Oh my god, here it is the chapter that started it all, well originally it was a just a scribbled idea on the back of a Pizza Hut voucher and this is actually a proper chapter, but the point is, I had a point...oh right this is where I actually started with this story, this key moment, and it's so exciting that we are finally here, so I really hope that you all like it.
Still don't own and seriously that makes me so sad sometimes, because I would have been far nicer to them, mostly anyway.
"Are you finally coming to speak with me then, Captain?" The being inquired, as Picard stepped through the doorway of Beverly's office. "I must say that this is hardly the warm welcome that I expected from a Starfleet vessel." It added, reaching out to touch the forcefield, which sparkled in response.
"Perhaps if you hadn't taken over one of my crewmen, we might have been more accommodating." Picard countered coldly.
"Ah, but how could I resist the opportunity to escape when it was so freely given?" The being chuckled scathingly as it gestured to Kathryn's injured body.
"Escape? Were you trapped?" Picard asked, curious despite himself.
"Trapped? In a way, though trapped suggests an accident and what happened to me was in no way accidental." The being explained carelessly, tracing the edges of the forcefield without actually touching it. "My people decided that I should be locked up in that godforsaken rock formation for the rest of eternity. A suitable punishment for my crimes, they claimed."
"You're a prisoner?" Picard stared at the possessed Cadet with open revulsion, as he realised what now held the young girl captive.
"Yes, but now that I'm free, you and your crew will help me release my comrades. After that we can return home and finish what we started all those centuries ago!" The being spat vindictively, spinning to face the Captain once again.
"Release my crewmen and we will help you find a way to return you and your people to your home, safely." Picard ordered calmly, determined to resolve the situation peacefully.
"Now why would I do that? Being in this body gives me so much power, so much control over you and your ship. You know that and that is why you are so quick to ask me to leave her, isn't it? I mean it must kill you to see me inhabiting your…" The being trailed off and Picard watched as Kathryn's forehead wrinkled in confusion before it lifted her head, and looked him straight in the eye, a manipulative smile spreading across her face. "Oh but this is wonderful, you don't know, do you, Captain?" The being rubbed its hands together with an almost childlike glee. "Well I can't leave now, can I? How could I live with myself knowing that Kathryn was keeping such a big secret from you?"
"Whatever secrets the Cadet might have, they are of no interest to me, I respect her privacy, something that you clearly do not." Picard stated firmly. "Now release her."
"No!" The being shouted, before it took a deep breath as though trying to calm itself down. "No."
"I wonder, Captain, do you realise how fragile your corporeal bodies truly are?" The being paused and gestured at Kathryn's body, still bruised and bloody from when she had been trapped underneath the rock fall. "This body, for example, is severely injured, numerous broken bones, bleeding organs, it's actually quite revolting really, and yet it is your DNA that is the most fragile part of you. Just a matter of active and inactive genes, that's all it takes for you to be you. Now of course you get those genes from your parents but if there are any flaws within them, well then you inherit those flaws too, don't you?" The being laughed cruelly as it noticed the look of confusion that was spreading across Picard's face, "You still do not understand, do you, Captain? You refuse to see what is right in front of you."
"I see a member of my crew being held against her will by a being who seems to enjoy talking in riddles. Beyond that, I do not need to know anything else." Picard commented gravely.
"That is where you're wrong, Captain." The being paused dramatically, "Perhaps a demonstration might be in order." Kathryn's head tilted to the side for a moment, "But of course to get the full effect we must have all parties present, wake up, Kathryn, come and join the fun."
For a moment Kathryn stood silently her eyes void of any consciousness, until without warning, she stumbled, her legs failing to hold her up now that the malevolent being was no longer in control and she slid to the floor. Blinking in confusion, Kathryn gazed at her surrounding searching the room for a familiar face, "Captain, what?" She murmured weakly as her gaze finally settled on him.
"It's alright, Cadet, we will free you from this being, just…" Picard trailed off, as he saw Kathryn moving desperately to cover her ears. "Cadet, what…" He started to ask only to be cut off by Kathryn, who had begun to scream in agony. "Kathryn, tell me what's wrong?" Picard asked as he rushed forward, stopping just in front of the forcefield, watching in horror as Kathryn tried to scramble away from him, her agonised screams bouncing off the walls of Sickbay in a horrifying echo.
At her screams, Beverly ran into the room, her eyes widening in terror when she saw her daughter curled up on the floor, her hands still clutching the sides of her head, as she continued to scream.
"Oh my god," She gasped before turning to face the remaining Medical Staff, who had followed her into the treatment area, "Everybody out, now!"
"Not you two!" Kathryn's voice snapped out, stopping both Beverly and Picard, who had turned to follow the rest of the staff. "If you leave now, I will kill her!"
Beverly's shoulders slumped and she gazed at Picard, her eyes swimming with unshed tears, an anguished expression on her face. Picard slid a hand along her shoulder giving it a gentle squeeze, before returning to stand in front of the forcefield, followed by Beverly a moment later.
"I can see that you have realised what gene I have turned on, my dear Doctor," The being said, smiling widely at Beverly, who stared at her daughter in despair, praying that she was no longer in pain, "What about you though, the great Captain Picard, have you figured it out yet?" The being waited a moment, in the manner of patient professor allowing a student to figure out a particularly complicated problem. "No? Perhaps another demonstration is needed then."
Instantly, Kathryn's face filled with pain and she once again covered her ears, however this time rather than screaming, Picard could hear her murmuring.
"Please, make it stop, make it stop, please. It hurts, Mamá, help me, help me." Kathryn pleaded, tears flowing down her face as she clutched at her head.
Picard watched in horrified silence as Kathryn continued to beg her mother to help, gulping back a cry as Beverly collapsed onto the floor next to him, her arms wrapped round herself as she was forced to watch her daughter being tortured in front of her. It was too much and Picard stumbled back as he tried to deny what his mind was trying to tell him, tried to ignore the fact that every time she spoke, Kathryn would groan in pain, pressing her hands even tighter against her head. Tighter against her ears, as though the sound of her own voice was enough to cause untold agony.
Without his consent, his mind replayed what the being had said about active and inactive genes. In addition to that his own knowledge of genetic diseases that affected hearing, specifically the one that he himself had suffered from, Shalaft's syndrome, scrolled through his brain, tormenting him with the facts. It was an extremely rare genetic disorder that ran in his family, though it was limited to the male side, but as the being had said, a child inherits genes from both parents. It was a recessive condition, she could easily be a carrier without even knowing it; all she needed was a parent who was also a carrier.
Falling to his knees next to Beverly, Picard found himself staring at the woman he loved more than life itself, his mouth open with a question that he was still too scared to ask. Beverly didn't answer. Instead, she lifted her hand to his cheek and caressed it gently, her eyes filled with a silent apology, before she returned her gaze to her-their daughter.
It was as though he had been wearing blinkers, Picard thought later, and when those blinkers fell away, everything had seemed so obvious to him. The woman, standing before him, screaming as she suffered through the horrors of Shalaft's syndrome, who's hair and eyes were so similar to his own, (At least when he had hair, he thought to himself ruefully.) was his daughter.
Kathryn Howard Janeway, was his daughter.
"Finally, you have realised the truth, though honestly for a man as intelligent as you are supposed to be, I would have expected you to have figured it out a little sooner." The being taunted viciously. "Of course, now that you do know, well that just gives me all the power doesn't it?" The being stood up and stretched its arms out. "What will it be Picard, your ship or your daughter?"
Dum dum duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmm. Heeeheee sorry couldn't resist. So anyway, what did you all think? Did it live up to expectations? I hope so. Although I worry that Picard does have a wee bit of a dramatic reaction, at the same time this is a daughter that he didn't know existed who is now being tortured by an unknown being whilst he and Beverly are forced to watch, I think that justifies a little drama personally. Let me know though. Reviews are always such nice presents and I was early, I promised to have it up before the 18th and voila here in Comox it is 11.35pm on december 17th so yay for me. Thanks for the birthday wishes, it definitely helped me to get this up on time. Now I fly to england on tuesday so if I don't sleep on the plane this should be up by thursday at the latest, however if I do sleep I won't be able to get it up before saturday since I have to drive from London to Manchester the day after I land. That being said it should be up in time for Christmas. Review! Lol. Toodles A xxxxx