Star Trek: Defiant

"Alternatives" - Part Two

Written by Eric L. Busby

The trip was slow going. Legion and commander Matute found that they had to spend twenty minutes to an hour in the universes they arrived in. This was because it took the TQU time to build up a power charge to let them make their next quantum leap. The second universe the pair arrived in they found that the Defiant was under the command of Captain John Hardin. In this universe Jeffery Bridges had been killed during an incursion with Dominion and John had been given command of the ship. In their own reality however John Hardin had died some months before during the Nanite invasion.

Over all however, the first five universe they arrived in were not all that much different from the universe they originated from. Some had small differences such as the crew wore orange and red uniforms instead of the black and gray from their own. Other differences were much larger. Such as the Defiant being a Constitution class starship that was over a hundred years old. That crew wore uniforms like James Kirk had a century ago as well.

It would be in the sixth reality that would forever be burned in the back of Jennifer Matute's memory. They arrived to find themselves in a very dark room. Legion turned on a flash light that was built in his Borg arm so they could see. He then looked down at the TQU. "Close to hour before we can leave," He said reading the small screen on the unit. He clipped the TQU to his belt.

"Its very cold in here." Jen stated.

"The air is stale as well," Legion said looking around the room, "I wonder what happened here."

"Well, we're going to be here alittle while," Jen said, "Shall we find out?"

Legion walked over to the door and found it would not open. He dug his Borg fingers into it and slowly was able to force it open. Outside they found more of the same. No light and stale air. It looked as if this Defiant had been in a major space battle. Jen and Legion made their way down a long hallway. There was heavy carbon scoring on the walls and from time to time the pair would come upon skeletons in the tattered remains of a Starfleet uniform.

It was when they came upon the pile of black ash that Jen felt a chill run through her. She knelt beside it. Legion shown his light onto the pile. "What is it?" He asked.

"I believe it's me." Jen said in voice filled with sorrow, "When a Changeling dies our bodies turn to ash like this."

"So you died in this universe," Legion said with callous indifference, "It looks like you didn't go alone. This looks like Mak over here." Legion said pointing the light at a pile of bones. He kick its skull which rolled away like a grotesque ball. Jen glared at him.

"Show some respect!" She snapped, "These are the bodied of our friends."

"These are not our friends," Legion pointed out, "We're in an alternative universe remember."

Jen stood up, "Its still very unnerving to see this," The Changeling said, "What could have happened here."

"If we find a computer terminal I should be able to access it and find out." Legion said. The pair moved on. A few minutes later they came upon a room with an undamaged computer interface. Legion sat before it. With the ships power gone Legion had to hooked a cable from his Borg arm into the terminal to bring it back online. It took close to an hour to get to work, but when he did what he found horrified them both.

"The Borg." Jen said in a whisper. Legion read on.

"The Collective sent a taskforce of three thousand ships to the Alpha quadrant over a year ago," He paused as he took the shear volume of this in, "They destroyed everything. Every ship, every world, every blade of grass. They turned the Alpha quadrant into a galactic graveyard."

"I thought the Borg assimilated other cultures." Jen said in shock.

"Not in this universe," Legion said, "It looks like these Borg destroy anything they see as a threat to them."

The scope of what the Borg had done sunk in on Jen. She and Legion were the only living being in this Alpha quadrant. Everything else was a rotting wasteland. She sat down in a nearby seat.

"My God," She gasped, "How could anyone do anything like this." Legion did not have an answer for her. He simple unplugged the cable from the computer and put it back into his arm. The terminal went dead like the everything else around it.

"How much longer before we can leave?" Jen asked. Legion pulled the TQU from his belt.

"Its charged up now," He said, "We can leave whenever you want."

"Then lets go," She said, "I never want to see this universe again as long as I live." Legion pushed a few buttons on the TQU. Its hummed and a moment later the pair vanished in a flash of light leaving behind them a vision of death.

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