Civilian Specialist Aria James

Started by X, February 22, 2008, 09:14:31 PM

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Character's Name: Aria James
Rank:  Classified
Job:  Classified


Age: 27
Place Of Birth: Vulcan
Gender: Female
Species Of Origin: Vulcan/Nacene/El Aurian
Hair: Black
Eyes: Gray
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 110
Skin Tone:  Medium
Telepathic and Empathic Status:  Telepathic and cyberpathic abilities
Body: Petite
Marital Stats: None
Children: None
Temperament: Calm, logical, but can swiftly become passionate
Hobbies/Interests:  Reading, swimming, mountain climbing, camping, the outdoors


Graduated from Starfleet in an alternate timeline, Aria was almost erased in a temporal event, but managed to protect her katra. Recently she was reborn in the flesh by the creation of a new body via binary cloning. A member of the Aurora team, she has recently taken interest in putting her medical training to better service.

(Aria and Sairyn intergrated timeline)

2299 - Aeric James is born and begins.

2324 - Sevryll is born

2340 - Aeric begins living on Vulcan and is only slightly older than Sevryll physically and mentally. Both are human equal to around 13 or 14 and entering puberty.

2342 - Aeric and Sevryll are bonded in what should have been a harmless children's game.

2344 – Aeric and Sevryll begin pursuing higher degrees at the Vulcan Science Academy.

2355 – Aeric and Sevryll set out for a symposium. Their runabout suffers damage during a plasma storm to the warp core. They make an emergency landing on the life supporting third moon of Trellos VI. Sevryll experiences an early Pan Far due to the moon's unique psionic field disrupting Sevryll's already tenuous emotional control. Aeric and Sevryll spend Sevryll's entire pregnancy on the moon awaiting rescue and attempting to survive. The ship is slowly cannibalized to ensure their survival and that of their child.

2356 - Aria is born in secret on the third moon of Trellos VI and the three live there until they are rescued by a Ferengi tradeship and granted passage to the nearest habitable planet. Admiral Tucker is the first member of the family that is informed of the situation and she convinced the two new parents to reveal the birth of their child to Sevryll's parents.

2364 - Sevryll and Aeric both attend Starfleet Academy.

2369 - Sevryll is posted on the Anazsazi. Aeric continues school and takes a posting at the fleet yards to remain planetside to pursue further degrees and look after Aria during Sevryll's first posting.

2371 - Aeric starts to fully remember his previous lives with the return of the Nexus. Starts the initial design phase of the Aurora shuttle as a father/daughter project. Aeric and Aria are injected with nanites partly to discover the gene that allows him to survive temporal flux. Aeric is recruited by the Department of Temporal Affairs. Aria begins the Academy at age 15 and a natural prodigy.

2373 - Aria graduates. Timeline changes due to Borg interference at Earth's First Contact. Aria is swept from the timeline and presumed erased, but gives her katra to her father. Sevryll is effected by the shift and never meets Aeric James. Aeric takes a leave of absence from Starfleet and throws himself into getting his daughter back. Sairyn beings building what would become the Caretakers.

2374 - Aeric spends a year working on the Prometheus Project as a civilian consultant.

2376 - Aeric officially returns to Starfleet and given the go ahead for the Aurora project and moves his work to Lya Station when he encounters David and Sevryll. Aurora project enters prototype phase and Aurora hologram with Aria's katra is brought online.  Sairyn cements her power in an alternate universe.

2377 - The second Aurora prototype, Aria, is constructed as a potential temporal vessel for DTI. Aeric is given command and ownership of the Aurora as part of the agreement with DTI. David and Sevryll are married on Risa in a private ceremony.

2378 – Sevryll and David's twins are born. Aeric is married while on extended tour with the Aurora.

2380 - Aeric posted on Tiberius and Aria's katra is reborn into a binary clone body that is near what would have been her chronological age.

2382 - Elizabeth, age 1, joins the James family in a predestination paradox.

2383 - Sairyn returns briefly. Aria, Sairyn, and Sevryll return to the alternate universe in search of N'Vall. Sairyn becomes pregnant with the child of Nathan Quinn.


"Remember," Aria whispered as her fingers found the correct position on her father's face. " I love yo-"

Her words were cut off as reality pulled her away from her father. Pain flushed through her body as her vision began to clear.

Her mind reached out for her father, but all she found was unfamiliar technology. Her nanites were still in the testing phase, but they worked hard to stabilize her condition. Linking to the dormant computer systems, she found herself at a research station belonging to the Terran Empire. It contained all the debris they could gather from the Empire's first successful meeting with the Borg.

Records of her father were nowhere to be found in this reality. Something had gone terribly wrong and somehow she survived when it should have been him.

"Computer," Aria said softly as she attempted to restore the systems to functional status, "locate any space worthy vessels on this facility."

"No vessels found." The husky male voice replied.

Aria shook her head. It was going to be more difficult than she expected to survive this. "Locate any life signs aboard facility."

"There are 42 Borg specimen in cryostasis."

Aria took a deep breath. With many of the systems still down and replicators offline, she would have to repair the core systems just to be able to eat. She would need crew to help with those repairs and the only crew she had was the Borg.

Aria found herself headed to the cryo chambers with renewed dedication. There was no way for her to repair the timeline, but she needed to make things right. She would combine the very technology they developed to combat the Borg into something that would allow her to convert them.

Adapt or die. Aria thought as she entered the massive holding chamber. She had less that four days to adapt herself to the Borg systems and to bring them back online. She needed them to help repair the station and to salvage what technology they could from the debris.

Three days after she began her work, Aria stood before the chambers and smiled. It was now or never. "Computer, disable stasis units and transfer Cooperative program."

Temperature quickly rose in the tube as they began to slowly open. Aria could feel their minds pushing against hers. She could feel them calling out for unity and if her calculation were correct, she could give them that.

"We are the Borg." The voices rang out as one. Aria's voice blended smoothly with the others. She walked calmly toward her new children. Her hand reached out to touch them as they touched her. Injection tubes pierced her body as the Borg transfered their nanites to her and received hers in exchange.

"We are the Borg," Aria smiled as she felt the many voices become one. With a thought she gave them purpose. They needed to be free of their tomb. They needed to repair the damage to the universe. To do that, she would need cooperation on an epic scale. "Begin repair of facility."

She could not use mindless drone for her task, she would need to make them better. Faster. This collective would need to be more. They would be a blending of the best that she could find in technology and organics. They would give her the tools to succeed where her father had failed.

As the nanoprobes continued to move though her body, Aria drew upon the knowledge and science of those merged into her collective. She would make them better, for her mother and father, she would make the whole universe better.


Captain's log Aria James USS Aurora. Stardate irrelevant.

We have only been in Sairyn's universe for a short time and recently docked with her command ship. N'Vall is still missing. The sphere escaped into transwarp as soon as they entered this universe, but we are soon to follow. I am concerned for mother, but I believe that she is coping well with the situation.

We have only been aboard Sairyn's flagship for a few hours, but this place could never be home for me. Before my rebirth, I had dreamed of being a princess. Afterward, I put away those childish thought and focused on creating a realistic future for myself. Sairyn has not done the same. She has taken those childhood daydreams and crafted them in reality at a cost that I would never be willing to pay.

I believe that my sister needs help that only mother and father can provide for her. He is not here and it is not a burden that mother should carry alone.

I am recording this log on the hope that we can create a means to routinely transmit our logs back home. This is an adventure that I never planned on, but my brother needs me and we will bring him back home.

Computer encrypt the following for the eyes of Lt Cmdr. Aeric James only.

Father, I hope that you can understand why I needed to do this. I know that you are dealing with the emotional turmoil of Sairyn's return and other issues that you kept from us. I can't begin to understand why you and mother hid your feelings from us in our original timeline and why you continued to keep those secrets even after mother had forgotten. I need for you to explain to me why I was never told. What logical reason did you and mother use to justify hiding your connection to each other?

I ask these question of you because mother is not ready to talk about this. I don't know if she will ever be ready to discuss the secrets that you kept from your children and family. When we return, we will talk. I know that you and mother love me and I have never doubted that, but I need these answers for my own piece of mind.

End encrypted log.

Peace and long life to my family and crew about the Arabella.

End log.


It was rare for Vulcans to dream, and yet Sevryll experienced them often.  Soon after she awoke, the lucid events rapidly dissipated. The visions faded like cut flowers—causing the details to wither and die moments after she rose. She used to record what she could remember before she began her day. Her father would often analyze them and though his insights had been helpful, they never provided her with the desired answers. Now, she could vividly recall every aspect and knew that they were not the pale visions of cryptic dreams—they were vivid accounts of past histories. Her histories. One of which included Aeric and Aria.

The Commander's nimble fingers hesitated over the panel as she reflected on the moment she learned that she and Aeric would be parents. It was a jarring retrospection that first surfaced with Sairyn's unexpected news that she herself, was expecting a baby.

The commander wrestled with her thoughts in an attempt to focus on N'Vall and the task at hand, but her memory of Aria's infancy gained control and forced its way to the forefront of her mind. In many ways her twins' birth paralleled that of Aria's. Those were melancholy days. Physical and mental agony threatened the child she and Aeric had brought into the universe. The baby would become the very air they breathed, and as such was christened "Aria". The name was Italian and one that his mother had used in a visit she made to 16th century earth. She was strong and wise...a leader who brought peace to her people up until the arrival of the Borg. Sevryll had hoped that the girl would usher peace into her parent's lives, but she logically expected turmoil.

The treatments needed to keep the baby were painful and at one point Aria was removed from her mother to encourage proper development. Sevryll was off world at the time and secrets were easily kept, if but for a short time.   
Founding co-host of the Anomaly Podcast


The Commander pushed her fear to the pit of her core and continued to aid Aria in piloting the Aurora. When Sevryll's stoicism failed, as it often did in her childhood, her people were critical but none more so than her mother. Emotion had always been her enemy and it had mastered her time and time again. As a girl, it was an obstacle Sevryll believed was too challenging to overcome. No one understood this better than Aeric. He was not the Vulcan boy he wanted to be, but the young El-Aurian believed the kahs-wan would make him worthy of his adopted people. While his young friend found his goal unobtainable, she secretly wished him success.

In modern times, prearranged marriages were observed only by the most rural and fundamental of Vulcan families. But groups of children often played as though they were performing the Kun-ut Kali-Fi eh ceremony. It was an innocent wedding game that children of many worlds played. Sevryll and Aeric were once pushed into the roles of the betrothed by their peers. They were coaxed to press their fingertips and repeated the words that were spoken by one of the group. In the case of two untrained telepaths, those words held as much power and meaning as a true ceremony.

An inaudible hail from the Cooperative vessel suspended the Commander's rumination. In the privacy of her mind, she could hear Sairyn answer her people. Aria and Sevryll exchanged glances as the runabout banked to rendezvous with strange craft.
Founding co-host of the Anomaly Podcast


Joint Post by Just X and Jen

The organic hull of Sairyn's command ship elegantly slid through the debris field of the shattered Borg sphere. Sairyn moved slowly through the twenty rescued Arabella abductees as they floated motionlessly in stasis fields. The sight of N'Vall's disfigured form was traumatic to say the least. The Commander stayed long enough to whisper words of comfort in her son's remaining ear as the boy was transferred to the Caretaker stasis field. She held back the surge of anguish until the fractured walls of her composure fell, allowing salty streams to flow unencumbered over her flushed cheeks. Not wanting Aria to witness the inevitable breakdown to follow, Sevryll excused herself. Even though the emotive display was understandable, a slip such as this was very personal and the privacy of her assigned quarters muffled the release of stress.

The daughters silently watched as their mother left the large room. Aria had never observed this behavior from Sevryll, but Rory had once told her of an equivalent situation involving the twins and the pathogen that plagued Tiberius. Rory warned that same virus had robbed her mother of the ability to effectively suppress her emotions. It was one reason why Aria and insisted on joining Sevryll on this venture. She suspected her mother would need her help on more than one front.

When the bio door grew to seal the ward behind Sevryll, Aria turned back to the stasis field before her. The Borg implants pierced their brother's flesh and replaced several of his organs.

"It could be worse," Aria said softly, "but not by much. Will we be able to help everyone?"

Sairyn allowed the insight of the Caretakers to flow through her, "Yes, full restoration is possible, but it will take time to clone and replace their missing tissue." Originally, she had no intentions to save anyone other than their brother, but Sevryll had argued well for the captured Arabella crewmen. Now she would use the collective knowledge of her people to erase the damage that the Borg caused. She wondered about her mother's unknown emotional condition. Was she too weak for the task she intended for her?

A half an hour had passed before Sevryll was able to returned to the ward where Sairyn and Aria waited. The now stoic Commander, approached to the stasis field and stared longingly at the pale child swaddled in cybernetics. The sound of her velvet alto broke the silence and echoed within the peculiar chamber, "Will you begin his treatment soon?"

Sairyn nodded slowly, "We have already taken tissue samples to begin the cloning  process, but it will take time to complete. If you want a full recovery, it might take upwards of a year."

A year... Severyll had expected N'Vall's recovery would prolong their venture, but she had not anticipated that the physical healing would be just as time consuming.Though displeased by the information, she inclined her head to Sairyn in understanding. Sensing her mother's disappointment Sairyn quickly added, "If we were to modify his genetics to that of the Caretakers, it could be done much sooner."

"If it takes a year, then it takes a year," Aria replied evenly as her tricorder passed over the form of her brother. "With everyone in stasis, they will not notice the length of their stay and it would give us the time necessary to find a way back home." Inwardly, Sevryll was thankful to Aria for her unremitting nature.

Sairyn grudgingly conceded to Aria's suggestion. "We will take all the necessary precautions and begin the recovery process. We will assign key Workers to complete the project as well as find a means to minimize the amount of time that you will be away from father. In the interim, we would welcome all aid that both of you can provide in stabilizing this flawed universe."

"To what are you referring?" Sevryll inquired wearily.

"The people of this universe need help and guidance. We are quite sure that you can provide council and advice in helping them. We know that our tactics are not looked favorably on by some." Sairyn said softly and placed the ball into her mother's court.

Sevryll turned her gaze from N'Vall's still form to Sairyn. Her resemblance to Aria was striking, yet it was becoming more and more apparent that the mirror appearance was where the similarities ceased. She thought of Sairyn's recent announcement regarding the child that Nathanial had fathered.  The Caretaker Queen had ulterior motives and she was skilled at achieving exactly what she wanted. Sevryll flicked her suspicious gaze to Aria then back to the queen, "Guidance? What aid do the people of this universe require? Why do you believe I am capable of providing it?"

"This galaxy is spiraling rapidly towards its own destruction," Sairyn said calmly. "If something is not done to convince the residents to become better, they will destroy themselves. We need you to take on the identity of your doppelganger and seize control of the Empire. From there you can move them in a better direction. Unlike the weakness caused by the reformation of Spock, your Empire won't be invaded in a time of weakness."

"How do you plan on doing that?" Aria asked.

"We will be the enemy that will keep the major powers distracted," Sairyn said with a smile. "If our projections are correct, mother can have the Empire on the correct path and able to defend itself from the other powers with a 12 to 18 month time-frame. We also project that the very existence of our threat will force the enemies of the Empire to come to the bargaining table in hopes of treaty against a far superior threat."

"I did not come here to assume power, Sairyn." Sevryll stated evenly. "Meddling in the affairs of these people would be a blatant violation of the Prime Directive.  I am a Starfleet officer and I will uphold the convictions of the Federation no matter the universe. I suggest you leave this galaxy and allow these people to  find their own stability."

Sairyn raised a brow at her mother's comment. She ignored the daggers of pain from her mother's suggestion of exile. "It would not be a violation of the Prime Directive. This is a galaxy that needs saving mother. If we leave, they will destroy themselves. We are not the danger here. They are. How many more innocent worlds will be consumed by them?"

Taking a deep breath, Sairyn rubbed her hands over her face. "Perhaps a compromise is in order. While we work on saving your crewmates and my brother, you assume the role that your counterpart made available for you. If in that time you can show that the people here are not beyond redemption, we will depart for some time and leave them to their fates. If you choose to help them, we will grant them a century without the Caretakers, but there will be other issues for us to discuss before we make final plans for departure."

It was obvious to Sevryll that Sairyn had not expected rejection. She did not wish to escalate the situation but could not compromise. She stifled the emotion that threatened to resurface and kept her face and her tone unaffected. "Before the sundering, our people were faced with destruction. They did not receive aid from out worlders. Vulcan solved its own problems. If our ancestors had not been faced with such challenges, Surak may never have been inspired and our people would not have turned from their tradition of violence."  She studied Sairyn's eyes, searching for some hint of understanding.

Sairyn paused and considered her mother's words before speaking. "We understand your perspective mother, but should we leave this galaxy, what would become of the planets that are under our rule? Also, are you that ready to expose your grandchild to the metamorphic radiation of the galactic barrier?"

Aria glanced between the two before speaking, "Sairyn, I can't begin to understand the position you are in, or the things that you have done to survive, but mother is right. You can't constantly protect someone from themselves. If they are that intent on mutual destruction, there is really nothing that you can do about it. Unless you take all free will from them, they will find a way to be themselves. As different as we are, I believe that you still value free will."

Sairyn and Aria's eyes met and they stared at each other for a long moment. It was Sairyn that broke the silence. "I know that my actions are hard to understand, but we are not that different. I am not the monster that I see reflected in your eyes, mother. I hold a greater perspective to see the universe from and some of those choices might seem wrong to those with a smaller viewpoint."

Brushing her hand against her own stomach, Sairyn looked into her mother's eyes and spoke softly. "I am not a monster, mother. What would you have me do?"

The Commander knew that Sairyn could read her thoughts before they were spoken. It was not necessary to verbalize them, but Sevryll did so for Aria's benefit. Her voice became gentle as she addressed the elder daughter, "You are not a monster and I am not a dictator." She held Sairyn's gaze—the queen was pleading for support that Sevryll could not give.  "Please don't ask me to surrender my principals," she whispered.  She could feel the queen's presence in her mind. She did not fight it—instead she allowed Sairyn to probe the hidden well of emotion so that her daughter might better understand.  Sevryll glanced out at the expanse beyond the viewport when she felt Sairyn withdraw, "perhaps Aria and I could devise a way to shield your vessel from the effects of the metamorphic radiation."

"Shielding will be unnecessary, I have an idea that will keep my child safe. For now, let us return to taking care of my brother, then I shall honor your request to give the people here a chance to make things better." Sairyn said softly.

In that moment Sevryll recalled a time when Sairyn was a small child named Aria. The vision passed through her mind's eye as though it were unfolding in realtime. Aeric and Sevryll watched from a distance as their three-year-old daughter coaxed a songbird to her hand. It tickled her palm as it fed on the seeds that Aeric had gathered from a sunflower. "Can I keep it? I will take care of her... I promise," echoed a small voice from the past. She felt the warmth of Aeric's hand in hers as they explained to Aria why the bird could not live with them.

Sevryll allowed a hint of a smile to pull at her lips at the recollection. She was aware that the memory was brought forward by Sairyn during the mind probe, but she knew it to be factual and not a fabrication. Though Sairyn was no longer a child, and her songbird was now a troubled galaxy and a unborn child, the desire to care for someone was still her daughter's sole ambition...and Sevryll could empathize.
Founding co-host of the Anomaly Podcast


Joint post by Jen and Just X

Aria looked outwards towards the stars as she gathered the courage to ask questions better left unsaid. With a smile, she turned towards her mother, who was seated at the organically grown desk of her quarters. "What's going to happen between you and father when we get home?"

Sevryll glanced to Aria and studied her expression,"what do you mean?" It was obvious what her daughter wanted to know, but Sevryll was hesitant to volunteer an answer.

"Are you and father going to continue to avoid your feelings in this timeline, as you did in our original one?" Aria clarified her question. "What is preventing us from being a family now?"

As a little girl and a telepath, Aria grew up quite aware of the feelings her parents shared, but she could not understand the guilt that they felt over having them. Like any young child, she wanted her parents together and that feeling had yet to fade.

"Aria...I am not in a position to...." She began. Sevryll thought of her husband, David. She loved him despite all that he was. "I am bonded to another." The commander felt a stab of pain. She remembered the guilt Aria spoke of, it still lingered and now was mingled with sadness.

"I understand mother, but for once, I would like to see you happy." Aria replied softly. She had not intended on causing her mother more pain, but curiosity had a habit of doing that. "I know that both of my parents are married, but logically, if you are both separated, doesn't that say something about the relationships that you are in?"

"I endeavor to suppress emotion..." Sevryll gazed out the window as she tried to explain her situation without revealing the nature of her husband's occupation. "My marriage is not over and bonds are not readily disposed." She paused briefly before continuing, "what you must understand is that though I remember these experiences, I did not live them. That individual, the woman who loved your father, is not me. I can recall her sentiments...but I did not experience them personally."

Aria nodded slowly. "I have an entire lifetime of memories that I share with Sairyn. I understand your perspective because, according to the rest of the universe, those events never happened. I have spent months trying to find my place in a universe that doesn't remember me. Now, I am thankful that someone else has a perspective of those events. As much as those new memories and feelings might trouble you, I am relieved that you have them. I only wish that you could be content. You have done so much for me. You have done so much for Sairyn. I would just like to have my mother free of the loneliness and granted a measure of the peace that she deserves."

Sevryll nodded to Aria. She had been lonely for the majority of her marriage to David, but she could not deny her feelings for him. Having these memories was in some way worse than being ignorant of the time shift. She met Aria's eyes and sighed, "tell me...what do you remember of your childhood? I only recall fragments of that life...the experience on the bridge was overwhelming. I can not process all of what I have seen."

Aria tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear and smiled brightly at her mother, "No child could have asked for or been granted better parents than you and father. I was younger then and I didn't understand why you were not married, but I'm older now. You and father ... gave me a life that allowed me to become the woman that I am today. You showed me the legacies of the past. Ancient stories hidden in sand and stone. My first clear memory is that of you guiding my had as we brushed the debris from some newly recovered artifact. I remember father smiling as he looked at us and feelings a warmth that would be impossible to find in any Vulcan household."

Taking a slow breath, Aria thought back to those bright memories of her past. Her smile reached all the way up to her eyes as she continued. "Our family was and still is far from conventional. You and father ... and your need to uphold honor ... never let anyone else inside that part of our lives. To those on the outside you were two parents caring for a child conceived out of necessity. To anyone that knew where to look, including your daughter, you could see that there was something powerful between you. I never was given reason to believe my conception was simply the result of an early Pon Farr. From my observations, it was more a predestined event. A collision of two heavenly bodies suddenly drawn into the others gravity."

Sevryll suddenly found the PADD on her desk interesting. She knew Aria's belief, however imaginative, was closer to truth than fantasy. The Pan Far was the catalyst for the relationship afterwards, but there was an attachment formed prior to that. "We were bonded as children..." she whispered. "A fortunate happenstance that was brought about by a make-believe Kan-Telan Ceremony."

Aria simply grinned, "I don't know your thoughts on the subject, but I believe that coincidence and happenstance occurs too frequently in this family and defies probability. My theory is that the universe itself has brought our family together. I came back from the dead ... twice if you count Sairyn. You remember a life and feelings that only serve to strengthen these family bonds. Even now, we are helping Sairyn remember that child that we once were. I truly believe that something has drawn us together and it is only a matter of time before our parents realize the same."


Joint post by Jen and Just X

Sairyn looked out of the clear windows of the Caretaker's newest flagship. With over a year and a half in construction, the city-size vessel dominated the space around it and dwarfed the remainder of her fleet. It had been an interesting year for the leader of the Caretakers, her people, and her guests. It was also a time of change. Sairyn smiled to her mother and sister as she stroked her belly, now heavy with child. Her smile only grew when one of the many display screens showed her younger and fully healed brother playing with several of the Caretaker children.

"Construction of my flagship is almost complete," Sairyn started, " and we should be able to return you home soon. With the Borg no longer a threat, we are not needed in this galaxy. It is time for us to move on. Once my child is born, we will help you return to a point that is best for N'Vall."

Aria nodded slowly, "I will miss your hospitality, sister. This has turned out far more interesting than I ever expected. It could have also been much worse if the Caretakers were not involved. The upgrades to the Aurora are on schedule."

Sevryll listened to Aria describe the improvements to her ship, as she watched her son play. There were no traces of Borg implants remaining in N'Vall, but mentally... he was different. The physiological trauma had yet to manifest, but the advancement of his cognitive abilities were evident. She called to mind the day he was revived— the small boy sat up in one swift, machine-like movement and studied the individuals standing around him with unblinking eyes. He said nothing until his gaze fell on Sevryll, "Mother... We have grieved for your presence." In that moment the Commander felt a mixture of relief, pain and alarm upon hearing his statement. It implied that he had been aware of his situation despite his connection to the Hive. His inclusion of the term "we", concerned her the most...would he ever regain his sense of individuality?  She took him in her arms, and kissed his head. N'Vall's hair had begun to grow back, as was his damaged ear.  She couldn't help but smile as she remembered the lack of hesitation in his embrace. That was the moment she knew her baby had returned.

Sairyn observed her mother for a brief moment before speaking, "When we leave this galaxy, it is to explore the great unknown. As much as I love this child growing in me, that is not her destiny. She needs a better life than I can provide. She needs to be grounded in mortality so that she can better understand the lifeforms around her. As much as it pains me, my daughter will need things that I cannot offer her here. I wish for her to return to your universe. I wish for her to have as close to a normal life as possible."

Aria's brow rose at the statement. She wanted to say something, anything, but words failed her. This was not the woman that she had first met. The presence of their mother had healed some of the wounds that Sairyn carried and it showed. The removal of the Borg threat had allowed her sister a chance to give the Caretakers a new path. Events were occurring that had fundamentally changed the way Aria saw her sister and how her sister saw the universe.

The Vulcan's diminutive smile transitioned to reflect her daughter's solemn expression, "I will do this for you... though I advise against it." She moved closer to her Sairyn and gently brushed a wisp of hair from her forehead, "each of my children has endured painful separations and suffered for them. But their parents suffered as well. Your father's heart was broken by your absence, Sairyn. It will break your own, if you send your daughter back—doing so will only found the longing of her heart and yours. Nothing will quench the thirst mother and daughter will have for each other. I know this from experience. Please...come back with us, and raise your child as your own."

Sairyn smiled. "I do not do this lightly, mother. I fully understand the pain that I am willingly placing upon myself, but my daughter deserves to know her father."

" I am going beyond the galaxy. We don't know what awaits us. I want my child to be safe. I want her to have a chance to grow and be nurtured by those that love her. I will not be far from her thoughts. Even now, I can vaguely sense the Trill that I restored in your universe. That minor connection will allow me to remain close to my daughter. If she ever needs her mother, I will only be a thought away. As much as I would love to return with you, my duty is to my people. The Caretakers need their queen and I can't desert them to the unknown. This is my place now, but it doesn't need to be my daughter's."

Sairyn gracefully drew Sevryll's hands into her own. "She will be safer with you. She will have the love of my entire family to comfort her and she will be able to sense her mother's love. When she is older, she will know how to reach me. She will know of her people, because she is the gift that we leave to your universe. If there is nothing but danger beyond, I can take peace in knowing that she will be safe. I know that she will be in good hands and I am certain that she will be well cared for and cherished. What more could I want for my little girl?"

Aria finally found the words to speak. Both had grown from their shared time together and their experiences apart. In her time with the Caretakers, she had come to know Sairyn. She and her mother stood beside her sister at the height of the war with the Borg. They had been there when Sairyn grew past the fear and loss that had once driven her. "Are you sure about this? Do you really think that you will be able to just walk away from your baby?"

Sairyn's smile turned to Aria even as her eyes held back tears. "It is the only logical course. My people need me and my daughter will need her family. She will have more than I can offer her. I will also see her again. I am not abandoning my child. I merely want to give her father a measure of time with her. I took something from him in my madness that I do not regret taking, but he needs to know our child. He should have a chance to be her father."

"Your logic is sound," whispered Sevryll. "Will this Trill act as your conduit? Should she remain nearby to strengthen your connection?" Her mother was unsure of whom Sairyn referred.

"The Trill .. Ryla, is her own being, she was once to serve as my emissary in your universe and midwife to your duplicate's children, but her life is her own." Sairyn responded. "Just as I can reach out to her, I will be able to reach out to my daughter. She will not be without her mother. I will be in her heart and dreams."