The Rebirth Saga:Shadows
Set right after Insomnia, at the end of season six. As the ship’s supplies run out, the crew takes the risk to search for food on a planet, which due to its dense atmosphere, is almost impossible to be scanned. While collecting samples they make a disturbing discovery.
Star Trek Voyager and the Excelsior belong to Paramount. The story and the characters in it belong to me. Marcos Cavelle belongs to the P/T Collective and the Name Janaki belongs to Subha Rajaram, I just took the name, not the character.
You can read the story without having read the prequel, Insomnia, but you won’t understand all of it that way.
Please note that the names Janaki and J'Anar are for the same character.
Please note that this story is referring to many Voyager episodes. You'll most likely recognize it when it comes up (i.e. thirty days, pathfinder)...
The *eddies* are referring to the episode real life. They are the supspace layers Tom flew into...
Please send me feedback to e_mail address : firstname.lastname@example.org
My beta readers Isabelle and JK, Robbie McNeill and all those lovely people who sent me feedbackand this way urged me to write even faster!!!
Please don't archive without my permission.
Shadows Part One
Routine had once more evaded Voyager’s flight through the Delta- Quadrant. The last weeks had been strenuous on all of them, Harry thought as he entered the Mess Hall
to catch some breakfast.
As Neelix gave him the food, he pointed to a table in the corner of the room.
"She's been sitting there for two hours already and she still has that same look on her face, like she’s ready to kill someone," Neelix warned the Ensign.
Cautiously, Harry approached the table where B’Elanna Torres sat staring at Neelix’ last concoction, but it didn’t seem to be the food that brought her in this mood.
" Good morning B’Elanna," he greeted her from behind. She swung around as if she had been struck, glaring at Harry furiously and surprised, but then her gaze turned to one of fear, anger and sorrow. She didn’t even utter a word, which in itself was unusual. He’d never seen her look like that before.
Wanting to get some reaction out of her, he asked the most trivial question that came to mind.
" Didn’t sleep well ?"
"What?" she said startled by the question. She looked anywhere but at him.
Kim knew something was wrong, so he tried again.
She finally looked at him.
Harry was surprised to see tears in her eyes, he had never seen her cry before.
Suddenly, she pulled over her chair and stormed out of the Mess Hall, not looking back.
Harry followed her, worried about his friend. He had no idea what was wrong, but he wanted to find out since it most certainly involved Tom.
"B'Elanna, wait!" he called running behind her all the way back to her quarters.
She was crying while staring at the stars outside the window. As she turned, she spotted him nearthe door, eyeing her.
"I've got to go to Engineering, Harry," she stated wanting to distract Harry, knowing that he wanted to discuss her problem.
"B'Elanna, what happened?" he asked.
"Nothing, Harry. It's okay...
I reallygotta go now," she excited her quarters and left Harry behind.
Thomas Eugene Paris woke up suddenly, his forehead was covered with sweat.
A nightmare, he remembered his dream. Shadows dancing...He could not recall it, for it was too vivid and the images had flown by too quickly.
With a pang of regret he thought about the last evening.
What had happened? He couldn't explain it. He didn't know.
All he knew was that while he and B'Elanna were making love, an overwhelming sense of fear had caught him.
It had systematically worked itself up his body and B'Elanna had felt more like a threat than a lover. He just could not explain it to himself.
Hell, he didn't understand any of this.
All he knew was that he loved B'Elanna and that he needed to talk to her as soon as possible.
The senior staff, except for Ensign Paris, who was still on sick- leave, were gathered in the
Briefing Room. The stars were flying by quickly as the ship moved at warp six.
Captain Janeway studied her team as each one of them told her about the ships status. It looked grim.
They were traversing a star system devoid of any planets, that could provide supplies.
Voyager was running out of Dilithium.
She could see that all were worried, because of the current situation, although it seemed that B'Elanna Torres' frown had other reasons. She did not look like she was very interested in the topic at hand. But the Captain did also notice that B'Elanna seemed a little rough around the edges. She was pale and her eyes were red and puffy. Kathryn made a note to ask her about it later. Ensign Harry Kim, the ships Ops officer, was glancing at her from time to time, concerned.
Right now they were discussing ways to widen the scanning range, since otherwise there would be no way to find the fuel they needed so badly. They didn't have much time, they were running out of energy.
"How long before we're dead in the water?" She asked, hoping there were at least some good news on this subject.
On the other side of the table B'Elanna Torres came to life.
"The warp core will be active for another week at maximum, but after that we'll have a big problem on our hands."
Apparently, the Captain was little satisfied with that answer, for she had hoped for more.
"This cannot be the best we can get. I want all of you to think about other options. We have to come up with a way to replace the dilithium or do something to replicate some. Either way, we can't just crawl along this sector at impulse".
Everyone understood their Captain's concern and promised to think of solutions.
Harry Kim then approached them with another matter of concern. "As I said earlier, scanning range is extremely limited right now. And since we don't know what is hindering them we can't fully rely on the data we collect."
The Bridge was unusually quiet that afternoon. Partly because of the absence of their chief pilot, partly because of their current predicament.
Harry Kim was doing routine diagnostics of his duty station to pass the never passing time as he made an unexpected discovery.
"Captain", he stated. "I think there's something you should see." From the anxious look on his face it was clear that he'd found something extremely incredible and exciting.
"What is it, Ensign", Janeway came over to him, her curiosity now quipped as well.
"I think I've found the cause for our limited scanning abilities." He studied the readouts again, as if to confirm his findings, he then turned to the Captain and elaborated.
"There is a nebula nearby."
"A nebula is the reason for this?" Commander Chakotay asked incredously.
"A class three nebula, to be precise." The Ensign explained, not making further comments yet.
Janeway looked in awe at the colourful, dense clouds, that Harry Kim had transferred onto the view- screen. "And this is what's interfering with our long range scanners?"
"There is a huge amount of omicron particles mixed with some unknown fluid present in the nebula, which is affecting scanning abilities within a radius of 400 lightyears. But I can't tell what's actually causing it." Harry was stunned as were the others. This was one of the scientfic mysteries the Captain and her crew loved so much.
"I think this phenomenon is worth some investigation, don't you agree?" the Captain let her gaze travel across the bridge.
Everyone seemed eager to explore this uncharted territory, only Tuvok, as chief of security did not agree, logically.
"Captain, must I remind you in our current situation, we cannot spare the rescources to handle any problems that might come up. We have no idea what to expect."
Janeway had to admit, he had a point, "I know, but I'm still curious."
"Captain, maybe there is a reason to enter this nebula," Harry Kim interfered.
"Yes, Ensign?" she asked him, eyes sparkling with delight.
"There is Dilithium in this nebula."
"Dilithium, that changes everything, don't you agree, Tuvok?" She turned and asked her chief of security.
"It now, seems to be logical to enter the nebula, however I must advise several safetyprocedures," he stated unemotionally.
The Captain nodded. "Ensign Baytheart, set a course."
As they entered the nebula four hours later, they encountered something they had never seen before, nor thought to be possible.
The usual gas clouds and materials found in a nebula were missing.
Presenting itself on the view- screenwas not the inside of a nebula, the play of light and energy. This nebula was the home to an entire star system, the door to another dimension.
"Ensign," Janeway just asked, not taking her eyes of the view screen.
"Captain, do you remember as we encountered the eddies? This is a similar phenomenon.
The nebula is the door to this galaxy, which does not exsist in our space contiuum. It's only using up subspace, but not space," Harry Kim pointed out.
They traversed the system for some time, the source of the dilithium still nowhere in sight.
While they waited, they took in the sheer beauty of this galaxy in awe...
"Captain, I've found the source of the dilithium," Harry announced eagerly.
The Captain stood up and neared the view- screen. "On screen."
Immediatelythe picture shifted from the stars to a big, blue planet with one continent.
"Earth", some nameless Ensign said, staring at the view screen.
And although his statement had been rather naive, he was right. This planet was really almost Earth- like.
"Hum, Captain," Ensign Kim shattered the mood. " I think there is a little problem."
The captain turned to him expecting the worst, "Yes?"
"I'm afraid the omicron particles are originating from the planets atmosphere. We would have to perform some slight modifications on the engines, otherwise we can't get down safely," he explained.
"Well, then do it."
The away teamconsisting of the Captain, B'Elanna Torres, Harry Kim, Joe Carey, Marcos Cavelle, Ensign Tabor and some others, landed on the surface of the planet about two hours later.
The Captain, Joe Carey and Marcos Cavelle headed down to the valley, where the tricorder indicated, were high traces of Dilithium.
Lieutenant Torres, Ensign Kim, and Ensign Tabor headed in the opposite direction, which also showed a rich Dilitium deposit.
The concentrations there were even higher.
Marcos Cavelle was searching the valley for edible food, while Janeway and Carey headed towards the source of the Dilithium.
After a while, Marcos decided to widen his search a little bit.
He went farther down the hill in hope of finding some plants which even Neelix could not destroy with leola root.
After hearing the sound of running water, he followed it.
He turned around a corner and saw a place which to him had a very close resemblance to the Garden Eden.
He never had seen such a beautiful place in his life, befor , except on the holodecks.
Surrounded by high cliffs was a deep blue lake.
A waterfall was running down the cliff with incredible speeds, splashing into the lake
It was a green oasis.
And in the midst of all this beauty, four women were swimming.
The odd thing about the picture was that they were being guarded by a man, who was waiting besides the sea.
He could not say what exactly those people looked like, since he was too far away.
He would have liked it very much just to head for them and introduce himself, but he remembered the Prime Directive and decided to talk to the Captain first.
He was so awed about the sight before him, that he didn't notice the alien coming up behind him. His weapon was now pressing into his back.
Taken by surprise, his breath got caught in his throat. He stood ridiculously straight, waiting
for his aggressor to make thefirst move.
"Don't turn, " the alien ordered in a low voice.
"We're going to get the rest of you, he said and took away his comm- badge and threw it into the mud.
*The Captain, Carey,*he thought.
*What the hell have I gotten us into ?*
After some strenuous rock climbing, B'Elanna, Harry and Tabor entered a huge cave, which as the tricorder had showed, was filled with Dilithium.
B'Elanna and Harry started to examine the walls immediately.
"I don't understand this, the readings showed that there should be kilotons of Dilithium down here, but there are just some isograms left," B'Elanna stated.
"Let's collect some samples and see what we can do with what we have," Harry Kim suggested.
While the others did just that, Tabor investigated a tunnel which was leading away from the cave deeper into the mountain.
He wasn'ttoo sure but suggesting from the tricorder readings, there was another source of Dilithium there, this time in high concentration.
"The tricorder is showing high amounts of Dilithium this way, chief. I'm going to go in."
After the other's confirmation, he went into the tunnel alone while the others packed away their equipment.
After about five minutes the darkness started to dissipate and he didn't need his beacon anymore.
He wondered what the source of this light was, for it got brighter and brighter.
After rounding the next corner, he found out.
The naked tunnel walls had been replaced with a duranium alloy and now looked like the corridor of any Starfleet vessel, although it looked to be an old design.
And Tabor knew that duranium was only common to the Alpha Quadrant.
*Where the hell have I ended up here ?*
He was stopped suddenlyas he collided with a force field.
"Damn", he muttered under his breath. "Better call the others".
"Tabor to Torres," he called through the com- link.
"Torres here. What is it?"
"I think you better come down here. There is something you should see," he explained.
"We're already on our way."
Curiosity quipped, he searched for a way to get down the force field.
An access panel was located on the wall. He tapped it.
The force- field didn't get down as expected, but a scanning beam from above him rushed right through him.
Caught off guard, he went two steps back.
After some chirping and beeping, the voice of a computer, which sounded very much like that of Voyager announced: " Race. Human. Confirmed. Entry authorized. You may enter."
And he did.
The source of the Dilthium seemed even more of a mystery than it had been before.
Marcos Cavelle was led by the alien, but not to the other part of the away team.
They were going down to the sea, where the women were still swimming.
What the hell is going on ?
They had almost reached their target as the alien behind him pressed his weapon against his temple.
They approached the guard, who hadn't noticed them yet, nor had the women.
The aliens intentions still eluded him.
He wondered what the other part of the away- team was doing.
At this point his opponent forced him to step out of his secured hiding place behind the bushes.
The guard jumped to attention immediately, pointing his rifle at him. He looked shocked as he saw him, since he was human in appearance, too.
Now, what the alien has saidabout getting the others suddenly made sense.
While Marcos wondered what conflict or disagreement had made the two fractions enemies, the women came out of the water and got fully dressed.
Marcos couldn't see them yet, but they were probably human in appearance, too.
They came forwardto take sides next to the guard, who still didn't seem to know what to do about Cavelle.
The third woman was still in the backgroundand therefore could not be seen.
They didn't move, just assessedthe situation as they stared at him and his captor.
*Do something,* he thought.
"You move, you die!" the alien orderedhis adversaries in a terrible Federation Standard.
*How in hell can he speak Federation Standard ?*
Suddenly the aliens hold on him lessened and he fell to the ground.
Marcos turned around to see what's going on.
The alien was lying on the ground, unconscious and towering above it was a black Vulcan woman.
"I guess those Vulcan neck- pinches really come in handy sometimes, " the guard said, grinning at the Vulcan.
"Don't even joke about it, or I might use one on you, George." she joked.
"You're Vulcan." Marcos just stated.
"Yes. A little hard to miss. What's you're story?"
*Not your typical Vulcan at all, Marcos. What the hell. We're on the other side of the galaxy, what are they doing here anyway ?*
"I'm Ensign Marcos Cavelle, of the Federation starship Voyager," he introduced himself.
"You're from the Federation? Did you crash-land here?" the guard asked.
"No, I'm here on an away mission to collect Dilithium crystals. Suddenly this guy came up behindme and brought me here," he explained.
He was curious to know their story.
"Look, why don't I lead you to the rest of the away team? My Captain is there, too."
Tabor continued striding down the corridor. He became more anxious with every minute.
Harry and B'Elanna hadn't caught up with him yet.
Passing another corner,he was almost afraid to continue.
"What the hell am I going to find here? Maybe I should wait for the others," he whispered to himself.
But he collected his bearings and rounded the next corner.
What he saw next was far from what he'd expected.
He'd just entered a large room, looking similar to a cargo- bay.
In the middle of it, an old warp core was humming. It was surrounded by stasis chambers, all active.
Ensign Cavelle approached the Captain, who was busy collecting samples.
They obviously had not realized that he had been missing.
"Captain, do you have a minute ?" he asked from behind, trying to get her attention.
"What is it, Ensign ? I'm rather busy right now," she said, concentrated on her work.
"Are you the commanding officer her ?" asked the Vulcan stoically, getting the Captains attention immediately.
The unknown voice made the Captain fear, that if the planet had habitants, they were not on their side.
It had scared her so much that she spun around with one swift, sudden move, coming face to face withthe Vulcan.
She stared at her wide_ eyed.
"My name is Janaki," she introduced herself. " These are Roxann and Benjamin...from New Earth. I presume you are Captain Janeway," she stated.
"Yes," the Captain started after getting over the shock.
Before she could continue however, the Vulcan did.
"You’rethe Captain of a Federation starship. A functioning Federation starship. You have not crashed here," she still stated the obvious. There was no sign of emotion. Exactly what you would expect from a Vulcan.
*Just not what I witnessed before*, Cavelle thought, confused.
"Yes," the Captain confirmed, but as before, not getting the chance to continue talking or asking questions herself.
Suddenly the Vulcan grinned like an idiot, making Janeway staring at her like she was some kind of freak.
"Cool," she said, "I've never been on a starship. At least I was to small to rememberany of it."
Janeway smiled, although a bit hesitantly.
Being extremely curious, she asked, "How did you get here, to this planet in the middle of the Delta- Quadrant?"
"Well, it's a long story...
I was still a child as we stranded, so it's not for me to tell, but...
The USS Excelsior under the command of Captain Hikaru Sulu was sucked into a trans spacialrift and transported here, where they were caught in an interstellar conflict of two races, the Tolmaar and the Jedan. I don't know what it was about.
Seeking refugee, they crash landed here. Half of the crew could flee to the escape pods, but the others, minus some expections, died on impact.
Trying to escape the Tolmaar battleships, they were caught in the gravity wake of this planet we now call New Earth..." She smiled to herself.
"I guess you managed to avoid that," she observed.
She then became more thoughtful. "Unfortunately two Tolmaar fighters were caught in this wake as well. We've been in constant fights with them. They think they are better and deserve more than anyone else," she explained.
She looked at Marcos and smiled again.
"I guess you already came in contact with them, Ensign," she said to him.
Cavelle gave her a small embarrassed smile. Somehow he was beginning to like the Vulcan already.
"Well Captain. I'd like to know how you ended up in the Delta Quadrant."
Torres and Kim entered the cave shortly after Tabor had.
They understood his anxiety, since they had to pass the force field, too.
Looking at everything now, it was even more of a mystery.
Seeing that Tabor still stood in the entrance and took in the rom, B'Elanna opened her tricorder and moved to the core.
Scanning it for a while she was surprised of her findings. She took the readings again and again, but still it didn't change.
"It is Federation," she stated simply.
After finishing her tale, Janeway was wondering if parts of the Excelsior could be used for Voyager, since the ship couldn't have disappeared on impact.
She said so.
"The wreckage is in the woods, it left a big trail behind. But we harvested all useful parts after the crash, sorry, " J'Anar explained.
"Captain, how about I show you our city?"
"Federation?" Harry repeated what B'Elanna had said.
Tabor turned to them and pointed at the chambers. "I think that these are stasis chambers," he said.
"Did you scan them?" B'Elanna asked.
"No..., not yet," he answered.
Harry Kim pulled out a tricorder and scanned the tubes. There were no life signs, but he couldn't make out the genetic structure through the thick material of the chambers either.
Reaching the one farthest away from the entrance, he didn't think anything would be different, this seemed to be some kind of cemetery after all.
But the readings his tricorder gave him were not at all what he expected. He stared at the tricorder in disbelief. Not trusting it, he scanned the tubes not twice, but three times, but still the results were the same.
He packed away his scanning device and then used his uniform sleeve to clear up the window of the stasis chamber from it's dust and grease.
In it, there lay a woman with brown hair and feminine yet strong features.
A human woman, wearing a Starfleet uniform.
While Harry, B'Elanna and Tabor made their discovery in the caves, Marcos Cavelle, Captain Janeway and Joe Carey were being escorted to New Earth, the Excelsior crew's settlement.
After a good hour of walking they arrived.
From the mountain top they had just come from, the view down on the city was good.
It was a simple building, and it was small.
Its position was well chosen. It was right in a huge crater, protected from the wind.
After knocking,a warden looked over the wall. Noticing their escorts, he opened immediately.
"Kim to Janeway," Harry Kim tapped his comm badge,but the only answer he got was static.
The others tried to use their comm badges as well, but no luck.
"Maybe it's the cave," Tabor suggested.
"Torres to Voyager," B'Elanna tried something different.
"Chakotay her," came the immediate answer.
"Chakotay. We can't raise the Captain's away_ team, but we don't know why. Maybe something happened," Harry Kim explained the situation.
The Captain had made her report every hour, which was standard procedure for any away mission, and now allowed him to explain Janeway's current situation.
"I just talked to the Captain about ten minutes ago, the other away team's fine. I think the reason why you can't reach them is because they are in a valley, surrounded by mountains full of high concentrated minerals. They came into contact with the inhabitants," he elaborated and also told them everything else that happened to the away team.
"Well, that explains some things," B'Elanna said.
"Explains what, Lieutenant?" Chakotay asked.
"This cave we're in... is not just a cave,"B'Elanna started.
Chakotay was puzzled by that statement and therefore asked what they meant by that.
They told him about the cave, the warp core and the stasis chambers and most of all of the woman they had found.
"What should we do about her, Commander?" Kim asked.
"Beam her aboard."
Upon entering the settlement, they were greeted by many busy people. It was a beautiful site.
People were, working, talking, or just enjoying themselves, but they payed them little attention. They seemed to be content with what they had here.
An older man turned to study them. He came over to them.
"Good afternoon, Janaki," he said to the Vulcan.
He then looked inquiringly to Voyager's away team and then back to J'Anar.
"Lieutenant Miller," she said and then gestured to the Captain," this is Captain Janeway of the federation starship Voyager."
She continued inroducing everyone.
"Federation," Miller whispered more to himself than to the others. This was some news.
After everyone had gotten over the initial shock, Lt. Josef Miller, J'Anar some settlers and the away team sat down to exchange stories.
After Captain Janeway had told them about her journey through the Delta Quadrant, starting on that fateful day as Voyager followed the Maquis ship into the Badlands, Lt Miller told them how they had arrived on new earth twenty eight years ago.
"We were on a survey mission into the Neutral Zone.
Since relations between the Federation and the Romulan Empire were stressed at that time, the Federation high council feared war and so we were sent there to keep an eye on the situation.
No one , not even Captain Hikaru Sulu knew what to expect. But we found out that the Romulans were experimenting with a whole new type of weapon, which was meant to suck enemy ships into subspace.
After they found out we were spying on them, they used their prototype on us.
Unfortunately, this weapon did not work as it should have.
The Romulans must have completely misinterpreted the data.
The weapon was not a weapon after all. It's force created an artificial wormhole which lead right here, to the Delta Quadrant.
After we came out we were caught in the middle of a battle waging between two races.
The Tolmaar tried to enslave a race called the Jedan. Why, we never found out.
We never came face to face with the Jedan, but the Mogwan answered to our hails once, stating that all ships trespassing their territory were considered enemies and so at the end of our first day in this quadrant we were fighting for our lives and losing.
During the fight, we got caught in the dangerous atmosphere of New Earth.
The gravity wake of this planet is so strong, we couldn't help but crashing.
We lost many good people that day. Our Captain for instance.
We've been trying to make this place our home since then, although the Tolmaar vessel's crew that also crashed is trying to make our life here a living hell," he explained how they had gotten to New Earth.
The away team was speechless. Their own story was almost unbelievable, but it still didn't match what Miller had just told them.
But although she was drawn to the story, there was something else that interested her.
"Most citizens are very young. I wonder why that is, considering that you've been here for twenty eight years," commenting on the picture she had of this village.
"Naturally people paired off and created families. But not all children were born here on New Earth. Janaki, for instance, was born on space station 742 in the Alpha Quadrant," he answered the question.
"The members of our crew who died are all kept in stasis so we can hopefully bring them back to their families in the Alpha Quadrant once we get the chance to go back...."
"Chakotay to Janeway," the Captain’s communicator chirped, interrupting Miller.
"What is it, Commander?" she asked her first officer.
" I just wanted to inform you that the other away team has found signs of the Federation, also," he explained.
"They found a cave filled up with stasis chambers. The occupant of one of the chambers was still alive, so we beamed her aboard," he elaborated.
" Commander Moreaux? You beamed her aboard?" Miller asked unbelievingly while trying to hold J'Anar back who had jumped forward after hearing the news.
"I don't know her name. But she's still alive and the doctor says she's fine and perfectly healthy. Right now she's sleeping," Chakotay defended himself.
"She had a terminal illness. There wasn't any chance of a cure. So we put her into stasis. There is no way that illness is suddenly gone," Miller accused.
"Maybe she really is healthy. Can't that be?" Janaki asked quietly, her eyes pleading.
"J'Anar, I know you'd like that to be true, but you're grasping at straws. You know that," he tried to show how hopeless the situation was.
"Maybe we're talking about a different person then. The doctor said she's healthy," he repeated what he had said only minutes before.
Janaki and Miller exchanged looks. They wanted to get things cleared up.
"I think it's time I showed you Voyager," Captain Kathryn Janeway proposed.
Three minutes later Voyager's away team, Lieutenant Miller and Janaki materialized on the transporter platform.
While Joe Carey excused himself to go to engineering, the other three went to sickbay.
Upon entering, Chakotay again told them that everything was fine with the patient after everyone was introduced.
J'Anar, becoming impatient, went over to the biobed where the woman lay.
A look of recognitionpassed over her face.
She sat down next to the biobed and took the woman's hand in her own.
"A very unusualVulcan," Chakotay whispered into the Captain's ear, noting Janaki's emotional reaction.
"It is indeed Jacqueline Moreaux," Josef Miller whispered again.
"Should I wake her?" the doctor asked, already holding a hypospray in hand.
"Yes. But you should be aware that she has been in stasis for over twenty years. She's probably going to feel out of place. I suggest we take it easy on her."
The doctor nodded and pressed the hypospray against the woman's neck.
Her eyes fluttered open slowly.
They were of a dark expressive brown, almost like B'Elanna's.
She looked confused, which considering the new environment was understandable.
"Jacky," Miller came forward a bit. The woman's attention was trained on him.
"Josef. Did you spent too much time under the sun?" she asked jokingly, commenting on Miller's wrinkled appearance.
Unfortunately Miller's smile was forced.
"What?" Commander Moreaux asked.
"I guess that's what you look like when you’re sixty years old," he commented.
"Sixty," she whispered.
Suddenly the meaning of his words dawned on her.
"How long have I been in stasis," she demanded to know.
"Twenty years," Miller informed her.
"Twenty years?!" she repeated very loudly.
"Haven't you heard my request back then? Damn it. I told everyone explicitly that I only wanted to be kept in stasis for five years. Whether or not you would have found a cure.
I don't want other people's lives to pass by mine. Dammit, I look to be the same age my own son would be right now," her ranting suddenly stopped as she spotted the Vulcan sitting next to her.
"Janaki?" she asked incredulously.
"Yes, " the Vulcan confirmed in tears.
"You've grown a little bit," the commander said.
She moved over to the Vulcan and embraced her. "Oh Janaki," she whispered running her hand up and down the other woman's back.
The Vulcan returned the hug, holding the former first officer of the USS excelsior very tight.
"Mum. Oh mum, it's so good to have you back."
After everyone had recovered from the shock, they got to know some things about Jacqueline Moreaux.
She had been the first officer of the Excelsior and after Captain Sulu's death, she had lead her crew to victory on New Earth.
Only a short time passed before her illness broke out and she had to be put into a stasis chamber to keep her alive for a possible treatment in the near future.
"Doctor,could you give me all the data you collected as you scanned me?" she asked, desperately wanting to know her state of health.
"I assure you, I know what I'm doing. You are perfectly fine," the EMH defended himself.
"Doctor, I don't doubt your competence. But... it's very hard to detect it," she said and one could see through the way she had spoken, that she was hoping now as well.
"I want to be sure. I want to know if this isn't just a fluke.... I know what I have to look for," she stated.
At her query the doctor gave her the data.
After studying it intently, Commander Moreaux closed the tricorder slowly and sat down in defeat.
"It's still there," she sighed.
"Oh my god," Janaki whispered, tears again forming in her eyes.
*Why,* she asked herself.
"Could someone tell me what's going on?" the Doctor asked.
"Did you ever hear of the AP_ Downing Syndrome, Doctor?" Jacqueline asked.
The doctor's gaze turnedinward as if searching his database for any hints.
"You're suffering from that disease?" the doctor questioned, not believing what he was hearing.
"Could someone explain?" Captain Janeway asked.
"It's the most rare disease there is. It always existed. At first the doctors believed it was a mental disorder. But later they found out that it wasn't.
The cramps and the intense pain made the suffering people twitch a lot. The convulsions and contractions are unbearable. It often seems as if the patient looses his mind.
No one knows where it stems from, or how to treat it. It's always given from the parent to the first child.
There have been scientists who believe that the whole illness came from one single donor and is about 2500 years old.
As time went on, the gene mutated and the symptoms became more and more severe.
The death rate... is hundredn percent," the doctor informed them.
"I've seen my father die of it," Moreaux added, sounding very far away, contemplating put not sad.
After Janeway had recovered from the shock, she asked: ", is there nothing that can be done?"
"I can just try to make it an easy death," the doctor stated, destroying all hopes and illusions.
"Can't we just put her back into stasis?" J'Anar asked desperately, wanting to do something, anything to get her mother's and her own hopes up.
For a brief second Kathryn Janeway wondered, * If Janaki is Moreaux's daughter, wouldn't that mean that she'd been given the gene also. That would explain her agitation. Or maybe not, after all it's her mother who’s dying.*
"Janaki, no. You know what I told you earlier. I don't want that.
I want to see this through. It's better this way. You know that. I'm sure Voyager's doctor can help me with the pain," the Commander soothed the Vulcan.
J'Anar nodded. "I want to stay here on Voyager as well then," she said, her tone not leaving room for arguments.
Janeway nodded in confirmation.
While Miller and Janaki went down to the planet's surface, the Captain and Moreaux had decided to make a tour of the ship.
They had already been on it for some time now and Jacqueline was amazed.
"You certainly have a beautiful ship, Captain," she stated.
To the captain's regret their tour would end soon. She had immensely enjoyed the company of the much older woman.
Something about her demeanor seemed so familiar, but she just couldn't tell what it was that was gnawing at her.
Shokar Norad walked along Voyager's quarters. He needed to get some sleep.
On his way he spotted Captain Janeway and another woman chatting in the corridor.
Something about the woman was familiar. He'd definitely seen her before.
He searched his memory. A photograph came to mind. One of a little boy holding onto a woman for dear life. This woman.
With the memory came the name.
*Jacqueline Moreaux. How unfortunate. I hope this interference doesn't endanger my mission.*
"So, what were you doing before being a first officer ?" Janeway asked, curious to know more about this woman.
"I was a pilot. I also piloted the Excelsior before becoming it's first officer," she stated. There was a certain longing in her voice as she said this.
Janeway knew that mood very well. Tom Paris was always in it when he was stuck in sickbay for far too long.
"Ever heard of holodecks?" she asked, knowing that was not the case.
She explained that basics of it shortly.
"There are also some flight training simulations available," she smiled.
"Yes. I'd definitelyenjoy that," the commander stated.
"Well, I'd honestly like to stay but I've got to get to the bridge. Will you find the way," she asked hinting that other woman might need an escort.
Tom Paris was thinking hard.
He needed to prepare something special for B'Elanna.
He really had no idea what was wrong with him.
May be the holodeck could help him.
After asking the computer, Jacqueline knew where to find the holodecks.
The captain's enthusiasm about it had made her very curious.
She was looking forward to using one.
Tom Paris turned around the last corner to reach the holodeck.
He stopped dead in his tracks. Nearing from the other side of the hallway, was a woman wearing a very old Starfleet uniform.
His rational mind told him that she was probably one of the Excelsior survivors everyone spoke about, but an irrational part of his mind knew that she was fairly familiar.
He'd seen her before.
Without warning a blinding pain shot through his head, accompanied by the already familiar visions.
The vase shattered. Sad music was playing.
The Shadows of the unknown were dancing in the background.
A dog was running, grass twisting under his feat.
*Latika,* someone called. The voice of a boy, yet he knew he was the one calling.
The dog turned and rushed towards him.
Things shifted again.
He felt like being lifted into a woman's arms. He felt light. He felt little.
He embraced her and held onto her for dear life.
*Don't leave, * he/ the boy whispered.
He looked into the woman's eyes. She was wearing a Starfleet uniform.
The picture began to fade, leaving only the Shadows.
With a start he found himself back in the corridor on Voyager.
Someone was keeping him steady.
He raised his head and stared into a pair of brown eyes.
A woman's brown eyes.
It was the woman out of his vision.
End of part one