This is not your typical Star Trek story. This story concerns the infinite as much as the finite, the irrational as much as the rational, and explores the nature of what and why we are.

It also happens to star Picard, Data, and Q (among others).




Nothing is there to come, and nothing past, But an eternal Now does always last.

- Abraham Cowley, Davideis




They stand on the edge of forever, looking into the future and the past, remembering them as one.

One is a woman, attired in starlight and death's shadow. The other is a man, robed in scarlet and the blood of lives long past.

The wind that cannot exist save at the edge of forever swirls around them, smoothing rough emotions and harsh words. At the end of the mobius strip they stand side by side.

Finally the man (at least, that's how he thinks of himself) reaches out and takes her hand. The woman (an equally useless phrase to describe her, though she is more of flesh and blood than he) resists at first, then allows the contact.

Time that no longer possesses any meaning holds them motionless for more moments.

Finally, though there has been no waiting, the man speaks. "Shall we meet again?"

The woman turns and studies him. Not his exterior appearance – tall, lean, dark-haired and possessed of a face that shows a past collusion with arrogance – but his eyes, in which she can see all the regrets, pain, and fury that what has happened must be so again. Smiling slightly, she indicates the stars that are beginning their ending (and ending their beginning) and murmurs, "Was there ever a doubt?"

His eyes flash in long dormant anger, then soften as she brings her other hand to brush his cheek. He releases his grip to place it on that hand, breathing in her aura and beauty. "Must it be as it was?"

Her eyes, glorious in the illumination that exists before photons, sadden. "Would love have come any other way?" His silence answers. She sighs, unaccustomed to the weight of emotions. As she glances away, she feels his arms rise to take her into his embrace.

"We could change everything, you and I," he suggests, hope flickering deep in his eyes. "We could…"

"No." Her command stills him. "We shall love, and begin again."

Time rushes to meet them, carrying upon it a desire for revenge at their daring to avoid it for so long. Needing no words, their lips and minds meet, and love binds their beings together for one endless moment.

Then time, proud from the first, conquers.