Chapter 2: Cries Heard. Second Chances.
Janeway woke up. She was about to get out of bed, when she quickly realized something wasn't right. She was in her home in Indiana, but she didn't understand how. She knew well enough by this point that whatever she was experiencing, must be some sort of alien deception, or some very mean practical joke by Tom Paris. She yelled, "Mr. Paris, kidnapping your captain, that definitely qualifies as some sort of treason, you'll definitely be going in the brig for this". As she said that, she called for the computer, "computer, end program", but nothing happened. "Computer arch", but nothing. "Computer discontinue program", nothing. She thought, they must have disabled her voice access or something. She tried again, "Computer, exit", but no exit appeared. She thought she could try to find a panel that's usually hidden behind some sort of object, to allow her access to the program, but she could not find any at their usual emergency locations. She walked around to find the exit, or a wall, but could find no such thing. She wondered if this was a dream, or some sort of alien telepathy? She found a nearby PADD and when she looked at it, something seemed odd. The information displayed on the PADD, was impossible. The events were being shown as brand new, yet she was certain those events had occurred over 4 years ago, before her unfortunate disappearance in the Badlands. She looked at the stardate, and read "Stardate 48299.6, that's 5 days before the mission to the badlands. What's going on here? Have I been transported back in time?" she asked herself. Before she knew it, a wisp of air and sound and a white light shined in the corner of her eye. She looked at the light, and said "Q, are you responsible for this?" Q, answered "Oh Kathy, why of course I am. Isn't it wonderful? Look where you are, and particularly when you are. You are home Kathy, just as you wanted. Your prayers, have been answered, by, me, your new lover", Janeway quipped "you", in a irritated mood, "my lover? Q I dont have time for this, send me back now", but Q denied her request, "send you back? Kathy, this is exactly what you wanted. Think about it, now, you dont have to be stranded thousands of light years away, always wondering if you will encounter a Borg cube or some hostile alien species. You're back, on Earth, accept that you have been given a second chance, by your dearest Q, and be happy. Why now, you may even get to see Mark again, that's assuming if you make a terrible decision to continue being fond of him, rather than choosing to be very close, with me, your favorite Q. Foreplay with a Q can last hundreds of years." "I appreciate what you have done Q" Janeway said thankfully, "but what about the Temporal Prime Directive..?" Q cut her off immediately, "oh forget about that. Who's to say Voyager should have ever been stranded in the Delta Quadrant? Nearly everyone on Voyager wanted to go home, and only you decided against it. Who's to say this isn't the true timeline, before your minor bipedal self altered it, against what's good for yourself and your crew? For all you know, Voyager should be here." Janeway pondered the idea. What if Q was right, and she was given a chance to correct her mistake because this is how things are supposed to be? She thought, "maybe the reason for my constant longing, and envisioning myself back home while in the Delta Quadrant, was perhaps my subconscious recognizing and seeing myself in the true timeline, and knowing that where I was in the Delta Quadrant, was an alternate timeline, one which was never supposed to happen, and thus why I constantly longed for a chance to correct it?" "Alright Q", Janeway agreed, "If you're right, what now. What am I supposed to do now?" Janeway asked, "It's simple dear Kathy" Q smilingly quipped, "all you have to do, is simply not go on the mission that stranded you in the Delta Quadrant in the first place.", "you mean, my mission to the Badlands" said Janeway, "Exactly" remarked Q, "all you have to do is continue your life exactly as you normally would, with the exception of going to the badlands and worrying about the dear Ocampa." "The Ocampa?"Janeway wondered, "well I can't get involved this time, as much as I want to, I'm a starfleet captain, I can't get involved this time, not only is it against the prime directive, but it will cause many of my crew to suffer or die. This time, we must stay. I'm sure the Ocampa will find a way to defend themselves when the time comes. Whether they're forced to defend against the Kazon now, or in five years when their energy supply runs out, either way, they will be in the same situation, better they learn to survive now, then later" Janeway said." With that, Q said "good luck dear Kathy. Oh and by the way, the Q, don't do any favors that only benefit someone, with no repercussions or lessons", and before Janeway could say "what do you mean", Q was gone, in a flash of light. "Knowing Q, he must be up to something. I have to make my decisions carefully", Janeway whispered to herself.