written by Travis Cannon

Lieutenant Norman Craig laid on a beach chair in black swim shorts with a small picture of the Starfleet logo on the bottom of the right leg. He wore dark sunglasses to block the sun from hitting his eyes. He laid with his hands behind his head, basking in the sunlight and listening to the gentle splash of the wave against the sandy shore. There  was an empty beach chair next to him on the white sand. In a couple of minutes Ensign Tracy Carson stepped over in a two part swimsuit and sat down on the empty beach chair. Craig looked up and smiled.

“Hi, sweetie,” Craig said.

“Hi, yourself,” Tracy replied, she took out some sun screen. “Here, rub the sun screen on my back.”

Craig sat up and took the plastic bottle.

“Okay,” Craig said, “but I don't see the point.”

“Just keeping it authentic,” Tracy said beaming with happiness.

Craig squeezed the bottle and white form shot out of the bottle landing in his hand. He leaned forward and began rubbing his sunscreen soaked hand on Tracy's back shoulders. He leaned forward and smelled her hair.

“Nice,” Craig said.

“Huh?” Tracy inquired.

“Your hair,” Craig said. “It smells nice.”

“Oh,” Tracy said giggling. “Thank you.”

An awkward moment of silence followed. Tracy turned around and looked into Craig's eyes. Craig smiled back. Tracy closed her eyes. Slowly they leaned closer together and soon their lips touched each other.

Their embrace ended and Craig leaned back. He finished rubbing the sunscreen on Tracy's back.

“You know,” he said, “I still don't get it? Why sun screen? The sun is holographic?”

“As I said before,” Tracy said, a little disappointed with the topic. “Just trying to make it authentic. You know this isn't exactly the really Hawaii.”

“Yeah,” Craig said. “But there's nothing authentic about that. Hawaii's been under water for two hundred years, when global warming caused the ice caps to melt.”

“Just try and have a good time,” Tracy said.

“As long as you're with me, I will,” Craig said, leaning back against the beach chair. Craig looked out at the sea and watch as a young holographic boy ran by, chased by a very exhausted holographic father.

“Give me it back!” the father shouted.

“You'll have to catch me first, ha, ha!” the boy replied.

Tracy suddenly pulled her book over her face. Craig glanced over.

“What's the matter?” Craig inquired.

Tracy lowered the book.

“Sorry,” Tracy said. “I almost forgot that this was a holodeck.”

“Are you worried about people finding out about us?” Craig inquired.

“Well... I don't know... yes,” Tracy said.

“Why?” Craig asked.

“Well, you're a lieutenant,” Tracy said. “And I'm an ensign.”

“And a very pretty one, might I add,” Craig said with a grin.

Tracy slapped him with her book.

“Ouch,” Craig said rubbing his head, “What was that for?”

“I don't know,” Tracy said. “Thought I saw a bug.”

“Oh, very funny,” Craig said, leaning over and patting her bear leg.

Tracy smiled and giggled.

“What?” Craig said.

“You doing it,” Tracy said.

“Doing what?” Craig said.

“That thing you do,” Tracy said.

Craig smiled.

“What thing I do?” Craig said as he leaned forward.

They kissed again. Craig backed away and placed his hands back behind his head, basking in the holographic sun.

“What do couples do on there..., what number are we on?” Craig said.

“I've lost count,” Tracy said.

Craig leaned over on his side, and propped his head up with his elbow.

“You know,” Craig said, “I'm happy that we got stuck on the Tealuians planet.”

Tracy smiled.

“So am I,” Tracy said.

“You never answered my question, though,” Craig said.

“Ah, come on!” Tracy said. “You still have to ask?”

“Just like asking,” Craig said. “My mother said I was too questioning, so she sent me to Starfleet Academy. Now she's got a curious, questioning Starfleet officer.”

Tracy laughed. Suddenly a big tall, handsome holographic beach man walked up and smiled at Tracy.

“Hello, beautiful,” the holographic man said.

Tracy turned and looked at the holographic man.

“Why hello,” Tracy said.

Craig rolled his eyes.

“Computer, delete character,” Craig commanded.

There was an electronic hum and the man faded away.

“Oh my god,” Tracy said. “Aren't you the jealous one.”

“Jealous? Who, me?” Craig said.

“Come off it Norman,” Tracy said. “He was a hologram. Like that would lead anywhere.”

“Thank you for that inspiring words of wisdom for me,” said a familiar voice.

Craig and Tracy turned to see the Emergence Medical Hologram standing behind them.

“What are you doing here?” Craig asked.

“I don't know” the EMH said. “Would you tell me?”

“I don't know,” Craig said.

“My program has been transferred to the holodeck for a specific reason,” the EMH said, “I'd like to know why!”

A holographic bikini girl walked up and rubbed the EMH's shoulder. The EMH eyed her.

“Not that I don't mind,” the EMH said, “It's just that my skills maybe required.”

“You have that right,” said the bikini girl.

The EMH smiled quickly and slowly moved away from the girl and closer to Craig and Tracy.

“Dr. Braga is much more... how do you say it... ah, yes,” the EMH said. “He's been very kind to me. He has employed my skills, where my program could be useful.”

“Well I'm sure this is all really fascinating, Doc,” Craig said. “But Tracy and I are trying to have a private vacation.”

“Oh, sorry,” the EMH said. “I was not aware the you two were an, as they say it, item.”

“Well we are,” Tracy said with a smile. “And we'd kind of like to keep it secret.”

“Secret?” the EMH said. “I'm not sure how long it can be kept a secret. I mean you are both sharing holodeck time.”

“People would just think that we are friends playing a holodeck game,” Craig said.

“Not in Hawaii,” the EMH said.

“He's got a point there, honey,” Tracy said.

Craig nodded.

“I concede my point,” Craig said.

“A little bit too late for that, Lt. Craig,” the EMH said.

Craig stood up.

“Well, let's find out why your here, Doc,” Craig said walking over to a coconut tree.

He got down to his knees and pressed the side of the trunk of the tree and a panel snapped open. Craig took the panel off and looked down at the console. He punched it. He lowered his eyebrows.

“That's strange,” Craig said.

“What?” Tracy said, standing behind him.

“I'm not getting any data from the bridge,” Craig said.

He turned around and looked up at Tracy.

“Where's your combadge?” Craig asked.

“It's in the hotel room,” Tracy said.

Craig shook his head.

“Damn,” Craig said. “I know that that's really only a couple of feet away, but since this is a holodeck it'll take us two hours to get it.”

“Let me handle it,” Tracy said. “After all, I am the communications officer on this ship.”

She gave Craig a wink and squatted down next to the console. She tapped in some commands and the computer hummed.

“Ensign Carson to the Captain,” Tracy said.

No reply. Tracy looked at Craig. He shrugged.

“Try again,” Craig said.

Tracy punched in the commands again.

“Carson to Captain Kelsoe,” Tracy said. “Are you receiving me? Captain?”

Still no response. Tracy placed her hands on her hips.

“Computer, locate Captain Kelsoe,” Tracy said.

“Captain Kelsoe is not on the ship,” the computer's voice said.

“Is anyone on the ship?” Craig asked.

There was an electronic hum and then, “Negative.”

Tracy looked at Craig wide eyed. Craig sighed.

“Well, it looked like well have to cut our vacation short,” Craig said. “Computer archway.”

There was an electronic hum and the archway dissolved into existence. Craig walked over to the beach chair and picked up his shirt. Tracy went back to the empty holographic transport and changed quickly into her Federation civilian clothing. The EMH stood there dumbfounded. Both Tracy and Craig were standing at the archway.

“What am I supposed to do?” the EMH said.

“Stay tight,” Craig said, “Do go anywhere.”

The bikini girl walked up to the EMH again.

“I don't think I have any choice,” the EMH said looking at the holographic girl.

Tracy and Craig walked towards the holodeck's double door and left.

The hallway was lit as it normally would be. Nothing appear wrong, except for the fact that no one was walking around. Craig and Tracy walked down the hallway to the turbo-lift. The doors slide opened and they stepped in.

“The bridge,” Craig commanded.

The doors closed with a hissed and the turbo-lift hummed as it began its journey to the bridge. In a matter of seconds the doors opened and they found themselves walking onto an empty bridge. Craig looked around. He walked up to his station and looked down at the console.

“Everything registers normal,” Craig said. “Running scan for any unusual anomalies.” There was a short pause as Craig ran the scan. “Nothing unusual.”

Tracy stepped over to the communications station.

“I'll see if we made any contact with anybody,” Tracy said.

She looked down at her glowing console. Craig stared at her. Tracy noticed his stare.

“Yes?” she inquired.

“Oh, nothing,” Craig said looking away.

“Hmm,” Tracy said looking at the communications logs.

“What?” Craig asked looking back.

“We made contact with a species known as the Veesem,” Tracy said.

“How long ago was that?” Craig inquired.

“According to communication logs, three hours ago,” Tracy said.

Craig looked down at his console and typed.

“That's interesting,” Craig said. “My station as no reading of a new ship, or species.”

“But it has it in the communication logs,” Tracy said.

Craig walked out behind his station and behind Tracy.

“Is there anyway you can retrieve the communication between the Veesem and the Pioneer?” Craig inquired.

“I'll try,” Tracy said.

Craig walked back to this console and began working.

“Wait!?” Craig said. “Do you know if the emergence holographic generators have been placed around the ship yet?”

“I don't know?” Tracy said. “Check. I'm busy.”

Craig smiled.

“Checking,” Craig said. “Yes! They were installed before we left Deep Space Five.”

“So what?” Tracy asked.

“The holographic doctor can walk about the ship, and help us,” Craig said.

“Yeah,” Tracy said. “That will give Pioneer a three person crew.”

“If you can call the Doc a person,” Craig said.

“Jesus Norman,” Tracy said. “What's with you and holograms?”

“Bad childhood experience,” Craig said.

“Yeah right,” Tracy said.

They laughed and then become serious. Craig typed at his console.

“I'm turning the emitters on,” Craig said. “They're working. Transfer the EMH from the holodeck.”

The was a buzzing sound and the EMH materialized in front of them.

“Hello, Doc,” Craig said.

The EMH nodded.

“Thank you for getting me out of there,” the EMH said.

He looked around and noticed that he was on the bridge.

“I see that this ship as been equipped with emergence holographic emitters,” the EMH said. “Very wise, if you ask me.”

“Look, Doc,” Craig said. “We've got a problem here. It seems like the entire crew is missing.”

“Missing?” the EMH said.

“Do you know anything about the Veesem?” Craig asked. “According to the communication logs that was the last communication sent out before everyone disappeared.”

“Sorry,” the EMH said nodding. “I'm afraid I know nothing about the Veesem.”

Craig shook his head.

“We've got to find out what happened, and how to fix it,” Craig said.

Tracy nodded.

“I'm sending the Veesem frequency to your station,” Tracy said. “Maybe you can find out their course.”

“That's possibility,” Craig conceded.

Craig looked down at his console when it beeped.

“I've got the frequency,” Craig said. “Setting sensors to match it... Yes! I'm picking up a trail left by the Veesem.”

“What do you want me to do?” the EMH inquired.

“Do you know how to pilot a starship?” Craig asked.

“No,” the EMH said. “Dr. Lewis Zimmerman did not programmed my hands to work magic on patients in need of health care, not to pilot a starship through space.”

“Just 'no' would have been fine,” Craig said as he stepped out from behind his station and down to the helm station.

Craig sat down in Zimmer's sit and typed in some commands.

“I'm still picking up the Veesem's frequency path,” Craig said.

“That's just grand,” the EMH said. “What am I to do?”

“Just sit tight, Doctor,” Craig said. “Well need you're help once we get the crew back.”

The EMH paced back and forth and then sat down in Captain Kelsoe's chair. Craig punched in some commands and the ship moved forward.

“Plotting in the same course,” Craig said, “Starting warp engines.”

“Do you have to tell us everything that you do?” the EMH asked.

“It's Starfleet protocol,” Craig said.

“Well, according to Starfleet protocol who's in-charge of the ship?” the EMH inquired.

“Me,” Craig said. “And I saw we follow Starfleet protocol and get back the crew.”

The EMH rolled his eyes.

“Very well.”

The Pioneer coasted through warp as Craig and Tracy sat near her station and the EMH paced around the entire bridge. Craig placed his hand on Tracy's shoulder.

“Don't worry, Tracy,” Craig said. “Well get them back.”

Tracy nodded slowly.

“How as it be going with the Veesem's language?” Craig said, changing the subject.

“From what I can tell, the Veesem were really mad about something,” Tracy said. “But after that it become nonsense.”

The intercom control started to beep. Craig stood up and walked over to the helm. He looked down at the console.

“We've reached the end of the frequency path,” Craig said. “Dropping out of warp.”

As they watched the screen, the stars slowed down as soon they saw a big brown colored ship the shape of a triangle in front of them. Craig turned back to Tracy.

“Hail them,” Craig said.

Tracy nodded and punched the command on her console.

“They're responding,” Tracy said.

The screen blinked and they saw a figure that glowed green.

“What do you want with us, again?” said a perfect sounding voice.

“You..., you speak our language?” Craig said.

“It has been long enough since our last encounter for us to learn,” the glowing figure said. “It is a simply language compared to ours.”

“Look,” Craig said. “Tracy and I went present during our last encounter. I'm not sure what we wanted from you, or who you are?”

“We are the Veesem,” said the perfect voice coming from the glowing figure.

“We know you're species name, but who are you?” Craig asked.

“I am the Veesem, the Veesem is me,” the glowing figure said. “We have manifested us in a form that maybe more to your liking. Easier for you to see us.”

Craig turned around and looked at Tracy, then the EMH.

“A species like the Borg?” Craig said softly. “One conscience?”

“Possible,” said the EMH. “I suggest you ask more questions.”

“See if they know what happened to the crew,” Tracy suggested.

Craig nodded, and turned around.

The glowing form had grown blue eyes. The creature obviously could read Craig's expression.

“Form still changing to fit your species,” the Veesem said. “Soon it will be complete.”

And that it was. In less than one minute the creature looked exactly like a human being. In fact it looked a lot like Captain Kelsoe.

“Captain?” Craig said softly.

“No,” said the Veesem. “This is merely a form we sensed would be pleasing to you.”

Craig looked at Tracy and then turned back.

“How do you know we wanted to find our Captain?” Craig asked.

“You speak, do you not,” the Veesem said. “You long to find your shipmates.”

“Do you know what happened to them?” Craig inquired.

“They are gone,” the Veesem said.

“I know that,” Craig said. “But where did they go?”

“That is beyond your comprehension, earth creature,” the Veesem said, it began to glow again, and transform back into the glowing figure. Suddenly Craig saw a reflection of himself on the screen.

“This figure is pleasing to the female,” said the Veesem.

Then it shifted again and Craig saw Tracy in her swim suit.

“This is pleasing for you,” said the Veesem.

It then shifted back into Kelsoe.

“This is a pleasing sight for both of you,” the Veesem said.

“Please, no more games,” Craig said. “You were the last ones to communicate with our ship, you must know something.”

“You do not back down, do you?” the Veesem said. “Interesting aspect to your species. You are noble, a quality we lack.”

Craig shivered. These Veesem sounded a lot like the Borg.

“Have you heard of the Borg?” Craig inquired.

“Yes,” the Veesem said. “You think that we are like them. You are false in your assumption. The Borg assimilate, we do not. We merely consume knowledge. After all, earth creature, knowledge is power.”

“What are you doing?” Tracy asked standing up. “Show us your true form.”

“Our true form is not what you desire,” the Veesem said transforming into Craig, again. “You desire this person, yet your rules keep things awkward between you.”

Tracy looked at Craig.

“Its right there,” the EMH said. “I have noticed it. It makes it very obvious you two have affection for each other.”

Craig turned and looked up at the Veesem.

“I'll tell you what I desire,” Craig said. “I want the crew back.”

“If we could bring them back, they would not wish it,” the Veesem said

“Will you care to explain?” Tracy said, stepping down to stand next to Craig.

“We will explain,” said the Veesem, still in its Craig form. “They are in a better place then this. We, the Veesem, are from that place. We have been sent to select the individuals who are worthy to come go to the Vice, and we send them there. They have a better life. A life of pure pleasure. A paradise compared to your ship. We have scanned you, too.”

“Well?” Tracy said. “Are we worthy to go to the Vice?”

“Difficult,” the Veesem said, transforming into the glowing figure. “Difficult, indeed. We must think about this. Contact us in one hour.”

The transmission was terminated by the Veesem.

“Scan the ship,” Craig said to EMH. “There as got to be lifeforms aboard that thing. It's huge.”

EMH stepped over to Braxis' science station and looked down at the console, while typing in some commands.

“Sensors are picking up lifeforms, Lt. Craig,” said the EMH. “Odd.”

“What?” Tracy said.

“The lifeforms appear not be made of the same molecules as the Veesem we just spoke to,” the EMH said. “They have a completely different molecular make-up.”

“Can you explain it in english, Doctor?” Craig said.

“The Veesem we spoke to was pure matter, a holographic system similar to myself, if you will,” said the EMH.

“A hologram?” Craig said.

“Yes, Lt. Craig, that's what I said,” the EMH said with a depressing tone. “All because I'm a hologram doesn't mean I'm not here.”

Tracy gave Craig a little punch on his shoulder.

“Okay, sorry,” Craig said. “Just that my Dad didn't like that Starfleet was making you.”

“May I ask you way?” the EMH asked.

“He's a doctor,” Craig said. “You've got some of my Dad's theories programmed into you.”

“Ah, yes,” the EMH said. “Dr. Eugene Patton Craig, he specialized in genetic engineering.”

“I know, I'm is son,” Craig said.

“As you said earlier, yes,” the EMH said. “I can hear, you know.”

Craig sighed, then realized something.

“Jesus I'm hungry,” Craig said.

“Then let's have lunch in the mess hall,” Tracy said. “Well have it all to ourselves.”

Craig and Tracy walked towards the turbo-lift.

“Um, considering that I do not nutrition to survive,” the EMH said. “I guess I'll stay here and monitor the new lifeforms.”

“You do that, Doc,” Craig said. “And try and find out who and what they are.”

“Lt. Craig, I'm a doctor, not a detective!” the EMH said as the turbo-lift doors closed.

Craig and Tracy returned from their lunch when the hour they were waiting to end was almost up. The EMH was still standing at the science station.

“Ah, you've decided to return,” the EMH said cheerfully.

“What are you so happy about?” Craig asked.

Tracy gave Craig another little punch in his shoulder.

“Ouch, sorry Doc,” Craig said rubbing his shoulder.

“I have discovered the Veesem,” the EMH said. “The Veesem are the operators of the hologram.”

“What do that look like?” Craig said.

“I've been able to scan them enough to find out,” the EMH said, and turned and punched a button.

A monitor lit up and showed a diagram of the Veesem true appearance.

“My god, they look like...,” Craig could not finish his sentence.

“Angels,” Tracy finished it.

“Precisely,” the EMH said. “However upon inspection of their wings, I've notice that they are not made of feathers, rather bone.”

“Bone?” Craig said. “How's that?”

“Think of it as a bird's wing,” the EMH said. “It's all really bone beneath it.”

“Then how come the sensor diagram shows something where the feathers usually are,” Craig asked.

“Its a substance unknown to my programming and the Federation database,” the EMH said. “However I believe that it is similar to the material that made up their hologram.”

“This doesn't make sense,” Tracy said.

“I understand that this may seems strange,” the EMH said. “But I believe that we are in a sense, dealing with a higher power.”

Craig nodded.

“It's about time to contact the Veesem, again,” Craig said. “Doc, if they decide to send us, you'll be in-charge to the ship.”

“Okay, Lt. Craig,” the EMH said.

Craig walked down to the center of the bridge and looked over at Tracy, who was at her station.

“Open a channel,” Craig said.

Tracy nodded and did so. The green glowing figure appeared on the screen.

“We have decided,” said the Veesem.

“And?” Craig said.

“Only one out of the two is allowed to go,” the Veesem said. “The Vice will only except one right now.”

“Who has the Vice excepted?” Craig inquired.

“The female,” the Veesem said. “The female may go.”

Craig almost became teary eyed. He had been rejected. It brought back painful memories of childhood. As a young boy his father had rejected Craig of having any potential of following in the medical field. That was indeed Craig's first passion. So instead of studying into biological science, Craig had studied the science of engineering. Craig excelled in the field of engineering and tactical operations, which ultimately earned him a seat on the senior staff of the U.S.S. Pioneer, but still did not earn his father's respect. Even though he showed his father respect, he did not receive that respect back. His father had rejected him.

Craig cleared his throat. Tracy could tell something was upsetting Craig.

“May I ask way I have not been chosen?” Craig inquired.

“You struggle with something deep inside of yourself, things are not mended,” said the Veesem. “She is clear of all struggle. She may go to the Vice.”

Craig turned his back to the view screen and stepped over to Tracy. He leaned closer to her and spoke softly.

“I believe I know how to get them back,” Craig said.

“How?” Tracy asked.

“Tell them to think of something that they struggle with,” Craig said.

“Okay,” Tracy said. “Are sure it will work?”

“Yes,” Craig said. “And you must find something.”

“Don't worry, I have one,” Tracy said.

“Alright,” Craig said.

He turned back to the view screen.

“You may take her to... this Vice,” Craig said.

“The Vice welcomes the female,” the Veesem said.

There was a flash of purple light and Tracy had disappeared. Craig turned to the EMH.

“I hope that that ultimate pleasure thing he talked about doesn't convince her to stay in the Vice,” Craig said.

“I'm sure that her love for you will bring her back,” the EMH said.

Craig slowly sat down in Tracy's chair. He propped his head up with his elbow against the console's surface. The EMH worked at the science station. An hour passed and nothing happened. Craig became worried.

Craig typed a command on the communication console and opened a channel with the Veesem.

“Ah, you again, what may we do for you?” the Veesem said.

“Why hasn't Tracy returned with the others?” Craig demanded.

“She has chosen to remain in the Vice,” the Veesem said. “We cannot blame her. We too desire to go, but cannot. We must spread the word.”

“Look!” Craig said. “I'm sick and tire of your religious nonsense! I want my people back! All of them!”

“You ask the impossible,” the Veesem said.

“If you can send people to the Vice, you can bring them back,” Craig said.

“Impossible,” the Veesem said. “Once taken cannot return. It is the way, as always been.”

Craig turned to the EMH.

“Are you thinking what I'm thinking?” Craig asked.

“I believe so Lieutenant,” the EMH said and punched a command.

There was a blue dazzle of light and one of the angel Veesem's appeared on the bridge via-transporter. The Veesem looked shocked. He stumbled back, and Craig saw that it was not all angel like. Its color was pale and decaying. Its face look more like a skull of a feline. Its stubby feet were hardly enough to support the wings of pure glowing matter, which glowed green like their hologram. The thing waved its arms around, terrified.

“No one as down this,” it said. “No one has shown such will to retrieve those who have gone into the Vice. They believe, you do not.”

“What truly is this Vice?” Craig said stepping towards the frighten little thing.

“The Vice?” said the Veesem creature. “We Veesem have discovered the gateway to an alternate dimension. We have traveled across the universe in such for species capable of transporting to this the Vice. All have succeed, but have never returned.”

“Why haven't you been able to transport to it?” Craig inquired.

“Technology not sufficient, will power corrupt,” said the Veesem creature. “However this technology you've displayed to transport me from our ship to your ship may yet allow us to go. Yes, it will work. It can break our genetic code down and then re-materialize us. It can do it I say!”

“Why the hologram, why the deception?” Craig inquired.

“Our appearance not welcoming,” said the Veesem creature. “We found way  to make..., how to you say... communicating better. Give people what they like, then they'll listen. You're crew willing to listen. They shall return with this technology.”

Craig had helped the Veesem place the transporter technology on their ship and they were now ready to try it. Craig had talked the Veesem into transporting the crew back from the Vice first, before going into it.

Now Craig stood on the bridge of the Pioneer waiting for word from the Veesem. The intercom beeped and Craig opened a channel. The Veesem Craig had transported over appeared on the screen.

“We are ready,” the Veesem said.

“Alright, I'm standing by,” Craig said.

“Beginning transportation,” the Veesem said.

Blue light engulfed the bridge, as well as all the rooms and hallways of the Pioneer. When the blue light of the transport dissipated the crew was back on the onboard. Kelsoe stood behind Zimmer, who was siting at his station. Braxis and Tuff were at their stations. Dr. Braga and Burt stood beside the turbo-lift doors and Tracy was siting at her station. Craig sighed with relief. He looked up at the Veesem on the screen.

“It worked,” Craig said, rolling over the data from his console. “We have everyone back.”

“We thank you for your help, earth creature, farewell,” the Veesem said and then ended the transmission.

The whole bridge watched as the Veesem's triangle shaped ship disappeared in a flash of blue and purple light. Craig sank to his knees. Dr. Braga rushed over and took out his medical tricorder. Kelsoe turned around and walked up to Craig.

“What happened?” Kelsoe inquired.

“You were transported to the Vice, an alternate dimension by the Veesem,” Craig said.

“An alternate dimension?” Kelsoe said. “But I was back on earth, in my home with... my wife.”

“According to the Veesem,” Tracy said standing up. “It was place were everyone would find perfect pleasure and happiness. But I could not be totally happy knowing it was a lie.”

“A lie,” Burt said. “That's a good way of putting it. I damn good lie!”

“How is he, Chase?” Kelsoe inquired.

“He's been under a great deal of stress,” Braga said.

“That is because we did not take my advice about taking a nap,” said the EMH.

“How did you get here?!” Burt asked.

“Lt. Craig was nice enough to activated that ship wide hologram emitters,” the EMH said. “Now when emergence calls, I'll be here.”

“Great,” Burt said softly rolling his eyes.

Kelsoe turned back to Craig, who was no standing next to Tracy. Kelsoe smiled.

“I take it you guys really didn't have that great of a vacation,” Kelsoe said. “Why don't you two go back to the holodeck and have one.”

“Thank you, Captain,” Tracy said.

“Yeah,” Craig said. “And Captain?”

“Yes?” Kelsoe said.

“Can you avoid disappearing, again?” Craig said with a grin.

“We'll try our best,” Kelsoe said smiling. “Now you two get down to the holodeck.”

Craig laid on the beach chair, soaking up the holographic sun. Tracy sat next to him. Craig leaned onto his side and stared at Tracy.

“You know, for a while I was afraid that you wouldn't come back,” Craig said.

Tracy looked up at him. She smiled at him.

“I couldn't live a lie,” Tracy said. “I had to have the really Norman Craig.”

She leaned forward and kissed him.

“Get a room, you two,” came the EMH's voice.

Craig and Tracy turned to see the EMH with the bikini girl.

“I thought you we uncomfortable with her cling on to you,” Craig.

“I think I can get used to this,” the EMH said.

Craig and Tracy looked at each other and laughed.