Chapter 1: Heartbreak delusion or magic?
“Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.”
I turn over in my rather comfortable bed to see what the hell that annoying noise is.
To my surprise, a strange looking square thing is flashing ‘0400’. Frantic to turn it off, I fall out of the bed, with the box thing falling with me.
This is certainly not my quarters. Standing, I spin trying to work out where the hell I am.
It’s very homely.
Wait a minute… “Earth?”
I dash out of the room, catching a quick glance at my pale pink satin nighty and messy hair in a mirror. At least I look like myself.
My dash down the stairs is quickly stopped by mess and toys on a step and I make my landing below.
I hear small footsteps approaching.
“Mom? Are you okay? Oh damn sorry! Ian distracted me and I forgot to put away the toys.”
Mom? Ian? This surely must be a temporal anomaly.
“Ah right. Go back to bed for me, okay?”
The small child hurries off and my mind is quickly drawn to the smell of coffee. Not just any coffee, fresh coffee.
The kitchen has a homely feel. It reminds me of my mother’s kitchen. Coffee has never tasted so good!
A calendar read, ‘September 1994’.
I take a seat a the large dining room table. Next to the table is a bin filled with the most gorgeous flowers.
“Who on Earth would throw these out!”
I reach down and pick the card among the roses.
“Dear Kate, thank you for the best forty-nine days of my life. Love Tim.”
“Hm, how strange.”
A knock on the door suddenly startled me.
A man in a dark suit stood on the other side.
“I am going to regret this,” I whispered.
“Morning Kate! That car of yours still getting repaired! Lucky I’m still here to give you a hand. Your ride awaits madam.”
What the… this is honestly a terrible dream.
“Ah right. Okay, let’s go then.”
“Have you had your coffee yet? You forgot your script bag.”
He must mean that horrible thing in the middle of the table.
“Of course! Silly me.”
“No worries. After you Miss Mulgrew.”
The morning breeze is absolutely freezing. I just realised I was wearing nothing more than my nighty and a large jacket, not to mention the mess that sat on top of my head.
Remember Kathryn, this is just a horrible dream and you’ll wake up soon enough.
The contents of the ‘script bag’ spill onto my lap as we turn a sharp corner.
A large paper book reads, ‘Star Trek Voyager; Parallax’
This has to be some cruel joke!
The Delta Quadrant
A sharp pain stabs through my back as I turn in my bed. Surely my alarm should be going off soon. Why does my very expensive bed suddenly feel as hard as a rock? This is ridiculous.
I open my eyes to read the time but all I see is darkness.
I sharply sit up and turn to see a window full of stars.
How can this be! I’m asleep in Janeway’s quarters and there are actual stars out of the cuts in the walls.
I get up and press my hands to the ‘viewport’. It’s cold.
“How…” I whisper.
I almost trip in my large PJs as I run into what should be Janeway’s living room. I need to invest in some proper sleepwear. Well, actually, now that Tim is gone, who cares. Tim. Damn it! Why did I remind myself of that bastard!
This is no set. It’s all so….real.
I approach the door and to my astonishment, it just, opens.
Someone, in Starfleet attire looking very busy, walks past.
“Ah, morning Captain.”
I suddenly step back and let the doors close.
I’m actually on Voyager.
I run a hand through my shoulder length hair.
“Fuck!” I throw, what I would presume is a very expensive prop across the room.
“Chakotay to Janeway.”
Shit, this is actually happening.
“Um ah, Janeway here.”
“Are you okay Captain? I heard something smash against my wall.”
This IS actually happening. How the hell...eh never mind.
“Um, I’m fine… Commander.”
“I’ll see you on the bridge at 0600hrs then. Chakotay out.”
I lay myself down in the middle of the room.
“Fuck you, Tim! You broke my heart and now I’m delirious and stuck in this shit dream! I’ve only been doing this for three weeks! How the hell am I supposed to be the real Captain!”
Chapter 2: 70000 light years from where I’m supposed to be
Not long after I step out of the car, it turns and speeds off, leaving me alone in… in… I have no idea where I am to be honest.
I spin around, looking for some sort of clue.
Hm… I guess that will have to do.
Miss Mulgrew. Kate. I’m pretty sure that’s who he referred to me as. Ah yes, ‘Kate Mulgrew’ in large print on a trailer door. That must be who he thinks I am. I hate when people don’t call me Kathryn and shorten it to Kate.
I use the key I found in the bottom of the ‘script bag’ and enter the trailer.
Whoever this ‘Kate Mulgrew’ is has a strange taste in decoration. Her and my mother would get on well that’s for sure! Dollies, liquor and upholstered furniture.
My eyes land on a framed photograph in the centre of the table. It’s labelled ‘Ian and Alexander’. That must be who that strange boy was this morning that referred to me as his mother. And that must be his brother. Another photo is placed, almost hidden, on the windowsill. This one not framed, but it reads on the back, Tim and I, Ireland 1994.
This must be the ‘Tim’ that sent the flowers.
I roll my head back as I relax down in the seat, before a figure appears, shocking the life out of me.
“Well Kathy, your back on earth. How are you enjoying ‘playing’ the Captain?”
“Who the hell are you?!”
“Oh sorry, let me introduce myself, Q.”
“Q! Great! Let me guess, you're behind all this?”
“Hm not exactly, but I am why your here and not the other Kathy.”
“Yes, Kate! She plays you on tv!”
“And where is she now?”
“In the Delta Quadrant.”
“And where am I?”
“Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles of course!”
A headache was arising.
“Q, you have to fix this.”
“What, don’t you enjoy being back on earth?”
“You know what I don’t enjoy, Q, is living someone else’s life!”
“Sorry, can’t help you there.”
With a click of his fingers, he was gone.
There was a knock at the door.
Wow, Kathryn, that was rude! You’ve got no idea who that is. You could be ruining this poor Kate’s life.
“Kate, it’s Jerri Taylor, can I come in?”
Damn, what the hell!
I opened the door to find a very professional looking woman, and I’m still in the clothes I woke up. I’m really screwing up this poor woman's life.
“I didn’t mean to disturb you. Is something wrong?”
“I...I…” I collapsed back down. “It’s just one of those mornings I guess. Well clearly! Look at what I’m wearing. And...and...and,” Quick Kathryn! Think of something. “And Tim… Tim sent me these flowers and… and… I think he is breaking up with me… and my boys.”
“Shhhhh. Kate, it’s okay.”
What have you just done Kathryn?
These Starfleet uniforms are just as uncomfortable as our costume ones. The bridge. Right...I don’t actually know how to get to the bridge.
I think if I find a turbolift and say ‘deck one’ it should get me there.
The corridors are buzzing, I assume from people coming off their shift and starting the next one.
This is all a dream remember Kate! This stress is really getting to me. Ah! A turbolift. “Deck One.”
Well, that was fun! Right, so this should open up to the bridge. Yes! I made it. But… there is no one here.
“Captain! There you are! We have been waiting for you! Not like you to be late!”
“Ah yes, here I am Ro.. ah, Commander.”
Chakotay, not Robert. Chakotay, not Robert. Chakotay, not Robert.
Staff briefing. I remember now. The script I read before I went to bed. From Parallax. I must be dreaming it.
Wow, they barely blinked as I sat down. Nothing, not a word on my lateness or the length of my hair which is quite shorter from Janeway's,
“Engine efficiency's down another fourteen percent. If we don't get more power to the warp drive, we're all going to have to get out and push.”
“Eh right. Thank you… Lieutenant Paris. Um, what...what about alternative energy sources? Ensign Kim, have you had any luck getting power from the the the um holodeck reactors?”
Damn it, Kate! Your an actor! You need to remember your lines if you're going to make it through this stupid dream!
“Not yet. We tried hooking them to the power grid and we ended up blowing out half the relays. The holodeck's energy matrix, it just isn't compatible with the other power systems.”
“Captain, if we relocate all security personnel to deck seven, we can shut down power on deck nine and reroute it to propulsion.”
“That would be inconvenient, but acceptable.”
Um right, I should respond. “Fine.”
Oh, thank god! Janeway has meeting notes on this PADD.
“Right, okay now let's move on to the personnel situation. We still have…”
Neelix and Kes. Of course, they would be late. Why are they even here? I swear Robert… Commander Chakotay said this was senior officers.
“Sorry we're late, but I wasn't informed there was a meeting this morning. Oh, there don't seem to be enough chairs.”
“Neelix, this is a briefing for the senior officers.”
“I see. Well, I, I am the senior Talaxian on board. Kes is the senior Ocampa. And I do know more about this region of space than any other member of the crew.”
“We have some excellent suggestions, Captain.”
“Very well. You're welcome to join us them. To be honest, we could use some excellent suggestions right now.”
“I've been thinking that you might be able to convert one of your lower decks into a hydroponics bay to grow your own food. I understand that the replicators are down and that the emergency rations won't hold out much longer.”
“What about Cargo Bay two? It was designed for organic storage and it already has adjustable environmental controls.”
“When can you start?”
“It's your idea. It's your project.”
I like this giving orders business!
“I can do some wonderful things with vegetables, Captain. My feragoit goulash is known across twelve star systems.”
“Okay. The personnel situation. We've managed to find a replacement for the Transporter Chief, but we still need an Astrogation plotter, a Chief Engineer, medical support personnel.”
“I've made a list of several Maquis crew members who would make good officers.”
These working PADD things are so efficient!
“B'Elanna Torres?” Right!
This is the one where Roxanna bashed up that guy. Wait, Kate, don’t say that.
“She was the one involved in that incident with Mister Carey.”
Very good Kate!
“Just what job do you think she's suited for?”
Damn, he is cute when he is angry! Stop it, Kate! Back to the list on the PADD.
“Regarding Sickbay, we still need a Chief Medical Officer.”
“What about that electronic man down in Sickbay?”
“It is an Emergency Medical Hologram and its abilities are limited. It can only operate within the confines of Sickbay.”
“Not to mention its lousy bedside manner.”
“Perhaps we should assign somebody to train with the hologram as a field medic.”
“Good idea. Lieutenant Paris, I understand you studied biochemistry at the Academy.”
“Er, only two semesters.”
“Close enough. You just volunteered to become a field medic. Report to Sickbay as soon as we're finished here.”
That is my new favourite word!
They all leave me, not noticing I didn’t follow.
I need to compose myself. I know nothing about this stuff. God, I hope I wake up from this soon.
“Having fun Kathy?”
“What! Who… John?”
“Yes. What’s it like being a real Captain! Your counterpart seems to be struggling being a fake one.”
“Please don’t call me that.”
“I swapped you and Kathy. Kathy is back at fake Voyager, playing you.”
“In the Delta Quadrant.”
“No! No! This is a dream. I have been under a lot of stress and this is all fake.”
“No. I assure it’s real.”
“Well, fix it then! Take me back.”
“Can’t do that! Sorry! Have fun being Captain."
Bang! The ship shakes.
It’s so much easier when it’s just the camera shaking.
Chapter 3: I guess I’m the real Captain now
“Q! Seriously! This is not funny!”
*Bang Bang* “We need you in make up Kate!”
Makeup! God! How am I supposed to find where that is!
Why is it so hot outside too! Stop! Turn back around Kathryn! You can’t keep going on in your current attire.
Clothes. Clothes. Where does this ‘Kate’ keep her clothes? This trailer is honestly smaller than a type 2 shuttle and that’s saying something!
Yes! What… These clothes are most unusual. Jeans and a very large white top. Oh, who cares! It will have to do!
I am honestly going to melt in this heat!
“Um, Morning Ensign.” Crap! Did you just really call him that! It’s not really Harry remember!
“Calling each other by ranks today! Okay, then Captain! See you on the bridge. Are you okay? You look lost.”
“Um has the um make up place been moved. It’s just I um I heard that they might be moving it.”
“Nope! I just came from there. It’s still straight down that corridor. Ethan is still getting his Neelix makeup on so I hope you’ve had your coffee because he is awfully chatty today!”
Well, that didn’t go too bad. They seem to be only a couple of weeks into whatever this is so maybe I can get away with being lost. What’s that say… on his paper… ‘Garre…’ ‘Garrett’. That must be his name. Well, I hope it is.
“Yes thank you… Garett.”
“No worries Kate. See you later.”
Oh, thank god!
Now, straight down here should be ah yes makeup!
“Morning Miss Mulgrew!”
Crap! Why are there so many people!
“Please, sit. Your a little late so we need to get started. Kate!”
Great. Now, what have I done?
“What? Is something wrong?”
“Your hair. It wasn’t this long on Friday!”
“Oh um…I had… I had extensions put in, yes, just extensions.”
“Well, they have been done very well! You’ll have to give me the name of your hairdresser.”
Before I could even attempt to reply to that, no less than 5 people were onto me. Fixing my face, my hair, getting me into my uniform. Oh, my uniform. Finally something that seems familiar.
“There you go, Kate! Enjoy your day on the bridge!”
“Yes, thank you.”
Jesus! How am I supposed to even find the bridge?
Ah, Garrett! My angel in disguise walking past at just the right time!
“Garrett! You on your way to the bridge?”
“Mind if I walk with you?”
“Not at all.”
Great! So the ship is in actual danger and I’m apparently the actual Captain! I should have paid more attention when Garrett tried to teach me the ins and outs of Star Trek the other week.
“Report!” I totally should have said that with more authority.
“We're running into some kind of spatial distortion.”
Some kind? Why is it always some kind! These people are smart! Shouldn’t they know what it is?
“The distortions are emanating from a highly localized disturbance in the space-time continuum. Distance, twenty thousand kilometres off the port bow.”
Damn it! What was my line here again! Errr! What would Janeway do! Well, I guess I should stop the ship. And if it’s off the port bow I guess we could see it on screen. Yes! Okay, here it goes!
“All stop. On screen.”
“Captain, the Gravimetric flux density is over two thousand percent. If I'm not mistaken, we're looking at a type four quantum singularity. I am receiving an audio transmission from within the singularity.”
God! What am I listening to?
“I think I've found the source of the transmission.”
A ship! Great! We found a ship. And this is where I got up to the script reading before I fell asleep so now I’ve got no clue what to do.
“Does it look like any ship you're familiar with Neelix?”
Please say yes! Please say yes!
“No, nothing I recognise. But then it's, it's so hard to make out.”
Great. Just great.
“They may be trapped in that… they may be trapped out there.” Wow, Kate! Smooth!
“Open a channel. This is Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Starship Voyager to the vessel near the,” What was it called again? Ah Yes! “Quantum singularity. Do you need help?”
Why am I doing this?
“No response to our hail, Captain.”
Well, I guess I can’t just leave these people there.
“Can we tractor the vessel out?”
“No. The subspace interference is too heavy.”
“Bridge to Torres. We need a way to get that ship out of there. Any ideas?”
Oh Chakotay! Thank god for your handsome face. No, wait a second! I’m supposed to be angry with him because I don’t trust B’Elanna, but how could anyone be angry with that.
“I was thinking we could remodulate a tractor beam to match. The subspace interference. It might be enough to cut through the event horizon.”
“A subspace tractor beam?”
“When can you have it ready?”
“Two hours, maybe three.”
“Get right on it. Use as many people as you need.”
I haven’t read this part but if I remember correctly someone called Carey works in engineering. I’m pretty sure he is B'Elanna’s competition for chief. Maybe I sure ask him.
“Mister Carey, what do you think?”
“With the right field modulation it might work, but we'll need more power to the emitter array.”
“Very well. You're in charge, Mister Carey. Report to me when the tractor beam is ready.”
“Mister Paris? Hold our position here.”
Seriously though, Chakotay is cute but he was out of line to make that order. I am the Captain around here, which means I make the final decisions hm.
“I'd like to see you in private Chakotay.”
Chapter 4: Your a dead man, Commander
“Morning…” Shit, it’s Chakotay.
“They are just finishing setting up in the ready room before we start.”
“Right, okay thank you.”
“I’ve just got to duck out for a minute.”
Maybe this ‘script’ thing might have everybody’s real names. Chakotay. Chakotay. Cha… ah yes! ‘Chakotay played by Robert Beltran.’.
Should I even bother reading what is suppose to happen? Hm let’s see. He did what! B’Elanna over Carey! Seriously Chakotay! Man am I going to give it to him! Hm it seems I will be giving him a piece of my mind! Why the hell did I pick him over Tuvok! He so belongs in the brig.
Stuff this script, I’m going to tell him what I really think!
“You ready Kate?”
“Let’s do it!”
“You’ve made a mistake Commander and we need to discuss it.”
He’s blushing. Why is he blushing? Oh maybe because I’m in his face and not following that silly script. Who cares! I’m the Captain and I run this damn ship!
“Captain, I appreciate your concerns about Torres, but I promise you-”
“You don't understand, Commander. This isn't about Torres. My problem is with you.”
Yep. That’s right.
“Let me be blunt. What you tried to do just now was out of line.”
So out of line!
“In what way?”
“When you decided to call Torres in Engineering.”
“I've worked with her. I know what she's capable of. We needed an answer right away and I knew she could give us one.”
“Carey is the senior officer in Engineering.”
“If you look at it that way, none of my people will ever have seniority.”
“That's the problem, right there. They're not your people. You're treating the Maquis on this ship like they're still your crew. Everyone is Starfleet.”
“I'm doing everything I can to integrate them into your crew, but frankly, you're not making it easy for me, Captain.”
“I can't make it easy, Commander. Surely you can understand that. They don't have the discipline. They don't have the training. They don’t have the respect.”
Talking about you there Chakotay.
“But some of them, like B'Elanna Torres, have the ability.”
“The Starfleet officers on this ship have worked all their lives to earn their commissions. How am I supposed to ask them to accept a Maquis as their superior officer just because circumstances have forced us together?”
“You're asking them to accept me.”
“You're qualified. You're a graduate of the Academy, and you have Starfleet command experience.”
“Permission to speak freely.”
“I have no intention of being your token Maquis officer.”
“Show me another qualified Maquis candidate and I'll consider him.”
“Who cannot control herself and who could not make it through the Academy.”
“She's the best engineer I've ever known. She could teach at the Academy. You're right, Captain. I do consider these my people because nobody else on this ship will look out for them like I will. And I'm telling you, you're going to have to give them more authority if you want their loyalty.”
“Theirs or yours, Commander?”
“I'm trying to help you. I'm sorry you don't see that. I strongly recommend you get to know Torres before you choose a new Chief Engineer. Permission to leave.”
I mean, he is handsome but so out of line.
Damn, he smells good up close! Even better than Beltran. You know, if this is all fake, I could totally just sleep with him. I mean, I want Janeway to, don’t get me wrong, it’s just, this role is so important and I feel like it would degrade her. But I’m the actual Captain out here so who cares! I mean, clearly, the real Chakotay and I don’t have the same chemistry that Robert and I do, but, I think I could make it happen.
I mean, yes, what he did was wrong, but it was so hard to stay in character just then! Damn this is hard.
“Carey to Bridge. The subspace tractor beam is online and ready to go, Captain.”
“Acknowledged. Tuvok, lock onto that ship.” At least as Captain, I can just tell other people what to do, because I have no clue!
“Engaging tractor beam. It's working. The beam is penetrating the event horizon.”
“Engineering, It’s Kim here. Torres, check your power levels. I'm showing massive fluctuations.”
“Damn it! The new relays on the power grid aren't holding.”
“We're being pulled toward the singularity.”
“What's going on?”
“Power to the tractor beam is down eighty percent. The gravimetric force of the singularity is pulling us in!”
Am I supposed to be doing something here? It’s just one disaster after another on this ship!
“Lieutenant Paris reverse the ship. Disengage the tractor beam.” I have got no idea what I’m doing! It seems logical to get us out of here a stop the beam…. right?
“I can't shut it down. The emitter relays are locked.” Are you kidding me! If I have to come up with an idea...
“I'm picking up hull stress all over the ship. If we keep engines at full reverse while the tractor beam's engaged, it'll pull the ship apart.”
“Cut the engines then.”
“We're moving forward again.”
“Engineering, get that tractor beam offline.” Of all situations, I get thrown in to!
“Captain, I can shut it down but I'll have to get in there and physically cut the main power feed.”
“Do it.” Seriously!
“Tractor beam disengaged.”
“Move us to a safe distance, Mister Paris.”
“Are we abandoning the rescue attempt?” Damn that face!
“No Commander, but we are going to need some help. Lay in a course for the system Neelix mentioned,” I have no memory as to what he called it! “Full impulse. Have Mister Neelix report to the Bridge. It looks like we're going to follow his suggestion after all. I’m going to my ready room, you have the bridge.” That’s what I say, right?
I seriously hope these ready room walls are soundproof.
“Q! Or whoever whatever you are! This is not funny! Take me back! This is cruel!”
I am seriously going to smash something.
What… If that is Chakotay chiming… I’m actually going to kill him.
“Captain, are you okay, I thought I could hear yelling?”
“You could hear that?” Shit, damn it, Kate!
“We will rescue them.”
“It’s not that Chakotay.” You can’t tell him, Kate! Do not tell him!
“What is it then.”
“I… I… I’m just tired Chakotay, that’s all.”
“You haven’t been yourself today.” He is totally going to work it out that I’m not Kathryn.
I need to change the subject.
“Can you have B’Elanna Torres report to me here.”
“Ah, sure thing Captain.”
“Thank you, Chakotay. Hey um.” Oh god, Kate! You're holding his arm. “Sorry for what happened earlier. This is just my first command and it’s clearly not going very well!”
“That’s okay Captain, I’ll go get Torres.”
What! How can he not see the chemistry between us! This is ridiculous!
Chapter 5: Decisions, Decisions
“Thank you so much, Robert.”
Coffee! Oh my god I love him. No, stop Kathryn, you don’t.
“No worries, here. Are you feeling okay? You seem quieter than usual.”
Okay… am I okay? Of course n-yuck! There is milk and sugar in this!
No, but seriously! What a stupid question! Of course, I’m not okay. I’m stuck here, in the heat, filming my life which is all wrong, thrown into someone else’s breakup which is reminding me of Mark, plus there are kids thrown in! So no Robert! I am not okay!
“Oh, I’m fine.”
“I know this is all so overwhelming, but if it matters, your doing a great job. I know we see each other all week on set, but if your free this weekend, maybe we should catch up for lunch or something. Let our hair down a bit, get to know each outside of work.”
What is he playing at? This weekend! By this weekend I hope to be back on Voyager! Besides, this ‘Kate’ has clearly just had her heart broken and I don’t want to throw her into the arms of another man!
“Kate! We need you on set in 5!”
Great! Back to ‘work’. Where is that darn script gone! Right. Seriously! Janeway is going to promote B’Elanna isn’t she? This is so far from how I would do things!
“You asked to see me, Captain?”
“Have a seat B’Elanna.”
“I just want you to know that I have personally gone over every emitter relay again and refitted four of them myself.”
It just occurred to me again that I have actually no idea who I am talking to.
“No one blames you for what happened. Commander Chakotay thinks very highly of you. He's recommended you for Chief Engineer.”
A little too high in my opinion.
“Well, er, we've, er, we've been through a few scrapes together.”
“Do you think you're ready?”
Because I don't!
“Ready to be Chief Engineer on a starship.”
“Well, I think I know my way around an engine room, if that's what you mean.”
“It's part of what I mean. There's also the matter of your ability to command others. I'm not sure I'd be doing you a favour by putting you in charge down there. There'd be a lot of hard feelings toward you from many of the Starfleet people.”
“I'm not bothered by what people think of me.”
“And the job requires knowledge of Starfleet protocol, experience with Starfleet methodologies.”
“Listen, Captain, if you don't think I'm right for this job, just say so.”
“I'll be honest. I'm not sure whether you are or not. That's why I wanted to meet, try to get to know you a little better. I've been studying your Academy record.”
“Where did you get that?”
“Thanks to Tuvok, we had the names of your entire crew by the time we left DS9. Four disciplinary hearings, one suspension. You had quite a turbulent couple of years, didn't you.”
“Yeah, I guess you could say that.”
“What do you think the problem was?”
“The problem? The problem was a system that didn't give anyone a chance to breathe.”
“We work under that same system on this ship.”
“Then I guess maybe this is just a bad idea.”
“Why did you quit the Academy, B'Elanna?”
“I didn't want to have anything to do with Starfleet then, and I'm sorry that I have to now.”
“Cut! Well done Roxann, you too Kate.”
Wow. Thanks for the credit! Roxann. Right, at least I know her name now!
At least my Roxann is not cranky when she is not being B’Elanna! She just stormed out. I didn't even get to dismiss her! And I love dismissing people now!
“Sickbay to Captain Janeway.”
Come on! Give me a break!
“May I request you activate monitor input forty seven, your Emergency Medical Holograph channel?”
How the hell am I supposed to know how to do that!
“Of course.” Ah here, forty seven. Right. “I'm getting a distorted transmission.”
Please don’t ask me to fix that!
“No. In fact, that is how I appear at present. I'm shrinking.”
Could this day get any worse!
“There appears to be a malfunction in my imaging system. It's been reducing my height by five centimetres every hour. I've been waiting all day for repairs. That is not, however, what I'm calling about. Over the past three hours, nine crew members have reported unusual symptoms, severe headaches, muscle spasms and sudden waves of dizziness.”
“All of this could be related to the thing out there.”
Well, that was very scientific!
“Yes, the quantum singularity. It was sending out um spatial… spatial distortions. They might have affected the crew, and your systems as well.”
“Are you feeling okay Captain. You know, Captain, if we were in the vicinity of a quantum singularity I should have been informed.”
“You're right Doctor. I’m sorry.”
*Bang!* Seriously! Again. I suppose I better go make my presence known on the bridge.
“Hello? Captain? Hello?”
“It looks like we're running into more spatial distortions Captain.”
“I'm picking up a highly localised disturbance off the port bow.”
“On screen. What is it?”
Because God knows I’ve got no clue!
“It is another type four quantum singularity. Physical and temporal dimensions are identical to the one we encountered earlier.”
“Captain, according to these readings, we've returned to our previous coordinates. This isn't another singularity. It's the same one.”
“Check the logs. Confirm our position.”
“Well, they show we've travelled one point four light years away from the anomaly, but I've confirmed our position against the star chart. We're definitely back where we started. Doesn't make sense.”
“They can't both be right. We're either still at the singularity or we're not.”
Kill me now!
“Well, we can see it, so I think that the external sensors are correct.”
“That would imply there was something wrong with the warp drive and the navigational logs.”
Seriously! Tuvok is supposed to be Janeway’s best friend how?
“Mister Paris, lay in a course away from the singularity. Ensign Kim, I want you to keep a sensor lock on it. Confirm that we're moving away from it.”
Why are they not doing anything… oh right!
“Distance from the singularity is ten million kilometres and increasing.”
“Warp engines holding steady. All systems report normal.”
“Eleven million. Twelve million. I don't get it. Mister Paris, have we altered course?”
I swear this ship is cursed!
“No. We're still steady on three one zero mark two one five.”
“Then something's really wrong here. It's ahead of us again.”
“Confirmed. We're back at the same coordinates.”
Okay seriously! This people clearly have no clue and neither do I.
“All stop. Ensign Kim, transfer all the data we encountered to my ready room.” I need a break from you people! “Commander, have all departments run complete system diagnostics. I'll expect a full report from all senior officers at fifteen hundred hours.”
“Who will represent Engineering?”
Seriously don’t make me make that type of decision! The decision I just made is already stupid enough!
“You should invite B'Elanna Torres as well, unless you've removed her from consideration.”
“Fine.” Just let me be alone!
Chapter 6: Science
“Kate! Hey! How have you been? Don’t you just love these briefing scenes? You know, getting to catch up with everyone.”
“Yes. They’re great.”
“Are you okay? You seem a little…”
“A little what?”
“I don’t know...tired? I don’t blame you, these hours are killing me!”
“Places everyone one!”
“We’ll talk later hey.”
“Sure thing Kate!”
“Robbie we need you over here.”
Damn, where did I put that script? Ah yes.
“Picardo, your first. And Action!”
Picardo? That must be the Doctor.
“Twenty seven other crew members have now reported the symptoms. And yet, when I examined each of them, I couldn't find anything wrong. I have no diagnosis, no prognosis, no recommended treatment. I'll contact you when I have something more to contribute. And by the way, I am now sixty eight centimetres shorter. I'd appreciate it if someone would repair my holographic projectors before I have trouble reaching my patients.”
That’s what he gets for having lousy bedside manner! Oh, my line!
“I finished my study of the spatial distortions coming from the singularity. I can give you a long, boring analysis. Suffice it to say, I don't know what's going on. The readings are confused, the data is contradictory. None of it makes any sense. Anyone have anything more constructive?”
What is this! If they actually gave me the findings, of course I would know what is going on!
“Ship-wide diagnostics have revealed nothing out of the ordinary Captain. Mr Carey?”
“I tried sending out a tachyon signal to scan the singularity but all I got back was static.”
“B'Elanna, do you think you can work with Mister Carey to clean up that signal?”
“Yes, I think I can Chakotay.”
*internally rolls eyes* “Good.”
“But it won't work. I mean, it was a good idea to try it but it won't work.”
“You have another idea?”
“I was just thinking about the problem with the Doctor's holographic projectors. It seems like the spatial distortions might be interfering with the projectors phase alignment.”
“That was my guess too.” She might actually be on to something here.
“If that's the case, I could screen out those distortions by setting up a localised dampening field around the projectors.”
“Is our priority here really the Medical Holograph system?”
“My point is, that if the spatial distortions are also interfering with the transmission we received from the other ship “
“We could set up a similar field around our external sensors and communicate with them.”
“Exactly. And they may know more about what's going on than we do.”
“ Let's give it a try. Dismissed.”
Hm, maybe B’Elanna might not be so bad as chief after all, but yet, only in this story. I hope my B’Elanna turns out to be this good when I get back to Voyager. Oh, Chakotay. Don’t stare at me like that! I love Mark, okay! But yes, it was a good decision on your behalf. Actually, I think your first good decision if I’m being honest. I could so fall in love with him if I’m not careful. We could really be something you know...
This darn headache! God, I miss my boys. I miss my life! I actually think I’m starting to miss Tim and maybe even Egan too…
Just because I play a scientist, does not mean that I know anything about science and keeping 160 something people alive. This is a cruel joke Q!
“Emitters online. I'm rerouting the damping field through the deflector grid.”
Oh, B’Elanna… can’t you just do it all for me? I Kate Mulgrew, who is apparently now Captain Kathryn Janeway, promote you, B’Elanna Torres, to do my job because I ain’t got a clue on what I am supposed to be doing.
I suppose we should try and talk to that other ship.
“Open a channel to the other ship.”
What the… why did I say that? Whatever that ship is trying to say, it’s giving me a headache that’s for sure!
“Ramping up field intensity Captain.”
“It's working. We're cutting through the distortions Captain.”
*Voice* “to the vessel near”
“See if you can clear it up a little more.” Because I sure don’t know how!
“Compensating for amplitude distortion.”
*Voice* “This is Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Starship Voyager to the vessel near the quantum singularity. Do you need help?”
Why can I hear myself? Wow, I sound so lost. How can this crew not tell that I’m not their Captain? Q must have some spell over them.
“That's your hail.”
“I'm applying the damping field to our visual scanners. I'll see if I can clarify the image.”
“It's the Voyager. It's us.”
“Sensors confirm it's definitely USS Voyager.”
“I've been hailing the ship on all frequencies. No response.”
“I don't think we are going to get a response. It’s a replay of my original message.”
Even a dummy could work that one out.
“Could we have travelled back in time and met ourselves?”
“No, that's not it. I think I have an explanation.”
Please, enlighten me.
Chapter 7: We Could be on to Something
“Think of it like this. You're sitting at the bottom of a pond, which is frozen over, and you look up at the surface and you see a reflection of yourself. Now, you might think you're looking at another person sitting at the bottom of another pond, looking back at you.”
Great explanation there… Roxann….can I go back to Voyager now? Damn, what was my line? Oh yes, that’s right...
“And in this case, we'd be staring up at the surface of the event horizon and seeing a time-delayed reflection of ourselves.”
What a minute...what if...
“Are you saying we're the ones trapped in the singularity?”
Took the words right out of my mouth Chakotay...Robert…sorry.
“You're right. It's the only theory that explains everything that's happened to us. We've probably been in this singularity since we felt the first jolt.”
Everything now makes so much sense! Maybe this had something to do with Q as well…
“Wait a minute. Wait. Wait a minute.” Typical Paris! “Let me get this straight. We were cruising along at warp seven, then we pick up a distress call and moved in to investigate. But now you're saying that the other ship is actually just a reflection of us and that the distress call is actually just the Captain's opening hail. But we picked up the distress call before she sent the hail. How could we have been seeing a reflection of something we hadn't even done yet? Am I making any sense here?”
No, no your not!”
“No, but that's okay. One of the more difficult concepts to grasp in temporal mechanics is that sometimes effect can precede cause. A reaction can be observed before the action which initiated it.”
“So what do we do to get out?”
“I'm not sure. But I do know one thing. That as we slide deeper into the singularity, the spatial distortions are increasing. According to my calculations, within nine hours, they'll crush the ship.”
“If your analogy is correct, how do we get through that sheet of ice?”
I know this is not exactly real, but man they have written this well!
“Look for a crack.”
“Or make a crack. Take something and smack it into the ice until it buckles.”
“Wait a minute. What if we've already made a crack in the ice?”
“When we first entered the event horizon.”
“If we could find our entry point, we might be able to slip out the way we came in.”
“So we'd be looking for a subspace instability in the event horizon. What would make it show up on our sensors?”
B’Elanna might actually make the perfect choice as chief! I’m starting to like her, well, this version of her anyway.
“If we saturate the event horizon with warp particles, we might be able to see the escaping through the rupture we made when we entered.”
I know that none of this is real… but I’m trying Q! Hopefully, this will get me back to Voyager.
“Chakotay to the ready room. Captain, we are ready on the bridge.”
Damn! Why can’t I just stay in here and cry? Hopefully, whatever it is we are about to do will get me home! I hope…
Now, hopefully, I can remember everything we said we would do so this idea of B’Elanna works.
“Tuvok, take the….. The um main deflector off-line. Mister Kim, reroute the port and the… and the starboard plasma flow to the main deflector.”
Smooth.... Real smooth.
“Initialising plasma flow.”
“Release the warp particles.”
It was warp particles right…?
“Scanning the singularity.”
“Not yet. Warp particles at full intensity.”
“I'm picking up something. A slight irregularity. It could be a rupture in the event horizon.”
“ It is a rupture, Captain. It's fifteen metres by ten metres.”
“ Oh, it's too small. It must have collapsed since we first passed through it.”
“Well, it’s a start I guess. Now, we’ll just somehow have to make it bigger.”
“Put a wedge in it and force it open. We could try a dekyon beam.”
“All right, a dekyon beam. Mister Paris, bring us closer.”
“Captain, if we get too close to the rupture our warp engines might make it collapse even further.”
“Can we emit a beam from here?”
“The rupture's over fifty million kilometres away. We don't have enough power to project a dekyon beam that far.”
“We'll have to take a shuttlecraft then.”
“You'll need the best pilot you've got in that shuttle, Captain. That'll be me.”
Nope! No! No way do I want to be stuck with Paris! B’Elanna… maybe I should take her with me!
“Sorry, Mister Paris. B'Elanna, you're with me. The Bridge is yours, Commander.”
Your kidding right! This, is supposed to be the shuttlecraft?! These people! And to think the could be my great great great great great grandparents. It a box! A god damn box!
“We've cleared Voyager.”
Yep, this little box has apparently cleared Voyager. God, I hate this! Hurry up and send me back Q before I kill someone!
“Shields at full strength.”
“We'll reach the rupture in approximately four and a half minutes. Let's get that dekyon beam online.”
But I mean, their information is strangely accurate.
“Remodulating emitters. Captain, I want to apologise for losing my temper in your Ready room. I think maybe you were hitting a little bit too close to home, you know? I respect Chakotay but he's wrong. I'm not officer material and we both know it. The truth is, I quit the Academy because I realised I couldn't make it in Starfleet, and believe me, no one was sorry to see me go.”
An apology! From B’Elanna! I thought I’d never see the day!
“Professor Chapman was.”
“He put a letter in your permanent file saying that should you ever re-apply, he would support you. He thought you were one of the most promising cadets he'd ever taught.”
“I fought with him almost every day. I was always questioning his, his methods, his assumptions, and he was always slapping me down like some upstart kid. I was surprised he didn't help me pack my bags.”
“Some professors like students who challenge their assumptions, B'Elanna. And so do some captains. Professor Chapman wasn't alone. Many of your teachers thought you had the potential to be an outstanding officer. You had more friends at the Academy than you realised. We're fifteen kilometres from the rupture. Start charging the dekyon beam.”
“Dekyon beam online, Captain”
“Shields down to sixty two percent. Captain”
“Increase speed. We have to get to that rupture before these spatial distortions tear us apart. All right. Let's open this hole in the ice a little wider. Initiate the dekyon beam.”
“We're losing power. I don't think we're going to get any more, Captain.”
“Let's get back to Voyager.”
“Well, this is a problem.”
God! What now!”
“One of them might be a reflection, but which one?”
“Captain, the rupture is starting to collapse again. If Voyager doesn't get through it within the next five minutes, they'll never get out.”
“That means we have one chance to pick the correct ship.”
Maybe I should just let the ship explode and I might be able to get back to my real home!
“Simple choice. Port or starboard?”
Why I would think that, I don’t know!
“Port. The port ship is more likely to be the real one. It's closer to the rupture. That means, that means they're holding a position as close as they can to the rupture, waiting for us to dock before they head out.”
“No. It may be closer to the rupture, but it's facing the wrong direction. The starboard ship is facing away from us. That means they're trying to give us easy access to the shuttlebay.”
Just a little bit of logic can take you places B’Elanna!
“There has to be some way to tell them apart besides which direction they're facing.”
“The starboard ship's thrusters are at standby. They're holding position. But the port ship is moving toward the rupture.”
“Then I was right. It's the port ship. They're heading out.”
“Don't you see? Voyager did move toward the rupture twenty minutes ago when we first discovered it. That's why the port ship is moving toward it now. It's a time-delayed reflection of what we did before. The starboard ship's the real one. They're waiting for us.”
“f you're wrong, we're going to have a long time to debate it. We're ready to dock.”
“All right. Take us in. Let's see what happens.”
“Well Captain, it feels like a real ship to me.”
Thank God that is over!
Wait a second… I’m not in the shuttle bay… OH THANK GOD! IT’S A SOUNDSTAGE!
“We need you on the bridge set in 5 Kate!”
“You got it!”
“Have fun in real space, Kathy! Sorry, Kate!”
“Look, I don’t know who you are, or what the hell you are, but you better leave me the hell alone now!”
“You got it! But remember, I can easily send you back if you don’t behave.I hope you learnt your lesson”
“You wouldn’t dare! And Lesson! What lesson?”
“You complain too much.”
“Complain! You would too if you were on your feet for 18 hours and missing your children!”
“True, but it’s nothing like the real thing.”
“Your right there.”
“So enjoy this role, Kate! Have fun! And remember the importance of it.”
“You got it! But just stay the hell away from me okay!”
“I bet you're glad to be out of that shuttlecraft box.”
Beltran! Oh my god! Those dimples! My ovaries! No, stop Kate! Be professional. He doesn’t know what you have been through.
“Hey! I didn’t think you were the hugging type.”
“Sorry, I guess I was just glad to get out of that freaking box! Hey, you got plans this weekend?”
“Nope, I’m all free remember? I asked you this morning if you were busy.”
“Sorry, forgot! Let’s hang out hey, lunch at mine?”
“Places everyone! And Action!”
“Commander Chakotay, report.”
“We're almost to the rupture. Mister Paris is about to impress us with his piloting skills.”
“The rupture's collapsing. It's down to one hundred ten metres wide.”
“That's too narrow. We're not going to make it.”
“In command school, they taught us to always remember that manoeuvring a starship is a very delicate process. But over the years I've learned that sometimes you just have to punch your way through. Mister Paris, full impulse power.”
“Shields are down.”
“I'm losing power to the port impulse engine.”
“Switching to auxiliary power.”
“Hull integrity failing.”
“Keep it together, Mister Paris.”
“We've cleared the event horizon, Captain. We've returned to normal space.”
“Sometimes you just have to punch your way through. I'll have to remember that one.”
“Set a course. I want to be at least one hundred million kilometres away from the singularity before we begin repairs.”
“Cut! Great job guys!”
“Wanna grab something to eat before you head off?”
“Sounds like a date!”
Ah Mr Dimples, I could never get enough of you!
I could skip down these corridors. Dance in engineering! That darn Q! Sure, I needed that lesson I guess. We may be far from home, but this is our home for now, and I need to make more of an effort to show that I feel that way about it too.
“Are you checking up on your new Chief Engineer?”
Oh, Chakotay… my Chakotay.
“Two crew members have already filed complaints about her promotion and she may be in for a tough period of adjustment, but I think B'Elanna's going to make a fine addition to this crew. Our crew.”
“Can I ask you a question, off the record? If things had happened differently, and we were on the Maquis ship now instead of Voyager, would you have served under me?”
“One of the nice things about being Captain is that you can keep some things to yourself.”
“Sickbay to Captain Janeway.”
“Is someone ever going to come down here and fix my holographic projectors?”
“We're little busy right now, Doctor, but I'll send a crew down as soon as I can.”
“I would appreciate a certain expediency in the matter.”
“Acknowledged. Janeway out.”
I have missed this!
“Free for lunch Commander?”
“Always when you ask!”
So that's it! thank you all so much for joining me on this crazy journey. I had no idea where this would take me and lost my patience with it a fair bit but it's done!
Thank you to everyone who commented or left kudos, it's much appreciated!!