Title: Conversation in the Clouds
Disclaimer: I own nothing whatsoever in connection to Angel or DS9.
A/N: Written for the Futuristic Connor Fic-a-Thon. This story is set after the series finale for both Angel and DS9. When I sat down to write this, I suddenly wondered what had possessed me to say that I could write a decent Trek fic. I used to be a Trekkie when I was younger, but I haven’t watched any Trek in years. Um, oops. I was never very satisfied with how they left Sisko’s character, so I chose to deal with that issue.
What You Want To Read
Genre(s): Star Trek DS9, Start Trek: TNG, Star Trek: Original Series
Max Rating: R
Type: humor, romance, supernatural, basically anything
One Thing You Want To See: no matter what type of fic it is, at least some humorous lines
One Thing You Don't Want To See: Connor as a member of the Q continuum
For Cameron - I hope you like it, or at least I hope you don’t run screaming into the hills.
Connor went to bed at 3:17 am. He woke up in a formless white void. There were no points of reference, and the only sounds were some random, and kind of creepy, throbbing pulses.
“Hello? Is anybody there?”
“You know, I really don’t have time for this. I have a Biology mid-term tomorrow morning.”
He turned in a complete circle without seeing or hearing anything. He looked up – nothing, and then down – still nothing. He tried not to shudder at the disconcerting feeling he got from not standing on anything.
Connor spun around to face the voice that came from behind him, from a space that had been empty moments before.
“Faith?” He said with disbelief.
She smiled, strolled over to him, and lightly punched him on the arm. “You look good. I guess all that higher education agrees with you.”
“Yeah, I guess so.” He glanced around once more, “Please tell me I’m not dead.”
“Oh, no, nothing like that. The PTBs just snagged you to help them clean up one of their little messes.”
Connor’s eyes hardened, “What? How can they do that? Angel made his deal so that I would have a normal life without all the danger. And what about you? What are you doing here, wherever here is?”
Faith pulled a pack of smokes out of her pocket and lit one as she figured out which questions to answer first. She took a long drag and exhaled.
With a sweeping gesture she said, “This lovely bit of nothingness is called the Celestial Temple. It’s the home of these guys called the Prophets. They seem to be related to the Powers somehow, second cousins or something. I get the impression that they’re kind of like the aging hippie uncle that dropped acid one too many times in the sixties – generally harmless, but pretty damn weird. Apparently, they took a shine to this guy, Benjamin Sisko, and they’re keeping him here. This seriously screwed up the plans the PTBs had for him, so they’re pretty pissed.”
“That’s too bad.” Connor said with false sympathy.
“My sentiments exactly, especially since they dragged us into it.” Faith flicked her cigarette. She watched the ash fall off the end and get swallowed up by the white mist at her feet.
“And how did they do that?”
“Well, this job isn’t dangerous for you. They just want you to go talk to this Sisko guy. Besides, Angel made the deal with the Wolfram & Hart, so the Powers probably aren’t breaking any rules by drafting you.” Faith looked up into the air and raised her voice, “Not that they would think twice about hijacking a person and using them to take care of their own problems!”
“How’d they get you?” Connor asked.
“I happen to be unconscious from an extra nasty bit of slaying.”
“You’re in another coma?” Connor smothered a grin.
Faith grimaced, “Hey, I can’t help it. These things just happen to me.” She sighed. “Robin is gonna yell when I wake up.”
Connor wisely refrained from teasing her any more on what was obviously a sore subject. “So, now what?”
“Now, you get to go talk to Sisko. The Prophets aren’t exactly keeping him prisoner, but they haven’t told him that he can leave whenever he wants. It has to be his decision, and the Powers want you to talk him into leaving cloud-ville and getting on with the rest of his life.”
“I dunno. I guess they thought you were the best one for the job.” Faith paused for a second, “Now brace yourself.”
She none-too-gently fwapped him upside the head. A rush of images overwhelmed him for a few seconds. He saw a multitude of unfamiliar people, places, and planets. He rubbed one temple and glared at Faith.
“What the hell did you do to me?”
She shrugged unapologetically, “I just caught you up on the last four hundred years of history. You need the background info if you’re going to be able to get through to ol’ Benji.”
“Let me get this straight. We’re in the future?”
“We’re in one possible future. Ben is over that way.” She indicated a direction with a toss of her head. “The Prophets will probably put in an appearance. They’re non-corporeal and non-linear, and they can appear as anybody, so don’t let them throw you for a loop. I gotta go now. Time for me to wake up.” Faith reached out and ruffled Connor’s hair.
As she faded away, Connor heard her faintly say, “Go get’em, kid. I’m proud of you.”
Connor smiled, and then headed off to talk to this Benjamin Sisko guy, fervently hoping that he would be home in time to get some sleep before his mid-term. It was hard to judge distance in the white void, but after a couple of minutes he came face-to-face with his target. Sisko was a tall, good-looking guy, wearing what looked like red and black pajamas.
Sisko looked at him with interest and a bit of confusion. “Hello.”
“I’m Connor, and I’m here to . . . to help you find your way back home.”
Sisko’s widened eyes indicated his surprise. “You aren’t one of the Prophets?”
Connor shook his head. “No, I’m here on behalf of the Powers That Be. They’re kind of related to the Prophets. Apparently, your being here has seriously messed up their plans. They’re hoping I can convince you to go home.”
Sisko laughed. “That’s not a very subtle approach. Besides, I don’t think I get to decide when I go back.”
Connor shrugged, “According to my information, you can leave whenever you want, it’s just that the Prophets never made that part clear. As for my approach, well, I’m here because I wasn’t consulted.” A scowl briefly crossed his face before his expression lightened. “Look, I’m hoping that you choose to go home. That way I can go home too, but I’m not going to sell you out to the Power’s. They tend to have a pretty hands-off policy unless they want something from you. So, the decision is totally up to you, but from the info I got I kind of agree that you should go back to your nifty space station.”
Connor rubbed at his head. “ I got a bit of a refresher course on what’s been going on. It sounds like the Prophets are a lot like the PTBs. Full of vague admonishments, telling you to do something, but never telling you the whole story.”
Despite himself, Sisko looked uncomfortable. “But I’m the Emissary.”
“Um, okaaaay. That title seems to suggest that you’re like a liaison, right?”
“Well, how much liaising are you doing while you’re stuck here in floaty-town?”
“I’m here to learn about the Prophets so that I can understand my role as Emissary. I need to help Bajor and the Federation.”
“That sounds like a good plan, but have you learned anything since you’ve been here? It’s been over six months.”
“Six months?” Sisko was flabbergasted. “I, well, the Prophets aren’t always easy to understand.”
“So I’ve heard.” Connor folded his arms across his chest. “I guess the real question you need to ask yourself is ‘Where are you needed?’ Where do you think you would do the most good? Here, making little to no progress with the cryptic Prophets, or on DS9, with the people that you care about? ”
Sisko’s eyebrows rose as he examined his situation. Just then, a woman with red hair in a mauve uniform appeared.
“The Sisko is confused. The intruder must go.”
Connor rolled his eyes. “Make me.”
A large man with dark skin and a bumpy forehead strode into view.
“They interloper must go. It is not in its proper place or time.”
Connor heartily agreed, “Tell me about it. I’m supposed to be indulging in a rather crucial four hour’s worth of sleep right now.” He turned to face Sisko. “You know, I used to stay up all hours of the night, but since I went to college I suddenly feel the need to take naps in the middle of the day.”
For the first time, Sisko smiled, “That reminds me of my first year at the Academy.”
A man with short curly light brown hair, wearing gold and black pajamas, came onto the scene and addressed the Starfleet officer. “You are the Emissary. You belong here. You must remain.”
“But for how long?” Asked Connor. “He’s been here for months without learning anything!”
“You are a linear being. You fail to recognize that time is irrelevant.” Intoned a short man with incredibly large ears and a garish fashion sense.
“Maybe to you!” Shouted Connor. He turned to face Sisko once more. “Do you think it’s irrelevant to Kasidy, the woman to loves you? Is it irrelevant to your son Jake?” Connor took a deep breath before continuing, “I know what it feels like to be without a father. Do you really think Jake is better off with you here?”
Sisko’s eyes glistened with unshed tears. “No. But I am the Emissary. I’m supposed to be able to help the people of Bajor. That’s millions of people! My destiny is to help them, and I have no idea how to do that!”
Connor harrumphed. “Destiny. I’ve had my own issues with that load of crap. I’m the child of two vampires and I grew up in a hellish demon dimension, but none of that is as bad as trying to figure out what I was destined for.”
“What?” Sisko was clearly disturbed by Connor’s last statement, and the young man felt his credibility slipping.
“Never mind. The point is, you’ll never achieve your purpose in life if you sit around waiting for it to happen. Destiny isn’t always what you think it is. And sometimes you can still find a loophole to get out of it.”
Connor made a sweeping gesture that encompassed the Greek chorus of naysayers that had assumed the form of Sisko’s acquaintances. “These people don’t seem all that concerned with your well-being. They haven’t given you the information you need, but they are trying to keep you from your home and your family. Maybe you do have a destiny, but you don’t seem to be finding it here. So, why don’t you go home? I know that Kasidy and Jake need you.”
Connor paused for a moment before he went on quietly, “One thing I’ve learned is that if you have the chance to be happy, you should take it.”
The Kira-shaped Prophet stepped forward and cast a cool eye toward Connor. “The corporeal being does not understand.”
Sisko rounded on her, “Well, neither does this corporeal being!” I’ve been here for months and I’m no closer to seeing what you want from me. I think I should go back where I’m needed, where I can make a difference.”
Connor grinned, “I’m sure they can get in touch with you if they ever need to re-call you to active Emissary duty.”
Sisko shot a glare at his ‘hosts.’ “You do that. In the meantime, I’m going home.” His nod to Connor was both a gesture of gratitude and of farewell. He closed his eyes and slowly faded from view.
The Prophets were a bit too enigmatic to look pissed off, but they disappeared and left a faint sense of annoyance in their wake. Connor was once again alone in the white mist.
He looked up and spoke into nothingness. “Okay, I’m done. Can I please go home now?”
“Come on! I jumped through your hoops. I talked to the guy. What more do you want?”
The whiteness faded into black.
Connor woke up with a jerk. He caught sight of the glowing numbers of his alarm clock. 4:04 am. He still had over three hours before he needed to get up. Thank the gods. The Powers could go screw themselves.