Paul Gadzikowski


By His Loose Laces


"The Federation of Archer's future don't know that the Preservers are really the Time Lords?"

"Not for many centuries," said the Doctor, "though I was compelled on one occasion to reveal that the 'Preservers' are active throughout all history and do employ indigenous agents in some time zones. But the starship officers who learned this were men whose discretion I trusted as my own." Though if that ever got back to Kirk, the Doctor would never hear the end of it.

"Then you're saying," Padme stated, "that the elements of Earth history which you find anachronistic in this time zone must be effects of the efforts of whoever's behind these super-Suliban, but that there's a Time Lord/Preserver effort already in effect countering that."

"Yes," said the Doctor. "Possibly the Time Lords contrived to make the TARDIS land here so that I could find this out. Though, if so, they're getting better about how subtly they contrive my TARDIS' landings.

"On the basis of my previous association with Starfleet captains, I'd guess the Time Lords' objective was simply to get Archer involved so he'd take care of the problem." Though the Doctor would never admit it out loud, even his own "dirty work" on behalf of the Time Lords was a product less of any desire of theirs to "keep their hands clean" than of their policy to interfere in history as subtly as possible, through those who didn't live outside it. "The history of Earth - and of the planets it interacts with - will now have many minor discrepancies from this point on, relative to the history I know."

"Such minor discrepancies as the Klingons being a space empire at least a hundred years early," said Padme.

"That's the enemy's doing. Probably. Yet, the basic outline of history will remain, as long as the Time Lords keep a step ahead of the Suliban-backers. And Time Lords are good at keeping a step ahead."

"So we're back where we started," said Padme. "We need to get off this ship without affecting any change to Starfleet history."

The brig cell hatch opened and Archer stepped in, several crewmembers visible behind him blocking any chance at escape. "Now, Doctor," said the starship captain, "you and I are going to have a little chat. ..."


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