Disclaimer and summary: See part 1

Part Fourteen

While Chakotay cleared the table after breakfast, he pondered the
problem of how to speak to Tom in private when the quarters
they were in were monitored. As he placed the tray with the dirty
dishes in the recycler, an idea occurred to him. He stopped what
he was doing for a moment, then recycled the tray and the dishes,
now considering how to tell Tom about his idea.

Before Chakotay could think of a way, the door to the cabin
opened and one of the alien guards entered. It stopped right
inside the door and addressed Chakotay. "Come with me," it

Chakotay frowned slightly and cast a quick glance at Tom. The
pilot nodded almost imperceptively and Chakotay moved
towards the alien. He followed it out of the ambassadorial
quarters to the nearest turbolift, wondering where he was being

A few minutes later, the alien gestured for Chakotay to enter
sickbay. Chakotay hid his surprise and went inside, where he was
greeted by the doctor. "Ah, Commander. SicA told me that you
were on your way," he said. "She told me to give you a complete
physical examination, so if you would sit down…" He gestured
to the nearest biobed.

Chakotay went over and sat on the bed as instructed. When the
doctor opened his tricorder and started taking readings, Chakotay
spoke in a low voice, not wanting anyone to overhear. "Are you
being monitored as well?" he asked.

"No, Commander," the doctor answered in an equally quiet
voice. "SicA is only monitoring yours and Tom's quarters."

Chakotay nodded, not surprised that the doctor knew. He had
suspected that this was the reason for the hologram's lies about
Tom. "Have you found a way to incapacitate the aliens?"

The doctor glanced up for a moment, then returned his attention
to the tricorder. "I believe so, but I need a test subject and I have
no idea how to get one."

"That could be a problem," Chakotay admitted, pondering a way
to help the EMH.

"Don't worry about it, Commander. I'll think of something," the
doctor reassured his patient. While he waited for Chakotay to
arrive, he had decided not to mention GenA. The blond alien had
convinced the doctor that he was trustworthy and had agreed to
distract SicA when it became necessary.

Chakotay sighed in relief. That was one less problem he had to
deal with. "Doctor, do you think you'll see Tom today?" he
asked, changing the subject.


Chakotay blinked, surprised by the hologram's tone. "You sound
very certain of that," he observed.

The doctor hesitated for a moment, then admitted, "I am. Mr.
Paris has to come down here to get the hypospray with the drugs
for you." He lifted his eyes from the medical device and caught
Chakotay's frown. "Don't worry, Commander. Knowing Mr.
Paris, he will find a way to avoid administering the drugs."

Chakotay stopped frowning. The doctor was right. Tom was very
resourceful and imaginative. He was sure to find some way to
avoid drugging him and at the same time making sure that no one
would notice. "Do you know where Tom has been since he

"SicA had him transferred to one of the aliens' ships," the doctor

"Oh. Do you know why she would have given him access to
Voyager's computer again?"

The doctor gave Chakotay a surprised look. "She did?" he asked.
When the Commander nodded 'yes', he said, "I didn't know that.
And no, I have no idea why she would do that." A thought
occurred to him then. "Unless she trusts him explicitly for some
reason. It would almost seem that way, wouldn't it? I mean,
she's expecting Mr. Paris to inject his superior officer with some
potentially lethal drugs *and* she's given him access to
Voyager's computer." He caught Chakotay's eyes. "I wonder
what could have happened to Mr. Paris on that ship that would
make SicA certain that she can trust him."

Chakotay stared at the doctor in silence. He hadn't even thought
of that, but now that he did, the images that popped into his mind
were… unpleasant to say the least. "Did you give him an
examination when he returned?"

"No," the doctor admitted. "I didn't have an opportunity to do
that. Not without blowing my cover. SicA was here when he got
back. She had told me that Tom was going to be the one to give
you the drugs and that I had to tell him. She didn't leave sickbay
once the whole time Mr. Paris was here. All I could do was
inform him of one of his new duties, drugging you. Then, SicA
told Mr. Paris that he was to tell you nothing about where he'd
been or what he'd done. She also ordered him to relate every
conversation with you to her."

The doctor paused for a moment, looking down at the tricorder in
his hand. Then he turned his attention back to Chakotay and
continued. "Just before Mr. Paris left sickbay, SicA told him that
the ambassadorial quarters would continue to be monitored until
she was sure that he didn't try anything."

Chakotay was quiet while he digested this information. Finally,
he asked, "When you see Tom could you give him a message
from me?"

"Of course, Commander."

"Tell him that when we are alone in our quarters, I want him to
pretend to be Derek."

The doctor looked puzzled. "Who is Derek?"

Chakotay smiled sadly. "Never mind. Tom will understand."

The doctor shrugged off his curiosity. "Very well. I'll give Mr.
Paris your message," he said and closed the tricorder. Then he
raised his voice slightly. "Well, Commander, the drugs are
completely out of your system and they didn't do any damage
this time."

"I'm sure SicA will be pleased to hear that," Chakotay said
sarcastically and got down from the biobed. "Are you finished
with me?"

"For the moment," the doctor answered. "You're free to leave."

"Thanks, Doctor." With that, Chakotay left sickbay. His alien
guard, who had waited in the corridor outside, led him back to
the turbolift and back to the ambassadorial quarters. Once
Chakotay was inside, the alien left, locking the door behind it.

Chakotay did a quick search of the quarters and discovered that
Tom wasn't there. He had suspected as much after what the
doctor had told him. The younger man was probably talking to
SicA, telling her about their conversation over breakfast. The
Commander returned to the living room and sat down in the
couch to wait for Tom's return.

Chakotay waited for several hours, growing more and more
anxious as the time passed. Finally, the door opened and Tom
entered. Chakotay rose from the couch and met the younger man
halfway. When they reached each other, Tom reached out, pulled
him into his arms, lowered his head slightly and kissed him.

"The doctor gave me your message about pretending to be
Derek," Tom murmured quietly against Chakotay's lips. "Wanna
tell me why you want me to impersonate your deceased lover?"