DISCLAIMER: I don't own the characters, Paramount does, I am just using them for now. I am making no money whatsoever.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I must thank DeeJay for her great work as a Beta. Thank you for putting up with the minor (and major) changes and constant editing. And for the long break I took in writing this. Quew, thanks for your feedback. I thank you for putting up with some of my questions. I suggest two aspirins and a nap for the headache I gave you. :) Another big thank you goes out to BT for all his help with some of the translations and later beta work.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Crimson Tears
By Hayseven

Chapter Ten

Ensign Maris watched on in apprehension and dismay as the Q set the very history they feared in motion. Now it was too late to stop them or to protect the Fated Ones. She knew the Q would find out the truth soon and as she was roughly thrown to the floor a lone bloody tear slid down her cheek.

Nearly all the occupants on the bridge were knocked to the deck, the others were frantically trying to hold onto consoles and any thing that gave them grip.

In a flash the Q disappeared as quick as they had come, the lightening gone and a silence filling the ship. The poor hapless Voyager ceased to shake and the ever-resilient crew picked themselves up.

All except Ensign Wildman, Ensign Maris, Seven and Chief Engineer Torres, they had collapsed to the decking the moment the Q clapped her hands and the lightening striking the bridge.

Ensign Jemae clutched her chest in pain and fell to her knees, her uniform jacket on fire, the lightening that had struck her had set it alight.

She was bent over on all fours now as a pain unlike any other assailed her. Looking down at her uniform a black scorch mark was evident, but the wound was superficial, she had been spared.

Quickly she pulled off her smouldering outer uniform top and threw it to the floor. Lucky for her that the lightening impacted mainly towards B'Elanna who had been standing beside her. However it was with a sense of remorse and guilt that B'Elanna had been struck.

She looked over at Maris and slowly crawled over to her, fear forcing her to move. She could see blood coming from Maris and from the others prone on the ground. She felt ill as she saw the blood and realised the fallen crew were all dead. It didn't take a medical officer to deduce that.

Janeway, her hair in a mess, knelt down and carefully rolled Seven over onto her back. She could see blood, lots of it, coming from her eyebrow implant and her stomach. The blood pooled around her, her uniform smeared in it, and the stench of death saturated her senses. She glanced around and could see some of her other crew suffering as well. She felt for a pulse and in a panic called for the EMH.

"Medical emergency to the bridge, we have one dead and a possible three others."

Within moments the EMH materialised onto the bridge, and he took in the scene in shock, but sprang into action straight away. He moved the stricken Captain aside as he went about doing his job. Tuvok and the other crew were now trying to help their fallen crewmembers, each one out of their depth.

Harry was kneeling by B'Elanna's side and had his hands covered in blood from B'Elanna's wound to her chest. He was frantically searching for a pulse, anything that indicated a life sign but finding none. He could see the angry black mark from where she had been struck.

When he saw his friend hit the ground and the blood oozing from her chest his very heart threatened to jump out of his chest.

He had already lost his beloved Tom; he couldn't bear to lose his sweet passionate Marquis. They were his family and his world, when he was stranded in the Delta quadrant like the rest of Voyager he had never felt so alone. But then he struck up a friendship with Tom Paris and B'Elanna and suddenly he had a new family.

Tom, the friend who got him into trouble all the time with their escapades but always looking out for him. B'Elanna became the sister he could play with and tease mercilessly but could love freely. It was a week after his relationship with B'Elanna had ended that Tom came to him and they had the talk both had put off. They became a couple that night and for a few brief months they were blissfully happy. B'Elanna gave them her blessings and wished her Starfleet the best of luck with Flyboy.

When Tom died only knowing B'Elanna was still there helped him see through the first night and the rest. He had found himself wandering the halls late at night, always ending up at Tom's quarters. Without a second thought he would gain access to the empty quarters and sleep on his, their, bed, trying to recapture some smell, feel or essence of his friend.

He had left the room as it was when Tom died, unable to bring himself to change it. Harry had begun living there too, but had yet to move in officially, now he had wished he had given into Tom's wishes to make everything legal. Tom had wanted to start the relationship off right the first time and had been a perfect partner.

Harry hadn't encountered the same problems that B'Elanna had had, Tom was an ideal partner as they had both been compatible and had common interests whereas B'Elanna and Tom together were like oil and water. Great by themselves but useless and messy combined. Now it looked like he would be alone and felt the very air get squeezed out of his lungs. The world suddenly shrunk around him and he gasped for air.

Jemae reached Maris and placing her hand on her chest was calmed to feel a faint heartbeat moments later. She leant her head near Maris's face, relief and exaltation flooding her body. Her pain of loss had subsided now; she had felt like passing over into the next cycle when she saw Maris dead on the decking. She was her only family and friend here. She gave her a quick kiss on her bloody forehead and sighed again.

Carefully standing up she reached B'Elanna and moving Harry aside, set about saving B'Elanna. Putting her hands on her chest she tried to stop the flow of blood, and carefully thumping her chest she was rewarded moments later with B'Elanna taking a breath, her Klingon physiology helping her. Harry with tears marring his face thanked the Ensign as she moved off to Samantha Wildman.

Standing to the side Jemae could see the crew work on Wildman and could see that Wildman would live for now. She slowly made her way to Seven and could hear Janeway quietly murmur whispered words of affection to the ex drone. The EMH ordered Janeway out of the way and ordered a beam out to the sickbay of the injured.

Once the transport was complete all the medical crews went about their job ensuring their patients were stabilised. The Doc had managed to get Seven's heart started and knew her nanoprobes would kick in for the rest of the healing. Jemae, Janeway and the startled crew could only wait and hope for a positive outcome.

Some hours later a crowd had formed in the Sickbay, each injured crewmember with a visitor. Seven had Captain Janeway holding her hand, she had arrived after she ensured her ship was safe and placed temporary command to Chakotay. She had looked on in shock as her crewmembers had been struck by the lightening, she had been unable to prevent the tragedy.

Though no one died today it was almost no comfort to the beleaguered lone Captain. It was her sworn duty to get her crew home alive, but so many had been killed or injured. After a while it wore on her and she battled with herself each night.

Janeway was constantly going over scenarios, trying to see if she could have saved a crewmember or maybe made a different choice that helped them for once. But Janeway knew it was neither here nor there and not even hindsight could have helped in most cases.

So after her crew were taken to sickbay she cleaned herself up, put her command mask on and informed young Naomi Wildman of her mother's status. She had walked the child to the sickbay herself, the whole trip not letting go of Naomi's hand. Whether it was for Janeway's benefit or Naomi's it was hard to say.

Janeway looked up from Seven's sleeping face and observed her crew. Harry was sitting by B'Elanna's side, occasionally stroking her hair; his voice low and steeped with sorrow. Harry, though still looking young, had seemed to age somewhat. Life had not been too kind to him of late thought Janeway.

B'Elanna looked younger and weaker, her face relaxed in sleep. She had woken a few times but was sedated so she had a chance to heal.

Sam Wildman had Naomi curled by her side, with Sam idly stroking Naomi's face. Sam had awoken some time back and was allowed to stay awake provided she didn't tax her energy. Sam didn't think comforting her worried child taxing and had spent the last few minutes on the bio bed just watching her child sleep.

A frown appeared on her face as she peered closer at her child's face, and a chill went through her body making her involuntarily shudder. She brought her child closer to her, wrapping her arms around Naomi's slim frame. Sam laid herself on the bio bed more and closed her eyes praying for help.

Janeway observed the strikingly beautiful Ensign Jemae stand by her companion's side, her pale delicate hands soothing her poorly friend. Maris was yet to wake up, it appeared as though she bore the brunt of the lightening. Her uniform shirt had been singed to pieces, burning her through multiple layers of skin and muscle. It had been touch and go for awhile, but she would recover. A red scar was left on her beautiful face, a testament to the battle, and her once tanned skin looking pale and serene.

Jemae had looked to be hurt as well but no amount of insistence from the Doctor's part could get her to be checked out. It had been Janeway who had finally convinced her of the need to be examined, even if it was a cursory one.

Janeway studied the Ensign as she adoringly stroked Ensign Bengtson's face, the love Jemae had towards the young woman was obvious. Janeway felt her heart strings be pulled as she took in the picture of compassion and love.

Janeway was not oblivious to the rumours and innuendo that abounds on a ship this size; it was rare that she had ever missed any gossip. She had heard of the likely relationship the two ensigns had with each other, and admitted to herself that they made a striking couple.

When crew quarters had been assigned, the two quickly moved out of their own quarters and started sharing the one. Their previous roommates had no complaint in moving, as the two officers were also a couple. Janeway looked on as Ensign Maris started to slowly move in her sleep.

Ensign Maris Bengtson was caught in a storm, the powerful flashes and downpour soaking her skin. She had left the Starfleet Academy after a long day training and was on her way to her apartment when the heavens opened and nature played a symphony of clashing thunder and waterfalls.

Instead of rushing for shelter Maris slowed down and titled her head up to the sky. She dropped her books to the ground and in a moment of carefree abandon she jumped in the quickly forming puddles.

She started to do an old traditional Swedish folk dance, one she had not performed for many, many years. Any fool that had bothered to look out the windows would have seen a grown woman dance a dance of sorrow and new beginning and would have called her a mental deficient person.

Her athletic body moved in time to a silent piece only her heart knew. Even though it had been some years since she had heard the haunting musical saga, she could recall every beat, every word, every flowing movement, and could still conjure up the images it aroused.

The last time she had danced it had been after her friend's death. She had paid her respects and honoured her friend in this one last dance, and even now the pain of parting was present. She thought back to a happier time and smiled a beatific smile that could have easily belonged to a Norse Goddess.

She raised her arms to the skies and let out a joyous laugh that sounded like a lyrical song, her tongue coming out to taste the rain. Spinning wildly around she felt the energy of the weather and felt wild, yet at peace all at once, so often she forgot how simple a pleasure something like rain could feel on her skin. Falling to the earth - soaked ground Maris laughed once more, wiping tears from her eyes as she lay sodden and dirty.

Maris quickly shot up from her Bio bed shouting "Allt förgås" (All be lost.)

Moving quickly to help, Jemae wrapped her arms around Maris and talked in a low murmur that the others present could not pick up.

Jemae felt Maris hold her tightly, almost crushing her and not for the first time was amazed at her strength. Maris, in a panic, asked about the Q and was informed they had left and everyone would live.

Jemae felt pure joy holding Maris in her arms and softly said "Jag älskar dig." (I love you. - Swedish) She was rewarded with Maris relaxing a little and Maris returning the sentiment.

Maris took a few needless breaths to calm her and looked wildly about the room. She took in her surroundings and reaffirmed for herself that all was ok.

A part of her knew though that everything was not ok, nor would ever be from this day on. Life on Voyager was about to get more dangerous and complicated for her and others.

Chapter Eleven

Janeway stared out the view port, seemingly unaware of the outside space. Turning around she looked at the staff present in her ready room, and thought again how the Delta quadrant tended to throw up obstacles never thought of. Take the situation from this morning, not only did she have Q aboard, they tried to kill a few of her loyal crew.

Janeway didn't take too kindly to that, let alone their intrusion. Turning back to the view port, she clenched her jaw, slowly grinding her teeth. It was an old habit, rarely employed but one that Janeway felt oddly comforted by. Her right hand held a very strong coffee mug, the steam rising, the mug hot to touch warming her still pounding heart.

Earlier after she had left the sickbay and retired to her ready room to restore some semblance of order, she ordered a black coffee and before the steam could cool, she downed the entire contents.

She grimaced at the taste, sure she had gotten used to the taste after all these years, but somehow it felt more bitter and sour in her mouth today. Seeing her crew, especially Seven, lying on the ground dead had been like a nightmare come true. She had never felt more useless watching the Doc perform his work on Seven and later the others.

Kathryn had long ago admitted to herself of her 'orientation' as some would call it. She knew she was attracted to females but in part ambition and normality beckoned her. It was common for same sex marriages and to have the partners in high ranking positions, but she still felt her country style upbringing clash with the other world that was Starfleet. Mark had been the fall back guy, the one she knew was safe and companionable.

While it was true she loved him and a part of her felt her heart rip into tiny pieces at his moving on, even he knew the truth. A part of her longed for more, ached to feel another woman's sweet caress and for once in her life know that when she came home her loving partner was there for her. Mark in the long run could never have given her complete fulfilment, they both knew it to be fact.

When Seven came aboard Kathryn felt a stirring long ago forgotten, she had thought Seven was a beauty not seen before, one that she had longed to make hers. Kathryn watched Seven bloom, held her during her stumbles, disciplined her when she regularly overstepped the line, and at night Kathryn wept for her warm body beside her.

Kathryn kept it all inside, never for once letting that command mask slip, Kathryn knew that to entertain notions that Seven and her could ever be more was an exercise in futility. That was Janeway's penance, the double-edged sword that twisted inside her.

To hold someone so close, yet have them so far, unable to claim a part that your every fibre cried and sang for. That was her punishment for stranding her crew in this harsh lonely hostile environment. It didn't matter if she got the rest of her crew home, the many crew members she had lost haunted her, made her very soul cry tears of despair, forever forcing her to seek absolution, but never receiving it.

They taught her about loss at the academy, but they had never taught her how to deal with the situation she was in. So when she saw Seven dead she felt that sword cut her to her core, it left her a shattered woman. Janeway knew her normally husky voice was pitched deeper with grief when she called for the EMH.

She had gone to her ready room and howled at the injustice, the torture of missed love and in an uncharacteristic moment threw her mug across the room, shattering it into a hundred pieces. She had replicated a new one, and thought if only her heart and soul was so easily repairable.

Finally in the next shift she called the present staff into the room. Janeway took a long drink from her mug and returning her attention to the present and to the crew she asked for an update.

B'Elanna had watched the other members in the room all look at each other. No one was talking much, and all seemed to bear some kind of mark from their one sided battle. Not that B'Elanna considered it a battle, she thought it more of an ambush.

Everyone in the room wore a haunted look on their face, and most appeared to need plenty of sleep. Dying and being pulled back from the brink had a strange effect on people and took a toll physically and mentally. When she awoke she felt anger, hatred and other feelings boil to the surface, all which raged inside her. The one emotion she could not clearly understand was love, a part of her held this longing inside her.

Ensign Jemae was nearby and upon hearing B'Elanna curse colourfully in Klingon approached her and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder.

Almost straight away B'Elanna felt her mind be put at ease, and couldn't help but smile seeing her friend. B'Elanna was always surprised by the fact Jemae was a security officer, Jemae had such a quiet and calming presence, one B'Elanna suspected she used it to her advantage.

It was hard to reconcile the fact this woman was a tough skilled soldier, and not a counsellor. B'Elanna had seen the woman fight and had fought alongside her during a heated skirmish in the engine room. She dispatched the enemy with a cold calculating style, each move made quickly and cleanly.

Upon seeing her fight for the first time, B'Elanna knew there was poetry in movement, even in fighting. Whether the woman felt any remorse for the killing of enemies B'Elanna didn't know. What she did know, was that if Jemae was a Klingon, her mother would have been proud to call her 'friend.'

After the invading aliens had been eliminated B'Elanna struck up an easy friendship with her. B'Elanna marvelled at the woman's skill and secretly admired the grace and beauty she possessed.

Bringing herself to the present, B'Elanna shook her head to clear her thoughts. Jemae said nothing to B'Elanna as she stood there, hand placed lightly on her shoulder, and after a few minutes she moved back to stand by her companion's side.

B'Elanna's gaze fell on Samantha Wildman who was sitting upright in her chair, a slight frown crossing her features. B'Elanna had never seen Sam that tense before; Sam always had a smile on her face, and a pleasant air to her. B'Elanna gave Sam a small smile, and though she received a smile in return, B'Elanna wasn't fooled into thinking Sam was anything but happy.

B'Elanna's attention was brought to Ensign Jemae and Maris who were sitting beside each other just watching the other. It was almost as if they were communicating and soothing the other silently. Jemae sensed B'Elanna's eyes on her and she beamed a warm smile that made B'Elanna's twin hearts skip a beat.

B'Elanna couldn't help but grin, and smiled a toothy grin when Ensign Jemae spoke "Welcome back to the land of living young krigare." (warrior)

From the moment they had met, she had been called that by Ensign Jemae. B'Elanna mouthed the words thank you to the Ensign, and received a shy unassuming shrug in return.

Maris quietly watched on and smiled to herself, she knew who these two warriors were, and both of them held a piece of her heart. Maris was not especially close to B'Elanna but in the recent months had made an effort on learning the truth of who she was. Maris gave a shy smile to B'Elanna and looked back to Jemae, her eyes searching for an answer to a question only Jemae knew.

Seven shifted in her seat, finding the silence in the room stifling. B'Elanna and her eyes locked and in the quiet of the room a low growl could be heard from the feisty Klingon. All eyes turned to B'Elanna who was thinking what the Helheim was going on, and where that growl came from.

It was lucky for B'Elanna had darker skin as it hid her reddening blush from most of the people present. Janeway stood there a little shocked, Sam was silently concerned by B'Elanna's sudden interest in Seven. Seven could only raise her eyebrow over the growl while Jemae and Maris both grinned.

Before anyone could speak up, a male voice spoke up "Well isn't this fun. The continuum have you running scared."

Janeway whipped her head sideways, and realised she would pay for that later. Everyone stood, anger radiating from them.

All except the creature, she had sensed her kind earlier, she could always sense when he was nearby. It spared her much grief at times, and though she knew it was coming, she'd hoped it was not now. She hadn't spoken to him in a long bitter time and to her it was too soon.

Janeway barked "Not another Q, come to finish off the job?"

The tall dark handsome Q laughed a deep laugh, his white perfect teeth showing. His hair was black, and was kept long, the wavy curls framing his face.

He was almost effeminate with his smooth jaw line, soft dark brown eyes and his lean trim body. He stood tall and carried a strong presence, his aura not exuding malice or arrogance like the other Q.

Ensign Jemae slowly rose to her feet and in a calm yet cold voice spoke up

"Hello brother dear."

Chapter Twelve

Europe, Sometime in 1500's

She closed her eyes, leaning her face close to her lover, breathing in her scent, her essence. It never failed to calm her, the warm scent of earth, wood and that faint woman smell only females have. They snuggled close to the other, gathering warmth from the cold winter morning. Jemae smiled at the woman tenderly, brushing aside a stray hair from her delicate features, both women laying at peace in each other's arms.

Each day was like a new beginning for Jemae, a breath of life that had been denied her for too long. Being immortal had its drawback, especially being an outcast of the Q continuum.

Jemae had walked the earth in her human shell for countless generations, wandering restlessly, unable to find that peace. She had failed those she loved and for that the universe became a little darker. Darker and colder than she'd ever known, far colder than when the Continuum cast her out.

She vowed never to get too close to humans, for in doing so a part of her would break, as immortality gave her no option but to watch them die.

Jemae had spent most of her 'human' life watching over the 'chosen ones', never once using her powers to travel or to change fate. She moved place to place, each new generation having her look over them, sometimes as an 'aunt' or as a distant bystander. Always though she protected herself from hurt by remaining aloof.

It was 3 years back when she wandered into a band of thieves trying to lighten the load of a peasant woman. Jemae remained hidden in the woods, watching, deciding if she should interfere.

Seeing a filthy bandit man-handling the woman, Jemae ran forward, drawing her sword at the same time. She had already gutted one man with her sword and was pulling it out of him by the time the others realised the commotion. Drawing her sword back and taking a stance, she stood her full height, reaching past the head of the tallest man there.

Spotting the intrusion, they ran to her, pulling their swords and weapons out, never realising it was foolhardy to do so. Acting on instincts honed over the centuries she feinted, parried and thrust, quickly dispatching them with ease.

The fight was over within a minute and the bloodied corpses of four men lay strewn over the ground. Wiping the blood off her sword with calm ease, and inspecting it, she placed it back in its sheath and walked over to the fallen woman. Holding out her hand Jemae helped the slim tall fair haired woman to her feet and began to walk away.

"Wait, you cannot leave me here. I fear I have broken my ankle and won't make it back to my abode. My horse was scared off and I am unable to find it. I cannot pay you, however I can lodge you in my place for a night to repay your kindness."

The woman's chest heaved, and she sat resting on a fallen log, her clothes tattered, and dirty. Another few minutes and the woman's fate would have been far worse.

Asking the woman where she lived, she took pity upon her for it was nearly a day's walk. Closing her eyes and listening to her keen senses she knew the woman would soon find more trouble if left unescorted.

Sighing quietly, and not saying a word, Jemae leant down and hoisted the woman over her shoulders, carrying her like a sack of potatoes. The woman protested loudly, kicking and flailing her arms about, finding the whole day undignified. She fussed and fought till she felt a light tap on her derriere and she made a loud squeak, then settled down.

For the next two hours the woman watched her rescuer's back and legs, seeing the world upside down. Finally with only the woods as background noise she spoke up.

"Where are you from? Why did you help me?" She had many questions in her head but for now those two would do.

"From a place not heard of, and I figured I'd even the odds."

Saying nothing more Jemae walked on, her stride even and confident, her course bringing her closer to the woman's place. Finally after some directions both women reached the rundown shack the other woman called home.

Seeing the shack, Jemae said 'Well, I've seen worse."

Placing the woman on the lone bed in the corner of the room, Jemae grabbed some fresh water from the well and made them a drink. Jemae examined the woman's leg and dressed the clearly broken leg.

"My name is Nerida, and yours?"

Jemae looked up from the floor, Nerida's foot on her thigh, and paused. It had been some time since she'd spoken her name and she thought for a moment.

She had many names, in some places her name was probably cursed, so she settled for a newer name.

"You may call me Jemae."

Jemae settled Nerida down on the bed, started a fire and stalked about the small shack, securing the place as best as could be. Realising Nerida was probably hungry she went out, and took down a small local animal in the woods, whereupon she stripped it of its hide and used as many parts of the animal as possible. They both ate heartily that night and Jemae was offered some furs and the only pillow to use on the floor for the night.

The next day Jemae went out and proceeded to chop down old dead trees nearby for firewood, knowing soon winter would be upon Nerida. By the end of the day Jemae had worked tirelessly, checking on Nerida, even going so far as to help her to the creek where she could bathe.

As dusk approached Nerida spoke up "Since it is almost night, perhaps you would lodge for another night."

One night became another, then another and a quiet peace came upon the two woman. At first Nerida would watch Jemae while she starting repairing the shack. Soon she started moving about more, fetching Jemae drinks, washing her clothes and preparing meals for when she returned from checking on the horses or inspecting the woods for any bandits.

If Nerida noticed Jemae never seemed to tire as much as she should or was far stronger than most men, she never mentioned it. Nor did she ever mention the woman's uncanny ability to change her accent and pick up a new language with ease.

The days passed into weeks and soon months, and Jemae no longer needed to be asked to stay another night. They both found a quiet harmony, with both woman having a purpose. Jemae provided for them, hunting and gathering, the quiet protector. Nerida was the one who kept the place a home and ensured all her needs were attended to.

It was in the cold of winter while sharing the bed for warmth that their hands touched while settling for the night. Both froze, their eyes slowly raising and looking into the other.

With breathes held, Jemae leaned in, kissing her softly on the lips, feeling the soft flesh yield and moan to her touch. It was bliss and ignited her passion. That night they made love endlessly, each one giving into the desire.

That was three years ago and not one day passed when they were apart. Thinking how content life was, Jemae pressed in closer to Nerida. Finally Jemae found a home, a place where she could lay her sword down and find that little bit of peace. The shack was now a home, restored and extended somewhat to suit the two lovers.

She knew the hearth was out and was loathe to leave the warm bed and even warmer body. Kissing Nerida, Jemae got up, and once dressed, headed outside.

"Don't be long my brooding one." Nerida smiled and blew her a kiss.

Nerida often used Jemae's pet name, for Jemae was prone to brood, almost like she had the weight of the world upon her shoulders Nerida thought.

Jemae was gone for about an hour when she felt the air itself charge, the hair on her body raising. She closed her eyes a moment, listening closely, and felt the energy within her start to vibrate. Suddenly she ran through the woods, branches snapping and hitting her as she ran. She never felt them, for fear had settled on her.

She reached the clearing of the woods where the cottage was and knew without looking what she'd find. The air shifted once more and she muffled out a chocked sob as she slowly opened her eyes and saw Nerida lying on the ground by the front of the house.

Running to her, Jemae lifted her, placing her on the bed, and poured all she could into Nerida, silently begging her to return. She used what power she had and knew it was useless.

Finally placing her head on Nerida's chest she laid there prone for many hours, unblinking, just staring quietly at a body that had held such life. Never again would she hear her melodic laugh, nor feel her skin aflame with desire when she caressed her.

"You are still alive, and if you were smart you'd leave now, or you will be as dead as she is."

Jemae slowly stood up to her six foot something height and turned around carefully, facing the dark haired man.

He spoke once more 'It was not my decision, nor could I stop it. The human was killed because of you. You made friends with a human and The Continuum found her to be a threat."

Jemae angrily shouted 'A threat? To who. She's never harmed a soul."

"Be as that may, just know that though the Q couldn't find you, they can still harm you. What a better way to kill you than to kill all those you love."

He waited a moment, observing her once more, sniffing the air. "She had your essence all over her. The Q smelt you on her, and now you smell of humanity. Remember, we are often but a thought away, though you have made it harder. How much was the alien device to cloak you?, and what secrets did you give away to protect yourself?" The last was said with a sneer, and he looked around, the smell of humankind on her reeking to him.

Jemae reached for her sword, realising it was hanging above the hearth, left there as a reminder of her warrior's past, and a newer future. That was gone now, along with everything else. Storming into the house, that was no longer a home without Nerida, Jemae tore the sword off the wall, removing her sword from its sheath.

Upon exiting the house she strode quickly over to the young man and drove the sword into his stomach. He only laughed and produced his own weapon. Pulling the sword out of his stomach, he dismissively tossed the sword back to her, the sword laying near her feet.

"I didn't come here to fight. Sister." He couldn't bring himself to say her name. Not only was it forbidden to utter her name in The Continuum, but the mere thought of saying her name made him irrational beyond clear thought.

"Well fight we will, and may you live long enough to see me destroy those that destroyed Nerida." She picked up the sword, shifting it slightly in her grip, and stared him down.

"Oh, she has a name, how quaint. You haven't changed and look where you are." No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't resist digging at her and her weakness.

Both the combatants proceeded to fight tooth and nail, making moves that would kill a normal human. For over an hour they waged battle, their clothing torn, yet still they stood tall and defiant, neither one showing signs of fatigue.

Eventually both resorted to using their powers to fight, the duel charging the air, forcing the animals nearby to scurry to safety.

Jemae was no match for him, for she had remained in her human body for so long. Plus the alien device she used to mask her from the Q made her powers muted. Each use of her power drained her, slowly weakening her, centuries without using her powers left her vulnerable.

Each Q hurled and clashed with all their might, unable to back down from a feud too long fought. After fighting for some time, Jemae felt weary and didn't see the intense energy charge hit her, leaving her on the ground, her clothing singed.

Standing over her he spoke up 'I'm sorry it came to this, yet I cannot kill you. I had nothing to do with that mortal's death, and I won't have anything to do with yours."

Jemae got to her feet slowly and replied with venom "You kill me now, for if we meet again, I will use whatever power I have to destroy you. Brother or no brother, do not underestimate me. Should our paths cross once more, I will inflict as much pain as possible upon you and the rest of our kind."

Brother and sister stood, staring the other down, hatred clearly visible. With a dismissive snap of his finger Juleson was gone, but not before warning her that the Q will never cease to hunt her down till nothing was left of her, not even a memory.

To Be Continued

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