For Piotr's Sake

Chapter 29

Roberta had been released from the confines of sickbay when they had reached the universe they called home. When the alternate Deep Space Nine station was destroyed, the chief medical officer had saved her from injury from the resulting shock wave. Roberta had been standing near the leg exerciser, which was protruding from the wall, above a workout bench. When the shock wave hit, they had temporarily lost artificial gravity on the deck where sickbay was located. She had let out a startled yelp as she began to fly upwards from the sudden loss of gravity, almost hitting her head on the foot pedals. Petrova grabbed her from behind and interposed her body between her and the device. She grabbed onto Roberta to protect her from the fall when gravity was restored after a few seconds. They both fell a short distance onto the floor, Roberta on top, rolling off of the doctor as the ship lurched. They landed on their backsides in the process, unhurt but a little shaken. Blackwing, with orders from Chekov, called from the bridge on the wall intercom a short time after that, asking if everyone was all right. The doctor answered in the affirmative. She reported that two of her orderlies, Ballan and Jensen, had sustained minor injuries when the gravity returned. Ballan had fractured his wrist and Jensen had twisted his ankle. Roberta looked on in fascination as Dr. Petrova took out a strange-looking device from a nearby cabinet and went to work, repairing the orderlies' injuries. She wondered how a device that looked like a funnel could possibly mend a fractured wrist so quickly without the aid of a splint, amazed at the technological advances in this century. Soon after that, she was released from sickbay. The orderly with the mended wrist was asked to escort her to guest quarters, where she went willingly, not wishing to be underfoot as more people entered sickbay with other minor injuries.

The people on Deep Space Nine watched in awe as the starship Defiant emerged from the wormhole. Terrell happened to be looking out the window at the time, and breathed a sigh of relief, not only for the formerly lost Defiant, but for his first officer. He was beginning to have a new respect for him, admiring his courage to enter that other universe just to rescue a young woman from the twentieth century. Chekov hailed them a short time later, appearing on their main viewing screen.

"Mission accomplished, Captain Terrell. We not only have Miss Lincoln back, but we have Rasmussen in custody as well. He will be charged with kidnapping with intent to do bodily harm when we get back home. I am thinking we should bring him back to Nimbus Three. I think that will be fitting punishment for his crime."

"Agreed, Chekov. Welcome back."

"Thank you, sir." Chekov paused for a moment, looking pensive.

"Is there something wrong, Commander?"

"No...I was just thinking about my brother and that alternate space station. He destroyed it and killed their version of Kira Nerys. Is everything all right on this side and is she all right?"

"Yes, Chekov. Everything and everyone is fine. Captain Sisko wishes to meet with Miss Lincoln for some reason. He seemed a bit anxious about something. Major Kira wants you to dock on upper pylon three."

"He probably is concerned about her safety. Also, he might be concerned that she might be feeling guilty about that incident with that big-eared alien who runs the bar."

"That could be, but I think it's something more than that. I am not an empath, but I sense that he has something on his mind that's bigger than Miss Lincoln."

"Well, this is the future" Pavel answered thoughtfully. "Maybe he wants to talk to her about not divulging what she has seen in this time period. However, she knows very well that she can't tell anyone on twentieth century Earth about her adventures or the fact that extraterrestrials really exist. Also, sir, I would like to interrogate Rasmussen before we board the station. It will not take long."

"Very well, Chekov. You have an hour. Then, we will have to make preparations for time travel back to our century."

"Thank you, sir. I will look forward to returning to where we belong." Chekov paused again, recalling what Miss Lincoln told him about her Q friend and his offer to help bring them back home. "Sir, we might not have to use the slingshot effect or the controlled implosion of the ship's engines. An alien Roberta knows called a Q has offered to help."

There was a startled look on Major Kira's face at the mention of the alien.

"A Q has offered to help you get back home?"

"Da."

"They are notoriously untrustworthy creatures-"

The Q named Quinn suddenly appeared beside her in a flash of light.

"You wound me, Major. My offer was genuine. Let Pavel do his interrogation of Rasmussen and then I will bring the Reliant and the Defiant back home. Also, I know why Sisko wants to see Miss Lincoln, but I don't want to upset the weenies at Starfleet Temporal by divulging the reason here. I will wait until you are all ready to go back to the twenty-third century."

With that, giving her a wink, he vanished as quickly as he had appeared.

Rasmussen was informed that he would be returned to the twenty-fourth century Nimbus Three as a punishment for kidnapping Miss Lincoln. He knew that Commander Chekov was quite angry with him for issuing that empty threat to kill her if he didn't get the information he needed to fix Seven's time pod, so he could return to his own time. He now wondered how or if he was ever going to be able to return to the twenty-second century. He still wanted to use time travel for personal gain, but now that seemed impossible. It looked like he would be stuck in the twenty-fourth century for the rest of his life and he was not too happy with the prospect. However, he knew he deserved some kind of punishment for his crime. As he pondered this, he heard the voice of Captain Chekov.

"Hello, Rasmussen." Chekov noticed the long face of his prisoner, but his expression remained stern. "I have come to ask you why you threatened to kill Miss Lincoln. She is a prisoner in time just like you are and you scared her needlessly. She knew nothing about the inner workings of Mr. Seven's time pod; nor does she know very much about the future."

"Yes, Captain. I know that now. Please believe me when I say it was an empty threat. I was desperate to go back to my own time, and I thought a threat would work better than simply asking to be returned to where I belong. Also, I wanted to appear tough to those people in that alternate universe. Will you please apologize to her for me? I would, but I don't think she likes me very much."

Chekov's expression softened.

"Of course. I can't say I blame her, but I'm willing to make a deal with you. Do you still wish to go back to your own time and planet? I can arrange that."

"You would do that for me?" Rasmussen asked with a look of astonishment. The Russian captain nodded. "That's very kind of you." He paused for a moment, his hope returning. "I have a few belongings I have to retrieve on Nimbus Three that I want to take back with me to my century."

"If you are referring to objects that were manufactured after the twenty-second century, then the answer to that would be no."

"Captain, I would hate to return to my century empty handed. I am an inventor, after all."

Chekov paused in thought for a moment.

"Very well. You can take anything back that isn't a Russian invention."

"What isn't a Russian invention?"

"There is nothing you own that is not a Russian invention, especially if it was made after the twenty-second century." Rasmussen noticed a glimmer in his eye. "You have two choices, Rasmussen. Either return to your own time without your futuristic belongings or go back and live on Nimbus Three for the rest of your life."

"I want to go home, Captain Chekov. I hate the twenty-fourth century with a passion and don't want to end up on Nimbus Three again. Very well. I will agree to your terms. I won't take anything with me that doesn't belong in my century."

"I will have a security man with you while you retrieve your belongings. That way, we can be sure you will not take any contraband with you."

Rasmussen sighed.

"Okay."

Roberta was a little anxious with the prospect of spending time alone with Captain Sisko. Being that she was from a time when race relations were strained at best, she felt uncomfortable being alone with the Black captain, even if he appeared to be a perfect gentleman. Lieutenant Dax offered to accompany her, explaining to her that she and Benjamin had been friends for a long time, and she understood Roberta's discomfort at being alone with a man she knew nothing about. Roberta was, of course, curious about her markings on her skin. She thought they were tattoos at first, until Dax mentioned that she, too, was an extraterrestrial. However, Roberta thought it was cool that there were so many aliens who resembled human beings. As the two women stepped into the captain's office, Dax stood at attention as Sisko looked up from his laptop terminal.

"At ease, Lieutenant. Please, ladies, be seated."

As Miss Lincoln and Dax complied, he continued. "I promised Starfleet Temporal that I would not tell either Chekov or Terrell their fates. However, I did not promise that I wouldn't tell them to you, Miss Lincoln. Dax, everything that is said in this room will remain here. Is that understood?"

"Understood completely, sir."

"Good. Miss Lincoln, I just couldn't keep silent about this. I want to save Captain Terrell's life and prevent them from encountering an insane evil man named Kahn Noonian Singh, who is—I mean was- marooned on a planet called Ceti Alpha Five after taking over Kirk's ship during the five year mission and nearly killing the crew of the Enterprise."

Dax looked at him with astonishment as Miss Lincoln answered.

"What do you want me to do, sir?"

"It's very simple, Miss Lincoln. I want you to urge them to stay away from Ceti Alpha Five so they won't encounter that creep."

Unknown to all of them, soon after the Defiant crew made it back to their universe, Quinn restored Terok Nor after sending Piotr and the crew of the Destiny back to their own time and space, being somewhat fond of Intendant Kira. Also, as a result of the advanced knowledge of the madman named Kahn given to Roberta, when they returned home with the Q's help, there was a strange but minor alteration in the space/time continuum after she let Chekov in on Terrell's fate. Over time, Chekov and Terrell unfortunately forgot about Miss Lincoln's warnings and Captain Sisko had no idea why he named his new runabout the Defiant.

The End