Previous Episode << >> Next Episode
Jessie attempts to find a cure for Duncan's age problem. The fleet meanwhile respond to a planet-wide epidemic.
July - August 2006
January - April 2007
Several crewmembers stood around near the door, only a few sat on the biobeds. Doctor Jones stood with Naomi nearby the station in the middle of the room.
"I'm sorry but he came on to me first," she protested, placing her hands on her hips.
"I don't know who to beli... no wait, I do," the Doctor muttered.
Naomi pouted, "he looked at me, I swear."
"It's rude not to," Doctor Jones groaned before turning to face her. "If he stared at you with his mouth open I'd let you off. Now you do the basic scans on the women who come in. Get their names too. Some people who come in may not be here for physicals, so don't leave those ones waiting around outside."
Naomi stamped her right foot and folded her arms huffily, "oh come on, that only happened once!"
Doctor Jones' eyes shifted, "what did?"
"Uh, nothing," Naomi stuttered, she rushed off to one of the girls standing by the door.
Doctor Jones sighed, "that girl will be the death of somebody."
The doors opened to let Jessie walk right into the crowd, she looked at everyone with distaste. "Oookay, what's going on?"
Naomi quickly stepped over and began scanning her, "name?"
"You know my name," Jessie muttered, raising an eyebrow.
"Yeah, but how do you spell it? Is it with a Y after S, or E, or..." Naomi questioned.
Jessie pushed her out of the way, as well as other members of the crowd to get through to Jones. "Doc?"
"Hmph, so rude," Naomi grunted.
"What's going on here?" Jessie asked.
Naomi's eyes widened as she stared at the tricorder, "holy crap, she's all screwed up." Doctor Jones stepped over to take it off her, he flipped it over and then handed it back. "Oh ok." She moved on to scan a guy.
Jessie rolled her eyes, "has she killed anyone yet or are you smart enough to keep her away from si... everyone?"
"She isn't allowed to treat anyone," Jones replied. He took the tricorder off Naomi again, "meet and greet, that doesn't mean meet and flirt."
"But he's hot, the tricorder says so," Naomi moaned.
Jones groaned, he guided the guy out of the crowd. "Just the girls, remember." He turned back to Jessie. "Sorry, it's yearly physicals today. The main biobed is free, we'll quickly do your scan."
"Great," Jessie sighed.
Jones lead her over to the main biobed, she lay down on in. "So how have you been in the last week?" He activated the scanner on the bed.
"Good I guess, afternoon sickness aside," she replied.
"Has your sister talked to you?"
Jessie frowned at him, "are we making small talk?"
"Um yes," Doctor Jones quickly said, looking nervous.
Luckily for him the scanner was in the way so she didn't see that. "Right. We only talk on the bridge. I've been too busy, kids and all."
"Hmm," Jones frowned as he looked at the scanner's display panel. "What's your husband doing today?"
"Why?" Jessie asked, panicking a little "What's wrong, is he or she ok?"
"Oh yes, fine," Jones stuttered as he switched the scanner off. "Call him here, then join me in the office." He quickly went over to other patients as Jessie sat up. She stared at him funny as she made her way into the office.
"So, so dull without the TV," Tom mumbled while struggling to keep his eyes open.
"Would you like a coffee, Captain?" Kevin sniggered.
"Shut up," Tom muttered as his eyes closed. "And yes."
"Great, just doing a poll," Kevin said.
Tom groaned, "ugh, useless."
"Would you rather have the ship being in danger than be bored?" Jodie questioned.
"Something in between being bored and life and death situation," Tom replied.
Jodie sighed and shrugged her shoulders. "Too bad, we're getting a distress call."
Tom jumped to his feet, all wide awake again like he was injected with five spoonfuls of coffee. "Great, on screen." He quickly sorted his hair and uniform out. Jodie waited patiently for him to finish.
"Audio only," she smirked.
"God damn it," Tom muttered. "Let's hear it."
In: "... to anyone out there. We desperately need assistance. Our neighbours..." The voice was drowned out by loud static only for a moment. "... in danger, but we can't interfere." It happened again, but for a lot longer time. "Primitive." And again. "Please anyone..."
"Why does that sound familiar?" Tom muttered.
"Too bad we can't interfere either, Prime Directive," Jodie smiled.
"Crap," Tom grunted. "So we just ignore it?"
"Pretty much yeah, duh," Jodie commented.
"It's been eleven months since an episode," Tom whined. "So much for something to do."
"I did say 'too bad'. I read the text version earlier," Jodie said.
"It wasn't exactly a 'we can't help so there' comment, 'too bad' just tells me that it would be boring or very, very dangerous," Tom said.
Jodie sighed, "bored of this."
Tom ignored her as he looked back at tactical. "Where's Jessie?" His fear grew as he didn't recognise the person manning it.
"It's her weekly appointment, chill out," Jodie said.
"Yeah, what are those about exactly?" Tom said in his usual nosey tone of voice.
"Um, women problems," Jodie lied.
Tom pulled a disgusted face before turning back, "ugh never mind."
"But I already see you weekly," Jessie moaned, fidgeting in her seat.
Jones smiled nervously as he sat down behind his desk. "Last time Jessie, you remember? We can't take any chances."
"Don't guilt trip me," Jessie snapped, taking him by surprise. "No offense but..."
"You promised James that you'd go to all your appointments this time, as this was all your idea," Jones said.
James appeared at the doorway with Naomi behind him, scanning away. "What's going on?"
Doctor Jones groaned into his hand, "scan the women!"
Naomi jumped out of her skin, she quickly rushed off as James looked behind him.
Jessie cleared her throat, glancing in his direction. "I have to see the doc, twice a week now."
"Why, is everything ok?" James questioned.
Jessie bit her bottom lip while glancing down at her feet. "No, we have a problem."
"It's not life threatening, it's not that much of a problem at all," Jones said. Jessie looked back up to glare toward him. "There won't be if you keep to your appointments."
"So erm, what is it?" James asked as he stood next to her.
The Security trainees were being lead down the corridor by Craig, Ylara trailed behind with a bored look on her face.
He lead them into a brig which had three cells instead of one. "Ok guys this is obvious. If someone punches somebody, damages computers or what not, they go in here. Then you contact me or James. If they're full contact us right away."
"Hey Andercrap!" Damien snapped from the second cell. "Let me out, I didn't do anything this time. You can't lock people up for just planning to kill or enslave you all!"
"On the other hand if you see Damien, just chuck him in. Nobody will be punished if you accidentally fire at him with the kill setting," Craig muttered.
"No you'll be blessed by me taking over you," Damien said. He slapped his hand on the forcefield, this made him jump back and his hair stand on end. "Oh come on. Enslaving is fun!"
A nervous guy looked, well nervous. "What does he mean by take over us?"
"Also you can't throw anyone in here you don't like, just him," Craig said, ignoring the question.
"Damn," one guy grunted.
"This brig needs two guys here at all times. Voyager's solo so just one. If there's a dangerous prisoner then there will be two outside, that's a high risk job," Craig said. "Only cos they're the ones that always get shot." Everyone but Ylara looked worried.
"You're um," Craig muttered, staring towards the two at the station. "Not supposed to slack off like these two either. Guys!"
Foster and another guy jumped out of their skin. "What?"
Craig groaned into his hand, "never mind." He turned back to the trainees. "Don't follow their leads, I'll hate you and whatnot."
"You hate me anyway, besides nobody cares if you like them," Ylara said.
"I hate you," Damien blurted out. "Yeah, all of you."
Craig rolled his eyes, "if James' your boss you're all screwed. He really, really has a couple of screws loose. He's allowed to slack off, kill people, throw them around but you're not. I won't be happy either if you did those things, but I won't put you in Sickbay."
Damien, Ylara and even Foster laughed. He glared at them all but that just made them laugh for longer. The others who obviously didn't know him looked on nervously.
Craig cleared his throat, trying to ignore them. "I will reward greatly to those who do a convincing 'accidental' shoot to kill on Damien and her." He pointed at Ylara, she grabbed the finger tightly. Everyone cringed when they heard a crack. She then let go, smirking at him as he did well to hold back a squeak for a minute. He put his arm behind his back. "Ookay, you still heard it."
"Yeah I'll probably break the bones of anyone who tries," Ylara smiled.
The rest of the trainees whimpered slightly. One shakily pointed at the third cell. "Is there supposed to be no one in there?
Craig frowned as he turned to look toward it. "Foster! Who was in there?"
Foster jumped again, "Um Chakotay."
Craig closed his eyes, muttering to himself, then looked up at the ceiling. "Why? What did I do to you, why do you torture me?"
Damien looked on, confused. "Um, I'm here, not up there."
"Now he thinks he's god," Craig shuddered. "Someone kill him now. Whoever does gets a week off."
"Oooh," everyone said, looking at Damien.
He mouthed, "possessed." Then pointed at himself. Everyone widened their eyes. One trainee looked away to catch Ylara breaking imaginary people's necks, smiling sweetly. Craig spotted her too.
"Why are you threatening them?" he asked.
"Damien's my biatch," she replied.
Craig rolled his eyes.
Tom covered his face, his headache didn't go away or die down as he massaged his temples. "You lost Chakotay?"
Craig's voice groaned in annoyance over the commlink, "I didn't, Foster did. At least this time I don't know how. We're looking. I doubt he's left the Leda though. There's been no transport activity and the shuttles are in one piece."
"Look he got aboard at dock so how do you know for sure?" Tom questioned.
In: "Uh, Leda out."
Tom groaned as the turbolift door next to tactical opened. Jessie stepped out of it looking a bit dazed. "Jessie we're on our way to answer a distress call..."
"Crap," she muttered while taking her station.
"I want you to do one thing," Tom tried to continue.
"Um, crap," Jessie said.
"Keep your sister occupied, she's annoying me and whatnot," Tom said.
"Stop it with the crap!" Tom snapped.
Jessie shrugged her shoulders, "I will if you will. Snap at me again and your tongue will be detached from you again."
"Fair enough. Your sister will complain about this mission so. Furthermore Threshold was all a dream, it's the only way it can be canon," Tom muttered.
"Complain? Why, is it a stupid Starfleet humanitarian mission where the rules have made us do this and that?" Jessie questioned. "If it was a dream, how do I know about it?"
"I told you about it, just drop it," Tom snapped.
Jessie smiled sweetly, "oh you didn't just snap at me again, did you?"
"No. Hey I'm the Captain, you can't be Jessie with me," Tom grumbled. "Not anymore."
"Why not. I was Jessie with Janeway, right?" Jessie put on her fake pout. "So is it?"
"If 'it' is what I think it is, then yes. Kinda," Tom replied. "They're pre-warp."
"Then how did we get the distress call?" Jessie asked.
Kevin swung his chair around, "their neighbours aren't supposed to interfere either so they sent it."
"Oh, Jodie doesn't care about the Prime Directive," Jessie said.
"No but she cares about disagreeing with every decision I make," Tom said. "If she doesn't know, then she's agreeing."
"Yeah but we still shouldn't..." Jessie muttered.
"Gah, you all do it don't you!" Tom grunted, throwing his hands up in the air. "Look the warp aliens did the call, so it's ok."
"No it isn't," Kevin commented.
Jodie re-entered the bridge eating a sloppy sandwich, leaving a trail of breadcrumbs behind her. "Jess, can we talk in private somewhere?"
Tom eyed her suspiciously, "I knew it. You have meetings to discuss better ways to torture me." He put his hands on his hips to try to make himself look more commanding. "No more breaks until 1600, you can't. I forbid it."
Jessie stared blankly at him for a second, then turned back to her sister. "Sure." The both stepped into the Ready Room.
"Hey, and on my turf too!" Tom moaned, stamping his foot.
"You asked Jessie to distract Jodie, you can't complain," Kevin said with a shrug.
"Yes I can. The Conference Room is free," Tom moaned.
Inside the Ready Room, Jodie and Jessie sat on the sofa looking right at home. Jodie still was getting crumbs everywhere.
"What's up then, you sounded an incy bit serious?" Jessie asked.
"Uh well, I have to tell you something," Jodie said. She finished off her sandwich, then licked her lips and finally the sauce and crumbs off her fingers. Jessie watched her in disgust as she turned to face her. "Ah hem. You're going to be an aunt."
Her eyes widened, "oh god, who did Nathan get preg... No wait, not him, is it you?" Jodie nodded her head. "Really, wow."
"That means we'll be pregnant together, isn't that neat?" she said.
Jessie didn't look so sure, "er yeah, great. You're taking this very well."
Jodie smiled at her, "why shouldn't I, it's great isn't it?" Her smile quickly turned into a huge frown, then she burst into tears into her hands. "Oh god, it's awful. I'm sick all the time, I already feel bloated and ugly."
"Hmph charming," Jessie muttered with a look that could kill on her face. She jumped as Jodie grabbed her arm.
"Please Jess, you're used to it, carry it for me," she stuttered.
Jessie's eyes managed to get wider in horror, "what? You just said, you know I'm... Used to it?"
"Exactly," Jodie casually said.
"No! There's no room in here for another, and I'm not used to it," Jessie angrily muttered. "Besides when have I ever carried a baby full term? The answer is never. First time was five and a half. Second time, one month. Third time after three months I was dead for two, she was premature by two weeks. Fourth only six months," she rambled. "I'm the baby booby prize. Get me as your mum and you're guaranteed to come out early, with a forty percent chance of dying."
Jodie blinked a few times, "how sweet. Look B'Elanna carried Duncan for you, you owe it to someone."
"I didn't really have a choice in the matter and I'd only owe her," Jessie groaned. "I can't when I'm already pregnant anyway. I'm risking another infection by carrying my own."
"You're two months ahead of me, you could..." Jodie said.
Jessie jumped to her feet, "oh no no no!"
"Oh come on, you always have them earlier. You'd still have room for mine afterwards. Four months take away probably another two, I'd only have to put up with it for three. It's perfect," Jodie said.
"I am not going to carry yours, no way. Unlike me you're perfectly healthy in that aspect," Jessie grumbled. "And I'm currently occupied, no room at the inn!"
Jodie pouted, huffily folding her arms as she stood up. "Fine. I have no sister." She stormed out of the room.
"Crazy," Jessie muttered as she slowly followed her to the bridge. Tom stood outside waiting, looking at her anxiously.
"Good work Jess."
"What?" Jessie frowned. Tom winked at her, then tried to walk away. Jessie grabbed his ear, he of course squealed in response. "Don't ever wink at me!"
"Ow, I order you to stop. Stop it!" Tom squealed as he tried to wriggle out of her grip.
"No, explain why and apologise," Jessie grumbled, now pulling at his ear.
B'Elanna meanwhile stepped onto the bridge holding Miral. She began clapping at the sight of her dad's misfortune. B'Elanna groaned, "Jessie stop it."
"No pull," Miral squeaked happily.
"I think I have to listen to the cute kid," Jessie smiled.
Tom whined as he tried to pull away, but that made it hurt even more. "I was just hinting about keeping Jodie occupied. I didn't want to say it out loud as she'd hear. You ruined it, so no sorry's!"
"Huh occupied?" Jodie muttered. "More betrayal Jess?"
Jessie rolled her eyes, "oh yeah I'm such a terrible sister just because I won't carry my sisters own ba..." Jodie shushed her. Despite being in pain Tom did a fake cough, with the usual nosey look on his face. "Miral, what should I do next?"
"Pinch his nose," Miral replied. B'Elanna tried to shush her but obviously failed.
Jessie reached to grab Tom's nose with her other hand, he quickly covered it with his own. "Ok, I'm sorry I winked." Jessie let go, but still gave him a hard slap in the face. Miral giggled, clapping her hands again.
"What else do you say?" He looked at her puzzled, covering his slap wound with the hand he hid his nose with. She pinched his nose as hard as she could, he started squealing again. "Say it!"
"Bitch," B'Elanna whispered. Miral repeated what she said. "No you don't say it."
"Um, you're a bitch? No that's not it," Tom stuttered. Jessie promptly punched him in the gut, making him double over.
"No, you're my bitch," she said.
"Oh," Tom wheezed before he collapsed onto the floor.
B'Elanna rushed over to his aid, Miral just clapped happily. Jessie returned to her station with a smile on her face.
"Who needs a stress ball when you've got Tom."
Duncan sat in his chair, drumming his fingers with a bored look on his face. The two blonde twin girls sat near him, with the same look on their faces. The teacher, Mrs Appleton attached a padd to the computerised blackboard. Writing appeared on it. She then began repeating what was there in unnecessary detail.
The nearby door opened, Bryan stuck his head through it. "Yes?" Appleton said.
"Um," Bryan nervously said. The rest of his body appeared in sight. "I've been sent here. This..." He noticed Duncan, and frowned in confusion. "I must have got the wrong room, sorry."
Appleton moved forward when Bryan attempted to leave. "You must be Bryan. Take a seat next to Duncan."
Duncan glanced up, pulling a face. Bryan turned back with a look of horror on his face. "But isn't Duncan in a school?"
"Yes, aren't you five?" Appleton smiled politely.
"Crap, uh no," Bryan stuttered.
"Young man, you've never been to school. Your superior has the right idea. Take a seat."
"Why next to me?" Duncan moaned.
"Hey what's your problem?" Bryan grunted as he looked toward him.
Duncan shrugged his shoulders, "I dunno, are you like your dad still?"
"Still?" Bryan pouted. "That's Johnathan."
"I see you boys are acquainted already," Appleton said, gesturing her hand to the chair next to Duncan. Bryan reluctantly sat down there.
"I suppose, he was kinda my brother for a while," Bryan muttered.
Duncan rolled his eyes as he rested his chin in his hand. "Ugh I thought I blocked that out."
Appleton frowned, "confusing."
Bryan pouted, "what's wrong, I was a good brother. You can't compare."
"I don't actually have a brother, lucky for you I can't do that," Duncan muttered. "You were annoying."
"You always cried!" Bryan snapped back.
"Can you blame me with your dad around, plus I was a baby jackass," Duncan muttered.
"Boys, let's get some work done. And no more swearing," Appleton said.
Voyager and the Leda hovered in front of a large dark blue alien vessel, which was twice the size of Voyager.
The main senior staff sat around the table with two very pale skinned aliens.
"We've got two operatives who keep an eye on these people, but they have strict orders to not interfere," alien one said. "Anyway they've reported a strange epidemic."
Alien two nodded, "they can't find the source of it, or a cure. We lost contact with them weeks ago. It's deadly and it seems to be mystical, the last message mentioned that it was mutating."
"You've definitely contacted the right ship," Tom said like he didn't mean it. "We're experienced with that sort of thing."
"Oh god, here we go," Jessie groaned.
"I wouldn't say that, Damien thinks he's god now," Harry commented.
Craig raised an eyebrow, "so he didn't just make that up on the spot then."
Tom cleared his throat, blushing slightly. "So erm, why did you call us?"
"A lot of strange things have happened in the last few months, things that we don't understand. We hoped that somebody might, and you say you do," alien two replied.
"If it's mystical things then most probably," Faye commented.
"What do you know about this epidemic then?" James asked as he fiddled with a padd.
"Well supposedly it started with an urban legend, a curse if you will," alien two replied, alien one nodded. "It started how it always happens. A superstitious non believer checks it out, next thing you know an entire continent, possibly the whole planet is in danger."
"Strange things recently," B'Elanna muttered. "Do you think they could be related to the Corridor?"
"We have that theory yes. That corridor was what seemed to be the catalyst," alien one said. "As it's disappeared and the strange anomalies haven't, we've ran out of ideas."
"So if these other aliens don't know about other species, how are we supposed to help them?" Harry questioned.
"Simple reconnaissance," alien two replied.
"I didn't know there was a simple kind," Jessie muttered, she looked at her watch. "Damn it, I gotta pick up Duncan."
Tom and B'Elanna looked confused, James smirked slightly. "Why, it's morning," Tom said.
Jessie climbed out her chair, "he needs a haircut." She rushed out.
"I hope she doesn't take him to the one Tom went to," B'Elanna frowned, eyeing Tom in distaste. Tom felt his shaved head with a pout on his face.
"I wanted it like this," he muttered. "Can we get back on topic?"
"Uh yeah. If we're so sure it's supernatural..." Harry said.
James groaned, "here we go."
"I'm thinking a team, a mixture really," Harry ignored him. "One Slayer, a leader, smart one, and someone who knows enough medical. You know just in case one drops dead or something."
Tom smiled sneakily at James, "which Slayer would be better at reconnaissance."
"Zare obviously," he replied.
"Actually he's right," Harry said.
"Just because she's pale like them," Tom muttered. "He's not right."
"I have plenty to do here anyway," James said.
The aliens looked confused. "What are Slayers?" alien two asked.
"We'll choose Slayers later. Medical Nikki," Tom muttered.
Faye sighed, "this is already sounding like a doomed awaymission."
"We'll need the Doc in Sickbay in case of emergency transport," Tom said. "We're short on leaders."
"That's got to be the smartest thing you've ever said in a meeting," James said. "And that's saying something."
Tom stared blankly at him, "we should kill two birds with one stone; Slayer/leader."
"Go to hell Paris," James grunted. "I got shift stuff to figure out, trainees to train, idiots to pull apart."
"I'll go," Harry butted in. "With Zare, she's not doing anything. Nikki too." He turned to the aliens. "Do you have their bio information, we'll need a new look for our mission."
Alien one nodded, "yes, we have everything you'll need."
Alien two still looked puzzled, "what's a Slayer?"
"A freak, next question," Tom muttered in frustration. "I thought I was in charge here, that team will never work. Harry's the leader, Nikki's the medic, there's no smarty pants and James isn't there to get killed."
"And Tom's not there to make stupid comments that aren't funny, which end with him receiving a broken something," James said.
B'Elanna sighed, "we all took Janeway and Chakotay for granted, didn't we?"
Appleton sat at her desk, working on a computer while the kids worked on some books. Bryan was talking constantly to Duncan who looked like he was ready to fall asleep.
"Give me a break," he interrupted him.
"Hey, what?" Bryan moaned.
"All you do is moan about being mistaken for an adult, you've never really been a kid. That's a lot worse," Duncan said.
"It's really not," Bryan said. "I told you about that girl."
Jessie walked in, immediately frowning at the sight of Bryan. "What the?" The boys turned to look at her.
"Mum? Hey," Duncan said.
"Hi honey. What's Bryan doing here?" Jessie asked.
Bryan sulked again, "first day of school."
Duncan's face quickly lit up, "oh is it lunch time already?"
"No," Jessie replied.
Duncan grinned, "am I off today?"
Jessie sighed, "no, just a haircut."
Duncan's face quickly dropped, "but I like it this way."
Appleton walked over to them. "Actually Mrs Stuart, if I could keep him for five minutes longer so I can mark his work with him. It will be ok for him to just come back after lunch then. I need solo time with Bryan here."
"All right, but haircuts only take five minutes. You don't want your hair dyed do you?" Jessie muttered.
"Ooh red with black," Duncan blurted out.
"So glad I was joking," Jessie said. "Go on."
Duncan pouted as he collected his books. He and the teacher went over to her desk.
"So er, why were you sent to school now?" Jessie asked.
"Oh Harry got sick of me making what dad calls oopsies, and what mum calls not again," Bryan nervously replied.
"This is really your first ever day?" Jessie frowned. "How do you work that station?"
"Uh dad told me to never discuss piloting with you," Bryan said.
Jessie rolled her eyes, "it can't be that hard if a five year old can do it."
"This is mum's idea. She doesn't like me being a grown up, or something dumb like that," Bryan said.
"She wants you to be your own age, I don't blame her," Jessie said.
"But I'm a teen," Bryan pouted. "I shouldn't have to be here."
"If you've never been to school then you should," Jessie said.
"Mum and dad taught me, there's no point," Bryan huffed. "Mum only wants me here cos of that girl."
"Girl?" Jessie mumbled.
"Bridge girl, she hit on me. So gross and freaky," Bryan muttered with disgust in his voice. "I'm only five, so mum got mad."
"She hit on you?" Jessie said looking worried. "Really, oh god."
"She's still in Sickbay," Bryan said.
Jessie sighed as she turned her head to watch Duncan and Appleton.
"I think mum just wants me to be somewhere where I'll get treated like a kid for once," Bryan finished off. "Sucks."
"Uh huh," Jessie mumbled.
Duncan jumped down from the chair, he ran over to her. Appleton got up. "Bryan, let's get started on your catch up."
Jessie reached for Duncan's hand, "come on Dunc, let's get that haircut out of the way, I've got something we could do after."
"I thought you had a job mum," Duncan said as she lead him away. She laughed a little.
"That's a good one honey."
Harry and Zare waited around impatiently for their team-mates. Each one of them had new forehead ridges, and marks down the hands.
"We're lucky that all of these guys have black hair," Harry said.
Zare sighed, "lucky but unlucky too. This'll be why Nikki's late."
"True, she'll just wear a wig though," Harry said. On cue Nikki walked in with the same ridges on her skin, sporting a mugger like hat that covered her hair completely. "Or she could just appear with a hat."
"I don't think that hat's going to fool anyone. We're not pretending to be thieves," Zare muttered.
Nikki pouted her lips, "what do you mean?"
Harry frowned, "where's the med kit?"
"Oh, oh crap!" Nikki muttered, stamping her foot once. Zare and Harry stared blankly at her as she remained where she was.
"We're very doomed," Zare muttered.
Only a few crewmembers sat at the tables with drinks. Jessie and Duncan were at one of them. She had her head in three large old books. Duncan held a big plastic cup in his hands, he slurped at the drink inside using the straw. His hair looked neat for once and was a little shorter.
"What are you looking for mum?"
Jessie turned a page in one of the books, "I'm still looking for a cure for your age problem."
"I thought you already looked," Duncan mumbled.
"I have. Most of these spells don't make any sense. I don't know what they do," Jessie sighed, slamming one of the books shut. "Your mum's a crap witch."
"That's bull. I wouldn't be like this if you were," Duncan said. The straw went back into his mouth.
"It was an accident remember. Good witches don't mark their best moments accidents or evil times," Jessie said.
"But..." Duncan pouted, fiddling with his straw. "I don't wanna be younger. I get treat like a kid too much already."
"That might be because you are one. I won't make you younger anyway, it's just a look," Jessie said.
Duncan's pout got bigger, "I don't wanna look younger."
"I do," Jessie smiled a little. "Two reasons to find it then. Seriously, I think the one I'm looking for is to seize your growth, until you're the right age, look wise."
"Why?" Duncan asked.
Jessie sighed, "comprehensive school is hard enough when you're a Slayer with an attitude, and a personality. It would be a lot worse if you looked fifteen when all the other kids are ten and look it too."
"Wouldn't I just beat up the ones who bully me?" Duncan muttered.
"Well no, cos that never helps," Jessie said. "To tell you the truth, I don't want you growing up too fast. I don't want you to hit puberty before you're nine, older girls flirting with you and..."
"Puberty, what the hell is that?" Duncan frowned. "Flirting, gross."
"Tell me about it," Jessie mumbled.
"Why now?" Duncan asked.
"Bryan," Jessie replied with a sigh. "You've seen how he is, you don't want that."
Duncan crinkled his nose, "god no."
"I just wish I could figure these books out," Jessie sighed, glancing at a different book. "Some spell descriptions make sense, but the rest is just riddle like jibberish."
"What would evil mum do?" Duncan smirked.
"Evil mum kinda has access to it all. She wouldn't need any book, but she'd be too busy attacking people," Jessie said. Her eyes lit up, "oh, the only time she did was when she needed a top up."
"Did I just give you an idea? Neat," Duncan grinned.
"Not a good one, if I did it I'd probably turn evil before I did anything," Jessie muttered.
"But you were already evil when you did it," Duncan said.
"More or less, but it gave me a power boost. I turn if I get too much, crap," Jessie said.
"Evil's cool though," Duncan commented.
"No it isn't, especially when it's me. I hurt anything, at least a Slayer goes for deserving people," Jessie said. "We'll think of something."
"We? Cool I'm helper guy," Duncan said, pouting a little. "With a crappy new hair cut."
Jessie smirked as she reached out to mess up his hair, for once he didn't protest. "There, better?"
Duncan blew his own strands of hair out of his face. He smiled as she moved them back where they used to be before the cut. "Yep."
"So cute," Jessie said, smiling at him. "I wonder if your hair would grow if I found the spell. I could keep you like this forever."
"A kid forever? Eugh no," Duncan groaned.
"Are you sure, nobody would ever hit on you," Jessie giggled. "Only kidding anyway. Lucky you, you'll always be a cutie, I'm so jealous."
"Weird," Duncan mumbled. "Is there other witches or maybe someone can look, figure it out."
"Probably. I still don't get why you didn't fully go back when I made the mistake in the first place," Jessie said. "A watcher may understand the books, but I don't trust either of them."
"Either, there's three of them isn't there?" Duncan questioned.
"Daniel, maybe," Jessie said. She picked up his cup to look inside, "that was quick."
"Thirsty. Teacher asks questions all the time, so I have to talk a lot. Can I have a coke this time?" Duncan asked.
Jessie glanced at her watch, "actually it's lunch time so you'll have to wait until your dad brings your sisters here."
"Eugh," Duncan groaned. "No fair."
"I just don't get it," Daniel muttered.
Li'Chin polished his already clean glasses with a small white cloth. Sighing impatiently he placed them back on his head. "We're Watchers, we should look the part."
"Been there, done that, plan to kill myself if I do it again," Daniel groaned. "You look like what my people call a dork. Nobody wears glasses anymore cos they can fix any eye problems now."
"Ah but it's..." Li'Chin raised his finger to protest.
Daniel quickly butted in, "fine, look like a dork. If you lose your memory I'll be saying I told you so."
"If I did, would I remember that?" Li'Chin gloated, smiling too proudly for his own good.
Daniel rolled his eyes, "I wasn't serious. Look up bad joke in your books."
Jessie walked over to the pair. "Daniel, word please."
"If it's alone then I lo... no, too much. Like you," Daniel muttered.
Jessie pulled a face at him, "it is."
"Why would you ever need Mr Lavine, other than OTT awful hair style advice," Li'Chin chimed in.
"Because he's the Watcher that gives me the less creeps. Plus if I wanted Wesley for something, it would be to test my aim."
"What about me?"
"I don't know, you're just annoying," Jessie muttered.
"For your information I don't bleach my hair anymore, it's shaven, not OTT at all," Daniel grunted.
"And he's not?" Li'Chin sighed.
"I didn't say he wasn't. Besides I barely know you. You heard what happened with Ligod," Jessie said.
"Ah yes, I did," Li'Chin said.
"Wait," Jessie narrowed her eyes suspiciously at the chirpy watcher. "Li'Chin, Ligod... Li plus some word."
Daniel smirked at Li'Chin, "she's right, maybe we should arrest you."
"Huh?" Li'Chin stuttered in confusion. "I'm not Ligod. What did you want exactly?"
Jessie groaned, then dragged Daniel around the corner by the arm. "Do you know how to read certain spell books? Almost all of the descriptions of the spells are in riddles."
"I won't know until I look at it. Why, what are you up to?"
"I need to cure Duncan. I'm thinking either a freeze growth for a certain time spell, or backwards ageing. Possibly a reversal spell that'll actually work fully."
Li'Chin followed them around the corner. "Ah the young Slayer boy, I heard about him."
"Would you stop it with the aaahs," Daniel muttered.
"I have heard of a growth freeze spell, if you've got the correct book it will be easy," Li'Chin said.
"Which book then?" Jessie questioned.
Zare, Nikki and Harry were still waiting for the rest of the team to arrive.
"Can't we just go?" Zare groaned.
"Hell no, without a random faceless crewmember I'll be the one who gets infected, killed or what have you," Harry mumbled.
"I could live with that," Zare said.
A plumpish looking woman with a very chav outfit on barged her way in. "Hi guiys!" she screeched in an awful accent.
"Forget I said anything," Zare muttered, twisting her face in disgust.
Evil C followed the woman in, while he passed by her he pulled the same face as Zare. "What's she doing here?"
"Oh, Craig sent me," annoying woman replied. "And by the waiy, ma name is Lade."
Everyone stared at her blankly, not sure whether to look surprised or not. Finally Harry spoke up, "ookay." He turned to the others and whispered, "quickly before 'Lade' catches on."
"It's not Jade, it's Lade," the woman screeched while everyone else rushed onto the pad. "Wait up guiys!"
The transporter girl quickly keyed in the commands to energise, everyone currently on the pad beamed away. They soon rematerialised in the middle of a wood filled with pine like trees. Nikki whined as she looked down at the low fog blocking her view of her knees down.
"Oh my god, we're in the clouds. Eeew, eew!"
Everyone stared at her blankly. "It's fog," Harry muttered.
"What does it want?" Nikki squeaked.
"Ya supid bint," Jade grunted. Everyone looked back at her instead.
How did you get on the pad so fast? Zare asked.
The woman replied in her pure accent, nobody understood a word of it.
What? Oh I dont care, Zare grumbled.
A middle aged man with the same facial marks on his skin approached them from behind. Youre the humans?
No, Zare and Nikki replied.
Harry groaned and rolled his eyes, more or less.
The man raised an eyebrow, ok, come with me please.
Later the team and the alien man were walking down a quiet street of few shops. Most were closed or abandoned completely.
My name is Ryseek, and Ive spent five years here learning about these people, the man sighed, the man sighed. This street used to be a thriving town centre, despite its lack of commerce.
The virus huh, Harry muttered to himself.
Ryseek lead them down the street. The only other people around were three young girls, they quickly ran passed the awayteam. All of them looking like they were trying to protect themselves with their coats.
They dont know how its happening, neither do I, its not like any disease Ive seen. The entire continent will be infected by now.
Harry looked behind him to look at the girls who passed by them. Those girls, they didnt look sick.
No they dont. They never do, Ryseek said.
Zare groaned impatiently, I dont mean to sound rude but are we infected now that were here?
Ryseek stopped and turned around to face them. It doesnt infect that way, so no. He beckoned his head toward what looked like a newsagents. The paper bays were empty and charred from a fire. The TV store next doors window had been broken, the TVs were broken and the entire place had been vandalised.
What? I dont get this, Nikki muttered, her forehead ached.
It all started with a newspaper article, then came the TV coverage, the frontpage news, the books, films. Its everywhere, Ryseek mumbled ominously. Its a curse, spread by these peoples greatest weakness: their curiosity, their need to know everything.
Zare leaned closer to Nikki and whispered, someones going for an overdramatic drama award.
Ryseek turned again to look at them. If I didnt know any better, I would say that it was a computer virus. It spreads like one.
Computer viruses dont infect people, Harry said.
Nikki briefly tried to massage the pain in her forehead away. So er, whats the symptoms?
Evil C shrugged his shoulders casually, probably dropping dead.
"That's the end result most of the time."
"Most?" Zare said.
"One or two have survived it," Ryseek replied, shifting his eyes nervously. "The symptoms are primarily hallucinations."
"That's all, how does that kill them?" Nikki questioned.
"They're usually traumatic enough to induce panic/anxiety attacks, high body temperature, and paranoia," Ryseek replied. "But that's not what kills them anyway."
Harry sighed, "then what does?"
"Heart attacks. One of the few that died when it was still a myth was torn apart from the inside out. That's when it started to mutate and spread everywhere. The only way I can guarantee that you won't be infected is to keep you away from all kinds of media coverage on this."
"That means we won't be able to help investigate fully," Zare said. "Why are we even here?"
"Maybe we could examine some of the dead, and currently infected," Nikki suggested.
"That would be the best idea, but first I'll take you to a safer location," Ryseek said.
Jessie, Daniel, and Li'Chin stood at the high table, looking through her spell books, which covered most of the surface.
"Yes, this is the one," Li'Chin sighed, gesturing to the book he was looking at.
"No funny stuff mister," Jessie muttered. "Will Duncan need to be here when I do this?"
"No, you just need something of his, with his DNA on it. A comb maybe," Li'Chin replied.
"Or if he leaves plates and forks around in his room, well a fork," Daniel added on, shrugging his shoulders.
Jessie stared blankly at him, "thank you. The comb will do."
"Great, then all you need to do is get a picture of him, and a few normal spell ingredients," Li'Chin said.
"Um, I don't have any of that ingredient stuff," Jessie said.
"That's ok, it can be replicated," Li'Chin said. He wandered across the room to use the replicator.
Daniel turned to Jessie shaking his head. "If it's this easy how come lots of women haven't done this?"
Jessie raised an eyebrow, "don't give me any ideas."
Li'Chin rushed back to them, startling the pair, as they didn't see him until he stopped next to them. "Only a witch can do most of the spells you know."
"Jeez Chin, warn us before you speak," Daniel groaned.
Li'Chin looked confused, "how can I do that without speaking first?"
"No speaking at all is fine with me," Daniel said.
"Witches can't do the spell on themselves either," Li'Chin said.
"Damn," Jessie groaned.
"There's always Annika," Daniel suggested.
Jessie narrowed her eyes, "are you suggesting that I need to do this spell on myself?"
Daniel rolled his eyes, "god woman, you just... you said. Oh forget it, it's a miracle that you're married."
"What?" Jessie muttered.
"Forget it," Daniel groaned.
"Anyway!" Li'Chin raised his voice to get their attention. "Thank you. This spell is pretty simple for an experienced witch."
"Um," Jessie tried to butt in.
Li'Chin continued though, "the pronunciation of the chants is vital. Any rookie can get it wrong."
"But," Jessie again tried.
"A spell can end up being completely different if pronounced wrong, even just one word."
"That might explain why Duncan aged in the first place," Jessie muttered.
Li'Chin continued not to notice her. "I'm sure we won't have to worry about it with you, my dear."
"You really need some listening skills," Jessie muttered. "I'm not exactly an exper... my dear?"
"Uh oh," Daniel said, backing away a little.
"Yes?" Li'Chin blankly said.
"Oh nothing. Is that all you need to tell me?" Jessie asked, clenching both of her fists.
"Yes why?" Li'Chin replied. Only seconds later he was lying on the floor, nursing his nose.
"So, pronunciation," Daniel said, smirking slightly.
"Uh huh, this sucks, why can't they put these spells in English?" Jessie commented.
"Then it wouldn't really be the same spell now would it," Daniel said.
Li'Chin stumbled back onto his feet, still nursing his nose. "Ow, that's not very ladylike."
"Yeah I'm not. Now you'll have to tell me how to pronounce the whole spell, or..." Jessie said.
"Ok, ok, we don't want young Duncan to suffer more misfortune now would we," Li'Chin mumbled.
Li'Chin and Daniel stood on both sides of Jessie holding lit candles. She sat down on the floor, cross legged with the book in front of her. The book had a pad lying on one page with the pronunciation for the spell on it.
Annika walked over to stand in front of Jessie, folding her arms impatiently. "I don't think this is a good idea. I haven't died in a while so I just know that I'll be the first victim of Evil Jessie."
Jessie narrowed her eyes in her direction. "You're here to stop that from even happening. We both use our power to do it, that way I don't tap into the bad stuff. If you don't do it then I'll do it on my own, which means you will die."
"Ugh," Annika half rolled her eyes. She dropped to her knees, "you owe me."
"No I don't," Jessie said, pulling a face. "We have to hold hands and chant this together." She handed another pad to her, then held out her hands. Annika took them, pouting huffily. She quickly changed to her usual chirpy self.
"You know if I don't die and stuff, this'll be a fun little adventure. You and me should..."
"No!" Jessie butted in. "Just chant the words with me, ok."
"You got it," Annika giggled, winking at her.
Jessie shuddered as Annika took a hold of her hands. The two began chanting the spell, while the two watchers just stood there with the candles.
Foster and the rest of his team stood by the desk looking nervous as James and Nathan were in the middle of an argument. Craig stood nearby, waiting patiently for once.
"I don't care, you don't let the guy who looks half dead out of the brig," James grumbled.
Nathan rolled his eyes, "am I not speaking the same language as you? I did not let that Chakles guy out, that was one of the alien dudes."
"You were with him, you know about Chakotay so you should have stopped him," James said.
"Yeah Nathan, you'd know that if you bothered to go to the induction I did for you lot," Craig added on.
Nathan glanced between them looking bewildered. "What the? You're saying that I should know better, even though I didn't go to this induction. None of us went because we were busy being trained by Mr Uptight Ass."
Craig turned his head to James, "you put them in training during my induction time? Hmm, who's fault is all this really?"
"You told me the induction was last week," James muttered.
Craig shrugged, "so I lied, big deal."
"Doesn't matter, I'm only getting the blame cos you don't like me," Nathan said.
"No you're not, that just makes it more fun to do," James said.
"You're Jess' sis... oh sorry brother, she probably told you about Chakotay so you should have known better," Craig said.
"What? Why would she?" Nathan said, staring blankly. "I don't look like a woman."
"Oh yeah, it was you. Yeah you said that he looked like a girl," Craig said, gesturing to James. "I get mixed up between you two."
James and Nathan turned their full attention on him instead. "What are you doing Craig?" James asked.
"Ok I was bored, if you two had a fight..." Craig replied.
"Then you'd have something to do, ie stop it," Foster said chirpily.
Craig glanced at him like he was an idiot, "no, then I'd be able to kill a minute by watching."
"What's up Foster?" James questioned, shaking his head.
"Oh we found Chakotay. He was in Sickbay for his appointment, the group with the Slayer wannabe's in it escorted him. They just failed to mention it," Foster replied.
"Thanks for that, jackass," James muttered.
Nathan stared bewilderedly again, "I wasn't even there, I work on the Bridge!"
"You said you were cos you saw it," James said.
"Oh yeah," Nathan muttered. "I obviously wasn't listening."
James shook his head, "I sometimes wonder why Jessie is the way she is despite having annoying relatives like you."
Craig put his hand up, "oh that's an easy one. Let's see..."
"Zip it or you'll be in the brig too," James muttered. "With Chakotay."
"She's annoying too," Craig finished off casually. "I don't mind being locked up with him."
"Fine, Damien then," James said, smirking in his direction.
Craig shuddered, "you really are a SOB aren't you?"
"Yeah, you met my mum. What's your point?" James commented.
Foster pouted, "that's not very nice with her being dead and all."
"Craig said it, not me," James said with a shrug. "Everyone go back to where they're supposed to be, cos it's sure not supposed to be here." Foster's team quickly left, Nathan reluctantly followed.
"Well that was unremarkable," Daniel muttered looking unimpressed.
Li'Chin felt completely opposite though. "Wow that was just amazing, interesting, facinating."
"Enough," Jessie groaned.
"Did it work?" Annika asked.
"I hope so cos we did it twice," Daniel yawned into his hand. "Why did we?"
"B'Elanna wanted Bryan fixing too," Jessie replied. "There's only one way to find out if it worked, and another way to find out if I didn't mess it up."
"I have two days rations on it messing up," Daniel commented.
Jessie groaned, "I'm going to check on Duncan, you guys clean this up for me. Thanks." She rushed out.
"Great, you're welcome," Daniel muttered sarcastically.
Annika sighed happily, "maybe we should do it one more time. I could do with a replacement to my anti aging cream." Daniel and Li'Chin looked at each other, then walked out.
Jessie stood around the turbolift reading the padd the spell was on. The turbolift stopped but the doors refused to open. She heard what sounded like nails scratching a blackboard, but only faintly. Her eyes looked up as it got louder very quickly. She turned to the door panel and pressed some of the buttons, each one rudely screeched at her.
The doors suddenly opened, Jessie stepped out slowly.
The corridor was lit up by an eerie light blue glow that flickered on and off, leaving the room pitch black each time it did. The usual lights were off.
She looked up at the side panel on the wall. Instead of the Starfleet controls an alien language scrolled down in a sky blue colour, and handwriting style font. The buttons were blank, they were replaced by TV style static, flickering on and off randomly.
"What the hell," Jessie mumbled. Her eyes focused on the alien writing. At the corner of her eye there was a darker flash amongst the flickering static. Slowly she looked towards where she thought it came from. It seemed the same as it was earlier for a minute, then all of the lights went off completely leaving the corridor in complete darkness.
"Crap," she tapped her commbadge. "Bridge. There's a screwy problem on Deck... whatever Deck I'm on."
The screen where the writing was suddenly showed static like the rest of the panel did earlier. She covered her ears as the blackboard and nails noise came out of nowhere, and echoed down the corridor. It finally stopped after a minute, the static screen went black again.
The sound of bare footsteps grew closer, then stopped. Just then she felt a cold breath against her ear. A ghoulish voice whispered so softly that it was muffled. The static across the panel resumed. Then she saw a distorted blurred reflection of a figure behind her through the screen. Her eyes widened, she swung around and found herself face to face with a shadowed head. All she could make out was the evil smirk on his or her face. It giggled creepily, the sound of it echoed down the corridor.
A hand crept onto her shoulder. She jumped out of her skin and turned around to be suddenly blinded by the normal corridor lights. Standing between her and the wall panels, which were normal again, was an unknown crewmember.
"Are you ok, you look a little freaked out?"
She turned around again, nobody was there anymore. Tom's irritated voice grumbled over the comm, "Jess what's screwy?"
"Uh never mind," she mumbled.
Tom paced the bridge, impatiently drumming his fingers against his leg. "Voyager to awayteam, respond."
Jodie sighed, "give it up, it's not getting through."
"Why not though?" Tom snapped.
"Something down there is blocking it, I don't know what," Jodie muttered.
Jessie stepped off the turbolift, still looking a little freaked out. Tom turned to look at her. "What happened down there?"
"I'm... I don't know," Jessie replied. "Doesn't matter."
Tom sighed, "can't you even detect their life signs or anything?"
"Hang on," Jodie groaned. Her station began fluttering on and off, and screeching like the turbolift controls did to Jessie before. She looked across.
"I'm not going to. That's too screwy for my taste," Jodie muttered.
Tom walked over half of the way, "what was that?"
"I don't know, I tried something to connect to their signal to contact them but, I don't know what it was," Jodie replied.
Jessie walked over to her slowly. "Has that happened before?"
"No why?" Jodie questioned. "I don't even know where the interference is coming from."
"Jess?" Tom said with worry planted on his face.
"That's what happened, but it was... I didn't even do anything like Jodie did," Jessie said. "It was probably just me, after the spell."
"Spell? Oh boy," Tom groaned. "So you're doing this?"
"I doubt it," Jodie rolled her eyes.
"Once again you're trying too hard to disagree with me," Tom muttered.
"I wouldn't do it so much if you were right once in a while," Jodie said.
"So awayteam down there, no contact, what do we do?" Kevin asked uneasily.
Tom sighed, "either wait for them to sort it out, or send another team with transporter modules."
"Send another team? Probably some... wait they probably can't," Jodie said.
Tom groaned, "do you have a better idea?!"
"Yes, shuttle," Jodie replied.
"Those would just crash," Jessie said.
"So at least they, oh forget it," Jodie said.
"All we can do is send one team with a transporter module and..." Tom said.
"And what, hope and prey? Jeez Tom, eleven years and you haven't learned a thing," Jessie muttered.
"Well I don't hear any better ideas," Tom grumbled.
"Fine you're the boss, go put another team in danger," Jodie said.
"You know, I could just send you two," Tom muttered.
"Send yourself," Jessie said.
Kevin turned his chair fully around. "Wouldn't we be better off taking a shuttle down anyway? The transmitters will work better than the commbadges, and may get through the interference."
"When Voyager itself can't, yeah right," Jodie said.
"Well with Voyager on one end and the shuttle on the other, it might work," Tom said. He glanced at Jessie, "if it doesn't crash anyway."
"The aliens said it was probably supernatural, so I could go," Kevin said.
"No offense but..." Tom said, laughing slightly. "Sorry that was it."
Kevin frowned at him, "I'm still a hell of a lot stronger than you."
"Yeah but..." Tom sniggered.
"So you're suggesting we send James or Ylara?" Jessie questioned, rolling her eyes. "Just send Kevin, he needs the experience."
"Jess, we're dealing with something probably supernatural and a technical issue. Ylara's well, you know, an idiot. Kevin is an idiot," Tom said.
Kevin groaned and turned back around, "typical."
"They're both from different times and still are not used to our technology. Zare won't be able to help down there, alien who isn't used to Starfleet stuff either. I was right, James should have gone," Tom said. "But noooo, everybody ignores Tom's ideas because he's only the Captain. Perhaps everyone can learn from this."
"What about Harry and Evil C for god's sake, they're supposed to be smart," Jodie said.
Jessie smiled, "ha, Kevin go." Kevin looked around, she tried to smile sweetly at him without looking disgusted.
He smiled back, "anything for you Jess."
"Excuse me while I gag," Tom groaned. He tapped his commbadge, "Paris to Stuart, Anderson and Lavine, report to the shuttlebay for a rescue mission. Bring at least one minor guest star with you for the red shirt effect."
Kevin got up to go too, Tom quickly stood in front of him. "Go and tell James that you thought you had a chance with Jessie there."
"Oh please," Kevin said. "We're both Chosens. Oh whatever."
"Why did you ask Craig and Daniel?" Jessie asked with a raised eyebrow. "Sending those three together is a recipe for disaster."
Tom frowned in confusion, "why's that?"
Jessie groaned as she turned to go to her station.
TO BE CONTINUED
Previous Episode << >> Next Part