Subject: FRONTIER: The Morning After

SD 80102

this brings Houston, m-Houston and Riker finally into the next day 
which everyone else is just about to finish writing about <BG>

Riker woke to find the sun low in the sky. It was early in the 
morning, but it seemed he had rested enough... he was suddenly 
confused, not at first remembering yesterday's events, but after a few
moments they became clear as day.

The two androids were not far away, seated on a large tree stump. As 
he stood up, brushing twigs from his uniform, he could have sworn that
they were holding hands. He frowned, trying to decide whether it was 
his imagination or his eyes that deceived him. At any rate, after he'd
rubbed his eyes, each sets of hands was residing on the respective 
android's lap. Riker shrugged and thought nothing more of it.

"I take it they haven't opened up yet?" he said, gesturing at the 
still-raised drawbridge.

"No sir," replied Houston. "We would have woken you immediately, had 
that been the case."

"Oh. So, did you get a fix on our location last night?" he inquired.

"Yes Commodore. We are somewhere in the D'Naris sector, which would 
not have been far off your original course. The sector is held by the 
Federation, but it is close to the Cardassian Demilitarised Zone. 
There are few systems of interest, and only five are inhabited. Six 
including this one."

"What-" Riker broke off his question as he heard the metallic grinding
of the drawbridge. The trio hid in cover as a small party of troops 
emerged. They got up and walked calmly over to the bridge once they 
were past, and shouted to the bridgekeeper.

"What be thy business?" he inquired loudly, his hand still firmly on 
the drawbridge lever. He gave Riker an odd look; probably it was the  
uniform that bothered him.

"We're mercenaries," said Riker. "Could do with some work. Heard there
was some in the area, so here we are."

"Definitely thou art not of these parts," replied the keeper. "But we
are in dire need of more troops. Enter, I will fetch the master and 
you will make your terms with him."

They moved cautiously across, Riker wincing as a portcullis moved 
swiftly into place behind them. *These people must be security freaks*
he thought as the bridgekeeper disappeared into the dark depths of the
castle. He could tell that prisoners here would face a nightmare 
trying to find their way out if they did escape.

"Is there really a need for so many corridors?" he wondered out loud. 
"Looks like an ant nest."

Houston began to say something about the efficiency of ant nests in 
relation to what Riker had just said, but stopped when the keeper 
returned with what was presumably the master.

The man frowned at Riker's uniform, but seemed more intrigued by the 
near-identical Houstons. He said, "You don't look like mercenaries to 
me. More like assassins, or bounty-" He stopped in midsentence, 
considering the two Houstons. "You wouldn't by chance have anything to
do with three pairs of twins who arrived here yesterday?"

Riker was lost by the conversation; the two androids accessed the 
relevant data in a split second. Both realised that Keanu, Teri and 
Ishara had split off from the main group with their counterparts. Both
said, "Yes." Then, sensing that it would be inappropriate for both to 
reply at the same time, Joanna asked her mirror to continue.

"We were separated from them yesterday," m-Joanna continued. "We saw 
your castle, and hoped they'd had the sense to stay here for the 
night." She hesitated, then asked, "Are they still here?"

The master took all of this in, then replied, "Yes, they are. Once I 
have verified your story with them, I'll be most happy to re-unite 
you. For now, stay here." And with that he turned and left. After a 
few steps he shook his head and asked over his shoulder, "I didn't 
catch the name. They may not recognise you from your description."

"Joanna Houston," responded the two androids simultaneously.

Riker cringed and added, "William Riker."

The master continued on to the door, closing it behind him. The 
bridgekeeper eyed them warily, none too pleased about having been 
taken in about their mercenary story.

Ten minutes later

The master returned with a puzzled expression. "Well, they've heard of
you-" he gestured at the two Houstons then continued, "-but they never
laid eyes on you in their life," pointing at Riker.

"We found him near here," added Houston helpfully.

"Hmm. Since you seem to be vouching for him, he can go too." He looked
at the keeper and said, "Take them to the others." He opened another 
door, and disappeared from view down a giant corridor. The door 
creaked shut slowly behind him.

The gruff keeper said nothing as he led them up a winding staircase 
and into a hall lined with doors. He pointed to the second door on the
right, and left them.

Houston knocked on the door and waited. After what seemed like an age,
the door opened and Keanu welcomed them in, hastily brushing sweat 
from his brow.

"So, who's this William Riker then?" Teri asked innocently as they 
sat down.

"Commodore William Thomas Riker, in suspended animation for twenty-six
years, and not one Academy student knows of me," he said with a little
bitterness. "I bet everyone knows about Picard and his famous 

"Of course," said Keanu, tugging his tunic in a single smooth 

Fifteen leagues to the west

m-Caroline anxiously waited as m-Sykes tried to diagnose what was 
wrong with her. She'd been feeling sick every morning for the past few
days, and at first she'd just put it down to stress. But now she had a
feeling what the doctor was about to say.

"Believe it or not, but you're pregnant," he announced after a few 
seconds more deliberation.

"You're certain?" she asked, even though she knew it was true.

He nodded and said, "I could give you 100% certainty back on the ship,
but you're displaying all the classic symptoms."

"Not a word to anyone," she said, and left abruptly.

310 light years away
somewhere in Kzinti space

"Ensign Lynne Smythe reporting for duty sir," said the petite brunette
as she entered the squadron leader's office.

He gave her a barely perceptible nod and accessed her bio to refresh 
his memory - he'd read all the rookie bios this morning. He skimmed 
over the notes he'd made, looked over the recommendations, and plucked
an isolinear chip from a drawer. After a few more keypresses he 
slotted the chip into the terminal briefly, then removed it and handed
it to her. "As you probably already know, you'll be with Black Angel 
Squadron. Their quarters block is on Deck 16. If you have any trouble 
finding your own quarters, just ask the computer," he said, then 
added, "You're the only rookie joining Black Angels direct this year, 
so you might find it a little lonely at first. If you're lucky, your 
first mission out will be with Lt.Cmdr Richard Barclay, who's possibly
the most likeable character in here. Everything is subject to change; 
you may not get your first sortie for months. If you have any 
problems, you already know where my office is. Dismissed."

Taking all of this in, Smythe nodded and turned to the doors. They 
parted as she left, silently slid shut behind her. The squadron leader
let out a sigh and tried to forget about the ensign's dead father, who
had saved his butt on more than one occasion.

m-Patrick's quarters

"Patrick, it's me, can I come in?" said a muffled voice at the door.

m-Patrick gauged by the fact that she didn't just walk in that 
Caroline wasn't here to bitch at him, so he got up and opened the 
door, "What do you want?" he asked.

"We need to talk," she said, and the look in her eyes was genuine.

"Is something wrong? You've never wanted to *talk* to me before."

"Patrick, I don't know how to tell you this..."

"Just move your mouth and breathe, it works for me," he replied.

"Dammit this is serious!" she retorted. The rush of emotion seemed to 
unblock her reluctance. In a slightly lower voice she added, "I'm 
pregnant Patrick. It's your child."

Patrick's face remained expressionless, "You'd better come in," he 

                       Respectfully submitted:

                            Sam M. Edwards
                  [Captain] Will Ramsay, CO FRONTIER
                 [Cmdr] Caroline Ramsay, XO FRONTIER
                [LtCmdr] Joanna Houston, aXO FRONTIER

                            also starring
                           Allan MacLennan
                 [Lt.] Angus Murray, Tac/CSO FRONTIER
                   as the alternate Patrick Simony

  "The next time you go over my head, I'll have yours on a platter."
                       Commander Benjamin Sisko

          "Put your faith in God and keep your powder dry."
                           Oliver Cromwell

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