STAR TREK: Endeavour: "Pandora"
by Rigil Kent
Rated: PG … mild language, violence, and adult situations.
Summary: Part of the continuing adventures of the starship UES Endeavour. Events are set into motion that will change the course of the Romulan war...
Disclaimer: The only thing I own are my hopes and dreams ... although I did pawn both a while back for rent money.
Author's Note: Major thanks (again) to TJinLOCA for being an awesome beta. I also want to thank both Kevin Thomas Riley being a very, very helpful sounding board. An immense thank you to Chrisis1033 for his fantastic "covers" for the previous fics and of course, for this one as well.
The revised look of the Endeavour was originally developed by Mark Ward for the NX Class Mod Pack for Bridge Commander, although it was credited as the NCC-05 Atlantis. Mr. Ward has graciously given me permission to use this "skin" for the look of Endeavour – if I had discovered this thing before writing Vigrid, the -06 would have looked like this all along.
This is the sequel to Endeavour: Icarus. It'll be a little difficult to follow without reading that first. Like my previous fics, I'm writing this as prose and using the basic screenplay format (Teaser + 5 acts).
Dramatis Personae – UES Endeavour (NC-06)
Commanding Officer (CO):
Charles Tucker, III - Captain (CPT)
Executive Officer (XO): T'Pol, also Senior Science/Sensor Officer (SCI) - Commander (CDR)
Chief Tactical Officer (TAC): Heinrich ("Rick") Eisler - Lieutenant Commander (LTCDR), 3IC
Chief of Engineering (ENG or ChEng): Anna Hess – Lieutenant Commander (LTCDR), 4IC
Senior Helmsman/Navigator (NAV): Daniel Hsiao – Lieutenant (LT)
Senior Communications/Linguistics Officer (COM): Marie Devereux– Lieutenant (LT)
Weapon Systems Officer (WSO): Nathaniel Hayes, also Roughneck 6 (OIC) – Lieutenant Junior Grade (LT, JG)
Chief Medical Officer (CMO): Phlox, civilian rank equivalent of LTCDR
Chief of the Boat (COB): Colin Mackenzie – Master Chief Petty Officer (MCPO), senior enlisted man.
SecForce - "Roughnecks"
SEAL 7 (NCOIC): Lee Luckabaugh– Senior Chief Petty Officer (SCPO), enlisted
STAB 7 (NCOIC): Miguel Gray- Senior Chief Petty Officer (SCPO), enlisted
She didn't know what to do.
The sharp smell of antiseptic filled the air around her, tainting the oxygen with a stench that she was slowly beginning to hate. A constant ping from the biobed's heart monitor sounded at regular intervals; under normal circumstances, the soft beep would be a welcome relief as an indication of his strong vitals, but after listening to it for twenty-nine hours straight, she had grown to loathe the repetitive chime. The room itself was exactly five meters by five meters; this she had determined by pacing the room and calculating the measurement based on her normal stride. Apart from the occupied biobed, there was only a single chair in the small room.
Her personal computer was atop the unused chair, powered down and untouched since she had arrived. The decision to bring it had been a logical one – she still had a lot of work to do, after all – but each time she attempted to focus on the equations, her mind would wander in the direction of the occupied bed and the frail-looking man atop it. Attempts to focus on anything other than his well-being were wasted efforts, and she had long since given up even trying to think of anything but him.
She frowned abruptly as she realized how terribly emotional that sounded. It was his fault, of course, but she couldn't find it in herself to be too angry at him for it. By nature, she wasn't a very emotional individual, preferring the cold logic of science and mathematics to the emotional pitfalls of interpersonal relationships. For more years than she cared to consider, she had been content to avoid such entanglements. Life had proceeded in a predictable and logical fashion.
And then, she met Charles Tucker.
He had fascinated her from day one and, despite her best efforts, she had been drawn to him. From the moment that he had first smiled at her, his charisma had attracted her, and his unnerving talent for evoking an emotional response in her never failed to annoy even as it excited. He had an uncanny ability to read her moods, and, somehow, some way, he always seemed to know what she was thinking, often before even she did.
Wake up, she commanded him as she stared at his unmoving form. Her stomach twisted in knots as the fear again resurfaced. What would she do if he didn't wake up? If medical science couldn't bring him back from the brink of death? Could she move on? Could she find another man such as this, one who could make her smile or laugh despite her instincts?
Somehow, she doubted it.
Drawing in another breath, she once more fought the crippling terror that lurked in the darkest corners of her mind. She'd always assumed that she would outlive him, but never before had she been truly forced to face the fact of that belief. The idea of being alone for the rest of her life was repugnant, and she couldn't imagine someone ever taking his place. He was her life, and she had no desire even to face a day when he wasn't at her side.
Tears began to well in her eyes as her struggle with the fear and the growing grief overwhelmed her. Strong arms suddenly enfolded her and a familiar voice reached her ears.
"It's okay, Mom," Trip Tucker whispered as he hugged her tightly, and Elaine Tucker began to cry.