No Way Out
by Mel

Disclaimer: I don‘t own any character of Star Trek. I just borrow them for my own stories. I don‘t get paid for this. It‘s just for fun, to let my fantasies go wild.
Fandom: Voyager/Star Trek

Pairing: C/P

Rating: PG-13 for this part
Summary: After 10 years in the Delta quadrant Voyager gets home. The crew is split up. Tom gets a new assignment as the pilot of the new warship U.S.S.

Colossus as a lieutenant (if Paramount doesn‘t want to promote Tom again, I will! Hehe). Colossus was developed to fight against the "New Collective" [a new alliance between Borg and Breen], and especially to resist the new weapon of the Breen. Tom has to deal with the new captain, Captain Lee Warren. Warren is the father of Charlie Warren, Tom‘s best friend at Caldik Prime, who was killed by an accident Tom caused. Now Tom has to suffer under the new captain, but he gets help from Chakotay who‘s the new first officer on U.S.S. Colossus.

Feedback: Always! But please be gentle, this is my very first story. Archive: ATPS, CPSG, ParisNights, The Tom Paris Dorm. Otherwise only with permission. Note: This story deals with Voyager only at the very first part. The story plays on a new warship in the Alpha quadrant after Voyager gets home. Warnings: The story will content violence and bad language as well as a relationship between two men (no graphical sex). Tom will be in sickbay and close to death very often. The story will also contain humiliation and lots of Tom angst. If you can‘t cope with this, don‘t even think about reading this story.

Spoiler warning: Caretaker, Threshold, Scorpion, 30 Days.

Dedication: To the ATPS members, you inspired me to write my first story. To Jean and Elli.

Special thanks to Carolyn, Kim and Monica, my beta readers. You are great! :)


Part 1

Voyager was in orbit of a class M planet. The stockpiles had to be raised again, and this was the closest planet with natural resources they had found. Neelix, Tuvok, Chakotay and several crewmen were on the away mission to collect the resources. It took a while until Chakotay hailed Voyager. "Chakotay to Voyager."

Chakotay‘s signal was full of static. Ensign Kim reported that the planet was surrounded by a static field that interfered the communication. It wasn‘t a serious problem. The away team could be beamed down anyway, Kim just got strange scans from time to time.

"Janeway here."

"We‘ve just finished our mission, we need 15 minutes to reach the check-point."

"Good. Hail us again when you‘re ready for transport. Janeway out!" It was a quiet time for Voyager, nothing special had happened the last months. Searching for resources was the only item on the checklist. The crew was bored and depressed because nothing had happened for such a long time. Of course, they didn‘t want to run into enemies or anomalies or anything like that; but there was, in fact, nothing to do for the crew. The engines worked, as well as all the other systems. Most of the time, Ensign Baytart was at the helm because the direction was straight to the Alpha quadrant. Tom Paris was ordered to improve his medical skills while Baytart improved his piloting skills. Tom hated it to be in sickbay as a patient, but hated it more to be stuck there as the medical assistant. He was ordered back to the helm when Voyager approached the class-M planet. It wasn‘t very surprising that over 70 crewmembers volunteered for the away mission to collect supplies.

It was at least a pleasing change. Tom Paris also volunteered. He wanted to use this mission to get closer to Chakotay. It was a sure thing that Chakotay would lead the mission, so Tom just had to volunteer. Just like that! But it wasn‘t just like that. Because so many people volunteered, they had to "throw dice" and, of course, Tom lost. But he didn‘t care much about it, there would be other chances.

"Chakotay to Voyager, 50 people ready to beam up."


The away team beamed back to Voyager, it took a bit of time because the team had to be split up into smaller groups to beam them up, but after 15 minutes, everybody was on board again.

"Tuvok to Janeway. The away team is on board."

"Good, Chakotay and Tuvok to the bridge, please."

Voyager was prepared to leave orbit and continue the journey.

"Mr. Paris, leave orbit and head for the Alpha quadrant."

"Aye, Ma‘am."

Tom has studied the planet for a long time while the away team was on the surface. He noticed that now that the ship was leaving orbit they were exactly on the opposite side of the planet from when they entered orbit. That fact wasn‘t very important, of course, he started to wonder how bored he must have been to have noticed such an insignificant fact. He brought Voyager out of orbit at impulse. They just had left orbit, when suddenly a big wormhole opened up right in front of the ship. Tom was the only one who looked at the screen. He raised his eyes in shock at first and stopped the engines immediately.

"What‘s the problem, Mr. Paris? Why did you... my God!" The captain was stunned when she saw the wormhole. After a short while, she found her voice again.

"Mr. Kim, why didn‘t you detect this wormhole earlier?" "I think the static fields effected the sensors, Captain. There was no sign of a wormhole."

"So, what can you tell me about that wormhole?"

"It seems that we have a steady wormhole here. I don‘t know where it leads, it must be a very long wormhole. It is big enough for our ship. I suggest we send a probe through the wormhole to get more data." "Do it, Mr. Kim."

They launched a probe, which flew directly into the hole. "The probe is in the mouth of the wormhole now. The probe is still intact and will leave the wormhole in 10 seconds.......5......3....2...1. The probe just left the wormhole. It is being scanned by another ship, Captain." "What is the location of the probe right now, and who is scanning it?" "The probe is in the Alpha quadrant. The scanning signal appears to be Starfleet."

The crew on the bridge looked at each other, astonished. Some started to smile. Were they really that close getting back home? "Captain, another probe has entered the wormhole, this time from the other end. It will appear in 5 seconds.....3...2...1."

A small object left the hole; it was a Starfleet probe, but not the one Voyager had just sent.

"Captain, the probe is sending out an automatic message."

"Open a channel!"

  • "This is Colonel Kira Nerys of the Defiant. We were exploring this new wormhole when we received your probe. The signature of your probe identifies your ship as the missing U.S.S. Voyager. I hope this is true, and welcome home. Congratulations on your success! You‘re home again. I‘ll send a report to Starfleet as soon as you have entered the Alpha quadrant. The wormhole is steady and big enough for your ship. We‘re waiting for you. Kira out."- Tears ran over Janeway‘s cheeks. This was an overwhelming feeling. Finally, after so many dangerous adventures, after such a long time, they reached the Alpha quadrant, their home. They spent 10 long years in the Delta quadrant. They had prepared themselves to spend 30 more years here and now they stumbled over this shortcut.

  • "Mr. Paris..." Janeway‘s voice broke, she struggled to get it back under control.

    "...set a course to the wormhole, we‘ll enter."

    "Aye, Ma‘am", was all Paris said. While he prepared Voyager, he looked around a bit. The whole crew on the bridge was overwhelmed and filled with joy. A lot of them didn‘t hide their tears. Even Tuvok was different today. But Tom wasn‘t very happy at all. He thought he‘d be able to stay longer on Voyager. He had grown to be an important member of this ship, and now that they reached home, he wasn‘t sure what would come next. Voyager drew close to the wormhole and was sucked in. It was a rather long trip through the hole. Finally, Voyager left the wormhole, which closed just a few seconds later.

    "We‘re hailed."

    "On screen!"

    "I can‘t believe it, it‘s really Voyager. Welcome home."

    "Thank you Colonel Kira. We‘re all very happy to be home again."

    Tom looked at the helm when he heard those words, and hid his disagreement. "We‘re about 10 light years away from Deep Space 9, I suggest we start immediately."

    "That‘s a good idea. We‘ll follow you, Defiant. Is this a new ship?" "Yes, we had a similar ship, but it was destroyed during an attack against the Dominion and the Breen, so we rebuilt the Defiant." Janeway and Kira continued their small talk for a while. Tom asked for permission to leave the bridge. Janeway was wondering about Tom‘s reaction, but granted her permission. It wasn‘t necessary that Tom stay at the helm. Voyager just had to follow the Defiant, any other pilot was able to do this. Janeway had developed a maternal feeling for Tom. She thought if Tom needed some time for himself, she should give him this time. She noticed that Tom had changed a lot since his demotion and 30 days in the brig. He was very quiet, and not as happy as before this happened. Deep inside, she was sorry about what she had done to him. After all, she was sure that she overreacted. They were far away from the Alpha quadrant and Tom had acted for a good reason. She had been so angry about his insubordination that she had had to do something. Tom had developed into such a fine young officer, and then that had happened. "Paris to Janeway."

    Janeway was startled when she heard Tom‘s voice. She was absorbed in thought.

    "Janeway here."

    "May I talk to you privately?"

    "Of course, meet me in the ready room."

    Janeway waited in the ready room. She was nervous because she had noticed fear in Tom‘s voice. She heard the door signal.

    "Come in!"

    The door opened, and Tom entered the ready room.

    "Tom! Come here, take a seat. What do you want to discuss with me?"

    "Captain, um it‘s..."

    "You don‘t feel comfortable that we have reached home, right?"

    Tom looked down.



    "Well, you gave me a second chance and I tried to use it. I know you had a lot of problems with me, but nevertheless, I had a mission here. I was the pilot and I was a member of this crew. Now that we‘re home again, I‘ll loose everything."

    "I don‘t think so, Tom."

    "No you don‘t understand. I was a criminal when you took me out of the rehabilitation center. I wasn‘t in Starfleet anymore. I shouldn‘t even be an ensign. I remember the harassment at the beginning when I joined Voyager. They were all against me. But then the crew started to accept me. To see an important crewmember in me. But when we‘re back, the others will still be against me. I will leave Starfleet again and go back to New Zealand and..." Janeway gripped Tom‘s hand and looked into his eyes.

    "Stop it, stop it Tom! Please calm down."

    Tom felt tears in his eyes and looked ashamedly out of the window. "Listen Tom. You are a different man now. You worked on Voyager about 10 years. Everybody should get a second chance and I‘m sure you‘ll get it. You‘re right, I had some problems with you. But, I‘m sure when I hand over all your logs and data to Starfleet, the good entries will outweigh the bad. I don‘t know what will happen to you. But be sure that I‘ll always be on your side, and I don‘t think I‘ll be the only one. Just relax and let everything happen, I‘m sure everything will be okay." "Chakotay to Janeway, we‘re ready to dock at DS9."

    "Understood, I‘m on the way."

    Janeway looked at Tom. She smiled and nodded.

    "I think this is your hour."

    Tom smiled as well as he could. She was right, this was maybe the last maneuver he would do with his beloved Voyager.


    Everything went well with Voyager. The whole crew disembarked at DS9 and managed to get back to their families. Voyager was handed over to a repair team, which took her to a dockyard with all her shuttles, including Tom‘s Delta Flyer. Janeway reported everything to Starfleet and handed over all logs and data of the ship and the crew. She and the other Starfleet crew members got a long vacation, except Tom. Together with the former Maquis members and Seven, he had to stay on DS9 for upcoming inquiries. He knew it, he knew that it wouldn‘t be that easy. He knew that he still was in trouble. Janeway stayed on DS9 too. She had promised Tom that she would help him where she could, and he was happy about it. Otherwise he would go insane. He wasn‘t arrested; he was allowed to move freely. He just wasn‘t allowed to leave DS9.

    Tom used his free time before his hearing to visit some of the few friends he left behind when Voyager entered the Badlands. He met Julian, who had meanwhile married Ezri Dax. Tom was very sad when he heard that Jadzia was dead. Jadzia was a lot like his old friend, Curzon Dax. But Ezri was also very nice and open-minded. Tom also met Jake Sisko. Tom knew Jake as a little child, and he was surprised to see a handsome, tall, strong and proud man in front of him.

    Tom was in Quark‘s bar when he was hailed.

    "Ensign Paris, to dock 9, please."

    That was it, now he had to face his future. The shuttle would bring him to Earth for his trial.

    Together with Janeway, Seven and the former Maquis members, Tom was brought to Earth. It wasn‘t long before he was asked to enter the hearing room. He sat down in front of 5 Starfleet admirals. He looked to his right side, where he recognized his father; Tom closed his eyes in disbelief. Oh God, please let me faint! I‘m dreaming, this cannot be true.<< But it was true.

    They asked Tom one question after another. Tom sat there for hours, until he was told to leave and stay in his quarters until they called him back. Tom was pretty tired. They had drained him. He was exhausted and fell asleep just a few seconds after he went to bed in his new quarters. It took a whole week until they called Tom back to the hearing room. During the week Tom wasn‘t allowed to leave his quarters without security. Unlike Janeway, his father didn‘t visit him. That wasn‘t very surprising for Tom. Janeway visited him twice. Tom enjoyed her presence. She told him that she and his father were pleading on his behalf. She said that it doesn‘t look so bad for Tom. It was a difficult case because of Tom‘s past, but she had a good feeling. She also warned him that he‘d had to endure some harsh comments.

    Tom asked Janeway once why his father didn‘t visit him. "He is doing everything to help you. Right now he is talking to Admiral Simmons again. He told me that he cannot wait to see you, to talk to you, but he doesn‘t want to talk to you here. He wants to talk to you when you‘re out of here."

    "Oh, I see! He doesn‘t want to be seen with me here, right? That wouldn‘t be so good for his image."

    Janeway sighed when Tom said this. She put a hand on Tom‘s and gave him a deep look.

    "Tom, give your father a chance. He‘s not that bad. It‘s not easy for both of you. Why is it wrong if he wants to see you in a more suitable environment?"

    Tom looked down. He sighed, looked to Janeway and smiled.

    "Okay, you win."

    She gave Tom a friendly tap on the knee before she left. Tom was resigned when he entered the hearing room. Security guards were always around him and Tom hated that feeling.

    "Ensign Paris, sit down please."

    Tom did so.

    The admiral in the middle started to read the statement.

    "Ensign Paris. After your hearing and after studying your data from U.S.S. Voyager, we have decided to keep you in Starfleet." Tom looked up, surprised. He was speechless, but that didn‘t matter, it wasn‘t his turn yet.

    "We‘re not happy about what caused your demotion at all."

    Tom bit his upper lip.

    "We‘re also not happy about your multiple acts of insubordination."

    Tom looked down again. He felt guilty. Why had he always been so stubborn?

    He hated nothing more than being treated as a trouble-maker. "But, all in all, you have grown to be a worthy Starfleet officer. You improved yourself, you learned a lot, and you have your heart in the right place. You already paid for your mistakes on board Voyager, so we don‘t see any reason to judge you again. Your sentence for your Maquis activities is commuted. You had already made good progress in New Zealand before you went to Voyager, so you would have been discharged there earlier anyway. I‘m sure you‘ll be able to get your insubordination under control, because this is your VERY LAST chance!

    You are one of the best pilots we have, maybe the best. We don‘t want to give up on you because you made mistakes. We hope that now that you‘re older, you‘re able to learn from your mistakes and avoid further trouble. I‘m sorry for the inconvenience. We had to follow Starfleet protocols. As a former convict we had to treat you..."

    "I understand." Tom tried to interrupt the admiral. He knew this part of the Starfleet protocols very well, he went through this procedure often enough. "Well..."

    The admiral cleared his throat and glimpsed at Admiral Paris, who sat to Tom‘s right.

    "You‘ll not work on Voyager anymore. We have a new assignment for you. While you were away, a war between the Alliance and the Borg broke out. I asked you to study the data about it so you know about it already. The Borg and Breen allied. You should also know that the Breen developed a weapon to paralyze a ship with one single shot. The first victim of this new weapon was the old Defiant. It was destroyed during the war against the Dominion, as you know.

    We developed a new ship which is resistant to this weapon. You‘ll be the pilot on this warship."

    Now Tom was absolutely speechless. He wasn‘t able to breath. Was this real or was he dreaming? He thought everything was over, and then they offered him this assignment. There must have been something else that they didn‘t tell him.

    "Now I‘ll proceed to the positive part of this meeting. We were informed that you were able to break through the Warp 10 barrier. In a ceremony, you‘ll get a medal for this. In addition, you‘ll be promoted to full lieutenant for your work on U.S.S. Voyager. Congratulations." Tom was overwhelmed. He thought that it was fair to be promoted after 10 long years. He had to laugh a bit over his thought that it would look very funny if an ensign were the pilot of such a big warship. He thought that this was maybe the only reason that he was promoted again, but he didn‘t care. He looked to the right, where his father sat. Admiral Owen Paris was obviously proud of his son. He smiled a bit and his eyes were filled with tears. Was this it? Did Tom and his father get a second chance?


    Tom went through all the ceremonies happily. He enjoyed his time with his father and his sisters, Kathleen and Moira, who came to celebrate their lost brother. Tom‘s younger sister, Moira, also became a Starfleet pilot. Tom was told that she was a very good pilot. He believed that without doubt. She was 10 years younger than Tom, and she was already a lieutenant j.g. Be careful Tom, your younger sister is going to overtake you!<< Tom smiled to himself.

    His older sister Kathleen wasn‘t interested in a Starfleet career. She had a baby while Tom was at the Starfleet academy. Meanwhile, had had three more children. She gave her youngest son, who was 9 years old, Tom‘s name. Her husband died during the war against the Dominion. He was a captain. Tom enjoyed every minute with his family.

    He obtained a lot of PADDs about the new wondership, the hope for the Alliance. Tom felt a bit uncomfortable about this new mission. After this long time, he was told about the war between the Alliance and the Dominion, and later between the Alliance and the New Collective, as if it were a story.

    During the war against the Dominion several years ago, Starfleet decided to create the U.S.S. Colossus, a gigantic warship. It took much time to build the ship and all the gunboats, because it was difficult to get enough resources and material while many Starfleet ships had to be repaired after combat. Then the war was over, and the ship still wasn‘t finished. Nevertheless, Starfleet decided to continue building this ship because reports about Borg attacks accumulated. When finally the Borg entered the Alpha quadrant, the new ship was nearly finished.

    Tom and his father talked a lot, and Tom was sure that he made up with his father. It was the first time that he saw his father being proud of his son. Tom also noticed that there was something else when he talked to his father.

    Admiral Paris feared something. Tom decided to ask about his father‘s fear.

    "Dad, I‘m happy that we finally worked everything out." "Yes, I‘m happy too. I‘m glad you‘re back, and I‘m sorry that I wasn‘t able to tell you earlier that everything is okay."

    "Dad, when we‘re together, I always see in your eyes that you‘re bothered about something. Please tell me what it is."

    "Thomas, are you sure you want to go on that ship? Is it really what you want?"

    "Why not? They offered me a great assignment. Why should I give it away?" "Thomas, you don‘t know who‘ll be the captain of this ship. I fear that you‘ll have a tough time on board that ship."

    "What do you mean? Who‘ll be the captain?"

    "I‘m not allowed to tell you. I‘m sorry, my son. All I can do is try to convince you to stay away from that ship."

    "Why can‘t you tell me who is going to be the captain?" "I think I don‘t have to tell you how difficult it is to fight against the Borg. You know how they work, how they‘re linked together, and how they can manipulate life-forms. They have assimilated many Starfleet ships and crews. We were able to rescue a few people. Our doctors used a procedure to restore the human DNA and remove the Borg implants, which had already worked with Picard several years ago. The victims seemed to recover well. But the Borg developed a new implant. It, however, couldn‘t be discovered, so it remained in the victim‘s brains. The result was that after a short time the Borg were able to infiltrate everything, using the victims as spies. Starfleet developed a new secret service, which now observes all Starfleet activities. Your new assignment is top secret. Actually, the presence of the new ship is only known by a few people. It is possible that we‘re observed, I don‘t want to risk getting us into trouble if I tell you who‘s going to be the captain. Even the captain doesn‘t know his crew."

    "Why do you think I‘m so important for this mission?" "Because you are a good pilot, but more important, is you‘ve often fought against the Borg. Too often, if you ask me. Please, Thomas. This is going to be a very difficult time for you. Don‘t accept this assignment." "No, I‘ve always dreamt of a chance like this!"

    "Please Thomas, why don‘t you work together with me here on Earth? You could learn a lot and..."

    "NO! I‘ll go on that ship! You know how much I love to fly."

    "It‘s not a question about what you like! I know you‘ll have a tough time.

    Trust me!"

    "Dad, I‘m going to fly that ship. If it is going to get too hot for me, I can quit anyway."

    Admiral Paris stood up and sighed.

    "Okay Thomas, if this is your wish, you have to go. I‘ve warned you, there‘s nothing more that I can do. You‘ll have a hard time on that ship, and I hope you‘ll be well and healthy when we see you again. When will you leave?" "Tomorrow."

    "Well, then, take a nap, you‘ll need it!"

    Owen Paris left the room without a word.

    Tom was confused. What was this? Why did his father want him to stay away from that ship? Tom knew that it was a hard war with lots of victims, he knew that it would be hard. He already fought a lot in the Delta quadrant, so where was the problem?

    Tom was astonished about the new alliance between the Borg and the Breen. He remembered the alliance between Borg and Voyager. If Janeway hadn‘t had that brilliant plan, he would be a Borg now. He shivered at the thought of being a Borg. He talked to Seven a lot about this topic when they were on Voyager. He asked her how it felt to be Borg. She said that she could read the memories of her assimilated brain as if they were data. She didn‘t have emotions at all. All her movements were controlled by her implants. She said that being assimilated was the same as being dead. The body was used, the soul was gone. She said when she was rescued by Janeway, and when the Doc removed her implants and reduced the nanoprobes, it was as if her soul was plugged back into her body.

    Tom picked one of the PADDs about the New Collective and studied it again. The Borg tried to assimilate the Breen, but were not successful. Whenever a Borg cube reached a Breen ship it was disabled and destroyed by the Breen‘s wonder weapon. The Borg didn‘t understand technologies they hadn‘t assimilated. So, instead of assimilating the Breen, they formed an alliance with them, which was a logical decision for the Borg to get that weapon anyway.

    When he finished reading the PADD, Tom ate a bit and went to bed. Just a few seconds later, he fell asleep.


    The next morning, Tom put all his things together. Now it was time to go to his new home for the next few years. He slipped into his new uniform. It looked different from the one he wore on Voyager. He thought that it was possibly because Starfleet was at war with the New Collective. The new uniform was black and gray/blue-shouldered. He had to wear a red undershirt as a pilot. His pips were on the collar of the undershirt. The uniform itself consisted of black trousers and a jacket. The uniform was also padded on the elbows and knees. He was told that he‘d be thankful for this during combat. Tom watched himself in a mirror. Yes, that new uniform suited him.

    I wish Chakotay could see me now!<<

    Tom left his quarters and went to the spaceport. His father and Captain Janeway were there to wish him all the best before he left Earth. When Tom entered the shuttle he saw Commander Chakotay. Tom smiled when he sat down. "Tom."


    "So, you‘ll be the new pilot?"

    "So, you‘ll be the first officer?"

    They both nodded and laughed. Then it was silent. The pilot of the shuttle concentrated on flying into orbit, where the new ship waited for Tom and Chakotay in a space dock. Tom smiled again and so did Chakotay. This went on for several minutes, until Chakotay stood up and went to Tom to give him a hug.
    "I‘m glad you‘re back, LIEUTENANT."

    Tom looked Chakotay directly in the eyes.

    Does he know about my feelings?<<

    "We‘re approaching U.S.S. Colossus, Sirs!"

    Tom and Chakotay suddenly looked up.

    "Hey, let‘s take a look at our new home, Tom!"
    "That‘s something you don‘t have to ask me twice." They both went to the screen and looked up at the gigantic warship. It was as big as 3 Enterprises D! Instead of the usual 2 warp engines, there were 4, because of the heavy weight of the ship. Tom could recognize 12 torpedo hatches and 24 phaser canons. Tom read in the PADD that there were 150 decks on the saucer section, which could be separated from the lower section containing the bridge.

    Tom and Chakotay were speechless when they saw the big ship, which was half as big as DS9. No wonder that it had to be docked at the Earth space station, DS9 was too small for this ship. Tom had never seen a ship like this before. He had seen the Enterprise D once. He thought that was a big ship, but the Enterprise was only a small spot against Colossus. In fact, the U.S.S. Colossus was able to pick up Starfleet ships of the Nebula class, if necessary. In an emergency, it could be used as a space and repair station. Tom thought that this ship was as big as a Borg cube. On the decks, there were hundreds of gunboats. 70% of the decks were used as shuttlebays. Tom expected to meet hundreds of pilots on board of U.S.S. Colossus, and he liked that thought.

    "U.S.S. Colossus to shuttle Maverick, please fly to shuttlebay alpha, deck 32!"

    "Affirmative, Captain Warren."

    Tom froze when he heard that name. Chakotay noticed the fear in Tom‘s eyes.

    "What‘s the problem, Tom?"

    "It‘s the captain. His name..." Tom started to stutter.

    "H..He is"

    "Tom! Please calm down. I‘m here, don‘t worry! Now tell me what it is!"

    "Captain Warren, he has the same family name as Charlie Warren."

    "Caldik Prime?"


    "Oh, Tom. Warren is a very common name. Wait until we‘re aboard, okay?"


    But Tom didn‘t feel okay.

    The shuttle stopped its engines and the back door was opened. Chakotay was the first to leave the shuttle, Tom followed a few seconds later. A security officer welcomed both of them and told them they were expected on the bridge. U.S.S. Colossus was going to leave the dock in 15 minutes. Chakotay and Tom entered one of the 10 turbolifts.

    "Bridge." Chakotay said and looked to Tom, who became more and more nervous.

    "Hey. Don‘t worry Tom. Even if he is the man, I‘ll be on your side."

    The door of the turbolift opened and Chakotay and Tom entered the bridge. The bridge was huge; 80 crewmembers worked on the bridge, including Tom and Chakotay. That was good. Warren wouldn‘t chew Tom out right in front of so many potential witnesses, would he?

    "First officer and pilot on the bridge, Captain."

    The captain stood up and turned around. Tom felt his knees become weak.

    Oh God, it‘s really him!<<

    The captain moved over to Chakotay and held out a hand.

    "Welcome aboard, Commander Chakotay."

    He turned next to Tom. Tom was just a little bit taller than Captain Warren, but, nevertheless, he stepped away when Warren stood in front of Tom. Warren was about 50, but he still looked very fit. He was obviously very strong and well trained. He had very dark hair, nearly black, but Tom thought it was a dark brown. Warren‘s eyes were as blue as Tom‘s own. Warren held out a hand. Tom noticed that Warren‘s hands were very beautiful, with long thin fingers, although it was a strong hand.

    "Welcome aboard, Lieutenant Thomas Eugene Paris."

    Warren held Tom‘s hand tightly and Tom could feel the pain in his hand. Warren looked deep into Tom‘s eyes. Tom could see hate in his eyes. Now, Tom understood what his father had tried to tell him.