Stardate 217872.8 (Fri 6 April 2379): Janeway escapes from prison, bent on changing the past, and only Phillips and Gilmore can stop her.
U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656
14 November 2379 1434 hrs
An indicator began to blink on the Ops console of the Starship Voyager‘s Bridge, signaling an incoming message. The recently- promoted Lieutenant junior grade Marla Gilmore manipulated the communications controls, bringing up the text message.
"Captain," Gilmore said, "incoming transmission. They’re requesting to speak privately with yourself and Commander Phillips." Lieutenant-Commander Dan Phillips looked up from the Science station in surprise.
"Mr. Phillips," Captain Chakotay said, rising from his seat, "you’re with me. We’ll take it in the Briefing Room, lieutenant."
"Aye, sir," Gilmore acknowledged.
Phillips put the Science station’s controls on automatic, routing any alerts to the Ops station while he was away. He stood and followed Chakotay through the door next to his station. Moments after the Briefing Room doors closed, the viewer came to life, revealing a human man who appeared to be in his early fifties.
"Director Harrington," Phillips said, surprised. "Is there something wrong?"
"No, nothing wrong at all," Harrington said. "Captain Chakotay, I’m Nathan Harrington, director of the Department of Temporal Investigations. Orders have been transmitted for your science officer and chief of operations to be released for a three-month rotation at our headquarters."
"I see," Chakotay said. "I assume this has already been cleared with Starfleet Command?"
"Of course," Harrington replied. "DTI is nothing, if not thorough. Lieutenant Gilmore should have Commander Phillips’ and her orders in the database already."
"We can reach Earth in two days, director," Chakotay volunteered.
"That won’t be necessary," Harrington said. "Give them a shuttle. Phillips knows the way."
"It’s not a problem, director," Chakotay said. "We’re due back at Earth soon, anyhow."
"The shuttle will be fine, captain. Harrington out." The screen went blank.
"What was that all about, Dan?" Chakotay asked.
"I’m not supposed to divulge any information on it," Phillips replied, "but suffice it to say that DTI headquarters isn’t on Earth. The location is top secret, and for good reason."
"That’s good enough for me," Chakotay said. "I don’t want to put you in a bad situation with your DTI superiors by asking too many questions."
"Thank you, sir," Phillips said as they walked back onto the Bridge.
Near Auckland, New Zealand
Federation Penal Settlement
14 November 2379 1447 hrs
Berlinghoff Rasmussen and Kathryn Janeway sat in the shade under a relatively secluded tree in the Federation Penal Settlement in New Zealand. Rasmussen glanced around quickly and pulled some small pieces of equipment from the folds of his clothing.
"Good," Janeway said, quickly looking the items over before concealing them in her own clothes. "That’s the last of it. Meet me at my bunk at 1900 hours. They should be ready by then."
"Kathryn," Rasmussen asked, "you’re sure that you’ll be able to keep us from getting thrown back in here after we’re out?"
"What I have in mind," Janeway said, "will make that outside the realm of possibility. Now go. I have to get to work on finishing our… project." After Rasmussen left, she paused under the tree and reminisced.
She’d had a promising career. She’d been hand-picked by then- Captain Owen Paris to serve as a science officer on the U.S.S. Al- Batani and, as his son Tom once pointed out, he took only the best and the brightest. She rocketed through the ranks, impressing all, eventually landing the command of the U.S.S. Voyager – and on her first mission chasing Maquis rebels into the Badlands was left stranded on the other side of the galaxy.
She’d clung to the rules and regulations of Starfleet, convinced that one day they’d make it back home. Shortly into their second year in the Delta Quadrant, she was humiliated. She brought the heads of the major Kazon sects together in the hope of mediating a truce with their old enemies, the Trabe, only to have the Trabe use the summit in an attempt to behead the Kazon leadership.
Shortly thereafter, three of the brightest people she’d known – Tom Paris, B’Elanna Torres and Harry Kim – found a way to break the transwarp barrier. She had been mortified of returning to the Federation with that failure so recent on her record, and had the test shuttle sabotaged, which only resulted in Paris and herself being mutated by some unknown factor. Thankfully, the then-EMH had been able to reverse the mutation.
Over the course of the next four years, she found members of the crew who had possible less-than stellar homecomings and recruited them into her ring of saboteurs by insinuating terrible punishments awaiting them in the Alpha Quadrant. She was able to use their fears to recruit several ex-Maquis and even an officer from the late U.S.S. Challenger.
She still wanted very much to return home, but she wanted to make up for her mistakes first. She wanted to bring back new technologies, detailed knowledge of the quadrant. After their rescue of Seven of Nine, then the discoveries of the Challenger and the Equinox, she began to feel that her delaying was justified.
When they discovered Quantum Slipstream, she wanted the project shelved until she felt she was ready to return home. She had two attempts to use it sabotaged.
Then it all fell apart three and a half years ago, when the crew of Voyager discovered the shocking truth that she had been the head of a sabotage ring. Over a month’s course, events went from an investigation conducted by Tuvok to a full-blown court-martial, with Chakotay, Everett Dyson and Danielle Marcus serving on the board.
Since then, Seven of Nine had almost completely reintegrated herself into humanity – marrying Harry Kim, reclaiming her human name, bearing his child… Most of her senior staff had gone their separate ways, and the former Maquis pardoned. Even those she had demoted were restored to their former ranks. Chakotay was officially promoted to captain and given command of Voyager. Dyson became his first officer. Tom Paris and B’Elanna Torres joined Harry and Annika Kim at Starfleet R&D on Earth, eventually marrying as well. Tuvok took a leave of absence and rejoined his family on Vulcan. The Doctor reactivated his family and finally took a name, Kenneth Zimmerman.
Janeway was sent to the Federation Penal Settlement in New Zealand with Rudy Ransom and Max Burke. There she met Berlinghoff Rasmussen, a man from the 22nd century with a penchant for outrageous con attempts and petty theft, most recently imprisoned for some scheme involving the Bajoran religion that he refused to elaborate upon.
But it didn’t stop there, Janeway thought. No, Ransom had repented in the end, just before Kim managed to beam him and Burke off of the Equinox. For the last three years, he did nothing but sit around the compound. He would occasionally burst into tears unexpectedly, and he saw a counselor on a regular basis. They were talking about granting him parole, saying he was on the road to recovery.
Burke tried once to convince the parole board he had repented as well, even going so far as to emulate Ransom’s behavior and feign tears before them. Fortunately – or unfortunately, depending on your point of view – the telepaths on the board immediately saw through his charade and his request for parole consideration was denied.
Everyone she had ever known now regarded her with embarrasment; some, like Admiral Paris, even scorned her. After the court- martial, Chakotay finally admitted that which she had long suspected – that he harbored romantic feelings for her – but said that it was now too late for anything to happen between them, that their circumstances prevented anything from happening. Seven – Annika, she corrected herself – told her once that she regarded her as a surrogate mother, but after their return to Earth, Janeway stopped hearing from the former drone.
Janeway brought herself from her reverie, rose, and walked to her cell, trying to hide the determination in her stride. Soon, none of that would matter.
Rasmussen knocked on the doorway of Janeway’s cell, although he could hardly bring himself to call it that. In his time, prisons were nowhere near as… comfortable.
"Good, you’re here," Janeway said. "They’re finished. Come here so I can make sure they’re working right."
Rasmussen sat on the edge of Janeway’s bunk. She pulled a box out of a hole she’d cut into the concrete with stolen mining tools, concealed by the large and heavy footlocker. The guards made sure to check inside the footlocker, between the bedsheets, under the mattresses… but never under the footlocker itself. She opened the box and pulled out one of two belts, both with an odd-looking hodgepodge of devices jury-rigged onto the buckles. Janeway handed the belt to Rasmussen.
"Put it on," she ordered. Once he’d complied, she added, "Flip the switch in the center on the left – no, your left." When he did, a brief shimmering of light played around Rasmussen’s body.
"Now stand still," Janeway said. Rasmussen flinched as her fist rushed toward his midsection, but he never felt the contact. He heard a sound like a high-pitched hiss-buzz, and opened his eyes when Janeway began muttering curses. She was holding her fist, which was refusing to open completely.
"Did it work?" he asked.
"Yeah," Janeway said between curses. "My damned hand’s gone stiff from the shock of the contact. It’s a damned strong field." She grabbed the other belt from the box with her good hand and fumbled to put it on. She flipped an identical switch to the one on Rasmussen’s belt and a forcefield snapped into place around her.
"Looks like this one’s working, too," she said. "Now turn it off by flipping the switch again." Janeway turned her belt off, removed it and put it back in the box. "Turn the damned belt off and give it to me," Janeway snapped when Rasmussen just stood motionless. "You’re going to drain the charge."
Rasmussen turned off the belt and handed it to Janeway, considering how much she had changed over the past three years. Her skin was tanned and weathered by the regular exposure to the New Zealand sun, her language more coarse. "I thought we were getting out of here," he said.
"Not tonight," Janeway said. "There’s a cargo vessel coming tomorrow morning. We’ll move then, seize it, and get off-planet."
"How will that help?" Rasmussen protested. "They’ve got ships in orbit that could easily outrun us, and definitely outgun us. There’d be too many of them; we’d never even break orbit!"
Janeway reached into the hole in the floor and pulled out another box. "Those belts weren’t the only thing I made," she said. "This is a cloaking device. It won’t last more than a couple of days, but that should be more than enough to get us where we’re going."
14 November 2379 1957 hrs
"Ready to go?" Phillips asked as he entered the cockpit of the Kes.
"Very," Gilmore, already seated at the pilot’s station, said. "And I’m flying."
"I can fly this thing," Phillips said.
"Don’t make me laugh, Dan," Gilmore said playfully. "You couldn’t even pilot a shuttlecraft in a straight line with voice commands."
Phillips winced at the memory of his last attempt at piloting. "I can’t figure out why DTI asked for you, specifically," he said, putting his bruised ego aside. "We’re going to a facility that’s so high-security, most of the Federation doesn’t even know it exists."
"I can keep a secret," Gilmore said.
"That’s not the point, Marla," Phillips said. "Something smells funny about all of this."
"Where exactly are we going?" Gilmore asked. "I don’t know the coordinates that we’re going to yet. Only you do, at this point."
"Let’s clear our departure with shuttle control," Phillips sighed as he took his seat at the engineering console to the rear of the compartment.
"Already done," Gilmore said. "We can leave as soon as the shuttlebay doors are open." The two looked up, through the small vessel’s cockpit windows, as said shuttlebay doors finished opening. "Which would be now."
"Then let’s get moving," Phillips said. "I’ll enter the coordinates as soon as we clear Voyager." Moments later, Gilmore began the shuttle’s liftoff sequence and the Kes started to ease out of the shuttlebay. "Heard from Harry and Annika lately?"
"Just got a letter from them last night, actually," Gilmore said.
"How’s little Tommy?" Phillips asked.
"Not so little anymore," Gilmore said. "He’s getting into all kinds of mischief. He’s a lot like my nephew was at that age."
"We should write them back," Phillips said, "so they know to send their messages to DTI headquarters on Earth."
"So, where are we going, Dan?" Gilmore asked. "It sure isn’t Earth, and I’m going there anyhow, so you might as well tell me."
"It’s known as the Time Planet," Phillips said. "It was found in 2261 by the original Enterprise and later code-named ‘Gateway.’ There’s an… object there. We’re not sure exactly what it is, but it calls itself the Guardian of Forever. It has the ability to send people back and forth in time. The entire planet is a nexus point for every known quantum reality, and probably more besides. That, and, as far as we know, it exists outside normal space-time, which makes it immune to any changes to the timeline."
"No wonder DTI’s been keeping it a secret," Gilmore said.
Near Auckland, New Zealand
Federation Penal Settlement
15 November 2379 1019 hrs
The guards kept firing, but to no avail. Janeway and Rasmussen had somehow managed to build their own personal shield belts, and they were the strongest shields they’d ever seen. The phaser blasts were absorbed by the shields, which only seemed to make them stronger. The pair simply walked out the front gates, the guards firing away impotently with their phasers.
Janeway rushed one of the guards, knocking him over and backhanding him across the jaw. He fell to the ground, unconscious. Janeway reached down and grabbed his phaser rifle and type II hand phaser, then continued toward the cargo vessel. Janeway jumped onto the ship’s ramp as it began to close, running to the front of the vessel.
"Everybody off," she growled as she stepped into the cockpit. The crewmembers held their hands in the air and complied, helpless, as they were marched to the ship’s exit. Janeway tapped a few buttons on the control panel, reopening the ramp, and pushed the crew off. At the same time, Rasmussen, holding a phaser rifle of his own now, made his way into the small ship and she resealed the hatch.
"Computer," Janeway said, "initiate independent operating mode. Sever all contact with outside control stations. Raise shields. Reset security access prefix code to a random number and display it on the helm control panel."
The computer beeped, then said, "Confirmed. This vessel is now in independent operating mode. Shields at full strength. New prefix code set."
"Is anyone else presently aboard?" Janeway asked.
"Negative," the computer said.
Janeway sat in the pilot’s chair and began ordering the vessel to lift off the ground. The guards continued to fire helplessly at the rapidly receding vessel as technicians within the complex’s control center scrambled in an attempt to gain remote control of the ship.
Janeway’s hands raced over the controls, doing her best to dodge fire from Starfleet fighter craft scrambled when they seized the ship. The small ship shuddered from the impacts of their phaser blasts, which were increasing in regularity. However, it didn’t take long for the small craft to escape Earth’s atmosphere, and soon after that they were outside the planet’s gravity well.
"Take the helm!" Janeway yelled, jumping out of her seat.
"Me?" Rasmussen objected. "I haven’t flown anything more complicated than a shuttlecraft since I arrived in this century!"
"Just fly the damned ship!" Janeway yelled. "I have to install the cloaking device!"
Rasmussen took the vessel into a series of rough evasive maneuvers, trying his hardest to avoid the pummeling the small ship was taking from the pursuing fighters and larger vessels. Meanwhile, Janeway was hooking her makeshift cloak generator into the vessel’s diminuitive engineering section, gritting her teeth as the ship rocked with each successive hit. Finally, the cloak was connected. She pressed a button on the console and the lights dimmed. The cloak was engaged.
"What happened?" Rasmussen asked as Janeway returned to the cockpit. "They’re firing at random, and they aren’t even coming close to hitting us!"
"We’re cloaked," Janeway said as she retook the helm. "But that also means we don’t have shields anymore. I’m inputting our destination coordinates. Engaging warp engines." Within moments, they were at warp.
"Kathryn," Rasmussen asked as he settled into his chair, just behind her, "where are we going?"
"When I was a science officer on the Al-Batani," Janeway began, "we conducted an expedition on a planet called Gateway…"
Department of Temporal Investigations Headquarters
Office of the Director
16 November 2379 1317 hrs
"Sorry to have kept you waiting," Director Harrington said as he walked into his office, where Phillips and Gilmore were seated. "Congratulations on your recent promotions."
"Thank you, sir," Phillips said as he and Gilmore rose from their seats.
"Sit," Harrington said. "Sit down. You don’t have to stand on ceremony with me."
"Sir, I was wondering," Phillips began. "Why did you request that Marla–"
"Sir, a cloaked vessel just landed 100 meters from the Guardian!"
Phillips spun in shock as a technician stood breathless in the doorway to the office. "How is that possible?" Phillips asked. "What about the automated defenses?"
"By the time it showed up on sensors," the technician said, following Phillips, Gilmore and Harrington as they strode into the busy hallway, "it was too late. They were already inside the shield perimeter. We can’t fire the main phaser batteries without risking an antimatter containment breach!"
Phillips noticed another technician handing out weapons in the hallway. "Give me a phaser rifle," he said, trying to hide the concern in his voice. "Marla, too. We’re going to help try and stop whoever this is from getting to the Guardian… if we can."
As Phillips and Gilmore sprinted toward the sound of weapons fire, she said, "We’ve been here just two hours. Is it always this exciting?"
"Never," Phillips said, "The last time we ever had anything even close to this was when Ambassador Spock–" he stopped, mid- sentence, as they cleared the ridge.
"Dear God," Gilmore said. "It’s – it’s–"
"Janeway," Phillips growled between gritted teeth. "And I’ve got a pretty good idea why she wants to use the Guardian. Come on!"
Phillips and Gilmore rushed toward the clearing where the Guardian of Forever stood, firing their phasers at the intruders. The blasts were absorbed harmlessly by their personal shields. Phillips realized that he had no idea how to stop them. He took cover behind a rock and began firing at the ground near Janeway and Rasmussen’s feet, hoping to knock them off-balance long enough to come up with a better plan to stop them. They paused to avoid the debris his phaser kicked up, but started moving again a moment later.
Phillips eyed the automated phaser batteries nearby. It was programmed to fire at unauthorized ships, but if he could get to one of them, he reasoned, he could instruct it to start firing at the two intruders. He fired at Rasmussen’s feet, the explosion from the phaser blast knocking him onto his back. As Rasmussen was picking himself up, Phillips began making his way to the closest phaser battery.
Janeway was at the Guardian, yelling something over the din of battle while Rasmussen began putting down cover fire again. The portal of the Guardian began to blur, an image forming in the opening. The image changed to a darkened room, then Janeway leaped through the Guardian and vanished.
"No!" Phillips cried.
Rasmussen stopped firing and turned to the Guardian. Phillips and the guards rushed the man. "Did she do it?" Rasmussen asked. "Did she change the timeline?" The Guardian remained silent.
Phillips approached Rasmussen as close as he dared, part of his mind reminding him there was a powerful forcefield surrounding the man. "If you can even ask that question, doesn’t that tell you something?" he asked icily. Rasmussen gulped, then looked away from Phillips’ furious gaze. "It’s over. Drop the damned shield."
Rasmussen stared back at Phillips, not making any move to drop his defenses. "The charge on that thing will run out eventually," Phillips said. "We can wait." Rasmussen looked to the still- cloaked vessel, which was now surrounded by DTI personnel. It decloaked, then lifted into the air and flew away. Rasmussen’s eyes fell in dismay.
"See that phaser battery up there?" Phillips asked, pointing to an array with three meter wide emitter segments. "Want to test how strong your shields really are?"
Rasmussen dropped his shield and the guards took hold of his arms, then removed the belt. Harrington cleared the ridge Phillips and Gilmore had just run across and approached them as Rasmussen was escorted away.
"Sir," Phillips said, "it was Janeway. She managed to go through the portal before I could get to her." He paused. "I have a pretty good idea of when and where she went, and what she intends to accomplish. Also, I don’t think she realizes that this planet is immune to the changes she’s made to the timeline, judging from what her friend over there just said."
"Let’s try to figure out what she changed," Harrington said.
Phillips turned to the Guardian of Forever. "Guardian," he said, "can you show me where Janeway just went?"
The image in the portal shimmered into a picture of Voyager.
"Guardian," Phillips said as he stood before the looming device known as the Guardian of Forever, "what happened?"
"What was," the Guardian’s voice boomed, "is no longer."
"What caused it?" Phillips asked. "Can you show me what happened?"
The Guardian’s portal shimmered to a darkened room. The doors slid open and Kathryn Janeway – apparently Janeway from the past, as she was wearing her uniform and had less sun-weathered skin – walked in.
"Lights," Janeway said. The room brightened, and everyone could see Janeway from the future, or rather, the present, standing behind her. Past-Janeway spun, sensing someone behind her.
"Who are you?" she asked. "What do you want?"
"Freedom," the future-Janeway said, stepping toward her past self, "for both of us. I can’t let it happen. I’ll make sure they don’t find out!"
"Find out what?" past-Janeway asked.
"You know damned well what I’m talking about," future-Janeway said. "I’ve spent the last three years in prison because they found out."
Past-Janeway’s face turned pale. "How can we – I mean I – stop it?"
The image in the Guardian’s portal returned to a swirling mass of light and color.
"Damn, Phillips breathed. "Guardian, show me how Voyager has changed on this timeline."
The Guardian’s portal once again shimmered to reveal Voyager‘s Briefing Room. Much of Voyager‘s old senior staff seemed to be there, with the notable exception of Tom Paris and Harry Kim. Also notable were the facts that Janeway was in uniform and Annika was still wearing her old outfit and keeping her hair up. Phillips noted to himself that it was likely she was still referring to herself as Seven of Nine.
"Gunfire?" Janeway asked.
"Two shots," Chakotay said. "Directly at the primary controls. We can’t deactivate the program or get the safeties back online."
"Where are Tom and Harry now?" Janeway asked.
"St. Mary’s," Torres said, then turned to the Doctor. "Looks like some of your parishoners are holding them captive." The Doctor rolled his eyes.
"You can’t blame them," Neelix said, "for being frightened. They must think we’re some kind of sorcerers."
"Well," Chakotay said, "we could use a little magic right now, because that’s the only way we’re going to get our people back."
"Transporters?" Janeway asked.
"Too many stray photons," Chakotay replied. "We can’t get a lock."
"We should enter the Holodeck," Seven said, "with a security team and take them by force."
"Need I remind you," Tuvok began, "that the holocharacters have weapons as well? We’d be risking armed conflict."
"Why don’t they just shut it down?" Gilmore blurted as she watched the scene unfolding in the Guardian’s portal. The others continued watching in silent concentration.
"Well," Torres said, "then let’s just pull the plug! Cut power to the hologrid!"
Neelix looked aghast. "That would purge the program from our database!"
"Exactly!" Torres said.
"But we’d lose Fair Haven and all it’s people," Neelix objected.
"They’re not people," Seven said. "They’re holograms."
"And they weren’t programmed to be violent," Janeway said. "I don’t believe they’d harm anyone."
"You can’t be certain," Torres said.
"Well I am certain," Janeway countered icily, "and I’d like to find a less drastic situation."
"With all due respect, captain," Torres said, "Michael can be reprogrammed. Tom and Harry can’t."
"One problem at a time, B’Elanna," Janeway said. "The people of Fair Haven may not be real, but our feelings toward them are. I won’t destroy these relationships if we can find another way."
"Thank you, Guardian," Phillips said. "That’s enough." The image reverted to the swirls of colored light. "Christ," he muttered. "Did you catch the stardate on the monitor in the background? 214758! I’ll bet Voyager‘s still in the Delta Quadrant at that point, considering Janeway’s still in command."
"What was wrong with her?" Gilmore asked. "Risking Tom and Harry over what? A nonsentient hologram?" Her eyes widened with sudden horror. "And Annika – she should be eight months along at that time, yet, she didn’t even look pregnant! I don’t think Tommy was even born in this timeline!" She looked at Phillips. "And as for Tuvok and Neelix…!"
"I’m going to have to go back and stop her," Phillips said, interrupting her.
"Why not here, before she went back?" Gilmore asked.
"That would eliminate the need to travel back in the first place," Phillips said. "Going back to Voyager can produce potentially less damage."
Gilmore paused, considering the implications of the potential damage to the timeline, from a broken causality paradox to the total destruction of the space-time continuum. "Then I’m going with you," she said, finally. "As Voyager‘s chief of Operations, I know that ship better than anyone else on this planet."
"She’s got a point, Phillips," Harrington said, the first words he’d uttered since the Guardian’s replay of the new history began. "She also has a good grasp of temporal mechanics, so she knows better than to take unnecessary risks with the timeline. Take her with you."
Phillips nodded his agreement with Harrington. "Yes, sir," he said. He looked back to Gilmore. "As far as I can tell, we’ll be going to a point about a week before we encountered the other ex- drones from Annika’s former unimatrix."
"Great," Gilmore said. "As if things weren’t bad enough." She reached up, touching her “extra” rank insignia, sighing. "How soon can we leave?"
"We’re not leaving quite yet," Phillips said. "We have to figure out how to disable those shields, not to mention how she got past our defenses in the first place." He turned and headed back toward the collection of three- and four-story adobe buildings that made up the headquarters of Temporal Investigations.
The Guardian of Forever
16 November 2379 2128 hrs
Several hours later, Phillips made his way toward the Guardian of Forever, where he could see Gilmore standing. He had a Type II phaser on his belt, a Type I phaser in his hand and two armbands – one on his arm, the other in his hand with the phaser. He stopped next to Gilmore. Several technicians were probing the Guardian with their instruments.
"They’ve modified the sensor grid to detect cloaks like Janeway’s in the future, now that they’ve had a chance to study it," Phillips said. "They’ll be able to train against that, too, now." Phillips handed the diminuitive Type I phaser and the armband to Gilmore, then continued, "The lab techs modified these emergency transporter armbands to emit shields. They’re based on the shield belts Janeway and Rasmussen were wearing. It’ll also block us from Voyager‘s sensors, so we don’t set off the intruder alert when we get there. We’ll raise fewer questions by my acting as your armed escort. If anyone asks, we’ll just say the armbands are a proximity device – if you get too far from me, it’d alert security."
Gilmore put the device on the upper arm of her sleeve and activated it, a forcefield snapping to life around her. "Great," she said. "Can we get our phasers to penetrate her shield? Not only that, but how will we be able to fire our phasers without being detected?"
Phillips pulled a small tricorder from the folds of his uniform. "This will help with that," he said. "The techs have been working overtime with that shield belt Rasmussen was wearing. Not only did they come up with our shields, but they linked our phasers to this tricorder. It’ll adjust their frequencies to match Janeway’s shields. We can also track temporal anomalies with it – the Guardian’s temporal displacement signature is too minute for the ship’s sensors to detect on a routine scan, but this’ll pick it up, and we can track down Janeway with it. Oh, and the phasers are masked, to fool Voyager‘s sensors into not recognizing the phaser discharge. The lower the setting, the more likely they won’t be noticed by Ops."
"What do we do if our phasers still can’t penetrate her shields?" Gilmore asked. "And what if Ops notices us, despite all our shielding and sensor masking?"
"Wing it," Phillips said. He checked his phaser, then activated his own shield. "Remember what we went through earlier – if we end up with no other option but a physical confrontation, do everything possible to avoid disturbing the area."
"One problem, though," Gilmore said, "you’re a science officer, not security, and you never served as my escort."
"I had security training when I was with DTI in the 23rd century," Phillips said. "If it comes up, we’ll tell them that you’ve been allowed to work on some sensor equipment, so, because of my background, I’m watching you to make sure you don’t try anything funny with the equipment."
"Guardian," Phillips said, turning to face the massive object, "we wish to travel to the time where Janeway has gone."
The swirling colors in the Guardian’s portal coalesced into a deserted corridor on Voyager. "The passage is ready," the Guardian’s voice boomed.
"Let’s go," Phillips said. He and Gilmore leaped through the portal and emerged in the corridor they had just seen on the Time Planet.
Phillips made his way to a control panel. "Yeah," he said, "it’s like I thought. Stardate 214034. We don’t even know each other yet."
"Janeway’s not here," Gilmore said. "Can we trick the computer into not setting off the alarms if we drop our shields? Their charge won’t last forever, and I don’t want to have to explain them if we bump into somebody in the corridor."
Phillips nodded his head, then said, "Computer, recognize Temporal Security code DTI-74656-gamma-052371."
"Code recognized," the computer said.
"My partner and I have just arrived aboard Voyager," Phillips said. "We are also listed in Voyager‘s crew manifest at this time, as Lieutenant Dan Phillips and Crewman Marla Gilmore. Recognize."
"Identities recognized," the computer said.
"We are about to drop shields concealing our bio-readings," Phillips said. "Do not sound an intruder alert. Should a Voyager crew member not at our location request the location of our counterparts in this time, do not indicate the location of myself or my partner. Confirm, please."
"Instructions confirmed," the computer said.
"OK," Phillips said, "we can drop the shields now."
"Neat trick," Gilmore said. "When were you planning on telling me about that one?"
"Slipped my mind," Phillips joked as they dropped their shields. "The DTI codes have been wired into every ship for the last 80 years, and are supposed to be changed when the ship resupplies. The code was supposed to have been changed by the transmission over the Hirogen array, but that was part of the signal that was lost. Fortunately, the code in the computer was noted and logged before being changed upon our return to Earth, so we did have the right one. Anything we do while using that code will be deleted from the ship’s automated logs – even the fact that we used the code." They began walking down the corridor. Several minutes later, they came upon Seven of Nine.
"Lieutenant," Seven said, then noticed Gilmore and abruptly stopped, her eyes widening slightly. To his surprise, Phillips noticed that Seven had a hint of fear in her expression, then remembered Gilmore once said that Seven was actually terrified of her for several months after their altercation on the Equinox. "I was not aware you were familiar with Crewman Gilmore."
"I don’t really know her," Phillips said. "I’m just keeping an eye on her." Gilmore looked neutrally at Seven, then cocked an eyebrow when the two women made eye contact. He hid his surprise when Seven quickly broke eye contact and took a step back.
"I see," Seven said. "I – I must return to Astrometrics." She turned away and resumed her path down the corridor, her pace quicker than before.
"Damn," Phillips said after Seven was gone. "She really was afraid of you." He turned back to the console. "Computer, location of Captain Janeway."
"Captain Janeway is on the Bridge."
"Are there any anomalous life-form readings?" Phillips asked.
"Negative," the computer said.
"Either she’s shielded from Voyager‘s sensors like we were," Gilmore said, "or she’s not here yet."
"Computer," Phillips said, "access visual sensors, internal and external. Are there any anomalous occurences regarding Captain Janeway?"
"Negative," the computer said.
Phillips made sure the corridor was clear, then pulled out the tricorder. After scanning for a few moments, he shook his head and hid it once more.
"She must not be here yet," Gilmore said. "And we don’t have a clue where she’s going to be when she gets here."
"Yes we do," Phillips said. "Before she jumped into the portal, the image was of a darkened room. Plus, she encountered herself in her quarters. Looking as different as she does now, I think that’s where she went."
U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656
12 January 2376 1336 hrs
Dan Phillips and Marla Gilmore walked through the corridors of Voyager, three years in their past. Phillips made sure he was a step behind Gilmore at all times, to keep up the charade that he was her armed escort.
"Hi, Dan," said Lieutenant junior grade Clark Bowman, another Challenger survivor, as they passed in the corridor. "Keeping an eye on this one?"
"Uh, yeah," Phillips said, a bit unsteadily. Bowman continued in the opposite direction and quickly vanished from sight.
"You knew him?" Gilmore asked.
"He was on the Challenger," Phillips explained. "The fifty of us stuck together at first, until we made new friends in Voyager‘s crew. And no, I hadn’t known about his… off-duty activities." Chief among those, he thought, being part of Janeway’s sabotage ring. The only reason the poor fool even joined was because she’d convinced him that, since he was the duty tactical officer on the Challenger, he’d be court-martialed for losing the ship. Now, he was court-martialed for a completely different reason.
A few moments later, they stopped near the doors to Janeway’s quarters. "Computer," Phillips said, "location of Captain Janeway."
"Captain Janeway is on the Bridge," the computer voice said.
Phillips pulled his tricorder from his uniform and handed it to Gilmore. She began to input commands as Phillips kept watch and discreetly readied the Type I phaser also hidden in his uniform, making sure to keep it on the lowest setting.
"Find anything?" Phillips asked.
"Yeah," Gilmore said. "She’s on the other side of this bulkhead, alone, about a meter away from the door. The lights are off."
Phillips and Gilmore stepped in front of the door, and he looked pointedly at her armband. They entered the activation command on their armbands, and their forcefields came to life. Gilmore reset the tricorder to scan for Janeway’s shield frequency, then turned back to the door, her hand moving to her own, concealed, phaser.
"Computer," Phillips said, "open this door and increase room lighting to full, authorization DTI-74656-gamma-052371." The computer beeped its acceptance of the code and the doors parted.
The pair stepped into the room, their phasers at the ready, as the doors hissed shut behind them. They turned to Janeway’s position near the door, leveling their phasers and the tricorder on her. Janeway blinked, trying to clear the spots from her eyes.
"Kathryn Janeway, you’re under arrest," Phillips said. "You’re charged with criminal tampering with the space-time continuum."
Janeway began to bring up her phaser rifle, and Phillips fired his phaser. The beam penetrated her shield, hitting her wrist. She dropped the rifle, her arm limp and her eyes widening in shock and disbelief that Phillips’ phaser – a Type I, no less – had managed to penetrate her shield.
"I’m not going back," Janeway said. Without warning, she rushed Gilmore, whose hands were full with her phaser and the tricorder.
Gilmore stepped quickly to the side and brought her knee up into Janeway’s midsection as the older woman began to rush past her. Their shields collided, the energy discharge knocking Janeway off- balance. Gilmore handed the tricorder to Phillips and tucked the phaser into her uniform, then prepared herself for Janeway’s counterattack.
Instead, Janeway ran toward the nearest cover she could find – a chair in the living area of her past self’s quarters. She reached for the type II phaser at her belt, but froze when she saw Phillips had his type I trained on her, and Gilmore redrawing hers as well.
"Don’t make this worse for yourself," Phillips said. "As you’ve seen, our phasers can determine your shield frequency and adjust accordingly. Our shields can protect us from your phasers as easily as your fists. Don’t make me fire again and risk detection by the ship’s sensors."
"You wouldn’t," Janeway said. "The Temporal Prime Directive–"
"Can be bent," Phillips interrupted. "How many starship captains have bent the Prime Directive and gotten away with it? This would be no different. My superiors would agree that the damage would be minimal and the worst I would get is a written reprimand in my record. Hell, they might give me a commendation."
Janeway paused, considering his words, her hand hovering over the phaser.
"Surrender," Phillips said. "Even if do get away from us, do you want to end up with a future where you were ready to sacrifice your crew in order to protect a nonsentient holographic lover?" He knew this was an exaggeration, but wanted to get Janeway to give herself up peacefully, if for no other reason than he didn’t want to drag her unconscious body through the Guardian on their return trip.
"Preposterous," Janeway said, but her voice wavered slightly. Phillips realized she wasn’t dismissing the notion entirely.
"I agree," Gilmore said. "It does sound ridiculous. But no more so than the idea of a captain leading a sabotage ring on her own ship. We looked into the future you’re about to create. You were – or will be – quite public about it. Even if you convince your past self not to do that, how can you guarantee she wouldn’t do something as bad or worse? Once that happens, do you think that the crew will have to make much of a stretch of the imagination before they start taking rumors of a sabotage ring seriously again?"
The Guardian of Forever
16 November 2379 2132 hrs
The Guardian of Forever’s portal shimmered, and three forms leaped out, landing a few feet away from the softly glowing object. The guards around the Guardian immediately snapped their weapons and tricorders up, ready to fire. They noticed that Janeway was unarmed, and that her phaser rifle was slung over Gilmore’s shoulder. Gilmore handed the rifle to an approaching guard, who also took the shield belt after Janeway had removed it.
"Take her away," Phillips said to the guard, indicating Janeway. He took Janeway by the arm and began to escort her to the nearest buildings. She walked off silently, resigned to her fate.
"Congratulations, both of you," Harrington said, approaching Phillips and Gilmore. "I trust the damage to the timeline was minimal?"
"Of course," Phillips said. "We passed a couple people in the corridor, but that was the extent of it. You can read all about it in our reports."
"Good," Harrington said. "How did Lieutenant Gilmore do on her first mission for DTI?"
"Rather well, sir," Phillips said.
Harrington turned to Gilmore. "I had a feeling you’d make a good agent. How would you like to work for us part-time?"
Phillips and Gilmore looked at Harrington in surprise.
5 December 2379 1437 hrs
"Hi, Dan," Gilmore said as Phillips stepped through the door of the apartment they were sharing on the Time Planet. "A letter from Harry and Annika came today. I thought you might like to see it."
"What do they have to say?" Phillips asked.
"They’re doing well," Gilmore said. "In fact, they’re talking about having another baby. Oh, and Tommy says hi. You can see it for yourself." She pointed to a PADD on the coffee table.
"Will do," Phillips said as he took a seat in the living room beside Gilmore. "Janeway and Rasmussen have been safely transferred to a top-security facility on Tantalus V."
"Isn’t that an asylum?" Gilmore asked.
"Yep," Phillips said. "Who there would believe them if they start talking about a planet where you can go back in time just by walking through a stone? Plus, it keeps them safely away from sharp objects and pieces of equipment that can be turned into weapons." He paused, then looked at Gilmore. "Have you thought about Harrington’s request for you to join DTI?"
"I haven’t decided," Gilmore admitted.
"Well," Phillips said, "we’ve got another couple of months before we go back to Voyager."
"Plenty of time to think it over," Gilmore said. "Oh, by the way, what was that you were telling me about Ambassador Spock and the Guardian?"
"Well," Phillips began, "It was an incident that DTI has code- named ‘Yesteryear.’ The Enterprise returned here 110 years ago, and then-Commander Spock…"