Disclaimer and summary: See part 1

Dedicated to my darling twin who wanted the scene with
Naomi. Also, to Kimbo, without whom this part might still be
stuck in my head. And to the rest of the gang

Part Twenty-Four

Henley, Ashmore, the Delaney twins and Nicoletti were standing
just outside the ex-crew's settlement. They were waiting for
Dalby and Gerron. The two of them were returning Janeway to
her shelter after the group's... interrogation. None of them felt
that Janeway had been punished enough, but it was almost
lunchtime and since the group didn't want Neelix to discover
what they were up to, they had no choice.

"It's too bad that Chakotay will probably insist on a psych eval,"
Henley said. "The bitch deserves to die!"

The others nodded their agreement, but before anyone could
comment, a small voice spoke. "What's Captain Janeway done

As one, the group turned towards the voice and were shocked to
see Naomi Wildman. None of them had noticed the child's
approach, and they were shocked that she had overheard
Henley's remark. What was more shocking was the fact that she
had known who they were taking about since no one had
mentioned Janeway by name.

Megan Delaney was the first to recover. She moved closer to
Naomi, and crouched down so she was face-to-face with the girl.
"Why do you think that we're talking about Captain Janeway?"
she asked.

The look on Naomi's face clearly indicated what she thought of
that question. "I've heard the other grown-ups talking about
Captain Janeway, and almost everyone is calling her a bitch," she

The girl's statement brought an uncomfortable silence from the
adults. Obviously, they all had to be more careful about what
they said about Janeway. After a moment, Megan once again
managed to shake off her surprise. "I'm sorry about that,
Naomi," she said. "That is not something you should have to
hear, and your mother will be very upset when she finds out."

Seeing the child's grimace, Jenny added, "Your mother *should*
know. In fact, I think everyone needs to know so they'll stop
saying bad things about Captain Janeway. It's not a very nice
thing to do."

"No, it isn't," Naomi said. "My mom always tells me that I
shouldn't say bad things about people."

"Your mother is right," Nicoletti said seriously.

"Why do you say nasty things about Captain Janeway?"

Nicoletti sighed. "I guess most people are still angry with her
because she left Tom and Chakotay on Voyager when the rest of
us left the ship. People sometimes say mean things when they're
angry," she explained. "Things they might not really mean."

"Like when I'm mad at mom and say she's dumb?" Naomi asked

"Exactly," Nicoletti answered.


GenA frowned as he closed the comm link to the "Yuzla". After
Commander Chakotay, Tom Paris and the holographic doctor
had taken back control of Voyager, GenA had sent his mate to
the "Yuzla" to keep an eye on things there. He wanted to make
sure that there were no surprises from SicA. So far, there hadn't
been, but from what SuelLo had just told him, that could easily

On SicA's order, OmsCa's leading scientist, Dr. JanRy had given
Tom Paris an implant that allowed SicA to control him. At least,
it was supposed to. SuelLo had said that SicA was convinced that
the device didn't work. Voyager's pilot hadn't responded to her
order to transfer to the "Yuzla". He also hadn't reacted when she
punished him, which, according to SuelLo, had led her to visit
Dr. JanRy and order him to find out what was wrong with the
implant and fix it.

When GenA heard this, he told his mate to find and destroy the
controller because he didn't think that the implant was broken.
During conversations with Voyager's doctor, GenA had learned
a lot about Tom Paris; things that made him believe that the pilot
was simply ignoring SicA.

That wasn't a smart thing to do, because if... *when* she found
out, she would be infuriated, and the punishment would be much
worse than anything she had done so far. That was the main
reason GenA had told his mate to destroy the controller. He
rather liked Voyager's pilot and didn't relish the idea of the man
being punished even more than he already had been.

GenA sighed and shook off thoughts of Tom Paris. He couldn't
allow himself to be distracted. He had to make sure that SicA
didn't attempt to take over Voyager again. He also had to find
some way of relieving SicA of command. With another sigh,
GenA turned to his computer console and resumed his search for
a solution to that problem.


Harry, B'Elanna, Tuvok, Ayala, Rollins and Layla had barely
materialized in Voyager's main Engineering when the prissy
tones of the ship's EMH greeted them.

"Welcome back," the doctor said. When the six rescuers turned
to look at him, he added, "It's about time you got here."

Tuvok lifted an eyebrow and the five humans frowned in
surprise. Although they were all used to the hologram's annoyed
and superior tones, he sounded a lot more acerbic than usual. For
a moment, none of the six knew what to say, then B'Elanna
answered. "We got here as soon as we could after we received
your message. However, we had to make some cloaking devices
for the shuttles and decide whom to take with us," she explained.

Before B'Elanna could explain further, the doctor interrupted.
"I'm sure that you had a lot of important things to do before you
could get here." His tone was sarcastic. "However, now that you
are, get one of your pilots over here. We need someone to fly."

"What about Tom?" Harry asked. "I know he's here, 'cause he
left a message to for me."

"Mr. Paris is in no condition to fly," the doctor stated.
Anticipating the next question, he added, "And Commander
Chakotay is currently busy trying to comfort Mr. Paris."

"Comfort Tom?" B'Elanna repeated. "Why? What's wrong...."
She was interrupted by a low pain filled moan from the other
side of Engineering. Without thinking, she hurried across the
room, closely followed by Harry, Ayala, Rollins and Layla. All
of them were worried about what could possibly be wrong, and
wanted to see Tom's condition for themselves before getting an
explanation from the doctor.

Tuvok, however, stayed with the EMH to get a status report, or at
least as much of one as could be expected from a hologram.
"Doctor, do you know what the ship's condition is?"

"Voyager is under our control and run from here," the doctor
began, secretly pleased that at least one of the would-be rescuers
asked *him* about the ship. "The aliens who are still on board
are locked in one of the cargo bays, and Mr. Paris put several
security locks into the computer to make sure that no one can
obtain access."

Tuvok lifted an eyebrow. "Doctor, are you certain that the aliens
cannot access Voyager's computers?"

The doctor huffed in irritation before he answered. "Commander
Chakotay asked the same question and Mr. Paris said that he put
so many security locks on the computer that... What was it he
said...?" The EMH ran a subroutine and got the answer. "Oh yes.
His exact words were: 'I've put so many security locks on the
computer that not even Starfleet Command can access it.'"

"I see." Tuvok considered the doctor's words for a brief moment,
then said, "I will take a look at Lieutenant Paris' security locks. I
can probably disable them."

The doctor snorted in disbelief. "Go ahead. I'm sure that Mr.
Paris won't mind," he said. "However, I would appreciate it if
you can get one of the pilots you brought on board first. As it is,
Voyager is on automatic pilot, and I don't want to disturb the
Commander in case something happens and we need a real one."

Tuvok inclined his head slightly in agreement, tapped his comm
badge. "Tuvok to Isabelle."

"Isabelle here," came the response.

"Please dock your shuttle in shuttle bay one. Your presence is
required in Engineering."

Knowing that her questions would be answered once she was on
board Voyager, Isabelle kept her reply short. "Understood.
Isabelle out." With that, she closed her end of the link and
maneuvered the shuttle closer to Voyager.

Tuvok tapped his comm badge closed, then moved to one of the
consoles to open the shuttle bay doors and trace the shuttle's
approach. When the small vessel was close enough, he lowered
Voyager's shields. As soon as the computer informed him that
the shuttle was safely docked, he raised the shields again. He was
aware that the doctor was watching him, but ignored the
hologram as he turned his attention to disabling the security


While Tuvok spoke with the doctor, B'Elanna and co reached
Tom and Chakotay. The five of them stopped short at the sight of
the two men. Chakotay was sitting on a cot, leaning against the
wall behind him, Tom cradled in his arms, the blond head resting
on a broad shoulder.

The five would-be rescuers watched in silence, reluctant to
disturb the Commander who obviously hadn't heard or seen their
approach. Either that, or he was ignoring them. As they stood
there, another pain filled moan came from Tom, who then turned
his face into Chakotay's neck.

Chakotay frowned in worry and lifted a hand to card his fingers
through Tom's soft hair. His frown deepened when he felt the
moisture of tears against his neck. It broke his heart to watch his
lover suffer and not being able to do anything to help. If only the
doctor had been able to remove the implant without having to


B'Elanna's quiet voice interrupted his thoughts, and he looked
up. Seeing the half-Klingon, along with Ayala, Harry, Rollins
and Layla, Chakotay smiled in relief. "Thank the Spirits you're
here," he said. "Could one of you get the doctor?"

"Of course, Captain," Layla answered, then left before Chakotay
could comment on her use of his old title.