COLLISION OF REALITIES
by Robert Morganbesser
Commander Riker was dozing in the center seat of the Enterprise when the alarms went off. Data turned in his seat to announce, "Deflectors just came on. We are reading a debris field ahead."
Riker was instantly awake. "What kind of debris field?"
Data scanned his panels. "Metallic fragments, left over energy of an unknown source. Weapons fire signatures matches that of… the Borg."
Riker came to his feet. "Red alert! Battle Stations! Data, any sign of a Borg ship?"
"No Commander, the energy signatures are…" Data's voice trailed off. Riker frowned. There were times when he hated the androids emotion chip. This was one of them. "Well, Data? What is it?"
"Yes, Data," Picard entered the bridge still clad in jodhpurs and linen riding shirt. "What's going on?"
"We have encountered a debris field, Captain. It showed signs of having been fired upon by Borg weapons, but according to sensors, this ship was ancient, nearly two millennia old."
Picard headed for his ready room. "Keep scanning, go to modified red alert. Beam some of the debris aboard."
The doors had barely closed behind Picard when he stopped short. There, in the middle of his ready room stood a great blue box. On top of it was a light, on its sides in white letters was the legend: POLICE CALL BOX. Picard moved forward and touched it. It felt like it was made of wood, but when he tried to move it, it resisted his efforts. Picard moved around the box. There, at his desk, feet up comfortably, sat a humanoid being. It had long curly hair barely controlled by a floppy brimmed hat and a multi colored scarf that was at least two meters long. The intruder looked up at him and smiled. "I do so enjoy Hamlet… Captain, is it?"
Picard started to say, "Intruder alert…" When the stranger stood up. "Please don't bother calling for help." He took a round object out of his pocket and placed it on the desk. A series of lights on the device pulsed softly. "I mean you no harm, Captain. I just want to talk."
Picard was suspicious. "What is that device? Who are you?"
The man smiled and held out a small white bag. "Jelly baby? No? I'll indulge myself then, if you don't mind. As to who I am, I am the Doctor, this device has placed a, you would call it a cone of silence around this area."
Picard, uncomfortably aware of his fencing clothes, crossed his arms and growled, "Are you Q? This would be just like you to pull a prank like this."
The Doctor looked hurt at this accusation. "The Q? Please! Do I look like one of those rapscallions? No, wait if I were one of those galactic delinquents, I could look like anyone, couldn't I?" The Doctor rubbed his chin. "You just discovered the wreckage of a spacecraft, did you not?"
Picard nodded. "Do you mind if I get my uniform?" The doctor smiled and moved aside. "Please do." Picard stepped around his desk and to the small replicator in the corner. "Captains uniform, normal duty dress." Changing quickly, Picard sat at his desk and reached for the device.
"Ah-ah. Don't do that, please. It's keyed to my genetic code and will give you a nasty shock."
"What if my crew needs me?" Asked Picard.
"Won't matter. This device has also removed us from your temporal reality. When I deactivate it, it will restore you right to the point where you entered."
Picard sat back, wondering if he was dreaming this. "So why are you here?"
The Doctor sat on the edge of the desk. "The wreckage you discovered was from a spacecraft, the Battlestar Galactica, which just ended a long, lonely voyage at the hands of the Borg."
"The Borg!" Picard sat up straight. "Are they near?"
The Doctor shook his head. "No, after the destruction of the Galactica, whose technology they deemed unworthy of what is it? Ah, assimilation, they moved off toward the Delta Quadrant. The Galactica, sadly, had reached the end of her time line. But not all things end happily, do they?"
Picard thought briefly of his family, dead in a fire these past three years. "No, they don't. So what is the point of this conversation?"
"As you are aware," said the Doctor. "There are many different realities. An infinite number, each separated by a unique quantum signature. Well, the barrier that separates them is malfunctioning. My people, the Timelords, have sent me to investigate. So I'm warning certain key beings in various realities, the better to seal this breech."
Picard leaned forward. "I see. So this Galactica came from a different reality?"
"Quite so. I can't say anything more about it, but they were doomed in their own reality as well, so time has not been upset. But if the breeches get any worse…"
"It could undo time itself?"
"Well done! You are a delightful human, captain!" The Doctor beamed. "Well, I have to be off. The Sontarans are causing trouble and the Rutans are right behind them. Keep an eye out for unusal amounts of . . . what do you call time particles here?"
"Ah, yes. Keep an eye out," The Doctor lifted his device, tucked it in a pocket. Pulling a small device from his other pocket, he handed it to Picard. "If you encounter any odd readings, readings such as on this recorder, use a pulse from your communications array to reverse the breach."
Picard took the device. It looked like a PADD, but the lower left hand portion of the screen read: 200 terabytes. His eyes opened wide. "This device…"
"Is a unique computer," replied the Doctor, opening the door to his ship, commonly called a TARDIS. "Once the breach in your reality is sealed, the device will disappear. Guard it well, it's encoded itself to your DNA. Should anything happen to you, it will deactivate. Good luck, Captain Picard." With that the Doctor entered the blue box, which began to wheeze and groan, fading away before Picard's amazed eyes.
Picard sat there for a moment, then tapped his communicator. "Mr. Data!"
"Data here, sir."
"I want you to keep an active scan for the following particles…"