There are choices to make
..July 1st, 2367 ...3:47 PM...
John-Luc found himself in the ready room at the desk. This time the ready room is different; not gray, dull, and depressing. In fact it had a fish tank, a light pink/purple wall painting, a couch right across,and the window that he sometimes stared at in his timeline still there. He felt at home and comfortable. No wonder Quarty was so fond of the Enterprise. John-Luc took out a mirror to see his looks.
"Look the same," John-Luc said. "Except for the eyebrows and ears."
John-Luc felt happy as he felt his elf-less ears.
"Computer," John-Luc said. "What is Professor Quarty's status?"
"Deceased," The computer said.
John-Luc turned toward the computer and put up the file for Professor Quarty. He pulled up the death certificate. Quarty surely wouldn't die in the way it said. Quarty, at the time, died of old age. But his last words were, 'My name is not Photonic Riker Quarty,' to the one and only Jean-Luc Picard with witnesses. John-Luc felt sad turning off the screen.
"Riker to Picard," Came a young man's voice.
"Picard here," John-Luc said.
"You might want to see this," Riker said. "Riker out."
John-Luc got up from the desk then walked around it. He shared a scan of the room taking in what could have been HIS ready room. In fact it belongs to his counterpart who was not a half breed at all. John-Luc envied Jean-Luc for being human. But then again Jean-Luc wasn't the one who had a child and built a level of close trust with the entity.
John-Luc went out of the ready room to the contrastingly bright bridge.
There he saw Worf, at least the good version, looking down toward a panel not the least surprised. He saw Deanna Troi sitting in a chair right beside the captain's chair with one hand under her chin. John-Luc had only met Deanna on screen as a ambassador to Betazed regarding a temporary shore leave in exchange for leaving all their phasers and violent thoughts behind. Data was sitting at the helm being an android with golden skin. John-Luc hadn't realized how much he missed his Number One until he saw Data again.
John-Luc turned his attention to the screen where he saw a planet coated in fire.
"What is that planet?" John-Luc said.
"Ocasar," Riker said. "The planet's sun went into super nova one hundred some years ago. "
"This planet should be dead," John-Luc said.
"Yeah, about that," Riker said, turning his attention to Worf. "Worf."
"There are life form patterns hovering above the planet surface," Worf said.
"Captain," Came Data. "We are getting a transmission from the planet."
"That is not possible," John-Luc said. "Mr Worf, on screen."
"Yes sir," Worf said.
John-Luc felt glad that he was working with the Klingon rather than against him. The screen changed, but, at first it sizzled making a distinctive unusual rattling sound that sounded like it were ripped out of a B-movie. The screen began to get cleared before the crews eyes until a distinctive and recognizable face appeared. John-Luc's heart could have leaped out of his throat.
"Q," John-Luc said.
"Oh,hello!" Quarty said. "And please, call me Quarty. I am not a Q. I don't find myself worth that name. Anyway, I must regretfully ask that you beam up 14 civilians. One hundred years in the past no surprise there."
"Regretfully?" John-Luc asked.
"Can't send the entire dying civilization, now can I, Picard?" Quarty said.
"Good point, Professor Quarty," John-Luc said. "We will beam them up."
Quarty appeared to be surprised.
"Why are you so agreeable today?" Quarty asked.
"Because it is July 1st," John-Luc said. "In 2367."
"...And might I ask what time it is?" Quarty asked.
"3:49," John-Luc said. "And by the way, take care of yourself. Will you? Picard out."
The screen turned off displaying the planet breaking apart.
"Captain, I never seen you so friendly with Q before," Riker said.
"Beaming is in progress," Worf reported.
John-Luc had a smile on his face and then it faded.
"We might as well never see him again, Number One," John-Luc said. "We may see plenty of Trelane though." John-Luc walked away from the center of the bridge headed toward the turbo lift. "Number One, you have the bridge."
Deanna followed John-Luc into the Turbo-lift.
The doors closed.
"Captain," Deanna said. "Don't get me wrong...But you seem different."
"Counselor," John-Luc said. "If you sense my affection toward Professor Quarty then let this be private between the two of us. You are right. So right. I have feelings for Q. It has been a year since I last saw Q. I miss him."
"Oh, I see," Deanna said.
"Transport room," John-Luc said.
"But why do I have a feeling you are lying?" Deanna asked.
"Hearing that your Captain has feelings for a entity is quite a shocker," John-Luc said. "But the thing that isn't a lie is my feelings for Q. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Captain," Deanna said.
The turbo lift came to a stop.
"Good," John-Luc said. John-Luc started to go out but he stopped mid-way. "Cosunelor..."
"Yes?" Deanna said.
John-Luc looked over toward Deanna.
"I really hope you have a good day today," John-Luc said.
John-Luc went through the doorway into the corridor leaving Deanna behind. Five minutes afterwards John-Luc enters the Transporter room where the last of the surviving alien human resembling beings were beamed. Fourteen people in all. Five kids, two teenagers, and seven adults. One of the adults is visibly pregnant.
"Mr Miles," John-Luc said. "Do you still have a trace on where they were beamed from?"
"Ay Captain," Miles said.
John-Luc had a look at the colorful Transporter room that seemed more friendly. The corridors were more sphere like and just a little more 'elegant' as his Data would say if he was there to see it for himself. The uniforms in this timeline were vastly different. Miles had on a black and yellow uniform like Data did. Deanna had a black and teal uniform on. Riker had on a uniform that matched his; black and red with three pens on the collar.
John-Luc got onto the Transporter.
"Energize," John-Luc said.
Miles looked up, bewildered, at the coordinates the captain had requested to be beamed down toward.
"Why?" Miles asked. "That planet cannot support life."
"You beamed these people up, Mr Miles," John-Luc said. "So it can."
Miles slid up the bar energizing John-Luc. Before Miles eyes, he saw the Captain's appearance change remarkably. His dark eyebrows were swept upwards, his uniform changed to the one worn in 2260's, and his ears became pointy. Miles stared at the strange sight until it was no longer materialized. Miles rubbed his eyes.
Our scene transferred back to the Bridge then into the Captain's ready room.
Picard appeared drinking a cup of Earl Gray tea reading a book as though nothing had happened.
"Come in," Picard said.
Riker came in.
"Captain," Riker said. "I don't know how you did you it but you just were in the Transporter room."
"In the transporter room," Picard repeated, putting down the cup of earl gray tea on the table.
"Yes," Riker said.
Picard looked up toward Riker lowering the book raising his brows.
"You see I am here," Picard said. "There is not two of me running around."
Riker had a slow laugh.
"I am starting to think that," Riker said. "Of all times we came across two of you."
"The first time was a time loop," Picard said.
"Captain,you had 14 people be beamed aboard this ship...Well..At the request of Q," Riker said.
"Professor Quarty died last year," Picard said.
"Q claimed it's some sort of time phone call from the past," Riker said. "And you granted his request."
"The last time we spoke was last year," Picard said, putting the book on the table. He stood up. "I would like to meet these people."