Author: Jane Griffen
E-mail address: JaneG100@rocketmail.com
Author’s Note: This vignette is dedicated to Lacey; See? I told you I’d eventually get around to writing one of those vignettes! :-) This is set two weeks after Newcomer, and from Heather Whitney’s POV. If you have no idea who she is, I doubt you’ll be le to follow along! Her bio can be found here.
Disclaimers: I own the properties of Heather Whitney (and the story). Paramount owns the rest of ‘em.
I rolled over in bed, willing myself to go to sleep. *I never should have had that last cup of coffee,* I thought, regretting the fact that I had even drank at least one cup of coffee in the first place. In my opinion, coffee is vile. Like my aunt once ld me, it’s an acquired taste. An acquired taste that I’ll never have. The only reason I drank it in the first place was because I was working on an experiment in the Lab and wanted to get it done.
Fed up, I threw the covers off of my bed and stood up. I blinked in the dark. “Computer, lights. What time is it?”
“0117 hours.” The lights came on.
I groaned. “Computer, play Gertrude’s Dream Waltz by Beethoven,” I said, going over to my dresser. I got out my Adidas windpant shorts, a sports bra, a black tank top, sports socks, and my favorite pair of shoes -- my Nike Air running shoes. *Might as well go for a run,* “Computer, are either of the holodecks not in use?”
“Holodeck 1 is available.”
“Reserve it for my use for the next hour,” I ordered, quickly changing into my clothes. Getting a brush, I quickly put my hair back into a bun, then headed out the door.
Two minutes later I found myself standing at the edge of a half-mile track. Having decided I needed to do some thinking, I knew better than to create a windy path leading through a forest. When I think I tend to block out everything around me and just concentrate on my thoughts - not on the trees I could possibly run into if I didn’t watch where I was going. I learned that the hard way one time in Jr. High.
The program I had picked has always been one of my favorites -- just to go out and *run*. It’s quite simple: a half-mile oval track in the middle of a green field, with trees in the background. The sky is slightly cloudy, and a soft wind blows. Simple. Unlike so many other elements in my life, this program is simple. Simple, simple, simple.
Right now, I wish that my life were simple.
But it’s not.
I don’t think its ever been. And I doubt that it ever will. Shaking my head, I set out at a leisurely jog and closed my blue eyes. I tried to concentrate on the steady rhythm my feet made as they pounded against the track. It’s an old concentration method used to clear your mind. One-two, one-two, one-two.
Two weeks, I mused as I came to the first turn. It’s been two weeks. Two weeks since something drastic has changed my life. Two weeks ago the shuttle Starz got pulled in by an anomaly, only to wind up halfway across the universe. After the missing team and I - had been rescued by Voyager, we had begun to search for the strange anomaly. We had sent out probes continuously, and enhanced the sensors, but there had been no sign of the anomily that pulled the shuttle I had been commanding from a sparse reg n of the Alpha Quadrant into the Delta Quadrant.
*Three people ^dead^,* I thought angrily, tightening my jaw. Katyari Ayala and James Stewart had all been aboard the shuttle with me creating a mapped system of the nebula. Everyone was now dead.
Except for me. I let my feet pound a little harder as I jogged around the turn. Captain Janeway had told me that it wasn’t my fault - we had all been knocked unconscious when the shuttle changed quadrants. I know that somewhere inside of me I believe her, but it seems so easy just to blame myself for what happened. It was just luck hat the Yari had seen fit to keep me alive instead of killing me like they had Katyari and Stewart.
*Lucky,* I thought bitterly.
I still was unsure about life on Voyager. Being a senior officer and getting to run the entire Science Lab has always been one of my goals in Starfleet after I decided to major in science, specifically in biology and medicine. But being stranded over forty years away from the Federation sure puts a twist on it.
The crew, made up of two original crews and a few natives, hadn’t taken much getting used to. Captain Janeway ran a tight ship, enforcing the Prime Directive and the many other Federation rules and regulations, and most everyone seemed to follow them. I’ve always been good at getting along with everyone -- well, almost everyone if you count Lindsay Warner (my rival in Science Bio Tech III), so adjusting to having former Maquis as part of the crew wasn’t too hard. Believe it or not, I never really had problem with the Maquis. They were fighting for what they believed in. Pretty honorable if you ask me.
At one time I even considered joining the Maquis.
But I’m going to go into that.
It’s a long story.
Like so many other events in my life.
Captain Janeway is strong, smart, and courageous. I liked her from the start. Of course, the look of surprise on her face when Commander Chakotay told her about me helped put my mind at ease. She was easy to like. As a captain, she had to be strict in enforcing the laws on her crew. Yet she gained her crew’s trust and loyalty in the beginning. She’s well respected by everyone. It’s hard to imagine Commander Chakotay as a terrorist leader, but he is one if you call the Maquis ‘terrorists.’ I shook my head. *Don’t start calling your first officer a terrorist, Heath,* I reminded myself with a small smile. But it *is* hard to imagine him as the commanding officer of a rebel Maquis ship. *I wonder if he ever knew Ro Laren,* I pondered. There was a big story about her awhile back -- how she betrayed her captain and crew by becoming a turncoat and joining the Maquis.
Unlike Tuvok, I decided. Tuvok could never have become a turncoat. He was undercover for months aboard Chakotay’s ship, and yet no one even had the slightest idea about his true identity. He’s too firm in his ideas. Tuvok’s so staid. He’s a Vulcan. What more can you say? Vulcan’s are *so* annoying with their logic sometimes it makes me want to scream.
In a way, the Doctor is like Tuvok -- always right, at least when it comes to medical decisions. And yet I have a feeling that they don’t always agree on everything. The Doctor is nice, but I’ve heard plenty of people complain about him. I haven’t gotte any serious injury yet, so I wouldn’t know. Torres commented that his bedside manner is to die for. Of course, I am a little wary since her tone was filled with sarcasm. Neelix can be annoying sometimes with his endless chattering, but most of the time he’s not so bad. He knows an infinite number of stories about races from the Delta Quadrant - he should write a book on them. Then you could learn the information in peace instead of listening him go on and on about it. But it’s not so bad. Most of the time.
The only thing I truly hate about Neelix is his cooking. It’s vile.
If I had three wishes, one of them would be to get rid of all the leola root in the universe. I swear, that stuff makes me sick.
The other member of Voyager’s crew that’s a native to this quadrant is Kes. Her telepathic skills aren’t dissimilar to a Vulcan’s, like her ears. She only lives nine years. It doesn’t seem fair. She’s so sweet and kind, but she only gets to live out nine years of life. I can’t imagine living only nine years.
It’s not fair.
Life isn’t fair. I’ve learned that the hard way. I think Kes and Harry would make a cute couple, in my honest opinion--
I shook my head slightly at my thoughts as I continued to run, quickening my pace slightly even though I knew I should conserve my energy. It feels good to run. I haven’t gone out and gone running in a long time. I had lost track of how far I had gone, and how long I had been in the holodeck. I knew it couldn’t be *that* long, or else my body would be showing signs of exhaustion.
But they *would* make a cute couple. Tom is always teasing me about my preoccupation with setting people up. I can’t help it -- I’ve always liked playing ‘match-maker.’ Although I am sort of glad Harry’s still available--
*Woah. Where did that thought come from?* I wondered. Sure, Harry Kim is handsome, but . . . I sighed. I’m not looking for a relationship or a serious commitment right now, but maybe someday . . . Still, I like Harry. He’s really nice, and is amazingly smart. He’s funny, too. We’ve got a lot in common. Voyager was his first real mission. Fresh out of the Academy. Like so many other officers aboard Voyager.
Unlike Harry, Voyager isn’t my first “assignment”. I think using “”s because it really isn’t when you think about it. Voyager is the 6th starship I’ve served aboard since I graduated from the Academy six years ago, and I have a feeling that I’ll be onbo d this starship for a long time.
To be honest, I still don’t know how I feel about being stranded in the Delta Quadrant.
Thank God Tom is here.
*Tom Paris,* I thought with a smile. We went to the same high school, then became best friends during the Academy. We have been ever since.
Oh, there are some times when I wondered about him. His brief affair with Ricky Townsend, the Caldik Prime incident that really shook him up, and, after he got kicked out of Starfleet, when he ran off to join the Maquis. I admit I had my qualms about *t t*. It was a reckless and extremely inappropriate decision, and I had to literally bite my lip to keep from saying, “I told you so,” after he got captured.
I think I’m one of the few who stood by him throughout everything.
I don’t regret it.
Tom is one of my closest friends. We’re alike in so many ways. So many ways it’s scary. One time we pretended to be twins separated from birth at the Academy. You’d be surprised at how many people believed us, too.
We’re both obsessed with the 20th century, we both have a great sense of humor (aren’t I so modest? Not!), love practical jokes, love how sweet revenge is, love piloting, and we both have cerulean blue eyes that make the opposite sex swoon. (Tom told me about the guys; I told him about the women.)
Although some people have refused to believe it, I have no romantic desires where Tom is concerned. I’ll admit he’s extremely handsome, has eyes to die for, intelligent, funny, and a great guy, but that’s just being observant. Anybody could tell you that. We’re friends. Best friends. Colleagues. *Not* lovers. Never have been and never will be for that matter.
Although I can’t say the same for him and a certain engineer.
B’Elanna Torres is the best engineer I’ve ever met. Period. End of story. Torres is probably one of the sole reasons why Voyager is in such good shape after having gone through almost three years without a stop at a starbase. She has a short temper -- I e been warned by so many people: Tom, Neelix, the Doctor, Joe Carey, Susan Nicoletti, the list goes on. It’s safe to say she inherited a Klingon temper from her mother. But I like her. She and Harry will probably wind up being my closest friends aboard yager, as well as Tom.
It was funny. At first she seemed wary of me -- and a bit jealous -- because of how close Tom and I are, even though she denies any romantic interest in him. I had to dig my nails into the palms of my hands to keep from smirking. *Ooh, ‘Lanna,* I thought with a smirk. *Those ‘romantic interests,’ as you put them, are there. You just haven’t fully realized it.*
But she will realize it. In time. They would make an awesome couple. Tom deserves someone to keep him on his toes. And B’Elanna would definitely do that. Like the saying goes, opposites attract. They’re a good couple. A match made in heaven. Romeo & Juliet. Boy, would they kill me if they could hear my thoughts.
Shaking my head, I slowed down to a slow walk, content with my midnight workout. “Computer, time.” I said, wondering just how far I had actually run.
“How far did I run?”
I stopped in surprise. “Eight miles?”
I began walking again. I had cleared my head and was now dead tired.
But life was still not simple.
Love it? Hate it? E-mail me at JaneG100@rocketmail.com! Copyrighted July 7th, 1999. Original disclaimers apply.