Written by:T'Kalara


Summer 1998 8th-9th grades

Author's note: As before, Paramount owns the characters, the ship, etc., but the story is of my creation.

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Trust Part IV

The air aboard Voyager was tense, full of hope, fear, and anticipation. Everyone on the Bridge was outwardly composed for the benefit of the rest of the crew. Inside, however, Kathryn could imagine how everyone felt: Tom Paris was talking a lot, a sure sign he was jumpy; B'Elanna was in Engineering, but she spoke crisply, which was unusual save for efficiency. Tuvok, of course, gave no clue to his emotions, and Harry stood with his hands poised over his console, and she could almost hear his mind working out every possible situation. Behind her, Annika sat at a free console, cross-linking it to the Astrometric database and Engineering data. At her side, her husband and first officer had called up a diagram on his console and was checking the last calculations.

"Kat, I hope this works," he said in a voice too low for anyone else to hear. Well, except for Tuvok, who privately wondered if his use of his spouse's nickname was a facet of his own nervousness.

The woman in question turned her head, and failed to remark upon her name, "It will," her voice resounded in conviction, and she raised it so the rest of her crew could hear, "It has to." Kathryn hit a control, addressing the whole ship: Attention, everyone. This is the captain speaking. We will shortly be attempting slipstream warp procedures. Since a good deal of power must be rerouted to the deflector dish and shields, please refrain from using the holodecks or running experiments in the labs. Her voice took on a less official note. There is always the possibility this won't work, but I have full faith in the abilities of this ship and her crew. I would suggest you secure yourselves, as this procedure is quite rough. Thank you, and as always, it is a pleasure to have such a dedicated crew. Janeway out.

She took a deep breath, and glanced at Tom, who nodded in assent that everything was as ready as it could be. "Bridge to Engineering: B'Elanna, are you ready?"

"Aye, Captain."

"Annika, is everything in place?"

"Aye, Captain. Systems at nominal output.

Alright, here goes hope… "Initiate slipstream procedures." She sat forward, tense and ready to hear reports. "Harry, what is our status?"

"Deflector dish emitting a high frequency-slipstream opening straight ahead, at about three hundred meters."

"All right Tom, take us in."

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The moment the ship entered the slipstream, it was hit with gravimetric distortions, but they weren't threatening. Annika called out, "Slipstream stable, directed at the Gamma Quadrant, just outside the Bajoran wormhole. No signs of collapse or imminent danger to the ship." At that, Kathryn once more initiated shipwide communications:

Attention: we have entered the slipstream, headed straight for the Gamma Quadrant, namely outside the Bajoran wormhole leading to Deep Space Nine. If this holds, as we all hope it will, we can be back to the Federation in less than a week. Janeway out. Her last words were cut off as a rousing cheer broke out on the Bridge.

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Three sleepless nights later, they broke out of the slipstream. "Coordinates?" she asked of Tom, daring to hope. As she spoke, the wormhole opened before their eyes, and a ship emerged. "Tom, identify that ship." Kathryn was aware of the held breaths of all of the crew.

Tom's voice was quiet with awe, "Ship identified as the…USS Defiant, Starfleet registry NX-"

Harry cut him off, "Captain, they're hailing us."

"Patch it through shipwide. I want everyone to hear this." On the viewscreen, the image of a dark man, wearing a slightly different uniform, with captain's pips appeared.

"This is Benjamin Sisko of the USS Defiant. Am I correct in assuming that you are Kathryn Janeway, captain of the USS Voyager?"

Kathryn's voice brimmed with barely restrained joy, "Yes, Captain. Is this the Gamma Quadrant, as our scans show?"

Sisko grinned at this. "Indeed. The Defiant just came through the wormhole when our scans detected another Federation ship. Normally, with the Dominion-" he broke off, reconsidering, then, "No matter. Welcome home, Voyager."

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On to Trust Part V>

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