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Star Trek: Transfigurations

Jennifer L. Schillig — 14 Jan 2000

Music by John Williams or James Horner
With Jeremy Irons as Admiral Victor Grant
And Sir Sean Connery as Starfleet Commander John Campbell

Note: This assumes that the series will end with Voyager coming home, and the movie will pick up exactly where the series left off.

We begin on the bridge of the Enterprise-E, an ordinary day...until a distress call comes in. "Sir," Data announces, "I have identified the source of the is..." He breaks off in utter shock.

"...Is what?"

"The Voyager, sir."

Jean-Luc stands, shocked, as Kathryn's voice comes over the com..."Voyager calling Enterprise-E...are you there, Enterprise?"

"Beam us over," he says authoritatively, and leads an away team to the transporter room.

On the Voyager, he joyously greets his old friend Kathryn, with whom he has carried out a playful mock-flirtation that has lasted since Academy days. Of course, he even manages to slip in a Shakespeare quote: "An angel is like you, Kate, and you are like an angel." (Henry V.) Beverly seems a little miffed at this, but when Jean-Luc assures her that it is only playful and has been going on for that relief on the good doctor's face, and Chakotay's too?

Kate tells them, however, that there is one among their crew they have yet to meet, and leads them to engineering. Abrupt cut to Seven's face as she turns to meet them. The first word out of her mouth is: "Locutus!"

"...Seven of Nine, Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix Zero-One," Jean-Luc replies, in his Patrick Stewart Is Not Happy Voice (tm).

Her eyes travel toward Data. "A perfect being...who longs for imperfection."

"Then the Queen's memories are intact in you, I see," Data says with an uneasy smile.

The two ships head toward the nearest starbase. Inquiries will be pending on the activities of Voyager's captain and crew. With this in mind, Kate speaks to her old friend alone.

"Jean-Luc, whatever happens, we must not yet let anyone know that Annika Hansen is a former Borg. Bad enough we have so many Maquis on board...if word of Seven of Nine got out, there would be panic, and God knows what else. I have deleted all portions of my log that refer to her as a former Borg. The story we will give out is that Annika is a refugee from a world the Borg destroyed, and has been living as a savage since childhood. She has come quite some way already, but being among the human culture may well frighten her into taking several steps backwards. Remember, she will be thrown into a culture that will automatically distrust her if they know the truth."

Jean-Luc ponders this. "I wouldn't want to see you get in any trouble, shouldn't get jailed on sedition charges since you've come so far. But..." His lips tighten.

"You don't trust Seven."

"Kate, I know you always were willing to give benefit of the doubt. I suppose I have put my experience with the Borg behind me...but I still believe that they are not to be trusted. Just because I no longer want out-and-out revenge on them does not mean that I want to see my old friend put in any danger by one...or duped."

"That Hugh you once spoke of..."

"Turned away from the collective as soon as he was separated from it. You yourself admit that Seven has fought her re-integration nearly every step of the way. And as you said, once she is in our culture again, she may regret some of the decisions she's made. But...if one of my own crewmembers were to take her into 'protective custody'...tutor her further in the ways and subtleties of humanity..."

"...And you think I would be the one for the job, sir?" Data later asks.

"Data, Seven of...Annika Hansen has come quite a long way already. But perhaps if she can see humanity from the point of view of another cybernetic being, who has already come so far along that road himself..."

"I would be honored, sir," Data assents with a smile.

Beverly examines Annika and declares that with advances in technology since Voyager disappeared, they will be able to remove Annika's outer (but not her inner) implants to give her a more human appearance. Annika makes it clear that she will do so only because she does care for Captain Janeway and does not want to see her jailed, "not when she did mean well."

The removal done, she walks with Data on the observation deck.

"So you do have the Queen's memories of me?" he asks.

"Yes...I understand that you are an android who has wished to become more human."


"You assimilate?"

Data is somewhere between shocked and admiring at this. "You...might want to put it that way. In the flesh-and-blood sense, I will never be human. But I have done my best to be the best of both worlds. The emotion chip, for example. And since my last little...meeting with your Queen, I have instituted an upgrade on my epidermal neurosensors. As long as they are active--and I can deactivate them at will--I can experience human physical sensations as if my flesh were organic. That way, no one need ever tempt me as your Queen did again."

Annika ponders this...and without warning, administers a fierce pinch to Data's arm.

"OUCH!...What did you do that for?"

"The sensation is comparable to human sensation then," Annika muses.

Data swallows his irritation. "In such manners as these, I have done my best to merge human sensations and feelings with a cybernetic structure. In some cases, these mesh. In others...they clash." He smiles ruefully. "For crewmates are as dear to me as any family. I say 'my captain' where others might say 'my father'. And...I know I shall outlive each and every one of them."

"Then why do you not remove or deactivate the chip?"

"It is so simple, is it not?" Data answers with a bittersweet smile. "You may not understand yet...but I would not trade that richness of feeling for all the safety of my old life. And...I would not be surprised if you came to feel the same way."

"Perhaps..." Annika muses.

Trouble has begun to brew in the form of the inquiries, which will take place on the starbase. For heading the inquiries is one Admiral Victor Grant, an Englishman with a smooth, ingratiating manner. He is quite popular in Starfleet and very high-ranking; scuttlebutt is that he may very well be a candidate for Starfleet Command once the current commander, Admiral John Campbell, retires, which is said to be quite soon. His manner to the Voyagers is kind, smooth, yet there is something not entirely trustworthy about him or his flunkies, other Starfleeters.

Deanna, for one, does not quite trust him, as she warns Kate.

"He's very carefully guarded his thoughts and emotions, but I know he is ambitious. Of course, none of us would be anywhere without ambition, but it all comes down to whether one is ambition's servant or master...and I suspect Victor is a slave."

Will agrees. "He'd be perfectly comfortable drinking vino with Machiavelli. No, I take that back...he'd poison Machiavelli and take the credit for writing 'The Prince'. After all, he's killed before..."

"What do you mean, Commander?"

Will relates the tale of the captain of the Raleigh, a friend of his. Victor Grant was his first officer, who one day "discovered" a serious malfunction that would have destroyed the ship. He corrected the problem, and the captain was convicted of negligence and discharged, later committing suicide as a result.

"And who but Victor Grant ascended to the captain's chair?" Will finishes bitterly. "Captain Picard says that I'm being blinded by my personal feelings, but if my guess is right and this man wants power, he won't hesitate to paint anyone else black to make himself a hero."

"Aiming for what?" Kate asks, with a slight laugh. "A cushy desk job? Commander, why would someone go to such risks when those are the only stakes?"

"That's what I'm afraid of," Will states. "Be careful, Captain."

In the meantime, Grant is addressing his flunkies.

"Half their crew is Maquis...there's already suspicion that they've made at least one deal with the Borg...and I think there's more to that refugee girl than meets the eye. My friends, this could be the chance we're waiting for. Right now, I have an equal chance with my other competitors for the command chair...and that's not good enough. This may give me the push I need, and time's running out...our allies are not going to be patient much longer."

"But do you think it's true that Voyager may be a threat?" one pipes up.

Grant smiles beatifically. "My dear boy, there are many things in this life that are negotiable...and truth is one of them."

The inquiries begin on the starbase. Grant's manner is smooth and subtle as he worms information out of Kate. He has access to her logs, which she thanks God she has deleted anything about Seven's Borghood. Somehow, much of the deeds that the Voyager and her crew have done do not seem so heroic in the light he presents them in. In fact, he makes many of them seem almost traitorous in the light of Starfleet rules and regs.

Annika, being in a "most vulnerable state" from her "refugeehood", does not take part in the hearings. At least, this is the story given. She is anxious for her captain's sake. Data, too, expresses distrust for Grant.

"I distrust him for different reasons than Commander Riker. He may not know history as I do, having so much of Earth history in my memory banks. Weimar Germany was ripe for the rise of Hitler because of the climate of the time...the country's defeat in war, its weakness and humiliation. Hitler couched his goals in lofty terms, making them seem almost noble when you look at them out of context. I fear, after the struggles with the Dominion and the near-assimilation of Earth, that the Federation is a little too willing to listen to Grant's rather hawkish views. He also speaks of...'cementing our ties with the Romulans.' That, too, leaves me apprehensive as to what exactly he means."

"I, too, have looked on much of Earth's history," Annika replies. "It would seem that so many of your humans are guilty of atrocities at least as frightening as anything the Borg perpetrated. Dare they judge us?"

Data is taken aback. "Perhaps not. But we, at least, have done our best to rise above such things. Even if there are occasional dangers of evil being re-born...perhaps the truest test of how good an individual may be is how that individual reacts to evil."

"Captain Janeway has said similar things," Annika muses. "I did not put much stock in them at first. But..." and a small smile curves her lips, "there may be something to humanity if another cybernetic being finds it so fascinating."

Data continues to teach her about the things he finds most fascinating. Art, music and literature are his abiding passions (if TNG fans will remember) and he has also developed a keen interest in myth and fairy tales. In fact, discussing this sparks a childhood memory for Annika.

" father used to read me one called 'Princess Catskin.' A princess fleeing an arranged marriage..."

" some versions, to her own father," Data continues. "One of the many variations on the Cinderella in which the heroine takes matters into her own hands. She takes with her..."

"...a dress as golden as the sun, one as silver as the moon, and one as glittering as the stars," Annika replies. "Which she wore to three separate parties to win a prince. I...I remember...I had no interest in the gold or silver gowns, but I did want the gown of stars. A foolish child's fancy," she finishes ruefully.

"Foolish, Annika? No dream is foolish."

"I often thought them so," Annika shoots back. "Captain Janeway often tried to impress upon me humanity's need for such fancies, but I was often unimpressed."

"Would we be were we are," Data answers, indicating the ship around him, "if not for someone's dream? Would *I* be here, if Noonien Soong had not dreamed? And who is to say that even the Borg are not someone's dream gone astray? Annika, we dream or we stagnate. Ask you really wish to go back to the way you were? Or are you ready to start moving farther forward?"

"I..." she falters, "I do not believe that I want to go back. But...I fear going forward."

Data smiles. "That is what I am here to help you with, if you will let me."

to be continued...