Future’s Children

Future’s Children
Author: Draygon, draygon_icewing@yahoo.com

The characters of Star Trek: The Next Generation are the property of Paramount, and the other people they are property of, and they certainly aren’t mine. This story is written entirely for amusement and not for profit. No references are intended to any actors portraying these fictional characters or to any other living persons. If you belive that you or anyone you love is being portrayed herein…Might I kindly suggest that you resume payments on your reality check…

Black tipped fingers reached up, clawing at the water surrounding her, straining to move toward the light. Only seconds ago she was sunbathing on a white sand beach with nearly every member of her family, laughing as her nieces and nephews built and toppled sand castles with equal zeal. With all her might as a swimmer, she struggled up, but as she was about to break the surface and fill her lungs with sweet summer air, out of nowhere the bow of one of the many fishing boats in the harbor slammed into her, dragging her down to the bottom of the bay.

Lt. Commander La Forge blew his breath through his teeth as he watched the readings on the wall console, glancing to the warp core every so often. “Keep an eye on those containment fields, Ensign. This ion storm is behaving unlike anything I’ve seen.” Geordi said as his attention was brought to the tops of the beams that supported the structure of the warp core. Was it his imagination or did he just feel a drop of water? There it was again, and it had a salty taste.

Geordi tapped his comm-badge, walking slowly around the large cylinder that housed the warp core. “Engineering to Bridge…”

“Bridge here…” Captain Picard answered as he sat in his ready room, looking over the latest assignments.

“Sir…I don’t know what could be causing this, but I just had sea water fall in my face. It’s dripping from over the warp core.”

“From the warp core?” He asked, putting down his tea and walking out to the bridge, calling up the last readings from the warp core’s sensors on his captain’s chair. “Are you sure, Liententant?”

“Positive, Captain. It’s a steady stream now. I’ve ordered all non essential personelle to evacuate just incase the core fails. But this is not like anything I have ever seen.” Geordi said as he narrowly missed being hit on the head by a piece of drift wood. “Now there’s wood falling through thin air. It looks like it’s from a boat… Wait…theres something happening. Everyone out! The containment field is arching!” Geordi ordered as the air inside the core containment facility became energized, linking the field with the opposing support beams.

Geordi was knocked over as a wall of water hit him in the back, soaking him and his uniform thoroughly. Beside him, washed a young woman, soaked to the bone and blue in the face. Geordi hit his comm-badge again. “Transport! Two to Sick-bay!” He hollered as he held the young woman, hoping she could be saved.

Dr. Crusher was ready when Geordi appeared in Sick-bay, holding a curvacious redhead dressed in what looked like an early twenty-first century bikini. She looked to be no older than twenty or so, and was a deep shade of blue, indicating that she had spent a great deal of time deprived of oxygen. Crusher turned the woman on her side, leaning her over the table and slammed her palm on the flat of her back. She was rewarded by a choked gurgle as the water was forced from her lungs and stomach.

Captain Picard came through the Sick-bay doors just as the room was filled with the agonized scream of the young woman as she fought against Dr. Crusher and the Lt. Commander as she continued to cough and clear her lungs of the water that nearly drowned her. “Young lady…your alright. It’s alright…” Dr. Crusher soothed, amazed at the strength the young woman exhibited.

The young woman tried to focus on the source of the voice, seeing only two dark blurs in an other wise blinding background. “Momma?” She whispered in a horse voice, quieting down. “Where…Am I dead?” She asked as she squinted her eyes, trying to make sense of what she was seeing. “Where is everyone?”

“What happened?” Picard spoke up as Crusher pulled a blanket over the young woman who was shivering with both chill and fright.

“We were on vacation…all of us. First time the entire Fiske clan has been in one place since the founding of  Texas…” She said as she settled down, still not able to see clearly. “The last thing I remember…this huge wave came up. It hit the kids first…I don’t know what happened to them. I tried reaching the surface…but something hit me…and everything went black.”

Dr. Crusher smiled sadly, shaking her head. “Did I show up in a hospital of the future?” The girl asked, finely being able to see her surroundings. “Must be gearing up for the ’06 Medical Convention…” She said to herself, getting a few perplexed glances from all around.

“’06?” Dr. Crusher asked, taking out her medical tricorder, scanning the woman’s head for any skull fractures.

“Yea…like 2006…Why? You forget that it’s New Year’s Eve?” The young girl asked, smiling as she finely passed out on the bed, leaving the three officers with a sense of foreboding.

“2006? It almost makes sense. The unusual nature of the ion storm coupled with the effect it was having on the containment field could have created the perfect environment to sustain the frequency needed to open a tear, as it were, to let her through.” Geordi said as he watched the young woman sleep, smiling as he saw the triple peircings in her ears and the black polish on her finger nails. “Goth…”

“Come again?” Picard asked, quirking an eyebrow at his Chief Engineer’s off hand comment.

“I’ve read about the fashion trends of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. There was one trend called Goth. The whole point was to dress as though you were a creature of the night. Leather, latex and as many buckles, chains and metal fastenings were the norm. I bet if we could see her wardrobe…we would see at least one corset.”

Dr. Crusher chuckled. “Well what ever her fashion sense, she will certainly be quite shocked to find out where she ended up. Now…I know the ship doesn’t steer itself, so I suggest that we leave this young lady be. She deserves a good long nap…” She said as she shooed the Captain and Chief Engineer out of Sick-bay.

“Word has spread to the entire ship that our ‘guest’ will be eating in the mess hall tonight.” Commander Riker stated as they waited for the turbolift to take them to the mess hall. “I hope that the presence of so many people don’t frighten her to badly.”

“Me neither, Number One. She seems like a strong girl, I’m sure she will be able to handle her new circumstances.” Captain Picard smiled as he stepped out of the turbolift, his number one falling into step behind him.

“Speaking of which…where or when, exactly, did she come from?” Riker asked as they approached the mess hall.

“Just at the close of 2005. I belive she said it was New Year’s Eve, and that she and her entire family were vacationing in Thai Land.” Picard stated as they entered the mess hall which was nearly filled to capacity.

“Thai Land, sir? Wasn’t that the great quake of 2005 that killed three times as many people as the one on Christmas of 2004?” Riker asked, scanning the crowd for their new guest. They found her sitting among a throng of inquirers asking questions ranging from the jewelry and tattoos she sported to the current events of her time.

Picard sensed the young woman needed a break, so he decided to pull rank, and put a temporary end to their endless questions. “I think this young lady has had enough excitement for now. Wesley, would you be so kind as to get this young lady something to eat?” He asked the young Ensign as the others at the table slowly made their exit, leaving a rather breathless and greatful young woman.

Picard watched as Wesley made quick time in getting the young woman a heaping plate full of food, before making his way to his mother across the room, regaling her with all the information he had gleaned from the red headed woman. “Thank you…I was beginning to feel like a bit of a freak show.” She said as she took a bite of steamed talipa, smiling as she sampled the sushi Wesley had placed on her plate. “Mmmm…Its good to know the food has gotten better.” She said, getting a smile from the Captain and his second. “Geordi showed me around the ship. Needless to say I was a bit shell shocked when all I saw was empty space outside. I almost wanted to hide under something.” She smiled, noticing the fatherly smile the Captain was favoring her with.

“So your the Captain…Picard if I remember correctly.” She said tilting her head, smiling as she got a nod in response.

“And this is my Number One, Riker.” He said as Will reached out to clasp the young woman’s hand, almost wincing as she gave him a good firm handshake.

“Your Number One what?” She asked, not realizing how silly the question sounded until after it left her lips. “Oh…your second in command. Sorry, stupid question.” She said as she waved away her small transgression, smiling as Riker genuinely laughed at her faux pas. She prevented herself from making any more silly statements by stuffing her face as the Captain and his Second kept silent company. After she finished her meal, she seemed at a loss about something, smacking herself on her forehead. “I forgot…you people don’t smoke…” She said shaking her head.

“Smoke…you mean to burn tobacco and inhale the noxious fumes to obtain a high?” Riker asked, looking almost appalled.

The young woman laughed. “You make it sound like a bad thing. But yea…that’s exactly what I do…or did. Uhhh…this is going to be a long week.” She said as she demonstrated her point by showing them how her hand was slightly trembling. “Withdrawal…fuuuun…” She drawled as a new person joined their subdued conversation.

“Hello…Might I be so bold as to ask your name?” Data interjected, seeing that the conversation was not going anywhere pleasant anytime soon.

“Of course…My name’s Lydia Hera Fiske.” She said as she extended her hand, smiling as Data took it in a cordial hand shake. “Come on…sit down before you fall down…” She said as she pushed out a chair for Data with her feet. Data took a seat, regarding her with his intense yellow eyes.

Riker sat up straight, his eyebrows nearly flying off his face. “You mean Fiske, The Fiske clan? That family held a monopoly on the future progenies of America!” Riker said in awe, gaining a new appreciation for their new guest. “At least before…” Riker caught himself in mid sentence, feeling like he had stuck his foot in his mouth.

“You can say it, Commander. They were all killed in the Tsunami that resulted from the quake in Sumatra. I read the histories when I was taken to a room to stay in. I know what happened…” She said as she sighed. “No use in crying about it now…their all dead whether I like it or not. Even then we were a dying family, Commander. Kind of like the Kennedies.” She shrugged, leaning back in her seat.

“Oh well…if I can’t smoke…I’ll just have to drown my cravings in dessert…” She said, looking around for the food bar. “Now I know that that kid didn’t just conjour this up out of thin air…”

“Allow me…” Data said as he stood up, taking her empty plate. “What would you like, Miss Fiske?”

“Please…call me Lydia. And I would abso-freakin-loutly love cherry cheese cake.” Lydia said, grinning like mad.

Data nodded, taking her plate to the replicator, setting it inside as he ordered a plate of Cherry Cheese Cake, bringing the rather large serving back over to Lydia. “Ohhhh…good man! You know me so well!” She said as she ooggled at the dessert before her. She took up a fork and plunged it into the soft cake, spearing a cherry and sopping up as much sauce as she could before putting it into her mouth. “Ohhh…I think I died and went to The Cheese Cake Factory!”

Data tilted his head, watching the young woman eat with abandon. He had refrained from stating that he knew her very little and that this was the standard serving of this particular dessert. She seemed to be enjoying herself too much to listen to him anyway, so he tried a different avenue. “Would you happen to be the woman who published the book called ‘The Defining Argument on String Theory’, would you?” He asked, getting an almost shocked look from both officers and Lydia.

“You mean it’s survived?” She asked, licking her fork clean. “I take it you have read it too…” She said, blushing slightly. “It was called a child’s attempt at best by my professors.” She shrugged.

“Read it? Not just us three. It’s required reading for anyone going into Engineering. The book was before it’s time, absolutely brilliant if I may say so and did a fantastic job of explaining it in lay-man’s terms so that everyone can understand. You even published your equations a year later to back up your book, and if I recall correctly, you hushed all opponents to your book with your ability to test the theory into Law!” Riker exclaimed as he leaned forward, his eyes dancing with awe.

Lydia did all she could to keep from blushing and laughing at the same She looked over to Picard, who was doing the same thing. He also had read the book and had found it to be quite incitefull. Though he was saddened to read that she and her entire family had been killed in the New Year’s Eve Tsunami of 2005. But to have her suddenly appear in Engineering, a place that would never had existed if she had not published her supplemental equations, was beyond ironic. It was almost poetic.

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