Scenes taking place aboard Deep Space Nine after the events of the main story are italicized
Chapter 1: The Conference Jinx Strikes Again
"So, Captain, we meet again. This is beginning to be a nasty habit." Lucsly sat back in his chair in the DS9 conference room, which was located off the main operation center.
"Trust me. It's a habit I'd like to break," Sisko responded sarcastically. He was already agitated. This would be his third such meeting with temporal investigations, (1) and frankly, he found their agents to be humorless and a bit on the nasty side.
"Do you know you're catching up to Kirk?" Dulmar quipped. "Picard's almost up there as well."
"At least I'm in good company, gentlemen."
Dulmar ignored Sisko's comment. "You have two crewmen who used to be under Picard on the Enterprise? Lieutenant Worf and Chief O'Brien. I find that extremely interesting, don't you?"
"What your point?" Sisko asked.
"Coincidence, that's all. Picard has had a lot of time issues."
"Talk to him, then. I'll be happy to show you out." Sisko smiled.
Dulmar sighed. "Captain, really. Right. Let's get down to business." He turned on the recorder. "Start at the beginning."
"We were heading for a symposium."
"Another one?" Lucsly interrupted. "That's where you were heading the last time, when you ended up in 21st century San Francisco." (2)
"I know, I know. I'm cutting off the conferences for now. I think they're a jinx. We were on the Defiant, orbiting around Earth. The symposium was located in Europe."
"Who was on the ship?"
"Myself. Lieutenant Dax, Major Kira, Chief O'Brien., Dr. Bashir and Lieutenant Worf."
"Ever been to Germany, Jadzia?"
"Curzon was," Dax said. "It was beautiful. The Rhine. The castles."
"We should have some time to see some of the scenery," Sisko said as Bashir and O'Brien came over to the transporter pad. "You two beam down without us. I have something to take care of here. Dax and I will meet you."
Miles and Julian expected to materialize in a conference center, but instead found themselves in a wooded area.
Julian, momentarily confused, gazed at the landscape. "What the hell?" He looked over at Miles.
"Something must have gone wrong with the coordinates," the engineer said calmly. He took out his tricorder and began to search the area. Within seconds, he looked at Julian with alarm. "Tricorder's not working. Great. And we're not where we're supposed to be."
"You think?" Julian had settled himself comfortably next to a tree.
"O'Brien to Defiant." Miles tapped his badge and got no response. He tried again, and again there was nothing.
Julian stood up and tried his badge. "Nothing. That's odd. Now what?"
"Start walking," Miles said. "We're bound to run into someone or something." They picked a direction and started to walk.
"What was that?" Sisko, now alarmed, started at the screen.
Worf checked the screen. "Tachyon burst and something else I can't explain, Captain." (3)
"Sisko to O'Brien." He then tried to reach Bashir, and again got no response.
Kira was already on the con. "I can't reach the surface. There's no response."
"Same here." Jadzia was checking her readings. "Benjamin, there's something really wrong. Look."
It took no time for the commander to realize they were no longer in the 24th century. Earth was below, but the space above was empty. Sisko sighed. How can this happen again. "All right, when are we and where are O'Brien and Bashir?"
"So this time your ship traveled along with them?" Lucsly asked Sisko.
"Yes. Unlike the last time, we were pulled into the storm just as we hit the transporters."
"Yes, it is, isn't it? Shall I continue?"
Four men dressed in black carefully crept through the brush and climbed up an embankment. Working quickly, they strung wires along the road and then disappeared back into the woods.
"Carter, when you see my arm go down, hit it."
Hogan and Newkirk moved across the road and settled themselves in a ditch. They were a few yards ahead of Carter and LeBeau.
Soon the vibrations of the oncoming trucks could be felt in the road. Hogan checked the distance and brought his hand down. On cue, Carter hit the plunger.
"What the hell was that?" Both O'Brien and Basher had been flung off their feet by the explosion. Only yards from the road, they got up and brushed themselves off and then ran toward the carnage.
"Got it." Sisko's first officer, the Bajoran major, Kira Nerys, had been trying to determine a star date, while Dax was working on fixing the communications problem.
"Old Earth, year 1943, same date, April 23rd, but it's nighttime over that hemisphere, sir," Kira reported.
"Yes." Kira rechecked her coordinates. "That's where the conference was. I assume they must have materialized in the same spot."
"But in 1943?"
Sisko looked alarmed. Suddenly Kira recalled her rudimentary knowledge of pre-federation Earth history, "Oh, World War II."
"Dax, fix that com link," Sisko ordered.
Carter gave out a small whoop and then he and LeBeau met up with Hogan and Newkirk.
"Good job." Hogan was pleased. They had received a last minute urgent request from the Underground to stop the small convoy of trucks. Apparently, the trucks were carrying crucial replacement parts for nearby antiaircraft guns. "Let's head back to camp."
Miles and Julian scrambled up to the roadside and stared dumbstruck at the site. Julian reacted first, as he saw several injured men writhing in the road. He instinctively started to head for them, when Miles pulled him back.
"There's hurt men out there," Julian protested. "What are you doing?"
"The trucks." Miles pointed. "Look at them!"
Realization hit the doctor as the emblems on the trucks and the uniforms of the injured suddenly became familiar.
"Nazis," he whispered. "I can't believe it's happened again." Julian was thinking back to his last horrific trip to the past, which had plopped him, Dax, and his commander down in 21st century San Francisco.
"We're in trouble," Miles said. A Battle of Britain holodeck program was one thing, but being in the middle of a past war for real was not something he actually wanted to experience.
Julian tried to move away from his friend's grasp. "I don't care. They're hurt. I've got to help them."
"You're nuts. One look at us, we're dead."
"They're in no position to do anything Miles." Julian left and headed for the road.
Hogan and his men had started to gather their equipment when LeBeau heard a noise. He quickly turned and noticed two injured Germans, but nothing else. Then he heard it again. "Sir, there's people out there, I heard voices."
Hogan motioned for everyone to get down and then the four observed as first one, then another man, in strange uniforms, headed towards the wounded. The younger one took charge and started treating the soldier. Fortunately, Julian knew German and he spoke to the young man as he tried to assess his condition. Miles checked on the second soldier, but realized that the injuries were fatal and went back to Julian.
"We can't stay here," he whispered. "What if more of them come? What if whoever set this ambush shows up?"
Julian was frustrated. He had no equipment or anything he could use to help the soldier. He tore off bits of the boy's uniform and attempted to tie off the wound to stop the bleeding. Finally, realizing his friend was correct, he stood up and backed off. "Where are we going to go and where the hell are we and why?"
"Who are these blokes?" Newkirk asked.
"No clue, Newkirk. I think that one's a medic." Carter said.
Hogan had heard enough. "Let's find out. Come on."
He led his group over the embankment and, with guns drawn, approached the two men, who were taken by surprise. "Hands up," Hogan demanded. "You two British? What outfit you from?"
"We're with the Allies," Julian said.
"You set those charges," Miles stated.
"We can't stay here. Let's go." Hogan and his men prodded the two along. Not a word was said until the crew came to the tree stump. Upon seeing the searchlights, Miles finally asked where they were. "POW camp." Hogan replied. They finally arrived in the tunnel and came across Kinch and Olsen.
"Strays?" Olsen asked as he stared at the Starfleet uniforms. "Hey, what's with the get up?"
"Not sure." Hogan motioned for the men to sit down. Grabbing a towel he began to wipe off his face. "Names?"
"Bashir, Julian, Lieutenant."
"O'Brien, Miles, Chief."
"Okay, you." Hogan pointed to Bashir. "You went to help the Germans."
"I'm a doctor," Bashir said quietly.
"You two get shot down?" Hogan asked.
"No, well, yes." Miles replied. "We're lost. Been wandering for several days." Julian shot him a look. "In fact, I don't even know what the date is."
"April 23rd," Kinch said suspiciously.
"Where's the rest of your uniform?" Hogan was eyeballing the fabric. He hadn't seen anything like it on any of the recent fliers they had rescued. "And what are you wearing?"
"Experimental," Julian said.
"Just got it to wear under flight suits," Miles added. "It's protective. Keeps in the body heat."
"Uh huh. The rest of your flight suit is where?"
"Lost it. When we landed. We had to bury the chutes. Well, it's a long story."
"Hold that thought." Hogan moved away from the table and motioned for his men to follow. "Kinch, call London. See if you can verify their names and that story about the uniforms. This doesn't smell right."
"Where do you think we are?" Julian asked Miles.
"Under a POW camp. Quite an engineering feat." Miles was admiring the tunnels.
"We need to find out the year." Julian whispered.
"I can't ask the year. They're already suspicious. That'll just be the icing on the cake."
"That officer. He's American. So, I'd guess it's at least after 1941," Miles snapped.
"Brilliant deduction. Shhh. Here they come." Julian looked at Hogan. "I'm afraid you have us at a disadvantage, sir," Julian said politely. "Where are we and who are you?"
"Colonel Hogan. This is Corporal Newkirk. This is Luft Stalag 13. You're in a tunnel complex running underneath the camp. You already know we commit sabotage. We also rescue flyers and escaped prisoners."
"That's quite an operation," Miles said admirably.
"Uh huh. Now, what outfit did you say you were in again?"
"Can't say. Classified. Sorry, sir. Experimental." O'Brien pointed to his uniform.
Kinch returned. "London said they'll check and get back to us."
Hogan looked at the two Starfleet officers suspiciously. Someone from the barracks poked their head through the ladder. "Roll call in 15 minutes."
"Bad timing," Hogan muttered. "You two stay here. Newkirk, get some cuffs. Until I get verification, I can't take any chances on you two going anywhere."
Newkirk cuffed the two officers to the chairs. "Hang tight, gent," he said amiably. "We'll be back."
"Well, this is great, just great." Miles struggled to get free.
"Better than being out there. At least we're with the good guys."
"Always trying to look on the bright side, aren't you. Julian? I'm in the middle of Germany in World War 2. I'm a little nervous."
"Well, eventually the camp will get liberated."
"Honestly, they don't trust us." Miles pulled at the cuffs again. "They're going to find out we're lying and then what? Shoot us as spies."
"You ever heard of this colonel?"
Miles thought. "No, doesn't ring a bell. I don't think he was in the holodeck program."
"What about Stalag 13?"
"How can they run this operation without getting caught?" Julian asked.
"No clue," Miles said impatiently.
"What if they did get caught?"
"What?" Sisko moved over to Dax's station.
"No link yet, but I found the coordinates. Assuming they materialized in the same spot, they're a few kilometers outside the town of Hamelburg." Dax pulled a map off the computer. "The nearest big city is Düsseldorf. 1943 was before D-Day. So, right now there are no major battles to worry about, just air strikes."
"That's good." Sisko said "They may be heading for the town."
"Well, Julian can speak German, but they are in their Starfleet uniforms," she reminded him. "There's also a German POW camp in the area called Luft Stalag 13."
"Look that up, Dax. I haven't heard of that one. I hope to God they stay away from there."
"Were they bad?" Kira asked.
"Bad enough," Sisko replied. "Not like the concentration camps, but some were… Wait. Go back. 'Liberated April 17th, 1945'. No, go back further. 'Site of clandestine operation'…."
(1) Temporal investigators Lucsly and Dulmar first made an appearance in the episode "Trials and Tribble-ations." Season 5, Episode 6. One of the best Star Trek episodes-ever!
(2) Another time –travel adventure, but with a more serious message "Past Tense" part 1 and 2. Season 3, episode 11 and 12. And yes, the crew was headed for a symposium in San Francisco.
(3) I can't explain it either. So just assume that something caused the ship to hurl back in time and leave it at that. I won't be able to come up with the appropriate techno-babble.