(Previous Post was Dawn's "Shared Madness")

Setting: USS ANUBIS, Bridge
Stardate: 63073.1100

The young woman stood in the middle of the ANUBIS' command deck… her narrowed eyes locked with those of the woman who now stood directly in front of her.  The raven haired woman had a playful air about her, as if nothing in the world had or could trouble her.  This absolute carefree attitude could have easily become the envy of many, but to the redhead this mannerism had only been a source of hatred and disgust.

"So you actually made Captain," the woman dressed in a Starfleet uniform which displayed the rank insignia of a Lt. Commander teasingly stated before she broke Rikar's glare.  "Guess Starfleet is desperate or they have drastically lowered their standards," the woman added as she toured the bridge, her slender fingers caressing whatever surface had been within range.

"Their standards have not changed," Rikar angrily offered as a defence.  "You just didn't have it in you to abide by the rules; all you cared about was the moment, never giving tomorrow a second thought.  As long as you got what you wanted, you didn't care who got hurt in the process.  You were a disgrace to that uniform then as you are now today."

"Sabrina," the black haired woman sighed, her demeanour not having changed a bit… the woman truly appeared as if she had not a care in the world.  "So you made Captain… but at what price?  Just look at that last evening with your dear wife… an evening that she had thoroughly prepared and which you destroyed because you were too busy being this ship's *Captain*," the raven haired woman continued as sat in the central chair and seductively crossed her legs.  "Face it my dear… as much as you may despise me… you envy the freedom that I had… the freedom of being a woman before the responsibilities of being an officer."

Rikar stood with her eyes narrowed and her fists clenched… her rage had grown to such a level that a Klingon would have likely taken several steps back instead of confronting the ship's CO had they been present.

"*Woman* would not be the first word that comes to mind when describing you…" Rikar hissed with enough venom in her words to slay a thousand grown men.

Setting: Somewhere in the middle of nowhere
Time Index: At this point, who knows…

The young woman sat across from the elderly humanoid man, a traditional camp fire dancing between them and a single smooth bolder beneath her.  It had maybe been only minutes... or hours... or maybe even days since she had made her way here... wherever here was... but now she didn't care.

The dark, empty world that surrounded her meant nothing more than what it represented... nothing.  Her entire universe now rested in her immediate surroundings, even closer than within arm's reach.  Thanks to the old man who had welcomed her into what she could only imagine was his domain, the young woman's troubles had all but vanished into the darkness around her.

For the first time in her life, she could honestly say that she didn't care... about anything.  Actually, to be more accurate, Rikar didn't care about the outside world anymore, but she did care about one thing... cared about them very much in fact... her memories.

"I wasn't looking where I was going and suddenly... *bang*!  I ran into him... or was it that *he* ran into *me*?  I don't remember exactly... but I remember his face when we looked at each other afterwards." The young woman said sounding as carefree as could be.

"You seem to have many memories of this person... was he someone special to you?"

"Yes he was... they all were... I can remember so many faces now... so many friends... so many people who filled my life in one way or another... and now... I think... I think I miss them." Rikar thoughtfully said, trying desperately to hang on to specific memories when all she could conjure forth were vague, general ones.

"So now do you believe you can answer my question?" The ancient asked, his voice sounding as gentle as wise as ever.

"Your question?  What question?" Rikar innocently asked, truly not recalling *the* specific question he had made reference to.

"Can you tell me who you are?"

A gentle smile came to grace the young woman's pink lips as for the first time since that question had been ask, she truly believed to have had the answer.

Like a dream taking on physical form, a small ragged, used doll appeared in her hands... and when it did, the young woman clenched it within a loving two-handed grip.

"Who is she?" The wise elder asked, sounding as if he already knew the answer.

"Her name is Samantha... she was the first thing my father gave me... she was my first and fondest memory as a child."  As Rikar recalled that first memory, tears began to caress her cheeks, the emotions summoned being too much for the young woman to contain.

"So... who are you?"

"I am..." she began with confidence and certainty but before the answer crossed her lips, she felt a deathly cold sweep over her, reaching all the way to her very soul.  The shock of the sensation had been so intense that the doll she had in her hands was dropped and fell to the ground at her feet.

As if suddenly deprived of oxygen, Rikar found it almost impossible to breath, her body now trembling from the unimaginable cold that had engulfed her.

Unexpectedly, the campfire that had stood between the elder and herself vanished as if it had never truly existed... then soon after, so did he... leaving the young woman alone in the freezing void, deprived of all light.

Finding it increasingly difficult to draw even the slightest breath, Rikar collapsed to the ground, unable to understand what was happening to her.  Was this it?  Was this the end?

Setting: What used to be the ship's Stellar Cartography, now a floating piece of debris

The intense cold had made it almost impossible for the young woman to open her eyes, but after a while she managed to accomplish this amazing feat.  What she saw was nothing more than a darkness like the one she had just left behind... yet there was something different... something more.

Through the darkness she could make out a single form... an approaching form.  Her first thought had been to call out to this entity, but her body refused to move, literally frozen in the shape of the ball she had been in.

A voice was heard, yet she could not make out what it had said.  Rikar's eyes closed once more, thinking that this would be for the final time when she felt the coldness that had embraced her with such perseverance replaced with the tingling caress of a transporter beam.
Sabrina Jones {sabrina_sweet@hotmail.com}
Captain Sabrina Rikar
Commanding Officer
"We are Grey, we stand between the Candle and the Star, between the Darkness and the Light"
-Entilza Delenn,
Babylon 5