There But for the Grace of God

Please note:this is Part 1 of a multi-part series that remains a work in progress. No promises as to when Parts 2, et.al. will be published. Changes may ultimately be made to this segment of the story as well. For information on when additional installments and other stories are added to this site, sign up for the Yahoo update list on my home page.

SUMMARY

This is the first installment of the long-promised sequel to “Be Careful What You Wish For.” Voyager is home from the Delta Quadrant, out of spacedock, and heading out on a very familiar first mission: a trip to the Badlands in search of Maquis. This time, however, it’s a mission of mercy. But just as they were almost eight years earlier, Kathryn Janeway and her crew are in for a bigger adventure than they bargained for as a message from their past promises to change their futures forever.

NOTE: This is a work in progress and, as such, may be amended at any time. New additions will be noted in the index to the left. While I welcome your comments and questions, some things will only be revealed when the complete sequel is published, no matter how much you arm-twist. And, yes, I’m writing it as quickly as I can…

RATING

R for some descriptions of violence and some sexual situations.

CODES

P/T, J/C, 7/D; A “Whole Crew” Story

THANKS

I know, I know, “Shut up and get on with the story!” But there wouldn’t be any story without these people, who deserve to be publicly thanked: first, to my Brit friend Elizabeth, who did an enormous amount of Dominion War research for me; to BR and my Harmonic beta babes, some of whom have read this story multiple times; and especially LA Koehler, who allowed me to babble out loud about three different sequel ideas until that “Eureka!” moment, when they melded into one coherent story during several long car trips from Maryland to Canada. I owe you all my gratitude.

DISCLAIMERS

Finally, and much to my dismay, I don’t own nor did I create 99% of these characters. Paramount, Viacom, Jeri Taylor, and the visionary Michael Piller claim that honor. (I have wished Rick Berman into the cornfield after “Endgame” and “Enterprise,” thank you.) I have also bastardized concepts from both Taylor’s novel “Pathways” and the motion picture “Nemesis” by John Logan to suit my whims (so don’t complain if I tweak them a little). I own this story, though, assuming I ever finish it.

BACKGROUND

“Be Careful What You Wish For” was an AU version of Voyager’s homecoming written as Season 7 was airing, but before “Endgame” was even a gleam in anyone’s evil eye. This story will make much more sense if you read that one first. If you already read it and just need a quick refresher, however, here are the important things to remember: [SPOILER ALERT]

“Be Careful…” follows canon up to and including, roughly, “Prophecy,” where the producers and I part ways. I do include some canon events from late Season 7, (specifically, vague references to Seven’s experiments with socialization in the holodeck), but there was no “Workforce,” no “Void,” no “Friendship One,” no “Homestead”—and no “Endgame.” Joe Carey is still alive, Neelix never left, Seven never had an emotional circuit breaker (therefore never needed it deactivated), and C/7 never existed—and never will in my universe! The crew never ended up in real-time communication with Earth, Voyager was never refit with ablative armor, no Admiral from the future showed up to get them home, and the Borg are still as we saw them at the end of “Unimatrix Zero.” Still with me?

In my story, Voyager was running dangerously low on resources—to the point that Chakotay and Tom began to lobby Kathryn to find a planet to colonize. (Tom even found one—a scorched but terraformable planetoid he nicknamed New Phoenix.) Just as they thought they had no other options, the monthly datastream arrived with a risky and experimental plan from Reg Barclay: a way for Voyager to create a transwarp conduit and use it to get home. After much deliberation, the crew decided to make the attempt. Something went wrong along the way, however, and the ship was thrown out of the conduit and almost destroyed halfway through the Beta Quadrant—short of their final destination. In the accident many of the crew were killed or badly injured. Among the dead: Tuvok, Mike Ayala, the Delaney Sisters, Ensign Tabor…and Harry Kim. (Sorry!)

After being rescued by a snarly Starfleet captain who was more than mistrustful of Voyager’s ex-con/ex-Maquis/ex-Borg/holographic senior officers, our gang was tractored back to Earth by Admiral Paris’s ship, baby Miral Paris was delivered by the Doctor, and the crew came to terms with the loss of their friends and shipmates.

When they finally reached home, Voyager was dry-docked, Seven and the Doctor (who have, as Seven would say, “begun exploring a romantic scenario”) were made Federation citizens, and she and B’Elanna were allowed to take Academy equivalency tests to become legitimate Starfleet officers. Kathryn got to say one last goodbye to her old dog, Molly, as well as renew her relationship with her artist/sister Phoebe. Tom was promoted, paid an emotional visit to Harry’s family, and he and B’Elanna each made peace (of sorts) with their fathers. Chakotay took responsibility for the Maquis crimes of his crew, and cut a deal to protect them. He agreed to resign from Starfleet and to serve a short time in prison, but was recognized for his heroism and service to the Federation.

Voyager was ultimately refit, Kathryn kept her command, Lieutenant Commander Tom Paris reluctantly agreed to be her first officer, and they were given a very familiar first assignment: head to the Badlands in search of some missing Maquis. These Maquis—including Thomas Riker—had escaped from a Cardassian prison at the height of the Dominion War. The missing prisoners don’t know that the war is over, and may still believe the Federation is conspiring with the Cardassians against them. In an attempt to gain the fugitives’ trust, Chakotay was asked to co-lead Voyager’s mission as a civilian envoy and ambassador. He and Kathryn, who are now openly sharing their lives, were sent off once again to the Badlands, this time on a mission of mercy…

ON THE MEANING OF THE TITLE:

“There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

“On seeing several criminals being led to the scaffold in the 16th century, English Protestant martyr John Bradford remarked, ‘There but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford.’ His words, without his name, are still very common ones today for comparing one’s blessings to the misfortune of another. Bradford was later burned at the stake as a heretic.” – Adapted from the Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson, Facts on File, New York, 1997.

ON TO PART 1 >>


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