Disclaimer and summary: See part 1

Part Thirty

Janeway stood a few feet from her shelter, watching the activity
of her crew. {*Ex*-crew} she corrected herself mentally. After
all, they *had* all resigned, and although it still upset her, she
knew it was B'Elanna's fault. She didn't know how the half-
Klingon had done it, but somehow she'd convinced everyone to
quit, even the Starfleeters. That was what upset Janeway the
most, that her original crew had been swayed by whatever lies
B'Elanna had told them.

Janeway had always known that the Maquis couldn't be trusted,
and what had happened just proved it. Unfortunately, she still
needed them in order to get 'her' crew home, so her act had to be
good enough to fool those terrorists. Of course, that wouldn't be
too difficult. She knew that they were more upset about her
leaving Chakotay behind, than by anything she had done to Tom

Janeway was aware that the Maquis might not forgive her
entirely for that just yet. Not on their own, anyway. She would
need Chakotay's help for that. Fortunately, she knew that she just
needed to apologize to Chakotay, and then he'd support her. It
was what he did as the First Officer, and he'd done it since she
had given him the job. It wouldn't be any different now.

A sharp stabbing pain behind her eyes interrupted Janeway's
thoughts. As she lifted a hand to her forehead, she doubled over
and fell to her knees when her stomach suddenly cramped. The
next wave of agony made her cry out between clenched teeth,
then she lurched forward a bit more and threw up.

Lost as she was in her misery, it took awhile before she became
aware of Samantha's presence. The other woman was gently
rubbing her back and murmuring soothing nonsense. Janeway
heaved a few times more, then straightened and leaned back on
her heels.

As soon as she was vertical again, a glass was held to her mouth.
She sipped the water, then pushed the glass away and spit the
water out, hoping to get rid of the sour taste of bile in her mouth.
It didn't help much and Janeway turned her head to look at
Samantha. Lifting a slightly shaking hand, she took the glass
from the younger woman and rinsed her mouth again.

When she had gotten rid of most of the bad taste, she glanced at
the glass and saw that it was still half-filled. She hesitated for a
moment, then shrugged and slowly drank the rest of the water.
She had barely finished when her stomach cramped again and
she felt the nausea rising once more.

Groaning pitifully, Janeway dropped the glass and backed away
from the pool of vomit in hopes that it would help the queasiness.
It didn't, but the next cramp did. The pain was so intense that all
thoughts of nausea fled her mind.

When the agony receded some and she could think again,
Janeway heard the soft whirr of a tricorder and glanced up.
Seeing the expression on Samantha's face as she studied the
display, Janeway frowned and asked, "What's wrong with me?"

Samantha looked up from the display and met Janeway's eyes. "I
don't know, Captain. This," she gestured to the medical device,
"Says that your fever has returned and that you're having
abdominal cramps." She frowned in concern. "I think we need to
get you back to your shelter and into bed."

Janeway nodded in agreement. "Could you help me up?"

"Of course." Samantha closed the tricorder, then reached out and
carefully helped the other woman to stand. Noticing how
Janeway swayed, she asked, "Do you think you can walk, or
should I have someone come and carry you?"

"I can walk," Janeway replied and took a few steps towards her

When she stumbled slightly, Samantha hastened to her side and
slid an arm around her. "Just lean on me," she said quietly.

Janeway smiled gratefully as she did as suggested. "Thanks,
Samantha." With that, the two women slowly walked over to
Janeway's shelter and entered.

Once inside, the two of them moved over to the bed, then
Samantha hovered while Janeway kicked off her shoes and
slipped off her jacket before she lay down. "Will you be okay
while I get the med kit?" Samantha asked.

Janeway attempted a reassuring smile, but wasn't sure she'd
succeeded. "Go ahead. I'll be fine," she answered. "But you
might want to bring back a bucket as well, just in case."

Samantha nodded in acknowledgement. "Okay. I won't be long,"
she added, then turned and left the shelter. Moving quickly, she
went to her own cabin and retrieved the med kit, then left and
went in search of Neelix. As she had expected, she found him in
the improvised mess hall, making lunch. "Neelix."

At the sound of her voice, the Talaxian looked up with a smile.
The smile, however, disappeared when the noticed the
expression on her face. "Samantha, what's wrong?"

"I need you to look after Naomi again. Captain Janeway had a
relapse and it's worse today."

Neelix frowned in concern. "Oh, dear. How bad is she?"

"Headache, nausea, abdominal cramps and vomiting," Samantha
replied. "And her fever has returned."

"Where is she now?"

"I helped her back to her shelter," Samantha answered. "She's in
bed, and I promised to return quickly. I just had to get the med

Neelix nodded in understanding. "Well, don't you worry about
Naomi. I'll keep an eye on her," he said. "Do you need anything

"A bucket, in case Janeway throws up again."

Neelix moved to the back of the kitchen and retrieved an empty
bucket, then returned to Samantha and handed her the container.
"Here you go."

"Thanks, Neelix."

"You're welcome, Samantha," Neelix replied. "You just let me
know if there's anything else I can do."

Samantha smiled gratefully. "I will," she said, then turned and
left. She hurried back to Janeway's shelter, ignoring the greetings
of those she passed on her way. She only stopped when she
spotted Peter Culhane. Changing her direction, she walked over
to him. "Peter, can I talk to you for a moment?"

Peter Culhane looked at Samantha. Seeing the serious expression
on her face, he nodded. "Of course, Samantha. What is it?"

Samantha glanced around, then lowered her voice to make sure
they weren't overheard. "I need you to take one of the remaining
shuttles up and send a distress call to Voyager."

Culhane frowned. "Why? What's wrong?" he asked.

"Janeway's sick," Samantha said quietly. "I don't know what's
making her ill, but I think it's serious. We need to get her to
sickbay and into the doctor's care as soon as possible."

Culhane opened his mouth to say something, then he changed his
mind. He didn't think that Samantha would appreciate any
negative comments about Janeway right now. "All right,
Samantha, I'll take one of the shuttles up right away," he said

Samantha smiled in relief. "Thanks, Peter."

"No problem. It gives me a chance to fly again," Culhane said
with a smile.

Samantha chuckled quietly. "You're almost as bad as Tom

Culhane grinned. "I'll take that as a compliment."

"It was meant as one," Samantha said, still smiling. Then the
smile disappeared. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back
to Janeway. I promised her I wouldn't be gone for long."

"Okay. I'll let you know when I've sent the distress call,"
Culhane promised. When Samantha opened her mouth, he held
up a hand to forestall any comments. "And I'll also take the
shuttle back up to check for any response."

Samantha smiled again. "Thanks, Peter. I really appreciate it,"
she said, then turned and walked back to Janeway's shelter. As
soon as she entered, she noticed the other woman was convulsing
and hurried over to the bed. She set the bucket on the floor and
laid the med kit beside it, then opened the tricorder and scanned

Looking at the display, Samantha cursed softly when it told her
that Janeway's temperature had risen and the other woman was
now suffering from fever cramps as well. She put down the
medical device and retrieved the med kit. Pulling out the hypo
spray, she then rummaged through the kit until she found a fever-
reducing drug.

She loaded the drug into the hypo, then pressed it against
Janeway's neck and injected it into her bloodstream. Then she
put down the med kit and the hypo spray and retrieved the
tricorder. She waited a few minutes for the drug to take effect,
then scanned the other woman again.

Checking the readings, Samantha sighed in relief when she saw
that the fever had dropped some. It wasn't much, but enough that
Janeway wouldn't get another fever cramp. Samantha closed the
medical device, then picked up the med kit and hypo spray again.
This time, she took out a strong painkiller and injected Janeway
with it, hoping that it would ease the other woman's pain enough
that she could get some sleep.

It took a few moments, but then some of the pain lines in
Janeway's face smoothed out. Samantha relaxed a bit, then rose
from the bed and moved over to the door. Standing in the open
doorway, she looked up into the sky and hoped that Voyager
would get the distress call soon. She was afraid that if Janeway
didn't get to sickbay quickly, the woman wouldn't survive.