8-16 - Fall of Shadows pt 2
By: Seema (email@example.com)
Disclaimer: Star Trek: Voyager,
its characters and related properties are Registered Trademarks
of Paramount Pictures. No infringement of Paramount's copyrights
is intended. Voyager Virtual Season 8 (VS8) is a non-profit
endeavor. The unique characters and milieu of VS8 are the
property of the VS8 producers and individual authors. This
story is the property of the author. Please do not repost
gratitude to Jeffrey Harlan for his assistance. Also, my
thanks to Andrew for his helpful comments on this story
and Liz for the comments and support.
are Angelo Tessoni?" Hileya's voice was crisp, authoritative,
and Marla could see that all present in the courtroom were
focused on Hileya.
sir," Angelo replied. Marla was proud of him; he sounded
confident, a far cry from the apprehension Angelo had exhibited
you currently assigned to the USS Voyager?"
sir, I am."
also served on the Equinox under the command of Captain
is correct, yes, sir."
this your first posting?"
sir," Angelo responded. "I served on the Goliad
under Captain Price."
nodded. "And you were posted to the Goliad for how
you request the transfer to the Equinox?"
I wanted to spend more time on science," Angelo said
earnestly. He looked over at Marla and she tipped her head
slightly in acknowledgement. "The Goliad was primarily
a diplomatic ship. Scientific exploration was an afterthought."
you are a scientist?"
shifted in his chair. Marla wondered if Hileya intended
to pursue the same line of questioning with Angelo as he
had with her. She shook her head; their stories were not
vastly different. She was just thankful that Pachano had
decided to call Chakotay to testify as to their good behavior
while aboard Voyager; they had wanted to Janeway to speak
on their behalf, but given the circumstances, that was no
longer possible. Instead, Janeway had signed an affidavit
and the judge had allowed that in lieu of the captain's
engineer, sir, but I have an interest in xenobiology as
well as xenocultures," Angelo said. "It was the
opportunity to spend more time among other species which
attracted me to the Equinox."
you too participated in this barbaric experiment, despite
your so-called 'respect' for other cultures," Hileya
Pachano said. "I ask that the counsel refrain from
inserting his opinions regarding my clients' alleged activities
into his statements."
judge, Art Curie, nodded. "Sustained. Watch out, Commander
me rephrase." Hileya clasped his hands in front of
him. "You participated in the experiments already vividly
detailed by your colleague, Noah Lessing, and confirmed
by Marla Gilmore."
visibly squirmed. "Yes, sir, I did."
committing murder such as you did violate-"
Pachano interjected forcefully. "Your honor, he's making
a conjecture as to what my client may or may not have done."
honor, it's simple a question of semantics," Hileya
said. He gestured at the defense table, his wide sweeping
movement indicating Noah, Marla, Brian and James. "I
believe both Mr. Lessing and Miss Gilmore have already admitted
what they have done was tantamount to murder. I don't believe
Commander Pachano can object if her clients have already
admitted to a crime."
glanced down sternly at both lawyers, peering over his wire-rimmed
glasses. "I'm going to agree with Commander Pachano,
counselor. In sum, you are dictating an outcome and that
is unacceptable. You will need to withdraw this line of
questioning or find another way to get your information
without bringing a question of semantics."
Marla's opinion, Hileya looked frustrated as he paced in
front of the judge's bench.
tell me," he said to the judge, "how do I refer
to this particular incident by something other than what
it truly is?"
a clever man, Commander," Curie answered. "You
will find a way, I'm sure. You may resume."
your honor." Hileya looked back at Angelo. "My
question, Mr. Tessoni, if you were a scientist, one who
took an interest in other cultures, why did you feel the
need to subjugate another species?"
I said before, sir, we had no choice. It was either them
or us. We admit that what we did was selfish, but understand,
the need for self-preservation is extremely strong."
Again, Angelo spoke clearly and his voice did not tremble
with the admission. Perhaps, Marla mused, we are coming
a full circle. We're back at where we started, Starfleet
officers with a conscience and a moral code.
need for self-preservation," Hileya repeated, a trace
of scorn in his voice. He glanced up at the judge. "I
have nothing further for this witness." With that,
he turned on his heel and returned to his seat. Maria Pachano
Tessoni," Pachano said in her evenly articulated voice.
"Do you feel any remorse for what you did?"
nodded. "Yes, ma'am, of course. We - all of us - we
talk about it often. None of us feel right about what we
did, but under the circumstances, we really felt as if we
had no choice."
you felt your hand was truly forced by your circumstances?"
do, yes, ma'am."
if you were faced with this particular decision again in
the future, how would you react?" Pachano asked as
she approached Angelo, her hands clasped behind her back.
of orders, I would not commit to an action that violates
my own code of ethics," Angelo said. Marla nodded.
Good answer, she thought, silently sending encouragement
in the direction of her friend.
nodded. "Thank you, Angelo. I have nothing else for
expression did not change as she approached Chakotay. Chakotay
rubbed his hands together, reminding himself that T'Sai
was on Janeway's side and that she would only ask him those
questions that would help Kathryn.
T'Sai said. Chakotay was grateful for the fact that she
accorded him the field rank Janeway had granted him seven
years ago. Since returning to the Alpha Quadrant, the field
ranks - with the exception of Harry's recent promotion -
had been inconsistently used, especially in the case of
the former Maquis. Just another sign of things to come,
Chakotay thought as he focused his attention back on T'Sai.
first officer, you often provided your opinion on a variety
of subjects, did you not?" T'Sai asked.
you expect Captain Janeway to take your advice at all times?"
I said before, no, I did not. It was my job to offer up
the alternatives. She was the one who had to make the ultimate
decision. There were plenty of times when she did choose
an option I proposed."
nodded. "In the charges that Commander Shelrak brought
up-" she turned to glance momentarily at the Axanar
lawyer - "specifically, the aiding and abetting of
the hostile alien as well as dereliction of duty, did you
ever feel that Captain Janeway was acting in anything other
than the best interests of her crew?"
Chakotay said firmly. He looked at Kathryn and was pleased
to see her lips turn up ever so slightly. "At all times,
Captain Janeway was focused on her crew and her promise
to her crew."
were, as some have said, in uncharted waters." T'Sai
stumbled over the last colloquialism but recovered quickly.
"You must have been faced with many situations which
required quick thinking."
Chakotay nodded. "We made enemies more often than we
made friends. In some cases, such as the Sernaix, the species
we encountered would shoot first and ask questions later.
In many of these cases, including the alliance with the
Borg, time was of the essence."
retrospect, do you view the decisions Captain Janeway made
as detrimental to the well-being of her crew?" T'Sai
not at all." Chakotay quirked a thin-lipped smile.
"She got us home, didn't she?"
regarding the Borg," T'Sai said. "As Commander
Shelrak pointed out, you did not agree with the alliance.
However, was this another example of 'quick thinking'?"
ma'am. In this particular instance, we had very little information
to go on. If we had paused to consider all of the possibilities,
it's likely either Species 8472 or the Borg would have attacked
us. The circumstances were such that Voyager would not have
been able to survive an attack from either species. Yes,
we disagreed on the course of action, but we were stuck
between a rock and a hard place."
nodded. "In reference to the dereliction of duty charge,
please relate for the court please exactly what transpired
during the three months in 'dead space.'"
noted that Louvois seemed especially interested in this
particular question; Shelrak merely looked bored.
not much to tell." Chakotay shrugged, keeping his tone
even and nonchalant. "We had been through some particularly
tough times and we had ended up in a void of space where
there was nothing to explore for light-years. The Captain
chose to use this time constructively." He paused,
noting that Janeway was shaking her head at him. He chose
to ignore the signal and continued on. "If you review
the complete Voyager logs, you'll find that most of the
crewmembers took the opportunity to renew hobbies or spend
time with their friends or learn new responsibilities."
in your logs, you wrote she did not emerge from her quarters
for a stretch of nine days," T'Sai pointed out. "Did
the crew not worry about the absence of their captain?"
there were concerns, they were unwarranted and I was unaware
of any specific instance of anxiety," Chakotay said
evenly, stunning himself with the untruth. His face felt
warm, but he willed himself not to move or reveal any discomfiture.
"I let the crew know that the Captain was available
if they needed her."
didn't look convinced but thankfully, her next question
demonstrated that she would leave off this particular line
terms of crew interaction, how would you characterize Kathryn
Janeway?" T'Sai queried. Chakotay's face softened.
How would he characterize her, indeed...
Captain, as I've said, was always available to her crew
and she took an active interest in their lives and development.
For instance, she, along with several others, organized
a talent night. And she was not content to sit on the sidelines."
Chakotay smiled at the memory of Kathryn performing the
ballet of a dying swan. The crew, he recalled, had loved
every minute of it and little touches like this had made
Kathryn seem much more accessible, despite her position
of authority. "She took part in the show and continued
to participate for every year after that. Kathryn - Janeway
- also knew the names of every crewmember on board the ship
and she made a point of knowing something about each one.
Perhaps she did keep to herself on occasion, but the crew
knew their captain cared about them and intended to get
despite this occasional solitude you refer to," T'Sai
said, "you would say that Kathryn Janeway was actively
involved in the running of her ship and the welfare of her
very much so."
nodded. "Do you believe Kathryn Janeway ever willingly
risked the lives of her crew?"
considered. "Not willingly. She certainly considered
every angle carefully."
would you say that Janeway followed Starfleet procedures
in the majority of cases?" T'Sai asked.
Chakotay said. "From the beginning, despite the blended
crews, Janeway was determined to run Voyager as a Starfleet
the extent that when you proposed a Maquis solution to a
problem, Janeway was unwilling to consider it?"
nodded, recalling his proposal to share technology with
the Kazon after several weeks of relentless attack, not
to mention the death of his friend, Kurt Bendara.
Chakotay said, clearing his throat. It surprised him how
emotional he could still get over Bendara's death, even
after all these years. So much for time healing all wounds,
he thought dispassionately. Time only helps you live with
the loss, nothing more, nothing less. "I proposed meeting
with the Kazon and giving them what they wanted."
the General Orders to the contrary?"
the end, Janeway decided to form an temporary alliance with
that is correct."
made her change her mind?"
didn't answer right away; this particular incident rankled
at him, simply because Janeway had chosen to take Tuvok's
advice over his. At the time, Chakotay had viewed it as
yet another way Janeway hadn't quite trusted him enough
to confide in him.
believe she re-evaluated the situation," Chakotay said
evenly. "As it has been said, a captain's first duty
is to her crew. Janeway chose the alliance as she believed
it would get us through Kazon space in one piece."
for this same reason, she formed this alliance with the
Borg?" T'Sai turned slightly to face Shelrak.
Chakotay said. "Despite my reservations, she had given
the matter a lot of thought and was convinced that an alliance
with the Borg was the best possible solution. Unfortunately,
as the saying goes, the best laid plans often go awry."
it ever occur to either of you that settling in the Delta
Quadrant might be the best possible solution to your quandary?"
occasion, yes, but like I've said before, Janeway made a
promise and she intended to carry it out."
believe Commander Shelrak has spent an illogical amount
of time compiling a long list of command decisions he intends
to call into question-" T'Sai began, but was interrupted
by Shelrak, who had finally shown some evidence of alertness
Commander T'Sai should refrain from insults," Shelrak
said, his pride obviously wounded. Chakotay had to restrain
apologies." T'Sai bowed slightly in Shelrak's direction.
"I withdraw my comment, your honor."
good, counselor," Louvois said. "I suppose I don't
have to remind you to refrain from making judgment statements
about opposing counsel."
your honor, you do not," T'Sai said.
well. Resume." Louvois settled back in her chair, the
leather creaking as she shifted her position.
believe it is possible that Commander Shelrak will continue
to inquire about certain command decisions made by Captain
Janeway," T'Sai said. "As her first officer, Commander
Chakotay, did you ever feel there was a moment when Captain
Janeway made a decision which was contrary to her primary
responsibility as captain of Voyager?"
didn't think at all, knew he couldn't think, otherwise he
would be able to recall some instances when Janeway made
decisions he knew he couldn't stomach. But, he thought wryly,
I've already amended the truth at least once.
ma'am," Chakotay said clearly, and he was pleased to
see Louvois taking notes.
appeared satisfied, well, as satisfied as a Vulcan could
possibly appear. She glanced at Louvois.
concluded with this witness," T'Sai announced.
well," Louvois said. "Mr. Chakotay, you are dismissed
with the thanks of the court. Commander, Shelrak, you are
welcome to call your next witness."
rose, his chest puffing out with an inflated sense of self-importance.
Chakotay could barely restrain himself from casting a glance
at Kathryn as he passed by the defense table. However, she
did not look back at him.
call Lieutenant Harry Kim as my next witness, your honor,"
Shelrak announced as Chakotay left the courtroom.
turned her face towards the sun, the rays warming her face.
A clear, beautiful day like this was rare; she remembered
days of endless fog during her Academy days and the stubbornness
of the city residents towards implementing any kind of weather
control. It was a cruel irony to be blessed with a crisp
day such as this, when for the most part, she was confined
any rate, she was glad of the distraction. The small room
they had been assigned was growing rapidly claustrophobic,
amplifying her fears and concerns. All of the worst-case
scenarios came into play as she had sat in the room playing
with Miral. What would happen to her? To Tom? To Miral?
In frustration, B'Elanna had finally made a decision. Hell
with Starfleet directives, she was going outside.
pushed the stroller down the paths, keenly aware of the
security guard trailing just a few steps behind her. For
a moment, B'Elanna contemplated aiming a well-placed kick
at the guard, but thought better of it when she saw a familiar
figure making his way to her.
she called out.
former first officer of Voyager quickened his stride.
been looking for you," Chakotay said as B'Elanna stopped.
He bent over slightly to run his fingers over Miral's soft
curls. Miral gurgled at him, her chubby fist reaching out
to grab a handful of Chakotay's shirt.
been paroled for an hour," B'Elanna said wryly. "Apparently,
having a child allows you special privileges. How did you
glanced at the security guard who remained a respectful
distance away. B'Elanna turned to follow Chakotay's gaze;
the fact the guard kept his hand on his phaser did not escape
know, as a former terrorist, I have my ways." Chakotay
smiled. B'Elanna shook her head and bent down to check Miral's
hat. The child had a habit of removing her hat, her shoes
or socks when B'Elanna was not looking.
good, Chakotay, but not that good," B'Elanna said flatly.
"You've said it yourself. We've become so Starfleet,
there's hardly any of that Maquis deviousness left in our
know me too well." Chakotay crouched next to B'Elanna
so he could continue to play with Miral, whose little sighs
made it clear she was happy to see Chakotay. "Actually,
I was called as a witness at the Captain's hearing."
straightened up, her expression not changing. "What?"
heard me," Chakotay said casually. "As you might
imagine, they had a question or two for me."
bet," B'Elanna said. "How did it go?"
shrugged. "Who knows? I suspect it's all a formality.
Their minds are already made up and they are just going
through the motions. The last conversation I had with Kathryn
pretty much sealed it. I think she knows it too."
B'Elanna felt a slight chill go down her spine, despite
the warmth of the sun. Without thinking, she reached down
to adjust Miral's blanket. Miral squirmed in her stroller,
reaching to grab B'Elanna's hair. Carefully, B'Elanna uncurled
Miral's tight grip as she straightened up to face Chakotay.
I have to testify for the Equinox Five in an hour and then
I have a meeting with my lawyer later on this afternoon."
exhausting," B'Elanna said. As far as she knew, she
was not scheduled to testify for either Janeway or the Equinox
Five at the moment. For that, she was grateful; giving testimony
against her friends and former commanding officer, in her
eyes, constituted a betrayal of those relationships. However,
she knew, if called, she would need to fulfill her obligation
truthfully and then pray her words did not cause too much
damage. "Especially if they all have their minds made
not looking forward to it for that very reason," Chakotay
continued. "Seems to me that the Starfleet legal division
is earning its keep for the first time in years."
the process seems interminable. What's the reason for the
guess is as good as mine."
beautiful as all this is -" B'Elanna took a long look
around the park - "I'm really looking forward to getting
on with my life. I hate to think we'll be stuck here much
I said, I'll look into it. Perhaps you'll be headed for
your all expenses paid vacation to New Zealand sooner than
didn't laugh. "Now you sound like Tom," she complained.
Truth be told, she did not appreciate Tom's occasional flippant
remarks concerning their situation. She understood that
her husband was doing his best to put a positive spin on
current events and that he used humor as a dense mechanism;
still, the uncertainty was driving her to distraction and
she felt more on edge than she had in years. "What
do you think will happen?"
squealed as her pacifier fell out of her mouth and thankfully,
into the baby's blanketed lap. B'Elanna wiped it off quickly
with a washcloth before handing it back to Miral.
political. A lot of people don't consider our contributions
to Voyager as 'time served.'"
a lot of people," B'Elanna said sharply.
Cardassians, for one," Chakotay said uneasily.
the Federation is friends with the Cardassians now?"
so, and even to the point of putting together an aid package
to help Cardassia rebuild."
So the Cardassians help in the last hours of the Dominion
War and they get an aid package, all those years of tyranny
and subjugation forgotten."
going to do my best to negotiate a deal that is agreeable
to both sides."
don't doubt that." B'Elanna resumed walking again as
Miral was once again starting to fuss. "Chakotay, I'm
not willing to go to prison for what we did."
don't think any of us are." Chakotay fell into step
next to his friend. "But I don't necessarily know whether
we have a choice in the matter."
you giving up on us already?"
I'm just evaluating the situation realistically. The Federation
wants to keep Cardassia happy. Cardassia wants the Maquis
brought to justice. It's that simple, B'Elanna. You can't
ignore the politics of what is happening to us. This whole
thing -" Chakotay gestured expansively - "is a
political witch hunt designed to satisfy a cadre of admirals
for reasons unknown to any logical person."
bit her lip. Chakotay sounded reasonable enough and he wasn't
telling her anything she didn't already know. In the past,
she had not particularly cared what happened to her; live,
die, go to prison - it was all the same to her. However,
now she had Miral to consider and the thought of separation
from her child was more wrenching than B'Elanna could have
we're going to take the fall because some stuffy admiral
doesn't want to make the spoonhead mad," B'Elanna said
sharply. The tone of her voice caused Miral to whimper and
B'Elanna paused briefly to stroke her daughter's hair. "It's
all right, Miral. I'm sorry. Chakotay, I refuse to be labeled
as a terrorist for the rest of my life-" her voice
won't forgive us for taking up arms against the Federation.
You know that."
up arms?" B'Elanna whirled in surprise. "Chakotay,
the Federation's treaty with Cardassia and the formation
of the DMZ was directly responsible for the rise of the
Maquis. If the Federation had done anything to protect its
citizens at all, we wouldn't have needed to take up the
cause. You know that as well as I do, so don't try to rationalize
what's happening to us. The situation was of the Federation's
own making and they're just afraid to face up to their own
mistakes. If those stuffed shirts had an iota of sense,
they would quit giving aid to the Cardassians and instead
hold them responsible for what happened in the DMZ. In fact,
I suggest we put the Cardassians on trial for the slaughter
of the Maquis. After all, isn't it the responsibility of
the Federation to bring the murderers of Federation citizens
glanced over his shoulder; the guard was still following
them, his expression impassive.
he said in a low voice, "getting upset won't help."
do you want me to do? You just said we could possibly face
prison sentences. That is completely unacceptable-"
she stopped as a second security guard approached her.
Torres?" he asked, a bit uneasily.
that's me," B'Elanna answered. "Something I can
do for you?"
is for you." The guard held out a PADD. "You are
asked to return to your quarters until your hearing. Your
outdoor privileges have been revoked."
here I was being so good," B'Elanna said with a scowl.
She put the PADD in her diaper bag and turned the stroller
you are to have no further communications with other Maquis,"
the guard interjected.
really know how to take the fun out of everything, don't
you?" she asked, trying desperately to keep her anger
in check. Already, Miral was twisting around in her seat
trying to see what was going on. "Fine, I'm going back."
she made her way back to the barracks, flanked by the two
security guards, B'Elanna resisted the urge to turn around
to take one last look at Chakotay. By the time she reached
the quarters assigned to her and Tom, B'Elanna's lower lip
was trembling involuntarily. Damn, when had she become so
it, B'Elanna scolded herself fiercely as she lifted Miral
out of the stroller. Somehow, she could not push away the
sense of foreboding that was slowly taking over every cell
of her body. Miral squealed as B'Elanna put her down on
B'Elanna said absent-mindedly, handing Miral a brightly
colored toy before turning her attention back to the PADDs
the security guard had given her. Keeping one eye on her
daughter who seemed completely engrossed in the toy, B'Elanna
sat on the edge of the bed and scrolled through the material.
As she continued to read, absorbing the material, the words
blurred in and B'Elanna dropped the PADD, causing Miral
to yelp in fear.
all right, I'm sorry for scaring you," B'Elanna said
softly, reaching down to scoop Miral up into her arms. B'Elanna
pressed her lips against Miral's soft skin. "It's a
mistake, a terrible mistake. When your father gets here,
we'll fix it. Don't worry. Everything is going to be all
so B'Elanna sat, her eyes trained on the door, waiting for
Tom to come back.
knit his hands together and sat back in his chair, careful
to maintain his posture. He understood that there was nothing
informal about this meeting, the first face-to-face talk
between father and son in years; the expression on his father's
face dismayed him too. Not quite the "you're in trouble"
look Tom was used to, but something else entirely.
here I am," Tom joked lamely. "And I guess I'm
not going anywhere, so if you have something to say..."
Paris sighed. "This is difficult for me, Tom, so I'm
not going to beat around the bush. I plan to take custody
of Miral tonight."
eyes widened. "What?"
think it's in everyone's best interests, including Miral's,
if she comes to live with your mother and me until after
the hearings are concluded."
all due respect, I don't think so," Tom said. He felt
the heat rising in his cheeks. "I appreciate the offer,
but B'Elanna and I can handle the situation. Don't worry
shifted uncomfortably in his chair. "It's not really
an option, Tom."
is ordering you to relinquish custody."
is ridiculous!" Tom could no longer sit still and he
nearly launched himself out of his chair. "What right
does Starfleet have to make a decision about my family?"
the rest of you, Miral has not been charged with a crime-"
with a crime?" Tom stared at his father incredulously.
"Look, this is crazy. There has got to be a mistake."
there won't be a hearing, Miral cannot be held for any reason,"
Owen continued, as if his son had never spoken. "As
in the case of Naomi Wildman, Starfleet has ordered that
she be released to the custody of her nearest blood relative."
can't believe this. General order twenty-seven says specifically
that Starfleet officers will not be separated from their
families if family members can be reasonably accommodated,"
Tom pointed out. "That order certainly applies here.
What? You're surprised I'd remember? I believe you drilled
all of the general orders into my head years ago."
doesn't apply in this particular circumstance."
scoffed. "So you're just rewriting the Starfleet codes?
Why? Is this yet another way you want to undermine me?"
not like that, Tom. The issue came up and it was decided
that the best place for Miral was with your mother and me.
It's simple. I assure you, it's not a permanent situation."
needs her mother and me." Tom spoke deliberately, carefully,
hoping to make his father understand. "You can't separate
a eight-month old from her parents. You've got to do something.
Change their minds-"
tried, Tom." Suddenly, Owen looked very tired. "You
don't think I've been working non-stop on Voyager? As it
is, I've only gained a few concessions. As I've said before,
I've got to pick my battles."
then pick this one!" Tom shot back. "I'm not giving
up my daughter."
only be for a few weeks."
matter," Tom said. "A few hours, a few weeks.
I don't care. Miral isn't going anywhere without B'Elanna
two of you can't possibly care for a child while both of
you are under so much stress-"
leaned forward, resting his weight on the palms of his hands.
"So that's what this about? You don't think B'Elanna
and I can take care of Miral."
didn't say that-"
didn't have to. Your expression says everything." Tom
laughed sardonically. "Once again, you don't trust
me to do something right."
not what this is about."
it is," Tom said. He paced the length of the office,
taking in the shelf full of the various awards Owen Paris
had earned over the years. There were a few family photos
scattered here and there, and it wasn't lost on Tom that
his own picture was slightly tucked behind a trophy. At
another time, Tom would have considered this an oversight
on his father's part, perhaps a slight rearrangement that
had gone unnoticed, but now right now, the picture represented
the gulf between them. "You've never trusted me on
anything, never believed I could ever amount to much."
I?" Tom shook his head. "Tell me one time when
I made you proud."
isn't the time."
isn't? Then tell me when is?" Tom crossed his arms
against his chest. "When you came on board Voyager
right after Miral's birth, I really thought things would
be different between the two of us. You were so different
from the father I remembered and I was actually looking
forward to spending time with you. I see now that I was
wrong. You're the same as you've always been."
I don't necessarily agree with what Starfleet has decided,
but I only have so much pull, Tom, and it's more important
for me to work on Janeway's case than to argue this to the
powers that be."
about the Maquis?" Tom challenged. "Are you going
to do anything about that?"
already told you. That situation is out of my hands."
Tom rolled his eyes. "I'm not asking for much. I don't
want any medals, I don't want any honors and I certainly
don't need Starfleet. I only want my family and it seems
to me that you're doing your damndest to break us up."
anything happens to you or B'Elanna, then you can be assured
that Miral has a good home-"
I lived in that home and I know what's it like. I'll be
damned if I let you raise my daughter."
Paris stood up. "I believe this conversation is over,
Tom. We can do this two ways. You can either surrender Miral
or we'll take her from you with force. It's your choice."
face softened. "Please, Dad. Don't do this to us. I
don't want to beg but I will. I'm asking, as your son, this
one thing, this one favor. God, I hate that I'm begging,
but I'll do whatever it takes. Just tell me you won't do
this. Tell me you'll talk to someone and get this order
changed. She's just a baby and she needs us." He bit
his lip. "B'Elanna and I need her."
remained impassive. "I'm sorry, Tom."
swallowed hard, and glanced down at the carpeted floor.
After a moment, he recovered his composure and looked steadily
at his father.
let me down in the past," Tom said quietly, "and
I'd forgiven you for that, for the most part. I'll never
forgive you for this."
that, Tom turned to leave.
didn't dismiss you," Owen said sharply.
glanced back. "Should have known. Even now, you're
hung up on protocols. Just once, can't you be a father?"
Paris squared his shoulders but maintained his position
behind the massive wooden desk.
Lieutenant," he said rather stiffly.
didn't answer. He walked out into the corridor and found
Amelie waiting for him.
go," he said abruptly as Amelie matched his quick,
Are you all right?"
couldn't speak and it surprised him just how painful the
lump in his throat felt. He blinked to refocus his vision,
but it was no use. For the remainder of the walk to the
barracks, he was quiet, knowing his voice would crack if
watched as Harry Kim took the stand. In seven years, he
had come a long way. No longer the 'Ensign Eager' of the
past, but rather, a capable and competent officer with just
the right mixture of enthusiasm and restraint. Janeway could
hardly restrain her pride at the man Harry Kim had become.
Whatever else came of this hearing, Janeway only hoped that
Kim's reputation would not be tarnished by these proceedings;
he deserved a long career in Starfleet.
leaned forward, placing her hands on the table, as Harry
swore his oath.
be told, Janeway was still slightly perturbed over the lie
Chakotay had told regarding her seclusion from the crew
just over two years ago. She understand Chakotay was trying
to protect her, but at the same time, fudging the truth,
even a little, could land them all in more trouble than
they already were in.
only knew, the Maquis didn't need another point against
are Lieutenant Harry Kim?"
jerked back to attention as Shelrak resumed his questioning.
Harry sat up straight, his demeanor calm and collected.
sir," Harry responded in a clear voice.
are currently assigned to the USS Voyager?"
for the past seven years, you served under the command of
Captain Kathryn Janeway?"
Shelrak began his habit of pacing, a habit Janeway found
mildly irritating. "I'd like to direct your attention
to the events of stardate 51715.2. Are you aware of the
incident I'm referring to?"
sir," Harry said. Janeway recognized the date as well;
Shelrak had chosen to focus on the Hirogen takeover of Voyager.
in your own words, please recount what happened." Shelrak
took the opportunity to pause and look back at Janeway.
She met his gaze defiantly, refusing to be intimidated by
sir," Harry said, "the Hirogen, a species which
hunts as a way of life, managed to commandeer Voyager after
several days of relentless fighting. They used the holodecks
to simulate famous battlegrounds or war scenarios and a
little over half of the crew were implanted with neural
devices, which caused them to completely absorb every detail
of their new personalities and the scenario in which they
Janeway's ear, Harry sounded a little too rehearsed, too
stiff and too formal. She glanced over at T'Sai, wondering
if the lawyer had spent too much time with Harry going over
the Captain?" Shelrak queried.
including the Captain."
you a participant in these 'war scenarios'?"
to my knowledge, no, sir," Harry said. "The Hirogen
needed someone who could keep the holodecks running. They
Shelrak clasped his hands behind his back. "So you
were in a unique position to observe everything that was
happening on board Voyager during this time?"
there anyone else on the senior staff unaffected by the
Doctor was left alone." Harry's lip curled up into
the semblance of a sneer. "They needed him to patch
up our people so they could be sent back to be shot or stabbed
or whatever again."
you attempt to communicate with the Captain?"
looked at Janeway and she nodded slightly at him, hoping
he would understand that she wanted him to be honest with
tried, on several occasions, to reach the Captain and other
members of the senior staff," Harry said finally. "It
was only after Seven of Nine was brought to sickbay were
we given the chance to break the hold the Hirogen had over
readjusted her neural transponder, is that correct?"
T'Sai said from her seat. "I fail to see the relevance
of this line of questioning."
Louvois said. "Commander, please, move along. Or, if
you have concluded, you may sit down."
honor, I've hardly begun," Shelrak protested.
silenced the man with a piercing glance. "Do not waste
our time, Commander. If you have ground to cover, please
do so quickly."
right, Lieutenant. So together, with the assistance of the
Doctor, you were able to formulate a plan to retake Voyager?"
sir." Harry shifted in his seat, appearing distinctly
was this the first time Voyager was in the hands of an alien
Harry said. He coughed slightly. "It was not."
it true that the Kazon once had control of Voyager?"
is true," Harry admitted. "But we did get the
to the efforts of Tom Paris, Lieutenant Suder and your EMH,
isn't that true?"
Harry said. Janeway closed her eyes for a second. The memory
of surrendering ship to Seska and Cullah still rankled within
her. She had never adequately put into words exactly how
she felt about the loss, only knowing that a dull, hollow
pain had manifested itself in her chest.
when the Kazon took over Voyager, what happened to the crew?"
were left on a planet," Harry said quietly.
you foraged for yourself?"
nodded. "Yes. We had no other choice. We had no technology,
so we made do with what he had."
on this planet, isn't it true that an Ensign Hogan lost
head jerked back up as she stared at Shelrak. The condescension
in his voice implied that she had been careless, that she
had deliberately stranded them all on this planet. She remembered
that planet in minute detail, from blazing sun to the kilometers
of yellow-red barren earth that had surrounded them. And
yes, they might have been foraging for food, but every second
of that time had been filled with schemes to get Voyager
despite what Shelrak might think, yes, she did very much
regret the death of 'an Ensign Hogan.' Even years later,
the pain of loss - the memory of each dead crewmember -
still remained strong. No, regret wasn't a strong enough
word for what Janeway felt for those who had not returned
Hogan's death was an accident," Harry said defensively.
"The circumstances were beyond our control."
Shelrak said with that self-satisfied grin that Janeway
was rapidly growing to hate. "Let's move on, shall
felt increasingly weary as she watched Harry continue to
testify about the events surrounding the Kazon's commandeering
of Voyager; there were also questions regarding Seska, someone
else who had continued to be a thorn in Janeway's side long
after she had left Voyager.
dull pulse formed just above Kathryn's right eye, claiming
her attention; she could hardly remember the last time she
had had a headache of any consequence. She was barely aware
of T'Sai making another objection as the table in front
of her blurred. Janeway gripped the edge of the table tightly.
Dave Evans leaned over to whisper in her ear. "Are
you all right?"
blinked and quickly recovered her composure. "Yes,
was suddenly aware of the entire courtroom staring at her
and she wondered if her temporary lapse was really so noticeable.
Fury bubbled up within her. How dare they all judge her?
They weren't the ones stuck seventy thousand light years
away, they weren't the ones who had to make those command
decisions. Damn, Janeway thought angrily, we should have
to the Hirogen." Shelrak's loud voice jolted Janeway
out of her thoughts; dimly, she wondered exactly how much
time had passed. "Records show that Voyager was badly
It took us months to repair all of the damage," Harry
said. He shook his head. "Working double-shifts, that
smiled patiently, his thin lips puffing out around the edges
of his ventilator. "I'm surprised that the Hirogen
left Voyager," he said. "After all, as you've
said, the crew of Voyager provided them ample technology
to continue this hunting lifestyle. Can you attribute their
departure to anything in specific?"
not sure I know what you mean," Harry said clearly.
instance, do you know of any agreements Captain Janeway
might have formed with the Hirogen in order to ensure their
explain this agreement for the court." Shelrak took
a long sweeping gaze around the room, before settling his
piercing gaze on Janeway. His ventilator hissed as he inhaled
wasn't there when the agreement was made," Harry said
you know what it constituted, don't you?"
Harry said reluctantly. "I do."
try to protect me, Harry, Janeway thought as she gazed at
the young man. You've got a career in front of you, and
even slightly altering the truth now will destroy everything
you've worked so hard for. I can take care of myself.
then," a note of impatience slipped into Shelrak's
voice. "Please, tell the court then, what that agreement
Hirogen left Voyager. In return, Janeway gave them the holodeck
violates the General Orders, does it not?"
sir, it does. But, you-"
all, Lieutenant." Shelrak held up a hand. "You've
answered my question. Thank you. Now, let's talk about the
consequences of that decision. Now, several years after
Captain Janeway traded the holographic technology with the
Hirogen, what happened?"
not sure I understand what you mean," Harry said pleasantly
it not true that Voyager that Voyager received a distress
call from the Hirogen?" Shelrak queried.
describe what happened when Voyager answered the call."
found a Hirogen ship."
that it? A Hirogen ship? Was there anything particularly
interesting about this ship? For instance, share with the
court the reason for the distress call."
shifted in his chair. "The away team discovered that
the Hirogen on board were either dead or badly wounded."
what do you think happened?"
looked at Janeway and then back at Shelrak. The young man
took a deep breath before proceeding.
to a Hirogen we rescued from the ship, the holograms had
malfunctioned and were fighting back."
was this indeed true?"
a way, yes, but we didn't know the whole story, not then."
Lieutenant Kim, what is 'the whole story'?"
took another deep breath. When he spoke again, his voice
was strong and clear, carrying well across the courtroom.
turned out that what started with the best of intentions
ended up to be a serious case of megalomania," Harry
said. "The lead hologram, he intended to start his
own religion on a Y-class planet he called Ha'Dara."
is Bajoran for 'home of light', correct?" Shelrak queried.
not fluent in Bajoran, but I believe that's an approximate
translation," Harry answered cautiously. He clasped
his hands in his lap as he waited for Shelrak's next question.
let me understand this properly." Shelrak began to
pace in front of the witness stand, his boots scuffing against
the floor. His constant movement began to grate on Janeway's
nerves and not for the first time, she longed to get up
out of her chair and shake the man. "These holograms
were sentient enough to create their own religion?"
did this happen?" Shelrak spread his arms in a questioning
gesture. "It seems ridiculous to me that a mass of
photons and energy could create their own society like this.
Surely there's more to the story. Perhaps the answers lie
in the technology Voyager provided?"
shifted in his seat. "Well, not really. The Hirogen
were the ones who modified these holograms. We only provided
these weren't just any holograms. You agree with me on that
point, don't you, Lieutenant Kim?"
example, did they not formulate an act of war against Voyager?"
I wouldn't call it an 'act of war'," Harry objected.
He looked at Louvois. "That's not what happened. Not
at first anyway."
you care to enlighten the court in that case?" Shelrak
asked. "Begin with the kidnapping of the Doctor."
Janeway's surprise, T'Sai did not object to the obviously
leading question. But then, Janeway figured, the question
itself was fairly innocent. For now, that was.
the holograms did kidnap that Doctor, but I believe they
thought they were liberating him from the control of 'organics'
at some point. At least, that's what I think they thought,
I don't know," Harry said. "Then-"
also kidnapped Miss Torres, isn't that correct?" Shelrak
cut Harry off sharply.
Harry said. He looked distinctly uncomfortable.
to once again make it clear to the court, these were the
same holograms borne out of the technology that Captain
Janeway shared with the Hirogen?"
what you're telling us, Lieutenant Kim, is that by exchanging
technology with an alien species, Captain Janeway deliberately
put her crew in danger."
did not say that," Harry said. "Exchanging the
technology saved our lives in the first place."
you agree that it's every captain's responsibility to consider
the consequences of her actions prior to taking those actions?
Especially if those actions end up harming her crew members?"
Janeway considered the consequences of everything she did,"
Harry said sharply. His clear voice carried well through
the courtroom, leaving absolutely no doubt as to the strength
of his conviction.
the fact that these holograms would become powerful enough
to resist their creators?" Shelrak's voice was sharp,
almost condescending. He inhaled deeply from his pump and
then nodded in Janeway's direction. "Isn't it true,
Lieutenant Kim, that these holograms killed two innocent
leaned over. "Lieutenant, you'll have to speak out
loud for the record."
cleared his throat. "Yes, that is true."
nodded in satisfaction. "That's all I have for Lieutenant
Kim. Commander T'Sai, your witness."
didn't move and for a moment, Janeway wondered if the Vulcan
had any intention of questioning Harry at all. Soon, Janeway
realized that T'Sai was merely gathering her thoughts and
formulating a line of questioning.
Kim," T'Sai said as she rose from her seat. "You
said that the Hirogen required an engineer while they had
possession of Voyager. Were you ill-treated?"
didn't hesitate to use force if they felt they needed to,"
Harry said. "Unfortunately, they felt they needed to
recalled the bruises and scratches she had seen on Harry's
face shortly after she had regained control of Voyager.
Badges of honor, she had thought at the time, for Harry's
bravery in the face of danger.
you had no doubt that the Hirogen would hurt you?"
doubt at all."
you believe they would have killed you?"
Harry nodded. "Hirogen, at heart, are fighters. They
hunt because that's what they do. Eventually, they would
have grown tired of us and killed everyone off in the end.
As it was, they had turned off the holodeck safeties."
your fellow colleagues sustained injuries?"
Harry bit his lip. "Most were life-threatening."
long did this go on?"
Harry said. "Felt like forever, honestly."
you think they would have left of their own accord?"
without incentive. With Voyager's crew and holodeck technology,
they had everything they could possibly want in terms of
hunting. No, they would have stayed until they either killed
us all or Voyager had been rendered completely useless."
when you heard about the agreement Captain Janeway had made
with the Hirogen, what did you think?"
was relieved," Harry said. "Frankly, if they had
the holodeck technology, I thought they would leave us alone.
I didn't care if it violated any rules, only that we were
alive and hopefully, would never have to see the Hirogen
again. At least, not in a similar situation where we were
it a fair statement that this exchange of technology saved
the lives of the Voyager crew?"
it is. And an accurate statement too," Harry said.
He glanced at Louvois. "The Captain made a good decision
Shelrak was on his feet and in front of the bench in a matter
of seconds. "The witness should not address the judge
The witness' remarks will be stricken from the record,"
Louvois ordered. "Continue, Commander."
though you are a Starfleet officer and follow its regulations,
do you believe this agreement was a necessary one?"
T'Sai said. Janeway immediately understood what her lawyer
was trying to do: get Harry to persuade the jury that in
this particular instance, violating a Starfleet General
Order was a necessary evil. Whether the tactic would work
on it was another story entirely.
do," Harry said sincerely. "We would have all
been dead otherwise."
have no other questions for this witness."
may step down. The court thanks you for your time, Lieutenant
Kim," Louvois said. "We will recess for fifteen
minutes and return for the last witness of the day."
nearly tripped over the small bag when he entered the quarters.
As he straightened, he saw B'Elanna, standing by the window,
her hands on her hips. She turned to face him and damn,
he knew that look. She *knew* and dear God, he hadn't been
the one to tell her.
already packed," she said without preamble. "Let's
get out of here."
glanced over at the bed, where Miral lay sleeping, a little
pink blanket thrown across her rotund body.
go where?" Tom asked softly. He carefully closed the
door behind him and approached B'Elanna slowly. "B'Elanna,
there is security everywhere."
don't care," B'Elanna said. She kept her voice low
and even; Tom marveled at her self-control. He had fully
expected her to start throwing things once he told her the
news about Miral, but he hadn't anticipated this controlled
fury. At any other time, he would have marked it as another
way B'Elanna continued to surprise him. "I'm not doing
this, Tom. They can take everything else away from me, but
they can't have my baby."
what do you want to do?" Tom grabbed at B'Elanna's
hands, the way he did when he was afraid she would pummel
him. She shook her head, biting her lips. It was only then
he noticed that her eyes were watery.
was a Maquis. That should mean something," B'Elanna
said haltingly. "We could sneak out, get past the guards-"
would catch up to us eventually and it would be even worse,
don't you think?"
agreeing with them?" B'Elanna stared at him incredulously.
She pulled away. "I can't believe you'd actually allow
them to do this to us."
only for a few days, B'Elanna, not more than that,"
Tom said softly, deliberately forgetting about the 'weeks'
his father had mentioned. He glanced at Miral and hoped
he was right about the time length. At the rate Starfleet
was moving, Miral would have time to graduate from the Academy
before all of their hearings were through.
is barbaric!" B'Elanna fumed. "She's only eight
months old. And they didn't think of asking us first?"
be going with my parents. They will take care of her."
that is supposed to make me feel better?" B'Elanna
pulled open a drawer and grabbed a tiny pink sweater. "Tom,
I'm not going to stand here and wait for them, all right?
You can come with me-"
Tom grabbed her arm roughly. "Think about this, okay?
The three of us, we're not going to blend into the crowd
so easily. You know that. Please, let's be rational."
asking me to be rational?" B'Elanna sputtered. She
crumpled the sweater in her hand. "I don't think this
is the time to be rational. I'm surprised you can be so
calm about this. Unless you don't care."
sighed. He had thought about his conversation with his father
all the way back and had even considered ways of telling
B'Elanna; he simply hadn't anticipated that someone else
would beat him to the punch. And he should have known that
B'Elanna would want to act, that every muscle in her body
would be tensed to move.
say that," he pleaded. "You- I don't know that
I can do this either, B'Elanna, but we have to. My father-"
father." B'Elanna pounced on the word. "He can
bother," Tom said, bitterness seeping into his voice.
"He refuses to help us here. He even threatened to
use force if we don't cooperate."
sighed and sat on the edge of the bed, cradling his head
in his hands. After a moment, B'Elanna joined him, her hand
stroking his back lightly.
thought I was getting somewhere with him," Tom said
softly. "For the first time in my life, I really believed
we could have had a relationship. I was even looking forward
gently massaged the back of Tom's neck and he was grateful
for the softness of her touch.
asked him for one thing, B'Elanna, just one thing."
Tom shook his head. "I asked him not to take Miral.
He refused. Emphatically. He was more interested in saving
are we going to do?" B'Elanna whispered. She intertwined
her fingers with Tom's. He clutched at her hand tightly
and then leaned over to kiss her lightly on the cheek. "I
don't think I can do this, Tom. I really don't. Even if
it's only for a few days, as you say."
don't have to. I will." Tom tried to sound strong;
he knew how difficult this was for B'Elanna. She had told
him many times how she felt everyone she was close to eventually
left her and since the beginning of their relationship,
he had been determined to show her differently. Of course,
he never anticipated that circumstances - no, Starfleet
- would interfere. "I can be strong for both of us."
closed her eyes, as if she was already visualizing the parting
scene. "It's still not to late to leave."
away won't work. When we're caught, it'll be worse. You
know that as well as I do. And what kind of life would that
be for Miral? Constantly on the run?"
leave us with many options, does it?" B'Elanna's voice
it doesn't." Tom covered his face with his hands, hunching
inward. B'Elanna draped her arm across Tom's shoulders,
drawing her husband closer to her as his body shuddered.
After a few minutes, Tom inhaled deeply and stood up.
he said, "I'm fine, really, I'm fine. I can do this."
remained seated though, unable to look up. After a moment,
she said, "Her, um, things, I've already packed them."
Tom said, but he didn't move. Instead, he looked down at
Miral, her eyes slightly open as she continued to sleep.
He reached down and touched her forehead ridges lightly;
they were starting to harden into shape now and as a result,
she resembled B'Elanna more than ever. As always, as he
stared down at that little face, Tom was amazed by the rush
of love he felt for his daughter. No matter what happens
now, Tom thought, at least I know I've done one thing I
can be completely proud of.
waiting was interminable. Marla Gilmore's hands were shaking.
Thank goodness, she thought, the others looked equally uneasy.
They had been cooped up in this little room again while
the jury had withdrawn to make their decision. Their lawyer,
Maria Pachano, was out in the hall, talking to that pompous
jerk, Commander Hileya.
long has it been?" Marla asked finally.
looked at her, glassy eyed. "Too long."
I mean really."
hour," Brian answered finally. "I think it's been
how hard can it be?" Noah asked. He pushed back in
his chair, the legs squeaking against the tile floor in
protest. "Either we're guilty or we're not."
impatience in his voice belied Noah's anxiety, Marla knew.
She knew that whatever happened in that courtroom, nothing
would ever be the same again. Her career in Starfleet was
virtually over; maybe they would give her a desk job on
some far-flung outpost, but never would she be assigned
to a starship again. So much for my dreams, she thought.
had never quite contemplated a life without Starfleet and
now the possibilities extended in front of her. She could
spend time renewing her ties with her family - if they would
speak with her. On Voyager, she had discovered she had a
talent for writing, thanks to Neelix giving her the opportunity
to occasionally write segments for his "Breakfast with
Neelix" program. Perhaps she could write a book about
what happened aboard the Equinox. The idea heartened her;
she desperately wanted everyone - the entire Federation
- to understand what they had been up against. Wanted them
to read for themselves the circumstances surrounding the
decision to exterminate members of an alien species in order
to survive. Marla choked as the familiar question echoed
in her mind: would you have done the same, if our positions
hate sitting still," Noah complained, his voice jolting
Marla out of her reverie. He started to pace the length
of the room, his nervous energy evident in every muscle
of his body.
down. You're making me crazy," James said sharply.
place is enough to make anyone crazy," Noah answered.
He leaned towards James, placing his palms on the table.
"Look, when they're through with us, we're going to
think this room here is the Ritz. We'll be lucky if they
keep us on Earth. I've heard there are penal colonies in
places a lot less hospitable than here."
shuddered at the thought. Perhaps they shouldn't have tried
so hard to survive out there. Maybe it would have been better
to be blown into a million little pieces than have to endure
this other kind of mental hell.
did good out there," Angelo said, injecting a bit of
humor into his tone. "Everyone, especially you, Marla,
everyone did real good. I thought that Commander Hileya,
he looked a little off, didn't he? And Commander Pachano,
she really brought our stories to life, didn't she? I think
she did better than that Commander Hileya."
nodded. "Thanks, Angelo." Basically, they had
all told the same version of events, with minor differences
according to their positions onboard Equinox. However, towards
the end, as Ransom had dissolved the hierarchy for the most
part, the lines had blurred and the Equinox Five knew they
would all share equally in their downfall.
may not do anything to us," Marla voiced her opinion
cautiously. The others nodded, perhaps they were too tired
to truly argue with her and for that, Marla was grateful.
She stood up and stretched, feeling much better and more
awake as the blood rushed through her muscles.
that moment, she felt more optimistic than she had the entire
matter what happens," she said. "We'll face it
nodded. "You're right, Marla. We're stronger than them.
Hate to use the cliché, but we've been to hell and
back. If they had been in our positions, I don't know how
they wouldn't have done it."
that moment, the doors slid open and Pachano entered, her
lips pressed into a straight line.
verdict has come," Pachano announced. "We must
go in now."
Equinox Five slowly rose. Marla felt her heart was pounding
so loudly, so quickly, that it would jump into her throat.
She rubbed her clammy palms together and after inhaling
deeply, found herself completely at peace.
right," she said in a strong voice, "I'm ready."
others nodded and one by one, they filed out after Pachano.
did not betray any outward nervousness as he approached
the stand, but Janeway knew that her old friend did not
want to be here. She had told everyone her crew - especially
Tuvok - that they needed to be honest in their briefings,
but this - she glanced about the courtroom - was more than
they had expected. No doubt, Tuvok's loyalty to her would
come into play and after seeing Chakotay's reaction to some
of the questions he had been asked, Janeway was nervous
about Tuvok's reaction. She could only hope that his sense
of logic would prevail on him to answer truthfully to all
of Shelrak's questions.
Tuvok," Shelrak said. "I'd like to direct your
attention to the events surrounding Voyager's discovery
of another Federation vessel. I assume you understand I
am referring to the Equinox."
sir," Tuvok answered.
Shelrak glanced down at his PADD. "Let me read some
of the charges leveled against Kathryn Janeway in this particular
instance. Conduct unbecoming a commanding officer, cruel
and unusual treatment of prisoners, violations of Starfleet
protocol, destruction of UFP property and attempted murder."
am aware of the charges," Tuvok said evenly.
start with the first one," Shelrak said. "Conduct
unbecoming a commanding officer."
T'Sai said. "Your honor, can he really mean to go through
the list of charges like this? This entire line of questioning
is uncalled for."
you're willing to stipulate to these charges, I don't believe
this is an irrelevant line of questioning," Shelrak
shook her head. "I will not stipulate to these charges
as they are without foundations. The entire line of questioning
should be dismissed."
building my case," Shelrak argued. "The circumstances
surrounding the Equinox are very controversial and needed
to be examined in great deal. I'm only proposing to go through
it in a logical format, which I'm sure Commander Tuvok would
appreciate very much."
didn't flinch at the comment, much to Janeway's relief.
Of course, she chided himself. When it comes to stoic in
its purest form, no one did it better than Tuvok.
allow it," Louvois said finally. "But be careful,
you." Shelrak resumed his position in front of Tuvok.
"If you could, please outline how it was you came across
Janeway and Commander Chakotay received a distress call
from Captain Ransom," Tuvok said. "Given the nature
of the distress call and the fact that another Federation
ship might be close by, Captain Janeway made the decision
to answer the call."
at this time the ship was only 3.2 light-years away, is
nodded. "So it was not out of the way for Voyager to
provide assistance to the Equinox?"
of distance, I believe we would have extended aid to anyone
who needed it," Tuvok said.
the fact these so-called aid missions might interfere with
your voyage home?"
may have had a singular focus to our journey," Tuvok
answered. "However, I do not believe we would have
turned our backs on anyone who needed our help."
an alien species?" Shelrak persisted.
stood up, this time exhibiting much more energy in her fluid
movements. "Objection. What, may I inquire, is the
focus of this line of questioning?"
agree." Louvois nodded. "Objection sustained.
I do not believe that Voyager's tendency to give humanitarian
aid or otherwise is relevant to this particular incident.
Please continue, Commander, and try not to digress again."
was the condition of the Equinox when you found it?"
ship had multiple damages, including hull breaches and the
warp drive was offline. In addition, there were interspatial
fissures opening on three of the decks. I believe the Equinox
was under attack."
did Voyager react?"
extended our shields around the vessel."
you know who was attacking the Equinox at this time?"
we did not."
hailed the Equinox but received no response. Captain Janeway
assembled an away team and we beamed to the ship."
still recalled the smell of burned flesh and plastic as
they had picked their way through the wreckage of what had
once been a state-of-the-art scientific exploration vessel.
At the time, she had been horrified by the extent of the
damage, wondering how the hardy crew of the Equinox could
have survived under such circumstances. And she also remembered
wanting to find Ransom, to assure herself that he was still
alive; she had wanted to talk to another Starfleet captain,
especially one like Rudy Ransom whom she had admired for
years for his scientific contributions and discoveries.
you found survivors?"
were suffering from psychological distress and some were
wounded. In general, they were anxious. All were beamed
to our sickbay for prompt medical care."
you did discover Captain Ransom alive?"
I believe Captain Janeway discovered him. He was concerned
about his crew."
he offer up any hints as to who was responsible for the
attacks on the ship?"
He only mentioned that the aliens had been attacking for
weeks and communications had failed. He provided no other
yet, Captain Janeway accepted his story?" a note of
scorn slipped into Shelrak's voice.
is a Starfleet officer. She had no reason to disbelieve
him," Tuvok answered stiffly.
on. Did you learn more about these aliens at another time?
Such as their state of existence?"
leading question. More to the point, irrelevant," T'Sai
said. Shelrak glanced at the judge, his arms outstretched
in a placating gesture.
just trying to assess what Janeway knew or did not know
prior to the actions we're taking into question," Shelrak
said. "You must agree with me, Judge, that it seems
rather careless of Kathryn Janeway not to investigate the
do not need to agree with anyone, Commander, least of all
you," Louvois said flatly. The expression on her face
clearly indicated her frustration with Shelrak. "I'm
running out of patience. Get to the point. Do not continue
to waste time. Commander T'Sai, I'm sustaining your objection."
was pleased to see that for the first time during this trial
that Shelrak appeared unnerved. It took the lawyer a few
seconds to recover his composure before he continued.
talk about when Captain Janeway took command of the overall
mission," Shelrak said. "How did that happen?"
Equinox was in no condition to retaliate against the aliens,"
Tuvok said. "It was only logical that Captain Janeway
take formal command over the situation."
what was Captain Ransom's response?"
did not care for the idea but accepted the logic behind
to draw your attention to the lab aboard the Equinox,"
Shelrak said, "you and Seven of Nine discovered unusual
readings. Please describe to the court what you found."
determined that the EPS conduits had been deliberately rerouted
to emit radiation."
what did you do with this information?"
took it to Captain Janeway. She needed to know about this
this is when you drew the conclusion that Captain Ransom
did not want you to enter the lab?"
is correct." Tuvok nodded in additional confirmation.
what was the Captain's reaction?"
wanted to vent the excess radiation."
she inform Captain Ransom?"
paused, his eyes meeting Janeway's. "No."
you're telling me that Captain Janeway deliberately interfered
with the workings of another captain's vessel? Is that what
I understand here?"
is one interpretation."
with the amount of radiation that was emitted, how did you
accomplish this 'venting of radiation'?"
shifted in his chair, the first sign of discomfort Janeway
had noticed in her friend. You're doing fine, Tuvok, she
ordered the Doctor to accomplish the task. Unlike the rest
of the crew, he would be immune from the radiation."
the Doctor boarded this vessel without Captain Ransom's
the circumstances, I do not believe Captain Ransom's permission
arched an eyebrow. "You do not believe permission was
necessary? Are you qualified to make that analysis?"
T'Sai stood up. "Attacks on witnesses are unwarranted."
made a statement regarding protocol and I only wish to learn
of Commander Tuvok's expertise in this particular area.
I believe the question was fair, your honor."
Louvois nodded. "Go ahead."
sat down and Janeway could see the tension in the woman's
jaw. It was, Janeway noted, the first sign of emotion, however
subtle, she had seen from her lawyer.
served as Voyager's security officer. I believed the circumstances
warranted discretion and further investigation. Given Captain
Ransom's efforts to distract us from the research lab, we
felt we could only discover the truth if we kept our movements
Shelrak said. "So you were practicing a deception?"
General Order Five specifically grants the right of Federation
special representatives to assume command of a vessel in
an emergency situation. Captain Janeway was simply following
see." Shelrak cleared his throat, but the tone of his
voice made it clear that he did not agree with Tuvok's assessment.
"When the Doctor went aboard Equinox, what did he discover?"
lip curled with faint distaste. "He discovered that
several of the aliens who had been attacking the Equinox
were in the research lab. Dead."
it was your conjecture that the crew of the Equinox were
performing experiments on these aliens?"
Doctor made that assessment."
Tell me, what was the Captain's reaction to this discovery?"
glanced at Janeway before speaking. "She ordered me
to apprehend Captain Ransom and bring him to her ready room."
occurred in her ready room?"
was a private conversation."
did not share the details with you?"
as chief of security, you did not ask?" A note of disbelief
crept into Shelrak's voice.
He is badgering the witness and I respectfully request that
such hostility against Commander Tuvok cease," T'Sai
Watch yourself, Commander Shelrak," Louvois said. "Remember
who is on trial here."
if on cue, all eyes turned to focus on Kathryn Janeway.
She did not blink and instead, squared her shoulders. Let
them stare, she thought, and let them judge.
Janeway say anything all?"
did tell Commander Chakotay and myself that she had relieved
Captain Ransom of duty and confined him and his crew to
their quarters for the time being. I believe such a decision
would fall under the guidelines of General Order 23."
long did this confinement last?"
long," Tuvok said. "There was a... break-out."
Janeway nearly smiled at Tuvok's use of the word. Occasionally,
Tuvok managed to borrow vocabulary from Tom Paris, a habit
also shared by that other Vulcan onboard Voyager, Ensign
what happened next?"
opened a channel to Equinox."
you were privy to this conversation, I assume?"
Captain Janeway threaten Captain Ransom at all?"
believe she asked him to reconsider his actions."
she threaten Captain Ransom?" Shelrak's voice was tight
may have said she would open fire if he did not cooperate."
didn't flinch. When she had said those words, she had not
wanted to do it, had not really expected that Ransom would
push her to that point. For God's sake, firing upon another
Federation vessel? She knew, no matter how she could justify
the threats to Voyager, she would never be able to justify
her actions to herself.
what happened next? Did they cooperate?" Shelrak asked.
once again shifted in his chair. "No."
so Voyager opened fired." It was a statement, one that
Shelrak seemed to direct at Janeway. There was a measure
of judgment in his voice, and Janeway was somewhat disgruntled
that T'Sai had not risen to her defense.
you mean to destroy them?"
we only sought to disrupt their power systems."
were attacked by the aliens. They boarded our vessels and
attacked both Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay."
Tuvok looked at Janeway. "Casualty reports told us
that 13 of our crew were injured and two were dead. Lieutenant
Anderson and Ensign Scandia."
the attacks on Voyager, I assume that you pursued the aliens?"
Tuvok said quietly. "It was determined that our enemies
were the humans aboard the Equinox."
made this determination?"
flatness of Tuvok's tone belied the intensity of the actual
situation. Janeway could recall every heart-pounding, pulse-racing
second, and her own fury, just barely restrained. In retrospect,
she had not liked herself very much during this particular
the ship's logs show that an attempt was made to communicate
with the aliens."
was the outcome of that communication?"
were once again attacked."
you try again?"
Janeway was intent on finding the Equinox."
first priority was Ransom. Is that what you're saying?"
it had been. Janeway tried not to show any outward emotion,
but she remembered clearly how over the edge she had been,
how determined she had been. After all, she had upheld Starfleet
principles and as a result, it was her duty to bring Ransom
to duty. But now, with a more clear vision, Janeway knew
Chakotay had been correct; she had crossed the line. No
wonder Starfleet was charging her with 'conduct unbecoming
to an officer.' She shook her head. If only they had been
there, if only they had seen what she had seen...
it because he was human?"
Ransom committed murder. It was only logical we bring him
if it meant risking the lives of the crew? You just said
you lost two crewmembers in an alien attack. So instead
of trying to make peace with these aliens, your captain
insisted on pursuing a crippled Federation vessel that could
do her no good?"
commandeering the Equinox and ceasing their activities,
we believed we could begin a good faith negotiation with
the aliens. With Captain Ransom still at large, his activities
could continue, furthering inciting the wrath of the aliens."
you did eventually find the Equinox."
me about the ambush on the Equinox," Shelrak requested.
Chakotay and Lieutenant Paris beamed to the Equinox and
incapacitated two of its crewmembers. They all returned
to Voyager with no injuries."
this was under Captain Janeway's orders?"
fired upon the vessel," Tuvok said. "To be precise,
we targeted the weapons array and the power core."
you agree with these actions?"
followed my orders."
the tactical officer on board, did you agree?" Shelrak
neared the witness stand. Tuvok glanced at Janeway.
I did not. I did not want to destroy the Equinox."
you believe Janeway would have destroyed that ship?"
pressed his lips together. Janeway knew the answer to this
question, at least in her own mind, she did. Given the circumstances,
given her rage, she knew she would have. Despite everything
she held dear, those principles, the sanctity of life, she
would have destroyed the Equinox.
cannot extrapolate on a situation which did not occur,"
Tuvok said finally. "I do not know what Captain Janeway's
come on," Shelrak said. "You've been friends for
years. You're telling me you didn't know what Janeway had
believe her decisions were based with the crew's best interests
in mind. We eventually broke of pursuit."
this before or after the decision was made to pursue the
Equinox into the thermosphere of an M-class planet?"
the fact that entering a thermosphere could cause severe
damage to Voyager, not to mention injuries to the crew,
she was intent on pursuing the Equinox? Do you not find
this to be an undue use of force, Commander?"
demanded diligent use of Voyager's resources to bring Ransom
do these same circumstances warrant Janeway's behavior towards
Noah Lessing? I believe you know what I'm talking about
nearly shuddered at the shameful memory. How she had verbally
lambasted Lessing, how she had threatened to vent him...
Even now, she could not quite explain her behavior. She
only had a recollection of a powerful rage, of focusing
all of her dismay and anger on Noah Lessing; she had felt
strong in that moment as adrenaline had rushed through every
cell of her body.
incident had played itself over and over in Janeway's mind.
Not once had she been able to speak of her actions to Chakotay
and Tuvok, the two people to whom she was closest to on
Voyager. Nor had she ever apologized to Noah Lessing for
what she had done; apologizing would have meant acknowledgement
of something she herself could not rationalize.
do," Tuvok said softly. To Janeway's ear, his inflection
did not sound flat or monotone, but almost sad. Yes, she
thought, I shocked both Tuvok and Chakotay.
did Captain Janeway want from Lessing when she was questioning
tactical status of the Equinox."
he give it?"
he was loyal to his captain."
Kathryn Janeway threaten extreme measures?"
forced herself to keep her gaze on Tuvok. Don't let them
see how much this bothers you, she lectured herself sternly.
only intention was to frighten the crewman."
she or did she not threaten him?"
appeared satisfied as he stroked his chin.
or did not Captain Kathryn Janeway attempt to murder another
Federation citizen and Starfleet officer?" Shelrak
asked, speaking very clearly and loudly.
The simple, terse response captured the attention of the
entire courtroom and a palpable silence fell. This time,
no one looked at Janeway. Shelrak stopped pacing and for
a moment, the rasp of his ventilator echoed through the
when Commander Chakotay objected to her actions, what was
the Captain's response?" Shelrak asked finally.
relieved him of duty."
made contact with the Ankari and asked them to help us reach
an agreement with the other aliens."
you successful in this attempt?"
considered before answering. "The Captain and I attempted
to negotiate, however, the Ankari were unwilling to help
until we agreed to surrender Equinox to them. I assured
the Ankari that the Equinox would be properly punished in
accordance to our laws."
agreed," Tuvok said. He cleared his throat and his
gaze met Janeway's steadily. "We needed to make this
agreement in order to survive."
once again looked uncomfortable. "No. I disagreed with
my commanding officer. Her behavior indicated extreme irrationality,
a possible circumstance of the extreme stress she was under."
when you disagreed, what was the result?
threatened to confine me to my quarters as well."
close her eyes, only for a second. On one hand, she was
grateful that Tuvok was telling the truth, but it also bothered
her exactly how brutal this particular truth was. How would
T'Sai ever redeem her from this particular incident? Noting
that T'Sai had remained relatively quiet for most of this
question, aside from the objections, Janeway wondered if
the Vulcan lawyer would even attempt to defend her actions.
did not continue to disagree," Tuvok said.
a result, did the Ankari communicate with the aliens to
call off their attacks?
tuned out as Shelrak continued to question Tuvok about ensuing
events. For the first time, she actually considered what
might happen to her. It was now plainly obvious that this
trial was no formality; there would be a verdict and she
would have to abide by it. And given the length of time
Shelrak was spending on the Equinox, she suspected that
the consequences would not be good.
looked up just to hear Shelrak ask, "The survivors
of the Equinox remained on board Voyager?"
Tuvok said. "However, they were stripped of rank and
were under close supervision."
you. That is all." Shelrak nodded in T'Sai's direction,
and to Janeway's surprise, T'Sai did rise and approach Tuvok.
Janeway's mood immediately brightened.
regards to the aftermath of this particular incident,"
T'Sai said quietly, "do you believe Captain Janeway
expressed any regret about her actions?"
did," Tuvok said. "She understood the enormity
of what she had done and was truly dismayed in retrospect."
in your opinion, were Captain Ransom's actions a direct
violation of the General Orders, as set out by Starfleet?"
I do. Captain Ransom's actions were in complete disregard
of the tenets we are obliged to obey."
that context-" T'Sai glanced back at Janeway and then
returned her attention to Tuvok- "do you believe Captain
Janeway needed to take forceful action?"
tilted his head slightly before responding. "I do,"
what were Captain Janeway's actions towards the crew of
the Equinox in the aftermath of this particular incident?"
five surviving members of the Equinox crew were integrated
into Voyager's crew and were given some responsibilities,"
they treated with respect?"
considered. Janeway knew what he was debating. She had turned
over the welfare of the Equinox Five to Chakotay and while
she had been kept apprised of their performance on Voyager,
she had not taken the time to form relationships with any
of them. In fact, she could barely recall speaking to them
more than a cordial greeting at ship-wide gatherings.
Janeway made it a practice to treat all of her crewmembers
with respect," Tuvok said finally.
crewmembers that may have committed murder?"
so," Tuvok said. "She made no distinction."
you. That is all."
stared. That was it? She felt trepidation in every cell
of her body.
you, Commander Tuvok," Louvois said. "You are
dismissed, with the thanks of the court."
completely stiff and head held high, Tuvok exited the courtroom.
He did not look at Kathryn Janeway as he passed her.
chime at the door startled both of them. B'Elanna glanced,
almost fearfully, at Tom, and without a word, he stood and
Tom said almost in relief. "Come in."
you." Amelie Despere stepped into the room. B'Elanna
got to her feet, holding Miral in her arms.
don't think you got the chance to meet my wife when you
were here earlier," Tom said. "B'Elanna Torres,
this is Amelie Despere."
to meet you," B'Elanna said.
of course, you remember Miral from earlier," Tom said.
He ran his hands gently over Miral's head, smoothing back
her unruly curls. "She's being uncharacteristically
Miral said agreeably. Amelie smiled.
beautiful," Amelie said to B'Elanna.
what do we owe the pleasure of this visit to?" Tom
thought you would want to know that the Equinox crew trial
has concluded," Amelie said. She stood rather stiffly
and Tom indicated the only chair in the room. She shook
her head and the formality of her posture caused B'Elanna
to tighten her grip on Miral.
happened?" Tom asked as B'Elanna put Miral down on
the blanket on the floor.
have been dishonorably discharged and ordered to one year
in New Zealand. I thought you would want to know."
swallowed hard and looked at B'Elanna.
how did they take it?"
was not in the courtroom, but I believed they remained quiet
and composed. They were given the opportunity to make a
statement, but they declined, saying they had said everything
they needed to on the witness stand," Amelie said.
"They will be leaving for New Zealand shortly."
look that passed between Tom and B'Elanna said everything:
was this a portent of things to come?
right," Tom said finally. "Thanks for letting
there's anything I can do..." Amelie's voice drifted
let them all know, if you can manage to see them, that we're
thinking of them," Tom said softly. B'Elanna nodded.
please do," B'Elanna said. She glanced down at Miral,
who was gurgling. In an almost automatic gesture, B'Elanna
reached down to wipe Miral's face with a washcloth.
word on the Captain?" Tom asked softly.
trial has recessed for the day," Amelie said. "I
believe they will continue in the morning."
it go well?"
do not know," Amelie admitted. She looked at Tom. "I
should go as my husband is waiting for me outside, but I
wanted you to know what was happening."
appreciate it. Both of us do. Thanks."
nodded in B'Elanna's direction. "It was nice meeting
you. Tom, I will see you later."
Amelie was gone, B'Elanna handed Miral to Tom.
got to get her bottle," B'Elanna said distractedly.
She walked to the replicator and Tom noted that his wife's
hands were trembling. "That was nice of your friend
to come by."
it was," Tom said, his lips brushing against the top
of Miral's head. "B'Elanna-"
watched as B'Elanna tapped the appropriate codes into the
replicator and a second later, a bottle materialized. B'Elanna
quickly squeezed a drop of milk onto her forearm before
settling herself down in the only chair in the room.
miss the rocking chair," B'Elanna said as Tom handed
Miral to her. Miral sucked greedily at the bottle. "This
chair is so uncomfortable. The springs are right in my back."
suppose we could ask for another one."
the point?" B'Elanna asked. "Are you going to
sit in it? You spend most of your time on the bed anyway."
just said, if you were uncomfortable, we could get another
one. I'm sure it's not a problem."
don't want another chair, Tom."
placed his hand gently on B'Elanna's shoulder. "I know,"
he said softly. "B'Elanna, it's almost time."
not finished eating yet," B'Elanna said, a note of
panic slipping into her voice. "Damn you, Tom, let
her finish. You know how she gets when she's hungry."
both watched as Miral's little fist curled up against the
bottle, her eyes half-closed in sleepy reverie. Truly, one
of the only times Miral Paris was ever quiet was when she
was eating or sleeping.
wrote out the feeding and bedtime instructions on that PADD,"
B'Elanna said. "I've also included the precise baby
formula that they need to replicate. If they can get the
real thing, that's better, but if they need to replicate,
I've included the recipe. I don't like to use the replicator
more than necessary. You never know. The recipe could be
off, the necessary-"
Tom leaned in, his fingers gently running the line of her
jaw. "You could come with me. You could tell them yourself."
them what?" her voice was unusually shrill. "If
they had a half a heart-"
Tom grabbed B'Elanna's shoulder. "Please. Don't- don't
make this harder for us, for Miral."
can you be so calm?" B'Elanna asked, her voice shaking
from a mixture of grief and anger.
had been asking himself the same question. The initial fury
over his father's order had turned into a slow burning rage.
Yet, somehow he had managed to hold himself together. Maybe
it was because he knew B'Elanna needed his strength right
now. He squeezed his wife's shoulder.
not too late to change your mind," he told her. "Don't
make me do this alone, B'Elanna. Come with me."
am not giving my baby to anyone."
you sure?" Tom looked at her carefully. He didn't want
B'Elanna to regret this decision ever.
could tell by the tightness of her jaw that B'Elanna had
made up her mind for sure; she would not be accompanying
him when he turned Miral over to his father. Tom straightened
up and went to check on Miral's bags. B'Elanna, true to
her word, had packed everything the baby could possibly
need and then some. The same fastidiousness and attention
to detail with which she had run Engineering, was evident
in the careful and thoughtful packing. Tom touched Miral's
would have to remember to tell his father that Miral could
not sleep without the toy.
sat at her desk, contemplating her day before recording
her thoughts into her journal. Neelix had suggested keeping
a journal a couple years ago and her faithfulness in writing
depended on her various moods. Sometimes, she wrote in spurts,
creating lengthy logs filled with intricate details; other
times, she abandoned her journal for long periods of time
for lack of inspiration.
had been several weeks since Naomi Wildman had written anything
at all. In fact, as she scrolled past the last few entries,
she noticed that they were unusually terse, mostly descriptions
of what she ate and some of the lessons she had absorbed
from Seven of Nine. As she glanced through, she picked up
one entry: "Mom has been talking about my father a
lot lately. Today, she was looking at his picture for a
long time. I wonder what it will be like to meet him."
sighed and pressed a button to bring up a blank page. Carefully,
she began to write. She knew she could dictate, but she
really didn't want her father to know she was still awake;
she was supposed to have been asleep an hour ago.
was my first day at the new school. Everyone was very friendly
and nice to me. They wanted to know about Voyager and so
I told them about Seven and Neelix. Some of the kids were
scared about the Borg, but I told them that Seven was different.
One girl, Lili, wants to meet Seven and then when I said
I didn't know where Seven was, she accused me of lying.
The teacher came out then because we were arguing pretty
loudly. Father picked me up after school and he already
knew about the argument. He told me I shouldn't make trouble
and that it was important to be respectful to all the students
and teachers. I don't like being called a liar though. I
don't think Father understood that. He made dinner for us
tonight. It was green and purple and I think it was alive.
I couldn't eat very much. I really miss Neelix's cooking-"
Her father's voice floated up the stairs. Naomi jumped and
quickly saved her journal entry and hopped into bed. She
had barely pulled up the covers when her father appeared
in the doorway. "I thought I told you to go to bed
an hour ago."
Naomi said meekly. In the doorway, her father seemed unusually
large. "Sorry. I just had to finish something."
father sat down on the edge of the bed. "You have school
tomorrow. You need your rest. You should go to bed when
I tell you to."
sorry," Naomi said. "I just wanted to do something
before I forgot."
her father ran his large hand over the covers, smoothing
them gently. For a moment, Naomi forgot that the man in
her room was her father and not Neelix.
used to do that," Naomi said, "when he came to
tuck me in at night."
Her father stood up awkwardly. "Good night."
was confused. Her father had actually been soft, even gentle
a second ago - she actually thought she might like living
here. Then a thought occurred to her. Maybe she could keep
her father in her room for just a minute longer. "Do
you know 'Flotter'?"
father looked confused. "'Flotter'?"
a story and there are games based on it. I used to play
it on the holodeck."
It was fun. Neelix used to read me 'Flotter' stories before
bed." Naomi turned on her side, clutching at the edge
of her pillow. "It used to help me sleep when I had
see." Her father stood in the doorway again. "Well,
good night, Naomi. I will see you in the morning."
didn't answer. She pressed her face against the pillow,
suddenly feeling weariness overtaking every muscle in her
body. She sniffled slightly. She heard footsteps approaching
and stirred beneath the covers.
it was her father.
her throat felt dry and scratchy.
this 'Flotter.'" Her father sounded uncertain. "You
said it was a holodeck program?"
Naomi said. She sniffled again, this time more loudly. "Sorry,
I think I have a cold."
dim lights," her father requested. He stood at the
edge of Naomi's bed. "Would you like some tea?"
nodded. Neelix always made her tea whenever she wasn't feeling
well. I will bring it to you." Her father turned to
leave, but stopped for a moment as he approached the doorway.
"I will make a reservation for the public holodecks
this weekend, Naomi. Perhaps you can show me this 'Flotter'
program of yours."
like that," Naomi said softly. Her father nodded and
disappeared into the hallway. Naomi snuggled beneath the
blankets, realizing that her father was as uncertain of
her as she was of him.
sat on the bed, watching the door. How long had it been
since Tom left with Miral? She couldn't even think as a
dull pounding asserted itself behind her right eye. Wearily,
she reached up to rub her temples.
a few days, she told herself. That's all. You can do this.
a moment, B'Elanna got up. Her muscles felt stiff and she
felt unnaturally cool. She moved almost mechanically towards
the dresser and grabbed the first clothing item her hand
landed on - Tom's red jacket. She shook it out, noting that
it needed to be pressed in order to conform to regulations,
but instead of recycling it, she put it on over her jumpsuit.
The jacket hung loosely on her figure, ending just past
started to pace the length of the room. Tom had asked her
again before he had left if she wanted to come with him
when he went to meet his father, but B'Elanna had emphatically
refused. She had been afraid of what she would do once it
came to actually turn Miral over to Admiral Paris and the
last thing B'Elanna wanted was to let Starfleet know that
they had gotten to her.
wondered what Tom was doing now. Was he talking to Admiral
Paris now? Had he handed Miral over? Was he showing his
father all of Miral's things? Who else was down there? What
were they like? How was Miral doing? Was she laughing? Crying?
shivered. Would Admiral Paris follow the feeding instructions
exactly the way she had written them? Would he remember
that Miral was particularly fond of her ragged stuffed targ
and needed it in the crib before she went to sleep each
rubbed her hands together, trying to warm them. She wondered
if she should have gone with Tom, whether she was being
foolish for staying behind because she had been so afraid
of her own emotions.
only for a few days, she told herself again.
had started to set in outside; through the window, B'Elanna
could see the tiny pinpricks of light across the Bay in
Marin County. In the distance, the sun had set into a bright
red sliver and B'Elanna knew that it would never grow completely
pitch black; San Francisco was known for its pink-tinged
door slid open and B'Elanna turned as Tom entered. She nearly
gasped as she realized he was empty-handed and then it truly
struck her: he had done it and Miral was gone. She choked,
wanting to scream, needing to release the intensity of the
emotion inside of her. Until this moment, she had been unable
to even think this could really happen, that Tom could actually
do it. B'Elanna swallowed hard, putting her hand to her
like leaving your child alone in the woods, B'Elanna thought.
She looked at her husband, noting how much older and tired
she tried to keep her voice even. "How did it go?"
It surprised her how nonchalant she could be at a time like
this; in fact, it sounded like she was asking about a test
flight or a new holodeck program. "Tom?" Her voice
rose in pitch as her anxiety grew. Kahless, what had happened
down there? "Tom, please."
shook his head and without speaking, crossed the distance
to the bed. He sat down on the bed heavily, his shoulders
bowing in. B'Elanna, still enveloped in his jacket, sat
down next to him, wrapping her arm around his shoulders
and pressing her lips against his cheek.
she whispered. His arm snaked around her waist drawing her
closer. For a moment, they sat in unwelcome silence and
B'Elanna started to feel cold again.
didn't cry," Tom said finally. B'Elanna blinked.
she asked softly.
didn't cry, not at all."
eyes watered. Miral, in general, was a friendly, outgoing
baby, thanks to the various people who had taken care of
her on Voyager. As a result, strangers didn't bother Miral
at all. But what would happen when morning came and Tom
and B'Elanna were not there when she woke up? B'Elanna bit
her lip. Kahless, what kind of mother was she, letting her
baby go like that?
shaking," she whispered, almost in amazement. She held
out her hands.
pulled B'Elanna to him, drawing her down on the bed. They
clung to each other long after the lights across the Bay
Janeway could feel the ache in every muscle of her body.
She was surprised by how incredibly tired she felt after
a day of sitting still. Thank goodness I'm away from that
place, she thought as she walked into her quarters. More
importantly, she was profoundly grateful that her shadow,
Dave Evans, had disappeared for the night. According to
the chronometer, she would have a good ten hours to herself
before having to face both Evans and Louvois again.
she stripped off her jacket, tossing it carelessly across
the back of the chair. Then, she sat down, removing her
boots. Sighing, she settled back into the chair, taking
in the room. She knew she had nicer quarters than most of
her Voyager crew; her suite was compromised of three rooms,
including a study off the main living room. Starfleet had
been kind enough to provide her with a working terminal,
though, given her situation, Janeway wasn't quite sure what
she would use the terminal for.
got up and continued to undress, leaving clothes in a trail
as she headed into the shower. As a rule, she wasn't a messy
person and had always taken care to make sure her uniform
was treated as per regulations; tonight, she simply didn't
turned on the shower, feeling the warm pulse of water beat
against her skin, soothing away the tensions of the last
nine hours. After fifteen minutes, she got out, wrapping
herself in the fluffy cotton robe that had been provided
for her. As she padded out into the bedroom, she paused
briefly in front of the mirror. As far as she could tell,
she looked exactly the same as she had in the morning. She
reached out for her reflection gingerly, her fingers lightly
brushing against the glass.
a moment, Janeway contemplated turning on the news feed,
so that the incessant chatter of the reporters would drive
away the silence. But then, she knew exactly what the top
story of the day was and she really had no desire to relive
the minutia of the hearings; after all, she thought with
a ironic grin, I was there. So the verdict was easy enough:
no news cast tonight. As Janeway stood in front of the mirror,
the silence grew gradually more unbearable; for the first
time in years, Janeway did not want to be alone with her
play-" she paused for a moment. "Play 'Someone
to Watch Over Me.'"
soft strains filled the room and Janeway's mood improved
slightly. She was aware now, as she never had been before,
how truly alone she was.
finished getting ready for bed to the music of Gershwin.
Across San Francisco, many tuned into the local newscast.
Most evenings, viewers tuned in to watch the popular anchorwoman,
Suellen Bartlett, who had garnered quite a following after
her incredibly detailed and focused coverage during the
Dominion War; her calm demeanor had inspired confidence
in a turbulent time. Tonight, however, the draw was the
trial of Captain Kathryn Janeway and little else was talked
about throughout the city.
a result, the newscast was played across the city in various
locations, including coffee shops, bars, and pool halls,
and speculation ran rampant regarding the fate of Kathryn
Janeway and the various members of her crew.
recap the day's events, the five members of the Equinox
crew were dishonorably discharged from Starfleet,"
Suellen Bartlett reported in her usual clipped tone. "Noah
Lessing, James Morrow, Marla Gilmore, Angelo Tessoni and
Brian Sorfin served on the Equinox under the command of
Captain Rudolph Ransom. While in the Delta Quadrant, the
crew of the Equinox violated several Starfleet protocols,
including the murder of a sentient species in order to enhance
their warp engines. The five crewmembers will serve one
year in New Zealand for their part in these crimes."
Barlett paused before continuing on. "In other news,
the trial of Kathryn Janeway, captain of the starship Voyager,
will continue in the morning. What went on in today's closed
hearing is still unknown, but insiders speaking on the condition
of anonymity said that they predict nothing less than a
guilty verdict for Janeway. Janeway and her crew were stranded
in the Delta Quadrant for seven years and were in an area
they refer to as 'bubble space' for seven months after a
brief return from the Delta Quadrant."
camera angle changed and Suellen Barlett shifted her position
before resuming the newscast.
the question of the Maquis has yet to be resolved. The Cardassians
are pushing for imprisonment for crimes committed against
Cardassians prior to the Dominion War. Many of the Maquis
were killed in a rout in 2373 by a force of Jem'Hadar. The
Maquis survivors who include Voyager's first officer, Chakotay,
and its chief engineer, B'Elanna Torres, are currently being
held in Federation prisons. The politics of the situation
are, by necessity, slowing the decision of what to do with
Voyager's Maquis but insiders predict..."
Producers: Thinkey, Anne Rose and Coral