Chapter Six will be online tonight!
CHAPTER FIVE – UTOPIA
FEDERATION FLEET, YEAR 2383, DELTA QUADRANT
I stood silent for a moment. I was even more confused, surely it had only been days? But nothing seemed to add up. Though that was how the universe worked. Nothing ever added up, but I had learnt, over time, that life was full of strange things and sometimes even miracles.
I wasn’t sure whether I should believe her. Well I did believe her, but a part of me still denied it. I gave a diplomatic response. “From my perspective, I’ve been gone only days. We were at the decommissioning and then there was a flash and I was in deep space. I saw this planet on long-range sensors and set a course.” It was the truth.
She replied thoughtfully, “Well, I’m afraid that flash took you far from the decommissioning ceremony. You are 75 000 light years from Earth, in the Delta-Quadrant. The year is 2383. Can I request that you join our fleet for now and we’ll beam a team aboard to assess your ship.”
My rational mind told me not to trust her, but my instincts felt so powerful. I knew she meant no harm. In fact I knew she was right. “Understood. I’m moving into formation with your fleet.”
“We’ll there in a few minutes. Janeway out.”
The screen flashed off and I was left waiting. A few minutes later, there was a dissolving sound and Admiral Janeway appeared on the bridge with four others which I would soon find out were her Chief Engineer B’Elanna Torres, Captain Sisko and her Chief Security officer, Tuvok. I went and shook her hand.
“Welcome aboard Admiral.”
She returned the gesture warmly, “It is truly an honour Captain.”
“Thank-you. So what happens now? Enterprise can barely fly. We need to figure out what happened.”
Janeway turned to B’Elanna, “Can you try and repair his warp drive and make any necessary upgrades to keep his ship going”. She turned to me, “Is that a problem?”
I hesitated. A Klingon! A Klingon fixing my engines! The future was a strange place, “Alright.”
B’Elanna responded to my hesitation, “My father was a human you know.”
I nodded. Sisko broke the silence, “Let’s talk somewhere more comfortable and we’ll get you up to speed as quickly as you can.”
“Agreed,” said Janeway. She motioned for Tuvok to go with B’Elanna and I led her and Sisko to my ready room.
They told me about a huge Alliance called The Federation and about my critical piece in its creation. It was hard to imagine that the Coalition would become something so huge and spectacular in only 200 years! They told me their mission, “We’re Starfleet. We’re your people and though we can’t take you back home, you can join our mission. It’s a mission of meaning and importance. Your ship will be a valuable asset… and most of all as will you.”
The Admiral was sincere. The word ‘home’. It tugged on something inside of me. A voice inside told me that I was home and Earth was simply a distant shadow. The voice scared me. Still they were Starfleet. They were my people, “Let’s go,” I said.
When we came back out onto the bridge, B’Elanna was waiting with a grim report, “I’ve looked at the engines. I can make the major repairs and add newer weapons and shields, but the bottom line is Enterprise is falling apart at its core. She’s broken her back. There isn’t much I can do to stop that. She would need months in drydock and a full overhaul to be up to standard again.”
I nodded and thanked her. “Alright. We’ll enlist crewmembers to man the ship. Make the repairs,” ordered the Admiral.
Our four ships and their escort flew into orbit of Utopia Prime. The planet literally glowed. It resonated in power, strength and peace. The planet could be described in only one word – beautiful. It was the home of the gods.
I was hooked into Voyager’s communication systems. Which I might add took a bit of effort. They found that 22nd century technology and 24th century technology weren’t very compatible. I had access to all communications with the Utopians, as did the rest of the fleet.
On Voyager the crew waited and waited. After an hour, Janeway ordered Kym to hail the aliens again. There was no response.
Finally, nearly a day later, Spock contacted Voyager again. “On screen!” ordered Janeway.
“Welcome my friends. Welcome Benjamin Sisko, Kathryn Janeway, Jean-Luc Picard. All of you welcome. Most of all welcome Jonathan Archer. Welcome home. We have been waiting a long time for you.”
Surely they weren’t addressing me? There was no way they could know I was listening in.
“Thank-you for your kind welcome, Ambassador. As I’m sure you realise we have many questions.-“
He cut her off, “I know you have questions, but now is not the time. When you are ready you will find out what you wish to know.”
“I have little patience,” replied the Admiral, “So far you have told us near to nothing and expected unquestioning trust.”
“I understand your hesitation. I am sending you coordinates to beam down. Bring yourself, Sisko, Picard and Archer. No more.”
“… why should I follow those instructions? You’re asking me to bring down the Commanders of the fleet.”
“Because you’re explorers and you are about to discover a true marvel. You also follow your gut and that tells you we mean no harm.”
She hesitated, “We’ll see you soon,” she replied.
We materialized on the surface – The Admiral, Captain Picard, Captain Sisko and I as per our instructions. It was even more extraordinary than from orbit. The ground seemed transparent. It was like clear silk. We were surrounded by huge floating buildings. There were dozens of trees lining the courtyard where we appeared. It wasn’t really a courtyard. That was just the closest description. I chose to keep my old uniform, but I had a new phaser and tricorder from the 24th century.
Five of them approached us, led by Spock. They appeared out of nowhere. “Welcome to Utopia representatives of the United Federation of Planets. We are sorry but we cannot accept your offer. We will not be a member world and I’m sorry to say you won’t make any member worlds. You are on a mission of peace, but war is all you will find.”
The Admiral gasped in surprise, “How did you know…?”
“We knew because we know all. We are here to bring peace as guardians of the universe. We let you find us, because our time is nearly at an end. You have to take charge of your destinies once more and finish the last adventure. Fight the last battle. Complete the last journey.”
I joined the conversation. “What is this last journey? What do we have to do with this?”
Spock laughed, “We can’t tell what the journey is because that defeats the purpose.” His tone went serious again, “All I will tell you is that a great evil is approaching your world. A rogue Avatar believes that humanity must perish for the sake of the universe. The consensus disagreed with his ways. Now he has taken matters into his own hands.”
I repeated my question, “And what we have to do with this?”
“Ah yes.” He pointed to the rest of the away team, “They have very little to do with this. They will play their part though.” Then he pointed to me, “You however have a lot to do with this. You are more powerful than you can possibly believe. You are more powerful than even we are. Can’t you feel it pulsating through your body? Can’t you feel that you’re back home?”
I could feel it, but I wasn’t going to let some passing feeling control me. “No I can’t feel it. My home is on the other side of the galaxy.”
He smiled, “You know that is not true. You are lying to yourself more than you are lying to me. No matter. When the time is right you will fulfil your destiny.”
I looked to Janeway, motioning her to change the topic. She asked the Utopians where they came from and other questions. They told her only of a fleet of ships heading for the Alpha-Quadrant. The Utopian said, “You must stop them at all costs. That is a part of your role.”
Janeway took his warning, but she couldn’t go into a fight just because someone told her to. As if aware of her doubts, he said, “Let me prove it to you.” We were plunged into darkness. A few seconds later space surrounded us. It felt like we were standing on solid ground, but when I looked down we were in fact floating in space. In front of us was Earth. Surrounding it was a huge battle. It looked like about 500 alien ships were attacking the planet. I couldn’t see any Starfleet ships at first. Then I saw them. There were about a dozen weaving in and out of the alien fleet. Earth was going red. It was burning. There was no green and blue anymore.
It all dissapeared and we were back on Utopia. “That was a glimpse of your future,” the Utopian said. “The fleet leaves from the Delta-Quadrant in two days. Approximately 10 light-years from here. Coordinates have been sent to your ship. You have to intercept them. You have to stop them.”
“Why should we trust you, and what evidence is this illusion?” demanded Sisko.
“Because it is your only hope. You should know, your leaders are preparing for this. They know more than they let on. They however choose to fuel their own corruption. Your peace – it is doomed.”