A Matter of Time
A Star Trek: TOG and Sentinel crossover
Started in July 2003
Finished May 28, 2008
OK, this started to come to me almost immediately after reading "On the Edge of Forever" by DawnC, found at sentangst tripod com/fiction/forever html (put periods in for the spaces), way back in 2003 when I first got into fanfic. Unfortunately it's taken me almost 5 years to finish it.
I'm a huge fan of Star Trek and the original series is still my favorite, probably because of the personal relationships between Kirk, Spock and McCoy. Don't get me wrong, I love the entire ST universe, but the original series holds a special place in my heart. So because I love ST:TOG and TS and thoroughly enjoyed "On the Edge of Forever" this story came to be. Thanks to Dawn for letting me reference her story.
Warnings: Blair's a cop, but it doesn't impact the story too much.
Spoilers: None for TS that I can think of. Several references for Star Trek. I've borrowed specific people and technology from all over the ST universe. Specifically, Edith Keeler from "The City on the Edge of Forever," Agent Daniels from Enterprise, and technology from ST IV: The Voyage Home.
I'd like to dedicate this to my cousin, Raymond who put up a brave fight against cancer over the last few years. He's at peace now and will be missed.
Disclaimer: Star Trek - they all belong to Gene Rodenberry and Paramount and probably some other lucky people.
The Sentinel - they all belong someone else too.
Who do I get to keep?
"I am so ready for this," Detective Blair Sandburg said, pulling a head of lettuce and two tomatoes out of the refrigerator. "A whole weekend at home, no work, no trying to get away, just a quiet two days at home, doing nothing."
Detective Jim Ellison grinned over his shoulder at his partner from the other end of the kitchen where he was busy putting the finishing touches on their steaks.
It had been a very long week and they decided to start the weekend off with a homemade Friday night dinner and a movie. All too often their attempts to escape their responsibilities by leaving Cascade had ended up with them right in the middle of trouble. They hoped to thwart the gods by staying at home with the door locked and the phone turned off.
"I know what you mean, Chief. I can't remember the last time we had…" Jim trailed off, his head tilting to one side as he listened to something. "What the?" he exclaimed, moving quickly to the coat rack where he'd hung his gun holster. He checked the safety and motioned Blair to get out of the kitchen.
"What is it, Jim?" Blair asked quietly, grabbing a long knife from a drawer. His gun was in his room.
Jim shook his head and concentrated on the sound coming from the bathroom. The initial noise had been familiar but he couldn't place it. Now he heard voices, familiar voices. Voices that he never thought he'd hear again.
"You had them beam us into the shower? What if someone had been in here?"
"I scanned for lifeforms, Doctor. There was no danger."
"But the shower?"
"As you recall, Detective Ellison is somewhat impulsive when it comes to protecting his partner. Logically, beaming into an open area in front of them could only be considered suicidal."
"You couldn't have beamed us down outside the front door?"
"The risk of being seen…"
"You could've scanned the area before hand."
"Well, truthfully Doctor, I wanted to give you something else to complain about other than just having your molecules scrambled."
"What? You green-blooded…" McCoy spluttered.
"Gentlemen! Perhaps we should let Mr. Ellison know he has guests?" Kirk interrupted.
Jim had put his gun away after identifying the voices and made his way to the bathroom as the three talked. He opened the door with one hand, waving at Blair to put the knife down with his other.
"Too, late, Kirk, you weren't exactly being quiet, you know," Jim said with a grin. The three Starfleet officers exited the bathroom looking a little sheepish.
Sandburg gaped as they came into view. "Captain Kirk? Dr. McCoy? Mr. Spock? What are you doing here?" He smiled, surprised but happy to see them again, then frowned as he realized they were much older than the last time they'd met.
Only three years had passed since he had been kidnapped by the Romulans in an attempt to change Earth's history and destroy the future timeline containing the Federation, but for the Starfleet officers who had helped rescue Blair it appeared several decades had passed.
"Sorry to drop in unannounced," McCoy said with a smile. "How are you doing, Blair?"
"Ah, great. Just fine. Never had a problem with my, uh, recovery from the…" Blair hesitated, he still remembered the pain caused by the agonizer the Romulan had used on him.
Jim closed the space between himself and his Guide and placed a comforting hand on Blair's shoulder. "Yeah, he did fine. No lasting side affects. And those pills helped get him through the worst of it."
"Good, good," Bones replied taking in the healthy appearance of both men then looking around at their home.
"It appears we have interrupted your meal," Spock said, eyeing the steaks with distaste.
"Oh," Sandburg said, "have you eaten? I could thaw out some lasagna, sorry we only have the two steaks, hadn't planned on company." He went over to the refrigerator and pulled a container out of the freezer. "It's not the food cubes you're used to, and it's vegetarian, hope that's okay."
"Actually," Kirk replied with a wry grin, "Spock is a vegetarian. And we gave up on the idea of the food cubes shortly after you left us. Whatever you have would be fine. We didn't plan to catch you at a bad time, but there really isn't a good time when you consider why we came."
Jim motioned for them to take a seat in the living area. "Why exactly have you come? We never expected to see you again." The Sentinel glanced at his roommate. "Except for a few nightmares, it was almost possible to believe that whole experience was a dream."
"I understand," Kirk said, "believe me when I say we wouldn't be here if we had a choice, but something has come up and we need your help."
"Our help?" Blair asked coming around to perch on the arm of Jim's chair.
"Yes," Spock said. "We believe an agent of a race from the future will assassinate an important Earth politician within the next few days. The politician has not yet begun that portion of his career, but to kill him now would drastically change key events in the timeline. He lives here in Cascade and since you two are already aware of the future, even though only in a limited fashion, it was hoped that you could help us find and protect this man without any more contamination to the past."
Kirk leaned forward resting his elbows on his knees. "You have to understand, there is… there will be an entire division of Starfleet assigned to protecting the timeline. In the future, beyond our future," he said with a wave of his hand, "there are races that have access to technology that allows them to travel freely through time." The Captain stood and started to pace. "Starfleet and the Federation, in the future, have set up this special Temporal division that keeps a close eye on our timeline. I don't have all the details, they won't tell us how they can detect a problem, but somehow they can." He turned his hazel eyes on the Sentinel and Guide. "Because of our history together," Kirk grinned at the irony, "they are allowing us to contact you and get your help to prevent the assassination, if you're willing."
Jim rubbed the bridge of his nose as he spoke. "Well of course we want to help, but we need a little more information. Who is this politician? Did they tell you how he was killed or when or where? Do you think I could detect the assassin, will he be human?"
"We're not sure," Kirk replied, "the only thing we have is the name of the man to be assassinated. Simon Banks."
"Simon!" Blair cried.
"You know this man?" Spock asked eyebrow rising.
"He's our boss at the police department," Jim replied frowning.
"He also knows what happened to us before," Blair added. "Simon was here when we transported back."
"Well, that should make things a little easier," McCoy said.
"Actually," Jim said shaking his head, "I don't know if he really believed it, if he hadn't seen us appear before his very eyes…" the Sentinel shrugged.
"We must be very careful what we tell Mr. Banks," Spock said thoughtfully. "Too much information about his future could change it. We may be better off implying that the assassination attempt will be by someone in this time."
"A lie, Spock?" McCoy ribbed grinning at the Vulcan.
Spock raised an eyebrow. "An obfuscation, Doctor."
Jim snorted, glancing at Blair who rolled his eyes.
Captain Kirk cleared his throat in hopes of regaining some control. "What do you think will be best, Detective? We know the assassination took place… will take place at a public event that occurs within the next ten days. A sniper was blamed, but never caught."
Jim worried his lower lip with his teeth. "Major Crimes is acting as security for the Mayoral debates next week. Simon's on the shift roster." He looked at Blair and continued. "We could try to convince him to give up his shift, but…"
"I doubt he'd do that," Blair finished shaking his head. "Besides, wouldn't it be better not to mess with the when and where? If we know the assassin will be there, we have a better chance of catching him than if we change the circumstances. Then we won't know when the attempt will be and will have a much smaller probability of preventing it."
"Detective Sandburg is correct," Spock said. "Anything we do to change the timeline will only make it that much more difficult to stop the assassins. The question is, whom do we involve to help prevent them from getting to Mr. Banks?"
Jim sat forward and caught Captain Kirk's gaze. "We need to tell our people that someone is gunning for Simon." He held up a hand at the protest he saw in Kirk's eyes. "They know about my Sentinel abilities and we can trust them. Besides, we don't know who we're looking for, the more eyes we have the better."
"Jim's right," Blair agreed. "We don't have to tell them that the assassin is from the future, just that we got an anonymous tip that someone's after Simon and plans to do it publicly." He grinned. "We're a fiercely loyal group, they'll all want to help. And they're used to following Jim's lead."
Jim cuffed him lightly on the back of the head, grinning. "They only follow my lead after checking with you, Chief."
Blair turned his grin on his Sentinel, but did not disagree.
"All right," Kirk said. "Let's set this up. Do you need us to be present?"
Blair shook his head. "No, that'll just confuse the issue. We'll get them all together tomorrow. You three can stay tonight."
Kirk shook his head. "No. We'll go back to the ship, but we should be at the debate," he warned.
"We'll get you in somehow," Jim assured him.
Blair stared in disbelief. "You have the Enterprise in orbit? Around Earth?"
Kirk gave a slight grin. "No. Due to the nature of this assignment, the agent who asked us to help gave us a lift in his ship."
McCoy snorted. "He's afraid to let us out of our quarters. Thinks we'll see something that'll change the future."
Spock raised an eyebrow. "He is quite correct to be concerned, Doctor. Or need I remind you how little interference it takes…"
The doctor waved his hands. "No, no, Spock. I know. There's no need for you to bring up bad memories just to make a point."
"I was merely…"
"Spock," Kirk said softly. Spock tilted his head in agreement and went silent. The captain looked at Jim and Blair. "We'll beam back up for the night. Take this communicator and let us know when you are ready to go talk to the others. We'll beam down and be available in case you need anything."
Blair grabbed the device before Jim could take it. "How does it work?"
McCoy smiled as Spock showed both of the twenty-first century men how to contact them via communicator.
In Earth orbit
(On board the Temporal agent's ship)
Temporal Agent Daniels tapped his fingers anxiously on the arm of his command chair as he waited impatiently for the signal to beam the three Enterprise officers back to the ship. He sighed and slumped into a more comfortable position.
How he had come to be stuck babysitting Kirk was a mystery. Why couldn't someone else be saddled with watching the exploits of the various crews of the Enterprise in all her incarnations? Why him?
Archer had been the first and difficult enough. Captain April wasn't too bad and Pike hadn't really been captain long enough to get into any temporal trouble, but Kirk… he was the worst of the lot. The bunch of them kept Daniels way too busy. And add in Garrett, Picard and Banks and there was enough work to keep three agents busy full time. For some reason, Enterprise seemed to attract temporal anomalies.
Daniels shook his head and sighed again. Maybe it was time to retire. He deserved a life, a family. He checked the chronometer again. They were due to check in any minute now. Hopefully they hadn't given too much away.
The communicator beeped and he punched the button to open a channel. "Daniels."
"We're ready to beam up," Kirk replied.
"Standby." He checked the settings. "Beaming," Daniels advised, then activated the transporter. The three Enterprise officers shimmered into being on the transport pad across the small bridge.
He stood as they approached. "How did it go? Are they willing to help? You didn't tell them anything they didn't need to know, did you?"
Kirk smirked and waited for Daniels to wind down. "What could we possibly have told them? We barely know enough to even ask them for help, let alone actually stopping the assassination." He glared at the Temporal agent. "Can't you give us anything more to work with?"
Daniels shook his head. "All you need to know is that if we don't stop the assassin, Simon Banks and another officer will be killed and that will set off a chain of events that totally disrupts our timeline," he replied, obviously distressed.
"Who's the other officer?" Bones asked softly.
Daniels frowned. "That's not important. It doesn't have anything to do with the change that will occur if Banks dies. Just do what you've been instructed and refrain from playing God and everything will be all right."
McCoy's eyes narrowed. "It's one of them, isn't it? Are we putting Jim and Blair in danger by asking for their help?"
Kirk looked from Bones to Daniels, waiting for an answer. "Well, Daniels?"
Daniels sighed. "It's complicated. You can't possibly begin to understand the permutations involved."
"Try us," Kirk demanded quietly.
The agent shook his head. "None of the others make a contribution that significantly affects the timeline. Without Banks' contributions to new laws and policies…" Daniel shook his head disturbed by what he knew would happen, or more precisely what would not. "Banks cannot die. Other than that, no one else matters."
"That's a load a bull hockey!" McCoy shouted. "Those two men matter. And I'll be damned if I'm gonna let one of them die if they don't have to!"
"Bones," Kirk admonished lightly. He looked at Daniels. "Is there some reason we can't protect them, keep them alive?"
"I'm sorry, but one of them will die," Daniels answered. "That doesn't change in either timeline, whether Banks lives or not." He turned away to look at the control panel. "I have a few things to coordinate before tomorrow. You should turn in and get some rest."
"Good idea," Kirk said, catching Spock's eye and grabbing McCoy's arm. "Let's go, Bones."
"But… Jim…" McCoy said as Kirk dragged him off the bridge.
They went to the small quarters the three shared.
"I can't believe you're just going to go along with him, Jim!" Bones protested.
"Agent Daniels is simply following what he knows to be true, Doctor," Spock said. "In the timelines he is aware of, either Ellison or Sandburg is killed. Temporal policy dictates that we do not change the known past."
"Hogwash!" McCoy spat. "Jim?" he pleaded with his friend and captain to see reason.
"I know, Bones," Kirk replied, running a hand down his face. "But how do we know that saving them won't change our history for the worse? It could be Edith all over again."
McCoy's shoulders slumped in defeat.
"On the other hand," Spock said, "perhaps Agent Daniels did not investigate all the possible changes to the timeline. The loss of one person can certainly have long reaching affects, just as saving one person may."
Kirk frowned thoughtfully. "Can you tap into his computer, Spock? Test your theory?"
"I will try."
The next day at Joel's house
"Okay, Jim," Simon said, sticking his unlit cigar in his mouth. "What's so all fired important and hush hush that you couldn't tell us over the phone?"
Jim eyed his friend. He and Blair had planned what they would say carefully, so that they would be telling their friends the truth. Just not all of it. But he hated it. It still felt like a lie to him.
"An informant gave me some information about an assassination attempt that will take place next week. I trust this informant with my life," Jim paused glancing at Blair, "and with Blair's life," he added, knowing that would hold more weight than anything else he could say.
Simon's eyes widened. Joel, Megan, Rafe, and H all seemed even more attentive with that pronouncement. Jim wanted them to know he was serious.
"All right," Simon accepted, "so who is the target?"
"You are," Jim replied.
Silence reigned for a short time then Simon cleared his throat. "Your informant didn't have any names? Any idea who called the hit?"
"No, sir," Blair answered. "Just that there will be an attempt on your life, probably during the Mayoral debates."
"We thought it might be best to pretend we don't know about the hit," Jim said, laying out the plan. "That way we can protect you and still have a good chance at catching the assassin."
"Yeah, I'd rather go in prepared than avoid this situation only to be surprised at a later date," Simon agreed. "What do you have in mind?" he asked, knowing that Jim's covert ops skills would be put to good use.
Back at the loft
"Have you figured it out yet, Spock?" Kirk asked.
"I believe so, Captain," Spock said as he pushed in his request. "It is a very primitive model," he said as a light went on inside the device and a loud humming noise began. "The selections are very limited and…"
"What is it, Spock?" Kirk asked, hiding a grin. He recognized the sound of a Vulcan perplexed by human behavior.
"I do not understand why one would want 'frozen vegetables,'" Spock said turning to look at his friend.
McCoy peered into the window of the still humming device. "Seems to take an awful long time," he mumbled. "Half a pound? Isn't that an extreme amount of meat for one person?"
Spock nodded. "0.45 kilograms. Perhaps it is a family model." The Vulcan tilted his head slightly. "I believe our hosts have returned."
Sure enough, Jim and Blair came through the front door not thirty seconds later.
"Hey, guys," Blair greeted with a grin as he stripped off his jacket. "Did you manage lunch okay?"
"Actually," Kirk replied, "we had a bit of trouble with your food replicator." He pointed toward the device just as it 'dinged' loudly.
McCoy opened the door and peered in. "I think it's broken."
"Replicator?" Jim asked frowning.
"You mean like on your ship?" Blair asked, at the affirmative nods from the Starfleet officers, the Guide started to laugh.
Ellison rolled his eyes but couldn't resist a chuckle of his own. "We don't have food replicators in this century, at least not yet. The closest we come is a microwave oven," he said pointing at the device Spock had been using. "It heats the food or beverage, but it doesn't 'replicate' them."
Spock raised an eyebrow. "Primitive."
"Oh, man," Blair said, excitedly. "This is too cool. I had a professor who talked about this phenomenon. He showed us a piece of machinery from the mid 1800's and asked us what we thought it was used for. We must have come up with about a dozen different answers and only one of us got it right." Blair worked his way past everyone as he spoke and pulled several containers out of the freezer. "He explained that it was a common problem in archeology. We can only extrapolate on the uses of artifacts from the past based on our own experiences." He placed the containers in the microwave and set the timer, then turned to face the others.
"And it only gets worse the older the artifacts are because cultures change so quickly. I mean, just think about the difference between us and our parents' generation," he paused and frowned as he looked at the three men from the future. "Ah, well, I assume that hasn't changed much in the future…"
McCoy snorted. "No, we still have all the same misunderstandings and miscommunications. I don't think any amount of time will change that. We're only human after all."
"Speak for yourself, Doctor," Spock added dryly.
The others laughed.
"Did you get everything settled with your team?" Kirk asked as Jim started setting the table.
"Pretty much. I'm not sure how we're going to get you three in though, especially now when the security will be even tighter."
"Don't worry about that," Kirk said. "If you can get us a sample of an entry pass, we can recreate them for ourselves."
Blair walked over. "And it's not like you have to walk in. We can find a quiet place for them to beam down, Jim."
"Right," the Sentinel said, rubbing his forehead with his fingers. "I keep forgetting about that somehow."
Several days later
On board the Temporal agent's ship
"Have you found anything, Spock?" Kirk asked.
Spock looked up from his tricorder. "So far, I have found nothing to indicate that Jim Ellison's death is mandatory to protect the timeline. However, the Temporal Accords were… will be," he cocked his head thoughtfully then raised both eyebrows. Time travel tended to make tenses difficult. "It is not just Mr. Ellison's actions that must be taken into account. If he lives, there may be children… grandchildren. Any people he and his offspring encounter will be affected, positively or negatively by the interaction. Even the affect of their absence on close friends and family will be changed. All of these things factor into various possible timelines."
"So, to put it bluntly, you're saying that it's safer to let Ellison die," Kirk said.
Spock sighed. "From what I have been able to access of the current timeline, Mr. Ellison's continued existence would not affect Mr. Banks' decision to go into politics. The existence of Sentinels remains unsubstantiated until some time after Mr. Sandburg's death several decades from now. As you know, their existence in our time is known but rare. I am certain the 'cleansings' of the Eugenic Wars had something to do with that." He paused. "I do not have enough information to make even an educated guess as to what might happen to our timeline should Mr. Ellison live. All I can say for certain is that Agent Daniels believes that his timeline will remain intact only if Mr. Ellison dies. The further down the timeline I project his hypothetical existence, the less reliable the results become. There are too many variables."
Kirk bowed his head and rubbed his brow with one hand. "God, I hate messing with time."
The Vulcan nodded and then frowned slightly. "Where is Dr. McCoy?"
"I think he's trying to convince Daniels to let him have a look at the ship's infirmary."
McCoy slipped into the medical bay and locked the door. He knew the replicators were programmed to allow them access only to things available from their century or earlier, but that was fine. All he needed was a few small items that he could slip into his pockets. A few things that might be the difference between life and death.
"Jim? Are they here yet?" Blair asked anxiously as he looked around for the Enterprise crew. The crowd was growing by the second as people entered the convention center for the debate.
"Yeah, Chief. I heard them beam down a few minutes ago," Jim replied, tilting his head toward the area. "They're all set. We should get into place, too."
"Okay," Blair said, worried. "You notice anything weird about Dr. McCoy the last few days?" He wasn't sure exactly what was bothering Dr. McCoy, but the older man had something on his mind.
"Weird?" Jim asked as he continued to scan the area with his senses.
"Yeah, he's been asking a lot of questions about you. Medical stuff, like how you respond to different drugs, that sort of thing." He shrugged. "And… I don't know… Did he seem anxious to you? Upset maybe?"
Jim shrugged and looked at Blair. "No more so than the others." He activated the mic on his radio to give a report. "Everything looks clear at the front, Captain. Sandburg and I are heading for the auditorium."
"Roger," Banks replied. "The others have reported in clear as well. Keep your eyes peeled."
Jim rolled his eyes. "That always sounds painful to me, sir."
Simon huffed and signed off.
Blair chuckled. They started to make their way to the auditorium. "I wish Daniels had given us more information. If we knew who," he lowered his voice to speak confidentially, "and by that I mean what kind of alien," and then continued normally, "was after Simon, then we'd have a better idea of their tactics. Well, at least Captain Kirk might. Instead we're fishing in the dark."
"There's one thing about assassins that is universal, Chief," Jim said, stopping to look around once they were clear of the main entrance to the auditorium.
"What's that, Jim?"
"They are notorious for liking high places." He focused on the catwalks above them.
"You know," Blair considered, "it's kind of late now, but since they're after Simon, wouldn't it be better if we were with him?"
"Joel and Megan have Simon covered," Jim replied. "Our talents are better suited looking for the alien. Besides, that's the other universal thing about assassins… they don't generally like to get too close to their target. Makes for an easier get away."
"Humph," Blair grunted, not at all reassured as he too continued to scan the upper areas of the auditorium.
"We should split up," Jim said reluctantly. "We'll cover more ground that way." He looked around briefly. "I'll take the right."
"Yeah, all right, I'll work my way around the left side," Blair said.
Jim nodded. "Kirk and the others should be in the upper level by now. You've got the communicator, right?"
Blair patted his jacket pocket. "Right here."
"Good. I'm tuned in to Kirk's voice, but if they see something we need to know, they'll contact you as well."
"Got it. Be careful, Jim."
"You, too, Chief."
Blair watched Jim for a moment as the Sentinel walked away, then turned his focus to his section of the auditorium. Kirk, Spock and McCoy had beamed down into a secluded area, but had replicas of press passes for the security checks. They were using 23rd century technology to scan the auditorium for the assassin, hoping to find him before he was able to complete his mission. The problem was that they didn't know when exactly the assassin would show up or whether they would be able to differentiate his readings from the rest of the crowd. He could already be in the auditorium, or might just beam in at the right moment. They were counting heavily on luck being on their side.
He had made his way almost halfway down the side when the communicator beeped. Blair pulled it out, flipped it open as he'd been shown and started to speak when Kirk's voice cut him off.
"What's your status?" an unknown male voice asked.
"We're scanning the area for alien life forms now, but so far no luck. Have you picked anything up?"
"No, nothing on ship's scanners. They could be using a cloaking device of some sort. I'm checking for various energy signatures."
"Do you have any more details you can give us about the timing?" Kirk asked, sounding slightly perturbed.
The other voice, presumably Agent Daniels, replied, "It's not like we have a holorecording of the events, Captain, just news reports from the time. They don't give blow by blow accounts of what happened. All we know is that Banks is shot with a projectile weapon and Ellison was killed in an attempt to subdue the suspect."
Blair gasped and looked up, his eyes darting around the area trying to find Jim. He kept part of his attention on the rest of the conversation, but most of his mind was busy processing the fact that Jim might be killed.
Might be… because Blair had no intention of letting that history come about. Kirk hadn't said a thing about anyone else being hurt or killed. Of course, knowing how little the Enterprise officers thought of Agent Daniels, they probably hadn't been told, or if they knew, had to keep it quiet.
Either way, Blair knew now and he wasn't going to stand by and watch his best friend be killed, any more than he would let Simon.
He stopped in his tracks causing several people to run into him. Blair waved them past as he took several deep breaths. Think, Sandburg. It's like Jim said, assassins by their very nature have to follow certain predictable patterns. They go high, some place secluded, but with a good view of their target.
Blair quickly found Simon standing off to the left side of the stage with Megan and Joel close by. He ran his gaze over the crowd and then across to the right side where Jim should be. He scowled.
"Damn it, Jim. You son of a…" Blair snarled softly as he took off at a run for the other side of the auditorium. Jim had to have realized that the assassin would be on the opposite side from where Simon was stationed… the 'right' side. "So help me, if you get yourself killed…"
Kirk slapped his communicator shut with a frown. Daniels was a pain in the ass.
"Mr. Sandburg appears to be in a hurry," Spock noted, indicating the auditorium floor below.
"You think he saw the assassin?" McCoy asked lifting his gaze to the upper seating on the right side.
"On it, Captain," Spock replied as he worked with the tricorder. He pressed his lips together, not quite frowning. "Nothing unusual. It would seem that our assassin is using some sort of cloaking technology beyond our ability to detect."
"And Daniels' ability as well," McCoy added sourly.
"Let's get over there," Kirk ordered, "Ellison may need our help."
Jim paused to listen. He wasn't having any luck finding the alien visually, but he could almost feel that he… it was here. As Simon would say, his Spidey-senses were tingling. He inhaled sharply in disgust when nothing caught his ear and suddenly he had a trail. Literally, Jim could smell something not of this earth.
He recalled noting that the aliens they'd met previously, Vulcan and Romulan and the natives on Nagia's planet had body odors different from humans and unique to their species. The odor he was smelling was definitely not one he'd smelled before.
Using the piggy-back technique, Jim linked his eyesight to his sense of smell and soon found the alien in the catwalk above. He turned on his mic and spoke quietly into it. "Simon. I found him. He's on the catwalk above the upper level of seating to the right of the stage."
"Copy that, Jim. Wait for backup," Simon replied.
"Roger," Jim said as he quickly made his way to the stairs.
"Wait for us, Jim," Blair demanded over the comm, his 'us' meaning something completely different than Simon's backup.
"I hear you, Chief." Jim ran lightly up the stairs until he reached the doorway to the catwalk. He paused and listened, then carefully opened the door, grateful that the hinges were well-oiled. It was dark, but his eyes quickly adjusted to the low light and he stepped out onto the catwalk. He could see the assassin lying stretched out on the walkway with some sort of rifle aimed at the area below.
Jim turned his focus to the floor and barely contained a curse. He whispered into the mic, "Simon, get under cover, damn it!"
Unfortunately, that caused Simon to look up in surprise before he ducked behind a nearby column. The assassin raised his head and turned to check the area behind him. The alien looked human. Jim held still, hoping the shadowy darkness would help conceal him. After a moment, the assassin turned back and peered through the rifle's scope again.
Jim gave a silent sigh and started to make his way toward the assassin with cat-like silence. Or at least so he thought. He was about ten feet from the assassin when the alien jumped to his feet with a speed a human couldn't match and whirled to fire at Jim. All Jim heard was a slight 'whoosh' as the weapon discharged and he threw himself to the catwalk. He looked up and saw the alien bearing down on him, the rifle aimed right at his chest.
His eyes focused in on the alien's trigger finger and he watched with a morbid fascination as it slowly squeezed the trigger. Jim shook his head and rolled to escape the path of the bullet. He heard a pained grunt from the direction of the alien as he went over the edge and grasped desperately for the lip of the catwalk to keep from falling to the floor below. Jim's shoulders and arms protested the strain as they took the full weight of his body, now hanging from the catwalk by his hands.
Above he could hear the sound of fighting, but was too preoccupied with not falling to pay much attention to who had come to his rescue. A hand grasped Jim's wrist and helped pull him up. He nodded his thanks to Spock and turned his head to locate the assassin.
"Blair!" he exclaimed, lunging to his feet as his partner landed another punch to the assassin's stomach. Jim could only watch as the alien used his super human speed to grab Blair's arm and spin around, yanking Sandburg off balance and using the momentum to shove him over the edge of the walkway.
Blair's eyes went wide as he realized there was nothing behind him but open air. "oooh, shiiiit," he breathed softly as he disappeared over the edge.
"NO!" Jim shouted as he fired at the alien. Two beams of light hit the assassin at the same time as his bullet, but Jim was already running to the spot where Blair had fallen. He looked down and saw Blair sprawled on the floor of the seating area twenty feet below. "Blair," he sobbed and took off running for the exit to the catwalk.
Kirk pressed his lips together and met McCoy's pleading blue gaze. He tipped his head toward the door. "Go, Bones."
McCoy's mouth quirked with an approving half grin then he raced after Ellison.
Spock raised an eyebrow as he met his Captain's eyes. "Agent Daniels will not be pleased."
"Agent Daniels can…" Kirk stopped, took a deep breath and grinned that devil may care grin. "Call Daniels and tell him we have a… body for him. I'm going to check on Sandburg."
Spock nodded. "Very well. I hope he will be all right."
Kirk snorted. "If Bones has anything to do with it, he will be. I get the feeling our old country doctor has a few tricks up his sleeve."
Jim reached the spot where Blair had landed and pushed his way past Brown and Rafe who were already there clearing the civilians from the area. Simon knelt beside Blair, his head bowed with grief. Jim could hear Blair's heart beating, but could also smell the sharp scent of blood. "Blair?" he called, falling to his knees beside his best friend. He looked across Blair at Simon.
"The paramedics are on the way," Simon said, his dark eyes brimming.
"Ellison!" a voice called from behind Brown and Rafe's police line.
Jim's eyes widened. "H! He's a doctor, let him through."
McCoy was ushered through the crowd and pulled a small device out as he knelt at Blair's head. He held the device over Blair's forehead, running it back and forth as the small, salt shaker looking mechanism whirred and chirped. He clasped the device in his hand as he looked up at Jim. "He's ruptured several arteries in his brain," he said softly so that only Simon and Jim could hear. "I can fix it, but it's going to take some time and if these… witch doctors get their hands on him, they'll want to drill holes in his skull."
Jim nodded and looked at Simon. "Simon, McCoy knows what he's doing. I trust him with Blair's life."
"Jim, he needs to go to the hospital…" Simon frowned and did a double take. "McCoy… as in…" he pointed up and swirled the finger while humming a few bars of the Twilight zone theme.
Jim nodded. "Please, Simon."
"Okay." He turned on his mic. "Joel, get a car ready for us out back, make that two." Simon looked over at the crowd. "Brown, get them out of here, we don't need an audience."
Brown nodded and he and Rafe started ushering the civilians away.
"Okay," Simon said, "now what?"
McCoy pulled another device out of his pocket, unfolded it and pushed it down on Blair's forehead. "That's all I need to do for now, but it's going to take some time." He looked up and saw Kirk nodding. "It's not just one artery like Chekov's injury, Jim. It's going to take several hours to repair and I need to keep a close eye on him."
"Can we move him?" Kirk asked, ignoring Simon's confused glances from him to Ellison and McCoy.
"Carefully," McCoy agreed.
"We can go back to the loft," Jim said.
"What about Captain Banks?" Kirk asked.
Jim sighed as he smoothed Blair's hair back away from his face. "We told him everything when he saw us beam in three years ago. He knows who you are," he said meeting Kirk's gaze. But nothing of current events, he tried to convey with his eyes.
Kirk stared at him for a moment then nodded. He pulled out his communicator.
"Spock, meet us back at Ellison's."
"Understood, Captain. How is Mr. Sandburg?"
"He's going to be all right," Kirk said getting a reassuring nod from McCoy.
"Good. Agent Daniels is… perturbed."
Kirk grinned. "Good. See you shortly, Spock."
Kirk closed the communicator. "We'd better get going before your paramedics show up," he said, letting them know he'd heard the previous conversation.
Jim nodded and with Simon's help lifted Blair into his arms.
"You got him, Jim?" Simon asked.
"Yes, sir, he's heavier than he looks."
They made their way to the ground floor, taking an elevator instead of the stairs, and met Joel and Megan at the cars.
"Sandy?" Megan asked, concerned.
"He's going to be fine, Connor," Jim said. "Just got a nasty knock to the head."
"Shouldn't he go the hospital?" Joel asked.
"He's got his own private physician right here," Simon assured them. "Don't worry. Jim knows what he's doing." Under his breath he added, "I hope."
Jim glared at him and Simon just stared back.
Jim, Blair and McCoy rode with Joel while Kirk and Simon rode with Megan. McCoy continued to monitor Blair's condition and Jim monitored McCoy. The doctor seemed pleased with the readings he was getting, so Jim started to relax a bit. Although he wouldn't stop worrying until Blair woke up and started talking to him.
Several hours later
Blair shifted his head slightly, grimacing at the pain. He heard Jim's voice to his right.
"Blair?" Jim's voice called softly.
"I think he's coming around, Bones," Kirk said.
Blair tried to open his eyes, but they felt so heavy. Just a few more minutes, Jim.
"Come on, Chief, open those baby blues and say hi to our guests, then you can go back to sleep," Jim cajoled.
Blair sighed and tried again, this time managing to flutter his eyes open long enough to see Jim's worried face. A thought twittered around at the edge of his consciousness and suddenly landed. "Jim!" Blair cried, trying to sit up and reach for his friend at the same time.
"Easy, Blair," Jim said, gently pushing Blair back into the bed. "Take it easy, Chief."
"Are you okay?" Blair asked, gripping Jim's arm.
"I'm fine, Blair. Thanks to you and Spock, but next time you decide to take on an alien single handedly… don't, okay?" Jim peered pleadingly into Blair's eyes. "I swear, Chief, you took ten years off me with that swan dive."
Blair huffed. "You're one to talk, Jim. I told you to wait."
Jim nodded and ran a hand through his hair. "I know. But he had a bead on Simon, I couldn't wait any longer."
Blair nodded and patted Jim's arm. He looked past his partner to see Simon and the Enterprise officers watching. Blair frowned. "So what happened? Last thing I recall is falling off the catwalk."
McCoy walked around and sat on the other side of the bed. He ran his medical scanner in front of Blair's head and smiled. "Well, son. You had a little trouble with your landing."
"You broke your brain, Chief," Jim said, trying to be keep it light, but unable to hide the fear he'd felt.
Blair rolled his eyes, then frowned. "It was bad?" he asked.
McCoy shrugged slightly. "Nothing I couldn't fix. You're going to be fine, Blair."
Blair nodded his relief. "I bet Daniels is pissed. Did I mess up the timeline too badly?"
"What do you mean?" Kirk asked sharply.
Blair darted a look at Jim then met Kirk's questioning gaze. "Well, I overheard Daniels on the communicator. I realized you couldn't do anything, but I wasn't going to let Jim die."
"You heard…" Kirk trailed off and rubbed his forehead. "Well, let's just say that so far, there are no negatives affects to the timeline. I think everything's going to be okay." He looked at Spock for confirmation.
The Vulcan nodded. "If our timeline had been drastically changed, Agent Daniels' tracking equipment would have already notified him. He is not happy about our interference, but since there don't appear to be any long reaching affects, he is satisfied with the results."
"Good," Blair said, closing his eyes. "Don't want you to get in trouble," he mumbled as sleep overtook him once again.
Jim shook Kirk's hand and nodded to Spock. "Thank you for your help."
"Thank you," Kirk replied. "We would have had a much harder time if you hadn't agreed to assist us."
"I'm glad we got to see you again," Blair said. "What's going to happen to the assassin?"
"Agent Daniels has identified the species," Spock said. "Although he has not informed us of his identity, he has notified the Temporal authorities in his time and steps are being taken to help prevent future incursions. The assassin's body will be returned to his people with a warning."
Blair shook his head. "You'd think people would have learned by your time not to mess with things they don't understand. It's like playing God, messing with time."
Kirk snorted. "Unfortunately, people of all species seem to need to learn the same lessons for themselves. Very few manage to learn anything from history."
"I hear that," Blair said with a wry grin. He turned and shook Dr. McCoy's hand. "Thanks again, Dr. McCoy. You've saved my life twice now."
"Glad to do it, son," McCoy said. "Just try to stay out of trouble. I won't be around to help if there's a 'next time.'"
Jim shook his head. "No, 'next time,' Doc. It's too hard on my old heart," he finished with a fond smile at Blair.
Blair rolled his eyes. "I just hope you don't get in too much trouble with the Temporal Agency… you know, for saving me. Though I don't know what difference my continued presence could possibly have on the future…"
In the future
A tall black woman with Captain's pips on her collar walked through the doorway into the transporter room. "Number One," she said by way of greeting her second in command.
"Ah, Captain Banks, just in time to greet our new Science Officer and Counselor. They should be beaming up any minute."
The Captain nodded. "A Sentinel/Guide pair, correct?"
"That's right Ma'am." He checked his datapad. "Ellison and Sandburg, respectively."
The Transporter Chief answered a hail and informed the Captain that they were ready to transport.
"Energize, Chief," Banks replied turning to face the transporter pad. Having a Sentinel/Guide pair join her crew was quite a coupe. There weren't many SG pairs that joined Starfleet. Most felt bound to call a set of ground coordinates their "territory." She'd lucked into a pair from a very long line of Sentinels and Guides, a pair closely related by history to her own family tree.
The two materialized on the transporter pad and the Guide, the shorter of the two men, immediately turned to his Sentinel.
"All right Joseph, come on back to me. We're on the ship, come on Joe, that's it," he continued softly until the taller man blinked and looked around.
The Guide smiled at his friend then turned to greet their audience. "Sorry, transporting always sends him into a short zone. It's not too bad as long as we are prepared. I'm Jacob Sandburg, your new Ship's Counselor and Guide to Joseph Ellison, Science Officer and Sentinel."
Banks stepped forward and offered each man her hand as they stepped off the transporter pad. "It's good to meet you Sandburg, Ellison. I'm Captain Dara Banks. Welcome to the Enterprise."
Comments are always welcome, please let me know what you think.
Star Trek Who's Who –
Captain Jonathon Archer – Captain of the first Enterprise in the series 'Enterprise.' He had several run ins with Agent Daniels and time travel, much to his dismay.
Captains April and Pike – First two captains of Kirk's original Enterprise. April showed up in one of the animated episodes. Pike was in the Pilot episode of 'Star Trek.'
Captain James T. Kirk – Captain of the Enterprise NCC-1701 and several to follow. These are the original adventures created by Gene Roddenberry.
Captain Rachel Garrett – Captain of Enterprise NCC-1701C. We meet her in ST: The Next Generation through a time travel incident in the episode 'Yesterday's Enterprise.'
Captain Jean Luc Picard - Captain of Enterprise NCC-1701D. His crew also had numerous time travel incidents.
Captain Dara Banks - Captain of Enterprise NCC-1701? None of her crews' adventures have yet been cataloged. G
Agent Daniels – Temporal Agent from several Enterprise episodes.
Edith (Keeler) – woman from "The City on the Edge of Forever" ST: TOS episode. McCoy is transported back in time through the Guardian of Forever, saves her life and changes history, wiping out the Federation. Jim and Spock travel through the Guardian, meet Edith, Jim falls in love and has to keep McCoy from saving her to save their timeline.
(Pavel) Chekov – member of Kirk's crew. In Star Trek IV, Chekov falls and incurs a head injury which McCoy is able to repair once they save him from the Spanish Inquisition techniques used by doctors of the 20th century. G