"What Would Be"
[Previous post: "What Could Have Been"]

Setting: USS PARADOX, Cargo Bay 6
Stardate: 63073.2200

The Bolian had left Anya and Adam in the cargo bay with strict instructions, to stay put.  With the expected return of Sumariss and the arrival of the woman only referred to as Onyx the Orion Syndicate had a great many things to do in order to take control of the ship.

"Who is this Onyx?" Adam quietly asked of Anya, Shawn having fallen asleep in the arms of his father.  Because he had been so busy crawling through Jefferies Tubes to sabotage the ship, the Father had not spent nearly as much time with his son as he had liked to. Judging by the way the small boy had curled up in his father's arms it was easy to see that Shawn had felt the same way.

"I can't really tell you," the Arcadian replied, her eyes taking in the sweetness of the sight of the man and his son with renewed delight.  "All I know is that she is a high ranking member of the Syndicate and that her position alone makes it unwise to not follow her orders."

"So you are going to just turn over this ship to her because she *wants* it?!?" Ensign Russel said, his voice having become slightly louder, enough so that Anya raised her hands and motioned for the man to keep calm so as to not awaken his child.  The boy needed rest and there had been no better place for him to do so than in the arms of his father.

"It's not that simple," Anya said with a sigh.  "It never is.  If Sumariss had been allowed to take control of the PARADOX who knows what would have happened.  All we know is that he was planning on righting something that had gone wrong on his home planet.  When the Orion Syndicate learned that the Dominion had taken interest in this little adventure it was clear that we needed to act.  In the hands of the Founders this ship could have been used to change the face of the entire quadrant, maybe even the galaxy."

"Nice try," Adam sighed.  "I agree that the PARADOX could not be allowed to fall in the hands of the Founders, but it's going to take a hell of a lot more to convince me that the Orion Syndicate is doing this out of the kindness of their heart.  As far as I can tell, this Onyx person is just as bad as the Founders, if not more so."  The Ensign stopped for a moment to collect his thoughts and play in his son's hair, a small gesture that eased his troubled mind almost instantly.  "Tell me honestly, do you fear this Onyx person?"

"Yes," Anya reluctantly admitted.

"Why?" Adam continued without losing a beat.  "You admitted yourself that you didn't know her, so how can you fear someone that you do not know?"

"I don’t know her, but I have heard of her," the Arcadian clarified in a nervous manner.

"So you're telling me that what little you heard of her is enough to make you fear her?"  He asked to see a look in Anya's eyes that he had figured would be there soon enough.  "I don’t know this Sumariss, not do I personally know the Founders.  What I do know of them is what I have heard or seem with my own eyes, and to be honest this Onyx person strikes me as the worst of the three, the only problem is that I have no idea what she wants with this ship.  That's what truly scares me."

Adam went silent after that, keeping his thoughts to himself.  This entire story surrounding the PARADOX had quickly gone out of hand and with the Orion Syndicate so deeply involved there had been little the Ensign could do about it.  All that he could do was to hope and wonder about a single yet all important thing.  What would be?

William Reeve (altrealityman@gmail.com)

Ensign Adam Russell
(in another reality)
Flight Control Officer