Title: Interlude I Author: Jemima Contact: email@example.com Series: VOY Part: 3/19 Rating: PG Codes: crew Summary: This is an interlude in "The Museum", a series of AU stories within one larger story. In this Interlude, Paris finds Janeway strangely distracted, and a scene in sickbay ensues. Disclaimer: I took these characters from an alternate universe without copyright laws. Mwhahahaha!
Tom had wandered into the side room and lost track of time trying to understand the large, transparent object which dominated the room's center. Certain opaque planes cutting through the sculpture reminded Tom of a hypercube, so he thought of it, illogically, as four-dimensional. Like an oversized optical illusion, it drew his eyes down fractal paths into tiny details only his tricorder could detect.
At the proper time, Tom had glanced at the Captain through the doorway and checked in with Tuvok, leaving Janeway alone with her thoughts. Now he wondered what was so fascinating about the unmarked metallic ring that she had been staring at for more than half an hour.
Tom left his own favorite exhibit to ask, "What is it, Captain?"
She didn't answer, though he was right behind her.
"Captain?" he said again, but she made no response. He whipped out his medical tricorder and didn't like what he saw, so he pulled her away from the object.
"Captain? Can you hear me?" Her eyes were open, but she didn't seem to see him at first.
When he came into focus, she stared at him as though she were seeing a ghost. "Tom? What are you doing here? Why did you come back? You should be five thousand light-years away by now, at least."
"Where do you think you are?"
Janeway glanced around the room and seemed confused. "I was on New Earth. Chakotay was outside in the garden with the children." She put a hand on her stomach - reflexively, Tom thought, though it was no gesture of hers that he remembered - then looked down in shock. "The baby..."
"Captain, you and Commander Chakotay were rescued from New Earth five years ago." Tom ran the tricorder over her again. She seemed calm but disoriented. "Give this to the Doctor," he told her, handing her the medical tricorder.
He ordered an emergency beam-out to sickbay for her, telling Tuvok he would make a detailed tricorder scan of the object she'd touched before beaming up himself.
Taking his regular tricorder off his belt, he approached the pedestal to scan the circle.
Chakotay almost beat the Captain to sickbay, leaving Tuvok at the conn and Harry busily evaluating the data being transmitted from Tom's tricorder.
He caught the end of something the EMH was explaining to the Captain: "According to my scans, Captain, you've never been pregnant - well, except for the lizards."
Chakotay glared at the Doctor on the Captain's behalf, but she seemed unmoved by the comment. Concerned, The EMH asked, "Do you remember the evolved creatures, Captain?"
"Yes. The experimental warp drive..."
"Do you recall when Q wanted you to have his baby?"
She thought for a moment. "Yes, but that was after..."
"After you and Commander Chakotay were rescued from New Earth five years ago."
Chakotay blanched. Why were they talking about New Earth?
"And can you remember the events of this year? Tom and B'Elanna are having a baby."
"I remember now. But I also remember my children: Koti, Owen, and the baby. I remember living on New Earth for the past five years."
"Doctor," Chakotay interrupted, "what's your diagnosis?" He doubted this was anything she wanted him to hear, but she was prone on the biobed and hadn't seen him come in.
"Judging from the scans Lieutenant Paris took of the Captain while she was still in contact with the object, she did experience five years of events at an incredible speed. Although it has disoriented her, I have detected no permanent damage to her neural pathways." He added an aside to Janeway: "I wouldn't recommend doing it again, however."
Chakotay barely heard him; Kathryn was looking up at him with an expression her face wore only in his dreams. "Chakotay," she said, offering him her hand, palm out. He reached for her hand uncertainly, but she took his hand and held it, palm-to-palm, just as they had that one time on New Earth.
"Is it true? Have we been on Voyager all these years?"
"I'm sorry," she said, but didn't let his hand go.
The Doctor recommended a sedative to give her neural pathways time to settle. Once she was asleep, Chakotay disentangled his fingers from hers and returned to the bridge to think.