Disclaimers: See part 1
To Three From One
Ray let his statement hang in the stunned silence in the room. He knew anyone from Earth heard of the ancient tales of Atlantis, and most probably considered it a myth, fable or legend that a fool would look for. He saw Riker with a look of disbelief, and Picard, though skeptical, appeared to want proof. To Ray’s surprise, Data spoke up first, probably unfazed by the comment, and waited for his logical question.
“You are aware, that despite every effort to validate such a claim, Atlantis does not exist,” Data pointed out. “There are no records on Earth of such a civilization, nor are there any recorded records of Earth being space-faring at that time.”
“Yes, I am aware of that,” Ray replied. “Its like that because we destroyed the artifacts, and historical records. It was a main reason for the fire in the Library of Alexandria, something that we argued about for years.”
“Why would you do that?” Riker asked. “There was nothing to be proud of, something you could use to help lead the next generations of humanity?”
“We are proud of who we are, but the technology that was developed during those wars, the world of the time was not ready for such things. By the time you were, no one cared. So we let our civilization become legend, though some artifacts still remain, under guard, however, you are still not ready for such things.”
“You keep mention we and us, there are others?” Picard asked, speaking up for the first time.
“I am not the only third gen solider captain, there are many of us who survived the war, some have died, others are hidden, only coming out infrequently to check on humanity’s progress,” Ray said. The group in front of him remained silent. Q had not said much since Ray’s startling accusation, which suited him. From what he saw of Q, the man was arrogant to the nth degree.
“Captain,” a voice said over the communications. “we are approaching Earth and Starfleet wishes to know why we are here.”
“Captain, this information must remain a secret, it may seem odd, but I have my reasons, the Borg are not the only things we created which are dangerous,” Ray said. “I do not wish to open another Pandora’s Box.”
“Then what do you suggest I tell them?” Picard replied.
“Tell them Q is playing another one of his games, they will believe that,” Ray replied.
“I don’t like being played with,” Q said. “And your hiding this, we can check you know?”
“No, you can’t, it impossible for you to directly affect anything of your own past, is it not?” Ray stated. He watched Q think about that for a few seconds before following Captain Picard out of the room and onto the bridge. Data remained behind, looking at Ray.
“I am curious, if you have some things that can be told, why not tell them?” Data asked.
“Because, during the war, both sides invented dangerous machines, some many times more dangerous than anything you have today. If those were to be discovered, it could undermine everything the Federation stands for. Humanity’s second chance has been wonderful,” Ray said, walking over to a computer, and sending a signal down to Earth. He knew they would be listening, and now only had to way for a reply.
Picard walked onto the bridge, seeing someone from Starfleet on the screen.
“Captain Picard, I expect you have a good reason for being here and not at Outpost 12,” the man said.
“I’m afraid that will have to wait a bit, we have a, visitor,” Picard said, looking over at Q.
“So, you are the infamous Q,” the man said. “Get out of here Q, we have work to do.”
“Ah, but you see, this is the perfect time to interfere,” Q said, surprising Picard with his ability to act, or was he acting? “Now if you don’t mind, there are some things I must do with El Capitan here.”
The screen went blank leaving them looking at each other. Picard motioned for Deanna Troi, who moved over.
“What do you think Deanna, did they buy it?” Picard said.
“I don’t know, but they are uneasy that Q is involved,” Troi said.
“Good enough,” Picard replied, seeing Ray and Data enter the bridge. “What do you need?” he asked Ray.
“I’ll need some space for a ship about the size of a shuttle in the hangar,” Ray replied.
“Will,” Picard said, looking over at his second in command.
“I’ll head down and check sir,’ Riker said, exiting the bridge along with Ray.
“I’m having a hard time believing this, Atlantis, preposterous,” Picard said, more to himself than anyone else. “Atlantis never existed.”
“Captain, Lieutenant Conner answered a question I had, he mentioned that his civilization created even more dangerous things than the Borg. He also thought the Federation was a good thing, and if such information got out, it could cause the fall of everything humanity had worked to achieve,” Data said. “I do not think he was lying.”
“Neither do I captain,” Troi said. “I sense no attempt to deceive, but he is hiding something.”
Picard thought about that, and what Data said. If what he said was true, then he wondered what else they had created. Q seemed to be quiet, which suited Picard.
“Captain,” Riker’s voice said over the intercom.
“Go ahead number one,” Picard answered.
“The ship has docked, we can leave anytime.”
“Acknowledged,” Picard said, turning to the bridge crew. “Ensign, lay in a course for Outpost 12, warp factor eight, engage.”
Riker watched the small ship dock on board the Enterprise, unsure of what to think. It had an aerodynamic look to it, but had a strange, unfamiliar design to it. His attention diverted from the ship to argument which was going on between Ray and the pilot of the ship.
“It was my decision, I made it,’ Ray said. “I know the consequences more than you think.”
“You still should have notified us, we all need to make such decisions,” the pilot replied.
“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of any loose ends, including Q and Data,” Ray said, making Riker a bit uncomfortable about that.
“When the rest hear about this,” the pilot said, trailing off at ray’s stare.
“It will be over, and wont’ matter anymore,” Ray replied,.
“This discussion is over,” Ray said, his tone changing slightly. “Now we must rest for the battle.”
“Very well, sir.”
Riker understood that somehow Ray held a position of command in the group by the way the argument had gone. Riker had the impression something else had gone on as well, but decided not to say anything.
“We’ll need to rest a bit before the battle, if the captain needs me I’ll be in my quarters,” Ray said, leading the pilot off the hangar.
“When should we notify you?” Riker asked.
“When we enter the system,” Ray replied.
Riker took one last look at the ship, running his hand over the metal, then made his way to the bridge. Things appeared normal when he arrived, but with Q standing there, he felt uneasy.
“I’m not sure Jean Luc,” Q said to Picard. “I was born with these powers, and my parents are dead. We are forbidden to interfere with out past, for obvious reason of course.”
“What about this ship?” Picard asked.
“Unlike anything I’ve seen before,” Riker said.
“Our sensors cannot penetrate the hull,” Worf said. “We know something is there, but the readings are unable to do anything.”
“When I touched the metal, it was unlike anything I had felt before. Almost as if the metal was alive,” Riker said.
“Interesting,” Q said, disappearing from the bridge.
“I wish he would leave us alone,” Riker said.
“So do I number one,” Picard replied back.
“Ray, this is dangerous. You’ve broken the treaty,” Sam said, the moment they entered Ray’s quarters. He turned to look at the pilot, a person he knew for a long time. They had both been soldiers long ago, and underwent the same procedure.
“I know Sam, but it was already null and void,” Ray replied, seeing the startled look on Sam’s face.
“What do you mean?”
“The Continuum introduced the Enterprise to the Borg, and the Enterprise fired upon them, the moment they did that the treaty was negated,” Ray replied.
“They did that?”
“Yep,” Ray replied.
“Damn, won’t we need backup,” Sam asked, now pacing the room.
“Probably not, the Borg might not consider us a threat,” Ray replied, looking towards the window.
“You’re right, we never did beat them,” Sam replied.
“Guess its time we lived up to our expectations, what we were supposed to do in the first place. A lot of civilizations have been hurt by them,” Ray said. He wondered what things might be like if they had defeated the Borg.
“So I might as well rest,” Sam said.
“Yeah,” Ray replied, dropping down into a chair. He hoped the ship was still strong enough to defeat a Borg ship.
Picard sat in the command chair, thinking about what might happen, and back-up plans in case whatever Ray had thought of did not work. He knew some information about the Borg invasion was missing, like how many were out there.
“Captain!” Worf said, interrupting Picard’s thoughts.
“What is it Worf,” he said, turning to look at the station.
“We are receiving several emergency transmissions. It appears the Borg have begun a full scale assault. Scanners show at least five Borg cubes,” Worf said, shocking Picard. What could he do against so many ships?
“Are you sure?’ he asked, standing up.
“Yes sir,” Worf replied.
“How long till we can intercept the closest one?” Picard asked.
“Ten minutes at our current speed,” Data replied, as the door to the bridge opened allowing Ray and his guest to enter.
“What’s the situation?” Ray asked, walking over to him.
“Five Borg cubes have invaded Federation space, a full invasion,” Picard replied. “We’ll intercept the closest in less than ten minutes.”
“Let’s go,” he heard Ray say to the other man. They left the bridge leaving Picard looking skeptical about the upcoming engagement.
“What do you think captain?” Riker asked.
“I don’t ‘know Will, technology that’s thousands of years old against the Borg, it might not work,” Picard finally replied.
“That’s what I was thinking,” Riker replied. “And if it doesn’t, I have no idea how we’ll defeat five cubes.”
“I could always help,” Q said, appearing on the bridge. Picard wondered where he had been, but decided he did not care.
“I thought you left,” Riker said, saying what Picard was thinking.
“No one ever cares about me,” Q said, putting forth a hurt tone.
“Captain, we’ve arrived,” Data said.
“On screen,” Picard ordered, watching the Borg cube appear on the screen. He still hated the sight of the ship, and the fact it reminded him of what had happened to him.
“Captain, the ship has launched from the shuttle bay, heading towards the Borg cube,” Worf said.
“Open hailing frequency to the ship,” Picard said. “Lieutenant Conner, is there anything we can do, back you up?”
“Keep the Enterprise out of the way captain, we’ll handle things from here,” Ray replied.
“Pushy isn’t he,” Q said, from where he stood leaning against the bulkhead.
“Shut up Q,” Riker said.
“Data, keep the Enterprise out of range of the Borg,” Picard said. “Worf, be ready in case we have to engage.”
He watched the screen as the small vessel approached the Borg ship. He felt unsure about why the Borg had not fired upon it yet. The thought barely finished crossing his mind when the weapons opened fire.
“I cannot detect if the hits are causing any damage,” Word said.
Picard watched the Borg weapons remained engaged for several seconds, more than enough to cause damage to a Federation starship. He blinked when he saw what appeared to be a smaller red beam make its way from the small shuttle ship inside the green cutting beam of the Borg ship. He had never seen anything like it before.
“Captain, the Borg appear to be having trouble with their weapons. It seems they are trying to disengage,” Data said.
Picard continued to watch as the red beam closed in on the Borg ship.
“Captain, the other Borg ships have disengaged and are heading this way,” Worf said.
“Uh-oh, trouble in paradise,” Q said, still leaning against the buikhead. Picard ignored him at the moment, instead turning towards Troi.
“Anything councilor?” he asked.
“No, there is something blocking me,” Troi replied, looking out at the screen.
The red beam now reached the cubeship, and for several seconds nothing happened. Picard thought whatever they were attempting to do failed.
“Reading massive power fluctuations,” Worf said.
Picard looked at Worf, then at the screen in time to see it explode.
“Captain, approaching Borg cubes are retreating,” Worf said, before looking up rather shocked. “Two of the ships have exploded, the remaining two have left scanner range.”
Picard stood slightly stunned by what he saw. What had destroyed those other two ships? So many questions and he had no answers at the moment. He decided to wait until Lieutenant Conner returned to the ship.
Half an hour later Picard sat in the meeting room, with Data, Worf, Troi, Jordie, Crusher, Q and Ray. The strange ship and the pilot left the ship and could not be tracked.
“What happened?” Picard finally asked.
“We went about to end the war,” Ray replied calmly.
“You destroyed them all?” Troi asked.
“Maybe, I don’t know for sure. But you two,” Ray said, pointing at Picard and Q. “Family should treat each other better.”
The statement shocked Picard, wondering what he meant. Q went to protest but Ray stopped him.
“Stop it,” Ray said. “It’s obvious the Continuum is completely different, you don’t even realize that you’re my nephew, your mother was my sister Xztel, and Picard, you’re a descendent of my older sister, Mabxel.”
Picard looked over at Q, unsure he would be able to grasp what he had been told. Yesterday if someone mentioned this, he would have thought the person was crazy. Now, he had no idea what to think. He failed to noticed Ray glowing, until the light filled the room.
Picard blinked, looking over at Q.
“Q, get off my ship,” Picard said.
“You need to lighten up captain, after all I did help you out,” Q said, before vanishing. Picard felt some relief now that Q had left, and turned his attention back to his staff.
“So, we have no idea what race that ship belonged to?” Picard asked, looking at the screen of a ship which engaged the Borg, and defeated it easily.
“No, I’ve never seen anything like it before,” Jordie replied.
“They might be an ancient race, or the Borg creators who have returned,” Data said, logically.
“So we don’t know, Starfleet won’t like this,” Picard said, dreading the report he would be sending back.
His staff looked back unable to answer the question.
“All right, meeting over, I’ll send what we know, perhaps Starfleet can figure it out,’ Picard said, standing up and heading back to the bridge. He sat down in the chair.
“Ensign, set course for Deep Space 9, Warp six, engage.”
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