Uninspired Voyages

A Star Trek: Voyager fanfiction by Andrew J. Talon

DISCLAIMER: This is a non-profit fan based work of prose. Star Trek: Voyager, Deep Space Nine, The Next Generation et al are the property of CBS Television, Para creation of Gene Roddenberry. Please support the official release.

Flashback: Post-Generations

It was the first leave the Shepherd family had managed to take in years. Frankly, it was desperately needed. Little Mirai, Shepherd Junior's little sister, was as much of a handful as her big brother had been. So, they'd decided to keep their vacation simple.

They were enjoying the California beach near San Diego, during the summer. Beachgoers of multiple races frolic in the waves and enjoyed themselves. Mrs. Shepherd was beating several teenaged boys at volleyball, while Shepherd Senior enjoyed time with his daughter in some rock pools.

"Daddy! Daddy! I found a hermit crab!" Mirai said happily, holding it up.

"Aw, that's great sweetie," Shepherd Senior chuckled. The little girl yelped.

"OW! It pinched me!"

Shepherd Senior hugged his daughter, and held the crab with Mirai, helping to hold him gently with his daughter.

"Now now, he's just scared. You gotta handle him gently, Mirai."

"Hmph... Okay," Mirai mumbled. She watched the hermit crab scuttle around their joined hands, and

Mrs. Shepherd arrived, grinning happily and looking amazing in her bikini. But Mister Shepherd always thought that about his wife.

"Hello dear! Hey Mirai!"

Shepherd Senior smirked and hugged his wife, as Mirai continued to play with her crab.

"Have fun beating some lustful teenaged boys into the sand?" He asked. Mrs. Shepherd giggled, and shook her head as she rested her nose against his.

"Not as much fun as before. I suppose I'm just getting more mature as I age."

Mirai wandered up, holding the crab up in her cupped hands.

"Mommy! I have a hermit crab!" She said cheerfully.

Mrs. Shepherd knelt down and hugged her daugher, looking over the tiny creature with a big smile.

"Awww... That's great, sweetie! What else have you found?"

"Um... I found... A starfish! But it's boring..."

Shepherd Senior snorted.

"I tried to explain how not boring they are, but she lost interest."

Mrs. Shepherd chuckled, and kissed her daughter's head.

"Well, maybe when she's older..."

Shepherd Senior's communicator went off. He pulled it from his swimtrunks pocket and opened it.

"Hello...? Oh! Hello Captain! Sorry, I've been getting Ferengi scammer calls all day. How are you?"

Shepherd Senior listened... And blinked.

"I'm being reassigned? May I ask why, sir?"

Picard talked some more. Shepherd Senior blinked several times.

"... What do you mean the Enterprise has been destroyed?!"

Mrs. Shepherd covered her mouth in shock. Mirai, bored, set her crab down and began to chase it around the pools. Shepherd Senior continued to listen, and then responded in a slightly less upset tone.

"By the Duras sisters? Did they have an experimental dreadnought or something? ... A 20 year old Bird of Prey?! ... Oh. It had trilithium torpedoes. Yeah, right to the energy transformers on Deck 33? Yeah. I have recommended we armor up that section for years, especially with the Borg... No sir, I would never presume to tell you 'I told you so.' Especially not in this situation."

Shepherd Senior listened some more. Mrs. Shepherd was already checking the Federation news services on her padd. She covered her mouth in shock as Senior's conversation continued.

"Yes sir, it is good you stopped this guy from blowing up a star... Not sure how that works with this Nexus thing though... Why didn't he just fly into it with a ship? ... Oh. He'd have died before he got close enough to be absorbed or something? Okay... Well you got to meet Captain Kirk. That's... He's dead? Again? Ah... Yeah... Awkward... Well you collected his body for burial, right? You didn't just leave it on the planet? I'm sure he'd have burial instructions somewhere."

Silence. Then some more contrite conversation. Shepherd Senior raised an eyebrow.

"Ah. So you're ordering the Farragut to return to Veridian III for... Other reasons, sir? Certainly. No sir, I would never presume to question you on this. Not at all, sir. I am a creature of duty, sir... Yes, I would be happy to serve with you again sir, if given the chance. No promotion is necessary."

He listened for a bit longer, and then nodded.

"Well sir, I am perfectly happy with extended leave time. No sir, I do not think it has anything to do with you leaving Kirk in a grave that would take five minutes for coyotes to get through. Perish the thought. I will see you in a month. Thank you sir, safe journey."

Shepherd Senior turns off the communicator and looks to his family. Mirai had run back, now holding a starfish.

"Daddy! It's all gushy!"

"Well, we're gonna be on vacation for another month or so," Shepherd Senior sighed, "apparently Commander Riker got the Enterprise destroyed."

Mirai gasped.

"The whole thing?! Was anyone hurt?!" Mirai asked. Mrs. Shepherd hugged her daughter, as Shepherd Senior shook his head.

"Some, but most at okay, And only the drive section was destroyed, the saucer section just crashed onto a planet."

Mrs. Shepherd hummed.

"... Was Counselor Troi piloting?"

Shepherd Senior nodded. His wife sighed.

"Well, that's only to be expected..." She muttered. Mirai sniffled and cried.

"My dollies!" She wailed. Shepherd Senior squeezed

"Don't worry dear, I'm sure they'll bring us your dollies from the Enterprise."

Mrs. Shepherd groaned.

"Ugh. We never should have left! Only bad things happen when we're on vacation!" She muttered. Shepherd Senior shook his head.

"Come on darling, you know that's not true..."

His communicator rang again. Shepherd Senior picked it up.

"I'm popular today... Hello, this is Shepherd Senior?"

He was silent for a moment. His eyes narrowed. He took a deep breath.

"... What do you mean my son's missing?!"

Just a flashback to when the Shepherd family found out two terrible things on the same day.