Author's Notes: For anyone who hasn't read the first three parts: arcgames.com/en/forums/startrekonline#/discussion/1190427/moving-on-fan-fic-sequel-to-%C2%91trials-of-blood-and-fire%C2%92
I had started this part a few days after Part Three went up, but problems at School meant I was unable to continue until now, so since the Forums have a 30-day inactivity policy on Necro'ing threads, I've decided to post this part separately.
Part Four. Dakeen Monastery.
Ryan walks through the tranquil gardens of the monastery with Vedek Karan Nidon as several monks stroll along the winding stone paths. Nidon looks to Ryan as they reach one of the large ponds. “I trust you had a soothing night?”
“That’s one way of putting it.” Ryan leans on the wooden railing, watching the fish swim up to the surface of the water before dipping back down into the depths. “But I don’t think it’s really going to help. Daya can’t be with me every night.”
“Of course not, that is why she bought you here.” Nidon smiles slightly before gesturing for Ryan to follow him into one of the stone buildings in the centre of the grounds. “Dakeen is a place of healing, Commander. We help those in spiritual pain find ways to cope with their pain.” He leads Ryan into a large room lit by candles with a large balcony and a wooden box on a pedestal. “You sharing a room with Saph was just a single step.”
Ryan looks at him in mild surprise. “You planned that?”
“Part of your pain stemmed from your perceived inability to confront it alone. She proved that you didn’t need to confront it alone. The next stage is to show you how you can confront it without making it an obsession; learning to accept your pain.” He walks over to the box.
“For every person, it is different. I can’t offer you guidance on how to carry your pagh, but...” He guides Ryan in front of the box, “If you open your mind to the Prophets, they will show you your path.”
Ryan looks at him, puzzled. “But I’m not Bajoran. I don’t even believe the Prophets are Gods.”
“It doesn’t matter. The Prophets share their wisdom with all who are willing to listen.”
“And... this will take my pain away?”
“No, Commander. Your pain will always be with you. Coping with it is a lifetime of struggle. All we can do is give you the strength; and the knowledge; to live with it.” He opens the doors of the curved wooden box, divided along the corner, as a flood of green light shines out onto Ryan.
“What do I do?” Ryan looks over to the side as Nidon walks out of the room.
U.S.S. Victorious, Ready Room.
Carter is sitting at the desk, reading over a set of mission orders which came in a few minutes earlier before looking at the door as a chime rings through the room. “Come in.” He stands up as Tala walks in a moment later.
“Reporting as ordered, sir.” Tala nods in respect as Carter drops his PADD and walks over.
“Lieutenant. I take it you heard about the attack on Andoria?”
“The whole ship’s heard about it, sir.”
“If I were to tell you that we were going after a squadron of Nausicaan Raiders, would you say the ship’s ready?”
Tala looks at him for a few moments, tilting her head. “Weapons are more-or-less fully functional. Shields should be back online by 2200, according to Dannover.”
“So, at least another day?”
“Definitely. Sir, with respect, this ship won’t be ready to go until it has its Captain back.”
Carter sighs as he looks out the window. “I know, Tr’zanac. I know.”
Ryan slowly walks along a corridor of silver metallic walls, looking around cautiously. “Is anyone here?” He turns a corner, seeing fires flickering in the corners as masses of Starfleet personnel hurry through the corridors carrying stretchers. “No... not this... not again...”
Ryan feels his stomach turn as a Doctor in her 40s is helping an injured officer against the wall, standing up as he hears shouting close in. He closes his eyes as he hears the shrill scream of a disruptor blast. He refuses to open them again, until he hears a soothing feminine voice, “Ryan?”
“Mum?” He slowly opens his eyes, seeing the doctor wearing a clean Starfleet Medical Uniform with three rank bars on her chest as she smiles at him. He looks around; this was the last day he saw her – his first day at Starfleet Academy and the day before she and his father left for the U.S.S. Horizon, an Olympic-Class Medical Ship which was destroyed by the Klingons during an attack on Starbase 24 five years ago. He remembers everything he went through when they died, before she vanishes into nothing. Before Ryan realises it, his hand is reaching out, his eyes fixated on the spot his mother had stood just a moment ago.
As quickly as the ghost of his mother had vanished, Ryan is overcome with a flash of white light, standing in a large office in San Francisco, with the haggard, grey-haired figure of Admiral William Ross sitting across the desk, looking at him. “Your parents saved 300 lives; I know for a fact that you have the same potential. Remain in Starfleet.”
Ryan flashes again to his old dormitory, sitting on his bed as he feels a pair of arms wrap around him from behind as a soft feminine voice enters his ear, “I’m here for you.” Again he is blinded by a white flash.
He now sees a trail of refugees running towards him, looking around to see another version of him and Tala laying down covering fire as Borg plasma bolts zip past. Ryan watches his past self pick up a refugee who tripped over and helping them get to the barricades.
With another flash, he’s back in the monastery as the doors of the orb casing close shut on their own. He stands there for a few moments, before dropping his cane on the floor as a clang echoes through the room.
A few minutes later, Daya stands up from one of the benches outside the temple as Carter and Dannover walk over. She greets them, “Commander, Lieutenant. What are you doing here?”
“We were looking for Commander Allington.” Carter looks over her shoulder towards the temple. “Is he...?”
“He’s been in there for about an hour now. Vedek Karan says Orb experiences can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days.”
“Days?” Dannover interjects. “What about water?”
“Apparently the Prophets help sustain him during that time.”
“But the Captain isn’t a—“
“It doesn’t matter. I’ve done it before and... It was enlightening.” She smiles a little. “What did you need to see Ryan about, anyway?”
Just as Carter is about to speak, Ryan emerges from the temple and walks over to the group. “Michael, Elizabeth. What brings you to Bajor?”
The two officers look at each other in confusion, before turning back to him. “Sir,” Carter begins, “Andoria was attacked yesterday. Command’s ordered us to go after the raiders.”
“Short version?” Ryan looks at them both quizzically. Carter nods. “Alright. Dannover, ship status?”
Dannover nods as she straightens up. “Supplies are aboard. Shields will be back online at 2200 hours. We should be ready by tomorrow morning. Assuming, of course—“
“You have a captain. Alright. Recall all crew members and prep for departure at 0900 Earth Standard. Shore Leave’s cancelled.”
“Aye, aye.” Carter looks at Dannover and tilts his head to signal her to beam up, before returning his attention to Ryan. “I take it your vacation has been productive, Captain?”
Ryan gives Daya a smile. “You could say that. Is there anything else, Commander?”
“No sir. By your leave?”
As Carter turns to follow Dannover to the beam-in site, Daya looks at Ryan quizzically. “When you called them by their first names...?”
“Yeah, I was messing with them.” He gives her a smirk.
“Very professional, Commander Allington.” Daya gives him a sarcastic look.
“I was on vacation.”
As the two walk towards their guest house, Daya leans into his ear. “Don’t think I didn’t notice.”
“Your cane. You’re not using it.”
Ryan smiles to himself. “By the way, I owe you an apology. This was a good idea.”
“Anytime. Oh, while we’re on the subject, what was that vision like?”
“You remember Vega?”
“How could I forget?”
“I saved around 50 colonists there.”
“And that helps you deal with what happened?”
“Not exactly. 50 down, 250 to go...” He trails off as they stop to admire the picturesque landscape, while a shuttle glides off in the distance.
Author's Notes: And so there it is. I'm glad I finally got this finished (trust me, it was as painful for me sitting on it this long as it was for you guys waiting for it!) and I hope to get the next instalment up sometime this December. I already have a few ideas, but I want to consult you guys on something.
Which character would you like to see more of, either from this fic or from my others (see my signature. The links don't work at the moment, but typing those into the search bar should bring them up). Also, by all means, give me your thoughts on this story down below!
Thanks for reading (and waiting)!