You're irrelevant

She barely reached her cabin before Voyager shook and the red alert rang. Alathea’s communicator chirped.

“Alathea, to the bridge,” the captain’s voice came through.

She started running. The Duke must have done something. Perhaps he hit Voyager. But she didn’t hear the additional whine of damage or She barely reached her cabin before Voyager shook and the red alert rang. Alathea’s communicator chirped.

“Alathea, to the bridge,” the captain’s voice came through.

Alathea wasted no time, her heart pounding with urgency as she raced towards the bridge. The red alert echoed through the corridors, a stark reminder of the imminent danger.

As she reached the bridge, she immediately focused on the viewscreen, which displayed the massive highliner looming over Voyager. Her eyes locked onto the captain’s, silently conveying her readiness to assist.

“I need your help here,” the captain stated, her voice steady despite the tension in the air.

Alathea nodded, her mind racing with possibilities. Whatever the Duke had done, they would need to work quickly to resolve the situation and ensure the safety of Voyager and its crew.

Alathea nodded in acknowledgment, her eyes scanning the viewscreen for any sign of Borg cubes.

“This vessel appeared and fired upon the Borg just as they were engaging their warp drives. Any idea why?” the captain queried, turning to Alathea for insight.

Alathea focused her attention on the captain, her mind racing. “Is there a way to review what happened?” she asked, her voice edged with urgency.

The captain nodded, gesturing to Tuvok. With a few swift commander's movements, the viewscreen shifted, revealing the Imperial Highliner disappearing from view and a Borg cube coming into sight.

“In the lower right corner, you can see an Imperial shuttle heading towards what appears to be nothing,” the captain explained.

Alathea’s breath caught in her throat. “A highliner with its no-field activated,” she murmured.

“It’s a highly effective cloak. There’s nothing conventional sensors can detect. Do you know of any methods to penetrate it?” the captain inquired, her brow furrowing in concern.

Alathea shook her head grimly. “One requires special abilities to see through a no-field. Unfortunately, I do not possess such talents,” she admitted with a hint of frustration.

As they observed the playback, the Duke’s shuttle vanished from view, leaving a tense silence in its wake. Then, without warning, the massive highliner materialized in the blink of an eye. Almost simultaneously, the Borg initiated their warp drives, only to be met with two laser beams that swiftly disabled their propulsion systems. Moments later, a torpedo launched from the highliner streaked toward the immobilized cubes. Concurrently, two small vessels emerged from the highliner, setting a course directly towards Borg cubes.

Alathea felt a lump form in her throat as she anticipated the inevitable. Just as she expected, the Borg raised their shields moments before the torpedoes could reach them. In the same instant, the small ship unleashed a powerful laser attack, triggering a chain reaction that engulfed both cubes and the vessel in a devastating explosion.

“No survivors,” the captain remarked grimly, her tone devoid of emotion.

“Did you intercept any communications?” Alathea inquired, her voice tinged with concern.

With a quick command from Tuvok, a metallic Borg’s voice filled the bridge: “You promised!”

Alathea closed her eyes, concentrating on her breathing."I must not fear.

“Fear is the mind-killer.

“Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

“I will face my fear.

“I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

“And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

“Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." She muttered.

“Praying?” the captain questioned, her tone incredulous.

Alathea’s eyes snapped open, her expression grave. “In a way. We’ve encountered the monster, Captain. Now you can see why I was reluctant to seek assistance from the Empire.”

“Do you know why they did this?” the captain pressed, her voice tinged with urgency.

Alathea nodded slowly, her mind racing with understanding. “Oh yes, it’s abundantly clear. It’s a message to me.”

“A message?” the captain repeated, her brow furrowing in concern.

“Yes, a message,” Alathea affirmed, her voice tinged with bitterness. “A message that I don’t matter. That my promises don’t matter. The Duke is telling me he’s in control. You see, I made a promise to the Borg that they could depart in peace. The Duke is showing that I’m irrelevant.”

“He killed thousands to send you a message?” Chakotay asked incredulously, his voice heavy with disbelief.

“He killed his own people too. The small vessels that were firing lasers at the Borg, both had human pilots,” Alathea confirmed, her voice tinged with sorrow. Voyager was now in grave danger, and she felt the weight of responsibility heavy upon her shoulders.

“What would they tell me if I asked why they killed so many people?” Chakotay pressed, his expression reflecting the shock rippling through the bridge crew.

“That the Borg didn’t ask for permission to leave,” Alathea replied grimly, her gaze sweeping over the assembled crew. Each face mirrored the horror of the situation unfolding before them.

“So they would do something similar to us if we crossed them?” Tom interjected, his voice tinged with apprehension.

Alathea nodded solemnly, her expression grave. “During my last conversation with the Duke, he told me that I was spared in my time because I had to come to this time and produce an heir for him. A child that will become the Emperor. And now I know that after the child is born, he will kill me. That’s how Bene Gesserit died in childbirth.”

“There has to be something we can do!” Chakotay exclaimed, his voice laced with desperation.

Alathea shook her head solemnly. “It’s fine. Do not worry. I will make sure you guys are safe. I was living on borrowed time, anyway.”

The captain approached her, her expression resolute. “There is always a solution. Come with me. The Doctor wishes to give us a report about his findings.”


As Captain Janeway and Alathea entered the medbay, they found Doctor and Seven huddled around the control panel, engrossed in its display.

“Doctor?” Captain Janeway didn’t waste a moment.

With a beaming smile, Doctor turned to them. “Ah, splendid timing! I have excellent news. Our esteemed guests from the Empire all exhibit a quantum shift consistent with travel from a different universe.”

“Seven?” Captain Janeway turned to the former Borg.

“I’ve confirmed Doctor’s findings,” Seven replied.

“But why didn’t you detect this shift in me?” Alathea interjected, her curiosity piqued.

“Your genetic changes created enough noise to obscure the shift. But a comparison with the results of other Imperial guests helped me find the same shift in your cells as well. You have it too,” Doctor explained.

“So I come from a different universe?” Alathea asked incredulously.

“Yes,” Doctor confirmed.

Alathea turned towards Captain in disbelief. “A different universe.”

The captain shrugged. “Anything else interesting you need to tell us?”

“No. All the Imperial guests are healthy and do not carry dangerous microbes. At least, not the ones I do not have medication for,” Doctor replied.

Alathea let the conversation wash over her. She was from a different universe. That meant that Terra in this universe would not end up enslaved by machines. Tuvok was correct. The future was undetermined. She felt her face stretching into a grin.

“What’s funny?” Doctor asked, noticing her sudden change in expression.

“Don’t you see? This means that Earth in this universe will not become enslaved by the machines,” Alathea exclaimed, her grin widening.

The captain smiled back at her. “Yes, that is good news. I suppose we can scratch ‘stop the robot apocalypse’ off our agenda.”

“We still haven’t determined how all those ships and Imperial soldiers entered our universe,” Seven pointed out.

“And they still think that they are in their own universe,” Seven added.

Alathea shrugged. “It might have something to do with the Holtzman drive. In my class about the drive, there was a conclusion that we do not know if the drive carries us between universes each time we engage it.”

“Are those people who came here all from different locations in the Empire?” the captain inquired.

“Yes. I mean, most likely they are. The Duke is from Dan, Menthat was from Mochi, and I thought I recognized at least one soldier with the typical genome from the Gamma,” Alathea explained.

“All of them have the exactly same quantum shift. All of them come from the exactly same universe,” Doctor concluded.

“Did you activate the Holtzman drive inside the wormhole?” Seven inquired.

“Yes. I mean, I didn’t, but the drive engaged by itself. I never controlled the ship. It was pre-programmed to get me here. Do you think the Holtzman drive might have something to do with the transition between universes?” Alathea speculated.

“It might. I will have to do some calculations first,” Seven responded.

Alathea nodded thoughtfully.

“This is a very interesting development. Maybe we will learn more if we get more data from the Empire,” the captain suggested.

“No!” Alathea exclaimed suddenly, her voice cutting through the conversation, eyes wide with alarm as she stared at the captain in disbelief. Did Janeway forget what happened with the Borg?

All of them fell silent, turning their attention to Alathea.

“No, you cannot tell the Duke that he’s from a different universe,” she continued urgently.

“Why not?” the captain asked, puzzled.

“He will kill not only you but also everyone on Earth. The only thing that stops him from damaging Earth is his belief that every wrong action might change the future he knows,” Alathea explained, her tone grave.

She scanned their faces, searching for understanding. “He doesn’t care about anything but his goals. He wishes to ensure that his son becomes the emperor, and he will do anything he can to make that happen. If you tell him he’s in a different universe, you will unleash a monster who doesn’t have to care about the consequences.”

The silence stretched on, the weight of unspoken thoughts hanging heavy in the air. Alathea knew she was urging them to suppress their instincts, to defy their very nature.

Finally, the captain nodded. “Noted. We won’t tell them. But can you somehow retrieve that data? It would help us figure out what happened.”

“I’ll see what I can do.”

“He called you his fiancĂ©e. Why?” Seven inquired.

Alathea swallowed hard. “He believes I’m meant to be the mother of his heir.”

“Does that mean he’ll kill you after you deliver the child? Your history said that Bene Gesserit's mother died at birth,” Seven added.

Alathea scanned the worried faces around her. “Yes. Our negotiating position weakened when Beli turned out to be Duke Anjila. He’s already brought the technology from my ship to house Volkov,” she explained, rubbing her forehead in frustration. “The child might be a good negotiation chip.”

“Or your egg cells. He doesn’t need you, he just needs your egg cell.” Doctor said.

Alathea focused on the doctor. “That would be a hard sell to him. In the Empire, only natural conception is good conception. Anything else is frowned upon.”

“But you were not conceived naturally.”

“That’s why my life doesn’t have value. Duke was very clear when he said so.”

Captain shook her head. “I dislike bargaining with the life of the child.”

Alathea smiled at her. This was so Janeway. “I know, captain. I would like to avoid that, too.” 

”Then, let us see what we can do.” 


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