Re: A Mirror Shattered #165 - "Facing the past"


[Mirror Universe, one of the Federation planets]

Regulus Black frowned as he checked his messages. It had been a long day. The arrival of a pristine (nearly) starship from another universe had rattled more than a few people. It had gotten them thinking, wondering about what this other world was like, where the Federation stood strong. To so many who had lost loved ones, a similar thought had wandered through... 'Is my loved one alive there?' Regulus admitted to himself that he'd had similar thoughts, mostly about his parents, the marine biologists who had, like so many others, simply never been accounted for. He thought of them, of that lovely rocky coastline, glancing idly down the names on the messages. Then he blinked and froze. There was a personal message from someone on the USS Pegasus. A Lt. Black.

"Is it her?" he wondered, somehow thinking of the bright, Asian fighter pilot in all of her outrageous flirtiness and tough-girl vigor. "Did.. we marry?" Then he laughed to himself. "It could be anybody. It's probably Marie, that blonde from highschool, or Julia, that girl in my Academy year..." He opened the message and blinked, staring at confusion at the enclosed picture file.

"That's not Mei Ling," was his first thought. But then he wasn't so sure. She was years younger, and although her face was very Asian, the look in her eyes was oddly familiar. He looked at the message. She'd sent him her personnel file. He looked at the name. "Kathleen? I don't ever remember anyone named Kathleen. Though I've always liked the name, I've thought it would make a good girl's name..." Then the truth hit him.. like a ton of bricks, to such an extent that he actually almost fell from his chair. " she... ....mine?"

He remembered holding the padd in his quarters long ago, looking at the test result, at the pregnancy notification, and finally deciding that it wasn't his job to interfere. The realization and the memory hit almost like a physical pain, and it was with difficulty that he pulled his attention back to the record. There it was, under 'Parents', under 'Father/other'... his own name.

Regulus read the record through several times. Her childhood at his parents' home, the high scores in math.. a moment of pride.. <I gave her that. Math whiz.> Second place in the Jury R Ig engineering contest, did well in the Academy... Chief Engineer. "I never did go that route," he mused out loud, "though I might have, if I hadn't been looking for 'fortune and glory'." And all of that had come to mean nothing, once the Federation had fallen. "It's not fair," he told the picture of... what could have been... his daughter. "He probably got his fortune and glory... And he got you. I didn't get either."

Then he looked at the note. She reminded him of his grandmother, the way she apologized for her forwardness, the way she demurred and hesitated her way through the words, so that he could almost see that old familiar smile. She was lost and confused, and she was reaching out to family... such as she knew them. She knew she didn't exist here, and she wanted to know more...

For the first time in his life, Regulus allowed himself to think an unpopular thought... <When I decided back then that I would not interfere, I lost my daughter.>

After a long time of sitting there, just looking at the picture, he decided that he had to meet her in person. He'd have to explain himself to her, and it would be difficult, even painful. But this was a dangerous place, and she could be taken at any moment. She could be killed in combat, or find her way back home... and he'd never get this chance again. Tragedy had taught him to be more appreciative of family, of people... less ambitious, less selfish. So he tapped in a reply, finding his words slowly and with difficulty, picking a time and place, the easiest place to find that he could think of.

[Home universe]

And at the same time, far away, another Regulus Black hadn't been sleeping well. He had to make a call, pass on some news that he didn't want to admit to himself. He had been thinking lately, about choices he'd made, about things he hadn't done... And he'd been checking on some reports regularly. On one in particular... And a certain picture had found it's way up on his screen more often than not throughout the day, a graduation picture of a smiling, dark-eyed girl. He sighed and set up the communication. His mother's cheerful face appeared on the screen.

"Mom... The Pegasus is officially overdue. She's vanished. I can't tell you too much about it, you know that... But another ship has been diverted, it's on the search. I thought you'd.. want to know. You know things like this happen from time to time... More often than not, the ship turns up again... Yeah... No, I'm not worried yet, there's no need to be."

"You're a bad liar," his mother told him in a mixture of love and concern.


Thunderclouds approaching:

Lt. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer USS Pegasus All NPC's in this post written by the same