Star Trek: Phoenix-X
Find Voyager? No Problem
The Prometheus-class U.S.S. Phoenix-X sat flatly out in the directionless, apathetic void of non-oriented space. Captain Daniel stepped out of his Ready Room to a wide-eyed, awaiting crew of Starfleet misfits.
"Okay, good," he began. "We have just received a new mission that I am willing to share with you all, provided that you have all completed your chores for today."
Armond raised a hand. "Sir, why are we taking the trash out to the end of the airlock? The garbage company refuses to rendezvous with us every week for pick up?"
"You know how important the conventions of repetitive tasks are to a ship steeped in operational procedures," Daniel countered, sternly. "Anyway, the mission is to retrieve the Intrepid-class U.S.S. Voyager from the Delta Quadrant."
Gotens pondered for a moment. "Hmm. They couldn't do it, so Starfleet is sending us to take care of it."
"Exactly," the Captain confirmed. "It's clear who is the more powerful over-powered, or OP, ship is in this case. Ever since we got word of them being alive, the Phoenix-X has been tasked to go and get them."
BOB walked over. "So, ever since launch? What took us so long?"
"Unfortunately, the task list dropdown tab is buggy, and impossible to click," Gotens conceded as he tried again and again on a nearby control panel. "Ugh! I hate computers."
Ensign Dan celebrated with the best of intentions. "Yeah! Another mission!"
"No outbursts of joy, allowed," countered the Captain. "Ensign, you are relieved."
Gotens walked over. "Find Voyager? Surely, they must've had many opportunities to return considering the high rate of space anomalies out there. Source: Every incarnation of the U.S.S. Enterprise, every week."
"It's a fair assumption, but it's also likely said hypothesized events were impeded due to Delta Quadrant incompetence," Daniel surmised. "It's a well-known quadrant-wide effect."
"So, how do we start?" Gotens continued. "Should I assemble the senior staff in the Briefing room for classic meeting-style preparations? I love how everyone is always so calm."
Armond interjected. "That room's being fumigated for voles. Turns out Deep Space 9 was not happy we knocked them into the wormhole last week."
"I like that we have a rivalry with them now," Daniel observed. "Makes things interesting. But, speaking of legacy properties, we should analyze Voyager's situation. How'd they get lost there in the first place? What other stories do they have to tell?"
Gotens contemplated. "Something about a giant, slow-breathing blob that was horny? I don't know. It was such an old episodic mission report that they sent."
"We could head for the Delta Quadrant, but, as it's known for its Borg infestations, I doubt we'd land anywhere and NOT encounter them," Daniel explained.
Armond held up an unfolded, terribly worn sheet of large paper. "Well, Starfleet did provide us with maps. Not sure why they all printed like this."
"Yes! We use the maps and go transwarp speed to get to Voyager!" Captain Daniel clenched his fist.
BOB raised a finger. "Except that staying at transwarp for a prolonged period of time would overheat the engines? That's how all the previous Phoenix-letter'd ships exploded within two years."
"Also, wouldn't saving Voyager completely mess up their predicted seven-year long story arc?" Gotens added. "Presuming they want to follow the Enterprise-D's example of broken-mirror superstition-length trackable drama."
Daniel shot a finger gun. "Good point. I mean, said Intrepid-class vessel could still churn out great-to-just-below-mediocre stories to be added to ship logs that we would all later consume on a weekly basis, or as a binge-watch."
"Wait! I could prep transwarp, but in short bursts, like Wesley hopping holographic stones over a stream to see Riker and Data!" Kugo suggested.
The Captain turned to her. "What have I told you about contrived problem solving? Original thinking has been done-to-death!"
"I guess now we have to save them," Gotens suggested, crossing his own arms in similar protest to saving Voyager.
But BOB spoke up. "You can't just put us at risk like this? What about all the other Phoenix-ships? We're on X now!"
"Ferengi don't have moral outrage! You guys just negotiate, deal and make bets all the time," Daniel re-established.
"Wow. Totally specist," BOB deadpanned. "I'll bet you that I can go the next 24 hours without earning a single slip of latinum, and if I win, we don't go."
Daniel snapped. "SOLD. I mean, you're on."
Later, Captain Daniel found himself in the Messhall, sitting at one of the drab, grey tables as various crew went about on their time off. He was then approached by an officer on the wait staff.
"Can I have a cup over here, please?" the Captain requested.
Billy tilted. "Would you like a drink to go with that?"
"No. Just a cup," Daniel confirmed.
Moments later, Billy returned with the cup to which Daniel liquified himself into to relax. Later, the officer returned to pick up the cup and wash it in the sink. Daniel soon found himself in the ship's plumbing system.
In Ensign Dan's living quarters, after being relieved of duty, the Ensign began washing his hands in the bathroom sink as a literal cleansing of his follies. There, Captain Daniel poured out of the faucet, fed himself to the floor and then reformed.
"Ugh! I hate when that happens," Daniel commented, dusting off his uniform. He then took notice of the Ensign. "Thanks, anyway. I want you on duty immediately."
Ensign Dan was too dumbfounded to articulate more than his confusion. "Captain?"
"Are you questioning me?" Daniel cut. "You're relieved!"
Later, entering the Bridge, Daniel found Commander Gotens at command.
"What's our status, Number One?" he asked. "Actually, let's take that back. I'm not sure you're at that level yet."
The Commander squinted. "But I passed the complimentary course at the Academy? I scored second highest in the chair-straddling Riker maneuver?"
"That's right. Second," countered Daniel. "Let me know when you can leg-lift your weight in gold pressed latinum."
BOB then dropped several slips of latinum at the sound of what he thought was being called out when Ensign Dan was handing them over. "Ah!" Then, admitting his failure, BOB explained, "We found a buyer for the Phoenix-X's plumbing, despite that being a thing Starfleet ships don't normally have."
"Hah! I beat you, Ferengi! That whole inter-ship tube thing was a ruse to draw you out to teach you to never not-risk the Phoenix-X on crazy speed jumps. Also, I like having systems that harken back to Ancient Rome," Daniel explained. "Now, let's keep riding this high and start our transwarp hopping, in much the same way the crew of Deep Space 9 played hopscotch on a regular basis."
BOB pointed to the screen. "What the? Is that a Federation ship?" And then, "It's Voyager!"
"Are you Morn-gesting the latinum to hide it from me now?" Daniel turned to the Ferengi.
Armond shook his head from tactical. "No. He's right. The signature checks out. It's the one with the Talaxian furfly emojis."
"It can't be?" Daniel blinked. "They found us?"
Everyone turned to the viewscreen to see the Intrepid-class U.S.S. Voyager returning home to them, early, having fashioned some kind of half-baked hippie-wormhole thing or something.
"You can't be the Guardian, forever!" exclaimed Q in mid-argument, as he suddenly flashed in onto the Bridge of the Phoenix-X, unexpectedly. "What? Where am I? Is this that space-time preset I put in place to correct continuity errors?"
Gotens was then taken aback by the omnipotent being's sudden appearance. "What in the world?"
"You dare aim confusion in my direction? You know how high my IQ is, right? Higher than explaining things!"
Daniel interjected. "Q!" He then smirked. "I've always wanted to yell that."
"Oh, fine. If you must know, I sometimes manage the Federation's inter-spatial tapestry for the Continuum's personal benefit. But, I assure you, it's completely based on our own future interests with the Borg at the detriment of your own."
The Captain opened his arms. "That doesn't make it any better! This is an unprecedented event."
"You trek, they trek, we all trek. Whether you do a thing or don't doesn't really matter because continuity takes precedence over greatness."
Daniel looked away in deep reflection. "If that's true, perhaps we're not unlike that Janeway-infused ship from the galactic revulsion, after all."
"Not to worry. The only difference will be that they'll still be over there," Q lamented as he raised his fingers in preparation for an epic snap. "I'll be knocking your 'friends' back to where they came from!"
After he air-quoted 'friends', he snapped his fingers and knocked Voyager barreling back into the annals of the Delta Quadrant.
"Just to reiterate: Any attempts at saving them will result in the same actions by me, or some similarly named protégé," Q confirmed. "We have a very strict naming convention policy. Now, who's up for Robin Hood role play? If I force it, it's more hilarious."
Daniel breathed. "Fine. But at least tell me we've pre-emptively ceased another potential crew-to-crew discord, by not interacting with them before they were sent away?"
"Doubtful," Gotens added. "They have no explanation to what just happened. Only that they saw us one moment and were sent back the next."
Meanwhile, Voyager found themselves back in the quadrant of hell, with an outraged Captain Janeway.
"I'm going to get that Phoenix-X when we get back," she gritted. "If it's the last thing I do!"
Tom Paris interrupted from his station. "Captain, the Borg are approaching. Also, Species 8472."
"Uggh!" she frustrated as several more Delta Quadrant-specific enemies dropped warp around Voyager, all with vengeful and hostile appetites.