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Star Trek: Infection Part I

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Yes, I am posting this again. Following Elmo's example with "Falling Unto Angels" I will be posting the existing parts periodically until the new material makes it debut. This time I plan on finishing the darn thing!!!

This story is set early in Voyager's 7th season....

Captain Kathryn Janeway was not having a good day.

She placed the PADD she was reviewing back on her desk and rubbed her temples. Once again, the supply situation was becoming something to worry about. While they were in no immediate danger of running out of many essential items, she realized that they were going to have to begin searching fairly soon for ways to replenish their steadily shrinking resources. That meant yet another delay in their long trip home.

She crossed to the replicator and ordered a cup of coffee. Doing so meant that she would be out of replicator credits for a week, but right now she didn’t care. Carefully taking a sip, she turned and looked out the window of her ready room at the stars streaking by outside. Despite their fortune in finding several shortcuts over the years, they still had a voyage of several decades in front of them - barring any more lucky breaks. At times she felt as if they might never return home, that they would be stuck in the far reaches of the galaxy for the rest of their lives.

The door chime to her ready room sounded, indicating the presence of a visitor. “Enter,” she called without turning around.

“I see that you’ve read the latest reports.” The voice belonged to Chakotay, her first officer.

She slowly turned and smiled at him. “Are you psychic now Commander? If so, why wait so long before revealing your talents? I could have used the help on numerous occasions, say - when fighting the Borg or the Hirogen.”

Chakotay smiled in return. “I’m not psychic, just very good at observing.”

“Am I that easy to read?”

Chakotay came a few steps closer. “For those of us who know you well enough- yes, it is. Subtlety has never really been your strongest point.”

She grimaced in mock pain. “Ouch. I don’t know if that was a compliment or an insult.”

His smile broadened, which she found infectious. In spite of the grim news contained on the PADD, she couldn’t help but relax at the playful banter. “With any other Captain, that might be construed as an insult. But with you Kathryn, it’s definitely a compliment. Isolated like we are here in the Delta Quadrant, with all the problems we’ve run into, it helps the crew know that they have a Captain who is unwavering when her mind is made up. You tend to shoulder enough guilt and responsibility for the entire crew, and the strain you put on yourself shows at times. The crew realize this, and respect you for it, though they do worry.”

Now she couldn’t resist the chance to tease him in return. “Flattery will not get you any extra replicator rations Commander.”

“Don’t ever say I didn’t try,” he joked in response.

“So tell me, how did you determine with just a glance that I’d already reviewed the supply reports?”

“Well, for one thing you’re drinking coffee, “ he began. “I wouldn’t be much of a first officer if I didn’t keep track of what’s going on around this ship, and that includes you Captain. I know that you’ve exhausted your replicator credits and are now incurring a debt. So, for you to be drinking coffee, it must mean that you’re worried about something and felt the need to relax. The only matter of any importance that’s come up recently that would cause you any stress is the supply situation.”

Janeway took a seat on the nearby couch, motioning for Chakotay to do the same. “I think you’d give Sherlock Holmes a good run for his money.”

“Maybe so, but I could certainly do without the pipe.”

She allowed herself a small laugh. As usual, Chakotay had the uncanny ability to help her relax. She often wondered how she could have managed to survive the last six years without his calm and reassuring presence at her side. “So Commander, I’m sure you didn’t come in here to exercise your sleuthing skills.”

“Not exactly. I wanted to discuss the supply problem.”

Janeway sighed, grateful for the momentary respite from the problem, but it was time to deal with real life again. “What are your recommendations in regards to the situation?”

“Well, the ever resourceful Mr. Neelix has several ideas in mind that will help stretch our food stocks, though we shouldn’t have to implement them for a few more days. That gives us plenty of time to find a source of hydrogen to replenish the replicator systems.”

“I’m sure the crew will be relieved to hear that,” Janeway said ironically. “The last time we had to rely solely on Neelix’s cooking, I was afraid we might we have a mutiny on our hands. What about engineering?”

Chakotay’s smile vanished, replaced by a slight frown. “That’s where the trouble lays. According to Lt. Torres, we going to need -.” He was cut off by the intercom.

“Seven of Nine to Captain Janeway.”

Janeway gave Chakotay a smile, as if to say this will just take a second. “Go ahead, Seven.”

“Captain, I am currently in the astrometrics lab, performing a series of routine calibrations on the main sensor array. A few moments ago, while running a diagnostic test on the long range scanners, I picked up a signal.” Seven paused, as if considering how to proceed. “The signal has a Starfleet signature.”

Janeway turned to Chakotay and saw the same puzzled expression on his face that she was no doubt wearing as well. “Starfleet? We’re not due to receive a communiqué from Lieutenant Barclay at Starfleet Command for several more days.”

“Maybe they found a way to establish the link early,” Chakotay speculated.

“Seven, relay that information to the bridge.”

“Acknowledged,” came Seven’s reply.

Janeway set her coffee aside and then stood. “We’ll have to talk about the supply situation later.” Chakotay nodded and followed her through the ready room doors and onto the bridge.

“Report,” She said, crossing to her command chair.

“We are detecting a subspace radio signal,” Tuvok answered from his tactical station, confirming Seven’s analysis. “It is being carried on a Federation communication frequency.”

Harry Kim, his voice full of excitement said, “Starfleet must have found a way to shorten the delay between transmissions.”

“That is highly unlikely Ensign,” Tuvok stated, his voice flat and typically unemotional. “According to my readings, the source of the transmission is a vessel one point two light years from our current position. The signal appears to be a location beacon.”

His enthusiasm dampened not one bit, Harry responded, “Then maybe it’s one of the long range vessels Admiral Paris mentioned.”

Tom Paris, quiet this whole time, spoke up from the Conn. “But my dad said that it would be years before those ships intercepted us. This couldn’t be them. It’s too soon.”

“Slipstream drive!” Harry exclaimed. “We sent them all the information we had on slipstream technology. They have far more resources to call upon than us. They might have found a way to make it work.”

Tuvok seemed unimpressed. “While that possibility does exist, it is doubtful that Starfleet was able to master the technology needed to get them here on such short notice.”

Smiling, Janeway said, “Don’t let Tuvok get you down Harry. We all want to hope for the best, but let’s not count our chickens before they hatch, alright? We’ve been deceived before.”

Harry nodded his head knowingly, remembering Arturis and his vengeful scheming. “Yes, Captain.”

“Hail them,” Janeway ordered.

Tuvok activated the appropriate controls. “There is no response,” he stated after several seconds.

“I’ll guess we’ll have to do it the old fashioned way,” Chakotay mused.

Nodding in agreement, Janeway ordered, “Mister Paris, alter course for that ship’s position.”

“Yes Captain,” the helmsman replied. “At our current speed we will arrive at those coordinates in approximately four point eight hours.” Janeway was aware of the subtle vibrations in the deck that indicated the change in course. It had taken her several years aboard starships to evolve that ability.

Chakotay turned to look at her. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking? He asked.

“Do you mean why we didn’t detect that ship earlier?” She asked in return.

He nodded. “Exactly. It’s too close for us not to have seen it before now. Almost as if it just appeared out of nowhere”

Tuvok spoke up from behind them. “It is a distinct possibility that this may be a trap of some kind.”

“God knows we’ve made our fair share of enemies,” Paris chimed in.

“The Vaadwuar?” Chakotay asked.

Janeway frowned in thought. “It could be. They didn’t exactly strike me as the type to forgive and forget. They had access to our systems and could duplicate a Starfleet signal. Plus, they do possess that subspace tunneling technology. They could easily have established a position in front of us. We’ll just have to wait, see and hope for the best.”

Settling into her chair, Chakotay ever at her side, Captain Janeway began the long process of waiting.

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I missed this the first time round, so thanks for re-posting! It's nice to see a Voyager-era story that nails the character traits as well as this one does. I'll be keeping up with this one, and hope you do get it finished. :blink:

By the way, when did you post this on S31? I don't think I ever saw it, but some things about it seem vaguely familiar.

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I missed this the first time round, so thanks for re-posting! It's nice to see a Voyager-era story that nails the character traits as well as this one does. I'll be keeping up with this one, and hope you do get it finished. :)

Thanks!

By the way, when did you post this on S31? I don't think I ever saw it, but some things about it seem vaguely familiar.

It first 2 parts appeared in summer of 2000. Then the next 5 parts appeared about a year ago. This time I plan on finishing it. :D

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Hey, I knew there was a way to drag back the dirty past where the founding members were the ones running this particular corner of the forum. I just noticed this one, whose title I absolutely did not swipe. Just a coincidence. And excuse...

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Wow, I'd nearly forgotten about this. Especially since my hard drive crashed earlier this year and I lost everything on it, including all my old fanfics. Reading this again, that was probably for the best. :(

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