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The fleet enter a subspace passage way nicknamed Death Corridor, but it fills Voyager & Leda with many familiar horrors.
13th - 19th July, 2nd - 7th August 2005
Two men were walking down a corridor carrying engineering kits. "Supposedly some of the Engineering equipment for Voyager isn't working, and was sent back," guy 1 said.
Guy 2 groaned, "so I have to fix it, again?"
"Yes and take it back to Voyager," guy 1 replied.
Guy 2 rolled his eyes, "I don't have authorisation. Because of Slayer kids joining, both ships have strict regulations about visitors."
"Yes I know, but you being alive would help you pass one of the tests which is a scanner," guy 1 said. He fished a card out of his jacket pocket, "just tell them why you're here and give Security this."
"Fine," guy 2 grunted. He marched off down a different corridor when they reached a junction.
Tom, B'Elanna and their kids were busy checking in with Security at one of the docks to Voyager. B'Elanna was talking to the Security Chief while Tom was dragging some of their bags over to where they were standing.
"Right, everything's clear Lieutenant," the Chief said with a smile. "I must apologise for the extra Security measures. With Slayers boarding we have to make sure they don't accidentally lure vampires or other creatures aboard."
"No I understand," B'Elanna said. She glanced at her husband. He let go of the bags and rushed to drag over the last two. "It gave him a little time to handle the bags."
"I keep telling Starfleet the scanner is enough, if anybody who went through it had no bio signs we'd know what they were," the Chief said.
Tom finally dropped off the last of the bags, "phew, that was fun."
"So glad you think so, we're finished here," B'Elanna smiled.
Tom's eyes widened, "what, oh."
"You know it wouldn't be ungentlemanly if you asked me to help you," B'Elanna said.
Tom sighed, "all right, you can carry the light ones."
B'Elanna shook her head, she picked up one of the heavier suitcases and two of the small bags. She walked away, Johnathan ran after her.
"Son, it wouldn't kill you to help too," Tom groaned.
Bryan pouted, "but dad, I'm still a kid."
"With a grown boy in his prime's body," Tom muttered. He started to follow B'Elanna. "Miral, come on sweetie."
Miral smiled, "but I want to watch Bryan."
Bryan narrowed his eyes, "fine, you're an evil little witch." He leaned over to pick up the remaining bags.
"Thank ya," Miral squeaked. She climbed on top of one of the suitcases he was about to pick up. He groaned in frustration as he picked it up, he followed his parents while muttering something under his breath.
The engineer guy walked into a small cargo area at the end of the corridor. The lights were all off, one of the large containers rocked a little.
"Computer lights on," the guy said. The lights did as they were told. He looked around but the room was person-free. "Is anybody here?" He jumped as a different container nearby rocked, some smaller containers fell off it. Slowly he stepped closer to pick up the containers.
When he picked up the last one he looked up a little, a large pair of feet stepped into his sight and stopped directly in front of him. He slowly looked directly in front of him.
In front of him stood a tall, heavily built man in a black outfit, with a hood over his head shielding most of his face.
"Ok if you're a vamp, you're not going to get aboard either of those ships," the engineer stuttered. "You'll never get through the scanner."
"Oh I will," a damaged, croaky male voice hissed at him. "I may not be a vampire," he said while pushing his hood more to the side. This revealed his pale scarred skin, and a metallic implant over his eye. "But I am kind of undead."
"Dude, that's got to be the lamest creepy and mysterious intro ever," the engineer said.
The mystery guy didn't take too kindly to his opinion. The screen faded out with the sound of the man screaming loudly.
An ensign walked into Paris' new office, "sir we've just gotten word about the USS Crazy Horse."
Paris turned away from his computer, "and?"
"It reached the end of the corridor, it does seem to be a wormhole," the ensign said.
Picard, who was sitting opposite Paris, turned his chair around to face the ensign. "The Crazy Horse went into the anomaly, on who's order?"
"Mine," Paris replied. He stood up to walk around the desk, "where did they end up?"
"We're still trying to figure that out sir. We cannot make contact with them for obvious reasons, and the link we do have is having trouble," the ensign said.
"That was a pretty reckless order," Picard muttered.
Paris ignored him, "contact me when you find out, and if there's any sign of the Enterprise, if it is that."
"Yes sir," the ensign responded. He stepped back out.
"Why did you endanger the Crazy Horse like that?" Picard asked.
"Because the Enterprise flew through that anomaly, it couldn't have been anything else other than a wormhole or a portal," Paris replied. "I'm not a reckless person, you know that."
"No, I just find it a little odd," Picard said.
Paris turned the computer on his desk around, "Voyager will be departing in four days, the Leda's already in Earth's orbit."
"Ok now that the Crazy Horse is through the anomaly, is there any need for those two ships?" Picard questioned.
"The Crazy Horse's mission is to find out their location and report back. Their crew isn't prepared," Paris replied.
Picard pulled himself out of the chair, "prepared for what exactly? You got most of the old Voyager and Enterprise crew to join their fleet again, just for this mission. You wouldn't have done that if you didn't know already that this anomaly lead somewhere."
"I already said," Paris said.
"Yes the 'Enterprise' went through it. It could have been a suicide mission from another dimension, to lure us into a trap. For all we know the Crazy Horse is in pieces inside that anomaly, and we're getting fake telemetry back," Picard said.
"When did you become such a whiny pessimist Picard?" Paris muttered.
"And when did you start to ignore all the possibilities and facts? We've battled with alternate realities before, we're no stranger to alternate ships," Picard said. "Several ships also have sensor data on the Enterprise's core breach, that ship can't be still in one piece."
"The decision's been made already. The Leda will be receiving all of the sensor data we have so far, another ship will be transferring new data to it. When Voyager is launched both ships should go through the anomaly, unless it just leads somewhere else in Federation space," Paris said. "Now get out of my office."
Picard rolled his eyes, "this is my office, you're just using mine while yours is repaired."
Paris groaned, "ugh, we should device a rota or something."
Stellar Cartography Lab:
The doors opened swiftly, Harry strolled in with his trademark chirpy smile planted on his face. "Report."
His mostly new senior staff turned to look at him blankly. He raised his shoulders, "what, I like saying that."
"You still act like a green ensign. Quit it or I'm transferring," Craig muttered.
Harry joined everybody at the group of stations. They were surrounded by a large viewscreen that went around most of the room, which was mostly circular.
"He's pleasant," he said.
"You don't even know the best part," Faye said with a smirk.
Harry sighed, "maybe I don't want to. Now, I'll ask again. Rep..."
"We've received some new data from a probe that was sent in the anomaly. It was sent after we lost contact with the Crazy ship," Annika said.
"And you're not going to like what it is either," Kevin said.
"Let me judge for myself. What is it?" Harry asked.
"There are a few faint distress calls that never got out of the anomaly, until the probe came along," Annika said. "The last message they sent had some attachments."
"Which I still suggest we do a virus scan on," Kevin commented. Everyone stared at him funny. "What? You should scan all attachments in your mail."
Craig groaned, "ok we've had this episode's state the obvious moral of the story already, let's move on."
"Watch your mouth blondey," Kevin snapped to Craig's surprise.
Annika's face lit up, "ooh, could this turn ugly?"
"It grew ugly when you and I came in the room," Faye said.
Harry groaned into his hands, "yep, this is my 'Fifth Voyager arguments' headache. What was in the attachments?"
"A few of the Admiral's and First Officers logs. The First Officer has really nice eyes," Annika giggled.
"Eyes, well that's an improvement," Harry muttered.
"Well I couldn't see his butt during a log recording could I?" Annika muttered.
Harry groaned into his hand, "whatever. What else is there?"
"A chart of the anomaly," Annika said. "They've nicknamed it Death Corridor, isn't that cute?"
"That's encouraging," Harry muttered. "Let's see it."
A small square screen appeared in the centre of the screen. On it showed a cgi version of the anomaly, in four dimensions. A red line appeared in the centre of it.
"Doesn't look very deathy to me," Craig said as he looked at one of the stations. "Where did they get the name from?"
"Well in one of the logs the cute First Officer said something about creepy events," Annika replied. "Then I got lost in his eyes."
"Did anyone else have that problem?" Harry asked impatiently.
"Eew no," nearly everybody replied.
"He mentioned attacks, murders that couldn't be solved," Faye said.
Kevin nodded, "but they did sight a few demons, and some people claimed the ship was haunted."
"Can't we use that probe to make contact with the ship?" Harry questioned.
"No we tried, we think the message gets through but we get no response each time," Faye replied.
"All right, but what about their location. Can we figure that out?" Harry asked.
"The computer's still comparing the Horse's whereabouts with the current star charts," Annika replied. "It's not very encouraging so far."
"What do you mean?" Harry raised an eyebrow.
"Well it's not in the Delta Quadrant," Annika replied.
"That's good right, we're not doing that again," Faye said.
"Or in the Alpha Quadrant," Annika said. Her station started beeping, she turned to it. "Oh we have a match."
"Well," Harry said in a worried tone of voice.
Annika's eyes lit up, "oh goodie, it's the Beta Quadrant. My Unimatrix Zero boyfriend is there." Nearly everyone in the room groaned.
"What are you groaning for? He might take her away from us," Craig said.
"Do you have any idea how long that corridor will be here?" Harry questioned.
"It doesn't look like it's going to collapse anytime soon. I think we'll have time to track down the Enterprise look-alike and get back in time," Annika replied.
"I'll make you eat and then choke on those words if you're wrong," Harry grumbled. "I'm not getting lost again."
"Right, we've got one season to go, do you really think we're going to get back in a few episodes or less?" Faye commented.
Harry groaned, "I'm really going to regret this."
A couple of engineers had taken over the bridge. Tom, B'Elanna and Bryan were standing in the centre of the bridge with a shy looking ensign.
Tom eased into the Captain's chair, "wow, it's more comfortable when it's yours."
The ensign handed him a padd. "Here's the crew report you asked for."
B'Elanna sat in Chakotay's old chair, cradling Miral in her arms. "What do you want that for?"
"I want to know if there's anyone I know joining the ship," Tom replied. "Where's my first officer anyway?"
"He's uh not going to be here for a few days," the ensign replied. "I must warn you he's supposed to be hard to deal with."
"Tom must be used to difficult people by now," B'Elanna said with a smirk on her face.
"Actually you might know him already, he used to be on Voyager too," the crewmember said.
Tom glanced at his padd, "oh well, let's see." His eyes widened, "James is re-joining, oh boy."
"Looks like dad's got his work cut out for him," Bryan commented.
B'Elanna smiled, "Security Chief again?" Tom nodded slowly, looking a bit pale now. "I bet you're secretly relieved."
"Sir," a male voice called over from the turbolift. Tom glanced over as the Security Chief headed over to him. "We have a problem."
"What could it be now?" Tom groaned.
"There's been an attack," the Chief replied.
"Yep, I'm back on Voyager," Tom sighed. "What happened? Will the victim be ok?"
"He was taken to the Sickbay at Dry Dock, he should recover," the Chief replied. "He was mugged, according to his boss he had a repair pass to Voyager, and a repair kit. He was supposed to repair and deliver equipment to Engineering. It was delivered on schedule."
"What's that got to do with anything?" Tom asked.
"He didn't go through the Security checks. He was obviously attacked before he had the chance to get there," the Chief replied.
"So who delivered the goods?" B'Elanna questioned.
"I don't know. I hope to solve this before the new Chief of Security takes over, I don't like to pass on unfinished work to other people," the Chief said.
"Why mug somebody and then finish off his job for him? It couldn't have been a vampire or the alarms would have went off, and or there would be reports of injured or dead Security personnel," Tom said.
"Not necessarily sir, the alarm triggers a forcefield that would go around the vampire," the Chief said. "This was a person who didn't want to blow his or her cover, that's the only reason they'd deliver the goods."
"So in other words it's somebody sneaky and smart," Tom said. "Great."
"We've already got teams searching for an intruder. I do find it disturbing that this person still got on board, that pass alone shouldn't have gotten him or her here," the Chief said.
"Beta Quadrant? Interesting," Paris said to his computer. On it was a Security Lieutenant.
"There's something else sir. We believe there's been a Security breach on Voyager. Somebody mugged a repair officer who was supposed to deliver repaired equipment. It was delivered but none of my team members saw him come through the Security checks," the Lieutenant said.
"Perhaps the intruder used a transporter," Paris said with a raised eyebrow.
"No sir. We're the only ones who authorise transporting, and everyone who uses that needs high level clearance, plus they have to go through the scanner first," the Lieutenant said. "We would have detected any other transporter activity."
Paris narrowed his eyes and lifted himself off the chair. "Search that ship from top to bottom son, whoever it is needs to be found before launch."
"Yes sir," the Lieutenant nodded his head. The screen changed back.
Paris sighed, he pressed in a few commands. "We have a problem, contact Mr Damien and tell him to contact me for instructions."
A rough male voice came over the com, "will do. Can I ask what the problem is?"
"We have an unwelcome guest on Voyager. I need to find out who it is or we can't launch," Paris replied.
In: "But if you delay the launch the crew, the public and other Starfleet personnel will get suspicious. We can't let them find out about the mission."
"But if we don't find out who this person is, and we lose contact with the ship we could be risking the entire operation. This person may know about it," Paris muttered.
In: "I really doubt that. Pull yourself together or I'll get somebody else to do your job." The connection cut off.
Paris frowned, he slammed his hand on the desk. "We'll see about that."
There was now a big queue at the Security Checking area. Two male Security members were checking through the computer, and a padd. Daniel stood opposite them. He had a baby carrier standing on the table next to their station. Inside it sat a little one year old boy with dark brown messy hair, feasting on a packet of crisps.
"We've checked your files, your belongings have been scanned," Security guy 1 said. He noticed the little boy looking at him. "Everything checks out Mr Rise-Anderson." The man handed him the padd.
"Whatever minga," he said.
Daniel picked up the carrier with a smirk on his face, "yeah sorry, I'm paying him to say that to people." He handed the boy a bar of chocolate, then headed into the docking corridor. The two Security guys glanced at each other with similar worried expressions.
The next 'customer' was a frazzled looking Yasmin. She put down a suitcase and a lot of heavy looking bags. She handed one of the guys a padd. "Jeez, it's a little tight around here now isn't it?"
The guy glanced at the padd, "ah the girl with the bags of coffee in her second case. We heard about you, we thought you were just a myth."
Yasmin didn't look amused, "very funny, not. Look when Voyager got lost we ran out of coffee long before I came aboard, there was only replicated left. I hate that stuff."
"Uh huh," Security guy 2 smirked.
Yasmin's commbadge chirped, Phoebe's voice quickly came over it. "Yasmin where the heck are you? You can't just steal all of our coffee!"
The two men stared at her suspiciously. "Uh, it's not what you think, she's my aunt."
"Right. We'll be talking to you later when we've launched," Security guy 2 said. He handed her the padd, "apart from that you're all set."
Yasmin smiled nervously as she picked up her bags, but Phoebe's voice wouldn't let her off the hook. "Listen missy, you just give the coffee back now and I'll stop trying to teach you to be sane."
"Yeah, that's what you said last time," she muttered as she walked away.
Voyager's Cargo Bay:
The room was dark except for a dim flashlight and a tricorder being held by somebody. He stopped next to a crate, "oh boy." He opened it and started looking inside.
The main door opened, making him freeze. Two men headed over to him, aiming phasers.
"Uh, I'm not here," the man stuttered, not moving an inch.
"Yeah yeah," one Security guy said. He tapped his commbadge.
In: "We seem to have found him sir."
Tom glanced at B'Elanna, "are you sure?"
In: "Positive, he was in the brig at San Francisco just a week ago."
"So how did he escape and get passed Security checks?" B'Elanna questioned.
"We'll find out. I'll join you in the brig, Ensign," Tom said, pulling himself up.
"Three times in one week, how embarrassing," Damien grumbled as a forcefield went up in front of him.
"Don't worry, this'll be the last time," the Security Chief smiled.
"It damn well better be. I was granted clearance and stuff, I shouldn't be in here," Damien muttered.
"Yeah sure, we'll see about that," the Chief said. He glanced back at Foster, "check that padd he had, I doubt this man was allowed to board the ship he tried to destroy many times."
Damien rolled his eyes, "oh brother."
"If you're as innocent as you claim, which I doubt, why were you raiding the Cargo Bay?" the Chief questioned.
"Supposedly helping you guys out. I was looking for your intruder," Damien replied.
"You should have looked in the mirror then," the Chief said.
Damien stared blankly, "tell me, was your parents named Edam and Cheddar? I've never met anybody cheesier than you."
Tom stepped through the main door, he stopped in his tracks as his eyes set on Damien. "This the guy?"
"No your dad let me aboard. He said I'd be helpful in Engineering. Now get me out!" Damien snapped.
Tom tried not to laugh, "ahem, the victim was badly beaten. He couldn't have done that."
"Victim?" Damien sniggered. "Oh your god. The ship hasn't even been launched yet and someone's already been attacked?"
Foster bit his lip nervously, "uh he's telling the truth. He's been assigned to the Engineering staff by Admiral Paris."
"I didn't know we were desperate enough to allow criminals to work for us," Tom said.
"Why not? Most of the Voyager crew were criminals," Damien said.
"Yes but you should be in jail for a lot of the stuff you did," Tom said. "You tried to take over the Federation, aided an undead guy who killed people horribly."
"The Federation needed a little excitement, and those people were just idiot's reincarnates," Damien said.
"Don't try to justify what you did," Tom muttered.
"Listen butt nose, I am no different to a certain Slayer you know, except I'm more likeable. Or that witch, same again and I'm not a girl," Damien said. Tom interrupted by groaning. "You know what I mean though."
"Keep him here until I talk to my dad. Something's really not right about this," Tom grumbled. He turned to leave.
"Which part exactly?" Foster questioned.
"All of it," Tom replied.
Tom stared at the viewscreen with a pained look on his face. "But but, this is a guy who'll betray the whole Federation for a small tub of yogurt. He's not to be trusted."
"Maybe so but we need him to complete the mission," Paris said.
"We don't, we can find a ship easily without him," Tom groaned.
"No not that mission, the other mission," Paris said.
"What other mission?" Bryan asked.
"Well actually it's more of an assignment, for him really. I've already said too much," Paris replied.
"It's top secret, you won't even tell me and it's regarding Damien. None of this makes any sense," Tom said.
"Here, here," Bryan commented.
"That's why I shouldn't have said anything. Trust me Tom, I know what I'm doing. Just keep a good eye on him son," Paris said. The viewscreen switched to space view.
"Is there anyone here who's not nervous?" Tom questioned. Nobody of course said a word.
Two crewmembers were walking down the corridor carrying small bags, the two were talking quietly between them. James, Jessie, Duncan and Sasha were following. Amy was sitting in a pram Jessie was pushing, with a lollipop hanging out of her mouth. James had obviously been forced to carry the heavier bags.
"Yes you are," Duncan said.
Amy shook her head, "no."
"You are too, Sasha and I stopped using those when we could crawl," Duncan said.
Amy pouted, "not my fault."
"Stop it you two," James groaned.
"Now you got dad mad at me," Amy moaned.
"You did that to yourself," Duncan said.
"Did not," Amy said.
"Ah, what did I just say?" James snapped lightly.
"Sorry," Amy quietly said.
Duncan rolled his eyes, "so you should be."
The crewmembers reached the end of the corridor, next to the turbolift. They opened the door next to it. "Ok this is one of the new family suites that were original two quarters," one said.
Everyone stepped inside. The living area was the usual size, but both sides had more doors than other quarters. The side to the right of them had two doors next to each other. To the left was a zig zag wall, with one door on each of the two walls adjacent to the window.
Right next to the window on the right hand side was a high rectangular table. On the side closer to the window was a dining table and a replicator. There were high chairs on the opposite side.
"Are all the family ones like this?" James asked.
"Yes. Admiral Paris expected three families with more than two kids to join," the girl replied.
"Oh we don't know anyone with more than two," Jessie said. "Who are they?"
"There's the Johnson's, they have four daughters. And there's the Torres-Paris' they have three, two boys and a girl," the guy replied.
"When did Tom and B'Elanna have another kid?" James questioned.
"I don't know," the girl said. "The youngest is a baby though."
Duncan pulled a face, "she better not be another Tom."
"I second that," James said. "Maybe she'll be more B'Elanna like."
"We can only hope," Jessie muttered.
Harry climbed out of his chair, "report?"
Kevin rolled his eyes, "we're still heading for Dry Dock."
"I'm sorry if I'm being too efficient for you," Harry grumbled.
"I think the word is pedantic," Faye said.
"You're both wrong, it's annoying," Craig muttered. Everyone but Harry seemed to agree. For a few minutes it was peacefully quiet.
Kevin of course broke the silence, "ok we're here, now what?"
"Hang around, just don't dock. Security there are busy as it is," Harry replied. "Oh and let Voyager know we're ready for the crewmember swapover scheme."
Kevin sighed in relief, "thank god for that." He jumped out of his chair.
"Can you at least stop the ship before leaving?" Harry stuttered.
"Oh, yeah that would be an idea," Kevin laughed nervously. He keyed in a few commands at the helm. "Sorry guys." He rushed into the turbolift.
Harry groaned into his hand, "please tell me the permanent replacement is a lot better than him."
"I think it's Bryan, Tom's son," Faye said. "So do you want me to lie then?"
"No that's ok, I'm sure I could easily replicate seat belts," Harry groaned.
"But what about the people who have to stand?" Faye questioned.
"Easy, seat belts that are attached to the stations as well. Though that will be quite disastrous if they explode," Harry replied. "Which they will."
"Note to self, replicate one of those to attach to the warp core and put it around Harry," Craig muttered.
Harry turned around, putting his hands on his hips. He was about to reply but noticed Craig actually making a note of it on a padd.
Faye tried not to laugh, failing miserably. "When will you do that?"
"During a core breach obviously," Craig smiled.
"Uh, tell me when is the real Craig coming back?" Harry stuttered.
James, Jessie, their kids and Jodie came off the lift. They spotted Tom nearby the station behind the command chairs.
"Reporting for duty sir," Jodie said as she headed to opps.
Jessie frowned, looking around, "ok, who were you talking to? The highest rank here is Tom."
Tom turned around, "hey guys, it's great to see you again."
"Yeah, kinda you too," Jessie said.
"Kinda? Well I take what I can get," Tom said. He glanced at James, who was holding Amy with one arm. He held out a hand, "hey."
"You know I don't like shaking," James said. He held out his hand anyway, "I'll humour you this once."
"Great. Hasn't she grown since I last seen her," Tom said while shaking his hand briefly. He then held out his finger towards Amy. "Hi, I'm uncle Tom."
"I don't have a ucle," she said quietly.
"Never mind then," Tom smiled. He looked down at Duncan and Sasha, "hey you two." Duncan just shrugged his shoulders, Sasha did a little wave.
"So, who's in command of both ships?" James asked.
"Harry has the Leda. Rumour has it Andrea was demoted to First Officer," Tom replied. "Yours truly has Voyager."
"You've got to be kidding," James muttered.
"Woah, who did you sleep with to get that?" Jessie asked quietly.
Tom pulled a face in disgust. "Uh, my dad gave me the job."
Jessie looked a little embarrassed, "oh, sorry."
Tom shook it off, "I figured dad told you since you will be working for me. Has he told you what you're doing?"
"It was either Tactical or Engineering, so I'll be here," Jessie replied with a groan.
"Security again. I heard my office has been refurbished," James said.
"Yeah they only did it as it'll be the First Officer's office too," Tom said.
James stared blankly at him, "I have to share my office?"
It was Tom's turn to look confused, "nobody told you?" James shook his head, "you are him."
His family stared at him in shock. "What? Me, why?" he stuttered.
"Dad said you did well during the war," Tom replied. "Yeah I don't get it either."
"But I'm not command material, I don't really want to sit or stand around here all day," James muttered.
Tom shrugged, "you have to. As you're the Security Chief you don't have to hang around here though."
"Good, all day with you would be too much," James said.
"Lucky me," Jessie said.
Tom raised an eyebrow, "I'm sure you'll live. Anyway you should get the kids here all signed up for the school and nursery. It's now on Deck 8."
"That was next anyway," James said. "My office in the same place?"
"Yes but the previous Chief is still there. He's working on something," Tom replied.
"Oh? Anything interesting?" James questioned.
"We have an intruder but I wouldn't worry about it. We've narrowed out vampires, demons and dumb people," Tom replied.
"You better be right, we came here to get away from the first one," James said.
"You came through the Security checks, there's no way any of the first two would have gotten through unnoticed," Tom said.
Craig stepped into the room. "We've got orders to let him go."
Foster glanced at him briefly, "but he's the bad guy."
"Yeah I know, the Admiral thinks he knows best," Craig muttered.
Damien smiled smugly, "about time."
Craig narrowed his eyes, "that doesn't mean it's over. If you try anything you're in here for a long time."
"Ooh," Damien said with a smirk. The forcefield went down and he stepped out. "Keep it up, one day you'll be a real boy."
Craig marched forward, he grabbed a hold of him by the front of his shirt. "What's that supposed to mean?"
Damien just continued to smirk at him, "look at you. One dead ex girlfriend and you start thinking you're Mr matcho."
"Er Craig," Foster stuttered. He quickly rushed forward to try and pull the two apart.
"Whatever," Craig groaned, pushing Damien away. "He's not even worth it." He stormed back out of the room.
"I think I'm going to like it here," Damien said.
Sasha and Amy were kneeling in the corner of an office, both of them were playing with big lego bricks. James, Jessie and Duncan were sitting opposite a cheerful, plump, female middle aged teacher.
"Yes I understand," she said. "I received his file this morning, we can accommodate for his needs. Unfortunately he'll be on his own until little Britney and Heidi are old enough to join the school. That won't be until the next school year begins in January."
"I can stay off until then if it's easier," Duncan said.
"How considerate, but it's no problem at all young man. It'll be a pleasure to teach one child. It'll allow us to get to know each other," the teacher said.
Duncan pouted and folded his arms. James tried to keep a straight face, "I'm sure he'll like that Mrs Appleton."
"I understand there was an accident last week. It's ok if you don't want him to start straight away," the teacher said.
"Doctor Jones suggested he stay off for another three days. That's ok right?" James questioned.
Appleton smiled while nodding her head, "no trouble at all. He can have as much time as he needs to rest his head. He'll be needing it working 100% with me."
"That's impossible, we only use something like half of our brains," Jessie muttered.
Appleton's face dropped a little, "that's true yes, but I wasn't being technical."
"So 50%, great," Duncan muttered, still pouting.
"Yes," Appleton sighed. "The nursery is just next door."
"I know, we were just there," Jessie said.
"Thanks," James uneasily said. He and Duncan stood up first, Jessie sighed before doing the same. James knelt down to pick Amy up with one arm, Sasha outstretched her arms with a pout on her face. He picked her up with his other arm, and stood back up.
They left through the nearest door, they headed down the corridor towards the neighbouring door. "You really know how to put down the most cheerful person," James said.
"She was annoying me," Jessie commented.
They entered the nursery reception area. A teacher was there waiting. "Hello again."
"Hi again, is it ok to drop them off now?" James asked as he knelt back down. He put down the two girls.
The teacher nodded, "of course." She knelt down in front of them. "Now here you can play with any of the toys, but there are only a few rules. One if there is somebody already playing with something, ask if you can play with them or wait for them to finish. Two no fighting."
"I don't fight," Sasha said.
"I know but I have to tell everybody," the teacher smiled. "Three, at dinner time and about 1600 it's clean up time. You have to clean up any mess, but I suggest to avoid making so much."
"Right, I never heard that one before," Jessie raised an eyebrow.
"I know most children make a mess and it can't be helped, but we try to teach them that it has rewards. We have extra sweets, drinks, you get the idea," the teacher said, standing back up.
"Well girls, we'd better love you and leave you for now. What's the pick up times?" James questioned.
"Lunch time is between 1200 and 1300. You can pick them up anytime really, but the closing time is 1800," the teacher replied.
"Ok," James said. "I'll pick you up at 1700."
Sasha nodded, "okeydokey."
Amy just pouted, she grabbed a hold of James' leg tightly.
"Oh she doesn't want to stay," the teacher said.
"No, don't wanna," Amy moaned.
James sighed, "I'm sorry sweetheart but there's nothing to do at my work, you'll be bored. There's lots to do here."
"No, go with you," Amy cried.
James glanced at Jessie helplessly, she shrugged and knelt down. "Just try it, you might have fun. If you don't like it, dad can pick you up."
"But there's nothing to do in my office," James quietly said.
"She can bring her own toys," Jessie said. "Can you try it?"
"I dunno," Amy quietly replied.
"Would you try it for daddy?" Jessie questioned.
"Ok," Amy replied. She pulled away.
"Wow, you're good," James said as Jessie stood back up.
"Thanks and you're welcome," Jessie said before walking back out of the door.
"You're really going to try it?" James questioned. Amy nodded her head. "Good girl, if you don't like it here, just tell one of the teachers."
"She'll be all right Mr Stuart. A lot of the children hate coming to a nursery for the first time. She'll love it after five minutes I'm sure," the teacher said.
"Good. Both of you have fun, I'll see you in a few hours ok," James said. The two girls looked up at him. "Come on Duncan, we'd better catch up with your mum and drop you off home."
He and Duncan stepped out. Amy started to crawl after them, the teacher quickly picked her up.
"Why don't you stay home instead?" Duncan asked. "Mum is always quiet and avoidy."
"That's exactly why she should be the one to watch you. She needs to get back to her normal self," James replied.
"What's wrong with her?" Duncan asked.
"She's just not feeling herself lately. If she's on her own while looking after you, it might ease her back into it," James said.
Duncan raised an eyebrow and looked up at him, "why won't you tell me what's wrong?"
"Because it's complicated," James replied. "But she'll be ok, she is already getting better."
Jessie strolled into Sickbay. "Doctor?"
Doctor Jones appeared at the doorway of his office. "What's the nature of your medical emergency?"
"I need a scan," Jessie said.
Doctor Jones' brow wrinkled up, "what for? Are you sick, can you be specific?"
"No, I just want a scan," Jessie replied.
"All right," Doctor Jones said, not looking sure about it. "Lie down on a biobed and I'll do your scan now."
"Good thanks," Jessie said. She walked over to the nearest biobed, then sat down on it.
"This wasn't how I expected seeing you again," Doctor Jones said. He picked up a tricorder, "how's the family?"
"Good, kinda, you heard what happened to Duncan?" Jessie replied.
"Yes, I saw the file James sent to me. We've got an appointment later today," Doctor Jones said.
"Good. I have to go and watch him, so can you hurry it up," Jessie muttered.
Doctor Jones began scanning, his face frowned, "huh, interesting."
"What?" Jessie questioned.
"Ok, take us out Naomi, carefully," Tom said as he sat down. His hands clutched the arms of the chair tightly.
"I'm always careful," Naomi said. She started working at the station while everyone held on for a dear life.
"They're departing sir," an ensign said.
Admiral Paris sighed, "excellent. Contact Admiral Hayes."
"Yes sir," the ensign said, he stepped out.
"I thought you were going to get the operation Jessie, what happened?" Doctor Jones questioned as he paced.
Jessie pulled herself off the bed, "I freaked out ok. I was worried we'd change our minds so we got this drug on prescription. James takes it whenever it's, you know needed."
"So why didn't that work?" Doctor Jones muttered.
Jessie raised her shoulders, "well, I stopped getting it for him. He thinks what he's taking is the drug, but it's nothing."
"Please tell me you're joking," Doctor Jones stared at her blankly.
"I'm not," Jessie said.
"This isn't like you at all. For one thing you're lying to James, you're deceiving him and you're betraying his trust in you," Doctor Jones bewilderedly said. "You're treating him like an object."
"I'm not, I would never," Jessie stuttered.
"That's exactly what you're doing," Doctor Jones snapped. "You decided that you wanted another baby, ignoring the obvious risk of infection, and just gone ahead and done it. He was just a donor in your eyes. You obviously didn't talk to him or wonder how he'd even feel about this. You just selfishly thought you are the only one who decides it."
"He would have said no," Jessie said.
"It gets better," Doctor Jones muttered.
"But deep down I know he wants it too," Jessie said.
"Haven't you thought about the risk? You nearly died along with your daughters the last time, and you lost one of them. This could easily happen again," Doctor Jones said.
"I have thought about it, I'll have an appointment every week and I'll stick to it," Jessie said. "I want it to go right this time, I really do."
"But you did it in the worst possible way. Having a child is all about two people who love and trust each other... well at least it's supposed to be," Doctor Jones said.
"We do though, and he'll understand," Jessie said.
"How? I don't," Doctor Jones said.
"Report," Tom commanded.
"We'll enter the corridor in twenty seconds," Naomi replied.
Tom glanced at his white knuckles, "we can't do this for the whole season."
"Maybe Kevin should be promoted to full time helm person instead of Naomi," Jodie said.
"Hey, I flew a lot of shuttles in the Academy," Naomi moaned.
"Yeah but did you land them?" Tom asked with a raised eyebrow.
Naomi's eyes shifted nervously, "ten seconds to go."
"Oh crap, we're doomed," Tom groaned.
Voyager flew into the corridor, Leda followed shortly later. The corridor itself was mostly black, with green flame like patterns.
"Ok Paris to Astrometrics. Chart the corridor and send a flight course to the helm," Tom ordered.
In: "Aye aye sir."
"For now we wait," Tom said.
Naomi pouted, "fine don't trust me."
A couple of crewmembers were sitting in a new Ten Forward. Ylara was sitting on her own nearby the window. She got up and walked out into an empty corridor. After turning the corner she stopped dead in her tracks.
"All right, why are you following me?"
A man behind her stopped. "I could have just been going your way, why would anyone want to follow you?"
Ylara frowned, "that voice." She turned around, "you? You were presumed dead a year ago."
The man, who hid his face in his black hood, smiled evilly, "what does that even mean these days? You're here aren't you? Now let's see what we can do about that." The hood moved away slightly, revealing his face. Ylara backed away a few steps.
Jessie headed over to Duncan holding a drink in her hands, he was lying on the sofa with a blanket over him. She knelt down then handed it to him. "How are you feeling?"
"Headache again," he replied.
"It's time to have another pain killer hypospray," Jessie muttered. She reached over to the table to pick up a hypospray. "Only two left after this." She pressed it into his neck.
"Good I don't like them," Duncan said.
Jessie smiled, "don't worry, by tomorrow they'll be gone." She placed a hand across the side of his face, then brushed one strand of hair away. "Then you should be feeling better."
"What if I'm not?" Duncan asked.
"You will be," Jessie replied. She kissed him on the forehead. When she pulled away she expected to see a grossed out look on his face. That's not what she got. "Ok, you didn't go 'eew mum' or pull a face. Maybe I'll have to take that back." She placed a hand on his forehead, "you don't have a fever."
Duncan just laughed, "does that mean I can have more days off school?"
"Yeah you wish," Jessie replied.
James walked in through the main door, "hey, how is my favourite little guy?" He headed over to kneel down beside Jessie, and put an arm around her. "And my favourite wife?"
Jessie raised an eyebrow at him, "I knew it, where do you keep the other women?"
"There's one under the bed, the other one, nah, I can't keep even joke about it," James replied with a smirk. "So Duncan, how are you?"
"Head was hurting, now I'm just tired," Duncan replied.
"Oh well you should feel better once those pain killers are gone," James said.
"Let's hope so," Jessie said as she stood back up. James watched her walk over to the 'kitchen area'. She sat down on one of the tall stools.
"Are you all right?" he asked.
"Yeah um, can we talk for a minute?" Jessie uneasily replied.
"Sure," James replied. He got up and walked over to her, "what is it?"
"I have to tell you something," Jessie said. "I'm uh... I'm a few weeks... uh pregnant."
James stared blankly at her, he then started to laugh a little, "good one."
"No I'm serious," Jessie muttered.
"That's impossible, don't be silly," James said.
"Nope, I am," Jessie said.
"But you can't be, I've been taking that drug so it wouldn't happen," James said.
"Yeah um, you haven't been," Jessie muttered.
"Um, what do you mean by that?" James asked.
"Well you know the hypospray, well instead of getting them all re-filled at the hospital, I got them done at the house," Jessie said.
"Ok what are you talking about? Is this still a joke?" James questioned.
"None of it is James," Jessie replied. She stepped closer to put a hand on his arm and took a hold of his other hand. "There's no drug in them. Two weeks ago we um... did it and now we're having another baby."
James pulled his hand away, stepping backwards. "What? You did... I don't believe this."
"It's true," Jessie said. James stared at her, shaking his head lightly. "This is good right."
"How is this good? If you're serious, which I hope you're not, you..." James said.
"I am serious, promise," Jessie said.
"Ok right now that means nothing to me," James muttered. He walked away from her.
"What do you mean by that?" Jessie asked.
James stepped to turn back around, "what do you think it means? Did you expect me to be happy and just forget what the hell you did? What's the matter with you?"
"Nothing, I just wanted another... you've always known that four was what I wanted," Jessie said.
"I didn't know you wanted to lose a kid all over again, nearly die or actually die though," James said. "And I didn't know that you didn't care about me."
"What? Of course I do," Jessie said. "You and the kids mean the world to me, maybe more."
"It sure doesn't seem that way to me," James muttered. "You've been spending the last few months avoiding our children like the plague, and now you want another one? I'm not even going to start with me."
Jessie stepped forward, "no, maybe you should."
"Well the only time you were even nice to me was when you wanted to..." James said. His face quickly stiffened, "that's the only reason wasn't it? You just pretended, and held back from snapping at me for less than an hour so you could get pregnant."
"No that's..." Jessie said.
"I really want to hear me talking right now," James snapped at her. "You owe me that much."
"You don't understand," Jessie stuttered.
"That's putting it mildly," James said. "For months I took care of our children. I fed them, bathed them, clothed them, comforted... I did everything for them!" Duncan glanced over as his voice raised.
"James, try to calm..." Jessie quietly said.
"While you've done what? Hanging out with your sister or whatever the hell you were doing. Probably moaning on about how hard everything's been for you over the last two years. I've tried and I've tried to talk to you, I never got angry or showed you I was upset and I all I got was f***** abuse! And now you're telling me to calm down?" James yelled at her.
She started to get tears in her eyes, "James stop, you don't..."
"I'm already aware that I don't get it," James muttered. "I get that you've been through a lot, and I feel for you, but so have I remember. You don't keep pushing the people who love you away."
"I don't know why I do it. I just know that I'm afraid to get hurt again," Jessie said.
"Then why did you go through the trouble of using me just so you can get pregnant again? You know something will happen," James questioned. "And when you don't even care enough to look after or even look at the children you have now."
"Because it's not just about me. You are the parent in this family, you're a great dad to them. I'm just the one who has them, and you know I can't even do that right," Jessie cried, tears started to come down her face.
"That's what I'm here for. If you felt that badly why didn't you just talk to me? Why betray me like this, what did I do to you?" James said.
"You would have said no," Jessie muttered.
"Oh so that's how it is? If I will say yes, great you'll ask me. But if I'm going to say no you do it anyway," James grumbled.
"You would have said no because you'd be worried about what would happen. But I know you love our kids and would have said yes otherwise," Jessie said. "Plus just cos you say no doesn't mean no, my opinion counts for something too."
"I know that, but if I'm the one who has to raise this child, I have a lot of say in it," James said.
"I'm the one who has to carry it and go through all the pain!" Jessie snapped.
"For what, less than nine months? If you're always going to be like this then I'm the one who has to raise it for eighteen years. I also have to live with the other kind of pain I'll get for the rest of my life with you like this," James said.
Duncan got off the sofa and headed over to them, with an angry look on his face.
"It's pointless arguing about this now, it's too late. You don't believe in abortion so you're not going to suggest it, so there's nothing either of us can do," Jessie said.
"So now what? What's next huh Jess? I thought you would never treat me like this so I don't know what to expect," James said.
"Treat you like what?" Jessie asked.
"Like I'm nothing to you, that's what I feel like Jessie. That's how I felt every time you must have tried to get pregnant. You always pushed me away like I was infected with a life threatening disease. Do you have any idea how that feels?" James muttered.
Duncan stamped his foot, "stop it! Stop arguing!"
They both glanced down at him. "It's all right Duncan," James muttered, looking back up at Jessie. "We have finished. I just have one thing to ask."
"What's that?" Jessie quietly said.
"Do you still love me, at all?" James asked.
"How can you ask me that? I always will, nothing will change that, I trust you with my life," Jessie stuttered.
"Well I don't, trust you I mean," James said.
"But why?" Jessie stuttered.
"Why? You haven't given me a reason to. And in answer to the earlier question, how can I not? Do you even know what you're doing? I certainly don't," James said. "Right now I don't even recognise you. You're not the same girl I fell in love with and married. That girl would never hurt me like this." He turned around and headed for the door.
"But James... I didn't mean to..." Jessie stuttered.
"Sure whatever," James muttered, he walked out.
Jessie stared at the door, tears were still coming down her face. Duncan was still looking up at her. "I'm sorry you had to hear that, excuse me." She rushed to one of the bedrooms. Duncan stared after her then he followed. He found her lying on the bed, crying into one of the pillows. He ran over to the bedside, then placed a hand on her arm, "mum?"
"Duncan please, I don't want you to see me like this," she cried.
"But mum," Duncan said.
Jessie lifted her head to glance at him, "no buts, I want to be alone please."
"Why was dad yelling at you?" Duncan asked.
"Because I deserved it. Now can you leave? You should be resting," Jessie replied.
Duncan pouted, "no you don't."
"Duncan get out," Jessie said.
"But," Duncan stuttered.
"Now," Jessie said more forcefully. She buried her face back into the pillow. Duncan slowly walked back out.
"That guy does nothing but abuse his power," Faye muttered.
"Yeah like you wouldn't," Bryan said.
Harry glared at them angrily from the centre of the bridge, "what are you two talking about?"
"At least Janeway bothered to turn up right," Faye said.
"Um, I'm right here you silly girl," Harry muttered.
"I guess I would though, but nobody would listen to me," Faye said.
"Have you ever thought of projecting your mind's voice into others? You know, talk to everyone without even speaking," Craig said. "The creep factor would make them listen."
"I've never tried that, purposively anyway," Faye said.
Harry sighed, "ok don't encourage her. Betazoids that do that really annoy me."
"It must be cool to be telepathic," Bryan said.
"Yeah it's not, I get a lot of headaches," Faye said.
Harry looked around at everyone, "why are you all ignoring me?"
"So why is Harry in charge anyway, just how cursed is this ship?" Craig questioned.
Harry put his hands on his hips, "hey!"
"God knows, he's probably the stupidest geek I've met," Bryan replied.
"I hope you don't say that to his face," Faye giggled.
"Yeah that's the geekiest insult I've ever heard, but he'd still cry over it," Craig smirked.
"No I wouldn't," Harry muttered. He marched over to the helm.
"Yeah he probably would," Bryan said.
"I'm right here!" Harry yelled as he waved his hand in front of Bryan's face, he didn't seem to notice it. He tried clicking his fingers and clapping his hands, he didn't even blink. "Ok if you're just pretending you're very good."
"So where is he?" Faye asked.
"I dunno, but I can live without him being here," Craig replied.
"Ok this is very strange," Harry grumbled.
Kevin was arguing with Naomi at the helm. Tom was just sitting in his new chair trying to look important. Jodie stood in front of him with an angry look on her face, "listen buddy, I said there's something weird on the shields."
"I'm better than you, that's why I was promoted," Kevin snapped.
Naomi raised an eyebrow, "oh I see, this is a blonde insult isn't it? My teacher told me to be aware of this."
"No it's not a general blonde insult, it's an insult to you. You can't fly very well," Kevin muttered.
"You two pack it in. Naomi, let him fly," Tom ordered.
Jodie's eyes widened, she started jumping up and down. "Aaaah, listen to me you freak!"
Tom continued to not notice her, "I got you a better job."
"Oooh, what is it?" Naomi asked as she turned her chair around.
"The doc needs another nurse in training," Tom replied.
Naomi's eyes lit up, "oh really?" She jumped out of her seat, Kevin quickly nabbed it. "Will I get to do operations on guys who have to be mostly stripped, or do those little check ups with cute guys?"
Kevin laughed, "no."
Tom looked nervous, "I think so, you'll have to ask the doc. Do you want it?"
"Oh yeah," Naomi giggled.
"For crying out loud. This is more important than this," Jodie groaned.
"Well you'd better get to Sickbay," Tom said.
"Will do," Naomi said. She rushed to the turbolift, but she noticed that one of the consoles next to it had an error flashing on it. "Oh that's weird." She pressed a few controls, it then exploded knocking her flying onto her back.
"Yes she should," Jodie muttered.
Tom, Kevin and a few unknowns rushed over to her. Tom tapped his commbadge, "Paris to Sickbay, we have a medical emergency."
Kevin was the first to stand up after Naomi was beamed away. "Hey, where is Jodie?"
Tom looked over at opps, "hey yeah, where is she?"
Jodie started fuming, "I'm right here!"
The two looked around the bridge, but they obviously couldn't see or hear her. "Computer locate Jodie Harris," Tom said.
The computer responded, "Jodie Harris is on the bridge."
"Uh no she's not," Kevin muttered.
"Uh, yes I am!" Jodie snapped. "What's going on here?"
Doctor Jones hovered the regenerator over the burns on Naomi's face. Nothing seemed to happen. "This is odd. Nikki, can you get me another regenerator?"
Nikki nodded, "sure boss." She walked over to the med tray, she picked up another regenerator then handed it to him. He used it but the same happened.
"I don't understand. This should be working," Doctor Jones said.
"Yeah," Nikki sighed, fidgeting slightly and twitching her nose. "That's weird, the air's moist."
"It is? It shouldn't be," Doctor Jones said.
Nikki looked confused, she stumbled back and put a hand over her mouth.
"What's wrong?" Doctor Jones asked. He used the tricorder he had in his hands to scan her. "Oh my, there's water in your lu..."
What looked like small gills came out of the marks on her face and arms. She sighed as she removed her hand from her mouth. "Phew, I thought those wouldn't work for a second there." She frowned at Doctor Jones' dumbfounded look. "What? You know my species can breathe under water, right?"
"I do but I've never seen a Porséan adapt to water conditions before," Doctor Jones said.
"I haven't done it since I was a kid," Nikki said. "That was weird though, where did it come from?"
"I don't know but this is all strangely familiar to me," Doctor Jones replied. "This has happened before." Suddenly his program started flickering, when it stopped he had a cowboy outfit on. "And so has this."
Nikki started smirking, "I must have missed it the last time, shame."
Doctor Jones frowned at her. "Computer remove the cowboy outfit from the EMH and replace it with the medical uniform."
"Cannot comply, password needed," the computer responded.
"Great, just great," Doctor Jones groaned. His program flickered again, this time he had a clown outfit on.
TO BE CONTINUED
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