Title: Remembrances Past, Part Eleven Location: Pandora's Box, CO's Stateroom Flashback Setting (Emma Peel): Takharesh X Ensign Peel moved swiftly with the children. She flinched when the last explosion came and heard more rocks fall on Saladar's location, but like him she did not look back. She kept going forward with the children and hoped that the destruction of parts of the cave by the monsters in control would turn around on them and foil any attempts to find the Prince so she could make safe their escape from the planet. As she traveled, the girl told her story and what had happened. Emma guessed at that point who her parents were in relation to helping out their unit. The girl was all that was left of the last family she had tried to get out, but could not. The Prince too told his story and of how Saldar had rescued him. He tried to fish out from Emma who Saldar really was, now convinced that he had met him two years ago. She changed the subject quickly and skillfully with practiced ease. She then worked on some plans in her head to get the two safely raised in a remote part of the galaxy away from not just their own people but from Federation space. She did not know how far up the conspiracy went and how many had been compromised by Mahldemi and his followers and wasn't going to take any chances. Two hours later, Emma stopped to rest with the children and shared the remainder of her water with them. "We'll be exiting the caves soon and we need to be clear on our stories. For now I want you two to pretend you are brother and sister and got separated from your family who has already been evacuated from the planet months ago. That will cut down the questions. I will give you to someone who can keep you safe, but you must help keep them safe by never telling them or anyone the truth. That is hard to explain but to keep them and all of us safe, you will need to do this. While we walk the remainder of the way back, I want you two to make up names for your parents, any other brothers and sisters, games you like to play together and all kinds of details including how you were separated. We will practice them so you both have the same kind of stories to share if anyone asks you. I am going to say that Saldar never arrived and I found you two wandering around lost on the side of the cave we are getting out of looking for your parents," she said. The children nodded yes but looked very confused. Emma went over this a few more times. Each time, she reinforced how important it was no one knew the real and whole truth at any time but her. She didn't know how far or deep the conspiracy went or how deep were the pockets and lies of Mahldemi and wasn't taking any chances. ======================================== Title: Remembrances Past, Part Twelve Location: Pandora's Box, CO's Stateroom Flashback Setting (Emma): Takharesh X The fighting had moved closer now and troops were searching every inch of the caves. Mahldemi's forces were slowed down by their own cruel and thoughtless actions as Emma had hoped. The forces stopped to clear out the tunnels from the damage they had caused. Outside of the caves, in a nearby clearing, the grasses swirled fiercely from much wind, as a shuttle descended. The doors opened. A young man who looked like he hadn't slept in days rushed out to help Emma get the children onboard. "What happened?" he asked, picking up the girl. The other child was in Emma's arms and appeared to be asleep with his face towards Emma. All that could be seen was his beggarly clothes and unkempt hair. "Saldar never made it to the rendezvous point. I ended up with two kids instead. They belong to parents on an earlier shuttle and got separated," she said rushing up the ramp. "The Prince?" he asked. "No sign of him either," she lied, still holding the Prince's face against her as she spoke and hoping he could pretend to sleep longer. PJ was visibly shaken. If his boss didn't get the prince out, then the chances he escaped successfully and was still alive were slim. "Will have to try in a couple of months if we can get back in," she said clearly upset, but also clearly in control. They exited the ramp and boarded the shuttle. The interior of the craft was stark and utilitarian. It was obvious that it had both taken on a lot of use over the years and had been kept up well. It was filled with agents, operatives, commandos, refugees and a small pet that had somehow been smuggled onboard and gotten loose. Two agents tried unsuccessfully to catch the animal and it ran in a zigzag fashion away from them. Ensign Peel took it all in quickly and peripherally. She didn't have time for more. She issued orders to the waiting crew which only used code names and calls. "Puff, silent running." "Marks, take over WEAPS." "Dog, ELINT CMs." "Bear, assist in monitoring the comms and translating." "PJ, I need an updated, detailed SITREP ASAP after we get off this rock." "Understood. A lot has happened," he said, looking like it would take months to fill her in on the last few hours and the ramifications. "Beans, here," Emma ordered more gently. She gave him the sleeping Prince. Make sure the kids are strapped in and fed light local rations and well hydrated. They haven't eaten right in a long time. "I'll be back later," she told the children. The girl nodded. Beans, buckled up the children and propped the little Prince's head up. It always amazed him how small children and babies could sleep through things like this. Emma left for the cockpit of the shuttle, studying the people as she walked briskly. "Not good, not good," she thought, seeing some missing faces on the way in. She banged on the bulkhead with a code. The bulkhead opened and she entered the cockpit that looked more like it was meant for a fighter than transport. "Depart. Evasives. Stealth. Silent running. Best warp. The Honey Tree," she ordered. "The Chief?" the pilot asked. "Not coming on this shuttle," she said, strapping in next to him. Blinks shrugged. Orders were orders and those changed all the time. He didn't doubt for a moment that the Chief had some other way off the planet or had plans of his own there. He and "Saldar" went way back. He finished entering the new course and engaged the impulse engines. "Honey Tree laid in and on the lookout for bees," he said in his usual joking manner. Emma forced herself to smile for him as if this was an ordinary shuttle on a vacation hop and he was back in the old days where he ferried tourists before joining SpecOps. She shifted and watched the instrument readings intently. ~Good bye Sparky,~ she said to herself taking a deep breath and looking for some work to keep her occupied until PJ came back. The shuttle gained altitude, its engines strained with the heavier than rated for payload. The engines finally settled out and the shuttle punched through the planet's atmosphere. A few seconds later it jumped to warp leaving behind the war torn planet, their dead and Saldar, their Chief. ============================== Title: Remembrances Past, Part Thirteen Location: Pandora's Box, CO's Stateroom Flashback Setting (Emma Peel): Takharesh X The shuttle gained altitude. Her engines strained with the heavier than rated payload until they finally settled out and the shuttle punched through the planet's atmosphere. A few seconds later she jumped to warp leaving behind the war torn planet, their dead and Saldar, their Chief under a pile of rubble with enemy forces moving in on his position. Suddenly, the whole frame shuddered and resonated with a high pitched strain, erupting with insistent beeping alarms as the shuttle was hit at warp 8. The whine from the specialized SI SIF generators droned out the engines and alarms as they worked to keep the ship together and where a hull breach was forming. Emma woke up suddenly, breathing heavily, and looked around for a moment, not knowing where she was in space or time. She got her bearings and found out that the insistent beeping was from an alarm on the CO's personal comm panel and realized she was on Pandora. Emma rushed over to mute it and examine the message to keep her friend asleep so he could heal. She grumbled, seeing that it was not important and from Dr. S'Traht, checking in on him. Apparently, he did not like the treatment the CMO had prescribed and decided he could use his physicians privilege to try and interfere with Niko's orders not to be disturbed unless a serious matter warranted it. Emma walked silently over the CO. She took a quick look at him and was relieved to find that he was still sleeping. While Niko looked fine but she didn't trust her eyes so she scanned him. She sighed softly. It was as good as could be expected and how the CMO had predicted for the best case scenario at this time. While her TRUDY, medical scanning and instruction device, had been programed with many remarkable capabilities allowing the non medical literate to treat seriously wounded and compromised individuals, she really wished that the CMO could be present to monitor him personally and adapt anything needed to help Niko restore his previous identity and integrate the two personalities and memories successfully. Despite their difference and the tension between the two women, they both knew that each other had best of intentions towards Niko. Satisfied for now, Emma went back to the kitchen area and used some low tech devices not a part of any computer system or replicator and made some hot coffee, being still very careful not to alert anyone to her presence while she was supposed to be elsewhere. She yawned and stretched trying to work out some kinks in her back from the tense dream. Then she returned to sit with Niko, but not in the chair as last time. She chose the deck near his doorway instead. While she had much reading to catch up, she loathed that part of her job. She also had many reports to catch up on but smiled knowing she couldn't do them now since she was supposed to be on a training exercise and related mission off the ship. It would be easier for her in situations like this if she was the kind of person who could sit still and read but she wasn't. Instead of a serious work out in any of her martial arts or exercise routines to keep awake that might wake up Niko, she began her yoga stretches. She could at least limber up for them while she waited for Niko to finish sleeping. ========================= Title: Remembrances Past, Part Fourteen Location: Pandora's Box, CO's Stateroom Flashback Setting (Saldar/Dulles/Kamranov): Takharesh X The Captain continued dreaming his deep healing sleep. The comm alarm going off brought him to. He remembered waking up in a prison on Takharesh X. Harsh words from the warden trying to get him to wake up was all that was recalled this time. When Emma stopped the alarm, the yelling to wake up stopped also. It was replaced by the soft whispery elusive figure with tendrils of curly golden hair he was chasing in his earlier dreams. She gently appeared without explanation and he returned to the dark forest with no moon, but somehow enough light to see. Throughout these types of scenes in his dream there was no moon, yet oddly sufficient light to see what was occurring. The Spirit guided him away from the prison where he was to spend a long time, trying to recall who he was after the erazine had worked so well to erase and hide his memories. He did not get as far in the dream as recalling that part nor how he eventually guided Emma and the others who came to rescue him years later out of the prison. It all disappeared into a fog. The golden and red haired spirit guide and he in his transition dream passed through prison and other walls together and an alien world and forest until they arrived in a far away place called Earth. They passed on to Scotland together but somehow when the time for the next dream began, the Guide was missing. Darkness and eerie silence was replaced with a sudden crackling and the thrumming sound. An old Earth motorcycle roared to life. A previous identity of the Captain took it for a ride over a hilly and verdant countryside on a dirt road. The pungent smell of an old style combustible fuel punctuated that of the clean fresh crisp air, the verdant grass, the abundant clover, the tiny sprinklings of fragrant wild flowers and some dotting of trees along the moor. Dulles rode the motorcycle up and down the hills. He came across a flock of red grouse on one side of the road as it became more mountainous. He watched as they dispersed quickly from the roar of the odd metal beast that exhaled smoke. The smell of heather filled his lungs as he finished going past where the red grouse fed on it and through the heather moorlands. Dulles changed roads and ended up near a cottage and an old manor. He slowed down and approached it. An old woman went out to greet him. They spoke in an odd language and he handed her a package. She smiled, hugged him and gave him a sack. He thanked her and hopped back on his motorcycle and headed on a different path. Somehow again as happens in dreams, the scene changed to spring and the scenery and location changed slightly. A family of pheasant chicks and their mother came into view crossing the road ahead. Dulles made a sharp right turn and veered off the road to avoid the feathered family. Suddenly a rider appeared behind him and took one of his hands to sign into it, distracting him. He didn't see the family pass safely, he was too busy trying to regain control of the motorcycle. A large tree appeared in front of him. The rider disappeared and he crashed hard into the tree. For the first time in his dreaming it was completely black. There were no smells or birds chirping as before or sounds and smells of nature. The only sound was of his poor motorcycle groaning from the crash as its wheels continued to spin. It became louder and louder and so did his headache and his memories and thoughts spun seemingly aimlessly along with the spokes. In his bed, Kamranov nearly awoke, not from the headache, but by a very strong sense that this dream had repeated and had special meaning as he began to see some patterns. Outside the dream, Emma had scanned the Captain again and noticed his headache. She hypoed him again this time with a cocktail from the CMO to combat this very thing, him waking up too soon and to help aid his memories to return. Unknown to Emma could she have been aware of any of the dreams. was that these simple seemingly random dreams were filled with great meaning as some of the pathways began work to fully reconnect to what was almost lost forever. ===================================== Title: Remembrances Past, Part Fifteen Location: Pandora's Box, CO's Stateroom Back in the waking world in Kamranov's quarters, Emma watched the time and his condition carefully. When twelve hour mark had passed, she checked his messages and the ship's status again, knowing that he had been very lucky to have gotten this much rest and that he would have to be back at work soon. Satisfied, both that nothing should hit his red list soon and that things weren't too quiet, she sat down to take a quick nap in the chair near his bedside. Elsewhere on the ship, the shift changed and the COMMO, Lieutenant Llewellyn Moreau, went off duty and met up with Ensign Molly Ferweiler. LTjg Knnekhesskt took his position as ACOMMO without incident. Another odd series of dreams occured and repeated as Kamranov looked for the elusive blonde with long curls to try and glimpse a look at the woman that was described to him as his wife. When he tried to get close enough to see her face under the cloak, she would change size to become much shorter and vanish. A few times the tall spirit-like figure with golden locks became shorter and shorter each time he looked at her until she became the size of a wood nymph with hair that shone red in the sunset. On a dead moon in one of the nearer systems, three years in the future, the last message of the person needing to be rescued was sent. ======== Title: Last Man Standing, Part Two Location: 2387 While the CO recovered, two years in his future and two systems away from where Pandora's Box had changed course to try and intercept and extract the unknown agent... A small but fierce technology battle raged as two different factions in the Third Temporal War fought for control. Finally, it was sheer numbers and treachery that seemed to change the tide and rule the day as sadly has happened so many times in Earth's past. In space not far from Pandora's Box, what appeared to be an old, heavy cruiser, Constitution class, entered and decloaked. It had no concern anymore about being detected. It beamed down several parties who were dressed in uniforms from generations gone by. A young man dressed in one of those maroon uniforms quickly sent out his last message and enacted his last desperate ploy from a compromised time traveler safe house. Having been an engineer before, in several time periods, had helped him hold out alone so long against superior forces. A small robot was the only companion he had left from all the battles he had been in and survived. The robot was perched on a slumped sock inside the severely scuffed left boot of the man. Several feet away, without a sound, materialized an elite squad with masks and energy weapons drawn. They took no chances with this agent that had not so long ago been just a young lad. One of the soldiers tossed forward a round metallic device of some sort. As the device rolled forward and emitted a toxic gas, the young man kept issuing commands at the console and the robot vanished unnoticed by all but the man. Also unnoticed, for now, was the last message he sent as his new program took over the console and the small safe haven. The person in charge of the squad turned to the young man with tousled brown hair and rumpled and burnt uniform admiringly. "You picked a good time to hide. We didn't expect you in a million years..." he said wryly "... to come back to where it all started..." ============== Title: Remembrances Past, Part Sixteen Location: Pandora's Box, CO's Stateroom Kamranov woke up refreshed and feeling better. It was apparent to Emma, who didn't have to ask. "Good day, sleepy head," she said in her usual sarcastic manner. "Morning," he said beginning a series of stretches. "How long did I get?" the CO asked. "Fourteen hours," Emma replied, giving him a few more minutes to wake up before she resumed their usual banter. That was of course, if he recalled enough of his previous identifies for it. Nikolai's eyes widened. He hadn't wanted to sleep that long even though he needed it. Emma didn't give him a chance to reply, knowing even without his expression how he'd feel about that "No worries. XO didn't contact you with anything on your red list," she jumped in leaving it unsaid that she would have woken him up. "Good," he say putting his feet on the deck. What was done was done and he needed it. No time or use for recriminations of any sort. He hopped out of bed. "Breakfast?" he said eagerly. "Had mine, thanks," she said wryly, testing the old waters. Success! Niko shot her a half crooked smile. Emma shot the other half back, happy to have seen a normal reaction from him. It was good to see some life back in her old partner too. "How's the memory?" she asked. "Remember much more than when I went to bed. A lot more makes sense," he said going to the replicator to get breakfast. He punched the buttons for his food and tea. Emma followed, carefully noting his food and drink choices. "Good," she replied. "What do you remember?" ========== Title: Letting Go Location: Pandora's Box, CO's Stateroom Emma followed, carefully noting his food and drink choices. "Good," she replied. "What do you remember?" "Different identities over the years besides just this one," he said. Emma looked at him hard trying to figure something out. "Let me make this easier for you. I'll list a few of the ones I know of and know that you as Nikolai should know," she answered. "Yes, I figured something like that, vhould make this part easier. Could always be a few neither of us know of. Seemed to have a solid hold of most of one of them," Kamranov replied. While he trusted Emma there may be identities and things she should not know for her own safety. The problem for him with a lot but not all of his memory back was which things were which. "Let's start with the most recent, Commander Alan Dulles?" she asked. "That's the one I seem to remember most of. The last few months still seem gone. Most of Alan seems back. I can remember back to part of the Academy. Feels like some good holes though here and there. Nothing from the Victory or the last starbase. Anything important from the last two duty stations?" Niko asked. He took his food to the nearby table and sat down. "Not really that I know of," she said lying. "I can fill you in later and we can test your memory after work." She did not tell him that he had finally found a brief happiness with a woman named Violet. Emma knew that she still loved him after the identity switch and that was going to make things tough because Violet happened to be the CMO. ~Hopefully she'll let him go and he won't find out or he'll do the right thing and let her go,~ she thought. "All right then," Kamranov said noticing how Emma looked like she was trying to sweep something under the rug. He had known her very well and remembered that much with her personality. He decided fish whatever non mission type details she was hiding from him out later, when there was time. He guessed from her mannerisms that was most likely trying to protect him from something. "Saldar's back, the last part," he smiled. "Good," Emma replied happily sitting down next to him. She liked that identity. "Still have regrets about the Prince," he said. Emma sighed. "You always seem to remember that part. You did everything you could. It is how it is sometimes. We can't rescue everyone. No one but you would have came so close to succeeding with such impossible odds," she said, hiding the truth from him as she had sworn before he took the memory altering drug and was captured by the opposing forces. "Mahldemi still have the throne?" he asked. "Last I wanted to know, yes," she said. "It's done, Alan. Just try and let it go." Niko sighed. "I liked that boy. He might have been able to fix that messed up planet of his if he grew up," he said with much regret. Emma shut her eyes. Each time her friend came out of a memory wipe or something like this it was the same. The thing he regretted most in life not being able to do, he had really done and she had sworn to him to never tell him the truth, that he had rescued the Prince and others and that hopefully through their safe house networks he had a chance at growing up. When Niko was Saldar, he knew that the Prince could never truly be safe if he knew the truth. He also knew if Mahldemi believed his younger cousin to be alive, he'd stop at nothing with his well placed contacts in Starfleet Intelligence to find and kill the rightful heir, even decades later. This is why he chose to take the drug, erazine, and not anything else. It was the only handy drug that should destroy his most recent memories permanently, not just temporarily for when he was captured. If someone captured him to find the what happened, they could not succeed in finding and killing the Prince through him. One of the hardest things for Emma was knowing while Mahldemi and his faction lived that it would never be safe to tell her friend the truth. She briefly wondered where the Prince was right now and if he did get that chance...