Three Minutes

Disclaimer - Paramount and Viacom own the characters from Voyager, although they didnít often treat them right. The story line belongs to me.

Chapter 4 - Coming Home

Owen Paris wiped the tears from his eyes as he returned his wifeís warm embrace. 


It had been over seven years since he had seen his son. He had not attended the hearing when Tom was caught fleeing the Maquis base, but he had gone to the sentencing. Tom, his youngest child, had been sentenced to ten years at the Aukland Penal Colony in New Zealand. Hurt and anger fought in his mind as Tom was led out of the court room. The guards stopped in front of him and Tom had pleaded for forgiveness. The anger had won out and Owen told Tom that he had no son.


"He forgave me." Owenís voice barely a whisper as he clung to his wife.

"Of course, he did, dear. He loves you and he knows that you love him." Elizabeth gently gave her husband a kiss as their eldest daughter, Moira rejoined them in the study.

"Oh, Mom! He looks happy and so proud. BíElanna looks beautiful and you could see how much she loves Tommy." Moira burst out. She thought back to the last time she had seen her younger brother looking so happy and proud..........


The kitchen door swung open and suddenly Moira felt herself being lifted off the floor by the strong arms of her brother. "Tommy, put me down, right now!" She demanded. She turned around as he lowered her to the floor. His face was flushed with excitement and his blue eyes sparkled.

"I got it, Sis. Iím going to be posted to the Enterprise!" Tom exclaimed as he grabbed her and spun her around.

He lowered her to the floor after she flashed him Ďthe lookí. She had been able to control Tomís behavior since he was a toddler by simply glaring at him. "I thought that they didnít announce the postings for another two weeks?" she questioned.

"They donít but I just spent three hours with Commander Will Riker. He had me flying simulations at Starfleet Headquarters. He said that not only was he impressed by my Academy records but that he had never seen such inventive flying from a cadet before. He said that he would definitely recommend my posting to Captain Picard." Tom grinned at his sister as he flopped onto a chair at the kitchen table. His face shone with the pride in his flying abilities. Tom knew he was talented although he never boasted about his abilities.

"Tommy, thatís great. I know how much you wanted to be on the Enterprise. Captain Picard is a great teacher. He spoke at my school several years ago about archeological digs. Did you know that he enjoys the past almost as much as you do?" Moira questioned.

"Yes, Iíd heard that too. Weíll have lots we can talk about when Iím on the bridge. I canít believe that Iím going to get the chance to pilot the Enterprise." The joy and eagerness was apparent in Tomís voice.


Moiraís thoughts returned to the present as she remembered sadly how Tomís dreams had crashed. Admiral Paris did not want anyone at Starfleet to accuse the Captains of favoritism due to his high position at Headquarters. He had transmitted an order to Jean-Luc Picard to refuse Tomís posting on the Enterprise. Tom had instead been posted to the Exeter which had been sent to a temporary base at Caldik Prime.

Her parents were still clinging to each other, overwhelmed by the experience they had just shared. She quietly approached them, not wanting to intrude. "Daddy, we have to get going. You promised to drop me off at the Mars transport station on your way to Starfleet, remember?" She needed to catch the transport for her archeological dig on Vulcan. She had taken a leave of absence when her sister, Kathleen had gone into labor. Now that the twins were here and she had gotten a chance to talk with her brother, she had to return to her work.

Owen gave his wife one more hug as she gently wiped the last of the tears from his face. He stood up, walked into the front hall, and picked up his daughterís travel case. "Letís go." he said in a voice gruff with emotion. Turning to Elizabeth he smiled. "Iíll be home for dinner." ĎHome. When was the last time Tom had been home.í Owenís thoughts turned back to the last time his son had been in their house............


Owen stood in the doorway blocking Tomís entrance into his home. "I told you at the hearing. I have no son. Youíve disgraced our family. You donít deserve the name Paris." he sternly crossed his arms in front of him.

"But, Dad. I have nowhere else to go." Tom pleaded with his father. He had not anticipated being cashiered out of Starfleet. He had come forward and told them the truth about Caldik Prime and he had been forced to resign his commission. He was out. He would no longer fly. Now, his father would not let him come home.

"Where you stay is not my problem any longer." Owen looked away, his eyes flashing a steel blue-gray.

"At least let me get some of my clothes." Tom asked quietly.

"I want you gone in one hour." Owen turned without looking and entered his study. He didnít see his sonís face turn ashen. He didnít hear the whispered. 
Iím so sorry, Dad."


Owenís thoughts were brought back to the present by Moira calling him to hurry into their transport. Tom had packed and left in less than the hour granted him and had never set foot in their family home again. He wondered if his son would ever feel comfortable here.


The past nine weeks had been relatively quiet in the Delta Quadrant. Tom had been able to introduce BíElanna to his other sister, Kathleen, and his new niece and nephew when he received her call three weeks ago. The two women compared notes on pregnancies and BíElanna got some tips on how to survive childbirth. They seemed to hit it off quickly. Kathleen even regaled BíElanna with tales of Tomís childhood escapades, much to his embarrassment.


Tom sat at the helm, still shaken from the close encounter with the Borg cube. Once again, they were so close to getting home, only to be thwarted. The nebula was filled with worm holes, one of which had to lead back to the Alpha Quadrant. Unfortunately, it was also filled with Borg cubes. Tom stifled a yawn unsuccessfully. He and BíElanna had been up since 0400 with another occurrence of false labor. This was the fourth time in under two weeks. He agreed with his wife. He wanted the baby out now.

The Captain smiled at her helmsman. Chakotay had informed her of the latest early morning trip to sickbay. She had even entered the baby pool. The quiet on the bridge was broken by Tuvokís announcement about the Tachyon emissions indicating a temporal rift. They picked up weapons fire from the other side of the rift which appeared to be Klingon.

Tuvok announced. "Thereís a vessel coming through the rift."

"Klingon?" Chakotay asked.

"No. Federation." Came Tuvokís puzzled reply.

They were hailed and soon were face to face with an Admiral whose gray-blue eyes appeared familiar. She ordered them to close the rift and then looked down at the bridge crew and calmly announced. "Iíve come to bring Voyager home."


On a rather ordinary day, Owen Paris reported to Starfleet Headquarters. There, in a room full of high ranking officers, he spoke with Reginald Barclay. They watched the viewscreen as a wormhole opened up.

"What the hell is it?" Owen demanded.

Reg answered. "Itís a transwarp aperture. Itís less than a light year from Earth."

Owen ordered every ship in the area to converge on the wormholeís coordinates and to use whatever force was necessary to stop the Borg.

They all watched as the Borg cube exploded and a small shape emerged from within. 

Suddenly, Voyager was before them. Owen hailed them and was soon looking at the bridge crew. He glanced down at the helm and cobalt blue eyes met cobalt blue eyes. Tom looked away, overcome with emotion.

And, on a rather ordinary day, Owen Parisís son, his youngest child, came home.