Wishing You Were Here
By Jane Griffen
Author's Notes: All right, here we go. I realize that this story may seem a bit unbelievable, but I don't care! I had a lot of fun writing this. There were originally 21 parts to this series/story, but when I lost my old webpage I lost the separate pages and the disclaimers. This is set . . . around 14 years into the future, 19 years after Voyager found itself lost in the Delta Quadrant.
This is AU because of two facts. 1) this is set far into the future and will probably turn out to be AU, and 2) this story contains the fictional charcter Heather Whitney. If you don't like her, you might not like this story!
Please send me feedback! It's what authors live on :) E-mail me at JaneG100@rocketmail.com; flames will be thrown into the nearest airlock!
Relationship Keywords: Paris/Torres, Janeway/Chakotay, Kim/Whitney, Carey/Wildman
Disclaimers: Paramount owns the characters and properties of Star Trek: TNG, Star Trek: DS9, and Star Trek: Voyager; I own Heather Whitney, J'Ella, T'Ara, and A'Lyssa Paris, Amy and Mark Janeway, Libby and Katie Kim, the secondary characters and the USS Sphinx, and the rest of the children! The artists and producers of the songs I used own the songs (aka Here We Go by 'N Sync, The Sign by Ace of Base, etc.)
Prologue . . .
Commander B'Elanna Paris walked down the corridor of the Federation starship U.S.S. Sphinx with her husband, Captain Tom Paris. They stopped and Tom entered the command codes into the control panel next to their quarters' doors. The doors opened with a swoosh.
"I don't see why you have to go." he said angrily after the doors had closed.
B'Elanna placed her hands on her hips. "You think I *want* to go?"
"I never said that." Tom retorted.
"But that's what you mean, right?"
Tom shook his head and circled his arms around B'Elanna's waist. Gazing into her brown eyes, he kissed her. "That's not what you meant and you know it."
B'Elanna sighed and pulled away. "I don't want to go anymore than you want me to go, but I have to!"
That was the discussion they had been having for the last ten minutes. Since returning to the Alpha Quadrant eight years ago after being stranded in the Delta Quadrant 75,000 lightyears away from the nearest Federation outpost, a lot of things had changed. Tom Paris, now married to B'Elanna Torres, was captain of the starship U.S.S. Sphinx. Commander Harry Kim was his
first officer. Commander Heather Whitney was Voyager's senior science officer. She was married to Harry but had kept her maiden name since having *two* Commander Kims would be confusing. Kathryn Janeway, now married to Captain Chakotay and now an admiral, was still commanding officer of Voyager, and she had a son and daughter - Amy and Mark, who were twelve year old twins. Chakotay was still her first officer - like that would ever change - and Tuvok, now also commander, had turned down an offer of the rank captain to continue to be Voyager's
senior security officer.
Lt. Commander Joe Carey was chief engineer and the Doctor was now head of a staff of twenty medical officers. Seven of Nine, called Lt. Commander Annika Hansen by crewmembers - the ones who had transferred to Voyager after she returned to the Alpha Quadrant - but still called 'Seven' by Voyager's former crewmembers. Now, the Paris family consisted of 5 members; Tom and B'Elanna, and their three daughters: J'Ella, T'Ara, and A'Lyssa. The Kims had two daughters named Libby and Katie.
Now, B'Elanna had been asked by Starfleet Intelligence to go on a classified mission to the Delta Quadrant, the reason being that routine sensor sweeps run by the U.S.S. Cormethies - the ship the Doctor had been transferred to - had picked up activity in Dominion space. And after war
with the Romulans and Starfleet's troops scattered throughout the galaxy, it *definetely* wasn't a good time for a war with the Dominion.
"Why can't they just find somebody else to go?" Tom asked, frustrated.
B'Elanna sat down, tears in her eyes. When she looked back up, her eyes were filled with tears. "I don't know."
Twelve year old J'Ella couldn't get to sleep. Her parents, Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres,
were fighting. They almost never fought, and most of the time everyone was happy. This was not one of those nights. J'Ella tossed and turned and glanced at her bedside chronometer. It was past midnight, and she'd been in bed since nine.
Ever so softly, she tiptoed to the bathroom to get a drink. But she stopped halfway. Both her younger sisters, T'Ara, who was eleven, and A'Lyssa, who was ten, were sitting down on the floor, listening to their parents.
"What's wrong?" J'Ella asked, joining her sisters.
"We have *no* idea." T'Ara replied. T'Ara, at age eleven, had chocolate brown eyes like her mother's and light brown hair.
"They've been fighting for over an hour!" A'Lyssa hissed, her blue eyes sparkling angrily as she tossed her hair, which fell a little below her shoulders, over her shoulder.
"And I have a test tomorrow in Astro Physics!" T'Ara added, groaning.
J'Ella remained quiet and listened. The last time they'd done this was when her parents, plus Commander Harry Kim and Commander Heather Whitney - Libby and Katie's parents, had been gathered late one night at the Paris' quarters. The three had thought they were discussing a classified mission. Later, they had discovered they'd only been talking about promotions.
"Tom, I don't want to go anymore than you want me to, but Starfleet needs me to go! If I don't find out what the Dominion is up to, this could mean another war against them! I don't have a choice? And since the Sanorka War with the Romulans has left our troops scattered throughout the
quadrant! We're in no condition for a war, and that's all the Dominion needs to take over the Alpha Quadrant! I have to!" Their mother's words quickly snapped J'Ella out of her daydream.
"Go?" A'Lyssa mouthed. T'Ara's eyes widened and J'Ella just shrugged and put her finger to her lips. Everyone remained quiet.
"But you don't have to! Starfleet specifically said if you don't want to, you don't have to." That was their father.
"But Starfleet *needs* me to go! What if they're right? What if the Dominion is planning another war against the Alpha quadrant? After the Sanorka War with the Romulans, our troops are limited!" B'Elanna protested.
"Someone else can go. Why do *you* have to?" Tom asked angrily.
"Because *I'm* the one they asked." B'Elanna shot back.
T'Ara glanced around the corner. Her mother was practically sitting on her father's lap, sobbing so hard that the sobs racked her body. Tom was doing his best to comfort her, but he, like B'Elanna, was crying.
"What is it?" A'Lyssa asked, leaning against T'Ara.
"Shut up!" T'Ara shot back.
Just then, J'Ella's kitten Tabbitha - also known as Tabby - decided it was her turn to make her debute. She jumped up on T'Ara's back and curled up on the back of T'Ara's neck, purring and not knowingly tickling T'Ara. That was too much for T'Ara to bear. She fell into the living room, giggling. J'Ella shook her head, watching A'Lyssa fall to the floor. Thump! Tabby, who acted quite miffed, ran back into J'Ella's room, obviously deciding a bed would be better than T'Ara's neck.
Tom and B'Elanna's heads shot up. There stood their three, daughters. T'Ara - sitting the floor, obviously *not* amused, A'Lyssa - her blonde hair messed up and glaring at T'Ara from her position lying flat on her back on the floor, and J'Ella - who was standing in the doorway laughing
her head off. Seeing her parents' gaze focusing on her, she tried to keep a straight face. Remembering the scene seconds before her younger sisters had made their entrance into the living room simultaneously, she succeeded.
"How long were you there?" Tom asked quietly.
J'Ella looked at A'Lyssa, who then looked at T'Ara.
"I was just getting a drink of water." J'Ella commented, shifting her weight from foot to foot.
"Umm...I forgot to brush my teeth." T'Ara added, getting up off the floor.
That left A'Lyssa. She sat up. "I, uh, decided to...." she flushed, and, not thinking of a good enough excuse, sighed. "You guys were shouting so I couldn't get to sleep so I decided to see what you were arguing about." she stated firmly.
J'Ella shook her head in awe. No matter what, A'Lyssa *always* said what she was thinking, no matter how fierce their mother's temper could get.
B'Elanna gazed up at Tom, still in his arms. Their eyes met and Tom answered her unasked question without saying a thing. No, they wouldn't tell their kids. They weren't supposed to, anyway. It was Starfleet regulations.
"Everything's all right now. Go back to bed, okay?" Tom asked.
"But what about the Domin-" A'Lyssa's question was cut short when T'Ara's hand clamped over her mouth and J'Ella gave her a glare that would make a Borg drone shiver. She shut up quickly.
"Back to bed." Tom ordered, using his best imitation of his father's voice - the kind he used just to make ensigns quake when he was bored. When nobody did anything, he added. "Now."
All three scurried off to bed, but J'Ella hesitated. She knew her dad had lied, and she wanted to know what both her parents had been crying about. But seeing her father's stern glare, she did as she was told without any arguments. She resignedly got into bed and fell asleep, her mind still on
her parents' discussion.
Only a few days later, B'Elanna Paris stepped into Transporter Room 4, a bag slung over her shoulder. The U.S.S. Enterprise E had rendezvoused with the U.S.S. Sphinx and would take B'Elanna to where she needed to go. Tom held her hand and J'Ella, T'Ara, and A'Lyssa followed. None of them knew what was going on. Just that their mother was leaving because of Starfleet
and they might not see her...ever. The Kims were there to see B'Elanna off.
"Bye, Heath." B'Elanna whispered into Heather's ear. Heather had always been a close friend of hers, and she wished she could tell her what was going on. But it was 'classified'.
"Bye, yourself." Heather whispered back. "Be careful."
B'Elanna had to laugh. "You've been a mother too long, Heather." she teased.
Heather just shook her head and smiled, but B'Elanna could see she was sad.
She then said goodbye to Harry.
"See ya, Maquis." he said, after he gave her a quick kiss.
She smiled. "Bye, Starfleet."
She then said goodbye to Libby and Katie, warning them not to let their mother take anybody on any shortcuts. Libby and Katie laughed, remembering five months ago, when the Parises and Kims had taken a week shoreleave and went to a planet called Yahima. There, on a hike, Heather had insisted they take an overgrown path which she proclaimed was a shortcut. Everyone had
reluctantly followed her, but a little ways down the path, they'd been kidnapped by secret agents who had thought they were rebel leaders. It had taken the rest of the day to explain.
Then she turned to her daughters. J'Ella, T'Ara, and A'Lyssa. Each, she knew, were extremely puzzled. She just hoped A'Lyssa wouldn't start talking about the Dominion. God only knew what would happen if word got out. She kissed and hugged each of them, telling them to be good and stay out of trouble.
"....*especially* you, T'Ara." she added, knowing that T'Ara was the most mischievous one of the three. She was almost always in hot water.
T'Ara grinned. "I'll *try*." she said. "But I can't promise anything."
B'Elanna smiled back and said goodbye to J'Ella and A'Lyssa.
She then turned to Tom. They stared at each other for a minute, then kissed.
"I'm *so* sorry." B'Elanna whispered as she and Tom embraced.
"Shh...It's okay. Good luck." Tom replied, looking deep into B'Elanna's chocolate brown eyes. He then kissed her.
She looked back into *his* aqua blue eyes, which almost always seemed to be laughing. This time, though, they weren't. "I love you." she whispered into his ear.
"I love you, too." he replied, hugging her. She pulled away.
"I'll see you soon." she said hopefully, kissing him back. Then she turned away, tears threatening to roll down her face. *I will *not* cry.* she told herself as she stepped onto the transporter pad.
Taking one last glance at her closest family and friends, she then nodded to Harry, who was manning the transporter console.
"Energize." she said softly, and then she disappeared.
Everyone stood there, united in their silence. Then they turned and left....
Four Months Later . . .
Now, four months later, nobody had heard from B'Elanna, and J'Ella still had no idea what her parents had been talking about that night. Everyone had just about given up hope for B'Elanna, but none of B'Elanna's closest friends had, and they weren't about to, either.
J'Ella entered the turbolift donned in a silvery green swimsuit. She had a matching towel wrapped around her waist. A few loose strands of her dark brown hair fell out from her ponytail and she blew them out of her eyes. She tapped her foot impatiently. *Why do the turbolifts always have to be so *slow*?* she wondered.
Soon, the turbolift came to Deck 16. J'Ella got off and wrapped her towel around her waist. Walking into the holodeck, she laughed. Libby, Katie, and A'Lyssa were in the process of dunking T'Ara. T'Ara, being a fast swimmer, quickly outswam them and swam over to the other side of the pool, Libby quickly going after her. A'Lyssa and Katie stayed in the shallow end, A'Lyssa doing handstands.
Libby stopped as soon as she saw J'Ella. "Hey, J'Ella! Come on in! The water's great!"
T'Ara groaned, but wasn't able to comment since Libby swam over to her. T'Ara swiftly dived to the bottom. When she surfaced at the other end of the pool, she gasped, then said. "Run for your life! Libby's out to get us!"
At that J'Ella draped her towel over one of the beach chairs and walked cautiously over to the edge of the pool.
Libby swam over to her. "Come on in!" she repeated, grinning mischievously at her friend.
"Oh, no." J'Ella replied, taking a step back. By this time, T'Ara was swimming underwater towards Libby. Catching her unawares, T'Ara was able to succeed in *her* task of dunking *Libby*.
*Come on in!* Libby repeated telepathically, still underwater.
"How warm is it?" J'Ella called to A'Lyssa and Katie.
"It's cold!" Katie pronounced.
"Hmm..." J'Ella said, realizing that T'Ara and Libby were back to the process of dunking one another. Libby was winning, but T'Ara did a quick flip and pushed Libby back down. J'Ella made her way to the diving board, ran to the end, and did a clean dive to the bottom of the pool. She swam over to A'Lyssa and Katie. Libby and T'Ara, still bent on dunking one another, didn't even notice she'd entered the water.
"What d'you say we dunk them?" J'Ella said, her blue eyes sparkling.
A'Lyssa smiled. "Now *that* sounds like fun!" she announced happily.
J'Ella turned to Katie, who was sitting on the pool steps. Although the five-year-old was perfectly capable of swimming, she didn't venture into the deeper water.
"Why are you staying on the steps?" J'Ella asked softly.
Katie glanced nervously down to the other end of the pool, where T'Ara and Libby were splashing each other. "They got me all wet!" she complained.
J'Ella smiled. "But you're supposed to get wet when you go swimming!"
A'Lyssa surfaced from doing another handstand. "Katie was just getting in when they practically soaked her." she explained.
J'Ella smiled. "Come on. I'll make sure they don't get you wet again, and you can help us dunk them, 'kay?"
Katie smiled and nodded eagerly.
"I'll get Libby, you two get T'Ara." J'Ella then said, and the three swam over to the deeper water, A'Lyssa towing Katie, who hung onto a floating noodle.
"Hey, guys?" J'Ella called.
T'Ara and Libby looked up, momentarily caught off guard.
"What?" Libby asked, struggling to keep her head up. Although she was older than T'Ara, T'Ara was stronger than she was, due to the fact that she *was* a quarter Klingon.
In response, J'Ella dived for Libby and A'Lyssa gamely followed, veering off to get her older sister. Soon, all five girls were launched in an all out water war, the only thing on their minds being the best way to dunk their opponents.
The next day, after the girls had finished school, they got together to do their homework at the Paris' quarters.
Libby groaned. "I do *not* get this." she said as she opened up her math book. Normally, they would have padds, but since the padds were being revised, they were stuck with hard-bound replicated books. Meanwhile, Katie continued to memorize her multiplication tables.
"Get what?" A'Lyssa asked curiously. She herself was working on fractions, and she didn't find that hard at all.
"Angles and square roots." J'Ella replied for her friend, smiling.
"J'Ell, what's x squared times x cubed?" Libby asked. It wasn't that she wasn't smart, she was, it was just she hated any form or kind of math.
"X to the fifth." J'Ella replied offhandedly.
"I wish you'd do my homework for me, too." T'Ara teased.
In response, J'Ella just threw a pillow at her, which she ducked. Soon the girls were launched into a pillow fight. The chime of the door stopped them.
"Come in!" T'Ara called, quickly throwing her pillow towards her bedroom.
Tom Paris walked in. He smiled when he saw the five girls. "Good, you're all here."
"What is it, Dad?" J'Ella asked, immediately knowing that something was up.
"Oh, you'll find out." he replied mysteriously.
A'Lyssa narrowed her eyes, then they brightened considerably. "Does it have something to do with Mom?"
Tom Paris frowned and shook his head. "I'll wait until the Kims get here to tell you what the surprise is."
Libby sighed. "Oh, great. I just hope my mom doesn't decide to take any shortcuts through the Jeffories tube systems!" she said sarcastically.
Just then, Harry and Heather Kim walked into the Paris' quarters.
Seeing her parents' smiles, Katie spoke up. "What's the secret?"
"Yeah!" T'Ara added.
Harry Kim sat down and had to smile at the impatient faces on his daughters and J'Ella, T'Ara, and A'Lyssa.
"How long've they been waiting?" he asked Tom.
"Oh, a few minutes."
"They been good?" Heather asked, smirking.
"*Mom*!" Libby said in perfound annoyance.
"Okay, okay!" Heather replied. "Starfleet's ordered the Sphinx to go into dry dock so we decided we might as well take some shoreleave."
A'Lyssa whooped. "Great!"
"Where?" Katie asked, her eyes gazing inquisitively at the three adults.
"Risa." Harry replied, smirking in his wife's direction. In response, Heather grabbed the pillow that J’Ella had been sitting on - J'Ella falling on her back in the process - and whacked her husband with it, although she, too, was grinning.
"I was only kidding!" Harry joked.
Tom shook his head, watching the two. "We're going to rendezvous with Voyager and then go the DS9 to catch a transport. The Janeways are coming too." he said.
"Yes! Then we'll get to see Sheila!" Libby said, referring to Commander Jadzia Dax and Commander Worf's daughter, twelve year old Sheila Dax.
"Not to say Amy." J'Ella added.
"And Mark." T'Ara added, smiling evilly in her older sister's direction. It was her opinion that J'Ella had a major crush on Admiral Kathryn Janeway and Captain Chakotay's son, Mark, who was Amy's twin, but she firmly denied it.
"Very funny." J'Ella replied sarcastically.
"Why are we going to Risa?" A'Lyssa asked curiously. Risa was known throughout the galaxy as a pleasure planet. Why were the adults taking them? And was her father moving on with his life since nobody had heard from her mother for so long?
"Well, Harry and Heather were complaining that they weren't getting enough time together-" Tom's voice broke off as two pillows firmly hit their target; him. He laughed and continued. "And there's beaches, oceans, tennis courts, stables, hiking trails..."
Captain Paris needed to say no more. Everyone got the message.
"When do we go?" Katie asked, setting down her multiplication tables.
"Next week." Harry told his daughter.
Libby crossed her fingers behind her back. *No school!*
Heather smiled, sensing her daughter's happiness. "Actually, no, Libby. In the morning, you'll do your school work so you won't be too far behind when we come back."
Libby groaned good-naturedly and everyone laughed.
"Anyway, we'd better get home. Come on, everyone." Heather called, and the Kims said goodbye to the Parises. After they'd left, Tom Paris turned to his three daughters.
"What do you want for dinner?" he asked.
"Gagh." J'Ella replied.
"Blood pudding." T'Ara added.
"Snuff beetle stew." A'Lyssa commented.
Tom laughed. "Your mother would murder you in a minute." he said, remembering wistfully how B'Elanna had *hated* any kind of Klingon food, not because of the taste, but because it had something to do with her heritage.
Five minutes later, they sat at the dinner table. J'Ella had spaghetti - her version of 'gagh', T'Ara had chocolate pudding for desert, and A'Lyssa got soup. Tom shook his head. Life would always be a riot. His daughters would make sure of that.
"Admiral Paris!" Kathryn said cheerfully as Tom Paris's father appeared on her small view screen. Tuvok had just informed her of a transmission - classified. She had no idea what all the secrecy was about.
"Kathryn, it's good to see you again. The last time I saw you was at the party at my house." he commented.
Kathryn smiled and shook her head. "And if I remember correctly, your granddaughters, Libby and Katie Kim, and my son and daughter started a food fight right in the middle of dinner."
Admiral Paris laughed. "And in the process, Jean Luc Picard ended up getting pudding in his face."
Kathryn shook her head. "Those were the days. Although the next dinner party you have that I'm invited to, I'll leave Amy and Mark at home."
The two laughed, but then got down to business.
"How come I get the feeling this isn't just a friendly transmission?" Kathryn asked later after they'd briefly discussed the latest non-important going-ons in Starfleet.
Admiral Paris frowned. "You're right. It's very important, and you're going to be the one to confirm Starfleet Headquarters’ suspicions."
"Continue." Kathryn said, sitting back in her chair. She realized she was in for a long lecture.
"About five months ago, sensors picked up a large group of ships in the Gamma Quadrant, Dominion. There's also been rather unusual activity around Cardassia. We put two and two together, and, well you know-"
"The Dominion's planning another war against the Alpha Quadrant." Kathryn finished, her blue eyes widening.
Admiral Paris's eyes, so much like his son's, narrowed. "Let's just say Starfleet Intelligence jumped to the same conclusion. So, we decided to send some of our top officers to run series of scans in the Gamma Quadrant a month after the first scans appeared."
Kathryn's jaw dropped open, then shut it. "B'Elanna." she whispered.
Admiral Paris nodded. He was quite fond of her, even though he didn't let it show. He couldn't even begin to imagine what his son was going through, her being gone and all. "Yes. Commander B'Elanna Paris, Commander Jadzia Dax, and Doctor Julian Bashir were sent in a cloaked shuttle-" Starfleet was now building ships that could withstand cloaking devices. In fact, Voyager had been small enough that now, she, too, had a cloaking device. It was only used when necessary, though, since it hadn't been built specifically for one. "-to see what they were up to. As you well know, nobody has heard a thing from them since."
"And you want Voyager to do the same thing they did." Kathryn said, her eyes widened.
"Except we'd like for you to come back." Admiral Paris stated.
"If they are planning a war, our troops would be limited since the last war with the Romulans." Kathryn commented.
"That's why we want to know ahead of time."
"What about my crew?" she then asked.
Admiral Paris smiled. "I knew you'd ask that question. That's why I already have it figured out. Your former crew from when you were stranded in the Delta Quadrant has been called to rendezvous at DS9, and you'll also have the crew you have now when you dock, after you rendezvous with the Sphinx. Your excuse is that you're going on shoreleave to Risa. We'll have Starfleet personnel there to intercept any messages you might have. No one outside your crew is to know about this. No one."
Kathryn smiled softly. "I have a feeling I won't disappoint you, Admiral."
"Good. There is to be no more discussion of this mission to anyone via commchannel. Only in person."
"So that would mean..."
"Tom, Commander Kim, and Commander Whitney will know nothing when they meet you. They will merely think that they are rendezvousing with you to go on shoreleave."
"But we *were* planning on taking shore leave there!" Kathryn laughed. "Won't they be surprised."
"Right. I've got a meeting to attend to so I'd best go. It was nice talking to you, Kathryn."
"You, too, Admiral. One question, am I allowed to discuss this with Admiral Sisko?"
"Yes, as well as his senior staff. Some might even accompany you on your mission, but I doubt it. Good luck Kathryn." And with those last words, he closed the comm channel.
Kathryn sat back in shock. The Dominion. War. B'Elanna. Classified mission. The Dominion. She then decided to do some reading. That normally cleared her mind. So she picked up a padd and accessed the book she'd been reading. Just as she was getting to the exiting part, the door chimed.
Lt. Commander Annika Hansen - still called 'Seven' by Voyager's original crew, entered. She wore standard Starfleet uniform. Gray shoulders and black pants and shirt. She wore a blue shirt, since she was now senior science officer. She also oversaw the Astro Metrics lab, as well as
helping out in Engineering when needed.
"Seven." Kathryn acknowledged, looking up from her book.
"Admiral Janeway, here is the duty roster you wanted for tomorrow." Seven replied, setting the padd down on Kathryn's desk.
"Good. Sit down."
"I prefer to stand." Seven replied.
Kathryn shook her head. Most of their conversations always started out this way, and she was greatly amused by it. After fourteen years of living among humans, Seven *had* changed, but there were those little habits that would never change. Ever.
"Is something wrong?" Seven asked, her brow furrowed at the look on Kathryn Janeway's face.
"Actually, yes, there is something wrong. We've just been ordered to go on a classified mission to the Gamma Quadrant to see if the Dominion's planning another war against the Alpha Quadrant. That's where B'Elanna went. To the Gamma Quadrant. Nobody's heard anything from her since."
"When are we going?" Seven asked.
"I'll see to it that the crew is properly ready, as well as see that all the systems are at top efficiency." Seven said.
"Good. Dismissed." Kathryn said, and Seven walked out of the ready room. Kathryn turned back to her book.
A few minutes later, the door chime chimed again.
"Come in!" Kathryn called, look up and annoyed. *All I want is some peace and quiet!* she told herself. She changed her mind when her husband walked through the doors.
"Chakotay!" she called.
"Kathryn." he said cheerfully, sitting down. Kathryn vaguely wondered how he could be so cheerful at eleven o'clock at night after getting up at four in the morning.
"You know, I was trying to read a book before." she commented.
"Oh? Which one?"
Kathryn told him.
"How far have you gotten?"
"A page. And I can't even remember what it was about." she smirked, then smiled. "But anyway, I got a rather interesting transmission from Admiral Paris.
"We can't take shoreleave next week?"
Kathryn laughed. She then started crying because she was laughing so hard. Nobody got it. They *weren't* going on shore leave, and no one knew. And in turn, Chakotay had no idea what she found so funny. "No!"
"Then we can't?"
"Yes! I mean no, we can't."
"Then what are we supposed to do?" Chakotay asked, bewildered.
"Rendezvous with the former crew of Voyager at DS9 and proceed to the Gamma Quadrant to spy on the Dominion, and if we have a change, rescue B'Elanna."
Chakotay's jaw dropped. "You're kidding."
"No, I'm not." And Kathryn explained everything.
When she was finished, Chakotay sat back. "Looks like we've got our work cut out for us." he commented.
Amy Janeway hummed as she scanned the computer console on her desk in the Janeways' quarters. In the next room, her twin brother, Mark, was packing. In four days, they'd be in Risa. Their parents were both on duty and she was bored out of her mind. It wasn't that there wasn't anything to *do* on Voyager, there was plenty. It was just that she didn't feel like playing
hide and go seek in the Jeffories tubes with the rest of the kids on Voyager, which was normally a riot.
"What're you doing?" Mark asked, coming up to her.
"Scanning the databanks for suitable clothing for Risa." Amy replied, her brown eyes not leaving the computer display.
Mark snorted. "That's all you ever think about. Clothes."
They stopped, realizing how stupid they sounded.
"Look. The only reason I'm replicating new clothes is because I've grown out of practically everything I own and I'm sick and tired of stretching my arms and my stomach shows!"
"Hey, you can recycle! Keep the shirts you have now and in a few years you can use them as halter tops." Mark said dryly.
"Oh, *very* funny." Amy shot back. She then pressed a few buttons and a pile of clothes appeared. Already knowing that they fit her, she carried them back to her bedroom and put them in her open suitcase, which was on her bed. Already in the suitcase, though, was her black Labrador puppy, Maggie.
"Maggie!" Amy said. Maggie's tail started wagging furiously as she gazed up at her owner. Amy laughed and lifted her out of her suitcase. "Now look what you've done! I've got dog hairs all over my suitcase!"
Mark laughed from the other room and Amy glared at him. He sobered up, but still smirked. She quickly brushed the dog hairs off and put her clothes in it. Then she packed a towel, bathing suit, hair accessories to put up her brown hair, which fell halfway down her back, a few padds that had her homework on it, a book she had to read for a book report; Little Women, and her Walkman, as well as some CDs. Maggie watched all this.
"Now, what am I forgetting?" she asked herself, her eyes surveying her bedroom. Realizing, she put the few things in and shut the suitcase. It wouldn't close. But that was okay, since it didn't normally.
She stood on her bed and sat down on the suitcase. With Mark's help, she closed it.
"Thanks." she said, breathless.
"Yes." Mark said.
"You know, I can't *wait* 'till we see J'Ella, T'Ara, 'Lyssa, Libby, and Katie again." Amy said.
"Yeah, I know. I only wish there were more boys!" he said.
"Girls aren't that bad."
"Uh-huh." Mark stood in the doorway, leaning against the wall and watching his sister. He himself had blue eyes and black hair.
"At least we're not total airheads like Veronica and Kacey." Amy said.
"Yeah, I know. But you can sometimes be a real pest."
"J'Ella isn't, is she?" Amy asked brightly. She, herself thought that Mark had a crush on J'Ella, and vice versa. What was more, T'Ara, A'Lyssa, and Libby agreed. Katie was too young to understand, although she realized that whenever she wanted to tease J'Ella, all she had to do was mention Mark.
"Of course no-" Mark suddenly realized his mistake and lunged for his sister. Giggling, she jumped out of his grasp and ran into the living room. Mark followed, close behind her, and Maggie bounded after them.
Amy ran into her parents' room, careful not to knock over any of the photographs which were all in frames on their dressers. One of their wedding, one of Amy, one of Mark, one of the Parises, as well as Tom and B'Elanna's wedding picture, one of the Kims, and multiple others. She
grabbed the dreamcatcher and held it up as a shield.
Mark laughed and grabbed at her, but she quickly ducked. Getting an idea, she swiftly sprinted back to her room - tossing the dreamcatcher on her parents' bed - and got out her bat'leth. Swinging it like Tom Paris had taught her, she turned to face Mark, who stopped.
"Fine, you win." he said as Amy swung it back and forth, inching closer to him. He, in turn, stepped away. She laughed and put it down, careful to avoid Maggie, who had followed her the whole time.
"Now, what?" she asked, plopping onto her bed.
Mark shrugged. "We could go to the holodeck, I guess." he said, although there wasn't an ounce of enthusiasm in his voice.
Just then, the door chimed and the twins walked into the living room.
"Come in!" Amy said, walking to the door.
The doors opened and ten year old Jennie Matthews stepped inside. "Hi!" she said, smiling and her green eyes sparkling as she tossed her blonde hair over her shoulder.
"Hi, Jennie!" Amy said.
Jennie plopped down on the couch. Normally, Amy would have been annoyed if another girl on the ship just came in and made herself at home, but Jennie was a good friend of hers so she didn't care.
"What's up?" Amy asked. Nothing excited had happened for a long time, and she, like her friends, were bored out of their minds. *Thank goodness we're going on shoreleave soon.*
"Where's your brother?" Mark asked, also interested.
"Oh, thanks for reminding me. John made me promise to deliver this message to you." Jennie said, smiling.
"What was it?" Mark asked.
Jennie frowned, deep in thought, and then smiled brightly. "Sorry, I forget."
Mark groaned and Jennie snickered. "I was only kidding! John and Eric Hackney are at the holodeck and they wanted you to go, too."
"Thank God!" Mark said, and he exited.
"Brothers." Amy said disgustedly, shaking her head.
"Gotta love 'em." Jennie added.
The two laughed and then decided to go to the holodeck and challenge John, Mark, and Eric to a game to Paresees Squares. On the way, they ran into Kristen Carey, who was eleven, and JoAnna Miller, who was ten, and invited them to come along. Always eager to beat the boys, they quickly agreed and soon all seven were involved in a very competitive game of Pareesees Squares.
"Sir, long-range scanners detect a federation starship at the rendezvous coordinates." AnnMaree Kachanski said from the conn.
"Is it Voyager?" Captain Tom Paris ordered from his chair on the bridge. Harry Kim sat to his left. At top, the Ops and Conn consoles ran together, where Lieutenant Keith Hardway and Ensign AnnMaree Kachanski and sat, and at back Lt. Angela Smith, the Sphinx's senior security officer. Tom knew that Heather was eagerly waiting for news down in Engineering.
"Yes." AnnMaree Kachanski replied.
"Open a hailing frequency." Harry ordered to Keith Hardway.
"Hailing frequencies open."
A few seconds later, Admiral Janeway appeared on the screen. "Tom! Harry! Good to see you again! We're ready for you to beam over anytime."
Tom smiled. "Thanks. How're things going?"
He'd expected her to smile, but she frowned. "Things could be better."
Tom's eyes narrowed but didn't comment. "We'll beam over in a few minutes, all right?"
"Good. Janeway out."
The viewscreen replaced Voyager's bridge with space.
Tom sat back and looked at Harry, who was just as puzzled.
"Now, what do you suppose she meant by that?" Tom asked.
Harry shrugged. "I have no idea."
"Well, we'd better not keep the Admiral and Captain waiting." Tom said, smiling. He then turned to Angela Smith.
"Lieutenant Smith, I want you to take the Sphinx back to Starbase 74 after we beam aboard. We should be back within two weeks."
Angela smiled. "Yes, sir. And sirs?"
Tom and Harry looked back.
"Sir, they're ready to beam aboard." Melissa Paso, one of the officers who'd decided to stay aboard, said from her console in the transporter room. Admiral Janeway, Captain Chakotay, Amy, Mark, Seven of Nine, Tuvok, Neelix, and the Doctor were all there to greet them, although the adults had something else on their mind. Amy and Mark, who had been busy talking, stopped.
"Energize." Kathryn ordered, her gaze fixing on the transporter pads. Soon, Tom, Harry, Heather, and Katie appeared. They had already greeted the Bristows - Lieutenant Freddie Bristow, Lieutenant Meghann Delany, Selene Bristow, and John Bristow.
"Admiral!" Heather greeted, hugging her former captain.
"Heater, look at you! And Katie!" she turned to her god-daughter, who held onto Heather's hand.
Katie hugged her aunt and smiled. Although she didn't remember living on Voyager much, she still remembered the crew.
"But where's everyone else?" Chakotay asked after saying hi to Tom and Harry.
Heather laughed. "J'Ella forgot something and was frantic about it so the four of them went back to get it. They should be over in a second."
"That would be most relevant." Seven commented.
As soon as the words left her mouth, J'Ella, T'Ara, A'Lyssa, and Libby appeared, all smiles. J'Ella had just finished fastening a locket around her neck.
After more hugging and kissing, they all went out into the corridor.
"It is good to see all of you again." Tuvok commented.
"Yes, and you've come just in time to try out one of my new recipes!" Neelix added.
"So that's the hidden reason you wanted us to come for a visit!" Heather teased.
Neelix's face fell. "Why, Commander, that's not-"
"She was only kidding, Neelix!" Harry said.
"Besides, his new recipes involve chocolate!" Amy said.
"Lead me to the kitchen!" Heather replied.
Everyone laughed, for *everyone* knew that Heather Whitney *loved* chocolate.
"So, how's everything on your ship?" T'Ara asked.
"Couldn't be better, although things have been a little boring." Amy replied.
Libby's eyes lit up. "I think we can change that." she said mischievously.
They rounded the corner. There were Melanie and Kirsten Carey.
"J'Ella! T'Ara! 'Lyssa! Libby! Katie!" Melanie called in greeting. They said hello, but after urgings from their parents, they hurried after the adults, promising to get together with Melanie and Kirsten soon.
"Now, about shoreleave...." Kathryn started as they entered the conference lounge a few minutes later.
"We're going to Risa, right?" Tom asked, sitting down as everyone else did, too.
"No." Chakotay replied.
"Then where are we going?" Heather asked curiously.
"That is the problem, Commander." Tuvok replied.
"We *are* going on shore leave, right?" Harry asked, more dubious than before.
"We're not going on shore leave." Kathryn said. If the situation hadn't been so bad, she would have laughed until she cried at the looks on her officers' faces. But it was.
"All right. So we're going to the Gamma Quadrant." Heather stated after Kathryn, Tuvok, and Chakotay finished explaining everything. The looks on the children’s' faces were hilarious. *Obviously*, Mark and Amy had known nothing of it, either.
"Yes." Tuvok replied.
"So B'Elanna was right." Tom said softly. "They *are* up to something."
A look of pain crossed Kathryn's face. "I don't know. And that's why they're sending *us*. Because B'Elanna, Commander Jadzia Dax, and Doctor Julian Bashir failed."
"So B'Elanna's a Dominion prisoner?" Harry asked.
Chakotay sighed. "Could be, Harry, could be."
"When are we going to reach DS9?" J'Ella spoke up, shocked at all of the news. The only problem was, she couldn't tell anybody about it.
"At our present speed, five hours." Lieutenant Commander Ken Shalmeit spoke up. He was now Voyager's senior Ops officer. Of course, now that Harry was there, he wasn't, but he didn't mind that much. It was the same with Heather Whitney and Joe Carey - who was now Voyager's chief engineer. Heather'd take command of Engineering, although she'd have to verify all of her
decisions with Joe first. They both didn't mind one bit.
"It'll be just like the old times." Heather commented, trying to find something good about the situation.
"And I'll bet Starfleet will let us all take shoreleave after the mission." T'Ara added brightly.
Meanwhile, A'Lyssa was thinking back to the night when she and her sisters had been listening to their parents' conversation. She'd thought and thought about why her mother had mentioned the Dominion, and now she knew.
"We'll dock at DS9 to pick up the rest of Voyager's former crew and discuss the situation with Admiral Sisko and his senior staff. Then we'll go cloaked through the wormhole and do what we've been ordered to do." Kathryn said.
"I've already stocked Sick Bay with the medical supplies to help ease the side effects of being under cloak for so long." The Doctor commented.
"Good." Kathryn replied. She stood up. "There'll be a party at Holodeck 2 at 2000 hour tonight after we've docked. Everyone is invited to come. Dismissed."
Everyone stood up. "Let's get started." Heather said, and they all left the conference room, united in their thoughts.
Five Hours Later...
"Admiral, we're approaching Deep Space 9." Tom said from the conn.
"Open hailing frequencies." Kathryn ordered, standing up. She just couldn't get used to being called Admiral. It just didn't seem right. Of course, if Starfleet wanted her to be an admiral, they'd find no qualms with her!
Meanwhile, J'Ella, T'Ara, Libby, A'Lyssa, Amy, and Mark stood on the upper section of the bridge, behind the Admiral and Captain Chakotay. As a special privilege, they were allowed to stay on the bridge. Katie sat in her mother's lap at the Engineering station. Tuvok was at Security's post, Harry at Ops, and Seven at the Science station opposite the Engineering station.
Admiral Benjamin Sisko appeared on the view screen. "Admiral Janeway! Captain Chakotay! Captain Paris! We've been expecting you for quite a while now. It's an honor." In the background, Colonel Kira, Lt. Commander Worf, and Chief O'Brien stood at their stations on the Promenade, as well as Nog, who was now a lieutenant in Starfleet.
Kathryn smiled and nodded. "Where can we dock?"
"At Docking pad C6." Colonel Kira said, walking forward.
"Thank you. We'll proceed."
"Good. I'd like your senior staff to meet with mine as soon as you've docked if that's all right. Most of your crew is here and we're just waiting for the U.S.S. Jaguar to dock. They're carrying your other crew personnel." Sisko said.
Kathryn smiled and nodded. Then she cut the comm channel.
"Mr. Paris, proceed." she ordered, sitting back down.
Tom did so and the docking went smoothly. Soon, everything was secure and they walked off of Voyager, where Colonel Kira, Odo, Commander Worf, and Chief O'Brien were waiting. With them, was Sheila Dax, Worf and Jadzia's twelve year old daughter. She ran up to greet J'Ella, her sisters, Amy, Mark, and Libby and Katie.
"Oh, I'm so glad you're here!" she said excitedly, smiling widely. Her long brown hair was brushed back, revealing her slight Klingon ridges, unlike A'Lyssa's, who had bangs that just touched her eyebrows.
"Me, too!" T'Ara exclaimed.
Colonel Kira stepped forward and shook the adults' hands. "I'm glad you could make it. Admiral Sisko wants to see you. He's in the conference lounge at Ops."
"It's good to see you too, Kira." Kathryn said, smiling.
Soon, the adults all left, forgetting about the children.
"Now what?" Libby asked, holding onto Katie's hand. The last thing she wanted was for Katie to get lost.
Sheila shrugged and giggled. "I made a list of all the things I wanted to show you and practically memorized it, but now I've forgot."
"We could go to Quarks and talk and get something to eat." J'Ella suggested.
"Good idea! Let's go!"
*It's good to be here again.* T'Ara thought happily as she walked down the Promenade. She just hoped the rest of the mission would go well and that they'd find her mom without getting hurt in the process.
J'Ella stood in front of a full length mirror and scrutinized herself in the mirror. She had on a 'tropical' purple dress with a few large dark purple flowers scattered on the dress and her locket. High heels would *never* do, she told herself, smiling a little. When she'd been little, she used to try on her mother's high heel shoes, but in the end she'd always trip. Her dad even had a picture of her wearing them. They made her look three inches taller. Instead, though, she pulled on cream
sandals. Giving her loose hair one last brush, she decided she was ready.
T'Ara knocked on her door. "Dad says to hurry up." she called, peering in. She whistled when she saw her sister. "Wow, Mark will think you look great!" she kidded.
Thankfully for T'Ara, she ducked before the pillow aimed at her hit her. J'Ella had the most temper out of the three of them, and T'Ara knew she was pushing it.
"Sorry." she said, timidly stepping back in the room.
J'Ella smiled. "It's just that sometimes you go a little *too* overboard."
"I'll try to be better." T'Ara said, flopping down on the bed She wore a blue flowered dress and her light brown hair pulled back into a pony tail and her Klingon ridges showed plainly.
"You look nice, too." J'Ella replied.
A'Lyssa wandered into her room, her blonde hair neatly in a flip-through. She had on a light turquoise dress.
"Do you think Mom's all right?" she asked.
T'Ara shrugged. "I hope she is."
"You were right about the Dominion, though." J'Ella told A'Lyssa.
"Yeah. I just wish Mom hadn't gone in the first place." T'Ara commented.
"Why'd she go?"
"Probably Klingon honor or something."
Tom Paris poked his head into the doorway. "Come on! We don't want to be late!"
In a flash, all three girls made a beeline for the door. They got there before Tom did.
Tom shook his head. "I don't know *what* I'm going to do with you."
J'Ella smiled. "Just take us to the party. That'd be enough punishment right there."
"Then let's go." Tom said, and the four headed for Holodeck 2.
As Tom glanced around, he felt a flash of pain as he wished B'Elanna could be there. She'd be proud of J'Ella, T'Ara, and A'Lyssa. They'd grown so much in only four months.
T'Ara smoothed her dress and glanced around excitedly. She was about to run off with her friends, but then glanced at her dad. She smiled slightly, seeing that he had a faraway look in his eyes.
"T'Ara, come on!" Amy called.
T'Ara glanced at Amy, then at her dad. Then she ran off to be with her friends, still deep in thought.
Soon, Sheila and her dad came and Sheila ran over to them after her dad went to talk with Admiral Sisko, Colonel Kira, and Chief and Caico O'Brien, and the rest of Voyager's senior staff.
"Hi!" she said excitedly, glancing around. "Cool program."
"Yeah. Neelix created it. I think its probably the most popular program in Voyager's databanks." J'Ella replied.
"So, what do you think about the mission we're supposed to go on?" Amy said quietly.
A'Lyssa spoke up. "Do you think we'll find Mom?"
T'Ara smiled. "I hope so."
J'Ella shook her head. "I'm not trying to be pessimistic, but don't get your hopes up." she said softly.
Libby grinned. "Don't listen to her. She's just mad because Mark hasn't shown up yet." she teased.
"What?" asked a familiar voice.
Everyone whirled around and J'Ella blushed a deep red. There stood Mark, John, and Eric.
Libby's mouth opened, then she shut it. "Uhh...I was just saying that I was wondering where you were." she said feebly.
Mark raised his eyebrows but didn't say anything. J'Ella glared at Libby. T'Ara started giggling hysterically. Everyone looked at her strangely and she stopped.
The party continued late into the night, and everyone had a blast, although many minds were focused on the task ahead.
They were ready to go. Joe Carey glanced at Heather Whitney, whose brow was furrowed and was deep in thought. Then she looked up and nodded. "We might as well give it our best shot." she commented lightly.
Joe smiled and nodded. "Carey to Janeway."
"We're ready when you are." he commented.
Seven, who stood at a console within hearing range and ready to initiate the cloaking device, waited patiently for the command.
"We're at full impulse power headed into the wormhole. Activate the cloaking device on my mark."
There was a pause.
"Activating the cloaking device now." Seven said.
"Vorik, monitor the warp field. Make sure it doesn't vary within 5%." Joe ordered.
Vorik, now a lieutenant, nodded.
"Morgan," Heather called. "Make sure the cloak withstands the wormhole." Heather called out.
"Yes, sir." Lieutenant Morgan Chesly replied, smiling.
"Engineering to Bridge. We've initiated the cloak and everything is running smoothly." Joe called.
"Good job." Chakotay replied, smiling at Kathryn, who smiled back.
"You know, this is the one thing that makes Voyager superior to the Sphinx, Helmboy." Heather added. "*Your* ship doesn't have a cloak."
On the bridge, Harry smirked. Tom rolled his eyes. Tuvok raised his eyebrows. Kathryn and Chakotay just laughed.
"We're clearing the wormhole." Harry commented.
Soon they were back in open space again.
"All stop. Harry, scan for any Dominion ships." Kathryn ordered.
Harry nodded. A second later, he looked up, smiling. "Long range sensors detect five Dominion and Cardassian ships, but I don't think any of them detected us."
Chakotay reached over and squeezed Kathryn's hand. She just smiled, then stood up. "Tuvok, I want all the personnel to work double duties and have the ship under yellow alert all the time. Harry, keep long range scanners online and have a full log of anything and *everything* they pick up. If Starfleet wants a lengthy report, then that’s what they're going to get. Tom,"
Tom looked up, smiling at her way of giving out four orders in one sentence. "Yes, Admiral?"
"Set a course, bearing nine-zero-two mark eight-seven. That should take us right into the middle of Dominion space."
Tom did as he was told and watched as the ship went into warp. He crossed his fingers. *Hang on, 'Lanna, we're coming.*
A'Lyssa surveyed the Mess Hall. Since practically every officer was at his or her post, the children onboard Voyager - there were fifty five of them - had agreed to stay in the Mess Hall for the first part of the journey with their 'Uncle' Neelix. At the far side of the Mess Hall, a bunch of the older kids - J'Ella, Amy, Mark, T'Ara, and about ten others - were watching the movie "The Titanic". A'Lyssa would have joined them, but she knew her dad wouldn't have liked it since the movie was for thirteen year olds and up and she was only ten. She frowned, remembering the argument she had had with her dad. How come T'Ara and J'Ella got to watch it when they weren't thirteen either? She still didn't find it fair. Hearing Celine Dion singing "My Heart Will Go On", she realized that the movie was over. To justify her thought, Amy stood up and turned the monitor off.
"Now what?" Libby asked, looking up, for she had decided to play the 'revised' version of Monopoly - it dealt with Starfleet - with Julia Henderson - who was 13, Kirsten and Melanie Carey, Andrew Ruizare, and Sarah and David Trudell.
"We could play charades!" A'Lyssa suggested.
The response was a chorus of groans and howls.
"Oh no, A'Lyssa Morgan Paris! The *last* time we played charades we were guessing for *hours* while you tried to act out a book title!" Torra Jones protested.
"It's not *my* fault that you idiots couldn't guess 'The Black Stallion'!" A'Lyssa shot back, grinning.
Before she could comment further, Torra got up and chased her around the room. Both ten year old girls were laughing their heads off.
"Anybody up for a snack?" Neelix asked, looking up from reading Katie a fairy tale.
"No, thanks Uncle Neelix." Naomi Wildmen, now Naomi Carey, sixteen, commented. Seeing the hurt look on her godfather's face, she added. "It's not that we don't like your cooking - it's good! It's just that we don't exactly feel up to eating something when we're in enemy territory."
Neelix frowned. "I didn't know you could sense the tension around here."
T'Ara laughed. "Let's just say it doesn't take a telepath."
Just then, the Mess Hall doors opened.
"Who's there?" Melanie Carey asked, since from her vantage point she couldn't see very well.
"It's Maggie!" Amy said in astonishment as a black blur sped towards her. "How'd you get out?" she asked Maggie as she tried to pull herself away from the dog's wet kisses.
"Amy Janeway, get that dog out of here at once. You know I don't like dogs or any other pets in the Mess Hall. They get hair everywhere!" Neelix demanded, standing up.
"But Uncle Neelix!" Katie protested, her aqua blue eyes eyeing the Talaxian reproachfully. "Maggie can do *tricks*!"
Without another word, she ran to the dog. Maggie jumped up on her hind legs and licked Katie with her tongue. Katie giggled. "Sit!" she commanded. Maggie just kept on giving her wet kisses.
Amy smiled and went over to the replicator. "Ten Purina dog biscuits." The replicator complied and she whistled for Maggie.
Maggie bounded up to her.
"Sit, Maggie." Amy commanded.
Maggie obeyed and was rewarded with a treat. Amy then made Maggie do a number of tricks. Maggie sat, lay down, shook hands/paws, played dead, crawled on her stomach, weaved through a line of chairs, and for a grand finale Amy replicated a hula hoop, held it a foot in the air, and Maggie jumped through the hoop. They got a round of applause, and Amy bowed and Maggie did as best as she could.
"Can Maggie stay?" Katie asked hopefully.
Neelix wavered, then nodded with his arms crossed. "Fine. She can stay just this once." he consented.
Another round of applause went up.
"Why don't we play hide and go seek in the Jeffories tubes?" JoAnna suggested devilishly.
Soon, it was all settled and the teams were divided. Neelix would remain in the Mess Hall as the referee while a quarter of the children - led by Mark and J'Ella - would stay there and use the computer to track down the other three quarters who were hiding in the Jeffories tubes. They were only allowed to use the computer in the Mess Hall - no where else. As soon as they found out most of the locations, they said goodbye to Neelix and crawled into the Jeffories tubes, leaving the younger children behind.
"Follow the dog hairs and we'll find Amy." Mark commented, leading the way.
J'Ella laughed. "You mean to say she's taught Maggie how to use the Jeffories tubes?" she asked incredulously.
"You should see Maggie climb the ladder. It's a riot." Mark replied, smiling over his shoulder at her.
J'Ella smiled back and the two continued on. For once, things were looking up.
Chakotay glanced over at Kathryn, who was sitting in her chair with a far away look on her face. They had passed five Dominion ships so far, but none of them had detected Voyager.
"A Cardassian warship is approaching." Harry called out nervously.
"All stop." Kathryn said, snapping out of her daze. She stood up authoritatively.
"They're scanning the area of space." Tom announced nervously.
Chakotay let out a low whistle. "There's not much we can do now." he said, more to himself than anyone else.
"Not if I can help it." Kathryn shot back, but she gave no further orders. She began pacing the length of the bridge and the rest of her officers watched her silently.
"The Cardassia warship is continuing its course." Harry commented, letting out a sigh of relief.
"It would appear that they are running a routine patrol." Tuvok commented. "They are scanning this parsec thoroughly. I would not advise for us to go into warp until they have finished this section of space."
Kathryn paused, expecting a sarcastic comment from Tom. There was none.
"Admiral?" Tom asked, waiting for her orders.
"Maintain our course, full impulse." Kathryn said, sitting back down.
"Yes, ma'am." Tom replied, turning back around in his seat.
A fleeting smile crossed Janeway's face, but then disappeared. "Bridge to Engineering."
"Engineering here." Joe Carey replied. He sounded uncertain.
"Is something wrong?" Chakotay asked, sharing a glance with Kathryn.
Heather's voice floated through the comm system. "That's the problem. We're not sure. When we stopped, the shields fluctuated a tiny, tiny, *tiny* bit. We didn't come uncloaked, but the deflector array emitted a sonar beam for .5 seconds. They could have picked us up on their sensors."
There was a deathly silence on the bridge.
Kathryn walked over to Tuvok's station. "Did the Cardassian ship send out any transmissions?"
Tuvok glanced down, then shook his head. "Negative."
Kathryn bit her lip. Her orders from Starfleet Headquarters was to abort the mission at the *slightest* error. She turned to Chakotay and their eyes locked.
Chakotay raised his eyebrow. "If they *did* detect us and are playing dumb and we go back now, they'll know that Starfleet knows something. If we go forward-"
"And they *do* know, we'll be dead meat." Tom finished.
Kathryn frowned, weighing the odds. Then she sighed. "Tuvok?"
"It would be most logical to complete the mission even if the Dominion was alerted of our presence." Tuvok replied.
Kathryn turned to face everyone else on the bridge. Her gaze rested on Tom, knowing how devastated he'd be if they turned back now. Then she smiled. "You heard him, Tom. Continue our course."
Tom smiled back and did as he was ordered.
On the Cardassian ship, Gul Evan’s eyes narrowed. "A Federation signature?"
"Yes, sir." replied a young Cardassian nervously.
Gul Evan smiled sinisterly. "Maintain our course."
"You heard him, maintain our course." Gul Dukat ordered. He then turned to Gul Evan. "If the Federation is daring enough to send a cloaked ship to spy on us, why should we step in? We'll just wait until they're *further* in our space, then we'll attack."
The younger Cardassian nodded and continued to pilot the warship.
Gul Dukat sat back and folded his hands. He only hoped that the cloaked ship was the Defiant. He had some catching up to do with Admiral Sisko and Major Kira.
Amy raced down the Jeffories tubes to section B54. At the moment, she was on Deck 8 with Naomi and T'Ara close behind her. Maggie bounded away from them and then turned and ran back when she got to an intersection.
"What is it?" T'Ara asked.
Maggie growled and nudged Amy. Hard. The hairs on the back of her neck were bristling.
"She's never acted like this before." Amy stated.
Naomi got out a tricorder she'd brought along and cautiously scanned the ship. Her eyes grew wide. "Let's go!" she hissed.
T'Ara and Amy looked at each other and shrugged, then quickly followed a fast-crawling Naomi and headed in the opposite direction.
Naomi quickly opened the hatch to Deck 8 and sprinted down the corridor, not giving a reason.
"Where're we headed?" Amy asked, alarmed.
"Weapons locker." Naomi replied. "My tricorder detected 50 Dominion and 30 Cardassian officers onboard."
"This is Amy Tricia Janeway to the computer." Amy whispered softly, stopping at a computer console. "Get me a Beta subfrequency to every single person aboard the ship that isn't anywhere *near* a Dominion ally."
The computer beeped in response.
"Listen up everyone. We're under attack. Get any weapon you can and rendezvous in Storage Room 5. We are under attack. This is Amy Tricia Janeway, code 4774. I repeat, we are under attack. Be careful. There will be no further communication on this transmitter. I now declare this transmission ended."
T'Ara frowned as they entered the weapons locker. Thankfully, there were no guards guarding it and they quickly grabbed some phaser rifles and hand phasers and headed for the cargo bay.
J'Ella raced to her quarters. Mark followed close behind her.
"Why are we going to *your* quarters?" he called.
Torra Jones followed, a hand phaser she had gotten in the Jeffories tube in her hand.
"Ka'plah." J'Ella called, then entered the Paris' temporary quarters.
"J'Ella!" Mark cried, grabbing her hand before she entered the bedroom. She yanked away and pressed a few buttons. Then she handed Mark a large metal object carefully. It was a bat'leth.
Mark let out a low whistle and Torra smiled.
Next J'Ella replicated a hand knife and gave it to Torra along with a pouch to keep it in. Then she replicated two pairs of pearl earrings.
"You still amaze me *every* time J'Ella Paris." Mark replied, shaking her head as she put one pair on. She pocketed the other.
"These aren't just any *ordinary* earrings. When Amy puts the other pair on, we can talk back and forth."
Torra clapped and smiled. J'Ella grabbed her own bat'leth and the three headed for the cargo bay.
*Mom?* Libby asked telepathically.
She could sense her mother look up, even though she couldn't see her.
*Libby! The Domin-*
*No, *duh*! Don't worry about us. We're already planning ahead. We're going to rendezvous with Amy and the rest of the kids in Storage Room 5.*
Libby could practically hear her mother laughing hysterically.
*Good luck! And don't forget your bat'leth!*
*Sure. Love ya! Say hi to Dad!* Libby said telepathically, *I don't believe this.* she then told Kirsten, JoAnna, and Selene. Unfortunately, they had chosen the worst hiding spot - the Jeffories tubes that ran over the bridge. Sure, they could *see* what was going on, but they couldn't do anything about it.
"Anybody take archery lessons?" a voice asked softly.
Everyone turned to see a bedraggled Melanie, smirking. She had a bow swung over her shoulder and carried a container of arrows.
Selene smiled. "No, but I'm sure we can improvise."
"Shh!" Kirsten hissed.
JoAnna shot Kirsten a dirty look but kept quiet.
Selene rolled her eyes. "Now what?"
"Now we get out of here as fast as we can!" Melanie replied.
"But what if they hear us?" Selene asked softly.
"Then they'll hear us." Libby stated, and crawled along the Jeffories tubes, praying that the Dominion hadn't heard them. The last thing they did before leaving was establish a communicator so that Amy and the rest of Storage Room 5's occupants could listen in on the conversations going on on the bridge.
Julia raced into Sick Bay, followed by Erin. She had already checked and, sure enough, no one was in there since the Dominion had already taken the medical officers, and the Doctor's program wasn't activated. She quickly ducked into the Doctor's office and crouched behind his desk, just in case anybody came in there. Erin, on the other hand, busied herself collecting hyposprays.
"Sedatives, drugs...alcohol?" Erin muttered as she surveyed her collection. Shrugging, she dumped them all into a bag.
"Computer, activate EMH program." Julia muttered, working to set up a communicator.
"Please state the-" the Doctor stopped. "What's going on? Why was my program shut off?"
"The Dominion has taken over the ship. We're supposed to meet in Storage Room 5. Erin, can you download his program into the mobile emitter? I know there are hologram projectors over the ship but it would be easier if..." Julia asked, for she knew that Erin was a far better engineer than she was. Julia was more into the field of security.
"Sure." Erin said.
"We'd better use the Jeffories tubes." the Doctor stated, and the three started the long crawl to
Kathryn Janeway stood next to Chakotay, her arms crossed. The rest of her crew was supposedly guarded as well. Weyoum and Gul Dukat stood in front of her, smirking at the victory.
Tom glanced over at Heather and Harry, who were at the opposite side of the bridge, along with Tuvok and Seven. He, the admiral, Joe, and Chakotay were at the other side.
Heather caught his glance and he was surprised to see her eyes sparkling with amusement. When he sent her a puzzled glance, she motioned up and smiled.
*I think they may have underestimated the younger generation on Voyager. Libby, A'Lyssa, Selene, Kirsten, Melanie, and JoAnna were up in the Jeffories tubes and Libby told me that they're planning to retake the ship.* On second thought, she added brightly. *See, you never know when bat'leths will come in handy.*
Tom couldn't help it. He had to laugh.
Weyoum looked sharply at him. "What is so funny, *Captain*?"
Tom gulped. "I was just wondering what would happen if all of a sudden we were transported to the 20th century, that's all."
Heather laughed, backing him up. "*That* would be funny." she commented, smiling. *Wonder what the governments would think of giant lizards? 'It's Godzilla'!" she thought to herself sarcastically.
Weyoum and Dukat looked at each other, obviously not finding what was so humorous.
"So, Starfleet's sent out a ship to *spy* on the Dominion." Weyoum said icily.
Heather snorted. "And you haven't sent a ship to spy on *us*?" she retorted.
Gul Dukat walked over to her and eyed her. Then, out of the blue, he slapped her in the face. In response she sent a chilling telepathic shriek to him. He winced and stepped back in pain. Heather just glared at him.
*I can see why you guys fought the lizards. They're such *losers*!* Heather said telepathically to Chakotay, Tuvok, and Tom - since they had all been on Maquis ships.
Chakotay nodded and raised his eyebrow. "Couldn't agree with you more, Heath." he said.
Weyoum eyed the captain. "I said *silence*." he said icily.
Kathryn looked at Chakotay, then relented with a nod.
Meanwhile, behind the two Dominion allies, Heather made comical faces, *definetely* not acting like a commander in Starfleet.
Harry looked at Heather, concerned.
*I'm fine.* Heather said telepathically. *And don't nod or anything. Pretend I never said anything!*
Harry stopped himself from nodding. He only hoped that Libby and Katie were okay.
"What do you plan to do with us?" Kathryn Janeway asked.
"We take over your ship and you think *we* are going to answer *your* questions?" Weyoum asked. "It's funny how all humanoids can never understand when they are not under control."
Gul Dukat, who had been about to say something, sent a withering glance in the commanding Vorta's direction.
Weyoum held up his hand. "If you must know, Voyager is being brought to a rather large space station where you and the rest of your conniving crew-"
Heather rolled her eyes and gave a loud sigh.
Tom winced slightly. He only hoped Heather wouldn't do something stupid like tell Gul Dukat that he should try a different shampoo or conditioner. She'd done that to a Romulan in a holodeck simulation at the Academy. In reply, she'd been shot, thus ending the simulation.
"-will mine for ketracil white along with our other....visitors."
*At least they're not going to slaughter us. I don't fancy my head being cut off and running around headless like a chicken.* Heather telepathically said sourly.
"There's a big difference between you and a chicken." Chakotay couldn't help but comment out loud.
Weyoum and Gul Dukat waited for him to continue, not sure what to do.
"A chicken is more smarter than you." he called across the room.
Kathryn's hand flew to her mouth and Ken snickered. Heather crossed her arms across her chest but couldn't help smiling. "Gee, thanks!"
Weyoum cleared his throat and Seven of Nine - also known as Commander Annika Hansen - decided to speak her 'two cents', as Tom Paris had once put it. "That plan is most irrelevant." she said ironically.
Gal Dukat turned to her. "Oh, yes, the Borg who was turned into a Starfleet officer."
Harry sent a withering glance in his direction. Seven, however, ignored the comment coolly and merely raised her eyebrow, which still had a metal implant over it. "When the Borg come to this Quadrant you and your uncivilized and crude species shall be assimilated. You shall pose no threat to them and will be of no more annoyance to any living being."
"See how she puts it in such a humorous way." Weyoum muttered to Dukat.
This time it was Admiral Janeway who rolled her eyes. She glanced at Tuvok, who shook his head slightly.
Weyoum turned to two Dominion officers who flanked him. "Take them to the brig." he commanded.
The two Dominion officers, accompanied by six Cardassians, stepped forward and Kathryn Janeway reluctantly set the example and followed them.
A'Lyssa softly listened the Cardassians talk loudly through the Jeffories tubes in the security office, where the most precious and most valuable objects were kept. From the sounds of things, A'Lyssa could guess that they wanted Lt. Daniel Harter to open something.
"I will not open any of the cells." he said stubbornly.
"You will do as I say!" one of the Cardassians yelled, kicking Harter in the shins.
Daniel Harter refused to, knowing that since he was one of the only ones who knew how to open them, they wouldn't hurt him *too* much.
*Come on!* A'Lyssa thought, clenching her teeth. She needed to get something out of Cell 47. Something that was priceless. Something that Voyager had picked up three years after she'd first been stranded in the Delta Quadrant. Something that Starfleet had been amazed at.
"Then you will come with us." the other Cardassian said.
Daniel Harter unwillingly did as he was told, and the three left the room.
When she heard the doors swish open and shut, A'Lyssa dashed into the room, clutching a phaser she'd picked up in Shuttle Bay 2, where she'd been hiding in the shuttle Galaxy. She hurriedly went over to Cell 47 and began the long process of opening it. Her mother had showed her how to, but that had been a year ago, and she wasn't quite sure if she even was skilled enough to do it anyway.
Swoosh! A'Lyssa nearly squealed in delight when the cell opened, revealing a device no bigger than her hand. She picked it up. The Voth's personal cloaking device. Smiling, she re-modulated it and clicked it onto her arm. She then pushed a few buttons and walked into the corridor. She grimaced at the smell outputted by Dominion soldiers, but they never saw her. They couldn't. Everyone was oblivious to her. She smiled and skipped down the corridor, smirking at
Katie gulped back her tears as she sat silently under the kitchen counter where Neelix had hurriedly hid her when he had realized that the ship was under attack.
*I want Mommy!* she thought, crying hysterically but quietly enough so no one could hear her. Uncle Neelix had been taken away by some lizard-like people and the rest of the children had been brought to the nursery.
Defiantly, she crawled softly out from under the kitchen counters and stood up. Looking around, she grinned. No lizard people were in sight. Grinning, she ran out of the Mess Hall, not even knowing where she was going.
A Bajoran woman who looked like she was in her early thirties stood rod-straight behind a pillar so that no one could see her. She listened to what was being said.
"You are now prisoners of Internment Camp 147. You will be assigned to barracks. Enjoy, *Admiral.*" A Cardassian smirked.
The Bajoran recognized him as Gal Dukat. She clamped her hands into fists angrily. She herself had been captured while taking shore leave after being released from the penal colony on New Zealand where she and her fellow Maquis prisoners who had escaped the Dominion's wrath had taken refuge. Then it struck her that Dukat had called someone "Admiral". That could only mean one thing. Starfleet knew about the Dominion camps. A surge of relief swept through her.
The woman took a chance and peaked around the column. What she saw took her breath away. She had imagined a handful of officers, not more than 200! And more were being brought in. Her eyes fastened on the officers closest to Dukat. They looked vaguely familiar.
*Oh, my God!!!* Ro Laren thought. Without another thought, she dashed back to the hall where she was supposed to be. Voyager's crew was here, and the famous Kathryn Janeway was among them.
Jadzia Dax filled a glass up with water, thinking for the infinite time about her husband Worf and her daughter Sheila. She had accepted the risks involved when she had agreed to go on the classified mission with Bashir and Torres, but she had doubted she would ever see them again now. The thought made a hole in her heart the size of a black hole. And there was probably no chance of escape or rescue. *But still...* she thought.
"Jadzia, I need that water now, not next year!" a sharp voice said. Dax quickly brought over the medicine and glass of water, chiding herself for her thoughtlessness.
"Sorry." Doctor Julian Bashir apologized, realizing that Jadzia had been thinking about her family. He, too, found himself daydreaming about DS9 and his family all too much. It was just that they had a lot more important things to do.
"Here." Jadzia said quietly, kneeling beside her friend's bunk and taking the commander's hand as Julian washed a cut as well as he possibly could with the water.
B'Elanna Torres-Paris winced as pain rushed through her body. She gritted her teeth. Julian Bashir had diagnosed her with a sprained wrist, two broken ribs, a bruised spleen, and internal bleeding.
When B'Elanna had first boarded the Enterprise E, she had immediately been led to Sick Bay. There, Doctor Beverly Crusher had used the DANT experiment (DNA Technology), named by Commander Heather Whitney after Voyager's EMH Doctor had designed it, to turn B'Elanna into a full human. Then they had dyed her hair blond and given her green colored contacts. Her
boots had inserts to make her higher, altering her height. Then she had gone to Admiral Jean Luc
Picard's ready room, where he had briefed her alone about her mission. Then he had handed her a padd with everything that she should know about Aria Tellon - her new name and identity.
Her disguise as a full human had worn off shortly after the threesome had been captured by a Jem H'Dar warship. Her hair, which hung loosely below her shoulders, had grown out so that now the tips of her hair were blond and the rest of her hair was a mixture between blond and dark brown. The contacts had irritated her eyes so she had taken those out ages ago. Then her ridges had appeared on her forehead, showing everyone that she was a true half-Klingon.
Unfortunately, the Vorta, it seemed, had an interest for half-Klingons almost as much as full blooded Klingons. B'Elanna knew that the only reason they kept her alive during the grueling fights with the senseless Jem H'Dar soldiers was that she was a high-ranking Starfleet officer who could give them classified information regarding the Federation.
"The pain reliever's wearing off, isn't it?" Bashir asked, pausing in his work.
B'Elanna managed a weak smile. "Hey, it doesn't hurt that-" she screamed as the water fully penetrated the deep slash she had withstanded during her latest match. "-much."
Before Julia or Jadzia could comment, a slim female Romulan sped into the room. K'lar was one of their 'roommates'.
"Starfleet. Ro. Voyager." K'lar panted.
B'Elanna, who had just been given another pain killer and a hypospray the Doctor had stolen from the Cardassian infirmary, never had a chance to hear the news. She was already fast asleep, away from the pain and activity.
"Where are they taking us?" young Kathryn Kim asked worriedly, clutching her older sister's hand. Shortly after she had escaped from beneath the Mess Hall counters, two Jem H'Dar soldiers had thrown her in the nursery. Then, one by one, every one of Voyager's crew's children found themselves with her surrounded by Cardassian soldiers. T'Ara was still steaming because their widespread plan to retake the ship had failed. They had recaptured two decks, but then the Dominion had beamed in fifty soldiers armed with large weapons. The children had had to step down and reluctantly drop their weapons. However, they had killed 3 Cardies and Jem H'Dar, and wounded 12 more. J'Ella was especially worried because she hadn't seen A'Lyssa since they had sorted out the teams for the Jeffories Tube game.
Libby glanced worriedly at the two Cardassians who were leading the way, guns in hand. "I don't know."
"Maybe they'll take us to Risa!" Katie said, the excitement clear in her voice.
Amy flashed the four-year-old a smile, then glanced at Mark. When she had been little, her mother had warned them never to play in the Jeffories Tubes. Of course, she and Mark had. On one of the ladders, Amy had fallen, breaking an arm. Mark had quickly 'borrowed' (as he had put it) a dermal regenerator and fixed her arm. Of course, he had quickly replaced the medical instrument and no one had ever found out. But now Amy was sure that none of them could make the situation better. At least not right away.
Next to Amy, J’Ella walked quietly down the corridor. She wondered briefly if this was what had happened to her mother.
T'Ara glanced at the Dominion soldier who walked next to her but knew better than to do anything to him. *Or her?* she pondered briefly. After all, the Jem H'Dar weren't one gender or another. They didn't eat, sleep, or reproduce. They only thrived on ketracil white. She decided to drop the thought and started whistling.
Libby, who recognized the tune, quickly started singing the words to The Sign by Ace Of Base, a late 20th century band.
Amy glanced over and smiled again. Then she started to hum to T'Ara's favorite song.
"Be quiet!" one of the Cardassian solders ordered.
The singing, whistling, and humming stopped and the children and teenagers walked on in silence.
Libby yawned, then smiled condescendingly. *I saw the sign...* she sang telepathically, directing her thoughts to the Cardassian who had told them to be quiet. Unfortunately, he chose to ignore her.
They turned a corner and the soldiers stopped. The doors to Turbolift 2 were opened and the group was led in.
"But we need to get our suitcases!" Katie wailed as a Jem H'Dar shoved her forward.
A'Lyssa smiled softly as she stepped onto the turbopadd, standing in the same area that Torra Jones was standing in so she'd be beamed to wherever the others were going as well. Everyone was oblivious to her since the Voth's cloaking device was still working perfectly.
Mark frowned as he felt the transporter beam whisk him out of Voyager's transporter room. He had a sneaking feeling that what would come next wouldn't be exactly pleasant.
Ro Laren walked into the great big hall, already planning her next move.
*But which one's Tom Paris?* she asked herself as she stood with some other prisoners and watched the Starfleet officers being marched into the domelike room. She knew that he was among the crew since she'd managed to steel a glimpse of the list of new prisoners. Excitement swept through her again as she pondered that Starfleet knew about the Dominion plans to retake the Alpha Quadrant.
Kathryn Janeway stared at her shiny black boots as they walked into a large room. She felt Chakotay's hand on her back, but she got little comfort from the reassuring touch. They had failed their mission and were now in the Dominion's hands.
Chakotay glanced over at his wife, concerned. She hadn't spoken a word since that Cardie had hit Heather. Kathryn had a determined look on her face. He recognized it as the same mask she had worn when Voyager's probe had run into a Borg cube shortly before the entered Borg territory. But that was all it was, he reminded himself, a mask. He had figured that out a long time ago. Then he remembered B'Elanna. *Is this where her mission ended? At a Dominion prison camp?* he wondered. Glancing over at Tom Paris, who was walking with Heather and Harry Kim, Chakotay realized he was thinking the same thing.
Tuvok walked in front, glancing around. It was logical to assume that they would be here for awhile. He hoped T'Pel, his wife, was all right, as well as his children and grandchildren.
Harry Kim glanced at Heather, whose cheek was still red from Gal Dukat slapping her. Then he glanced over at Tom, who looked tense. He sighed angrily. Things were not looking good.
Heather caught Harry's worrying gaze and grinned softly at him. "Look at it this way." she whispered, "It could be a lot worse."
Harry and Tom both gave her dubious and incredulous looks. Harry was about to point out that she was crazy but Tom put his hand up.
"All right, Heather. This I've got to hear. How could it be worse?" he asked.
Heather could tell everyone within ten feet of her was waiting for an answer. "We could all be dead." she said shortly, then stopped talking, letting her comment sink in.
No one spoke after that.
Ro Laren sighed as she followed at a discreet pace along the side. It was going to take longer than she'd expected to single out Voyager's old senior staff.
The first thing, Katie decided, was that this was most definetely *not* Risa. She glanced around but couldn't find her mommy or daddy in the crowds. And she couldn't see her Aunt Kathryn anyway.
"Your barracks will be 42 through 49." a Jem H'Dar soldier ordered.
Amy turned around to face him, but he had already disappeared.
"Now what?" a discouraged T'Ara asked. She rubbed her arm, where a Cardie had roughly dragged her.
"Go to our barracks?" Mark suggested.
"Mark, I think finding our parents would be the best bet." J'Ella said pointedly at him.
Mark flashed her a smile. "Sounds good to me." he said.
Amy rolled her eyes and whispered to Libby and Naomi. "Now, if *I'd* come up with that idea, he would have argued with me."
"Well, it's only natural for Mark to agree with J'Ella. He has a crush on her!" replied Naomi,
grinning in Mark and J'Ella's direction, who were walking side by side.
Libby grinned. "As my mom would say..."
Katie smiled and interrupted her older sister. "Mark and J'Ella, sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G-" she sang.
T'Ara burst out laughing, as did Amy. Libby gaped at her little sister, who happily continued
Libby glanced around as she laughed and began to feel uneasy. The large domelike room was swarming with children, but there wasn't an adult in sight. Shrugging, she gamely followed her sisters and friends. But she knew something wasn't quite right.
Mark and J'Ella, on the other hand, were not amused. J'Ella couldn't believe the nerve of her
"She's only four years old." Mark whispered, his eyes fixed on his twin, who was still laughing.
"I know." J'Ella replied, her temper cooling. "But it's just not fair!"
Ro Laren's spirits raised when she finally spotted a familiar face. Chakotay. He and B'Elanna
had been good friends of hers back when they had all served in the Maquis together. Relieved, she ran up to him, oblivious to the looks sent her way by the other Starfleet officers.
Chakotay turned from talking with Kathryn and Tom when he was tapped on the shoulder, thinking it was Heather since she had offered to go find where the children were. Instead, he faced a Bajoran woman who was smiling from ear to ear.
They both said it at once and Ro hugged Chakotay tightly.
"So, what are top Starfleet officers like you doing in such a cheap dump like this?" she asked,
Chakotay laughed. "Probably the same reason you're here." he teased.
Kathryn scrutinized the newcomer, and couldn't help feeling a little bit jealous towards
her because of the fact that she was so close to Chakotay and Kathryn had never heard of the name 'Ro Laren' before.
Tom raised his eyebrows at the way Chakotay treated the Bajoran woman. The name Ro Laren sounded familiar, but he couldn't quite place it.
Chakotay, realizing that he hadn't introduced Ro yet, turned to Janeway and Paris.
"Kathryn, I'd like you to meet Ro Laren, one of my friends from the Maquis. Ro, this is Kathryn Janeway, my wife."
Kathryn smiled and shook Ro's hand, her jealousy forgotten.
"And this is Tom Paris." Chakotay finished.
Total comprehension washed over Ro's face and she grabbed the man's hand, taking off running.
"What the-" Paris muttered, trying to keep up with the running woman.
"You've got to come with me!" Laren shouted.
"Gods, you're almost as fast as B'Elanna." Tom said, the sadness plain in his voice.
"We used to run sprints against each other." Ro replied.
Meanwhile, Kathryn looked quizzically at Chakotay. "Guess she doesn't realize he's married."
she joked, a smile tugging at her mouth.
Chakotay shook his head, then grabbed her hand. "Bet you anything she does," he yelled over the noise the different aliens were making around them.
Janeway wasn't surprised when Chakotay took off at a run. She followed gamely, not knowing what to expect.
Ro ducked inside a smaller passageway, pulling Paris with her.
"Where are we going?" Paris asked, ducking to avoid a low beam.
"To my barrack." Laren replied.
"O...kay," Tom said, more confused than before.
Banging open a metal door with a small glass window, Ro stopped abruptly, letting go of Paris's hand.
Tom quickly glanced around the room, searching for something, but he didn't quite know
what he was looking for.
Jadzia Dax looked up instinctively from talking with Julian and B'Elanna when she heard the
door open. When she saw Captain Tom Paris standing there, looking around, she leapt to her feet and ran up to him.
Before Paris realized anything, Jadzia, who had been labeled dead by the Federation, was hugging him.
"Tom!" Dax screamed, pulling back from her friend. She remembered the six months when the Parises had been stationed on DS9 while Voyager had been in dry dock shortly after they had arrived from the Delta Quadrant. She, Worf, and Sheila had become good friends with them.
"Jadzia?" Tom asked incredulously.
Julian held out his hand. "Tom, good to see you! How'd you end up here?" he said in his slightly accented voice as he held out his hand, smiling.
"Julian!" Tom said, still shocked beyond words. He shook the Doctor's hand, remembering the
time the two of them had played darts at Quark's. Heather had accidentally walked right in front of the dart board in the middle of the game and Julian had barely missed hitting her. He and Heather still kidded the Doctor about that accident.
Jadzia moved to his side and his eyes fastened on the half-Human, half-Klingon woman
sitting on the bunk, smiling weakly at him. B'Elanna jumped up, oblivious to the pain and met Tom halfway. She couldn't care less about the pain. All she wanted was for Tom to hold her in his arms.
Tom's eyes welled up with tears as he clutched B'Elanna, then leaned down to kiss her
tenderly on the lips. His prayers had been answered. She was actually still alive. He wrapped his arms around her and just held her, kissing her on her lips, forehead, eyes. He hadn't realized how much he had missed her up until now.
Jadzia smiled as she watched the two kiss, then turned to Julian and Ro. "Why don't we give them some privacy?" she suggested.
Julian nodded and Ro headed for the door, leaving Tom and B'Elanna alone.
"Oh, my God, 'Lanna. What'd they do to you?" he asked as he cradled her, seeing for the first time the many cuts she had on her face.
B'Elanna shuddered as she leaned her head on Tom's shoulder. "Remember what the Jem H'Dar do to Klingons?" she asked quietly, tears in her eyes. B'Elanna could here Tom gasp, then felt him clutch her tightly against him. She ignored the excruciating pain in her side and just enjoyed the moment. Tilting her head back, she kissed him. She had thought she would never see Tom again.
Ten minutes later, Chakotay and Kathryn stopped outside a door, which they had seen Ro and
Tom run through from the other side of the large promenade.
Kathryn sighed. On the way, Chakotay had filled her in on Ro Laren's history, and she was
quite impressed. Ro sure had a lot of guts.
"Shall we?" Chakotay asked, noticing for the first time the look of exhaustion on his wife's face. Then he remembered that they had both been up all night going over the plans with Tuvok. He squeezed her hand, and Kathryn flashed him a small smile. She pressed the panel next to the door, which then opened. The two walked in, not knowing what to expect.
As soon as Kathryn saw what was going on within the room, her face broke out into a smile. Ro, Commander Jadzia Dax, Doctor Julian Bashir - two who had been pronounced dead, a Romulan woman, and a human with dark brown hair were standing around talking. Two people sat on a bunk, chipping in to the conversation. They were Captain Tom Paris and...
"B'Elanna!" she called, running up to the engineer, who hugged her as tightly as possible. Tom had a silly grin on his face. She hadn't seen him this happy in a long time. "I can't believe you're here!"
B'Elanna smiled, then groaned softly as her side started hurting again.
"Sit down." Julia ordered, sounding every bit the Doctor that he was. With all the injuries you've withstood in the past four months, I'm surprised you're alive. And I certainly wouldn't want that to change now. Now!" he added when B'Elanna ignored him and hugged Chakotay.
B'Elanna reluctantly did as she was told, but before she could sit down, her knees buckled and she nearly fell. Thankfully, Tom quickly stood up and caught her.
"Thanks." she whispered weakly as Tom helped her sit back down on the bunk. Pain was etched across her face.
"Anything for you, 'Lanna, anything for you." Tom replied softly, kissing her. Whoever had hurt her was going to pay. Big time.
Heather Whitney was close to tears. She couldn't find any of the crew's children, and she had
been looking for them for close to forty-five minutes. The internment camp was bigger than she'd
expected. In fact, it was huge. And it didn't help that most of the aliens she tried to question didn't
speak her language.
"Excuse me?" she called to a Cardassian officer who was talking with a Jem H'Dar soldier.
"What do *you* want?" the Cardassian asked coldly. "The replicators will be available to use
during the next sift-"
*He obviously doesn't get out much.* Whitney thought bitterly, her patience running thin. "No. I don't care about the replicator system. I want to know what happened to my children!" she exclaimed, exasperated.
"*Yes*. I was separated from my children when I first arrived here." Whitney stamped her foot impatiently.
"Ah. Your *children*." the Cardassian replied, as if he hadn't understood her correctly the
first time. "The Dominion separates the children from the adults to observe them since the Jem H'Dar don't reproduce. The Vorta are fascinated by them."
Heather Whitney could practically feel steam coming out of her ears. "Where are they?" she demanded.
"They are in a separate compound."
"Can I see them?" the science officer asked.
With that plain answer, the two walked off. Whitney stood watching them go. Then she tried to retrace her steps. First she hadn't been able to find Harry, then Libby and Katie, and now she was lost.
Seven of Nine sat on her bunk in Barrack 87, along with Commander Tuvok, Neelix, and Commander Harry Kim, bored out of her mind. Tuvok and Neelix were staying in a different barrack but Neelix had come in and Tuvok had followed. Neelix's excuse was that he couldn't stand Jenny Delany-Bristow's constant babble, and Tuvok's being that it would only be logical for the senior staff to stay together. Lieutenant Commander Ken Shalmeit had gone off to
look for the rest of the crew which had been on Voyager. Commander Whitney hadn't returned yet and Admiral Janeway and Captain Chakotay and Paris had disappeared.
"We should go look for them." Harry was saying when there was a knock on the door.
Tuvok raised his eyebrow and Neelix bit his lip.
"Come on in," Harry called, standing up.
Everyone else followed his example.
Chakotay walked in, smiling.
"What is it?" Seven asked curiously.
"Come on. B'Elanna's here," said Chakotay.
In a flash, everyone - even Tuvok, was out the door. Chakotay led the way.
"Is B'Elanna all right?" Kim asked worriedly, reflecting on what the Jem H'Dar did to Klingons. It wasn't a pretty picture.
Frowning, Chakotay said. "No, but she won't admit it. She's..." he paused. "Well, you'll see." He walked on, and everyone else followed him. Harry gulped as he saw the worried look on Chakotay's face. B'Elanna had to be very sick.
T'Ara Paris frowned as she plopped down on a hard bunk. They had found out from other children held prisoners that the children were kept separated from the adults because the Vortas 'liked' the children better. That made no sense to T'Ara. She sighed, fingering her silver charm bracelet. Thankfully, the Cardassians had let her keep it, but only because the Vorta named Weyoum had been in the same room. T'Ara would have liked to have given him a slap in the face for his slimy and evil personality, but she had merely smiled sweetly.
Her charm bracelet was one of the most precious objects she owned. Her mother and father had given her the bracelet for her tenth birthday. The deal was that she wasn't to replicate any charms herself and she had to earn some of them. So far she had a dolphin, a mare and foal, a four-leaf-clover, a flute, an ice skate, a leopard, a small model of Voyager, and a silver mini padd. T'Ara had opened the last charm dubiously until she had been explained by Aunt Heather that the padd could actually be used to store information. T'Ara always wore the bracelet everywhere.
It was the same story with J'Ella's locket. In one side it had their parents' wedding picture and
on the other side it had a picture of all three of the 'Paris girls', as Uncle Chakotay had teased. When taken out, the tiny pictures could be used as datachips to store and use information.
T'Ara wondered briefly if her parents and 'aunts and uncles' had designed them for the slight possibility that the ships would be taken over, like the situation they were in. She made a mental note to ask one of them about it when she saw them.
Glancing at her older sister, T'Ara realized that J'Ella wasn't wearing her locket. Then she gazed around the room, her eyes fastening on her silver bracelet. She wished she knew what had happened to A'Lyssa and her dad, to say nothing of the rest of Voyager's crew. She hadn't seen any of them since the Dominion had taken over control of Voyager.
J'Ella sat next to Mark, the two talking with Libby and Amy. Selene still hadn't come back from scouting the compound and John was still talking with a few other children who had acted friendly towards them. Katie lay on a bunk, fast asleep.
"Do you think there's a chance we can escape?" Libby was asking. T'Ara got up and went over to them.
Mark shrugged. "If we could form some kind of plan with the rest of the kids here and coordinated it with the adults' efforts, yes."
"You are so mature!" Amy said, rolling her eyes and doing an impression of Mark. "You're
beginning to sound like *Tuvok*!"
"I am not! Besides, just the other day-" Mark would've continued but J'Ella interrupted.
"Mark's right. The only problem is, we have no way of getting any messages to our parents-" she wondered briefly if her dad was all right, "-without getting caught."
"Then we need to think of a logical plan." Mark teased, looking at his sister as he said the
Libby sighed. "That's pointless!" she exclaimed. "Because there is no way we could carry
out the plan..."
"Aren't you the negative one today." J'Ella commented coolly towards the quarter Batazoid.
Libby decided quickly that it was because A'Lyssa wasn't there that *J'Ella* was being the
negative one. *'Lyssa's fine!* she quickly told her friend optimistically. "Besides, you didn't let me
finish. What I was saying was that there would be no possibility that we could carry out a plan..." Libby paused dramatically, then dropped the punchline quickly before one of her friends decked her. "....*logically*."
T'Ara laughed. "I agree with Libby!" she called.
"So do I." a familiar voice commented.
Everyone turned, surprised, for there stood A'Lyssa Paris, her blue eyes sparkling as she grinned.
"How'd you-" Amy started to ask, then started laughing.
Mark joined her, noticing what his twin had seen.
Libby started to giggle, nodding. "Those stories our parents told us about 'Voyager's early
days' sure paid off, huh, 'Lyss?" she asked, for A'Lyssa was wearing the Voth's personal cloaking
T'Ara jumped to her feet and hugged her younger sister. "I'm so glad you're okay!" she cried.
J'Ella hugged A'Lyssa, as did everyone else, relieved that she was okay.
"Hey!" Libby called.
"Is for horses!" Mark shot back.
Everyone stopped hugging A'Lyssa and glanced at Libby, who had her hands on her hips.
"What?" Amy asked.
T'Ara crossed her fingers behind her back.
"I've got the *perfect* plan."
"After the Dominion overtook my shuttle, I was transferred here." Ro was saying. "A few others here feel the same way we do. Actually, make that a lot of others. Everyone mostly has the same story. They were minding their own business and then somehow came here. Occasionally we have drills, but they're nothing special." she explained, sitting on a bunk. Kathryn sat next to her and Jadzia and Julian were standing. Tom and B'Elanna were sitting on the bunk opposite Ro's, and K'Lar was sitting on the floor.
"Do you know where they set the alarm off for the drills?" Kathryn asked, extremely interested.
"Yes. At a control center heavily surrounded by guards." K'lar replied.
"Are there any communication systems we could access?" asked Tom.
Julian frowned, but when Jadzia looked at him sharply he spoke. "When I was at another internment camp thirteen-fourteen years ago, we were able to open a sealed panel that led to a small computer core. Garek was able to access the shuttle's transporter systems and beam us up."
Janeway shook her head. "Even if there was a computer core we could access, we'd need a pretty big ship for everyone." she reminded everyone.
"We've got Voyager." Chakotay called, walking through the doorway. Harry Kim, Annika Hansen, Tuvok, and Neelix followed. There was much fussing over B'Elanna, who was thrilled to see all of them again after such a torturing exile, plus Jadzia and Julian, and a lot of introductions
"Good to see you, Maquis." Harry told her, hugging her gently.
B'Elanna hugged him back, smiling through her tears. "It's good to see you, too, Starfleet." she replied. It was getting harder and harder to stay awake. Her stomach felt like it was being sliced by a knife.
"B'Elanna," Seven called, giving her a smile, which quickly vanished as she scrutinized her friend's appearance. While B'Elanna had hated Seven of Nine at first, they had become very close friends since. "I'm so glad you're alive. We were all so worried." she said, hugging B'Elanna, careful not to hurt her.
Everyone who had just come in sat down and Kathryn, Jadzia, and Julian quickly brought them up to date on the situation.
"The only problem is that we would have to set off the alarm without anybody becoming suspicious and then activate the controls with precise timing." Seven stated.
"Why don't we first see if there's a computer panel we could access first? After all, that's the first part of our plan," Harry suggested, wondering where Heather was at the moment.
Janeway nodded. "Good idea. But first I'd like to know more about the layout of the station." she looked at the people who had been there for awhile.
Ro smiled, nodding, and stood up. She lifted the mattress of her bunk, and deftly pulled out a skinny sketch book. Bringing it over, she opened it up for everyone to see. "This is the large promenade." said Laren, pointing. "And here are the barracks." She drew her fingers around the edge. "There are access tunnels in ten different places. Paar, a Bolian, got into one. He hasn't been seen since." There was a warning edge to her voice as she looked at Voyager's crewmembers. Then, satisfied, she continued. "The replicators are here, and the computer center where they set off the alarm is here. Opposite that is the 'weapons locker', as you would call it. Both are heavily guarded. There is one holodeck we have admission to, which is near the control center."
"Are there any transporters?" Chakotay asked.
Jadzia shook her head, then shrugged. "Not that we know of. They're probably in the control center."
"The only problem," Ro stated, "is that there's no access to it and a level ten forcefield surrounding the entryway for those who don't have passes."
"Then there is no problem." Seven said plainly.
"There isn't?" Bashir asked, not understanding.
"Although it has been fourteen years since my link with the collective was broken, I am still part Borg. If someone were to modify my eye-piece, it would reinstate my Borg shielding." Seven explained.
"That's a wonderful idea, Seven!" Neelix exclaimed.
"But will it work?" Dax asked doubtfully.
"But that won't be enough to get us out of here." Janeway pointed out.
"It will help." Seven insisted.
Kathryn sighed. Seven of Nine-Annika Hansen was right. And from the looks of things, they were going to need all the help in the universe.
Heather Whitney-Kim rushed down the promenade towards the barrack she had been designated. After being helped by several species she hadn't known existed, she now knew how to get back to her barrack. The question was, what was next.
"Harry! Kathryn! Tom! Chakotay!-" she stopped in the middle of the barrack and realized that no one was there.
"Ughh!" she moaned, leaving again. She went to the next barrack, only to find that it, too, was empty. *This is *not* turning out to be one of my better days.* she thought bitterly, extremely annoyed. *They could have at least left a note.* But realizing that they may have been executed, she gasped.
"Looking for someone?"
Heather whirled around to see a Vorta standing there. "Don’t ell me you're bored of us already. Am I the last one to be executed then?" she retorted with feigned lightness.
The Vorta sighed. "When will they ever learn?" he muttered to himself. Speaking up, he answered Whitney's question. "No, I'm afraid you're mistaken. We do not execute our prisoners. I merely wanted to know if you were settling in well."
The science officer gaped, then howled with laughter. "Ooh, the Vorta wants to know if his prisoners like it here in prison! Seriously, you really do need to learn how to be more subtle." With that, she waltzed off to find everyone else.
The Vorta just stood there. He would never understand humans' behavior.
A'Lyssa sighed as she listened to Amy's "orders". Since Amy was a natural leader, like her parents, everyone had immediately voted her in as "captain". Mark and John had immediately protested lightly, but in the end J'Ella had pointed out that since "girls were superior to boys", it would only be logical for a girl to be their leader. Of course, that statement had led to another argument. Finally, they had all compromised. Both Mark and Amy would be in charge. A'Lyssa agreed with the twins, but she was itching to explore.
"First of all, we'll split up into teams of four and search the promenade. See if you can find any access tunnels that will lead us to the grownups, since they obviously aren't here. We'll meet back here when two bells have rung." Amy said in an authoritative tone, for every hour a bell rang. Naomi had figured out that that was when the guards changed.
"So when the next bell rings I'm supposed to follow the replaced guards?" A'Lyssa questioned. She had turned off the personal cloaking device for now.
"That's right. Can you access a computer without being detected while under cloak?" Mark replied, grinning at the question he had just asked.
*He sounds like his dad.* T'Ara thought.
"Good. Naomi, Torra and Melanie, you're with me. J'Ella, I want you, Selene, Julia, and John to be a group. Anna, Kirsten, Alec, go with Mark. Libby, you're in charge of finding access tunnels. Katie can stay here with Jessica, since she's staying here." Jessica Howard, a fourteen year old human girl, had offered to be the "baby-sitter" while everyone else went exploring. "Veronica, Mike, and George, you're with T'Ara." Amy said.
T'Ara nodded, but Libby sensed that she was disappointed. While Mike Lake and George Brightman were all right, Veronica was what they termed an "airhead". 'Too bad,' Libby mouthed, smiling sympathetically. T'Ara just shrugged, her dark hair falling out of her ponytail.
"A'Lyssa, stay close to Libby's group. Alexis, Sarah, and David, you're with them." added Mark.
Alexis Griffen nodded eagerly. Even though Libby lived on the Sphinx, the two twelve-year-olds were pretty good friends.
"All right everyone?" Amy called later, after everything had been planned.
J'Ella grinned as everyone cheered quietly. She couldn't wait to set the plans in motion, especially if it meant finding and rescuing her mother.
Alexis followed Libby as they walked along the edge of the promenade. It was disturbing how the other children didn't seem to mind being stuck there. Across the hall, she could see Sarah Johnson and David McLean searching for a hatch that might lead to an access tunnel. "So, what do you think of all this?" she asked Libby.
Libby's blue eyes, which contrasted deeply with her black hair and slight Oriental features, twinkled. "I still say we'd have more fun at Risa." she joked.
Alexis laughed. "Yeah." She had heard all about the so-called trip to Risa from Amy and Mark, who had been shocked to learn that there actually was no trip.
Libby stopped in midstride as her eyes focused on what appeared to be a door leading to a Jeffories tube.
Alexis, seeing it too, glanced around. As far as she could tell, there were no Dominion soldiers nearby. "No guards."
Libby looked up. "Go find Sarah and David. A'Lyssa," she added. "Feel up to doing a little exploring?"
A'Lyssa smiled lightly. *Ready as I'll ever be.* she thought ruefully.
Meanwhile, Alexis ran across the compound and up to Sarah and David.
"Did you find anything?" nine-year-old Sarah asked, her gray-blue eyes looking hopefully at Alexis.
Alexis grinned, purple eyes sparkling. "Yes."
The three went back over to Libby.
"We're going to need a distraction." ten-year-old David reminded Libby.
"Got any ideas?" questioned Sarah.
Libby smiled. "Actually, I already do. And her name is Kathryn Gabrielle Kim."
Naomi sighed. It seemed like they had been walking for hours. But, looking at her wrist chronometer, she realized they had only been gone twenty minutes.
"What exactly are we looking for?" Torra asked.
"We've got to find a computer terminal." explained Amy.
Melanie smiled. It was plain as day that Kathryn Janeway was Amy's mother. Amy was just like her mom. "You mean, like this?" she gestured to a computer panel on the wall.
Amy nodded. "Exactly." She pushed a button.
"Now what?" Torra asked, glancing around worriedly. The last thing she wanted was for a Dominion guard to catch them.
Melanie grinned, then started pressing multiple buttons.
Naomi frowned as she read, "Enter command code."
"Uhh, Amy? I hate to break it to you, but we don't know any command codes!" Melanie hissed.
"There's got to be hundreds of different codes, what with all the different Dominion employees. We'll just have to guess." Amy shot back.
"I don't believe this!" muttered Melanie, looking around at all the different kids in the promenade. They all seemed content. *Obviously they don't have Starfleet officers as parents.*
Amy chose to ignore them. "Naomi, will you do the honors?"
Naomi bit her lip, then pressed four buttons: 4-7-5-8.
The response was a loud beep.
Torra groaned again. They couldn't keep this up without being caught.
Naomi frowned. "We shouldn't be doing this."
Amy nodded her agreement. "But how else are we going to be able to get a map of the whole space station?"
*If we are on a space station.* Melanie thought.
"What about A'Lyssa? She could spy on the Cardassians and Jem H'Dar when they access the computer." Torra suggested.
Before anyone could comment, Naomi hissed. "Cardies!"
The other three turned around. Three Cardassian soldiers were heading their way with weapons.
"This way!" Amy called, and sprinted towards some stairs that led to the second level of the promenade. Naomi, Torra, and Melanie followed swiftly, not wanting the Cardassians to catch them.
"I still can't believe we have to walk all this way." Veronica Reese complained loudly as she walked through the promenade behind T'Ara, who just gritted her teeth and tried to ignore the older girl. At thirteen years of age, Veronica was just about the most flirtatious, boy-crazy airhead T'Ara had ever met. Veronica obviously didn't take after her parents, who were both nice down-to-earth people. Hearing Veronica complain, T'Ara promised herself that she would make a point of it not to meet any more of her kind.
"So, T'Ara, what exactly are we trying to find?" Mike Shaw asked. He was eleven, and T'Ara had to admit he was pretty nice, although she didn't know him really well.
"I, personally, would like to see every nook and cranny in this place." T'Ara replied, shrugging. She wished J'Ella were there. J'Ella always knew what to do.
"That's a good idea!" Seven-year-old George Drew said. He frowned. "Do you think we'll get caught by any bad guys?" he asked worriedly. Even though he was only seven, Amy had decided to let him join T'Ara. She sometimes baby-sat for his parents, and knew that he was pretty smart for a seven-year-old.
T'Ara smiled and winked at the little boy. "Never!"
Veronica rolled her eyes and T'Ara heard her mutter about them all being so babyish.
They walked on for a few more minutes. Then, George stopped.
"Come on!" Mike called.
George shook his head, smiling a little. "T'Ara, can we go explore down there?" he asked, pointing to a smaller corridor that was dimly lit. No soldiers guarded the entryway.
T'Ara smiled. "Of course."
Selene Bristow walked cautiously behind her older brother as they crept down a musty corridor. J'Ella had wanted to explore this section. Selene didn't think it was a good idea.
"Shouldn't we be doing something a little more productive?" eleven-year-old Julia Bean asked, sneezing because of the dust everywhere.
"We *are* doing something productive." J'Ella replied.
Selene made a strangled noise in her throat. In her opinion, J'Ella was insane.
John glared at his younger sister, for he agreed with J'Ella. After all, Amy *had* said she wanted to know about all the different corridors, and this definitely counted as a good one to check out. After all, the few kids who had understood their language had informed them that it was off limits.
Julia turned the corner, and frowned. They'd run into a dead end.
"Now what?" Selene asked, hands on her hips. She sneezed.
Just then, the bell rang for the second time.
"I guess we'd better go find everyone else." suggested J'Ella.
The foursome turned around to leave, but a dark figure jumped behind them, cutting of their only exit. They were trapped.
Mark Janeway walked into the bunkhouse, as Libby had termed it, deflated. Anna Richardson, Kirsten Carey, and Alec Beaucler followed. They hadn't found anything useful in the two hours they'd spent searching. Mark gazed around the room. Most of Voyager's young generation were lounging around on the bunkbeds or talking with each other. Slightly disappointed at the fact that J'Ella wasn't there yet, he headed over to his sister.
"Find anything useful?" he asked her.
Amy turned around, her dark eyes sparkling. "Not really, but we ended up getting chased halfway around the promenade by three Cardassian soldiers." She smiled. "What about you?"
Mark shook his head. "Nothing."
Libby ran up, dragging Katie with her. "I found an access tunnel, but there's only one problem. We'll need a distraction."
From the looks on the faces of Libby's team, Amy knew that she was *not* going to like Libby's latest crazy scheme. "And what's that?"
"Umm...Well..." Sarah's voice trailed off.
"I get to steal a gun!" Katie proclaimed, the four year old practically jumping up and down in her excitement.
"Libby." Mark said sternly, shocked at his friend.
"What! It's a good idea!" protested Libby. She sounded like her mother.
"Yeah, and we'll be there to help Katie." David chimed in.
T'Ara walked up, trying hard not to laugh. "I can't wait to tell Uncle Harry and Aunt Heather who thought that plan up!"
"Really, I thought you liked having a little sister!" Naomi added.
Libby rolled her eyes. "But it's a great plan!"
With a shimmer of light, A'Lyssa materialized, grinning. Her blue eyes sparkled. "I'm game!" she added.
Jessica Howard walked up, bouncing three-year-old Erin Clark on her hip. "What're you game for?"
A'Lyssa and Libby told her.
"Libby Alanna Kim, you are insane!" Jessica informed the quarter-Batazoid sternly.
Libby Kim sighed. "But it could work!"
Amy spoke up, surprisingly calm. "Actually, it could work. With a few adjustments." she added.
Veronica walked up with two of her friends. "Tell me when you need my help. I'm going to replicate some more clothes. Mine are all dirty from the crawling we had to do." she said haughtily, then walked off.
Mark rolled his eyes. "Where's J'Ella?"
T'Ara turned to him, smirking. He just glared at her.
"I dunno. Hasn't she come back yet?" Libby asked worriedly.
Amy shook her head. "Not that I know of." She climbed up onto the closest top bunk. "Hey!"
Everyone quieted down.
"Has anyone seen J'Ella, Julia, John, or Selene?" she yelled.
After much discussion, shouts of 'no' answered Amy's question.
"I hope they're okay." Kirsten Carey commented.
"I'm sure they are." A'Lyssa stated firmly, but she had a worried look on her face as well.
Naomi frowned. "Well, now what?"
T'Ara sighed. "Now, we start planning."
"But I thought we already did that!" complained Libby, worried about her friends.
Amy smiled in spite of herself. "That was just the preliminary plan." she told Libby, who rolled her eyes. "You sound just like your mom." she commented. Amy rolled her eyes, threw a pillow at Libby, and as Anna brought forth a sketch pad she'd managed to replicate, peace was resumed. For the moment.
Julian Bashir made one final adjustment to Seven of Nine's Borg implants. "That should do it. Your Borg shielding, as you put it, should protect you from any type of forcefields or phaser blasts." he reported.
The former drone stood up. "Very well. I will try to reroute the transporter controls to the main computer and bypass their controls. B'Elanna should be able to handle it from there." Seven frowned and glanced worriedly at the wall, where a secret panel led to a secondary computer matrix. Inside the tunnel, Paris and Torres would be able to access Voyager's transporter systems after Seven gained access to the computer. "How is the chief engineer?"
Julian frowned. "We need to get her back to an infirmary soon." He lowered his voice, even though no one else was in the room. "She has internal injuries. There's nothing I can do."
Seven bit her lip. "Bye!" she called, and exited the barrack.
Julian sat on the bunk. It was going to be a long wait.
Seven walked into the promenade, happily observing that all chaos had broken loose. Jem H'Dar and Cardassian soldiers were battling the prisoners, and the Starfleet officers was putting up 'one hell of a fight', as she had once heard Tom Paris say. Because of this, she was able to deftly walk through the crowds unnoticed and go right into the control room. The two guards normally stationed there had left their posts to join the fight.
A Cardassian busily working at the control center looked up, saw her, and grabbed a phaser. Aiming it at her, he fired. Seven felt a sense of anxiety wash over her, but it dissipated as soon as the phaser blast was soaked in by her Borg shielding. Grinning to herself, she walked over to the Dominion ally and punched him right in the face. He collapsed, and she leaned down to pick up his gun.
"Stop right there."
Five Jem H'Dar soldiers had surrounded her, phaser rifles poised and ready to go off. Remembering that the Borg had not encountered the Jem H'Dar before, Seven tensed. She slowly stood up, the gun still in her hand.
"Drop the gun." came the order from the tallest Dominion soldier.
"I will not comply." Seven replied coolly, and quickly fired the phaser gun. The Jem H'Dar dropped to the floor, dead.
The other four began firing at her, and when they realized that she had protective shielding, they switched to hand-to-hand combat. Unfortunately for them, the force field gave them nasty burns. Unable to do anything, they ran to the door. Seven stunned them all with the phaser rifle. Then she walked back over to the computer console and began working feverishly. The first thing she did was set off the alarm.
"There's been a revolt in the adult prison camp. Stand by." The Cardassian soldier - Jenkyi - frowned as he heard the last remarks from his superior Vorta. Obviously Weyoum had underestimated the hundreds of humanoids the Dominion had caught or captured. He was thrown out of his daydreams by a tug on his arm. He immediately looked down to a young human girl with dazzling blue eyes.
"What do you want?" he asked harshly.
Katie stared up at him, unblinking. "Will you tell me a story?" she asked.
"Please?" begged the five-year-old, not daring to glance behind her. Several children looked over in their direction, but soon went back to their games or work.
"No. Now leave." Jenkyi ordered forcefully.
Katie frowned. "Tell me a story!" she demanded, yelling at the top of her lungs. Everyone within twenty feet heard her bellowing.
"No!" shot back Jenkyi. He was about to kick the young girl when she grabbed his phaser rifle. Catching the Cardassian off guard, she was able to get it before he retaliated. Without another glance at Jenkyi, she high-tailed it away from the Cardassian.
JoAnna Miller, who had been watching the exchange from across the room, smiled and took off at a brisk pace. It was her job to get Katie back to the barracks after the quarter-Batazoid delivered the weapon to Naomi Wildmen-Carey.
Katie ran down the promenade as children parted for her. They immediately surrounded the Cardassian guards, who pushed their way through. Catching a glimpse of Naomi up ahead, Katie ran even faster than even she had thought was possible. Dashing up to the sixteen year old, she held up the phaser rifle. "Here you go!" she said delightedly. Naomi grabbed the phaser rifle, and prayed that her aiming lessons from Tuvok would pay off. She aimed at the nearest Cardassian, and fired. Her mark hit home, and the soldier fell to the ground, stunned. She then took off running, sensing that soon other Cardassian soldiers would be on her tail.
"Are the guards gone?" hissed Libby. She, Amy, and A'Lyssa were crouched behind a corner, waiting for Katie to distract the guards.
Amy peered around the corner. "Yes, and your sister is nowhere to be seen. Your mom's going to kill you when she finds out."
Libby winced. *Oh well.* "Then lets get moving! A'Lyssa, you there?"
"Yes." the ten-year-old replied, smiling. Although no one could see her, they could all hear her plainly.
Amy had to smile as she tried to figure out where A'Lyssa was. Giving up, she turned to Libby. "Then let's go."
The three ran over to the Jeffories tube hatch. Libby quickly opened it while Amy stood guard. *So far, so good.* she thought, as Libby pressed the multi-colored control padd. Soon, the doors slid open. "Go!" she cried softly as Amy moved.
A'Lyssa quickly crawled into the small tunnel. "I'm in!" she called out softly.
"Good luck!" Amy called, and Libby flashed the younger girl a smile before she closed the hatch.
A'Lyssa sat for a few seconds in the tube, then sighed. *How come I'm always the one who has to do the stuff like this?* she wondered, then giggled. It had been partly her idea in the first place. *Oh, well.* she thought, and began to crawl down the tunnel.
B'Elanna Torres-Paris tried not to grimace as she worked, but it was no use. She gasped as she felt a sharp pain coming from her side. Tom wrapped his arms around her carefully. "How much longer?" he murmured, wishing that it was him who was hurting, and not B'Elanna.
His wife turned around to face him, and she smiled weakly. "Just a few more-" she winced. "minutes." Finding that one of the relays was malfunctioning again, she swore. Hearing Tom chuckle, she protested, "It's not funny!"
"Where the hell is Seven?" Tom voiced his thought out loud.
B'Elanna grinned as a soft beep emitted from the control panel. "Doing her job." she whispered back. Smiling, she re-crossed a few circuits. "We're in."
J'Ella stamped her foot impatiently. "Hurry!" she said worriedly, glancing up and down the aisle. After being cornered in the empty hallway by a Bolian, the four children had been overjoyed to learn that Paar, who was a former Maquis, had come from the adult's promenade via access tunnels. He had been caught crawling through one, and had escaped by climbing into the children's promenade. He hadn't risked trying to get back to the other promenade for fear the Dominion would recognize him. The best thing of all was that he had known B'Elanna Torres-Paris. J'Ella's mother was alive.
"I'm hurrying as fast as I can!" John shot back, hunched over a control panel. The two guards who had been guarding the so-called weapons locker had left shortly after an outbreak had happened in the children's promenade. J'Ella had no idea what was going on, but there was no way she was going to let this opportunity slip through her fingers. Paar had quickly agreed.
"Then hurry faster!" replied J'Ella.
"I can't!" John hissed, then hit the wall. "Darn! I can't do it!"
"Let me." John moved over, and within seconds Paar was able to bypass the security lockouts. The doors swooshed open.
Walking into the room, Selene glanced around the room. Weapons were stacked in neat piles around her. "This is so cool!"
Julia followed. She grabbed a phaser rifle. "Let's go!" she cried, then grimaced at the weight of the phaser. "Gosh, these are heavy."
J'Ella smiled sympathetically, voicing her agreement as she picked up a hand phaser. "I couldn't agree more with you, Selene." she said with a grin.
Mark wandered around the outskirts of the promenade, searching for J'Ella, John, Julia, and Selene. They still hadn't shown up, and he was worried that the Dominion might have done something to them. So he was startled when J'Ella, carrying a hand phaser, ran around the corner and almost knocked him over.
"J'Ella?" he cried, shocked.
"Hey, Mark!" Selene had followed J'Ella. She, too, was carrying a gun.
"How the heck did you get those?" he asked incredulously.
John, Julia, and Paar rounded the corner. "It's a long story." Julia said.
Seeing Paar, Mark agreed with her fully.
Heather Whitney, donned in an all-black outfit, ran through the crowds. "Hey, Cardie!" she yelled, slapping the nearest Cardassian in the face. He turned to her and raised his phaser, but she was already running through the crowds. He took off in hot pursuit.
Running around a corner, Heather dashed through a set of open doors. *I hope this works.* she thought to herself, sweating slightly. She ducked behind a bunch of cargo barrels and watched as the Jem H'Dar and Cardassians who had just entered began to shoot at several prisoners, who dropped to the ground. Spotting her husband, Whitney crept over to Harry. "Is it working?" she whispered.
Harry nodded. "I'm counting twenty-two Dominion officers in the holodeck." he replied, flashing her a grin.
"All right! Then let's get out of here!" Heather replied, and the two left the holodeck scenario they had created a few days before quickly. The doors closed, and Harry locked them. "That should do it. It will probably take them at least fifteen minutes to realize that they're fighting holoprojected prisoners."
"And here the Dominion was trying to convince everyone that the Jem H'Dar were the smartest soldiers ever created." Heather said sarcastically.
Harry shook his head, smiling. Even in the worst of times, Heather still had her care-free charm.
A'Lyssa's brow furrowed. After crawling and climbing up and down ladders for what had seemed like an eternity (it had only been twenty minutes, according to her wrist-chronometer) and singing 'N Sync's song "Here We Go" as well as multiple other songs (she had come to the conclusion that she would be making enough racket as it was climbing around that it wouldn't hurt to sing), she had come to multiple hatches that she presumed led out to other rooms. The one that she was crouched by was different. There was a loud noise coming from the other side. *I wonder why.* she pondered, then shrugged. "Oh, well, this is as good as any other guess." she whispered.
In a minute, she had opened the hatch. Peering out, she gasped as she took in the sight. It was another promenade, but much larger than the one she had come from. And there was another difference. This one was filled with adults.
*Yes!* she thought excitedly, then her blue eyes clouded with worry. There were more Dominion soldiers here. *Many* more. Then A'Lyssa realized why. The adults were fighting back. And the youngest Paris girl knew that only one ingenious mind was behind it. Kathryn Janeway's.
Chakotay back-handed a Cardassian, and the soldier fell to the ground. Thoughts of the Maquis came flashing back to him, and he grabbed the Cardie's phaser and shot him.
Chakotay turned and searched the crowds. Janeway appeared, an open gash on her face. She was limping slightly. "Oh, my God, Kathryn. Are you all right?" he asked, cradling her face.
Kathryn smiled weakly. "I've felt better." she replied truthfully. She held up a weapon. "Ready to fight for our freedom?" she said dryly.
Chakotay glanced around. People were in hand-to-hand combat everywhere. "Are you daft?"
Kathryn laughed, and the two continued to aim and fire at the Cardassian guards.
Then everything seemed to happen in slow motion. A Jem H'Dar guard spotted the two, and aimed for Janeway. He fired, and the blast hit her straight on.
"Kathryn!" Chakotay yelled, diving for her as she fell to the ground. She opened her eyes.
"Chakotay-" she gasped for air, then closed her eyes. An overwhelming sense of fear came
over Chakotay, and tears welled up in his eyes. "Kathryn," he called, "Kathryn!" Checking for a pulse, he was relieved to find one. It was faint and erratic, but it was still there. *Thank God.* He picked her up gently and ducked as the Jem H'Dar tried to shoot at him. Running through the swarms of people fighting, he headed for the barracks.
Jadzia Dax frowned as she continued to fire. Although they had been fighting for half an hour, they didn't have much to show for it. The Dominion just kept on sending in reinforcements.
"Do you think we'll be able to outlast them?" Neelix asked.
Jadzia had to smile at the Talaxian's worried tone. She had heard a lot of stories about Voyager's cook, ambassador, and chief morale officer. But then she frowned again. "I don't know."
Harry Kim was busy fighting a Jem H'Dar when his opponent suddenly went limp. Glancing up, he saw Commander Tuvok.
"Vulcan nerve pinch." Tuvok said calmly.
Harry tried not to grin. "Works every time, huh?"
"Literally." Tuvok said. "But I think it would be most wise if we stayed under cover." He held up a phaser rifle which he had gotten from a dead Cardassian.
Black hair falling into his eyes, Kim picked up the Jem H'Dar's weapon. "Fine with me." he said, a touch of enthusiasm in his voice. He only hoped that Seven and B'Elanna would be able to access Voyager's computer system. *If Voyager is still in contact range.* he thought dourly.
"Hey, guys! Ya know, Tuvok, you have *got* to teach me how to do that." a familiar voice rang out, obviously referring to the nerve pinch Whitney ran up to them, flashing Harry a smile that normally made him melt. "So far, so good. Julian just told me that Seven's almost done accessing the controls."
"Good. Then perhaps we will be able to get out of here soon." Tuvok said as the three ducked behind some cargo crates that had been left in the promenade. Heather swore as a phaser blast came precariously close to hitting her. She grabbed Harry and pushed him to the ground before the guard was able to aim at him.
"Thanks." Harry muttered, squeezing Heather's hand.
"You're welcome." Heather replied impishly, but she felt far from impish. They were fighting for their lives.
Ro Laren was busy shooting Cardassian soldiers from behind a corner when she heard a hiss. Startled, she turned around. There, sitting in an access tunnel entrance, was a young girl with blonde hair and blue eyes. "Who are you?" Ro asked, immediately on guard.
A'Lyssa contemplated whether or not to tell the Bajoran woman the truth. *What the heck,* she thought, and said, "I'm A'Lyssa Paris."
"B'Elanna Torres's daughter?" replied Laren, shocked.
A'Lyssa nodded, "You know my mother?" she asked hopefully.
"Yeah, from the good old Maquis days. She's here." Ro informed the ten-year-old.
An unaimed shot was fired in their direction. A'Lyssa winced. "What's going on?"
"You want to get out of here?" Ro answered the question with a question of her own.
A'Lyssa grinned. "Yep!"
"Then come on!"
Ro took off running towards the barracks, careful not to attract any attention. Since most of the people were busy fighting, she doubted that they'd be noticed. A'Lyssa followed gamely. Jadzia Dax, who had joined Tuvok, Kim, and Whitney, pointed out the youngest Paris girl. Heather spotted her and whooped. "All right!"
A'Lyssa laughed, and was sent sprawling across the floor by Ro. "Wha-"
"You almost got shot." Ro said, helping her up.
"Thanks. But where are we going?" A'Lyssa replied.
Tom watched anxiously as B'Elanna put a wire back in. "Done." she whispered triumphantly. The two were beamed onto Voyager.
T'Ara gasped. One moment, she had been in the process of running across the promenade ducking phaser beams shot her way, and now she had been transported to-
"Voyager?" she yelled incredulously, glancing around. All fifty-five of the children were in the cargo bay. Before she could comment further, the ship rocked violently. T'Ara could hear the wailing of the red alert. *Uh-oh.*
Tom and B'Elanna stood on the Bridge, as did Ro Laren, A'Lyssa Paris, and the senior staff. Jadzia Dax and Julian Bashier looked at each other, then moved out of the way as Stafleet personnel rushed about the Bridge. Paar, K’Lan, and Ro’s friends had been beamed directly to Sick Bay. Kathryn smiled as she sat down in her chair. "Red alert. All hands to battle stations. A'Lyssa?" she cried out at the end.
A'Lyssa grinned. "Yup!" she replied triumphant, then turned her attentions elsewhere. "Mom!"
"Hey, 'Lyss!" B'Elanna cried as her daughter hugged her tightly. She smiled down at A'Lyssa. "Long time no see!"
A'Lyssa blinked back tears as she leaned against her mother. "I'm so glad you're all right." she whispered.
"She won't be if you continue to squeeze her like that, 'Lyssa." Tom scolded gently.
A'Lyssa detatched herself from her mother. "What happened to you?" she asked, taking in her mother's appearance. B'Elanna looked terrifically awful. Her hair was long, and she had multiple bruises and gashes everywhere.
Torres grimaced. "You don't want to know." she said truthfully.
A'Lyssa paled at the horrible thoughts that swept through her head.
"Tom, take B'Elanna to Sick Bay. A'Lyssa, go find your sisters." Janeway ordered.
Beth Carmen, now a full-grade lieutenant, walked onto the Bridge. She smiled delightedly at B'Elanna Torres, then quickly took the helm.
"Carmen, evasive maneuvers. Set a course for the wormhole, maximum warp." Janeway barked out orders left and right.
Harry stood at Ops. "Admiral, I'm reading five Dominion warships. They'll intercept us in seventy seconds."
"Tuvok, I want as much power to the shields as you can give. Fire up the torpedo bays and the phaser flashes. Harry, what about the cloaking device?" Janeway ordered.
"Aye, Admiral." Tuvok replied, and got to work.
Ro sat down at the Engineering station on the Bridge, marveling at Voyager's Bridge. She quickly turned her attention to the task ahead. Laren frowned. "There's a malfunction in the warp core. I can't stop it. We're going to drop out of warp within a minute." she reported.
Chakotay frowned. "Remember what we used to do in the Maquis?" he asked Ro.
The Bajoran nodded. "Yes, but Voyager's twice the size of-"
"Do it." ordered Chakotay.
"Yes, sir." Ro said, smiling. She quickly inputted the controls. "Done."
Voyager shook for a second, then continued on its course.
"Janeway, the cloaking device! It was deactivated!" Harry reported, frantically working at Ops.
Heather frowned. "We'll intercept the Dominion ships in twenty seconds." she reported.
Beth Carmen, who had taken up the helm, said anxiously. "Admiral? Long range sensors are picking up three more Dominion ships, and one unidentifiable ship coming from the direction of the wormhole."
"No doubt they are sending reinforcements." Seven of Nine, who had remained silent as she worked, commented.
"You get a gold star, Seven." Kathryn replied dryly. "Tuvok, the shields?"
"The shields are running at 110% efficiency. I can give you no more than that." the Vulcan replied calmly.
"Then I guess that'll have to do." Janeway muttered. She stood up. "Seven, get down to Engineering and see if you can help get the cloaking device operational."
The former drone nodded. She disappeared into the turbolift.
"Dominion ships are within range." Heather reported, trying to sound normal. She was *extremely* nervous.
"Whitney?" Beth called out from the helm.
"Just think of the Captain Proton scenarios, Sir." Lieutenant Carmen said smoothly.
Heather smiled. "I'll do that." she promised.
Beth smirked. Almost everyone had heard about how the then Lieutenant Paris had made Heather be a screaming blonde in the program.
"Tuvok, aim all weapons at the ships and fire on my mark." Janeway ordered.
"Dominion ships are powering up their weapons." Harry reported tensely.
"Computer, activate EMH program." Tom ordered as B'Elanna sat wearily down on a bio bed. "I just hope they didn't delete the Doc's program."
"Please state the- Oh, my goodness! B'Elanna!" the Doctor cried, then quickly got out a medical tricorder. He didn't bother listing the long lost chief engineer's injuries; he started treating them. Tom quickly got out the hyposprays and helped.
"What's going on?" the EMH asked. "I remember crawling through the Jeffories tube, and then-" He stopped, frowning. "The Dominion?" he asked, as the ship lurched to the left.
"Yes, the whole crew was captured and thrown into a prison camp. Seven was able to access the main computer." Tom replied.
"With a little help from me." B'Elanna purred, looking up at Tom.
"Oh, but of course." replied Paris huskily, and on impulse they kissed.
The Doctor surveyed the captain and commander. "Things will never change."
"*Now* what?" Libby screamed. She was scared. As in *really* scared. The children had managed to get to the Mess Hall, and now it felt like the ship was literally being torn apart.
J'Ella ducked as a bowl of assorted fruit came crashing down near her head. "I haven't a clue! Should we go back to our quarters?" she called back.
Katie's lip quivered. "What's happening?" she asked Torra.
Torra Jones squeezed Katie's shoulder. "I don't know."
"We're probably under attack by the Dominion." Naomi commented, looking worriedly around.
"Umm..." T'Ara didn't have an answer for J'Ella's question.
There was a whine, and everyone tensed.
"What was that?" Greg asked sharply.
Mark cautiously walked over to the Jeffories tube hatch. He opened it, and peered inside.
A black whiz shot out of the small entryway, whining and barking.
"Amy! It's Maggie!" Melanie Carey cried out.
"Maggie!!!" screeched Amy, hugging her dog as the puppy jumped up on her. She knelt on the floor, petting the Labrador as fast as she could. All the children gathered around her.
"Thank goodness she's okay," said David.
The ship lurched, and they all fell down on their knees.
"This is *just* great. *Now* what's going to happen?" A'Lyssa called, flailing her arms in exasperation.
"I *know*!" Julia couldn't have agreed more with A'Lyssa.
"I have a bad feeling about this." Mark said to Libby, who nodded vigorously. The quarter-Batazoid had a feeling that the fight wasn't over yet.
"Hull breeches on decks 6, 7, and 9." Kim called out.
"I'm reading an overload in the power systems." Ro cried.
"Try to compensate!" Admiral Janeway yelled, working frantically.
"Shields down to 27%." reported Tuvok.
"This is *just* great." Heather Whitney muttered sarcastically. *And after all that effort, we're still going to get caught. Figures!*
"The unidentified ship is closing!" Chakotay said loudly.
"Let's all whoop for joy! Now there's going to be *nine* Dominion ships on our tail!" Heather yelled back sarcastically.
"Commander." Janeway replied sharply.
Whitney looked sheepish. "Sorry." she said meekly. A console exploded near her, and she dove out of her chair. Glancing up, she met Harry's worried gaze. "I'm okay. Really!" she added at his shock.
"Beth, try to outmaneuver the firepower!" Janeway ordered.
"I'm doing the best I can!" Carmen shot back, frantically trying to pilot the ship and avoid the Dominion ships surrounding Voyager.
Before anyone could say or do anything more, golden streaks of weapons shot out from an unidentifiable ship. Within seconds, it destroyed five Dominion ships.
“Yeehaw!” Data crooned, observing that three Dominion ships had just blown up and two more would soon be demolished. “Why, this reminds me of the time when-”
“Mr. Data.” Picard snapped at the android, tense.
“Sorry, sir.” Data immediately switched back to his cool, clipped tone. “Admiral, sensors indicated that Voyager’s warp core is overloading.”
Will Riker sincerely hoped that Kathryn Janeway knew what she was doing.
"That's the Enterprise!" Harry reported excitedly.
"Warp core breech in progress." Tuvok reported.
"Janeway to Engineering. The core-"
"There's no way we can stop it, Admiral. I suggest we evacuate the ship-" The commlink stopped.
"Comm system is off-line." Whitney reported.
"Hull breeches on decks 8, 10, 11, 12, and are in progress on decks 4, 5, and 6." Chakotay called out.
"Sirs, there are four more Dominion ships heading our way. They'll intercept us in thirty seconds." Carmen said.
"We have to abandon the ship if we're going to live through this." Chakotay told Kathryn.
Janeway took a quick glance around the Bridge. Bulkheads were coming apart, computer consoles were blowing up, and smoke was filling the air.
"Shields are down. We're being targeted-"
Heather's comment was cut short as she and everyone else on the ship was beamed off of Voyager. She felt a familiar sense of nothingness, and wondered what would happen next.
To everyone’s immense astonishment, they appeared on the Enterprise E’s Bridge. Admiral Jean-Luc Picard was busy barking out orders, and Captain William T. Riker was sitting in the second-in-command's chair, hunched over the armrest's computer panel. Commanders Data and Deanna Troi were also present, as was Commander Worf.
"Glad you could join us." Jean Luc commented. "Worf, arm the Borgified torpedoes and fire on my mark. Mark."
Two Dominion ships blew up.
"Mr. Data, engage the cloaking device. Lieutenant Commander Lewis, take us out of here at maximum warp. Engage." Picard ordered, then offered the chair to a pale Kathryn Janeway. "Admiral?"
"Thank you." Kathryn lowered herself down into the chair slowly, enjoying the brief moment of comfort.
"When we didn't hear from you, Stafleet began to get worried. So they sent us to your rescue." Although he was a captain, Janeway mused, Will hadn't changed much from the Acadamy. She smiled tiredly at him. "Thank you." she replied sincerely.
"Commander Whitney, when I heard about this fiasco, I presumed you were involved somehow." Jean Luc muttered to the science officer as she stood on the lower half of the Bridge.
Heather gaped at her former commanding officer, then she smiled meekly. "Yeah, I guess so."
Deanna stifled a grin.
"Sir, an armada of Dominion warships and Cardassian Battle Cruisers are closing in on us. I suspect that they'll be within range in half an hour." Data reported from Ops.
"How long 'till we reach the wormhole?" Riker asked.
"In ten hours, Captain Riker." replied the android.
"Damn." murmured Riker.
"Will." Troi said accusingly.
The captain flashed a smile in the half-Batazoid's direction. "Sorry."
"Bridge, this is Admiral Picard. How long until repairs are finished, Geordi?"
Commander LaForge's voice floated through the comm system. "In about ten hours if we work around the clock nonstop, Cap- I mean, Admiral."
Tuvok raised an eyebrow, and Harry had to smile.
"You've got eight. Picard out." The admiral turned to Voyager's former senior staff. "I suggest you report down to Sick Bay and get some rest. I'll have someone inform you when we approach the Dominion blockade. The children were beamed directly to Ten Forward. Guinin is taking care of them. I'll have quarters assigned to you in the meantime. Its good to see all of you again."
Heather smiled softly. "I hardly recognized you without the chocolate pudding on your face!" she called, then walked onto the turbolift. Everyone, minus Janeway and Chakotay, followed. Bashire and Dax made themselves busy by talking with Tuvok and Neelix.
"She'll never change, will she?" Troi asked to no one in particular. The ship Whitney had been serving on when she had mysteriously traveled through a vortex in a shuttle and appeared in the Delta Quadrant had been the Enterprise E, and Deanna remembered many rememerable occasions that had been caused by the enthusiastic science officer.
"Actually, she has." Chakotay asked. "She's still not mature, but she's changed."
Kathryn smirked. "If you'll excuse us," she commented, and Admiral Picard nodded, fully understanding. Janeway and Chakotay walked hand in hand to the turbolift.
"Deck 8." Janeway ordered. She smiled up at Chakotay, leaning against him. Then she saddened. "Voyager's gone. After all we've been through on that ship, she's gone."
"It's all right, Kathryn. Just think, you'll get to have your pick of whatever starship you want when we get back to Headquarters." Chakotay teased gently.
Janeway grinned up at him tiredly. "Oh, I don't know." she said, covering up a yawn. "All I know is that if I don't get off my feet within the next few minutes I'm going to drop dead."
"That's fine with me."
Kathryn's brow furrowed. "And how is that?"
"Then I'd get to carry you."
The admiral opened her mouth to reply, then decided otherwise. Instead, she stood on her tip toes and wrapped her arms around Chakotay's neck, and kissed him.
J'Ella rushed into the Sick Bay on the Enterprise E. They had left everyone else in Ten Forward with Guinin as soon as A'Lyssa informed them that their mother was still alive. "Mom!" she cried, ecstatic.
A very tired B'Elanna Torres-Paris looked up from talking with Doctor Beverly Crusher, Voyager's Doctor, and her husband. Her jaw dropped when she spotted the three girls rushing towards her. "J'Ella! T'Ara! A'Lyssa!" she called, getting off the bio bed. Tears streamed down her face as she hugged her three daughters. "Oh, my God!" she murmured, hugging J'Ella and T'Ara tightly. Then she turned to A'Lyssa, who had been in the process of mouthing 'Told you so' to her sisters. "'Lyssa!"
A'Lyssa hugged her mother carefully.
Tom kissed J'Ella and T'Ara. "Thank God you're all all right." he commented softly, squeezing T'Ara's shoulder.
J'Ella smiled up at him, a dark smudge on her cheek. Then she turned back to Torres. "Mom, I've missed you so much!" she said, tears coming to her eyes.
B'Elanna hugged the thirteen-year-old again. "I've missed you, too, J'Ell." she said. She drew back from her daughters and leaned against Tom. "I've missed you all so much." she repeated, gazing up into Tom's blue eyes. Their locked gaze was interrupted by T'Ara.
"Mom?" the twelve-year-old asked.
The three sisters, who stood side by side, looked at each other. Then A'Lyssa spoke up. "Can we go to Risa now?"
The looks on their parents' faces was unbelievable.
"Now there's something I hadn't considered." The EMH smiled at B'Elanna Torres-Paris's startlement.
Beverly Crusher was totally confused.
Epilogue . . .
Twelve long hours later, the Enterprise E emerged from the wormhole, to the astonishment of Admiral Benjamin Sisko and his crew. As for Voyager’s former crew, that’s another story.....
This story copyrighted from 1998-1999 (and maybe 1997 as well; I can't remember when I first started the series) by Jane Griffen. Original disclaimers apply. All constructive feedback welcome at JaneG100@rocketmail.com.