Disclaimer and summary: See part 1
To my angel, as always. And to Chuckles, who just reread all
my stories the other day and sent me such wonderful feedback. I
said it once, and I'll say it again. Chuckles, my dear, you made
my month. Hell, you made my year. Now, you wanna make my
century and give me more A-Z? Please?
Voyager's EMH studied the medical screen. The readings didn't
make any sense. He frowned, then ran a more complete scan of
his patient. Looking at the screen again, his frown deepened
when he didn't immediately find anything wrong. There didn't
seem to be anything physically wrong with his patient. Well,
apart from the fact that she was dead.
The doctor went over the readings once more, only to stop in
surprise when he reached the patient's brain. file://How did I miss
this the first time?// he wondered as he zoomed in to get a better
look. The screen revealed several small parasites scattered
throughout the most vital parts of the brain.
Noting the exact locations of those parasites, the doctor knew
that the woman on the biobed had suffered a great deal of pain
before she died. He just hoped, for her sake, that death hadn't
been long in coming. Well, he'd have to ask Samantha Wildman
about that. He needed to talk to her anyway. He'd been told that
she was the one who'd taken care of the deceased and he wanted
to know exactly what symptoms Captain Janeway had displayed.
He also needed to know where she could've been infected.
The doctor ignored the fact that he was a hologram and as such
didn't need to breathe, and sighed. He would have to examine the
crew to determine whether someone else had been infected as
well. He considered the amount of work in front of him, and
made a few decisions.
He'd have Tom Paris help him. Since the lieutenant hadn't been
on that planet, there was no way he could be infected. Also, the
doctor had given the pilot a complete an extensive examination
after the implant had been removed and knew that Tom was once
more in perfect health.
After he had explained everything to Tom, the doctor planned on
getting Samantha Wildman to sickbay for a physical. If she was
uninfected, he was going to ask for her assistance as well. With
the help of both Tom Paris and Samantha Wildman, the
examinations of the rest of the crew would be finished sooner
than if he had to do it alone, or just with the help of the pilot.
The doctor shook off his thoughts and activated his comm badge.
"Doctor to Lieutenant Paris."
"Paris here. What can I do for you, Doc?"
"I require your assistance in sickbay immediately."
"On my way, Doc," Tom said with a sigh. "Paris out."
The doctor tapped his comm badge to close the link, then turned
back to the medical screen and resumed his study of the still-
living parasites in Janeway's brain.
"... Harry, B'Elanna and Neelix." Chakotay paused for a
moment, then gave Tuvok a quizzical look. "Anyone else?"
Tuvok considered it briefly, then shook his head. "No, Captain. I
believe that is everyone." He hesitated, then added, "Although, I
would like to know why you are promoting Mr. Neelix. He is our
Morale Officer/Ambassador. He does not need a Starfleet rank
Chakotay smiled slightly, then explained. "Tuvok, I know for a
fact that Neelix has wanted to be a Starfleet Officer for a long
time, so I'm making him one." His smile turned wicked.
"Besides, I'm also going to assign him to work with you in
Tuvok lifted one eyebrow. "May I ask why?"
"I think he'll be good at it. Neelix has an eye for details, and
there isn't much that escapes his notice," Chakotay said. "And
you know as well as I do that he's wanted to work in security for
quite a while."
Chakotay smiled at Tuvok's short reply, then admitted, "I'm also
hoping that working with you will teach him some diplomacy."
Tuvok inclined his head slightly. "Very well, Captain. I will do
Chakotay's smile widened. "I know you will, Tuvok," he replied.
Before he could say anything else, he was hailed.
"Paris to Chakotay."
Chakotay tapped his comm badge. "Chakotay here. What is it,
"The doctor needs my help, so I'm on my way to sickbay," Tom
"Do you know what he needs your help with?"
"He didn't say, but it probably has something to do with Captain
Janeway," Tom replied. "I'll let you know."
"Good." Chakotay was about to close the link when a thought
occurred to him. "Who has the bridge?"
"I turned it over to Harry."
"All right. I'll see you later. Chakotay out." He tapped his comm
badge to close the connection, then resumed his conversation
with Tuvok. "Hopefully, with Tom's help, the doctor will be able
to discover what happened to Captain Janeway."
Tuvok nodded in agreement. "The doctor will probably wish to
speak with Ms. Wildman as well."
"Yeah. If anyone can shed some light on what happened to
Janeway, it's Samantha Wildman," Chakotay said, then changed
the subject. "Now, for the chain of command. As the First
Officer, I'll move into the Captain's seat. You'll be the new First
Officer and Tom will be the third in command, B'Elanna's next,
and then Harry."
"We will need a new Security/Tactical Officer," Tuvok said
Chakotay nodded. "Well, you know your personnel best," he
said. "Who do you suggest?"
"Lieutenant Ayala," Tuvok answered. "He is the best qualified
for the job."
Chakotay smiled slightly, pleased by the compliment to one of
his ex-Maquis crew. "Ayala it is. You can supervise him until
he's adjusted to the position, if you think he needs it," he
Tuvok inclined his head slightly. "I will consider it."
Jenny Delaney sat on the couch, watching as her sister paced the
room. Even without the restless movements, she would've
known that Megan was upset about something, and had in fact,
been worried ever since Kathryn Janeway died. Knowing her
twin as well as she did, Jenny had a pretty good idea what was
going on in Megan's head.
Jenny watched her pacing sister for a moment longer, then sighed
and got up from the couch, moving in front of her and forcing
her to stop. "Meggie, honey. It wasn't our fault."
Megan frowned. "You don't know that, Jen," she said, guilt clear
in her voice. "What if Janeway died because of something we did
Jenny sighed again. "Meggie, we didn't *do* anything to her,"
she reminded her sister. "Well, aside from when Ken and Gerron
held her under the water," she added as an afterthought. "But
other than that, we didn't harm her physically, just scared her a
bit. Or tried to anyway."
"But what, Meggie?" Knowing what her twin was thinking,
Jenny didn't wait for a reply. "What if there was something in
the water that the shuttles' sensors missed?" She caught and held
Megan's eyes, making sure her sister saw her seriousness. "Even
if that's the case, it still doesn't make it our fault, Meggie.
Janeway bathed in that lake every morning and could easily have
been infected while she did. In fact, if something in the water
*did* kill her, it is more likely that she was infected during her
Megan didn't look entirely convinced. "Are you sure?"
Jenny smiled softly. "Think about it, Meggie. If Janeway was
infected by something in the water when we were punishing her,
then Ken and Gerron would also be infected. And neither of
them has shown any signs of being sick."
Megan considered her sister's words for a moment. Seeing the
logic in the explanation, she finally relaxed, convinced that Jenny
was right. "I guess you're right," she admitted. Then another
thought occurred to her, and she met her twin's eyes again.
"Besides, Janeway was the only one who bathed in that lake. The
rest of us used the sonic showers in the shuttles."
Jenny's smile widened. "Exactly. And Janeway deserved
everything we did to her, and more. So, no more guilt, okay?"
Megan smiled. "Okay, Jen. No more guilt." She hugged her
sister. "Thanks, Jen."
Jenny returned the hug. "You're welcome, Meggie." Then she
pulled out of her sister's arms and stepped back. "I know it's a
little early, but let's go help Neelix with dinner."
Megan chuckled and looped her arm through Jenny's. "Keep me
too busy to think too much, huh?"
Jenny laughed. "You got it," she answered as the two of them
walked over to the door and left their quarters and headed for the
mess hall. "Besides, I'm sure Neelix will appreciate the help."