Part 30

The time went by excruciatingly slowly. It seemed to Chakotay to be taking twice as long to be returned to Voyager as it had to escape.

It wasn't, according to Dalby, who quietly informed them of the time as each hour dragged by.

Chakotay might have been thankful for the extra time-or at least the sense of extra time- if they'd been able to use it for anything productive, such as formulating an escape plan.

As it was, his shuttle's atmosphere was one of condemned prisoners be marched to their doom. Overwhelming anger but a total inability to do anything about it.

Resisting the Pelorans had already been discussed and dismissed. They were technologically superior, there were a lot more of the Peloran ships, and this was Peloran space, after all.

Should even one shuttle miraculously escape the conflict, it would only be a matter of time before the other Peloran fleet of six, which had disappeared once it became clear the Maquis weren't a threat, returned.

Once that topic was exhausted relatively quickly, the conversation turned to discussions of how much everyone on board hated Janeway. His crew could be very eloquent and articulate on that subject, but it became quite depressing and he shut it down.

He couldn't be sure, but Chakotay thought two of his Bajoran crew were continuing it in their own language. He let them, wandering over to stand behind Dalby.

The sensor screen Dalby was supervising had a diagram of a Peloran vessel up. Dalby seemed to be searching it for weakness.

Chakotay rested his hand on Dalby's shoulder, alerting him to his presence.


"Nope," Dalby said. "We take them on, it's suicide."

Chakotay nodded, sighing.

"Which," Dalby continued, looking up at Chakotay. "I think a lot of people would prefer to spending the next sixty years in the Brig."

Chakotay hadn't heard that before.


Dalby shrugged.

"Would you?" Chakotay prompted.

"I don't know," mused Dalby. "I don't think we'll survive that long on Voyager anyway."

"Why's that?"

"You know Janeway won't be able to get Voyager home. It would only be a matter of time before..." Dalby trailed off.

Chakotay nodded, definitely sharing that sentiment.

"You would get to see Samantha Wildman again, though," Chakotay said, watching Dalby's face for a reaction.

A wistful look crossed Dalby's features for a moment, before disappearing.

"Not likely," Dalby replied, looking down at his sensor screen. "She'll need to stay far away in case anyone connects her to the mutiny."

They were silent for a while, Chakotay listening to the soft conversations brewing behind them, Dalby changing the image on the sensor screen before him.

"Our best chance would be to do something right at the border," Dalby said suddenly. "And hope they won't follow us across. We'd have to deal with Voyager then, but it's probably worth a shot."

As he got Chakotay's attention, Dalby continued.

"Target their tractor beams here, here and here," Dalby pointed to areas on the Peloran ship diagram.

Henley came over and listened in.

A plan, not a wonderful or even definitely passable plan began to form. It wasn't a sure thing, and no one thought it was. Chakotay was usually against such desperate actions, for they almost always proved to be incredibly costly.

But this was not a normal situation. There was no waiting for reinforcements, no waiting for conditions to improve.

The possibility that circumstances could in fact get much worse.

And the fact that his crew was brewing for a fight because to most of them going quietly was not an option.

A fight at the border was their best chance.

Maybe half an hour later, Dalby alerted Chakotay as they approached the border. He did a double take, looking at his sensors and without being asked brought it up on the view screen for all to see.

There was a loud collective gasp of shock from inside the shuttle. Chakotay stared out of the view screen, then dropped his eyes to Dalby's sensors to confirm that what he saw was indeed happening.

Because what he saw looked like Voyager. Exploding.

Part 31 | Index page