STRANGER FROM THE PAST - ACT FOUR
by Darrell Dumas

ACT FOUR

FADE IN:

27 EXT. VOYAGER (OPTICAL)

The once peaceful Voyager now exchanges fire with a massive Borg cube inside the nebula...several explosions ripple across Voyager's hull...

28 INT. BRIDGE

Seconds later. Janeway hurries to her Captain's chair as the rest of the bridge officers resume their posts...

JANEWAY
Report!

TUVOK
Shields at forty-one percent, and failing, captain. Voyager has sustained hull ruptures on decks three, seven, and fourteen. Heavy damage to the outer hull.

JANEWAY
Evacuate and seal off those decks. Tom, evasive maneuvers. Tuvok, Photon Torpedoes, full spread...FIRE!

29 EXT. VOYAGER (OPTICAL)

Six torpedoes fly out of the launchers on the Voyager's main hull...all six strike the Borg cube directly...but none seem to do any damage...

30 INT. BRIDGE

Tuvok bobs his eyebrows at the readout on his console...

TUVOK
Captain, torpedoes had no effect.

JANEWAY
Well, obviously surface hits aren't going to work. Tuvok, can you get a lock on their Resitronic emitter port?

TUVOK
Yes... (Examining his console) it is lightly shielded. A direct hit would yield severe damage to the cube.

The ship shakes, and a nearby console erupts in sparks -

JANEWAY
(To Tuvok) You know what to do...

Suddenly, Janeway's commbadge bleeps -

PAXTON'S COMM VOICE
Captain!

JANEWAY
Mark, this isn't a very good time...

PAXTON'S COMM VOICE
You have to know this captain! If you fire into the Resitronic emitter port, you'll be firing directly on the Cube's auxiliary supply of dilithium! The shock wave from that kind of explosion would wipe out both the cube and Voya...

A shower of sparks falls from the ceiling as the ship shakes again, and Janeway's communication is cut... she turns to Tuvok -

JANEWAY
How could he have known that?

TUVOK
I am uncertain, Captain.

JANEWAY
Is he correct with what he said?

TUVOK
Yes... Strangely, the cube is carrying its auxiliary supplies directly inside the emitter port.

JANEWAY
It's as if they knew we would try to exploit that weakness...

The ship shudders violently -

KIM
They've caught us in a tractor beam... they're pulling us in!

JANEWAY
(Tapping her commbadge) Janeway to engineering...

B'ELLANA'S COMM VOICE
Torres here.

JANEWAY
Can you modulate enough power to emit a ten-terrawatt polaron burst? Try and break free of their tractor beam?

B'ELLANA'S COMM VOICE
I'm already on it, captain.

JANEWAY
Tuvok, prepare two more torpedoes. As soon as the tractor beam shuts down, fire them into the generator. That should catch them with their pants down.

31 EXT. VOYAGER (OPTICAL)

The bright green tractor beam holding Voyager disappears...a second later, two orange projectiles fire from Voyager into the Borg cube's tractor beam generator...Voyager speeds away at full impulse...

32 INT. BRIDGE

JANEWAY
Tom, get us out of here. Warp five.

PARIS
Captain, at that speed, we would risk igniting the nebula. We can't go any faster than warp two without certain destruction...

JANEWAY
Very well, then. Warp two.

33 EXT.VOYAGER (OPTICAL)

Voyager speeds away from the cube, which is shaken by the explosion... Voyager raises it's warp nacelles and shoots away, emitting a bright flash...

34 INT. BRIDGE

Janeway sighs with relief... many of the bridge officers relax a little... Kim taps at his console, and looks up to the captain...

KIM
Uh, Captain?... I have some bad news, and some worse news... the bad news is that... the cube wasn't destroyed in the blast we hit it with... and the worse news... (Very nervously) the worst news is... it wasn't even heavily damaged by the attack... somehow they knew we were firing into their tractor beam generator... they shielded it before the torpedoes could hit...

JANEWAY
(Absolutely shocked) How the hell...?

CHAKOTAY
(Quietly, so only Janeway can hear) Captain, there just isn't any other explanation... Paxton is putting us all in danger...

Janeway pauses for a moment, then taps at her commbadge -

JANEWAY
Janeway to Paxton...

PAXTON'S COMM VOICE
(Uneven, stammering, as if terrified) Y-yes captain.

JANEWAY
I'd like you to report to Sick Bay, please. The doctor needs to give you a few supplements for your implant.

PAXTON'S COMM VOICE
On my way...

JANEWAY
Janeway to sick bay...

DOCTOR'S COMM VOICE
Sick Bay here, captain.

JANEWAY
Our guest Mr. Paxton will be arriving in Sick Bay shortly. I need you to give him a supplement that will suppress the polaron bursts coming from his cranial implant.

DOCTOR'S COMM VOICE
Yes, captain. It shouldn't be a problem.

JANEWAY
Acknowledged...Janeway out.

Janeway stares at the floor for a few minutes, then looks up at Chakotay...

35 EXT. VOYAGER

Heavily damaged, the once glamorous Intrepid-class vessel now limps through the nebula at quarter-impulse, several pockmarks across its hull...

JANEWAY'S VOICE
Captain's Log, Supplemental: Today, at twenty-one hundred hours, Voyager encountered a Borg cube, in a nebula that was supposedly unexplored by the Collective. Voyager has sustained heavy damage from the firefight that followed...as to how the Borg found us, we can only turn to one conclusion: Our recent guest, Mark Paxton.

36 INT. VOYAGER HALLWAYS

Janeway walks quickly through the hallways into a turbolift, holding a PADD in one hand -

JANEWAY'S VOICE
Though in the back of my mind I seem so certain he did not do so purposefully, Commander Chakotay has proven with viable evidence that Paxton's cranial implant was the bait that lured the Borg to us. We have given him supplements that will suppress the signal, so the Borg will not be able to find us as easily. However, the continuous threat from the waiting cube is inevitable - (Janeway exits the turbolift onto the bridge) to compensate, I have prepared an away team, including myself, and among the best officers and hazard team officials, to beam to the cube in an attempt to destroy it from the inside...

Janeway quickly passes through the doors to the briefing room...

37 INT. VOYAGER BRIEFING ROOM

Several officers and crewmembers, including Tuvok and Seven of Nine, stand to attention inside the briefing room... Janeway walks up to them, standing to attention in front of them...

JANEWAY
Lieutenant Tuvok has briefed you all on the mission... and you all know this is an exceptionally risky maneuver. I very much dislike sending so many of you into this kind of danger, but we are left no choice, so I'm strictly ordering all of you to take extensive precautions... If there is even a minor problem, we abort the mission... we will be using body shields to evade detection by the Borg. Make sure yours are functioning properly before we depart...

All the officers reach for the devices planted on their right arms and tap on them... several beeps emit from them...

JANEWAY
All right... report to the transport room. Good luck, everyone.

All the officers walk out of the briefing room, but Janeway stops Tuvok before he walks out...

JANEWAY
Tuvok, you have the most unbiased opinion of the entire crew... do you think Mark really did this on purpose?

TUVOK
(Bobbing his brow thoughtfully) From what information I have acquired of him, it is highly implausible to think that he was executing such a maneuver purposefully.

JANEWAY
I just don't know... whether or not to hate him for putting my entire crew at risk... he had to have known about something as ubiquitous as polaron energy... but he just seems so innocent...

TUVOK
Shall we go?

JANEWAY
(Covering her face with her hand, embarrassed, confused) Yes.

38 INT. BRIDGE

Janeway and Tuvok walk out of the briefing room onto the bridge...

SEVEN
(Walking up to Janeway) Captain?

JANEWAY
Yes, Seven?

SEVEN
I wish to speak with you... (Glancing at Tuvok) privately.

JANEWAY
(Pausing for a moment) Very well. Tuvok?

Tuvok nods and walks away...

JANEWAY
OK, Seven, what's on your mind?

SEVEN
With all due respect, captain... I have experienced an unsettling vision.

JANEWAY
A vision?

SEVEN
(Nervous) Yes.

JANEWAY
When did this happen? And what did you experience in it?

SEVEN
It was approximately fifteen minutes before the talent show took place, when I was snapped into a trance... I was inside a Borg Vessel... My vision was fogged... but I could hear clearly the voice of the collective echoing all around me with the words, 'We're coming'...

JANEWAY
You experienced a vision warning that the Borg were coming prior to the talent show, and then immediately following it, a Borg vessel assaulted us.

SEVEN
That is correct.

JANEWAY
That doesn't sound like a coincidence to me, Seven.

SEVEN
I agree with you, Captain.

JANEWAY
(Gazing thoughtfully at Seven)... I have a feeling you're leaving something out.

SEVEN
... There was... one other fragment... I envisioned a drone attacking you with a device that seemed to... tear your soul from your body...

JANEWAY
What?

SEVEN
I have no knowledge of the device, captain. I do not know what it was intended to do... that is, if it does exist.

JANEWAY
Seven, to be honest with you, this sounds like enough of a reason to abort the mission. I'm prepared to take the risk, but if you really think something is going to happen...

Seven seems to want this, but doesn't say so --

SEVEN
I only wish that you proceed with extreme caution while we execute our objectives.

JANEWAY
Are you sure, Seven?

SEVEN
(Sounding like a lie) Yes.

JANEWAY
We'd better get going then. Come on.

Janeway and Seven walk into the turbolift and the doors hiss closed...

39 EXT. VOYAGER (OPTICAL)

Still damaged, Voyager limps through the nebula...

40 INT. TRANSPORTER ROOM

All the officers file into the room...

TUVOK
(Herding up several officers) Blue squadron, prepare to beam aboard.

Six officers, including Tuvok, walk onto the transporter terminals, equipment and weapons in hand, and a moment later are beamed away... Janeway gathers up the last six officials, gathering their weapons and equipment, and stations them on the transporter terminals...

JANEWAY
Red squadron, prepare to beam aboard.

Moments later the team is beamed away...

41 INT. BORG CUBE

The six officers of the red squadron beam in next to the blue squadron officers, who are preparing their equipment for use. Janeway immediately begins doling out orders...

JANEWAY
Blue squadron, head for the power transmitters. Split up only if you have to, try to remain with someone at all times. Red squadron, we're heading for the power core. This way.

Janeway quickly hurries off, holding her phaser rifle at the ready, followed by the other squad mates, including Seven, who shuffles through the group to stand beside Janeway...

JANEWAY
You don't look too well, Seven.

SEVEN
My physical status is nominal, captain.

JANEWAY
Right, but your emotional status isn't... you're really nervous... you seem to be anticipating something really horrible...

Suddenly, Janeway bumps into a force field... Seven gasps and jumps back, shocked... Janeway stares at the force field, as if trying to ascertain what just happened... The rest of the team stops behind them...

JANEWAY
It's some kind of particle field... Seven, can you disable it from that control panel (Indicating a nearby console)?

SEVEN
(Still breathing unevenly) I... I can try...

Slowly, as if unsure, she walks up to the panel and begins to tap at it...

SEVEN
The field is encrypted with some kind of access code... (Looking up at Janeway) However the power is low enough that, if we remodulate our body shields correctly, we could pass directly through it...

JANEWAY
(Reaching to her body shield generator). What's the energy setting?

SEVEN
(Reaching for her own) fifteen Terrawatts.

The entire team taps at their generators, and the units emit a low confirming tone... Janeway steps through the field... Seven follows...

JANEWAY
(Taking out her tricorder) OK, we're in the outer ring passage surrounding the power core. There are two power adjuncts on opposite sides. (Pointing to two ensigns) You two take the left one, (Indicating the other two ensigns) you two take the right one. (Indicating herself and Seven) We'll take the power core.

Janeway and Seven stride down the forward passageway... Seven seems even more nervous than before... Janeway glances at her, and a faint smile tugs at Janeway's lips... she then tugs a hypospray filled with red liquid off her utility belt and beckons to Seven to turn around and allow her to inject the hypospray on Seven's neck -

JANEWAY
Here... an anxiety suppressant. I took this along because I thought I might need it, but it looks like you need it more than I do. It's a good thing I brought this.

Seven makes no motion to object -

SEVEN
I admit, captain, I do anticipate a horrible event during the away mission, and I am quite certain that had you experienced the same vision, you would respond identically.

JANEWAY
You're probably right, Seven. But we have a duty here, and that is to protect Voyager. Occasionally, there will come a time when you must face your worst fears in order to protect everything that is of value to you, and more often than not, a hypospray isn't going to clear the path for you. So you have to keep your head and face your fears, no matter how bad they may be. That's what is called courage.

SEVEN
... Yes captain.

Janeway and Seven enter a chamber with a large green sphere of light floating in the center...

JANEWAY
Here we are... you imply the core disruption, I'll set the spatial charges...

SEVEN
Yes captain.

Seven walks over to a console and begins tapping on it... meanwhile, Janeway begins setting several charges on the walls of the room... suddenly, a loud hiss of steam emanates from Janeway's right, and she jerks her head towards it... A Borg drone, brandishing some type of strange device, stares her directly in the eye...

JANEWAY
(With overwhelming anxiety) Seven... they can see us!

SEVEN
(Running towards the captain) Captain! NO!

Just as Janeway reaches for her phaser, the drone activates the device, and a large blue bolt shoots out, striking Janeway on the forehead... she falls to her knees, writhing in agony, as a large blue bulb of energy is extracted from her body... Seven immediately fires her phaser at the drone, which drops to the floor, dead... Janeway's body falls limply to the floor... Seven crouches by her side, panicked, yanking out her tricorder and checking for her vital signs... she bangs her commbadge...

SEVEN
(With outright fear) Seven of Nine to Voyager! Abort the mission, repeat, abort the mission! Emergency beam-out! Beam us directly to Sick Bay!

Seven and Janeway's body are momentarily beamed away...

42 INT. VOYAGER SICK BAY

Seven and Janeway's body beam into sick bay...

SEVEN
Computer, activate EMH.

The Doctor appears out of thin air, and quickly hurries over to Janeway's side... he helps Seven lift her to one of the beds...

DOCTOR
What happened?

SEVEN
(Still with outright fear) She was attacked by some Borg device... I don't know what it did to her...

The Doctor runs his medical scanner across the still, pale body of Captain Janeway, and his expression becomes shocked and grave... Chakotay, Tom, B'Ellana and Tuvok hurry in...

DOCTOR
(Shocked) Her neural energy has been completely removed... she's... she's dead.

FADE OUT.

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