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Catch-Up Lunch

Janeway and Tuvok go way back many years; but their friendship was put on hold for a decade. Upon their return from the Delta Quadrant, Tuvok was taken down by the loss of Vulcan. He left right away for Vulcanis; where he had been born and raised up. The Lunar Colony had survived the temporal shift and his family waited for him.

His bizarre encounter with Kes had brought his mind around; and shortly after, he agreed with Janeway to visit Earth to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their arrival. The Mess Hall Bistro, a busy terrace in Downtown San Francisco, was suggested by the Bay Area Culinary Herald as a "nifty eatery to reconnect with old acquittances".

Janeway: B'Elanna and Tom are spending vacation in Bajor. Their daughter Miral will be also having dinner with us tonight at Chakotay's.

Tuvok: Shall we expect anyone from Starfleet High Command?

Janeway: Nobody! Starfleet doesn't sponsor or publicize our activities anymore. Disappointed?

Her answer leaves Tuvok somewhat stupefied.

Tuvok: Rude awakening... Earth used to be known across the Federation for its eloquent festivities.

Janeway: We're only a short crawler in late night news. No one in this Earth wants to commemorate the anniversary of our arrival and be reminded of temporal disasters.

Tuvok: Fear impairs knowledge... and how's Chakotay doing?

Janeway: He teaches Technology Convergence at Starfleet Academy.

Tuvok is pleased with Chakotay's occupation.

Tuvok: I can't think of a better instructor. He has that spiritual sense... that allows him to keep technological matters on perspective.

Janeway: He's our oak; always there for all of us... despite his sorrow.

Tuvok: So; Seven of Nine left him without warning.

Janeway: They were having... issues; but yes, she just vanished.

Tuvok: I find her melt away to be quite devious for a boldly upfront de-assimilated Human female.

Janeway: She had some trouble expressing her emotions.

Tuvok: Never to the point of receding herself from our view. Why not to tell Chakotay?

Janeway can't be certain about Seven's motives.

Janeway: I don't know; Tuvok. Seven wasn't happy. Chakotay wasn't supportive. She might have just had it with Humanity and joined the crew of an unregistered vessel.

Tuvok: Unfounded assumption, but feasible, ... her departure may have been involuntary though.

Janeway: Involuntary... as in abducted by aliens? I don't think so. Voyager affected all of us in ways that... I still have these wild dreams. My Doctor says...

Tuvok unintentionally interrupts, changing the subject matter.

Tuvok: How's young Icheb prospering?

Janeway: He's a bright Lieutenant with Starfleet. He stays at Chakotay's. We're proud of him. He and Miral date in "secrecy".

Tuvok: They have probably picked up behavioral trends from Humans; often ingenious and furtive in romantic deeds.

Janeway: How's your daughter Azil?

Tuvok: She teaches Mysticism at the Science Academy; and has five children. We just came back from pilgrimage where I had an encounter with...

Janeway unintentionally interrupts. She loves children.

Janeway: Good gracious! I didn't know you could have so many.

Tuvok: Procreation is a vigorous driving force in Vulcanis. I have twelve grandchildren.

Janeway: Tuvok! I can't imagine you a Grandpa.

Tuvok: Why not so? You became a godmother in Voyager.

Janeway: You're right. I did. I haven't seen my godchildren in years though.

Tuvok: Why not? They'd be pleased to hear from you.

Janeway: I'm not so sure. It took me so long to lead us back home to ...this ruffled timeline.

Tuvok: I've aged. My mind dissociates; but I don't regret serving under your command.

Janeway: Thanks for your loyal support; but I still think I let everybody down.

Tuvok: Vice-Admiral; an old Vulcan proverb says: "You shall find peace by accepting the inevitable".

Janeway: Why do you tell me that? I can't just move on.

Tuvok: Because... I truly consider you my best friend.

Janeway ponders Tuvok's words. She missed his friendship. She might be too harsh on herself.

Life as Usual in DS9 Space Station

Commander Harry Kim shows up in an eventful Promenade. Quark waves at him. The sleazy Ferengi businessman is exited. They talk while watching a big male Klingon taking chance at his fortune. Two Dabo Girls flirt and distract his attention by hinting him tips. He's accompanied by an athletic female Klingon. She's annoyed. Her partner may be gambling too much.

Quark: Kim! Dearest Commander! Could you brief us on this sword's history? You -my friends- listen carefully. It's important.

Harry Kim: My ancestors were Korean. This is a Jedok Geom, a combat sword used by their high-ranked military in medieval times. I brought it from Earth two years ago.

Ferengi Guest1: Oh! You went there to get it from your family. Your parents maybe?

Harry Kim: No! I don't have family... no in this reality.

Ferengi Guest2: Oh! You're that poor Commander... lost in space-time continuum!

Harry wonders who could be Guest2's source of information. Quark jumps in.

Quark: Commander Kim and I... our friendship transcends the range of time.

Ferengi Guests are intrigued by Quark's revelation.

Harry Kim: He... well not him, another Quark... tried to sell me Lobi Crystals.

Ferengi Guest1: Lobi Crystals? Funny! That's an old Ferengi scam to catch fools.

Quark: Folks! You're missing the point here. There are other Quarks!

Harry Kim: My parents never existed... in this time-line. They're probably dead by now; and even if they live, I would never seen them again.

Kadrya overhears their conversation. She's touched by Harry's family situation.

Quark: Hey! Didn't you guys feel it? I did. I was hit by an emotional wave. I told you; this sword has an incalculable sentimental value attached to it.

The Klingon warrior gets euphoric with his good luck spree.

Mek'Tor: HISlaH! Convert! Convert! I convert...

Quark: I heard... Dominion forces hopelessly track a ball of fire.

Harry Kim: Are you asking a question? I've a better one. Are you thinking of selling my sword? I gave it to you as a present.

Quark: Bottom line! I acquired it from you. It is mine. I can trade it for a deficit.

Quark covets profit from his gift. Harry disapproves. Klingons stare at an endlessly rotating wheel. Mek'Tor wins. Kadrya gasps her thoughts.

Mek'Tor: Dabo! Dabo! I won my Latinum back.

Kadrya: MajQa! You broke even. Let's get out of here!

A Dabo Girl whispers a suggestion at Mek'Tor's ear.

Quark: They got to be disturbed with an irregularity crossing their Quadrant, disrupting everybody's communications. Some of our UTs are already malfunctioning.

Quark grabs his universal translator. Harry pretends ignoring Quark's observations and redirect his attention to the Klingon gambler.

Harry Kim: I'm glad he didn't lose it all.

Quark: Don't be so optimistic! He's inebriated and distracted.

Strangely, Kadrya coincides with Quark's assessment.

Kadrya: Watch the wheel; not the girls!

Mek'Tor: Bljatlh 'e'Ylmev! I buy. I buy. I buy!

The wheel rotates. Kadrya tries to hold back her fears. Mek'Tor loses it all.

Harry Kim: You haven't been trifling wheels? Do you?

Quark: No! You offend me! If your mistrust is due to that silly story of yours; I've never sold Lobi Crystals in this time-line. That big Klingon drank quarts of Denobulan Beer. Kadrya is dissapointed.

Kadrya: You lost it all! You disgrace our honorable linage!

Mek'Tor: GaStah nug? Jlyajbe! This table is rugged!

Mek'Tor pulls and sways his Bat'leth, smashing the Dabo wheel in pieces. Kadrya grabs him to prevent further violence; but he gets furious and assaults her, pushing and dragging her all over. Kadrya tries to fight back; but Mek'Tor overpowers her. She falls hard. Hell breaks loose. Other Klingons join the brawl. Harry storms through with Quark's sword to assists Kadrya. They have a moment. He calls for back up and confronts Mek'Tor. Quark presses a concealed button under the register. A small screen reads: "Reinitiating Lobi Programs"

Harry Kim: You had too much to drink. Stop this nonsense!

Mek'Tor: Heghlu'meH QaQjajvam!

Kadrya: "Today is a good day to die"; he says.

Harry Kim: I will not get drawn into a fencing match with you.

Mek'Tor: Hab SoSll'Quch!

Kadrya: "Your mother has a smooth forehead"; he's insulting you.

Harry Kim: My mother had a smooth forehead. That won't work me up.

Mek'Tor: Nap Mang! Nap Mang! Nap Mang!

Kadrya: He's calling you...

Harry Kim: I know. I know. Ensign...

Harry Kim grabs Quark's sword. He gives Mek'Tor a vexed look, just before charging fiercely. Mek'Tor can't fight back. He's not skillful enough to endure Harry's ability with a Jedok Geom. He's forced to back off; rolling down a stairway and crashing unconscious. Kadrya feels infatuated with Harry's attention and bravery.

Harry Kim: Officers! Take this insolent gambler off my Promenade! He'll spend tonight in the brig with all those hooligans.

Harry hears Kadrya yelling. He's astounded. She's coming at him.

Kadrya: Par'Mach! BangwI! Par'Mach!

Lunch Interrupted

Janeway and Tuvok are still at lunch, unaware of bolts from the blue to come. Waitress1 gently breaks off their chat to hand them out menus. Janeway quickly responds.

Janeway: Not necessary; young man! If it is okay with my companion, please go ahead and surprise us with Chef's specialties for today.

Waitress1: My pleasure madam...

Waitress1 leaves. A cook with a colourful jacket watches them from behind a curtain.

Janeway: Sometimes; I like surprises.

Tuvok: It has always bewildered me... the Human buoyancy towards unknown nutrients.

Janeway: Tuvok; I missed your sense of humor.

Tuvok: I'm not capable of witty epigrams. As any traditional Vulcan, I am on a personal quest to reach Kolinahr by purging my emotions through Logic.

Janeway: I think that's what makes you so uniquely funny.

Tuvok foresees Janeway having something else in her mind.

Tuvok: You seem nevertheless preoccupied. What's disquieting you; Vice-Admiral?

Janeway: You already know. I feel guilty of my inability to bring everyone home sooner. If I could go back in time and take care of it; I'd do it. Would you come with me?

He gets concerned with her proposal.

Tuvok: We'd be violating Starfleet Temporal Directive.

Janeway: I thought you'd be glad to serve under my command.

Tuvok: I'd do it... provided it is an official mission.

Janeway: Tuvok; we don't even belong to this time-line.

Tuvok: Vice-Admiral; Starfleet was critical of our temporal indiscretions due precisely to the enormous tragedy caused by the Narada Incident.

Janeway: I'm aware of it; but we didn't start it. We were pulled to another Quadrant in a blink of an eye... by a portentous Caretaker. Only to come back... to this!

Tuvok: I understand...

Janeway: No; I think you don't. We lost... We all lost a lot. You kept your family.

Tuvok: We lost Vulcan.

Janeway feels embarrassed.

Janeway: I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that. You're one of my best friends.

Tuvok: You feel we... Voyager got the worst part of the bargain.

Janeway: Don't you? Shouldn't we have the chance to get back to... our real homes with our families?

Tuvok doesn't express his consent.

Waitress1: Here you go. Roasted Chadre'kab Pita Bread Sandwich for you, lady, and a Darvot Fritter Enchilada for you, Sir. Paraka wings, courtesy of our Chef. Careful! They may be a little spicy for distracted palates. And an Icy Traggle Nectar Pitcher for two.

Janeway and Tuvok stay quiet for a moment. Meals served bring back memories. They check out their neighboring tables, but nothing else grasps their interest.

Tuvok: Vice-Admiral; with all due respect, you don't want to convolute matters further with more disruptions. After all, we did shorten our journey from 75 to 23 years.

Janeway: 23 years! You say it like... it's nothing.

Tuvok: Unraveling temporal undertakings should be left to astronomers.

Janeway: I agree and guess what; a Klingon scientist put together a Chrono-Deflector capable of directing a wormhole to a specific time and space.

Tuvok: It sounds like a tachyon pulse device; an evasive invention across planets. I wouldn't trust him. Klingon contrivances are usually flawed and potentially disastrous.

Janeway: I know VIPs in Qo'noS. Miral and I could negotiate his deflector for a seat in the Klingon's High Council. Harry would install it in a shuttle and launch us from DS9.

Tuvok: You're tormented by guilt. Your offer is unreasonable. We'd be fugitives.

Janeway: I'd may be a felon here and now; but not there and then.

Tuvok: I don't see why you'd want to spend any of your possible existences in prison; but you may be already doing so in an alternate reality.

Janeway: What do you mean?

Tuvok: You must consider -given our situation- such a plan could have been indeed carried it out in a different time line.

Janeway: But how can I know my plan was successfully executed and we made it back in -let say- seven years.

Tuvok: Successfully? We'll never know. According to astrophysicists, when a drastic event hampers completion of a plan, time line disruption could be a cause.

Neelix shocks their theoretical conversation.

Neelix: Well! For dessert; I brought a Sweet Leola Root Vanilla Tart for my favourite Vice-Admiral; a Jimbolian Fudge Cake for my best Vulcan friend. And for our good old times, I got three cups of hot Landras Blend.

Janeway: Neelix! I can't believe it; after so long. I'm so glad to see you. I knew there was something familiar about this place and its menu.

Tuvok: Talking about drastic happenings.

Neelix: I'm delighted to have spotted you two from afar. San Francisco's air must have vitamins in suspension. What's your secret?

Janeway: Neelix; you can't be serious. You look unchanged; a hardly aged Cook.

Tuvok: Mr. Neelix; you appear to be as hyperbolic as ever.

Captain Nerys unexpectedly arrives escorted by four tactical officers.

Nerys: Vice-Admiral Janeway! Captain Tuvok! My apologies for interrupting, but your presence is urgently required. You must come with me right away. You too Talaxian!

The three friends are astonished. Something tells them that despite appearances, they are not being escorted to a 10th Anniversary Junket, hosted by Starfleet Public Relations Office.

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