Disclaimer - Paramount and Viacom own the characters from Voyager, although they didn’t often treat them right. The story line belongs to me.
A special thanks to: My friend and
editor of all my stories, Mill3rs.
The Doctor sat at his desk and began
dictating his status report on Ensign Paris. He was detailing Tom’s injuries
and the treatments he had performed, when he heard the outer doors open.
Looking up, he saw Captain Janeway enter sickbay and walk to Tom’s side.
He got up and joined her in the surgical bay.
"Doctor, I know your initial report
sounded favorable but I wanted to see for myself how Mr. Paris is doing."
She looked down at the pilot with a pensive expression on her face. "I
should have been more aware of what was happening on my ship. I should
have never sent Tom out with Darwin and Morrow." Her voice was hoarse with
The Doctor placed a hand on her arm
and looked at her with genuine concern on his face. "Captain, Mr. Paris
did an excellent job of hiding his attacks. I was not even aware of them.
Perhaps we were all fooled by his ability to push people away when he has
a problem. I have observed that Mr. Paris does not feel comfortable talking
about what bothers him. He seems to feel that he should be able to handle
"I’m sure that comes from his childhood.
His father was very strict and demanding of Tom from a very early age."
The Captain cleared her throat as she reached out and touched Tom’s shoulder.
‘Tom looks so young and vulnerable. I have to let him know that he needs
to let people get close to him when he’s having difficulties.’ She turned
towards the exit doors and spoke quietly to the Doctor. "Please let me
know when Mr. Paris awakens. I need to talk to him about the events on
the planet’s surface."
"Of course, Captain." he answered
in an equally quiet voice. "And, Captain, he’s going to be alright." He
watched her exit sickbay without a backward glance. ‘The mantle of command
is indeed a heavy one.’ he thought as he walked back into his office.
Captain Janeway paced in front of
the window in her ready room. She had asked Chakotay and Tuvok to join
her there. She had just finished reading the Doctor’s report on Tom’s injuries.
The blast from the communications console’s explosion had resulted in electrical
burns to Tom’s face and hands. He had suffered chemical burns to his larynx
and corneas. His right forearm had been fractured again. The Doctor had
healed the burns to his skin and regenerated the broken bones in his right
arm. He had needed surgery to repair the damage to his corneas and was
undergoing treatment for the burns in his throat. He was expected to make
a full recovery and be able to return to duty in three days. Her pacing
was interrupted by the chime at the corridor doors. "Enter." she ordered.
Chakotay and Tuvok entered the ready
room and stood in front of the Captain’s desk. She motioned to them to
sit down and turned the communications screen towards them so they could
read the Doctor’s report.
"It would appear, Captain, that Ensign
Paris is going to make a full recovery from the injuries he suffered on
the planet." Tuvok stated in his usual calm voice.
"The Doctor assures me that Mr. Paris
will be fit to return to his post in three days. I understand that Crewman
Morrow is fully recovered from his injuries as well." Janeway said.
"Yes, Captain, the phaser burns and
injuries from the shuttle crash have been healed. Morrow is currently in
the brig awaiting charges of assault with a deadly weapon on a superior
officer." Tuvok answered.
Chakotay shifted uncomfortably in
his seat. Morrow had been on the Liberty ship under his command and had
not gotten into trouble before with any of the Maquis or Starfleet crew.
"Captain, what do you intend to do with Morrow?" he asked.
The Captain leaned forward in her
chair and clasped her hands under her chin as she gazed at Chakotay. "If
we were in the Alpha Quadrant, Commander, he would face a Court Martial
and no doubt be sentenced to a long prison term. What would you have done
on the Liberty?" she asked.
"He would have been thrown in the
brig until we could assign him to another cell within the Maquis." Chakotay
answered evenly returning her gaze.
"Crewman Morrow was attempting to
shield Ensign Paris from the Romulan’s weapon, Captain. My initial interview
with him indicates that he was aiding Crewman Darwin in the assaults and
did not actually inflict any of the injuries." Tuvok stated.
"Regardless of his behavior on the
planet and his intimidation by Frank Darwin, he did participate in several
assaults on a superior officer that resulted in serious injuries. If Commander
Chakotay had not come across Mr. Paris outside of his quarters after the
last attack he might have died from his injuries." Captain Janeway’s voice
rose as the anger and frustration increased, since she was unable to prevent
one of her crew from being injured. She knew that most of the anger was
due to her own sense of guilt, for not protecting Tom as well as her anger
towards him, for not reporting the attacks.
"I believe that the next step in
this incident would be to question Mr. Paris about what happened on shuttle
and on the planet’s surface." Tuvok stated in his composed manner.
"I’ve asked the Doctor to notify
me when Tom awakens. We’ll be able to question him then. Until we hear
from the Doctor you two are dismissed." she said.
B’Elanna entered sickbay quietly
and stood looking at the figure on biobed one. The lights were low over
the surgical bay and the room was quiet. Tom was curled on his left side,
his face was pale even in the lowered lighting. The Doctor was adjusting
a clear mask over Tom’s nose and mouth. The Doctor looked up and gave B’Elanna
a small smile as he walked towards her.
"How is he, Doctor?" B’Elanna asked
quietly, not taking her eyes off of Tom.
"He’ll be fine, Lieutenant. I’ve
regenerated the fractures to his right arm and the burns on his hands and
face. He needed surgical repairs to his corneas but due to my excellent
care he’ll have no problems returning to the helm." The Doctor answered
with a rather smug look on his face.
B’Elanna ignored the boasting as
she gazed at Tom. She did not realize the depths of her feelings for the
pilot until they had thought him dead. "What about his throat?" she asked
as she remembered the warmth in Tom’s voice whenever he talked to her.
"His larynx will be just fine. I’m
giving him a nebulizer treatment right now that will ease his breathing.
His voice will be a little rough for a few days and he might have some
difficulty swallowing but he should be fine within 72 hours." The Doctor
answered with a more gentle tone of voice as he noticed B’Elanna’s concern
for the young pilot evident on her face.
"Lieutenant Carey to Lieutenant Torres.
You’re needed in Engineering, Chief. We’re ready to get the warp drive
back on-line." Joe Carey’s voice came over the communications system.
B’Elanna gave Tom another wistful
look and turned towards the exit doors. "Take care of him, OK?" She glanced
at the Doctor and headed into the corridor.
He smiled as the doors slid shut
and walked back to the biobed. He glanced at the readings and satisfied
with the results, went to his office.
Harry had joined the engineering
staff as they began bringing the warp drive on-line. He manned one of the
operations consoles in engineering and monitored the plasma levels. Once
the warp drive was up and functioning, he moved to B’Elanna’s side. "You
were in sickbay. How’s Tom doing?"
B’Elanna turned away from the main
console and looked into Harry’s dark eyes. She could see the concern for
his friend clearly on his face. For all their battles and dealings with
aliens, Harry was still so very young. "The Doctor said that he’d be fine
in a few days, Harry. He’ll have a sore throat but will be able to return
to duty in 72 hours." B’Elanna answered in a quiet voice. She felt a chill
go up her spine as she realized how seriously Tom had been hurt and what
that meant to her. ‘Why is he getting to me? He’s just a friend like Harry.
No..not quite like Harry.’ "What do you say Starfleet, how about some dinner?"
B’Elanna smiled and grabbed Harry’s arm pulling him out of engineering.
The doors to sickbay slid open and
the Doctor looked up from the console in his office. He saw Commander Chakotay
enter and walk over to the surgical bay. He stood quietly looking at the
monitors over the biobed. Shaking his head slowly he turned back to the
doors. The Doctor started to stand but, sensing that the Commander wished
to be alone with his thoughts, he resumed studying his console. The doors
slid shut as Chakotay exited sickbay.
Captain Janeway savored her first
sip of hot coffee in the morning as she cradled the mug in her hands. The
warm liquid did not take away the chill she felt over the events of the
past two months: her ship had been tailed by both the Kazon and Romulan
ships, they had been attacked repeatedly with damage to many of the ships
systems, they had lost valuable time on their journey to the Alpha Quadrant,
and Tom Paris had been assaulted numerous times by two members of her crew.
The warp drive was now back on-line and repairs had been made to the ships
systems. She knew the crew was ready to resume their heading for home.
Janeway’s thoughts were interrupted
by the Doctor’s voice. "Sickbay to the Captain. Mr. Paris is starting to
"Thank you, Doctor. I’m on my way."
She put the mug of coffee down on her desk and walked onto the bridge.
"Lieutenant , you’re with me." She motioned Tuvok to follow her into the
turbolift. "Sickbay." she ordered the computer.
The Captain and Tuvok entered sickbay.
The lights over the biobed were lowered and the Doctor was talking quietly
to Tom. The back of the biobed was raised so Tom was able to sit up. The
two officers walked towards the surgical bay. They could not hear Tom’s
voice but his face had more color than the night before. The Doctor looked
up as they approached and turned back to Tom. "You have company, Mr. Paris."
The Captain put her hand on Tom’s
shoulder. "How are you feeling, Tom?" she asked.
He turned and looked up at her with
clear blue eyes. Giving her a small grin he answered. "I’m much better
this morning, Captain." His voice was low and rough and he winced slightly
as he spoke.
"We would like to ask you a few questions,
Ensign." Tuvok said.
The Doctor glanced at the monitor
over the biobed and turned to Tuvok. "Lieutenant, please keep your questions
to a minimum. Mr. Paris is not ready for lengthy conversations.
"Captain, I..I’m sorry about Frank
Darwin. I tried to get him to stand down and put his phaser away when the
Romulans boarded the shuttle." Tom looked at Janeway with guilt and regret
in his eyes.
"Ensign, you were not responsible
for Crewman Darwin’s death. Crewman Morrow informed us about the events
on the planet’s surface." Tuvok stated.
"Captain, Morrow is still very young
and he was intimidated by Darwin. He didn’t act on his own will." Tom swallowed
hard and pain was evident in his face. "He helped me in the caves. Go easy
"Captain, Lieutenant, you need to
continue this at a later time." the Doctor moved to Tom’s side. He picked
up the plastic mask that was attached to the biobed by a clear tube and
placed it over Tom’s mouth and nose. "This nebulizer will ease the pain
in your throat, Mr. Paris."
The Captain gave Tom a concerned
look as the hiss of the treatment began. Tom’s face relaxed as the medicine
reached his throat. "We’ll come back later today, Tom. Get some rest."
Tom nodded at the Captain as he sank
back into the cushion on the biobed and closed his eyes. Janeway and Tuvok
turned and exited sickbay. They walked down the corridor and entered the
turbolift. "The brig." Janeway ordered as the doors slid shut.