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By: Danae Conrad

"Iffley, that's foolish!" Adena ran her hand impatiently through her hair. "What ever gave you the idea that Bronson was out to destroy us?"

"His cousin -"

"His cousin! His cousin is trying to regain the former glory of his family. I don't care what he told you. You're not thinking straight."

"Well, maybe you're right."

"Of course I am. If Bronson was intent on our ruin, why would he have allowed me to keep the Belt, and why would he have agreed to help you retrieve me in the first place?"

"Your logic is impeccable, as usual. i though I had better tell you though, Captain."

Adena automatically lowered her eyes to this. "Now, none of that. I am only running this ship until you're well."

"What if this is permanent, little one?"

Adena squeezed back the gathering tears. "It won't be. Now, listen to the doctors. We'll be home soon."

Iffley listened as the door opened then closed again with her departure. What if the damage was permanent, the thought had crossed his mind many times. His emotions were in agony - the last time he had beheld Adena she was the antithesis of everything he had loved, but the last time he had felt her in his mind she had returned to normality. Frustrated, he reached for a book only to remember his blindness.

"Doctor Sharpe, have you fond out anything further on his condition?" Adena was giving him the third degree on Iffley's blindness.

"No, Enchantress. I told you that I would give you any updated reports as soon as I received them."

"I know, and I'm sorry." She sighed and turned to leave.

"I don't have any updates on his progress, but I can easily see your lapsing. How many shifts have you worked now?"

"I think about eight."

"Didn't I tell you to sleep on gamma shift?"

"Yes, but there were more pressing matters." With that, she cut off further conversation by leaving Sickbay; she had an appointment and it wouldn't do for her to be late.


The two men stood when she walked into the room. Madison bowed toward her and noticing her uniform, addressed her as, "Captain."

"No need to stand, gentlemen. Would either of you care for a drink?" She paused. "No.. Well, pardon me, while I indulge in a glass of water."

She then seated herself at the conference table. "It's been a long time, Madison. From Alarius, Furanose and the Titan moon, T'Mir, I extend a welcome, to you as well Chancellor."

Madison inclined his head to her. "I regret that I did not hear of your parents' deaths until so much time had elapsed."

"No regrets are needed." She noticed that Bronson looked slightly puzzled. "Madison was acquainted with my parents, Chancellor, many years ago."

"I see," he responded. "Forgive me, but you sounded rather urgent in you request to our visit here; not a social call, I presume."

"Not in the least, Chancellor. It seems your cousin has been presenting some bad rumors against you. He has also overrun your base on Pheboe. I believe this matter needs immediate attention from you."

"You're right there, Adena." He paused - "I may address you so?" She nodded slightly in response. "Madison, we best get back to the ship."

"Wait one moment. I think that I have something of yours." She took the shimmering Belt from her waist and handed it to Bronson. "I never intended to keep it this long. Thank you for the loan, however; it's the only thing that saved Iffley's life."

"But it left him blinded," Madison stated.

"Yes, but it was a fair enough trade. Life for sightlessness." Her eyes clouded slightly. "The doctors think that it will be reversible."

"What if it's not?"

"I will run the Fleet to the best of my potentials for him. it's the least I can do, since my anger caused this."

Madison looked at her in disbelief. "Surely, you don't blame yourself, Enchantress. You weren't cognizant of your actions."

"Nevertheless, it's my own fault. Please-- I wish you well on your travels; the best of all be with you."

Madison bowed in farewell as did Bronson. "M'lady, we are at your service." Adena returned the compliment with a slight bow. The two men left and returned to the Madison.

Adena flicked on the viewscreen and watched it jet out of the Enchantress' tractor beams to do battle with Enad. She shut off the screen ad sighed. Never in her wildest dreams had she had so much on her mind and so much to do.

The intercom whistled for her attention. "Meric, here, Captain. We are prepared to enter return cycles to T'Mir."

"Enter them, Meric. Let's get home."

The Enchantress signalled the Scimitar and both prepared for the jump into the terrific speeds of space travel. The intraship communications began to blare - PREPARE FOR SPEED CYCLES. BETA SHIFT MAN STATIONS AND PREPARE FOR THE TRANSFER. The ship lurched slightly and then whined in crescendo as the ship powered for ignition. Suddenly there was no sound at all -SPEED CYCLES EXECUTED. SPEED CYCLES EXECUTED; RETURN TO NORMAL STANDBY. CAPTAIN ADENA PLEASE COME TO THE BRIDGE.

Adena slammed her fist down. Thanks, she muttered to herself. She quickly strode to the bridge where she found everything progressing smoothly. "Excellent execution, Meric." He beamed in appreciation. "She's still whining a little, have the Engineering look into it."

"Yes, Enchantress."

Numerous papers awaited her signature and she read them all thoroughly. Finally, hours later, she reached the bottom of the stack. Delta shift had already reported for duty and she felt exhausted. Appearance had to be upheld though.

"Captain, Engineering reports that fine tuning has been executed and will cause no further problems."

"Thank you, Meric." She shoved the sheaf of papers in his direction. "Make sure these get to where there supposed to go. I am going to take a short rest in the Rec Room."

"Very well, Enchantress."

Jonathon slipped into the captain's chair. She addressed him, "Hold the ship tight. If anything happens, call me immediately." She smiled at him. "Despite your lack of experience, you're doing a great job. I'll make sure I mention it to Iffley." He blushed with her praise, but quickly hid it.

She strode down the hall to the officer's quarters. She had temporarily appropriated the Captain's as her own. She sat down on the bed and unlaced the restrictive boots. Pulling them off, she lay back, intending to rest, but the door flew open and a gasp brought her to her feet.

"Good grief, Dion! You nearly scared me to death." Adena sat upright on the edge of the bed, facing her new visitor.

"Oh, hi!" Dion studied the other woman. "You are really enjoying this, aren't you?"


"Taking over the Fleet, of course. You wouldn't let Jonathon do it, and somehow you've made him feel good about that."

"Look if you want this job, you are welcome to it. I haven't slept in two days and I don't even remember what food is. This job is a royal white elephant. "

"Sure, you love it and you know it."

"How's Iffley?"

Dion stiffened perceptively. "I haven't been to see him."

Adena laughed and Dion's eyes narrowed. "Come now, you don't expect me to believe that you, You, of all people have not been down to Sickbay on the hour."

Dion relaxed a little. "He's fine; still blind, but fine. I was coming here to take him some music tapes; he's so bored."

"Help yourself." She waved a hands to the desk in the corner. "They're in there somewhere." Adena lay back on the beckoning mattresses, but suddenly sat up again. "Dion?"

"Hmm?" She was diligently selecting tapes.

"You never told me what happened to the twins. They were so little when I left. They must have grown a lot."

Dion gulped slightly. "They would have, Adena."

"What do you mean 'would have'?"

"They died, Adena. Not a week after you disappeared. "

"Dead?" She flung herself onto the bed. "I don't believe this," she whispered.

Dion looked at her and then left her there to piece her thoughts together. Adena felt confused; she vexedly bit her lower lip. Her mind seemed inclined to forget it all and slowly it drew her into a light sleep.


Iffley heard the door to his room open. "Adena?"

Dion's brow clouded. "No, it's Dion."

"Hello. What brings you to the sickroom?"

"I brought you some music. Thought that you might be getting bored."

You knew that I was. I told you that the last visit. Have you seen Adena?"

Dion saw an opportunity. "No." She pouted silently. Adena didn't even come to see him as frequently and he still asked about her.

Seconds later, they heard a familiar voice through the door. "How is he?"

"The same, Captain. How are you?"

"I got some rest on alpha shift. I didn't even have a chance to get off the bridge until then."

Dion dropped the tapes with a clatter of frustration as Adena opened the door. She swept out and didn't even acknowledge Adena's greeting as she mumbled bout being late for her shift.

"What's with her?"

"Your guess is as good as mine, Iffley? Maybe she's upset because she told me about the twins' deaths."

"I am sorry, Adena."

Adena shrugged. "That part of my life seems to be rapidly cutting itself away from me. What's gone is gone, I guess. How are you feeling?"


"That's what Dion said. Now do you see why I signed myself out fo Sickbay?"

He chuckled. "I think so. Adena, what are you wearing. "

"Your uniform, why?"

"I can't see it, can I? I wish I could though."

"You will, soon." She stopped and covered her mouth trying to stop any sounds of sorrow from escaping.

He reached out to her and took her hand. With the contact, his mind produced a vivid picture of her as he had known her. The sleeve of her tunic fell across his hand. The soft fabric spilled sensations into his blinded mind. Adena quietly withdrew and sat back a bit.

"Adena, what are you thinking?" And stop chewing your lip."

She looked up in surprise and ceased. "Don't bother with the question. You probably have a million things running through your head."

"Iffley, I have got to go get a little more rest, before I go on shift. I'll stop by later."

her confusion seemed almost palpable and he let her go without protest. He knew she wasn't going to sleep, but somewhere to be alone. He wished he could be with her.

"Boy, she was going somewhere mighty fast. I didn't hear any emergency summons, did you?" Iffley shook his head. "As a matter of fact, the emergency is here." Iffley pushed himself up on his elbows. "We have found out that the blindness is temporary; this serum derivative will restore it slowly, but completely."

"Serum derivative? Is it synthetic?"

The doctor cleared his throat. "No. It was donated, shall we say, in the hope that it would lead to a cure. "

"Adena." Due to their powers, Adena dn Iffley had a few unusual factors in their blood. Normal blood would soon cause a severe allergic reaction.

"Yes. She asked me not to reveal it."

Why, Iffley asked himself. "Well, let's get on with it, shall we?"

The doctor began to inject the serum. It was scalding as it entered his veins. He screamed in pain...

It echoed in her head. Pain impulses pushed through her conscious. She turned around quickly and retraced her steps to the Sickbay at a dead run. The doors flung open in front of her and her eyes opened in fright. Iffley was pinned to the table while the injection was finally completed.

"I TOLD YOU... to call me before you attempted a cure!"

Doctor Sharpe wheeled to face her. "I didn't thing they'd be a reaction like this. I thought you two had the same factors."

"We do, to an extent. Is it a straight derivative? "

"Yes, but..."

"Get out of my way!" She ran to him and concentrated. Iffley slowly drifted back to reality and became aware of a coolness on his face. The doctors pushed forward to check his vital signs and broke the contact. Both looked dazed. Satisfied that Iffley was on the road to recovery, the doctor backed off and told Adena to do what was necessary.

Left alone, she tried to concentrate again, but the adreneline was gone and her own exhaustion came forward. "Boy, you're becoming obnoxious with this." She walked a few paces from the bed to compose herself.

He pushed himself up from the bed and then began to push through the fogginess in his mind. The pain was gone and he sensed some light. Shapes were still blurred but he found the one that he was looking for. "Adena, I can see you."

Adena smiled and stepped into his embrace. The doors opened to reveal Doctor Sharpe. "I thought I said necessary treatment."

Adena flushed with Iffley's quip - "It's good therapy."


T'Mir glistened with sunshine as the Enchantress and Scimitar drew into tight orbit, two days later. Iffley was standing behind Adena, who was seated in the Captain's chair, as she completed last orbital manuevers. His sight was almost completely back and he appreciated its return - he had missed the beauty of life.

"That's all for now team," Adena announced. "We are home."

 © 1984, 

K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft

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