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Friday, September 13, 2013

"Star Trek: Voyager - The Maquis Series That Never Was"

Here's an interesting question for my Star Trek readers:

What if the television show, "Star Trek: Voyager" had been about the crew of Chakotay's Maquis ship, Val Jean, instead? What if Captain Janeway's USS Voyager was never lost in the Delta Quadrant, and the series followed the story of 21 Maquis -- aboard a small 2-deck Maquis raider -- trying to get home to the Alpha Quadrant? No Federation rules; no fancy technology -- just a 38-year-old ship, a crew that doesn't always get along, and a singular, determined goal.

I think that would have been a fantastic television show!

Well, as it just so happens, there's a Star Trek fan series taking place on Facebook right now that suggests this very idea. In the "UFP: Starfleet Academy" series, the USS Voyager never found Chakotay's Maquis ship in the Badlands. It was forced to give up the search, and was eventually assigned to other missions in the Alpha Quadrant. Meanwhile, Chakotay and his Maquis crew remained trapped in the Delta Quadrant, courtesy of The Caretaker.

The Starfleet Academy series focuses on events in the Alpha Quadrant, namely the years during the Dominion War. However, fans were still curious what the Maquis ship might have experienced in the Delta Quadrant. So, since I happen to be the director/producer of the SFA series, I put together a timeline of Delta Quadrant events (based solely off of the "Star Trek: Voyager" episodes) and attempted to see if -- and how -- Chakotay's Maquis ship might eventually make it back home to the Alpha Quadrant.

What follows is that timeline. It's only a summary of the more notable events (I built my overall timeline episode-by-episode), but it does provide a good imaginative take on a Maquis Delta Quadrant story. Feel free to use your imagination and fill in the details! Does the Val Jean make it back to the Alpha Quadrant? Well....you'll have to read the timeline below and find out!

_________________________________________________________________

2371

January 22 -- (VOY: "The Caretaker")

Maquis ship Val Jean (Condor-class) is pulled into the Delta Quadrant by an entity known as 'The Caretaker". The vessel is damaged following an escape from a Cardassian Galor-class warship near the Badlands, as well as the bumpy ride into the Delta Quadrant. They arrive 70,000 light years from Federation space.

The entire crew of 22 individuals is probed by the Caretaker, and then returned to their ship. Engineer B’Elanna Torres is not returned to the ship with the rest of her crew. When questioned, the Caretaker says that she "did not make it through the test". He refuses to say anything more. Of course, we know B'Elanna was actually sent to the Ocampa planet (and most likely dies there as a result of the "disease" given to her by The Caretaker), but Chakotay and his crew never learn this bit of information.

Chakotay and his Maquis crew return to the Val Jean, and begin work on whatever repairs they can muster. They remain in the vacinity of the Caretaker’s array, and assume B’lanna Torres to have died.

Not long later, while conducting repairs, a number of alien vessels arrive near the Caretaker’s array, demanding to be given control of the facility. They refer to themselves as the Kazon. The Caretaker informs the Val Jean crew that he plans to self-destruct his array rather than let the aliens capture it. Val Jean moves a safe distance away,  and the array explodes, taking out (or severely damaging) most of the Kazon vessels.

Chakotay makes the decision to set a course for home – a 70,000 light year journey in an old, damaged Condor-class starship -- with a crew of 21 Maquis.

The original crew of the Maquis vessel Val Jean includes:
  • Chakotay – (Human, male)
  • Ayala – (Human, male) – Chakotay’s first officer
  • B’Elanna Torres – (Human/Klingon, female) – ship’s engineer – KIA
  • Hogan – (Human, male) – engineer
  • Tuvok – (Vulcan, male) – operations/security
  • Kurt Bendera – (Human, male) – engineer
  • Carlson – (Human, male)
  • Chell – (Bolian, male) – ship’s chef
  • Kenneth Dalby – (Human, male) – engineer
  • Doyle – (Human, male) – science
  • Gerron Ral – (Bajoran, male) – science
  • Mariah Henley – (Human, female)
  • Jackson – (Human, male)
  • Jarvin – (Human, male) – operations/security
  • Michael Jonas – (Human, male) – security
  • Jor – (Human, female) – engineer
  • O’Donnell – (Human, male) – security/operations
  • Seska – (Bajoran, female) – science/engineer
  • Ann Smithee – (Human, female)
  • Lon Suder – (Betazoid, male)
  • Tabor – (Betazoid, male) – operations
  • Yosa – (Human, male) -- security
 June 2 -- (VOY: "State of Flux")

Bajoran crewman, Seska dies in an accident aboard a Kazon ship. The Kazon had gotten their hands on Federation technology, and were trying to procure more. Seska was trying to stop them. Of course, we know she's actually a Cardassian, and was trying to cover up her treachery, but here, in this timeline, her Maquis companions never learn the truth. Seska is confirmed dead, although, her body cannot be retrieved from the Kazon ship. The Val Jean manages to escape the area before being overwhelmed by additional Kazon vessels.

August 21 -- (VOY: "Faces")


Jackson is killed while in the captivity of a species known as the Vidians. His organs are harvested by the species and grafted into their own anatomy. O’Donnell dies in an escape attempt. Doyle is successfully rescued by Chakotay and his crew.

November 5 -- (VOY: "The 37's")


The Val Jean discovers a 1936 Earth Ford truck floating in space. An AM radio signal is detected, leading them to a nearby class-L planet. Val Jean lands on the planet and discovers Amelia Earhart from Earth history, as well as her co-pilot and missing airplane. Over 100,000 other Humans – the descendants of Humans taken from Earth by an alien species – are living on the planet. Maquis crewmembers Kenneth Dalby, Doyle, Mariah Henley, Jarvin, and Lon Suder choose to stay on this planet and make new lives for themselves among the Human population. The Val Jean resumes its journey home with a crew of 13 individuals.

2372

May 10 -- (VOY: "Dreadnought")


The Val Jean discovers a pre-programmed Cardassian/Maquis missile  that was also pulled into the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker. The malfunctioning missile attacks the Val Jean, causing notable damage. It then resumes its course for a planet known as Rakosa V. The missile has misidentified the planet as the Cardassian planet it was programmed to destroy in the Alpha Quadrant. The crew of the Val Jean watch in horror as the missile hits Rakosa V and explodes, killing two million Rakosans. Chakotay and his crew offer to assist, but are driven away by the Rakosans, who believe that the Val Jean fired the missile. The Val Jean leaves the area and resumes its course for home.

June 20 -- ("VOY: "Deadlock")


The Val Jean experiences severe subspace turbulence, and the ship’s meager supply of anti-matter begins to slowly drain away. In addition, the ship is hit by repeated proton bursts from out of nowhere. A special rift opens in the Val Jean’s rear cargo bay. It is soon discovered that there are two Val Jeans sharing the same space – one is severely damaged (our VJ #1), and the other (VJ #2) is undamaged with no casualties. Communication is opened between both ships.

During this ordeal, Vidians attack the undamaged VJ #2, they manage to gain access to the small ship, and begin killing the Maquis crew and harvesting their organs. Alternate crewmember Ann Smithee (from VJ #2) escapes through the cargo bay rift to VJ #1. – Chakotay #2 self-destructs his ship, ripping a gash in the Vidian vessel, and causing it to drift. Val Jean #1 fires on the disabled Vidian ship, destroying it. Alternate Ann Smithee (from VJ #2) remains aboard the Val Jean as a new crewmember. To distinguish herself from her identical counterpart on the Val Jean crew, she chooses to go by the name, Annette Smithee.

August 1 -- (VOY: "Tuvix")


A planet-to-ship transporter malfunction merges crewmembers Jor and the original Ann Smithee into one person. This new Human woman has the memories of both Jor and Ann Smithee. As the Val Jean crew is unable to separate both women, Chakotay allows the new merged woman – who chooses to be known as JorAnne Smithee – to remain aboard the Val Jean as a new crewmember. As a combination of Jor and Ann Smithee, JorAnne is a beautiful, feisty woman, who proves to be rather well liked by the Val Jean crew. The Val Jean continues its journey home with a crew of 13.

2373

March -- (VOY: "The Swarm")


Michael Jonas is killed during an attack by a species known as the Swarm. The Val Jean manages to devise a defense against the Swarm, and escapes their territory.

July -- (VOY: "False Profits")


The Val Jean discovers the Delta Quadrant end of the Barzan Wormhole. Ferengi males, Arridor and Kor attempt to escape back through the wormhole to the Alpha Quadrant, but end up destabilizing it. Desperate to go home, the Val Jean enters the unstable wormhole. Instead of making it back home to the Alpha Quadrant, though, the Val Jean is transported to another area of the Delta Quadrant – this time, only 26,000 light years from home. The Barzan wormhole disappears permanently, and the Val Jean resumes its much shorter journey home.

August -- (VOY: "Dragon's Teeth")


The Val Jean is accidently pulled into a series of subspace corridors owned by a species known as the Turei. Moments later, the Val Jean is pushed out of the corridor by a Turei vessel, and shortly thereafter attacked by that same Turei vessel when Chakotay refuses to submit to their demands.

To escape from the pursuing Turei, the Val Jean lands on an abandoned world once inhabited by another species known as the Vaadwar. Chakotay and his crew discover thousands of active stasis pods in underground caverns, and awaken a Vaadwar male named Gedrin. Gedrin helps disable the growing fleet of Turei vessels in orbit, in exchange for Chakotay’s help in waking up the other Vaadwar in stasis. The Vaadwar and Maquis exchange information, and the Vaadwar – who claim ownership of the ancient subspace corridors -- offer to help the Val Jean use them to get closer to the Alpha Quadrant. Val Jean and many Vaadwar vessels enter the subspace corridors.  Val Jean follows its plotted course, and emerges into normal space 24,500 light years away from home.

December

The Val Jean answers a distress call from a Hirogen ship, where they find an injured Hirogen male by the name of Hugat. He is treated for his wounds aboard the Val Jean, and later accepted as a member of the crew. The Val Jean crew consists of 13 individuals.

2374

January -- (VOY: "The Void")


The Val Jean encounters a region of space known as the Void, and is sucked in. While inside, they form an alliance with other ships trapped in the region, and eventually escape with supplies stolen from the vessels of an aggressive rival faction.

February

Yosa is killed in a Hirogen attack. Hugat nearly dies while helping to protect the Val Jean from capture.

March 17

A Borg cube attacks the Val Jean – the only encounter Chakotay and his crew have with the Borg while traveling through the Delta Quadrant. During the attack, Carlson and Kurt Bendera are killed. A temporal rift opens as the result of attack, and the Val Jean is pulled in. The Borg cube is too large to follow. Almost instantly, the Val Jean and her living crew of ten emerge from a temporal anomaly in Federation space (near Vega) known as the “Vega Drainpipe”. Their date of arrival is August 31, 2375. The Val Jean and her crew have traveled a year and a half into their own future – but they are finally home.

August 31, 2375

The ten crewmembers of the Val Jean who return to the Alpha Quadrant are:
  • Chakotay – (Human, male)
  • Ayala – (Human, male) – Chakotay’s first officer
  • Hogan – (Human, male) – engineer
  • Tuvok – (Vulcan, male) – operations/security
  • Chell – (Bolian, male) – ship’s chef
  • Gerron Ral – (Bajoran, male) – science
  • Tabor – (Betazoid, male) – operations
  • Anette Smithee – (Human, female)*
  • JorAnne Smithee – (Human, female)*
  • Hugat – (Hirogen, male)*
(*= individuals added to the original crew)

The bodies of Carlson and Kurt Bendera receive a proper burial on their home worlds.

The Val Jean – originally a Starfleet vessel stolen by the Maquis – is confiscated. Considering the destruction of the Maquis by the Dominion (before the Val Jean returned home), no charges are pressed against the remaining former Maquis crew. In addition, Tuvok is discovered to be a Starfleet officer who had originally been ordered to infiltrate the Val Jean crew. He is allowed to return to Starfleet service. The other former Val Jean crew are allowed to return home as the Federation citizens they once were. Hugat, in appreciation of his Human friends, decides to spend some time visiting Earth.

_________________________________________________________________

If you enjoyed this timeline, come check out the popular fan series: "UFP: Starfleet Academy". It's a Star Trek series "re-telling" the Dominion War, but from the perspective of the personnel who work at Starfleet Academy in the Prime Universe. It's a unique, highly detailed, socially-interactive, real-time story series, in which today's date is the same date in the future Star Trek universe. I think you'll like it. Come take a look!

-Jon

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