Choosers of the Slain
In Loving Memory of Joe Thurman - Highlander. - 6/41-11/97.
You will be missed.
Shawn Gorman did not have the words to express the emotions he was feeling. They flooded through him so quickly and with such force he barely had time to distinguish between them. He grabbed the back of his chair to keep from falling to the ground. His mouth went dry as well as the palms of his hands. He spoke very softly. "Everybody out."
Lapel and Allenby looked at each other and left the room without hesitation. It wasn't like them to ever question his orders even under circumstances such as these. The doors slid shut and no one said a word. Even Q was without sarcasm which was something of an oxymoron. William Gorman glanced over to Q. Q picked up on Gormans expression and left the room in a flash. William fumbled with himself trying to pick and choose the words that would explain it all in one sentence, but he knew he could never do that. He took a step forward towards his son. Shawn flinched. He seemed to have come to his senses, but was a million miles away.
"What are you thinking about?" His father asked as he moved closer.
Shawn chuckled. "That's a pretty stupid question."
"I didn't want you to find out like this."
Gorman erupted in a fit of rage. Fire was burning in his eyes and even he knew there was no way to control it. "Find out what?! That for five years I spent every night trying to figure out what the hell happened. Were you dead? Were you alive? Were you trying to reach me? Were you trying to get home? Was there anything I could do to help you? And in all that time you were sitting behind some damn excuse for a piece of shit being such as Q. Well tell me Dad, How did you want me to find out?"
"It wasn't that simple Son."
Gorman interrupted him as loud as his voice could take him. "Don't call me Son. You don't ever get to call me Son." Gorman stood back a minute whipping the sweat from his hands onto his uniform. He looked blindly through the room focusing on nothing in particular. "I...I need a drink." He said.
He moved over to his private stash. He pushed into the wall and a small drawer slid out containing a bottle of real scotch. He grabbed a glass and poured the bottle. Before the glass even started to fill William cut him off. "Enough with the drinking Shawn." William slapped at the bottle. It flew out of Shawns hands an shattered against the wall. Glass and scotch both flew in all directions.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" William shouted. "What do you want me to say?"
Shawn looked down at the glass and scotch that had soaked the carpet bellow him. He swayed from side to side and looked at his father. "There is nothing you can say. I don't understand anything any more."
"Then give me a chance to explain." William said with sympathy in his voice. "Don't just judge me without giving me a chance. Regardless of how you feel I am your father."
"I.. I.." Shawn fumbled with his words. "Just tell me one thing, WHY?!"
"William shook his head. I can do better than that. I can show you."
With that,both Gorman and his Father disappeared.
It seemed as if no time had passed when Gorman found himself standing on what appeared to be a Federation Star Ship. He looked around and as expected his father was standing next to him. Gorman continued to let his eyes wander. There was a desk with a computer pad sitting in the center along with several Starfleet medals hanging on shelves that sat in the corner. There was a window that sat to the right of the desk and out side the window Gorman could see an upper pylon of Deep Space Nine.
"Where are we?" Gorman asked.
"You'll see in a minute." His father answered. "This is where everything starts."
Gorman waited patiently for anything. He wasn't sure what was going to happen but he waited none the less. A few seconds when the doors to the ready room opened and Gorman saw a younger version of his father step through the doors. In his hands he was reading a small display pad. Gorman glanced up at the present version of his father.
"Don't worry." His father said. "No one can see or hear us."
Gorman nodded in agreement and continued to watch.
His father, that is the younger version, stepped behind his desk and placed the pad on his desk. He then leaned back in his chair and gave out a sigh of relief. He pushed a button on the computer display that sat on his desk.
"Captains log supplemental." He paused a minute as if sensing a presence. "This is an unofficial log and should be filed as such." He stood and paced through the room. "This is my very first mission as Captain of the USS Hawking. I don't know exactly how I will handle being in command of a Science Vessel. Well it was either this or retirement." He moved to the replicator where he ordered some coffee and made his way to the window. He watched the traffic of Deep Space Nine. "It has been some three years since the battle at Wolf 359 and is the first time that this ship has had a full compliment of crew. It's sad really when you think about it. Every crew member on board is a child that is still wet behind the ears. Almost all of them earning quick promotions because frankly there were no other officers left thanks to the Borg. We are to be the first of a convoy of ships to enter the newly found Gamma Quadrant. there is no telling what we will encounter but after all isn't it the Unknown that defines our existence." He moved back to his chair. I miss the life of a Special Ops soldier, but most of all I miss my Son. I hope he received my last communiqué in time because as it stands we will be in the Gamma Quadrant for a very long time."
He was interrupted when the ships first officer came from over head.
"Captain, sorry to bother you but we have been given clearance to leave Deep Space Nine."
Gorman sighed. "Very well, set course for the Worm Hole. I'll be there in a minute."
As Gorman stood from his seat to exit his office he was certain he felt a presence. He stopped a moment to make sure. No sooner did he look around then room when in fact someone did appear. Q now stood in the back corner of the room.
"Who the hell are you?" Gorman asked.
Q stepped forward and approached Gorman. "You don't know what you're getting yourself into Captain. Stay out of the Gamma Quadrant."
"What are you talking about? Security to my ready room."
"Oh come now captain you and I both know they can't hear you."
Gorman cocked his head to the side. "You're a Q aren't you?"
"Impressive. I always knew you were."
"What do you mean by that?"
"The continuum has been watching you for some time. We know all about you Captain William Gorman."
"What did you mean by stay out of the Gamma Quadrant."
Q paced in a circle around Gorman. "If you only knew Captain. I suggest you heed my warning and do exactly as I say. There are things out there that you Humans need to keep your noses out of." Q dissapeard as quickly as he came.
Gorman sat a minute taking in Q's words and shook his head. He stepped out of his office saying nothing to his crew.
When the doors closed Shawn stepped towards the window himself as the ship was engulfed in a brilliant display of blue yellow and white light.
"Obviously you didn't tell your crew." He said.
"I didn't believe it was necessary." He father answered. "We were going to the Gamma Quadrant whether we liked it or not. There was nothing I could have done. I didn't even know what Q meant at the time."
Gorman turned to face his Dad. "So what did he mean?"
William chuckled. "You're no where near the answer."
Gorman wanted to loose control of himself. If Starfleet had taught him anything it was that patience is without a doubt a vertue. He felt so lost. "Wait this is all happening so fast." He grabbed his forehead to add emphasis. "I just found out you existed ten minutes ago and now we're here."
William had sympathy in his voice. "Why don't you ask me what you have on your mind."
Gorman let go of his forehead and looked up to his Father. There was so much he wanted to ask and so little he could think of. Thoughts and questions jumped in and out of his mind faster than he could control. He started to pace through the room barely even noticing the beauty of the Worm Hole outside the window. Gorman stopped for a moment to gain composure. "You are a Q yes?" Gorman could not look at his Father.
"Yes I am."
"And you have been a Q for what, five years now?"
"Not completely. But that is the best I can explain it."
That caught Gorman's attention. He had been facing the ground but slowly moved his head up. "You've been able to see me everyday of my life since you became a Q?"
William opened his mouth but didn't speak. He paused for several seconds trying to decide on his next words. "I know where you're heading and the answer is No. I could not intervene in your life."
Gorman lost his temper. "You couldn't intervene!" He shouted as he turned to face his Father. "You have watched my every move. My every emotion. My every step for the last five years and you couldn't intervene." There was more than anger in his voice. He started to sweat. Outside the window the colors of the Worm Hole changed to black as the ship exited. "You knew what I went through when I refused to believe you were dead. You knew that I wept and had nightmares over the fact that I may never see you again, and all you can stand there and say is you couldn't intervene." Gorman's breathing became erratic.
"It doesn't work that way Son. There is so much you don't..."
"Abby!?" Gorman paused when the thought slapped him in the face. "You knew about Abby?"
For the first time William was unable to look at his Son. "Yes. I knew about Abby."
"You son of a bitch. You could have saved her. She died in my arms covered in blood. I cried out to you. I cried out to you and the whole time you could have done something about it."
William held his hands up trying to calm his son. "Listen to me. When you see everything I have to show you you'll completely understand. You need to trust me."
Trusting his Father was the last thing on his mind but even he knew that this was going nowhere. Gorman simply nodded somewhat reluctantly.
Some time had passed from the time the USS Hawking left the worm hole to their present position. In fact it had been several days. Shawn and his Father watched from the back of the bridge. William Gorman, the younger version, paced through his bridge going over and over what Q had said to him. He wanted to keep his mind on work but it was nearly impossible for him too. "What did he mean?" He thought. "Why the hell won't this stop bothering me." He tried to let his mind flow back to the surrounding bridge. His very young first officer sat motionless next to the Captains chair watching Captain Gorman. "It's almost as if he's reading my thoughts." Gorman said to himself. Suddenly he remembered that his first officer was a Betazoid. So in fact he was reading his thoughts. He looked back at his First Officer who was now chuckling.
His first officer stood and approached Gorman. "Is there anything that I should be aware of sir." He whispered knowing full well the situation already.
"I don't see any reason to alarm the crew Commander. Lets just keep this between us. If Q shows up again we can handle him."
"He has a reputation for being quit the trouble maker."
Gorman nodded in agreement. "I know. But so far he has done nothing but give me a warning. Now don't get me wrong but I think Q has a different agenda in mind. " They both nodded together. "And one more thing XO. Don't read my thoughts without my permission."
"I see. Very well sir."
>From the Con a young female voice was heard. "Captain. Astrochartography has informed me that they are ready to move on into the next sector to begin gathering data."
"Very well." Gorman said as he stepped back to the Captains Chair. "Set a course for sector seven-seven-three. Warp four. Engage!"
There was a hum coming from the ship as it shot into warp.
Only seconds had passed when Q appeared on the bridge. This time in an Admirals uniform. "Admiral on deck." He shouted.
"I had a feeling you'd be back." Captain Gorman said from his chair.
"I told you not to come into this quadrant."
The crew had turned all their attention onto the scene that was unfolding before them. Most of them were only kids and had no real sense of what was happening.
"And why is that Q? You never did explain yourself."
"I shouldn't need to explain myself. There are things in this quadrant you don't want to know exist."
"And what might that be?" Gorman asked as he stood.
"Ooh, tempting offer." Q answered. "Do I show you all the danger and death that awaits you or do I let you find out for yourself leaving you helpless and alone. Hmm decisions decisions."
Several of the bridge officers started to become uneasy. Both Gorman and his First Officer were sensing this. The very mention of the words death and danger sent chills through most of their young bodies.
"Listen Q. I'm allot less hospitable than Captain Picard was with you. I suggest we move into my ready room where we can talk in private."
Q placed one finger on his chin as if in deep thought. "Ok I agree to your terms. But first." He paused throwing his arm in the air. The ship swung to the side knocking several officers down. A few of them struggled to regain their composure. Commander Boddy was thrown out of his chair and hit the ground hard. Somehow through all of this Gorman had managed to keep his balance. The ship came to a stop almost as fast as it had taken off.
"What the hell just happened?" Gorman ordered.
The Con officer pulled herself in the seat and looked at her display. Her eyes grew big and her heart sunk when she saw the display screen. She turned slowly to face the Captain. "Sir according to this. We're three hundred light years from our present position."
"What?!" He shouted.
"Confirmed sir." The ops officer agreed. "We're on the other side of the Quadrant?"
By this point there was no controlling himself. Gorman tried to be patient. He didn't want to get into a confrontation with Q but the lives of his crew were at stake. Being a former Special Ops officer, this was unacceptable to him. His expression was vague and without emotion. He looked into Q's eyes almost sickened by his smart ass expression. "That's enough Q. What the hell do you want?"
"I thought you wanted to chat in your ready room?" After those words both he and Gorman vanished and appeared in his ready room. Q was seated behind the desk leaving Gorman to stand in front. Shawn and his father had also joined them. They watched as the battle between them took place. "What are you doing Q? Tell me know."
"I'm giving you a chance to see your future. I'm trying to help you."
"Help me. Yeah I know how you help people. Introducing us to the Borg. Countless number of lives lost all for the sake of your enjoyment."
"Oh please spare me all the sorrowful tales. I had nothing to do with that battle. If you humans would have just surrendered no one would have ever been killed." Q stood. "Imagine for a minute you could take all of that back in one wave of your arm. You could restore the Federation to full strength and no one would ever know the difference. You could destroy all the Borg and any other enemy you have with a single thought. What would you do with that kind of power?
Gorman became a little overwhelmed. He didn't know how to answer let alone want to. "What... What do you mean?"
"Just exactly what I said." He left from behind the desk and stepped around. "I was serious when I said the Continuum has had their eye on you. I didn't mean the Human race I meant you personally. You as an individual."
"I... I'm not sure how to take that."
"I could give you something that very few people have been offered before. A gift that the Continuum has offered to so little few. That's why you're here now. That's why I brought you here. You will make a decision."
"What are you saying Q? Damnit enough just tell me."
"We want you to join the Continuum."
Gorman couldn't believe his ears. He laughed out loud some what insulting Q. How could he possible become a Q. "What arrogance" He thought. "What the hell does he think he is going to accomplish here?"
"Don't take this so lightly. This is something we take very seriously."
"That's ridiculous Q. Why in the world would you want me?"
"I told you we've been watching you. Ever since you joined the Special Ops task force we have been there every step of the way. Judging you. Watching you. You are very respectable. You have qualities other humans lack."
"I don't have to think about it. My answer is no Q. No get the hell off my ship and take us back."
"Looks like you'll need a little persuasion." Q disapeared out of room. The red alert klaxons began to wail over the intercom. Gorman bolted from the room and onto the bridge. Right behind him was Shawn and his Father.
"What's going on?" Shawn asked.
"This is where it gets interesting." His father answered.
"Interesting huh? How could it get any more interesting?"
They watched as Gorman took his seat and asked for a report of the situation. Commander Boddy wanted to ask about Q but thought better of it. He knew it was best to focus on the task at hand. When we looked at his Captain all of the color drained out of his face. "Captain. We're detecting several ships on an intercept course."
"What type of ships?"
There was a short pause. "On screen Lieutenant."
The screen flickered and showed almost two dozen enemy vessels at high warp.
Gorman slowly stood from his chair. Even Shawn who was standing in the back had an oblique expression. It was the last thing he thought would ever be possible.
"How many ships are there Lieutenant?"
"Sir, I'm detecting twenty-two Borg vessels." Gormans heart sunk.
Gorman had returned to his chair. Going over all the data he could find. There was no way they would survive an all out confrontation. One Borg ship had destroyed an entire fleet, everyone knew this small Science vessel would be no match.
"Who long until they get here?" He asked.
"Five minutes sir."
"I want options people." Before anyone could answer the lieutenant from the Science station spoke up.
"Captain. I'm detecting something strange here."
"Most of the Borg ships that we're detecting have almost been complete destroyed."
"What? Are you sure."
"Confirmed sir." The Con officer shouted. "Captain if not mistaken here. It looks as if one hell of a battle had just taken place. I don't think the Borg are trying to intercept us. I think they're running away."
The first officer jumped to his feet. "You've got to be kidding me."
"No sir. I'm detecting a debris field about three light years from here. All Borg vessels."
"That's astonishing." Gorman said.
Shawn couldn't believe his ear either. He paced around the bridge watching everyone work. He read a console here than there trying to get a grasp on the situation. He was interrupted by the sound of a man shrieking in terror. He turned to the Commander Boddy grabbing the top of his head yelling as loud as his lungs would let him. He dropped to his knees convulsing back and forth. All the while he couldn't stop yelling. William Gorman ran to help.
"What is it Commander? What's wrong."
Commander Boddy did his best to control the pain. He breathed deep trying to push out a few words. "I... Don't......Know." He shouted even louder.
"Bridge to Med Lab. Medical emergency on the Bridge." He turnned back to his XO when he realized that he was trying to speak.
"I'm..... sensing.... something. We........ must........leave."
Gorman jumped to attention. "Lieutenant set a course, reverse heading. Get us out of here maximum warp."
"Aye sir laying in...."
"Sir look!" Came the shout of a very scared Ensign.
Gorman looked at the screen as the Borg ships had reached their position. But that wasn't what caught his attention. To the left of the Borg ships there appeared to be something forming. It looked like a worm hole.
"Captain, I'm detecting a Quantum Singularity forming off the port bow." The med team entered the bridge as Commander Boddy let out another shriek. Gorman couldn't take his eyes off the screen.
The Quantum Singularity had barely even opened when what seemed like lighting came bolting out of it hitting the broad side of a Borg vessel. The Borg ship vaporized without a thought. Hundreds of ships started flew out of the singularity. "Captain?" Came the weak cry of his First Officer. "I... I can hear them. They're a telepathic.... race. They're saying......... The weak will perish."
Gorman really didn't care what his First Officer meant. All he knew was that it was time to get the hell out of there. The ship rocked as another Borg vessel was incinerated. Several EPS conduits exploded throwing smoke through the bridge. Gorman ran through the smoke to the back of the bridge towards the science station shoving the Ensign aside. He looked at the display screen pushing button after button. He started talking to himself. "We need to find a place to hide.... To hide... To.. THERE!" He left the station. "Lieuteneant set course four-two-seven mark two-five maximum warp."
Shawn looked to his father. "What did you see?" He asked.
"There is a Planet not to far from here with a high magnetic displacement. I figured if we could get to the planet we could hide in the echoes shielding us from our visitors."
"Did it work?" Gorman got his answer.
As the Hawking jumped into warp the closest Borg ship to them exploded in a fire ball. The resulting explosion impacted with the Hawking. The ship went into warp but the damage had been done. Captain William Gorman looked through the dense smoke which he noticed was getting thicker. He suddenly realized the bridge had caught fire. He screamed for a report over the red alert klaxons but no one answered him. He made his way to the con and put his hand on the lieutenants back. He felt the cold rush the death that had taken her. He tried to push the thought out his mind as he looked at the console. The ship had gone to warp. "Good." He thought. But the celebration was premature when he noticed they were being pursued. Gorman cried out again to the tactical officer but he was no where to be found. The thought crossed through Gormans mind that the man was probably vaporized when his station exploded. An ODN conduit exploded directly above Gorman. He knocked him to the side but he kept his balance. He ran to his command chair bringing the ship out of warp when it reached the planet. The voice of an Ensign was the last thing he expected.
"Sir, I'm detecting two ships on an intercept course. All Borg ships have been destroyed."
Gorman turned to see who was speaking. It was the Ensign he knocked to the side a few minutes earlier.
"Take the con." He ordered. "Move us over the magnetic pole. The interference should hide us for a little while."
"Aye sir." The man answered.
As the man made his way to the chair Q appeared in the Commanders seat. "Not taking very good care of your ship are you captain?"
Gorman didn't even look at Q. He almost expected him to be there. He looked around at the bridge. It was in shambles. Bodies were everywhere. He an the Ensign were the only two people on the bridge left alive. "You did this Q. This is al your fault."
"I'm sorry you feel that way. All I did was show you what you have in store for you. This would have happened eventually. I just sped things along a little."
"Get the hell off my bridge." Gorman had no expression in his voice.
"Now now. No need to get testy. Why don't you fix this little problem?"
The words got Gormans attention. "What do you mean Q?"
"Exactly what I said. You have the power to fix all of this."
"I... I don't understand."
"You humans think in such two dimensions. What's so hard to understand." Q motioned to the view screen which through the flickering was showing the two enemy ships. "Take care of them. Destroy them now."
Gorman looked at his hand in awe. He didn't know what was flowing through him but he could feel a very new and real presence in his body.
"Wait!" Q said. "There is a price. Use your gift and you come with me to the Continuum."
Gormans face was naked. He looked around his bridge again almost sickened by all the death. "I have to save the rest of my crew." The ships out side prepared to fire. A lighting stream flew out of the lead ship but it never found it's target. Both of the ships vanished, but not just those ships. All of them. Even the Borg debris was now gone. With a single thought he had saved the rest of his crew.
Gorman stood from his chair. "My God. What did I just do?"
"Exactly what you needed to do. It's your privilege."
Gorman couldn't help to look at his First officer. A beam had fallen on him crushing him. "Can I bring him back?"
"It doesn't work that way Captain. Or should I call you Q. There is much you need to learn. Much the Continuum will teach you. There is no turning back now."
Gorman already knew all that. Thoughts flooded through him. "And my crew?"
"Relax. This ship will descend in orbit until it crashes on the planet bellow. It will be some time before the Federation makes it out this far but they will be alive."
"Why can't I just send the ship home?"
"That wasn't in the deal."
Gorman didn't argue. There was need to. He didn't care anymore. "My Son?"
With those words Shawn Gorman looked up at his father. An epiphany had come over him His Father did think of him. In fact it was his final thought. Both of the Q's disappeared.
Gorman and his Father had returned to the ready room on board the Shadow Horseman. Gorman paced a few minutes taking everything in. He wanted to ask so many things but there was only one thing that stuck in his mind.
"What you did was brave. You did it to save your crew."
William nodded with relief. "So you do understand now."
Gorman faced his father. "I... I don't know what to say. I.."
"Don't say anything. You don't have too."
"I felt betrayed. I felt... I don't know anymore."
"It is going to take time Son." He waited for a reply. "I guess I should leave." He didn't want to leave. He just couldn't think of anything else to do. "I really hope you understand and I hope one day you'll forgive me."
"I do forgive you Dad." It was the first time he had called him Dad without hate in his voice. "I just wish you had told me sooner."
"So do I Son. So do I." He walked towards his son and hugged him. "I wanted to everyday for the past five years."
"It's ok. We may have lost the last five years but we have the rest of our lives."
"Yes we do." William stepped back from his Son. "I do have to leave now." There was sadness in his voice. He just got his Son back and now he had to leave him again. "I will be in touch but I can't intervene in your life do you understand that?"
"I can always hear you. I can always see you. Always remember that."
"WAIT Dad. Can you do something for me."
"Of course anything?"
Admiral Chris Fillipone laughed out loud at the outrageous story Steven Gorman had just finished telling. "What the hell are you trying to pull Captain. That is poorest excuse I have ever heard."
"Excuse!" Steven Gorman had fires in his eyes. "I have never made an excuse for anything in my life. Maybe if you low life Admirals didn't sit behind a desk pointing fingers all the damn time and get out into combat you'd probably understand."
"Son, I've seen combat before you were a gleam in six packs eyes. Don't preach to me."
Gorman jummped to his feet and put his finger in the Admirals face. "NO SIR, it is you who shouldn't preach to me."
"ENOUGH!" Admiral Wright intervened. "Sit down Captain, that's an order." Steven took his seat. "Look Captain. You have to understand our situation. How can you expect us to believe that men disappeared and reappeared at will." Wright shook his head. "That someone from the future came to help you complete your mission. No. What I see here an hallucinagenic state brought on by war time conflict."
"WHAT?!" Gorman had disgust in his voice. "How dare you."
"You could use some rest and treatment." Wright started writing on the paper that sat in front of him. "We've seen this type of thing before. War time battles can bring on.."
Suddenly the man was interrupted when another voice echoed through the room and two men appeared. "Oh I don't know. I think he's telling the truth." Shawn Gorman said.
Gorman and his father looked at the expressions on the Admirals faces. Gorman wanted to laugh but held it in as much as he could. Admiral Wright simple moved back from the table with his jaw wide open. Admiral Fillipone stood. He wanted to talk but couldn't form the words. His glasses fell off the top of his head.
"Who.. Who are you.... WAIT." He threw his hands up. "Never mind I don't want to know."
Fillipone bent over gathering his papers together. He pulled them to his chest and left from behind the table. He looked at Gorman with awe as he made his way around and down the hall. He bolted out the door, the outside light temporally blinding him.
Admiral Wright reached behind him and turned off the video recorder removing the tape. "This never happened understand Captain."
Steven Gorman answered him. "What ever you say sir." He felt so insulted.
"You're fit to return to duty. Just....." He looked again at the two men. "Ah hell forget it." He left the room as quickly as Fillipone did.
When the Admirals had left all three men exploded into a fit of laughter. Steven stood and was unable to control his smile. "You have some strange timing Captain." He said as he shook Gormans hand.
"Yeah, I have a way of just popping in when ever I feel like it." They both laughed. "Obviously the EVAC went ok."
"Nothing I couldn't handle." He looked at the other man in the room. "And who might you be?"
"Oh him." Gorman answered. "This is my Father."
"You're Father?" That was the last thing Steven expected. "Well it is good to see you're alive sir. I've heard allot about you."
William Gorman and Steven shook hands. He was proud to hear his son call him his father.
During the first season I struggled not only to blurt out ideas but also to develop a writing style. It is my hope that over time my writing style will improve. I hope that Season Two will be much more enjoyable for you. All feed back is welcomed.
Comments are always welcome!
There are always two sides to every story - this is what happens when both sides are brought together from opposite sides of the most devastating battle in Federation history.
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