Disclaimer - Paramount and Viacom own the characters from Voyager, although they didn't often treat them right. The story line belongs to me.
Author's note - Major angst for Tom this chapter.
Tom cried out in pain as Chakotay's hand tightened around his right arm. Chakotay dropped his hand as the two men entered Tom's quarters. "Computer, lights on full." Chakotay ordered and looked at Tom.
"Spirits! Tom, who did this to you?" he gasped.
Tom stood slumped against the wall clutching his right arm to his body. The left side of his face was swollen, a bruise blackening his cheek. His eye was closed tightly and blood trickled out of his mouth. "I can take c...care of it Chakotay. Just l..leave me be." Tom rasped out, barely above a whisper. His breathing was ragged and his hair was plastered to his forehead with sweat.
"Enough, Paris!!" Chakotay ground out. "Who did this?"
"Can't tell you, ......Commander." Tom drew in a sharp breath as a look of pain crossed his features.
"Look, Paris, that's an order. Who did this to you?"
Tom raised one blue eye, glazed with pain and embarrassment to Chakotay. "I d..don't know Commander. It was t..too dark. I c..couldn't see."
"You're going to sickbay with me now." Chakotay shook his head at the younger man.
"I d..don't think so, Commander." Tom's knees gave out and his head fell back against the wall. Chakotay held him and lowered him to the floor. He reached up and tapped his comm badge. "Chakotay to transporter room. Lock onto my comm badge. Emergency beam out, two to sickbay."
"Yes, Commander. Stand by for transport." The young ensign responded.
The two men disappeared in a swirling blue haze.
The EMH came on line as the blue haze materialized into the two officers. Chakotay was kneeling, with Tom, slumped unconscious against him.
"What happened, Commander?" The doctor asked as he bent to help Chakotay lift Tom onto the nearest biobed. The doctor began to scan Tom immediately.
"It appears that Ensign Paris has been in one hell of a fight." Chakotay answered as he moved towards the office. He tapped his comm badge. "Chakotay to Captain Janeway. Please report to sickbay."
"Janeway here, Chakotay. What's going on?" The Captain's voice answered instantly.
"I just beamed Tom Paris here, Captain. He's been injured, apparently in another fight."
"I'll be right there. I'm going to request Lieutenant Tuvok join us as well." the Captain said.
"Sickbay to Ensign Wildman." the doctor commed Samantha Wildman.
"Ensign Wildman here, Doctor." Sam's voice came over the speakers in sickbay.
"I need your assistance for emergency surgery, Ensign. Please report to sickbay immediately."
When Sam entered sickbay, the doctor had her stock a surgical tray with the instruments and hyposprays he would need. "We'll need an Exoscalpel, two hyposprays of cortical analeptic, at least three of Hydrocortilene, an osteoregenerator, and a dermal regenerator. When you've finished, please prep Ensign Paris for surgery." he indicated the Ensign in the far corner of sickbay. Chakotay had helped him move Tom to the surgical bay.
The Captain and Lieutenant Tuvok entered and went immediately to the surgical bay.
"My God! Who did this?" The Captain asked, in a stunned voice, as she looked at her conn officer. She reached out a hand and touched Tom's left arm gently as her expression softened.
"He claims he couldn't see because it was too dark. He's too good a fighter, I want to see the other fellow." Chakotay answered in disbelief.
"Captain, gentlemen, may I speak with you in my office?" the doctor motioned across the room.
When they entered the office, the Captain and the doctor took seats while Chakotay and Tuvok stood in the doorway.
"Doctor, what are Tom's injuries and will he recover?" The Captain asked.
The doctor raised one eyebrow slightly at the Captain's use of Ensign Paris's first name. ‘She cares more about Mr. Paris then she lets on.' he thought as he glanced out the window at his most frequent patient.
"Captain, Mr. Paris has multiple injuries but I don't believe any are life threatening. The most serious is a left temporal skull fracture with subdural bleeding beneath it. He also has various bruises on his rib cage, two teeth are loose, and his left cheek bone has been shattered."
Chakotay interrupted the doctor. "Are there bruises on his hands? He must have given as good as he got. Paris is a schooled street fighter."
"No, Commander, there's no injuries to his hands. I don't believe Mr. Paris was able to inflict any damage. There are abrasions and bruises on both wrists which suggest that someone held his arms behind him while others administered the blows. His right arm is also fractured in three places. He might have pulled it free momentarily and tried to protect himself but was clearly overpowered. The compound fractures and amount of bleeding in his brain indicate that he was hit with more than just fists."
The Captain's face paled as the doctor listed Tom's injuries and turned hard as she heard that he was attacked and beaten. Janeway cared about all of her crew but maintained a soft spot for the young man she had placed at conn. "We have to find those responsible." she said, rising from her chair.
"There's more Captain." the doctor said quietly as he gently placed his hand on her arm, motioning her to sit down.
"More? What more could there be?" she whispered.
"This is not the first attack on Mr. Paris. The scans show a recent history of multiple injuries."
"What do you mean, doctor." Chakotay asked.
"Six cracked ribs, the fingers on his right hand have been broken, bruised kidneys, and numerous contusions to his face and body. Apparently Mr. Paris has ‘acquired' some hypos and regenerators from our supply and has been treating himself in his quarters." the doctor answered while checking his console. "There's also 100 cc's of Hydrocortilene, a powerful pain reliever, missing."
"Why didn't he come to someone about this?" The Captain asked.
"Ensign Paris is a very private and independent young man and I imagine he felt that he could handle the situation on his own." Tuvok stated.
"That's what he told me when I tried to question him about the fight with Dalby." Chakotay confirmed.
"How long has this been going on?" the Captain asked in a shaky voice.
"The scans indicate that his injuries go back about five or six weeks, Captain."
"Just when his behavior began to change." Chakotay noted.
"Doctor!" Sam's voice summoned them from the office.
When they approached the surgical bay, they could see Sam trying to calm Tom down, as he attempted to get off the biobed.
"G..got to get back to m..my quarters." He stammered as he doubled over in pain.
"No, Tom. You've been hurt. You're in sickbay and you're going to be OK." Sam tried to soothe the pilot.
"Ensign, get me 20cc's of Improvaline." the doctor ordered as he and Chakotay lowered Tom back onto the bio bed. He placed the hypospray against his patient's neck and as the medication took effect, Tom stropped struggling and closed his right eye.
"I want a security officer stationed here in sickbay." The Captain turned to Tuvok.
"And, I want Ken Dalby brought in for questioning." Chakotay added.
"He will be in my office." Tuvok answered as he left sickbay.
"Mr. Paris, do you have any idea who did this to you?" The Captain asked gently as Tom slowly opened right his eye and looked up at her.
"No, Ma'am. I couldn't see." his voiced tinged with pain and exhaustion.
"Captain, I'd like to get the bleeding under control." the doctor said quietly as he approached the Captain and Chakotay.
"Of course, Doctor. Contact me when you are finished." The Captain said.
Janeway gently brushed a lock of hair off of Tom's forehead. "We'll find out who did this, Mr. Paris. You just rest now while the doctor works on your injuries."
"We need to sedate you now, Mr. Paris. You've suffered a severe concussion and I have to relieve the bleeding." The doctor said as he placed a hypospray, of Melorazine, against Tom's neck.
"OK ....Doc, ....see you later." Tom replied groggily as the sedative took effect.
The Captain and Chakotay headed for the corridor.
"Hand me the Exoscalpel and prepare 25 cc's of cortical analeptic. I believe there'll be damaged areas in his brain to be regenerated." The doctor's voice was heard as the doors to sickbay slid closed.
The Captain and Chakotay entered Tuvok's office to find Ken Dalby sitting sullenly in a chair next to the desk.
"Captain, Mr. Dalby insists that he has not left his cabin this evening and computer scans indicate he did not leave his quarters." Tuvok reported to Janeway.
"Mr. Dalby, I want to know what precipitated the fight with Lt. Paris on the planet's surface this afternoon?" Chakotay questioned as he folded his arms across his chest and glowered at Dalby.
"That was between Paris and myself, Commander. It's an old feud and we just let it get out of hand." Dalby retorted with a smirk on his face.
"Lt. Tuvok, I want this man returned to his quarters with a security detail on guard. He is to remain there until he decides to be more cooperative." The Captain ordered. "We'll be in my ready room." Janeway and Chakotay exited Tuvok's office and headed down the corridor.
Janeway and Chakotay entered her ready room and sat on her couch. Janeway put her head in her hands and slumped forward with her elbows on her knees. "Chakotay, who could be so cold-blooded? Tom could have died if you hadn't found him. And why didn't he come to one of us about these attacks?"
"Tuvok is right, Kathryn. Paris is a very private individual. He likes to fight his battles on his own. As soon as the doctor says he's up to it, I'll question him. This time I won't let him brush this off."
"Sickbay to Captain Janeway." the doctor's voice interrupted them.
"Yes, Doctor. Go ahead. Is Mr. Paris OK?" the Captain asked.
"He came through the surgery as expected, Captain. I don't believe there will be any lasting damage from his injuries. I would like to keep him sedated through the night, though. After all, his body did meet with quite a bit of trauma." the doctor replied.
"Thank you, Doctor. Please inform me in the morning when he is up to questioning.
"Captain, may I assume that the security detail will remain here through the night?" the doctor asked.
"Yes, Doctor there will be a security officer in sickbay at all times. Janeway out."
"Kathryn, if there is nothing further, I think we should call it a night. Alpha shift starts too soon for me." Chakotay stated as he tried unsuccessfully to stifle a yawn.
The Captain smiled, warmly at him as she stood up from her seat. "Certainly, Chakotay. I'll see you at breakfast?" she questioned.
"Yes, Kathryn." He rose and headed for the door. "Good night."
The next morning, Harry strolled down the corridor to Tom's quarters. ‘I'm not sure what the hell went on yesterday but I know Tom is always hungry in the morning and maybe he'll be willing to talk at breakfast.'
Harry rang the bell for entrance to Tom's quarters but there was no reply. "Computer, location of Tom Paris."
"Lt. Tom Paris is in sickbay." the monotone voice replied.
"What! Sickbay? Why?" Harry sputtered.
"Please rephrase your request." the computer stated.
"Never mind." Harry muttered as he headed for the turbolift. "Sickbay." he commanded the computer.
The chime rang at Captain Janeway's ready room door. "Enter." Janeway's voice was heard.
Harry entered the room and noticed Commander Chakotay and Lt. Tuvok seated at the small table with the Captain. Breakfast dishes were scattered on the table top.
"Captain, what's happened to Tom Paris? I went to meet him for breakfast. When there was no answer to my hail, I asked the computer for his whereabouts. He's in sickbay, and when I went there, Lt. Ayala wouldn't let me in."
"Ensign Kim, did you see Ensign Paris last night?" Tuvok questioned.
"No, he didn't show up for dinner. Commander, you know that. You sat with B'Elanna and me last night." Harry looked at Chakotay with a pained look on his face.
"Take it easy, Mr. Kim. No one is accusing you of anything." Janeway gave Harry a small smile. "Mr. Paris was hurt last night and we are investigating the incident."
"Captain, did it have anything to do with the fight with Ken Dalby?" Harry asked.
"We're not sure, Mr. Kim. Do you have any information about Mr. Dalby?" Janeway questioned.
"No, Captain but there is something I should have told one of you about. Tom told me not to say anything but I think it's time I went against his wishes." concern for his friend evident in his voice.
"Three days ago, Tom was supposed to meet me for dinner but didn't show up. I went to his quarters but he wouldn't let me in, at first. When I insisted, he let me in. His quarters had been trashed. Clothes and PADDS were strewn about and his wall mirror had been smashed." Harry stated quietly. "The worst, Captain, was they had destroyed the book you gave him, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He really treasured that book."
"Ensign Paris told you not to tell anyone?" Tuvok asked.
"Yes. Lieutenant, he also stated that is wasn't the first time it had happened. I know I should have come to one of you but Tom insisted he could handle it. Now, he's hurt and I could have prevented it." Harry whispered.
"No, Ensign. I don't believe you could have prevented this." Tuvok replied.
They were interrupted by the doctor's voice coming over the comm system. "Sickbay to Captain Janeway."
"Yes, Doctor, Janeway here." The Captain responded.
"You asked me to let you know when Ensign Paris would be able to be questioned. He is starting to regain consciousness now." the doctor replied.
"Thank you, Doctor. I'll be right there. Janeway out." The Captain answered and headed for the door.