Disclaimer: I do not own Star Trek or any of its characters.

Please refer to the Author's notes in Chapter 1.

Thank you to Just a Crazy-Man, Obsessive66, AngelQueen, Ataxia O'Rourke, Kushina98, Emberka-2012, royalpinkdogs, Mike, and Ace for the reviews and all of the readers following this story!

The Ripple Effect

Chapter 8

0730 - Donovan's Quarters, Enterprise

The door buzzed.

Kaitlyn walked over and opened the door after she pulled her blue uniform top on.

McCoy was standing on the other side, he quickly became concerned. She looked like she hadn't gotten any sleep. "Are you alright?" he asked as he stepped in.

"I didn't sleep well last night. I've got a huge migraine." she shrugged and headed into her bathroom.

"You left early last night." he commented as he sat down on the couch.

"I didn't feel well. Did you and your father have a good time?" she asked as she came back out with her hair up.

He nodded, "He updated me on everything there is to know about the ranch." he smiled.

"I'm ready, let's go eat." she smiled softly.

XXXXX

Kaitlyn nodded as Cookie handed her a plate, "It was nice meeting Brian last night." she told him.

He nodded, "Brian says thank you for the advice."

They walked to the Senior Officer's table and sat down.

Spock looked at Donovan curiously, then looked at McCoy. Surely the doctor had noticed the deep circles under her eyes and the lack of color in her face. "Are you feeling ill this morning, Commander?" he asked.

"Do I really look that bad off?" Kaitlyn questioned them. "I didn't sleep well, and I've got a migraine." she snapped.

"She's coming to Medical after breakfast." McCoy reassured the Vulcan.

Kirk looked at his officers as he sat down, "I hope everyone had a good time last night. We'll be heading out at 1000." he smiled.

Spock nodded, "I believe a 'good time' was had by all." he stated and stood up to leave. "I will make sure that all personnel have returned to the ship." he excused himself.

Kirk looked at McCoy, "So, how's your dad doing?" he asked his friend.

"Just fine - ornery as ever." Bones smiled.

Kirk watched Donovan as he ate, she didn't look well at all. "Did Bones check your arm out?" he asked softly.

She frowned and touched her arm absently, "My arm?" she repeated. What was he talking about? Though, her arm did feel sore.

Kirk put down his fork, "Spock said that Admiral Vincent grabbed your arm last night - did you get your arm checked out?" he restated.

McCoy banged his fists on the table and looked at Kirk, "Admiral Vincent?" He looked at Kaitlyn, "You said he wouldn't lay a hand on you again!" He was about ready to demand to know why she didn't find him when he saw the look on her face.

She looked perplexed. "I don't remember seeing him last night." she looked towards the kitchen. "I remember feeling sick, so I came back to the Enterprise." she said softly.

"Do you remember talking to Spock last night?" Kirk questioned her.

"Early in the evening." she stated.

Kirk frowned, "Get to medical. Bones, check her out." he ordered.

XXXXX

0802 - Enterprise Medical

McCoy's frown deepened, "The elevated levels in your hippocampus region are even higher than they were yesterday." he stated.

Spock had joined them and looked at the readings, immediately recognizing the patterns.

Jim Kirk pointed to a miniscule dark line on the screen at her neck, "What is this?" he asked.

McCoy increased the magnification on the screen, "It's a microscopic pellet of some sort."

Spock ran his tricorder over the spot on her neck. "It is sending out a signal."

McCoy frowned, "Someone is tracking her?"

Spock nodded, "I believe that someone also attempted to access your memories." he explained to Kaitlyn. "These are the same readings one would see after a Mindmeld." he informed the doctor. "The levels will slowly dissipate. I believe I can shut down the signal." Spock stated.

Kirk watched Kaitlyn, then glanced at Bones, "Can you take it out?" he questioned.

McCoy frowned, "Let's shut the signal down first, then I'll take it out."

Spock quickly sent out a signal from his tricorder and the signal stopped. "I believe we may need to delay our departure because of this incident." Spock stated.

Kaitlyn shook her head, "Don't report it." she requested.

Spock raised an eyebrow, "You were violated with a Mindmeld and you were injected with a tracking device. Starfleet Regulations clearly state that this incident must be reported." he pointed out.

Kaitlyn nodded, "I understand that it must be reported, but because of my clearance level - I can decide who that information is reported to."

Jim Kirk frowned. Why did he feel like he was the only person out of the loop? Spock had simply nodded at her statement and Bones had shrugged in acquiesce. He looked at Kaitlyn, "What clearance level are you talking about?"

Kaitlyn glanced at Bones and Spock.

McCoy nodded, "Come on, Commander, let's leave them alone for a few minutes." he suggested and they went to the doctor's office.

Jim Kirk crossed his arms, "So they both know what you're going to tell me?" He was perturbed.

"Yes. Leonard knows because he researched and found out on his own. Spock knows because when I transferred aboard, all of the security locks on my files became unlocked. I had him find out who had accessed my files during that time." she explained.

"You mean your Starfleet Intelligence files?" Kirk questioned.

Kaitlyn sighed softly, "Not just those files. All of my records before twenty-five years ago are classified. I'm actually a lot older than I look."

Kirk raised an eyebrow, "What are you talking about? How old are you?"

"A few years younger than Admiral Archer." she shrugged, trying to gauge his reaction.

He laughed loudly, "Are ya'll playing some kind of joke on me?" He stopped laughing when she shook her head slowly. He thought quickly, "That's how you know Admirals Archer and Kenmore - did you serve with them?"

Kaitlyn nodded, "On the Invincible."

Jim Kirk's eyes widened, "That means you're General Donovan-Reed. You were required reading in our first year Security classes. You helped merge the MACOs into Starfleet, you were the first female Commandant. How long did you run the Starfleet Security Training Center?" he asked. His head was spinning. No wonder she could fight so well!

"Fifteen years."

"And then you were Starfleet's Military Liaison to the Federation Council." he remembered, then frowned. "But, the last thing I remember reading was that you went to live on Vulcan when your husband died." Realization slowly dawned on him, "That is why all of your records are classified - you have a new life."

Kaitlyn watched him carefully, "I request that you don't speak to anyone about what you've learned. Twenty-five years ago, my oldest grandson was killed on the U.S.S. Kelvin. I came back and went through the Academy and into Starfleet Intelligence expressly for the purpose of tracking down Nero and the technology he was selling off."

Jim was surprised that she had a grandson that had been killed on the Kelvin. He could understand how she could be persuaded to come work for Starfleet because of that. "How did Ambassador Spock know to request you as his Debriefing Officer?"

She shrugged slightly. "Jim, my mother's species lives for seven hundred years. Ambassador Spock requested me to be his Debriefing Officer because he knows me from his Universe."

He frowned. Seven hundred years was an exceedingly long life. He couldn't comprehend living that long. He looked over her, "Do you have an idea of who could have done this?" he questioned.

"I would only be guessing at this point. I will have some people look into this situation." Kaitlyn stated.

Jim Kirk looked up as Bones and Spock came back over.

Commander Spock looked at his Captain pointedly, "I have checked the Enterprise's logs and only our personnel used the ships transporters, though I noted that three individuals transported directly to Commander Donovan's quarters last night."

"How long were they there?" Kirk asked quickly.

"Only an hour. Commander Donovan had returned to the ship just five minutes after they arrived." Spock explained.

"So, they knew I was on my way back." Kaitlyn frowned as she tried to remember what had happened with Admiral Vincent. She looked up at Spock, "May I? I'd like to see what you saw when Admiral Vincent confronted me last night, maybe it will jog my memory." she suggested.

Spock hesitated for a moment. He'd never shared his memories with a human before, other than his mother. "You are familiar with the process?"

"Yes, though I would prefer that you just show me." she nodded.

Spock stood still as she placed her fingers on his face gently. He thought back and replayed the event in his mind.

Kaitlyn removed her fingers as soon as the scene played out. "Thank you." She took a deep, calming breath as her mind slowly remembered the events rather brokenly. "I came back to ship and when I entered my room there were three men. Why didn't I fight them?" she tried to remember. She looked up, "A hypo - they injected me with a drug."

McCoy took a sample of her blood and analyzed it quickly. He scowled, "I don't recognize this combination of compounds."

Spock looked over the readings and raised an eyebrow, then looked at Kaitlyn curiously. "This combination was noted in your Medical files by Doctor Phlox."

Kaitlyn looked at the reading and nodded as she recognized it. She glanced at McCoy, "It was used to block my memories a very long time ago." She clenched and unclenched her fists. "This is the reason my files are classified. There is too much in them that can be used against me, my family, Starfleet, and even the Federation." She could feel herself growing increasingly angrier and tried to calm herself down by deciding what she could do about the situation. She needed to communiqué Robert and have him track down a few things.

Kirk patted Kaitlyn's hand, "We'll find out who did this." he promised.

She nodded and gave him a small smile. She knew they'd eventually find out, but she couldn't figure out exactly why someone would want to track her location. She needed more information.

Kirk looked at Spock, "Prepare the crew - one more hour and we're taking off."

Spock nodded and waited until the Captain left. "I will continue my investigation. Do you need me to send out another signal to the satellite you sent a message to before?" he inquired.

Kaitlyn nodded.

"She can use my office." McCoy offered.

Spock turned and left quickly.

McCoy got a hypo out. He didn't know what to say to her. He injected the pain relief into her neck. McCoy quickly deadened the area around the pellet. He sliced the skin carefully and took it out and put it in a container so Spock could analyze it later. He sealed the skin and made sure that she was okay.

Kaitlyn got off the biobed and looked at him. "I'm sorry that I didn't say good bye to your father last night." she said softly.

He touched her arm gently, "That's the least of my worries right now." he admitted.

She smiled and headed to his office to talk to Robert about what had happened. Her oldest son would be more than just a little upset.

XXXXX

1000 - Enterprise Bridge

"We are cleared for departure, Captain." Spock reported from his post.

"Excellent." Kirk smiled, "Sulu take us out of here." he directed.

"Yes, sir." Sulu nodded and handled the controls of the ship expertly.

Kirk turned his chair to look at Donovan.

The ship hadn't been designed with a First Contact Officer in mind, so they made her station the one on the other side of the turbo lift door, opposite Spock's position.

"What will be our first contact?" he asked her.

"In three days we will reach the planet Kern. From all accounts, they are a peaceful people and though they have the capability of space travel, they only use it to transport supplies. We will be meeting them on behalf of Starfleet and the Federation." she explained to the Captain.

He nodded and turned to Spock for his input.

"We will be traveling in known space, our threat level is minimum." the Vulcan stated.

Kirk nodded and swiveled his chair to look at the view screen. He was glad they had left on their mission. He smiled, he was ready to explore.

XXXXX

1730 - Enterprise Dining Hall

Kirk walked into the Dining Hall and took in a deep breath, "Ah! It smells wonderful, Cookie!" he complemented the cook as he accepted the tray of meat loaf, mashed potatoes and green beans.

Nothing like dodging through an asteroid field to work up an appetite, Jim thought to himself.

"Couldn't you have at least informed the rest of the crew that we were going to go gallivanting through an asteroid field beforehand? Do you not remember the first conversation I ever had with you? I looked out the window and saw an asteroid heading straight at us!" McCoy ranted at Kirk.

Kirk waved him off, "It shaved two days off of our time - I thought you'd be happy with that." he smiled and sat down at the table.

McCoy frowned, "You need to tell us next time." he stated and sat down next to Donovan.

Kaitlyn leaned closer, "I'm sorry. I'm the one that mentioned we would save time if we went through the asteroid field, instead of going around it." she apologized.

"Just remember that our Captain likes thrills, so if you mention something, he's apt to do it." McCoy pointed out.

"I'll remember that." she nodded.

Kirk was talking to Spock quietly, then he spoke to the group. "We'll have our first official Morning meeting tomorrow at 0830 in the Conference room. Scotty, give us an update on the system upgrades; McCoy, the status of Medical; Donovan, the latest intelligence on the Kern; and Spock, a synopsis of the scientific research going on board." he directed them.

They all nodded and continued to eat.

XXXXX

Commander Donovan walked into the conference room and looked around.

The door opened and Commander Spock came in, "Can I help you, Commander?" he asked.

Kaitlyn shook her head. "I like to visualize before I give a briefing and I realized that I couldn't because I didn't know what the room looked like. Sounds silly, doesn't it?" she shrugged.

"It is logical to prepare - and visualization is a proven technique for preparation." he stated.

She smiled softly for his acknowledgment. "Commander, have you spoken with Ambassador Spock lately?" she asked carefully.

"We have exchanged several messages." Spock nodded. "Have you discovered many similarities between the two timelines?" he questioned.

"It is very interesting in how the timelines seemed to be connected together in some ways. Yes, there are many similarities. And as we explore, I'm sure we will find more." she nodded.

"It will be most interesting to see the differences, and how those differences evolved." he noted.

"It will be. That is one of my tasks - to document those differences." she explained to him.

Spock raised an eyebrow, "That information will be of interest to many people." He looked around the room once more, "Can I help you with anything else this evening?" he asked.

"No, I'm done. Good evening." Kaitlyn thanked him and left.

XXXXX

McCoy smiled as he opened the door to his quarters.

Kaitlyn grinned and handed him a wrapped gift box, "Thanks for inviting me over."

He looked at the brightly colored box, "What in the world?" he asked.

She waved for him to open the gift as she sat down on his couch.

Leonard opened the box and his look of puzzlement changed to a huge grin as he pulled out a bottle of Andorian Ale. "It's the real stuff - how did you get this past security?" he asked as he got two glasses out. "Do you want any?" he asked.

"Just a swallow." she smiled softly.

McCoy filled the glasses appropriately and handed her the glass as he sat down. "Thank you." he smiled.

"You're welcome." Kaitlyn patted his leg.

He sipped the drink and savored the taste. "You know, we should get Jim in here - he likes a good, stiff drink." he suggested.

"I'm sure he'll make his way here soon." she commented.

James T. Kirk had pretty predictable habits. One of them was that he stopped by McCoy's quarters each evening. "You're probably right." Leonard agreed. He watched as she closed her eyes and leaned back. "Are you feeling better this evening?" he asked softly.

Kaitlyn opened her eyes and smiled, "Much better, thank you." she acknowledged.

"I'm glad you're here." Leonard admitted.

"So am I." she drank the swallow in her glass and set it down.

The door buzzed and Bones went to answer it.

James T. Kirk was on the other side of the door grinning as it opened.

"Ah, Jim - right on time." Bones smiled. He noticed the double take his friend did when he saw Kaitlyn sitting on his couch. "Kaitlyn brought me a present. I was just about to invite you over." he smiled and ushered his best friend in.

McCoy poured Kirk a glass and handed it to him.

Kaitlyn sat silently amused at Kirk being caught off guard by her presence.

Kirk took a long, slow drink of the liquid, wondering what they were up to. He smelled a secret. He walked over to the plush chair and sat down. "This is very good." he raised the glass to her. He noted that Bones sat close to her on the couch. "Well my friend - are we going to play a round of checkers tonight?" he asked.

"Of course." Bones smiled and indicated the table where he had the game set up.

Kaitlyn stood up, "As much as I'd love to stay and watch, I am exhausted." she admitted to them.

Both men stood up.

Bones walked her to the door, "Thanks for the gift." he said softly.

"You're welcome." She looked past him to Kirk, "Good night Jim."

Kirk nodded and watched their exchange at the door as he walked over to the table.

Bones walked over to the table and sat down across from Kirk.

"What's up with you two?" Kirk questioned his friend.

Bones just smiled softly and put the pieces in the appropriate places on the board.

"What were you two talking about?" Kirk needled.

Bones leaned forward and looked at his best friend, "I like her and I'd appreciate it if you'd just let it alone." he requested.

Kirk blinked several times, realizing that his friend didn't just 'like' her. "How long have you two been seeing each other?" he questioned.

Bones shook his head slightly, "We're just really good friends, Jim." he explained.

Kirk thought back to their last semester at the Academy, "And here I thought you were a fuddy duddy, always wailing at me that I should have focused more on my studies, than females."

Bones frowned as he made the first move on the board, "You had too many loose relationships with women. You're just lucky you didn't get snagged into a paternity suit." he pointed out.

Kirk shook his head, "Luck has nothing to do with it - I'm cautious. Besides, when the right woman comes along - I'll focus all of my attention on her." he said and made his move on the board.

XXXXX

TBC.

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