Collision of Realities
Once she had been a grand ship, the first line of defense in a long war. The war had finally ended, thanks to treachery and deceit, leaving her the last survivor of her people’s fleet. The ship had led the remnants of its people off to find a new world, a world where they could find the peace they craved.
They had fled their ancient and now victorious enemy, absorbing the losses of the long chase. Finally they left the space they knew, entering uncharted areas of the galaxy. Finally free of their implacable enemy, they discovered that the long flight had left them unprepared for the anomaly that waited for them. This tear in space tore them from the reality they had known and thrust them into a much more dangerous one. Fully one third of the fleet, made of cobbled together barely functioning vessels did not survive the journey. A new enemy, one that made their old pathetic by comparison set upon the rest.
Where their old enemy could be dealt with, this new one was overwhelming them, absorbing them, leaving them a little weaker with every encounter. One by one, the fleet was absorbed until this battleship, one the leader of the fleet, was the last vessel remaining.
But not for long.
Once the captain had been a handsome man his face framed by dark hair that now had streaks of grey in it. His shining eyes were now dulled by the endless combat and loss of life. Even now he stood in the small ships chapel, praying over the corpse of his father, killed in the last attack. He tried not to think of his sister, taken by the enemy, likely already absorbed to service them.
“Father,” he whispered. “What can I do? We’re all that’s left…”
“BATTLE STATIONS. ALL HANDS TO BATTLE STATIONS.”
Rising wearily the man known as Apollo, captain of the last Battlestar, Galactica headed for the bridge.
Starbuck rose from the center console. “Same old song, Apollo. Different singer this time.”
Apollo froze at the image on the viewer. The cybernetic creature it displayed still had enough humanity left for him to recognize it. Athena, his sister. The pitiless voice that she spoke in still held the familiar tones of the voice he remembered so well. Starbuck had turned away, refusing to look at this caricature of the woman who had once loved him. Athena, like most of those taken from the fleet and the ship, had been absorbed, assimilated they called it, turned into a new lifeform, the Borg.
“Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.”
Apollo felt his heart rate increase. They had escaped the Cylon’s just to face this? “NO! NO,” he shouted. “We’ll never be assimilated!” Turning his back on the viewer, he pressed a black plate in the bulkhead, a plate that had never been touched before.
Starbucks mouth dropped open then he said, “Apollo? You can’t do this!” Apollo snarled at his one-time friend. “Why? Do you want to become one of those?” Apollo shoved the younger man away. “It’s over. I’m not being assimilated. You can do what you want.”
But the argument became moot as the ship shook from the impact of a Borg weapon. A bank of consoles erupted, shards of metal and glass tearing into Starbuck and throwing his shattered body across the bridge. Apollo could feel the pain as the shrapnel tore into him. Eyes tearing, he pulled down the control inside the open panel. Collapsing to the deck, he smiled. He wouldn’t be assimilated.
Deep within the ship, control rods slid out of the engines power plant. Overworked and under repaired, the engines quickly went critical. Apollo’s sight was fading as Borg drones began appearing on the ship. Then there was a bright light, the explosion of escaping energy rippling through the ship, annihilating it and its remaining crew.
Commander Riker was dozing in the center seat of the Enterprise when the alarms went off. Data turned in his seat to announce, “Deflectors just came on. We are reading a debris field ahead.” Riker was instantly awake. “What kind of debris field?” Data scanned his panels. “Metallic fragments, left over energy of an unknown source. Weapons fire signature matches that of… the Borg.”
Riker came to his feet. “Red alert! Battle Stations! Data, any sign of a Borg ship?”
“No Commander, the energy signatures are…” Data’s voice trailed off. Riker frowned. There were times when he hated the androids emotion chip. This was one of them. “Well, Data? What is it?”
“Yes, Data,” Picard entered the bridge still clad in jodhpurs and linen riding shirt. “What’s going on?”
“We have encountered a debris field, Captain. It showed signs of having been fired upon by Borg weapons, but according to sensors, this ship was ancient, nearly two millennia old.”
Picard headed for his ready room. “Keep scanning, go to modified red alert. Beam some of the debris aboard.”
The doors had barely closed behind Picard when he stopped short. There, in the middle of his ready room stood a great blue box. On top of it was a light, on its sides in white letters was the legend: POLICE CALL BOX. Picard moved forward and touched it. It felt like it was made of wood, but when he tried to move it, it resisted his efforts. Picard moved around the box. There, at his desk, feet up comfortably, sat a humanoid being. It had long curly hair barely controlled by a floppy brimmed hat and a multi colored scarf that was at least two meters long. The intruder looked up at him and smiled. “I do so enjoy Hamlet… Captain, is it?”
Picard started to say, “Intruder alert…” When the stranger stood up. “Please don’t bother calling for help.” He took a round object out of his pocket and placed it on the desk. A series of lights on the device pulsed softly. “I mean you no harm, Captain. I just want to talk.”
Picard was suspicious. “What is that device? Who are you?”
The man smiled and held out a small white bag. “Jelly baby? No? I’ll indulge myself then, if you don’t mind. As to who I am, I am the Doctor, this device has placed a, you would call it a cone of silence around this area.”
Picard, uncomfortably aware of his fencing clothes, crossed his arms and growled, “Are you Q? This would be just like you to pull a prank like this.”
The Doctor looked hurt at this accusation. “The Q? Please! Do I look like one of those rapscallions? No, wait if I were one of those galactic delinquents, I could look like anyone, couldn’t I?” The Doctor rubbed his chin. “You just discovered the wreckage of a spacecraft, did you not?”
Picard nodded. “Do you mind if I get my uniform?” The doctor smiled and moved aside. “Please do.” Picard stepped around his desk and to the small replicator in the corner. “Captains uniform normal duty dress.” Changing quickly, Picard sat at his desk and reached for the device.
“Ah-ah. Don’t do that, please. It’s keyed to my genetic code and will give you a nasty shock.”
“What if my crew needs me?” asked Picard.
“Won’t matter. This device has also removed us from your temporal reality. When I deactivate it, it will restore you right to the point where you entered.”
Picard sat back, wondering if he was dreaming this. “So why are you here?”
The Doctor sat on the edge of the desk. “The wreckage you discovered was from a spacecraft, the Battlestar Galactica, which just ended a long, lonely voyage at the hands of the Borg.”
“The Borg!” Picard sat up straight. “Are they near?”
The Doctor shook his head. “No, after the destruction of the Galactica, whose technology they deemed unworthy of what is it? Ah, assimilation, they moved off toward the Delta Quadrant. The Galactica, sadly, had reached the end of her time line. But not all things end happily, do they?”
Picard thought briefly of his family, dead in a fire these past three years. “No, they don’t. So what is the point of this conversation?”
“As you are aware,” said the Doctor. “There are many different realities. An infinite number, each separated by a unique quantum signature. Well, the barrier that separates them is malfunctioning. My people, the Timelords, have sent me to investigate. So I’m warning certain key beings in various realities, the better to seal this breech.”
Picard leaned forward. “I see. So this Galactica came from a different reality?”
“Quite so. I can’t say anything more about it, but they were doomed in their own reality as well, so time has not been upset. But if the breeches get any worse…”
“It could undo time itself?”
“Well done! You are a delightful human, captain!” The Doctor beamed. “Well, I have to be off. The Sontarans are causing trouble and the Rutans are right behind them. Keep an eye out for unusal amounts of . . . what do you call time particles here?”
“Ah, yes. Keep an eye out,” The Doctor lifted his device, tucked it in a pocket. Pulling a small device from his other pocket, he handed it to Picard. “If you encounter any odd readings, readings such as on this recorder, use a pulse from your communications array to reverse the breach.”
Picard took the device. It looked like a PADD, but the lower left hand portion of the screen read: 200 terabytes. His eyes opened wide. “This device…”
“Is a unique computer,” replied the Doctor, opening the door to his ship, commonly called a TARDIS. “Once the breach in your reality is sealed, the device will disappear. Guard it well it’s encoded itself to your DNA. Should anything happen to you, it will deactivate. Good luck, Captain Picard.” With that the Doctor entered the blue box, which began to wheeze and groan, fading away before Picard’s amazed eyes.
Picard sat there for a moment, then tapped his communicator. “Mr. Data!”
“Data here, sir.”
“I want you to keep an active scan for the following particles…”
The cube shaped ship had appeared out of nowhere. With its appearance had come a dire warning. “We are the Borg you will lower your defenses and prepare to be assimilated.” The small rouge moon, millions of light years away from its home system, had tried to negotiate, to bargain, finally to understand. When this had failed, they had launched their ships, multi-purpose vehicles not really designed for battle but pressed into service. The ships, ten of them, called ‘Eagles’, lasted all of six minutes. One by one they were either blown out of space or trapped in a tractor beam and drawn into the great cube.
The commander of the base, John Koenig, was not one to give up without a fight. He ordered the defense lasers brought on line. Three heavy duty, multi-purpose weapons, the use of these bought the denizens of Moonbase Alpha five more minutes of life. One by one they were scooped from the battered surface of the moon and absorbed by the cube.
Then the cubes began to methodically cut into the base with beams that were so powerful; the primitive sensors of the base couldn’t record how much energy was being expended. Enemy aliens began appearing at random throughout the base, capturing men and women and taking them away. Koenig, Dr. Russell and a few support personnel barricaded themselves inside the command center. Koenig, sweat pouring off his face (life support was down, destroyed by a cutting beam) waited behind his desk, a laser pistol in each hand. The attack came without warning. Three of the enemy appeared, shrugged off Koenig’s laser blasts and grabbed Russell. “Helena!” Koenig screamed as tubules burst out of one drones hand and into her check. Instantly she began transforming into one of them. Blisters appeared on her skin, erupting in biomechanical constructs. She lay there, quivering and quaking as she began to change, her once lovely face becoming pallid and misshapen as the left side of her head sprouted tentacles and her eye changed…
Koenig lurched to the desk even as another drone was reaching for him and grabbing a handle yanked it. On the opposite side of the moon carefully placed rods that had been controlling the dangerous build up of radiation in the nuclear waste, received a radio signal that activated small charges. These charges shot the rods up and away from the waste sites, allowing the build up to continue unchecked.
Koenig screamed as the tubules entered his back. But he had one final moment to look at the sensors that monitored the dangerous reaction on the other side of the moon. It was climbing steadily. Even as his conscience became one with the Borg, he knew he’d won.
The lost moon of Terra erupted and shattered like a glass egg as the years of build up in the nuclear waste sights erupted. Of the Alphans, thirty-two were all ready on the cube, which was unharmed by the shattered bits of the moon its shields easily deflected. All the others, including Commander Koenig and Dr. Russell, were now part of the rapidly expanding gas cloud that had once been the Earth’s moon.
The planet was one of crystalline beauty. It’s inhabitants; centuries old had raised great crystal cities that glistened in the light of their sun. Split into three separate but equal castes of workers, warriors and the guardians of thought, the religious caste, they were one of the oldest space-going races in their reality. A reality, which, the three leaders of the religious caste were well aware, was being intruded upon by outsiders at a time when such an intrusion was not only unwelcome, but extremely dangerous.
The man looked young, even with a beard, but his eyes held a calm and wisdom worthy of a Minbari of the religious caste. He stood before one of them, recently returned for consultation, without fear or aggression. While he looked like a human, it was clear that he was not. He was more than that.
Delenn, chosen to speak to this stranger who had appeared in the temple of memory after an unusually strong magnetic storm had played havoc with the planets defense systems, tried not to stare at the man. But the ease of his body, the calmness in his face, drew her eyes to him. “I am Delenn, I have been sent to speak with you.”
The man took a breath then held out his right hand, palm facing her in a gesture of peace. “I am Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Knight. I mean no harm to you or your people.”
Delenn made a motion to the small table and chairs that the acolytes of her order had set up. On it was a carafe of water and two glasses, all of intricate crystal manufactured only on Minbar. “Would you care for some refreshment? I assure you, there is nothing wrong with it.”
Kenobi smiled, “Thank you. I would have known if there were.”
Delenn stopped, taken by his absolute self-confidence. There was an aura about this man that could almost be felt. As he sat, he poured for both of them then waited until she sat before he drank.
“How did you get here, Mr. Kenobi?” Delenn was unsure of what honorific to use, since it was clear he was not from Terra.
“Please, just call me Obi-Wan.” He set down the glass. “I was in pursuit of a Sith lord, a being known as Darth Chengyi. I chased him through one of the power cores of the planet Coruscant and then I was here.”
“Darth Chengyi? I have never heard of such a name. What did this being look like?”
“Grey skin, dark eyes that do not reflect light. He is a Lodisian, from a world in rebellion against the republic I serve. But I feel that I am far from it now.”
Delenn sipped at her water. “No such being has appeared here or we would know about it. What is a Sith may I ask?”
Kenobi sat back, wondering how to answer. Should he speak of the all-living Force, the thing that made his being a Jedi possible? He decided to keep things simple. “The Sith are the enemies of the republic I serve. They are insurrectionists who seek to rule through fear and terror. But I sense that you are undergoing a period of instability here, as well.”
Delenn was taken aback. How could he know this? Delenn rose. “Could I ask you to wait here a moment while I speak to the rulers of Minbar?” Delenn was hoping not to insult the stranger, but her people limited their interaction with offworlders, as they had for centuries.
As Delenn left, Obi-Wan could feel a strange presence, not a Sith, but something as dangerous. Rising, he strode to the window that overlooked a great waterfall. The waters glistened under the dark Minbar sky, reflecting the afternoon sun off the crystalline cliffs that the waters poured from.
Kenobi spun one hand on his light saber. “I know you’re here. Show yourself.”
A creature appeared then, multi-legged and menacing; it’s dark skin seeming to absorb the light around it. In an instant the Jedi’s saber was in his hand, ignited and ready for use. The creature raised its forelegs in a threatening manner while several banks of eyes glowed to life. The lowest two of the eyes appeared to be mechanical, perhaps cybernetic. Kenobi stood his ground, raising one hand. The creature was startled to feel itself being pushed back against its will. It set its back legs and stopped itself, but only momentarily. With an enraged shriek, it leaped forward to where Kenobi waited.
But he was there no longer. With blinding speed he moved aside, bringing up his light blade. It hummed as it passed through two of the creature’s legs, sending them spinning off smoking, while yellowish red drops of ichor dripped onto the clean crystal floor.
PAIN! The creature’s mind screamed to it. It couldn’t remember a time in its racial memory when one of these apelings had injured one of its kind. Kenobi took a more aggressive stance now, moving his body in time with the feinting creature.
The dark, insect like thing moved forward clumsily, its balance thrown off by the loss of two legs. Kenobi sighed inwardly, hoping to speak to the creature, but he saw now that it’s rage was all encompassing and all it wished for was his death.
So be it, the thought and brought the blade up and down twice. The creature screamed at the first cut, losing three more legs. Like the lowest pair of eyes, one of these legs was mechanical; the parts imbedded in the organic material. Then its pain was over as the Jedi thrust his blade deep into its brain case, destroying it.
Kenobi turned to see Delenn flanked by two black-clad Minbari, weapons drawn, standing with open amazement on their faces. Deactivating his saber, he holstered it and said, “I take it this is part of your problem?”
Ben Sisko sat at his desk, poring over intelligence data recently sent in from Starfleet. Some of the data was useful, such as how many ships were en route to the station to use the wormhole, or the amount of weaponry the station would receive when it’s upgrade of these systems was put into effect. Other was useless, making Sisko wonder what the people at Starfleet were thinking of. As he deleted the file proclaiming that the last Bragga bird, native to the Erbnam system had died, making the species extinct. Sisko rubbed his eyes. Usually the extinction of the species was a sad event for the galaxy, but the Bragga bird was universally renowned as a pest. It soiled the nests of other birds, couldn’t be eaten (his father had tried to make Bragga bird gumbo, the dish was a miserable failure, since the birds when cooked, tasted like barbecued castor oil), ate more than their fill then regurgitated it back up. As useless a species as ever existed, not even the Klingons could digest one.
“Ops to Captain Sisko.”
“Sir,” Kira Nerys, his second in command and former Bajoran freedom fighter (terrorist if one was Cardassian) was calling from ops. “We’ve got something coming through the wormhole but we have nothing scheduled.”
“Go to red alert.” Sisko wondered if the Dominion forces, which had recently destroyed a Federation Starship, were making their play? Coming on into ops, he stared at the screen where a disc-shaped, vaguely manta ray looking ship was coming through.
“Hail them, Major.”
Kira leaned over her control board, fingertips dancing on the pressure sensitive controls. “No response on any channels.” As the attractive Bajoran said this, a flurry of poorly aimed blaster bolts erupted from the gray ship.
“Fire back, weapons and engines.”
A streak of red-gold erupted from the stations phaser emitters. They impacted on the alien ships hull, cutting right through it, sending the ship into a crazed spin. Kira stared. “If they have shields, they certainly don’t work very well.”
Sisko moved closed to the viewscreen. “Lifesigns?”
Kira shook her head. “Intermittent. Almost mechanical.” Her head turned sharply to face him. “Could they be Borg?”
Sisko’s face paled. Like a fellow Starfleet officer, Captain Picard of the Enterprise, he too was haunted by the Borg. They had killed his wife during the battle of Wolf 359. “Chief O’Brien, lock on to the crew and beam them to a holding cell. Major, let Odo know he’ll have company.”
Sisko was already in the lift as his orders were carried out.
Odo stood in the main bay facing the three holding cells. In the center one that a moment prior had been empty, was now filled with an odd sight. Three silver clad beings all better than two meters tall had been beamed in. Actually, Odo noted, there was one full being and parts of two others. All were dented and scorched, as if they had been in battle. The one that stood glared in Odo’s direction (the changeling wasn’t really sure it could see him, since it stood oddly, head cocked at a strange angle) through a red visual sensor that bobbed back and forth. One of its hands was gone, showing wires – wires! – Hanging out of its damaged wrist.
Finally the creature spoke; it’s voice deep and sonorous with a hollow, metallic edge. “You are a prisoner of the Cylons. Surrender.”
Odo made a wry face. “I’m afraid your information is wrong. It is you who are the prisoner. Please sit down before you fall down.”
Sisko entered the holding cell area and stopped. “Any problems, Constable?”
Odo turned and said, “Other than we are all prisoners of the Cylons, whoever they might be? No. Not really.”
Sisko moved toward the holding cell and stared at their prisoner. “I’m Captain Benjamin Sisko. This is Deep Space Nine. Where are you from? Do you require assistance?”
The large metallic biped staggered closer to the force field separating them. “We require nothing from organics, other than they die.” Sisko’s brows went up at this threat. “No one is dying today, thank you. I wouldn’t…”
The Cylon walked into the screens but rather than collapse as an organic being would, it stood there a moment, then began to spark. Sisko moved back, raising the phaser he’d brought with him. “Odo! Deactivate the field!” Even as Odo moved to complete the command, the Cylon shot backward into the far wall of the cell and collapsed to the ground. The red orb that served as an eye moved back and forth then stopped. The creatures voice slurred out, “You are all pris…” Then the light and the voice stopped.
Sisko stepped into the cell. All three of the metallic creatures were still, none of the red eyes glowing. Holstering his phaser, Ben grasped the faceplate of one of the other Cylons (the one who’d touched the field was smoking from the energy absorbed) and pulled it free. Peering into the faceplate, Sisko was amazed. The creature was a robot!
“Constable, get Chief O’Brien down here. I think these are more his field of expertise than mine.”
As Odo stepped out to his office, Sisko knelt and stared at the circuits and micro gears that he’d revealed. What the hell is going on here, he thought.
The saucer shaped craft had come streaking down into the sky of the temperate planet two days earlier, its store of nuclear fuel nearly exhausted. This wasn’t the first time the ship had landed on an alien world, but each time took a little more hope out of the small crew. Once landed, they began to set up camp, hoping beyond hope that this planet would have the necessary ore for them to refuel their ship.
Once their ship, known as the Jupiter 2 had been the height of Earth technology. That had been twenty years ago, when they were the first of what was supposed to be a colonization effort in the system of the star Alpha Centauri. Things had gone awry though, thanks to a spy/saboteur, who’d been paid by an unknown power to make sure the ship never reached its destination.
Once the small ship had held a crew of six; eight if the Robot and the stowaway Dr. Smith were counted. The Robot, useful beyond his designer’s dreams, was counted as a crewmember. Dr. Smith, useless beyond imagination, was not. Just before their latest attempt to find either Earth or Alpha Centauri had begun, Smith had died. Not at the hands of an alien, or because of his own plotting. The morning they’d lifted off, he was found in his cabin, dead, clutching at the ships tattered copy of the Bible. His only friend aboard the ship, Will Robinson, now 28 years old, felt his friend and partial mentor (the Robot being his best friend) had died of a broken heart.
Now, Will mused, as he ran a Geiger counter over the planets surface, seeking the radioactive ore they needed to refine to fuel the Jupiter, he wondered if Dr. Smith were better off dead. They had buried him on the surface of the planet they hadn’t even bothered to name and left him there, a little less weight (Don West, their military assigned pilot had duly noted) for the ship to lug into space.
Will missed the Doctor. For all the trouble he’d been; he did play a good game of chess and was someone to talk to when the others were busy. Will wished the Robot could have come with him, but his treads wouldn’t have gotten him over the rocky ground that he had to negotiate.
Staring at the ground, Will nearly missed the rusted, battered metal scaffolding that the planets weather had beaten down. Tripping over one broken support, he stopped scanning for the ore and stood up. Wiping sweat from his eyes, he moved closer to the scaffolding. The Robot had claimed that there was no sapient or intelligent life on this planet, but the Robot like the ship was two decades old. The scaffolding was raised and near it was a large scorched circle as if something had exploded there. Under the scaffolding were several blue barrels. As Will moved closer, his counter began to click wildly. Lifting the device, he moved closer to the barrels and glanced down at the small machines meter. Inside those barrels was refined ore. Enough to fuel the Jupiter for another century! Turing the device off, Will turned to head back to camp. “Looks like we won’t be on this planet for long,” he said aloud. Then he stopped. There on a small peak roughly a mile from where he was stood a monument of some kind. Curiosity getting the better of him Will headed towards it. Perhaps it might be a clue to who left these supplies here.
It took nearly an hour to reach the large square block of white stone. Will moved around it and was surprised to see that it had writing on it; English writing! Stepping back, the young man read the legend carved into the stone:
On this location on Veridian III, Stardate 48311.12
Captain James T. Kirk of the United Federation of Planets
gave his life so others might live.
He will be remembered
Beneath the legend was an arrow shape that bisected a circle. Will touched the block, which was cool to his fingertips, even though it stood in the sun. What was a Stardate? The name of this planet was Veridian III? Who was James T. Kirk? Will filed this information away, knowing that soon the sun would go down and he wasn’t dressed for night on this planet. Besides, he’d need to get the chariot up and running to retrieve those ore barrels. With a final look at the monument, Will Robinson turned and trudged toward his ship and family.
For once, the Robinson’s were having some luck!
Data turned in his seat. “Commander, sensors are reading a spacecraft at 210 mark 3.”
Riker came to his feet. “Type?”
“Battle stations. Captain to the bridge!”
Picard appeared in an instant, eyes already on the main viewscreen as he came onto the bridge. On the screen was a battered ship that might have one been white, but was now a dingy grey. Sparks and bits of metal spun away from the ships hull where a dark scorched area bisected what appeared to be a cargo hold.
Worf, on temporary assignment while hitching a ride back to Deep Space Nine, glanced at his panels then, in a low voice said, “One intermittent life sign with a Borg energy signature.”
Picard spun to stare at his temporary security chief. “Beam the life sign directly to sick bay.” Tapping his communicator, Picard said, “Sickbay.”
“We’re transporting what may be a Borg drone to sickbay. It’s injured, take the necessary precautions.”
“Jean-Luc…” Beverly’s voice held and uncertain tone to it. “Perhaps you’d better get down here.”
“Number one, you have the bridge.”
Beverly stared at what had once been a human being that lay on her biobed. Surrounded by a class one forcefield, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Lifting a hypospray, she said, “Computer, lower forcefield.” She could have used the EMH, but with all the bugs in it, she wouldn’t trust it to wash decks, let alone treat a person.
The human was in terrible pain. One side of his face was disfigured by implants that seemed to have gone wild. A tube where his left eye had been grew up, sank down grew up again. Under the left side of his orange spacesuit were lumps that grew and stopped, rearranged themselves wildly. His still human eye stared at Crusher, finally in a voice wracked with pain he gasped, “Please help me.”
Beverly administered the hypo. “This will ease the pain. Who are you?”
Picard came into the sickbay and moved alongside the doctor. If he was angry over the lack of a forcefield, he didn’t say it. The injured human turned his head slightly. Cables trailed out of his skull where the Borg implants had stopped growing. A thin trickle of blood ran out of the corner of his mouth. Beverly quickly wiped it away, gave him another shot. His tortured muscles relaxed and Crusher took the instants respite to glance at the biobeds read out. The man didn’t have long.
“My name is Alan Carter,” the man spoke slowly and painfully, his voice rasping out. “Who are you?”
Picard leaned forward, “We are from Earth.”
Carter’s good eye moved around. “Never saw a ship like this.”
“What happened to you?”
“I was out in my Eagle when we were attacked by the Borg.” Carter laid his head back. “They took the base apart, one appeared on my ship. I shot it with my laser, but it hit me, then this started to happen. Alpha blew up…” Carter’s eye froze, staring at the ceiling as the readings on the biobed faded.
Crusher pulled a sheet from a storage area and covered him. “He might be better off.”
Picard stared at the still form under the sheet. “What happened? I’ve never seen Borg assimilation go so badly.”
Beverly consulted her tricorder. “His tissues are saturated with a type of gamma radiation I’ve never seen. It may have interfered with the assimilation process. But that’s a guess. I’ll have to do an autopsy.”
Picard lifted the sheet and stared at the patch on the man’s spacesuit. “Moonbase Alpha? I’ve never heard of a Moonbase Alpha.” Lowering the sheet, Picard said, “Let me know if you find out anything else Beverly. I’ll be on the bridge.”
As he left, Picard wondered what his strange visitor could have shed any light on this.
Captain Kathryn Janeway sat back on the couch in her ready room and sipped at her fifth cup of coffee that morning. Closing her eyes as she smelt the aroma of the drink, which was a mix of Klingon and Vulcan beans, she could almost imagine herself back on the porch in Indiana. Her memory of more pleasant days, before a decision left her and her crew light years from home in the Delta Quadrant, was interrupted by a strange wheezing, groaning sound. Her eyes snapped open in time to see a large blue box, with a flashing light on top, appear in the middle of her ready room. Immaterial at first, the box solidified to read LONDON POLICE CALL BOX. Janeway nearly spilled her coffee as she leapt to her feet.
“What the hell is going on here?” She exclaimed, wondering if she was having a coffee fueled delusion.
The door opened and a man wearing a floppy hat and a long, multi-colored scarf appeared. His face was homely but pleasant, making Janeway think of a friendly uncle. She was about to go around her desk for a phaser when the man smiled and said, “I mean you no harm. Please take me to your leader.”
Janeway put her hands on her hips and said, “I’m the leader.”
The man, who struck Janeway as rather eccentric, peered out of her ready room window. “You call this area of space the Delta Quadrant do you not?”
Janeway watched as the Doctor placed a small device on her desk. “Yes, we do. What is that, may I ask?” She felt rather odd asking something on her own ship, but she had the feeling that this man was no danger to her.
“This device will put a bubble of time around, us. Effectively we have been removed from your time stream while I talk to you, as I did another Captain.”
“What captain?” Janeway’s eyes narrowed. “Are you a Q?”
The man looked aghast at this. “Again with the Q! No, I am not one of the continuum; those galactic troublemakers do get around, don’t they? As I told Captain Picard, I am a time-lord and I’m investigating a breach in quantum boundaries that separate the realities.” Reaching into a pocket, he handed Janeway a small device. “This will let you know, well in advance of your sensors, should you encounter any odd chronoton readings. If you do, please close the breach with a pulse from your communications array. The frequency setting is right there.”
Janeway looked at the small device. “What if I decide to take this apart?”
The man smiled. “You’ll just destroy it. It exists in an area of quantum flux. In fact, only you can see it. I forgot to tell Picard that. Once the breaches are sealed, it will disappear. I advise you not to destroy it.”
The Doctor lifted the other device. “Oh, your security officer is about to call you about a ship you’ll be encountering. It’s from an earth in a parallel dimension and everyone aboard is dead, but they were doomed anyway.” The Doctor looked sad. “I must be off.”
He entered the small box and it began to wheeze and groan again. Before the ‘vehicle’ could fade, Tuvoks voice came over her commbadge, “Captain to the bridge. We’ve discovered something odd.”
Janeway came out to the bridge and stopped. There on the screen was a large squarish ship with a multi level series of domes set about it. Janeway moved down to stand behind Paris. “Increase magnification.”
The image blurred a moment then showed the hull of the ship close up. A legend, worn by space travel was there: THE ARK. Janeway turned to Tuvok. “Readings?”
Tuvok looked nonplussed as usual. “From sensor scans, this vessel came … from Earth.”
“What?” Chakotay, former Maquis and first officer of the Voyager exclaimed this in sync with Janeway. “Tuvok,” said Chakotay. “Are there any lifesigns?”
“No,” replied the Vulcan. “There is no life-support, although I am reading the presence of bio-matter.”
Janeway rubbed her chin. “This is odd. Chakotay, take an away team and investigate.”
Clad in their spacesuits, the away team of Chakotay, Tuvok and Ensign Gayle, a security officer, appeared on a main thoroughfare of the dead ship. That it had taken heavy damage was apparent. There were cracks in the superstructure through which stars could be seen, wiring hung out of damaged conduits and the deck was warped. Tuvok raised his tricorder. “Artificial gravity is still functioning in this part of the vessel. There is an energy reading off in this direction.” Tuvok took the lead, with Gayle taking up the rear. As they stalked down the corridor, Tuvok scanned back and forth with his tricorder. Finally he stopped before a bulkhead door. A glimmer of lights to it’s right led him to a small control panel. Tapping it, the door creaked open a few feet, then stopped. A small gust of air blew small bits of debris and dust out past them. Chakotay peered through into a room that might have once been bright white, but was now a dingy grey. “Looks like it may be some kind of computer core.” Sliding between the doors, he saw a mummified body on the floor near one panel. Moving cautiously, phaser out, Chakotay knelt near the body. “There’s a corpse in here.” Fumbling with his tricorder, Chakotay scanned the body. “It’s been dead for over a century. Looks like injuries or starvation killed him.”
Tuvok and Gayle followed him in, both peering at the black circles that decorated the walls. Then they stopped by the corpse. Chakotay rose. “It’s not human, although it is humanoid. I found this.” Chakotay held up some kind of device. “It looks like a tricorder.” Tuvok took it and placed it against his tricorder. “I am copying the files. I would activate the device but it may have security protocols that would erase the information.”
Gayle meanwhile moved over to the far doors. Along side was an alcove. Cautiously, she peered into it. “Commander Chakotay!” The two other Voyager officers hurried over. Inside the Alcove were three more bodies. Two lay against the far wall, the feathered shafts of arrows sticking out of their withered corpses, the third lay slumped over a desk, a brown pool dried under his open throat. The knife he’d used lay on the floor, its blade still gleaming.
Gayle moved closer. “Why did he do this? Why kill them and then himself?”
Tuvok lifted a page that was yellow with age from near the third corpse hand. “This is written in English. Perhaps it will shed some light for us.”
Tuvok began to read aloud, “To any who finds this. The end is near. The Ark, the last great accomplishment of the Planet Earth, will soon be destroyed. The systems that run it have been damaged by a severe meteor storm, leaving us no hope since none of us has the ability to repair the ship. It has been ten years since Devon, Rachel and I discovered that we were living on a spaceship created to flee the dying sun of earth. Since then we have had many adventures and met a being not from Earth, Odo by name. He is trying to repair the systems, but was wounded by savages and is dying. There is nothing I can do for him. Air is getting scarce, food and water and cut off from us. I have decided that when Devon and Rachel, Rachel who I once loved, have gone to sleep, I will put them out of their misery and then take my own life. If anyone finds this, please do not think ill of us. We did our best. This is Garth, last survivor of Earth.”
Tuvok looked up. “I would imagine the other being is the Odo he spoke of.”
Gayle stepped back. “How horrible. But, a dying earth? What can that mean? Earth is fine.” The security officer’s voice rose in a panic. Stepping back, the deck collapsed below her feet and she fell, caught only by her phaser rifle which caught across the hole.
Chakotay dove for her. “Don’t panic, Ensign!” Gayle looked out of her spacesuit with frightened eyes. Beneath her, four decks straight down, lay the fusion reactors that ran the great ship’ engines. Dying, they still had enough power to fry the hapless security officer.
“Tuvok to Voyager! Three for emergency beam out.” Ensign Gayle would never realize just how close she came to dying in the Delta Quadrant.
On the bridge Janeway stared at the Ark which was beginning to look hazy. The device her strange visitor had given her beeped. Coming to her feet she shouted, “Harry! Fire the pulse from the deflector dish I told you about.”
“What?” Harry was about to question the order when Janeway snarled, “DO IT NOW!”
A shimmering blue white beam erupted from below the main viewscreen and hit the Ark. It glowed brightly then faded away. As it did, Janeway could only watch in amazement as the small device she’d been given faded away as well.
Well, Doctor, she thought, I hope we’ve done the right thing.
In the TARDIS, the Doctor looked up at his board as it winked out. “Well done, Captain Janeway.” He smiled broadly as he sipped at a large cup of tea. “Voyager has done its part. Now if the others can, as well.”
Obi-Wan and Delenn were crossing one of the plazas in Minbar when the air was split by an interminable noise. The Jedi moved faster than a Minbari warrior, his light saber up and out as a blue box appeared. Obi-Wan’s eyes narrowed while he kept himself between Delenn and the box. Once fully materialized the noise stopped and a door opened on it. Out came a smiling, homely-faced man with a huge scarf and floppy hat. Hands out stretched in a gesture of peace; he grinned and said, “I come in peace.”
Obi-Wan reached out gently with the force. He could feel no malice in this man, just an overwhelming curiosity. Holstering his blade he nodded to Delenn. “It’s safe.”
But it actually wasn’t. Across the plaza behind the small box hid Darth Chengyi. A tall being with a blue skin marred by yellow tattoos, he stared through his one eye at the Jedi, his enemy and the two strange beings. Touching his belt to make sure his two light daggers were there, he stealthily advanced.
“Who are you?” Asked Delenn instantly curious about this new visitor. If only John could be here! She thought. But he was off with one of the White Star fleet, seeking more information about the Shadows.
“I am the Doctor.” Then he began explaining about the quantum boundaries between realities and how they were on the danger of collapse. They had to be repaired and swiftly.
Obi-Wan rubbed his chin. “So my coming here was part of this collapse?”
The Doctor nodded. “Yes, I am able to travel between the realities, in fact, was ordered to do so, by a being in a state of inter-dimensional flux. Once the rifts are closed, some have already been so, there will be no more incursions.”
Delenn was about to ask a question when the Jedi’s saber flashed to life and he moved forward, blade up to block another. Obi-Wan moved the Doctor aside with the gentlest push of the Force, blocking Chengyi’s move. The Sith backed off, each hand holding a short, double bladed saber. Where Obi-Wan’s glowed a blue/white, the Sith’s blades were dark red. Both weapons buzzed angrily.
“I will take your life, Jedi, then I will bring the rule of the Sith here!”
Obi-Wan’s eyes narrowed as he saw the device on the Sith’s belt. Touching it with the force, he knew it would open a gate to take him home. Smiling slightly he said, “You’ve been trying to kill me for two years, Chengyi. What makes you think…” Before he finished the sentence, Kenobi moved, slashing three times in such succession that Delenn and the Doctor could follow the exchange. Chengyi blocked the moves – barely. Backing off, the blue skinned alien bared yellowish fangs dripping with venom at his opponent. Kenobi knew better than to get close enough to let his enemy spit at him. Cautiously the two warriors moved around each other, looking for an opportunity to strike. Chengyi leapt in, both blades slashing. Kenobi backed off; using the force to unsteady his opponent then slashed up. With a howl, one of Chengyi’s arms was slashed off at the elbow spinning away to hit the Doctors box and slide to the floor. Kenobi didn’t hesitate. Moving in he shoved his blade through the Sith’s chest, destroying his heart, then wrenched it down, destroying his secondary heart. With a gurgle of escaping air, the Sith fell to the ground, dead.
Deactivating his weapon, Obi-Wan took the strange device off his former opponent’s belt. “I think this will get me home.”
The Doctor appalled as always at the ease that violence can occur, nodded. “But you have to take him with you. That will close this rift.”
Obi-Wan made a gesture and the arm he’d severed floated to land on its former owner’s body. Delenn put a hand on the Jedi’s shoulder. She could feel that he had great trials ahead. “Take care, Obi-Wan.”
The Jedi smiled. He knew that Delenn had trials of her own to face. “Farewell, Delenn.” Placing a foot on the Sith’s corpse, he pressed the button and … was in the depths of Coruscant. A kneeling Anakin came to his feet, saber armed. “Master! What happened to you?”
Obi-Wan smiled. “Help me with this, and I’ll tell you all about it.”
“Captain to the bridge!” Rikers voice, insistent as it was during a potential crisis, roused Picard from his reading of Hamlet. Putting his volume aside, he appeared on the bridge moments later, staring at the viewscreen as he made his way to his seat.
“What is it Number One?”
“A ship just appeared on sensors. It doesn’t match any known configurations.”
“Have you tied sensors into the library computer?” Picard asked.
“Mr. Data, check the configuration against the library computer.” Picard wasn’t taking any chances. Perhaps this was another manifestation of the Doctor’s collapse of the walls between realities.
“Sir, the ship is unknown to even historical banks.”
“Is it close enough to see?”
“Yes, sir. It is just within viewing distance.”
Riker had to smile when he saw the ship that had caused him so much consternation. It was a disc shaped vessel, what people of pre-first contact Earth would have called a ‘flying saucer.” Once it had probably glistened, now it showed ravages of what had to be a long time in space.
“Captain,” said Worf. “I have scanned the vessel. It has a primitive form of fusion engine and six life signs. All human.”
Riker raised a brow. “Human as in terrestrial human?”
Worf nodded. “The ship has no offensive armaments, no shields. It runs on a cesium reactor.”
Riker and Picard looked at each other. “A sleeper ship perhaps?” Offered Data.
“Try hailing them, Worf.” Picard sat back in his seat as Worf began hailing the unknown ship.
“Receiving a response, audio only. They claim not to have video.”
Picard nodded to himself. “From the primitive look of the ship, I’d say that’s true. On speaker.”
“Unknown ship, this is Dr. John Robinson of Earth aboard the Jupiter 2, we mean you no harm.”
“Dr. Robinson,” Picard replied. “This is Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation Starship Enterprise. We also mean you no harm. Do you require assistance?”
The relief in Robinson’s voice was apparent as he replied, “Well if you have some good star charts, we could use some directions. We’re trying to find a way either back to earth or our destination of Alpha Centauri.”
Riker and Picard exchanged looks of amazement. Picard made a cut off motion to Worf, then decided to tell his bridge crew what had happened earlier.
“So,” said Riker. “This ship and its crew might be from a parallel dimension?”
“Yes, Number one. Mr. Worf, inform Dr. Robinson that we are going to bring them aboard. Will their ship fit in Shuttle Bay One?”
“Yes, Captain. Will you require a security team?”
Riker nodded. “I think that would be a good idea.”
The Jupiter nearly filled the largest of the Enterprises three shuttlebays. Once she was in, the magnetic field kept the air in and space out. Picard and Riker, along with Data and Dr. Crusher (Data had suggested she be there) waited at the bottom steps of one of the three landing struts of the ship.
They were there only a few moments when a man, tall with a rugged face topped by dark hair that was going grey appeared. “Hello. I’m Dr. John Robinson.” Clad in a silver spacesuit with red piping, the man came down the steps unarmed.
Picard put out his hand. “I’m Captain Jean-Luc Picard. This is my first officer, Commander Riker, second officer, Commander Data and the ships doctor, Beverly Crusher.”
Dr. Robinson smiled at each. “It’s good to see some human faces. We’ve been out in space nearly 15 years and it gets lonely. What planet are you from?”
Picard was about to answer when the odd noise he’d first heard in his ready room began again. In a corner of the shuttlebay the odd blue box that the Doctor had called TARDIS appeared again. As soon as it materialized, the Doctor, floppy hat and amazing scarf popped out.
“Ah, Jolly good. Professor Robinson of the Jupiter 2! Well! We’re all together now, aren’t we?”
Robinson looked confused. “But where is here?”
The Doctor looked around the uncomfortable looking shuttlebay. “Why don’t you, Dr. Robinson and Captain Picard come into the TARDIS with me? We can have some tea in more comfortable surroundings.” The Doctor grinned disarmingly. “I’ll leave the door open so that your communications devices can function.”
Picard and Robinson glanced at the box, then at each other. As they were about to ask just how they could all fit in the box, the Doctor started walking toward it. “Come gentlemen, time is short.”
Picard turned to his staff. “Will, wait here. The rest of you can return to your duties. Geordi keep scanning for chronoton fields of unusual strength.”
Riker looked uncomfortable at the Captain’s command, but nodded. “I’ll be right here if you need me sir.”
Picard stepped through the doorway of the TARDIS first, then stepped back, then entered, followed by Robinson, who gasped, “This is impossible!” The room they had entered was large, dominated by a hexagonal console in the center.
“No, it’s not I assure you,” said the Doctor, appearing from a doorway. “This is the TARDIS, please don’t insult her, the old girl can be tetchy.”
Picard, who had seen many amazing things in his duty with Starfleet, stared. “How can this be? On the outside…” He was at a loss for words.
The Doctor grinned broadly. “The TARDIS is a sentient machine, used by my people to travel through time and space. I can’t say much more than that, it isn’t allowed. Please follow me.”
The Doctor led them to a comfortable sitting room that looked like it came out of Victorian England. On the table was an assortment of biscuits and pastries as well as a steaming pot of tea. Pouring a cup for each, the Doctor put two lumps of sugar in his and sat down. “If there is any more civilized drink than tea in the entire universe, I have not yet discovered it.”
Picard drank his plain and his face lit up as he sipped it. “Earl Grey?”
“Why yes, Captain. From the Earl’s plantation actually.”
Robinson added milk and sugar to his, gaining a disproving look from Picard. It proved to the captain that Robinson was indeed from America, only they would barbarize such a fine tea!
“Doctor,” said Robinson. “Just what’s going on here? My family and I just ended a long stay on a planet called Veridian Three where my son found a monument.” Robinson turned to look at Picard. “The monument mentioned the Federation. Do you know about it?”
Picard set down his cup. “What were you doing on Veridian Three?”
Robinson sat back. “We had engine trouble and crashed there. Our supplies and repair parts are finally running low. We were supposed to go to the Alpha Centauri system and start a new colony for Earth, but got lost due to some interference from a crew member who died.”
“Veridian Three,” said Picard. “If off limits to Federation members since it has a culture not deemed advanced enough for first contact.”
“Professor Robinson couldn’t have known that Captain.” The Doctor interceded. “If fact the reason I am here is to help the Robinson’s get back on track so they can complete their mission and help their earth.” The doctor then explained about the collapse of the interdimensional walls.
Robinson whistled. “I thought I knew something about quantum physics, but you’ve just given me a lesson!”
The Doctor rose. “If you’ll follow me, I have something else to give you.”
The Doctor led them down three levels and past several more rooms. “This, gentlemen is one of the TARDIS’ workshops.” Opening the door and going in, the Doctor pointed to a small table in the middle of the room. “Dr. Robinson, please take that device.”
Cautiously, Robinson passed his companions and took the small rectangle. It beeped once and lights began to blink on it. “What is it?”
“It’s your way to Alpha Centauri, my friend.” Said the Doctor. “When you return to your ship, put it on your central navigation device, then you should all return to suspended animation. When you awake, you’ll be in the Centauri system.”
Robinson’s face lit up. “This isn’t a joke? This will help us? What do I do with it when we’re there?”
“Once you’ve arrived, the device will no longer function. Just put it in the recycle bin on your ship.” The Doctor pulled a timepiece from his coat pocket. “Now you have to get moving, Professor. You have only 45 minutes to cross back into your own reality, or you’ll be trapped here forever.”
Robinson tucked the device in his belt. “Then let’s go!”
From the observation deck, Picard, Riker and the Doctor watched as the Jupiter 2 left the Enterprise. It flew off, the spinning engine on its bottom hull flashing yellow and white. When it was two thousand meters away from the Enterprise, the ship grew hazy and then faded away.
The Doctor sighed. “They had only fourteen seconds left. Now that wall of reality is repaired.”
“Are we done, Doctor?” Riker asked, wishing he could have gone onboard the TARDIS.
“There is one last mission, my friends. Possibly the most dangerous of all.”
The Doctor removed a small device from his belt. “In my reality, my greatest enemies are the Daleks.” An image of a strange creature, two meters tall, with odd appendages and what looked like a telescope on top of its ‘head’ appeared. “The Daleks are, inside that armored mobile unit, the most malevolent beings in my reality. They have tried many times to conquer the Milky Way indeed at one point in my history they have conquered a good bit of it.”
Picard stared at the holo-image. “What are they inside?”
“Once they were humanoid, then on a planet called Skaro, a brilliant demented scientist mutated them into what they are today. Unable to move without the travel machines, they are brilliant and utterly ruthless. It was the Daleks who discovered taranium.”
“Taranium?” Riker echoed. “I’ve never heard of it.”
“That is because it doesn’t occur in your reality. If it did, your dilithium would be unnecessary. Taranium as a power source is so powerful that 1 gram of it could run your starship for ten years.”
Picard’s brows went up. “Ten years! But what do the Daleks use it for?”
“The Daleks,” the Doctor replied sadly. “Use it to create time corridors through which they have attempted to conquer worlds or change events. On the earth in my reality, they caused world war three and then conquered Earth. I undid those events.”
The Doctor put his arms out. “But the Daleks went a bit further this last time. They crossed dimensions rather than time. In doing so they encountered a race that’s rather reminiscent of them to me, the Borg.”
Picard could feel his heart begin to race. He had been a prisoner of the Borg, had defeated them twice now, but still feared them. “And what happened?”
The Doctor’s face grew grim. “The Borg assimilated the Daleks. One of them, the Supreme Dalek, fought back and actually pulled a part of the collective away. These are the Borg who are running rampant throughout your reality, destroying whatever crosses over or assimilating it. The Borg now know of Taranium and where they can get the only known deposit of it in your reality.”
Picard wiped sweat from his face. “Where is that?”
“An outpost on the edge of Federation space called Deep Space Nine. The Borg are going to go there and harvest the Taranium from the wormhole there.”
Picard tapped his commbadge. “Bridge, set course for Deep Space Nine. Warp 9.8!”
Even as the words left Picards lips, the Enterprise-E formed its warp field and shot off toward the distant system of Bajor.
But would they be in time?
“Shield up! All weapons on standby!” Sisko stared at the Borg Cube that had dropped out of Transwarp. He could feel a chill sweat begin to creep down his back. Remaining on the station, he had sent Kira out with the Defiant to grapple with this most unwelcome intruder. The Defiant had the systems only quantum torpedoes, the only weapon in the Federation inventory that could pierce Borg shields.
A voice sounding like the usual Borg collective but with an odd metallic ring to it, demanded, “You will surrender or be exterminated.”
Sisko and O’Brien exchanged looks. “I haven’t heard them say that before,” said the stoic engineer, his fingers on the weapons console. Slightly above him Ezri announced, “They’re powering up weapons.”
“Sisko to Defiant, make your move, Kira.”
In the center seat of the Defiant, Kira leaned slightly forward. She didn’t know why the Borg were here, but the Dominion was enough trouble. These intruders would have to go.
“Lock quantum torpedoes on target. Fire!”
Great white orbs of light shot out of the Defiants torpedo tubes. Crossing space in the blink of an eye, they smashed into the Borg vessel. Bits and pieces of it flew off into space, sparks erupting from the machinery contained within.
Then the dreaded tractor beam of the Borg snaked out and smashed into the Defiant.
A Bajoran ensign spun in his seat. “They’re dragging us in, Colonel!”
Before Kira could give an order, a second volley of torpedoes, from above them smashed the Borg emitter and blew a large hole in the ship. Kira stared at the screen as the majestic form of the Enterprise flew past, phasers punching into the enemy ship.
“YES!” She shouted like a spectator at a pareses squares match. “Fire torpedoes!”
On the bridge of the Enterprise, the Doctor said, “This is working but it’s not enough. I have to get aboard that ship and destroy the taranium core.”
Picard half turned in his seat. “Aboard? What if you can’t get off in time?”
The Doctor smiled. “A part of the job Captain.”
“Number One, you and Mr. Worf accompany the Doctor to the ship. Take emergency transponders with you.”
“On our way,” replied Riker.
The away team appeared in the near center of the Borg ship which was rocking under the attack of the two ships and the station. The ship was darker than the others Riker had been on, the metallic odor more prevalent. Leading them off, phaser in one hand, tricorder in the other, Worf hissed, “I’m reading a large energy signature 100 meters before us.”
The Doctor took a look in the Klingons device, then said, “I’ve told you both what to do. Go and set the core the way I told you, I’ll cause a diversion.”
Riker grabbed him by the shoulder. “What kind of diversion.”
The Doctor smiled gently, removing Rikers hand. “Didn’t I mention it? As well as the Daleks being my arch-nemesis, I am the being they hate more than any other. Now be off!”
Before either Federation officer could say a word, the Doctor was gone, heading for the center of the ship.
The Dalek Supreme had fought mightily when assimilated, but it still bore the scars of the Borg attempt. Now locked into the ship itself, it was both part and separate from the collective. It could feel another presence trying to take control, but fought back, constantly raising new walls of mental energy to resist it. It was planning a counter attack when a voice said, “I must stay I’ve seen you look better, old son.”
The Dalek’s eye stalk swiveled to stop on…
Riker and Worf approached the taranium core. It glowed alternately blue and green. With typical Borg arrogance, it was unguarded. There were two alcoves nearby, but neither was occupied. Taking Rikers phaser, Worf whispered, “I’ll cover you” Riker nodded and slipped under the device…
“The Doctor! The Doctor! How are you here? You will be exterm.. assimil…exterm…”
“Can’t you make up your mind, old boy?” The Doctor walked back and forth, followed by the eyestalk. He’d noticed that the gun stick was gone, replaced by a claw of some kind. He decided he’d better not get too close.
Riker rolled out from under the core and saw a small army of … rolling Borg approaching. From the waist up they were drones, from the waist down, similar to the Dalek the Doctor had shown them.
“Time to go Worf!” Even as Riker said it, the crackle of some kind of energy bolt shot over his head. One of the drones screeched, “Halt! Obey or be exterminassimilated!”
Worf fired, blowing the destroyed drone back into its fellows.
“Riker to Enterprise! Beam out now!”
The space where the two officers stood was covered in energy bolts a second after they dematerialized…
The Doctor tipped his hat to the Dalek Supreme. He could see the claw twitching and knew something was up. His body started to tingle as he said, “Better luck next time old boy!” The claw erupted off its base and would have slammed the Doctor into the far bulkhead had he not been snatched away by the Enterprises transporter.
The un-explosion began in the heart of the core. With a hissing noise as the taranium ate itself from the inside out, everything began to be sucked into a small spinning globe of energy. The implosion pulled the entire Borg cube inside out, then continued to reach out to the surrounding matter.
“Engines to full impulse!” Shouted Kira as the Defiant was caught in the implosion of time. The Bajoran ensign screamed, fear tingeing his voice, “I’m giving it all we’ve got!”
On the Enterprise, Picard leaned over Data’s shoulder. “Now, Mr. Data. Fire the chronoton beam!”
“Firing,” replied the android as a bright white beam, tinged with green shot out of the ships main deflector dish. It impacted on the imploded area of space where the Borg ship had been, glowed briefly and faded away.
The Collapse of quantum walls had been stopped.
In their own realities, there were several changes. The Battlestar Galactica would never reach earth, and their sister world would never know of the tragic end to their long journey. Nor would the Cylons ever discover the planet that held the last human civilization in that part of the Galaxy. During their long hunt of the Galactica, the robotic enemies of humanity encountered a metal eating virus. By the time they were aware of it, it was too late the Cylons were gone. They would never know that a simple human antibiotic could have saved them.
In the reality where Moonbase Alpha came from, the moon would never be discovered, nor would its fate ever be revealed. Eventually humans would terraform Mars and Venus and live there, leaving Earth abandoned.
The Ark took with it the last of humanity from Earth. In that reality, humanity was gone, a dead race, the supernova of Earth’s sun destroying any vestige that humans had ever existed.
In the Bajoran system, the Enterprise would take several days leave before departing to McKinley Station Earth for needed upgrades and repairs. Sisko and Picard would play some dom-jot and talk. They might never be close, but they had healed some of the rifts between them.
The Doctor would slip into his TARDIS and as usual, avoid any accolades for his work in keeping the universe safe. More adventures awaited him, whether he wanted them or not.
Obi-Wan would become a great Jedi and see the fall of the Republic he lived. He would also be haunted by his greatest failure.
And the Family Robinson would finally reach Alpha Centauri. A small settlement of other colonists from Earth would greet them and be amazed at their exploits of the past fifteen years. Of Dr. Smith’s plots and evils, they, at the insistence of Will would say nothing.
And the Universe would go on.
Story © 2003 Rob Morganbesser/Viasgraph Films International.