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The fleet are overwhelmed as the game in Newcastle causes more chaos. However they find that it's the least of their worries.
Between 15th May and 21st December 2004
"Please tell me that you weren't counting the entire city population Jodie, he said not to count the quay side," Andrea said.
Jodie pouted, "that's really difficult as everyone would be running around and stuff, the figures would keep changing."
"Doesn't anywhere on the planet have transporters?" Kevin asked.
"Still wouldn't be enough even if they listened," Jodie replied. "I'll try though."
The turbolift doors opened, Duncan ran in but nearly crashed right into Andrea. "Eew," he grumbled, before going around her.
"What the, this is not a nursery," Andrea grumbled.
Jessie walked in next holding Sarah-Amy in the carrier, Sasha was right behind her. "Ok, you two, go to Aunt Jodie."
Jodie looked up, "huh, why me?"
"But don't bother her," Jessie said, ignoring her.
"Like I'd do that," Duncan innocently said. He and Sasha went over to her.
"Jessie, what is this?" Andrea grumbled.
"Sorry I need a babysitter," Jessie said.
"This isn't the time!" Andrea snapped.
"Yes I know that, god that's why I need a babysitter," Jessie muttered. She turned to Emma, "um." Then turned Kevin's way, "oh crap, anyone good with babies?"
"You're leaving them here? Look we're in a crisis here and we can't babysit for you," Andrea said, now fuming.
"Well I'm not going to take them to Doomsville down there," Jessie muttered, shaking her head. She headed over to Jodie, "can you transport me down?"
Andrea headed over to them, "nobody is going down there, we're having enough trouble beaming people up in time."
"But, I can't just stand around while James and the others risk their asses down there," Jessie said.
"What could you do to help? One person isn't going to make a difference, it's just one extra person to beam up," Andrea said.
"Even if I could, I wouldn't," Jodie said.
Jessie stared blankly, "fine, if you won't help me I know someone who will. Come on you two, let's go." She headed for the turbolift, Sasha and Duncan followed her uneasily.
Andrea stared after her, she waited until the doors closed. "Just in case, shut down all of the shuttles," she whispered.
Jodie stared blankly at her, "I don't know how to do that."
Kevin looked up from his station and turned around, "oh oh, shuttles. We can evacuate people using them. At least then Jessie might not get aboard, they'll be too full."
"Unless she gets there first," Jodie commented.
Andrea sighed, "why didn't I think of that. Tell the Enterprise and Leda."
"Why don't you want her to use a shuttle anyway?" Emma asked.
Everyone turned to stare at her. "Last time she flew one, she flew through several buildings," Andrea replied.
"Oh," Emma laughed nervously. "Cool."
Ylara was standing by the river side, next to a silver metal bridge. Lots of people were rushing passed her to get over it. Some stupid ones jumped in the river.
She rolled her eyes, "ugh, that's the last place you want to be." She turned around, "hey, go over the bridge!" Turning back to where she was facing before she noticed several people going across the bridge next to the green one. "What is wrong with these people?" she groaned.
A few people stopped nearby, including some kids. "What are we doing, the game is way over there," one said.
"I dunno, some girl was telling everyone to go to Gateshead," another one replied.
Ylara sighed, "you can stay if you want, only if you want buildings to collapse on you or to drown in the river."
Everyone in the group stared at her, most shaking slightly. "Ok let's go," one stuttered. They continued on.
"Wow, you do care," a familiar voice said nearby.
Ylara turned to the source, Daniel was standing out of the way of the swarm nearby her. "I saw it ok, it's not pretty you know," she muttered.
"I know, I'm not mocking you. I was just surprised that's all," Daniel said.
"What are you doing here?" Ylara asked.
"I transported down a while ago. Craig wanted to beam down to 'hunt you down', thought I'd better stop him," Daniel replied.
"Did you kill him?" Ylara asked, raising an eyebrow.
"God, I want to. Lying sod," Daniel muttered. He looked around, "I figured he'd find you."
Ylara stared right behind him, "he has."
Daniel turned around, he groaned, "great timing."
Craig made his way over to them from behind Daniel. "Daniel, let me guess, she looks like her, so it's good enough?"
"No you moron. Don't you know what's going on?" Daniel muttered.
"Yeah, so you can hopelessly try to kill me later, ok," Ylara said.
"That's what I had in mind, but you are standing next to a river," Craig muttered.
"Please, I can swim," Ylara rolled her eyes. "Plus I doubt you're strong enough to do that."
on the other side of the game:
Zare was still standing beside the game, directing people going down the hill. James rushed over to her, "how is it going?"
She stared at him, "you're not in the game? Sandi's on her own?"
"Yeah, I had to get someone out of the way at the last minute," James replied.
"It's going fine, but the amount of people coming out of city hasn't gone down," Zare said. "Tell me, is this the only way out of the city?"
"No, but the city is huge," James said.
Zare shrugged, "I dunno, a lot of people are leaving here, and running passed the game. Everyone's either stupid, paranoid or decided to go shopping today."
"This place does attract a lot of tourists. A lot of cities do," James said.
Zare sighed, "we should go further into the city, I've got a bad feeling about this."
James looked towards the game, he turned back to her, "I told Voyager to evacuate everyone, they listened."
"Good, but I'm still hoping that Sandi will be able to win it," Zare said.
back at the Quay Side:
Ylara rolled her eyes, "men." She walked away from the two, who were arguing again.
"It's sick that you'd even say something like that, even if she wasn't dead," Daniel muttered.
"Give it a rest Daniel, obviously the better man won in the end," Craig grumbled.
"Yeah I know that," Daniel said, turning away from him.
Ylara turned back around, "ok this'll make you hate me more but it has to be said. Get over it, she's dead ok!" Daniel and Craig turned to her, not looking anymore happier than before. "I think personally that you're both losers, I don't know what she saw in you guys. Daniel hasn't threatened me several times, I'll give him that though."
"Cos he doesn't care," Craig grumbled. He walked over to stand right in front of her, "and you, you didn't know her and you don't know us. So from now on, keep your nosey little self out of our business."
"Game over," the usual voice said.
"Do you know what that means?" Ylara asked.
Craig and Daniel just stared at nothing in particular, turning paler by the second. Everyone running or walking passed picked up speed.
Zare and James glanced over their shoulders towards the game. People near them were screaming, running in the opposite direction to the game.
"It only said game over, maybe," Zare stuttered.
"User wins," the voice said.
"Maybe we're toast," Zare finished.
"Maybe we're gone," James muttered. He took a hold of her arm and pulled her away.
"It's finished," Triah said.
Tom and Angela took a step closer to her. "Well?" Tom questioned nervously.
Triah glanced back at them, "um, just pray to god that James was wrong."
"What, what happens now?" Craig stuttered.
"Why should I tell you, you don't like me," Ylara muttered.
"Guys, we've got to get out of here," Daniel butted in, eyeing the game. Ylara and Craig glanced back at it. It started to raise from its landing spot, the ground started shaking violently. A lot of people were thrown to the ground, or onto nearby people.
"You really want to know?" Ylara snapped at Craig.
He stared at her, "I didn't ask for fun, did I!?"
The shaking finally ceased as the game finally got into the air. All that was left was a huge crater. Several buildings that only got half of the game started crumbling away. Two of the bridges started creaking loudly.
"What's that?" Daniel asked.
Ylara backed off a step, "the supports were mostly in the game itself. The remaining supports on this side can't take the weight."
"But it will right?" Daniel asked.
"No, we'd better go before it gives away, preferably before the buildings collapse next to us," Ylara muttered.
"But we're a good hundred metres away, they can't," Craig said.
The buildings next to the site collapsed, most of the rubble crashed into the neighbouring buildings. The ground started shaking again as a result, more buildings started to collapse. A few people going over the bridge stumbled to the side and fell over the side. Several people running to the bridge did the same. Craig stumbled into Ylara, knocking her over, Daniel just fell onto his butt.
Ylara shook it off, she then noticed Craig was lying on her looking a bit dazed. She pulled a face and pushed him away. She quickly got back onto her feet, "oh god."
"Ow my ass," Daniel grumbled as he got up too.
Ylara ignored him, she climbed onto the metal barriers and jumped into the river. He stared after her, eyes widening. Craig quickly got onto his feet, he ran to the edge. "No Le... crap."
Daniel rushed to his side, "it's not Lena."
"I know, but I'll never get her back if..." Craig stuttered. He climbed onto the barriers, he dived in after her.
"First time I've ever agreed with you," Daniel said. He did the same.
Jessie and the kids were once again nearby Jodie, who was not happy at all.
"Why can't I go down? I'm just one little person," Jessie asked.
"Jess, sorry to interrupt but," Jodie muttered. She turned around, "Duncan, get away from that part of the station."
Duncan turned around, "what, I'm just trying to do my job early."
"With the replicator systems!?" Jodie snapped.
"Yeah," Duncan said with a pout. "Games don't like them." He walked away.
Jessie meanwhile had walked over to tactical, "well?"
"Jessie, the shuttles needed as many medical people as possible in them and the transporters were a no go. We could have beamed you right in the path of the shockwave," Andrea replied.
Jessie groaned, "well anything is better than watching somebody play Tetris on the viewscreen."
Emma glanced at her, "that's not what I'm doing." She quickly fiddled with the station, the viewscreen changed to space view. "I'm fighting the games."
"I've never known Tetris to destroy a city," Kevin commented.
"Obviously no one told you about that Derby place," Andrea sighed.
Jessie stared blankly, "you mean they used Tetris in a game, how lame."
"No, Tetris was a craze during 2372... obviously a maintenance team weren't paying attention," Andrea said. Everyone groaned.
James and Zare were running against the crowds of people running down one of the streets.
Zare stopped, "ok people stop, the buildings are collapsing, this way!"
James stopped and turned around, "Zare!" He pointed down another street, everyone were going that way instead of the way they came.
"Oh," Zare sighed. She got pushed to the ground by the swarm.
James quickly got to the side, he got pushed into a wall. He tried to shake it off, "people, stick together." He moved along the wall, "Zare?"
Zare tried to get up but she had fallen over amongst the swarm, and people kept knocking her over. One or two people noticed her, they tried to help her up. "Thanks," she said, quickly going to the side where James was. "Are you sure that's the right street?"
"Yeah that leads to the outer city, at the very least it'll give them more time to get out," James replied.
"Doesn't anybody know how to use shuttles," Zare muttered, placing her hand gently on the new bruise on her forehead.
"Not everyone has one though," James said. They both heard the distant rumbling sound coming closer. "Zare, you go with them."
Zare stared at him, "no no, you're not doing that. The more the better right."
"I doubt many people are left behind now that there's been warnings, earth quakes and the game warnings," James said.
"Why you though?" Zare snapped.
About a hundred metres in the distance, a few more buildings fell to the ground.
"Want to talk about this?" James asked.
Zare groaned, "fine, but don't blame me if you get killed." She rejoined the swarm of people.
Ylara resurfaced holding a young teen with one arm, she tried to swim back to the other side. She looked up at the ground, which was two metres higher than the river. "Crap."
Craig got over to her, "there's a ladder over there." He tried to point towards the silver bridge.
Ylara moved over and handed him the boy, "you take him then."
"But," Craig muttered. Ylara swam off before he could finish. He used his other arm to swim towards the ladder nearby. Several people climbed onto the side via other ladders. Craig let the boy climb up first, he kept a hold of the ladder and scanned for Ylara.
Daniel joined him holding a little girl, "Craig, you're blocking the ladder."
Craig took her away from him, "um, can somebody get this one?" A woman standing nearby knelt down to pick her up.
"Didn't they say that the quay side on this side is dangerous too?" Daniel asked.
Craig nodded, "flooding, that's what she said."
"Well unless it rains for a few weeks, I don't think so," Daniel muttered. He quickly grabbed a hold of the other side of the ladder.
"Everyone's out, where is she?" Craig muttered, still scanning for Ylara.
Daniel's eyes widened, "she, she's not out?" He started scanning around too. They both jumped as the creaking from the green bridge got louder.
Craig looked up at it, "um, oh god."
Ylara resurfaced about a hundred metres away, holding somebody who was unconscious. She was only a couple of metres away from the bridge itself.
"The bridge, it's going to go," Craig stuttered. He let go of the ladder, and swam in her direction.
Daniel turned his head to look. One half of the bridge had broken away mostly, it was still attached by one weak bit of metal. The remaining support was not in any better condition either. "That's one tough bridge," he muttered. On cue, the broken part broke away. "Oh god. Ylara, Craig!"
Ylara looked up, her eyes widened in shock, "oh, not good." Craig got over to her.
"Underwater now," he said. He went under, pulling the other two with him.
Daniel was about to leave the ladder but he hesitated, "ok everyone, go up, the side is going to flood!" Everyone ran up the steps as fast as they could, some people were still going across the bridge. The broken part of the bridge fell into the water, causing a massive tidal wave. Daniel quickly pulled himself to the surface, he followed everyone else, not looking sure about it.
The wave took over both city's quay side's, smashed into the silver bridge and crashed into the buildings nearby. The Newcastle side buildings were already collapsing before the wave so they weren't affected as much. It quickly settled down, but the river had still flooded the sides.
Daniel rushed back the way he came, he scanned the river. "Come on, where are you guys?" Several people were trying to swim to the sides, but none of them were Craig or Ylara.
He waited a few seconds, "fine." He jumped down into the shallow side of the river. He was about to go into the deep end when a few people resurfaced nearby, startling him. "Oh thank god, are you guys ok?"
Ylara moved her hair out of her face, "no." She turned to Craig, "he needs help."
Craig was too busy coughing water, he eventually stopped. "So do I, I think I swallowed the river." He continued coughing.
Daniel sighed, "there's some shuttles near that stadium, we should hitch a ride on one."
Ylara stood up quickly, "no, isn't there two Slayers still in the city?"
Daniel looked uncomfortable, "yes but, the bridge isn't useable now." He pointed at the silver one, only a few metres of it on each sides were still there.
"That's ok," Ylara said. She jumped back into the water.
Craig groaned, "god, in a way she is just like Lena."
Daniel nodded, "yeah, you'd think we'd be used to it."
"It's stopped," Noah said from opps.
Harry sighed in relief, "is it too early to ask for a damage report?"
"Pretty much yeah," Triah replied.
Tom sat down in his chair, "is it as bad as Manchester, can you tell me that?"
"Let me check," Triah said. She keyed in some commands. A small bang distracted her, "oh, hang on a sec." She knelt down next to Scott, who was in his pram giggling. He had milk all over him, and the bottle was lying leaking all over the floor. "This may take a while," she stuttered, pulling out a hanky.
Angela groaned, she walked closer and leaned over the station. "Hmm, it's not as bad. Let's just hope we don't get another game like Manchester did."
"But still bad?" Tom questioned.
Angela glanced back with an annoyed expression on her face, "hey, I'm the one in charge, not you."
Tom shrugged, "sorry, just wondering."
"Of course it's bad," Angela muttered. She keyed in a few commands, "ok damage report is in. Sixty percent of the city has collapsed, including one of the main bridges. This caused flooding on the river banks, and a few buildings on the Gateshead side were damaged as a result."
"That's not as bad as Manchester?" Bryan stuttered, glancing at her.
Angela stood back up fully, "we've got an estimated death toll of about two hundred."
"But, we beamed people out and everyone else left on their own, right?" Bryan asked.
"They tried to, Bryan," Angela muttered. "Some didn't make it in time. They either drowned in the river flooding or when a building collapsed no doubt."
"I told you, you weren't going to like it," Noah said.
"Gee that sucks," Naomi said with a pout on her face.
"Oh I know, all those poor clothes and shoes," Harry sarcastically said, pacing the bridge.
Naomi turned her chair around, "hey, I'm not shallow."
Lilly rolled her eyes, "people, it could have been a lot worse."
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but that was a lot of destruction in ten minutes," Lee muttered from tactical.
"Yes but if it wasn't for the anti shockwave work on all major cities project, that city would just be a hole in the ground," Harry said.
Naomi shook her head, "anti shockwave my ass. Sixty percent's a lot of a city right?"
"Yeah it is, it's a big city. It couldn't spread further as the rest of the city isn't as cramped together," Noah said.
"Have we got a casualty report?" Harry asked.
"No, we won't get an official one until we know how many got out, etc," Noah replied.
Harry sighed, "fine."
An hour or so later:
Lieutenant Paris' Log Stardate um... the Solar System's star, yes that'll do.
"Oh give me a break, the log joke wasn't funny and it never will be," Andrea muttered.
Ahem. The senior staff on the fleet and several Earth based ex crewmembers have gathered together for a meeting. The casualties and damage in Newcastle could have been so much worse, but it's still worth discussing according to Andrea. Speaking of, I never try to make a joke about the stardates.
"And that's better? You sounded like a right prat as it didn't make sense," Andrea muttered.
All right, leave me alone. End log.
Enterprise, Conference Room:
All of the remaining main cast had managed to squash around the table, Andrea, Angela, Tani, Ian, Danny, Lee and Wesley had also managed to join them.
"Now I know how the Newcastle citizens feel," Lee muttered, glancing at the two he was wedged in between. Danny slapped him across the back of the head.
"Thank you," Angela sighed.
"No problem," Danny said, smiling sweetly. She turned to Ian, "suck up bitch." He tried not to laugh. Angela had heard and she was now glaring.
"It's getting way too crowded in here," Tom muttered quickly.
"Well we should get straight down to business then," Andrea said.
"First time I agreed with you," Tom said. He pulled himself up, but found he was trapped by the chair and his neighbours. "Um, I'll stay here. Everyone should know about the disaster in Newcastle. The current status is the nearby hospitals are treating injured, as well as the Sickbay on the Enterprise."
"Wow, this was worth it," Naomi grumbled, glancing at her neighbour in disgust. He stared back at her.
"Well at least I don't reek of that cheap perfume you always have," Bryan muttered.
Tom rolled his eyes, "we're nowhere near finished here. For one thing the rest of the city had to be evacuated because of power cuts."
"Just like what happened with Manchester, and we all know what happened there," Andrea said.
Daniel groaned into his hand, "god, what a headache."
"Yeah Andrea's voice will do that," Emma commented. Andrea stared at her blankly.
"Ok," she muttered. "Tom let's get it over with."
"I would but I'm stuck," Tom said. He stood on the chair, he leaned on it and tried to climb over the back. Everyone but Daniel watched in interest. The chair turned as he was hanging over the back, this made him fall to the ground.
He stumbled back onto his feet, brushed himself off blushing madly. "Anyway, here's the plan of action," Tom stuttered, ignoring everyone's smirks. He made his way over to the wall panel. "As you can see we have a large amount of people so..." He pressed a button on the panel. A bang startled him. "What the?"
Craig shrugged, "Daniel just died."
Everyone glanced over at Daniel, who's head was now resting on the table. Harry, who was sitting next to him, tilted his head to the side, "he looks asleep."
"Spoil my fun," Craig grumbled.
Wesley sat up, "wouldn't worry if I were you, watcher vision. He's probably a few hours behind me."
Emma groaned, "no not again, you don't make sense."
"I made perfect sense!" Wesley snapped.
"Woah woah, what did you see? Newcastle?" Tom asked.
"No, I saw worse. That was only the start of the end," Wesley replied.
"See what I mean?" Emma muttered.
"I think it was pretty clear. This is the last millennium, at the end of it everyone will die and it's starting now," Wesley said.
"So? None of us will be alive by the end of the Thirtieth Century anyway," Kevin said.
"I don't know why I bother," Wesley grumbled.
Daniel woke up startled, "holy crap."
Everyone leaned on table to get a little closer. "What, what happened?" Harry asked.
"This is ageism, I'm sure," Wesley muttered to himself.
"We have to get going, there's lots of games going to land," Daniel replied. Everyone pushed their chairs backwards and left the room, leaving Tom looking bewildered.
"But I had a plan of action," he said with a pout.
A large star chart appeared across the large screen. Several members of the cast were standing in front of the main station, watching it as three planets got red crosses planted over them.
"Are you sure?" James asked.
Daniel shrugged, "I dunno, there were more than three anyway."
B'Elanna sighed, "what I did was compared his descriptions of the cities destroyed with images of Federation colonies, etc..."
"How many more than three?" Zare asked.
"One or two," Daniel replied.
"The computer is still searching for those," B'Elanna said.
"Well we've got three ships, five Slayers, we should head for these three planets," Craig said.
"But what about the other games? Do they arrive at the same time?" Zare questioned.
Daniel shrugged, "I don't know."
"I'll send a message to all three bridges," B'Elanna said. "We should leave as soon as possible."
"The only thing we can do is get the ex trainee Slayers to take part, right?" Jessie said.
"I hope you're not volunteering," James said.
Jessie shook her head, "no, knowing our luck recently we'll have to take every ship into the game cos it's last minute. I'd rather not have the kids aboard if that happens."
"Come to think of it, that's a good idea. I and a few others do have Games experience," Craig said.
Daniel scoffed, "right, I bet your experience is running away from the user."
"Actually I was a good Trained Slayer," Craig said.
"No you weren't. All of us beat you at Game Creature battles," Jessie said.
Daniel raised an eyebrow, "Game Creatures?"
Wesley's eyes lit up, "Slayers used to use them to help aid them in Games."
"Used to, what happened?" Daniel asked.
"Well all except one tried to kill us, and scrammed," B'Elanna replied. Wesley pouted.
"One?" Daniel said.
"Yeah, but I wish it did try to kill us. It liked to try and separate people when they tried to kiss. So annoying," Jessie said. "But one time, it was a godsend."
B'Elanna sighed, "please, I'm still trying to repress that memory."
Daniel pulled a face, "what, you two?"
B'Elanna, Jessie and James stared at him in disgust, while everyone else just stared looking amused. "No it was Tom, he was drunk," Jessie snapped.
"Great, two years of memory repressing gone to waste," B'Elanna muttered.
"Soo, we need some ex Trainees to go in the other games then. B'Elanna, Craig, you two going?" James asked.
B'Elanna nodded, "yeah, I'm up for a good fight."
"Me too," Craig said. Daniel tried not to laugh.
"I find it hard to believe that you were ever a Slayer," Daniel said.
"Look, I only quit that gig because my expertise lay solely on the Game Creature type battles," Craig muttered.
Jessie sniggered, "is that what they call it these days."
"It's not my fault, that Onix was never really on my side remember?" Craig said.
"And ours was?" James questioned.
Jessie laughed, "well we know that Victreebell never was."
B'Elanna cleared her throat, "guys."
"I don't get this at all. Do I want to?" Daniel questioned.
Wesley's eyes lit up again, "I'll tell you the whole story if you'd like."
"You weren't around back then," Jessie said.
"Yes but everyone knew about it in the council," Wesley said, grinning. He turned to Daniel while everyone else moved away from them.
"What is it?" Craig asked.
"I got a message back from all three ships. They're beaming down some of the evacuees to the surface that weren't injured, Jessie wanted to leave so..." B'Elanna replied.
"Oh right, so this is my only chance?" Jessie questioned.
"Ten minutes. Sorry, we have to get going asap," B'Elanna replied. "A message is going to each crew to ask them if they want to leave or not."
"Well I think Craig should. There will be Game Creatures there but I doubt they'll listen to him," James said.
"Why on earth would they call them Pokémon?" Daniel asked, bewildered.
"Because they could fit into your pocket once recalling them, stupid," Wesley replied. "It was just another name, personally I didn't like it. Anyway."
"Short version please," Daniel groaned.
"Oh right. All of the Slayers creatures rebelled and escaped. The watchers did some research and we found that Softmicron, the game's creatures, were shapeshifters, not creatures with the same form. I'll let you guess the rest," Wesley said.
"Why wasn't that in an episode?" Craig asked.
Zare shrugged, "I wasn't around then but I'm guessing that it was because the writers decided to suddenly get rid of them. Then they made up some excuse about a year ago, and planned to mention it in a random episode in casual conversation, like it was all intentional."
"Oooh I wouldn't say that, you're asking to be killed off," James said.
Jessie smiled, "finally, somebody I don't actually like."
Zare stared at her, "well the ones you don't like tend to come back, that's my experience."
"Ok don't make me slap you," James muttered.
Zare rolled her eyes, "joke, stop taking her side."
"Jess. Kids, leaving ship, five minutes," B'Elanna muttered.
Jessie's eyes widened, "oh right."
"You need a hand carrying one of them? I'm going so I'll help," Craig said.
"I thought you were going in a game," James said.
"Well obviously I'm not needed in that genre," Craig muttered. He headed out of the room.
Jessie sighed, "maybe I'll make him carry a bag." She turned to James. "You know the drill."
"Yes I do. Don't get hurt or killed or you'll be mad?" James questioned.
Jessie smiled, "yeah and?"
"Oh," James said. They both kissed, making everyone else groan.
"Anyone else?" B'Elanna questioned.
"No thanks, you're nice and all but no," Daniel commented.
B'Elanna stared at him, "eew no!" She smacked him over the head, "are you staying or going?"
"Oh thank god, I thought you meant," Daniel sighed in relief, rubbing his head. "No offense."
"Well?" B'Elanna asked, tapping her foot impatiently.
"I'll stay behind," Daniel replied.
Wesley grinned, "brilliant, I was planning on doing that too. We can be a team."
"Team, for what?" Daniel asked, looking a bit worried.
"I'll tell you. Don't want to distract everyone else from their current mission," Wesley replied. He headed out the room whistling cheerfully.
Daniel groaned, "maybe I should have said that line, Zare." He followed.
Zare smirked, "good luck."
"Ok, three minutes until we leave and..." B'Elanna said as she turned around. She groaned, "Jessie, for god's sake go!"
Jessie jumped a little, turned her head away from James. "What, oh. I forgot." She rushed out of the room.
Zare shook her head, "you couldn't have married someone normal, could you?"
B'Elanna quickly cut in, "ok we should get all the remaining Slayers here, and any volunteer ex Trained's. We need to figure out who's going where. We can't have just Trained in one, and two Chosens in another."
"That's true, some games have higher levels than others," James said.
Zare raised her hand, "um I have a question."
James looked at her, "what?"
"What if a Trained goes in with Ylara, and it turns out to be the hardest game? Ylara never heard of Game Cubes until today," Zare asked.
James and B'Elanna glanced at each other, looking worried. "Then we'll have a big problem," B'Elanna replied.
"Not quite the answer I was looking for," Zare muttered.
few minutes later
The Enterprise, the bridge:
"Are the others ready to go?" Tom asked.
Triah nodded, "Voyager and the Leda are ready to go."
Tom sat down in his chair, "Bryan, engage."
Bryan nervously nodded, "uh huh." He keyed in the appropriate commands.
The Enterprise jumped into warp, Voyager did the same followed by the Leda.
Starfleet Command, one of the many transporter rooms:
Craig paced the room, which he was sharing with Daniel, Wesley, Jessie and the kids. "Something's wrong here."
"Yeah, where is the transporter guy?" Daniel asked.
Wesley gasped in horror, "ohno, it's happening now. We have to get out of here." He ran out of the room.
"But we just got here," Jessie muttered.
"Mum he's crazy, don't listen to him," Duncan said.
Daniel nodded, "exactly, I mean what kind of idiot calls Game Creatures Pokémon anyway." Everyone else stared at him, "what, what?"
"Let's go," Craig muttered, shaking his head. He headed out of the room.
Jessie groaned, "great, he's already abandoned the bag I made him carry." She followed him out after picking up the baby carrier, while carrying Sasha in other arm. Duncan looked up at Daniel, he smirked and ran out after her.
"I'm guessing I'm the bag carrier now, great," Daniel groaned. He picked up the big bag Jessie had left, he almost fell over because of the weight. "Holy crap," he muttered. He stepped outside and crashed right into Craig, who was staring outside the window directly outside the door.
"What the?" he grumbled. Then he noticed Wesley and Jessie was looking out of it too. "What are you doing?"
Duncan pushed in between Jessie and Craig, and tried to look through the window. Outside people were panicking, and rushing around. The whole area seemed to be getting dark quick, the clouds in the sky were turning black.
"This is it, we should have stayed on the fleet," Wesley stuttered.
"Why, what's going on?" Jessie asked.
"It's the end, starting now," Wesley replied.
"Specifically!" Jessie snapped.
"Game Sphere," Wesley stuttered. Everyone but Sasha's eyes widened in horror.
"But, why didn't you tell us this would happen then!" Jessie yelled.
"I didn't know when it would," Wesley meekly said.
Sasha looked confused, "what's a Game Sphere?"
"It's a place where some spoilt brat tries to kidnap people and stuff," Duncan replied.
Jessie frowned and looked down at him, "Duncan, that only happened in one and how do you remember that?"
"You don't forget stuff like that," Duncan replied.
Jessie sighed, "that's just great."
The lights in the room switched themselves off just as the sun was blocked by the now black clouds.
"Ok nobody move, and that means you Daniel," Craig said.
"Aaah, we're all going to die!" Wesley screamed. He crashed right into Daniel, knocking them both over.
"Who made him a watcher anyway?" Duncan asked. Jessie just shrugged.
"Shh, do you hear that?" Craig whispered. Everyone tried to be silent, but still the sounds of people whispering and talking was echoing around them. The lights turned back on, startling everyone. They looked around to find themselves in a very large plain room, with a few hundred people all looking just as confused as they were.
Jessie looked around, "we weren't here before."
"Yes, this is a waiting room," Wesley said, getting back onto his feet.
"I thought the waiting room's are only on the normal games," Jessie said.
"Don't complain this is good, this means that not everyone will get to play," Craig commented.
Wesley frowned, "it is strange, usually the game starts immediately and every sphere plays out on the planet's turf."
"And surely there are more people on Earth than this," Daniel said.
On the empty side of the room, a group of ten humans rematerialised on a small stage. A shield then appeared around them as one stepped forward.
"Welcome people of Earth," he said, his voice echoed around the room. "We have given you the privilege of trying out our new Sphere Games."
Another one stepped forward, "these are the rules that you and us must follow. One, no weapons for both sides. Two, we will stay in human form throughout the whole thing to make it fair."
"Three, no infants or old people. That would be too easy," the first man said. He glanced back at a woman. "What's the numbers for humans?"
"Oh, only eighteen to fifty will take part," she replied.
"Oh thank god," Jessie sighed in relief.
Duncan pouted, "but mum, you're still in."
"Does Wesley count?" Daniel asked, glancing at Wesley. He laughed, "yep he's out, that's a shame."
"Silence," the man who appeared to be the leader snapped. "Our last rule of the game, nobody will be able to beam in to help unless they're Slayers. Once again, that's for fairness." He turned to the woman again. "Are there any here?"
"I sense two," the woman replied. A few others nodded.
Daniel, Craig and Wesley glanced nervously at Jessie. "What, stop looking at me, they'll not notice if you don't."
"It's ok, no infants allowed," Craig said.
"Right, the game will be a good old Death Match. The game will end when one side is completely destroyed," the leader said.
"Perhaps it's a good thing people can't die in a game," Wesley whispered.
"Oh and I'd like to point out that anyone who drops here, will be dead when the game ends," the leader said.
"If we lose, which we won't, the game will leave and that's it. Obviously you'll have quite a lot of dead. If we win, which we will, the infants will be raised as servants while the old people, well most will be useless so we'll kill them," the second man said.
A nervous looking girl put her hand up, "um excuse me, I have a question."
"There's always one, fine," the leader said.
"Why will you be staying in human form? It's not fair, we won't know who to kill," the girl questioned.
"That is a shame isn't it? Humans will probably be the first to drop as you won't know who's on your side, until it's too late and some idiots will kill anything human looking. Probably the Cardassians, Vulcans and others will be safer, but I doubt they'll be able to save your planet," the leader replied. He turned to the rest of the group he was with. "Get tagging."
They all nodded as they pulled out what looked like big hyposprays.
The leader turned around, "these will transport you into the game. Anyone who resists will be killed here instead." The group went through the forcefield and spread out.
"Great, I've got no babysitter," Jessie muttered.
Wesley looked annoyed, "I'll do it, I am sixty."
"Like I said, I have no babysitter," Jessie said, rolling her eyes. She heard a familiar voice calling her name from the crowd behind her, she turned around. "Ok, who was that?"
Richard pushed his way through the crowd and rushed over to her. "Jessie, I was hoping you wouldn't be here." He glanced at Duncan, then Sasha. "Same with them."
"Dad, stupid question, how old are you?" Jessie asked.
Richard shook his head, "I'm not included in this game, though I wish I was."
"I'm so glad you're not, for two reasons," Jessie said. "Can you look after the kids, please?"
"Sure no problem," Richard replied. She handed Sasha over to him, then the baby carrier.
Nearby a girl screamed, and fell onto the floor. One of the guys with the hyposprays walked away from her, shaking her head. "Humans are cowards," he said. He scanned the next person, then pushed the hypospray into his arm. He disappeared.
"Why didn't anybody listen to me? We could have prevented this," Wesley stuttered. Craig, Jessie and Daniel glared at him. "What?"
"You didn't tell us what would happen specifically, how would we have prevented this?" Daniel grumbled.
Richard stared at Wesley, "did he see this coming?"
Jessie nodded, "I think so."
"I saw the Game Sphere appear around Earth, the fleet leaving for the obvious decoy," Wesley said.
"Decoy?" Jessie said.
"Yes, they wanted the Slayers away for as long as possible. Didn't I mention that?" Wesley asked.
"You didn't mention anything!" Craig yelled.
The guy with the hypospray finally got to them. He scanned Wesley, "staying behind, get out of the way." He then scanned Craig.
"You needed a scanner to know if Wesley was too old? God how stupid are you," Daniel commented.
"I take offense at that," Wesley said.
The guy ignored them and injected Craig with the spray, he disappeared as he moved on to Daniel. He looked up with his eyes wide, he slowly glanced at Jessie and Richard. "The Slayers are here."
"No they're not, she just reeks of them cos she sleeps with one," Daniel blurted out.
Jessie stared blankly at him, "what, jealous are we?" He glared back at her.
"You're welcome!" he snapped.
The guy, let's just call him a Softmicron for god's sake, turned his attention to Duncan. "They're infants, excellent." He walked forward.
Jessie quickly stood in front of Duncan, "hey, breaking the rules already?"
"It's not against the rules. One clearly states that all Slayers are allowed, regardless of age," the Softmicron replied.
"Oh you've got to be kidding me," Jessie muttered. She glanced back at Duncan, "he's only three and I'm not even going to get started on Sarah."
"They both have to join in," the Softmicron said.
"But the youngest can't even lift her head up. The only thing she'd be able to do is cry loudly to annoy the Softmicron to death," Daniel said.
"Do you think we care about that? Slayers are allowed in so we can kill them, infants are much easier," the Softmicron said.
Jessie looked like she was going to blow, Daniel and Richard quickly grabbed her arms to stop her. "You touch them and I swear you're in for a world of pain!"
Wesley quickly moved over to the group again, "listen, there is no thrill in killing young Slayers. Aren't Softmicron more into the fight, than the kill? When they're older they'll put up more of a fight, it'll mean something then."
The Softmicron groaned, "oh a watcher, maybe I should put him in too."
"He's right though," Richard said. "Not one Softmicron tried to kill my oldest daughter when we got trapped in the games."
"Yes but she's obviously just like all humans," the Softmicron said.
"You can't put a baby into the game, that's just too easy for you," Wesley said. Jessie cleared her throat and glared at him. "And Duncan will be too easy too."
Duncan stared at him, "no I won't, that..." Jessie quickly covered his mouth.
The Softmicron sighed, "very well, we'll leave the baby. She is young enough to be trained on our side after all. However this one, he's going in."
"No he's not," Jessie muttered.
"You know according to the rules, I should have killed you and the two Slayers as soon as you resisted," the Softmicron snarled.
"I'll go in, but none of my children will," Jessie said.
"Don't Jess, you've died enough," Daniel whispered. Richard stared at him funny.
"Tough, both of you are going in. We have no interest in the useless child either," the Softmicron said.
Sasha pouted, "hey, that's not nice."
"Ok, you're going to be the first I kill," Jessie grumbled.
The Softmicron laughed, "if you say so." He pressed the hypospray into her, then Duncan. He glanced at Daniel, he did a quick scan and injected him too.
Sarah-Amy started wailing from the carrier, Richard sighed as he put it onto the ground. He knelt down beside it. The Softmicron eyed her coldly before walking away.
"Well we've managed to save one," Wesley sighed.
"Jess will be able to protect him, take it from me," Richard said.
"I hope you're right," Wesley said.
Chakotay paced the bridge, while Andrea watched the viewscreen. "How long until we reach the game?" he asked.
"Five minutes," Kevin replied, he glanced back at everyone. "Should I put it on auto pilot now?"
Andrea nodded, "good idea."
"Right," Kevin said. He fiddled with the station, then he got up. "Finally, I really need a good fight." He rushed for the turbolift.
Chakotay sighed, "don't blame you."
Foster pulled a face, "is this because your sister was in that game when it lost?"
Kevin stopped nearby him and stared at him, he backed off a little looking worried. "Yes, now shut up you little worm, god." Kevin stepped into the turbolift.
"He isn't going to turn evil is he?" Foster asked.
"Kevin, evil? Ha, that's a good one," Chakotay laughed.
"What, he's poorly trained. Why not?" Foster muttered, pouting a little.
Jodie sighed, "he wouldn't suit the look, and that's that. His face is too soft for one thing."
"What, and James' isn't? Right, I'd understand Zare but..." Chakotay muttered.
"Yeah it is, kinda. Kevin's is softer, and man that guy can glare. It's like when Janeway used to glare at me and..." Foster mumbled. Chakotay stared at him with cold eyes. "Sorry, I'm going to hide." He sat down on the small chair.
"Wow, I can't see you now," Jodie commented. Her station started beeping, "We're being hailed."
Andrea stood up, "by who?"
"One of Earth's space stations," Jodie replied.
"Ok, on screen," Andrea ordered. Jodie nodded, she typed in the appropriate commands. A few people appeared on the screen, the one closest to it looked worried. "This is Commander Andrea Rhodes of the Starship Voyager."
"Commander, we have a problem back on Earth. It occurred only minutes after the fleet left orbit, it couldn't have been just a coincidence," the woman on the screen said.
"What's happened?" Andrea asked.
"Take a look for yourself," the woman replied. She pressed a button nearby her. The screen changed to show Earth, with the purple sphere surrounding it. Everyone on the bridge gaped in shock.
"Oh my god," Andrea muttered. She tapped her commbadge, "Rhodes to Clarke, you'd better get back to the bridge."
In: "But I have to get in the game, don't I?"
Chakotay shook his head, "he's right, we can't just go back."
"You're right, but an entire planet filled with billions is in need of a Chosen, compare that to a few thousand in a city," Andrea said.
"We can just beam ordinary people into the cube," Jodie suggested.
In: "Uh, what's going on?"
"Kevin, as soon as we left a sphere took over Earth," Andrea replied.
"It's just happened and as far as I'm aware, spheres can last for hours maybe even days," the woman on the screen said.
"That's that decided, we'll keep going for that planet. Kevin, you'll have to win that one quick ok," Andrea said.
In: "Will do. Clarke out."
"Jodie, inform the Enterprise and Leda about the situation. Tell them that they must deal with the cubes first," Chakotay ordered.
Jodie nodded nervously, "yes sir."
"We're in orbit," Naomi said.
Harry glanced over at James and Emma. "We'd better get to the transporter room."
Emma tried not to laugh, "I still can't believe you're going to go in with me. I never thought you were that good."
Harry stared blankly, "thanks for the support."
"Where is Phrog nowadays anyway?" James asked.
Naomi almost squealed, "oh I loved that thing, it was so cute."
"Cute? Ugh it was a frog," Harry muttered as he turned to Naomi. He turned back to James and Emma, "why did you ask that, you know all of the Creatures were Softmicron in disguise, and they all disappeared."
"And can I ask something myself? Why does everyone take me seriously?" James asked, looking annoyed.
Harry groaned, "oh right, it was a joke slash insult at my expense. Oh right fine, you don't see me insulting that stupid looking snake thing, or the thing that used to eat you."
"Hey that wasn't that bad, it killed Damien," James said.
"Yes and look how well that turned out, we were better off when he was mortal," Harry said.
Emma sniggered, "boys."
"You can't say anything, you stabbed him to death before that!" Harry snapped.
"It didn't count," Emma pouted.
Lilly groaned, "for god's sake you three, the game could arrive at any minute. Transporter room is waiting."
"Um," Noah muttered. "It's already going down."
"Blame James, it was his fault. Quick can you beam us from here?" Harry blurted out.
"Don't be a dumb ass, game cube radiation," James muttered. "And Emma started it."
"We'd better beam to the transporter room then," Harry said to Emma, ignoring James.
Noah nodded, "ok I can do that." Harry and Emma dematerialised.
"Ok, as soon as they're in the game go to the next co-ordinates Naomi. James needs dropping off ok," Lilly said.
"I was wondering why he wasn't going, oh well," Naomi said. She started keying in commands, "wait, what co-ordinates."
Lilly groaned, "we need a better crew."
"Hey," Lee, Naomi and Noah moaned.
"No argument here," James commented.
Noah looked confused, "um Lilly, the game landed."
"Are they in it?" Lilly asked.
"No, it landed at the same time we transported them," Noah replied. "I'll beam them back."
"Can't win them all," Lilly muttered. "Why look so puzzled?"
"Because it's being weird," Noah replied. Lilly walked over to his station to look over his shoulder. "You're right, that is weird, and familiar."
James walked over to stand next to her, "you're right, that is familiar."
"Did the Newcastle one do this?" Lilly asked, glancing at him.
"I wasn't on the ship, remember," James replied.
"Oh, that answers that," Lilly said.
James stepped closer to the station, his eyes widened a little. "Oh god."
"What, what is it? Somebody tell me, the suspense is killing me," Lee muttered.
"We can only hope," Naomi giggled.
"The recent one in Manchester did this. It landed just when something exploded underneath it, it crashed and left the area like the game was lost," James said.
"Oh boy," Noah muttered.
"What are you waiting for, beam up as much people as you can and inform the planet," Lilly ordered.
Noah panicked, "I can only do so much at once!"
"We're in orbit, we're being hailed," Triah said.
"On screen," Tom said, turning to B'Elanna, Tani and Zare. "Zare, Tani, you better get to the transporter room, Ylara should be there already."
B'Elanna frowned, "I'm going too."
"What? No you're not," Tom grumbled.
Zare shook her head, "god there's another one." She headed for the turbolift, Tani followed not looking too sure.
"I'm not going, and I'm an ex Trained," Tom muttered.
B'Elanna rolled her eyes, "so, I was better than you."
"Ahem," somebody on the viewscreen cleared their throat.
Tom turned around, "oh, oh right."
Angela shook her head, "sorry about that. You're probably wondering why."
"We know why you're here, it's too late," the guy on the screen said.
Tani and Zare turned around. "You mean the game already landed?" Tani asked.
The guy nodded, "yes, as soon it landed it started sparking and it left, leaving a crater behind."
"What? The games only crash if something goes wrong, like an explosion throws it off or something," Zare said.
"Nothing like that happened," the guy said.
Tom groaned, "we're so sorry we didn't get here sooner."
"Tom, it crashed, if we went in it, it wouldn't have helped," Zare said.
"Oh, right well we're still sorry," Tom said. He turned around, "let's hope we have better luck with the next place. Set a course."
Angela shook her head, "ignore him, he's an idiot. Do you need any assistance?"
"No we were lucky, we got everyone in the surrounding area and everything evacuated," the guy replied.
"There you go, some luck. Can we go now your majesty?" Tom asked sarcastically.
"Yes we can and..." Angela replied. She slapped him hard across the head. "Shut up."
Commander Turnbull's log Supplemental: The Enterprise is now heading for the second Game Cube. The first one crashed for no reason, but there were no serious casualties. We're hoping...
"No, I'm going with Tani and Zare. The more the better Tom!" B'Elanna's voice yelled.
Do you mind, I'm doing a log.
"There's no point in it, I'm sure the readers know all that," Tom's voice said. "Oh and no you're not."
"You're not the boss of me!" B'Elanna's voice snapped.
Never mind. End log.
"How long until we get to the next game?" Angela asked.
"Ten minutes," Bryan replied, rubbing his forehead.
"We're getting a message from Voyager," Triah said.
Angela walked over to stand behind her, "let's hear it."
Triah keyed in a few commands. Jodie's voice came over the intercom, "Voyager to Enterprise and Leda. As soon as we left Earth a Game Sphere took over it, but you have to still deal with the other games. The sphere will probably be around for a while, but still you should come back as soon as you're done. Voyager out."
"That sounds awfully convenient to be a coincidence," Zare said.
"What do you mean?" Tom asked.
Zare leaned on the back of one of the chairs, "isn't it obvious? Create multiple games to get all the Slayers lightyears away from Earth, then put a sphere around it. They obviously want to keep us out of it."
Everyone on the Leda bridge were listening to the same message.
In: "The sphere will probably be around for a while, but still you should come back as soon as you're done. Voyager out."
"Wow, the Softmicron really have it in for us, don't they?" Harry muttered.
"Well, James'll just have to be quick in that game and we can head back to Earth," Naomi said, glancing behind her. "Think you're up to it."
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't a Chosen do the sphere and other Slayers do the cubes? We have Emma and um Harry to go to that planet," James said.
"We're nowhere near Earth though," Harry said.
"I'll take a shuttle, it's fine," James said.
Emma glanced over at him, "if Jessie and co didn't go to Earth, would you be in so much of a hurry to get back?"
"Yes I would actually," James replied, not looking happy. "Why does everyone always assume that's all I care about?"
Emma pouted, "I'm sorry, just asking."
"There, that's why everyone takes you seriously nowadays," Harry pointed out.
"Here's a thought, the game will be over quicker and stuff if there's three of you instead of one or two," Lee said. "Why don't you all go?"
"Good idea," Harry said.
"Ooh yey, this should be fun," Emma said.
Noah's station started to beep, he turned his chair around to face it.
"That'll be the game, let's go," Harry said, rushing for the turbolift. James and Emma followed him, not so fast.
"Oooh er, my bad," Noah muttered.
All three stopped just as they got to the lift. "For god's sake, what is it?" Harry asked.
"It must have landed before we got here, cos this is a hail," Noah replied.
"You two go, they might just be wondering why we're here," Harry said.
Emma and James stepped into the turbolift. "Why don't we just leave him behind?" James said.
"Yeah, sounds good," Emma said just as the doors closed.
Harry glanced back, "traitors." He turned back just as somebody appeared on the screen. "I'm Lieutenant Kim of the Starship Leda. Can I help you?"
"We sent out a distress call, I assumed you got it," the guy replied.
"No, but yes we already knew about the game," Harry said.
"Uh huh, well thank you for coming," the guy said.
"It's ok, we're beaming two Slayers down in a moment," Harry said.
The guy looked confused, "Slayers? What we need is medical supplies."
Harry's face fell, "oh, you mean the game's already been?"
"Been and gone. It left straight away," the guy replied.
Harry groaned, "oh great, not again." He turned to Noah, "can you transport some supplies down, get Nikki to help you."
Noah nodded, "no problem." He got up and headed for the turbolift.
"Thank you Lieutenant," the guy said. The screen went off.
"Why do I get the feeling that we've been had?" Harry asked. Everyone glanced at him.
"Probably cos we have. Both games we go to crash before we get there, game sphere takes over Earth, even an idiot can see that," Naomi said.
"Thanks for proving that, Naomi," Harry muttered.
Naomi pouted, "hey."
"What do we do then?" Lee asked.
Harry sighed, "well we've got nothing to do here once we've delivered supplies. Once that's done we'll head to Earth."
"I've sent the message to Voyager," Triah said.
"Good," Tom sighed, pacing the room slightly. "I can't believe this, two games crash in a row. Can't have been an accident."
"They just wanted us out of the way," Zare said.
"Well it doesn't matter. We'll get back to Earth, beam all the Slayers in at once and you guys show them how it's done," Tom said.
Zare smiled glancing over at Tani, "gladly."
"Am I included?" she asked.
"You're only a Trained, not a good idea," Tom said, glancing at B'Elanna. She rolled her eyes.
"What about the Leda? James and Emma are there, we could use them for the all Slayers plan," Faye said.
"I've sent a message to them too, they would have got the sphere message too remember. I just told them to meet us at the meeting place asap," Triah said.
"Why don't we just meet at Earth?" Tani asked.
"This planet needs our help, we should just drop off Ylara and Zare and come back," Tom replied.
"Hang on. You're picking that bitch over me?" Tani questioned, folding her arms.
"You're a Trained, she's a Chosen," Tom nervously said.
"Yes she's a Chosen, only because she killed one. And she knows nothing about Games, I grew up fighting in them," Tani grumbled.
"Sorry Tan, I know you don't like her but she would do better in it," Tom meekly said.
"Don't like her? I've never hated anyone more in my life," Tani muttered.
"Yes but it's not the point is it," Tom said nervously. "Please, talk to Angela instead."
Angela glanced between them, "I don't want to get involved in this."
Zare sighed, "it's ok Tani, we'll have two Chosens in anyway, excluding her. Plus there will be me and Emma, we'll be ok."
"Right, like Kevin is Game Sphere winning material. He'd only win if it were a dating losers game," Tani grumbled. She stepped into the turbolift.
"Anyone really want to high five her?" Bryan asked. Everyone stared with raised eyebrows. "Just me then, ok."
****TO BE CONTINUED****
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