This is an authorized remix of Andraste's "To Boldly Go", done for the Remix Redux II project. It's a crossover between X-Men Movieverse and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The first thing Charles Xavier noticed was that he was standing up.

He'd been on the verge of sleep when a wave of vertiginous dizziness had swept over him, and he'd felt horribly as if he were dissolving. Paralysis had held his entire body still as he'd seen himself begin to become transparent. He'd tried to scream telepathically, but the paralysis that held his body held his powers as well.

And then he was standing up, somewhere else.

After so many years of being confined to a wheelchair, the standing up was the most important thing-- even more important than the being alive, which wasn't something he'd been a hundred percent sure of as his strength had first returned. The next thing he noticed, however, was equally important.

He was somewhere he'd never been, surrounded by people he'd never seen before, who were smiling happily at him and radiating a sense of goodwill he could pick up even before beginning an active scan. A tall, bearded man, a woman with wavy reddish-dark hair and unusually dark eyes, and a black man who was an obvious mutant, hard bony ridges deforming the lines of his face, stood in front of him wearing similar enough garments that he got the impression they were some sort of uniform, though each was wearing a different color shirt-- the bearded man in red, the woman in blue and the mutant man in yellow. The room was large and sterile, and he was standing on some sort of platform, with an odd-looking machine console of some sort a few feet in front of him, manned by the obvious mutant.

"Welcome back, captain," the bearded man said, grinning.

Charles immediately scanned the three. Captain? What, exactly, was going on here?

The woman's eyes went wide. Captain? she sent telepathically, and then -- You're not Captain Picard!

No, I'm not, Charles replied evenly, imbuing the message with his peaceful intent and confusion as to what was going on. I don't know who he is, or how I got here instead, but I assure you, I'm as eager as you are to figure out how to get him back here and me back home. The things he had picked up on his very cursory scan of the three astonished him. The bearded man's name was William Riker, the woman Deanna Troi, and the other man was actually an alien named Worf, not a mutant at all. Troi was an empath of half-alien heritage, whose mother's race were all telepaths. They were members of a quasi-military starship fleet, called, appropriately enough, Starfleet, headquartered on Earth. This appeared to be the future.

In his wildest dreams of the future he'd never imagined anything like this.

His immediate inclination would have been for secrecy, and bluff things out using his telepathy, but since the woman knew he didn't imagine that to be possible. Not unless he rewrote her memories, and while he was able to gather that she wasn't a full telepath like he was, the fact that she had any psi ability at all made doing such a thing far too dangerous. "I'm sorry," he said, taking the metaphorical bull directly by the horns as he faced Riker. "I'm afraid I'm not your captain-- though I don't honestly know why I'm here and he's not."

Riker frowned. Worf, the alien-- Klingon, his memories said-- put his hand to his side, drawing a weapon but not yet pointing it. "Explain yourself!" he demanded. "If you are not the captain, who are you? And how did you get here?"

"My name is Charles Xavier, and I haven't any idea how I got here. I was asleep in my bedroom, and then the next moment, I was here."

Riker touched the shiny badge on his chest. "Riker to sickbay."

A woman's voice replied. "Crusher here. Go ahead."

"We need you in transporter room two."

"Has something happened to the captain?" There was obvious concern in the disembodied voice.

"We don't know yet. The man we transported is claiming he's not the captain-- though he looks identical."

"On my way."

"Mr. Xavier, you seem to be some sort of telepath," Troi said. "But your name is human."

"He scans as human as well," Worf said, pointing some sort of device at Charles. "In fact his scan is identical to the captain's."

"It's technically Professor Xavier," Charles said, and wondered whether he was, in fact, human by their standards or not. In the face of aliens, surely beings who shared all their DNA but one single vital strand, who had the same evolutionary heritage up to a branch that occurred less than a hundred years ago, had to be considered part of the same species? "I am from Earth, and so have all my ancestors been, if that's how you define humanity."

"That's an interesting way to put it," Riker said. "Is there some reason you might not think of yourself as human?"

"An... old friend of mine used to insist that people like myself, people with special abilities, were..." better than human. Homo superior. "Not entirely human."

"There have been some telepathic humans," Troi said. "But they're very rare."

A woman entered the room. She was very attractive, with a lab coat over a blue uniform nearly identical to the one Troi wore, pale skin, and bright red hair of a shade more orange than Jean's. Before doing anything else, she pointed a device at Charles, similar to the one Worf had used. "Well. I think we're going to need to go to Sickbay to do some more detailed scans."

"Is there a problem?" Charles asked. "Beyond, of course, the problem that I'm not your captain."

"The problem," the woman -- Crusher? Without actively probing anyone, he got that her first name was Beverly and she was the ship's chief medical officer. Ship? Yes, this was a starship. He pulled himself away from the temptation to probe the minds around him more deeply-- "is that you are. At least, according to a preliminary tricorder scan. Although, I'm seeing abnormal activity in the {look up telepathic thing}..."

"He's a telepath," Troi said.

"Well, that would explain it," Crusher said. "That's unusual. Outside of people with enhancements, either genetic or cybernetic, I've never seen a human telepath."

"Where I come from, it's quite rare," Charles said, "but among the subset of people with unusual abilities that I belong to, it's actually one of the more common powers. And can you explain what you mean when you say I am your captain?"

"Let's get you to sickbay first."

In sickbay, Beverly Crusher ran all kinds of non-intrusive scans over Charles with various devices, some of which involved nothing more than his lying on a bed. She turned to Riker when she was done. "I don't understand these readings at all. Can you call a meeting of the senior officers? I think we need to discuss this if we're to have any hope of getting the captain back."

"All right," Riker said, and touched his combadge. "Commander LaForge, Commander Data, senior staff meeting in the briefing room, fifteen minutes." He looked up. "Can you tell me what's wrong?"

"I'd like to know as well," Charles said, beginning to get a trifle worried. The situation he found himself in was a pleasant one, for a place to be lost without friends or any contact with home, but the fact that the doctor was worried was itself worrisome.

"It's... I can't be sure you're not the captain."

Charles shook his head. "I assure you, I'm not."

"I know you believe you're not. I know you're a telepath, while Captain Picard has no unusual abilities in that regard, and I know that your brain patterns are substantially different. Biologically, however, you are Captain Picard. You have an artificial heart. You have his scars, his birthmarks, his genome. Even a clone couldn't be as close a copy as you are."

"A transporter duplicate? Like my brother Thomas?" Riker asked.

"That's why I want to bring in Geordi and Data. But there's no report that the captain was left behind with the Gondarii, was there?"

Worf frowned. "No. I have already checked. Their records of his transport match ours. They don't have him."

"I don't have an artificial heart," Charles said. "And... normally, I'm a paraplegic."

Crusher shook her head. "There's nothing wrong with your spine."

"I understand that. Is it possible my psyche has somehow become... dislodged--" (through time? How could that be?) --"and entered Captain Picard's body?" He frowned. "Except that your captain does, in fact, look exactly like me. If he's merely someone whose body I've somehow occupied by accident, that would make no sense. There must be some connection between us." Could Picard be his descendant? How could that be? David was dead, and Charles had no other children. At the age of 68, he strongly doubted he ever would, either. Nor did he feel any great loss; while David's death was still painful even all these years later, Charles hardly needed biological children when he had so many children of the heart surrounding him at his school.

Was Picard at his school? Who was Picard? These people seemed to genuinely care for him and consider him a good man, but Charles' ethical constraints had prevented him from probing more deeply than that.

"I'm... considering the possibility that something like that might have happened," Crusher said.

She was being extremely delicate, dancing around something she didn't want to say in front of him. "I don't mean to pry. But I don't need to be a mind reader to tell that there's something you don't want to tell me."

Crusher sighed. "Is it possible that you only think you're Charles Xavier?"


"There has only ever been one subset of superhumans on Earth, back in the 20th and 21st centuries, and they didn't have any telepaths either. Not that history has recorded-- which, if they were common enough that you could describe them as 'one of the more common powers', it should have. I... wonder if whatever trauma to the brain caused Captain Picard to suddenly become an active telepath might have caused him to splinter in personality, creating... well, creating you, Professor. Your memories, your life... given how dissociative identity disorders work, a human brain could instantly create an entire alternate life, and believe in it, the way we do in dreams."

Of course Charles wanted to reject this theory out of hand, but he knew enough about dissociative identity disorders-- what they'd called "multiple personality disorder" when he'd been a practicing psychiatrist and it had been his son suffering from it-- to know that it was actually not as implausible as it sounded. So he considered the idea seriously, as anathema as it was to him. "I think my memories are far too detailed to be an invention," he offered, "and I could prove it by allowing Counselor Troi to probe my mind."

"I'm not a full telepath," Troi said.

"But I am. I can show you my memories, and let you make the assessment as to whether my life is real or a construct of Captain Picard's mind. That being said... what abilities did these superhumans have, Doctor? Were they spontaneous mutations? And what happened to them?"

"You don't know?"

Riker looked at him hard. "You say you're from Earth, but you don't know anything about the Eugenics Wars or the supermen?"

Inwardly Charles winced. Had Erik gotten the war he'd expected, and practically instigated, after all? "Eugenics Wars" sounded like an ugly crossbreed between the Nazi ideologies that had destroyed Erik's family and the philosophies he'd been espousing when last they'd talked. "I might know more about it than you think. But I need to know what you know."

"Let's save it for the briefing," Riker said.

Charles was picking up a definite desire for secrecy from Riker. For some reason the man wanted to hide from him information about the Eugenics Wars. Telepathic ethics only went so far-- if these people got it into their heads that Charles was some sort of unholy dybbuk, an alter-persona of their captain, they might try to purge him from Picard's brain as some kind of therapy. And if their medical technology was advanced enough to encompass telepathy, perhaps it was possible that they could. Charles was convinced that he was real, that his existence had actually happened somewhere, and while he'd be happy to relinquish this body to Picard once they found a way to return him to his own (except, of course, for the fact that Picard could walk and could feel his legs and his genitals and okay, maybe "happy" wasn't exactly the right word), he wanted to be sure that that didn't happen until they found his own and could reliably return him to it. At this point Charles considered it possibly self-defense to learn all he could about this place (and time?)

Carefully, so as not to alert Troi, he probed Riker and Crusher, not for their personal memories, but for their understanding of history.

What he got filled him with equal measures of hope and despair.

Hope: this time, this 24th century, was beautiful beyond even what he had ever seriously dreamed, the apotheosis of everything he'd ever hoped humanity-- and by humanity he'd included all the children of Earth-- could be. They were peaceful, ethical, technologically advanced, liberal, extraordinarily tolerant, with laws that took into account psychic powers and differential levels of factors like strength and speed, able to work in harmony not only with humans of all cultures but with aliens as well-- including aliens who were former enemies, such as the Klingons, Worf's race. In this wondrous new world, no one cared if you were black or white, gay or straight, telepathic or mind-blind.

Despair: there was no evidence in their history that mutants had ever existed. Worse, events had taken place in their history, right around the time he came from, that most decidedly were not happening in his world. Instead of mutants, they had had genetically engineered supermen with consistent physical and mental abilities-- higher intelligence, greater strength and speed, but a much greater propensity to certain mental illnesses, high among them megalomania and sociopathy-- who had tried to take over the world, on the grounds not that the ordinary humans would destroy them but that the ordinary humans did not deserve to rule. They had tacked uncomfortably close to philosophies Erik had espoused, and yet they had been frighteningly close to Nazis, an unpleasant confluence that made Charles wish he could show this world to Erik. They had also been defeated, and banished into deep space, and humanity had emerged from the crucible they had helped to stir as a stronger, wiser, more benevolent race.

There was no evidence that his kind of superhuman had ever existed.

This wondrous future was not his own. And there was good reason to believe it might never be. The superhumans had been small in number, created by act of man and not God, and had not created mass hysteria in the population until after they'd tried to take over the world. They had not been as powerful as mutants, and had inspired considerably less extreme violence in response from the human community-- though the prejudice they'd created against genetic engineering of humans had lingered three hundred years later. There was no reason to believe things would work out so well in his own world.

But then, that was the whole point to having a dream.

A man's reach must exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?

"Counselor Troi, can you verify that I am, at the least, what I say I am? I'm quite sure I'm not an alternate persona of Captain Picard's."

She nodded. Go ahead, she sent telepathically.

He offered up his memories. An alter-persona could create false memories, but they wouldn't have the density, the wealth of detail, that reality would have. It meant, unfortunately, that he had to offer her access to virtually everything; he could keep back the most private moments, but if he didn't give her access to what was in essence his entire life, there would be no way she could be sure he wasn't sending everything he had rather than a carefully edited selection.

Astonishing, Troi thought. Your people-- these 'mutants'-- I've never seen anyone with abilities like these! How... it doesn't seem possible!

No alien you've met has powers equal to ours? I find that hard to believe.

Oh, I've seen beings with far greater power. An image came to her mind of a dark-haired man with a sarcastic sneer, and the letter Q. But nothing as... well, as specific as being able to phase out of reality at will, or controlling the weather with one's mind... You're not just from the past, Professor. I don't think the world you come from ever happened in our past.

No, I agree, but what does it mean? Where am I from, in relation to your world, and how do we get me back?

Geordi and Data will probably have some ideas, at the meeting.

He broke the connection, as Troi said aloud, "He's not the captain, Beverly. He's not a personality manufactured by the captain, either. There's far too much detail in his memory, and far more information about the late 20th century than Captain Picard would have. If the Captain had manufactured an alter based in the 20th it would probably be early 20th--"

"The Dixon Hill period?" Crusher said, smiling.

"More or less, yes."

"All right," Riker said. "That doesn't answer the question of who he is, though, or how he got into the captain's body. Let's go up to the briefing room and see if we can hash out some answers."

Geordi LaForge wore a visor similar to Scott's, though apparently for quite a different purpose; his was a cybernetic replacement for blind eyes and a damaged optic nerve. Data was an android. More than anything else that drove it home on a visceral level that this was the future. Of course, in his time there were things such as Wolverine's adamantium skeleton, but nothing on this level of sophistication.

"His quantum signature is identical to the captain's," LaForge said. "If he was from some kind of alternate timeline, it should be different."

"However," Data said, "we do not have the ability to specifically identify the quantum signature of a mind, as separate from the body that houses it. If Professor Xavier's mind has somehow entered Captain Picard's body, we would not have the ability to distinguish the quantum signature of his mind separately from the Captain's body."

"But this just isn't possible," LaForge said. "I mean, Professor Xavier. You claim to be from an alternate version of the 20th century. You were on Earth-- we were nowhere near Earth when we transported the captain. I've never seen a transport switch a person's mind and body, but it is theoretically possible-- there are devices that have done the same thing. Just... across this kind of distance? Of space and time? It doesn't make any sense."

"Would Captain Picard's mind be in my body, then?" Charles asked.

"Theoretically, yes," LaForge said. "It's just... I don't even get how you can exist. I understand that people have duplicates in parallel universes, even universes with different histories. But you claim to look just like the Captain when you're in your own body, except that you come from a different time and a different family, so how is that possible?"

"Perhaps Captain Picard is actually descended from Professor Xavier. Or his counterpart in our time," Troi said.

"I suppose a counterpart of myself from your 20th century might possibly have had children. Or that my son might have lived, in this time."

"He would be several generations removed," Crusher said. "Genetically there wouldn't be enough similarity to account for an exact resemblance."

Riker shook his head. "No. There's something obvious we're missing here." He turned to Xavier. "Can you tell us something about your time, Professor?"

"Well..." Charles was somewhat reluctant, but supposed it was only fair. He knew all about them, after all. "Our time is similar to your 20th century, but with certain marked differences. We don't have genetically engineered supermen... In our time evolution appears to be randomly gifting certain humans with fantastic powers. People such as myself, people with these powers, are called 'mutants.' I teach a school for mutants, to help children coming into their powers learn how to use them properly, and how to integrate into human society. It's my belief that if mutants learn how to use their powers, and apply them ethically, so as to avoid harming humans or breaking any laws, we may be able to convince the larger human society that fundamentally, we aren't all that different from them, and not to be feared or hated."

Riker nodded slowly. "Uh-huh. And here you are, after what looks like a transporter accident, except that transporters don't switch people's minds, across hundreds of light-years, 4 centuries and a dimensional shift of some kind. Geordi, was there anything in the transporter logs that could account for this? Power surge, quantum singularity in the region, anything?"

"I went over those logs with a pretty fine-tooth comb," LaForge said. "I didn't see anything out of the ordinary at all, Commander."

"That's what I thought." He looked up at the ceiling. "All right, Q, I'm onto you. This has you written all over it. I know you're listening. Show yourself!"

There was a brilliant flash of light, and a dark-haired man dressed more or less the same as Riker appeared standing behind him, applauding. "Billy! I always knew you had potential. Somewhere. Even if you managed to suction most of it out of your head and into that rug you insisted on growing on your face." He leaned down and put an arm around Riker in a mock-congenial gesture. "So tell me, what clue tipped you off?"

"The fact that this situation was impossible had something to do with it," Riker said. "Where's the captain, Q?"

Interesting. This "Q" was invisible to Charles' perceptions; he wasn't even getting the general low-grade hum he got from people he wasn't directly scanning. Charles reached out with his power, attempting to read Q.

His visual field was suddenly entirely occupied by a superimposed image of Bugs Bunny, chomping on a carrot, saying, "I wouldn't do that if I wuz you, doc." This was followed by a flashing neon STOP in bright red, accompanied by a strobe and a siren, giving Charles a terrible headache. He withdrew the probe.

Q's voice rang in his head. Sorry, Charlie, but only the best tuna fish get to read my mind. If I'd let you keep that up you could very well have blasted your brain into pate, and I can't have that, now can I?

Outwardly Q showed no sign that he was in communication with Charles, responding to Riker fluidly and with no break in his apparent concentration. "'Where's the captain.' Ohh. And here I thought you were beginning to show some brains. Apparently not."

"I presume he is in Professor Xavier's body, and time?" Data asked.

"Data! A gold star to the android. Which one do you want?" Q climbed onto the table and slid over to Data, dangling his feet over the edge as he leaned forward to speak conspiratorially to the android. "I can't give you Sol-- well, I could, but it'd probably annoy Earth's inhabitants, and humans do whine so. But there's plenty of other gold stars in the galaxy. One of them must tickle your fancy."

"I do not have a fancy, nor do I want a gold star. But I would like to know what we must do to get the captain back."

Q shook his head. "So very single-minded. What makes you think there's anything you can do?"

"Because you do not typically act out of mere caprice. This is most likely to be some sort of puzzle, which we must solve to restore Professor Xavier to his own time and retrieve Captain Picard."

Q smiled broadly. "Oh, Data. So close, and yet so very far away." He hopped off the table. "You're absolutely right, of course. This isn't mere caprice. But you're not the one who needs to solve the puzzle."

"Is there something I need to do?" Charles asked.

"Is there actually anything you want to do?" Q asked, and stalked over to him. He leaned close and whispered in Charles' ear. "Relax... no one here needs to know you'd rather stay."

Charles sighed deeply. I would not 'rather stay', he sent. Among other things, I have obligations at home.

Oh, obligations. Q's mental voice sighed theatrically. You really are entirely too much like Jean-Luc. You're hardly exact counterparts, but it's amazing how close you are. Are you going to try to tell me you aren't even tempted? A world where humanity lives in peace with itself and other species, where your telepathy doesn't make you a freak or make people fear you... where your spine actually works... Aloud he whispered, "Besides... the redhead has a thing for you. Well, for Jean-Luc. But, you know, same difference."

Charles took a deep breath. "Is returning home under my control? At all?"

"That's an interesting question, now that you put it that way." Q straightened up. "Do you mortals really have any control over anything? I mean, when you get right down to it, you really aren't in charge of much in your own lives, now are you?"

"Q. Who has the ability to end this and return the Captain to this time?" Data asked.

"Well, I do, Data. Obviously."

"You have already said this is not caprice on your part. If you have a purpose, what is it? And do any of us, including Professor Xavier, have the ability either to restore the Captain and the Professor to their respective bodies and times, or persuade you to do so?"

Q's grin looked almost embarrassed. "All right, Data. Since it's you. But only because I'm so fond of you, understand?" He leaned back against the wall. "The only person with the ability to end this scenario is Captain Picard. I don't really care all that much about the rest of you." He looked at Data. "You were close, Data. But you really demonstrated an entirely human arrogance in assuming that this test was aimed at you and the rest of Picard's merry men rather than at Jean-Luc himself. I suppose that should please you?"

"I see. Of course," Riker said. He stood up. "You couldn't corrupt me with your power. You couldn't corrupt the captain into accepting you as a member of the crew. So you're coming at it from a different direction, aren't you? What are you trying to do, teach him that being more than human is a wonderful thing? Put him in a situation where he's crippled and powerless, surrounded by people with superhuman powers, who play on his sympathies because they're being persecuted by ordinary people?"

"Oh, no, no. I let him have Chucky's telepathy too. How could he function as a mutant if he had no powers?"

"You gave a man with no training my telepathy? Do my students know? He'll need help to manage--"

"Then he'll have to ask for help, won't he?" Q interrupted. "Your students will find out if he tells them, obviously. But that's up to him." He looked at Riker. "It's no good having second thoughts, Riker. You blew your chance. Pining after the offer you turned down just makes you look more pathetic than your species already is."

"I'm not pining--" Riker started, infuriated.

"Let me get this straight, Q," Crusher interrupted.

"Oh, don't strain something, Beverly."

"Jean-Luc is in an alternate version of the 20th century, with telepathy, surrounded by a group of persecuted superhumans who'll look to him as their leader, and until he passes whatever ridiculous test you've set for him you won't bring him back home or send Professor Xavier back to his home."

"Hmm." Q seemed to think about it. "Yup, about sums it up. I'm shocked, Bev, you have a brain. Who knew?"

"Then if there's nothing any of us can do to change this situation... why don't you just get out of here and go back to the Continuum or do whatever it is you do? We don't need you here, you don't need to be talking to us to get your test done... so why don't you go." She spoke very calmly, but with a certain underlying tone of venom. From her mind Charles could see that she was angry and frustrated but not particularly afraid. It made her very attractive, beyond the physical beauty she had, that she could face down a being with so much power he dwarfed the entire X-Men and Brotherhood put together, and feel no fear.

"Oh, I will. Believe it or not, you're not that entertaining. But, you know, I was invited."

"Why don't you consider yourself uninvited, now."

"As you wish," Q said, smirking, and vanished.

"Does he turn up often?" Charles asked.

"Thankfully, only about once a year," Riker said, "and the last two times, the captain was the only one who knew about it."

"On the other hand," LaForge said, "once a year is still way too often in my book."

"Agreed," Worf said stiffly.

"So I am to take it that you consider him to be telling the truth? I can't get home until Captain Picard solves some sort of puzzle?"

"Or learns some sort of lesson," Troi said. "Q seems to have an interest in teaching the captain things."

"I suppose I need to make the best of things, then."

"It'd be best for you to pretend to be the captain, at least for the time being," Riker said. "Obviously I'll actually be in command, but we're on a diplomatic mission, negotiating between the Gondarii and the Velosians, and we'd have a very hard time explaining that our captain's mind was kidnapped to another dimension by an omnipotent alien."

Troi nodded. "With your telepathy, and coaching from the rest of us, you should be able to pass for the captain in front of the ambassadors."

Charles nodded. "Of course, I'm willing to do anything to help out." Q was right about one thing, he thought privately. If nothing he could do could speed his return to his own dimension and his own body... well, there wasn't any harm in enjoying a situation he had no power to change, after all.

He hoped that Picard was doing well with his students, and obviously he wanted to go home to them, but... against his will, he found a small part of himself rather hoping Picard didn't finish the task Q had set any time real soon.