The Wizard on the Edge of Forever
A Harry Potter/Star Trek Fan Fic.
Disclaimer: I don''t own Harry Potter or Star Trek. For that matter, I don''t own much of anything except a lot of debt. If I could claim the two series and all their spin-offs, I would. So please don''t sic the law demons on me ok? (Author Note, this has been Betaed and is definitely different from the previous posting. 21 will be reposted soon)
Chapter 20: The Return of the Chosen One.
Hui sat in the cafeteria at Starfleet Medical, eating a bowl of vegetable soup for lunch. She was mentally going over a patient's symptoms when a voice interrupted her musings.
"May I join you Dr. Potter?" asked Healer T'Lura. The Vulcan Mind healer was on Earth for a series of conferences. They'd been friendly acquaintances during Hui's years at the Vulcan Science Academy, and had reconnected not long after T'Lura's arrival. They had managed to have lunch together a few times, when their schedules coincided.
"Certainly T'Lura, please join me," responded Hui pleasantly. "I wasn't expecting to see you this afternoon. Aren't you attending a seminar today?"
"The afternoon session has been delayed. Our conversations are often educational, so it seemed logical to seek nourishment here."
As T'Lura sat down at the table, the first twinge of an oncoming headache caused Hui to wince and close her eyes. T'Lura noticed the reaction and inquired, "Are you in pain, Hui?"
"It's just a headache. I've been getting these sudden headaches occasionally, for years. They have been getting worse, recently, stronger and more frequent." She relaxed as the headache faded again. "That's better. Thankfully, they don't last long."
"Have you been examined by your physician? Can they determine a cause?" T'Lura asked in mild concern.
"Several physicians, actually. Nothing shows up as a cause, and it doesn't seem to have any consistent triggers."
Healer T'Lura nodded in understanding. After a minute she said in a mild tone "Hui, once we have finished here, I would like to go back to your office and run some tests of my own. If healers of the body have not been able to assist with your condition, perhaps it lies more in my area of healing the mind?"
"What about your seminar?"
"Treating a patient is more important," T'Lura stated resolutely.
Hui nodded and they continued with lunch and conversations on other matters.
After lunch, the two physicians retreated to Hui's office to run a series of tests. As Hui had stated, none of the physical examinations or scans indicated any problem. Finally, T'Lura nodded and turned to her friend.
"As nothing appears to be physically wrong, it is possible that the cause lies within the mind itself. Would you allow me to perform a diagnostic mind meld, Dr. Potter?" T'Lura had reverted to a more professional form of address, as she was now acting as Hui's physician and not as her friend.
Thanks to her education on Vulcan and many conversations with Healer T'Lura, Hui had a basic familiarity with Vulcan mind-healing techniques, which were so uniquely necessary in a society such as theirs. The strict mental disciplines and techniques, which were relied upon by every Vulcan adult to function in society, did occasionally go awry or suffer damage.
"Go right ahead," Hui nodded. "I don't have a problem with it. At this point, I'm willing to try almost anything."
T'Lura's voice didn't reveal anything but a ghost of a smile crossed the Vulcan woman's features. "Indeed. Let us begin."
Hui closed her eyes as T'Lura placed her hands on the necessary facial points. She heard the mind-healer begin to speak the mantra "My mind to your mind…My thoughts to your thoughts…"
Unlike a full mind-meld, where both participants were aware of each other's minds, the diagnostic meld taught to Vulcan healers was more one-sided. Hui could feel a tickling sensation, and got flashes of memories coming to the surface as T'Lura skimmed over her mind, seeking for any aberrations.
Suddenly, Hui winced again as a severe headache hit her, almost making her cry out. T'Lura's eyes snapped open and, in what would be considered a major lapse of emotional control were another Vulcan present, T'Lura gasped, "Oh, my!"
As quickly and as safely as could be done, T'Lura ended the meld. Taking a moment to compose herself, she said "Hui, that headache was not physical, nor psychological in origin. Based on your tales of the magical skills and abilities you and your husband are working to rediscover, I believe the source may be your magic itself."
Hui gaped at that. She had told T'Lura about her project, finding and evaluating potential magical members of Starfleet, during their lunch conversations. Why hadn't she thought of it herself? There were no magical healers for her to consult, of course, but it should have occurred to her that any condition presented by a magical person that was unexplainable by modern science, might have a magical source instead.
T'Lura continued. "While I was within your mind, as the pain struck you, I sensed a flow of data—visual information, mostly—that entered your consciousness from elsewhere, but was being blocked. The sense was not of a deliberate barrier, but more like…an occlusion or narrowing, like a pathway overgrown from disuse. The pressure against the blockage is what causes the pain you feel."
Hui pondered that revelation. Visual information? Pictures, from "elsewhere"? There were entries in her father's grimoire that hinted at members of her past family being what were called "seers", giving prophesies or seeing visions of future events. Hell, the letters contained within the grimoire, waiting for Harry Potter to activate them, clearly indicated that her many-times-great-grandmother Luna had been one.
T'Lura continued, breaking Hui out of her internal musings. "Many races present esper abilities, and not all are related to telepathy. While Vulcans currently have no equivalent abilities to your descriptions of 'magic', there are stories in our distant prehistory that hint at such. The mental techniques proposed by Surak for controlling emotion and exalting logic were believed by some to have been adapted from earlier techniques, used by ancient peoples to regulate and direct powers that might otherwise run out of control.
"I digress; I have reason to believe that some techniques of Vulcan mind disciplines might help you. I, or another mind-healer, could guide you via mind meld, once you have sufficient control, to find the obstruction and work to clear it. Or you could search out techniques from your own magical heritage; I can only assume that there were humans in your past who knew of this ability and might have had methods for controlling the gift."
Hui nodded. "Unfortunately, almost all information about the magical world of the past has been lost. It's entirely possible that my lack of magical training alone caused the pathway to get occluded, as you put it. Vulcan techniques may be the best alternative available."
T'Lura looked straight at Hui. "One issue you will need to consider: if the pathway is cleared, it is possible that the information that comes through—the visions, if you will—may be more distracting than the pain you have learned to live with. Controlling when and where the visions occur may not be possible. I know that your practice within Starfleet doesn't generally include surgery, but once they are integrated, the unexpected visions could interfere with your motor skills or mental focus. Obviously, that is something that could be lethal during surgery. At best, the visions will be a bit more of an annoyance than the headaches have been. At worst…I do not have enough information to even begin to formulate an answer."
Hui nodded in understanding. Performing surgery was a very small part of her duties as she was more of a research physician, considering her duty assignment of improving the methods of detecting beings with the gift of magic and how to properly educate them on the use of their special abilities.
"Well there isn't much I can do about that at the moment. To quote an old human phrase, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it."
Hui's mental retraining for her seer abilities only took about a month, working with a Vulcan adept from the embassy and with T'Lura, who had stayed on Earth to work with her as a mind-healer. The Vulcan mental and physical exercises, usually taught to Vulcan children, were very similar to meditation and the Chinese martial art of Tai Chi. The meditation practice and concentration on blending the moves together allowed the development of a deep meditative state where she could concentrate inwards. Vulcan children were taught to focus on understanding and controlling their emotional responses in this state. Hui focused on her magic, as best she could, finding her magical core and the disused pathways it flowed through in her body.
A deeper mind-meld, initiated in this meditative state, allowed T'Lura to lead Hui to the obstructed pathway. She managed, eventually, to nudge it open, releasing a flood of images, as if every vision that had ever been blocked rushed forward all at once. Needless to say, it caused one last headache, worse than any that came before it.
Once she recovered, an unexpected benefit of the Vulcan discipline was that Hui developed an awareness of her own magic, and was able to detect when a vision was coming, with at least a few seconds warning.
Starfleet command was skeptical at first. Magic, they accepted, somewhat, the same way telepathy was accepted in Vulcans, Medusans and other races: such abilities could be measured and demonstrated, essentially on demand. There was proof. At first, Hui's visions seemed much less tangible.
Hui's first officially recorded vision that affected Starfleet happened following Admiral Kirk's actions during the Mutara incident, as it became known within the Federation, a few months later. After he attacked a scientific outpost, a vengeful Khan Noonien Singh entered battle with Admiral Kirk and managed to create an unstable planet out of a nebula as his last effort at revenge, and nearly destroyed the Enterprise.
The political fallout in regards to the incident, and the revelations of the top-secret planetary terraforming project "Genesis," were just beginning when Kirk up and stole the Enterprise right out of space dock. For what reason, no one had yet managed to figure out. As known associates, Harry and Hui Potter, as well as Peter Kirk, were interviewed by Federation security about two weeks later, after reports indicated that the Enterprise was lost, and Kirk and company were on Vulcan, of all places. It was during these interviews that Hui had her vision. While the details of the vision were fleeting, the general picture was clear: if Admiral Kirk was brought back from Vulcan in chains, the Earth would be turned into a lifeless ball floating in space shortly afterwards. If Kirk returned to Earth on his own, Earth would be saved from its own short sightedness.
Starfleet's command staff had already been deeply conflicted on the question, especially since the Vulcan authorities refused to answer questions about why Kirk and his crew were there, and refused to arrest them. Hui's prediction, while not exactly believed, did tip the balance of the argument, leading to Starfleet taking a "wait and see" stance.
Events, as it turned out, served to dramatically verify Hui's new ability.
At some point during their travels on Earth, Harry had found a Pensieve in a curio shop and purchased it. While small in size and fairly heavily battered, it did allow for an in depth viewing of the visions that Hui experienced. Most were minor, brief flashes of events that would happen a day or so in the future. However, there was a set of more significant, detailed visions that occurred most often during the night, which Hui might have written off as bad dreams without the training she had received.
The mildest of the three seemed showed a future where the Federation was willingly disbanded, becoming part of some unnamed socio-political entity encompassing the whole galaxy. As this seemed to be something that would occur many centuries in the future, the Potters took notes but didn't really think that this particular vision was much to worry about.
The other two visions, frankly, scared the hell out of both of them.
The second indicated that some aspect of the technology currently used in the form of the standard warp drive might someday be developed into a valid temporal device. This initially didn't seem to be much of a problem, but as the vision continued in its later permutations, various factions within the Federation perverted the idea to their own ends. The end result was a temporal civil war that resulted in massive losses of life and appeared to blow many of the worlds of the Federation back to the Stone Age.
While very disturbing, the notes regarding this vision would allow for some sort of contingency plans to be put in place to at least attempt to save as much as possible, if not stop this possible future from happening.
The final vision was, from their point of view, the most terrifying. It showed Voldemort emerging from his prison, hundreds of years in the future, stronger than ever and even more ruthless. He took over Earth and enslaved every living being for his own twisted amusements. So depraved were Voldemort's actions, they awakened a genocidal anti-human streak within many of the other races of the Federation. These races eventually scoured the planet of all life and purposely hunted down any humans or partial humans and exterminated them; all in the idea of eliminating the smallest chance that magic and Voldemort (or some human like him) could return.
After viewing this in the Pensieve, Harry felt ill. He knew that if he couldn't stop Voldemort during his lifetime, this vision would come true and it would be his fault.
As Starfleet had requested, following her first successful prediction and Kirk's successful rescue of Earth (again), Hui wrote up a report on each vision she recorded that might potentially impact the Federation, and submitted it to her superior officer.
Harry, Hui and Krulack sat in the reception area of the Federation president's office, wondering just what they had done to merit the order to present themselves here in Paris as soon as possible. Harry couldn't think of anything he had done to warrant such attention. Hui thought it might have to do with the visions she had reported weeks earlier, since some of them had implications affecting the entire Federation, but couldn't think of what about them would cause all three of them to be summoned.
Krulack grunted cynically. "You two I can understand, with that Magic stuff of yours. If he wants something from me, from the Empire, I believe he will be disappointed. Most in the Empire would rather blow me to my constituent atoms than hear any message I send, or receive any artifact that I hand carry back."
The secretary ushered the trio into the inner office of the Efrosian president of the Federation, Ra-ghoratrei, with the normal platitudes of a career political servant. After greeting the three of them and ushering the secretary out, the president lowered the lighting a bit to accommodate his light sensitive eyes and removed the mirrored Pince-nez sunglasses he normally wore.
"Cdr. Potter, Dr. Potter, Krulack, I do apologize for the nature of this meeting, but it is imperative that you understand the gravity of the situation we are in," began the president in a tone of voice that indicated he was going to say something he either didn't want to say or did not want to ask of them.
"Dr. Potter, the reports you submitted on your recent visions were deemed serious enough that they were passed up the chain of command, until they eventually reached my desk. The vision regarding the eventual disbanding of the Federation in favor of a larger, galactic organization we can safely put aside; nothing indicated violence or coercion, so when and if such a thing happens, it appears it will be what the people of the future Federation want. The second vision, of the temporal civil war, we can attempt to prepare for within our current structure, either to avert it entirely or mitigate the effects.
"It is the final vision, involving the powerful being currently imprisoned in a castle in Scotland, which greatly concerns me. Admiral Kirk's reports on your initial investigations indicate that you believe this Voldemort to be essentially immortal?"
Harry nodded. "According to information I received in messages from my friends back in the 20th and 21st centuries, Voldemort created items called horcruxes, which anchor him to this plane. Several were destroyed in the nuclear attacks in the 21st century, and one that I carried unknowingly was destroyed by the adepts on Vulcan several years ago. There are two, we believe, that have survived and are effectively out of reach. Their locations aren't certain, but it was believed that one could be found deep under the earth, in the Goblin tunnels under London, which have since been sealed off. The other may well exist within the castle where Voldemort is currently residing, but seventy years of searching by some of the greatest experts on the castle, including Headmaster Dumbledore, were unable to discover it."
"So, destroying the castle itself..."
Harry shook his head. "That might destroy the form he currently occupies, but it would only free his spirit and allow it to search out another body to possess. He was disembodied for my entire childhood, from the time I was a year old until I was almost 15, but he was able to possess people and animals during that time, and he eventually managed to manipulate others into creating a new body for him. It might take him years, or decades, or even centuries, but I believe he'd eventually be just as dangerous as he was in Hui's vision."
Ra-ghoratrei sighed. "As I feared. I have discussed this problem with many of my advisors, and with many in Starfleet Command. Some still choose not to believe in the veracity of precognitive visions, but most agree with me, that the risk of ignoring the problem and having it be true is greater than the risk of acting despite the uncertainty. So, on my recommendation, Starfleet and the Federation have agreed on a course of action."
"I asked for you three together because Dr. Potter is having the visions and Commander Potter is most qualified in knowledge and experience in dealing with magic, including Voldemort. As for you, Krulack, you have made no secret of your blood oath to help the Potters in their endeavors, not to mention your family's alliance with the Potter family. I wouldn't dare interfere with a Klingon blood oath."
Krulack nodded acknowledgement. Efrosians might be new to the Federation, but due to their history, they understood Klingons far better than most humans did.
Harry and Hui looked at each other in confusion. "Sir," Harry inquired, "what course of action has been decided on? Are you planning to dig for the horcrux in the Goblin tunnels under London?"
The president laughed darkly. "No. That course of action was proposed, but discarded for two reasons. First, it would take decades to excavate and explore those tunnels if they are as vast as you described them, and since we have no idea where the item we're looking for is located, what it is, or even whether it's there at all, it all might be in vain. Not to mention the likelihood of magic being involved, which we're poorly equipped to handle these days. Secondly, your report mentioned the possibility that the Goblins still inhabit those tunnels. Since they are a pre-warp culture and not Federation members, the Prime Directive, sadly, requires that we not interfere."
Harry rolled his eyes. Sometimes the Prime Directive, like the Statute of Secrecy before it, could be a pain in the ass.
The president sighed and sat down in a chair. "It's actually fairly easy to understand, but difficult to execute when you're in my position. Currently, there is no way for Earth, or the Federation, or even Starfleet to stop the entity known as Voldemort. Dr. Potter's vision makes that clear; nothing we might throw at him would make a dent. He's contained for now, but if Dr. Potter's vision comes to pass, Voldemort will break containment and spark a wave of genocidal madness that I cannot, in good conscience, allow to happen."
He paused for a moment while he pulled a piece of paper from a pocket in his suit coat and looked at it. "Unfortunately, the person best suited to helping you destroy this threat to humanity, the Earth, and the moral soul of the Federation is one Albus Dumbledore."
Harry stood up from his chair and began to pace the floor.
"Mr. President, I apologize for Harry's reaction," began Hui.
The president waved it off saying "Dr. Potter, I've been on the receiving end of much worse. His pacing the floor is actually a quite refreshing reaction."
Harry paused his pacing. "Mr. President, how could Professor Dumbledore be the person that is best suited to help? He's been dead for over two hundred yea…" Suddenly, Harry realized what the president was going to ask him to do. The realization and the possible implications hit him like a two by four.
"Sir, are you asking me to do what I think you are?" Harry asked tentatively.
"Commander Potter, yes, I believe you have figured out what I'm asking you to do. As recent events with Admiral Kirk and the Probe have demonstrated, Starfleet is not unaware of the potential to use time travel to the past as a method for solving current or future problems.
"Based on all the information that I have been given, I am asking you to gather a team together and go back in time, to find a way to prevent the future your wife has seen. Needless to say, try not to change the recorded history that we know if at all possible."
Harry moved back to his chair and sat down, staring at the floor in thought. Hui and Krulack Stared at the president for a moment before Krulack spoke up in a loud and somewhat incredulous tone of voice "Are you out of your mind? You're talking about changing history! For all we know Killing Voldemort back then will completely destroy everything that we know! You joH'a' puq vo!"
Harry looked up and placed a hand on Krulack's forearm, stopping him from saying anything else for a moment. "Mr. President, I'm not going to apologize for Krulack's outburst because he's right. Back in the 20th century, the wizarding world did have the ability to go back in time for a short period, but it was highly controlled and usually not undertaken lightly. (Harry mentally noted that Hermione's use of a time turner for extra classes in his third year at Hogwarts was the only exception that he was aware of.) That's because of the possibility of inciting a 'Grandfather Paradox'."
The president just shook his head and said "No need, Captain Krulack's vitriol is a breath of fresh air. Honestly, at times I think more diplomats need to say what they mean instead of being so circular in their communications. It would make things so much simpler. There are risks, of course. Change the wrong event and you might change the future irrevocably. However, Admiral Kirk's history of time travel incidents (many of which are still classified, unfortunately) have shown that unless a key event or person is altered, most small changes don't have major effects. The tricky part is knowing what events and persons are essential.
"Our advantage, in this case, is that your magical society was so isolated and hidden. Changes there should, if we're fortunate, have little effect on the recorded course of events on the rest of Earth. As long as you don't do anything that interferes with the past as we know it, there shouldn't be any problems. Yes, there will be minor changes, but nothing major that will affect the overall course of history."
Harry looked at Hui with a questioning look. She answered his unspoken question. "You know I've wanted to see what the wizarding world was like. If we are careful, do you honestly think I'm going to say no to this opportunity?"
"Somebody's got to keep you out of trouble, not to mention my oath to the both of you. Where you go, I go," stated Krulack before Harry could even look his way.
Turning his attention back to the president, Harry asked "Mr. President, we'll do it, but sir, what do we do if for some reason we can't return to our time?"
"Cdr. Potter, if for some reason your team is not able to return to this century, you are to do nothing that will interfere with history as we know it. Staying in the magical community should help. That means no hunting down Khan and the other Eugenics Wars conspirators. No killing Col. Green. Allowing the 9 Judges' reign of blood too occur. In other words, let recorded history pass you by." The tone of the president's voice left no doubt that this was a direct order.
Realizing that the interview with the president was over, the three of them stood up and saluted.
The president saluted back and watched them leave. Once alone, he walked over to his desk. Pressing a button on the comms station that was built into the desk, the president said to whoever was on the other end, "Timerider is a go." Looking up at the retreating forms of the Potters and Krulack, the president quietly said more to himself than anyone else "Good luck, Mr. Potter. I hope you succeed."
One week later, Harry was sitting in the center seat of his own command, the U.S.S. Saipan. The ship was a Makin class assault ship that normally carried a Federation Marine Expeditionary unit and was modular in design. This allowed the ship to be tailored to meet the needs of the mission. Yes, she was armed, but for this mission, the armament was minimal, more along the lines of an Oberth class science vessel. A pair of Type 1 Phasers dorsally and ventrally mounted in the front of the disk and lightweight Type 3 phasers in the other phaser mounts that were more for asteroid removal than anything else. The sensor and science packages were more along the lines of a cross between one of the Columbia class Scouts and a Galactic Class Survey Cruiser: heavy automation with a sensor suite that was so advanced that it was informally described as being able to hear a gnat fart from half a light year away, while analyzing what the gnat ate for breakfast a week earlier. Within the hull itself, she was loaded for a planetary rescue mission, not storming a contested planetary landing zone.
Looking around the Bridge, Harry marveled that this little endeavor had been laid on so fast. Counting his initial team of six, the thirty crewmembers were all volunteers who were well aware that this could be a one way trip. Harry took one last note of the bridge crew's locations before they started their attempt.
Krulack sat at the weapons station. He had reconfigured it to resemble a Klingon K'tinga Class Battlecruiser's weapons station and, honestly, Harry was glad that Krulack had decided to take charge of the ship's weaponry. The grumpy Klingon knew what he was doing and if the shit hit the fan, Krulack was the best choice to gut the opposition.
Over at the science station sat Stendec. The Vulcan may not have been a scientist, but he was an absolute master of warp space theoretical mathematics, and if anyone could accurately make the necessary calculations for performing a time warp jump, it was him.
Transporter Technician 3rd class Cassie Malfoy sat at the damage control station. The transporters were not necessary for the moment, so she had taken the post, freeing up more experienced volunteers for more critical tasks.
Down in Engineering, Stendec's wife Tara Vought was the Chief Engineer. The flame-haired bundle of energy was an acknowledged expert in space frame design and engineering and damn well made sure that the best people she had were in position for this trip.
Mr. Shackelford sat at the navigation station. He was an old man that had retired from the fleet as the Starfleet Chief of Navigation many years before and had volunteered for this mission as a way to make one last contribution to the Fleet before he died of inoperable cancer. When he had reported to Harry for duty, he'd said in a cheery tone but in no uncertain terms "I'm retired now, I'm not an admiral, you're in charge, and I won't hear of anything else, so don't try to pass off command stuff to me. I'm the ship's navigator and that's it, Captain." Harry had chuckled briefly at the old admiral's statement and let him know that while he had no intention of shirking his responsibilities, he would ask for advice when necessary and expected it to be given when asked.
Command Master Chief Yeary was pulling double duty as the ship's leading enlisted man as well as its helmsman. The old chief had retired a few years earlier and had volunteered to go with Harry's mission when he was informed of it. When he had reported in, Harry had asked the Chief why he'd volunteered. The older man responded, "Well, I've got nothing left back on Earth but good memories and, well, to be honest, I wanted to see if you were still as good a volleyball player as you were when I first met you as a kid at Starfleet Medical."
Harry had busted up laughing at that and fully admitted that he still was pants at the game, but that didn't stop him from joining in on games when he could.
Lt. Raja Indainda sat at the Communications station. Harry had never met the small Indonesian man, but when he had volunteered, he carried several letters of recommendation from communications command and Harry honestly knew that he could use someone there more for signals interception and analysis than any actual communications with 20th century Earth.
Hui was standing behind him; he glanced up at her and smiled, reaching out to touch her hand. When they began their attempt at time warp by using the Enterprise's slingshot maneuver around Sol, she was going to be over at the environmental station.
The day after their meeting with the Federation president, Hui had gone in for a medical scan because she'd been feeling…off. At that appointment, she'd learned that she was nine weeks pregnant. Despite the loads of work and hours that went into preparing for this mission, she and Harry did find a short window of time to celebrate at Mickeys, where their friends teased Harry mercilessly for fainting upon hearing the news.
Harry could think of no one better to be handling the Sickbay. Besides, there was no way in hell he was going to do this without her. If this ended up as a one way trip, his son was going to have a daddy.
"All Stations, report," commanded Harry with authority. He listened to the reports and nodded in acceptance. Pushing a button on the armrest of his command chair, Harry spoke.
"All hands, this is the captain speaking. We're about to do something that, honestly, could either destroy the Federation as we know it or save it from a fate too distasteful to contemplate. All of you volunteered for this, so if you want out, now's your last chance.
"We're going to be dealing with a society that, in some respects, was as advanced as our own, but which could also be violently xenophobic. Keep your eyes and ears open, and do your best to stay out of trouble with the locals. That is all."
Looking at the Main Viewer on the bulkhead in front of him, Harry drank in the image of the 23rd century Earth one last time. After blinking a few times to get back into the game, so to speak, he called out, "Mr. Stendec, is the Program ready for insertion?"
"Aye Captain, the Program is ready for insertion. Our target date is the first of June, 1996 on the Earth calendar. Be advised that because the Makin Class Spaceframe has never been used for this type of maneuver, there are several variables that I cannot be certain of. We will arrive in 1996, but I am not certain of the exact date... It should be close to the June first."
Harry nodded in understanding and said "Thank you for your candor Mr. Stendec. Please insert the Program"
The Program, as it was generically called, was a specialized set of instructions that modified the navigational instruction and warp drive settings for a starship so it could safely go into a time warp using a star's gravitational field. Based on computations that had first been developed by then-Commander Spock of the USS Enterprise, they were highly complex calculations and had hundreds of variables that could affect the time and location of the ship's exit from the time warp field. Some of those variables could cause the ship to fly into the star, resulting in its destruction, if they were not precisely correct. Copies of the Program were carried in every ship's database, but accessing them required multiple forms of security identification and, should a ship's database be captured, using the Program without destroying your ship required an expert navigator to follow the highly accurate and complex course that was generated as well as someone that could handle the high level spatial and theoretical mathematics used to factor in the variables in the equations.
"Captain, " Mr. Shackleford reported, "the Program has been injected and has calculated the course and speed. It's tricky, but nothing too outrageous. We'll get through just fine."
"Thank you, Mr. Shackleford. Chief Yeary, as soon as we receive clearance, take us out and bring us to the start point for our run, one quarter impulse."
"Aye aye, Sir."
"Captain, we have received clearance to depart from space dock," called Lt. Indainda from the comms station "Also, the Excelsior is waiting at the start point. Captain Sulu's compliments sir, and he sends, 'Good luck and Godspeed, Saipan.'"
"Thank you, Mr. Indainda, Send our compliments as well, and append 'Good fortune and clear skies for your mapping in the Beta quadrant, Excelsior,'" said Harry. Turning his attention to the Navigation/Helm Stations, in a clear voice, Harry ordered, "Chief, take us out."
It only took a few minutes to reach the position out near the asteroid belt that was the designated starting point for the run that would catapult them into the past.
Looking at the viewscreen, the bridge crew could see the Excelsior sitting out about 500K from their position.
"Gawd, she's a big one," Cassie Malfoy said, more to herself than anyone in particular.
"Aye that she is, Miss. She's a good omen; the best of the Federation watching over our flight from the nest," said Chief Yeary from the Helm.
Harry smiled at the comment and pressed a button on his armrest. "Engineering, are we ready?"
"We're Green 'cross the board, Cap'n," replied LtCdr. Vought. "Go for broke."
Harry just shook his head at the small woman's voice. He could just imagine her vibrating with excitement at the prospect of this little trip.
"Acknowledged, Engineering. Hold on tight this could be a bit bumpy." Harry removed his finger from the comms button. "Chief, Mr. Shackelford, it's time. You know, Starfleet expects a certain degree of refinement from its officers," he observed lightly. "I feel it is our duty to disappoint them. Warp speed, and don't spare the horses."
With that, the U.S.S. Saipan shot off to her destiny, leaving a hail of Cherenkov radiation to mark her departure in her wake.