THINGS YOU SHOULD PROBABLY KNOW:
Keara Malko was Adeem's best girl. She was good friends with J'lanna Sarah Uhura Jo (I think that was her full name), who owned a bar on the station. Jo (a Betazed, if you're keeping score; you know how wild they are!) had recently had a kid at the time when I joined the game. Adeem wears a suped up Breen exosuit (suped up as in he added some cybernetics and controls for his ship and transporter). He is never without the suit, and rarely seen to remove his helmet (except in this story obviously! oh ho ho!) for security, safety, and privacy reasons. Some time between when I left the game and now, the Breen joined the Dominion in war against the Federation, so it's safe to assume that Adeem (who appears to be Breen) was not welcome in Federation space. He runs a small ship (barely room for him and his client), so it's understandable that a lady would be less than enthusiastic about living with him on it. But it's the only home he's ever known. And while he was a coyote by trade, his real mission was the search for personal warp travel. Like, without a ship. And oh ho ho isn't this getting all nerdy and whatnot and really it's just a few steps down from fanfic at this point. BAD FANFIC. Blame my mother for making me a Trekkie. I PROBABLY LEFT STUFF OUT BUT I GUESS NO ONE'S FORCING YOU TO READ IT AND YOU'RE PROBABLY NOT READING IT AT THIS POINT SO HEY HOW ABOUT THOSE METS.
If you were on DS3 and happen to find this, perhaps in some random google search, drop me a line. You can always post a comment, I don't mind!
Nicodemus Jheter was much older than he ever thought he'd be. The life of a coyote has its risks. Sometimes he'd wondered if it weren't the quest that kept him alive, for its own ends. He'd been to the fourth spatial dimension at the request of the entity known only as the Time Being. One does not forget being the "Chosen One" to an entire race, even if one still does not believe it. Either way, Adeem was not unfamiliar with being the pawn of forces larger than himself.
His quest had taken him farther afield than most humans had ever seen, let alone been. He'd been to the worlds of the ancient Iconians, and spoken to the being known only as the Traveler. Oh, and that whole fourth dimension thing. And yet, here he was, back on the Federation outpost Deep Space Three. It hardly seemed like any time at all had passed since he first set foot on the station, a fresh-faced youth in command of his own ship and barely out of his teens. You can't step in the same river twice, though, and much had changed. This place had been Jo's Star Bar and Holosuite Emporium, but that was several owners ago. Jo was still around, but rumor had it that having a child had changed her outlook a bit. Probably figured a bar wasn't the best environment to raise a kid. Some time between now and when Jo'd left, the dabo tables had gone, too. Still, and perhaps from nostalgia more than sense, Adeem felt comfortable enough to leave the helmet of his stolen Breen exosuit sitting on the table between himself and his guest.
"I don't remember much about the actual passenger himself. My mother tried to keep me out of sight during missions, because she never knew just who she'd be transporting. But I'm sure his secret was what cost her her life. Moreso than the ship and the trade she left me, it was my inheritance. I owed it to her to see her through.
"The Iconians could travel anywhere in the galaxy, and perhaps beyond, through the use of their gateways. But as they'd developed around their gateway technology, they were stranded without access to one. There were rumors, though, that some had learned to travel like the Iconians, but without the need for gateways. In my travels, I came across classified Starfleet information regarding an individual known as the Traveler. He'd apparently taken their flagship Enterprise over a billion light-years in an instant. But he still needed a ship with a warp reactor, a device, to shape the power of his mind. I was able to learn quite a bit from him, though.
"In his conception, spacetime and conscious thought were entangled. Through the language of mathematics, he was able to, I dunno, will the Enterprise's warp reactor to carry them across fantastic distances. But he provided me the key to the mystery. You see, he explained to me that consciousness is really our interface with the universe. The old dualists had it wrong; mind and matter were not separate. Indeed, they're integral in ways most people never dream. Consciousness is the membrane where they intersect, like the flat surface between two round soap bubbles. Our universe is not one or the other, but rather is composed of the interaction between the two. Of the old philosophers, it was actually Kant who was closest. Space and time are the goggles through which we view the universe, and they cannot be removed. We've learned to bend space and time, and there are any number of ways to warp our minds. But it's the synthesis of the two disciplines that allows one to travel anywhere in space without a vessel. Theoretically, it should be no more difficult to travel likewise through time, though I've had no such luck. I think it may have to do with the fact that we can view space omnidirectionally but time seems to move in only one direction."
"Exactly. It's much harder for us to conceptualize time due to this constraint. But space? Space is our oyster once we understand just how our perception affects it. It starts with awareness, and presence. The reason it's so hard for us to get from here to there is that so few of us understand where "here" is. I mean truly understand. Even once I'd come to sort of understand things after my discussions with the Traveler, it took me years of meditation practice. But now—maybe it's best to show you. Close your eyes. Now open them."
Overhead was sky, and stars. They were still seated at table, and the helmet was still in the same place. But it was a different table. Under different stars. "Like it? We're seated outside at a café in the village in Ireland where my mother was born. On Earth. Terra." Adeem smiled.
The younger fellow blinked unbelieving. "This is a trick or something. Have we really been on a holodeck all this time?"
Adeem was suddenly serious. "No. In the strictest sense, no. But in another sense, all the universe is a holodeck, 'and all the men and women merely players.' The matter is arranged by the collective computer of humanoid consciousness rather than by a box of isolinear chips. We are really here, on Earth, as surely as if we'd gotten onboard a starship and travelled here over the course of days and weeks. There is no difference. Any interaction you have with the people here will really happen to them, and sensors will record your presence. What you see around you is not an illusion, nor are you an illusion to it."
"But what you've just told me is impossible."
"Son, how can you know what's impossible unless you know fully what is possible? History is the record of successively impossible things happening. You can't be unprepared for this. Surely your mother told you—"
"She told me a lot of things, thank you very much. I never believed the half of them. I'm the only proof I ever had that you even existed before now."
Adeem was stung. "True, true. I'm sorry, but my mother—your grandmother—died for just a piece of this knowledge. She raised me, all on her own, same as your mother did. I owed her just as much as you owed your mother to show up today and meet me. I knew your mother, so I can imagine that you and she shared a similar connection to the one I shared with your grandmother. So I'm confident that even if you don't understand now, you will, at some point. But please understand; I never knew my father. If I'd known about you, or even thought—"
"But you didn't think, did you?"
"That's not fair. In my line of work, one doesn't have much chance to stick one's head above the surface without fear of losing it. I offered to bring Keara with me, but she declined. I would've... huh. I suppose that's why she never told me. She knew how important this was to my mother, and how important my mother was to me. She knew I'd never be able to leave you behind."
"Seems she was looking out for us both, eh?" the young man said sarcastically.
"I don't know what else to say. I'm here, with you, in the land of our ancestors. I don't know what I was hoping for. But I'm offering you your—our birthright. And unless I miss my guess, we're all either of us has right now. I mean, I'm still learning this stuff myself, but I'd like the chance to teach you. We're talking about a chance to change all of humanity, the whole galaxy, even the universe; and I'm willing to gamble that there's enough of me in you that whatever you think of me right now that that's a pretty interesting prospect. What do you say?"
Adeem recognized the flash of green in his son's eyes, just as in his mother's and his own. With a hint of a smile, he replied. "Dunno. Sounds like it could be fun. But let's not make any assumptions here. I'm not just going to hug you teary-eyed and call you dad and all that. I'm interested in being your student first and foremost."
"Yeah, I figured you'd say that. So, DS3... then the universe?"