Folding of the space

Alathea and the captain were on the bridge, observing Tom as he skillfully guided the Voyager towards the towering Highliner. Menthat Bojan was also present, assisting them in locating the entrance to the Highliner.

“That vessel, it’s massive. It could accommodate our space stations with room to spare,” Chakotay remarked.

“It’s crafted for efficiency in travel. The greater the number of vessels it can ferry at once, the lower the cost of transport. The spice employed by Navigators is a precious commodity,” Bojan explained, then nodded towards Alathea. “You, as a trained Bene Gesserit, should be well acquainted with this, given your reliance on spice as well.”

Alathea nodded. “Yes, the Empire operates on a merchant economy,” she confirmed. Turning towards Bojan, she added, “Starfleet does not. They do not use currency.”

Bojan blinked in disbelief. “But how can that be?” he questioned, turning towards the Captain. “How does your society even function?”

Captain smiled warmly at Menthad Bojan. “We exterminated hunger, we exterminated poverty. Our society is based on bettering ourselves.”

“Yet in the end, ye shall all be but slaves to the machines,” Mentat pronounced solemnly, his words carrying a weight of inevitability.

“Actually...” Harry started, but Captain Janeway interrupted him with a gentle smile.

“We prefer to see the future as undetermined,” she interjected, her voice carrying a note of optimism.

Bojan nodded, then turned towards Alathea. “You know, he will insist that you go with him.”

“I suspected as much,” Alathea replied with a knowing nod.

“That is something I will not allow,” Captain remarked firmly, her gaze unwavering.

Alathea turned towards the captain, puzzled. What was the captain doing? They had known all along that Beli would insist on her going with him. That’s why they had a detailed plan for Alathea to close the wormhole. Their entire plan hinged on Beli’s insistence that she accompany him.

“Resistance will prove futile. The instant he steps off this vessel, peril shall be upon us,” Mentat cautioned, his tone grave with foreboding.

Captain shook her head, repeating firmly, “That is unacceptable. So resistance he will get.”

Alathea blinked in surprise. This was what the acting captain had planned to do anyway in front of Beli, but why act now?

“Captain, you know we shouldn’t mention any of this to the Duke. He might kill Bojan for telling us,” Alathea interjected cautiously. Maybe she would stop her from going further.

The captain shot a glance between Alathea and Bojan. “He would?” she questioned.

Alathea subtly shook her head when the captain looked at her, silently urging her not to divulge the plan. They couldn’t risk revealing their intentions; they didn’t know what might happen.

But the captain smiled and focused on Bojan. “That is horrible, and I would do anything in my power to prevent it,” she assured him sincerely.

“Captain, may I speak with you in private?” Alathea requested, her body tense with apprehension. Don’t tell him. We have no idea if he’s trustworthy.

The captain nodded, acknowledging her request. “In my ready room,” she replied before turning to Bojan. “We don’t execute people for minor offenses. That’s the benefit of our system,” she assured him with a smile, then headed into the ready room.

As soon as the door closed behind them, Alathea whispered urgently, “You can’t tell him our plan. He might deceive us.”

“Maybe. Maybe not. He seemed rather relaxed when he supervised the implantation procedures,” the Captain countered.

“You don’t understand. That could be part of his plan. That’s why I refused the Doctor’s suggestion to restore my genitals,” Alathea explained urgently.

“We could ask the Borg to close the wormhole. You wouldn’t have to go with him,” Captain suggested.

“I have to go with him. He seeks revenge. I should bear the brunt of it, rather than Earth,” Alathea asserted.

“He can’t be such a monster,” the captain insisted.

“He is,” Alathea replied firmly.

As the sensation of the jump passed through them, Alathea nodded. “Captain, please be careful. The fate of the entire planet depends on it.”

“Captain, Bojan says we’ve arrived at the coordinates and our guest is screaming obscenities in the brig, demanding to be released,” Chakotay’s voice came through the comms.

The captain nodded and returned to the bridge with Alathea in tow. “Harry, where are we?” she inquired.

“Still in Higliner, Captain,” Harry answered.

“Ease us out,” the captain instructed.

Surprisingly, they encountered no resistance as they departed. Instead, they found themselves surrounded by a thick escort of the Duke’s fighters.

Harry busied himself with his console. “We are deep in the Klingon Empire,” he announced, grinning widely.

Cheers erupted across the bridge, and Alathea could see a tear or two appearing on some faces. She smiled along with the crew, sharing in their happiness.

The captain’s eyes met hers. “Now comes the hard part. We don’t have to do this.”

Alathea locked eyes with her. “It took them seconds to get here. It would take only seconds for them to reach any of the major planets of the Federation. You don’t want that. Even with the Klingons fighting them, the overall loss of life would be too much.”

“Ye still hold faith in the Duke’s betrayal of his word,” Bojan stated with a smile, acknowledging the undeniable truth of the matter.

“Am I wrong?” Alathea asked in a flat voice.

He grinned at her knowingly. “Nay and it seems you harbor schemes of your own,” he remarked, recognizing her intentions.

The captain nodded decisively. “Let’s make a deal. If Beli doesn’t request for you to come with him, you won’t go.”

Alathea smiled and nodded in agreement. “Deal.” She knew Beli would ask for her to come with him. He needed his revenge, and people like him always did. Otherwise, he would appear too weak in his own eyes.


Beli pointed directly at Alathea, careful to avoid touching the force field. “She must accompany me,” he insisted, his tone resolute.

“You have your baby,” Captain Janeway stated firmly, her frown directed at Beli.

“We must maintain historical accuracy. She is to perish during the transit back to the Empire,” Beli stated with a grin, his tone carrying a sinister edge.

“You can just say that she is dead,” Captain retorted, her voice tinged with frustration.

“I’m not a liar,” Beli responded defensively.

“Bullshit. You were lying to me all the time. You’re even lying now,” Captain accused, her tone sharp and accusatory.

Beli took a step closer to the force field. “I’ve left standing orders on the highliner. If I fail to return, they are to proceed and obliterate Earth,” he declared, his voice cold and determined.

“I never said I will not let you go.”

“She must accompany me, or I will not only destroy Earth but every planet within the vicinity of these coordinates,” he snarled, his threat dripping with menace.

“If you do that, you will destroy the timeline, and both you and Alathea will disappear, and you will never have the son that will become Emperor,” Captain Janeway warned, her tone grave as she addressed Beli.

“Perhaps that’s a price I’m willing to pay,” Beli stated coldly, his resolve unwavering.

Alathea reached out and touched the captain’s arm gently. “Captain, it’s okay,” she reassured her softly.

Captain’s eyes met hers, and Alathea could see the captain’s throat move as she swallowed. This was difficult for her. The chance that Alathea would survive the entire ordeal was slim. Nevertheless, the captain nodded resolutely and turned back to Beli.

“You will be transported back to the Highliner,” she stated firmly.

“No. Our shuttle has to come to pick us up,” Beli insisted.

“You will be transported back to the Highliner,” the captain repeated, her tone unwavering.

Mentat interjected, his voice firm. “Forgive the interruption. However, the transporters cannot penetrate the Highliner. Our machinery disrupts signals, preventing materialization inside. Elsewise, we’d risk receiving live explosives, as the Borg do.”

Captain nodded at the Menthat. “Noted.”

“Open communications and allow me to instruct my people to rendezvous here,” Beli demanded, his tone commanding.

Captain laughed, though the humor didn’t quite reach her eyes. “No. You will be transported using our shuttle,” she stated firmly, her tone leaving no room for argument.

Her gaze swept across the brig cells, assessing the situation with a calculated eye. “It will be a tight fit, but you will manage.”

The captain’s words carried a sense of finality, a reminder that they were in control of the situation, and there would be no escape from their custody. With a nod to the security team, she prepared to see her decision through to the end, determined to ensure the safety of her crew.

“Alathea must come with us,” Beli insisted firmly, his tone brooking no argument.

“I will. I will pilot the shuttle,” Alathea declared firmly. With that, she turned on her heel and left the brig.


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