadgets. The being lifted up it's phaser towards Deran and shot. Deran quickly darted to the side, slamming her right shoulder into the wall. The being shot at her again as it slowly walked towards her. "Resistance if futile, you will be assimilated," it spoke in a monotone voice. Not knowing what else to do, Deran moved towards the being and attempted to throw a hard back hand strike to the side of it's head. The strike only resulted in the being's head only slightly moving and Deran's hand to crack. The being gripped her by the throat and began to choke her with one hand. Deran then rammed her knee into it's crotch, still no reaction. Her hands wrestling with the aliens wrists, she struggled to get away. Losing her breath, Deran desperately clawed at the being's face, eye, and the gadgets attached. His other hand rose up and posed in front of her, curled into a fist. His knuckles pointed at a bare space on her neck. She ripped some of the wires and something that covered one eye. The being stopped and released it's death grip. It's hands grasped the eye cover from her palm. Out of the being's grip, Deran moved back and glanced behind her. The door that had been locked had been blasted by the alien's phaser. She looked back at the being that was fixing it's eye piece back on. Deran could hear more shots outside. There had to be more coming. Taking a deep breath, she ran towards the being and sent a flying leap kick into it's head. The kick sent the being flying backwards. Deran used the kick to push off the being and back towards the door. She ran as quick as she could thru the door. It was not long that she found that the door led to an outside door. Once at the door, Deran opened it up and ran outside. Then stopped. The site before her froze her in her tracks. Above the city hovered a massive black cube spaceship. It darkened the sky, as it's huge expanse blocked out the Izar sun. Deran swallowed deeply and took one step backwards. Her brown orbs locked onto the ship above, for a moment making her oblivious to the sounds of screams and blasts out in the parking lot. An explosion off to her side, knocked Deran off her feet and sent her hurling into the thick bushes that decorated the mall. Deran pushed herself around to sit up and peer thru the bushes. She could see in the distance more of the black robot like figures slowly walking and firing at running Izar citizens. She had to get home. Her thoughts quickly running to Matthias and Tidus. Where they all right? Did they know these creatures were attacking Izar? Deran shifted to crouch onto her feet and winced. Her right leg was in intense pain that she had not noticed yet. Deran looked down and could see that she was bleeding below her knee on the outside. Running her fingers along the ripped material of her pants, she could feel the swelling. Another sound of a blast got Deran's attention. The pain would have to wait. She was going to get home no matter what. She stood up slightly and ran along the hidden side of the bushes. Her heart racing, Deran continued to look for a way to get home. And there it was. Around one of the corners of the mall, Deran found a vehicle that's engine was left running. She glanced around quickly and then took her chance. She hobbled as fast as she could to the vehicle and jumped in. Then took off. The vehicle raced out of the parking lot and out into the street. She could hear blasts behind her, not surprised that now the creatures would try and shoot the vehicle as it sped away. Deran tore off thru the streets of Izar. Her fear wearing away inside of her, tears began to stream down her cheeks. What if the creatures had already gotten to her home...to her husband and son? What about her parents? Deran began to tremble as she maneuvered the vehicle thru the battle scared streets. Suddenly, the vehicle was slammed into the side and began to spin uncontrollable. It stopped slammed into a tree, sending Deran flying out and onto the ground. Slowly opening her eyes, Deran tried to look around. She found that she could barely breath. Her ribs and legs shooting pain thru out her body in unbearable pains. Hearing a voice, Deran tried to see who was speaking. A figure appeared above her in the odd darkness of the shielded Izar sun. Deran blinked trying to make it out. But it began to fade until it eventually disappeared, and darkness fell upon Deran. A slow numbing pain began to wake up Deran's groggy unconscious form. She tried to open up her heavy lids to see what was causing the pain in her side and legs. She could hear voices in the distance, but couldn't see anyone. Deran attempted to focus her vision, but the room seemed to slowly move in random spinning patterns. Deran arched her back and slid her arms back to rest on her elbows to try and get up. But the pain in her ribs ripped thru her making her fall back and cry out. Deran gritted her teeth to hold back anymore cries. A voice moved closer and a form appeared over her. Deran squinted her eyes, trying to focus on the form as the light behind it messed with her blurry vision. "Hey, you decided to wake up and join what's left of the living, eh?" Came the voice. As Deran's eyes began to focus on the figure above her. It was an older woman, who gently smiled down on the beaten Deran. "I wasn't too sure you were going to join us again. After you woke up yesterday screaming, we had to give you stronger sedative before you angered everyone on board." "Where am I?" said Deran, her voice sounding weak and drugged. Her brows were lifted in confusion and worry. "Well, your are aboard the shuttle, NVidia, " the woman began to explain. "I am so sorry that my husband ran into your vehicle on the planet. I told him we had to bring you with us. We owed you that much." Deran had begun to listen as best she could. But, then her memories of what had happened on Izar with the dark creatures began to flood her mind. Her thoughts of her family needing her caused her to try and sit up, "I need to go home...ahhhh," again the pain from her ribs shot thru forcing her back down. Tears began to pour from the sides of her brown orbs. She wanted to be able to run to them. They need her, and she ...needed them. "Miss," the woman began again. "You have to calm down. I can't keep giving you more pain killers and sedatives. The shuttle only has so much in supply. Please." The woman placed a gentle hand on Deran's arm trying to console her. Deran's bottom lip trembled as she tried to become quiet. She had so many questions and so many thoughts racing thru her mind. It was all too much. "I am sorry," Deran managed, her whole body trembling as she cried and winced at the pain the movement caused. "I know," consoled the woman again. "My name is Eliza Callies." The woman glanced over somewhere that Deran could not see. "My husband's name is Armoth." She looked back down at Deran. "Can you tell us your name?" Deran tried to pull herself together, but the tears still forced themselves..just quietly now. "My name is Deran Beq. My husband is Matthias, we have one boy. I need to know where they are." Eliza became silent and looked down at her lap and then over to that same place. Deran tried to twist and look too, but she couldn't see past the woman's body. Eliza slowly turned her gaze back to Deran, "There are only fourteen of us on this shuttle. But, my husband thinks he saw two others depart Izar. Perhaps, your husband and son are on one of them." A spark of hope, they had to be thought Deran. She couldn't lose them now. She couldn't live without them. Hopefully, they made it to the shuttles. Matthias was so quick and smart that way. He probably saved both their families from... She looked at Eliza confused, "Who were they? The creatures?" Deran heard a male voice that she couldn't see. "The Borg." Deran shook her head slightly not having ever heard of the Borg. "The Borg?" Another figure walked up and sat next to Eliza. He was a younger man, "My name is Lorinth. I work ....worked in the El Aurian Security Force. I over heard one of my superiors calling them The Borg. He said something about how they wanted to take our people for their use." "Their use?" asked Eliza, she was now looking at Lorinth with that same confusion that Deran had. "That's all I know. Well," Lorinth looked away from them. His eyes looked like they were searching for something in the floor of the shuttle. "That and that nothing can stop them." Deran took a deep breath. Her tears finally dried when they seemed to have lost all the tears they could. She told herself, that her family was alive. And she would find them. She didn't want to hear anything else about this Borg. "Is there a way to find the other shuttles?" Eliza smiled, "Our pilot has been trying to track them since we left Izar. He thinks he has locked onto them and we are moving in their direction." Deran could feel her eyelids growing heavy again, but she tried to fight them. She wanted to stay awake. She wanted to find the other shuttles. "Listen, Deran. Get some rest, it will be a while before we get to the other shuttles. It seems they were on faster ones they we got. Don't worry, I will wake you up as soon as we find them." Eliza patted Deran on the arm gently. Deran thought for a moment on fighting the drugs that were pulling her back into sleep. But, Eliza was right. She needed to sleep. And sleeping would make the time getting to the other shuttles move much faster. Deran let her heavy eyelids fall closed, and could feel her breathing become slower and more even once again. Then her body succumbed to the silent world of sleep. ~Phasers fired around in a sky that blazed in a raging fire. The blue skies of Izar now glowed a red and orange. Screams echoed thru around Deran as she ran down the street towards her home. All around her, the android monsters shot their phasers at the El-Aurians. Their bodies falling limply to the ground, their innocent blood coloring the green wet grass to match the sky above. Every muscle ached as Deran turned the corner to run towards her home. The air seemed to thicken the closer she got. It was like it was pushing her backwards, but Deran felt no wind against her skin. Her athletic body strained to force her forward against the unknown pressure. The door to her house opened and out stepped Matthias. Tidus was in his arms and waving at his mother. They both were smiling and laughing innocent of what was going on around them. Deran screamed at them to go back in the house. But, Matthias continued to walk towards her, oblivious of the bodies falling around him. Deran could feel wet tears falling down her cheeks as she tried to run faster. She had to stop them. She had to warn them. Why didn't they see what was happening? Deran's side was hit hard and she fell back to the ground. She had no idea what hit her, as she tried to push up from the ground. She looked over to her home and where she had seen Matthias and Tidus. But, she screamed as she saw them transform in front of her. Black metallic wires and skin began to cover their bodies. Tears stung her eyes and she cried out to her husband and child. Matthias lifted his free arm and held a phaser in Deran's direction. She pleaded to her husband, or whatever it was before her holding a transformed Tidus in his arms. Matthias mumbled something, she didn't quite understand. A blinding light shot out from the phaser, again she felt a pain in her side and screamed.~ "Deran, wake up. It's all right," came a voice. The pain in her side increased and Deran looked around her. Eliza and a few others were around her, holding her down. "Calm down, your going to hurt yourself further," said Eliza in a soft calming voice. Deran's breath was ragged, as she tried to catch her breath. The pain in her side did not help, making her stop when it's sharpness was too much. Seeing the others and her surroundings, she realized it has just been a dream. Her face was wet with tears, and her body shook. She looked to Eliza, who was carefully trying to tend to her tears. "He.. he," she couldn't speak as the vivid dreams visions kept running thru her head. What did it mean? Why did Matthias and Tidus look like those horrible beings? "Eliza," Deran just broke down. The words just couldn't come to her trembling lips. Eliza bent down and gently wrapped her arms around Deran. She did not know what had just happened, but Eliza was sure it was a bad dream. She held the younger El-Aurian gently, "I know, baby. Just calm down. You have to be strong." She couldn't tell Deran that it would be all right. How could she? They had all just lost their homes, lives, and families. All they had known and had been so peaceful was gone in only a few hours. Deran reached up and grabbed Eliza, holding onto her tightly. She cried into her shoulder. The trembling made her wounds ache even more, but it didn't matter. Deran had to cry. Her life was gone. Her family was gone. And now these dreams were tormenting her? "Why", she cried into Eliza's shoulder. "We don't know why, baby," Eliza said calmly. "But, we have to go on. And we will find the others who have survived. We won't let the Borg end our race...or end our own dreams." Deran looked up into Eliza's eyes, her own now green as she was stressed and tired. "My dreams are gone." "Don't say that, Deran," Eliza said in a firm motherly tone. "Your dreams have to continue. Don't let the Borg win!" Her tears now dry from being cried out, Deran let her arms slid to her slides. She turned her head to gaze at the cold wall next to her. "It's the truth." Eliza frowned and sat back in her chair. "I am not going to listen to you if your going to talk that way. You were saved from the Borg for a reason. Don't throw everything away. And don't tell me that we risked our lives to get you to the shuttle for you to just give up." Deran slowly turned her eyes to look at Eliza. She could see the woman's frustration with her. But, Deran didn't know what to say. It was the truth. All she had lived for was dead and gone. She had never wanted to travel thru out space. She just wanted a simple life. Life was not simple now. It would never be again. Eliza's empathic abilities could register and tell that Deran had given up, at least for the moment. It wasn't something that the rest of them on the small shuttle needed to hear. They had to keep their hopes up. They had to. It was all they really had left. And Eliza wasn't the type to give up. "Well, I suggest you get yourself together. Because we are not giving up, Deran. Don't you dare say your giving up or that life is all over. Not around us. I know you lost your husband. But, you should honour his memory by going on and not letting what happened with the Borg end your spirit!" Deran slowly nodded her head as an answer. But, inside she had given up. There wasn't any reason to keep living in her eyes. She watched as Eliza stood up and walked away from her bedside. Deran turned to gaze at the wall once more. Why had she been saved? She didn't know and she wished....she hadn't been. Yes, she should honour Matthias memory. But, Deran couldn't honour anything or anyone.. if she couldn't feel anymore.