Life With a Paris: Puppy AWAY

Tom attached Delta's leash to his collar, and called over his shoulder.

"We'll be home soon, B'Elanna. Kiss the baby for me."

The puppy barely had a moment to look back at his mommy tucking the baby away for her nap, before Tom was pulling him out the door and towards the transporter room.

"This is a big day for you, Delta. Captain Janeway doesn't let just anybody go on away missions. She must think you're pretty special."

Delta wagged his tail quickly, looking left and right in interest as they
stepped into the transporter room and were met by Harry and Tuvok. Tuvok nodded at Tom and the dog before stepping forward, holding out a data padd for the humans.

"This will be a very short away mission. We are going down to identify and catalogue all potential food resources. Mr. Neelix will be joining us once edible substances are confirmed. There are scattered life forms on this planet. From what we can tell they are humanoid with undeveloped technology. We want to avoid contact if at all possible. Is this understood?"

Tom and Harry nodded and stepped towards the transporter padd. Tom had Delta sit and stay just as before, and the puppy waited with eager anticipation for the transporter to take a hold of him.

"Don't go running off, eh, Delta?" Harry said with a grin.

Tom cocked his head to the side, and looked at Harry with dead serious eyes. "Harry, mind what you say to the dog."


"Harry, he outranks you. Don't forget to call him "Sir"."

"Ha ha, very funny."

"Hey, I didn't make up command protocol."

Harry turned his head, "Tuvok, help me out here."

Tuvok lifted an eyebrow. "Unfortunately, Mr. Kim, Lieutenant Paris is quite correct. You must follow the order of command on this away mission. Our lives and the proper development of this civilization could depend upon it."

"You're kidding me."

"As you well know, Ensign, Vulcans do not kid."

"I can't believe I'm outranked by a dog."

Tom's laughter filled the room, and Harry's shoulders rolled forward in
submission as an expression of amusement crossed Tuvok's face. At a nod from Tuvok, the transporters were engaged, and seconds later the team found themselves planetside. The humans each took out their tricorders.

"Mr. Paris, I suggest that you and Delta follow an easterly path. Mr. Kim, you go west. I will go north. The closest civilization lays in a southbound direction. In accordance with the prime directive, we will avoid this direction unless we have no other feasible choice. We shall endeavour to meet back here in three hours."

Tom picked up Delta's leash and began traveling east. For a while they walked quietly, until Delta caught scent of something in the air and began tugging on his leash. Frowning, Tom unsnapped the lead and picked up pace, following Delta as he took off through the brush.

"Delta! Stay near!" Tom called after the dog, leaping a fallen tree as he broke into a run, scrambling to catch up. "Come on, Delta! I only have two legs!"

The dog slowed his pace somewhat, waiting for his daddy to catch up with him before taking off again. For ten minutes they followed this
speed-up-slow-down-and-wait-speed-up routine before Delta barked in excitement and disappeared into an area blocked off by thick vines.

"Delta! I can't.. come on!" Tom took out his phaser and burned away several layers of vine before finally being able to stick his head through. The sight that met him made Tom laugh out loud. Delta was sitting in the middle of a clearing, his head shoved inside a melon of some sort. All Tom could hear was the slurping of Delta's tongue as he cleaned out the soft flesh of the fresh fruit.

"Delta! You can't take off like that. Daddy's going to lose you one day."

It was at that moment something sharp pricked Tom between the shoulder blades, and he froze. "Delta, get out of here!" he hissed sharply. "Find Harry! Go!"

Delta paused, then took off through the other side of the vines, heading back in the direction they had just come from, barking at the top of his lungs.

Tom turned around slowly, his hands raised in the air, and was met by the sharp end of a harpoon in the hands of a cast off from Planet of the Apes. He sighed as the blunt end of a weapon met his still sensitive skull and he sank to the ground unconscious.