Title: "Phoenix Fire"
Pairing: C/P (predominantly).
Chapter Thirteen (13/?).
Summary: The Voyager crew breaks out from their prison. Things change.
Moving things change, and because we cannot put a stop to time, it continues unarrested.
--- Basho, Learn From The Pine.
It was a shock for the few DS9 personnel when the Voyager crew pounced onto them suddenly. The panicking officers tried to alert Captain Sisko but B'Elanna knocked them unconscious with well-delivered blows to their solar plexuses. The half-Klingon leapt into the fray with ill-disguised glee, kicking out and punching the officers who attempted to stop her. Tuvok and Chakotay, carrying the phaser rifles, followed more sedately but they fought off the reinforcements. By the time they reached the main level of the station, Captain Sisko was already informed about the crisis and Odo was soon hurrying across the Plaza with his security teams.
*** *** ***
Kathryn Janeway shielded the little girl with her body as the remaining DS9 officers began to use their phasers on them. They wouldn't! She thought, half-furious and indignant. But then, she was probably considered dangerous, a threat to the peace. With a growl, she ducked the phaser fire, heard the cry from Naomi and the reassuring shout from the girl's mother.
Maybe we shouldn't have, she thought and squashed it immediately. They had already broken out from the 'debriefing' room. Things had already been set in motion and she had to go through with it.
A pained yell came from her right. Lieutenant Nicoletti. The young woman clutched her shoulder, her face screwed up in a grimace of agony. But Geron urged her to continue running. The Bajoran youth grinned at his captain and fended off a female officer who fell with a groan.
"We have to disable their systems," Kathryn said above the din. The station's alarms were already whooping overhead. Harry nodded and headed straight for a wall-panel where he yanked the protective covering off and started to work.
The sounds of running could be heard right in front and B'Elanna rounded a corner sharply, her boot-heels skidding on the floorboards. Chakotay and Tuvok followed a few seconds later.
"More security personnel," she cautioned, still running as she swept past Kathryn. Chakotay motioned with his free hand while he held the rifle ready.
"You seem to have brought the entire station upon us," the Native American said with grim amusement.
Kathryn acknowledged her executive officer with a slight smile and was about to speak when a DS9 security manr appeared. Chakotay reacted quickly by firing the rifle. The man collapsed, his face suddenly slack.
"Stun," Chakotay explained when Kathryn flung a questioning glance at him.
They had no time to lose.
"I am still…trying to disable the main computer system," Harry said, the expression on his face intense. "I can't seem to break into the codes. They are counterattacking by encrypting the combinations…"
"Harry, we have to go now," Kathryn commanded and the young man reluctantly pulled away.
Chakotay suddenly stopped in his tracks. "We have to rescue Tom!"
"Chakotay, time is running out for us…"
Dark eyes gazed at Kathryn steadily.
"Don't try to be a one-man show," the captain of Voyager said quietly. From the other side of the corridor, B'Elanna was shouting something.
"I am not," Chakotay said calmly, staring at his superior officer.
"Go," Kathryn turned away, closing her eyes. "Be careful."
*** *** ***
The DS9 infirmary was suddenly crowded with injured officers. The nursing staff found their hands full with patients wounded with broken ribs and torn ligaments. Julian Bashir managed to get the more serious ones to the bio-beds while the rest had to wait for treatment. All the while, Tom watched silently.
He had heard the alarms and felt the rush of agitation amongst the medical crew. Something was afoot and hope grew in his chest.
"You are enjoying this, aren't you?" Julian said, walking up to him. The doctor looked angry; his eyes glinted.
Tom refused to answer the doctor. Instead, he settled down and waited, his mind filled with thoughts of Chakotay.
*** *** ***
Benjamin Sisko rapped out orders. He couldn't believe this. The Voyager crew had broken out of their confinement. A part of him admired their audacity and courage. Another part cursed and swore.
"They are heading…" Kira was saying, her hands on her hips, "for Voyager's berth."
"Great God," Sisko rubbed his face. "What do they think they are doing?"
"Well, you locked them in…" Jadzia said lightly. Her comment earned a glare from her friend and colleague.
"I am going to stop this madness."
Without a word, Sisko turned on his heels and walked to the lift.
*** *** ***
We are almost there!
Kathryn clung onto that single thought in her mind. She couldn't believe what she was doing. She was breaking every rule in her own book…and she wasn't feeling scared or anything. She used to be a typical law-abiding, textbook Starfleet officer. Something had changed within her.
I am not as gullible as before? She mused, running a hand through her hair. She glanced at her assembled crew. A few bore phaser wounds but they smiled and endured the pain without comment. Neelix soothed a wide-eyed Naomi. Tuvok guarded the group diligently with his rifle, his face smooth.
Harry and B'Elanna stood next to the door, trying to figure out the number authorization codes. Voyager was only separated from them by a layer of metal.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you," a deep masculine voice said.
Kathryn tilted her chin. "Captain Benjamin Sisko," she said curtly, as if to a sparring opponent.
*** *** ***
Chakotay managed to evade the few security officers. He almost ran into the taciturn Chief Odo head-on. Yet, before the security head could react, Chakotay was already running off to a different direction.
Tom! The Commander summoned the name that had sustained him, made him whole. He was going to rescue Tom, by hook or by crook.
The image of a smiling blonde only served to energize him further. He ran down the corridor, his mind focused. Behind him, his pursuers hung onto the chase like hounds on a scent trail.
A door slid open…and Chakotay saw Tom sitting upright on a bio-bed. His mind cried out with joy and relief. Tom had turned around and the blue eyes were wide open.
"There he is!"
Chakotay realized that he was cornered. There were three groups of officers bearing down on him, each coming from a different direction.
He bared his teeth like a defensive wolf.
*** *** ***
Tom only managed to capture a glimpse of Chakotay's head before the door of the Infirmary hissed shut. He could only remember the love in those eyes, the yearning in them.
Chakotay has come to save me!
He could hear the sounds of a struggle. Bumps and thuds were discernible through the metal door. Two nurses disrupted his line of vision. Tom bit down a scathing retort.
C'mon, Chakotay…you have to fight!
Shouts could be heard and Chakotay's familiar battle-cry rang out once. Then silence. When the door was finally open, Chakotay was gone.
Tom's heart did a backflip, turned horribly cold and shattered. Chakotay! No!
It couldn't be. It shouldn't be.
Chakotay had abandoned him.
*** *** ***
The annoying door shut before Chakotay could do anything! He growled low in his throat and met the first group with his fists. He grabbed the neck of an officer who unfortunately came too close and slammed the man against the wall. Two were quickly out cold when the butt of the rifle crashed into one side of their skulls. The second group was more cautious and they held their phasers like talismans. Chakotay couched, readying himself for battle. He knew that the third group was inching towards him.
With a shout, a burly-looking man lunged for Chakotay and the Commander hit out with his boot. The man spun away, wincing. The next thing Chakotay knew, the officers were attacking him, all at once. His fists found their mark on unprotected flesh.
But they kept coming.
Chakotay shouted the war-chant, using his rifle as a bludgeoning weapon. He was weakening rapidly. He swung out with his hand, grabbing hold of a young man. He flung the officer off and the man hit the wall with an audible 'omf'.
Pain raced down his back! Chakotay gasped in horror. Numbness began to spread throughout his body and he dropped onto his knees. As the numbness reached his chest, Chakotay fell onto his side. As he began to lose consciousness, he could hear ---very faintly --- the officers talking to someone.
"Thank you, doctor…"
Chakotay's eyes closed. Deep within him, his heart was chilled and despair, blacker than the night, curled in his belly. He had failed Tom. He had failed.
Darkness claimed him.