The Littlest Rogue, Chapter 38

Scarlet O'Neil, after finally convincing a recovering Miss Lincoln that she was in no way in league with the evil psi cop Alfred Bester from the other dimension, had been in contact with her Dowd father and the Q who called himself Quinn. They had become very fond of little Alice Bester and her mother, and had asked Scarlet to inquire of Mr. Seven if it would be all right for little Alice to get a taste of real history in the making, by transporting her, Isis and her mother from their new home on the planet Betazed to Woodstock for the historic concert. They both assured Scarlet and Mr. Seven that Alice and her mother were in no danger of being caught by Alfred. Also, since the late nineteen sixties was a more innocent time, there were many families with children in attendance as well as the hippies, with little chance of any serious violence. Alice's mother Dinah had recently met Carolyn Sanderson, Bester's ex-lover, who she learned had become a new agent for Mr. Seven's covert organization. It was an awkward meeting at first, but Dinah did not blame Carolyn for getting involved with her ex- husband, being that he was, even in his advanced age, a physically attractive man and very beguiling and Dinah never really loved him anyway. It had been mostly a marriage made by the Psi Corps; the only good thing coming out of it was their darling little girl. Alice had just turned six, and, although she was intrigued by the notion of going to a famous twentieth century Earth rock concert, she was also very frightened at the prospect of seeing her father in the flesh again. The child had had recurring premonitions and nightmares that her father would be there, on the trail of even more fleeing rogue telepaths like her and her mother and harming anyone who got in his way. Alice's mother had long suspected that her ex-husband had a few screws loose, but now she was certain that he was certifiably insane and quite possibly a megalomaniac if he really believed that he could track down a few fleeing rogue telepaths in that sea of people they would soon encounter. Even seeing him in her visions made Alice uneasy, for he seemed to recognize her, and that also scared her. She had a strange connection to her father, even though she did not like him or trust him. To confirm her little daughter's visions, Dinah Bester had asked Mrs. Troi to contact Mr. Seven and ask if this was so. He told them that Alfred had murdered the Minbari caretaker named Draal, almost causing the destruction of Epsilon Three and the orbiting space station named Babylon Five in the parallel universe from which they came. The Q had brought Draal back to life just in time, but Alfred had indeed gone into the past of the alternate universe, tracking down more fleeing rogue telepaths. However, Seven reminded them of the fact that Alfred would not recognize Alice or her mother. Little Alice would be safe as long as she stayed with her mom and did not go wandering off. There was also safety in numbers, and Carolyn had given each of them necklaces like Roberta's, supplied by the Q, which enhanced their natural telepathic abilities.

Miss Lincoln had gathered up enough courage to open her eyes. Her head felt better and she learned that the Q had been kind enough to remove the Borg implants. To say the least, it had not been a pleasant experience, and the vision of the hideous Borg queen was still in her mind. She was also curious as to who had kissed her while she was still semiconscious, vaguely recalling a young man's voice in her mind, calling her "mom" and saying that he loved her. It was a crazy thing to her, being that she was too young to have a twenty-something son and she wasn't even married. Her double Mrs. Chakotay was back in her twenty-fourth century Starfleet uniform, not wanting to steal her counterpart's sexist outdated attire and had returned to her starship called Voyager in her dimension. Miss Lincoln tried to sit up, but soon discovered that she was still suffering from the effects of the Borg paralyzing agent. At first, she was fearful, but she was told by Mr. Seven that the drug that Seven of Nine had unknowingly given to her was only temporary, and that she should recover her mobility in about an hour. She relaxed, finally convinced that she was not experiencing some alien illusion and that she was really home in the twentieth century. She recognized most of the people surrounding the brown leather couch on which she lay, but there were two new faces that she did not. One was a Vulcanian woman named Saavik from the twenty-third century and the other, she learned, was a telepathic human woman from the parallel universe named Carolyn Sanderson. Roberta, still rattled by her experience with the Borg, was starting to wonder if she was cut out for this line of work. Perhaps she should quit while she was ahead. Isis picked up on this thought and informed Mr. Seven of it. Roberta was no longer surprised at telepathic incursions into her private thoughts, and she was glad to see Isis again in human form, but she had not as yet changed her mind about quitting. It was now up to Seven to talk her out of it. He approached her with compassion, understanding why she felt the way she did, but she couldn't quit now. If she did, she would not be able to alter the fate of her dear friend and colleague, Pavel Chekov, nor would she be able to save herself from Bester or from the brain damage inflicted on her by the Jack the Ripper entity when she got older. She would also not meet her future husband at Woodstock, nor would her future son have a part in rescuing her from the Borg. She would also not be able to keep Bester from destroying Woodstock in his attempts to find his prey.

Roberta had been given the week of medical rest leave that she had been promised, even though she had fully recovered physically from her ordeal with the Borg. This time, there was no funny business with being transported to a Federation starship while she was unconscious. It took Roberta a few months to get used to her normal daily routine, for she feared that every time she shut her eyes, she might end up in a place she did not wish to be. Seven had offered to bring a twenty-fourth century counselor to help her cope with the psychological effects of what had happened, but Roberta was keenly aware of the social stigma involved in consulting a "shrink". However, after a while, she relented, for the nightmares from her ordeal had not stopped and it was affecting her work. She found she could not sleep without experiencing the sensations of being unable to move and waking up helpless and in pain from the Borg implants, not knowing what they were going to do to her. It had been a terrifying experience. By the time that Woodstock was announced, the counselor that Mr. Seven had sent had helped her a great deal, at last revealing to her that she was half alien herself, from the same planet that Dinah and her little girl had settled on. She also told her that her captain had also been abducted and assimilated by the Borg, so knew first hand what the young lady was going through. The telepathic woman from the alternate future named Carolyn had also become a good friend to Roberta, telling her of her horrific experience with Shadow implants, which were very similar to Borg technology.

At last, the big day had arrived, and Roberta felt confident in her mission to stop Bester from interfering with Woodstock and his relentless pursuit of the fleeing rogue telepaths from the alternate reality. She was wearing her pink and orange dress with the black sash with the sleeves rolled up because it was hot and muggy outside and had placed her servo in her matching purse. She fingered her necklace nervously as Carolyn drove the jeep they had borrowed from one of her friends. Inside the trunk was an extra heavy duty extension cord, for Mr. Seven had informed them both that Bester was going to destroy one by accident. Roberta saw him and ducked behind a large speaker, fumbling in her purse for her servo, which had been set on heavy stun. She watched as Bester made it on stage, a black entertainer named Jimi Hendrix glaring at him with dismay. She then gasped as she noticed little Alice and her mother in the crowd. Alice smiled and started to wave in recognition, but Dinah stopped her, suddenly realizing that her ex husband was stepping up to a live microphone. Alice stared at her father in dismay as he asked those in attendance if there were any telepaths present. Almost everyone thought that his question was some kind of a joke and raised their hands…everyone except the true telepaths and Alice. The father and daughter locked eyes on each other. Bester stared at the little girl, recognizing her from his dreams, but did not know who she was. As they continued to stare at each other, Roberta came up behind Bester and called him by name. Alfred turned to face the young woman in perplexity, wondering how someone from the twentieth century could possibly know who he was. He heard her thoughts, and came to the conclusion that she must be one of the rogue telepaths he was pursuing. She was saying that compared to the Borg, he was a little pipsqueak, and she was no longer afraid of him. She looked vaguely familiar, but he could not figure out where he had last encountered her. She raised her servo. He smiled, asking if she was going to write him to death, not knowing at first that the pen-like device she was holding was really a powerful futuristic weapon. He soon sensed that she was going to fire it at him, and quickly grabbed it out of her hand, accidentally resetting it to kill. As they struggled, the servo went off and severed an electrical connection on the ground. Astonished at this, Bester paused for a moment. Alice saw that Roberta was in grave danger. She raised her little hands and aimed her fingertips at her father and concentrated, Dinah soon joining in. Suddenly, Alfred forgot why he came to the twentieth century or even why he had come on stage. Roberta quickly retrieved her dropped weapon, reset it back to stun, and fired point blank. Bester fell on the stage in a heap. Not really knowing what had just happened, and wondering how a young chick like her could subdue a grown man, Mr. Hendrix and a young fellow named Maury dragged the crazy cat off the stage. However, at the moment, they could not continue with the concert, for they had no electricity. Roberta quickly ran to her friend's jeep, telling the handsome young dark-haired man named Maury that she had an extra extension cord. He watched as she opened the trunk of her vehicle and Dinah watched in astonishment as both the young man and her ex-husband vanished.

In a few minutes, Maury returned, not recalling where he had disappeared to or even that he did. At that moment, he decided to swear off pot, and helped the young lady with the groovy red necklace take out the heavy cord from the trunk.

After enjoying the historic concert, little Alice and her mother returned to the planet Betazed in the twenty-fourth century with help from the Q, while Roberta, satisfied that her mission was successful, and having acquired a new boyfriend, wished them luck and happiness in the future. Alice and her mother lived happily on the planet Betazed for the rest of their lives.

THE END