Life With a Paris: Hero

Delta was alone once more. Mommy had taken the baby and off she had gone, for almost as long as Daddy had been gone. The puppy was sad, his family had left and he was alone, even Purple Targ couldn't cheer up Delta.

He walked around his quarters, snuffling at things that belonged to the baby; a blanket, a stuffy, anything to just remind him that soon she would be coming  home where she belonged. 

The puppy was half in, half out of the cradle, reaching for one of his sister's stuffies when the ship rocked, spilling him out of the cradle and hard to the floor. He yelped in surprise, whimpering when the lights in his home began to flicker in and out. The klaxon alarm caused his still sensitive ears to twitch, and he whined, crawling under the bed, peeking out to see if the world was going to end.

The ship rocked once more, and the puppy slid across the floor, deeper under the bed. His whining grew louder, and every once in a while he'd give out a bark of displeasure. He wasn't sure what was happening, but he didn't like it.

Delta felt ill as the ship continued to rock back and forth, and things on the shelves began falling to the floor, some smashing open. Fear buried his puppy curiosity, however, and Delta remained where he was, worrying about his mommy, his daddy, and his baby.

After what felt like an eternity, the ship stopped its lurching, and the alarm klaxons ceased their sound. A few more minutes passed, and Delta slowly began to nose out from under the bed. When nothing fell on his head, he wiggled his body free and moved across his quarters. Mommy and Daddy didn't come bursting through the door to see if he was all right, and he had no clue if his baby was okay. He had to find out.

The doors to his quarters were half open, the miracle of some electronic glitch during the attack, and the puppy was easily able to slip through. He looked left and right, not seeing his family, so he moved towards the turbolift. People were moving back and forth, on and off the lift, making it easy for Delta to slip between their legs and hang on for the ride. He didn't realize exactly how lucky he was that this particular lift was continuing to work, most had been knocked off line which was why traffic was so high this time around, but he knew he had to find his family.

As he grew older, Delta managed to develop some patience, and though the trip was long, someone finally ordered the lift to the bridge, taking Delta closer and closer to his daddy. The sight that met his bright eyes, however, was not the proud bridge of a well kept ship, however, but the ruined, burnt out hull of a ship in battle. His face cringed at the acrid smell of smoke and other burning smells he couldn't decipher, and he yelped as he cut his paw on a piece of broken face plate from one of the consoles.

Several people lay around him, moaning quietly as the person that rode up in the lift with Delta hurried to try and help. He kept tapping his comm badge, but no one answered, and Delta realized that this was very bad.

Walking slowly, Delta picked his way across the broken bridge towards where his daddy had been his last time here. He stopped when a familiar scent broke through the dense air and caused him to turn his head.

The Captain.

Delta's face curled into a doggy frown, but still he stepped forward, moving to where Captain Janeway lay on the ground, unmoving. He panted softly, bringing up a paw to touch her shoulder, but the Captain remained still.

A glance to the Captain's side revealed the pole-man lying where he had falling, attempting to reach the Captain. Delta cried softly, his paw digging into the Captain's shoulder with more pressure. When she still failed to move, Delta turned away, towards where his daddy should be, and moved a little less carefully, not caring about the slight pain in his paw. Where was his daddy? He whined. He needed his daddy!

Delta smelled Daddy before he saw him, still sitting in his chair, laying
across his console. A high pitched whine cut through the air and Delta lunged towards him, climbing up on his Daddy's leg, pressing his nose to Tom's cheek. Delta backed off a little, barking once.. twice. He whined and barked again before jumping back up and pressing his nose against his daddy once more. He brought his paw up, touching his daddy's hand, his arm, his chest, whining and licking his daddy's stubble-roughened cheek. It took several more barks, and his claws digging into his daddy's leg as he tried to climb completely onto that familiar lap, before Delta was rewarded with a soft groan.

His bark turned into a joyful yip as he backed away, then lunged at Tom once more, licking at his face happily. Tom spluttered. He groaned. He opened an eye and groaned harder. Then he raised his head.

"Okay, Delta. I'm awake. You're a good dog."

Delta whined harder.

"Really, boy, I'm okay."

Delta's teeth shut around Tom's hand and he whined through his nose.

"What? Delta, I'm fine!"

Delta would have shaken his head if he could, but instead he pulled harder, yanking his Daddy out of his chair, waiting while the man regained his balance, then pulled again. Slowly but surely, Delta led his daddy to where the Captain and the pole-man lay, still unconscious.

Tom's eyes opened wide in horror.

"Paris to Sickbay."

No reply.

"Paris to the Doctor."

No reply. Tom's face darkened again as worry for his family replaced worry for the Captain and XO.

"Paris to Torres."

The only answer to greet him was the eerie dead sound of an empty line. The comm systems were down. Tom swallowed his concern for his family, and knelt down beside the Captain.

"Captain, can you hear me?"

When again silence was his reply, Tom moved to the back of the bridge, rescuing the emergency medkit from its hiding spot and returned to the Captain. Pulling out a medical tricorder, he ran it over Janeway's form, discovering a concussion and three broken ribs from where she had hit the armrest on her chair before hitting the ground.

Pulling out a hypo, Tom eased her hair away from her neck and injected her, nodding in satisfaction as her eyes fluttered open.

"Captain, can you hear me now?"

"Yes, Tom, thank you. Help the others." 

"Not yet. You have a concussion and three broken ribs that have to be taken care of first."

"Are my injuries life threatening?"

Tom sighed. "Not if you stay awake and don't move until I can take care of the concussion."

"Then leave me here. That's an order."

Tom turned. "Delta, stay with her and make sure she's okay."

Delta moved to the Captain's side and laid down, resting his head against her shoulder, staring at her face.

The Captain turned her head slightly to meet his gaze. She smiled. "So we're friends now are we, Delta?"

Tom called over from where he was helping a now conscious Chakotay to his feet. "Actually, Captain, if it wasn't for Delta, we'd all still be unconscious."


Tom nodded. "While Ensign Siegar over there was helping who he could, Delta woke me up."

Janeway smiled softly, lifting a hand to stroke the puppy's soft head. "In that case, we should think about giving your puppy a commendation, Lieutenant, what do you think?"

"I think he'd be honoured, Captain."

"Torres to the Bridge."

"We're all still here, B'Elanna."

"I'm glad to hear that, Captain. There was minor damage in Engineering, but we've got Communications back up, and should have helm control reestablished in about thirty minutes. Weapons are another matter, though, that may take several hours. Sorry for the delay, Captain, but I wanted to get shields up before I worked on communications."

"Are there any injuries in Engineering, B'Elanna?"

"A few minor ones, but we were pretty shielded down here."

Janeway nodded, even though the half-Klingon couldn't see her. That was when she noticed that Delta was wagging his tail softly beside her, whining.

"Uh, Captain? That's not Delta is it?"

"Yes it is, Lieutenant. Your dog is a hero."

B'Elanna choked. "What did he do?"

Janeway half shrugged, and half smiled. "He saved my life." 

The Captain's hand was gentle as she stroked the dog's head, and signed off with Engineering. The turbolift doors opened and the medical team Tom had called for the instant communications had come back online streamed in.

As the medics were helping Janeway to her feet, she looked over her shoulder to where Tom was standing. "Go check on your baby, Tom, and take our hero home.  Then make your way to Sickbay and have the Doctor check you out. That's an order."

Tom smiled good naturedly. "Yes, ma'am." He glanced down at the dog, now waiting at his side. "Come on, Hero, let's go home."