Three Minutes

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: I intended this story to be a stand alone but several of my friends have been asking for more, so here goes. This chapter deals with Tom’s family in the Alpha Quadrant and their reactions to being able to speak with him.

Chapter 2 - The Other Side of the Galaxy

Moira Paris burst into her parent’s kitchen to find her mother taking a batch of chocolate chip cookies out of her old fashioned oven.

"Mmmm. They smell great, Mom. Did Dad call you?" Moria grabbed a cookie off the tray and took a quick bite. "Ouch, they’re still hot."

"Of course, dear. They’re right out of the oven. No, Dad didn’t call this morning, why?" Elizabeth Paris smiled at her eldest daughter.

Moira was home between archeological digs on Vulcan. Moira was an acclaimed archeologist and one of the few humans allowed at the ancient sites on Vulcan.

At that moment the communication system, in the den, beeped with an incoming call. Wiping her hands on a towel, Elizabeth walked into the den and over to her husband’s desk.

"Elizabeth." Owen Paris’s face appeared on the view screen. "The Midas array is up and the Voyager crew will be able to receive personal calls from their families. We should hear, when Tom will be able to be called, soon." Owen’s voice was steady but Elizabeth could see the concern in his face. The last meeting between father and son had not gone well...........


"Will the bailiff please read the sentence." the Advocate General looked down at the desk to his right.

Tom Paris, formerly of Star Fleet, had risen from his seat and faced the judge’s table. He was dressed in the gray jumpsuit of a Federation prisoner. He stood at attention with a calm look on his face.

"Thomas Eugene Paris, you have been found guilty of treason against the Federation. You are hereby sentenced to ten years in the Aukland Federal Penal Colony, in New Zealand. You will be transported there at 1300 hours today. You will have one hour in which to see your family members." the bailiff read aloud.

Tom’s face blanched. ‘Ten years! Oh, god! I never thought it would be so bad. I was only with the Maquis for two months. Maybe Dad could ........ No...... he didn’t even attend the trial.’ Tom’s hands were placed in restraints and he was led from the courtroom. As they neared the back of the room, his father stood up from his chair and looked straight into Tom’s eyes.

"Dad... I’m sorry." Tom whispered as he locked glances with his father.

"I have no son, Maquis!" Owen Paris spit out, turned on his heels and left the courtroom.

Tom’s face fell and he was led away.


Owen Paris sat in his office at Star Fleet headquarters. He had just terminated a communication with his wife. The morning new shows had already
announced that the Voyager crew would be able to receive calls from family members soon, through the Midas Array. Lt. Reginald Barclay had outdone himself with his tireless work on the Pathfinder project. They had first made audio contact with Voyager a little over a year ago but communication had been at a minimum and he had not spoken to his only son.

‘I wouldn’t know what to say to Thomas and I doubt he would listen to me anyway. I wish I knew what went wrong between us. We were so close when he was a child.’.........


"Once more, please, Daddy." the high pitched, five year old voice pleaded. Owen Paris and his son, Tom were on the Holodeck at Star Fleet
headquarters. They had just finished a shuttle run simulation, with Tom doing the flying for the last 20 minutes and he had landed it with a very slight bump.

"Not now, Tom. Your mother is expecting us home for dinner." Owen answered as he looked with pride at the blond haired boy bouncing up and down in the pilot’s seat.

"But, Daddy. I know if we tried it again, I could land it without any bumps." Tom’s blue eyes sparkled with a mischievous look. 

Owen could not deny his son’s quest for the perfect flight. "OK, Tom but only one more time or your mother will have both of our hides." he smiled indulgently at his son and reset the parameters for the shuttle flight.

Later, on the way home, in their private transport, Tom fell asleep in the seat curled against his father. Owen carried the boy into the house and placed him on a couch in his den. 

Elizabeth came into the room with a small grin on her face. "What was it this time, Owen? Another flock of exotic birds, a new Orion class starship, or a shuttle program?"

Owen glanced sheepishly at his wife and then looked with pride at his sleeping son. "A shuttle program. He flew a level 5 program and landed it as smoothly as any second year cadet." A huge smile lit up Owen’s face.

"Take him up to his room. I’ll bring a tray up with his dinner." Elizabeth smiled knowingly at her two ‘men’. Owen’s love for his youngest child was clearly evident and Tom looked up to his father as well, the newest Captain at Star Fleet.


Owen’s thoughts returned to the present, as a communication came through on his desk system. "Daddy, is it true, we’re going to be able to talk to Tommy?" a bubbly, feminine voice asked. The blue eyes, wide with excitement, were so much like Tom’s that he had to blink hard and look away from the view screen.

His second daughter looked so much like her younger brother that he had to swallow before he could speak. "Kathleen, how did you hear about this?" 

"It’s on all of the morning news vids, Daddy. Patrick and I would love to come over when you make the call. That’s OK with you, Daddy?" she asked in a quiet voice. "You are going to call him, aren’t you?" the anxious look on her face renewed an ache in Owen’s heart. ‘Even Kathleen is worried about how Tom will accept talking to me.’ he thought sadly.

"Of course, Kathleen. You and Patrick are always welcome at the house. You know your mother wants you to stay until the twins are born." Owen answered.

"Oh, Daddy. I’m just fine. Being pregnant is not an illness. Mom should know that, after all she had three of us. Besides the babies aren’t due for at least two months." Kathleen smiled. "I wonder what Tommy’s wife is like. The pictures on the news vids, of their wedding, sent through the array, were such poor quality it was hard to see what she looked like."

"All I know, is that she’s half Klingon and was with the Maquis before they were pulled into the Delta Quadrant." Owen’s voice took on the authoritative tone he used with his subordinates.

"Oh, Daddy. They’ve all been out there together for seven years now. I’m sure there are no distinctions between Star Fleet and the Maquis. Besides, Tom sounded so happy in his letter to me last month. He said that B’Elanna is also pregnant. It’s great Tommy’s kid will be the twins’ cousin." Kathleen flashed him the famous Paris smile.

"OK, honey. I won’t prejudge her. If she’s made Tom happy she must have good qualities. I have to sign off now. See you next Sunday for dinner." Owen ended the transmission.


Five weeks passed agonizingly slow for Elizabeth Paris. ‘I hope Tom is OK and that he’s happy.’ she thought. ‘I can’t believe he’s married and going to be a father.’ She sat on the couch in the den awaiting a call from her younger daughter. Kathleen was expecting twins in another three weeks. Her thoughts drifted back 20 years.....


"Mom, Kathleen wants to play house again, with babies." Tom came stomping into the kitchen. His blue eyes dark and a scowl on his face. At ten, he thought he was too old for his sister’s games.

"Now, Tom, you know she misses Moira." Elizabeth tousled the blond hair on her son and pulled him into an embrace.

"She misses Dad too." he said solemnly. "And, so do I. He was only supposed to be gone for six weeks, Mom. It’s been almost ten now and he hasn’t called us in over two weeks." Tom’s face clouded over. Even at his young age, he knew how serious deep space missions were and how dangerous they could be.

"We should hear from your father soon, Tom." she tried to reassure him.

They were interrupted by the chime at the front door. Elizabeth went to answer it with Tom at her side.

Standing at the door was Admiral Stone with his aide, a young Lt. Commander. "Mrs. Paris, may we come in please?" the Admiral asked.

Elizabeth’s face paled as she backed away from the door. "Tom, go upstairs with your sister until I call you two down."

"But, Mom. This must be about Dad." Tom implored. "I want to stay."

"I’m sorry, Tom. Go upstairs, now." she ordered.

"Yes, Ma’ am." Tom replied and went to find his sister.


Elizabeth entered Kathleen’s bedroom and sat down on the bed. Tom and his sister noted her pale face and climbed up on the bed on either side of her.

"Mom, it’s about Dad, isn’t it?" Tom asked. He was trying to sound brave but his lower lip quivered as he spoke.

"Yes, dear. Your father and one of the Ensigns on his ship where on an away mission in a shuttle and they’ve disappeared. Star Fleet has sent out another ship to try to locate them." her voice trembled as she answered Tom.

"How long have they been missing?" Kathleen asked in a small voice.

"For five days so far. Star Fleet is doing everything they can to find them. We have to believe that they’ll be found soon and be OK." Elizabeth answered.


But they were not OK. Captain Owen Paris and Ensign Kathryn Janeway had been captured by the Cardassians and Owen had been tortured. He refused to talk with his wife about the experience and would not go for counseling.

‘Everything changed after the Cardassians.’ Elizabeth thought. ‘Owen was so hard on everyone but especially on Tom. He wanted him to act like a cadet and he was only a little boy of ten. It only got worse when Tom was a teenager. They fought almost constantly. I know that Tom still loves Owen and Owen loves his son. If only they can tell each other, after all these years.’ her thoughts were broken off by the beep of the communication system.

"Mom! The twins are coming early. I’ve started having contractions and the doctor wants to put me in the hospital now." Kathleen’s voice startled her mother.

"Twins will sometimes come early, dear. Is Patrick back from the concert tour?" Elizabeth questioned with concern in her voice. "Do you want me to come and help?"

"No, Mom. We’re fine. Patrick got home last night. He’s packing a bag for me now." Kathleen smiled warmly at her mother. "Oh, Mom. I won’t be there for Tommy’s call." her face reflecting her disappointment.

"I’m sure he’ll understand, dear. Now get to the hospital and have Patrick call me when you’re close to delivering. I love you." Elizabeth touched her hand to the view screen.

"We’re on our way. I love you too, Mom." Kathleen signed off the transmission.


"Moira, please sit down. You’re going to wear a hole in the carpet with your pacing." Elizabeth cautioned her daughter, fully understanding her nervousness. The day was finally here. In less than 15 minutes they would be patched through to Voyager and be able to see and talk with Tom. She had not seen him since he was cashiered out of Star Fleet. Owen had forbidden them from attending Tom’s trial, after he was caught fleeing from the Maquis base.

"Mom, how can you be so damn calm. We’re actually going to see Tommy." Moira sat on the edge of the blue couch in the den.

"Moira, please, your language. I know you’re excited but there’s no need for that. I’m just as apprehensive but pacing won’t help. Elizabeth was cut off by the Federation symbol appearing on the view screen.

The static cleared and standing before her was Tom. Elizabeth’s eyes began to tear as she reached her hand out to the image of her son. "Oh, Tom, you look so good." 

"M...Mom...." he whispered back. He looked so tall and handsome in his Star Fleet uniform. He gripped the hand of the beautiful woman standing next to him. ‘She must be B’Elanna. She’s as beautiful as he had said in his letters home. I can see the love in her eyes for Tom.’

Elizabeth spoke to B’Elanna and welcomed her into the Paris family. Moira jumped into the conversation and told Tom about the twins, the boy being named after him. When she told Tom that she had to leave, she was only partly honest with him.

Moira moved to the door of the den and looked at her father. He stood at the front window gazing up at the sky. "You can’t see them from here, Daddy. He’s too far away to touch but not too far to talk to." She went to him and lightly touched his arm.

Owen turned to Moira with an anguished look on his face. "He doesn’t want to talk to me, Moira. I told him to leave this house and then at his trial I told him I had no son."

"Daddy, that was a long time ago. I know he forgives you. He needs you, please go and talk to him." she pleaded as she pointed him towards the den.

They could hear Elizabeth’s voice as they neared the doorway.

"He wasn’t sure if you wanted to speak with him, Tom. He’s afraid to face you after your argument." she was explaining to Tom.

"Argument!! Mom, he threw me out of our house. He told me to never come back. That he no longer had a son." Tom’s voice began to rise.

Owen turned away from the door but Moira grabbed his hand. "Daddy you have to talk with him. Please go and sit down, now. There isn’t much time left."

He reluctantly entered the den and sat down next to his wife. He looked into a reflection of himself at a younger age and watched as his son stiffened his posture and greeted him. 

"Admiral, you’re looking well." Tom’s voice held little emotion.

He swallowed and could only say Tom’s name but in his officious manner.

‘Why is this so difficult? He’s my child."

Elizabeth looked at the two men she loved more than life itself and leaned into her husband. "Now is not the time to be a stubborn, old fool. He’s your son. Let him know that." she whispered.

They spoke in a torrent of words, overlapping each other with apologies for their words and actions. Suddenly Owen heard a voice giving Tom only 20 more seconds until the transmission would be cut.

"Son, I love you and I’m proud of you." he said slowly and calmly although he was trembling inside.

"I...I love you too, Dad." Tom replied as the screen faded into static. 

Owen was squeezing Elizabeth’s hand so tightly it hurt, but she did not tell him to release her hand. She saw his eyes fill with tears as he reached out to the view screen. His image was gone but she could still hear Tom’s voice telling his father that he loved him.

"Did he hear me?" Owen’s voice barely a whisper. He could not take his eyes off of the screen. It was almost as if he stared hard enough Tom would reappear.

"Of course he did. He’s always known you love him, Owen but he needed to hear you tell him you’re proud of him." she cupped his chin in her hand and gave him a warm kiss.

"I miss him so much." Owen said.

"So do I." Elizabeth responded. "So do I."

The End

Author’s note: Should I continue this with reactions after the call? Please review and let me know.