Gods And Goddesses
By Deborah Cook
codes: P/K, Chekov/Sulu
disclaimer: i don't own them, and i'm not making any money. Any and all Star Trek TOS and Voyager references and characters are Copyright Paramount and Viacom, Aphrael and everything associated with her is copyright David Eddings. No infringement intended. Don't sue me.
Summary:This is a crossover between TOS and Voyager, a couple of series' by David Eddings called "The Elenium" and "The Tamuli" If you've read them, that's great, if you haven't, it doesn't matter. Although i highly reccomend them, because he really describes the character of Aphrael better than i ever could. Which makes sense, you know, because, she's his character and i stole her :)
P doesn't make an appearance at all yet, but he'll be here, i promise. He's just fashionably late.
"Gods and Goddesses" Prologue
Harry Kim wandered through the fields near his parents house. They were gone for the entire day, so he didn't have to stay on their own property, as he usually did. If he wasn't near enough to the house to hear his mother calling, she got worried. Today he struck out towards a small stand of trees he could just make out in the distance.
He started picking flowers along the way, thinking he could leave them for his mother when she returned from her trip. He'd be asleep by then, of course. Next month, when he turned ten, he'd be allowed to stay up later.
He stumbled over an old tree trunk, and stopped to really look around. This area was dotted with ancient stumps and fallen logs, and weeds almost as tall as him grew over every centimeter of ground. He kept walking, climbing over dead wood and around boulders and wondering how this had ever been used as farmland.
Harry stopped when he came across a perfectly rectangular stone. Curious, he cleared the brush from around it, kicking and yanking at the sturdy weeds until they came up by the roots. When he had a clear space, he twisted some of them together to make a sort of broom, and tried to clear the dirt off the top and sides of the stone.
Harry traced the pictographs with his fingertips, wondering what they meant. This was obviously a very old religious artifact. It was probably quite valuable, and he wondered why it hadn't been moved to a museum before now. Maybe he should tell someone about it. Maybe he shouldn't. It seemed somehow to belong where it was, as though it would be out of place in something as artificial as a museum.
Harry set his flowers carefully on the altar, bowing as he made a gesture of respect. He turned away reluctantly, any interest in exploring abated as he slowly walked back toward home.
Harry visited the altar at least once a week, thinking for some reason that if he showed respect that he would find something he had always wanted. Something bigger than himself that he could believe in.
Pavel Chekov sat staring into space, oblivious of his surroundings as he watched the scene unfolding before him.
Warm arms slipped around him as Sulu leaned against his back, resting his chin on Pavel's shoulder. "What's going on?" he asked softly.
"The Voyager is passing through Malin space," Chekov replied, "Their God can be a bit cranky. He's very gullible, and the Malin are not an honorable race. They twist the facts when they speak to him to make him angry so they can threaten others with His power."
"And he *lets* them," a small, angry voice piped up at his side. Sulu looked over at the tiny child goddess. "He pays no atentiion to his surroundings, he just sleeps all the time and does whatever his so-called "followers" tell him to!"
"Well, not everyone's as observant as you, dear," he grinned. Sulu wasn't a worshipper of Aphrael, but he did love the little goddess, and he enjoyed her company very much. She was the reason he was still alive, and young after over a century. Although it probably helped that her high priest was in love with him. "You think they're going to cause Harry problems?"
"Yes," Chekov replied, firmly overriding Aphrael's "Maybe."
"Voyager's advanced technology is a prize. She's famous in that quadrant, and they won't be able to pass up the opportunity to acquire her." he explained.
"Paranoid," Aphrael said fondly.
"Voyager's been in danger before, and we haven't helped them," Sulu remarked.
"Against mortal dangers they have to survive on their own," She replied sombrely, "I can't protect all of my worshippers against death. But the Gods should know better than to interfere in these things. If Malin sticks his nose in, i have every right to protect my followers."
"Or follower, as the case may be" Chekov added. "She only wants to interfere because saving them will make more people love her," he teased.
"Pavel!" Aphrael said, feigning shock. "I would never dream of borrowing worshippers from my fellow deities!"
"Da, and this is why you like Chakotay so much?"
"Borrowing?" Sulu said skeptically. "Aphrael it's not borrowing if you never give them back."
"He's a very loveable man." Aphrael explained, ignoring Sulu.
"Of course he is."
"Pavel. i almost think you don't believe me," Aphrael pouted.
"I don't believe you, Aphrael."
"But you love me,"
"I new you did," She sighed, climbing into his lap. He hugged her, and then turned her face to look into the mortal realm, where Harry Kim stood behind the ops console, unaware of their scrutiny.
Sulu watched them, wondering if Pavel sometimes regretted not having children of his own. He wondered what Demora was doing, and thought he'd ask Aphrael to let him look at her when this was over. Whatever this was.
Harry opened the back door and stepped out onto the porch. His parents were way on business, and he was planning to spend the day cleaning up the altar. He was bringing a bucket of water, a small broom and a scrub brush with him, along with a rake and a spade, for digging up weeds. And a Papaya, as an offering. He'd thought about leaving meat, but that didn't feel right, somehow.
Harry was well on his way to the trees when he heard a sniffle coming from nearby.
"Hello?" he called cautiously.
Someone hiccuped, and then there was silence.
"You can come out," he said quietly. "I won't hurt you. Maybe i can help?"
There was a rustling to his left, and a little girl appeared. She looked about six years old, and wore a short white shift, nothing else. She was barefoot.
"I got lost," she said, wiping tears from her eyes with one grubby fist.
"Who'd you get lost from?" Harry asked, kneeling in front of her.
"My daddy. He tole me to stay but i didn't."
"He was just looking at a stupid rock. I wanted to find a rabbit," she added, perking up a bit. "I like rabbits. Mommy says she's going to buy me one, for a pet," she chattered, smiling now. Harry reflected wryly that it hadn't taken much effort to make her feel better.
"Well," he said, "I know where's there's some rocks to look at, maybe if we go there we'll find your daddy."
"Okay. Carry me," She demanded.
Harry blinked at her. "Uh... okay." He dumped the water out of his bucket, regretting that he probably wouldn't be able to scrub the altar today after all, and piled the other things into it. Maybe if he just used the dry scrub brush it would help. "Could you hold this for me?" he asked, offering her the Papaya. Harry wrapped his arms around her when she took it, lifting her up. She wapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck and snuggled comfortably into him. He shifted his fingers around the handle of the bucket, trying not to bang it against her back. Harry sighed. She was over half his size, he really didn't think he could carry her the whole rest of the way.
Harry set her down carefully near the altar, sighing again as he straightened up. He'd tried setting her down earlier but she'd just pouted and refused to walk. Oh, well. He couldn't very well be upset about it, he'd done the same thing to his parents when he was her age.
"What's your name?" he asked, realizing suddenly that he didn't know.
"Aphrael," She responded, exploring the area thoroughly.
"That's a very pretty name," he said, surprised.
"Thank you," the little girl replied automatically. "Daddy!" she hollered.
"Aphrael?" an irate voice with a distinctly Russian accent demanded. "Where have you been? How many times have i said you can't just run off like that-- Hallo. Who are you?" he interrupted himself, coming around a large boulder and catching sight of Harry.
"Harry Kim," he replied sticking out his hand. The man shook it firmly, still looking puzzled.
"My mom and dad own a farm not too far from here. I come up here to... uh..." Harry trailed off, not sure what to say. He came up here to care for an altar he should have reported to the authorities and leave offerings to a god he didn't know?
"Alexi," the man identified himself. "Have you seen the altar before? It's a magnificent find. I am amazed no one has called the museum about it before now."
"You're not going to move it, are you?" Harry blurted out.
"Well, of course. We can't leave it out here to be destroyed by weather, it should be taken someplace protected where people can see it and it can be studied."
"But it belongs here! It hasn't been destroyed yet, surely there's something--" Harry stopped suddenly. He'd been about to say that surely there was something watching over it, but he didn't think this man believed in gods. He set his jaw firmly, and gently rescued the Papaya from Aphrael's careless fingers. He walked around to the altar and pulled out the utility knife he'd gotten for his tenth birthday. Harry carefully quartered the ripe fruit and set it on the Altar, where the juice ran onto the stone to form small puddles.
"I'm sorry," he said softly. "I tried to do it right, but i couldn't. And now the altar will be behind bars in a museum and i won't be able to leave you offerings any more. I wish i knew your name so i could pray." He was ashamed to find that he was actually crying.
"Aphrael," a soft, musical voice said from behind him. "My name is Aphrael. And no-one is going to move my altar."
Harry looked around, startled. Alexi was perched on a stump some distance away, grinning at him, and the little girl stood before him, glowing.
"You," he began, dumbfounded.
"I think it's time to begin your education," the child goddess said firmly. "From now on, i'll teach you during dream time. That's not the same as dreaming, but you do need to be asleep. You'll know when i've called you." She smiled brilliantly at him. "'Come, Pavel. It's time to go," she added, glancing over her shoulder.
The man left his seat and walked over to pick Aphrael up, cradling her in his arms and kissing her cheek. She smiled at him, and then they vanished in a slow, soft cloud of white light.
Harry sat down where he was, bumping against the bucket he'd brough, which sloshed water on him. He stared at it for a moment, then grinned. He interpreted this small miracle as an order. "Get to work, Harry," he said aloud, dipping the brush into the water and scrubbing at the dirt energetically.