And so, we finally find ourselves here. The big finale. Sadly, this is where the untold story of “The Last Generation” comes to a close. I had the timeline, the characters, the plot, the theme, but not really the motivation I guess. I really, really liked the idea but I had issues getting off the ground. I tried a lot of different ways to get the first chapter moving, to get things going, but nothing really worked. So, I opted for a rather bland and straightforward beginning which I was unsatisfied with and that likely played a big reason in why I never wrote a second chapter. So, here it is; the one and only chapter for “The Last Generation”.
Star Trek: The Last Generation
He stood silently, staring at the old holo pictures that hung on his wall. The faces of friends and comrades from the distant past stared back at him. He was never one for nostalgia…he had never been one for that particular emotion. He appreciated history and what it taught, but never understood why people looked back at the past so glowingly. The past was never as pretty as one remembered it.
However, in this case…the past was prettier than the present. He knew that. The glory days were gone and the golden years had been withered away by time. All that was left of his service in Starfleet were awards, holo pictures, and memories. The awards were meaningless…the memories were the most valuable. He had thousands of logs stored on his computer here and he could listen to them all; the logs let him glance back on his life through younger eyes.
A life devoted to the Federation…to his career…to Starfleet. A life devoted to peace. Was it a meaningful life? He frowned at the pictures and scoffed at them. He began to slowly walk away, leaning on his cane heavily as he shook his head in frustration. All of it was a waste of time.
He headed back to his chair and cup of tea, but the door rang. He paused in the middle of his living room and scowled again. He didn’t have any guests scheduled to come by today. The door rang again and he sighed. “Come,” he called to the doorway. The computer responded by opening the door and he froze at the sight of the person standing there. Just as old, just as withered as he…except, the person shouldn’t be.
“Q,” he uttered quietly.
The old man nodded with a smirk. “Jean Luc…still just as stubborn as I left you.”
Jean Luc Picard turned angrily on his cane and walked towards Q as fast as he could in his advanced age. “What kind of game is this Q? Why are you here, now?”
Q stepped into the house under his own power, walking slowly. His face was wrinkled, his hair gray, and his eyes old. Whatever trick this was, Q had gone all out for it. “Not a trick, not a game Jean Luc. I’m here…because I need your help.”
He stopped in his tracks, his eyes questioning Q. He scowled. “I don’t have time for this.” He took his cane and swung at Q’s side, betting the immortal, omnipotent being would merely disappear out of the way-except Q didn’t. Jean Luc’s cane connected hard to Q’s ribs and the omnipotent being winced in clear pain.
“Well, your hospitality is still the same,” Q shot back weakly as he grimaced. He was clearly injured.
Jean Luc was clearly confused. “You’re…not—”
“Omnipotent? Immortal? My old self…no. None of the Q are…not anymore.” He shook his head as he proceeded past Jean Luc and sat down. “Sit down, take a load off…I know I will.”
Jean Luc scowled but allowed Q to sit. None of this made sense and at the very least he was owed an explanation. “All right Q…I’ll sit,” he said as he lowered himself down slowly. He finished sitting and picked up his tea. “You have five minutes.”
Q shot him an annoyed look. “If I get hit again by your cane does that grant me five more minutes?”
He ignored Q’s jab and continued. “What do you mean…that the Q are not omnipotent anymore?”
“It means exactly what it sounds like…the entire species of Q has been rendered…mortal…and…Human,” Q said with disgust. “It has been this way for years now.”
Jean Luc narrowed his eyes at this. “The Continuum?”
“Gone,” Q responded sadly. “And it’s all Janeway’s fault.”
Jean Luc put his cup of tea down and leaned forward. “Janeway? She’s been missing for years now…ever since 2404. How could this be her doing?”
Q sighed in disgust. “All these years and you have learned nothing.”
“I’ve learned not to take you at your word,” Jean Luc responded harshly. “I won’t be making that mistake anymore.”
Q leaned forward. “Do you know what happened to Janeway?”
“No one does,” Jean Luc answered with finality. Her fate had never been discovered after her disappearance…it was truly one of Starfleet’s enduring mysteries. “Plenty like to speculate though.”
“Then let me cease that speculation with the truth; Janeway took it upon herself to fix the timeline for her and her crew…she went back in time and brought her precious Voyager home early.”
Jean Luc shook his head in disbelief. “I won’t be a part of this charade Q…whatever game—”
Q’s hand shot out and grabbed Jean Luc’s arm; the grip was weak, Q’s hand shaking. “It’s not a game…it’s far more real than you realize.”
Jean Luc stared down at Q’s hand in surprise. If this was one of Q’s tricks… “Let go,” Jean Luc said calmly. “I’ll listen.”
Q released the weakened grip he had on Jean Luc’s arm and leaned back. “Janeway saved her people and in the process created an entirely different timeline…she knew this going in. Time is not as linear or easy to understand as you Humans wish it to be.”
“And this has to do with you, how?”
Q’s eyes locked on to his. “Her interference in the natural course of time caused a problem the Continuum had not foreseen…it caused one of our oldest enemies to reappear in the timeline.”
A sense of fear was evident in Q’s voice…fear that Jean Luc had only heard before from desperate people. “The Continuum had enemies?”
“Had is the operative word,” Q responded quickly. “Centuries before we had eliminated them as a species…it was a solution that was necessary, if not prudent.”
“You killed an entire species?” Jean Luc stared. He had never thought the Continuum would do that.
“It had to be done. They were just as powerful as us…but far more ruthless, far more demanding. They wanted to dominate everything Jean Luc…they weren’t content being omnipotent; they wanted to be Gods in the worst ways possible.”
“Were you no different?”
Q angrily slammed his fist into the arm of the chair. “We were protectors…we stayed away from species natural development until they proved to us their worthiness of knowing the Q. Our enemies…the U…they had no such bounds. Conquer, rule, and dominate…that’s all they knew. They were just as powerful as us…just not as well intentioned.”
“And the Continuum dealt with them…and they appeared when Janeway created the new timeline?”
Q smirked. “Now you’re beginning to understand. Janeway’s selfish desires brought back the U…but only in small numbers. However, their fate was not so easy to decide; their powers were still on par with ours…the Continuum was in a deadlock over what to do. Then…we were betrayed.”
Jean Luc leaned forward. “By who? I thought the Continuum was a whole once more with the birth of Junior.”
Q scoffed. “We were…except for a minority. This minority was lead by someone we both know, Jean Luc…someone we both helped make; Amanda Rogers.”
Jean Luc’s eyes widened with the memory of the young woman he encountered so many years ago. Her parents had been Q and she had developed Q powers…she had struggled to decide if she was Human or Q, but decided eventually to join the Continuum. She hadn’t been seen since.
“You remember…I see it in your eyes,” Q said glibly. “Good…then remember how Human she was, how conflicted she was.”
“You took her in…that was not my decision. It was her decision and she made it…you accepted it,” he responded defensively.
“It was a mistake I will never be able to rectify, Jean Luc…she was too Human. She led the Q who were dissatisfied with the current state of the Continuum in a defection…they joined with the U. She had a child with one of them in 2404…and that child grew quickly as our children do. In a few years, he was the leader of the U…a blend of Q, U, and Human…he was our end.” Q leaned his head back. “We were slaughtered in the war versus these new U…the Continuum reduced to a few dozen members and the U banishing us to Human form; no powers…no omnipotence.”
Jean Luc’s eyes flashed in understanding. “The U…are they the same as the Unar’s?”
Q brought his head up and nodded. “Once we were gone, what was the point of being omnipotent anymore? The U had dominated and destroyed us…so they made themselves mortal, with very long lifespans and very advanced technology. They gave themselves every advantage…and then began to conquer.”
Jean Luc stood slowly, grabbing his cane angrily. “You knew this? All these years and you knew this? Why wait till now, Q! Why wait till it’s too late to save the Federation!”
Q stood slowly, a smirk on his face forming. “The Delta quadrant, the Gamma quadrant, and the Beta quadrant have all fallen under the Unar’s rule, Jean Luc. They’ve only been at it 24 years…and that’s how long it’s taken me to formulate a plan to stop them. But I have one…and I need your help. The Federation is dead now, Jean Luc…every member world, minus Earth, has surrendered to the Unar’s rule. You know that the negotiations will fail with the Unar…you know that war in inevitable. Starfleet can’t stop them…Earth’s influence is minimal.”
“Yes, yes, yes, damn it, you’re right!” He yelled angrily. “The Federation is gone…of course you don’t care! But what can you do now? Why now?”
Q’s smirk grew wider. “I had to wait…trust me on that.”
Jean Luc heaved angrily. He took a moment to regain control of his emotions and scowled. “I don’t like evasive answers, Q. You want my help? What can an old man, well past his prime, do for you?”
Q’s eyes sparkled. “You have access to things no other retired officer in the fleet has the privilege of knowing about. I need these things…I need a ship, I need weapons, I need a crew…with these things, we can stop the Unar from taking Earth…from ruling over you.”
Jean Luc narrowed his eyes. “What do you need all that for, Q? What can you do in your old age?”
Q shrugged coyly. “I can’t do anything…my grandson can, however.”
Jean Luc’s eyes widened in surprise. “Grandson?”
“Junior was far more…influential with Human females than I was. All that time with Janeway had a use apparently,” Q said annoyed. “He married, had a son…and since then we’ve been preparing to take the Unar down.”
Q crossed his arms. “It’s better you don’t know.”
“Q,” Jean Luc warned, “I won’t do anything unless I know everything.”
The former omnipotent being considered the words for a long moment and then nodded. “Fine. We do what did to them all those centuries ago. We kill them…all of them.”
“Genocide!?” Jean Luc’s eyes lit up in fury. “That violates the very core of Starfleet and Federation values; I will have no part of it!”
Q shook his head. “I told you it was better you didn’t know.”
“Get out!” Jean Luc demanded furiously. “I won’t have you preaching genocide in my house!”
“Jean Luc, don’t be so emotional…it’s the way it has to be. Their deaths makes them go away…they rule harshly, ruthlessly Jean Luc…they won’t be kind masters to you.”
Jean Luc ignored him and walked towards the doorway angrily, his cane loudly slamming into the floor with every step. He stopped at the door and opened it. “Out! I demand you leave my house and never return. I’ve put up with enough of your antics…I’ve had enough. Out!”
Q stood where he was and sighed. “So much for the great Jean Luc Picard…reduced to a pathetic, scared old man,” Q said sharply. He walked towards the door slowly and arrived in front of Jean Luc with a frown. “You’re making a mistake.”
“I won’t be a part of genocide,” he responded firmly. “I won’t be a part of a direct violation of everything I believe in.”
“Your beliefs are outdated, Jean Luc. It’s 2430, not 2360…the years have made necessary a change in the way we act.” Jean Luc’s hand reached for the door controls but Q stepped in front of him. “Think about the dead, Jean Luc; Riker, Troi, Laforge, Worf, Data…Beverly,” Q said the last name with emphasis.
Jean Luc hesitated. He tried not to think about them anymore. He didn’t want to a lot of days. “What about them?” He asked angrily.
“They all died for your vaunted Federation values and ideals…and what have they to show for it? The Federation is gone…the Unar are going to obliterate Earth in any war. What good is their legacy if no one is around to remember it?”
Jean Luc’s eyes wavered and his hand went to his side. “I won’t be a part of genocide. We have to find another way.”
Q nodded. “Fine then…we’ll go with the backup plan.”
“And that is?” Jean Luc asked warily.
Q smiled. “We give Earth the advantage over the Unar. To do that…we need some very powerful pieces of technology; I know where that is.”
“And I need to provide the ship, right?”
Q nodded once more. “How is the Enterprise holding up anyway?”
Jean Luc frowned. He had to take the chance Q was actually telling the truth here. If there was any way of beating the Unar short of genocide…it was worth the risk. The Federation was already gone and Starfleet was next. He couldn’t let Earth fall too, could he?
Q smiled and extended his hand. “Deal?”
It was the chance to save Earth.
It was chance to preserve the legacies of his friends…of people who were his family.
It was also a deal with a former devil.
Jean Luc took Q’s hand and shook it weakly. This was a deal he couldn’t pass up. “Deal.”
And that’s the one and only chapter for “The Last Generation.” I quite liked the dynamic of old Q and old JLP, but frankly it never really seemed that good to me, even now. It was missing something, I’m not sure what, but it was. At any rate, I grew frustrated with it and banished it to red shit status, moving on to another project as I inevitably do. This story had potential and it still does…perhaps one day I’ll finish it.
Today however it has been given it’s eulogy and it’s untold story, finally brought to light.