THE COST OF DESTINY

 
 

By Carol Sandford

 
 

Chapter 37

 
 

Don?t go, Will, don?t go! They?re on our side. They?re here to help us

As Will and Bobby Tiller prepared to turn the ship and the entire fleet about, a voice filtered through the fog of anguish that lashed at Will from all sides, his very soul torn in two at what he believed he had to do to save everything and everybody, except the one person who meant more than all of them put together. Deanna. His love. His Imzadi.

Don?t go, please!

There was no mistaking it this time. It was Deanna whispering through his senses like a tidal wave of welcoming water, leaving him trembling with relief at hearing her soft, melodic voice before making his heart soar for a moment, just to know that she was alive and lucid, and even though he had all but turned away to leave her to die, she hadn?t blamed him, she hadn?t spurned his torn heart.

But surely Will hadn?t heard her right. He couldn?t have. The Klingons, on their side? Never, not in a million years. The Federation had been locked in battle with the Klingon Empire ever since the very beginning. The Klingon?s were the very reason that the Federation came to be.

And then another voice sifted through his befuddled mind. Believe her, Will. Do not turn back. Stand your ground. I haven?t gone to all this trouble for nothing, so don?t let me down, Lieutenant.

Lwaxana Troi? How in hell?s name did she manage to send him a message all the way from Betazed? he wondered with astonishment.

He swiftly got his answer. Silly man. Did you really think I would stay behind and miss all this fun? laughter alighting her tease at his confusion.

Slowly, very slowly, like the sun rising above the horizon, his surprise only managed to rise a touch before anger tinged his joy and Will felt the blood begin to boil within his body. So she thought this was a joke? The entire universe was about to go to war and she thought it was funny!

But even so, he found himself saying something he?d never thought he?d utter to the man beside him, who sat patiently, awaiting his order to move off, his voice tipped with a longing that he thought had died. He may not have been particularly enamoured towards Mrs. Troi, particularly when it concerned her daughter, but never-the-less, there were some things that she was good at and negotiating was one of them.

"Hold on, Bob, it seems like we?ve got God on our side today."

Bobby Tiller visibly balked. "What!?" he choked, his fingers pausing midway to the reverse button.

Will?s eyes caught his, amusement brightening up the once troubled blue orbs into pools of mischief, "Sorry, I meant to say Lwaxana Troi, but sometimes I do wonder." he smirked.

I heard that, Mr. Riker.

And then it all went wrong as shouts reverberated throughout the comm systems on board the Federation ships. Deanna?s scream sent a shockwave of alarm through each and every one who heard her.

God, Will, he?s going to kill you all! Don?t let him do that to you just because of us, please!

But it was her mother that hushed her terrified daughter, her harsh words splashing on her fear , instantly defusing the terrors that ran amok in her heart. Oh, shush, Little one, you don?t think I turned up with just my friend Martok, do you? How little you know me, daughter, dear. What do you think I do when I put my best ambassador hat on. Sit knitting booties for that grandchild that you will one day undoubtably give me between the two of you?

Her high pitched laughter rattled right through Will?s head and he wondered in that brief instant if the woman had gone insane once the flare of longing of her vivid imagination zipped through him. Lwaxana Troi certainly had the knack of punching him just where she knew it would hurt him most, and just because her fantasy was one that was tucked away within his own private hopes and dreams, didn?t make it any easier. The woman was a witch.

Too late, she?d caught him out again, but this time, instead of answering him silently, her voice came over the comm unit, loud and clear, creating a wave of stunned disbelief as hearing her speak. "I am NOT a witch, nor am I insane!" she said haughtily. "If you?d care to move your eyes to your long range scanners, Lieutenant, you?ll find we?re about to have a few more visitors."

Both Will and Bobby, and the rest of the waiting Federation ships pulled their eyes away from the growing carpet of ships ahead and automatically dropped their eyes to the instrument panels before them and watched in shocked awe as a flotilla of ships, still some way off, approached them from behind. Will heard Bobby swallow noisily, and when he recognized just what was heading their way, he could only do the same.

"Vulcans!" they chorused together.

"Oh, yes," Mrs Troi crowed, "The Vulcans are very good friends of mine, and were more than happy to lend a helping hand." And then shed dropped the bombshell. "Of course, I had to offer them an alliance with the Federation..." She said, matter-of-factly, not even wincing at the somewhat expected outburst that almost shattered her eardrums.

"What!?" Bellowed Will. "You?ve done what!?"

Exhaling dramatically, she repeated her news. "I promised them an alliance with the Federation. And the Klingons too." She added for good measure. "They?re really friendly when you get to know them, you know? I did toy briefly with asking the Cardassians, but I?m really not fond of them. To...Neanderthal and barbaric for my liking."

One could imagine the grimace of distaste that etched her classical features with her enlightening insight into the Cardassian race. One also wondered why she didn?t include the Klingons in the same vein, after all they practically *were* Neanderthal.

For a brief moment, Will thought that he was going to feint. God, what on earth was Starfleet going to say? The Cardassians!? The Vulcans!? The KLINGONS!? Will groaned, his eyes closing to try and shut out the scenario that was sure to come about when he got back home to face his superiors. He was destroyed, for good. His life as an aspiring Starfleet officer was over. Finished, annihilated by a meddling, mad woman. He?d never live it down. Never.

But even so, despite all her interfering, and once the momentary shock had subsided, Will was quick to realize that with the Vulcans, and the Klingons on their side, they at least now had a chance. They could show a united force and beat the Sindareen just by the show of numbers.

Squaring his shoulders, Will stared determinedly at the screen before him, took a deep breath and said to Bob, "Hail the Sindareen ship. The negotiations are over. It?s time to get our people back."

Bobby grinned, his voice lifting with glee. "Aye aye, Sir."

 
     
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