As Kira's limp form collapsed, Tyran caught him just before he hit the deck. "Kira, are you all right?" he asked, but he didn't get a reply. He rolled Kira over and felt for a pulse, there was one there, but it was weak.
"Will he require a doctor?" asked N'tieu.
"It may be a good idea," suggested Tyran. Kerrin had already come to Kira's side and helped Nige to pull him up. With an arm around each of them, they dragged him off to the ship's sickbay.
"Well, he should be fine with a bit of rest," said the Iconian doctor as he finished his scans and sat behind his desk once more.
"How long before he wakes up?" asked Nige.
"A day or two should suffice, he just needs time to recuperate."
"Thank you, doctor," said Tyran as he entered the main area of sickbay where Kerrin was standing alongside Kira's bed.
"I want to thank the two of you for coming here," she began. "Without you, we would not have saved this galaxy."
"All in a day's work," said Nige modestly, not knowing what else to say. After all, Kira did do most of the work. Kerrin forced a smile. "The stars have returned to their normal orbits now, everything should be fine from here on. I just wish he were awake to see it."
"Me too," replied Nige as he watched his friend sleep on the bed.
A short little whistling sound came suddenly from the corner of the room and the two turned to find Q sitting on another bed in the sickbay. "Well, well, well. Looks like Marc did it after all," said Q. He jumped up and walked over to the bed. "And he's sleeping too.... perfect, that means you and me can have a little chat, Mr. Tyran. Kerrin, you have one minute to say your good-bye's," Q said with as little emotion as possible.
Kerrin looked displeased with his, but it seemed she knew that she couldn't argue with a Q. She turned to Nige first and took his hand. "Thank you again for all your help. I shall miss you greatly, for you have saved our galaxy and will forever be honored by our people. Take care on your journey home."
"Thank you," replied Tyran.
Kerrin then released Tyran's hand and went to the bedside by Kira. "I wish you could be awake to hear this, but as you're not, I'll have to say it now anyway. You I shall miss most of all, if we had met under different circumstances, then maybe things would have been different... I wish they could have been..."
"Ohh please...," said Q as he rolled his eyes.
"The point I am trying to make Kira, is that in the short time you have been here, I have grown to care for you deeply. You have saved the heart of our galaxy, and so now I give you my heart." She leaned forward and kissed him softly on the forehead. "I love you," she whispered.
"So touching... almost brought a tear to my eye," said Q mockingly. "Are you finished?"
"I have said what I wanted to. You will let him know how I felt, will you?" she asked Tyran.
"Of course, Kerrin."
Kerrin smiled and faded from view in a blinding flash of white light.
As Tyran's vision refocused, he was standing looking out on the Milky Way Galaxy, he turned around to see where he was and found that he was in fact in space, standing there alone.
"And there it is," said Q, appearing from nowhere. "Your Galaxy, the Milky Way, your home. You feel good about yourself that you saved it?"
"Well... I... Kira..."
"I know..." replied Q. "You didn't really do much, did you?"
"Well...," replied Nige, a bit downhearted at Q's comments.
"Relax, your big role is yet to come." Nige looked up with a questionable look on his face.
"What is left to do" The galaxy is safe, isn't it?"
"Yes, but you have a great role left to play in the shaping of it."
"I don't understand..." replied Nige, becoming frustrated.
"Tyran, Kira is a Q."
"Excuse me?" asked Nige in disbelief.
"The *first* Q, to be exact. He is how we began."
"You're not serious!?"
"Deadly serious. But he cannot know this, for it will change the history of the Q and your Galaxy as you know it in ways not even I can foresee. He must discover his purpose and his destiny for himself."
"So, what am I to do?"
"Keep him safe. There are many events in the near future where you will be responsible for his life, many tough choices lie ahead for you, and sacrifices too."
"I cannot tell you the future, Commander. You should know that. For now, the only thing you need worry about is not telling anyone, and especially not him, that this conversation ever occurred."
"How will I know what to do though?"
"When the time comes, you will know. Now, I have played my little part in the shaping of my people, the rest is up to you and Marky-boy over here." Q clicked his fingers and Kira appeared, floating along side them.
"Farewell, Commander. I'll be seeing you soon." He clicked his fingers and everything went dark.
As Tyran regained his vision, he could see the gate room, on the Oo-oo-ah's planet once more. The room was dark and only the light from the cycling images in the gateway provided any kind of illumination. Tyran felt a presence behind him and saw Benton taking in his surroundings as well. Kira was there too, still unconscious -- he was lying on the floor beside the two.
"We did it!" said Tyran as he relaxed. The first time he had done in days.
"But the timeline... how different is it going to be?" asked Benton.
"Exactly how we had left it, minus the Kelvans."
"How is that possible?" asked Benton puzzled.
"Q. He said that he would fix the timeline to be just as we had left it, but without the Kelvans." Seeing the confusion on Benton's face and anticipating his next question, he continued. "I don't know why, all I know is that the Q seem to have some kind of interest in what has happened over the past few days."
Benton, being the only one of them left in a Starfleet uniform, tapped his communicator. "Benton to *Ronin*. Come in please."
[Pike here, Lieutenant. It's good to hear your voice. Are Commanders Tyran and Kira with you?]
[Stand by, we'll beam you aboard shortly. *Ronin* out.]
Lieutenant Hancock and Admiral Pike had met the three in the transporter room, Kira was taken away to sickbay while Pike, Tyran and Benton headed for the bridge. Upon arrival they learned that the timeline had not been completely altered to their liking. The Kelvans were indeed all gone. None showed up on sensors and communication with nearby ships and stations also showed no Kelvans nearby. However, Q had not returned Captain Evans. He had still been killed by the Nausicaan and fallen through the gateway. With Kira in sickbay and Karissa removed from active duty for the time being, Pike remained in command of the *Ronin* for the time being. Slowly, the ship headed off through the Briar Patch back to Starbase 901, where a memorial service for the Captain would be held and the *Ronin's* repairs would be completed.