Captain Bernie Tyler woke up at 0600, getting read for his shift on the bridge. Before getting out of bed, he reached across, hoping that his partner was still in bed.
She was not.
Usually, Roslyn Tyler was up early catching up on her paperwork, or jogging through the halls of the Winchester. Although he was not immediately worried, Bernie figured it would be a good idea to check on her whereabouts. “Computer, locate Commander Tyler.”
“Commander Tyler is not aboard,” the computer answered.
Okay, now was the time to start worrying, “What was her last known location?”
“Commander Tyler’s last know location was in her quarters at 0200 this morning.”
“What do you mean, she’s just gone?” Patrick inquired over an emergency conference with his sister-in-law’s husband.
“According to the ship’s internal sensors, she was in our quarters at 0200, and off the ship at 0201. The kicker is we, were at warp this morning.”
“Still, she could have been beamed off. The Dominion did introduce Transwarp Beaming into the Alpha Quadrant. Any number of players could have gotten their hands on a Dominion transporter.”
“My folks have gone over every sensor log between 0100 and 0300. They found no sign of any abnormal activity or energy readings. I can send you all of our data, however —”
“However,” Patrick noted, “that data is only as good as the sensors that picked it up. If your sensors didn’t catch it, they didn’t catch it. Still, maybe there’s a chance Baldwin could find something. Go ahead and send it to us, I’ll have Sarah look over it. Baldwin out.” As soon as he got off the line with Bernie, the ready room doorbell chimed, indicating someone else wanted to speak with him. “Come,” Patrick answered grumpily.
“Hey, sweetie,” Bridget replied. “Anything from Bernie?”
“Right now, we’ve got ourselves one great big mystery,” Patrick answered. “One minute, she’s there, the next, we’ve got a missing ‘Firecracker.’”
“Panicking won’t help anything,” Bridget noted as she moved in behind her husband. “We both know Roz is more than capable of taking care of herself.” Bridget gently began to massage her husband’s shoulders.
“Is it just me, or do you know how to keep a cool head,” Patrick commented. “By the way, where did you learn how to give a back rub.”
“Your sister showed me.”
“Of course,” Patrick noted. “She used to dabble in massage therapy.”
Upon opening her eyes, Roslyn immediately closed them. My head feels like someone drove a pick axe through it, she thought. She slowly opened her eyes once again. I don’t do migraines. As her headache eased, she took awareness of her surrounding. She was no longer on a starship, much less in her quarters. Examining the nightstand, she noticed an antique analog clock, along with a newspaper.
Okay, Roslyn though, where — and when — am I?
Before Roslyn could investigate her surroundings any further, the door to the room opened. “I see you’re awake,” a woman stated. “Do you need anything for your headache?”
“Yes, thank you,” Roslyn answered. “Who are you, and where am I?”
“I think it’s more like when are you,” the other woman replied. “This isn’t my first encounter with time travelers. You happened to drop your phaser.”
Roslyn scanned the other woman’s face. “Erika Green,” Roslyn identified the other woman. “I assume you brought me into your home. Okay, so what is today’s date?”
“October 29, 2014. It’s been fifteen years since my previous encounter with time travelers.”
“From my perspective, it was only four years ago,” Roslyn answered. “Fortunately, I don’t think anyone is trying to maim history. I have no idea why I managed to fall through time.”
Captain’s log, Stardate 55323.4: We have arrived at the location of Winchester at the time Commander Roslyn Tyler was last reported aboard. We are deploying our full sensor package to determine if the anomaly is real, and if so, what exactly are we dealing with. No matter what, I intend to bring my family back home.
In Baldwin’s astrometrics lab, Patrick and Sarah scoured through Winchester‘s sensor logs thoroughly. “Stop right here,” Patrick ordered. “There’s a slight anomaly just aft of the ship at 01 seconds.”
“Right after the last indicated presence of Roslyn aboard Winchester,” Sarah noted. “Looks like Winchester‘s sensor package assumed it was a sensor ghost.”
“It looks like the captain’s quarters were right here when the anomaly was reported,” he indicated, pointing to a section of the map. “Let’s start by running a full scan here and fan-out from there.”
“On it.” After a couple of seconds, the Astrometrics officer had some initial findings. “There is definitely something to the sensor blip,” Sarah indicated. “There’s a slight spike in chronometric radiation at that location.”
“Can we cross Winchester‘s warp trail with the source of the radiation?”
“Scanning for warp trails and comparing them to the source of the radiation.” Sarah responded. “It does look like Winchester crossed the anomaly. To have an idea on what it is, we’ll need to send a probe.”
“Already on it,” Bridget answered as she entered astrometrics. “Give us about 20 minutes.”
Before Patrick could answer, he felt a dull pain in his left eye. “Good,” he answered as he favored his eye.
“Is everything all right?” Sarah inquired.
“I’m not sure,” Patrick stated. “Something’s wrong with my left eye.”
“Maybe you better — “
” — better see Dr. Bratney. I don’t need to read you mind to know that. That’s my next stop. Let me know the results of the probe.”
Dr. Bratney was surprised when Patrick walked in. “Captain, is there a problem?”
“It feels like there’s something wrong with my eye.”
The doctor ran a tricorder scan. “It doesn’t appear to be an adverse reaction to Retinax. Looks like you’ve got yourself a stye.”
“Just what I don’t need,” Patrick quipped. “Another damn infection.”
“It should clear up in a couple of days,” Neil responded. “Just keep an eye on it — no pun intended. If it continues to bother you, you know where to find me.”
“By the way, I wanted to ask you about something. Have you talked to Commander Petrelli or Lieutenant Taylor about maternity leave?”
“I haven’t,” Patrick replied. “Knowing them, I would suspect they would wait until they’re ready to pop. We’ve still got some time before that happens. Jaimie’s at 30 weeks, correct?”
“She is at 30 weeks, and the baby is in good health; however, the fetal transfer that occurred with Joshua did leave some damage to her uterine wall. It’s repairable, but I can’t do that until after her baby is born. Furthermore, that damage may force me to deliver Jaimie’s baby by Cesarian.”
“Your point, Neil?”
“Captain, I would advise that Commander Petrelli not give birth aboard this ship. Given the high number of skirmishes we have handled lately…”
“Are you predicting that JP will be in labor in the middle of a battle?”
“I’m a doctor, not a psychic. Tensions, however, are high in this sector.”
“Doctor, Tensions have been high in this sector for over five years. You don’t need to be a psychic — or a doctor — to tell me that.”
“I did have a philosophical question,” Erika inquired. “If time travel is possible, how come no one has ever thought of, for instance, killing Hitler.”
“That’s the first question asked in my temporal mechanics class at the academy. Let’s just say that it gets real messy real fast.”
“I suppose that makes sense. I suppose in your time, there are rules in place against altering the past?”
“There are, and there’s an entire organization devoted to enforcing these laws.”
“Okay,” Erica noted. “How do they know that someone hasn’t broken the rules?”
“You know,” Roslyn noted. “I have no clue.” Before Erika could ask another question, a loud crash came from outside. Roslyn’s first instinct was to investigate the source of the noise.
“Probe lanuch confirmed,” Donna noted.
“Petrelli to Astrometrics, are you receiving the telemetry data, Sarah?”
“I’m receiving it loud and clear, commander. Moving across the path — “
Halfway across the Winchester‘s warp trail, there was a green flash of light on the viewscreen, and the probe disappeared. “What just happened?” Jaimie inquired.
“I’d say we found our anomaly,” Sarah responded. “Once the probe hit the aperture, the telemetry data dropped. Ship sensors are picking up a surge in chronometric radiation.“
“I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad one,” Patrick commented as he exited the ready room. “How big around is the anomaly.”
“Not very big,” Sarah noted. “It’s maybe 3 meters across.“
Roslyn and Erika surveyed the crashed probe. “Lucky shot,” Erika noted. “Any closer, and it would have hit the house — or the railroad tracks.”
“I’d say it’s lucky you live in a rural area,” Roslyn commented.
“It’s not the far from Kansas City. I’m about half way between Olathe and Paola.”
“Lucky me,” Roslyn noted. “That means less of a disturbance to the timeline. Could you help me open this hatch.”
“Sure thing,” Erica answered.
Inside the hatch was an on-board computer. Roslyn immediately accessed the computer to locate the sensor data. “Oh, Boy,” Roslyn noted as she reviewed the data.
“What is it?”
“From the looks of things, it looks like a micro-wormhole. It’s kind of like a pinprick in the space-time continuum.”
“Should I expect more space debris from the future to fall in my backyard?”
“I should hope not,” Roslyn said. “This wound should heal itself eventually. I would, however, like to be on the other side before it does.” Roslyn continued to review the probe’s telemetry while conversing with her host. “However, it looks like there may be some trouble in the near future on the other side.”
“Captain,” Donna stated, “sensors are picking up another vessel in the vicinity.”
“Can you get an ID?”
“Open a channel to the bogey.”
“This is Captain Patrick Ingrum of the USS Baldwin. Please identify yourself.”
“Have they changed course?”
“Is there another starship in the area.”
“Winchester has doubled back and is on course to meet us.”
“Call Bernie, have him check that bogey,” Patrick ordered. “In the meantime, I want a plan to bring Roslyn back to this time period — preferably before that wormhole destabilizes. JP, could I see you in my ready room.”
“Aye, sir.” Donna answered.
“Is there a problem, Patrick?” Jaimie inquired as she followed the captain into the ready room.
“Not pertaining to our immediate mission,” Patrick answered. “However, as you know, I visited Dr. Bratney on an issue with my eyes. While I was in there, he inquired about you.”
“I’m not sure why he would need to talk to you about me. After all, with me having a baby and all, I’ve had as many visits to sick bay as you have had with your injuries.”
“I think he was talking to me because it involved crew staffing issues. To put it mildly, he thinks you would be better off if you did not deliver aboard this ship.”
“Why does he think that?”
“Given Baldwin‘s propensity for finding trouble, couple with potential complications regarding your delivery, he doesn’t think that Baldwin would be a safe environment for your delivery. My inclination is that he may order you to start your maternity leave earlier than you are planning. I would not have the authority to countermand such an order.”
“I would prefer if Dr. Bratney handled the delivery; however, I also don’t want him having to shirk his duty to the rest of the crew just to take care of my needs, even if I am the XO. While we’re on the subject of my maternity leave, there’s still the issue of acting XO.”
“Well, by rank, Bridget would be next in line; however, that’s clearly out of the question. In the ship’s command hierarchy, Donna is next in line.”
Sara exited the turbolift onto the bridge. “Hey, Donna,” she stated, “is the Captain in?”
“He’s in the ready room with Jaimie,” Donna replied. “Is there anything I can help you with?”
“No, just checking if he needed any assist — “
A beeping on the tactical console interrupted Sara’s thoughts. “Oh, crap!” Donna exclaimed.
“What is it?”
“We got company. A second ship has shown up on sensors, and it is on an intercept course.”
“I assume it’s not Winchester.”
“No. I have a visual, sending it to the main viewer.” The viewscreen zoomed in on the intercepting ship, where it could be clearly discerned as a ‘warbug.’
“That is definitely not the Winchester,” Sara noted. “Red alert, captain to the bridge.”
“Shields are up, phasers and torpedoes standing by.”
“Open a channel.”
“Unidentified vessel,” Sara stated, “this is the USS Baldwin. You are operating in violation of treaty. You are ordered to stand down and surrender, or else you will be fired upon.”
The opposing vessel responded by firing its poloron beam at Baldwin. “Shields are holding,” Donna answered.
Patrick and Jaimie exited the ready room after the initial exchange. “Target engines and weapons,” Patrick ordered, “and take every measure to stay clear of the anamoly.”
“Sara, you don’t need to run off,” Patrick continued. “Have a seat.”
“Captain, the warbug is venturing close to the anomaly!” Donna exclaimed.
“Unidentified vessel, this is Baldwin. There is a spacial anomaly in this vicinity. Continuing this engagement will be a hazard to your ship and crew.”
“Something tells me that they will ignore your advice,” Sara noted.
“I know. How do you think we should keep them away?”
“I’d establish a firing pattern that forces the warbug to veer away from the anomaly,” Sara answered.
“I think you’re right. Donna, do it.”
A slight green glow appeared in the daytime sky above Roslyn and Erika. “I was afraid of that. The wormhole has re-opened.”
“At least we know where it is,” Erika quipped.
“The problem is, I haven’t a clue what is coming through,” Roslyn paused as she kept an eye on the anomaly. Noticing what was coming through, she dove towards Erika, pushing her out of the way.
A human emerged out of the wormhole, armed with a poloron rifle. Thankfully, Roslyn remembered to grab her sidearm, quickly drawing the phaser on her opponent. “Drop your weapon,” she ordered.
The other combatant refused to comply. He fired a poloron burst towards the two women. Roslyn replied with several phaser hits. Once the other man had been incapacitated, she turned back toward Erika. In focusing on disabling her opponent, she did not notice that her host had taken a direct hit from a sidearm designed to kill. What the hell have I gotten myself into, Roslyn thought. There will, no doubt, be an interview with Temporal Investigations when I get back to Winchester. Examining Erika’s wounds, they did not appear to be as bad as Roslyn initially thought. That’s strange, Roslyn noted to herself, I could have sworn that a poloron beam would — Roslyn’s thoughts were interrupted as she noticed additional changes to the wound. And I thought Bridget could recover from taking a poloron hit.
Erika was regaining consciousness. “What happened?”
“You survived getting shot,” Roslyn quipped. “How do you feel?”
“A little sore,” Erika answered, “but it’s starting to go away rather quickly.”
“Do you think you can help me tie up our shooter?”
“I think I can handle that.”
“Captain,” Donna noted, “we are being hailed.”
“They actually want to talk,” Patrick remarked. “Put it through.”
“Captain, you have kidnapped one of our crew. We demand that he be returned to us.“
“You are in no position to make demands. Sara, please elaborate.”
“Operating a Dominion designed vessel is a violation of the treaty of Bajor. Starfleet has every right to seize your ship and take your crew into custody. That being said, we did not ‘kidnap’ anyone.”
“We explicitly warned you that there is a spacial anomaly,” Patrick continued. “We lost one of our crew and are attempting to rescue her. Your attempt to attack us not only resulted in a delay in our mission, but also the loss of your crew member. If I were you, I’d stand down immediately and let us continue our mission.”
“Okay, now I’m freaking out a bit,” Erika stated. “You’re saying that that weapon should have done more damage?”
“There’s something very unique about you,” Roslyn noted. “I have never seen a wound heal itself that quickly — and that’s saying a lot.”
“I’m one of seven genetically engineered sisters.”
“A ‘designer baby,’” Erika noted. “Is genetic modification common in your time. I know it can still be quite controversial here.”
“Genetic engineering of humans is still a big no-no in my time. More often than not, the ‘designer baby’ turns out to be narcissistic. I’m surprised you haven’t been exposed to that yet.”
“What do you mean?”
“The first ‘designer babies’ were created somewhere around 1965.”
“To me, that sounds more like something out of one of those wacky conspiracy websites. Then again, I’ve experienced some strange encounters myself. So, I take it you are a little more durable, and can recover from injuries quicker.”
“Yes,” Roslyn answered, “but nowhere near as quick as this. Do you mind if I tried something?”
“I’m not sure if I want to press my luck on being able to regenerate from another ray-gun shot.”
“I was thinking something simple, like a small cut or scrape.”
“That I think I can handle.” Erika answered. Heading to the kitchen, she grabbed a kitchen knife. With Roslyn as a witness, she slid the blade across her left palm, creating a deep enough gash for it to bleed. Within seconds, the gash began to seal itself up, leaving no scar or other trace of the wound.
Roslyn’s eyes widened as she saw the wound heal itself. “You know, you might just want to keep this little ability to yourself.”
“You think?” Erika replied. “No one would likely believe me unless I showed them, and then I’d probably be poked and prodded. In the meantime, we should probably work on getting you home, along with our uninvited guest. Maybe if we can jam that wormhole open, you can get a hold of the other side.”
“You know, that isn’t a half bad idea.”
“Captain,” Donna stated, “the anamoly is opening up again.”
“How is that possible?” Patrick inquired.
“I don’t know,” Sara noted. “However, it could be that Roslyn is prying the wormhole open from her end.”
“We could find out pretty soon. I’ve got an incoming transmission, audio.”
“Put it through,” Patrick ordered. “This is Captain Patrick Ingrum, USS Baldwin.”
“Thank god,” Roslyn responded.
“What’s your status?” Patrick replied.
“Well, the far end of this wormhole is early 21st century Kansas. We’ve got a bit a mess to clean up here.“
“Understood. Stand by,” Patrick responded. “Sara, care to follow me to the transporter room.”
“Do you have a lock on Roslyn?” Patrick inquired as he entered the transporter room.
“But of course,” Bridget replied. “I hope you don’t mind, but I want to be responsible for this transport myself.”
“I can understand,” Sara noted. “She is family, after all.”
“Roz, are you still there?”
“I’m here, do you have a lock on me?“
“Of course I have a lock,” Bridget replied. “I also have your prisoner.”
“Understood,” Roslyn answered before turning to Erika. “Erika, it may be a while, but if I have anything to say about it, we will meet again.”
“What makes you say that?”
“I’d bet you that a consequence of your regenerative ability is that you will be practically immortal, which means you’ll be around in my time.”
“In that case, I’ll try to keep a very low profile.”
Roslyn acknowledged Erika with a smile. “Tyler to Baldwin, energize.”
Bridget’s beam out was successful. Two people arrived intact on the transporter pad. “It’s great to have you back,” Bridget stated as she hugged her sister.
“I wasn’t gone that long,” Roslyn retorted. “Patrick, I wonder if I could ask you a personal favor.”
“What it is,”
“On the far end of the wormhole, I encountered an old friend. I’d like to know what happened to her.”
Before Patrick could respond, a call came in from Astrometrics. “Captain, there’s someone here that would like to speak with Roslyn.“
“On my way, Sarah,” Roslyn answered. “If you don’t mind, could you take that piece of trash to the brig for me?”
Roslyn’s eyes widened when she entered Astrometrics. “I’d say time has been good to you!”
“You think?” responded Roslyn’s ‘guest.’
“You don’t look a day over thirty, and I know you’re approaching the big four-oh-oh.”
“Wait a second,” Sarah interjected. “Did I just hear you say that Erica is nearly four hundred years old.”
“August 2, 1982,” Erica responded with her birthday. “I first met Captain Ingrum when I was 17. Apparently, a few Jem’Hadar went back in time, trying to disrupt history through football.”
“Then, fifteen years later — from her perspective, anyway — is where I fell in again. Our guest in the brig stumbled upon Erica’s near immortality. By the way, I assume you’ve changed your name a few times?”
“A few,” Erica replied. “I’ve been with Starfleet Intellegence under the name ‘Erica Thomas.’ That’s ‘Erica’ with a ‘c,’ by the way.”
Patrick and Bridget walked into astrometrics, curious about the call from the transporter room. “Patrick, Bridget,” Roslyn stated, “I know that Erica here has been working with you for a while now. However, we have met her before.”
Taking Roslyn’s hint, Patrick took a closer look at Erica’s face. “You know, I thought it may have been a coincidence, but I think I get it. You were born Erika Green and, if my math is accurate, you were born about, uh, 395 years ago?”
“I just turned 396 right after coming on board Baldwin full time.”
“I will say, you don’t look a day over 330,” Patrick jokingly quipped.
Another person walked in to astrometrics, “I take it your secret is out.”
“Very much so,” Erica replied. “On my birthday, I asked Dr. Murrow to run my DNA profile.”
“You have an extremely rare genetic mutation. In the wild, I’d say the odds of this particular sequence are maybe 1 in 20 billion.”
“You said ‘in the wild,’” Patrick noted. “Are you suggesting that this sequence can be implanted?”
“Actually, I can confirm that this mutation has been artificially sequenced.” Murrow pulled up three DNA profiles on the astrometrics screen. “These are the three DNA profiles that I have seen with this mutation. The first is Erica’s, the second is from an unknown male…”
“And the third profile is from our old friend,” Patrick noted. “Unlike Erica, Khan hasn’t aged very gracefully at all.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment,” Erica responded. “What do you think may have caused this? Before anyone suggests radiation, let me remind everyone that I did go through the post-atomic horror. I was on the front lines cleaning up the midwestern U. S.”
“I would guess,” Murrow commented, “that the global changes that occurred on Ceti Alpha V could have taken their toll. While this mutation makes you long-lived, you can still get killed.”
“As much as I’d like to postulate on Erica’s health,” Roslyn interrupted, “we’ve got a wormhole that needs sealed.”
“I think it’s best for me not to be involved in that game plan. After all, I’m still on the other side of that wormhole.”
“Sounds like you picked up on temporal mechanics real quick,” Roslyn quipped.
“Petrelli to Bridge,” Jaimie interrupted.
“Go ahead, number one.”
“We’ve got more company.”
“On my way,” Patrick replied. “Roslyn, Bridget, you two can get cracking on how to seal that wormhole. Erica, Dr. Murrow, maybe you can continue the discussion on DNA. Meanwhile, I have a couple of warbugs that need to be squished.”
Patrick exited the turbolift onto the bridge. “Report.”
“Two more warbugs have arrived in sensor range,” Donna noted. “Looks like they’re coming in with weapons drawn.”
“In that case, go to red alert.”
“On it,” Donna stated as the red alert klaxons began sounding.
“Target weapons and engines,” Patrick stated. “I would prefer to take them — ” Patrick’s order was interrupted by a poloron hit by one of the warbugs. “What the hell was that.”
“Direct hit to Deck 6, section 29. Shields at 25 percent.”
“That strike just decimated our shields?” Patrick noted.
Another strike hit Baldwin hard. “We’re experiencing power failures on Decks 7 and 8.”
“Captain,” Sara advised. “I suggest we make a run for it while we still have warp power.”
“I concur,” Jaimie added.
“Donna, advise Winchester of our situation. Have Bernie meet us at Starbase 375. Laura, set course for Starbase 375, and engage at best possible speed.”
Captain’s log, Stardate 55328.2: Repairs to Baldwin are underway. It is bad enough that Dominion designed ships remain in the hands of criminals. It is very disturbing that one has been refitted with overwhelming firepower.
“The good news,” Patrick noted, “is that the wormhole has appeared to have dissipated on its own. Erica confirmed that she did not remember any additional flotsam dropping in on that part of her past.”
“I guess that’s one less thing we have to worry about,” Jaimie noted. “We just have to worry more about overpowered warbugs.”
“I’d take three guesses as to who developed the weapons on that ship, and the first two don’t count.”
Bridget entered the ready room. “I’ve got more bad news. An EPS line on deck 6 was found to have ruptured in the attack. That one shot wiped out our phaser banks.”
“How long until everything is fixed?”
“It’s going to take the better part of a week,” Bridget answered as the ready room doorbell rang.
“Come,” Patrick stated.
Erica walked in with a PADD. “I got a hold of some of my contacts. Apparently, this newly improved poloron weapon is rumored to be for sale to anyone with the latinum.”
“How much are we talking?”
“Captain,” Jaimie exclaimed, “you’re not thinking of simply buying one of these weapons under the table. Khan could go a long way with that much latinum.”
“I do think it needs to be considered,” Patrick answered. “As it stands right now, our defenses cannot withstand this weapon long enough for us to react.”
“I do agree,” Erica noted, “that we need to get our hands on this new weapon. Between being almost four hundred years old, and working in the press and intelligence fields, I’ve amassed more than my fair share of contacts.”