I don't own Star Trek, and I bow to the memory of Gene Roddenberry!

Lily had never considered herself a scientist.

A scrounger? Yes. A survivor? Definitely.

Oh, she'd done her part to help put togther the Phoenix, but stuff like that had always been eady for her. She's never considered it 'science'.

Lily's mother had told her stories about how the world had been before the war. Cities had covered hundreds of miles, and children had gone to school and even played, rather than working just to survive. These stories had taught Lily hope.

Lily had seen her share of her battles. She'd watched an ECON blast her home into almost nothing. Her parents had hopefully never known what was coming.

It had been time to grow up then.

So she'd scavenged her own home, collecting what she could use, and set out for a place to make her own.

Years had passed, and somehow she's ended up in what had once been Montana. She'd been passing along what had once been a highway, when a group of men appeared and asked what a pretty girl like her was doing all alone.

Lily had shot two of them before they'd overpowered her and gotten her gun away. They struck her to the ground, and she stopped hoping for a miracle.

Then a shotgun blast had torn through the air. Then another. Lily threw her arms over her head, and missed her attackers being shot.

For several moments she'd just lain there, and then she'd rolled over and sat up to see three men walking towards her. In the lead was an older man, roughly the same age as her father would be, a shotgun in one hand. He held his hand out to Lily.

Lily ignored his hand and stood, wary. "Thanks."

The man gave a slow grin. "Of course. Just passing by. Where you headed?"

Lily shrugged. "Wherever. What are you guys doing out here?"

One of her other rescuers, her age, sighed. "Trying to find parts for a generator."

Despite herself, she felt her curiosity welling up. "Which parts?" Seeing their suspicious looks, she rushed to explain herself. "I know a little about building things."

"Weel, then," said the apparent leader, still grinning. "You know anything about jukeboxes?"

Lily shrugged. "Maybe a little." Truth was, she'd never even seen a jukebox.

"All right. Those two behind me are Gregor and Bud. I'm Zephram, but call me Zee."

Liliy blinked at him. "Lily."

"Okay, Lily. You look at our jukebox and we'll feed you for the night."

With nothing better to do, and a new rifle in hand, she agreed.

Fixing the jukebox turned into a three or four day project, and when it was done, Z recruited her to help with the generator. Then the hydraulics on the silo's doors.

By the end of the month, she knew she was there to stay, and she hoped it was for a while.

Z took her under his wing. He taught her things about propulsion, aerodynamics, and other things that were just as mythical.

Their relaitonship was one of debate at first. It was never like that, though, as Lily often explained. He was not only onld enough to be her father, he treated her like a daughter.

Plus, he most definitely like women that wouldn't be permanent. Flings, he called them, and she called him ridiculous. More than once, she'd pulled him out of an encounter with a boyfriend ot husband.

It was space he loved. He would sit for hours and talk about what was out there. He'd get a boyish gleam in his eye and pour them both a drink and look up at the stars and talk and talk.

Still, when he started work on the Phoenix, it was for money, and glory. People that had faired better would pay good chunks of change if he could make the Phoenix work. The world was already changing in the war's aftermath, picking up the pieces and trying to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again.

Lily and Z had joked together many times about how they'd spend their money. So they built the Phoenix and Lily couldn't help but love the ship more than just a little.

Then the Phoenix was ready and they went to the bar to celebrate.

Whew!

This is my first Star Trek fanfic. It will probably be a three or four chapter story. Please review!