THE ALLIANCE
by Robert Morganbesser

CHAPTER 8: EXCHANGE

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!"

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