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During a routine mining convoy escort mission, the Columbia was attacked by Romulan warships and used to destroy the friendly mining ships. The Columbia was able to escape by detonating a photonic torpedo while making a warp micro jump, making the Romulans think the ship self-destructed. After the attack, Fletcher suspected they had seen the first salvo of a war from the Romulans, since it had been so well prepared and coordinated. Veronica wanted to return to their original position and course at any speed, but Captain Erika Hernandez argued that it would place the vessel into a war zone.
Instead, the Columbia used its impulse engines to make a journey, experiencing time dilation effects, to reach the nearest class M planet showing signs of technology. Fletcher was part of the landing party to the planet Erigol that made first contact with the Caeliar race, ending up permanent prisoners. Along the route to the city, Fletcher remarked that with her twelve years of back pay with combat bonuses, she was going to purchase a vineyard in Napa Valley; she also pointed out that she found it in bad taste to approach a potential first contact situation without an offering such as a casserole or blueberry muffins.
After efforts by other members of the the team to use the Caeliar's technology to return the Columbia to its original time went badly wrong, the city of Axion was relocated in time to the year 1519, along with Fletcher and the other three flight officers who were bound by the MACOs and left behind. (ST - Destiny novel: Gods of Night)
After being informed that there was no way to return to their own time, the four officers were given housing in Axion, and took to living their new existence. After some time, it became a nightly ritual at evening meal for each person to talk about something they missed most; one evening, Fletcher mentioned that she missed sexual intimacy with men, a previously agreed upon taboo topic. The mention greatly upset Doctor Johanna Metzger, who left the dinner table. Captain Erika Hernandez suggested that they could ask one of the Caeliar to morph their bodies into the form of one of the male MACOs, a thought that Fletcher found physically revolting, as she considered the Caeliar bitter enemies.
Without exploration or military duty to occupy their lives, the Caeliar suggested the former Enterprise officers take up artistic pursuits. Although Hernandez had no skill for any attempt, Fletcher eventually took up writing, penning several novels in the Captain Proton universe. She completed Revenge of Chaotica: A Captain Proton Adventure in 1525 after Metzger proofread it, an accomplishment that Hernandez considered the first novel years before any known modern Earth literature, and thus worthy of a read.
However, the relationship between the former command crew continued to deteriorate over differences of opinions over their Caeliar hosts. Although Fletcher continued to consider them enemies, Hernandez had been aiding them in locating a new home. One such instance came when the Caeliar Edrin fashioned a holographic environment for them - Hernandez thought it a gift, but Fletcher considered it nothing more than a gilded cage, and refused to accept charity from their wardens. After Johanna Metzger committed suicide in 1573, communications officer Sidra Valerian's mental health worsened from her previous silent state into a catatonic coma, failing to eat or drink for several days and slowly killing herself. Wishing to find a way to heal her friend, Hernandez allowed the Caeliar to perform an experimental procedure on her, linking her with the Caeliar communal gestalt, a decision which Fletcher strongly opposed. The procedure failed and Valerian died on the operating table while Fletcher and Hernandez looked on. The incident led to a complete estrangement between the two that lasted nearly a year, during which time Fletcher penned Lightning Shy and its sequel Flashpoint Sinister. Fletcher eventually decided to return to a tentative relationship with her former commanding officer, which materialized over a chess game.
During their separated time, Fletcher came to terms with her failing health and impending mortality, and informed the Caeliar Inyx of her desire to have a natural death. In 1574, the Caeliar found a suitable world to inhabit and the city of Axion was set down on what was called New Erigol. As soon as they had landed, Veronica Fletcher insisted on a surface visit with Inyx and Hernandez, where she selected her own gravesite at the top of a knoll, at the base of three trees. Edrin supervised construction of a house for the two Earth Starfleet officers, where they lived together for nearly six months until Fletcher failed to appear for morning meal. Hernandez found her in bed, dying, and she refused to accept any medicine the Caeliar could offer, revealing the agreement that she made with Inyx. They traveled to her grave site where she passed away in death throes, telling Erika "It's okay. I'm free." Erika told Inyx that she had said all she needed to before he interred the body. (ST - Destiny novel: Mere Mortals)
Fletcher was a huge fan of the Captain Proton novels and brought the first six with her aboard the Columbia. While trapped in Axion in the 16th century, she wrote novels of her own featuring the character. (ST - Destiny novels: Gods of Night, Mere Mortals)
|United Earth (civilian registry)||SS Columbia||T. Haskins • Vina|
|United Earth Starfleet||Columbia (NX-02)||R. Akagi • D. Atlagic • Biggs • K. el-Rashad • V. Fletcher • K. Graylock • K. Gunnarsdóttir • E. Hernandez • R. Hexter • B. Mealia • J. Metzger • R. Oliveira • D. Pierce • S. Rivers • C. Siguenza • Strong • K. Thayer • C. Tucker • S. Valerian • C. Zeilfelder • MACO personnel: E. Crichlow • S. Foyle • N. Mazzetti • H. Mottaki • N. Otumbo • G. Pembleton • T. Steinhauer • V. Yacavino|
|Federation, Starfleet||USS Columbia (NCC-621)||V. DeSalle • C. Terrell|