Spin-off 1D

Vitality, Part IV

The ancient starship Vitality slows in space, approaching a big Deep Space Station. This is the High Command.

Picard, Tuvok, McCoy, O'Brien, and Hoshi are beamed aboard into the Station's Transporter Room. The room is considerably big and comfortable.
Nel: "Welcome to the High Command."
Picard, steps off the padd cautiously: "...The Omni-Sphere?"
Before Nel could reassure him, the energy Omni-Sphere is temporal displaced transported in on a smaller padd at the side. The crew watches as two of Nel's Officers enter the room to retrieve it.
Nel: "Thank you all."
He turns to leave, walking through the large glass doors.
O'Brien: "Wait!"
Nel stops and turns to them again.
O'Brien: "What happens to us now?"
Nel: "What do you mean?"
McCoy: "He means what in blazes do you want us to do now, if anything?"
Nel, thinks for a second: "I suppose you all have your own lives now. You could probably do whatever you want."
He leaves the Transporter Room.

Later, Picard, Tuvok, McCoy, O'Brien and Hoshi are lounging about alone in a huge Living Room. Particle-fluxed couches, hovering tables, and normal plants occupy the Room. Doors to thier Quarters are not too far off.
McCoy: "This place is great."
He walks around, shuffling with devices.
Tuvok: "Interesting..."
He presses a panel causing walls, greek pillars, floor levels, to disappear and reappear, as he can alter the room's dimensions.
Tuvok: "Not unlike a Holodeck."
Picard finds a library that swooshes out a wall: "What I find fascinating is that they still have books in this Century."
He opens the book, Gone With the Wind, which suddenly pops up a miniture holographic landscape with charactars acting within it.
'Charactar: "...Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."
Picard closes the book, annoyed.
Hoshi: "What's this?"
She goes over to a wall which has a black tube sticking out of it. It doesn't seem in place. O'Brien walks over.
O'Brien: "It looks as if its part of the inner structure of the Station. Probably a conduit or something."
He examines the tube, a sight of which gives a cold unwelcome feeling.
O'Brien: "It's merged into the wall. I wouldn't be surprised if it was just a malfunction in the room's restructuring abilities."
Picard, nods: "Nothing's perfect."

Tuvok follows Picard into the huge Operations Centre of the Station, artfully labbelled High Command. People are everywhere, dealing with communication panels and holo-maps. Nel approaches them.
Nel: "I hope your living quarters were okay. We can have my people leave that whole section of the Station alone for the next 100 years if you want."
Picard, holds up: "Er--, that's not necessary."
Tuvok: "Our curiosity has led us here."
Nel, shrugs: "Okay... uhh, welcome to the High Command gentlemen."
He leads them around the Bridge's multiple levels as a tourguide.
Nel: "Here is the main control of the Energy Fleet. That's us."
He shows them to his Sub-Commander who is busy talking to a Ship in the field.
Nel: "Here we co-ordinate attacks to the Gamma and Delta Quadrants through interdimensional subspace frequencies. We fight such enemies as the Klokian's, the Nega'Jem's, the omni-X, and the Hexen's..."
He makes it sound like a school field trip.
Nel, walks to the next area: "Energy Ship's are mostly made of photon's and forcefields--"
Picard: "--So... are there many Human's left after all the Wars?"
Nel, changes train of thought: "Sadly, no... This Station is all that's left of us."
He pauses in respect.
Nel: "It's been a couple decades..."
Picard and Tuvok glance at each other unsure how to respond to this.
Tuvok: "Despite that... the people here seem slightly optimistic in thier lives."
Nel, nods: "Oh yes, of course. We treasure every moment we have in life."
He turns to continue standard operations. He seems sincere and maybe a little inspiring.

O'Brien, McCoy and Hoshi enter the Station's Dining Room, which is also huge, and is elegant. McCoy pulls out a seat for Hoshi.
Hoshi, smiles: "Thank you."
McCoy: "Oh no, thank you for gracing us with your presence."
O'Brien accesses a small panel on the cloth-covered table, sifting through the menu. He picks a meal, and it replicates in front of him.
O'Brien: "This is great; a steak dinner."
McCoy: "Let's hope our bodies can process a meal."
O'Brien starts eating as the others replicate thier own food. Everything seems to be going okay, until a Waiter across the room holding a complimentary tray of alien drinks suddenly trips. He falls, sending his plate into the wall causing the wall to fluxuate.
Hoshi: "What the--?"
They get up in alert, but having seen this earlier.
O'Brien: "I guess you really can't rely on anything being perfect."
Station Officers run over to fix the wall. It seems the tray hit a weak spot in the structure of it. But O'Brien, McCoy and Hoshi all happen to notice a peculiar emitter behind the deteriorated elegant structure. They glance at each other in curiosity.
O'Brien: "I wonder what that could be."
McCoy: "Well don't look at me."
Hoshi, gasps: "Huh!"
She points to the floor in fear as the fallen Waiter suddenly disappears.
O'Brien has a hunch what that could mean: "He was a hologram!"
McCoy, annoyed: "You know, where I come from there aren't any holograms."
Hoshi: "Same here."
O'Brien just rolls his eyes and makes his way around the tables out the Dining Room to get to investigating the situation elsewhere.

Tuvok and Picard are given positions in the Operations Centre. The large hovering viewscreen clicks on, showing a hologram Captain from a contacting Energy Ship.
>Stan: "We're under attack. We're losing ships out here!"
His vessel shakes violently. Flowing static-electro currents fly around his Bridge.
Nel: "Relax. We have backup files of all your friends who've died. We'll send them out again as soon the Omni-Sphere Project is well underway."
Stan nods as the huge screen clicks off. Picard is busy at a side station, figuring out star path equations.
Picard, throws down a padd in frustration: "I've had enough!"
Tuvok walks over from his own station: "Patience is a virtue."
Picard knows he is right: "Yes, of course..."
Keth, the sub-commander, walks over: "You guys okay? Maybe you need a rest."
Picard begins pacing in his emotion.
Tuvok: "Yes, that sounds sufficient."
Picard stops, glancing over at Tuvok. He gives in and goes for the break.

Picard and Tuvok are walking down a hallway on the Station as they pass O'Brien, McCoy and Hoshi. O'Brien is sifting through an open optic circuit panel.
O'Brien: "I can't make heads or tails of this one."
Picard: "What's going on?"
O'Brien: "We think we're on to something here, Captain."
Before O'Brien can go back into messing with the optics, two giant metallic tubule arms arc out the wall and grab him. O'Brien is slammed against the back wall.
O'Brien: "Ugh!!"
He's left there, held.
Tuvok, walks over calmly: "No doubt, security defenses."
Everyone just looks at him.
O'Brien: "Oh very funny. Can one of you help me down please?"
Tuvok and the others grab the metallic tubules out of O'Brien, as his feet hit the floor. The ends of the large tubules have static currents, like cut cables.
Tuvok: "Curious. It looks like physical nano probe injection interfaces."
An Officer walking by, suddenly starts to static due to the open tubule, as if he was a hologram.
Lech: "What the--?"
He just walks on anyway.
O'Brien: "That man was a hologram."
Tuvok: "Curious."
McCoy: "Isn't that guy, Amp, a hologram?"
Picard: "Yes. It seems that's all they use for men out in the battlefield."
O'Brien: "...Puh. Don't know why we never thought of that during the Dominion Wars."

They all make thier way to thier Quarters Living Room, where they lounge around, doing nothing. Amp transfers himself over.
Amp: "Hey guys, how's it going?"
Picard, throws down a holo-book in more frustration: "I've had enough of this."
Picard gets up, as everyone looks over at him.
Picard: "What are we to do now; sit around this Station for the rest of our lives doing absolutely nothing? ...No purpose... no direction?"
Everyone just looks at each other in surprise.
Picard: "When we were in the Federation we had a reason. We had ethics, morals, drives... Now all that there is here is pointless existence... War... The entire Galaxy is at a constant War with itself."
He paces.
Picard: "Is this the future we wanted?"
Amp: "Well at least the Galaxy is united in way that it has never been before."
Picard: "More than half the Galaxy's population is extinct! What would I give to see a Bolian give a lecture on physics... a Ferengi make a black market trade... a Cardassian flaunt his arrogant nature!"
Amp: "What are you getting at?"
Picard: "Perhaps its time we took our place in this Century."
O'Brien and Tuvok then stand up in loyalty; with him in whatever decision he is about to make.
O'Brien: "What've you got in mind, sir?"
Picard walks over to a tall window, looking out at the rest of the Station, and the Vitality in the distance: "...We're going to put a stop to this War."
He glances over at his crew.
Picard: "We're going to set things right."
McCoy stands: "Are you crazy, man!? We don't stand a chance against the entire Galaxy. Back in my day it wasn't even completely explored!!"
Hoshi, gets up too: "I trust him."
Picard: "I believe I can do this."
He goes over to McCoy. McCoy just looks over to the side in conflict: "...I know I'm going to regret this."

The six of them enter the Operations Centre, which is still busy.
Picard: "Commander Nel, if we could have use of---"
He suddenly stops, noticing a crack in the station he was working on earlier.
Nel, notices: "Oh, right... Holographic interface. We use them a lot."
Picard: "Is there any reason it is malfunctioning?"
Nel leads him to the back of the Operations Centre where a few Scientists are working on the Omni-Sphere.
Nel: "It's the Tri-Coral radiation on the Sphere's stabilizers. We’re not sure how to handle it, and now it's interfering with the Station's holo-emitters."
The Sphere's Stablizing Technology suddenly spikes in radiation, knocking all the holo-emitters offline. Every person in the Operations Centre suddenly disappears, except for Picard, Tuvok, O'Brien, Hoshsi and McCoy.

They all look at each other, confused.
McCoy: "What does that mean...? They were all holograms??"
Picard, looks around: "It would appear so Doctor..."

Tuvok checks a console, reading the status of the Station. He picks up bio-signs.
Tuvok: "Maybe there are some Humans left...."

A door is opened to a large inner circuitry Room elsewhere on the Station. The five of them step inside, to see Borg Drones everywhere. Drones are regenerating, and walking around dealing with Station operations.
McCoy: "What the hell are they?"
Picard: "...The Borg?"
Nel and Keth approach them from behind. The holo-emitters have gone back online.
Nel: "That's right, Captain. The Borg is all that's left of the Human Race. Those Drones are us."
Everyone just looks at eachother in surprise.
Tuvok: "Why do you continue masquerading as holograms?"
Keth: "It's the only way we get Station operations done. We have a lot of responsibilities to the Energy Fleet, you know."
Picard: "This makes things even worse. The Borg are still alive..."
He leans against a console.
Nel: "The Borg have been through a lot. We've been totally annhialated in War many times over. But still, we have survived... We do not wish to assimilate other cultures anymore."
Keth: "In fact, most of the assimilated knowledge is background database information. All we know are the experiences and knowledges of the Humans assimilated here."
Nel: "We were born into this. We didn’t realize it was relevant to tell you or not."
Tuvok: "Forgive me, but Borg do not think individually."
Keth: "We do. It's evolution."
Picards: "Backwards evolution in your case..."
Nel: "Call it whatever you want, but the Borg is all that's left of Humanity. We're fighting for our Territory, and our right to have a place in this Galaxy."
Keth: "We're all that you've got left."
Picard looks away, coming to the conclusion that he must accept this.
Picard: "Why weren't we assimilated?"
Nel, shrugs: "You're clones."

It was harsh, but true. Picard walked out into the hallway, thinking. His newfound crew followed, knowing that he was going to give them a direction.

He looks back into the Borg Captivation Room, at the last of Humanity.
Nel: "...So?"
Captain Picard is joined at the window, looking out into space.
Picard: "I'm going to need the Omni-Sphere..."
Nel just looks at him, confused.