by TS Caladan
"That's a Klingon?" Kelly Grayson asked the group as senior staff was assembled in Orville's staffroom. The film broadcasted to every Union Media screen hours ago was paused. It was a fearful Declaration of WAR and intimidation directed at also the Calivons, the Krill and any alien force that stood in the Klingons' way.
"Huh?" Gordon Malloy, also familiar with fictional, Trek Klingons, said: "Sir? That's not a Klingon. Maybe a hybrid, off-shoot? This makes no sense, sir."
Captain Mercer replied, "I know. You see, gang...Klingons don't really exist."
Alara glanced into her husband's eyes, then back to the Captain.
Commander Grayson confirmed: "That's right."
Bortus did not understand.
"How can it be?" Edwin wondered.
"Ugly. Vicious," Zak commented.
The Captain asked his staff: "Okay. Before the appearance of these warriors and war declaration, who here has heard of them?"
Dr. Claire Finn asked, "Wait. You said Klingons don't exist. How could we..."?
Kelly Grayson raised her hand.
Malloy raised his hand. Only the three old friends (and 'Trekkers') heard of Klingons and knew their origin.
Ed Mercer responded, "The Archives! Some of you may have come across a television show called 'Trek?'
Zak, Alara, Bortus, the Doctor and Edwin shook their heads in the negative. "No." "No."
"...No? Really? None of you others? God. They made so many Treks." The Captain explained, "Klingons were created by writers in suits, people. Soon as I heard the dude say the 'mighty Klingon Empire,' hey, guys: I had a Reality Check of what the hell was going on?"
Commander Bortus asked, "Captain Mercer? If these warriors do not exist and originate from stories, then how can fictional characters have destroyed Station 793 and Station 795?"
"Good question, Commander. How indeed? How were these guys made real and physical?"
Alara Halsey added, "I would say the attack was a message. Notice how they avoided the prime Station. Is that next? Doesn't matter where they came from, real or fiction? Klingons are here now and we have to deal with a real threat."
Zak stated, "I guess the Alliance is back on? One good thing: it will unite us again, a new enemy."
Alara turned toward Edwin and asked the Calivon: "Does your family remain exiled, Ed?"
The bald, red alien replied: "Last I heard, we are not."
Gordon asked, "Thought you missed home and wanted to return?"
Edwin said, "Hm. Maybe we don't?"
Alara said, "I only thought if we had assess to high tech the Calivons..."
"Ah! Good thinking," the Captain commented.
"I'll see what I can do. I still have a lot of friends back home," Edwin told them. "Captain? My son, Rag, called it to my attention when he spied on the crew; his scanners can find anything..."
"That little devil," Ed said.
Edwin continued, "It's nothing, I'm sure. But he showed me a clip of you saying 'Klingons' and he asked me who Klingons were when the aliens were not in the database? I never heard of them. Then the War Declaration and suddenly...there are Klingons in our universe."
Mercer was stunned and couldn't remember. "I did? I have to see that. You know, your boy, Ragweed, is amazing. If he'd put his mind to fighting Klingons, I'd feel sorry for them."
"Ha. No doubt," the father agreed and smiled.
"Well. Let's get to work, people. See what happens next." Ed said.
Edwin said, "I'll talk to Rag. Maybe he'll have a solution?"
"Isaac. Good to have to back, mate. All ship-shape and ready to go?"
"New and improved, sir. No more bugs. And I do apologize..."
"Please. We understand: Your actions were not your own. It's cool," Ed said.
"Union communique coming in, Captain," Grayson informed Ed Mercer and the rest of those on the bridge.
Zak replied first, "Put it on screen..."
"Put..." Ed came in second.
It was a two-dimensional Admiral Halsey from his office, bigger than life.
"Hello, son." Halsey also smiled in Alara's direction.
The Admiral turned to Ed. "Captain?"
Mercer asked with genuine concern: "Are you all right, sir? I mean...afterward? We haven't..."
Halsey smiled and was clearheaded. "You were absolutely right, Captain Mercer. She was a Spider and I was under Shears' spell, but no more."
"Good to hear, sir."
"Credits are gone and we have a bigger and better Union to build. There is news. We could have given the assignment to our flagship or the Galifrey. I wanted the two captains to have it. You know your Orville has gained new respect, prestige: You fly with the finest in the Union, now."
Ed asked, "Assignment? Concerning Klingons?"
Zak asked, "Yes, sir. What's happened?"
The Admiral spoke the truth: "Only now, Union Station received a repeating, regular, 'natural' signal and we have the coordinates, where it came from. Do you remember what you discovered awhile back? Quanta?"
The android answered, "I do. I named it. Mysterious Dark Matter that was not Dark Matter."
Halsey said, "Your computer will have everything in a moment..."
Kelly inquired from her station on the side of the bridge, "Excuse me for asking, Admiral? If it's a natural signal, why are we going back to a dead rock?"
Halsey answered her, "Because the signals come from Rolvar."
Alara Halsey responded, "What? Rolvar? Last, I mean: one of the galaxy Guardians?"
Captain Mercer asked the man on the big screen: "What's he want? Does it have to do with Klingons?"
The Admiral's image replied, "That's your job, gentlemen. Find out; let us know." He nodded and smiled. "Halsey out."
Ed waved. The screen went dark. "Let's get on it, people." Mercer turned to Alara. "Well. We know who'll be part of the Ground Team."
Alara nodded to Ed and smiled at her husband.
Later. There was an argument between captains. Both Zak and Ed wanted to be a part of the Ground Team and meet the Superman. Kelly resolved the issue: Since Zak had been upon the surface of Quanta before, therefore, Captain Mercer went. Zak stayed in the Command Chair. Alara and Commander Bortus were also on the surface of the strange black rock.
"Weird that it has an atmosphere, huh?" Mrs. Halsey said aloud as she led the group with her scanner ahead of her.
"Certainly is," Captain Mercer concurred. "No need for suits."
It was very dark, not that many stars in the ebony sky. Belt-lights lit the way.
"Weird. Yes." Bortus also had his scanner out. He said, "Another mystery is the disappearance of the three rock samples. Where are they, who took them and why are they missing? Scans from a distance told us the black matter was neutral, had no charge..."
Isaac on the bridge monitored the entire situation below. He interrupted with a question: "If you encounter Mr. Rolvar, ask him why Quanta once had a powerful, electro-magnetic charge, then, for some inexplicable reason, lost the charge and became the inert cinder you walk on."
"Will do. Out. For that matter, why meet here?" Ed turned. "Are we near..."? the Captain asked the aliens.
"There's a cave. It's coming from in there," Alara declared.
The Ground Team entered and soon encountered one of the last two Xelayans alive. This one possessed SUPER POWERS, flew through space at incredible speeds without a ship and lived and breathed in the emptiness of space (or so it seemed).
"Rolvar." Ed said when he saw the man's face. His first comment concerned his attire. "Kind o' drab outfit. I mean, for a Superman?"
"Ha, ha. You are a delight." He was cheerful. "We meet again, Captain Mercer." Rolvar carefully approached Alara and hugged her, as to not harm the delicate and very fragile human. "So you survived? I'm glad." They were thrilled to meet under different circumstances.
She was happy and hugged back, very pleased. [She didn't know]. Alara expressed high appreciation for her 'brother,' a Guardian with a huge responsibility on his shoulders, and also a Xelayan that nearly stripped her of Citizenship during her trial. She commented, "You look different, Rol. Not Xelayan."
He replied, "I've gone through a few changes, Alara. Ha, ha. Glad you still recognized me. You too, Captain."
Bortus watched and continued his scans.
Ed asked, "Does this have anything to do with Klingons, who I know shouldn't even be in this universe?"
Rolvar answered, "It has everything to do with Klingons and potential villains from your stories, Captain. Your movies and VR. And also this dark matter, dead ball of nothing under our feet. Your scientists must do much more than examine it; they must protect Quanta at all costs!"
"Why?" Alara asked.
Rolvar explained: "Imagine organized chaos of an endless stream of fictional villains, terrorists, warlords of all shapes and sizes...transformed via Quanta and made real here: Klingons, the Bel Zog, Goa'uld, Changlings/Dominion, Borg, Cardassians, the Foundation, the Last Order, Romulans...Quanta is a plug that seals the RIFT. The Plug must exist, continue to exist and block the conduit. I've been guarding the corridor. But I beg you, Captain. Union forces must protect it now, because I must go."
Alara was surprised. "Go?"
"Remember Pria, from the future?"
Ed was startled. "Pria! Of course, who can forget?"
"Ha, ah. Long ago, you destroyed the wormhole that was supposed to destroy you, or did in one reality? Quanta is the aftermath, leftover residue from the wormhole implosion. Pria saved you or your timeline. Guess she wasn't so bad, eh? She didn't evaporate into nothingness. I can get through the conduit, to the other side. I have to save her. It's the least I can do. I'm sure you understand? Protect Quanta: Alara, Bortus, Captain, at all costs. Tell the Union. Time is crucial. I must go." The Superman flew inside the dark matter planetoid and disappeared out of this universe and into another~
"Wow." Ed exhaled and soaked up what had happened.
Alara's mouth dropped. She was speechless.
The Commander's scanner recorded everything.
They didn't know that...
Rolvar was not Rolvar, it was never Rolvar. The Ground Team did not speak to a Superman.
When she made it to the other side in a brilliant FLASH...
Pria, trader/dealer/profiteer from the 29th Century, opened her exo-suit that produced the illusion of trusted Rolvar, Xelayan attorney. "Finally! Mask was killing me." Quanta was very different on the other side: A nice, sunny planetoid with blue skies. Her Beam Ship awaited...
Everything moved precisely as planned. A few Spider Eggs remained in the universes. Pria Lavesque was certain it would work in this world. Superman would come after her...
And she will kill the Last Superman...
In the Halsey's quarters, all hell broke lose! Alara was very angry. She threw any object she found at Zak. She screamed, "It's going to end! We're going to end!" She tossed the desktop file holder, a computer stand, framed moving-pictures of the couple, a mini-trash compactor, FOOD, round fruits, odd-shaped vegetables...anything! "It's OVER!" Alara yelled again and again.
Captain Zak had a cool tennis racquet in his hand. He blocked every item that was thrown. A few of the objects broke the tip of the light-weight racquet. "What are you doing?" Zak yelled back. He asked, "Is this about Richard? That he's gone?" Every loose item on one side was thrown at Zak with medium force. The last objects were three tennis balls. He batted them away, easily.
She fell down to the floor and cried.
"It's not over." The young Captain put his arms around his wife and held her tight. "We're not going to breakup, Alara. I don't know what's come over you? Your new psi-powers?"
She had stark fear in her eyes and tears. "Everything's going to breakup..."
John LaMarr asked those on the bridge: "What are Borg?" The navigator received a Union report he found before the Commanders. He thought he asked a harmless question.
Kelly echoed: "Gordon! Get us far as you can from the Borg!"
"Get us the fuck out of here!" Captain Ed screamed. Ed and Kelly shocked the bridge crew by the outbursts.
"I'm on it!" Malloy responded quickly with excitement.
Captain Zak was clueless. Alara was supposed to be on duty, but missing.
LaMarr asked, "I'm guessing: they're bad guys with a lot of power?"
Captain Mercer answered, "Yeah. You can say that."
The Orville veered in a slightly different direction at maximum speed.
LaMarr explained the situation, "Borg aren't in our area, sirs. The report was a bizarre kind of attack on Eldobaar-4, many light-years away."
Gordon said, "Better safe than sorry, Lieutenant. We'll steer clear of 'em. I'm on it." Malloy was nervous. "Gee. Borg. Captain. We could face the Borg, sir. Damn nasty, uh, if they find us. Walking Dead."
Ed Mercer asked LaMarr, "Did you get a picture?"
John replied, "Yes, sir."
"Well. Don't put it up. Were they gigantic cubes in space, green lights, awesome weapons? Ah, did they monologue in a deep, electronic voice?"
LaMarr answered, "I caught some of that. But they were spheres, sir. Green lights on spheres, big Balls."
Ed said to Kelly, "Spheres? Yikes! That's a new one."
She said back: "Big Balls? Did they have spheres? Gordon?"
Malloy replied, "They could have spheres? We never saw any. Spheres would be the next logical step, eh? Yes?"
Isaac was perturbed at information they seemed to know, but he did not have. "What are Borg?"
Zak responded from his seat: "I sure would like to know, too. That was the question that started the uproar. Who are they?"
The other captain answered, "Well. Let's just say: You'd want to tangle with a Klingon before you'd tangle with a Borg drone?"
Kelly and Gordon shook their heads in the affirmative.
Zak uttered, "Oh."
Commander Bortus said, "Wow."
Zak Halsey was about to enter his quarters. Alara was inside. Captain Ed caught up with Captain Zak in front of the door. It was the same door Ed 'jacked up' the Admiral and same hallway where the old man was thrown into a bulkhead. "Oh. Captain?"
"Captain. I want to tell you," Ed said to the young man.
Zak usually had a happy, confident expression on his bright face. The boy-Captain appeared stoic, expressionless. He responded with the words: "I have something important to tell you, sir..."
Mercer replied, "Oh? You go right ahead. Mine wasn't..."
"It has been a pleasure serving with you, Captain. I've learned a lot during my stay here. I'll be leaving in the morning, sir." Zak shook the hand of a stunned man.
Ed didn't believe his ears. "Say what? You're...you're, wait, what about your wife?"
Zak smiled a smile he didn't mean. "There's a wall there now, between us. We're not married anymore, sir. Takes two people to make a marriage now, doesn't it?"
"God. I...I don't know what to say." Ed smiled and shook hands again when he realized he got his ship back and the competition for the Chair won't be around. "This is...for sure, Zachery?"
"For sure, Ed. Um. It's been an honor. Thank you. I'll be out of your hair tomorrow, eh?"
"I'm going to miss you. I mean that, huh. I really do. You were good, a good man." Ed said sincerely. Mercer turned and walked away in awe.
The door opened. Zak Halsey went in his quarters he shared with Alara for the last time.
Hours later, he left the ship.
Alara moved back into her old quarters. She was Lt. Kitan.
~The following scene was translated...
"Rag?" Inside the Calivon's living area (larger than normal quarters), father Edwin called to his son while mother made 'lamster' sandwiches in the kitchen area. "What do you have there, boy?"
The child celebrated his 73rd birthday. His joy came not in the reception of presents or a party on the special day. No. It came in the form of a Program his parents let him hack from the Supreme Science Council's records back on Calivon. "You said I could download 'Mega-Matrix,' the secret government's Super Spy program that watches everything and everybody, father."
"I did? I wanted to give you a gift for using less swear words. But I didn't know you were hacking the government. Son. Really? Can't we get in trouble for that? We were already in trouble."
Ragweed told his father who was nearly a millennium in age: "Not if we don't get caught, sir."
Edwin expressed, "What do you mean, we?"
"I won't get caught."
"You know, Rag? I believe you."
The boy suddenly got excited and more red. "Wait till you see what I do with Mega-Matrix, father!"
On the other side of Quanta, under a hot sun that scorched the sands, Pria Lavesque stood tall and strong and dirty in front of her surface machine. The silver Beam Ship transformed into an oily, high-powered Roadster. She waited for the real Rolvar, the real 'Mad Max' to her point of view.
He answered her call and was coming to save her. And when the Last Superman comes to save her, she will surely kill him: her assignment, Last Will and Testimony from a deadly Spider now dead.
[Right after Rolvar broke free from the Faraday Sphere on Ralia, he flew into space as the single Guardian to the galaxy. The powerful (mentally and physically enhanced) Superman spent virtually no time in the Union's galaxy as the 'Great Watcher in the Skies.' He was magnetically drawn to the Center of Evil: a concentration of dark matter that was so devious it disguised itself other than Dark Matter. Rolvar flew to the un-named, 8-mile in diameter planetoid (Quanta) and was involuntarily sucked into the conduit remnant and remained in another world. There was so much Darkness, Evil and wars and violence and troubles of all kinds in the alternate universe, on the other side. Superman kept extremely busy. Rolvar, all this time, wasn't a Watcher - he was a doer, he was Justice; he was Nemesis, righteousness and "cleaned house" in the alternate world].
Unknown to Pria Lavesque, the Doorway she opened surprised her very much. Hell did not empty into this world. It was a nicer world on the other side and in this one.
Rolvar played his part well. After a Supreme Ordeal as Policeman, he was done. He rested on the hot sands of Quanta under blues skies and a bright sun. One last soul to save: Pria's.
He allowed her Roadster to run him over and seemingly kill him in the alternate universe. Something completely different happened in the other world...
"I don't understand, Rag. What did you do?"
The small boy stated clearly, "Found the true nature of the universe, father. I had help. Thanks to the MM Program, I mean. But it was what I did with it. Ha, ha. Ah!" The boy was overjoyed and not bored anymore. He couldn't wait to tell Topa (who wouldn't understand).
Edwin asked and believed every word from his son, "Rag. What did you do?"
"Made a big DISCOVERY..."
"We're not real." Ragweed confessed, "I discovered there was only ONE real universe. It was one of the ones with a Federation instead of a Union. Our whole universe is merely a VR program in a particular starship Enterprise's 'holo-deck,' it was called. I gave a telepathic suggestion to the ship's pretty First Officer and she made a few changes to the parameters of our Program. Ha. Sweet. Do you understand what that means, father?"
Edwin yelled to his wife, Hazelthorpe: "Hazelthorpe?"
"Yes, dear?" she asked loudly from a backroom.
"Did you know our child was a super-genius?"
"Takes after my side of the family," she shouted.
Edwin bent down closer to Ragweed. "Son. You mean? You mean? You can make the First Officer program anything you want? And as a result...our world changes?"
"Uh huh," the boy smiled in total bliss.
"What did you do, son?"
Ragweed smiled even wider as he was about to burst with pride~
"We are the Borg!" the haunting, electronic, deep voice was again heard over the coms.
Almost everyone on the Orville's bridge and anyone else onboard aware of the threat off the starboard bow...
FREAKED OUT and screamed at the appearance of a massive, green-lit SPHERE more than 20 times the size of Orville! The vessel materialized out of hyperspace and parked itself just outside the ship's windows. The three on the bridge who understood what the Borg were, freaked out the most. The crew realized this was an ultimate power in the galaxy that no Union ship could stand against. Force-fields would collapse in a minute.
"We are the Borg!" the voice repeated. "Prepare for our arrival."
Malloy shook in fear and froze. LaMarr also, and the others.
Kelly changed, came out of her fear and calmed herself. She suddenly had a good feeling.
Isaac reported, "Captain. If we fire, it will not harm them in the least..."
Ed said: "And probably piss them off. Wait, prepare for our arrival? They don't say that." He stared at Gordon and Kelly, strangely.
TWO BORG DRONES MATERIALIZED ON ORVILLE'S BRIDGE!
No one moved for a second.
Then the bridge crew collectively gasped.
The tall figures, part-machine, with some moving mechanical parts and a lot of tubes, carried cubical cases in their hands. They dropped them.
Alara thought to go for her gun, but didn't. She had a good feeling as well.
"Hi. We are the Borg. We know this is unexpected, dropping in like this, unannounced. Barging right in. But we know you'll forgive us when you see what we have for you." The Borg opened his case.
Ed was blown away. These were not his great, great, great grandparents' Borg.
The other Borg said, "Lovely technology, improvements on just about every phase of agriculture, science, more power generation, purification methods, and also panaceas for every known disease. No more common colds, Captain. Oh. No weapon-tech, sorry."
Captain Mercer was amazed and also the others around him. He asked, "And you are giving these gifts to us?"
One of them answered with a big smile, "Ha. No strings, Captain! We're very giving people. We only want to help and share knowledge we've assimilated..."
Gordon Malloy interjected: "Assimilated?"
The Borg replied, "Yeah, assimilated. It's what we do. We're all in this world together, you know? We only want to give away what we've collected. We are the Borg."
Kelly expressed one word: "Unbelievable." She had a great feeling.
"We should go now, 79-40.3"
"You're right. A lot of stops to make. We have to do our part. Bye, Captain."
The two Borg drones disappeared~
"Bye. And thank you very much," Ed said with feelings.
Gordon was able to breathe. "Wow." He looked into the cases and was astounded.
John LaMarr realized, "What about the Borg? You had us all nervous and frightened like it was the END? We're doomed! Hey! They were nice guys. Love the Borg."
"Check this stuff out," Malloy stated as he saw the technical wonders in the cases.
They huddled around the containers. "Wow."
Everything was back to the way it was, almost.
The universe had one or two more alien species, but they were cool. All the problems in the Mega-Matrix were not resolved, far from it. [There wasn't time to program a perfect world]. Edwin thought it best if he locked the Program-that-alters-reality away from the boy. It was sealed, tight. The universe continued as it was with no more TWEAKS.
A dead cinder of dark matter 'quanta' and conduit to an alternate universe exploded in a glorious, wonderful BANG! It needed to be destroyed from the very beginning. It wasn't a Plug, it was the corridor itself. Now it was gone.
Commander Grayson returned to her old chair, right next to her old ex-husband.
Hails and communiques were routed through helm, like it was before.
Zak was gone.
The big news was no news because 5 million Xelayans inhabited the Pressure Planet without fear of any reprisals from the Union. They lived! Alara's people had come back into existence on Xelaya with a new timeline...
There was an important casualty that had been completely forgotten. Rolvar was dead and would not return. The Guardian was no more. Sadly, his life was only a small footnote.
There was another casualty or quasi-casualty: Head of Security, Lieutenant Alara Kitan. She no longer resembled a human being. She no longer had the fantastic beauty of an Earth woman. Her incredible strength returned. Alara was 100% Xelayan with only a small amount of mind-wipe. The crew and her closest friends also had a bit of brain-data deleted. Everyone who saw Kitan's beauty or transformation into a human was made to forget what they saw. Her human past and experiences as a Xelayan that looked like an Earth girl were lost forever~
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