See part 1 for disclaimer
'Oh, Spirits' by JJ
That night, as Chakotay set up the perimeter warning device, he continued
to think about the past and what had brought him to this particular point
in his life. His spirit walk brought this on. He had been taken to a
He had stood on one side of a river facing a huge waterfall. He had stood
there for a long time, studying the act of nature. The roar of the water
rushing over the cliff had been deafening, as the water went from a dark,
murky greenish-brown to a light, white-green. He watched the droplets
thrown clear of the main force free falling to the river. The froth and
turmoil as the falling water hit the rocks and boulders and previously
fallen water created a bubbling cauldron of activity. Chakotay had even
been able to see fish coming down with the water, and other fish milling in
the calmer areas below.
The spray of the water on his face even in the spirit world had been
refreshing. The bright almost neon rainbow it created as it hit the rocks
throwing water high into the air had dazzled his eyes. The cool breeze
always moving had made the mist seem even cooler, but tantalizing. He
wondered what it would be like to stand under that, and realized it would
beat him to a pulp.
Then he had been taken high into the air, tracing the river backwards.
Many smaller rivers, and creeks made up the momentous sight of all that
water racing over the edge of the cliff. He thought of his own rivers that
had brought him to where he was. Seemingly unconnected events had shaped
his life. His father, Tom, the Maquis, StarFleet and even the Cardassians,
had all shaped him into what he was now.
Farther inland, he had traveled in his spirit walk until he came to rest at
a small bubbling underground spring. He had stood in wonder, staring at
the innocuous beginning that became a river of great beauty that fed the
world around it, housed the life within in it, and shaped the lands it
traveled through. He had really been awed seeing the two extremes. He
looked around his campsite noticing the wind was picking up and the air
held a colder bite than it had the past few nights.
He moved into the hut and spread out his bedroll to sleep in. As he threw
a few more pieces of wood on the fire, to keep the shelter warmer; his
thoughts drifted backwards. The main points of his life were first and
foremost his parents and his family. Oh yes, his birth had been no great
event, just another child born, but just like the spring, once things had
started to move, other factors came into play. Chakotay nodded as the fire
grew warmer and brighter. His father in particular. He thought of his
father: his quiet ways, his quiet words and his quiet life. So many
things he could have learned if he had only been willing to listen.
Chakotay still regretted the step that he had taken into the next part of
his life and the long term effects it had had on him. The step that had
led him away from his people's way and into Star Fleet and the modern way
of life. Yes, that was another river feeding into his life. It hadn't
just effected him though, it had also effected his father. He hoped his
father knew that he had returned to the old ways, that he honored his
father even here in the Delta Quadrant. However, Chakotay admitted,
without that training, he never would have continued on to the next stage
of his life with the success he had, or been able to help Kathryn integrate
the two crews.
After StarFleet, his father murdered by the Cardassians and Chakotay had
joined the Maquis. That was in a way the best and the worst all mixed
together. He had gotten mean, had done things he would always regret, but
he had also found peace with himself and it had brought him Tom. However,
it had also brought him here. Chakotay leaned back against the edge of the
Yes, he could see the different streams coming into his life, moving with
him, mixing with him, changing his course. Maybe one day he would be a
waterfall, too. Probably get himself beat to death in the process too. He
smiled to himself, shaking his head.
Then he was tense, every muscle in his body went rigid. The perimeter
alarm had gone off. It was set to go off only at an animal over 4 ft. tall
and 55 kilos. He sat still until he heard brush breaking under a large
foot. He pulled his phaser and thumbed it up to heavy stun, without taking
his eyes off the opening, as he slowly stood up.
He aimed at the opening of the shelter. He had seen the achee and they
were an ugly animal that didn't hesitate in its attack. It was fast and
vicious. Chakotay knew if it got in the shelter, he would die and if not,
he would be severely injured. The steps got louder and louder. He gently
put his finger on the trigger. Obviously, the animal had his scent and was
following him. Chakotay took a calming breath and when he saw the
movement, he fired.
For an instant, nothing seemed to make sense. He had fired, but instead of
an achee...instead of an angry, hungry animal...instead of having to comm
to the settlement for a beam out... Chakotay just stood there unable to
comprehend what had happened. Tom lay on the ground, an extra blanket
Chakotay belted the phaser, and ran to Tom in a panic.
"I'm sorry, Baby. I thought you were an Achee," he whispered as he knelt
beside Tom. He stuffed the blanket under Tom's head. Oh, was he going to
be in trouble when Tom woke up. He soothed Tom's hair back from his face.
but something was wrong. Tom wasn't moving. Chakotay felt for a pulse.
Nothing, Chakotay touched his lover. What was going on, his phaser was
only on stun.
"Tom." He shook him. "Come on, Tom, this isn't funny!" Chakotay gently
put Tom's head in his lap. "Tom!"
Then reality crashed into his numbed brain. Chakotay ran for his
tricorder. He pointed it at Tom, it only registered a corpse.
"NO!" He cried, pulling his phaser from his belt.
His mind refused to believe what his eyes told him. His stomach clenched
and his entire body went cold. His phaser was set to kill, but he had only
thumbed it up once; but then he understood. When he had fallen down, it
must have shifted to a higher setting. To high stun and he had turned it
up to kill. The control was covered in mud. NO! This couldn't be
happening. No! His hands began to shake, and he dropped to his knees. He
had killed Tom. NONONONONONONO! He had shot the only man he had ever
loved. He had killed the man who saved his life. HE HAD KILLED TOM!
Chakotay fell to his knees, rocking as the horrific truth filled him.
"OH, SPIRITS NO!" He wailed into the night sky.
He scrambled back to Tom, and lifted him into his lap. "Please, no. Tom,
I'm sorry. I didn't mean to. Oh Spirits, please, you never give anyone
more than they can handle, and I can't handle this. Please! Don't take
Tom away. PLEASE!" He pleaded and begged, tears streaming down his face as
he held his husband to him.
Then he was in a quiet clearing surrounded by a forest. Tom still lay in
his lap, still. He looked around, realizing this was a spirit plane. He
sat there looking around, unwilling to release Tom's body.
He watched his spirit guide approach him, and then sit down about fifteen
feet away. A beautiful bird approached them, and landed gently on a nearby
limb. Then an owl came out of its hole in the tree. Animal after animal
came and joined until a circle was formed around the two of them.
"Who are you?" Chakotay asked holding Tom close.
"We are the Spirits," The owl responded.
"You are the Spirits?"
"In a form you can understand," a cougar responded, his voice was a deep
"Why are you here? Why have you brought me here."
"He isn't very bright," the magpie said. Its voice was sharp and
"You would be confused as well," the owl said. The owl's head rotated back
to Chakotay. "You called us, for the life of your love."
A spark of hope lit within the numbness of his heart. "Can you really give
"We can do many things," his own spirit guide said.
"Don't let him die," Chakotay said.
"If you don't want him dead, why did you kill him?" the magpie asked.
"I didn't mean to. It was an accident. I thought he was an Achee. I
didn't know my phaser was so high. Please, don't take him from me."
"It was an accident?" The magpie asked mimicking Chakotay. "He walked up to
your camp to bring you an extra blanket and you shoot him without even
looking at who you were shooting at first, and it was an accident. Pretty
stupid, if you ask me."
Chakotay wanted to deny that, but it was true. "I thought it was an achee.
They live in the mountains and are moving this time of year. I..."
"Oh, even better, he sets up camp in an area where he knows he might be
attacked and then kills anyone moving in his area. Real warrior material,
if you ask me!" The magpie fluttered its wings. The owl looked at
Chakotay with its dark eyes.
"Your response, son of Kolopak?"
"You know me?"
"Of course," Came the racheting response from a rabbit. "Now do you have
an answer to what you have been accused of?"
"I killed him. I did, but no... the phaser, it was only supposed to be set
to stun. Not kill. I don't kill without reason."
"Sure looks like you do to me," the magpie condemned.
"Remember your past, son of Kolopak," another voice accused.
A large stag stepped forward. "Stop, accidents happen. That is why we are
here." Chakotay listened to the deep voice of the majestic animal.
"Is there a chance you'll save him?" Chakotay asked, stroking Tom's face.
"If you can convince us, but there is a price."
"What kind of price?"
"That will be decided," the stag said. "Explain it to us, son of Kolopak."
Suddenly, Chakotay couldn't think. How to defend himself against pulling a
trigger without looking first. It was undefendable. He looked down at the
still body in his arms. He had to try, Tom's life hung in the balance. He
would do anything to save Tom, anything.