Summary: Seven is recruited for a unique mission by a unique individual and learns a lesson in humanity in the process.
Characters: Seven, Ducane
Codes: Seven & Ducane
Disclaimer: Paramount/CBS own all rights to the Voyager universe and its characters, which I am borrowing without permission or intent to profit.
Notes: Written for #fictober2018 Day 23 prompt: “This is not new, it only feels like it.” Episode addition to Relativity.
“This is not new,” says the lieutenant with the kind eyes. “It only feels like it.”
“Explain,” Seven demands, assessing her surroundings. She’s on a ship that bears the hallmarks of Starfleet design, and her abductor is apparently human. She relaxes fractionally.
“My name is Lieutenant Juel Ducane, and you’re on the Federation timeship Relativity,” the man answers. “We’ve transported you to the year 2854 because we need your assistance to find and disarm a temporal weapon.”
“It’s going to take some time to answer your questions,” says the lieutenant, then gives a sheepish laugh at his pun. Seven’s eyebrow rises in a manner that her colleagues have learned to interpret as a warning; her new friend, however, simply grins at her before he goes on. “Someone has planted a weapon on Voyager with the intention of destroying the ship. The weapon causes disruptions in space-time, which your ocular implant can detect. We’ll have to send you to your past to locate the device.”
“You said this is not new,” Seven points out. “I assume that means this isn’t the first time you’ve recruited me for this mission.”
“I’m afraid not. On both previous occasions we sent you to a timeframe after the saboteur had installed the weapon. You ran out of time before you were able to locate it.”
He pauses, offering his hand to help her down from the transporter pad. Surprising herself, she takes it and follows him toward a large screen displaying a visual representation of the timestream.
“We think we have it nailed this time,” Ducane says. “Only thing is, you’ll need to go in disguise.”
“Disguise?” Seven arches an eyebrow.
“We’re sending you to a time before you joined Voyager’s crew – while the vessel was still in the shipyards, in fact. It should be easy for you to pass undetected with so many personnel milling around. Besides, you know your ship; if anyone can find that weapon without arousing suspicion, it’s you.”
“That hardly seems likely, given my,” Seven holds up her metal-veined hand, “unique appearance.”
“We can hide your cybernetic implants, give you a false Starfleet identity.” Ducane grins again. “I’ll even let you choose the colour of your uniform.”
“Science blue,” Seven says without thinking about it.
Ducane’s eyes are warm and Seven finds herself glancing away, shifting her feet.
He turns to point to a flashing set of numbers on the viewscreen. “Stardate 48264.3. That’s when we’re sending you.”
“And if I refuse?”
“Then the device will cause space-time fractures that will expand throughout Voyager until the ship is ripped apart.”
“Very well,” Seven says. “Proceed.”
“This is not new,” Lieutenant Ducane assures Seven as she steps onto the transporter pad. “It only feels like it.”
She presses the tips of her fingers to her left eyebrow; where the smooth tracery of her ocular implant is no longer detectable by sight or touch. “It certainly does.”
“You’ve made two attempts already,” Ducane reminds her. “If you’re unsuccessful this time, we may not be able to recruit you again without risking permanent damage to the timeline.”
“Then I hope you’ve managed to identify the correct stardate,” Seven replies. “This damage was caused by a saboteur with access to temporal displacement technology. That implies a failure on your part, Lieutenant.”
“Well, we can’t all embody Borg perfection.”
“That much is evident.” Seven looks down her nose at him. “However, basic adequacy would be sufficient.”
She observes Lieutenant Ducane trying to hide his grin. It’s strange, the way he’s unoffended despite her having been more abrupt throughout his explanation of her mission. She finds him unique, and quite intriguing.
“We’ll try not to disappoint,” Ducane replies. “Energising.”
As Seven dematerialises, she wonders if she’ll ever see him again, or if she’ll remember him if she does.