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Join Date: Apr 2013
05-08-2013, 09:08 PM
“Take a moment to catch your breath.”
Andrea took a moment to untangle herself from her host. “I’m ok. There isn’t any real air here anyway, is there?”
“Most lower beings find familiar surroundings more comfortable.”
“I’m not… You are Q, right?”
“My reputation precedes me.”
“In spite of that,” Andrea said as she finally found her bearings, “I am guessing you are here to somehow help me.”
“True. Right now is a very critical moment in the history of the galaxy. You have managed to make yourself a focal point in the history… of everything.”
“How is being torn apart by the Borg and… whatever that thing is, critical to history?”
“Still thinking at full warp with the parking break on?”
“The Doctor has started something horrible, hasn’t he?”
“Go on.” Q sat down in a chair Andrea couldn’t see before.
“In trying to cure me, the Doctor gave it access to the Borg collective.”
“The ancient evil, even we call it that. The Doctor, in his attempt to save you, may have doomed the entire galaxy.”
The room disappeared into a maelstrom of stars. Andrea still felt like she was standing on something and did her best not to trust her eyes. The stars eventually coalesced, about a thousand or so. As she continued to watch, one by one, the stars went out.
“When are we?”
“One thousand years from the triggering event.” The last of the stars became all Andrea could see, and then the view shifted until a tiny spec became the focus of attention. Borg Cubes were tiny, compared to stars. It plunged into the star, and almost at once the brilliance of the star began to blacken.
“I’ve heard something about this. Trilithium fusion inhibitor.”
“Close enough. He used the Borg to invade all worlds in the galaxy. Backed by his mental powers no race was capable of stopping them, not even me.”
“I thought you were omnipotent.”
“No you don’t, but I would have been able to stop him, by coming back to this moment and killing you.” As he said this, there was a terrible collision of some kind on the invisible platform they were standing on. “Unfortunately, the enemy has blocked all temporal incursions in the galaxy.”
“In any case, once all life is Borg, he sends them all into the sun, and then extinguishes them.”
“There’s no sane reason for any of this.”
“If he was sane, he wouldn’t be the enemy.”
“If this is true, why haven’t you killed me?”
“That seems an odd question. Do you wish to die?”
“I don’t want to die! If you were the origin of the end of the universe, wouldn’t you want to stop it?”
“Well, there are other possibilities. The Borg could overcome the enemy, and the Doctor can then save you. With the billions of minds in the collective, it is possible.”
She waited while he paused and looked at her, like he was looking for something.
“I take it the fight changes something in a bad way.”
“It depends entirely on your point of view. The Borg meet a being that is more powerful than their entire collective, something that attacks them without provocation. It makes the Queen feel weak.”
“So she expands, and takes over everything…”
“No, without the mental powers of the enemy, the Borg are eventually defeated. Unimatrix One falls two hundred twenty-nine years from now, subject to a Klingon Armada.”
“I get the idea that there is still a lot of wrong in this ending.”
“Yes, little one, there is. The Federation does not survive. It is because of the Federation that the Klingons eventually win, but the Federation is destroyed in the process. The last humans in the galaxy die when Unimatrix One implodes.”
“Oh yes. Point-Singularity Projector. Developed by R’Kan of Vulcan before his assimilation. The Borg never found a counter to the weapon because R’Kan believed there could be no counter.”
“Or, again, you could kill me.”
“While not as apocalyptic for the galaxy, it does hold future issues. Still, I am not an assassin.”
“Tell me there is another way.”
“There is almost always another way.” He looked at her again, as if he was looking for something specific in her eyes or face.”
“You aren’t telling me something. Can I change this future?”
Q looked at her, saying nothing.
“What makes Q afraid?”
“You do, my dear.”
“This has something to do with what the Enemy and the Borg are doing to my body while they fight for control. They are changing me somehow, I can feel it.”
In a flash she was on the table, pain washing over her like ocean waves. Even though the pain was more intense than she could have ever believed possible, Andrea could feel something. She could feel herself think.
She flashed back to Q, gasping for air as she rode out the pain she had felt.
“I… I can do it. I can end it all, can’t I?”
Q did not respond, he just continued to stare at her.
“I may have to kill you after all.”
“I am not scared of you. I am not even scared of that thing burning in my chest, or the Borg in my blood. Do what you must. If you won’t stop this, I will.”
She was back on the table, her body wracked with pain.
“I am done being beaten! I am done being manipulated! I…AM… DONE!”
By instinct, with rage and pain fueling her, and yet with a clear mind, Andrea grabbed hold of whatever thing was in her chest, and willed it away from her. She raged at the pollution in her blood, and began to burn it away.
Impossibly, these things became real.
The Doctor turned to the table in time to see the shimmering barrier surrounding Andrea explode. Everything in sickbay except the Doctor flew into the walls and embedded themselves deeply.
Andrea rose from the table, held out her hand, and forced the Spike to assemble itself. “You will float, for all eternity, in your precious darkness. You will never enter this galaxy, or any other, for the rest of time, and I will make sure you are forgotten.” She released her grip and it hovered briefly in the air, then shot through the wall, through the inner and outer hulls, and into deep space.
“Captain?” The Doctor approached reservedly.
“I… have become. I…”
“Captain, the trauma you have suffered, it has affected your psyche. Remember who you are, who your responsibilities are to.”
“My responsibilities.” It hit her funny, an illusionary man giving her advice about achieving… what? Did she now have the power of Q? It was only an instant later she realized she was laughing.
“Captain, please control yourself.”
“Only I control I.”
The Doctor looked frustrated, and then spoke sternly. “You clean up this mess right now, young lady.”
The statement shocked her a bit, and she came more to herself. “Doctor?”
“Captain, you are trying to understand what has happened to you. Whatever has happened, remember who you really are: Andrea Petros of Earth.”
“I’m sorry, Doctor, but this is going to take some time, time I now have in abundance.” She waved her hand and a portal appeared, leading into a bright light. “Selan is in charge now, Doctor. Give her every courtesy.”
Andrea stepped through the portal. Q was waiting.
“Is this what you were afraid of?”
“It is quite rare when questions of scope have binary answers. I am both hopeful, and afraid. Hopeful that you will remember yourself before it is too late. Afraid I will be forced to put you down before you do.”
“Afraid you won’t be able to.”
“Andrea, my power comes with a great deal of knowledge. I have contested on this level, you are merely a guest. Even were you to hold your own, there is the entire Continuum to reckon with.”
“Will there ever be a moment, ever, when I will be in complete control of my own destiny?”
“My dear child: You have always been in complete control of your destiny. If you are asking if the choices get easier, the answer is no. Not ever.”