Title:  Past Resurfacing (11/?)
Author:  CatHeights
Pairing: VOY (P, K, C, P/T implied)
Rating:  PG-13
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Feedback: CatHeights@yahoo.com
Archive:  If someone wants to fine by me as long as you drop me an e-mail letting me know where it is archived.
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Spoiler Warning: Thirty Days
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Disclaimer: Paramount owns all rights to Star Trek Voyager, its characters, and the Voyager episodes referred to in this story.  The story idea is mine, but I am doing this just for fun, no money to be made.
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      Chakotay led them through another small room and then into a wide hallway, where he paused in front of a glass door.

            "Turbolift?" Harry said questioningly as he gazed through the glass.

            "Of some sort," Tom said.  "Actually it looks more like an old earth elevator."

            "Maybe," Harry replied.  "But I bet itís more technologically advanced.  Everything in this place seems to be more than meets the eye.  Itís like they wanted to make sure the technology was never too obtrusive."

            "I think weíre going to have to figure out how this lift works," Chakotay said.  "If the readings are correct, the power source is below us, but well into the ground."  He approached the door and the glass slid to the side.  Chakotay scanned the lift before indicating that Harry and Tom should follow him inside.

            "Now we just have to make it go down.  Question is which button do we press?" Tom said pointing to a panel on the left side of the lift.   There were 10 yellow buttons in a line, each a different shape, and then 10 orange buttons also of varying shapes below those.

            "Do we go with logic and figure the orange button at the right end would most likely be the lowest level or do we try to figure out what each of the buttons mean?" Harry said.

            "We try the orange button at the end first, and if that doesnít work weíll try the first orange, and go from there," Chakotay said as he leaned over and pressed the orange button on the far right.  The button reminded Chakotay of some type of grate.  The door slid closed and the lift began moving.

            "Are we still moving?" Harry asked Chakotay.  After the initial jolt of the lift starting he had felt nothing.

            Before Chakotay could answer Harry, Tom said, "Yes, and weíre moving down."

            "I believe we are, even if I canít feel the motion," Chakotay said while giving Tom a curious look. "Considering the other technology weíve seen here, it wouldnít surprise me if they had some type of stabilizer to minimize the sensation.   Paris, how do you figure weíre moving down?"

            Tom shrugged and said, "I can feel it."

            "I donít feel anything," Harry said.

            "Trust me, I can feel it, and right now I feel that we are slowing down," Tom said.

            Before Harry or Chakotay could comment, the glass door slid open.   Chakotay stepped out of the lift his tricorder extended.  When Tom and Harry had both also exited the elevator, Chakotay turned to Tom shaking his head,  "Well Paris, youíre right.   The lift was definitely moving down.   Weíre about 40 meters below our previous position, and the power source is definitely down here with us."

            The lift door slid closed as Tom looked around.  Everywhere he turned was gray rock.  The floor had a damp look to it, but yet he didnít smell the musty smell that his mind associated with the placeís appearance.  Tom shook his head and said, "Something isnít right here."

            Chakotay looked at him quizzically, silently encouraging him to continue.
 

       Gesturing to the gray walls, Tom said, "Whatever this place is, it looks nothing like anything else we have seen.  High ceilings, airy rooms, and pictures of water have been consistent throughout this house and the smaller ones we saw on our way here.   Everything has been designed to give one the feeling of open space, but here the ceilings are low, there are no windows, no color.  Itís a closed in place.  It just doesnít fit."

            "We donít know what this floor was used for," Harry replied.  "The ceilings here may be lower because of the floorís purpose."

            "Or maybe itís just a place to house the power source," Chakotay said.  "A place that is rarely visited so why put in an effort to make it something more."

            "Because at some point the power source would need maintenance and someone would need to spend time down here," Tom argued.

            "Maybe it didnít need repair often, if at all," Harry replied.

            "Well thereís no way to know, and the power source is ahead.  So, letís stop speculating and continue," Chakotay said.

            "Okay, but I still think something is odd here," Tom mumbled.

            Chakotay grinned slightly and said, "Really?  An empty city, beautifully furnished houses, tables set for a meal, and a power source generating a type of energy Voyager doesnít even recognize.  I donít see how any of that is odd.  A typical Delta Quadrant away mission."  He started walking down the corridor.  Tom and Harry chuckled and followed the Commander down the hall getting a bit closer to their goal.

            Chakotay turned right and the three men found themselves in a narrow room filled with a number of small view screens and one large view screen in the center, all blank.  Throughout the room were various computer stations, none of which were operating.

            Harry scanned the area and said, "Whatever this room is, currently there is no power going to it." He gestured to the walls,  "All these screens and terminals are inactive."

            "Itís a prison," Tom said disgustedly and pointed to a door in the corner of the room.  "I bet the cells are through that door."

            Chakotay realized Tom was probably right.   It surely explained why this floor was unlike anything else seen so far on the planet.  He also couldnít come up with another use for an underground room filled with view screens.  Great, Chakotay thought, first away mission I put Tom on and we end up investigating a prison.  Chakotay gave Tom a worried glance, but Tom who was checking out one of the terminals seemed fine.

            Harry obviously agreed with Tomís assessment as he said, "More like a dungeon."   He couldnít rid his mind of the image of this building as an old-time earth style castle.

            Tom looked at Harry and frowned.  "A bit modernized for a dungeon donít you think?" he asked.

            "Maybe, but I usually think of a prison as a building on its own.   Where as this is at the bottom of a structure that was obviously inhabited," Harry replied.

            "It is odd to have a prison located here," Chakotay agreed.  "And of course the readings indicate the power source is somewhere right behind that door Tom indicated."

            Tom crossed his arms across his chest and said, "Okay, so why would anyone put a power source on the same level as prisoners?   Did it need to be maintained?   Did it give off some sort of fumes dangerous to this planetís inhabitants?  Doesnít it make you wonder?"

            "It does," Chakotay admitted.  "Scans indicated nothing here that is harmful to humans, but that doesnít mean there isnít something around that is harmful to other life forms.  Well come on, and like I said beforeÖ"

            Tom cut him off saying, "Letís proceed with caution."

            "Paris," Chakotay said warningly.

            Tom just shrugged, grinned and said, "After you Commander."

            The door slid open and Chakotay stepped through.  He felt Tom enter right behind him.  "Well, when Iím right, Iím right," Tom said as Harry joined them.  They found themselves facing a long corridor each side of which was lined with large metal doors containing small windows at the top of each door.  Chakotay too recognized a jail when he saw one.

            "The power source should be at the end of the corridor," Harry said.

            "Come on," Chakotay replied as he started moving.

            As they passed the third cell on the right side, they noticed the door was jarred open.  A small piece of metal had been wedged into the locking mechanism shorting it out.  Both the door and adjoining floor were marked with dark stains.  Chakotay noticed that the stains appeared off and on all the way to the next cell whose door was also open.

            "Any idea what that stain is?" Chakotay asked as Harry was already pointing his tricorder at it.

            "Readings seem to indicate itís a form of alien blood," Harry said as he looked at his tricorder.

            Which was exactly what Tom was afraid Harry was going to say.  He took a deep breath as he followed Harry and Chakotay over to the next cell.  He was positive that they would find the source of that blood in the adjacent cell, and he was right.  In the center of the room were two dead aliens.   One of the alienís bodies, the one to which the trail of blood led, was draped over the other alien.  The aliens were blue in color with darker blue markings on their arms and legs, or at least on what were left of their arms and legs.  Their deaths had not been recent, as decay had already started to set in.

            Chakotay whispered a soft prayer for the deceased.  From where he stood, it looked like the figure resting on top was male and the one beneath female.   The three men were silent as they took in the scene. Chakotay noticed Harry pale slightly and followed the younger manís gaze.  The wall closest to the aliens was splattered with blood and lying near it was something resembling intestines.  Chakotay closed his eyes and took a deep breath.  As he inhaled, a thought struck him.

            "Thereís no scent," Chakotay said.

           "Commander?"  Harry inquired gladly turning his eyes from the sight.

            "From what our eyes tell us these bodies have been here for awhile.  The scent should be unbearable, but I donít smell anything."

            "Youíre right," Harry said.  "Even if thereís an air purification system running, we should still smell something."

            Chakotay pointed his tricorder in the direction of the alien bodies.  "Well, if the tricorder is working properly, those aliens arenít illusions."

            "It doesnít make much sense," Harry said.

              Tom vaguely realized that Chakotay and Harry were talking, but he couldnít follow their conversation.  His mind was too busy filling in the details to how the aliens had died.   He could picture it.  The male trying desperately to get out of the cell because he knew the female was seriously hurt.  He injured himself as he tried to pry open the door, but he could have cared less.  Blood dripping from the injury, he hurried over to her cell, calling to her but getting no answer.  He pushed his way into the cell only to find her there long since dead, a huge gaping wound in her abdomen.  Oh, yes he could picture this scene too well.

            The scent of blood and rotting flesh was overpowering.  He couldnít breathe.  As he started to gag, he realized he needed to get out of the cell.  He stumbled past a surprised Harry and hurried into the hall, trying to put some distance between him and the scent.  Leaning against the wall for support, he doubled over pressing one hand to the wall, gagging.  He struggled to control the reflex, as he didnít want to throw up in the hallway. He felt a light hand on his back and knew without looking that it was Harry.

            "Tom, are you all right?" Harry asked his voice heavy with worry.

            Tom felt the bile rise into his mouth and he swallowed hard wincing at the sour taste.  He took another deep breath and felt his gagging subside.  "Iím okay," he said while he forced himself to keep taking deep even breaths.
 

      He straightened up slowly and Harry removed his hand from his back.  Tom turned and leaned against the wall.  He met both Chakotayís and Harryís concerned stares.  "Iím fine really.  It's just the scent really started to get to me.  Sorry."

            Chakotay exchanged a brief look with Harry before asking, "The scent?"

            "Yeah, it was bit overwhelming, donít you think?"  Tom said as he ran a hand through his hair. Harry and Chakotay were both silent as they stared at him.
 

        "What?" Tom said.  The looks they were giving him were making him edgy.  "I said I was fine. Why are the two of you looking at me likeÖlike Iíve lost my mind?"

            "Tom, donít you remember Harry and I talking about there not be any scent in the room?" Chakotay asked softly. 

            "What are talking about?  Of course there was a scent.  It reeked in there.  You canít tell me you didnít smell it."  Tom looked at them in disbelief.

            "Tom, we didnít smell anything," Harry said frowning at his friend.  "We were trying to figure out how that could be when you left the cell."

            "Maybe you should return to the ship," Chakotay said.  "Harry and I can finish things up here."

            "Chakotay thatís not necessary.  Iím fine.  Something odd is going on here.  If what we saw was really there, that cell should stink.  My smelling something makes sense.  Itís the both of you not smelling it that doesnít," Tom said.   Something was playing games with them and he knew it.   He could feel something watching them, watching him.  He knew it sounded paranoid which was why he refrained from telling the Commander that he believed something was here with them.  Chakotay was all ready looking at him as if he was nuts.  Tom could sense a presence though.  He was being toyed with and he didnít appreciate it.

             "Tom, youíve been acting odd since we got here.  Something here is affecting you, and I donít think itís worth the risk for you to continue on with us.  Iím telling Voyager to beam you up," Chakotay said.

       Tom just glared at the Commander and ignored Harryís pleading glance.  He knew that before his time in the brig, Chakotay would have never been so quick to take him off of an away mission.   Sometimes it seemed like the entire crew knew he had had nightmares while in the brig and felt the need to protect him.  It was driving him nuts.  BíElanna wouldnít drop the subject, Harry kept reminding him if he ever wanted to talk he was there, and now Chakotay was looking at him as if he had already cracked.  Why were they all insisting on making a big deal out of nothing?  Being on this planet had triggered a few memories for him, but it wasnít the memories that were
the problem, something was setting things up.  He was sure of it.

       "Away Team to Voyager," Chakotay said.  Static was his only response.  "Voyager, come in."  "Away Team to Voyager," he repeated.  "Voyager come in."  Still he got nothing but static.

       Saying nothing, Tom crossed his arms across his chest and looked at Chakotay.  His whole body language said, "Now, what?"

       "The distance we are below the surface combined with our closeness to the power source may be creating difficulties for Voyagerís communication system," Harry said.

       Chakotay looked at Tom who met his gaze arrogantly but still remained silent.  He had to decide if Tomís recent behavior was worth abandoning the mission when they were so close to the power source.

       "Chakotay.  Iím fine.  Weíre too close now to stop."  He met the Commanderís stare unwavering.

       "Letís find that power source and get out of here," Chakotay said.  He could see Tom relax visibly.

       "Sounds like a good plan to me," Tom said with a small smile.

       Chakotay led the way down the hall.  He was relieved to see as they walked that none of the other cells were open.  Chakotay counted 30 cells before they reached the end of the hallway.  A huge, solid looking metal door blocked their way.  He scanned the door with the tricorder before moving cautiously forward.  At his approach, a seam appeared in the middle of the door and the two sides swung inward.

       "Careful," Tom said and Chakotay turned to see if the younger man was mocking him, but Tom wasn't looking at him.  He was staring at the doors as if just by gazing at them he could detect something odd.

       "Agreed," Chakotay said and walked through the doors.

       They found themselves on a wide ledge with a metal railing at the edge of it.  All around them were walls of radiant stone.   Between each rock was some sort of crystal, which emitted a white light every few seconds, so that the rocks seemed to glow.  When they peered over the edge of the railing, they saw a huge tunnel with no ending in sight also made up of this luminescent rock.

       "Readings indicate that the power source is all around us," Harry said as he winced at the brightness.

       Tom looked at the pulsating structure.  It was alive and he knew it.  He had a strong feeling that something was about to happen.  He looked around taking in every inch of the glowing cavern.   Right above Chakotay's head, he noticed a crack start to form in the rock above him.  It spread quickly, widening as it went, splitting the rock into parts.

       "Chakotay, look out," Tom said as he reached out to the other man and pulled him out of the path of the tumbling rocks.  A small rock glanced Chakotay's face, drawing a slight amount of blood, but otherwise he was unscathed.

       "Thanks," the Commander said as he regained his balance.  The ground beneath them started to tremble as more rocks cascaded down.   "We need to get out, now," Chakotay said as the ledge beneath them began to show cracks.

       As they ran past the cells, Harry tapped his combadge, "Away Team to Voyager."  Static was his only answer.
 
       Tom was the first to reach the lift.  As the doors slid open and they entered, Chakotay briefly wondered if taking a lift in a collapsing building was the best idea.  However, he figured, trying to find another exit would be an even worse idea.

       Tom hit the third yellow button as the glass door slid closed.  Somehow he was positive it was the third button.  The floor with the entrance was the third floor.  He didnít know how he knew that but he did.

       "Tom?"  Chakotay questioned.

       "Yeah, weíre moving up.  I can feel it," Tom responded breathing heavily.  Damn, he was out of shape.  He shouldnít be winded this easily.  He looked up and saw that both Harry and Chakotay were wheezing too.   Well, he thought, at least Iím not the only one out of shape.

       The glass door slid open.  Chakotay stepped out first, relieved to see that they had made it back to their previous location.  He ran down the wide hallway with Tom and Harry close on his heels.

       As they ran through the room with the ottoman, Tom noticed the ring box sliding across the floor.  Then it was blocked from his sight as the room shook violently and the ottoman overturned covering the box.   He heard Harry stumble, turned, and helped his friend regain his balance.  Once he was sure that Harry was okay, they both hurried out of the room and through the smaller dining room.

       "Watch out," Chakotay yelled as they entered into the main dining room.

       The floor was littered with broken dishes and more dishes were finding their way onto the ground.  Some where shattering against the chairs first and pieces of debris were ricocheting against chairs and other tumbled furniture.  As they quickly but carefully made their was through the mess, Tom noticed that the chair with the sweater remained in place, seeming to be untouched by the debris.  The image stuck with him as they hurried to the main door.

      The natural appearing light in the hallway was now flickering off and on.  Harry thought it seemed more as if the hallway was being illuminated by quick bursts of lightning.  He squinted as the most recent flash of light caused white circles to spin in front of his eyes.  His pace slowed as his body reacted to his inability to see.   As his eyes cleared, he could see that Tom was still in front of him before the hallway was draped in darkness again.   He felt the need to keep his eye on Tom.  He had been acting strange from the moment they beamed down to the planet.

       The light flashed again and they saw the huge doors opening and folding into the hallway.   Chakotay picked up his speed sparing a glance to see that Tom and Harry were right behind him.  He could see cracks racing down the walls of the hallway.   He passed through the doorway with Tom and Harry only seconds behind.

       "Donít stop.  Keep going," he gasped once they were out of the castle.  They needed to get as far away from the structure as possible.  He could imagine huge chunks of stone rolling down upon them.

       When they were halfway through the courtyard, Chakotayís combadge chirped, "Voyager to Away Team please respond."

       Chakotay would have breathed a sigh of relief at the sound of the Captainís voice if he had had the time. "Away Team here.  Three to beam up, now!"

       As the transporter beam whirled around them, Tom took once last glance at the castle.   He thought he saw a flash of white light and then the building imploded.

TBC