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Memory Alpha
Real world article
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Picard finds himself transported to an alternate timeline in the year 2400 [sic] where his longtime nemesis, Q, has orchestrated one final "trial." Picard searches for his trusted crew as he attempts to find the cause of this dystopian future.



Q and Picard arguing alt 2400

A suture in the wound

Picard steps outside of his house on hearing air raid sirens and weapons fire and asks Q what "this" is; Q replies simply that it was "home". Picard then asks about the crew of the USS Stargazer. "How quaint, how provincial, how yesterday's Enterprise of you," Q mocks, before answering that there was no Stargazer. Picard demands to know what Q has done, and Q sarcastically notes how it was "so Human" to show someone a world of their own making and be asked what he had done. Increasingly agitated, Picard asks Q if he is ever tired of playing games with people's lives and tells him he is not Q's pawn anymore. Q thinks Picard is underselling himself, as he was not a mere piece, but the board on which the game was played, to which Picard heatedly replies he was "too old for [Q's] bullshit". Q mockingly comments on how time was so unfair, and notes how Picard had so many wrinkles, and so many disappointments. Picard wants Q to get to the point, or "cut to the chase" as Q phrases it. In a harsh, almost shaking tone, Q tells him that the chase was cut, bleeding, "dying in [Picard's] arms", and that Q was "but a suture in the wound". Picard observes that Q does not appear to be well, before Q snaps his fingers and brings them into Picard's vineyard.

Solar shield

Different skies

Picard is confused, as the harvest was only that morning. "Same time, same day, different harvest," Q answers. Picard again asks about the crew of the Stargazer. Q admits he intervened, having thought to himself that he wanted to see Picard, and so sought out the nearest explosion. Angry now, Picard again asks what Q wants, and Q answers he could tell him, but Picard was far too clever to listen; that said, they were not too old to be students of their own behaviors. Picard heatedly tells Q he has had enough of his "stupid patronizing". Q abruptly slaps him across the face, leaving him a bloody nose, and replies that he has had enough of Picard's obstinance, his stubbornness, his insistence in changing in all ways but the one that matters. "This is not a lesson," Q tells him coldly. "It's a penance." He snaps his fingers, and the nearby record player begins playing "Non, je ne regrette rien", then asks if Picard liked the skies here; in his history, Q explains, Humanity had found a way to save the planet they were murdering, but in this time, they just "kept the corpse on life support". He snaps his fingers again, and they are in the main house… with Romulans slaving away cleaning the floor and preparing the kitchen; one looks fearfully up at Picard. Q sarcastically asks how paradise could be run without staff, and why they had to pay for help when they had alien slaves. Picard insists he would never do such a thing, but Q laughs, saying that such moral convictions were the luxury of the victors, before beckoning Picard onward.

Martok's skull

General Martok's skull as one of Jean-Luc's trophies.

Entering his trophy room, Picard is repulsed to see a collection of weapons taken from various alien species… as well as a number of skulls. Q identifies some of their owners: Gul Dukat, executed in the Ithian Forests after "a hell of a fight" to take the Cardassian capital, and the reason for Picard's golem body in this timeline; General Martok, killed in combat after a bioengineered virus decimated Qo'noS; and Sarek, beheaded on the steps of the Vulcan Science Academy in front of his wife and son. All were killed by the same "withering" hand, the most ruthless and bloodthirsty general of the Confederation of Earth: Picard himself. When Picard asks what this "hellhole" is, Q answers that it was the only life he had ever known. He offers two choices: stay in the body of a madman and try, like Macbeth, to wash the blood from his hands, or seek atonement, perhaps forgiveness. When Picard asks for what, Q tells him that he knows the answer to that but assures him he will not make him do it alone. Picard replies that whatever it was, he would not play along with Q's game. Suddenly, the synth Harvey enters, asking if he wants him to answer to the designation "Q" now. Picard looks around and sees that Q is gone. Harvey sees Picard's confusion and asks if he was well; Picard replies that he wasn't, that he didn't know who he was anymore.

Act One[]

Jean-Luc Picard (General)

"A safe galaxy is a Human galaxy"

Picard observes a recording of a speech he transmitted, claiming that with the "brave crew" of the CSS World Razer, he had fought for a "pure universe", that he and his crew "subjugated savage civilizations" and "boldly conquered warlike alien worlds" – an inversion of the Federation's Charter – and obtained greater wealth and resources for future generations of Humanity. It becomes clear it's a recruiting message, ending with "a safe galaxy is a Human galaxy." Picard is distressed to hear such words coming from his own mouth, as Harvey enters with his "morning usual". Thinking it a cup of Earl Grey tea, he is disgusted by the beverage, finding it was coffee, a black Colombian roast. He asks again about Laris, thinking she had been employed there at the house, but Harvey finds no such record; however, he does identify a Laris and her husband Zhaban as leaders of a "Free Romulus movement", and that both were killed at the gates of Romulus. He offers to show "tribute" photos of the corpses which the general enjoys; Picard immediately declines. Harvey then reminds him that there is a shuttle coming in two hours to take him to the presidential palace, to which Picard (trying to get in character) demands to know why the "great general" is being called to the palace. Harvey tells him it was Eradication Day.

Confederation San Francisco

The Confederation's San Francisco

In San Francisco, as a male announcer calls for the citizens to enjoy "Eradication Day", Seven of Nine awakens suddenly in bed, as the computer in her apartment identifies her as "Annika". She sees a number of unusual items, before a mirror appears before her. To her shock, the Borg implant above her left eye is gone, as well as the Borg exoskeletal-reinforcment of her left arm. She thinks it cannot be real but checks all the psychological parameters; her cognition still functions, and she is able to smell the aromatic candle and feel the heat of its flame and sees a wedding ring on her hand. She realizes it was indeed real, but wonders how it was possible, as she had been aboard the Stargazer as it was destroyed. Just then, her door chimes, and she thinks it was Raffaela Musiker, but instead, a male Human in the uniform of a Confederation magistrate (who addresses her as "dear", indicating it was her husband) and a male synthetic enter, saying coffee was on the way, and to prepare for the Eradication Day ceremony, before addressing her as "Madam President", to her confusion. As Seven enters what is apparently her office, the magistrate goes on about the upcoming speech she is to give, as well as reports of insurgents in Okinawa and news from the Vulcan front. She looks up the reports and sees that Cristóbal Rios is listed as a colonel in command of that front, asking for a briefing from a "Federation" officer, before correcting herself, saying that she was tired. The magistrate states that he will contact General Sisko, who is in charge of the Vulcan front. Seven declines and asks to speak to someone who's on the front lines, specifically Colonel Rios. When the magistrate hesitates, Seven becomes adamant and asks for coffee, some privacy, and a secure comm channel to Rios.

President of the Confederation of Earth

"President" Hansen speaks to "Colonel" Rios

Meanwhile, Rios, commanding what seems to be a small fleet of ships similar to his own La Sirena, finds himself in the middle of a firefight with the Vulcan defense fleet, wondering what was going on. One of the other captains, Zilah, commends him on his tactics, clearing the way to "stomp the green-bloods". To his horror, he sees Vulcan being bombarded, just as he receives an alpha-priority message from "President Hansen". As he opens the channel, Seven secures the line and begins to speak in a somewhat vague way asking him to speak freely about anything "out of the ordinary". When he identifies her as "Seven", she is relieved, and asks if he has any idea what's happening, as her last memory was the activation of the auto-destruct on the Stargazer. Rios replies that unless being dead looked like "D-Day over Vulcan", something or someone moved them. She recalls him back to Earth on "presidential authority", wanting to speak face-to-face. Rios breaks off and goes to warp.

Okinawa at night, alt 2401

An explosion shakes the cityscape of Okinawa

In Okinawa, a building explodes, and people are running through the streets. Among them is Elnor, who (like the others from the Stargazer and its fleet) has no idea what is going on, as he is being guided in the streets by a young female Romulan. The building explosions are attacks by insurgents in retaliation for the wars against Cardassia, Andoria, Qo'noS, Vulcan, and Romulus. She rejoices that the Confederation could call them terrorists, but soon they would be free. Just then, the security forces shoot her down, and hold Elnor at gunpoint, ready to execute him. Another female voice orders them to stand down, but one of the security officers say they have orders to shoot to kill. The unidentified figure shoots them all down in response, before removing her hood: Musiker. Elnor is relieved to see her, remembering last being together on the USS Excelsior, but Musiker had no more idea than he did. Just then, more security forces arrive, and Musiker decides to play along, holding him at gunpoint and announcing she wanted him alive for questioning. Elnor quietly protests he didn't know anything, and Musiker admits she doesn't either, before turning him over to the security guards.

Act Two[]

The magistrate walks with "President Hansen" to give the Eradication Day address, asking if her discussion with "Colonel" Rios was informative, and she replies it was. He begins to talk about how it was understandable to be nervous on this "momentous" day, but Seven, playing the part, notes that he seems more focused on her than on his duties. As a means of seeking information, she tells him to explain why the day was so special, and maybe he would convince her he had the right priorities. The magistrate explains that as per tradition, they were eradicating dissidents, alien sympathizers, and terrorists; this particular event was special, as they were about to eliminate one of the Confederation's greatest enemies, and that Dr. Jurati would soon be prepared for her.

Borg Queen, 2401 alt

An imprisoned Borg Queen

In her lab, Jurati awakens, hearing an animated cat talking about how it seemed wrong to celebrate eradicating other people. Jurati is confused and asks who the cat is, and the cat responds he is Spot 73, her "very best friend". Jurati begins running through the possibilities: she was insane, having a delusion; she was dead; or she was in a strange "mirror universe".

Then, the door announces "her Excellency the President", who Jurati openly calls "Seven", and asking about her implants, before pointing out her husband, saying it had been a while. Jurati continues to go on speaking about the time they were actually from, before the magistrate asks her to let them see the prisoner in stasis cell M5-10. Jurati somehow figures out this is her job and opens the cell in question… revealing a Borg Queen.

The magistrate points out that no enemy the Confederation had brought under heel had been as dangerous as the Borg. The Queen is confused and upset, saying that it was not right; the hive was gone, dead. The Queen is able to identify Seven as having been assimilated and escaped the Borg, then turns to Jurati, whom she calls a "fragile little teacup", and comments how she understands this feeling anywhere. When Jurati asks what, the Queen replies, "Un-belonging."

The magistrate contemptuously comments on how putting her in a cage had made her go mad, and the Queen seems to confirm this, saying that she was burning systems in distant quadrants, that "reality has been split", and that "time has been broken". Seven knows the Borg Queen has transtemporal awareness, which granted it knowledge of other adjacent timelines and parallel realities by hearing "echoes" of its counterparts in those realities. Jurati realizes something is wrong with the timeline, just as an officer reports to the magistrate about "General" Picard's status: he will be docking shortly.

Meanwhile, Picard arrives at the presidential palace, where another synth approaches to escort him to the president's office. Picard sees Musiker arrive with Elnor and his guards and tells the synth to give him a moment.

Act Three[]

As Musiker delivers Elnor for psycho-interrogation, she announces she has authorization to handle it herself, but the Confederation officer handling the transfer says that her orders came from the magistrate and asks who granted Musiker authorization. Picard speaks up loudly that he gave her that authority, as the officers spring to attention. The officer apologizes as Picard stares sternly at her, then with a jerk of his head moves her aside, then does the same for the synth before ordering Musiker to bring the "prisoner". Musiker asks if that was actually "JL" in there, and Picard admits he wonders about that himself. Elnor is certain it was indeed him. Picard is relieved to see them both, saying they had been deposited in a mad world by a madman, but he will get them home somehow. He mentions to Musiker that Seven is the President, and Musiker jokes that she would "wear that gracefully".

The magistrate tells his president/wife that Picard has petitioned for the title of "Borgslayer", just as Picard and company arrive. The magistrate protests bringing an alien terrorist in such close proximity to the president, but Seven assures him that she was the one who ordered it. Picard and Musiker continue to play their roles, saying that they had sensitive intelligence from their "prisoner" to be discussed in private, Musiker adding to the magistrate that his "wife" would be just fine. The magistrate leaves, and Picard asks if they were all alright; Seven sarcastically responds that she is the president of a xenophobic authoritarian regime (who also seems to have worked out her commitment issues, Musiker adds). Picard thinks they're in an alternate reality, but Seven mentions the Borg Queen had a different theory. Picard asks if it was the same Queen from the Stargazer, and Seven replies it was of a more typical kind, who believes there was a divergence in time. Picard realizes this is what Q has done: Changed an event in the past to transform their present. This was not an alternate reality, but their own, transformed by an event of some kind in the past. However, Picard sensed that even for Q, something seemed off, like he was not quite sane. Musiker asks what to do next; Seven again mentions they were not the only ones who knew time was broken.

As Rios arrives in Earth orbit, the Borg Queen tells Jurati that the world was a lie, "the fiction of the 'what if' of what was", to which Jurati agrees wholeheartedly. Just then, she detects visitors, as Picard, Seven, Musiker, and Elnor arrive. As Jurati happily reunites with her friends, Picard approaches the Queen, who recognizes him right away as Locutus, and yet not at the same time. Picard demands to know what Q changed to turn Earth into a polluted authoritarian nightmare, and she eventually answers with a temporal recision: a single change in time. She calculates that the change occurred in Los Angeles in the year 2024 and advises Picard to seek "the Watcher" residing there. Seven points out that the Confederation did not seem to possess any time travel technology, and Jurati adds that the technological level was similar to the Federation, albeit with an emphasis on torture technology. Picard knows there are "cruder" methods of time travel, such as a slingshot effect around a sun, something that James T. Kirk had done with the USS Enterprise on more than one occasion. Jurati points out that they would need an intelligence capable of isolating the divergence and micro-shifting for any chroniton radiation; Kirk had Spock at his disposal for his time traveling. Seven points out that they had the Queen.

Picard knows the Queen is capable, but why would she help them? Seven thinks of all the talk of "eradication" and asks the Queen how it felt when her people were eradicated. She then says the Queen doesn't have to answer, because she knows already, mocking the end of the "Great Borg Empire". She asks if that was what the Queen wanted, or if she wanted to help return them to their present, to the Collective waiting for her in the Delta Quadrant. As the others wait tensely, Seven asks point-blank: "Will you help us?" The Borg Queen agrees. When Jurati asks "now what", Seven contacts Rios, asking for five to beam up, plus the Borg Queen. Rios is momentarily wrong-footed at the mention of a Borg Queen, but Jurati assures him she was in a stasis tube. Rios activates the transporters… but they still find themselves in Jurati's lab. Just then, a security alarm goes off; Seven recognizes it from her presidential brief, a security measure being taken for the "momentous day". Rios tries to tell them to find a blind spot in the security array, but communications are also offline. The Borg Queen is suddenly taken back into her cell and lifted out. Seven realizes the Eradication Day ceremony has begun.

Act Four[]

Picard asks Seven where the Queen is being taken; per the Eradication Day protocol, the Queen is being placed in a queue for public execution, a practice Picard calls "barbaric", not helped by the fact that the Queen was to be killed by Picard himself. Picard sees an opportunity and tells the others to find a way. Just then, the magistrate returns, and Picard goes back into character, demanding Musiker find out "what this thing knows". The magistrate is confused by "Annika's" behavior, thinking she should be tested for telepathic incursion (much to Seven's not-quite play-acted outrage), to which Jurati offers a rambling explanation about how the Queen warned about Romulans from the Qowat Milat infiltrating the palace. The magistrate appears to buy it, before telling Seven and Picard they were needed on stage for the ceremony.

As a projection of a man named Adam Soong declares "a safe galaxy is a Human galaxy", Seven and Picard take the stage playing their parts; Seven gives her address to her "fellow Confederates", declaring that Eradication Day would be a symbol of Humanity's "merciful power", and who better to demonstrate that than Picard? While Jurati works in her lab, trying to make alterations to her communicator to break through to Rios, the Queen is brought onto the stage for her execution before the cheering crowd.

Jurati is finally able to get comms through to Rios, mentioning the lockdown, and asking if he still had transporter lock. Rios confirms the signal is barely registering, as some kind of transport inhibitor is active; he tells her to boost the signal and get a transporter lock. Jurati finishes that sentence, saying Musiker was working on it. Rios tells her to hurry; Jurati snaps about him being so "goddamn impatient". "We're doing this now? Seriously?" Rios asks, bemused. Meanwhile, Musiker brings a struggling Elnor in, saying to the security officers that he just confessed to uploading a virus into the palace computers, and offers him as a "gift" to them while she tries to "clear it out".

On stage, Seven continues her address, showing an example of what awaited rebellion, insurrection… resistance. "Tonight, we eradicate the Borg", she declares, as the crowd continues to chant "kill", as well as Picard's name. Seven lowers the stasis shield around the Queen, and Picard – hamming it up for the audience – draws his phaser. Meanwhile, Jurati and Rios continue to quarrel as they work, Jurati blaming Rios for his "man on the move" mentality making him feel he didn't fit in, while Rios points out that she only shared feelings with synthetic cats or people, but not Human beings; Jurati says she would hang up on him if it wouldn't get them killed. At the same time, the security officers continue to beat up Elnor, until Musiker finally lowers the shields… then turns Elnor loose on the security guards. Jurati is having difficulty getting past the inhibitor. Back on stage, the magistrate notices Picard's hesitation, and Picard tells Seven they may have to fight their way out, as the magistrate orders his men to get him off the stage. The Queen looks on with satisfaction as Picard shoots them down. Just then, Jurati breaks through the inhibitor, allowing all of them to be transported to La Sirena.

As the crew assume their stations, Rios orders Musiker to raise the shields to maximum, while Seven takes the helm. Jurati moves the Queen's stasis tube near to the warp core. Rios protests hooking "that thing" up to his ship; when Picard points out they need her to travel back in time, he replies that time travel does not make him feel better about anything. An alert warns Musiker that the fleet was onto them, as Jurati hooks the Queen into the ship's systems. Picard orders Rios to get them out of there, but before they can move, a presidential override lowers the shields. The magistrate beams aboard and immediately shoots Elnor in the chest near his right shoulder, before holding the others at gunpoint. Additional security forces beam aboard, also armed. Elnor lies bleeding and gasping for breath on the deck while Musiker looks on helplessly. The magistrate then asks Picard what a trophy of his head will say: "How about 'Jean-Luc Picard, traitor. Killed while rescuing a Borg'."

Memorable quotes[]

"I am no longer your pawn!"
"Oh, you undersell yourself, Jean-Luc. You are more than just a piece. Why, you're the very board upon which this game is played."
"Q, I am too old for your bullshit!"
"Old, yes! How unfair time is. So many wrinkles... so many disappointments."

- Picard and Q

"You want me to cut to the chase?"
"Well, the chase is cut, Picard. The chase is bleeding, the chase is dying in your arms, and I am but a suture in the wound!"

- Q and Picard

"Q, you are not well."

- Picard

"You see, I thought to myself. I thought, "I really must see Jean-Luc", so I simply sought out the nearest explosion."

- Q

"This world is a lie. The fiction of the what-if of what was."
"Tell me about it, sister."

- Borg Queen and Jurati

"Ah, oh! Boom! Yes! Oh, how do you like that sh–"

- Jurati, after getting a transporter lock on her, the Borg Queen, Picard, Seven, Musiker, and Elnor

Background information[]




Links and references[]



Special guest star[]

Guest starring[]


Uncredited co-stars[]

Background characters[]

All appearing as skeletal remains:

Stunt doubles[]



2024; 2350; A500; alien; alpha-level priority; alternate reality; Andoria; Andorian Rebellion; "Annika Seven Shot"; apple tree; arm; "as you were"; assimilation; atmospheric sweeper; authoritarian; auto-destruct code; autopilot; bait and switch; basement; Battle of Vercellae, The; behavior; best friend; bioengineered virus; biography; blindspot; blood; board; body; Borg; Borg Collective (aka Great Borg Empire); Borg Sentinel; "Borgslayer"; cage; capital city; captain; captain (title); Cardassia; Cardassian; Cardassian Resistance; casualty; cat; Château Picard; chief; chieftain; Chopin, Frédéric; Christmas; chronitonic radiation; chronometer; circle; civilization; coffee; cognition; collar; college; Colombian roast; colonel; combadge; comms channel; commodore; company; computer virus; Confederation Corps; Confederation of Earth; Confederation of Earth uniform (24th century); Confederation of Earth uniform (25th century); Confederation Security; console; corpse; cranial implant; CSN; CSS; D-Day; Dante; day; dead; decapitation; deflector shields; Delta Quadrant; Delta-7; delusion; director; disruptor; dissident; divergence; doctor; domesticant; Dominion Alliance; Dominion Alliance War; dream; drinking game; Earth; entity; Eradication Day; Euler's identity; excellency; execution (public execution); explosion; fear; Federation; feeling; Ferengi; field officer; fleet commander; forest; Free Romulan movement; game; gates of Romulus; gene-tag; general; generation; glass; God; Golden Gate Bridge; Grand Nagus' staff; grass; green-blood; guanine; gul; hand; handcuffs; harvest; head; hell; hero; history; holographic statue; Hon-Tihl; hour; Human (aka Humanity, Humankind, Mankind); husband; hypothesis; individual; insurgent; interplexing nullifier; Ithian Forests; kar'takin; Kirk, James T.; Klingon; Klingon disruptor; Laris; laughter; lawn; lesson; lieutenant colonel; life support; Lihn Zhee; Locutus of Borg; Los Angeles; luxury; lying; Macbeth; madman; Magistrate of the Confederation of Earth; master; memory; meow; mercy; Metreon Cascade; Milky Way Galaxy; mind meld; minute; mirror; mirror universe; mister; "Mr. Alphabet"; "Mr. First Husband"; moral convictions; morning; Mount Tar'Hana; murder; Museum of Conquest; Musiker, Raffaela; name; neural transmitter deflection; nickname; nightmare; Nocturne No. 2; "Non, je ne regrette rien"; north; O'Brien, Miles; office; Okinawa; Omarion Nebula; order; Order 939; pain receptor; paradise; pawn; penance; percent; Piaf, Édith; pollution; power; President of the Confederation of Earth; president's palace; prisoner; Prisoner M5-10; privacy; psycho-interrogation; psychological assessment; Q; Qo'noS; Qowat Milat (aka "Final Stranglers"); queue; reality; rebel; rebellion; record player; regime; retinal scan; Romulan; Romulan disruptor pistol; Romulan uprising; Romulus; San Francisco; San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge; Sarek's alternate timeline son; Sarek's alternate timeline wife; Saurian; second; security array; sensor; "shit" (aka "bullshit"); sir; Sisko, Benjamin; skull; sky; slave; slingshot maneuver; smell; soldier; son; Son'a Empire; south; Spanish language; species; Spock; squadron; star; stargazer; stasis cell; stasis field; stasis tube; steps; street; student; suture; sympathizer; synthetic body; Tal Shiar disruptor pistol; Tel-Peh; telepathic incursion; temporal fissure; temporal recision; "ten-hut"; terrorist; Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01; theory; thing; time; time travel; timeline; Torchbearer armor; torture; traitor; transit; transport inhibitor; transporter lock; trigger; Tritium PADD; trophy; trophy room; troposphere; turret; Tuvok; Unimatrix 01; universe; valet; victors; vinyl record; Vulcan; Vulcan; Vulcan Defense Forces; Vulcan Front; Vulcan Science Academy; Vulcan Science Academy crowd; Vulcan War; Watcher; wife; witness; wound; wrinkle; xenophobic; Yar, Tasha; Yerba Buena Island; Zhaban; Zhat Vash; Zhat Vash dagger; Zhat Vash disruptor rifle

Starship references[]

Ahuizotl, CSS; Borg cube; Cetus, CSS; Charybdis, CSS; Enterprise, USS; Excelsior, USS; Hydra, CSS; Kaplan F17 Patrol Frigate; Kappa, CSS; La Sirena, CSS; Makara, CSS; Romulan Bird-of-Prey; Selkie, CSS; Scylla, CSS; Stargazer, USS; Synth ship; Toh'Kaht, IKS; Vulcan fighter (unnamed); World Razer, CSS; World Razer-type; Zin Kibaru, CSS

Meta references[]


External links[]

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Star Trek: Picard
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