Sometime after Star Trek: Nemesis, Data and Zad Riker, son of the Rikers, search for the antidote to a disease infecting the crew of the Enterprise. (Guest-written by Evelyn Abby.)
“Whoa, Tasha, be careful!”
Zad’s father laughed, grabbing his daughter’s hand. It was a beautiful, sunny day; the sun was bright and shining, a perfect day for a water park. Dripping wet, Riker and his daughter ran back up the steps to go down their favorite slide.
It was good to have a break. It had been almost three months since the whole fiasco, and they were also well overdue for their shore leave. Zad Riker, son of the Captain of the USS Enterprise, had risked his life to save the lives of others. So young, so courageous.
Imzad Riker was the name that had been on the lips of the entire crew for the first two weeks. Then, as might be expected, his fame died down and he began his daily routine of waking up, schoolwork, and chores.
Zad climbed up the ladder to the tallest water slide in the water park. Ignoring the desperate pleas of his mother telling him to wait for her, he grabbed the handlebars and propelled himself down the slide as fast as he could.
He was having fun, yes, but his mind was on the ‘diplomatic’ mission in twelve days and fourteen hours: the trip to Xorten Omega. And Xorten Omega always meant Gwendolyn.
Gwendolyn Martinique. The very mention of her name set his heart racing.
His father said there would be a feast and a ball or something like that. He also had to make a speech. Unlike his father, he never did well on the public speaking portion of his curriculum.
The colors in the tunnel changed from a glitzy pink to a dark blue. Zad closed his eyes. He imagined that Gwendolyn was next to him, holding his hand looking up at the stars. He imagined he was—
Then a spray of cool water engulfed his body. Sputtering and coughing, a pang of resistance hit him. Mom. He sighed. What if I had a human mother? Why must she probe my thoughts all the time?
He turned to find his mom looking directly in his direction. She just smiled and walked over.
“Come on Zad, it’s time to go now. Get dressed and shower. Be out in thirty minutes.”
Thirty minutes? Why do girls take so long to shower and dress? Puzzled, he walked toward the men’s room.
“Standard orbit, impulse power, Mr. Riker.”
Captain Riker stood and walked toward the viewscreen. As he approached the conn, he placed his hands on the chair where his son sat.
Zad couldn’t help a smile. It was his dream for far too long; rather the first step toward his dream, just like Commander Crusher. Yes, Wesley Crusher too sat at the conn when he was just a boy, like Zad now. The only difference was that Zad was younger than Wesley when he had sat at conn for the first time. He smiled again at the thought.
“Standard orbit, impulse power sir.” Zad could hardly wait.
Sitting as straight as possible, he pulled the Enterprise into standard orbit over Xorten Omega.
The Captain pointed to a group of people on the bridge—which included him, his mother, and Tasha, who was curled up reading in the turbolift—for the away team.
Zad pushed the helm console away from him and joined his sister in the turbolift on the way to their room. Quietly, Tasha set her book aside and stood by her brother in the turbolift.
“So, Zad, why are you suddenly so excited to go to Xorten Omega? You usually loathe these diplomatic missions.”
Zad licked his lips. “Well . . . uh, it’s a really beautiful place. I didn’t get to enjoy it fully last time I went. It’s . . . it’s really green.” Zad was disappointed to hear the flatness of his voice.
Tasha rolled her eyes. “Pause.” The turbolift stopped. Tasha didn’t bother to stifle her smile. “C’mon Zad, tell me. Why do you really want to go?”
Zad sighed. “Well, there’s this girl named Gwendolyn, and she’s the governor’s daughter, and I didn’t say goodbye.”
Tasha looked pleased with his answer. But of course, she had to pelt him with more questions.
“Oh, Zad, how old is she? How tall is she? Does she look like mom? Is she pretty?”
Zad facepalmed hopelessly. “She’s my age and a little shorter than me, and she does not look like mom and of course she’s pretty.”
He paused to catch his breath. “Resume.”
Once again, Tasha looked pleased.
Zad paced around his parents’ room, dressed in a neat, clean, Starfleet uniform, bothered by the fact that he couldn’t dance.
“So, dad, how do you ask a lady to dance? Oh, I’m sure I’m overthinking this, I’m sure it’s simple, but,” he sighed, exasperated, “just how do you do it?”
William Riker smiled and shook his head. “Zad, you have to do it just right, and oh, make sure you look impressive when you do it. So,” Zad’s father got up, and stood in front of his wife.
“You have to extend your left hand to your lady. Then you say ‘may I have this dance’ and smile. If she says no, then just say ‘maybe next time’, and leave. Simple, huh?”
Zad stopped. “Wait, dad, she might say no?”
“Of course! She’s the governor’s daughter after all. She might have agreed to dance with, I don’t know, her brother maybe. Well anyway, if she says yes, then take her right hand with your left hand.” All the while, he demonstrated each step with his wife. “And place your hand on her waist and sort of sway.”
His mother and father stood in the middle of their spacious quarters and swayed back and forth to and imaginary waltz.
Zad nodded. It didn’t sound so bad. It was just a little dinner and a small dance. It’s not like the whole town would be there.
Oh, he was dreadfully wrong.
Silverware clinked, clothes rustled and people conversed. Zad wasn’t sure what it was; after all, he was still shaky after making his long speech, and the thought of asking Gwendolyn to dance was terrifying. But Zad just couldn’t get himself to eat.
And there were people. Not a small group, but the whole town, there to celebrate in the Enterprise‘s recovery. It was a beautiful place. Gold trimmed cups, servants hustling about, and more food than Zad could have ever imagined.
“Zad, please eat something. My maid made this ‘specially for you. Just take a bite.” Gwendolyn pushed the plate closer to Zad.
He pushed it away and tried to smile. “I’m sorry, but I can’t eat right now.”
Gwendolyn’s smile widened. “We still have an hour or so before the dance. Do you want to go down to the river for a little?”
His eyes brightened. “Sure.”
Zad grabbed his coat and they headed out, making sure he had his combadge with him. The noon springtime air was warm and clear with the smell of flowers and sunshine floating around them. Birds sang, flowers stood tall and people chattered in the distance.
Gwendolyn was the first to speak. She sighed.
“Kendall and I used to come down here all the time when we were little. Then, he got all grown up and resorted to books instead.” She picked a flower along the way and wove it into her hair.
Zad didn’t really know what to say. He had dreamed and rehearsed this reunion in his head over and over, but now he couldn’t seem to say anything.
“So, when are you joining Starfleet?”
Zad thought for a moment. “Next month.” It was then that it hit him. Next month! Only one month from now. He took a deep breath. “Gwendolyn.” He waited until he had her attention. “I’ll really miss you.”
She blushed a little. “Yeah, I’ll miss you too.”
They reached the river. Zad found a rock, perfect for sitting. He almost sat down, then gestured for Gwendolyn to sit instead. She smiled her thanks and sat, while Zad found a comfortable position on the rocks.
“You know,” Gwendolyn continued. She took a small, smooth stone and turned it around in her hands. “I happen to be going to Starfleet next month also. Maybe we’ll see each other.”
Their eyes met. For a moment, he saw something that might have indicated that she . . . no. He was probably overthinking this whole thing. Zad checked his watch.
“Whoa, we have to get back now. The dance is starting in fifteen minutes.
She jumped up. “Better run.” For a girl in a dress, she ran pretty fast.
Zad caught up with her. “Hey, Gwendolyn, before I forget. Wanna dance?”
She smiled, and Zad already knew her answer.
Author’s Note (Evelyn): Thanks everyone for reading this! Stay tuned for more stories in the future! Maybe a Star Wars or another Star Trek story! I’m thinking about continuing Zad and Gwendolyn’s adventures.
Emily says: It was a major pain to get Evelyn to edit this, but I forced her to and now we have it: the final part of The Adventures of Zad Riker. I thought this turned out pretty well! Does anyone have a favorite part?