It was only because Lwaxana had agreed to watch Elizabeth that she was even there. Deanna sat around the conference table. Everyone was there- Picard, Riker, Worf, Crusher and Data.
All focus was up at the screen where the image of the alien chip was displayed. Dr. Crusher had called the meeting to introduce everyone with Geordie's situation and what she and Data had found. But there still wasn't much.
"This chip is what I found in Geordie's right temple. The device emits a type of radiation that we barely have even discovered. The radiation wouldn't physically hurt a person but, in Geordie's case, it disrupted his VISOR causing undetectable feedback. This seems to be the most likely cause of his headaches," Crusher began.
Then Data picked up where she left off, "After running a series of scans, we know little more than when we began. All we do know is that this device was designed to monitor brain waves."
With the conclusion of their presentation, Picard looked around at the other three sitting at the table. The doctor and Commander took their seats. Picard noticed Riker was staring at his hands in thought.
"Any thoughts?" the Captain asked, his eyes searching the group in front of him. When he saw that Riker had turned back to look at the image, he asked, "Anything to add, Number One?"
Riker seemed to snap back to reality. "Hmm… uh, no."
"Very well. Dismissed. Doctor, Commander, keep working on it." Everyone rose then with the exception of Riker.
His face was set hard. Then he sighed heavily before he called out with a desperate voice, "Wait! I do have something to say."
"Yes, Number One?" Picard took his seat and gestured for the others to do the same.
"The chip… it's is used to strengthen telepathic blocks. Geordie, Deanna and myself were given them to block our memories of what really happened on Hytor Settlement."
He glanced up. All eyes were on him; most of their gazes were uncertain and confused. "The chips malfunctioned, which was why we remembered bits and pieces of what happened."
"And why would anyone go through so much trouble to keep you from remembering this?"
Riker looked at Picard, finding his eyes. "I can't tell you that."
"You don't know?"
Riker hesitated before saying, "Yes, I don't know that much."
"Then who made them?" Crusher asked. She wondered briefly how he knew, but then brushed the matter aside. Perhaps she didn't want to know.
"I can't tell you that. Besides, you'll never find them anyway." Riker's tone was matter-o-fact, not quite arrogant but bordering such.
"Then you know who?" Riker nodded and Deanna asked, "Then why can't you say?"
Riker looked at her. She had sensed that he had been lied before, but she could tell that he thought everything he was saying was the truth.
"How do you know all this?"
Riker leaned forward on the table at Data's question. "Because they removed mine and told me. Why, I don't know." He looked around. He knew from their expressions that they were reluctant to believe him. So he slouched back into his chair and sighed in frustration.
Then, after a thought, he leaned toward Beverly and said, "Scan Deanna like you did to Geordie. You'll see that she has the same chip in the same place. I'm not making this up."
Crusher looked down at Deanna. She was sitting obediently still as she preformed her tests. It took only a few minutes and Crusher retreated to her office.
With an order to the computer, she looked at the computer image of Deanna's right temple. Magnifying it several hundred times, she found the same thing as she had just two days earlier.
With a quick, worried look at Picard, she looked back down. Riker was right.
Outside her office, Riker sighed. He was half glad he was right and not insane. But he was half scarred that he was right.
"Should I remove it, Jean-Luc?" the Doctor asked, walking from her office. The question was more directed toward Riker even though she had said it to the Captain.
Picard too looked for Riker's opinion. He gave a slight, unsure nod, and that was all that she needed.
Will walked over to her, extending his hand. "Come on, you have to play."
"Is that an order?" She teased, looking up at him with her brown eyes.
"I can make it one."
She sighed and took his hand, "Fine." And then she allowed him to pull her up and escort her to the field.
Deanna stood at the base, the heavy bat in her hands. "I don't think I can hit the ball."
Will stepped right behind her and slid his arms over hers. His stomach touched her back, his breath tickling her ears as he said, "It's not that hard. Just keep an eye on the ball, and swing with your entire body, not just your arms."
She nodded and watched the ball. The young child pitcher threw and Deanna swung. She sent it flying far behind the many children.
Suddenly, Will yelled, "Run!" Deanna dropped the stick and ran for the next base. She got to the sixth before the other team stopped her. Will couldn't help but smile as she returned.
Deanna felt Will's body against her as they swayed to the music. It was soft and slow.
She raised her head, looking at the others around them. They looked like Nilaains.
She rested her head back against Will's chest, letting his strong arms hold her tightly to him.
The music in the background was unlike anything she had ever heard. It was exotic and beautiful. A mixture of quiet drums, woodwind instruments, and something like a piano.
Deanna and Will had retired to their 'huts'. It was growing dark. Will walked with her until the reached hers.
Something, whatever they had been drinking perhaps, was raging through their system.
Will leaned down, his lips brushing her cheek. But she turned her head, his lips meeting his. Her fingers tangled through his hair… she pulled him with her…
Deanna slowly opened her eyes, allowing them to adjust to the bright light, waiting for the haze to leave her mind.
Her mind raced to remember the moments prior to her being put to sleep. Beverly had told her that Will was right. She was going to perform surgery and remove the chip like she had with Geordie.
Deanna opened her eyes the rest of the way, turning her head to the side. The lights were bright and she was trying to keep them from her eyes.
Sitting there on the next bed was a large figure. She smiled as she watched Will, his arms cradling their daughter.
Will looked up suddenly, his eyes brightening when he saw that she was awake. "See, mommy's awake now," Will cooed to his daughter. "It's a good thing too. Liz here was getting hungry."
Deanna pushed herself up and rolled her eyes at Will. "And it's a good thing that I'm not breast-feeding."
She put out her arms then to take Elizabeth from Will. Looking down at her daughter, she said, "I remember what happened now."
"And I remember who they were."
"I know," Riker responded again, not taking his own eyes off the child in her arms.
"I'll have to tell the Captain if he asked, you know," she said slowly.
"That's what I was hoping for." Finally they both took their eyes off Elizabeth and found each other's in the eyes. Will's eyes were hard, emotionless while Deanna's were full of compassion and sorrow. "I promised I wouldn't tell, you didn't."