New: Twentieth Century Boy
Author: ZorroRojo - firstname.lastname@example.org
Series: X-Over Voyager/X-Files/Highlander
Disclaimer: yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah - not mine.
Summary: I don't want to give one.
Warnings: Non-Graphic Slash - Cussing - a little violence (not
anything worse than what you see on American TV.
They rappelled down the steep cliff-face in teams, two at a time, Chakotay spotted by Tuvok, and then anchoring him as the Vulcan
climbed down. MacLeod went with Chakotay. An equipment failure or one mistake meant a nine hundred foot plunge straight to the plains below. The view from the top was magnificent, the one on the way down, not nearly so. Halfway down the wall of the mesa was an entrance to the cavern system. They would have to swing themselves in once they
reached it. Yet another chance to go plunging to the ground.
Chakotay allowed himself a moment to relax after the harrowing descent before signaling Tuvok to begin. "You ready, MacLeod?" he asked before he yelled to the Vulcan at the top of the mesa.
"What's your plan?"
"Wait for them," Chakotay said. "I'll explain the whole thing when they get here."
Half an hour later and Tuvok and Cochrane were standing inside the entrance as well. They gathered their gear, shouldered their packs and entered the cave system, Chakotay leading the way and Tuvok bringing up the rear. For the first five hundred yards they saw nothing.
Tuvok called, "It is growing louder, Commander."
Chakotay raised his hand, signaling them to halt. "Now," he ordered and Tuvok pinched MacLeod before the man had a chance to react. He fell to the floor of the cavern in a heap. The Vulcan advanced on Cochrane, but he wasn't fast enough. Cochrane had his sword drawn before either Starfleeter could get close to him.
"What are you doing?" Warren demanded.
"It's too dangerous; we're going in without you."
"You will be in more danger than us, believe me. What did he do to MacLeod?"
"Nothing serious, he'll be out for a couple of hours."
"Surprise," Mac yelled as he jumped at Chakotay.
Cochrane held his sword at the Vulcan's throat while MacLeod and Chakotay fought it out a few feet away. They were evenly matched; both men experienced in hand to hand combat. They continued to grapple, neither man gaining the upper hand until they reached a standoff. They stood glaring at each other until Tuvok interfered.
"Commander Chakotay. We cannot stop them from accompanying us. I believe we should allow them to assist."
"You've got that right," MacLeod agreed.
Chakotay took the opportunity to catch his breath and consider. These two were hiding something. He knew it. But they wouldn't get in the way, he was positive of that. "Fine," he seethed. "We need to find our ship."
"Don't you know where you left it?" Warren demanded, incredulous.
"It's too long a story. We need weapons before we can confront them."
"We have weapons. We go in and get Mark then we find your ship. We have the weapons, we'll go in."
"You plan on fighting them with swords? That's funny."
"We don't plan on fighting them at all."
"Commander, the humming is growing louder."
"Where's it coming from?"
"I'll lead," Chakotay insisted, striding off in the direction Tuvok indicated.
Deep within the mountain, they followed the cave system to the source of the noise. The thrum of the ship steadily rose until the humans could hear it as well. They slowed their approach and regrouped.
"We go in alone," MacLeod stated, ready for an argument.
"Why?" Chakotay demanded.
"Because we can't be hurt." Mac answered.
"Chakotay," Warren said, "if it were Tom in there and someone was telling you you couldn't go in, what would you do?"
"Fine," Chakotay declared. "Since you're in such a hurry to die, you can come along."
"Chakotay wait. I said we couldn't be hurt. Let us go in and get Mark. Then we'll help you destroy the ship."
"Why do you think you can't be hurt?"
"Because we are Immortal."
"Immortal? Right. What you are is a crazy man with a death wish."
"No, look." MacLeod turned to Cochrane and ordered, "Warren, cut me."
Warren sighed, clearly not happy with the information MacLeod shared, but cut him anyway. He flicked his sword and made a small gash on MacLeod's forearm. Within seconds the wound was closed as if it had never been there. "See?" Mac asked. "If we get infected, we'll live, you won't."
"Any more secrets?" Chakotay asked quietly.
"I wanted to share this with you about as much as you wanted to tell me when you're from. Now we both know everything, right?"
"Right," Chakotay confirmed. "You can't fight them with swords, MacLeod. We have weapons on our ship. It should be about four miles further in."
"We're going in now."
"Fine, we'll free you when we get back. Tuvok? Let's move."
"Chakotay, wait. If we are infected, cut us open and remove the embryo. Don't worry about killing us."
Chakotay shook his head at the crazy man and set off at a jog down the tunnel, Tuvok following right behind him.
Cochrane and MacLeod drew their swords, looked at each other and began to move forward. Within a hundred yards the tunnel began to curve to the right and the first glow from the ship could be seen. Mac stifled the urge to turn and catch up with Chakotay and Tuvok in the other corridor. They were almost there. They would get what they came for and go.
As they neared the massive ship, the thrum coming from within vibrated through them. It only made them more aware of their own fear. They turned another corner and the massive spaceship came into view. Both men stared in awe at the ship that would have dwarfed an aircraft carrier.
"Mac?" Warren whispered, "Can you believe it? Did you ever think you would see such a thing?"
"No, and I still wish I hadn't. Warren, they mean to invade."
"That's what Chakotay said."
"We have to stop them."
"No, we have to get Mark back and then we let them stop it. We aren't equipped to fight this."
"Well then we help them. I can't let this go."
"First things first MacLeod," Warren whispered as he began to creep toward the open face of the ship.
MacLeod followed right behind. They would free Warren's friend and then they would be five. He gripped his Katana tightly, suddenly not so sure of the intelligence of facing aliens with only a sword in his hand. Immortal or not.
They stayed low to the ground, not sure if anything was about.
Constantly scanning the surrounding area, they crept up the ramp leading into the belly of the craft. The atmosphere was thick with green mist making it hard to breathe as well as see. Corridors ran off in every direction from the entrance but they remained on a straight path.
"Wait," Warren called softly.
"I know," Mac answered. He too felt the soft buzz of young Immortal presence. "Which way?"
"Let's stay together and work outward in a circle," Cochrane suggested.
A nod from Mac and Warren was on the move again. He hugged the left wall of the ship, keeping his flank covered and his sword arm slightly forward and out. MacLeod brought up the rear, walking sideways so he could cover their backs. A sharp hiss brought more mist into the corridor causing them to momentarily lose sight of each other.
"Hold," MacLeod ordered softly.
"There's a chamber about twenty yards ahead," Warren called back.
"The presence is getting stronger. Wait for me."
Mac crept up next to Warren and they both crouched low against the floor. "You see anyone?" he asked.
Warren shook his head and Mac signaled he would lead. He kept low and slowly moved forward. The mist was thinner down at waist level and he could breathe easier. He hoped whatever they were hiding from couldn't fly; he'd see their feet if they were on the deck. He entered the chamber and waited for Cochrane to catch up with him.
"Far end," Cochrane pointed. "A row of bodies."
"How many?" Mac mouthed.
"Too many. Come on."
They crept forward, convinced every step would alert whatever was lurking and expose them to whoever was running the colony ship. One row completely full of bodies on tables stretched throughout the cabin. Eight other rows were empty and one half-full. MacLeod pointed to the full row and started down it. Each body contained an alien in a different state of gestation. As they crept down the aisle, the
embryos advanced in development. Three quarters of the way down, the human bodies began to be split open, their outline all that was left to confirm they had once been people. They pressed on all the way to the end. Mark's body was the next to last one in the row and the only one this far down to still look human.
"Got him." Mac called as he raised him off the table. "Let's get out of here."
"Wait. Let's get that thing out of him."
"Not here. I count over twenty empty bodies. I don't want to be here if whatever grew in them decides to come back. Do you?"
"Good point. Let me take him."
"Here." Mac handed Warren his friend's body and took off toward the exit at a much faster pace than they had come in. He carried his own and Warren's swords, intent on stopping anything that got in their way. He looked back and seeing that Warren was lagging, he slowed his pace.
"Do you want me to take him?" Mac called.
"No. Keep moving."
As Mac spun around to get moving again, he caught motion out of the corner of his eye. "Down," he whispered. "Something just came in."
Two fully-grown aliens, over seven feet tall with humanoid bodies and elongated heads carried two humans into the chamber. They deposited them on slabs and turned to leave when the larger of the two paused, raised his head and appeared to sniff the air. It motioned to its companion and moved toward where the Immortals were hiding.
"Here," Mac called as he threw Warren his weapon. "They're coming this way."
Warren lowered Mark to the floor and caught his weapon one handed. They waited, crouched low until they couldn't stay still any longer. They couldn't wait for their escape route to be blocked. MacLeod led the charge with a battle cry and his weapon flashing in the glowing light. Warren was right behind him. He hurtled a table and came around the aliens.
Chakotay materialized in the cavernous hold first. He carried a
compression phaser rifle in one hand, a hand held phaser in the other, had a bag of photon grenades strapped to his side and a wrist-light on his wrist. He caught his bearings as Tuvok materialized ten yards behind him. MacLeod and Cochrane were battling four aliens fifty yards away and Chakotay ran toward the fight.
He stopped ten yards away and fired at the alien that held MacLeod in its grip. It had him in the air, its teeth gnashing as it angled to rip his head off. MacLeod had, by some miracle, held onto his sword and he was waving it in the creature's face, keeping those sharp teeth from finding purchase in his flesh. Chakotay pointed at Cochrane cornered by two others halfway down the row. Tuvok, also armed for battle, set off at a jog down the empty row of tables.
"MacLeod! Duck!" Chakotay yelled as he began firing. He fired the compression rifle and his phaser together and within moments had atomized the alien. The second one attacking MacLeod, smaller than the first, was on the Highlander in a flash and Chakotay couldn't get a clear shot.
MacLeod swung his sword in a wide arc and lopped its head off,
spraying its black blood all over himself and the rest of the cabin. Chakotay turned to Tuvok and Cochrane, but they had dispatched the aliens they were fighting. Tuvok shot one and Warren beheaded the other. Cochrane was covered in the creature's blood as well.
"Wait!" MacLeod shouted as Chakotay advanced on his position. "Don't come any closer. It's in me, Chakotay. You're going to have to cut me open and kill it."
"Me too," Warren yelled, panicked. "Get it out of me!"
"Here, catch this," Chakotay tossed a combadge to MacLeod and watched as Tuvok tossed two to Cochrane. "Hold still. All of you," Chakotay ordered as creatures around the hold began to rip their way out of host bodies.
Chakotay tapped his combadge and ordered, having given Tom and
Gerron's combadges to Cochrane and MacLeod and an extra to Cochrane's friend. "Chakotay to Delta Flyer. Five to beam out. Gerron, Paris and unknown directly into the containment field."
Cochrane, MacLeod and Mark rematerialized in a small section of the Flyer's cargo hold that had been turned into a level ten containment field. Chakotay and Tuvok materialized right outside the field and dropped their weapons.
MacLeod and Cochrane jumped to their feet as soon as they realized they had been moved. They stared in awe at the Starfleeters until Chakotay began giving orders.
"Get that thing out of your friend but don't kill it."
"I can't see," Cochrane yelled as a black substance began to film over his eyes. He staggered, gasping ragged breaths and choking out words as he could. "It's trying to attach itself to me. Get it out!"
MacLeod added, none too steady himself, "It's crawling through my veins - look," he showed them his arms and tendrils could be seen working upward toward his head.
"Hold still," Chakotay ordered. "Time for the back-up plan. Computer, lock onto non-human DNA in the containment field, transport it out and hold it in the transport buffers."
MacLeod and Cochrane stood, convulsing, as the transporters whisked away all traces of alien DNA from their bodies.
The black film over his eyes was the first to be removed and Cochrane watch as he glowed from within and each part of his body was freed from infection.
MacLeod could only stare at his arms as the invading bands were pried from his flesh.
When it was over Chakotay smirked and gloated, "Now, wasn't that better than ripping you apart and pulling out your innards?"
"Much," MacLeod agreed.
Chakotay scanned them again, noting that all traces of alien DNA were gone. "I'm sorry about your friend," he said, as he saw no life signs coming from Mark.
Cochrane dropped to his knees and pulled him close. "He'll be fine."
"Commander Tuvok, transport to our camp and collect Gerron and Agent Scully. Blindfold her first."
"Aye." Tuvok answered, tapped his combadge and disappeared in a whirl of transporter energy.
"Matter transportation?" MacLeod asked.
"Remember. You've seen none of this. Understand?"
Both Immortals nodded, but Cochrane didn't look up. Mark wasn't coming back yet. He would though. He had been alive only minutes before. Was this thing killing him as it fed off him, then repeating the process every time he came back to life? No wonder the one in him was not fully gestated even though the others implanted later in other hosts had. It hadn't been able to get a firm hold because Immortal healing kept rejecting it.
"I'm dropping the containment field," Chakotay told them. "But first," he said as he tapped more controls, "let's get rid of those weapons." Both swords disappeared and rematerialized next to Chakotay. "That's better."
"Now what do we do?" MacLeod asked as he eyed his sword now out of his reach.
"Now you go back to your lives and we stop the invasion."
"MacLeod, I've explained it to you already, I won't go over it again."
"And I will not pretend I don't know about this, Chakotay. This is my home. I cannot allow it to be invaded by aliens."
"And no one can know about this. Don't you understand? The timeline is at risk!"
"Who are you to say your timeline is the correct one!"
"I am, MacLeod. I'm responsible for what happens here. It's a responsibility I take very seriously. Earth is not ready for first contact. No one is to know about this."
"I won't argue with you anymore. I'm coming with you and you can't stop me," Mac insisted as he ripped the combadge off his shirt.
Tuvok, Gerron and Scully transported in as Chakotay was about to physically confront the bullheaded MacLeod. If he wanted to, he could transport the Immortals hundreds of miles away and their involvement would be a moot point.
Gerron immediately went to Cochrane and knelt next to him. "Mark?" he asked.
Warren nodded at the young man and went back to his vigil.
"Tuvok, we need to find out more about these aliens and their plans. They're still in the transport buffers. Gerron, assist him. Take her with you," he said as he nodded at Scully, "and make her comfortable."
"What are you going to do with her?" MacLeod demanded.
"Detain her until we're gone. I wouldn't hurt her even if I could afford to," Chakotay insisted.
MacLeod was about to argue with the obstinate Commander when the thrum of new Immortal presence washed over him. He turned to Cochrane and knelt next to him as Mark came back to life.
"Hey buddy," Warren whispered as he hugged his lost lover close.
"Hey yourself," the young man whispered back.
Warren cradled him and began rocking, fighting tears of relief that he wasn't going to lose another one. He was going to make it.
Chakotay watched the reunion and a hardness snaked through him, eating him up. Anger threatened to undo him and he stalked out of the cargo hold, determined to find some time for himself even if it was only five minutes. They found the aliens, they found Warren's friend but Tom was still ninety miles away, lying in a hospital bed relying on machines to draw breath and keep his heart beating. They needed to get him. That was next on the agenda, but what if the ship moved again?
The Flyer would go with it so they could easily find it, Chakotay knew. Now that they were back in contact, he would always leave one member of the team unexposed so they couldn't lose the Flyer again. Chakotay went forward and was met by Gerron as he stepped through the hole in the inner hull.
"Commander, we found something you should see."
"In Bajoran," Chakotay ordered, glaring at the Federal Agent as he spoke to Gerron.
"There are two distinct types of embryo," Tuvok reported. "One that survives by eating its host from the inside outward and one that infiltrates the host brain, assuming control of the body."
"Wonderful," Chakotay said aloud without realizing he had spoken. "I'm going after Tom now. Then we go after that ship."
"He can't be moved," Scully broke in. "If you move him - he dies."
Chakotay tapped his combadge and ordered, "One to beam to the surface. Tuvok, set up a stasis field. Energize."
End Part 13