AOH :: TREK-038.TXT|
Dune - The Next Generation
Subject: Dune- The Next Generation (story repost)
Date: 22 Feb 92 01:38:25 GMT
Organization: BTR Public Access UNIX, MtnView CA. Contact: Customer Service cs@BTR.COM
[On the bridge of the Relaint-Class cruiser Nadia. An alert sounds in the
First Officer: All scanners negative, Captain. Shields at maximum. Weapon
batteries reporting fully operational and ready.
Navigator: Entering standard orbit.
Captain: Open a channel.
Com Officer: Open, sir.
Captain: This is Captain Michael Killpatrix of the Federation starship Nadia.
We have assumed standard orbit above Cey 4. Please acknowledge.
Com Officer: Receiving visual, sir.
Killpatrik: Main viewer.
[A woman - visibly angry - appears on screen]
Killpatrik: Colonel Lexis, I presume?
Lexis: You were warned, Captain, not to assume standard orbit.
Killpatrik: No signs of anything unusual, Colonel. We are at maximum alert,
just in case.
Lexis: None of the previous craft reported signs of anything unusual, either,
Killpatrik: Colonel, we are not a cargo ship. And as I said, we are at
maximum alert. It seems to me the best way to investigate a strange happening
is to recreate as much of it as possible. Our current course matches that of
the last vessel.
Lexis: I am a soldier and not a star jockey. I shall assume you know what
you are doing. Cey 4 out.
Killpatrik: Nadia out. Anything, Number One?
First Officer: Scanners continue to report negative.
Navigator: Nearing the Andromadorea's last coordinates.
Killpatrik: Quarter impulse. Focused short range scans, Number One. All
phaser banks stand-by. Establish telemetry link with Cey 4. Transmit
Com. Officer: Link established. Transmitting full status.
Killpatrik: Well, now we wait.
First Officer: Oh, God...
[The Enterprise bridge. A wire-frame diagram of a ship on main screen. The
vessel is bulbous, resembling perhaps a whale or other large sea-creature.]
Picard [voice-over]: Captain's log, supplemental. Proceeding to Cey 4 at
maximum warp. We are responding to the loss of three starships and the
severe damaging of a fourth, all within a one month period. The fourth ship -
Federation cruiser Nadia - suffered severe structural damage from a collision
with a vessel of unprecedented size. We assume the other vessels suffered a
similar collision, and were destroyed. The vessel appears to be cloaked so
effectively, the Nadia's - and even planet-based systems - have failed to
located it using there scanners, even though they now know exactly where it
Data [continuing a discussion]: Even Romulan cloaking technology could not
hope to mask a ship of this size with any effectiveness. To hide it from the
concerted efforts of the Nadia and the military installations on Cey 4 would
be beyond them.
Riker: It's plainly not beyond someone.
Data: That is true, Commander Riker.
Picard: But who?
Data: That, Captain, would appear to be beyond us.
Worf: This poses a severe military risk...
Data: There have been no overtly hostile actions on the part of this vessel.
All damage, so far, has been the result of unforeseen events. Literally.
Worf: So far.
Riker: And there were no warnings to the ships in danger.
Data: I think it likely no-one exists capable of making such warnings. Hoping
someone will crash into you is not a very effective form of hostility.
Riker: It's been pretty effective to this point.
Data: More by unfortunate circumstance than calculated design, Commander Riker.
Picard: You think it's an abandoned vessel, Commander Data?
Data: That is my first 'guess.'
Com Officer: Receiving transmission from the Nadia, Captain.
Picard: On screen. Maybe we'll get some answers...
Worf: Or more questions.
Picard: Yes. Or more questions.
[Killpatrik appears on screen. His bridge shows signs of the mishap, but is
not severely damaged]
Killpatrik: Am I glad to see you, Enterprise!
Picard: Oh? Has there been more trouble?
Killpatrik: No. This thing just - un-nerves me. Well, it scares the hell out
Data: Have you made any progress in determining why the vessel is invisible
Killpatrik: You might call it progress. We have determined the ship sits
inside a sphere of some kind. Roughly twice the vessel's length in diameter.
Though it has no physical manifestation - we can move through it freely - it
cloaks everything inside it completely. Including, I might add, us.
Data: Does this sphere interfere with you instruments while you are within it?
Killpatrik: Well, we're inside it now. It doesn't seem to be interfering with
our communications. It doesn't interfere with our scans of the main vessel.
Nor does it interfere with our ability to see out.
Data: Can you determine the energy requirements of this sphere?
Killpatrik: Well, no. The ship has no detectable sources of energy. No
detectable means of propulsion, either. It's only visible feature, as you
already know from the diagrams we've sent, is an opening wide enough to move
five starships through side by side. This slit runs down most of the thing's
belly. Enterprise, if this is some kind of carrier, ti could hold several
thousand heavy cruisers...
Picard: Understood, Captain.
Data: You have not moved your ship inside, I presume?
Killpatrik: Hell no! We couldn't fight of a Klingon dinghy - uh, no offense
Worf: None taken, Captain.
Killpatrik: Thank God that thing's shaped the way it is. All those curves.
Our shields held long enough for our momentum to shift, but we're still a mess.
Picard: Looks like we'll be the lucky ones, then.
Killpatrik: Yeah. Lucky you.
Data: Do you have anything else you could transmit?
Killpatrik: We're waiting for reports from some un-manned probes, including
some sent inside the craft. We'll send you what we can. It might not be
Picard: It will be more than we have now.
Killpatrik: True. Until later, Nadia out.
Picard: Enterprise out.
[The Enterprise conference room. Officers present: Picard, Riker, Data, Troy
and Worf. Several screens are active, showing diagrams of the mystery
vessel. Data is speaking]
Data: ...the vessel is, for the most part, hollow. Support beams honeycomb
this interior, apparently designed to hold other vessels falling into four
primary size ranges. The smallest, a one or two man corsair. The largest,
roughly five times the size of the Enterprise. Capacity is - as Captain
Killpatrik already implied - enormous. There appear to be berths for twenty-
five hundred of the largest ships.
Worf: Two-thousand, five-hundred vessels five times the size of the
Data: Yes. That is what I said. For the smallest ships, there is space for
perhaps ten thousand. Total capacity is in the range of twenty-five thousand.
Riker: That's almost incomprehensible. All of Star Fleet...
Data: Even at it's peak, would not exhaust it's capacity. In all probability,
there would be ample room left for the Klingon and Romulan fleets. The main
function of this carrier seems to be simply holding the ships securely. There
are no visible access corridors allowing for movement from ship to ship, or
from ship to carrier. In fact, the hangar is segmented in such a way that it
would be possible to close off sections. Indeed, one could imagine the
Klingon and Romulan fleets together with the Federation inside this vessel,
none with access to the others' sections.
Picard: Baring transporter technology...
Data: That is not certain, Captain. I shall explain later.
Worf: With such capacity, the visible opening would appear to be too small to
be practical. Especially in wartime.
Data: The hull opens up. Two segments can be pulled upwards over the vessel's
back, exposing roughly two-hundred and seventy degrees of the hangar.
Worf: Such a sight would be awe-inspiring.
Riker: The Nadia is certain this thing is empty?
Data: The probes have accounted for all of the hangar space, and it is empty.
Riker: But the entire ship is not a hangar.
Data: No. The foreward fifth of the ship is un-accounted for. There are also
several bubbles along the hull about which we know nothing. And the hull itself
ranges from ten to sixty meters in thickness. Easily capable of housing
additional facilities. The materials of this hull have resisted identification.
The Nadia's scanners have been unable to penetrate it. Nor could transporter
beams, Captain. Access to the carrier itself appears severely limited.
Riker: Has any means of access been found at all?
Picard: Quite a mystery. And it could not have appeared in a less practical
region of Federation space.
Riker: Cey 4?
Picard: Exactly. I should remind you all of the nature of this world. The
population of Cey 4 originated in a small nation on Earth, surrounded on all
sides by larger, hostile neighbors. Somewhere lost in the turmoils of the
twenty-first and second centuries, this nation vanished. Previously, it was
assumed they had been destroyed in the many nuclear exchanges that rocked the
area. However, they themselves initiated those exchanges to mask a deeper
purpose. They left. In a massive exodus which ended here. An amazing - if
not down-right miraculous - feat given the technology of the time.
Worf: And their new desert home has made them harsh. Their fighting skill is
legendary among Klingons.
Data: And virtually unknown among the Federation worlds.
Riker: I've never heard of them.
Data: They have been used in planet-based raids only. And only rarely, and
only in great secrecy. They have never failed.
Picard: And like all legends, privacy is of paramount importance to them.
They have shown an unusual spirit of cooperation in tending to the casualties
and damage of the Nadia, but we cannot be certain of their future disposition.
Riker: Sounds like they just want us to be gone as soon as possible...
Data: They are known to have a particular dislike for Star Fleet.
Picard: Well, the point is we must tread carefully with Cey 4. Anything else
on the vessel, Commander Data?
Data: Only that even with the additional scrutiny, no sources of power have
Riker: But that should be expected, given we can't see through the hull.
Data: Not so. Signature radiations - particularly neutrinos - should escape
and be detected by our more sensitive instruments. That is not the case.
Riker: Maybe the power's off.
Data: That is not the case, either. Unless the cloaking sphere is a natural
by-product of the hull's materials.
Worf: Which is a possibility.
Data: But an extremely remote one.
Picard: Well, we know a little more than we did.
Data: One last thing, Captain.
Data: None of the probes or scans have elicited the slightest response from
the vessel. It is growing increasingly likely that we have stumbled across
an abandoned hulk. If that is the case, there may not be anything aboard to
answer the many, many questions which are sure to arise.
Picard: Yes. Foremost of which is the circumstance of it's abandonment.
[A vast plateau of metal. In the background, a blue planet. Several dozen
ships, similar in appearance to the giant vessel discovered by the Nadia,
float above the platform, occasionally connected to it by arcs of electricity.
A ship which is plainly that encountered by the Nadia sits motionless at the
center. It is larger than the rest, but not by much.]
Woman's Voice: My Sisters. We are at the end of history. The Maelstrom
rages. As goes the nova, so goes Civilization. It collapses. Twenty-
thousand years ago fell the God-Emperor. Not even he Saw this far. To the
very edge of Man. Standing here, I See. For I, too, am Atreides. The
product of Gesserit and Tleilaxu desperation.
But the later have been swallowed.
Sisters. We are the last. We and this world Ix. We are the height of
that which Civilization has created. And we must fight. Fight the rabid
wolves circling about us. Only war do they know. They burn hot, but like an
ember, are doomed to ash.
I have seen that we may prevail. And I have Seen that we may not. But
I hold your memories with me now. And if we are to fail, I shall know it the
moment before. Then shall I take this ship - the pride of Ix - and loose
myself in the cosmos. Come what may, all record of us shall not be lost.
Go now to war, and send us all to Destiny.
[The leviathan ships begin to move. They rise above the platform and vanish.
Only the center one remains. The planet rises higher and higher in the
background. And then, the last ship vanishes as well.]
[Enterprise bridge. Crew at yellow alert. Killpatrik on main viewer.]
Killpatrik: We'll guide you in, Enterprise. We're sitting just below the
fore section of the craft. She'll seem to just pop into existence right over
your head. It's spectacular.
Picard: I'm looking forward to it.
Killpatrik: I would too, the second time around.
Com Officer: Receiving transmission from Cey 4, Captain.
Picard: This, I'm not sure I'm looking forward too.
Killpatrik: Colonel Lexis. She's a real peach, Picard. You'll like her.
Picard: We will continue to follow your guide. Enterprise out.
Killpatrik: Right. Nadia out.
Lexis: Welcome to Cey 4, Enterprise. Colonel Hafia Lexis-Benyamin, Al-Mossad.
I salute you.
Picard: Jean-Luc Picard, Captain, Starship Enterprise. It is our hope,
Colonel, to trouble you only so long as necessary...
Lexis: We understand Starfleet's presence here, Captain Picard. We do not
resent it. We requested it, and are, in fact, grateful.
Data: Can you add anything to the Nadia's account of the vessel, Colonel?
Lexis: We have plotted positions for all ships known lost over the past two-
hundred years. Some thirty vessels in all remain unexplained. Of those, 16
disappearances have occured within a narrow band.
Data: Corresponding to the vessel's orbit?
Lexis: Yes. It has been here a long time.
Riker: An abandonned hulk of some earlier civilization?
Data: That is a possibility. Are there any signs of previous habitation on
the planet's surface, Colonel?
Lexis: I am sorry, Enterprise. Cey 4 is not open for discussion at this time.
We do not believe anything of relevance to this vessel exists on the planet's
Picard: Yes, Colonel Lexis?
Lexis: We are sincerely grateful for Starfleet's help. However, this system
is our home. This discovery a piece of it. We do not want it lost.
Picard: Starfleet understands your position, Colonel.
Lexis: I do not wish to make threats, Captain. We will help you in any way
we can, including granting access to the planet's surface if that proves
absolutely necessary. However, should you remove this vessel or it's contents
from this system without our consent, you will be making a dangerous foe.
Picard: Let me say, Colonel, that we fully understand the position of Cey 4
and it will be consulted in all decisions of pertinence to this case.
Lexis: [laugh] The reknowned Starship warrior has become a politician. I will
trust you, Captain. Your past speaks for your future. Lexis out.
Picard: Enterprise out.
Troi: She was afraid of something, Captain.
Troi: Apprehensive. Like a tigress in a zoo. Her cub is wounded, and she
trusts the zoo keeper. And yet...
Riker: And yet one false move and off with his head.
Riker: Do we know anything about their offensive capability?
Data: Classified at the highest levels of Starfleet. And that is their planet
based capability. Of their space systems, we know next to nothing.
Worf: We know they required our aid.
Data: An interesting induction. However, given the nature of this mystery
vessel, it could well be they exhausted all other options but turning to
Starfleet. We still do not know what those options were.
Picard: The bottom line is: we know damn little about anything. Other than
the fact we're right smack in the middle of it.
Data: That is correct, Captain.
Riker: We should be crossing the boundary soon.
Picard: Good, Number One. Main screen forward visual.
[Several moments pass. Without warning, the vessel appears. It's upper bounds
disappear off the edges of the screen. The Nadia sits, barely visible, beneath
it. The left side of her main section shows severe damage as the Enterprise
Worf: In combat, I would rather it remained a mystery how I was destroyed than
see what it was I battled...
[Enterprise bridge. Most of the officers standing. Notable exception:
Commander Troi. Worf notices, and rushes to her side.]
Worf: Captain! Commander Troi has collapsed!
Worf: She has collapsed. Her pulse is very weak. I do not believe she is
Picard: Have her taken to sick bay at once!
Worf: Yes, Captain!
Picard [hitting comm link]: Dr. Crusher, prepare for an emergency. Commander
Troi has collapsed. Perhaps some kind of cardiac arrest.
Dr. Crusher: What caused it?
Picard: That is something I would very much like you to find out. [turning
to Worf] Immediate status report. Full alert!
Riker: An attack of some kind?
Data: Commander Troi could present a meaningful target to a very perceptive
enemy. Her empathic abilities could give us an advantage.
Riker: What kind of an advantage would someone on a ship like that need?
Picard: I can't imagine...
Riker: And what kind of attack was it?
Worf: All decks reporting calm. There have been no other apparent incidents.
Data: There were no unusual energy emissions detected by our scanners. That
continues to be the case. Commander Troi could either have suffered from some
manner of telepathic assualt, or...
Data: Or, she simply could have collapsed.
Riker: Oh, come on, Data. That would be one hell of a coincidence.
Data: It is, nevertheless, a possibility.
[Picard walks toward the screen. His look is very intense. Silence]
Worf: Captain, is something wrong? Shall I alert Dr. Crusher...
Picard: No. No. This sphere. Perhaps not a means of hiding at all.
Worf: How do you mean, Captain?
Picard: Perhaps, a means of keeping something in.
Riker: The Nadia has been able to leave and re-enter the sphere. As have ships
from Cey 4.
Picard: A magic circle.
Riker: A what?
Data: A magic circle. In ancient mythology, sorcerers were said to keep
demons at bay by imprisoning them in a magic circle. In theory, the sorcerer -
or anyone else - could cross such a boundary at will. The demon could not.
Riker: Please, Data.
Picard: Get me the Nadia.
[Killpatrik comes on screen]
Killpatrik: Enterprise, has something happened? You're at red alert...
Picard: A member of my crew has collapsed. Perhaps some form of mental attack.
You do not have any betazoid's aboard your vessel?
Killpatrik: Negative, Picard. Pretty much, we're half and half. Klingons and
Data: It is possible that Commander Troi's increased sensitivity made her a
vulnerable target, where - no offense, Captain - the less developed human
awareness served as some form of defense.
Worf: And, I assume, the less developed Klingon awareness as well?
Data: Yes. And that of the other races aboard. I do not mean to imply any
Picard: Quite understood, Data. My own thoughts follow a similar line. Nadia
Back out. Slowly. We shall follow once you are clear of the sphere.
Killpatrik: You really think you crew member was deliberately attacked?
Picard: We cannot rule that out. We shall cover your retreat.
Killpatrik: Well, if you think that best...
Picard: I do. [turning to Worf] Ready phasers. Shields at full.
Worf: Yes, sir.
Killpatrik: Very well. Nadia out.
[The Nadia begins to move. As she nears the Enterprise, extensive damage to
her saucer section becomes plain. It is badly crumpled along an edge. The
Nadia passes over the Enterprise and disappears from the screen. Picard takes
Worf: They have cleared the sphere.
Picard: Back us out, Ensign Crusher.
Wesley: Yes, sir.
Picard: Something just occured to me. Something disturbing.
Riker: More demons?
Picard: Of a sort, Number One. Suppose we are inside some form of magic
circle. Designed to keep something in. And suppose Commander Troi now
houses whatever it was...
Riker: Sir, with all respect, demonic possession?
Picard: Of a sort, Number One. I realize it may sound outrageous. But we
have encountered outrageous things in the past. Have we not?
Riker: Yes, but...
Picard: But what if? What if we move outside the sphere now? Will we be
setting something free?
Riker: The Nadia has moved in and out. So have ships from the planet...
Picard: Humans and Klingons, all.
Riker: Are you saying we're just going to sit here?
Killpatrik: Enterprise? Enterprise? Is everything all right? Are you
Picard: Negative, Nadia. We may have a complication.
Picard: Potentially. We shall remain in constant contact.
Dr. Crusher [over comm-link]: Captain. This is fascinating. I think you
should come down here.
Picard: On my way. You have the bridge, Number One
[Sick bay. Picard, Data, and Dr. Crusher stand by Troi's prone form.]
Data: She appears to have no brain activity.
Picard: A coma?
Dr. Crusher: No. She has more brain activity than that instrument can show.
Literally, off the scale. Her body has fallen into some kind of trance to
Picard: She's in shock, then?
Data: Deep sleep, perhaps? An advanced state of dreaming?
Dr. Crusher: Basically. All sensory regions of her brain are receiving a
phenomenal amount of information. Especially her vision. She is definitely
dreaming. Only it's like she's dreaming the dreams of everybody aboard the
Enterprise. All at once.
Data: This could reinforce your theory, Captain. If some form of higher
intelligence were seeking to control her body, this would be symptomatic.
Dr. Crusher: Well, I won't rule that out, but...
Picard: Skepticism is understandable. Can you wake her up?
Dr. Crusher: Not with that level of brain activity. If she even came up to
the REM stage of dreaming, it would rip her optic nerve and eye muscles apart.
I can't imagine what would happen if she neared waking. The muscle spasms
would be horrible. In fact, I suspect her body would automatically shut down
again before she approached the danger thresholds.
Picard: Is she in danger as it is?
Dr. Crusher: That's hard to say. Physically, I don't hink so.
Data: But insanity may be a possibility?
Dr. Crusher: Yes. Her brain will be trying to sort out all this input. And
it will almost certainly fail...
Data: Perhaps T'Selar...
Picard: Vulcans! They could be in danger, also!
Data: That is true. Vulcans do possess an advanced mental awareness. I
should not have forgotten...
Picard [hitting comm device]: T'Selar! T'Selar!
Worf: Yes, Captain?
Picard: Find T'Selar immediately. Check the status of all Vulcans aboard.
Riker: You think they may be in danger? Like Troi?
Picard: Yes. I'm on my way to the bridge.
Dr. Crusher: I'll do my best here, but...
Picard: Understood. Come, Data.
[Wesley's quarters. The room is dark. He is asleep. A strange shape takes
form near him. A very tall, unspeakable obesse man. Wesley wakes up.]
Wesley: Who are you?
Harkonnen: How rude, dear boy! I know who you are. In all politeness, you
should return the favor.
Wesley: We've never met...
Harkonnen: Perhaps not. You're point?
Wesley: Then how could you know me?
Harkonnen: Oh, poor, stupid child. Have you met everyone you know?
Wesley: I know I don't know you. I know I'd like you to leave this room. I
know I'm about to call security.
Harkonnen: But my beautiful little rabbit, I'm not in your room.
Wesley: Oh, no?
Harkonnen: I'm in your mind.
Harkonnen: Oh, pitiful little creature. How sad, to be so pretty and yet so
weak of mind. But then, I suppose that is so often the case. And it makes
things so much easier for people like me.
Wesley: Get away from me!
Harkonnen: Oh, that would be difficult, dear Wesley. Very difficult.
Wesley [pounding the wall comm device]: Security! Security!
Harkonnen: Tsk, tsk. This is going to be very embarrassing. You may want
to get dressed. Then again... You may like to stay the way you are. Hmmm?
[The bridge. Picard looks very tired. Worf enters with T'Selar.]
Worf: I have found T'Selar. She appeared to be in a trance. I was afraid she
had suffered an attack similar to Commander Troi. She awakened quickly,
T'Selar: I felt it best to explore more before contacting you, Captain. Worf's
intrusion changed my decision. I must say, this is most fascinating.
Picard: What? What is most fascinating?
T'Selar: This ship. No signs of life have been detected, and yet the presence
of millions of minds is incontrovertible.
Picard: Millions of minds? What do you mean?
T'Selar: Precisely that. There are millions of minds aboard that ship.
Data: I have never known a full Vulcan to exaggerate.
T'Selar: I am not exaggerating.
Picard: You're saying that vessel has a crew in the millions?
Data: As large as it is, that vessel could not hold that many beings, unless
they were of a truly diminuative stature.
T'Selar: Or no stature at all.
T'Selar: I do not sense millions of beings. Just intellect. And it is not
originating from the ship as a whole. Rather, this mass of intellect appears
to be concentrated in a very small space. How small, I cannot say exactly. I
feel certain it is smaller than this bridge. This density accounts for my
ability to sense them. Normally, Vulcans require a close proximity and heavy
concentration before they can pick up the thoughts of others.
Picard: Worf told you of Commander Troi, yes?
Picard: Any ideas?
T'Selar: I suspect the betazoid is lost.
T'Selar: Lost in the conflicting emotions of so many minds.
Riker: Well, that lays the demon theory to rest, at least.
Picard: It would appear to.
Worf: Security reports a disturbance, Captain. In Ensign Crusher's quarters.
Picard: What kind of disturbance?
Worf: Well, sir, it appears to have been a nightmare.
Riker: He alerted security over a nightmare.
Data: Given what we know, there may be more to it than simply a bad dream,
Picard: Quite right, Data. Ask Ensign Crusher to come to the bridge as soon
[Wesley's quarters. He sits on the edge of the bed. Harkonnen appears again]
Harkonnen: And did we have fun explaining ourselves to the Captain?
Wesley: I am not asleep. And yet, I can see you.
Harkonnen: Oh, we are perceptive.
Wesley: Are you responsible for what has happened to Commander Troi?
Harkonnen: Oh, excellent! Truly excellent! I shall have to raise my opinion
of your mental acuity.
Wesley: Are you?
Harkonnen: No, dear little boy. But I could help her.
Wesley: Oh, really?
Harkonnen: Such a suspicious mind! That's very good. Very good, indeed.
Always alert. Hmmm. Very good. I can help you too, Wesley.
Wesley: Oh, really?
Harkonnen: I can teach you things beyond the knowings of this primitive little
mud-puddle-universe of yours. I can make you wise in the ways of power. And,
perhaps more importantly, I can make you feel very, very good.
Wesley: Don't touch me!
Harkonnen: There, doesn't that feel good? You know, Wesley, there's nothing
you can do about me. I am not something you can shoot with your cute little
phaser gun. But you know that, don't you? Yes, you do my beautiful little
boy. I can feel that you know it. You aren't such a foolish thing after all,
Wesley: Can you really help Troi?
Harkonnen: Ah, back to business. Such a pity. Yes, Wesley, I can. Would
you like me to help her?
Wesley: You should be able to feel that, too...
Harkonnen: Ah, excellent, indeed. You do remind me of another pretty lad, not
much older than you, if at all. And he came to rule an empire spanning
galaxies. What will you come to? Hmmm?
Wesley: I have no desire to rule anything.
Harkonnen: No, no. I guess you don't. Well, then Wesley, I'll make you a
deal. I'll help Commander Troi if you'll help me.
Wesley: And how can I do that?
Harkonnen: By relaxing. There. That's right. No need to fight. Yes. And
in the morning - if you still think of it as morning on this silly little
mud-puddle-hoping space toy of yours - and in the morning, dear Commander Troi
will be all better.
Wesley: I am not a child.
Harkonnen: Oh, no. No. Of course not. Relax. Yes, that's right. Lie back
and close your eyes. Yes, off to sleep...
Before I begin, I'd like to make a little request. Could someone tell me the
name of the person who would be responsible for informing the Captain about
such things as arriving ships and people wanted to open communications. It's
getting a little tiresome saying things like 'Com Officer: Captain...'
[A corridor aboard the Enterprise. Wesley walks quickly along it. A tall
woman in a cowled robe appears beside him abruptly.]
Odrade: Do not speak.
Odrade: No. Do not speak. Think. I can hear your thoughts. But do not
think yet. Let us go someplace quiet.
Wesley: Are you...
Odrade: Do not speak. Yes. I, too, am in your mind. At once, very similar
to, and yet in reality very different from, the Baron.
Odrade: Ah, much better. Yes, walk along like that. I can hear your
thoughts. You see. No one stares. To them, you would appear to be talking to
the air. Sensitive times to appear so.
Odrade: Yes. The first Memory which appeared to you. Baron Vladimir
Harkonnen. A very dangerous man, indeed. And I am a thousand times again
more dangerous. But do not fear.
Wesley: Who are you?
Odrade: Odrade Atreides. Mother-Superior of the Bene Gesserit. Former
Mother Superior. Then again, current as well. After a fashion.
Wesley: I don't understand. Any of this.
Odrade: You would be lying to say otherwise. But I shall explain. It was
already your intent to go someplace isolated, yes?
Wesley: Ah-huh. I go there a lot when I want to be by myself. But it doesn't
seem I can be by myself anymore. Even when I am.
Odrade: Precious child! How true. But not true. I shall explain. There is
much I must teach you. Much that must happen. Much that must be made to
happen. But you are safe from the Baron, now. It is another who must worry.
Wesley: Commander Troi?
Odrade: Yes. You are very quick. That is good. I know why that must be. So
much to explain...
Worf: Captain. A ship approaches the Nadia.
Picard: Main screen.
[The ship is smaller than the Nadia. Shaped like an aerodynamic wedge or
Riker: I'm not familiar with that design.
Data: I believe, Commander, that it is a Tev planet-bomber.
Data: Yes. Used by Cey-4 to carry out strikes against surface targets. The
ship possesses extremely thick armor, made from a highly refined metal-ceramic
alloy. It dives through the atmosophere at speeds great enough to create a
trail of plasma. It then releases a warhead with extreme precision, and
escapes, literally, on the crest of the resulting explosion.
Riker: What kind of warhead?
Data: I am not certain. The engineers of Cey-4 are credited with developing
an unstable-proton device. Such a device could - in theory - achieve a
destructive force of several giga-tons. Virtually disintigrating matter
within many, many miles, and creating a colossal shock wave for hundreds more.
Riker: Could such a device be used in space?
Data: The warhead would be very large, making for poor missile performance.
And damage resultant from the shock wave would be trivial, if not non-
Worf: And a starship poses far different a target than does a city.
Picard: Yes. Mobility. That is the key to space.
Data: The ship itself is quite mobile. Effective results could be achieved...
Worf: Effectively suicidal.
Data: Effective and suicidal. But is not the career of a soldier an
excercise in suicide?
Com Officer: Captain, we are receiving a transmission from the vessel.
Colonel Lexis, commanding.
Lexis: Greetings, Captain Picard. I am interested. What is it you plan on
Picard: As it stands, Colonel, I too am very interested in that question.
[Wesley in a lift. It goes down. He exits. A seemingly deserted portion of
the ship. Ill-lit and warehouse-like. He moves as if he has been here before.
He stops at a hatch for a few seconds, looks around, opens it, and disappears.
A tube, very long and dim with regular intervals of blue light. Wesley comes
into view and moves quite a ways down the corridor, then stops. Odrade
Wesley: A monitor tube. Used to check on the main engines.
Odrade: You come here often?
Wesley: Often enough. It gets very tiring to always be the captain's son.
Odrade: Such feelings are common in youth. Not limited by the occupation of
Wesley: That doesn't make it any less tiresome.
Odrade: No. It does not. It is good you have a place of your own. We must
all be masters of something.
Wesley: I don't think of it that way. May I ask you something?
Odrade: You just did.
Wesley: Something else? What are you?
Odrade: As I have said, I am a former Mother Superior of the Bene Gesserit. I
am also a member of the Atreides line. That helps you little. I know this.
There is, however, little else I can offer. I do not know how it is I have
come to be here. In this universe. Which is plainly not my universe. But I
am here. And many, many others like me are here as well.
Wesley: In my mind?
Odrade [laugh]: Oh, no, Wesley. We are in the mind of a woman - much like me
this woman - aboard the No Ship.
Wesley: No Ship? The huge carrier?
Odrade: Yes. A Heighliner, it is called. The finest built. The last as well.
Wesley: You said a woman. One woman?
Odrade: Yes. The last Mother Superior of our Order. Possibly the last
human in our universe. We have a different definition of 'human' than you. I
think you would find it exclusive and pretentious. Yet that matters little.
Mother Superior holds in her mind the memories of our entire Order. And of
all her female ancestors. The latter is typical of Reverend Mothers. However,
this Mother Superior holds her male ancestors as well. Such a feat is beyond
average Reverend Mother's, if such a thing is truly possible.
Wesley: So you and the Baron are memories of this Mother Superior?
Odrade: Yes. That is what we are. But we are also ourselves. Almost alive.
And some want to be alive very badly. They seek to possess their hosts. To
control an individual. This Sisterhood trains its Reverend Mothers rigourously
in the means to prevent this. But occasionally, someone will come to possess
Other Memories and yet not possess the training of a Reverend Mother.
Wesley: Whereupon they become possessed.
Odrade: Yes. Very good. I like you Wesley.
Wesley: Is Troi at risk?
Odrade: Yes. Her empathic powers have opened her to the full onslaught of
Mother Superior's Other Memories.
Wesley: But I don't have empathic powers.
Odrade: You are a beacon of an entirely different nature. Your genetic
structure is harmonic with Mother Superior's. And my own, for that matter. A
crude match, to be sure, but close enough. You are attracting the ghosts of
Atreides. Myself. The Baron. Others would come if you knew to call for them.
Wesley: I don't particularly want to. Why did you come?
Odrade: Because, Wesley, I rather like the thought of living once again.
[Enterprise conference room. Picard, Riker, Data, Worf, and Colonel Lexis]
Picard [voice-over]: Captain's log supplemental. We are one week into our
encounter with the Cey Behemoth - as we've come to call the giant vessel onto
which the Nadia stumbled. Dr. Crusher has just informed me Counselor Troi
has apparently recovered. The Dr. would like to keep her under direct
observation for at least one day. There are many questions I have for the
Counselor. For the past three days, we have been in constant contact with
Cey-4. Colonel Lexis of the Al-Mossad has brought her Tev bomber into the
sphere to support us. The time for action, I believe, is drawing near.
Data: We have been collecting information from probes launched by the
Lexis: Had not the Nadia already performed such reconnaisance?
Data: As first and foremost a combat vessel, the Nadia does not possess the
more sophisticated intelligence gathering equipment this vessel does.
Lexis: I see. Then your 'more sophisticated' devices have provided more
'sophisticated' information on the nature of the Behemoth?
Data: Yes. And no. They have not provided any insight into the energy source
driving this cloaking sphere. Nor have they provided any additional clues as
to what may have transpired to bring about the Behemoth's current state - its
apparent abandonment by whoever constructed it.
Riker: Or whatever...
Lexis: You said additional clues. You have some already?
Data: Only that the ship is, indeed, here.
Lexis: I see.
Picard: Well, Data, then what exactly have our 'more sophisticated' probes
Data: I believe we have found a way in.
Picard: Oh, really?
Data: I believe. As you can see, the forward section of the vessel is not
a part of the hangar region. Separating it is a roughly oval wall of
indeterminate thickness. Previously, the support apparatus within the hangar
had obscurred much of this wall's detail from the Nadia probes. We have flown
ours much closer, and have covered nearly the entire surface, generating a
nearly complete map of it's features.
Riker: And you found the doorbell?
Data: I do not understand.
Riker: Never mind.
Data: Whatever manner of civilization built this, it possessed what could
only have been an astronomical level of real wealth.
Data: The level of available resources - both in capital and labor - must
have been literally limitless.
Riker: Because? I mean, other than the size of the vessel?
Data: The entire surface of this oval section is covered, completely covered,
with very intricate and ornate carvings, apparently of a purely decorative
nature. A reconstruction of that surface...
[An image appears on screen. Point of view tracks across a surface comparable
to a reef in complexity]
Data: There is an observed deviation of seven meters from an average
Worf: Meaning this region is fourteen meters in thickness?
Worf: Such a collosal decorative element would show an incredible productive
capability. Such a waste of valuable resources...
Picard: 'Waste' is perhaps not the correct word.
Lexis: There is a potential military advantage. One we have stumbled across
Riker: That being?
Lexis: Should the ship come under attack, it would be very difficult for the
attackers to find a way inside the main compartment.
Riker: If anyone actually wanted to try.
Lexis: The ship appears wildly out of scale to us. A civilization capable
of producing one such vessel probably possesses the wherewithal to produce
Data: Entirely plausible and in fact likely.
Picard: How so?
Data: The 'decoractive flair' we see here is not limited to this bulkhead.
The entire interior of the hangar is covered with such flourishes, on a
smaller scale. An observed deviation of only on meter. While the colonel is
correct, and the baroque main wall does obscure entrances, these smaller
ornaments serve very little function. A civilization capable of building only
one such vessel would probably not embellish it. They would most likely be
sparing with resource consumption...
Worf: In the hopes of building another?
Picard: And then there is the matter of filling it up.
Data: Yes, Captain. The very fact that this is a carrier of some kind points
to a vast supply of vessels in need of carrying. Very large vessels, at that.
Riker: Getting back to an earlier train of thought. You said you may have
found a way in?
Data: Yes. Here. This circular region appears to be some kind of door.
Riker: You have doubts?
Data: The industrial technology borders on magical. I have detected what I
think to be a seem in the surface. 'Hairline fracture' would more accurately
describe it. It is remarkable only in it's regularily. A circular portal of
some kind is my best guess. However, notice how small it is. The Enterprise
would not fit. Interesting, given the overall scale. Only a relatively small
ship - such as the Tev - could shuttle personnel between the main compartment
and the outside.
Picard: Assuming this is the only way in.
Lexis: Said another way, only a small craft could supply boarding parties.
Riker: How do we open it?
Data: I do not know.
Picard: And what's on the other side.
Data: I do not know that either, Captain.
Lexis: A door that cannot be opened is not a door.
Troi: I can be of help, Captain.
First Officer: Engineering teams reporting, Captain.
Kilpatrick: Damn about time! The verdict?
First Officer: Main power, stabilized. Operating at full efficiency. Warp
drive units fully seald. No energy leakage. Impulse engines, eight-five
percent capacity. Torpedo tubes re-aligned and fully operational. Phaser
banks on damaged section inopperable, leaving us sixty percent capacity.
First Officer: Fully operational.
Kilpatrick: Excellent! Damn, that's good news.
First Officer: We are still without warp capability...
Kilpatrick: We're marines, man! Warp capability. Warp capability? Did
you hear him, Metack? Warp capability?
First Officer: I was simply pointing out...
Kilpatrick: Teasing, son. Just teasing. Get me the Enterprise. Cancel
that. We'll surprise 'em. Lieutenant?
Nav. Officer: Yes, Captain?
Kilpatrick: Move us back in.
[Holodeck. Wesley is alone. Three strange mechanical columns hang from
darkness. Wesley roughly at center. Poles - with blades and spikes - extend
and retract as the columns spin. Wesley deflects and dodges them. Sometimes
snapping a pole.]
Odrade: You have adapted your body well to the lessons of my memories. The
prana-bindu trance comes naturally to you. It is only a matter now of
improving the strength of your muscle structure.
Wesley: Won't that take time?
Odrade: Use what I have given you. Perform the cellular restructuring.
Wesley: What if I screw up?
Odrade: Do not screw up.
Wesley: This is amazing. We're talking like nothing else is going on.
Odrade: A Reverend-Mother possesses synaptic bypasses which permit her muscles
to act essentially without direction. Virtually every cell holds an
impression of the whole. You are beginning to develop that ability. Your mind
is not burdened by the body's need to defend itself.
Wesley: It's burdened by the thought of not defending myself. This stuff is
Odrade: Do not fear. Let the fear wash over and through you. It shall pass.
You shall not.
Wesley: I'm trying.
Odrade: Do not try. Really, I must congratulate you on the degree to which
you have recreated our training apparatus.
Wesley: The holodeck is wonderful.
Odrade: Certainly, it speaks volumes for your civilization. Ix had not
developed anything of this nature. And yet, there is a trap. A trap which
you do not yet see.
Odrade: Think on it.
Worf: Captain, the Nadia is moving into the sphere.
Riker: What are they trying to do?
Picard: I don't know, Number One. Hail the Nadia.
Worf: Yes, Captain. Nadia responding.
Worf: Visual, Captain.
Kilpatrick: Hey there, Picard. Didn't want you to have all the fun.
Picard: I don't recall asking you to relieve us of the burden.
Kilpatrick: Fancy that! I don't recall your asking, either. I crashed my
ship into that thing, Picard. I'll be damned if I'm gonna sit waiting on my
butt outside not knowing what's going on. When you told us to bug out, I
thought something serious was up.
Riker: Something serious may be up. We can't protect both ourselves and you.
Kilpatrick: Excuse me, I don't know who you are.
Picard: Command Riker. My first officer.
Kilpatrick: Ah, well, thanks for your vote of confidence, Commander. First,
we do not require protection. Second, if that thing should so much as fart,
your technicolor peacock wouldn't stand more or less of a chance given our
presence or not.
Lexis: 'Technicolor peacock?' I must remember that.
Kilpatrick: Oh, well hey there, Colonel Lexis. So, how do you like the creme
de la creme?
Lexis: I prefer my own vessel.
Kilpatrick: There's no pleasing some people, is there Picard? Oh, well.
Troi: He's hostile, Captain. He believes we are trying to trick him.
Picard: Thank you, Counselor. But it's rather obvious.
Kilpatrick: Eh? I thought your gypsy was out cold.
Riker: She appears to have recovered.
Kilpatrick: Right. So it would seem. Well, I am hostile. Just what the hell
are you up to?
Picard: We're not up to anything.
Kilpatrick: Why have us leave?
Riker: Because we were afraid whatever had knocked our 'gypsy' out cold might
do the same to one of your crew.
Kilpatrick: Then why not leave yourself...
Picard: It's a rather long story...
Kilpatrick: I don't like long stories. Suffice it to say, we're back.
Picard: Well, then. Welcome back.
[Wesley's quarters. He sits in a meditative pose on the bed]
Wesley: The nature of the trap becomes clear.
Odrade: And the nature of the solution?
Wesley: No. The solution eludes me. It is clear the state of technology
threatens the state of man. Indeed, why do we need a crew when we have the
holodeck? I could replicate their function with but myself and the main
computer. Of course, not completely, but very close.
Odrade: And what you cannot now replicate you will yet be able to replicate.
The march of technology is inexorable and blind. The cliff lies ahead but is
Wesley: We will rid ourselves of it, or be ridden of.
Odrade: Ridden of not by the technology, but by the reaction of the many to
the creations of the few.
Wesley: A sense of irrelevance will grow within the fiber of our society.
Odrade: First among the less able. But even the most precious skills of the
talented will not long be proof to the assualt of thinking machines.
Wesley: Society will decay from the ground up. And when it has reached a
structurally critical point, it will burn.
Odrade: We burned it. Twice did we set the old wood aflame and start afresh
with the new. And twice did our strength grow tenfold.
Wesley: I wonder. Do we have the option to so grow?
Odrade: There are always options.
Wesley: The flames would not be directable. They would produce catastrophic
Odrade: It is from such change that the greatest growth occurs. The Butlerian
Jihad. The Scattering. This were great points in our evolution.
Wesley: The scar of such change takes centuries to heal.
Odrade: But the flesh holds strength where before it belonged to decay.
Wesley: The wound would not heal in isolation. Our foes circle about always.*M
The blood would attract them. We would be destroyed.
Odrade: I see. We had only ourselves.
Wesley: To die slowly from within or to discard the shackles of pervasive
technology and be slain quickly from without. A quandry.
[Conference room. Troi has entered. Dr. Crusher follows.]
Picard: Is this 'direct observation,' Dr. Crusher.
Beverly: She convinced me it was urgent. I'm not altogether thrilled with the
Troi: The risk is over. It is more important I tell the Captain what I have
Picard: Can we really be sure the risk is over?
Beverly: No. It was very close last time. Another cardiac seizure...
Troi: Will not happen. Captain, this vessel posses a terrible danger to us
Picard: What kind of danger?
Lexis: Not an imminent one. It has been here two hundred years already. Are
we to believe we have stumbled on it the moment before an attack? Improbable.
Troi: A danger is a danger. It could strike at any time.
Picard: What could strike?
Troi: A being sleeps aboard that ship. So long as it sleeps, we are safe.
But should it awaken, there is nothing we could do to stop it. The memories of
a million minds supply it's intellect. A calculating capacity beyond
measure. And we already can guess at the enormity of the physical resources it
would have at it's disposal.
Picard: Such resources do not dictate hostility.
Lexis: But the potential cannot be ignored.
Picard: We you able to communicate with these minds? T'Selar indicated it
might be possible.
Troi: Only in my usual fashion. I have felt their intents and desires in
aggregate. They want to be free. They want to conquer. They overflow with
confidence. They sense us, and they sense we are weak.
Worf: Then why have they not already struck?
Troi: They are figments of a controlling entity which sleeps. They can do
nothing so long as the physical being cannot act.
Lexis: Well, it has not acted in over two hundred years.
Troi: And it may well do nothing for another two hundred years.
Piard: Or it may.
Worf: Small odds do not offset great risks.
Lexis: Then I suggest we find a way in.
Picard: Do you have anything to offer Commander Data towards that end,
Troi: I believe I could be of help. If I could be brought up to speed on the
external physical characteristics, I may be able to match features with what
I experienced in the mental realm.
Picard: Well then Data, make it so.
[Ten Forward. Riker and Troi at a table]
Troi: I wanted to speak to you alone.
Troi: It's about Wesley, and before I said anything to the Captain, I wanted
to run it by you. I know the Captain feels a great responsibility towards
Riker: Anything that concerns this ship concerns the Captain.
Troi: Well, I'm not sure it concerns the ship. I will let you be the judge.
Wesley appears very different to me now.
Riker: How so?
Troi: He has become guarded. So guarded, even why I try I cannot 'read' the
slightest hint of an emotion. He has become like T'Selar.
Riker: Like a Vulcan?
Troi: Almost exactly. And there has been a marked increase in his composure.
By several orders of magnitude. He carries himself with the confidence of a
very experienced man, and not the young man that he is.
Riker: I sense a return to talk of demons...
Troi: I just think you should observe him. Just casually. And see what you
Riker: I think he's probably just under stress. We all are.
Troi: That's just it! Everyone shows signs of stress. It hangs in the air.
I can almost feel it. You. Worf. The Captain. All experienced fighting
Riker: But not Wesley?
Troi: Not Wesley. No fear. No apprehension. Not even helplessness! Like a
Riker: I see. I'll definitely look into it.
Troi: Thank you, Commander.
[Enterprise science lab. Wesley is alone. Casual attire. Data enters.]
Data: Hello, Wesley. It is very late. I am surprised to find someone here.
Wesley: I'm surprised to find someone else here.
Data: I did not mean to intrude.
Wesley: No problem, Data. I've been here awhile. I'm going on a hunch.
Data: A hunch? A human state I find difficult to understand. What are you
looking at? The surface of the planet?
Data: You think there may be clues to the nature of the Behemoth?
Wesley: There is more to this planet than sand.
Data: That is true. The inhabitants of Cey-4 do not like to be spied on.
And they have the technology to detect our scans.
Wesley: I am scanning well beyond any population centers.
Data: What are you looking for?
Data: Sand? Correct me if I am wrong, but did you not say...
Wesley: What's under the sand, Data. That's what I'm looking at.
Data: You are using visual scan only. The scanners are not set to penetrate
the surface. You therefore cannot be looking at what is beneath the sand.
Wesley: The surface shows signs of what is beneath. You just have to look.
Data: I see only sand.
Wesley: Look harder.
Data: I do detect some shifting patterns. Winds, perhaps? No, the shape is
wrong. Something large is moving just beneath the surface. I am surprised
you are able to detect them with only your unaided eye.
Wesley: My eye is not unaided.
Data: I do not understand.
Wesley: Any moment now...
Data: Any moment now... something will happen? What will happen?
Data: I am watching.
Wesley: Keep watching. There!
Data: I see. Some manner of giant worm...
Wesley: Over two-hundred meters long.
Data: Fascinating. And was it your 'hunch' that you would find worms over
two hundred meters long on the planet's surface?
Wesley: No, Data. It was my 'hunch' that I would find something. As to
what, I had no idea.
Data: To proceed with observation when you have no expected goal is a most
Wesley: So sue me.
Wesley: Why not?
Data: I do not understand.
Wesley: Why not?
Data: Because I am not human.
Wesley: Why not?
Data: That is a very strange question, Wesley.
Wesley: The finding the answer be your goal.
[Ten Forward. Data and Riker at a table]
Data: Commander, Wesley has disturbed me.
Riker: You too?
Data: I take it others have come across his unusual mannerisms as well?
Riker: Troi mentioned something. What happened?
Data: I came across him very late at night in the science lab. He was out of
uniform. I thought that unusual in itself. More unusual, he was scanning the
planet's surface, as if he knew what he was looking for.
Riker: What!? Doesn't he understand the sensitivity...
Data: Apparently so. He was scanning well away from any occupied regions.
Riker: Even so...
Data: Even so, there is some risk of provocation. However, he did 'discover'
a new form of life.
Data: Yes. A species indiginous to this world, so far as my memory is aware.
A giant worm, several hundred meters long...
Riker: Now that's a life form.
Data: Yes. And he seemed to expect it to be there. This creature spends a
great deal of time beneath the surface of the sand. It burrows. As it nears
the surface, signs of it's passage become visible. They are very minute. And
yet, he detected them easily. He was even able to predict relative sizes as
Riker: You think these perceptions super-human?
Data: That is a strange term to me, Commander. I would think it not possible
for him to have extrapolated so much information from such simple signs with
only his eyes. I have always known Wesley to be bright, however...
Riker: However this seems excessive?
Data: Yes. But that is not what disturbed me.
Riker: Oh? What then?
Data: He asked me why I was not human.
Riker: He what?
Data: I did not interpret it as a hostile question.
Riker: Then how did you interpret it?
Data: As a problem to be solved.
Riker: How? You're not human because you're not. What is there to solve?
It's pretty clear something's up.
Data: Up is a relative term in space, Commander.
Riker: Something is wrong, Data.
Data: You were not wrong, Commander. It is possible to be 'up' in space...
Riker: Data... Something's wrong with Wesley.
Data: You think he is sick?
Riker: I'll look into it. Thank you for your input, Data.
Data: I am designed to be of help.
[T'Selar's quarters. Wesley enters]
Wesley: May I speak with you?
T'Selar: Of course.
Wesley: I have acquired knowledge of tremendous use. To myself. To this
ship. To the Federation itself.
T'Selar: How have you come to possess this knowledge?
Wesley: It is not possible for me to possess it.
T'Selar: Such an impossibility is, itself, impossible. Either you do or you
do not. If indeed you possess knowledge, plainly, it is not impossible for
you to possess such knowledge.
Wesley: Yet it is.
T'Selar: From where did this knowledge come?
Wesley: From the vessel we call Behemoth. I know many things about this ship
we could not hope to discover in countless lifetimes. Down to the very name
of the man who designed and oversaw it's construction fifty-thousand miles
above the world Ix.
T'Selar: I do not know this world, Ix.
Wesley: It lies within the Andromeda galaxy. But not in our universe.
T'Selar: The Behemoth is from an existence which parallel's our own?
T'Selar: And you came to know this through some manner of communication with
T'Selar: I have felt many minds aboard that ship. Perhaps millions. I would
not have thought it possible for you to have felt them as well, in that you
are human. You are, therefore, correct. I would not have thought it possible
that you could possess this knowledge.
Wesley: You have felt the million beings within the single being that is
Wesley: Aboard that vessel is a woman who, in her own universe, would be
known - and feared - as Mother Superior. First among a body of women known as
Reverend Mothers, themselves part of a greater whole known as Bene Gesserit.
T'Selar: What is the relevance of this?
Wesley: Within the mind of a Reverend Mother dwell the images - ghosts - of
her ancestors. She may call upon these ghosts as if they lived. She may gain
knowledge and insight from them. Their memories are her own. These are the
Other Memories of the Bene Gesserit.
T'Selar: Fascinating. Each individual would possess the wisdom of untold age.
That would convey tremendous power.
Wesley: Indeed. Beyond this age, the Reverend Mother was an unequaled master
of body and mind. Given the existence of Other Memories, such mastery was
Wesley: Like any ghost, these Other Memories want to be alive.
T'Selar: Possession was a risk?
Wesley: Only a slight one to a fully trained Reverend Mother. To anyone else
who acquired them, Other Memories were a potent threat. Those who became
possessed were known as Abomination.
T'Selar: What is the relevance of this?
Wesley: Troi is Abomination.
T'Selar: And you?
Wesley: I am Bene Gesserit.
Data: Captain. I have been monitoring strange gravitation anomolies in our
vicinity for several days now. They have been very faint. I wished to be
certain, and I now am.
Picard: Certain of?
Data: We are surrounded by cloaked vessels.
Riker: What!? Full alert....
Picard: Not yet, Number One. Any patterns?
Data: Negative, Captain. They have moved very little.
Picard: I doubt it, Number One.
Riker: Oh, really?
Lexis: We are impressed, Captain. We were not aware Starfleet sensor
technology had advanced to such a point. I shall reprimand our intelligence
Riker: Cey-4 possesses cloaking technology?
Lexis: That would seem obvious, Commander. A modification of the Romulan
Riker: Might I ask where you came by this technology?
Lexis: You might as well not.
Data: A modification?
Lexis: We compensate for compaction of gravitational waves perpendicular to
our high-velocity approach towards target craft. Speed is everything to Al-
Mossad. Manueverability our greatest weapon.
Data: And by remaining stationary or moving about slowly, these ships not only
eliminate the advantages of your modifications, but actually become more
vulnerable to detection.
Riker: When were you planning on mentioning these ships?
Lexis: I was not aware of their presence.
Riker: And we should believe that?
Troi: I detect no traces of deception, Commander.
Lexis: I have no reason to lie. Had I known, my response would have been: I
would not have mentioned them.
Picard: And how many are there?
Lexis: Again, Captain, I do not know. However many it was felt would be
Riker: Required by?
Lexis: By the Enterprise and Nadia.
Worf: As friend or foe?
Lexis: As either.
T'Selar: Our minds shall become as one. What I know, you shall know. What
you know, I shall know.
Wesley: We shall be together one mind, one body.
[Picard's Ready Room]
Picard: Commander Data, your report.
Data: As you know, I have been working with Counselor Troi. Her experience
has led to some interesting developments.
Riker: Such as?
Data: The relief covering the interior of the hangar seems to be a history of
the civilization responsible for constructing the Behemoth. It encompasses
both a geographic - in an astronomical sense - and socio-political development
of an empire spanning at least three galaxies.
Riker: Galaxies? You can't be serious.
Troi: We are serious, Commander. Three galaxies.
Worf: Such an Empire would possess formidable resources.
Picard: 'Formidable' is not the word.
Data: Indeed. 'Astronomical.' There is more, Captain. One of those galaxies
is the Milky Way.
Worf: Then why have we not encountered this Empire before? Surely...
Troi: It's existence has not crossed our own until the Behemoth embarked upon
Data: The Behemoth appears to be from a universe parallel to our own. Parallel
with several notable exceptions. Most significantly, there is no record of any
form of life other than human. Terra experienced uncontested expansion, to
the extent Earth became an insignificant and perhaps even forgotten part of
history. No special notice is paid it...
Picard: Such expansion would take millenia.
Data: By Troi's and my own calculations, approximately thirty-five thousand
years of history are represented.
Riker: Thirty-five hundred.
Data: Why do you say that, Commander Riker?
Riker: You said thirty-five thousand.
Data: That is because I meant to say thirty-five thousand. I am incapable of
making a 'slip of the tongue.'
Picard: That's a lot of history.
Data: And it is one replete with war and catastrophe.
Troi: And should this sleeping dragon awaken, we would all know a taste of
Picard: Do you still feel you have a way inside?
Data: I feel more certain that I have found a door. The disk which I brought
to your attention earlier corresponds to a planet. In size, it far exceeds
the scale of any other object in the relief. It appears to represent a desert
world. A detailed image...
Riker: It looks like it's being eaten by some kind of giant worm... Wesley!
Riker: Uh, nothing, Captain...
Picard: 'Nothing?' Number One? You said 'Wesley.' What about Wesley?
Picard: What about Wesley?
Data: Wesley discovered a species of worm on the surface of Cey-4. Not
unlike the ones we see here.
Picard: On the surface?
Lexis: We know these worms. They measure in length up to four hundred meters.
Yet, we do not recall having given our blessing to any observation of the
planet's surface. Had you asked, it would have been given. You did not ask.
Picard: I assure you, Colonel Lexis, this observation was not made with my
Lexis: What, then, is the punishment for acting without the permission of one's
Picard: That depends on the seriousness...
Lexis: This is very serious Captain.
Picard: I understand.
Lexis: I am in a position to demand immediate action.
Riker: Demand is a strong word.
Lexis: I am a woman who speaks what she means and knows what she speaks.
Demand is the right word.
Troi: Commander Riker?
Riker: Yes, Troi. I remember your concerns. Yours as well, Data.
Picard: Concerns? About? Wesley?
Riker: Yes, Captain. About Wesley...
Picard: Why were not these concerns brought to my attention.
Riker: They were about to be, Sir. This has forced the issue somewhat.
Picard: Somewhat? Somewhat!? What were these concerns, Counselor?
Troi: Perhaps Commander...
Picard: Perhaps this ship's Counselor would be better suited at explaining her
own concerns about a fellow member of this ship's crew to this ship's
Troi: Yes, Sir. Wesley does not appear to be entirely himself...
[Wesley's Quarters. A knock in the night]
Wesley: Hey, Worf. What's up? It's late.
Worf: I am placing you under arrest, Ensign Crusher. Please, get dressed.
Worf: You have scanned Cey-4 without authorization. Colonel Lexis is...
Wesley: But I kept away from all their cities...
Worf: That does not change the fact you acted without authorization. The
Captain is... distressed.
Wesley: So he's placing me under arrest?
Worf: I am to take you to Detention Center 5. You will be held there until
agreement is reached between Colonel Lexis and the Captain.
Wesley: What kind of agreement?
Worf: Colonel Lexis wishes you extradited to the surface.
[Picard's Ready Room. Lexis and Picard present. To the Colonel's right sits
a grim, muscular man in soldier garb.]
Lexis: I am sorry for this development, Captain. But I will not compromise
the integrity of my world for the sake of convenience.
Picard: I understand, Colonel.
Lexis: Wesley is dear to you, yes?
Lexis: Than this is a double misfortune.
Picard: A triple misfortune.
Lexis: How so?
Picard: Wesley has broken Starfleet regulation. Should you be granted
jurisdiction, which I think likely, it will only be the first of his trials.
Lexis: Space does not make a proper home for a child. When they come to
grief, we follow helplessly after, do we not? His trials shall be your trials.
As one who would be a mother, my pity for you is sincere. Yet as a soldier,
I know my duty. When shall your Starfleet Command respond to our ambassador's
Picard: They will treat this with the highest priority.
Lexis: That is good. The sooner we have put these misfortunes behind us, the
better. For us all.
Worf [via comm]: Starfleet, sir. For your eyes only.
Picard: Thank you, Worf. Well, here it is.
Admiral: Jean-Luc. Colonel. Major.
Lexis: We appreciate you promptness in responding to our concerns, Admiral.
Frankly, it surprises us.
Admiral: We recognize the gravity of the situation, Colonel. Starfleet will
not interfere in your handling of this situation. Provided, of course, Ensign
Crusher receives a proper defense.
Lexis: He shall be treated fairly. Though serious, this breach of trust
appears neither to have been malignant nor overly damaging. Cases based only
in principle receive commensurate punishment.
Admiral: Well, thank you, Colonel. I afraid his offense is more than
principle so far as Starfleet is concerned. But we shall defer first action
to you. I'm sorry about this, Jean-Luc. Starfleet out.
Picard: We all have our duty, and we all know our duty. There is no need for
sorrow. Enterprise out.
Lexis: It is true we all have our duty. I have said so myself. But there is
always need for sorrow. Without it, we are automatons masquerading as human.
[Detention Cell 5 (the brig). Wesley in a cell. Glowing pane between him and
rest of room. Single security guard present.]
Sergeant: Never thought I'd see you down here.
Wesley: There are worse places to be.
Wesley: In bed with a Vulcan's wife the one day out of seven years he comes
home and wants some action.
[Enterprise bridge. Riker Commanding]
Data: Excuse me, Sir. I am detecting anomolies in some of the main computer's
executing code segments.
Data: Yes, Commander. The manufacturer uses that term to refer to 'bugs.' It
means a failure of the system to operate as specified...
Riker: What kind of anomoly, Data?
Data: Actually, there are two. One appears to be blatant tampering. As for
the other, I am not sure. It is very subtle.
Riker: Tampering? Where?
Data: Both pertain to automatic procedures in Detention Cell 5.
Worf: At once, Commander.
[Detention Cell 5. Troi enters]
Troi: I could here you laughing all the way down the hall, Sergeant. I'm
glad one of you is enjoying himself.
Sergeant: Oh. Oh. Sorry. Sorry, Counselor. It's just...
Wesley: No harm in a little fun, eh Troi?
Troi: No. There is not...
[Wesley appears to push through the shimmering field. It stretches out with
him for a ways, and then he is clear. With a single blow, he knocks the
sergeant senseless, tossing him across the room. At the same time, Troi
raises a phaser. It fires, striking the wall behind where both Wesley and
the sergeant used to be. Wesley rolls across the floor. He kicks up with his
foot, disarming Troi. In an instant, he is on his feet behind her, an arm
around her neck. An instant after that, she collapses.]
Riker: Determine the nature of these 'anomolies' immediately, Commander Data.
Data: I am trying.
Riker: Do it.
Data: The first is obvious. It bypasses the internal visual monitoring
systems in Detention Cell 5.
Riker: Fix it.
Riker: Show me Detention Cell 5.
[The detention cell appears, main screen. Both the sergeant and Troi lay
motionless on the floor. Wesley is nowhere to be seen. Worf enters abruptly.
Riker watches him alert Medical]
Riker: What, Data?
Data: I have determined the nature of the second anomoly. All detention cell
restraining fields have been set such that they will deactivate once a given
level of force is exerted...
Riker: Fascinating, Data. Just fascinating...
Data: But there is more...
Riker: Captain [striking his com link] Wesley has escaped. He seems to have
been one step ahead of us.
Data: That would fit his personality profile well.
Riker: Thank you, Data. Red alert.
Picard: Brief me, Number One.
Riker: Wesley sabotaged our computer system, enabling him to escape. Counselor
Troi and a security sergeant have been wounded. Status pending. Worf has
deployed security throughout the ship.
Data: It is a big ship, Captain. And Wesley knows it as well as anyone.
Picard: Better, perhaps. Analysis, Commander Data.
Data: There have been two modifications to the main computer, Captain. One
occured approximately twenty three hours and seventeen minutes prior to this
moment. Very sophisticated and subtle, it automatically shuts down the
restraining fields in the detention cells after a given level of force has
been applied. That level of force, however, is quite high...
Picard: To prevent some drunk from accidentally revealing the modification?
Data: I don't understand, Captain. But it could have been to prevent
detection. In any event, I would not have thought it possible for Wesley to
exert the level of force required. And the pain would have been well beyond
the typical threshold, perhaps even for a Klingon...
Picard: It's becoming increasingly clear that Wesley is not Wesley.
Data: The other modification occured much more recently. Within an hour.
More crude, it edited video flow through the monitoring system responsible for
Picard: An hour? Wesley couldn't have done it, then...
Data: It would be possible for an automatic routine to querry the main
computer regularly, waiting until it could determine where Wesley was being
held. Once established, it could then execute another routine, implementing
the editing. Both routines could terminate themselves, making it difficult to
Picard: Could Wesley have done that?
Data: Almost certainly, Captain.
Picard: How was the video feed modified?
Data: Fifteen thousand half-second samples were taken of the Detention Cell.
These were then fed repeatedly into the display. An attempt was made to
'average' the sequences. A dubious scheme at best, but it appears to have
Picard: Indeed. Engineering [hitting com link] eliminate power to all
Riker: You think he might try and get off the ship?
Picard: That's what I would do, Number One.
Data: But where would you go, Captain?
[Battle bridge. Wesley alone. All screen are active. While he types
furiously at a console, he gives vocal instructions to the computer. Odrade
Computer: I am sorry. Access to those systems strictly prohibited... One
Odrade: You appear at home with these machines.
Wesley: They do what I tell them. A pleasant change.
Odrade: You read the signs very well.
Wesley: With Troi? By keeping her hand so close to her side, she betrayed
her concealed weapon. I suspect it was the Baron's intent to kill the
sergeant, fake my escape, and kill me. A foolish plan. To think he would be
Odrade: The Baron does not understand the full scope of our abilities. He
probably assumed I could only teach you, and not transfer my skills to you
directly. He will not make the same mistake again.
Wesley: He will not get the chance.
Computer: I am sorry. Access to those systems strictly prohibited...
[Enterprise bridge. Picard commanding]
Data: Captain, the cargo bay transporter platform has become active.
Picard [hitting com]: Command La Forge, it was my explicit order that power
to all transporter platforms be cut. Make it so at once!
Geordi: I did, Captain! I don't understand...
Picard: Make yourself understand, Mr. La Forge.
Geordi: Yes, Captain.
Data: Shuttle Craft number 4 has initiated warm-up sequence. Hangar deck
automatic systems preparing for it's departure.
Riker: Escape in a shuttle craft? That would be foolish...
Picard: Indeed, Number One.
Data: Perhaps not, Captain. All phaser and torpedo systems, deactivated.
Tractor beam, inoperable.
Riker: Wesley! He's taken over the ship!
Troi [entering]: I sensed that was his intent, Captain. That is why I went
to the Detention Cell. Had I realized how much he could do...
Picard: Twice now, Counselor, you have refrained from informing me of you
'feelings.' Do not let it happen again. Understood?
Troi: Yes, Captain.
Picard: Data, this is your sphere. Regain control of the ship immediately.
Tactical: Captain, the Enterprise is attempting to take control of our ship
via remote link.
Kilpatrick: What!? Stop them! Wait. Wait. Don't stop them.
Kilpatrick: They think we're stupid? They think we won't notice something
like that!? Let 'em think it. Are her shields up?
Tactical: Negative, Captain.
Kilpatrick: Let 'em think everything's just peachy with their plan. Let 'em
think they've got the thick headed grunts right where they want them...
First Officer: But sir. They will have control of our ship.
Kilpatrick: They'll have our computer. We'll have their bridge.
First Officer: Sir?
Kilpatrick: Form a boarding party. Twenty men. Take Commander Akhruk and
his special forces boys. They've been whining for a week. Bored? They won't
be bored for long. Well, move man! I can play games, too. Let me tell you,
I can play games!
[Enterprise corridor. Wesley moves quickly. He pauses for an instant, but
does not stop. A security officer leaps at him from a side corridor. Not
surprised, Wesley dodges the man easily, grabbing him by the neck and throwing
him to the floor. Another leaps out, but approaches Wesley more cautiously.
Wesley sends him flying backwards with a lightning kick just as two more
appear. Wesley drops into a ready stance as they charge him. Just as they
are about to reach him, he spins around, raising his arms. Worf descends on
him after a flying leap. Wesley grabs Worf and rolls to the ground, crashing
into the security officers in front. There are several loud cracking sounds.
Wesley continues to roll. A last officer steps out with a phaser. He fires a
stun blast. It hits Wesley, but does not seem to affect him. The man does not
get a second shot. Worf pulls himself painfully to his feet. Wesley's back
is to him. Worf raises a phaser.]
Worf: I am sorry, Wesley Crusher.
Wesley [voice very strange and rythmic]: No, Worf. You are not going to
Data: Captain, scanners indicate tell-tale energy patterns presaging an
imminent transporter manifestation...
Riker: What was that, Data?
[The bridge fills with several energy fields, indicating the arrival of the
Nadia's boarding party. Twenty men (actually, roughly half are Klingon),
including the Nadia's First Officer appear.]
Picard: What is the meaning of this?
Kilpatrick [appearing on main screen]: With the authority of Starfleet Central
Command, I am placing you and your ship under military arrest, Captain Jean-Luc
Picard, for tampering with the failsafe remote mechanisms and the baseless
seizing of control of the USS Nadia.
Data: Seven Tev bombers dropping cloak protection. Weapons armed and ready.
Lexis [pushing forward]: I am not amused by this, Captains. I will remind you
that Al-Mossad is not a part of Starfleet, and that a colonel of that
organization is not one to be held hostage lightly. It is, in fact, our
forte. If this is an elaborate ploy on Starfleet's part to keep Wesley
Crusher from me - and past profiles of certain Starfleet officers give me
reason to think such might be the case - be warned.
Kilpatrick: Calm down, Colonel. This has nothing to do with you, and I don't
have a clue in hell who Wesley Crusher is, and I sure as hell wouldn't allow
my ship to be taken over in some 'elaborate ploy.'
Picard: And I sure as hell would not take it over, Captain.
Data: Actually, Sir, Captain Kilpatrick is correct. The Enterprise has taken
control of the Nadia via Starfleets failsafe devices...
Kilpatrick: Number One, disengage the remote.
[The Nadia's First Officer moves to Data's station. Data does not interfere.
Dr. Crusher enters. A klingon near the door lowers his heavy phaser. He
steps behind her, preventing her from backing into the lift.]
Dr. Crusher: What is this?
Dr. Crusher: Wesley?
[The access tube Wesley first went with Odrade. She appears just within the
data-station's blue glow. He types on a small keyboard extended from the wall.]
Odrade: You have access to the ship from this small device.
Wesley: Not to all of it. Only to the propulsion systems.
Odrade: Sufficient, yes?
Wesley: I sense remorse.
Odrade: Once separated from Mother Superior by the No Sphere, I will not be
able to come to you as I know can. I shall miss you, Wesley Crusher.
Wesley: The knowledge you have given me will remain. Including knowledge of
the Spice formulas which will trigger Other Memories. We shall meet again.
Odrade: I know this. Yet, having 'lived' for even this short time, I shall
still miss you, as a mother may miss her children who have gone off to
Wesley: Or she may not.
Odrade [laughter]: Or she may not. Thoughts of Mother Superior also make me
Wesley: How so?
Odrade: She has spent all her existence - from conception to the present -
within the confines of the No Ship.
Wesley: To escape the Atreides prescient visions?
Odrade: She is far more sensitive than any Atreides before her. More so, even
than the God Emperor. She is not, in fact, prescient. She is omniscient
within a confined period of space-time. The longer she concentrates, the
greater the extent of her omniscience. She feared - and rightly so - becoming
as the God Emperor. An all-pervasive force.
Wesley: Captain Picard likened the No Sphere to a magic circle imprisoning
a demon. Ironic that the demon should have wished to be confined.
Odrade: Ironic also that while fearing she may become the God Emperor, she has
in fact been forced to live as he did. Alone.
Wesley: The strength of her presence would be overbearing to any but a
Reverend Mother. And even for them, I imagine standing near her would be
Odrade: In the same room, an ordinary man would be lost. Even the Reverend
Mothers who spoke with her had to guard constantly against Abomination. Your
Troi has experienced what it would be like.
Wesley: An experience soon to be behind her.
[Enterprise bridge. Things have calmed down somewhat. The boarding party no
longer brandishes their weapons. Lexis finishes communicating with the Al-
Mossad ships. They return to a cloaked state. Worf enters. His face is
badly bruised. He shows signs of great pain. And of confusion at the state
of affairs. Dr. Crusher immediately moves to examine him.]
Beverly: You've got at least three broken ribs. One of them could have
punctured a lung - or your heart - by your moving...
Riker: What the hell happened?
Worf: Captain. Perhaps I should speak with you in private? And Dr. Crusher.
Beverly: Wesley! What have you done to Wesley!
Picard: What has happened, Worf.
Worf: I came upon Wesley. En route to Engineering. Myself and five members
of security. He overcame us easily...
Riker: Overcame you...
Worf: Easily. He is why I am as you see me. This despite our advantages
in strength and numbers. He fought like...
Worf: Like a demon, Captain.
Worf: One of my men hit him with a phaser. On full stun. He was not even
Worf: And I killed him.
Beverly: Wesley is dead? No. He can't be dead. I would have felt it, damn
you! I would have felt it if he were dead!
Worf: A maximum strength phaser discharge, leaving no...
Beverly: I would have felt it...
[Enterprise bridge. Dr. Crusher led away by Riker to Picard's Ready Room.
Colonel Lexis steps before Picard.]
Lexis: Convenient, I am thinking, Starfleet phasers leave no trace. No, do
not speak. I am also thinking perhaps Starfleet intelligence is not the
oxymoron we joke about, and perhaps you are familiar with my psychological
profile. Indeed, you have your Counselor there... Perhaps you know how
distasteful I would find it to press into the death of a child while in the
presence of his mother. Indeed, I will not. No, do not speak. I am also
thinking: this scenario we have witnessed, it is most implausible. Yet, if
your purpose was deception, an implausible scenario would be an unlikely means
by which to deceive. Unless you are so devious as to have already ventured
this far down the line of reasoning, which I doubt. I shall, therefore, assume
that despite it's implausibility, what you say has happened has happened. I
shall inform Al-Mossad the prisoner will not be transfered. Reason: death.
We shall consider the issue closed. Should the future prove my judgement
wrong, I shall personally pursue every officer aboard this ship, no matter
where in space they may hide. And I shall kill them.
Worf: You will not find us wanting...
Lexis: But I will find you.
Picard: Enough. Starfleet does not play such games. I do not play such
games. My crew does not play such games.
Lexis: I trust you, Captain Picard. Once lost, however, my trust can never
be regained. [hitting com] Remove me from this ship.
[Lexis and the major with her are transported away]
Kilpatrick [on main screen]: Well, what's good enough for that she-devil sure
as hell's good enough for a simple old man like me. I shall notify Starfleet
I am satisfied the infiltration was the result of sabotage aboard the
Picard: Thank you, Captain.
Kilpatrick: No hard feelings?
Picard: Had the tables been turned, my actions would have been similar.
Kilpatrick: Good, then. Come on home, boys.
[The Nadia marines vanish. Riker returns. He starts to ask a question. Data
Data: Impulse engines coming on line, Captain.
Picard [via come]: Mr. La Forge, what's going on?
Geordi: Nothing unusual, Captain...
Picard: The impulse engines are coming online.
Geordi: Is that unusual? We're getting standard feed from Navigation...
Picard: You most certainly are not...
Troi: The Voice! He used the Voice! You fool, you didn't kill anyone!
Picard: Counselor! Explain yourself at once!
Troi [laughter]: Counselor! Counselor! How sad, a Captain without a mind.
You have your Counselor. You have your thinking mechanical man. What need
have you for a mind...
Troi [more laughter]: Oh, don't bother, Captain. I'll be finished soon
enough. Your precious Wesley will see to that. Precarious. My existence
here has always been somewhat precarious.
Worf: Wesley is dead...
Riker: And it looks like we've found another demon.
Troi: Wesley is not dead and I am not a demon. Well, maybe I am. Actually,
I like the sound of that. The Demon Harkonen. Yes. It resonates nicely in
[The Enterprise starts to move]
Picard: Mr. La Forge, stop this ship!
Troi: Yes, yes. Stop it, Mr. La Forge. Do make it stop. Oh, please, Mr.
La Forge, make it stop. How helpless you must feel, Captain.
Geordi: Captain! The automatic systems aren't responding.
Troi: Helpless. I tried to save you. Really, I did. Oh, I'm sure you and
I wouldn't always see eye to eye, Johnny. But we'd understand each other. The
Witches, though... There's no understanding the Witches. You have no idea
what's gotten loose in your pathetic little backwater. In all the vastness
of the Empire, a single Gesserit Witch almost faded into the background. But
almost is such a meaningless word. Here... Oh, I pity you. The slightest
smidgen. That's what you've seen. The most itsy-bitsy, teensie-weensie
smidgen, of what your precious little jewel of a boy can do. Here we go...
[The Enterprise has turned around and is moving away from the Behemoth]
Picard: Pull the plug, Mr. La Forge...
Troi: Oh, I like that.
[Engineering. Geordi races through the gridwork of mecha. T'Selar steps out
in front ofA#him.]
Geordi: T'Selar! What are you doing here?
T'Selar: It is correct for the ship to pass out of the sphere. You should not
Geordi: Orders are orders. No time to chat...
[He pushes forward. T'Selar casually reaches out and administers the
infamous nerve crunch. Back on the bridge, Picard waits impatiently.]
Picard: Mr. La Forge. Mr. La Forge!
Troi: Well, that's that. Don't feel too bad, Captain. I had everything I'd
worked for, everything I'd slaved for and compromised for and tortured myself
for... everything, runied by the Witches and a teenage brat. Destroyed. Poof!
All gone. Everything. And he was such a darling little boy. Such beautiful
eyes... Ah, such beautiful eyes. I wonder if I'll get to see what this
darling lad has in store for you? Him and his Witches. [laughter] Of course
I will! How willy of me! Of course I will!
[The Enterprise passes through the No Sphere. Troi stumbles forward a bit,
then shakes her head as if in a daze. She looks up.]
Troi: Captain? I feel very strange, Captain.
[Wesley and Odrade in the maintenance tube.]
Odrade: Have you thought on the quandry?
Wesley: I have.
Wesley: I have the beginning of a solution. Taken, in part, from the
memories you have given me.
Odrade: It involves the No Ship?
Wesley: Provided Mother Superior does not have other plans, yes.
Odrade: She well may. Is it your intent to use the No Ship as a weapon?
Wesley: And the Fremen.
Odrade: Dear child, my memories and the facts of this universe are not one in
the same. The Fremen...
Wesley: The Fremen exist. We even have one aboard.
Odrade [laugh]: Can you here me, Jessica? Does he not remind you of your
Wesley: You speak to another Memory?
Odrade: She is very deep. The older memories sleep more soundly...
Wesley: Odrade? Odrade? Reverend Mother...? Ah, the Sphere.
[Wesley drops down onto the floor, in the middle of the pool of light]
Wesley: I'm frightened, Odrade.
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