Captain's log, Stardate 53029.4: We have arrived on Earth for some crew rest after our last mission. I, for one, could use a little time to take a deep breath.
"You still have some leave to take," Patrick noted to Katia. "You're free to join us, we can meet up with the Wasp later. I can easily make the arrangements with Captain Ramsey."
"Thank you, sir."
"Anything else, Lieutenant?"
"No sir.I just hope I can get some time with my friend."
"I understand. Dismissed."
As Admiral Belding was grading exams in her office, the doorbell rang. "Come in."
"Hi, mom," Donna said as she entered the office. "How have you been?"
"I've been doing all right.I heard that you had a little adventure."
"All I can say is that Patrick thwarted another assassination attempt. The rest of what I know has been classified."
"What is Patrick up to now?"
"I don't know. Wildfire is on a survey mission, so he's not with his sister. He's probably working on something or other."
Patrick entered the hospital room of Dr. McCoy. He found Ambassador Spock sitting at the side of his bed, "How is he doing, sir?"
"Not woo well, captain."
"Admiral McCoy has lived a long time. It might be time for him to rest."
"Perhaps you are right."
"Needless to say, the adventures of the Enterprise with you and Kirk and McCoy are well-known. I've observed that one of the things that worked during those times was the chemistry between the three of you."
"I would not dispute you on that."
Spock and Patrick were silent for a few moments, as the only sound was the Dr. McCoy's health monitor. As they sat, the monitor slowly pulsed, than started making a continuous tone. "If I recall correctly, Kirk is buried on a mountain top."
"I know. Would you be willing to provide transport?"
"It would be my honor."
"So, how does it feel?" Katia said.
"How does what feel?"
"Coming back from the dead?"
"If there is such a thing as an afterlife, I never experienced it. It felt like I came out of a coma."
"Perhaps what happened to me happened for a reason?"
"If you're looking for spiritual guidance, you're looking in the wrong place."
Before Sara could respond, Patrick called out on the communicator. Ingrum to Jackson."
"I hate to interrupt you, but I'd like for the two of you to return to the Baldwin."
"Understood," Sara turned to Katia. "Don't look at me."
"Why don't we go ahead and beam up and see what is going on."
"If you agree, let's go ahead. Jackson to Baldwin, two to beam up."
"Today, Admiral Leonard H. McCoy passed away after being ill for some time. The closest thing he had to next of kin is Ambassador Spock. He has asked us to escort him to Veridian III."
"I don't understand," Sara inquired, "why go to that particular planet? I don't think he ever visited that system."
"About four and a half years ago," Harm broke in. "It was discovered that Captain Kirk was swept into a temporal nexus. Picard also somehow got swept into the nexus, and convinced Kirk to come out and undo the destruction of the Veridian system. He was killed in the confrontation -"
"and buried on the planet," Sara finished. "Sir, I'm curious, how do you know about this?"
"I led the JAG investigation into the destruction of the Enterprise-D. There were some Prime Directive concerns with leaving his body there," Harm replied. "I felt that the chances of cultural contamination were minimal, and recommended that the grave site remain undisturbed."
Patrick pressed a few buttons on his console. A moment later, Amanda's image appeared in his holo-communicator. "Patrick, this is a pleasant surprise,"
"Unfortunately, I call up to bring bad news. Admiral McCoy finally passed away. We are escorting Ambassador Spock to Veridian III so that the Admiral may be buried alongside his compatriot."
"That would make a lot of sense. Send the Ambassador my condolences, but I'm don't think the Wildfire can make it in time."
"I understand. You know, I've been thinking... In one sense, my only family now is my one sister. In another sense, I have a lot of sisters," Patrick said as he motioned to hug the three dimensional image of his friend.
"I think you're right." Amanda replied. "We'll try to be here if you need us. Would you like to speak to Anna?"
Amanda's image disappeared from the Holographic device and his twin's appeared. "Hey, Patrick. Amanda was telling me about Admiral McCoy."
"Yes. I just thought I would take this opportunity to say 'I love you' and give you one of this, sis," Patrick answered as he peck his sister's cheek.
The doorbell rang in Spock's quarters. "Enter."
"Ambassador," the young JAG said as she entered Spock's quarters. "I have a question regarding your experience with Project Genesis." Spock gave her a puzzling look, which Sara surmised meant he was wondering who he was. "Sorry, sir. I'm Lieutenant Sara Jackson with the JAG corps, or at least working on becoming part of JAG."
"History is well aware of the failure of Genesis, and the potential destructiveness of the process."
"I understand that during an attack on the Enterprise by Khan, you received a fatal dose of radiation and was torpedoed onto the Genesis Planet, where your body was regenerated."
"I'm not sure I can describe what happened. I once told Dr. McCoy that it would be difficult for me to describe without a common frame of reference."
"I might be able to help you there. How do I explain this. I was fatally shot in the chest by a someone seeking revenge on another. This man had access to this special cloning technology, which is what Captain Ingrum used to bring me back."
"To me, even though this is, to an extent, a 'new body' for me, it simply felt like I had been unconscious for an extended period."
"Before I entered the engineering chamber, I had a mind-meld with Dr. McCoy. It was intended that he bring my katra back to Vulcan. When all was said and done, I felt like I was in two places at once, neither of which I had total control." Sara simply nodded approvingly.
"Captain," Jaimie said, "I have a message for you from the Enterprise."
"Put it through," Patrick replied. Captain Picard appeared in Patrick's holo-projector. "Captain Picard, it is a pleasure speaking with you again."
"I hear that you are transporting Ambassador Spock to Veridian III to bury Admrial McCoy."
"That is correct, sir."
"In that case, I feel that our Enterprise should join you for the services."
"We didn't want to bother you, but it would be our honor. We'll see you there."
"Today," Patrick began, "we pay tribute to a man that is a Starfleet legend. Leonard H. McCoy was a renowned physician and CMO aboard the Enterprise 1701 and 1701-A for nearly 30 years, and lived a life of nearly 150. There's an old tradition of having friends and family talk about the recently departed. Considering he never really had his own family, the only people who were close to him are here today. Ambassador Spock will have a few words for us, and then we shall place him alongside Captain Kirk. Mr. Spock, you may take it from here"
"Thank you, Captain," Spock started, "This day was not unexpected. It was only a matter of time before Dr. McCoy's death. He was an emotional man who was prejudiced about Vulcans, perhaps a reminder of the prejudices that existed during humanity's early days of space travel. However, we had a common friend in James Kirk..."
After Spock had finished his speech, two officers flanked the grave as the flag-draped coffin was lowered into the ground. The officers grabbed the flag and folded the flag into thirds, then folded the flag into a square shape before presenting it to Spock.
Spock then turned to Captain Picard, "Captain, it is an honor to have you today."
"The honor is mine, Ambassador," Picard replied.
"As it is mine," Patrick added. "So, what is your next step?"
"I think I will return home to Vulcan. One good to come out of the recent war is the fact that we have had better rapport with the Romulans."
"So, what's next?" Jaimie asked as she entered the Ready room with Patrick for a meeting, both of them still in their white dress uniforms.
"Unfortunately, we lost leave time volunteering with the funeral duties, and Starfleet cannot spare us any longer. We'll be delivering supplies to Cardassian outposts, then return to D.S. Nine for further instructions.
"Ingrum to Bridge. Laura, as soon as everyone is back aboard, set course for Starbase 227 and engage at Warp 9."
The next morning, Patrick was talking to Jaimie, "Last night, I had this really weird dream. I was flying over a field in the runabout, when I saw a baseball diamond in one corner of the field. I landed the runabout the field and exited. I see Captain Sisko on the mound throwing pitches."
"What did you do next?"
"I quietly took a bat and tried to hit his pitches," Patrick replied, smiling, "I kept missing."
"Any idea what it means?"
"I don't know, but I heard that Mrs. Sisko was considering building a ball field on the property on Bajor. Maybe she's having the same visions. Captain Sisko used a baseball analogy when discussing life with the Prophets. Maybe there's a bit of truth in life being like a baseball game."
"You're suggesting that I should consider this ball field idea, just on a dream of yours?" Kasidy asked.
"It is your call, and your idea in the first place. Personally, I trust my intuition. It has helped me more times than I can imagine. I'll be at DS9 in a couple days, perhaps we can talk again then."
"I look forward to it."
Harm was going through some notes on a PADD when his doorbell rang. "Come in."
"Good morning, sir," Sara started. "Do you mind if I ask you a few questions?"
"Not at all," Harm replied. "This wouldn't have something to do with your recent adventure with section 31."
"It does. Sir, I keep wondering to myself why I was resurrected, so to speak. I mean, I understand why Captain Ingrum did it, but I think if this were in someone else's hands, I will still be dead."
"Then again, if Patrick wasn't the kind of person to put the pressure on Section 31, you wouldn't have been shot in the first place. Life can be like that sometimes," Harm stated as the doorbell rang again. "Come in."
"Captain Rabb," Laura said as she came in, "I believe I found someone that seems a little lost," she finished as Katia followed her in.
"Captain," Katia said as she introduced herself. " Lieutenant Katia Leigh. I'm an old friend of Sara's."
"Katia was telling me about your situation," Laura continued. "I have some unique abilities myself - I can sense the space around me, have become very skilled in the use of the bat'leth, and have on occasion done some telekinesis. I once had a extended visit with the Bajoran cleric on Deep Space Nine. He told me a Journey of trial and wonder awaited me. The adventure with section 31 may have been part of it."
"Perhaps I should have a talk with the captain," Sara commented. "Was it just luck that everything was in the right place, or was it supposed to happen?"
Patrick was in his ready room when his doorbell chimed. "Come," he answered. Sara walked through the door. "Yes, Sara. I've heard that you have had some concerns regarding recent events."
"Yes, sir. I'm trying to figure out why exactly things happened the way they did. Was it pure chance, or was it my destiny?"
"First off, let me tell you something about Captain Sisko. He was an avid fan of an old earth game called baseball. When he encountered the aliens within the wormhole, he used the game as an analogy for life. With each play, anything can happen. Sometimes, things happen when you don't expect them. Certainly, the recent events that happened to you were a curve ball in your life. I am not, however, a spiritual advisor. We'll be at DS9 in a day or two, perhaps a discussion with the clerics could help. What I can tell you is, to use the baseball analogy again, that you have not reached the final inning yet."
At a table in Quark's bar, Kasidy Sisko sat waiting to discuss with Patrick the idea of putting a baseball field where her husband had anticipated building a home. Patrick quickly walked into the bar and took a seat. "Mrs. Sisko, thanks for giving me the opportunity to speak with you."
"Not a problem."
"I was talking with one of my crew members. She was the one involved in the Section 31 ordeal. I told her about Ben's first encounter with the prophets. One of the things I found fascinating," Patrick said as he pulled his hand around his waist, revealing a ball, "was his baseball analogy."
"When Jake introduced me to Ben," Kasidy recalled as she smiled, "he was surprised to find someone who was interested in baseball as he was."
"I've been expecting you, my child," the vedek stated as Sara approached the station's monastery.
"Did anyone from Baldwin tell you I was coming?"
"No. The prophets have foreseen your arrival. Please enter."
As Sara entered the monastery, the Vedek seated her in front of a small table. He proceeded to place a small, ornate box onto the table. "Behold, the tear of the prophets." He opened the case.
Sara saw herself surrounded by glowing swirls of bluish light. She saw herself in a small field. A man stepped out of the shadow, "You're not supposed to be here."
"What do you mean? Who are you?"
"Your presence messed with my plans. You're not supposed to be here."
"Do not listen to him," a familiar voice boomed as lights came on, revealing a baseball field. Patrick tossed his ball across to her. "This man would like nothing better than to cause trouble."
"What I have done," the other man said, "Is in the best interests of the security of the Federation."
Sara turned around to see if Patrick would offer a rebuttal. Instead, she found the field had turned into a small room. Sara recognized the wood flooring. A familiar hand touched her shoulder. "Sara," Katia said, "Trust your heart." She pointed at a mirrored wall.
Sara turned to the mirror, looking at herself. "Hello," her reflection said. "How are you?"
"I'm doing all right. Who are you?"
"Who do you think I am?"
"I would say that you. are me."
"They don't call this a mirror for nothing. Did we keep Section 31 from assassinating Dr. Bashir?"
"We were successful, then."
"I guess we were." Sara saw her reflection back away and produced a baseball in her hand. The reflection threw the ball towards her. She watched as the ball passed through the mirror without breaking. As she caught the ball, the room turned back into a field, this time in daylight.
"Nice catch. Lieutenant."
"Thank you, Sir," Sara answered. "Thank you for everything that you have done for me."
"Not a problem," Patrick said. "You're part of my crew. Your well being is ultimately my responsibility. All that I ask is that you do your best in everything that you do."
"Remember, the game is not over for you. It is just beginning." With that final statement, the blueish swirls surrounded her again.
As Sara saw herself again in the monastery, she turned to the Vedek. "Thank you." The cleric nodded in acknowledgment.
Captain's log: Stardate 53050.8. Kasidy Sisko has decided to build the baseball field. Construction has progressed at a fairly decent pace. "They've planted the infield grass, but they still need to work on the outfield grass."
"How's your little one coming along?"
"She's starting to come along," Kasidy said, rubbing her belly. "I'm not going to be able to play for a while."
"I have a cousin on Deneva with two boys," Patrick commented. "She has always said that the older they get, the more you enjoy parenting."
"I certainly hope that is the case for me."
"Do you know if it's a boy or girl."
"Dr. Bashir tells me I'm expecting a little girl."
"That's great. I'd like to have a little girl, and my twin sister would love to have twins herself."
A familiar face approached as Patrick and Kasidy were talking, "You with a little girl," Sara commented.
"You'd be surprised, lieutenant," Patrick replied. "I've already got a name picked out."
"You're really serious about it, aren't you?"
"Absolutely," Patrick said as he tossed the baseball to Sara.
"I don't know if I'd want children, but if there's one thing I've learned, it's that life is full of unexpected turns," Sara said as she tossed the ball over her head. "I'd be interested to see a game here, when will you have the first game?"
"I know that my brother's team is planning on making the trip out here. We'll probably have an exhibition game out here in about four weeks."
"Until then, Baldwin and Wasp will be conducting warp field tests - Captain Ramsey has had problems with the core ever since they had to modify the warp fields. We hope to take care of the problem, not to mention take another step toward 'five nines.'"
"So, do you think these upgrades will work?" the Bolian crewman asked as Patrick was observing the installation of new warp field generators.
"These new generators are designed with the upgraded warp field in mind. Between this and the new core, I'm hoping that we can get the Wasp up to '996."
"If you say so."
Sara was not surprised, but still curious, when she entered the holodeck to meet a friend. "You did a good job creating this program."
"Thanks. It was something I got from Patrick. It's been a while, and I'd thought of getting back into practice."
"I heard about the little dance team aboard the Baldwin and have worked with them a bit. You planning to get something together here?"
"Maybe. I haven't given it that much thought yet."
Before Sara could reply, a voice sounded over the com line. "Lieutenant Leigh to the bridge."
"Looks like they got those engine upgrades done sooner than I expected. I'm on my way."
"Mind if I join you?"
Katia and Sara exited the turbolift onto the bridge. "You must be Lieutenant Jackson," Captain Ramsey noted. "I've heard a bit about you."
"Thank you, sir."
"You here to observe final testing?" Patrick asked.
"I guess so," Sara answered. "You never know if you'll need legal advice. Besides, part of my orders was to observe starship operations - I'll try to stay out of your hair."
"In that case," Ramsey replied, "let's get started. Miss Leigh, set course at your discretion."
"Let's start her out at warp 1," Patrick added. "We'll bring the new warp system through the range from there.
"How is she doing?" Patrick asked as he approached the Navigation console.
"She feels all right," Katia replied. "When we go past warp 5, I typically hear this high-pitch squeal."
"I'll bet it will be gone when we get there. The old warp-coils didn't take to well with the updated warp fields. Squealing could be one of the symptoms."
"I'm at warp 4.2 now. We'll find out soon enough."
As Patrick turned back towards the center seats, he started to smile and laughed quietly. "What's so funny?" Sara asked curiously.
"I was just remembering my sister once telling me how I look like a young Jonathan Archer, and here I am, watching a running test on a new warp engine."
"Warp 5," Katia called out.
"Of course," Patrick continued, "his warp 5 is a bit different from our warp 5. Any squealing from the warp engines, Katia?"
Katia listened intently for a moment before replying, "No, sir. We're at warp factor 5.3."
"Yep. It's probably the little grey streak in my hair."
"Warp 6," Katia called.
"Anna's kind of a warp field specialist. She knows as much about how warp drive works as she does flying a ship. She gave the engineers on this project quite a bit of information that she gleaned from flying Wildfire."
"I see," Sara answered. "I take it the two of you are pretty close."
"We are. For some reason, I've always been more comfortable around women than I am with men, but I've never found that special woman. Any idea on why that's so?"
"Don't look at me. I'm a Lawyer, not a Counselor."
"Warp 7," Katia called.
"Sara," Patrick said, motioning her over to the engineering console. "I know you JAGies are in competition with the engineers, but trust me, I won't bite."
"I was never much into that rivalry. I danced, remember?"
"Anyway, this display shows the output levels of the warp core. As you can see, we are still well below the red line. With the old system, the output of the warp core would be quite higher."
"How is the new warp drive able to do that?"
"In part, these new warp field generators are more efficient. The other part is that they have uprated the red line level of this engine."
"How did they uprate the engine?"
"Some of it comes from improved software. However, some of it is simply the fact that the engineers were conservative when they first rated the engine. They'd rather be too conservative that to have something go wrong in the field, because if someone dies..."
"I know - they'd be liable, and they'll have to deal with us JAGies."
"Exactly," Patrick replied as the bridge rocked slightly.
"What was that?" Sara asked.
"We hit a tailwind - and a fast moving one at that. Katia, I wasn't aware of any swift currents here."
"Laura isn't the only one who knows how to handle subspace currents," Katia retorted. "Warp 8.9... before the upgrades, this was the yellow line."
Patrick knew Sara's next question before Sara could open her mouth. "The yellow line is generally about 90% of the red line capacity. This is where the maximum continuous cruising speed is calculated. The red line can only be held for so long... Katia, we're at 67% of redline... step on it."
"We're at 9.1 and climbing."
"The old system used to redline at Warp 9.4. A ship this size could hold that red line for 12 hours before the core would automatically shut down." As the ship glided through subspace, Wasp's bridge rumbled slightly. "I'm monitoring the flight control software. It should correct itself for the next time Wasp starts moving this fast. Katia, what are we doing?"
"Warp 9.5." Katia replied.
"We should hit the yellow line at about 9.85. Just keep her straight and let 'er rip."
"It's sort of amazing," Captain Ramsey commented. "I never thought this ship would be able to break Warp 9 without tearing itself half to pieces. Give my kudos to the folks in the shipyards."
"I will be sure to relay the message," Patrick replied. "Warp core is at the yellow line...."
"You called it, sir," Katia replied to Patrick. "Warp 9.85 exactly."
"Keep her going until you feel the ship trying to tear itself apart. I wanna see how fast she flies, not how fast she crashes."
"I don't really like to be the one that crashes the ship, either. 9.91."
Patrick watched his engineering monitor as Sara observed the readings over his shoulder. Theoutput readings slowly rose until the reading changed from a yellow color to red. "Katia, we've hit the red line."
"Back her down," Captain Ramsey ordered. "Take us out of warp."
"How did that feel to take the wheel, Katia?" Sara asked.
"A little nerve-wrecking. I wanted to keep my eyes on that viewscreen to make sure I wasn't pulling in any direction."
"You should know better," Patrick replied. "It would take deliberate effort to steer a ship at warp in any direction other than straight ahead."
"So, this is a baseball game," Sara stated
"Yep," Patrick replied as the sound of a bat cracking filled the air. "That ball is hit hard toward center field. That will fall for a hit. The batter makes it to first base, he will hold with a single. The Niners now have runners on all three-bases - 'bases loaded'
"So, what's with the PADD. It doesn't seem to me that you'd be doing paperwork."
"Actually, I'm doing some score keeping."
"So, the pitcher tries to work the batter and keep him from advancing onto the bases."
"That's correct. The pitcher needs to throw the ball into the 'strike zone' If he gets three strikes, the batter is out. Three outs end the half of the inning, and the teams change from batting to pitching and vice versa. That last pitch was outside, that's a ball, number one. Four balls, and the batter is awarded first base." The next pitch was near the ground, striking the batter In the ankle. Patrick bolted for the first base dugout as the batter limped towards the base. "That's all right. An RBI is an RBI." Patrick turned toward Sara, "A batter that is hit by a pitch is also awarded first. Getting hit by a projectile at 150 kph is not fun, however. How's he doing?"
Dr. Bashir entered the dugout and scanned the injured player's ankle. "He'll be fine - but he will have to come out of the game."
"The Niners will send in another player in to pinch run. He'll finish the game in position of the injured batter."
"And the Niners have also scored a run. This is the... sixth inning?"
"It's the bottom of the sixth."
As the sixth inning ended and the seventh began, Patrick and Sara continued talking, mostly about the game. "That's a fly ball out to right field. The fielder shouldn't have a problem making the catch. That should end the top of the 7th. Now, I have to let you know about the tradition of the '7th Inning stretch.'"
"I just got here. I'm fine."
Patrick smiled as the sound of a baseball organ filled the speakers Patrick began to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" as Sara looked around. As she looked across the field, she noticed someone by the left field bleachers. I don't remember seeing that man come in, Sara thought. He had medium brown skin, dark brown eyes, a well-trimmed black goatee, and a cleanly shaved head. He also appeared to be enjoying himself. When the stranger turned toward her, Sara gave a shy grin. The crack of the bat brought her attention back to the baseball game. She saw the ball pop up towards the bleachers. "Duck!" Patrick exclaimed.
Sara watched as the ball fell her way. She grabbed the ballcap off of Patrick's head. Patrick was impressed as the ball fit squarely into the cap.
"Great catch," Patrick stated. Sara turned to the stranger, and Patrick noticed him as well. "I do believe that this is yours now," he added as he put his cap back on and handed his companion the ball. Sara tossed the ball into the air, catching it in her right hand. The stranger smiled as Sara caught the ball. Patrick and Sara smiled back.