by Henry Wyckoff
Crossover: XF, DW (4th Doctor), HL, ST:Voy, and the world of David Eddings
The flight was quite nice, Scully noted, which was what made her nervous. Very nervous. Nothing was supposed to be this prosaic. After her time with Mulder, she had grown used to the unexpected as a norm, and the expected as a trap. Subtly, she checked her gun and took off the safety, sighing in relief when she saw that nobody was paying attention to her. Even so, her pulse was still racing, as if she *knew* that something was about to happen.
"Are you well?" asked someone in the seat next to her, his voice thoroughly British.
Scully turned without managing to show her surprise, and saw a young man with a concerned look on his face. She almost smiled lopsidedly as she thought how cute he looked, in a mature yet still boyish sort of way. He wasn't muscular, but he had a look of strength and stamina about him. His hands were certainly working hands. He wore a business suit, however, which was odd. Maybe he played tennis. "Yes, thank you," she tried to smile. But she was still nervous, especially when she saw that he wasn't buying it. "Nothing's wrong."
He nodded, "Normally, I'd keep it to myself, but when someone clicks off the safety of their gun in the middle of a plane, I come to the conclusion that it's my business after all. Are you Interpol or federal?"
Scully stared at this man, instantly reassessing him. He may have been glib, but he certainly had something underneath the surface that Scully knew that she shouldn't ignore. He wasn't as sharp as the law enforcement type, and not shady enough to be a drug runner -- if anything, he had a laid-back, almost bohemian style to himself, as if he was a jazz musician. She looked at his hands once more, and saw that the ring and middle fingers of his left hand were joined together by habit, while all the right-hand fingers were spread out in a tense/relaxed sort of way, which was indicative of a guitar player. "FBI." Scully thought that honesty was the best policy. "What are you?"
"Moi?" he smiled radiantly, holding out his hand. "Adam Pierson, at your service." His hand was strong as steel, but gentle enough to be caressing. His voice softened and lowered in volume, "Just so you can fill your public service quota for the day, is there anything I should know about the safety of this plane?"
Rather than be offended, she giggled, "No! I'm just nervous, that's all."
"So you're afraid of what you'll meet when you land?"
Scully knew that she shouldn't be talking at all, but there was something about Adam that made her open up, and she couldn't help but nod, "Isn't that always the case?"
Adam nodded, "Could I get you something to drink?"
Before her mind could stop her reflexes, those reflexes said, "Yes." Before she knew it, she was sipping a Dewar's on the rocks.
* * * *
When she hit Dallas, Jan Hendricksen got on the plane. When Scully saw him, she had to hold back an involuntary gasp. He was a dream in the flesh: tall, muscular, healthily-tanned, energetic, and a nice face all in the same package. He must have been over six feet tall and looked like he could easily juggle a few cars. Jan spotted Scully as easily as she had spotted him, and stopped by her seat, "Agent Scully?" His accent was clearly from North Dakota, a faint touch of Scandinavia blended with a Midwestern accent. "I'm Jan Hendricksen."
She nodded, "Are you ready?"
"As ready as I can be." He sat down in the seat behind hers, with nobody sharing his row. It wouldn't have mattered anyway, because he was more concerned about the immortal sitting next to Agent Scully, and judging from the look on her face, she didn't even know this man. It appeared as if the man was flirting with her, and Jan decided he'd back off and do something productive. "Is there anything else you want me to know?"
Scully thought about it for a moment. "Take a look at this." She handed him a folder, and as the plane took off, he read through it.
Adam Pierson, a.k.a. Methos, couldn't help but take in the hidden cues. He knew that something big was going down, but he didn't know what. He could also see that Jan was hiding something from Scully, just as Scully was hiding something from Jan. Jan looked like he was trying to hide a great deal of pain. He also hid the fact that he was immortal quite well, because when he'd approached Methos, he hadn't let it show that he had sensed the presence of an immortal, which was no trivial thing.
* * * *
Jan read the files. They restated what he had known from the beginning: that an individual or small group (run by the individual) was dumping XTC in a very concentrated area, and as the person moved, so did the drug distribution. The funny thing was that as the person moved on, the XTC use stopped, because everyone using it died. Apparently, the pimp who was selling the poison wanted the type of satisfied customers who died happy, and didn't live to come back for more. It was also a drug that was blind to socio-economic: rich and poor, black and white were viewed with equal discrimination.
Nobody knew who the head honcho was, but a few of the sellers lived long enough to move with the drugs. They were black and Latino pimps, and Jan felt his stomach shrivel when he recognized the pimp who killed David. Just a pimp though, and not the head honcho. He swore that he'd hold himself back and force himself to seek out the leader, and only then would he allow himself to grasp revenge. Sooner or later, even if it took a thousand years, he would make those monsters pay for what they did to David, and perhaps to all the other hundreds or thousands like David who died in their own vomit, smiling like the Joker.
He looked up to find that the immortal had turned around to face him. "Whatever it is, it can't be that bad." It sounded like a lighthearted, typical British statement, but underneath Jan could sense the gravity of the Brit's intention.
"It's much worse, and will worsen as time passes."
The immortal shrugged and looked forward again. Jan could hear the man mutter, "A sunset has two faces."
It took a while for Jan to figure that one out.
* * * *
In the Captain's ready room, all the important people were seated: Captain Janeway, Tuvok, Chakotay, Pancho, the Doctor, and his travelling companion, Sarah.
Janeway got things started, "All right now, the one question I have is what are you and how did you come to be on my ship?"
The Doctor downplayed the importance of the question, "I'm the Doctor, as I've already told you, and I came to be on your ship by complete accident: I was trying to land in Tijuana. We need a vacation, you see."
If Janeway were watching this from elsewhere, she might have even laughed, but as it was, all she wanted to do was put her head in her hands. "But how did that box appear on our bridge?"
The Doctor was hesitant, as if he were almost reluctant to say anything, "That 'box' as you put it, is my TARDIS."
"It's how I travel."
"How does it travel?"
He beamed, "Very well, thank you!"
Tuvok spoke up before things got really ugly, "I believe what the Captain is trying to ask, is by what means your TARDIS travels."
"I refuse to answer on the grounds of Xeno's Paradox."
"WHAT?!" Janeway sputtered.
"Xeno stated that motion is inherently impossible, so I refuse to speculate on how my TARDIS travels, when it obviously cannot."
Janeway slammed her hand on the table, "Dammit! You're not fooling anyone! Now I would appreciate it if you could answer some direct questions! You mentioned trying to get to Mexico. Can you take us back to Earth?"
He held up his hands, "I'm really sorry, but my vehicle only seats two."
Pancho spoke up, "Captain, he's holding something back." The Doctor looked intently at Pancho, who continued after a moment of nervousness, "His TARDIS warps space. It may look small on the outside, but it's perhaps as large as Voyager on the inside."
"How is that possible?" demanded the Captain.
"I don't know how, but somehow the TARDIS manages to maintain two spatial scales at once."
"So that is how the ship was confused when it scanned the TARDIS?" Tuvok asked.
"Yes. I remember that much from when I met the Doctor before. I also know that he can take us back to Earth in real time if he so chose."
Janeway frowned. The skeptic in her was screaming that this was all a bunch of nonsense and trickery, but the hope within her was clouding her judgment, and forcing her to believe in the possibility of reaching home within moments. "Why are you reluctant to help us, Doctor? Is there a reason?"
The Doctor was irritated now that his cover was blown by someone living in a glass house, but he kept it in. "I'm reluctant, since our esteemed Pancho Villa has raised the issue, because I follow my own code of ethics, which would define my aiding in your trip home as wrong and dangerous."
"Why? Are you from the future?" asked Tuvok.
The Doctor shrugged. "Past. Present. Future. It has no meaning, since it all depends on your reference. All I know is that aiding you in the way you claim you want would not be help in any way. I really wish I could take you back, if it helps, but I'm constrained as much as you are by your own Prime Directive. Consider your own positions when you've found conflicts." He looked at Janeway. "No matter how much your heart told you to help a group of people, don't you understand the importance of standing back and not interfering?"
Janeway nodded, "There have been times when I have understood the importance of the Prime Directive, but I have also understood that rules are meant to serve us, and not to chain us. Many of us have broken the Prime Directive when we deemed it necessary, and though we sometimes make mistakes, or are reprimanded for our decisions, we still stand by those decisions. Would you not reconsider your own position?"
He shook his head immediately. "Not for a moment."
It was then that Sarah spoke up. "What harm can it do? They're only trying to get home!"
The Doctor nodded. "Trying to get home to a planet many light years away, doing what?" Sarah didn't know what to say, so he answered for her. "They're going home, interacting with everyone they come across. What would have happened if they had not been here in this quadrant? Once we start playing with other possibilities, we risk altering the very future."
Pancho spoke up, "I recall speaking with an Alan Powys a few cen--" he caught himself, and the Doctor raised his eyebrows in surprise, for two reasons, "--a while ago, anyway, and he told me about something called the Many Worlds Theory, which is, he claimed, a theoretical implication of Schroedinger's Wave Equation. Schroedinger's Cat, for instance. Where the universe splits up into two totally different universes when decisions are made, and so there isn't a single universe and a single timeline, but rather an infinite amount of quantum choices that take us to an infinite variety of universes."
Janeway nodded, "I remember hearing similar theories in the Academy, though they were never resolved. Are you suggesting then that it is impossible to disrupt the future?"
Pancho shrugged, "Only that all the possibilities already exist, and that we would merely be choosing our future." He looked at the Doctor, "Isn't that true?"
He shook his head, "Even among my own kind, it is has never been proven. You will note that I have consistently travelled through time without entering alternate universes. If we can leave the philosophy aside, I think that fact confirms the fact that there is a future, and it has to happen a certain way. If it were otherwise, then I would have felt no qualms about destroying the Daleks."
"Who?" everyone asked, looking at one another.
"The Daleks!" Sarah nearly screamed. "Surely you've heard of them!"
Pancho shrugged. "Never heard of them. I think you'll find that the computer will have no record of them either." Something just occurred to him. "Doctor? I think you'll find, if you think about it, that you've just stepped sideways in time. You left a timeline where the Daleks were a reality to a timeline where the Daleks never existed. Any ideas?"
The Doctor was shaking his head, "I can't believe this is happening! It's never happened before!"
"Has it?" Pancho smiled knowingly.
"That was different! The future had been reshaped, and we made it return to its normal course!"
"Or perhaps, we made quantum decisions that took us to a certain future, and then returned to the present from which we left and made subsequent quantum decisions that returned us?"
The Doctor stared at him. "Do you realize what you're
The Doctor was clearly disturbed.
Janeway tapped Pancho on the shoulder and pulled him aside to an adjacent conference room. She was furious. "Why have you hidden this from us?"
Pancho was startled, "What do you mean?"
Janeway nearly yelled, "About the Doctor or his capacity for time travel! About all the things you never volunteered to us!"
Pancho was soft-spoken, "I rescued you and this ship from the Borg. I've already volunteered more than most do. I've also given more than you could possibly know. Everyone on this ship owes me their lives, ten incarnations over. Everyone. Even Q, when he appeared on this ship, owes me. Watch your words, I'm warning you." He turned to leave.
Janeway grabbed his shoulder, pulling him back around. "YOU WILL TREAT ME WITH RESPECT! We may be out in the middle of nowhere, but I am your Captain, and that still means something!"
He bowed mockingly, "I give you respect as a Captain, but I'm giving you a good knock of sense that you deserve as a human being. Until you start walking on water and turning water into wine, you'd better remember that you're a human being. I thought you were learning that lesson, but I see you've backslid."
Janeway stared at him, then her head slumped forward. "I'm sorry," she whispered. "I really am. I just don't know what to do. Here we are, facing someone who can take us home, and he won't."
His voice softened. "Then shove it out of your mind. There's nothing he can do about it, and you know it, so just forget about it. You've done a good job at forgetting all the other failed attempts and keeping your eyes forward."
"What do you know about this Doctor?"
Pancho sighed, hoping that she'd just drop it, "Not as much as I'd like, but enough to know that you should back off. Trust me on this."
When they returned to the ready room, nothing had improved. Janeway sighed, "I truly regret giving you a welcome like this. Of course you should be welcomed as a friend, but you must understand that we're also very desperate, and must aggressively pursue any opportunity to return home as soon as we can."
The Doctor nodded, "I can truly appreciate that. If I could help you in any way, you know I could, but I can't." He brightened, returning to his childlike mood, "But perhaps you can find something on the planet below!"
* * * *
* * * *
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