Please see Part One for disclaimer, warnings, etc.
I will warn that this part requires you to 'really' suspend your disbelief. ;-)
They Don't Know - Part 6
By Thomas Jesse Fournier 05/05/2001
When I woke up this morning I felt very strange. I got out of bed and groggily made my way to the head. My manner of walking felt different. It was as if my center of gravity had changed. My body felt so different. I stood in front of the toilet to pee. When I reached for my penis I got the surprise of my life. It wasn't there.
"Tom!" I yelled.
"What Cha." came the groggy response.
"Tom! Something has happened!"
"Oh my God!" gulped Tom. "Cha... have you looked in the mirror?"
I shook my head and whispered, "No."
"I think you should. You're absolutely beautiful."
I got the courage to turn around and looked at myself.
"Cha!" Tom yelled as he watched his love collapse.
"Paris to Sickbay, I need an emergency transport now!"
Seconds later we materialized in sickbay. The holo doc rushed over and helped me put Chakotay on a biobed and cover him.
"I see the thorns from that plant had effects that I did not anticipate." The holo doc walked over to the 24th equivalent of a linen closet and pulled out some blue sickbay pyjamas for me to put on.
"Sickbay to Captain Janeway. We have a situation that needs your attention."
"I'm on my way doctor."
The Captain entered sickbay and walked over to the biobed that Chakotay was laying on. The look of surprise on her face as she looked at Chakotay for the first time was priceless. But she quickly regained her composure.
"The thorns from the plant have somehow transformed Commander Chakotay from a male to a female. How it managed this miracle we may never fully know. When I scanned the plant earlier I discovered that it has a brain and an optical center, but no mouth to speak of. As far as I can tell, it's leaves may act as sensors."
"Doctor, why didn't you report any of this sooner?" Janeway asked.
"I did. It's in my report. However, I am at a loss on how to explain what has happened to Commander Chakotay."
Janeway rubbed for forehead with her right hand. "Let me see if I have this straight. The plant can see and think, but has no mouth. Then how does it communicate?"
"I believe the plant is telepathic." The holo doctor responded.
"So the plant read Chakotay's mind?"
"That is correct Mr. Paris." The holo doc said while scanning Chakotay.
"Are you telling me that Chakotay wanted to become female?" Janeway asked.
"No. I believe that the plant read the Commander's desire to become a parent. It then changed his gender in order for him to bear a child" The holo doctor answered.
"Bear a child?" I asked.
The Captain and I both looked at the doctor expectantly.
"My scans show that the Commander is pregnant."
"He's what!" I shouted.
I was sitting in a lush blue/green meadow, much like the one on the planet. There was a gentle breeze blowing. Everything was so beautiful and serene. My spirit guide was there with me.
"Why are you here?" I asked her.
"Because you need me."
"I feel scared."
"Do not be scared, everything is happening for a reason."
"What has happened to me?"
"You will face a challenge."
The scenery around me dissolved and transformed to sickbay. A sudden shout awoke me.
"He's what!" I heard Tom shout.
"What....? Where am I?" I asked.
"Sweetheart you're in sickbay. Everything is all right, but there's something......" Tom said sounding unsure.
"What?" ::what is with my voice?::
"Chakotay remember the plant that shot those thorns at you?"
"Well it changed your gender...there's something else."
"It changed my gender? I thought that I was hallucinating this morning when I looked in the mirror."
"Nope. What you saw is real. So is......" Tom said
Tom didn't quite know how to say it so he just blurted it out in one breath. "Cha, you're pregnant."
"I'm what!" My eyes opened wide.
"It's true Cha. We're going to be parents. The doc has already verified the DNA of the fetus. You're carrying our daughter."
An hour later the holo doctor released Chakotay. But rather than walk through the ship to their quarters, Chakotay and Tom had themselves transported directly.
"What am I supposed to tell the crew?" Chakotay wailed.
"Calm down love. Just tell them the truth." Tom responded.
"That's easy for you to say. You're not the one who has changed overnight." Chakotay sobbed.
"The crew will understand. They will still respect you the same as they always have."
"I want my body back. I am a man, not a woman. Spirits I miss my body." Chakotay lamented.
"There is another way to look at this."
"What other way could there *possibly* be to look at this?"
"Well, you are going to experience life from a whole new perspective. As a woman. Besides, that's our child you're carrying. Yours and mine, Cha. Just think of the wonderful gift we've been given."
"I'm scared Tom. Carrying a child and giving birth is no laughing matter. I have a life growing inside of me now, I don't want to do anything wrong." Chakotay admitted.
"You won't do anything wrong. You have always taken good care of yourself. Personally if it were me, I don't think I could even go through with it."
"Don't say that. You would be surprised at what you are capable of when the pressure is on."
"Okay, I get it. You're right Tom, I know I can do this."
Later at the morning meeting in the briefing room.
Everyone except Tom and Chakotay, was seated and waiting to begin. Chakotay and Tom arrived via a site to site transport. B'Elanna and Harry's jaws dropped. Tuvok's expression didn't change except that his left eyebrow was raised almost to his hairline. Even Seven looked as though she had just seen the borg queen herself. Neelix was the only one who actually greeted them with a smile and a cheery, "Good morning."
Captain Janeway started the morning briefing. "Now that we are all here, we can start. As you can see for yourselves Commander Chakotay has involuntarily changed gender overnight. The doctor believes that the plant that attacked
Chakotay is responsible. Also there is something else that Tom and Chakotay would like to tell you all."
Chakotay cleared his throat and began, "Tom and I are expecting."
"Your pregnant!" B'Elanna exclaimed. "Congratulations. Well I guess this means we can swap stories about our swollen feet."
"Thank you B'Elanna." Chakotay responded with a smile. "Before we can swap swollen feet stories though, we have an important matter to deal with." He then turn his attention to everyone. "Someone is going to have to go down to the planet disguised as one of the inhabitants to find out just exactly what that plant was and how long this change in me will last."
"Tuvok what do we know about the inhabitants of this planet?" Janeway asked.
"Their society is reminiscent of earth's 18th century time period. When North America was being settled. They are mostly farming communities. They have just discovered gold. There are no automobiles yet. They travel either
by walking or on animals much like earth's horses. Some even have vehicles that are similar to what was known on earth as 'horse drawn carriages'."
Tom spoke up, "I volunteer to go. I can arrive in town with some gold to trade, and ask about the flower while I'm at it."
"No." Chakotay said as he pounded his fist on the table for emphasis. "I won't risk losing you. What if something happens?"
"Excuse me gentlemen, but as the Captain, I believe I have the final word in this matter."
"Captain, please." Chakotay pleaded.
"Chakotay, I understand your feelings, but since Tom volunteered and I can think of no one better to go, I am going to approve of his participation on this mission. We will keep an open comm line and transporter lock on Tom the whole time."
"Yes, Captain." Chakotay responded knowing Captain Janeway wouldn't be swayed.
The briefing was ended. Tom was authorized extra replicator rations in order to replicate himself some suitable clothing so as to not be conspicuous.
A half hour later Tom entered a saloon. He walked up to the bar and ordered himself a drink. He then asked the bartender if he knew of anyone willing to buy some gold dust. The bartender pointed to a man sitting in the corner. Tom thanked him and walked over.
"Hi, may I join you?"
The man eyed Tom warily then said, "Sure."
"The bartender refered me to you."
"Is that so?"
"Yeah, I just spent the last two weeks panning, I want to sell some gold. Are you interested?"
"I might be, how much gold are you talking about?"
"One half an ounce."
"Okay, you have yourself a buyer."
"Great! I'm getting married. I'm trying to raise enough money to pay for the ceremony and fertility ritual."
"I remember when I got married. I did the same thing."
"Does the fertility ritual really work?"
"It changed my husband's gender so he could bear our son."
"Really? My future husband and I want a child so badly."
"The plant they use for the ritual will guarantee it. No matter which gender you are. The plant knows, you and your spouse will just stand before it and it will shoot thorns at the one who is right. The change is not permanent"
The deal was concluded and Tom left the bar. He found a secluded spot and asked to be beamed back to Voyager. After stopping to change clothes, he immediately went to the bridge.
"Did everyone hear?"
"We heard the whole thing Tom." Janeway responded.
Tom went to the helm and relieved Baytart. The rest of the shift passed without incident.
Later in Tom and Chakotay's quarters.
"Mmmm Tom, I can't believe how sensitive breasts are!" Chakotay said as he was lying stretched out on his back after a rousing session of sex.
"See, didn't I tell you that you would see things from a whole new perspective?" Tom teased.
"The whole sexual response cycle is different in this body. My whole body is an erogenous zone. Especially these breasts."
"Those breasts are your's, Cha. And I happen to think that they are beautiful." Tom said as he rolled on to his side and placed his hand on Chakotay's stomach.
"They are on my body, but they don't seem like mine though."
"I can't even pretend to understand what you must be feeling." Tom said as he ran his hand lovingly back and forth over Chakotay's stomach and looked in to his husbands eyes. He then gathered Chakotay in to his arms as he rolled onto his back.
"I love you, Tom."
"I love you too, Cha."
They fell asleep not too long after, locked in one another's embrace.
TBC in Part 7