Time of the Enterprises

Stabbed in the back

...December 24th...Sector 8...

..2267...Planet Colo...3:48 PM...

"Why is there not a sign of tech puppies?" Picard asked. "We should have been killed by now."

Casey laughed.

"That is because we had a little experimentation here with them," Casey said. "They despise this section. Even the path. Quarty once told me he thought it was embedded in their memory, genetically, to never step foot here and hate the colony of Colo."

"Are you telling me that the planet started it all?" Picard asked.

"No, it was a cargo ship," Casey said. "We caught them in the first attack. A dozen of them."

"And you didn't know they were connected," Picard said.

"Precisely," Casey said, with a nod.

"And you were part of the group who experimented on them!" Picard said.

"I can't say," Casey said, flatly.

"Yes, you can say!" Picard said. "I am your Commanding Officer and I ate classified for breakfast!"

Casey gulped coming to the entrance.

"I was," Casey said.

"How did it feel to play god?" Picard asked.

Casey turned around toward Picard.

"Permission to speak freely, sir?" Casey said.

"Permission granted," Picard said.

Casey sighed.

"I felt...Powerful, invincible, indestructible," Casey said. "We played with nature and..."

"For that you have given them a motive to continue their fight," Picard said.

"Accurate," Casey said, then put her hand on the panel. The door opened and she stepped aside. "You first, sir."

Picard entered the building first.

The building was painted white and seemed new as it had been recently opened. He saw a empty desk with cobwebs, insects all over the floor except for there being a straight clear path to the elevators. There were four elevators in the hall. There were rows of chairs alongside the threshold to the hall. The floor has tiles covered in unique flower designs reminding Picard of a rose garden. He came down the hall followed by Casey. They came to the elevator to their left.

Casey pressed the middle button.

"You don't very much care about this building," Picard said.

"No," Casey said. "I do...I just clean up what I can."

The doors to the elevator opened.

"What floor are we going to?" Picard asked, heading into the elevator.

"The basement, sir," Casey said. She came into the elevator. The doors closed behind her. "It has taken me three months to do this."

"To do what?" Picard asked.

Casey is facing the wall.

"The doors don't open that way," Casey said.

Picard turned toward the wall, puzzled.

"Do you mean to tell me this building was so important that whenever someone came in without clearance and was facing the wall when it came down; they would be cuffed on the spot?"

"Yes sir," Casey said. "And then we sent them home after wiping their memories."

"We gave up that practice centuries ago," Picard said. "Wiping people's memories because they had to know."

"Know what?" Casey asked. "That technology is advancing?"

Picard turned his head toward Casey with a frown and a serious look.

"What we were getting into," Picard said. "They had to know what our future would be. How we would fight against threats. It was harmful to the brains of many people. The last one to ever have their memory wiped was General Lawrus. We changed after then."

"Let me guess; he spear headed the entire thing and wanted it covered," Casey said.

"Yes," Picard said. "It was an X-File agent who made the point. It was after...The Vulcans came. The first contact."

"I don't know about the X-Files," Casey said.

Picard had a glint in his right eye.

"You should," Picard said.

The elevator beeped, so Picard and Casey turned their attention toward the doors. The doors opened shortly there after for the two. Casey went out first into the hall. Picard followed after Casey into the hall. The elevator doors closed behind Picard with a quick gentle and low click. Picard had a funny feeling about where he is going.

"How long have you been using this place?" Picard asked.

"Three months," Casey said.

"Three months?" Picard said.

"It was in bad shape when I came," Casey said. "I made it tidy."

They came into a room.

The door closed behind Picard. A creepy feeling traveled up his skin. The hair on the back of his neck went up. He saw there a table propped alongside a empty tube. On the table is a white sheet. The room is wide and pretty big. There seemed to be equipment on some of the counters and various tools. The white blanket outlined a body. The blanket wasn't moving. Not a life stirred under the white blanket.

Picard froze at first then he looked up at Casey.

"You didn't just do that," Picard said.

"You haven't seen what is under it," Casey said.

"You replicated Quarty!" Picard said, pointing at the table.

"How can you know what is under the blanket?" Casey asked.

"You went over my head and brought a lifeless copy of Quarty into existence," Picard said, lowering his hand. "As to your question; I just know. You have dissapointed me, very deeply. And I thought you were better than that!"

"I can bring him back," Casey said.

"Quarty died saving my life three months ago!" Picard said. "I had to accept that Quarty died. I have had dreams of coming into this room, lifting up the blanket, and seeing a unresponsive body! You have no idea how to give him life. You have played around being god for too long that you believe YOU can do anything!"

"Not true," Casey said. "I needed a manual for it. I saw how sad you were to see your friend in pieces so I got an idea. I wanted you to be aware before I-"

"Brought a different man to life?" Picard suggested.

"No," Casey said.

"For all I know giving this body life will not bring Quarty back to life!" Picard said.

"You are worried," Casey said. "I understand."

"You have betrayed my trust, Casey," Picard said. "And you don't understand how I possibly feel right now."

Picard left the room.

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