Buffy belongs to Joss. Star Trek is Gene Roddenberry's creation, though this particular flavor owes much to Abrams, Orci, and Kurtzman. I just like to play in their sandboxes now and then.“But I was.”
Christopher Pike was startled when Faith responded. Sure, he had hoped he’d be the one to get her to finally speak for the first time since the destruction of Nero’s ship, but he hadn’t exactly been holding his breath.
They didn’t know much about the mystery woman from the Narada aside from her name. Dr. McCoy had been able to determine that despite her youthful appearance, she’d been living aboard the Narada
for at least two decades- most likely upwards of twenty-five years. He’d also uncovered some interesting anomalies on both the cellular and genetic levels. McCoy was itching to ask her about them, but with the woman refusing to respond to even basic queries, it would be an exercise in frustration.
Spock had also been able to inform them after his aborted attempt to meld with her mind that she was significantly stronger than even the upper limits of human norms. She hadn’t spoken, but she had made it perfectly clear that she understood his intention and would not permit a meld.
Most of the medical staff, as well as several of the Engineering staff desperate for further details on the Romulan ship, had tried to get her to talk. They’d all been ignored. Prior to Pike’s attempt, the strongest reactions she’d had were to Spock and Kirk. And Kirk had freely admitted that she scared the bejesus out of him- not something he’d ever expected to hear from that brash young man’s mouth.
Kirk had finally fessed up to McCoy- in Pike’s hearing, which had probably been McCoy’s contrivance- that he was pretty sure she’d been involved with Nero’s second in command. Something Ayel had said during their fight coupled with Faith’s reaction to the destruction of the Narada had led him to that conclusion. He took her reaction to his attempt at apology and explanation as confirmation.
Pike had kept his thoughts to himself, but he was fairly sure from what he’d seen of her aboard the Romulan ship that if she’d been angry at Kirk for her lover’s death, she would have done more than just glare at him.
No, his hunch was that there was more than just that to her silence. And then he finally made the connection- the detail that had been bothering him that he hadn’t quite been able to put a finger on. She wasn’t the first being he’d encountered who had refused to speak.
Nero had kept silent during his encounter with the Kelvin. Ayel had done the talking then. Nero had spoken to him at Vulcan, but that had been after the destruction of the fleet sent to aid the planet, when he had been confident his plan to destroy the planet would succeed.
Kirk’s report had said that Nero held Spock from his own time responsible for the destruction of Romulus, and had captured and marooned him on Delta Vega to watch the destruction of Vulcan. In other words, Nero hadn’t spoken until he had his revenge.
Pike had worried for a short time, until he realized that unlike the Romulans he’d encountered on the Narada
, Faith had been pleasant, even cheerful to him. She had been intrigued to see another human. That was when it struck him- she was an innocent in all this.
That was why he’d tried one more time to get her to talk. He’d pointed out that Starfleet could easily decide she was complicit in Nero’s atrocities. He hadn’t expected that to be what finally cracked the dam.
The stricken eyes that looked at him held nothing but devastation.
“How?” he asked, forcing himself to keep his voice neutral. “You don’t seem to have been a very vital member of the crew.”
She shook her head.
“I’ve been aboard for years.”
“How long?” he asked, aware that he’d just gotten more from her in five minutes than anyone else had in five days.
“I don’t know,” she said softly. “Stopped counting. It didn’t matter. Thirty, maybe?”
“How did you come to be on the Narada
in the first place? Humans aren’t usually found aboard Romulan vessels.”
“They saved me,” she said, her voice a little firmer.
“Where? And when? We know they were from the future.”
“From the future? We’ve gone back in time?”
Her bewilderment was almost child-like.
“For someone who claims to be complicit, you don’t seem to know very much about what was going on,” Pike pointed out.
“Doesn’t matter,” she replied steadily, her eyes anywhere but on him. “I was there. I was part of the crew. I ate their food and laughed at their jokes. I counted myself as one of them and they treated me like I was.”
“When did you find out what they were planning?” Pike asked.
“Planning?” she replied, her voice so bitter Pike suddenly understood why Kirk had been intimidated. “I didn’t find out until it was done. You know they destroyed a whole planet and I didn’t even notice?”
Before Pike could reply, she continued, visibly more upset with every word.
“And they were going to attack Earth next. Not one of the people I lived with for years thought that was a detail important enough to mention. Even though they knew-”
She stopped abruptly. Pike worried she was reverting to silence, but then she shook her head.
“It doesn’t matter. It’s over. I was part of genocide on a scale I can’t even wrap my head around. I’m just as bad as Spock. Whatever your Starfleet wants to do with me is fine. Just as long as I don’t have to deal with people ever again.”
There was more to the story, Pike knew. But he felt like for today, it was enough that Faith had finally spoken, and gotten her perceived guilt out in the open instead of letting it fester inside her head. With any luck, she’d keep talking now that she’d finally broken her silence. He should probably turn her over to a trained therapist, assuming McCoy still had one on his decimated staff.
“Maybe you’ll change your mind on that,” he told her. He wasn’t sure why, but he added, “Stranger things have happened. Just ask Jim Kirk.”