Disclaimer and summary: See part 1

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Part Twenty

The doctor looked up from his console and met Tomís eyes. "All done," he said with a slightly triumphant smile.

"We have control of the transporters?" Tom asked.

"Of course," the doctor answered smugly.

Tom smiled in satisfaction. "Good work, Doc. Can you beam Chakotay and me to Engineering at the same time?"

The doctor returned his attention to his console and typed in a query. When he got the reply a moment later, he opened his desk drawer and removed something from it. Then he turned back to Tom and handed the pilot a comm badge. "The Commander is wearing the badge I gave him when this all began, so as soon as you put this on Iíll initiate the transport," he said.

"Great. As soon as Chakotay and I are in Engineering, I want you to run your program to knock the aliens out and beam them to one of the cargo bays," he said as he put the comm badge on. He glanced up as he had a thought. "Weíll need a strong force field around Engineering. We donít want any of the aliens to get out of the cargo bay and stop us from regaining control of Voyager. We need to get back to that planet and rescue the rest of the crew."

The doctor nodded in agreement. "Just remember that I donít know how long the aliens will be unconscious and I can only raise one force field," he said.

"Iíll remember," Tom promised solemnly. "Can you raise a level ten force field?"

"Yes."

"All right. Letís get this show on the road, then." Seeing the doctorís confused look, Tom Ďtranslatedí. "I mean, letís get started."

"Ah." The doctor turned to his view screen and entered the appropriate command. An instant later, Tom was caught in the transporter beam and the doctor carried out his next order.† "Computer, open ship wide communications."

When the computer beeped in compliance, the doctor started the subroutine that would incapacitate the aliens.

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NabTel was having lunch with his mate and sister when his computer console beeped, signaling that there was a message waiting for him. He rose from the table and went over to sit behind his desk.

Once he was seated, he turned the screen on and discovered not one, but two messages waiting. The first was from MoZdee, requesting his presence on the "Yuzla" when he had time. The second was from Voyagerís doctor and marked urgent. Opening the message, NabTel was unsurprised to see that it wasnít a record, but a written note. It said simply, "Tom Paris and Commander Chakotay will attempt to regain control of Voyager in about an hour. SicA must be distracted." It was signed ĎDí.

After deleting the doctorís message, NabTel turned off his console and rose from his desk. He went back to the dinner table and sat down to resume his interrupted lunch. Catching the quizzical looks his mate and sister gave him, he informed them about the communications. "The first message was from SicA, requesting to speak to me as soon as I have the time."

"I wonder how sheís planning to get out of marrying you," RiKaH commented.

"That shouldnít be a problem," SuelLo remarked. "SicA isnít stupid. Iím sure that once she discovered that NabTel is supposedly sterile, she went to check the PreeVo Marriage Law. By now, she must have found the addendums about the Royal Family."

NabTel nodded in agreement, then frowned slightly and said, "Iím more worried about who sheís chosen to replace me as her mate."

RiKaH and SuelLo stared at NabTel in surprise. "What makes you think that sheíll choose another mate so soon?" RiKaH asked.

Catching and holding his sisterís gaze, NabTel simply said, "She is OmsCa." The tone of his voice implied that no other explanation should be necessary.

After a momentís thought, RiKaHís eyes widened in realization. She turned her head to look at her brother-in-law and saw the same awareness on his face. She cursed softly, then turned back to her brother. "This could be a problem."

NabTel gave a curt nod of agreement, but before he could say anything, his attention was caught by the sudden alarm on his husbandís face. Gazing at the other man, he asked, "SuelLo? What is it?"

SuelLo glanced briefly at his mate, then looked at RiKaH. "This could present a bigger problem than you think," he told her seriously. At her quizzical expression, he elaborated. "Who did SicA keep on the "Yuzla" for a week while she did everything in her power to brainwash him?" he asked, knowing that the two others would catch what he was implying.

This time, both RiKaH and NabTel cursed. "Tom Paris," they answered in unison. †

NabTel put down his utensils and rose from the table. "I better go and distract SicA. If youíre right, SuelLo, and sheís chosen Tom Paris as my replacement, thereís no time to waste." With that, he hurried out of his quarters and went to the "Yuzla" to see SicA. †

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By some stroke of luck, none of the aliens in Engineering noticed Tom and Chakotay as they were beamed in. A moment after the two men had arrived, a deep sound was played over the comm system, rendering the aliens unconscious, but only making the humans slightly uncomfortable. †

The doctor had explained that this particular sound affected the nervous system in both humans and the aliens. The difference was that while a human would only feel a bit anxious, the aliens would react as if they had been sedated. †

After a minute, the sound stopped and then the aliens were beamed out of Engineering. As soon as the last alien disappeared, Tom and Chakotay went to one of the main computer consoles and began the process of hacking through SicAís security lockouts. †

The two officers were so absorbed in their task, that when the doctor commed them, they both jumped in startled surprise. "Doctor to Paris." †

Tom looked up from what he was doing and touched his comm badge to activate it. "Paris here. Go ahead, Doc." †

"All of the aliens are locked in Cargo Bay One, and Iíve raised a level ten force field around Engineering," the doctor reported. †

Even though the doctor couldnít see him, Tom nodded in approval. "All right, Doc. Lock down sickbay, then get down here," he ordered. †

As soon as Tom had answered the doctorís hail, Chakotay went back to the console and continued to try and regain access to the main computer. Although he wasnít really paying attention to Tom and the doctorís conversation, he *was* aware that the pilot was giving the hologram orders. He didnít protest, though, because even though he was the senior officer present, it was Tomís plan and the other man knew what needed to be done. Plus, Tom had basic access to the computer. True, his main access was to the replicator, but it was more than Chakotay had at the moment. †

Chakotay glanced up briefly when Tom closed the link to sickbay. Tom met his eyes and gave him a slight smile. "The doctoríll join us when heís secured sickbay," he informed the older man. †

Chakotay nodded acknowledgement, then they both went back to work on the computer. Hopefully they would get control of Voyager back quicker when the doctor arrived to help. † †


TBC