Admiral Valdore observed impassively from the bridge of Qu’lore as two of his comrade ships were destroyed by the Earth vessel.  How is it possible that two Earth ships managed to thwart our carefully planned attack, he thought sourly.  Keeping his attention on the space ahead of him, he asked his Sub-commander.  “What of the Tr’van?”

Sub-commander Jo’rek turned his attention from his console to the admiral.  “The Tr’Van has suffered damage, but Commander Dekaris has just sent a communiqué, his ship is still capable of continuing the assault.”

Valdore nodded his approval.  “Coordinate with Commander Dekaris.”  He turned his attention to the surviving earth ship, displayed of his forward screen.  “We shall strike the remaining Earth vessel from both sides.”  He stared at Jo’rek.  “With our combined strength this last remaining thorn in our side will be eradicated.”

*****

NO!  No, no, no, no, no...  His voice screamed in his head.

Jonathan Archer stood on the bridge of Enterprise a broken man, staring blankly out into the space where Columbia once existed; where Erika once existed.  His mind scrambled to find rhyme or reason.  It could find none.  No...  His mind screamed again.

He stumbled backward and collapsed into his chair when his legs refused to hold him upright any longer.  He felt numb.  His mind drifted... 

“It’s a book of poetry by Zen Xi Tou...” She laughed.

His body tingled at the sound...

“Come on Jonathan, it will enlighten you...” Her eyes danced.

His soul leapt...

“Here we go.  Captain’s Legacy...”

His heart warmed at the sound of her voice...

Heart of fire, mind of ice
Oh brave Captain, the sacrifice

His breath caught...

And while my plight, others may not know
Thus my, spirit to boldly go

His heart shattered...

He opened his eyes and stared into the void.  “In hindsight, I have challenged my dream.  For I have chosen the path unseen,” he whispered.  He looked to the stars.

I love you, Erika!  I never told you...

The end...

 

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