DS9 12x20 – "Futile"

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by DS9Continuing, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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  2. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Meanwhile...

    TNG 17x20 – “CARTE BLANCHE”

    Returning to the Azure Nebula and the devastated fleet, Picard calls Command for orders. There are none – Bacco passes on the message that Enterprise, Picard and anyone working with them have free rein to do whatever they can to stop the Borg armada, no questions asked. Enterprise rendezvous with Titan, Aventine and Voyager, and Picard holds a big meeting of all the captains to come up with options. Admiral Jellico orders the specs for transphasic torpedoes distributed to the entire fleet, even the Klingons. It’s a risk, but it is the only weapon they have that works. Chancellor Martok takes command of Sword of Kahless, joining General Klag on Gorkon, but it is not enough to stop the Borg from ramming right through their fleet and carrying on for Qo’noS. A desperate last defence is not enough to stop the Borg from destroying Deneva, one of the largest colony worlds. The entire planet is scorched, glassed, dead.

    TTN 01x20 – “CARRION”

    Hernandez forces one of the last subspace tunnels wide enough to let Titan return to the Azure Nebula, but Riker agonises over leaving his crew behind. On Axion, Inyx and Vale confront Ree about his violent actions towards Troi; Ree explains that his venom put Troi into stasis, giving her more time. Disgusted, Inyx forcibly whisks Troi away to attend to her. With Titan damaged from the journey, Ra-Havreii is forced to scavenge supplies and replacements from the corpses of the blockade fleet. Hernandez re-accustoms herself to being on a Starfleet ship after centuries away, and is delighted by the huge range of never-before-seen alien species onboard. She also realises that since leaving Axion, she is able to hear the voice of the Borg – as she experiences visions of Borg drones attacking her. Meanwhile the Borg attack Deneva, where Tuvok’s son Elieth sacrifices his own life to help others get away.

    VOY 10x20 – “DODO”

    Voyager has just barely survived the mass Borg invasion. Paris immediately takes command, getting Chakotay and Kim to sickbay. Half the crew is dead – Dr Kaz included, host and symbiont both. Paris activates a basic EMH Mark 1 to look after the fallen crew. When Titan, Aventine and Enterprise return, Paris meets with the other captains to discuss their options, but not before sending an encrypted message to B’Elanna – “Now.” In her tiny slipstream shuttle, B’Elanna dumps a load of random scrap... 4527 BCE: After the Caeliar cataclysm (TTN 1x16 “Whatever It Takes”), the third remaining city-ship Mantilis crash lands on a frozen Delta Quadrant world. Four crew from Columbia are aboard, and a handful of surviving Caeliar, including Lerxst and Sedín. Graylock asks where and when they are – Lerxst replies that they are 60,000 light years from Earth, and thousands of years in the past. There is nothing they can do – this is where they will all die.
     
  3. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    TEASER


    FADE IN:


    1 EXT. SPACE


    The Vesta-class Aventine ZOOMS through open space at highest possible warp.

    After a moment, the Sovereign-class Enterprise ZOOMS through space after it, chasing the Aventine.


    PICARD (v.o.)
    Captain Dax, please. See reason.​


    2 INT. AVENTINE - BRIDGE


    Captain EZRI DAX grits her teeth. Before her in the pit, flickering and wavering on the damaged transporter/holo platform, is a hologram of PICARD, pleading with her.


    PICARD
    (continuing)
    Cease this futile pursuit and
    return to the nebula with us.​


    Dax looks past Picard to the helm station behind him, crewed by Bolian male lieutenant THARP.


    DAX
    Tharp, maintain course and speed.
    (to Picard)
    You saw the same readings I did,
    Captain. More than seven thousand
    Borg ships, heading straight into
    Federation territory, not to mention
    the Klingons and the Romulans.
    What exactly do you expect me
    to do about that?

    PICARD
    I expect you to act rationally. The
    Borg armada has a head start on
    you, and it’s moving away at
    speeds we can’t hope to match.

    DAX
    Maybe you can’t. But the Aventine
    has a quantum slipstream drive,
    and this sounds like the perfect
    time to fire it up.​


    Behind her, first officer SAM BOWERS and science officer GRUHN HELKARA exchange a worried glance – they know the slipstream drive doesn’t work, but they can’t contradict their captain in public.


    DAX
    There’s a war on, Picard, and I
    plan on being part of it. Keep
    up if you can. Aventine out.

    PICARD
    Wait!​


    Relief ops manager RIORDAN doesn’t know what to do, but Dax seems to be holding off...


    PICARD
    Captain Dax, please listen to me.
    Sacrificing your ship and your
    crew in this manner serves no
    purpose. Going into battle against
    overwhelming odds can be brave,
    or it can futile. But going into
    battle without a plan is worse
    than futile - it’s wasteful.​


    Dax fumes in her command chair - she hates the idea of doing nothing, but Picard is making good points. Plus she can feel her crew around her, agreeing with Picard.


    DAX
    What do you propose we do?

    PICARD
    We’ll contact Starfleet Command
    and request new orders. They may
    not even be aware that our ships
    are still in service, after what
    happened to the blockade fleet.

    DAX
    Contact Starfleet Command? No
    offence, Captain, but that’s not
    exactly the response I expected,
    given your reputation.
    (beat)
    But... I suppose it can’t hurt to ask.
    (to helm)
    Tharp, bring her about and head
    back to the nebula.​


    Tharp works his panels, and we feel the ship SWERVE at high warp. The stars on the screen likewise swerve around.


    PICARD
    Thank you, Captain. I promise you,
    we will stop the Borg. But blindly
    throwing ourselves at a wall is
    not the way. The Enterprise will
    rendezvous with you at the
    Azure Nebula. Enterprise out.​


    Dax is a bit annoyed that Picard took control again right at the end. But she has been reluctantly convinced. Annoyed at herself for giving in, she looks to Bowers at her side.


    BOWERS
    You’re doing the right thing, Captain.

    DAX
    If you say so. I just hate feeling like
    we’re running for cover when every-
    one else is fighting for their lives.

    BOWERS
    Running for cover?

    DAX
    It’s the eye of the storm, Sam.
    All the Borg ships are moving
    away from the nebula. It’s the
    safest spot in known space.

    BOWERS
    Which makes it the perfect place
    from which to plan our next move.

    DAX
    I wasn’t aware we had a next move.

    BOWERS
    We don’t - at least, not yet.
    But I have a feeling that’s
    about to change.​


    Dax turns back to look at the screen, not happy...



    BLACK OUT



    END OF TEASER
     
  4. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ACT ONE


    FADE IN


    3 INT. STARBASE 7 – COMMON AREA


    The Andorian starbase’s version of the Promenade – a public thoroughfare with shops, bars and airlocks (as seen in DS9 9x05 “No Place Like Home”). And the place is in chaos.

    The wide passage is packed with surging civilian EXTRAS – mostly Andorians but some other species for variety – shouting and pushing as they try to reach the airlocks. A handful of Starfleet OFFICERS are all trying their best to control the flow through the bottlenecks of the airlocks.

    Admiral ZENKAR, the Saurian commander of this station, is there, trying to shout over the din but having no success.


    ZENKAR
    Everyone, please remain calm!
    There is room for you all but we
    must proceed in an orderly fashion
    or you may come to injury.​


    SHAR pushes through the crowd towards the Admiral. They speak quietly, not wanting to be overheard.


    SHAR
    Admiral – Captain Vaughn informs
    you that the Kirk’s auxiliary craft
    are available to assist in the
    evacuation. Captains Sisko and
    Henderson made a similar offer.

    ZENKAR
    Henderson? The Venture arrived?

    SHAR
    Yes sir, twenty minutes ago.

    ZENKAR
    Alright, thank you, Lieutenant.
    Please make the arrangements.
    (beat)
    Although I’m not sure even that
    will be enough. This crowd seems
    to double by the moment, and they
    refuse to follow my instructions.​


    Shar pulls a tricorder from his back pocket and works its controls for a moment. He looks up at the taller Saurian...


    SHAR
    Cover your ears, Admiral.​


    Zenkar looks askance at the junior officer, but does as he is told. Shar presses a final button on his tricorder...

    ...and an ear-splitting SQUEAL emits along the Promenade, much as in DS9 12x05 “Trial and Error”. All the extras CRINGE from the sound, covering their various auditory organs, knees buckling and antennae quivering.

    After a moment, Shar cuts the signal, and SILENCE follows. Zenkar nods admiringly to Shar, then clears his throat.


    ZENKAR
    Everyone, please listen. We have
    enough room for all civilians to
    leave the starbase if you wish. In
    fact, I actively encourage it. But
    no-one will get anywhere if we’re
    not calm and patient. Follow the
    instructions of my officers, and
    they will see you all to safety.​


    Suitably cowed, the civilians begin to file through the airlocks in a much more orderly fashion.


    SHAR
    Admiral... do you really believe
    anywhere is safe from the Borg?

    ZENKAR
    What I believe is irrelevant,
    Lieutenant. This is about what
    these people need to hear.​


    Zenkar stands firm. Shar nods, understanding that.


    4 ON SCREEN - NEWS REPORT


    The public speaking platform we have seen before in such eps as DS9 10x11 “Harmony”, now viewed via a DS9 wall screen. Bajoran First Minister ASAREM stands at the microphone, shaken but holding it together for the sake of her people.


    ASAREM (screen)
    You will have all seen the news.
    You know what has happened, and
    what is coming. I have spoken with
    the Chamber of Ministers, with
    the Militia Over-General, and with
    the Vedek Assembly... and we all
    agree that any Bajoran citizen who
    wishes to leave, to escape by any
    means necessary, is free to do so.
    There will be no judgement, no
    shame. This is not a time for such
    things. Every ship capable of
    flight is, as of now, pressed into
    service as an escape vessel.​


    OPEN OUT to reveal...


    5 INT. DS9 – COMMANDER’S OFFICE


    ...RO LAREN sitting behind her desk, watching this on the wall screen of her office. Major CENN stands nearby.


    ASAREM (screen)
    (continuing)
    The usual restrictions on travel
    through the wormhole are lifted.
    Members of government in every
    town, city, village and outpost
    are as I speak receiving their
    orders. Please contact them for
    assistance. Good luck... and may
    the Prophets go with us all.​


    The broadcast ends, returning the screen to standard background data. Ro ponders the matter.


    CENN
    Well?

    RO
    Well what?

    CENN
    Are you going to go?
    (no answer)
    You heard her. All Bajoran citizens.
    Not all except Starfleet officers.
    You could go if you want. Leading
    people to safety is as honourable
    as staying to fight.

    RO
    Is that what you signed up for?

    CENN
    I stood by and did nothing while
    the Cardassians raped my world.
    I don’t intend to do that again.
    But I’m not talking about me.

    RO
    Truth be told, for a moment there,
    I couldn’t rule it out. But where
    could we run to anyway? The Borg
    will destroy Bajor, then chase us
    down wherever we go.

    CENN
    You know I’ve read the prophecies
    back to front a hundred times. And
    there is no prophecy about Bajor
    being destroyed by cybernetic
    monsters from the Delta Quadrant.

    RO
    Just because there’s no prophecy
    doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
    Maybe the Prophets couldn’t predict
    it because the Borg kill them
    too on their way through the
    wormhole to visit the Dominion.

    CENN
    The Prophets can’t be killed.

    RO
    Oh yeah? Read up about Keiko
    O’Brien and the pagh-Wraiths.

    CENN
    It’s simply a matter of faith,
    Commander. Even if you don’t
    have faith in the Prophets, then
    have faith in something.​


    Ro doesn’t want to ponder the matter any longer, so she changes the subject.


    RO
    How’s the map coming along?

    CENN
    I’ve collated all reports from
    Starfleet, and Mister Candlewood
    has converted them into a visual
    representation. It’s set for real-
    time updates as we receive them.

    RO
    Show me.​


    Cenn steps towards the screen. Ro gets up to join him.


    CENN
    Computer, display programme
    Cenn Alpha.​


    The screen changes again to display a MAP:


    6 INSERT – THE MAP


    The established MAP of Federation space, with BAJOR at the far left and the AZURE NEBULA at the far right. Major known systems are marked in between, including all the worlds already destroyed or attacked by the Borg.

    Reports of sightings or attacks by Borg vessels have been converted into a slowly moving wave, creating an expanding red overlay across space, beginning at the Azure Nebula and spreading out into Federation, Klingon and Romulan space.

    Cenn’s finger reaches in to point...


    CENN (o.s.)
    This is the advancing front of
    the Borg fleet.​


    7 BACK TO SCENE


    Ro looks at this, daunted.


    CENN
    (continuing)
    As you can see, Bajor is one of
    the furthest Federation worlds
    from the nebula. We have the
    most time of everyone to prepare.
    These worlds here... they’re
    probably under attack already.

    RO
    And Starfleet has three hundred
    fewer ships to defend those
    worlds than it did six hours ago.

    CENN
    Yes, Commander.​


    As they both stare grimly at the map...


    8 EXT. SPACE – AZURE NEBULA


    The starship graveyard, all that remains of the blockade fleet that once numbered more than three hundred ships. Debris tumbles, sparks explode, gasses hiss as they escape. Aventine and Enterprise both drift back into view...


    9 INT. AVENTINE - BRIDGE


    Seeing this on the giant main viewscreen, Dax is ashamed.


    DAX
    Lieutenant Mirren -​


    Ensign Riordan looks around at her. Dax grits her teeth.


    DAX
    My apologies, Mister Riordan.
    Please scan for distress calls,
    survivors... anything.

    RIORDAN
    Will do, Captain.​


    As the ensign begins his work, Dax glances at Bowers.


    BOWERS
    Mirren is in sickbay, Captain.
    Doctor Tarses says she’ll be fine.

    DAX
    This ship already lost four senior
    officers, Sam. Another three have
    had their guts nearly torn out.
    And I was so eager to fight...
    that I abandoned all the people
    who might need me right here.
    (beat)
    Maybe Julian was right.

    RIORDAN
    Captain! I’m picking up two
    Starfleet distress calls. One’s
    from Voyager...
    (confused)
    ...and the other’s from Titan.

    BOWERS
    Titan? Titan wasn’t assigned to
    the blockade fleet, it’s out in
    the Beta Quadrant. Confirm.

    HELKARA
    Ensign Riordan’s readings are
    confirmed, sir. The transponder
    matches USS Titan, under command
    of Captain William T Riker.

    RIORDAN
    Told you. In fact, I’m reading
    transporter signals between
    Enterprise and Titan already.

    BOWERS
    Picard’s helping his old XO.

    DAX
    Then we help Voyager. Tharp, track
    the distress call and find that ship.
    Bridge to engineering.

    LEISHMAN (comm)
    Go ahead.

    DAX
    Mikaela, prepare damage control
    teams. Voyager needs our help.

    LEISHMAN (comm)
    Captain, you realise we just got
    our asses kicked by the Hirogen,
    right? You remember that?

    DAX
    Lieutenant, Voyager just got their
    asses kicked by several thousand
    Borg ships steamrolling over them.
    Prepare your teams. Dax out.​


    The line drops. Bowers offers her an encouraging smile.


    BOWERS
    You see? Things are looking
    up already.​


    Dax grumbles under her breath...


    BLACK OUT


    END OF ACT ONE
     
  5. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
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    ACT TWO


    FADE IN


    10 EXT. SPACE


    A BORG CUBE advances through space, huge, dark and ominous.

    A small, helpless freighter vessel FIRES its feeble weapons on the Cube, to no effect whatsoever.

    The Cube SHOOTS the freighter to atoms without breaking a metaphorical sweat, and keeps going.


    11 INSERT – THE MAP


    The line of the Borg armada has advanced a little from where we saw it only a matter of hours ago, spreading further into Federation and Klingon space. Several more ICONS representing star systems have turned RED.


    CENN (o.s.)
    Adelphous Four, Devnar Four, and
    Yridia Prime have already been
    attacked, their populations either
    completely wiped out, or as near
    as makes no difference.​


    12 INT. DS9 - WARD ROOM


    Cenn stands by the wall screen, which features the map, pointing as he mentions more systems.


    CENN
    (continuing)
    Japori Two and Gamma Hromi Two
    are being attacked as we speak -
    Starfleet vessels are defending
    them as best they can.
    (points)
    The Borg are also advancing into
    Klingon space. Martok’s fleet has
    successfully defended Morska, but
    Beta Thoridor, Rura Penthe and
    Khitomer have all fallen, and they
    are heading for Qo’noS itself.​


    Cenn looks out across the room, which features Cmdr Ro, Lt Cmdr EVIK, Lt NOG and Lt CANDLEWOOD from DS9, as well as Captain GOMEZ (human female) and Lt Cmdr TEV (Tellarite male), both of the Da Vinci. All look suitably horrified.


    CENN
    Projections suggest that the Borg
    will reach -
    (Fed side)
    - Hyralan, Celes, Castor -
    (Klingon side)
    - H’Atoria and Archanis within the
    next few hours.

    RO
    Thank you, Major. I don’t need to
    hear any more right now.​


    Cenn takes his seat at the table next to Ro, leaving the map up on the wall. Candlewood can’t take his eyes off it.


    CANDLEWOOD
    It’s like a great big dead zone,
    from the Azure Nebula on out.​


    Ro sends Candlewood a look - shut up.


    RO
    I want to know what our tactical
    options are. What can we do to
    defend Bajor and this station?
    Everything’s on the table.

    NOG
    Captain Gomez, I was reading
    through your reports. You were
    working with Voyager recently?

    GOMEZ
    That’s right - on recreating the
    enhanced shields and phasers
    they were given by a friendly
    Borg in the Delta Quadrant.

    NOG
    Any chance you do could the same
    for DS-Nine? Or the Defiant?

    TEV
    (blustering)
    Impossible. I already evaluated
    that suggestion before you ever
    made it, of course. And it is
    quite out of the question.

    RO
    Why’s that?

    GOMEZ
    It turns out the method they used
    was dependent on the Intrepid
    class’s bio-neural circuitry.
    Nothing else can handle it.

    TEV
    And since neither your Defiant nor
    this Cardassian mining monstrosity
    boast anything so advanced -

    GOMEZ
    (gently admonishing)
    And neither does the Da Vinci...

    TEV
    - that advantage is sadly beyond
    your grasp.

    RO
    Thank you for your explanation.

    TEV
    I sensed you needed it.​


    Ro bites her tongue, while Candlewood desperately tries not to laugh. Gomez looks apologetic. Evik clears his throat.


    EVIK
    We do have one advantage, however
    - Starfleet Command has finally
    seen fit to distribute the specs
    to create transphasic torpedoes.

    CENN
    To create what, sorry?

    GOMEZ
    Another toy Voyager brought back
    from the Delta Quadrant. It’s the
    only weapon that’s always worked
    against Borg vessels.

    EVIK
    Starfleet kept a tight rein on the
    technology to reduce the chances
    of the Borg adapting to it.

    CENN
    But they’ve released it now?

    EVIK
    It was a weapon of last resort.
    (glance at map)
    We have reached the last resort.

    RO
    So we can install these torpedoes
    on the Defiant? And the station?

    NOG
    Yessir. I’ve got every industrial
    replicator on this “Cardassian
    mining monstrosity” ready to
    replicate its little heart out.

    CANDLEWOOD
    And I’ve already started work on
    the programming. It’s tricky -
    it’s all based on generating a
    destructive subspace compression
    pulse, which the torpedo delivers
    in an asymmetric superposition of
    multiple phase states. Which means
    that every torpedo has to have a
    unique transphasic configuration,
    which is generated randomly by
    a dissonant feedback effect.

    TEV
    (huff)
    Obviously.

    RO
    Can you do it?

    CANDLEWOOD
    Well, given that I am awesome,
    yes. It’ll be ready to install by
    the time Nog’s replicated them.

    RO
    Okay, this sounds like progress.
    Now what about Bajor? How do
    we protect the planet itself?​


    They ponder the question, seemingly without inspiration.


    NOG
    Captain... I’m just thinking back
    to your assignment with Voyager.
    Your report said you actually
    managed to make the entire
    planet of Troyius disappear?

    GOMEZ
    Only temporarily, but enough for
    the Borg to lose interest and
    pass the planet over, yes.​


    Candlewood smiles quietly to himself.


    RO
    How did you manage that?

    TEV
    You wouldn’t understand.

    RO
    (grits teeth)
    More importantly, can you do it
    again - for Bajor?​


    Gomez hesitates to answer...


    GOMEZ
    I’m sorry, Commander, but no. Like
    Tev said, we already looked at that.
    And I’m afraid the emissions from
    the wormhole and the Denorios
    Belt would prevent us from
    doing the same thing here.

    NOG
    Like whatever stopped the Iconian
    gateways from working here too.

    GOMEZ
    I guess.​


    Hearing that, Cenn smiles broadly. Ro sees it...


    RO
    Major, what the hell are you
    smiling about? They just told us
    there’s no way to protect Bajor.

    CENN
    No, Commander. Sorry, but you
    weren’t listening. What Captain
    Gomez and Lieutenant Commander
    Tev just told us was that the Prophets
    don’t need us to protect Bajor...
    because They’re going to do it for
    us. Just like They always have.​


    Evik shares a warm look with Cenn. Ro does not share it.


    RO
    Alright - John, Nog, get to work.
    Everybody else... keep thinking.
    Dismissed.​


    They all get up from the table and leave the room in pairs - Gomez and Tev, Nog and Candlewood, Evik and Cenn. Ro sits at the table on her own, staring at the map. But then...


    QUARK (o.s.)
    Hmm-hmm.​


    Ro turns to see that QUARK is standing in the open doorway.


    RO
    Quark - what are you doing here?

    QUARK
    I was looking for you. Firstly,
    to ask for something from you.
    And secondly... to ask if there’s
    anything you need from me.​


    Ro softens, and Quark takes the opening to enter the room.


    RO
    Thank you, Quark. But honestly,
    I don’t think there’s anything
    you can do right now.

    QUARK
    I can keep you fed and watered.
    And... there’s always this.​


    He steps up to the MAP of Federation space still on the wall screen, with its inching red line of death and horror.


    RO
    That’s supposed to be classified,
    you know. Starfleet eyes only.

    QUARK
    I’m an important diplomat. And
    a close friend of the station
    commander. A very close friend.​


    Ro gets up to join him at the screen, gazing at the map.


    QUARK
    This was what I wanted to ask
    about, actually. I want to put
    this map up in my bar.

    RO
    What? Quark, that’s... Absolutely
    not. Why would you want that?

    QUARK
    People talk, Laren. They know
    what’s happening out there. But
    they have no way of knowing
    the details, the specifics. This
    map could give them that.

    RO
    I thought you wanted to keep
    them distracted, not terrified.

    QUARK
    I’ve tried. It’s not working.

    RO
    Quark... aside from being against
    my orders, I really don’t think
    this is a good idea. What about
    the Thirty-Ninth Rule?

    QUARK
    “Never tell your customers more
    than they need to know.” I love
    a woman who knows the Rules.
    But I think they need to know this,
    Laren. You lead these people now.
    They deserve to know the truth.​


    Off Ro, who is considering this...


    13 INT. STARBASE 7 – COMMON AREA


    Back to the Andorian version of the Promenade. The crowd of Andorian-and-other civilians has now thinned substantially, most of them away onto escape shuttles. Admiral Zenkar, Lt ch’Thane and the other officers herd the last few along.


    SHAR
    The transports are almost full,
    Admiral. The starbase is almost
    completely evacuated of civilians.

    ZENKAR
    Thank you, Lieutenant ch’Thane.
    But I believe there are still a
    handful remaining...​


    Zenkar gestures, and Shar turns to see his bondmates - ANICHENT, DIZHEI and THIA, the last of whom carries their baby LATA - hurrying along the Promenade. They all look rushed and harried, with Anichent carrying three bags.

    Seeing them, Zenkar politely excuses himself.


    ZENKAR
    I have business to attend to in
    the command centre, Lieutenant.
    If you’ll excuse me.

    SHAR
    Thank you, Admiral.​


    Zenkar walks off, and Shar moves to greet his bondmates with intense hugs.


    DIZHEI
    Shar! Ch’te - do you know what’s
    happening?

    SHAR
    Yes, Dizhei - you are all getting
    on an escape shuttle immediately.
    You must go, while there’s time.

    ANICHENT
    But Shar - what about you?

    SHAR
    I will be fine, th’se. And you will
    all be fine too - if you get on
    that shuttle and leave now.
    Where is Charivretha?

    DIZHEI
    We could not contact her. I
    assumed the Parliament...

    SHAR
    No matter. I will find her and
    get her to safety as well.

    THIA
    Come along everyone, we should
    do as he says. Good luck, Shar.​


    Shar gives each of his bondmates another hug, antennae touching intimately. Finally he strokes the cheek of his young child, and places a gentle kiss on its forehead.


    SHAR
    And our future goes with you.

    ANICHENT
    We love you, Thirishar.

    SHAR
    And I love you too. More than
    anything. Now go, please.

    THIA
    We will keep you Whole in our
    thoughts, Thirishar.

    SHAR
    And you in mine. Go!​


    They finally do. He watches them walk through the airlock and out of sight, refusing to let his fiercely roiling emotions out. They were the last to go.

    He turns and stalks quickly down the empty Promenade...


    SHAR
    I must find zhavey.​


    Off Shar’s determination...


    BLACK OUT


    END OF ACT TWO
     
  6. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    Manchester
    ACT THREE


    FADE IN


    14 EXT. SPACE – AZURE NEBULA


    Against the backdrop of swirling blue gasses and blasted starship husks, the four ships rest in loose formation, all looking beaten and bloodied.

    Enterprise, Aventine, Titan and Voyager - the latter near-crippled from its encounter with the Borg armada.


    15 INT. ENTERPRISE – CREW LOUNGE


    NOTE: this scene will require coverage from all possible angles and perspectives, to be used in the respective concurrent episodes of all four series.

    The door OPENS, and Dax and Bowers enter together. They see PICARD, WORF and PARIS already here, all looking tired and worn down, standing near some tables over by the expansive picture window. They all turn at the new arrivals...


    PICARD
    Captain Ezri Dax, Commander
    Samaritan Bowers. Welcome to
    the Enterprise’s crew lounge...
    or to give it its full title, the
    Happy Bottom Riding Club.​


    As Paris chortles under his breath, Worf glowers darkly.


    WORF
    I refuse to call it that.​


    Dax and Bowers shake hands all round, with an extra smile of friendship between Dax and Worf.


    PICARD
    I’ve had the steward set up some
    food and drinks for us while we
    talk – please help yourselves.

    BOWERS
    Oh thank God – I’m starving.​


    Bowers heads over to the buffet which is laid out along the bar. Meanwhile the door opens again...


    PICARD
    Ah – and here comes our final guest
    now, the very man who named this
    venerable establishment.

    WORF
    And then transferred away so he
    did not have to face my wrath.

    RIKER
    You’re still grumbling about that,
    Worf?​


    Joking to cover the sadness, RIKER enters and heads to greet his old friends. But behind him comes another figure who causes Dax to GASP in surprise – Columbia’s captain ERIKA HERNANDEZ (from ENT 4x03 “Home” et al).


    DAX
    (whisper)
    Captain Hernandez...​


    Not knowing anyone here, Hernandez only nods politely to all these people as she follows Riker into the room.


    RIKER
    Captains, Commanders, please
    allow me to introduce a recent
    guest aboard the Titan – Captain
    Erika Hernandez, formerly of
    the starship Columbia.​


    Dax remembers...


    16 FLASHBACK – DS9 12x15 “GHOST SHIP”


    Dax climbing the back of crashed ship Columbia in the constantly shifting desert...

    Then Dax exploring the dark and spooky corridors of the deserted ship, observing its shattered insides...


    17 BACK TO SCENE


    Ever the student of history, Picard reacts with amazement.


    PICARD
    The Columbia... you can’t mean
    the original Columbia, surely?

    HERNANDEZ
    It’s a long story, Captain.

    PICARD
    No doubt. I look forward to
    hearing it – at another time.
    We have much to discuss first.​


    Picard gestures for them to join him at the tables. Worf, Riker, Picard and Paris all do so, but Hernandez hovers uncertainly by the door. Seeing this, Dax approaches her.

    NOTE: During the below segment, PICARD joins RIKER by the windows to talk (this conversation appears in TNG 17x20 “Carte Blanche” and TTN 1x20 “Carrion”). WORF speaks with PARIS across the coffee tables (this conversation appears in VOY 10x20 “Dodo”). BOWERS happily browses the buffet.


    DAX
    Captain Hernandez... it’s an
    honour – not to mention a
    surprise - to see you again.

    HERNANDEZ
    I’m sorry, have we met?

    DAX
    I’m Ezri Dax.

    HERNANDEZ
    Dax... I knew a Tobin Dax a long
    time ago, in fact he calibrated
    the warp coils of my ship. Was
    he an ancestor of yours?

    DAX
    Not exactly – he was me. In a way.
    I couldn’t tell anyone at the time,
    but ‘Dax’ wasn’t Tobin’s surname
    – it was the name of the symbiont
    he carried inside him.
    (touches own stomach)
    And which I now carry inside me.​


    Quietly surprised, Hernandez looks down at Dax’s stomach, then back up at her face. She blinks away the shock, rubbing her forehead as if working off a headache.


    HERNANDEZ
    I have to say, I’ve had my eyes
    opened more these last few weeks
    than the past couple centuries
    combined. Talking dinosaurs,
    cyborg kangaroos... now one life-
    form living inside another. There
    was a Trill on Titan’s crew – Keru.
    Does that mean he has one of
    these... symbionts, as well?

    DAX
    Ranul Keru? No, I don’t think
    so – or at least he didn’t the
    last time I met him.​


    Hernandez looks around the room, at all these people hanging out and chatting like old friends.


    HERNANDEZ
    Well... seems like everybody knows
    each other these days. I haven’t
    known anyone from the Federation
    in quite some time.

    DAX
    You know me.​


    Dax smiles hopefully – Hernandez smiles back.


    PICARD
    Captains...?​


    Dax looks over to see Picard expecting them. She beckons Bowers, who has stocked up on food for them both, and all three join the rest at the tables, making a total of seven.


    PICARD
    Commander Paris, will Captain
    Chakotay not be joining us?

    PARIS
    Chakotay is in Voyager’s sickbay.
    I’m in command for the moment.

    PICARD
    I see. Well then, to business.
    Perhaps we could start by bringing
    each other up to speed. The
    Enterprise first fought the Borg
    over Ramatis... sadly too late to
    save the population. Then we
    proceeded to Korvat - ten million
    citizens died before we were
    able to destroy the Borg there.​


    17 FLASHBACK – TNG 17x15 “THIRD OF FIVE”


    Over Korvat, Enterprise fires four TRANSPHASIC TORPEDOES at the Borg cube. Even as the cube is torn to pieces, it gets off one last shot - a thick beam of destructive green power that hits the surface, creating a MUSHROOM CLOUD of death.


    18 BACK TO SCENE


    WORF
    But many thousands were saved.

    PICARD
    Indeed. It was in these encounters
    that my chief engineer detected
    sirillium traces on all the Borg
    vessels. Based on decay rates, we
    were able to determine they must
    have come from the Azure Nebula.

    DAX
    And that’s where I come in.
    The Aventine had been in the
    Gamma Quadrant, investigating
    the wreckage of an old Earth
    ship - the NX-02 Columbia.

    HERNANDEZ
    (jaw drops)
    The Columbia survived?

    BOWERS
    I’m afraid I wouldn’t say that,
    Captain. The ship had travelled
    through a subspace tunnel and
    crashed on a desert world, with
    no apparent survivors. I’m sorry.​


    19 FLASHBACK – TTN 1x16 “WHATEVER IT TAKES”


    Columbia PLUMMETS to the surface, CRASHING with deadly force into the shifting sands of the endless desert.


    20 FLASHBACK – DS9 12x16 “THE BLAME GAME”


    Dax and Kedair stand on the crashed Columbia’s back, gazing out across the desert while work bees dot the surface.


    21 BACK TO SCENE


    Hernandez steadies herself.


    HERNANDEZ
    That’s okay, Commander. I’d given
    up on them centuries ago.

    DAX
    After some trouble with an alien
    life-form that had taken up
    residence in the wreckage, we
    discovered the subspace tunnel
    that had carried the Columbia
    to the Gamma Quadrant... and
    that tunnel brought us here,
    where we found the Enterprise.

    BOWERS
    And discovered that there wasn’t
    just one tunnel - there were
    dozens, all intersecting here.

    HERNANDEZ
    That makes sense.
    (off everyone’s
    curious looks)
    The Columbia was attacked during
    the Earth-Romulan war. We limped
    to the nearest world for help...
    and that turned out to be Erigol.
    The people were super-advanced
    and super-pacifist, but also super-
    isolationist. Once we were there,
    they wouldn’t let us leave. Some
    of my people objected to that.

    WORF
    What happened?

    HERNANDEZ
    They took a team to one of the
    other city-ships, Mantilis, and
    forced the Caeliar to open a
    subspace tunnel -

    DAX
    Wait - did you say Caeliar?

    HERNANDEZ
    Yes, why?

    DAX
    The alien who killed some of my
    crew and stole a runabout - it
    called itself Arithon of the
    Caeliar. He was looking for
    something called the gestalt.

    HERNANDEZ
    I’d say he found it.

    PICARD
    I don’t understand.

    RIKER
    We checked the historical records.
    Captain Hernandez’s account of
    the destruction of Erigol, and the
    date of the supernova that created
    this nebula... are a match.​


    22 FLASHBACK – TTN 1x16 “WHATEVER IT TAKES”


    The planet of Erigol EXPLODES... subspace tunnels surround the planet as dozens of Caeliar city-ships try to escape through them. Only three succeed, plus the Columbia.


    23 BACK TO SCENE


    Picard realises the truth with amazement...


    PICARD
    The Azure Nebula is the remains
    of the Caeliar homeworld?

    HERNANDEZ
    Apparently so. The city-ship we were
    on, Axion, was one of only three to
    escape that we knew of. But what
    my crew had done made the tunnels
    traverse time as well as space...
    and we ended up hundreds of
    years in the past... and deep
    in the Beta Quadrant.

    RIKER
    And that’s where Titan found them.
    We detected some distortions that
    were similar but not identical to
    Borg transwarp signatures... and
    we fell into a trap. The Caeliar
    didn’t want Titan to leave any
    more than they did Columbia.

    PARIS
    Hold on - if you went back in time
    by hundreds of years, how are
    you still here now hundreds of
    years after your own time?

    HERNANDEZ
    The Caeliar are effectively
    immortal. And once they infused
    me with their catoms... so was I.​


    24 FLASHBACK – TTN 1x18 “ONE BY ONE”


    In the Caeliar’s operating theatre on Axion, Hernandez is infused with catoms... and is reborn.


    25 BACK TO SCENE


    The scientist in Dax perks up...


    DAX
    Catoms - I’ve heard of those.
    Programmable matter. They’re only
    theoretical though - no-one has
    ever been able to master them.

    HERNANDEZ
    The Caeliar did. They’re made of
    them. And now, so am I, at least
    partially. That’s how I was able
    to use the tunnels to get Titan
    back to the nebula, despite the
    Caeliar’s... “reluctance”. They
    tried to shut down all the tunnels
    using soliton pulses to stop me.

    PARIS
    Then that’s what brought the Borg
    armada down on the blockade fleet.
    If the tunnels were being closed,
    they were in danger of losing their
    chance... so instead of sending
    just one cube at a time, they
    sent seven thousand.​


    26 FLASHBACK – VOY 1x19 “APERTURE 27-C”


    The subspace tunnel opens up, and thousands of Borg cubes pour through, utterly overwhelming the blockade fleet and ramming right through it like it’s not even there. Voyager is at the forefront and takes the brunt...


    27 BACK TO SCENE


    Paris looks back at them blankly, clearly haunted...


    PARIS
    Half my crew is dead now. Captain
    Chakotay is in critical condition
    under the care of an EMH with
    three hours’ worth of experience.
    My chief engineer says we only
    survived because of the shield
    enhancements the Da Vinci gave us.

    DAX
    My own chief engineer is already
    leading damage control teams
    to help Voyager’s crew.

    RIKER
    And mine is salvaging components
    from the remains of the fleet.
    We’ll share whatever we find.

    BOWERS
    I admit this is all fascinating,
    but is any of it relevant to
    stopping the Borg armada from
    obliterating the Federation?
    Seriously, what’s the plan
    here? What’s our next step?

    PICARD
    The commander has a point. We
    need to focus on the future, not dwell
    on the past. I’m open to ideas.​


    But nobody has any ideas to offer. They all gaze out of the window at the ship graveyard, an omen of what is to come...


    BLACK OUT


    END OF ACT THREE
     
  7. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    Manchester
    ACT FOUR


    FADE IN


    28 EXT. ANDOR - THERIN PARK


    The gorgeous public park area seen in DS9 12x05 “Trial and Error”. Grassy areas and gentle stone paths, with the tall and gleaming towers of the city beyond, and the snow-topped mountains further beyond that.


    29 INT. VRETHA’S OFFICE


    Shar barrels through the door without ceremony, into his mother VRETHA’s office. He finds her at her desk, gazing out of the window with its view across the city and park.


    SHAR
    Zhavey, what are you still doing
    here? You should be on one of
    the escape shuttles.

    VRETHA
    I am needed here, Thirishar.

    SHAR
    That is nonsense. There must be
    continuity of government in the
    event of a disaster. You are
    government. You must leave.

    VRETHA
    Thirishar, my people need me. I
    was elected to represent this
    world. That is a duty I undertook
    with the greatest solemnity, and
    I will not abandon it now.

    SHAR
    Zhavey... no! You must - ​


    She gets up from the desk and takes him gently by the arms.


    VRETHA
    Thirishar, my brave chei. This is
    where I belong, with my people.
    You belong out there, with yours
    – protecting the keep, as chan
    does. Your family is away safely?

    SHAR
    Yes. But the shuttles could get
    you to safety as well...

    VRETHA
    I will be safe here. With the
    magnificent Starfleet Lieutenant
    Thirishar ch’Thane to protect
    me, how could it be otherwise?

    SHAR
    Zhavey... please...

    VRETHA
    It is my duty, Thirishar. I do
    what is necessary to protect
    my world, my people. I am the
    mother you raised me to be.​


    They lean in close, touching antennae.


    VRETHA
    You have your own duty to perform.
    Go now. I will see you soon.​


    Tears threatening, Shar backs away. They both know this is likely goodbye for good, but neither wants to spoil the illusion. Smiling with sad pride, Vretha watches him go.

    He closes the door behind him. And a moment later, Vretha hears a ROAR and a SMASH – Shar has PUNCHed something in his fury. She forces back her own tears, and turns to look out of the window at her world again – while she can.


    30 EXT. SPACE


    Another BORG CUBE advances, with a SPHERE and an OBLOID visible behind it.

    A Defiant-class ship, the Ajax, flies into view, pummelling the cube with its pulse-phasers. (This is part of the battle over Deneva, seen in TNG 17x20 “Carte Blanche”.)


    31 INSERT – THE MAP


    The red line of the Borg armada has inched forward a little more, a larger portion of the Federation now painted red.


    EVIK (o.s.)
    Are you certain this is a good
    idea, Quark?​


    32 INT. DS9 - QUARK’S BAR


    The map shows on a large SCREEN hung from the first-floor balcony for the entire bar to see. Smaller versions are relayed on wall screens. In front of each, a small group of civilians have gathered to watch the map’s progress.

    Evik stands with Quark at the bar, observing this.


    EVIK
    (continuing)
    I can’t imagine it’s doing very
    much for morale.

    QUARK
    They need to know we’re all in
    this together, Commander. That
    nobody’s keeping any secrets from
    them. Isn’t it better to know for
    sure, than to be forced to guess?

    EVIK
    What if they don’t want to know?

    QUARK
    Then they don’t have to. I’m not
    forcing anyone to stay. I haven’t
    seen a single Starfleet officer in
    here all day except you.

    EVIK
    My officers are out offering their
    support to the public. Except for
    any with tactical or engineering
    experience - they’re helping Nog
    install the transphasic torpedoes.

    QUARK
    And how’s that going?

    EVIK
    Slowly. They’re complex beasts.
    But it’s something to focus on.

    QUARK
    Well, tell them from me... drinks
    are free at Quark’s for Starfleet
    until this nightmare is over.

    EVIK
    ...Really?

    QUARK
    No, you’re right, that’s a stupid
    idea. I take it back. Drinks are
    discounted. By ten percent.
    For groups of six or more.​


    Evik almost chuckles... until he hears a GASP of shock out among the crowd, from someone looking at the screens...


    33 INT. DS9 - MAIN OPS CENTRE


    Nog sits at the engineering console. He looks across to Candlewood at sciences, the other way to ALECO at tactical, down to Cenn at the ops table. All are working hard. Ro senses his distress, and approaches gently.


    RO
    Nog - you okay?

    NOG
    Just can’t help worrying about
    Shar. And Captain Sisko and
    Captain Vaughn... but mostly Shar.
    They’re assigned to defend Andor
    right now... and the Borg will hit
    them before they hit us.

    RO
    I know. But we’re keeping an eye
    on reports, we’ll know when...​


    An ALERT sounds on Cenn’s console. He looks up to Ro.


    CENN
    More Starfleet reports. More
    attacks by the Borg.

    RO
    Feed them into the map, Major.​


    Reluctantly, Cenn does as he’s told. Ro and Nog look up to the main viewscreen, which shows the updated map...

    ...and both GASP in horror.


    34 INT. ENTERPRISE – CREW LOUNGE


    Dax is refilling her coffee when she hears a SMASH - a cup has dropped and broken. She turns and sees Hernandez nearby - staggering, something affecting her body...


    WORF (o.s.)
    Captain!​


    Worf’s concerned bellow brings Dax’s attention to Picard, who is similarly affected, GASPING and SHUDDERING. Picard TUMBLES to the deck by the windows as Worf rushes to him.

    Hernandez likewise CRUMPLES to the deck, and Dax rushes to her. Bowers, Paris and Riker just wonder what is going on.

    From his place on the deck, propped against the chairs, Picard looks in horrified understanding across the room to Hernandez, who looks back in similar fashion...


    PICARD
    Deneva...

    HERNANDEZ
    Risa...​


    35 INT. DS9 - QUARK’S BAR


    Quark looks at the screen in horror, seeing the red line reach a certain planet - RISA.


    EVIK
    The Borg are attacking Risa...

    QUARK
    Moogie...​


    36 INT. DS9 - MAIN OPS CENTRE


    Nog looks in horror at the main viewscreen in Ops...


    CENN
    It’s confirmed. The Borg are
    launching simultaneous attacks
    on Deneva and Risa as we speak.

    NOG
    Moogie...​


    Ro lays a comforting hand on his shoulder.


    37 EXT. BEACH HOUSE - BALCONY


    The open air balcony of Zek, Ishka and Prinadora’s house on the edge of an isolated Risian cliff edge. ISHKA stands on the balcony, looking out across the ocean...

    ...and in the distance, she can see the thick GREEN BEAM of energy coming down through the atmosphere and PUNCHING the planet’s surface, water evaporating into MIST around it as it inches slowly closer...


    ZEK
    Hee hee hee! It looks like a giant
    Calabrian fountain.​


    Ishka is terrified, but ZEK doesn’t see the danger coming. She turns and YELLS...


    ISHKA
    Maihar’du!​


    The huge silent Hupyrian servant BURSTS through the doors from the house, stops in horror at the view on the horizon.


    ISHKA
    Get the shuttle ready.​


    Maihar’du nods eagerly, and runs back into the house.


    ZEK
    Ishka, sweetness? Are we going
    somewhere?

    ISHKA
    That’s right, Zekkie. We have to
    leave, now.

    ZEK
    But I don’t want to leave.
    (re the view)
    It’s pretty.​


    She GRABS his arm and DRAGS him grumbling back into...


    38 INT. BEACH HOUSE - LIVING ROOM (CONTINUOUS)


    ...the main room of the house, with all its pretty white marble and garish gold decoration. PRINADORA, Nog’s mother and Ishka’s personal assistant, is just entering from another direction, looking confused...


    PRINADORA
    Ishka, what’s going on? Maihar’du
    was moving faster than I’ve ever
    seen him...

    ISHKA
    No time to explain. Don’t even
    pack a bag, just help me get
    Zek down to the shuttle bay.

    ZEK
    But I don’t wanna go! I want to
    watch the pretty green fountain!​


    Zek starts heading back out onto the balcony, determined, struggling against Ishka.


    ISHKA
    Prinadora, help me!​


    The younger Ferengi woman moves to grab Zek’s other arm, but in doing she catches a glimpse of what’s outside...


    39 EXT. RISA - SURFACE


    The green beam of destructive energy, kicking up more dust and sea and mist as it inches its way closer to the house.


    40 INT. BEACH HOUSE - LIVING ROOM


    Prinadora gazes in horror...


    PRINADORA
    Ishka... what is it?

    ISHKA
    It doesn’t matter - help me!​


    She looks back over her shoulder in desperation, and sees that Maihar’du is back. He nods his head enthusiastically again, indicating the shuttle is ready.


    ISHKA
    Zekkie, please, it’s time to go...

    ZEK
    No! You can’t make me!

    MAIHAR’DU
    NOW!!!​


    They all look around in amazement - Maihar’du has never spoken aloud before, but he has full-on shouted now. That alone is enough to get Zek’s attention...


    41 INT. CAVERN - STAIR CASE


    The four of them - Ishka, Zek, Prinadora and Maihar’du - rush quickly down hard metal STEPS that switch back and forth like an old-fashioned fire escape, down through a cavern cut into the rock upon which their house was built.

    TILT DOWN more, and we can see the former Nagus’s private shuttle sitting on a docking platform, its engines already running, its hatch open and waiting...


    42 INT. FERENGI SHUTTLE - COCKPIT


    Maihar’du dashes in and quickly takes the pilot’s seat, working the distinctive Ferengi controls to get the ship underway. The others pile into the shuttle behind him.

    Zek takes the seat beside Maihar’du, CACKLING in excitement now - it’s like a game. Ishka makes sure to buckle him in safely. She turns to Maihar’du...


    ISHKA
    Go! Now!​


    No time to nod, Maihar’du works the controls...


    43 EXT. RISA - SURFACE


    A HATCH in the side of the cliff opens, revealing a tunnel, and the Ferengi shuttle SHOOTS out of it.

    It quickly turns, flying UP into the sky, and away from the ever-nearing destructive GREEN BEAM, which is pulverising the land and the sea into nothing but dust and gas...

    FOLLOW the shuttle, up and higher through the atmosphere, until we pass through the exosphere...


    44 INT. FERENGI SHUTTLE - COCKPIT


    They are out into open space. Looking out through the front window, they see...

    ...two dozen other SHUTTLES of various configurations and sizes, all making a desperate life-or-death run for it.

    Maihar’du looks to Ishka questioningly...


    ISHKA
    Anywhere. Just... away.​


    Maihar’du nods and turns back to his controls. Beside him, Zek GIGGLES happily, innocent and ignorant as a child.

    Ishka places a loving kiss on Zek’s giant bulging head, and another on Maihar’du’s. Then she turns to enter...


    45 INT. FERENGI SHUTTLE - REAR CABIN


    ...where Prinadora is staring out of the rear window, at...

    ...the planet of Risa, with SIX BORG CUBES firing multiple giant beams of deadly green energy, scouring the entire surface clean, exterminating everyone and everything.

    More shuttles and freighters and anything that can fly can be seen nearby, everyone desperately trying to escape.

    Ishka joins Prinadora at the window, looking out at this view with horror. The younger woman turns with wet eyes...


    PRINADORA
    I don’t understand...​


    And Ishka can’t explain.


    Around them, the other shuttles JUMP TO WARP and one by one disappear into open space. We feel this shuttle RAMP UP...


    46 EXT. SPACE - PLANETARY ORBIT


    The tiny Ferengi shuttle JUMPS TO WARP as well, stretching out into the distance to escape by the skin of its teeth.

    Leaving the world of Risa alone, being razed without any significant resistance by half a dozen deadly Borg cubes...


    BLACK OUT


    END OF ACT FOUR
     
  8. DS9Continuing

    DS9Continuing Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    Manchester
    ACT FIVE


    FADE IN


    47 INT. ENTERPRISE – CREW LOUNGE


    Hernandez struggles up from where she landed on the deck, staring daggers across the crew lounge at Picard.


    HERNANDEZ
    You... You’re the one they call
    Locutus.

    PICARD
    (horrified whisper)
    How can you possibly know that?

    PARIS
    Wait, you can hear the Borg?​


    Hernandez looks around at the other officers - Riker, Dax, Worf, Paris, Bowers. They all look disturbed.


    HERNANDEZ
    Are you telling me you don’t hear
    it? I’ve heard it since the moment
    we arrived in the nebula. But I
    didn’t recognise you until...

    PICARD
    (steps close, quiet)
    Do you know what you’ve been
    hearing? Its name?

    HERNANDEZ
    Yes. Do you?

    PICARD
    To me, it’s just a roar of voices.
    More a noise than a chorus.

    HERNANDEZ
    I hear all of them. Every voice,
    adding to the others. But I
    also hear the unifying voice.

    PARIS
    The Queen.

    RIKER
    Can you communicate with them?

    HERNANDEZ
    No. I can only eavesdrop on their
    party. I’m definitely not invited.

    DAX
    It must be the Caeliar’s catoms.
    The nanoscopic machines in your
    body are tapping into the Borg’s
    frequency somehow. Erika, you
    mentioned the Queen - can you
    tell if she’s leading the attack
    on the Federation right now?​


    Hernandez closes her eyes, listens quietly to the voices in her head...


    HERNANDEZ
    Yes. The armada is under her
    direct control. She’s young, newly
    installed. Full of fury. She even
    thinks of herself as expendable,
    as long as Earth is destroyed.

    PICARD
    But why? What’s driving them?

    HERNANDEZ
    I can’t tell. It’s too muddled.

    DAX
    (into action)
    We have to use this.

    PICARD
    I don’t see how, if all Captain
    Hernandez can do is listen in.
    I hear their voice myself, and
    all it’s done is taunt me.

    DAX
    But she hears it clearer than you.
    That suggests her connection is
    deeper somehow.

    HERNANDEZ
    Commander Paris - why do you
    call her the Queen?

    PARIS
    It’s not her official name, it’s
    just what we’ve all fallen into. I
    guess it’s a metaphor - because
    the Borg operate like a hive of
    bees, with a queen in charge.

    PICARD
    You know that’s a flawed analogy,
    Mister Paris.

    HERNANDEZ
    But it’s close enough to work with.
    I can feel the Borg destroying
    millions of lives on Deneva and
    Risa right now, and I know
    you can too, Captain.

    BOWERS
    (sudden inspiration)
    Supercedure.

    PICARD
    I beg your pardon?

    BOWERS
    It’s the technical term for the
    process by which bees replace
    old queens with new ones.
    (off their looks)
    My uncle kept a few hives.

    WORF
    (quietly impressed)
    You will present yourself to
    them as a new Queen.

    PICARD
    Now hold on a moment. I’m hardly
    an expert on the subject of bees,
    but I seem to recall learning in
    elementary school that most
    bee-hives react to the arrival of
    a strange queen by killing it.

    HERNANDEZ
    (thinking it through)
    Then I won’t be a new Queen.
    I’ll just impersonate the old one.

    RIKER
    How? I mean, I’m sorry but that
    sounds kinda vague. What makes
    you so sure you can trick them?

    HERNANDEZ
    Her voice - the Queen’s - is
    unique. I can retune my catoms
    to resonate to her frequency.
    My thought patterns would be
    a dead ringer for the Queen’s.

    PICARD
    This sounds incredibly dangerous.

    DAX
    We’re in a dangerous situation,
    Picard. It’s time to start taking
    a few risks.

    PICARD
    Risks are one thing, but you’re
    back to suicide missions again.

    DAX
    You’re the one who said we
    were expendable!

    PICARD
    Yes, but - ​


    Paris speaks out loud, rolling right over Picard. He is clearly getting into the plan-making mode.


    PARIS
    We’d need to patch her directly
    into the Vinculum to make this
    work. Any time we’ve tried to tap
    into the Borg like that, there has
    to be actual physical contact.

    HERNANDEZ
    So how do we do that?

    PICARD
    You don’t. It’s impossible. The
    Borg will see you coming, and
    their drones will overwhelm you.

    BOWERS
    Not if we take out the drones
    first. Captain Hernandez
    doesn’t have to step foot on
    a cube until we’ve secured it.

    PICARD
    And how on Earth do you plan
    to do that?

    WORF
    The Hirogen’s power dampeners.​


    Picard looks in disappointment at Worf - et tu? Worf has the sense to look a little ashamed.


    BOWERS
    Those were only small scale.

    DAX
    Then we use the Aventine’s chain
    pulsar weapon to drain their power
    from a distance, and the Hirogen’s
    dampeners for close range.

    PICARD
    You’d never get close enough.
    They’d shoot you out of the sky
    before you got anywhere near.

    PARIS
    Then we need the element of
    surprise.

    DAX
    We need the slipstream drive.

    BOWERS
    With respect, Captain, slipstream
    is not yet proven. The drive is
    experimental, and it caused major
    damage the last time it was tried.​


    Picard breathes a sigh of relief - the plan is scuppered.


    HERNANDEZ
    What is slipstream drive?

    DAX
    It works by focusing energy via
    the main deflector to break the
    quantum barrier. It can take us
    across light years in seconds. The
    problem is the computer - it can’t
    keep up. We designed the chroniton
    integrator to scan a few seconds
    into the future, give us time to
    calculate the phase variables. It
    still wasn’t enough. But we would
    only need those few seconds -

    HERNANDEZ
    (shrug)
    Doesn’t sound too complicated.
    I can take a look at it for you
    if you want.

    PARIS
    You’d need to find a suitable
    candidate - something small,
    a scout, travelling on its own.

    HERNANDEZ
    Captain Riker, I had a glance
    around Titan earlier. It has
    some pretty amazing sensors.

    RIKER
    Finest in the fleet.

    HERNANDEZ
    Then I’ll tap into those, find
    myself a sacrificial lamb.

    RIKER
    I’ll put you in touch with my
    chief science officer.​


    And now Riker is turning against Picard as well. Why can’t they all see how wrong this is?


    DAX
    Then the Aventine slipstreams in,
    and takes out their shields with a
    quick chain pulsar and a couple of
    low-yield transphasic torpedoes
    before they know what’s hit them.

    PARIS
    I can give you Voyager’s enhanced
    phasers and shields too.

    WORF
    I understood that those measures
    required bio-neural circuitry.

    BOWERS
    Aventine has bio-neural circuitry.

    DAX
    Perfect. So then the strike teams
    beam in with projectile weapons,
    chemical explosives and energy
    dampeners, and we go deck by
    deck, section by section, till we
    secure the cube. Then we send
    Erika over to do her thing...
    and we crown a new Queen.​


    There, the plan is out. Dax, Bowers, Paris and Hernandez look between themselves proudly. Picard clears his throat.


    PICARD
    I certainly can’t fault your
    ambition. But I cannot endorse
    this plan. It’s beyond dangerous.

    DAX
    Picard, you’re the only one here
    not onboard with this. Don’t you
    want to stop the Borg?

    PICARD
    (incensed)
    No-one in this room wants to stop
    them more than me, Captain. But
    you run the risk of giving the Borg
    access to a staggering new level
    of technology in the form of these
    Caeliar catoms. That cannot be
    allowed to happen. Furthermore,
    the Borg are no longer mindless
    plodding drones. You severely
    underestimate their speed and
    ferocity. This will not work.

    DAX
    Then what’s your plan?

    PICARD
    ...I don’t have one. Yet. But -

    DAX
    Well I do. And more than half the
    people in this room are with me.

    PICARD
    Captain, this is foolhardy, and I
    forbid you to go through with it.​


    Forbids her? Dax stands tall, straightens her uniform.


    DAX
    Everyone in this room honours your
    rank and experience, Captain. But
    I count the same four pips on my
    collar as on yours, and I don’t
    need your permission. I need to
    do something... so I’m doing it.
    (to the others)
    Come on.​


    Dax heads to the door, Bowers her strong right hand.

    Paris puts down his coffee cup, and after a moment to smile - Dax reminds him of Janeway - he follows them too.

    Then Hernandez follows Dax as well.


    HERNANDEZ
    You’re certainly not Tobin anymore.​


    Riker is torn - Picard is his mentor, but he agrees with Dax on this one.


    RIKER
    I’m sorry, Jean-Luc. She’s right.​


    And Riker heads over to join Dax.

    At the door, Dax looks over her shoulder to make contact with Worf, and she can see the difficulty on his face. He does believe in her, but he has sworn loyalty to Picard. She nods to him, understanding - she does not blame him.

    They depart, leaving only Picard and Worf remaining, against the backdrop of the ship graveyard.


    BLACK OUT


    END OF SHOW