Captain's log, supplemental: The Enterprise has arrived in orbit after her long chase with Tomalak, who will have a story of mixed success and defeat to tell his superiors. Any Romulan ship that may be about for the purpose of picking up the trihraka team is wisely staying cloaked and avoiding our notice, or has even more wisely departed Federation territory entirely. The Ferengi diplomatic courier has disappeared into thin space; whether it may have been the pickup ship, we will never know.
Mr. Data, Mr. LaForge, and Mr. Worf are preparing a report to Starfleet on the new developments in Romulan cloaking technology.
The Away Team is back on the Enterprise, including Counselor Troi, who is accompanied by the Vulcan healer Stark. Stark will be assisting her in retraining her normal memory functions.
The balance of the Easter Station personnel have elected to remain on the station pending the Federation Council's decision on the disposition of Project Easter. With the notable exception of Dr. Carol Marcus.
"The Federation will have to recreate Easter without me, if it's going to try," Marcus said to Picard and Crusher. She and Stark had brought Troi for a tour of the bridge, which duty Riker had assumed. But Marcus had joined Picard and Crusher standing at bridge center. "Frankenstein and Gilgamesh ... You can add Jim's name to that list in place of mine if you want, Captain. He certainly got more joy out of the quest to cheat Death than I ever did."
"I think your decision's for the best, for all concerned," Picard said. "Even if the Federation does revive Easter, without your help it may take long enough to make the project operational that the people of the galaxy will be ready for it by then."
"What will it take for people to be ready for it?" Crusher asked. She had rallied from her initial great disappointment at the destruction of Easter, but Picard suspected that he wouldn't get much eaten at their next meal together.
Still, he might circumvent much discussion by airing his position now. "People have to realize that death has its proper place. I don't begrudge Kirk the success of his quest, but what I don't believe Kirk ever realized is that Death is part of the cycle, part of - life. Oh, he could grasp it on the intellectual level. As an admiral he personally ran the Kobayashi Maru simulation at Academy Command School for some years. But when he himself took the simulation as a cadet -" Picard left his sentence unfinished, as their expressions made it obvious that both doctors knew the story. Its retelling was the opening chapter of The Quest to Cheat Death.
The doctors followed Picard as he moved to the bridge's center seat. Crusher sat in Riker's chair at Picard's right, and at her invitation Marcus sat on the left in Troi's accustomed place. Riker was showing Troi and Stark the conn station.
"Nothing, no one lasts forever, and this is how it should be," Picard concluded. "In Eden Man chose to eat from the Tree of Knowledge instead of the Tree of Life, and only in Eden may Man again find the Tree of Life. And even Kirk knew that Man no longer belongs in Eden." Picard faced the front of the bridge. "Mr. Crusher! Shall we resume our interrupted mission?"
"Course plotted and laid in."
With his characteristic salute, Picard ordered, "Engage."
Le Morte d'Spock, c. 247000:
Anon Captain Kirk and and his crew left Vulcan and returned to Earth, where they were put on trial for their offenses against the Starfleet. It is said that they were hailed as the heroes they were. It is said they were rewarded with another ship called Enterprise. And it is even said that they sailed that new Enterprise to look upon the face of God.
But it is also said that, having conquered Death as we have here seen, Captain Kirk and his crew live still; and that they will return to Earth in its time of greatest need.
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