OF THE SOUL (PART 3)
NOTE: The bridge scene discussing the forcefields and the contact with the Leda went through a few drafts. I felt that although the first scene explained what would happen, it was a little drawn out and dull. The joke at the beginning doesn't feel right with what's going on, AND I felt I excluded everyone who wasn't on the Bridge before the fight scenes began. I started again, using bits and pieces of the lines from the original draft. The current version of D.o.t.S explains the shield/forcefield while it's in action, as I figured it was a more interesting way to explain it. The only drawback is this way, not everything gets explained, at least not at first.
NOTE2: Neither of the two scenes were completed, as I noticed the issues while I was writing it. The only reason I was able to save it for "deleted scenes" (they're usually literally deleted) was I still wanted to keep some of the lines while writing the new one.
Tensions were still high on the bridge, no one was more tense though than Tom. He paced the centre of the bridge, with his arms folded tightly.
"I don't know," he mumbled.
Annika stamped her heels, "come on!"
"Fine," Tom sighed, dropping his arms to his sides. "Let's try to the right, we may avoid some hits there."
B'Elanna rolled her eyes, shaking her head. "It's not going to work."
"We don't get hit everytime, just make sure we cut in front this time!" Tom snapped back at Annika.
Annika keyed in some commands at the station behind the command chairs. Jodie entered the bridge. She took one look at the viewscreen, then at everyone else with a strange look on her face.
"No, cut off again," Annika sadly sighed. "I don't get it, we're closer and we're both just as fast as each other."
"God damn it!" Tom screamed, stamping his foot. "We'll never get it. Let's just finish it and move on to eleven."
"We may need the Leda's help with that plan, we don't have enough spare people," Annika commented.
"Uh, what..." Jodie slowly said, not believing her eyes.
B'Elanna shook her head, "don't ask."
Jodie looked at the viewscreen again. Instead of what you'd expect, the screen was showing a grassy field with two yellow birds running around, getting hit by smaller birds and balloons. She shook her head and went for her station, just spotting at the corner of her eye a paper sign on Annika's back. Her finger pointed at it as she looked in B'Elanna's direction.
"Well it was Jessie's death spot," B'Elanna sighed.
Jodie looked again. The sign said Stab Me. "Oh."
"I'm not teaming up with you on multiplayer, it's bad enough working with you now. Just put twelve on," Tom muttered. "I don't see why Kevin likes these games so much."
"Why are you even playing Final Fantasy games anyway? Aren't we in imminent danger?" Jodie questioned.
"A distraction. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but these sidequests... I'd prefer to be attacked," Tom groaned. His eyes widened, "no, you're racing her again?"
Annika shrugged, "I think I'll get it this time."
"Too bad. We're being hailed. It's the Leda, but it's a weak signal," Jodie sighed in relief.
"Get that cheating bitch off," Tom ordered Annika. She pouted. "On screen."
The viewscreen changed from that horrible sidequest to show a very grainy picture. If you can call it that, only shadows of people could be seen amongst the static and smoke.
"I don't see any demons," Chakotay's voice said in a distorted voice.
Tom sighed, "no, we escaped for now. B'Elanna's working on something. You guys should be safe though."
"Yes, you said that before. Next you'll be telling me that you're a bearable guy who everyone always wants to hang out with."
Tom pulled a face, "I am." He glanced back at B'Elanna. "Why are you blaming me, it wasn't my vision. I assumed the Leda was intact in it. We must have changed something."
"Yes, beaming the entire crew onto the Leda. That oughta put a new target sign on us," Chakotay grumbled.
"My back feels funny," Annika commented, scrunching up her nose.
"Did you just contact us to whine, or do you have something useful?" Jodie muttered.
The shadow on the screen got bigger, and a little more clearer. "Here's me being concerned about Voyager. We hadn't heard from you at all after the attack."
"We were a little busy," Tom said.
"If anyone cares, I'm ready to test this," B'Elanna butted in.
Harry's voice chimed in, "test what?"
B'Elanna seemed to ignore him. "This is going to take a while, and it'll drain a lot of our resources. It's also not instantaneous."
Tom curled his lip down a bit, he expected that. "Run us through it."
B'Elanna looked at the viewscreen in distaste. "Jodie, audio only please."
"Hey," Harry whined just as the viewscreen changed to space view. It quickly changed to show a side view of Voyager.
"Unfortunately we'll have to test using a fake portal, but..." B'Elanna said whilst she worked.
Tom leaned forward to rest his arm on the back of her chair. "How do we do that?"
"That's the easy part, we'll just know if it works with a portal. Those specific ones, we can only test in the field," B'Elanna explained. "Now, pick any part of the ship."
"Why don't we try the bridge," Tom suggested. B'Elanna passed him a playful smile. "We'll know if it works then, won't we?"
Chakotay's voice coughed over the comm, "perhaps we can see what you're seeing, otherwise what's the point? We may need it."
"Actually you won't, you..." Annika started to explain.
"Good idea to have her take Jessie's place, I wouldn't do anything," Chakotay butted in.
Annika pouted, "mean."
"She's right. They can only open these on Voyager," Tom explained. "They use Deck Thirteen as a sort of conduit, you know between us and demon palooza."
"Yes, I got it at conduit," Chakotay's voice grunted.
B'Elanna keyed a few commands in, then looked over to the still damaged Tactical nobody bothered to fix. A small ball of light began to form. "Don't worry, it's not a real portal."
"It looks a lot like that one from ten years ago. I hope it can't do the same thing, we may need Tactical again someday," Tom said in a wary voice.
Meanwhile on the viewscreen, the same shot of Voyager changed to show the basic interiors; deck outlines and rooms. A red light was flashing where the bridge was.
"Once a portal opens, it generates an awful lot of power. Once we detect it, we generate a special forcefield near the portal, blocking access to the rest of the ship."
B'Elanna looked over to ex-Tactical just in time for a forcefield to materialise next to the orb of light. On the viewscreen, the conference room and part of the bridge turned green, the red light remained flashing. The light in the corner of the room began to fade. As it did, so did the red light. The green by then had took over the entire deck.
"A special one? What's wrong with regular ones?" Chakotay's voice asked.
"Like the portals that drained our power ten years ago, this shield drains the energy from the portal it is nearby, and uses it to create a feedback, an immunity. In theory anything passing through the portal would bounce off the shield," B'Elanna explained. "It will also grow as it drains. It'll stop once the portal nearby closes. If they open more, we cover more parts of the ship. Any nearby shields could expand and join together as well."
"Grows?" Harry's voice piped up. "You've essentially built a wall blocking their entrance, why does it need to grow?"
"There's still a gap between the portal opening up and us having enough power to pop up a shield," Tom said like he was guessing.
B'Elanna smiled. "That's true, but it's not the real reason. Let me give you an idea. I'll show the Leda too." She keyed in a few commands.
The viewscreen zoomed in the lower half of the ship, focusing on Decks Ten to Thirteen.
Meanwhile on the Leda, the bridge crew were seeing the same thing on their dirty and cracked viewscreen. A red dot appeared in the centre of Deck Thirteen.
"Like before, the first portal appears on Deck Thirteen."
On both sides of the red light, two vertical lines appeared, blocking the red light's path. One more appeared on the secondary hull, while another appeared two sections away from the rear of the ship. In between the two sets of lights, the decks turned green.
"The forcefield has enough power to activate. With Thirteen's being more powerful, it's able to put up a wall between the portal's opening, and another not far from the turbolift. Notice how it's green between those two."
Harry sat down at the only remaining command chair intact, then looked at the panel attached to it. "It's not just the shield that's demon repellent, the area within them are too," he said enthusiastically.
"There's a delay," Chakotay however was less than.
"We're talking about four forcefields, strong and experimental ones, tapping into a different power source."
"You'll still need your Slayers, trainees..." Harry said with a heavy sigh.
"They'll still need to kill off anything that isn't protected by a shield. Also, if a demon manages to get in an area that's about to be protected, he'll get free reign for a while, as he won't get the feedback from the shield. They just need to keep them no more than ten metres from the portal, then retreat into the protected areas. The forcefield shouldn't block them."
He tried to put his enthusiastic face on again. "They'll eventually cover the whole ship if they keep trying. If they don't, even better."
"If they don't they'll run out of power to maintain them, and have to start again," Chakotay rained on his parade.
Harry's face fell. "it's better than having them running free on Voyager. It gives them time to..."
"Time to what? You don't even know if they will give up, and they don't know how to stop it if they don't," Chakotay said.
This is a small portion of the previous scene, taken out and replaced with the show and tell on the Leda. It continued from Chakotay's line asking what was wrong with regular forcefields.
"As for the other special part, well..."
Tom sighed, "this is why we have two kidnapped crewmembers."
"We can't guarantee a regular forcefield will stop them anyway, we've had Evil Slayers go through them," B'Elanna replied. "Besides, they'll likely spot this and try to open new ones. We can't afford to keep up lots of forcefields, blocking demons waiting for us to lose power. We need to force them out. We can't keep re-modulating the shields forever either."
Jodie looked confused, "wait, what does this have to do with Jess and the weasel? You said she was working a console when it happened."
B'Elanna looked over to Annika, she was busy trying to get the sign off her back.
"Tactical was destroyed, it was moved. She moved it here, knowing she'd die over there, we assume anyway," Tom explained.
"Wait, what?" Annika squeaked.
"It wasn't just that, Tom," B'Elanna scolded.
"I know, but I still have a headache thinking about it," Tom complained.
"Do we still need the Slayers, trainees, and er... Daniel for this?" Harry's voice asked.
"Definitely. We have enough power to initially protect the bridge, and slow down Deck Thirteen's, which is crucial. After that we've got to rely on the portal's growth and power to get the other shields up. Demons may slip through in this process," B'Elanna replied uneasily. "I may have enough to protect the warp core, but only if..."
"What?" Chakotay's voice sounded bewildered. "You don't have enough power for some forcefields?"
"These aren't any old forcefields," B'Elanna groaned. "I did say that."
"Meanwhile we've got to fight off the ships, so we need outer shields up, engines, weapons," Tom said.
"If we knew the Leda was completely safe, we'd have been able to help with that," Chakotay's voice said.
Tom sighed, "just let it go." He made the gesture to cut him off. Jodie nodded and smiled. "Maybe we should bring that bridge shield you mentioned on."