New2U: Twentieth Century Boy
Author: ZorroRojo - email@example.com
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.
Tom Paris woke to his head in a lap and fingers softly running through his hair. He nuzzled a little closer into the warmth of whoever was holding him and softly sighed.
Chakotay continued to stroke his head as he whispered, "Hey, it's about time you woke up. You gave me quite a scare."
"Hmm, gave myself one too," Tom answered without opening his eyes. It felt like everything was working. No pain and he could move. Much better, he told himself. He brought his hand to the same spot on his head where he had been sure his brain was leaking out and softly felt around. No more hole.
Chakotay took his hand and brought it to his lips, "It's all right. You're going to be all right. How's your head? You had a severe head injury."
Tom sat up a little straighter and opened his eyes for the first time. Chakotay had them propped against the wall of the Flyer's cargo hold. Their gear was scattered around the hold haphazardly, as if someone had been looking for something in a hurry. Two bedrolls were rolled out on the other side of the bay and he and Chakotay were lying on a pile of blankets. Tom hauled himself out of Chakotay's lap and rested against the wall. He took Cha's hand back into his own and gave him the once over, making sure he was uninjured.
Chakotay was covered in blood. It was smeared down the front of his uniform and in his hair, but his hands and face were clean. Tom
grabbed him and felt him over, checking for injuries, "Cha, are you all right? Where did all that blood come from?"
Chakotay grasped Tom's hands and stilled them. "It's not mine, it's mostly yours. Shh, we're all fine. You and Gerron were the most
severely injured. Everyone's OK. You did a great job of landing us."
Tom leaned back against the wall and closed his eyes, "Landing? Is that what you call that? I felt like I was being turned inside out molecule-by-molecule. Where are we?"
Chakotay picked up a medical tricorder and handed it over to Tom. "Let's make sure you're all right, then we can have our meeting. We'll brief you."
Tom put the tricorder down and relaxed further into the bulkhead. "I'm OK, I've got a headache though. How's everyone else?"
"Tom, we're all fine. You're the one who bled out. Tuvok treated everyone."
Tom crawled to his knees and tried to stand, intent on seeing the damage to his baby himself. "I didn't know Tuvok was a medic," he said as he got to his feet. "I'm going to check out the damage to the ship. Have we heard from Voyager yet? How long was I out anyway?"
Chakotay pulled Tom back down with very little effort. "No, don't try to get up yet. You were out for over six hours. We didn't want to revive you because of your head injury. You had a synaptic regenerator attached to your brainstem for about four hours. We had to clone you a new liver and regenerate part of your skull. Tom, your heart stopped for about eight minutes. What I need you to do is cooperate and
examine yourself. You are our only real medic." He pulled Tom close, recognizing the fact that Tom would try to ignore the severity of his injuries and get on with fixing the ship. Chakotay was serious, but Tom reacted best to levity. "Dr. Tuvok wasn't sure he put everything back in the right place. Something about Vulcan physiology being much more logical than human. He may have moved some organs around in the interest of logic."
Tom scanned himself with the tricorder, impressed with the extent of the damage Tuvok fixed. Not bad, Tom decided, even if he did misalign a few small veins and didn't quite close the hole in his skull. Tom went to work healing the last of his injuries and allowed Chakotay to sit him back against the wall when he was done. "All in all, I don't feel too bad. I thought I was going to die."
"Like I said, you gave me quite a scare."
"How far under the planet are we?"
"Wait a minute, let me get Tuvok and Gerron. They're working on a systems evaluation."
Chakotay left Tom leaning against the bulkhead and crawled through the debris to the front of the craft. Tom used the time alone to run a more thorough exam of himself. He didn't want Chakotay to worry. Tuvok obviously hadn't told him everything. He was dead for almost ten minutes. Not surprising since he had fractured his liver - a death sentence without immediate medical care. But it wasn't time to worry about that. The damage to the ship was what mattered now. All the passengers were fine, or would be within a day or so. Tom wondered what happened to Gerron, he would have to examine him next.
When he was through with his exam, Tom checked out the rest of the cargo hold, intent on gathering their supplies and found that someone beat him to it. Food, water, weapons, tricorders - medical,
engineering and general, toolkits and anything else useful that wasn't welded down was sorted and piled in the corner. He really had been out for a while. Banging from the front of the craft assaulted his senses and he made his way forward to find out what was going on. His limbs felt heavy, his whole body sluggish, but otherwise, he was fine. But the Flyer was his ship and he had to be part of the assessment team.
Tom crawled through the hole in the cargo hold, the one that told him the doors weren't working, and stood inside the main compartment. Tuvok's legs stuck out of the main control panel, Chakotay hovering over him. Gerron was under the nav station, pulling out wires and isolinear chips.
Already knowing the answer, hoping for better news than he could see with his own eyes, Tom asked, "So, how bad is it?"
Chakotay looked up, surprised to see him forward but answered without a lecture, "Pretty bad."
"Any word from Voyager?"
Chakotay shook his head and sat down. The two rear seats were clear of debris and Tom took the one facing Chakotay.
"Will we be able to fix it ourselves?"
"Eventually, but the Flyer isn't the problem."
Tom didn't understand. The problem *was* the Flyer; they were stuck under the surface of the planet with who knew how many alien ships surrounding them, Voyager chased out of the system. As far as Tom could see, fixing their ship was the only problem. If the main support beams at the nose were any indication, they would have to rebuild the hull. If the replicators were operational they would be able to do it - eventually. But they couldn't just sit where they were, waiting to be found by people intent on destroying them. "We have a problem worse than our ship being destroyed and being stuck beneath the surface of a planet with no atmosphere?"
Tuvok hauled himself out from under the panel and stood, stretching out his limbs. He dropped his hyospanner and picked up a canteen. He waited for Chakotay to finish the briefing but when Chakotay said nothing, Tuvok answered Tom's question. "Lt. we are on Earth in the year 1999. August 15th to be more precise. The rift brought us, and we can assume, the alien craft here."
Tom just stared up at the Commander, his mouth open. It didn't take him more than a minute to compose himself and to realize just how serious the situation was, "I don't like the sound of that."
Gerron crawled under the debris dividing the crew section and popped up as soon as he was free. He waved his spanner in the air, sweeping his arm in a circle. "We have to alert the authorities."
Tom sighed and leaned back into his seat. The shock was beginning to wear off, replaced with determination. "Gerron, you don't know anything about Earth history do you?"
The young Bajoran shook his head. "No, not really. But if these aliens came back in time to change something we have to stop them. We can't do it ourselves we have to tell everyone, get them ready to fight."
Tom was about to answer the naive crewman and none too politely when Chakotay waved him off. "Of course we have to stop them, Gerron, but we also have to remember that the integrity of the timeline is our first priority."
Tom leaned forward, elbows on knees, and insisted, "I don't think they're here to change something in Earth's past, they're from the Delta Quadrant, what do they know about Earth? But stopping whatever these aliens *are* up to *is* going to change the timeline."
Tuvok handed his canteen over to Gerron and sat on the deck, his legs crossed in front of him. He had a theory, but how to explain it? "Lt., that timeline has not occurred. We seem to have found ourselves in a pivotal point in time. If the aliens succeed, our reality will no longer exist. If we stop the aliens, we may disrupt our own timeline, again changing it. Whatever we do here may change our own future."
Gerron took a long drink, handed the canteen over to Chakotay and sat down next to Tuvok. "So, are you saying that we should let whoever stopped it the first time stop it now? Should we repair the Flyer and try to get home?"
Tuvok understood the time paradox, but he could see that the Lt. and the crewman were not following along. Chakotay seemed to understand but Tuvok couldn't be sure. He sighed inwardly, no matter how
frustrated he became with them, he would not show it. He resigned himself to diagramming the paradox in the simplest terms possible. "Because we are here, a product of our timeline, does not mean someone in the twentieth century stopped this invasion. The aliens entered the timestream in our time and skipped backward - bringing us with them. If they are successful, only those who made the time leap will
remember the previous timeline. Do you understand, Lt.?"
Tom cocked his head to the side, and gave a tight nod. "Sort of. But what about us? We're here, right? Obviously... OK, so is Voyager where we left it? Can't we just try and go back through the rift?"
"No. If we do and the aliens have succeeded in changing the timeline or invading Earth or whatever they are attempting, Voyager will most definitely not be where we left it. There may be no humans at all in the changed timeline. There may be no Vulcans. There may be no
Federation. If the aliens invade the Alpha Quadrant in the Terran year 1999, they may be successful." Tuvok turned to Gerron and asked, "Does that answer your question?"
"Not really. So if they changed everything, how come we still exist? Shouldn't we have never been born?"
Chakotay took over the briefing, "Gerron we exist because we were pulled back with them. It's a time paradox. We were taught all about them at the academy. Humanoids tend to think in linear time. Don't worry about not understanding, most of the class failed. What we do have to worry about is stopping them, even at the risk of changing our own personal timelines. The future of the entire galaxy could be at stake. The problem is going to be stopping them without affecting anything else. We must keep our contact with the inhabitants to a minimum. Failing that, we cannot corrupt the timeline with our
technology. We may not be able to avoid some minor changes in the timeline, but we are going to have to look at the big picture. Right now, the big picture is stopping an invasion. What happens to
individuals within the timeline has to be second priority. Not an ideal situation but better than the alternative."
Silence met the end of Chakotay's lecture. It really didn't matter if he got through to them or not. He was in command; he understood the situation and they would follow his orders. Simple. If he needed guidance Tuvok understood the paradox even more completely. Chakotay knew they would probably never get home, successful at halting the invasion or not. Too much could change from one minor disruption to the timeline. Especially since they originated so far in the future. Ripples in time either spread out affecting everything or were
absorbed right away. Something so small as changing one day in one person's life in the year 1999 could change the entire society of the year 2377. Or it might not; there was just no way to know. At least not from the perspective they had. Time enough to think about that later.
They passed the canteen around a little longer until Tom's soft
laughter broke the silence. "Remember when we were here last time?"
"Of course," Tuvok answered, "I still have not learned the meaning of the term 'freakasaurus'."
Tom laughed even harder and shook his head. Making fun of Vulcans could keep him amused for *weeks*.
Tom's mention of their last inadvertent trip into Earth's past got Chakotay thinking. "That temporal intrusion security officer, what was his name? Brax?"
"Braxton," Tuvok said.
"Right, he hinted that Voyager was still needed in the Delta Quadrant. Remember? He said he couldn't return us to our own time in the Alpha Quadrant without corrupting the timeline. He's looking back from a twenty-ninth century perspective, who better to know than a man who hunts down and stops temporal intrusions."
Gerron, his face still scrunched up in puzzlement asked, "Do you think this is what he meant?"
"I don't know," Chakotay answered truthfully. "What we need to do is find the alien vessel and stop whatever they have planned." Time to set things in motion, "Can we transport to the surface?"
Tuvok too understood the need to take immediate action. His report was ready. "Yes Commander. The transporters and replicators are functional. Sensors and the main computer are also on-line. We have lost the warp core and structural integrity. We phase shifted inside the rift causing the warp bubble to implode. When we shifted back into phase, it was under the surface of the planet, which is where we will find the alien vessel."
"Good," Chakotay nodded, "Tom, you're in charge of fitting us in. Gerron, you help him. Tuvok, you're with me. We have an invasion to stop."
Scully dropped her newspaper and picked up her coffee, taking a long sip before she set it back down. She sat, looking at the cover of her three-page newspaper, hoping no one would notice she had been reading it for over an hour. She nudged Mulder under the table and shifted her eyes to the left. He followed her hint and looked in the direction she indicated.
Mulder whispered, "Four men. You were talking to one of them last night."
"We need a map of the area, Mulder. One with local names on it."
"What are they saying?"
Scully shook her head and lifted her newspaper again, leaning back in her chair as far as the flimsy plastic would allow. She needed to listen. She barely noticed when Mulder rose from his seat and went back inside. If it weren't for the sound of him kicking the gravel lining the seating area of the outdoor cafe, she wouldn't have even noticed. She reached inside her purse and found her sunglasses, slowly cleaning the dust that invaded everything from the lenses. Seven in the morning and she needed her sunglasses, amazing.
"Did you talk to Spider last night?"
Scully recognized Mike's voice from the bar the night before. She knew he was going back on the river, but she wanted to hear what he knew and wouldn't tell an outsider.
"Yeah, he had some crazy story. I got in about four, I think, and he was babbling on and on. He was so drunk he couldn't stand."
"I saw something pretty weird, myself."
"Tim's bike was outside Jen's this morning."
"Better not let him hear you telling people. You know how he gets."
"Yeah, I do. I got a overnight with him going out this afternoon. Fucking crazy Germans scheduling an afternoon float. What the fuck are they thinkin?"
Mulder sat heavily just as Scully was becoming interested in her eavesdropping. He handed her another mug of coffee and a new
"Have you memorized that one yet?"
"Pretty much. We're wasting our time here. What time is the helicopter coming?"
"I meant to tell you about that. Do you want breakfast?"
But she wouldn't be deflected. "What did you mean to tell me, Mulder?"
"Well, I didn't exactly get us a helicopter."
"What did you get?"
"Mulder," Scully warned.
"You know, they look like hang-gliders with engines on them."
"Do you know how to fly one?"
"No. You're going up with the pilot."
"*I* am? And just what are you going to be doing, Agent Mulder?"
"I'm going to talk to the mysterious Spider."
"Let's just say for a moment that I agree to this. What am I looking for?"
"You'll know it when you see it."
End Part 3