By Keri <Kermilana@gmail.com>

Rated: G

Submitted: January 2007

Summary: A trip inside Lt. Ching's head, exploring his feelings for Zara, in a time set before the episode "Through a Glass, Darkly."


I watch her, the severe set of her jaw and those determined eyes that miss nothing. I watch her and it seems as we approach that blue-green orb in the thick, vast blackness of space, that she breathes easier. And why shouldn't she? The hope for our people is there, that much closer.

Her hope.

I can feel it like a low hum in her mind. I know that mind almost as well as my own. It has been knowledge that has surprised both of us with its unfolding. It lies there, between us, unacknowledged and should remain so.

Because knowledge is not enough. It has never been enough. Knowledge alone promises no peace, no freedom. No future. It offers no solace in the dark vacuum of space where the silence itself is reduced to nothingness.

What if we cannot find him? What if this is all futile? The cry, as in her thoughts so many nights ago, was as piercing as any cry from her lips could be.

"We have little to lose." Stupidly, I had thought that merely stating it out loud would be sufficient.

She had nodded slowly, but I had felt no ease in her preoccupation. Not like now. Now, she looks to the glowing sphere of this…"Earth" like a beacon. I watch as its light gradually softens her face, harrowed with worry for so long. It lends her an eerie beauty that I do not recognize. Her thoughts are surprisingly calm, soothed by that precious hope, the bleakness of the past days now forgotten.

My knowledge of her was not able to give Zara this.

Only the hope that he provides. And perhaps there is no basis for it.

Even if that were the case, I tell myself sharply, it's a far better alternative than blind despair. To think otherwise is foolish.

Zara turns to me suddenly and I can feel the scrutiny of her sharp gaze. She knows, of course. She can hear everything. I apologize mutely, knowing that this journey has only begun taking its toll.

I close my eyes and inhale deeply, cleansing my mind like I was taught to do years ago. I must collect myself. There is too much to lose by relinquishing even one inch of control over the self.

L'ete ve'me com emmeg. Ozemo ta'me com, l'ete. Leo ze'me com ozemo.

We have a mission. We have a duty.

And the most difficult part is to begin.


L'ete ve'me com emmeg. Ozemo ta'me com, l'ete. Leo ze'me com ozemo—"The Code before nation. Nation before family. Family before self"

From "Through a Glass, Darkly."