8-17 - Jurisprudence
By: Jeffrey Harlan (email@example.com)
Disclaimer: Star Trek: Voyager,
its characters and related properties are Registered Trademarks
of Paramount Pictures. No infringement of Paramount's copyrights
is intended. Voyager Virtual Season 8 (VS8) is a non-profit
endeavor. The unique characters and milieu of VS8 are the
property of the VS8 producers and individual authors. This
story is the property of the author. Please do not repost
Note: I'd like to extend a special thank-you to Seema for
working so closely with me on this story, Thinkey and Coral
for their patience, and the rest of the VVS8 staff for putting
out such a consistently great product.
it, Katie, it's over," the gray-haired, bearded Admiral
Patterson said as he stood, pained, facing his former student,
Captain Kathryn Janeway, commanding officer of the Starship
Voyager. "There's nothing you can do. Nothing *we*
can't accept that," Janeway said stoically, her voice
catching in her throat as she spoke the words. She stared,
determined, across the desk at Patterson, then to Admiral
Owen Paris, who was seated infront of him and across from
Janeway. Her eyes challenged them to oppose her. The elder
Paris was more weathered, and looked... *older* than Janeway
remembered him, from their last meeting before Voyager left
for the Badlands. It seemed to have been a lifetime ago.
right, Kathryn," Paris added, folding his hands and
leaning forward on his elbows to lean across the desk toward
her. "There's more than enough evidence against you
to bring several dozen convictions. Half of the admirals
in Starfleet want your head because of what's happened with
the Borg. Your actions may have been justified given your
situation, but no one in the right places will listen to
you." He sent a momentary, uncharacteristically ncomfortable
glance to his feet, then continued, "Anyone who sides
with you could end up in the same position. We... we can't
pit of Janeway's stomach suddenly felt extremely hollow.
"You," she began, shocked, shifting in her chair
in discomfort. "You can't be serious. You're not saying
what I think--"
sorry, Kathryn," Paris said, plaintively holding up
a hand, his eyebrows rising in remorse for what he felt
he had to do. "It's too dangerous for us to stick our
necks out for you like we've done in the past."
you," Janeway spat angrily, the words almost a growl
in her throat. "Damn both of you. You went to the academy
with my father. You trained me, helped me get command of
Voyager, and now you're just going to abandon me?"
As much as she didn't want to admit it, it felt good, snapping
at them like that. They deserved it. They were abandoning
not that cut-and-dried, Katie," Patterson began. "Hear
should I?" Janeway retorted. "You aren't going
to change *your* minds."
could be worse," Paris shot back. "In the twentieth
century, some of the charges against you carried the *death*
penalty, back when there was such a thing. At worst, you'll
only get life in prison."
thanks for saving the Federation," Janeway muttered
darkly, her gaze going to her hands, which were folded on
the table in front of her.
sure everything will turn out fine in the end, Kathryn,"
came the voice of Chakotay from behind her. She spun, and
saw her first officer standing behind her, his hand resting
gently on the back of her chair.
Janeway breathed. As she looked up at him, her features
suddenly softened, and her posture sagged almost imperceptibly
in relief. "I'm glad *someone's* here to back me up.
I always could count on you." Janeway took a longer
look at her first officer, and noticed was that he was in
uniform. And not his old uniform like on Voyager, but the
new, darker Starfleet uniforms. And then she noticed his
collar. "*Captain* Chakotay?" she asked in surprise.
offered to reinstate my commission," Chakotay said
self-consciously, a touch of what sounded to Janeway like
remorse evident in his voice, something that only added
to her confusion. "I'm here to say goodbye. Voyager's
being decommissioned, and I've been offered command of the
next ship to bear the name when she rolls off the assembly
line in a few months."
Janeway said, her eyes widening in horror. She straightened
up in her chair, her heart pounding in her chest. Another
important person in her life was abandoning her when she
was at her lowest and she needed all the help she could
get. "Not you, too."
a start, she bolted upright in bed, her eyes vainly searching
the darkness of her room. She put a hand to her chest, feeling
her pounding heartbeat within and a light sheen of moist
sweat on her skin. She let herself fall back into her bed
in her quarters at the Starfleet Academy campus, her sweat-dampened
hair tangling upon itself on her pillow.
Kim took aim and fired. A burst of orange phaser fire shot
forth, striking a small disk as it arched through the air,
deflecting it onto a new trajectory. A moment later, another
orange beam lanced out from the opposite side of the room
and struck the object, deflecting it back to its previous
shot, Seven," Kim said, firing again. The disk ricocheted
away from the blast, picking up speed. Seven of Nine took
aim as it sped toward her, and hit the disk nearly dead
on, causing it to return almost precisely on the trajectory
it had just come from.
the disk hurtling straight for his face, Kim dropped to
one knee with a grunt and fired. The shot was off, however,
and the disk arched to the sideline of the court as it ricocheted
away from him. Seven aimed, fired, and the disk sped up
again as it headed back toward Kim.
fired, but missed the swiftly-moving object. He threw himself
to the floor as it passed through the air near where his
head had been. "Damn," Kim muttered, picking himself
up from the court. "I shouldn't have missed that shot."
have won sixty-seven percent of our Velocity matches in
the past month, lieutenant," Seven countered.
was captain of the team at the academy," Kim protested.
"I used to make shots like that all the time."
He shook his head, then continued, "Still, I can get
up to speeds with you that I never could with anyone but
a hologram before." He sighed, then continued again,
"I guess I'm just distracted lately."
recent events," Seven said as they collected their
belongings and made their way out of the enclosed court
and into the spacious gymnasium at Starfleet Academy, "that
is not surprising."
you heard anything about the captain's trial?" Kim
asked, wiping the sweat from his face with his towel.
that which was on the news," Seven replied. "My
impression is that Starfleet is seeking a... 'scapegoat,'
as I believe Lieutenant Paris described it, for the recent
changes in the behavior of the Borg, and the captain is
a convenient target for their vitriol, given her extensive
contacts and engagements with the Collective."
the same impression I'm getting," Kim said glumly,
then sighed once more and decided it might be better to
change the subject. "I wish things had gone a little
better for the Equinox crew."
sentence they received," Seven said, "was relatively
light, considering the charges brought against them."
guess so," Kim admitted. "I never really thought
about how we'd all get split up when we got home. Sam can't
see Naomi until this is all over. Hell, they even took Miral
away from Tom and B'Elanna!"
had not heard that," Seven said, turning her gaze toward
Kim in surprise at the revelation.
parents took her in," Kim said as he and Seven stopped
in front of the doors to the locker rooms. "He and
B'Elanna really took it hard when they found out that Starfleet
wouldn't let them keep her here until everything settles
down. The Cardassians haven't let up on their demands about
the Maquis, either."
Dominion forces lost the war against the Federation,"
Seven said, puzzled. "Why would their demands carry
don't know if they're being taken seriously or just being
humored," Kim replied. "The Cardassians have been
getting a lot of sympathy since the end of the war; they
lost a lot of their people when they rebelled against the
are weak," Seven spat, her eyes suddenly narrowing,
her face twisting into a snarl. "They deserve no mercy."
eyes widened in shock. "Seven," he began, concerned,
"what's gotten over you? That doesn't sound like you
I am beginning to come to terms with the reality of life,"Seven
retorted, her tone vehement.
Kim replied, uneasy with her sudden change in demeanor,
"I've got to get ready for my debriefing. I'll catch
you later." With that, he turned and walked through
the nearby doorway and into the locker room.
world was barren. Desolate. Where once was a fertile grassland,
only dust and dry dirt remained, without so much as a molecule
of water to be found. All because, several weeks earlier,
a Sernaix fleet carrying a weapon of mass destruction was
destroyed in orbit of this world, their weapon detonated
above its uninhabited surface. All the nucleogenic particles
in the planet's once-lush atmosphere were broken down, and
all the water that already existed on the surface was vaporized
in a massive secondary explosion from the destablizing Sernaix
weapon. And without the nucleogenics, what little water
vapor that still remained in the atmosphere was unable to
condense to the point where it could fall back to the ground
speck of light glinted in the sky, eventually growing larger
and revealing itself to be a Starfleet runabout. It began
easing its way across the devastated surface of the planet
before settling down into a soft landing, the dirt crunching
under the pads on the bottoms of the small vessel's warp
nacelles and flat belly. Within moments, the door on the
side of the ship opened, and the people within began to
make their way into the open air outside.
to Sector 19658," said the balding Commander Sean Hamilton
as he stepped out of the runabout Colorado and onto the
desolate surface of a barren planet. As he put a battered,
floppy cap on his head to protect his sensitive scalp from
the beating sun, several other Starfleet crewmen and junior
officers exited the vessel behind him.
one of the crewmen called out, pointing toward a nearby
ridge. "It's over there!"
course it is, crewman," said the cocksure Lieutenant
Kevin Smallen, who stood behind Hamilton in the Colorado's
open hatch. "That's why I landed here."
sir," the young man said, chastened.
on, people," Hamilton said, grinning. "Grab your
gear and let's get to work." He took hold of an antigrav
platform laden down with gear and supplies and began pushing
it toward the nearby ridge.
one of the young men, Ensign David Russel, asked.
ensign?" Hamilton replied.
exactly are we looking for, sir?" Russel asked, squinting
against the blazing sunlight.
have no idea," Hamilton said. "There's a lot about
this stuff we still don't understand. We're just here to
collect whatever we can and let the scientists figure it
all out. They should be arriving this afternoon." He
looked over to the younger man. "I hear we've even
got an expert from Voyager due here as soon as he's finished
with his debriefing on Earth."
mean Harry Kim, sir?" Russel asked. Hamilton looked
at him in surprise, and Russel quickly added, "I heard
about him on the news, sir. He and Voyager's Borg crewman
were the only ones to ever set foot on a Sernaix ship."
meters behind them, Smallen listened intently as he helped
unload equipment from the runabout.
pondered her reflection in the mirror, something she'd been
doing a lot since Voyager's return home. She wasn't looking
at her face, or her hair, or any other part of herself,
having already determined her appearance to be as good as
it was going to get, but was hoping instead to reach some
sort of epiphany. The other day, she had even caught herself
hoping that Q would appear, and this would all turn out
to be one of his twisted games.
shook her head, trying to will away such thoughts. It wouldn't
help to bury herself in self-pity, a lesson she had already
learned the hard way. She straightened her dress uniform,
still unaccustomed to the white garment, then turned and
made her way to the door. As it parted, she saw her ever-present
guard, Lieutenant Dave Evans, standing alertly next to the
morning, captain," the young man said flatly.
morning, lieutenant," she replied, forcing herself
to smile. "Let's go, shall we?"
you say, ma'am," he replied with little more emotion
than a Vulcan. He led the way to the unremarkable hover-car
that was waiting outside for them, then held the door as
she took her seat inside. As Janeway settled into her chair
at the rear of the vehicle, Evans stepped in and sealed
the door. He nodded to the driver, and they were quickly
on their way.
not looking forward to having to deal with the press this
morning," Janeway muttered, partly to break the silence
once the vehicle had started moving.
wouldn't worry about them, ma'am," Evans replied, but
from his tone, Janeway could tell he wasn't offering reassurance,
just stating the facts as he saw them.
not," Janeway said. "The last few weeks have just
been a lot to take in." She looked out the window,
the remainder of the short trip across San Francisco passing
stepped out of the vehicle after it came to a stop, holding
the door open for Janeway. He stepped off ahead of her,
clearing a path through the crowd of reporters. Their cameras
and lights blazed, poked and intruded into her face, obscuring
her view and frustrating her more than she'd been frustrated
by anyone short of Q himself.
Janeway!" she heard from dozens of voices in the throng
around her. Questions. Always so many questions. "Can
you tell us how your trial is going?" Microphones and
video cameras poked at her face. "Is it true that you
were assimilated by the Borg?" She tried to ignore
them. "Do you think you could have prevented the death
of Lieutenant Carey?" Her ears burned with shame and
rage at both the memory and the question. "Was there
really a Cardassian aboard your ship?" Almost to the
door. "Did you make any effort to take Captain Ransom
alive?" Ignore them. "Is it true that Temporal
Investigations--" The question was cut off as the door
shut behind her. She sighed in relief, then followed Evans
toward the court room.
pair practically marched down the nearly deserted hallway,
their boots clicking in step on the glossy, immaculately
waxed and polished marble floors. They passed massive oak
doors and huge marble pillars, all centuries old, until
they finally reached their destination. Evans held one of
the huge wooden doors open for the captain, and Janeway
nodded gratefully to the younger man as she stepped past
him and into the courtroom.
inside, Janeway found her attorney, the Vulcan Commander
T'Sai, waiting for her at the defense table, studiously
reading a PADD. As expected, Janeway saw the younger woman's
face was imultaneously serene, serious, and devoid of outward
displays of emotion.
Janeway said as she took her seat at the defense table.
The table, like the rest of the courthouse and the majority
of its furnishings, was yet another relic from the days
when the United States stretched from one side of the North
American continent to the other. What modern technology
there was in the building was expertly concealed, to preserve
the historical appearance of the building as a monument
to humanity's forebears as well as to satisfy the large
number of Federation citizens who felt strongly about maintaining
the unique artifacts of member worlds for the enjoyment
of generations yet unborn.
T'Sai said, acknowledging Janeway with a brief glance up
from her PADD.
doors opened, and the prosecutor, Commander Shelrak, walked
into the room, the relatively unobtrusive metal circles
of an atmospheric converter attached to the corners of his
mouth. A methane-breathing species, the device was a necessity
for the reptilian Axanar to join the many oxygen-breathing
races of the Federation in their native environments. He
took his seat silently, save for a light sucking sound every
time he inhaled deeply of his native atmosphere.
minutes passed in silence before a lieutenant stepped from
the doorway leading to the chambers of the presiding judge,
Admiral Phillipa Louvois. A moment before he opened his
mouth to speak, Janeway noted that it was a different man
than had served in the capacity of bailiff for the past
rise," the lieutenant stated brusquely before stepping
aside. "Admiral Phillipa Louvois, presiding."
With that, the admiral stepped into the court room.
seated," Louvois said as she took her seat. "Let
the record show that the court-martial of Captain Kathryn
Janeway has reconvened at zero-eight-hundred hours on Stardate
55831.3 The court will now come to order," she said,
then tapped her gavel against the bell set out on the bench
before her. She looked up, nodded to the prosecutor, and
said, "Commander Shelrak, it's your show."
rose from his seat. "The prosecution calls Admiral
Alynna Nechayev," he said through his respirator. A
moment later, the doors opened and Nechayev was led into
you swear to tell the truth," the bailiff began, stepping
up before her as she stood in front of the seat in the witness
box next to Louvois' raised desk, "the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth?"
do," Nechayev replied, looking sternly at the bailiff
as though he'd just accused her of being a pathological
may be seated, admiral," Louvois said. As she took
her seat, the lieutenant turned and made his way back to
his desk in the corner of the courtroom, while Shelrak stepped
he began, "you're Starfleet's senior expert and tactician
in matters pertaining to the Borg, correct?"
correct," Nechayev said, then added snidely, "For
whatever it's worth anymore."
your view," Shelrak continued, apparently ignoring
her comment, "how would you describe Captain Janeway's
interaction with the Borg?"
Janeway has shown a reckless disregard for the safety of
her ship and crew in her dealings with the Borg," Nechayev
your honor" T'Sai interrupted, rising from her seat
beside Janeway. "The totality of the captain's record
clearly shows her dedication to the safety of her crew,
as well as her determination to get Voyager home from both
the Delta Quadrant and the bubble universe."
honor," Shelrak said, turning to face Louvois, "if
the witness could be allowed to explain her interpretation
of the captain's actions?"
well," Louvois said after a moment's pause. "Objection
overruled. You may proceed, admiral."
you, your honor," Nechayev said, then continued, "On
Stardate 50984, Voyager came upon Borg-controlled space.
Rather than take the ship around Borg territory in an attempt
to avoid contact, or settle on an uninhabited planet as
her first officer suggested, Captain Janeway ordered that
the ship travel directly through their territory."
T'Sai repeated, rising from her seat once more. "Sensors
showed that area to be devoid of a Borg presence."
it for cross-examination, commander," Louvois warned.
T'Sai said, returning to her seat.
continue, admiral," Louvois said.
Voyager entered Borg space," Nechayev said, "they
encountered a race known only as Species 8472. This race
posed a serious threat to the Borg and could have made for
a powerful ally, had Janeway not decided instead to negotiate
an alliance with the Borg. She offered to give one of the
Federation's gravest enemies the means to annihilate the
only species we know of that's capable of defeating them,
just so she could satisfy her convenience."
Shelrak said, "that was only the captain's *first*
encounter with the Borg, correct?"
correct," Nechayev confirmed.
you give the court," Shelrak continued, "your
interpretation of those later events, as well?"
it to say," Nechayev said, "that Captain Janeway's
tactical blunders not only risked her ship and crew, but
her actions have jeopardized the lives of every being in
so?" Shelrak asked.
technology," Nechayev replied, "was nearly lost
to the Borg on numerous occasions. Janeway herself and key
members of her senior staff -- each with vital tactical
data on both the ship and the Federation -- were even assimilated
by the Borg. Intentionally. But perhaps most serious were
the captain's actions immediately prior to Voyager's initial
return to the Alpha Quadrant. As a direct result, the now-destabilized
Borg pose an even greater threat to the Federation, and
the galaxy at large, than ever before."
took every ounce of will Janeway could muster not to let
her head drop at the admiral's accusation. She looked to
the jury, who were listening intently to the admiral and
taking furious notes, and silently hoped that her attorney
could muster a defense good enough to sway them.
Captain Bruce Maddox said as he examined the mobile emitter
attached to the Doctor's upper arm. "I'd heard this
emitter was small, but I didn't expect it to be so... *tiny.*"
me, Captain Maddox," the Doctor said, "but I thought
you were here to debrief me."
when does somebody debrief a computer program?" Maddox
snorted, paging through a report on a PADD in his right
hand as he made his way around the bare table at the center
of the small, spartan room the two shared. "The only
reason I haven't decompiled your program yet is because
the bureaucrats are worried you might really be sentient."
He paused, twisting his face as he read. "Just what
the hell have you been doing to your program? Opera? Dating?
more than just a Mark I EMH," the Doctor replied indignantly.
"I've expanded well beyond my original programming."
isn't necessarily better," Maddox grunted, his attention
focused more intently on the PADD he held than on the Doctor.
don't believe that I'm sentient, do you?" the Doctor
asked bitterly, his expression pained.
really," Maddox replied, his attention remaining fixed
on the PADD.
about Data?" the Doctor asked. "Do you think *he's*
still not sure," Maddox said, looking at the Doctor
for the first time since the "debriefing" began.
"As I've gotten to know him over the last few years,
I'm starting to think so."
haven't taken the opportunity to get to know me," the
Doctor retorted, "and you've already convinced yourself
that I'm not."
Maddox snarled, dropping the PADD forcefully onto the tabletop,
"ever since Data was first declared alive when he applied
to the academy, people have been coming out of the woodwork
claiming that their replicator was alive, or that their
computer held conversations with them... The occasions where
we actually have found a machine that might qualify as sentient
are so rare that we've got a hard time taking them seriously."
sounds like a personal problem," the Doctor said dryly.
are programmed to seem like real people," Maddox said.
"That makes it a little more difficult to determine
sentience than with something like nanites or the Exocomps."
Ensign Russel began, his gaze fixed solidly on his tricorder
as he spoke, "I'm getting indications of a Starfleet
signature." He and Commander Hamilton stood in the
midst of what was quickly becoming the survey team's field
headquarters. All around them, crewmen and officers were
busy erecting the standard issue, prefabricated structures
common among Starfleet's temporary bases. Several people
from one of the science teams had already ventured out into
the debris field nearby.
it," Hamilton said. "I was told to expect this,
and to give it a wide berth until further notice."
sir?" Russel asked. "Who would give an order like
Investigations is in on this one, ensign," Hamilton
said. "I've learned not to ask questions when they're
sir," Russel said.
there something on your mind, ensign?" Hamilton asked
when the young man stayed at his side, uncomfortably quiet.
yes, sir," Russel replied. "I'm still trying to
figure out what to make of all this." He waved his
arm at the debris field several meters in front of them.
"From what I've read, these...Sernaix had a massive
fleet, ready to do to Earth what they did to this planet."
Voyager saved the day before anyone even realized they'd
made it back home," Hamilton concluded.
sir," Russel said. "Captain Janeway's a hero,
sir. Why would Starfleet court-martial her?"
obviously a lot of things that happened on Voyager that
haven't been made public," Hamilton said. "Things
we may never know. We just have to trust that our superiors
know what they're doing, and follow our orders when they
sir," Russel said.
wouldn't worry too much about Voyager right now, Mr. Russel,"
Hamilton said. The ensign nodded, then turned and made his
way back to the excavation site. Hamilton watched the young
man for a moment, then turned and headed back to the camp.
are the science labs coming, Mr. Smallen?" Hamilton
asked as he approached the pilot, who was working on a building
with several other officers and crewmen.
as quickly as I'd like, sir," Smallen replied. "We're
still having trouble resolving the power flow issue."
nodded. They'd had a recurring problem for the past several
hours with the power conduits. They'd brought along a generator
capable of providing enough energy to run a small city,
but for some unexplained reason, the power transfer conduits
weren't handling the load being put on them.
speak with the engineers again," Hamilton said. "Other
than that, how's it going?"
we finish off this one," Smallen replied, pointing
to the building in question, "we've just got one more
to go. We should have them all up by nightfall."
job," Hamilton said. "With any luck, the engineers
will have solved the power problem by then. Carry on,"
he said, then left to speak with the project's engineering
T'Sai began, approaching the witness stand, "you have
read the entire report on the events surrounding the operation
that Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay code-named 'Scorpion,'
Nechayev said warily.
"Then you're aware," T'Sai said, "that Voyager's
sensors showed the area nicknamed the 'Northwest Passage'
to be completely devoid of any Borg presence. Is that also
Nechayev replied, shifting in her seat.
that report," T'Sai continued, "not also include
an explanation that Kes, an Ocampan native to the Delta
Quadrant, had made telepathic contact with Species 8472
once they had entered the region, and that she quoted them
as saying, 'The weak shall perish?'"
believe so," Nechayev admitted.
based on the information at hand," T'Sai said raising
her head slightly, "would it not have been foolish
for the captain to risk exposing her crew to even more danger
than they were already facing by approaching Species 8472?"
shouldn't have gotten involved at all," Nechayev replied
harshly, "if for no other reason than that the Prime
Directive prohibits involvement in conflicts that do not
pose a direct threat to Federation interests."
possible annihilation of the Borg," T'Sai countered,
raising an eyebrow, "by an even more aggressive and
perhaps more dangerous species of xenophobes that apparently
destroyed all other life forms in their home dimension does
not qualify as a threat to the Federation?"
were attacking the Borg, not us," Nechayev said, her
eyes narrowing. "She could have used that distraction
to simply pass through Borg space while they were too busy
to notice a single, relatively insignificant starship."
T'Sai began, "are you familiar with Starfleet General
don't recall the exact wording," Nechayev said carefully,
"but I am familiar with it, yes."
me to refresh your memory," T'Sai said, picking up
a PADD from the defense table. "'Starfleet Command
recognizes the right of each ship commander to interpret
the specifications of the Prime Directive as he or she sees
fit, consistent with the conditions of other existing general
orders in effect, and based upon circumstances that may
arise in dealing with newly discovered sentient races.'
Would it not follow, then, that the captain's actions regarding
both the Borg and Species 8472 were legal?"
in regard to your comments on the captain's actions against
the Borg last year," T'Sai continued, interrupting
the admiral, "didn't you give standing orders that
any and all advantages that could be found over the Borg
should be exploited?"
was intended," Nechayev replied, "for instances
such as when Captain Picard released the Borg known as Hugh
back to the Collective unharmed when he could have used
the opportunity to infect the Borg with a computer virus
that would bring them to their knees."
what way does that differ from infecting the Collective
with a biological virus?" T'Sai asked. Nechayev opened
her mouth, then shut it again without speaking. "No
further questions, your honor," T'Sai said, returning
to her seat.
sat at a small table in Starfleet Headquarters. The room
was sparsely decorated, the dull gray walls unadorned. A
light shone brightly over the table at which the young lieutenant
sat, his thoughts wandering as he waited for his debriefing
to begin. He tugged at the collar of the new uniform he'd
been issued in anticipation, the golden fabric stretching
slightly against his fingers. It had been a few weeks, but
he was finally getting used to the new design's fit. The
fabric was a bit heavier than he'd grown accustomed to,
but otherwise, it actually was pretty comfortable.
the time that had passed since Voyager's last, eventful
meeting with the Sernaix, the dreams that Kim had experienced
haunted him still. After his mind meld with Commander Tuvok,
he could remember nearly everything about them, and the
image of Earth being sterilized and destroyed, even though
it wasn't real, still never failed to terrify him.
thoughts were interrupted when another young man walked
through the doorway. Looking first to the man's collar,
Kim saw that he was dealing with a lieutenant-commander,
then he moved his gaze upward to see the face of his superior
officer. He drew in a sharp breath, then tried to compose
Kim asked, shocked. "Dan Byrd?"
damn good to see you again, Harry," a broadly grinning
Byrd replied, taking a seat opposite Kim and casually dropping
a PADD on the table between them.
thought you went into engineering," Kim said.
a few years," Byrd said. "I transferred to logistics
during the last year of the Dominion War." He leaned
forward over the table, propping himself up by his elbows,
his arms crossed in front of him.
how did *you* get to be the one to debrief me?" Kim
asked in disbelief.
days risking harassment charges from my commanding officer,"
Byrd said, half-seriously. "I wasn't her first choice
for the assignment, but I finally convinced her. Told her
that my time with you at the academy could be an asset during
a debriefing." Byrd grinned broadly.
what have you been up to for the last eight years?"
Byrd interrupted playfully, "I thought I was the one
who's supposed to be asking the questions here!"
then," Kim said, grinning and leaning back in his seat,
far more at ease with the situation than he'd been a few
moments earlier. "Ask away, *Commander* Byrd."
prosecution calls Mr. Peter Tanner," Shelrak said as
he stood behind his seat. The doors to the courtroom opened
to admit the witness -- a trim, older man with chiseled
features and graying hair. He carried himself with a confidence
that bordered on arrogance.
you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing
but the truth?" the bailiff asked as Tanner stood in
the witness box with his right hand raised.
do," Tanner said, his voice rough and throaty.
may be seated, Mr. Tanner," Louvois said as the lieutenant
Tanner," Shelrak said as he approached the witness
a moment later, "could you tell the court what you
do for a living?"
nodded. "I'm the director of the Department of Temporal
Investigations," he said.
exactly does that mean?" Shelrak asked.
in charge of the administration of the department,"
does the department do?" Shelrak asked, sucking in
another lungful of methane.
been tasked with overseeing time travel," Tanner explained,
"and policing the timeline."
the timeline?" Shelrak asked inclining his head toward
the witness box.
are occasions," Tanner said, "where individuals
have been able to visit the past. We're here to make sure
their presence has as little impact on the timeline as possible,
and that events unfold as history originally recorded."
Shelrak said, "that would make you an expert on the
Temporal Prime Directive, wouldn't it?"
aware, then," Shelrak continued, "of Captain Janeway's
encounters with time travel?"
Tanner grimaced, turning his head slightly to the side.
you describe them for the court?" Shelrak asked, folding
his hands behind his back.
do I start?" Tanner muttered sardonically. "Janeway's
becoming as infamous in the department as James Kirk."
the beginning would suffice," Shelrak replied.
laughed. "Beginning," he chuckled. "End.
This is time travel we're talking about. What's the difference?"
He chuckled again, then continued, "Let's see... The
'first' incident DTI has on record relative to the crew's
subjective perception of the flow of time occurred just
a few weeks after Voyager was stranded in the Delta Quadrant."
leaned over to T'Sai. "I don't remember anything with
time travel happening that early," she whispered.
your honor," T'Sai said immediately, rising from her
seat. "Captain Janeway has no recollection of any occurrences
of time travel during the time period specified by the witness,
nor is there any indication of such an event in the ship's
Tanner," Louvois said in confusion, turning to the
witness box, "I assume there's an explanation for that?"
your honor," Tanner said. "I was just about to
get to that."
well, then," Louvois said. "Objection overruled.
you, your honor," Tanner said graciously. "In
what was later determined to be a predestination paradox,
Voyager detected a massive explosion on an M-Class planet
they were passing at the time. Janeway ordered the ship
change course to investigate, and both she and Lieutenant
Paris were inadvertently transported to that planet on the
day before the explosion. Eventually, they discovered that
they were in fact responsible for causing that explosion.
They did, however, manage to alter the outcome of those
events, preventing the explosion and effectively 'resetting'
the timeline to its state immediately
prior to their detection of the event, which is why the
captain has no memory of it."
T'Sai said, rising from her seat with a barely-detectable
trace of exasperation in her voice, an incredible show of
frustration by Vulcan standards. "By the witness' own
admission, that timeline never happened because of the actions
of an alternate reality version of the defendant. By definition,
that was not the same woman who sits before you today, and
therefore she cannot be charged for any transgressions committed
by her counterpart. I move that the director's comments
on that event be stricken from the
record, and any charges filed for this incident be dismissed."
Louvois agreed. "Director," she added, looking
toward Tanner, "you will refrain from commenting on
events from other timelines, and your previous comments
will be removed from the record. Furthermore, any charges
related to that incident are hereby dropped. Proceed, Commander
you, your honor," Shelrak said. "Director, what
relevant instances of time travel are on the captain's record?"
first began on Stardate 50312.5," Tanner began. "An
individual claiming to be a representative of the twenty-ninth
century equivalent of DTI appeared in Voyager's path and
tried to destroy the ship without attempting to follow any
alternative courses of action, resulting in an apparent
predestination paradox that, ostensibly, caused him to come
to the twenty-fourth century Delta Quadrant in an attempt
to destroy Voyager in the hope of preventing that paradox.
Voyager found itself in Earth orbit in 1996, and the other
individual, who called himself Captain Braxton, was determined
to have spent three decades on the surface of the planet
by that point."
have your doubts as to the validity of his story?"
haven't been able to corroborate it," Tanner admitted,
"not to mention that he apparently ignored several
existing protocols, but there could be a number of reasons
see," Shelrak said. "And could you describe Captain
Janeway's transgressions during this incident?"
Tanner said. "Most notably, she allowed the ship to
be observed by twentieth-century natives, those under her
command engaged in phaserfights in broad daylight in the
heavily-populated Los Angeles area, and she destroyed the
timeship occupied by the man widely acknowledged to have
played a major role in the development of early computers,
killing him. Furthermore, she knowingly contaminated the
timeline by maintaining possession of technology from the
director," Shelrak asked, "what technology would
portable holoemitter," Tanner said.
said that was the first incident," Shelrak said, holding
his hands behind his back. "Would you tell the court
about the second?"
occurred over several time periods," Tanner said. "On
Stardate 52861, Captain Janeway became involved in another
temporal incident with the man calling himself Captain Braxton.
She was transported to what he said was the twenty-ninth
century, along with Seven of Nine, who had been taken from
what was at that point a possible future version of Voyager
moments before it was destroyed. When Seven of Nine was
aboard Voyager in the past, long before the ship ever entered
Borg space, the captain forced her to reveal details about
the future, as well as making comments that illustrate her
disregard for the integrity of spacetime."
T'Sai said, rising once more from her seat. "Captain
Janeway has informed me that she has no memory of those
events, either. I move that the director's comments be stricken
from the record and any charges related to that incident
Louvois said, turning to Tanner in annoyance, "is that
another timeline that was later invalidated?"
yes," Tanner admitted uncomfortably. "However,
your honor, it illustrates --"
sustained," Louvois said, then turned to address the
jury. "Mr. Tanner's last comments are to be disregarded,
and any related charges for that incident are hereby dropped.
Director," Louvois turned again to face Tanner, "one
more time and I'll hold you in contempt of court. I won't
warn you again."
there any other *relevant* events?" Shelrak asked,
Tanner said. "One more."
the court, please," Shelrak said.
occurred just prior to Voyager's initial return to the Alpha
Quadrant," Tanner said. "She was contacted by
a future version of herself, and not only allowed her to
come aboard, but was given advanced technology by her future
sighed. The Admiral. She knew it was only a matter of time
before that came up.
this was a violation of the Temporal Prime Directive?"
definitely," Tanner said.
T'Sai said. "The captain's future counterpart is liable
for this incident, not my client. It also should be mentioned
that this future counterpart's timeline no longer exists."
honor," Shelrak said, "the witness was just about
to explain how, in these circumstances, both parties are
liable for the violation in question."
overruled," Louvois said.
you, your honor," Shelrak said. "Director, would
you please explain for the court how the captain is liable
for the violation instigated by her future counterpart?
course," Tanner said. "Because Captain Janeway
is as much bound by the Temporal Prime Directive as her
future counterpart no doubt also was, she was obligated
to avoid all contact with 'the Admiral,' as Captain Janeway
referred to her counterpart in her logs. She was even more
stringently prohibited from accepting any technology from
individuals known to have originated from the future."
Captain Janeway did neither?" Shelrak asked.
correct," Tanner said.
what future technology," Shelrak asked, "was involved
in this incident?"
shielding systems," Tanner said, "as well as transphasic
nodded, his hands clasped behind his back as he stood in
front of the witness box. "No further questions, your
honor," he said. As he returned to the prosecution's
table across the aisle from the defense, he nodded to T'Sai
and said, "Your witness, commander." "Director
Tanner," T'Sai said, rising gracefully from her seat,
"you have only mentioned two relevant instances where
the captain allegedly violated the Temporal Prime Directive."
did," Tanner shot back.
is for the court to decide," T'Sai said evenly. "In
the first instance, when Voyager was transported to the
past," she continued, "did Captain Janeway and
her landing party beam down to Los Angeles
in their uniforms?"
were they wearing?" T'Sai asked.
attire of the time period," Tanner replied.
they beam down in view of the natives of the time period?"
arched an eyebrow. "I see," she said. "Did
she intentionally take any actions that indicated that she
came from the future?"
Tanner admitted softly.
don't believe the jurors could hear you," T'Sai said.
"Would you please repeat yourself, louder this time?"
Tanner repeated clearly.
you," T'Sai said, pausing for a moment before continuing
her questioning on a new topic. "You mentioned the
crew's inadvertent acquisition of the portable holographic
emitter while on Earth in the year 1996. Tell me, do you
know whether current holographic technology is capable of
producing a portable holographic emission system?"
not my specialty," Tanner replied.
it pleases the court," T'Sai said, picking up one of
the PADDs from the defense table, "the defense would
like to introduce the following scientific paper regarding
holographic emission technology from Stardate 50485 into
evidence." She handed the PADD to Louvois, who glanced
at the screen.
entered," Louvois said, handing the PADD back to T'Sai.
Tanner," T'Sai said, handing the PADD to Tanner, "would
you please read for the court the highlighted selection?"
looked at the PADD, then read, "It is therefore within
the realm of possibility that portable holographic emitters
small enough to fit within the palm of the hand can be constructed
within ten years."
stands repeating," T'Sai said, taking the PADD back
from Tanner, "that this was published nearly a year
before contact was first reestablished with Voyager. The
emitter obtained by their holographic doctor was still unknown
to the Federation."
Shelrak interrupted, rising from his seat. "I fail
to hear the question in my colleague's last statement."
was just getting to that, your honor," T'Sai countered.
take too long, commander," Louvois said. "Objection
T'Sai continued, "given this evidence, wouldn't you
say the damage to the timeline in this circumstance is minimal,
if not nonexistent?"
disagree," Tanner said. "There's a big difference
from a scientist saying something's possible ten *years*
from now and a scientist saying something's possible ten
*days* from now."
then," T'Sai argued, "is it also not plausible
to consider that the acquisition by Voyager's crew of the
holographic emitter in question is in itself a predestination
paradox? After all, director, your own counterpart from
the future certainly has had, or will have had, ample opportunity
to travel back in time to Voyager shortly after its return
to the Delta Quadrant after that incident and simply take
the emitter away from them."
sighed. "That is a possibility," he admitted.
raised an eyebrow, as if in triumph, then began a new line
of questioning. "You have said," she began, "that
you believe Captain Janeway to be responsible for the events
initiated by her counterpart from a possible future, is
T'Sai said, "elaborate."
the moment contact was made with the Admiral's shuttle,"
Tanner began, "Captain Janeway knew that her counterpart
was from the future. She was under no obligation whatsoever
to take any orders from her. And yet, she did. She allowed
the Admiral to board Voyager, and then accepted technology
from the future, an action which has already had major repercussions
on the timeline."
the Admiral's presence in itself not invalidate her timeline
of origin?" T'Sai asked.
believe so," Tanner admitted.
wouldn't any action undertaken by Captain Janeway to approach
the transwarp hub have also invalidated that same timeline?"
Janeway had acquired several other technologies," T'Sai
began, "from hospitable races Voyager encountered during
its time in the Delta Quadrant. If that were the case with
the shield technology and the transphasic torpedoes, as
the general populace currently believes, would we be holding
at all," Tanner said.
your own admission," T'Sai said, "the Admiral's
timeline had already been invalidated by her very presence.
How, then, could any actions taken by the captain have had
any impact on a timeline that you've already admitted ceased
to exist before the captain had taken any action one way
or the other?"
sat, blinking, as he tried to explain the charges against
Tanner?" T'Sai asked, prompting him to answer.
safe to say that scientific advancement," Tanner began
cautiously, "would have continued at a similar rate
as in the timeline from which the Admiral originated. Any
changes to that timeline, be it tampering by the Admiral
or Voyager returning by its own means, would alter that
that is only one *possible* timeline," T'Sai said.
to say the future of that timeline is any more valid than
the future of the 'new' timeline we're on now?" T'Sai
not part of my job description," Tanner replied.
other words," T'Sai said, raising an eyebrow once more,
"you're not qualified to answer that."
pursed his lips. His head dropped and he gazed at his hands
in his lap, then shook his head and looked up at T'Sai.
"I don't know if anyone is," he replied.
looked up to Louvois. "No further questions, your honor,"
she said. As T'Sai took her seat next to Janeway at the
defense table, one of her adjutants, a young Andorian ensign,
came up from behind her and began to whisper into her ear.
T'Sai's eyebrow began to arch as he spoke to her.
honor," T'Sai said, rising from her seat once the adjutant
had stepped away. "The defense requests a short recess
so that I may confer with my client."
looked to Commander Shelrak, who had been organizing his
notes on a PADD while T'Sai's adjutant was delivering his
message. "Any objections from the prosecution?"
your honor," Shelrak replied, looking up from his PADD
as he spoke to the admiral.
well, then," Louvois said. "This court will recess
for twenty minutes." She tapped her gavel against the
bell before her, then rose and left the courtroom.
life forms aren't unheard of," the Doctor said sharply.
"Even a century ago, their existence was proven by
the discovery of V'Ger."
hardly V'Ger," Maddox replied.
is Data," the Doctor protested. "He was created
by a genius, and so was I."
have to admit," Maddox said, "Doctor Zimmerman
*is* a genius in his field, but there is still a difference."
being?" the Doctor asked.
and his... siblings," Maddox said, "were constructed
with the sole goal being to create an artificial life form."
the Doctor replied acidly, "life doesn't just *happen?*"
were designed to be a piece of equipment," Maddox said.
were the Exocomps," the Doctor replied quickly.
a hologram," Maddox replied.
that just explains everything away?" the Doctor asked
incredulously. "What about Moriarty? Or Vic Fontaine?"
do you know about them?" Maddox asked sharply.
Barclay told me about them," the Doctor said, folding
his arms across his chest.
jury's still out on them," Maddox replied sullenly.
does it take to convince you people?" the Doctor asked.
"Why don't you believe I'm alive like everyone else
on Voyager does?"
objectivity is questionable," Maddox replied.
so is yours," the Doctor spat. "I've read about
you. You were the only person to object to Data's entry
into Starfleet, and later, you even tried to disassemble
him, all the while saying he wasn't alive. Well, he is,
and so am I!"
a minute," Byrd interrupted. "You mean Lyndsay's
of," Kim explained. "Her body was reanimated and
genetically altered. She's still the same person, more or
must have been tough," Byrd said, "losing her
a second time."
Kim replied. "It was. But at least I know that she's
still alive out there. Sort of."
Byrd said, looking at the list of required questions on
his PADD, trying to bring the debriefing back to business.
"The Hirogen takeover of the ship. What else happened?"
do you mean?" Kim asked.
read the report," Byrd said. "What did you leave
that happened," Kim said evenly, "went into my
not what I meant," Byrd replied. "It didn't tell
me what was going on in your head."
felt helpless," Kim said, "when the Hirogen took
over and had me keep the ship together while they ripped
my friends to pieces on the holodecks. I remember working
maintenance outside the door to Holodeck Two one night...
I still have nightmares from the screams I heard, sometimes.
I didn't see most of what happened to the crew, thankfully,
although sometimes I wonder if what I'd imagined from the
noises I heard through the bulkheads was worse or not. I
tried to avoid Sickbay if I could. I just fixed whatever
new problems cropped up from the addition of all those holoemitters
in the ship, and tried to come up with a plan to retake
uh," Byrd began uncertainly a moment later, taken aback
by his old friend's reply, "the Quantum Slipstream
drive. Tell me about it."
something we've *got* to get working properly," Kim
said. "If we'd had one of those, we would've been home
within months of getting stuck in the Delta Quadrant in
the first place. Seven said once that the theory behind
it is similar to Borg transwarp methods."
Byrd said, writing a note into his PADD. "Oh, geez.
Okay, you're going to hate me for this one, but tell me
about the Varro."
rolled his eyes, resigned to having that incident come up
to haunt him for the rest of his life. "What do you
want to know?" he asked.
about their propulsion systems," Byrd suggested. "Are
they similar to our own?"
sighed, glad that his friend was avoiding the embarrassing
personal questions he'd expected. "Yeah," he replied.
"They're pretty similar. Where we've typically got
nacelles, their warp thrust assembly was integrated into
the main drive section of their ship, before it was destroyed.
The power conduits ran throughout the structure, though,
probably powering systems throughout the collected vessel."
kind of contingency plans did they have," Byrd asked,
"in case of warp drive failure?"
far as I could tell," Kim replied, "the entire
section could be jettisoned in an emergency. The warp core
and the engines themselves were all in a self-contained
Byrd continued, pausing a moment to look into his old friend's
eyes, a sly grin on his face, "was she cute?"
Kim asked, the question catching him off-guard.
she cute?" Byrd repeated.
Kim admitted sheepishly.
grinned again for a moment, then continued, "Okay.
me?" Kim asked defensively.
Harry," Byrd chuckled, raising his hands in mock surrender.
"Shields down! I just want to know what new information
you've got for the record on Borg drones."
Kim replied. "I didn't mean to... it's just... you
not sure I do," Byrd said.
my friend," Kim said. "We've been through a lot
together. Everyone on Voyager has."
a Borg," Byrd said acidly. "Or have you forgotten
what they did at Wolf 359?"
wasn't there," Kim said. "And she was forced by
the Collective to do things like that. All the drones are."
cousin died at Wolf 359," Byrd said. "I know all
I need to know about the Borg. But Starfleet wants to know
what *you* know."
Doctor would be a better choice," Kim replied cautiously.
"He knows more about Seven than anyone else. Maybe
even more than her."
tell me what you know," Byrd said.
Kim began with a sigh, disheartened by his old friend's
expression of hate toward all Borg, current and former.
"Borg drones. Everyone knows about the drones, or at
least they think they do. Their bodies are filled with implants,
nanoprobes, and transceivers of all types. The hive mind
on each ship is maintained by a device called a viniculum;
it suppresses the drones' individuality and enforces conformance
with directives from the Collective. From there, the ships
are organized into unimatrices, the largest and highest
in the Borg hierarchy is Unimatrix Zero-One, which is at
the center of their territory and is home to the Borg Queen."
Kim stopped, then looked at his friend. "I don't know
how much help this will be," he said. "Not with
everything that's happened to the Borg lately."
keep talking," Byrd said. "Who knows? maybe there's
still pockets of the Collective out there that we haven't
seen, who are trying to reconsolidate the Borg."
Kim nodded, then continued, "I don't think the Borg
ever truly 'adapted' to anything in the past. I think they've
only accessed the collected memories of the drones in the
network, and searched for data that met the criteria of
the situation that had been assimilated from some other
really think so?" Byrd asked, interested.
Kim said. "I mean, think about it. The Borg don't do
anything of their own accord except assimilate the bodies
and knowledge of other species. I don't think the Collective
has the *ability* to think on its own to devise new strategies
new Borg can," Byrd said.
know," Kim said. "That could make them even more
have we got?" Commander Hamilton asked the towheaded
Lieutenant Darren Goode as he approached the younger engineer
inside the structure that would house the research facility
during the excavation of the Sernaix debris. The building
was a standard-issue Starfleet temporary shelter, and was
still being assembled by Lieutenant Smallen and several
Goode replied, "it appears to be part of the refrigeration
units employed throughout the Sernaix ships. They're used
to collect, store and super-cool photons for use as hull
material via a Bose- Einstein condensate. I believe they
also generate force fields of some sort to help regulate
temperatures within the vessel itself."
likely are going to be the most common finds, sir,"
Goode said, "considering how many must be required
to safely maintain a Sernaix vessel, and the number of vessels
that were reportedly involved in this crash."
course," Hamilton replied, looking at the assortment
of objects strewn on the tables at the center of the spartan
room. "Have you found anything else yet?"
sir," Goode replied. "We've located hundreds --
thousands -- of dessicated Sernaix bodies. Those are being
examined by the xenobiology team in the next building, but
the devices on their bodies are on this table over here."
led Hamilton over to the table in question, which was covered
in various small devices, grouped by type. "According
to our data," Goode continued, picking up one of the
items, "this is an interlink node. It functions similarly
to our communicators, allowing an individual Sernaix to
link to the Realm."
Realm?" Hamilton asked, confused.
a little difficult to explain, sir," Goode said. "It's
a simulated reality where uploaded Sernaix continue to exist
after physical death, while the other, living, Sernaix can
enter at will to communicate. Distances are mitigated, and,
theoretically, a Sernaix on one side of the galaxy can communicate
with their leadership on the other."
this?" Hamilton asked, picking up another device from
a small pile of identical items.
believe," Goode replied, "that's some kind of
a voice called from the outside of the prefabricated structure.
Hamilton's head snapped up, and he turned and briskly made
his way outside.
a young, Bolian crewman huffed excitedly, running up to
Hamilton from the excavation site. "You've gotta see
Bolian led Hamilton through the scattered debris that marked
the gravesite of a once-great Sernaix warship. Dessicated
bodies were scattered throughout the area. Ahead of them
loomed a massive metal structure, half-buried in the dirt
of the impact crater.
that what I think that is?" Hamilton asked to no one
looks like what's left of the Quantum Slipstream drive,"
the Bolian said, grinning broadly. "It's almost completely
get it out of there," Hamilton said, a grin spreading
across his face as well.
sat in a small room elsewhere in the courthouse, staring
across the old wooden table at her attorney and two of the
few allies she seemed to have left among Starfleet's top
is it, Katie," said Admiral Patterson. "This is
what it boils down to."
am not pleading guilty," Janeway said adamantly, her
jaw firmly set.
only to a lesser charge," argued Admiral Paris. "You
won't even have to serve time in prison."
Patterson began, then amended after a glance at Janeway's
angry, determined face, "Kathryn. I can get you a position
on my staff at the headquarters of the Starfleet Science
Division. You're a good scientist; it'll be a perfect job
never have another command again," Janeway retorted.
will still have your freedom," T'Sai argued.
trial's going a lot better now," Janeway argued. "You
haven't even had a chance to present my side of the story
my best efforts," T'Sai replied, "I cannot guarantee
a better outcome from the jury when this trial concludes.
They may have... particular difficulty in ignoring the comments
made by Director Tanner earlier today, despite their exclusion
from the official record."
didn't do anything wrong," Janeway retorted. "Let's
see any of them do better, stuck on the other side of the
galaxy with no way home in sight."
or no," Paris said, "Shelrak has had a lot of
time to practice being one of the toughest lawyers around
-- at three hundred years old, he can remember Captain Archer
making first contact with his people. It's not easy trying
to fight that kind of experience."
try," Janeway spat. "I refuse to plead guilty."
may be your last chance," Paris said. "I've pulled
in just about every favor I've got left to arrange this
for you. Warhol still has a lot of allies left, but not
so many that I couldn't get Shelrak's superiors to see things
my way." Janeway sighed, then leaned back in her chair
thoughtfully. After a moment, she looked back across the
was the deal, again?" she asked.
coming around, I see," Paris said, raising his chin
slightly and crossing his arms in front of his chest.
weighing my options," Janeway replied. Even when she
wasn't on the bridge, she still had to make decisions that
she didn't like. She inhaled sharply, then let out a long,
do it," she said, her voice practically a whisper.
makes you alive?" Maddox asked. "Why should I
believe your story, and not the one about the toaster on
ergo sum," the Doctor replied.
Latin," the Doctor said. "It means, 'I think,
therefore I am.'"
know what it means," Maddox said. "Why should
that sway me?"
the truth," the Doctor said.
Maddox replied sarcastically. "Why wouldn't it be?"
self aware," the Doctor added. "I've known my
entire existence that I'm a hologram."
course," Maddox said. "You were programmed with
that knowledge. Could you imagine the chaos during an emergency
situation if the holographic doctor thought he was equal,
or even superior, to the organic one?"
don't know if I should feel patronized or insulted,"
the Doctor commented.
at this from my perspective," Maddox said.
should see things *your* way?" the Doctor asked sardonically.
"What about my way? I've been in love; normal computer
programs can't feel love."
makes you think *you* have?" Maddox asked.
could ask yourself the same question," the Doctor replied.
not going to get into some semantic argument about love
with some soulless computer program," Maddox said icily.
the Doctor asked. "How do you know if I have a soul
could you?" Maddox replied. "You're a machine."
*is* a soul?" the Doctor asked. "Is it the Vulcan
katra? That can be passed along and stored in the Hall of
Memory like I can back up my program on another computer's
database. What limits souls to occupying only biological
bodies? Maybe *my* soul decided to inhabit a holographic
never thought I'd see the day," Maddox said, almost
the Doctor asked.
the nature of the soul," Maddox explained, "with
a computer program."
a first time for everything," the Doctor said.
Maddox said, looking into the Doctor's eyes for the first
time. "I'm not the last word on determining if you're
sentient or not. I'm... kind of a litmus test."
don't understand," the Doctor said.
took more than twenty-five years," Maddox explained,
"for me to even consider that Data might be alive.
The others at the Daystrom Institute figured that if you
could get me to question even for a second if you are or
not, then there's a chance you might really be sentient."
the Doctor began wistfully, "recognition of my basic
rights as an individual. A new era--"
said," Maddox interrupted, "that I'm not the last
word here. But if what I've seen so far is any indication,
I think you've got a chance."
you really think so?" the Doctor asked.
is possible," Maddox said, then suddenly laughed. "Even
Hamilton called. Dozens of crewmen were at the base of the
crater, digging furiously in an attempt to free the relatively
undamaged Sernaix Quantum Slipstream drive core from the
ground. The air above the object shimmered and glowed a
bright blue from the tractor beams of the three shuttlecraft
a groan, the massive object came free, clods of dirt falling
onto the heads of the people below. They stood their ground
as it lifted above them, looking up as the dry, sandy dirt
showered onto their faces. Some cheered, some began to dance,
others remained silent. Most smiled broadly.
it down near the research facilities," Hamilton said,
the channel on his combadge still open.
Smallen's voice replied over the metal pin's diminutive
speaker, and the Runabout Colorado turned, guiding the other
shuttles toward the nearby encampment. Within minutes, the
drive core was safely resting on the ground, ten meters
from the still-incomplete prefabricated buildings.
scientists rushed toward the encampment and converged around
the battered, hulking slipstream core. The air was thick
with the hum of tricorders and excited whispers as Hamilton
approached the crowd.
you look at this?" someone asked.
is incredible," another said. "I'd never have
thought of that!"
me," Hamilton said as he stopped behind one of the
scientists. "What have we got?"
a Sernaix slipstream core, of course," said the scientist,
an older man wearing civilian clothing with a head of unruly
know that," Hamilton replied. "I mean, what kind
of shape is it in? Is it worth the effort we just put in
to dig it up?"
the scientist said. "It's too early to be completely
certain, but I'd say this computer here," he patted
the metal casing next to him gently, almost reverently,
then continued, "that controls the drive core is completely
intact. And the rest of the core is at least salvageable
enough to learn how to build another one on our own."
Hamilton said. "I'll let you get back to work, then."
He turned and made his way toward the area where the shuttles
had landed. He needed to speak with Lieutenant Smallen to
determine the strain the day's maneuvers had placed on the
vehicles, and how much time and resources would be needed
to get them back into top shape for the next big discovery
the dig was more than likely to make.
honor," T'Sai said to Admiral Louvois from her seat
in the judge's chambers, "the defense has reached a
settlement agreement with the prosecution."
eyed T'Sai for a moment, then glanced over at Shelrak. "Let's
hear it," she said, returning her gaze to T'Sai.
tensed as T'Sai began. "All charges shall be dropped,
save conduct unbecoming a commanding officer. The prosecution
has also agreed to seek a lesser sentence for the remaining
shot Shelrak a surprised look. "This is unexpected,
commander," she said.
prosecution has... come to believe," Shelrak replied,
"that the separation of the past eight years and the
loss of starship command may be punishment enough for the
defendant. She is an accomplished scientist, and it would
be in Starfleet's best interest to retain her in that capacity."
Janeway," Louvois said, turning her attention to the
captain, "has your attorney advised you that a guilty
plea to this charge, even with such a drastically reduced
sentence, will prevent you from commanding a starship again?"
has, your honor," Janeway replied.
well, then," Louvois said. "We'll reconvene in
court to make it official in fifteen minutes."
San Franciscans turned on their vidscreens to the evening
news, the lead story was, as had been the case for some
time now, the court-martial of Captain Kathryn Janeway.
The anchor for the broadcast, the popular Suellen Bartlett,
looked into the camera.
evening," she said. "Today marked an unexpected
turn of events in the court-martial of the Starship Voyager's
Captain Kathryn Janeway. The Starfleet prosecutor agreed
to drop all charges save one. According to inside reports,
the guilty plea to the remaining charge, which has not been
disclosed, means that Janeway will likely never command
a starship again.
related news," she said, turning in her chair to face
a different camera, "the Cardassian government has
reiterated its desire that the former Maquis crewmembers
from Voyager be brought to justice for their role in the
events leading up to the Dominion War. No official word
has been given yet on what will become of them."
of Nine crawled through the ventilation duct, dropping into
the dusty, unused room. She waited, cautiously, listening
carefully before activating the computer terminal.
nervously around the room, as if expecting someone to leap
from the shadows at any moment, she activated the communications
relay, making sure the transmission was scrambled before
opening a channel. The face of a man she had never before
seen came onto the screen.
am Seven of Nine," she said. "I have information
by: Jefffrey Harlan
Producers: Thinkey, Anne Rose and Coral