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Prologue

Edge of Klingon Neutral Space, Stardate 2233.04

"What is it?" George Kirk asked eagerly as he heard the sounds of a newborn baby come over the comm.

"It's a girl!"

"A girl! Tell me what she's like!"

"She's beautiful," Winona's voice had a helpless tone to it as she answered.

George swallowed his own sounds of grief before speaking again. "What'll we name her?"

"We could name her after your mother," she suggested, pulling the infant closer. George let out a scoff.

"Ophelia, are you kidding me? No way. Let's name her after your mother. Let's name her Rose."

"Rose," Winona breathed. "Rose it is," she nodded as she gazed at the infant in her arms. She let out another sob. "George, you should be here."

George flinched as the computer warned him of thirteen seconds to impact. "Listen to me. Can you hear me?"

"I hear you! I hear you!" Winona yelled frantically in reply.

"I love you, I love you so-" he was abruptly cut off and Winona let out a choked off cry at the realization that she was now most certainly a widow.


Riverside, Iowa, Stardate 2243.44

Rose pressed her hands tightly to her ears, trying to block out the sounds of Sam and Frank arguing loudly downstairs. The purple bruise on her cheek throbbed in reminder of why Sam was so furious.

Eventually, the arguing ended with the familiar sound of a door slamming. Footsteps sounded on the stairs and the quarter-Betazoid tensed for a moment before recognizing her brother's lighter gait.

Quickly she scrambled out of the closet and unbarred the door to reveal Sam, a determined look on his face.

"Rosie," his voice sounded in her head. "I need you to pack as much as possible in to your bag okay? We're leaving and we're never coming back so pack anything you really care about. Okay?"

"Where're we going?" She asked, already heading to grab the duffle she used for visits to Betazed to visit George's mother.

"I spoke to Aunt Evadne. Dad's sister? She lives with her husband on Tarsus IV and she's agreed to take us in. I've applied for a few schools that I'll be able to get a degree from too. Everything will be fine, Rosie. I promise."


Tarsus IV, Stardate 2246.232

Rose was trembling in fear as she was forced at phaser point alongside the rest of her family into the town plaza. Feelings of fear and grief were too prevalent for her to block out despite the training Aunt had been giving her since her arrival three years before.

Aunt Eva had a tight expression on her face as she held a tearful Ciara in her arms. TJ was holding Rose's hand and Uncle David, well Uncle David was dead.

Rose swallowed as the image of her uncle's body flashed in her mind's eye. She distracted herself by looking around the square. Every non-human, pregnant woman, and ill member of the colony was there, along with dozens more.

"There's at least three thousand people here," Hoshi appeared at their sides. There was a furious look on her face. "Every non-human, over-sixty, under-eighteen and ill person on the colony is here as far as I can tell. And anyone connected to Starfleet as well. There was phaser fire last night."

Aunt Eva shuddered and pulled Ciara closer. "What will we do?"

Hoshi glanced tensely around. Grim resignation and determination radiated from her as she answered.

"Archer will know something's wrong when I don't answer his next com. I told him there was food shortages last we spoke. Rose come here."

Rose stumbled over with wide eyes. "Take this." She ordered the girl mentally while handing her a fully charged phaser. "When I tell you, run as fast as possible, with as many of the other children as you can. Go to the forest and remember not to eat any tainted food or to drink the water. Keep scanning for threats with your abilities. Do you understand me?"

Rose nodded blankly. Hoshi started calling people over and Rose braced herself, taking her youngest cousin from her aunt and pulling the other nearby children closer.

A man she didn't recognize appeared on the screen and began to the speak the words that would haunt her for the rest of her life. As Hoshi and the other adults attacked the guards, she found herself fleeing with her cousins and several others as screams and Kodos' speech echoed in her ears.


Riverside, Iowa, Stardate 2255.73

Rosalind didn't bother watching the cadets fight. She simply continued sipping her drink and tapping at her PADD to complete her latest assignment. She did take note when a vaguely familiar figure seated himself at her table and started to study her in silence a few minutes later.

She briefly probed his thoughts enough to ensure he wasn't a threat and to recognize that he had Starfleet's standard shields before going back to her essay.

"I'm not a cadet," she finally told him after a short silence and he nodded in acknowledgement.

"No, you're certainly not," he admitted. "I don't know if you recognize me. I'm-"

"Commander Christopher Pike, First Officer under Captain Robert April of the USS Aldrin." Rose kept her voice carefully monotone. "Yes, I recognize you. Can I help you?"

He studied her for a moment before nodding. "It's Captain now, actually," he told her and she nodded in congratulations. Of all the officers on board the Farragut, she'd liked Chris and Boyce the most, even if she'd been uncomfortable around them still.

"I'll just get straight down to the point. That's how you preferred it as a kid. Enlist."

Rose snorted in cynical amusement. "You must be seriously down on your recruiting quota this month Chris. You know I'm a criminal right?"

"You're a hacktivist," he pointed out, leaning in towards her. She leaned away automatically. "You've never harmed anyone."

'Well that's certainly debatable' she thought bitterly, suppressing a flashback.

"And you've exposed over forty corrupt officials as well as kick-started the drafting of a dozen new protection laws for colonies. You want to keep people safe, I can tell. Enlist Rose. You could do so much good."

Rose squirmed slightly. He was projecting the feeling that he thought she worth more than what she was doing, that he believed in her and she didn't know how to react to that.

"I don't trust the 'Fleet," she said finally. "Not after what happened."

Chris' expression softened. "I don't blame you. But let me ask you this, what would more effectively prevent another Tarsus IV catastrophe? You hacking reports and posting them on the media to publicize them? Or you being in the position to actually control what happens on colonies? First step would be becoming an officer. You're clever enough to be able to be an officer in four years, have your own ship in eight.

You've got that instinct, the one that makes you leap without looking. Your father had it too. In my opinion that's something Starfleet has lost and needs to get back. You're a natural leader, you've proven that already on Tarsus."

"We done?" Rose managed to get out. Chris stood, nodding. "We're done. Shuttle to the Academy leaves tomorrow at 0800 hours. You have 'til then to decide." He turned and strode off, leaving Rose sitting shaken in her seat.

The next day she pulled up at the shipyard on her bike and handed it off to a worker who complimented it before striding up beside Pike. "Four years huh? I'll do it in three." She winked at him before strutting onto the shuttle and making her way to seat, skillfully avoiding banging her head. She met Dr. Leonard McCoy a few minutes later.


A/N: So, there's gonna be a few changes from canon other than for Kirk's gender and species. I chose Rosalind as her name because it's the name of a moon of Uranus that was discovered in 1986. Ophelia is also a moon belonging to Uranus it's a shepherd satellite with Cordelia. Her Betazoid heritage comes from George's mother in case you couldn't figure it out. The other changes should be obvious very quick I think. R&R please but no flames!