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The Guest

Posted on Jul 04, 2017 @ 4:58pm by Captain Siobhan Reardon
Edited on on Jul 04, 2017 @ 4:59pm

Mission: Blue Planet

“The Guest”
(Continued from “Blue”)


Location: SIREN’S SONG, in Standard Orbit above Elandipole IV
SD: [2.17]0703.2000
Scene: Bridge

The pleasure yacht of Captain Sylvester Kinderman did not sail so much as it floated, a blown glass bubble of charcoal and cobalt above the gleaming sea-and-sand colony that was Elandipole. “I’m hopin’ you appreciate the lengths I went to fer ye, lass,” he said with a wink to the only one aboard who wasn’t a member of the crew. A small vessel couldn’t just jump to high warp speed, so it was a series of piggyback rides in cargo holds, in addition to some solo travelling, that had gotten them to this destination. Being a retired Starfleet Captain with a long memory and lots of connections had come in handy.

Sio folded her arms and surveyed the magnificent view. There had never been the time before now to see the promise of this new place, and she could feel a tiny shred of hope sprouting inside in the same way that the landscape was already changing and growing with help from the Federation and the strong fortitude of Jane Hakeswill, a former schoolteacher from the PHOENIX who had become President of the Town Council. “It’s beautiful.” She turned her head to smile at Sly, her auburn hair falling wildly around her face, despite attempts at it being tamed by tying it in a low ponytail with a piece of grosgrain ribbon.

“Are ye ready to beam down?”

A pause. Siobhan ran her hand up the arm of her green frilled shirt, feeling the metal of the wedding ring she was still wearing almost catch in the delicate lace. She strode over to one of the chairs on the left side of the bridge and sat, bending her leg and letting the side of her deep blue boot meet the navy corduroy slacks she was wearing in almost a cross-legged stance at one knee. Pirate attire was the rule and not the exception, and the Cardassian Sisters had designed a near endless supply of outfits for her while on sabbatical. “No… not yet. We can start fresh in the morning.”

“Tis not that late yet, darlin’.”

“I know,” she demurred. “But it is for me. How about dinner instead? Some bacon-wrapped scallops with a light remoulade for everyone before we call it a night?” She stood before anyone had the chance to say no.

Sly and Mari looked at each other with a mental shrug. It was clear their passenger was stalling. But it was her leave of absence, after all, and they’d promised to do as she wished. “Sure,” Mari said gently. “I’ll make a nice salad to go with.”

The old man with the scruffy beard patted his stomach. “You’ve spoilt me from normal sea rations, milady.”

“Nonsense, you deserve to be spoiled,” Siobhan said as she and Mari headed to the galley.

As soon as the ladies left, Sly heaved a sigh and draped his frock coat over the ornamental ship’s wheel that sat between the CO’s chair and the viewscreen. Patience had never been his virtue, although years of experience had tempered him. He’d felt very protective and fatherly toward the woman since she had first crossed his path, needing an escort and a ride from the PANDORA back to the Presidio for reassignment.

They had made several stops in the known universe, and Siobhan’s psyche had begun to bloom again. They’d seen the sunset on Jorus Island on RISA. A spa retreat to the Hoobishan Baths on TRILLIUS PRIME. There was happiness sometimes, joy, wonder. Hope. But, there was also hesitation. She still had one foot firmly planted in the past.

Sly knew Sio’s main worry was that she would never be ready to take the center seat again. But wanting something and being able to do it were two different things. The space pirate would reassure her, knowing that the strength she had to walk away from something she loved as much as the Admiral, knowing her fitness as an officer had been compromised, was a sign that she was anything but finished. But it did not matter. The truth was he only wished for her to find her purpose, whatever that might be. A life without Starfleet was possible; this he knew. But a life without purpose, without a reason to get up in the morning, wasn’t any kind of life at all.


Location: Elandipole, surface
Scene: Domicile Two Two Beta Charlie
Time Index: mid-morning, the next day

Sylvia heard the door chime before Thomas did. She paused for a moment to watch him manipulate images on the custom workstation as he constructed lesson plan ideas and organized the data that was coming in regarding plant and animals indigenous to the colony. As much as he groused about the work at times, he was clearly in his element. Their daughter was a few feet away, keeping just as busy in her playpen as her father was with his scientific pursuits.

Her contented smile turned to surprise when she opened the door to see a redhead in an olive jumpsuit wearing sunglasses and a floppy straw hat. Her wavy and curly hair underneath was tossed by the breeze, falling just a few inches below her shoulders. “Captain Reardon?” It had been years since she had met the woman at the Bonviva Villa in Italy, and she hadn’t forgotten the care she had shown to Thomas.

“Not at the moment. I’m taking a vacation. Is Thomas accepting guests?”

The women both looked over to the civilian scientist who had stopped working and stood to face them. His expression was neutral, not unfriendly, but not the same as what Siobhan had known. “I could be persuaded, especially given it must have taken some time to get here.”

“It did. But I would understand either way.”

Varn nodded. It truly had been a lifetime between their last times together, and it was both familiar and not. “You don’t look like yourself.”

“Probably just the lack of a uniform,” she surmised. “And you need a haircut.”

“When you’re self-employed, it’s okay to let the regulations sort of slide sometimes. Please, come in.”


Time Index: A little later

They sat in the living area and talked, the three of them, while Sylvia did double duty as hostess and making sure the little one was being tended to. She’d laid out a simple repast of grilled fish and tropical fruits, reflecting the ecosystem of the settlement.

They had eased into one another, starting with small talk and catching up, but somehow Varn knew this was not the real reason for her being here.

“How much do you know about what happened?” Thomas asked the former Counsellor.

“Almost everything,” she replied, the words between Kane and her still leaving a bitterness behind. The brash, young Irishman she had once known aboard the CENTURY had changed, broken down and reformed with each life and career decision in nearly the same way Varn had been with the Promethean device. He had burdened her with all the information she would need to play the All-Father with peoples’ lives, saying that perhaps she could make that choice with more conscience than he. “What did it feel like?”

“When I came back?”


A flicker of anger touched his face. “It felt confusing. Different. I had my physical body, weakened from creation but identical to what it was before. And I had my memories, scrambled in a fog and months out of date due to the length of time I had been deceased and the last transporter records my creation was based on.”

“How did you get through that?”

“I did not.” He squeezed Sylvia’s hand. “I was not the same man. I had to accept that.”

“I’m sorry.”

His eyes were alight with the suggestion of a smile, of thoughts of a better time. “You didn’t flip the switch. You didn’t choose my DNA to insert into that… machine. You certainly didn’t develop the technology. An apology is not something you are required to make.”

“If I had known sooner I could have helped-”

Thomas stopped her. “Sio, I was *dead*. Even when I was reborn, I did not know how to be alive. I wouldn’t have known what to *do* with your help.”

She raked her hands through her auburn curls, having taken her hat off when she came inside. “Is there anything I can do now?”

“Your memories are important. Specifically your memories of me.”

Siobhan was puzzled. “Why?”

“Because although I’m not the same person, it helps as I rebuild this new life. The older we get, the more we need the people who knew us when we were younger. Life is a gift-” he paused to look at his daughter, “and I can think of no better way than to take an unreal and morally bereft situation, the one that Conniston made for me, and make the world a better place with the opportunity.”

“Our circumstances do not make us free. But our reactions to those circumstances set us free.”

Thomas sipped his iced tea. “Your psycho-babble has remained impeccable.”

Sio smiled. That sounded like the Varn she once knew. “Saying it is easy. It’s the doing that’s hard.”


Location: SIREN’S SONG
Scene: Sio’s room
Time Index: early evening

Reardon entered her quarters, the temperature almost chilly after her time on the planet below, and immediately changed into her pajamas, throwing the jumpsuit aside in favor of a soft gray gown. The balmy climate, fresh food, and meaningful conversation with friends had worn her out. It had lightened her mental load to know that Varn was going to be okay, despite the cards that had been dealt to him. However, it had not allowed her to find an answer to the question that had been plaguing her since Michael Turlogh Kane had bestowed his most curious present upon her.

A padded silver case was embedded into the wall behind a piece of artwork bearing an image of one of the incarnations of the ancient sailing ship HMS Enterprize. “Reardon nineteen alpha echo,” she said as she pressed her thumbprint into the slot on the edge of the case. It opened to reveal a PADD that contained all the information about Project Prometheus. Like many times before, she looked at the ordinary item which contained extraordinary details of a process that shouldn’t have existed, but did.

Marxx had been in her thoughts daily, and the idea that she could be with him again was a dream she did not want to wake up from. But Thomas Varn had not escaped his creation without wounds. Dex, without all the intellectual parts that made him *her* Dex, would not be fair. This was certain, but her heart betrayed her mind’s logic and she shut the case sharply and put it back in its hiding place.

Using genetic material as God’s paintbrush to bring about new life was a responsibility beyond imagination. As far as she was concerned, nobody had that right, but she still could not bring herself to destroy the knowledge . Maybe Kane had been right- the information had given her hope. But not the hope to bring people back. Maybe the technology, in the right hands, could cure disease when other treatments had been exhausted. Perhaps it could make life better, not new.

She got in bed, not even bothering to turn down the covers. “Lights off,” she said and the compliant computer obeyed. She wanted Promethean to somehow redeem itself for all the Thomas Varns it had made. And for all the countless deaths it had caused. A young medical officer had died against her will when Varn was spawned. Her family mourned her as surely as any of those who had lost loved ones in the Neo-Essentialist conflict or any of their other side projects. The universe deserved justice and a chance to right itself. And as she drifted to sleep, Siobhan realized those outcomes, even coming from a place of goodwill, were as unlikely as having Dex back in her arms once more.

NRPG: Been thinking about this since Justin's post. I hope you like it Justin.
Jerome and Marko: enjoy the f on this

Susan Ledbetter
Writing for
Siobhan Reardon
On Leave


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