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Nightmare Aboard The Orion / Dilemma 1988

By: Stormbird Throneshaker

Chapter 1, Fifteen years ago Robert Jackson had to make a life or death choice to save the life of a friend while he was still married. This is the story of his nightmare aboard the Orion. March 2003 A.D. \"Davadra would have died if she hadn\'t been allowed to produce a child. I haven\'t forgotten this Davrina.\" he said as he placed his left hand on Valdara\'s right arm. \"Sit here on the side of the bed Valdara,\" he told her and she obeyed. \"You know who I am, don\'t you?\" he asked as he looked into her blind eyes. \"She can\'t speak Admiral, nor can she see. She hasn\'t uttered a single word in the eight of her fifteen years. And she\'s been blind --- \"Valdara, you know who I am, don\'t you?\" he asked once again, cutting Davrina short about the fact that his daughter had been blind since birth.

ROBERT JACKSON'S NIGHTMARE DILEMMA 1988

Prologue

2003 A.D.

"Valdara, what are you doing hiding in the admiral's closet?

Get out of there this instant!" she ordered, and the girl stepped out into the light so that Robert could see who his intruder was.

A miniature version of Davadra stood near the closet door while Davrina held her by the arm. No words uttered from her mouth nor had they for eight years.

"Davrina, bring her here to the side of the bed." he gestured with his right hand.

"The only place that Valdara's going is---

"To the side of my bed, and that's an order, Counselor!" he ordered.

"Yes sir, Admiral." Davrina said reluctantly as she led the child across the floor and to the side of Robert Jackson's bed.

"This girl is your niece, isn't she, Davrina?" Jackson asked.

"Yes sir, she is." Davrina answered as her eyes wandered about the room.

"This girl can belong to no one else aboard this ship than to Davadra Adriakar. Am I right in assuming that much?" he asked as he looked from Valdara to Davrina.

"Yes sir, you're right again." Davrina answered nervously this time.

"Davadra would have died if she hadn't been allowed to produce a child. I haven't forgotten this Davrina." he said as he placed his left hand on Valdara's right arm.

"Sit here on the side of the bed Valdara," he told her and she obeyed.

"You know who I am, don't you?" he asked as he looked into her blind eyes.

"She can't speak Admiral, nor can she see. She hasn't uttered a single word in the eight of her fifteen years. And she's been blind ---

"Valdara, you know who I am, don't you?" he asked once again, cutting Davrina short about the fact that his daughter had been blind since birth.

Chapter One

1988 A.D.

“What is taking him so long, Davrina?” her father asked as he sat across from his daughter who was munching on a Terran apple.

“These things are good father, you should try one.” Davrina said as she munched away.

“Will you kindly put that noisome Terran fruit down and tell me what I need to know, Davrina!” her father stormed as he smacked the table with his only hand.

“How was it that you were able to lift my sister Davadra up from the bridge decking with only one arm father?” she replied with a question that irritated him to no end.

“Like this!” he answered before smacking the apple out of Davrina's hand as she held it up to her mouth. The apple sailed over the top of the hedges that surrounded the upper deck of the Round Forest River Galley to make a splash in the Round River down below.

“Why did you have to go and do that for, I wasn't finished with it!” Davrina retorted as she gazed over her unscathed hand.

“You eat like a Perinan Slorpen Sliver, that's why!” he replied as he glanced back to see that Commander Robert Jackson was walking up the steps with Lieutenant Lasherra Travanava, one of the science officers aboard the Orion.

“Do you realize Commander, that I've been waiting here for you for over an hour and a---

“Doesn't anyone get any sleep or rest aboard this star ship, Ambassador Tawn?” Robert Jackson asked as he and Travanava walked over to the table where the Ambassador and his daughter Davrina sat.

“Ah yes, the Nurella-Megan. It's so nice to meet your acquaintance, Lieutenant Trevania.” the Ambassador King said as he stood, not paying any attention to Jackson's snide remark while allowing both the science officer and the commander to sit before he sat back down.

“That's Tra-van-a-va, Ambassador Tawn.” she said having corrected him while glancing over at the father of Davadra and Davrina Adriakar and Valakadria Tawn as well.

“I'm so sorry, my mistake.” he replied as other footsteps were heard on the stairway.

It was the head waitress Azina and Commander Zanara Zenraedi walking up the steps side by side.

The Ambassador and Commander Jackson both stood up at the same time and the ambassador gestured with his only hand for them to join them.

“You are both welcome to be our guest here at our table if you wish to do so.” Ambassador Tawn said and Azina shrugged her shoulders and walked over and sat at their table.

“I, on the other hand, want to be left alone to my self, that is, if you all don't mind?” the Zanarian star ship commander asked as she found a table of her own.

“Fine, we shall leave you be!” the ambassador replied before he retook his seat.

Robert Jackson sat to where he had a nice view of Commander Zenraedi, and if not for the seriousness of the business at hand, he could have just sat there staring at her all day.

“Commander Jackson, I've summoned you all here together because...

The ambassador stopped in mid sentence, glancing at both Robert and Zanara before he moved his chair in front of Jackson to block the nice view that he had previously. He then leaned over the table.

“Jackson, I wouldn't let Davadra catch me staring at any of the other females aboard this ship or anywhere else if I were you!” he informed the first officer.

“Ambassador, your daughter Davadra doesn't own me, and I'm not her pet to be chained...I was just gazing at Commander Zenrae---

“I'm afraid that you will have to save your gazes for my daughter Davadra, and her only, Commander!”Ambassador Tawn said as he sat back in his seat.

“I have no interest in Davadra or Zanara for that matter Ambassador, I just know a pretty woman when I see one, no matter what planet they're from.

“Anyway, Patricia's my one and only one right now, so there's no way that Davadra could, should or would need to have an interest in me!” Jackson said a little heatedly.

Badly so, I'm afraid!” the ambassador replied while keeping his cool.

“When a Delindrian, Dorkonian female is in love they get sick and irritable and there are only two known cures for it.” the ambassador stated as Azina shoved her chair back, giving Robert Jackson a wink before she stood up from her seat.

“The Ambassador's right Commander, Davadra has it bad for you and I've got to go see to my busy work schedule.”

“Creations, Azina, does everyone here but I myself know about this?” Jackson asked as he shot an upward glance at the head waitress.

“What our father is trying to tell you in a round about way, is that Davadra is dying.” Davrina said at last as she dumped the bag in Robert Jackson's lap.

“Wait just a damned minute here, Davrina, your sister Davadra is in love with me and yet she's dying at the same time?” he asked in a huff.

“I don't understand the connection between the two, if any.”

Davadra will die if the two of you don't---

“Great, I shall finally have that first grandchild before I---

“That does it, I've heard enough of this nonsense!” the commander said as he came up and out of his seat.

“You're wanting to trap me because you deem me to be some kind of god or a savior or something like that!” Jackson thundered as he made his way quickly to the stairwell that led down and in to the Round Forest.

He turned back to see Zanara Zenraedi fall out of her seat while laughing hysterically, her face draining of color.

“You've all been pulling my leg haven't you...hell you probably don't know what pulling my...will someone get a medic up here for Zenraedi before she dies of something, and it damned sure isn't love!” Jackson stormed before racing down the steps at breakneck speed while Lasherra Travanava was kneeling down over the Zanarian commander to help her to her feet.

“Robert, stop, will you please just stop and listen!” Davrina yelled as she ran down the stairs to catch up with the upset commander of the Orion.

Robert Jackson halted at the base of the steps and spun around on his heels to face Davrina.

“Just you listen to me Davrina Adriakar!” he thundered while shoving his right index finger in Davrina's face.

“We have only got two days at the most, to power this ship back up to full, and that is, if the Zaleens allow it, once they have figured out what we're up to!”

“We've all come close to dying, and now of all those times your father wants to trap me in a relationship that is totally wrong and I'm not in the mood for---

“Robert, Davadra is really dying, and unless she mates with you then we will all lose her!” Davrina explained as she gently took a hold of Jackson's index finger and lowered it and his arm to his side.

Zanara Zenraedi stood at the top of the stairwell and was still laughing at Robert who noticed her and he began to make his way back up the steps to give her a piece of his mind.

“Commander Zenraedi, this isn't the time nor the place to be hee hawing and horsing around at my expense and to be riding on my last nerve that's about to go on overload, do you understand me?” he asked rather forcefully.

“She's not laughing about our discussion Robert, it's your uniform jacket.” Davrina said as she placed herself in between the two of them.

“Is this pick on me day or what?” Jackson asked as he began to remove his uniform jacket in order to inspect it.

“Hi Dad, why are you wearing that jacket with the burn hole in the back?” Amber Jackson asked as her father saw the hole that had been made in his old jacket on the day that a lone Zaleen mercenary was sent to kill him though however failing in the attempt.

Robert Jackson walked casually up the rest of the steps to drape his jacket over Zenraedi's head.

“Here, a present from me to you, Zenraedi!” he said before pulling her still laughing face close to his own, kissing her on the cheek.

Zanara immediately stopped laughing and made haste down the steps as if she had been bitten while still wearing Robert Jackson's jacket draped over her head, poking through thehole.

“Hello Amber.” her father said as he walked back down the stairs to the Round Forest floor to see both his son Eric and their mother Patrica walking down a stone inlaid pathway.

“Robert, please go have a talk with Doctor Madessi, and...?” Davrina quested as she gazed down the stairs with tears in her eyes that Patricia had homed in on as she came to a stand still at the foot of the stairwell gazing up at the Delindrian princess before she ascended the steps herself.

“And what, Davrina?” Robert asked in reply.

“Hurry, before it's too late!” Davrina answered.

Davrina, you're crying, what has Robert done to make you---

“It's what I haven't done, Patricia, and after she fills you in as to why she's crying and what I haven't done, you'll agree with me.” he said as he came back up the stairs to listen in.

“Robert, while you're here, time is wasting away and Davadra's life is---

Davadra's life is what, Davrina, Robert?” Patricia asked as her eyes darted between the two of them.

Davrina, you're serious about Davadra aren't you?” Robert asked as he began to melt in front of them.

“I'm just as afraid now, as I was before, when you became irrational with us, son.” Davrina's father said as he walked over to stand with and hug his youngest daughter with his only arm.

“Not so quick with the son stuff , Ambassador!” Commander Jackson piped up.

“All right, I'll go see Doctor Madessi and see if there's a way for me to get out of this mess that Davadra has gotten us into.”

“Will someone tell me, so that I will know as well?” Patricia Gayle April Jackson asked before her husband kissed her lightly on the cheek and turned to make his trek to Med Bay.

“Patricia, Davrina and her father will enlighten you as to my present situation, and it's not as pretty as you are my dear.”

At the foot of the stairs Admiral Kondulon Mazanurra waited for the first officer.

“Commander Jackson, I'm here to address an incident that took place just a few minutes ago!”

“If it's about your niece Admiral, you know that I'm a married man, though however others aboard this ship do not value---

“It's not about my niece Commander, it's about Commander Zenraedi.” the Admiral informed Commander Jackson.

“Walk with me if you will Jackson”

Both the admiral and the first officer began walking down one of the stone pathways that led away from the Round River Galley.

“When you hand or present something that belongs to you to a Zanarian female and then give her a kiss of affection while you are to mate with a Delindrian female---

“Admiral, I have a wife aboard this star ship and I'm not about to mate with Davadra nor Zanara for that matter!” Jackson said blowing up in the admiral's face.

“I shoved my jacket down over Zenraedi's head and kissed her on the cheek to embarrass her and to get rid of her.”

“Your technique worked, Commander---

“Damned straight it worked, for she left and I'm glad of it, cause just like everyone else on this nightmare from hell or where ever you call home out here, everyone has made it their mission to tick me off!” Jackson boomed as Zanara Zenraedi stepped out from behind the admiral and slung the first officer's uniform jacket in his face.

Robert Jackson very slowly removed the ruined jacket to find that both the admiral and the Zanarian commander were gone and Commander Donald Sherman April stood there in their vacated spot.

“Jay, I've been looking high and low for you man!” he said as he placed Jackson's vid-com watch in Robert's right hand.

“Alex, David, Penny, Steve and the Sanartan female are all in deep doo doo---

“Donald, they're in no way as sunk in Slorpan Sliver shavrida as I am right now.” Donald's brother in law said as they passed Commander Zenraedi who was sitting at the base of a Talmurran Torbanna tree crying, unnoticed and unheard by Jackson and April.

“So, what's up with you, brother Jay, that is if I may ask?” Donald quested as they continued along the pathway.

“I guess that by now you know that Captain Adriakar is in Med Bay sick and dying.” Jackson said as they neared a Mono Tram tower.

I've been busy with the Zaleen invasion force that's going to engage---

“Don't say that word engaged ever again Donald, it's the reason that I'm in my own doo doo pit right now, and it's a wonder that your sister, my wife, hasn't chased me down and finished me off---

“Found you another woman huh, now that's engaging... sorry Jay, I couldn't resist the temptation, and apparently you couldn't either!”

“Who is she?” April asked, punching Jackson in the left arm with his right hand.

The she... and that hurt... is Davadra Adrikar!”

“That explains why she's sick and dying Jay, you have that effect on women.” Donald said as they entered the trams air lift.

“She's my nightmare aboard the Orion, Donald!” Robert said as the lift shot upwards.

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