Story [Star Trek Into Darkness] The Scars On Our Hearts (John Harrison/OFC) - Completed 26 July!

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Dantana Skywalker, May 29, 2013.

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  1. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    Some very hard feelings that surface due to John's involvement makes it definitely harder to understand why.
  2. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

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    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    I just finished writing this. It's a little bittersweet, finishing. It ended up a little over 45k words, due to cutting out a chunk that wasn't working. Trying to decide if I want to do a sequel or not.
  3. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    Sure, would love to see what Anthea names the baby along with eventually finding out that John is frozen away.
  4. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

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    Apr 7, 2002
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    Oh, no, no, this one isn't done yet. There's a total of 25 chapters, plus the prologue, on this one. I just meant that I finished writing it. I just haven't finished posting yet.
  5. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    --Chapter Sixteen--

    September left, and October arrived. Anthea was counting the days now, anxiously awaiting the birth of her child. She was heavily and uncomfortable, and she barely slept. Sitting for too long was difficult, but so was standing. She took to walking to ease the pressure on her hips. She had just returned from a short one around the office area when Brody summoned her into her office.

    "You need me, sir?"

    "Sit, you're making me nervous," Brody told her. "How much longer do you have?"

    "Six weeks, sir. And I'm feeling every one of them." Anthea did as ordered, sinking into the chair. It wasn't as comfortable as her own, probably to keep visitors from staying long.

    Brody smiled ruefully. "I remember how that was with my daughter. It'll be over soon enough, and then you'll have that baby to take care of."

    "Yes, sir."

    The vice admiral opened a drawer on her desk and pulled out a PADD. Silently, she slid it across the desk.

    Anthea picked it up. "What is this?"

    "It's a copy of a classified report filed yesterday. Conclusions from the investigation into Commander John Harrison. It's a little above your security level-which is surprisingly high, only I, Admiral Marcus, and a few others had higher clearance-but given the things contained in it, and your . . . unique situation, I thought you'd need to see it. There's information contained in it that could impact you for decades to come. You and your child."

    "I . . . Thank you. Can I take this with me?"

    "Just be careful with it. Your eyes only."

    "I understand."

    "Go ahead and take the rest of the day. You look like you're ready to drop."

    "I will. Thank you, sir."

    ----------

    She waited until she was safely home before looking at the files on the PADD. The device had no connection to outside servers; it was a stand-alone device, and all it contained was every scrap of information Starfleet had been able to acquire concerning her husband.

    As good as they were, though, they didn't have the piece that was most important to her, and, hopefully, they never would.

    She curled up in the chair in her study, amidst John's equipment, and pulled up the classified report. It contained his official Starfleet records, and-

    "What?" Anthea said aloud.

    That couldn't be right. According to this, John Harrison had only existed from 2258, two months before she'd met him. She'd never seen that before, but then, other than a cursory glance that first day, she hadn't bothered to spend any time in his file. She'd simply trusted Admiral Marcus, and John himself. What a mistake that had been.

    Perplexed, Anthea scanned the file further. And she nearly dropped the PADD. There, in the official report from one Captain James Tiberius Kirk of the USS Enterprise, it stated that Commander John Harrison was, in fact, Khan Noonien Singh, who had been in cryosleep after he and his people had fled Earth . . . in 1998.

    "What the bloody hell?!"

    According to what Starfleet had dug up, Khan Singh and his people were a result of the Eugenics Wars in the last quarter of the twentieth century, genetically engineered to be faster, smarter, stronger. Inspired by the eugenics efforts of the Nazis during World War II, various groups had raced to create the perfect soldier.

    What they'd ended up with was a collection of several hundred superior humans that had wreaked havoc on the planet and begun World War III in 1991. They had found for supremacy amongst themselves, and the world had been divided between various superpowered warlords until one took a quarter of the planet, ruling with an iron hand. That man's name was Khan Singh.

    It wasn't known what race, exactly, this Khan was, though he'd been born to a surrogate mother in 1970, one of the geneticists working on the project for India. They hadn't had artificial wombs then, so any modified embryo had to be implanted in a human host. Khan's had been Sarina Kaur, a woman who had, as John had told her, died in an explosion at her lab some four years later.

    When the Eugenics Wars had ended, some of the "augmented" humans managed to escape. Estimates were around eighty. Their number included Khan Noonien Singh. In 2258, shortly after the destruction of Vulcan, a Section 31 ship had located the SS Botany Bay, a twentieth-century ship with no warp drive, adrift between solar systems.
    Alexander Marcus had made the decision to revive the leader of the condemned race and use him to design weapons for Starfleet. John Harrison had been created, and assigned to Section 31.

    Anthea had to put the PADD down and go for a walk. She couldn't sit long these days, with the weight of the baby pressing on her internal organs. She went 'round the block four times, her mind whirling with all the new information.
    John hadn't been real. His whole existence was a lie.

    Back in her study, Anthea picked up the PADD again and finished reading. According to the investigation, Marcus had promised Khan that once he'd designed weapons and ships for Starfleet, he would be released and his people awoken from their sleep. Marcus had lied, and when Khan attempted to free his people on his own, he'd been forced to flee. Within days, he'd arranged for Thomas Harewood to bomb the London facility, and he'd attacked and killed half a roomful of Starfleet commanding officers.

    He'd fled to Qo'noS, where he'd been captured by Captain Kirk. Then, in a confrontation with Admiral Marcus aboard the USS Vengeance, Khan had killed Marcus and then attempted to destroy the Enterprise. The end result had been the crash of the Vengeance into San Francisco. One Commander Spock had captured Khan. They had used the man's blood to revive a critically-injured Kirk.

    After that, all record of Khan, alias John Harrison, ended. The file just stopped. Anthea did what she could to pull up more, but there was nothing else. Why did it stop? What had happened to her husband after that? Was he dead? Was he imprisoned somewhere?

    She considered contacting Vice Admiral Brody, but doubted the woman would tell her anything. They'd cut the end of the file off for a reason, which seemed entirely unfair to Anthea.

    Anthea sat for a long time, curled in the chair, trying to process everything she'd learned. In retrospect, knowing what she'd just learned, so much of John's actions were suddenly clear. And yet, she still didn't know why he'd kept her in the dark. Had he thought she wouldn't understand his need to save his people? Had he not trusted her? He could make love to her, sleep beside her, but not tell her who he really was. Why?

    She studied the images of John Harrison, and the file photos of Khan Noonien Singh. His hair had been longer back then, nearly to his shoulders. But the eyes . . . Those were the same. And yet, the man in the photo was a stranger. Had she ever seen any of the real man? How much of the last two years of her life had been an utter lie?

    She wanted to talk to Lindy, even though she knew she couldn't tell her best friend everything she'd just learned. There was so much going through her head. She didn't know what any of it meant for her child, but it would explain why Anthea hadn't contracted any illnesses during her entire pregnancy.

    Throwing on one of John's abandoned coats, a nice long one in a rather surprising silver, that was big enough to cover her belly, Anthea went out to the hovercar she'd been assigned from Starfleet. It had been so nice of the vice admiral to arrange it for her, since using the Tube was, in the older woman's opinion, too dangerous at this time of her pregnancy.

    She had a feeling the car had a tracking device in it so they could keep an eye on where she went, but she didn't particularly care. Lindy was her only friend, and worked in the same complex Anthea did.

    It was late enough that Lindy should be home. She drove over, taking extra care because of her admitted distraction. She called her friend on the dashboard communicator.

    "Hello?"

    "Lin, it's me. I need to talk to you. I'm on my way over. Feel like joining me for dinner?"

    "Sure. I'll meet you downstairs."

    As promised, Lindy was waiting at the curb when Anthea pulled up. She got into the hovercar.

    "I'm still jealous of this thing," her friend admitted. "Though not of that."

    Anthea looked wryly at her belly. It was the main reason she usually used the autopilot these days. The manual controls were difficult to manage with her stomach in the way. "Yeah. Soon, though . . ."

    "So what was it you wanted to talk about?"

    Suddenly, she realised she couldn't say anything about what she'd learned to Lindy. If she did, she'd have to explain how she knew, and Vice Admiral Brody had trusted her with the information for her baby only.

    "Baby shower," she said. "I know I said I didn't want one, but I think I do now. Mum was making noises, so . . . you think you and she could throw one together?"

    "Don't see why not. Sure. I am happy for you. I can't imagine how hard this has been, and I'm sorry that I haven't been able to be there for you much lately." Lindy was engaged to the coffee shop boy she'd once joked about having a fling with, and was deeply immersed in planning her wedding. "You're still gonna be my Maid of Honour, right?"

    "I hope so."

    Anthea hadn't really allowed herself to contemplate the future, outside of taking care of herself so that she'd have a healthy baby. The child meant everything to her, especially now. And with her due date so close, she needed to start actively planning.

    She might as well start by letting them throw her a shower.
  6. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    So Anthea finally learns nearly everything about Khan, but still wonders if he's alive or not. I feel sorry that she practically has to go through her pregnancy alone, but at least she has one friend who can help her.
  7. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

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    Apr 7, 2002
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    She's strong, she can handle it, even if she doesn't want to.

    EDIT: Look, I made a pic of Khan and Anthea!

    [IMG]
    Last edited by Dantana Skywalker, Jul 1, 2013
  8. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

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    Caught up on reading. Great story
  9. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

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    --Chapter Seventeen--

    It could have been the stress of learning John's true identity. Or maybe it was something with the child's genetics. Either way, Anthea went into labour at work just three days later.

    She was rushed to the base's hospital. The doctors attempted to delay delivery, since she was still six weeks from her due date, but Khan Noonien Singh's child was very determined to enter the world. After a short, gruelling labour that only lasted five hours, Anthea gave birth to a surprisingly healthy baby boy.

    Lindy was there from start to finish. Anthea's mother arrived halfway through, and the two women commiserated on not getting to throw a shower before the baby was born.

    When they handed the swaddled infant to Anthea, she stared in exhausted wonder at her son. His hair was just as dark as his father's, with brilliant and oddly focused blue eyes. Somehow, Anthea knew that one day, they would be the same intense, pale colour of his sire.

    "Ohh, he's so cute!" Lindy cooed. "Look at his little fingers!"

    "What are you going to name him?" her mother asked.

    "Nolan," Anthea said after a moment. "Nolan John Harrison."

    Her mother's expression turned serious. "Are you sure that's a good idea?"

    She shrugged. "Legally, that's his last name, Mum."

    Knowing a lost cause when she saw one, her mother didn't argue.

    ----------

    In the days after giving birth, Anthea mostly slept, or woke to feed the baby. She had plenty of time to contemplate everything she'd come to know about the man she'd married, but she didn't want to. It was hard enough to think that John had only been a cover. Knowing that her husband had been nearly three hundred years older than her was more than she could handle at the moment.

    Maternity leave for Starfleet was an automatic three months, with an option to extend to six. Anthea had nothing to worry about except tending her new baby. Her mother came to stay with her for a little while, which was nice because Anthea was beyond exhausted. She slept with Nolan in a bed attached to her own, so she could rest her hand on his little back and check that he was still breathing.

    She'd lost John, and she was terrified of losing Nolan as well. Her little boy was her entire world now.

    She could watch her baby for hours, she discovered, even if all he did was sleep. His dark hair was a cloud of fine wisps around his little head, his eyes such a startling blue. She would lie in bed and just drink in the sight of his little face as he watched her, or the little mobile she'd bought.

    She didn't have John anymore, but she had this wonderful little piece of him, and that gave her comfort more than anything had in nearly a year. Her sweet, happy little boy who had already learned to smile at just a few weeks, had filled a large part of the hole in her heart.

    She just wished John could have known him.

    ----------

    For the first time, Anthea had done nothing for Christmas; Nolan was too little to even be aware of the holiday, and she had no desire to celebrate. She went to visit her parents, just so she wouldn't be alone. She gave them token gifts, let them fawn over their grandson. But she was hollow inside, still. Her one bright spot was Nolan's little, toothless grin.

    When she got home, she decided it was time to clean up some of the mess John had left in the study. Anthea packed away his notebooks and his blueprints, shoving it all into the cupboard in the corner.

    Under a set of prints for the Vengeance, she found the lightsaber she'd given him the year before. When she picked it up, it felt heavier than she remembered. A press of the "ignition switch" made the thing flare to life, with a snap-hiss and a burst of red light.

    She had to sit on the floor and laugh. It couldn't all have been a lie, she realised, because he'd fixed the damn thing. The silly toy she'd given him had meant enough that he'd tinkered with the nearly-three-hundred-year-old circuits until it worked again. Examining it closer, she saw he'd repaired the places where it was flawed, patched the cracks and fragile spots.

    Abruptly, she realised the laughter had turned to tears, and she hugged the humming thing to her chest and cried for what she'd lost.

    ----------

    The invitation to the memorial service came just after Christmas.

    She stared at it for a long time, not really sure what to make of it. True, it wasn't common knowledge by any means that she had, unintentionally, had a hand in the disaster, but why would anyone have sent her an invitation to it?
    The ceremony was intended to memorialise the dead from the San Francisco disaster, as well as those of the archive facility. It would also be the rechristening of the USS Enterprise, which had nearly been destroyed the same day as the crash.

    "What do you think, No?" she asked her son. "Should we go to this to-do? I don't really care to, but since your daddy was responsible, we probably should. Pay our respects and all that."

    The eleven-week-old just cooed at her and chewed on one of his feet.

    ----------

    San Francisco, CA
    2260.10

    Since she was still on leave, and would be for a few more months, Anthea didn't need to ask for time off when the day rolled around. She just packed her little boy up, along with clothes and baby essentials for a weekend away, and caught a transport from London to San Francisco.

    She checked into a hotel not far from HQ, one that had been built in the last year to replace one of the destroyed structures. She felt odd, as if she shouldn't be there, even though she was compelled to attend by her own conscience. Anthea changed into one of her dressier Starfleet uniforms, affixed her division badge over her heart, and gathered up the baby. He wasn't fussy, so she figured she'd be able to sit through the ceremony without him causing a ruckus.

    At the plaza, she took a seat at the back and settled Nolan at her feet. Her baby was sound asleep, all tucked in with his blanket-one of John's sweaters that she'd repurposed because it was the softest thing she had. Anthea tucked a lock of her newly-shortened hair behind her ear. John had liked it long, and she'd had it nearly to her waist during her marriage, but she'd quickly discovered that having a newborn to tend, especially one as grabby as Nolan, made longer hair impractical and tiring. She'd shorn it just below her shoulders. The bounce of it was taking a bit to get used to.

    She'd looked up James Tiberius Kirk after reading his report about her husband. He had a spotty service record and a few citations for breaking the rules, even going against the Prime Directive a time or two. But he was charismatic and handsome, a sandy-blonde man with brilliantly blue eyes and wide shoulders, even taller than John had been. He cut a smart figure in his dress greys, and he spoke eloquently.

    When it was over, she quickly picked up Nolan's carrier and went to the podium, wanting to catch the captain before he left. She wasn't quite sure what she was going to say when she got there, but she needed to say something.

    ----------

    Caught up to the present, Anthea finished telling her story, and they all looked at the baby at her feet.

    "Yes," Anthea said. "My son, Nolan. Khan's- John's son."

    "An interesting distinction to make," Spock commented.

    Anthea looked up, her grey eyes moist. "John is dead. I didn't know this- this Khan. Khan is not who I married, even if . . . the man himself was the same."

    "How old is he?" McCoy asked, gesturing to the baby. "You mind if I examine him?"

    Anthea hesitated. "He's three months old. I . . . suppose you can."

    The doctor was nothing but gentle as he lifted Nolan out of his carrier. She could see that he had experience with babies, wondered briefly if he had any of his own. Nolan stared up at the man as McCoy settled him on his knees; the baby just gazed, rather unblinking, at the doctor.

    "What are you going to do now?" Uhura asked Anthea.

    "I don't know. I don't want to continue with Section 31 like I have. It's been too . . . difficult for me."

    "This is why Vulcans value both honesty and the regulation of emotions," Spock put in. "We do not lie, and we do not let our emotions rule our decisions."

    Kirk snorted and then clapped a hand over his mouth. He cleared his throat. "Yeah. We all know how Vulcans don't lie."

    The two men exchanged a look, and Uhura looked a little amused. It was obviously an inside joke with the crew, one Anthea was oblivious about. She paid more attention to what Doctor McCoy was doing, anyway.

    "He sure is a serious little guy," the doctor told her.

    "He can be. I think he isn't sure what's going on, so he's . . . assessing."

    "That's kind of advanced for a three-month-old, isn't it?" Kirk asked.

    Anthea lifted grey eyes to his face. "The son of Khan Noonien Singh can't really be expected to conform to normal human standards, can he?"

    "She has a point," Spock said. "It is impossible to know at this point how his inherited genetics will affect his development. As his father was genetically engineered to be superior to regular humans, it is likely that they are also dominant and all other genetics recessive in contrast."

    "So we've got a superbaby on our hands," Kirk said.

    McCoy said, "I dunno, he seems pretty normal to me. I mean, it's been a while since I've treated an infant, but I don't see anything unusual about this little guy."

    He handed Nolan back to Anthea. She laid the baby against her chest and smoothed his dark hair, taking comfort in the weight of his little head against her shoulder.

    The others left not long after. Kirk watched her cradle the baby.

    "If you want," he offered, "I could . . . tell you about those last couple days."

    "I read the report," she murmured.

    "I didn't put everything in it."

    Her grey eyes lifted to his. She didn't speak, but was curious.

    "Have you eaten?" he asked.

    "Not since the transport from London, no."

    "C'mon. My place isn't far. Might be more comfortable and you can put the little guy down for a nap."
  10. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

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    More interesting revelations as Anthea wonders how much of John was given to her son Nolan.
  11. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

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    Sweet update with a very nice baby
  12. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

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    --Chapter Eighteen--

    She had no reason to trust James Kirk, really, other than the one thing that had really stood out in his report: he'd been sent to Qo'noS to kill her husband, a man who had taken dozens of lives by that point, and he'd refused to do it. He'd refused to kill Khan when it would have been understandable to nearly everyone.

    It was chilly as they made their way to Kirk's apartment. She didn't worry about Nolan; his carrier was temperature-controlled and kept her little boy cozy even in January. Kirk was on the fifteenth floor of a building two blocks from Headquarters, the opposite direction from her hotel.

    "Uh, sorry, it's a little . . . messy."

    He scrambled around the apartment, gathering up various objects scattered around. She didn't care about the state it was in, though the woman's thong he retrieved from the sofa, his face going red, was amusing.

    Anthea set Nolan's carrier down by the sofa and checked on him. He was asleep, sucking on a little thumb.

    "He really is a cute little guy," Kirk said.

    "Thank you. He means the world to me."

    "I don't have much in the way of food right now, but the replicator's working. What are you in the mood for?"

    "Anything but Indian," she answered.

    "Gotcha."

    He fiddled around in the kitchen for a bit, then brought out two plates, both laden with burgers and fried potatoes. "Burgers are easy," he explained.

    She accepted it and balanced the plate on her knees. "You really don't need to go to the trouble."

    His incredibly blue eyes seemed to bore into her. "I feel like I do. So, uh . . . Go ahead and eat."

    They ate in silence, with Anthea checking on Nolan at intervals. When they'd finished, Kirk took the plates into the kitchen.

    "I don't want to offend you, but I gotta say, it's . . . just so weird, knowing this guy had this whole domestic thing set up. All this time, I've just seen Khan as a terrorist and a murderer, but to you, he was, like . . ."

    "Family," she said. "He was my family. My husband, the future father of my children."

    "Right. The Khan I met? Total machine. Only time I saw emotion out of him was when he got pissed off at Marcus and-" Kirk stopped. "He killed him," he finished lamely.

    "The reports didn't say how," she said.

    "Yeah, uhhhh. Carol Marcus and I, we didn't put that in."

    "Tell me?"

    He grimaced. "You sure you wanna know?"

    Anthea only nodded.

    Kirk shook his head and moved to sit on the sofa. "He crushed Marcus's skull with his bare hands."

    ". . . Oh." Disgusting, but not entirely surprising. She already knew Khan was incredibly strong.

    "Yeah, it was . . . a bit much."

    She looked at her hands, at the ring John had given her. "I hate that there's so much I don't know," she told Kirk. "So much he kept from me. Things you've known for a year, when I learned them only recently."

    "I doubt there's much you don't know now," he remarked. "I looked you up, when I was in the kitchen. Chunks of your file are out of my security clearance."

    Anthea smirked. "I'm Starfleet Intelligence, Kirk. Of course they are."

    "Jim, please." He got up and poured himself a whiskey. He offered her one, but she declined, indicating Nolan.

    "Oh, right. Probably not a good idea."

    She twisted the ruby on her finger. "I really only have one question, I find, of the time he was on your ship. Did . . . he ever mention me?"

    "Not to me, he didn't. No. Sorry. I did get the feeling he was insanely protective of those he cared about, so he might not have anyway. I honestly don't know. I didn't know him very well, and our conversations lasted for a grand total of about ten, fifteen minutes tops. I caught him on Qo'noS, talked to him a few times on the Enterprise, we went over to the Vengeance to deal with Marcus, and then he beat the crap out of me and beamed me back to my ship before trying to blow us up."

    He drained his whiskey and set the glass on the coffee table. "I can't offer more than that. We weren't real sociable with each other."

    "I see."

    Nolan stirred, yawning with a little yapping sound. Anthea leaned over to tuck his blanket in a little better.

    "You know . . . my dad died when I was only a couple minutes old," Jim said. "My mom eventually remarried, but she never really got over him."

    "I've read about the Kelvin," Anthea told him. "I did, technically speaking, work at the Kelvin Memorial Archive."

    "That's right." Kirk nodded. "I'm just saying . . . You remind me a lot of her. I may really not like the guy you married, but I . . . I'm impressed you've kept it together for your son. I can't imagine how difficult-"

    "It's been hard," she said, cutting him off. "And to be honest, I'm tired of people expressing their sympathy. I don't need it. What I need is to forget, just for a little while."

    "Yeah, I get that."

    "You know, I may want that drink after all," she said.

    He got up and fetched her one. Seated back on the sofa, he contemplated her in silence, watching as she held the tumbler of whiskey but didn't touch drink any of it. Eventually she set it aside and brushed a hand at her dark hair.
    Kirk didn't get how Khan could have abandoned the woman sitting before him. It just proved in his own mind that Khan was a cold, manipulative, unfeeling bastard. He'd done all those things for a bunch of frozen people, leaving behind a living, breathing, beautiful woman. The man had definitely been crazy.

    Of course, he might have been a little crazy himself, because he suddenly found himself thinking about kissing her. How messed up was that?

    Still, he found himself moving to sit closer to her on the sofa. "I'm sorry that I can't be more help. I'm not really sure what it is you wanted from me, anyway."

    "Neither am I, to be honest. I suppose I just needed to talk to someone, someone who was there. I'm still trying to understand why."

    She covered her face with her hands and began to cry. He hated it when women cried. He never knew what to do.
    Without thinking, Kirk pulled her into his arms.

    She leaned against him, not caring for a moment that this man was technically her husband's enemy. She hadn't been held in so long. Her mum's hugs didn't count, not like this.

    Eventually, her tears stopped. When Kirk said her name, she looked up, found his face a scant inch from hers.

    When Kirk's mouth found hers, Anthea realised just how long it had been since she'd been touched, or how long since she'd been kissed. She wasn't particularly attracted to the man, but she'd been alone so long.

    She shouldn't. She knew it, and yet she let him draw her to her feet and into his bedroom, where she shed her jacket and her shoes.

    His was big and strong, built wider than her John and taller, bigger, though not as powerful. His fingers were shorter, his hand rougher to the touch on her arm as it slid up from her elbow to cup the back of her neck. And his taste was so different.

    For a space of time, Anthea didn't care. She ached to have that void filled, even for a little while, even with him. For all she knew, the fact that he had some of Khan's blood within him had changed him, done something to him that called to her.

    Afterwards, she rose and gathered her clothes. Kirk hadn't been the best she'd had--no one could compare to John, she suspected, and everyone would lack ever after--but the experience had been . . . adequate.

    Who had she become? she wondered, as she hunted for her bra. Shamelessly bedding a man she'd just met, a man who had attempted to kill her own husband.

    "I'm sorry," he said behind her. "That was wrong of me. I don't know what I was thinking."

    Anthea tugged her blouse back into place. "It's not your fault, Captain Kirk. I was equally to blame."

    "Yeah. I guess it feels like cheating, though."

    "Surprisingly, yes."

    "I mean, he's frozen and he's gonna stay that way, so it's like he's dead, but still."

    He couldn't see, because she was turned away, but her hands stilled in fastening the buttons.

    "John Harrison is dead," Anthea said aloud. "I've had a year to come to terms with that."

    Inwardly, her mind raced. He was alive, for certain? She didn't know how to handle that news. She felt oily enough after what had just transpired. Knowing that she had technically just cheated on her husband was enough to make her nauseated, despite her claims that the man was dead to her anyway.

    Still, it was a price she was willing to pay just for the news that he lived. He hadn't died in the crash!

    A very crazy idea occurred to her in that moment, and she missed what Kirk said. "Pardon?"

    "I said, I hope you won't hold it against me if we . . . leave it as a one-time thing."

    "Considering it shouldn't have happened in the first place, I don't think that will be a problem," she told him sardonically.

    He looked relieved. "Okay. 'Cause, uh . . . Well. All the, er, stuff aside, I'm headed out in a couple days on this extended mission. Five years in space."

    Anthea shoved her feet into her shoes. "I sincerely hope you enjoy it and make it back."

    "Thanks. Um."

    "Let's just leave it as it is, Captain, and not make this any more awkward."

    She gathered her things, found Nolan still sound asleep in his carrier in the living room. A stab of guilt nearly gutted her. But it was such a small crime, compared to the ones his father had committed.
  13. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    So Kirk lets it slip that Khan is alive and frozen and Anthea now has to ask herself if finding him would be a good idea or not.
  14. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Will Anthea go for her husband?
  15. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    --Chapter Nineteen--

    San Francisco never slept these days. It, like London, was open and populated every hour of the day.

    The plaza with the memorial to those lost when the USS Vengeance crashed into the city, however, was empty at this hour. It was midway between Kirk's apartment and her hotel, so she stopped to view it on her own, when others weren't around.

    It was a big, curving structure, with names crammed into every available space on all vertical surfaces. There were over twelve-thousand names engraved into the black, shiny granite. And these were just the known victims, those who had someone to report them missing, or who had been identified. Who knew how many others had been lost that had none to claim them as their own?

    One section, on a narrower side, held the names of Starfleet personnel who'd died that day. There was a similar one in London that she'd visited, another memorial ceremony she'd been to.

    She found it halfway down the alphabetical list, fingers skimming over the notches in the cold stone as she took in the names.

    CDR JOHN HARRISON

    There, then, was final confirmation that Starfleet had chosen to hide the truth. She'd thought for sure, until tonight, that he'd either died of injuries sustained in the crash of the Vengeance, or had been quietly executed once captured. But according to Kirk, her husband still lived.

    She pressed her hand flat over the engraving and closed her eyes, leaning her head against the granite.

    "Part of me wants to hate you," she whispered. "But part of me misses you so much that it hurts to breathe still. Why did you go? Why did you- So many people, John. You hurt so many people, and for what? Six dozen people who aren't even your flesh and blood? Was I not enough for you? Was I just a pawn in your little game, your plan to get back at Marcus for using you? I don't blame you for being angry with him, but dammit, John, why did you have to use me to do it? Why did you have to make me love you so damn much, and then leave me like we meant nothing?"
    A chill breeze whistled past, ruffling her hair and tugging at her jacket. All else was silence.

    ----------

    A week after she returned to London, Anthea woke with a curious feeling of absolute calm. She knew without question what she was going to do. The horrible hollow in her gut left by John was now filled with a sense of purpose.
    She got up, fed the baby, put her hair in a ponytail, and then set about dealing with rest of the stuff in the study. She hadn't touched it since Christmas, but now she worked to dismantle the equipment John had set up. The ones she'd watched or helped him put together were easy to take care of and pack away. Others she wasn't sure about, so she made a note on a growing list to have it professionally moved. She needed the stuff out of her house and stored elsewhere.

    By evening, she had most of it dealt with. The next day, she tackled packing John's things, save for his long silver coat, and got that squared away as well. Packing now would make things so much easier later, she'd decided.
    Anthea wasn't quite ready to go back to work, but she decided for expediency to cut her leave short. With her new drive and focus, she hated the idea of wasted time. And while she adored her son beyond reason, staying home with him all day was beginning to drive her a little mad.

    ----------

    Two weeks after her return to work, Anthea approached her supervisor and said, "I've requested a transfer to San Francisco."

    Vice Admiral Brody looked surprised. "Why?"

    "When I was there, for the memorial service and the rechristening of the Enterprise, I saw the extent of the damage that Jo- that Commander Harrison did. I know that it isn't my fault, sir, but I still feel that I could have done something beforehand, perhaps. I don't know. I want to help in the efforts there. I need to do more to . . . rebuild, rather than continue working on this project."

    Brody studied her in silence for so long that Anthea began to think she was angry.

    "I'm sorry, sir, if this comes at a bad time, or . . . is an inconvenience. But being here is too much of a reminder, and with my son . . ."

    "I understand. I'm a little surprised at your choice of transfer, but I understand. I even applaud it. If this is really what you want to do, I'll approve it. Now, you do realise that as an Intelligence agent, you may be called on to do things for us, even if you're positioned elsewhere?"

    "Certainly, sir. But I would like it known that my child comes first for me."

    Brody nodded. "How is Nolan, by the way?"

    Anthea broke into a wide smile. "He's wonderful. He's mastered rolling over, all by himself. He's only four months old, but I think he's going to start crawling as soon as he can figure out how."

    "He's a smart one. He obviously takes after his father." Brody met her gaze, her stare significant. "Make sure he doesn't take after him too closely."

    "I will do my best."

    ----------

    Informing her mother of her move to San Francisco didn't go over as well.

    "But I'll never see the baby! What about your life here?"

    "Mum, it's an hour and a half from Edinburgh to California. And that's on the slowest transports. And what life here? I work, and I tend Nolan. That's all I do. I . . . I need a fresh start, Mum."

    Her mother set down her teacup. "I understand," she said. "Too many memories here."

    Anthea nodded. She pressed her hand briefly to her mouth, then said, "Everywhere I go, I see him. And here, in this house . . . He's in everything. I can't escape, and I'm tired of hurting, of doubting and wondering. I have a position in San Francisco, I'm going to be in an engineering department at the Daystrom Institute. I'm not an engineer, but I know enough that I won't be completely in over my head. It's more of an administrative role than anything, but I've had plenty of that."

    Her mother frowned. "You were an archivist, though. How does that equate?"

    "I've been working with an engineering department off and on since I was assigned to the base, Mum." She sighed. "I really shouldn't be telling you this. You have to promise you won't breathe a word of it to anyone, even Dad."

    "Does it have to do with John?" Martha asked.

    Anthea nodded. "The truth is, I'm not an archivist and never really was. I was actually- Well, I swore rather rigorously not to tell anyone about it, but I'm tired of lying. I'm Starfleet Intelligence, Mum. I have been since I graduated the academy. The archive job was a cover."

    Her mother blinked grey eyes. ". . . You're a spy?"

    She had to laugh. "Not for a while, not technically. But essentially, yes. John was, too. He was an intelligence agent and an engineer, and I was his assistant. That's why they came looking for him at your place when the archive was destroyed. He didn't do it, the bombing, but- It's complicated, and classified. I shouldn't have said this much. I'm just so tired of lying about it all, Mum."

    Her mother reached across the table and took her hand. "I won't say anything to anyone, sweetheart. And I understand why you need to go. I'll miss being able to pop down and see you and my grandbaby, but I'm sure I can adjust to you being in California. Just . . . do try not to get yourself hurt."

    "I'm not a field agent," she assured her mother. "Never really have been. And what I'm going to be doing has nothing to do with that side of things. I really am just going to be the admin that herds the engineers around."

    It would, she thought, be a nice change for a while.
  16. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    I'm sure that by going to San Francisco she will at least start to look for John to find out where he is and then it might be up to her whether to leave him to sleep or revive him.
  17. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    She is getting along I see. Nice for her to transfer to San Francisco
  18. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    --Chapter Twenty--

    Lindy was married in late March, and Anthea stood up for her as promised. She was happy that Lindy was so absorbed in her new husband. It made the coming separation easier.

    That was what she wanted now: to disappear quietly into the ether.

    She took Nolan in for a check-up shortly before leaving London. Anthea wanted a full eval by a pediatrician before she moved, and a recommendation for one in the San Francisco area. She didn't think Nolan was likely to get sick, not as the child of Khan Noonien Singh. But she wanted to be prepared, just in case. She didn't know how long her still-forming plan was going to take, and she wanted the best care for her baby.

    Nolan was given an absolutely perfect bill of health, which didn't surprise Anthea in the slightest. He was in the top percentile on everything. Armed with a referral to a pediatrician in the Bay Area, Anthea left with the baby in tow.
    In the entrance, she ran, almost literally, into a mother and daughter as they entered the hospital. "Sorry," she exclaimed, before she looked up. "I need to pay more attention to where I'm-"

    Anthea cut off as she realised she'd just run into Rima Harewood. "Oh."

    The woman smiled vaguely. "No need for apologies. I can see this handsome little man had your attention."

    The girl at her side peered into Nolan's carrier. "Hi, baby!"

    Anthea swallowed. "Yes, he's a handful. Excuse me."

    She stepped out of the small family's way, and stood for a moment, watching, as they went up the steps to the second floor of the hospital. Realising her hands were shaking, she set Nolan down and gave both a hard squeeze into fists.

    Of all the people to run into, she'd just had to bump into Rima Harewood, widow of the man her own husband had forced to blow up the archive. Of all the people on the planet, Rima was the one woman who would understand the confusion and grief Anthea herself had experienced a year ago.

    Rima was also the last person she could ever speak to about it, because if not for Anthea's husband, Thomas Harewood would still be alive.

    Of course, Anthea had no way of knowing that Khan had saved the life of the little girl she'd just met. Neither did Rima know that that miracle had come at the cost of her husband's life.

    Once again picking up Nolan's carrier, she hurried out to her hovercar and headed back to the city.

    ----------

    Vice Admiral Brody, in addition to approving Anthea's transfer, had assigned her the Reliance and told her to move it to one of the shipyards in California, so that it could be ready if Starfleet Intelligence needed it. Anthea had nearly burst into hysterical laughter on reading the orders, for it had solved one of her largest logistical problems, and Brody had no idea.

    She turned her brownstone over to her parents, since it was owned free and clear and she had no need for funds from it. She'd found a small apartment near HQ, a little studio, really, just big enough for her and her baby.
    Anthea was relieved that the Enterprise had left, with James Kirk aboard. Her mistake aside, she didn't want Starfleet's golden boy to know what she was doing until it was far too late. The man seemed to operate on pure luck, and she didn't want to risk him stopping her.

    She fit in well with her new position. Since she'd been in charge of the Section 31 projects on a day-to-day basis while her husband worked on his designs, it was fairly easy to transition to managing a small group of engineers and scientists. Out of a feeling of guilt, she'd brought information on Lucille Harewood and set a few of her people to researching its cause, to see if they could find a cure in case it happened again.

    One change that had come with her transfer was the expectation that she actually use the rank she'd been given while at the archive. Her primary function in Starfleet was with Intelligence, so she'd always been addressed as "Agent Mackintosh", but she'd also held an officer's rank in case she needed to do field work. Anthea had just never used it, never worn her rank pips on her uniform, and had almost forgotten she was, technically speaking, a lieutenant. Since she was in charge of a group now, she'd been promoted to Lieutenant Commander, and was expected to wear her engineering badge instead of the blank Starfleet one she'd worn around Section 31.

    Her staff didn't pay her much attention unless she or they needed something. It was really useful that they didn't, because she needed them occupied elsewhere while she did what she'd come to San Francisco to do.

    "Lieutenant Commander?"

    Anthea looked up to her open door. She'd found it fostered less suspicion if they were free to come and go and ask questions when needed. "Yes, Doctor Coleman?"

    The only member of her staff that had so far tried to win her over-the others didn't care as long as she didn't interfere with their research-was a young, newly-minted doctor by the name of Roxy Coleman. Her speciality was genetics.

    "Rogers and I have finished the DNA profile of the subject patient you requested and searched for anomalous readings."

    "And?"

    Coleman shrugged. She sported cafe-au-lait skin, black hair kept in a cropped pixie cut, and huge green eyes. She was also very earnest and eager to prove herself. "It was a little inconclusive. Given the ages of the samples, they could have degraded somewhat."

    "How do the three compare?"

    "That's the strange part. Are you sure all three samples are from the same patient?"

    "Very. Why?"

    "Well . . ." Coleman drew up a chair. "The first sample, from mid-2258, shows a female subject of mixed race-but then, who isn't these days?-with a genetic defect that causes a nerve damaging disease we haven't yet identified. The second, obtained in early 2259, has . . . oddities. The blood sample has clear markers for both the female subject, and an unknown male. But the records you gave me didn't indicate any sort of transfusion."

    Anthea frowned. "Tell me about the second DNA profile you found."

    Coleman consulted her notes on the PADD she held. "Um. Male, as I said. Mix of Caucasian and Indo-European markers. At first glance, it looks pretty normal, until I noticed that, ah . . . the male's blood cells seemed to have been frozen in the middle of . . . attacking the female's blood cells. Some of them are . . . fused is the only word I can think of for it. In the third sample, that process seems to be complete. Rogers and I found no trace of the genetic defect from the first and second samples. There's no male DNA present in it, but now it shares several alleles in common with the male DNA from the second sample."

    Staring, Anthea leaned forward. "Are you telling me that a secondary DNA contribution fixed the defect?"

    "And essentially replaced several markers, like parental DNA. The male donor would now register as a sibling to the female."

    She thought furiously. Indo-European ancestry in the male donor? Blood that cured-

    It hit her like a blow to the head. Somehow, Anthea managed to mask her reaction with confusion. "I don't really see how that's possible, but . . . Wait. I recall hearing something recently, a serum developed by Doctor Leonard McCoy that he used on Captain James Kirk."

    Coleman blinked her green eyes. "I haven't heard of anything, Lieutenant Commander."

    "Please, call me Anthea. At least while we're in here. Let me see if I can get you some information on it. It might be applicable in future."

    "Yes, sir."

    She dismissed Dr. Coleman and leaned back in her chair. McCoy had used Khan's blood to heal Kirk after his injury-the exact nature of which she still wasn't sure of, but that wasn't entirely relevant at the moment. She'd asked John to look into helping Lucille Harewood. Had he done it by using his blood to heal her?

    Quickly, she accessed the medical files of Kirk, James T. and forwarded them to Coleman, along with a note to see if Kirk's DNA showed the same anomalous DNA blending.

    ---------

    Coleman got back to her that evening. The blood samples obtained from James Kirk during his convalescence the previous year, and those from his checkup just prior to his recent departure, did indeed show the same unknown donor contribution and subsequent assimilation.

    Khan's blood had cured Lucille Harewood, as it had healed James Kirk.

    Needing to know, she used an extractor on her sleeping baby, now nearly seven months old, to obtain a blood sample. She personally delivered it to Coleman the next morning.

    "I need you to keep this one out of the official testing," she said quietly. "I just need to know how this sample compares to the male DNA obtained from Patient 1 and James Kirk."

    "Yes, Lieut- Anthea."

    "Don't let anyone know where you got the sample, please. And don't ask where I got it, either."

    Coleman nodded and went out to her work station. Anthea tried to keep her anxiety at bay, and tried to focus on her own work.

    Eventually, the young doctor came back. She spoke quietly when she did.

    "The latest sample has thirteen alleles in common with the unknown male donor," she informed Anthea. "It's a direct parental link."

    Anthea didn't respond, just stared at the surface of her desk.

    "Do you know what this means?" Coleman asked her in an excited whisper. "If we could find this donor, we might be able to cure everything. Barring that, if we were able to replicate enough DNA from this latest-"

    "No," she snapped. "Not going to happen. Forget I gave you this assignment, Coleman."

    "But, Lieutenant Commander-"

    "I said no, Doctor Coleman."

    "You know something!" the young woman said. She planted her hands on the desk. "Who is this unknown male? Who is his son you just had me test?"

    They stared each other down, and then, slowly, Coleman's face went pale. "You have a son," she whispered. "It's him, isn't it? That's why you don't want anyone to know."

    Anthea's only response was a terse, "Get out."
  19. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Nice update.

    They should use the blood more often
  20. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    Anthea might have went a little bit too far by having her son's DNA tested, but at least she knows that he is just as special as John was in regards to being able to cure diseases. As for the Doctor, I can't help but think that she needs to disappear quickly.
  21. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    --Chapter Twenty-One--

    She'd managed to swear Coleman to silence, but it was only a matter of time before others realised Nolan might have abilities they could exploit. That drove her to feverishly pour through Starfleet's archival records, hunting for any sign of seventy-three cryotubes and where they were stored.

    Spring turned to summer. So far, Coleman had kept her word that she wouldn't tell anyone, and she and Rogers had declared their project a "dead end". Not being sure if they'd keep her secret made Anthea long for the days when she could count on those around her to hold their silence.

    She seemed to be making one mistake after another. But she'd had to know if her husband had healed that little girl.

    Her birthday was close to midsummer. Her staff threw her a party, which she actually enjoyed a little.

    Then Coleman came up and said, "I tested the last sample. It does the same thing the parent contribution does. Watch out for him."

    Panic spurred Anthea into a frenzy. She spent most of her work time quietly diverting requisitions and erasing them from record. And always, always, hunting for the cryotubes from the SS Botany Bay.

    ----------

    Lindy came for a visit in July and announced she was pregnant. For the first time, Anthea found herself really happy for her best friend. The thought of never seeing her again hurt, but knowing Lindy had a good, solid life without her helped. She didn't need to worry about her friend. She had a husband to take care of her, one who could be there for her during the coming months.

    As Anthea searched, she stockpiled. As many cargo containers as would fit in the Reliance's hold, and as many supplies as she figured would be necessary. Leaving Earth was a scary thought, but not a difficult choice to make.
    The hardest part would be leaving her parents. Her mother came by weekly, on Anthea's days off, to shower daughter and grandson with affection and presents.

    It was during one such visit when her little boy said his first real word. He'd made cooing sounds for months, but in August, at the age of ten months, he very clearly said, "Mama, no!" when Anthea tried to dress him to go out to the boardwalk with her mother.

    "Has he been talking long?" Martha asked, looking overjoyed.

    "No, actually, this is the first time, as far as I'm aware."

    "And he's speaking in sentences already!"

    Wryly, Anthea said, "I don't think two words that just happen to work together constitute a sentence, Mum."

    "I suppose you're right."

    She finally got Nolan into his shorts and shirt, and they went for their outing.

    "How's Daddy?" Anthea asked her mother, over hot dogs and ice cream at the Pier.

    "He's good, though his leg bothers him. And you know he hates air travel. It would be so nice if you could come visit him."

    "I'll try to make time to. I'm just so busy with work."

    Martha studied her only child. "Are you happy here, Anthea?"

    "As I can be," was her reply. "I don't know if I'll ever be truly happy without John."

    "I don't want you to be alone forever," her mother said gently. "I know I could have been kinder about saying it before, but I don't want you to be lonely."

    Anthea shrugged. "I tried dating." Sort of. "He was a really nice guy. Cute, too. But that spark was missing."

    "You'll find the right one someday."

    She wasn't religious, but Anthea fervently prayed she would.

    ----------

    She found them in September, ironically on her second wedding anniversary.

    They had been stored in a bunker out near the spaceport where Starfleet kept its shuttles. Ostensibly, the warehouse was for holding mothballed ships of an early age for archival purposes. But it held other things, too. A lot of them could be considered valuable, in the right hands.

    Anthea only cared about what was in the cement bunker labelled 138-2A.

    It took her a bit to find a cargo hovervan that would work for her purposes. When she showed up to work with it, she was teased until she explained that having a baby meant having a lot of baggage.

    None moreso than her son.

    It was darkly humorous to Anthea that she found herself doing the very thing Khan had done with his people nearly two years before.

    Two long years of silence, of grief and uncertainty.

    Well, that was about to end, as soon as she could manage.

    Anthea was getting really good at altering records now. It was such a little thing to go in and change the associated bunker number. Starfleet was ridiculously arrogant in assuming that nothing could possibly happen. And she'd become so good at lying.

    Ironic, really, that the bunker was only a few hundred metres away from her ship . . .

    At the spaceport, she quickly keyed in the access code with shaking fingers. The door opened on a nearly-silent hiss of air. Anthea ducked inside. She stood for several moments blinking in the darkness, then snapped on the handheld light as the door shut behind her. Aside from her flashlight, the only illumination was from seventy-three cryotube control panels, giving the room a very dim, very eerie blue glow.

    Anthea decided to start with the central column and then the sides. She wanted to find her husband first. At the very least, she needed to get him out and away.

    "'Til death do us part," she muttered. "What was I getting myself into?"

    His was the very last in the centre column, at the very back. He was still as death, eyes closed, the viewing pane of the cryotube frosted with little crystals. The shock of seeing him, alive but comatose, stole all the air from her lungs.

    "Oh, my darling," Anthea breathed. "How did we come to this?"

    She took a precious moment to lay her hand over the frosted window separating her from him, feeling tears prick her eyes. She wanted to give in to the relief and cry, but she couldn't afford to, not now.

    The cryotubes all had a form of hover tech built in that kept them off the ground. She wasn't sure why, but it was there. Anthea was grateful for it. She flipped the blanket she'd brought over the tube containing her husband and hauled it out of line and down the aisle to the door.

    It took her a little over half an hour to get all of the cryotubes moved to the next bunker over, one which had a second door leading in and out on the opposite wall. She had to stop once for a security guard's nightly patrol, waiting in terrified silence, hoping she wouldn't get caught.

    In the end, she wasn't. Anthea got Khan's cryotube out the back door and loaded into her ugly hovervan. She drove directly to where the Reliance waited. No one had taken it out since she'd flown it from England. She'd removed it completely from record, which hadn't been much of one in the first place. It was now, according to anything one could look up, a privately-owned ship, acquired in India by one Skye Singh.

    Anthea loaded Khan's cryotube into the medbay. She hated leaving him there, but she had little choice. Soon, she would have everything done.

    ----------

    It took her precisely thirty-six days to get all of the cryotubes smuggled out, two at a time, in her van. Since they'd been put in long-term storage, no one checked on them. It was ridiculously easy, in retrospect.

    Getting them aboard the Reliance and hidden away in the cargo containers was a little more difficult. Fortunately, she had a medical robot aboard that did the heavy lifting.

    Her months of meticulous planning and thievery ended when she closed the last cargo container, with the last of the cryotubes, and surveyed her work.

    As Anthea prepared the ship for departure, she instructed the computer to record a message, to be delivered on a time-delay.

    "Mum, Daddy . . . By the time you receive this, I should be long gone from Federation space. I'm sorry I couldn't say good-bye in person, but it was too hard, and I need to do this. I can't risk being talked out of this. I love you, but I love him, too, and . . . I've made my choice. I'm also committing treason in doing this, so I don't expect to come back. I'll try, in a while, to send you a message to let you know I'm okay, but if I don't, it isn't because I don't love you.

    "Please don't try to find me. And if you love me, don't alert Starfleet. They'll know soon enough. I'm doing this for my safety, and for that of my son. I know this must seem insane, but I've spent a long time thinking about this, and it's what I need to do.

    "Stay safe, be strong. I love you."

    She hadn't piloted a ship in a while, not through space, not since her honeymoon with John. He'd made her fly the ship back from Betazed. So she was a little rusty and slow, but she managed to not blow everyone up making the jump to warp.

    With the ship on autopilot, she went to the medbay. There, she initiated the sequence to defrost Khan. With the tube open, she gently stroked his ice-cold cheek, the first physical contact she'd had with him in far, far too long.

    Her anger at his leaving her evaporated. How could he have come back to her, when he was trapped in this death-like state? Chances were he'd been like this since just after his capture in San Francisco. When he'd run from Spock, had he been trying to get to her?

    She and the medical robot that served as the small ship's doctor got the prone man out of the tube. She had the robot move him to one of the medbay's two beds, where she attached a small medical sensor to his chest.

    Then she watched, and she waited.
  22. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    She is doing all for her husband. Cliffie. Will he be alright?
  23. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    Remarkable accomplishments to rescue Khan and his crew as Anthea now heads to an unknown destination.
  24. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    Sorry I haven't really replied to your comments, I just haven't had anything to say.

    -------------------------------------------------

    --Chapter Twenty-Two--

    It was a bit disconcerting that he wasn't really breathing when she got him out. But in the open air, as he warmed up, he began to breathe. His respiration and heartbeat increased, gradually, to normal levels. His skin went from a cold blue-white to pale pink.

    Anthea wiped sweaty palms on her trousers, hoping she'd revived him correctly. She didn't know how long it would take, or how quickly he would recover from his stasis. Or if he would. No, she couldn't think like that. He would wake. He had to.

    The fluttering of his eyelids drew her attention. He opened his eyes slowly, then blinked once before focusing on her face. It took him three tries before he managed to get any sound out. "Anthea," he rasped. His voice was hushed and weak, unused for so long.

    "Hello, darling."

    Alright, so she wasn't so upset about him disappearing for so long. The lies and everything else, however, that she was still angry about.

    He lay motionless for a minute or two, then flexed his muscles, to get the circulation going. He took a deep breath, ignoring her obvious tension.

    Then Khan sat up, in one smooth motion, and surveyed the room. "Where are we?" He still sounded hoarse, but his rapid revival really didn't surprise her.

    "I appropriated the Reliance from Section 31. I'm sure you remember it, it's the ship we took to Betazed. It was transferred to San Francisco after you had Harewood blow up the complex in London. " Anthea folded her arms across her chest. "Nice of you to wait 'til I was in Edinburgh, Khan."

    That icy gaze swivelled to focus on her. There was no emotion in it, and she wondered if she hadn't just made her most monumental mistake in reviving him. With the way he moved, the modulation of his voice and the way he looked at her, she realised that she was seeing the real man, the one who had hidden behind John Harrison. And while she'd had some idea how to interact with John, she was out of her depth with Khan.

    "You freed me."

    She frowned. "Technically, I stole you. Heaven knows why. How could you do those horrible things? How could you lie to me, and use me like that?"

    "Since you know my name, you know who I am. I did what I had to."

    Without thinking, she lashed out to slap him. She didn't even see him move, but Khan's fingers closed around her wrist and held her hand an inch from his face. His grip was hard as steel, but not tight enough to hurt.

    Moving just as swiftly, he rose from the bed in the small medbay and shoved her against the closest wall. Her breath caught, both from fear and from his proximity.

    "Would you have preferred me to use you as a knowing participant in the destruction of Starfleet?" he inquired. There was no anger in his voice, just a hint of curiosity.

    His calm struck her as odd, given that she'd just tried to slap him.

    ". . . No," she whispered. Anthea licked suddenly dry lips. "But why didn't you tell me who you really are?"

    "It was safest for you to remain ignorant." Khan released her wrist, but didn't step back.

    "Safest?" she repeated. "They came to my parents' house and ripped it apart, hunting for you!"

    "I didn't want you drawn in unnecessarily. I had a timetable to keep to, and our . . . entanglement complicated matters."

    She scoffed. "Entanglement. That's what you call it? I loved you-"

    His mouth closed over hers, cutting her off mid-sentence. Despite his cold demeanour, there was fire in it, and Anthea melted against him. She looped her arms around his neck, pressing as close as she could manage. Belying her words to Kirk, she still loved him desperately, and part of her didn't care about the things he'd done. She'd craved his touch for so long!

    Khan drew back first. Anthea clung to him, still weak in the knees. "Whatever else I may have said to maintain my cover, Anthea, my feelings for you have never been a lie. I love you, and I kept our marriage secret so that no one could come after you if I failed. And I did fail, in all but destroying Marcus."

    She released a shuddery sigh. "I want to hate you," she confessed. "All those people . . . But I can't. Does that make me bad?"

    One corner of his mouth lifted in a sardonic smile, the first real show of emotion, besides that fiery kiss, since he'd woken. "Are you referring to my attempts to assassinate Admiral Marcus, or that . . . unfortunate landing in San Francisco?"

    She thought about it for a long moment. "San Francisco, mostly?"

    "I was not aiming for the city itself. The guidance system was down. I wanted Starfleet headquarters. With my-" He stopped, realised she likely didn't know the full story. "There are others- were others like me. My people. Spock killed them. I'm afraid I went a little mad."

    Anthea bit her lip. "Actually . . ."

    She slipped past him, took his hand. "Come with me."

    They made their way through the fairly small ship to the cargo bay. There, she'd managed to fit twelve cargo containers, packed as tight as she could, in the hold. Anthea went to the nearest, and keyed in a code to unlock it. The door hissed open.

    Inside, behind boxes of food and medical supplies, were six cryotubes. She had crammed all the free spaces of every one of the huge boxes with whatever supplies she could get her hands on. She hoped it would be enough for so many people.

    Khan stared, eyes widening in surprise. She wondered if this was a first for him, to be utterly and completely floored.

    "Spock didn't kill them. They removed them from the torpedoes, and Starfleet hid them in a vault near headquarters, along with you. It took me ages to find where they'd stored you, and I used my clearance to sneak you and your people out. I've committed treason and can't go back, but . . . there was nothing for me without you."

    There. She'd admitted it. She was in love with a madman, and didn't care.

    He turned to her, eyes filled with tears and joy, the detachment gone. "You saved us, even after all I did. Why?"

    "I love you," she whispered. "John, or Khan, or whoever you are."

    "We must get them out . . ." He kissed her forehead. "Thank you, Thea."

    "We have to wait 'til we reach our destination," she told him. "There isn't room for them to be out and about."

    "Our destination?"

    "I researched and found an uninhabited Class M planet, designated CX-431 Alpha. It isn't in Federation space. We're going there, to make a new life. One of the crew cabins is filled with boxes of clothing, fabric and notions, and a sewing machine. Another has boxes of two-person shelters, some rather primitive building supplies such as nails and hammers, and a few plasma saws and the like. If you can design starships, surely you can manage cabins.

    "And, of course, there are phasers. I don't know what indigenous wildlife there is on the planet, and what dangers we'll face, but I wanted to be prepared as possible. Abandoning Earth isn't something I'm doing lightly. I know what you did to be banished. I- Please don't go back to that. Please. Admiral Marcus is dead, you've had your revenge."

    He stared at her in silence. Finally, he managed, "Who told you these things? James Kirk?"

    "Some." She nodded, her mind skittering away from a flash of memory of the other things she'd done with Kirk. "You left me almost two years ago. I've had time to study, and learn."

    He closed his eyes. "Two years. I am sorry, Anthea. What you must have thought of me."

    "I was angry. Part of me still is. Make it up to me. We can settle on this planet, be free of the Federation, of Starfleet."

    Khan was silent for a long time, eyes still closed. His hands rested on her upper arms, and she had no idea what he was thinking.

    A cry pierced the silence, and Khan jerked, eyes popping open.

    "What was that?" he demanded.

    "I need to- One moment."

    She extricated herself and hurried back down the central corridor, to her small cabin. Anthea had left the door wedged open, so that she could hear her son if he needed her.

    She scooped Nolan up, out of his little bed, and bounced him a bit to soothe his tears. "Shh. Shh. Mummy's here."

    "Mama!" the little boy wailed.

    "Hush, my darling."

    The footfall by the door told her that her husband had followed. She slowly turned, Nolan held close to her shoulder.

    "You have a child," Khan stated.

    Anthea ran her fingers distractedly over Nolan's dark hair. "We," she corrected.

    He closed the space between them, reached out a surprisingly hesitant hand, but didn't touch the baby. "My child?"

    "I was . . . three weeks pregnant when you left," she said. "I didn't know, or I would have told you. This is our son, Nolan."

    That she had risked everything to save him and his crew, had raised their child by herself, astonished him. "My son."

    "You said your crew is your family. This is your family, too. Please . . . Khan. Haven't we seen enough destruction?"

    He stared at the baby, the spitting image of himself, and slowly, Khan smiled. "A planet of our own, to colonise? That, my beloved Thea, sounds perfect."
    earlybird-obi-wan likes this.
  25. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    Great job with Khan at least deciding for now that having his own planet to devise his revenge is better than doing something now.
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