If I Could Do It All Over Again - A Short Story by @jespah

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If I could do it all over again, I would have pulled rank and gotten a human woman, but we were all far too polite and they were all so deferential and, while it's good to be the captain, it's also sometimes maddening.

Back in 2154, we were thrown back in time. We hit 2037, long before the Xindi weapon was invented, let alone built.

Our mission became not only to stop the Xindi, but to be a generational ship. Twenty-two women and fifty-eight men began to circle each other; everyone wondered who would be the first to blink.

First Kelly and T'Pol, and finally down to Socorro and O'Day, and suddenly, they were all taken.

I was the bachelor captain, amidst a few dozen other guys with no one. We bided our time and wondered if there would be anyone, ever. And then we saw her.

Her ship was trapped in an anomaly. She was Ikaaran. She had a kind of a notched bridge to her nose.

I must've been overeager. I recited poetry, brought flowers from the Botany Lab and had Chef make her his closest approximation to Ikaaran cuisine. When we found a yellowish metal, I got Tucker to fashion it into an engagement ring. It was too big, but that was apparently all right.

She thought I was funny, and charming and take-charge. She lamented my smooth nose but I guess that was okay for she fell in love with me anyway.

But she never told me that Ikaarans live less than fifty years. She was over thirty when we met. I had no idea that we would only have thirteen years together. Lucky? I suppose so, a bit.

And so this beautiful woman, with eyes like coal and her lips were like a ripe strawberry and a smile that could have lit up San Francisco – she is cold and lifeless and lying in a repurposed torpedo tube, and when I give the order, her body will be shot off into space.

And our son, he and I will go on, until I join her, for there will be no one else. And when I look into his face, I will see eyes like coal.

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