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Invaders

Queen’s integrated Fluidian-Borg drones are daunting. They’re about three meters tall, tripedal, muscular, agile and telepathic. They have been enhanced with full body armor, assimilation tubules in their claws, vocalization and a mechanic arm with retractable stabbing and lacerating weapons. Tom, B’Elanna and Harry try to evacuate villagers; but it’s difficult. Many Navels don’t know what happens or hide in their homes. Others are away planting Nerhe or making bricks. Drones bring down a number of crumbly structures. Harry and Tom separate from B’Elanna. They take a group of children to a cave up a hill. B’Elanna leads others into a storehouse, hoping to lose their chasers.

B’Elanna: You my little guys... hide over there.
Kids obey. A small one weeps and hesitates. Kiapo stays somewhat behind. He would like to help B’Elanna.
Kiapo: Cousins will get very upset when they get here.
B’Elanna: Really? Don’t be so sure. They don’t like festivities!

The little kid makes some noise. Drones hear it. Three get in the storehouse. B’Elanna fires her phaser gun; but they adapt and keep coming. She picks up a long obsidian knife and attacks one of the intruders. She gets bashed away and drops the weapon.

B’Elanna: Kiapo! Run...
Kiapo stares and smiles at an orange orb.

The aggressor goes after her. Two others stumble on the hidden kids; when a whirling sound is heard. One drone falls down cold with an arrow across its neck. B’Elanna tries to fight off her opponent; but it’s all over her for the kill. She then notices an imposing body coming from behind her attacker, wearing a snail-shell made armor. The enormous figure picks up the knife off the floor. She can’t help closing her eyes when his massive arm pushes the obsidian weapon through the drone’s head.

The third drone aims its attention towards Makahe. The mountaineer is a formidable adversary: 2 meters tall, thick, protuberant forehead, rounded eyes, rectangular jaw, kinky hair, goatee and tattooed face. He stares at his rival. Children come out of their hideout. Kiapo whispers. Makahe listens and stares at B’Elanna. She’s dumbfounded.
Kiapo: I told Makahe you’re a Sky Spirit. We’re safe now.
The orange orb gravitates before B’Elanna’s eyes.

Makahe accelerates from his passive stance and charge the drone with a furious combination of punches. The drone fights back, attempting to stab Makahe with its mechanic arm. Makahe grabs it with his powerful grip and strike his rival’s face with head-blows. Drone falls back. Makahe steps over drone’s armpit, twisting, pulling and dislocating its mechanic arm. He goes over and viciously punches the intruder’s head. They all get out the storehouse; leaving behind the third drone seated against a wall with its head hanging.

Makahe speaks unintelligible words and makes exorbitant gestures.
Kiapo: Makahe says he hates demons.
B’Elanna: Aha…
Makahe speaks some more.
Kiapo: “Too quick! I didn’t have time to show off”, He’s bragging. HeHeHe!
B’Elanna glances at Makahe with a vacant expression.

Voyager manages to keep Queen’s fleet at bay.
Janeway: Seven! We’re under attack. Shields are holding; but we don’t know for how long. You must soon make your move and get back here with our crew.
Seven: Vice-Admiral! We’d be leaving Navels to Queen’s drones.
Chakotay disagrees with the order.
Chakotay: Kathryn! We must protect them. They’re weak.
Janeway: We don’t look very strong up here facing a Fluidian/Borg fleet all by ourselves. There is only so much we can do without perishing.

Tuvok sympathizes with Chakotay... but Logic must prevail.
Tuvok: Captain Chakotay; keep also in mind, we’ve detoured from our real mission in order to complete what so far has been an unsubstantial tutorial.
Chakotay: Tutorial? This is looking more and more like mission to me. We are here to save this people. Otherwise; what’s the point in teaching them anything?
Doctor doesn’t connect well with Chakotay on this one.

Doctor: Tutorial or Mission... We should consider that Nature may have selected Navels for extinction.
Chakotay: That may suffice you Doctor; but I didn’t sign up to play God.
Neelix -as usual- expresses his nonsensical reasoning.
Neelix: Doctor... haven’t you notice these “mountaineers” dwarf Hirogens?
Doctor looks at a bunch of big guys descending from the hills and going into the forest.
Doctor: So what? They don’t stand a chance. Hirogens had XXIV Century guns.
Tuvok: Mr. Neelix... are you going anywhere with your ratiocination?

Neelix: Of course! What I mean is... and I’m paraphrasing sport-news anchors back on Earth... these cousins are “game changers”!
Doctor: Game changers?
Neelix: Yes! They’re for real. Maybe Nature selected Fluidians for extinction.
Janeway looks up and shakes her head a little; before getting back to battle mode.

Miral: Vice-Admiral! Focusing ships are aiming at us.
Janeway: Tuvok! I’m up to here with focusing ships. Flare them up with cluster photon torpedoes.
Tuvok: Launching clusters...
Voyager's transphasic nets impact the incoming Fluidian ships, delivering a devastating subspace compressing pulse.

From the lakebed...
Icheb: Done! I have improvised a shock-weapon; but we can only fire a few shots.
Seven: Fine! That and... the “surprise” factor shall work well for us.
Icheb questions Seven’s rationale towards the tasks at hand.
Icheb: Why don’t you believe in this mission?
Seven: Mission? I... I’m not good with beliefs.
Icheb: I see; your 18% thing... Tell me! Didn’t you believe Borg aim to assimilate technology to pursue perfection?
Seven puzzles over what is in his mind.

Seven: That’s what they do; Lieutenant.
“Icheb must be the most insecure ex-Borg ever”, she thinks. They already discussed this issue.
Icheb: Oh yeah? Then...why even bother to assimilate Neolithic Navels?
Icheb’s deduction disturbs Seven. Janeway comes in.
Janeway: Janeway to Seven! Report on status...
Seven vacillates...
Icheb: Commander...

Seven: Seven here! Icheb reconfigured our tractor beam.
Janeway: Good! You know then what to do.
Seven: Vice-Admiral! Attack on Navel Village may be a diversion.
There is a brief static silence...
Janeway: We’ll be vigilant. Carry on. Janeway out!

Children wait inside the cave. Oldest stick their heads out to see. Some cry out loud and others weep. Bhytor and Thamas pop up. They generate a little bit of hesitation though; with their luminous appearance. Thamas moves around, hugging children and making faces. He figures Navel kids must love “cartoons” as much as he does. Children adapt quick though; after all, Bhytor and Thamas behave somewhat like overgrown orbs.

Bhytor: Thamas! Stop it! You’re not making things any better. Call him!
Doctor pops up...
Doctor: What am I doing here? I must immediately get back to sickbay.
Thamas: Take bottle!
Doctor grasps his baby bottle and conducts a preliminary observation on the samples.
Bhytor: They say more cousins will join these “games”.
Doctor: That might be the consensus among optimist children; but...
Bhytor: You don’t think so.
Doctor: Bhytor; I don’t play games. I work with facts. These foes are too many.

Harry and Tom seek weapons in a workshop. They find Taraga, a female mountaineer with a bow and a slingshot in her hands. She’s as tall as Makahe, though somewhat leaner. Her hair is long-kinky-Mohawk, tattooed head, round face, long nose and big eyes. She’s with Gaya. Taraga stares stone-faced at visitors. Gaya touches her thigh. Taraga bends to hear Gaya’s whispers. She arms her bow and in her way out, proudly passes by Harry and Tom.

Tom: Ladies first…

They fallow Taraga out of the workshop. Four drones turn their way; and she goes off shooting arrows. She hits and disables two targets. She then pulls a wooden-obsidian macana off her back and threw it to another drone, smashing its chest. She quickly moves to the only drone left standing and attacks him with a combination of kicks and punches. Tom and Harry can’t react quickly enough to assist her.

Drone inflicts a cut on her face. She jumps on it; rips off its optical enhancement and stabs its other eye. She gets up, recovers her macana and finishes it wrathfully. Tom and Harry witness her deed in total disbelief.

Gaya: Taraga is mad.
Harry Kim: No kidding!

In the cave…

Doctor studies Thamas’ baby bottle. Bhytor shows more cartoons to some children through spherical holographic monitors. Thamas whispers with others.
Doctor: Doctor to Seven! I can’t connect with Voyager.
Communication is partially jammed.
Seven: Doctor? Aren’t you in...?
Doctor: I’m with Bhytor, Thamas and Navel children in a murky cave.
Seven: I can’t locate your position. Too much interference...
Doctor: Who cares? Seven of Nine... I’ve made a startling discovery.

Seven: Doctor! You should be in sickbay; not playing with children in a cave.
Doctor: I know; and you should pay more attention to what I have to say. Navels are immune to Queen’s toxic microbiology.
Seven and Icheb are flabbergasted by the information.
Icheb: Incredible...
Seven: That can’t be. We haven’t inoculated them with our augments.
Doctor: You don’t understand. They’re the natural source of your augments.

Seven and Icheb exchange thoughtful glances. There is definitely something wrong about the Fluidian/Borg attack. Queen must know that Navels are immune. If so; what is her true objective? What can be so important?

Icheb: The humidity dome...
Icheb murmurs. Seven acknowledges it.
Seven: Doctor...what’re my children doing?
Doctor: Entertaining others as usual...
Seven: Not good! They’ll deplete themselves down there and I will have to run a cold reboot to reload their bio-photonic systems.
Doctor: That sounds strenuous.
Icheb smiles. Seven doesn’t like it.

Seven: Doctor...tell them to get back to Voyager right away.
Doctor and Thamas communicate. Doctor doesn’t approve his suggestion.
Doctor: Cultural heritage? Thamas! I’m a Doctor; not a Curator!
Bhytor: We must go. You stay here for a little while; okay?
Doctor: All right! I’ll oversee their... homework.
“That one over there looks pretty good actually. What is it? Two women on wetsuits...fighting on mud?”, Doctor observes with interest the familiar depiction.

Thamas and Bhytor fade away. Navel children keep painting. Taraga’s and Makahe’s groups coincide in an intersection. Harry analyzes readings in his tricorder.

Tom Paris: Who’s Prince Charming?
B’Elanna: Makahe! He hates demons. What about Miss Congeniality?
Tom Paris: Her name is Taraga and she’s mad.
B’Elanna: I can tell she might be too much to handle.
B’Elanna winks at Tom.
Tom Paris: Yeah Harry! Don’t do anything stupid like playing your clarinet.
Harry Kim: Guys! I know why we can’t communicate with mountaineers. They speak in a wide-range of infrasound frequencies.

B’Elanna: Oh! So... Navel kids can hear low frequencies?
Harry Kim: Not just that; they whisper infrasound to communicate with their cousins.
Tom Paris: Janeway’s mother was right. To be constructive; all you need is a positive mind-set.
Harry points at a mature Navel man making signs from a corner.
Harry Kim: Grownups lose this “whisper thing” and... use sign language.
Tom Paris: What’s he saying?
Harry Kim: I don’t have any idea.

Makahe and Taraga speak assertively. Children listen attentive. The Navel man enters in a cottage around the alley. They all hurry the pace towards him. Kiapo decodes cousins and signs on the go.

Kiapo: Astromancer waked up and wants to meet you three.
B’Elanna: Astromancer...
Tom, B’Elanna and Harry accept his invitation to come in, wondering why this old lady is so revered by Navels and Mountaineers. The encounter shocks them.
Astromancer: Hah! The legend was true. We are Sky Spirits!
Harry, Tom and B’Elanna could have been knocked down by feathers.
Harry Kim: Vice-Admiral? This can’t be. Voyager...

An elder Janeway reclines in a rocking-chair. She and B’Elanna briefly hold hands in silence. She gives B’Elanna a tablet.
Astromancer: I’m not your Vice-Admiral. I was of others you in a different timeline. It’s a bit complicated.
Harry Kim: What happened?
Astromancer: Harry; I finally got caught in a godforsaken paradox... and as expected, it has given me huge headaches.
Tom Paris: How did you get here?
Astromancer: He... well, not him, another Harry, helped me installing a Klingon chrono-deflector in a Na’Far shuttle.

Harry Kim: Another me? No! Did you steal Quark’s pod?
Tom elbows Harry. B’Elanna studies a blueprint. Astromancer smiles...
B’Elanna: Something may have gone wrong with its tachyon pulse generator.
Astromancer: I had a plan. I just wanted to reach Voyager to make it back sooner than twenty three years. Instead, I was pushed away at unimaginable speeds.
Tom Paris: A temporal wave…
The three are marveled by the unreal account.

B’Elanna: With so much tachyon-kinetic energy, timer-device burned itself out. You are lucky to be alive.
Astromancer: I know and I’m grateful. No complaints...
B’Elanna: Quark’s pod had to be damaged beyond repair. Where is it?
Astromancer: It would take indeed too long to repair it.
She looks sideways and doesn’t answer the question.

Tom Paris: Shall we assume... you have been stranded here for quite a while.
Astromancer: That’s an understatement. I was young when I came out of the pod.
Harry Kim: Oh! You got... rejuvenated.
Astromancer: You may call it like that. I prefer to see it as getting a fresh start. I have been reading stars ever since.
B’Elanna: You didn’t share any technology with these people...right?
Astromancer: Only some good old cooking recipes…
They all laugh a little.
Harry Kim: I can’t imagine myself living in a Neolithic setting for so long.

Astromancer: I had breached Starfleet Temporal Directive. I didn’t want to violate the Prime Directive as well by contaminating them with small things like… agriculture and masonry!
She glares at them.

Tom Paris: Oh yeah; that,... the other... our Janeway, Chakotay, DaVinci… they all agreed there is nothing wrong with some technology convergence.
Astromancer: Is that how they call it now? I wish them luck back home with our “by the book” Federation’s Security Council.
Astromancer coughs a little. Her visitors feel cheerless. Kiapo looks up. He hears a message and whispers back.

Kiapo: Makahe says Demons took some children hostage.
Harry Kim: Always a bad idea!
B’Elanna: Can we be of any help? We could take you to our EMH and…
Astromancer disapproves…
Astromancer: No! I already had two long eventful lives. These are now my people and I still have something important to do.

Kiapo: Makahe says hurry! Taraga is mad.
B’Elanna frowns…
B’Elanna: Can someone whisper Taraga to cool off or go to hell? I’m trying to solve a problem here. The pod...
Tom Paris: B’Elanna…
Astromancer smiles at B’Elanna’s moody reaction.
Astromancer: Get underway! And don’t let those demons kill my son.
B’Elanna: Your son? Who? Where?
Astromancer: Leave! Just go out there! You can’t miss him.
Tom Paris: Okay; but what about Janeway? What shall we tell her?
Astromancer: Tell her to let the Messenger go!

The group leaves the Astromancer accompanied by the mature Navel male who invited them over. B’Elanna ruminates as they walk towards the village’s center.

Tom Paris: A penny for your thoughts...
B’Elanna: Agh? I’m not sure. A strange feeling...
Tom Paris: What is it?
B’Elanna: The Ferengi pod...
Harry Kim: She could contaminate this culture real good with it.
Tom Paris: You heard her. She couldn’t fixed it.
B’Elanna: She didn’t say that.

The group arrives at the village’s center; finding there sixteen drones terrorizing children and their parents. Grownups beg invaders to leave. The “Scorpion” leader vocalizes its Queen’s petition. Gaya whispers. Makahe speaks. Kiapo translates.

Scorpion: You must surrender, give your Starship in and let our Queen integrate you in her collective. And you! Stop farming and making bricks; and we’ll spare you all.
B’Elanna: Yeah; right! Talking about poor negotiation skills…
Makahe goes off. The resonance of his rant brings winds of war.
Kiapo: Makahe says; you must go away or he’ll hurt you bad.

The drone leader addresses Makahe...
Scorpion: Dreamer! We outnumber you; and more will soon descend. You’re only two.
Kiapo whispers. Orange orbs blow in from nowhere. Gaya speaks softly.
Gaya: We are safe.
Makahe gesticulates and talks firmly.
Kiapo: Makahe says you’re wrong. Sky Spirits came down to help us; and not two, but three Mountaineers will be fighting you today.

More Navels show up on roofs. They seem exited by a twirling noise. Zhagori comes into view across the tetragon. He’s older and bigger than Makahe; square shaped jaw, wearing a cylindrical headdress and resembling her auburn Human mother. He displays histrionics and declaims avidly. He spins a slingshot. Navels chant and play drums. A few drones are drawn against him.

Scorpion: Who’s him? What does he recite about?
Kiapo: He’s Zhagori; Greatest Champion! He says: “You’re ugly. You’re bad. We live! Demons die! We live!”.
Scorpion: I don’t like him. Kill him!
B’Elanna: Children! Get away...

Zhagori releases his slingshot; and a round granite projectile smashes a drone in its forehead, knocking it down. Hell breaks loose. Drones get in a crossfire; surrounded by cousins and visitors. Children escape with their parents to safety. Makahe and Scorpion engage in a brutal fight. Taraga releases her arrows. Tom and B’Elanna fire their phasers. Harry joins in with his Jedok Geom.

Tom Paris: B’Elanna! Harry! Their optical devices are vulnerable.
They succeed somewhat and a few drones back off; but not for long. They quickly adapt to phaser shots and Harry can’t mangle a drone’s tough makeup. The drone fights Harry off and stabs him in his abdomen. He’s bleeding profusely. Tom assists him.
Harry Kim: This is not good.
Tom Paris: Harry! Stay with me!
Tom can hardly hear her voice; but she’s coming.
Seven: We’re on our way. Go to extraction point.
Tom Paris: Seven! That’ll be a problem. We all are at the extraction point.

Makahe manages to blow a combination of strikes. Scorpion can’t take so many fists, elbows and macana. He falls over and in its way down tries to stab Tom. Harry pushes his friend away. Scorpion empales itself in Harry’s sword.

Zhagori fights several drones. One is about to stab him from behind; when B’Elanna intervenes to alert him. Zhagori faces threats with determination; but another drone lacerates B’Elanna. She gets hurt in her shoulder. Taraga pulls her aside; while Makahe shot-putts a stone against a drone’s chest. Zhagori lift an Atlas stone over his shoulders and charges. Taraga gets back to combat. Mountaineers can’t push all drones away; but the Sphere springs up... gliding above Navel Village. Many outstretch their arms.

Seven: Icheb! Initiate charging sequence.
Icheb: Weapon charged.
Seven: Aim 34 degrees starboard.
Icheb: Targets locked-on!
Seven: Fire!

Zhagori wrestles a drone; when a shock-beam blasts over a few others. He grabs it by its neck and stabs it with its own mechanic arm. Four others retreat towards a shuttle. Two others fall behind. Taraga and Makahe catch up with them and bring them down into grappling submission. They finish the job with their obsidian knives.

In the cottage...

Makhire: Look! Indigos...
Astromancer: Makhire! I think...
Makhire: Is it time to fly?
Astromancer: Yes...
Makhire: I feel the truth in me too.
Astromancer: Please... help me get to the pod.
Makhire assists the Astromancer in leaving her cottage; enveloped both by a profound sense of calmness as they follow the blue orbs.
Makhire: They picked up light from the Sky Spirits.
Astromancer: Light! Knowledge! Energy! Remember that...

On Voyager…

Tuvok: First wave retreats.
Janeway: Computer! Damages Report!
Computer: Cargo Bay 1 compromised!
Miral: They found a weak spot.
Janeway: We can’t let them get in here.
Tuvok: Vice-Admiral! Fluidians will attempt to board us. I should go out in Hera Vector 2 to back up Voyager.
Janeway hesitates; but consents...
Janeway: Tuvok! Aim small...

Tuvok leaves the bridge puzzled: “How small shall he aim?”. He orders the deployment of tactical officers to reinforce Cargo Bay 1 and boards his Hera Vector.

The Ferengi pod turns operational wrapped up by blue orbs. The Astromancer poses her hands over the glowing console.
Makhire: Shall I see you again?
Astromancer: We won’t... this is the end of a passage.
Makhire: What happen next? Do you know?
Astromancer: Sky Spirits will soon leave and you’ll get to see Nimbus sometimes, brighting up over the night skies of Navel.
Makhire: Do you really have to go?
Astromancer: I do...I got to. I don’t have anything else to give.

Makhire: But... who’s going to read the skies for us?
He asks with anguish.
Astromancer: You will Makhire! I have taught you to learn. You’re ready to start doing Science; so one day, your people can make it to Nimbus...and from there, the Galaxy!
The hatch closes. The afterburners reheat for maximum thrust.

The Sphere hangs over the Village. Navel applaud. Zhagori, Makahe and Taraga chant garbling words: “Nitat gojari! Kutanehi hinkate weranoji runpra. Nitat gojari!”

Tom Paris: Kiapo... what they sing?
Kiapo: “We, the joyful! Together defeating the demons from beyond. We, the joyful!”.

Tom and B’Elanna hold Harry. He’s badly hurt.

Kiapo: Zhagori says goodbye; and thanks you for helping us to dream.
Tom Paris: Tell him... we’ll never forget what they did here today.
Kiapo: Taraga says; you should leave the “bubble” behind. She wants to glide it.

Taraga laughs loudly. B’Elanna and Tom smile and wave. Seven and Icheb beams the brave crew up. Thamas turns up right away to practice first aid on the injured. He moves insanely fast. Sphere speeds up on a vertical trajectory.

Seven detects a few more Fluidian ships making it through the dense atmosphere and trying to get to the surface. Icheb locks on several targets and fires the shock beam one last time. He takes a few to pieces; engulfed by brown orbs.

Navels marvel at the sparkled debris coming down the skies.

The impact wave affects the visitors too; triggering all BE entities to go away and surround the Doctor in the cave. The walls reflect globular heads.

Gaya: Look! Konjina...
Kiapo: Oh! Specters from above...
White orbs swarm all over. The children rush to paint the luminous apparitions in order of height. The Doctor is caught off guard.

Type F: Quamariki patonga ghatuqura.
Thamas: “Kids treasure knowledge”, cousin says.
Bhytor: You see Doctor? Energy flows through their hands.
The Doctor ponders Bhytor’s observation.
Doctor: Okay... Children! Keep up the good work! I must now get back to sickbay.

Navel children take a quick peek at the AI entities fading out, while they tell on rock the incredible stories of the Sky Spirits. Their cave gives off light in the background.

The Sphere keeps going up towards the stratosphere. Seven can’t do anything about a couple of Fluidian ships landing on the shores by the barrens. The drones though are ambushed by numerous mountaineers hiding by the cliffs. The fight is to the death.

Thamas popup again in the Sphere to check on the injured. Type-F and Bhytor shows up in Cargo Bay One. The Doctor gets back to sickbay. Tuvok “aims small” and quickly turns into the ace of the battle.

There is a another ship though on the water; about a hundred meters off the shore from the barrens. Queen is up to something with a handful of her drones. She flaps her neuropteran wings fast, to move around with diligence.

Queen: Move it! Plug the anti-cyclic emitter to the ionic capacitor ...
DroneAlpha: Accomplished...
Queen: Switch it on!
Drone Beta turns the device on and a foggy cone of crimson luminosity is projected at high speed to hit the Humidity Threshold. The mountaineer defeat the drones, but it might be too late. The humidity threshold becomes a visible wobbling drapery.

In the cave...
Gaya suddenly stops painting...
Gaya: Why orbs leave us?
Kiapo: To replace their death...

In Voyager...

Chakotay: Kathryn! Short range sensors reveal spatial stress off the barrens’ shoreline.
Janeway: The Queen...
Miral: The whole attack was a distraction.
Chakotay: She wants to prevent Navels’ survival.
Miral: Vice-Admiral! Full comm with Sphere...
Janeway knows when to confer with her best Engineer.
Janeway: B’Elanna! What do you make of it?

B’Elanna: Vice-Admiral! I believe the Queen is firing a sub-phasic graviton array into the humidity threshold to collapse its architecture by depleting its vertion energy.
Chakotay: That would devastate biodiversity on the lake area.
Janeway: We can’t fire a photon torpedo on it without causing a major catastrophe.
Chakotay: Icheb! Your shock weapon...
Icheb: It is offline. I got to reset its matrix. We have no time.

Chakotay gets freaked out by the readings.
Chakotay: Kathryn... I’m detecting an unidentified flying object approaching Queen’s location at subsonic speed.
Harry Kim: Quark’s pod...
Harry babbles in the Sphere...
Janeway: On Viewscreen...

The Astromancer takes a look outside its windshield; as crepuscular starlight radiates behind her head against cauliflowers of clouds. She can see the shadow of her Ferengi shuttle casted on a white rising mound, encircled by a bright halo.

Astromancer: Glory...

By the Village...

Makhire: Sky Spirits will leave soon.
Zhagori: Crowning Mama...
Makhire is left-open-mouthed. He didn’t know Zhagori could speak Navel.

From Voyager and the Sphere, Janeway and her crew only had time to see the bluish flash of a vortex down below. The dwindled chrono-deflector generated a dwarfed pulse, good enough to form a boxy wormhole capable of sucking the crimson cone in it.

Miral: Sub-phasic graviton array imploded.
Computer: Tachyokinetic energy released by the collision sufficient to reestablish optimal flow of vertion particles....
Chakotay: Kathryn! Are you all right?
Janeway leans forward a little with a hand on her chest.
Janeway: YesI I’m fine. I got her... I got her memories.

Queen swims underwater to reach the shoreline. Mountaineers spot her and a chase takes place all over rugged terrain. They have never seen someone clearing so fast the boulders on the muddy stripe. By the time they reach a plateau, she’s igniting thrusters and her Hera Vector takes off at max impulse.

As she reaches outer-space, Queen howls in anger and changes orders.
Queen: Grrr! Attack! Destroy Voyager!
Sphere reaches outer-space as Fluidians unleash Queen’s rage.
Computer: Red Alert! Red Alert!
Chakotay: Operations! Shields up! Engineering! Full power to deflectors! Battle Stations! Charge weapons!
Janeway: Fire at will! Fire at will!
Voyager aims and hits many incoming hostiles with all she got.
Tuvok: Vice-Admiral! I’m being hunted. I’m releasing all my drones.

Sphere takes blaze as well from Queen’s fleet juggernaut. Tuvok releases his drones, impacting on several targets.
Janeway: Icheb! What’s wrong? Your sphere looks like a sitting duck out there.
Icheb: I don’t know. Its shields harden by absorbing bio-energy from Fluidian shots.
Janeway: Is everyone all right? We can’t energize you with all this interference.
Icheb: Harry and B’Elanna are hurt; and something is wrong with Thamas.


Seven: Sphere’s sensors focus on village and its surroundings.
Nerhe sprouts in moisten fields. Navels and Mountaineers rebuild with bricks.
Chakotay: Kathryn! Sphere lingers on a nerve-breaking pause.
Janeway: I know; and we can’t push play.
Computer: Tutorial ends in two minutes!
Janeway: Miral! You’re all I got. Please! Go and rescue my crew.
Miral: Roger that! No worries; I’ll be in good company.

Miral takes off in the Delta Flyer. Bhytor and Type-F go with her. They fire disruptors, causing thermal shock and exciting molecular bonds of 8472s’ targets. Type-F fades away and integrates into Delta Flyer’s hull, providing extra power to deflect and bounce back enemy charges. Thamas ceases to function.

Tuvok: Vice-Admiral! I can’t safely get near Voyager. Queen chases me all over the battlefield. I will attempt Epsilon tactics.
Tuvok flies away from battle, drawing on his tale an infuriated Queen.

Icheb: Miral! You’re close enough.
Bhytor: I have a lock on five.
Miral: Energize!
Delta Flyer gets back quickly to Cargo Bay 1 through its glittering roof. Sphere glows a reddish aura. Doctor takes care of Harry and B’Elanna in sickbay.
Computer: Attention crew! Attention! Tutorial is over! Tutorial is over!
Chakotay: Kathryn! Our sensors spot extreme temporal-gravimetric forces.
Janeway: Where?
Chakotay: Everywhere…
Miral: Maybe; we should get the hell out of here.
Janeway: Tuvok! Your status!

Queen keeps chasing Tuvok. She gets agitated by checking her control panel; full of unstable readings. She growls again; glimpsing at Voyager.

Like the subliminal mural in Chakotay’s living room, a gigantic black spear looking ship comes to life, materialized out of myriads of cosmic particles. Voyager’s crew feels its powerful vibrations. The immense ship triggers an overwhelming blast of light, kicking away the Fluidian-Borg fleet and the two Hera Vectors. Notwithstanding the intelligent photonic-phenomena, everyone in Voyager heard Tuvok’s last transmission.

Tuvok: Vice-Admiral; it has been an honor.

“Tuvok!”, Janeway screams out of despair.



(Final Chapter coming next...)


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