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Maestro's Workshop

Starfleet Holodeck runs Da Vinci program; Janeway's favorite. She takes a quick look at the cluttered workshop encased by baroque arcs. Her attention gets briefly distracted by bright sparks piercing through a dorme of colorful hexagon crystals. The prism causes light to deviate towards a Moai-like bust with headgear. She resumes painting her dream. The canvas reveals an Ocampa girl jogging across a greenly cornfield. The Florentine genius oversees his apprentice's work.

Janeway: Maestro; I haven't taken a class with you in a while. Yet; here I'm, painting a dream which doesn't let me sleep well. Can you help me to explore it?

Da Vinci: Caterina; your eyes are windows to your soul. Painting is a commendable tool to open up dreams. What do you see in it? She has curious ears.

Janeway: Her name is Kes. She's from Ocampa; an orb with no rain. People there only live to be nine years old.

Da Vinci: Only nine? I see tears in your eyes. You love her like a daughter. Don't you?

Janeway: Yes! I'd say so. We rescued her from captivity. She later changed into energy and radiantly pushed our vessel forward.

Da Vinci: Ha! The Unreachable Light! Don't be sad; you now see her in your dream, living in her orb where rain falls and crops grow.

Janeway is disconcerted by dreaming realities.

Janeway: How's that possible? The atmosphere lacked nucleogenic particles to yield any rain. They lived underground and had energy stored for only five more years.

Da Vinci: Destination; Caterina! Destination drives us.

Janeway reflects on Da Vinci's words.

Janeway: They worked on goals... to make the surface habitable.

Da Vinci: Bravo! Palladium, for instance, can soak up hydrogen to produce cold fusion.

His example leaves Janeway perplexed.

Janeway: How do you know that? You're just a painter from the Renaissance.

Da Vinci: And an inventor... What about these reddish clouds?

They go back to painting.

Janeway: Kes came back to us one last time.

Da Vinci: Good! You saw her again. Had she aged?

Janeway looks back on heartbreaking memories.

Janeway: Kes was unsettled and forgetful. She became violent. We helped her to remember and she left back to Ocampa. She tells me in my dream... her mother wished her to see the Sun.

Janeway faces her canvas. Was Kes driven by destination?

Da Vinci: Hum! I get your angst. You want to rejoice with understanding. I once saw a fired cloud to descent, absorbing and compressing lights and winds. I thought it was our Sun over Florence, but no, I had seen a pathway across heavens. I had seen hope.

Janeway: In my dreams, my crew and I awake a group of people abducted from Earth in 1937... and taken to a distant planet.

Da Vinci: 1937? Perhaps; you may want to visit again what you dream so vividly.

Janeway: You may be right. I should go on a trip to planet Risa or something.

Da Vinci: There you go; Caterina. To travel may carry happiness.

Computer: Vice-Admiral Janeway...

Janeway: What is it?

Computer annoys Janeway a little.

Computer: Reminder! Doctor's appointment, 1030 Hours...

Janeway: Oh shh! Maestro, I'd love to stay longer, but I got to go to see a Doctor.

Da Vinci: A Medicine-Man... feeling unwell?

Janeway: Hot flashes... I just can't get a good night sleep.

Da Vinci: Do you want me to get my botanist? His herbs infusion are envigorating.

Janeway: I appreciate your advice; but no thanks. I'm not into Homeopathy.

Da Vinci: Salve! Khaire!

Janeway: I must. I'm meeting with friends today to talk about an important project of mine. Thanks for everything.

Da Vinci: You're welcome! Don't forget; a well spent tutorial flying about with old friends shall bring you a sweet sleep. Orbs roll in time like a game of dice.

Janeway: Tutorial? Be good Maestro!

The program ends. Janeway leaves the Holodeck somewhat puzzled.

Seven's Children

Seven of Nine and Aimé play an intense game of Velocity. He's a vigorous half-breed athlete of Human, Daliwakan and Klingon ancestry. His unreal physicality challenges her with explosive flips, twists and tumbling moves. He then passes behind her and slaps her buttocks. "If you spank my caboose again, I will turn you off" She comes down on him. "Eteinds moi? Je ne pense pas!" He misunderstands.

Seven: Computer! Freeze him...

Computer: Pausing Aimé...

Her holographic opponent is put on hold.

Seven: I need to introduce behavioral mods.

Computer: Too aggressive? Klingon psychological trends are recessive in nature.

Seven: Let his Klingon side be. Battle is never over. I like that.

Computer: Too overconfident?

Seven: No! Keep his hotshotness levels high; just reduce impudent behaviour.

Computer: Tempering Aimé...

The game resumes. Aimé shoots at Seven, but she skillfully avoids the glowing metallic disk and hits it back to him. He performs a dazzling move and returns it. She fails at darting it or so he thinks.

Aimé: You lose. I can finally make love to you.

Seven: Not so fast Aimé. Walls also play.

The glowing disk bounces off a wall and hits his head hard.

Computer: Full impact on Aimé; Seven wins.

Aimé drops his phaser gun and fakes a concussion. She gets close to examine him. He pulls her towards him and surprises her with a kiss.

Aimé: I won your kiss; let's do it mademoiselle.

Seven: Stolen kisses don't count.

They take a break lying near each other.

Aimé: I know you like me.

Seven: I'm fond of your friendship.

Aimé: Your husband?

Seven: He doesn't know where I am.

Aimé: Your children!

Seven: They are not mine.

Aimé: Then; it's because I'm French.

Seven: We can't be together; Aimé. You're a holographic gigolo.

Aimé: Ne t'inquiete pas! I won't charge you ; but don't tell anyone.

Seven: Computer! Turn-off Temptation M5.

Computer: Save or Delete?

Seven: Delete!

Computer: Would you like to play Temptation F5?

Seven: No! I have no energy for her now.

Velocity Court's Program fades away; revealing a Hologrid. Seven rests on her back for a little while, somewhat troubled. She then gets up and leaves. Someone, toddler in spirit, playfully follows her across the halls, around corners and through the walls of a spaceship with Starfleet and Borg traits. Seven of Nine goes in the Astrometrics Lab, stopping before a large 3D interactive console panel. She haughtily addresses her follower.

Seven: Thamas; I don't need your utility support at this moment. Be good and go back to your quarters. I'll be there shortly.

Thamas zooms himself out as a fluorescent tiny orb. Seven gets back to work. Main console reads: Technology Convergence Program Executed.

Seven: Computer! TCP Execution Summary.

Computer: Overhaul completed. Upgrades installed. All probes operational. You must restart main systems to reach MAS. Do you wish to reboot now?

Seven listens; while studying a large sensor screen plotting an interstellar trajectory.

Seven: Computer! Reset Systems. Update on anomaly.

Computer: Executing! Irregularity roving across Gamma Quadrant.

Seven: Subspace power utilization?

Computer: Symmetrical! It's a Borg Cube. Dominion forces on full alert.

Seven: Any sign of hostility?

Computer: Negative! Speed level non-antagonistic.

Seven heads away. Door opens. She comes in. Thamas and Bhytor manage a variety of holographic tasks and games.

Seven: Bhytor! Thamas! Shall I assume you got breakfast and at present you're working on your assignments?

Bhytor: Mother! Thamas didn't finish his meal. He graduated from Nursing School and went loose like a pin-ball.

Seven: Yes; I saw him and I imagine your effort to halt him was not fruitful.

Thamas: Thamas nurse! Puff! Now hungry! Bubble light. Gimme! Gimme!

Seven: Yes Thamas; sounds like a fairly accurate summary.

Seven hands out Thamas a bubble light. Bhytor checks digital blueprints.

Bhytor: Propulsion! This ship can never become Transwarp capable. Does it?

Bhytor winks at a giggling Thamas.

Seven: This vessel functions with a warp-drive. You can't make it transwarp. We tried it before with no success. Risk of core breach is too high.

Bhytor: Did you ever consider developing a QS application?

Seven: We did. It turned out being... too unstable.

Bhytor: But mother; QS is duck soup.We just route energy to vessels's bow deflectors to generate a crossable quantum field.

Seven goes along with Bhytor's overconfidence. He's heading for a fall.

Seven: Quantum Slipstream requires constant adjustment of phase variances. One mistake; the slipstream may collapse with catastrophic consequences.

Bhytor: Okay; if you say so. I think you're just being fatalistic.

Seven: We tried it; Bhytor. My interplexing beacon picked up a set of phase modifications from an unknown source. The slipstream collapsed. We aborted the project.

Bhytor: Captivating! I didn't know that part. Do you realize you may have received a set of corrections from someone in the future to prevent a disaster?

Seven: Duck soup...

Bhytor nods a grin.

Thamas: Bhytor; remember example...

Bhytor: Oh yeah! Let's say... we are transwarping way into a distant future and our past is destroyed, we couldn't possibly go back to it; right?

Bhytor smirks again at Thamas.

Thamas: Paradox! Paradox! Stay futuristic.

Seven: Correct; Thamas! It'd be like looking up at the skies and watch a dead star's reflection. We can only see its future; its past is a black hole. Did you finish your tasks?

Seven asks assertively.

Bhytor: Affirmative! I ran scenarios for Mission Adeptness Status - MAS.

Seven: Did you get at least one operationally sound?

Bhytor: Computer advises a crew with Delta Quadrant's experience. What shall we do?

Seven already knows what to do.

Seven: We need an enticing message and Thamas must finish his meal.

Thamas jumps on Seven's arms. She gives him another bubble. Bhytor grabs her hand.

Bhytor: Shall we worry about crew's conflicting egos?

Seven: Don't be concerned; strong leadership shall take care of it.

Bhytor: Mother; would they agree to come onboard?

Seven: They'll be soon in their way.

They leave together. Thamas rotates and swallows his bubble light.

Thamas: Yummy update!

Doctor Joe

Janeway arrives at the Family Med Centre for her Doctor's appointment. Nurse Lexi welcomes her in.

Lexi: Vice-Admiral Janeway! How are you today? Dr. Joe will be with you in a minute.

Janeway: Dr... Joe? Who's he? What about... Lewis?

Lexi: Oh! Don't you know? Dr. Kandinsky had to go away on a medical emergency. Don't worry, Dr. Joe... He is good. They are like... best buddies.

A patient storms out of the Exam Room.

Lexi: How did it go Mr. Polo?

Mr. Polo: Obnoxious prick...

Mr. Polo leaves distraught without exchanging any other word. Janeway addresses Lexi in soft voice.

Janeway: Are you sure this is a good idea?

Communicator: Lexi! Are you there?

Lexi: Yes... I'm here.

Communicator: Next one! Please... I don't have all day.

Janeway gives Lexi a doubtful look as she steps in the Exam Room. Except for an incipient beard and a Dali moustache, Dr. Joe could be Voyager Doctor's twin brother. He reviews her chart.

Dr. Joe: A Vice-Admiral from another timeline... So absurd! What brings you in today?

Janeway: Well; I'm not feeling... I think I'm dreaming somebody else's memories. Does that make any sense to you?

Dr. Joe: Absolutely! You are suffering hallucinations.

Janeway: That's not it; you don't understand.

Dr. Joe: It says here... you were lost in space for 23 years and that upon arrival you were given Desegranine to reverse memory loss.

Janeway: We were not lost... I don't see the relevance.

Dr. Joe: Desegranine may cause adverse reactions long after the drug's effects have worn off. Let me test you for HPPD.

Janeway: I don't get it! How is that even possible? It was supposed to be safe.

Dr. Joe: Learn this! Cardassian drugs are not safe. Desegranine molecules may have fused in your fatty cells and are now being released.

Janeway: I'm so frustrated. If you could only...

Dr. Joe: Don't try to talk me in giving you a prescription. I'm not that kind of doctor.

Janeway: Dr. Joe! I'm not... I can't sleep well at all.

Dr. Joe: Oh good! Negative for HPPD; you're not having hallucinations after all.

Janeway: Of course not! We are talking about dreams here.

Dr. Joe: All right! Let me see something. Eureka! As I expected, your Norepinephrine levels are somewhat high for a woman of your age.

Janeway: Norepinephrine?

Dr. Joe: A catecholamine... a powerful hormonal neurotransmitter!

Janeway: Is that a problem?

Dr. Joe: Not necessarily! It has activated countless noradrenergic receptors. Essentially; your brain-cells are in fight-or-flight mode. You are ready for battle.

Janeway: Great! Just what I need it to get a sweet night sleep.

Dr. Joe: High levels of Norepinephrine enhances memory retrieval.

Janeway: Dr. Joe... I've been telling you all along I'm dreaming memories.

Dr. Joe: From somebody else; you said.

Janeway: Or from a different version of my younger self; I'm not sure.

Dr. Joe: Got you! You feel like dreaming memories from another you.

Janeway: Exactly...

Dr. Joe: You should have started there. Take this...

Janeway: What's that?

Dr. Joe: An Alpha-2 agonist sedative...

Janeway: Dr. Joe... I don't want to slug the rest of the day. I have plans.

Dr. Joe: No worries! It's very light.

Janeway: And for my sleeping problem... what should I do?

Dr. Joe: Go to China Town and get Valerian herbs enriched with Melatonin. That should do the trick.

Janeway: I can't believe this.

Dr. Joe: Have a wonderful day!

The Message

Captain Kira Nerys plonks herself on a signature leather sofa, glancing at the replica of the Xindi-Avian skull kept in a crystal box. "Freaking bird-people!", she blurts out. Starfleet officers censure her coarse remark with gawks of contempt. "What? Any problem with my choice of words on extinct aliens?", she replies to their looks. They back off... out of her sight.

Kira is competent. Her work is highly regarded. She knows it; but she feels Starfleet holds back her career. Why can't she take on greater responsibilities? DS9 is a good example. She was the right fit to run it; but no, they gave it to a Human Commander from another timeline. She became so obsessed after hearing the news, her boss ordered her to take an annual leave. She went to Earth.

She likes her boss; Admiral Benjamin Sisko. He's a good man. She had the chance to meet his siblings in New Orleans. Their family restaurant though "Sisko's Creole Kitchen" wasn't that great. She helps Sisko to run Section 31; Starfleet black-ops agency. She ignores Computer; and Sisko comes out to get her. Kira is taken aback.

Sisko: Kira! Come in! Sorry for making you wait; but Starfleet Command drives me nuts with unscheduled meetings about Delta Quadrant's unfolding events.

Captain Nerys goes in Admiral Sisko's Office.

Nerys: Admiral; we've gathered more Intel. MIDAS Array confirms war broke between 8472s and Borg. Fluidians stroke first and Borg are in desperate retreat.

Sisko: What about the subspace anomaly? Where it is now?

Nerys: Crossing the Gamma Quadrant towards our Wormhole. There are discrepancies in readings, but we suspect it could be Borg in origin.

Sisko: Based on?

Nerys: At times; it displaces through collapsing Borg conduits.

Sisko: Interesting! But I don't like it. Borg don't despair or retreat. We helped them once and they may want us to do it again.

Nerys: Admiral, Sir, if we ever helped them... wasn't in our time-line.

Sisko: Kira; we can't ID what reality Borg and Fluidians think they are in.

Nerys: You're probably right; but if it comes down to that... shall we help them?

Sisko: Absolutely not! We won't fight a war against Fluidians. What we could possibly accomplish? Saving endangered Borg? Order DS9 to be on Red Alert!

Nerys: Admiral; we lost all communication with DS9 about an hour ago.

Sisko: Well; that's not a friendly sign? Is it?

Nerys: Sir; and something else came up. It might me related.

Sisko: Let me guess... Project Butterfly!

Nerys: Yes; in fact so, Computer sent us a message.

Sisko: Saying?

Nerys: Unable to reset systems without host signatures.

Sisko: Bring me the crew. We all shall assemble at "The Ranch" in two hours.

Nerys: Shall we notify Starfleet Command?

Sisko: No; no yet. This is a Section 31 Operation. We've clearance. We must deploy dissuasive force in DS9 promptly. We require Voyager.

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