Summary:Flashback episode addition. Harry, Tom and B’Elanna create a holoprogram so the Captain can ‘ride shotgun’ with Kirk and crew on the Enterprise. This leads to all manner of adventures on the holodeck for the command team.
This story is for Pongo, for all sorts of reasons. We’re old trekkies together and she’s another wonderful friend found through Voyager and Vamb. Doffs hat in a westerly direction.
Harry Kim was sitting in the Mess hall deep in thought. He jumped as Tom and B’Elanna thumped their meal trays on his table, taking up the spare seats, and arguing, as they usually did, about something of no consequence.
“What do you think, Harry? I’m right, aren’t I. Tell her.” Tom scooped a mouthful of orange fluorescent chunks into his mouth, screwing up his face as he chewed.
“What a load of targdroppings, Paris. Harry, I’m right. Tom has no idea what he’s talking about. As usual.” B’Elanna took a tentative taste of the chartreuse coloured mound that graced her plate. She looked pleasantly surprised and took a larger mouthful, chewing enthusiastically.
“Targdroppings, my… B’Elanna, how could you possibly know? You weren’t even there. You’re just arguing for the sake of arguing.” He stuck his fork in the chartreuse mound on her plate and took a mouthful. He nodded at her, agreeing with her impression of the food/lifeform.
“So what if I like to argue. I enjoy it. And you’re such good sport, Paris.” Tom gave her a sour look and then turned to Harry.
Harry was looking at both of his friends trying to figure out what was going on.
“So, Harry, I’m right, aren’t I?” Tom looked at him expectantly.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about and please leave me out of your arguments. I just get confused.” He frowned and went back to his musings.
“What has got you all down in the mouth, Starfleet?” B’Elanna pushed her unfinished food aside.
“Nothing. I’m not down in the mouth, just thinking.” He smiled to prove he wasn’t unhappy.
“Well, what are you thinking about? It must be something important to have you so preoccupied. Come on, spill, Harry.” They both leaned forward waiting for the revelation.
“Well it’s not that exciting really. It’s just that I had this talk with the Captain today. It was about Tuvok. We were trying to decide if the sirillium in the Nebula we just passed had anything to do with his hallucinations, or whether the Nebula itself was a trigger for some hidden memory. Anyway, that’s beside the point. The Captain told me that while she was in the meld with Tuvok, his memories took them to the bridge of the Starship Excelsior about 80 years ago, around about the time the Khitomer Accord was signed. He was an ensign and his Captain was Hikaru Sulu. You know, the helmsman from Kirk’s Enterprise?”
Both B’Elanna and Tom nodded their heads. Harry continued.
“The Captain was talking about what it would’ve been like to have been in Starfleet back then.” He leant forward slightly as he spoke. “You know the Alpha Quadrant was still virtually unexplored, subspace communications were rudimentary at best, and like us they had little to rely on but themselves. The Prime Directive was more of a good intention than anything else, and they were at war with the Klingons and the Romulans and many other Alpha Quadrant species.”
Tom and B’Elanna were listening intently. It was fascinating stuff.
“On this particular mission it turned out that Captain Sulu had falsified reports about his whereabouts at the time, and had disobeyed orders to try and rescue Kirk and Dr McCoy from the Klingons.” Harry shrugged his shoulders, looking a little embarrassed. “It sounded exciting. They were a law unto themselves and it just got me thinking what it would have been like. Even the Captain said that, although Starfleet wouldn’t tolerate that behaviour now, she would have loved a chance to ‘ride shotgun’ with them just once, to see what it would be like. I don’t know.” He shrugged. “It just got me thinking.” Tom and B’Elanna were enthralled with the story.
“He falsified reports and disobeyed direct orders to rescue his old captain and friend. That’s so romantic.”
“B’Elanna, you’re such a girl sometimes.” She growled at Tom. “Yeah, yeah, I know, and if I tell anyone, you’ll rip my arm off and beat me with it.
Harry rolled his eyes.
“Ignore him, Harry. He’s a pig.” She turned her back on Tom and concentrated on Harry.
“Go on, Harry, you were saying?”
Harry shook his head and smiled. They were a pair. He wouldn’t be surprised if they really liked each other under all that aggression. They were good together. Funny how opposites attract.
“Harry? Earth calling Harry.” Tom was waving his hand in front of Harry’s face.
“Huh. Oh sorry, daydreaming.”
“What were you thinking about? Don’t tell me you’re getting a Kirk fixation or something.”
“No, no. I was just thinking it would be fun to pretend. Maybe we could write a holoprogram or something, I don’t know. Ideas were just running through my head.” He shrugged his shoulders, feeling a bit foolish being caught hero worshipping.
“I think that’s a great idea, Harry. Brilliant.” Tom looked at B’Elanna. “What do you think, B’Elanna?”
“Not bad, Starfleet, not bad at all. There are only a few programs available. We’ll eventually have to start writing our own if we’re going to be out here for years. We may as well be the first.” Tom enthusiastically agreed with B’Elanna.
“I tell you what, Harry. It’s the captain’s birthday coming up. Why don’t we see if we can have it finished by then and maybe give it to her. I think she’d like that. She loves those ‘play along’ gothic holonovels. This is a bit different but perhaps she could get her teeth into this one as well. What do you think?”
Harry mulled it over for a minute or so and then nodded his head. It was actually a great idea. The captain’s birthday was an excuse for a big bash, well it had been last year, and this was the perfect present and something that everyone could enjoy. After talking to her today, he was sure she’d love it. The trio decided to meet the next day after shift and begin a rough draft of their new holoadventure.
Harry, Tom and B’Elanna spent every spare off duty moment on their new project, and after a couple of weeks they had perfected a programme ready for the captain’s birthday. The celebration was scheduled for that evening and the trio were very excited about their gift.
They had decided to create storylines that were self evolving. The players took on the roles of two security guards who were assigned to away missions undertaken by the command team. They’d also written in a ‘random mode’, so that no two adventures would have the same outcome, thus ensuring the storylines remained fresh and interesting no matter how many times you used the program. They were very proud of their creation and eager for the captain to try it.
They had decided that the main characters of Kirk, Spock and McCoy should remain intact. Their holocharacters were programmed from the data base. Gigaquads of information were available about the 23rd century heroes, so they were relatively simple to recreate. The USS Enterprise 1701’s schematics were also on file so the computer had no trouble with the holorecreation of Kirk’s old ship. The day they’d created that, Tom, Harry and B’Elanna had spent hours wandering the corridors, investigating and marvelling at the 130 year old technology. It was amazing how far Starfleet had advanced in such a relatively short period of time.
The Bridge staff of Uhura, Sulu and Chekov, were also created from the computer archives, as was the engineer, Montgomery Scott. The fact that ‘Scotty’ was somewhere out there roaming the Galaxy added a certain poignancy to the recreation. B’Elanna was intrigued by his exploits. He was an engineer after her own heart and in her opinion, the man was a genius. He was resourceful and inventive, and always managed to find innovative and clever ways out of seemingly impossible situations. Over the weeks he’d become her hero and something of a demigod in her eyes. She secretly hoped she might meet him one day.
On the night of the captain’s party they arrived in the mess hall at 20:00 barely able to contain their excitement. Harry was a little nervous. It was after all his idea, and he hoped the captain would truly enjoy her gift.
Kathryn Janeway was sitting with Chakotay and Tuvok at a table to the side of the dance floor. Many of the crew were there. Those who were on duty would take a relief break during their shifts to attend, even if only for a short time.
The trio approached the table.
“Good evening, Captain. Happy birthday.” Tom was grinning from ear to ear.
“Yes, Happy birthday, Captain. Tuvok. Chakotay.” B’Elanna nodded to the captain’s two companions.
Harry was holding the parcel. Chakotay noted his hesitancy. “What have you got there, Harry? Replicated yourself an extra pip, have you?” He gently nudged Kathryn’s knee under the table. She smiled at Harry, but felt a little sorry for him. He was so easy to tease.
“No, Commander. This is for the captain.” He offered it to her. “Happy birthday, Captain. This is from Tom, B’Elanna and me. I hope you enjoy it.” He stepped back quickly once he’d handed over the present, not terribly comfortable being the centre of attention.
Kathryn took the package, giving it a gentle shake near her ear and looked at the trio with raised eyebrows. “It’s not likely to go off when I open it, is it, Mr Paris?”
“Would we do something like that, Captain?” She looked at him deadpan.
“Well, Harry certainly wouldn’t and the idea was his, so you’re safe.” He smiled at his captain. She looked sideways at Chakotay. He nodded his head towards the parcel encouraging her to open it. Tuvok looked on impassively.
She opened the package and held up the data chip. She looked inquiringly at Harry. “It’s a holoprogram, Captain. It’s based around Kirk’s Enterprise. Do you remember our conversation a few weeks ago?” Kathryn frowned and then nodded remembering. “Well, we thought it might be fun to have a holoadventure that was based around the old Enterprise crew. The three of us have worked on it over the last month or so and I think you’ll enjoy it.” Harry looked to Tom for assistance.
“Yeah, Captain. You and a friend…” He looked pointedly at Chakotay, “take on the role of two security guards on an away mission with Kirk, Spock and Dr McCoy. Harry said you’d liked to have had a chance to ‘ride shotgun’ with them. Well here’s your opportunity, and you won’t get booted out of Starfleet for doing it. Happy Birthday, ma’am.”
“Well, thank you all very much. I’ll look forward to it.” She turned to Chakotay and gave him a lopsided smile. “What do you say, Commander? When our next lot of holodeck time is scheduled, shall we demote ourselves and join the Greats?”
Tom, Harry and B’Elanna were grinning madly, very pleased that their present had been so well received. Chakotay quirked an eyebrow. She’d never invited him to join her on the holodeck before. The invitation was a very pleasant surprise.
“Ready when you are, Captain. Just say the word.” Their eyes locked as they smiled at each other and their gazes held for just a fraction longer than was necessary. Then both blinked and turned away. There was a slight flush on Kathryn’s cheeks and Chakotay was tugging at his ear.
Tuvok was watching his commanding officers closely. Their attraction to one another was obvious, and something he was keen to encourage. They had many years ahead of them here in the Delta Quadrant and he knew how important it was for humans to have companionship to lead happy and healthy lives. He felt the commander would be an appropriate bond mate for the captain. They complimented each other well, and logic dictated that a contented and well balanced captain was essential to the smooth running of the ship. After his meld with the captain a several weeks ago, he was well aware of her attraction to her second in command. He was also aware of her dilemma regarding how to balance a relationship and her command. He intended to speak to her about this problem. He would inform her that he approved of her choice and that in regard to the crew, that they would only be happy for her. He would reassure her that both she and the commander were intelligent and sensible human beings and that they would find a way to balance their needs.
They just needed a little push in the right direction and perhaps if the captain knew that he approved of her choice, she might not be so reticent about moving forward with the relationship.
“Your next scheduled holodeck time is tomorrow evening, Captain. If you and the commander combined your allocated time you will have over three hours in which to…..indulge.” Both Kathryn and Chakotay shot Tuvok a startled look and then turned to each other with slightly troubled looks on their faces.
Surely not, Kathryn thought to herself. Tuvok was a stickler for regulations. There was no way he would actively encourage her involvement with a member of her crew. She studied his face, but it remained irritatingly impassive. He stared back at her candidly and she averted her eyes. The data chip all of a sudden had become very interesting. Chakotay watched the interplay between Tuvok and his captain. Had Tuvok really said what he thought he’d said? Those enigmatic Vulcans were so difficult to read. He hoped he had heard correctly. Having Tuvok’s approval would help overcome a huge hurdle in his pursuit of Kathryn Janeway.
After Kathryn had failed to outstare her Tactical officer and looked away, Tuvok had glanced at Chakotay with what only could be described as a smile in his eyes. He did understand and approve. Well I’ll be, thought Chakotay. That had thrown him for a loop. He needed to leave. His heart was pounding and his palms were sweaty and he would give the game away if he hung around any longer. So standing up, he nodded to everyone.
“Well, Captain, I promised to relieve the beta shift for a few hours. I probably won’t make it back before you leave so, Happy Birthday.” He smiled down at her.
Kathryn smiled back. “Thank you, Commander. See you on the bridge tomorrow and I’m looking forward to this.” She waved the data chip in the air. He beamed a devastating smile back at her. She took a deep breath and grinned back. Harry diverted her attention, just before her indulgent stare became too obvious.
“Yes, Happy Birthday, Captain. We’re going to head off for a game of pool. You’re welcome to join us if you’d like?” Harry was very happy with himself.
“Thank you, Ensign, but I’m going home shortly. I’ve got some work to do, but enjoy your game.”
“Sure. Goodnight, Captain.” Harry turned and moved towards the door with Chakotay.
“Yeah, night, Captain.” Tom and B’Elanna followed.
Kathryn sat quietly with Tuvok. She wasn’t sure whether to broach the subject of his earlier comment. She couldn’t believe that he would be so ham fisted in his attempts to throw her and Chakotay together. She expected that sort of thing from the likes of Tom and Harry. But Tuvok? She decided that she must have misinterpreted his implication. It was just a Vulcan being a Vulcan, and not picking up on the undercurrents.
Tuvok looked towards his captain. “Captain, I am also leaving now. May I escort you to your quarters?”
“Thank you, Tuvok, but I might stay a few minutes longer. Ensign Wildman has just arrived with Naomi and I’d like to see how she is. Sleep well, my friend.”
“Good night, Captain, and happy birthday.” Tuvok made his way to the exit and Kathryn approached Sam Wildman who was carrying baby Naomi. A crowd was quickly gathering around her. Kathryn joined the throng and was rewarded with a cuddle with the littlest Voyager.
Bridge duty the next day was blessedly quiet but the day crawled past slowly as a result. Kathryn was sitting at her desk going over engineering reports when the door chimed. “Come.”
Without looking up, she held out her hand expecting another report to be placed there by whoever had entered. When no padd materialised, she looked up to find Chakotay standing in front of her desk armed with a dimpled smile.
“Commander, to what do I owe this pleasure?” She returned his smile with an equally devastating one of her own. Chakotay took a deep steadying breath. She was something.
“Just wanted to check if you were still on for this evening’s holodeck adventure?” She waved for him to have a seat.
He perched himself on the edge of the desk and leant towards her.
“Yes, absolutely. I’ve also checked the costuming and it will be very interesting. The uniforms were a little more revealing 130 years ago, for the female members of the crew anyway. Although I’m looking forward to seeing you in yours, Commander. Are you all ready for our adventure?”
“Yes and looking forward to it. My uniform, huh?” He shook his head. “OK, I’ll meet you outside the holodeck at 18:00, shall I?”
“That sounds fine. See you there.” He slid off the desk and smiling at her before he turned, he headed back to the bridge.
Kathryn sat looking at the doors and sighed. It would be too easy. He was all that she admired in a man. He was smart, kind, funny and sexy. Indulge, mmmm?
Kathryn walked up the corridor to the holodeck garnering some astonished glances from the passers by. Her short red uniform, black stockings and boots were certainly different from the unisex coveralls they wore these days. How utilitarian these outfits were in the field was something she wasn’t too sure of. And red for a security guard? It didn’t seem like a particularly sensible colour but it was all in fun. As she tugged the skirt down a little, she wondered what the attrition rate for security guards was back in Kirk’s time.
She rounded the corner and there was Chakotay leaning up against the holodeck entrance wearing his 23rd century uniform. He looked awfully good in the body hugging red shirt. She could hear Tuvok’s voice echo from last night …. ‘indulge’. Could it be that simple? She shook her head and approached her handsome first officer.
“Good evening, Commander. Are you ready?”
“When ever you are, Captain?” He smiled at her and gave her a head to toe appraisal. “Interesting uniform. The male crewmembers must have enjoyed themselves back then.”
“Eyes front ‘Ensign’.” She gave him a wicked grin as she slotted the chip into the console.
“Computer, play Enterprise 01.”
“Program initialised.” With that, the doors swished open and they stepped into the corridor of the Starship Enterprise 1701. They gazed up the brightly lit corridor noting the pale blue and red doors. The ceiling panels were red and the exposed conduits were in bold yellows and oranges. Kathryn stared at her surroundings and then looked at Chakotay.
“Well, it was certainly cheerful. They obviously hadn’t discovered Starfleet grey or beige at this point.” She looked up and down the corridor. “Let’s go this way and see if we can find some schematics and work out where we are.” They turned to their right and headed down the corridor.
A pair of crewmen in gold uniforms came out of a yellow door not far in front of them. Kathryn turned to Chakotay briefly and then turning back, watched them move down the corridor. They stepped up to some red doors which opened and stepping in, the two crewmen disappeared.
“Well, it looks like we’ve found a turbo lift. That’s a start.” Chakotay moved towards the door. Suddenly a voice came over a public address system.
“Security personnel Traba and Ferris report to the bridge.”
Kathryn and Chakotay looked at one another. Chakotay came close to Kathryn and bent down looking at her chest. She backed up a bit and then realised he was reading the name written on the Starfleet emblem on her top.
“Well, pleased to meet you Ensign Ferris, I’m Ensign Traba.” They shook hands smiling at one another. His handshake was firm and reassuring. Their gazes caught once again as a hum of electricity moved from their joined hands up their arms and straight to their middles.
“Ensigns Traba and Ferris report to the bridge.” The voice startled them. They pulled their hands apart as if they’d been stung. Kathryn gave herself a little shake.
“We’d better get going.” They moved to the red doors, which opened on their approach. Stepping inside Kathryn spoke. “Bridge”
The lift didn’t move. There were some handles attached to the wall. She grabbed hold of one and the turbo lift began to move. She turned to Chakotay and shrugged. The doors opened and they stepped out on to the Bridge of the Starship Enterprise.
They stood on the upper level surveying the circular room. Mr Scott was standing at the Engineering station on their left and Lieutenant Uhura was to their right at the communications station. She swivelled her chair around pulling a silver device from her ear.
“Captain, Proctor Vellis is requesting your arrival time.”
Kathryn and Chakotay watched as the renowned Captain James T Kirk rose from his command chair and took a step forward, speaking over his shoulder to his communications officer.
“Tell the Proctor that we’ll be beaming down in ten minutes. Mr Spock, are you ready?”
The tall stately Vulcan turned slowly from his scanner, the blue light from the device reflecting on his face. “Yes, Captain. Scans show several populated enclaves in the vicinity of our beam down site but I have found a secluded area where we will not be observed.”
“Excellent, Mr Spock.” Kirk turned and addressed Kathryn and Chakotay. “Ah, Ensigns Ferris and Traba, I’ll brief you on the way to the Transporter room.” He swung around his chair and took the stairs in one leap. He turned as he reached the lift. “Spock?”
Kathryn and Chakotay stood to the side as Kirk and Spock entered the lift and then followed them in. “Deck Seven.” They all gripped the handles. Kirk turned to the two security officers. “I want you two to keep on the alert for any sort of trouble. According to the Proctor there have been threats to his life and being with him will make us targets as well. There are some disgruntled members of an opposing political group who would see it as an advantage to either kidnap or kill us.”
“Yes Sir, we’ll keep our eyes open.” Kathryn nodded at her captain. He smiled at her and looked her up and down. He gave Chakotay a cursory glance and then looked back at Kathryn. “Thank you, Ensign. I see I’m in good hands.” He smiled his most charming smile at Kathryn and then turned to Spock. Chakotay looked sideways at her and gave her a cheeky grin. She glared back at him finding it very difficult not to grin in return. Her new captain was an irrepressible flirt. It seemed the stories about him were true.
The lift deposited them on deck 7 and they walked up the corridor to the red doors of the Transporter room. They slid open and all were met with the disgruntled rumblings of Dr. Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy. He was complaining to Lieutenant Kyle about the scattering of his molecules all over the universe.
“Damn ridiculous way to travel. If we were meant to be broken down into our component atoms, we would have been made that way. I’m a Doctor, not a damn puzzle.”
Mr Kyle didn’t seem the least bit perturbed by his griping. Kathryn decided it must have been a regular occurrence.
Dr. McCoy climbed up beside his captain on the transporter. “What’s this all about, Jim? I thought this was a straightforward trade mission. Why the blazes do you need me along?” They were now all standing on the transporter pads which looked surprisingly similar to the ones on Voyager.
“Bones, I need you there to do a quick check on the Malusians. There was some mention of chronic illnesses and deformities amongst the mine workers. I want you to do it discreetly though. I don’t want the Proctor to know that we’re doing the scans. Starfleet Command wants us to negotiate a mining treaty with the Malusians but on the proviso that the general population are not being used as cheap labour in the mines.”
“People’s propensity to mistreat their own is a never ending source of concern.” Spock spoke to no-one in particular, but the Doctor’s hackles rose at his superior attitude.
“Well, Mr Spock, we aren’t all as logical and unfeeling as the Vulcans….. and a good thing too.” He began muttering under his breath. “Green blooded, cold hearted…..” Spock raised an eyebrow but didn’t deem it necessary to reply to his ranting.
Kirk nodded to the transporter operator. “Energise, Mr Kyle.”
They all faded into the swirling masses of the transporter beam and then rematerialised behind a large mound of dirt in a clearing surrounded by small brush-like trees. Kathryn and Chakotay did a quick sweep, phasers in hand. There was nothing out of the ordinary.
They made their way around the hillock and were met by a group of aliens. They were tall and very muscular, with elongated heads and a shock of green hair and mauve eyes. They were quite striking but looked entirely untrustworthy. Kathryn looked at Chakotay. They sent a silent message to one another to be on the alert.
Captain Kirk moved forward, dwarfed by the gigantic alien. “Proctor Vellis?”
The tallest of the aliens nodded his head. “Captain Kirk, it is a pleasure to meet you. May I introduce my staff. Vice Proctor Resic, Prentis Fallor and Dromel.” They all nodded to one another.
“Proctor, this is my Science Officer Mr Spock and Doctor McCoy.” And then nodding towards the two security guards. “And Ensigns Ferris and Traba, our security personnel.”
Spock remained impassive and inclined his head. “Proctor.”
McCoy gave him a slight smile. “Proctor Vellis, it’s good to meet you.”
Chakotay and Kathryn nodded their heads towards the group of alien giants.
Vellis moved away slightly and turned to Kirk. “Captain Kirk, if you would care to follow, I have an area ready for our negotiations.”
The Proctor turned and moved away from the clearing into a rocky ravine. Chakotay pulled Kathryn to the side. “This looks like a set up to me. It’s the perfect spot for an ambush. Keep your eyes peeled.” She looked at him strangely.
“Eyes peeled?” she chuckled. “You’ve been around Tom Paris too much. He’s starting to rub off on you. But you’re right. This doesn’t feel right.”
Kathryn moved up closer to Kirk. “Captain Kirk?” He turned.
“Captain, this doesn’t feel right. I would be happier if you let me take the lead.” He nodded at her.
“Certainly Ensign, where you lead, we’ll follow.” He gave her a leering grin. She saw McCoy roll his eyes and Spock look sideways at the Doctor. They seemed to be used to his clumsy attempts at flirting. He gave a small bow and motioned her ahead with a wave of his hand. “After you, Ensign.” She caught Chakotay’s grin over the heads of the command team and had trouble not bursting out laughing. She turned and followed the Proctor into the ravine.
They weren’t twenty metres into the narrow ravine when Kathryn heard the sound of pebbles dropping from above. She looked up and saw the glint of metal in the sunlight. She noticed Proctor Vellis suddenly moving faster in front, so turning she shouted a warning, “get down!” just as the first phaser blast hit the rocks above Kirk’s head. They all fell back against the side of the ravine and began firing at the area above them. They were horribly exposed but there was nowhere to hide and they were being showered with rocks and pebbles. There was a strange humming noise and Kathryn turned just in time to see Kirk, Spock and McCoy disappear in a shimmer of green.
“Damn it, Chakotay, they’re gone.” She pulled her communicator from her belt. “Ferris to Enterprise, the captain, Spock and Dr. McCoy were just beamed away from this location. Can you scan the planet for their life signs?” Shots were still being fired from above. The Proctor and his party were nowhere to be seen.
Chakotay flipped open his communicator. “Enterprise, emergency beam up.” He felt the telltale tingles of the transporter beam but the shimmer was green instead of blue. The next thing he knew he was dropping from several feet on to a rough stone floor.
“Ouch! Chakotay, get off my leg for God’s sake.” He scrabbled around in the dark, trying not to think of the parts of Kathryn’s anatomy that he was touching as he attempted to move off her. It was pitch black and very disorientating. It was so dark it was hard to tell which way was up. He felt around.
“Kathryn, where are you?” He was crawling on his hands and knees. He bumped into something soft, and a familiar husky voice spoke only inches from his ear.
“I’m right here, Chakotay.”
A shiver ran down his spine. The only other time he’d been this close to her was when he’d held her in his arms as they’d tried to avoid being killed by the plasma storm on New Earth. The darkness lent an intimacy to their situation that was having an effect upon him that made him grateful that she wasn’t able to see him. He was about to reach out for her when a voice spoke up from the gloom.
“Ensigns Traba and Ferris, so glad that you could join us.”
He felt Kathryn’s breath on his face as she turned and spoke. “Captain, are you alright? Are the Doctor and Mr Spock here with you?” Chakotay silently cursed the fact that they weren’t alone, but he reminded himself that this was a game on the holodeck, so in essence they were really alone. That idea made him smile.
“Yes, Ensign Ferris, the gang’s all here.” That was McCoy and he sounded none too happy with his circumstances.
Kathryn put her hand on Chakotay’s thigh. He jumped at her touch, grateful that she hadn’t grabbed him any higher or she’d have been in for a surprise.
“Kathryn, your hand?” He whispered and grabbed her hand, moving it lower.
“What? Oh sorry.” She patted his leg but left her hand there.
“I take it we’re prisoners.” Kathryn’s hand gripped his leg.
“That would be a logical deduction, Ensign.” Spock’s voice came from somewhere on their left.
“Captain, I suggest we work our way around the room and see if there’s a door or some other form of exit. Ensign Traba and I will work our way to the left if you would all work your way around to the right. My phaser is gone, but I still have my communicator so I might be able to shed some light on the subject.”
She removed her hand from his leg, the area where it had been suddenly feeling quite cold. There was some scuffling and a twitter and then a faint glow as she flipped open her communicator. She waved it around and the faces of the three Enterprise personnel glowed eerily in the dark. Spock opened his communicator and there was just enough light to see a little of their surrounds. It didn’t look good.
“Spock to Enterprise.” There was the depressing sound of static.
They all stood and made their way to the walls, each of them feeling and tapping their way around trying to find some means of escape. Their phasers and tricorders had not materialised with them so all they had were the two communicators and the Doctors medical tricorder, none of which were much use at the moment except for shedding this small amount of dim light.
Kathryn stayed close to Chakotay’s side as they wended their way around the room.
“Captain, I think I may have found something.” All heads turned in Spock’s direction. He was kneeling in the corner. “It appears to be a small trapdoor. If I could have your assistance, Ensign?” He was looking in Chakotay’s direction.
“On my way, Commander.” Chakotay shuffled over to Spock’s side. They both began to pull at the grate in the centre of the wooden door. There was a small scraping noise and then another. “It’s shifting, grremph..” Chakotay pulled and yanked as hard as he could. He turned to Spock. “On three. One, two, three……” They both gave an almighty tug and with a loud crunch the door gave way and Chakotay flew backwards landing at Kathryn’s feet.
“Oomph!” He’d landed with the door on top of him. “Damn, that’s gonna bruise.”
Kathryn leaned over, looking concerned. “Are you ok, Chakotay?”
“I’m fine.” He grunted as he sat up and shoved the door to the side. “Pass me your communicator please, Kathryn. He wriggled forward again and shone the dim light into the passageway. “It’s very narrow. I don’t think we’ll make it through. Although…..” He turned and looked at Kathryn. “One of us might be able to squeeze through.” He raised his eyebrow in question but couldn’t keep the grin off his face.
Captain Kirk had a look through the opening and turned to Kathryn. “Ensign Ferris, how do you feel about being a mouse?” She came forward and looked into the black hole.
“Oh I’m sure I’ll enjoy that, Captain, and thank you, Ensign Traba, for the suggestion.” She held her hand out for the communicator. She playfully snatched it from Chakotay’s hand. “Captain, I’ll see how far I can get. If it goes far enough I might even be able to get word to the ship.”
“Good work, Ensign, and be careful.”
“Aye, Sir.” Kathryn moved into the hole giving all the men present an interesting view as she crawled away from them. It was a tight fit and the ground was very hard on her knees. She wouldn’t complain about the all in one uniform ever again. The tunnel got narrower and narrower until she was dragging herself along on her stomach. She got to a point where she could go no further. Dropping her head onto her hands, she took a few minutes to get her breath. Flipping open the communicator she tried hailing the ship. There was still only static. So much for that idea. She gritted her teeth and then began the tedious task of crawling out backwards. A few minutes later she could hear the mumble of voices from her companions. She wriggled out of the hole with as much dignity as the current situation and her uniform would allow, extremely grateful for the muted lighting. She leant back against the wall and swept her hair out of her eyes and wiped the perspiration from her face.
“No luck, Captain. The tunnel just peters out to nothing and communications are still blocked.” Chakotay moved over to her side.
“Are you alright, Kathryn?” She looked a wreck, and this was supposed to be fun.
“I’m fine, thanks. Next time you get to be the rodent.” She grinned at him. She was having a great time.
Chakotay sat beside her and pondered their predicament for a moment. He looked down at the communicator in her hand. “Kathryn, did the communicators of this era have viridian crystals in them?” She nodded her head, looking at him with a puzzled expression. Then it dawned on her.
“Excellent idea.” She started trying to pry the back off her communicator.
Chakotay moved over to Kirk and the other two officers. “Captain? I think I may have a way to blast our way out of here. If we can find the part of the wall that is the thinnest I can rig the two communicators as an explosive and we can blow a hole in the wall.”
“Ah, an interesting idea, Ensign. I take it you’re going to use the viridian crystals on different frequencies to set up a resonance field. It might work.” Kirk handed his communicator over to Chakotay. “Go to it, Ensign.”
Chakotay moved next to Kathryn again and held his communicator light close to hers while she removed the crystal. She in turn, held her communicator close to his as he repeated the process. While they were setting up the exploding communicators, the three Enterprise officers were working their way around the room trying to judge which part of the wall would be best to blow up.
“How’s it going, Ensign? I think we’ve found our spot.”
Chakotay looked up at Kirk. “We’re almost done, Sir.” Kathryn pulled a pin from her hair and straightened it out. They took the communicators, crystals and pin over to the wall where Kirk, Spock and the Doctor were standing. Kathryn explained her plan.
“If we place the crystals over the volume output on each communicator and tune them to send out ultrasonic sound waves of slightly differing frequencies, they should create a feedback that will cause a corresponding resonance in the rock walls and if our calculations are correct it should cause the wall to collapse. The pin will focus the sound waves. It works much like an old fashioned sonic blaster.” She carefully placed the communicators on the floor and aligned the crystals with the hairpin touching each one.
“We’d best move over to the other side of the room.” The three officers moved to the far wall. Chakotay stayed by her side as she set the communicators to send out the high pitched sound. Then he grabbed her hand and they both moved over with the others.
They stood huddled together watching the opposite wall in the gloom. Time ticked by slowly. It would take a few minutes for the vibrations to build up enough resonance to do their job. Kathryn could feel it in the wall she was leaning against. It was like a hum that was becoming stronger and stronger. She lifted her arm up to cover her face, and turned in towards Chakotay. Chakotay took this opportunity to put his arm around her and hold her gently against him. It was nice.
All of a sudden there was a loud grinding sound and the bricks and rocks that made up the opposite wall blew out and sunlight came spilling into the room. Kathryn reluctantly slipped out from under Chakotay’s arm. They all looked towards the opening and shielded their eyes, momentarily blinded by the bright light.
Kirk seemed to recover the quickest and jumped over the debris to check the escape route. He knocked out a few more rocks and poked his head through carefully. He turned back to his companions.
“It looks safe enough. There are no Malusians in sight. Lets go. They’ll be coming to check out that noise any minute.”
They all hurried across the room. Spock went first, then the Doctor. Kirk motioned for Kathryn to go through next and held his hand out to help her over the rubble. Chakotay motioned for Kirk to go next and he brought up the rear.
They were in some sort of garden.
“This appears to be a courtyard of some description attached to the fortress like building behind us. Perhaps this is the Proctor’s seat of government. It seems logical to move in this direction away from the building.” Spock pointed to a shaded walk way that led away from the building. They all started off at a trot, trying to get as much distance between them and the Proctor’s palace as they could. About a mile down the walk way, it deteriorated into dense forest and they were forced to slow their pace. Chakotay led the way and using a length of wood, he beat a path through the undergrowth. Kathryn brought up the rear and was constantly checking behind her for pursuers. They struggled on for another kilometre or so before they stumbled out into the sunlight, only to dash back into the cover of the trees. They had found the Malusian shuttle fleet by the look of the hundreds of small spacecraft set in neat rows as far as the eye could see.
“We have to get into one of those. Without our communicators the ship will have a hard time finding us.” Kirk was busy surveying the lay of the land. There were several tall Malusians milling about the field but as luck would have it, they had arrived on the opposite side of the field to the barracks. It would take time for the soldiers to get to them if they were mobilised.
Kirk turned to his medical officer. “Yes, Bones”
“A Green haired giant has just climbed into that ship there. The door’s open. I think that’s our ride.”
Kirk nodded. “Bones, Spock you’re with me. Ferris and Traba, you work you’re way around to the right. We’ll move in from the left. Keep your eyes open and watch your backs.”
“Aye Sir.” They all moved off.
Kathryn and Chakotay kept low, darting from boulder to shrub as they worked their way towards the shuttle. Suddenly Chakotay grabbed Kathryn and held her tight against him behind a large rock. She was about to complain when she heard the sound of boots scuffing past. Closing her eyes she relaxed into his embrace until the shadow of a lanky native flashed past. She had a quick peek at Chakotay as she lay in his arms. He was on the alert and seemed completely unperturbed by their close contact. She sighed inwardly and committed the feeling of being in his arms to memory.
After a few minutes, he peeked around the boulder. The coast was clear. Letting her go he gave her a quick smile and moved away. She frowned but followed him as he made his way towards their goal. That had felt so good and now she felt bereft. What in heaven’s name was happening? She watched his back closely as he hunkered away. She tried to understand what she was feeling. All she knew was that it had felt so wonderful to be in his arms and it hurt that he didn’t seem to be affected in any way by their close physical contact. She was surprised at how much that upset her. She chided herself. It was silly. He was her first officer and she was his captain. Nothing could ever come of this even if he was interested, but tears pricked at her eyes and a lump sat at the back of her throat at the thought of him not caring. She sucked it up. This was not the time to indulge in these thoughts. Tuvok’s words echoed in her head. ‘Indulge’. She mentally shook herself. It was time to get her mind back on the game.
They were almost to the door of the shuttle when they heard some grunting and scuffling coming from their left. There was a flash of gold and then green and blue. Kirk, Spock and McCoy were wrestling with several Malusians. Kathryn looked around for a weapon of some sort while Chakotay jumped up and ran to join the fray.
He was looking forward to this. He hadn’t been in a good fist fight in ages, and he needed some physical activity. Holding Kathryn in his arms and not reacting to her proximity had taken an enormous amount of self control. He’d grabbed her when he saw the alien and felt her rigid body become soft and pliant as she realised that they were in danger and he was only protecting her. His instincts had been to hold her closer, caress her and never let her go. But he knew what her reaction would have been to that, so he’d remained aloof and forced himself to appear unaffected. He now needed to punch someone to relieve the tension. It was a good way to re-establish the distance and he knew if he looked at her at the moment she’d see all of his emotions written plainly on his face. The fear of rejection drove him into the melee.
By the time he arrived at the scuffle, Spock had already dispatched two Malusian giants with his neck pinch and he was rounding on the fellow that McCoy was trying to down. Chakotay body slammed a Malusian coming up behind Kirk.
Kirk looked over his shoulder and grinned at Chakotay, nodding thanks just before he was punched in the side of the face by another native. Chakotay grimaced. Oooh… that would’ve hurt.
Meanwhile his Malusian was shaking his head and staggering to his feet. Chakotay let fly with a killer left hook connecting with the giant’s jaw. He snatched his hand away shaking it. Yowch! These guys had iron jaws like the Nausicaans. Time for a different tactic.
Chakotay started concentrating on the body blows, pummelling the green haired leviathan in the stomach and chest. Suddenly his feet went from under him as his opponent picked him up by the scruff of the neck and tossed him in the air. He landed with a thud at Spock’s feet.
Spock looked down at him completely unperturbed, stepped over him, and reaching up, pinched the Malusian’s neck. The Malusian’s eyes rolled back in his head and the green haired giant hit the ground with a resounding thud. Spock stepped back over Chakotay’s still prone body and moved to help Kirk with his aggressor. The Doctor was already making his way over to the shuttle. Chakotay looked towards the shuttle again. Where the hell was Kathryn?
There she was. Well, there was part of her. Quite a nice part of her in fact. She was dragging the body of a presumably unconscious Malusian from the shuttle. She was bent over and her skirt was not covering very much. As Kirk continued to scuffle with a Malusian soldier behind him, Chakotay took the time to admire his captain.
There was a loud thunk beside him and Kirk’s Malusian hit the ground, his head narrowly missing Chakotay’s lap. Kirk wiped his hands and followed Chakotay’s gaze. Both men stopped and watched the delightful view. Kirk was still panting from the exertion of his fight, and his shirt was torn right down the front, but he was still able to turn to Chakotay and give him a slight nod of appreciation. Chakotay gave the legendary captain an answering nod but an unexpected pang of jealousy hit him right in the chest. He knew he was still fired up after his fight, but he had an overwhelming urge to punch the smug face of his holographic captain. Instead he scrabbled to his feet and jogged over to Kathryn.
“Here, let me help with that.” He grabbed one arm and they pulled the enormous alien away from the shuttle.
“How on earth did you knock him out?” His hand was still throbbing from the punch he’d given his opponent.
Kathryn reached inside the door and triumphantly held up a length of metal. “With my trusty piece of pipe. While he had his back turned,” she added sotto voce.
He gave her a dimpled grin and she smiled back. He noticed a telltale blush creep up her neck, and a strange feeling filled his chest. Could it be? Could she be feeling the same things he was? It seemed almost too good to be true. They stood there with their eyes locked, taking unsteady breaths. Suddenly they checked themselves, giving each other a shy smile before returning to the task at hand.
McCoy had already entered the shuttle and Kirk and Spock were almost at the door. Chakotay heard Kathryn whisper.
“Oh, my God.”
He turned around to find Kirk on his way to the shuttle with the front of his shirt torn wide open. His bare chest was glistening with sweat as he strutted towards them. He walked up to Kathryn and took her arm, escorting her into the shuttle. “Well done again, Ensign Ferris. You might just get a promotion out of this.” Kathryn looked over her shoulder at Chakotay and grinned and winked. He just smiled and shook his head. Kirk was nothing like a Starfleet officer from the 24th century, nothing at all. What a difference a century makes.
Chakotay was a little miffed that Kathryn seemed so taken with this. Then he realised that this non conformist attitude of Kirk’s appealed to Kathryn, and that in turn got him thinking. He himself was something of a non-conformist. He smiled to himself. Maybe he could use this to his advantage.
Kirk’s voice rang from inside the ship and jolted him out of his musings.
“Traba, are you coming with us?” Chakotay jumped into the shuttle just before the hatch closed and Spock fired the engines. They lifted off and away from the planet.
Their steep ascent took them quickly away from the planet surface. Chakotay surmised that there would be a planetary sensor system so their escape wouldn’t go unnoticed for long. He took up a vigil at the tactical station. Kathryn was manning the sensors and Spock and Kirk were piloting.
McCoy was in the back of the shuttle muttering to himself.
“Why do I ever go on these damn missions? I’m a doctor not a diplomat. Diplomacy pffft! We should just stun first and ask questions later.” He looked towards the cockpit and then called out to Kirk. “Jim, we’re going to have to start packing you an extra shirt for these missions. Poor Ensign Ferris.” McCoy grinned wickedly at Kathryn. She turned and looked at her virtually shirtless captain.
“It doesn’t worry me, as long as my uniform is made of tougher stuff.” McCoy guffawed. Chakotay looked over at her. She gave him a big grin. She was having the time of her life.
Kathryn turned back to her sensors. There was a telltale blip on the screen. “Captain, it looks like we’re being pursued. There’s a ship closing in off our starboard bow.”
“Got it, Ensign.”
“There are several more coming in from the port side as well, Captain.” Chakotay was studying his console. He was trying to figure out the buttons and dials on his panel. Which were weapons and which were the targeting mechanisms?
“Captain, they’re firing,” Kathryn called from her station. The shuttle was jolted as the closest ship fired.
“Direct hit. Minimal damage.” There were another two jolts as the other ships fired again. Smoke and sparks flew from ruptured conduits in the bulkhead.
“Evasive manoeuvres. Traba, lock on and fire at will,” Kirk yelled over his shoulder as he busily steered the small vessel through a number of twists and turns.
“Aye, Captain.” Chakotay locked on to the nearest ship’s engines and fired phasers.
“Direct hit. Engines disabled,” Kathryn announced and then turned to him. “Good shot, Chakotay.” She was busy keeping an eye on their pursuers, but took the time to glance at Chakotay and smile.
Kathryn had another look at her sensor readouts. There was another squadron of ships approaching from the planet. “Captain, we have another twenty or so ships approaching. We won’t be able to out manoeuvre that many ships. I’ll try and contact the Enterprise.”
“Ferris to Enterprise. Come in Enterprise.” There was nothing but static. “There must be a dampening field of some sort. Communications are down, Captain.”
Chakotay had finally decoded his tactical array. “Captain, all these ships are networked. I think I can send a feedback pulse along the network and fry the navigational arrays on all the ships. That should leave them dead in space.”
“Give it your best shot, Ensign. We’re not doing terribly well up here.” There were another couple of jolts and the console in front of Spock exploded and threw him out of his seat. McCoy raced past Kathryn and Chakotay to attend to the fallen Vulcan. Spock was trying to stagger to his feet when another volley of phaser fire hit the ship and more consoles and conduits began spewing smoke and plasma into the cabin.
Spock shook his head at the Doctor. “I’m fine, thank you, Doctor McCoy.”
“I’ll be the judge of that.” He ran his tricorder over the groggy Vulcan, and was muttering to himself again. “Pointy eared, green blooded….. can’t kill ‘em with a stick.” He pulled a hypospray from his pack and injected Spock. “That should keep you on your feet.”
Spock looked at McCoy with undisguised antipathy. “Thank you, Doctor.” He took his seat next to Kirk.
“Sending feedback pulse now.” Chakotay hit a button on his console and they watched as the other ships lit up like Christmas trees and started haphazardly swerving and pitching.
Chakotay watched with glee as most of the ships lurched drunkenly and came to a stop. “Yes!”
Spock turned in his seat. “A surprisingly effective, if unorthodox manoeuvre, Ensign Traba.”
“Nicely done, Chakotay.” Kathryn was looking at him, clearly impressed. “Where did you learn to do something like that?”
He whispered to her. “Well, I did lecture in tactics at the Academy, and my days in the Maquis taught me a thing or two. Besides, I have this very exacting Captain, so I like to keep a few things up my sleeve.” He raised his eyebrows at her and then gave her a wicked, dimpled grin. She smiled in return and then looked away, but glanced back briefly with a puzzled look on her face.
He was very pleased with himself. He had her thinking. That streak of non-conformity was shining through nicely just at the moment. He looked back at her and she darted her eyes away, pretending that she was looking at something else. He smiled to himself. She wasn’t as immune to these feelings as he’d thought.
“OK everyone, let’s see if we can find the Enterprise and get ourselves home in one piece.” Kirk powered up the engines and headed for open space.
The small shuttle climbed through the atmosphere and headed out into space. Spock began trying to contact the Enterprise. “Spock to Enterprise. Spock to Enterprise.” There was a minute’s static and then the sound of Scotty’s lilting accent came through the noise.
“Aye, Mr Spock. This is the Enterprise. We have you on sensors. Heading for you position. We should rendezvous in 3 minutes. Welcome home.”
Kirk turned around and smiled at his crew, his eyes lingering on Kathryn. “Well done, everyone. Let’s go home.”
Ten minutes later the away team were stepping out of the turbo lift on to the Enterprise bridge. A blonde Yeoman handed Kirk a clean shirt.
“Thank you, Rand.” He took the shirt and without a moment’s pause, shrugged out of his torn skivvy, handed it to the yeoman, and pulled the clean one over his head.
Chakotay noticed Kathryn watching the proceedings with wide eyes and a disbelieving grin on her face.
“Well, I think we can wipe the Malusians off the list as potential Federation members. What do you think, Jim? Let the Klingons have ‘em?” Kirk took his seat and turned to McCoy who was standing to his left.
“I think you’re right, Bones. Uhura, contact Starfleet Command and inform them of the day’s events. We’ll wait and see what they say.”
“My impression, Captain, is that their intentions were not honourable.” Spock stood to Kirk’s right with his hands held rigidly behind his back.
“That’s stating the blindingly obvious… again, Spock.” McCoy looked at the Vulcan despairingly.
“Ensigns Ferris and Traba. Well done. Your quick thinking and unorthodox solutions to our predicament were above and beyond. There will be commendations in both your files.” Kirk nodded his head at the two security personnel and gave Kathryn another one of his winning smiles.
She turned and smiled proudly at Chakotay.
Suddenly a chime sounded. It was the five minute warning to inform them that their holodeck time was almost up.
Uhura turned and spoke to Kirk. “Captain, Starfleet Command has sent new orders. We are to leave Malusian space and rendezvous with the USS Yorktown and take on vaccines and medical supplies for Tavela Prime. I’m transferring the co-ordinates to the helm.”
“Take her out, Mr Sulu. Warp factor 4.” Kathryn and Chakotay stood in front of the turbo lifts and watched the viewscreen as the stars elongated and the ship shot forward heading for their next adventure.
As the ship faded around them, Kathryn felt a pang of regret. Last to fade were the outlines of the three commanding officers as they were silhouetted against the star field in the forward viewscreen. Spock, Kirk and McCoy. The Greats.
She’d had a wonderful time, but it also meant that her time alone with Chakotay was over. She wondered if he’d had as good a time as she had and whether he’d want to do this again.
She looked around the holodeck grid and sighed. “Well, that was certainly an adventure. Did you enjoy yourself, Chakotay?”
He turned and gave her a wide, dimpled grin. “I had a wonderful time. How about you, Kathryn? Was riding shotgun with Kirk and his team all you imagined it would be?”
She laughed. “Well, there were a few surprises, but…” She placed her hand on his chest and grinned at him conspiratorially. “I had the time of my life. I think we should do this again soon. What do you say, Chakotay? Would you come on another wild shotgun ride with me?” He laughed out loud at her unbridled enthusiasm. It was the happiest he’d seen her in ages. Her face was flushed, and her hair had come loose from her bun and was spilling down her back. Her eyes were bright and sparkling. She looked absolutely beautiful. He was watching her as her eyes flicked around the room and then rested affectionately on him. He was overwhelmed with his love for her. She was everything to him. He loved her. Deeply.
“I love you, Kathryn.” She looked at him and smiled.
“Good. I’ll organise another block of holodeck time for early next week. I can’t wait to see where our next adventure will take us. This was a marvellous birthday present. I’ll have to thank our Terrible Trio.” She gave him a wide grin. Giving his chest a pat, she moved away from him and then tugged down her skirt. She looked at him a little regretfully. “Well goodnight, Chakotay. Thank you for a wonderful evening. See you on the bridge.” She turned and strode out the door.
Chakotay hadn’t moved. He wasn’t quite sure what had just happened. He hadn’t really meant to say it. The words had a life of their own and had tumbled from his lips before his brain could do anything to stop them. But her reaction had totally floored him. Surely she’d heard him. Perhaps she hadn’t. His mind was reeling and he couldn’t seem to move. He was rooted to the spot.
Kathryn walked up the corridor with a spring in her step. She’d had a wonderful time. The best she’d had in a long while. Chakotay was the perfect partner and they’d worked brilliantly together. Their strategies complemented each other and the ideas bounced beautifully from one to the other. They could almost read each others minds it seemed. She smiled at the wonderful sense of camaraderie she’d felt and just the joy of being in his company. Tuvok’s words were still echoing in her head. Indulge… She smiled to herself. It was something that she was seriously considering doing. He was such fun to be with and she was so glad that when she’d asked him to do this again he’d said he’d love….to……
Her stride slowed, and after a few hesitant steps, she stopped altogether. She swung around and looked back in shock at the holodeck doors. He hadn’t said ‘I’d love to’. He’d said… Oh God. Her knees turned to jelly and she took a deep shuddering breath. She started walking shakily back towards the holodeck. Why hadn’t she realised? The look on his face should have told her all she needed to know. He’d been staring at her with that look that turned her insides to liquid. She thought back. He’d said……oh my God.
She gained speed the closer she came to the doors. She was almost at a run when the doors opened on her approach and she stumbled through. He was standing where she’d left him. The look on his face made her heart ache. She was breathing fast and staring at him.
They stood looking at each other from across the room.
They both started to speak at the same time. Chakotay gestured for Kathryn to go first. She opened her mouth to say something, but nothing came out. He was just standing there looking at her with his heart totally exposed. She had to tell him that it couldn’t be, that they were the command team and nothing could happen between them. She shook her head angrily as her inner voices battled. That wasn’t what she wanted. She wanted the same thing he wanted. Could they do it? Could they have a relationship and maintain command? She took a step forward and opened her mouth again.
“Chakotay, I… Chakotay, we… this will be …” She couldn’t finish a thought, let alone a sentence.
“Kathryn… I’m sorry.” He visibly deflated. “I know… I…I don’t know why I said that. I’m sorry. I’ve embarrassed you. I’ll go. Just forget I ever said anything. I don’t want this to spoil everything.” He was frowning as he went to stride past her.
This was so ridiculous. She didn’t quite know what to do, but she suddenly had this overwhelming urge to laugh. The joy of knowing that he loved her bubbled up from deep within her. It spilled over her concerns and worries and left in its wake a wonderful feeling of relief and wellbeing. She laughed out loud, joyous happy laughter, and reached out to him as he passed, grabbing his arm and swinging him back towards her.
“It can’t spoil anything, Chakotay, because I love you too.” She smiled happily at him and watched in wonder as the light of realisation sparkled in his eyes.
He stared at her and a familiar dimpled smile spread slowly across his face. She still had hold of his arm as he reached forward and ran his fingers down the side of her face. They moved slowly towards one another, their eyes never leaving each others. She ran her hand up his arm and cupped the side of his face. He bent his head towards hers and as their lips moved to meet….
Kathryn’s comm. badge chirped.
“Tuvok to Captain Janeway.”
Kathryn groaned and her head thudded on to Chakotay’s chest. Keeping her head resting against him, she tapped her badge. “Janeway here.”
“Captain, I have a two hour block booked for the holodeck that I’m unable to attend. Perhaps you and the commander would like to continue with your adventure.” She lifted her eyes to Chakotay and looked at him suspiciously.
“Thank you, Tuvok. Make sure you make up your time, won’t you?”
“Certainly, Captain. Please…indulge.”
Kathryn and Chakotay’s heads shot up and they stared at one another.
“Did you…? Are you….?” How could she possibly ask the question?
She heaved a sigh. “Nothing. Thank you, Tuvok. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Good evening, Captain, Commander.”
Chakotay stepped away slightly, but held her hand in his. Kathryn looked down at their joined hands.
“I think our resident Vulcan has been plotting.”
“How does that make you feel, Kathryn?” He stood back again slightly and watched her face.
He wasn’t quite sure how this was all going to pan out. She seemed happy, but then again, this was Kathryn. She was just as likely to change her mind now that she knew Tuvok had been planning this. The thought of being manipulated was enough to make her slam the lid on the whole box and dice. He steeled himself.
“I….” She looked up at him. He was frowning slightly and looked uncomfortable. She suddenly felt a little insecure. How would he feel now that he knew Tuvok had been manoeuvring them into this position? He might feel resentful about being manipulated and she didn’t want him entering into a relationship with her if he felt he’d been pushed. “I can’t believe Tuvok has done this.” She tried to pull her hand from his, but he held on tight.
“I can. I think that our resident Vulcan is just an old romantic at heart.” He lifted her hand to his lips and kissed the back of it, then ran his thumb over the spot where his lips had been. Kathryn was watching him intently.
“Do you really think so? I think it’s much more Machiavellian than that. I think he’s decided that if I’m happy and content, I’m much less likely to cause him trouble. Don’t forget, he’s been in there. He knows how my mind works.” The thought had just occurred to her that he probably was aware of her attraction to her first officer from the meld a few weeks ago. The conniving, scheming, darling, old finagler. Emotionless my arse.
“He’s been plotting all right.”
Kathryn stepped right away from Chakotay and pulled her hand from his. His shoulders sagged. She was going to do it. She was going to pull away, and when he’d been so close. His disappointment was tangible.
“Chakotay, move over here.” He frowned at her request but moved over to her side. “If you stay there, you’re going to get wet. Computer, begin program Lake George Alpha One.” The grey gridded walls disappeared and Chakotay found himself standing on a small beach looking out over choppy grey water, presumably Lake George. He turned and looked at Kathryn and she gave him a gentle smile.
“This is Lake George. My family owns a cabin here and I spent some of the happiest days of my childhood here. Come on and I’ll show you the jetty.”
She tucked her hand into his. She gave it a reassuring squeeze and pulled him towards the old wooden pier. He floated along with her. His heart was soaring and he felt like his feet were barely touching the ground.
They walked hand in hand to the end of the jetty and looked out over the water. Grey clouds were rolling in from the east and it would be raining before long. They stood quietly for a few moments, and then he turned his gaze to the woman at his side. She was facing into the wind with her eyes closed, and her hair was flowing in waves behind her. She had a peaceful contented smile on her face.
Again, he acted without thinking and leant forward and gently touched his lips to hers. She opened her eyes lazily and met his gaze. He was staggered. This was not Kathryn Janeway pulling away. This was Kathryn Janeway jumping in, boots and all. Her look was totally unguarded. Love, delight, happiness and desire were all reflected in those eyes that he now realised were the same grey/blue as the water in the lake. She was a part of this place and this place was a part of her, and now she was sharing it with him.
She reached up and pulled his face back down and her lips met his. Her body drifted closer until her breasts, stomach and thighs were aligned with his. He could feel the thud of her heart as it beat in concert with his. The taste of her and the smell of her were overwhelming his senses, and as the wind whipped around them, long strands of her hair wrapped around his neck tying him to her. He was ensnared, deliciously and delightedly held captive by this woman whom he’d loved for as long as he’d known her.
As she pulled away, the strands of hair slid from around his neck and down his front, sending a shiver through him.
She took his hand and turned back towards the shore. “Let’s go.”
She led him up the beach to a hidden pathway through the trees. She sidled close to him, and as they walked through the shade she wrapped her arm around his waist and he draped his over her shoulders. It seemed like the most natural thing in the world. After a few minutes their stroll brought them to a clearing and a small cabin made from hand hewn timber. It was rustically quaint and obviously very old. Chakotay looked down at her questioningly.
“It’s a replica of the original cabin that was here. They moved it to the other side of the lake when they built the big house, but I always liked this one better. Come.” She opened the door and pulled him inside.
It was as rustic on the inside as it was on the outside. There was a stone fireplace on the far wall, a table and chairs on one side of the room, a sink and bench on the other and a large bed up against the wall to their left. He turned to her and smiled. She’d been watching his face as he scanned the room.
“This is lovely, Kathryn. In a way, it’s very you.” He grinned down at her.
“What do you mean? Old and ramshackle?” she teased.
He swung around and gently pushed her against the wall. “No. I mean charming, warm and inviting.” He leant close to her and nuzzled her neck. She threw her head back and sighed as he found that spot that made her knees go to water. He whispered in her ear, the breathy words sending shivers down her spine. “Kathryn, I love you and I want to make love to you. Is that what you want?”
She reached up and held his head to her neck, gasping her reply.
“Oh God, yes.”
With that he picked her up and carried her over to the bed.
He sat her on the edge of the bed, then knelt on the floor in front of her and began removing her boots. He unzipped the right one slowly, dragging his finger behind the open zip, running it down her black stockinged leg. She sat watching him intently, taking small panting breaths through her slightly opened mouth. Pulling that boot off, he repeated his actions on the other leg. Standing up, he toed off his shoes and then reached down for her hands. He pulled her up so she was standing in front of him. Reaching for her shoulders, he turned her gently so her back was to him and then started to slowly unzip her dress.
He ran his finger down the soft skin of her back, again following the path of the open zip. She shuddered and Chakotay noticed goose bumps spring up all over her skin. He leant forward and kissed the small of her back, tonguing the spot and then blowing air on it. Kathryn squirmed and sighed. His slow seduction was exquisite. He turned her around again and pulled his skivvy over his head, then tugging the sleeves of her dress he dragged it down over her arms and let it slip to the ground in a red puddle around her feet. She was standing before him in her bra, panties and stockings. She was beautiful.
Chakotay reached over and caressed her breasts with the back of his fingers through the lace of her bra. Her nipples sprang erect and she was having trouble keeping still. Her knees were shaking and she was feeling very unstable on her feet. Chakotay pulled his hand back again and unsnapped the fastener on his pants and let them drop. He stepped out of them and moved back towards Kathryn again. She could see his erection straining against the confines of his shorts and she reached over and stroked down the length of his shaft. She could feel the heat and a drop of moisture that had soaked through near the tip. It was now Chakotay’s turn to shudder.
Kathryn reached behind her and undid her bra. The straps slid down and off her arms, and her breasts fell from the confines of her bra. Chakotay reached forward and touched her nipples again. Just a whisper of a touch, barely there, but enough that her legs went from under her and she sat on the bed with a thud.
This position did afford her some advantages though. She leant forward slightly and hooking her index finger in the top of Chakotay’s shorts, she pulled him over closer to the bed. Then slipping both her hands down the sides of his shorts, she dragged them down. They eventually flicked below his erection, and his throbbing penis bobbed in front of her face. Oh so tempting. She leant forward again and ran the tip of her tongue up the length of it. She heard him suck in a breath and let it out with a groaned “Kathryn”. He placed his hand on her shoulder to steady himself. He was just as unstable on his feet as she had been. Holding him close to her with one hand on his buttock, she took his rigid penis in her hand and her lips closed around the engorged head. He squeezed her shoulder tighter and let out another groan. “Oh Spirits, Kathryn, that feels so good. Oh God.”
She laved the head, licking up and down the length and then sucking almost the entire length into her hot mouth. She nipped around the tip and then slid her mouth up and down, taking in more and more of his rigid length. Chakotay was in heaven. Kathryn’s hot mouth around his penis was more wonderful than he could have ever imagined. He was holding her head and thrusting slightly. Realising he was close and not wanting to come without her, he slowly eased back and slid from her mouth with a pop. She looked up at him with lust glazed eyes and licked her lips. He nearly came right there and then.
Still looking at him, she slowly lay back on the bed, throwing her arms above her head, but still with her legs draped over the edge of the bed. He knelt down in front of her again and brought one hand forward and palmed her crotch. He could feel the heat and moisture through her panties and hose. He moved his fingers up and stroked over her folds through her clothing. He found the hard ridge of her clitoris and massaged that for a moment, slowly working his finger through her panty hose. He’d made a small hole and slid his finger through and into the side of her panties. Kathryn was writhing on the bed as he stroked her moist folds with his finger and gently moved it in and out of her vagina. He moved his hand away and Kathryn sighed with the loss of the stimulation.
Chakotay gripped her stockings at the waist and tore them down the middle. He slipped them down her legs and off. He then hooked his finger through the crotch of her panties and dragged them down and off as well. She now lay before him, completely naked.
He could see the moisture glistening on her pubic hair, and the temptation was too great. He moved forward on his knees, pushing her legs apart and opening her to his gaze. He slowly stroked over her throbbing nub and blew little puffs of air over the swollen tissues. Kathryn groaned and thrust towards him. He eventually leant over and placed his mouth over her opening and licked and sucked at the sensitive flesh.
All the time his thumb was teasing her clitoris. His mouth worked her tender flesh and it wasn’t long before she felt the telltale signs of her impending orgasm, tingles in her legs and buttocks and the tightening of her abdomen. She wanted them to be together for this and pulled his head away, dragging him up towards her.
She wriggled up on to the bed and he lay beside her, stroking her face. “I love you, Kathryn.”
She smiled at him and touched his lips. “I love you, too.”
Chakotay moved over her and stroked his penis through her folds and over her opening a few times before he slowly entered her. As she felt him sink into her welcoming heat, all of Kathryn’s doubts and worries fled. This couldn’t be wrong. She had never felt this wonderful sense of completeness with anyone in her life before.
Tears slid from her eyes as she revelled in the beauty of this moment. She could feel Chakotay’s tears as they slid down her neck. He was as moved by this moment as she. It was profound. All the years of travel and struggle ahead of them suddenly didn’t seem so daunting. They would meet the challenge ahead together.
He lifted away from her slightly and held up his hand. She understood the gesture. It mirrored the one she had made on New Earth all those months ago. She laced her fingers through his and they stared into one another’s eyes as they moved together in the slow and inexorable journey towards completion.
The tension grew as their pace increased. Muscles tightened and the urgency of impending orgasm found them thrusting towards one another with abandon. Kathryn’s world exploded into white light. Her body throbbed and shuddered as her climax took hold. She cried out as the clenching of her inner muscles carried Chakotay to the same realm of bliss, his body slamming into hers as he emptied himself into her.
Collapsing onto her small body, she held her arms around him, cradling him to her. They were joined and now always would be. He had touched her soul in such a way that they were bound together for always.
She whispered into his hair. “I love you, my angry warrior.” She felt his smile as they drifted off to sleep in each others arms.
Some time later the chime sounded. Kathryn sat up with a start. It took her a few seconds to remember where she was and turning to her side she found the warm body of her first officer and now lover. She smiled to herself as she leant over, kissing his shoulder and running her hand down his arm.
“Chakotay, we have to leave.”
He rolled over and pulled her to him. “Hhmmm? Love you. Mmmmm.”
He nuzzled her neck, tickling her with his whiskery cheek. He was all warm and sleepy and she would have liked nothing better than to stay snuggled in his arms, but they had to get back to their quarters.
She gave him a gentle shove. “Chakotay, someone will be wanting the holodeck. We have to get up. Come on. Move.”
The chime sounded again. Their time was up. She climbed out of bed and pulled her clothes on quickly. He was lying in the bed watching her. She held up her tattered pantyhose and gave him a withering look.
He grinned at her. “You didn’t complain at the time.” She tossed them at him.
“Get up. God, I hope you’re not going to be like this every morning. How do you make it to the bridge on time?” He sat up abruptly, looking at her with a worried frown.
She looked over at him after pulling on her boots. He was frowning. “What’s wrong?”
He raised his eyebrows in question. “Every morning?”
She laughed at him. “Did you think this was a one time thing, Chakotay?” He was still staring at her with a look of consternation. The smile faded from her face and she looked at him worriedly. “God, I hope you didn’t. This is for keeps, Chakotay. I don’t things like this lightly. You’d better be ready for a long term commitment, because I won’t accept anything less.” She was standing beside the bed in that ridiculous short red uniform, with her hands on her hips, ready to do battle, her insecurities setting her on the defensive.
He couldn’t believe it. He’d half expected her to pretend that it hadn’t happened, and here she was pushing for this relationship that he’d wanted for as long as he could remember. It took him a moment to grasp the strange turnabout and then a huge smile spread across his face. He leapt out of bed and grabbed her, swinging her up in the air and planting a big warm kiss on her mouth.
“Every morning it is then. Who am I to argue with the incomparable Ensign Ferris?” She visibly relaxed in his arms and just as she was about to kiss him, her comm. chirped. Her head thudded to his chest again.
“Tuvok to the Captain.”
“Yes, Tuvok. Is there a problem?”
“Possibly, Captain. Lieutenants Paris and Torres and Ensigns Kim and Ashmore are waiting outside the holodeck. Their allocated time started some ten minutes ago. They contacted me because my name was on the allocation list. I told them that I would be finished momentarily.”
Kathryn pushed away from Chakotay and mouthed ‘Damn’ at him. He began grabbing his clothes and hauling them on as quickly as he could.
“We’re ready to leave, Tuvok. But, umm, they will be expecting you to leave the holodeck. How…..”
The sound of the transporter made them both spin around to find their chief of Security standing near the fireplace wearing his Vulcan meditation robes. He nodded at his commanding officers and barely blinked an eye at their state of dress and the rumpled bed behind them. Chakotay finished pulling his skivvy over his head and smiled apologetically at Kathryn.
Kathryn looked at Tuvok, expecting to see disappointment, but instead found his steady gaze looking at her affectionately and nodding with approval. She could have hugged him, but there wasn’t time.
She reached for Chakotay’s hand. Tuvok watched as Chakotay darted an arm over to the bed and snatched up what looked like stockings from on top of the covers.
“Computer, beam the Captain and Commander Chakotay to the captain’s quarters. Authorisation, Tuvok gamma omega five one.” As they dematerialised she mouthed a ‘thank you’ to her old friend.
They rematerialised in her living room and before she could move Chakotay grabbed her around the waist and pushed her up against the bulkhead. “Now, where were we?” She wrapped her arms around his neck and moved to kiss him.
“About here, if I remember rightly.” Just before her lips met his, she stopped and looked down at her comm. badge daring it to chirp. Nothing happened, so she shrugged and planted her lips firmly on those of her lover. With a moan they slid to the floor as they concentrated on their own form of communication.
Down on deck six, the four crewmen were waiting impatiently outside the holodeck, wondering what could be taking the Vulcan so long. B’Elanna went to check the logs and scan the deck for life signs. As she initiated the scan, for a split second, three lifeforms showed up on the panel and the distinct readout of a transporter beam. She blinked. Now there was only one. She did a quick check of the bio signature readings for the last few hours and smiled to herself. Just then the doors slid open and Tuvok emerged wearing his meditation robes.
He nodded regally at them. “Lieutenants, Ensigns. I apologise for overstaying. My meditations took longer than expected.”
“No problem, Tuvok. See you later.” Harry, Tom and Ashmore moved through the doors, initiating the Sandrine’s program as they went. B’Elanna stayed back and eyed the Vulcan suspiciously.
“You doubt me, Lieutenant?” His face was placidly bland.
“No, Tuvok. I don’t doubt you at all. I think that you’re just as capable of pulling a fast one as any of those pranksters in there.” She smiled at him. “Well done. I’m sure they’ll be very happy. And don’t worry. Their secret is safe with me.” She slapped him on the shoulder as she moved past him and into the holodeck calling. “Hey you guys, wait up.”
Tuvok stood for a moment in worried contemplation, and then gave a small shrug. He stepped out of the doorway and into the corridor as the sound of raucous laughter echoed from the holodeck. He thought to himself that their unusual circumstances certainly made for strange accomplices. He and Ms Torres, of all people, were now the keepers of the secret.
He shook his head and allowed a small smile to light his eyes.