8-15 - Fall of Shadows
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
stood in front of the mirror, eyeing her reflection critically.
Kathryn Janeway was by no means a vain woman, but this morning,
the first morning of the rest of her life, she wanted to
make sure that her appearance was perfect in every possible
leaned forward. Her skin was still clear, firm, unlined
with the exception of the tiny wrinkles next to the corner
of her eyes that had started to make their appearance in
the last year. He hair was shone, still maintaining its
natural chestnut hue tinged with red. The ends of her hair
curled just above her shoulders, as per Starfleet regulations;
she was damned if she'd go back to the upsweep she'd worn
at the beginning of her command career. Her experimentations
with her hair had caused some amusement among her senior
staff but in the privacy of her quarters, Janeway had known
the truth: out in the Delta Quadrant, her hair, trivial
as it seemed, was the one thing she could truly control.
else was, well, best left in the hands of fate.
lips curled up. Fate, oh the irony. She had done everything
she could, including sacrificing much of herself in terms
of personal and emotional commitments, to get Voyager home
and now after all of that, she was leaving her fate in the
hands of a Starfleet JAG.
ran her hands over the scratchy material of her dress uniform.
She had spent an unusual amount of time on getting dressed
this morning, intent that every fold should fall properly
so that they - the Starfleet JAG - would find no additional
fault with her.
looked over at the news vid console perched on a nearby
table; for the last few days, she had kept it on, hoping
the noise would push the silence away, but the constant
Voyager coverage had driven her to distraction instead.
Janeway knew exactly what would be playing if she turned
on the news vid now - the constant reel of Voyager's accomplishments
in the Delta Quadrant, its mysterious reappearance in the
Alpha Quadrant and then its disappearance. Invariably, a
so-called expert would come on, either with a legal opinion
regarding the status of the Maquis or the former crew of
the Equinox. And lately, these talking heads had taken to
Kathryn Janeway herself. Sensationalist news programs offered
up their conjectures on what could possibly happen to Janeway
now that she was officially back. The opinions ranged from
the heroic - promotion to admiral immediately - to the pessimistic:
dishonorable discharge from Starfleet.
was not unaware of the politics surrounding her situation.
Conversations with Owen Paris had assured her that there
was more going on here than a simple debriefing. She pressed
her lips into a thin smile. Well, she had certainly faced
circumstances scarier than a panel of aging Starfleet admirals
and she was damned if she would let these starched shirts
Janeway lifted her chin defiantly as her eyes fell on the
four pips on her collar. She ran her trembling fingers against
the cool metal of the pips, as if to assure herself they
were still there.
she smiled grimly. Hell, she'd faced the Borg, the Hirogen,
and the Sernaix... what was a panel of stuffy Starfleet
admirals to her?
didn't turn at the sound of the security guard's voice.
She knew very little about the young man assigned to guard
her - just his name, Dave Evans - and she had no intention
of getting to know him better. Her brief conversations with
Admiral Paris had convinced her to remain on guard; who
knew what could possibly be used against her?
is it?" she asked sharply.
time to go."
about T'Sai?" Janeway asked, referring to the Vulcan
lawyer Admiral Paris had retained for her. They had met
the previous evening to go over their strategy, but Janeway
had been hoping T'Sai would actually accompany her to Headquarters
so that they continue their discussion.
meet us at the hearing."
nodded, concealing her disappointment. She gave her uniform
another quick pat, smoothing away the barely-there creases
in the heavy material.
right," she said. "Let's go."
Gilmore had always been the quiet one, the responsible one.
Even as a child, growing up in western Massachusetts, she'd
always had a sense of caution, never quite willing to take
a step without first contemplating all of the options available
thoroughness was the main reason Captain Rudy Ransom had
chosen her for his crew on the Equinox. Marla Gilmore, age
twenty-two, her first assignment out of the Academy. She
had been bursting with pride when she had received the news
and had rushed, helter-skelter, to her quarters to call
her family; the enthusiasm in her voice, the energy in her
step - as her roommate later commented, no one had ever
seen Marla move quite that fast before. She had envisioned
a glorious career, one where her calm style would earn her
the respect of her peers; eventually, she wanted to head
up her own department.
how things turned out, Marla mused. Now here she was, just
minutes away from the hearing that could - no, would - change
her life forever.
in the small windowless room with the other four surviving
members of the Equinox crew, Marla remained quiet as the
others spoke, seemingly unaware of her presence.
knew this day would come," Noah Lessing said quietly.
"What Admiral Paris told us shouldn't surprise us."
do you think the verdict will be?" James Morrow asked.
He and Brian Sorfin had been among Marla's closest friends
on the Equinox and she knew that James had secretly shared
her disgust about their actions on the Equinox; at the time,
they had convinced themselves that killing the nucleogenic
aliens was the only way they could survive.
always the leader, scoffed at James' question. "What
do you think? If we're lucky, a dishonorable discharge?"
if we're not?" Marla asked softly. The four men stared
at her. Marla leaned forward, folding her hands on the table.
"What we did may land us all in prison for the rest
of our lives."
Paris said Captain Janeway put in a good word for us,"
Brian said. "That ought to count for something."
on the outcome of her hearing," Noah pointed out. "If
she gets booted..."
He didn't have to finish the sentence; the others already
knew the implications. Right now, aside from their families,
Kathryn Janeway was the only support they had.
Brian said. He slammed his fist on the table. "Look,
we just need to explain why-"
won't understand!" Angelo Tessoni exclaimed. He got
up from his chair and began to pace the length of the room.
"These admirals, they never were in the Delta Quadrant.
How can they possibly understand what we went through?"
can't," Marla said, "so we have to make it clear
we had no other options. We were simply following orders."
Noah said, slumping in his chair. Marla wished she could
think of something inspirational to say, but conjuring up
enthusiasm had never been her area of expertise; Ransom,
she thought with a trace of bitterness, had excelled at
this particular skill. "You know they've already separated
Samantha Wildman from her daughter. If they'd do that to
a little kid, who knows what they'd do to us?"
just tell 'em we were following orders," Angelo repeated.
hope that works," Noah said in a voice that clearly
indicated his level of pessimism.
to General Order 26, subordinates cannot be held or tried
for the actions of their superiors," Angelo pointed
out, his voice brightening with optimism.
shook his head. "Sorry, Angelo, that's only if it can
be proved the crew wasn't directly involved and you have
to admit, we all gave Rudy one hundred percent of ourselves.
We're equally guilty."
go and take that attitude on the stand," Noah said
sarcastically. "You'll hang us all. Let's stick to
the bottom line, okay? We were following orders. We did
what we had to to survive and yes, we regret it, but if
positions were changed, would anyone do otherwise?"
never stooped to murder," Marla said softly, but her
comments were pointedly ignored by the others. Even now,
the occasional smug attitudes of the Voyager crew had grated
on the already bruised psyches of the Equinox Five - as
they were collectively known. For that reason, it had been
difficult to form really deep friendships with the crew;
their past always stood in the way. As a result, already
a tight knit group, the Equinox Five had become even closer,
standing united in all things during their time on Voyager.
This trial, they knew, would be no different, despite the
occasional dissenting comment.
agree," James said. "Though, I doubt anyone will
much care what happens to us. That's what bothers me the
James finished speaking, the door slid open, causing Marla
she whispered, anticipating the security guards who were
to escort them to their hearing.
A gentle hand squeezed her shoulder; Marla glanced up. Tom
Paris, she noted in relief.
Voyager's helm officer circled the room, looking at them
all with a mixture of compassion and concern. Of all the
senior officers, Tom Paris had acted the most friendly towards
the Equinox Five and had done his best to make sure they
felt comfortable aboard Voyager.
glad to see you," Marla said honestly. "I didn't
think they'd let anyone visit."
us like the common criminals they think we are," Brian
added, a note of indignation slipping into his voice.
of the perks of having an admiral for a father," Tom
admitted. "Mind if I sit down?"
Noah said. "Though, I'm surprised you'd want to associate
Tom held up a hand. "Look, I'm trying to be a friend
Marla said gently. "Thank you, Tom, we appreciate it."
are you holding up?"
glanced around the room. Noah still looked angry, but James
and Brian simply looked tired. Angelo, well, Marla could
never really tell with him; he was good at bottling up his
best we can under the circumstances," Marla said. "It
hasn't been that bad. Your father was very kind when he
explained the procedures."
to hear it," Tom said. "I- I plan to attend the
all are a part of Voyager," Tom said. "We stick
bit her lip. She hadn't expected anyone, least of all anyone
from the senior staff, to come to their hearing; Tom's show
of support meant a lot and perhaps, they weren't as alone
as they thought they were.
Tom," Marla said gratefully. She reached across the
table to grasp Tom's hand. "What time is it?"
a little before 0900 hours," Tom said.
Noah said. "Well, guys, enjoy these last few minutes
before the axe falls."
don't know that's going to happen," Angelo objected.
Already, he looked happier than he had a few minutes before.
"This hearing could be a mere formality."
that moment, the door opened and a yellow-uniformed officer
stood there. Marla felt a shiver run down her back. This
was it, she thought uneasily. She pushed her chair back,
Tom Paris?" the officer asked, much to Marla's surprise.
me," Tom said, standing up.
you could come with me."
glanced at the Equinox Five.
be fine," Marla assured him. She stood up, suddenly
feeling strong. "Don't worry about us."
check in on you," Tom said. "Good luck. It's-
it's been an honor serving with you."
that last comment, Tom Paris followed the guard out the
door. Marla remained standing, her eyes fixed on Tom's retreating
figure. Finally, she turned back to face the others. "He
meant it," she said quietly. "Whatever happens
in there, we've got to be strong, we're going to tell them
reached over and grabbed Marla's hand.
he said hoarsely. "What Marla says, that's what we're
going to do."
stepped out of the transport carefully; last thing she wanted
to do was stumble on the day of the trial. She quirked a
smile as she took in the press crowding around the doors
to Starfleet Headquarters.
guess this means I'll make the evening news," Janeway
remarked to Evans.
ma'am," he responded, a little stiffly, as he stood
next to her.
not going to talk to them."
sighed in exasperation. She knew Evans was a 'by the book'
officer, probably one of main the reasons why he had been
assigned to her specifically. Plus, he wasn't intrigued
at all by her or by Voyager's amazing story; so far, he
was the only person Janeway had run across, aside from Owen
Paris, who had not asked for her autograph.
glanced at Evans from the corner of her eye; the color was
rising in his cheeks and she wondered if he felt somewhat
overwhelmed by the media circus which had gathered here.
Frankly, she wouldn't blame him if he was, and a small part
of her snidely enjoyed his discomfort.
away!" Evans called out. He waved his arms and the
media crowd parted slightly, allowing barely enough room
for Janeway to pass through. "Captain?"
didn't respond, but instead, plunged into the crowd. Might
as well get this over with, she thought grimly. She noted
plenty of Starfleet uniforms, but no familiar faces. She
tried to push away her disappointment; she'd thought at
the very least Chakotay would have made an attempt to be
here, or Tom, or B'Elanna...
Janeway! What happened with the Sernaix?" The question
was very loud, in her ear, and Janeway nearly jumped. She
glared at the reporter, hoping the intensity of her stare
would cause him to wither, but the reporter didn't back
down. "What happened when Voyager mysteriously reappeared
and then disappeared again? Where did you go?"
comment!" Evans shouted. He pushed Janeway lightly
on the back and she was more than slightly annoyed by his
presumption. She moved quickly, trying to stay at least
a step ahead of Evans, and more importantly, she did her
best to ignore the barrage of questions hurled at her.
were the Sernaix like?"
you form an alliance with the Sernaix?"
is bubble space like?"
you form an alliance with the Borg?"
course they would ask that question, Janeway thought, her
lips curling slightly in disgust. From her conversations
with Admiral Paris, Janeway knew that the Starfleet brass
were actually considering holding her responsible for the
current Borg civil war. Not considering, Janeway corrected
herself. No, they were actually blaming her for the Borg
you afraid to have a Borg drone on your ship?" the
reporter who shouted this question was directly to Janeway's
right as she passed by him. "Captain Janeway!"
shook her head, hoping that the reporter would take her
non-verbal gesture as an expression of "no comment."
In truth, all of the words were starting to run into each
other, the questions becoming an indistinct blur in her
ear. However, she did catch fragments here and there.
do you think should happen to the crew of the Equinox?"
about the Maquis? How did it feel to serve on a ship with
this last question, Janeway nearly whirled around, but only
her sense of pride kept her headed towards her ultimate
destination, her head held high. That was one question she
did not care to answer. A ship full of terrorists, indeed.
Apparently, the end of the Dominion War had done nothing
to soften attitudes towards the Maquis.
you have an opinion on what should be done to the Maquis?"
do you think you'll do after the hearing?"
you think you'll be discharged?"
bit her lip as she ascended the steps to Headquarters. The
distance from the transport, in reality only about fifty
meters, seemed endless. She paused only for a second to
once again scan the crowd for the sign of a familiar face.
Seeing no one, she headed for the door.
inside the sanctity of Headquarters, Janeway let out a sigh
she remarked to no one in particular, "let's get this
show on the road."
Wildman shifted in her bed. It was hard and uncomfortable
beneath her body, and she longed for her bed on Voyager,
which had an indention perfectly shaped for her sleeping
style. These sheets felt different too, and the colors -
pink and purple - were not quite what she liked. She preferred
blues and greens, but she would bring that up with her father
at another time.
time?" she asked.
time is now 0830 hours."
stretched. Back on Voyager, it would have been time to wake
up. Just enough time, she remembered, to get ready for the
day and to meet Neelix for breakfast at 0930 hours. She
smiled at the memory; the last message from Neelix admonished
her to be cheerful, be good, to remember him.
could never forget you," she had written back. "Never."
And she had underlined the last word three times. She wondered
now if Neelix had gotten her letter yet. She considered
asking her father how long it would take for the letter
to reach Neelix, but then decided not to; her father did
not seem particularly interested in Neelix.
wondered when she would get to talk to Neelix again. Lieutenant
Paris had been kind enough to arrange a last minute conversation
while they were still on Voyager, but since then, Naomi
had only managed to send off the one letter - again, with
Lieutenant Paris' assistance. She wondered, despite his
new life, if Neelix missed her as much as she missed him.
her father appeared in the doorway. Her father was a handsome
man, Naomi admitted, tall like she had imagined him to be
and strong also. He had dark hair and other than the horns
on his forehead, Naomi could see no resemblance between
herself and the man who asked her to call him Daddy.
awake," she said, purposely injecting a note of petulance
into her voice. "Are we going to see Mom today?"
today," her father said. Naomi sat up in bed, pulling
her knees up to her chest. If Neelix had been here, he wouldn't
have stayed by the door, she thought. She frowned.
when?" she asked. She had not imagined that their short
vacation in San Francisco would have ended so quickly; her
mother had seemed so happy yesterday, so lighthearted -
and she had laughed in a way Naomi had never heard before.
All because of this man, her father. And now, her mother
was gone. Not gone, Naomi corrected herself. She is at Starfleet
Headquarters with the rest of Voyager's crew.
time," her father said. "We will be able to arrange
a visit soon."
soon?" Naomi asked, remembering her mother saying that
their separation would only be for a short time; they would
have plenty of time to spend together as a family in the
her father said and she could clearly hear the note of exasperation
in his voice. "I want you to get up now. There is plenty
of time for questions later."
can I watch the news vid?"
stuck out her lower lip. She knew she sounded uncommonly
childish but she was desperate for a connection to her life
on Voyager. "I want to know what's going on."
her father said. He glanced in the direction of her rat
cage, his lip curling in obvious distaste. He had not wanted
Naomi to bring the rat here (she refused to think of her
father's house as 'home') but her mother had intervened.
needs Ratty," her mother had said. "Let her keep
about her mother now, Naomi's lower lip quivered. She knew
she had to be brave, knew she had to be strong, but right
now, she wanted nothing more than to curl up next to her
mother and feel those gentle fingers run through her long
hair. Somehow, she could not imagine her father comforting
her in any way at all.
like spending time with your dad," her mother had said
to her. "Don't worry about me. I'll be fine."
sniffled a little, her vision blurring unexpectedly. She
didn't want to cry in front of her father, didn't want to
give him another reason to yell at her.
see you downstairs," her father said in that same stern
voice. Naomi nodded mutely. As the sound of her father's
footsteps receded down the hall, Naomi pressed a corner
of her blue blanket to her eyes. For a few seconds, she
sobbed silently into the material, her thin body shaking.
Finally, she managed to compose herself and get out of bed.
She covered the distance to Ratty's cage in three quick
but quiet steps. Carefully, she lifted the rat out of its
cage and held it close to her cheek.
okay, Ratty," Naomi said softly as the little animal
twittered, its whiskers wiggling in rhythm with its bobbing
nose. "We're only here for a little while. Just a little
while and then, Mom will be back. It's okay."
then, she replaced the rat in its cage and stared at the
door leading out of her room with trepidation. Eventually,
she would have to go downstairs and face her father, she
would Neelix do?" she wondered out-loud and even before
the words were completely out of her mouth, she knew the
answer. With a determined air, she headed to her closet
to pick out her clothes for the day.
they made their way back to the quarters where Voyager's
crew had temporarily taken residence, Tom Paris kept sneaking
looks at the security officer at his side. She looked familiar
- something about the shape of her eyes, the color of her
hair - and he was longing to strike up a conversation; he
had never been completely comfortable with silence. Finally,
the officer glanced at him.
me yet?" she asked, her voice tinged with a slight
French accent. Tom, surprised by the directness of her comments,
shook his head.
he said sincerely. "I've been trying to remember since
you do look familiar."
have." The officer looked nothing short of amused and
Tom began to feel distinctly uncomfortable. It was no secret
that in his pre-Voyager life, he had been quite the womanizer;
there were times when he barely remembered the names of
the women whom he woke up next to. He had been honest with
B'Elanna about his past, but it was one thing when they
were stranded in the Delta Quadrant, quite another when
they were back when the chances of running into one of his
former paramours were high; he truly hoped this woman hadn't
been one of those disinterested one night flings he had
indulged in for a semester or two.
Tom began, "whatever I did, I'm sorry. If I was supposed
Tom. It's me, Amelie."
eyes widened in memory. "Amelie Beaurgard?"
course he recalled her now. She had been among those cadets
who had studied in Marseilles, and during his four years
at the Academy, Amelie Beaurgard had been pretty much his
only platonic female friend.
the flesh, but it's Amelie Despere now." She smiled.
"I was wondering how long it would take you to remember
worry about it," Amelie answered. She looked around
furtively. "I would have said something earlier, but
when we were in HQ, I didn't want to take the chance someone
would hear our conversation."
narrowed his eyes. "Something going on I should know
a bit," Amelie said. "Keep walking, but we'll
take the long way around."
He followed Amelie's lead as she changed directions, from
the direct diagonal path leading straight to the barracks,
to an outer loop, which would eventually swing around towards
the Bay. "Let me see, the last time I saw you-"
Amelie said. "At Sandrine's."
remember," Tom replied, his lips curving up at the
memory. Yes, he and the other Starfleet cadets had spent
way too much time at the popular Marseilles night spot,
playing pools and drinking beer. And of course, Sandrine
herself, with that sultry, throaty voice, was an attractive
draw for the cadets. "What a night..."
yes," Amelie said. "I won't forget it so easily.
That was when you pulled a knife out on Paul. You surprised
me very much."
my knife, it was Paul's," Tom said. He was anxious
to get the facts right, at least this time. When the police
had arrived to break up the fight, Tom had looked around
for Amelie and his other friends, but they had dispersed,
leaving him to face his fate. Truth be told, at that time,
Tom Paris had not believed he had been worth waiting for
anyway, so the fact his friends had not lingered had not
surprised him. "He started it. A little too much too
drink, a few angry words, and voila."
cocked her head to the side. "You were brave to grab
away the knife from him."
more like," Tom said. He shook his head ruefully. "Some
good it did me." Tom had ended up spending the night
in jail and the following morning, he had been sent back
to San Francisco, rather unceremoniously, to face the wrath
of his father. "I think a permanent entry was made
on my record."
you acquitted yourself well."
was lucky." Tom chuckled, shaking his head at the memory.
"Never thought those fencing lessons would ever pay
off." He had joined the fencing class at the Marseille
campus as a lark; his flame of the moment, a brunette with
sultry bedroom eyes and plump lips, had been an expert fencer.
"Though, there is quite a difference between a sword
and a pocket knife."
got quite a nasty scar, if I remember correctly." Amelie
stopped and ran her forefinger down the Tom's cheek, pausing
for a second at his jaw, before dropping her hand entirely.
"The evidence was hidden nicely."
was lucky," Tom said. Now that Amelie mentioned it,
he could almost feel the searing pain of that knife digging
deep into his skin, slicing a gash nearly three centimeters
long on his
cheek. "The medic who attended my injury was skilled."
now you're a medic yourself," Amelie said. "How
things change. You know, the last time I saw you, you seemed
to be more interested in things other than your studies."
Tom could not disagree with Amelie. He had spent an inordinate
time focusing on women, drinking as well as indulging his
passions for downhill skiing and flying.
surprised a whole lot of people." Tom sighed as they
rounded the barracks, heading down towards the water. "I
guess I wasn't completely past redemption, huh?"
never thought you needed saving, Tom."
were probably the only one."
stood at the edge of the water, listening to the waves splash
up against the rocks. In the distance, they could see the
hazy hills of Marin County and a little closer, the Golden
Gate Bridge. Tom nodded towards a group of kayakers heading
in their directions, their paddles churning up white water.
I always wanted to try," he said, "but never got
odd. You always took opportunities when they came."
always the best ones. You know that."
do." Amelie squeezed his hand. "Tom, I am glad
you are back. When I saw the list of Voyager's missing seven
years ago and noticed your name on the list, I was truly
concerned I would never see you again. My relief was great,
as you might imagine, when I found out Voyager was back.
You've done well for yourself, Lieutenant Paris."
quirked a smile. "If you'd asked me twelve years ago
when Paul and I were facing off in that night club-"
he shook his head -"I don't think I would have pictured
my life like this, not at all."
happy?" her voice was soft, gentle.
I am so glad to hear that." Amelie glanced over her
shoulder. "Let's head back to your quarters. They will
wonder where I am. Where you are."
you my guard?" Tom asked suspiciously. He had been
disarmed entirely by Amelie's presence but now he was on
don't like that way you say that. I head up security operations
here," Amelie said. "When I saw your name, I took
the opportunity to escort you back. Starfleet is concerning
itself very much for the protection of Voyager's crew."
Is that a euphemism for 'under arrest'?" Tom asked
sardonically. He noted that Amelie looked slightly uncomfortable
but she nodded.
I will be honest," Amelie said. "I have heard
the rumors and I do not believe it will go well with you.
There are many who have strong feelings, one way or the
other, about Voyager and its crew."
have you heard? I've been talking to my father-"
to me," Amelie said. She grabbed his arm and lowered
her voice. "Your father means well, but there are many
who have other ideas." In her agitation, her French
accent grew stronger. "I have heard they intend to
imprison the Maquis, and that is the kindest sentence spoken
married to a former Maquis-"
know, Tom," Amelie said. "And it does not look
good for your Equinox friends either. They will be punished,
severely, for their actions."
were following orders."
matters not." Amelie resumed walking, her pace quickening
as they headed in the direction of the barracks. "And
Captain Janeway's hearing began this morning."
aware of that."
stopped. "It's not open to the public?"
shook her head. "No."
is this, the Star Chamber? Amelie, this isn't how Starfleet
does things and you know it."
I do, but it changes nothing. The Dominion War changed things
and now there is this threat from the Borg." She gazed
at him intently. "All these events have made the Admirality
more cautious then usual, provoking unusual measures."
Amelie sighed, her eyes growing slightly cloudy. "This
is not all. I hear all Voyager personnel are to remain in
the North Compound unless summoned to a hearing. It will
be official this afternoon."
but it has been ordered. As such, I'm escorting you there.
You should remain inside until further notice." She
punched in her code at the door. The keypad beeped and the
doors slid open. "For your own protection."
my own protection? From whom? Or what?"
shrugged. "As I said, it has been ordered."
be ridiculous, Amelie. We're friends."
she said softly as they ascended the stairs to the second
floor. "We are friends so I am telling you this. I
care what happens to you and urge you to act with caution
now. Be aware and be careful."
I'm confined to quarters, how much trouble could I possibly
shrugged. "There are always things," she said.
They rounded a corner at the top of the
stairs; the quarters Tom shared with B'Elanna and baby Miral
were the second on the right. Amelie nodded. "You may
call me if you need anything."
thanks." Tom stepped forward, awkwardly, and wrapped
his arms around his old friend. After a moment, he released
her and entered the quarters. Inside, he found baby Miral
sitting on the floor, surrounded by various toys, including
a stuffed replica of Voyager.
there," Tom said. Miral gurgled at him as she held
out one tiny hand and stuffed the other in her mouth. Drool
trickled down her cheeks. Tom sighed. "That's one habit
I hope you're going to grow out of eventually." He
leaned down and carefully swiped her mouth with her bib,
grimacing as he saw the words 'Daddy's Little Terror' scrawled
in blue writing across the white material. "I bet your
mother replicated this for you, didn't she?"
la," Miral answered as she reached for the stuffed
sighed. "I thought so."
you say something?" B'Elanna appeared from the bathroom,
wrapped in a heavy white robe, a towel around her head.
"Back already? I thought you were going to stay and
offer moral support to Noah and the others."
was planning on it."
B'Elanna asked. She looked down at Miral, who was now chewing
contentedly on the stuffed Voyager replica. "I just
washed that, Miral." Miral turned her head up at the
sound of her mother's voice and offered a beatific smile
in return. B'Elanna shook her head. "You're incorrigible,
just like your father."
settled down on the narrow twin bed by the window. He hated
these tiny quarters which had been assigned to them; in
a way, they reminded him very much of his Academy days when
he had shared cramped accommodations like these with a roommate
or two. B'Elanna looked over at him.
she asked. "So what happened?"
security paid me a visit," he said. "In fact,
I was escorted out of the waiting room while I was with
the Equinox Five."
sat on the twin bed opposite him, her attention now completely
focused on her husband and not the baby at her feet.
she asked evenly.
worry." Tom quirked a smile. "They aren't hauling
me off to New Zealand. Not yet anyway."
what did they want?"
glared at him. "What did she want?"
leaned back, slipping off his shoes; it occurred to him
that he really didn't care for Starfleet leather boots -
they were rough, uncomfortable and painful blister factories.
warn me," he said finally. "About what might happen
to the Maquis, for one."
straightened, her robe slightly falling open at the chest.
In other circumstances, Tom would have had found the image
of his half-naked wife irresistible, but right now, he was
feeling on edge; Amelie's warning, however vague, bothered
B'Elanna asked sharply. She clutched the edges of her robe,
drawing it close. On the floor, Miral yelped as her little
yellow ball rolled away. Her little face scrunched up, the
color rising in her cheeks. Hastily, Tom retrieved the ball
but not before Miral released a loud squeal.
must get that from your mother," Tom said as he handed
the ball to Miral. B'Elanna made a face, but did not comment.
"B'Elanna, Amelie Beaurgard was the security guard."
looked at him questioningly.
knew Amelie from Marseilles," Tom went on. "Her
roommate was Julie Laurent-"
remember," B'Elanna said. "Julie was the one you
got into the knife fight over."
exactly," Tom said, smiling ruefully at the memory.
"Rather, her boyfriend, Paul, thought I had an amorous
thought or two in regards to Julie and he took matters into
his own hands.
Attacked me in the middle of Sandrine's. He was a little
too intoxicated to understand that I had no feelings whatsoever
for Julie. I haven't seen or talked to Amelie since that
now you've met up here," B'Elanna said flatly. She
got up and headed into the bathroom, removing the towel
from her hair as she went.
Tom got up. "Look, there was nothing between Amelie
didn't say there was," she replied in exasperation.
what's the problem?"
problem," B'Elanna said. She sighed. "Sorry. I
think the stress is getting to me."
worry," Tom said softly. He squeezed her shoulder lightly,
feeling the strength of muscles and tendons beneath the
thick material of her robe. "It's understandable."
what did Amelie say?"
told me to be careful, be aware, you know. Cloak and dagger
type stuff." He kept his tone light deliberately, but
he also knew he couldn't fool B'Elanna.
B'Elanna grumbled. She glanced at herself in the mirror,
squinting. "Nothing more about the Maquis?"
they're going to pardon you."
sure about that?"
Tom said. He leaned in to brush his lips lightly against
B'Elanna's cheek. She leaned back against him as he wrapped
his arms loosely around her. "And if so, I've always
wanted to show you around New Zealand. There's a hot spot
or two I'd love to share with you."
sighed. "I'm concerned, Tom. What if they separate
separated Naomi and Sam."
was different. Naomi's father is here in San Francisco.
It made sense. Why keep Naomi cooped up in a small room
like this?" Tom gestured. "It's making even Miral
I would feel better if you would talk to your father about
She turned around, putting one finger to Tom's lips. "Please.
He knows what's going on, Tom."
don't know what he could possibly do." Tom walked out
of the bathroom and back into the bedroom. He picked Miral
up, swinging her up in his arms. "He's just one of
but he's your father and the Captain's mentor. He's probably
the only one on our side," B'Elanna said firmly. "Tom,
your meeting with him was cordial enough when you last saw
him. It doesn't hurt to try."
looked at his wife. She looked defiant, her arms crossed
against her chest, but he knew B'Elanna, knew what it meant
when her lower lip trembled just slightly. It was rare that
he saw B'Elanna this vulnerable.
really worried, aren't you?" he asked softly. B'Elanna
nodded, still keeping her distance. Tom sighed.
talk to my father," he said.
took Miral from her husband and kissed him gently on the
cheek. "Thank you."
of Nine sat at the table in her quarters, her attention
intent on the various documents in front of her. She had
been consigned to quarters by Starfleet security and had
been advised to remain there unless called for. However,
as she focused her gaze on the documents in front of her,
she knew she would have to disobey.
to her Borg data nodes, she was able to compile the information
quickly. Fully satisfied, Seven rose from her chair. As
she opened the door carefully, she could hear some voices
in the hallway. Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres.
waited until she could no longer hear the voices and then
slipped out, the PADDs still firmly in hand.
was no time to waste.
hallways in this building were extraordinarily narrow and
dark. Lieutenant Paris, in his cheerful way, had shared
some of the history of this particular barracks with Seven,
much to Lieutenant Torres' amusement. Apparently, this was
the oldest building on Academy grounds and one of the few
not to have sustained damage in the Breen attack on San
Francisco during the Dominion War. According to Lieutenant
Paris, this building - originally built as a dormitory -
of Nine had dismissed the story of ghosts out-right but
Lieutenant Kim had appeared fascinated by the story and
Ensign Wildman had remarked she was glad Naomi was not around
to hear such stories as they would have kept Naomi up half
the night. Seven did not miss the note of regret in Samantha
Wildman's voice; it was obvious that the ensign missed her
frowned as she turned a corner, careful to keep to the shadows.
She did not understand humans' fascinations with those long
departed and she certainly did not see how a ghostly vision
could be frightening.
she approached the turbolift, she was aware of footsteps
heading in her direction. Seven spun around and darted into
a closet. As she pressed back against the mops, brooms and
other cleaning supplies, she heard the footsteps growing
louder and finally, they receded. Gingerly, Seven stepped
back into the corridor, just in time to see the retreating
figure of a security officer, his hand on the butt of his
glanced at the panel directly opposite her. As with all
older structures, this one featured an intricate internal
system of air ducts and ventilation systems. Moving quickly,
she removed the panel and carefully slid into the space.
The air was dark, foul smelling, and she stifled a sneeze
behind her palm. It occurred to her then that she should
have brought a flash light, but she did not believe it prudent
to head back to her quarters. Likely, the security guard
would be making his rounds again.
must be efficient, Seven thought.
she replaced the panel over the opening and began to crawl,
slowly, through the darkness, reaching out to test the floor
in front of her. She could hear unusual sounds and convinced
herself they were nothing but the usual heating and cool
systems. Every now and then, she heard a creak in the ceiling
and she could not help but think of Tom Paris' ghost stories.
is only a story," she murmured softly as she continued
to crawl. "I must not be distracted from my task."
still, Seven could not help but shiver every time she heard
long, she saw the grided pattern of light in front of her.
She paused, straining to hear footsteps, voice, anything
at all that would signify another individual's presence.
peered through the slats of the panel, but saw no one. Very
quietly, she pressed against the panel with the heel of
her hand, applying pressure evenly. The panel fell to the
floor and Seven pulled back slightly, waiting to hear if
there was any reaction whatsoever. When she heard nothing,
she pushed through the opening and into the light, thankful
to be out of the dark. She stood up quickly, dusting herself
off, and then replaced the panel.
appeared that she had arrived on the other side of the barracks,
but this appeared to be the office wing. To her intense
relief, Seven spied no security officers anywhere. What
was that expression Tom Paris used about lady luck?
Seven did not want to take any chances. She kept close to
the walls, her eyes and ears alert for any sound. As she
reached the end of the corridor, she found the office she
was looking for. With a quick look around, she punched in
the security codes and the door slid open. Inside, the room
was dark and slightly musty smelling, as if it had not been
cleaned in years.
minimal lighting," Seven requested. The computer complied
with her request, casting a dim glow over the room, which
measured about eight meters by ten meters.
barely noticed the thin layer of dust covering the various
furnishings. Instead, her attention focused solely on the
computer console on the far wall. Her lips curved up into
a thin smile. This would be easier than she had anticipated.
Seven covered the distance to the console quickly.
it has begun," she said softly.
Janeway shifted in her seat. It was the typical sort of
chair found in typical courtrooms - wooden with leather
back and sides - and utterly uncomfortable. She glanced
about, taking in the high ceilings and the smooth, polished
wood paneled walls. There were no windows in this room and
for that, she was grateful; after the media circus outside,
the last thing Janeway wanted was for some unauthorized
and news-hungry report to record these proceedings.
in front of her, at the judge's bench, sat Phillipa Louvois,
the woman in charge of this trial. Louvois appeared to be
in her fifties, her dark auburn hair styled high about her
brow. Her chin jutted out pugnaciously while her deep-set
eyes set off an artisocratic nose.
lip curled up in disgust as she regarded the woman. Owen
Paris had told her a little bit about this Admiral Louvois,
sketching out the woman in very general terms. Apparently,
Louvois had made her name years ago when arguing whether
an android was a sentient being. Janeway had had heard of
that case when it was first tried and had followed the proceedings
with some interest. In more recent years, Louvois had presided
over trials stemming from the cessation of hostilities in
the Dominion War.
out for Phillipa," Owen had warned her. "She's
a friend of Admiral Warhol's, and believe me, she's going
for blood. They need someone to blame for the Borg civil
war, and you happen to be the right person at the right
look forward to it," Janeway had answered. She had
heard of Admiral Warhol's single-minded focus regarding
her trial, and truth be told, Janeway refused to be cowed
by that man. "Louvois isn't the first person who has
tried to do that, so don't worry about me."
Paris had met her gaze steadily. "I'm not worried about
how you'll handle yourself, Kathryn."
had not extrapolated on this last thought and now, as she
twisted around in her seat,
Janeway wondered where Owen Paris was. He had promised to
attend the proceedings and more than anything, Kathryn longed
for a friendly face.
glanced up at Louvois, but the woman was intent on her PADDs.
An aide stood to the side, his hands behind his back, his
face completely expressionless. In addition to Louvois,
Janeway knew that the panel responsible for rendering a
verdict would be made up of her peers, several of whom she
knew were sympathetic to her and her crew.
Evans disturbed her thoughts as he slipped in next to her.
He handed her a cup of coffee.
thought you might want this," he said awkwardly. "It's
going to be a long day."
glanced down at the dark brew.
milk, no sugar, just java," he continued. "The
way you like it."
Janeway said, curiously touched by Evans' gesture. "Thank
hope you don't mind I looked up your preferences."
Janeway said. She glanced back at Phillipa Louvois and then
at the table directly to the right and across the aisle
from her table. The lawyers - the Starfleet lawyers - would
sit there and already, it surprised Janeway that she could
make a distinction between herself and Starfleet. "It
was thoughtful of you."
was no problem, ma'am," Evans said awkwardly. "I
was getting a cup for myself..."
the same, I appreciate the your thoughtfulness." Janeway
leaned towards him, taking advantage of the fact that he
seemed to like her. "I'm looking for my first officer,
Commander Chakotay or-"
Chakotay is one the list of potential witnesses. He will
not be in attendance unless called to testify," Evans
said stiffly. Janeway didn't react.
assume the same is true about Commander Tuvok," Janeway
about Lieutenant Kim?"
ma'am. All members of your crew are potential witnesses."
sighed and looked down at her coffee. Suddenly, the hot
beverage no longer seemed so tempting or necessary. She
put the mug down on the table.
they intend to have my own people testify against me,"
Janeway said. Evans' expression did not change.
ma'am," he replied, and Janeway wondered if the young
man had an opinion about anything; his apparent detachment
was starting to get on her nerves. Then again, she supposed
Evans' neutrality was the very reason he had been assigned
exactly the welcome home I expected," Janeway continued
casually as she noted the team of Starfleet lawyers parading
down the aisle, their chests puffed out with an exaggerated
sense of self-importance. "I expected to be debriefed,
of course, but nothing like this." She gestured, indicating
the court room. "Starfleet went all out, didn't they?
No, don't answer that, it doesn't really matter. I've been
in worse situations, Lieutenant."
know, ma'am. I've read all about those situations. Your
encounters with the Kazon, for instance."
Janeway said. She quirked a smile. "You did your homework."
did not smile back. Janeway sighed; evidently the young
man lacked a sense of humor.
looked up at the woman appointed to defend her. T'Sai, according
to Owen, was a formidable lawyer and tireless researcher.
Through her intensity and drive, she had risen to the rank
of commander and was well-respected among the legal community.
And, another point in her favor, T'Sai and Owen Paris were
good friends, going back nearly twenty years.
can't think of anyone else I'd trust with your defense,"
Owen had told Kathryn when he informed her of his selection.
"She's not one for chit-chat and she has no patience
for sloppy work. But I assure you completely that you're
in good hands and T'Sai will leave no stone unturned."
Janeway stood and extended a hand. "Good morning, Commander."
ignored Janeway's outstretched hand and nodded in response
instead. "I apologize I was not here when you arrived.
I was discussing your situation with Commander Shelrak."
Janeway asked, her ears perking up at the name of the prosecutor
Starfleet had chosen. Involuntarily, Janeway glanced to
her right where Commander Shelrak, an Axanar, stood talking
in a low voice with his deputies, his reptilian head bobbing
up and down as he spoke.
Shelrak is adamant," T'Sai said carefully. She put
her briefcase on the table in front of them. "He is
heavily influenced by Admiral Warhol. As a result, I believe
he will settle for nothing less than a dishonorable discharge."
dishonorable discharge?" Janeway stared at T'Sai in
amazement. "I didn't do anything wrong. You know that."
Vulcan nodded, her expression remaining constant. "We
shall present the facts, Captain, and perhaps the Admiral
-" she glanced towards Louvois - "will agree with
that moment, a lieutenant emerged from a door to the right
of the judge's bench.
oye, all come to order. The right honorable Phillipa Louvois
presiding," he announced in a clear voice which echoed
slightly through the large room. Janeway shifted in her
chair, trying to catch a glance of a friendly face - anyone
- in the room. While she understood why members of her crew
were not in attendance, the absence of Admiral Paris was
particularly disturbing. Janeway also noted the absence
of any journalists as she leaned towards T'Sai.
it a closed trial?" Janeway whispered.
believe, for your protection, only those directly involved
in these proceedings are allowed," T'Sai responded.
my protection'?" Janeway asked sardonically. She glanced
up as Louvois pounded her gavel on the bench. "I assume
the 'closed' rule only applies to the press, as well as
members of my crew and my family? If so, that's ridiculous."
it has been ordered this way," T'Sai said primly. Janeway
frowned; the next time she saw Owen Paris, she would have
to get his thoughts on this particular situation.
court will come to order and the charges against Kathryn
Janeway shall be read," Louvois announced. T'Sai and
Janeway stood, as custom dictated. It took all of Janeway's
restraint to keep still as Louvois read out the charges
in a firm voice. "Kathryn Janeway, you are hereby charged
with aiding and abetting a hostile power, treason, numerous
violations of the Prime Directive, incompetence, conduct
unbecoming an officer, cruel and unusual treatment of-"
stopped listening. She knew exactly what they were charging
her with; T'Sai had explained everything in great detail.
Janeway lifted her chin defiantly.
them charge me, she thought. They weren't there, they didn't
have to make their own rules. I did what I had to in order
to get my crew home.
Janeway knew then, no matter what the outcome, she had no
regrets about anything she had done.
Gilmore rubbed her hands together, trying to warm them.
She felt unusually cold. She looked at the judge; Art Curie
was in his early fifties and according to the Starfleet
personnel database, had only recently been appointed to
his judgeship; the Equinox hearing would mark his third
month on the job. Next to Marla, Noah Lessing sat stiffly,
his eyes focused on their petite lawyer who had taken her
place in front of the judge's bench.
they had first met Maria Pachano, Marla wasn't sure that
that the tiny woman with the soft-spoken voice would be
able to be the forceful presence they needed. Pachano exuded
a delicate fragility that didn't fill Marla with an overwhelming
confidence, but she had kept her quiet; Starfleet had chosen
Pachano to represent the Equinox Five and Marla knew, there
weren't many other lawyers who were willing to take on their
this," Pachano began. Marla jerked in surprise, amazed
at the firmness and confidence in Pachano's voice. "You
have just been pulled into the Delta Quadrant. You are more
than seventy thousand light years from home. You're on board
a science vessel, equipped with minimal weapons and shields.
Within one week, you have lost half of your crew. Systems
are failing but you have yet to encounter an alien species
friendly enough to help you with repairs. In fact, most
encounters are violent in nature and you've grown distrustful.
In fact, in the cold darkness of your quarters, you're not
sure you'll ever make it home. You're hungry, tired and
injured. And then, a miracle happens. By accident, you find
a 'silver bullet,' an injured alien species which possesses
a nucleogenic compound which makes it possible for your
warp drive to function again. You think about home, you
think about Starfleet, you think about what's right. The
alien species in your custody dies. You think about it again.
Then, you make a decision." Pachano stopped walking
as she turned her attention to the judge.
a moment, Marla felt immensely comforted. Pachano was building
their case well enough, Marla thought. She leaned forward,
eager to hear, as Pachano resumed speaking.
a Starfleet officer, but you're also a human being. You
don't feel good about what you're doing, but you also know
you want to get home. You want to be warm again, you want
to be with your friends and family. More importantly, you
want to survive. There, you have the story of the crew of
the Equinox. They were faced with a harsh reality, one that
is unimaginable for those of us who did not experience it.
Their decisions, however deplorable, were based around one
very human drive: the need to go home. Faced with similar
circumstances, what would you have done? Would you have
turned down the only option left to you or would you have
done something similar? The defense intends to show that
the crew of the Equinox exhausted every last option before
they gave into the unspeakable. Thank you."
paused for a moment before returning to her seat. Marla
leaned over to Noah.
went well, didn't it?" she whispered softly. Noah shrugged.
you say so."
was confused by Noah's apparent indifference and she adjusted
herself in the hard-backed chair. She watched as the prosecutor
walked toward the front of the room. Commander Hileya, she
noted, was an Orion. Despite the fact the Federation had
had relatively cordial relations with the Orions for several
hundred years, it was rare to see an Orion in a Starfleet
Hileya's voice resounded through the courtroom. "Plain
and simple. No question whatsoever as to what happened on
board the Equinox. Murder."
time Hileya uttered 'murder', Marla flinched. She could
see Noah's knuckles whitening as he gripped the edge of
the table; James, Angelo and Brian looked equally uneasy.
Marla inhaled deeply.
colleague, Commander Pachano, intends to spin a story about
desperation and longing. But I remind you all. The Equinox
was a Starfleet ship and as such, was bound by Starfleet
regulations and protocols, regardless of circumstances."
Hileya turned and stared. Marla willed herself not to shrink
from the intensity of his gaze. "Maybe this would be
a good time to remind the court as well as the former crew
of the Equinox of some of our general orders."
desperately wanted to jump out of her seat and remind the
Commander that indeed, she did know the General Orders forwards
and backwards, but she restrained herself.
begin with, the crew of the Equinox violated order number
one, commonly known as the Prime Directive. Does this sound
familiar? 'As the right of each sentient being to live in
accordance with its normal cultural evolution is considered
sacred, no Starfleet personnel may interfere with the normal
and healthy development of alien life and culture.'"
Hileya paced the area in front of the judge's bench, the
floor creaking beneath his boots. "Not even in the
case of saving one's own life can this directive be ignored.
Indeed, the sorrowful story Commander Pachano has told does
not give a viable excuse for the actions of these five individuals.
In addition to violating the Prime Directive, I intend to
prove to the court that the crew of the Equinox also violated
General Order Two, which speaks against the use of force
in regards to an alien species. Thank you."
sat down, a satisfied and smug grin spreading across his
scaly features. As Marla looked at him, she shuddered. Dear
God, she thought, rubbing her hands again. We don't stand
to Tom's annoyance, Amelie Despere arrived to escort him
to his father's office. While he was happy to see Amelie
again, Tom silently fumed at the significance of her presence.
is ridiculous. I can find my own way," Tom said. He
meant it as a joke as they descended the stairs. "After
all, I was a cadet here for four years."
know, Tom, and I'm sorry," Amelie said. "But you
know what they say, orders are orders."
Tom said. He paused at the bottom of the staircase to wait.
"My own protection, I got it. All of this security
doesn't bode well for what's going on here. B'Elanna's really
can imagine," Amelie said. She opened the door and
Tom blinked as they stepped into the bright sunlight. "Your
baby is beautiful, Tom. She looks like you, in the shape
of her eyes."
think?" Tom felt a rush of pride swell through him.
He did think Miral was beautiful, but as B'Elanna had pointed
out, he was very much biased. Still, it was nice to hear
Amelie say the words and even nicer to know Amelie thought
Miral did look like him a little. Most everyone thought
the baby resembled B'Elanna and B'Elanna, rather self-consciously,
always said it was the forehead ridges which made people
think Miral resembled her; B'Elanna was always quick to
point out the features Miral shared with her father.
I would not lie to you."
and Amelie fell into step together as they quickly crossed
the green leading over to the main quad of the Starfleet
HQ campus. Admiral Paris' office was on the third floor
of Memorial Hall, a Colonial-style brick structure which
had survived many renovations, including the latest to repair
damage caused when the Breen attacked San Francisco during
the Dominion War.
to hear it," Tom said. He sighed. "No one thought
coming home would feel like this."
are standard procedures," Amelie said neutrally. "You
like this," Tom said, thinking of the Equinox Five.
He stopped. "Amelie, have you heard anything about
my friends? The Equinox crew?"
little, yes," Amelie said. "Come, Tom, your father
is waiting. We cannot be late."
you avoiding the question?" Tom refused to move. Amelie
glanced at him and then back at Memorial Hall.
is not good news, Tom, I'm sorry."
sighed. "What is it? They couldn't have possibly come
up with a verdict yet. It's only been a couple hours since
I saw them."
husband, he is part of the legal team which prepared Starfleet's
case," Amelie said quietly.
you have the inside track?"
little information Charles chooses to shares with me, yes.
There is still an element of confidentiality regarding the
Have you heard anything?" Tom asked eagerly. Any information
at all would be an improvement over the current situation;
he truly hated not knowing exactly what Starfleet had in
mind for them.
best, I believe, they will be dishonorably discharged,"
Amelie said reluctantly. She started walking again and Tom
had to jog to catch up with her. "Their records will
permanently record this verdict."
shook her head. "I do not know. It has not been decided
yet and my husband could only share this much information
about the Maquis?"
looked at Tom with obvious compassion. "I know your
wife is former Maquis so this is of great concern to you.
There has been no decision as of yet but again, Charles
is not optimistic. There are many who have long memories
and cannot forgive what they see as acts of terrorism by
Federation citizens. It is very political, Tom."
inhaled deeply. He and B'Elanna had discussed the possibilities
of what could happen to them shortly after their return
and she had voiced her opinion that her Maquis past could
come back to haunt them both. Of course, Tom had been more
optimistic about the situation and had insisted that the
Maquis' time on Voyager should count for something, but
now Amelie's comments made him fear for the very worst.
will let me know?" Tom did his best to keep his voice
steady. "Starfleet seems to want to keep us all in
swallowed hard as he glanced up at the third floor of Memorial
Hall and then three windows to the right where his father's
office was. Maybe B'Elanna was right after all. Tom Paris
wasn't a pessimist by nature, nor did he particularly enjoy
begging, but in this case, Tom was willing to forgo his
pride and ask his father for help.
of Nine examined the control panel very carefully. The technology
was familiar, as she had spent long hours studying Starfleet
schematics in preparation for this moment. She knew the
access codes would be simple recursive algorithms and she
had already spent some time calculating the most likely
solutions. However, she knew she would only have three tries.
The fourth failure to log on to the system would result
in a total shutdown of this console as well as all connected
systems; in addition, an alarm would be sounded, revealing
her attempts to tamper with Starfleet systems.
Seven typed in her first code and the panel flashed a red
"Access Denied" message back at her. The former
Borg drone remained calm and typed in the next most likely
Once again, she received the "Access Denied" message.
Seven glanced about, noting that the room only had one door
through which she could escape if she triggered the alarm.
It was then she noticed the vent in the ceiling. Satisfied
about her options, Seven typed in the third and final code.
To her relief, a green message reading "You are logging
on to terminal VT2000" appeared on the screen.
log on process took several minutes and Seven felt the strain
of impatience. Despite the fact this room looked as if it
had been unused for several months, she knew it was only
a matter of time before security realized she had left her
quarters and began searching for her.
the terminal displayed the familiar LCARS interface with
several application menus to select from. Seven's fingers
flew across the console's keypad quickly as she pulled up
Starfleet's latest information regarding its security protocols
and current defensive positions. In addition, she also downloaded
the latest updates to the Federation star maps. As an afterthought,
she also glanced at the blueprints of this particular dormitory,
as well as its history.
the downloads were completed, Seven ran a simple worm virus,
which would effectively eradicate all trace of her activities
on this terminal. Satisfied with her actions, Seven grabbed
her PADD and carefully climbed up on some furniture to reach
the ceiling panel. Stretching upwards, she could barely
nudge the panel out of place, and so she grabbed a stool
to give herself the added height. Finally, she pulled herself
up into the ceiling, replacing the panel carefully.
rose in a smooth, fluid motion. Janeway had always envied
the elegant grace and quiet Vulcans carried themselves with
and the inner serenity with which they presented themselves.
T'Sai was no exception to the rule as she approached the
bench, her gaze focused resolutely on Phillipa Louvois.
morning," T'Sai began. Her voice was even, carefully
modulated, but it carried well across the room. "Seven
years ago, Voyager was lost. We know this story well. Captain
Kathryn Janeway had been sent to capture a group of terrorists,
the Maquis. In the Badlands, Voyager encountered an entity
called the Caretaker, which hurled them seventy thousand
light years away. Faced with entirely new circumstances,
Captain Janeway did the logical thing: she created a new
mission for herself." T'Sai turned and glanced at Janeway.
"Her mission was simple. Get her crew home. However,
given the hostile aliens and forces Voyager would encounter
over the next seven years, Captain Janeway occasionally
had to make decisions most Starfleet personnel never were
faced with. In retrospect, we can point out every violation
but in the situations Captain Janeway faced, it was necessary
to make a decision quickly. Wasting time would have put
her crew at risk and above all, including one's ship, a
captain must put her crew first."
eyed Louvois carefully. The admiral seemed intent on T'Sai's
every word, her dark eyes following the Vulcan woman around
Captain Janeway's time in the Delta Quadrant and later in
'bubble space' -" T'Sai winced visibly at the unscientific
term - "she consistently acted in the best interests
of her crew. This much, I believe, we can all acknowledge."
T'Sai glanced around the courtroom, as if daring all present
to contradict her. Janeway noted that Louvois shifted in
her seat and not for the first time, Kathryn wondered if
the verdict had already been decided.
possible, Captain Janeway obeyed the Prime Directive to
the best of her ability. I believe the evidence will show
that there were several times when Janeway left a crewmember's
fate in jeopardy in order to avoid violating the laws of
the world Voyager orbited. You will also learn that Captain
Janeway avoided violating territorial disputes when possible
and used her full authority as a Starfleet captain to negotiate
treaties that were both beneficial to Voyager as well as
the other party."
this last statement, Louvois sat up a bit straighter. Janeway
noted the movement with a sense of trepidation. Janeway
squared her shoulders, hoping she appeared outwardly calm,
despite the fact her stomach was churning. It was with some
irony that Janeway recalled that not even her negotiations
with the Kazon had been able to disturb her to this extent.
in uncharted territory, it is impossible to predict every
outcome. I believe the hearings regarding the actions of
Kathryn Janeway during her time in the Delta Quadrant will
prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that she acted in ways
only beneficial to her crew and to Starfleet. You will see
the evidence in front of you, ma'am," T'Sai said, her
voice cracking just a little, much to Janeway's surprise.
"Kathryn Janeway is an intelligent, highly-regarded
officer and her command decisions brought Voyager home.
How can we penalize her for that now, given the triumph
of her return? It would be an illogical conclusion to a
journey rooted in a firm logic. Thank you."
took her seat and Janeway took the opportunity to lean over
to compliment the woman on her opening statement. T'Sai
acknowledged Janeway's gratitude with a simple nod of her
head and turned her attention back to the front of the room
as Commander Shelrak took the podium.
it comes to Kathryn Janeway, it is impossible to know where
to start," Commander Shelrak said. His little round
eyes focused directly on Louvois. "I believe we have
listed the most egregious of the charges. From our perspective,
it is easy to applaud Kathryn Janeway as a hero. After all,
she has fulfilled Starfleet's mission. She has gone where
no one has gone before and yes, it is true that she has
brought back quantities of scientific data which will be
of great value to the Federation for the years to come."
least they acknowledge that," Janeway muttered under
her breath. Next to her, Evans scowled while T'Sai appeared
not to have heard her comment.
even just a few of these charges are enough to permanently
discharge any Starfleet officer," Shelrak continued.
"Aiding and abetting a hostile power? Genocide? Dereliction
of duty? Attempted murder? Sirs, this is only a sampling
of the charges against Kathryn Janeway and we ourselves
would be derelict in our responsibilities if we overlooked
even a single instance where Janeway violated those tenets
most sacred to Starfleet. I have no doubt that Commander
T'Sai has prepared a logical explanation for each of these
transgressions." The scorn in Shelrak's voice startled
Janeway. "I ask all of you to listen to the facts as
I present them. I believe, when you have a complete picture
of what happened in the Delta Quadrant, you will be able
to separate myth from fact. Yes, we cannot disregard the
triumph of Kathryn Janeway's homecoming, but I ask you also
not to overlook the her blatant disregard for the values
held most dear to this institution. Thank you."
heaved a sigh of relief as Shelrak took his seat. Louvois
glanced up from her PADD; it had not gone unnoticed that
she had spent the majority of the time while Shelrak was
speaking jotting down notes. In fact, Janeway had been faintly
surprised to note that Louvois had been more interested
in Shelrak's statement than in T'Sai's.
you, counselors," Louvois said. Her voice was gravelly
and she paused to sip some water before continuing. "Commander
Shelrak, you may call your first witness."
rose and looked meaningfully at Janeway.
call Mr. Chakotay to the stand," he said.
blinked. She had known that Shelrak could call any of her
crew to the stand at any time, but she hadn't expected Chakotay
to be his first choice. The doors in the back of the room
opened and Janeway willed herself not to turn and look.
As Chakotay passed her, she deliberately averted her gaze.
you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing
but the truth?" Louvois asked as Chakotay slipped into
do," Chakotay responded in a firm, clear voice. He
stared directly at Janeway and this time she couldn't turn
away. She pressed her lips into the thinnest smile possible,
hoping he knew that she had already forgiven him.
last time Tom had stood in his father's office was just
a few hours after he had revealed the truth about what really
happened at Caldik Prime. To say the meeting had been uncomfortable
would be an understatement of gigantic proportions; it was
then Tom had dismissed all possibilities of ever having
a mature relationship with his father - the gulf between
them had grown too large.
almost ten years later, Tom still felt slightly awkward
in his father's office, despite their cordial meeting aboard
Voyager eight months ago. At that time, Tom had been flushed
with the joy of becoming a new father, absolutely enthralled
by his new daughter, and the depth of those feelings startled
him; he had been able to, even briefly, look at his father
in a new way. Later, in bubble space, Tom had occasionally
pondered what his relationship with his father would be
like when Voyager finally returned to the Alpha Quadrant.
And it occurred to Tom that now that he was a father himself,
he very much wanted to mend things with his own father.
Tom Paris glanced at his father, who remained seated behind
his desk. In a way, Tom felt like an adolescent again waiting
for a reprimand.
morning, sir," Tom said awkwardly. Owen Paris nodded
towards the chairs in front of his desk.
to see you, son," Owen said. "Please, have a seat."
formality in Owen's voice surprised Tom; back on Voyager,
Owen had been warm and even loving. In those hurried meetings,
there had been no distance between them.
Tom sat down. "How are you?"
Owen pressed the tips of his fingers together. "And
you? How is the baby? B'Elanna?"
both of them."
to hear it." Owen shuffled some papers around on his
desk, knocking a PADD onto the floor. The entire time, he
seemed intent on not making eye contact with his son. Finally,
he tipped his fingers together and looked up. "It's
good to have you back, Tom."
swallowed hard. His father sounded sincere enough.
you, sir," he said. "I'm glad to be home."
To his surprise, Tom realized that he was truly happy to
done well," Owen continued, his voice cracking ever
so slightly. He shifted in his chair. "Kathryn spoke
well of your achievements."
cleared his throat. "Thank you, sir. It means a lot
to me to hear you say that."
Paris regard his son closely and then leaned forward, his
temporary awkwardness gone. "Lieutenant Despere said
you had something to discuss with me."
inhaled deeply. "I'm concerned about what's going on
and so is B'Elanna. I thought you
might be able to shed some light on what's happening to
do my best."
leaned forward, heartened by his father's words. "What's
going to happen to Captain Janeway?"
Owen Paris leaned back in his chair. "I assure you,
Kathryn has competent counsel. I'm sure you remember Commander
nodded, recalling the tall, stately Vulcan who had often
visited the Paris home for one reason or another. "Yes,
as you can see, I have chosen the best possible lawyer for
Kathryn. You do not need to worry about her defense."
bothers me that everything is so secretive."
understand the need for discretion. The story of Voyager
is one that many people are following with great interest.
So for that reason, it's necessary to keep things to a small
group in order to prevent the spread of even more rumors.
Tom, I assure you, Starfleet is only interested in making
sure the true facts about certain situations come out."
like a fact-finding mission to me."
was relieved. "I thought it was more serious, given
what Lieutenant Despere had to say about the former Equinox
because Charles Despere assisted in the preparation of Starfleet's
case doesn't mean your friend is a reliable source of information,"
Owen said sharply. He pushed back in his chair, the legs
scrapping against the floor loudly. "Don't listen to
rumors, Tom, however well-meaning the source is."
flushed at his father's words, recalling how many times
his father had been able to reduce him with mere words.
How could he have forgotten how cool and distant his father
could be on occasion?
keep that in mind," Tom said slowly.
else? I imagine you're curious about your own upcoming hearing."
Tom tipped his head to the side - "I haven't thought
about it that much." This was true; B'Elanna had spent
enough time worrying for the both of them. Tom had regarded
his fate with a curious disinterest, trying to tame B'Elanna's
concerns with his self-deprecating humor. As long as he,
B'Elanna and Miral stayed together, nothing else mattered
much to him at this point. "I assume it's a mere formality?"
can't promise that. You understand things have changed,"
Owen said. "I know what Kathryn promised you-"
held up a hand. "You don't have to explain. I'm fine.
I'll do whatever I can."
fine." Tom grinned. "Trust me."
Paris looked noticeably relieved. "Well, then. Did
you have something else?"
yes. About being confined to quarters..."
yes." Owen shifted uncomfortably in his chair. "'Confined'
is a little bit of an exaggeration, but in the interests
of security and confidentiality, Starfleet felt it to be
the best course of action that all of Voyager's crew remain
in the North Compound until further notice."
the interests of security and confidentiality?" Tom
asked incredulously. Amelie had said much the same thing,
but hearing it from his father gave the words additional
weight. "What does Starfleet expect from us? We're
not criminals, contrary to popular belief."
no, you're not." Owen's face softened a little. "Don't
think I'm not sympathetic, Tom. The last thing I want is
for my granddaughter to be cooped up in a small, musty room.
I did fight the order as best as I could, but you have to
understand. The situation has become increasingly political
and I've been choosing the battles I can win without losing
bristled at his father's words. "Without losing face?
That's what's most important to you?"
I can't help you if I fight the small battles," Owen
said. "Eventually, the powers that be will band against
me and my opinion will have no weight whatsoever. I'm doing
the best I can for Kathryn, for all of you. You have my
still resent the fact that we're being treated like criminals."
we'd known this was the type of homecoming we'd get, we
would have stayed in the Delta Quadrant or even bubble space."
I said, son, I'm doing my best for you and the others. You
do know that Starfleet has an obligation to treat all of
its officers with respect and courtesy during confinement
and I'm going to do my damndest to make sure that happens."
glad to hear it, sir," Tom said sincerely. He had no
doubt that his father was being truthful on this point at
least; the passion in Owen Paris' voice assured him of that.
decision has been reached on their status," Owen said
shortly. "Tom, I don't want you to feel I'm withholding
information from you-"
have to know," Tom interjected. Owen nodded.
is a stressful situation for all of us-"
don't have to tell me that, sir. If you know anything at
the Maquis, I do not know. I'm being honest with you."
Owen sighed. "Tom, there is something that I do know,
and I'm glad you came today as we have a matter of great
importance to discuss."
straightened. His father appeared even more uncomfortable
now than he had at the beginning of the meeting. Tom knew
- could feel it in every inch of his body - that what would
come next would not be good news.
Gilmore licked her lips; she'd helped herself to a glass
of water prior to taking the stand, but still, her mouth
felt chalky. She swallowed hard again as she focused her
gaze on Noah; the left corner of his mouth quirked up and
she felt slightly better. She only wished that the constant
lurching in her stomach would cease.
are Marla Gilmore?" Commander Hileya stared at her
with his beady black eyes. Marla nodded. "You must
speak your answers out-loud for the record."
sir," Gilmore responded. She kept her voice even and
steady, as her lawyer, Commander Maria Pachano, had advised.
Hileya, an Andorian, tended to be rather crisp and curt
in his questions, Pachano had said; he liked to keep the
pace brisk, a tactic designed to keep each member of the
Equinox crew slightly off-balance. Noah had testified well
though and Gilmore had been proud of his performance. She
only hoped she could do as well.
your current rank is crewman?" Hileya asked.
sir." Marla could still remember the shame of being
stripped of her rank. That day, Gilmore knew that all of
her aspirations in Starfleet were gone; Janeway's wrath
had been such that Marla had known, despite at their good
behavior, it would be next to impossible to attain a position
of any respect on Voyager. Chakotay had been more forgiving,
but in the nearly three years Gilmore had served aboard
Voyager, Janeway had rarely taken notice of their presence.
are currently assigned to the USS Voyager?" Hileya
previous to that, you were assigned to the USS Equinox,
under the command of Captain Rudolph Ransom?"
right, yes, sir," Gilmore said. She took a deep breath,
hoping her anxiety wasn't too apparent. She also wanted
to be sure that while she answered Hileya's questions completely
- keeping information back from him would not serve her
or her friends - she also wanted to make sure she didn't
give too much information. As Pachano had said earlier,
"Just answer the question and then shut up." It
was good advice and Marla intended to follow it.
were assigned to the USS Equinox after graduation from the
sir." Easy questions, Gilmore thought, but she knew
eventually, it would get harder and that Hileya would start
asking about the events which still disturbed Gilmore's
sleep on occasion. Even after all of this time, what happened
on board the Equinox still had the power to rile Gilmore's
were assigned to Engineering."
explain the circumstances under which you ended up in the
nodded. This question she knew she could answer with emotional
detachment and for that, she was grateful.
story is similar to that of Voyager's," Gilmore said
quietly. "The Equinox was a science vessel and we had
been assigned to collect data in an area near the Badlands.
However, a storm blew us off course and disabled our sensor
readings. As we drifted through the Badlands, an entity
known as the Caretaker pulled us into the Delta Quadrant."
you assumed you were the only human beings until Voyager
long were you in the Delta Quadrant before Voyager contacted
seven years," Gilmore said softly. Seven long and dark
years filled with unspeakable horrors.
you were in the Delta Quadrant, you participated in some
experiments, is that true?" Hileya approached the stand,
his dark eyes gleaming with anticipation. In reaction, Gilmore
straightened. She refused to give the Andorian lawyer the
pleasure of seeing her squirm.
sir, under the order of my commanding officer, I did."
did these orders include the taking of life of a sentient
winced. "Yes, sir, they did."
you participated willingly, Crewman?"
the orders of my superior officer, I did as I was told."
was now only inches away from Gilmore. "Even if the
Starfleet codes specifically prohibit the murder of any
being, humanoid or otherwise?"
you were also responsible for modifying the warp core which
made it possible to use the remains of -" Hileya hesitated
- "Species 6291."
This time, Gilmore didn't bother to add the honorific title.
She didn't trust herself to keep her voice steady for much
longer and she could tell that Brian and the others were
looking away from her.
all I have for this witness." Hileya threw a disdainful
look in Gilmore's direction and marched back to his seat.
Maria Pachano stood up, her expression warm and respectful;
for that, Gilmore was immensely grateful.
Gilmore, you say you were in the Delta Quadrant for seven
years prior to meeting up with Voyager?" Pachano queried.
correct," Gilmore said.
what was it like when you first arrived in the Delta Quadrant?"
were confused at first," Gilmore said. "It seemed
inconceivable that we could be thrown so far. Some of the
crew had left children behind and all of us had families
and friends. It was a very difficult time."
also ran into the Krowtonan guard at that time, didn't you?"
ma'am, the first week. Thirty-nine dead. That was half -"
Gilmore swallowed - "of our crew." She had a dim
memory of bodies everywhere and of touching a friend, her
hands coming away soaked in blood. "I was grateful
to be alive, but stunned at what had happened to us."
were seventy thousand light years away from home,"
Pachano said gently. "And had lost half your crew in
the first week. How did you feel?"
Gilmore's voice trembled slightly and she dared not to look
at Noah and the others. At this point, she didn't care if
they thought she was weak; for once, she was being honest
about what had happened aboard that ship. "I didn't
think we'd make it. Rudy - Captain Ransom, he had faith.
We would uphold the Starfleet mission, we would be explorers,
make great scientific discoveries. So, we did rally for
liked the idea of being the first to explore the Delta Quadrant?"
ma'am, we liked that idea." Gilmore smiled. "There
were challenges and we looked forward to them. We were science
officers, after all. But after the first couple years, we
found that getting by on exploration alone was not possible."
is that?" Pachano asked.
Equinox was a Nova-class ship. We had minimal weapons and
no resources to make more really. Top speed was warp eight,
on a good day. Half the time though, we were too battered
to actually make it much past warp five. We spent a lot
of time hiding in nebulas while we did our best to hold
the ship together." Gilmore shook her head. "I
still don't know how we did it. Some times, it was a miracle
that we even survived those first two years."
me about Species 6291." Like Hileya, Pachano chose
to refer to these nucleogenic creatures by their Borg designation.
"You found out about them on the Ankari homeworld."
ma'am, we did. We had entered orbit around Ankari. We had
absolutely no dilithium left, no food, and unfortunately,
I had done all I could to hold the ship together. We were
in bad shape. The Ankari were friendly enough and treated
us to a little show - starring Species 6291. The Ankari
referred to them as 'messangers.'" Gilmore shook her
head. "We traded technology and summoned one of these
creatures into our science lab, but something went wrong.
The creature refused to be contained and eventually, it
died trying to break through the barrier."
that's when you found out that its corpse could be transformed
into an antimatter substance that could send you ten thousand
light years in less than two weeks?"
did you feel when you converted the corpse into energy?"
absolutely horrible," Gilmore said. She directed this
last comment in Hileya's direction. "A part of me could
not believe what I was doing, but we were so desperate at
this point. I hate to say it, but I don't think there was
much I would have said no to then. I wanted to get home,
I wanted to live -" her voice cracked - "I know
what I did was wrong, but if you were there, under the conditions
we were, you would have done the same thing."
you, Crewman." Pachano glanced at the admiral presiding
over the hearing. "I appreciate your candor. That's
all I have."
jumped up from his seat and walked forward purposefully.
continued to hunt this Species 6291 even though you knew
you were committing a heinous crime," Hileya challenged.
sir." Gilmore raised her chin defiantly. "I explained
you search for alternative methods?"
in the beginning -"
an engineer, Miss Gilmore. I find it hard to believe you
could not find an alternative fuel source," Hileya
continued. "You obviously possessed the capability
of modifying the warp core, so why not find a way to modify
an existing inorganic fuel to power the ship?"
tried many things-"
you gave up when you discovered Species 6291."
bit her lip. At the time, despite their reservations and
the fact the crew felt morally sick over what they were
doing, yes, they had given up on finding alternative sources
sir," Gilmore responded. She glanced at Noah and saw
he had covered his face with his hands. I'm so sorry, Gilmore
thought as she looked at all over her friends. She knew
she had at least damned herself, not to mention the others.
you took the easy way out," Hileya commented.
had no choice but to agree.
me, Miss Gilmore," Hileya said, "the exact proportions
of compound generated versus increase in warp drive efficiency."
isograms provided us with a .03 percent increase,"
Marla admitted. "We were able to travel an additional
ten thousand light-years with each increase."
you killed one, extracted the compound, and when that ran
out, you killed another?"
Marla's voice was barely above a whisper.
turned to the judge and nodded.
finished here," he said with a sneer. "No more
looked at Pachano, willing her lawyer to stand up and ask
something that would dull the impact of Hileya's questioning,
but Pachano remained seated. Finally, the judge leaned over.
Gilmore, you are dismissed. Please take your seat."
she stood up, her legs felt weak, but somehow, Marla Gilmore
managed to make it to her chair without incident.
did not dare to look at Kathryn.
first, the questions Shelrak posed to him were relatively
innocent; they went over the rudimentary information such
as name, rank, history, and some other basics. These were
the easy questions, the ones Chakotay knew he could answer
without seriously harming his friend. However, he knew that
Shelrak would not let him off so easily.
Chakotay, is it true you objected when Janeway agreed to
a truce with the Borg?" Shelrak asked. The man stood
directly in front of Chakotay, his reptilian head bobbing.
The ventilator edging Shelrak's lips hissed, causing his
breath to come out in rasps. After inhaling the methane
mixture, the rasping noises ceased.
Chakotay said shortly. He had gone over his testimony with
T'Sai the day before and she had advised him to simply answer
the question and not provide any additional details, unless
why you didn't support your captain." Shelrak clasped
his hands together in front of him.
frowned. "As her first officer, it was my responsibility
to give her my opinion when the situation warranted. I did
you specifically recommended not forming an alliance and
Janeway disregarded your advice?"
was the captain and she made the decision she felt was best
at the time."
advanced towards the stand. "Even though technically,
she was aiding and abetting a hostile power in violation
of Starfleet General Orders?"
believe, with all due respect, sir, that General Order number
eleven gives a captain the right to negotiate a treaty with
any entity, if the action will save the lives of her crew,"
Chakotay said carefully.
if the Federation is involved in an undeclared state of
war with the Borg?" Shelrak asked, his beady eyes gleaming
as he neared Chakotay.
Janeway took the well-being of her crew into consideration
above everything else. Given the circumstances, she didn't
have much other choice," Chakotay answered. He knit
his fingers together to stop the trembling in his hands.
As he looked up, he saw Janeway watching him, her eyes filled
with the familiar compassion.
I recall correctly, Mr. Chakotay, your logs specifically
mention an alternative solution. You proposed settling on
an M-class planet, did you not?" Shelrak asked.
shifted uncomfortably in his chair. "Yes."
could have also gone around Borg territory, couldn't you,
and avoided this Species 8472?"
by venturing into this Northwest Passage, Captain Janeway
was deliberately putting her crew at risk-"
T'Sai rose to her feet. "The Commander is making a
statement about my client without basis. I do not hear a
glared at T'Sai and then looked up at Louvois. Louvois nodded.
sustained. Commander, you are welcome to rephrase as a question
to the witness," Louvois said. Shelrak sighed audibly.
Chakotay, isn't it true by going through the so-called Northwest
Passage, Voyager's crew would have faced many risks?"
Chakotay said. He bit his lip as he looked at Janeway. At
this point, his friend seemed intent on her fingernails
and Chakotay figured it was for the best. He had no desire
to see the expression on her face as he answered these vaguely
I'm sure you'll agree, is a violation of General Order Seventeen."
This time T'Sai spoke from her seat and her voice was calm,
but carried through the room with strength. "Commander
Shelrak should refrain from making such inflammatory statements
which are not based in fact, merely opinion. Such comments
are without merit."
agree." Louvois glared at Shelrak. "Behave yourself,
Commander. You have been in my courtroom before and you
should know by now I have no patience for such tactics."
your honor," Shelrak said meekly, but Chakotay was
not fooled; he sensed that Shelrak was after blood, specifically
there a reason why you chose to go through this part of
space, even knowing the dangers which lay ahead of you?"
Shelrak asked. Chakotay nodded, unable to speak; his throat
felt dry and scratchy.
must answer the question out-loud," Louvois reminded
Chakotay said. "Kathryn is very principled and she
had promised to get the crew home. Settling in the Delta
Quadrant was not an option."
she was willing to risk her crew's lives?" Shelrak
asked, a note of incredulity slipping into his voice. He
glanced back at Janeway and Chakotay was proud to see that
Kathryn did not flinch beneath the lawyer's steady glare.
was a calculated risk," Chakotay said. "She thought
it out very carefully."
despite this 'careful thinking,' she still made a tactical
mistake, didn't she? She entered into a negotiation without
having all of the facts."
not sure I understand what you're saying," Chakotay
said. Actually, he knew exactly where Shelrak was going
and he was hoping T'Sai would mount an objection to this
line of questioning; unfortunately, the Vulcan remained
your own words, please tell the court what you learned about
the Borg and Species 8472."
cleared his throat. "I discovered that the Borg had
lied to us."
what way?" Shelrak advanced towards the stand.
were the ones who had started the war with Species 8472."
by entering into a treaty with them, you actually made it
possible for them to perpetuate this war?"
swallowed hard. The lump in his throat was almost painful.
how you look at it," Chakotay said. He didn't dare
to look at Kathryn now. Please forgive me, he thought.
your opinion, did Voyager aid and abet a hostile power?
One with whom the Federation has been in a state of undeclared
war for years?" Shelrak's voice was unusually crisp.
it your opinion that Kathryn Janeway was remiss in fully
researching the circumstances surrounding the situation
before entering this treaty?"
got up and her sigh was audible. "Once again, Commander
Shelrak is stating an opinion, disguised in the form of
a question. I request that it be struck from the record."
frowned. "I disagree, Counselor, and I'd like to hear
the answer. Mr. Chakotay?"
kind of information? What was the source of the information?"
bodies of the dead Borg, to begin with," Chakotay said.
He kept his voice low, hoping the panel of peers directly
to his right would not hear him. No such luck; Louvois asked
him to speak up.
else that would contribute to this decision?" Shelrak
glanced at Kathryn. She tipped her head slightly to the
of our crew members, Kes, she experienced a telepathic vision
in which she received a message. 'The weak shall perish.'"
on the basis of these two pieces of information, Captain
Janeway decided to form an alliance with the Borg?"
Chakotay glanced briefly down at his hands. Damn, it had
been hard to utter that one syllable. When he looked back
up, he saw Shelrak consulting his notes. Irritation filled
every cell of his body as he watched the prosecutor inhale
from his ventilator before turning back to the stand.
on," Shelrak said briskly. Chakotay relaxed. He knew
he had gotten off relatively easy in this case, as there
were more damning questions Shelrak could ask. In a way,
the omission of more pointed questions was almost suspicious
in itself. "In reviewing your logs, Mr. Chakotay, I
noticed a mention of passing through an area of dead space.
How long were you in this particular area?"
three months," Chakotay said. He remembered every dull
moment of that time too; the crew had fallen into such a
redundant routine with each day resembling the one before
it with frightening accuracy. There were times when Chakotay
felt as if he were caught up in a perpetual sense of deja
vue. Mentally, those three months had been among the toughest
during their time the Delta Quadrant.
believe you took command of the ship during that time?"
Shelrak asked pleasantly enough.
I did not," Chakotay said. "The Captain always
maintained command of the ship."
confused then," Shelrak said. "Your logs specifically
mention that the Captain remained in seclusion for most
of the time you were traveling through dead space."
may, I don't remember," Chakotay answered neutrally.
Shelrak dropped off a PADD in front of T'Sai and then held
one up for Chakotay to see.
this will refresh your memory," Shelrak said. "Is
this your log?"
scanned the PADD reluctantly. "Yes, it is."
your log, you said specifically that the Captain had not
left her quarters for nine days. Is this true?"
could be," Chakotay said. "But I assure you, nothing
happened on that ship without the Captain's knowledge or
the fact she did not appear on the Bridge at all during
was not necessary," Chakotay said firmly. "The
situation was such that if the Captain needed to keep to
herself, this was the ideal time for that. There was nothing
of scientific interest nor did we encounter any other alien
species. If either circumstance had arisen, I assure you,
Captain Janeway would have dealt with the situation herself."
you took over the running of the ship during this time?"
wouldn't say that. I consulted with Janeway every day."
considered. Breakfast mostly, if he recalled correctly.
The meetings would consist of Kathryn huddled over coffee
while he spoke. She would barely acknowledge his presence
and then he would go, knowing that she hadn't heard a word
he had said. At the time, he had been alternately infuriated
and concerned about Kathryn; she had never withdrawn so
much into herself before. But he refused to let Shelrak
and the others know exactly how difficult that time had
been on him.
saw her at least once a day," Chakotay said finally.
once a day was sufficient for the Captain to understand
all of the operations of her ship?"
was not much going on." Chakotay's voice took on an
one of your logs, you comment that the Captain seemed to
have lost interest in her ship. Is this a true statement?"
don't recall saying that."
you'd like to review your logs yourself?" Shelrak asked
in a voice dripping with scorn. He handed a PADD to Chakotay.
"Are these yours, Mr. Chakotay?"
Chakotay said, his voice barely above a whisper. He cursed
himself now for being so damned honest in his logs. But
spirits, he had been so alone during that time; his closet
friend had locked herself in her quarters and B'Elanna had
seemed perpetually on edge the entire time, her temper flaring
at the slightly provocation. His only outlet had been his
logs and if he had only known that Starfleet would use his
comments again Janeway, he would have restrained himself.
"But you're taking it out of context. If you read my
logs again, you'll see that I said that the Captain seemed
to settle into boredom, like everyone else on board, and
that it was hard to take interest in anything at all."
imagine you're right," Shelrak said, albeit a bit reluctantly.
Chakotay felt a small sense of triumph at the lawyer's discomfort.
Not enough of a win to give Kathryn the upper hand, Chakotay
knew, but it was a small point in her favor and for that,
he was grateful. "But I still find it hard to believe
a captain would lock herself in her quarters for nine straight
days. To me, that sounds like a clear sign of dereliction
T'Sai sounded slightly bored, as if she too had traveled
through dead space. "I do not hear a question."
You've been warned," Louvois said. "Ask a question,
Commander and please refrain from making gratuitous comments."
nodded. "My apologies, your honor. I believe, I'm concluded
with this witness at this time."
blinked. That was all? Though, he supposed he ought to be
grateful that Shelrak was letting him off relatively easily.
break for fifteen minutes," Louvois announced. "When
we return, Commander T'Sai, you will have the opportunity
to cross-examine this witness."
nodded and turned her attention back to her PADD. Chakotay,
heaved a sigh of relief; no doubt, T'Sai's examination would
redeem Kathryn. He had no doubt of it. It was only a question
To be continued...
Producers: Thinkey, Anne Rose and Coral