Horizon (Rough Draft)

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 18, 2017

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Submitted: August 18, 2017

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Horizon

 

 

Voyager flew through space with grace and purpose. Her sleek grey metal reflected the brightness of the stars and nebulae as she shot through space at warp speed. Carrying within her, the souls of over a hundred passengers on their way home from the distant reaches of the galaxy. Janeway sat at her post, in the center of her bridge and watched as her crew managed their stations with skill. Voyager and her crew were continuing on their path home, cast thousands of light years from Earth. At the time of her construction, Voyager was one of the most advanced starships Starfleet had created. Fitted with an advanced sensor array, Voyager and its Intrepid class sister ships were created for one sole purpose, scientific research.

Despite her design, Voyager was still a formidable vessel, outfitted with some of the most advanced weaponry available, Voyager was certainly able to defend herself against hostile species. And because of their present situation, Voyager has been forced to use these weapons more often than most Federation vessels.

Her unique design allowed for one for the most advanced and powerful sensor arrays to be placed at the bow of the ship. Voyagers rotating warp nacelles allowed for the creation of a smaller warp bubble, allowing for more power in other systems. The bio-nueral circuitry acted like the nervous-system of the ship. Information and power was processed and shipped quicker than any other Federation Starship.

At the heart of this vessel, sat the bridge. A large oval shaped room that controlled almost every aspect of this vessel. From this vantage point, the crew of Voyager could control her speed and direction, defense systems, power supplies, sensors, and a host of other crucial systems required for space travel. In this room, sat the leader of this vessel. Her hair at shoulders length, a strong determined chin, and eyes, defiant and hopeful at the same time. Captain Janeway was a presence. Not just because she was the Captain, but because she embodied it. She radiated confidence and pride. Kathryn Janeway was proud. Her first command had forced her into the furthest reaches of the galaxy, a lifetime away from home, but she remained determined to get home. Now, on their way home, Janeway was forced to become a leader of a large family. Souls of more than one hundred and fifty people depended on her composure, leadership, and experience to get them home safe.

With the familiar hum of the engines and the back chatter of the crew on the bridge, Janeway let herself smile as she took in the picture around her. With all that they had been through, all the challenges, battles, and alien species; this family had managed to stay together, through it all. 

Janeway glanced down at her pad she had brought with her from her quarters. On it were duty schedules, a proposal from Seven of Nine to increase sensor efficiency with Borg technology, and a shift rotation schedule that commander Tuvok wanted to implement to his second and third shift security teams. The bridge was quiet, but not silent. The deep hum of the warp engines drowned out the chatter of the bridge crew and the pressing of buttons at their stations that had almost a rhythmic tone to it.

As she read, aromas of coffee blasted her senses. She reached for her mug and took a small sip, savoring the taste before she began with the most detailed of the proposals, Seven of Nine’s. In it, she wanted to use Borg components to augment forward long range sensors to scan for neutrino fluxes associated with worm holes. Janeway understood most of the mechanics involved with the project, but added a side note to have a meeting with B’elanna Torres to discuss the man power required and the time frame needed to put this new technology into place and integrate it with Voyager’s technology, which didn’t always work with Borg technology. 

Janeway lifted her coffee cup to her lips for another drink when the ship rocked to its side. Janeway dropped the pad in her hand and heard the glass crack as it hit the arm of her chair and fell to the ground. Immediately, the red alert klaxon bellowed in the quiet Voyager bridge and red lights flashed. The computer automatically raised the shields, locked down vital computer components, and prepared Voyager for combat. Bolts of energy hit the ship again and Janeway heard the familiar deep thumping sound made by the shields as they struggled to repel whatever was attempting to damage the ship.

“Report!” Janeway said above the klaxon as another jolt slammed Voyager. This time with Voyager’s shields fully activated the impact was severely lessened. High energy bursts flew towards Voyager, slapping her shields. The energy in the deflector shields attempted to repel the energy, but occasionally the energy would penetrate the shielding of a vessel, traverse through the ships systems and burst with great power at random locations inside the vessel. This usually led to explosions, bursts of sparks, and severe damage to the defending vessel. Shields were developed to attempt to block this energy by creating a large energy burst at the contact point, cancelling out the energy blast. This wasn’t always effective and was also a huge power drain on the ships systems.

“Sensors report weapons fire directly astern.” Tuvok said from his station. His hands were moving quickly across his tactical display as he aligned the sensors to the source of the weapons fire. From Janeway’s vantage point she could see the screens behind Tuvok displaying damage to systems and sensor read outs. She squinted to get a better view as the readouts showed her sections of the ship that suffered severe damage flashed red, and there was a lot of red on the screen. Janeway shook her head in frustration, Voyager encountered too much conflict for her taste. 

While Voyager was her first command and she was proud of her vessel, an Intrepid class vessel was made to be smart and fast, but not made to engage ships in combat and certainly not thousands of light years from the nearest Federation outpost. 

“Mr. Paris,” Janeway said “take us to impulse power.” Janeway stood from her chair and moved toward Harry Kim’s station on the port side of the bridge. Janeway could feel the ship release its warp bubble and slow its speed by exponential factors. Tom Paris through Voyager through some evasive maneuvers, attempting to dodge the enemy fire. Janeway knew Tom was a capable pilot and didn’t even bother with commanding the maneuvers. Tom would react faster and with better ability than Janeway could from her captain’s chair.

“Harry, do you see anything?” she asked him as she turned to face her conn officer. Tucked in his corner of the bridge, Harry Kim controlled some of the most vital systems on the ship. From his station, he used his sensors to scan space around him, to find what the source of the energy weapons.

“No ma’am.” Harry responded shaking his head, sweat glistening on his forehead. Even though Voyager has had her share of battles in the delta quadrant, Harry still got nervous during combat situations.  “Sensors are functioning perfectly, but all I’m reading is a high energy signature, moving around aft. It’s dropped out of warp behind us but I can’t get a sensor lock on it.”

Harry and the rest of the bridge crew leaned to their side as Voyager took a high speed turn to avoid enemy fire.  

“Try hailing them.” Janeway ordered. Harry Kim nodded as he began the communication protocol. With the stroke of a button, Voyager transmitted a standard hail. Within that hail, a request for communication was delivered. Also inside of that transmission contained Voyagers language protocols and a request from the hailed vessel for their language information. This allowed vessels to communicate with each other through messages. 

Chakotay and Seven of Nine exited the turbo lift near the tactical station and took their stations. Chakotay had a quizzical but alert look on his face as he scanned Janeway’s face for answers. She had none to give him. Seven moved directly to her station, not even glancing up and began her own sensor analysis. Borg perfection and efficiency had been engrained at her from her childhood; she missed many moments of human expression without verbal communication. 

“Sensors are reading a weapon signature of unknown origin bearing 345 mark 1.” Seven said. She looked up from her screen and reported to the Captain, “The energy signature is unfamiliar to the Borg.”

The ship rocked again several times as Voyager was laced again with weapons fire. 

“No response to our hails Captain.” Harry reported from his station. Sparks shot out from the station behind him as he lifted his arm to cover and protect his eyes. “Dorsal shields down to forty-five percent!”

“Tuvok,” Chakotay said as he rose from his chair, “can you get a weapons lock?”

“Negative Commander,” he responded, “this vessel appears to have a cloaking device of some sort, automated targeting is ineffective.”

Janeway turned to the viewscreen. On it were stars flying across the screen, in erratic fashion as Tom maneuvered Voyager. She had had enough of this. “Manual targeting, aft phasers, fire at your discretion.” Janeway said as she walked briskly to her station and sat down, “Mr. Paris, evasive maneuvers, pattern Janeway Omega.”

Voyager spat back at its attacker, launching bright crimson beams of deadly energy into the void. Several of the blasts struck a vessel of unknown composition, briefly illuminating the vessel as the beams struck its hull. The cloaking device of the vessel went offline and revealed its host. A large imposing vessel. Green in color, the vessel seemed to be about half the size of Voyager. It looked like a large hawk, with wings protruding on each side and two pillars that jutted out from its aft section. At the bottom of these pillars appeared to be its weapons. Bright bursts of energy spat at Voyager. Janeway couldn’t make any more of the vessels size or shape as Tom ordered the ship into a dance. Voyager launched into a corkscrew dive, spinning wildly as the alien vessel pursued, launching more weapons fire at Voyager. 


This time only three of the energy beams struck Voyager, damaging her shields. Voyager rocked under the strain of the maneuvers and the weapons fire. The alien vessel followed Voyager in the dive and launched another assault. 

“Aft shields down to thirty percent.” Tuvok reported. “Warp power is offline Captain.”

“And them?” Chakotay asked.

“Our phaser fire seems to have had little effect to the alien vessel.” Tuvok said. 

Voyager was struck again, sparks burst from Tom’s station, and the alien vessel disappeared from the screens, hiding behind its cloaking technology.

Janeway turned to look for her bridge crew for suggestions, Tom was busy engaging in evasive maneuvers, Harry was doing a standard sensor scan, and Tuvok was rerouting power from non-essential areas into affected areas of the shields, all standard Starfleet procedures in battle. 

Seven, however, wasn’t Starfleet. 

Her hands moved with purpose as she directed her sensors to the alien vessel. She moved much faster than Harry Kim and was fully engaged in her own analysis. Her skin tight grey suit showed little movement in her body, but her arms seemed to dance on the station she was working on. 

“Captain.” Seven said, not looking up from her station. “The alien vessel appears to have a cloaking device that also works as a shield generator. My sensor scans have shown that their energy reserves are heavily used in shields and their cloaking technology.”

“Meaning?” Chakotay asked.

Seven looked up from her station and directly at the first officer. “Meaning the only way to decloak this vessel is to disable its shields.” Seven broke eye contact and continued her sensor analysis. Feeding whatever information she could get to tactical, she scanned the vessel for weaknesses, power information, and weapons technology. Anything she deemed useful to Tuvok, she transferred to his station.

Janeway looked into Chakotay’s face. She and he both knew that was a formidable task. Even though Voyager is one of the most recent additions to Starfleet, she wasn’t made for battle. While Voyager had all the standard weapons systems and state of the art shielding, she was made for scientific exploration. Her computer was made to process millions of commands at once, her sensors to explore the most unique anomalies in space. 

With warp drive offline, Voyager couldn’t escape, she had to fight. 

“Mr. Tuvok, phasers and photons, fire at will.” Janeway said as she moved back to her chair and sat down, ignoring the pad laying by her feet. “Mr. Paris, evasive maneuvers at your discretion.”

Voyager was struck again, and explosions rocked the bridge. Flashes of lights showered the bridge in sparks as lights above them shattered and went out. Smoke filled the bridge for a few moments before the environmental control systems compensated. 

Tuvok and Paris worked in unison, attempting to anticipate each other’s moves and allowing their counterpart the best opportunity to do their task.

“Bridge to Engineering.” Chakotay called out, allowing the computer to connect the transmission.

“Engineering!” B’elanna said in a slightly agitated response. 

“We’re going to need warp engines up as soon as possible.” Chakotay responded. “We’re under attack from an alien vessel and we’re severely outgunned.”

“I don’t know how quickly I can get them up and running,” she responded. Voyager took another huge hit from weapons fire, Chakotay could hear consoles exploding over the com. “We’re taking a beating down here; I’ll do what I can. Torres out.” 

Voyager arched on her port side as Tom steered her. Tom leaned his body to the left as he flew with the ship, as true pilots do, believing he was part of the vessel. At the end of the turn, Voyager was slapped with another barrage of energy blasts. Harry Kim’s station erupted in sparks and energy and he was launched three feet back and landed on the floor in a crumpled mess. 

Harry let out a moan and tried to rise but collapsed again, skin darkened and burned. 

“Medical emergency,” Chakotay called out to the computer, “Medical team to the bridge.”

Chakotay sprang into action, taking over Harry’s station, half of the keys darkened but still operational. 

“Captain,” Seven said from behind Janeway.

Janeway turned to look at Seven, Voyager was hammered again and Seven grabbed the edges of her computer to keep herself from losing balance. Smoke began to rise in the bridge as system after system shorted out. 

“I’ve been analyzing the alien ships power signature. It appears that whenever the alien vessel is preparing the fire, the shields of the vessel weaken by fifty percent, presumably to allow the weapons fire to pass through their own cloaking device. If we time our weapons fire at that moment, we may be able to do considerable damage to their vessel.” Seven reported. Anticipating Captain Janeway’s command, Seven transferred her sensor information to Tuvok’s station so he could time the phaser blasts. 

“Do it.” Janeway said, turning back to the view screen.

Tuvok waited a moment for the vessel to fire its weapons then initiated the command. 

Voyager spat her fury at the attacking vessel. Crimson flames leapt from her stern and struck the aggressor. Explosions erupted in space as the blasts struck vital systems. Voyager continued to strike, blast after blast; like an injured animal lashing at its attacker. 

The alien vessel arched to attempt to avoid the weapons fire but went limp as Voyager struck a critical hit. The dark vessel leaked green clouds of smoke and vapor from its wounds. Lights from several decks flickered as power on the ship was failing. The engines on the vessel stopped working and the alien ship began to list in space. It no longer presented a threat to Voyager.

Voyager came around the face the alien vessel head on. Further explosions erupted on the ship as critical systems began to fail. A cascade reaction began, smaller explosions led to larger ones and Voyager was suddenly in danger of being caught in it. Janeway gazed through the viewscreen, visually examining the disabled attacker. It possessed an elongated central hull, dressed in a dark metallic substance, the hull seemed strong, yet obviously damaged from Voyager’s weapons fire. Janeway was unable to see anything more about the vessel before more explosions rocked the vessel and it seemed ready to burst.

“Back us off.” Janeway ordered, “Maximum power to forward shields.” 

Janeway knew that if this ship erupted, the blast would do considerable damage to Voyager, and in her weakened and already damaged state, it could make her already fragile vessel inoperable.

Just as Voyager began backing away from its attacker, the alien vessel exploded in a brilliant light, rocking Voyager as the shields absorbed the impact. Several large pieces of the alien vessel flew across space and collided with Voyager’s shields, causing them to glow bright blue as energy was taken from other areas of the shields and transformed into a forcefield that would repel solid objects. 

 

***

 

 

“Captains Log, Stardate 54745.4. After encountering an unidentified alien vessel, Voyager has suffered a considerable amount of damage. Lieutenant Torres has assured me that she will be able to repair most of Voyager’s systems, but to complete all of her repairs; we will need to find a safe space station for assistance. I’ve assembled the senior staff to discuss possibilities moving forward.”

Captain Janeway sat at the head of the table, drinking a steaming hot cup of coffee from her favorite mug as she gazed at the star field behind her. Janeway allowed herself to get lost in the aroma of the coffee, feeling it’s warmth in her hands. Even though it was replicated, it almost tasted as good as the real thing. Janeway held her nose above the coffee and took one more whiff before turning around to address the pad that lay behind her on the desk. 

Her senior staff would be arriving momentarily and Janeway wanted to get a full assessment of the damage Voyager had taken from the encounter with the alien vessel. 

Janeway skimmed the pad, no deaths, no major injuries, a few broken arms and one broken foot. Harry Kim, her comm officer and friend, suffered second degree burns. All injuries were repaired by the Doctor, and those crewmen were on bed rest for a few days, except Kim who would be attending the meeting. Voyager’s shields had repelled most of the damage, there were a few relays that were blown and engineering crews had already begun repairs. Seven had reported that several long range enhancements made to the sensor grid would have to be repaired as they suffered considerable damage during the battle. And warp drive was off-line. Torres believed it would take five days to repair the damage. 

The door to the conference room opened, and Chakotay was the first to file in, followed by the remainder of the senior staff. The expressions on their faces looked grim. Torres was the last one to walk in, her uniform a mess, and her hair covered in engine grease. “Captain,” she said as she walked to her seat and took one next to her husband Tom Paris. “I think I have an idea to get the warp engines online sooner than I thought.”

Janeway was taken back a moment; she didn’t expect B’elanna to not put something in her report. Janeway glanced back at the pad one more time, focusing on the section about the warp engines, reading it over a few seconds to see if she missed anything. After reviewing the report, she set the pad down and looked at B’elanna. “I’m all ears.”

“Well I was thinking,” B’elanna said, leaning forward and talking with her hands. “The engines suffered some major damage in the battle. I’ve done a diagnostic of the warp core. Most of the components are working however, the main problem we’re having is that the power relays are shot throughout the ship, stopping the warp power from reaching levels we need to generate a warp field. If I could reroute the power through the secondary relays, I may be able to generate enough power for a warp field.”

Seven of Nine, sensing a problem in B’elanna’s plan, spoke up before Janeway could ask her questions. “The secondary relays are not capable of storing that much power, they would have to be reconfigured to handle the dynametric power levels. There would also have to be significant adjustments to the warp core primary power capacitor to accept the new power levels. Most of the relays would have to be replaced once we reach the destination as they would most likely be damaged in the process.” Seven said, turning to look at Captain Janeway. “But it could work.”

Captain Janeway looked at Seven of Nine, and smiled a little smile knowing the Seven had all the best of intentions but still lacked the social skills to pay a compliment when it’s needed. B’elanna glared at Seven of Nine with rage, Seven on the other hand was looking at the Captain as she took in this new information. 

“How much time would it take to re-rig the warp drive?” Chakotay asked. 

Janeway knew the answer before B’elanna answered it. 

“One day.” B’elanna said. “There’s a catch. If we do this, the maximum speed we’ll be able to go is warp 4 maybe 5. And we wouldn’t be able to go very far. I’d say no longer than…” she paused, doing some calculations in her head. “A day or two at the most, then we’ll be stuck like a boat in the water.”

“Then we need to make sure we pick the correct direction to travel.” Janeway said, taking control of the conversation.  She used the pad on the desk in front of her to pull up a star chart of the space Voyager was scanning before she was attacked. Several systems showed the potential of life, but there would be no guarantee that the life would be friendly or have the technological skill to assist Voyager and her crew. “Seven, how long would it take to fix the sensor array and bring the enhancements online?”

“If we used the entire engineering staff, three days, two hours and seventeen minutes.”  She answered with Borg precision. “Plus an additional two hours for the usual conversational digressions from the crew.” 

Everyone in the ready room cracked a smile except for B’elanna who took some offense to her engineering team being made fun of. Janeway knew that Seven meant no offense, and so did B’elanna, however that didn’t stop B’elanna’s Klingon side from getting a little defensive.

“Six days to have our sensors and warp drive online.” Chakotay said. “That’s putting aside the alien ship that attacked us. We don’t know if there are more out there. Without our sensors, we would be at a serious disadvantage if more of those ships return to Voyager.”

Janeway nodded, taking another sip of her coffee. Her first officer was right, without her sensors, Voyager is at serious risk during the next battle. But even with her sensors, Voyager wouldn’t be able to run without warp drive if she needed to. 

“Seven,” Janeway said putting down the pad and the coffee. It was time for the captain to make the decision. “Do what you can to repair the sensors. We need those up and running. B’elanna, I want those modifications to those warp drives done immediately. As soon as they are completed, direct your teams to assist Seven with the sensors, we need this done as soon as possible. Voyager is a sitting duck.” 

Seven and B’elanna nodded in agreement and began making notes on the pads they had brought with them to the meeting. 

“Captain,” Neelix said from his chair. “I have a suggestion.”

“Go ahead.” Janeway responded. Even though Neelix wasn’t part of the Starfleet crew, he’s been an invaluable asset to Voyager. Serving as ship’s cook and morale officer, Neelix has been the source of insight, information, and knowledge of the Delta quadrant and its species. While Voyager had well passed the area Neelix is familiar with, he has still been able to offer valuable suggestions that have helped Voyager save time and resources on more than one occasion. 

“What if we took the Delta Flyer to some of these systems that the sensors scanned from before the battle?” Neelix asked. “The sensors on the shuttle haven’t been damaged and we can use those to scan to see if those systems will be of any use to us.”

Tom spoke next. “That’s not a bad idea, I could pilot the Flyer into the outer reaches of our sensor range and do some scans and be out of there before anyone knew it.” He glanced down at his pad. “I should be able to scan at least a half dozen systems before Voyager had most of the repairs done.”

“And what if you encountered another alien vessel?” Tuvok asked. “The Delta Flyer’s shields and weapons would be of limited use to you against such a large and powerful vessel.”

“At this point, I don’t think we have any other options.” Tom Paris responded turning to face Tuvok. “The longer we sit here the higher the chance that whoever is out there will come looking for their friends, and when they see all the debris and Voyager sitting in the middle of it, they can put two and two together and realize that we were the cause of that.”

“All the more reason to have the Delta Flyer here, to act as escort and if need be, assist us in defending Voyager.” Tuvok responded with his Vulcan logic. 

Janeway could see the logic in both arguments. Voyager would need assistance if she was attacked again, however Tom’s plan could save them much needed time, especially since Voyager could only afford to go in one direction with the modified warp drive. 

“I agree with Lieutenant Paris.” Janeway said. Tuvok’s right eyebrow arched as he leaned back in his chair. “Chakotay, you and Tom take the Flyer and do as many scans as you can. I want you to report back every six hours to inform us of your progress. If you detect any alien vessels that resemble our friends out there, I want you to return to Voyager immediately.”

Chakotay nodded and Tom Paris beamed with joy and pride having won his argument with Tuvok. 

“Tom, once we are done here, plot a course and engage at full impulse. I’d like to put as much distance between us and the debris field as possible.” Janeway took one more sip from her now cold coffee, “Alright people,” she said. “Let’s get to work.”

 

***

 

Seven of Nine was working in astrometrics wearing her skin tight suit, hands gliding on the controls as she processed commands and mathematical equations faster than any other human could. Astrometrics was quiet. Seven enjoyed the quiet. She busied herself with work as the crew was in the process of doing repair to the warp drive.

As Seven was rerouting power to her sensors, she was simultaneously recalibrating sensor information to conform with Federation standards. Information processed by her Borg modified sensors would have to be calibrated so that Federation systems could process the information and display it correctly. 

Seven felt an unusual feeling in her stomach. It felt tightened and vacant at the same time, her Borg implants told her that she required nutritional sustenance. She input a few commands to that would begin the first phase of the computer programming sequence and spoke to the computer. 

“Computer, begin program Seven Alpha.”

“Program Seven Alpha commencing.” The computer responded in its usual monotone response. 

“Estimated time until completion?” Seven asked the computer, glancing at the large screen in front of her. 

“Program Seven Alpha will be completed in three hours, seventeen minutes.” The computer answered. 

Seven glanced at the sensor information one last time, scanning for any errors. Seeing none, she turned and left her lab. Seven made her way to the mess hall.

 

***

Neelix stirred the simmering pot on his cooking station. The smell and heat captivated his senses and he added more Talaxian spices to his brew. He was certain the crew would love his new recipe. And because they were all working so hard, he wanted to make sure he had enough food to feed all of his hungry guests. 

Neelix’s whiskers twitched with delight as the soup began to boil and pieces of meat danced on the surface of the dark brown liquid. Taking in one last smell, Neelix turned to chop vegetables. 

Neelix turned his attention to his favorite knife hanging on the wall, and began chopping some zucchini and fresh Tomarian roots they had picked up from a system three months ago. While very bland in taste, Neelix had discovered that if the roots are boiled for two hours, they become very palatable and pick up the flavors of whatever juices they are prepared in. He was saving these roots for a special occasion, but thought that the crew could use a morale booster. 

There were very few crewmen in the mess hall as most of the ships personnel were working on repairs to the ships damaged system. 

Tom Paris and Chakotay walked in as the doors parted in front of them. 

“Ah Commander!” Neelix said in his usual jovialness. “Getting in a big meal before your mission?” 

Chakotay and Tom smiled at each other. “You guessed it,” said Tom. “We will be away for three days. If you ask me, that’s too many days on field rations.” 

Chakotay chuckled a little and turned to Neelix. “What’s on the menu today?” he asked as he looked down at the ominous stew before him. Chakotay instantly regretted asking as the first few scents of the soup assaulted his sense. Fighting back tears and the over powering smell, Chakotay leaned back a little to let Tom take a look. 

Tom, gauging Chakotay’s reaction, thought it better not to. 

Just as Neelix was preparing to answer Chakotay’s question, Seven of Nine walked through the doors on the opposite side of the mess hall. She moved with purpose as she walked over to Tom and Chakotay. 

“This, my friends.” Neelix explained. “Is what I call, Tomarian Root Stew, made from the finest roots and spices in the sector. It’s a little pungent, but I find the aroma invigorating.” Neelix said, beaming with pride. 

Seven glanced at the stew and winced as her heightened senses began processing the smells and sensations of the stew. 

Chakotay smiled back at Neelix, knowing that his intentions were the best, Neelix didn’t always prepare the greatest culinary dishes. Pausing for the right words and trying not to offend Neelix, “It certainly smells…”

“It is offensive.” Seven interjected. The look on her face showed mild irritation. Her olfactory implants and Borg enhanced senses were being overloaded by the smells of the boiling stew. The stew popped as if it had heard the comment and was responding in kind. 

Neelix, looked taken aback by Seven’s comment. He glanced at her, at Chakotay, then back at his stew. He grabbed a wooden spoon and dipped it in his creation. The brown liquid latched onto the spoon, as though it was desperate to escape the pot. Neelix lifted the spoon towards his mouth, steam billowing off the brown liquid as it flew through the air. Tom and Chakotay leaned back as Neelix placed the spoon in his mouth. 

The taste was too powerful for him, he coughed and sneezed and dropped the spoon on the floor. The spoon bounced off his foot and underneath his cooking station, making it near impossible for him to grab it until he was done cooking for the day. 

Neelix, attempting to regain his composure, shot straight up and looked directly at Seven. “I know just what would fix this!” he said with his usual excitement.

“Perhaps the food recycling unit?” Seven suggested. 

“Oh come on Seven,” Tom jested, “I’m sure it’s not that bad.”

“Be my guest Tom.” Chakotay nudged. 

Tom, feeling the pressure and three pairs of eyes on him laughed lightly and said “Perhaps replicator rations aren’t that bad.” He shrugged his shoulders and turned to Neelix. “Sorry Neelix, but I’m going to go for the replicator tonight.”

“Sounds good to me.” Chakotay said in agreement and turned with Tom to walk towards the replicator on the wall. 

Neelix opened his mouth in protest. “But….” 

Seven turned to follow the two to the replicator. 

Tom and Chakotay grabbed their meals the programed from the replicator and sat at a table with four chairs. 

“Seven,” Chakotay called out, “Join us.”

Seven nodded and stepped up to the replicator. “Computer, Seven of Nine nutritional supplement gamma three.” Seven ordered. The replicator beeped in acknowledgement and Seven heard the familiar hum as the replicator processed her command. 

In a matter of seconds, energy and molecules had been altered to create a dish that had texture and flavor, as well as colors and smells. Seven’s order, a green liquid with the consistency of a thick paste, had no smells or tastes. Seven never understood the need for tastes and smells in food. In the collective, the Borg didn’t eat, they regenerated in their alcoves. Seven didn’t enjoy the sensation of food sliding down her throat. She felt ingestion of nutrients was inefficient in comparison to regeneration. 

The odd sensation was something Seven felt she would never get used to. But as her body has begun and will continue to change back to its human form, she will have to ingest nutrients in this manner. Seven understood this and accepted this as the way it will always be. 

Seven took the drink in her right hand from the replicator and walked to the table that Chakotay and Tom were sitting at. They had already engaged in conversation regarding their mission information, and obviously thought Seven could add some important information to their plan.

Tom took a look at the pad he had brought with him and hit a few commands into the interface, the pad turned to life and a star chart of the surrounding systems showed on the screen. Information danced across the pads, star types, planet sizes and frequency, gaseous anomalies, nebulae, and other phenomena. 

With a few more inputs from Tom, six systems were highlighted. He turned the pad towards Chakotay and said, “I think these will be our best bet for a search pattern, they all contain M class planets and are all relatively small systems with outlying asteroids and moons that I could hide the Flyer behind.”

“Sounds like a good plan,” Chakotay said, taking a bite from the salad he had replicated. He chewed as he studied the information on the pad. After swallowing he continued, “I’m just not sure about this system.” He pointed to a system surrounding a red giant. With four planets and one barely being M class, it was highly unlikely there would be intelligent life on that planet. 

“The likely hood of finding a technologically advanced species on that planet is slim.” Seven chimed in. “The planet lacks valuable resources, dilithium, and its environment is barely habitable.” She glanced at the pad, which was easy to see as she had not taken a seat yet, and made a  suggestion. “The system in grid A-3 would be a more likely target. The system contains nine planets, two of which are capable of containing life, as well as vast amounts of dilithium from the outer planets.”

Chakotay pulled up the information on the grid Seven mentioned and scanned the data, Seven was usually precise but he wanted to make sure. His eyes focused on the number of planets in the system, the moons and asteroids. He wanted to make sure that if they arrived in this system, the Flyer would have several places to hide while it ran its sensor scan. 

“Grid A-3 it is then,” Chakotay said, setting the pad down and looking up at Seven with a smile. “Thank you Seven.” 

“You’re welcome Commander.” Seven said with a nod, she turned and exited the mess hall with her cup of nutritional supplement still in her hand. 

 

***

“Vorik!” B’elanna Torres shouted from the engineering consul above the warp core. 

“Yes Lieutenant.” the Vulcan replied. He came into view from the lower stations of the warp core. This younger Vulcan was attractive by even B’elanna’s standards. His Starfleet uniform with the yellow top denoted that he was part of the engineering crew on Voyager, and was Torres’ right hand man so to speak. 

“I want you to prime the phase inducers on deck three, seven, and nine for the new power relays we are putting in,” she shouted her commands in a calm but commanding tone. “And remember to take the gel packs offline, we don’t want any feedback to do any damage to them.”

“Understood.” he said with a slight nod. Ensign Vorik turned to his station and began working on his orders. 

B’elanna slapped her combadge on her left breast “Torres to Janeway.”

“Janeway here.” replied the captain. 

“Captain, we’re going to start the first phase of the power transfer relays. When we do that, power on decks three through nine will be intermittent. Everything will be back to normal in about five minutes.” Torres said. As she was speaking, B’elanna continued to enter commands into the computer system for the next phase of the process.

“Understood,” Janeway replied. “Janeway out.”

“Vorik, you ready?” Torres called out leaning forward to attempt to see him from above. The swirling blue of the warp core reflected off the walls of engineering, giving a deceptively calm and soothing aura. Engineering was anything but calm and soothing today. 

“Yes Lieutenant.” Vorik replied. 

“Alright, let’s get started.” B’elanna said. She pressed the button to begin the power transfer and the entire room went dark. The blue glow from the warp core disappeared, every computer shut off and the emergency lights came on glowing a light blue, barely allowing her to see ten feet in front of her. 

“What the hell?” B’elanna said to herself. 

“Janeway to Engineering.” her combadge chirped. 

“Go ahead,” B’elanna said touching her combadge to activate it. 

“We’re reading a ship wide power loss, what’s going on down there?” Janeway said, with mild agitation in her voice. 

“I’m not quite sure captain,” Torres said inputting commands onto her computer. At her touch, it came to life. Each computer had limited power stored into its matrix, a reserve battery and computer processor allowed it to input commands and execute orders for a limited time. 

B’elanna pulled up a system diagnostic and found the cause of the problem. All the relays had been linked into one processor on deck three. This had been done by an earlier shift. And when Vorik primed the endusers, it cut off the only gateway to power for the entire ship. 

Torres shook her head in frustration and cursed under her breath. She tapped a few buttons on the screen, stopping the priming process and rerouting power from deck three to deck ten. The moment she completed the command, Voyager sprang to life. Lights turned on, the warp core hummed back to life, and the crew looked up, happy to be able to see again.

“Sorry about that Captain.” B’elanna said. She entered a note into her log to make sure to discuss this with the morning crew so this problem wouldn’t happen again.  Bottom of Form

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

Seven of Nine returned to her station in the lab at precisely the right time as her program was complete. As she entered the room, she heard the computer chime “Program Complete.”

Seven walked up to the instrument panel in the center of the room and began processing the information available. Seven’s program was meant to augment the sensors. Because of the state of Voyager, Captain Janeway felt that Voyager needed to stay away from potential hostile systems until systems have been repaired.

Seven’s work on the sensors would increase sensor efficiency and accuracy by ten percent. Once the final program is completed, Seven of Nine would duplicate it and install it on the Delta Flyer as well.

“Seven of Nine to the Bridge.” Seven said, waiting a moment for the computer to process the command.

“Chakotay here.” Came a response over the speakers placed in the astrometrics lab.

“I have completed the sensor upgrades and I am ready to upload them to the main sensor grid.” Seven said. She began inputting the commands into the computer to prepare it for the upload.

“Stand by.” Chakotay said. Seven surmised, as with Standard Starfleet procedure, that Voyager would conduct one more full sensor sweep, to ensure no approaching vessels would surprise them unexpectedly. “Go ahead Seven.”

Seven pressed the button for the program to begin, as expected the screen in astrometrics went black, as the sensor program was uploaded into the sensor array. After a few moments, the sensor systems came online and Seven immediately began a full sensor sweep, using the augmented sensors to scan further into the systems the Delta Flyer would be traveling to.

Seven began processing the information available to her and uploaded it to the pad she was carrying with her. This information would be given to the away team to make their job more efficient.

Seven’s fingers flew over the screen and she inputted commands into the computer to upload the program into the Flyer. As she was in the middle of accessing the command interface to the Delta Flyer, astrometrics went dark. Seven’s Borg ocular implant provided her with the ability to see in the dark. While the consul was black, Seven attempted to bring the system online. No matter the commands she processed into the computer, it would not restart.

“Seven of Nine to Engineering.” Seven said after tapping her combadge.

“Engineering.” Responded Torres’ voice.

“Power has been cut to astrometrics, explain.” Seven said with mild agitation in her voice. Lieutenant Torres was a competent engineer, however Seven felt she lacked certain abilities that the Borg had that made Seven so efficient.

“I’m working on it.” Torres said back. And as she completed her sentence, the lights turned on.


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