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Lt Tarch (MSPNPC) - Time And Sacrifice


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((Science Lab 3, USS Atlantis - 2391))

::Barbara Tarch didn't know where she fit in. Was she chasing after her baby daughter, or abandoning her in Sickbay? Was she trying to find a solution to the time rift, or standing idly by? Was she moving forward in time, or trying to move back? Was she coming? Was she going? And where had she been...?::

TARCH: Look, I just want to get this thing solved. So we can all go back to wherever we're supposed to be, and get on with our lives.

SOVAK: You believe the Pike will escape from the rift into its own original time?

TARCH: I believe I'm not supposed to be on Atlantis in the year 2391. Whatever else happens, happens. Though for my daughter's sake, I'm hoping that--

::Barbara didn't fight what happened next. The polaric energy that surrounded her was comfortable, familiar to her. She didn't remember her experiences through the rift, the months she'd carried and delivered her daughter, the time she'd spent unstuck in the time stream. But she knew this feeling, this warm, energized fluidity. She gave in to it, by instinct, and let it carry her where it would. She knew, by some forgotten experience, that fighting against it only made it worse.::

::Maybe Atlantis could help her, help her crew, help Diana. But there was no holding on to them now, not unless the rift wanted her to.::

::She was going. She went. She was gone.::

((Somewhere, Some Time))

::Barbara floated in the treacherous purple ether of the Norlian Nebula, out of phase with reality, unconcerned with breathing, as she had been many times before. The rift took care of her, the rift never failed her, though the rift confounded her, controlled her, contorted and distorted her.::

::Since the first time it took her, two months pregnant with Diana and eager to return from this mission, to disembark the Pike for a desk job until her daughter was born, she had come to both hate and love the rift. She knew it now, as she hadn't while aboard Atlantis. She remembered where she had been. What the rift had put her through. What it had taken.::

::Barbara was in a room now, if that made any sense. It didn't matter where it was. Not the Pike, not Atlantis. Perhaps it was a room in her mind, while her body floated through the Norlian nonsense. It was empty, and it was yellow, and it was where her daughter had been born.::

::Now she was in space, and a figure like her mother appeared behind her, floating silently, smiling self-confidently, wearing a mini skirt and white boots, her hair in an elaborate updo, her eyelids heavy with makeup. She was translucent, she was almost not there. She was a surely a ghost. Barbara didn't see her. She never had, though sometimes through the decades she had sensed a movement from the corner of her eye, or caught a sense of her mother's perfume that sent an unreachable thrill through her nostrils. The rift liked to play its little tricks.::

::Barbara was on the Pike, in a corridor outside the science bay, just where she'd stood in 2299 when Frank Delavigne's experiments had gone horribly wrong. She was blasted with energy she couldn't understand, and sent flying across the hall. She expected to hit the wall, but she kept going. She was sure she and her unborn daughter were going to float out and suffocate in space, but she'd landed in a strange room instead.::

::She was in the room again now. The yellow one, with one little lace-curtained window that looked out on a field of purple space, where Romulans circled in the distance. She tried to remember how she got there. She tried to remember where she'd been. Talking to a Vulcan. Talking to a Trill? Rennyn was his name, but how did she know him? She'd only just been on the Pike? She looked out the window, trying to get her bearings. She couldn't get her bearings.::

::Barbara was in the nebula again, and from the corner of her eye, she caught a movement. She could have sworn she saw a white boot float past, which a high heel, just like her mother used to wear.::

::The Pike exploded around her, blasted with polaric radiation in exponential amounts. She flew backwards in the air, and expected to hit the wall. She flew backwards in the air, and expected to hit the wall. She flew backwards in the air and expected to hit the wall, again and again, until she was too disoriented to go on. It made no sense. It made no sense. She flew backwards in the air, and expected to hit the wall.::

::She existed for months in some pocket of space where Frank Delavigne delivered her baby. While he held Diana, the rift took Barbara. While Frank held Diana, the rift took Barbara. While Frank held her little girl, Barbara was taken away.::

::At last, Barbara was in the nebula, floating in the purple mists. She woke from a dream, where the muggy air of Florida made her tri-colored jumpsuit stick to her legs. She remembered it all now, everything she'd experienced, over and over again, in this time rift. But there as a continuity to it. It had been hell. No wonder her mind wouldn't let her remember. She'd lost her daughter again and again. The accident on Pike happened again and again. She'd watched the Romulans again and again. But she'd only been to Atlantis once. She'd only lived the events there once. There was something to that. There was something there.::

::There was something behind her.::

::Barbara turned to catch what was in the corner of her eye. In all the times she'd floated here, she'd never caught up to the rift's nasty tricks. Now she did. Stunned, she watched the ghost in a mini skirt and white boots, in an orange and purple dress with an updo and heavy makeup on her sparkling eyes. The ghost floated silently, smiling with motherly pride.::

::Barbara floated towards it, stunned. This was more surprising than anything else that had happened.::

TARCH: ...Mother?

::Her mother's ghost said nothing, but, smiling, floated farther away, out of Barbara's reach.::

TARCH: Mother. I have a daughter now. I named her Diana, after you.

::Her mother's ghost smiled more deeply. It nodded, knowingly. It floated farther away.::

TARCH: Mother, don't go. I want to go with you. I don't want to be part of all this anymore.

::Her mother's ghost shook its head. It's eyes spoke of love, but told Barbara 'No.'::

TARCH: I have to stay, don't I? I have to help the Atlantis. I have to help the Pike.

::Her mother's ghost nodded, proudly.::

TARCH: I have to save Diana.

::The truth was, that after all the time she'd spent going back and forth in the rift, she understood it, a little. She could help. She could help from within the rift. But if she did that, she was never going to make it out herself.::

TARCH: I have to save Diana, no matter what it takes. The way you saved me.

::Her mother's ghost floated towards her, came very close, gazed into Barbara's eyes with all the love in the universe. Then, in a cloud of purple vapor, she vanished into the ether.::

::Barbara knew what to do. She could help close the rift from within. She could help save the Pike. She could help Atlantis save itself, and she could even help save the Romulans. She could save Diana, after everything.::

::She wished her mother's ghost could have touched her, could have held her in its vaporous arms. For she herself had never held her baby daughter Diana, and now she knew she never would.::

MSPNPC Lt. Barbara Tarch
USS Christopher Pike

simmed by

Lt. Rendal Rennyn
HCO & Flight Officer
USS Atlantis

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