You Cannot Just Watch, You Must See
Deanna walked up the street of this strange town bewildered. She knew she was on earth of the past from the greenery and the make of the homes and the cars that were parked in… what did they call them port ways? No driveways she believed. It was all a bit disconcerting. Had she been thrown back in time somehow? Did the enterprise know where she was? It was busy, full of people screaming and panicking and growling in what had to be costumes. She tried to reach out empathically to the creatures that were running around causing havoc but she couldn't read them and they had yet to notice her even though she walked openly down the dark street. It was if they weren't there, that wasn't it; it was as if she was dreaming or on the holodeck watching all of this unfold.
She took a moment to try to remember anything from before she found herself in this place. Nothing came to mind until she saw a familiar face in the crowd and everything from the past few weeks came rushing back. She spotted Willow running towards a young man with a gun. She yelled out for Willow to be careful before she realized no one could hear her in this place. She let out a sigh of relief when she recognized the young man as one of Willows friends that had followed her onto the ship. Then she almost screamed when he walked right through her.
Deanna watched the scene unfold in fascination. She watched Willow reunite with her two friends only to realize that they didn't know who or what she was or who they really were. She followed them as they ran into what Willow said was a friend's house.
She examined the whole scene in utter confusion. Listening to Willow's conversation it was as if they had things like this happening to them all the time. Then the scenery changed all of a sudden almost making Deanna nauseous.
She had somehow been transported to a playground that looked untouched by children. In the background lay contrasting scenery of desert terrain and off in the distance she could barely make a lone figure crouched down in an animal like stance. She started to cross over into the desert land when she heard what sounded like children arguing. She stopped her trek into the desert and turned to see two children sitting in a sand box filled with yellow crayons tugging on what looked like a doll. They had their backs to her but she could tell that it was a dark haired boy and redheaded little girl struggling with each other, something seemed all too familiar about this scene and Deanna couldn't place why.
"Xander, she's mine you can't have her!" screamed the little red head.
The boy didn't say a word; he just pulled harder until the little girl couldn't hold unto her prized possession any longer. He then smiled and ran off into the sunset while she sat there crying and looking for the entire world that she had lost more than just a doll.
Deanna's heart went out to her and she started to go and comfort the young girl. Before she could take one-step, she heard a feral growl behind her and was spun around by strong arms and thrown into the desert land. She tried to get up but something dark and wild was upon her within seconds ripping and tearing at her flesh trying to gain access to her insides. Deanna screamed and tried to fight back but she couldn't, it was too strong for her to fight. She looked around to find some type of weapon to fend off her attacker. That's when she saw a young blonde standing there watching this thing attack her, she tried to scream out for the young girl to help her but she couldn't form any words. The pain was excruciating, tears flowed down her face as the young blond slowly walked up to her and her attacker. She knelt down and began to stroke Deanna's hair.
"You think you know what you are, what's to come. You haven't even begun," The young blond paused and looked out unto the desert land with sad haunted eyes. Deanna followed her gaze and saw something that stopped her heart. Her crewmates were fighting things that a first glance looked like an alien species but her heart told her it was something darker, an evil beyond her imagining.
Her friend Beverly was the first to go down as one of the creatures literally ripped the heart out of her chest, bloodily shattering the redhead's ribcage with huge, sharp-clawed hands. Then Wesley in his grief was skewered from behind as he lay crying at his mother's side. Hot tears ran down her cheeks as Riker, her Imzadi, had his neck snapped viciously by one of the creatures. Deanna tried to squirm her way out of her assailants grip as she gazed into the now dead vacant eyes of her crewmate, her first love.
Captain Picard, Tasha and Worf were the last to go down as they fought for their lives; Picard visibly struggled with his disgust and rage at their situation. He took several of his attackers out before he was finally put down with brutal blow to the head that split it down the middle.
Tasha tried to take out several creatures down with phaser fire before she realized it wasn't harming them in the least, not even on the highest setting. She finally began hand to hand combat using several of her fighting techniques she'd learned on her home planet as well as Starfleet, she held her own for quite a while, dealing death and injury, until a large creature took her into its steel arms and crushed the security chief's body and dropped her broken unto the desert ground.
Worf fought with all the ferocity of his Klingon heart and heritage. It looked as if he had taken out hundreds of his enemy, tearing through them like tissue paper with his Bat'leth before one got the better of him and ripped him apart at the midsection. His lower body falling to its knees and then over and his torso landing several yards away. Smaller creatures immediately gathered to eat his entrails even as Worf kept feebly moving until he finally died.
Deanna wept bitterly for her friends, helpless to do anything to save them, slowly the young girl that watched with her returned her full gaze onto Deanna. She smiled with a force that warmed Deanna's heart and made her forget the pain of what was happening to her friends.
"Are you ready to be strong?" Tara's eyes blazed with fire and ice as she witness the birth of something old as the ages. Her attacker ripped into her and Deanna as she was, was no more.
Deanna awoke with a start in sickbay. Her body felt strong, her spirit felt free and in her mind, she could hear the cries and fight and strength of others before her. She knew what she was and she was ready for what was to come, she was ready to be strong.
Beverly sat at her desk baffled at the results of the test. She had set it up to find any and all anomalies within the DNA of their guests. But the results had repeatedly come up negative for anything out of the ordinary. Except for the ordinary mutations, that one might expect from living in an environment as polluted and irradiated as the late twentieth century earth, there was nothing extraordinary about their DNA. The strontium tests she'd run concurrently did conclusively prove that most of the group were California natives, and ate far too much junk food. The oldest male, Giles, was British and seemed to have done his body little good by considerable amounts of alcohol and drugs. The drugs seemed to be a thing of his past but the alcohol was still very present.
The medical anomaly came from Angel, whose DNA test had to be wrong. Both his mitochondrial DNA and strontium test showed him to be much, much older than the others, as much as two centuries and that he'd been born in Ireland. He had immunities to versions of Yersinia Pestis, the Black Death, that had become extinct in the eighteenth century.
She sat back in her chair and ran her fingers through her hair in frustration. She'd been doing that a lot lately and its usual neat appearance replaced by a rather wild hairstyle with lots of wayward locks. She tapped the computer again, calling up more possibilities, chemical enhancements that had been used in the past, from EPO to human growth hormone. Other, more dangerous drugs, like PCP, were suggested by the computer and discarded by Beverly, though she was shocked by what people had done to themselves in those long gone days.
There had to be something more to this, especially with the Summers girl, there was no way she was not genetically engineered. Considering what she'd done Beverly wasn't even sure that she was human. However, the results had all but negated that option. Unless someone was interfering with her tests, Buffy Summers and Faith Lehane were normal Human girls.
She thought about what to try next, she was sure the computer had missed something. She started to run the test again when the computer beeped. It had finally found something.
Beverly knew that computers didn't have a sense of humor, Data himself often struggled with humor. But she stood there, eyebrow rising to her hairline in true Spock fashion, taking in what the diagnostics had found and thought either the computer was malfunctioning or it had perfected the art of the practical joke, Something that Data had sought to grasp all his life.
"That's not possible!" Beverly growled, her anger fierce enough to burn the results just by looking at them. Her disbelief increased by the minute as she read the result over and over again about the young redhead that had dropped into their lives unexpectedly and from another time. Beverly would have laughed if it was not so damned hurtful in so many ways.
She shook her head and hit her combadge harder then intended. "Data, I need you down in sickbay now!" Beverly rubbed her shoulder as she continued to stare holes into the results.
"On my way, Doctor," Data said without asking any question. He noted that she had sounded a bit upset and frantic and it never was a good idea to ask question like he always like to do when she was in a mood.
When Data made it to sickbay, he found Beverly pacing the length of her office with a deep scowl on her face. He was curious as to what had brought on the behavior she was displaying.
Beverly stopped pacing when she notice Data standing there waiting. She turned towards him and pointed at the results in an animated way. "I want you to read that and tell me what you make of it.
Data walked up to the computer and quickly read the results on the screen. His head quirked to the side and he turned to the Doctor. "Congratulations Dr Crusher, It's a girl," Beverly rolled her eyes as Data blinked at her, wondering what he had said.
Worf and Faith slowly woke up together and looked into each other's eyes. All malice and confusion gone and all that stood between them was raw truth and understanding.
Worf's chest rose and he took his fellow warriors hand and gripped it tightly. " ta' SoH voq jIH!"
Faith locked fiery eyes unto her second heart and roared. "tlhej wIj yIn."
ta' SoH voq jIH!: Do you trust me!
tlhej wIj yIn: With My Life.