Title: Red River 1/5
Authors: Isabelle and Maxine
Disclaimer: Paramount owns Voyager
and it's characters, we don't. But
the Alinnidans are Isabelle's
Archiving is okay as long as you
let us know.
Feedback: Of course we want feedback
Special Note: Thank you Leone for
helping with this story.
Red River 1
Chakotay walked thought the
small Alinnid village. It was one of the
most beautiful places he had ever
seen in his life. The village was
high up in the mountain over shadowing
a large valley down many
kilometers below. The buildings
made of white rocks reminiscent of
the ancient Aztecs cities back on
Earth. Yet, the well-furnished
reddish leaf bushes that were surrounding
the various paths through
the village and the purple sky were
giving the place a total
Flavor, Chakotay ponder some
more. Yes, this place had a lot of
taste. Taste in the food that was
prepared, in the soft pastel
clothing that was worn by the inhabitants,
in the landscape.. It was
a place of true heaven where children
were laughing as they were
running around playing different
Chakotay and Tom Paris had found
this paradise by accident. An
electrical storm had forced the
two Starfleet officers to put down
the Delta Flyer on the nearest planet
available. They had hoped to
stay hidden from the local inhabitants
until they could take off
again. Unfortunately, their entry
into the atmosphere had been
noticed. Four hours after landing
in a small clearing, an Alinnidan
rescue team had carefully joined
them. It had been reassuring for all
of them to find out that both parties
Discovering that the Prime
Directive would not be an issue had been
of equivalent relief for the two
Starfleet officers. Chakotay found
Tom near the fountain in the village's
zocolo. Children who had been
enthusiastically showing one thing
after another to the courteous
pilot surrounded him. He had to
admit that Tom was very good with
children, attending to all of them
with genuine interest. It was not
surprising considering that Tom
was himself a grown up child,
Chakotay thought with a smile.
However, his smile faded quickly
as he noticed once again the fatigue
that had plagued the younger man
ever since the both of them had
submitted themselves to the Alinnids'
purification ritual. After the
ceremony, Tom had been pale and
would have slept through the day if Chakotay had not woken him. Almost
a day later, he was still not
Chakotay could only wish that he
would have been able to bring a
tricorder with him, but the Alinnids
had been adamant that no
technology should be taken into
the village. Aware of the
inhabitants' history with the Borg,
their concerned were
Chakotay kept on watching from a
distance while a child put some sort of big egg into Tom's hands. The man
held it gently as all the
children gathered around him, waiting
for something to happen. A few
minutes later, the shell started
to crack. A colorful bird emerged
from the egg. Blue, yellow, and
purple feathers shined under the
midday sun. Mesmerized by the beauty
of the small creature, they all
contemplated its struggle to fly
away in an innate gesture.
It finally took off a few moments
later leaving a rainbow of colors
in the air and some red liquid dropping
from Tom's hands. The red
liquid automatically prompted some
concerns in the Commander as if a red light had shown up. His gaze flew
upon Tom's had as the younger man was doing the same. For a second, they
both looked with amazement at what was quickly becoming a stream of blood
running along Tom's long fingers. Chakotay gave himself a mental kick and
quickly jogged and knelt by Tom's side. He ignored the concerned inquiries
of the children as he gently examined Tom's hand.
"It's only scratches, Chakotay,"
Tom whispered somewhat captivated by the amount of blood poring out.
"It shouldn't be bleeding so much,"
Chakotay pointed out worriedly.
"No, it shouldn't," Tom agreed.
"One would think that I'm on blood
thinner or something," he added.
Finally looking up at Chakotay with
confused and tired blue eyes.
"Chakotay, is everything all right?"
Came the concerned voice of
Oromocto. Chakotay looked to the
"Tom has a few scratches on his hands.
It's nothing serious. Still,
we could use some bandages to stop
"The bleeding?" Oromocto asked
puzzled. "I am afraid that I
don't understand what you mean."
Chakotay turned to Tom, who
"Some species don't have blood,"
the medical assistance answered his unspoken question.
"Is blood the red liquid streaming
from Tom's hands?" inquired one of the children.
"Yes, it is. When one loses
blood, we say he or she is
bleeding," Chakotay explained.
"Does it hurt?" asked a little girl.
Tom smiled at the children.
"Not really," he assured them.
"It's uncomfortable that's
all. The blood is there to carry
oxygen and nutrients through our
"I see," Oromocto understood. "This
is like our plasma gel."
"Your plasma is a gel? That's interesting,"
Tom said. "We have plasma too. It's a part of our blood. We also have red
blood cells that
carry iron. That's what gives blood
"Losing plasma gel can be very
dangerous. I would assume losing
blood is the same for you," Oromocto
said. Tom nodded his affirmation.
"We should not wait any further to
cover those wounds. Please, follow
Twenty minutes later, Tom was quietly
resting on comfortable cushions in a corner of the room they shared. His
hands were tightly bandaged,
still blood was piercing through.
The bandages would have to be
changed soon. Chakotay stood in
the doorway patiently awaiting the
return of Oromocto with some water.
He gave another sideways look
towards the younger man. Seeing
the pilot not fidgeting for so long
was more than unusual. What was
more worrisome was the way Tom's skin seemed flushed and clammy. He still
could not understand how Tom could lose so much blood from superficial
He had seen Tom receive cuts
before, he blood seemed normal then. If it had not been the case, he would
never been granted clearance from the Doctor. His sudden condition had
to be due to their presence on this planet or, even more specifically,
with the purification ritual
they had gone through the day before.
At last, Oromocto arrived with
a bowl of water and clean bandages.
Together, they knelt by Tom's
"Tom, how are you feeling?"
"Like I've been ran over by
something. You?" Chakotay gave him a
"I'm fine." He was touched that Tom
was still concerned for his
The medical assistant had
been afraid the commander could
develop the same condition that
he had. The fact that it had not
happened yet did not mean the Native
American was home free. Chakotay had promised he would be careful. He wet
a piece of cloth and refreshed Tom's face with it.
"Is that better?"
"Oh, yeah." Chakotay gave Oromocto
the cloth so that he could start
changing the bandages.
He was taken aback by the
amount of blood that was still
pouring from the cuts. The blood
was not his usual bright red. It was
much more diluted.
"You think that you could
find me a raw steak?" Tom joked.
Chakotay allowed himself a grin
more for Tom's sake then for his own. The joke was not funny. It was Tom's
way of letting him that he was
"Oromocto," Chakotay began.
"The purification Tom and
I went through yesterday, can it
render somebody ill?"
"It has been known to change people,"
the man replied.
"Change people?" Tom asked suspiciously.
He did not like the sound of
that neither did Chakotay.
"It removes all which makes you impure,
things that are foreign to
your nature really are like viruses,
bacteria, and drugs. I even saw
it remove technology from a body."
"I thought technology was not part
of your culture." Chakotay said.
"That was before this rule
was made, before the Borg invasion. Most
of our people were living in the
valley then. One day during the
third circle, a ship crashed. Inside,
we found an injured Borg drone.
We did not know how to heal it,
so we took him to the purification
fountain and a miracle happened.
The machines disappeared and the
Borg was a man again. But then,
the dark days came upon us."
"The Borg always come back for their
own, and they came to retrieve
their former drone, Chakotay stated.
"Yes. We lost many friends. We survived
by taking refuge in the
mountains. It seems their technology
doesn't work here, so they could not find us. Eventually, they left." They
share an uncomfortable
silence for a minute or two.
"Chakotay," Tom whispered quietly.
"I'm going to bleed to death."
Chakotay met Tom's blue gaze and any comment he wanted to make to refute
the younger man's statement got caught in his throat.
There was that expression
in his eyes, the one of a man who
suddenly understood everything.
There were reflecting fear and
resignation. Over years, Chakotay
had learned to recognize that
behind Tom's nonchalance there was
always hope for something better. Now, all he could see was fatality.
"What makes you say that?"
he asked gently.
"That purification fountain,
it can go to the gene level. Right?"
"Yes," Oromocto replied.
"One of my great grandfathers'
was born with hemophilia. It's a gene
disease," he explained to their
"It was cured with gene therapy.
It is passed on from one generation
to the next, but it's still artificial.
My genes must have been
changed, Chakotay, because I have
all the symptoms of hemophilia."
Chakotay wanted to dispute
Tom's diagnostic. That had no
proof that it was what had really
happen. They should not jump to
conclusions. They should wait and
see. However, they had no time for
that. Tom was still bleeding. They
were stranded on a planet, four
hours away from the shuttle and
a dermal regenerator. They had to
assume the worse and start acting
now before it was too late.
We are going back to the shuttle,"
he decided. Tom shook his
head. He was never going make it.
"Chakotay," he tried to argue.
"I don't want to hear it," he cut
the younger man.
"You can do it. Besides, you don't
have a choice, Lieutenant." Tom
sighed. Oromocto got to his
feet and Chakotay followed suite.
"We won't make it before night
fall," the Alinnidan said on
his way to the door.
"I'll make the proper arrangements."
"Thank you," Chakotay told him sincerely.
Fifteen minutes later, after hugs
and good wishes had been made, they were on their way. Chakotay walked
behind Tom, a protective hand constantly on the pilot shoulder. Oromocto
had insisted that the
Commander should not carry anything
and that he should concentrate on guiding Tom. The native had been right.
The path was difficult for
someone who did not know the terrain.
Not only did he have to steady
Tom, he had to be careful with his
footing as well.
They walked a steady pace for half-hour
before taking a break. Tom's
bandages needed to be changed once
more. Chakotay led Tom to rock on which the Lieutenant could sit.
"Here, have some water," he
said, bringing the canteen to the
younger man's month.
Tom was hot and dehydrated.
He drank greedily. Chakotay then
damped a piece of cloth and wiped
Tom's face as he had done before.
"I'm slowing us down," Tom said as
Chakotay started to undo the
"Not that much," Chakotay assured
"Your mountain climbing experience
is showing. Without it, things
could be much worse." Their friend
"There," Chakotay said once his task
"Are you ready to go?" Tom
As they kept going down toward the
valley, Chakotay watched Tom's
condition deteriorate at an alarming
rate. They were walking much
more slowly and needed to rest more
often. Tom had started to feel
cold a hour trough their journey.
The air was getting more frigid as
the darkness was slowly falling
upon them. They had wrapped a blanket around Tom. Chakotay was keeping
a protective embrace around him. Tom did not seem to mind. Chakotay wondered
if he even noticed. Soon, it became evident that Tom could not go further.
"Sit here," Chakotay instructed
the pilot gently.
"I'm so cold," Tom whispered.
The Commander wrapped the
blanket tighter around Tom's body.
"I can't go on, Chakotay. I'm sorry."
"I know." Chakotay replied.
"You'll have to stay here with Oromocto.
He assured me that we're no
longer in the mountain range, I'll
be able to transport you in the
Flyer once I get there."
Tom nodded. "I'll be here." he assured
"Chakotay, I'm glad you're
the one who's with me." Chakotay smiled
as he patted Tom's shoulder.
"I'll see you in a hour and
"Chakotay?" Tom looked away,
unsure of what to say next. He
finally met the Commander's gaze,
which he held for a second before
swiftly planting a kiss on Chakotay's