Part 12: Episode 0: "Paradox"Episode 0: "Paradox"
Captain's Log posted:
I don't know if anyone will ever read this, or if anyone will ever be around to read this; but the familiarity of a Captain's Log is… reassuring.
In a way, I am grateful for Lieutenant Galti's outburst. She merely put into words what I'm sure most of my officers were thinking. Indeed, it was a question I was asking myself. We have before us a tool that could drastically alter the timeline. With a tool like the Guardian of Forever at my fingertips, I could bring an early end to the Dominion war, prevent the bombing of Cardassia and the death of my grandparents at the hands of Jem'hadar assault troops. I could go back even further and prevent the military from taking direct control of the Cardassian Union and provoking our first war with the Federation. I could save the U.S.S. Voyager from being thrust across the galaxy, leaving the Borg and the Undine free to annihilate each other on the other side of the galaxy. I could get key information about the Borg to keep the Federation from losing forty ships at Wolf 359. I could send a warning to Martok, and advise him to eliminate J'mpok before he's assassinated.
The temptation is there, it pulls at me as I'm sure it would anyone else: a quiet, insistent voice that says: "Isshan, you can make things better. You can make things right for your people, for the Federation, for everyone." It's a… painfully difficult siren's call to ignore, but the world we'd return to wouldn't be our world. For me, there is more comfort in the familiar then there is in vague hopes that I will miraculously solve all of the Alpha Quadrant's problems in one fell swoop. I don't assume that I have enough foresight, that I am capable of the responsibility of making a choice that will alter the course of history. It stands to reason that for any event I make better, I would also make another event worse.
One doesn't need much foresight to see how a moment of meddling would result in a cascade of events that would only lead to paradox.
Captain's Log posted:
I need to make this brief, I have a meeting with the Department of Temporal Investigations in fifteen minutes.
I've also just realized I don't have anything to say. There are no thoughts I need to collect, no sins I need to confess. I've done the right thing; from what I've seen, the timeline is intact; which (I must point out since I'm sure my unnamed colleague from Starfleet Intelligence is reading this) indirectly makes me responsible for the deaths of six-hundred million Cardassians.
First Officer's Log posted:
I don't have much time, I've got to attend a meeting with the "Department of Temporal Investigations" in fifteen minutes.
I've been up all night compiling the reports from all of the members of our command staff, DTI wants a complete picture: Everything we did, everything we didn't do, everything that we believe we may have changed or encountered during our time in the past.
I've been busy, but I did have a little time for some research. Everything I've been doing should have been Korvat's responsibility, but he's in seclusion-either on the DTI's orders, or because Elerena got under his skin. I'm starting to think that someone upstairs doesn't trust him to assemble an unbiased report.
I'm not sure how I feel about that.
"Lieutenant Commander, Lieutenant. Thank you for joining me on such short notice."
"I wish I could say it was a pleasure, sir."
"Ah, the famous Bajoran hostility to authority. I've reviewed your reports. All of them. Yours particularly was very thorough, Lieutenant Commander. Thorough enough that I'd almost suspect you're attempting to cover something up-"
"Unbelievable! Sir! I can't-"
"Lieutenant, that's enough. I will not protest my innocence, Commander. I've done nothing wrong."
"… But, sir-"
"It will be alright, Lieutenant."
"Ahem. As I was saying: I'd almost suspect you're attempting to cover something up, but corroborating evidence from your command staff, your ship's sensor logs, and our own secondary investigations show that the timeline is unaltered. It seems B'Vat's entire trip through time and eventual defeat by you was a predestination paradox. I do have one question for you, however."
"Our logs show that Isshan Korvat is a Klingon. Care to explain how you came back a Cardassian?"
"Hahaha! I'm just joking, Lieutenant Commander. A little DTI humor, there to soften the blow. DTI has determined that those who have time-traveled once are far more likely to do so a second time when compared to those who have never traveled in time. We're assigning you a Temporal Sciences officer, a time-travel expert, to help you make wise choices should you, at any point in the future, find yourselves in the past."
Suggestions are currently open for:
a) Our Ferengi Science Officer (Department of Temporal Investigations) (female)