Subject: FRONTIER: Ramsay's soul-searching

SD 80120

Location: The Castle of Baron Wildantor
          William Ramsay's room

Now that he was in warm surroundings, the effects of the drug seemed to 
have receded into nothingness.  A minor headache persisted, but it was 
nothing compared to the emotional turmoil he was suffering.

How could he tell Caroline about what had happened?  It would have been 
comparatively easy if he'd been a willing partner and had simply had an 
affair with Katie Braun.  As it was he had a very vague recollection of the
events, but William knew he'd been coerced by a powerful substance and not 
his own desires.  He also knew that he hadn't been the only victim.  All 
this was very well, but it could only upset Caroline.

The key would be to find the right time to tell her.  Too soon and it might
prove too much of a shock for Caroline to handle.  Too late and she might 
think he had a reason to hide this from her, or that he wasn't being 
entirely truthful.

As he sat searching his soul for the answers to his questions, there was a 
knock at the door.

"Who is it?" he asked.

"It's David.  Can I come in?"

"Sure."  Ramsay got up as the door opened.

Ferrost hesitated at the doorway before entering the room.  "I thought 
maybe you'd want some company," he offered.

"You thought right," said Ramsay. He paused before adding, "David, I have 
no idea how to tell Caroline about this."

"Will, look on the bright side.  At least you're considering telling her.  
A lot of other people in your situation might live their life out without 
telling a soul.  I don't know about you, but I'd find that to be one heck 
of a burden on my conscience."

"I can't really plan much ahead.  I have to be careful, but other than that
there isn't much else I can do except hope she takes it well," mused 

"Relax, I've known Caroline longer than you.  She'll be able to cope with 
this," David assured him.

There was an interminable pause, then with a grin Will asked, "Exactly how 
longer have you known Caroline?"

"Than you?  Oh, about two minutes," he admitted sheepishly.

"I don't see two minutes making a lot of difference."

"Especially when most of that time you're making excuses for your late 

"Me?  Late?  I could have sworn I was on time."

"You were, but everyone else decided to show early."

There was another silence, then David said, "Just think, if I hadn't set up
that double date, where would you be now?"

"I'd rather not answer that question, I'm pretty happy with my wife.  Say, 
what did happen to you and Beverley?"

"Oh.  We haven't seen each other in months, not in person anyway.  Getting 
stuck in the middle of Kzinti space doesn't do much for communications."

"And getting stuck on a weird planet like this doesn't make it any better. 
Does anybody have the vaguest notion of where we might be?"

"Nope.  We can see a few identifiable stars, but determining how far we are
from each of them is not a task for the unaided eye.  We're still in the 
same quadrant, I'd say."

"Hmm.  I bet Houston could tell us a bit more.  Unfortunately nobody's seen
either her or her mirror.  And I'm getting worried about Lt. Maren and his 
group, we haven't heard diddly-squat from them."

"Houston's your second officer at the moment, right?"

"She's also our chief medical officer at the moment.  I moved her from Ops 
after Neil Sykes had his problems with Ruth... ah.  Next time you see Neil,
tell him he can have his original post back, with my apologies.  And since 
Caroline's not going to be on duty straight after giving birth, I guess 
that means Houston's going to be filling in as first officer."

David looked at him curiously.  "What about you?  Aren't you going to take 
so much as a day off to be with your newborn son?"

Will frowned, then replied, "Now that you mention it, that's a good idea. 
I ought to be setting an example."

"For who?"

"Anybody else in StarFleet who's thinking of becoming a father."

"Might've known."

Will thought for a moment, then said, "Y'know, I was just thinking.  You 
remember that double date?"

"Could anyone forget it?"

"Maybe we could get together again sometime.  A reunion of old friends."

"I'll mention it to Beverley when we're free of sub-space silence."

"After we get back to the Frontier.  I wonder just what the hell Q brought 
us here for, anyway."

"Will, does he have to have a reason?"

Ramsay sighed and replied, "The Q are nothing like you or I.  They don't 
have instincts or primal urges or anything like that.  They do nothing 
without a reason, however trivial it may be."

"I guess.  So, maybe it's some kind of game or a test."

"Or maybe it's something different altogether.  One thing I can tell you 
about Q, he's far from predictable."

"Well, I hope everything works out for you, Will,"  David said, leaning in 
the doorway.

"You too. See you."

The door closed behind David, and Ramsay suddenly felt as if a great load 
had been lifted from his shoulders.

                       Respectfully submitted:

                            Sam M. Edwards
                  [Captain] Will Ramsay, CO FRONTIER

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

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