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The Queen and the Soldier
Rating: NC-17 for language, homosexual content, violence, and other such things
Pairing: J/7; Janeway/Roslin subtext
Setting: Crossover between BSG (After “Sacrifice” of Season Two) and Voyager (After “Survival Instinct” of Season Six)
Spoilers: BSG and Voyager, anything and everything
Summary: More or less a study of the conditions in which Janeway and Roslin operate.
Disclaimer: Paramount owns anything relating to Star Trek, and the writers and actors/actresses own a few of the words. The Sci-fi Channel and others own BSG. I own the angst!
Feedback: Yes please!!! Katie_x@hotmail.com
With one leg crossed over the other while a finely boned hand held a gray PADD filled with the latest Astrometrics report Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation Starship Voyager resisted the urge to yawn.
Janeway’s blue-gray eyes shifted from the copious amounts of intricately technical and precise data on the small screen to the bulky, dark featured man seated next to her. She was relieved to see that her first officer, Commander Chakotay, looked as bored and restless as she felt though she hid it capably behind a mask of cool professionalism.
The Captain thought she heard a badly concealed yawn from the direction of Ensign Tom Paris, her helmsman. No sooner was that yawn expelled when she heard another, this time from the Operations Station manned by Ensign Harry Kim. She didn’t have to look over her shoulder to know there would be a soft blush to Harry’s features since his yawn had been much louder than his best friend’s had been.
Even before Harry could open his mouth to speak Captain Janeway stood up from her chair a split second after she felt her ship abruptly and rather unexpectedly drop out of warp. The inertial dampeners kept her stance steady as she turned towards the Ops station.
Harry’s brow creased as his dark eyes took in the sensor data. His eyes were wide when he looked up from his panel to his captain. “Captain, I’m reading high levels of neutrinos. They might be spatial rifts.”
“Back us off, Mr. Paris, full impulse.” As her stormy gray eyes locked onto the view screen Janeway moved across the Bridge so she could stand next to her sandy haired helmsman. “Full power to the shields.”
“Shield strength at maximum.” Tuvok’s voice was strong and steady and would be even in the most distressing of circumstances due to his Vulcan heritage.
And here I thought my day was so dull, Janeway watched with a mixture of scientific curiosity and dread as sixty-two ships which varied greatly in their shapes and sizes appeared in flashes of bright lights across the black of space.
A shiver of anticipation skittered down Janeway’s spine as blood thundered in her ears when Tuvok informed her of one simple but all-consuming fact.
“I’m reading 49,590 human life signs, Captain.”
“What the frak is going on?”
Admiral William “Bill” Adama was far too poised to be as shaken as his XO, at least to show it so blatantly to express such profanity in CIC, though his thoughts were the same.
It started as an anomalous blip on the DRADIS after they had completed their jump, but then Lieutenant Gaeta had soon clarified that the blip was in fact a vessel. A small one at that. It wasn’t even the size of one of Galactica’s flight pods. But as Gaeta had told them in his mild but alert way, it was a complete unknown to them. Hull configuration was nothing they had seen before. And some sort of electromagnetic interference prevented any conclusive scans regarding power signature or origins.
“Sir.” A very serious Lieutenant Gaeta ignored Colonel Tigh’s outburst and instead maintained his attention on Admiral Adama. “It’s possible that it’s alien.”
“Like hell. It’s a Cylon trick!” Tigh grunted at the very thought of the notion of alien beings. “We should blast it while we have the chance.”
“It doesn’t look like much of a Raider to me.” Adama’s narrowed eyes were steadily fixed on the inexplicable blip.
“Sir, the president for you.” Petty Officer Dualla’s right hand pressed the earpiece closer as she patched the communiqué into the CIC command station.
Without hesitation Adama retrieved the black handset from the command station and waited to hear the alto tones of the President of the Twelve Colonies. The sole person he took orders from or at least when he agreed with them.
“Admiral, we have a bit of a situation on our hands.” There was a perfect mixture of wry humor and annoyance in her soft, steady tones. “I’m being bombarded by calls saying we’ve encountered an alien spaceship.”
“We’re not sure what we have here, but I’ve sent a message to the ship.” Adama looked sharply at Dualla and after she shook her head he replaced his attention solely on the president. “We haven’t gotten anything back yet.”
“And you don’t think it’s Cylon?” She didn’t sound suspicious, just questioning. He figured she would have known he’d have the thing shot out of space if he had any inclination that it was Cylon. And she was right.
“I have Vipers patrolling our perimeter, but the ship hasn’t made any move towards us.” Though his face was a stony mask of weathered determination and interminable patience internally he began to tire of waiting to see what this vessel would do. “They’re outside of visual range.”
“Perhaps you could convince one or two of your pilots to get a closer look, Admiral.”
Adama could practically see her smirk and the image caused a pull of his own lips. “Of course, Madam President.”
“Could they be from the Briori planet?”
Janeway remembered fondly the place Harry spoke of where they had encountered not only a small community of humans but also one of her heroes, the aviator Amelia Earhart, in the second year of their journey through the Delta Quadrant.
“Doubtful. They had no interest in leaving their planet.” Tom shook his head. How one could not want to fly through space he didn’t know. “Besides, there were only about four hundred of them.”
“Well, one thing’s for sure, none of those ships match Federation specs.” B’Elanna Torres had several PADDs in front of her as she looked across the conference room table to where their Captain stood silently next to the viewport. “They seem… antiquated somehow.”
“Time travel?” Chakotay wondered at the silence the Captain maintained. His dark eyes were filled with concern and he had the strangest sense that he had been here before.
“There were no chronitons detected.” Seven’s voice was patient though a note of irritation at the seemingly inexplicable situation was laced throughout. “High levels of neutrinos would indicate the vessels traveled through wormholes constructed similarly to transwarp conduits utilized by the Borg.”
“If these ships can create wormholes maybe they could send us home.” Harry’s voice expressed his excitement over the prospect as his tone had so many times before when Earth had seemed within reach.
“It is unwise to speculate as to what these people could do, Ensign.” Tuvok’s tone was flat but it still irritated Harry immensely. “They are a pre-warp civilization, one in which we cannot make contact with.”
Hiding behind a small moon had been an unspoken comprise between himself and Captain Janeway. Tuvok could practically sense the internal struggle being waged within his Captain.
“Pre-warp?” Tom remembered why he hated Starfleet sometimes. All their rules never seemed to make all that much sense in the field. “They got out here somehow right? What difference does it make if it wasn’t by warp engines? And they’re human!”
“Captain, they have some sort of faster-than-light propulsion, that much is clear.” B’Elanna wasn’t that interested in the fact that they were human. What she was interested in was how the hell these people in tin cans had managed something that Federation scientists hadn’t. “Should it really matter that the rest of their technology is so… archaic?”
“Shouldn’t we find out why there are almost fifty-thousand human beings here in the middle of the Delta Quadrant with us?” Chakotay had a feeling that would be the tipping point for his Captain. He was more than slightly disappointed when it wasn’t she who answered him.
“Their species is irrelevant, Commander.” Tuvok voice was as matter-of-fact as usual, which annoyed the First Officer immensely. “We should not make contact if we are to stay in accordance with the Prime Directive.”
Seven’s eyes moved from Tuvok to Captain Janeway. “We could perform covert reconnaissance in order to extrapolate a way to travel in the manner that their ships have.”
“You mean steal it!” Harry Kim’s face was so taken aback Seven might as well have slapped him across the face.
“As we did the transwarp coil from the Borg.” Seven’s implant over her left eye rose as she met his shock with impassivity.
“That’s different, Seven.” Tom almost rolled his eyes, almost.
Something akin to offense flitted across Seven’s features until it returned to its normal inscrutable expression. “Because we stole the technology from the Borg?”
“Well… yeah.” Tom’s brow creased as his voice came out much too uncertain for his liking.
“Maybe we could trade with them without revealing Voyager’s technological, uh, superiority.” Neelix showed his approval for his own plan with a grand smile to his lips.
“How’re we supposed to do that? They don’t even have subspace communications.” B’Elanna huffed out a snort as she crossed her arms over her chest. She was tired of this meeting. She wanted to either get the technology these people had or get the hell out of this area of space.
“Maybe they need food.” The smile hadn’t faded in the least from Neelix’s lips.
“Or medical supplies.” The Doctor helpfully chimed in.
“We wouldn’t have to reveal any of our technology to them if we have a list of non-technological supplies ready in order to trade.” Chakotay almost smirked as the eyebrow raised above Tuvok’s left eye expressed the Vulcan’s displeasure.
“Captain to the Bridge.”
Janeway moved quickly past her startled senior staff before she marched purposefully towards her Captain’s chair. She was followed by the eight crewmembers that all swiftly went to their stations as their captain asked for a report from Ayala.
“Two vessels on an intercept course. Minimal firepower.” After he delivered his report, Ayala quickly moved to the back of the Bridge to man the master situation display.
“Janeway to all hands, move away from all viewports.” Janeway stood with her eyes steadily locked onto the approaching vessels, her hands were on her slim hips, and her stance was rigid. “I repeat, move away from all viewports. Two ships are on an intercept course and their pilots must not be allowed to see you.”
“Captain, our shields are preventing any scan from the two vessels.” Tuvok watched closely as the slim white ships circled Voyager in large loops as they rolled and crossed each other’s paths.
“I suspect they’re just here to get a closer look, Commander.” Janeway had to applaud the two pilot’s daring despite their recklessness. Voyager had the capacity to destroy the two ships despite their speed and maneuvers. Janeway had to wonder if the two pilots suspected that or if they would even care if they did.
“What the frak kind of ship is that?”
“Keep the line clear, Hot Dog.” Lieutenant Kara “Starbuck” Thrace’s hazel eyes narrowed as her voice was sharp and commanding. She kept her finger on the trigger in case this mystery ship decided she’d make good space fodder.
“Are you seeing that?” Hot Dog’s voice was high-pitched and Starbuck had the urge to ram his Viper with her own in lieu of her fist in his face. She would have contemplated it more if she hadn’t been shocked speechless for perhaps the first time in her life.
“Frak me!” If these were aliens then they knew English for she would bet her life that she could read and understand the dark lettering on the front hull of this ship. “CIC this is Starbuck. The vessel is registered with the markings ‘U.S.S. Voyager NCC 74656’, they fraking know English!”
“Have they made any hostile moves?”
The Old Man had actually paused for a second. Starbuck thought she’d die of shock all over today. “Negative. They’re just sitting there, sir.”
“Come back to the Galactica. We’re going to find out who these people are one way or another.”
“I could take some shots at them, sir.” Her finger twitched in anticipation. “Get their attention.”
“Negative. Come back home.”
“I’ve made my decision, gentlemen.” Janeway’s narrowed stormy gray eyes looked pointedly at her two commanders who had disagreed with her on at least four different points in the last ten minutes.
“Captain, Neelix’s ship is only equipped with minimal weapons and shields.” Chakotay had been pleased when the Captain had informed Tuvok and him that she would be willing to make contact with this fleet of vessels, but he had thought she would take the Delta Flyer not the Baxial. “Not to mention it has no transporters.”
“Exactly. If they board the Baxial they won’t find much.”
“As Chief Security Officer it is standard procedure for me to accompany you into a possibly hostile situation.” Tuvok was well aware that he needn’t remind his Captain of these policies, but it seemed that she was not only going to dismiss his opposition to her making first contact at all but also his duty to protect her as well.
“From the communiqués we’ve been picking up they think we’re aliens. It’d be less confusing if only Terran crewmembers were to make first contact.” Janeway cherished the hot coffee which she sipped carefully from her silver mug. For some reason she had the feeling she wouldn’t be drinking it again for some time. “I’m sure it’ll be enough of a shock to them to meet other humans out here.”
“It was certainly a shock for us.” Chakotay had maintained little doubt in his mind that Captain Janeway would decide to make contact, it was either that or depart and he knew she would never leave such a strange mystery as to what almost fifty-thousand human beings were doing on sixty-three ships in the middle of the Delta Quadrant, ships they had never seen before.
“Indeed.” Tuvok’s calm was rock solid though he still disapproved of his inability to accompany his captain. But resigned to her decision he decided he would send a few of his elite force to accompany Captain Janeway in his stead.
“Have Ensign Munro and Crewmen Biessman and Jarot meet me in Shuttlebay Two, concealed weapons only and no tricorders.” The positions of the three crewmembers Tuvok had assigned on this mission were not lost on Janeway and she was both warmed by the sentiment and irritated. Really, she could take care of herself.
“Aye, Captain.” Tuvok nodded once before he left the Ready Room.
“He might as well have sent the whole hazard team.” Janeway’s smirk was partially hidden behind the rim of the mug. She tipped it back and drained the last of the black liquid within.
“Do you want me to call him back to make that suggestion?” Chakotay’s tattoo crinkled above his left eye as he smiled a deeply dimpled smirk. It was more due to his wish to hide his own concern rather than any humor he had found in his small joke. His expression turned as serious as his voice. “These people could be dangerous, Captain.”
“I’ll be careful, Chakotay.” She deposited the now empty mug on her desk before she moved closer to the man she was to leave her ship to. “I expect the carpets to be cleaned before I’m back.”
He felt his heart thump rapidly beneath her small hand and he smiled truly now. “Aye, Captain.”
“So that’s all you got? ‘U.S.S. Voyager NCC 74656’?” Tigh took a sip from his small black mug after he snorted his dissatisfaction.
“Yeah. That’s all I got.” The hands crossed behind her back twitched as she had the strong urge to feel her fist connect with the XO’s face… again. “They’re human.”
“Perhaps. Or perhaps this is a Cylon trick of some sort.” Roslin’s intelligent green eyes had a reproachful touch to them as she looked pointedly at the blonde haired pilot who looked more excited than the President could remember her looking when cards weren’t involved.
The excitement at the prospect of who these people could be was not allowed much purchase as President Roslin’s pragmatism, or perhaps it was cynicism, overrode any other response but skepticism.
“There were windows.” As if those three words explained everything, Kara Thrace let a smirk play on her lips. “Cylons don’t have windows on their ships. They don’t need them.”
“Windows?” Colonel Tigh shook his head in disgust before he imbibed the rest of the dark amber fluid from his mug.
“I suppose that makes sense.” The President of the Twelve Colonies smiled softly as she removed her dark rimmed glasses. “What I don’t understand is how these people got all the way out here. And in that ship. Could the Colonial government have constructed a prototype and sent it out before the Cylon attacks?”
Adama picked up a photograph taken from Starbuck’s Viper. The sleek silver ship had what looked like two engine pods extended from the aft of the ship. It was like nothing he had ever seen. “If it is they did one hell of a job. Our sensors can’t get a clear reading of anything but what it looks like.”
“Sir.” Gaeta’s voice was losing its characteristic calm. “Vessel approaching.”
“U.S.S Voyager?” Roslin brushed a stray auburn lock away from her eyes as she watched a small blip make its way steadily towards their present location.
“Negative, U.S.S. Voyager is maintaining position. The vessel on approach is the size of a Raptor.” Gaeta also watched as the blip got progressively closer.
“Deploy a squadron to create a protective umbrella around the Feet.” Adama wasn’t about to let some unknown vessel despite what species was onboard to come within firing range of the Galactica or its charges. “Dualla, hail them again. Tell them to hold position. If they wish to come onboard they’re going to need to state their intentions first. Or I will open fire.”
“Aye, sir.” Dualla spoke quietly into her mouth piece as she extended the message through the radio waves. “Galactica to advancing ship please cease your approach, hold position. I repeat, hold position. Please state your intentions or we will be forced to treat you as a threat.”
Several people’s breaths were held as the blip slowed to a complete stop on the DRADIS.
“Well they can hear us at least.” Roslin wasn’t sure if she should be comforted by that fact or not. The radio silence on the part of these mysterious people was beginning to grate on her last nerve.
The silence of the CIC was suddenly broken as a warm, husky and entirely feminine and human sounding voice sounded over the speakers of the command deck.
“This is Captain Janeway of the Starship Voyager. We come in peace.”
With a hiss and a few clanks the airlock cycled through as President Laura Roslin stood with her hands clasped in front of her. On her right was Admiral Adama who might as well have been there to meet a group of school children for all the expression he showed on his weathered face. Behind her and the Admiral was a large contingent of Galactica personnel standing at attention. Roslin had to admit she was impressed that there was no shifting amongst any of them though she could almost feel the collective excitement and nervousness. On the other side of that hard-seal would be humans, like them, and she was certain they would have much to tell them.
Finally after moments that seemed like hours the hatch opened into the flight deck of Galactica and out stepped a blonde haired woman who was slim, tall, and looked to be in her late twenties. Her light blue eyes surveyed the area keenly and Roslin had the distinct impression that this woman was a force to be reckoned with. The thick black and red combat ready looking outfit she had on added to the effect.
Quickly after the rather imposing blonde moved away from the hatch came a massive man in a similar outfit with short blonde hair and a muscled physique that seemed both bulky and undeniably powerful. His eyes also surveyed the area keenly but his smirk seemed to be almost taunting as if he was saying to the crowd before him to take their best shot at him.
The dark haired woman who followed next was slight in build, tall, and had unbelievably dark penetrating eyes that seemed to absorb more than just her visual surroundings. Roslin wondered at the contents of the small gray case the woman had with her.
The two men that exited next were not garbed in the same outfits as the first three. Instead the dark haired man had a more loosely fitted black cotton uniform with yellow across his upper chest and shoulders over a gray turtleneck shirt. The blonde haired man next to him was similarly garbed though he had red across his shoulders instead of yellow.
Who exited the hatch next took Roslin off guard and her smile faltered for a second before her professionalism kicked back in. A petite auburn haired woman with elegant yet strong and undeniably lovely features dressed in a similar outfit as the blonde man who had exited shortly before her surveyed the flight deck with piercing blue-gray eyes that held wisdom and something strangely formidable in their great depths. The woman was small, a few inches shorter than Roslin and more so due to the President’s choice of footwear, but the stature of the woman before her detracted nothing from the commanding presence she projected that made her almost intimidating. Okay, Roslin had to be truthful, she was intimidated especially when those blue-gray eyes locked onto her and there seemed to be a knowing look directed her way. As if this stranger of a woman knew what Roslin had done and hadn’t done, what sins she had committed, the darkness that was still held within her breast.
Captain Janeway, I presume. Laura thought to herself and knew she was correct not only by the authoritative aura which surrounded the slim woman but the subtle though visible way the rest of the group created a protective ring around the Captain as these strangers approached the Galactic crew and the President.
Finally the six strangers made their way across the paneling of the flight deck to stop closely in front of where Roslin, Adama, and Colonel Tigh stood almost rigidly at attention.
“Captain Janeway, welcome to the Galactica.” Though his voice was gruff, Adama’s hand was warm and was a definite gesture of peace. It appeared that the Captain of Voyager was aware of this as she shook his hand formally, firmly, and with just the smallest air of relief.
“Thank you, Admiral Adama. It’s a pleasure to be here.”
Roslin thought the voice of the Captain was even more arresting when she heard it in person. Like Bill’s, Captain Janeway’s voice had a gruffness to it that bespoke a person who had spent the better part of their lives yelling orders over the cacophony of a space battle. Aside from the deep huskiness there was also warmth, the tone filled with compassion, understanding, and perhaps a touch of wariness as well. This Captain Janeway didn’t seem like an unintelligent individual and Roslin couldn’t begrudge the woman for being a bit guarded. It wasn’t so long that Cain had been welcomed with open arms and look where that had gotten the Fleet.
Then Bill introduced Captain Janeway to his XO. Who Roslin decided had been a bit unprepared when a finely boned but firm hand held on to his forearm while the other was busy with a strong handshake by the way Tigh had red tinting at the tips of his ears and the back of his neck.
And now it was her turn. Laura Roslin was caught off guard by this Captain once again. For when Captain Janeway stood in front of the President she smiled. It had begun as a small pull of wine colored lips which quickly bloomed into a toothy grin that reached bright blue eyes seemingly untouched by the darkness that held Roslin in a vice grip. The President felt drawn to that innocence, that ignorance. She returned the smile as something warm and perhaps forbidden skittered across her skin as a hand was placed in hers.
“Madam President, it’s very nice to meet you.”
“Captain Janeway, the honor is ours I assure you.” The Presidential mask was now firmly in place and Roslin was bemused when another knowing look was revealed within dark blue eyes that mesmerized the President with their depth and nuances.
“Perhaps we could move to somewhere more private.” Janeway’s voice was low enough that only Roslin, Tigh, and Admiral Adama could hear and though the tone was light there was an urgency hidden within and a command. “I’m sure we have much to discuss.”
Almost unconsciously Adama nodded his head and even Tigh seemed to defer to the small Captain and Roslin tried not to chafe at how easily the two men had been commanded. But they saw something in Janeway that perhaps she couldn’t quite connect to. A fighter. A soldier.
Laura was just the President. A queen on her throne. Untouchable and alone. But then again Roslin had been the only one to receive that grand smile. Perhaps this Captain Janeway saw something worth such a gift within Roslin. Those knowing looks from penetrating blue eyes made Laura Roslin consider that perhaps in the vastness of space she had found someone not entirely unlike herself. A kindred spirit. A part of Laura knew she wanted to discover what this woman had gone through, had lived through, had done herself to give those blue eyes the darkness of sadness, of loss, of tragedy felt. But what was more, Laura wanted to know what the other woman hadn’t done. What gave this woman a lightness that Laura had not felt for so long?
Roslin found herself walking steadily through the narrow passages of Galactica behind Adama and Captain Janeway. Their conversation, as sparse as it was, flitted back to her and Roslin wondered if Janeway wasn’t perhaps a bit of a politician herself. The words which flattered not only the Admiral, but his ship, and his crew in no way sounded forced, insincere, or sycophantic. Instead Janeway’s words had just the right amount of admiration and awareness within the tones that each compliment and observation seemed completely natural and sincere.
Members of the Galactica crew who had expected alien beings were perhaps quite disappointed that the strangers who traveled through their vessel looked ordinary, human, if not a little out of place in their coordinated outfits which looked pristine next to the uniforms worn by the crew of the Battlestar.
“Captain?” Adama stood cordially next to the open door of his quarters. He allowed Janeway and her entourage entry first before he took up the rear. When all were inside he sealed the door behind him. If these strangers were concerned by the clicking of the locking mechanism none of them showed it, especially their Captain.
The Admiral let his eyes settle on the Captain who was in the process of being presented a seat by an uncharacteristically polite Colonel Tigh. Unobservant was not what Bill Adama was and the fact that she hadn’t asked about their technology either meant that she knew everything she wanted to know about it or that she didn’t care to know anything about. Captain Janeway didn’t seem like a careless person to him.
Captain Janeway, Adama thought, was a person who was quite skillful at keeping you on your toes, off guard, most likely to ensure that she has the upper-hand at all times. He couldn’t begrudge her that. All ship commanders were controlling in their way and the manner in which she led the five members of her party without a word needing to be uttered bespoke a commander who had honed the skill over years or who just had that authoritative ability almost naturally. Something told him with Janeway it was both.
Adama’s eyes shifted to the President who had been oddly quiet during their trip through Galactica. Roslin’s eyes were shifting from looking at her notes to observing the Captain as Janeway was offered a drink by Tigh. The Admiral wondered at the attention the President bestowed upon this stranger, but chalked it up to curiosity. He sure as hell was curious and was damned well ready to get some answers.
Captain Janeway was seated in the middle of the long brown cushioned couch of Adama’s sitting area. The two men in the looser fitted garb were seated to the right of her and the three remaining stood like sentinels against the bulkheads of his quarters. He felt their eyes on him as he took a seat on a cushion next to the one Janeway solely occupied. The President took the chair to the side of the couch. Laura shifted her legs, one over the other, as she made herself comfortable. Tigh opted to pull up a dining room chair.
Admiral Adama would have chastised his old friend for the drink Tigh had given the Captain and the one the Colonel held in his own hand but Adama knew there was something relaxing about a few starship commanders having a drink with one another. And to Janeway’s credit she didn’t even sniff the contents in the small black mug before she took a hearty drink without so much as a blink.
“Captain Janeway.” Roslin’s hands were clasped atop her stocking clad knees as she angled herself towards Janeway. The President’s voice instantly drew to a close any idle conversations that had been commencing. “Who exactly are you?”
“That, Madam President, is the question isn’t it.” Janeway placed the still half full mug onto the coffee table before she mirrored the President’s stance. “I’m as human as you are.”
“I would tend to believe you on that.” Laura allowed her gaze to travel over the Captain’s form before the green eyes were raised to look upon Janeway’s handsome features. “Which one of the Twelve Colonies did you come from?”
Janeway paused, licked her lips, and sighed quietly before she answered. “We didn’t come from any of your… Colonies, Madam President. We’re from a planet a great distance from here.”
“Where is this planet?” Roslin could feel blood rush to her cheeks and suffuse her body with anticipation. Could these people be from the Thirteenth Colony? Earth?
“Forty-thousand light years away. We’ve spent the past six years trying to get back there.” Something had told Janeway not to speak of Earth as she so readily did whenever she came into contact with a seemingly friendly species.
“Is your FTL drive broken?” Tigh would be willing to help out this attractive captain as much as he could. He could have a bunch of grunts go to her ship and fix up the drive fine.
The way Janeway drew out that one word answer sparked a thought in Adama and he decided to go with it.
“You don’t have a FTL drive. Do you, Captain?” Adama watched as measured blue-grey eyes found his. The answer was in their depths. “Then how exactly did you get out here?”
“That’s a long story. Suffice to say it was not by our own devices.” Janeway’s tone brooked for no argument or for any follow up questions.
“You’re from Earth.” Laura Roslin ignored the surprised looks from both Adama and Tigh. Her green eyes were solely trained on Captain Janeway and her telling stormy gray eyes. “Aren’t you?”
“Yes.” Janeway’s tone was serious with traces of caution laced within.
Only the President and the captain remained seated. Adama and Tigh both stood abruptly from their seats which caused three weapons to be trained on them by the trio in combat uniforms.
Tigh’s eyes narrowed as he looked at the Captain with suspicion. “You’re telling me you’re from the Thirteenth Tribe?”
“What I am telling you,” Janeway’s voice never lost its calm nor did her expression as she stood slowly before she caused the lowering of three weapons with a small motion of her hand. “Is I am from Earth.”
“Captain, let me try to explain.” President Roslin had also stood and moved so that she was positioned between the Captain and Adama and Tigh. “The Sacred Scrolls tell us that the Thirteenth Tribe left Kobol a few thousand years ago. The Tribe traveled far and made their home upon a planet which circled a distant and unknown star. We were told that Earth is that planet. We’ve been trying to get there. Without much success I’m afraid.”
“Why have you been trying to get to Earth, Madam President?” Janeway’s voice was both entreating and cautious, suspicion colored the husky tones.
“Our worlds have been decimated by an… enemy of the Colonial.” Roslin desperately wanted to erase the suspicion Janeway held, but she was uncertain as to how. They had never considered the possibility that the Thirteenth Tribe wouldn’t want them to come to Earth. “We’re refugees, all that’s left of our people. We want a safe haven from our enemy. The Scrolls tell us Earth is that place.”
“The Cylons.” It wasn’t a question, it was more of an assumption on Janeway’s part but she knew there was a story there by the way Adama and Roslin shared a look that bespoke caution on both their parts. Janeway knew what that look meant. They would attempt to handle Janeway carefully to get what they wanted.
“What do you know about the Cylons?” Adama’s voice was one of sharp command and Janeway had to keep her irritation at bay as she turned her attention to him
“Just what we picked up over the comm channels.” Janeway’s hands went to her slim waist and Adama thought it shouldn’t have been quite such a display of superiority but it was. “Admiral, I know nothing of your conflict with these… Cylons, nor do I particularly want to or need to. It might be better for all of us if I don’t. I’m going to be frank with you. I’m interested in your FTL drive and I am willing to provide you with supplies for your people in exchange for technical information regarding your propulsion system.”
“But you don’t want us following you, is that it, Captain?” Admiral Adama already knew the answer and he’d be lying if he said he couldn’t blame her, but he wasn’t just going to hand over his only bargaining chip. They wanted to get to Earth as well and he’d be damned if this Captain would leave them behind. “Would you really abandon fifty-thousand human beings?”
“It’s not quite that simple, Admiral.” Janeway almost cursed her curiosity. This was not at all what she had expected. A people with technology she wanted who at the same time were as primitive as humans from Earth’s twenty-first century. “Regardless of your species I shouldn’t even be here talking with you.”
“With all due respect, Captain, if we were to give you information on our FTL drive you’ll be getting what you want, but where will that leave us?” Adama was beginning to formulate a plan to overcome the Captain’s small ship, though something told him that would be a more difficult task than it seemed.
“Where you are right now I suppose.” Janeway made a slight motion with her auburn head and immediately her five companions flanked her on all sides. “We offer food stuffs and medical supplies freely, but it’s time for us to return to our ship.”
“I’m afraid I can’t allow you to go back to your ship, Captain.” President Laura Roslin relied on the power of the Gods to give her the strength to keep her hand steady as she held it firmly on the red shoulder of Captain Janeway. Roslin didn’t want to use force, but this was the single most important piece of information they could ever hope to receive and she would be Gods damned if she’d let it slip past her because of the obstinate woman before her.
“Remove your hand or I will remove your arm.”
It was the first time any of Captain Janeway’s companions had spoken directly to the President and Roslin was taken aback by the vehemence and sincerity in the tone the blonde woman had uttered the threat with. Roslin’s hand dropped to her side immediately.
“It’s all right, Seven.”
Janeway’s voice and her gentle hand on Seven’s forearm did nothing to lessen the glint in the blonde’s eyes as they continued to be locked onto Roslin though Seven’s stance did visibly relax.
“Captain, we are dying out here. The only way my people can survive is if we get to Earth.” Roslin made sure her hands were firmly clasped in front of her. She knew the blonde’s threat was probably more like a promise. “We will give you the FTL drive technology if you give us the coordinates to Earth. You can go home. And we’ll be able to build a new one.”
A war waged within Kathryn Janeway. If she were to help these people not only to assist these wayward humans but also her own crew it would go against everything she had been taught as a Starfleet officer. It would certainly be going against the Prime Directive and it would also be against her own principles. But how many times in the past six years has her refusal to override her own principles cost her crew the chance to get home. On the other hand, she saw what happened to captains who lost their principles.
What would these people do on Earth? Within the Federation? Would they join Starfleet? Or perhaps they would just be given a recently terra-formed moon somewhere in the Alpha Quadrant. Janeway maintained the suspicion that something wasn’t quite congruent. A propulsion system that worked on a principle Federation scientists have only theorized about coupled with a spaceship that lacked any networked computer system and only the most basic of technologies. Something had happened in these people’s history that stumped their advancement. Janeway considered all she knew about these people and realized abruptly what exactly had happened.
“They turned on you. The Cylons.” Janeway’s stormy gray eyes swept over Adama’s quarters. Books that smelled of age, papers piled and strewn about, communication array ancient. Everything spoke of a distancing of man and machine. “They’re a race of artificial intelligence. Ones you created. That’s why your technology is so outmoded.”
Janeway’s tone wasn’t so much accusatory as it was explanatory. It was as if she was merely working through a mathematical problem and solved it.
“How did you know that?” Adama could think of nothing said over the wire that would have even alluded to that much information regarding the Cylons.
“Call it… intuition.” One that has just been proven, Janeway thought as she looked at the look of contrition on the Admiral’s weathered features.
“Well, you’re right, Captain.” Roslin felt something akin to shame, but she brushed it off as her voice became hard. “The mistake we made in creating the Cylons has cost us billions of lives. Our worlds have been destroyed. I’d say we’ve paid our price. Wouldn’t you?”
“I’m not here to judge you or your people, Madam President. And I do sympathize with your situation. But the facts are these, even if I did give you the coordinates to Earth the Federation would never allow your people to settle on it. In order to even be allowed into the Sector your government would have to gain membership into the United Federation of Planets. And you might technically satisfy the first requirement. You do have the capability of faster-than-light space travel, but you wouldn’t be able to meet the other two requirements.”
“And what the hell are those?”
Janeway almost smiled as her charm had obviously worn off considering the aggressive tone Colonel Tigh now employed.
“Colonel.” Roslin’s voice was soft, but firm, a warning. “Captain, what requirements have we not satisfied?”
“Your government has not achieved stable planetary political unity.” Janeway decided she would need to say the next part very carefully. It would no doubt be met negatively. “You have an internal conflict that has not yet been rectified and until it is to the satisfaction of Federation law you would never be able to gain membership. You and the Cylons must reach a peace accord before a petition could even be rendered.”
“Captain, we had a peace accord. We maintained it for forty years.” Adama’s eyes narrowed dangerously though his voice never rose to anything but a low, rumbling whisper. “It was the Cylons that broke it by nuking us.”
Janeway’s response was prevented by the sudden sound of what were unmistakably this vessel’s alarm klaxons. She followed closely behind the President as Adama and Tigh led the charge while her crew maintained the circle of protection.
Lieutenant Gaeta ended the condition alert when Adama, Tigh, the President and the Voyager crew entered CIC. Gaeta’s eyes focused on his Admiral. “It’s a heavy raider, Sir. It’s already jumped away.”
“Alert the Fleet.” While he gave the order to Dualla, Adama continued to watch the DRADIS for any sign of Cylon contacts. “We’ll make the jump in fifteen seconds. Count us down.”
“Admiral, my crew and I need to return to our ship. Now.” Captain Janeway’s voice had the sharpness of a person not easily denied.
“There’s no time.” Adama didn’t bother to look at the Captain, his eyes were fixed on the countdown that seemed interminably slow. “I suggest you and your crew find something to hold on to.”
Janeway knew a dismissal when she heard one and part of her was thankful that they would get out of this blunder unscathed, for the most part. She shook off her feelings of failure to these people as she gathered her crew quickly around her.
“Janeway to Voyager.”
“Voyager here, Captain.”
Chakotay’s calm, even voice was a relief to the Captain. She never wanted to be back on Voyager more in her life than at this very moment.
“Six for transport. And then the Baxial needs to be transported to the Shuttlebay.” Janeway darted her eyes to take in the countdown displayed on the large monitor that dropped from the ceiling. Eight seconds remained. “And, Commander, do it quickly.”
After Tom and Harry had been transported, Janeway knew something was wrong. Theirs had been a somewhat difficult transport. Jurot and Biessman’s proved to task the angular confinement field until they too vanished in a sparkle of blue.
Of course, Janeway thought with a large dose of irritation mixed with a feeling of déjà vu. It seemed that too often it was her and Seven who were always the last to be transported. Just as the countdown dropped to two seconds remaining Janeway felt herself being pulled apart, but it wasn’t her only, it was the entirety of the ship. When she realized the difference she thought “of course” once again, for she was sure that she and Seven would find themselves in this vessel’s brig.
“Take them to the Brig.”
After having delivered her order, Laura Roslin, President of the Thirteenth Colonies of Kobol, stood abruptly from her crouched position as she observed the two women she had just made up her mind that they were in fact quite unconscious. The President thought perhaps the Gods themselves were blessing her for the Captain and her apparent bodyguard had not been whisked mysteriously away as had the other members of Captain Janeway’s entourage.
A group of six marines picked up the two unconscious women and made their way through the CIC with the Admiral and the President following closely behind.
The marines placed the blonde haired woman roughly onto the bed of the holding cell. They had more easily managed the weight of the petite auburn haired woman and she was laid on the cot in the adjacent cell. The men and women in black didn’t need to be ordered by the Admiral to search the prisoners for weapons. A curved gray and black weapon was found on the blonde but none were found on the Captain. The two women’s outer tunics were then removed.
“Admiral?” One of the marines lifted the right arm of the unconscious blonde. It revealed a small triangular device.
“Remove it.” Admiral Adama’s voice had been calm, but his expression nearly faltered when the silver machine was removed. “Shackle that… thing.”
Roslin, against her better judgment perhaps, moved closer to the cell that held the imposing blonde whose imbedded pieces of metal were just revealed to them. The starburst next to her right ear, a crescent shaped device covered her left eyebrow, and the most disturbing were the large pieces of metal that sprouted from her right bicep and wrapped around her wrist and hand.
“What the Gods is she?” The President’s large green eyes found the Admiral with a look of disgust on her face.
“Not human.” And that was enough for Adama to order leg restraints on both the blonde and the Captain who had lied to them all. “Search their vessel. Take the Gods damned thing apart if need be.”
After the cells were secured, the marines filed out leaving only the Admiral and his President.
Roslin’s eyes were locked onto the unconscious form of Captain Janeway, her voice icy. “This complicates things, hmm, Admiral.”
Janeway groaned deeply, painfully. She would have lifted her hands to her throbbing head if she had been able to. The metal restraints that bound her wrist together made the move impossible. With another deep groan she lifted herself into a seated position on the gray bunk and her aching back pressed against the paneled wall. Slowly Janeway opened her eyes to take in her surroundings.
“Of course.” Janeway’s voice was hoarse, she licked her lips, but the dryness in her mouth did little to alleviate her parched lips. Very carefully she turned her head so that she could look directly at her cellmate.
“Seven? Are you all right?” Janeway’s eyes surveyed Seven’s form for any injury, but aside from a few strands of blonde hair that had managed to escape from the tightly coiled French twist Seven didn’t look any worse for wear. The Captain, however, felt like she had just been run over by a pride of Targs.
“Yes, Captain.” Seven, who was also bound at the wrists and ankles, walked somewhat ungracefully to the connecting bars. “I have not been harmed.”
For anyone else Janeway would have thought the rigid posture would be quite uncomfortable, but Seven looked more annoyed than pained. Janeway was much more than just annoyed and pained by their current position, she was also very afraid. The Doctor’s mobile emitter that had concealed Seven’s silver implants leftover from her twenty-two years as a Borg drone had been taken away and now those implants were exposed. Seven had also been stripped of the thick protective tunic she had been wearing as part of the elite force sent to protect Captain Janeway after Seven had insisted that she take Munro’s spot so to better analyze the antiquated vessel’s technological capabilities. The thick gray tank top Seven wore exposed the large implant that emerged from her right bicep and skittered down her arm.
“What happened?” With some effort Janeway pulled herself up to her feet before she also moved slowly to the bars that separated her cell from Seven’s.
“You have been damaged.” Seven swallowed against the anger she felt as she looked upon her Captain’s bruised and bloodied countenance.
“It’s just a scratch.” The gash on her forehead that ran from her hairline down across her left eyebrow and which bled on to her cheek was not the only injury Janeway had. Her right side was extremely tender and she wondered if perhaps she had bruised her ribs.
Seven decided now would not be an opportune time to disagree so instead she answered the Captain’s question. “After the rest of the away team had transported to Voyager the Galactic initiated their ‘jump’ which interfered with our transport. The transporter malfunction rendered us unconscious for twenty-four point three minutes. I woke you seven seconds after I regained consciousness.”
“And now we’re trussed up like turkeys.” Janeway snorted ruefully before her eyes narrowed and her voice was firm. “Seven, you mustn’t tell these people where Earth is. No matter what happens, they can’t know.”
“Do you doubt the lengths these people will go to extrapolate that data?”
“They’re still human.” Janeway snorted once again though this time it was due to disbelief. “I’m sure they can still be reasoned with.”
“As you did with Ransom?” It hadn’t meant to be offensive but Seven could clearly see that the question hurt Janeway immensely and regretted her utterance though it was in truth. Seven had seen what humans were capable of inflicting upon another human being.
Janeway’s impenetrable mask of command erased any hurt or remorse that she might have let slip when she had felt the critical words like a slap in the face, instead she looked resilient and unassailable. “Do not tell them anything that could lead them to Earth, Seven, that’s an order.”
A muscle jumped in Seven’s jaw right below the starburst implant, her icy blue eyes grew even colder as they narrowed, and her voice was tight as she answered in the only way she knew the other women would find acceptable. “Yes, Captain.”
A sinking, cold feeling settled itself firmly in Seven’s lower abdomen and tenseness assailed her upper back. The soft hairs at the nape of her neck stood away from her pale skin as she felt the inexplicable sensation that she knew something undesirable was to come her way. She wondered if this was intuition and decided it was most unhelpful.
“We couldn’t even access the communications array, Sir.” Chief Tyrol stood with his hands on his waist. He shook his head in frustration. The ship had been easy enough to get into. But the computer system onboard was locked down beyond Tyrol’s crew’s capabilities.
“Secure the vessel. Keep trying. That’s all, Chief.” Admiral Adama placed the report on his desk with a semblance of disgust that didn’t show in his expression.
“Sir.” Tyrol nodded before he departed and passed by Baltar on his way out of the Admiral’s quarters.
“You wanted to see me, Admiral.” As usual Doctor Baltar’s eyes were wide and skittered about the room.
“Doctor.” Roslin had to hold back the wave of disgust she always had when in the presence of this man and although she had a smile it was not pleasant. “We need you to examine two prisoners. And Doctor, they may be extremely dangerous. You’ll have a marine escort during your examinations.”
“Uh… is she, uh, are they… Cylon?” Baltar had the sudden overwhelming fear that it was another Six. This one not so beneficial to him.
“We don’t know yet, Doctor.” Her voice became slow and smooth. “That’s why you’re going to examine them.”
Baltar’s eyes shifted back and forth between the Admiral and the President before he abruptly realized he was to go now. He walked nervously out of the living quarters and jumped when two marines met him in the hallway before the door sealed behind him.
“I really don’t like that man.” Laura’s voice never lost its lilt, but her eyes narrowed before she looked to the Admiral who merely nodded his head in agreement.
Baltar’s eyes shifted behind him to the two marines as he walked anxiously to the Brig. He wasn’t sure of what he would find when the door unsealed. After he entered the brig he looked to his escorts, but found no explanation in their impassivity.