Paramount Pictures owns all rights to the Star Trek universe, its
characters and background. Some of the characters are mine. As
will be obvious, this story was written prior to Jadzia's death in
Deep Space 9 and Gowron is basically the good guy he most of the time
came off as (I never really liked making him a bad guy). There are
no Nemesis spoilers. When I originally wrote this story, I named one
of the shuttles the McAuliffe, in memory of Christa McAuliffe and the
other the Bareil. Since the February 1, Columbia accident, I renamed
the Bareil the Ramon in memory of the Israeli astronaut.
THE END OF AN ERA
December 31, 2399 - Enterprise E
"This is crazy! I have nothing to wear!" Sixteen-year old Elizabeth
Riker lamented as she threw another dress on the growing pile of
dresses on her bed.
"What is it?" Deanna Troi-Riker said she walked into her daughter's
room. At 63 years of age, Deanna was still quite lovely. Her hair
had some streaks of gray but it only served to make her look more
"Mom, I have nothing to wear tonight!"
Deanna laughed and pointed to the pile of dresses on the bed. "And
what do you call that?"
"They all look horrible on me."
She could tell that Liz was trying to find the perfect dress to wear
for the New Year's Eve Party that evening. She wasn't completely
sure who Liz was trying to impress. "Are you trying to impress Rene
or is it Mike, who you are supposed to be going to the party with?"
Rene was Jean Luc and Beverly Picard's 16-year old son. Mike was
Ensign Michael Martini, a young conn officer Liz had been dating for
about six months although Liz claimed they were just friends.
"Both." Liz admitted rather sheepishly. Deanna had to admit that
despite Liz's determination to get into Starfleet Academy and be the
youngest starship captain ever, she was still a sixteen-year old
young lady; and when she wanted to be, Liz could be extremely
"You know Mike likes you for who you are not how you look. I'm
pretty sure Rene prefers a girl with substance, too." She hugged her
daughter who was already a head taller than Deanna. Liz resembled
her father a great deal. She was tall with shoulder-length black
hair and baby blue eyes; and courtesy of a strict work-out regimen, a
Deanna picked up a Columbia blue dress from the pile. Will had given
that dress to Liz for her 16th birthday the previous August. She had
promised Will at the time that she would wear it for this
party. "What's wrong with this one? It brings out the blue in your
eyes." Deanna paused for effect. "Besides didn't you promise your
father that you would wear this dress tonight?"
"Yes." She smiled. Liz also had Will's smile and the mischievous
glint to her eyes.
Deanna glanced at the chronometer. "If you want to meet the shuttle,
you better get dressed. They'll be here in 30 minutes."
The Picard's, Jean Luc, Beverly, and Rene; the LaForge's, Geordi,
Angie, Silva, and Brandon; and the Soong's, Data, Miranda, Melanie,
and Juliana were within 30 minutes of docking with the Enterprise.
Beverly and Jean Luc Picard had been married for 20 years. Beverly
had a few streaks of gray in her red hair. She had put on some
weight since she became Head of Starfleet Medical 20 years earlier.
Jean Luc had become Head of Starfleet Command 23 years earlier. He
had retained his classic looks. He, too, had put on some extra
weight. Sixteen year old Rene was a combination of both of his
parents. He was tall with auburn hair and blue eyes. He was
outgoing like his mother but cerebral and even tempered like his
Geordi LaForge had a accepted a post at Starfleet Academy five years
ago after serving as Chief Engineer and then First Officer on the
Enterprise. He had put on some weight during his 5 years at the
Academy. The blue ocular implants that he had received prior to the
Enterprise E's commissioning had been replaced by a more natural
brown. Most people didn't realize his eyes weren't natural. His
wife, Angelique, had served as Head of Stellar Cartography on the
Enterprise and was currently Assistant Head of Stellar Cartography at
Starfleet Command. Angelique, or Angie as she preferred to be
called, was an Academy classmate of Geordi's. While at the Academy,
Geordi had been extremely shy around women a problem which persisted
during most of his Starfleet career until Angie came on board the
Enterprise about three years before they were married. Angie had, on
several occasions, confided to Riker that she really liked Geordi and
wanted to get to know him better. Will Riker was determined to see
that Geordi got over his shyness and kept pushing Angie and Geordi
together. He kept looking for ways to get the two of them to spend
more time together. He finally succeeded and Geordi and Angie were
married 16 years ago. Their daughter, Silva, was 12 years old. She
was extremely bright and showed a definite interest in a Starfleet
career. She had a crush on Rene Picard and exhibited none of the
shyness that plagued Geordi through the years. Five year old Brandon
LaForge was, like his father was, quite shy even to the point of
hiding when someone he didn't know came to visit.
When Data became a professor at Cambridge University, he adopted the
last name of his "father" -- Soong. He and Miranda had been married
for 13 years. Like Data, Miranda was a professor at Cambridge
University. Data held the Lucasian Chair while Miranda taught
history. They adopted 2 girls -- 12-year old Melanie and 10-year old
Juliana. Melanie's parents were professors at Cambridge and close
friends of Data's and Miranda's. They were killed in a shuttle
accident when Melanie was 18 months old. Due to her being orphaned
so young, she was a loner and had trouble getting along with other
people her age. Juliana, on the other hand, was very outgoing with a
maturity that made her seem older than 10 causing many people to
believe she was older than Melanie. Juliana's mother was a student
of Data's who had accidentally become pregnant but couldn't raise her
alone. Thus, Data and Miranda adopted her.
The shuttle pilot's voice came over the intercom. "We'll be docking
with the Enterprise in 30 minutes. They've asked me to inform you
that Captain Worf will be arriving shortly before we do."
"I'm glad Will was able to talk Worf into coming to the party."
Beverly said. "It'll be fun ringing in a new century with all of us
"How long has it been since we've all gotten together?" Jean Luc
"I believe it was at Miranda's and my wedding." Data answered.
"We never should have allowed this to happen. We were all so close
on the Enterprise." Geordi said. "It's almost like Q's vision of
the future, except I'm married to Angie not Leah Brahms."
"Deanna is still alive and Will and Worf are still close friends"
Beverly added. "Jean Luc and I are still married."
"I don't have Irisine Syndrome." Jean Luc added.
"I do hold the Lucasian Chair at Cambridge." Data noted.
They all agreed that their lives were definitely better than the
future Q had created for them 30 years earlier.
"It will be great to see everyone again." Beverly said knowing she
spoke for everyone.
Enterprise E Shuttle Bay
The runabout, Ramon, from Deep Space 9 was just docking. Captain
Worf, Commander of Deep Space 9, his wife, Jadzia Dax, and their 16-
year old son, Curzon, disembarked from the runabout. Worf hadn't
changed much in the 29 years he had been stationed at DS9. There was
some gray in his hair but he still retained his Klingon stoicism and
aloofness. Curzon was very much like his father; but like his
mother, he had a quick wit and a ready smile. He looked more Klingon
than Trill. Like Liz and Rene, Curzon was waiting to hear if had
been accepted to the Academy.
Deanna went to Worf and gave him a hug. She still liked the hulking
Klingon even though their relationship had ended several years before
she and Will were married. Worf, for his part, still was quite fond
of Deanna but because of his friendship with Will Riker, had ended
his relationship with her even though Will hadn't done anything to
stand in their way. They were both quite happy when Worf contacted
them to tell them that he and Jadzia were getting married.
Unfortunately, they were unable to attend their wedding.
"It's good to see you again Worf, Jadzia" Deanna said with a smile.
Liz hugged Worf too. Worf was quite fond of Liz. Like her father,
she knew quite a bit about the Klingon culture and liked Klingon
food. Worf was one of her godfathers - Geordi being the other. Liz
was fascinated with Klingon culture and made it her goal to learn as
much as possible.
"How's Alexander?" Liz asked referring to Worf's 33-year old son.
"He is fine and sends his best to all of you. He is to mate with
Gowron's daughter, Kayron, in the Spring. You will be invited to the
"Great. The last time I talked to Alexander, he told me that he
hoped that Gowron would give Kayron and him permission to mate."
"Andrew and Allison are also planning on getting married this
Spring. I hope those two can coordinate their weddings so we can
attend both." Deanna said.
Worf nodded. "I am sure it can be worked out."
"The Shuttle McAuliffe will be docking in two minutes." The shuttle
controller's voice came over the intercom.
"That's the shuttle from Earth." Deanna explained. "Do you want
wait for them or do you want to go to your quarters?"
"I will wait. Where is Will?"
"He got a subspace call a few minutes ago. He'll join us when he
Wesley Crusher, his wife Natasha, and their daughter, Jackie came in
the shuttlebay. Wesley had become an accomplished "traveller"
courtesy of his training from the being from Tau Ceti Alpha known
simply as "The Traveller." He had changed very little over the 30
years since he left the Academy. He retained his boyish looks except
he was older. Natasha Crusher married Wesley 10 years earlier.
Natasha was the daughter of one of the Native Americans who lived on
Dorvan IV. She had long black hair and was an accomplished pottery
maker. Their four-year old daughter, Jacqueline or Jackie, was a
combination of both of her parents. She was tall like Wesley with
long black hair like Natasha.
Natasha had never met a Klingon but knew all about Worf from Wesley.
They had tried to prepare Jackie for her first meeting with Worf but
she became quite frightened when she met Worf. She hid behind Wesley
who tried unsuccessfully to calm his frightened daughter.
"Let me try." Liz volunteered. She knelt next to Jackie and pulled
her away from Wesley's leg. Jackie immediately buried her head in
Liz's shoulder. "Why are you scared of Worf?"
"He's a monster" Jackie sobbed.
Deanna and Jadzia stifled laughs which Worf heard. He gave them a
"Who told you that?"
"No one. He looks like a monster."
"He's not though. Remember the holo-film we watched yesterday?"
Jackie nodded. They had watched "Beauty and the Beast" as
preparation for Jackie's meeting with Worf. "Worf is like the
beast. He looks scary but he's nice."
Worf had moved slowly toward Liz and Jackie. He knelt down beside
the girls. Jackie looked at him. She was still frightened but
extended her hand to the imposing Klingon. He took her hand and
gently shook it.
"It is nice to meet you Jackie." Worf said with a smile. He had
rarely smiled when they were all on the Enterprise. The past 30
years had taught him quite a bit including how to smile.
Two minutes later the McAuliffe docked and the Picard's, LaForge's,
and Soong's disembarked to hugs from Deanna, Liz, Jadzia, and a
reluctant Worf and Curzon.
Meanwhile, Captain William T. Riker was talking to Admiral Kathleen
Wallace, Commandant of Starfleet Academy. Even at 64, Will had
retained his good looks. There was some gray in his hair and beard,
but his blue eyes still retained the mischievous glint. In fact,
Deanna had often told Will that he was very distinguished looking.
"So, Kathy. What's the good word?" He asked with a smile. He was
hoping that Wallace, who was a classmate at the Academy was calling
to let him know that Liz had been accepted to the Academy.
Wallace smiled. "I swear the parents are more nervous than the would-
"I'm calm compared to Liz. She asks me at least twice a day if I've
heard from you." He laughed. "So, did she make it?"
"Yes. She did. You've got an extremely bright daughter. In fact,
she had one of the best test scores ever achieved."
Will was surprised. He knew Liz was extremely intelligent but she
also had some problems with a couple of courses. "Really?"
Wallace laughed. "Come on, Will, don't be so surprised. I checked
to see who had some of the other high scores and found one
approximately 47 years ago with name William T. Riker next to it. I
can see where she gets her brains from and her looks." When she and
Will had been at the Academy, Kathy had always thought that Will was
one of the best looking cadets there. They had gone out several
times but there was never anything more than just friendship.
Will smiled. "Did you happen to notice who had the higher score?"
"You did. Why?"
"Liz has been saying that she is determined to graduate 7th or higher
in her class. Now, I have something to hold over her for four years."
"You graduated 8th as I recall -- right ahead of me."
"Do I detect a rivalry between the two of you?" She knew that Will
had a very competitive streak courtesy of his father. She and Will
had been friendly rivals during their entire 4 years at the Academy.
She was genuinely surprised when she had been offered the position of
Commandant of the Academy and heard that Will had turned it down.
She also knew that Will loved being on a starship and commanding the
Enterprise had been his primary goal.
"Oh yeah -- unlike with my father, however, it's all in fun."
"Do you beat her in anything?"
"Sure. Chess, poker, and we're 50-50 in anbo jyutsu. I don't have
to cheat to beat her either."
The door buzzer sounded. "Come in." Will called. The door opened
and Picard came in. Will smiled. "Kathy, Admiral Picard is here.
You can let him know if Rene made it."
Will turned the monitor around as Picard sat down.
"Admiral Picard, how are you?"
"Fine, Admiral Wallace. I gather you have the test results." Picard
had a feeling that Liz had made it based on Will's smile and how
cheerful he sounded. He hoped that Wallace had similar good news for
him. He also had a request for her.
"Yes I do. You'll be happy to know that Rene did very well on his
tests and will be accepted into the Academy this fall."
Picard smiled. "Great. I gather Liz did also?"
"Great. I have a question. What are the chances of Liz's being
admitted for the Spring semester?"
"I'm not sure. I'll look into it." Wallace smiled. "I gather
have a specific reason for asking?" She had a feeling she knew what
was going on.
"Yes. I can't tell you about it right now."
"I'll look into Spring admission for Liz and get back to you." She
smiled. "Is there anything else?"
"Yes." Will said remembering that Curzon was going to be on the
Enterprise that evening. "Did Curzon of the House of Martok make it
also. I'm sure he and his parents will be interested also."
Wallace glanced at her PADD and smiled. "Yes he did. I've got to
go. I've got other anxious parents to contact. Congratulate Liz,
Rene, and Curzon for me. Will, give my best to Deanna and Andrew."
She ended the communication.
Will looked at Picard curiously. Picard smiled. "I gather you want
to know why I'm suggesting Liz for Spring admission."
"As you may have heard, Admiral Nelson is retiring as Head of
Will nodded. He had a feeling he knew what Picard was getting at.
"I recommended that you be offered the position and the members of
the search committee agreed." Picard smiled. "Are you interested?"
Will was stunned. He and Deanna had discussed the possibility of
taking positions planetside either at Starfleet Command or in an
embassy somewhere within the Federation. He hadn't been thinking of
anything that high within Starfleet.
Picard noticed Will's hesitation. He knew Will well enough to know
that he was interested but wanted to discuss it with Deanna.
"You are certainly welcome to think about it. Nelson's retirement
doesn't take effect until a replacement is found."
"Thanks. I won't keep you hanging for too long. I'll let you know
before dinner tonight."
"OK. As for Liz, Rene and Curzon, do want to spring the news on them
"Sure." Will said with a smile. He didn't really want to keep Liz
hanging too long but thought it would be fun to see her reaction as
well as Rene's and Curzon's reactions. He was thankful that Liz
showed no empathic tendencies. She would know he was lying if she
asked if he heard anything and he denied it.
Picard stood up. "I better get to my quarters so I can be ready for
"I'll go with you. I better at least stop by and say "Hi" to
or she'll accuse me of avoiding her again." A year earlier, Beverly
had teased Will that he was avoiding her when he had to miss dinner
with the Picard's due to a pressing diplomatic mission.
Picard laughed. They left the Bridge and went to the quarters
assigned to the Picard's. Beverly and Rene weren't there so Will
left and went back to his quarters. Deanna wasn't there but left a
note saying that she and Beverly were with Wesley and Natasha.
Two hours later, Deanna came in. She saw Will lying on the sofa.
Her smiled turned to concern when she sensed that Will was distracted
by something. He sat up and she sat down next to him.
"What is it?" She asked
"Jean Luc has offered me a position with Starfleet Intelligence."
"Are you going to take it?"
"Probably as long as you're sure you want to live in San Francisco."
"I'll live anywhere as long as you're there. So what's the position?"
"Actually, Admiral Nelson is retiring and they want me to replace him
as Head of Starfleet Intelligence."
Deanna smiled. "That sounds like a great opportunity." She kissed
him. "Take it. Don't worry about me."
"I want to make sure it's OK with Liz first."
"She won't care. Besides, she'll probably be going to the Academy
and will be in San Francisco anyway."
At that moment, Liz came in. When she saw Will, she went over to
him, sat down on his lap, and laid her head on his shoulder. Deanna
chuckled and moved over a bit. Even at 16, all Liz had to do was
turn on the charm and she could generally get whatever she wanted
from Will. This time, however, Deanna could tell Liz wasn't going to
"I haven't heard from Admiral Wallace; and no, I'm not going to try
to contact her." He said. "But how would you like to live in San
Francisco until you get in to the Academy?"
Liz looked up. "Why? Did you get offered a position at Starfleet
"I'd love it. What position? Rene said Admiral Nelson is retiring
and they're looking for a replacement for him."
"They want me to replace him."
She hugged Will. "I'd love to live in San Francisco."
Deanna winked at Will. "She'll be closer to Rene, but away from
Mike. My, what a dilemma you face."
Liz gave Deanna a pained look. "Mom, that's not true. Mike and Rene
are just friends. That's all" She didn't sound at all convincing.
Will smiled. "Yeah sure. We'll pretend we believe you." He said
with a laugh. "I better go tell Jean Luc my decision and let Andrew
In the Picard's' quarters, Jean Luc was reading a book when Beverly
came in. He looked up. "Did you and Deanna have a good time
"Yes. How about you and Will?"
"We did. I asked him to consider Nelson's position."
"What did he say?"
"That he wanted to think about it."
"And talk it over with Deanna?"
"Probably." Picard smiled. "I'll bet he takes it. Apparently,
very nearly took the position at the Academy."
"Speaking of the Academy, has Will heard anything?"
"No. We probably won't hear anything until after Winter Break." He
hoped he sounded convincing to Beverly.
In 21-year old Andrew Riker's quarters, Andrew was preparing a
presentation that he was to make upon his return to the University of
Betazed in two weeks. Andrew resembled Deanna with her dark hair and
eyes. Unlike Liz, he showed empathic and some telepathic
tendencies. He was as tall as Will and had his smile and sense of
humor. His personality, however, was closer to Deanna's. He was
quiet and cerebral. The doorbuzzer sounded. Andrew looked up and
smiled. He knew it was Will.
"Come on in, Dad." Andrew called.
When the door opened, Will came in and said with a smile. "You'd
think I'd be used to this after 25 years of marriage to your mother."
"I just thought you might like to know that I've been offered a
position at Starfleet Command."
"Head of Starfleet Intelligence."
"Are you going to take it?" He knew that his parents had been
considering looking into getting positions on Earth or somewhere
within the Federation.
"There is something that concerns you though."
"I'm not exactly concerned. It's just a strange feeling. Except for
those couple of months on Betazed, I've spent my entire career in
space. It's going to be strange getting up with sunshine or rain,
and walking outside knowing that I'm not in a holosuite."
"I know what you mean. I had some trouble when I first got to
Betazed after spending the first 17 years of my life in space. I can
just imagine what you and mom will go through. How did Liz like the
"She's thrilled." He shrugged. "Of course, it may only be because
she'll be closer to Rene."
"But away from Mike. I swear Liz is such a contradiction."
"One minute she's a determined future Starfleet officer, the next
she's a typical sixteen-year old concerned about her looks and being
close to Rene or Mike."
Will smiled. "She's growing up so quickly."
"But she's still your little girl."
"Yeah. When she ships out on her first posting, I am really going to
miss her." Will had always been able to confide in Andrew probably
because he was so much like Deanna. Anything that he could tell
Deanna, he could tell Andrew. Will got up. "I better go tell Jean
Luc my decision and then get ready for dinner. By the way, have you
heard from Allison today?"
Allison Derxli was the young Betazoid lady that Andrew as hoping to
marry in the Spring. Allison's parents were reluctant to have their
only daughter marry a human even though Andrew was one-quarter
Betazoid and his mother and grandmother were Daughters of one of the
Houses of Betazed.
"No. She was going to spend this "human" holiday as her parents
it with Grandmother." Allison and Lwaxana Troi were becoming very
close much to the delight of Deanna. It didn't matter that Allison
wasn't a Daughter of one of the Houses. Will and Deanna loved
Allison, and Allison had asked Liz to be her maid of honor. She and
Andrew had asked Will to perform their wedding ceremony. Much to
everyone's relief, they planned to use Earth customs for the most
"I better go. See you later." Will said as he left Andrew's
quarters. Andrew knew that his father was really feeling the effects
of Liz's impending departure from home. He worried that his father
would have difficulty coping with her leaving. Fortunately, his
mother was a counselor and would be able to help.
That evening, after everyone had finished their dinners, Picard stood
up and called for everyone's attention.
"I have two very special announcements to make. As many of you may
have heard, Admiral James Nelson is retiring as Head of Starfleet
Intelligence. The position has been offered to Captain Riker, and
I'm happy to say that he has accepted it."
There was applause as Will stood up. Deanna wiped tears from her
"Thanks." Will said. "I just want to say thank you for a wonderful
37 years on board the Enterprise. I also want to tell Sam Lavelle
that I've recommended that he be promoted to Captain and given
command of the Enterprise. No decision has been made but it should
only take a couple of days." He sat back down.
Lavelle smiled and called out "I guess you really do like me." He
was referring back to when he was first assigned to the Enterprise
and thought Riker didn't like him. That whole incident had been a
running joke between the Lavelle and Riker since Will had taken
command of the Enterprise and named Sam First Officer after Geordi
left to teach at the Academy. There was laughter from everyone in
Picard continued. "The second announcement is that on behalf of
Starfleet Command, I would like to welcome the three newest cadets of
the Class of 2304 of Starfleet Academy, Liz Riker, Rene Picard, and
Curzon of the House of Martok."
Liz threw her arms around Will and hugged him. She started to cry.
Deanna's tears flowed more freely. Beverly also cried a bit as she
hugged Rene. Liz looked up at Will. "How long have you known this?"
Will smiled. "Most of the afternoon."
"You knew when I asked you?"
"Yep." He smiled innocently. "If I'm going to be Head of Starfleet
Intelligence, I better be able to keep a secret."
Liz laughed and hugged him again. "Thanks."
"I didn't do anything; you did it yourself."
"You encouraged me and helped me when I needed it."
Will had tears in his eyes. Liz had never said anything like that to
him before. He knew he was going to miss her when she shipped out on
her first posting, but he had four more years to prepare himself for
Several hours later with the New Years Eve party in full swing, the
nine former crewmates of the Enterprise were all sitting at a table
in Ten Forward. They had spent much of the evening reminiscing about
their days on the Enterprise D, E, and F. There was much laughter
and a few sad memories. This was the first time Jadzia had heard
most of these stories and she teased Worf about his reserved nature.
They teased Deanna about her being at Conn when the Enterprise D
crashed. Will teased her about Cochran's getting her drunk when they
went back in time courtesy of the Borg. They laughed at how they all
reacted when they were infected with the PSI 2000 virus. Beverly
reminded Will about his few days as Odan and the night they spent
together. Deanna reminded Picard of her mothers phase. Beverly
hadn't heard that story but thought it was hysterical hearing about
Jean Luc's attempts to avoid Lwaxana. Jean Luc, of course, felt
compelled to remind Will of his short-lived engagement to his current
mother-in-law. Deanna hadn't shown any sign that she was going to be
affected by the Betazoid Phase. Deanna wasn't quite sure whether
Will was happy about that or dismayed. Geordi and Angie teased
Deanna about her and Beverly's having to leave their wedding ceremony
because she was in labor with Liz. Will had very nearly not made it
to Sickbay because he was performing the ceremony and couldn't stop
half way through. Beverly reminded everyone how funny it must have
been for people in the corridors to see two very pregnant women - one
of whom was in labor -- going down the corridor. Rene was born a
week after Liz.
They remembered some of the more interesting and unusual races they
had encountered -- the Malcorians, the Trill, the Mintakan, the
Jnaii, the Bringloidi, Bajorans, Cardassians, and Borg, and, of
course, Q. They remembered with some sadness their lost crewmates
and friends, K'Ehleyr, Lal, Ian Andrew, Odan, and Tasha Yar.
While the adults were reminiscing, the young people were dancing,
playing chess, and talking. Liz was dancing with Andrew while
watching the adults. Andrew knew his sister was distracted.
"Hey, sis. What's wrong?"
She looked up at him. "Andrew, when was the last time you told Mom
and Dad that you loved them and thanked them for everything they've
done for you."
Andrew thought for a few minutes. He realized he couldn't remember
the last time.
"I don't remember. How 'bout you?"
"I tell Dad that I love him fairly regularly but I can't remember the
last time I told Mom. Tonight was the first time that I can remember
thanking either of them for everything they've done."
Andrew smiled. "What brought all this on?"
She nodded toward the table where the adults were. "They were all
really close friends when they were on the Enterprise together.
They've been in each others weddings, they're godparents to each
others children. Yet, they haven't gotten together -- not all of
them since Data's wedding. We can't let that happen to us. You'll
be living on Betazed, Mom and Dad on Earth, and I'll be all over the
galaxy. We have to make sure we all get together at least one year."
Liz sounded so earnest and so much like their mother that Andrew
couldn't help but smile. "You know that's the first time that I can
ever remember your sounding like Mom."
"I'm serious." There were times when her brother's empathy drove
crazy. There were also times when she wished she had some sort of
"I know and you're right. What do you say that we start the new
century right by telling Mom and Dad how we feel." Liz nodded as
Andrew hugged her.
"I'll go get them. You get a table."
Liz went over to the table where the adults were and put her arms
around Will's neck. He took her hands. "What do you want?" He
asked suspiciously. "That dance I promised you?"
"Andrew and I want to talk to you and Mom."
Deanna sensed that Liz and Andrew had something they wanted to tell
their parents -- something important.
"OK" Deanna got up as did Will.
Angie looked over and saw Melanie playing chess with an Engineering
ensign. Silva was dancing with Rene.
"Liz, who's watching Brandon, Juliana, and Jackie?"
"Juliana with some supervision and checking up by Rene, Silva,
Andrew, and me."
"Not Melanie?" Miranda asked. She knew that the younger children
had trouble getting along with Melanie.
"No. I had to mediate a dispute among the younger children, Melanie,
and Silva. Apparently, the little ones were playing cards and being
too noisy for Melanie. They started to mutiny and Melanie said she
wasn't going to baby-sit. Silva said she didn't think it was fair
that she had to baby-sit and miss the entire party. Juliana said she
could baby-sit. I said OK but Silva, Andrew, Rene, and I would check
in periodically. Everyone agreed. The last time I checked on them,
Brandon and Jackie were asleep and Juliana was almost out."
"Liz, how did you get involved in this anyway?" Miranda asked.
"I don't know. I was sitting at a table talking to Mike when Silva
came in and told me what was happening. I figured that I would see
what was going on and try to mediate before getting any of you."
"I have no idea." She shrugged.
"I think I know." Deanna said. "The younger children are probably
bit intimidated by Andrew. They're not used to being around
"You're definitely more approachable than Rene or Curzon are."
"Silva looks up to you, Liz." Geordi added.
"Liz, you have got to be one of the most mature sixteen-year olds
I've ever met." Natasha said. "The kids probably think you're older
than you are."
"Angie and I will never forget how old Liz is." Geordi said with
laugh. "Or her birthday for that matter."
Liz laughed. "Yeah." She had heard the story of Deanna's having to
leave Geordi's and Angie's wedding ceremony because she was in labor
Will put an arm around Liz. "You may have a future in diplomacy."
Despite the simple nature of this mediation, Will was proud of Liz's
efforts. Once again he realized how much he was going to miss her.
Deanna glanced at Will. She sensed that he was a bit upset at Liz's
leaving home. He smiled to reassure her that he was fine. "Come on
Ambassador." Will said as he led Liz over to the table where Andrew
was sitting and sat down.
"What do you two want?" Deanna asked with a smile.
"We realized that all of you who were senior officers on the
Enterprise haven't gotten together since Data's wedding."
"We've gotten together." Deanna said.
"Until tonight, not all of you at the same time." Andrew said. "In
four years, Liz will be shipping out on her first posting. I'll
probably be living on Betazed. You two will be on Earth. We just
don't want for all of us to see each other so rarely."
"I doubt that will happen. We'll all get leave at some point."
Deanna said with a smile. "The tricky part will be doing it at the
"It could be next to impossible. Who knows where I'll be. It will
depend on what ship I'm on. I could be in another quadrant light
years from Earth or Betazed. It could take weeks or even months for
me to get to you or for you to get to me." Liz said. She was
practically in tears. "Maybe I should request a position on Earth or
some Federation planet in the Alpha Quadrant when I graduate."
Will squeezed her hand. "Don't do that. You've always wanted to be
on a starship just like I did when I was your age. We'll find a way
to work out leaves and such. Don't worry about it."
"OK." Liz glanced at Andrew who nodded. "There's also one other
thing. We both realized that until tonight neither of us had thanked
either of you for all you've done for us or told you that we loved
you. Oh, I've told Dad on many occasions but never you, Mom."
"And I don't think I've ever told either of you that I loved you."
Andrew said with a nod. "You two have done so much for both of us.
You've always been there when we've needed you. I can remember times
when the ship was under red alert and, mom, you've come to our
quarters because we've been scared. Neither of you got upset when
one of us would call you on the Bridge and tell you that we were
"And I can remember times when one of you would come home and help us
with our homework even if you were supposed to be on the Bridge."
Tears filled Deanna's eyes as she listened to Andrew and Liz. She
glanced at Will sensing that he was becoming extremely emotional.
She reached over and squeezed his hand. "You two may not have said
thank you or told us how you felt but sometimes actions speak louder
than words. You two have said thank you and that you love us many
times by your actions -- by working hard to do well in school, being
understanding when you were forced to be alone when we were on a
planet on some diplomatic mission."
Will smiled wickedly. "By behaving for your babysitters and getting
along when it was just the two of you."
Liz gave him a pained look. "I'm serious."
"I know you are. Your mother is right. You've showed how you feel
many times." His voice was choked with emotion and tears filled his
eyes. Liz got up and hugged him and then hugged Deanna. Andrew
followed Liz's example. The band started to play "Thank Heaven for
Little Girls". Come on little one. I still owe you a dance." Will
said as he took Liz's hand and led her away. Liz looked back at
Andrew and Deanna and rolled her eyes. She hated when he called
her "little one."
Andrew laughed. "She hates that."
"I did too." Deanna agreed. "Come on, I guess it's you and me."
She led Andrew to the dance floor.
At 23:50 hours, Data said to the others still seated at the table
that they had better get the younger children up to ring in the next
Data walked to the dance floor and called for everyone's attention.
The wait staff began to pass out glasses of champagne to the adults
and juice in champagne glasses to the younger children. "It is now
two minutes until midnight."
By this time, most everyone was dancing with their respective spouses
or significant other. Those who weren't moved to be with them at
midnight. Deanna noticed that Liz was with Mike Martini. She
chuckled and pointed them out to Will. "Poor Rene. I guess she just
prefers older men." He said with a smile.
Rene was dancing with Silva LaForge, however. The only people not
paired with anyone were Melanie and Curzon. Melanie was sitting
staring at the chess board as if she was planning her next move.
Deanna could sense that she was down and feeling lonely because no
one had asked her to dance. Deanna went over to Curzon who was still
sitting at another table staring at chess board.
"Curzon, why don't you dance with Melanie."
"Klingons do not dance." He said. He knew that Deanna would argue
with that point and he was right.
"Most do not." She said with a smile. "But you do, and you're
very good dancer." She had danced with Curzon on many occasions.
Curzon nodded and went over to Melanie and asked her to dance. She
agreed with a smile. Melanie liked the stoic half-Klingon.
During the last minute, internship communications were opened and
Data, utilizing his internal chronometer, led the countdown. "10, 9,
8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Happy New Year!" The band played "Auld Lang
Sine" All over the Enterprise crew members celebrated the year 2400
with hugs and kisses.
Will spoke for the senior officers. "On behalf of the senior
officers, I would like to be the first to wish the entire crew and
their families a Happy New Year."
Jean Luc added his New Year's wishes on behalf of Starfleet
Command. "Let's all make the 25th Century the century that brings
peace throughout the Federation and the galaxy."
Intership communications were closed. Jean Luc turned to the
assembled group for his former senior officers and their
families. "In a few weeks, we'll all be on Earth." He nodded to
Worf and Wesley. "Except for Worf and Wesley. Most of us are still
in Starfleet. Liz, Curzon and Rene will be starting their Starfleet
careers. Silva and Juliana have expressed a desire to join
"Since the christening of the Enterprise D at least one of this group
has served on her." Data added.
"Except for Captain Jellico's brief tenure, either Jean Luc or Will
has been in command of the last two Enterprises." Geordi added.
"Most of us were married on the Enterprise E." Beverly added. "With
either Will or Jean Luc performing the ceremony."
"Rene, Liz, Silva, and I were all born here." Andrew pointed out
with a smile.
Everyone was quiet for a few minutes. They were all remembering the
good times they shared. Liz, Silva, and Juliana went to Guinan to
get more champagne and juice.
"Guinan, why don't you join us?" Liz asked. "You've been part
this crew for a long time too."
"OK. Thank you for inviting me, Liz." Guinean said as she followed
the girls over to where everyone else was standing with their own
thoughts. Everyone took a glass.
Will's voice was choked when he said. "This is the end of an era."
"The end of one era but soon it will be the beginning of a new one
when Rene, Curzon and I graduate from the Academy." Liz said.
"When you three graduate, I'll be getting ready to go to the
Academy." Silva said.
"I'll be right behind Silva" Juliana said with a smile. "Wouldn't
it be great if the five of us served together on the Enterprise?"
"There's only one problem, Juliana; Rene and Liz will probably be
competing for the same positions including command of a starship some
day." Beverly pointed out.
Rene glanced at Picard who nodded. "Mom, Liz and I won't be in
positions to compete. I've decided to go to medical school after the
Beverly smiled. She had always hoped that Rene would decide to
become a doctor. "I'm glad." She glanced mischievously at
Wesley. "You can carry on the Howard family tradition in medicine
unlike your brother."
Wesley rolled his eyes.
"So we can all be together someday after all." Liz said as she
Jean Luc raised his glass. The others followed suit. "To the end of
one era and the beginning of a new one." They all clinked glasses
and drank all the while basking in the warmth of their 37-year