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This story, "Evolutions-Gleanings past and future" by Albert Green and using characters created by author Louis Miller, is a figment of this author's imagination. All Characters portrayed in this story, are fictional and do not reflect actual people, either living or deceased.
"Star Trek", "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", "Star Trek: Voyager", and "Star Trek: First Contact", and all related Star Trek related material, its characters and certain technological devices and/or references to such, from the television shows and movies, may be or are registered trademarks of, and may be or are copyrighted by Paramount Studios and whatever Corporation it may or may not be owned by.
"Battlestar Galactica", it's characters, and certain technological devices and/or references to such, from the television show, past present of near future, may be or are registered trademarks of, and may be or are copyrighted by the Universal Studios Corporation and any new owners in the future.
There are certain technologies and characters present that are my creation, so if you don't recognize certain names, characters, etc, this is the reason why.
THIS STATEMENT MUST ACCOMPANY THE STORY 'Evolutions-Gleanings past and future.' IF DISTRIBUTED. THIS STORY IS FREE OF CHARGE AND MAY NOT BE SOLD OR EXCHANGED FOR FINANCIAL RETURN IN ANY FORM. THIS DEDICATION MUST ACCOMPANY ANY DISTRUBUTION OF THIS STORY.
Again I have to thank Louis Miller for his use of the USS Khe Sahn and the personnel onboard said ship. He also coined the name 'Ciona' which is going to be appearing far more often as this and the next story begins. Thanks to Luis Silva for the many questions related to 'the other side' of the coin, "A Universe of Change". Those questions have helped to define this one a little better. Also, thanks to Neil Gartner of "Farscape: The Lost Warrior" series. His comments have inspired me to new heights with the Voyager crew. Thanks folks.
This story previews the upcoming V'ger search by the USS Voyager. The Cylons have gotten worse and the Borg make a guest appearance here also. However, you will notice that I have concentrated a lot more on the ST part rather than the BG portion. There is a method to my madness as you will see at the end of this story. By the way, Worf will enter the picture soon as well as Thomas Riker. I hope you enjoy it and as per usual, comments and critiques are welcomed.
Time: 2 months earlier
Captain Janeway watched with intense interest the moment she saw Commander Cain sniff the air ever so cautiously. She was about to ask the man what was wrong, when Captain Kagth entered the conference room decked out in full regalia and the new Wildfire insignia plastered on the left side of his vest.
"Captain Kagth, it's you," Cain laughed. "I thought I smelled you coming down the hall."
"Cain, it is good you're an old man," Kagth retorted. "Otherwise I would be compelled to kill you." The Klingon smiled. Cain was older than he was, but due to the transporter accident he looked like he was in his late thirties, early forties-the perfect image of a true command warrior. The perfect Human Kagth thought. It is good that he is Colonial and not Federation otherwise he would be ruined by now.
Janeway simply rolled her eyes. Those two were becoming the best of friends. What that meant for the universe only God knew.
Both men slapped each one on the other's shoulder and sat down.
Picard waited patiently for everyone to be seated before he began. The doors close and were then sealed. Two guards stationed themselves in front of the doors to make sure they were not disturbed.
"Captains," Picard started. "Starfleet Command and the Klingon Empire Joint Operations have designated the people in this room to be the spearhead of a first strike against the heart of the Cylon base located in the Katasi star system. We have waited because we needed time to organize the ships and materials to be an effective force against the sheer power the Cylons will throw into this fight. Our objective is to destroy the subspace weapon at any and all costs. We cannot allow them to repeat the brutal assault that was done against the planet Romulus. The Romulan Empire has been effectively neutralized and it is clear we are next on their list. The Enterprise-E and my battle group, along with the Fifth Klingon Attack fleet will wedge an opening allowing the Wildfire group to attack and destroy the weapon. Then elements of both governments will eliminate all opposition. Our second objective is to damage or destroy the factory complex rendering it inoperative."
There was absolute silence in the room. The possibility for success was remote. The Cylon warships were gathered and they knew that an attack was imminent. They would be prepared and thousands of lives would be lost.
Captain Janeway stood up. "It's not as bad as the picture we've just painted, everyone. We understand our weaknesses. Many of our Captains and command staff have graduated directly from the Dominion wars and are, shall we say, a touch rash in their actions. The same thing goes for the Klingons. They're not fully seasoned, but they are aggressive that's exactly what we need in this coming war. This isn't a fight for conquest but for our very survival. There can be no negotiations with these robots and they have made their mandate quite clear. We must be as resolved in our hearts as they are in their programming. Plus, we will have a little surprise in store for them. Also, know that extermination is not their end goal. They want to capture and control the children of V'ger and we cannot allow that to happen. If they achieve that goal, everything that we've worked and died for will be tossed away. They can't get those kids, which is why the Battlestars Galactica will not be in this conflict. Neither will Voyager or the Klingon vessel Swift Hunter. Their mission will be to find the children before the Cylons do. The working first quantum slipstream drives will be installed on all three ships in about five weeks and together they will find the children. We have the general directions provided by Q and will find them. But to do that, we will have to go through the territory of the Yongi-Sinhidrea. By the way they were described by Q, he's not happy that we're going there. Evidently they make our encounters with the Borg seem like a warm-up exercise."
She shivered as she recalled the things Q had told her concerning these creatures.
"Commander Sheba will be in charge of the Battlestars Pegasus which will also serve as the command center for the Wildfire strike," said Captain Picard. "Commander Cain will penetrate the Cylon command center and attempt to do as much damage as possible while we engage the enemy ships and the factory complex.
"Excuse me, Captain Picard," Cain said. "I don't attempt things, I will do it." The man was smarting from the un-intentioned insult.
"I apologize, Commander," Picard responded rather coldly.
There was only one way to deal with someone like Cain. Direct with no holds barred. His personality was too willful. He was like a young Kirk without the restraint.
The Head of Starfleet Command, Fleet Admiral Necheyev flanked by two Admirals and a small army of attachés, entered the room. "Sorry for being late," she said without preamble. "These are the details…"The Katasi Conflict-The Ruinations war
Time: The present
President Adama sat heavily in his chair onboard the Galactica while his wife rubbed his temples gently. Again he thanked his God that he was wise enough to marry this woman. She was his comfort in his old age and when the time finally came to rest, she would be there, sharing everything with him. Despite whatever came, he had her, and the knowledge that they would not go down without a fight. When it came down to it, it wasn't much, but just enough to give him faith.
President's log yahren twenty-three, day seventeen, Adama reporting: I am frightened. I fear for my people. I fear for my brethren who have given so much to help us. The stakes are so much higher now. Never did I imagine that a war, a brutal but simple war nevertheless would come to this. Now there's a possibility that these Cylons might ascend to godhood. And what will we do then? I have no idea in what shape we will be, but I cannot believe that this is the end. There is more in this universe that we can imagine. Not the Q, not the ships of lights, not Count Iblis, can shake my faith in this. For all those others who have died in this foolish, foolish war, I can only say that we will strive to make sure that you have not died in vain.
So to my children, to my posterity I can say that freedom is precious and is not to be taken lightly. It is a horrible fact, but a true one nevertheless. The hot blood of heroes keeps us free. And that same blood keeps us in bondage. Until we can lay down our arms in peace we will remain in bondage. Until that time comes we will fight, not because we want to but because we have too. It is a horrible answer to a horrible problem but it's the best solution we have for now.
These memories are for the future to contemplate and argue over. Whether we were right or wrong in our endeavor will be discussed in the future generations-if any. For me, it will not matter what conclusions are derived from this but I pray my people will have the opportunity to argue over the semantics. We have united to destroy the Cylon menace before it destroys us and I pray with every bit of power that I possess that we will succeed.
"President Adama," the intercom blared breaking him out of his contemplations. "Your presence is requested on the bridge."
It never ended.
He slowly got up, embraced his wife and moved towards the lift.
As soon-to-be-retired President Adama moved towards the lift, every crewmember that looked at him stood more erect, somehow appearing taller as though he had somehow imparted a bit of his own strength to them. He felt humbled by it. After all these yahrens, they still expected him to pull out a miracle in order to somehow save them all.
He wasn't a miracle worker, merely a man carrying the most heavy of burdens. Adama was afraid. He was afraid to give them hope during a time when they needed it the most. How he had gotten to this point was something that plagued him more and more recently. He was old now. The wisdom was there as was the knowledge, still intact, but the body was wearing down. He was past retirement age, but he couldn't yet because of the people. To the people he was a pillar, a rock that could survive the ages. But he didn't feel like it. The Cylon Empire was more powerful than ever and he feared that one mistake, one miscalculation and Mankind would become extinct. There had been times when those fears had nearly consumed him.
There was no time for this introspection, this doubt that ate at him. Victory is lost first in the mind he repeated to himself. Apollo and the others are more than capable of defending our people no matter what happens to me. I'm not foolish enough to believe that I alone can make the difference.
"Is that truly what you believe, Adama, old friend?"
Adama whirled around, finding himself suddenly in a place completely unfamiliar to him. Where was he? Nothing was the same. This was no ship; it was a planet. One moment he was in the lift with his ever-present security guards and the next…
He was alone on a distant unknown world. There were three moons overhead of this desolate place. There was almost no light filtering thru the menacing clouds; a kind of twilight covered the entire planet. There was no apparent plant or animal life around and the wind blew furiously enough to make him squint against the grit battering his tired eyes. And it was cold, cold enough to make him shiver. He blew into his hands to keep warm, then remembered that hated voice.
"Iblis," he yelled. "Show yourself!" Temporarily his hatred replaced the cold battering him.
A dark shape slowly formed in front of him, slowly taking on the appearance of a winged hunter, which finally took Humanoid form. It was a creature of the pit, covering itself in the innocence of light.
"I am glad that you remember me, old friend," the creature said trying to imply true concern. "The years have not been kind to you. I can feel it. Death has placed his hands upon you Adama, but it has not yet snatched you away. But you can feel its claws encircling you, can't you?" he asked smiling.
"Iblis, what do you want?" the Colonial asked tiredly. "Why have you persisted in hounding a people that you consider lower than insects?"
Because you are here," Iblis whispered shaking the planet with his fury. "You should have been mine, but you even took her away from me and that is something that I cannot permit to go unpunished."
Adama's fear was broken by that revelation. This super-powered being was still smarting because Sheba was taken from his dark embrace? Was he truly that petty? "We rejected you and we still reject you."
"And look at where it's gotten you, President Adama." Iblis moved away slowly and with a grand gesture, pointed towards the sky. "You're old when you didn't have to be. Your people are about to be destroyed and Humanity will cease to exist because you persisted in coming to find the lost thirteenth colony. The Federation, the Klingons, none of the others will prevail against my children. Blood will flow throughout the quadrant and it will be your fault. And I will watch as my children take the heads of your children, your Federation friends and your wife before they collect yours. There is no hope for peace unless you decide what you want right now."
Adama was afraid now for an entirely different reason. It seemed as though Iblis was offering him a deal and with that revelation, his fear doubled.
"I will give you life and youth Adama, just like Cain," he said, smiling evilly. "Your children will live and your wife will be beautiful and young forever, if you want. Your people will live in peace and the Cylons will trouble you no more."
"At what price?"
"At what price?" The not-man's smile was typically grandiose. "There's always a price, Adama. Does it matter what it is?"
"There are things that come at too high a price, even in order to save the galaxy."
"The Alpha quadrant will burn, Adama. There's nothing that will change that, but your people can live, because I choose to let them live-if you agree with my price."
"And that is?"
Iblis moved closer, almost touching nose to nose with the President, which made the man back away in revulsion. "Your absolute allegiance and the life of Sheba and your son, Commander Apollo of the Battlestars Galactica," Iblis told him without cracking a smile.
Adama's heart nearly stopped beating. "Never."
"Then you will all die horribly. I promise this, old man."
"We will not submit to you, ever," answered Adama, surprised that his voice had gained some of its strength. "You're not worthy of worship."
"I am God," the creature hissed at the defiant Human standing in front of him. Around them both, the sky had darkened and there was the sound of thunder in the distance. His facial features never changed, but Adama could detect the shadows beginning to engulf Iblis as his anger grew.
"You are not God, not even a pale imitation. You have power but even you are limited. If you were God we wouldn't even be having this conversation. Remember so many years ago, when you ask me what did I know of God? I know that God is not paralyzed with pettiness as you are. It has been said that absolute power corrupts absolutely, but that is simply Human understanding. But you fall within that definition; therefore you're nowhere near what God should be. We cannot, will not ever submit to one such as you."
"That's telling him," came a soft voice off to the side. Both Adama and his captor turned towards the new voice.
"Q," Iblis smirked, after he recovered from his own surprise. "Or should I say Amanda?" For a second it seemed as if he wanted to embrace her, but stopped short as he looked deeply into her hooded eyes. "What's the matter with Q? Is he too afraid to come? And where is my young friend Trelane. I so hoped he would be trailing you. Tell me, have you seduced him yet?"
Despite his taunting, Adama realized that the creature was surprised to see this young girl instead of the arrogant male who also called himself Q.
"If you're worried about him, then maybe you should go look for him. He's been quite busy," she answered. Adama felt the power in her voice.
Completely unfazed, Iblis responded to her taunt. "He can't do anything to me."
"It doesn't matter," she responded. Ignoring, him she turned to Adama. "You're correct. He isn't God, not even close. He wouldn't know That –Which-Is-God, if that Entity walked up and bit him on the butt. He's a trickster and a fraud. His own pettiness and fears blind him to the truth."
Enraged, Iblis began to draw the gathering storm into himself. "You know nothing of God! If it were permitted, I would destroy you now." His image began to waver as he lost partial control of his physical manifestation.
"You are wrong," she countered. " Besides God doesn't need permission. I am Q and I am the first of my kind to glimpse the truth. And understand this, coward. The Humans were closer to the truth than we are."
"I am Q," he mocked as he looked at Adama. "She says that as though it means something." He began laughing, a truly hideous sound. "They're nothing but pitiful, castrated beings with delusions of grandeur. Don't depend on them to save you Adama, because they won't. Only I can do that."
The Colonial President watched the exchange with passionate interest. This seemingly young girl stood her ground against one of the galaxy's most vile creatures and that somehow gave him strength. "I will not accept your 'deal', Iblis. It comes at too high a price. If we lose then so be it, but we will never lick the boots of the Destroyer. We will do everything in own power to stop you."
Adama expected Iblis to become enraged and kill him where he stood. Instead the alien creature merely smiled hideously and folded his white cape around him. His eyes turned absolutely black.
"I hoped you would say something like that," he whispered in a voice that could be heard across the galaxy. "I would have hated keeping my promise to you. Life is very short, old friend," he said as he slowly faded away. Live what short time you have left wisely."
Adama was so concerned about Iblis that he, for a second, had forgotten about Amanda who now touched him on the shoulder. Startled, he turned to face the young blond, female Q.
"I admire your bravery," she said to him. "It would have been nothing for him to kill you, yet you stood up to him and interfered with his plans. Now, because of your defiance, he hates you and all of your people that much more."
"I believe that you misunderstand him, Amanda. It's not just me. He hates all life, everything. There's nothing for him in this existence and he will destroy all that he touches because there is nothing that can touch his heart. Look around you young woman, his heart is as empty as this planet we're on. How can we fight against something like that?"
"Merely by trying with all your might," came the answer. "You choose what you are. Don't stand back and simply watch like the Q have done for so long. Act, search and grow. Fight the emptiness with the passion in your soul. Strive to become everything that the Q and the others have forgotten."
"She is right, you know," said a voice from behind, surprising both of them. It originated from a tall man with regal manner that permeated his entire being.
"Who are you?" Adama asked. Suddenly, this isolated, lonely sphere seemed to have people popping up from everywhere.
"You can call me John."
The name struck Adama immediately. "You're the one my son spoke of."
"And Starbuck," he confirmed. "Yes, Amanda is correct. So are you. And that knowledge gives you strength. Terrible times are coming and you and your companions are the only ones who can stop it."
"But, I don't understand," Adama said. "Why can't you stop this? You have enough power to stop Iblis where he stands. This entire war and the countless millions that will be killed can be stopped now by reining Iblis in."
"There are complications," John explained. "We cannot interfere directly with lesser cultures for the same reasons why the Federation created the Prime Directive and you, your Principles of First Contact with Alien Cultures Edict."
"But Iblis is one of you," Adama protested. "You claim to have him under a leash, under control, but he continues to destroy countless millions with his manipulations and lies. And you do nothing, but restrict his movements, slap him on his wrists and let him go his way."
"And what would you have us do, kill him?"
"No, not necessarily. But I have to wonder exactly what type of life is of value to you? Ours? Simple mortals whose time in this universe can be measured in nano-microns as compared to your almost infinite life spans? You could have stopped him long before this, yet you didn't. And the result has been untold misery for beings you consider at the least dust motes, and at most some type of pet."
"Life is sacred to us. You wouldn't understand."
"There is a price for every choice we make," Adama said. "When he is free, there is suffering. Iblis should have been put away like the madden animal he is, but you let him loose in the universe. That makes you responsible. You have said that 'I didn't understand'. What I have come to understand is that although you do care for us, the life of one of yours is worth more than the billions that have died as a result of this evil running free. I suspect that you, like so many of us are afraid of what lies beyond and you can't accept that even if a cancer like Iblis must be cut out."
"My parents became Human and were killed by the Q because they were afraid of what they represented," Amanda said. "Then they went out of their way to keep Quinn alive when he wanted to die. The members of the Continuum were terrified of what might happen. I believe that is a fault of existing such a long time. We've become afraid of the inevitability of death. It would be something new different."
"Death comes to us all. After all, we are not God, only His creations."
"It's a discussion for another time, Mr. President. John looked at Adama as if peering into his very soul. "Young you may be, but you do have a touch of insight."
"It's called the Human equation, John," Amanda answered. "They're learning what we have so long ago forgotten."
"We will deal with Iblis," John answered with conviction. "At the correct time. I promise."
"But there is another difficulty."
"I'm almost afraid to ask."
"As well you should," Amanda whispered.
John gave a sympathetic nod. "There's a problem with time."
"Time? I don't understand."
"There is something called a temporal cold war being fought by beings like yourself."
"Beings like me," repeated Adama, tasting the words in his mouth. Nodding, he understood. "You mean us lesser beings," he said somewhat sarcastically.
"Yes, although I wouldn't put it quite like that. Things have been changing quite rapidly since the treaty of Organia a hundred yahrens ago. Temporal waves have changed this universe in ways that are even taxing our considerable skills to keep up with. The Klingons are just one example of the radical changes occurring."
"Captain Archer's Enterprise is another," Amanda added.
The Colonial didn't know about the Captain Archer or the details of the other references, but he remained silent as the young woman continued.
The Cylon Empire is another example of numerous changes we've detected. Originally there were cyborgs and when a wave front hit, they became the robotic entities that you know now."
"But that means that things are changing around us constantly and we know nothing about it."
"True. But we are aware of it and can do very little because we are ourselves affected by those changes. And we can't stop those who are fighting this war without causing incredible damage ourselves. But we are ourselves being changed each time an alteration occurs. The Organians could not enforce the treaty because conditions in the universe continued-continues to change and those alterations are extending to other realities as well.
The implications of what was being said to him were truly horrible. "But how did this begin?"
"Like most things, it began with the paved road of good intentions. In the twenty-seventh century, earth chronology, the war that began in the twentieth was coming to a bloody end. An unstoppable enemy had ruthlessly dominated this galaxy and two others. Earth was finally overrun and destroyed, as was Vulcan and a hundred other worlds. In this galaxy there were only a few free, widely scattered planets left and they were being slowly battered into submission. A desperate plan was conceived, something that itself was so vile that the resistance leaders had refused to even contemplate its use until then."
"They saved themselves by using a temporal displacement device that allowed them to travel seventeen thousand years into the past. There they traced the enemy's planet of origin and detonated a bio-transgenetic weapon coded specifically for the enemies DNA, effectively committing genocide. Then using a cascading subspace resonator, the wormhole technology used by the enemy to travel throughout this galaxy and the others were activated at once. In the resultant feedback, all of the devices but one were destroyed."
"All but one," Adama repeated. "All but the point of origin?"
"Very good. This device was the only one left in the universe, which remains on Kobol until this day. That stargate is the only one in existence."
"The star circle!"
"Yes," John confirmed. "Time and the events had been changed. Those who created the temporal device planned, of course, to use the technology for good but the temptation was too alluring. A war broke out and the winners began to use the devices to shape this galaxy in their image. However there are others have fought against these changes and this is the main thrust of the temporal cold war. And there have been major causalities."
"But without the threat from the enemy, the Humans, Vulcans and countless others social development developed completely differently. Wormhole and hyperspace travel was never developed but warp and other FTL technologies excelled. However the universe hates a vacuum and with the Goa'uld no longer present, another took its place; the Ciona Imperixe.
"The Federation and Klingons have become a major threat to the future plans of the temporal guild. So they attempted to repeat their previous success by destroying the effectiveness of the two empires, having them go to war against one another. The most effective ploy was to send the Enterprise-C back into time, creating an incident in which the Federation would be at war with the Klingons, effectively breaking both organizations and blunting the future successes of both. But the others fought back, re-directing it towards the Enterprise-D and together the timeline was corrected, more or less. There were unforeseen difficulties, however."
"The instant the Enterprise-C once more entered the temporal opening, fractures in the time-line occurred as a nexus formed at this critical point. Q and Quinn were able to mend most of the fractures before they became un-repairable, but two were lost and ripped their way into other universes completely unrelated to this one. There was also another ship lost. In an infinity of corrections, three were lost.
"If the Q couldn't completely repair these rips in the neo-quantum strata without permanently damaging the timelines, no one else would even attempt it," John added. "Even we have limits."
Adama looked dejected. "Then we are on our own."
"No. You are not alone. Within our restrictions we will guide you. A suggestion," he added. "Beware the Imperixe and the Borg."
"And I will give you a parting gift," Amanda added before he could ask anything more. Tigh is alive and safe with Captain Amelia Earhart. Ask Captain Janeway about her."
Both Amanda and John smiled and in a flash of light, Adama was gone.
"We should have told him about the Yongi-Sinhidrea."
"We will," John said. "When it time comes to close that particular universal rift forever." He sighed as he remembered the quantum fracture Enterprise-Galaxy class, the Enterprise-Ambassador class and the Klingons chasing them, entered the temporal-spatial rift, these copies reversed polarity with their universe of origin. "If those people and those ships were to come back our home universe it would negate them in a very spectacular manner in favor for the original templates already present here. Their ancestors could return but not them or the ships that originally went with them. The Enterprises-C and D must not be allowed to return to this reality. It's a true shame, really."
Sadly, Amanda shook her head in complete agreement. "Yes, it is."