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         Fire In The Sky
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      Page Five

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Subject: Night Moves..
From:  patti k (
Sent: Thu 4/22/10 6:10 AM

In the station, it was midnight. The gang was awake. Although no one
would actively admit it, their sleep had been disturbed because Roy
and Johnny hadn't been there for A shift's start. There had been only
the two from 99's as firefighter substitutes instead. Now, they were
subconsciously rebonding.

Together again around the kitchen table, platters were passed around.
And boy, were they hungry.

Mike Stoker stuffed another bologna sandwich into his mouth.
"Man, this is good." he remarked.

"Yeah, better than cafeteria food." Gage guffawed.

"Missed your cooking rotation did ya?" Chet egged on Johnny. "Let me
tell you, Gage. Hotdogs just didn't do Monday night dinner justice. We
were all looking forward to that new meatfloaf recipe you promised to

This time, even Roy became exasperated. He cut off Johnny, before
the skinny paramedic could open his food chipmunk cheeked mouth
to complain. "Kelly. Now, knock it off. We had an emergency up there.
A wounded guy and his buddy who really needed us."

"The curse of the Squad 51 vacation time strikes again." Chet snorted.

Hank held up a hand. His other one contained a fingerful of cold french
fries. "Hey." he warned Chet, not chewing. "They did the decent thing
afterwards and made sure the guy's friend was okay, by letting him
watch the surgery, then letting him crash at our place." Cap reasoned,
hooking a thumb at the back lot where the dark camper was barely
visible through the blue street lit filled window.

"That was only after you got used to the idea of a sleepover." Gage

"I finally did it, didn't I?" Cap rounded on Gage.

Marco held up his hands, stained with taco sauce. "Fellas, fellas, truce."
he pantomimed a timeout. "We're only cranky because we're starving."

"We're always starving." Kelly chuckled, finishing off his second sandwich.
"If you doubt that, just look at the frig."

"I replaced what we gave Tom Paris tonight." Johnny defended.

Kelly tipped his head marginally. "True. I'll give you that. But this
is gas station lunch meat, not deli."

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"They were closed." Gage glared.

Mike Stoker decided to end the war by changing the subject. "Say, Roy.
How'd Joanne and the kids take the news that Daddy was a hero again?"

"Same as always. They took it for granted by not praising me to death."
Roy smiled.

"Too bad." Kelly said.

Gage smacked Chet's arm.

Boot woofed from his spot under the table.

"Oh, sorry, Boot. Here ya go." Johnny said in a whisper around the
mayonnaise jar, sneaking the shaggy dog a slice of bolonga.

Cap sniffed, cleared his throat at everybody, and did the same action,
openly. "Can't be too bad for him like the vet says. He goes on rescues
with us all the time." he reasoned, letting the others off the hook.

"We sure could've used Boot to find that ranger station yesterday." DeSoto

"Why? Were you lost?" Mike asked.

"No, Tom and his friend were, most likely. Johnny and I think they were a little
disoriented after the crash." Roy explained.

"They sure were acting weird." Johnny guffawed.

"Weird?" Chet asked.

"Yeah. All secret and suspicious, holding back you know, like military guys
sometimes do when they're active duty." Gage said.

"And you let this guy into our yard?" Chet wanted to know.

"Well, yeah. They passed a background check when they joined up, didn't they?"
Gage told him. "Paris didn't have any place to stay. No money?" he gloated.
"Roy and I even bought the flowers Tom wanted to give his friend Chakotay
to make him feel better faster. I gave him my blood." he finished, ticking off
that accomplishment on a finger in irritation.

Kelly inclined his head in acknowledgement. "I'll admit, that was decent of ya."

"That's what Dixie told us, with a wink." Gage told Chet, still glaring at him.

"All right already, Uncle.." Kelly bellied up.

A few minutes were filled with the sounds of eating. Soon they were all
genuinely happy again.

Roy chuckled. "He really does sound like us."

"Huh?" Johnny grunted.

"What we do when either of us is laid up in the hospital." DeSoto said,
passing a hand back and forth between himself and his paramedic
partner. "Fussing over the laid up one."

"Oh, yeah. Tom does." Gage admitted, still engrossed in building a monster
stack sandwich. "But he's so nervous. Kinda makes me doubt that he's
on a legit military mission like he told us."

Chet immediately stole it when he was done. Rather than create a stink,
Gage let him have it and he started building a new one, this time safely
out of arm's reach.

Roy commented. "Yeah, I got the same feeling, Johnny. But the vibes I get,
about those two, aren't bad ones regardless."

"I wish we'd never met them." Gage told him honestly. "Something about
Chakotay is just a little bit too familiar to me."
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Outside the camper, the exterior pay phone hanging on the side of
station 51, rang.

Tom Paris scrambled out of the sheet he found himself wrapped up
in, and promptly fell the distance from the loft over the driver's seat,
to the floor.

Cursing in Klingon, he kicked off the sheets and stumbled outside
to grab the receiver as fast as he could before the firefighters on
the other side of the bunkroom window would hear. Tom sighed
in relief when he saw the glow of lights in the kitchen and the sounds
of active eating. He had lucked out.

"Tom here." he said cautiously into the phone.

##Paris, it's me. Got a mission for ya. Grab today's newspaper pronto!##
Boothby ordered him.

"Just where do you expect me to scrounge up one at this hour of the night?
The garbage can?"

##Actually, yes. Hop to.##

Tom's mouth actually flopped open, first in shock, then in disgust.
"Okay, hang on." and he let go, hanging the phone down on its steel coil
cord carefully.  Grumbling and shivering in the California cold, Tom snuck
a little farther down the wall to a row of garbage bins next to the hose tower.
The first one, was medical waste.

"Eeeooww." he grunted, not searching that one.

Woof! came a muffled bark.

Tom froze. But then he realized the fire station dog was actually begging,
still safely in the kitchen, along with the rest of the firemen.

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Moving on down the line, Paris finally found the paper bin and a week's worth
of newsies, neatly piled. He grabbed out the whole stack.

"Okay, what am I looking for?" Tom whispered at Boothby when he
got back with his armful.

##Today's paper. The Carson Sentinel. June 12th, 1976. I want you to
take a look at page 3B.##

Paris ruffled through the sections one by one, reading off the dates
quickly by bright, blue street light. "No.. nope.. no...." he ticked off.
Suddenly he was at the bottom with no dice. "Boothby. It's not here."


"That paper.. It's not here." Tom told him again.

##Oh, wonderful. You need to see what I see, Lieutenant. I can't
just tell you, you'll never believe me.## Boothby said.

"Wait a minute, Okay, uh.. I know why it isn't here. They're firefighters,
right? Always taking calls and going on runs.." he thought out.
"What's the one thing you wanna do when you aren't doing what you're
paid to do?" he asked hypothetically.

##Escape from it all.## Boothby replied. ##Intense occupations always
elicit that response no matter the species.## the alien said.

"Right. That paper must be inside the station still. And in use."

##You have to get it.##

"How? I'm not allowed inside. They explained that to me very clearly.
Something about county regulations and no overnight guests."

##Think Paris, this is critically important.## Boothby groused.

"Okay, okay. I'm thinking. Uhhh." Then he remembered. "I've got a dog


"In this housing unit I've been put up in. Something called a camper.
Looks like they've used it to quiet down strays. There's dog hair
everywhere. Showed up on my tricorder scan earlier. I can get the one
that's inside now, to go fetch!" Tom said.

##Oh, lieutenant. Hope that works. I can't get over there just now with
a new newspaper. I'm currently tied up in a fragile communication
with Project Pathfinder through my office security camera.##

"Tell Barclay to get his *ss in gear to get that away team here!"

##Watch the mouth, mister. I won't tolerate other species profanity.##
Boothby told him.

"Sorry. Just a little worked up here. They gave me something called
Mountain Dew a few hours ago." Paris said.

##Get to work.## Boothby ordered.  ##I'll be in touch.## *Click.*

"Right." Tom said, almost saluting for real. He hung up the phone
and practically levitated up the strange camper's steps for the
tiny frig in the kitchenette area.

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Subject: Pretzel..
From:  patti k (
Sent: Thu 4/22/10 3:40 PM

Boothby turned back to the hospital's camera in his borrowed
doctor's office. "Okay, Barclay. I've done my part. What did you
find in the human records?"

The hologram fidgeted as it paced back in forth inside
of the camera lens. ##Our situation just became a little more urgent
I'm afraid. One of the humans trapped in that time echo along with
Tom Paris and Chakotay is also a down the line direct descendant
of one of our people.##

"What?! Which one?" asked the wizened caretaker alien.

##We don't know that yet. All we know is that when that person
became trapped inside the echo along with our people, something
will happen there that he or she doesn't survive, and our real timeline
changes in 1976. All the temporal fluctuations we've been reading
through the Halley's Comet wormhole, originate from right then.##

"What was the event that was the first real changed point according to
your scientists at the Project?" asked Boothby.

##Voyager being destroyed. This followed by the obvious corollary that
Voyager will never ever get a chance to keep trying to get back home
to Earth.## Reginald replied with certainty.

"Oo, sticky."
Boothby moved closer to the hologram he could see in his camera
lens. "Okay, direct descendant. A clue. Should be easy to figure out
which one. There's only five point seven million people needing
to be scanned by tricorder in this city of theirs." he said sarcastically.

##Piece of cake for a starship shuttle.## Reg reasoned.

"Reg, I told you that Tom Paris destroyed their shuttle! To preserve
the Prime Directive. He had to keep twentieth century humans
from discovering or using twenty fourth century technology."

##Oh, that is a bit of a problem.##

But Boothby was no longer listening.
"Unless....., we can modify the arriving away team's escape pod's
computer to compensate." Boothby said, tapping a wrinkled chin.

##Oh, n-not without the help of an interactive interface medium of some
kind. Such as what we're doing right now using satellites and
security cameras.## Barclay said timidly. ##An active scan will be really hard
to hide from the humans from the past. They can detect that kind of hacker
activity in 1976.##

"Not going that route." said Boothby dismissively. "We already
have an interface medium available. A portable EMH."

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##What? Where did Lt. Paris and Chakotay get that? Did they take
Voyager's when they realized the Borg were bearing down?##

"No. They already had one of their own. A second one that Harry Kim
duplicated as an experimental plan to submit to Starfleet as an idea
to add to future shuttle designs. He wanted to make a difference and
a better existence choice option for the EMH-1 line."

##And what a difference that is, Boothby! Ohhh!## Reg celebrated.
##I actually think we can finally save this situation at last. That holodoc,
if we can get him to work, will help us save our critical descendant
from a premature death, thus saving our own timeline and preventing
the destruction of Voyager and the loss of the away team.##

"You're forgetting about the Borg who were chasing them. Even
if we save both Voyager and the shuttle, they'll still be coming."
Boothby said.

##We've got that covered. We.... sort of negotiated with the 8472 to help
us out.##

"You did what?! What's to keep those Fluidic space monsters from
using this whole situation to finally conquer us? They've tried it once already
don't you know. Remember that duplicate Starfleet Academy training ground
they built that Voyager found?"

##Janeway's truce is still keeping them our allies.## Barclay insisted.
##They're gonna engage the two cubes the moment they sense our original
peaceful timeline's been restored. And by saving Voyager, they'll close the Halley's
Wormhole that actually opened secondarily as a result of the Borg ships
destruction by Voyager's modulated phasers. And this whole time echo you've
been living lately and that we've been probing for the last four days, will never
have existed in the first place! Isn't that wonderful?##

"May the deitys have mercy on our souls." Boothby moaned.

##Doubting Thomas. It's called politics. It's all a part of honoring the
conditions of the Delta Quadrant truce.## said Barclay reassuringly.

"I don't do politics. I only do flowers and cadet pruning, remember?"
Boothby grumbled.

But Barclay was oblivious. ##The away team gets to Tom and Chakotay.
They all fix and activate the EMH, and then we find that trapped descendant
and prevent his/her death. Easy! I can so see it happening.##

Boothby rolled his eyes at Barclay's hologram. "You're so young. Two words.
Murphy's Law."

##What's that?## Reg asked.

"Look it up." Boothby snapped and closed their connection.

Tom heard a knock on his camper door. "Who is it?" he asked.

"Your captain." came a strong gravelly female voice.

"Kathryn!" Paris celebrated.

"And Tuvok." she replied, letting herself in. Captain Janeway was dressed in
an all white business blazer, white pants with a solid colored blouse.

Tuvok, Voyager's security chief, had bound his Vulcan ears with a black
do rag and was wearing a ripped biker's outfit of faded mint with
a maroon muscle shirt. The effect was striking.

"Nice." Tom commented. "Remind me never to run into you in a
dark alley, Tuvok."

"Why would you want to do that?" Tuvok commented.

"Oh, never mind. It's a figure of speech. I only meant that your disguise
is very effective." Paris said. "You look like a street wise gang member."

"Thank you. I tried to find a modicum that this society will either choose
to ignore or accept at a distance. How is Commander Chakotay? We
haven't been able to scan his vital signs. It appears that his combadge
is no longer with him." Tuvok said.

"I have it here. Protect advanced technology, remember?" Paris said, handing
it to Janeway. "Chakotay's fine. They managed to save his life with
stone knives and bearskins. He's resting somewhat comfortably at
the local hospital."
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"I don't know if I like the sound of that. Let's go visit him next. So do
you have it?" Janeway asked, moving from window to window of the camper,
making sure that no one was about.

"Have what?" Tom asked. Then he remembered. "Oh, the newspaper. No,
I don't."

Janeway and Tuvok sighed, putting away their actively scanning tricorders.

"I'm sorry, Captain. That d*mned dog took my bologna bribe and then he
ran off with my dog whistle and didn't come back. I didn't want to monkey
around further and attract the firefighters' attention. Somehow, I don't
think it'd be seen as appropriate if an overnight guest starts playing
with the fire station's dog in the middle of the night."

Janeway shrugged. "We'll think of something else."

But Tom was already on another track.
"Wait a minute. How about Chakotay? If Boothby wanted me to see that
newspaper, wouldn't he have tried the same thing with the commander?
He's very keen on sharing information I've recently learned." Paris said.

"It's worth a shot. But first, let's have a little rundown on what tech
you do still have that's left over from the shuttle." Janeway ordered.

Tom started emptying his pockets and his knapsack. He cringed just
a little when he finally laid out the doctor's small autonomous emitter.

Tuvok picked it up and raised an ironic eyebrow. "Stealing classified
sickbay equipment without authorization is a punishable offense,

Tom became indignant. "I didn't. The captain here--"

Janeway held up a travel dirty hand. "I authorized it. Harry Kim had
completed his experimental duplication and the shuttle's mission was
its first test run. I wanted to see the new EMH in action."

Tuvok's emotionless expression didn't change on his dark features.
"It is unfortunate the shuttle is disintegrated. It will be difficult
modulating our escape pod's small computer to hold all of
the doctor's program."

Tom finished laying out all the things he had managed to save
from the shuttle's med kit. And his tricorder. Reluctantly, he
handed over the hypospray full of Seven's Borg cure
nanoprobes over to Tuvok. "Oh, and I had to use some
of these. Both on Chakotay and one of the locals."

Janeway looked up in alarm. "Are you absolutely sure no one
else was infected?"

Tuvok quickly scanned Tom. "He's clear." Then he aimed it in
the general direction of the fire station and scanned that, too.
"So are they."

"Yes, Captain, I-- Yes, I got it all. I even dissolved the one Borg
implant that fell off of Chakotay's hand when I injected him."

"Good." said Janeway. "Last thing we need is another Borg
Cube learning about this time echo and wormhole following
Halley's Comet, through a newly reborn drone."

Paris sat down wearily onto one of the long camper couches
next to the moonlit window and short curtains. "You know, it's

"What is?" Janeway said, sitting next to him. She could see
utter exhaustion in Tom's eyes.

"Halley's comet is on the same journey we are, captain. Seventy years
out, and seventy years back." he said, flying a hand up in the
air like an airplane in two directions. "Only difference is,
that d*mned comet gets to Earth all right, every time." he sighed.

"I'll get us home, Tom. It might take most of the rest of our lives.
But I'll get us there, I promise." Kathyrn whispered.

"Or die trying." Paris said realistically, laying his head across
one of his arms resting on the tabletop. "Ah,.. I give up." he
said. "Kathryn." Tom asked. "Do we have a home left to return
to?" he asked, missing Voyager.

"Not yet. Let's go bring it back, shall we?" she invited, reaching
for his hand to offer some comfort.

Tom took it, fighting tears. He turned his head away from her.
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Janeway dragged over the medkit and groped around until she
found the medical tricorder. With it, she scanned Tom and got
a baseline health status. "You've been burning your candle at
both ends. No wonder you're sagging. Dopamine levels from
lack of sleep are sky high..."

"That was Boothby's little surprise phone call a few hours ago.
Gave me a start." Paris groaned.

"Your blood sugar levels are over the top...."

"That's something called soda pop. A whole case." Paris
shared with her. "And they were good, too."

"You're not a diabetic." Janeway chided, but then softened.
"I'm suggesting cordrazine. Just a drop. To keep you going
a little longer. Do you as a medic concur with these readings?"
she asked.

Frowning ruefully, Tom took the med tricorder from her hand
and read it. "Yep. I'm a mess. Fed but frazzled."

Janeway grinned and watched while he dialed up a dose.
Then she took the new hypospray he had prepared and
injected his neck. "This should counteract that sugar and
caffeine rush, and breakup all that lactic acid buildup you
have in your muscles."

"Why fight it? I had Rampart Hospital's coffee, too. And
it was wonderful." Paris.

Janeway licked her lips. "Oh, stop. You know I won't be
able to resist that."

"The captain has restrained herself. She has not yet indulged
in real coffee." Tuvok said, with a sparkle in his eye.

"I didn't want to torture myself." she explained. "Just the
thought of solving this whole dilemma and then returning
back home to where there is none--" she broke off,
swallowing dryly.

Paris offered her the cordrazine. "Here. Maybe you should
have some of this instead." he joked with a smile.

Janeway slapped it aside.
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Tuvok, meanwhile, had out a tool kit and he started work
on the EMH's autonomous emitter that he had diode tied to
a tricorder and Chakotay's combadge. "Our escape pod
is hidden in the L.A. river bed, not far from the hospital you
mentioned, inside of a storm conduit."

"Think it'll be safe there?" Tom asked.

"Yes. I took the precaution of setting up a set of portable
tachyon stabilizers. No one inside of this time echo will be
able to see or detect the pod. There's a protective
camouflage in place." Tuvok reported.

"When are we leaving to go see Chakotay?" Paris asked.

"Right now." Janeway said. "Ready, Tuvok?"

"Yes, I can finish up at the hospital." he replied, scooping
up Tom's battered backpack to hold all of their things. "I
took the added benefit of building a satellite tap into
my tricorder so we can remotely fly the escape pod. I've
also added a temporal stabilizer into this combadge
that will protect a wearer physically from alternate time
people if they should try to interact or restrain the user
in any way. It will act as a buffer so we don't accidently
leave this echo for the real 1976 time stream outside. I am
also 86.67 % certain that using the doctor's emitter, we will be
able to project Barclay's hologram from Project Pathfinder
to appear to us, too, along with the doctor, face to face."

"Good work. What time is it?" Janeway asked as they all stepped
outside and snuck down the side drive of Station 51 silently,
to catch a bus at one of Wilmington's corners.

"Four a.m., by local reckoning." Tuvok answered.

"Good. Then we have two hours to get done with what
we're doing." Paris replied. "Johnny Gage told me that
the station has an automatic wakeup call that begins at
six a.m. After that, it's breakfast time. And I'm sure they're
going to come out to the camper then to see how I've slept."

"We'll have you back in time to meet them." Janeway

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Janeway, Boothby, Tuvok and Tom all got into Chakotay's room
without problems. Boothby's natural don't see me knack had spread
wide to encompass them enough to get there undetected by

They stood out of range of the monitoring patient camera's view
while Tuvok rigged a false image computer chip to attach to it
to fool the nurses.

"Too bad we can't simulate this.." Chakotay said, of the EKG monitor
he was wired to that was showing his current cardiac rhythm.

"I can arrange it, commander, if you wish." Tuvok offered.

"Please do." Then Chakotay looked at Kathryn. "I'd get up to
greet you properly, captain. But I'm kind of tied down here." he
said of the three tubes going into or out of his body.

"I don't expect you to." she said, placing a warm hand on
his pain sweaty forehead."Couldn't they dampened the pain down
a little?"

"I refused to let them. I wanted to be clear headed for your arrival.
I knew it would be sometime tonight." Chakotay said.

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Boothby moved over to the bed. "I hate this era for medicine. They
can see into the body, but not do anything about it once they get
there to fix anything. They feel the ultimate solution is to cut everything
open!" he said with disgust.

"Don't remind me." Chakotay grimaced.

"I am almost ready to bring the doctor online, commander. Another
two minutes, fourteen seconds.." Tuvok promised.

"Can't come fast enough. I feel like hamburger." Chakotay groaned.

"Your cardiac telemetry will no longer reflect and report your stress." Tuvok
told him. "I performed a bypass." he shrugged.

"Is that a joke?" Tom asked, surprised.

Tuvok just raised an eyebrow and turned back to work.

Janeway chuckled, carefully sitting on the edge of the bed. She
picked up the paper they had all been seeking. It had fallen in
between the corner of the bed and the railing next to Chakotay's
good arm. "Chakotay. Have you seen this?" she asked.

"Better read it if you haven't." Boothby warned. "It's important."

"Oh, I forgot. Page three B." Chakotay remembered.

Together, captain and commander read the caption and
looked at the circled photo. Chakotay paled. "That's one of
the firefighter paramedics who saved me. That's Roy DeSoto."

"See?" said Boothby, at him. "And the date. It's still now."

"But he's old. He wasn't that way a few hours ago." Tom and
Chakotay both said almost together.

Tuvok offered a hypothesis. "Perhaps he is not old, in this current
time echo." he said with emphasis.

"Then where is this?" Janeway asked, pointing to the photograph.
"It's happening at the same time."

"That is what we have to determine." Tuvok replied.

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Subject: On The Move..
From:  patti k (
Sent: Tue 4/27/10 12:48 PM

Tuvok lifted his head when the modified device he had
started building in the camper, came to life. "Captain?
I believe I have done it. Project Pathfinder can now
project Mr. Barclay's image through this unit, life sized."

Tom Paris took precautions and tightly shut the door
leading to Chakotay's room. He leaned against it to
lightly prevent Rampart nurses from entering unexpectedly.

"Do it." Kathryn replied, only looking up briefly from
Chakotay's stress damp face. "Then get the doctor
online, fast as you can. Chakotay's in a lot of pain."

Tuvok nodded. He placed the projector he had built
onto Chakotay's over-the-bed patient table and flicked a

An electronic hum filled the air and a man sized void
appeared in a sparkle of light, then filled out to become
a balding man with a youthful face, clothed head to
toe in a gray and black functional Starfleet uniform
with saffron colored shoulders. "Ah,.. finally." it said.
Then Reginald Barclay walked forward, hands spread
in beseechment. "Captain Janeway,.. it's so
good to see you again face to well almost."
he admitted with a nervous fidget. "as usual." he
dipped his head with respect.

"Niceties to the wayside, Reg. We have a problem."
Janeway replied and then she handed the paper to the
hologram briskly.

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"Oh, that's unexpected.." Barclay goggled, frowning
at the image of the white haired Roy DeSoto.
"Isn't this man---?"

"Yes." gasped Chakotay from the bed. "That's a
rescuer who helped save me in the woods, one of two
paramedics who are partners who work at a fire station
not far from here. But he may not be the one we already

"We just saw the young one a few hours ago." Tom
Paris clarified dryly, annoyed at Barclay's normal fidgetty,
anxiety caused physical and vocal mannerisms.

"Oh, my. We didn't detect this." Reg said.

"No, I did. For you." Boothby shared evenly. "I knew
the Nexus dumped me here on Earth of this time period
for a reason."

Barclay stammered. "So you're not the real Boothby?"
he asked weakily.

"I am. But I'm his reflection. Just like Guinan."

"And how James T. Kirk used to be." Reg whispered to himself.

"Lieutenant?" Janeway prompted, interested.

"Nothing." Barclay replied, a little louder, with a start.
"Look, this is a bit of a twist up, but...we can still help."
Barclay's hologram said, glancing over his shoulder as
if he had just been spoken to. "Admiral Komachy just
told me that all the scientists are probing Halley's
wormhole into your time pocket with a tighter focus.
They'll find something odd if it's truly out there." he promised.

Kathryn looked thoughtful. "Maybe it's not that hard."

"Captain?" Tuvok inquired, raising an eyebrow with curiosity
glancing up from the work he was performing on the doctor's

"We've clues aplenty." she replied. "In the background."
Janeway looked down more closely at the photograph.
"This is a fire museum.." she said, seeing antique horse drawn
vehicles with hoses in the background behind the aged Roy.
"That's got to be a place that isn't very common for L.A.
in 1976."

Boothby began to smile like a cat.

"It's not." Tuvok replied. "And according to our escape pod's
computer.." he said consulting his tricorder. "..there is only
one. The County of Los Angeles Fire Museum."

"Where exactly is it? Is it far?" Janeway asked.

"Only a few kilometers from here. It is located inside an isolated
warehouse district at 9834 Flora Vista St. in Bellflower." Tuvok
said, reading the data he had called up again.

Janeway smirked.
"Shot in the dark. But I think that's the first most likely place to
go to start scanning for a temporal anomaly large enough to
shift a man into aging. For we know that's where this Roy was
yesterday or last week, at least, when the photo was taken."

Tom held out a hand, "Can't we do it from the air? I thought
Chakotay rigged the escape pod to be able to be flown by
remote control." Paris remembered.
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Janeway just gave him one of those looks. "In this day and age?
It'll be spotted, photographed, filmed and reported to the far
corners of the earth in about two seconds. I wouldn't be surprised
if Project Bluebook got their hands into it, too, up to the shoulder."

"Ah, our ancestor organization.." Reg sighed in reverance.

Tom scowled at him from his door guarding place.

"Sorry." Barclay said self consciously.

Janeway ignored the exchange.
"No, we'll fly her only as a last resort or when we're finally
ready to break orbit for the wormhole."

"When all this is over." Boothby agreed.

"If it can be all over and not looping." said Reg, unhelpfully.

This time, even Chakotay glared at him.

Tuvok commented without words. "Mr. Barclay, please keep an
eye on your module for us." he said, tossing the fragile satellite
booster up into the air so the hologram had to fumble with
it for a few horrifying seconds before he gripped it securely
in both unreal hands.

Reg took the hint and moused down into silence.

Boothby was staring at the small portable emitter lying on the table.
"Mr. Tuvok?"

"It is ready."

The wizened alien scooped it up eagerly and said the cue.
"Computer, active the emergency medical hologram." he
said, holding up the silver ovoid into mid air about chest level.

A new hologram filled the air and this time, the likeness appeared
strong and stable as it filled out into functionality. "Please state
the nature of the medical emergency." said the holodoc pleasantly
as the emitter stuck itself onto the side of his fake arm when he
had fully materialized.

Then he soon spotted Chakotay, lying on the bed. The EMH wasted
no time in procuring Tom's backpack that had the tools of his trade
inside, the extensive medkit and medical tricorder. "So, you weren't
exaggerating." he said to Tom Paris.

"Would I do that?" Paris said, exasperated.

Boothby, Tuvok, and Janeway chuckled. Chakotay didn't.

"From what I can see, the commander is wounded very badly despite
of a hospital repair job."

"Ease up doctor." said the Native American commander. "Paris was a proper
medic first for me as best he could."

The EMH harrumphed in his unreal throat. "We'll see about that.
History and previous treatment?" he asked of everyone in the room
while he scanned Chakotay from head to toe using the red flashing
sensor probe he had pulled out of the medtricorder's holder.
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Paris was thorough. "Colloid therapy, oxygen, emergency surgery,
antibiotics, manual bone reset,.."

The EMH quickly withdrew Chakotay's no longer needed I.V.
catheter and healed the area swiftly with a dermal regenerator.
He smiled at the bag of glistening fluid. "Crude, but ingenious. At
least they got that part right."

"... pain medication.." Tom continued on his report.

The EMH's eyes rolled in doubt at that one.

"He's right. I was the one who refused more when it was offered." Chakotay
defended as an explanation as to why his vital signs were so stressed.

"Chakotay, I'll have you know being macho for the sake of the away
team, is backfiring wonderfully." the holodoc said. "I think I'll fix that next."
Then he swiftly injected Chakotay with the twenty fourth century's version
of pain relief. The commander immediately sagged into a relieved stupor.

Tom pressed his lips into a firm line. "Uh, doc, I'm not done yet.." he said
to the EMH. "One of the echo earthers was Borg infected, too. A young
male paramedic."

The EMH's expression changed to one of compassionate alarm.
"He'll have to be treated immediately. I can't say being liquified
internally by computerized filaments is the most enjoyable affliction
one can suffer."

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"..but I cured him with some of Seven's nanoprobes." Paris

"Well why didn't you say so?" the EMH groused mildly as he
drew up another high tech tool and began to heal the sutures
in Chakotay's liver right through his patient gown.

Tom just sighed. "Nobody can speak as fast as you can think."
he said defensively. "Chakotay even got some blood from
him." he said, to vindicate the truth of a completely solved
Borg problem.

"He did? Well, there's no sign of that." said the holodoc, tapping his
medical tricorder. "Maybe the people who think they can call themselves
doctors and nurses around here decided that rushing him into surgery
and cutting him open instead was the better solution." he
said dryly.

"Here. Here." grumbled Boothby, in a like mind. "I've seen that
kind of alien mentality in action countless times at Rampart."

Paris looked confused. "Wow, really?... Huh. I could of sworn
they were gonna do that. Dr. Brackett seemed pretty keen on
the idea of running in several transfusions right awa-"

Tuvok suddenly called out a warning. "Doctor! Avoid that

The EMH immediately leaped away from Chakotay's
juryrigged EKG monitor that his rear had almost bumped.

A curl of smoke arose from the device.

Janeway immediately ran over to it. "Oh, G*d no. Did it ignite?"

Tuvok quickly scanned it. "No. There is no sign of a plasma fire.
Even on the microscopic level."

The EMH looked shellshocked. "What was that all about?"

Janeway tensed. "A nasty side effect of this time echo we're
all inside."

Boothby completed her thought. "Accidental electrical
discharges start permanent exothermic reactions, doctor."
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The EMH was matter of fact about the danger narrowly avoided.
"Mmmm, first time for everything. Captain? Do you really want me
online? With my tactile sensor fields," he said, wiggling the
fingers of his holographic hands, "...I'm the ultimate as a walking
tinderbox." he said, deftly removing the NG tube from Chakotay's
nose painlessly. "Ah." he said with satisfaction when it was done,
tossing it over his shoulder like a wet discarded noodle.

Janeway grinned in spite of herself at his antics, but held up a
disagreeing hand. "Right now we need you, doctor, an unavoidable
risk I'm willing to take for Chakotay's sake. And possibly later on
for city wide scans. There's an ancestor of one of the away team
here in our time echo that we want you to locate using your stored
medical records." Kathryn replied. "If anything were to happen to that
individual, our timeline would be irrevocably altered and then
we'll never get back home."

"Yeah, and Species 8472'd probably grind the Federation
underfoot just for spite for breaking the agreed Truce."
Tom told him.

"I recall reading reports on their whole fiasco. They are more advanced
than we are aren't they?" sighed the EMH. "About using me as your
hound? Should be easy enough, everyone on the crew's genetically
mapped as soon as they join Starfleet." the holodoc replied smugly
as he finished up using a bone regenerator on Chakotay's recently
reset upper arm. He had expertly cut away the cast with a finely
tuned portable laser. "How's that, Chakotay?" he asked bending
over his rapidly becoming happy patient.

"Itchy. Feels warm."

"Normal." nodded the holodoc.

"Can I move my arm now?"

"Certainly. Your humerus is back in one piece."

"Thanks, doc. I feel like a new man." the commander smiled, and
he started to sit up.

"Not so fast." said the EMH, pushing him back down onto
his pillows. "We've still got that bladder drain to remove,

The grin on Chakotay's face wiped away as the EMH
suddenly drew the privacy curtain all the way around the bed.

"Put this back on and breathe deep.." the holodoc smiled sweetly,
aiming a flowing oxygen mask at Chakotay's face as
soon as they were visually partitioned away from the others.
"I promise you it won't hurt a bit."

Chakotay screamed anyway.


Several minutes later, Janeway and the others met Boothby
in the hallway. They were waiting for Chakotay to change into
the 1970s clothes they had beamed over from the hidden escape
pod. Kathryn spoke. "Boothby. I don't know if this is such a good
idea breaking Chakotay out of Rampart like this. Too many people
know about him."

"That's where I come in." said Boothby, smugly rocking back and
forth on his heels. "You're forgetting my natural amnesia aura my
presence has on these echo people. All I have to do is erase all
the physical evidence, such as Chakotay's chart, and we're in
business." he smiled.

Tom Paris had other thoughts. "Somehow I don't see anyone
sneaking a chart past that saucy nurse at that desk in the ER. Aura
or no aura."

"You mean Dixie McCall?" Boothby asked.

Tom nodded empathetically.

"Hmm. You may be right. But I'll think of something." he said, placing
a discreet sticker on the number plate of the door which signified in
hospital speak that the room within had had a death and was being

Chakotay quietly stepped out of the room, he was wearing a blazer
and his bangs had been combed down from his usual Starfleet buzz
cut, to hide his forehead tattoo. "I'm set." he said, tossing the doctor's
holo emitter up and down into his hand as he shouldered Tom's
backback. "I've got the doctor back offline for safety. There are
too many pieces of archaic equipment around here to risk an EM
field touch like the one we narrowly avoided."

"Good thinking." said Janeway, taking the emitter and pocketting it.
Then she turned to Boothby. "You know where we'll be?"

"Embedded into my permanent recall." Boothby promised. "I'll clean
up all signs of Chakotay's visit and then scoot out to the museum or
whereever you'll be then, later. I can sniff out you originals anywhere."
he said, tapping his wrinkled, acne scarred nose.

Beside him, the holographic Reg Barclay, shivered. He had changed
his appearance to look less futuristic and more like the away team.
Barclay was wearing the appearance of blue jeans, a tie dyed shirt,
with a red hippy bandana. "Let's hurry. It's almost dawn."

Tom studied his watch, "Geez, I should get back. Uh, I'll take
a cab and meet you there, Captain. I've got to head off the Station
51 gang or they'll get suspicious if they discover my absence."

"Here." said Janeway, handing him the day's newspaper and
some local currency.  "If they've already noticed you've been gone.
Use this to tell them--"

"..that I just went out to buy a newspaper." Paris chuckled.
"Thanks, Captain. Keep me posted." he said, tapping his
combadge tucked underneath a shirt collar so it chittered open.
"I'll be listening." he promised. Then he dashed off down the hall.

Tuvok nodded at Boothby as the caretaker alien left them for
Medical Records to start working his subtle forget ability. "I've
been studying the avenues around this community. I'm the best one
to drive us there as I have reviewed the rules and regulations
of the road in great detail. I propose we go see the parking lot
of the hospital. Specifically, the outpatient critical lot."
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