Captain's Log: Stardate XXXXX.X
As usual, we were flying along in a boring sector of space, when something strange happened.
Captain Kathryn Janeway spun in her seat, taking in at a glance each member of her bridge crew. "What the devil was that?"
Ensign Harry Kim's fingers fairly flew over his Ops command console as he attempted to acquire the information his Captain had requested. "It appears that we've passed through some type of barrier," he finally said, looking up.
"What sort of barrier, Mr. Kim?" the captain asked.
"Uh..." Harry looked confused.
"It's a ...a thingy in space captain. You know, an anomaly."
The captain rolled her eyes, and turned to the resident Borg ex-Borg. "Seven?"
"Accessing, Captain." Seven's fingers *did* fly over the console as she quickly found the answer. "It would appear that we've impacted with a fissure in the time space continuum. The residual signature would suggest that the fissure crosses through fluidic space. I am also detecting evidence of a biological vessel."
The Captain's eyes widened, and she turned to share a worried look with her first officer. He simply grinned his best double dimpler. "Think good thoughts, Kathryn," he whispered, and tried to touch her hand. Janeway snacked her hand away and rolled her eyes.
"I told you...not on the bridge," she ground out. Then casting a look around to see if anyone had noticed the slip, she turned toward the helm. The chair was empty.
"Where's Mr. Paris?" she asked the room at large. There was no answer.
"Computer, locate Ensign Tom Paris."
The computer responded in droll monotone. "Mr. Paris is not onboard Voyager."
Another worried look passed among the command staff. Seven was however, busy working.
"Captain, I've detected a federation signature emanating from the fissure. We will need to enter the rift in order to determine the exact location of the signature. I should also warn you that there is a time displacement within the fissure of approximately 350 years. My calculations suggest that the other side of the fissure will open in the vicinity of sector 001."
The worried looks among the crew changed to amazement. "Earth..."
* * *
Gary yawned as he moved toward the door of his apartment. The cat was quieter than usual this morning. Even the slap of the newspaper had been muted. If he hadn't already been up answering nature's call, he wouldn't have noticed.
Opening the door, he looked curiously down at Cat. "Was this my morning to sleep in and I missed it?" he asked.
The cat simply stared at him.
"Well, aren't you gonna move over so I can get the paper?" Gary asked.
The cat continued to simply look at him.
Shrugging, Gary moved the cat aside and picked up the paper. Nothing on the front cover, nothing on page two. Nothing on page three. He really was beginning to think that the day was going to be exceptionally light when he found a small story tucked away on the last page between an advertisement for socks and an editorial on the care of dandelions.
The story proclaimed that McGinty's Bar Manager would be reported missing.
* * *
"Report!" Janeway settled in her seat with a cup of coffee.
"I have determined the precise location of the federation signature." Seven answered.
The Captain nodded for her to continue.
"It is emanating from the bioship."
Ensign Kim screamed. When all heads turned his direction, he cleared his throat, and quickly ducked his head toward his console.
All eyes returned to Seven. "As I was saying. There are also biological readings consistent with species 8472 on the planet surface on the North American continent, in what is known as Chicago, Illinois, USA I suggest Captain that we send an away team first to the biological vessel in order to determine the source of the federation signal, and then to the planet to investigate the lifeform readings."
Janeway turned to her left. "Mr. Chakotay. Take an away team to the vessel, and to the planet. We'll keep an open comlink."
Chakotay nodded with a smile. He loved an open comlink. His smile faded when Neelix, the resident Talaxian appeared on the bridge. "Might I accompany you, Commander? I've been working on my security skills, and according to our cultural database a foodstuff of which I'm curious can be found in this city in this century."
"What food stuff is that, Neelix?" Chakotay asked tiredly.
"Falafels," Neelix declared. "I'm just chomping at the bit to try my hand at Leola Root Falafels. "
* * *
Gary rushed out of his apartment and to the restaurant. Marissa was sitting at the bar, enjoying a cup of tea. Or at least, he thought it was tea.
"Where's Erica?" he asked.
"Good Morning," Marissa replied. Then smiled. "I haven't seen her. Isn't it a bit early?"
"Right." Gary nodded, then dashed for the phone. Then realizing he had no idea what his girlfriend's phone number was, poked his head back out the door toward the bar. Marissa would know.
Having gotten the information and dialed the number, no one had answered the phone. Yanking the paper out of his back pocket, he reread the article. It wasn't clear on when she'd been discovered missing. He decided to go to her home.
"What's going on," Marissa asked, having finished her tea and come into the office.
"Erica's gonna turn up missing unless I can find her address and save her."
"Oh." Marissa turned and went back out to the bar. "Would you like a cup of tea?"
Gary groaned, and would have spoken, but his attention was again caught by the newspaper. This time the article *was* on the front page. Two men would be injured by unknown weapons fire in a small apartment. The pictures of the two men were near the article. He immediately recognized Joe, his old friend from Hickory Indiana, and the other as the doctor who'd helped him when he needed faith.
Erica. Joe and Doc. Erica. Joe and Doc. He had to choose.
"Angry Warrior to Brave Female Leader."
"Brave Female Leader, here," Janeway responded. "Go ahead angr - er, Commander."
"We've found the source of the federation signature," Chakotay continued over the link. "It looks like a ST:TNG genuine replica key ring, with sound and light action. Retail 19.95. Buy one for your friends."
"How's that Commander?" the captain asked. "I think you were breaking up."
"Oh, sorry, Captain," Chakotay apologized. "There is no sign of Mr. Paris. We're heading to the planet."
* * *
"I want to know what you know!" Erica growled at the blonde-headed young man.
"I don't know what you're talking about!"
"I saw you there! You were on that ship, Voyager! Did they send you here to foil my plans for world domination?!?!?!"
"Listen, I'm just a small town sheriff. My name's Joe.."
Erica morphed into a ten foot tall praying mantis. "You will answer!" she said.
Blowing out a breath in disgust, she returned to her familiar earth form of a petite blonde. She then turned her attention on her other victim.
"You must know something!"
"Hardly." The man said dryly. "I'm a doctor, not a spy."
"You will answer my questions! Tell me how they transferred your holographic program to this place?"
The balding man laughed. "Would you by any chance know a young man with a newspaper fetish? I really think he could help you."
Erica screamed in frustration, again morphing into the praying mantis.
The doctor fainted.
* * *
Chakotay, Neelix, Seven, Harry Kim, and Tuvok materialized outside in the living room of an apartment. A roar from the kitchen attracted all of their attentions.
They all dashed toward the kitchen. At the same moment, the front door burst in. A dark haired young man stared at them.
"You've got to get out of here," he warned. "There's going to be some," he glanced at a newspaper articled. "St...strange weapons fire. You might get hurt."
He ran on past them. And when they didn't move, he turned back toward them. "You should..." the words died on his lips as Tuvok pinched at the junction of his neck and shoulder.
"I recommend that we proceed to the kitchen," Tuvok said, and stepped over the young man. Seven stared at him for a long moment, thinking that if she ever went back to being all-Borg, she might like to assimilate this one. Shaking her head to clear her nanoprobes, she continued on with her duties.
Giant Praying Mantis/Erica was standing over two men, one of whom bore a remarkable resemblance to Tom Paris, preparing to strike when Neelix, Seven, Tuvok, Chakotay and Harry opened fire on it/her.
The Giant Praying Mantis/Erica fell to the floor. After a quick scan to determine whether or not the two men where members of Voyager's crew, Chakotay ordered the away team to assemble near the fallen alien. Then speaking into his open comlink he called for the beam up of five normal sized folks and one whopping big Bug.
Gary stumbled into the kitchen just as they were all disappearing from view. The last sounds he heard was a whiny voice complaining that he hadn't had an opportunity to sample the native falafels.
He moved stiffly toward Joe and the Doc. They both came round slowly and thanked Gary for saving them and requested that they get out of the apartment as soon as possible as it had a *really* bad pest problem.
On the way out of the apartment Gary found two other men bound and gagged. "Chuck! Crumb!"
"'Bout time you figured out where we were Hobson!" Crumb complained as they all headed out of the building.
* * *
Captain's Log: Supplemental
We found our missing Ensign Paris and Lt. Torres floating in space near Voyager's position before entering the rift. They were both wearing space suits which were dangerously low on oxygen. Though Lt. Torres is now Ensign Torres, and I'm still trying to decide how much lower I can bust Tom, we are happy to have them back with us.Meanwhile, our captive of species 8472 had not spoken since her capture. We will return her to fluidic space where she belongs. She will no longer be allowed to harm humanity.
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