Captain’s Log: Stardate 51462
We have successfully recaptured the USS Prometheus from the Romulan forces that hijacked her and the Romulan officers have now been transferred to the brig of the USS Spectre. We have also discovered that the ship has picked up an interesting passenger during it capture – the Emergency Medical Hologram from the missing USS Voyager. It seems that Voyager became stranded in the Delta Quadrant over three years ago and has been attempting to make its way back to Federation space ever since. At the EMH’s request we have contacted Starfleet Command so that he can report on the ship’s situation directly.
“That’s quite an incredible story, Doctor,” said Admiral Hayes after Voyager’s EMH had concluded his report on the ship’s adventures in the Delta Quadrant. “It’s always a cause for celebration when we discover a ship we presumed lost is in fact safe and sound, if a little displaced.”
“Voyager had been presumed lost?” asked the Doctor.
Hayes nodded. “The ship was officially classed as lost 14 months ago.”
“We’ve had a couple of close calls Admiral, but we’re still in one piece,” replied the Doctor.
“Which is good to hear considering what you’ve been through - The Borg, those organ-harvesting Vidians and the… Grazon was it?”
“Kazon, sir,” corrected the Doctor.
“Ah yes, Kazon,” remembered Hayes. “With enemies like that it’s amazing how well you’ve faired. We will update Voyager’s status immediately of course.”
“Thank you, Admiral.”
“I want you to pass on a message to Captain Janeway,” continued Hayes. “We will contact the relatives of Voyager’s crew and tell them the good news, and we won’t stop until we find a way to get Voyager home. She should know that her ship and her crew are no longer alone.”
“That will mean a lot, Admiral,” replied the Doctor. “Thank you again.”
Hayes bowed his head slightly before signing off with, “Starfleet Command out.” The screen turned blank and the Doctor turned to the others in the room.
“I believe that it’s nearly time for me to return to my ship,” he said.
“We should reach the transmission co-ordinates in the next few moments,” said Captain Roldán, who had been waiting patiently to one side of the room along with Kate Sheridan and Jonozia Lex. He indicted towards the doorway and the three of them filed out of the briefing room and onto the main bridge of Prometheus, where Starfleet personnel from the Spectre now manned the stations. Roldán approached the Captain’s Chair and relieved the lieutenant commander who had been seated there, while Lex, Sheridan and the Doctor stood beside Prometheus’ still active EMH Mark Two on the upper level.
“We’re approaching the transmission co-ordinates,” reported the male ensign at the helm.
“Drop to impulse,” ordered Roldán. “Scan for the relay network and open a connection.”
“Relay network detected and connection established,” reported the lieutenant at the science station.
“Well, I guess this is goodbye,” said the Doctor.
“Good luck, Mark One,” said Prometheus’ EMH. “Thank you for the upgrades.”
“You too, Mark Two. You’ll make a good replacement,” responded the Doctor, before adding with a smile, “someday. Just don’t come knocking at my door.”
“With any luck we’ll be seeing you again soon, Doctor,” said Lex.
“With any luck,” he replied, before turning to Kate Sheridan. “Thank you for your help, Commander.”
“Ready to transfer,” reported the Science officer.
“Commander, before I go, there’s something that has bugged me since you first entered the bridge,” said the Doctor. “When you arrived, you already knew I had come from Voyager and you seem very familiar to me.”
“Kathryn Janeway was my mother,” she explained.
The Doctor’s eyebrows rose in surprise. “How is that possible?”
“It’s a long story,” she replied, “but should things not go as planned, I should be seeing you again in about five years’ time.”
“Only you’ll be a little smaller,” guessed the Doctor.
Sheridan smiled in response.
“I’m ready to proceed,” he finished, smiling in return and taking a step backwards.
“Commencing transfer,” reported the Science Officer and the Doctor shimmered out of existence and back to the Delta Quadrant.
Jonozia Lex returned to the bridge of the USS Defender with a new feeling of optimism. The mission, for the most part, had gone well and early reports suggested that the Romulan government was denying all knowledge of the plan to hijack the Prometheus. Apparently they were instead blaming it on rogue elements in the Tal’Shiar that were unhappy with their government’s current stance in regards to the war. Added to this was the first positive identification of the forces attacking Federation convoys along the neutral zone. The USS Firestar had survived one of the ambushes and reported that they had been attacked by Dominion ships, which were obviously using their non-aggression treaty with the Romulans to launch attacks from the Romulan side of the Zone. The only mystery that remained was how the Dominion ships had managed to cross into Federation territory without detection. In fact, the only thing that put a dampener on Lex’s mood was that Sara had been right – the Dominion were using Starfleet’s mistrust of the Romulans in an attempt to trick it into making a decision that they would all regret later, and he had fallen for it hook, line and sinker. He wouldn’t be so quick to judge in future.
“Helm, set course for Deep Space Six, warp 7,” he ordered.
“Aye, sir,” Arkin replied. “Course laid in.”
Thomas Patel stared through the tall, rectangular, ready room window and out over the Argus’ hull. It was a view that he often found relaxing and whenever he had commanded a starship during her Captain’s absence he usually found that he ended up here when he needed a place to come and think.
“Bridge to Commander Patel,” Sara Parker’s voice came from the comm. system, interrupting his thoughts. “We’re approaching the Ganoris System.”
Patel turned away from the window and tapped his commbadge. “Acknowledged,” he said heading for the door. “Drop to impulse and prepare for a full scan of the system.”
“Aye...” Sara started to reply over the comm., “…sir,” and finished as he entered the bridge. She vacated the centre seat for the one to its right and Patel took her place. “We’ll be in sensor range in ten seconds.”
Patel felt each second tick by until, from the science station, Carol Davis said, “Beginning sensor scan.”
Again the seconds ticked by.
“The signal seems to be coming from the third planet in the system,” Davis said eventually. “I’m detecting a faint energy signature in orbit, it could be a ship.”
“Ensign, set course for the third planet, full impulse,” said Patel.
“Lights to half,” said Lieutenant Harry Johnson as he entered his quarters and felt the day’s stress fall away. It had been a tiring shift in main engineering, his second in a row, and he could hear his bed calling to him. First though he knew he had to get some food and water inside him or his sleep would be short and not very beneficial. He moved over to the replicator.
“Rare beef and salad sandwich, with horseradish and a glass of water, four degrees Celsius.”
The replicator hummed and his requested items materialised. He picked up the plate and glass and moved over to the nearby table. As it bit into his sandwich his eyes drifted to the holo of him with his brother that stood on the shelf nearby and he thought about how much easier he must be having it on the Defender at the moment. After all, it was because his brother had temporarily transferred to that ship that Harry had just done a double shift to cover for him.
As he continued to look at the image, the one beside it also caught his eye. This one was a reproduction of an old photograph, taken at one of his family’s proudest moments, and it showed one of his ancestors standing beside Zefram Cochrane and Lilly Sloane at the Titan launch facility two days before the launch of the Pheonix. Originally he had planned on going with them, but in an attack on the facility only a day later he had been killed. It was his children that had continued his dreams of reaching the stars, being among the first people to colonise Alpha Centuri and raising generations of engineers to follow them.
What had caught Harry’s eye was how much his brother resembled his ancestor. So much so, in fact, that Harry put his sandwich down and reached up and brought both images down for a closer look. He estimated that the ancestor was about ten years older at the time that the picture was taken, but taking that into account the resemblance really was uncanny and they could easily be mistaken for the same person.
Something else caught Harry’s eye in the older picture, but this time he had to use help to confirm what he was seeing. He walked over to the desk, picked up his tricorder and scanned the image into it. He then transferred it to his desk monitor. “Computer, enlarge and enhance grid D7.”
The computer beeped in acknowledgement and the image on the screen zoomed in on the selected area. Immediately his suspicions were confirmed as the Cochrane delta and bar of design of Starfleet’s current communicators filled the screen. My god, realised Harry, they are the same person.
He quickly rose from the seat behind the desk and sprinted out of the room towards the nearest turbolift, his fatigue and hunger all but forgotten.
“We’re entering visual range, Commander,” reported Carol Davis.
“On screen,” responded Thomas Patel.
The viewscreen changed to show the orange/yellow energetic clouds and similarly coloured rings of a gas giant.
“Magnify,” ordered Patel.
The screen shifted to show an area just above the planet’s rings where a ship sat in orbit. Its front half was of a similar shape to that of a submarine from the late Twentieth Century, although instead of cylindrical, its hull was octagonal. Sitting on top of this was a fin, while attached underneath was what appeared to be a set of cargo containers. At the back of the ship were a set of impulse thrusters that were crude by Twenty-Fourth Century standard and these were connected to the front of the ship by a thin neck which also has two sets of solar panels protruding from it.
“That’s the source of the signal?” asked Sara Parker in disbelief.
“Yes, sir,” replied Davis, “I’m not detecting any life signs though.”
“I would suspect not,” said Patel, rising from his seat. Beside him Parker followed suit. “That ship’s over 300 years old,” continued Patel, “it belongs in a museum.”
“It’s a DY-300,” agreed Parker, recognising it now, “pre-FTL refit.”
“Commander, I’m reading an active power source on board,” said Davis. “It looks like it’s powering a set of cryogenic stasis units.”
“DY-300’s didn’t carry stasis units, did they?” asked Patel.
“They did,” confirmed Parker, “but the advancements in impulse propulsion in the early Twenty-First Century made them mostly unnecessary by 2020, along with the obsolete DY-100 class.”
“I’ve also accessed the ship’s registry, Commander,” continued Davis, “NAR-24, B.R.S. Argus.”
Patel turned to Davis. “You’re joking.”
“No, sir,” she replied shaking her head. “There's an entry for the ship in the International Space Registry, but little other information. It was the only spaceship ever to have the B.R.S. prefix, as it disappeared before the British Royal family was restored in 2080.”
“Survivors of the Nuclear Holocaust?” asked Parker.
“Who have your Starfleet serial number?” questioned Patel.
Parker shook her head, agreeing that that was pretty unlikely too. Patel sighted. On its own, he could accept such a random act of chance, but there were far too many coincidences happening here for this to be a random convergence. He didn’t like where this was headed.
At that moment the Turbolift doors opened and an out-of-breath Harry Johnson spilled out onto the bridge, causing all assembled to look in his direction. Johnson looked at the image on the viewscreen and his face fell.
“I’m too late,” he said.
Patel turned back to the viewscreen, “I don’t like where this is headed at all.”
<-- Chapter 4 | Cover Page | Epilogue -->