Stronger Than Justice...
Author: Briar Rose
Rating: [R] for some adult themes and some bad words.
Synopsis: Not every crew member was happy to be returned to Voyager. Sometimes in life, we prefer the lie. Spoilers for “Workforce”, “Learning Curve”, and “Lineage” (sort of). Thank you to Liz Cobbe and LA Koehler—without those two, I wander in a wilderness of poor grammar.
Disclaimer: Paramount/Viacom owns Star Trek, Voyager, and her crew. Im just going on an angst-fest with one of them. And yes, I stole the title from a song by Sting. Im unrepentant.
Date: March 2001
“Kaia! I scream her name, but its lost amid the panicked voices of the people around me. They jostle against me as they shove their way toward the exit doors. I cant see her or Leith anywhere, and Im fighting down a rising panic.
I spot someone with long black hair, so like hers, but when she turns at my call, I dont recognize her. Her eyes are panicked, too. I dont recognize anyone.
She was just beside me. One moment I was with her, and the next, she was gone. I was gone.
I feel heavy; drained, and so tired all of a sudden. People are starting to fall to the floor. They must have pumped in gas to sedate us. Or stunned us. I dont even have time to wonder how I know that before the darkness engulfs me.
* * * * * *
I wake up and the light is so bright I cant see for a moment. A man is leaning over me; he says hes a doctor; not to be afraid. He wont hurt mesomehow I know this.
Kaia? I ask. Wheres my wife? His eyes shift to a point past my head, then he smiles as he presses a hypospray against my neck. I try to ask about Leith, but blackness claims me again.
* * * * * *
My name is Ken Dalby. I knew that. But the rest of what they’re telling me is…preposterous. I was taken from this ship, my memories wiped so I could be used in some sort of workforce on an alien planet. I’m not married, I don’t have a son, I don’t have a life. Not the one I know, at least. Its fantastic, ridiculous. And I dont believe him. I wont.
The others seem to accept it. They seem happy to be back, to have their old lives back. But Im not. Ive seen my logs. Ive watched myself record them and its me, but its not me. Its like watching a double. A doppelganger.
Or maybe Im the ghost.
I guess I do belong here, but I dont feel like I do.
My old memories are starting to come back, but theyre mixed up. Not just sequentially. Theyre mixed with my memories from Quarra and I dont know whats real and whats not. No, thats wrongits all real.
I remember being in the Maquis. Fighting beside Chakotay and the others. I remember Species 8472, our fights with the Borg, the Caretaker. I remember Tuvoks training and how he rescued Gerron. I just dont remember the order that it all happened.
I remember Leith being born, and how Kaia looked the day I asked her to marry me, so many years ago. The dress she was wearing, and the way she kissed me when she said yes. I remember the night we made Leith; the taste of her skin, and the way she lay in my arms afterwards. But it cant be right, because I was with Mara then
I remember Mara, though Im trying not to. I guess thats why Dr. Kaden gave me that memory implant. Gave me a wife and a son. Because Maras been on my mind so much lately. At least she was, before. We were trying to have a baby. She thought she might have been pregnant, but it was too soon to get our hopes up. Wed been trying for a long time. Then those fucking Cardies grabbed her, and
Our baby would have been 9 years old in a few months.
Thats why I joined the Maquis. I remember that. And I remember wanting to kill as many of the bastards as I could. Im surprised Chakotay trusted me. I was crazy with grief. But then, he trusted Suder too, and he really was crazy, I guess.
Crazy. I feel like Im going crazy now.
Its hard not to think of her with BElanna walking around so obviously happy, finally. So obviously pregnant. I dont resent her for it. Either of them. But Im jealous, and Im angry all over again. Especially now.
BElanna will come up to my station with a padd or a comment on my work. Her belly will bump my elbow and shell laugh and apologize. It happens over and over again, and I laugh with her. What else can I do? I want to reach out and touch her; spread my hands across the baby growing in her womb, and pretend its mine. Mine and Kaias.
God, I miss Kaia and Leith. Theyre not part of the crew. Ive looked; roamed the corridors and scanned the database. I dont believe that they were acting. They must have been brainwashed, too. We were a family. They loved me. I loved them. I still do.
He didn’t even ask us. He beamed us onto Voyager, and warped away from Quarra without looking back. No one asked me if I wanted to leave them, or if I wanted to stay. And by the time they got around to methe ex-Maquis, misfit crewmanwe were lightyears away.
I want to go back. I wonder if Im the only one. Somehow, getting back to the Alpha quadrant to kill more Cardassians just isnt enough anymore. I should have resigned my commission. Stolen a shuttle, anything.
I want my wife back. I want my life back. Even if it wasnt really mine.
* * * * * *