By Carol Sandford


Chapter 34



Four days later the entire senior crew beamed down to the planet surface of Lanaare. All around them people still worked tirelessly to aide the Lanaarians back to life. A much different story that had met them some weeks before when all they'd got to look forward to was certain death. Now the air was static with hope.

Professor Jagla grinned with boyish humour as he greeted his guests, shaking Picard's hand with a vigour that surprised the normally stalwart captain. "Good to see you all again. Glad to see you all before you whizz off. I don't know how the Lanaarians and I are ever going to thank you for all that you have done for us, captain. We'll be forever in your debt."

With a pride that made Captain Picard's chest swell he could only return the handshake and relay his own gratitude at having the privilege of being the captain of a crew that hadn't hesitated in giving their help. No one more so than his own precious Doctor Beverly Crusher and the invincible Lieutenant Worf Roshenko.

One by one Jagla stepped before each of the senior crew as they quietly surrounded him, shook their hands one by one and thanked them profusely. Unable to hold back his emotions when he finally approached Beverly, Jagla stepped up to her and pulled her into his embrace and hugged her tightly. "I don't know what I would have done without you, my dear. My thanks will never be enough for what you have done for us."

Blushing prettily with embarrassment, Beverly could only chuckle at the older mans gratitude, hugging him back. "I'm glad. I'm glad that I was given the opportunity to contribute. That we were all able to contribute in some way or another. These people would have died even sooner if it hadn't have been for your indomitable effort to keep them alive, professor. You're the hero here." She reminded him gently, her blue eyes now shimmering with tears.

The old mans own eyes were suspiciously bright as he stepped back a little and stood in front of her. He knew that he couldn't have achieved the impossible if it hadn't have been for Beverly Crusher but nobody more so than the next person in line. As he moved to stand before her he held out his hand ignoring the tremble as he did so, knowing that she, in turn, trembled with an emotion that equalled his own.

Deanna slipped her own tiny one into his and smiled radiantly at the professor, her dark eyes misting over as she felt his happiness and thanks trickle through her senses. Leaning forward, Jagla placed a tender kiss to her cheek and whispered for her ears alone. "I'm no hero. No, the hero here was an unseen saviour and we couldn't have done it without him. Thank you Deanna."

And as he stepped back and studied the team before him he was overcome with an indebtedness that left him suddenly unable to utter one more word as no words could convey just how much the entire crew had done for the Lanaarian people. A crew that he would never ever forget.

The crew of the Starship Enterprise.


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