Star Trek Hunter
Episode 26: Rain Over Rising Sun
Scene 1: Medicine for the Soul
Medicine for the Soul
Rear Admiral Sarekson Carrera spent nearly three weeks aboard the Pagh Kez'bal* with Captain Kenneth Dolphin and his daughters and the half-vulcan Smith brothers. The name of the bajoran sailing vessel meant "Medicine for the Soul" and it was well named. Carrera seriously needed the vacation. And he was surprised at how important his friendship with Dolphin had become to him. Most of their conversations were about sailing and the water and the tremendous changes that had happened on the U.S.S. Hunter since Carrera had left following what the crew had dubbed the Carrera Paradox.
The serious discussion took place below decks in a bunk Carrera was sharing with Captain Dolphin, Dr. Jazz, Dr. Moon and T'Lon. It was the evening before their final day aboard the bajoran sailing vessel. The Inland Sea had experienced heavy weather and all hands had been needed to tend the sails and keep the ship battened down. The weather had finally calmed late in the evening and the Hunter's crew were enjoying the good tired that came from a day of hard but interesting labor. For Dr. Carrera, the sensation of being surrounded by friends was almost overwhelming. He couldn't recall ever having been this happy.
"I remember a streak of gray in your hair, about the temples." Carrera fluffed the small remaining amount of his own hair. Over the past year he had gone almost completely bald. "I know how you feel about genetic modification - surely you're not dying your hair?"
Dolphin laughed. "Actually, I have Sam to thank for this. Bajoran soaproot. Tastes horrible, but it does all sorts of wonderful things for the digestion and as a side benefit, it counteracts the metabolic changes that cause human hair to turn gray. Minerva apparently ate the stuff by the bushel, which explains why her hair didn't turn gray until she was nearly 160. Speaking of hair, though…" Dolphin fluffed the thick, corn-blonde curls at the top of his head.
Carrera responded with a rueful grin. "A gift from my mother's side of the family. Most of the men on her side were completely bald by age 30. It looks like I'm more than a little ahead of schedule. Sam, I don't suppose soaproot would work for that?"
Dr. Jazz came up with an equally rueful grin. "No such luck. Only gray hair and that only in humans. Minerva is mostly human - part betazoid, part trill, and part vulcan, which accounts for her long life. If she had been part bajoran, the soaproot wouldn't have helped with the gray hair."
"So, as I understand it, you want to hitch a ride with us to Rising Sun?" Dolphin asked.
"I had Mlady and Dr. Tali Shae reassigned to Star Fleet Temporal under my command. They will arrive at Deep Space 9 tomorrow," said Carrera. "I know you're departing the next day for Rising Sun. I have a vessel coming in that I'd like us to rendezvous with just outside that system."
"A vessel?" asked Dr. Moon.
"Well… technically… no," said Carrera, earning a laugh from most in the room and a raised eyebrow from T'Lon.
"And there's the Sarekson Carrera we all remember…" teased Dr. Moon.
Carrara laughed. "Well, she doesn't like being referred to as a ship. I suppose for the same reason you wouldn't like being referred to as a bicycle. Or at least so I'm told. Apparently, over the past 300 years, I visited her a number of times on her way here from another galaxy, but I haven't done that yet."
Dr. Moon closed her eyes and started pressing her fingers gently against her own temples. Dr. Jazz grimaced and groaned. Kenny Dolphin laced his fingers in his hair and stretched. "I knew we were going to get some of this 'I went into the past, but I haven't done it yet, so it's something I must be doing later in the future' sort of stuff…"
"You should hear his explanation of how he travels a million light years or goes a billion years into the past with just a thought," said Moon. "Like turning your head and looking at another part of the room, but with math…"
"Focus is locus… When you realize our universe is actually one dimensional and consists exclusively of information…" Carrera started, only to elicit groans from nearly everyone in the room.
Dolphin twisted his fingers in his ears, shaking his head, his eyes squeezed shut. "No, no, no no no, the big talking monkey didn't need to hear that…"
Carrera laughed merrily. Something about seeing Captain Dolphin clowning around struck him funny and he doubled over, laughing hard until he couldn't breathe.
"It wasn't THAT funny," Moon said.
"Oh yes it was," said Dolphin, puffing himself up with mock superiority.
"Just breathe, Sarekson, just breathe" said Jazz, helping Carrera to sit down on a hammock. The Director of Star Fleet Temporal Command was light headed, still helpless with laughter.
"This human has evidently been under a great amount of stress recently," T'Lon observed, dryly.
"Oh no, don't you start with that vulcan comedian routine," said Carrera. He took a deep, shuddering breath. "But you're right. I have been carrying the Alpha Quadrant around on my shoulders. I visited the borg in the Beta Quadrant several times. They're not in good shape. Civil war… political factions… attacks by some of the species they had previously terrorized… Where there were once more than 900 billion borg who thought and acted as one, I estimate there are no more than 30 billion left, probably far less. And I have also spent time studying the hulk."
Carrera got up. The seriousness in his voice caught everyone's attention. "900 billion borg working as one over the next 2,000 years would easily be enough to repair the hulk and protect the Alpha Quadrant from the coming gamma wave front. But only 30 billion borg, riven by civil strife and under threat by species they previously preyed on… That's nowhere near enough to repair the machine over a period of 4,000 years, which is less than the time we have. I'm going to bring them back anyway - all of them. Not just the Beta Quadrant borg – all the borg, everywhere in the galaxy. That might net us 50 or 60 billion if we're lucky. We'll think of something…" Carrera sat down and took a deep breath, deliberately calming himself. "We have to…"
*Pagh Kez'bal (Bajoran – Medicine for the Soul)