Title: Oh the Web we Weave
Code: Voyager, C/P
Archive: CPSG and ASCEML, my own page (eventually) anyone else - ask
Disclaimer: I don't own them. I don't make any money at this. I'm not
trying to infringe on anybody's right.
This is response to a challenge posted on CPSG by Lianne. What if it
wasn't Seska who had betrayed Tom?
Tom Paris sat alone at the terminal in his quarters. His head resting
on his hand as his voice sounded quietly, over and over and over.
Tom was bored to death. He had been sitting here for hours. To relieve
boredom, he switched his head to the other hand, and shifted in his
chair to relieve the numbness spreading through his butt.
Actually, he was ready to kill someone. And that someone was:
Chakotay. That was if he thought he stood a snowball's chance in hell
of even landing a blow.
Chakotay had been meaner than an Andorian with a bent antennae for the
last two weeks and seemed to be having a good time taking it out on Tom.
Then came that nasty little alien race that lived in electronic
impulses. And as their general luck was holding, the aliens had gotten
into the computer systems.
The Gltz had fried the EMH, and every other automated system on board
Voyager, and had basically wreaked havoc onboard Voyager. Doors were
jammed open with anything people could find. Access ladders had been
marked as up or down. It was a nightmare.
The Gltz were really a nice race, kinda like Q. You could get along
with them after you got past the initial desire to choke the living shit
out of them.
Which was why Tom was in his quarters, downloading all personal logs and
files prior to the Caretaker onto data crystals. Tom shifted again.
Star Fleet issue chairs were okay, but this was ridiculous.
It was also why he had to do it manually. The Gltz had invaded the
systems, and liked it so much, that they had called all their little
Gltz friends and overloaded the entire freaking computer system.
Well, once their new toy had died, which managed to bring Voyager to a
dead halt in space, they had finally deemed to make contact with the
And when they figured out how much damage they had caused, they promised
to restore everything, which they admittedly had done.
Problem was, they added extra information to the data banks and didn't
exactly put the information back where it actually belonged.
So for the last week they had been chasing down glitches, blown circuits
and other little malfunctions, all over the ship. The entire crew was
crawling through Jeffries Tubes rerouting systems, tracking down shorts,
The only high point of the little 'first contact' scenario was when the
EMH's need for clothing somehow didn't get reintegrated into his system.
The look on the Captain's face when he brought the EMH back on line and
saw the 'anatomically correct' Doctor standing there had been
priceless. Her eyes skittered down and then back up. She looked at
Tom, who was grinning sheepishly, and said, 'Fix it.'
Chakotay however, had jumped on him three different ways from Sunday,
while the EMH stood there naked, asking the nature of their emergency.
If Chakotay hadn't been sticking his finger in Tom's face, threatening
him with everything but bodily harm, Tom would have laughed.
Tom leaned back and stretched. He was freeing up memory to do the
massive systems shifts they were going to have to do to get Voyager
working again. The computer would defrag itself and put everything back
where it belonged, but it needed room to do it.
He had reached just before he was brought on board. There were a lot of
the dead crew's logs that needed to be wiped, and just normal everyday
log type stuff that could be gotten rid of without a problem. And how
had he gotten this joyous task?
"Anyone care to take a guess? Anyone at all," Tom said, to the empty
room, in an attempt to relieve his boredom. Oh, if Chakotay could only
see me now, Tom thought sarcastically. He'd probably yank me off the
helm until the Doc could do a psych eval.
"What did you say, Ma'am. The Captain? No. The Captain is a fine
woman who wouldn't do this to me." He smiled to himself. "B'Elanna,
you ask. No," Tom shook his head dramatically. "She just threatened to
rip my balls off if I didn't quit goofing off and get to work." Tom
chuckled as he remembered the angry Klingon. "And you sir, you said?
Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner, Ladies and Gentlemen - Chakotay!"
Tom clapped his hands in applause. "Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, the ever
stoic, anally retentive, Mystic Warrior once more came unglued at a
simple attempt to relieve monotony and busted me down to manually
downloading close to 3,000 personal log notations." He looked at his
terminal. "So download it already!"
Tom stared at the computer as it made a rude noise. "Data crystal
full." The first time he heard it, he could have sworn the computer
either burped or farted; hard to tell with a computer sometimes.
Tom sighed and got back to work.
Three hours later, Tom had managed to download all of the deceased
crew's logs. He had also gotten rid of most of the standard - all is
well in the pick your department - reports. Now he was sifting through
the command reports and communications that had been stored.
It was almost time for dinner and since every single replicator had
developed a sense of humor since the Gltz; Tom was off to the mess hall
to live through Neelix's latest torture. Just as he was about to shut
his terminal down, he saw a communication that caught his eye.
"That's odd," he murmured to himself. It was a message from Crazy Horse
prior to the Caretaker and the badlands. Tom sat back down and opened
Chakotay sat in the mess hall eating dinner, or whatever this crap was
that Neelix had thrown together. This was worse than usual. Under
normal circumstances, Neelix could throw something colorful in here to
try to mask the leola root, but the Gltz's little meltdown had put a
massive strain on their fresh food supply, and thus everything on his
plate was gray. A gray that spoke of institutions and prisons and...he
pushed the plate away.
"That bad, Commander?" Kathryn asked, as she sat down with a tray.
"Worse," he replied shortly. He picked up his cup of tea, one of the
last remaining luxuries he had and even that was getting very low. He
had enough left to last him maybe three or four more days. Hopefully,
by then they would be able to use the replicators again.
"Cheer up, Chakotay. We've almost got everything fixed."
"It isn't just the food, Kathryn. The entire situation is stressful and
everyone is feeling it, but I'm just...I don't know, getting restless."
"I know. Do you want to talk about it?"
"Honestly, Captain, I can't even pin it down myself," Chakotay said, as
he took another sip of his tea. He put the cup down and rubbed the back
of his neck, trying to ease the stiff muscles.
"Have you tried meditation?" Kathryn asked quietly, her eyes full of
He gave her a look over his cup. She knew he didn't like to discuss
this in public.
"Sorry," Kathryn said contritely.
Chakotay took a deep breath. He knew Kathryn was just trying to help.
"No, I'm sorry. I had no right to get upset about that. Yes, I've
tried to meditate on it, but it's like that itch you just can't
She nodded in understanding. "And without any distractions...."
"Exactly," Chakotay agreed. Then he caught her concerned expression.
"Don't worry, Kathryn, I'll be fine."
"I know, but you'll forgive me for being concerned about a member of my
Chakotay smiled lightly. "Of course."
They sat there as Kathryn tried the gray food. Chakotay could still
feel the tensions building through his shoulders, making his neck stiff
and sore. It was there continually, never allowing him to relax. It
was just like before a battle, but this wasn't letting up. He jumped
slightly as Kathryn dropped her fork back to her plate.
"Well, Chakotay, you weren't lying to me. Not even a pound of salt
could make this edible."
They both sighed as they looked around the mess hall. A moment of
silence between them ensued, and then Kathryn quietly asked,
"Chakotay, has Tom done something specific that has you so angry at
"Do I need a specific reason?" Chakotay asked. "Tom irritates me just
as a general rule. Lately he's been jumping on every opportunity to
push me. Why has he complained to you?" It amazed Chakotay that even
the mention of that man's name could push his blood pressure up several
notches, and it wouldn't surprise him in the least if Tom had gone to
Kathryn. She doted on him like he was her own son.
"No, I just noticed that you two seemed to be having more confrontations
than usual," she pointed out in a neutral tone of voice, sipping her
coffee. "I was wondering if there was a reason."
"Paris and I don't need a new reason to dislike each other, we have more
than enough already," Chakotay stated. "Look Kathryn, I know we don't
share the same views about him. You see him as someone who turned down
the wrong road by accident. I see him as the man who is responsible for
all of us being here." Chakotay did not want to discuss Tom Paris;
Chakotay did not want to think about Tom Paris, and Chakotay, sure as
hell, did not want to hear Kathryn Janeway defending him yet again.
Spirits, it felt like his entire back was just a giant knot of muscles.
"That isn't fair. All Tom did was..."
"Was lead you straight to my hideout in the badlands."
"Chakotay, you weren't even there."
"By chance alone, Kathryn. If it hadn't been for the Caretaker, he
would have brought you straight to my door. He's a traitor. Twice
"I really wish you would give him a chance."
"Kathryn, how many years have we been having this argument. Tom Paris
is a traitor. He's a traitor to the Maquis and to Starfleet. I don't
want anything to do with him," Chakotay said in a clipped and
professional tone. He used it to mask his rising ire.
"Chakotay, he saved your life."
Chakotay leaned over, close to Kathryn, but there was no hiding the
anger in his voice. "And has never missed an opportunity to throw it in
my face! If it hadn't been for the fact we need him, I promise you, I
wouldn't have called my people off."
"Are you saying you would have let the Maquis kill him?" Kathryn asked,
her eyes wide with surprise.
"That's what the Maquis do to traitors," Chakotay said, just before he
got up and stomped out. He knew his anger was at a dangerous level.
He stormed down the halls to his quarters, noting people got out of his
way. Tom Paris. Was there more of a waste of resources on board this
ship? Chakotay had given that sorry piece of scum a chance. He had
pulled him out of the gutters on that stupid planet. Paris had been
maybe a day or two from selling his body to eat, or more appropriately
buy himself more alcohol. Chakotay had taken him to the Crazy Horse,
used his few supplies to dry the idiot out.
He *thought* he had seen something in Paris. Something that with the
right influences would flourish and make Paris a better man. He had
encouraged him, molly coddled him, protected him from some of his crew
and that sorry piece of waste had turned on him. He had lead Chakotay
on with those big blue eyes and that innocent face and turned on him!
Chakotay was ready to kill by the time he got to his quarters.
When he got there, he angrily punched in his code, entered his quarters,
and then stopped.
"Chakotay, I need to show you something." Paris was standing next to
the coffee table with a padd in his hand.
"What in the hell are you doing in my quarters, Paris?" Chakotay
growled. It took control not to just attack the man. His entire body
was stiff with rage.
"I'm sorry, but this was too important to talk about anywhere else."
That was it. Chakotay snapped. The two weeks worth of frustrations and
months of agitation and years of unresolved anger towards this man
erupted. Chakotay grabbed him by the uniform, ordered the computer to
open his doors and literally threw Tom Paris out into the hallway and
then he locked his door.
"Holy Shit, Tom! What in the hell did you do this time?" Harry said, as
he helped Tom stand back up. Harry had nearly been taken out by Tom's
body as it came flying out of Chakotay's quarters.
"I gotta talk to him, Harry. I found something out that could change
everything between him and me," Tom said, holding the arm that had hit
the far wall of the corridor. He started towards the door again.
Harry, however, stopped him.
"What? A lobotomy?" Harry asked, as he met his friend's eyes. "He
isn't in the mood, Tom. I suggest you leave him alone."
"No," Tom said, staring at Chakotay's door. "It's too important."
"What's so important that it can change years of Chakotay hating you?"
"The truth," Tom said. He went to ring the chime, but as his sore arm
moved, Tom winced. He reached over gently and cradled his arm.
Harry stepped up beside him, turning him down the hall. "I think you
should give the Commander a chance to calm down, while the EMH looks at
Tom continued to stare at Chakotay's door, but at Harry's gently nudge,
allowed himself to be led away.
"So, tell me more about this nude meeting between the Captain and the
It wasn't until much later that evening that Chakotay noticed the padd,
which Tom had dropped when he had grabbed him.
*...this was too important to talk about anywhere else.*
"Right," he muttered. He threw the padd onto the pile on his desk and
went to bed.
The next morning, the staff meeting was glacial between Tom and
Chakotay. Tom had tried to talk to him before the meeting, but Chakotay
even beat him into the conference room and there was no way he was going
to discuss this in front of the Captain. They were both assigned to
different areas of the ship, and he couldn't get Chakotay to stop to
talk to him without catching everyone's attention.
Later, Tom was down in the 'crew' quarters that were never used, working
on relays that had not handled the Gltz well. They had shorted out,
which they had found out was basically caused by too many Gltz feeding
on the energy impulses.
"Sorry little buggers," Tom muttered, as he worked. But as the job
became more routine, Tom let his mind wander. How could he get Chakotay
to listen to him or at least read the files he had downloaded. He had
to think of something that wasn't going to get him killed. Getting the
EMH to shut up about his shoulder being dislocated had been hard enough.
Anything Tom came up with was either going to send Chakotay into such a
tirade that he wouldn't listen, or he would just turn around and walk
out. Although Tom did favor the idea of hacking into the transporter
system and beaming the stupid son of a bitch into the brig until he
listened. However, he also figured the Captain would find out long
before Chakotay calmed down and she would put Tom in the brig instead.
"There has got to be a way," Tom said aloud, as he tightened up a bolt.
However, his hand slipped off the wrench and went straight into the
exposed power relay. The last thing Tom remembered was an incredible
jolt of power shooting through his body, wondering whether his body
could stand it and hoping that smoky smell wasn't coming from him.
Chakotay stormed into his quarters once more.
*That stupid, lazy, disrespectful idiot!* Chakotay thought angrily. He
had just come back from sick bay. He and Kathryn had sat there and
listened to a thankfully clothed EMH explain what had happened that had
blacked out a good third of the ship and nearly killed Paris. Not that
Chakotay would have been upset about Paris dying, but it was going to
take an extra two days to fix what he had managed to destroy today.
He threw himself into his desk chair and put his head in his hands,
running his fingers through his hair. He had to do something to reduce
his stress levels or he was going to kill someone. Usually when he got
like this, he could go to the holodeck and run himself into the ground
by boxing or Klingon Battle programs or swimming laps, but with the
holodecks down and another two days at least before they were repaired,
he would just have to wait it out. At least he didn't have to worry
about Paris' presence adding to his stress. No, the stupid jerk had lit
himself up like an Aurora Borealis and would be down for several days.
With a massive sigh, Chakotay picked up the top padd on his desk and
began to review reports.
*Nothing like mindless shit to take your mind off it.*
Chakotay worked steadily, reading, cataloguing and transferring data for
the weekly synopsis he always prepared for Kathryn. He picked up the
next padd on his desk, when Tuvok's face leaped out at him.
"Captain, the route Tom Paris will take will be..."
Chakotay quirked an eyebrow as he paused the message. Tuvok was in a
Maquis uniform. Paris' route? He checked the date of the message.
Hell, this was before they had left the Alpha. Chakotay stiffened as he
realized what he was holding. This was the padd Tom had dropped.
*...this was too important to talk about anywhere else.*
Then Chakotay put two and two together. This was before we left the
Alpha, Tuvok was in a Maquis uniform, the route Paris would take...
"Oh, shit," Chakotay said aloud.
Chakotay, with a growing sense of dread, replayed the message and then
listened to the rest of them.
Hours later, Chakotay sat on his couch, the padd on coffee table in
front of him, next to a tricorder, his elbows on his knees, his head in
his hands. *Spirits, what have I done?*
Tom slowly woke up. He opened one eye. *Yep, sick bay.* He slowly sat
up in the darkened room.
"Easy." A hand came under his back and helped him sit up.
"Commander?" Tom asked, surprised.
"I reviewed your report, Paris."
Tom turned quickly and almost fell off the biobed as his body reacted
differently than he expected it to. A strong hand closed around his
bicep stopping him from pitching face first onto the floor. Tom put a
hand to his forehead then he remembered the power coupling. Well, at
least he had lived. Then what Chakotay said registered. Tom looked up
slowly and met the Commander's eyes.
"What did you think?" Tom asked, hoping the information made a
Chakotay offered him a glass of water. Tom took it, making sure he had
a firm grip on the glass so he didn't drop it, and then drank deeply.
"I think...I think, I'm not nearly the judge of character I thought I
was," Chakotay said quietly. "Paris, I woke you up. We need to talk
"After reading those messages, I was hoping you would say that," Tom
said, as he carefully put the water down. His body was not functioning
like it should be. It must be from the power overload. As he looked
back at Chakotay, he laughed. "I guess I owe Seska an apology."
"Why?" Chakotay asked surprised.
"I always thought she turned me in." Tom gently swung his legs over the
edge of the bed and slowly sat up. "I mean, I knew I had been set up,
but I never knew who did it." He slowly began to work muscle groups to
see if he could walk without looking like a drunken fool.
For a moment, Chakotay watched silently. Finally, he spoke.
"Paris, did you dig any deeper into those files?"
"Not really. When we got to the array, they stopped."
"I know, but did you notice the frequency, and how they were stored?
Those messages are not official Star Fleet logs."
"So?" Tom asked confused. Everyone kept personal records. He had some
squirreled away somewhere.
"There are more," Chakotay said quietly.
"I get the distinct impression I'm not going to like what you found,"
Tom stated, with a cold feeling settling into his stomach that had
nothing to do with the power overload.
"No, you aren't. The traitor thing, where Kathryn cut me out?"
"They already knew it was Seska," Chakotay almost whispered.
"Hush," Chakotay said, looking around, and shushing Tom with his hands.
"I've shut the EMH down, but I spent a good portion of the evening
digging through personal logs and there's some stuff going on that, if
word gets out, will rip this ship apart."
"What type of things?"
"Like all the Maquis quarters are under surveillance."
"All of them?" Tom asked
"Yes, as well as yours and mine."
"Not the bedroom?" Tom asked, as he thought of several of the *evenings*
he had spent in there.
"Even the bathrooms."
"Now that is just cheap."
Chakotay sighed at Tom's attempted levity. "Also, we've all been
implanted with transponders."
"WHA...what?" Tom said, tempering his tones.
"Yes, when we came in for routine medical exams, each of us has had a
"What for? And who? Everyone or...?"
"Just the Maquis, and you, of course." Chakotay said, crossing his
arms. "Think about it. Remember that program Tuvok wrote in case there
was an insurrection. Why would they implant transponders?"
"In case...you were meeting to plan something."
"Got it in one, Paris. I'm impressed." Chakotay said.
Tom decided to ignore his snide humor, for the sake of peace.
Chakotay started to pace in front of Tom. "If more than four of us
gather somewhere, other than Sandrine's, the mess hall, or our shift
area, Tuvok is alerted."
Tom sat there silently for a moment and then asked a simple question.
"Why?" He was shock, as he realized everything that he had thought
about Voyager and her 'crew' went up in smoke. He looked up at his
nemeses on board this ship and realized nothing between them since he
had gone to jail had been the truth, that nothing on board this ship had
been the truth. That he had been trusting people who were lying to
him. That the only people he should have trusted had been swayed
against him in a way that would probably never be forgotten. "Why me?
What in the fuck did I do to deserve this? Why do they think I am such
a fucking threat? "
"Well, Tuvok was pretty clear about the Maquis thing. It was to keep
his cover secure. He was afraid you might recognize him."
"Getting me sent to Auckland was just a little extreme to keep his cover
in tact, don't you think?"
"In his place, I would have killed you, but you know Vulcans."
Tom nearly popped off with a smart alec response until he realized
Chakotay was serious. Chakotay would have killed him to keep his cover
secure and Tuvok probably saw having Tom taken by Star Fleet to spend a
year and a half in prison a more logical course of action. "Geez,
"But, there were more than just his cover for reasons," Chakotay said.
"Your father wanted you back where he could keep an eye on you.
Something about his reputation being besmirched by his son flying for
"Now why doesn't that surprise me?" Tom asked aloud. The Admiral was
such a self-righteous prig. He still hadn't gotten past being
disowned. One day, he wanted to face his father again, even if it did
mean going back to jail.
"And, they were doing some long range planning here. You were the
scapegoat. They knew where we were. All they had to do was bring you
on board and everyone would be willing to jump to the conclusion that
you sold us out. Of course, the Maquis disappearing to the Delta
probably put a twist in their knickers."
"But the Caretaker took Voyager as well."
"Right, and Ocampa. Always wondered why you did that, especially after
our little scene on the bridge. You realize that's the only thing that
saved your life, don't you?"
"Now I do, but up until yesterday, I didn't understand why you hated me
so much. Well, I could see why you thought I was a traitor with me
being on Voyager, but you were so vehement."
"I thought you were a plant and a spy."
"They sent me to Auckland," Tom pointed out. It wasn't like Auckland
was some pleasure planet.
"But you came out without a mark. The Maquis in there said they
couldn't get to you."
"If you think I was doing easy time in there, you're wrong." Then Tom
looked up. "You were trying to get me killed?"
"At first, no, but then with the disinformation that Tuvok was
spreading, yes. I wanted you dead."
"Can life get any better?"
"No, it gets worse," Chakotay said, very seriously. "Kathryn has been
keeping us at odds to some degree. Pampering you to get me riled,
wanting to talk to me about you when things started to calm down,
parading your sexual conquests in front of me. And, with the exception
of B'Elanna and myself, Maquis promotions have been much slower,
and...she has orders."
"And those orders are?"
"Just get us back to the Alpha. The Maquis will be dealt with there.
The Maquis and Lieutenant Thomas Eugene Paris."
"I'm going back to jail, aren't I?"
"If we live that long," Chakotay paused. "Tom, I need your help with
"Tom? TOM? After five years you suddenly deem yourself worthy to speak
my first name?"
"Cut the crap, *Paris*. This is a serious situation, and whether or not
you like it, you have fallen into the "them" category. As in, us and
"I think I qualify as a them to both sides, don't you," Tom asked,
looking at Chakotay skeptically. "What?"
"I need to find out what something is. I did a scan of myself and I
have two implants. One is the transponder, the other, I'm not sure."
Chakotay handed Tom a tricorder. Tom looked at it.
"What is it?"
"Remember that thing they used on Harry and me on Akiteria?"
"Yeah, the...clamp. Made you angry." Tom watched as understanding
dawned on Chakotay. He clenched his jaw and his hands became fists.
Then Tom watched Chakotay close his eyes and draw a deep breath. The
controlled features of the First Officer once more surfaced. "That
would explain why I have been so tense lately."
"What are they trying to do? Oh I get it. You loose it on someone,
they can force you out of the command staff," Tom said, as he set the
"I think that's it."
"So what are we going to do?" Tom asked his former Captain, because
after what he had read, he knew he could trust Chakotay.
"I don't know, but act like you don't know anything."
"I believe the Commander and Lieutenant Paris have just outlived their