AUSTEN TREK: or, If Jane Austen Wrote Star Trek…

“I must,” said Captain Picard, “tender my apology, with great sincerity, for telling you (during that time in which I was a member of the Borg Collective) that you would be assimilated.”

“On the contrary, it taught me to hope,” said Commander Riker, “as I had scarcely ever allowed myself to hope before. I knew enough of your disposition to be certain that, had you absolutely, irrevocably decided to assimilate me, you would not have spent nearly so much time boasting of the fact.”

Captain Picard coloured and laughed as he replied, “I see you know me very well.”

“And I, too,” continued Riker, “wish to apologize, for my vigorous and whole-hearted attempt to end your life at that time.”

“What did you say or do, that I did not deserve? For, though your arguments that my humanity was irrecoverable were ill-founded, formed on mistaken premises, my behaviour to you at the time, had merited the severest reproof. It was unpardonable. I cannot think of it without abhorrence.”

“We will not quarrel for the greater share of blame annexed to that stardate,” said Riker. “The conduct of neither, if strictly examined, will be irreproachable; but since then, we have both, I hope, improved in civility, if not humanity.”

“I cannot be so easily reconciled to myself!” exclaimed Picard. “The recollection of what I then said,–‘I am Locutus of Borg. Resistance is futile. Your life, as it has been, is over. From this time forward, you will service us.’–of my conduct, my manners, my expressions during the whole of it, is now, and has been many months, inexpressibly painful to me. Your reproof, so well applied, I shall never forget: ‘Mr. Worf, fire.’ Those were your words. You know not, you can scarcely conceive, how they have tortured me;–though it was some time, I confess, before I was reasonable enough to allow their justice.”

“I was certainly very far from expecting my order to fire to make so strong an impression.”

“I can easily believe it,” said Picard. “You thought me then devoid of every human feeling, I am sure you did. The turn of your countenance I shall never forget, as you said ‘Then take your best shot, Locutus, because we are about to intervene.'”

“Oh! do not repeat what I then said. And think no more of any unfortunate utterances which you made whilst you were Borg. The feelings of you as Locutus, and you now, are so widely different from each other, that every unpleasant circumstance attending your erstwhile collectiveness, ought to be forgotten.”

And remember: next Tuesday, October 2, our Jane Austen Movie Club will be discussing the Patricia Rozema version of MANSFIELD PARK! So bring your opinions, and get ready for a hot debate!

Cara King, author of MY LADY GAMESTER, and fan of Tea, Earl Grey, Hot