by Henry Wyckoff
Crossover: XF, DW (4th Doctor), HL, ST:Voy, and the world of David Eddings

Chapter 15

Mind Cramp

Duncan and Methos walked inside the house. Jan and Clovis were no longer arguing. It looked like they were meditating.

* * * *

The Doctor shook his head. Something odd had just happened. Not just odd. Ithad given his mind a really severe nuggie.

"--where's Powys?" Sarah was asking.

"Powys?" He snapped, irritated by the distraction. "He's right there, talking with Jan and Scully." He did a double-take, "No he isn't, and Jan didn't come with us! What's going on here?"

"What do you mean?" Silk walked over to him.

"I mean that Powys arrived with Scully and Jan didn't come with us. Don't you remember?" The Doctor looked at both of them, their skepticism and confusion evident. "Let me get Scully's view on this." He interrupted Scully's debate with Jan and asked her, "Excuse me, but do you know where Powys is?"

"Powys?" she blinked in confusion. I don't know. He isn't here." She looked at Jan, "Did you see him?"

Jan shrugged.

"You were shot too!" noted the Doctor. "I don't see any holes or blood on your shirt. Something strange is going on."

Jan fell to his knees, his eyes spinning. "I don't feel right."

Scully grabbed him before his head hit the ground. "Jan!"

He faded before her very eyes.

The Doctor was visibly worried, "My dear Scully, I'm afraid that one of my most basic fears has been confirmed. This confrontation that we approach is beginning to change the very nature of time and space, which is supposed to be an impossibility. We have already seen a minor disruption, and it was so subtle that we could have missed it entirely." He looked at where Jan had been just a moment ago. "We are no longer in a box. See? The media is gone. So are the police. Only those who arrived here remain, other than Powys."

Scully's eyes were huge. "I can't believe this!"

"Fine enough. You have another matter to attend to anyway. The Dagashi has just escaped. He's over there."

Silk and Scully jumped at that, running after the Dagashi.

* * * *

Janeway opened her eyes. The first thing she saw was Methos kneeling in front of her.

"Everything is all right."

She blinked in confusion, looking around. "I should be dead."

"You should have been, but somehow Zedar healed you." His face was full of puzzlement more than disbelief, "In all my years, I don't think I've ever seen faith healing really work."

The last few moments came back to her. "He waved his hand, and -- "

" -- you fell asleep. Don't worry about it."

A few moments passed as she gathered her wits about her. "Where is everyone?"

"Elsewhere." He looked in the house. "In more ways than one."

"What do you mean?"

"After you got shot, the others went after the killer. Jan and I -- " he looked embarrassed, "couldn't quite make it to the truck in time. Duncan stayed behind to help us back. Clovis woke up, but Jan started talking to him, and the next thing I knew they were both in a trance. Zedar and Chuck vanished, and Chakotay is on some mind quest. That leaves us."

"This is all coming by so fast."

"I know. Care for a beer?"

"I thought Pancho cleared out the liquor cabinet."

"Clovis has hiding places." Methos brought out two beers.

Bass, she noticed. One component of the Irish Kegbomb. Janeway accepted the beer, slowly feeling her strength return.

* * * *

Powys looked at the coin that had just fallen to the ground. "Heads. My luck hasn't failed me yet." The bubble of potentiality had vanished. It was a relief that nobody'd ended up with a dead-resolution. In fact, it seemed that they had come out with a potential-Jan.

* * * *

"What happened?" demanded Scully.

The Dagashi was too fast for her to follow, but Silk was much faster. By the time she gave up running, Silk was a hundred yards ahead of her and tackling the running man with enough force to topple someone twice his bulk. Silk brought the man back, decked out like a sack of potatoes.

Near-breathless, Scully cornered the Doctor for answers. "You claim to know what's happening. What happened to Jan?"

"The Jan that you saw was a potential-Jan. We were all potential for that matter. We were neither alive nor dead, trapped in a box that was set around us. The question should be, who did that to us and why?"

Scully shook her head. "I thought I was finished with Schrödigner's Cat when Axer Carrick walked into the sunset, but it seems that he's not the real culprit." She looked at the Doctor with an irritated expression, "It's Powys, who's mysteriously vanished. I think we should be asking him some questions."

* * * *

Chakotay looked in alarm at Vulture. "What does this all mean? Is it real or just a delusion?"

"If you want to know what the weather is, look out the window! Besides, you're the one who's doing the guiding. I didn't know any of this."

"But you know what it means!"

Vulture stretched his wings and folded them back, "What do you think it means? If you don't like it, it's bad. If you like it, it's good. Then again, on another level, I might be totally full of shit."

"You're no help!"

"Like I said, I can't help you in the way you want me to."

That's when Chakotay woke in the real world.

* * * *

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