Disclaimers: See Part 1
If you haven't read the warnings in Part 1, please do so.
The next day, Chakotay saw something very interesting, in fact,
intriguing. A fight broke out in the pit, one of the guards aimed the
device and pressed the button, just as another man stepped in the path.
The second man was punished. It didn't stop her from punishing the
first one, but it was an interesting bit of information.
When he was taken to Shetar's rooms, he found Tom in a corner. He had
been beaten severely. Chakotay rolled him onto his back.
"Tom, what happened?" Chakotay was horrified to see the bruises on
Tom's face, and the strap marks on his chest and arms.
"I think I pissed Shetar off," came the toothy answer. "Or maybe it was
Reigh. I don't really remember, the...the thing was going off. Could
have been both."
"What did you do? Piss on their lunch?"
"No, I told them that you were a man and without the device they would
never be able to control you. I told them *she* was a berserk egomaniac
and they were disillusioned fools." Tom smiled vaguely. "I think they
"That was dumb, Tom," Chakotay said, because he knew they could. They
had been controlling him very easily using Tom. "How bad is it?"
"Somewhere between level 4 and 5 with the safeties off," Tom groaned.
It took his mind a second to realize Tom was talking about the Klingon
battle program. "Anything broken?"
"I don't think so, but my head really hurts."
Chakotay gently lifted him off the floor and laid him on the couch. He
quickly got a rag, some cold water and applied it to the worst of the
bruises. That was it, Chakotay thought, he would not and could not deal
with anyone being abused in this fashion. The rage he had been holding
at bay slowly spread through his body. The anger well-headed through
his heart. He had had enough!
Shetar picked that moment to come back into her quarters.
"Stop," she ordered imperiously.
Chakotay continued to bathe Tom's wounds. "Fuck you."
"I said stop, Chakotay. Unless you want to see him beaten again, stop."
How dare she. How dare this coward threaten Tom Paris to get her
freaking way. How dare this excuse for a leader use two people against
each other for their own perverted sense of enjoyment.
"You sorry, cow-eyed, bitch." Chakotay stood up and faced her.
Shetar quailed under his stare, and Chakotay enjoyed every single second
of it. It wasn't until he took a step that she snapped out of it. She
pointed the device at Tom and pressed the button.
What she wasn't expecting was him stepping in between her and Tom. He
twisted as the spike of pain shot through his head, but he stayed on his
feet. Shetar's face mirrored terror when he didn't fall to his knees.
She moved and tried to punish Tom again, but once more Chakotay managed
to get in between them. He couldn't stay on his feet anymore as the
pain became more intense. Instead he draped himself over Tom. Keeping
his body in between Shetar and Tom. In the end, it was probably
fruitless, he remembered his body being pushed off Tom's but he didn't
remember Tom being punished.
He awoke to someone bathing his forehead with cool water. A gentle
touch. His eyes tried to open, but he couldn't manage to keep them
"Hey there. Back among the living?"
"Yeah, it's me."
"Where? Where are we?"
"I'm not sure."
Chakotay tried to look around, but his eyes still refused to stay open.
"I woke up to Shetar kicking the crap out of you while you were being
punished. She just kept pushing the button over and over, and you
weren't even moving. I really don't think you were breathing except
these little gasps. I was afraid she was gonna kill you."
Tom helped him sit up and gave him a cup of water. Chakotay sipped it
gratefully. "That explains my head and my side. Then what happened?"
"Uh, I stood up and took the device away from her."
Chakotay paused with the cup halfway to his mouth. "You what?"
"Yeah, and surprisingly, I didn't get punished for it. I didn't hurt
her. I just took the control away and turned it off."
"Thank you. Then what?"
"Then Reigh showed up and I got punished."
"I'm sorry, Tom."
"Honestly, Chakotay, the look on Shetar's face when I grabbed her wrist
was worth every single second of it."
"That took guts."
Chakotay sighed, finished the water and leaned his head back.
"My eyes hurt and the light is really bugging me."
"Probably an after effect of that punishment. Go back to sleep,
Chakotay. You need to rest."
He woke up to someone hand shaking his shoulder.
"Uh, Commander, you need to wake up. They brought food."
Chakotay still could not get his eyes to function. The lights were too
bright. He shielded his eyes with his hand, but there was still too
Tom was trying to help him sit up.
"Still can't see?"
"I can't keep my eyes open, it's too bright in here."
There was a moment of silence. "Chakotay, it's darker in here than
Tom tried washing his eyes, but the only time Chakotay could keep them
open was when there was virtually no light.
"Can you see anything?
"Only blurry images, and the light is painful."
"What I wouldn't give for a tricorder." Tom took his hand and put
something in it. Chakotay quickly recognized it as a bowl of the gruel
they were fed in the pits. He took a swallow.
"Where are we, Tom?"
"A cage like you were kept in, but I think we're farther underground."
"No windows, and it feels moister."
"Smells musty, too." Chakotay blinked a few times trying to see if he
could get his bearings. "What do you think is wrong with my eyes, Tom?"
"I think it was the pressure from the punishment. I'm serious, Chak.
You were as stiff as a board like you were in some sort of seizure. I
think that's why we have headaches afterwards, too. The actual
punishment may not cause any damage, but the way we react to the pain
does. Pain will drive your blood pressure through the roof."
Chakotay went very still. "Tom, are you saying I had a stroke?"
"It's possible," Tom said with quiet grief. "You gotta do what they
want, Chakotay. If it was a stroke, or even bursting a blood vessel
near your optic nerves, more punishment will only make it worse."
"Tom, I can't do that."
"You do it, Chakotay or the next time, they could kill you." He heard
Tom move closer to him. "Chak, if they do manage to take over Voyager,
if they manage to get back here, what good is a blind Captain. If they
don't, we're stuck here and personally, I would rather not go through
the rest of my life here without one friendly face to look at. Now this
may clear up, and it may not, but you have to avoid being punished. Do
"I'm blind not brain damaged, Tom. I understand," But his voice was a
whisper as the truth settled in. He might be blind for the rest of his
Tom had him lay down on the cot, and Chakotay soon fell back to sleep.
"Chak, wake up."
"What?" he asked groggily. Something in Tom's tone had brought him out
of a deep sleep.
"We have visitors."
"Stand up, Chakotay." That was Shetar's voice.
He slowly rolled to the side of the bed and to his feet. He tried to
act like nothing was wrong. He looked in the direction of her voice.
"What's wrong with your eyes?"
"I imagine your overzealous use of punishment."
"Very funny. Now tell me the truth."
"I'm not lying. Since I woke up, I haven't been able to see."
"Well, isn't that interesting. Reigh?"
"It's possible. You know we've had several die from punishment. I
always thought it was from weak hearts."
There was silence for a moment.
"Remove Thomas from the cell."
Chakotay was shoved against the the bars of the cage, and pinned there.
By the time he found a hand hold to push back on, they were gone. The
cell door locked.
"No, you can't leave him like this."
"Take him to my quarters," Shetar said.
Chakotay heard steps going down the hall, but he knew she hadn't left.
Tom had. He'd been taken down the hall to his left, but Chakotay
suspected Shetar was still there. He waited.
"Oh, how the mighty have fallen." Then her laughter echoed down the
halls as she walked away. He heard a heavy door close with a clang of
When he was pretty sure he was alone, Chakotay moved back to the cot.
When he was obviously not where he thought he was, he put a hand out to
try to find it. When his hand brushed the blanket, he sat down. He was
in trouble. Chakotay quickly quelled his fears. Okay, if it was
pressure, maybe relaxation would help. That's how the Vulcans did it.
He sat back and started to meditate.
He had been in the pits for 3 days completely alone, with the exception
of meals being brought to him. That's how he knew it was three days.
His eyes hadn't improved at all, but he could at least open his eyes a
little and get a blurry glimpse of his surroundings. He was reasonably
confident moving around the cell. He had made it a priority the first
day to find his way around. Luckily, there wasn't just a lot to trip
over in here.
When lunch was brought the third day, Chakotay moved forward until he
touched the bars. There was the door jam, three bars over and he bent
to get the bowl.
"Is it frightening, Chakotay?" He almost dropped the bowl.
"Speak my name again and I will punish you."
"Should I kneel?"
"I'm bringing you out today. I assume you've been taken down a peg or
Chakotay didn't answer her.
"Yes, I think you'll be much easier to deal with now."
He was lead through the halls after his hands were chained together. He
found the experience unnerving. He didn't trust these women, especially
not after they let him trip up the stairs and laughed at him when he
fell. His hands being bound only made him feel more vulnerable, and the
light up here was blinding. He had to keep his eyes closed, but
instinct kept screaming he open them. When they stopped and opened a
door, Chakotay was completely disoriented. Then he was man-handled into
the chair. A needle was inserted into his bound arm.
He relaxed quickly as he sat in the chair, realizing he had been
drugged. He felt hands attach the leads to him, and the gentle brush of
the wires against his bare chest. He sat quietly until the door opened
and he tried to look in that direction.
"How is he?"
"He's much more docile, Shetar."
"That's good. Have there been any other effects?"
"I'm picking up a minor heart fluctuation. The other male may have been
right. The extended punishment may have damaged him."
"If we were to breed him, would he pass that on?"
"No!" Chakotay growled. A hand came in hard contact with his face. It
was more shocking than painful. Still he jumped when it happened.
"Shetar, this male is the same one as before mentally. This hasn't
changed anything. If you breed him, chances are he'll throw another
strong willed child."
He heard Shetar sigh, but he was thrilled. He didn't have to worry
about that, yet.
"Finish the examination."
Chakotay was taken to another room and put on the table. The fuzzy
feeling and the lack of balance definitely convinced Chakotay to follow
where the hands led him. The exam was horrible, he could hear and feel
people moving around him, but once he was strapped down, he couldn't
defend himself and he couldn't pin down the movements of so many
people. They forced his eyes open and the bright lights were like
daggers. Despite his protests, they continued. But as he got tense, he
felt himself relax into the table, they must have sedated him again.
"This is insane. To have to keep this one calm. She ought to put him
"I will give you the honor of telling Shetar she should do that. You
know how she feels about this one."
"Personally, I'm surprised she didn't kill him."
"She almost did from what I heard."
Finally, they lifted his head up, he felt something placed over his
eyelids, instinctively he tried to blink, but he couldn't. They must
have taped his eyes closed. Then something soft and cool wrapped around
his head. He relaxed for a moment, until he felt hands at his neck. He
felt the metal and belatedly realized what it was. He jerked at the
restraints, and tried to pull his head away, but they easily fitted a
collar around his throat.
A few moments later, they released him. He slowly, sluggishly sat up.
A hand came under his arm as he tried to stand up. He pulled away not
wanting anyone to touch him. He lost his balance and fell off to one
side. Nothing in his body was responding as quickly as it should have
or the way it should have.
He hit a side table of some sort and his hands searched whatever was on
top of it. He vaguely reasoned that if they were afraid of Shetar and
she didn't want him hurt, he could fight his way out. His hands closed
over something, and he dropped it as it cut into his hand.
"Get him," one of them hissed.
He turned, still leaning on the surface heavily.
The laughter made him try to stand up, but he lost his balance and
"Oh, great, get him back on the table."
He struck out with whatever was in his hand. He had enough sense to
only think of protecting himself and not who he was protecting himself
A hand closed on his wrist and he jerked away, and slammed his head into
the wall beside him as he lost his balance again. He held the thing in
front of him, swinging it from side to side, sliding down into a crouch.
"Oh, shit! He cut me!"
"Hold still," a voice to his right ordered. "No one will touch you.
Everyone calm down."
"Don't!" someone ordered. "You punish him, you could kill him or
"Then get Shetar."
A door slammed. Chakotay crouched in the corner, they weren't going to
do this to him. He would not let this happen. Someone moved, he jerked
that way. He wondered why he wasn't being punished.
"I'm bleeding Sheena, bad."
"Move back and I'll stitch it up."
"What about him?"
"You keep an eye on him, as long as he's calm just leave him there.
Shetar can deal with her little pet."
"I'm not a pet."
He was met with quiet disdain. He started to fade once or twice but the
sound of movement brought him back to what was going on. A door opened.
"What is going on?"
"Your pet, Shetar. He's managed to hurt Karee, and has barricaded
himself into that corner. Since we can't punish him, he's yours to deal
Tom? Chakotay's head came up. He heard quiet steps.
"Chakotay? It's me, Chak. Give me the knife."
"She won't punish me, Tom. She's afraid of what it'll do."
"Okay, but you aren't doing yourself any good in that corner. Let me
"This is ridiculous."
He heard steps and moved the knife in that direction.
"Stay away from him," Tom ordered. Chakotay knew where Tom was, and
whoever was coming at him stopped.
"I'm gonna come closer to you, Chak. Just stay calm. Okay."
"Chakotay give up the weapon or I will have the flesh beaten off Thomas'
Chakotay's throat tightened. Damn, they could still control him. This
had to end. It was killing him. He was blind, he was helpless and he
was a liability to Tom. He had a better chance at surviving without
Chakotay slowing him down. He made a decision. Chakotay flipped the
knife around, but found his forearm was caught by a stronger arm.
"No! I won't let you kill yourself, now give me the freaking knife."
The knife was wrestled from his grasp. He ran out of energy and
collapsed. He felt strong arms curl under his arm and around his waist.
"They put a collar on me, Tom," he whispered, as Tom helped him stand
"Don't worry about it." He started to walk and Chakotay followed where
he led. He heard metal items on the floor being kicked out of the way.
Then they stopped. Chakotay looked around blindly.
"He's your responsibility, Thomas."
"Then let me take care of him, Lady."
Chakotay let Tom lead him through the complex.
Chakotay obediently walked up a flight of stairs. Strangely grateful
Tom warned him. He hoped it was the drugs that were bringing out all
"How are you feeling?"
Chakotay laughed as Tom asked that question. "Drugged, angry...blind...
"Not to me, Chak. You're the only thing keeping me sane here." They
turned a corner. "How are your eyes?"
"The same. They said they were getting fluctuations from my heart
beat." He waited but Tom didn't say anything. "Was it a stroke?"
"Yeah, Chak. It was a stroke and they don't have the technology to fix
"Tom, I can't live like this."
Tom stopped and a breeze blew over Chakotay. Tom must have opened a
door. The breeze smelled of rain and mud and trees. Tom led him
through a door and closed it. Chakotay moved towards the breeze, his
hands extended out in front of him.
"You're almost there, Chak. About three more steps."
Chakotay took the three and then felt. He found the windowsill and
stepped up. The wind was cooler than usual, but it smelled wonderful.
Then he realized he may never see a tree again. He might never see
"How long?" he asked quietly.
"A little better than 3 weeks."
"No, how long before they can't fix my eyes?" Chakotay inhaled deeply,
relishing the freshness. Home.
There was a moment of silence. "I'd say a month."
"That's it then. I'll stay alive that long. After that, I won't live
as a blind pet, Tom."
"I'll make you a deal, Chakotay. They aren't here in a month and we'll
do each other, 'cause I ain't staying here by myself."
"Smells like a spring morning at the estate."
"Smells like Dorvan in the early morning."
They both stood at the window. Chakotay touched the collar, his fingers
exploring the cold, rounded edges, the keyhole, the hinges.
"Commander, it doesn't mean anything."
"Yes, it does. I can't lie to myself, Tom. I'm wearing a collar.
Makes me wonder whether I was just fooling myself on Voyager. Making
myself believe that I was a strong man."
Tom started laughing. "Commander, if you weren't a strong man, do you
really think *she* would have dumped you down here?" Tom's hand came
down on Chakotay's shoulder. "Don't give up. Together we'll get
"Yeah." They stood there for a moment of companionable silence. "How
are you doing?"
"Pretty good. The forced thing is getting really hard to deal with."
"That proves that *she* was wrong about you too, Tom. Because if it
weren't hard for you to deal with, she would have been right."
"Do you think they're even trying?"
"What do you think? B'El's two favorite men are down here. She'll
overthrow the entire ship by herself if she has to."