Brief Encounters: Star Trek the Best of Both Worlds

Original fiction from your favourite shows

By Owen Quinn author of the Time Warriors and Zombie Blues

Copyright Paramount Pictures

Jean Luc Picard was gone and Locutus of Borg now stood in his place!

Guinan stood in shock at the turn of events. The Borg, that terror that scratched her nightmares, had returned and taken Jean Luc Picard. To many Picard was a legend, an indestructible oasis in the midst of any tempest. He was the one they turned to; the one that held this ship together. What would happen now that thread had been pulled? How soon before the tight tapestry that consisted of the Enterprise crew’s unfaltering faith in him withered? If it crumbled too much then the fight with the Borg would be over before it began. First Earth then the entire Federation would be assimilated; an ocean of hopeful flames being extinguished with one cold deathly breath.

Closing her dark almond shaped eyes, Guinan breathed deeply letting her mind reach out to her shipmates. She could feel the subdued fear and disbelief. It took a lot for her to push down her own horror at this turn of events. While she knew the bridge crew were maintaining a brave face for the sake of the crew, that crown lay heavier on Will Riker most of all. He was now Captain with a first officer in the shape of Shelby nipping at his heels for the captaincy he had shied away from for so long. Add to that he had just given (thankfully an unsuccessful one) the chance to blow the abomination out of the stars that now wore Picard’s face. Regardless of the mechanical implants the crew still saw their captain no matter what he called himself. If the Borg could convert the best of them so easily then no one really stood a chance. Any battle and the massacre of thousands at Wolf 359 were mere spit against the wind than a historically remembered battle of the brave. It would be easier to surrender and allow everything they were become part of the Borg Collective. It washed through Guinan as she returned her expressionless gaze to the star filled vista out the window of Ten Forward.

Copyright Paramount Pictures

The entire future rested on a spin of this coin and yet she knew that it wasn’t over. She kept a secret that could not be revealed until the time was right. Part of her roared at the Fates that this was wrong but she had to find a way to salvage the situation. The stench of hopelessness wafted the corridors of the flagship like decaying wraiths seeking a place for their souls to rest. Riker was not thinking like a captain. The bridge crew could see nothing beyond the fact they had just tried to kill their captain. They were leaderless and swimming in treacle. Even the promotion thirsty Shelby was thinking of how she could get skip to the top of the ladder if she found a solution to all this. Troi was overwhelmed by the waves of despair. Worf was cursing his own failure as were Geordi and Wesley. Parents held their children close, terrified these young ones’ futures would be taken away. With a gasp, Guinan heard a mother sob to her husband, ‘Never again a lullaby.’

No! she vowed.

Although she could not yet see it there was a way to save the day. The Borg would be defeated and Picard would be restored. She knew it. She had seen it. For a moment Guinan stared at her own reflection in the window. She held her own gaze as it suddenly came to her. All the crew needed was a nudge in the right direction. The answer lay within them; all it would take is someone that had seen the hidden future her shipmates could not know. Phasers and photon torpedoes would not solve this; it would take the crew to look at things differently. Allowing herself a sly smile at the memory of the moment Picard and she first met (oh Jean Luc if only you knew but soon old friend), Guinan’s course was set. She had the key to salvation with the knowledge she had kept hidden for all these years. She somehow knew the future she had seen was closer than she knew.

“Ok Locutus, here they come,” she whispered. She knew where the wounded Riker would be and what he was thinking. Ignited by this new spark of hope, Guinan glided out of Ten Forward formulating a plan. There will be lullabies again she promised. Despair had been replaced by thoughts of Data’s severed head and Mark Twain.

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