Chapter Six

The intendant returned to Kira's quarters and thought she was still unconscious from the phaser stun. Satisfied, she took the Tantalus device out of her pocket and waited….

The major had actually regained consciousness not too long ago, but pretended to still be stunned. Through slitted eyes, she watched her counterpart curiously as she sat at her desk and activated the small device.

The alternate Kirk followed Peter into Quark's bar, having expressed an interest in meeting his double. Peter had no objection to that, and thought it might be interesting to see his uncle's face as he met his opposite after almost a century. Peter now knew the story about Uncle James and his crew accidentally encroaching into the other universe was no tall tale.

Uncle James was seated on a bar stool, facing the Ferengi bartender. Peter and the alternate Kirk approached him.

"You wanted to see me, uncle?" Peter asked sourly.

The elder Kirk turned. At once, Peter's years of bitter hatred and anger started to melt away. His uncle looked old and haggard, and he eyed his nephew tenderly.

"I always knew this day would come." He said softly. "Peter, I know you hate me, and you have a right to…but…can I please explain? You are my nephew and I love you. I think you deserve an apology and an explanation."

Tears formed in Peter's eyes, but he fought the urge to let them fall.

"Go ahead. Explain."

"First, I want to tell you that I'm sorry that you suffered so much from what those creatures did. I didn't want that to happen to you, since you are the only family I have left. I know you think I intentionally forgot about you, but that's not entirely true."

"Why were you more worried about Spock than me?"

James T. Kirk smiled, about to explain, when he noticed the alternate Kirk.

"What is he doing here?"

"Keep on the subject, uncle. Why did you ignore me?"

"I…uh…had received those now famous sealed orders to go and swipe the Romulan cloaking device. I had to devote most of my time to making it look like I was going crazy or having a nervous breakdown, in order to let everyone off the hook. In case anything went wrong, I would be the only one to blame. I couldn't explain this to you at the time. Being so young, you would not have understood. I had to keep silent to convince everyone that I was slowly losing my mind. My only regret is using you to make the plan work."

Suddenly, the alternate Kirk vanished with a flash of light. James knew in an instant what had caused the other Kirk to vanish.

Waking up from a heavy phaser stun was never one of Major Kira's favorite activities. She struggled to her feet, her legs wobbly. Gradually, she began to feel stronger, although the numbness and tingling in her legs and arms remained. The intendant was, no doubt, in OPS by now, masquerading as her. The major wanted to know why, but first she had to get access to the armory. She hoped the hike to it would get rid of her unsteady gait.

The door slid open at her approach. The corridor was empty and silent. The way she felt now, she doubted very much that she had the ability to charge into OPS with a phaser and assume her rightful place as first officer of Deep Space Nine. She decided it would be easier to go and get the gun, come back to her quarters, and pretend to still be stunned. She was growing tired of being caught off guard like this by the antics of her sleazy counterpart. It was time for the intendant to get a little of her own medicine.

Smiley saw what happened to "his" Kirk and heard this Kirk's warning to his nephew. Peter did as he was told; hoping that ducking would keep him from being disintegrated.

"Was that what I thought it was?" Kirk asked the man known as Smiley in astonishment.

"If by that you mean a Tantalas device, yes. The intendant is here on this station somewhere."

"Who's that?"

"An evil double of Major Kira from our universe." Smiley answered.

"Oh."

"I don't think you or Peter are in any danger. It's probably going to be me who gets fried next."

"Why would she want to kill you?" Quark asked.

"We have come after her because she is a fugitive. The Nagus sent us here to kill her for murdering her sons and her grandson."

"Then being here is not the smartest thing. Get out before she zaps you. I like our O'Brien. I would hate to have him walk in right now and have the intendant kill either one of you." The Ferengi barkeep paused for a moment, and then his face formed a puzzled frown. "Her sons and grandson?"

So, that's it! Major Kira thought, startled. The device that the intendant was holding was a weapon of some sort. It was time to make her move. Quickly, she raised her back and withdrew the phaser she had hidden under her, took the safety off, aimed, and fired. The beam hit the intendant on the shoulder. She staggered backward and dropped the device from her now useless hand. It clattered to the floor and slid to within the major's reach, but Nerys didn't pick it up. Instead, she reset the phaser to kill and shot it to bits. The intendant was still conscious but unable to move. She glared at her.

"Well, what are you waiting for, Major dear? Finish me off. The Nagus will do it anyway, and death by your phaser is a far better way to go than what awaits me over there!"

"There will be no more killing today. I'm afraid you are out of luck."

Kirk never expected death to be like this. It seemed like just a second ago when he was pinned under a heavy piece of scaffolding. A few words were spoken to his new acquaintance Picard and then everything went black. The very next thing he was aware of was the sensation of being lifted out of a torpedo case, and hearing the dirt drop away from its smooth outer surface. Then, he heard a very familiar and distinctive voice. It was none other than Trelane, a being he never thought he would ever see again.

"Awake, awake, ye who sleeps in the dust!" Trelane quoted with a smirk. Kirk opened his eyes, sat up, and stared at him. He was wearing a gray Starfleet uniform.

"I see you changed your tailor. Am I in hell?"

"Certainly not." Trelane grinned. "As to my attire, I decided to modernize. I resurrected you. Boy, you Enterprise folks really get yourselves into nice fixes. You are very much alive and perfectly all right."

"Don't take this the wrong way, Trelane," Kirk asked, getting to his feet. "But…why? Not that I'm not grateful." He added hastily. He was beginning to feel a little strange, as if he had the ability to sprout wings and fly.

"I like you. I always have. We Q's have been watching you wonderfully complex humans for centuries…oh, but, of course, you already know that from the last time you saw me."

"Uh…right. What's this all about? And…what's a Q?"

"We are."

Kirk gave him a crooked smile. "So, now you are using the royal 'we', Squire?"

Trelane returned the amused look.

"I'm past that stage in my development, but thanks for remembering. No, I made you one of us. Now, if you wish, you can go back to the Nexus. I have only one condition."

Kirk sighed and placed his hands on his hips.

"All right. What's the catch?"

"I gave you the ability to go back in time and fix all the stupid mistakes you made in your illustrious career, starting with your nephew, if you like."

"My nephew?"

"Yes. He hates your guts."

Major Kira and Peter listened with Quark to James Kirk's account of his amazing resurrection from the dead on the surface of Viridian III. Kirk told them that Trelane had actually made the star system as well as the Nexus, the latter being a "school" project that kind of got away from him. Trelane knew all along that Kirk was in the Nexus when Soren decided to destroy the Viridian system to divert it. He saw what happened; the whole story. Kirk had complimented Trelane on his improvements in planet making. At least this one had a breathable atmosphere.

Smiley decided to tell the Nagus that the intendant had escaped by her own craftiness. In a way, he admired her, and he really didn't want to kill her just so the Nagus would have her revenge. He decided to leave that up to her when the intendant returned to their universe.

"What are your plans now, Uncle James?" Asked Peter politely. "Are you going back to fix things?"

"No, what's done is done. Trelane isn't my lord and master, despite the fact he dug me up and resurrected me. I don't feel I owe him anything." He looked at his nephew and smiled. "But I would like to go back with you. It would be nice to see little Mary again. It's been a long time."

There was another sudden flash of light. Kirk and Peter whirled simultaneously. It was Trelane.

"We had an agreement, Kirk!"

James looked at his old nemesis with disdain. Trelane was more of a pain than Finnegan.

"I see your parents let you out to play a little too soon, Trelane. They should have grounded you for another hundred years. Go and bug some other poor slob. I made the only correction I'm going to, so buzz off!"

"Now you've done it!" Trelane shouted. "You've sealed your fate! I'm going to put you back in the Nexus until you come to your senses!" With a wave of Trelane's hand, James T. Kirk vanished instantly. "As for you, Peter Kirk, you are going back to where you belong!"

"Fine with me, Mr. Trelane. Just don't give me back my Den—"

"Peter, no!" Dax interrupted. "Don't give him any ideas!"

Trelane calmed himself and smiled benevolently. "Don't worry, dear lady. Peter's disorder is history. So long, don't worry about your uncle, and have a nice trip."

James Kirk immediately found himself back in his old house in the Nexus. He knew that Trelane had a short fuse and couldn't stay angry for long, so Kirk knew he wouldn't kill him or hurt Peter. James also realized that Trelane put him back here because that is where he wanted to be anyway. Kirk didn't feel guilty about the mistakes of his past. In fact, any feelings of guilt, pain or remorse seemed to take a back seat in this place. However, a thought that wouldn't go away resurfaced in his mind. He had seen that O'Brien guy somewhere before. He pondered this while he set his tea kettle to boil and dropped into his favorite easy chair. Also that Dax woman looked familiar. Kirk never forgot a pretty face. This one, especially. He had caught himself staring into that lovely face on more than one occasion while on Deep Space Nine, in an effort to recall where he had laid eyes on her before. Peter told him that she had been Curzon Dax in the old days, and, of course, Kirk met that Dax a few times, but how could this Dax be the same person? Kirk understood very little about Trills. Then, it came to him in a series of brilliant flashes. Jadzia Dax was on the bridge of his old ship during the tribble fiasco! He stood and gasped with astonishment. Not only her, but that O'Brien guy, who was masquerading as crewman Frahman. Also, Doctor Bashir! They must have gone back in time for some reason, Kirk thought. Captain Sisko, too!

"They were on my ship!" He blurted out in the silence of his living room. That also solved another mystery of long ago. One of his actual female crew members had insisted that there was a Doctor Bashir on McCoy's staff. Bones McCoy, of course, swore up and down that there was no such person on his staff. Now, Kirk wondered what they were all doing there. He also realized a moment later that there was no one there to ask.

Peter found himself on his shuttle in orbit around Sherman's Planet. The shuttle was in beautiful shape and so was he. He wondered briefly why his uncle had considered Trelane to be such a wild thing. His behavior seemed normal enough, and at least he had been true to his word. He hoped his uncle made it back to the Nexus and that wherever he was, he was happy. He also now had proof that he had been in the future. Nobody in the twenty-third century could cure Deneva disorder, a malady he was very glad to be free of. Peter still planned to set up that trust fund for that future doctor who had cured him.

Peter only dreaded one thing now; seeing Curzon again, now that he no longer hated his uncle James. In recent years, Curzon had grown tired of Peter's bad mouthing, and they hadn't seen each other for quite some time, but they were still friends. Now, even Peter knew he had gone overboard in black balling his uncle, and now he regretted it. Would Curzon believe him if he told him he had forgiven his uncle? Only time would tell.

Intendant Kira was led to the main transporter pad in handcuffs. Major Kira decided not to press charges, but let Odo do whatever he wanted to punish her. He chose exile on the Ferengi ship, fixing it so it would only go into the wormhole. He didn't care where she went from there, just as long as she stayed out of this universe or this quadrant for at least two years. To their surprise, she agreed, but they wondered if she would really keep her word. They trusted her about as much as they could push the station by hand. Major Kira hoped the Nagus would make good on her threat and get rid of her troublesome double forever. That would be nice.

Quark stood in front of Captain Sisko's desk, aghast, as he found out the identity of the female Nagus on the other side. Then, he grinned with greedy impishness. Females weren't terribly bright. If he were to do to the other side, he could try and take over her financial empire! What a prize he could take back with him from that other universe. Little did Sisko know what he had on his devious little mind as he left his office.

THE END