24th September & 5th October 2014
"She boasts a warp speed of 9.975, class nine warp core. Fifteen decks, each filled with bio-neural gel packs. She's the first of her kind; the first ship to use these as the primary..."
"Yes, yes. Where's the arm rest replicator?"
The Admiral's eyebrow twitched. "What?"
Kathryn Janeway used her best death glare on the unfortunate man. "I was promised a replicator on the arm rest of my command chair."
"Who told you that? Even the flagship doesn't have that," the Admiral replied, his headache growing.
"Paris obviously. I served under him for years, and this is what I get," Kathryn complained. She collapsed into her command chair anyway. The few people who shared the bridge with her, stared in bemusement.
"As I was saying..." the Admiral sighed. "You're getting a top class ship here Kathryn. You could always install an arm rest replicator."
Kathryn rested her arms on the armrests, then stroked them all the way along. "I dunno, I quite like the chair." She climbed to her feet with a pleasant smile on her face. The Admiral sighed in relief as he knew that look meant that her last coffee cup had finally kicked in. "When will she be ready?"
"Voyager is expected to leave Utopia Planetia in a week, Kathryn. You have plenty of time to review your crew personnel."
"Good. Now, maybe I should have a tour of my new Ready Room. Hopefully this one doesn't blow up," Kathryn said.
The Admiral followed her from the centre of the Bridge, to the doorway on the starboard side, directly in front of Tactical. The expression on his face was panicked.
"We have two crewmembers installing your replicator, maybe we should do that later."
The doors opened for them both. Kathryn didn't seem to have heard him, as she looked around her new office with an impressed look on her face. Her eyes lit up at the sight of her desk. She wasted no time to go over and test the chair out. The Admiral sighed yet again in relief. His gaze wavered across the glass divider next to her desk to the two unfortunate Ensigns at the nearby wall.
"Yes, she's a fine ship. I can see her going far."
Only the other Ensign noticed as his teammate laughed quietly to himself.
"Oh, nothing. Pass me the last piece."
He nodded, then walked over to the centre of the room where pieces of equipment lay. The amused Ensign, who was in fact the same one Kathryn dealt with on her last ship, pulled something out of his pocket and used the device on the new replicator. His team mate returned to hand him a small glass panel, it only took a few seconds to attach it to the replicator.
"All done now, Sir."
"Oh dear," the Admiral groaned.
Kathryn stood up to look the Ensign's way, the familiar one turned towards the replicator so she wouldn't recognise him. "Captain."
"I'm sorry?" the poor flummoxed Ensign whimpered at her gaze.
"So you should be," Kathryn snapped. She shook her head at the Admiral. The poor Ensign rushed out looking a bit sorry for himself, the second one took the chance to escape with him.
"Maybe you'd like to test..." the Admiral quickly said.
Kathryn was too fast for him, she had already reached the new replicator. "Coffee, black." The Admiral sighed, he could never get used to that. He wandered over to join her as she went to take a sip. Her face shriveled up in disgust. The Admiral pulled a similar face as she spat the contents of her mouth back out. "What is this, this isn't coffee!"
"Well I..." the Admiral stammered. He then noticed a tea bag sitting at the bottom of the cup. "Oh, I know what that is, there's a few dud replicators that get orders wrong. That's an easy fix. Why don't we ask someone to take a look at it, then have a look around Engineering."
"Hmph, fine," Kathryn huffed. She marched out of her new office, with the unfortunate Admiral trailing behind.
Only a second later the replicator went up in flames. Not noticing this, the Admiral overtook Kathryn to get to one of the engineers on the bridge. While he quietly informed them about the replicator, Kathryn was stopped by the first Ensign.
"Yes, Miss," she retorted.
The man looked confused, "excuse me?"
Kathryn shrugged, and stepped to the side, out of his way. She grew impatient when he remained where he was.
"I mean, why did you call me Miss?"
"Since you called me Sir, I thought it would be appropriate. Now I hope you fix that replicator before I go for my next cup of coffee, understood?"
The Ensign seemed confused. "Why, what's wrong with it?"
"It obviously is just as backwards as you are, now excuse me," Kathryn remarked as she went for the turbolift.
The Ensign rushed back into the Ready Room. The familiar Ensign noticed this, then looked to the turbolift. He groaned as he noticed the doors closing on Kathryn and the Admiral.
"For god's sake! Why me?" he complained just as a man's screams started coming from the Ready Room. Everyone but him ran into the Ready Room to help.
The Penal Settlement - New Zealand
A group of men quietly laughed amongst themselves as they made their way towards a hole in the ground. At the bottom of it a blond, tall man stood working on a large machine, oblivious to this.
One of the men was clutching his hands together. Once he reached the hole, he opened them up above it. The men rushed away snickering quietly.
Still oblivious to what happened, the young man pushed his stubborn hair back, wiping the sweat from his brow as well.
A shadow cast over him, thankfully blocking the sun for him.
He looked up, squinting his eyes a little. The first thing he saw was a huge bun of hair. As it was the first feature he noticed about this woman, it was all he could focus on.
"Captain Janeway. I served with your father on the Al'Batani."
"My condolences," the man cheekily said.
Kathryn smiled warmly, "thank you. I was wondering if we could go somewhere and talk."
This got his attention. However that was the worst thing he could do, as he failed to notice that something shared the hole with him and was getting closer.
"Oh really? Is it shaded?"
"I hope so. My hair feels like it is on fire."
Tom couldn't help but smirk to himself. Now all he could imagine was the huge bun of hair burning. As her hair was so huge, she still stood staring with her hands on her hips.
"The Federation needs your help," Kathryn continued, oblivious to his thoughts.
"I'm not exactly here for a vacation, you know," Tom pointed out.
The coffee she had just before she left was starting to wear off, her eyebrow twitched. "I can't imagine why the rehab commission was so eager to loan you off to me."
Tom smiled broadly, "oh really? I guess I'm all yours then."
Kathryn's nose shriveled up as she turned to walk away. Tom seemed to not notice this and continued smiling like an idiot. By this time though he noticed something black crawling up his arm.
The whole penal settlement probably heard his resulting screams, the men responsible laughed loudly at it. Kathryn continued walking like nothing happened.
Tom scrambled from the hole, desperately batting his arms. He ran to catch up to her while trying to look at his back. Once he caught up with her he pretended nothing was wrong, and walked casually.
"Your dad taught me quite a lot. I was a science officer during the Arias expedition."
"You must be good. My father only accepts the best and the brightest," Tom said.
"Flattery will get you nowhere," Kathryn smiled.
Tom shook his head as he passed the laughing men from before. "Neither does charm."
"If you want to know what will work, you'll have to figure it out yourself," Kathryn teased.
Tom didn't even give himself time to think, "impossible hairspray?"
The woman turned around, put her hands back on her hips, and glowered up at him with such intensity. He didn't see it coming as she was half his size, so it startled him more than the guest in the hole earlier.
"Do you want to leave this spider fested sun trap or not Mr Paris? I could very easily dump you back into that hole."
"Um... yes leave, you betcha. Did I mention how awesome your hair is?"
Her gaze didn't falter, her hand still went to her hair though. "Tell me something I don't know. Now, do you want to hear about the mission?"
"More than you'd believe," Tom replied.
"I'm leaving on a mission to find a Marquis ship that disappeared a week ago, in the Bad Lands."
"Definitely crazy," Tom commented under his breath.
Tom's eyes widened, "definitely breezy, isn't it?" Kathryn frowned and looked around. "Must be just me."
"Starfleet picked Voyager as she's a lot more maneuverable than most starships."
Tom's interest was piqued. "Really? You'd like me to fly her?" His face fell quickly, "oh you want me there as a former Marquis. I can't. I was only there for a few weeks before I was caught. I don't know their hiding places too well."
"Well nobody expected you to be that useful, but you must have seen some of their terrain during your stint," Kathryn said with a sting in her voice. He felt it pierce his pride a little.
He decided it was best to brush it off, pretend it never happened. "What's so special about this Marquis ship?"
"My Chief of Security is apparently onboard, not that anybody thought to tell me before I assigned him to Voyager," Kathryn huffed. "He was undercover."
"I see, I'm an on the cover man myself," Tom laughed to himself. Kathryn stared at him harshly, she didn't get it. He kept laughing until he noticed that, it froze the blood in his cheeks. "Look er, as much as I'd like to escape from my worst nightmare, I don't think I'm the one to help you with this. None of the Marquis ever trusted me, there's no friends in that circle."
"I'm sure you're used to that, Mr Paris," she smiled. "Unfortunately you're the only one who can help us. Starfleet don't intend on making you do this for free. They guarantee a full pardon for your co-operation."
This brightened up Tom's afternoon, if only for a minute. He smiled straight ahead of him. "Do you have any idea which ship it is?"
"All I know is that a Commander Chakotay, a Starfleet deserter, leads it. I hear he does a lot of his recruiting on or around Earth," Kathryn replied.
Tom sighed heavily, his full pardon seemed a few lightyears away now. "Academy dropouts, that wouldn't surprise me. I doubt Starfleet would give me the pardon if I just point you in the general direction, you've already got that."
"No, you'd be an observer on this mission," Kathryn smiled.
"Observer?" the word felt like such a huge insult, his pride was dented. "Hell, I'm the best pilot you could have."
"Yes, if I wanted to almost fly into danger with a few other ships following behind me," Kathryn muttered to herself. The coffee withdrawals were getting painful by this point, she didn't care if that comment hurt his feelings or not.
"Ouch. Was that necessary?" Tom almost whimpered. "I'm still better than everyone else."
"That's not the point. You are coming with us to show us Chakotay's hideout. You were a member of his crew, weren't you?" Kathryn growled. Tom decided to just nod, everything he said was like throwing a boomerang at her. "After it's over, you'll be cut loose."
"Story of my life," Tom quietly said.
Kathryn rolled her eyes, "regretting this already." She turned on her heel to walk away.
"What do you mean? The work experience was approved by Starfleet Command themselves," a woman stammered to a Security Officer. A group of ten teenagers stood behind her, most of them talking amongst themselves. The Security Officer was busy reading the PADD she gave him.
Harry stood behind all of them, his face beaming with excitement. He was unfazed by the queue in front of him. He was early anyway.
"I'm afraid not Commander. Voyager's mission was changed a week ago," the Security Officer told her. "We're not accepting any children until it returns."
"Nobody informed me," the woman argued.
This was going to take a while. It didn't bother Harry one bit, nothing would. Since he was very early he slipped out of the queue to have a look around.
One of the boys in the group snuck over to snatch one of the girls' bags from the floor. She gasped as he held it in his arms, then shook it around lightly. "Did you bring your toys, Faye? Can't leave home without those."
The girl standing nearby rolled her eyes, she gave him a harsh elbow in the arm. It almost made him drop the bag. The girl he took the bag off stared at him wide eyes, her mouth opened to say something. No sound came out of it, her face went bright red.
"You couldn't last two minutes without acting like an asshole, could you?" the other girl hissed at him. She snatched the bag away from him to give it back to its owner. She smiled gratefully before looking down at the floor.
"Well I'm sorry, I get a little antsy when I'm hungry," the boy complained.
The other girl was still annoyed but wasn't surprised. "What, you didn't pack your pre-brunch foot long sandwich?"
Two adults waiting behind them walked around the kids while they argued or looked at the floor. The teacher chose that time to lead her group away, not that all of them noticed.
The boy laughed nervously. "Of course!" The girl stared at him impatiently, she rolled her eyes when she figured it out. "I knew I should have made two."
"Everything checks out," the Security officer said to the two adults. They knelt down to pick up their bags and move off. The trio of kids mistakenly thought he was talking to them, so they walked by him. He was too busy checking the next person's clearance to notice.
Harry found himself at a busy bar. As he had plenty of time he decided to nab a seat there and take in the atmosphere for half an hour.
He'd only been there a few seconds when a Ferengi behind the bar spotted him and approached. "If I may say so, it's been my special pleasure to see many young officers like yourself come through these portals," he said.
"I'm really not interested," Harry interrupted him, but with a polite smile on his face.
"Interested?" the Ferengi was confused.
"You were about to try and sell me something, right?" Harry said, keeping that smile plastered on.
The Ferengi looked a little offended. "I was merely going to suggest that your inferior vessel could benefit from a cameo from this stations most popular person."
"Worf is here?" Harry brightened up.
"You think the most popular guy was a one from a previous ship?" the Ferengi's offense metre was rising.
Harry's smile was starting to waver. "Uh no, I meant to say O'Brien. That one would be a nice cameo..." He laughed nervously, "oh right, he was too. Um..."
"Slurs about my station, from a Voyager person no less," the Ferengi complained.
"What I meant was," Harry stammered.
Almost everyone in the bar were watching now, Harry felt a few inches smaller with every pair of eyes he spotted looking at him. One pair of them belonged to Tom Paris.
"Here I am trying to be a cordial host, knowing how much a young officer's brand new vessel would appreciate a decent send off on the eve of a dangerous mission. What do I get, hmm? Fourth wall insults," the Ferengi growled. "Someone's going to hear about this. What's your name, son?"
"Um, my name?" Harry stuttered.
"You have one I assume, or are you another one of those unnamed yellow shirts," the Ferengi said.
"Kim, Harry Kim but..." Harry answered.
The Ferengi had a padd in his hands now, he tapped away on it. "So who was it that told you to diss Deep Space Nine?"
"You know, the idea about making your captain the grand messiah for the Bajorans was a great idea," Harry tried to butter him up.
"Oh no, no no no!" the Ferengi snarled.
"Really, people need to know he's the hero before he's done anything to earn it. The Bajorans are an interesting species, not boring at all," Harry continued.
The Ferengi looked at him suspiciously, "I suppose you like Cardassians as well."
"Cardassians, what a great idea. So original," Harry grinned.
"No it's not and you fell for it," the Ferengi snapped. "Now inform your superiors that I'll be making a complaint. Unlike yours, we never forget anything on this station."
Harry's smile was starting to slip, "I like long running story arcs."
The Ferengi seemed to calm down, he leaned on the bar and smiled deviously. "Let me tell you about the real original Enterprise."
Tom decided now was the time to rescue the poor Ensign. He casually walked over to the bar to join him. "That was fun, wasn't it? I tried that Holodeck program last week, shame about the dead Engineer."
"Yes it was," the Ferengi muttered. He kept his stare on Harry as if he was trying to block Tom out.
"Hard to believe that anyone could spend all those years playing it," Tom continued.
"That's an interpretation," the Ferengi said, still not looking at him.
Tom shrugged casually, "you know I heard that Deep Space Nine likes to snare people from other ships by pretending that it's the bees knees. That's just an interpretation too, right?"
"I was just giving the boy a send off," the Ferengi chuckled nervously.
Harry gave the barkeep a cold smirk as he vacated from his chair. Tom patted him on the shoulder, "let's go." The two men walked away.
"Damn, so close," the Ferengi sighed.
The bag on Harry's shoulder started to slip, he clutched onto it. Tom gave him a friendly smile. "Didn't they warn you about Deep Space Nine at the Academy?" he asked. Harry chuckled through his resulting grin.
Tom and Harry arrived in Sickbay, just in time for the resident Doctor to leave his office.
"Can I help you?" he said, barely giving them a passing glance. The surgery biobed was his destination, a nurse was busy treating a patient there.
"Tom Paris reporting on board," Tom said.
"Oh yes, thee observer," the doctor said with disinterest. Tom's irritation was clear on his face.
Harry glanced between them with a confused look forming on his face.
"That's me," Tom finally replied with. "As a matter of fact I seem to be observing some sort of problem right now. Doctor," the last word was dripping with sarcasm and contempt.
The doctor looked over, sensing it. "I was a surgeon at the hospital at Caldik Prime, the same time you were stationed there. We never actually met."
Harry was growing more and more uncomfortable. It wasn't the words that were being said, it was how they were being said. The doctor was doing a terrible job at hiding his lack of respect for Tom. He felt it was better to stay out of it.
The doctor walked over to finally make eye contact with him, Harry felt the icy aura from where he stood. "Your medical records from your last posting have come in. Everything seems to be in order. The Captain asked if you were on board, you should check in with her."
"Er, I haven't paid my respects to the Captain yet either," Harry said, anything to ease the tension. Both men hadn't broken eye contact and he was worried this would get physical.
The doctor finally broke it off and looked at the young Ensign. "Well Mr Kim, that would be a good idea. Perhaps think clearly what you want to say, that's my advice for you."
As the doctor walked away Harry turned to Tom, eager to know what on earth just happened. "What was that about?"
"It's a long story Harry and I'm tired of telling it," Tom didn't answer. "I'm sure somebody will tell you before long."
Once they were gone the doctor returned to his patient. "So... what did you say?"
"I asked the Captain if she would like a cup of tea," the patient said mid whimper.
"Ah, rookie mistake," the nurse commented.
"The Doctor called, and I was right," a man's voice said from the computer. It sat on the glass table in front of the sofa.
Kathryn walked over holding a cup of coffee. "The hair dye you use isn't fooling anyone?"
The silver haired man sighed, "no, what?"
Kathryn sat down, her interest had faded. "I wasn't listening."
"I gathered. Molly is pregnant," the man said.
Kathryn's eyes narrowed dangerously, "who's the father? It better not be you, you sick fu..."
The man quickly laughed to interrupt her, "the puppies are due in seven weeks."
"Oh I see, Mark. You don't want me to leave so you get the dog knocked up," Kathryn grumbled.
"Oh Kath, that's not true in the slightest," the man smirked at her.
"Yeah right, you're going to have to take her home with you," Kathryn said as she poured herself another cup of coffee from the pot.
Mark's face fell. "Me? I just got the house cleaned."
"Well the last time you left her outside, this happened. Grow some balls," Kathryn grumbled.
"Um, I suppose that's your way of saying you love me so you love my dog too, right?" Mark said.
Kathryn gasped, almost spilling her coffee in the process. "I was joking about you knocking up my dog, you didn't!?"
Mark covered his face with both of his hands. "No I mean, it's like your dog is your baby and as your fiance I should love and look after her too."
"Why am I marrying you again?" Kathryn asked bluntly.
"Because I'm the only one who loves you enough to take all this crap," Mark replied just as bluntly.
Instead of taking that badly, Kathryn just laughed and stared dreamily at him. "Aaw Marky Warky, I'll miss you."
"I'll miss you too," Mark said back with a smile. "I'll take Molly home. I could never refuse you."
"Thanks honeybuns," Kathryn cooed at him. She slurped at her coffee.
"So when are you leaving?" Mark asked.
Kathryn sighed, "soon, I just need to approve the system reports and all of the replicators."
"Then I won't bother you anymore," Mark said.
"Oh come on, you do nothing but bother me. That's our thing you sick son of a bitch," Kathryn teased him. Mark laughed nervously. "Oh there's a replicator I missed on Deck Two..."
"I'll remember that," Mark said.
Kathryn frowned at the computer, "why are you still here?"
"I collected the doggy bed, I thought Molly would... Kathryn?" Mark said, noticing midway that she had ran off. He sighed, "see you in a few weeks, you crazy cow."
As soon as she was outside, Kathryn ran into Tom and Harry, nearly knocking them both flying. "Oh god, make this quick, it's an emergency."
Harry straightened up, his whole body stiffened. "Um, I'm Ensign Harry Kim reporting in."
"That's a long name. I'll just call you Ensign In," Kathryn said, twitching slightly.
"Kim," Harry corrected her.
"That's a woman's name," Kathryn said. "Whatever I'm not here to judge. Welcome to Voyager."
"Thank you sir," Harry said.
Kathryn's eyebrow twitched a few times. "Why do people keep calling me that, I don't look like a dude."
"Um, I'm sorry... Ma'am," Harry stammered. Tom looked at the poor Ensign in trouble for the second time in an hour. He felt sorry for him.
Kathryn rolled her eyes, "ma'am is a suitable crunch, but I prefer Captain."
"You mean suitable in a crunch?" Tom dared to say.
Kathryn was fidgeting like she needed to pee really badly. "I don't care, I'm in a hurry. There's something I need to check before we depart, it's a matter of life and death."
"Captain, we're almost ready to depart," the first officer said from the centre of the Bridge.
"Crap, if that replicator is a dud I'm hanging you two up by your nose hairs," Kathryn groaned. Harry and Tom gave each other a quick worried stare. "Did you have any trouble getting here, Paris?"
"No, why?" Tom answered.
"Oh good, I'd hate to start the mission with a missing shuttle," Kathryn huffed as she walked in between the pair.
Harry looked to Tom for an explanation, Tom just mouthed she's nuts. The two men reluctantly followed her to the centre of the Bridge.
"This is my first officer, Lieutenant Commander Cabbage," Kathryn introduced the first officer.
"Um, Cavit," he tried to correct her.
"All right, calm down," Kathryn scolded him. She widened her eyes at Harry and Tom, "god what a drama queen. No wonder he's just a Lieutenant Commander."
Cavit shook his head, he extended his hand for Harry to shake. He reluctantly did the same to Tom while giving him an uncomfortable stare. Tom tried not to show his distaste for that.
Kathryn pointed at a station in the back right corner, then walked over to it. Harry followed her. "This is your station Ensign In. Would you like to take over?"
"Kim," Harry tried again. She glared at him, "um, yes ma'am."
"Jesus, does this look like crunch time Kimberly?" Kathryn snapped. Harry whimpered but fortunately she didn't linger long, she wandered over to the centre of the Bridge again. "Ok Carrot, let's get this over with."
Cavit sighed. "Lieutenant Stadi, set a course for the Bad Lands, half impulse."
The woman at the helm nodded, "aye sir."
The brand new USS Voyager departed one of the Deep Space Nine branches, it glided away into deep space.
"There are ten varieties of tomato soup," the computer said after a negative beep.
Tom groaned impatiently. It didn't help that he could see Cavit and the grumpy doctor talking to Harry at a nearby table. The Ensign seemed a little distraught.
"Plain, with pasta, with vegetables..." the computer continued.
"Plain!" Tom snapped.
"Please designate temperature," the computer said.
"Hot," Tom grunted at the replicator. It finally gave him his dinner after what felt like two hours. He carried it over to where Harry was sitting. The two officers hurried away like they were allergic to him.
The look Harry gave him as he sat down made him sigh. "Told you it wouldn't take long."
"Is it true?" Harry asked.
"Every word," Tom answered plainly. He tried the soup, he immediately regretted it. "Ugh, that wall of replicators needs tearing down and replacing with a kitchen."
"You lied about the accident," Harry said coldly. Tom just nodded. "Why?"
"What can I tell you that you don't already know? I was selfish," Tom said. "Then the ghosts of those cadets I got killed came to me in the middle of night, telling me the true story about Christmas."
"Is that supposed to be funny?" Harry asked.
Tom shrugged, "probably not, nothing's been funny so far."
"So..." Harry said.
"So I was kicked out of the Academy only to join the Marquis. It was only a matter of time before I screwed up there too. The rest is history," Tom said.
"Sounds like to me you shouldn't take what those officers give you," Harry said. "Everyone makes mistakes."
Tom stared at the young Ensign in disbelief. "You listened to the story, right?"
"I did. That doesn't matter to me. It sounds like you could use a friend around here," Harry said.
Tom smiled warmly at him, "I'd like that, but I'm not the kind of guy people should befriend."
"I'll be the judge of that," Harry smiled back.
"Bridge to Paris and Kim. When you're quite finished flirting with each other, we've reached the Bad Lands."
Tom and Harry stared at each other with wide eyes.
Despite the call Kathryn didn't look irritated at all when they returned. She seemed normal, they knew that wouldn't last long.
"The Cardassians gave us the last known heading of the Marquis ship. We've figured out a few possible courses they could have taken because of plasma storm activity," she said as Tom joined her at Tactical.
He looked down at the charts on the station. "They were probably trying to get to one of the m-class planetoids in the Terikof belt."
Cavit didn't even bother looking up, "that's beyond the Arias system."
"You have a what ass?" Kathryn snapped at him.
Cavit recoiled a little to avoid being spat at. "Um, Ah-ry-as Captain."
"The erm plasma storms would have forced the ship in this direction," the man at tactical quickly said, pointing at the chart.
"Send that to the helm," Kathryn ordered him. He nodded. "Helm follow the course being sent to you."
"Yes Captain," the helm girl responded.
Kathryn maneuvered around Tom to leave the Tactical area. He dared to follow her. "The Cardassians claim they chased the Marquis into a storm, destroying it. The idiots must think I was born yesterday."
"I doubt that," Tom couldn't help but snark.
Kathryn stopped suddenly and turned around to stare into his face. He almost squeaked at the intensity at the glare. "I beg your pardon!"
"I er... doubt their story," Tom said nervously.
Luckily Kathryn believed him. "Me too. There would be a trace of their warp core left behind if it was destroyed."
Harry glanced up from his station, "Captain there appears to be a coherent tetryon beam scanning us."
Kathryn turned her head his way, "origin Mr Reporting."
Harry couldn't be bothered to correct her again. "I'm not sure. There's now a displacement wave moving towards us."
"On screen," Kathryn ordered.
The viewscreen activated. The same pale yellow wave that the Marquis ship witnessed filled the screen. It looked a lot more menacing on the bigger screen.
"What the... get us away from it helm," Kathryn commanded.
"We may be able to disperse it with a graviton field," Cavit told her.
Kathryn glanced back over her shoulder, "do it. Red alert!"
Harry was a little surprised when the lights dimmed for the red alert signal and lights. That itself was a little less unnerving than the old one they used to put up with in simulations.
"New heading 41-180," the girl at the helm reported.
Cavit typed in a few commands at Tactical while that officer worked at the back of the station. He lifted his hands up when he was done like he finished a magic trick, "initiating graviton field."
A beam emerged from the centre of the viewscreen, striking at the wave. Nothing changed.
"The graviton field had no effect," Harry reported.
"The wave seems to be following us," the helm girl said, tension obvious in her voice.
"Full impulse!" Kathryn barked.
Harry shook his head, sweat was starting to drip from his forehead. "The wave will intercept us in ten seconds."
Kathryn was starting to feel the effects of not having a coffee in ten minutes, her whole body twitched. This wasn't helping. "Can we go to warp?"
"Not until we've cleared the plasma field, Captain," helm girl replied.
"Five seconds," Harry stammered.
Kathryn gripped the arm rests tightly. "All hands brace for impact!"
Everyone did as they were told, all except Cavit. He decided to make a run for the command centre. The ship trembled, a bright light pierced the bridge as he was halfway there.
The brand new starship was already a broken mess. Consoles exploded, some were on fire. Smoke filled the bridge. Bodies littered the ground, some of them moving, the rest not.
Tom stumbled over to the helm to check on the woman there. Kathryn weakly pulled herself halfway up just as a bulkhead exploded above her. She focused on her first officer lying there in front of her. A quick finger to his neck confirmed her fears, he was gone.
"Report!" she angrily screamed at anyone.
Harry clutched onto opps, he hoped it would stop his hands from shaking. "Hull breach, deck fourteen. Comm lines to Engineering are down."
Kathryn tapped her commbadge, "repair crews, seal off that hull breach on fourteen."
"Casualty report coming in. Sickbay is not responding," the man at Tactical said.
"Is anybody?" Kathryn grumbled. "Paris how's Stadi?"
Tom slowly looked around at her, "she's dead."
"Captain, there's something out there," Harry quickly reported.
Something inside her just clicked, Kathryn swung herself around to face the Ensign. "Oh there's something, well that just solves all our problems you little..."
"He's new, take it easy," Tom tried to stick up for him.
Kathryn rolled her eyes. "I need a little more than something, I'm not in the mood."
"I don't know. I'm reading, I'm not sure what I'm reading," Harry stammered.
"Oh just put the bloody viewscreen on, or is that not responding too!?" Kathryn snapped.
"I'm trying," Harry said, turning his back on everyone to work. He glanced over his shoulder when he thought he got it.
The viewscreen at first showed a lot of static. When it cleared up it showed a huge space station with antennas sticking out from its base. It appeared to be firing something into empty space every few seconds.
"Um," Harry couldn't believe what he was seeing. He read his station again to make sure. "If these sensors are working, we're over seventy thousand light years from where we were."
Everyone stared ahead of them at the screen, what he said barely registered.
"We're on the other side of the galaxy," Harry said, his voice cracked.
****TO BE CONTINUED****
Part One << >> Part Three