Fandom Against Domestic Violence Submission

Beta: Bridget Derbeyshire (Birdee18)

Facebook Name: Josie Beckmann

Author Name: Tufano79

Title: Fractured Dreams, A Star Crossed Future Take

Summary: Once she was old enough, N'essie joined Galaxy Fleet. She went through her training and became a healer, a doctor, the first in her class in Galaxy Fleet Medical. Aboard the ship, Valiant, N'essie, along with her fellow crew mates are deployed to a battle along the Solarian/Romulan border. They are there to provide medical relief for the Solari people and help end the battle.

On one of the Solarian colonies, along the edge of Romulan territory, N'essie and her team of doctors, nurses and medics transport down to provide aide to the injured Solarian, Human, Talaxian and Cygnarian people living on the planet. In the midst of a raging battle, N'essie finds an injured man and instantly, her heart stopped, recognized the unconscious, broken Solari man as her mate. With the help of her staff, they do their best to stabilize him, but he's fallen into a deep coma.

Transporting aboard the Valiant, N'essie heals the man's wounds, but his mind is a jumble of memories, horrors of battle and a sweet voice, trying to calm him. N'essie begins her vigil by his side, trying to heal the injuries in his mind. However, she gets lured into his dreams, his mind, his memories. Will it be too late for N'essie, lost in the man's Fractured Dreams?

Pairing: N'essie and Olivier (N'essie is the daughter of Emperor Edward and Empress Nirabelle, Olivier is a wounded Solari soldier); Also, Edward and Nirabelle, but the main story will be N'essie and Olivier

Rating: T-ish?

Disclaimer: This is NOT mine, nor will it ever be. No copyright infringement intended. The Twilight universe belongs to Stephenie Meyer and the idea came from a reader, Rere97. Thank you for your suggestion and I hope I do it justice!

Fractured Dreams: A Star Crossed Future-Take

"Momma, I can't stay," N'essie said as she packed her uniform. "I only had a couple of weeks of shore leave. I wanted to be here for Charel's mating ceremony. The ceremony happened and they're mated. I have to go."

"We never see you," Nirabelle, Empress of the Cygnari people, frowned. "You're always on some sort of mission. When are you going to come back to Forx? To stay?"

"When I retire," N'essie retorted. "Momma, you knew that the stars called to me. I'm so much like Papa. Besides, I have an important job. I'm the chief medical officer aboard the Valiant. Uncle Charanel is providing me passage to the star base where the Valiant is getting retrofitted with new phaser cannons. We're leaving in an hour."

"Bella, you knew that this was her choice," Edward said, walking over to Nirabelle. He snaked his arms around Nirabelle's waist, kissing her temple. "Where are you heading?"

"There is a border skirmish along the Solarian and Romulan border. They need medical assistance," N'essie answered. "The Romulans are attacking defenseless colonies without any sort of provocation."

"You be safe, N'essie," Edward said, tugging his middle daughter into his arms and hugging her. She pressed her cheek against his muscular torso, inhaling his comforting scent of cologne, kinka flowers and the human musk.

Yes, N'essie was half-human, but the Cygnarian genes were dominant, almost suppressing her human side. Her hair was a warm bronze color, with pale skin and bright green eyes, all coming from her father. Her spots, pointed ears, slowed aging and acute vision and hearing all came from her mother. But, it was her father's warmth, strength and poise that were the most prominent attributes to her personality and he understood her. So did her oldest brother, Charel, who also was a member of Galaxy Fleet, but took a year off to be with his mate, a girl from Ch'ich and daughter of a respected diplomat. Her mother was supportive, but did not understand the call to explore. She was happy to remain on Forx, only traveling to Cygnarian Prime when needed or on diplomatic missions with her mate.

"I'll always be safe, Papa," she said, pulling back and kissing his cheek. "I love you both. I'll send you a subspace message once I get settled aboard the Valiant." She hugged her mother, wiping away a few tears and picked up her duffel. Slinging it over her shoulder, she contacted the Cigno, her uncle's vessel, requesting to be transported aboard.

With a curt nod to the crewman at the transporter station, she walked to her quarters. N'essie got settled and looked over the orders for their mission. She had been vague to her parents. The Romulans were very close to declaring war on the Solarians. They were adamant that the colonies that the Solarians were inhabiting were on the Romulan side of the border, but the border clearly indicated that the colonies were on the Solari side. The Romulans, close relations to the hated Reman species, were territorial, cruel and much like their despised cousins. However, unlike the Remans, the Romulans were conquerors, whereas the Remans, since the end of the Alliance, had become xenophobic and staying in their own territory.

N'essie spent most of the afternoon reading about Solarian physiology. She had studied at Galaxy Fleet Medical on Solari Prime, but hadn't interacted with the species on a medical level. They looked similar to humans outwardly, but had golden, pearlescent skin, and great strength. Inside, it was a different story. They had many redundant organs, but that made them hard to kill and extremely hard to repair. As she was reading about the eight-chambered Solari heart, the door chimed. "Enter," N'essie barked.

"Usually a lieutenant commander salutes a captain," Uncle Charanel quipped.

"Sir," she gasped, standing to her feet and saluting him. "My apologies, sir."

"At ease, N'essie," he laughed. "You're still on shore leave until we arrive at the star base. I'm still the cool uncle."

"You …" N'essie growled. "Don't make me tattle on you to Aunt Elizabeth. Making me shit my pants!" Charanel gave her a wink. "Have my parents contacted you yet?"

"Edward? No. Nirabelle? About ten times," he snorted. "I understand her need to protect her children, but she is not this bad with Charel or Liam."

"It's because I'm female," N'essie shrugged. "And unattached. She's terrified I'll meet my imprint and then all things will go kaboom!"

"Don't you take that medication that stops that?" Charanel asked.

"It stops the mating fever, but not the imprinting," N'essie sighed. "And let's be honest. What are the odds that I find my mate on a star ship? Slim to none."

"You never know. I mean, look at Liam and Riannelle," her uncle said, arching a brow. "Now, I know that you are still on shore leave, but my medical officer is being stretched to the limit. Until we get a new EMH, can you pull a few shifts in the infirmary?"

"What happened to your hologram?"

"A combination of things, really. One, the holoprojectors were malfunctioning in sick bay. Upon further inspection, they were faulty and we need new ones. My chief engineer said he'd get to it, but keeping the ship running is more of a priority than malfunctioning holoprojectors. Then, when we tried to run a diagnostic on him, he randomly decompiled. So, at the star base, we're getting a new EMH program, new holoprojectors and some new engineering crew members. Then, we're going with the Valiant to the Solari and Romulan border. Galaxy Fleet feels that the fighting needs further attention and sending one of the most vicious ships seemed wise."

"I'm glad you're coming," N'essie nodded. "I'm certain that if needed, Papa would come with the Cygnarus, too."

"In a heartbeat. In fact, I have Edward at easy access and he's ready to jump into action if needed," Charanel nodded. "Now, here's the schedule of your shifts in the infirmary. It's only five shifts. Oh, and Elizabeth wants you to join us for dinner in the captain's private dining room. That is an order, Lieutenant Commander Cullen."

"Aye, sir," N'essie smiled.


Four days after she left Forx, N'essie got settled into her quarters aboard the Valiant. She sent a communique to her parents and then went to check her infirmary to see if all of the supplies she'd requested had been delivered. Relieving the junior officer, she began the daunting task of inventorying the new supplies. As she was putting the supplies away, her captain walked in. "Got everything you need?" Captain Annissa Mo'ranne asked. She was a full-blooded Solari woman and the only Solari captain in all of Galaxy Fleet.

"Yes, Captain," N'essie nodded. "I just need to input the medications into the computer and then I'm done with inventorying the new supplies. Do you think this will be enough?"

"I wish we had more time to get more mobile emergency med kits, but the next convoy with supplies is over two weeks away. The colonies are crumbling and need medical assistance, tactical assistance," Captain Mo'ranne sighed, tucking her silvery hair behind her ears. "Captain Charanel said that further assistance can come from Forx."

"Don't hesitate to contact my family," N'essie said. "I know that my parents would do anything to help. And I'm saying that as one of the royal family, not a Galaxy Fleet physician."

"The Federation appreciates that," Captain Mo'ranne nodded. "We're departing in an hour. Make sure your staff is familiar Solari physiology. From what I've heard from the front lines, the Romulans are brutal, using some sort of neural weapon, impacting the victim's brains." With a frown, she left the infirmary. N'essie sent an encoded message to her father, asking for back up. He responded almost immediately, saying that the Cygnarus was on route to the Solari and Romulan border.

When Edward made the decision to come to the aide of the Federation, Bella was happy to get aboard the Cygnarus. She knew she would be close to her daughter and her brother. With Lianel and Norelle away at university, they transported aboard the ship and set course for the Solari home world. Edward received word that the fighting was getting worse and worse. Admiral Garnett, with orders from President M'Tak, had sent a communique to all Federation planets, asking for help, especially planets close to the Romulan border, like Forx.

"I thought the time for fighting was over," Bella said as she sat next to Edward on the bridge of Cygnarus. "The Federation had been at peace for so long."

"The Romulans are very similar to the Alphans in the fact that they are conquerors. They are not content staying within in their borders," Edward sighed. "For the longest time, the Federation was under the constant threat of being attacked by the Romulans. It was in the Federation's infancy when we were still building relationships with nearby star systems. We were attacked and brutalized until the Turulians stepped in, sending the Romulans back into their territory. They stayed there until the conflict with the Borg."

"Those cyber zombies?" Bella asked, wrinkling her nose.

"Yes," Edward replied, taking his mate's hand and kissed her knuckles. "The Romulans saw that our attention was divided and they attacked, taking over several systems. Once the Borg threat was neutralized, we fought back against the Romulans and we negotiated a peace treaty, including a neutral area of space that no one could colonize." Edward handed her a tablet with the neutral zone was clearly laid out. "Here is the Solari system and here's the neutral zone. Clearly, the colonies are within the Solarian part of their system. The Romulans believe otherwise and are attacking the Solari colonies."

"Emperor, we set course for the Solari home world and we'll arrive in less than five days," said the officer at the helm.

"Understood. The Empress and I will be in our quarters. Wing Commander Bree, the bridge is yours," Edward nodded to the Cygnari woman. She sat down in the captain's chair while Bella and Edward went to their quarters. Edward sent off a subspace message to Charanel and N'essie, but they had already departed to the Solari colonies that were under attack.

Aboard the Valiant, they moved into a standard orbit and transported down to the surface. The city center had been completely obliterated. In the distance, the away team could hear bombing and phaser fire. N'essie slung her emergency med kit over her shoulder and zipped up her Galaxy Fleet jacket. "Stay armed and with your partner. Triage the victims and provide basic care. Anyone who is immediate medical attention, transport them directly to the infirmary aboard the Valiant or the Cigno. Understood?"

"Yes, ma'am," said N'essie's staff. They took off, scattering along the city center. N'essie and her nurse checked the buildings along the main street, looking for any survivors. However, there were none in the city center. All of the bodies were in various stages of decomposition.

"Dr. Cullen, there are no life signs," said N'essie's nurse, Alanna. "Should we ask Captain Mo'ranne to transport us closer to the fighting?"

N'essie was about to nod when her comm badge chirped. "Cullen," she barked.

"Doctor, we are going to transport you closer to Captain Charanel's location. They are under attack and need medical attention," said Captain Mo'ranne. "Energizing." N'essie, Alanna and her team were transported to a large outcropping of rocks. They immediately took cover as phaser fire rung out all around them. Her uncle crouched down next to her. He was bleeding from a cut on his face.

"Sir, you're bleeding," N'essie said, taking out a dermal regenerator.

"I'm fine," he replied, waving her away. "We need to find out how to disrupt this neural weapon that the Romulans have."

"Do you have scans of it?" N'essie asked, running the regenerator over her uncle's face. He handed her his tricorder. She ran her fingers over the tiny screen, trying to make sense of the readings. "Here! Have everyone set their phasers to this frequency. It'll disrupt the neural damage to the Solarians and other victims." She blinked up to her uncle. "Is that why I'm getting this killer headache?"

"Yes," Charanel replied, sending out N'essie's frequency. Almost immediately the pain in their heads dissipated and the Romulans transported off the surface. "Charanel to all hands, check for any survivors! Stay armed and ready to attack." They all began searching for any survivors. Most of the Solarians, humans and Talaxians were injured with significant brain damage. N'essie and the other doctor from the Cigno had them transported to their infirmaries.

"Doctor Cullen," called Alanna. "We need you!"

"Are you good?" N'essie asked the doctor from the Cigno. He nodded. N'essie found Alanna in a cavern, running scans on an unconscious Solari man. When she saw him, N'essie felt like she had the air taken from her lungs. The man was completely battered and bruised, but N'essie only saw his beauty and his fractured thoughts in her head.

Pain … light … death … now … help …

Flashes of the nightmare he endured prior to his injury were on repeat along with those words. N'essie knelt down, brushing his short blonde hair away from his face. I'm here. You're safe, N'essie thought to him. She took his hand, relishing in the warmth of his hand. "Cullen to Valiant," N'essie said.

"Transporter Chief Beau here."

"Two to beam directly to sick bay," N'essie murmured, her fingers twining with her mysterious stranger, the man who was her mate.


Almost twelve hours later, the injured were healed and on the mend. Well, most of the injured. The man whose voice called to N'essie was still in a coma and his brain was showing significant damage, but stable. N'essie wanted to sit next to him and use her own mind to soothe him, but there were other patients who demanded her attention. The infirmary was finally empty, save for the handsome Solari man.

"Alanna, go to your family," N'essie said as she read the latest brain scan of the man. "Your husband and children need you."

"So do you," Alanna argued. "How will you monitor him?"

"I'm staying in sickbay," N'essie retorted. "Dr. Inara is just a comm link away and so is the night nurse. Go! I'm fine."

"Call if you need me," Alanna said, arching a brow. "I may be older than you and you may be my boss, but …"

"Don't make me pull rank," N'essie said, pointing to the door. Alanna held up her hands, backing out of the infirmary. N'essie finally shot up from her desk and practically ran to the comatose man. She sat next to him and reached into his mind. I'm here, ti'ane. Listen to my voice and come back to me.

How? He thought, his fingers tightening around N'essie's hand.

You can understand me? N'essie breathed.

If I focus but it hurts to do so, he replied. Make it stop. Make the pain stop.

I'm trying. You're medicated and I think that's why you're able to focus and respond to me, N'essie said, kissing his knuckles. I'm trying to find the right combination of medications to get you out of your coma.

He grimaced, his connection fraying. The nightmare of the attack filled his thoughts. Pain … light … death … now … help … Pain … light … death … now … help …

"Don't leave me now," N'essie said out loud and mentally. "Listen to my voice. Please!"

Pain … light … death … now … help … A vicious loop of his torturous agony invaded N'essie's mind and she was forced to close her thoughts to his. Her head was pounding and she clutched her temples. Tears were streaming down her face as she took his hand, trying to offer him comfort. It was too soon for another shot of pain medication. She poured over the scans, trying to figure out how to break his never-ending cycle of pain. N'essie believed that her connection to him might be the answer. His condition was similar to the Cygnarian zi'tkm, which was a catatonic state where the victim is stuck in a huge nightmare.

Walking to her office, N'essie opened a sub space channel. She prayed that Kunnan was awake. He would be the only who could guide her through the zi'tkm ceremony, to cleanse the man's mind of his nightmares. N'essie also knew that her parents had gone through this during the Alphan war. "N'essie?" asked Tal, Kunnan's mate. "What is it, sweetling?"

"Is Kunnan there? I have a case that only he could help me with," N'essie murmured.

"My mate is aboard the Cygnarus, N'essie," Tal replied. "He's traveling with the Emperor and the Empress. He figured that his expertise as a healer would needed in this conflict."

"Oh, thank the Gods," N'essie breathed. "I have a patient, a patient who is also my mate, who is stuck in a something similar to the zi'tkm. I need help getting him out before it causes permanent brain damage."

"Contact your parents, N'essie," Tal said calmly. "They are not traveling at full velocity."

"Okay, Tal. Thank you," N'essie said, ending the sub space call. Encoding a private line to her parents, she waited impatiently as she monitored her mate. The screen blinked to life. Her sleepy father filled sat down with a huff, pillow lines creasing his face. "Papa, I need you and Momma more than ever." Her heart shattered and she felt so alone. She tried to stay calm, but tears fell down her cheeks "I've met my mate."

"Oh, N'essie. That's wonderful," Edward breathed.

"No, it's not. He's in a coma and …" she sobbed, burying her face into her hands.

Edward, across the galaxy, his heart broke for his daughter. He sent a message to the commander on duty, asking him to increase speed. "N'essie, talk to me, baby girl," he said softly. "We'll be there in a matter of a day. Please, N'essie."

"He's in something like the zi'tkm. I don't know how to help him and think I'm the only who can," N'essie sniffled. "I'm terrified that by the time the Cygnarus arrives, it'll be too late for him."

"My commander said that with the increase in speed, we'll be there early tomorrow morning," Edward said soothingly. "Kunnan will help you and your mate. Try to get some rest, N'essie."

"I can't leave him, Papa," N'essie said, looking over her shoulder at him.

"Okay, okay," Edward sighed. "Stay with him, but try to sleep. We'll be there as soon as possible. I love you, N'essie."

"Love you, Papa," N'essie replied. "Tell Momma, too?"

"I will. She's asleep and didn't wake up when the call came through," Edward murmured. "Everything will be okay, N'essie." She nodded, trying to believe her father but the empty pit in her stomach told her otherwise. They ended the call and N'essie went to sit next to her mate. Threading their fingers together, she opened her mind to him and tried to make sense of the nightmare he was caught inside. Eventually, N'essie drifted asleep, her cheek pressed against his muscular bicep. Despite his injuries, he appeared strong, but he was stuck in a never ending nightmare.

N'essie was awoken by a gentle shake on her shoulder. Captain Mo'ranne was standing over her, with her parents standing next to her and Kunnan was behind them. "Oh, thank the Gods," N'essie breathed, getting up and hugging her parents. "How did you get here so fast? I know that you increased speed."

"When your child needs you, you do whatever you can to help," Bella said, caressing N'essie's messy hair. Pulling back, she took N'essie's face in her hands. She frowned, feeling N'essie's pain and the weakness growing inside her. "Captain Mo'ranne, thank you for bringing us to our daughter. Whatever you need from the Cygnarus, please don't hesitate to ask."

"Thank you, Empress," Captain Mo'ranne nodded. "Emperor Cullen said the same as well. We will leave you to perform the procedure. With the assistance of the Cygnarian forces, we'll resume our away missions on the surface." With a curt nod, Captain Mo'ranne left the infirmary.

Kunnan stepped forward, holding a sophisticated scanner. "These readings are very similar to the Cygnarian zi'tkm. I'm not sure if your connection will get him out it, Princess."

"I'm not a princess here, Kunnan," N'essie said, moving next to her mate's side and brushing her fingers through his thick, slightly wavy blonde hair. "But, I have to try. The longer he's stuck in that hell, the more likely he'll have permanent brain damage. What do I need to do?"

"You need to get rest," Bella said. "Your father can attest that if you're not at full strength, the procedure will knock you out."

"I'm fine," N'essie snapped at her mother. "Kunnan, when can we begin?"

Kunnan ran his scanner of N'essie and his brows furrowed. "The Empress is right. You need more sleep. You will get caught in the madness at this point."

"But …?" N'essie argued.

"An hour," Kunnan said, arching his brow. "One hour." He reached into his satchel and pressed neural monitor just below N'essie's ear. He guided her to biobed, pressing a few buttons and N'essie fell into a deep sleep. "I'm going to run some further scans on the Solari man." He turned on his heel and Edward and Bella sat down next to their slumbering daughter.

The hour went by quickly and Kunnan seemed much more at ease about having N'essie perform the procedure. Kunnan was concerned about the unique brain chemistry of the Solari species. He was surprised that they were compatible. The Cygnarian brain was far more developed than the Solari brain. However, this man was not fully Solarian. He had an unknown genetic code in his blood that made him reach out to N'essie and made his brain more complex than the usual Solari mind. But, was he truly N'essie's mate?

When N'essie woke up, Kunnan explained the procedure. Edward bristled when Kunnan said that they both needed to be naked, but Kunnan reminded him that skin-to-skin contact would encourage a bond. Bella also felt it inappropriate since they were not mated, legally mated in the eyes of their families.

N'essie didn't wait. She removed her uniform and put on a hospital gown. "I love you both, but this needs to be done," N'essie said. "Do you want to do in the surgical bay?"

"Not enough room," Kunnan said. "We need a larger space for both of you."

Tapping her communicator, she contacted the bridge. "One medical transport to holodeck one," she barked.

"I'm reading five life signs in the infirmary, ma'am," said the disembodied voice of the transporter chief. "Do you want me to transport all of you?

"Myself, Dr. Kunnan and our Solari patient," N'essie replied. "Energize." The transporter tingled, moving them from the infirmary to the holodeck. "Computer, lock the doors. Security override, Cullen Alpha Six Omega." The doors clicked shut. "Open the file, Ch'ich summer home." A holographic simulation of the white home along the Renien Ocean appeared. The Solari man was laying on the bed that N'essie usually slept in when she went down there with her family. "What do I need to do?"

Kunnan took out another neural implant, putting on her temple. "This will enhance your telepathic link. You need to find the man within the nightmare. Not knowing him prior to this, you made be led astray. If I feel like you are being pulled in too deeply, I'm cutting the link. We can't lose you, too."

"I have to help him," N'essie said. "Don't … let me do this. Keep my parents apprised to my progress." She got into the bed, removing her hospital gown and divesting the stranger of his. Holy shit, to borrow a human phrase, he's big EVERYWHERE. Shaking her head, she wrapped her arms around the man's body. He was warm, and muscular, but completely slack. Kunnan pressed a neural implant to his temple. N'essie's mind was invaded with the darkness and fractured reality of the man's horrific nightmare. Closing her eyes, she tightened her hold and prayed that she could reach him.


N'essie blinked her eyes, trying to adjust to the darkness of location. "Hello?" she called. In the distance, she could hear sounds of phaser fire, antimatter bombs and hand-to-hand combat. She looked down, seeing that she was in her uniform with a phaser strapped to her hip, a phaser rifle around her body and dagger tucked into her boot. At least she was armed. Pulling the rifle over her shoulder, she aimed it and turned on the flashlight. "Is there anyone here? Call out! I'm with Galaxy Fleet. I'm here to help."

N'essie took a few steps, moving out of the large cavern. There were no people, no survivors. She only smelled sulfur, smoke, and the unmistakable scent of rotting flesh. Wrinkling her nose, she moved further away from the cavern, closer to the entrance of it. A few hundred meters away, there were colonists fighting against Romulan soldiers. N'essie immediately recognized the man who she found in the same cavern she appeared in. He was fighting valiantly against four Romulans, but with each one he shot down two more appeared. N'essie aimed for one of the Romulans, shooting him. He fell to the ground and four more emerged out of nowhere.

"How am I supposed to fix this?" N'essie whimpered. She scrambled down the cliff face and into the ravine where her mate and several other Solarian and Talaxian colonists were fighting. A female Romulan rushed toward her and she raised her rifle. Shaking her head, she didn't want to have more fighters. She reached down into her boot and prepared to fight using her fists and her dagger. The woman was crazed, unlike any Romulan that N'essie had ever experienced, but this was not reality. N'essie twisted, turned, parried and managed to a fatal blow to the woman with the dagger into her neck. She fell and green blood gurgled out of her mouth.

Thankfully, no other Romulan fighters appeared. "Don't use phasers!" N'essie yelled. "Kill them with your hands. Knives, daggers, rocks!" My mate looked up at me, his eyes narrowing. "Look out!" A huge Romulan was charging my mate. Dropping his phaser, he ducked the blow and began fighting with his fists. An hour later, all of the Romulans had been killed and the four of us were panting, exhausted and littered in bruises.

"Who are you?" asked a Talaxian male.

"I'm Doctor N'essie Cullen, from the star ship Valiant. I'm on a mission to help with the invasion of the Romulans," I said, falling onto a rock. "Well, kind of."

"I'm Pheelix," said the Talaxian, gesturing to himself. "My wife, Iranixas," pointing to a petite Talaxian woman. "And that's Yo'hanne and Olivier. We all work in the caverns as geophysicists, looking for dilithium. We were blind-sided by the attack. We're not fighters."

"You're not a fighter," Yo'hanne quipped, fashioning a thin rock into a dagger. "Solarians are more equipped to fight."

"But, choose not to," said Olivier. N'essie blinked over to him and saw that he was staring at her. "I've seen you before. Haven't I?" His voice was deep and smooth.

N'essie's spots glowed and her belly warmed. "We've never met before, but I do know you, Olivier," she whispered. Staring back at him, she pushed her thoughts forward. Can you hear me? Olivier's eyes widened, revealing a deep amber color. He nodded. He reached forward, his hand almost to N'essie's when a loud war cry startled them apart. Again, the began fighting for their lives and killing Romulans with their bare hands. N'essie's muscles screamed and she was exhausted. How can I get Olivier out of this nightmare?

"What did you say?" Olivier asked, wiping his brow with the back of his hand.

"This isn't real," N'essie said.

"What do you mean it's not real?" Olivier growled. "I can feel my body ache. I smell the horrific stench of death and decay. I yearn to touch you."

N'essie closed her eyes and thought of the two of them in the bed. Their bodies were tangled together, but the neural implants were blinking on their temples. "Do you see that?"

"Yes," Olivier muttered. "It's us."

"In the real world. You are stuck in something that my people called the zi'tkm. It's a never ending nightmare. The longer you are in here, the bigger chance you will have permanent brain damage. I'm able to be here because we share a mental, telepathic connection. I pushed my way into your mind," N'essie said.

"Olivier, we have to go back to the compound. It's under attack," Pheelix yelled.

"I don't get it. This is real," he whispered. And then a bomb exploded several kilometers to the left. Olivier grabbed N'essie, shielding her from the blast. Pain … light … death … now … help … Regardless of his heroics, N'essie felt her body explode in flames and then … darkness.

Blinking her eyes open, she was back in the cavern. Her body was sore as hell, but she was alive. Shooting up, she ran out and found the four colonists fighting the Romulans. They fought and defeated the Romulans, but Olivier and his companions didn't remember her. As Pheelix, the Talaxian male, shouted that the compound was under attack, the bomb went off and everything went dark.

After the third time, N'essie figured out that they needed to get to the compound. Her mind and her body were failing and she could hear Kunnan in the real world, barking about her vital signs. She ran out of the cavern and directly to Olivier. "You need to come with me," she panted. Olivier didn't respond, but wouldn't move either. "If you don't leave, you're going to die."

"Who are you?" he asked.

"Someone who can help. Please, come with me! All of you," N'essie whimpered, tugging on Olivier's hand. He took a step, tightening his grip on her hand. "We need to get to the compound."

"Come on. It's this way," Iranixas said, pointing in the opposite direction that N'essie came from. They took off and saw it in the distance. It was several kilometers away. With each step, N'essie felt like she was running through sludge. Her body was exhausted, ready to just collapse. But, she pushed forward. This had to be the way to get Olivier out of the zi'tkm.

"Do you hear that?" Yo'hanne asked.

"What?" Pheelix asked.

N'essie blinked up and saw a bomb falling. "We need to get inside. Run faster." They managed to get to the compound's entrance. Using his palm, Olivier opened the door and they pushed inside. As the bomb's heat reached the shielding of the colony, the door slammed shut and the five of them collapsed on the metal flooring. Okay, we can wake up now, N'essie thought as she pressed her cheek on the floor. It was gross and caked with dirt, but it was blissfully cool.

"N'essie, we are awake," Olivier said, helping her to his feet.

She slammed her hand against the wall. "Damn it!" She got up, stumbling from the agony of her muscles. Olivier's hands shot out, helping her to feet. "How can we fix this?"

"I don't understand, N'essie," Olivier murmured. She tugged on his hand, pulling him the stairs to the main floor of the compound. The rest of colonists were there, under control of one of the Romulans with the weapon that caused the mental deterioration.

Now, it made sense.

"We need to kill him," N'essie muttered. Olivier removed his phaser from his belt. "No, with this." She handed him her dagger. "If we shoot him with a phaser, he'll just get stronger."

"But that makes no sense," Olivier hissed.

"I know you have no reason to trust me, but please listen to me," N'essie pleaded.

Olivier took the dagger, glaring at the Romulan. Standing up, he threw the dagger with a precision that she didn't expect. It hit the Romulan in the center of his back, causing the weapon to fall and the people to break out of their dazed states. They saw the Romulan and they attacked. When he drew his last breath, the compound, the Romulan, the colonists, they all disappeared. Olivier and N'esse stood in a black abyss with a bright light shining above them. "Tell me. What the hell is going on?" he asked. "Where did everyone go?"

"You are caught in what my people call the zi'tkm. In order to break it, we needed to kill that Romulan. In theory, we should have woken up, but something else is preventing us from going back to the real world," N'essie said. She went on to describe what the zi'tkm was and how he was stuck inside of it. She also described that she was his mate, able to enter his mind through their mental and telepathic connection.

Olivier blinked and he took a step back. "I don't understand," he whispered. "You're real. I can feel you." He touched N'essie's hand, moving his palm up her uniform.

"I'm real, yes. But, in the real world, you're in a coma. I want to meet you, for real," N'essie said, her hand cupping his scruffy cheek. "Do you want that? Do you feel some sort of connection to me?"

"I do. I hear you. In my head," he said, moving closer and taking N'essie's face with his hands. "I want to meet you. In real."

He leaned down, his mouth moving toward hers. Just as their lips were about to touch, N'essie's head exploded in excruciating pain. She felt strong arms band around her as she screamed in agony.


Olivier shot up, his body naked and covered in sweat. Next to him, the gorgeous woman from his dreams was convulsing. A bald man ran over to her and began working on her. "What's going on? What's wrong?"

"She's going into neural shock. Hit that panel and ask for Dr. Inara," the man barked. Olivier got up, picking up the hospital gown off the floor and asked for Dr. Inara. A dark-skinned woman ran in with a beautiful, but regal couple on her heels. The bald man and Dr. Inara worked on the woman, stabilizing her and transporting her to the infirmary.

The tall man, who had run in with the petite woman, stood next to Olivier. "She'll be okay," he said.

"I don't even know her name," Olivier whispered. "Or yours."

"My apologies. My name is Emperor Edward Cullen and the woman who saved your life is my daughter, Princess and Doctor N'essie Cullen. We are a part of the royal family on Forx. And you are mated to my daughter," Edward explained.

"Mated?" Olivier whispered. "And that's why I could hear her? How she got me out of that … what did she call it?"

"Zi'tkm. Only the mate can successfully pull the other person out of that," Edward said. "Now, as a father, I need to know that you won't hurt my little girl. You're not married or some shit like that?"

"Can emperors say the word 'shit'?" Olivier asked. Edward shot him a look. "What? It doesn't sound very royal."

"I wasn't born a royal. I was a Galaxy Fleet captain first," Edward snorted. "And you didn't answer my question."

"No, I'm no married, but I'm so confused," Olivier said. "And very, very cold. Can I get some clothes? Standing in a hospital gown is not very warm." Edward nodded and took him to his quarters. Replicating some casual clothing, Olivier dressed warmly and ate a hearty meal before going to the infirmary. Dr. Inara was monitoring N'essie, with Kunnan hovering close by and Olivier's heart was stammering against his chest. He sat down next to N'essie's bed and twined his fingers with hers. "What's wrong with her? Is she stuck in that thing I was in?"

"There were some abnormalities in your genetic code that made your mind susceptible to that type of attack," Kunnan explained. "When you woke up, something was transferred to Princess N'essie, but she's just asleep and recovering from a headache. She will be fine."

"What is this weirdness that it's in my genetic code?" Olivier asked.

"It's a natural evolutionary change. Your mind is expanding. Your brain is working at the twice the capacity of a regular Solarian's brain. Have you always been smart?" Kunnan asked.

"I sailed through school, becoming a doctor. The youngest one to graduate from the civilian medical facility on Solari Prime," Olivier explained. "Was that due to this genetic abnormality?"

"It would appear so," Kunnan replied.

N'essie whimpered and shifted on the biobed. Olivier took her hand, kissing her knuckles. "I'm here, miralle." He traced his fingers down her spots and she shuddered. "Please, open your eyes for me."

"What does miralle mean?" Bella asked. She sat across from the man who was staring at her middle daughter adoringly.

"It's an ancient Solari word meaning beloved," Olivier answered, his skin flaming. "I don't know her, but I love her."

"It's the phenomenon of imprinting," Bella smiled. "It's overwhelming, but so beautiful. Welcome to the family."

Bella, I think we should leave them, Edward thought to his mate. They're supervised and will not initiate the mating bond.

Bella nodded, getting up. With a hug, they left Olivier in the darkened room in the infirmary of the Valiant. Kunnan left as well, speaking with Dr. Inara before he left. The doctor stayed in the office while Olivier kept a vigil next to N'essie's bed. "I, uh, guess I should tell you about myself," Olivier murmured.

Too loud, came N'essie's mental voice. In here. Speak to me with your mind.

He spent the next few hours conversing with N'essie mentally. With each passing moment, her headache dwindled and their bond grew stronger. Just before midnight, N'essie's eyes blinked open and Olivier's world shifted. Behind the verdant gaze of his miralle, he found everything he wanted and more.


One Month Later …

Olivier stood on the raised dais overlooking the Renien Ocean. N'essie looked resplendent in a soft, pale blue chiffon dress as she held his hands at their mating ceremony. Marcusi pronounced them forever bound and for the first time, in real life, Olivier leaned down and pressed a tender kiss to her lips. Unlike the moment when he kissed her in his zi'tkm, N'essie's body warmed and the bonding connection tightened around them. Sliding her hands up his arms and tangling into his soft, wavy blonde hair, she lost herself in his embrace, his pliant lips and his hard body.

Pulling apart, Olivier smiled down at his gorgeous mate. He murmured something in ancient Solarian, making N'essie's spots glow a warm, seductive white. "You are the sun and moon in my night sky, miralle. I love only you. You saved me. You loved me. You never gave up on me. I put me back together when I was shattered. All this before you even knew me."

"I'd do it again. In a heartbeat," she breathed. "Ti-ane mahnu te-atée sa-ahari. I'll always be with you, holding you together, ti'ane."

"And I with you, miralle. Always." With another kiss, they sealed their all-encompassing bond that began with a fractured dream, now transformed into the beginning of their happily ever after.