Uninspired Voyages

A Star Trek: Voyager fanfiction by Andrew J. Talon

DISCLAIMER: This is a non-profit fan based work of prose. Star Trek: Voyager, Deep Space Nine, The Next Generation et al are the property of CBS Television, Para creation of Gene Roddenberry. Please support the official release.

Shortly after USS Voyager is stranded in the Delta Quadrant...

The chime to Janeway's ready room rang. The captain looked up from her PADDs and at the door. The repairs were still ongoing for how roughly the ship had been thrown across the galaxy, and she'd been managing it as best she could over the past 24 hours. She made sure none of this was showing on her face as she sat up and looked at the door.

"Come," she called.

The doors slid open, and a junior grade lieutenant entered. He was a tall human male, with shaggy hair and a beard trying (and failing) to disguise a somewhat feminine chin. What was his name? He was a specialist brought on right before the launch-Aha!

"Lieutenant Shepherd? What can I do for you?" She asked. The man coughed, as he stood at attention, letting the doors slide shut behind him. Janeway didn't know what the transfer wanted, but the least she could do was hear him out.

"Captain, it is a bit awkward but... Ahem." He cleared his throat. "Computer, accept access code Alpha 3411 Verdant Green. Starfleet Intelligence Code Ultraviolet."

The computer on her desk beeped, and a file appeared on her screen. Janeway's eyes widened in some disbelief, as she looked at the rather... Colorful history before her, and then back at the rather unassuming looking human.

"You're a Starfleet Intelligence Officer?!" She demanded. "What the hell are you doing on my ship?!"

"Well Captain-May I sit down?" He asked. "It's a bit of a long story-"

"Sit, and summarize," Janeway ordered, deeply unhappy. The lieutenant nodded, and sat down in front of her desk.

"You have to understand, I got this assignment only a few days before you were supposed to launch," Shepherd explained, "and it was based on some extremely weird sensor readings the Argus array were picking up around the Badlands. Big, active tetryon fields from unknown sources. The best my superiors and the analysts could work out was that it might be some kind of new advanced sensor system. Maybe something being used by the Borg or an unknown power-We didn't know. So I was assigned as a science officer to run a program and use our sensors to see if we ran into it. To see if we could figure out what it was."

He shrugged, smiling darkly. Janeway sighed and nodded.

"We figured it out, all right," Janeway admitted. The remains of the Caretaker's array a few lightyears behind them was proof enough.

"Yeah," Shepherd sighed. "I wasn't here to spy on you or anything of that nature. It was just deemed so important they had to rush me over since my specialty is signals analysis and communications systems."

"Is that right?" Janeway asked, scrolling through what she could on the heavily redacted file. "According to this, you've been on multiple missions that look like the kind only top operatives would get!"

What was next, an Obsidian Order operative?

Shepherd groaned.

"Unfortunately," he sighed, "that just... Kinda... Keeps happening to me. I mean, one mission I, uh, may have had to disguise myself as a Romulan woman to escape when our safe house was uncovered and there was an ensuing firefight on a transport-That's not really relevant right now!" He held up his hands. "The point is, the need for secrecy is over and even if I was just assigned to it, this is still my ship and crew. You need good officers, and I want to contribute under your command whatever I can."

He shook his head.

"After all, what kind of an idiot would hide the fact they're an intelligence operative when we're stranded 70 years from home?"

A certain Section 31 officer sneezed elsewhere on the ship.

Janeway nodded, her eyebrows raised.

"I certainly agree," she said. Shepherd smiled.

"Good. I am happy to take any assignment you'd like me to."

"In which case, you're my new chief security officer," Janeway said, "which will let Tuvok focus on the tactical systems. You, however, will be his subordinate."

"Naturally, Captain," Shepherd said with a nod. Janeway began flipping through more of the heavily redacted file, her eyebrows going higher.

"You were also aboard the Enterprise for a time as a teenager?"

Shepherd tried very hard to hide his shudder.

"Yes ma'am. I would request permission not to talk about it unless it is absolutely relevant to the situation at hand. If that's possible?"

Janeway read through what little there was on that incident. It was also heavily redacted, but there was more than enough visible to make her wince.

"Granted," she muttered.

"Thank you!"

Shepherd groaned and shook his head at B'Elanna Torres. She was scowling back, sitting in the security office with her arms crossed.

"So, what," she demanded, "you gonna throw me in the brig for the rest of the voyage?"

"Actually I was wondering if you'd also taken Carey's lunch money," Shepherd quipped, "before you broke his nose."

Torres scowled, her wrinkled forehead shifting slightly in her confusion. "Is that supposed to be a joke?"

"Possibly, but we'd have to do an autopsy," Shepherd replied. "I'm sure you've gotten the third degree from the XO. Simple truth is, we can't exactly have our crewmembers engaged in fist fights. Not without betting pools on them, anyway. So control your temper or I'll find much more creative ways of punishing you. Understood?"

Torres snorted and gave a half hearted salute. "Yes sir," she growled.

"Good," Shepherd said. He was already wondering why he'd been assigned babysitting-Wasn't Chakotay supposed to discipline the crew? Delegation sucked.

She got up to leave... And checked her pockets. She frowned. Shepherd blinked curiously.

"Something wrong?"

"I could have sworn I had a tricorder in here," she murmured. Shepherd blanched, and checked his own pockets. He then pulled out a tricorder and tossed it to her.

"Here you go," he said.

Torres' eyes narrowed.

"And exactly when did you get that?!" She demanded, advancing on the human menacingly. Shepherd coughed and held his hands up.

"Look: When you end up in situations where you have to grab stuff and get it back safely to home base, you tend to pick up bad habits-"

"How much else do you have of mine?" Torres growled. Shepherd sighed, and shrugged as he rummaged through his uniform's pockets.

"Let's see..."

About five minutes later, Torres' anger had turned into disbelief as she beheld the pile of various things now atop the Security Chief's desk. Shepherd looked just as amazed.

"... You're a kleptomaniac!" She accused, quite obviously. Shepherd shrugged.

"Well, I was warned only crazy people became Starfleet spooks. Guess this is proof."

Torres held up a coffee cup that Shepherd recognized as one belonging to the captain.

"At this point, I'm not even mad," she admitted, "I'm actually kind of impressed."

"I know right?" Shepherd said.

In the shuttlebay, Shepherd was checking over the cable connections between one of the shuttles, and the EPS conduit running through the bulkhead nearby. He patted the hook up, and gave a thumbs up to B'Elanna Torres and Harry Kim in the shuttle cockpit.

"Okay! We're all hooked in!" He shouted. Chell, a blue faced Bolian engineer from the Maquis ship, was nearby and looking over a PADD nervously.

"Uh, Lieutenant, sir, are you sure about this?" He asked. "I mean, we tried the same thing with a Maquis base and our ships-"

"We did," Torres shouted back. "But that was a piece of junk mining station, and this is the latest in Federation technology! It'll be fine!"

"That base wasn't looking too fine afterwards," Tom Paris observed, typing at another console on the side of the shuttlecraft.

"And we did ask the captain permission to do this, right?" Chell further asked. Shepherd waved his hand.

"Stop worrying, Chell! Seriously, for a crazy rebel Maquis you're kind of a scaredy cat!"

"And for a Starfleet officer, you're kind of reckless! Uh, sir," Chell winced. Shepherd chuckled, and grinned. He patted the Bolian on the shoulder, and again threw a thumbs up at the shuttle occupants.

"All right Harry! Start it up!" He shouted.

"This isn't a lawnmower," Harry Kim muttered, but he hit the controls. The shuttle thrummed as its warpcore came online, and the readings flashed over the console. "We're at 5 percent... What's the coupling doing?"

Chell checked his PADD, as Shepherd leaned over to look at it. Chell sighed. "No change. We're good."

"All right," Harry said. "Let's boost it to 10 percent."

"Don't be such a girl, Starfleet," Torres snorted. "20 percent!"

The coupling began to hum loudly. Chell looked worried. Shepherd began to slowly move away.

"Uh, guys? It's making a noise," Shepherd said.

"That's normal," Torres said dismissively. "We just need to watch the heat levels-The heat is fine, right Chell?"

"Heat is still within tolerance," Chell said. "But the power flow isn't what we'd hoped."

"That's because it's still too low!" Torres shouted. "This worked just fine with our crummy tech back home! But only when we went all out! ONE HUNDRED PERCENT!"

"Wait B'Elanna, it's not supposed to go that high that fast-!" Harry shouted.

Shepherd quickly pulled Chell away and they dove behind the shuttlecraft hull as Tom Paris ducked underneath the console. Which was a good thing, as the coupling promptly exploded. The lights went out and then flickered back on, as the EPS conduits struggled to compensate.

Shepherd slowly peeked up from behind the shuttle. Harry and Torres peeked up from behind the seats of the shuttlecraft. Chell had fainted dead away onto the hard deck. Tom Paris stood up, his eyebrows as high as they could go on his pale face.

Torres glared at Shepherd.

"What? Are you upset I'm still alive?" Shepherd asked.

"NO!" Torres shouted. "I'm upset about that exploding! Not everything's about you!"

"I dunno, I guess I thought it was for me specifically," he muttered as he scratched the back of his head. "Maybe I am a bit self centered though."

Tom Paris smiled wryly.

"Here I thought she saved those wonderful death glares only for me," Paris cried, holding his hands over his heart. "You wound me, B'Elanna!"


"So... When I asked you to find some more power for the ship," Janeway began slowly, as she eyed the five "officers" in front of her, "you decided you'd try hooking up one of the shuttles to the EPS conduits?"

The officers stood in front of Janeway's desk in her ready room. They were feeling a bit like naughty children brought before the principal, who was eyeing them in disbelief.

"Why not?" Paris asked.

"I mean, in theory, we can reverse the flow back into the power system," Harry said. "It would lose a lot in the transfer but it could work just fine overall. In theory."

"But, it turns out that while using the shuttle warp cores for, say, a jump start in case we need it can work," Shepherd said, "they're only going to be useful for emergency power."

"Stupid ship designers," Torres muttered.

"Totally," Shepherd said with a nod. "I mean, maybe if we hooked all of the shuttles together-"

"Oh, that would work!" Torres said with a nod. "Just force it!"

"You'd have to keep them all balanced constantly!" Harry shouted. "It's crazy!"

"Enough," Janeway stated decisively. "We'll find more power in other ways. Ways that hopefully won't cause another black out." She gave Shepherd a curious glare. "And why did you authorize this?!"

Shepherd shrugged.

"It sounded cool," he admitted.

Janeway's eyebrow twitched.

Yeah, I have no idea. This is really just for fun.