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I guess I've had this idea since 'Dark Frontier' when Janeway acquired a strange personal habit. I guess it's also a parody of 'Relativity'.
Hopefully some of you are Voyager fanatics like myself and will recognise everything, but if not...this story contains spoilers for the two episodes name above as well as 'Future's End', 'Caretaker', 'Investigations' and 'Scorpion'. Enjoy!
And if you expect any of this to make sense...then you're not a Voyager script writer.
Aboard the USS Voyager, registration number NCC-74656, in cargo bay two...Captain Kathryn Janeway and Commander Chakotay were about to make a fatal mistake.
Although it had not gone quite according to plan (they were only supposed to damage the thing), the destruction of the Borg probe had put most of them - especially the Captain - in high spirits. The First Officer still questioned how wise it was to confront the Borg head on. It was a natural fear. His first and subsequent encounters with the Borg had not been particularly heart-warming.
So the Commander watched her as they argued gently without getting angry, watched her as she thanked Harry for the warning about the possible auto-regeneration unit, and then watched her as she reached up her hand to do something that would cause the beginning of their fatal mistake.
Paying no attention to what she was doing, she fiddled with her com badge.
"Maybe I should go to Red Alert and get it over with." He told her, unable to stop himself.
Still fiddling with her com badge, she gave him a questioning look.
He continued. "You're about to drop one of your bombshells,"
"Now, what makes you say that?" She asked, still not letting go.
The Commander grinned. "The way you fiddle with your com badge. You do it every time."
Realising what she was doing she quickly let go and was about to retort-
Lieutenant Ducane had seen many things and many different histories during his time working for the Temporal Integrity Commission - although it was the sight of his superior officer in his underwear that had provoked the most disturbing nightmares and it remained one of the most horrific sights he had ever witnessed.
But he had never seen anything to the magnitude of this.
If a temporal incursion was under 1.0 then just his console started beeping. At 13:07:22:43 the entire ship started beeping.
Braxton came barrelling out of his office. "What the hell is going on!?"
The few crewmembers they had on board were running to their stations, excited but calm and efficient.
"Looking into it sir!" Ducane belted back over the klaxons, leaning as close to his console as possible and pressing the appropriate buttons in part of a procedure that he had performed too many times before (three hundred and ninety-one, to be exact). In nanoseconds his eyes were wider than Braxton's ego. "Captain," he gasped "Sensors have detected an incursion factor of 47.25!"
"That's impossible!" Braxton spat, pushing the younger man out of the way as he tried to push away the headache that was building. He bared his teeth as he read the data once, then again to confirm. "Janeway...*again*..."
Landing in his seat roughly, Ducane struggled to his feet and wiped his brow with the back of his hand. "Sir, you know what has to be done-"
"Of course I do Lieutenant. Get it done." Turning away from the console he glared at him. "But first get rid of that noise."
"Aye sir! Computer: deactivate klaxon." Immediately the intrusive sound vanished and all that was left was the comforting and reassuring sound of a ship in excellent condition humming its pleasure. Sitting down once more in his seat, Ducane gave the instruction.
"Raise shields. Time frame: Stardate 52619.2265. Delta Quadrant. Spatial co-ordinates..." He checked the readings on the console "49 gamma prime by 102 zeta. Target: USS Voyager."
"Well, I'll have to keep an-"
Kathryn stopped. Something was wrong. Something was catastrophically wrong. A low whine filled her eyes and a bright light blinded her ears...wait, shouldn't that have been the other way around? She barely had time to construct that thought before-
She was somewhere else.
Unaccountably dizzy she toppled over and landed sharply on her rear. Blinking, she stared up at the man who stepped onto what seemed to be a transporter pad and held out a hand to her. "Who the hell are you and why have you taken me from my ship?"
He winced. "Relax Captain, please. I work for the Federation."
Her eyes raked over him quickly. Okay, the outfit had more than a passing similarity to the outfit she was used to seeing, but it was just different enough to be confusing. "What department? Under whose authority?"
"Under mine," another male voice said and - still sitting on the transporter pad - she swivelled to look at the owner of the voice. The man continued. "And you're not in the Delta Quadrant anymore."
Kathryn Janeway had discovered many theories over the last hour and had reaffirmed some old ones.
The Temporal Integrity Commission still existed in this timeline.
Captain Braxton looked a hell of a lot different than she remembered.
And - there was no doubt about it - she still hated time travel. With a passion.
"So you're trying to tell me that by fiddling my com badge...I caused the destruction of my ship and a good percentage of the Delta Quadrant with it?"
Ducane nodded, doing his best to sit between Janeway and Braxton. The two obviously didn't get along. "That's right."
She actually spluttered. "But...*how*?"
Braxton growled and Ducane quickly interjected. "Okay Captain, as far as you're concerned com badge fiddling is not a particularly unusual activity, correct?"
She nodded promptly. "Yes. I know I've done it before. Chakotay knows I've done it before." She frowned. "Although I honestly can't remember specific incidents..."
"Right. So the two of you remember but the Universe doesn't. That's what caused the temporal anomaly that originated on your ship and spread throughout the Delta Quadrant within seconds. If something happens that is at odds with what is supposed to happen in our Universe, then an anomaly is the result."
A vein throbbed in her forehead. "And would you care to explain why the 'Universe' doesn't remember?"
Ducane already had the perfect analogy planned; something he had used on many occasions. "Think of the Universe as a person, Captain. Like a person, the Universe has many diverse functions and if one of them goes wrong or out of order for even a second...tragedy can ensue. Something distracted the Universe at a particular moment. Perhaps it sneezed and missed the com badge fiddling until now."
"You're trying to tell me the reasoning behind the anomaly is that the Universe sneezed?"
"In very simplistic terms but...well...yes."
Holding up her hand, she sighed. "Fine. Fine. I am not going to think about it anymore. What do you want me to do?"
Braxton grunted. "What makes you think we want you to do anything?"
She glared at him, something that still had an effect on people five hundred years into the future. "Obviously you didn't bring me here and save me only to tell me that I'm inadvertently responsible for the death of my crew and billions of innocent people."
Laughing, Ducane did his best to lighten the moment. "Yes Captain, you're quite correct. We need you to go back to specific moments in Voyager's past and do a little com badge fiddling. We won't do it more than three of four times - anymore and you could suffer from some nasty side effects - but that should be enough to get the Universe back on track."
"Fine," She answered, just wanting to get it over with.
As Ducane got up to retrieve a PADD and start some calculations, Braxton growled at her. "Perhaps this will make you consider the consequences of your actions, *Captain*."
Kathryn crossed her arms over her chest. "And just how was I supposed to know what would happen?"
His nostrils flared in a particularly unflattering manner. "If you hadn't been flirting with your First Officer to begin with-"
"I beg your pardon?" Her mouth opened wide, shocked. "I was *not*-"
"Don't try that 'high and mighty' attitude with me; it won't work." Braxton leant towards her, glaring. "As I'm sure you must be aware now, our sensors are very advanced. They scan all different time periods and when they locate an incursion they can focus on the milliseconds before the incursion with amazing accuracy. That includes conversation and even bio-readings. Our bio-scanners revealed everything you wouldn't want us to know: you were enjoying the sparring you were having with your First Officer. You were practically drooling over him. Highly unbecoming actions for a Captain."
Kathryn's jaw set hard, her lips pressing together. "Have you had plastic surgery Captain?"
Surprised at the abrupt change of subject, he blinked. "What?"
Smirking as easily as she could, she continued. "It's just that you look so utterly different from the last time we met. Your attitude hasn't improved - if anything it's gotten worse - but your face..."
"You're partially right," Ducane dared to volunteer as he worked between his PADD and the console a few feet away. "He had a facial reconstruction, along with other...changes. Apparently his wife wasn't too happy with the size-"
"Lieutenant if you wish to remain a Lieutenant I suggest you shut up."
"Aye sir," He grinned, walking back towards them. "Well I've finished the calculations. Reaching into a uniform pocket he pulled something out and handed it to Janeway. "This is for you."
She studied the...wig...with some amusement. Of course. If she was visiting different time periods she would have to have different hair. Tucking up her hair and placing the wig on her head she was amazed to feel something tingling around her skull. "What..?"
The Lieutenant grinned, reassuringly. "Don't worry. It's just molding itself to your head. And if you pull at this section here," He touched the back of the wig "a ponytail will appear."
Kathryn grinned. Impressive. The Doctor would be pleased.
Slapping her thighs she stood up. "Well, shall we get started?"
After she reached her first destination - dizzy as hell and still trying to get used to the bun - she went about locating her counterpart. Ducane had provided her with all the information she needed so at the right moment she accosted herself and took her place, using the device Ducane had also provided her with to erase her memory of anything happening and give her the memories she'd otherwise be missing.
On the bridge she barely managed to keep the facade going. She hadn't remembered how different everyone had looked back then. And what had happened to Chakotay's hair?
She didn't - however - need any reminder of her conversation with Jabin. It was permanently burned into her memory; a decision that had forever changed the life of over one hundred and fifty people.
As the Kazon warned her that he had called for extra ships, Kathryn picked her moment. Reaching up, she tugged at her com badge and gave him her own warning: back off. "I intend to destroy the array."
It didn't go down well, but then she knew that.
Time for the next one.
Rematerialising in her ready room, Kathryn teetered for a moment before looking at the other version of herself who was gawking at her. Before she could call for help, Kathryn used the device. Carefully shoving herself under the table, Kathryn tried to prepare for the inevitable encounter.
Soon Tuvok lead Neelix into her ready room, Chakotay a step behind.
The conversation began and again she waited for the right moment.
Eventually, Chakotay spoke. "What initial investigation? Captain, what's going on?"
Standing straight from her leant over position next to her table, she fiddled with her com badge and moved around the table and behind the three men. "What I'm about to say will come as a surprise to you Commander." God this was so hard to say, even now. "There has been a spy aboard Voyager...but it isn't Tom Paris."
Replacing herself at the next one was easier, although the transport was a hell of a lot more difficult. After she rematerialised just outside the holodeck she completely lost her balance and thudded against the corridor wall, head spinning as she blinked severely to get rid of the images blurring across her vision.
Struggling to stand normally she remembered to reach up behind her head and press on the specific section of the wig. Immediately the pony tail appeared.
A few seconds later she watched as the holodeck doors opened and herself stepped out. She knew that this Janeway had just had her revelation whilst talking with the Maestro. Before she got more than a few steps away she used the device and took her place.
Stepping onto the bridge she did her best to look confident. "Commander, please call a meeting of the senior staff. Immediately."
"Aye Captain," he responded, smiling warmly as she stepped into the briefing room.
Kathryn frowned. That would be the last time he smiled warmly at her for a long time.
After Chakotay left the briefing room Kathryn rubbed her hands over her face, hating the moisture in her eyes. She couldn't take this.
She activated the communicator she'd been provided with, taking a risk. "Janeway to Ducane."
His voice was weak but she heard him. "Ducane here. Is there a problem Captain?"
Yes, God yes. "I don't think I could make another one. It's getting too...difficult."
He grunted his agreement. "Yes, the sensory aphasia can be quite disturbing. Hang on for just a moment..." His voice faded out as he checked something. "It looks like you've done the job anyway Captain. Well done! We'll bring you back. It'll be a bumpy ride..."
"I'll handle it."
She almost didn't.
The moment she finished dematerialising she thumped to the floor and lay there, unmoving.
Braxton frowned down at her as Ducane grabbed a tricorder. "Is she...?" Dammit, this was a complication they didn't need...
"No," Ducane answered, relieved. "She's just unconscious. Help me get her to sickbay, will you?"
Braxton hesitated, but then relented.
Appropriately treated, Kathryn woke on a biobed. Her eyes latched onto Ducane who was smiling down at her. "Is it confirmed?"
"Relax, Captain. You did it. Your ship is waiting for you back in the 24th Century in one piece. More or less."
"More or less?"
"Forget I mentioned it," he coughed and looked away.
Wincing, she sat up and checked that the wig was gone. She sighed in relief when she realised it was. "So I can go back now?"
Almost reluctant to see her go, he held out his arm for her to take. "Come on. I'll take you to the transporter pad."
When they arrived Braxton was waiting for them. He spoke roughly. "We've decided not to erase your memory. You saw none of your future and as long as you swear to keep this a secret, we'll leave you the way you are."
She agreed. She just wanted to get home.
Ducane led her onto the pad. "When you arrive back in your time you'll be integrated with your other self so just for a split second there will be two of you occupying the exact same place in the space/time continuum. It'll be a little disorienting-"
"Everything about this has been disorienting. What's one more?"
He smiled and stepped off the pad. "It's been a pleasure working with you Captain. But please...try and stay out of temporal trouble?" His voice was hopeful.
Kathryn smirked at that one. "You think I enjoy it?"
Before he could respond she began to dematerialise. She may have imagined it, but as her gaze flickered towards Braxton she almost saw a smile.
-eye on that," she answered, then paused for a moment as the dizziness nearly overwhelmed her. She was here. She was back on Voyager. Back in cargo bay two. Back with Chakotay.
He opened his mouth and she was sure he was about to ask if she was okay when the Doctor interrupted, waving a Borg appendage under their noses.
Her first instinct was to roll her eyes at him and Tom but she suddenly knew there was something she had to do.
"Excuse us for a moment gentlemen." Grabbing Chakotay's hand she pulled him out of the cargo bay, much to the amusement and amazement of the crewmembers they passed.
Once the doors to the cargo bay closed behind them she released his hand and turned around to face him. "I'm sorry."
He frowned, no doubt as confused about how she was acting as she had been about temporal physics. "About what?"
"Everything," she answered, leaning forward to kiss him on the cheek.
Stunned, he gaped at her as she smiled, squeezed his hand, and walked back into the cargo bay.
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