Bring the status units in here, on line.
Dr Selar can use ward three and I'll stay here.
- Sickbay, they're coming in now. - Acknowledged. Be ready.
Let's go. Get him on here.
What happened?
The Lenarians attacked us outside the conference room.
He's in cardiac arrest. Connect the pulmonary support units.
Internal haemorrhaging. The regulator of his artificial heart is fused.
He's got liver and spleen damage.
- What kind of weapon caused it? - A compressed tetryon beam.
40cc inaprovaline.
The activity in the isocortex is falling. Cortical stimulators.
His respiratory system is shutting down.
Levels in the isocortex are still falling. Damn!
Prepare for...
Welcome to the afterlife, Jean-Luc. You're dead.
Space, the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds,...
..to seek out new life and new civilizations,...
..to boldly go where no one has gone before.
Q, what is going on?
I told you. You're dead.
This is the afterlife and I'm God.
- You are not God! - Blasphemy.
You're lucky I don't cast you out or smite you.
The bottom line is, your life ended about five minutes ago,
under the inept ministrations of Dr Beverly Crusher.
I am not dead.
Because I refuse to believe that the afterlife is run by you.
The universe is not so badly designed.
Very well. If you require more evidence
of your postmortem status, I'll provide you some.
Jean-Luc, I told you not to go to that Academy.
I told you Starfleet would bring you to a bad end,
but you wouldn't listen.
Now look at you. Dead before your time.
- Q, enough of this. - Enough what?
Why couldn't you have listened?
Didn't you know that I worked for your best interests?
Q, stop this.
After all these years,
even now, you manage to disappoint me, Jean-Luc.
He's not the only one who'd like a word with you.
Jean-Luc, why did you do it?
There are people down there!
- There must be another way. - They're firing on us.
- If you continue on this course... - Direct hit.
These are the voices of all the people you've killed.
- Whom I've killed? What do you mean? - Death has made you a little dim.
These are the voices of all the people
who have died through your actions or inactions.
If you have any words of apology or regret,
I believe they're all listening.
They're a surly bunch, so don't drag it out.
I won't perform for your amusement.
It's not for me. It's for you.
It's an opportunity to make peace with your sordid past.
I can't believe you'd do this for my soul.
Now that you've shuffled off the mortal coil
we can spend a little time together.
A little time together?
- How much? - Eternity.
You're sure you have no regrets or guilt about your former life?
I can't have you whining and complaining through time.
If I'm really dead, then my only regret is dying and finding you here.
You wound me.
After all, I was not the cause of your death.
This was.
- Is that...? - Your artificial heart.
You might have lived if you had a real one,
instead of this unreliable technology.
By the way, how did you lose yours?
- A mistake. - Is that a regret?
I regret many things from those days.
It wasn't very smart of you to take on three Nausicaans, was it?
No, it wasn't.
And did I hear a laugh?
It's so unlike you to have a sense of humour,
especially about getting stabbed through the back.
I was different in those days.
Arrogant, undisciplined, with far too much ego.
And too little wisdom. I was more like you.
Then, you must have been far more interesting. Pity you had to change.
The pity is, I had to be impaled through the back
before I learned that lesson.
I started that fight with those Nausicaans.
I started it because...
Because I was young and cocky.
If I'd been more responsible, I wouldn't have needed this heart.
I wouldn't have died from a random energy surge 30 years later.
So, if you had to do it all over again?
Things would be different.
- Bravo. - Nicely done.
Cortin. Cortin Zweller.
Yes. Boy, she must have hit you pretty hard!
- You deserved it. - You're slowing down, Johnny.
You should have seen that one coming.
Marta Batanides.
- Are you OK? - Yes, I'm fine.
I'm just a little disoriented, that's all.
He's playing for sympathy now.
I'm gonna eat, then go to the casino at Bonestell. You coming?
- I'll catch up with you there. - You sure you're OK?
Yes, I'm fine. Really, Marta, I'm fine.
Come on, Marty. I bet he's got another date.
That's it, isn't it? You are incorrigible.
Attention on deck, Ensign Picard!
- Q. - That's Capt Q to you, young man.
What is the point of creating this fantasy?
This is no fantasy, I assure you. It's all very real.
You're 21 years old again.
A brash young man, fresh out of the Academy.
I certainly don't look it.
Well, to everyone else you do.
So, Q, I thought you told me that I was dead?
- Now it seems I'm alive. - You mortals are so obtuse.
How can you believe life and death are such static and rigid concepts?
I can take your life and give it back to you again
with the snap of a finger.
Let's say that may be true.
What is the purpose in bringing me here?
You said you regretted many things.
Here's a chance to change some of them.
Change them? You mean change the past?
Even if you have been able to bring me back in time somehow,
you know that an alteration in this timeline
will have a profound impact on the future.
Please! Spare me your egotistical musings
on your pivotal role in history.
Nothing you do here will cause galaxies to explode.
To be blunt, you're not that important.
I won't do it. I won't alter history.
Very well!
Since you attach so much importance to the continuity of time, ...
..I give you my personal guarantee
that nothing you do here will hurt anyone
or have an adverse effect on what you know of as history.
The only thing at stake here is your life and peace of mind.
whether you believe me or not, you are here.
And you have a second chance.
What you choose to do with it is entirely up to you.
Do you know where you are?
Starbase Earhart. We came here right after graduation
to await our first deep-space assignments.
That's right.
It's two days before your encounter with a Nausicaan sword.
You have that long to make whatever changes you wish.
If you can avoid getting stabbed this time,
which I doubt, I will take you back to what you think of as the present.
And you will go on with your life with a real heart.
- Then, I won't die? - Of course you'll die.
It'll just be at a later time.
What if I don't avoid the fight? What if I won't make the changes?
Then, you die on the table and we spend eternity together.
- Wonderful. - I'm glad you think so.
I'm curious about one thing, Johnny.
Why did that attractive woman strike you just now? Something you said?
Her name was Corlina. I'd arranged to take her out today.
Then she discovered that
I had already made a second date with another woman called...
And Corlina was, naturally, upset.
I'd no idea you were such a cad. I'm impressed.
- Computer, what is the time now? - 16 11 hours.
In fact, Penny is waiting for me, right now.
Well, ... carry on.
Well, you're awfully quiet today.
What happened to that dashing young ensign from last night?
The one with the winning smile and the smooth talk about my eyes.
I'm just a little more contemplative.
And what are you contemplating?
Do you think we could talk for a while? I hardly know you.
Where you're from, what your interests are, your last name.
I come from Rigel, my last name is Muroc and I like men in uniform.
I think that's enough talking.
What's wrong? I don't look as attractive as I did last night?
No. Not at all.
I think you're a very handsome woman.
Handsome? That's something you say to old ladies.
You're certainly not an old lady.
I didn't want your pity.
Penny for your thoughts.
You never told me you were such a ladies' man.
I wasn't. I was a puerile adolescent
led by his hormones instead of his head.
Your friends know how to have fun. You ought to take lessons.
Excuse me.
- He's winning. - Of course.
I thought you had a date.
She decided to leave.
You're getting old, Johnny.
Thank you. Thank you all. Thank you.
Very, very nice. Forget Starfleet and play dom-jot for a living.
This is nothing. A little trigonometry, some wrist action.
Now, barokie, there's a game.
Play dom-jot, human.
I think I could be persuaded to play one more game.
Corey, don't play him.
- Why? - It’ll cause trouble.
He's a Nausicaan.
They can get very ill-tempered if they lose.
- So can I. - No, listen to me.
- This is a mistake. Don't play him. - What's gotten into you?
Let's go.
I see you've found your Nausicaan friend.
You seem unimpaled so far.
I'm sorry to disappoint you.
Get him, Corey.
Ensign Zweller seems to be doing well.
He's gonna lose. The Nausicaan is cheating.
Really? I'm beginning to like these Nausicaans.
If history repeats itself, Corey will figure it out later tonight,
and then he'll want revenge.
And will you help your best friend avenge this injustice?
I did last time.
I rigged the table so that he would win in a rematch.
Picard, you cheated?
- I'm impressed. - It was a stupid mistake.
The Nausicaan didn't take kindly to losing. Nor his friends.
They were outraged. They wanted a fight.
I gave them one.
That's a beautiful story.
It gets you right here, doesn't it?
Dom-jot. Human play dom-jot.
I've played a lot of dom-jot.
I've never seen balls roll that well for anyone.
- So, he was cheating? - I bet he had a magnetic device.
- It was controlling the balls. - That's terrible.
- We gotta get even. - What did you have in mind?
Well, we can do to him what he did to us. Cheat.
This time, we rig the table so his device will backfire on him.
That won't solve anything.
It'll teach him not to go round cheating Starfleet officers.
All it'll do is provoke him.
And provoking a Nausicaan is not a good idea.
I can handle him.
What if he brings some of his Nausicaan friends?
That's when I'll have to depend on my friends to help me out.
Corey, there's got to be a better way to handle this.
When did you start backing away from a good fight?
Look, we're not cadets any more. We're officers.
We should set a higher standard for ourselves.
It was a good idea but let's just forget it, OK?
He'll get over it.
I hope so.
- What? - Nothing.
It's just you'd usually be the one plotting revenge.
Yes. That would be more in character, wouldn't it?
I always suspected you had a hidden streak of responsibility.
Perhaps it's just that I'm getting older.
Maybe these bars are starting to feel a little heavy, Ensign.
Ensign Picard and Ensign Batanides. It sounds weird, doesn't it?
It's going to take some getting used to.
It's too bad we can't get used to it together.
- Well, the three of us, I mean. - Of course.
Is there a John-Luck Pickard here?
From one of your conquests, no doubt.
I guess some things aren't going to change.
Did I interrupt anything sordid, I hope?
No, Q, you did not.
Pity. She's quite attractive.
We were friends. Nothing more.
Is that another regret I hear? My, my.
We're riddled with regrets about our youth, aren't we?
My friendship with Marta is not something I regret.
But you wish it had been more than friendship?
Well, maybe you can change all that.
Q, what is it you want?
You should know Mr. Zweller has decided not to take your advice.
He's in the Bonestell Facility
rigging the table to beat the Nausicaan.
I guess you weren't that persuasive.
Don't sneak up on me. I thought you were the foreman.
I'm glad you're here. Hand me that magnaspanner.
I'm not here to help.
I'm here to stop you from making a serious mistake.
You sound like my mother.
Cheating the Nausicaans could have consequences for all of us.
- It's too big a risk. - You are my mother!
Gee, Mom, I'll tell those Nausicaans I don't mind if they cheat me.
- This is not a joke. - It better be.
Now, I'm gonna finish my work here.
If you wanna help me, fine. If not, I'll see you at the star base.
I said you're not doing this.
Are you gonna hit me, Johnny?
I'll tell the gambling foreman someone tampered with his table.
Have it your way, Ensign Picard.
I just couldn't make him understand.
- At least he finally did give it up. - But he didn't take it well.
You know Corey. He'll forget all about it by tomorrow.
I hope you're right, because he and I were friends for years after this.
I mean, I hope we will be.
You know, ...
..you keep smiling at me.
Well, I've just never seen you like this before.
You're so serious.
Do I really seem that different?
Maybe I'm just not used to seeing you in your officer's uniform.
No, it's more than that.
You do seem different.
Well, I'm not complaining or anything.
- I think it suits you. - Really?
It's very attractive.
Haven't you ever thought about us getting together?
Yes, I have, actually.
I've thought about it for a long time.
- Why didn't you ever say so? - I don't know.
And at this moment, ...
..I really have no idea why not.
You've said so now.
Morning, darling.
Feeling a little jumpy this morning?
Are we guilty, perhaps?
I don't feel guilty about anything, Q.
"We're just friends, Q. Nothing more."
And we're still friends.
So, what's next?
I don't know.
What I do know is, things will be different.
I'm sure.
- Good morning. - Johnny.
What's wrong?
Well, this is the morning after.
Look, I don't regret anything that happened last night.
I hope you don't either.
I don't know.
We've been friends for a long time...
..and now...
..I’m afraid we've ruined that friendship.
Then, perhaps we should...
..forget about what happened and try to...
I wish I could.
It would be much easier to say goodbye tomorrow.
We're all supposed to get together later
for our last big night out before we all ship out.
Don't do anything that makes you uncomfortable.
We've planned it.
I'll be there.
Well, let's see.
You've managed to get slapped by one woman,
a drink thrown in your face by another,
and alienate your two best friends. Doing well so far.
The only thing left to avoid is getting stabbed through the heart.
I think you'll like the Ajax.
I hear that Capt Narth is an excellent officer.
So I hear.
Well, here's to the class of '27.
Play dom-jot, human.
Give you a better chance.
Give you a bigger stick maybe.
I don't think we're interested.
They are undari.
What did you say?
Coward. Like all Starfleet.
You talk and you talk, but you have no guramba.
- Why don't we find out? - Don't be a fool.
Play dom-jot with someone else. Just go about your business.
Maybe I play with her. Give her a good time.
I'm sorry, Corey. He was reaching for a weapon.
I don't know who you are any more,
but you're not my friend.
Goodbye, Johnny.
Congratulations, mon capitaine. You did it.
Can I help you, Mr. Picard?
Mr. Worf.
This is not for me.
Take it to Cmdr La Forge in Engineering.
What's happened?
- Is something wrong? - I'm not sure.
Mr. Worf, what is my rank and position?
You are lieutenant junior grade, Assistant Astrophysics Officer.
Are you feeling alright?
Who's the captain of this ship?
Capt Thomas Halloway.
Perhaps I should escort you to sickbay.
No. I can find my own way there. Thank you, Commander.
Beverly, something's happened.
- I'm not sure... - Well, well, well.
What seems to be the trouble, Leutnant Picard?
Q, what have you done?
I've done exactly as I promised. I've returned you to the present.
This is not the present I remember. You said nothing would change.
Nothing has changed, Jean-Luc, except for you.
But that's what you wanted.
To change the man you were in your youth. You did it.
This is the man you are today.
And you should be happy.
You have a real heart beating in your chest.
You live out the rest of your life in safety,
running tests, making analyses
and carrying reports to your superiors.
Excuse me, am I interrupting?
- No, not at all. Have a seat. - Thank you.
I'd like to talk to you about my future on the Enterprise.
Of course, Lieutenant.
- Jean-Luc, isn't it? - I should go.
No. I would very much like to hear your thoughts.
First of all, I would like you to be straightforward with me.
How would you evaluate me as an officer?
Well, your performance records have always been good.
You're thorough, dedicated.
Steady, reliable.
I see.
What would you say if I told you
that I believed that I was capable of being very much more?
Let's discuss this at your next evaluation.
I would appreciate discussing it now.
You see, I feel that I would like to move beyond Astrophysics
to Engineering or Security,
something that might even lead to Command.
Frankly, Lieutenant, I don't think that's realistic.
This isn't the place to discuss this.
Please. This is very important to me.
I believe that I can do more.
Hasn't that been the problem all along?
Throughout your career you've had lofty goals,
but you've never been willing
to do what's necessary to attain them.
Would that be your evaluation?
I agree with the Counsellor.
To get ahead, take chances.
Stand out in a crowd, get noticed.
I see.
We don't want to lose you. You're a good officer.
Just not one who stands out.
I'll talk to Cmdr La Forge in Engineering.
But, Command?
Well, ... we'll see.
Senior officers, report to the Captain's ready room.
We should talk about this later.
Alright, Q, that's enough.
You've made your point.
La Forge to Lt Picard.
I'm still waiting for that statistical analysis.
I'm on my way.
Main Engineering.
Are you having a good laugh now, Q?
Does it amuse you to think of me
living out my life as a dreary man in a tedious job?
I gave you something most mortals never experience.
A second chance at life.
And now all you can do is complain?
I can't live out my days as that person.
That man is bereft of passion and imagination!
That is not who I am!
Au contraire, he's the person you wanted to be.
One who was less arrogant and undisciplined in his youth.
One who was less like me.
The Jean-Luc you wanted to be,
the one who did not fight the Nausicaan,
had a different career from the one you remember.
That Picard never had a brush with death,
never faced his own mortality,
never realized how fragile life is, how important each moment must be.
His life never came into focus.
He drifted for much of his career, with no plan or agenda,
going from one assignment to the next,
never seizing the opportunities that presented themselves.
He never led the away team on Milika III to save the ambassador,
or take charge of the Stargazer's bridge when its captain was killed.
And no one ever offered him a command.
He learned to play it safe.
And he never, ever got noticed by anyone.
You're right, Q.
You gave me the chance to change and I took the opportunity.
But I admit now, it was a mistake.
Are you asking me for something, Jean-Luc?
Let me put things back the way they were before.
Before you died in sickbay. Is that what you want?
I would rather die as the man I was than live the life I just saw.
Coward! Like all Starfleet.
You talk and you talk, but you have no guramba.
- What did you say? - I said, you are a coward.
That's what I thought you said.
His vital signs are stable.
You were injured, but I think you're going to be alright.
I still don't know what to make of it.
Was it a dream?
Or was it one of Q's elaborate tricks?
A lot of people near death have strange experiences,
but I have never heard one so detailed.
There's still part of me that cannot accept
that Q would give me a second chance,
or that he'd demonstrate so much compassion.
And if it was Q, ...
..I owe him a debt of gratitude.
In what sense? He put you through hell.
There are many parts of my youth that I'm not proud of.
There were loose threads.
Untidy parts of me that I would like to remove.
But when I pulled on one of those threads, ...
..it unravelled the tapestry of my life.
I was just trying to imagine a hellbent-for-leather young officer
insulting a Nausicaan twice his size.
I wish I could know that Jean-Luc Picard.
That wasn't the first run-in I had with a couple of surly Nausicaans.
- Really? - Yes.
During my sophomore year, I was assigned to training on Morikin VII.
There was a Nausicaan outpost on an outlying asteroid. One day...

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