This is a continuation of the story. To see part one view the previous post.
Picard plays holo chess with members of his crew. Looks like he already captured three queens.
Captain Picard sits in his ready room with head hung low. He has come to the realization that the Enterprise must move on from the so far fruitless search for the missing shuttlecraft Einstein. Its been several days with no sign of where it could have gone.
Counselor Troi enters at his request and he tells her that the search is over for them. She senses he does not believe the missing crew are dead, but understands that isn’t justification enough to continue looking. Picard tasks her with arranging the funeral while he informs the families.
Jean Luc visits Beverly Crusher first. She stops him before he can even begin. His face makes it obvious what he came to say–she’s seen it before.
He laments ever having let Wesley get on that shuttle, but Beverly points out that if he hadn’t, some other mother or spouse would be receiving this news instead. Wesley knew what he was signing up for better than most and he still accepted the risks.
Jean Luc remarks on how special Beverly is before he takes his leave to continue with his task. But he offers to come back and talk later which Beverly accepts. As the door closes, she looks down at her son’s picture and weeps.
Meanwhile in the Einstein, Wesley is at the helm with ensign Nigata at the second seat. The search for a way of rescue has turned up nothing. Nigata says “still nothing” and Wesley corrects her “nothing yet”
Commander Riker remains in stable condition and may even wake up. Ensign Faraday, on the other hand, has trouble trying to sleep. She admits to Worf she is full of regrets and fear. The Klingon reminds her they are not dead, and as for fear…
Worf relays a saying he once learned from his human parents. His parents having been quoting a man named Samuel Clemens. (It is a real quote you can look it up!)
Captain Picard stands in front of a gathering of people in the holodeck. Everyone is in their dress uniform with their heads hung low.
He speaks of Will Riker and how much he knew him–and how little. How much more he could have known if only Will was still with us. He didn’t just lose an officer in Will, but also a friend.
Deanna gets up next to talk about Worf. She speaks of his independence and pride and also his love of the ship and crew (although he would balk at the use of that particular word). And although they don’t know for certain what happened, she is sure that if he is dead, he died with honor.
Geordi gets up last to speak about Wesley. Rather than give a story or poetic epitaph, he shares a memory. Wesley sitting cross-legged on the catwalk with a frequency modulator in front of him. Its in pieces, but Wesley isn’t doing anything with them.
He just sits there in the catwalk, staring at all the parts in front of him. And he is truly happy.
News travels around the Federation of the loss of the Einstein and its crew. Admiral Riker receives the notice in his office. He had just gotten his son back, and now he’s gone again.
Lwaxana receives the word from a man named Lytos and he confirms Deanna was not on board. For a moment, a wave of relief washes over Mrs. Troi but then she remembers those lost were still Deanna’s friends.
Dr. Pulaski is informed of the shuttle disappearance by her captain. She asks for the names of all gone and he relays them to her: Riker, Wesley Crusher, Worf, Selar, Gold, Marino, Faraday, and Nigata.
Since the majority of the crew were medical staff, she knew them better than most.
A shuttle lands in front of a desert dwelling and a Vulcan man knocks on the door. A man named Selak and his wife open the door to learn there is news of their daughter. But it is not good news. They invite the man in out of the sun.
As the shuttlecraft continues through space, Wesley excitedly announces he’s got a reading. Signs of life nearby!
The crew immediately gets excited about their chance for a rescue, but Worf tempers their enthusiasm. This is not a Federation outpost. We do not know who these people are. They may be unable to help, or they may be unwilling. They may even be hostile.
While they can’t ignore the chance of rescue, Worf orders that they proceed with caution.
Captain Picard sits in the holodeck alone. The empty chairs remain all around him and he contemplates why he is unable to mourn the loss of his crew.
In an attempt at closure, Jean Luc has the computer create holographic likenesses of Worf, Riker, and Wesley similar to the one used for Tasha Yar’s funeral.
He tells them how proud he is of them and how glad he was to have them with him on this journey. He apologizes for not having said so before, citing a busy captains schedule as an excuse.
He tells the three how much he admires them, but finally stops himself short. This isn’t working. They’re not dead and he can’t mourn them as long as they’re alive out there awaiting rescue! Picard ends the program and walks out of the holodeck.
The Einstein pulls up to a large structure in space. It looks like a giant mess with multiple different ships stuck together in to one massive… Thing.
The mess of ships doesn’t appear to have any sort of propulsion. Will it even be able to help them?
They fly in to take a closer look…
They really took their time giving us a look at the impact that the loss of crew can have on their friends and family and I appreciate that. This issue was full of very touching moments showing how much these people care for one another.
I kind of wish the way they did this story was give us all of the mourning and funeral stuff before ever letting us know the shuttle is actually in tact. I think some of the impact is lost when you know for a fact the crew is alive.
There’s a fun story from the editor in this month’s issue.
Speaking of Denise. This comes from a fan who relies on BBC so while season 4 was nearing its end for us in the states when this comic came out, they had only seen the first season!