When Destinies Collide
(Provisional title for an AltST:VGR/NeoBSG crossover) - If anyone can think of a better one let me know!
Author's Notes: - The ST:Voyager portion of this story takes place in a distant parallel reality to the one we know from the TV series.
No formal name has been issued by RDM or the Sci-Fi channel for Crashdown. As such, I have just used the name of the actor who portrayed him. If the characters name is ever revealed, I'll correct this.
Here's a summery of how the displacement event 7 years earlier (in this reality) that brought the Voyager and Liberty to the Delta Quadrant differs from canon.
10/02/2370: The Federation agrees a treaty with the Cardassians setting a new border between the two. Several colonies must be relocated as part of the treaty. In the aftermath, many Federation citizens take up arms against the Cardassians as part of 'The Maquis.' One group operates out of the 'Badlands'. A vast nebulous region of space filled with uncharted asteroid belts.
10/12/2370:Harry graduates Starfleet academy.
10/17/2370: Chakotay resigns from Starfleet and joins the Maquis.
11/20/2370: Chakotay and his cell find an abandoned Excelsior-class (Enterprise sub-type) starship drifting near the Badlands and convert her to carry a squadron of Peregrines. Chakotay calls his ship the Liberty, and begins executing raids on the Cardassians.
12/19/2370:Tom Paris causes the death of several other officers during training. He lies about the accident during the inquest, then subsequently confesses and is expelled from the academy.
12/22/2370: Tom Paris joins the Maquis. He is captured on his first mission and jailed.
04/15/2371: The EMH is activated for the first time during Captain Janeway's pre-launch inspection tour of the USS Voyager. Voyager is the second of the Forestall-class starships. She is told by Admiral Patterson the Forestall-class was designed as a battleship and could carry up to three squadrons of Peregrines, though only one was currently aboard.
04/16/2371: Captain Kathryn Janeway assumes full command of USS Voyager.
04/20/2371: Tuvok is successful in infiltrating a cell of the Maquis while serving as Captain Janeway's chief tactical officer. Later he is transported from the Badlands to the Delta Quadrant whilst serving on board a Maquis vessel.
04/22/2371: Tom Paris is paroled from the New Zealand penal rehab facility; He is later assigned as an Observer aboard USS Voyager.
04/23/2371: While being temporarily billeted on Deep Space 9, Ensign Harry Kim is assigned to USS Voyager, as the Operations Officer.
04/26/2371: The USS Voyager becomes lost in the Delta Quadrant.
The Forestall-class Battleship USS Voyager, captained by renowned Starfleet commander Kathryn Janeway, is sent on a mission to capture a renegade Maquis ship from "The Badlands." An inexplicable force transports both ships to a distant, uncharted region of space.
Once in the Delta Quadrant, the 'Caretaker' abducts a Maquis and a Starfleet officer, forcing the two crews to work together in order to find them. During this search, the crew personally encounter the Caretaker and later three other species. The Talaxians, the Kazon and finally the Ocampa.
After recovering the two abductees, B'Elanna Torres and Harry Kim, the two crews discover that the Caretaker is dying and rush back to the Array to see about getting home.
Unfortunately, the Kazon are waiting for them on route to the Array and hostilities ensue when the Kazon open fire on the starships, fearing they intend to take control of the Array when the Caretaker dies.
During this engagement, the Voyager's Peregrines get their first dog fight against the Kazon fighters, while the two starships trade blows with the Kazon cruiser. However, the fight does not go well and the starships begin to loose ground. To even the odds, Chakotay adds his Peregrines to the fight and evacuates his crew to Voyager, before sacrificing his ship by plotting a collision course with the Kazon cruiser. Only letting Voyager beam him out at the last moment.
When the Liberty and Kazon cruiser collide, the resulting debris impacts the Array damaging its self destruct.
Meanwhile, during the engagement. Janeway and Took beamed aboard the Array to arrange their transportation home. Unfortunately, she learns during her conversation with the Caretaker, that the self-destruct of the Array has been damaged during the engagement, meaning the Kazon would gain control and enslave the Ocampa, which he has spent a millennium protecting.
In the end, acting on her on morals, she and Took beam back to Voyager and arrange the Array's destruction stranding them in the Delta Quadrant.
"Computer," Seven of Nine said. "Begin regeneration cycle." She stepped into regeneration alcove in her quarters aboard the Forestall-class battleship USS Voyager. Her quarters, were unusual in featuring this piece of equipment, rather than the standard bed found in the other quarters. It had originally been installed by the Borg Collective, when they had temporarily assimilated the ship four years earlier in December 2373. Mostly human now, having been separated from the Borg, she still retained several implants and needed to regenerate, though not as much as she used to.
"Regeneration cycle underway," the computer responded as the bleeps and whistles, took her back to a time when, she was at her most calm and secure. The countless years that she had been a drone in the Collective. Those years were behind her now. But, she still felt most secure when regenerating.
Soon enough, she was without body, her mind free to wander as her bio-functions began to integrate with the sustaining mode of her cybernetic implants.
In her minds eye, she began too see a white glow that grew in intensity to a near blinding light.
"I can assure you," a middle-aged female voice was saying. "The fuel shortage is our number one priority at the moment. The Galactica has ships scouring the nearby systems and I can anticipate that we will soon find tylium."
The light faded, and Seven found herself standing at the rear of what appeared to be an executive passenger cabin aboard a space going transport. Looking around, she saw numerous well dressed humans sitting and listening intently in several rows of seating on either side of a narrow aisle. At the other end of the aisle, was a podium with a seal on it stating that the speaker was the President of the Colonies.
Given what she knew of twentieth and early twenty-first century Earth, she hazarded a guess that these were reporters. The devices the people were holding, were probably recording devices to log what the president said. This was she realised a Press Conference
Her hypothesis was confirmed as a young male with curly brown hair standing behind and to the Presidents side raised his voice. "Hamilton," he said.
A coloured male in a beige suit stood up. "Madam President," Hamilton asked. "Tylium ore is extremely rare. If we don't find any, how long till the fleet runs out of fuel?"
The answer was simple enough. Seven heard the reply that was most logical. Voyager was doing the same thing. Tomorrow, Voyager would start sending out the peregrines on reconnaissance patrols to search for dilthium ore. "That all depends on how well we conserve," the president said.
As Hamilton contemplated this fact, a blond woman stood up extending her recording device to the president. "Isn't it a fact," she said. "That we only have enough for two more jumps?"
"Yes," the president answered pointedly. "That is correct."
"Is there a contingency plan," Hamilton interjected, "if we run out of tylium?"
Seven noted, that the president hadn't answered. The president seemed in her opinion to be intently looking at something on the glasses she wore.
Focusing on the presidents glasses; Seven could see a reflection. It was Voyager's main flight deck, where most of the fighters and support craft operated from. Seven could also see about a dozen snakes slithering up and over the podium. Seven wondered why no one did anything about them.
It wasn't long, before the press began to murmur amongst themselves questioningly at the lack of an answer. They were, Seven realised, wondering if an answer would be forthcoming; Unaware of the presidents illness.
"We would…" the president said haltingly as she looked up. "If that were to happen, we would use our last fuel to jump to the nearest planetary system."
"And," the blond reporter said. "Pray we're lucky enough to find a habitable planet." Moving on, the blond asked. "Madam President, without fuel to manoeuvre – wouldn't we be like ducks in a cylon shooting gallery…"
Again, Seven noted, the president appeared to be most interested in her podium, and the spot on her glasses, having seemed having difficulty answering. "Yes we would…" the president mumbled, the snakes beginning to hiss fiercely.
Rightly so, the president cut her conference short. "I'm sorry," she said. "That is all for now."
As the president turned to leave the cabin, everything went white.
Bolts of blue green energy suddenly shot from her alcove, breaking across her body as a sharp burning pain pierced her mind. Seven tried to move her arms and legs, trying to escape the alcove. She remembered something about the peace of regeneration, and as she did, she no longer found the alcove secure.
Convulsing in the pain, she could see the hard grey flooring of the deck came up to smack her in the face, just as a parent may smack a young child as punishment. She lay still.
She could hear only the throb of her blood and the voice of the computer. "Warning: regenerative cycle incomplete. Warning…"
The wide expansive bridge of Voyager was an experimental design, based on the design used by the USS Sovereign, and looked very much like it. The only real difference was the inclusion of a 'pool' table, behind the command seat. A duplicate table could be found in engineering. This room was the centre of their small community. When information reached the ship, it came here first. Captain Kathryn Janeway, Chakotay, Tom Paris, Tuvok and Harry Kim were standing over the primary science ce station to hear a stunning report from their chief science officer, Lieutenant Samantha Wildman, to look a sensor analysis report of the asteroid belt they were now skirting. In many ways, it reminded Janeway of the Badlands back in the Alpha Quadrant; At least in general appearance. The sensor graphic she was looking at indicated that it was less dense, than the Badlands, with some of the central asteroids containing dilthium crystals.
Janeway's stomach churned at the site of the analytical graphic. It wasn't actually making her sick – it was making her feel excited. The readings showed dozens of sources. The problem would be trying to find one large enough for Voyager to mine.
"Any idea," Janeway asked. "How much dilthium we're talking about?"
"Not yet," Wildman said. "There's too much interference. Subspace as well as electromagnetic. We'll have to send in some peregrines to get a closer look."
"Very well," Chakotay ordered. "I want that belt-" He had been going to tell her that he wanted the belt fully surveyed. But, he was interrupted by an alarm chiming on the communications station across the bridge, just behind the counsellors' seat where the talaxian, Neelix sat. The senior bridge officers re-took their posts.
Looking up, the former bajoran Maquis, Lieutenant Sito Jaxa began giving a rapid report. "Captain," Sito said. "AEGIS has just auto-engaged. We're being irradiated by some sort of subspace and electromagnetic broadcast; It doesn't register as a hail. It's being aimed at deck two. It's Seven of Nine's quarters!"
"Condition yellow," Janeway ordered. "What is it then? Is it Borg?" That was the last thing she needed to right now. With their dilithium and anti-deuterium supplies this low, they had powered down the core to conserve their dwindling stocks, the ship was in no condition for a full blown ship to ship battle. And fighters were damn near useless when facing off against those cybernetic buggers. If it were, she would up their alert status to condition red.
Looking at the readouts on her station, Sito frowned. One moment the report said it was Borg and the next it couldn't identify it. "Unknown on both fronts," Sito said. "One second it says it is the Borg. And the next…"she trailed off.
Sitting to her right, Chakotay spoke up. "Maybe Seven could identify it?"
Janeway nodded, as hit the intercom control on the side of her chair. "Bridge to Seven of Nine," she stated, angling her head slightly to the ceiling so the intercom grid could pick her words up. She waited a beat for Seven to answer. There was no reply. "Seven," she said again. "Please respond…" Janeway broke off, realising that there would be no response; "Commander," Janeway said simply. She knew Chakotay would know what it meant.
"Tuvok," Chakotay said turning to the security/tactical station behind him. "Send a team to her quarters and join them."
Stepping away from his console, the Vulcan allowed a junior officer to take over as he headed for the 'lift, taking the communicator from his belt and flipping it open as he did so. Chakotay just caught him saying "Security team beta…" as the 'lift doors closed.
"Captain," Neelix said leaning over speak quietly to her. "I can't believe that Seven would be getting a Borg transmission here. We left their territory over a year ago."
"I do hope," Janeway said back. "That your correct. Because if your not…" She trailed off not needing to say more. Everyone aboard the ship knew that the Borg held numerous enclaves throughout the quadrant.
The next few moments passed relatively silently. At least until the intercom sounded. The next moment, they heard Tuvok's clear precise voice. "Tuvok to bridge," he began.
"Go ahead," Janeway said.
"I have summoned medical aid to Seven of Nine's quarters. She is unconscious. My brief scans suggest that something went wrong during her regeneration cycle…"
"Understood," Janeway said. "I'll meet you in sickbay. Bridge out."
"Lieutenant," Chakotay asked. "Did you get a bearing?"
Sito shook her head again as she worked her console. "Not a precise one," she told hum. "It came from within the asteroid."
Listening to the overlapping conversations of the dozen or so officers and crew manning the bridge, Captain Janeway made a quick decision. "Carry on with the peregrine flights," she ordered. "However, I want them to start looking for anything out of the ordinary. I also want the tomcat pilots on full alert." Getting up from her chair, she addressed Chakotay. "Commander, you have the bridge."
THE CYLONS WERE CREATED BY MAN,
THEY LOOK, AND FEEL HUMAN,
SOME ARE PROGRAMMED TO THINK THEY ARE HUMAN,
THERE ARE MANY COPIES,
AND THEY HAVE A PLAN.
"Her cortical node," the Emergency Medical Hologram said, "was exposed to some sort of low-level electromagnetic pulse. It could have been much worse."
Janeway listened to the report, but she took no comfort in it. A valued member of her crew had been seriously hurt. She wanted to know if it had been intentional. She suspected as much. Seven lay on the bio-bed, looking worn and even a little frightened.
"What happened?" she asked Seven.
"I apparently received some sort of communications signal," Seven stated sitting up. "Broadcast in a similar fashion to the data-link that keeps Borg drones connected to and knowledgeable about the Collective's activities."
Curious, the EMH asked. "Seven, can describe what you saw?"
"And," Janeway said. "What information you gleaned from it."
"I was aboard a space transport," Seven said. "Observing, a press conference about a shortage of a fuel called 'Tylium'. The press were asking questions to their 'President of the Colonies' about what would happen if the fleet ran out of the fuel."
"And," Janeway prompted.
"It was stated, that without fuel, they would be unable to manoeuvre – and be like 'sitting ducks in a cylon shooting gallery.'" Seven concluded.
Janeway was thoughtful for a moment, as she remembered something about intelligence agencies of the twentieth century. "Seven," she asked. "Is it possible, that the information you heard was meant for these 'Cylons.' Essentially telling them, that now would be an opportune time to attack."
At this, the EMH looked up from a monitor and stated his own thought. "Then it's possible," the EMH said. "That the sender of this broadcast realised it had been intercepted. The pulse would have been intended to destroy the receiver's equipment and ensure the data was lost."
"Yes," Seven said looking Janeway in the eye. "Captain, you should know, that the 'president' said they were surveying nearby systems for the fuel. I believe, that this is one of those systems."
Two hours later, Lieutenant Sharon 'Boomer' Valerii and her Electronic Countermeasures Officer, Lieutenant Samual 'Crashdown' Witwer, were bored. They had spent the last hour aboard Raptor 312, trying to find a source of tylium. "Comencing sweep 87 of asteroid field," Witwer said over the radio, activating his sensors once again.
In the crampt forward cockpit, Valerii asked. "Any luck?"
Meanwhile, in the rear cabin, Witwer pretended to sleep. At least, that's how it appeared to Valerii. He was leaning backing in his chair, eyes closed and resting his helmeted head against his right hand. In response, he sighed. "How many times are you gonna ask me that, Boomer?"
"Well," Valerii rolled her eyes. "Until you find some tylium ore. Smiling within her own helmet, she added. "Don't you want to be a hero to Ensign Davies?"
Behind her, Witwer groaned. He had an idea about where this conversation would lead.
"Oh," Valerii said. "You haven't noticed how she always sits next to you in the mess?" She looked back again ensuring she had his gaze. As she continued her little gibe, her tone of voice went slightly high pitched, mimicking Davies. "'How's it going Crash? You look so cute.'"
No thanks to Valerii, Witwer was now fully concentrating on his station. Trying to avoid Valerii's comments. "Damn it," Witwer said. "There's so much debris in this system, the dradis is useless. This going to take a hundred years." The primary monitor before him, still showed no evidence of tylium.
"I heard," Valerii's tone was again more normal, "how you found water, how you saved the whole place…" As she was saying this, Witwer slapped the side of his console. In response, a steady bleeping emanated from the console. The monitor now showed tylium. A lot of tylium.
"I don't believe it," Witwer exclaimed. "Jackpot, Boomer. That asteroid directly ahead is a mountain of tylium."
Behind her helmet, Valerii's mouth had literally dropped open. She had never seen so much of it in one place.
"Checking," Witwer said confirming his readings.
""Thank the Gods!" Valerii exclaimed. "We're heroes. Yeah!"
"'We're heroes'," Witwer answered, practically laughing. "It never fails. Great, Boomer. The second I score, the bus driver jumps in and takes all the credit."
"So," Valerii returned Witwer's own jibe. "who was the one that suggested we-"
"What?" Witwer asked, surprised at the sudden silence.
Looking out the cockpit, Valerii could see the small crescent shaped fighters flying patrols over the steroid. It looked like at least a hundred of them were present.
"Cylons," Valerii said. "The rock's crawling with them."
"We," Witwer said swearing, "are well and truly fracked. The only tylium within twelve light years and we got to kiss it goodbye."
"Along with our asses," Valerii added. "If we don't get out of here fast." As she was saying this, she brought the raptor about, reversing their course."
At Witwer's console, the dradis started bleeping again. "Frack!" Witwer swore."
"They haven't detected us, have they?" Valerii said worry clear in her voice."
"Not the cylons," Witwer answered her. "We've just picked up a contact. Bearing zero-zero-nine carom six. Range: six hundred klicks. Dradis says it's unknown."
"Haven't you found any dilithium yet?" Lieutenant Commander Bruce 'Willis' Payne muttered. He hated being in the cramped cockpit of the Peregrine V-13, he wanted to be in the cockpit of one of the new Tomcats. At least in that fighter, he could see in all directions except directly down of course – No one could see directly down in any fighter. In this bucket, he could only see straight ahead, while his Electronic Warfare Officer or EWO could only see directly up. This lack of vision had been the primary factor in the loss of most peregrine fighters.
"As I said a minute ago Willis," Lieutenant Thelma 'Sunshine' Kandinsky said. "No, no and no. I'll let you know when. Executing scan on asteroid 312."
"Understood, Sunshine." Payne said smiling. It was a known fact, that Kandinsky hated her call sign. It was also the reason why she couldn't get rid of it. "Take your time, and remember, we're supposed to also be looking for anything unusual."
"Yeah well," Kandinsky said. "I can't say I've found anything unusual. But that that asteroid is a veritable ocean of frozen deuterium I'm also getting localised readings of dilithium. I think we just hit pay day-"
Kandinsky was cut off by their fighter's computer, as an alert klaxon went off.
"Willis," Kandinsky said urgently. "I show multiple unknown contacts. Highly probable fighters. And Willis. They are emitting radio and subspace broadcasts similar to the one Voyager detected. "I think we just found the intended receiving station."
"Sunshine, I'm picking up an unknown." Payne said. "Heading this way. And I think they're running from those fighters."
"I see it," Kandinsky said. "Bearing three-five-one mark three-five-four. Range is six hundred kilometres and closing."
On his cockpit window, the heads up display, came to life highlighting the contact in question. Providing him with a magnified view. The craft was boxy and utilitarian. It had clearly been designed for purpose rather than style. "Sunshine, break communications silence on my authority." Payne said. "Maybe they can provide us with some answers."
"Boomer," Witwer said. "That contact is signalling with a tight beam transmission."
"Break wireless silence," Valerii said. She doubted, that she'd understand it. But she had to show them she wasn't hostile. She also would have to tell them about the Cylons.
"Your on Boomer," Witwer said. "I've locked onto their communications frequency."
"Unidentified craft," she said. "This is Lieutenant Sharon Valerii, call sign 'Boomer' aboard Raptor 312 of Battlestar Galactica. Please identify yourself and purpose for being here."
The initial reply to Valerii's ears sounded like unintelligible gibberish, but that changed quickly enough, surprising both herself and Witwer. "…I repeat, this is Peregrine V-13 of the Federation Battleship USS Voyager. Lieutenant Commander Bruce Payne, call sign 'Willis,' flying. We're here looking a fresh supplies of dilithium ore and investing an anomalous signal Voyager accidentally intercepted and 'blocked'. I've just found what I think was the intended destination of said signal. Those fighters are emitting similar signals. "
Valerii thought for a moment. It was clear, that these Federationals had no knowledge of the Cylons. As she suspected, she would have to tell them. She would also have to be quick about it. "Willis," she said using the unfamiliar call sign. "Be advised that the fighters your investigating are called Cylon Raiders. They have sworn to exterminate the life form known as man and are to be considered extremely hostile. Recommend, that you depart area ASAP."
"Understood, Boomer," Payne said. "We need to learn all we can about these 'Cylons.' Would you be willing to come back to Voyager and give us more information?"
Looking out the canopy of her cockpit, Valerii caught sight of the peregrine moving into formation with her raptor. It was vaguely triangular, with twin engines at the rear.
"Negative, Willis," Valerii said considering the invitation. "Have to get back to Galactica. However, if you give us your ship's coordinates, then I can pass them onto my CO and we can send another raptor out to escort your ship to our fleet. Now get out of here. Before the cylons pick us up."
"Acknowledged, Boomer." Payne said. "Sunshine, send them Voyager's coordinates, and try to get theirs."
"Transmitting…" Kandinsky said.
A beat later, Valerii came back on the line. "Co-ordinates received. We're transmitting ours now.."
Behind Payne, Kandinsky nodded as he saw the raptors home ship's, the Battlestar Galactica, coordinates scroll across his screen. "Willis," he said. "Tell Boomer we got 'em."
"Boomer," Payne said. "Coordinates received. Hope to see you soon. I'm bugging out. Peregrine V-13 out.
As Valerii watched the peregrine move off, she saw it speed away then disappear in a flash of light. Well, she thought. They've jumped. Time to do the same.
"Crashdown," she said. "Calculate the jump back to Galactica. Let's get out of here."
"Calculating jump coordinates," Witwer said. "Boomer, you sure it was a wise idea giving them Galactica's position. How do you know they wouldn't just hand those coordinates right over to the Cylons?"
"Three reasons," Valerii said. "One: They gave us there's, two: it's a sign of trust and three. Did you see the lettering on the peregrines wings. It was Kobolian."
"Still, it could have been a cylon in disguise. It wouldn't be too hard to make an old style raider look like that."
"That's true," Valerii conceded. "But I doubt a cylon could mimic such a human voice."
"Well I've heard," Witwer said. "That cylons now look human. Jump calculations complete."
"Those are just rumours. Jumping in five…four…three…two…one. Jumping."