Now, let's give credit to those who made this story possible:
Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, Master Yoda, Jedi Council, Jedi Temple, Coruscant, The Republic, The Force, The Dark Side, The Sith and medi-chloriants belong to George Lucas.
Xanatos belongs to LucasBooks.
Captain Jean-Luc Picard, First Officer William Riker, Lt. Comm. Worf, Lt. Comm. Data, Lt. Comm. Geordi LaForge, Councilor Deanna Troi, Ensign Crusher, Dr. Beverly Crusher, O'Brien, the USS Enterprise, Star Fleet Command, Star Fleet Academy, Cardassians, Ferengi's, Romulans, Klingons, Betazoid and the Borg all belong to Rick Berman and Michael Pillar.
Col. Jack O'Neill, Dr. Daniel Jackson, Captain Samantha Carter, Teal'c, Jaffa, Goa'uld and the Stargate all belong to MGM.
No-Seen, Jedi Ring, Mountains of Light, Kaelon 5 System, Drachir, USS Falkirk, Xexron, Varia System, Nuf, PX2953, aekerian trees and phionetamine belong to the author.
To whoever the computer virus, " I love you " belongs, thanks. There's always a bigger virus to do the dirty jobs…
This one is for you, Mike. Thanks for being there when I need you and thanks for keep believing in me when I don't have faith in myself. Thank you for your silent support.
However, I cannot write a story without mentioning a very special Klip: Richard, thank you for convincing me not to stop writing. Thank you for keeping the faith in me. To Lochi, Andrew, Mark and Harry, you will always be in my heart.
In a small matter, I must also dedicate this story to those actors who made sure I enjoy the characters they're playing so brilliantly: Patrick Stewart, Liam Neeson, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Shanks. After all, they're the reason I wrote this story.
I also would like to thank my friend Slef for being so patient and supportive. Hope you like this one.
One last note: I wrote this story just because I like writing. I'm not going to make any money with it so I will not get any profit. I have no affiliations with the cast or creators of the three series used in this story.
Any comments, criticisms or whatever can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm always there.
On with the story…
Room of the Jedi Council, The Jedi Temple, Coruscant, The Republic
" To No-Seen, go you must. People of No-Seen in great danger, they are." The little green man close his eyes for a moment and then look at the tall, broad-shouldered man standing in the center of the The Jedi Ring. The Ring is engraved into the floor with black, blue and green emeralds that come from the Mountains of Light, where the Jedi originated. The Ring is the symbol of unity among the Jedi and to remind them that they are all dedicated to protect the weak, shelter the homeless, guide the confused and strengthen those in fear. The arms of the tall man emerge from the sleeves of his tunic. He places them on either side of his hips. He looks at the little green man:
" What is the problem, my Master? "
" Threatened by unknown force they are. "
" It is not from The Dark Side? "
" Not so. Immediately leave you must. "
" As you wish Master. "
" May the Force be with you. "
Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn slightly bows to The Council, his head towards the Jedi leader, Master Yoda. The little green man returns the bow with a slight nod of his head, his green bat-like ears dropping for a second or so. He watches as Qui-Gon leaves the chamber with a puzzled look in his eyes. No one knows this, but Qui-Gon has always been his favorite despite of the latter's rebellious spirit. Qui-Gon is always questioning authority and decisions, just as he, Yoda, once had done.
The six-foot-four Jedi hurries down the hall to his living quarters to prepare for his journey to No-Seen, which is situated in the Drachir system. In his quarters, he checks his light saber, pack an extra pair of pants and socks as well as an extra shirt. No-Seen is a cold planet. He makes sure his comlink works before he leaves for the spaceport where a ship is waiting for him. He has an uneasy feeling about this mission, something very elusive. This feeling prevents him from focusing on the moment and he decides to meditate on the ship. It will help him to clear his mind. He enters the spaceport and since there is only one ship, he heads for it with long strides, his dark brown tunic flowing gracefully around him.
Bridge of the USS Enterprise, Kaelon 5 System
" Captain! We're receiving distress signals from the USS Falkirk! They're requesting immediate assistance! They're on Code Red, Priority One! "
" Their exact location, Mr. Worf? "
" They were exploring an unknown planet called Xexron in the Varia system. It seems that we're the closest Star Fleet vessel in assistance range. "
" Mr. Data…"
" Captain! We've lost all communications with the Falkirk! "
The captain turns to the android he was addressing before being interrupted by his security officer.
" Mr. Data, how long will it take us at warp 9 to reach them? "
" Approximately 15 minutes, 32 seconds, 55 milliseconds…"
" Thank you Mr. Data! Ensign Crusher, prepare for warp 9! " The captain looks quickly at Data.
" Warp 9 ready, Captain. "
" Engage! "
Captain Jean-Luc Picard takes his seat between First Officer William Riker and Ship's Councilor Deana Troi, a grim look on his face. Since the peace treaty between the Klingons and Romulans were signed, there haven't been any battles to fight, frictions to soften or angry men to calm down. It cannot be the Cardassians because they have been extinct since the Enterprise B-107. Maybe the Ferengi's…they have always been very hostile to Star Fleet but they weren't really aggressive or the kind who attacks for no reason. Although very territorial, they warn before they launch an attack. But Worf said it was a vessel of unknown origin…Picard is so deep in thought that he doesn't realize Riker is looking at him. Riker can see that it will be a very bad career move if he should talk now but he has the urgent desire to tell the Captain his news. He suppresses a heavy sigh and looks at the screen. After all, his first duty is to Star Fleet…He looks at the screen as a small planet comes into view. As they enter the system and the Enterprise warp drive release, he looks horrified at the scene that greets them…and he forgets all his thoughts of a few moments ago…
Cheyenne Military Base, California, USA, Earth
" Okay team are you all ready? "
" Ready Colonel." Captain Samantha Carter looks at her commanding officer.
" I am ready, O'Neill. " The Jaffa Teal'c also looks at the colonel. Then all is silent. The colonel says in a low voice:
" Daniel? Daniel! "
The colonel looks over to Dr. Daniel Jackson who is searching for something in his backpack. He looks up.
" Wait! I forgot my camera! I cannot go without it! "
" Daniel will you just forget about the camera? For once? "
Jack looks angry at Daniel who dashes off to retrieve his camera from his quarters and, as usual, he ignores the commands coming from a very angry Colonel Jack O'Neill. The latter realizes it won't help yelling after Daniel and throws his hands up in the air out of frustration and despair. He catches a glimpse of Carter.
" I'd better not catch you smiling, Captain. "
" Yes Sir! " Just then, Daniel enters the room, camera in hand.
" Okay, I'm set. "
" About time! "
Jack looks at Daniel but he cannot help smiling at the young Egyptologist. Daniel is fidgeting with the straps of his backpack. Jack walks over, takes the bag from him, fastens the straps and gives the bag back to Daniel. He takes his place as team leader.
" Don't say it! I know! I know! ' Thanks Jack. I'm not used to this army gear. ' "
" Oh well…thanks anyway! "
Jack starts to turn but then he thinks better of it. He looks up at the technician and nods. The chevrons are engaged and when all seven have been locked, the SG-1 team enters the Stargate and disappears.
On the way to No-Seen…
Qui-Gon sits on the floor of the ship in the Jedi Meditation manner: Legs crossed with the ankles turned so that the soles of the feet face upwards. His arms are crossed and his back straight. He is still sharp and alert as he had been trained to be but he also concentrating very hard on the lectures of the Force. He has been very lucky to get a ride with an old friend. Nuf had been a great service before and the two have become close friends. It helps to know that the pilot can be trusted and that helps him to relax a little.
Suddenly the ship starts to rock and through the window he can see red flashes of a laser gun flying past the ship. In one movement he jumps up and heads for the cockpit where Nuf is struggling to keep the ship steady.
" Nuf, what's going on? "
" We're being attacked by that strange ship over there! I've never seen such a ship before and I've traveled all over the galaxy. "
Qui-Gon moves into the other pilot seat and activates the auxiliary lasers. Nuf can barely keep his hands on the controls. The little No-Seenian has four hands but they are not enough to keep up with all the commands he has to enter into the flight controls. Qui-Gon tries to use the Force for guidance but all he senses is a lot of confusion from it. He realizes that the elusive feeling that he sensed on Coruscant has increased and intensified with their journey to No-Seen.
Outside, the mysterious ship has increased firepower and now the cargo carrier is really rocking about.
" How long till we enter the outer atmosphere of No-Seen? " Qui-Gon asks without taking his eyes of the strange ship.
" A few seconds but I don't think we'll make it! "
" Yes…we will! "
Qui-Gon can sense the fear in Nuf and he tries to direct some of his energy of the Force to the No-Seenian. From the corner of his eye, the Jedi Knight sees a bright red flash and then the cockpit fills with smoke. He reaches over to Nuf and places his hands over the small ones of Nuf to help him steady the ship but to no avail for they have just entered the outer atmosphere of No-Seen. The ship swirls under the pressure of the atmosphere and Nuf can feel the life flowing from his hands as Qui-Gon tightens his grip on the controls. Qui-Gon struggles to keep conscious for the smoke has become overwhelming. They crash through the middle atmosphere and then they enter the inner atmosphere.
" There! Steer the ship over there! It's a marsh and will soften our landing…" Nuf is shouting because the noise in the cockpit is deafening from the heavy friction caused by the atmosphere.
Qui-Gon nods his head in acknowledgment. He does not try to speak because his throat is burning and tears roll down his cheeks. He pushes with all his might and into the direction of the green patch that is the marsh Nuf has been referring to. The ship swerves sharply left and makes a sudden dive as the nose is pushed down.
A loud explosion forces the ship further left. The impact throws Qui-Gon out of his seat and against the negotiation panel. A blinding pain flashes through his head and down his spine. Through white patches he sees Nuf slumping forward, knocked unconscious by a blow on the head. The impact of the explosion sends a ball of fire into the cockpit. Qui-Gon stretches out his hands as he tries to reach Nuf to pull him to safety and out of the path of the fireball. He's too late: In one sweeping movement the ball swallows the little No-Seenian. Qui-Gon pushes himself forward as hard as he can but smoke and pain overtakes his senses and a black hole sucks him into darkness…
Bridge of the USS Enterprise, Varia System
The crew of the Enterprise watch in utmost horror as a strange ship fire at a little cargo-carrier. The huge black vessel is not aware of the Enterprise.
" There are two life forms on board the cargo-carrier but the huge ship shows no signs of life. " Lt. Comm. Worf reads the information from his station.
" Captain, that little ship will not survive the attack if we don't help! " Deanna Troi is on her feet.
" Mr. Data, Code Red! All crew, battle stations! " Picard is also on his feet now as the crew scurries around.
" Mr. LaForge, prepare the ship for battle and make sure that the shield is on full power! "
" Aye Captain! " Lt. Comm. LaForge's voice comes over the intercom.
" Captain, I must object! " Riker is also on his feet now and Picard turns to face him.
" Mr. Riker, I'm not about to let two lives go down without me trying to do something about it. No matter who they are, where they come from, or what they did, I cannot watch as that beast out there destroys them. I won't let them just die! "
" But Captain…" Riker is cut short by Picard turning his back on him. There is ice in his voice as he speaks:
" Mr. Riker, if you don't like my methods or my way of commanding this ship, then I suggest you sit down and shut up! "
From experience Riker knows that Picard is furious. Reluctantly, he takes his seat. He doesn't dare to look at Deanna. He knows she is looking at him with dismay and confusion. Picard worries about this outburst from Riker because it's so unlike him but he forces himself to concentrate on the situation at hand. He pushes his thoughts of Riker to the back of his mind and asks:
" Are we ready to fire Mr. Worf? "
" Aye Captain. "
" Fire at will! "
The Enterprise sends out four photon torpedoes but they don't seem to do much damage. However, the attention is drawn away from the little cargo-carrier as the strange ship returns fire. The Enterprise shudders as the shields take the blows. Picard watches as the cargo-carrier disappears into the atmosphere of Xexron. The bridge of the Enterprise is turned into red flashing chaos as the crew runs around and obeying orders. The computer's calm voice sounds ironic amidst the activities on the bridge:
" Shields are down to 60%. "
The crew of the Enterprise watch in astonishment as the strange ship disappears into the black universe. Picard immediately asks for damage reports and while waiting for them, he orders his senior personnel to meet him in the conference room.
" We should get an away team ready to go and investigate. They may have survived. Mr. Riker, you have the bridge. Dr. Crusher, Mr. Data, LaForge, Worf and Councilor, you all come with me. "
At the Stargate on the surface of PX2953
A blue waterlight emerges out of the ring made of stone. Col. Jack O'Neill and his team had barely set foot on the planet when something meets them with laser bolts. They duck and dive and scatter but to no avail because there is no place to take cover. From the corner of his eye, Daniel sees Teal'c going down in flames. As he tries to go and rescue his teammate from the blue flames devouring him, he feels a sharp pain burning into his back and shoulder. He meets the ground with a loud thud and everything around him goes into slow motion: Jack is running towards him but is mercilessly gunned down when the unfamiliar laser bolts strike him in the legs. Daniel feels how his body is getting heavier and he stares at Jack as the latter tries to crawl to him, pleading not to give up. Jack stretches out his hand to Daniel but all that Daniel feels is a burning feeling enveloping him. His eyes hurt. He'll close them for a while…hearing Jack shouting from far away.
Jack looks on in shock as Teal'c goes down in flames. He watches as Daniel tries to save the Jaffa. Jack tries to warn Daniel but the bolt comes out of nowhere and Daniel flies a few feet through the air as the bolt jerks him off his feet. Jack runs towards the Egyptologist but something burns through his legs and forces him to the ground. He looks down to the smoldering, bloody, lower half of his body for a second but his concern for Daniel eliminates the shock he should have felt. He looks back at Daniel and sees how the young man's eyes grow vacant and empty. He must stop him from dying:
" Daniel! Daaa-nnnn-iiieeee-llllll! Don't you dare go dying on me! Daniel….."
Jack O'Neill watches in horror as Daniel closes his eyes. Jack pushes himself forward and he touches Daniel on the shoulder. There is no response from the latter. A black cloud shadows his thoughts and he lowers his head slowly on his arms…
On the surface of No-Seen alias Xexron alias PX2953
The away-team materializes on the surface of the planet. A scene dominated by the blue smoke hanging in the air and the smell of burning flesh greets them. They all look around in terror as they see the destruction that has taken place. It seems to Picard that today is a day for death and battles. The team quickly disperses into all directions to look for any survivors. The first one they find is Captain Samantha Carter. Dr. Beverly Crusher kneels immediately beside her to check for any signs of life. When she looks up, Picard can see that there is no hope. Dr. Crusher requests the standby crew in the transporter room to transport the body to the Enterprise. A loud shout from a medical assistant draws her attention and she hurries over to him. Teal'c also were not very lucky this time. They look as the body vanishes into thin air as it is transported to the Enterprise. Everybody is silent as they work through the area. Counselor Troi discovers the men lying next to each other. There is a faint impulse of life coming from one of them and she immediately informs Dr. Crusher of it. Picard and the other senior officers also go to see if there is any hope and they feel a sigh of relieve as Dr. Crusher issues an emergency situation. She is beamed up with both of them as well as some of the medical crew for assistance. The rest of the team investigates further but always on the alert in case of another attack.
Picard, LaForge, Data and Worf are discussing the situation when Picard says:
"We must found that little cargo-carrier and soon. From what we've just witnessed, they might need our help as well. Let's split and see what we find. "
A chorus of " Aye Captain" –s put the order into motion. Suddenly Counselor Troi feels a very awkward sense and she moves into a type of marsh. Everywhere there are maroon, mustard and ocean-green uniforms to be seen but none of them seems to have felt what she just felt. The sense she is feeling draws her deeper into the marsh. She knows that this feeling is very powerful and mysterious but not evil. Her curiosity drives her into the direction of some dead trees. As she rounds a huge aekerian tree, she discovers the little cargo-carrier they have seen earlier. She activates her comlink:
" Captain, I think I've found the missing cargo-carrier. "
" We're on our way, Counselor. " On the other side of the marsh, Picard summons the rest of the crew and they head for the direction of Counselor Troi.
At the cargo-carrier Counselor Troi has just entered the little ship. The smell of burned flesh sweeps up her nostrils and she almost chokes on it. She discovers the source of the smell as she reaches the cockpit…or rather what's left of it. The light filters through some cracks in the body of the ship but that's not enough to chase away the dark corners still lurking there. Cautiously she steps forward. She stumbles over something and falls to the floor, releasing a soft " Aahh". On a closer look she sees that the something is actually a someone. He lies on his left side and his face is half turned down. To her surprise this someone is the source of the sense she's been feeling and that that sense is very strong with him. He's still alive. Gently she pushes away the hair over his face to reveal a very handsome man. She can see that his features are finely crafted and that he used to laugh a lot as indicated by the small wrinkles around his eyes. She moves her hand under his face and feels the sticky substance on the other side of his face. She looks at him softly and a feeling of guilt overwhelms her. The sound of Picard's voice jerks her head up and she raises her voice to let them know where she is. Picard informs Dr. Crusher that they have found another injured man. They all vanish as they are beamed on to the Enterprise. Only Worf stays behind to coordinate the investigations on the surface.
The USS Enterprise
Picard is sitting in his office and waits for any news on the survivors or from Worf. His mind is in a windmill of thoughts and feelings as he tries to comprehend what has happened that day. He ordered the ship's crew to stay on Code Red just in case that strange ship returns. He tries to order the events of the day and his mind keeps returning to Riker's behavior of earlier. He also sees those people they have found in his mind but Riker seems to intrude on his thoughts. Why did Riker do it? He doesn't know Riker like that. Riker is not like that, dammit! He presses the intercom on his desk:
" Mr. Riker, can I see you for a moment please? "
" Aye Captain. " The moment Riker has been dreaded has finally arrived and he hands the bridge over to Data. Their eyes lock for a moment and both know what is coming. Riker sighs before he knocks on Picard's door.
" Enter. " Picard looks up as the door slides open and Riker enters.
" Take a seat, Will. " Riker doesn't like the look in his captain's eyes. He takes a seat slowly. Picard looks at him before he speaks:
" Would you like to tell me what happened today there on the bridge? "
Riker shifts uncomfortably in his chair. He wants to tell Picard the news and under different circumstances he would have been very excited about it but now he feels like a criminal.
" It's like this…Uhm…Well…you see…uhm…" Picard looks at Will as he stutters to outer the words.
" Just tell me, Will. " Riker looks at Picard and sighs.
" Deanna is pregnant. "
Picard is totally dumbfounded by the news. He jumps up and embraces Riker with a huge smile on his face. Riker looks at him in astonishment. Now he knows why Riker didn't want to go into battle. Being a father for the first time makes one do things that's not normal…
" But…I…thought…thought you would…" He swallows hard. "…be angry. "
" No, not angry but I must admit I was very concerned. I don't know you to be a coward. Congratulations! "
" Uh…thanks. Jean-Luc, are you okay? "
" I am worried about the events of today but with bad news must also come good news. " He tries to smile.
" What are we going to do? " Riker feels must more comfortable now that they talk about anything but Deanna.
" We cannot stay here much longer. That ship might return. Worf and the others will be finished in a few minutes and then we must move to intergalactic space. I have already informed Star Fleet Command about the situation. Maybe…"
Dr. Crusher interrupts Picard.
" Captain, one of the men is regaining consciousness. I thought you would like to know. "
" Thank you Beverly. I'm on my way. "
Jack becomes vaguely aware of the activities around him. He wants to open his eyes but they won't obey. Someone gently touches his shoulder. The voice sounds very concerned:
" Take it easy. You're still recovering. You were wounded very seriously. "
He scratches all his energy together and whispers:
" Where am I? "
Dr. Crusher looks at Picard where he is standing at the foot of the bed. He looks Jack who is still struggling to open his eyes. He turns his head on the pillow. Picard sighs.
" Sir, you are on the starship USS Enterprise. I'm Captain Jean-Luc Picard and in command of the Enterprise. "
" Oh…" and with that Jack slips into unconsciousness again. He will worry about his dream later.
Dr. Crusher and Picard move away from the bed where Jack is lying.
" Beverly, how serious are their conditions? "
" Well…" She looks at Jack.
" His legs are badly burned but that can be effectively treated and he will have no scars left. He may have to learn how to walk again because his muscles must regenerate first. Otherwise, he seems to be in shock and very weak. He'll make it. I'm worried about this one. " She moves to another bed and looks at the young man with the blond hair lying there.
" His shoulder is not so bad and is healing very nicely but the bolt also penetrated his back and destroyed most of his back muscles and spine. We might be able to treat that but his blood loss limits us to operate. He's even weaker than his friend. I don't know how much longer we can wait. " The concern is clearly on her face as she talks to Picard. Picard's mouth is drawn into a thin line as he realizes the critical conditions of the men lying there. His eyes slide over them and rest upon the man behind him. He turns to view the man in full. His breathing is even and a bandage covers the vicious cut on the side of his brow.
" What about him? "
" Only a bump on the head and a twisted spine but he seems to be different than the other two. He is healing remarkably quickly and seems to generate that healing power within himself. He has a strength I didn't encounter before. Also, there is something strange in his blood, some kind of cell that generates energy. I assume that is where his healing power…"
" They're called medi-chloriants. "
A hoarse whisper makes Picard and Dr. Crusher look at the man simultaneously. Dr. Crusher rushes over to his side and takes some readings. Her face shows her curiosity.
" He's almost as good as new. " She looks at Picard and then at the man. Picard takes a step closer.
" I'm Captain Jean-Luc Picard and in command of the USS Enterprise. Welcome aboard my ship. "
" Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. Please to meet you. " Qui-Gon coughs a little.
" Well, Mr. Jinn, it seems that you need your rest. Please don't hesitate to ask for anything. " Picard gives his most gracious smile.
" Thank you Captain. "
" A pleasure. Well then, I must return to my duties. " With these words, Picard leaves sickbay and return to his office. Now that he knows the condition of the strangers, he has something else to think about. A Jedi Master? He's so excited, he doesn't dare to sit down. While pacing, he says:
" Computer, get me every bit of information you can find on Jedi Masters. "
While the computer is searching for the information, someone knocks on his door.
" Enter. " It's Riker.
" Worf and the rest of team have just returned. They have some very interesting things to tell us. "
" I suppose so. Arrange a meeting for tomorrow morning at zero nine hundred hours. We'll meet in the conference room. "
" Yes sir. "
All the senior crew was already gathered in the conference room when Picard enters with Qui-Gon. Everyone stares at him for a moment except Deanna who tries to avoid his eyes, feeling that strange sensation again. Picard introduces Qui-Gon to everyone and then invites Qui-Gon to take a seat.
" So Mr. Worf, what do you have for us? "
" Captain, we discovered a very strange structure. " Worf activates a screen on the far side of the room and all attention is on the screen. A picture of a ring-shaped object appears.
" It seems that the structure is made of stone. This little stand here seems to be some sort of activation device. We couldn't find out yet how it's working and we don't know where it comes from or what it's supposed to do. "
" Did you meet some of the No-Seenians Mr. Worf? "
" It seems that they have all disappeared, sir. We could find no trace of them. We did find some deserted villages but that's it. "
Picard looks at the screen and then at the people sitting around the table. His eyes rest on Qui-Gon.
" Mr. Jinn, do you have any idea what that thing is? "
" No Captain, I don't. "
" Well, keep investigating Mr. Worf. Dr. Crusher, keep me informed of the other two men's conditions. Mr. Riker, take the bridge. The rest of you can go on with your duties. Mr. Jinn, would you like a tour of the USS Enterprise D-47? "
" Yes Captain, I think I would like to see this ship. "
As they walk along the corridors, Picard couldn't resist asking Qui-Gon about himself:
" Mr. Jinn, if you do not mind me asking, but I thought the Jedi was only a myth, a legend? "
" No Captain, they're not. " Qui-Gon smiles before continuing, " After all, I am a Jedi. "
" Yes, I know that, but what I find curious is how you became a Jedi. "
" One is born with it. The medi-chloriants in my blood are responsible for that. See, Captain Picard…"
" Please, call me Jean-Luc. " Qui-Gon bows slightly in acknowledgment.
" It's very difficult to explain, but the medi-chloriants helps me see life in a whole different way. They are the creators of The Force and The Force can be divided in two parts: The Light Side and The Dark Side. One is good and one is evil. The Jedi are the good ones and the bad ones are called The Sith. I assume you're informed of it? "
" Yes, I am. But what I don't understand is The Force itself. Where did it come from and how come only certain people have it and others don't? "
" Well, it's inherited and thus a son or daughter can be born with it. The people who have it, are those chosen to have it. The Force seeks the carriers out and not the other way around. "
" I see. "
Picard gives Qui-Gon a thorough tour of the Enterprise and then accompanies him to his guest quarters. They agree to meet for dinner that night. Qui-Gon enters his quarters and takes a look around before he takes a seat. He retrieves the comlink from his tunic.
" Master Yoda? "
" Happened what to you, Qui-Gon? "
" We've crashed on No-Seen Master because we've been attacked by a mysterious vessel. I've been unconscious for almost three days. My pilot was killed. We were rescued by Humans, Master. I'm on one of their ships right now. They have been very kind but also very curious. " Qui-Gon chuckles to himself about the last remark.
" Humans, say you? "
" Yes Master. Is something the matter? "
" Destroy the evil, you must, Qui-Gon. "
" Yes Master. "
" May the Force be with you. "
The connection between Yoda and Qui-Gon has been broken and Qui-Gon stares at the cream-colored carpet on the floor, not really seeing anything else but the events of the last few days. Suddenly he feels a powerful presence of The Force which means it'' very close. Qui-Gon has been exploring this sudden wave of The Force when someone knocks at his door.
" Enter. "
Councilor Deanna Troi enters and their eyes lock for a moment, making Deanna feel very uncomfortable.
" How are you feeling? "
" Very well. Thank you for your concern. "
" It's my duty to make sure that all people on the ship is coping with their traumas. "
" That was no trauma for me but I'm glad for the concern. "
" I should be going now. "
Deanna walks to the door but hesitates along the way.
" Councilor, is there anything else you wish to talk about? " This question makes Deanna turns and she faces Qui-Gon again. His ice-blue eyes reflect a wisdom and a calmness she has never encountered before.
" Who are you? " Seeing that she wouldn't be fooled, he decides to tell the truth.
" A Jedi. "
" A Jedi? "
" But…wh…wh…what are you doing here? "
" I'm on a mission and I think my mission involves you. "
" What do you mean? "
" Councilor, you're a Jedi too. "
" I'm a Betazoid! I'm not a Jedi. "
" Yes, you are! "
" How can you say such things! "
" Because it's the truth. Don't you see? "
Her face flashes red. He has moved closer to her and now she takes advantage of that: She slaps him across the face. The blow is hard for he turns his head sideways. Calmly he asks:
" How did you find me? "
" I cannot explain it but I have sensed you out. "
" There is the proof you need, for how else would you have sensed where I am? I am grateful that you have sensed me out otherwise I would have died out there. "
He can see by the look on her face that she is not convinced.
" Betazoids sense other people's feelings and emotions and that doesn't mean they're Jedi's! "
" Being a Betazoid only give you the advantage but only Jedi's can sense each other…"
She is not sure of her feelings for him and she tries to avoid his eyes but she cannot obey because something in her forces her to look at him. Their eyes lock and she feels herself being drawn closer to him. They look each other in the eye and then their lips found each other's. Deanna has never felt such an overwhelming powerful sensation as the one she is feeling at that moment. Suddenly the door opens and Riker steps into the room.
" Deanna? "
Qui-Gon and Deanna look up, shock on their faces as they step away from each other.
" Will, what are you doing here? "
" The captain has sent me to come and fetch Mr. Jinn. There are some new developments to the situation. " Riker says without taking his eyes of Qui-Gon. He slowly walks up to the Jedi and without any indication, his fist comes up and connects with Qui-Gon's lower jaw. The latter is forced back by the unexpected blow onto the floor. Deanna immediately steps between the two men, placing her hands on Riker's chest.
" Please Will, don't. It's not his fault. " He looks at her in amazement.
Qui-Gon stands calmly and watches as the two of them speaks. He must do as the Force tells him and he feels guilty for letting his feelings get in the way. His silent nobility and control have been restored and once more, he's the Jedi Master who always knows what to do.
" The captain is waiting, Mr. Jinn. " Riker too has regained control. He looks quickly at Deanna and then moves to the door with Qui-Gon following. They exchange a look that is a promise that none will tell a soul what has happened.
A few weeks later…
Jack has regained consciousness and his physiotherapy is going very well. Daniel is still unconscious but out of danger. Qui-Gon and Deanna haven't met since that incidence in Qui-Gon's quarters. Will and Deanna have not spoken about it either. The mysterious ship has not returned and there is still no life on the planet No-Seen. ( All parties have agreed to use the name No-Seen to limit the confusion that would have been created otherwise. ) The senior crew, Jack and Qui-Gon are gathered in the conference room. Jack has just told them about the Stargate.
" So what you're saying, Col. O'Neill, is that you and your team can travel other worlds by means of this device? "
Picard is still unable to comprehend what Jack has just told him.
" That is right, Captain. " Jack looks at Picard.
" Captain, what are we going to do about the No-Seenians that have disappeared? " Qui-Gon's soft voice draws the attention away from the Stargate.
" Mr. Riker, you will take Mr. Data and Mr. Jinn to No-Seen and investigate some further. It will be better if you don't wear uniforms. It will make you less obvious. "
" Captain, with all due respect, I'm going too. "
" Captain, I don't think Col. O'Neill is up to it to be sent out yet. " Dr. Crusher protests heavily.
" Dr. Crusher is right, Col. O'Neill. You're in no condition to go on a mission yet. "
" Doctor, I appreciate your concern, but I need to go and find whatever's out there. Half of my team has been wiped out and I'm not going to let that just slip by! " Jack is on his feet and he hammers his fist down on the table.
" Colonel, I know you're upset, but I don't think you're physically up to it. "
" I don't care, Doctor, but I'm going out to find that thing. " Jack looks at the people around the table and then leaves the room, to upset to just sit down.
" I must go and talk to him. " Picard says.
" Leave him, Captain. It is quite understandable what he is feeling. "
" I know, Mr. Jinn, but he…"
" Captain, let me talk to him. "
Picard looks at Qui-Gon and sighs heavily.
" See what you can do. "
Qui-Gon finds Jack in sickbay, sitting next to Daniel's bed. It's clear that his thoughts are not with him. Qui-Gon places his hand on Jack's shoulder.
" He will be all right. It is you I am concerned about. "
" If you're trying to convince me to stay here while you go out on this mission, you're not going to get it done. "
" Are you sure you want to do this? "
Jack turns. His eyes are a blazing blue, a look Qui-Gon has never seen before.
" My best friend lies here, fighting for his life. My captain was shot to pieces, the Jaffa was gunned down like a criminal, and you just want me to sit here and wait until you all someday return…maybe return. I don't think so. " Jack draws his mouth into a thin line, determination written all over his face. Qui-Gon knows he can use a Jedi mind trick on Jack but something in the man's eyes prevents him from doing so. Qui-Gon remembers the time he lost Xanatos…the look in Jack's eyes reminds him of himself…He sighs. He looks at Daniel and then backs at Jack.
" Very well, then. We're leaving in an hour. "
In Transporter Room Four, the team is ready to be beamed down to the deserted planet. Each carries a phaser, an emergency backpack that is stocked with provisions for a week. Picard, Dr. Crusher and Councilor Troi are in the room to say farewell. Riker and Deanna's eyes meet just before the men disappear. A sudden feeling of anxiety envelopes her but she decides to keep it to herself.
The four men materialize on the surface. Immediately Qui-Gon senses a disturbance in the Force. Some eerie feeling surrounds the place where they have been beamed to. The Stargate looks still the same. Data discovers some smoke coming from the swamp.
" Sir, there is some smoke over there. " Riker looks in the direction where Data is pointing. Qui-Gon and Jack also look in that direction.
" Let's go have a look. "
The place where the smoke is coming from is a few miles into the swamp. They walk in silence, everyone busy wit his own thoughts. After half an hour's walk, they enter a clearing. The source of the smoke is a cabin, or what's left of the cabin. A brief investigation turns up nothing and no one. Qui-Gon's uneasy feeling has increased and so has the deafening silence.
They are standing near the cabin when a blue laser bolt comes out of nowhere. They duck behind an overturned aekerian tree, phasers out and ready. The bolts seem to be coming closer and closer…Riker's eyes widen as he sees the black figures emerging from the trees.
" The Borg! " He looks at Data. The latter also has some confusion on his face but being an android and recovers more quickly from the unexpected appearance of the Borg than his commanding officer.
" The Borg? " Qui-Gon and Jack ask simultaneously.
" I'll explain later. We must get out of here! " Riker has just moved his hand up to his comlink on his jacket when a blue bolt comes from another direction, heading straight for Jack. He jumps up and pushes Jack out of they way. The bolt hits him in the chest, flinging him against Jack. Jack catches him just as he was about to hit the ground. Data and Qui-Gon jumps up from where they're have been hiding. Qui-Gon's laser sword is out and ready to be used. He slashes open the first Borg's chest and white sparks bite at the open air. Two more Borgs advance up to Qui-Gon. He uses his Jedi powers and sent them flying through the air. They hit a huge aekerian tree and they're cut out of action. Data also has destroyed a few more of the Borgs when he realized they have adapted to the phaser. As he struggles with one of them another grabs him from behind. Qui-Gon sees this and comes to Data rescue with his sword. One of the Borg's head rolls of his body as the sword slices through his neck. Data seizes the opportunity and throws the other Borg through the air. It lands with a loud crashing sound as its legs are crushed under him. Qui-Gon and Data rush to Jack's side where h is fighting of two Borg's. One of them has already adapted to the phaser. Qui-Gon's sword comes the rescue when he plunges it into the Borg's chest. It goes down immediately and Qui-Gon kicks it out of the way. Data has disabled the other Borg with his phaser. They look around to see if there are some more Borgs but it seemed that they have destroyed every one of them. Jack is the first to kneel next to Riker since he is the closest. Riker is barely conscious. Qui-Gon and Data kneel a second later. Data immediately asks O'Brien to beam them up as he sees the severity of Riker's wound. They're all transported to sickbay where Dr. Crusher waits for them with a medical team standing by. The expression on her face shows her worst fears.
" Captain Picard, you'd better come to sickbay. Bring Deanna. "
" Doctor, is he going to make it? " Qui-Gon steps closer to the bed where Riker is laying. She looks up from where she is working and from the tears in her eyes, he knows it's not good. Suddenly the medical instruments attached to Riker go crazy.
" We're losing him! Get me the adrenaline, stat! " A medical assistant hands her a syringe with adrenaline and she inserts the substance in his arm. Hopefully she reads the instruments.
" He's still slipping! Get me some phionetamine! " She orders as she starts massaging his heart.
" Will! " Deanna wants to rush over to his side but Picard holds her back.
" Wait, Deanna! Let Beverly do her job first. "
" Jean-Luc, get her out of here! "
" Captain, I will take her away. Stay with Mr. Riker. "
Qui-Gon gently takes Deanna in his arms and leads her to the waiting room just outside of sickbay. He looks over his shoulder and motions for Jack to accompany them. Jack follows meekly, his heart pounding a thousand times faster in his chest.
The wait seems to be an eternity when Dr. Crusher enters the waiting room. She looks very pale.
" He's going, isn't he? " The tears roll down Deanna's face as she looks at the ship's doctor.
" Yes. "
" Can I see him? " The knot in Dr. Crusher's throat is preventing her from speaking and she only nods her head in agreement.
Qui-Gon and Jack stand aside so that Deanna can pass. She looks up at Qui-Gon when she comes to him.
" Please come with me. "
" Certainly. " She takes his hand and they leave for sickbay.
Picard is standing next to Riker's bed when Qui-Gon and Deanna enter. His face is ashen a he looks up. Deanna leaves Qui-Gon's hand and moves to the other side of the bed. She gently touches his forehead and pushes away a few lost strands of hair. Riker moves his head slightly under her touch.
" Will? I'm here, Will. I'm here…" She swallows hard as the tears well up in her eyes, making Riker's face cloudy as she looks at him. He slowly lifts his hand up and touches her cheek.
" Please…don't cry…" She can see it's an effort for him to speak.
" Will…please don't leave me…us. " Riker tries to smile but then he starts to cough. Deanna presses her face against his cheek. Everyone except for Picard, looks at them with a mixture of surprise and sorrow on their faces.
" Where…where's…Qui…Qui-Gon? "
" Here I am. " Qui-Gon takes a few steps closer so that he stands next to Deanna at his bedside.
" Look…look af-after…her please…" Riker takes Deanna's hand and places it inside of Qui-Gon's. Deanna looks down as Riker's hand slips of theirs. He closes his eyes slowly and his head tilts slightly leftwards as he exhales his last breathe. Deanna let go of Qui-Gon's hand and embraces Riker, cradling his head in her arms. The tears roll down silently as she closes them and whispers:
" I love you, Will. "
The sickbay goes deathly silent as everyone stares at Riker. Picard has tightened his jaws but not even he can prevent the one tear from rolling down his cheek. He places his arm around Beverly, feeling her shoulders shuddering under the sobs escaping softly from her. Data, who is supposed to have no emotions, also stares at Deanna crying over Riker. Jack is biting his lower lip and doesn't feel the thin trickle of blood making its way down his chin. Qui-Gon has taken a few steps backward to give Deanna time to cry over Riker.
The day after the funeral…
Riker has been put to rest in space, the final frontier. He has been given a full Star Fleet burial with the whole of the USS Enterprise attending the ceremony. Picard is in his office and stares blankly at the screen in front of him. He is supposed to write a report to Star Fleet about the developments of the past few weeks but he cannot concentrate. Riker seems to invade his thoughts. A lot of explaining had to be done about Deanna being pregnant and why Riker asked Qui-Gon to look after her. He has appointed Data as the new First officer until Star Fleet has decided otherwise. He stands up and moves to the window from where he can see the vastness of the universe. His thoughts keep dwelling on Riker and when someone knocks at his door, he immediately assumes it must be Riker who wants to have a talk.
" Enter. "
" I hope I'm not intruding Captain. " It's Data.
" It's not a problem, Mr. Data. How can I help you? "
" Sir, the Borg is on its way. "
" Are you sure, Mr. Data? "
" Positive, Sir. "
" How long till they reach us? "
" An hour, Sir. "
Picard clenches his fists together. Data looks at him expectantly.
" Let's go. "
Picard leaves his office with Data following close by. He pauses for a moment as he sees Riker's empty chair. He looks away and nods a greeting to Worf at his station. He takes his seat with Data filling Riker's seat.
" We have visual contact of the Borg, Captain. It's accompanied by that strange ship we've seen earlier. " The deep voice of Worf informs Picard.
" On screen. "
The two ships appear on the screen. One is in the form of a box and only the lights in it distinguish it from the black universe. The other sip is in the form of some bird and plated with a gold colored metallic material.
" It's a Goa'uld mothership, Captain. "
Jack is his old self again after seeing Daniel. The latter has emerged from his coma and is going to make it.
" What makes you say that Col. O'Neill? " Picard turns to face Jack who is standing next to Worf.
" Because I have destroyed one once. " Picard can see in Jack's eyes that they're dealing with extremely dangerous rivals.
" Mr. Worf, contact all other Star Fleet ships in the region. We'll need every bit of manpower we can get. "
" Aye, Captain. "
For a few minutes only the sound of the workstations can be heard. It's Worf who breaks the silence:
" Captain…we're alone. " The corner of Picard's mouth twitches for a moment as he contemplates the situation.
" Captain, I don't think it's a good idea to fight. The Borg may have taken the people of No-Seen as hostages…"
" No Colonel, they have not taken them hostages. They have assimilated them into the Borg's collective mind. "
" Whatever, but I can assure you that the Goa'uld has taken half of those people and made them their slaves. How many men do you have, Captain? "
" I'm not one who retreats without a good fight but I'm not going to take the risk of losing one more man. "
" You won't have to fight or to retreat, Captain. " The whole bridge spins around to see who has spoken. Jack is the first one who recovers from the unexpected statement and hurries over to Daniel in his wheel chair.
" You're supposed to be in bed! "
" I heard you had a problem. "
" Mr. Jackson, what exactly did you mean just now? " Picard interrupts Jack's scolding.
" We're gonna tell them we love them, Captain. "
Jack places his hand on Daniel's forehead while asking:
" Are you sure you don't have a fever? "
" I'm all right, Jack. Captain, please ask one of your men to insert this. " Daniel holds up a flat, little object. Worf takes it from him and inserts it into his station.
" Send the file called 'I love you' in encrypted code to those ships. " Worf do as he is told and everybody fixes their eyes on the screen to see what is going to happen. Suddenly the Borg starts to explode from the inside. Some of the pieces hit the mothership and she also starts to blow up. A cheer goes up on the bridge as the two ships are being destroyed. Picard moves to Daniel and lowers himself so that he could face Daniel:
" What exactly did just happen, Mr. Jackson? "
" I have sent them a virus, Captain. "
" A virus? "
" Yes, a virus. "
" But I thought viruses have been extinct for a millennia? "
" You forget, Captain, we're from the 21st century. Viruses still do exist on our world. " A faint smile curls around Daniel's mouth and Jacks gives him a slap on the shoulder. Picard shakes his head in wonder and then he reaches his hand out to Daniel who takes it. The men shake hands.
" Thank you, Mr. Jackson. "
" Daniel…please. "
" Daniel. "
Daniel and Jack are standing next to the Stargate. Carter and Teal'c's bodies have been sent through the gate already. With them are Captain Picard, First Officer Data, Lt. Comm. LaForge, Lt. Comm. Worf, Councilor Deanna Troi and Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. They're exchanging greetings. When all has said what they wanted to say, Picard says the last farewell:
" Boldly go where no one has gone before, gentlemen. "
" Thank you for saving our lives, Captain. "
" No, thank you, Colonel and Daniel, for saving our lives. "
Picard smiles at them as they enter the gate. They can hear Daniel complaining about the fact that he didn't get the chance to stay a little longer to learn more about all those diversity of cultures. When they have disappeared, Picard orders O'Brien to beam them up.
Once on the bridge, Picard faces Qui-Gon:
" Can we give you a ride, Mr. Jinn? "
" Much obliged, Captain. "
Qui-Gon and Deanna looks at each other.
" We're going to miss you Deanna. "
" Me too, Captain. "
" It was no coincidence that we met, Captain. She has very special powers. I'll take good care of her. "
" I know, Mr. Jinn. "
" Qui-Gon, please. " Picard nods his head and then gives the order that will take Qui-Gon home:
" Engage. "
© Clor 2000