The Rebirth Saga: Shadows Part Two
Set right after Shadows Part 1. While the Doctor tries to save Jacqueline Moreaux's life, Tom Paris learns that things are not as they seem....
Rated PG -13.
Star Trek Voyager, the Excelsior belongs 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. Don't sue...
This is goingt to change now... You need to read the first two parts to understand this one. Otherwise you'll have no clue as to what happened before and what is going on.
I would love to get some feedback on this one. My e-mail address is 'archivist@ParisNights.de'.
I didn't stay with the 'Pathways' plot about Tom's family. But I don't think that's necessary.
I want this series to stay as much at the Star Trek Universe as possible and since in Pathways B'Elanna's mother was called Prabsa and in barge of the dead she's called Miral, I don't think the events in Pathways have to be taken seriously.
And actually there are spoilers and references in this story: someone to watch over me, thirty days and pathfinder are just examples.
My beta readers Jeanette, Ronda and Isabelle, who made the right guess about the continuation!!! To Mrs Hass, my former English teacher, who loves SF and Fantasy almost as much as I do and was the most competent teacher I ever had...
Please don't archive without my permission.
And please tell me what you think of this. I really appreciate the feedback. Tell me what you felt when you read it. I have no idea if this will work as I planned it to.
My e-mail adress is archivist@ParisNights.de
Shadows Part Two
"Are you all right," Jacqueline Moreaux asked the swaying man.
Tom Paris was confused. *What the hell is going on here?*, he thought.
He nodded, answering the woman's question that way.
"Who are you,? he asked.
"I'm Commander Jacqueline Moreaux, first officer of the USS Excelsior. And You?"
"Tom Paris, chief pilot of Voyager," he introduced himself.
Her mouth opened in shock, but shut again shortly after that, as she noticed she was staring at the man in front of her.
"Tom Paris," she whispered half to herself half confirming what he had just said, half asking it, half stating it.
She shook her head.
He didn't understand her reaction. Surely she couldn't know about Caldik Prime.
He could see that she was getting angry about something.
"He didn't tell you," she stated, her voice sounded extremely bitter.
"Tell me what? Who?" not understanding what she was getting at, at all.
"That fuckin' bastard...I can't believe Owen didn't tell you," she was ranting, but Tom was no closer to understanding what she was saying.
"What are you talking about?" he asked.
"I've been wanting to try that holodeck of yours. I can tell you...everything there," she proposed.
"Okay. I have a holodeck program you might enjoy," he said.
Shokar Norad saw Moreaux and Paris enter the holodeck together.
He wasn't sure whether or not Moreaux would tell Paris the truth.
*I can't take any risks,* he thought.
There was after all the possibility that she'd tell him everything she knew.
*Well, I'll just have to find a way to turn this to my advantage,* he thought and a plan was already forming, taking shape.
They entered the program together.
It was "Sandrines", Tom's program of the French bistro.
He looked around with pride.
"Chez Sandrines, a fFrench bistro," Tom introduced the program to Jacqueline. He hadn't noticed the woman's uneasiness disappear.
"Sandrines," she whispered, not just repeating the name, but remembering something very far away, amazed at his skill and fantasy.
"Very authentic," she grinned.
"But I believe the pool table was more to the right and was a little bit bigger," she observed, grinning like an idiot and catching Tom completely off- guard.
"You know Chez Sandrines?" he asked astoundedly.
"I grew up in Marseilles. Sandrines was, in a away, my second home. You know, Sandrine and I, we grew up together, like sisters," she explained.
She went to the pool table and picked up one of the balls. "I haven't played in a long time," she said.
But Tom did not intend to get sidetracked. He wanted to know what her connection to him was and he wanted to know that now.
"You wanted to tell me about my father," he reminded her.
She put the pool ball back on the table and faced him.
"Your father,...yes," she said. She started to pace. What she was about to say to him was certainly not easy.
"We met at the Academy," she started.
She seemed to be far away. After having stopped for a short time she turned to him and continued :" I had a rough start. Coming from a bad social environment, the other cadets bullied me, harassed me...
There were few who tried to be friendly, but Owen, he was one of them," she told him.
"Tell me, what was he like? As a father?" she asked, moving the conversation to him.
She had a look in her eyes Tom couldn't identify. She seemed to be afraid yet sure what the answer would be. *What the hell does she know, anyway,* Tom thought, but he felt he owed her an answer, especially if he wanted to know more.
Tom gulped. This was not a topic he liked to talk about.
"Actually, we didn't have much of a relationship. He was on missions most of the time...
But if he was at home...," he didn't finish the sentence. It was hard to explain the relationship between him and his father.
"He was very demanding, didn't accept failure... No matter what I did, I was never good enough for him and he always had to rub it in on me," he explained.
Jacqueline sighed inwardly
*And who does that remind me of,* she thought, sarcastically.
"He wasn't so hard on my sisters as he was on me and I never understood why," he said.
*Sisters?! What sisters?* she thought, but didn't say it out loud.
"I see," she said instead. What she had to say wasn't going to be easy, for both of them.
She remembered the little boy she loved so much and looked at the man he had become.
So different. Yet so alike.
She could see right through him. He was hiding his emotions, behind walls so high, that what she was about to say would only strengthen them.
She knew such defense mechanisms. She had worn them all her life.
Observing his behaviour, she knew where the resemblance lay.
Tom wasn't at all like Owen. Not at all.
*He was more like...,* she stopped as the meaning of her thoughts seared right through.
Fuck! What a curse...
*How do I start?*
"As I said, I grew up in Marseilles and my family was extremely poor. The other cadets at the Academy didn't accept me, 'cause I was different, 'cause I didn't care much about the hierachy.
They thought there were someone better, that they could treat me as if I was the lowest scum of the galaxy.
Few were trying to be friendly.
Owen was one of them.
He was different then.
He wasn't gifted or intelligent.
He was a very shy, but nice guy.
In the beginning I didn't understand why Owen was so quiet and always learned like an idiot, but after meeting his father, your grandfather Eugene for the first time, I did.
Eugene was a mirror image of what you described your father to be like.
Owen didn't have the backbone to fight him, so he did everything his father wanted him to do, to please him.
I tried so hard to help him find his own way, to find out what he wants out of his life. To forget his dad and do what he thought was right.
And in a way I succeeded.
I taught him to enjoy himself, to have fun. We even went to some parties together. I showed him how to play pool...," she took a break and sipped at the drink Tom had given her.
Tom didn't know what to think about all this.
Could this all be true? The man she described was not at all like his father. But on the other hand, his grandfather was just like she described him to be.
He didn't know whether or not to believe her.
Marcos Cavelle and Chris Brecker were discussing the away mission as Peter Mitchell joined them.
He seemed ill at ease somehow.
"Did Tom and B'Elanna break up?" he asked them.
"Not that I know of. What gave you the idea?" Marcos asked him, confused.
Both men missed the barely suppressed smile on Chris' face. For her, this would be good news.
"Because right now, Paris is getting it on with that Commander of the Excelsior on the holodeck," he informed them.
Jacqueline took another sip of the vine before she continued.
"I don't know when the change happened.
After I came back from a mission, the man I once knew was gone.
Replaced by a mere replica of his father. He was suddenly all cold professional and demanding. I could see that the Owen I had come to know was still there, but...," she didn't continue on that train of thought, but asked a question that was both interesting and trivial.
Or so it seemed.
"What's your mother's name, Tom ?" she asked him.
The abrupt change of topic confused Tom:" What?"
"Your mother's name? What is it?" she asked him again.
"Her name's Lucindia," he told her.
She seemed to process the information for a while, before her head shot up and she eyed Tom.
"Rogers? Lucindia Rogers?" she wanted to know, hardly believing what she was hearing.
"Yes," he answered confused, not sure what Moreaux was getting at.
Meanwhile Moreaux was muttering under her breath, but Tom could only guess.
*Maybe she knows my mom. Maybe that's the connection we have,* Tom mused.
Jacqueline Moreaux was thinking something entirely different: *That little bitch.*
"I don't believe it. I can't believe it," she said out loud.
Tom was fidgeting in his seat. Now, he was even more confused.
"Tom," the woman brought him back from his reflections.
After having his attention she continued with a softer tone of voice.
"Tom. She's not your mother.
Chris Brecker was extremely satisfied.
Tom Paris obviously did not love B'Elanna after all...
She studied herself in the mirror and smiled at her image.
"I may still have a chance with him. Maybe he likes me, loves me," she whispered.
She vowed to talk to him soon.
Harry Kim was angry. Extremely angry.
The rumors about Tom and Commander Moreaux had spread like an Australian bush fire and he had just heard them.
"I've always thought Tom Paris was my friend. Oh god, how wrong I've been.
First he somehow manages to steal Seven away from me. Then he goes and cheats on B'Elanna. Cheats on her!
How can he hurt her like that," he cursed, ready to believe everything he heard, ready to believe Tom was capable of that.
Not thinking about the rumors at all, he made up his mind.
"I'm not going to forgive him for this. I can't forgive him for this."
"What!?" Tom Paris jumped up from his seat.
"This is someone's idea of a practical joke, right?" he asked her shakily, very much in shock.
But Jacqueline's reaction suggested otherwise. She looked sad, pained and wasn't enjoying herself at all.
"No," Tom said out loud.
Staring at her face still, he sank down on the chair, shaking, his face an utter mask of horror.
"No," he whimpered, although he already knew that she was telling him the truth.
She could fully understand his behaviour.
How do you react to information such as this? How do you feel when you find out that your life is based on a lie ?
Hell, Jacqueline had no idea how to approach her son, either. But she knew she needed to give him time.
*Not something I have a lot of,* she thought, referring to her illness.
She now clearly remembered the scene between Tom, Owen and herself a week before the Excelsior's departure.
*The vase,* she thought.
"Tom, Owen lied to you.
He was a spineless coward and he probably still is exactly that.
He felt useless and he always took it out on you. You were an easy target for him. Being so little you weren't able to defend yourself.
I was the only one who could proof it.
To proof that he was beating you, abusing you..," she explained Owen Paris' motives.
But Tom interrupted her:" But my father didn't beat me," he stated.
"Tom. Maybe you've just forgotten and Owen didn't do it again," she soothed him.
*Maybe she's right. After all, that wouldn't be the only thing I've simply 'forgotten' and judging from the parts of the visions, or rather memories, which are still hidden in the shadows, there may be a lot more I don't know yet.*
"I put your father on report. I didn't want him to do any further damage. I didn't want him to hurt you or Mariah," she continued again only to be stopped by Tom, who had another question.
"What about my other two sisters? And who's Mariah?" he asked her.
Jacqueline's eyes widened.
*Who's Mariah?! He doesn't know?* she asked herself.
"Tom," she started very quietly, restrained. She couldn't believe what Owen had done. All the lies he had told him.
"Who are your other two sisters?" she asked wanting some hint.
"Kathryn and Victoria. They are both older than I am," Tom verified, confused as to why she didn't know.
Was this whole thing about their relation wrong after all. No,... he believed everything she'd told him.
"But that means...," she needed to go through the information he had just provided her with, but then comprehension dawned for her:"He cheated on me even before your birth. I don't believe it. Why didn't I notice? I can't believe it. How could I be so stupid not to notice!"
"It's not your fault..., Commander," Tom tried to stop her from blaming herself and was at the same time shocked that his father had betrayed her all those years.
Jacqueline sighed. 'Commander' he had called her. Somehow it hurt, remembering the little boy who had so often called out to her. Who had called her mommy.
She knew she couldn't expect it from him now. He still needed to come to terms with all of this, needed time to adjust.
"I know this is hard, but could you not call me Commander. Jacqueline will suffice," she queried.
He nodded slowly.
"Jacqueline," he repeated.
"But who's Mariah?"
"Mariah is your little sister. She was born seven months before I had to leave for the Neutral Zone. I have no idea what happened afterwards," she elaborated.
"Anyway. Being such a great risk to your family, they needed to get rid of me so they could change the records as they pleased.
I guess it was a good thing for them that I got lost in the Delta Quadrant, that I never returned from that fuckin' mission. You must have thought that I had left you, as you still remembered everything and I'm really sorry for what happened," she ended.
Tom could tell she was furious, that if she could, she'd personally reach over to the Alpha Quadrant and strangle his father.
*Gods,* Tom came to a sudden hurtful realization.
*He lied to me. All this time he lied. Even staring at me with his eyes full of regret after the pathfinder message came through he lied to me. He actually told the Captain that he was proud of me! What a laugh,* he thought, contemplating everything.
"Tell me about our past together," he demanded, very determined.
Jacqueline hesitated, but she could see the resolution in his eyes. He wanted to know. He was not afraid of the truth, no matter how much it hurt. He was no coward, unlike his father. He had every right to know.
"We had much fun as you were little. We went out often with Latika, your dog. We practiced in the flight simulator together. I remember you were to small to touch the controls, but you wanted to fly, so I had to lift you up.
I taught you how to play pool and the piano," she smiled almost in tears.
"Your play was a little clumsy, but very emotional. I think you could have become a good player," she said now crying openly. She had no problems showing her emotions in these areas.
"I never had the chance to see you grow up. To see you go on your first date. To rescue you from Owen. I've... I've always hoped I could see you again, but I never dared to...," she cut off sobbing. She couldn't continue.
Tom moved over to her and embraced her. He could feel the familiarity, the closeness between them now.
He hadn't realized he'd started to cry too, but he could feel that now his cheeks were wet.
"Tom, do you want to hear favorite song?" she asked him.
"I don't remember how to play," he stated.
"I do," she said and moved over to the piano and started playing.
The melody was full of despair, haunting.
He knew it well.
It had been a constant companion to his visions.
The rumor was all over the ship by now.
Seven of Nine wasn't sure what to do about it. The Captain had advised her to tell Tom Paris of her feelings, but she didn't know whether or not that was the right course of action.
She decided to seek out the doctor for he had offered to help her in these matters a while back.
Although it hadn't worked out in the end, he had done a good job in preparing her for the date with Chapman.
He'd know what to do.
She entered sickbay shortly after she had made her decision. The doctor was present.
He was working on some samples as Seven called his attention:" Doctor, do you have a minute?"
The doctor looked up from his work and was surprised as well as delighted to see the Ex- Borg.
"Seven, what can I do for you?" he asked.
"Doctor, you once offered to help me regarding dates and relationships. I need your advice about something," she stated.
She had no way of knowing that the Doctor was still in love with her, so she had no problems asking the Doctor aside from her nervousness.
The Doctor's world on the other hand came crushing down on him.
*If she's going to ask me to help her with a date she certainly won't date me,* he concluded.
"Yes?" he asked.
"I've already talked this over with the Captain and she helped me sort out my feelings, but I'm unsure if the next step she proposed is the right one for me to take," she explained.
"You have romantic feelings for someone," the Doctor took the words out of her mouth.
*I wonder who it is?* he thought.
"I'm unsure of how to proceed."
"Well, Ensign Paris told me that the best course of action is always the direct approach," he informed her.
He noticed that at the mentioning of Tom Paris, Seven had gotten some weird look on her face. One of fear and desire at the same time.
"That is what the Captain recommended," she told him.
"Thank you for your help Doctor," she said and left sickbay.
The Doctor stared at the door and muttered: "Tom Paris."
Of course he'd also heard of the rumors.
Jacqueline stopped playing. Tom was still crying silently.
She knew he needed to be alone right now. That he needed to sort things out.
She'd go to the Captain for a while.
"I have an appoinment with your Captain soon," she told him and after Tom's acknowledgement she left the holodeck.
After Jacqueline was gone, Tom sank down the wall.
He felt so depleted, empty.
This whole thing was a nightmare. Everything was so confusing, he was having trouble thinking straight. How do you deal with something like that? There was only one person he could turn to and that was B'Elanna.
She'd help him.
Jacqueline Moreaux, formerly known as Jacqueline Moreaux- Paris entered Captain Kathryn Janeway's Ready Room.
"How was the holodeck?" the Captain asked her upon seeing the other woman enter.
"Revealing," the Commander only answered very bluntly, not giving much away.
She was still torn by today's events and although she's love to see through Tom's log, the truth was really Tom's to tell.
Janeway smiled at her.
The door chime went off.
In came Tuvok, holding a data padd in hand. He didn't look at Jacqueline.
"Captain, these are the crew evaluations you wanted," he informed the Captain and handed her the padd.
"It's nice to see you again, Tuvok," she interrupted them.
Tuvok turned away from Janeway to see who had spoken.
He was staring.
"Lieutenant Commander. You've certainly come a long way from that staunch, rigid Ensign I used to know," she teased him.
Kathryn was surprised.
Jacqueline noticed that and told the Captain that she and Tuvok had served on the Excelsior together as she was the chief pilot.
Tuvok's reaction to seeing the Commander was not at all Vulcan. He was staring at her still, wide- eyed.
He collected himself then and greeted her.
"Tuvok. The Captain just showed me the holodecks. They seem to be an interesting tool. I'd love to catch up. There is something important I want to talk to you about," she told him then.
They'd meet in the holodeck later since Tuvok had to leave.
The Captain wondered just what the other woman needed to discuss with Tuvok.
She'd find out.
"Captain," Moreaux interrupted her musings.
"There is something I want to ask you.
The Captain saw the mixed emotions in the other woman's eyes. Whatever her question was, it was obviously very important and serious.
"Captain. Please Tell me about Tom Paris."
B'Elanna Torres strode down Voyager's never ending hallways.
Gods, this was hurting. She'd never before felt this awful in her life.
After having heard the rumor from various people, she had wanted to see if it was true for herself. She'd gone to the holodeck only to find out that the rumors were true.
Hell, she didn't want it to be true. She refused to think there was the possibility.
She knew she couldn't bear loosing Tom, but in her heart she somehow felt that it was true.
Why else would he have reacted the way he had that fateful night as he'd walked out on her during the sex?
*He just doesn't love me. Not anymore. Not at all. Maybe he never did.
That's the only reason there can be.
B'Elanna entered her quarters. She locked herself in.
God, how much it hurt.
Tom was still on the holodeck. She checked.
He was still with that woman, Jacqueline Moreaux.
She could still hear the piano playing. Even now.
Would she ever forget?
The door chimed, interrupting her morbid thoughts.
"Who is it?" she called distractedly.
"Harry," came the answer.
She let him in.
"How are you, B'Elanna?" he looked at her worriedly.
She just laughed, without showing much emotion, totally dry.
"So you've heard about it, too," she stated.
Nothing more had to be said between them. They had both come to the same conclusion. The wrong conclusion. It was an odd communication between them.
"I think you should just forget him," he proposed.
It was weird.
Just a week ago Tom had been Harry's best friend and her lover. But now...
"I can't forgive him for that. Never," Harry said and left her quarters to go to his bridge shift.
About five minutes after Harry had left B'Elanna's quarters, Tom pressed the chime to request entry.
"Who?" she called from inside, her voice sounding hoarse.
*Dammit, I must have hurt her more than I thought with my running away.*
He knew he needed to clear things up. He needed her help.
He needed HER.
"It's me. Tom. Can I come in?"
She didn't answer him.
But before he could prod any further the door opened and B'Elanna slapped him hard across the face.
"How could you?" she screamed furiously.
"B'Elanna. What are you talking about?" Tom asked, genuinely confused.
"You cheated on me with that.... that.... And now you come to my quarters as if nothing happened and ask me what I'm talking about?!" she ranted.
He started to speak, to clear things up, but B'Elanna cut him off.
"No excuses. We both now the truth."
Tom stared at B'Elanna in utter shock.
Then suddenly his facial expression turned to stone.
She doesn't trust me. Not at all.
Now at least he knew why the crew had treated him with indifference on his way to B'Elanna's quarters. Now he could explain the silent, accusing stares. Now he knew why even Harry hadn't even returned the greeting given.
He felt like being back exactly there where he'd started as this journey through the Delta Quadrant had begun. Just that now even Harry was gone.
He was alone.
"You cheated on me," she repeated and shut the door, not giving him a chance at all.
"You want to know something about Tom Paris. Why?" Janeway asked Jacqueline Moreaux curiously.
Moreaux twitched a little bit. Before she'd sworn she'd leave the decision to Tom. He should decide when and if to go public. It was his life after all.
*I guess I just need to find a way out,* she thought.
"What is your opinion about Owen Paris?" she asked another question, intending to catch Captain Janeway completely off guard with the change of topic.
And she succeeded.
Kathryn Janeway stammered for a few seconds, but then told the other woman what she thought :" He was my mentor, my advisor, a great captain and a good man."
Moreaux now, even more than before, knew she could not tell her anything. She probably wouldn't believe her anyway.
"I knew Tom when he was little," she stated.
Janeway nodded and began to tell her about Thomas Eugene Paris. Seeing the Commander was really genuinely interested she told her everything she knew.
She didn't notice the anger, increasing in the other woman at all.
*Goddamit," Moreaux roared inside. She was sure that if she would not have left, Tom's life would have turned out differently. But the whole thing was a scam.
Or maybe not. She knew where Tom's problems making tendencies came from.
On the one hand she was glad that Tom had not turned out the way Owen had, but on the other hand...
*Maybe he's just too much like me. Too much... .*
Chris Brecker smoothened out her dress as she went to Tom Paris quarters.
This would work. She knew it.
She looked delectable.
He certainly wouldn't, couldn't turn her down.
Tom had just returned from B'Elanna's quarters as the door chimed.
He didn't want to see anyone right now. Everything hurt. He didn't want to be seen like that.
It seemed that in the space of three days his whole life had turned into one big disaster.
He considered not answering. But did anyway.
Chris Brecker entered.
She was wearing a very sensual dress and was smiling seductively at him.
*What the hell does she want, coming to my quarters like that. I really am not in the mood for such nonsense right now,* he thought.
Chris was totally uninteresting to him.
She was shallow, self- centered and totally superficial. Her emotions didn't seem to have much depth at all.
She had no soul or fire.
*But I guess everyone looks a little colorless compared to B'Elanna. Gods, what am I going to do,* he asked himself in pain.
He hadn't realized how near Chris had come. She was almost on top of him.
"I want you Tom," she whispered.
Tom couldn't help being disgusted about her behavior. He didn't feel anything about her. Her advances just made him sick. Why he hadn't noticed her attraction to him before, he didn't know. He'd probably been preoccupied with B'Elanna.
He pushed her away.
"Sorry. I'm not interested," he said coldly and made a move with his hand for the door, signaling that she should leave.
Chris stumbled out of Paris' quarters. Her heart was racing, her chest was heaving up and down.
She was hurt. Her heart and most importantly, her pride.
"You'll pay. You'll pay for rejecting me," she vowed.
She ran down the corridor quickly.
Arriving at her destination, she pressed the door chime to request entry.
If she couldn't have Tom, she'd make sure that no one else would have him either.
The door opened and revealed B'Elanna Torres.
"Ensign Brecker, what can I do for you?" she asked , surprised that Chris had visited.
She wondered why the other woman was visiting her. She didn't like her much. She didn't trust her.
The way she sometimes looked at Tom... It was more than just simple affection.
"No," she said, suddenly knowing why Brecker was here, believing the other woman's scam.
She had come to gloat.
"You've lost him. Or worse.... You've never really had him at all."
"You remember it, don't you?" she asked him.
"Yes,... I didn't make the connection as Ensign Paris first introduced the program to Voyager, but I remember it now," he stated.
"Care for a game for old times sake, Commander?" she picked up a cue and motioned to the table.
Tuvok nodded, although he seemed to be a bit apprehensive.
"I didn't condemn you for what happened Tuvok. You were suffering from the Pon Farr. The situation wasn't under your control," she stated, somehow knowing that it still affected him.
"I know. But there is more," he said.
"More?" she asked him, not getting what he was hinting at.
"After what happened in the caves... It took me months to get my full self- control back. Only with my wife T'Pel's help I could see it endure the torture. But she always knew...," he ended abruptly.
"Knew what, Tuvok?"
"That there was you."
"Yes. My mentor, Surok, told me that my condition was called chianon, unreturned love.
Before Vulcans turned to logic, it was a quite common thing. People said that it is fated, as is chian the mutual love, which is unbreakable," he explained.
"Tuvok, are you saying that you love me?" she asked incredulously.
The look in his eyes he gave her in return told her everything.
"You feel that way still ?"
"You know that I don't feel the same way," she stated.
Tuvok nodded again.
"I knew from the beginning that you didn't ... feel, what I was feeling. I knew that you couldn't ...and wouldn't help me. But the urge was so strong, I wasn't thinking...logically," Tuvok voiced. He was getting louder and more passionate.
*Dammit, he's losing control again,* Jacqueline realized and jumped into action. There was only one thing she could do now...
She held her index- finger in front of his face, the fingertip pointing to the ceiling.
"Look at my finger and imagine that all light and energy in this room focuses on my fingertip. Concentrate," she ordered in a tight and controlled voice.
Tuvok calmed down considerably after that.
"Where have you acquired such meditative techniques," he asked her.
"I raised a Vulcan, remember," she teased him, smiling.
"I tried to show her as much of her roots as possible, although I doubt I succeeded very well," she added modestly, with a bit of sarcasm mixed in her voice.
Tuvok, noticing that Moreaux was dressing herself down, soothed her:" As I came forward before the Excelsior's launch into Romulan territory, I was convinced that you were the right choice.
I was convinced that you were the only person to take care of my daughter for this short time.
It was very important that T'Pel recuperate and therefor I had to join her to use our bond to quicken the healing process. Any distractions would have been counterproductive.
I trusted you. And I trust you still.
Through our bond we could decide that we wanted you to take care of her. T'Pel supported me on that decision.
It is unfortunate that your vessel was sucked into the Delta-Quadrant and that my daughter was on board. It is unfortunate that I never saw my daughter again until now, but it can not be changed. I am glad that she is alive and well."
"I hope you like the name I gave her," Jacqueline noted.
"Originally we had decided to call her T'Pau, but it seems only logical that you gave her a name. You raised her, after all. And J'Anar seems quite Vulcan tome," he reassured her.
"Will you see her? She will beam on board soon."
"It will be a difficult meeting, but she is after all, my daughter."
Seven of Nine pressed the door chime to Tom Paris quarters. She was determined to tell the Ensign about her feelings, whatever the consequences might be.
And if he would reject her, at least she couldn't fault herself for a missed opportunity. Then at least it would be out in the open and she wouldn't need to carry the burden any longer.
The door opened as Tom Paris asked her to enter.
He was sitting in a big, comfy looking chair.
He was reading a book, but looked up as she approached him.
She didn't know what to say at first.
He looked awful. Extremely miserable.
He was even paler than usual and his eyes were bloodshot.
"Hey Seven. What's up," he greeted her.
"Ensign Paris, I need to talk to you about something," she started, but couldn't bring herself to continue. It was very difficult when being scanned by his deep penetrating blue eyes.
"What is it seven?" he asked her, concerned.
*Maybe something about Harry,* he mused, smiling inwardly.
"I-I...I," she stammered, before blurting out: "I have fallen in love with you."
Tom stared at her in shock. *What?! Gods, why does this have to happen twice a day?* were his first thoughts.
Noting the fear in her eyes. Realizing that she was shivering slightly, he didn't know what do do.
This had obviously taken her a lot of courage.
He didn't know what to say that could let her down easy. This was no Chris Brecker after all.
"Seven... I-I'm sorry, but..." he started.
"You don't feel the same way," she stated, interrupting him.
"No, I don't. I'm sorry. There is just B'Elanna for me," he said.
He knew he couldn't lie about that and give her hope.
Never. Especially not at a time like this. He had enough to worry about.
B'Elanna's rejection hurt like hell, and then there was still this thing with his mother, that made everything more complicated.
Seven somehow sensed his despair.
"Is something wrong, Ensign?" she asked him.
"Tom, my name is Tom," he corrected her, tired of being reminded of his own failure. Tired of getting reminded about the Monean incident.
Tired of knowing that once he did what he thought was right, he was demoted, punished.
Remembering it every time someone called him by his rank.
He could still see the Captain standing in front of him, saying that he was a disappointment to him.
Like his father always did. Always had.
He turned back to Seven.
"Tom, are you all right?" she rephrased the question.
"Oh, yes. It's just the rumors," he stated.
"About you and Commander Moreaux?" Seven asked.
"Yes...B'Elanna seems to believe they are true..."
B'Elanna Torres was devastated.
She didn't want to believe that what Chris had told her was true. But her own insecurities had the upper hand right now.
*Why did Tom have to do this to me?* she asked herself over and over again.
Deep in thought, she didn't realize where she was going and stumbled right into Peter Mitchell.
"Oh, sorry B'Elanna," he apologized. "How are you?" he asked her.
She snorted: "So you haven't heard?" she asked sarcastically.
"You mean about the rumors? Yes, I've heard about them. Do you need help? he asked.
"No, but thank you" she rejected his offer. He left then.
*I'm gonna have to find some way to get over Tom.*
*And how do you want to do that,* another voice in her head chided.
*Hide yourself on the holodeck like you did last time. That won't help. You'll just get in trouble.
You can't help it anyway. You love him to much to forget him.*
"Shut up, dammit," she screamed.
"I know there's a way..."
Janaki beamed back aboard Voyager, carrying her stuff and her mother's as well with her.
Waiting for her were not only Jacqueline, but also a black Vulcan.
She had to smile. *Mum probably wants me to learn more about being Vulcan again. I just hope that guy isn't too inhibited,* she mused.
She stepped down the padd and embraced her mother.
After a short while, Jacqueline let go of her daughter and turned to the other Vulcan.
She introduced them.
"J'Anar, I want you to meet someone," she started pointing at the man.
"This is Tuvok."
"Tuvok," Janaki repeated, not getting the hint yet.
"Your father," the Commander stated.
Captain Kathryn Janeway sat in her big chair on the bridge contemplating their situation.
Miller had promised them to share their dilithium with them. And had also granted them shore leave.
He was still debating whether or not to let some inhabitants go back to the Alpha Quadrant with Voyager, but Janeway knew that he'd probably leave the decision to them.
She wondered if they even had enough place, if everyone decided to accompany them. She wondered what life would be like on Voyager.
She had noticed the past few days, that crew relations were tense. But she had yet to figure out why.
She hoped that the Doctor would find a way to cure Jacqueline. She had come to like the other woman very much.
Without warning, the ship rocked back and forth, and sparks were flying from some consoles.
"Ensign Ayala," she demanded to know what was going on from the maquis officer who was manning Tuvok's usual station.
"Thirty huge cruisers of unknown origin have just decloced at out port bowel.
They are heavily armed and seem to have targeted New Earth," the big man stated.
"Hail them," Janeway stood up and neared the view screen. Taking in this armada, this e3nourmous destructive force.
"They're answering," Ayala stated.
"Put them through," she ordered him.
Only mere seconds later the view changed from that of space to the interior of an alien ship.
The walls of the alien vessel were shimmering in a golden-brown color.
It looked ancient, with beautiful reliefs and circles.
But the alien staring down on them from the view creen was anything but.
It was most debilitating.
It fit the beautiful surroundings, but at the same time it looked as if it didn't belong there at all.
It's skin color was cold-grey. It lacked all body hair.
It was extremely thin, almost elfin looking. It's body seemed as if it was about to break any second.
And although it had this feline grace, it looked absolutely dangerous.
The edgy contoures of it's body and the totally black, emotionless eyes portrayed an image of total malicity, evil.
It sent chills down Janeways spine.
"Unidentified alien vessel. You have entered Tolmaar space. Don't interrupt our buissness or be destroyed," the alien answered in a voice that fit its appearance totally.
"What are you doing here?" she asked the alien.
"We will destroy Ja'Dock. We will deal with you later," it announced and ended the link abruptly.
The armada neared New Earth now. Without warning, they opened fire.
Within seconds, New Earth changed into a burning ball.
Janeway watched in horror. There were few things she could do now.
"Hail New Earth," she ordered.
"They're not answering," Ayala said.
"Then try hailing the Tolmaar again," she told him. She now understood how the Excelsior could have been drawn into a battle unwillingly. She didn't like those guys to begin with.
"Didn't I tell you to stay out of this," the alien answered the hail accusingly.
"Why are you trying to destroy the planet? The people living there have done nothing to you," Janeway nearly screamed.
"Ja'Dock is Jedan. It's a disease. It has to be destroyed," the alien said tightly, coldly.
There was a hint of fear in the alien's eyes as he mentioned the Jedan that Janeway didn't miss.
"Your own people are down on the planet as well. Are they not?" Janeway tried a different strategy.
"Everything Jedan will be destroyed," the alien repeated, ending the transmission again.
Too late did they notice that five Tolmaar ships had left the fleet and were now nearing Voyager.
This time, the Tolmaar hailed them, but didn't establish a direct communication.
The message appeared on screen in written form.
The words appeared on screen letter by letter.
Everything and everyone passing Tolmaar space is property of the Tolmaan guard. Prepare to be boarded.
Before Janeway could voice a protest, the five vessels attacked.
There was no other option but escape.
The officer replacing Harry Kim at Ops discovered a dense cloud which could be a good place for them to hide.
There was no way to defend themselves.
And there was no way to save New Earth.
Janeway wondered for a second what J'Anar and Moreaux would do. How would they react to New Earth's destruction?
The planet had been the Vulcan's home.
"Captain, more Tolmaar ships are coming our way. They're blocking our accass to the nebula," Ayala informed the Captain.
*Dammit,* Janeway thought.
"Senior officers to the bridge," she barked.
"We'll have to fight our way through."
"My father," Janaki repeated dumbfoundedly.
She didn't know what to say.
But Tuvok didn't know how to react either.
"Should I leave you two alone to talk?" Jacqueline asked.
"No, please," her daughter said.
"Senior officers to the bridge," Tuvok's communicator went off.
"You must excuse me. We can talk later," Tuvok said and left.
*They're both scared, I know. But they can't get around that talk,* Jacky thought as a sharp cramp suddenly cursed through her body and she fell down to the floor.
"Mum," Janaki screamed and called for an emergency medical beam out.
Both were whisked away.
Harry Kim made his way to the bridge.
*A disaster may be just what I need right now. It can get my mind of things and relief my anger and not actually go off and strangle Tom Paris,* he thought.
The door to the turbolift opened, revealing the object of his anger leaning against the turbolift walls, eyes closed.
Harry didn't look closer. Would he have done so, he would have noticed Tom Paris' appearance. His red eyes. His pale skin and his shaking body. But he didn't.
Upon hearing someone enter, Tom lifted up his head to see who it was.
"Hey Harry. How's it goin'," he asked his best friend.
But the answer he got was everything other than friendly.
"Ensign," he said, not once looking at Tom.
Tom draw the right conclusions. Harry had obviously heard the rumors.
"Harry, whatever you've..." he started, wanting to explain everything. Believing that Harry would listen. He was after all Harry Kim. His best friend.
But the Ensign cut him off forcefully saying: "I don't want to hear it, Ensign." He turned away from Tom then, not giving him a chance to explain himself at all.
Tom didn't try again after that.
They entered the bridge together.
The other occupants didn't notice the tension between the two Ensigns.
They were too much endorsed in the battle.
"Tom, set a course for the nebula, maximum warp," Janeway ordered as the pilot had taken his seat.
"Captain, what about New Earth?" Tom ventured.
"We can't help them. There are too many ships out there."
"Course laid in. I'm engaging warp engines," Tom announced just mere seconds before the Tomaar ships had reached them. The fire erupted almost simultaneously with Voyager's jump to warp.
The Tolmaar were as fast as Voyager, firing on the federation starship with an unknown type of weapon which cut right through their shields, penetrating them them like a knife cutting a cheese.
Tom tried everything he could to evade weapons fire, but he wasn't quick enough.
Voyager took a heavy beating.
Just before they were about to enter the nebula, where all sensors would be blind, they saw New Earth explode, the debris flying in all directions.
Everyone was shocked. But they didn't have the time to think about what had happened. To mourn over the dead.
Repairs had to be made.
"Doctor to Janeway," the hologram called the Captain over he commlink.
"Janeway here," the Captain answered.
"Commander Moreaux has entered the final stages of her illness. She is in sickbay," he informed her.
Tom Paris turned away from the helm.
"Illness?" he asked her, obviously not knowing about it.
Janeway remembered the conversation she had had with Moreaux. Judging from Tom's anxious expression, they had talked about the past. But the French woman had not told Tom about her illness.
"Tom, go to sickbay and help the doctor," she ordered him.
Tom nodded gratefully and headed for the turbolift.
Harry Kim on the other had problems to keep himself from screaming at all of them.
Tom entered sickbay. Somehow he had collected his bearings.
He didn't have to deal with so many silent, accusing stares in a long time. He had thought he had left that behind him. No such luck.
He wondered what was wrong with his mother. He had no clues. She hadn't mentioned anything to him.
He was not prepared for the sight that greeted him in sickbay.
As the door swooshed open , the first thing he saw was the Doctor preparing a hypospray.
Only seconds later he heard a mind searing scream.
He turned around startled and was, altough knowing that she was in sickbay, totally surprised to see the condition she was in.
Her face was a mask of pain. Her skin was damp. She was sweating, her brown, wet hair clung to hair skin.
She was shivering slightly.
The Vulcan J'Anar, sat on the edge of the biobed, looking extremely frightened.
"Why is she here,* Tom wondered briefly, before thinking that maybe they were close. He didn't begrudge her being with his mother. The Vulcan probably knew her much better than he did.
"Tom," Moreaux greeted him, her voice was strained and raspy, barely above a whisper.
She motioned for him to sit next to her on the biobed across from J'Anar.
"Tom,I want you to meet Janaki," she rasped.
Tom nodded shortly to the Vulcan then turned back to the woman on the biobed.
He wanted to know what was wrong with her. But she just didn't give him the chance to ask.
"She's your sister," she told him.
Knowing this had to confuse him, she told him the whole story.
Tom took it all in , albeit a mare than just a little surprised.
"Tuvok?" he asked. "Well, good luck," he said.
Janaki made a face.
"He's not that bad, Janaki. He's just very... Vulcan. Promise me you'll talk to him," Jacky said pleadingly.
Her daughter nodded.
"And promise me you'll stick together," she demanded.
"And kick Owen's butt real hard. He deserves it."
"Why don't you just do that yourself?" Tom asked her.
"Tom," she started, her eyes showing the regret she felt. Regret for leaving, for not being able to help, but mostly for not being able to get to know her own son.
"I'm dying, Tom," she led the bomb drop.
"What?!" he screamed.
"Tom, please...gods aahh," she screamed, pain searing through her body once more.
The doctor moved over to them.
"I must ask both of you to leave," he said, pressing the hypospray he had prepared before against Moreaux's neck.
"No, ... let...them...stay," the Commander pleaded with the Doctor.
Seeing that it was what the woman wanted he left the three alone.
There was nothing more he could do except ease her pain.
"Reactivate me when it's...over," he said and shimmered into nonexsistence.
"Why didn't you tell me before," Tom asked his mother, now being near tears.
"I thought that what I told you earlier on the holodeck was enough to deal with. I didn't want you to worry," she whispered.
"You'll both go your way, I'm sure," she said.
She screamed again as a the pain swept through her body.
"Mum," both, Tom and Janaki cried out, frightenedly. Jacqueline smiled at them. Tom had called her mum. She hadn't hoped for that even in her dreams. She was content. Her eyes suddenly closed and her body went limp on the biobed.
Jacqueline Moreaux- Paris was dead.
Tom walked down the corridor slowly. He needed to see B'Elanna.
He knew that Janaki would help him, but she wasn't B'Elanna and she was caught in her own grief right now.
She had lost everything. Her home, her friends, her mother.
He entered the hydroponics bay where the computer said was B'Elanna.
That's where he saw the impossible.
B'Elanna kissing another man. Peter Mitchell of all people.
He felt his heart shattering into a million pieces. The pain was intense. He had never felt anything like that before. Never.
He ran out of the room blindly.
Janaki entered her newly assigned quarters.
She felt so empty and lost.
All her friends were dead. She didn't even have the chance to say goodbye.
*Oh my god, why?*
Tears were streaming down her face now.
*Will I ever fit in here? No friends, a father who seemed like a total stranger,* she thought.
The only person she could really relate to was Tom Paris.
*He's so much like Mum, it's almost creepy.
Gods, what will I do?*
After seeing B'Elanna with Peter Mitchell, Tom had retreated to his quarters.
He felt like everything was suddenly gone, useless.
His relationship with B'Elanna, his friendship with Harry. His past. Even his life.
Once in his life he was ready to open up and nobody gave him a chance.
He didn't know what to do to repair the damage that had been made, and after seeing B'Elanna with Mitchell he didn't care.
It hurt too much.
It hurt that they didn't trust him at all.
No trust at all.
He stared at the pictures of his father, Admiral Owen Paris, which stood at his desk. He remembered the Pathfinder project. The look in his father's eyes. The regret.
So many dark Shadows.
So many lies...
finished march 2000