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The Delta Flyer crew are dragged into an alien group's rebellion, but it soon becomes apparent that something a lot more sinister is going on. Meanwhile Voyager and the Leda prepare for battle.
May, October, November 2012
The earth cracked open. Crowds of people skidded to a halt as several victims were swallowed by the crevice. People ran in many directions, most of which leapt over the still growing crack in the ground. Fathers grabbed their children and ran as fast as their legs could take them.
The planet's two stars were blocked by a never ending stream of black storm clouds. Despite the conditions several battered ships battled their way through to land nearby. Every single person changed their path to go towards their rescuers. Too many people were knocked to the ground in the stampede, the ones who tried to help them up got knocked over too.
Within seconds the ships were full, the doors began to close on the screaming crowds of people who were still left. The ships took off to fly back into the unforgiving clouds.
After a long five minutes of battling through the storms, each ship flew out of the planet's atmosphere and into the calm of space.
Anybody who was trapped by the viewports of the ship looked down at what was once their world, but they couldn't see a thing. They felt the ships jump to warp.
More ships passed by, using their sensors alone they navigated towards what appeared to be nothing. They were enveloped by the darkness, only for another long ten minutes. As they re-emerged a separate ship flew from a different point on the black planet, its design and colour was a lot different to the rescue ships. Those ships failed to notice or even care that the mystery ship jumped into a purple portal that appeared only for a few seconds.
"Surround it, go, go, go!" the alien leader bellowed from afar. His soldiers ran to take positions around the Delta Flyer. A couple climbed up on to the top of it. The leader joined the group converging on the entrance to the shuttle. A group of three shone the lights on top of their rifles through what was left of the front window. They could see two figures lying slump on the consoles.
"Two unconscious, Commander," one of them reported without budging from their position.
"How many were aboard?" Commander asked a member of his group.
"Seven Sir," she replied.
"Into position, get that door open," Commander ordered.
He stepped back as his soldiers aimed their rifles at the doorway. They fired along the lines of the door to force it to open. Eventually it did, with a thud it fell to the ground. Immediately three phaser rifles were pointed back at them.
"Dont, its on wide. One shot is all I need!" Craig yelled at them.
The aliens did not budge. "Im afraid not, boy. Were all around you. Its not like were here to kill you. Surrender."
"Oh, so you werent the ones who shot us down here?" Craig retorted.
"We had no choice. Lower your weapons!" Commander threatened.
"Wait, if youre not trying to kill us, what do you want?" Nathan asked him.
Shar rolled her eyes, "not caring, Nath."
"This isnt a negotiation. You cant get to all of us before we get you. Just come with us," Commander calmly said.
"Oh, so you need us?" Craig said. He pressed a button on the rifle; it made a powering up sound. The fingers of the soldiers nearby tensed on their fire button. "Better earn it then."
Shar smirked as she was about to do the same. Nathan looked between them both. "God guys, be cheesier and more psycho please." He reached over to undo what Craig had done.
"Good, now put the weapons down," Commander ordered.
"No, you obviously need us, so you wont kill us," Nathan said.
Commander scoffed, "we only hinted that we didnt want to. Well do whatever we must to save our world. We only need..."
A loud phaser fire interrupted the argument. Even though it clearly wasnt him, everyone instinctively turned to Craig. He looked just as confused. The aliens at the front then noticed their teammates guarding the side and rear of the shuttle were down. Commander gestured his hand, the remaining soldiers knew what to do.
Everyone then heard a thud against metal coming from the Flyer. The men on top of it turned to fire on something behind them. One lost his weapon right away, he got it right back in the face. The force of it threw him off the shuttle and to the ground. The second man was tripped over, and fell face down onto the roof.
Craig shrugged, and then aimed straight ahead of him at the other attackers. They had already spread out, and taken cover. Shar and Nathan followed suit.
Commander looked out from behind the tree he chose to use as cover, frowning at the roof of the shuttle. He aimed to fire. The man lying on the roof went flying towards him just as he fired, taking the full shot. Still airborne, he crashed straight into him, knocking them both into the tree.
Several of the front team threw themselves at the Voyager team before they could be fired at. Shar responded to one with a knee to the ribs, then a fist to the face. Craig and Nathan seemed happy enough to use their rifles against their melee attackers.
With only a few attackers left, a figure jumped off the roof, landing nearby Craig. Startled, he swung around to punch whoever it was in the face. He quickly regretted it as his fist felt like it was on fire. He looked to see who or what he hit, but was given a fist to his own face for the trouble.
Shar meanwhile knocked another guy back, and then shot him in the chest. She and Nathan then noticed the nearby ship, and over a dozen new soldiers were running for them.
"Drop your weapons, do it now!" many of them yelled.
Nathan shrugged and hit one last guy in the head.
The earlier arrival stepped closer to the Commander. With just a gentle nudge the man who had crashed into him was rolled out of the way. Commander looked up in time to see a rifle pointed at his head. "Stop!" he commanded.
The soldiers lowered their weapons. Shar and Nathan kept their weapons anyway.
"Your people too," Commander said to his attacker.
"Ill think about it," James said.
The conscious Voyager crewmembers looked in their direction, staring at him with a bewildered expression on their faces.
"If you lose the weapons, and treat my wounded," James finished.
Commander shook his head, "you hurt more of mine than we yours."
"You could have killed someone in that crash, you may have," James said. He dug the rifle into the mans cheek. "Do you really want to even the score?"
Commander sighed, "you heard him. Treat their wounded." The conscious soldiers dropped their weapons and headed back to their ship.
"How... what?" Nathan stuttered.
"Later. See if the others are ok," James ordered.
"From what I saw, just Jach and Chinny were hurt; bump on their heads. Craig, well..." Nathan replied, smirking a little. On cue Craig groaned from the floor.
Shar sighed, "just when I thought this trip would be dull. Well keep an eye on the new doctors, shall we?" She turned to go into the shuttle, Nathan followed.
"Ow, how many head pieces do I have?" Craig groaned.
James shook his head, "it was your own fault. Why did you hit me?"
Craig looked up, ignoring the pain he got for looking mad. "You came out of nowhere, you git. I was confused. I think the question is; why did you hit me?"
James only answered with a shrug, leaving Craig to grumble at him. He held a hand out for him. Reluctantly Craig used it to help himself up as quickly as possible.
Commander got up just as a few soldiers came back with medical supplies. A few of them went inside the Flyer, the others spread out amongst the downed soldiers. One checked the man who had knocked the Commander over.
"I have to say, Im impressed. We knew wed have to capture a Slayer, but we thought twenty of us would be enough," Commander said.
"Sure, ignore the bloke on his side with the broken face," Craig muttered.
"It was a team effort," James shrugged. He glanced briefly at Craig, "more or less."
"Would have been nice if we were in on the plan, or any plan," Craig mumbled.
"What made you even think that our shuttle had one aboard, anyway?" James asked.
Commander smiled, "well, we have our secrets, like you seem to."
"Hmm yeah, creepy. If you wanted him, you could have just asked," Craig commented.
"You mean like the last time we asked your Voyager for help. Unfortunately this is the only way that seems to work," Commander said.
"As were the winners of this round, maybe you could drop the cryptic crap and leave us to fix the mess you made," Craig grumbled.
Commander sighed, "Im afraid your shuttle will be down for quite a while. Days, weeks. You wont survive on your own that long."
"Good thing weve got your ship in the bargain," James said.
Commanders smirk left his face. "Do you think we are fools? We didnt take any chances in this mission. You could have beaten us, and then taken our ship. What would we get for our troubles then?"
"Cryptic boy strikes again," Craig commented.
"Youve disabled your own ship," James said.
Craig looked at him with a frown, "youre kidding?"
"Youll find nothing in it to repair your own either," Commander said. "Dont get me wrong, we can help you fix your vessel, for a price."
Craig shook his head. "You only want him, why screw us over for?"
"I doubt hed co-operate otherwise," Commander replied with a smile.
"Why dont we find that out," James said casually, stepping closer. The Commander backed off twice as far.
"We wouldnt do something like this if we werent desperate," he stuttered. "Please, at least hear us out."
Craig shook his head, "doesnt take much to scare them, huh."
James passed him a bemused look, just briefly. "For all we know you would do something like this, just for the hell of it. You shot down an innocent shuttle, set a bomb near where civilians were..."
"That wasnt us," Commander butted in. Craig raised an eyebrow. "The second one, I mean. The government do this all the time. Theyre trying to turn the people against us."
"Shooting a small shuttlecraft down is still a bit fishy," Craig commented.
"Didnt you say earlier stuff like this works better for you?" James added on.
The Commander sighed, his shoulders slumped in defeat. "Fine, you dont believe us. Why dont you see for yourselves?"
"Havent we already?" Craig muttered.
"No," Commander bluntly said. "Come with us to one of the power plants this so called government are running."
"This is the master plan? I have to say, Ive heard better," James said.
The Commander looked around briefly. "You need convincing, right? You wont help us till we show you what horrific things theyre doing to this planet. Why else would we force you down here?"
"Since you mentioned him, Id say kill him and the innocent us," Craig replied. "Otherwise Im not buying it. Why go to all this trouble to recruit a Slayer into the terrorist gang that bombs power plants."
"We have no reason to hurt or kill him, do we? We have a very good reason for bringing him here," the Commander said.
James shook his head, "enough of the third person, ok. If this is so important, why dont you just tell us the whole thing, instead of badly being vague?"
"Because when I was told what was happening, I didnt believe it either," the Commander replied. "That was until I saw it with my own eyes."
"Wow, this guy really doesnt want to give away the plot," Craig commented, he turned his back away from them.
"As a gesture of good faith, well help restore your shuttles power. Our scans told us it would take days to repair. In return, just come with us on this one incursion," Commander said. "Then Im sure once youve seen it, youll help us."
"Good faith, he doesnt even know what that means does he?" Craig grumbled.
"Fine," James answered. Craig swung around to stare at him, his eyes widened. "On one condition."
"We already named it," Commander said.
"Youre on your own then. Since you shot down our ship, well take yours as well. Whether it helps repair our ship or not, it doesnt matter," James said.
The Commander clenched his teeth, and closed his eyes tightly shut. "Whats the other condition?"
"Well its not so much a condition really, just a warning," James replied. "If I think youre up to no good..." He unsheathed a thin sword from his leg, and a bigger one from his back. "Itll be quick."
Craig smiled to himself before turning back away from them. He had time to see the horrified look on the Commanders face.
"You wouldnt," he managed to splutter out.
"One of those bombs on the space station was metres away from my family. I think what you should have said was you havent yet?" James said.
"If you were just going to do that anyway, why did you..." Commander muttered. "I already told you it wasnt us."
"Just let me talk with my crew, then we can go whenever," James said as he walked back towards the shuttle. Craig followed him.
"All right, when are you going to tell me whats going on?" he asked as they got to the door.
James glanced briefly at the Commander, who had quickly rushed off to talk to some soldiers. "Now, pretty much."
Craig rolled his eyes with a sigh, "you can be a right drama queen sometimes. Not that I didnt enjoy the last part. So where exactly did you hide on the Delta, for two hours?"
"I didnt," James replied. Craig frowned at him. "Think about it."
He groaned, "we couldnt even see this ship, yet you were able to sneak aboard unnoticed. Yeah, not buying it."
"They only cloak during battles," James explained.
"Right," Craig again groaned. "So you sneaked aboard their ship, hours before they decide to shoot us down to get you. You knew, didnt you?" James gave him a nod as a reply. "So knocking the watchers into a coma before they decided to train the newbies, didnt occur to you?"
"In case you havent noticed already..." James said, gesturing his head towards the shuttle. "Theyre a tad more powerful than we are. I didnt want them trying to do the same to Voyager or the Leda. Besides, what theyre complaining about, we need to be here for it."
"We?" Craig muttered.
"Look, do you want to know or do you just want to pick holes?" James groaned.
Craig shrugged, "its not my fault that this plan has more holes in it than the Titanic."
"All right, Ill just fill in one of the trainees or LiChin," James said.
"Its your way or the high way today, right?" Craig said with a sigh.
James shrugged, "yeah."
Craig looked confused, "what is a high way?"
"I dunno, a taller, higher up... way. Now..." James muttered.
"While were on the subject of stupid sayings, the Titanic one. More holes in it than the giant, what?" Craig said. James turned to go inside the shuttle, Craig smirked to himself and tried to quickly grab his arm. "Wait, kidding. Im not that stupid."
"Fine. Remember that vision I was talking about?" James asked with a sigh.
"Demons attacking the crew, Jessie stabbed, something at something percent. Yeah," Craig replied.
"Right, well its a little more up to date now," James said.
Craig pulled a face as he glanced around at the nearby soldiers. "These guys have something to do with it?"
"Thats the thing, I dont know. Where they want to go though definitely is," James replied.
"Hmm, so they could be telling the truth about their world about to blow, or they could be the ones who do it," Craig mumbled to himself. "Either way; bye, bye planet... while were still on it. Why are we here again?"
James shook his head, "forget it. At least one of us has to go with them, we need to know if theyre behind it or not."
"Of course they are. If all they needed to do was blow up a power station thats killing them, then they dont need you for that. Well unless the power stations security system is a vamp or something," Craig commented.
"If you remember they just want me to go to this place, to prove whats happening. They probably want me for something else, god knows what," James said.
"Right, so this vision hasnt shown you that part?" Craig stated. "Youre being almost as vague as uptight soldier guy."
"Look if I could make sense of it all so I could explain it, I would, but I cant," James snapped. Craig shrugged. "All I know is that this planet is definitely going to die, and not neatly. Voyager gets invaded, while the ships under attack from someone. The rest of it was all mixed images."
"Two events, one vision. Voyagers attack probably happens while were gone..." Craig said.
"Theyre linked. I just dont know how yet," James said.
Craig folded his arms, cringing as a headache came out of nowhere. "What about Jess, then? I figured youd have brought her, to stop her annual stabbing."
"Funny. She knows to avoid the Bridge, or Voyager itself. She should be ok," James said, not sounding fully sure.
"Prepare for trouble!" A familiar voice bellowed over-dramatically.
The only response was an awkward silence.
"Ahem. To cause the Voyager crew aggro and grief."
"Hmph! To denounce the evils of bad writing and grammar." The man's voice tried badly to sound like a woman, "to spread our annoying Slayer/witch spawn across the stars."
The speaker got a deserved punch in the face. "Waste of Space!"
The man rubbed his sore cheek, "Slayer groupie." With his other arm outstretched he finally continued in his normal voice, "the great Damien continues on against pain and strife."
"Oh for god's sake, get a life."
The two aliens looked at each other. "Anyway!" they managed to say unison.
"I see what you mean," the original one said to the ex-rabbit. He only nodded in response.
Jessie marched forward to close the gap between her and them. "You'd better have a good reason for kidnapping me, with him."
The original alien raised a small phaser like weapon. "Don't worry, my dear, we do."
Jessie's eyebrow twitched, "my dear?"
"No you didn't. Obviously you only wanted one of us," Damien butted in. He sighed and shook his head. "Honestly, the goody two shoes always need things explaining to them."
"You're mistaking me for a goody two shoes again?" Jessie grumbled at him. "I understood just fine."
"Yes. You were brought here to help us with a little problem," the shapeshifter remarked. A smirk grew on his face, "however I couldn't resist the two for the price of one deal."
"I see. You heard of the powerful Damien, and you went to all that trouble just to meet me," Damien boasted. Jessie meanwhile pulled a few
The two men looked at each other with a knowing smile.
Lieutenant Commander Paris' Log, Stardate 58... erm, 2382: Since the bomb accusation has been cleared up, we've been cleared to dock with the trading station again, at least until we hear from the Flyer. In the meantime we're still preparing for a possible invasion. In other news we've got a surprise visitor, and the bridge is still feeling a little tense.
Chakotay cleared his throat loudly enough to make Tom jump almost out of his chair. He looked around to see him and Kiara staring at him.
See what I mean?
He quickly leaned over to press a button on the side panel. "Well nobody said anything for ten minutes."
"In answer to an earlier question, Starfleet must have been stoned," Chakotay said, turning his head towards Kiara. Unable to bear looking at him, she turned her head away.
"Give me a break. I can't handle awkward situations, and this one needs a stronger word than that," Tom stumbled.
The turbolift doors opened, Kevin strolled out with a chirpy smile on his face. "Hey guys, reporting for... woah!" He redirected himself towards Kiara. "Good job growing up, or should I say hot."
"Oh god," Tom groaned.
Chakotay clenched his fists, while Kiara seemed too dazed to react.
Jodie looked even more nervous as she read from her station. "Um..."
"No!" Tom nervously snapped at her.
"She's eight," Chakotay seethed.
Kevin turned to look in his direction, "eight what?"
Tom quickly jumped onto his feet. "Guys, guys. Kevin wasn't here when Kiara looked her age, nobody's told him, probably. Now can we please..."
Chakotay talked over him, "years old! Don't think that I can't beat that stupid grin off."
Jodie shook her head, "no, no, this isn't important. At all."
"Ah, don't get your knickers in a twist. I didn't know that. I'll wait till she's sixteen next time I call her hot," Kevin smiled.
Tom covered his face with his hands, "oh god!"
"I mean, yeah if it was just Damien, but Jessie's gone too," Jodie muttered over everybody else.
"Do that, and I'll do what I did to the last so called Slayer that pissed me off," Chakotay growled.
Kevin snorted, "what, try to drown me in a bathtub?"
"No, actually yes... that's better. Now can we get back to some norm..." Tom stuttered. He suddenly swung his head in Jodie's direction. "Wait, what about Jessie?"
"Finally!" Jodie sighed. "I detected an energy surge in the Conference Room, and..."
"Look man, Tom's the only one buying the evil Chuckles image. Cut it out," Kevin commented as he headed for the helm.
"Am not," Tom complained. "Ok, energy surge?"
Chakotay shook his head, "yes, because the universe revolves around Jessie Sue."
"Who?" Kevin asked.
"Ok energy surge, the sensors didn't detect it right away. Now the computer's just telling me both Jessie and Damien aren't aboard," Jodie explained.
"You probably just don't know what you're doing," Chakotay grumbled.
Kiara picked up a tricorder, and without a second thought threw it towards the viewscreen. It bounced, without leaving any crack, and nearly went flying into Kevin's face. He ducked in time. Everyone slowly glanced her way. She opened her mouth to speak, instead she waltsed into the turbolift without saying a word.
"Kiara," Chakotay called for her. He rushed to get there before the door closed, but he was too late.
"Didn't take the Lena news well, I see," Kevin commented from the helm.
Tom closed his eyes and wished he was back in the Delta Quadrant. "We didn't even get that far."
"Ouch," Kevin whistled.
Everyone's eyes were now on Chakotay as his shoulders slumped in defeat. Everyone relaxed as he entered a different turbolift.
"It's all right. Ylara went on the Flyer mission," Tom sighed. "One disaster at a time."
Jodie nodded, "I've scanned the Leda and the station, there's no sign of Jessie or Damien."
"Great. Check the Leda's scanner logs, see if they caught the energy surge a little better..."
Kevin looked confused, he quickly butted in. "Ylara's still on Voyager."
Tom's face went deathly pale. "Wha... what?" He managed to get even paler as he remembered something. "Oh, of course she is. The visions, right. Well..."
Jodie looked on in sympathy. "I'll check Conference, then the logs on the Leda if they're not there. It's probably just Damien playing a prank." She headed into the Conference Room.
Tom looked towards Kevin expectantly, hoping he'd throw him a bone as well. He just shrugged.
"Maybe you could go and warn Ylara, tell her to go somewhere Lena wouldn't. Or even just a little message to everybody, not to say anything about her?"
"That sounds like a Security job, and it's helm time now," Kevin answered.
"We're not going anywhere," Tom muttered, his last remaining patience was running out.
Kevin pretended to think about it. "No."
"No?" Tom almost squeaked.
"We know demons attack the Bridge, wouldn't it be safer if I was here?" Kevin smugly explained for him.
Tom sighed. "All right, fine. Some random person will tell Kiara that her mother is not only dead, but is possessed by the girl who killed her. Then we'll find out Kiara didn't finish her not to blow things up when I'm emotional course when the ship is in a few tiny pieces. Then when those demons appear to invade the bridge, they'll just be floating around in space, while your gallant microscopic parts try badly to finish them off. You're right, definitely stay right here. It could mean the difference between death and death."
"Wow," Kevin could only say. Tom relaxed a little as he thought he won. "You think I'm gallant?"
"That's the part you pick up on?" Tom groaned into his hand. "Just do it. If any demons arrive, you'll hear me screaming anyway."
Kevin snickered. "Ok," he finally agreed. He pressed a few buttons on the helm, the comm activated. "Bridge to everyone on Voyager. Do not mention..." Tom quickly ran forward to turn it off.
"Are you really that thick?" he bewilderedly asked.
"No, just making a point," Kevin replied.
"Fine, I'll go ask somebody else," Tom said in defeat.
The opps station beeped as an unknown walked over to man it. "Um, we're being hailed. Audio only."
Tom rubbed his sore forehead, "fine. Let's hear it." The unknown nodded.
"USS Voyager, your presence is no longer welcome amongst us. If you do not leave within one hour, your crewmembers will die. There will be no more warnings, and no negotiations."
Tom was about to speak but the intercom beeped. "What the..."
The unknown crewmember looked very nervous. "Um, that's not all."
"Yay?" Kevin commented.
"All of our communications from the station came from the relay station. This one was masked, I have no idea where it came from."
"No negotiations? What does that mean?" Tom stuttered. Before anyone could interrupt with a smartass remark, he grunted loudly. "What I mean is, what if we do leave? What happens to Jessie then?"
"And Damien," Kevin said with a smirk.
Tom rolled his eyes, "yeah sure."
"Um," the unknown stuttered. All eyes went back to him. "I've scanned the station. There are no Human lifesigns there."
"What's Damien again?" Kevin asked without looking back. Tom shook his head.
"Suggestions?" he eventually asked. The Bridge's response was silence for once. "Naturally."
"Well James isn't around, so we can stick around for the hour without fear of death," Kevin commented.
"I thought you were here to bodyguard the Bridge, Kevin?" Tom said, finally smiling like he used to. "We needn't have worried."
Kevin just laughed, then shook his head nervously.
"Here's what we do. We'll have a chat with the station, then we leave the area for the time being. We'll discuss it amongst ourselves at a safe distance."
"What about the Leda and the Flyer?" Kevin asked.
Tom closed his eyes, "one thing, at a time!" He turned to opps. "Hail the station."
"They're not responding," the opps crewman said.
"Open a channel anyway," Tom ordered. He nodded. "Kadin Station, this is the Starship Voyager. We have just received a very strange message threatening us to leave, they also claim credit for two missing crewmembers. We must discuss this at once. Voyager out." He sighed, "ok people, we'll wait for half an hour. If we don't get an answer, take us a lightyear away."
"Check," Kevin responded. "If it were them, let's hope just communicating with them hasn't killed Jessie, hmm?"
"I'm not worried," Tom said.
"Right, you're just in an invisible shower, right?" Kevin smirked.
Tom quickly wiped the sweat from his brow, "it's warm in here."
"Harris to Paris... hey that rhymes."
Tom groaned, "oh god." He tapped his commbadge. "Yes it does, what is it?"
"The Leda detected the same thing, and no matter where I scan, there are no signs of Jessie and Damien. They're not on either ship or the station."
"Change of plans. While we wait for the station to get back to us, Conference," Tom muttered.
"What about it?" Kevin asked seriously.
"Why don't you stay behind and guard the bridge. Oh and if the Flyer contacts, give them an update," Tom shook his head. He headed for the Conference Room. "Paris to all senior staff, report to the Conference Room immediately."
Once Tom was gone, Kevin smiled to himself. "I got it."
"This is our target."
An alien computer screen activated to show a small tower, with a sphere as a top floor. Several lines of alien text highlighted higher parts of the image.
"Right, you guys are not terrorists," Craig commented in an uninterested tone.
The Commander bit his tongue for the time being. "Disabling this tower alone wouldn't do anything. It is connected to one of three much larger towers, here..." He keyed in a few commands. The screen revolved around to show an aerial view, then zoomed out. They could now see four more towers just like it, surrounding a much larger structure in the centre. Blue lines connected the smaller towers together, as well as to the centre tower.
"We already have planted devices in Towers 1 through to 4. Once we plant one in 5, we'll activate them. Our theory is once they're disabled, the power to the centre will be disrupted. If this is successful, we move on to the other two structures."
"What exactly is the bigger building?" James asked.
Commander sighed. "It is supposed to be the power distribution centre. The five towers generate the power, and the centre sends it out to the people."
James raised an eyebrow, while Craig just shook his head. "You don't believe that?"
"Three distribution towers brimming with power, yet even cities can spend days without power. Most villages have resorted to sitting next to campfires to stay warm," Commander explained, the frustration in his voice growing. "Meanwhile these massive buildings are lit up brighter than our star. Not to mention that ever since these blasted things were built, the soil has become brittle, trees have been dying in the summer, other plant life have withered and died. The only way to get food now is to replicate it, but guess what?"
"There's no power to do that, yeah we get it," Craig commented.
Commander narrowed his eyes. "Is the idea of millions of people starving to death boring you?"
Craig thought about replying, but he decided just to shake his head and pace.
"Once you disable the power station, those cities you mentioned are going to end up like the villages. Powerless," James said for him.
"If we don't, the planet will completely die," Commander bluntly said. "We make it look like an accident, on their part. The people overthrow the current government as a result. Whoever takes over, uses a different power source. The planet recovers. Do I really need to explain this any clearer?"
"I'm sick of asking this but, if that's all you want to do, why get him to help you?" Craig asked, gesturing his hand to James.
"If you must know. When we infiltrated the last two towers, we uncovered something," Commander replied.
"Something like, what?" James questioned.
"You wouldn't believe me, you have to see it for yourself," Commander repeated himself. This earned a scoff from Craig, he walked away shaking his head again.
"Let's say you're right for the moment. How is three buildings generating way too much power, killing this planet?" James asked.
Commander's eyes cast downward.
"You don't know, do you? This whole thing could be just a coincidence," Craig commented.
Commander's eyes shot back up. "It is not!" He turned around to march out of the door. Once he got there he stopped to look over his shoulder. "We leave in ten minutes." He continued on his way.
"You can't go with this clown," Craig said.
"If he's lying to us, I don't want to not be there," James said.
Craig paced again, "why is he avoiding telling us this something. That alone is fishy, but the whole thing stinks."
"You think they're terrorists, yet you want to leave them to it?" James asked him.
"God," Craig groaned as he folded his arms. "Fine, you're right. However, if I were you, I'd badger what that something is, out of him before you go."
James frowned as he remembered something, Craig watched him with a worried look. "They're draining the life from the planet."
Nathan appeared at the doorway, he stayed where he was. "They're what?"
"Where did you get that from?" Craig asked, glancing briefly at the newcomer.
"When they first contacted Voyager. I think that's what they told us," James quietly said.
"So, what? Their power comes from plants, or soil?" Nathan asked, not seriously.
Craig shrugged, "that could be anything. Our planet mined coal, oil... So that's it, these idiots are loony extremists. No wonder he got pissed when he mentioned campfires. He's a tree hugger."
James rolled his eyes, "yes, that's it. Episode solved."
Craig shook his head and turned around to look at Nathan. "Shouldn't you be watching the Flyer?"
"Everyone's been treated, and Chinny is getting into a tizzy about what's happening," Nathan replied with a smile. "He's not happy that you hid your plan from him."
"Yeah, that's terrifying," Craig commented with a smirk.
James smiled as well, "tell Chinny to keep his glasses on. I'll update everyone when I get back."
"I'm so glad you said glasses," Nathan sniggered as he turned to walk out.
"Until then, what do we say to the expendables?" Craig asked.
James turned to frown at him. "Expendables?" Craig casually shrugged. "Just tell them to get the Flyer fixed. We need someone to make sure the aliens don't forget their part of the bargain."
"Oh they won't, I know just the man to pester them if they don't," Craig said.
"We don't know if they deserve Li'Chin yet," James commented.
Craig smirked, "they shot us down, I say they do."
"All right, do what you have to," James shrugged. He headed for the doorway.
Craig sighed to himself, "good luck."
The Conference Room:
Almost everyone had gathered around the table. When I say almost, one unfortunate person had to stand.
"Ok, is everybody here?" Harry asked from the head of the table.
"No," Jodie answered.
Harry smirked and shook his head, "funny stuff." He leaned back in the chair, sighing as he relaxed into it. "This is a sweet chair."
"Of course it is," Tom grumbled. Everybody turned their heads to look at the lone stander. He stood in a huff, with his arms folded. "I'm the Captain, why do I have to be the one who stands?"
"You didn't call shotgun," Harry grinned.
"I was serious," Jodie grumbled to herself. "No one listens."
Tom stared at the empty seat on the opposite side of the table to Harry. "Seriously?"
"Knock yourself out," Harry commented.
Tom didn't listen, he rushed over to the chair. At the same time the door opened, Chakotay marched over and swiped the chair before Tom was about to sit on it. He fell butt first on the floor while Chakotay sat himself down, without a care in the world.
"Now that is comedy," Harry snorted as everyone else laughed.
"It's ok, I only broke my ass bone. I'm totally fine and will get up right away," Tom squeaked from the floor, almost in tears.
Chakotay looked down at him, "you only have one ass bone? News to me."
"It's called a Coccyx," Doctor Jones calmly said as he got up. He headed over to the poor ex-helmsman.
"You're right, all better," Tom cried. The Doctor smiled as he tended to him. "With Danny around, you had to be careful with words like that."
"I see," Doctor Jones commented.
"What's the huge emergency anyway?" Chakotay grumbled.
Harry shrugged, "Tom's the one who called the meeting. I only know about the old emergency."
Doctor Jones helped Tom to his feet, then gave him a hypospray. "Sickbay after this."
"Uh huh, not going to argue Doc," Tom stuttered. He winced at ever step he took, he decided to stay still after a few. "Jessie and Damien have been kidnapped, and..." He winced as even the slightest movement hurt him. "Somebody on, ah, the station has taken credit, eeeh. Um, ah... or the station itself has, ow. Oh, there we go." He relaxed a little as the pain killers kicked in, he ignored everybody's smirks.
"That's not all," he continued. "Kiara's back."
A few people smiled, then it quickly dawned on them and their faces dropped quickly.
"Oh dear," Harry could only muster.
"Did you find her?" Tom asked in Chakotay's direction.
"No," he replied quietly.
Harry's face seemed to turn a little purple, "where is Ylara anyway?"
Tom shuddered slightly, "it's ok, don't panic. She's not senior staff."
"In different circumstances I'd recommend sending her to the Leda," B'Elanna commented.
"Speaking of which..." Tom began to say.
"It should be done now as we speak," Harry quickly replied. "Though I didn't expect this."
Jodie looked around at the two of them. "What's the problem? My sister's missing, and I think Ylara can defend herself. That's sorta the whole point."
"Are we really sure she and Damien didn't just get beamed to the Leda?" Harry asked with a frown.
Tom shook his head, "no... I mean yeah we are. Damien chased her into the Conference Room with a rabbit, the energy surge was there."
"And we also have a message from unknown origin," B'Elanna added on. "If it was the station, why would they try to hide it?"
"They said to leave the station, and they're not calling us back," Tom said.
B'Elanna drummed her fingers across the table. "You said Damien chased her, he's had it in for her before."
"Well we can only hope she returns the killing her favour," Chakotay commented.
Tom shook his head, "I don't think it's him. He's got nowhere to go anyway. He wouldn't want us to leave the station either, it doesn't add up if it's him."
"The station wouldn't change their communications tactics, and they've already cleared us of the bombing," Harry muttered. He looked towards Tom. "Are there any ships with us at the trading station?"
"There was one, but it left before they disappeared..." Tom replied. His face turned a little ghostly white. "They left before the bomb went off."
B'Elanna raised an eyebrow, "how do you remember that?"
"I remember it as it was a sweet looking thing," Tom commented. B'Elanna shook her head.
"Well that means they're likely to be the bombers, not our kidnappers," Harry said.
"The terrorist ship," Chakotay bluntly said.
"They never docked at the station, I'm sure. If they did the station security would be all over them," Harry said. "They weren't even in transporter range of it."
Chakotay groaned, "maybe they have more than one ship."
"Completely different design," Tom remarked. "I'd suggest checking the lifesigns on it, but we have enough problems."
"I noticed we left the station for half an hour," Chakotay mumbled. Everyone turned their heads in his direction. "It seemed a bit odd to me to follow the Flyer for a while then come back."
Tom looked a little uncomfortable, this made the pain come back. "We were just making sure they were ok, it is a bad time to be sending them away."
"Uh huh," Chakotay narrowed his eyes suspiciously at him.
"Who cares about that, Jessie was still here when we did it," Jodie snapped. "We're still nowhere forward."
"I hate to say it but the demon attack and..." Tom said, glancing briefly at Chakotay. "The other thing are our biggest problems."
"So what about the Flyer?" Harry asked. Tom panicked and shushed him.
"What about it?" B'Elanna also asked. She looked around the room to see if anyone knew what the fuss was about.
"Nothing, I just think we have to prioritise," Tom stuttered. He was fooling no one. "Look, we need to find out where Kiara is and also warn Ylara somehow. Convince Kiara to join the Leda for the time being, we need Ylara here." He wiped the sweat off his brow. "If she finds out about her, we're as good as toast. Then unless we're being attacked by demons, we deal with the kidnappers. OK?"
"If we stay here any longer we'll be dealing with killers," Jodie grumbled.
"We'll leave the area closer to the deadline, it should give us more time. Hopefully..."
The intercom beeped; "Clarke to Paris. That station is hailing us."
The relief in Tom's sigh could be heard on three decks. "Put them on screen in here." He turned around slowly to avoid aggravating the pain that was getting worse again. As he did the screen on the wall changed to show the alien from the previous communications.
"You have an interesting imagination, Mr Paris. Kadin Station does not trade or steal people."
"The person who messaged us said we weren't welcome here anymore," Tom said. "Since it was masked, we know it couldn't be official channels."
The alien looked a little annoyed, "our Security teams are second to none. We'd notice if some unscrupulous characters were kidnapping people, and sending ransom notes."
"Sure, like you noticed them planting bombs," Chakotay commented.
"We believe that the terrorist group were responsible for that," the alien muttered.
Chakotay smiled and shook his head. "So you did notice them then, my apologies."
The alien started copying Tom's nervous sweating. "All I mean is when it comes to savages planting bombs on themselves, we're powerless."
"All I mean is that the two people who have been kidnapped, were the prime suspects of this savagery. Meanwhile the third one is conveniently missing from this senior staff meeting," Chakotay said, shifting his glance to Tom. He looked back and smiled in a charming way to the alien. "Of course that last one isn't your doing."
"Okeydokey!" Tom almost squeaked. By now he was close to drowning in his forehead sweat. "Creep factor achieved, now can we please ask for your help in finding our crewmembers?"
"Of course. Your three crewmembers were cleared of any terrorist links..." the alien commented. A few people scoffed a little as they remembered Damien was one of them. "... And it is our duty to help, as this is a crime that has taken place within our space."
"Great, thanks," Tom said.
"We will review our scanner logs, and carry out searches. I am confident though that your people are not here," the alien said. "We will keep you informed. Kadin out." The screen turned off.
Chakotay got up out of his chair. "How long are we going to keep this charade up, Tom?" He walked over to close the gap. "I'm no fool, what's going on?"
"What, you think we turned over James or something, then they took Jess and Damien as well?" Tom stuttered. "You're out of your mind, but we knew that already."
"If you did, you'd tell me. You know I'd be the first one to applaud you for it," Chakotay said.
Tom's collar suddenly felt a little tighter. "I don't know what to tell you. Jessie and Damien were kidnapped, nothing to do with me. Honest." Jodie looked at him with some contempt. "Oh my god, this isn't a conspiracy. I don't know anymore than you do about that."
"Chakotay raised a good point, as I tried to say before," Jodie grumbled, staring at Harry briefly. "James isn't here."
"I definitely don't know about that. He's probably training or something," Tom fidgeted slightly. B'Elanna looked at him with some sympathy, while the rest of the room stared accusingly at him.
"Right," Chakotay groaned. "Computer, locate James Stuart."
The computer responded, "James Stuart is on Deck Eight, section three."
Chakotay's face fell, Tom seemed a bit shocked to hear that which everyone noticed. "Well..."
"See, he probably just forgot to come," Tom said with relief. "If I said what the meeting was about he wouldn't have."
"So our theory about the station kidnapping the people they accused of bombing is out?" B'Elanna questioned, giving Tom a brief knowing glance. "Maybe now we can concentrate on finding them and Kiara, hmm?"
The rest of the room didn't seem too convinced, but most of them nodded in agreement anyway.
"Yes, dismissed," Tom said.
Everyone but he, B'Elanna and Chakotay evacuated the room, muttering to themselves.
Chakotay didn't need to say anything else, the look he gave Tom was a message alone. His whole body shivered as the man who used to be gentle, left the room staring daggers at him.
"You're a really bad liar," B'Elanna said with some affection in her voice. Tom relaxed a little. "Would you tell me?"
"I can't, it's for everyone's safety," Tom replied. "I can tell you though that Jessie being taken is definitely not planned. On the contrary, that's the last thing we want."
"All right, I trust you. The problem is, nobody else does," B'Elanna said sadly. "Everyone is creeped out by Chakotay, but if they start to take his side..."
"You aren't seriously thinking they'll listen to him over me? I know nobody listens to me anyway but... no, he's so far gone, he's in Kazon space. He doesn't care that Jessie is missing, he's just trying to prove I'm not command worthy."
"Exactly, don't play his game," B'Elanna said, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. "You're better at it than they all think. Prove it."
Tom gave her a warm smile. "I don't deserve you."
"You're right," B'Elanna teased.
"Well!" Chakotay demanded.
Harry shook as the man glowered at him. "I only know that Voyager left for a short time, to follow the Flyer. Nobody told me why. That's why I asked, ok!"
"Fine," Chakotay grunted. He moved away giving Harry some space to breathe safely. "We used to be a great team. Now Kathryn is gone you're a bunch of lying, deceiving misfits. Who else knows, huh?"
"Take a chill pill man," Kevin commented.
"No I won't, dude!" Chakotay growled at him. "She really was the glue that held you freaks together, wasn't she?"
"You're overreacting," Harry boldly piped up. "We are in danger of being invaded, and those watchers stupidly thought it would be a great idea to send half of our newly trained fighters away. Tom probably just wanted to make sure they didn't get attacked by the terrorists, or crash."
Kevin looked deep in thought for once, "I'd be more suspicious of those watchers."
"If that was all it was, I wouldn't be suspicious, would I?" Chakotay said.
"Uh, yes you would. It was what you brought up first," Jodie commented.
"And you were wrong about your last one," Harry finished.
"Right, right. Why not follow the Flyer to its destination? Why move a lot of Voyager's personnel to the Leda first? Why hasn't James come to the meeting about his missing wife?" Chakotay nagged at them all. Everyone just shook their heads at every question. "Why were him and Tom plotting away behind everyone's back just this morning?" This got everyone's attention.
"What?" Harry muttered.
"Uh huh. Those two don't get along, but they still hung around that Ready Room for two hours," Chakotay said.
"Maybe 'cos they're the ones in charge," Jodie grumbled sarcastically. "We don't have time for this moronic paranoia. Your grandkid, who was training to control her destructive Q side, doesn't know her mother's permanently possessed. My sister has disappeared, and with Damien of all people. Also the ship's going to get invaded pretty soon. We have enough problems, so stop trying to make some."
"You know..." Chakotay quietly said. "I'm getting really tired of people lecturing me."
Kevin half smirked, "we're just as sick of you whinging."
Chakotay's shoulders slumped again in defeat. He raised his hand to cover his face.
"We're not getting anywhere arguing about it. Let's just find Ylara, and keep her somewhere Kiara won't go. Then work on the kidnapping," Harry suggested. "We obviously can't do anything about the invasion, that we're not already doing, until it happens."
"Sounds good to me," Kevin commented.
"Now Harry thinks he's the Captain. This can't get any worse," Chakotay grumbled, obviously forgetting that those words are an eternal jinx.
The turbolift doors opened, Annika skipped out of the lift wearing a flesh coloured catsuit. "Hey guys, when's the meeting?" Everyone almost gagged and turned away to shield their eyes.
The tower loomed over the group, casting an intimating large shadow over them. Two men stood by the doors, rewiring the control panels. One woman and a man stood guard, each pointing the rifles in the other direction. Commander stood with his arms folded, monitoring them all.
"Excellent, we're getting quicker," Commander approved. He turned to nod at his guards, they looked and nodded too. He turned to James, "shall we?" He then followed the two hackers, who quickly rearmed themselves, into the building. James looked back at the guards, they waited for him to go as well. He did so, the guards stayed a safe distance behind him.
"Do you always have no guards to deal with?" he questioned.
Commander smiled to himself, "right now, they have no reason to believe we're after the towers. They won't know till it's too late."
"I'm just saying, if they were that dangerous, they'd have people guarding," James commented.
"They have their workers, they're likely to be trained to deal with intruders. We've avoided them so far," Commander said in a smug tone.
The group made their way to double doors, which lead to a seemingly never-ending stairway.
"Do not worry, we are not going to the top," Commander said in a hushed voice. "It would be too obvious to have it at the top, wouldn't you think."
"No, I'm thinking you should stop boasting, you're not impressing anyone," James said.
Commander frowned, he passed his front guards, they smirked back at him. They all made their way up the stairs. After five floors they broke off the stairs, and stood guard at the double doors. One of the men used a scanner on it, "it's clear, hurry." He opened the doors, he and the other front guard rushed through, guns first. The rest followed them down a small corridor, and through an office door.
The office though was a control room, full of computers with screens filled with images of the building. The first two men in headed straight for the computers.
"Once we disable a few security cameras, we're good to go," Commander explained.
James rolled his eyes, he went to one of the computers. The Commander looked at a bit uneasy, so he nodded at the guards at the door. They kept a close eye. "Commander," one of them said as James was about to press something.
"What are you doing?" he demanded.
James continued anyway, "you lot are a jumpy bunch, aren't you?"
Commander walked over, holding his rifle protectively. "You don't know what you're doing. You could jeap..." He stopped when he noticed he'd tapped into something other than security footage. The screen showed a schematic of the tower. "You can't access that here, they'll notice."
"No they won't," James shook his head. "You wanted to show me something, right?"
"Yes, emphasis on the word you," Commander muttered. "If they catch us..."
James wasn't listening by this point, he was staring at the schematics with a frown on his face. A few more commands changed the display to show the larger tower. The Commander's face at this point had gone from tense to relaxed.
"This... this is impossible," James finally said.
"You know what this is, what it means?" Commander said, his voice sounded too cocky for his own good. "Why we needed you?" James turned his head to look at him briefly, then back at the schematics. "We should continue our mission."
"No," James quickly said. The group ignored him, Commander put his hand up to stop them.
"I thought you'd understand," he grumbled. "You must know what's at stake!"
"I do, that's why you shouldn't do this. It's a waste of time," James tried to explain.
"Sir, we haven't got much time to argue about this," one of the hackers said.
Commander nodded, "a waste of time? This planet has a population of five billion. These things are sucking whatever life this planet has left. This'll be no more than a rock if we don't disable it. We won't be able to evacuate everyone in time, we'd be condemn..."
"Save the speech," James butted in. He pressed a button to move the bigger tower schematic on a bigger screen, one of the smaller ones appeared next to it. "The power's not being drawn from these towers, then sent to the big one. It's the other way around. These things, they're a ruse. Are you too dense to see that?"
Commander growled, he raised his rifle. James shook his head and grabbed it off him. "You'll jeapardise everything we've worked for." He turned to his team, "we'll do this mission without you. You're on your own." The team started to leave.
"Once you set the charges or whatever you're doing to the last tower, and activate all of them, they'll know what you've done. They probably already do," James quickly said. Commander stopped at the doorway, his fists clenching. "You'll lose your chance to disable the real problem. Stop and think about that for a minute."
"Sir!" one soldier tried to interfere.
"Don't you think we would have seen what you're talking about, if it were true," Commander grunted. "We brought you here to see the power source after all. I have no idea why you want to stop us, but we'd rather die than let you. Let's go."
"Fine," James sighed. Commander turned to the door again. He then felt the rifle against his back. "Then you'll die." The others pointed their rifles at him. "All you'll do is kill the people in the towers, the people living near them, and for what? I've killed for a lot less."
"Lower your weapons," Commander ordered his team.
"Sir, the security cameras will reactivate in ten minutes," one of the hackers stuttered.
"I knew it was a mistake to recruit this... this freak," one of the men growled.
"Do it!" Commander ordered, passing them a knowing glance. The team understood and reluctantly lowered their rifles.
"So you're not willing to die for this?" James commented.
Commander grunted, "there are only five of us, that'd be easy for you. We'd lose our chance."
"You probably already have. It's time to leave," James said.
Commander smiled, "I don't think so. You underestimate us." He nodded at his team. They went to fire, James did too but nothing happened. He pushed the Commander into two of them, but it was too late.
"Good work," Commander smiled as he climbed back to his feet with the others. He looked down at James, then nudged him with his foot, he got no response. "Is he?"
"Just stunned sir," the woman replied.
"Good. Let's finish what we started. I'm sure he can get himself out of here," Commander said. The team made their way to the stairs again.
"How did you know, sir?" one man asked. "That he'd take your broken rifle?"
Commander smiled again, "these things usually do get a bit overconfident." The group continued on their mission.
"Ugh no!" Jessie groaned behind her hand.
Damien stood in front of her with a mischievous smile on his face, while she sat on the floor against the wall. "You just said, you don't know what it is..."
"I don't need to. Just no!" Jessie snapped.
"Well you obviously need some help, considering your past choices," Damien snorted.
"For the last time, I'm not naming my kid after you," Jessie almost growled. Her eyebrow twitched a little, "my kids have great names, what the hell do you mean by that!?"
Damien laughed as he started to pace. "Duncan sounds like he'd go great with a bowl of soup."
Jessie gave him a deserved kick in the ankle, he lost his balance and fell into a heap.
"I heard it was B'Elanna's idea, why get so bitchy about it?" he complained, nursing his ankle.
"No, I asked her to name him that. I heard the name when I was little, and I thought..." Jessie grumbled. "I don't need to explain myself to somebody who names a little rat Snugglebumps!"
Damien seemed very offended, his mouth was agape and he was speechless for a whole five seconds. "He was cute and snuggly!" He maneuvered himself to sit instead, still cradling his ankle. "You do know Sasha is short for a boy's name, right? Though, that must be a family tradition."
"No, no it's not, and my name can be for a girl or a boy, but it sounds girly anyway," Jessie said, her lack of resolve slipping.
"Right," Damien huffed. "Don't even get me started on the cutesy useless one. Nobody with two names and a hyphen in there introduces their full name. You might as well called her Pain-In-The-Ass-Amy."
Not as he expected, Jessie smiled sweetly at him. Within seconds she had jumped on top of him, smacking him a few times in the face with the back of her hand, in between shaking him roughly by the front of his shirt.
Two of the aliens walked in, they smirked at the scene in front of them. Of course they decided not to break it up.
"What are you going to name..." Damien managed to blurt out before he was hit again. "The next one?" Another smack interrupted him. "Dead Sister-Janeway?" Jessie decided this time to clench her fist, she raised it.
"Ahem!" one of the aliens cleared his throat.
The two stared in their direction. Jessie shrugged and hit him anyway.
"Not that, that wasn't entertaining, but we're on a schedule," the alien commented with a smile.
Jessie climbed onto her feet, brushing herself down like Damien was dirty. "Gross, all over me." She moved back to her old sitting spot. "If any of you touch me, the same will happen."
"Hmm, that won't be necessary," second alien commented wryly. He gestured at Damien, who now looked a bit worse for wear. A group of Security aliens walked in. Two of them leaned over to help him to his feet.
"Huh, you want him? Not that I'm complaining but, huh?" Jessie stuttered.
The first alien stepped forward as they dragged Damien out. "Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about you." He smiled as he turned around to leave.
"Quite the opposite," the other alien laughed as he followed him out the door. They slammed it shut behind them.
Darkness crept over the Delta Flyer crash site. Craig stood watch as two of the aliens carried a large piece of equipment from, in his eyesight, nowhere. His eyes travelled up to watch as the last rays of sunlight creeped over the horizon. In the far distance he swear he could see what looked to him like streetlights blinking. Then he noticed that the last batch of aliens had come from that general direction. His attention was literally miles away as Nathan walked up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder. Nathan smirked as he ducked, but Craig only just turned around after a little jump in the shoulders.
"Learnt your lesson, huh?"
"What do you want?"
Nathan still passed him a friendly smile. "That was the last of them for the night. They're inviting us to their base."
"You mean they're trying to lure us away from the shuttle," Craig said skeptically.
"Yeah, while we're gone they can go rogue, slap some wheels on it and push it around. Little joyriding scamps," Nathan teased him. This earned him only a blank stare. "Look, you're never going to ask, so I'm just going to tell you anyway."
"No," Craig butted in. He turned to go back to the Flyer.
"Believe it or not, but I've been where you are, man," Nathan followed him.
Craig scoffed to himself, he climbed into the shuttle, almost bumping into a leaving alien. "Yeah we're all here."
"Your girl wouldn't want you to be a little grouch forever. At some point, you just have to get on with it," Nathan said.
"Did he..." Craig turned around with some fire in his eyes. "Does James really think it's funny to talk about his sister like that?"
Nathan widened his eyes, and raised his hands into the air. "That's a leap. Keep it up and we may get off this rock yet."
Craig shook his head, "why do I never understand what you're yammering about?"
"I've heard it from a few people. The only thing James said about his sister was that he had a few," Nathan replied. He pulled a face, "that sounded wrong."
"Yeah, just a little," Craig shriveled his nose in disgust. "Maybe you should stop talking to avoid future stupid comments."
"Harsh. Don't waste the rest of your life, ok. I wasn't always this charming. It took some years of acting like a you before I hit rock bottom," Nathan said.
Craig stopped the last of the aliens as they were leaving. "Some of us will go to your little camp."
"I really wouldn't recommend leaving people to guard, it can get very brisk during the night," she said.
"We'll manage," Craig mumbled. He went further into the shuttle where the rest of the team were.
Nathan smiled to himself, "fine, ignore me." He followed.
"Anybody who wants to go to this camp can go. I'd watch your back though," Craig said.
"Ah yes, a good nights rest and we can pick up tomorrow," Li'Chin said with a chirpy smile.
"You didn't really listen to me, did you?" Craig muttered.
Li'Chin stood up, he clapped his hands enthusiastically. "That is why I'm here, you and I are a team on this exercise. Are we not?" Craig just shook his head. "I'm glad we agree. If it'd make you feel better, I'll stay awake and keep an eye on everyone."
Craig almost laughed, "right, that'd be just creepy." The team all nodded in agreement. "I can be one, but I'll need two people to stay behind in the Flyer."
"Until it's fixed, the Flyer's not steal worthy," Janet commented. She looked to Jach as if to confirm that, he just shrugged. "Right?"
"It's our only way home, you airhead," Shar grunted.
Jach raised his hand, everyone looked at him surprise. "Miss B'Elanna has been teaching me a few things, I've been helping already. The sooner we get it fixed, the better right?"
"It's going to get a little frosty in here," Nathan warned.
"I prefer the cold," Jach said with a confident smile.
"There you go, you got a huddle buddy," Nathan grinned at Craig. He just pulled another disgusted face.
"Ah, I'd recommend that our second in command get some sleep," Li'Chin butted in.
Craig stared blankly at him, "hang on, James just showed up randomly after saying he wasn't coming. How come he..."
Li'Chin stamped his foot, "no, I'm the first in command!" The others sniggered behind him.
"Oh," Craig mumbled. "I'll never complain about him again."
"Where is he anyway?" Li'Chin asked.
"Anyway!" Nathan stepped forward. "We need somebody good to guard little Jachy here."
"Hey," Jach complained. Shar gave him a raised eyebrow. "I'm not complaining, I just resent the little."
Li'Chin looked around at the trainees one at a time, like he was judging them. "In our current group, I'd rate Shar, Nathan and Janet the top of the class."
Craig this time laughed, "Janet, her?"
Janet pouted, "hey, I'm kick ass."
"Indeed she is," Li'Chin laughed as he pushed his glasses closer to his head. "Out of the three of you, I'd eliminate Shar. Those two don't get along very well."
"Thank god," Shar huffed.
"Gee thanks," Jach commented. She gave him a glare that made him feel two inches shorter.
"I'll leave the rest to the two of you. Let's go everyone," Li'Chin said. He more or less skipped out of the shuttle. Shar and Binene waited a minute before following him.
Nathan folded his arms, "soo, do you want to go, or..."
Janet shuffled over to sit right next to Jach, he by this time looked petrified. "That's ok. I'll keep this cutey safe, promise."
"Um..." Jach squeaked.
"Ok, have a blast. Come on sulky," Nathan laughed. He headed out, pulling Craig by the arm.
"Why?" Jach squeaked again.
Once they were out of the shuttle, Craig pulled his arm back.
"Now, now. I was just giving them some privacy," Nathan winked at him.
Craig sighed, "you're insane, you all are." He marched off towards the lights he saw earlier.
"Oooh that's some fighting talk you got there," Nathan sarcastically said. He ran to catch up with him.
The corridors were eerily dark, the yellow lights flashing were the only source of light. Tom and Harry were the only figures walking down it, both with an uneasy look on their faces.
"I don't know Tom. I quite like the idea of being at ship's length of him," Harry was saying as they turned a corner.
"Do you really want to leave Chakotay in charge of a few hundred people?" Tom retorted, allowing himself to smile for a second.
Harry shuddered so much he felt he had to stop. "No, but I'd prefer the idea of swapping ships with him, if you catch my drift."
"He won't be of much use here," Tom warily sighed. He stopped too, and stood in front of his friend. "Yeah I know, he's a bit psycho. Everyone believes he's more bark than bite though. Even if they were wrong, he may not help."
"I don't know," Harry mumbled. "I get the impression he still cares about Voyager, because of the Captain."
Tom looked around, his eyes cast downward. "It's just not the same. Voyager isn't Voyager without a few crewmembers gossiping in the halls, Neelix stinking the Mess Hall out with Leola. God, I even miss the Doc singing Lady Gaga in Sickbay."
Harry couldn't help but laugh, "um, what?"
"I think somebody who doesn't like opera reprogrammed him," Tom laughed too. "I think I preferred the opera tunes."
"It is a little creepy here," Harry sighed. "Though having monsters running around, and chaos sounds like Voyager too."
Tom raised his shoulders, his smile faded. "The Security checks, the lifesigns and demonic scans... It was all for nothing, wasn't it? Too bad we don't have enough witches, we could do with another anti-demon shield, or heck even an anti vampire one."
Harry's face lit up, "maybe that's it." Tom stared at him, he was way behind him. "Maybe that's what Jessie was doing before she died, and maybe..."
"That's why she's been kidnapped," Tom finished for him, finally catching on. "The last time she did that though, she had to be brought back from the dead because we only had two or three witches. We only have Annika this time, eugh."
"Hmm, and didn't James say she was working a console. Seems a bit odd," Harry's optimism faded. "Damn, so much for progress."
"Nah, you're probably right, at least about kidnapping her anyway. Why Damien though?" Tom thought outloud.
"Didn't he admit to dealing with demons before. We've seen that ourselves," Harry responded.
The two men stood in silence for a while, both of them thinking furiously. Harry eventually turned his head, with another idea look on his face. Tom did the same. They smiled knowingly at each other, they were thinking the same thing.
"Damien kidnapped her, because he knows..." Tom said at the same time as Harry spoke.
However Harry said, "the kidnappers want to know..." They stared with raised eyebrows at each other. "Ok, I thought we were in synch. What were you going to say?"
"You first," Tom said with a heavy sigh. "Yours is probably the right one."
"All the more reason to hear the wrong one first," Harry said, allowing himself a chirpy smile.
"He kidnapped her now knowing that she'll try to prevent the demon attacks. He's attacked us like this before, only he disabled the shield first," Tom said, ignoring the smile and comment from his best friend.
Harry nodded, "I suppose, but... For years he was interested in taking or destroying this ship, having power over people and for people to fear him. Then for some reason he decided to focus on more demon like goals, killing Jessie for example, trying to take her kids."
"So erm, it's him. I was right. Go Tom," Tom smiled to himself.
"Not long after he tried that, he went back to his usual routine though. I think he, as usual, took credit for stuff he didn't come up with," Harry said.
"Uh Harry?" Tom mumbled.
"Oh... sorry, got a bit carried away," Harry stuttered, shaking his head. "I just think cos of that, it's far more likely he's been kidnapped, with Jess, to either get information about the demons he's worked for or with, or even controlled."
"Why though?" Tom asked with a confused look on his face.
"Why not?" Harry responded.
The intercom beeped, "Bridge to Paris. The station's hailing us, and FYI we only have five minutes."
"Route him here," Tom groaned.
"Mr Paris. I thought you'd like to know that we've found no masked signal, or any other evidence of a transmission. We've searched thoroughly, there's no sign of your people."
"Great," Tom sighed. "I'm afraid we'll have to take the threat seriously, but can you keep investigating?"
"If I were you, I'd look into those terrorists. They asked for your help, tried to frame you... it seems likely they kidnapped your people for leverage."
"Where would we normally find them?" Harry asked.
"If we knew, we'd certainly do something, don't you think? We'll look into it on our end, but I'm afraid you're on your own. Kadin out."
"They said their world was dying. Maybe we should check out some habited planets that are nearby," Harry suggested.
Tom looked at him, his face was getting strangely pale. He tapped his commbadge. "Bridge, set a course out of here, slowly. We don't know how far they want us away. Tell the Leda to follow." Harry looked at him, half in concern and the other half in curiosity.
"Anywhere. Spin somebody around, wait till they stop and go in that direction. It doesn't matter yet," Tom grumbled.
"What's the matter?" Harry asked.
Tom shook his head, he continued down the corridor.
The console flickered back to life, much to the relief of the young alien trainee. However it was short lived. With a sigh, he fell back to his knees and crawled underneath the station, armed with a spanner.
Janet stood by, and couldn't resist checking out his butt for a few seconds. "Nyah, I've seen better," she said to herself. With a sigh she decided to have a look outside. Her eyes felt like they clouded over as they tried to adjust to the complete darkness. She could just see the outline of the alien ship standing mere metres away. Then she averted her gaze to the lights in the distance.
The only light in the shuttle came from a large torch lying on the floor, it had been attached to another console. It began to flicker on and off, this got Jach's attention. He quickly stumbled out of the station, bumping his head in the process.
"Damn," he mumbled as he rubbed the sore part of his head. The light flickered again, reminding him of what he was going to do. The young man rushed over to the other console to check the connection. "No, no..." he stuttered.
In the corner of his eye he saw what appeared to be a humanoid shadow creep across the floor. Just before the light went out completely, it disappeared. His whole body shook, the grip on the spanner tightened.
Janet tried to amuse herself by humming softly to herself. It seemed to calm her nerves a little. Her whole body tensed up as she heard something drop on the floor inside the shuttle. Quickly turning on her heel, she ran into the shuttle with her phaser ready to fire.
"Jach?" she stuttered. Using the light on the phaser she inspected the cockpit, to her horror it was now empty. "This isn't funny!" Janet knelt down carefully next to the station he was working on, he was not back under there. All she could find was his spanner. A rustle in the branches just outside startled her, she swung around to point the rifle towards the front window.
"Oh no," Janet stuttered as she tapped her commbadge. "Ackleys to..." was all she had time to say.
James' eyes shot open. With a groan he pushed himself to his feet. His attention went immediately to the security cameras.
The picture on one of the screens was filled with static. A quick look at the console and the tower schematic told him where the camera was pointing. He carefully checked the exit was clear, before running for the stairs.
Only a few floors above him, screams and shouting were echoing down the stairway. When he reached the floor he was aiming for, both weapons he kept on his leg and back were pulled out.
The door he was about to open, swung open. James got out the way in time as a body flew through them, colliding with the stairs metal banister. He looked briefly to check who it was, quickly turning his attention back on the door. James now found himself face to face with an unfamiliar alien, her cold black eyes stared right into his own.
He took a big step back as it swung a couple of long daggers in his direction. James swung his lighter sword to block another barrage of swipes. The alien hissed as it couldn't break through, she hunched down and rolled passed him. He turned around and it attempted to kick the weapon out his hands, he was surprised that the force of it almost did and made his wrist sting for a few seconds.
A second figure emerged from the door, with a sword in hand he grabbed a hold of James around the shoulders. Before he could do anything to retaliate, the alien woman lunged for him. With a swift kick, the girl flew backwards into the banister.
The newcomer swung his sword holding hand around to go for the kill. All he got instead was a heavy elbow to the ribs, which made him drop the weapon. He quickly tried to move his grip to his victim's neck, but James switched his weapon to his other hand and grabbed it first. He flipped the alien over his head. The alien groaned as he was dropped into the hard cement floor, even leaving a crack in it behind.
Without even blinking, the woman lunged forward again to slash with the knives. She managed to get him in the arm before he dodged. On her second swing, James grabbed her wrist. Staring right at him with no expression on her face, she pushed him backwards into the doorframe. Clenching her spare hand, she took a swing at his head. He ducked just in time, the fist went straight through the wall instead like it was paper.
James let go of her other wrist, quickly evading to his left. At the same time the girl had pulled her fist and dagger out of the wall. James looked down at both of his swords, then at the girl in front of him. She had no qualms about killing him, but he knew he couldn't. Taking a chance, he tossed them to the side. The alien didn't even register this, she charged forward with the same blank stare on her face. He dodged all the hits she could throw at him, the final swing left her open. He swung his own fist into her face, as hard as he would hit a demon. This was enough to knock her down and keep her there.
He heard a groan from behind him. The body who had flown through the door tried to cover a gaping chest wound. Blood pooled through his finger tips. "My people..." Commander stuttered. "Please, check them."
James rushed over to kneel at his side. His hand quickly went to the wound, but then he noticed the man was no longer breathing. Standing back up, his eyes focused on the open doorway. Now that it was calm, he could see four figures lying on the floor in the room.
As he walked passed the second attacker, movement from one of the bodies caught his eye. The figure was struggling to get back onto their feet. James hurried over to help him, but he managed on his own.
"The others," he stuttered.
James looked around at the other three bodies, then at the Commander. "I'm sorry."
The man's eyes cast downward, then his focus was averted to the two aliens lying on the floor. "They were so strong, really strong, like..." He looked back at James. "Like you."
"We should go before they recover," he said quietly.
They both headed back out of the room. The alien man grabbed James' leg as they passed, he shook it slightly to get him off. His black eyes stared up at him, not even blinking. "What... what are you?"
This sent a chill up both of the men's spines, the alien continued to stare with no emotion on his face. They quickly left the room, James grabbed the weapons he dropped before heading back down the stairs.
"You really should hurry up with that. I don't really fancy sharing a brig with a screaming baby," Damien grumbled from the floor. He had a few more bruises on his face. Whether he got those from his kidnappers or Jessie, it wasn't clear.
Jessie decided to just sigh loudly as she continued fiddling with the door panel. It sparked when she tugged on a wire, she pulled her hand away in time. "I thought that was my problem."
Damien smirked at her, he rested his arm on his knee. "You're next, you know." She seemed to ignore him. "They think they've hit the jackpot, capturing the Slayer's playmate."
Jessie rolled her eyes, "enough already."
Damien sighed and shrugged. "I tried to help, tell them you were no use to them. I suggested poking you enough to turn evil, then..."
"Is that what you're doing now?" Jessie muttered.
"I bet you were embarrassed that it was me they were after, not you. It's an easy mistake to make. You're always an easy target," Damien yammered on.
A few wires were pulled out, this time there were no complaints.
"Your only use though seems to be spitting out future ass pains, and being Evil Slayer fodder," Damien continued. "Considering what they were asking of me, both seem unlikely. Quite boring actually."
Jessie swung around and chucked the wires at him. "I'm trying to concentrate here!"
"You're not even curious what happened to me, hmm?" Damien said anyway.
"Only you care about you," Jessie grumbled back at him.
"Too bad," Damien sang badly, taunting her. Jessie cringed, wishing she had more than just wires to throw. "It could help us both, but... it is rather nice in here, hmm?"
"Just this once," Jessie groaned to herself. "What did they ask you?"
"I'm assuming these morons are having demon issues. Who else to ask but thee demon expert?" Damien smiled confidently.
"Then why didn't they kidnap Ylara, Zare... heck even Kevin?" Jessie smugly asked him.
Damien's smirk faded surprisingly quickly. "Why do I care?"
"You cared five seconds ago," Jessie briefly laughed. "What did they ask you?"
"You remember that little shield you put up years ago, which I breached?" Damien climbed to his feet. His usual cocky smile returned to his face. "You can work the rest out."
"Do you ever answer simple questions?" Jessie grumbled. "You didn't breach it anyway. Some idiot messing about with magic, killed the anti-demon shield." Damien was about to butt in but Jessie was too quick for him. "Also, if they wanted to know how to get a shield, it'd be me they wanted, not you."
"Right. Did you ever manage to get that shield back up, or maybe beef it up with the anti-dead people shield?" he asked, even more smugly than usual. "I didn't think so."
"As per usual, you don't know what you're yammering about. Did they ask you specifically about the shields, did they ask how to be the biggest time waster, or were you even listening at all?" Jessie snapped.
Damien sighed in slight defeat. "They just asked over and over, tell us about the shield."
Jessie frowned, "that's it?"
"No. They said they'd get it out of you if I didn't co-operate," Damien shrugged, like it didn't matter.
"So what did you tell them?" Jessie asked.
Damien smiled at her, "I told you. I mentioned you're quite obsessed with your hair. To call your daughter Dumb Hyphen Ass. Oh and ask for details about your, um... baby exploits."
Jessie half rolled her eyes, groaning to herself. "Great, thanks."
"They were really pissy about this shield," Damien said to himself. "Oh, and they said one more thing."
"The more time you waste, the better it is for us, or something," Damien muttered. "Which makes no sense. Wouldn't that be worse for them?"
Jessie frowned for a moment, then it hit her. Her eyes widened, "oh god."
Harry paced the Leda's Bridge, his face was full of sweat and he was grimacing. Chakotay watched him in amusement, actually so did everyone.
"You missed a bit," he pointed at a spot in front of him.
Harry felt like he could cry at any moment. Instead he just continued mopping.
"Voyager's slowing down. We must be far enough away," Naomi said from the helm.
Chakotay sighed, "fine, don't slam the brakes. Take us out of warp at the point they did."
Naomi pouted, "cheeky, I can fly better than you."
"We don't know how far away they wanted us to be," Harry piped up. Chakotay narrowed his eyes at the poor Lieutenant. He continued mopping.
The Opps station beeped furiously. "Um, Commander?"
Chakotay swung his head around to glare at the person manning it. "Why the hell is Neelix manning a station!?"
"For once we're running out of characters," Harry replied nervously. He was still scrubbing away so he felt a little braver. "If Original Voyager can do it, why can't we?"
Neelix by this point had started sweating, "I'm detecting some energy readings, starboard bow, only fifty kilometres behind us... and following."
"I got them too, they look familiar," Faye said from Tactical. Her station beeped at her, her face whitened.
Still flying at warp speed, the Leda was being followed by a blue energy ball, half the size of the ship and growing. Four smaller white lights shot out of the energy ball. They flew right through the shields like they were nothing, slamming right into the hull. Two hit each of the warp nacelles. The small ship dropped out of warp, slamming to almost a dead stop.
"Tom!" B'Elanna yelled from the Engineering station. "Something's just hit the Leda."
Tom turned on his heel so far he nearly fell over. "What? What has?"
B'Elanna worked furiously at her console, her head shaking. "I don't know, some kind of energy signature. I'm analysing now."
"They're dead in the water," Jodie mumbled. "They were ten minutes behind us at warp."
"They were supposed to attack Voyager. We evacuated this ship as the Leda would be safe. There are three hundred people on that ship," Tom panicked. "Did they know?" Nobody knew the answer, or they didn't want to voice it.
"If we go to help them, the visions will likely become reality," Kevin pointed out.
Tom raised his shoulders, closing his eyes. He clenched his fists tightly. When he opened his eyes, he had made his decision. "What are we waiting for?"
Kevin smiled proudly, "aye aye." He tapped on his station with one hand, the other clutched a large knife he had on his belt.
Nobody could really see anything on the Leda's bridge. Dark suffocating smoke hovered over everything. The source of it, the raging fire at the back stations seemed contained by a recently put up forcefield. Consoles sparked, their users ducking each time.
Chakotay pulled himself up, coughing madly as the smoke filled his lungs. "Put that... fire out!"
Neelix had his arm covering his mouth, his other arm working Opps. "The forcefield's up, but..." he stammered. "The ventilation systems are damaged."
"At least the inertial dampers did their job," Harry coughed. He chucked his broken mop aside. "Damage report, dare I ask."
Faye shook her head, "warp nacelles took a direct hit." She coughed badly, then pulled her shirt up to cover her face. "The warp core is designed to shut down at that much damage, to prevent a breach. Nacelles are leaking plasma though."
"What the hell hit us?" Chakotay growled.
"It appeared to be torpedoes," Faye stuttered. "The energy reading's gone."
"Where?" Harry demanded.
"I don't know," Faye mumbled. "It was like it was following us, maybe it overtook."
Chakotay's face tightened, "Voyager. We were just in the way."
"No, they just didn't want us to be," Harry stuttered.
B'Elanna looked up from her station, "there it is again. It's half a lightyear away... and closing."
Tom collapsed into his chair, he gripped his armrests securely. "This'll be it. Red Alert! All hands, what's left of you, battle stations."
The lights dimmed, the red alert klaxon rang around the tense bridge.
"Drop us out of warp. We want to be a little more evasive than the Leda was," Tom ordered.
"Yep," Kevin acknowledged. He looked back, "I have one suggestion."
"I'm ok with anything right now," Tom said.
"You take the helm," Kevin looked back. "I don't fancy abandoning the helm when we're under attack, outside and in."
Tom smiled, "I thought you'd never ask." He rushed forward to take Kevin's place. "Put that thing on screen when it's in range." Kevin meanwhile picked up a bag from behind the helm. "Jodie, you know what to do."
Jodie nodded, "that I do." She keyed in a few commands. "Done, once whatever that is gets here, it'll think we have a full crew compliment."
"Hopefully that'll stop the thing changing its mind, and going for the Leda," Tom muttered to himself.
Kevin pulled out a phaser rifle, and a folded down axe. "Until they board us anyway."
"Then lets give it a good fight," Tom looked at him, eyeing the axe with worry.
"Incoming!" B'Elanna bellowed. The viewscreen changed to show the blue energy ball appear from a flash of white. It closed in, but slowly.
"What the hell?" Tom stuttered. He looked down to key in some commands anyway. "If it thinks we're going to stand here and stare at it, it's got another thing coming." He pressed the big orange button. "Computer, activate Manual Steering, Paris Three."
Kevin stared with his mouth open as the right part of the helm opened up, and a completely new panel appeared in its place. It looked a lot like his Delta Flyer helm design.
"Nobody told me that was there!"
"Duh, I haven't used it yet," Tom commented with a smile.
B'Elanna smiled her that boy smile, shaking her head. Her smile soon faded as she read her station. "You're not going to believe this."
"At this point, I'll believe anything," Tom said.
"That energy reading matches the readings we got off Death Corridor," B'Elanna answered him. "It's almost on top of us."
Tom nodded, "it's ok, we're ready."
Voyager swerved out of the way of the energy ball, just as it started to expand. What seemed like endless small silver and purple ships flew out of it, breaking into different formations. Voyager tried its best to dodge each wave, but they were soon surrounded in every possible direction.
"Uh... I'm afraid to ask," Tom almost squeaked.
B'Elanna pulled a worried face, "yeah, don't. The good news is, their shields are barely registering, and each ship is only big enough to be manned by one person."
"Maybe we should hail them," Jodie giggled nervously. "Ask them nicely."
Tom tensed his hands over his helm controls, "what are they waiting for?" He watched one of the formations of ships on the screen, each of them fired a sky blue beam towards them. "Note to self, shut up."
Jodie swallowed hard, "they're scanning us. At least I think that's what that is."
B'Elanna shook her head, "I don't think so." The red alert klaxon which had just recently turned off, was soon replaced by the deeper intruder alert. "Energy signatures on Decks 15, 13, 11, 8, 5... and 2."
Tom quickly pressed in a few commands on the normal station. "Paris to all hands, if possible break up and secure decks 15, 11, 8 and 5. Team S1, secure 13." He turned to Kevin, "make sure they don't break into the kitchen, that could be deadly."
Kevin smirked at him, "Neelix took his Leola with him."
"Then make sure they don't get to the Bridge," Tom ordered, nervously smiling back.
Kevin gave him a hand to the forehead salute, before rushing for the turbolift, carrying his bag over his shoulder.
"Which team's S1?" Jodie asked nervously.
"Hopefully Ylara, if Kiara hasn't zapped her out of existence," Tom replied. Jodie made a little confused noise, "you weren't here when 13 was a demonic target sign. Best to have our strongest there, just in case it still is."
"What about James?" Jodie commented.
Tom could only shake his head, it wasn't time for this now. "Those beams are holding us still, as well as generating the energy on those decks. Suggestions?"
"We need to get out, now," Jessie grunted as she tore apart the panel. Damien watched in amusement.
"You don't want to miss your stabbing, huh?" he sniggered.
Jessie grumbled, "I was obviously trying to use a shield to stop the invasion. That's what the 80% was."
"So you think these people kidnapped you to stop it, even though they were obviously winning," Damien sneered. He briefly shook his head while rolling his eyes. "You were working an anti-demon spell from a computer panel, of course, it's so obvious!"
Jessie firmly ground her teeth as she worked. The door continued to stay closed, even though the panel was now bare. "Oh come on, there's no locking thingy. Why won't this open!"
"Probably because you've broken the door," Damien smiled in a superior way. Jessie turned around, her fists were now clenched. "Hey, you were the one who did it. Might I suggest something?"
"Only if it's useful. Otherwise, your jaw will be smashed," she grumbled.
"You're a witch. Learn a few spells," Damien commented.
"How will that help me now!" Jessie screamed at him.
Damien couldn't help but laugh, "now whose fault is that? If you can't even open a door, what chance do you have of making your own anti-monster shield. Hmm?"
Jessie calmed a little, then she pulled a disgusted face. "You're right."
"Wow," Damien mockingly gasped. "Telling me something I already know. You're learning."
"What was I doing then?" Jessie asked herself. She glanced briefly at a smug Damien, then turned her back on him. "You wouldn't make a shield, you'd be the one trying to get through it. Kidnapping either of us, it doesn't make sense."
"You're forgetting, and I don't know how, that I'm a genius," Damien explained. Jessie scoffed at him. "Fine, forget the fact that the shapeshifter changed to a rabbit. They wanted me, and they got you as a bonus. I've worked with demons before, it makes plenty of sense. Though, I hate to say it but you're right about something. I wouldn't be offering to help, would I?"
Jessie turned around to stare directly at him, raising her right eyebrow. "Worked with?"
"Yes, you tried to infect me with a virus only the other day to find that out," Damien grumbled. "Though it's easy to forget, it has been years since that episode."
"Funny choice of words," Jessie said with a suspicious tone of voice. "You said with. It's not like you to help anyone."
Damien gave her a sly smile, "you're smarter than you look, or seem... or are."
"What, are? Genius my ass," Jessie muttered.
"Just making a point," Damien smirked. "If it helps me, I'll help. It's really not that complicated."
"Saving Voyager from demons and attacking ships would help you, you're stuck with us," Jessie said.
"Not anymore," Damien shrugged. He pulled a face, "just you. Eugh. The door's broken now, I think even a genius would have trouble. You really need to learn some simple transporting spells."
"If you're really a genius, fix it," Jessie grumbled.
"What's the point? Voyager could be gone for all we know. Since I'm not there, I couldn't care less," Damien commented. With another shrug, he smiled to himself. "This shield, it's a shame, I bet it would have been beautiful. RIP Damien Shield."
Jessie stared at the insane man, her mouth hanging open in disbelief. "Oh my god. Can you still make this shield, so it can get you away from me?"
"I'm not a demon," Damien said in a mocking tone.
"Then your shield has the wrong name. You thought I had bad naming skills," Jessie said.
"Oh I see, very clever. Not," Damien muttered, clearly offended again. "You know I have new found respect for your freak of nature husband. One hour or so with you, and I'm cracking up. You must be an ace in the bedroom or something, cos ugh!"
Jessie's face managed to outdo Janeway's old deathglare, she raised her fist. The pair then disappeared in a white flash.
They reappeared in a different room, and they were not alone. Damien was soon on the floor, nursing his jaw.
"Damn, beat me to it!" a familiar voice complained.
Jessie turned to the source, her face lit up. "Kiara?"
"Hey Jess, sorry it took me so long," Kiara said with a sad smile. She turned to Damien, "how is he not dead?"
"Maybe I don't turn evil as easily as I used to," Jessie replied. She looked around at her surroundings, "this isn't Voyager."
Kiara looked a little nervous, she rubbed the back of her head. "Yeah, I've been in the continuum learning not to use my powers so much. I'm a little rusty."
"Another potential power, gone to waste," Damien muttered to himself. He climbed to his feet. "Why was I so keen on kidnapping you both for my crew? I'm actually doubting my intelligence. Me! This is sacrilegious."
Kiara clicked her fingers, Damien's mouth disappeared and was replaced with just skin. "Better."
Jessie nodded, but then she looked disappointed as Damien was still making noises. He stamped his foot as well as making groaning noises.
"It's the least I can do, considering what he did to my grandma," Kiara grumbled. Jessie stared with concern. "Yeah, it didn't take long for someone to blab it. I just wish it didn't take me so long to locate him. Then he was getting interrogated, so waiting seemed good."
"Usually I'd agree, but Voyager's in trouble. We know at the very least one of us is needed there," Jessie explained. Damien made a high pitched groan noise, his eyes rolled. "Can you?"
"I'll try," Kiara nervously said. She clicked her fingers, but nothing happened. "Oh no, for god's sake..." She stamped her foot, "that first one shouldn't count! That was me coming home, damn!"
Jessie frowned, while Damien could only make squeaks. "What?"
"The Q wanted me to stay, but I said I wanted to go to my family. We agreed that I can be mortal, but only use minor powers five times in a month."
Damien made a desperate squeak, Jessie couldn't help but laugh behind her hand. "Oh I'm loving this, sorry."
Kiara didn't seem happy though, "that'll wear off I'm afraid. Jeez, you'd think they wouldn't count my first transport."
Jessie sighed in disappointment, "well we're out. Maybe we can find a shuttle or escape pod off this station."
"Station?" Kiara mumbled in confusion. "This isn't a station."
"Uh, that was the only thing around. What else could it be?" Jessie asked.
Kiara turned and pointed at a wall panel, showing a schematic map of a ship. Damien laughed slightly. The girls looked at him, his mouth was back. "Crafty, I like it."
"Great, at least with a station we'd know where we are. We could be anywhere on a ship," Jessie muttered.
Kiara nodded, "at least we have a map of the ship, it's a start."
TO BE CONTINUED
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