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Nothing ever happens, again and again and again.
This episode is basically a rewrite of the original Hunters released back in 2001, which was supposed to parody Voyager's Hunters. This contains a lot of "jokes" about my Hunters, but that doesn't mean you need to read the original. The whole point of this rewrite is so you don't have to. All you need to know to read this rewrite is that my old Hunters was terrible, short with no real point to it, the characters were even more OOC than usual, and it stopped being a parody of Hunters after the letters started arriving. Seriously don't read it, read this one ^_^
6th, 9th & 13th August 2013
Once upon a time there was a story so awful, it was heralded as the worst thing to happen to Voyager since C/7.
Hunters by name only, it lost its train of thought. The two Hirogen Hunters left standing in their two lines, wondering why they never tried to stop the Intrepid starship from abusing their network. Why bother, they must have thought. There was nothing to stop.
A rumoured J/C kiss would forever be unseen, as the producers intended. Seven of Nine would escape the tale without ever being at risk. Would the Voyager retrieve all of their precious messages from their families, or would the Hunters try to stop them? Nobody knows.
In its place, a tale of a long lost sister's birthday coincidentally timed. A young man meeting two toddlers disguised as adults, their names forever sullied. A party, a perfect place for a baby, destroyed by bad news.
Although the story was short, it left a long legacy in its wake.
Until today. As like the tales of the first USS Enterprise, this story will begin again. Only unlike this example, it'll be better.
"I have a bad feeling about this," Chakotay muttered.
Everyone felt it too as they stared at the viewscreen.
"It looks like it could fall away at any second," Harry said mid wince. Tom chose that moment to move his chair backwards, a tiny piece of debris stopped him going too far.
"Yes, one little knock and everything inside would just... whoosh," he said nervously.
Kathryn squinted her eyes. "That is one ugly space station thingy."
Everyone turned their attention her way, then back at the viewscreen again. Just then a piece of the glass broke off and fell on top of Tom's console, exposing more of the hull plating behind it.
The bridge was silently awkward for a few minutes before Chakotay decided to break the news. "Kathryn, the viewscreen's been broken for two months."
"Oh!" Kathryn's face lit up. "That would explain the funky looking planet we stopped at last week. I wondered how on earth we'd get food supplies from a hunk of junk like that." Her eye then twitched, "wait." Everyone then tensed up, expecting the worst. She picked Chakotay to turn her deadly glare to. "God, go to the toilet you disgusting man, don't just let it rip whenever you feel like it!"
Chakotay decided to frown while everyone else sniggered quietly behind hands or consoles. He pointed at the baby girl squirming in Kathryn's arms. She looked down.
"Aaw crap," she complained.
"Yeah pretty much," Chakotay nodded.
Harry's eyes widened a lot more than usual. "I'd like to add to that aaw crap."
"Eeew!" Kathryn pulled a face. She stood up, then threw her body around to glare at him. "What's the matter with you?"
Tuvok raised his eyebrow, "I agree with Mr Kim, this is much cause for alarm."
"Dirty gits," Kathryn grumbled as she marched into her Ready Room.
"What is it?" Chakotay asked.
"I recommend going to Red Alert," Harry stuttered.
Chakotay shook his head, "relax. The replicators will be back soon, and the smell only hangs around for a few minutes."
"No," Harry said in a ominous voice. "What episode number are we up to?"
Tom looked at his left hand, he counted up to four and his eyes did the same thing Harry's did. "Oh my god."
"What is it!?" Chakotay impatiently repeated.
"Indeed," Tuvok agreed with the others. "Episode four."
"Season One," Tom swallowed hard.
Chakotay finally got it, his face went extremely pale. "Hunters. Dear god, have mercy on us all."
"Looking on the bright side, we only have to suffer a few scenes, then it's over," Harry tried to convince himself.
"Oh really!" Chakotay snapped at him, scaring him half to death. "Was this scene in the original!?"
"No," Harry whimpered.
"So not only will it be crap, it'll be long too," Chakotay muttered.
Tom shook his head, then made a run for it to the turbolift. Nobody stopped him.
"That was stupid," Harry muttered. "He must know his first scene was in the Mess Hall."
"Somehow I doubt he's going there. I'm thinking more like shuttle bay or the escape pods," Chakotay said. He frowned. "Then again, isn't..."
"Why won't this thing work?" Tom cried from inside the powerless turbolift. Then he really did break into tears. "Why?" Tuvok peeped his head around to see him curl up in a foetal position.
"Oh is this why Year of Hell was changed to cripple us, to stop us from escaping Hunters?" Harry said. He shuddered viciously. "The humanity."
Chakotay shook his head, "I dunno why we even had to have it. What happens to justify a rewrite, really?" He turned to Tuvok. "Let's just try to forget about it. What were you saying about the array you discovered, Tuvok?"
"I really doubt we're supposed to have a plot in this episode, Commander," Tuvok raised his eyebrow.
Chakotay narrowed his eyes at the stubborn Vulcan. "I don't care if it makes the episode longer, we'll have a plot other than back story fodder and embarrassing character introductions or I'm turning evil. Mark my words."
"As if," Harry laughed.
"As you wish, Commander. I believe it to be a communications array, connected to a network," Tuvok answered.
"Do we even remember how the actual Hunters went, cos all I remember is the horror of ours," Harry asked no one in particular.
Nobody really answered him.
Two ridiculously tall alien men, wearing body armour, stood in their ship. They were surrounded by what looked like corpses and separate body parts hanging from the ceiling.
"Wow, we even got a description, Beta. A bad one, but what other kind is there?" one of them said.
Beta cleared his throat. "Are we actually going to do something in Fifth Voyager this time, VHS?"
"Alpha, and it seems that way," the first man nodded.
With that Beta returned to his screen, watching a dot go across the screen. "The prey's course has become erratic, I will intercept to kill."
"No, maintain distance. I want to let them suffer a bit longer," Alpha maliciously snarled.
"We are still talking about the prey, aren't we?" Beta asked.
Alpha smiled coldly.
Everyone present tried not to laugh as Harry tried to drag in a hysterical Tom by the arm. He grabbed the door frame at the last second.
"Come on Tom," Harry groaned as he was thrown backwards.
"No! I want to go home until the next episode!" Tom cried like a baby.
Harry tried to pull him away so Tom pulled back, this towing and throwing went on for a few minutes.
Everyone got an extra laugh as James tried to get in through the same door. One shove was all it took to send them both flying into a heap on the floor.
"No, don't do it!" Tom screamed at him.
Harry blushed madly, "Tom, get off me. This looks so wrong." Tom then realised he landed on top of Harry in a rather compromising position. He quickly scrambled up.
"Yeah it did, and don't do what?" James sniggered.
"Don't come in here, don't you know what episode it is?" Tom screamed at him while pointing. James wiped his face with a disgusted expression. "Sorry," Tom said in a slightly calmer tone.
"Shh!" Harry shushed him. "He was here in the first three episodes this time, so he probably hasn't kept track like we have."
James understood, the disgusted expression on his face got worse. "We still have to do Hunters?"
"Shhh, don't mention its name," Harry whispered.
"Whatever, I'm not in it," James shrugged as he walked away.
Tom actually trembled at the thought of what he was going to say, it didn't stop him though. "But you were in it."
James laughed as he sat down at an empty table. "Yeah right." Tom and Harry at that moment caught sight of Craig at another table, looking a little sorry for himself.
"Oh god, it begins," Tom muttered.
Harry patted his friend on the arm, "just keep it short and sweet, we'll be onto the next episode in no time."
"Short doesn't always equals sweet you know," Tom pointed out. "Surely this episode is the best example of my point."
"Move it or lose it," a familiar girl's voice said from behind them. Tom was then shoved a step to the side. He watched as Jessie made her way over to James' table.
"See," Tom groaned.
Harry smiled. "Wait Jess..." Jessie stopped and looked back over her shoulder. "Do you really want to be in this room, now... you do know what episode this is, don't you?"
"Of course I do," Jessie said, gesturing her cup forward before she took a sip out of it.
Tom's eyes widened, "wait, instead of not acting in a crazy, drunk kid fashion like in the original, you decide to drink Neelix's home made coffee instead. What are you, an..." Harry quickly covered his mouth so he sounded muffled on the last word. Jessie passed the two a scowl as she sat down.
"Let's just..." Harry gestured his head to Craig. He then dragged his friend towards his table. Tom shook his head, muttering along the way. An elbow went into his arm once they got there. "Tom?"
Tom's shoulders slumped in defeat. "Hey Craig."
"Yeah hi, what's up?" Harry asked. Tom's head continued to shake as he mouthed the word why over and over.
Craig looked up at the pair, his nose shrivelled in disgust. "Ohno." Tom pulled a face as he continued to shake his head. "Don't look at me like that. Imagine that you're the one that has to have a birthday on the day Hunters happened."
Harry shuddered violently while Tom tried to stop moving his head, he found he couldn't right away. "So er, birthday?" he asked unenthusiastically.
"Yeah yeah, my step sister's. We usually celebrate it together," Craig sighed.
"Ah that's too bad, see ya," Tom said as he turned away. Harry stopped him. "You said make it short!" he hissed at his friend.
"You didn't have to come over, you know," Craig muttered.
"Yeah," Tom sighed.
Harry shook his head, "if we keep it the same, the sooner it is over. We went over this before we came here."
"Why would you want to keep Hunters the same?" Craig asked in disgust. "What's wrong with you?"
Tom laughed as he stared at his friend, he didn't know what to say.
"So er... how's Security treating you?" Tom decided to ask.
Craig seemed a little relieved. "Not bad, it's better than the school lessons we had to do." Harry frowned.
"I don't think you've even mentioned what team you're on. Anyone we know?" Tom asked, happy to have the subject completely changed.
Craig looked behind him and pointed at James' table. This made Tom burst out laughing. "What?"
"Good luck!" Tom managed to spit out in between laughs. Craig grimaced as the literal spit nearly hit his food.
"Okay, I know I'll get lynched for this as it was in the original Hunters, but it's the only thing in it that should stay," Harry blurted out. Before anyone could stop him, he continued, "what's with the Lieutenant pip, recently left school Craig?"
Craig smiled, "you're right, it is the only good part in Hunters."
"Well?" Harry stubbornly said.
Tom continued laughing, "well at least we can skip the awkward meeting scene later since you've met him already. But still, oh boy!" He wiped tears from both of his eyes.
Craig shrugged, "I've been a Lieutenant for years now. Obviously the Captain thought highly of me." Mischief sparkled in his eyes, "twice."
"She was drunk on coffee, wasn't she?" Harry grumbled.
"Too bad you never had the brains to think of that one," Craig teased.
Harry groaned impatiently, "I did, she said she had no pips left."
"That's too bad, Ensign," Craig smiled.
Harry narrowed his eyes, "just wait, my part in Hunters is almost over, but yours isn't."
Neelix chose that moment to skip through the doors, cradling a large metal box. "Attention everyone, I have great news!"
Everyone looked over expectantly, but they saw the box and just groaned in disappointment.
"Damn, I thought we were on episode five," one crewmember groaned.
"Even original Hunters isn't this short," the crewmember with her said. They both sighed sadly.
Neelix seemed to not notice everyone's reaction, his mad grin widened as he started fishing through the box. "That communications network goes all the way to the Alpha Quadrant, or at least close by. Guess what I have."
"The end?" James asked.
Jessie cringed slightly, "god I hope it's not the same one." She finished her drink.
"No," Neelix laughed. "Apparently Starfleet got our message and sent one back, with a bonus."
"We sent a message?" Craig frowned.
"Of course we did, surely a Lieutenant would know that," Harry smugly said to him.
Tom tried not to panic, "oh god, we're still skipping important scenes. Oh god! We didn't even have Message in a Bottle, how does this episode even work?"
Harry grabbed him by both shoulders and shook him roughly. "Calm down Tom, our Hunters doesn't make sense, ever!"
"Right," Tom trembled.
"Besides, we did send a message. You were too busy trying to get the escape pod you were in to close its doors," Harry said.
"Why don't I believe you?" Tom sarcastically asked him.
Neelix coughed to get attention back on him, he waved a few PADDs in the air. "Each one of these babies has a message to somebody from home. Isn't that wonderful?"
Most of the Mess Hall were crying at this point. They were happy to get messages but they knew that getting them meant the "story" was going the same way as before.
"Wait, that didn't take long to talk to everyone and get them to write messages to us. I hate this episode," Tom started to cry along with everyone else.
Harry shrugged, "well it did take a good few hours to talk you off the upper Engineering ledge."
"Stop saying stuff that I want actually in the episode," Craig pouted.
"No way, not buying it. You're just making excuses... for Hunters, you monster," Tom stuttered.
"Okay, this one is for Crewman Foster," Neelix announced. The regular Foster stood up with a surprised look on his face. "Oh sorry, no... the other Foster. I forgot he even existed, my bad."
Foster pouted as his paranoid twin brother got up instead.
"Ensign Thingymajig... that's original," Neelix giggled. He grabbed another PADD. "Crewman Rex."
"But, I don't know anyone from home," Jessie complained. She got up anyway.
"Ensign Taylor," Neelix said as she took hers.
James reluctantly got up to go collect his as Jessie read hers. She frowned. "What, I so did pay for those shoes." She marched away leaving James with a bemused look.
Neelix shrugged, "last one is Lieutenant Anderson."
Another crewmember looked disappointed. "Wasn't I supposed to get one too?" He then perked up immediately, "oh my god, I didn't get one. I'm free!" He ran out of the room, laughing madly.
"Lucky bast..." Tom grumbled in jealousy. Nothing stopped him from finishing his sentence. "Ard?" Craig meanwhile collected his PADD.
"I feel like I have to ask just so we can all escape this scene, but who is it from?" Harry asked.
Craig stared at him blankly. "You're not even trying are you? Why else would there be an awkward conversation about the person who wrote this message? It's supposed to be clever. All TV series do it."
"You know what would be clever. If something happened without a related thing happening in the episode opening, and instead the episode opened with something different," Tom said.
Harry frowned in confusion, "I wouldn't call that clever either. Fifth Voyager does that crap all the time." Tom pouted.
Craig shook his head, "I'm going to go read this in private." He smiled at Tom, "there I've spared you the embarrassing, oh my gawd, she wrote that line. You're welcome."
Tom smiled in appreciation as the younger man escaped the Mess Hall. "He's a good kid." His good spirits melted away immediately when he saw James and Jessie heading for the exit too.
Suddenly everything went in slow motion as he cried out, "nooooooooooooooooo!" It continued as he charged for them. What he didn't realise as he was the only one going in slow motion of course, was they were only moving to the table with the sofas. He knew he could only tackle one, and both were a bad idea. He decided to go for James as he figured he'd get hurt twice if he went for Jessie.
Normal time resumed as Tom made his fateful tackle. All he did was lunge forward and bounce off of James' back, then fall butt first onto the floor. This cheered up everyone who saw it.
James frowned and turned around to see what bumped into him. At first he didn't see anything. Jessie giggling beside him got him to find the culprit.
"Ow, what are you made of!" Tom groaned as he rubbed his butt.
"Wasn't your encounter with Harry good enough for you, Tom?" James asked with a smirk on his face.
Tom's face went beetroot red, "what... no, I was just..." Harry joined him, well not literally, just stood beside him. "I was trying to stop you from leaving, starting the next Hunters scene, the horror." He tried to get up, "you're bloody welcome!"
James just had to point at the sofa to make Tom almost cry again. Harry tried to help him up but at this point he had given up.
Craig stood outside the open turbolift, debating silently whether he should go in. He looked behind him a few times before deciding. Then it occurred to him.
"You idiot, they're not working."
He turned away and started to walk to the nearest Jeffries tube. On route he almost bumped straight into Jessie as they both turned the corner.
"Damn, I mean sorry," Craig stuttered.
Jessie shook her head, "it's okay. I wasn't looking either."
"The turbolifts are still broken," Craig told her.
"Yeah thankfully," Jessie sighed in relief.
Craig frowned, "um, wasn't James with you?"
This seemed to annoy Jessie a little. "Look, unlike what Hunters says, we're not love sick puppies following each other around, all the damn time. I especially don't have bobble play fights with him, or skip down corridors."
Craig's eyes were now wider than they've ever been in his life. "Um..."
She wasn't done, "I'm also not five years old, or a Pokémon character. Okay!"
"Okay," Craig nodded nervously. "Have you ever thought that having a new version of this episode means you get to undo crap like that. Why mention it?"
Jessie clenched her fists and closed her eyes, she shook her head. "Idiot. You're right, of course. I just... that was my first episode. You know?"
"I know," Craig nodded sympathetically. "Why don't we just start again. Hi, I'm Craig."
Jessie smirked slightly, "Jessie."
"Maybe you can explain why Tom thought it was hilarious that I'm on your friend, James' team," Craig questioned. "I doubt it has anything to do with what you said before."
"You're going to have a few problems if you try to get any reason from Tom Paris," Jessie replied.
"I suppose he and Thompson had that fight the first day he was back, but..." Craig said.
Jessie smirked again, "yeah that doesn't surprise me. Look, just take my advice, don't act like Thompson or Tom, and you'll get on fine."
"Right," Craig nodded.
Jessie continued on her way, Craig remained where he was. He quickly took out a PADD from his pocket and wrote something down.
"Janeway to Anderson."
Craig jumped out of his skin, almost dropping the PADD he had in his hands. "Crap, I should have expected that." He tapped his commbadge.
"Please come to my Ready Room, I have to issues to talk over with you."
"What?" Craig frowned in confusion. "I have to issues?"
"Oh please, like you'd hear that typo. They sound alike, you nitpicker!"
Craig swallowed hard as her voice sounded demonic to him by now. "But... it's Hunters, we're supposed to make fun of it."
"What, it is? Eew! Ready Room, NOW!"
"Yikes," Craig tried to shake his fear off. He hoped his scene with her would be alike as he headed for the Jeffries tube.
Meanwhile Jessie had finally remembered the turbolift wasn't working and marched out of it, muttering under her breath.
Kathryn stood by the replicator, staring at it intensely like she was having a no blinking contest with it. Nearby her new baby daughter sat in her little baby carrier, clutching a milk bottle to her mouth.
There was an old fashioned knock on the door, but that didn't break Kathryn's concentration. "Come in."
Craig nervously stepped inside. "You wanted to see me?"
"Yeah yeah, sit down. I'll be with you when I'm finished," Kathryn grumbled without even looking back. Craig's eyes shifted nervously as he headed for the sofa. "No!" He quickly ran for the chair opposite her desk instead.
Her demeanor softened a lot when the replicator made a sound. Craig looked over just in time to see the lights on it come back on.
"Coffee, black!" she almost shouted at the poor thing. A cup shimmered into existence.
"Oh," Craig understood now.
Kathryn ran over to her desk, all smiles now that she was cradling her favourite drink.
"Um, if the replicator's just come on now, what's your daughter drinking?" Craig frowned. Kathryn's angry stare came back, Craig shrunk into his seat. "Oh, I never said that."
"No," Kathryn scowled. She drank half of her cup. Luckily for him that took effect right away so she smiled happily at him. "Chakotay and I will be in charge of the bridge tonight, so we need a babysitter again."
Craig stared straight ahead like he was thinking about something. He shuddered as that thought came to an end.
"If you can't handle it, Lieutenant, I will ask someone else to help you," Kathryn muttered. The cup was finished. "Remind me again why I always bother you with this?" she asked sweetly.
"Um well..." Craig mumbled.
Most of the main cast were sat around the Conference Room table while Kathryn showed off her daughter to everyone.
"Great, now who wants to be my main babysitter?" she asked while cooing at the baby.
When she looked back up only Chakotay was still sitting there, trying decide whether to laugh or be offended.
Craig ran in, sweating madly and breathing heavily. He was about to apologise when Kathryn interrupted him. "Thank you Craig, how kind of you."
"I really have no idea," Craig honestly replied.
"Well, will you do it?" Kathryn asked him.
"I suppose, I'm just surprised you want me to after the last time," Craig replied nervously.
Kathryn sighed, "well you know now not to use toilet paper as a replacement nappy, right?"
Craig laughed nervously as his face went a little red. "The replicators were down, it was all there was apparently."
"Apparently?" Kathryn suspiciously raised her eyebrow.
Craig smiled sheepishly at what was in front of him. He held little Kiara upright by her waist, she was more screaming than crying. "Please!" he squeaked.
"What the hell is she wearing?" James muttered as he glanced at the kid. He quickly averted his eyes back to Craig.
Thompson shrugged, "what, if it's good enough for us, it's good enough for her."
James couldn't believe what he was hearing. "You asked Thompson to change a nappy, what's wrong with you?"
"I panicked," Craig replied. "I don't know how to do it, okay!"
Foster meanwhile looked at Thompson in disgust, "do you wear toilet paper underwear?"
"Of course not," Thompson was offended. Then he realised the problem, "oh, my bad."
"Obviously, I meant obviously," Craig corrected himself.
Kathryn kicked a bag out from under her desk, "I always give you this."
"Oh," Craig mumbled.
Kathryn sighed into her hand, "you don't know how to do it, do you?" Craig shook his head. "Well, Kiara seems to like you so if I were you I'd either learn, or find someone who knows how AND knows what nappies are. Okay?"
Craig groaned in disappointment, he tried to hide it but she noticed. "I don't know many people here, and Samantha is the only one I know with a kid, she thinks I'm a pervert so..."
Kathryn shook her head, "then look up how. Chakotay will drop her off at yours at 800."
Craig looked at her with a blank stare, she did the same back.
Eventually he decided to take a chance, "don't you mean 2000?"
Kathryn narrowed her eyes, "get out."
Craig did as he was told, and fast.
Craig slipped his jacket on just in time to hear a beep. He thought it was the door so he went to check, nobody was there. On his way back he noticed his computer flashing.
"Good god Tom, not again." He went to press the receive command anyway. Tom appeared on the screen.
"Don't you dare go to James and Jessie's place with that kid, it's probably the worst scene in Fifth Voyager history," Tom pleaded with him. His face almost pressed up against the screen, scaring Craig half to death. "Don't do it!" The screen went back to normal.
"I know Tom, but... I'm not changing any girl's nappy, and everyone else I know can't seem to do it," Craig stuttered. "Or refuses. They're the last two I know." He tried to rack his brains for a solution.
The door chime interrupted him. He slowly got up to walk towards the door. It opened to reveal Chakotay holding the baby.
"Thanks Craig, I appreciate this," he said as he handed her over. "I've already changed her, so that's one time you won't have to."
"Uh yes, thanks," Craig stuttered.
"Or should I say a random person you bump into has to," Chakotay smiled.
"I've not done that," Craig honestly said. "They always say eew no."
Chakotay turned to leave. "I think I speak for the entire crew when I say, don't take her to any wild parties, hmm?" He disappeared out of sight as the door shut.
Craig looked down at the little girl, her blue eyes stared straight at him. It was almost like she was pleading with him too. He sighed. "I'm sorry K, but I don't think I have a choice." She made a little squeak. "It's not the same James and Jessie from original Hunters, they seem actually... you know, sane. Though they didn't invite me this time, what to do?"
Finally, the solution came to him.
Tom raised his glass and clinked it with Harry's, then Craig's. "You're a genius, Craig. You've saved all of our dignities."
"Um, you didn't even do anything embarrassing in the original version," Harry said. He laughed, "you did in this one though."
Craig laughed with him whilst taking a sip of his drink. Kiara lay in his other arm, staring at him quizzically.
"I'm still not changing any diapers though," Tom said, ignoring his best friend.
Craig huffed, "yeah, what good are you?" He turned to walk away, leaving Tom looking surprised and a little hurt, and Harry laughing his ass off.
He made his way over to James. Before he could ask him, he spoke first. "So, a party? Why?"
"Isn't it obvious, this didn't happen in Hunters," Craig replied.
James nodded, "uh huh. But why a party?"
"Wow, someone's a party pooper," Craig smiled, avoiding the question.
"Jess and I never invited you to our quarters, so you didn't actually have to do anything. That awful last scene was never going to happen even if we did invite you," James said.
Craig ignored him, "speaking of party pooper." He pulled a face as Kiara started to fuss.
"Have you learned how yet?" James asked.
Craig tried his best not to look nervous, "um yes of course, I'm Janeway's babysitter. I'm the host though and I think I'm needed, so..." He tried to hand Kiara to him but he didn't budge.
"No," was the only answer he got.
"Um, why?" Craig asked.
"Kids and I don't go together," James replied. "Oh and bad try." He walked away. Craig started to panic as the smell got worse. He followed quickly so he could rush in front of him.
"Don't be like that, Kiara needs her uncle James while uncle Craig goes to find the bag, you see. That's all."
"We're her uncles now?" James smirked.
Kiara made her uncomfortableness known by screaming her lungs out. This made Craig's brow sweat a little.
"It's not that hard," James groaned.
Craig smiled sneakily, "oh so you do know, here." James shook his head before he could even move her to him. "Come on, damsel in distress here. Help."
"I figured you were more of an idiot in distress, but if you prefer damsel..." James said.
"No, I mean't... you knew what I meant!" Craig yelled. By this time everyone at the party was looking at them. "Oh god, this isn't working at all. Everyone's looking. Damn." He sighed angrily, "fine, I'll ask Jessie. She's my only hope and she's definitely the nice one out of the two of you."
James rolled his eyes, "oh for god's sake, fine! But I'm not doing it for you." Craig sighed in relief, he handed her over.
Everyone jumped at the sound of a glass smashing against the floor. It didn't take long to find out what the source was.
"Tom, what's wrong now?" Harry asked.
Tom's whole body shook, slowly he turned to his friend. His hand shakily pointed at the window. "Look." Everyone did. All they could see was a small shuttlecraft that looked very much like one of theirs.
"Relax Tom, that just means the episode is nearly over," Harry smiled.
"No!" Tom cried. "Look!" He continued to point.
"So why did we pick a kid like Craig Anderson as our babysitter?" Chakotay asked while he leaned on his arm rest. Kathryn rested on the one closer to him, smirking away.
"Come on Chakotay, you know the real answer to that."
Meanwhile the shuttle was on the Tactical and Opps sensors, but it wasn't alone. A much larger ship was looming closer and closer.
Chakotay smiled knowingly, "ah, if he's too busy babysitting, he won't pester as many women for dates."
Kathryn pulled a face at him while she reached for the coffee on her other arm rest. "No, he was... Wait, he's one of those guys? You didn't tell me. I don't want someone like that with my daughter."
"Um Captain," the Opps crewmember tried to butt in.
"Yes because that was his plan all along," Chakotay teased. Kathryn growled into her coffee cup while she sipped, creating tiny coffee bubbles. "Relax, he's not going to make any moves on our daughter. For god's sake, she's only three months."
"Commander?" the Opps person stuttered. The Tactical person looked at his sensor screen.
The alien ship fired a couple of torpedoes in the shuttle's direction. One of them grazed its shields, disabling them completely while the second hit seemed to slam into nothing just off its bow.
"Okay, this is new," the Tactical person said.
He and the other unknowns with access to a sensor watched as a tiny red anomaly began to form, quickly enveloping the shuttle. Within only a few seconds the readings for the shuttle were gone.
"If he does, even when she's old enough, he's toast. My daughter is way too good for someone like him," Kathryn said.
"Our," Chakotay corrected with a teasing smile.
"Whatever," Kathryn huffed.
The anomaly continued to grow until it was within metres of Voyager's hull. A white light erupted from the centre, striking both the starship and the approaching alien ship in just two seconds. Once it was gone, the anomaly, shuttle and alien ship were missing.
"I have a bad feeling about this," Chakotay muttered.
The Opps crewmember had disappeared, now Harry had taken her place. "It looks like it could fall away at any second."
Tom's eyes widened as he realised what was happening. "Wait, what the..." Everyone else looked confused at this point. A piece of the glass broke off the viewscreen and fell on top of Tom's console, this reminded him to throw his chair backwards a bit.
"What the hell? If you think you're getting overtime food rations when the ship's in this state, you've got another thing coming," Kathryn grumbled. "You'll get what you're given."
Chakotay turned to her, "I don't think that is what's happening."
"Oh god, the day or rather the episode is repeating itself," Harry squeaked.
Tom jumped to his feet, "nah uh, no way. Our writer is evil, evil!" He then ran for the nearest turbolift, again forgetting that they were both broken.
Harry sighed, while Kathryn and Chakotay glanced at each other. Tuvok shook his head.
"I guess I'll get to Engineering just in case Tom decides to jump there first, this time," Harry said. He headed for the nearest Jeffries Tube hatch, even though Tom was still crying in the turbolift, pleading for his mum.
"Wait, weren't the night shift crew trying to warn us about something?" Chakotay asked Kathryn.
She shrugged, "well they could have been a bit louder about it if it was this important. And it was the back shift, like hell I'd do night shift when the replicators are still running on minimum power."
"Remind me again why I had to drop Kiara off at 8," Chakotay whispered to her.
She snarled at him, the coffee she had moments earlier had disappeared from her hands, and apparently her stomach. He backed off quickly. "I meant 1800."
"Um okay, so which crewmembers were on duty, I'll ask them what happened. That's if they even remember. For all we know, we're the only ones that remember the last loop," Chakotay said. He sighed, "I can't believe I have to do this timeloop crap, again."
Kathryn tapped her commbadge so hard it hurt, "Janeway to Torres. Hurry up with those replicators, mine first." She winced at the pain, "damn I'm going to feel that one later."
"Um, I fixed them hours ago. I did warn you that they'd be on minimal power, as I hooked them up to the shuttles."
"Nope, we're not the only ones," Chakotay sighed.
"That's all the power I can give you, Captain. Try to have some restraint next time. Torres out."
Kathryn's eyes both twitched. Chakotay decided that now would be the best time to question the Opps and Tactical officer from before. He shot off to the hatch Harry went through, only Tom had beaten him to it. To his annoyance the distressed helmsman was hanging off the ladder with only one hand.
"Don't try and stop me!" he screeched.
"Okay," Chakotay shrugged. He proceeded to climb onto the ladder.
Tom quickly looked down, then back up. Once Chakotay was only a step away, he quickly grabbed the ladder with his other hand and scrambled down.
Neelix happily strolled into the new but unfinished Astrometrics lab, and then made his way over to the newest member of the crew.
"So more letters? I'm sure the crew will be thrilled," he said.
Seven slowly turned her head in his direction, she even seemed confused for once. "I do believe this has happened already."
"Well yes, I delivered the first letters," Neelix whistled. He snatched the box sitting on the consoles. Before she could really say anything else he was already out the door.
"I do not understand," Seven said to herself. "The temporal anomaly I detected has vanished, what is happening?"
Kathryn stood in front of her replicator like she did before, this time the replicator seemed to be winning the staring contest as nothing happened. There was a light knock on the door so she decided to wait a little longer. "You came on after he arrived."
"Um, Captain?" Craig's muffled voice from outside called.
"Just a minute!" she snapped. A few minutes passed like this, but the replicator still didn't activate. "That's it Torres, you're on my pain in the ass list." She marched over to the door to open it. Poor Craig was immediately greeted with the same intense gaze that the replicator had been suffering. "What!?"
"Uh, I know it's a time loop thingy and all but I figured..." the poor boy stuttered.
"Hmph, don't think I don't know what's going on here," Kathryn hissed.
Craig felt like he was still a few pages behind. "Great, can you tell me then?"
"Wise guy, huh?" Kathryn shook her head. "She's only three months old, you sicko. You've been reading too many of those sick books."
"Books? I haven't..." Craig stuttered. "I don't know what you could be hinting at."
"I know all about your tendency to keep weird tabs on girls, and constantly ask them out. You think you can volunteer for babysitting so she warms to you, then many years later..." Kathryn ranted.
"Eew," Craig complained, his face full of disgust. "What kind of books do you even read?"
"I caught Harry reading them once. He has no right to complain about this series when he reads that rubbish, hmph," Kathryn explained. "So, what have you got to say for yourself?"
"Um, that I'm not Harry and you volunteered me for this," Craig mumbled.
Kathryn studied his still disgusted face, her own scrunched in concentration. She quickly relaxed and took a step back. "Oh that's right, I picked you because of your awful behaviour during my labour, and I thought changing nappies would serve you right."
Craig sighed in relief, "that's what happened? And I thought I just arrived at the Conference Room at the wrong time." Kathryn shrugged her shoulders while a thought occurred to him. "Wait, I didn't do anything. Wasn't it the other guy, James?"
Kathryn squeezed her eyes a little like she was squinting at him. "That... that would have made more sense."
"So, does that mean I don't have to anymore?" Craig asked with some hope in his voice.
Kathryn smiled, then patted him on the arm. "Don't be silly. You two get along great, and I doubt James would agree to babysitting a baby considering his circumstances."
Craig's shoulders slumped. "But you just, I'm not... what circumstances?"
"So I was thinking about this whole time loop thing, and a thought occurred to me. What if we're supposed to keep the events exactly alike."
James raised his eyebrow, then shook his head. "Then why didn't the first episode repeat?"
"Because it was already long, duh," Tom casually replied.
"Uh huh. So, explain the drink all of Neelix's supply of coffee part again for me," James said with a dangerous smile.
Tom seemed to miss this, or he was hoping for it. "Well for the episode to be exactly the same, you need to act like a hyperactive prat again. Capiche?"
"Got it," James said.
None of this made any sense, it felt almost like the whole time loop thing was just a joke. "Of course it is," Chakotay sighed. The two bridge officers from before stared quizzically at him. "How would an alien weapon firing at nothing do something like this? How can we stop them from doing it again?"
"I wouldn't say nothing. They hit that shuttle too, which was by the way, a Federation one," the Opps girl said.
"I don't recall a shuttle leaving the ship," Chakotay muttered. "Maybe Tom was trying to escape." He nodded at her, "thanks for your help." With that in mind he tapped his commbadge. "Chakotay to Paris." He didn't get an answer.
Box in hand, Neelix entered the Mess Hall with a big grin on his face. "Great news, I have more..." His grin vanished. "What the?" Before he could really react any further than that, Tom flew over, grabbed the box out of his hands and flung it up into the air. The PADDs went everywhere. With a thud it landed right on Tom's foot, but oddly he didn't even seem to notice.
"Hi Neelix, great coffee. My man!" he slapped the Talaxian across the back, hard. "You have spots everywhere, I think Harry has a cream for that." He giggled hysterically, "you need a haircut, I can help." He rushed over to the kitchen and grabbed a knife. This was when Neelix noticed everyone else in the room were watching, most of them laughing hysterically. This was a huge mistake though as Tom had ran back over and was slicing at his side burns with a very large knife.
"Ookay, that's a little too far," James said from nearby. He quickly grabbed the knife. To his shock and horror Tom responded to that by going in for a hug, he didn't have much time to really avoid it.
"You're the weirdest guy I know, I love you man," he sobbed. James pushed him off, looking very pale by this point. "Hey, watch the goods," he complained.
Neelix did not look very happy, "how much of my coffee has he had?"
"I don't know. I think about... all of it," James replied.
"What!?" Neelix screeched. "But that's more than even Janeway would have."
"What can I say, after the first one he couldn't help himself," James said with a smirk. Then he felt Tom poking at his shoulder with his middle finger. "What are you doing?"
"You've changed dude," Tom huffed. James and Neelix then noticed how wide his eyes were. "You used to be cool. We are no longer best friends."
Neelix shook his head as he went to pick up the PADDs off the floor, James knelt down to help him. "You did this, didn't you?" Neelix huffed.
"I told you, just the first one."
Neelix sighed, "you're such a child sometimes. Now, who has letters..." He looked at the title of one, his face frowned. "Huh?"
"Let me guess, Jessie, Craig, Foster, me or Thingy?" James said.
Neelix nodded, "Jessie must steal a lot of shoes."
James shook his head as he took that PADD off of him. Meanwhile the Federation shuttle warped just outside of the window, a torpedo seemed to follow it. Nobody really noticed this, but they did notice the white light that engulfed them again.
"I mean it, I'll jump!" Tom screamed.
B'Elanna covered her face with her right hand, "really, again?" Everyone else stared up at the deranged helmsman standing on the upper railing, surrounding the warp core. Harry stood behind him, shaking his head.
"How did you beat me here... never mind. You do remember you've already done this? It's a timeloop remember, so get down," he said.
Tom glanced back slowly and calmly. Harry relaxed a little. This didn't last long at all as Tom took a step forward, he disappeared completely out of Harry's sight. He did hear the resulting thud though. Quickly the Ensign ran to the railing and looked over, wincing immediately. "That's gotta hurt."
B'Elanna shook her head, "Torres to the Doctor, medical emergency."
"I don't understand, it happened hours earlier. What changed?" Chakotay wondered outloud. He turned his head, "what do you think, Kathryn?" All he got was a squeak. Of course this wasn't from Kathryn, but from his three month old daughter lying in her chair.
Kathryn herself was in the midst of another staring battle with her replicator. Chakotay walked straight into her office, carrying their little girl.
"I can see that," Chakotay said. "B'Elanna was in Engineering for hours, so she wouldn't notice the timeloop. Not really."
"I knew I shouldn't have let you convince me to let somebody that stupid take over Engineering," Kathryn grumbled. She continued to stare.
Chakotay smiled mischievously, "you didn't notice, you thought our bridge crew had just come back to work." As expected, he got a growl.
on the alien ship:
"So no matter when we attack our prey, the hunt begins again," Beta told Alpha. He studied the screen they stood beside.
"She is a clever prey," he half smiled, half snarled.
"She does do the same thing every time; flees to the home ship," Beta said.
"Yes, maybe that will bring this cycle to a halt. Intercept to kill," Alpha ordered.
Just outside the Jeffries tube opening on Deck Two, Craig was sweating nervously and tugging his tight collar. He decided to have a peep around the corner just at the wrong time, as Jessie was coming the other way.
"Oh, I wasn't sure if you were going to leave the Mess Hall this time," he stammered.
"Yeah, I wasn't going to miss that," Jessie smiled.
Craig nodded, "right, right. I figured you'd leave early to..."
Jessie shook her head while backing off a step. "Craig relax. I know what this is about, and the answer is yes." Craig's eyes lit up, he was about to say something but she continued. "You should shower in each loop. The sweaty teen look isn't a good one for anyone."
"Oh." His hopes were now stamped on and smeared on the carpet. "I didn't..." She stared at him, a confused look on her face. "I didn't realise. I didn't even shower in the first loop, so..."
"Eeew, then there's your problem kid," Jessie groaned. "Excuse me, I need one myself. It's like a vapour."
Craig moved out of her way quickly, his eyes wide in surprise. Once she had gone into the tube, he sighed sadly. "I take it back, James is the nicer one."
"No no, can't have that," a familiar voice said from behind. He jumped, quickly he noticed James had joined him in the tube area.
"I wasn't doing anything!"
"You may as well say you are doing something," James shook his head. "Why would I care that much?"
"Well uh, Jessie. She er, she... I wasn't talking to her and..." Craig then realised he had the PADD he always carried still in his hand, in plain sight. He quickly hid it behind his back.
James raised his eyebrow and smiled slightly. "Oh you're the PADD perv I keep getting complaints about." He tried not to laugh, but Craig wasn't amused.
"I'm not a perv! It's not funny," he protested.
"So Jess is your latest victim?" James asked.
"No, god no!" Craig stuttered.
"Will you calm down," James said as he rolled his eyes. "You don't owe me that kind of explanation, but..."
"Oh, you two aren't?" Craig relaxed a little.
"No," James quickly answered. "But if you're really using that to perv on girls, I still need some explanation. Then you can panic."
Craig squeezed the PADD in his hand while his other hand clenched. "No, I just ask girls out. I'd never do anything, I swear. I just thought with what Jessie said, I didn't want you to think I was hitting on her."
"But you still were going to even if we were? That's a little weird, isn't it?" James said.
"Well you know, it's just in case..." Craig trailed off, wishing he had never said anything. "It sounds worse than it really is. I'm just..."
"Desperate," James answered for him. "I didn't realise you were as sad as people like Tom, that's too bad." He shook his head as he went for the tube. "You're still a brat, so hopefully you'll grow out of it."
"I'm not a kid, would people stop calling me one!" Craig snapped.
To his surprise James stopped and smirked at him. "Did you dare ask her then? It's not like she'll forget in the next loop."
"Hey, she could have said yes," Craig complained.
James nodded like he said something else. "Shot down."
"That didn't sound like a question," Craig muttered.
"It doesn't need to be," James said plainly.
Craig folded his arms, then quickly hid the PADD in between them. "I still can't decide which one of you is the biggest jerk. At least you're not crazies, I suppose."
James turned to leave again. "Relax, it's nothing personal with her. Just mark her down as hard to get in your notes, okay?"
"How did you know?" Craig asked him.
"She's been my friend since we were four, so..." James replied as he crouched into the tube.
"No, about the PADD. If you knew I only do that, why call me a perv?" Craig questioned.
By this time he was inside the tube, and was out of sight. All Craig could hear was his voice. "I didn't, but it's still creepy to have a database of women who've rejected you, just FYI."
Craig sighed as he began to do the same.
The Opps station beeped to get Harry's attention. He shook his head, "escape pod 47 has gone."
Chakotay groaned into his hand, "damn it Tom, get a grip."
"Commander, the alien vessel is back," Tuvok reported.
Chakotay climbed out of his chair to turn in his direction. "The shuttle?"
"Negative," Tuvok answered.
"Fine, hail the alien ship," Chakotay ordered.
Tuvok shook his head as he worked. "No response. Their weapons are arming."
Chakotay swung around to face Harry instead. "Harry, take some readings of this. Try to remember the results. I want this time loop done."
"Yes sir," Harry nodded.
"If we can, shields up. Red Alert," Chakotay commanded. As the lights weren't working properly, they failed to dim but a few of the red lights began to flash. The klaxon seemed to be working fine.
"Shields at twenty percent, Commander. That's all I can give you for now," Tuvok said.
"I'm going to regret this," Chakotay gulped. "Captain Janeway to the Bridge, please."
"Brown alert, Commander. Unless you want to swap."
"No problem here," Chakotay quickly said.
The ship shook violently as the alien ship fired a few shots straight at them. Both Harry and Tuvok noticed their sensors picking up one of the enemy's torpedo's had exploded before hitting anything. Harry's station beeped madly as a huge energy surge began to build up on that spot.
"Harry," Chakotay warned.
"I'm definitely getting a temporal anomaly, but its..." Harry's face dropped, "gone."
"So has the enemy vessel," Tuvok reported.
Chakotay slammed his hand on the railings, they shook from the impact.
"Oh for god's sake, next time I'm just not going to bother!" Kathryn complained from behind him. He looked around to see her back in her seat, cradling their daughter. She however seemed to be enjoying every second of this, or at least learning how to laugh at her angry mother.
"Aaaw man!" Tom cried from the helm, making the Commander roll his eyes. "I can't even escape!" He tried to get back up but a firm hand on his shoulder sat him back down. He closed his eyes just in time for the viewscreen again to break in front of him.
"The old Hunters would have ended three times over by now, Tom. This isn't the same episode. Get a hold of yourself," Chakotay scolded him. "Harry?"
"The readings are all gone. It's like only our memories remain, while everything else resets," Harry shook his head.
"Oh please! Even Tom probably figured that one out!" Kathryn snapped.
Tom pouted angrily, "uncalled for."
"Look, all we need to do is stop that alien ship from firing. No matter where it hits, the anomaly still forms. Suggestions?" Chakotay asked around the room.
"I already tried resetting the episode to the original, god forbid, but no surprise here; James is a jerk," Tom grumbled.
"Resetting?" Kathryn mused. Inspiration struck her, she leapt out of her seat. "Tuvok, get Seven and go collect a shuttlecraft."
"Captain?" Tuvok seemed confused.
Kathryn marched over to him, arming her death glare. "If we can lure those stupid aliens to that stupid communications station then..."
"Why? They'll just fire elsewhere, which we've proved doesn't help," Chakotay said.
"Just do it," Kathryn growled. "Besides, we don't know if they're hitting the same spot or not, it happens at different times and I'm sure we're still moving a little. Tom?"
Tom looked worried at his station covered in glass, "I think so."
"But why those two?" Harry asked.
"Duh, original Hunters," Kathryn groaned.
"Duh, Tom's idea," Chakotay dared to argue, earning a scowl in his direction. "He's not exactly the guy you go to for time travel advice."
"Oh come on! I helped with the last time loop, didn't I?" Tom complained.
Kathryn rolled her eyes, "nobody cares. Tuvok, go."
"As you wish, Captain," Tuvok said. With that he headed for the nearest Jeffries Tube hatch.
"Fine. We're aiming for the original, original Hunters which no one remembers. All I do remember is you getting a Dear John letter," Chakotay said. Kathryn returned to the command chairs, looking confused.
"Why would I get that? I don't know any John's."
"I saw that joke coming a light year off," Tom groaned.
Around half an hour later the Bridge crew, as well as Craig and James were waiting patiently, or impatiently in some cases.
"The alien vessel is pursuing us," Tuvok's voice reported.
"They're getting closer to that array. Huh, that's weird," Harry muttered.
"What now?" Chakotay sighed.
"I see it too, Ensign. The communications array is tapping into a nearby black hole for power. Intriguing."
"Maybe this is why we're looping," Craig suggested.
"I doubt it," Harry shook his head. His sensor's beeped. "That other shuttle is approaching, they're hailing."
"If this is another Seven and Tuvok, then tell them to pack this time loop crap out," Kathryn scowled.
"It's not. There's one Human aboard, and the shuttle isn't Voyager's," Harry said. Kathryn waved her hand to gesture open a channel. He did so.
"Hello? This is Voyager isn't it?" a girl's voice called.
Craig's face whitened, "Triah?" He frowned immediately, "wait, why am I surprised?"
"Craig? I dunno what's worse, this whole time loop thing or the state of that Hirogen ship. I'm not going on that thing."
"Uh huh, so Triah?" Kathryn muttered.
"Anderson. Now can you please beam me over before I have to do this again?"
"Our shuttle is in the process of avoiding that," Kathryn said.
"Oh I wouldn't. These guys tend to chase people until they get them, they're hunters."
All of the Bridge crew shuddered, well everyone but Tom. He seemed oddly relaxed. "Oh, now I get the title." He pulled a disgusted face, "which makes me understand our original version less and less."
"If I were you, I'd warp the hell out of here."
"We'd love to but in case you haven't noticed..." Kathryn groaned. She gestured to the hand rail Chakotay smacked before, it had fallen to the ground. "We're falling to bits."
"Ooops," he said sheepishly.
James winced from Tactical, "speaking of falling to bits." Everyone turned to him, fearing the worst. The sensor screen showed Tuvok's shuttle signal disappear, then the same old energy outburst nearby. "Shuttle's gone, but I guess that doesn't matter now."
Kathryn groaned and covered her face with both of her hands. Everyone else just sighed in annoyance.
"Son of a bit..." Triah's voice complained. The white light overwhelmed the Bridge, interrupting her.
"Intriguing," Tuvok said in the spot James was at before.
Harry cringed as he glanced over to him, "don't tell me you remember being blown up."
"That's it!" Kathryn snarled. "Tom, budge us forward as fast as you can. If you have to get out and push to get us out of here, do it."
"You know in space that wouldn't..." Tom said but the death glare was burning into his back. "Y'okay! But first..." He moved his chair back to avoid the glass falling.
"We're hardly in a condition to fight these Hirogen," Chakotay said.
"We don't have to. We just have to stop them from missing..." Harry muttered in mid thought. "I'm sensing a flaw."
Chakotay smiled, "maybe we're on the right track after all. Maybe we do have to do this in a certain way; the original way."
Tom winced a little, "I don't think James will co-operate, let alone Jessie."
"For god's sake, how would our original Hunters help us here, Tom?" Kathryn spat at him. "Now, why aren't you pushing the ship?"
"Even in no gravity space, Tom would have trouble pushing paper," Chakotay smirked.
"Good point," Kathryn smiled back. Tom pouted angrily yet again. "Now what's the plan?"
Alpha grunted as he marched across to Beta. "This is getting tiresome. Their vessels all seem to have this time circle weapon."
"They also keep tapping into our communications network. It's like they have no fear," Beta said. "They're tricky and deceitful, unworthy prey."
"Where's your thrill for the challenge!" Alpha snarled at him.
"Hmph." Beta turned to his sensor screen, "like an earlier hunt, one of their people have abandoned the mother ship."
"Ignore it," Alpha said.
Beta's stomach growled almost like it was disagreeing with him. "Perhaps we'll learn more about their methods if we capture one. Besides, I'm starving."
"Do we eat our prey? I'm not sure," Alpha asked.
Beta shrugged, "it seemed to be hinted at, but never mentioned again."
"Very well then, follow," Alpha commanded.
"It's working, they're following the escape pod," Tuvok reported.
Tom shook his head in disbelief. "I can't believe you guys, you really suck."
Chakotay rolled his eyes and leaned in towards Kathryn. "Is he still whining at the joke about him piloting it?"
"Joke?" Kathryn seemed genuinely confused.
"Wait, there is a lifesign, what is in there?" Harry questioned.
Tom smiled for the first time in a while, "I wouldn't call it a life sign, but... no, it definitely is."
Beta dragged the escape pod in with his bare hands. He and Alpha then proceeded to tear it open. They seemed to be ignoring their computers warning them about something, their stomachs seemed to be growling louder than them. Their faces scrunched up when the pod was finally open. Lots of lumps of coffee fell over their floor, while one sack of it slouched at their feet.
"What a strange species," Alpha said.
"Strange yes, but can we still eat it?" Beta asked. They both looked at each other.
B'Elanna had arrived on the Bridge, not looking very happy about it, to fix the viewscreen. Tom was standing nearby holding up one of the laptops, cringing as that arm started to cramp up. Everyone else were watching the screen as it was showing the Hirogen ship and the array.
The ship got closer and closer, until it decided to instead fly around in circles, while spinning as well. Almost everyone glared in Tom's direction at this point.
"Haha oops," he stuttered, quickly swapping arms.
"You didn't?" James tried not to laugh.
"Yeah, his fault... it's all his fault for giving me the..." Tom panicked, pointing his cramped up arm at him. Just then the viewscreen came back on showing a better shot of the Hirogen ship. Like it was a chewed up piece of gum, the Hirogen ship stretched forward but still remained where it was. Eventually it gave up, the stretched aft side pulled the rest of the ship. Seconds later it was gone. "Totally my idea," Tom gloated instead.
"Right, cos the coffee did that," Jessie commented.
Kathryn smiled, "I never thought I'd say this but, well done Tom."
At that moment the array did the same thing as the alien ship. Kathryn's face turned to stone while Tom's turned to shivering ice. It only took him a mere second to recover though. "What am I worried about? Using the black hole was Chakotay's idea."
Right on time Kiara began to wail, and the rest of the Bridge had resorted to holding their breath. Chakotay quickly took the opportunity to grab her and run for his life. "Brown alert, bye!"
Kathryn growled to herself. Her glare went to B'Elanna who dared to roll her eyes.
"I know, replicators... again."
Craig waited by the shuttle bay doors as a shuttle was being towed through the bay doors. As it landed the doors closed, leading all the forcefields protecting them to shut down. The shuttle door opened just as the bay's did. Craig's shoulders slumped.
"You couldn't keep the last scene a deleted memory, could you?"
"You were the one saying we shouldn't mention it again," Jessie said.
Craig turned around to see that her and James weren't the only ones who had come in.
"Chakotay dumped her on me just now and ran," James shrugged. The baby reached out to poke him in the face, but she was still too tiny to reach.
Jessie cringed a little as she glanced at them both, "I think he forgot something."
A young woman stepped out of the shuttle. Her long dark hair seemed frazzled, her eyes even looked crazed. She rushed over to greet Craig, but before he could even hug her she backed away. "Oh Craig. You don't know me well, at all!"
"Wha... what?" he stuttered.
"Surely by now you know how to wipe your ass properly. That smells disgusting," she grunted. "It's like greeting an Admiral with a hug."
James and Jessie laughed quietly as Craig turned to look Kiara's way, she giggled as well.
"I don't know what you're smiling about. Chakotay handed her to you, and I have a guest so..." Craig smugly smiled.
Jessie continued her laugh, "yeah James." She quickly escaped. Craig tried to do the same but James made sure to block his every attempt. Triah meanwhile was looking around in disgust.
"I dunno how, so just grin and bear it, kay?" Craig complained after his fifth attempt.
"Time to learn maybe?"
"But, she's a girl!"
"You'd prefer to change a boy's nappy?"
"Well no, but..."
James frowned in a different direction, "what is she doing?"
Craig turned around and groaned at what he saw. The shuttle bay was in the middle of a spring cleaning, there was even a Wet Floor sign standing nearby. "Triah, no!"
"Where did she even get the mop?" James muttered.
"I'm pretty sure she always packs one," Craig groaned into his hand. "She's a bit of a clean freak." He rushed over to try and take the girl's mop from her, she just pulled it back and continued, whistling happily. "Triah stop, this isn't why you came here... is it?"
"Oh no, but this place looks like it hasn't been cleaned, ever," she said.
"Forget why, how is she here?" James asked.
Craig groaned, "forgot the original scene have you?"
"Trying," James said through gritted teeth, his eyes narrowed.
"Right," Craig nervously laughed. "Well?"
"You think I'd risk mixing my atoms with a shuttle's through some alien communications network, just to clean this ship. Silly boy," Triah shook her head.
Craig pouted, "yeah, that was a rhetorical question sis."
"You beamed yourself through that array, that's ridiculous," James said. He looked away, "we're keeping that, really?"
Craig was surprised as well, "seems that way, but why would you?"
Triah cast her gaze down to the floor, she got distracted for a second by a black stain there, quickly shaking it off. "It's dad. I thought you deserved to know, but not by some cold text on a screen." She pulled a face and glared at James. "For god's sake, if you don't change that kid, I will." Before the words could settle in, she marched over to snatch the baby anyway and walked out of the bay.
"There, problem solved," James said. He looked at a worried Craig, "you okay?"
"No," Craig sadly said. "I knew it was coming, but it still..." His eyes widened, "wait, my sister the clean freak, changing a nappy?"
"Yeah, she was just mopping a floor. Why the surprise?" James questioned. "I'm sure she'll wash her hands."
"No it's not that, oh god," Craig stuttered. He ran out of the bay in a blind panic. James shrugged and slowly followed him.
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