“First Officer’s Log: We are currently in pursuit of a highly advanced alien vessel that has taken Captain Braxton prisoner. Our only clue as to the identity of Braxton’s kidnappers is the fact that their vessel’s temporal signature resembles that of the Plah D’Viz, an ancient and powerful alien artifact that we encountered several years ago...”
Ducane, sitting at Braxton’s desk in his office, continued to pore over data. The door opened, and Kes stepped inside. “How’s it going?”
Ducane sighed. “I’ve got some more info, but it’s confusing me to no end.”
“I had tracking data from the Federation sensor network uploaded to our computer. I’ve managed to put together the path of the alien vessel on its way to Starbase 47. It was first detected when it crossed the border with the Dominion in the Gamma Quadrant.”
“Don’t you mean the Happy Fun Dominion?”
“I don’t know about you, but I find it neither happy nor fun.”
“Anyway, extrapolating the vessel’s path backwards takes it exactly to where the Plah D’Viz used to be.”
“Yeah, before we blew it sky high... Any possibility this is a Dominion ship we’re dealing with?”
“I really doubt it. Energy signature’s completely different.”
“What if... What if these are the people that built the Plah D’Viz? What if they want revenge on Braxton for destroying their artifact?”
“Also highly doubtful. Remember Q’s little bedtime story where he told us about the Plah D’Viz in the first place? He said they were all dead.”
“Actually, he said that they all disappeared from the galaxy. Maybe they pulled a First One and just left?”
“Hmm... Possible. Good memory there.”
“Hey, without godlike powers, I have to be useful somehow, don’t I?”
With a wink, Kes turned and left the office. Seconds later, Yar walked in. “Got the newest tracking data on that vessel. It’s altered course. It’s headed towards the galactic core.”
“The galactic core, hmm? Interesting...”
“Could it be the Cytherians? Or maybe the nutcases from the Star Trek V pocket universe escaped?”
Ducane punched a few buttons on the terminal. “Nope, no match. Keep me informed of any changes.”
As Yar left, Ducane slumped in his chair as his eyes glazed over. He mumbled to himself, “Who are you?”
Within the alien vessel, Captain Braxton was being scanned. Still bound to the table, he attempted to wiggle free, but to no avail. “I just want whoever you are to know that I’m not having a good time!”
The female voice from before spoke once more. Do you think we are enjoying this any more than you?
“Well, duh. Of course you are. You’re the bad guy. You do bad things and then laugh maniacally because you’re having fun being bad. That’s the way it works.”
Good and bad are a matter of perspective. To us, you are the one that has committed the grievous transgression.
“Okay, I think it’s time for you to drop the whole mysterious alien act. Who are you, and what is it that you think I’ve done?”
In response to Braxton’s question, golden energy emerged from one of the walls. It came together, and took the form of a tall, skinny, glowing, humanoid woman. Satisfied?
“Not in the slightest. I’m fairly sure you still haven’t answered either of my questions.”
You are unfamiliar with us?
“I’m unfamiliar with a lot of things, yourself included, so let’s get the exposition over and done with before this episode is over.”
Very well. In your primitive tongue, we would be referred to as the Progeny. We hail from a distant galaxy where we have evolved into a noncorporeal form. We explore the galaxy as one with our vessels. This is why this vessel is so small to you, since we do not require things such as life support or even physical space to exist.
“Okay, that explains who you are. But I’ve never met you before. Why are you after me?”
Long ago, we explored this galaxy and encountered a race of beings nearly as technologically advanced as we are. These beings had mastered temporal technology, and had even discovered a means by which to eliminate paradoxes.
“Hold on... This is beginning to sound familiar...”
This was an affront to us. There must always be a price exacted by tampering with time, whether it be a paradox, anomaly, or any other side-effect. We waged war with these beings, and we were eventually victorious. However, they hid their most powerful creation from us, and try as we did, we could not find it. Eventually, we left your galaxy, content in the belief that if we could not find the device, no one else could either.
“I really don’t like where this is going.”
Then, two years ago, we detected a Level 100 temporal field being generated from this galaxy. We now knew exactly where the device was, and that it had been used. When we finally arrived, we found the device had been destroyed, so we immediately began looking for the one who would dare use such a device. You are the one. You used the Plah D’Viz. And for that, you must pay the ultimate price.
“Wonderful. Just what I need. Another bunch of psycho villains out to kill me.”
Who said anything about killing you?
“Well, isn’t that generally what is meant by ‘the ultimate price’? Because if you were being literal, then you’re not going to have much luck extracting it. I’m told (and told and told and told) that the Federation doesn’t use money...”
You’re a very strange individual.
“You’re just now figuring that out? Some supervillains you are.”
What has been done can be undone! We shall restore the paradox that you have eliminated, thus restoring the timeline you have erased!
“I can take people trying to kill me. I can take people beating me to a bloody pulp. But I am Not going to let you make me into Evil Braxton!”
Whoa there... Easy with the bold italic caps.
”I will not go easy with the bold italic caps!”
The Progeny woman extended her arm, and a yellow bolt of energy lept from it and struck Braxton. Braxton promptly lost consciousness, and the Progeny woman smirked. Fool.
Before she could leave, however, something started beeping. It was coming from Braxton. The alien looked checked him out, then fished what looked like a little action figure out of one of Braxton’s pockets. Closer inspection revealed that the action figure looked just like Chakotay. What is this?
Remarkably, the action figure answered. “Greetings! I am the Chakotron. It’s time to explain today’s obscure episode title.”
“Don’t you know it! Anyway, Adrasteia was a figure in Greek mythology that punished those who violated the natural order of things.”
The alien eyed the little figure for several more seconds, then threw it in a corner. The little figure sighed. “At least I get more respect than the actual Chakotay...”
Meanwhile, the Relativity continued to give chase to the Progeny vessel, no matter how pathetically. Ducane, who was now sitting in the captain’s chair, turned to Damar. “We need more power!”
Damar responded in his best (and by “best” I mean worst) Scottish accent. “I canna give ya anymore!”
“Stop that, Damar.”
“Aw. But I really can’t give you anymore. Why are we even bothering? They’re getting further and further away from us without breaking a sweat.”
Dax responded, “No, they’re not.”
“No. They’ve stopped near the galactic core.”
Ducane let out a little smile. “Then we’ve got a chance to get Braxton back...”
“We do? Correct me if I’m wrong, but we’re no match for that ship.”
“Okay, maybe we don’t have a chance. But what kind of show would this be if we just gave up? Continue pursuit.”
Will the Progeny succeed in recreating Braxton’s paradox? Can the Relativity save Braxton? Will Chakotay or anything that remotely resembles Chakotay ever get any respect? Get ready for “Adrasteia, Part III!” (Not that you actually need to do anything to get ready.)