Title: Before the Badlands
Date: Long time ago...
Part: 3 of 4
Characters: Quark, Morn, OC, Captain Janeway, Tuvok, Commander Cavit, Lt. Stadi, Carey, Dr. Fitzgerald, T'Prena, etc..
Warnings: Not much to warn about.
SPOILERS: Not really.
Disclaimer: I don’t own the Atlantis team or anything about them so don’t sue me.
Summary: A stranger strolls by Quark's Bar with a profitable tale to tell before Voyager was flung across the galaxy. Who is the mysterious alien who is plaguing the Alpha Quadrant and possibly working with the Cardassians?
AN: This isn't the best story but it is one of my first.
Janeway returned to the bridge and once again heard, “Captain on the bridge.” She never thought that she would despise those words until now, but she pushed that to the back of her mind. She had other things to think about.
As soon as the Captain walked onto the bridge Darby said, “On screen, muted.”
The Commander briefed her on the goings on and she took over. She waved to Darby who unmuted the transmission. “I am Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation Starship Voyager. What can we do for you?”
“Captain, we know who you are and why you are here. I am Loren Lihnus. We saw that your ship was being attacked and thought you might need some assistance.” the Bajorian explained to her.
The Captain was puzzled. She knew that they were supposed to be trying to capture the Maquis, but they were risking being captured to help. “We could use help, yes. On the other hand, what is it exactly that you want?”
“Captain, we want nothing, but the destruction of this Cardassian conspirator. They are plotting with the Cardassians, Captain, and we have to stop them.” Well he was out for his own purposes.
“How is it that you have come to the conclusion that they are working with the Cardassians, on some threat?” Janeway was truly interested in how an unidentified race was somehow already in cahoots with the Cardassians.
“The Maquis know plenty.” The Bajorian stated.
Behind the Captain Ensign Darby yelled, “Captain, they are powering up their weapons again.” The transmission at that point went from Loren Lihnus to space and three other ships. The unidentified ship fired again on Voyager.
“Fire at will.” the Captain, shouted. Tuvok fired and fired but they were losing fast. The Maquis ships formed an attack pattern and came in with phaser fire. They were storming the ship with phaser fire but seemed to have little affect. The Captain was unsure what to do at that moment. Then Ensign Darby yelled, “The lead Maquis ship is hailing us.”
“Captain there is a nebula a light year away from here. I think that it would be best if we all were to retreat to that position.” The Bajorian actually looked concerned for the wellbeing of Voyager and her crew.
“Then we will meet you there, Janeway out.” Janeway could feel the crew become restless. “What is it?” she asked.
“Captain, how do we know that the Maquis are telling us the truth?” Cavit worried.
“Commander, if the Maquis were going to take the ship they would have back there when our shields were down. We are vulnerable. They can take us at anytime. They, like us, have a new enemy today.”
Darby looked around the bridge. “Captain?”
Janeway looked up at him. “Yes, Ensign?”
“If the Maquis were trying to trap us then that ship would be theirs and it would not be trying to kill them. Also, the Maquis ships are also heavily damaged from the fight back their. It would not be in anyone’s interest to start making enemy’s now.” Darby scrolled through some readings. “The Maquis have taken heavy damage to systems and they can’t usually replace such things with easy.”
“Yes, it seems logical that their intentions are honorable.” Tuvok finished for the Ensign.
“I fully agree with our new Ensign. Now are there anymore questions?” Janeway stared at the viewscreen infront of her. The stars that streaked past and the nebula ahead were comforting, but she still worried about the enemy they were leaving behind. She worried about her crew. This unidentified ship that was firing on them was taking a lot out of Voyager. She hated to think that at any moment the ship that they left behind them would come alive and hunt them down. She worried about everything. She’s the Captain it is her job to worry.
“Coming to the rendezvous point.” Stadi remarked. She hated the situation they were in but she was sure of the Captain’s decision.
“Darby, put the Maquis ship on the view screen.”
“Aye, Captain.” Instantly the viewscreen was filled with a Maquis ship. “Captain, they are hailing us.”
“On screen.” The image of a Bajorian male flashed on to the screen. He was tall and strong looking man and very nice looking. His earring hung down from his right ear. He looked like the right person for Command.
“Hello, Captain. I know that the Federation and the Maquis are not exactly friends, but I am hoping that we can put aside our differences at this time and deal with the problems at hand.” He stared at her across the stars. She always knew the moment that someone was playing her for a fool, but she thought this man was truly sincere.
“I don’t see that we have a choice in the matter, now do we?” Janeway stared at the Bajorian. She hated to know that he really had the advantage. She knew that normally a Maquis ship was no match for a Federation starship, but when the starship is crippled and there are two Maquis ships, well they were stuck.
“Captain Janeway, you are too suspicious. You think that I would take advantage of your situation in the middle of a fight for survival.” The Bajorian looked hurt and sad but Janeway didn’t buy that impression.
“Frankly, Captain Loren, I do think you would take advantage of the fact that I have no shields and no warp capabilities.” Janeway crossed her arms infront of her.
Loren looked at Janeway. He seemed puzzled, but tried not to show his surprise. “Captain, in any other circumstance I would say that you are the best judge of character, however, at the moment we to are crippled and are not thinking of boarding your vessel unless invited.”
Janeway was getting the picture. He was honorable in his command and she knew that what he had just said was the truth. “Loren, I believe that you and I are going to be friends, for the time being at least. I have a feeling that we have a lot in common.”
“Janeway, I am sure that we do.” He smiled. “I am willing to meet with you to discuss the problem, but I can’t assure of the actions of my crew. I am willing, however,” He looked down at the ground. She knew that she was in for a surprise. “to come aboard your ship alone.”
“Lihnus, no.” Everyone on Voyager’s bridge heard the women’s voice. They were puzzled, but Janeway new that in the same situation she would have crewmembers upset with that kind of decision.
“Bit your tongue.” Loren said to the woman behind him. “I am sorry Captain. Jisla is just worried about her Captain.”
“And friend it would seem like. Believe me that's nothing to apologize for. It is more along the lines of a blessing. Also, I can and will assure you that if you come unarmed then my security office will be unarmed.” Now Janeway had crewmembers rumbling. “As I said it is something of a blessing.” They both laughed. “We will see at 1800 hours?”
“You will.” The screen went back to the view of space.
Janeway looked at her first officer. “You have the conn. Mr. Tuvok, Mr. Darby, I want to see you in my ready room.”
Janeway stood and walked off the bridge to her ready room. Behind her was her Chief of Security and her new Ensign. She walked over to the replicator and, as before, asked for her coffee. The replicators took what seemed like minutes to replicate the coffee for the Captain, but eventually she turned with the mug in hand. She walked over to her desk and sat down. She brought the cup to her lips and took a sip. She sighed. “I needed that. Now let’s get down to business. Mr. Tuvok, when Loren is aboard I want you to be there with me.”
“Captain, you assured Captain Loren that I would not be armed?” The Vulcan said impassively.
“That is right and I am going to stick to that. I also want you to make sure that when he boards he is checked for any weapons. I am letting a lot go on faith, but I am not going to get stupid. Mr. Darby, I want you to,” she paused as she punched something into her personal comm and then turned it to face the Ensign. “look into this nebula. I want to know everything about it. I want to know if we could use it as an advantage. Also, I want you to run some diagnostics on this planet.” she pointed to a small sphere in the nebula. “It appears to be an M class planet, but looks may be deceiving in this case. You are both dismissed.” Tuvok and Darby both turned and walked out her ready room door. Now onto the next matter.
Janeway stood and walked out of her ready room and onto the bridge. “Commander Cavit, I will be in Engineering if I am needed.”
Janeway walked to the turbolift and boarded it. “Engineering.” The turbolift took off. She waited the minute it took to get from the bridge to engineering. The turbolift doors slide opened to reveal engineering. Janeway stepped out onto the deck and looked around. She could see Lt. Carey and some other crewmen working on the warp engines. She made her way over to them.
Carey looked up and saw the Captain heading towards him. He was normally confident but the Captains presence always made him nervous. “Captain, is there anything that I could help you with?”
“Yes. I have been in contact with our Maquis allies, and the Captain of one of there vessels has agreed to meet with us. Tuvok is preparing for his arrival and Ensign Darby is looking into this nebula and its planet. The only thing that needs to be addressed now is damages.”
“Captain, I am on that.” Carey seemed more distracted than anything but having experience with Lt. Carey she knew he had caught everything she had said and it had sunk in.
“I see that, but the problems that I am thinking about are the future ones.”
Carey stopped and handed his instruments to an Ensign who immediately continued the work. “I have been thinking about that too.” Janeway just loved how engineers thought alike. “I was thinking that even if we get everything back on-line, what happens when they come after us again?”
“My thoughts, exactly.” and she wasn’t kidding. That was what she was thinking. “I was hoping that you and I could come up with something to prove to our hostile friends that they are not going to be able to push us around.”
It had been nearly an hour since Janeway and Carey had begun their experiments on the shielding. Things were coming back online and in a matter of moments Captain Loren would be aboard. “So do you think it will work?”
Carey nodded his approval. “Modulating the shields to such a degree might just make all the difference in the universe.”
“Good, then let’s make sure it is implemented before the vessel comes back for a second run.” Janeway turned and head for the turbolift.
“Aye-aye, Captain.” Carey turned and continued his work.
Janeway stood in the transporter room as Loren beamed in. She looked to the transporter chief. “Anything?”
“Nothing. He’s clean.” He engaged the transporter and Loren appeared on the platform.
“Captain Janeway, it is good to meet you in person.” Loren stuck out his hand to her.
She took his hand and shook it, not wanting him to feel upset about anything. “Shall we go to the conference room?”
Janeway stared across the table at Captain Loren. “We will help you by giving you some supplies to help with the repairs on your ship, but I want something in return.”
“And that would be?” Loren eyed her suspiciously.
“I want a three point fight against that ship. My operations officer tells me that the ship is searching the area looking for us and it is only a matter of time before it finds all of us. Once it does… well I’m thinking they don’t want to have coffee with us.” Janeway shrugged.
“You saw how in effective we were against them.” Loren looked puzzled. Would Janeway use them as a diversion so they could escape?
“Yes, well my engineer and I came up with some modulations. We’ll still get beat up but it shouldn’t be as bad and our weapons might make a dent.” Janeway slide the work pad across the table to Loren who grabbed it and read it.
“Very smart, Captain. We’re in.” Loren smiled.
Loren had returned to his ship and Janeway to her bridge. Now they just had to wait. The unidentified ship was practically on top of them. Now it was only a matter of time.
“Captain, the ship is powering up weapons. We have been discovered.” Tuvok stated plainly.
“Weapons, ready.” Janeway turned to Darby. “Patch me in with Loren.”
Darby’s hands flew over the console. “Channel opened, Captain.”
Loren’s image popped up onto the main viewer. “Captain Janeway, we are ready.”
“Great, just go with the attack pattern we came up with. If one of your ships has a problem just back them off. With all three of us in on this we should be able to back them down.” Janeway nodded at Loren as he severed the connection.
Darby looked over his readings. “Captain, the Maquis vessels are moving into position.”
Tuvok reported on the ships weapons. “The unidentified ship has fired a shot of the port bow of the second Maquis vessel.”
“Come in hot!” Janeway yelled.
Stadi flew in fast and Janeway watched as the phaser fire burned across the hostile ships bow.
Janeway turned towards Tuvok. “Keep it up. I want them running for cover.” The hostile vessel fired again this time hitting Voyager directly. “Damage?”
Darby held onto his console as the ship rocked around him. “Shields are still holding at 87 percent. There are minor damage reports coming in from around the ship.”
“And the Maquis?” Janeway grabbed the railing as the ship bucked underneath her feet.
“Captain, Loren’s vessel’s shields are down to 50 percent. The second Maquis ship has lost its aft shields and the forward shields are at 25 percent.” Darby yelled over the noises of battle.
Tuvok spoke calmly but loudly. “The unidentified ship appears to be targeting the second Maquis vessel.”
Janeway turned to Darby. “Hail Loren.”
“Captain, we are occupied.” Loren yelled something in Bajorian that the universal translator seemed to ignore.
“Get your other vessel out of there before…”
“Captain!” Darby yelled. “The second Maquis vessel just exploded.”
“Damn it.” Janeway looked up at Loren. “I’m sorry for your loss.”
“As am I, so let’s finish this.” Loren vanished from the screen.
“Tuvok, what kind have damage have we made against the ship?” Janeway wanted good news but she knew it wasn’t going to happen.
“Their shielding is down to 95 percent.” Tuvok looked up at her.
Was he kidding? No, he’s a Vulcan. “Two torpedoes. Fire.”
Tuvok followed suit as Loren ship swooped around to fire at the other ships aft section. “Their shields are at 75 percent.”
“Ours and Loren’s?” Janeway looked to Darby.
“Ours are at 50 percent and Loren’s are at 35 percent.” Darby yelled over the snaps and pops of electrical systems.
“Tuvok, four torpedo spread. I want them limping home.” Janeway walked forward like she could get closer to the action.
The torpedoes flew threw space and hit their target. “Ships shields have dropped to 36 percent.”
“Captain, the ship is powering their engines.” Darby looked up at the screen just in time to see the unidentified ship blink out of existence.
“What about Loren?” Janeway looked to Darby.
“His ship is pretty bad off. He’s got warp engines and his shields are at 19 percent. They had a hull breach but they’ve sealed it off. They should be all right.”
“And us?” Janeway knew the answer before she asked. She’d felt the shudder from the hit.
“Warp engines are offline. The last hit took them out. Shields are at 42 percent. There are only minor damage reports coming in.”
“So we have to limp home too.” Janeway nodded. “Hail Loren.”
Loren’s face came up onto the screen. “Captain Janeway, as you surmised, they fled in the face of destruction.”
“Yes. I see you are pretty badly damaged.” Janeway looked up at him as though she was making a point.
“Maybe Captain, but I have warp drive. Thank you for the brief alliance, I will not forget it.” Loren’s face blinked from the screen.
Before she says anything Tuvok offered, “They are powering up their engines and turning about."
Janeway looked at the screen. “Can we follow them?”
"Captain, we can not pursue them they have crossed the Demilitarized Zone and we only have impulse engines.” added Tuvok.
Janeway nodded and said, “Lt. Stadi set course for the nearest base and tell them we are coming in for major repairs."
Read Part 4...