Disclaimer: No characters belong to me. The thoughts, expressed, however are mine alone. No profit made, no harm intended.
Part 1: The Transport
Beta: Flying Solo On This One, Folks
Rating: T (PG-13, for adult language and general grossness)
Character/Pairing Codes: Voy and Co
Notes: Story takes place after "Mortal Coil", but before "Thirty Days". Contains mild spoilers for "The Leaning Curve" with special acknowledgment to "Microcosm".
Written for Bridget, Vanessa, MrNiceGuy and Bek who are all very patient.
"Where are they, damn it?!"
The steel in Captain Janeway's voice cut neatly through the silence of the room, like a scythe slices through tender stalks of grain. She swooped down off the transporter pad to stand tiny, but menacing, in front of Voyager's Chief of Security.
Un-intimidated by the force of her demeanor, Commander Tuvok offered his captain a calm, steady reply. "Sensors indicate transport was successful".
Janeway's belly contracted painfully; twisting into itself and blistering. She was going to be sick. She threw the white helmet of her environmental suit to the floor and kicked it across the room instead. "I don't understand. Then, where are my men?"
"According to sensor interpretations, they are here."
"On the ship."
She shook her head, as if to clear it. "Are you saying their molecules are trapped inside the pattern buffers?"
"Negative Captain. Neither are they on the surface of the planet. All data indicates that the other two members your party are here, with us, in Transporter Room Two."
She shuffled a step or two in place, breathing in carefully; well manicured nails raking across her blanching forehead just before they disappeared into a damp line of auburn hair. She eyed the empty transporter platform.
An explosive belch forced its way past her lips.
Tuvok raised one charcoal eyebrow in reaction. She swatted her Comm badge, fighting off the demented urge to cackle. Her right palm felt sticky and tingled slightly as it impacted with the metal. "Commander Chakotay."
"Mr. Kim— Ensign, this is the Captain. Report!"
"Chakotay, please respond!"
Empty silence. She was suddenly afraid. "Engineering."
"I'm here." B'Elanna Torres' voice burst through the badge, offering up a ridiculous, yet, needed flash of reassurance.
"What the hell is going on? Where are my people?"
"I wish I could tell you, Ma'am, but I just don't know yet."
"That's not the answer I want to hear, Lieutenant."
"Voyager experienced a minor power surge during the transport." Worry and frustration were evident in the engineer's tone. "We made the appropriate adjustments to compensate for the flux. There was some additional radioactive interference, but not enough to disrupt the procedure."
"No evidence from Astrometerics of temporal activity, no unexplained anomalous readings. It doesn't make any sense! The sensor and bio-signature scans keep feeding the computer the same conclusion: 'All members of the away mission were safely beamed into, and are now currently in Transporter Room 2. '"
"Son of a bitch!"
Commander Tuvok silently regarded his superior. She gave him a wry, non-apologetic grin and crouched forward. Sweat dribbled unchecked, down the sides of her face into her collar, and her skin shone with verdant tinge that reflected anything but suitable human health.
"I know you can see me, Tuvok —and I can see you," she said, rubbing her thumb along the soggy line of her upper lip. "When I look down, I see my boots. Nevertheless, when I look around this room, I do not see the away team. Do you see the away team?"
His response was unsurprising and devoid of emotion. "No. I do not."
"What are we missing?" Agitated blue eyes searched the inner depths of a collected, darker pair for the answer. "B'Elanna, could we be looking at a possible inter-dimensional spatial fold inside the ship? "
"I don't know Captain. So far, nothing has popped out onto our sensors. Seven is going over the existing diagnostics along my other data. We intend to perform a thorough manual check of all systems. I would like to come up there and personally and examine the transporter console and bio-neural related circuitry."
"Do it. We will get you started. Janeway out."
A strong Vulcan hand caught the captain by the arm. "I believe you should be in sickbay. Your pulse rate has increased signif—"
"I'm fine, old friend. Just worried." Janeway shrugged herself out of the commander's grasp, nibbling at her lower lip to keep from crying aloud as her stomach issued a silent scream.
Tuvok watched her stagger beside the edge of the transporter as she made her way toward the waiting panels in the wall opposite the door.
She was grumbling something under her breath about "kicking Chakotay's fat ass" when her legs gave way. Janeway yelped, her eyes rolling toward the back of her head as her body jack-knifed into an unconscious blob: plunking down on the deck in a dead faint.
Squeeze, Part 1: The Transport, Copyright (c) kneipho 2003—2012
Part 2: Hot Soup