No gimmicks. No Cavalry riding onto the scene.
Just a Hero. And a decision.
For a few seconds, Jane-Now stares at the Corporal.
“Long time no see, soldier,” she says.
“Yes, ma’am,” he replies, but then pauses. “In a way.”
“In a way?”
“Permission to speak freely, ma’am?”
She hesitates, but then, “Of course.”
“In another way, ma’am, you, I, and this young medic before us have been together at all times, in all places, for years now.”
For a few more seconds, neither says anything.
“True, Corporal,” Jane-Now then says, more to herself. “How very true.”
She looks to McCoy.
“Would you like your soldier back, Sergeant Major?”
McCoy smiles. “While we’ll still be having to call on him at times, ma’am, rest assured: he’s always welcome with us.”
Another pause, and then Jane-Now looks back at the Corporal.
“Thank you ma’am,” he says, as he steps over to join the other Emotions.
For the next several seconds, Jane-Now then stares at Young Jane, the younger woman still kneeling, still lost in thoughts and tears.
“Mr. Scott?” Jane-Now finally says.
“Yes, Ma’am?” Scott replies, stepping forward.
“You know,” she says, still looking at Young Jane. “I’m not sure who this young woman and I even are now, what with the Corporal gone. Funny, isn’t it, how PANIC and GRIEF can become a very part of you?”
“Yes, ma’am,” says Mr. Scott. “Among other things.”
Jane looks at him.
Scott says nothing.
Jane-Now then nods.
“I see. So, my younger self is just a ghost as well, is that it?”
“Yes, ma’am,” says Scott.
“I see. So the question is what we should do now, correct?”
After a pause, Jane looks to the General.
“I can’t help but notice that you’re not jumping in on this one.”
The General steps forward.
“I am always here, Ma’am. My soldiers are always here, ready. But sometimes we do our best work by our presence, not our action. ”
“So it’s up to me, is that what you’re saying?” she asks. “I’m the only one who can free her?”
“With all respect, ma’am,” the General says, “you’re the only one who’s been calling her forth, as the Corporal said, day after day, year after year. You’ve been the only one, ma’am, who’s been unwilling to forgive her youth—and let her go.”
They stare at each other, motionless.
“Ma’am,” the General finally says, “sometimes the greatest act of caring is simply telling the truth.”
With that, he and Scott step back in line with the others.
Jane-Now remains motionless, staring at the spot where the General had stood. Then slowly, she focuses over at the Young Jane.
“Hey, kid!” she finally says.
Young Jane goes still, but does not look up.
“We made it, kid,” Jane-Now continues. “I’m here. You’re here. But…but you shouldn’t be, should you? Here, that is. At least not down there.”
Young Jane, weeping having stopped, still looks down.
“Although I’m not totally convinced myself right now,” Jane-Now continues, “I’ll admit, they are all probably right, you know, right about there having been nothing we could have done.”
Breathing deeply, Young Jane continues to look down.
“There really wasn’t, kid,” Jane-Now says, wiping a tear away. “There…really wasn’t.”
At that, Jane-Now looks away, at nothing in particular, as more tears fall down her cheeks.
“He really was a cute kid, wasn’t he? Remember when . . .?”
And then Jane-Now stops.
She turns to her left and looks directly at Major (MAJ) Chekhov.
“Remember,” Jane-Now whispers to him, although as if to herself.
“Yes, ma’am,” he says. “Remember. It’s your ship, your brain. Your memories.”
He smiles even more.
“Memories made back then,” he continues. “And memories made even as we speak.”
A smile begins to form on Jane-Now’s face as well. Wiping away a tear, she looks down at the Boy.
And she snaps her fingers.
In an instant, Ahmed pops up.
He looks at Jane-Now, confused.
But then he looks down into the Transporter Room area.
“Miss Jane!” he shouts, bounding out of his bed, rushing toward the Mezzanine guardrail.
Young Jane’s head pops up as well. And through her tears, she too beams.
“Ahmed?” she whispers.
“Hello, Miss Jane,” he yells in a slow, accented English, jumping up and down at the guardrail. “It’s me. Ahmed, your rag-a-muf-fin! See, I told you I would remember that word!”
Slowly Young Jane stands up, speaking as if only to herself. “It is you, Ahmed. It…is.”
Jane-Now approaches Ahmed on the guardrail, her eyes, though, now looking back at her younger self.
“See, kid! He’s not gone! I mean, he is, but then…so are you. You’re gone, and…”
Jane-Now stops, wipes away another tear.
“And you’re not, are you.”
A realization. Not a question.
“I have something for you, Miss Jane,” Ahmed shouts down to Young Jane, suddenly putting his hands behind his back.
“You do?” Young Jane laughs, then points to herself. “For me?”
Ahmed nods vigorously.
Young Jane hesitates.
“Hey, kid!” Jane-Now says to her. “Come on! He’s right here. Look, I’ll help you.”
And with that, Jane-Now stretches her hand over the guardrail, down toward the Transporter Room.
“We’re it, kid, you and me. We’re it. And Ahmed.”
Young Jane looks at her, and then slowly approaches. As she does, Jane-Now turns to Ahmed.
“See, Ahmed, there she is! Miss Jane, just like before. Here, give me your hand.”
Ahmed turns to her and smiles.
“You’re Miss Jane too, aren’t you?” he says.
“Yes, Ahmed, I was,” she says.
She pauses, first to wipe a tear, but then to smile.
“And I am,” she says. “I am.”
As Ahmed extends his hand to Jane-Now, she takes it with her left hand.
Just then, Young Jane reaches the guardrail’s edge and extends her hand up.
With her right hand, Jane-Now takes it.
“See?” Jane whispers to both of them. “No need to be apart anymore.”
With that, she draws the Boy’s hand into the Young Medic’s.
But in an instant, she realizes: she is no longer linking two hands together.
Instead, she looks forward to find Ahmed, standing before her, his right hand in her right hand, both of them on the Mezzanine.
When she looks beyond him, she then finds standing with MAJ Chekhov: Ahmed’s Mother, and Grandmama—and Young Jane.
Ahmed squeezes her hand, then pulls his back, reaches into his pocket, and looks up at her.
He hands Jane-Now a chocolate bar.
“See, Miss Jane. I told you. For you. You back then. And you now.”