By Carol Sandford


Chapter 34


The air was alive with frenzied tension as the men once more prepared to take to the skies. This time more ships, and more men were going into space to confront their enemy. This time, they were sure there would be no deception, and no cowardly attack on peaceful Betazed. The Sindareen had got what they‘d wanted. A full frontal, no holds barred battle, out in the vast ocean of space and the Federation were going to give it to them, head on.

Lwaxana Troi hovered outside Will‘s shuttle as he busied himself with making sure everything he needed was on board, but even so, he still spoke to her, realizing that despite the message from Deanna pleading them to come and rescue them all, Lwaxana, and himself, held the truth within their heads.

Deanna‘s voice had shaken them all to the core as she relayed the very much prompted message. No ransom. No trade. Just to come and get them, if they dared. Will shuddered as he remembered Mrs. Troi crumpling to the seat behind her as Deanna had spoken directly to her telling her that it was a trap barely seconds after the crackly message got transferred to the boardroom.

But what else could they do? They had to go after them, the Sindareen and the hostages. There would be no stalemate in this battle. It was all-out war, a war that had been a long time coming. A war that would once and for all diminish the threat against the peaceful planet.

Betazed had no idea why the Sindareen had targeted them, other than sheer cussedness. That and a chance to wield their power upon a planet of peace. They were more cowardly than those that they tormented. They truly believed that they had the Federation in the palm of their grotty hands. Picking them off fleet by fleet instead of raiding Earth was a pathetic act of cowardice. Here, on their own turf, they could destroy the Federation, one by one if they had to. On Earth it would be another story.

Will stepped inside the shuttle and settled himself in the pilot‘s seat. He wasn‘t even mildly surprised when Lwaxana stepped inside after him, plainly with more on her mind. He wasn‘t sure he wanted to hear, but courtesy and intrigue forced himself to take a deep breath and wait, but even when she did touch his shoulder to garner his full attention, he still hadn‘t been surprised with her revelation.

"Listen to her, Will. Let Deanna guide you. Whatever happens out there, let my daughter help you." She implored, filling him with hope and more, realising that she was telling him that the silent communication that Betazoid‘s were famed for were going to be the key in the coming confrontation, and Deanna - his Deanna. He was going to be linked to her beyond the physical level. Beyond anything that he‘d ever experienced before.

When he‘d first heard Deanna in his mind, he‘d been scared, scared of what she might be seeing. Hearing. But with each meeting, he grew more comfortable, more adept, and kinda honoured that he‘d been blessed with what he knew to be a gift, and he intended to use his gift to not only get his Imzadi back, but to win this war.

He came back to the present with a quick shake of his senses and turned his full gaze onto the woman hovering at his shoulder. Will nodded solemnly. "I will, Mrs. Troi, and I‘ll bring Deanna back to you, you have my word." he vowed.

Lwaxana offered a sad smile as she nodded, tapping his shoulder to reiterate her faith in him. "I know you will, William. I‘m very proud of you, you know? My daughter has chosen well."

Will didn‘t quite know how to respond to that as memories of her denial to mate with him cascaded through his memories, despite her subsequent acquiescence. Will still felt that given half a chance, Deanna would do anything to change what they had become. The thought gave Will a strange feeling deep within him, one that hurt, a hurt that spiralled throughout his body and soul making him tremble with its intensity.

Smiling tenderly, Lwaxana leaned down and put a tender kiss upon Will‘s brow, her heavy scent filling his nostrils, taking away the smell of fear that filled the ship, even if it was just for a brief moment. "Deanna loves you, Will." She said quietly. "Remember that and you will come home. You‘ll both come home." she promised, her voice quivering with emotion as a moment of loss rolled over her, a moment that didn‘t belong with her promise to the man that looked up to her, his convulsive throat movement revealing more than he wanted.

She‘d said enough even though she wanted to say a whole lot more to him. Lwaxana Troi made her way back out of the ship and Will watched her go, a new respect for her filling his senses. When she was clear of the ship he pressed the button and closed the hatch, turning to his co-pilot that slid into his seat beside him, he took a deep shaky breath.

"Well, here we go. You ready, Bob?"

Bobby Tiller, more than happy to be be back behind the controls so soon after returning from their last harrowing trip out, had deliberately made himself scarce when the matriarch of Betazoid‘s society followed the lieutenant inside the ship, obviously needing some privacy going by the sombre expressions upon their faces.

Moving back into place and touching several of the multi-coloured controls before him, Bob beamed at his leader, hoping that he didn‘t notice that the smile that he put upon his face didn‘t quite reach his eyes, nor notice the trickle of apprehension touch his affirmation. "You bet, Sir. Let‘s go and kick some Sindareen butt!"

Nodding, the motion firing his eyes, and his heart with steely determination, Will fired up the engines and lay in his course. "Best damned idea I‘ve heard all day. Now let‘s go and get my girl."

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