"What Could Have Been"
[Previous post: "Understanding is Like Truth, a Three-Edge Sword", written by the insightful Jessica]

Setting: Unknown Transport Vessel
Stardate: 63073.2200

In the arms of her protector Lea had been safe. At least her body had been while in the tender care of the Oltharian. Her mind though had been another story. Alone and vulnerable within the confines of the battered fragile shell. The beating had been vicious, brutal, merciless. It had made sense for Lea to find some way to escape it, to find refuge in the only place she could.

Setting: Unknown Planet

Here only peace could be found. Soft, white cottony clouds traveled the clear blue sky pushed by gentle winds. The grassy hills surrounded her as far as the eyes could see to vanish into an unseen horizon. Lea felt at peace here, away from the hardships of life and physical pain.

Here Lea's mind could enjoy the moment and let it stretch into forever. She could chose to take a single memory and cradle it or explore things that had not been.

The smiling Oltharian appeared before Lea. The smile on his face rightfully belonging to the peaceful place as if he had been here all along. There had been something about Elan that had always made her feel safe, at peace. Now had been no different as she could feel his embrace around her.

How much her life would have been different had she been able to be with him. Not as a friend onboard a ship. Not even as a couple venturing amongst the stars together. What would it have been like to be with him, on a planet alone with nothing else but each other?

Decisions and choices had been made. So many of them in fact that Lea could not remember them all. Elan had been the last of her failed relationship, one that had not really even started. The Oltharian's heart belonged to an other and there had been nothing Lea could have done to change this.

Where had it all gone wrong? At what time in her life had Lea doomed herself to being alone? To never feel the tender touch and all encompassing embrace of love? Had she wronged some all powerful being in another life and condemned to suffering?

The image of the smiling Elan vanished to instead be replaced by a darker form. Much smaller than the Oltharian, Lea knew who it was before the cloud even took form. Even as only a memory the woman could instil fear by her presence.

"You cannot be here!' Lea screamed at the short, blonde woman having nearly been brought to tears.

"We all have darkness within us," the woman said, her eyes as black and empty as Lea suspected her soul to be.

"You don't belong here!" Lea snapped, her fists clenched in anger and frustration.

"Neither do you," came the soft spoken reply, an evil smile having flashed over the woman's lips before vanishing along with her form.

Lea suddenly felt heavy and tired. The clouds overhead had begun to fade into a darker sky. Had night finally come to claim her from this place?

Through the growing shadows that surrounded her, Lea discerned faces from her past. People who had in one way touched her life through their presence or decisions she had made because of them.

Sabrina Rikar. The woman who had welcomed Lea onboard the ANUBIS. Her strength and dedication to her crew had always been a source of strength. An inspiration for Lea to find courage within her to face the hardships of their missions.

Admiral Koniki. The man responsible for Lea having been lost for nearly four month because of the Yal'Tonil. A man she suspected as having been the one who initially recruited her into SFI. The man responsible for shaping her life as it now was.

There had not been that many in her life. Lea had chosen a path of solitude despite herself. Elan had been the last step in that journey. As she searched her memories through the growing darkness, Lea realised where it had all started. On that fateful day after her graduation from the Academy she had made a choice.

Lea had decided that her career had been more important than romance, or even the chance for it. Adam had been sweet but he had not been what she had wanted. What she had needed at that time, or was he? It had been so long ago that she could not remember exactly what she had felt. Why she had decided to leave him behind.

If she had said yes. If she had accepted to go with him to DS6. What could have been?

Tiffany Reeve (lady.tiffany.rose@gmail.com)

Lt. Lea Summers
Chief Medical Officer