The planet was a sterile monument to mechanization. One city dominated the skyline; its cold spires reaching into the dark sky. Inside the city, stainless steel corridors, empty of life, stretched for miles. Other than the city, the planet was a blasted wasteland, the result of thousands of years of war between its two dominant species. Once a lush, earth like world, now, other than the city, it harbored terrors that would blast the mind of a normal sentient being.
The race that had won the war now ran its vast galactic empire from the planet, called Skaro. Greedy for conquest, the rulers, mutated beyond recognition, exiled to travel machines, were called Daleks. They were one of the deadliest races know to exist. Brilliant beyond comprehension, they were also avaricious and evil. They existed for one thing: conquest. For many years they had tried in vain to conquer the galaxy, their plans foiled by a being called the Doctor. He was their arch-nemesis, they his. Time after time, incarnation after incarnation, he had ruined their careful plans. Now, they were going to try a new idea; one that even he would not be able to interfere with.
Or so they hoped.
The man in the green waters of Aquaria was a tall, white haired one with a prominent nose. The one-piece bathing suit he wore would have been at home in Victorian England with its horizontal black and white stripes. Shaking his curly white hair of water, he grinned. It felt good to relax!
He was actually trying very hard to relax, but it wasn’t easy. He had recently parted with a long time companion, Jo Grant. While he wouldn’t admit it to her, at least not directly, her decision to leave UNIT and get married had saddened him. They had shared many adventures: Daleks, Peladon and the Master. The Doctor sighed and walked up the beach. There were many handsome beings enjoying the beach and he could have had his pick of companions. The planet was like the Riviera on Earth, he thought. Women and men running around clad in virtually nothing. One woman, a lovely red-skinned inhabitant of Zaxia, and her equally handsome male companion wore suits composed of a mist that hid their privates. The Doctor was impressed with the technology to create such a thing. He wondered if they knew how close their hedonistic society had once come to being conquered by the Draconians? One of his earlier incarnations had helped stop that little problem!
With a sigh, the Doctor trod off the beach and into his recently repaired TARDIS. An amazing device, this one had a faulty chameleon circuit. He had thought, when he was freed of his exile, of asking his fellow Time Lords to repair it, but rejected the idea. The thought of going to his fellows for assistance of any kind (though they came to him often enough) did not come easy to him. The Time Lords of Gallifrey were a near omnipotent race, able to traverse time and space, yet they were content to stand by and merely watch! This was not enough for the Doctor, who ached to help the younger races. So in a fit of pique at being restricted, he had taken the first TARDIS he had seen and run for it.
Unfortunately for him, this particular device was in for repairs. Both it’s directional and Chameleon circuits were damaged and he took it without knowing. He didn’t regret the actions, even though it got him exiled to Earth (whose inhabitant’s he thought quite interesting) for a time, as well as getting him into much trouble. But he didn’t regret a moment of it. Now he was on vacation and, Jo gone or not, he intended to enjoy himself!
Entering the TARDIS, he knew right away that this was not to be. There, standing before the main console, was an impeccably dressed man in a suit and bowler. Smiling at the Doctor, the man said, “Hello, Doctor. Enjoying ourselves?”
With an acerbic tone, the Doctor replied. “I was until I came here. What do you want now?”
The man put a hurt look on his face. “Come now, Doctor. Is that anyway to talk to one who has usually spoken in defense of you before the council? You could have been left exiled on earth.”
Defeated by his own sense of honor, the Doctor nodded, “Very well. I’ll listen. What does the CIA want now?”
The other Time Lord smiled. “That’s more like it! The Celestial Intervention Agency has recently discovered that the Daleks are up to their tricks again.”
The Doctor felt a shiver of ice spread up his spine. The Daleks were, next to the Master, his most implacable enemy. He was on their death list several times over. The psychotic little cyborgs would love to get their suckers on him. A fate he was less than inclined to allow.
“What are they up to now?”
A look of worry crossed the CIA agent’s face. “They plan to cross dimensions and begin a new spate of conquest.”
“Cross dimensions?” The Doctor was amazed. He knew his enemy were brilliant, but this, this was beyond even their brilliance. If they went to a new dimension, a new reality where the inhabitants were unaware of them… it would be utter chaos for those beings.
“So what do you want me to do?” The Doctor had a strange light in his eyes. While he did respect the Daleks, he did not fear them, nor did he fear the challenge they represented.
The agent handed him a small box. “Attach this to the guidance unit of the controller. It will allow your TARDIS to follow the Daleks. Once installed, it will read when the inter-dimensional portal has been opened. Do what you can to stop them, Doctor. The fate of an entire alternate universe may depend on it.”
Taking the device the Doctor weighed it in his hand. It was a small cube four inches by four inches with projections to attach it. Any other being might have thought of using it to explore other realities, but not the Doctor. His blood was up and he had a chance to confront and foil his enemies again. That would be reward enough!
Looking up he saw that the Agent was gone. With a shrug the Doctor closed the doors, set the device on his console, and went to change. There was no time, even if one were a Time Lord to dally.
The Daleks were waiting!
The USS Voyager, NCC-74656, an Intrepid-Class vessel had, at one time been the cutting edge of Federation technology. That had been six years ago. Now, while she was still top of the line, the years away from Starfleets extensive series of yards and repair depots, had forced the crew to replicate, replace and rebuild. Fortunately, there were enough space-going races in the Delta Quadrant and the ships replicators were good enough to keep the ship well supplied in trade goods.
Recently, the ship had discovered an asteroid belt in an uninhabited system circling a dying class-J star. In one of the asteroids, they had found an amazing discovery: 12 metric tons of natural dilithium crystals. The ship had pounced on the find, waiting to see if as was all too usual, they were trespassing. But for once, nothing had happened. The crew had been able to retrieve and refine the dilithium. After refining, the 12 tons had become 2 tons of some of the most perfect dilithium even B’Elanna had ever seen. Once several of the crystals had been set in the dilithium matrix, ships engine output had actually increased by 2.4 percent. Happily on their way, Captain Janeway had given permission for a party.
Neelix, resplendent in a Talaxian (his homeworld, long behind them) welcoming robe of so many colors it would make a rainbow grimace with despair, met each member of the crew as they entered. Even Tuvok, who had been the last crewmember to actually set aside his dislike of the energetic little alien, had arrived. As Neelix glanced around the crew lounge, he noticed only two of the crew was missing – The Doctor and Seven of Nine. Pausing to hand out another tray of Vulcan canapés (a bluish cheese on a red vegetable based cracker, they were quite popular with the crew) he wondered where they were.
In Sickbay, the Doctor was admiring his handiwork. For a while now he had thought that his good friend Seven’s collection of uniforms set her apart from the ship. Unknown to her, he had asked the Captain permission to make her a regular uniform. The captain, after deliberation decided that Seven was not only a member of the crew, but a valued member. After speaking with Chakotay whose time with his Maquis had given him a more than usual open mindedness about the affair, agreed. It was high time that Seven graduated to a new uniform.
The Doctor turned his back as Seven removed her blue jumpsuit. Skin tight, it contained sensors that kept watch on her Borg implants and made sure she was taking some of her nutrition in energy form. As she removed the uniform, she looked at the Doctor. “Is there something wrong, Doctor? Why have you turned away?”
Back to her, the EMH replied, “Well Seven when a woman undresses in front of a man, unless they are… involved, it’s polite to grant the woman some privacy.”
“I do not understand.” Seven said. “When you did surgery on me to remove my Borg implants, did you not see me nude? Why is now different?”
The Doctor listened as she fastened her new uniform closed. “Well, Seven, seeing you when I’m doing my duty is one thing, now is personal time. I don’t want to…”
“To embarrass me?” Seven completed his sentence. “I have no false modesty Doctor. Along with Naomi Wildman, you are my closest… friend on board Voyager. I do not feel uncomfortable in your presence. Either way, I am finished. How do I look?”
The Doctor turned. Seven stood there in a regulation Starfleet jumpsuit with only one difference. The Doctor had created a new designator for Seven. Since she was equally at home in either the science or engineering departments, rather than having either designator, she had both. A strip of mustard split the green of science neatly. Seven turned her head slightly and raised a brow. “Well?
The Doctor hesitated before answering. “Seven, it’s you. How does it feel?”
Seven crossed the distance between them. “It is more comfortable. Looser. The side pockets will be efficient for carrying tools.” On impulse she leaned forward and kissed the EMH on his forehead. Surprised, a shy smile lit up his face. “Why Seven. Thank you.”
Seven smiled a quick lifting of her full lips. “I have been studying human behavior again. Small personal gestures go a far way with them. I am pleased that it made you happy.”
The Doctor pulled at his collar, a programmed response since he was photons and forcefields, currently held together by a bit of 29th century Federation technology, he said, “Have you ever…”
“No,” said Seven. “You are the recipient of my first kiss. Did I do it correctly?”
The Doc smiled broadly and offered Seven his arm. “Very well done. Now, I believe the party has already started. Shall we go?”
Seven put out her arm. She hadn’t lied. The Doctor was her favorite, with Naomi Wildman a close second. “Yes, I believe we shall be fashionably late.”
The Supreme Dalek was an imposing figure. A half-meter taller than his followers, his travel unit was a glossy menacing black. Many beings had his menacing visage as their last sight. It had been at his order that the scientific cadre of the Daleks had been commanded to find a new way to defeat their organic enemies. Conquest and enslavement of others were the Daleks reason for existence. It had always been that way and always would. At one time an organic race, the Daleks had been the Kaleds. Deliberately mutated after centuries of war on Skaro, they were now small clawed lumps of protoplasm. Practically immune to radiation, they were if a race could be, evil. Utterly and irrevocably. The creations of the mad genius of Davros, his legacy of hate lived on in them. Their opponents in the war, the Thals, had also been mutated during the war, but they had been mutated into beings of perfection. Currently there were no Thals on Skaro. They had been driven off to settle a new world. But they were still a thorn in the Daleks sides. Many Thals were slaves in the Daleks tarranium mines, for without this element, their time machines and now, their dimension bender, would not work.
“Have the others contacted us again?” The Supreme Daleks voice was grating, like nails on a blackboard, or metal being drilled.
A grey Dalek, one of the scientific cadres, spun. “Affirmative. They wish to speak to you.”
The voice the came out of the speaker would have chilled the heart of any Federation member. Emotionless, with a hollow echo, it was the voice of fear. “We are the Borg. Why have you contacted us?”
“We are the Daleks. We are speaking across a dimensional barrier. We wish to speak of alliance.”
“We are the Borg. We do not ally. We assimilate. All will service the Borg.”
The Supreme Dalek looked at the speaker with its eyestalk. For a moment it was silent then shrieked, “Incorrect. The Daleks are the supreme beings in this reality! We know of your losses in your recent war. We speak of alliance for your benefit as well as ours.”
“Speak.” The Borg voice was softer now; as if being reminded of the lost war against Fluidic space had tamed them.
The Supreme Dalek looked at its scientists. “Disable external sensors. What I speak of is not for others.” Once they complied, the leader of the malevolent beings began to speak. When it was done an alliance of pure evil and fear had been formed.
Four: Strange Visitor
Deck nine of the Voyager was mostly unused. Other than some cargo bays and Sevens alcove, it was rarely visited by the crew. Had Seven or any of the crew been present in her alcove they would have been amazed at the sound could now be heard. A wheezing, asthmatic sound filled the alcove, followed by the slow appearance of a blue police box almost two meters tall. A white light on the top of the box flashed and blinked in time to the wheeze then both stopped.
Silence reigned in the alcove. The ships computer, a tireless sentinel, reacted as the door to the blue box opened and a white haired gentleman stepped out. Holding onto the door for support, he looked at the area where Seven would regenerate and collapsed to the floor.
In the crew’s lounge, Tuvok was the first to react to the computers cry of “Intruder Alert! Intruder Alert! Deck Nine.” Tapping his communicator, he said, “Security team to deck nine. I will join you there.” Followed by Seven and the Captain, who paused to say, “Chakotay, stand by here. If it’s something bad, I don’t want to lose both of us!” The trio dashed out to the turbolift.
“What’s going on in there?” demanded Captain Janeway. The head of the security team, Lieutenant Jen Lauren, a former Maquis of Bajoran ancestry, spun. Phaser rifle held at port arms, she replied. “I don’t think you’re going to believe this Captain.”
Janeway moved past the security officer into the Alcove. Before she could say another word, she stopped. “What is that?”
The other security officer, Ensign H.M. Brand, knelt by an unconscious man. Head topped by a jumble of white curls, nose prominent; the being was clearly unconscious. Tuvok stood next to Janeway and stared at the box, the doors of which were closed.
“Police box?” A note of curiosity tinged the Vulcan’s words. “What is a police box?”
Janeway chose to ignore that for a moment. Tapping her communicator, she said, “Transporter room, two to beam directly to sick bay. Energize.” With a shimmer, she and the strange invader disappeared, leaving Tuvok, Seven and the security officers to ponder the mystery of the Police Box.
Having been left behind, the Doctor went to sickbay. He had just arrived when Janeway and the strange being materialized. Quickly the pair of them put the man – that’s what he appeared to be – on the diagnostic table.
Lifting his tricorder, the Doctor began scanning. After a moment, he looked at Janeway. “Captain, where did he come from?”
Janeway made a face of distaste. “From a big blue box. Don’t ask. I don’t know how it got on the ship. We’ll solve that mystery once we can communicate with him. Will he live?”
The Doctor consulted his tricorder, then a screen near the bed. “Yes, according to these readings though, he’s of a species totally alien to us. He’s not in the Federation medical database, nor the Delta quadrant database we’ve begun creating.”
Janeway moved to the Doctors side. “Look at these readings! Two hearts?”
The Doc nodded. “There’s more. His physiology would make a Klingon envious. More ribs than a human and they are crosshatched. A liver, kidneys, and an organ I can’t explain filter his blood. His blood has two oxygen bearing cells and more antibodies than I’ve ever seen. Make a Klingon jealous did I say? He could make species 8472 take notice. He shows sign of massive exposure to chronoton radiation.”
Janeway wiped her eyes. “A time traveler?”
” Most likely.” The Doc pressed a hypo against the alien’s neck. “A shot of Cordrazine should help. He’s suffered shock. Perhaps from traveling across time.”
Seven entered the sick bay. “Captain, there is nothing disturbed in the alcove.”
Janeway nodded. “Good. Any results on the box?”
“Nothing good,” Seven replied. “It is resistant to our scans and the doors will not open.”
“That,” said a voice behind them, “is because the blue box is programmed to respond to my genetic code.”
At those words, all three Voyager officers turned and stared at the bed. The alien sat up and smiled. “Allow me to introduce myself, I am the Doctor. I’ve come here to assist you.”
Janeway smiled at the man’s candor. “I’m Captain Kathryn Janeway. You’re on board the Federation starship Voyager. Assist us in what?”
The Doctor stretched his long legs and rolled off the table. As he did, he looked at the Doc. “Ahhh,” Amazement colored his voice. “You’re not quite real.”
The Doc looked indignant. “I am too real. I think therefore I am. How do you know anyhow?”
The Doctor grinned. “I can see a bit more of the light spectrum than humans. Am I right in guessing that you are humans, as in from Earth?” Janeway, who felt an odd trust for the stranger, as if he were familiar to her, nodded, “Most of us.”
The Doctor came close to the Doc whose brows went up. “Brilliant engineering, if I may say so.” The Doctor spun and looked at Seven who stared back, dispassionately. “Yes?”
“You’re not totally human, either. Cyborg?”
Seven nodded. “Your observations are astute ones. I was once a member of the Borg. Now I am a member of this crew.”
The Doctor slapped his forehead with an open palm. “The Borg! That’s why I’m here. Captain we have to talk. I’m here on a mission of great importance to both of us.”
The area of space was empty. The nearest system was a dead one, it’s habitants long ago assimilated, the natural resources of the remaining worlds torn away to be used by the Borg. One ship hung there, a Borg triangle. One of the newer ships, it was smaller than most, with a crew of 1000 drones. Curiosity brought the cybernetic race to this area. The Daleks had known much about them, but they knew nothing in return. The Borg had searched their enormous database and come up empty. This led to what organic beings would call unease, but the Borg would never admit to that.
Space shimmered and glowed for a brief moment, a kaleidoscope of colors like a nebula being born. When it cleared, an ugly, disc shaped ship had appeared. At once the ship sent a message. “We are the Daleks. We wish to send a party aboard your vessel.”
The Borg was silent then, “Proceed.” If the Borg had any fear of the Daleks, they didn’t show it. An opening appeared in the side of the ship, which, even though smaller than the regular Borg vessels, was still big enough to dock the entire Dalek ship.
With a shimmer of reaction engines, the saucer entered the prepared area. As soon as it had, the portal closed as if it had never existed.
The Dalek saucer landed in a large area that had recently been cleared. Pipes carrying coolant, large pieces of machinery, all rearranged themselves at the wish of the collective. Once the ship landed and the main hatch opened a platoon of drones appeared. Forming up at the end of the ramp that was extending from the Dalek ship, they stood and waited.
The first of the grey Daleks slid down the ramp, eyestalk moving back and forth. In a grating voice, it called out “Who is the leader among you?” Several red and blue Daleks, the security force of the ship, followed their leader out.
The Grey Dalek slid up to the first of the drones. Once it had been an Andorian, it’s dark blue skin still showing in places that the prosthetics did not cover. Its antenna still jutted from its skull, their fragile beauty ruined by implants.
“Are you the leader?” The Dalek was losing its patience. Next to it, the Red and Blue Daleks waved their gun sticks in a menacing way. While they were both masters of and dependent on technology, at the heart of every Dalek was an organic being of great malevolence. Unknown to them, the Borg were scanning their erstwhile allies and finding them lacking.
“We are the Borg. State your designation and purpose.”
The Grey Dalek swiveled its eyestalk. The drone’s lips had not moved, yet it had heard the message. Turning to its security detail, the Grey sent a message for them to be prepared. It had a feeling of unease and was beginning to think that the Supreme Dalek had erred this time.
Backing away slightly, the Grey allowed its security force to be between it and the drones. Speaking in an irritated (the normal Dalek tone) voice, it said, “I am the Chief Scientist of the Daleks. We seek an alliance with you.”
“We are the Borg. We do not ally. We assimilate. All will serve the Borg.”
With a suddenness that startled the Daleks, the drones, arms upraised began moving forward. The Grey Dalek shouted out, “Exterminate!” Not waiting to see if its orders were carried out, the Grey fled for the ship. Behind it, the Red and Blue Daleks were fighting what was about to become a losing battle. Gunsticks erupting, the first line of drones was blown backwards, their organic components fried. As their smoking bodies fell to the deck, two more lines of drones entered. Falling back toward the ship, whose hatches were sealed the security Daleks planned to sell their lives dearly!
As five more drones went down, the amazing Borg technology came into play. The shields adapted, rendering the Dalek weapons useless. The first of them to fall was attacked by a Borg with a cutting tool on one arm. Raising its arm it brought the tool down on the dome. With a squeal of metal and a flash of sparks, the saw cut right through to the Dalek inside. With a shriek, the Dalek self destructed, killing itself and blowing the Borg’s arm off.
The others were not so lucky. Squealing; “Stay back! Stay back!” They were surrounded. The drones began the assimilation process. Tubules carrying nano-probes pierced the casing of the Daleks and entered the beings within. Within moments it was over. The Daleks were now part of the collective. They would now be known as Species 9942.
Inside the saucer, the Grey Dalek was contacting his superior. Using the dimensional relay, a communication’s beam was crossing realities. In seconds, the Supreme Dalek appeared. “Report.”
“We are betrayed! My security force is being overwhelmed. The Borg are untrustworthy. They wish to conquer us.” The ship shook as the Borg began to assimilate it.
“Not acceptable!” Shrieked the Supreme Dalek; “The Daleks are the supreme beings in the universe. This betrayal will be revenged. You are ordered to self-destruct! The Borg will be exterminated! Exterminated!”
“I obey.” With a shuddering roar, the Grey detonated the Dalekenium bombs held within the ship. But it was too late. The Borg had, on the data from the assimilated Daleks known of this plan and ejected the Dalek ship into space. The Grey’s sacrifice had been for nothing.
On Skaro, the Supreme Dalek was in a rage. “We have been betrayed. Prepare a fleet! The Borg will pay for this! They shall be exterminated! Exterminated!”
The stranger who called himself the Doctor, found himself escorted by Janeway and Seven to the briefing room. Even though he was a new lifeform, Janeway decided to loosen security, since it seemed that for once this alien was exactly what he seemed – friendly.
As they entered the briefing room, Janeway asked, “What did you call that blue box, Doctor?”
Smiling roguishly, he made a motion for Janeway to enter before him. “Actually, I hadn’t. But it’s the TARDIS. That’s what my old ship is.”
“Ship?” Tuvok stood by the table, tricorder in one hand. Looking at their odd visitor, Tuvok set his tricorder in its holster. “Your . . . TARDIS is impenetrable to even the most intense sensor scans. But the dirt on it, according to readings comes from 20th century earth.”
The Doctor allowed himself a seat. “That is where I currently am from, my good sir. England to be precise. But I am not from your reality. I have been sent here by my people, who should learn to do things for themselves, but that’s another story, to assist you.”
Janeway felt a fascination for this man. “Assist us in what?”
The Doctor’s face lost its jovial look. “In preventing the conquest of your galaxy, Captain Janeway. I am pursuing my own personal enemies, the enemies of all intelligent being that wish to be free.”
“Who are you pursuing?” interrupted Chakotay, entering the briefing room.
“Doctor, this is my First Officer, Commander Chakotay.”
The Doctor rose and offered a hand. “The Daleks, my boy! The Daleks. They’ve made contact with some race here that calls itself the Borg.”
A deafening silence reigned through the briefing room.
Seeing that the word had some meaning for these beings, the Doctor began quite animatedly to explain who he was; a Timelord. He told the truth because he saw no reason to lie. Why he was here (at the intervention of the Celestial Intervention Agency) to stop an alliance between the Daleks and the Borg, an alliance that could doom all realities. The only thing he left out was how he had traveled there. It just didn’t occur to him to explain it to his new friends.
In reply, the crew of the Voyager gave the Doctor a shortened version of the six years they had been here. How the Caretakers complex had been destroyed and the ship stranded for close to five years. Of the Borg and their near fatal incursion into Fluidic space, how the Voyager had saved the Federation’s deadliest enemies, which almost resulted in them being assimilated, but instead gave them Seven of Nine.
The Doctor seemed particularly fascinated by the concept of Fluidic space. “I’ve been to many places, but space that is basically a huge ocean? That is something I’d like to see. But that’s for another time. The question now is; how do we stop this alliance from taking place.”
Seven wearing a look of disdain, said, “I do not see this as possible. The Borg do not ally, they assimilate. They use whatever they can from the races they absorb. There is no sharing, no concept of self.”
“Honestly,” replied the Doctor. “I can’t see the Daleks seeking allies either. They use races as slaves and they have a race of beings they use for their dirty work, the Ogrons, but those worthies are barely capable of thought, let alone any complex actions.”
“But,” said Janeway. “You were sent here for a reason.”
Before the Doctor could reply, Harry Kim’s voice erupted over the loudspeaker. “Bridge to Captain Janeway.”
“Captain, you’d better come to the bridge. Sensors have picked up a Borg energy signature.”
With a hurried, “Follow me, Doctor,” from Janeway, the briefing room emptied quickly.
Harry Kim had been an unsure young man when he first arrived on Voyager. Now he was taking the night shift on the bridge, was preparing for the day in which Janeway made him a Lieutenant. Several times, his unflappable approach (probably fostered by his friendship with Tuvok) had caused Janeway to refer to him as “her rock”.
“Show us what you have, Harry.” Janeway commanded, leading the Doctor up into his console. Harry gave the strange visitor a look, but withheld any questions.
“Here’s the Borg signature. It’s a small vessel, not much larger than a scout or a sphere. From the denigration of the radiation, the ship was here only a few hours ago.” Harry pointed to another screen. “But this signature I can’t identify. It’s not in our database.”
The Doctor peered at the screen. “I can, it’s a Dalek signature. See the way the alpha wave peaks?” He pointed at the screen. “The Daleks use an engine system with a reciprocating energy field. It’s unique to them”
“The Daleks?” Harry asked. Janeway patted him on the shoulder. “It’s a long story Harry. What else can you tell us?”
“The Borg ship entered Transwarp and the Dalek signature disappeared with it.”
“Damn,” Chakotay burst out. “We can’t track a ship in transwarp unless we’re following them.”
The Doctor rubbed his chin. “I think I have a device that can enable us to track the Dalek signature, even if they are inside, as I think is likely, the Borg ship. If I might return to my craft for a moment?”
Janeway nodded. “Seven accompany the Doctor to your alcove.”
As Seven led the Doctor away, Janeway turned to Chakotay. “Keep the ship at a modified yellow alert. I don’t want the Borg and their new friends surprising us.”
Once in her alcove, Seven stared at the Blue Box. It was unremarkable, the paint worn in spots, a small blue light at it’s top. The words POLICE BOX were stenciled on it. Seven was surprised that not even her Borg eye could see through what appeared to be a fragile thing.
“You travel in this?” Even with her voice neutral, Seven’s voice carried an air of disbelief.
The Doctor smiled at the attractive demi-human. “Yes, my dear. It’s the TARDIS. It’s my ship. Please,” he opened the doors, “Come in.”
Seven stepped tentatively across the threshold. She still held an air of distrust for the alien who seemed to have captured Janeway’s trust too quickly. As Seven entered behind the Doctor, she stopped. “This is not logical.”
The Doctor, at the hexagonal control console, turned. “What is not logical?”
“This, how can this be? On the outside, the box is small, yet this. . .” Seven waved a slightly prosthetic hand around the area. “This area is too large. Explain.”
The Doctor grinned, “Ah, you’re not the first being to be amazed by the TARDIS. It’s a fairly amazing ship. But be careful not to insult her, she’s almost sentient.”
Seven stared at the Doctor, came closer to look at the console. “Sentient?”
The Doctor touched a switch on the console and another door opened. In it were neat drawers set into the wall. This was his electronics storage area. In here was where he’d find the device he required.
“You called this TARDIS. What does that mean?”
“Time and Relative Dimensions in Space. We are actually inside another dimension when we’re in the TARDIS. This is one of the few times I’ve crossed realities. I have traveled extensively across time. Future or past, time is no stranger to me. Ah! Here it is!”
The Doctor lifted a slender box-like device. On it was a small control pad and a screen. A sensor funnel on the front, ending in a multi-faceted crystal completed the device.
“What is that, Doctor?” queried Seven, her curiosity taking control again.
“This is a Dalek device, it’s a rescue beacon. All I need do is one small change and it will act as a finding beacon. Care to lend a hand?”
Seven nodded. “I would be . . . happy to.”
Nodding, the Doctor took out his sonic screwdriver. Seven looked at the instrument with curiosity, finally asking, “May I see your device, doctor?”
He grinned, removed the access panel from the Dalek beacon and handed the screwdriver to her. Seven held it up and examined it. “This is an efficient device. It works on several different levels of both mechanical and energy signatures.”
The Doctor grinned. “I’m glad you like it, I made it myself.”
Near a small nebula, it’s gaseous cloud reaching out like the arms of a terran starfish, blues and reds vibrant against the darkness of space, the fabric of the Delta quadrant shimmered, then shifted. Where there had been nothing but space, now appeared seven Dalek saucers. Unlike the original scout ship that had been sent to cement the alliance with the Borg, these were large, heavily armed, and armored ships. Hovering in space, aboard each of them were one thousand Dalek shock troopers. Unlike the ordinary Dalek, these were taller, their travel machines heavily armored, carrying two external weapons rather than a gunstick and a sucker. Each of these creatures had been bred for loyalty to the Supreme Dalek and their racial goal of conquest.
Travel machines shimmering platinum in color, these particular Daleks were warriors and nothing else. Seeing that Daleks who were multi tasked did not fare well at times in combat, the Supreme Dalek had ordered their construction. Now they were to seek out the Borg and initiate their prime function: Extermination of the enemy.
For the Borg, there would be no quarter.
The Borg were aware that more Daleks would come. Of the Daleks that had been assimilated only five still survived. The others had slowly broken down, the Dalek creature itself too fragile to survive assimilation. Still, the ones that survived had given the Borg the information they needed to know. More Daleks would come; more of species 9942 would be assimilated. Species 9942’s technology and knowledge would become part of the collective. Their device for transiting realities would become part of the Borg. All would succumb to the Borg. After the way these beings had fallen, the Daleks would be easy prey.
Never since species 8472, had the Borg been so wrong.
Forming a phalanx, the Dalek ships moved out, following their sensor beams to the location of their ship. Finding the debris, they conferred and concluded that their ship had been destroyed. This enraged the command Daleks. They had come with the offer of alliance and this was the result? This could not be tolerated. The Borg would be exterminated.
The Borg scout ship sensors alerted it at the arrival of the Daleks. Having been left behind by the triangle to watch for another incursion, it moved toward the invading ships sending out the usual Borg threat: WE ARE THE BORG. LOWER YOUR SHIELDS AND PREPARE FOR ASSIMILATION. YOU WILL SERVICE THE BORG.
In response, the Daleks fired their weapons. The beam, a side development of their time destructor, circumvented the shield by being slightly out of phase with time. The rainbow colored beam smashed into the Borg ship, cutting a huge swath through the ship. Before the Borg could attempt to retreat, the beam fired again, obliterating what was left. Triumphant, the Daleks moved off, ready to attack again.
In the briefing room, the Doctor sat near Seven who he was (having always had an eye for pretty women in this incarnation) growing quite fond of. Janeway set out a tea service (the Doctor’s preferred beverage, he thought coffee uncivilized) and as each helped themselves, the Doctor placed his device on the table.
“With this we shall be able to discover if any further Dalek incursions into your reality have been made. I am sure that they will be back, if they weren’t, I wouldn’t be here any longer.”
“Are your people always so altruistic?” asked Tuvok, sipping at tea. He shared the Doctor’s thoughts on the beverage and found the Terran brands among his favorites. By Vulcan standards, Earth people were still barbarians, but if they could bring something like oolong tea to the galaxy, there was hope for them.
“Sadly, no.” replied the Doctor. “I am considered to be quite the rebel among them because I was not content to sit at home and watch. Seven told me of your prime directive. While I appreciate it’s meaning, there are times when I’m sure it’s been a damning thing to follow.”
At this, Chakotay and Janeway exchanged looks. He had once gone against everything the Federation had stood for, including the prime directive, when a treaty between the Federation and Cardassia had left hundreds of thousands of people at the Cardassians mercy. Now, according to information received from Starfleet, the Dominion, a new enemy, had annihilated all the Maquis. Chakotay hoped in his secret heart that the Federation would make them pay for this.
B’Elanna, sitting on the other side of the table – her dislike of Seven was well known – looked down at the device. Alien hieroglyphics fluttered across the screen, then stopped. “Doctor, your device is doing something.”
The Doctor and Seven, who had already learned high Gallifrey, the language that was spurting across the screen, exchanged glances. “The Daleks are back,” Seven announced.
“I concur,” the Doctor beamed at his student. Not only lovely, but intelligent as well! He’d been without a companion for a while, perhaps when this was over, she could be persuaded to come with him? Putting the idea aside he said, “Seven saucers. From what my scanner is telling me… damn.”
“What?” Janeway’s voice reflected the air of despair that colored the doctor’s voice.
“They’re using a time disruptor weapon. It’s based on their time destructor. That particularly nasty device, powered by tarranium, can destroy a specific time period. They created a beam that will circumvent a ships defenses by shifting through time.”
Seven raised a brow. “I believe B’Elanna and I can reconfigure the shields to be inundated with chronoton particles, that should give us protection against the weapon.”
“Get on it,” commanded Janeway. “Chakotay, set a pursuit course. I don’t think the prime directive applies here. We’re not only protecting ourselves, but the whole galaxy!”
Nine – Pursuit
The Dalek’s came upon and destroyed two more Borg scout ships. Three ships destroyed in one day! This information shook the collective to their core. Nothing like this had happened since their failed foray into fluidic space! Fifteen thousand drones gone in the blink of an eye. Swiftly, the Borg mobilized. This threat must be neutralized as fast as possible. Within seconds of the command going out, the Borg began sending vessels in the direction of the invaders. To negotiate was never contemplated. The Borg did not negotiate or make treaties, they conquered, they assimilated. All would become one with the Borg. There was no other way.
On the command saucer, the lead Dalek, a shimmering platinum in color, his two Gunsticks at ease, stared through his eyestalk at the time destructor. Since the Borg would not ally themselves with their superiors, they would be destroyed to their very beginnings. The Time destructor would see to that!
The saucer’s pilot, in its control pod, called out an alert. “Sensors indicate one ship approaching. It is not of Borg configuration.”
“Challenge it. All must obey the Daleks!”
On the Voyager, Harry looked up from his console. “We’re being commanded to communicate by the Daleks.”
Janeway made a wry face. “B’Elanna, Seven, are the new shields ready?”
B’Elanna breathless, replied, “As ready as ever. Until they fire, we won’t know.”
“That’ll have to do, ” said Chakotay. “Open a channel, Captain?”
The Command Dalek appeared on screen. “Surrender or be exterminated.”
Janeway looked taken aback. Sideways to Chakotay she said, “Not much for conversation, are they?”
The Doctor stood in the back, to the left of the screen. He didn’t want his enemies to see him too soon. That might make the current communication that much more difficult.
“I am Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation Starship, Voyager. State your purpose in invading our space.”
This set the command Dalek off. “We are the Daleks, we do not obey others, we command! Prepare to be boarded or destroyed!”
Janeway glanced at Chakotay who said, “Could be the Borg’s cousins. Bad attitudes and all.”
A light on Janeway’s panel lit up. Tuvok was signaling her that weapons were charged and locked on.
Janeway smiled slightly. “Go back where you came from and there won’t be any trouble.”
The rainbow colored beam erupted out of the Dalek saucer. It hit Voyager and slid off and around the ship. The Chronoton filled shields were working – so far.
As usual, it was Tuvok who had the bad news. “Shields are down to seventy percent. At this rate, we will survive two more shots.”
“Captain, we’ve got trouble!” Harry’s voice sounded, for the first time in over a year, panicked.
“What now?” demanded Chakotay.
Before Harry could finish, fifteen Borg cubes, ranging from the largest to a scout came out of transwarp.
Janeway looked at the Doctor. “Now we’ve got trouble.”
Ten – Free for All
As soon as the Borg dropped out of transwarp, their usual message erupted on speakers. Before they could finish one sentence, Janeway snarled, “Cut speakers!”
The Doctor motioned to her. “Captain, I have an idea.” Hurriedly, he explained to Janeway. “Sounds like our best bet. Tuvok, take the Doctor to transporter room three. I’ll have Seven meet you there.”
Voyager had been mostly forgotten as the Daleks and Borg began to fire on one another. A Borg major cube and a Dalek saucer both exploded, their remnants peppering the surrounding ships. As each side maneuvered for advantage, a small commando team appeared in a passageway on the Dalek command ship. Tuvok and Seven, dressed in black uniforms and hoods, carried phaser rifles. The Doctor, as was his wont, carried no weapon. However, he did have in one pocket, a Starfleet communicator. Having it was vital to his plan.
“Follow me. Dalek ships are all the same. No imagination.”
On Voyager, Janeway turned to Kim. “Keep a transporter lock on the away team. Stay ready to fire weapons.”
Another Borg ship had fallen, giving the opponents almost even odds. The one thing saving the Borg was the recharge time of the Daleks weapon. When it had to recharge, the Borg had an opportunity to fire. Still, the Borg were on the defensive.
The Doctor stopped and pointed. “There, in the rear of the room, is the Time Destructor. Seven, do you remember what I showed you?”
Seven looked almost irritated. “I understood the instructions immediately, Doctor.”
“Good, now you and Tuvok do what you came here for. I shall distract the Daleks.”
Before either of them could move, the Doctor strode out into the center of the control room.
“Well, here we all are!”
For a moment, there was total silence. Even the Command Dalek froze. Then the air was cut by shrieks of “The Doctor! Our Enemy! Capture him!”
The Doctor appeared nonplussed as he strode up to the Command Dalek. “I don’t believe I’ve seen your type before? Tea dispensing Dalek?”
The Command Dalek raised one of its Gunsticks. “You are the Doctor. Enemy of the Daleks. Once we have defeated the Borg, you will be taken to Skaro and dissected for the amusement of the Supreme Dalek. Before we are done, we will know all you know. We shall be more superior than we are!”
The Doctor watched past the Command Dalek as Tuvok and Seven slid into the time destructor chamber. With a sneer he said, “Superior? If you are so superior why haven’t you conquered your own space? Instead you ran away to conquer this space.”
“Incorrect! We came seeking allies! The Daleks are the supreme beings in the universe!”
The Doctor smiled. “What you are is a bunch of misguided misanthropes who are so insecure, they have to try and conquer because they’re afraid if they don’t, the truth will be out. That you are second class beings, confined to those travel machines!”
Silence. Then the Command Dalek moved a bit closer. “Say what you will. You will enjoy your stay on Skaro. But watch as we destroy the Borg!”
The Command Daleks words rang true. The Borg were on the losing side. The Daleks were down to four saucers, the Borg one ship. But more Borg were on the way.
“Captain, we’ve got thirteen more Borg signatures. They’re seven minutes out.” Harry had regained his calm, but he wasn’t happy about this situation. Neither was Janeway. “Tuvok, Seven. How long?”
Seven tapped her commbadge. “We are done. Beam us out.”
In transporter room three, B’Elanna had a problem. “Captain, I can’t get a lock. They have to get away from the time destructor.”
“Seven, Tuvok, you have to get away from the device. It’s interfering with our lock on.”
“Understood,” replied Tuvok, raising his phaser rifle. “It appears we need another distraction.”
Rising, Tuvok fired. The golden-red beam smashed into the control Dalek, exploding it. As the shower of sparks erupted up and out, the Doctor ducked and fled for the corridor. Dalek beams cut through the air around him.
“I’ve got them!” B’Elanna shouted triumphantly.
As the away team was whisked off the Dalek ship, the new Borg ships arrived. Before either one of them could fire a shot, the time destructor initiated. In a kaleidoscope of colors the saucer, followed by the other Dalek ships, simply ceased to be. The Borg ships followed them as well. Only Voyager, protected by the chronoton shields (raised just in time by Harry) survived the onslaught of unleashed chronal energy.
Eleven – Farewells
In Seven’s alcove, the Doctor stood before the open doors of the TARDIS. Mission completed, he had given some tours of it, but did not allow scanning. Now with all the crew but Janeway and Seven returned to their duties, he knew it was time to go.
Janeway shook his hand. “I wish we had more time to get to know you Doctor. You’re quite an interesting individual.”
The Doctor, never one to turn down praise, beamed, “Yes, I suppose I am. I don’t know if we’ll ever meet again, but since I have a lot of . . . time on my hands, I wouldn’t think it impossible.”
“Well, I’ve got a ship to run. Goodbye Doctor.”
As Janeway left, the Doctor turned to Seven. “It’s been a pleasure to know you Seven. You know, I could see that there are some difficulties in relationships between yourself and some of the crew. Would you like to come with me? It would be a whole new universe.”
Seven smiled slightly. “Your offer is tempting Doctor. I feel there is much you could show and teach me, but Voyager is my collective now. I must decline the invitation.”
The Doctor leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek. “Well then, farewell and good luck Seven. I know you’ll assimilate the hearts of this crew, you’ve done a pretty good job on mine.”
As the Doctor entered the TARDIS, Seven was speechless. Standing there in her commando uniform, she almost asked him to stop. But if she left, who would look out for the Doctor and Naomi?
With a wheezing, groaning noise, the TARDIS initiated its engine and disappeared. Seven stood staring at the afterimage of the amazing ship. Surreptitiously, she raised her hidden tricorder and looked at the screen. On it was a simple message, “I TOLD YOU NO SCANS, YOU NAUGHTY GIRL!”
With a smile, Seven put down the device and entered her alcove. She had promised Naomi Wildman a session in astrometrics. To deal with the precocious child, she would need to regenerate.
Story © 2003 Rob Morganbesser/Viasgraph Films International.