Andrei wasn't prepared to be answering these questions. It had been so long ago when this all started. He vowed never to talk about it again.
He turned his back on her. It hurt too much to see the pain in her eyes, knowing he was responsible for it.
Susan wasn't going to let him off that easy. She marched right up to Andrei and forced him to look at her. "I need to know what you did to me, you owe me that much."
"Dr. Kranz had been involved in various projects all centering around the brain. We didn't know it at the time but he had managed to get complete brain scans of every member of the crew including you and I. He was using these scans for various experiments he was conducting. Most of those experiments were not approved.
When you were brought aboard our ship you had no memory of who you were. Dr. Kranz thought it was fate you ended up where you did and the condition you were in. He came to me pleading with me to come to the infirmary and see what he discovered. I was too overcome with grief to leave my quarters and I dismissed him. He went ahead with the procedure without my consent.
I didn't understand the process but I know it involved transferring brain patterns. I was so furious with him for what he did that I had him thrown into the brig. When I went to the infirmary you were awake. I was stunned and when you called me father I was overjoyed. I had my daughter back." Tears were streaming down Andrei's face.
In a small, quiet voice Susan spoke. "Can it be reversed?"
Andrei turned his watery eyes towards her. A mix of guilt and sympathy etched on his strong face. "I'm sorry I don't know. Dr. Kranz died a few years ago and I made sure no records of his research existed."
"I want you to know that I still think of you as my daughter and that will never change."
Susan turned to him and lashed out. "You were responsible for taking my identity away. Do you think I could ever trust you?"
Susan couldn't take anymore. She had to get away. She ran from the gardens. Andrei and Dimitri both called out to her. She didn't look back.
Coming around the corridor leading away from the gardens Susan collided with Zack.
"I'm sorry I wasn't paying attention", Susan looked up at Zack. "It's Zack, right. She remembered him from the customs incident.
"We've been looking for you Ms. Kralick."
Susan winced upon hearing her "former name".
"Why were you looking for me?" She really didn't care but needed something to get her mind from thinking about what Andrei just revealed.
"The Chief gave orders to find you and bring you to the station house. He didn't say why. But that's the chief for you. He laughed at his little joke. She could see Ms. Kralick wasn't really that interested. Zack activated his link, "All security patrols Ms. Kralick has been located. I repeat Ms. Kralick has been located. Please return to your previous assignments." Zack closed the link and opened a channel to Michael.
"Chief, I have Ms. Kralick and I am bringing her to the station."
"Good work Zack I'll be there to meet you."
Zack looked at Irinia. He grabbed her elbow and she followed without resistance.
Michael was indeed there to greet them. His eyes went to Susan's face. He dismissed Zack. He guided Susan to a chair and motioned for her to sit. "Are you ok?"
She wrapped her arms around his neck and began to sob. He held her close and whispered reassuring words into her ear. "It will be ok. You are with friends now and we will take good care of you."
Susan looked up at him with tear filled eyes. "I want to remember who I am. I feel so lost. Help me find my way."
Irinia was startled by her father's sudden appearance.
"Father! Where did you come from you scared me half to death!"
Andrei chuckled. "I saw you and Dimitri in the garden so I decided to come over."
Yeah right, Irinia thought to herself. He was probably following her. I can't believe how calm he is.
"Father I need to speak with you it's rather important."
"Of course my dear. Why don't we go to your quarters where we will have some privacy."
Irinia shook her head. "No I would rather talk here and now."
"Ok calm down my child. What's got you so upset?"
Irinia cringed hearing him call her his child. She stepped up to Andrei and looked him straight in the eyes.
"Who am I?"
Andrei was confused my his daughter's question. "I don't understand Irinia are you playing some kind of game?"
"I'm not playing games. I know I am not your daughter. Just please tell me who I really am." Tears were threatening to spill down her cheeks.
"Of course you are my daughter! What has gotten into you Irinia? Is it that security chief? I told him to leave you alone."
"Why? What are you hiding?" Irinia began to sob.
Andrei couldn't stand to see her cry, ever. He waged a war within himself. He wanted to tell her the truth but he knew he would lose her forever.
"I love you Irinia. Everything I've ever done was because I love you. Please try to remember that."
"If you love me you will tell me the truth."
Andrei had tears in his eyes. "Come sit down I will explain." Irinia sat down and looked up at Andrei.
"You were such an inquisitive child. Always getting into trouble. You had to know everything. That curiosity didn't stop once you were older." He smiled fondly at his daughter.
"All I wanted was for you to be happy. I could never say no to you. I should have protected you better. I failed you my sweet daughter."
"Do you remember that trading mission to Concours?"
Irinia thought back to that mission. Of course she remembered it well. It was her first trading expedition. She had been so excited. There was a minor incident. She was too close to a console that had exploded. She was lucky that day, she had a small scar on her arm as a reminder.
Irinia pulled the sleeve of her shirt up to reveal the scar.
"See father you can barely notice the scar. How does this have anything to do with what's going on now?"
"I've always wondered how you remembered that day."
Irinia was puzzled by that comment. "What do you mean?"
Andrei was finding it harder to continue with his story. He could feel a tightening in his chest. He took a few deep breaths before he continued.
"It wasn't just a plasma burn. The console exploded without warning, there was nothing anyone could have done." He choked out the next words.
"You died instantly."
Both Dimitri and Irinia gasped at the revelation. Irinia couldn't form any words.
"I laid there on the deck cradling my sweet girl. There was some commotion on the deck. I was too overcome with grief to pay attention. I found out later that a jumpoint had opened not too far from the ship. A badly damaged spacecraft had emerged. Life signs were barely registering. They found you aboard that ship."
Finally she heard what she wanted to know. It was true she was Susan Ivanova.
"How did I become your daughter? Why do I have her memories and not Susan's?"
A/N Sorry about the cliffhanger. I was going to include the explanation in this chapter but I'm having a little trouble writing it. So I thought why not post this until I can get the next straightened out. Hope you enjoy.
Dimitri had been watching Irinia all through her dinner with the telepath. She wasn't aware of his presence, he made sure of that. Her comment about his tracking skills dented his pride but she was right. This time he was careful and went undetected.
Dimitri was aware of Michael's presence before Irinia noticed him. He had contemplated intervening but decided to let it play out. Within minutes of the security chief's arrival Irinia became agitated. Dimitri chuckled to himself, she's got one hell of a temper on her.
Without warning he watched as Irinia stormed out of the restaurant. Dimitri left his hiding place and continued to track his friend. He followed her into the Gardens. He stopped a few yards from Irinia. She seemed upset and she was crying! This surprised him, he could count on one hand the times he has seen her cry.
Dimitri carefully approached Irinia and laid a hand on her shoulder.
"Irinia are you ok?"
Irinia looked up into Dimitri's concerned face. It was too much for her to bare, she wrapped her arms around him. She buried her face in his neck and continued to sob.
"It's ok little sister, he crooned into her ear as he rubbed circles on her back. Irinia smiled at her childhood nickname. Wait were those even her memories she wondered. She began to cry harder at the realization.
Dimitri hugged her close to him. "Whatever you need I will be here to help you. Just tell what is so I can help you to fix it. Do you need me to get rid of that pesky security chief? I'm sure I could arrange to have him shoved out an air lock."
Irinia couldn't help but laugh. "Oh Dimitri, you sure know how to cheer me up!" She started to wipe away her tears with the back of her hand.
Dimitri kept an arm around her shoulders. He was waiting for her to settle down so that she could begin to explain why she was so upset.
Irinia took a few deep breaths trying to calm herself down. When she opened her eyes she was looking up into Dimtri's kind eyes. It made it easy to tell him what she needed to say.
"Remember what officer that everyone around here keeps mistaking me for?"
Dimitri nodded his head encouraging her to continue.
"Well Garabaldi had a lock of my hair tested and it was a match for her." She waited for any sort of reaction from her most trusted friend.
"Wait how did he get a lock of your hair?"
"Okay I just revealed that I might be Ivanova and you choose to zoom in on how he got my hair! Focus Dimitri!!"
"I'm sorry. He had no right to invade your privacy. Please let me take care of him."
"Dimitri as tempting as that sounds we can't do that", she said with a smirk.
"Wait a minute, Dimitri shook his head to clear the confusion. We grew up together I clearly remember that. It's impossible that you are Ivanova."
"That's what I was thinking. But I've noticed some things that make me question everything I believe in."
"Well for starters, you."
"Me, What have I done to make you doubt me?"
She sighed loudly before beginning her explanation. "Please Dimitri I didn't believe your reason for following me around the station. I mean really you could have come up with a better excuse. You were never good at lying."
Dimitri was about to deny the accusation but looking into her sad eyes he knew he couldn't lie to her any longer.
"Your father asked me to keep any eye on you, and before you ask I don't know why."
Irinia had to laugh, "You know me so well."
"I should also tell you that he is here on Babylon 5."
Irinia was shocked. This little bombshell reinforced the notion that her father was involved in this mess.
"What am I going to do Dimitri my whole life is falling apart. I don't know who I am anymore." She turned her back and willed herself not to cry.
"We will figure it out together. I told you little sister I am here for you no matter what."
"I want to confront father. He knows what's going on and I want answers. Let's go and find him."
Coming out of the shadows and startling both Dimitri and Irinia was Andrei Kralick himself.