Captain Janeway let out a yawn as her eyes grazed over Icheb's Starfleet exam essay. She was deep in her reading when the door rang out causing her to jump, “Come in!” She said after she regained her composure.
The door opened and Chakotay stepped through, carrying a bottle of Antarian Cider, “Is dinner still on?” He asked, throwing a glance to the PADD Kathryn had in her hand.
“Oh, sorry,” She sighed. She set the PADD down before crossing the room and stealing the bottle, “I had started reading Icheb’s paper and haven’t stopped since.” She walked over to the dining table and sat the bottle down, Chakotay following after her.
“What was the paper on?”
“Captain Archer and his mission with Enterprise.” Kathryn typed a few things into the replicator before it replicated two plates of pancakes with bacon and sausage. She set it down on the table, then went back for two glasses.
“I wish I had the chance to meet him,” Chakotay said as Kathryn sat down with the glasses. As he opened the bottle and poured the cider.
“Really? I wish I could’ve met Kirk, there’s just something about him, you know.”
"A crush?" Chakotay asked, a grin on his face, Kathryn shot back a pointed look, "You do know the rumor that floated around the academy, right?"
“That he and his First Officer had something of a thing for each other?”
“Every Captain and First Officer have a sort of unbreakable relationship matched by nothing else, I mean here we are eating dinner in my quarters, I don’t do this regularly with anyone else.”
“Sure-” Tremors took over the ship. Chakotay and Kathryn’s plate of food was thrown to the floor along with their drinks and the bottle of Cider. The shaking came to a stop and Kathryn sighed looking at the mess all over her floor.
She tapped her combadge, “Captain to the bridge, what was that?”
“I,” Harry said, drawing it out, not sure what to say exactly, “Don’t know, Captain. But, whatever happened caused us to move millions of light years away, I don’t think we’re in the same galaxy anymore.”
Kathryn stood up, Chakotay followed in suit, “Are we-”
"Home? I don't think so, Captain."
Kathryn didn't know what to say when she stepped out of the turbolift. The sight on the screen ground her movement to a halt. All she could do was just stand with a hand on her hip, her mouth hung slightly agape.
“Harry,” She says after some time, completely dazed, she hadn't peeled her eyes from the screen, “Does… um… the sensors, do they… confirm what we’re seeing?”
“Right,” Harry says, shaking himself from the trance that the sight had put him in. He tapped the screens at his station, “These are… real. They’re not holograms, they’re not imposters, at least from what I can tell…”
“That’s really… his ship?” She asked, pointing to the ship she was referring to. She couldn’t help but stand in awe at the sight. It was just…
“Captain,” Harry said, his voice had an abrupt sense of urgency, very stark compared to the stunned daze they were all in, “We have other problems.”
“The gravitational pull of the planet is pulling us into a decaying orbit.”
“If you could meet any historical figure, who would you meet?” Jadzia asked Chief O’Brien. They were sitting on the bridge of the Defiant as they were on their way out of the Gamma Quadrant.
“Zefram Cochrane,” Miles answered without a second’s hesitation.
“I do not believe you would like him in person,” Worf said, from his station.
“Yeah? Why is that?”
“When me and the Enterprise met him, he tried running away from his responsibilities before completing his mission.”
“Of course!" Miles mockingly sighs, throwing his hands up in the air, "The minute I leave and the Enterprise crew is off partying with historical figures.”
“I assure you, it was anything but a party,” Worf said with a scowl.
“Who would you meet?” Jadzia asked Worf.
“Hmm,” Jadzia hummed thoughtfully, “Why?”
“He was the first human to be successful against Klingons, it would be an honor to meet him.”
“What about you, Benjamin?”
“I-” The Defiant started trembling as if someone had picked up and shook the Defiant like a salt shaker.
Captain Sisko gripped onto his armrests and winced while Major Kira was flung to the ground behind him. Jadzia hit her head against the conn, while Miles fell out of his chair.
“What was that?” Benjamin asked when the shaking stopped.
“Don’t know, sir,” Miles replied as he pulled himself back up into his chair, “But, we’re not in the Gamma Quadrant.”
“Did we go through the wormhole?”
“No, sir. I don’t think we’re in our galaxy anymore.”
“Captain,” Jadzia said, “There are four ships out there.”
“Is that…?” Jadzia whispered, just loud enough for the others to hear.
Benjamin looked to Jadzia, “What-” His voice faded out when his gaze focused in on the screen.
“That’s not… is it?” Miles asked.
“Sir!” Miles said, just reading an alert, “The Defiant is being pulled back, there’s some planet behind us and we have a decaying orbit.”
Jean-Luc sat in his ready room, book in hand. He was reading some Shakespeare story, enjoying the first moment alone he’s had in what felt like years. He let out a contented sigh as he took a sip of his tea.
“Jean-Luc!” Q exclaimed! Scaring him and causing him to jump and spill the tea all down his front side.
“Q!” Jean-Luc nearly yelled, jumping to his feet to face Q. His book fell to the floor but was left forgotten.
“No time for your silly human complaining. No time to explain either, you just need to trust me.”
Jean-Luc felt a sardonic laugh rip through him but Q didn’t give him the time to laugh, “Enterprise, within half an hour, is going to find itself crash landing on a planet, you need to prepare your ship for this.” Q started to pace as he spoke.
“Is this another one of your games?”
“Game? No this isn’t a game... far from it.”
“What is going on, Q?”
“I don’t have time to explain.” Q stopped his pacing and stood in front of Jean-Luc, invading his personal space once more, “Now go call your silly little ‘Red Alert’ and get ready, because this is going to be a bumpy ride.” Once he stopped talking the ship started shaking.
Jean-Luc was jolted to the ground, along with the Q.
When the shaking finished Jean-Luc and Q stood up. Jean-Luc eyed him, trying to decipher his features, curious if he could trust Q or not.
He must’ve decided to trust him, because he walked onto the bridge and said, “Lieutenant Worf, put the ship in Red Alert, Data, what just happened?”
“I am unsure, sir, but we are no longer in our galaxy, we are over a million light years away.”
“Q!?” Will asked, standing up from his seat, “You did this didn’t you?”
“Not this time, number one,” Q said, mocking Jean-Luc.
Jean-Luc centered himself on the bridge, Q lurking after him.
“Sir,” Data said, “There are four other federation ships out there.”
“On screen,” He said, taking a seat in the Captain’s chair. Q sat down in Will’s seat, causing Will to glare. The screen flicked on and most everyone’s mouth dropped.
“Hmm…” Jim hummed, scrunching his face, he searched Spock’s face for some answers, “36.” He was sitting with Spock and Bones in the mess hall, eating dinner.
“No… no,” Bones shakes his head, “Does he really look that young to you?” He gestured to his face, “No, I’d place him at 100.”
“That’s a little rude, Bones,” Jim replied with a tilt of the head.
“Nonsense, he’s a Vulcan, Vulcan’s can’t get offended.”
“That may be the most logical thing you’ve ever said, Dr. McCoy.”
“Thank you,” Bones nodded, but he gave a pointed glare at Spock, it was an underhanded compliment after all, “You green-blooded hobgoblin.”
“What are you guys talking about?” Uhura asked, walking up to the table with Scotty, Sulu, and Chekov. They both sat down with their dinner.
“We’re guessing Spock’s age.” Bones said.
“Well, betting, but we... don’t have anything to bet,” Jim corrected with a smile.
“I’ve got a bottle of Scotch,” Scotty offered, “We could bet for that.”
“Okay,” Jim nodded, “Are you guys okay with that?” He was met with a round of agreement.
“65.” Scotty said.
“Hmm…” Uhura hummed, “30.”
“45,” Sulu replied.
“Okay, that’s everyone,” Jim said, “Spock?”
Spock rose his eyebrow, but decided to play along, “I am-” He was cut off when Enterprise started shaking. The people in the mess hall were thrown to the ground.
“What…” Jim said, standing up and offering a hand to Spock, “was that?” Spock took his hand and pulled himself up as the others got up.
Spock opened his mouth to answer but realized that Jim’s question was rhetorical when he took off on a near-jog to the bridge. The rest of the officers all followed in suit.
The crew took their stations as they got to the bridge.
“Spock?” Jim asked as Spock looked through his viewer.
“There are four other ships out their, captain,” Spock explained.
“I recognize that ship…” Jim said, pointing to the one the far left, “That was… is? Captain Archer’s Enterprise.”
“Captain!” Chekov exclaimed, “We are over a million light years away from our last position!”
“How is that possible?” Jim asked, looking over to Spock for an explanation, while he was looking through his viewer.
“Captain,” Spock said, turning around, “We have other problems, the gravitational pull of the nearest planet has us in a decaying orbit.”
“Do you ever wonder what is going to happen in the future?” Trip asks, cutting into the steak in front of him. He was enjoying dinner along with Archer and T'Pol in the Captain’s Mess, “Like will we still have Star Fleet? Or will it be replaced by something? Things like that.”
“Well, I don’t know about Star Fleet, but when Daniels took me to the future there was something called the Federation,” Jonathan said.
“A Federation is a group of states… or in this case, probably planets. I do not believe that a Federation would replace Star Fleet, an exploration group.” T’Pol reasoned,
“Maybe they coexist.”
“I wouldn’t know, Daniels didn’t let me learn much when we were in the 31st century.”
“I wonder if, you know, if we are still exploring in hundreds of years.” Trip said, taking a bite out of his food.
“Humans have an avid curiosity,” T’Pol replied, she took a bite of her salad, “I’m sure you will still be exploring then.”
“Is that a compliment?” Jonathan teased, with a smile.
“Just an observation.”
“Well I hope your right,” Trip said, nodding towards T’Pol, “I wonder what it will be like.” But Trip didn’t have much time to speculate as the Enterprise started shaking. They were nearly flung out of their chairs, but the food flew off the table and to the ground.
Jonathan stood up after the shaking ended, “Archer to the bridge,” He said, tapping the button on the wall.
“Ensign Sato here, sir”
“What was that?”
“We don’t know, sir.”
“I’m on my way, Archer out.” He looked to T’Pol and Trip, “Would you care to join me?” But he didn’t wait for a response before he started walking out, they followed after him.
“What’s going on?” Jonathan asked as he walked onto the bridge.
“Sir, I don’t know how to explain it, but we’ve traveled over a million light years,” Travis explained. Trip and T’Pol took their stations.
“Captain,” Reed said, “There are four other vessels out there.”
On the screen were five ships, The Enterprise, The Enterprise-D, The Defiant, and Voyager. In the far left of the corner was an M-Class planet.
“T’Pol,” Jonathan asked, turning to face her, “Do you recognize any of these ships?”
“No, Captain. But there’s another problem. Our orbit is decaying, the gravity of the planet is overpowering our engines.”
“Ma’am,” Tom said, turning back to face Kathryn, “We can’t leave orbit.”
“Janeway to Torres,” Kathryn said, tapping her combadge.
“We need to get Voyager going a little faster, can you do that?”
“I’m giving her all she’s got, this engine won’t go any faster, Captain.”
“Are you sure?”
“I wouldn’t be telling you if I wasn’t sure, Captain.”
“Harry, how long do you think we have?”
“I’d say about 30 minutes, captain.”
Kathryn turned to Chakotay, “Any ideas?” She asked.
“If we got rid of some of our cargo, we could get the engines pushing a little harder.” Chakotay reasoned.
“Captain, The Enterprise is hailing us,” Harry said.
“On screen.” The bridge of the Enterprise flashed onto the viewer.
“Captain.” Jean-Luc Picard greeted, he seemed surprised. He had stood up and Q was right next to him, “I take it your from the future.”
“What’s your Stardate, Captain?” It felt weird tagging a sentence with Captain to Kathryn. She had been a captain for seven years and she’d kind of gotten used to it.
“54920.7,” Kathryn replied, “Looks like I have you beat by about eight years.”
“It seems like we are all out of our times.”
Kathryn opened her mouth to agree, but she caught sight of Q, “Q?” Kathryn asked, jumping to her feet, ready to accuse the omnipotent being.
“Yes? Who are you?” Q whined.
“You saying you don’t know who I am?”
“I don’t have the luxury of knowing everything, Human brains are so limited.” Q sighs.
“You’re human?” Jean-Luc asked, turning to face him, “Never mind.” Jean-Luc sighs, shaking his head, deciding it was a problem for another time, he turned back to Kathryn, “You seem to be in the same predicament we are in, Captain.”
“Seems that way, Captain.”
“Captain,” Harry said, “We are receiving another hail, from the Defiant.”
“I think this would be more efficient if all captains and first officers met somewhere,” Kathryn said, talking to Jean-Luc.
“How about we meet on Voyager?”
Jean-Luc nodded, “Who would you like to relay the news to?”
“Well, we already have a hail from the Defiant. So I’ll take the Defiant, you can take the Captain Archer and whoever is done first can talk to Captain Kirk.”
“Yes, Captain. Enterprise out.”
“Harry,” Kathryn said, looking back at him, “Put the Defiant on.”
“Captain Janeway,” Benjamin said, when Defiant’s bridge flashed on the screen, “Is Voyager alright? Where have you guys been?”
“I see you’re from the past as well.”
“What’s your stardate?”
“51464.2,” Sisko answered.
“54920.7,” Janeway replied, “I’m six years in your future.”
“It would seem that way,” Benjamin said, “Do you think you could tell me about the end of the dominion war?”
“Nope, I can’t contaminate the timeline,” Kathryn said with a slight smile.
“Since when do you worry about that?” Chakotay asks a playful smile gracing over his face, Kathryn shot a glare back, but quickly turned to face Benjamin again.
“I’ve already talked to Captain Picard, we agreed that the only way any work was going to get done was if we all met on one ship, would you be willing to join us with your first officer?”
“Yes, Sir.” Sisko said, “The Major and I will beam over immediately.”
“See you soon. Janeway out.” The screen turned off then flicked back to a view of the other ships.
“Captain, we’re getting a message from Enterprise-D.”
“Worf, could you please hail Captain Archer’s Enterprise?”
“Yes, sir.” Within seconds and their bridge was on screen. Jonathan had stood up and was now standing behind Travis.
“Captain Archer,” Jean-Luc said.
“Should I know you?”
“No, Captain.” Jean-Luc shook his head, “I don’t expect you to believe me, but we are from the future. We can explain all of it, but we need you and your first officer to transport over to Voyager.”
“Why should I believe you?”
“Well, even if we’re not, if we want to escape this orbit, we will need to put our heads together. We tried to break orbit with warp 9.9 and we couldn’t. Your engine is a warp five engine, you won’t be able to break orbit without help.”
Jonathan eyed him with suspicion and let out a sigh, “You have a good point. But we meet on my ship, on Enterprise.”
“I’ll talk to Voyager.” Jean-Luc said with a nod, “Captain Picard out.” The transmission ended and he turned back to Worf, “Send a message to Captain Janeway, tell her change of plans, tell her that Captain Archer wanted the meeting on his ship, that he didn’t entirely trust us.”
“Yes, sir,” Worf said. Worf tapped the screen a few times then stopped, “Done, Captain. Voyager replied, they acknowledged the request, they’re fine with the change of plans.”
“Good, now please hail Captain Kirk’s Enterprise.”
“Captain Kirk,” Jean-Luc greets, “It’s an honor to meet you.”
“Forgive me, but… who are you?” Kirk asked, standing up.
“I’m Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise...Enterprise-D, I’m from your future. I’m sure you recognized Captain Archer’s ship. All of the Captain’s have decided to meet there with their first officer, to put our heads together so we can get out of this problem. Will we see you there?”
Kathryn, Chakotay, Benjamin and Kira all beamed into Jonathan’s Enterprise’s cargo bay. They met a security team, Captain Archer, and T’Pol.
“Captain Archer!” Kathryn said, walking up to him, she held out a hand, “It’s an honor.” Jonathan took her hand and shook it.
“It seems you know me, but I do not know you.”
“Captain Kathryn Janeway.” She said with a smile, she stepped back gesturing at Chakotay, “And this is my first officer, Commander Chakotay.”
“Nice to meet you,” He said to Kathryn before turning to Chakotay, holding out a hand. Chakotay took it with a smile.
“Nice to meet you as well,” Kathryn said.
Benjamin and Kira walked forward, “I’m Captain Benjamin Sisko, this is my first officer Major Kira Nerys.” They shook hands and Kira walked forward.
“You’re not human,” Jonathan commented.
“Bajoran,” Kira said.
Jonathan turned back to T’Pol, hoping she’d have some insight, but she shook her head. He turned back and shook her hand, “It feels like a first contact here.” He smiled.
They heard the sound of a transporter beam and looked behind them. Jim, Spock, Jean-Luc, Q, and Will beamed into the cargo bay. The group looked back and moved to greet each other.
“We should go around the circle and introduce ourselves, it’ll be a little quicker.” Chakotay said, “It’s what we did in the Maquis.” He smiled. Benjamin and Kira shot a glance over at Chakotay, jumping on the defensive, but didn’t say anything.
“I’ll go first.” Kathryn said, “I’m Captain Kathryn Janeway, this is Commander Chakotay, my first officer.”
“I’m Jean-Luc Picard,” He gestured to Q, “This is Q,” Then to Will, “And this is my first officer, Commander Riker.”
“I’m Captain Jim Kirk and this is my first officer Spock.”
“I am Captain Benjamin Sisko and,”
“I’m his first officer, Major Kira Nerys.”
“It seems you all know me, but I’m Captain Jonathan Archer, and this is my first officer, Sub-Commander T’Pol.”
In a short while, they found themselves sitting in the mess hall.
“Well, I think the first thing we need to talk about is who’s in charge.” Jonathan proposed. Looking around to the Captains.
“Star Fleet Regulation one hundred ninety-one, Article fourteen. In a combat situation involving more than one ship, command falls to the vessel with tactical superiority.” Kathryn said, almost eager to take command.
“This isn’t a combat situation, is it?” Jean-Luc said, with a sharp glance in her direction.
“Even if it was,” Kira said, standing up, “It wouldn’t be Voyager, it would be the Defiant.”
“Sit down major,” Benjamin said, grabbing her arm and pulling her back into her seat.
“I think you’d get along well with my Chief Engineer,” Kathryn said with a smile, pointing to her, “B’Elanna Torres, she shares your… passion.” Kira looked over and nodded.
“They would get along,” Chakotay replied with a nod.
“So, what does Star Fleet say about non-combat situations?” Will asked, looking over at Kathryn with a flirtatious smirk.
“I’m not sure,” Kathryn said.
“If you don’t mind,” Q said, jumping to his feet, “Your petty human squabbling could last years, can I at least explain what’s going on?”
Jonathan looked from Q to Jean-Luc who let him join then back to Q.
“Who is this?” Jim asked.
“You haven’t had the pleasure of dealing with Q?” Kathryn asked with as much sarcasm as she could.
“When have you?” Q asked, turning to her, “Never mind. I’m Q. I am, well, was part of the Q continuum. The easiest way to explain it is I am... was a God.”
“God?” T’Pol and Spock asked at the same time. They looked at each other than back towards Q.
“Basically, yes. Now, may I continue?” Q asked, “7 years ago, Jean-Luc’s time, I was chosen in my Continuum to test humanity, they are… unsatisfied with my test. They decided to test you in their own way with a challenge. I was given a choice, I could choose to not intervene or I could be turned human and… guide you through this experience. If you don’t believe me,” He snapped his fingers and nothing happened. “Your ship will crash land on this planet and your test is to see if you can leave the planet and get back home.”
“Is there anything we can do to stop the crash-landing?” Jonathan asked.
“Well… I had an idea,” Benjamin said, “If we flew and got as far as we could, we could use the tractor beam and move a ship out of here.”
“I like the idea,” Jonathan said with a nod.
“Ready to try it? We only have 20 minutes until the decay becomes critical.” Kathryn replied.
“No,” Q said, “The continuum, won’t let you out that easily. If you actually try and make headway they will make the pull of the planet even stronger and the crash will be worse. They are trying to make it so you have to face a crash landing and a survival situation.” Q shook his head.
“If that’s true then we should start beaming people to the surface,” Jim replied.
“I won’t give up without trying this option,” Kathryn said, fire catching her voice.
“The continuum won’t let you off that easily. You’re setting yourself up for an even bigger crash.”
“I have to side with Q,” Jean-Luc said, shaking his head apologetically towards Kathryn.
Benjamin looked at Kira, whispered something then turned back to the group, “I’m sorry but I with Captain Janeway, I’m not just going to tell my crew to abandon ship without attempting something.”
Jim looked to Spock then back at the rest, “I’m with… Q and Captain Picard on this one. We shouldn’t risk anything we don’t need to.”
The group turned their attention to Jonathan and T’Pol, “Looks like your decision is the tiebreaker, “ Jim said with a smile.
Jonathan turned to T’Pol and she whispered something, “Looks like we’re in agreement,” Jonathan said, “We agree with Captain Kirk. I’m not risking my crews if I don’t need to.”
“Looks like it’s decided,” Q said clapping his hands together, “We each should go back to our ships and we need to arrange for us all to beam down.
“One problem,” Jonathan said, “Our transporters aren’t able to ‘beam’ more than one person at a time, besides they’re experimental.”
“We have only 144 officers,” Kathryn said, “We could transport you after we’ve got our crew down.”