The crowds had finally started to die down in the centre. James was working at one of the computers on the centre information stands. "According to this we're not far from four stores," he said. He pointed a finger towards one of three walkways that was nearby. "We'll probably find Lee further down too, Debenhams is there. Oh, an HMV." He glanced to his side to find a couple next to him, looking at the map that wasn't on the computer. "Uh Tom?"
He walked away from the information point, and looked around. He finally spotted Tom talking to a guy manning one of the cart things.
"So you only sell cell phone parts here huh," he was saying. "Oh sorry, mobile."
"Yes, there are many stores that'll sell you a phone," the guy said. He pointed in the same direction James was before, "there are three that way, two upstairs and one on this level."
"Really?" James said as he appeared at Tom's side.
"Thanks a lot," Tom said.
The guy nodded, he glanced at James, "what can I do for you then?"
"You don't happen to sell anything heavyish I can hit this guy with, do you?" he asked.
Tom laughed nervously as he took a hold of his arm, "oh he's just kidding, we're best friends really." He walked away, James pulled his arm away and followed him. "What's that all about?"
"I told you I'd be able to find out using one of those machines," James muttered in response. "You never listen to me, do you?"
"Oh, you found out too then," Tom said meekly. "We may as well go to the one on this level." The pair started to make their way down one of the walkways, this one was crowded, it was hard to see where they were going.
"Can you see it?" James asked as someone nearly walked into him with a pram. Tom got further ahead, he stopped and turned in his direction.
"Um, what was that?" he asked.
James walked around the girl with the pram, "I said, do you see it?"
"No, what was it called again?" Tom meekly asked. A few people pushed passed him.
"This is ridiculous, we're not going to get anywhere like this," James muttered.
Tom sighed as he looked around, in between a few people he saw mirror coated doors with the words 'fire exit' written on them. "Why don't we go somewhere quieter."
He pushed his way towards them, James followed him. Tom quickly pushed the door open and they both slid inside. They then found themselves in a cold wide corridor.
"Great, you know what that looked like," James muttered. He glanced back at Tom, he had his hands on the door while it closed slowly. "Is that you?"
"Yes it's me," Tom groaned as the door shut.
James glanced back, he sighed, "that's not what I meant, and it wasn't you anyway."
"I wonder why the doors had mirrors on them," Tom said.
"Tom," James grumbled. "Guess what."
"Ooh, I'm good at that game," Tom said. He took a few steps backwards, then turned around just to get a gun in his face. "Oh right. I never would have guessed that."
James turned to him, "do you have an annoying ancestor I should know about?"
"Silence," a man snapped. James looked back at him to get the gun he was holding in his face. Several other men slowly came closer, all holding guns too. The man who spoke used his other hand to get out a small mobile phone. "Awaiting orders sir."
"This is weird," Tom commented.
"Really?" James muttered sarcastically.
"Yeah ok, I know getting guns in our faces isn't something we expected right now sarcy, that's not what I meant. I'm sure guns are illegal in this country," Tom said.
The first man lowered his phone, "all right boys, let's move." He beckoned his head down the corridor, some of the group turned around and headed down. The remaining guys either walked backwards, still holding guns, or stayed where they were. "That means you too," the man growled in Tom and James' direction.
Tom stepped forward, "listen, this is all one big misunderstanding. We've just arrived, visiting our old um, high school buddies and..."
James shook his head, "it's not called high school here."
"Stop nitpicking," Tom muttered. "Anyway point is, you've got the wrong guys."
"Move, or you get lead in your head," another man snapped.
"Oh, that rhymes," Tom quietly said. He slowly started to follow the others, James grabbed his arm. "Ok, you want bullets in your head, that's fine."
"We were just leaving, right Tom," James said as he pulled Tom back where he was.
Tom rubbed his arm, "ow."
"We've got nothing to do with your gang, or whatever you guys do so if I were you, I'd leave while you still have unbroken bones," James said.
One of the guys shook his head as he raised a gun into the air, he fired it at the ceiling and then pointing it back at the pair.
"Look James, I wouldn't. Unlike phasers, you can't avoid gun shots," Tom whispered.
"All right, fine," James groaned. He and Tom made their way slowly down the corridor, while most of the guys kept on guard and did the same. Two locked up the fire exit doors.
"Where's the other one?" one guy asked.
"Other one?" Tom muttered. "Oh you mean Lee, yeah he's probably girling it up in a clothes shop."
"It's secure," one of the guys near the doors called out. They both quickly caught up with the others, but everyone stopped just as they did.
"So, who have you mixed us up with then?" James asked.
One of the guys rolled his eyes, "oh we haven't mixed you up."
"Are you sure? Eugene and I haven't done anything, and we have no idea who you are. And frankly, we're not even from around here," James said.
Tom started fuming, "don't call me Eugene!"
"I see, and you're supposed to be who now?" the first guy asked.
"Um," James muttered, glancing at Tom who was still peeved. "Stuart."
"Yes we know," the first guy said. "You're not very good at making up false names, are you?" His phone started ringing, he took it out and put it by his ear. "Yes?"
"Ok, maybe they've mistaken you for a guy called Stuart," Tom whispered. "Oh maybe you look like an annoying celebrity."
"Great," James muttered.
"Yes, I'll escort them now," the first guy said. He nodded at a few of his men, they stepped closer to Tom and James.
James sighed, "you know I'm getting tired of this." He elbowed one guy, and hit one with his other arm at the same time. Tom widened his eyes, he quickly ducked just in case. James quickly ducked as well just as somebody shot at them, he picked up a dropped gun and quickly pointed it at the supposed leader.
The leader just sighed, "sorry boss, its got a gun now." He put away his gun, "now you don't think you're getting away, do you?"
"It? Ok that's the last time I get called that," James grumbled.
"I told you, it's the hair do," Tom whispered to him.
The leader shook his head, "we're not letting you go that easily."
Tom looked around, everybody else were still aiming their guns at them. "Ok, we could be here all day."
"Tell me what's going on. Why do you want us for?" James asked.
"Oh no, we don't really have any use for Eugene here or the other guy," the leader said.
Tom pouted, "that's not my name."
"All right, so why me then? I didn't think I was known at all around here," James questioned. The leader just smiled and shrugged his shoulders.
"How should I know, we just follow our boss orders. We cannot fail him in this matter," he replied. "Which is why, you're not leaving without us."
"Fine," James said, he moved around to point the gun at another guy.
"Lets just talk sensibly for a second. You won't kill anyone, and we cannot kill you. Even if you did get away, we'd hunt you down again. Wouldn't it be easier if you just gave up now," the leader said.
"Not until I know what this is about," James said.
"Yeah, I'm kinda curious too," Tom said.
"Oh, you'll find out if you come with us, won't you," the leader said. "Now put the gun down, you're not a killer."
"Hmm, what do you know, they don't know me after all," James said. Tom started to look uncomfortable. James reached out to grab one guy, he brought him over and pointed the gun at his neck. "Let us go, or I shoot him. Is that sensible enough for you?"
"Uh, wouldn't killing someone um, er... how do I put this, break the rules?" Tom said quietly.
The leader put his own gun away, he shook his head at the others then folded his arms. "Go ahead, shoot him if you can."
James glanced over at Tom, then back at the guy he was holding. Tom watched him with a worried expression on his face. He backed off a little. Once he was right in front of the guys blocking the way to the exit, he pushed the guy he was holding away into a few of the others. The two in the way got easily knocked to the ground, Tom quickly ran after him. A gun shot startled them, and stopped them both dead in their tracks just as they got to the doors.
"Ok, that didn't work," Tom stuttered.
"I told you, you couldn't kill anyone, now let's..." the leader said.
"Let's not," Tom quickly butted in. He looked over at James briefly, "great plan, now what?" He glanced back again and spotted him fiddling with the lock out of sight from the guys. He handed the gun to Tom, "yeah that'll do." Tom quickly pointed it at them, "ok, nobody move any closer or I'll..."
"The boss told you to be careful," one of the guys snapped at another.
"I didn't hit him," he muttered.
"Enough," the leader snapped.
"Ahem, as I was saying," Tom muttered. "You stay right where you are." He glanced to the side and noticed James wasn't beside him anymore, however the door was unlocked again. "Hey did he..." he grumbled before looking down at the ground. He was kneeling beside him, he grabbed a hold of Tom's arm to pull himself back onto his feet.
"Fire at anything," he said quietly.
"All right, are you..." Tom said quietly. He shrugged, then quickly fired a few warning shots at them. James quickly went through the doors, Tom followed after slipping the gun in his jacket.
The area was now quieter, some people were standing nearby as well as some security people. "Great, let's go.." James muttered. He and Tom quickly ran off down the corridor. Moments later some of the other guys stepped out, one security guy came over to them. One of them groaned, and took a small device out of his pocket.
Tom stopped running, he turned around to find James wasn't with him again. "Ok, where did he go?"
"Hey Tom," James' voice quietly hissed at him. He looked around frantically for the source. He eventually spotted him standing inside a café, behind a large woman. He quickly headed over to him.
"Would you stop doing that," Tom grumbled.
James shook his head as he made his way over to the furthest away table. Tom followed him not looking too sure.
"I don't think this is the time for a coffee break," he said.
James sat down, "will you stand next to me so no one sees me?"
"Ok," Tom shrugged, he did as he was told. "We really need to contact Voyager some time, this is really weird."
"Yeah I know, I'm 100% with you on that," James muttered as he took off his jacket. He put his hand over his shoulder, which was bleeding. "One of them didn't miss."
Tom turned a little pale, "oh, we're in the twenty first century so no quick treatment for that."
"I can't go around a busy shopping centre bleeding, and with blood on everything. You're an expert on this time, suggestions please," James said.
"Well for starters," Tom said as he took off his own jacket, he placed it on the table. "You wear that when I stop the bleeding, I'll buy a new one. Second there should be somewhere I can buy bandages, you know it should stop after a lot of pressure. Then I get a mobile to contact Voyager."
"Great, how am I going to get around without being noticed?" James muttered.
Tom picked up James' jacket, "it's not so bad, just put it on and hold your shoulder to block the bullet hole in it. Come on."
"And what if our stalkers spot us?" James said as he stood back up. He took the jacket off of him.
"As long as we don't go anywhere quiet, we should be fine," Tom replied. He put his own jacket around his waist, and tied the sleeves.
They headed back to the entrance, and waited for a group of people to come passed. They joined the group at the back, but separated once the group went into the lift. Tom led the way down the corridor, he stopped outside of Greggs. "Hmm, is that egg sandwiches?" James dragged him away with his good arm. "Ow hey! Ok later."
They kept walking until they started passing a place called Superdrug, James stopped, making Tom bump into him. "Oh sure, if I want to stop for food it's wrong, but if it's you it's fine."
James elbowed him gently, "Tom, shut up for one second."
Tom groaned, "what?" He glanced towards the store, "oh right, they'll probably sell bandages."
"No really? I just wanted to stock up on hair gel," James muttered.
"Actually that's a good idea, Harry's birthday will be all sorted out then," Tom said, grinning cheekily.
"Yes, give him more," James said, shaking his head. He walked into the store, Tom shrugged and followed him. They searched the aisles, Tom grabbed a box.
"Ok, now we need to find out where we pay for it," he said. He continued going up the aisle, they got to what looked like a counter that was manned by a young woman.
Tom placed the box on the counter, she scanned it. "Five fifty please," she said.
Tom pulled out his wallet, "and don't say I never do anything for you." He opened it up and took out a note.
"Uh Tom," James said, eyeing the note.
"Yeah yeah, you're welcome," Tom said. He handed the note to the woman. She frowned at it.
"Uh sir, we don't take dollars," she said.
"I tried to tell you," James muttered. "You replicated money to be used in the US," he whispered.
"Oh, not good," Tom said. He smiled nervously, "oh you know what, it's a crazy long story how it happened so I won't bore you." He leaned on the counter while trying to laugh in a convincing way, but just sounded nervous. "But we ended up in the wrong country."
"Uh huh," the girl said uneasily.
"Listen my friend here needs these, can't you take them just this once?" Tom said.
"Sorry," the girl said. "There is a travel agent just upstairs, they'll exchange it."
"Right that's great, James you stay," Tom said. James raised his eyebrow. "Oh come on, we can't both walk out. You should stay."
"Fine," he sighed.
"Ok, where is it?" Tom asked.
"Upstairs. Go up the escalator, make a left then it will be straight ahead of you," the girl replied.
"Ok, thanks a lot," Tom said. He turned to walk away. Half way down the aisle he turned around and rushed back over. "What's the name of the currency?"
"Pound or Euro right," James replied.
Tom pulled a face, "ok smarty pants, you could have mentioned that sooner." He stormed off. A little while later he had gotten to the top of the escalator, he stopped nearby to look at it. "Hmm, that was fun."
"Oh, sorry. Excuse me," a familiar voice laughed.
Tom rolled his eyes, he turned around towards the source, "Lee, get over here now."
Nearby Lee stopped in his tracks, somebody behind him accidentally walked into him. "Oh Tom, hey."
Tom marched over to him, "where have you been?" He looked down and caught sight of the many carrier bags Lee was holding. "Debenhams, New Look? My god."
"I'm sorry, I just thought you two were more experienced with crisis' than I was, and left you to it," Lee said uneasily. He pulled a Greggs back out of one bag, "I bought too many sausage rolls, want one?"
"We could have used your help you know, you won't believe what happened to us. A couple of guys started pointing gun... Wait sausage roll did you say?" Tom said. He snatched the bag off of him. He quickly scoffed the sausage roll inside.
"Nice huh. Isn't it nice to eat food that isn't replicated or cooked by Neelix?" Lee said.
Tom wiped the crumbs away from his mouth, "mmm oh yes, that was..." He frowned, "ok no more distractions, I need to get rid of these dollars."
Lee pointed towards a Travel agents, "I got rid of mine there."
"That's a point, how did you afford Debenhams? I heard that place was expensive," Tom said.
Lee shrugged, "is it, didn't really notice. I'm not used to money so I just bought whatever was nice. I don't have much left though."
"No surprise there," Tom muttered.
James, Tom and Lee were sitting in the middle of a small crowded McDonalds, Lee was busy eating one of those baguettes and had some fries still to eat in front of him. James and Tom just had a drink.
"Well?" Tom said questioningly. He quickly snatched a chip off of Lee, he moaned in disappointment as it went into Tom's mouth.
"I love this place. First a Greggs, now McDonalds and I even heard there was a Pizza Hut," Lee said.
"God, I thought I ate too much," James commented. Tom nodded in agreement.
Lee pulled an innocent face, while he still had mayonnaise and a bit of lettuce around his mouth. "What? There's nothing wrong with eating."
Tom sighed, "ok, again I ask."
"It's fine," James replied.
"Good, I was surprised that you could fit into my jacket," Tom said with a smirk on his face.
"You're just taller than me, no small jokes," James muttered.
"No, the joke was about you being fatter," Tom said.
"I'm not fat," James said.
Lee tried not to laugh, "now girls, no fighting." Tom and James glared in his direction, he just shook his head as he turned back to his sandwich.
"How come he's got enough money still?" Tom asked. "I just bought bandages and a new cell... mobile, a few cheap tools. I still need to get a jacket, after that all I could afford was these coffee's."
"Well you did get the most expensive phone in the store," James muttered.
"Not the most expensive, no," Tom pouted. "Hey, we need the most advanced just in case."
"If I understand the plan right, the phone just has to generate a signal. All of them do that," James said.
"Obviously you don't, we can't just phone any random person and hope Voyager will hear it. There are probably millions of signals," Tom said. He took out a small box out of a carrier bag beside him, then put it into the table. "Now you two, just move around a little. I don't want people watching."
James and Lee shifted their seats around the table, Lee still managed to stuff his face with his chips at the same time. Tom took out the mobile phone that was inside the box, a few seconds later it was in three pieces.
"This won't take long. A few modifications and it should be able to contact Voyager," he said.
"How exactly?" Lee asked with his mouth full of chips.
"It would take longer to explain it, and we are kinda in a hurry for it," Tom replied.
"Oh, does that mean we don't have time for Pizza Hut?" Lee asked with a pout.
James shook his head then turned it briefly to the left. "Uh guys..."
The two guys who had followed Tom and James out of the fire exit corridor were looking around nearby the counter.
"It's a wonder that you're not twice as fat as the both of us put together," Tom muttered.
"What are you talking about, I'm not that bad," Lee said.
"Just wait until about 21 to 25, then it'll happen," Tom said.
James covered his face with his hand, "guys, red alert."
"Huh?" Lee said.
Tom glanced towards the exit, and quickly back again. "Great, it's our stalkers."
Lee looked confused, "stalkers?"
"Oh yeah, forget to mention that didn't I?" Tom said.
"Just put the phone away and let's go," James muttered. Tom did as he was told, for once, he and James climbed out of their chairs slowly. Lee did the same after popping the last of his chips into his mouth. He mumbled something.
"What?" Tom asked.
Lee pointed behind him, still mumbling. Both James and Tom started to get annoyed with him. He finally swallowed, "there's another exit." He headed towards a door, the other two quickly followed him.
"They were here," one of the guys said quietly. He sneakily slipped something into his pocket.
The other guy spotted the group going down the corridor. "There was another exit, come on." They both left and started following them.
"Just try not to look suspicious," Lee said.
"They already know what we look like. We could have signs on us and be pointing a gun everywhere, it wouldn't make a difference," Tom said.
"Walk faster, they're following," James said.
"You have a gun?" Lee asked, eyes lighting up. The other two groaned.
"I have it now, it's still in Tom's jacket," James said. Tom pouted and clicked his fingers, muttering something.
They reached two parallel escalators from behind, quickly they went around them and made their way up to the next floor. Right in front of them was a large seating area that was partially surrounding several cafés.
"Where to now?" Tom asked.
James eyed the area to the left of the seating area. "There, it should be really difficult to find us in there." He ran towards where he was looking, the other two guys shrugged their shoulders before following him.
"Woah," Tom gasped as they reached their destination. Right in front of them was the entrance to a mini indoor theme park.
"Oh oh, do we have time to ride the roller coaster?" Lee asked, clapping his hands.
Tom smiled deviously, "actually that's an excellent idea, they'll never see us."
James turned to him, "you're going to make a height joke aren't you?"
"Damn it, you ruined it," Tom moaned. "It's still a good idea. Lee, get your money out."
"Hey, shouldn't the older ones be paying," Lee said, pouting. He reached into his pocket while Tom made his way over to the ticket booth.
"Hi, three tickets for the roller coaster. Actually what's the restriction for it?" he said.
James rolled his eyes as he glanced around him. There was no sign of the guys who were following them, but four suspicious looking men were heading directly their way from another direction. "Guys."
"Lee, give me your money and hide. It's best they don't see you," Tom quickly said, he covered his own face with a hand. Lee just stared at him with an are you crazy look on his face.
"Crap," James muttered while glancing between the ticket booth and the guys coming for them. "Meet you guys later."
"What, why?" Tom stuttered.
James looked at him. "Remember they said they didn't have a use for you two," he said quietly. The guys picked up speed and were only a few metres away. Two of them had their hands by their pockets.
"But..." Tom said. The ticket guy handed him the tickets. James took a step back, then jumped up to grab the top of the booth and pulled himself on top of it. He jumped up again to grab something else, he threw himself towards the next floor. He just managed to get over the barrier, and avoid crashing into anyone. A lot of people stared right at him, but he ran off as fast as he could.
"Woah, I want to be able to do that," Lee said.
Tom grabbed a hold of his arm and pulled him away, "scramble!" They both ran off into the crowds.
"Great, he's going to draw attention to us," one of the men muttered. "Split now." He went one way with one guy, the other two went another way.
Meanwhile a lift opened up its doors, a few people emerged from it. James was amongst them. They all headed towards a huge arcade area. He stopped nearby one of the machines and moved around to stand behind it.
"Great, I didn't think this through, I need a mobile to contact someone so..." he muttered. "How the hell am I going to afford one, idiot." He looked around, his attention focused on one of those machines that have lots of ten or two pence coins in them.
One kid put in a coin but nothing happened, he tried shaking the machine, again nothing happened. The kid walked away, he dropped a 10p coin on the ground but didn't notice. James smiled.
"You can't do that!" Ian snapped.
"I so can," Damien grumbled as he sat down on the Captains chair. "I have to, it's my destiny."
Danny giggled, "destiny, that's so geeky."
"I meant it's my prerogative, or some word I don't actually know the meaning of," Damien said.
"Tough, I want to watch Friends on E4," Ian said.
"Kim left me in command so I get to choose what to watch," Damien said. "Now Danny, have you finished tapping into that satellite, or whatever it's called?"
Danny sighed, "yeah, they've got all episodes of Watership Down."
"Oh baby, I missed the third episode of Season One," Damien said gleefully.
Ian glanced over at Danny, "I wish we could just destroy that damn thing."
"This maybe the answer," Danny said with a smile. "Damien uh, sir," she said with a snigger.
"You may call me Evil Overlord," Damien said as he stood up. "Or maybe Evil One. Never mind, what is it?"
"We're getting a EM transmission from the surface," Danny replied.
"I'll take that," Harry said as he stepped out of the Conference Room.
Damien rolled his eyes, "damn."
Harry stared at him, "move it or lose it."
"He's already lost it," Ian commented.
Harry sighed, "fine. Danny, let's hear it." Danny nodded her head, she pressed one button.
In: "Hello, this is Tom."
"Tom it's about time, where are you and how did you..." Harry questioned.
In: "We're in a place called the Metro Centre, James' native land supposedly."
"Oh damn it," Danny groaned. Ian glanced back at her with a raised eyebrow.
In: "I managed to get a cell phone and re-configure it."
"Great, now we just have to figure out how to get you back," Harry said.
"I wish it were simple but it's not," Tom said into the phone. Lee stood nearby fidgeting.
In: "What, what is it?"
"We lost James a few minutes ago," Tom said, he eyed Lee funny. "And I think Lee would rather look around more shops, or ride that roller coaster."
"Well we got tickets," he moaned. "It's not that anyway, I need the toilet."
In: "Roller coaster? Never mind, how did you lose him?"
"For some reason these guys are after him. He nicked off in the most hey look at me way possible," Tom replied.
"That was cool," Lee nodded his head.
Tom passed him an annoyed glance.
In: "Why, what did he do?"
"That doesn't matter, we just need to find him before the men with guns do," Tom replied.
In: "We're having trouble with the transporters. The subspace readings you were sent down to find has scattered to the teams locations, and is blocking everything."
"Irony, gotta love it," Lee commented.
Harry started pacing in circles around the centre of the bridge, Damien watched him and started to get a little dizzy.
"Do you have any idea why these guys want him?" Harry asked.
In: "No. They referred to him as it, and seemed to think they knew him. He didn't recognise them, obviously."
"Surely only Braxton could fit on that tiny shuttle," Danny said.
Harry stopped and turned to her. "Why do you say that?"
"Well think about it. The subspace signatures spread out to the areas the awayteams ended up, something's blocking transporters and communication, and James is being stalked by guys who somehow know who he is," Danny replied. "But like I said, there was only room for one on that thing."
In: "Neelix to Bridge."
Harry tapped his commbadge, "go ahead Neelix."
In: "There's a program on the television you should see. It's a regional current events program in the UK."
In: "Oh boy, that's not good."
"Tom call back, this'll probably still cost you money," Harry said.
In: "Will do in five minutes, Paris out."
"Put it on the main viewer," Harry ordered.
An elderly news reporter appeared on the screen. "They reported what heard like a few gun shots in the Red Quadrant. Security failed to find anyone at the source. We go now to our reporter Lauren Taylor that's there now." A screen behind him changed to show a woman in the Metro Centre, that shot took over the full screen.
"Lauren, has there been anymore information released?" the man asked.
"Yes but not much. A few onlookers reported two men in their twenties walk out of the fire exit and run off. The police are already in the process of tracking down these men for further information," the woman, Lauren replied.
Harry shook his head, "this is just great."
"The onlookers described one of the men to be about six foot, and have blonde hair. He was wearing light blue jeans and grey jacket, one person claims he hid something in his jacket as he left the exit. The younger man was about five foot nine or ten, he also had blonde hair. He was wearing a black jacket, and dark blue jeans. He apparently looked injured too. The police are urging anyone that has seen them to report it," Lauren said.
"Is there anymore information about the other incident?" the man's voice asked.
"Not as yet, the description of the second man fits the one on the video footage however," Lauren replied.
The screen changed back to the man. "Thank you Lauren," he said, turning back to face the screen.
"Turn it off," Harry muttered. "Neelix, did you catch the video footage she spoke of?"
In: "Sorry sir I didn't."
Harry sighed, "double check Neelix and keep an eye on the English channels just in case."
In: "Aye sir. Neelix out."
"This isn't good, if they got anything on video then..." Danny said.
"It could be just him amongst a crowd and that won't do anything," Ian said.
Harry shook his head, "no but that news report wouldn't have took place originally. It would be nice to know who these other men are and what they want."
"Well there's a chance that the other teams would have encountered them, they could still contact us in the same way as Tom did," Ian said.
"True, I guess all we can do is wait then," Harry said.
Chakotay, Jessie and Claire stopped outside a tall worn down building with the word 'Pirix' on the front.
"Looks abandoned," Claire muttered. "Are you sure this is a good place to start? Silverman used to work here and he doesn't now."
"Look Braxton himself told us that so it's got to be wrong," Jessie said.
Chakotay smiled as he glanced back at her. "We're going in, stay behind me." He headed towards the entrance.
The three were going down a corridor that was well lit, Chakotay had his tricorder out and was scanning around. "Hmm, for an abandoned building it seems to keep up with its electricity bill."
"Huh, that's weird," Jessie said.
Chakotay glanced back at her, "I agree. There are a few lifesigns in the building as well." The group reached some stairs. "I'd imagine Silverman's office will be on a higher floor." He started to climb them, the girls followed him.
"No offense intended but somebody could have bought the building to start another company," Claire said.
"Really, so why is one of the subspace signatures coming from upstairs?" Chakotay questioned.
They eventually reached the top of the stairs. One of the first doors they came to had 'Anthoney Silverman' written on it. The handle seemed to be attached to a security system.
"This'll take a minute or so," Chakotay said while pointing the tricorder at it.
"What if somebody spots us in the mean time or if Silverman is in there?" Jessie asked.
"Then we'll just annoy you and set you onto them," Claire replied.
"What's that supposed to mean you little brat?" Jessie snapped.
Claire looked nervous, "you're the toughest of the three of us, that's what."
"Oh, well that's true," Jessie said, sounding calmer.
The door clicked open, Chakotay gently pushed it further open. He slid inside, the girls slowly followed him. They all split up to look around the large office. Claire picked up a computer magazine on one of the tables and started reading it. Chakotay started scanning the left wall by the window.
"Wait, is this the company that ended up selling out about ten years ago?" Claire asked, looking up from the magazine.
Chakotay briefly glanced at her. "If I remember right most computer companies did, Pirix probably was one of them."
"Yeah that's going to help us," Jessie commented with a roll of her eyes. She sat down in front of a black computer. "For a company that hasn't been around in ten years, they sure have a new looking computer."
"I dunno, maybe it looks new cos it's not been used," Claire said.
Jessie swiveled the chair around, "why would they leave it though?" She turned it back around and turned it on. It loaded up to the password screen in only a few seconds. "Crap, I need a password."
"Hmm, maybe I should have brought James instead of you," Chakotay commented. "At least then Braxton and the taxi driver would have had their feelings unhurt."
Jessie pulled a face as she got a tricorder out of the handbag she had. "He's taught me a few little things anyway," she said, placing the tricorder next to the mouse. The password box filled in. "Now what?" She spotted one of the buttons underneath the log in box.
Claire made her way over, still holding the mag, "try that thing next to the tricorder."
"All right, give me a break. These things are primitive," Jessie muttered. She got a hold of the mouse, after moving it around for a little while she then noticed what it was for. "Oh, neat idea," she pressed one of the buttons on the mouse. The log in screen disappeared. It was replaced by a bright picture of a field, with a blue sky behind it.
"Eugh, cheesy," Claire said.
Chakotay walked over to them. "The subspace signature is behind that wall, but as you remember this was the first door we came to via the stairs."
"So how do you get in there?" Claire questioned.
"I don't know. Jessie, see if there's any databases in there," Chakotay replied.
"Easier said than done. There's 'My Computer', 'Recycle Bin'. This may take a while," Jessie said. Claire pointed at the bar at the bottom of the screen. "Oh there's some more icons on there."
"Let me know when you find it," Chakotay said. He turned around to have a better look around.
Metro Centre, Arcade area:
Two teenagers walked up to those coin machines. They stared at them with wide eyes. "That's weird, where's all the coins?" one asked. Sure enough, the machines only had a few coins left in them.
A worker was busy putting more coins into another one of the machines, muttering to himself. Another worker came up to him. "My god, most of the coins are gone."
"I know, looks like a big group of teens pushed it at the same time. They don't usually get this much," the first worker grumbled. He pointed at the new dent on the metal part of it. The second guy's eyes widened a little.
Meanwhile James was in the 18+ area where all the proper slot machines were, hidden away at the back. A lot of coins were sitting in a messy pile inside the jacket he had on before, in front of him. He was leaning against the wall in a way so anybody walking over wouldn't see the bullet wound in his shoulder.
A young woman walked over holding some pound coins. "Sir, here's the change you gave me," she said, handing it all to him.
"Thanks," James said.
The woman walked off looking worried. "Wow, what a gambler."
James waited until she was out of sight before counting the new coins. He slipped them into his pocket, and quickly scanned the change in the jacket. "Great, two more games should do it." He slipped another coin into the machine, pressed a few of the buttons. His other hand fiddled with a tricorder. The machine made noises and money started dropping out of the slot.
A few minutes later he emerged from the area, made a quick glance around and then went over to the counter. The woman who gave him the money was there. "Hi, last lot I promise."
"Sure, no problem," she muttered.
Tom was standing at one of the information points nearby a McDonalds. Lee was standing a metre away, dividing his attention between the McDonalds, the Pizza Hut and then the KFC he had recently spotted on the upper floor.
"Well now we wait and see if he's smart enough to come by here," Tom said.
Lee turned to him, "what?"
Tom rolled his eyes, "we're right next to a transport interchange. Hopefully James'll have the sense to come here."
Lee looked confused, "why would he do that?"
"Cos let's face it, the longer we stay the here, the more chance we have of getting exposed on TV. You do remember right?" Tom replied. He got out the mobile phone he had, he tapped in a few numbers and put it by his ear.
"Yeah I get it, but he doesn't know about that," Lee said.
Tom sighed, "I know." He moved away to a quieter spot. "Hey it's Tom again. How's it going?"
In: "Not good. Some people saw you and James leaving a gun incident area, also there was another incident and James got caught on video. Do you have any idea..."
"That probably would have been his daring escape," Tom muttered.
"So, it's too late to worry about TV exposure," Lee commented.
In: "So far it's only regional news for the area. I take it you haven't found him."
"No, we're waiting nearby the transport area. We're hoping he'll be smart enough to drop by," Tom replied.
"We're receiving another transmission," Danny said.
"Ok Tom, stand by," Harry said. He nodded at Danny. "Voyager here."
James stopped next to the centre on the first floor, holding a black phone by his ear and had his other hand across his other ear. "Hey Harry, how are you still in charge of the bridge?"
In: "Because the teams haven't got back yet. How did you contact us?"
"Long story short, I started with ten pence and ended up with over a hundred pounds," James replied.
In: "Hehe, how did you do that?"
James pulled a face, "yeah right, like I would do that." Some really loud, horrible music and singing started playing from the centre. "Hang on, there's a book store nearby, that'll be quiet right." He walked into Waterstones but then his phone went dead.
"Crap we lost the transmission," Danny said.
"See if you can get it back," Harry said.
James stepped back out of Waterstones, "damn, bad signal." He stared at the phone's screen.
Two people walked passed him, one of girl's phone was playing the annoying Crazy Frog ringtone. She got it out and just let it play for a while, all of them started giggling like crazies.
"What the?" he muttered. He shook his head as he turned back around. The girl's phone continued to make that dreadfully annoying sound. He marched over and snatched it out of her hands, pressed the button to answer it. By the time he'd done that the phone had been crushed. The girls all looked pretty freaked.
"Next time, answer the thing," James grumbled. He shoved it back into her hands, not noticing that he broke it. His own phone started ringing. "Hey guys. The signal is terrible here, and so is the taste."
Conveniently a Security guard was walking by, like they never do when something's actually happening. One of the girls stopped him, "excuse me, that guy just stole my friends phone and broke it." She then pointed at James.
"Transport area? Where's that? Oh great," he said.
The Security guard walked over to him. "Excuse me."
James lowered the phone a little, "yeah, um do you know where the transport inter... thingy is?"
The guard narrowed his eyes, "you're one of the guys who left the gunshot scene. Trying to get away now are we?"
James stared blankly at him. "Uh ookay," he raised the phone again. "I'll call you back."
"Also a few workers at the arcade noticed you near the coin machines just before they were found empty," the guard said.
"He also broke my phone," one girl said.
"I didn't, I just took it to stop that noise," James muttered. He glanced at the phone in her hands, "oh, must have been more annoying than I thought. Look, I can explain everything."
"Really, you can do that at the station. The police are looking for you," the guard said.
"All right fine," James sighed. He was about to step forward, but then turned around quickly and ran away as fast as he could.
"Damn it," the guard muttered. He raised one of those radio phones as he started to follow.
"Hey look at this," Jessie said. Claire and Chakotay crowded around behind her.
"Hmm nifty," Claire commented.
"All of the computer systems Pirix released were inspired by technology from that time ship," Jessie said.
Chakotay leaned on her chair, "Silverman introduced the first isograted circuit in 1977."
"Two years after Braxton's ship crash landed," Claire muttered.
"It looks like every two years there was an equally revolutionary advance in computers, all from Pirix, based on Silverman's crude understanding of twenty ninth century technology," Chakotay said.
"Until he sold out ten years ago," Claire said.
"Oh god, is anyone thinking what I'm thinking?" Jessie questioned.
"The computer age of the twentieth century shouldn't have happened," Chakotay nodded his head in agreement.
"No but now I am," Jessie sighed. "When he sold the company to Microsoft, did he sell the ship too?"
Chakotay shook his head, "I doubt Silverman would sell something as valuable as that. Without his company he could still use that ship to help with other things."
"I dunno, I'll continue looking," Jessie said as she continued to type on they keyboard, and click the mouse a few times. "Oh look, Silverman has an EM communication system, maybe we can use it to contact Voyager."
"Activate it," Chakotay ordered.
Jessie rolled her eyes, "I was going to anyway." A program appeared over the top of the other windows on the desktop. Jessie fiddled with the tricorder she had, then nodded at him. "It's linked up."
Chakotay took out a commbadge and tapped it. "Chakotay to Voyager."
In: "Commander, it's good to hear from you."
"Harry it appears that somebody from this century stole the timeship, and that leads to the disaster. We've got access to his computer database, try and download everything," Chakotay said.
In: "Acknowledged, but we'll need a few minutes to re-configure to their binary system."
"Ok, interface with the tricorder we're using to communicate, keep us informed," Chakotay said. He tapped the commbadge again.
Claire frowned, "hold on, that looked interesting." She pointed at a window on the screen, "try time ship security portal."
Jessie put up two windows that were mainly text, one scrolled down to show a launch bay draft image. "Looks like he's preparing for a launch."
"Braxton was right," Chakotay sighed.
"Maybe this one will give us a proper image of it, then we might be able to figure out where the ship is now," Jessie said.
Chakotay nodded his head as she worked. A window then appeared out of nowhere on the wall that Chakotay scanned. They all turned their heads to look at it.
"Ookay, that was where the sub space signal was right?" Claire muttered. She, Jessie and Chakotay headed over to look through the window. On the other side stood the time ship inside a small launch bay.
The lights in the room intensified, the main door opened and two men stepped inside.
"You were right, we do have some guests," one man said.
Lee and Tom were playing tug of war with Lee's arm, Lee seemed to be winning and was getting closer to the Pizza Hut entrance.
"Come on, we have time!" he moaned.
"Oh no we don't," Tom groaned as Lee continued to pull him closer. "Damn you for being a tiny bit stronger!"
"James'll find us if we sit by the window, or I can get a take out or something," Lee grumbled.
The two were just close enough to join the small queue in front of the door, then suddenly they were pulled away roughly like they were nothing.
"Tom, where on earth did you acquire one muscle let alone a whole load," Lee moaned.
"Wasn't me," Tom moaned. The two turned their heads to their left to find James holding onto Tom's left arm. "Oh, thanks."
"Don't thank me, let's get out of here," James said.
Lee moaned in disappointment. Tom sighed in relief, "ok, just up that escalator is the interchange."
"Yeah um, they'll be expecting me to go there," James said awkwardly.
Tom raised an eyebrow, "you told the guys after you where you were going?"
James glanced in the direction of the escalators to his left, two security guards were walking down one. "No, I asked for directions. There has to be a less obvious exit to this place nearby." He ran off to his right, towards another pair of escalators Tom and Lee followed him.
"Oh, let's stop by KFC. They'll never look for us in there," Lee said as they got onto the escalator
"This is going to be worth it," Tom muttered. He snatched the Debenhams bag out of Lee's hands and ran as fast as he could to the next floor. James got there just after him.
"What will be worth it?" he asked.
Tom raised the bag into the air in front of him, and started waving it from side to side. "Come and get it."
Lee eyed him with a confused look on his face, "that's mine, how did you?" He charged the rest of the way up. Tom quickly threw the bag as far as he could as James walked off shaking his head.
"Hey! You're supposed to catch it and throw it again," Tom grumbled.
James stopped next to the corridor leading to the car park, "I'm not telepathic you know." Just as he knelt down to pick it up Lee shoved Tom out of the way, and ran towards him. Tom shook it off and followed them. James turned the corner.
"That's my bag, give i..." Lee snapped as he did the same. His eyes widened and he stopped dead in his tracks, right behind James.
"Well at least I got him away from KFC," Tom muttered. He finally caught up with them, "why are you stopping?" He looked up and saw the many guns pointed at their faces.
"Damn it," James muttered.
"Ok we were just leaving," Lee stuttered. He glanced at James, "bag please."
Both Tom and James rolled their eyes. "You've got to be kidding me," Tom muttered under his breath.
The leader stepped forward. "You have caused us a lot of trouble."
"Oh I'm sorry, next time we'll allow you to shoot us in the face," Tom said.
"Yeah speaking of..." James muttered. He pulled his gun out from his jacket and pointed it at the leader.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you," another man said from behind him. He walked around and stood in front.
"Sir, we were just about to bring it to you," the leader said.
"You're going the wrong way about it," the other man muttered. "I apologise, I give my men orders and they'll follow in a little too over the top style. My name is Antony Matthews."
"Uh, that's great but um, excuse me for sounding rude but... what the hell are you talking about? And what's going on?" James demanded.
"I'll explain, but we really should go somewhere else. We've polluted this time and place enough," Antony said. He glanced back at his men and waved his hand at them. They all lowered their guns.
"I don't understand sir. I thought when you ordered us to capture the Slayer, it was the reason we were here," the "leader" said.
"Ok I've had enough of the it comments," James growled.
Tom put a hand on the arm was holding the gun, a quick glare made him lower it. "Hold on, did you say time and place?"
"Yes we did. I'll explain but you have to trust us," Antony replied. He quickly glanced to the right, "a few people are coming anyway, you don't want to get yourself arrested."
James sighed then glanced briefly to his left, a group of girls were walking towards them. He lowered the gun to put it by his side. They walked straight passed.
"Why should I trust you?" James asked.
"You don't have any reason to, I know. Keep the gun if you want, if it makes you feel better," Antony said. "We'd better be going, we have transport waiting. I'll explain everything." He nodded his head at his men, all of them walked away.
"Ok this is weird," Lee muttered.
"I wanna know, what do you want with me?" James asked.
"I'd have to explain everything else first. All I can say is that we came back to fix the mess Braxton made," Antony replied.
"I know why you're here, you're here to take my ship," Silverman said.
Chakotay sighed, "Mr Silverman, you don't understand."
Jessie marched forward, she ignored the guy who was with Silverman reaching for a phaser like weapon. "Listen you, how dumb can you get? You're planning on taking that ship back to where it belongs, with you in it for whatever reason, and you think it's a good idea?"
"What are you talking about?" Silverman raised his eyebrow.
"And she's off," Claire commented with a smirk planted on her face.
"Yup thought so. Idiot, that's all you are. You never thought for a second what technology from the future would do, what an ass hole. And going into the future with a ship you'll probably crash before you even take off, brilliant idea you schmuck. I bet you and Braxton are related," Jessie grumbled.
"Jessie, breathe," Chakotay butted in. "We've already talked to the ship's previous owner, if you launch that ship you're going to destroy the solar system."
"How could I possibly do that?" Silverman said.
Jessie sighed, "oh that's getting annoying." Everyone glanced at her oddly, "I'm back. It's good, I'm back."
"Uh huh, multiple personalities?" Silverman commented.
"For god's sake man, don't get her going again," Claire giggled.
In: "Kim to Chakotay."
"Who's that?" Silverman demanded.
"My operations officer, he's just trying to contact me," Chakotay replied. He took out his commbadge again, "Chakotay here."
In: "We're ready Commander on your signal."
"Do it," Chakotay said.
The computer nearby started loading to itself, lots of windows started popping up on the screen. Silverman glanced briefly at it, while his assistant raised the phaser. "My database." He snatched the commbadge off of Chakotay. "Stop, or I'll kill your Commander."
Jessie meanwhile raised her right fist, Chakotay quickly grabbed her wrist. "Don't."
In: "Who is this?"
"You've got ten seconds or I'll kill him, any longer and I'll kill one of the girls too," Silverman said.
"Can I at least kick?" Jessie asked quietly. Chakotay shook his head.
Harry sighed, "break the link."
"Fine, but you could at least wait until the last second," Damien muttered as he keyed in a few commands.
"It took almost ten seconds for you to do it anyway," Danny commented.
"Transporter status?" Harry questioned.
"Same," Damien replied.
"Not necessarily. We know their location don't we, why don't we just use lock onto that area and clean up the mess later," Ian said. Everyone stared blankly in his direction. "You know, lock up the 'villains'."
Harry pulled himself out of the chair, "you may be onto something."
"Onto a bull button maybe," Damien muttered. "With those subspace signals blocking transporters, how do you expect us to lock onto anything?"
"Not really. That signal was just disrupting contact with their commbadges, we know exactly where they are," Ian said.
"We know the guy who talked to us will probably be at the computer we just hacked into, we just avoid that area and lock onto the area with at least three lifesigns," Harry said.
"There's one problem I already mentioned, the transporters have been wonky since we got here. I wouldn't recommend beaming anybody from here," Damien muttered, rolling his eyes. "Maybe a little closer we could."
Harry groaned, "you never mentioned that!"
"I did so, I said it would be impossible to beam up the teams," Damien muttered.
"Ugh, Danny, how close could we get without being detected?" Harry questioned.
Danny shook her head, "not very far, I'd say we'd need to go into a much lower orbit."
Harry sighed, "we have four teams down there, this will be our only chance."
"It is, how?" Damien asked with a raised eyebrow.
Harry muttered something under his breath. "Just tell the transporter room what to do, Danny take us down."
Silverman had sat in front of his computer, and was busy typing and clicking away. His assistant had moved over to stand nearby the team, still aiming a phaser at them.
"You've taken over three thousand gigabytes of information, including my launch plan," Silverman said. Chakotay slowly made his way over to the desk. "That isn't a problem though. You're not going to stop me."
"Give us that ship, or we'll just take it. Simple as that," Chakotay said.
"You're not in a position to make demands, I'm holding the gun," Silverman said.
Jessie glanced at the assistant, "no, he is."
"You do realise that our starship in orbit can destroy this building just like..." Chakotay said. He snapped his fingers, "that."
"Why would you do that when you're still inside it?" Silverman questioned.
"Five lives, a few billion lives, it doesn't really compare does it?" Chakotay replied.
Silverman sat back in his chair, "I don't believe for a second that my trip costs that many lives."
Chakotay shrugged, "believe what you want, it doesn't change anything." He then started to disappear in a transporter beam.
The assistant was about to react but got a fist in his face instead, knocking him to the ground. Jessie smiled, "I still got it." She and Claire dematerialised too.
Silverman slammed his hand on the table, "damn."
Chakotay and Jessie stepped out of the turbolift, Harry quickly got out of the big chair. "The bridge is yours sir."
"Good work Harry. Now the timeship was only a few metres away from us, just try to lock onto where that subspace signal was," Chakotay commanded.
"Yes sir," Harry said as he rushed over to opps. Damien pulled a face as he tried to take over. "There's a forcefield in place, stand by."
Jessie stood behind the station behind the command chairs. "Am I the only one concerned about leaving our tricorder behind?"
"Yes, twenty fourth century gadget to a twenty ninth century ship. Figure the rest out," Damien muttered.
Jessie turned to glare at him, "that's not what I meant you nim rod."
"Initialising transport," Harry butted in. His console started beeping a few seconds later. "It's fluctuating." He looked up from the station, "sir he's using our transporter beam as a downlink, he's accessing our main computer."
"Block him," Chakotay ordered.
"I can't without disabling the transport," Harry said.
"Why's he doing this, he's already got his twenty ninth century ship. What does he want with our database?" Ian asked.
Chakotay sighed, "cut the transport, we can't let him get anymore of it."
"Transport and link terminated, but he got at least 15% of our main computer files," Harry muttered.
"Get us back into orbit," Chakotay ordered.
In: "Commander Chakotay, Anthoney Silverman here."
Chakotay frowned, "this is he..."
In: "USS Voyager, Intrepid class. Quite a big ship you have there, and very primitive too. You failed to mention you're only from the twenty fourth century. Here I thought you were either from the twenty eight or ninth. Looks like I don't have to worry about the temporal police for the time being."
"Temporal police?" Jessie said quietly. Nearly everybody looked just as clueless as her.
In: "Oh this is interesting."
Chakotay nodded at Harry.
In: "Could be prof..."
"We've still got three teams down on Earth, and the timeship is still in that guy's hands. What do we do now?" Danny questioned.
"Yeah where are all the other teams?" Jessie asked.
In: "Sickbay to bridge, we have a problem. The Doctor is gone."
"What do you mean?" Chakotay asked.
In: "No, the program is all gone."
"Finally some good news," Ian commented.
the Pirix Building:
The Doctor appeared in the middle of the office. "Please state the na... what huh?" he mumbled as he looked at his new surroundings. "Where am I?"
"He must have been in that 15% Silverman got," Harry said.
"I didn't know downloading meant stealing in computer language," Jessie said.
"This can't get any worse," Chakotay groaned.
In: "Neelix to the bridge. I've caught another televised news report, and you're not going to like it."
"Sorry sir, I told him to keep an eye on all broadcasts, just in case," Harry said. "I'll put it on the main viewer."
The viewscreen re-activated to show a news reporter. "Incredible footage was just taken a few minutes ago by one of our news groups." The screen changed to show a clear blue sky, the tops of buildings, and Voyager flying in the far distance. "The massive unidentified object doesn't resemble any plane or helicopter in use, and is not any military aircraft that's been seen before..."
Chakotay closed his eyes and turned away, "shut it off. Conference everyone."
B'Elanna, Craig and Tuvok were sitting at a table outside a café. Tuvok was busy working on his tricorder.
"I'm telling you, Voyager will be finding a way to get us back right now," Craig said.
"Doesn't mean that we shouldn't try," B'Elanna muttered as she turned in her chair. She started to watch the TV attached to the wall inside, through the large window.
"They will be having the same problem as us. All we need to do is generate a signal that will help them locate us," Tuvok said.
B'Elanna got out of her chair, "uh guys." She walked inside the café watching the TV. Craig and Tuvok glanced in her direction. The television was showing the same footage of Voyager, only the man was speaking French. A few people had already gathered around to watch.
"Voyager," Craig said quietly. "How, what are they doing?"
"They must have been attempting a transport from a low altitude," Tuvok said.
"This can't be good," Craig muttered.
"Indeed," Tuvok said.
A man standing next to B'Elanna muttered to himself, "damn it." He walked back over to another table. B'Elanna watched him with a frown on her face.
"They've been seen, we have to do something fast," he said.
"Agreed," another man at the table said.
They watched B'Elanna as she headed back to her table. "Somebody knows about us."
"Yeah I bet everyone does now," Craig muttered.
"No," B'Elanna said. She beckoned her head towards the other table. "They were talking about Voyager like they're not from here."
"You mean like Braxton would, for example?" Craig questioned.
"Exactly," B'Elanna replied.
Craig's eyes widened, "and they're coming over." Tuvok and B'Elanna glanced in the direction he was facing. The men at the table were walking towards them.
"Excuse me," one said. "May we join you?"
"I guess so," B'Elanna replied.
The man sat down in the only available chair around the table, the others stood closer. "Allow me to introduce myself, I am Commander Lian Worth, of the Starship Sedna."
"You're not from this time, I thought so," B'Elanna said.
Tuvok raised an eyebrow, "what century are you from? Also where is your ship."
"It's cloaked and in orbit," Lian replied. "We're from the year 2773."
James, Tom, Lee and the mystery men were sitting inside a quiet train, around a table. Some of the men were standing.
"We detected a disturbance in the time space continuum, so we came back to fix it," Antony said.
"So let me get this straight, you're some kind of time officers that fix stuff, like Braxton?" Tom questioned.
"Yes like Braxton, except more competent," Antony replied. "He is obviously new to the job and didn't think things through. He caused the mess he went back to your time to fix."
"Interesting, it doesn't explain why you chased us around a shopping centre with guns," James said.
Lee pulled a packet of crisps out of one of his carrier bags, then started stuffing them into his mouth. "And the whole appearing in the wrong place."
"At first I was skeptical about your ship being here, none of you are really trained to deal with this. We tried to keep you away from San Francisco while we deal with the problem," Antony said. "I assigned teams to keep an eye on you all, keep you out of trouble."
The sub leader's phone started to ring, he answered it. "Lieutenant Arnolds here."
"And one of my teams recognised the Slayer, he specialised in past Slayers at the Academy," Antony said.
"Wow, that's a subject in the Academy now, neat," Tom said, glancing at James. "I wish I was apart of a subject."
"You will be, I'm sure the Academy will have a compulsory subject called 'how not to be an annoying moron so you don't get punched out'," he said. "It has examples of morons and you're the first one."
Tom pouted, "you'd be in there if you weren't covered by that freakshow subject."
James rolled his eyes, "if you say so. I still think that's creepy that I'm talked about in the future."
One of the men sitting next to Antony folded his arms on the table. "Your case is one of the bigger books, I had to do coursework on you once."
Tom and Lee glanced at James with interest, he looked uneasy. "Uh, do I wanna know why I had a big book?"
"You don't, but that's because a lot of it hasn't happened yet," the man said. "It was very interesting, that's why I chose yours. I wouldn't have passed otherwise."
"Um you're welcome?" James muttered.
"Sorry it's strange to be actually talking to you," the man said.
"Yeah that's great, you passed with flying colours then you must know everything," Tom said, ignoring James' glare. "So when and how does he die, and is it before me?"
"We're getting way off track Ensign," Antony said in the man's direction.
"Sorry sir," he said.
The Lieutenant walked over to the table. "Sir, we have a problem."
"What is it?" Antony asked.
"Voyager has been spotted," Arnolds replied. "It attempted a transport and was caught on a video camera."
"We'd better do this fast," Antony sighed. "Ok I'll explain. A man named Silverman stole the timeship that attacked you. He was using it to create computer hardware to out rival other businesses. Ten years ago he sold the company, and ever since he's been working on something else using the money."
"What is it?" Tom asked.
"The twenty first century is fragile, the third world war isn't that far away. What better way to make a profit," Arnolds muttered.
Antony sighed, "Silverman knows a war is inevitable as he has had access to a database filled with history. He's gaining profit from that."
"I don't understand," Lee mumbled with crisps in his mouth.
"He's making a weapon, he's almost finished and he's trying to sell it to the highest bidder," Antony said.
"Every country wants to get their hands on it, either to avoid a war or to gain advantage," Arnolds said. "Some can afford to but the ones who can't will do anything possible to get their hands on it."
Antony nodded his head, "this'll cause mayhem as soon as it's ready, luckily it won't ever be."
"So what's the problem?" Tom asked.
"The whole twenty ninth century Earth being destroyed, I would think," James replied.
"Exactly," Antony said.
"So how does that happen exactly? This doesn't make any sense," Tom said.
"Silverman needs some metals that can only be acquired in that century, and a few other items that cannot be made. He'll be launching that ship sometime soon," Antony replied.
"Oh, that can't be good," Lee commented.
"Silverman takes the ship into that century, and the loop begins again," Arnold said.
"How do we stop him?" James asked.
"We need to get inside his building long enough but everytime we try, he catches us," Antony said. "He is a hundred years ahead of us after all."
Arnold nodded, "we need a distraction. He does only have a few workers left in his company building."
"I still don't get why you wanted me," James said.
"I was just getting to that actually. Silverman's low on cash right now, he hasn't really got anything to sell until his weapon is completed," Antony said. "I'm sure he could get a lot of money if he sold a Slayer to an army or something."
"What? You're going to sell me?" James stuttered, with his eyes a little wider than usual.
"No of course not. If he sees you he'll recognise you instantly as he should know now about Voyager, and'll research his enemies. He'll be desperate, once his back is turned we'll break in," Antony said. "All we have to do is destroy that ship and the timeline will fix itself."
"What are we waiting for then?" Tom said.
The Conference Room:
Everyone remaining were sitting around the table discussing the situation.
"Ok capturing the ship isn't an option," Chakotay said.
Jessie shrugged, "we could destroy it. If there's no ship to launch into the future, no explosion, no brainless temporal agent will come back to kill us."
"Actually that makes sense," Harry said. "However weapons are still down."
"It's up to our teams," Chakotay muttered.
"That's a longshot too. None of them are in the right place and know nothing about this," Danny said.
"We can tell Tom's team though, but it would take them a while to get to the US," Harry said. "I wouldn't recommend going into a lower orbit again."
"What about a shuttle," Damien said. Everyone glanced in his direction. "I installed a cloaking device to my ship, I may have enough time to install one on a shuttle. Someone can take one down to get the teams back, and take their time about it too."
"We need to rescue the Captain's team first, we have a basic idea where they are as well but it would take time," Chakotay said.
"And there's no reason why we can't use a shuttle's weaponry to destroy the timeship?" Jessie questioned.
Chakotay nodded his head, "right, Damien you work with Harry on the shuttle. First we rescue the teams, then we head to Pirix. Is everyone clear?" Everyone nodded their heads in agreement. "Lets get to work, shall we."
A couple of figures rematerialised in an alley, a few seconds later a second lot appeared next to them.
"Captain sir," Lian said with a nod of the head.
"Glad you're all here. Do you understand the plan?" Antony questioned.
Lee looked around the corner, "hey, that guy looks familiar."
"Taylor go," Arnold ordered.
James sighed, "fine, distraction away." He walked passed Lee and out of the alley. The Pirix building was just across the street, there was a man standing in front of it looking around like a tourist.
"What's the signal?" Tom asked.
Antony raised a small communicator with a little screen on it. "We've hacked into security footage, the signal is the workers running after him."
"What about Silverman?" B'Elanna questioned.
"I wouldn't worry about him, one guy we can handle," Antony replied.
Meanwhile James had gotten to the building, he walked up to the guy who was standing there. "Doc?"
The man turned to him with a cheerful look on his face. "Aah, Mr Taylor. Glad to see you here."
"How are you here?" James questioned.
"I'm glad you asked," the Doctor beamed. He showed off his right arm that had a small device planted on it. "This is a portable mobile emitter, I can go anywhere I want." His face dropped as another man walked up to them.
"Time to go back doc," he said. He looked at James funny, "who's this?"
James smiled politely, "hi, I'm James, nice to meet you." He punched the guy in the face, knocking him unconscious. He then pointed at the alley he just came from, "the rest of the team are over there."
"Oh thanks, where are you going?" the Doctor asked.
"A little infiltrating here, a little punching there. You get the idea," James replied. "See you Doc." He headed into the building.
The Doctor cheerfully wandered over to the alley, "hello everyone." All the crewmembers from Voyager widened their eyes. "I got myself a mobile emitter."
"See, mobill, not mob-eyle," Tom said. Craig pulled a face at him.
"Ok, you need priorities stat," he muttered. B'Elanna smirked.
"So, what is James doing?" the Doctor asked.
"He's providing a distraction," Tom replied.
Danny and Jessie were sitting at the front consoles, while Damien stood in between them.
"You just keep an eye on the cloak and be quiet about it," Danny muttered.
Damien rolled his eyes, "so it all comes down to this. Taking orders from blonde bimbos." Danny passed him a glare.
"Take us in low, we can search for them easily that way," Jessie said.
"Check. It looks really nice out there," Danny said. "Doesn't it Jess?"
"Yeah but hurry up, James' team is next," Jessie replied.
"Sorry, is it time for your twentieth smooch of the day?" Danny said, smiling cheekily. Her console started beeping, "ah ha, I think I found them. Energising."
"Remind me to smack you later," Jessie muttered.
Three figures rematerialised behind everybody.
"What the, what just happened?" Faye asked.
"We're just saving your ass," Danny replied. "Moving on to England."
Kathryn sighed, "so much for that plan, huh."
"How did you find us? We were in the middle of a prison," Lisa questioned.
Danny pointed at the front window, the newcomers averted their glance. Right in front of them was the prison building. "I saw Janeway's hair through the barred window. Now let's get out of here." Everyone quickly clung on as she keyed in new commands, the shuttle violently tossed to the side and flew upwards.
"Well?" Tom questioned as he stood next to Antony.
"He's in, surely somebody has seen him by now," he replied.
"Obviously their security isn't people," Lee commented.
"You'd be surprised," Arnolds said.
"Hasn't anybody thought that Silverman will try to capture him using some kind of technology?" B'Elanna questioned.
"Believe me if he does, he'll get out of it," Antony replied.
James got to the top of the staircase and stopped in front of Silverman's office. He tried to open the door the normal way but it didn't budge. "Fine," he sighed. He then kicked the door, the whole thing slammed down on to the ground.
Not long after he walked in three security people came into the room. "Good god, that's a heavy door. How did it come off?" one asked in shock.
"Never mind that," the second one muttered. He raised the phaser he had. "Now turn around slowly and put your hands up."
James turned around while putting his hands up a little. "I'm guessing this isn't that club I was told about."
"What? No!" one man grumbled. "This is a company building."
The third one elbowed him, "you idiot. Hey, why is there only one of you?"
"That's kind of a personal question, and I don't know you that well," James replied.
"Enough, stop playing these games. We know who you are," the third guy said.
"Good, I know you too," James said.
One guy's eyes shifted nervously, "you do?"
"Yeah I do," James said. He slowly put his right foot underneath the door, lifting it a little. The three guys didn't notice.
"Oh yeah, so what's my name?" the first guy asked.
"Hmm, isn't it..." James muttered. He kicked the door back up, and it slammed right back into place. It didn't stick around long, it fell right back down to the ground. The guys were lying on the ground on their backs. "Unconscious?" He shrugged.
"That was too easy," B'Elanna said. "You guys just had to knock out three guys."
"It's not as simple as that for us, they didn't hesitate to shoot at us. Besides that door is heavier than a few of my men," Antony muttered. "Believe me, we tried to break into it without hacking into the security system the second time."
"There's more men than that anyway, he's not even doing what we asked him to do," Arnolds said.
"Look, more security have transported into the room, I think," Tom said.
"No, they have a secret door in there somewhere," Antony said.
"You know I'm wondering why I'm not dead after all the punches I've gotten," Tom muttered. "I mean that door, yikes."
B'Elanna smirked as she glanced at him, "haven't you noticed? He holds back a lot. Cos let's face it if he hit you full power, your face would just be a... well bigger mess than it is now. Oh and you'd die when your brain gets squished into a small corner."
Tom looked uncomfortable, "you're exaggerating to freak me out."
B'Elanna shrugged, "is it working? You never know though, he does hold back I can tell. He's probably doing that to avoid killing you."
"I hold back all the time, it's hard," Tom said.
"Ha, no you don't. Your face twists up and goes red everytime you try, it's really funny as the punch is lighter than a slight poke," B'Elanna sniggered. Tom folded his arms and pouted.
"All right, there should be just Silverman left. Lets go," Lian said. He nodded at the ensigns who were with him. He left the alley, with them right behind.
"I think you should stay here so you don't break a nail," B'Elanna said. She and Tuvok followed.
"She's so mean," Tom grumbled.
Craig started smirking, "you still fancy her don't you?"
Tom sighed as he watched the team head for the Pirix building. "Yeah, I'd better go with them, so she's ok."
Lee and Craig both grabbed him by the arms. "I think they've got enough people going in," Lee said.
Antony nodded his head, "agreed." He nodded at Arnolds.
Arnolds pulled out his phone, "Arnolds to Sedna. Our team is going in, get ready to transport on our mark."
The team reached the doorway to the office. They could hear Silverman's voice prattling on and on.
"Damn it," Lian muttered quietly.
Inside Silverman was standing nearby a sofa, with his back to where the timeship's launchbay window was. James was sitting on the sofa looking bored to death.
"I'll make it worth your while, what do you say?" Silverman finally finished his speech.
"Do Americans use the term get stuffed?" James asked.
"That's a no then, all right," Silverman sighed. He pulled out a normal gun and pointed it at him. "I wouldn't try anything if I were you, a bullet's faster than you."
"No thanks, I already have one of those," James said.
"I don't think you understand the situation you're in," Silverman muttered.
Meanwhile B'Elanna and Lian were walking towards the launchbay window, very quietly.
"I don't think you understand either. We're in the twenty first century still. If you fire that, you've lost a few hundred dollars or whatever," James said.
"Hundred? If it were that much I wouldn't even bother. You see I knew you'd come eventually, why not send their strongest, fastest, and best hacker down here to steal the timeship? I've already sold you to the American government for one point two million," Silverman said.
James' eyes widened, "really? Wow they were ripped off."
Lian attached a device onto the wall, B'Elanna worked on a bigger device in her hands. A little light started flashing on it. She nodded at him, he glanced behind him briefly.
"I know that, but they haven't paid yet so. They won't fork over that much until they're happy with you," Silverman said.
"Then you're screwed, no money for you," James said as he stood up. "You see, they have no means of controlling me, besides putting a gun to my head. That's really the same deal with you."
"That's fine with me. They'd still pay me for the corpse," Silverman smiled smugly, stepping forward one step. "Did you think you'd get into bodyguard or army work? No, they're more interested in cutting you open and doing lots of research. It doesn't matter if I take you there alive or not."
"Oh, I didn't realise we were in the twentieth century or earlier," James muttered, looking uneasy.
B'Elanna handed the device to Lian, he attached it to the one on the wall. Silverman frowned and turned his head around. While he did that James quickly got out his gun and pointed it at him. Silverman turned back around to find it in his face.
"What is this?" he growled. His spare hand went into his trouser pocket.
"Sorry," James quietly said. He fired, startling everyone else in the room. His body made a loud thud as it landed on the ground.
"I can't believe you just did that," B'Elanna stuttered.
"It's ok, the timeline should reset right," James said.
Lian nodded uncomfortably, "yes once I'm finished here." He pressed a button on the device, then pulled out a communicator. "Worth to Matthews, the bomb is set."
A few seconds later everybody dematerialised. One minute later the whole building exploded.
Chakotay turned to opps, "what happened?"
"I'm not sure Commander. The subspace signatures are all gone." His station started beeping, "sir, a ship's decloaking off our starboard bow."
On the viewscreen a big advanced looking Starfleet ship appeared, it was heading slowly towards them.
"We're being hailed," Harry said.
"Well why not, on screen," Chakotay ordered.
Antony, Lian and all the rest appeared on the viewscreen, standing in an advanced looking bridge. "Commander Chakotay, this is Captain Antony Matthews of the USS Sedna."
"Where did you come from?" Chakotay asked.
"We arrived here two days ago to correct a temporal paradox," Antony replied. "Your team members proved useful, we'd like to thank you for your help."
Chakotay looked confused, "are you trying to say it's all fixed?"
"Yes, we'll send your crewmembers back to you now. Your shuttle will also be transported back to your shuttle bay," Antony replied.
Tom, B'Elanna, Tuvok, James, Craig and Lee rematerialised on the bridge.
"He's right Commander," Harry said.
Chakotay frowned, "if everything's fixed, how come we're still here?"
"It would be too complicated to explain. We can easily send you back to your time and place," Antony replied.
"Thank you again for your help," Lian said.
"Not a problem," Tom said.
B'Elanna rolled her eyes, "you didn't do anything."
"It's a matter of opinion," Tom muttered.
Chakotay groaned, "Tom shut up."
The Mess Hall:
The entire room was filled with the senior staff and lots of other crewmembers. Almost everybody had a drink in their hands.
"I still can't believe that French woman slapped you," B'Elanna said.
Craig pouted, "well I was never good at French, the commbadges weren't working."
A few metres away from them Tom, James, Jessie and Kes were talking.
"I can't believe that you managed to lift up a really heavy metal door with your foot," Tom said. "It was funny though."
"Please, it wasn't that heavy. But yeah it was funny," James said.
"Sorry I missed it," Jessie said.
"You know what you really should be sorry about, missing him actually shoot a guy in the head," Tom said.
Jessie and Kes stared at James in shock. "What, you did that?" Kes stuttered.
"Yeah but he's not dead now, the timeline reset," James nervously replied. "Plus he was going to sell me to the government so they could perform experiments."
"Aaaw, poor baby," Jessie said sweetly, she put her arm around his. Tom raised his eyebrow of course.
"I know, they got the wrong one. He should have sold Jessie instead. I mean what's been up with you lately?" he asked.
"Nothing, I'm just in a good mood. Is that a crime?" Jessie replied. She grinned and looked up at James.
"Uh huh, what's with all the snapping and insulting?" Tom asked.
"That wasn't me, you're obviously getting mixed up with someone else. Come on cutie," Jessie replied, she dragged James away with her.
Tom stared at Kes with a bewildered look on his face. "She's got uh, Hermiapholobia. It makes her mood change a lot and she doesn't remember what she does in other moods. I'm treating her."
"Huh, ok? For a minute there, I was fearing the worst," Tom said. He walked away, sighing in relief.
**** THE END ****
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