[Author's Note: if you've already read through the first part of this fanfiction and have not reread the revised version of chapter six, please do so now before continuing as the revisions effect the mood and some details of this chapter. After this "Episode" concludes I'll be posting the rest of the story in separate stories, like you'd see on the TV.]
At 0600 hours the gathering of senior officers and Legionnaires had commenced in the briefing room. At the head of the table sat Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay, on the opposite end, sat Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad. The rest of the legion, and those Crew members who offered up their respective seats, Neelix, Seven, Harry and Tom, either stood or sat in smaller chairs around the table.
Time devoted to introductions was short given the Legion Janeway's report detailing the Legion members, but nonetheless, there was a curt and brief greeting between those who were not quite familiar with the newcomers. Overall, the tone between the two crews have improved in the realm of civil affairs, but trust had to be earned, of course.
"Let's begin, shall we?" Janeway said, folding her hands together in front. She reiterated their purpose, explaining the discussion she had with Brainiac 5 the night before. "In our discussion, while I admit I was exploiting a loop hole I believe we have come to a compromise."
Rokk, Cosmic Boy, listened carefully as Janeway explained, but it unnerved him that he was not fully informed of this verbal transaction. Still, he trusted Brainy's judgment as he did any other legionnaire. "Even so, we still haven't heard any details, Brainy. I don't think anyone wants to be flying blind on this one."
"Duly noted." Brainiac quipped, resigning to his task of explaining his thoughts on the matter. "I'll presume we all know about parallel universes. The universe we are inhabiting currently is itself only one of an infinite incalculable number of possible versions of this universe, each stacked against each other in a way that distance is meaningless and inapplicable. They are literally taking up the same space, at the same time, in different dimensions. " He paused a moment hoping to keep his audience for a moment longer. "The multiverse is an integrated nexus to which all realities intersect. In other words, one must reach the nexus and traverse it to reach home, and the odds of succeeding would be far greater at a familiar vantage point."
"And that would be Earth..." Timberwolf said, glossing over the techno-jabber and explanation to the meat of the argument.
The implications of Brainy's speech was completely unexpected to the Captain. When she hesitated in her answer, Tuvok spoke in her stead, his voice objective and level, "You are inferring that your intentions are now congruent to our own, and in doing so you are rejecting your previously stated principals of non-interference."
"Which is why the only way we can do this is with caution and careful planning." cautioned Cosmic Boy, mildly irate that Brainy didn't even report to him. It wasn't until Imra reached out to him telepathically that he relaxed.
"Which is why I have proposed that you only help us modify the technology that is available in this universe and at this time. We won't force you to take any risks that may lead to breaking your laws or principals." Janeway could read body language to tell what Cosmic Boy was feeling, and while it wasn't her he was upset with, she was attempting to put the boy at ease, it was all she could do. "There's little we can offer besides our full support and safe voyage. The ultimate decision is yours."
Tuvok rose his eyebrow, gazing into Neelix's direction, who's eyes widened in excitement. He knew the Talaxian's body language well, and he could only expect, once this meeting was over, that a few suggestions would be heard.
"We all know how strict the laws can be concerning time Travel are." Cosmic Boy announced gravely, with a heavy sigh. It almost appeared as if he was not going to budge on this issue. He instead, as if his own predispositions had been diverged. "But I think I can speak for all of us Legionnaires, I can't think of a good reason to say no."
Going on, Lightning Lad continued, "Especially if this whole 'polluting the time line' problem is an non-issue. It'd actually be going against our credo if we didn't do anything. Ya'know, fight for justice and help those in need?"
"Not to mention it lacks any sort of common sense." Bouncing Boy said from his seat.
The next step was voiced by the Chief Engineer, B'Ellanna Torres. "So, exactly are you planning to pull this off, and for that matter, how long do you think it will take to get up in running?"
"If you recall your efforts to implement a foreign Alien version of the slipstream warp technology, if that can be remodulated to adapt to your infrastructure, it could be completed in a few days. At worse, a few weeks. There's also the possibility of apprehending a transwarp technology from these... Borg." Brainiac 5 proposed.
Chakotay cleared his throat at preposition regarding the borg, exhaling as he gave his captain a sympathetic look. He was not touching that one, nor did she look as though she was prepared to explain to the risks when engaging the collective. "We'll take that idea into consideration, for now, let's start working with what we have. Have you made any headway in your research?"
"I have constructed 207 possible calculation variations and 14 simulations with the data you have collected in your first attempt as well with the technology available to me." The young genius said bluntly.
Seven added, "He was very thorough."
"Yes. It seems he was." Janeway gave a defeated chuckle. For what it was worth, this meeting has been lively. "Keep at it, both of you, and have those simulations sent to my ready room. B'Ellanna and I will be overseeing the work. As for the rest of you." She spoke gently, yet authoritatively. "You know well enough I'm sure, to stay out of trouble. We can't send you to the holodeck twenty-four/seven, nor would it be appropriate to have you be watched constantly."
Chakotay continued where she left off, "Which is why I'd like to propose that the Legion take on assignments around the ship, to keep busy. Believe me, it's better than the alternative."
The young Durlan smirked widely at that, "So a choice between being babysat, or doing the same kind of stuff we do anyway? Where do we sign up?"
The meeting came to a close with assignments doled out. If required, each legionnaire could be called upon for away missions if and when they arise depending on the need. Otherwise they volunteered for duties that would best utilize their abilities. Brainiac 5 of course had his own duties, along side Chuck who was assisting B'Ellanna Torres in engineering. the rest of them taking on various tasks on the ship. It wasn't a surprise that the rest of the boys were taking a security training detail under Tuvok's command.
At the conclusion of the meeting however, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl and Lighting Lad remained in the briefing room a moment discussing a small matter in private. Still, they were watched over by Chakotay who assured his captain that he could handle this, whatever it may be.
"You still don't trust them do you?" Lightning Lad said with disbelief. "After all that, they're willing to work with us, and it's not like we haven't broken the rules before, bringing Superman back."
Cosmic Boy sighed heavily, rolling his eyes, "Right. Make assumptions. That'll make things better, Garth."
"Then what is it, fearless leader? Give it a week, Brainy'll have us back in the Sol System, he makes us a transdimensional warp... uh.. Doodad and we trek it back to New Metropolis." Garth crossed his arms, feigning a confidence. "So what's the problem?"
"It's nothing, okay? It doesn't sit right with me, that's all. It's like this whole thing can end in disaster, and if it does, it'll be our fault. You understand that, don't you?" Cosmic Boy snapped back.
They where like brothers in a way, going at it as passionately as they were. Chakotay could tell they had been through a lot together. He cleared his throat.
I really hope he didn't hear all of that. Saturn Girl thought. Her expression softened at the sight of Chakotay, but her tone was still reflecting her annoyance. "Can we help you, sir?"
"Actually I was hoping I could help." His question directed mostly towards Cosmic Boy, but of course, any kind of patronizing could make them both reluctant to answer him. "You're worried about how this will turn out?"
"Sorry, but yes." Cos' said, irate and indignant. "No offense."
Chakotay let that slide. He suspected that Cosmic Boy, as the leader, had a problem dealing with an authority higher than his own. The young man wouldn't admit it, but if that was the case, at one time, Chakotay could have related . "I can understand your caution, there's a lot at stake here. You're trapped in another dimension, in another time, much like we're lost in a unexplored region of space, your apprehension, fear or anger. All healthy emotions, and the best thing you can do is manage them productively."
"He's right Rokk. They've given us no reason no reason not to trust them." Saturn Girl agreed.
"I know. Look, guys. It's okay. Let's just get back to work. It's no big deal." A bit of a backtrack here, but then it was a big more easy for Cos' to dwell on his feelings when it was only his friends, and not an intervention, so to speak.
"Alright, alright. Look, Cos, see ya in the second shift, alright?" Lightning Lad replied, equally sick of this peptalk routine. "If we're lucky we might get to see some of those secret Holoprograms that Tom was telling us about."
"Oh, boy." Saturn Girl sighed as she followed Lightning Lad towards the door. "I don't want to know."
That left only the, in a matter of speaking, usurped leaders alone in the room. Cos began for the door himself, his brows furrowed in irritation and embarrassment for Garth, but he nodded in respect to Chakotay.
"Your concerns are not misplaced. It's the mark of a true leader. Just remember." Chakogay began, moving to walk along side the boy. "Digression is the better part of valor."
A long pause as Cos sorted that through. He was walking through the door before turning his head to the commander, "You waited that whole speech to say that, didn't you."
A wry chuckle. "You could say that." Chakotay followed the young hero out to lead him to his new post.
"Resuming course, Captain." Tom reported as he resumed his role as helmsman.
Janeway sat in her captains chair, hand to her chin as she leaned against her arm rest. "Very good Lieutenant. Have the repairs been made to the secondary systems?"
"Affirmative. I've just received the report from engineering. Also B'Ellanna wants to get started on those simulations later this afternoon." Harry reported. "You think this will actually work?"
"Don't give into doubt so quickly Harry." Tom remarked. "Ever notice that, of all the adventures we've had, all the people we've met and with all the opportunities we've had, this is the most ridiculous?" He turned to the others. "Now don't get me wrong. I'm convinced. This one has got to work."
A strained chuckle from the captain, but in all seriousness, Tom was right. The premise of their situation was, she could admit, absurd, and maybe it was just the Legion's own determination and spirit that was rubbing off on her, but she was starting to believe that this plan was the one to get them home.
A short few minutes later, Chakotay returned to the bridge, treading down to his own seat to join the Captain. "Tuvok's initiated a training session with our people and theirs in the gym. No powers. It will be interesting to see how that will turn out." He reported as he sat.
"It sounds intriguing." Janeway said, feigning disinterest, her smile betraying her as she relaxed in her seat. "I'm guessing, you worked out the problems with those three?"
"We made progress, if that's what you mean. Speaking of which, Mr. Ranzz mentioned something about the holodeck. How did that turn out, Tom?"
Tom smirked a bit, "It went alright until Captain Proton was once again facing up against Chaotica."
"Oh Tom." Janeway almost laughed. "What happened?"
"They defeated him in ten minutes." Harry replied.
"Really all it took was a sneak attack, the robot was taken out by Lightning Lad, Cham turned into a dinosaur and had a little fun chasing Chaotica and his minions into the badlands." Tom explained. "I'm almost disappointed."