Stardate 76517.8; July 06, 2399
Edited by Peter Bossley
Written by Chris Adamek
Cadet Gessal Alentay
Cadet Adam Rostolev
Cadet Prevar Shat’ra
The first signs of morning came when a beam of amber sunlight poked through the thin veil of silky white fabric draped over windows. The glittering shaft of light danced effortlessly through the hazy morning air, its radiant warmth gently washing over Erin Keller’s delicate body. Somewhere, deep in her unconscious mind, she could sense the dawn of this new day, and a tiny, ethereal smile curved upward her scarlet lips.
Though the silent universe spanned hundreds of millions of light years in any given direction, nowhere within those confines was there a more serene, placid sight. Her shapely body wrapped in pale violet sheets, Erin Keller represented all that was perfect in the universe; Kendall Johnson only wished he could forever preserve this one singular moment of bliss.
Somewhere, deep in the back of his wondrous mind, Kendall’s thoughts were already conspiring to grant his wish. It was certain that some temporal phenomenon could somehow wrap its intricate equations around those euphoric moments and forever lock them into eternity… But until the day came when such things were possible, Kendall was content to preserve within his mind this perfect memory.
“So perfect,” he mused, gently brushing aside the stray lock of auburn hair that dangled on Erin’s forehead. “So very perfect…”
And while Kendall intended the sentiment for himself alone, its delicate words nonetheless resonated within Erin, as well. Her ethereal brown eyes slowly opened to the new day, wide with affection and curiosity from the outset. “You’re so very sweet,” she chirped, the smile on her face widening. “What would I do without you?”
Kendall didn’t immediately respond, mainly because he knew not what to say… but somewhere, buried deep within his darkest of thoughts, Kendall remained silent because somehow knew the answer to Erin’s question. It was little more than an echo of what once had been, a shadow left by time… and Kendall was not at all fond of the answers whispered by those shadowy echoes.
Not at all…
“Is everything okay, Kendall?” Alan Christopher stood less than a meter away, looking on with curiosity in his bright blue eyes. He had no idea what was about to happen.
But every single facet of Kendall Johnson’s life in recent months had been building to this single moment. He was destined to eliminate Alan Christopher… and after his recent encounter with the malevolent Illidan, Kendall knew that within him he possessed the courage to do the deed. He reached behind his back…
Christopher stepped forward, frowning a bit. “Kendall?” His curiosity was slowly giving way to concern.
But this was the man that ruined Kendall Johnson’s life. Not only did Alan Christopher steal away Erin Keller, he stole all the hopes and aspirations that went with her. Christopher was not worthy of a woman as wonderful as Erin Keller! He could never hope to be!
But that would no longer be a problem… The time had at long last come to end Christopher’s egotistical delusions of grandeur, and put him out of his misery.
Kendall very quickly withdrew the weapon from behind his back. On the surface, it looked very similar to a phaser, but it was anything but. Equipped with highly advanced temporal technology, Kendall Johnson could erase every shred of Alan Christopher’s deluded existence in one fell swoop…
And he did so… with pleasure.
It was an echo. It was… what might have been. And it was thoroughly unpleasant. Kendall tried his best to dismiss the dark memories passing through his conscious mind—after all, it was not wise to linger upon what might have been, especially in the midst of such perfection. The darkness would only serve to detract from the euphoria.
“What are we going to do today?” Erin playfully inquired. “I was thinking about heading down to the beach… It’s been warm the past few days, so I’m quite certain the water won’t be too chilly!” Propping herself up with her elbows, she turned to Kendall and grinned. “What do you think?”
“The beach…” Kendall had never been fond of the beach. His fair skin tended to burn with incredible ease, and then it would get itchy as it peeled away—and really, he wasn’t too fond of the water, either. He forced a smile to his face. “The beach sounds… great.”
Though Kendall made certain there wasn’t even a hint of displeasure in his voice, Erin somehow managed to see right through his little white lie. Tossing aside some of the velvety sheets, Erin wrapped her arms around Kendall’s shoulders and pulled herself closer to his body. “So what do you really want to do?”
With Erin just lying inches away, the question was very easy to answer. “I just want to stay here… and enjoy this moment.”
It wasn’t a long-term plan for this new and wondrous day, but it was certainly enough to satisfy Erin for the short-term. She planted a gentle kiss on Kendall’s lips. “I think I can handle that…”
“Good.” Kendall flashed a devious grin, and gently closed the small gap between him and Erin.
…And as the blazing golden sun climbed into the cerulean skies, Kendall… heard his communicator bleep: “Harrison to Johnson!”
Startled by the summons, Kendall pushed aside Erin and instinctively slapped his chest—but his fingers fell upon little more than flesh. Suddenly realizing that his shirt was on the floor, Kendall scrambled out of bed in search of his missing wardrobe.
Erin frowned. “What’s going on?”
Though it pained him to do so, Kendall had no choice but to ignore Erin. Captain Harrison did not like to be kept waiting, and considering the circumstances, Kendall didn’t exactly feel like explaining the reason for his tardiness.
He found his shirt hanging on the back of a chair. It was a simple white tank-top, communicator firmly attached to its customary position above the left breast. Kendall quickly tapped the shiny Starfleet insignia. “Johnson here!”
“Lieutenant,” Harrison crisply stated, apparently unfazed by the brief delay, “report to the bridge at once. We have a situation that requires your attention.”
“Yes sir!” Though his mind was a bit preoccupied with Erin Keller, Kendall was nevertheless at a loss to explain this new situation. Everything had been rather calm when he and Erin first arrived—there was no sign of trouble of any kind. “I’ll be there right away.”
“Very well. Harrison out.”
And on that note, Kendall was forced to face yet another echo; another instance of what might have been. “Computer,” he said, already headed for the exit, “end program.”
Erin Keller and every last drop of her divine perfection immediately vanished into thin air…