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[2010: NOV-DEC] "My Last Words"


Msgrv32

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Working Title: “My Last Words”

((Cargo Bay / Freighter Sixarp / Leaving Luna on a course for Earth))

Ryan had been in a terrible mood the entire morning. He walked into the Cargo Bay and turned around. The Cargo Bay doors stayed open and Christine stood angrily before him. Ryan loved her with all his heart, but the last few days he had strugged not to answer her every question with cynicism and frustration. Living as Ryan did - with a companion at all times, lest he be overcome by his condition - was a carefully managed practice and he was desperate to keep his current plight hidden from his love.

Christine: Are you going to talk to me?

Ryan: I have a headache Christine, that’s all.

Christine: I watch you 24/7 Ryan. I watch you because I love you. I know when you have a headache, and I know when you’re lying to me.

Ryan took a few steps away. He was tearing up. Christine recognized the signs when Ryan began to shake and reached out her hand to him. She took a step forward and then was hurled backwards - from out of nowhere by a giant explosion from the deck above them - into the corridor. He turned in an instant and cried out in anguish.

Ryan: Christine...

Before blacking out he managed to witness the ceiling collapse on him.

((Bridge / Starship Miranda / Day 1))

The helm aboard the USS Miranda had been having navigational problems for weeks. The main issue was that every few hours a re-alignment was required. The issue causing it was a defect in the original design of the ship. It could only be fixed once it happened, and until the re-alignment was complete the ship would drift lazily to the left. Ryan sat in the Captain’s chair and looked around in some confusion. The others on the Bridge looked to the him - he assumed they expecting him to say something - he turned and looked at the man directly to his right.

Pierce: Uh... am I the Captain?

Walters: Yes sir, are you OK?

Pierce: Good god no, I have no idea what’s going on.

Walters: OK, let me be honest with you. Everything is going to be OK. No need to worry, just sit back for a moment. I’ll handle things here on the Bridge and Christine will arrive momentarily.

The man to his right wore the uniform of the FO and he acted like it. Ryan quickly discovered that protocols were all in place and ready to go, they were simply waiting for his order... and he had blinked. “What if it had been during a battle?” Ryan thought as he watched the FO direct the Bridge.

Walters: Henderson, I need you to disengage the... Purcey, call down to Engineering and have them dispatch a...

Purcey: Engineering, reports a team already on route.

Walters: Excellent, tell the...

Purcey: Chief Hammond sends a thank you for praise on his foresight sir.

Ryan watched the man chuckle and waive him off. At the back of the bridge the turbo lift doors opened with a woosh. Ryan stood up as they parted and his eyes met with Christine’s.

Christine: Ryan!

Ryan’s face finally dropped and he felt extreme relief at the sight of her. He clumsily got up - his knees shaking and buckling as the blood rushed to his head - she ran down towards him. He couldn’t hear what she shouted to him and his vision was clouding. As he looked up at the ceiling he managed the make the most of his last words.

Ryan: ... I love you.

He fell backwards into the arms of his FO and blacked out as Christine reached him.

((Day 8 / Sickbay))

For a few moments everything was a blur. His left hand rubbed his temples and he looked over at Christine. She was asleep in a chair beside the bio-bed where he lay. His right hand was intertwined in her fingers and her other hand held the two together. He whispered to her ‘You look so beautiful when you’re sleeping.’ and then looked over to his FO. He was standing in the CMO’s office having an argument with who Ryan assumed was the CMO.

Ryan: What... what happened?

He managed to get the FO’s attention and the man rushed over to his bio-bed. He smiled at him and repeated the question.

Walters: You blacked out on the Bridge just before Christine got to you.

Ryan: How... how long?

Walters: You’ve been catatonic just over a week sir.

Ryan: 7 days, how?

Walters: You’re condition sir. It’s never easy to predict...

Ryan: ...right right, ‘anomalitis’... the eternal mystery of the human brain...

Ryan was then approached by the Doctor who nodded to him.

Jenkins: The eternal mystery indeed, welcome back sir.

Ryan: Thank you Doctor. I trust I’ve been a complete handful?

Jenkins: Quite the opposite...

Walters: He’s basically dead for days at a time... and we have no way of predicting it.

Jenkins: Yes, but he always wakes up in the end fine and dandy. You’ve done an admirable job sir... at keeping this bio-bed warm.

Ryan: I suppose I’ve done that job long enough.

Jenkins: Let’s not get hasty here...

Ryan: Are you telling me I’m not the Captain?

Walters: Doc, come on now show some bedside manner...

Jenkins: Captain, at least stay in bed the night. Work out your arms and legs, take a shower, talk to Christine and then sleep the night.

Ryan: and tomorrow?

Jenkins: Then we’ll talk about how: you are the Captain and I’m just your Doctor. But for now... stay put. You’re not done here yet.

Ryan nodded and the two men patted him on the shoulder. He watched his FO head out the doors: back to the bridge or to bed... depending on how long he’d been in Sickbay. The doctor he just managed to see walk back into his office. Turning to Christine he reached out his finger and poked her softly on the nose. He brought his hand down and placed it on the other 3 as her eyes opened.

((Day 15 / Conference Room))

The table was full of Captains. Each ship in the convoy was represented. Despite the fact that the fleet had it’s orders, only one man’s judgement really mattered. Ryan looked up from his padd and then handed it to his FO. As Ryan took a drink of water and considered his options the FO turned on the wall screen and a formation of the convoy and its long term route into Klingon space came into view.

Ryan: A mission of peace?

Walters: We take a rather long and perplexing route to the co-ordinates of the peace conference.

Convoy Captain: Maybe the Klingon’s want us to experience the sights and wonders of the Empire...

Ryan: It would follow the logic of peace talks. But with the destruction of Praxis I do have cause to wonder aloud why we are not dispensing with the tour and moving right to the summit.

Convoy Captain: We do have our orders Captain.

Ryan: That we do and I see no reason not to follow them. Until such a reason arises I suggest we retire to our respective ships and make sure all systems are in tip top...

The entire room - and ship - shifted lazily to the left; the ships design flaw letting loose on the navigational systems.

Walters: I’ll see that the re-alignment begins immediately.

Ryan: Thank you Walters. Now gentlemen, as I was saying: tip top shape. and please... keep a close eye on your balance as you walk to the transporter room!

((Sequence of Dreams))

“A moon, sits wrapped in a dark mystery deep in Klingon space.”

“A great fleet of peace moves in and is destroyed by unseen predators.”

“Blood turns to ice in the vacuum of space.”

((Day 22 / Counselors Office))

Counselor: Is that in direct order?

Ryan: As I said, yes.

Counselor: All three nightmares in one night?

Ryan: It was a fairly bad night.

Counselor: An understatement, no one likes bad dreams.

Ryan: I think my subconscious is trying to tell me something. Something important.

Counselor: Something... specific?

Ryan: Kind of like... I had a dream last night. I was offered peace by a Klingon, and then when I brought my family to his homeworld... him and his Klingon brothers slaughtered us wholesale.”

Counselor: That has to be the most blatantly obvious subliminal premonition I’ve ever heard.

Ryan: I agree, that’s why I’m calling a meeting to inform the rest of the convoy that we are walking into a trap.

Counselor: A trap sir?

Ryan: Are you hard of hearing?

Counselor: Yes, I am a bit hard of hearing. These things happen in our old age.

Ryan: Then I will say it again, I plan to inform the rest of the convoy of this presumed trap.

Counselor: All because of a dream?

Ryan: Do not discount my dreams counselor, it’s the antithesis of what you should be doing right now.

Counselor: I’m not trying to discount your dreams sir, I’m simply trying to understand the rationale lying behind the actions you are going to take... sometimes dreams are just dreams...

Ryan: I don’t suppose I’ve ever told you what I normally dream of?

Counselor: No... I don’t suppose you have.

Ryan: Well if it helps ease your position I will say this: I dream of my love Christine. Every night the dream is the same; with little modifications or differences. Whether it be the setting, the others who inhabit it, or the things we say... it’s always about Christine. At least my dreams have always featured her prominently... it’s the reason she is my companion. Without her, I could never live a normal life... I would be confined... to some drab hospital. Some living nightmare... to replace my subconscious ones? I normally have pleasant dreams Counselor, there is a reason lying behind this sudden change.

Counselor: But, if it’s not a trap?

Ryan: Starfleet doesn’t rely on pure ‘what-if’ situations. We rely on logic and gut instincts based on pure science. Sadly Klingons are lousy scientists and every light year we travel I see more inconsistencies in the story that bemoans our continuation.

Counselor: Do you believe Praxis has been destroyed as the Klingons have claimed?

Ryan: I do not.

((Conference Room / Day 24))

The table was once more filled with representatives of the Convoy. Walters turned on the wall screen. The screen revealed the convoy and its present heading to the summit.

Ryan: Gentlemen and ladies: our course.

Walters activated the new scans which revealed the cloaked fleet shadowing the convoy.

Ryan: and here is our escort...

Convoy Captain: How did you discover them?

Walters: While the cloak is very impressive and certainly a tad above the previous encounters we’ve had with the Klingons; we were able to partially map out and then extrapolate the shadow fleets course by scanning the unusually high concentrations of energy nearby. After that it was a matter of tracking sensors.

Convoy Captain: What are our options?

Ryan: I do apologize but we are far past the point of no return. As soon as we reach the summit - or likely further up the route from here - we will run into a fleet I presume... then our escort will pick off the convoy one by one.

Convoy Captain: We are too lightly armed to defend or attack... we cannot escape... what do we do?

Walters brought up the next option. A large nebulae with strange properties. Ryan pointed at it.

Ryan: We go there.

Convoy Captain: A nebulae?

Walters: A rather unusual one actually. Over the past 50 years there have been sightings of this nebulae - by many Captains in the fleet - and its strange properties. Here it is: head straight through the nebulae and then once clear, jump to warp.

Convoy Captain: Our destination?

Ryan: Praxis.

Convoy Captain: Captain, your dreams are the only the hard evidence we have on this... everything else is speculation.

Ryan: Agreed, and if I’m wrong... I take the blame. Hopefully we don’t all die because of my actions, but since my current actions are driven by a direct desire ‘not to die’ at least we know my heart is in the right place. You all have a choice to make: Come with me, or stick to the orders.

Convoy Captain: You put us all in a very difficult position.

Ryan: I do it because you’re the best of the best. The Captain’s chair requires more than a simple duty to your orders. If you go to the summit... you will die. You will all die. Your crews will die and once the Klingons are through claiming the spoils of our ‘peace convoy’ they will sound the battle call and ride straight into the heart of the Federation.

Convoy Captain: If what you say is true... why go on at all?

Ryan: If we get to Praxis, and it still exists... we warn the Federation. We die heroes, exposing the cowardly and duplicitous Klingon Empire for what it is: a race of savages without honour.

Convoy Captain: If Praxis exists in but a million fragments?

Ryan: Then we die fools, but at least we stuck to our principles.

Convoy Captain: What principles are you referring to?

Ryan: Well. Not being stupid enough to walk into what is obviously a trap for one...

((Captain’s Log))

“The Klingon fleet managed to maintain cloak through the nebulae. My hope that the cloak would fail did not come to pass. Nevertheless I remain confident our plan will work.”

- Ryan Pierce

((Bridge / Day 28))

Ryan was seated in the Captains chair. The Bridge was a silent chatter of text based communication as each person - working in direct sync - prepared the ship for the surge. His hands were clammy. He looked over to his FO.

Ryan: My hands are numb.

Walters: I’ll call Christine.

Ryan: Thank you.

Walters: How long?

Ryan: It’s never...

Walters: ...easy to predict... I know. Are you sure this is going to work?

Ryan: I’m only sure about one thing.

Walters: What’s that?

Ryan: Love, son... love.

Walters: and the peace offerings... you’re absolutely sure they’re... a trap?

Ryan: You can’t go far without being sure; now is as good a time as any to find out. Signal the convoy: ‘engage the surge.’

Walters typed in the commands and the Bridge stations received the orders. The message was transmitted to the Captains of each ship in the lightly armed convoy of peace. Each Captain delineated responsibilities to their subordinates and the entire fleet stood as one... ready.

Walters: Convoy reports ready sir.

Ryan: Now.

The convoy fired off a (LEWDIET) long range wide dispersal intensive electromagnetic mist. All around them cloaked Klingon D7’s and birds of prey temporarily shut down, systems overloading as a direct effect of the convoys actions. Ryan gave his FO further orders.

Ryan: Forward to Praxis.

The convoy surged to warp and after two minutes they arrived in the system.

Ryan: Give me a visual on the moon.

The viewsceen came up with the moon faintly in the distance... intact.

Ryan: Magnify.

The doors to the Bridge swooshed open and Christine stepped out.

Christine: Praxis!

Ryan: In one piece, not exploded at all.

Walters: Indeed.

Christine joined Ryan and he stood when she approached. The two of them and his FO stood and had a discussion in whispers.

Christine: Are we about to die?

Ryan: Yes, that fleet behind us is about 2 minutes from our position.

Walters: And they are not happy...

Christine: Oh cheer up Walters, Klingons are never happy.

Ryan: Really? I would have thought slaughtering prey would be something a Klingon could get excited over.

Walters: Captain the fleet...

Ryan: Right right, signal the Convoy Captains ‘wish them my best, and long life.’

Christine: That was very sweet.

Walters: CC responds in kind.

Ryan: Excellent, send out a coded message to Starfleet. Let’s be sure we don’t do this in vain.

Walters: Message sent.

Ryan: Very well... signal the fleet. Ramming speed!

Ryan looked over to Christine and he spent his last moments looking into her eyes. He had said everything in his heart. The two lovers remained in each others eyes, as the Klingon moon Praxis devoured the viewscreen.

((Frieghter Sixarp / en route to Earth / Cargo Bay))

“PULL!”

Ryan heard the words echoing off the burnt casing and broken panels surrounding him. It was Christine! As a large piece of sheet metal casing came loose above him it nearly skewered his chest. At the last second it was pulled away and Ryan grabbed hold of an arm. He landed on the ground just beyond the pile of rubble. He could see the hole where the ceiling had caved in. He looked to Christine and grabbed her hand with his, intertwining his fingers with hers.

Christine: Come on Ryan, we’ve got to get you to sickbay.

Ryan: How... how long?

Christine: Just a few minutes baby. I’ve...we’ve been digging for you.

Ryan: I love you Christine.

Ryan lay against Christine with his head and shoulders cradled in her loving embrace. She leaned her head down and their lips met. The kiss was quick but full of meaning. It was followed by a short assault of quick kissed to the rest of his face ending on the forehead. She burst into tears above him.

Christine: I love you too Ryan.

The End

Written by

Lt. Thomas Gregory

Chief of Helm/Comm/Ops

USS Ronin NCC-34523

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