“Future’s made of virtual insanity...” (“Virtual Insanity”, Jamiroquai)

By Clare Holborow

Historians Note: Set approximately 2 years after the events in “First Contact”.

Thanks to: The support and encouragement of everyone who has been nice enough to comment on my thirteen previous stories, and not forgetting the three little sheep at the bottom of my screen.

Standard disclaimers apply: Paramount own the characters, the Star Trek universe and probably ours too etc...


The night was silent, everything was still. It was as if the animals in the nearby woods knew something terrible was about to happen. The humans on the planet failed to notice the signs, and the Savelors watched from the darkness, waiting to take what was theirs when chaos hit. The humans were so stupid, they didn’t even realise anything was wrong and that within seconds their lives would be altered forever. They would soon be slaves.

Exactly one hour after it had been planted in the local shop, the alien bomb went off, causing havoc in the sleepy village. The Savelors moved forward, an army of tiny people, amongst the humans who would soon call them their masters. Of course, some escaped occasionally, but the Savelors didn’t care. They would soon rule the whole planet.


Deanna Troi left Betazed with a large smile brightening her features. She couldn’t wait to see everyone again. It had only been two years since she had seen them, but it seemed like so much longer. As the stars through the window flew past, she sighed, suddenly realising just how much she had missed her friends, although there was one person she had missed a hundred times more than any of the others.


When Will Riker arrived on Elisha 4, he realised he was only the second to arrive for the reunion. Doctor Beverly Crusher was there to greet him. She smiled and ran to him as he stepped rather stiffly out of the shuttlecraft, her long red hair flying behind her. He hugged her and kissed her cheek, smiling at her enthusiasm.

“It’s good to see you again, Will.” She said, smiling warmly.

“And you, Beverly.” He replied. He was pleased to see her, but couldn’t help wishing it had been Deanna waiting there for him. He had a sneaking suspicion she wished he had been Jean-Luc.

They talked, like the old friends they were. Beverly telling him about the practical jokes she’d endured whilst teaching medicine to Starfleet Academy graduates, Will telling her what it was like being a Captain. Of course, she had heard the same stories from Picard when they were still all on the Enterprise.

Data was the next to arrive, having been granted a brief shore leave from his position of First Officer on the U.S.S. Mulberry. He too had missed the officers he had served with on the Enterprise for ten years.

Soon Geordi and Picard had joined the gathering, confirming the apology they had received from Worf. He was unable to leave the Klingon Homeworld to attend. The group made it’s way into the guest conference lounge, chatting excitedly like a group of school children. There was only one person missing, and as time drew on, an air of discomfort surrounded the group. Will had tried to remain cheerful and keep up with the conversation, but he couldn’t keep his mind off her.

Deanna knew she was late, and she ran out of the shuttle barely giving the pilot time to land the craft. The humans that worked at the hotel directed her to the conference lounge, and she burst through the doors apologising as everyone turned in her direction. Will was seated at the far end of the room, yet he moved so fast that he was by her side before she even had a chance to blink. He pulled her into his arms before she had a chance to catch her breath. She had missed his strong, comforting embrace.

The others waited patiently to say their greetings to the Counsellor, although now she was more commonly known as “Ambassador”. Deanna pulled reluctantly away from him, as she realised the others were waiting. She turned and said her hello’s to them all, feeling Will’s gaze on her all the time and trying her best to ignore the feelings she felt for him. She knew he wanted to talk to her, and although she wanted to tell him how much she had missed him, she wasn’t sure she was ready to cope with his reaction.

She took a seat next to Beverly, the happiness she felt glowing in her eyes. None of them realised there was a reason for them all being together on Elisha 4 other than a simple reunion. Although Picard was technically retired, Starfleet occasionally requested his participation in delicate missions. He was free to accept or decline them as he chose. He had accepted this one, and had decided that the best people to assist him were his former senior staff from the Enterprise, and a reunion was a perfect cover for the investigation.

After the initial chatter had died down, he drew their attention. In a lowered voice he began. “I have been asked to assist Starfleet Command in this mission. We believe there are a group of aliens invading this planet, but the only evidence anyone has ever found is the horrendous destruction caused by some sort of explosive weapon. And, of course, there are the missing people. No one knows whether they are alive or dead, perhaps prisoners of these aliens.”

Deanna jumped involuntarily as she thought she saw something move in the shadows outside the window behind Riker. What Picard had told them was obviously making her jumpy, and she dismissed the idea that there was someone or something out there, just waiting for something to happen.

But the others had noticed her odd behaviour, and she explained what had caused it. “It was just my imagination.” She insisted, her dark eyes sweeping around the table, finally coming to rest on Will.

He was looking right back at her. “But maybe you did see something.” He suggested.

“No.” She insisted. “I’m sure it’s just that I’m tired and my eyes need a rest.”

“Well, I’m going to have a look outside anyway.” He said, standing up.

Deanna frowned. “I’m sure it’s nothing.”

But he was already heading for the door. Moments later, he was outside the window, searching the immediate area.

Geordi suddenly broke the silence in the room. “Oh, my God!”

Deanna felt his panic, as they all turned to him. He shouted, as he too headed for the door. “There’s a bomb out there. It’s going to.....” They couldn’t hear the rest.

Deanna was behind him, hoping they could warn Will before it was too late. She couldn’t think of anything other than his safety. She was running so fast that she had nearly caught up with Geordi. But before she could even make it out of the building, she was thrown backwards by the blast, parts of the wall coming away and falling onto her, pinning her to the ground. She could see Geordi coming towards her, desperately pulling the pieces of debris off her body. “Deanna, are you alright?”

“Don’t worry about me.” She almost screamed at him. “We have to find Will.”

Through the clouds of choking dust they found the hotel exit, and together they ran towards the window. The body lying on the floor was undoubtedly him. Deanna couldn’t sense him anymore. “Will!” She shouted in despair, kneeling down beside him. He was a mess, although at least he was still alive. She was comforted a little by that. “Imzadi, talk to me.”

Seconds later, Beverly had joined them, her Medkit in her hand. She worked smoothly and quickly, as if she wasn’t treating one of her friends, as if Deanna wasn’t sat there silently crying next to her. All around them there was panic, buildings falling down, people running around madly, screaming, looking for missing loved ones. The invaders had taken more prisoners, more slaves to help them in their unrelenting mission to take over the planet.

Deanna gasped as Will suddenly regained consciousness. “We have to get him to a Hospital.” Beverly said. “I need more facilities.”

“Are the others OK?” Geordi asked.

“Yes.” Beverly replied, somewhat distracted.

“Get OFF me!” Will said to the two concerned women.

Beverly gave him a rather exasperated look, she was used to trouble patients. But Deanna moved away from him as she opened her senses. There was something different about him, she wasn’t sure what, but it was something she had never sensed from him before. If she thought about it, she would have called it evil, but he was her Imzadi, her best friend, her lover. She had never found a trace of anything bad in him in all the time they had known each other.

“Beverly.” She said, her voice trembling. “Give me your tricorder.”

Her friend looked at her startled. “What’s wrong?” She handed her the device.

Deanna scanned Will, as he protested again. “Get that thing away from me. Just leave me alone!” He shouted, knocking her aside. He struggled to his feet and walked a few steps away. Suddenly he turned. “Soon you’ll be one of us too.” He added, his gaze boring into his three friends.

Beverly shivered. She almost expected him to say “Resistance is futile”.

“There was something in that bomb.” Geordi whispered to them, not being able to be more helpful.

Deanna walked over to him, having overcome her momentary fear. He could never hurt his Imzadi. “Will, stop this. You just need a little time to recover.”

He laughed, and Data and Picard came out of the building to hear him shouting back at her. “You think you can tell me what to do. You tease me with your looks, your revealing outfits, your words, even standing beside me, and yet you deny me what I really want. It ends here. If you won’t give me what I want, I’ll take it from you.”

She turned crimson, wishing the others weren’t there to hear it all. They were too shocked at his words to even move, and were afraid to leave her alone with him. “That’s a horrible thing to say....”

“You know, back home we have names for women like you.” He added with a sneer. He stared at her, and for the first time in her life she felt uncomfortable under his gaze.

Her eyes flashed with anger. “This isn’t all my fault.” She shot back. He had never spoken to her like that before. Beverly came up behind him with a hypospray. He was so preoccupied with Deanna that he didn’t notice until the last minute and his struggle was useless. Data caught him before he hit the ground.


The Hospital was clean, friendly and safe. There had never been any bombs in that area of the city. Picard considered that somewhat odd, although perhaps it was a coincidence. He glanced over at his First Officer, who lay peacefully in a bed for the time being.

They had discovered a little more about the alien invaders since being in the hospital, as many of the patients there were rescued victims, much like Riker. They called their attackers “Savelors”, and they captured the inhabitants using a device inside the bombs which lead them to become obedient slaves. Picard had already requested back up from Starfleet, and some vessels were on their way. Until then, he had to think of a way to stop the aliens, or the entire population would be turned into a world of zombie slaves.

He looked over at his former First Officer. Deanna hadn’t left his side, despite the words of abuse he had given her. Beverly had been totally disgusted by the whole situation and had tried to get Deanna to leave him, to come back when the effects of the bomb had been counteracted. The hospital had developed a treatment. The only problem was that the treatment didn’t have an instant result. It took time, which varied depending upon the individual and how close he or she had been to the devastating bomb. They had searched and searched for clues, but found nothing. They had no way of knowing where to look for the missing people, and no way of knowing where the next bomb would be. Picard sighed, infuriated that the ships Starfleet Command had promised to send still had not arrived.


Deanna felt as if she had been sat by Will for years. She knew that in actuality it was only three days, but it still felt like eternity. She loved looking at him, even though it made her think of the most intimate and passionate moments they had shared in the past. Those memories were still fresh in her mind, as if time had not passed and they had been lovers only yesterday. She sighed deeply and leaned over to stroke his face. “Imzadi...” She whispered, more to herself than him. “I love you so much. I always have.” She stood up, intending to get herself a warming drink, but as she turned her back she heard his voice.

“Don’t go.” He croaked.

She spun around, unsure as to what mood he would be in.

Her senses told her that he was back to normal, or at least a significant improvement had occurred. “Will, thank God!” She said, rushing over, sure of herself, sure that he wouldn’t say anything he didn’t mean this time.

“I’m sorry, for what happened.” He said.

Her dark eyes locked with his. “It’s alright, Will, honestly.”

“I love you too.” He said, as they embraced.

She hadn’t realised that he had heard her earlier, and she felt herself turn a little red again. “Don’t say things you don’t mean.” She chastised, but she knew he did.

He pulled her closer, as if that would be enough to sort out their relationship. She put her arms around his neck, as their lips moved closer together.

Just as they were about to kiss, they were interrupted by Picard, who looked slightly surprised at the fact that Deanna had obviously forgiven him, and embarrassed at interrupting an intimate moment. “I’m sorry, but the U.S.S. Shelton has arrived and we need to get you to their sickbay. Deanna, I want you to come with us. We will be having a meeting with the leaders of this world and the senior officers on the Shelton. There will be peace on this planet if it’s the last mission I do!”

********************************************************************************** Hours later, after the away team from the Shelton had been down to the surface to attempt to find the aliens, another bomb went off, but this one was very different from the previous ones. The officers watched helplessly as the devastation spread to the furthest parts of the planet. They had tried to disable it as soon as it was spotted, but it was impossible. Everything was black, not even the tiniest sign of life. The bridge crew watched in shock, their eyes wide in the realisation that their presence had probably made the aliens decide that they would rather die than be captured and even discovered. They were a shy race, preferring to hide in the shadows than come out into the light. **********************************************************************************

Acting Admiral’s Log: We are returning to Starfleet Headquarters after the tragic event that has killed all the inhabitants of Elisha 4. This bomb was a different kind, one designed to wipe out all the life on the planet. I regret to report that millions of lives have been lost. I am deeply upset over this huge loss. We should have been more discreet and careful in our investigation. There will be a minute’s silence for the people who died.

Picard ended his log with a sigh. Having to make such a report was horrible, but in a case like this where millions of people had been lost was heartbreaking. He began to wish he had never sent down the away team, that they had not been assigned the mission. Perhaps he was getting too old to continue - even on a part time basis. He remained alone, coping with the grief and the blame, not even considering that the others blamed themselves too.


Deanna sat with Will, holding him, rocking slightly backwards and forwards almost hypnotically. They had both been shocked and deeply upset by what had just happened. They realised that one of them could have been down on the planet when it had happened. Somehow, the fact that they had both escaped that fate that had cruelly taken the lives of so many people, did not make them feel better. In fact, they both felt guilty for surviving.

“All those people..” She whispered.

“I still can’t believe it happened.” He replied.

“How can they be there one minute and then dead the next? It’s so hard to come to terms with it.”

“I don’t know, Dee.”

She pulled away from him. He used to use that name all the time. It had been so long since he had said it. Her eyes studied his face, his eyes were full of sorrow and yet she sensed his gratefulness that she was still there. “Will, I don’t want to loose you again. I don’t want to go back to being friends again. I need you so much.” Suddenly all her feelings had tumbled out into words.

“I’ll always be here for you, Imzadi.” He replied, and it was then that she knew. They had been waiting for the right time to sort out their relationship, it seemed the time had come.

They reached for each other with their minds, bodies and souls, kissing with a sudden uncontrolled passion that made them gasp in an attempt to catch their breath. They wanted to be one again, after so long, and knew that whatever the future held from that day on, they would face it together.