By: Kaitlyn M. Wooley
Based on Star Trek created by Gene Roddenberry
Kathren Troi took a deep breath, a bit of nervousness tickling the back of her throaght. Almost all of her life she had dreamed of this day, the day she would finally report to her first assignment as a real Starfleet officer. She had wanted this ever since her adopted sister Deanna had told her all about her own job in Starfleet. Even though Deanna was almost twenty years older than her, and wasn't her sister by birth, Kathren adored her. She'd always wanted to be just like her.
Well, not exactly like her, she thought with a smile; she'd never want to be a counselor. Things like that didn't interest her. She liked helping people, but she was clueless when it came to psychology, and often became confused when Deanna went into specifics while talking about her work. So, Kathren had chosen another field where she could help people, and one that did interest her-the medical field. Now she was in Starfleet; the dream she'd had since meeting her new sister when she was adopted at the age of three had come true. The only thing was that that she hadn't expected it to come true this quickly.
She didn't even remember how it all had happened. After convincing her mother to let her, she had studied hard at home, preparing for the day when she would be old enough to apply to go to Starfleet Academy. Then something had happened, some special program, and she had applied for it. She and several other exceptionally bright ten-to-fourteen-year-olds had been tested. She had been eleven at the time. Later, she and two other students had been shocked and delighted to learn that they would be accepted to the academy-and start the next year. So she had entered Starfleet Academy at the age of twelve. The other two were eleven and fourteen and the three of them had become close friends while there. Kathren was sad to learn that none of them had been assigned to the same ship, but she was certainly happy that she had been assigned to the Enterprise, the ship her sister served on.
So here she was-sixteen, and waiting to be transported over to the Starflleet ship where she would be serving. Lwaxana Troi had gone to the trouble of coming with her daughter to the starbase, where they were now waiting in a transporter room along with a few other new crewmembers transferring to the Enterprise.
Kathren, her mother's voice sounded in her mind. Kathren pulled herself out of the past and turned to her mother, realizing as she did so that the rest of the waiting officers in the transporter room were moving onto the platform.
Oh, she thought back, slightly embarrassed.
Lwaxana hugged her, Goodbye, dear.
Goodbye, mother. I love you.
I love you too, she said, smiling at her daughter. Take care now, and say hello to Deanna for me.
The Enterprise is right out there, Kathren thought, confused. You can't talk to her telepathically from here? She knew she couldn't-her telepathic abilities were not near as strong or developed as Lwaxana Troi's-but her mother should have been able to.
Now Lwaxana's smile widened, Actually I could, but it would annoy her too much. Mother and daughter laughed over that for a few seconds, and embraced. Then Kathren shouldered her bag, but hesitated before stepping up onto the platform.
Go on, Mrs. Troi encouraged gently. Kathren smiled at her mother and stepped onto the transporter pad. Before she knew it, she was on her way.
In a transporter room on the Enterprise, Deanna Troi had already been waiting for several minutes when the transporter platform finally began to sparkle, and four forms began to take shape. The ship's counselor could barely contain her excitement as the officers being transported materialized. As soon as the transport was complete, Kathren nearly jumped off the platform and into her sister's arms, both of them talking at once. The other three officers, who were transferring, filed out of the room after being warmly welcomed by Chief O'Brien, and left the two sisters to catch up. It had been about four years since they had seen each other in person, due to the fact that Deanna was in Starfleet and Kathren had been at the academy.
Deanna looked at her much younger sister, who had to have grown at least four or five inches since she had seen her last, and was now up to somewhere around her ears. "Goodness," she said. "You've grown quite a bit since I last saw you."
Kathren laughed, "Yeah. I just hope I'm not finished yet."
"Oh, you'll probably be about as tall as I am. If I remember correctly, I was about as tall as you are now when I was your age. Now come on, and I'll show you our quarters," Deanna said.
"Um, yes. Mother insisted that you stay with me, but it's not a problem. There's another bedroom for you in those quarters that I don't use, anyway."
"Okay, that'll work; I'd like that."
The two of them thanked Chief O'Brien and exited the transporter room. Then Kathren looked at her sister and said, "Mother insisted, huh?" she asked.
"She can be very persuasive."
"Of course, and annoying too."
"But she chose not to be annoying today," Kathren added.
"Well, she told me to say hello to you for her. She could have spoke to you from the station, but she didn't because she knew it might annoy you."
Deanna smiled wryly, "Since when has that stopped her?"
They laughed as they stepped into a turbolift.
"Once you put your bag in your new room, we need to go to Ten-Forward. I'm having a friend of mine meet us there so I can introduce you to her."
"Sure, that sounds nice. I'd love to meet one of your friends."
About half an hour later, Kathren followed her sister into the busy Ten-Forward lounge, scanning her surroundings and smiling at the view the large windows at the front of the room provided. But then she had to take her eyes off the windows in order to follow Deanna through the crowd of people that were streaming in, having just come off duty. She looked ahead, and saw Deanna seemed to be leading them toward a small table at one side of the room. But the table contained two occupants, not one, as she had expected. One was a pretty, red-haired woman, and the other was a brown-haired teenager that looked to be about her age.
When the two of them neared the table, the woman spotted them and both she and the boy stood. The boy hung back as the woman greeted them, but Kathren didn't blame him. With him here, she was beginning to get a little nervous herself.
"Hi Deanna," the woman said. Then she turned to Kathren, "And this must be the sister you've told us so much about."
Kathren smiled, and Deanna said, "This is her. Kathren, this is Beverly Crusher."
"Hi, nice to meet you," Kathren said, extending a hand.
Beverly took it, "Nice to meet you, too."
"Well, it's good that you two are off to a nice start. Beverly is the Chief Medical Officer on board, so you'll be working with her," Deanna said to Kathren.
Kathren's smile widened,"I think I'll like that."
"I'm looking forward to it," Dr. Crusher said. "Like I said, Deanna has told us a lot about you."
"Oh really?" Kathren asked, looking at her sister.
"You're all she's talked about for the last few days." The boy said. Kathren glanced at him in mild surprise; he hadn't said anything until now. Beverly motioned to him, and he took a step or two forward to stand next to her.
"I'm sorry," she said. "I forgot to introduce you. This is my son, Wesley."
"Hi," he said as they shook hands. "You know, you really are pretty much all she's been talking about. When there would be nothing to do on the bridge she'd start talking about how excited she was about you being assigned to the Enterprise."
"The bridge?" Kathren asked, puzzled.
"Well," Wesley said. "It's a long story. I'm 17, but I'm also an acting ensign."
"Oh. So that's why you're wearing a combadge. I was curious about that. An 'acting ensign' you say? Sounds interesting. I'd like to hear that long story."
By that time, both teenagers had all but forgotten about the adults standing no more than two feet away. At the same time, they sat down at the table across from each other and began to talk. Completely immersed in their conversation, neither noticed when Beverly and Deanna quietly slipped out of Ten-Forward. The two women didn't mind, though. Both thought things were going well, and they exchanged silent smiles as they went their separate ways at the door. But not too long after, maybe half an hour later, unable to stand the suspense of how the teens' conversation was going, they again found themselves outside of Ten-Forward. They almost ran into each other in the corridor, and after a moment or two of conspirational conversation, they headed back to the table where they had been.
As they had decided before coming in, Beverly positioned herself on the side of the table where Kathren was, just beside and behind her, and Deanna did the same on the other side, where Wesley was. They had decided to indulge in a little harmless, girlish fun, just to suit the occasion-sort of. Although it was more along the lines of what an annoying brother or sister, or parent, might do at a time like this....oh well.
Wesley and Kathren were still talking, but it sounded as if the conversation was winding down. Not to mention that they apparently had never noticed that Deanna and Beverly had ever left.
"It's been really interesting talking to you," Wesley was saying.
"Thanks. You too."
"Thanks. Umm..." Wes looked around, spoted Deanna behind him, and then looked back to Kathren. "If you're sister here doesn't mind, I can show you around the ship sometime, if you want me to."
She smiled, "I'd like that, Wesley." She started to look up at Deanna for permission. Before she could, however, Beverly leaned over and whispered something to her, and she made sure it was just loud enough for her son to hear as well.
"You know," she said, laughing slightly as she did so. "Wes hasn't had the best luck with girls."
At about the same time, Deanna whispered to Wesley, again making sure that the other teen could hear, "And she's never had much luck with boys either!" She knew that from contact she'd had with her sister over the years they'd been apart.
At hearing what was said about them, both teenagers stared up and over each other, openmouthed, at the adult across from them, both embarrassed. That lasted a whole two seconds before they exploded.
"Mom!" Wesley cried.
"Deanna!" wailed Katheren at the same time.
As the women laughed, suddenly what was said to the teens registered, and they looked back down at each other.
"You haven't?" they asked simultaneously.
"Gosh, um," Wesley said timidly. "You...you don't, um...'look' like that would be a problem for you."
Kathren blushed. She didn't need her Betazoid senses to tell her that he was implying he thought she was pretty. "Thanks. I...I was going to say the same about you," she smiled shyly.
"Really? Uh, thanks," Wesley smiled. "You know, if you want, and if Deanna doesn't mind, I can show you around now."
"I don't mind," Deanna said readily.
"Me either," Beverly agreed.
"Then of 'course' I want to go now," Kathren said, standing up and grinning. "I've been waiting to see this ship!"
"Then let's get going. Come on, let's get out of here and away from 'them'," Wesley said, grinning as well as he glanced at his mother and Deanna. Kathren laughed, and followed Wes as he turned and headed toward the door.
Over the next the next few weeks, Katheren and Wesley became best friends. They were always doing somthing together, and if you saw one the other was sure to be close by. Five weeks after meeting, neither of them could have known or would even have suspected what was about to happen--something that would frighten them, and a good number of other people quite a bit, but something that would strengthen their friendship just as much...