"You can't be serious about me riding in that thing!" Jim whined as he sat on the edge of the bed, staring at the wheelchair that a nurse had brought. "I want to WALK out of here, Bones."
From the corner of the room, Leonard rolled his eyes, "You're not steady enough on your feet yet and you know it," he snapped. "Besides, it's hospital policy...Now shut up and let the nurse finish dressing you...I don't want you catching a chill the moment you're outside."
Jim glowered at Leonard, yet was silent as the nurse finished buttoning his borrowed shirt and then put a large trenchcoat-like jacket on him. Between the scrub pants, the oversized shirt, and the trenchcoat, all of which had been lent to him by Bones, Jim felt like a small pea in a big pod.
"Bones, I appreciate you putting me up at your house, but-" Jim said, wincing as the nurse shoved his feet into a pair of slipper-like shoes.
Leonard sighed, he knew Jim would have some reluctance about seeing Arianne again, as he had never even said goodbye to her two years ago before running away. However, Leonard had also confided in his wife about the situation and she was fine with having Jim there for a few days.
"All right, Captain, you're dressed," the nurse commented, not noticing the uncomfortable look on Jim's face when she called him 'Captain', "Are you ready to get into the wheelchair?"
Fighting the sudden nausea that he felt from being referred to as 'Captain', Jim nodded and was silent as the nurse helped him off the bed and into the wheelchair. He watched as the nurse moved the dripboxes from the stationary pole and connected them to the hook above the chair.
"Are my boys okay?" Jim asked, trying to hide the fact that he was nervous about being alone at the McCoy household while Lorian and George stayed with Admiral Pike and Kathryn.
The nurse remained silent and instead placed a blanket over Jim's legs, "Both Lorian and George are doing fine, I commed Admiral Pike this morning while you were still asleep," Leonard replied, giving the nurse a look. "I've got all your stuff in the back of my car...ready to get out of here?"
Jim nodded and was silent as he was wheeled from the room, down the long hallway, and out a back door of the medical building over to where a rustic-looking station wagon was parked.
The sky was gray, yet it was very warm, something that Jim took comfort in.
Any smart-alecky comments he would have made about the car died on Jim's lips, as he was deathly afraid that the fact that he ran from his crew without looking back would be brought up.
Wondering why on earth Jim hadn't referred to his car as a bucket of bolts, Leonard opened the front passenger door and watched with shock as Jim pulled himself out of the wheelchair and got in without so much as a glance in his direction. He looked almost like a wounded puppy.
Not wanting to comment on the tension she could see between the doctor and his patient, the nurse simply placed the drip boxes on Jim's lap and moved away with the wheelchair.
After ensuring that Jim's legs were in the car, Leonard shut the door and, moving around the car, he pulled his keys out and got behind the wheel. The continued silence was unnnerving.
"Jim, are you mad at me or somethin?" Leonard asked, noticing the expressionless stare that Jim had on his face. "You haven't talked much in the last couple of days..."
Letting out a sigh, Jim continued staring straight ahead, "I'm fine, Bones, just tired," he stated in a toneless voice as he slouched in his seat and closed his eyes. "I'm gonna rest my eyes."
Knowing full well that Jim was far from fine, Leonard inserted the key in the ignition and revved the engine for a moment. He then backed out of his parking spot and drove off down the street.
Knowing that they didn't have much time before the dampening field failed and the security alarm went off, Tuvok and Seven crept into the darkened shuttlebay and boarded the nearest runabout.
From what they had been able to determine from the weapon residue, B'Elanna's captors were Romulans from the past who had somehow acquired Borg technology and were using it to carry out their current mission, which was yet to be determined based on the limited data.
Seven and Tuvok were now going to implement a tracking signal into the Romulan ship and then hijack the shuttle to try and rescue B'Elanna.
Tom had been released from the civilian hospital and was now at his apartment with Chakotay, Ensign Wildman, Naomi, and Miral awaiting orders.
To keep up appearances, Harry was doing his subservient duty as a guest lecturer at the Academy, which was bestowed upon him by Starfleet Command to keep him occupied.
Seven activated the small device that she carried in her hand, causing The Doctor to materialize out of thin air. She then moved over to a Communications console and activated it.
Tuvok immediately moved over to an Ops console and began inputting commands based on the residue data that would implement a silent tracking signal into the enemy vessel.
"Torres Flyer to Home Base," Seven stated. "We have infiltrated the shuttlecraft."
There was some static, "...Preparing for transport," Chakotay's voice sounded.
Seven nodded and, moving over to a console, she inputted some commands, "Locking on your signals," she stated. "Energizing..."
Within seconds, five people had materialized in the runabout, "Mr. Paris, I want to check you over before I authorize you to fly this contraption," The Doctor stated. "Ensign Wildman, if you will escort him over to the Helm seat, I will conduct a timely examination..."
Clutching Miral to her shoulder, Naomi moved back and watched as her mother helped Tom over to the Helm station and sit him down, "Now, just hold still Mr. Paris," she could hear The Doctor say as he scanned his patient with a tricorder.
Chakotay moved over to the command chair, "Tuvok, do you have that tracking device implemented yet?" he asked, taking a seat. "I don't know how much longer that dampening field will block our presence..."
Tuvok nodded, "I am uploading the co-ordinates to the Helm station now," he replied. "Will Mr. Paris be in sufficient condition to get us there as quickly as humanly possible?"
"As long as he takes it easy," The Doctor commented, putting his medical tricorder away.
Tom nodded and began powering up the engines, "I'll do my best to catch us up to that enemy vessel," he stated tonelessly.
Suddenly, alarms blared, "Intruder alert," a computerized voice stated. "Unauthorized access."
"Commander, there's some trouble headed your way," the anxious voice of Harry Kim suddenly sounded out over the Communications relay. "Security's coming to apprehend you all..."
Suddenly, there was phaser fire and the comm went to static, "Seven, see if you can get a lock on Ensign Kim's biosigns and beam him aboard. "Are all systems at peak efficiency?"
There were murmurs that all systems were a go, "Mr. Paris, take us out at impulse power until we clear Earth's atmosphere and then set a course to intercept that enemy vessel," Chakotay ordered, leaning back in his command chair. "Engage."
As Tom fired up the controls, the door closed and the runabout rose into the air.
"I have locked on to Ensign Kim's signal and am beaming him aboard," Seven stated, as she worked busily at a console near where Naomi was sitting, holding Miral on her lap.
More alarms blared as Harry materialized on the runabout. He moved to an empty console.
"Sensors are detecting Security vessels are powering up," Harry stated, figuring that they would not only be caught, but court-martialed for their conspiratous acts.
Ignoring the aching in his head, Tom accelerated. He was determined to outfly the other ships.
Even a court-martial would be worth enduring if B'Elanna could be saved.
Swallowing hard, Arianne reread the message that Spock had sent her from his hiding place.
I have been in contact with Spock Prime. He too senses that something is amiss, as the mind attack you suffered while our minds were linked is not a normal occurrence. I advise you not to speak of this to anyone until after I have contacted you again. In the meantime, I will be gathering information and will inform you of any developments that should arise. I recommend that you resume daily activity and trust that things will be made right in time, - Spock.
Arianne put her laptop into Hibernation mode and sighed.
After waking up on the damp grass near dawn on Saturday morning, she had retreated back to her home and spent time with Porthos, wondering why her mind and Spock's were invaded.
Since then, Arianne had not strayed too far from home, only leaving to bring two of her three children home, as Zachary wanted to spend the weekend with her father, Kathryn, and Michael.
A shout suddenly brought Arianne out of her thoughts and forced her to focus on the present.
Realizing that Leonard must have arrived home with the weary Jim, Arianne rose and quickly leaving her small office, she came down the stairs iust in time to see Kathryn open the door.
"Uncle Jim's puking in the bushes, Mommy," Charlie commented as he peered out the door and watched his stepfather help the wearied Captain stand and move away from the bushes.
Arianne walked over and gently pulled Charlie away from the door, "Why don't you and Kathryn go and see if Porthos wants some company in the playroom?" she suggested in a gentle tone.
Charlie was silent for a moment and then nodded, "Come on, Katie," he said, grabbing his sister's arm and dragging her out of the living room. "I bet we can get Porthos to do some tricks..."
Letting out a sigh, Arianne moved away from the door, "Watch your footing, Jim," she heard her husband say in an unusually gentle tone. "...I'll get you some water once we're inside..."
Suddenly feeling nervous about how Jim would react to seeing her, Arianne quietly moved into the kitchen and over to the countertop replicator, "A tall glass of diet gingerale, chilled." she said.
As the glass of diet gingerale materialized with a straw in it, Arianne picked it up and, turning, she moved to the doorway and lingered there, watching as Leonard helped Jim walk into the house and sit on the couch. To her, Jim looked just as young as always, yet there was pain in his face.
Jim murmured a quiet thank you to Leonard and looked up, freezing as he saw Arianne standing in the doorway with a glass full of fizzed drink in her hand. They stared at eachother in silence.
"I'm sorry I didn't say goodbye," Jim whispered, lowering his gaze.
Arianne silently made her way over to the couch and sat down next to Jim, "We'll talk about that when you're feeling better," she stated gently. "For now, I want you to drink all of this."
Unable to resist the compassion in her voice, Jim nodded and allowed Arianne to put the straw in his mouth. He managed to drink all of the diet gingerale, feeling better with every sip he took.
"Sleep," Jim murmured, his vision beginning to blur from exhaustion.
Nodding, Arianne rose from the couch and helped Jim to lie down, "I have some work to do, but Leonard will be here," she explained, draping a blanket from the back of the couch over him.
Jim mumbled incoherently and relaxed, as if trying to say that he felt safe.
Arianne smiled down at him and moved over to the open door, "I have some work to catch up on in my office," she stated, hoping that Leonard wouldn't see through her deception. "I promise I won't be gone too long...If something comes up, I assume you can handle everything."
Feeling unnerved about needing to locate Spock, as she just had an instinct that New Vulcan might end up in danger, Arianne quickly left the house, closing the door behind her.
Unnerved by his wife's unusual behavior, Leonard took one look at the sleeping Jim on the couch and with a tenative sigh, he moved off towards the playroom to check on the kids that were actually home.
On board the Veritas Nero, Jeris lounged in his command chair, contemplating all the blood, horror, and suffering that would come to pass on New Vulcan in the name of Nero.
The only thing that brought him discontent was having to pool resources with the Klingons, as they had the brute strength needed to take New Vulcan by force. His commanding officer was a bloodthirsty Klingon who wanted nothing more than to see the death of James T. Kirk.
Even though his main objective was to avenge Nero by eliminating Spock, Jeris had sweet-talked the Klingon into assisting on the mission, promising Kirk's head on a platter for his help.
Now, as they headed towards a point in space where a passage back though time could be created by using modified Borg technology, all was quiet on the Bridge...or was it?
"Captain Jeris, our long range sensors are picking up a runabout moving to intercept us," the Helmsman, a rugged Klingon with one eye suddenly reported. "They've powered weapons."
Jeris hissed and bolted from his seat, "Put it on the viewscreen," he ordered angrily.
Within seconds, the small runabout appeared on the screen, "Can you get a view of the inside?" he asked, sending a glance of fury in his first officer's direction at their unwelcome guests.
"No, sir, our sensors can only detect eight lifesigns aboard," one of the other officers stated.
Suddenly realizing that B'Elanna's friends from Voyager were making a futile attempt to retrieve her, Jeris grinned maliciously, "Tractor them," he ordered, moving back to his chair. "Once they're tractored, prepare to create the space-time singularity...We'll take them with us back in time."
There were murmurs as the crew worked to carry out their Captain's orders.
From his chair, Jeris smiled. While New Vulcan was conquered, this uninvited shuttle would waste away in the past, far from rescue and far from any position that could be of any useful help.
Meanwhile, on the Torres Flyer, Tom swore and slapped the Helm station, "We're being tractored," he hissed, anxiety in his voice. "I'm going to Impulse power..."
"Sensors are detecting a war class vessel dragging us in a tractor beam," Seven reported, casting a glance back at Naomi, who was trying to quiet the suddenly crying Miral.
Harry exchanged a glance with Ensign Wildman, "Chakotay, I'm getting readings of some high energy weapon being fired into some unoccupied space just ahead of our current position," he reported. "I'm detecting the use of Borg technology...and something else."
Suddenly, the shuttle began to shake, "We're being pulled into some sort of hole!," Tom shouted, as the Helm controls completely died. "Our engines have failed!"
Chakotay gripped the handles of his command chair, "Shut down all systems except for life support!" he shouted amidst Miral's screams. "Grab on to something and hold tight!"
As they were pulled along by the larger vessel's tractor beam, the overheated Helm console suddenly sparked and exploded, sending Tom flying backwards to the floor in a heap.
Before The Doctor could respond, however, his mobile emitter fritzed and he vanished, sending the medical tricorder that was in his hand to the floor.
"We're accelerating at an uncontrollable speed, Commander," Tuvok stated, as he didn't need any sensors to know that the runabout was at a speed that was less than tolerable for any of them.
Fighting to keep her balance, Ensign Wildman grabbed the medical tricorder off the floor and staggered over to where Tom lay unconscious, "Tom, can you hear me?" she asked, quickly scanning the wounded helmsman. "Chakotay, he's not responding...He's got some serious injuries...broken clavicle, second degree burns to the face and chest...fractured ribs...possible internal bleeding as well as head trauma..."
"Harry, help Ensign Wildman keep Tom alive," Chakotay ordered, swearing as the runabout continued to be pulled along. "The Doctor went offline when we were tractored..."
Harry nodded and, popping open a compartment, he grabbed the medkit, "Is there any chance that anyone will be able to find us?" he asked, moving over to where Tom lay.
Suddenly, the jerking stopped and as the runabout lurched forward at a slower pace, a shower of sparks flew out from the consoles, "Tuvok, can you detect our current position?" Chakotay asked in a snappish tone as he moved over to where Naomi sat, holding Miral close to her. "Naomi, are you or Miral injured at all?"
"Miral and I are fine, sir," Naomi replied, casting a worried glance over to where her mother and Ensign Kim were tending to the unconscious Tom. "I'm more worried about Lieutenant Paris at the moment...What if-"
Tuvok suddenly cleared his throat, "Commander Chakotay, our position is in the Alpha Quadrant just outside the Sol System," he reported, using the only remaining scanner to do a quick scan of their current location. "However, the stars indicate that we are in the year 2262..."
His eyes wide, Chakotay turned to look at Tuvok, "2262?" he gasped, hearing small gasps of shock from the others on the runabout that were still conscious. "That's impossible..."
From the Veritas Nero command chair, Jeris turned and saw that Carol was coming on to the Bridge, accompanied by B'Elanna, both of whom were wearing military uniforms.
"Jeris, what are we to do with that runabout that followed us?" B'Elanna snapped, her modified memory making her unaware that she was referring to her friends. "If we keep dragging it along to New Vulcan, it will drain our power supply and we won't be at full fighting capacity."
Jeris exchanged a look with his Klingon first officer, "Commander, take B'Elanna and help her to relax," he ordered in a sly tone. "She has worked hard and deserves a rest from her labors."
Grinning maliciously, the Klingon first officer moved over to B'Elanna and took her by the arm, "Come, B'Elanna," he crooned in a mocking tone. "I shall help you to relax..."
Grateful that her merciful Captain was going to allow her some rest from working, B'Elanna allowed whom she assumed was her mate to escort her from the Bridge for bonding time.
"Carol, I want you to co-ordinate a slingshot thrust that will send that annoying runabout and it's nosy inhabitants far beyond the reaches of being useful," Jeris whispered, pulling her close.
Carol nodded and, pulling away, she moved around to the various stations giving whispered orders to the crew in a harsh commandeering tone. Within seconds, she returned to Jeris's side.
"Slingshot thrust prepared, sir," one of the officers reported, keying in commands.
Jeris nodded, "Put it on the viewscreen," he ordered in a maliciously amused tone.
Almost immediately, the image of the small runabout being held by the tractor beam appeared on the viewscreen. Jeris watched as the shuttle was yanked back and quickly thrust forward.
As the shuttle flew out of sight, the viewscreen was switched off, "Set a course for New Vulcan," he ordered, rising from his seat. "Carol, come, we need to discuss our conquest strategy."
Jeris rose from the command chair and led Carol off towards the door, "When we are within transport distance of New Vulcan, I want to know," he ordered, leaving the Bridge.
Within the bowels of San Francisco, near the bay, Arianne looked around and was relieved that nobody had followed her. It had taken her hours to track Spock's signal via tricorder.
Not that she was a genius with tracking signatures, however, as she had been forced to comm Scotty and enlist his reluctant help. After they had used DNA to modifiy a tricorder to lock on to Spock's current location, Arianne had made Scotty come with her to find the Commander.
It was after dark, so, despite being trained in self-defense and phaser usage, Arianne had long ago learned her lesson about travelling alone after dark. Scotty served as mere protection.
"Commander McCoy, aye think we should go back tae where it's safe," Scotty stated nervously as they walked along a path that granted a beautiful night view of the Bay.
Ignoring Scotty's protests, Arianne held the tricorder out in front of her, "I don't understand, the signal is strongest here," she said in a frustrated tone. "Why isn't Spock here?"
"Perhaps because it would be unwise for me to linger in plain sight like you and Mr. Scott are currently doing," the stoic voice of Spock replied from the darkness.
Arianne and Scotty exchanged a look and both gasped as Spock emerged from the shadows and came to a stop in front of them, "Spock, I have this horrible feeling that some harm is going to come to New Vulcan in the near future," Arianne stated in a concerned tone.
Spock was silent and the dark made it impossible for Scotty or Arianne to read his facial expression, "Commander, I have the unsettling feeling that you are right," he replied in a soft tone. "Spock Prime telepathically warned me of major catastrophic events soon in coming..."
Suddenly, there was a small explosion from above, "Spock-" Arianne began, horrified when what looked like a damaged shuttlecraft of some kind fell towards the Earth at an alarming speed.
"Scoty, contact Starfleet Command NOW!" Arianne shouted, giving Scotty her communicator.
As Scotty turned to contact Command, the shuttle plunged into the water.
Almost immediately, loud Bay Security alarms blared and sensory headlights flashed, illuminating the shuttle and revealing extensive damage. Spock and Arianne exchanged a glance.
From what they could see, the shuttle was of Federation origin, but not of that current time.