Admiral Kathryn “Iron Balls” Janeway was still young.
This magnificent bastard had feasibly centuries left before something surprising which surgeons and herbalists couldn’t shove back in or bind reared up, so despite appearances that Edwarian Egyptologists had just dug her up, statistically speaking the old girl was very, very young, not that that makes the creaks, pops and twinges the artefact her once scrumptious physique produces with eclectic rhythm had done become any less deafening. Medical Science couldn’t force the human body to maintain in a state of perpetual youth, thank god, but it could stretch out the twilight years to 10, 20, 30 times what some shlub from the 20th century would expect to be a decent innings, even though a bog standard Vulcan could effortlessly make a human being seem like a sill born gold fish by comparison, so what the hell did it matter that the choices Kathryn had made wittingly without any clever forethought throughout the last few days had designed an epic suicide attempt where if everything went even just a touch off kilter, she’d only be flushing a century and a half of really good golden years at most down the sonic toilet because ambition to become glorious is rewarded in spades if that bearded git Fate don’t got a well placed shovel a’swinging to hack into something vital, but that’s just life. Life is murder and the complaints department is shut down for the weekend.
Maybe Janeway should call what she’s diving craggy stone face into a time-crisis, but hell bugger it, all that “time this” and “temporal that” doublespeak was just pretentious masturbation anyway by uppity futurists in love with the smell of their own ass, and it’s not like there was just a single crisis trying to wreck her at this one moment, it was a crisises storm. What she had done to this far. What she was doing to push on a little further. What she had yet to do. What she was destined to do but didn’t really feel like was in any way a good idea any more… Hardly the fight of her life, hardly the fight of her week, the Admiral had stayed minutes ahead of charges of election tampering, fraud, embezzlement and antitrust, lied to a child who thought of her as an aunt, no not a grand mother, an aunt, yes an aunt not a grand mother, it’s not so unbelievable that she could be B’Elanna’s albeit minutely older sister… All leading into the head of this new fit, wrestling a Klingon degenerate of radically illegal technology to become the absolute Mistress of Time. Mark had always said that she would have made a decent Mistress. Mark had problems. Mark had so many problems, that 70,000 light years seemed like a good idea. Kathryn is bolting down a road paved with good intentions after offending some very bad, and very bad smelling very well armed people, only to then fall down a stinky rabbit hole this 24th century (silver) fox knew full well enough that those idiots would be compelled to trek through right after her down to their mutual and compiled doom. Fortunately their doom would wrack up hours, hopefully years before her own expiration, but it’s a dark quandary figuring out if you’d rather be marked for death or outright dead given what a right wanker anticipation can be.
In all, a rough 72 hours.
There are 6 impossibly well armed battle cruisers jamming up her behind her little shuttle at near super luminal speeds with maybe four thousand Klingon’s in total seething about inside, making sure that their engines keep rolling and their disrupters keep blasting at the puny Federation female who is half way through transversing a tear in the galaxy’s integrity that’s grabbing yesterday by the sack & forcing that powdered wig wearing p’tahk to say uncle. When I became mistress of Time all I got was this lousy T-Shirt. It’s grim. The army of death behind her doesn’t just “look” grim, it is grim. Time is bloody nigh. So It’s a good thing the Admiral has a first class plan for all those steerage class Klingons or Kathy would really be up shit creek. Which is why she has a smile on her dry, bitter, wrinkled old cracked mug as she sails right out of gods bottom crack into an all too familiar a space lane from her youth: Banjoman’s backyard.
The consistency of the stunning beam used by Caretakers Array to pacify his rape victims had been pulled apart and intellectually flossed by her Vulcan, some other impressive geniuses, and Harry Kim too in the first few weeks they had been lost in space to make sure they would be fooled again next time they ran afoul of a Caretaker. She remembers the inspirational speech she gave the science team “If some one doesn't find a counter measure to this gadget, we’re all going to be filled up with Caretaker babies eventually, so hop to it.” Knowledge is power. Set a course for adventure her mind is on an old romance. Iron balls baited her pursuers with her exposed rump, which if they goosed her would make many boots, maybe some sets of gloves and some wallets for their children out of her rugged hide, towards Caretaker’s sexual assault factory, sure they were sure they had her, but it was they who were about one and a half minutes away from a good nap and she who would be free to take care of business, which doesn’t seem like the widest margin in her masterplan that she has to avoid death by an armada of mangy sociopathic carnivores behind her who are already picking phantom human meat out their snaggle teeth from the idot to test their patience before the senile sex offender god in front of her starts with the smiting, and what’s he/It going to do when it/he notices that his smite doesn’t take with her? But then Tom’s theory on Caretaker was that he was an idiot who has to use an idiots guide to Caretaking manual… But really if the Kazon could take him in a fair fight what the hell chance does he stand against her cheating lying time travelling ass?
It’s nap time for the monsters pursuing Admiral Janeway because Caretaker only likes to have sex with sleeping people.
“Thank you Banjo Man you randy old bastard.” Janeway mutters to herself.
Kathy gropes the illuminated LACARS touchscreen like her lovers love handles unloading a immediate furious bolt of canned-bitchslap from her customized anti-sporositian beam weapon nailed to the underbelly of her swift little shuttle, which will quickly cripple, sterilize and brain damage Caretaker 6 months before he’s destined to get his end away with her first and favourite crew, upending the timeline and creating a fantastic paradox that’s going to screw over a lot of the little people and gods alike. WAMMO! Our geriatric heroine directs a site to site transport to the Arrays control deck where Kathryn is not completely sure if upon arrival she still won’t have to scuffle hand to hand with Caretaker if she’d only clipped the dirty old bastard. Man plans, God laughs. Woman plans, God hides. Upon materializing in the in the heart of her enemies camp with nothing noticeably punchable within arms reach, the estimable time traveler humbly claims all in the name of the United Federation of Planets, herself and the 24th century, then steadies amid an unexpected chuckle as the once Admiral in charge of Administrative Affairs confirms what Tuvok said 2 decades ago was the gods honest truth, the control interfaces for everything here is just macros, mummery and pictographs a child might use before they had learnt how to read. Baby’s first pangalactic tractor beam. Caretaker hadn’t been left behind to look after the Ocmapa because he was the most capable, or responsible, but he had been abandoned because he was the most disposable member of the Nacene crew that had blanched the Ocampan biosphere a scant millennium earlier. How damn humiliating that her greatest foe was a moron, again.
Even without an audience to praise her, it was time for some momentously sarcastic words “There’s a new Caretaker in town.”
No time to puff out her chest.
It’s depressing how less it puffs out these days and more so droops.
But it’s time to move onto the next stage of the plan.
Without much effort Admiral Janeway finds the reference points for the demon planet with which she had had a child, and then grand children and millions if not billions of great grand children with, that special defense batteries had to be mounted on Pluto and Cheron to tell her progeny that they were not human beings and they were not crew of a distantly misplaced starship and that they should just keep moving along because Earth was currently full up on their quota for returned Voyager crews.
But this new Caretaker, Janeway that is, it’s funny how the first time around that Kathryn had turned down the job because of the Prime Directive and good taste, and now that she wasn’t such a fresh green puff of hotdog water that diabolically cobwebbed brain could see how to make the entire universe dancing to the beat of her drum. She knew how to use a few trillion tones of Quicksilver entities to the benefit of the complete galaxy and it wasn’t about making another Voyager today.
Change through omission.
Thumping a couple massive buttons that could have been made for the visually impaired, or chronically impaired, Kathryn Janeway, aged never you mind, instantly strip mines that distant world of trillions of tons of it’s highly exotic indigenous polymorphic life-forms, that in all appearances seem to be a gooey blot of shiny liquid metal the size of a small moon which without a doubt if Janeway cared to strain the ethical chewy atoms of the process she was setting into play, Kathryn would easily make it into the superhitler museum of Evil for creative crimes against sentient life, but her plan to win out the day has to navigate inbetween several temporal sand-traps which may or may not prick her priorities more gingerly than that the Omega Directives have already kicked in because Voyager won’t be there to save the day in 6 years , but as long as she’s ripping planets in half with a fraction the Array’s determination, she might as well throw half the sun warming the planet inventing that dangerous technology at Unimatrix 001 just to make sure that the Borg are running around like chickens with their heads cut off too flustered with their own new problems to accidently run foul of any of her long term goals, or open any provocative apertures into fluidic space.
The Borg are Skragged.
Of course not every crinkle in her perfect design can be remedied years before the fact by a massive tractor beam that can fold into contact disparate and explosive situations removing untoward obstacles creating excess utility and a potential idyllic retirement with instant clear results. There’s the need for a lot of elbow grease in the days ahead if Admiral Janeway wants to make a future so perfect that her doppelganger indigenous to this timeline isn’t such a bitch that she will feel compelled to backstep too and rewrite all the good work on her checklist of awesome feats too just like she’s been forced to overwrite the half arsed shenanigans of the last old lady Janeway that raped her timeline setting up a dark future in which qualifies as the tits up of all dystopias… Only an idiot trusts Captain Kathryn Janeway to be a screw driver when with all her might she wishes she were a hammer, and you can call it self loathing but the only damn way to guarantee satisfaction after the dust settles is to kill herself while she’s still an idiot child in her third decade completely unintouch with her inner clotpole compelled to contentiously sneer at all and any power that insists it knows better than she.
The Dominon War will take care of this universe’s Kathryn Janeway because there’s no way in hell this Janeway is letting that janeway within half a galaxy of her best laid schemes, but it’s time to fetch her screw driver. A week, meek, callow powerless man that with bend and mush to her persistence and be the perfect instrument to manifest her will. A man who should be executed for crimes he is going to commit, a man who played her like a fool and killing him one for that sort of indignantly just isn’t the sort of limited satisfaction a woman with as much harpy and sore loser DNA as Admiral Kathryn Janeway can accept as a half measure. Time travel allows Kathryn to torture and kill her enemies over and over again, and anyone that had ever dared to turn up her nose shouldn’t be surprised if fate takes matters into her own hands.
It’s like baby’s first LCARS. Defining the targeting lenses towards the inner comforts of Federation Space, Kathryn steals a Federation starship from exactly where it was supposed to be stolen, exactly how it was supposed to be stolen and then fractures time again making her timeline completely impossible and opens up the possibility of an infinite number of bright and dark potential futures, I mean, so what if she’s killed every one she knows, because Kathryn has also given both to everyone one she knows too infinitely, it’s not like there’s an reason that at this late stage in the game it time for doubt and second guessing after killing trillions in the last few minutes and the next 25 years of future history the instance she arrived in the past skewing everything that might have supposed to have been whimsyly is not the time to sob about more blood on her hands, because there just comes a point where unless you’re swimming in it, there’s a point of maximum retention or critical mass as far as blood on your hands goes and causing the evaporation of 25 years of time is well past the point of no return or redemption.
Marking off the checklist.
One Federation Ship in parking orbit of Car… JANEWAY’s Array.
The Nova Class science vessel Equinox was somewhat worse for wear, but this time at least, the Caretaker was not going to full them with his little babies, and they weren’t going to spend the next 6 years being beaten down until can’t tell right from wrong and they might as well be wearing used toilet paper than Starfleet Uniforms for the honor they have left after… was it that they done broke bad, or was it that they didn’t own what they did? For gods sake! Half of Janeways crew were violent terrorist hell bent on seeing to the destruction of the federation and leaving cinder in the space where Cardassia had let let it’s freak flag fly… it all would have turned out so differently if Rudy Ransom (his parents hated him.) had just surrendered to federation justice the first moment they met instead of sacrificing her crew of 150 to save his crew of 12 for a couple hours because he didn’t understand how completely and inexorably screwed he truly was.
But that was then, and this is now.
Janeway opens a hailing channel.
The image on a hovering holographic forward monitor view screen was all too familiar.
Starships really did not abide well with this method of transition. It’s a freakish rupture to the congestion to be reasoned as a serious technical palsy.
“Wake the hell up.”
Women in her family have always sounded older than god.
“I said wake the hell up.”
The soot stained rag dolls, dazed and confused, the cats paw to the queen of all bitches, begin to take account of their lot in life to be at the horribly uneven mercy of some dick god on a holier than thou crusade to strap man kind into the dog box and turn the hose on the scruffy beggar… It must be Tuesday.
“My Name is Captain Rudolf Ransom or the United Federation of Planets Starship Equinox… Are you responsible for what has happened to my Ship?”
Rudys crew is coming to, righting themselves into their duty stations, superior drill training autopioloting them into figuring out what the heck happened before the other shoe drops wrecking their world more utterly. Equinox’s broke down bridge is alight with a series of rife unfathomable realizations…
A little brunette with a bloody nose “Captain, this is incredible.”
A middle aged Andorian whose antennae are in spasm “Captain, I’m registering damage reports all over the ship and…”
Janeway’s good friend Noah “Tie me up, it feels good” Lessing “Captain Sickbay is being swamped by… “
The leaky brunette again “I don’t understand… We’re on the other side of… The galaxy.”
Ransom gloms onto that nugget like a kick in the nuts.
“What the hell?”
The look on his bitchslapped face. Janeway prays that she never carried herself like such a babe in the woods when Kim told her what god did the same to them. It was time to rejoin the conversation, because this clueless exposition could twaddle on for hours as they try to work up how buggered they really are.
“Don’t look weak.” Janeway orders.
The fractured mass of barely alive, possibly unthinking which is lucky since they’re drowning in the unthinkable, frazzled Starfleet officers look back to the Avatar of the “old” woman looking down from the 6 by 15 foot monitor they moniker as their view screen is foaming derision.
“Even if you had remembered to mute the transmission, your body language screams surrender. If this is how you presented yourself in the Delta Quadrant, how you represented Starfleet and the federation in the delta Quadrant it’s no damn wonder you were eaten alive.”
“Who, who are you?”
“Who do you think I am?”
Ransom looks at his tarred and feathered crew, views his devastated bridge, coughs, questions fate what the hell he had ever done to deserve this lot in life and… “A seemingly omnipotent human being playing without lives as if we were bugs dressed in what I can assume is some type of Starfleet uniform that I am not completely aware of but shares enough similarities with my own that I know what those stars on your collar are supposed to mean… You’re a Q from the Q Continuum.”
The old crone suppresses a chuckle, but decides to roll with the punches “Curses… What gave me away?”
Re: Endgame Redux.
I kind of like it though I didn't catch all the details - some of your prose is rather confusing and you kinda need a beta reader. I would have preferred less ...florid language in regards to Janeway and her appearance, though.
I'm curious what her grand plan is here.
Re: Endgame Redux.
(Admiral Janeway is 24 years older than Captain Janeway in the final episode of Voyager putting her quite close to 70, so I don't really think that it was stressed enough in the real Endgame how impossible it was that Janeway still seemed so full of life when she was so close to death. Did I go overboard? Certainly.)
Blowing up the Shuttle was a mistake last time. What was that idiot thinking? Dealing with temporal twins does sound a lot like olden days schizophrenia. The Admiral pulled her shuttle around to the rear end of Equinox and casually penetrated it. Kathryn didn’t even need to use her LCARS to control her little ship any more, but if she wasn’t fondling the controls as if something might go wrong that her brain implant couldn’t deal with might happen at any moment, then what’s she supposed to do with her hands?
Like it was gliding on butter, her shuttle pulls into a resting stop before an entourage of 20 security goldshirts lead by Max Burke waiting to see if space gods were still built of stern stuff. The Shuttle bay was a standard design for this era, which couldn’t help but tap a little nostalgia. The music must be faced. Kathryn thinks the door open. Hell. This Starship even smelled like Voyager. It had never been part of the plan to impersonate Q. but considering how grim all this was, one has to find laughs were she can. And really, it’s not like she wasn’t already busted: What does God need with a Shuttle craft?
Although That git Ransom was skulking. It was in his character to run or hide at the closest opportunity. He’s a wet paper bag. Anyway, Burke was the real strength on the ship, it’s just a pity that that strength was channeled into driving such a selfish and regrettable agenda… Black Kettle syndrome here? The difference between herself and Burke however was that he was a loser with no endgame, but Ironballs here knew exactly how to score the winning touchdown. It’s amazing how many of these sports analogies survived after the extinction of the sports that generated them, but in so long as Tennis prevailed and thrived humanity was worth saving.
Her plan had been to kick Burke in the nuts ten times and send him to the Brig. He’s an untrustworthy cad. But there must be something worthwhile, afterall B’Elanna did spend a couple months sleeping with him… Although if that degerate calls her “Kiwi Juice” again, BANG POW, SHAZAM: Right in the nuts. But doesn’t that just mean that he needs more help to be a good man than Ransom who really needs some lessons in being a man period. Where the hell was he? This isintollerable! Serious if I was a Q, I would be throwing thunderbolts about now Kathy seethed… Half the crew dies in the first week who have nothing to do with 5 years from now. Half the crew is completely innocent.
The Admiral puts one of her gnarled hooves on the deck plate to the Shuttle bay from a ship of nightmares.
And then the other boot.
She’s aboard Equinox.
It’s time to sparkle.
Janeway clears her throat, straightens her spine, then says “I’m assuming command of this ship. Got a problem with that?”
This shuttle bay, was maybe a third the size of what she had aboard Voyager, hell, they didn’t even have a shuttle fabricator, when Equinox lost its shuttle compliment, that’s it, they’re done. Well not really, it wouldn’t be too hard to build their own shuttle fabricator, it’s just annoying to replicate thousands of working parts from the food and beverage replicators. At least Voyager’s holodecks could be reconditioned into massive replicators which helped keep their basics and wares in stock… Equinox didn’t have holodecks. No wonder they all went insane in the original timeline.
Burke, tricorder in hand rather than a type 6 phaser “So you’re not a Q?”
“I almost slept with one, but that hardly puts me on his Christmas card list.”
“You’re taking over?”
“Look at my collar.”
“Anyone can replicate a uniform.”
“In that case, this would be a damn stupid uniform to replicate, it’s thirty years out of date.”
“What can you tell us about where we are and why we’re here?”
“And you’re here to rescue us?”
“After a fashion.”
“After a fashion?”
“After a fashion.”
“We need to understand this situation before we make any rash decisions or promises.”
“Why are you fighting me on this? Don’t you want to go home?”
“For all I know this if random emergency psychological test by Starfleet Security to examine how effective this crew maintains discipline in an indiscernible situation. 9 times out of ten in such a practice scenario, you would eventually be found out to be shape changing alien with a taste for human flesh and blood.”
“Not exactly the trusting sort.”
‘Trust but verify.”
“This is real.”
“There are various regulations about ceding command of a starship to… An unknown power, and frankly none of us are in the mood to surrender just yet or recognize an unverified possibly illegal order from...”
Why am I having to deal with the b-team Janeway’s internal monologue rages? This is exhausting. “Look kid, I’m an Admiral, you’re a lieutenant, its not very complicated. Get with the program or I’m stepping on your face, and moving up the chain of command.”
“Do you think I’m the type of man that responds to threats?”
“No, I think you’re the sort of man that uses women and children as human shields.”
This is not the Max Burke she remembers, he hasn’t been driven into dark places by outrageous circumstances, yet even if he’s still a hero of the Federation, this potential villain still has a short rope so Kathryn understands why she shouldn’t push him, but she just can’t help it, because she doesn’t like him, even if there are Twenty men, 15 men and 5 women, ludicrously armed ready to blast anything on Max Burke’s word. She’s from the future, why the hell hasn’t any one invented personal shields?
Max, slaps his tricorder, blinks and thinks about what the stupid little machine was stuttering about. “You’re reeking in chronotons.”
“I’m here to rescue you.” She’s summoning her I am taller than you voice. Something short people save for special occasions like any day ending in the letter “Y”.
Burke isn’t actually armed. Officers give orders. They point at stuff that goes boom. “Starfleet regulations insist that I put you in stasis and hand you over to the Department of Temporal Investigations at the first opportunity. I don’t know who you are or if I should trust you, and I don’t want to hurt you but you are categorically in no position to order anyone to do anything, and frankly sweetheart, who says that we need to be rescued?”
“Don’t dig your own grave Burke.“
“Are you threatening me?”
“You’re an idiot.”
“You’re not going to take my ship.”
“It’s not your Ship.” Kathryn finds new depths to menace from.
“She’s right, it’s mine.” There from the shadows to the rear of the Admiral’s view cometh the villain of another story.
This changes the field.
Kathryn doesn’t like being surrounded like a hole in a doughnut, but what other less than hospitable treatment should she expect after brazenly launching herself into an enemy mine, relying on pomp and arrogance to smash the opposition into well behaved little minions. Of course if after 54 years in Starfleet Kathryn needed a better plan A, then she’d probably be breathing dirt by now. Although, it would certainly help if there weren’t so many antiquated phaser rifles pointed at her head, but they were mostly probably set to stun. Hopefully set to stun.
“Admiral Kathryn Janeway.” She strikes her hand out for someone, hopefully this vessels Captain, to shake.
Rudy is barely 40. Blonde, tall and strong enough. Well almost strong enough. A child. A child living in a childlike age of innocence and mirth. Handsome in a weathered, I’ve just seen a ghost sort of way, and there was something about his voice, it’s not that I’m calling him a child again but his voice didn’t quite completely break during puberty that his range is somewhat in drift. He doesn’t meet her handshake, which is never a good sign.
“Not a Q then.”
“He, over there, he already sai… My helmsman once forced me to watch an old movie that suggested that I should always say that I am a god if someone asks if I am a god.”
“What’s a movie?”
Kathryn doesn’t know if that makes her feel old or sure that this man is a putz.
“Captain Ransom, I am from the future, my ship is from the future, I know all about the future, and if you don’t do everything I say to control the breach in the timeline I am causing to save you, none of you will ever be born. It’s a simple matter of life and death, the fate of the Federation and the universe et all. I’m a good woman, who just wants to do the right thing… If you’re smart you’ll help me help you.”
“Legally speaking Max over there was right about locking you up, and calling me an idiot isn’t likely to change my mind.”
Janeways palm instinctually finds her face. “The fate of the Earth, time fracturing, a Borg Civil War, multiple invasion’s from other realities, an unforgivable erosion of moral character. Genocide! If you don’t follow my orders precisely you will die ashamed of your entire life and ridiculed by historians forever.”
“That’s all fine and dandy, but I’ve met time travelers before. You’re a selfish bunch. Personal agendas with a clear list of what you’re willing to sacrifice, sell out or send up the river to make sure that whatever hiccup upstream in the timeline has turned sour, you can iron it out. I’ve been listening to you “Admiral” and I factually do not believe that you see my crew as much anything but disposable warm bodies you feel justified to throw at some meat grinder crusade.”
Good lord, who is this man? This is not the Rudolph Ransom she met 20 years ago. “Really?”
“I am not expendable, my crew is not expendable this ship is not expendable.”
“I’m not playing with nickels and dimes here.”
“You’re speaking gibberish.” Captain Ransom gestures to his security team that it’s time to stop listening to the mad woman, and now time to tie up the madwoman and further more lock her the hell up. If it takes too long to sort out a stasis pod, he might have to consider marooning her on a nearby planet, Captain Ransom muses, rather than risk this contrarian futurian somehow raising a mutiny with her nay saying balk about an impending doom.
There are hands, huge hands that can cup beach balls reaching for Kathryn’s liberty “Left to your own devices ˝ your crew is going to be dead in a week.” She’s been nicked. Janeway is practically floating since the men holding her by her shoulders are not letting her feet touch the ground. This doesn’t make any sense? Last time, when “an” Admiral Janeway Approached her and talked about saving Seven of Nine and getting the crew home, it just seemed so simple and elegant to capitulate to such a wise and sensible woman even if as it turned out that she was lying through her teeth about so many things. It should be easier convincing a moral bankrupt like Ransom to play ball. Not just because he’s man, but because he’s a coward willing to do anything to survive no matter how reprehensible. God help her if she’s locked up when the Krowtonan Guard start culling the… Good lord, Kathy wonders, this better not be damn predestination Paradox and ransom always met me and then pretended that it hadn’t happened in 5 years time so that I would still head bac… Time travel gives me a head ache.
“Good to know. Doesn’t change a lick. Max, take her to the Brig, I want damage reports and triage statistics in half an hour, so I can get to sorting this mess out.”
Re: Endgame Redux.
Well, that didn't go as planned. I like how you incorporated Janeway's famous line about time travel giving her a headache.
Re: Endgame Redux.
In the aftermath of that unseemly visitation they all knew that their shuttle bay was a potential echo chamber of panic and gloom waiting to happen, whereafter the next words spake would frame the entire context of their mission home… “That thing is probably a bomb. Space it.” Ransom points at the temporally foreign ship like it was a wort with a foot of hair growing out of it. The blonde man of action directs an Ensign, Lainie, a bright kid who’s going to be Admiral before she’s 35, to push that Janeway woman’s ride out the back door before it Trojan horses their lives into a world of hurt… Is Lainie missing an ear? Good lord, why the hell isn’t she in sickbay? Its damn fantastic how this crew, his crew is keeping it together, raising to the occasion despite how Equinox half wrecked itself in transit that it’s almost a betrayal. Although thankfully the Structural integrity held, so did the artificial gravity, his people were hurt, but with the exception of the few poor bastards too close to exploding consoles, the physical vectors he’d observed so far didn’t seem much more invasive than falling off a bicycle. Honestly, if someone had just gotten ahead of the curve said “brace for impact” or “crash positions” before everything went ass over tea kettle it’s likely not one of these fine people would have even gotten worse than a graze.
“I want 5 light hours between us and that SOB because the least interesting thing it could do is explode.”
He was light millennia from Earth.
And because of this Janeway person playing god, he can’t even get a gold medal for planting the flag in virgin land the most damn distant.
Although it’s not like he was guaranteed a place in the history books
The Captain had to grudgingly admit that Picard had gone to another galaxy for 20 minutes, and that some of the Frenchman’s crew had even gone to the Delta Quadrant before them for a different 20 minutes. Perspective on the matter proved that he was not yet were no man had gone before, but he was bloody close, and if they didn’t find their way home to tell that they had found themselves so entirely starlost, it doesn’t quite count as exploration on the way back more so than cocking up in two directions.
Space was bad enough.
Time was trying to kick his ass as well.
But Ransom wasn’t going to be intimidated by the space time continuum.
He had a legacy to live up to.
Half your crew will be dead in a week?
Maybe she was lying?
The only way to avoid… Prophecy? What hell damn bloody century is this Ransom ponders with contempt: Prophecy? The only way to change the future contention of a bad road laid before them is to resist his instincts and do the exact opposite of whatsoever he as a Starfleet Officer and human being would think is the most wise course of action to save his crew and bring them all home… Bring them all home? Oh hell, that’s unthinkable. Isn’t it? The crew would mutiny. But in truth the irrational thought dancing in his mind is nothing no starship Captain would attempt without barricading himself in the armory first steeled for a dirty mutiny.
Ensign Lainie Andrews had one end under Janeway’s shuttlecraft with an antigravity trolley. Ransom lolls up beside her and puts his shoulder in behind to help his junior Officer with the chore he had just assigned her. It was purely symbolic, the ship literally weighed nothing. But extensively they all had to work together, there was no reason in separating himself from the crew so extremely that they can’t see him as an approachable human being, and besides, if Janeway had some ace up her sleeve that relied on a close proximity to this ship he wanted it the hell off his own as fast as possible, hell… Change the ships prefix codes Rudy, everyone in the future can look up this historical ships prefix codes in their home library computer, he knew the detonation codes for April’s Enterprise, he’d best change them quick if Janeway hasn’t already.
‘You signed up to see the universe right?”
‘I suppose so.”
It was only 20 feet, but this hunk of duranium probably weighed 80 tons, so they had be worried about a small amount of inertia and momentum that the trolley wouldn’t completely compensate for just to avoid accidentally throwing Shuttles through lode baring bulkheads, so you had to be very careful.
“Earth is 70 years away.”
“I’m sure we can cut a few years off around the margins Captain.”
“Or add a few years.”
“Right now my first instinct is to go home where it safe. To find the Federation and all our Star Bases where we can be assured of a good meal, ready supplies and maintenance. Where our families are, or where we thought we would get around to finding families… But if that’s 70 years away, what difference does it make it if home is 90 years away than 70.”
“But it isn’t. It’s 70 years.”
“We can’t possibly constantly sustain Warp Seven for 70 years Andrews. The Federation is more likely a hundred years away to a Nova Class Star Ship. Equinox has its advantages, but frankly a century long odyssey bisecting the galaxy is most likely not one of them, and if the ship can’t make a 100 year long journey, then it can just as easily not make a 200 year long journey.”
“I don’t entirely understand what you are saying sir.”
Janeway’s shuttle crosses the threshold, it’s nose breaks through the force field membrane that acted as an air lock between space and everyone on the ship that enjoying breathing. One more stern push and the whole thing is discarded into the heavens like yesterdays trash, not that trash is a definable concept in the 24th century since everything, and I do mean everything is recompiled into the ships replication consolidation mass. Space is disgusting.
“And good riddance!” Ransom bellows, shaking his fist at the first of the million and one threats against his continued existence to float off.
The two of them are looking out at gods canvas, albeit an unknown masterpiece, but they’re familiar with the style and its part of a collection of similarly themed works, a lot of black with trillions of white spots. Although the force field does (figuratively) blueshift the entire vista, but then looking at space without some sort of prophylactic their eye balls would explode. Space is dangerous.
“Sir, I don’t entirely understand what you’re saying.”
“This is an opportunity. I choose to look at this as an opportunity. We’re out as far as almost any other human being before us, prepared to encounter the limits of this galaxy, and we have two clear choices, to turn tail and run home to mommy, or see what the hell else is out there next if we keep going. I think we should keep going. We owe it to ourselves and science to go all the way. We’re just 5 years away from the Galactic Barrier; don’t you want to see that? Scan the hell out of it? Find out what makes it ticks, why it’s there? This ship isn’t fast enough to get home before most of us start replicating suicide pills, just because, short of a friendly wormhole, we’ll never see Earth again with young eyes, it doesn’t mean that the border to the Federation isn’t coming, that every backward boondock alien out here in the Delta Quadrant isn’t going to sign up in the next ever so long that even if we’re heading in the opposite direction of Earth that in hundred years from now, this here is Federation Space, fourth dimensionally speaking we’re already home, and it’s mildly racist to think otherwise.”
“If that’s true Captain, they why don’t we just slingshot around a sun and go to the local Federation Embassy that’s on a near by planet?”
“That’s an amazing suggestion Ensign.”
“Hell if they don’t have transwarp beaming licked then we’d certainly have someone that can tow us home in a couple hours with some incredible future engines.”
“If time travel wasn’t horribly illegal I’d say that you’re full of good ideas.”
“I’m not sure if it is Sir?
“Because if our visitor it’a pretty clear that we are now in a divergent time line, so all bets are off. We’re not really “us” so it doesn’t matter if we become complex temporal conundrums because someone, somewhere, probably from a ship called “Enterprise” is already horrified that their time line has been demolished and they’re on task to destroy us to get themselves home, but we have a right to defend ourselves and a duty to figure out how exactly to do that.”
“Pessimistically grim Andrews.”
“I find that the more frightening I am, the more covers I am allowed to steal at night in bed.”
“We try to go home, we die.”
“Janeway made that much clear. I have ears.”
“You said “ears”. Count them.”
For a second there, Andrews doesn’t care about rank. She thinks about popping him one in the nose.
“You should really go to sick bay Lainie, get that sorted out.”
“The EMH is an ass. He shot me up with pain killers then told me to come back in a week once he’d finished dealing with the crew who had real problems.
“What about Doctor Kline?”
“Oh god.” Ransom wonders if he’ll have the capabilities to ever smile again.
“It’s all right sir.”
“Janeway could have stopped this. She wilfully chose to allow this to happen to us.”
“She’s from the future. She knew who was going to live, who was going to die, and because of that foreknowledge she appeared here, now, to collect and use us at our most vulnerable no matter the consequences that lead us here to where she could make use of my ship and this crew because she needed us to be in a delicate state where she could play hero and… I oughta hang that unconscionable tourist from the yard arm for treating us like toys.”
“Yeah, screw her.”
“Screw Admiral Janeway.”
“Screw Admiral Janeway to hell.”
“ … “
“feel any better Sir?”
“Not in the slightest.”
"I've actually never seen the Galactic Barrier before."
"You get too close and it turns you into a god."
"What if you're already a god sir?"
"What are you on?"
"Morphenolog. Strong stuff. It helps me forget that there’s a hole in the side of my head where my ear should be.""
"Are you going to remember this conversation?"
"Probably not sir."
Re: Endgame Redux.
If Al Capone ran a criminal dynasty from the heart of a Federal Penitentiary with draconian intensity, how could Kathryn Janeway expect anything less of herself? Seriously though, if she wanted out, because of the 26 extra years of evolution she had over these reprobates and dilatants, it wouldn’t be so much harder than lacing her boots, but what then? How would awarding security just cause to shoot her ass give her power? Kathryn needed to make Ransom release her himself as if it was his own bright idea if she was going to have some real leverage to see this undertaking through. With some reticence she may have to admit to herself, but only to herself, that It shouldn’t have come to this, but Jailbird Janeway knew her passions intimately and that she couldn’t have forced herself to be “nicer” to this scum, no matter how politically necessary some tact might have been is entirely irrelevant, because there are some twofaced lines she’s not willing to cross, sure she’ll bargain with the Borg, draw into an alliance with Seska, have babies with Tom Paris but it’s contemptible to treat these traitors as anything less than her nemesises until they prove otherwise. The problem with the moral dynamic as it stands is that the 70-something strong crew of the Equinox did not know that she is the good guy and that they are the bad guys or that they should be feeling incalculable degrees of shame for what they had not as yet done, and how could they? They don’t know how guilty they are of crimes they have yet to commit… Which are certainly almost impossible to recommit now that she has kicked history off kilter that they might not ever meet those other dimensional beings, in fact it’s one of the key points of her Rommelian plan to steer this ship completely around where those drooling buggers nest.
There’s an Ensign with a tray of food trying to get her attention.
The Admiral begins a conversation “Did you know that there’s a shadow conspiracy helping Starfleet Fleet on every level using harsher, immediate and more final means than is the usual consideration of the modern human condition?”
“Maybe where you come from Admiral.”
“Seriously, whatever weak as piss patter Ransom is going to come up with to put me in a box and make sure I yield to his superior faith in the universe, a universe now I might add primarily of my own construction… You’re either the woman here to give me lunch or you’re exactly who I know you are.”
“I’m here to give you your lunch.”
“But I want Dinner. Your ships clock is out of sync with my stomach.”
“I have lunch.”
“I know. But I can’t help what I want. What do you want?”
“Exactly the same as every one else Admiral.”
“That’s a very political answer.”
“Well that’s odd because I’m not a very political person.”
“Assassins never are.”
‘You think I’m an assassin?”
“How much of your crew died in the transit?”
“You’re from the future you should know that.”
“ Four. Lucky bastards. I wanted to see if you would answer my question truthfully.”
“Lying doesn’t come easy to me.”
‘I’m still trying to decide who you are.”
The girl in blue, tries to offer the steel tray of rations and dry goods again.
Janeway lifts an eyebrow in contempt.
“You still don’t trust me?”
“I met you 2 and half minutes ago.”
“Do you want me to eat half your lunch so that you can be sure that I haven’t poisoned it?
“You might have poisoned only half of it.”
“Why exactly do you think I’m trying to kill you?”
“Kill me or recruit me.”
“You think I want to recruit you into a Shadow conspiracy?
“Unless you’re merely here to give me a whole & hearty meal.”
“Which is possibly poisoned?”
“So even if I didn’t poison this lunch, you think someone else might have?”
“This ship is falling apart, in ruin, chaos, yet some insipid heart on their sleeve dogooder has the strength of charity to wonder if I’m peckish? Even the most benevolent of souls bury their own dead before they deal with someone who may be the root cause of the body count surrounding them. No person on this ship should be having a single thought towards my general upkeep until half way through tomorrow unless they believe they are operating on parallel orders that supersede the Captain’s authority to maintain security on this ship.”
“Isn’t that what you are doing? You think you can second guess the chain of command?”
“I'm here because I’m second guessing God, then incidentally, the chain of command.”
“Pride cometh before the fall?”
“Guess what comeths after the fall?”
“If the 29th century decides to stop me, they’re going to leave you here to rot. You’re supposed be here, I am not.”
‘What about the 30th and 31st centuries?”
“Either they’re more polite than whom I usually deal with, or I’ve got them running scared from reputation alone.”
“You don’t seem so scary.”
“I am a wonderful human being in moderation.”
“What if I pretended to belong to this shadow conspiracy and assured you that you’re more useful to us alive than dead so that you can be certain that this meal is %100 safe to consume?”
“Well that only depends on the potency of your imagination?”
“I have a respectable imagination. Nothing to be ashamed of I’ve always thought.”
“you have a strong imagination but you can’t lie very well. What a contradiction in terms you are.”
“That’s what all the boys say.”
“To what ends am I more useful?”
“You can show us the way home of course.”
“75 years, that way.” Janeway points toward the bow of the ship with pointy pointed pointer finger.
“We know how to get home like that.”
“You want some tips?”
“Well I’m not a navigator, but if you know the state of the local politics… Places to avoid, sanctuaries, maybe an oasis a trading station or gods forbid a wormhole. We’re going to be ready to move in a couple hours and it would be nice to know where we should be going.”
“You don’t have the power to authorize any deals, I doubt you have the authority to change my menu.”
“Maybe not but the Captain Respects initiative.”
“And he’s monitoring this conversation.”
“Once you get your short range sensors working, you’re going to notice a small fleet of Klingon Warbirds and birds of prey. It’s essential that you pacify and restrain the crews, several thousand of them, before they wake up and destroy us. And we’re not talking about the fleet officers from the Klingon defence force you’re used to dealing with, these thugs and bastards will be thinking about what you taste like ground up for gravy as they’re deciding how best to assassinate you. You need to think fast ensign.”
“They followed me from the future. Probably want to make a coat out of my backside.”
“I don’t know how serious you are about… “
“A klingon war fleet?”
“Judge a woman by her enemies.”
"What are we supposed to do with thousands of klingons?”
“Sell them for spare parts of course, it's the only thing your wretched crew is good for.”
Re: Endgame Redux.
Two nomads meet in the endless vista of the wasteland haggling over what’s likely a corpse.
“What is it?”
“I think it’s a girl.”
“But what is it?”
“There hasn’t been a crash.”
“I didn’t ask if there had been a crash.”
“If there had been a crash, it wouldn’t be a native.’
“But there hasn’t been a crash.’
“So it’s probably a native.”
“Under all this filth, I think it’s a native.”
“That’s what I said.”
“I don’t care, it’s obviously a native.”
“Native to this?”
“Not exactly something to be proud of.”
“I thought so too.”
“We should ignore it.”
“After we have sex with it?’
“Of course, after we have sex with it, then we should ignore it.”
“Good. Just as long as we’re on the same page.”
“Are you sure you know how?”
“Yes. And I suppose you do?”
“I have a fair idea.”
“So why wouldn’t I have a fair idea too?”
“Their genitals are in the wrong place.”
“So it’s not really a real woman?”
“Depends on your definition.”
“Might as well be a man.”
“You might as well be a man.”
“Where am I supposed to stick it then?”
“You stick it in here, up there.”
“Base of it's neck?”
“Awkward, but not unenjoyable.”
“Might as well be a man.”
“You might as well be a man.”
“Cleaning it would take hours.”
“Waste of water.”
“Who said anything about water?”
“Looks like it has been under the sun for a week.”
“Probably thinks it’s already dead.”
“Hardly worth the effort.”
“Just to say this is something I have done, it could warm a few beds at night.”
“That’s what the otters are for.”
“Just one. We can’t even farm it.”
“They’re useless, but rare.”
“Rare? Sell it as a novelty?”
“I don’t know if I can really be bothered.”
“If we don’t take it with us, it will die.”
“If you change your mind in half an hour and come back, it’ll be too late.”
“I don’t change my mind.”
“Oh I forgot. You never change your mind.”
“Because, I never change my mind. I am a creature of intent focus.”
“But it’s dead in half an hour?”
“If that is, that it is even alive now.”
“Is it alive now?”
“Is it alive?”
“That’s what I asked you.”
“I asked you first.”
“Don’t be such a child.”
“You kick it.”
“You are so lazy.”
You know how in sport when they boot a ball over a goal post, imagine something like that proportionately happening to a small human being who makes a little “grunt” when she makes planet fall a few feet away from where it painfully lifted off.
“Is it attractive?”
“I can’t tell.”
“Does it really matter?”
“Weather worn, probably scarred.”
“it’s unlikely that it’s still sane.”
“When has that ever stopped you?”
“I have standards.”
“No you don’t.”
“No I don’t, but one day I aspire to have standards.”
“I can’t even tell what pigment it’s supposed to have under all that wear and tear.”
“I’m bored about talking about sex… What does it taste like?”
“This one personally? Unless we clean it, it’s going to taste like 7 days in the desert.”
“Not this one personally. In general how do they taste?”
“How should I know?”
“Have you ever heard anyone talk about eating one of these things?”
“Never mind the taste, You couldn’t feed three men with the fat on this one.”
“You could do to lose some weight.”
“So could you. The four pounds of cheese balanced on your neck first.”
“I’m just saying that maybe we could fatten it up?”
“Or we could just eat it and anything else you’d waste to fatten it up.”
“You should write a cookbook.”
“No, you should write a cook book.”
“I know how to show a supper a good time! I always ask its opinion on the side dish, the garnish and seasoning. These creatures have uncanny intimate knowledge on how they should be eaten, and I’d be a fool not to listen to their advice.”
“You’d a fool no matter what you did.”
“I’m not eating it if you fuck it.”
“Right. Agreed, no sex with the food.”
“No sex with my food, but sure that too.”
“I’m not agreeing to anything until I see it after you’ve cleaned it up.”
“After I’ve cleaned it up?”
“If I’m cleaning it then I’m going to bugger it.”
“Hey! I have rights here!”
“You have the right to be ugly.”
“You have the right to be stupid.”
“I’d rather be ugly than stupid.”
“But you’re both ugly and stupid.”
“How about we Barbeque the limbs and keep the rest alive for sex?”
“I don’t like it when women just lay there.”
“So it’s unfuckable and uneatable because we’re both assholes.”
“Well isn’t that how we end most conversations.”
“Except for the conversations we end in an exhausted heap.”
“I’ve never been exhausted by you.”
“You can’t stay awake after!”
“Bored is not the same as exhausted!”
“Lets just leave it.”
“At this point in the conversation, no matter what we do we’re going to regret something.”
“What if it knows?”
“How to get down into the secret underground city.”
“The secret underground city?”
“Yes, the secret underground city!”
“The secret underground city is a myth.”
“Then where do the natives come from?”
“Over there somewhere.”
“There is no over there somewhere, this is a dead planet.”
“So there’s a secret underground city?”
“There’s probably a secret underground city.”
“And it could be all ours?”
“We just have to beat the directions out of it.”
“So now it’s an investment?”
‘We could charm it.”
“Take too long. Just start kicking, and keep kicking until you have an answer or a dead body.”
“If it knows?”
“What do you mean if?”
“A week , longer walking in circles in the desert. Brain’s boiled out it’s ears.”
“Has to be lost.”
“Probably couldn’t find its own asshole.”
“It knows nothing.”
“Pitty. I could have done with a secret underground city. I’m really a secret underground city sort of person.”
“I feel for you.”
“We could chuck it on the bonfire when we get back to camp?”
“Keep the bastard burning for another 20 minutes.”
“The sound of that is probably more soothing than your singing voice.”
“Then it doesn’t have to be alive.”
“Easier to transport dead.”
“Some of them are supposed to be mind readers.”
“Bullshit… But imagine negotiating sales if we knew our opposition’s thoughts.”
“Too dangerous. If it can read our thoughts, maybe it can kill us in our dreams.”
“That tiny thing? Kill us? It’s female.”
“Your cock is not going to defend you from being stabbed when you’re asleep.”
“If a woman kills a man, it’s not a happy or long life it’s got in store for itself from a legal standpoint.”
“Women do stupid things every day.”
“What? You’re a woman?”
“You’re a woman.”
“If I was a woman, I’d be a better woman than you were.”
“I’d have twice as many babies as you and my boobs would be bigger!
“Well, I’d menstruate longer and harder and brighter you ever could.”
“Like magenta, or hot pink or neon or I don’t know, shut up.”
“I’m not sure this is a fight either of us want to win.”
“That’s quitters talk.”
“What are we going to do with it?
“I just want to walk away.”
“Have sex with it and then walk away.”
“I agree. I’ll go first.”
“No, I’ll go first.”
“We could just have sex with it at the same time from different ends?”
“Top and bottom or front and back?”
“Why not left and right?”
“You are such a lawyer.”
“And you are such an asshole.”
“Maybe it has an opinion?
“If it was allowed an opinion, it would have been born a man.”
“It’s an alien, why should it understand a truly civilized society with proper rules that put the genders in the right place.”
“We have to educate it?”
“We don’t even know if it can speak or read.”
“So we have to educate it a lot.”
“I swear, I thought we were supposed to something worthwhile today?”
“You grab its feet, I’ll grab its wrists, and then we’ll have sex with it when we get back to camp.”
“We could probably sell it for more if we didn’t have sex with it at all.”
“Is that why you couldn’t sell your mother?”
“No, but it’s how I paid for you off your grandmother.”
"My grandmother is a handsome woman and you couldn't handle her."
“But if it gets too heavy halfway there, we just drop it and carry on?”
“Look, we can probably trade it with someone for a new belt, maybe even a knife, and all before it even wakes up so let’s stop clowning around.”
“GOD! This is like work!”
“20 minutes, we’re home. It’s all over.”
"Who gets the new belt?”
“We’ll take turns.”
“That seems fair.”
Re: Endgame Redux.
Conference rooms are almost standard no matter the size of the Star Ship. The Admiral has been brought somewhere more civilized to explain her mysterious conduct to a man not significant enough to clean her boots. GOOD LORD Kathy self assesses had to do something with this rampant entitlement before it gets her hung by the yard arm. She just has to talk to them like they’re people and not war criminals responsible for detestable acts of genocide. C’est la vie. “Imagine this rank decaying monster out of nightmares comes to get you, but not all of you, but just pieces. Some of you is rubbish, and some of you is valuable. This fetid stinking decaying, rotting walking tumour cluster, so much larger than you, holding your neck down with a boot, cutting from here” Kathryn points at her own turkey waddle, slipping down her torso like human custard, then draws a line from there slowly past bosoms which have seen better days, a stomach still as flat as a 19 year olds, to then finally her once much talked about naval “To here. No aesthetic. Peeling you open like banana. An Orange? A person is not a piece of fruit. Heh, reaching inside through last night’s dinner to extract everything until you’re nothing but an empty sack. This is a future I can promise to most of your crew, who will come to grasp these experiences as their happiest days in the Delta Quadrant if you don’t listen to me carefully and with respect.”
“You’re a depressing woman.” Ransom snarls like pumas shaving dead skin off feet.
The Time Traveler ignores his sandtrap wit and plays through, “The Vidiians are victims of a very virulent plague. They’re also assholes who will do anything to survive that plague. There’s no cure. No cure they deserve. As a stopgap, they have become masters of organ transplantation, even though there’s very little point in transferring just barely less infected dying puss drowned organs from one patient to the next. Even their children are born sick. Pirates or privateers, whatever you want to call them, trek out into space to find healthy substitutes, from unwitting “volunteers”. Their government condones, encourages the systematic rape of free space and for that, deserves to have their sun blown up because they AUTHORIZE these attacks on foreign unaligned ships too far from home, transforming vibrant explorers into offal, then pay off any officials or family back home that ask too many of the wrong questions. Murder and conspiracy on a galactic scale.”
Ransom is massaging his temples “And you want to bargain with these Vidiians?”
“I do not naturally see them as allies, but our circumstances are hardly ideal. We can’t avoid dealing with them as less than terrifying and deadly, or they’ll cut us off at the knees. The Vidiians are between us and where we need to be. There will be a conversation. It’s just a question of how many pieces we’re in when they offer a counterproposal to the kings ransom I brought with me… This ships weapons are a joke. You weren’t built to fight. You can’t strong arm anyone. Equinox needs to rely on blackmail, leverage and graft. A Vidiian Abattoir can take on a Galaxy Class Starship easily, you would be hard pressed to repel their shuttle compliment. We have to be more valuable in one piece than in hundreds stapled and stitched into their patchwork puzzelpiece potluck physiologies. Their boarding crew will fillet your face, cut it into 12 pieces and give each segment to 12 desperate people who are the least likely to have any sexual contact. That is the limit of their concern for the ethical treatment of your remains, that they don’t make you accidentally have sex with yourself after you’re dead… Although, no bureaucracy is perfect.”
Rudy isn’t sure what’s fact and what’s pageantry intent to scare the willies out of him. Obviously she’s playing him, it’s just a question of how well… “But you think giving these heartless butchers seven thousand LIVE Klingons will make us firm allies enough to guarantee our safety for how many hours? Can we trust them? If they’re as awful as you claim, how can you possibly consider an alliance with such outright evil and not expect them to turn on us like the scorpion with the frog.”
“It’s the parable of the Scorpion and the Fox.”
“No it isn’t.”
“Yes it is.”
“It’s Aesop. I’ve read the story to my granddaughter dozens of times. Scorpion and the Frog.”
“Frog? Really? No, that doesn’t make sense.”
“And a fox does? How does that make sense? Can foxes even swim?”
“Well it’s not like Frogs can talk, and I seriously doubt that there were any frogs in ancient Greece either, the climate is all wrong. Ransom. I’m from the Future. I’m in charge of a wealth of knowledge you couldn’t even begin to imagine. You don’t want to test me on this.”
“And I’m from the past, so I’m much closer to ancient history than you are. You don’t want to test me. It’s a damn frog.”
“It’s a damn Fox.”
“I said, that it’s a damn Frog.”
“Scorpion and the Fox. I’m adamant” She crosses her arms and all the age lines on her face interlock like the mesh webbing of a suspension bridge used to hold unimaginable weights of freight out of rivers.
“Well, as long as you’re adamant, Computer? …Access the Terran historical cultural database. ”
“Are you calling me a liar?”
“You can be wrong without lying.”
“I’m going to take this ship.”
“I thought I could use you as a puppet. Sit back and let you do the heavy lifting. But if you can’t even admit that you’re wrong when you clearly are in error, I don’t see how we can maintain this alliance when I’m not sure why I haven’t put you in the brig.”
“I’m not sure where to start.” Captain Ransom needs a hug.
“You’re a very indecisive man.”
“1. I’m no-ones puppet. 2. You can do your own damn heavy lifting. 3. It is a bloody Frog. 4. This is not an alliance, between us, you and me, you are my prisoner, and 5. You can’t put me in the brig because I already put you there, re #4: YOU ARE MY PRISONER and It’s my brig and you’re in it.”
“How you identify the world around you is a little bland and barely 3 dimensional Rudolf.”
“Do you want to spend the next 70 years in stasis?”
“You don’t have the stones.”
“I have plenty of stones.”
“Then you’re an idiot who hasn’t been listening. The universe left you alone to roll the dice once by yourself and it all finished sub par. I’m here to hold your hand and make sure that you don’t cock everything up again. You need me and you will do what I say or you will not end well. That’s not a threat or a promise but just an observation from someone who has absolutely no faith in you to look after yourself because I’ve seen you die. It was embarrassing. I’m still laughing on the inside thinking about what a bloody lemming you are.”
Is she trying to start a fight? Is it cool to hit an old lady? Sexual equality is a given, he can hit women, there’s nothing wrong with a fair fight, but picking on a 90 year old is hardly sporting even if they’re mostly cyborgs stewing in amphetamines, twice as strong as a Gorn on heat. Maybe she’s senile? “You can’t provoke me. We’re both reasonable people, I just want to understand what you think needs to be done and why. You don’t have to be such a… We can work together as equals, it’s not impossible. We can find common ground and everyone benefits.”
“Who the hell is going to benefit if just one of those klingons make it back to the Alpha Quadrant with 10 or 20 years of Foreknowledge enough to control the rise and fall of empires? Qu’noS would be the seat of the Alpha Quadrant in less than a year and the entire galaxy 10 years after that. They’re dangerous. Your granddaughter will be reading Aesop in klingoneese to her children. They’re too dangerous to remain on the playing field even if they didn’t command warships powerful enough to push around the Organians. There’s no where to send them back to because our future doesn’t exist anymore, we don’t have the facilities to guard them ourselves, and we can’t trust anyone in this backward quadrant to more than half ass it. I’m not averse to outright executing the lot of them, they were out to kill me first after-all, quid pro quo, but it seems like such a waste of resources. They are an answer to a threat which we should be very well be concerned about.”
“God. What did they do to you?”
“The Klingons of the Vidiians?”
“I watched them kill me.”
“You can’t get more personal than that.”
“Sure you can. They watched me kill them.”
“So this is some sort of grudge?”
“Everything I do is very logical, it’s just too big picture for you at the moment.”
“I don’t understand what is motivating you. Kirk always went back in time, in the history books, to forestall the end of all civilization; I just don’t see those stakes here. What am I missing?”
“You need to select a special task force to revive, cull and chord the klingons. We don’t have all day.”
“Why didn’t you just bring weapons back with you so that we could fight the Vidiians without all this underhanded duplicity?”
“There’s light at the end of the tunnel for the Vidiians.”
“Are you talking about daylight or an oncoming train?”
“Kurros was vague; there is a final solution to the Vidiian question we don’t have to be involved with, I’d just prefer not to wake up on one of their tables listening to my internal organs being thrown into a bucket before it happens.”
“This doesn’t seem wise.”
“You’re sitting on a mighty high horse.”
“My uniform stands for something.”
“They’re not evil. These people, the Vidiians are just intense. I’ve only met thousands of them, an unfortunate experience on every level, but there are billions more who might not be bastards, so I’m confident Rudolf that given the same pallet of undesirable choices that you wouldn’t be any less mercenary. It’s this, be a toxic poison to everyone who crosses your path, or swallow a phaser after mercifully drowning your children first.”
“Considering what you want to do to those klingons, how does that make you any different from these Vidiians?”
“Because those Klingon’s will never be born. They don’t exist. You can’t kill people who don’t exist.”
“I could say the same of you. Sure there’s a Kathryn Janeway out there, somewhere already, but that woman is never going to be you unless you screw everything up so magnificently that you make zero impact on the timeline and your younger version of yourself still has to go back to avenge the same misdeeds as you have… If it’s alright to do any horrible thing to those innocent Klingons just because they’re temporal refugees, then it’s equally justifiable to do the same horrible thing to you Admiral since you don’t exist either.”
“I’m better than them.”
“I’m sorry, but I thought that you were wearing a Starfleet Uniform.”
“Some people are scum. Even some specific Klingons can selectively, rarely be decent human beings, but these actual klingons are scum, and I am not. I can be trusted to act responsibly with time, they can be trusted to rape and pillage if you leave them alone with enough strong drink. They’re thugs working for a warlord. If I don’t know someone, a species, I’ll give in to the benefit of my ideals and sacrifice my life for theirs if the situation calls for it, but these criminal bastards I already know, intimately, and there is not going to be any noble sacrifice to defend their right to be living sociopathic monsters I'm willing to commit to.”
“Good lord woman, Is there any one you don’t hate intensely?”
“You live longer if you chose not to use your heart so much.”
“That’s a lie.”
“We are the result of everything that’s been done to us.”
“I completely disagree with your assessment on EVERYTHING.” Ransom signals security to take Janeway back to her cell in the brig. “Our EMH is going to begin prepping you for long term stasis. I’m sorry Admiral, but I just don’t believe that you are stable or morally sound, and I can’t stand you. You’ll be Earth’s problem in 7 decades, and they can figure out what to do with you. Goodbye.”
“Then I’m going to have to take your ship.”
“I’d like to see you try.”
“No, no you wouldn’t.”
Re: Endgame Redux.
This is really good.
I liked the two Kazon guys.
Re: Endgame Redux.
I find the story quite captivating still but I'd feel better if you put a warning about the intense content before the beginning of chapter 5.
Re: Endgame Redux.
(I’m firmly of the belief that the Kazon think that they are good moral people by their own standards. Which is actually by our standards pretty fricking depraved, but in truth that means that they don’t do evil things for evil reasons, they do evil things because they are unimaginably ignorant. No one was raped no matter the language that was used or the ideas that were put across, and the question of if a Kazon would have consensual sex or otherwise with an Ocampa is constantly split in my mind because the Kazon are so speciest that nonkazons are not real people and might as well be livestock, which is not sexy, bestiality is not sexy, because seriously how many nonhuman lifeforms do you find attractive in the real world? SEE! That icky feeling I just created in the back of your throat is how most Kazon might/should feel about nonkazon females if their convictions remain consistent. Sorry. However you could equally argue that if an animal (Kes) doesn’t have a soul or nothing but a cunning counterfeit attempt at a working intellect, then it’s just a question of if it is legal more so than moral to have sex with animals, because if it is already impossible to receive a weighted consent from an animal, it also means that an animal (Still talking about Kes.) cannot legally refuse sex from a superior being, then legally defined rape in this instance is legally impossible because consent is mandatory. In short, they don’t want to have sex with Kes, but if they had had an out of character aberrant inclination, then Kes’ opinions on the matter would have been inconsequential and irrelevant. I’m writing about bad people who do bad things. Sorry there wasn’t a warning, but it’ still pretty tame compared to where I’m willing to go if I feel justified that it’s an interesting and logical direction for the story. On the question of homosexuality, despite how mean those two kazon were to each other, in my head I was thinking “Waiting for Godot in Space”, it was always my contention that they conveniently and randomly slept together without being in a loving relationship because they were stationed on a planet with zero to few Kazon females, where it got pretty bloody cold at night, so sometimes a lad just has to be practical. What honestly are their choices? Be alone and lose some toes from hypothermia or highly enjoyable homosexual sex? It’s a no brainer really isn’t it?)
The greatest government in the galaxy was run by intellectual giants from a rag ended tent that couldn’t keep the weather out, princes of the universe who had never in their lives ever cleaned their hands after eating, crapping or murdering. “I’m not a monster, but if you do that again, I’ll cut one of your fingers off. Do we understand one another girl?”
She was learning.
If you look them in the eye, they punch you in the eye.
If you talk back, they punch you in the mouth.
And if you run, they hobble your ankles with a mallet.
The last example of Kazon justice, Kes had not personally experienced yet, but only seen.
Which was gruesome.
Although why run?
Waiting out there beyond the perimeter of the camp was only a slow death.
Staying put was a slower death, which was not necessarily the finest consolation, but once you picked up on the rules it was easy to avoid further corporal punishment from these interlopers who stole her birthright. Savages who can’t even replicate water, who further by the way should have been turned to cinder by Caretaker’s wrath. Certainly, that’s why her parents made her worship Caretaker because he as their savior did look after them against all threats from above and below. So why the heck was he allowing the colonization of Ocampa by these rough edged hobos?
The first night some poor decisions had been expressed.
The flogging for complaining about her gruel was the lighter side of not being fed for the next three days until their chef’s feelings had been given time to heal up from her criticism. Her new owners had raised a valid point about how she should be more grateful towards their generosity, before awarding the poor little lost girl with ten lashes on her bare stomach since that was objectively the organ from where the abject gall to mock their culinary department had originated.
They’re a very literal people.
If something offends them, they smash it.
‘”Yes Maje, I’m sorry Maje, I’ll do better Maje.” The little girl is almost singing, making sure to be constantly looking at her feet during the supplication to her master. “May I retire for the night Maje?”
“No.” Word of god.
“Yes, Maje.” Kes takes a step back, trying to imagine/find some busywork she can fall into before someone thinks of some horrible way to make her life even more uncomfortable. The four of them must be planning something important since she reasons, they weren’t that drunk yet and the sun and gone down hours ago. There was no alcohol in the city bellow, Kes had tried some on her second night to deal with the hunger. Tasted like poison and made every one act like an idiot.
“Can you imagine this piglet’s presumption? “this is my planet” she says…HA! Her planet? It hasn’t been your planet for a 10 centuries. Ownership of the surface has passed for the strong to the stronger since before my people left the caves.”
Jabin’s retinue laughs in chorus. Insincerely holding their bellies for fear their sides would split. One of he is biding his time till jabin trusts him enough to do something weak, another is fearful what would happen to the profitable industry they’d built up on the Ocampan surface is millions or billions of these creatures burrowed up and started war, and the third is always thinking about his wife’s sister who turned down his proposal, well his fatherinlaw turned down his proposal and said he was only good enough for his idiot daughter with the gammy leg. If he was Maje, if Razik was Maje then he could go back and have a set of sisters in his bed at night, and if he was collecting why stop at two? The Maje of the Kazon Ogla if he didn’t become stupidly greedy could easily support 7 wives, and if they were sisters it was less likely they would all be trying to kill each other to monopolize his affection.
The Maje continues “The presumption! Her planet, wait till I tell my children, they’ll bury her alive for claim jumping their legacy, It’s been a thousand years since you abandoned this world to the first takers you yellow haired turd! A thousand years! If it was still you planet, the Queen of Ocampa, then I’d hardly be able to do this? ” Jabin throws a mug full of dung cider at Kes which hits her in the side of the face as raises his arms in victory then screams “10 points!”
Jabin, Maje of kazon Ogla, is surrounded by his most trusted lieutenants, 3 soldiers who have perhaps 47 pounds of all but calcified hairlike shrubbery between them sticking straight up, unified each possesses a highly developed and articulate sense of humour so take heart to this fabulous game immediately and start throwing items at the little girl with the mushroom princess haircut.
“10 Points!” Haliz bellows hitting her with a chicken, a space chicken, something that looks like a chicken… And then gets her in the arm with a bread plate “10 points!”
“10 points!” Razik guffaws after savagely making contact between the girls face and a propane candle (that wasn’t tuned on thank goodness!) then reaches for a knife that used to be in the space chicken…”How many points to kill it?”
“If it dies, you’re disqualified.” Jabin steeples his finger tips, contemplating these three working through the slavepens in a week, until the entire herd had been culled for entertainments sake and hypothetical points that have no resale or intrinsic value.
“What?” Razik face crumples up like a sphincter that.. wait? Isn’t a mouth literally a sphincter? “That’s no damn fun. What a stupid game. I say 40 points if it loses an eye and a hundred points if one of us can kill it. What do you think girl? Do you think you’re worth a hundred points?”
“No sir.. I mean yes sir…Please… I don’t…” keeping her head down and being a good girl is not going to be enough, these monsters were children. Children are worse than monsters. Everyone knows that.
Jabin created binding law. “I think its either 500 points to kill Razik or we can step back in time 90 seconds and pretend that I never invented this bosh. Good? Agreed.”
The other kazon looked between themselves shrugged and sat back down to the table, which was multipurpose from conference to dinner to changing dirty babies. Razik puts down the knife and puts on his best Mr Grumpyface expression. You can do whatever you want to a slave, but really you shouldn’t or you’ll have to much out the stables yourself eventually. Nothing is just one thing here, this is a planet that runs on a never ending supply of scarcity. You can’t just go about killing little girls because it’s fun.
“Jabin, he arrived an hour ago.”
“So what’s he like?”
“He thinks that he’s worldly. Cosmopolitan, but he looks like a rat.” Haliz Chuckles
“This rat has made a lot of promises.”
Jabin consoles his most trusted aides “I trust him. His computer models on the process are enticing.”
Ravik sneers “You trust him because you think he understands what we will do to us if he crosses us.”
“We are legend.” Jabin trumpets slamming his fist on the table “Everyone knows what happens to the enemies of the MIGHTY Kazon Ogla!”
“There just something relaxing about skinning someone live.” Haliz ponders whimsically. “And if the blood still pumping, it’s actually possible to get the entire hide all off in one strip.”
“All those colours on his face, is that pigmentation or some sort of velvet?” ravik asks think of what a fine coat he could make form such a beast.
Jabin centres the veering conversation “But when he sells us the weapon, we will be able to unify the entire Kazon Order under a single banner to which we will be it’s most powerful generals and your all but unlimited power is only contingent on my pleasure. We will be remembered by history well!”
“Yes Maje.” His three… friends is not quite the word and frenimies is such an asshat word used in cheerleader movies. But they all say ‘yes maje.” At the same time and that’s my point.
“Even the name of the device is as innocent as it is deceptively erotic.” Haliz waxes sophomorically.
“Drink less. You sound like a woman.” Jabin scowls.
“No. Listen! Metreon Cascade… See?” Haliz tries to illustrate the point of poetry to an audience of thugs. “The insane son of a bitch who named this doomsday device was a poet. I mean consider how secure he must have been to have a bomb that can wipe life off an entire planet and he doesn’t use figurative hyperbola to make the armament terrifying in the press release… Almost as if he was trying to reduce his enemies expectations to the point that The Talaxians were completely unaware at how outwitted and how out matched they were in the final days of their war, which is just fricking hilarious.”
“I changed my mind. Drink more. You sound like a woman.” Jabins can’t contain his bilious laughter because he thinks he made a funny.
“What are we going to do with it first?” Ravik asks.
Jabin leans back in his chair “There’s three obvious tactical options. We destroy somewhere irrelevant and alien like perhaps Beana to prove we are powerful, leading by example the rest of the order will flock to us. Second, we remove the most powerful sect, the Kazon Hobai, creating a leadership vacuum whereafter no one but the unchecked masters of the Metreon Cascade would dare walk into... Which would be a waste of extremely valuable resources and manpower which is why we should probably pick off a couple of the little useless sects like the Mostral or the Pommar forcing the Hobai and others to fear and respect our power kneeling at our feet.”
“When can we expect delivery?” Haliz enquires.
“His story is very complicated’ Jabin explains “The rat still has to gather many working parts hidden from one side of the sector to the other” jabin explains “it’s the decommissioned unused beta test prototype of the final device that destroyed the Talaxian moon of Rinax. He knows people and he knows locations, but it’s not cheap. A lot of people, Harkonans, officials in monkeysuits, have to be paid off before he can get all his duck in a row.” Space ducks. The Kazon are unaware of the existence of Terran Ducks or Terran chickens or Teran monkeys either.
“I said, how long?” Ravik over steps a little thinking that there should be a definitive answer to when the four of them would no longer be just extremely powerful men but GODS OF WAR “There are so many inviting targets that demand we take action against.”
“The smuggler said that he’d need 60 litres of water today to get the last components and confirm some of the code has the most up to date patches, but he wants 10,000 liters of fresh water for the delivery of the final project in 7 days upon his return.”
“A steep price.”
“The man is so parochial. Water is valuable here, since the Caretaker’s People carelessy blanched this world the surrounding systems, but this is where he flitters about selling junk to this one or that, where he chanced upon a prize and this must be his early retirement, however the fool is too stupid to realize that water is only valuable here, and if he was just daring enough to extend his wandering a couple parsecs water is plentiful and in abundance.‘
Ravik lowers the civility in the room “Lets just give him recycled piss. He’ll never know the difference.”
“No. I want this weapon, and I’m not going to risk everything by being petty. We play this deal above board, honorably even and walk out as kings. Hell, lets just make sure that he doesn’t wake up tomorrow with hard feelings about a lumpy mattress becuase… You, Ocampa? Piglet? Hiding in the dark over there. Do you want to be useful for once in your miserable life?”
“Well it’s not going to be from cleaning up after me. This tent is filthy.”
“Sorry Maje. I’ll try harder I…”
“You are the worst maid in the 12 sectors.”
“You are useless.”
“…” Kes holds her breath.
“Please tell me that you’re at least a half decent whore?”
“Right now I need two things. Dogfood, or a whore to entertain a very important guest of mine.”
(Space dog not terran dog.)
“Yes,. Maje, yes… Um, I would be … Honored?”
“You would be honored to be my pets dinner? Excellent. They’ve been looking a little scruffy. They could use a little exercise before the main course. Don’t just jump into their mouths straight away. Run about first, let them play. Nip at your behind. They like a good play. They’re so disappointed when I just chuck them a leg of something or someone. It gives them a little spirit to remind the poor bastards what it used to be like in the wild.”
“I mean you misunderstand me I…”
“I misunderstand nothing I am the smartest man in the galaxy! …How dare you.”
“Oh. Sorry MaJe, I mean, I would very much like to, um warm your friends bed.”
“Warm his bed? HA!”
“The language on this one!?”
“Lah de dah.”
“You will give him what’s between your legs (kes doesn’t correct him.) until he is drunk from so much pussy, that my friend is so ass backwards delirious with love and light headed form an empty cherry sack tomorrow, that when it comes to the fine points of the last ticks and checks of this deal, he’s lost the rat wits to counter the final round of negotiations with any verve and I might be able to knock 10 or 20 percent off the final asking price. Do you understand how important your role in this negotiation is?”
“Yes Maje.” Kes is holding back the tears.
Ravik enters the spare “Just a little curious? Are you a half decent lay?”
Kes doesn’t know why and how after all this, that she can still feel embarrassment “I don’t know sir.”
“You don’t know, how can’t you know? Either the man’s eyeballs are rolling back into his skull in ecstasy or he’s throwing a boot at you saying shit like “You useless bitch” …It’s one or the other unless… You’re a damn virgin ain’t you?“
“Yes Maje. I’m very young.”
“Young? What are you 16, 17? 18 at the most? That’s ridiculous and unacceptable! By the time I was 17 I had had five children. You’re really letting the side down.”
“You’re one what?”
“I’m one year old.”
“You’re one year old?”
“What? A year is the time it takes this world to travel around its sun, and not some local Ocampa slang?”
“This is hilarious.” Haliz slaps his thigh.
“No” Razik interjects. “We can use this. Tomorrow we can threaten to tell his family that he has sex with children and he’ll have to half the price on the Cascade or his reputation will be soured forever as a kiddy fiddler. Yes?”
“Too complicated, something would go wrong, or he’d just back out of the deal.”
“But…” Razik belabors his point a little too long
“I SAID NO” After Jabin raises his voice like that, it’s usual that 90 percent of the time after such a kingly yelp that someone loses their head, literally. He draws his dark brown eyes on the girl again “Go. Fuck him. Learn what it’s like to be a woman, but don’t tell him how old you are till after you’ve finished.”
Kes doesn’t leave like she probably should do at this moment before it all goes cockeyed. It’s a really good time to leave but she doesn’t. It’s possible that she might be slightly retarded.
“What now piglet?”
“Alien, only Kazon are men. Everyone else is just a woman with extra bits.”
“This Alien.. What’s his name?”
“this rat is called Neelix, now off. If he isn’t glowing about you I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.”
“Yes Maje. Thank you Maje.”
Re: Endgame Redux.
I like how you're presenting the Kazon in your story. One thing I find somewhat jarring as far as the story flow is concerned is that you sometimes break the 4th wall, so to speak, i.e. you as a writer from the 21st century come through (e.g. the space dog thing). Sometimes, these changing perspectives throw me out of the story. I hope that doesn't sound too critical.
As for the content, well, just keep in mind that this is a PG-13 board. What you're writing may not faze you or me but it would be nice if the unsuspecting reader knows what he's getting into beforehand.
Re: Endgame Redux.
Enter Neelix, Whoo!
Weird, I was just about to comment that I liked the 'space-dog' thing. Not to undermine your critique, Count Zero, I guess I just came in with different expectations.
I love how this is basically a huge compilation list of Guy's weird insights and observations posts from Voy forum.
Re: Endgame Redux.
It is really really good. It's great to read something that manages to make you say WTF, laugh, and be hanging on to see how it plays out next.
Re: Endgame Redux.
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