Joss created Buffy, Gene Roddenbury created Star Trek. I'm just playing in their sandbox for a bit.
It had been a routine away mission until they found the stasis chambers. Will Riker hadn’t even been sure what exactly they were looking at when he, Worf, and Data stumbled onto them. They’d been gathering data on the luminescent and possibly sentient organisms that inhabited the cave systems of Hanoran IV when the organisms began emitting strange light pulses.
“Commander,” Data said. “The light emitted by the organisms is no longer random. It is now forming definite patterns.”
“It looks like they are trying to lead us further into the caves,” Worf suggested.
“If they’re trying to give us a message, let’s play along,” Riker decided.
Worf’s expression turned darker, and he led the way, phaser drawn. Data dropped back, leaving Riker in the most protected spot in their little procession.
“We seem to be going downhill, Commander,” Data reported, eyes on his tricorder. “The cave system extends another thirty meters in depth, but if my scans are correct, we are approaching a larger chamber.”
“Commander!” Worf called urgently.
As they entered the larger chamber Data had predicted- Riker eyeballed it at twenty meters at its widest point and roughly twelve at maximum height- they could see why Worf had stopped.
“These are most definitely not natural,” he rumbled. “They appear to be quite old.”
Riker and Data both approached the machine cautiously, tricorders in hand, while Worf kept his phaser trained on the apparatus.
“Commander,” Data announced. “I believe this is of human origin.”
“Human?” Riker asked, puzzled. “Are you sure, Data? This is the first landing Starfleet has made on this planet- previous missions only scanned from orbit.”
“Quite certain, Commander,” Data confirmed. “The manufacturing origin is given on this plate as Cleveland, Ohio.”
“What is it and why is it here?” Worf demanded.
“It appears to be a set of cryogenic stasis chambers,” Data said, partially focused on the machine in front of them and partially on his tricorder. “There are five altogether, but only four appear to be occupied. And Commander, I believe there are human life signs within the occupied chambers.”
Worf finally saw fit to put his phaser away and stepped closer to one of the frosted panels at eye level. Shining a light inside, he announced, “They certainly appear human.”
Riker sighed. Just what they needed, more cryogenic sleepers. He hoped these ones weren’t as out of time as the first set the Enterprise had encountered.
“Riker to Enterprise
. Captain, we’ve found humans in the cave system. They appear to be in cryogenic stasis. I’d appreciate it if Dr. Crusher could join us.”
“Acknowledged, Commander. Dr. Crusher will beam down shortly.”
“Commander,” Data said slowly. “I have examined this stasis chamber, and I believe it to be of early twenty-first century origin. It is, however, considerably more advanced than the cryogenics capsule we encountered near Starbase 718.”
“I wasn’t aware humans had made such strides in cryogenics until the twenty-second century. Most technological research in non-military areas stalled in the lead-up to World War III and didn’t resume again until after the post-atomic horror.”
“I was not aware either, Commander,” Data replied.
They heard the chime of the transporter and turned to see Dr. Beverly Crusher, medkit at her side and medical tricorder at the ready.
“This is in much better condition than the last cryogenic capsule,” she announced. “All four occupants are in perfect cryogenic suspension.”
“The cryostasis chambers appear to be in good working order and not lacking power,” Data said.
Riker turned to Crusher.
“Doctor, what is your recommendation?”
“I’d like to beam the entire module to the Enterprise and bring them out of stasis,” Crusher replied. “This machine may be in good order now, but it isn’t attended, and Starfleet hasn’t scheduled any further missions to the Hanoran system. These people are human. We shouldn’t leave them here.”
“Riker to Enterprise
. Captain, the doctor recommends we beam the stasis chamber we’ve found to the Enterprise and revive the occupants there. Unless you object, I’d like to-“
“Commander,” Worf rumbled. “I think you should see this.”
“Stand by, Enterprise,” Riker said, tapping his badge. “What is it Mr. Worf?”
Attached to the central stasis chamber, which contained a petite blonde, was a sign.
“In Case of Emergency, Break Glass,” Riker read. “What the…?”
There was a small hammer attached neatly below the sign.
“It would seem illogical to break the glass, Commander,” Data pointed out.
“You’re not breaking anything here,” Dr. Crusher snapped. “Let’s get this aboard the Enterprise
A short time later, all four members of the away team, plus Captain Picard and Counselor Troi, stood in a hastily cleared ward of Sickbay, where the stasis chamber had been transported.
“Perhaps the sign is a joke?” Worf suggested.
“Looks rather official for a joke,” Riker said. He reached for the hammer. “With your permission, captain?”
The captain looked questioningly at his chief medical officer, who shrugged.
“I don’t know, Jean-Luc,” she replied. “I’ve never seen anything like this before, and Data hasn’t been able to find anything on the design. If the sign says break the glass, I suppose we can try it.”
“Be careful, Number One,” Picard said, eying the chambers suspiciously.
Riker stepped up to the chamber, and gripping the hammer, tapped carefully on the glass, using just enough force to shatter it. The change in the chambers was immediate. The chilled gas atmosphere within them warmed, becoming less opaque as it did. The occupants of the now internally lit chambers were clearly visible, and already losing the pallor of cryostasis.
The woman in the central chamber was the first to open her eyes, and pushed at the chamber cover from inside. Riker hastily backed up as the cover swung up to allow her to exit, but darted forward again just as quickly as it became apparent that the woman was unable to keep her balance. He caught her before she could hit the floor.
“Thanks,” she said woozily.
The doors on the other three chambers also swung open, and Data, Worf, and Troi all stepped forward to help the groggy, newly-revived occupants safely out.
“Ugh,” the blonde woman announced as Riker escorted her to a biobed. “I never want to do that again.”
“Seconded,” the lone male of the group croaked as Data lifted him to the next bed.
“Um, not to be rude or anything,” the brunette woman asked, eying Worf with something akin to suspicion, “but what kind of demon are you?”
“Does it really matter right now?” the redhead leaning on Counselor Troi replied. “He’s obviously not the kind that eat people. And I’m joining the ‘never do that again club’.”
“You can be president,” the man told her, sinking gratefully back onto the biobed and closing his eye.
“Ladies and gentleman,” the captain said, clearing his throat slightly to get their attention. The brunette attempted to focus on him, but the other three appeared to be happy to keep their eyes closed while they adjusted to their restored conscious state. “I am Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation starship Enterprise
“Federation of what?” the man asked, eye still closed. “And starship?”
“I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto,” the redhead said with a giggle that turned into a gasp. “Ouchie. Hurts!”
“Me too, Wills,” the blonde announced. “I have the mother of all headaches.”
“If you’ve got the mother of all headaches, I have the grandmother of all headaches,” the brunette said crankily. She was the only member of the group sitting up, and also the one who seemed to be recovering the fastest.
“Kansas?” Worf growled.
“Yeah, you know, state in the middle of nowhere?” the brunette replied, only to be cut off by Data.
“I believe that is a literary reference, Lieutenant. She is referring to the children’s book The Wizard of Oz
, in which the protagonist, Dorothy Gale is transported along with her house from her native Kansas to the mysterious land of Oz.”
“Yes, thank you, Mr. Data,” Picard cut him off. “We are most certainly not in Kansas. Can you all tell me your names, please?”
“Dawn Summers,” the brunette replied. Taking in her companion’s prone states, with the doctor bustling from bed to bed with her hypospray and tricorder, she pointed as she spoke. “My sister Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg, and Xander Harris.”
“Oh you are the best person in all of history,” Xander told Dr. Crusher fervently as the hypospray she’d just given him took effect. “I don’t know what that was, but it’s awesome.”
He opened his eye cautiously.
“Headache gone! Vision normal! I love the future!”
“The future?” Willow asked, sitting up carefully. “What makes you think this is the future?”
“The captain guy said starship, Wills! We were nowhere near starships when the evacuation order was given!”
“Evacuation order?” Riker asked. “When was it given? And why? We don’t know anything about how you and your stasis chamber got to the planet we found you on.”
“I take it that means we’re not on the moon anymore?” Dawn asked, keeping a watchful eye on Dr. Crusher as she scanned Buffy.
Buffy was looking much healthier and happier as the doctor waved her tricorder around.
“Which moon were you on, Miss Summers?” Picard asked.
moon?” Dawn said. “The only one Earth has, unless the future’s a lot stranger than I was expecting? We were on Copernicus Science Station when the habitat failed- which was in 2026, by the way. All non-essential personnel were supposed to be evacuated in escape pods. That should have been us, but debris from the failure of the secondary dome blocked the route to our designated pod. So we had to take refuge in the cryo chambers along with the command crew. The rescue mission should have reached us within two weeks.”
The Enterprise officers exchanged troubled glances. None of them had ever heard of Copernicus Station, although the name suggested a connection to Copernicus City.
“I am afraid you are not even in lunar orbit, Miss Summers,” Data said apologetically. “The Enterprise
is currently in the Hanoran system, several thousand light years from Earth.”
Dawn’s mouth made a perfect ‘o’ as she turned wide eyes on Data.
“You’re joking, right?” Xander asked in disbelief. “You’re not joking. Wow. Does anyone have any idea how we got here?”
“Unfortunately, yes,” Buffy replied, speaking for the first time.
Picard could tell from Beverly Crusher’s expression that she wanted an urgent word with him without the strangers. A glance out of the corner of his eye at Troi showed her looking in fascination from one of the newcomers to the other. She didn’t look at all suspicious or alarmed, so he decided it could wait.
“Miss Summers?” he prompted.
“It’s a complicated story, captain, and I don’t know if you’ll believe it,” Buffy said. More to her companions than to the Enterprise
crew, she added, “If he’s not already dead, I am going to kill Ethan Rayne.”