Dawn of the Decline: Page One

Jean Luc Picard walked slowly through the decks. The crew seemed rather jovial, still celebrating their recent victory against the Borg earlier in the year. The Enterprise repaired, and the crew taking some well deserved reduced duties, Jean Luc was already getting restless. The Borg, an enemy he had internalized both emotionally and physically, continued to be a threat at the forefront of his mind. While everyone was smiling at the Captain, he played the dutiful commander and nodded back to them with a grin painted on his face.

Arriving at his quarters, he sighed deeply, letting his body and face loosen up. Touching a table near his couch, the computer chimed. “Captain’s log, star date five, one, two, zero, zero point five. They only ever send a single cube towards us, and we barely escape with our lives. They have millions of ships, thousands of worlds, and billions of drones. There is no other enemy that is as great of a threat, and they won’t continue to underestimate us.”

Captain Picard started pacing, not something he was known for. His stoic persona fell by the wayside in private. Wondering about what would happen if thousands of Borg ships assaulted the Federation made a chill run up his spine, but at the same time, he felt confident. His insights regarding the Borg would be an advantage, one that Picard assumed would be the ultimate equalizer.

Looking over towards his computer station, a picture of the bridge crew stared back at him, and he felt even more confident. His crew had never failed him.

A flash of light stunned Jean Luc, and his gaze focused in on it immediately. A recognizable voice spoke out long before Picard had re-adjusted to the low light of his room, “Bonjour, mon Cap-i-tan.”

“Q”, a single letter of the alphabet, and the name of the most annoying entity that Picard had ever met, was spat from Picard’s lips. “What do you want?”

Q wore a strange costume of green an white metallic armor with a large winged skull on its chest. It wasn’t like anything Picard had seen before, and definitely not something from humanities past, as was usual for Q. “I couldn’t help but overhear your pathetic pandering, and thought I would give you another lesson in how unforgiving the Universe is.”

Picard quickly changed his stance and mindset, readying for a battle with Q. “You had nothing better to do than listen in on my personal log reports?”

Laughing lightly as he picked up the picture of Picard’s bridge crew, Q dropped it on the ground, “you’ll learn your place Picard.” Jean Luc could tell he had frustrated Q, and there was nothing worse than annoying a being of what seemed like limitless power. “Things are only going to get worse for everyone, and even if you defeat the Borg, the Federation is doomed to failure.”

Just as suddenly as he appeared, he vanished. Picard quickly tapped his comm badge, “Picard to bridge, I just received a visit from Q. Be ready for anything.”

Commander Riker was the first to respond to the Captain’s hail, “understood, sir. Any indication of what he wants?”

“Unfortunately not, but I think he’s frustrated with me again…”

“Understood. Riker out.”

And with that Captain Picard was alone again. A quick double check, and a mental attempt to loosen up, and Jean Luc could feel his defenses were still up. Mumbling to himself the Captain couldn’t help but comment, “I guess I won’t be sleeping tonight…”

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