"Well, now we wait," Sisko told Dax as they again made themselves comfortable underground. All their Starfleet paraphernalia had been returned to them and was now laid out on the table. "Let's see here." Sisko began to take an inventory. "Four badges. Two non-functioning tricorders. Two phasers still in locked position, thank goodness."
"That's it." Dax took her badge and placed it on her tunic. She was glad to be out of the itchy army fatigues.
It was much later in the day when Klink finally had a chance to talk with the senior POW officer. He had tried several times before, but both Hogan and Olsen were asleep. He returned to the infirmary and was pleased to see that the two men were up and had apparently been for a walk around the building. "Colonel Hogan."
"Hello. Kommandant. Glad you could join us," Hogan replied.
Klink ignored the sarcasm. "First, I have some news. The two new prisoners that came in last week."
"Yes." Hogan looked up with a disinterested expression.
"They're being transferred to Stalag five, immediately," Klink said.
"That's not fair, Sir," Hogan piped up. "One of them was a medic. Wilson will be pissed."
"There's nothing I can do about that. Oh, and there is something else."
"Apparently, Major Hochstetter and some of his men heard about some rumors going around Hammelburg. Some civilians were boasting about attacking two POWs."
"Really?" Hogan showed some interest.
"Yes, they don't know who, but word has it they left two prisoners for dead and then fled the scene, for no apparent reason."
"The Gestapo probably would have given them a medal."
"Well, it's true."
"Maybe." Klink stood up. "You are both in the cooler when you're better. 30 days."
"Oh, come on Colonel. Poor Olsen has never done anything. He's had a perfect record up to now."
"That's true, Sir," Olsen joined in.
"I'll think about it." Klink stomped away.
"If anything goes wrong with the ambush, hit your badges and we'll beam you out." Sisko was having a last minute pep talk with O'Brien and Bashir. "Otherwise, as soon as you separate from the Underground, let us know." Sisko and Dax were ready to leave the tunnels. They refused assistance and assured everyone they would make it back to their headquarters with no problems. They left through the emergency tunnel, walked about ½ mile and then signaled the ship.
"Captain, it's good to hear from you." Kira was startled, but relieved.
"Beam up Dax and myself and we'll fill you in."
Bashir and O'Brien somewhat nervously hopped into the truck that had come for them from Stalag five. They sat quietly in the back, warily eyeing the soldier guarding them. Several miles into the ride, the Underground, as scheduled, successfully ambushed the truck. They thanked the members of the unit and then walked off in the opposite direction. When they were sure they were alone, the two contacted the ship and were beamed up.
Baker poked his head through the tunnel entrance and reported that the truck carrying Bashir and O'Brien was successfully ambushed. "So I guess we can assume the two of them made it back to wherever they came from."
LeBeau, who was busy making some broth for his two injured comrades, volunteered to update the Colonel and Olsen. "I need to take this over there, anyway."
"Go ahead," Kinch said.
The French chef, along with Newkirk, headed over and found Hogan, Olsen and Wilson discussing their memories of the strange events that had transpired over the last few days.
"Hey." Wilson greeted the two, who were relieved to see Hogan and Olsen sitting up.
"I brought you both some homemade broth." LeBeau encouraged the two to eat. Wilson watched approvingly as his charges finished their bowls.
"Thanks, LeBeau. Did everyone get out of here okay?" Hogan asked.
"As far as we know, Colonel, everythin' went accordin' to plan. I will miss the lieutenant though," Newkirk said wistfully. "It was nice, you 'ave to admit, 'avin' a woman around."
"She orchestrated a lot of the weird goings on around here," Wilson reminded Newkirk.
It was Wilson who finally got up the nerve to bring up the subject. Both he and Hogan were initially fearful of sounding nuts, but they both experienced similar hallucinations and that could not have been a coincidence. Sparkly lights and a quick out of body experience was the way Wilson described it.
"I thought I saw Dax disappear," Hogan finally admitted, "But that's impossible."
Wilson agreed and said it must've been a fever or a prelude to passing out.
"No." Suddenly Hogan recalled going through a similar experience as Wilson.
"Maybe there's something to it, if you both thought you saw the same thing," Olsen suggested.
"Yes, but by then, you were feverish and according to Bashir, quite sick, Colonel. Maybe it was an aftereffect of the medication." Wilson argued.
"You don't believe that, do you, Joe?" Hogan had seen one other thing and it scared him. His memories were now returning and he thought he was cracking up. No, they had to be an hallucination, otherwise he was nuts. "Maybe you're right. I was sick and you had knocked yourself out. So that explains what else I saw."
"What else did you see?" Wilson asked.
"Someone or something that didn't look…."
"Human." Wilson said.
Hogan, who was astonished at Wilson's completion of his sentence, stared at the medic.
"You're kidding!" Olsen almost jumped out of bed. "Oh, sorry, Sir."
"It's all right. You know, I think it's best if we keep this between ourselves. That's an order," Hogan whispered, just to make it official.
"Yes, Sir." Wilson had no problem with that.
"Captain, I could manage to send a signal to Kinch's radio. Let them know we're safe." O'Brien didn't want the prisoners left wondering if they all made it back.
Sisko turned the suggestion down. "I think they've had enough of us. Now, we need to figure out how to get back home."
"Worf and I have had a lot of time to work on the problem." Kira showed Sisko a data pad. He took a quick look and handed it to Dax.
"You and O'Brien see if this is feasible." The captain then excused himself to update his log. As much as he wanted to return to their century, he knew what would be in store for them eventually. Another visit from temporal investigations.
"So how did you get back, Captain? I know it's in the report…"
"Well, if you know it's in the report, you should read it, rather than have me repeat myself." Sisko gave Dulmer an icy stare.
"Sorry, Captain. I deserved that. Yes, it's in the report. I glanced at that part. That stuff always goes to our engineering staff. We're more interested in…"
"History, paradoxes, timelines. I know."
"Must you always finish sentences, Captain?"
Sisko was anticipating a visit to sickbay after the meeting. Either that or Quark's bar. He needed something for his rapidly worsening headache.
Locksly handed Sisko a data pad. "You may be interested in this, Captain. Our research division spent a great deal of time looking for information about this operation and the people you tangled with. When we got your initial report we passed the names on to them. They're very thorough, you know."
"I'm aware of that." Sisko took a look at the pad, read it and raised his eyebrows. "Interesting. I'll pass this on to my crew."
Dulmer and Locksly glanced at each other, nodded and then stood up. "We have enough information for now, Captain. I assume if we need anything else…"
"We'll be here." Sisko purposely finished Dulmer's sentence. The agent ignored it.
"We will contact you. I'll send you our final report when it's ready."
"We know our way out."
The captain took a deep breath and watched them leave. He brought out the data pad at the next staff meeting. "Dulmer and Locksly had their history department conduct more research. As you know, their resources are more extensive."
"So, Captain. What did they find? Something about Colonel Hogan?" Jadzia, still thinking that there had to be a real good explanation for why they had to be there, asked enthusiastically.
"He's someone's ancestor. Someone really important?" O'Brien wondered.
"He was instrumental in winning the war." That was Bashir's idea.
"No, no and no." Sisko smiled. "The Colonel took an honorable discharge, became a commercial pilot, got married, had a family and that's as far as they got."
"It's Olsen?" Kira asked.
"It's Olsen. Look." Sisko pressed a button on the desk and everyone turned and stared at the screen hanging on the wall of the conference room. Sisko scrolled through the family tree. Some of it was incomplete, but there was enough information there, that by the time Sisko got to the time period closest to their own, the group in the conference room momentarily became speechless.
"Well I'll be…"
"Who would've thought?"
Sisko read out the information. "Brian Olsen. POW. Stalag 13. Direct ancestor of Captain Jonathan Archer."
"Archer?" Odo was trying to place the name.
"Captain of the first Earth warp vessel to go into deep space. The first Enterprise," Sisko continued reading. "Pre-Federation. Archer played an instrumental role in the beginning of the Federation. Many descendants of Archer continued to serve in Starfleet and the Federation."
"Look," O'Brien pointed. "There was one on Kirk's ship. (1) Now that would've been interesting if we had run across him."
"If Olsen had died…" Worf stated. "No Captain Archer. Possibly no Federation."
The ramifications of their interference finally hit the crew.
"Sometimes I think we are being set up," Kira mused. "You have to wonder why we keep wandering into these important events."
"She's got a point. You would think that even after hitting an anomaly, that the time frame would be something innocuous. Look at the odds." Odo added.
"The Temporal Investigations department told me that in most cases no further action is needed," Sisko explained. "But, for some reason they can't explain, certain people, on certain starships, just seem to be the lucky ones. But, just to make sure this doesn't happen again, people, there will be no more conferences, symposiums, or picking up of orbs. Is that understood?"
They all acknowledged Sisko's orders and then left the room.
"I don't suppose you ever want to use the Battle of Britain holodeck program again, Julian?" O'Brien asked the doctor as they walked away.
"I don't think, so, Miles. Do you think I should tell the Captain that I still have Colonel Hogan's dog tags?"
"Nah. I wouldn't," the engineer said.
"I have a better holodeck program. It just came in. 1960's Las Vegas."
"Hmm. Sounds interesting. I'll give it a go." The two friends headed off towards Quark's bar, played a game of darts, and put their short time in service of the Allied war effort finally out of their minds.
"Wilson!!!" Hogan yelled. The medic grudgingly walked over. As he had anticipated, now that he was feeling better, the Colonel was becoming unbearable.
"Where are my tags?"
(1) Indeed there was one of Olsen's descendents on Kirk's ship. Starfleet Lieutenant Junior Grade, Joe Tormolen. Seen in the episode: "The Naked Time."