In the universe, there are an infinite number of realities where people go about their lives, most utterly oblivious to the fact that such an infinite number of possibilities exist. For those who do know, this knowledge is more often than not considered to be too mind-bendingly overwhelming to think about, and they do their best to ignore it, usually over a hot cup of tea.
But this story is not about any such people.
The ones in this story are completely unaware that they have lived many different lives, being reborn again and again, destined to be the best of friends, bosom buddies, two peas in a pod… you get the idea. Their names are Cera and Garadun. These names were given to them when they first came into existence, and they’ve been stuck with them in one form or another through all their various lives. Let it not be said that Fate doesn’t have a sense of humour.
This is the story of Cera and Garadun (and their friends and shipmates) as they visit strange new worlds, completely unaware that Fate had once more shown Her hand and put them together once again. For those who met them and knew what was going on, they just shook their heads, tried to forget about it, and put on the kettle for that needed cup of especially hot tea.
Former Suliban Homeworld
June 1, 2265
Cera Rigel looked up from her tricorder to gaze around at what was left of the ruins, and frowned beneath her respirator. After four centuries of abandonment there wasn’t much remaining of what had once been a city. The system’s red dwarf gave off a weak, ruddy light that filtered down through the planet’s thin, noxious atmosphere. The environment wasn’t bad enough that full EV suits were required, but the landing party had donned cold weather gear and wore respirators to filter out toxins and supply additional oxygen.
The USS Pegasus, a Hermes class starship, had been given the assignment of surveying the birthplace of the Suliban, but Cera couldn’t understand why Starfleet was bothering with it. Most of the indigenous life had become extinct and the Suliban themselves were a dwindling, endangered species. They were scattered around in small enclaves and family units, and had no influence in the interstellar community.
“What’s the point?” she muttered and switched off her tricorder.
“What was that, Ensign Rigel?”
“I said, what’s the point?” Cera replied, turning to look at Lieutenant Stol, the leader of the landing party. “Why are we down here?”
The Vulcan arched an eyebrow. “We are here, Ensign Rigel, because the Pegasus was ordered here by Starfleet Command.”
“I know that,” she said, sarcasm creeping into her tone. “But why? Suliban is a dying world. There’s nothing here worth looking at. I joined Starfleet to see the galaxy, to have an adventure. Not to pick through some ancient rubble on a dead rock.”
“Ensign, being a member of Starfleet is not about ‘adventure.’ It is about performing one’s duty,” said Lieutenant Stol, and Cera rolled her eyes as he started giving her yet another one of his droning, pedantic lectures. The three other members of the landing party, who like Cera were all recent graduates of Starfleet Academy and on their training cruise, stopped what they were doing to watch.
Cera sighed and let her boredom show in the way she stood and what could be seen of her expression beneath her respirator. Lieutenant Stol was one of the banes of her existence. He was very dull and very Vulcan and seemed to have made it his personal mission to constantly remind her of Starfleet regulations.
“Do you understand, Ensign?” he said when he finally noticed she really hadn’t been listening to a word he was saying.
“Yeah, yeah,” she replied, rolling her eyes again. “Duty, regulations, blah blah blah. I get it. This is our training cruise, so we get dumped with the useless mission.”
“This is not a ‘useless’ mission. And you, Ensign, are close to insubordination.”
“For what? Expressing my opinion?”
“It is not your place to express an opinion about this mission. Your place is to do your duty,” he told her, and raised an eyebrow. “Furthermore, as a Vulcan you should have far better control of your emotions, Ensign Rigel.”
“I’m only half Vulcan,” Cera shot back. “I was raised on Earth.”
“That much is obvious,” said Stol disapprovingly, almost sneering. “A proper Vulcan would never behave as you do. But perhaps it is to be expected, being raised on Earth and not on Vulcan. Having a Human mother explains everything. It is a simple matter of inferior genetics. No wonder your father wanted nothing to do with her–”
Enraged, Cera decked him with a right cross, using all the strength her Vulcan side gave her. Stol looked up in shock from where he lay on the ground, rubbing his jaw. Two of the other Ensigns tried to restrain the young woman, but she threw them off.
“Never talk about my mother like that, you racist bastard!” Cera yelled.
Lieutenant Stol got to his feet, now almost smug. “Ensign Rigel, you have just earned yourself a court-martial.”
“Screw you and your court-martial.” Cera threw her tricorder at him angrily, and he managed to catch it. “I resign. I’ve had enough of Starfleet and its stupid rules and its stupid missions, and I’ve had enough of bigots like you.”
Cera flipped open her communicator and it emitted its signature four-chirrup beep as a channel was opened. “Pegasus, this is Rigel. Beam me the hell off this worthless rock, and do it now. I’m outta here.”