By Carol Sandford


Chapter 14


"Okay, people, that's all we can do for him now."

Beverly looked around at her medical team as gratitude and relief pored from her as yet again, they had managed to save their first officers life. Not for the first time did Beverly wonder just how many lives William Riker actually possessed. Surely had used them all up by now, twice over.

But he kept bouncing back; Kept defying the Gods. Every time Beverly had brought him back from the brink she had briefly wondered why and how he managed to survive. But one sideward glance at the silent woman beside her always gave her the answer she sought.

Deanna Troi.

Despite her petite size, Deanna was clearly the life source of Will's soul. Her inner strength and devotion was his very breath, each and every one of them.

Even before Beverly had appeared in sickbay Deanna had been waiting. Still woozy from the sedative that Doctor Selar had administered, Deanna clung to the Vulcan's steady arm as she prepared herself to do her job once more; To bring her Imzadi back from the brink and in the only way she knew how; With her love.

Selar had administered the mild stimulant as soon as she had heard that Commander Riker was coming aboard with severe injuries. Even she had known that the Counselor's skills would be required and she was aware the Betazoid would never have forgiven her if she had not have woken her up. The one crucial thing in Deanna's life, besides her unborn child, was her husband.

And right now, Deanna's husband needed her, desperately.

Doctor Crusher watched Deanna's slight form from behind already knowing that she was clinging to Will's hand, willing him to pull through so that they could be together again; So that they could be one. She stepped forward in alarm as she watched the Betazoid sway, cursing herself for ignoring Deanna's own medical condition. Deanna was exhausted, both physically and mentally. She hadn't been ready to come out of the deep sleep that Selar had placed her in and knew that she needed to put her back in that state if the threesome were going to get through this.

Signalling one of the orderly's to bring another bio bed closer, Beverly lightly touched Deanna's shoulder, bringing her out of the trance-like fog. Deanna looked into her friends eyes and saw her intent. The bio bed came up close to them both and Deanna climbed on to it, never once releasing her husbands hand.

Beverly helped pushed the bio bed up flush with Wills whilst Selar gathered a coverlet, gently placing it over Deanna, her eyes already beginning to droop. The last words she heard as she felt the familiar pull of much needed release was Beverly's tender, 'Now sleep, both of you.' close to her ear and an even gentler, comforting squeeze to her shoulder.

Beverly watched the scene before her; The steady beat of Will's vitals pulsing upon the machines that surrounded him. His wife's hand firmly holding his against her breast and the feeling of peace that settled around the sickbay. Beverly sighed tiredly. It had been one hell of a day and it wasn't over yet.

For below on the planet's surface, another set of portholes had emerged emitting yet another wave of the enemy. They were back at war again and Beverly knew without even hearing the orders that Captain Picard had dispatched more away teams.

It was going to be a long night.


Worf roared with frustration. He had come so close to reaching the holding cells where his hated new enemy was being held. Along side the curious fear, and he did feel fear, was an urge so strong, so profound to step inside the brig and come face to face once more with the creature - he refused to call it a man - the creature that looked so much like him, but was really nothing like him at all, even in the old days when the Klingon world was still evolving, still very primal, very raw.

The shock of coming face to face with what was clearly of Klingon origin mixed with a race, a new race, an evil, uglier, primitive and silent race taunted Worf unmercifully and he couldn't wait to interrogate it. But Worf's moment of glory was short-lived as his commanding officer ordered him back to the planet's surface. He was going back to combat and he wasn't sure which thought thrilled him more; Kicking ass on the planet, or kicking ass on board the Enterprise.

Both, he knew, would be very gratifying.

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