Endless I: Planetfall Part 1
by Judy firstname.lastname@example.org and Etal
Summary: What if there were survivors when Voyager crashed on the Class L planet in Timeless? And what if B'Elanna was on the Delta Flyer with Harry instead of Chakotay? How do the survivors, including a badly injured Tom Paris, cope with life post-crash?
Disclaimer: They're Paramount's, all of them, except for a few aliens and crew members. The situation and dialogue at the beginning of the story is from Timeless, Broadcast Date: Wednesday, November 18, 1998; Stardate(s): 52143.6 /circa 67143.6; Teleplay By: Brannon Braga & Joe Menosky, Story By: Rick Berman & Brannon Braga & Joe Menosky, Director: LeVar Burton. No copyright infringement intended. Some backstory comes from Mosaic and Pathways, books by Jeri Taylor. Other backstory material comes from various voyager episodes. We have filled in gaps as needed.
Unless a part is labeled Alpha Quadrant, then all events take place in the Delta Quadrant. The story here is our version of what could have happened. It deviates from the original in a number of ways, one of which is that there were survivors, another is that the damage to the ship is different from that described in the episode.
Copyright, 2000. Public or private feedback is welcome.
Notes: Judy wrote the parts on Voyager and the planet; Etal wrote the parts on the Delta Flyer and the Alpha Quadrant. We discussed, read, edited, added, deleted, and commented on each other's work. This is Book I with Books II and III following when written, probably at six month intervals or so. However, despite a few 'loose ends' Book I can stand on its own. Many thanks to Britta for her speedy and helpful, very helpful, feedback.
Warning: Angst, Tom angst. Deaths of some familiar crew members. A few bad words here and there. May need a few hankies, too. Minor crew members are in romantic relationships, some het, some same-sex. There are no depictions of sexual behavior.
Archive/Post: ASC; ATPS; others please ask.
Other Voyager stories can be found on my web page with stories on that page rated R or PG-13.
Endless I: Planetfall
By Judy and Etal
Day: 00, Hour: 0800
Despite the fact that Tom Paris had found a phase variance threatening the inaugural flight of the Quantum Slipstream Drive, Harry Kim's proposed solution seemed guaranteed to work. The new slipstream technology allowed the crew to believe that they would be home in the Alpha Quadrant in less than an hour instead of decades. Harry and B'Elanna Torres flew ahead in the Delta Flyer and Harry sent back phase corrections to Voyager's pilot. Within seconds, Paris compensated for the slipstream.
As he entered the corrections, Tom had a moment to reflect that even Seven seemed to share the crew's enthusiasm for the journey. Seconds into the flight, however, she disrupted those collective good spirits when she announced, "The slipstream is collapsing!"
In response, Janeway directed, "Full power to the deflector!"
"No effect," Tuvok evaluated.
Frantically working the helm, Tom told them, "Our hull is buckling!"
"Shields at maximum! Hold us steady, Tom!" the captain ordered.
As the ship bounced around them, Tom shouted, "It's no use! We're losing altitude control. Inertial dampers offline!"
Although he didn't have time to consider much beyond trying to keep control of Voyager, he heard Seven tell Janeway that there was no sign of the Delta Flyer. Dammit! Nothing had better happen to Harry and B'Elanna.
On the Flyer, Torres discovered that Voyager had been thrown out of the slipstream and into normal space. A frantic Harry Kim told her they had to go back, but B'Elanna indicated, "We can't! Even if they survived reentry at this velocity, we wouldn't!"
Apparently, Harry Kim didn't want to believe her. "What are you saying! We've gotta find them!"
"Harry, there's no choice. We have to keep going. We'll contact Starfleet and come back with a starship." It was the best she could offer him.
Harry couldn't accept what B'Elanna was saying. He was about to object when something caught his eye. Harry looked to his left and made eye contact with himself. And it wasn't a reflection. He shut his eyes for a second, but when he looked again, it was still there. He saw himself and Chakotay in another Delta Flyer!
Knowing it wasn't possible, but realizing it existed, Harry hoped that maybe this other flyer could save Voyager. "Hey!" Harry shouted and then realized they couldn't hear him. Coming to his senses, he found a console and opened a hailing frequency. "Delta Flyer, respond! This is Harry Kim from Voyager. Chakotay, can you hear me? Harry, respond! I don't know if you can hear me, but I'm sending you all of our data on the slipstream. Try to do the same -- I'm opening communications on all frequencies."
When Voyager first fell out of the slipstream, B'Elanna thought Harry was going to panic. His first few moments of quiet eased her worries and she didn't pay much attention when he went to a console. But she began to wonder about him when she started listening to his 'conversation'.
"Who are you talking to?"
Harry looked out the viewscreen again, but the other flyer was gone. "Where are they?" he asked, "What happened to them?"
"Chakotay and me! We were in the flyer. We were in the slipstream next to us and...." He could see B'Elanna become more worried with every word he said. "You have to believe me! I saw them, I mean us. They were here, too, and they'll find Voyager if we help them. Now download our data into a probe. We can deploy it into the slipstream and maybe Chakotay and I can pick it up..."
B'Elanna was deciding whether she was going to have to sedate Harry when they both heard, "Unknown vessel, this is Deep Space 9, please identify yourself."
At the helm, Tom was able to locate the ship in normal space, "Captain, we're just a few parsecs from the Alpha Quadrant."
"Not exactly how I wanted to cross the finish line," she retorted.
Tom knew she understood that they were still in the Delta Quadrant. Again, the ship rocked violently and he kept his attention focused on the helm. However, he clearly heard Tuvok identify hull breaches on decks 5 through 10. Oh, gods, this was fast going straight to hell.
"We're losing life-support. If we don't land the ship we're risking structural collapse," Tuvok informed them.
Tom's hands raced frantically as he searched the sensors for a new course and tried to keep the ship from flying apart. To his relief, he announced, "I'm reading a planet! Nine million kilometers ahead! It's class L."
"Do it!" the Captain ordered. "We're coming in too fast! Reverse thrusters!"
Actually, Tom had reversed the thrusters before she gave the command. But he struggled with helm control. The tortured ride out of the slipstream had taken choices from him and he had little to work with. A primal part of Tom's brain revolted in denial -- it was not possible, never possible that he'd crash another ship. That part was locked in a constant scream of protest while another level of consciousness focused on a solution. As he traced desperate fingers across the panel, he tried to bend the ship to his will. 'Slow down,' he ordered her mentally, 'slow down'. The white mountains of ice and snow loomed closer, higher.
The front viewscreen illuminated the ice covered planet. They were still going too fast and there was no time to abandon ship through the escape pods. Dimly, Tom heard Janeway's ship wide command. "All hands, brace for impact!"
Even as they crashed and bounced across the ice, Tom kept at it, straining to regain control, trying to slow the ship enough to bring it down safely, frantically urging it up. The noise was deafening as he heard the ship smashing belly first into the ice, breaking apart. A vicious bounce tossed him backwards out of his seat. Startled, he felt his body flying towards the steps behind his chair. He was aware of screams from those on the bridge, more jolting aftershocks, sparkling unnatural lights, hissing bridge components coming apart.... A sudden flashing pain consumed his body as everything ceased.
Darkness, pain, unidentifiable noises, all of these registered as Janeway opened her eyes to find herself sprawled on her back on the floor of the bridge. Only emergency lights flickered to illuminate the area. She sat up, winced, and held her arm. Based on the pain, she must have thrown her arm out to break the fall. And the arm had broken. There was a tender spot on the back of her skull, but those were the only injuries she noted. Chances were good that she would discover other bruises and problems as time went on. But first, she had to see to her crew and her ship. With determination, she stood up, ignoring the sharp pain in her arm.
To her left she saw Chakotay struggle to his feet, using the seat of his chair to brace himself. He had an ugly wound running down the left side of his face and his eye was nearly swollen shut. When she saw that the blood had caked dry, she figured that they must have been unconscious for some time. Still, he seemed alert and steady on his feet, so Janeway assumed his injury looked worse than it was.
As it registered that many others had to be seriously wounded from a crash like this, she exchanged a glance with Chakotay before looking toward the helm. Between Chakotay's chair and the helm, Tom Paris lay very still. He looked a ghostly white in the dim light. Above him, the bridge was separated from the planet's atmosphere only by the sparkling force field across the breach in the ship's hull. The ship creaked ominously as it continued to settle on the ice.
Starting toward Tom, she and Chakotay reached the pilot at the same time. Chakotay seemed to be in a little better shape than she and he bent down to check for a pulse. In seconds, Chakotay hit his comm badge. "Transporter. Immediate beam-out to sickbay."
When there was no response, Janeway turned to look for Tuvok. She saw the soles of his boots and, holding her arm pressed to her side, darted up to the tactical station while Chakotay searched for a medkit among the bridge's debris. Reaching Tuvok's side, it was clear that her security chief and friend had been badly hurt. Near him was Seven of Nine, dead. "Chakotay! Tuvok is injured. Beam him to sickbay, too!"
"The transporter's out!" Chakotay shouted over the chaos of the bridge.
Caught up in the sense of emergency and knowing there was nothing she could do for Seven, Janeway dashed off to the operations station to find Ensign Parsons lurching to his feet. "Ensign. Report!"
The heavy-set, ginger-haired Parsons scanned the ops console, shaking his head. He worked his fingers over the controls, muttering, "Hull breaches, environmental controls, main computer." Finally, he looked up, "Captain, all of the ship's systems are offline."
"We have emergency power," he reported over the moans of the injured.
"Get the transporter and communications online. Make sure the force fields stay up against those hull breaches. Then get the environmental controls up."
Janeway picked her way carefully through the debris and bodies on the bridge. In the flickering light of the emergency system, the sights and sounds were overwhelming. Strong odors of undignified death permeated the air. In order to do her job she forcibly had to set aside the feelings called up by these sensory assaults. Pausing for a moment, she squared her shoulders and swallowed the ugly bile that bubbled up into her throat. Ready to keep going, she found another ensign and two crew members on the bridge who were more or less ambulatory and set them to helping Parsons.
She continued to circulate, trying to get a sense of the immensity of the destruction. As she swung toward the tactical station, she noted that Chakotay had retrieved the medkit. He scanned everyone with a tricorder, and gave the most seriously injured first aid. Meeting by their nearly destroyed command chairs, he reported, "We have four dead, including Seven. Three are injured too badly to move, one is Tom, the other is Tuvok. We have to wait for the transporters for any serious help there. And there's six of us with injuries but we're functioning. But I'll need to treat the injured before we have additional casualties."
"What can you tell me about Tom?" They both turned their eyes down toward the motionless pilot. She swallowed at his paleness, the dried blood that smudged his cheek and mouth.
"He had a collapsed lung, but I was able to restore full respiration for now. Tricorder says his neck is broken, there's partial tearing of the spinal cord. With the replicators offline I had to improvise a cervical collar and back board. I think we have his spine stabilized for the moment."
"Wasn't it risky to move him?" Janeway wondered aloud as she took in the makeshift medical accessories. She didn't comment on their suitability to the task. Chakotay knew as well as she did that this was a time for making do.
Chakotay looked a little troubled when he answered her question, "I know, but given the ship's instability, there's worse possibilities. Besides, I thought it might be easiest on Tom to work on him while he was still unconscious."
"What about Tuvok?" Once again they turned their heads in unison to note Tuvok's motionless body.
"He has internal injuries and a concussion. No broken bones. He's unresponsive, but his vital signs are good. I suspect that he's already in a Vulcan healing trance."
"And the others?" Twin gazes swept across the bridge.
"Concussions, broken limbs, none as bad as Paris. But they need the doctor, too."
"We're working on communications," she replied and knew her tone sounded defensive. To cover it, she angrily brushed a flyaway wisp of hair from her eyes.
"Kathryn." Chakotay's tone was soft.
"I'm sorry about Seven."
She pursed her lips, strengthened her chin, and knew she hadn't time to dwell on these losses even as a hot pain built up like a lava flow in her chest. Not now. "Thank you."
"Kathryn, I need to work on your arm."
"There's no time," she told him angrily. Didn't he see that?
"Make time. You won't be any good if you're distracted by pain, and if we have to get into environmental suits and that arm swells up...."
"Make it quick," she snapped and Chakotay's dark head bent to the task of knitting together the fractured bone with the osteo-regenerator.
When he finished, he gave her instructions on keeping the arm out of harm's way, but he softened the order with a sympathetic smile. "It's going to take awhile for it to fully heal, in the meantime, don't put any weight on it. And let me give you a nonsedating painkiller."
With a squint of her eyes to keep him honest, she nodded her acceptance. Grudgingly acknowledging that she felt better and more capable of command she told him, "Thank you, Chakotay."
With a quick smile he left to tend to the others. As he turned to go, Ensign Parsons deep bass voice called, "Backup communications are online."
Using her uninjured arm, Janeway hit her badge to communicate with the crew, "This is the Captain. We have crashed on a class L planet. I need reports to ops from every station on casualties and the ship's status. I want the transporters online now."
She listened for anyone from the transporter rooms and received no reply. Then a voice came through, "This is Lt. Carey in Engineering." His voice suddenly stopped. When it resumed, it sounded upset. "Most...most of the engineering crew are dead."
Janeway winced. Deck 11 must have taken a lot of the impact when they crashed. Carey's voice seemed to regain control and his words were ones she needed to listen to. "The warp core is damaged and leaking. I'm trying to vent out the plasma. We can't eject the core. We're on a planet."
"Acknowledged, Carey. Do everything you can to prevent any more damage to the crew or ship."
Other reports came in and Parsons passed these along to the Captain. Immersed in reports, her arm throbbing, she couldn't help trying to keep her eyes on everything at once. She tracked Chakotay for a moment as he checked on Paris once more. Futilely, Chakotay tried to contact the doctor again. She ached to think that there might be more deaths among those to whom she was closest. The commander seemed to be all right, but Tom, Tuvok.... No. She couldn't be distracted by what were only possibilities. She had to concentrate on those things she could do something about.
Chakotay had done as much as he could for the others. Discreetly, he tracked Kathryn's movements around the ruined bridge as she coordinated the efforts to get some of the systems back online. Busy as she looked, she didn't appear to need his help at the moment.
He damped down his anger at the nonfunctioning transporters, the unresponsive EMH, and the crash that had brought them to this. Since it looked less and less likely that they could transport Tom to sickbay, and that they might have to drag him through the Jeffries tubes down five decks to get him there, Chakotay decided that he'd try to do more for Tom's spinal cord injury.
Annoyed with his swollen eye, Chakotay had to work very cautiously in the uncertain light of the emergency backups. He fused the broken vertebrae with the osteo-regenerator, hoping that it would provide enough support to protect the cord from any further damage. But it would take hours before the regeneration site would be fully knit. He didn't dare risk any additional surgery to repair the torn nerves without the resources of sickbay. And not without the doctor.
As he worked, Chakotay felt guilty about how many times he'd wished Tom would be quiet for a few hours. Now he'd give anything to hear one of Tom's juvenile jokes. Recognizing that he was losing his focus, Chakotay tried to block out the fact that he worked on a colleague, that the light skin over which he passed the regenerator covered the soul of a young man who so often brought life and energy to the bridge. Chakotay didn't know if Tom could feel it, but he squeezed his shoulder with gentle reassurance before he left him to check on another patient.
Hoping to catch Kathryn's eye, Chakotay looked at her. But, with her back to him, he failed to capture her attention. He had started toward her anyway when Parsons told him the transporters were working. Stationing himself by Tom, he nodded to Janeway who'd finally turned to look at him. He didn't know what they would find in sickbay and he didn't want any harm to come to his patients when they rematerialized. Chakotay heard Kathryn give the order to transport.
End Part 1