. . . Before Picard’s random appearance. . .
. . . 24th century . . .
“Captain, may I speak with you?” Troi asked, walking alongside Picard.
“Yes, counselor.” Picard said, heading to cybernetics.
“I believe Mr Degrias is telling the truth about where he comes from,” Troi said. She earned a raised eyebrow from the captain. “I can sense he is nervous and scared,” Picard lowered his eyebrow. “So he communicates in the way he most comfortably can without fainting.”
“It sounded to me he has done this kind of traveling before,” Picard said. “Degrias seems to know his way around even though he has not been aboard this Enterprise in particular.”
“It is surprising what he can do, or what else, we can do in his future,” Troi said. “I am currently sharing a discussion regarding the power of thought telepathically with Mr Degrias. For example a usual human in their timeline can have NINETEEN discussions telepathically.”
“And you are thrilled about it?” Picard asked, puzzled.
Troi shook her head.
“No, I rather prefer verbal communication instead of telepathically,” Troi said. “I can only do one on one telepathic conversation.”
“I am not too fond of the idea, either,” Picard said. “People reading what is on my mind without verbal speaking. . .I find that power can be easily abused.”
Picard raised a brow.
“He shared me the image of an in-joke,” Troi said. “Telepathic phone.”
“Telepathic. . . phone?” Picard repeated.
“Like a phone from the 21st century,” Troi said. “The image is of two conversations, one on the phone and the other in verbal.”
Their conversation was definitely an interesting one. Sonny was in cybernetics with Data, Geordi,and Worf. Troi left Picard shortly before he entered Cybernetics. It had been three hours and twenty-three minutes since Sonny’s unexpected arrival. Worf had a wary eye on the telepathic human. Sonny raised up his shields to contain his inner excitement from leaking out at the possibility of going home. It was a doorway built using electronical devices, metal, gear, screws, and so on.
“Captain, we believe we have found the way to take Degrias home.” Data said.
“A doorway?” Picard said.
“Why yes, a doorway that can go through dimensions,” Geordi said. “I tested it out first.”
“You’ll never guess where he landed.” Data said.
“On the bridge.” Picard said.
“BUT in a dimension where Data was a human and you were much younger, Captain,” Geordi said. “It was a really screwed up reality. Riker was an android, you were a beastazoid, Worf wasn’t there, and Yar was still alive. I only found out my other self was a Klingon when First Officer Data tried to vaporize me.”
Data was setting the coordinates to the time and location specified by Sonny.
"How did you lock in on that dimension?" Picard said.
"My hand print." Geordi said, holding up his hand. "It turns out our quantum patterns can be altered in a machine and lock on one."
"So you changed your identity in a sense." Picard said.
Geordi and Data nodded.
"And I can go home," Sonny said. "I was against Geordi risking his life to make sure if the machine would work. He could have died back there."
"If we sent in a animal, it would never have come back." Geordi said.
Sonny sighed, defeated quickly in his argument.
". . . Good point." Sonny said.
Picard had a strange feeling drawing him toward the doorway.
While in fact he was headed toward the threshold!
“Coordinates have been set.” Data said.
“And hand print!” Sonny said, putting his hand on a blue screen.
Worf noticed the captain headed toward the door frame.
“Captain, I advise you stay away from the door.” Worf said.
A look of sudden realization poured on to Sonny’s face.
“The Captain. . .” Sonny said, his face turning white. “Jim.”
He pieced together the words to the one and only Cardassian Half-Breed who hadn’t achieved telepathy yet. It was relatively foggy. But the words ‘Sonny. . . Me. . . Barnanbas. . . Not me. . . help. . .’ He figured now the message meant the man he had spoken to recently was an impostor and the real Barnabas was captured but alive, and that he needed help. The beeps of the machine brought Sonny back to reality followed by Worf shouting ‘Captain!’ after Picard.
Before Picards eye’s everything changed.
The first person Picard noticed was a Romulan in a jumpsuit being dark blue and yellow along with a combadge on the left breast. Across from the Romulan was a golden tinted Soong Type android in a dark blue and red jumpsuit holding a man against a mirror with remarkable resemblance to Romulan and Cardassian.
“WHERE. IS . HE?” It sounded like a furious Data.
But Data hadn’t been given an emotion chip.
Picard could recognize the voice even in all the intensity to it.
The Cardassian-Romulan smiled.
“Why don’t you ask the human captain behind you?” The half-breed asked.
The android's grip around the half-breed's neck tightened.
“Data?” Picard said.
The smile on the Cardassian-Romulan's face widened.
Hell, this half-breed was ENJOYING this too much!
"Commander. . . You might want to see this." The Romulan said, in shock himself.
The android tossed the half-breed into the arms of the awaiting Romulan then turned toward Picard.
“We have to get him back,” Data said, shortly after the machine broke. “We must.”
Sonny kicked at a loose bolt with anger channeling through his fists.
“Knowing B-4, he will recreate the same machine in two and a half hours.” Sonny said.
“B-4?” Data said.
“You have a missing brother out there Data,” Sonny said. “And the day you do find him is the day you are doomed to die.”
“Worf to Riker.”
“We lost Picard.”