No Way Out Part Two 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
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. Melvp77@freenet.de
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.
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! :)
Warren went back to his chair.
"Take your seats, gentlemen! We're leaving in 5 minutes. Lieutenant, prepare the launch!"
Tom moved to the helm and sat down between his two co-pilots. He studied the controls for a short time before he started to prepare the launch. Tom felt a bit as if he was thrown into the situation cold. Everything was happening a little too fast for him. He had just entered Colossus, he still hadn't recovered from the shock he had received when he saw Warren, and now he had to launch this monstrous ship from the space station. Tom had launched many starships from space stations, but not one this big.
"Lieutenant Paris, we have permission to launch. Take us away from here."
Tom tried his best to launch the ship. Once he gave the order to disconnect the ship from the docking ring, it started to shake heavily. The weight of the ship was too high and the gravity from Earth was too strong for him to keep Colossus steady. No matter what Tom tried, the ship would not stop shaking. Tom decided to divert some extra power to the rear engines and maneuver it out of orbit. As soon as the ship left orbit, Tom got the ship under control.
Tom inhaled a deep breath and let it out slowly. He turned around and looked directly into Chakotay's eyes. Chakotay smiled a bit and nodded respectfully. Warren didn't look very impressed. With a neutral facial expression, he ordered:"Set course to Romulus, Lieutenant Paris!"
Tom moved back to the helm and entered the new course. It was the maiden voyage of Colossus, a voyage right into war. Tom knew from the PADDs he studied on Earth that the Romulans had been attacked by the New Collective. Twenty-five percent of the Romulans on Romulus had already been assimilated. The Romulans didn't have any functional starships to defend themselves anymore. A few Starfleet ships had tried to defend Romulus, but they had to retreat before they were disabled by the Breen weapon. Colossus was maybe the last chance the Romulans had. Colossus needed about six hours to reach Romulus. Tom knew, by then, thousands more of the Romulans would be assimilated. Tom sighed deeply. He never liked the Romulans very much, but no race deserved a fate like this. He cleared his mind again.
"New course is a direct one to Romulus, Captain. We'll enter orbit in 5 hours and 56 minutes."
"Well, that's enough time to make a final check of all systems. I don't want to have any unpleasant surprises during combat. Commander Chakotay, make sure that every system is working when we enter Romulan territory. You have the bridge."
Chakotay followed Warren with his eyes as the Captain left the bridge without another word. Chakotay started to give orders to all sections to check their systems. He gave everybody 2 hours to make their reports. Then he moved to Tom and put a hand on his shoulder. Tom flinched away; he didn't expect the touch, but when he turned around and recognized that it was Chakotay, he
"Are you okay, Tom?"
"Could be better. I'm a bit edgy at the moment."
Tom stood up and moved close to Chakotay, close enough that only Chakotay could hear him whisper: "Chakotay, it's really him. Did you see how he looked at me? I could see the hate in his eyes."
"Tom, Warren is the Captain here, he cannot cause you direct harm because he wants revenge, and he knows it. He has to follow the Starfleet protocols, and that protects you. He is a professional, and I'm sure he is not going to throw his rank away for revenge."
Tom tried hard to believe Chakotay's words. Sure, it sounded right. A captain wouldn't destroy his career so easily. Tom was on this ship to do his job, even with Warren as the captain. Starfleet protocols didn't require that everybody must be friends. Being hated wasn't new to Tom; he could cope with that. But, something deep inside told him that hate was not the only thing Warren had in mind for him.
Chakotay realized that his words didn't make Tom feel better, so he decided to give him a short break from the bridge before Warren got back. He wanted to give Tom some time to clear his mind again.
"Tom, I want you to check the navigation array. It won't take long. Take a short break and calm down. You have two hours, and I'll see you back on the bridge then."
"Okay. Thank you, Chakotay."
Tom left the bridge and went directly to the array. It took some time to reach it. Once he reached the array, he started to check the system. As he expected, everything worked well. An hour later he finished the check. He then went to the mess hall to drink a cup of coffee while he wrote the report. He was thankful that the mess hall was only two decks higher, close to the turbo lifts. After 15 minutes, he finished his report and stood up to head slowly for the bridge. He felt better now. Somehow, Chakotay always knew what was best for Tom. Chakotay knew that giving Tom some work would prevent him from dwelling on negative thoughts.
Tom reached the main corridor and moved to the turbo lifts, when suddenly he felt someone grabbing his uniform from behind, at the neckline. He couldn't see who it was, because the other man was behind him. Everything happened very fast, and Tom soon found himself turned around and pinned against the wall. He quicked at his attacker, to find he was looking directly into Warren's hated face. Warren pressed his right arm against Tom's throat to hold him against the wall. Tom was able to breathe, and somehow he knew that Warren didn't really want to choke him; he just wanted to pin him in place.
Tom thought for a moment whether he should struggle against the captain, but then he decided he would just wait for what Warren had to say. Just as he finished this thought, Warren started to speak:
"Thomas Eugene Paris. I'll never forget your name. Little Admiral's brat who killed MY son. I though I'd never see you again."
"Shut up, you talk too much Paris!"
Tom looked at Warren defiantly.
"Let me make one thing clear, Paris: Starfleet thinks that you are worth a second chance. That's not my opinion. Who knows how much help you got from your father this time? I thought you were dead when Voyager was missing. I hoped that my Charlie would take revenge on you on the other side of the galaxy and send you to hell. But then, Voyager got home, and I heard that Captain
Janeway gave you back Starfleet rank. I was devastated when I realized that you, you worthless bastard, got a second chance. But now, your privileges are over. I'll tell you this only once: watch your ass, Paris! Be sure, I'm not going to risk any member of the crew or the ship to rescue you when you once again manage to screw."
Warren then stepped back and hurried away to the bridge. Tom was stunned. He didn't know what to think now. Warren had not threatened him, but he had made it clear that Tom was the most worthless member of the crew, someone the captain could spare, someone who might be killed soon...
Tom shivered like someone had walked over his grave. He went back to the bridge with the unpleasant feeling that he was on his own. He couldn't expect any help, except maybe from Chakotay...
It was two hours later when Colossus entered Romulan territory. The battle was difficult; Colossus received some light damage as Tom tried to enter orbit. The plan was to enter orbit and lower the shields for a short time while Colossus was behind a moon. At this moment, the second squadron of gunboats would leave Colossus to attack the little Borg cubes, which were developed specially to land on planet surfaces. The first squadron had already left Colossus before they entered Romulan territory to protect Colossus from attacks while the shields were down. Once the gunboats started to destroy the cubes Colossus would once again lower its shields to let the third squadron launch. This squadron would attack the Borg on the surface. Each squadron was one hundred gunboats strong.
The plan was good, but Colossus had one weak point: It had to lower the shields to let the squadrons launch. At this moment, Colossus was defenseless. It was impossible for all of the gunboats to launch before entering Romulan territory. Although all gunboats had the same new shields, they were still much easier to destroy than Colossus. The shields of the little gunboats were
not as strong as the ones Colossus had.
But the plan worked well, although Colossus got some hits while the shields were down, but the captain had an eye open for the Breen ships. He knew that the Breen ships were much bigger than the little Borg cubes, and when Colossus was between Romulus and its moon, there was no chance for the Breen to hit Colossus. The ship only had to fear the conventional weapons, such as photon torpedoes and phasers. Nevertheless, the Borg were able to cause some serious damage when two photon torpedoes hit Colossus. An impact destroyed one of the four warp gondolas, which caused a plasma leak. The damage couldn't be repaired during combat, so Colossus could only fly at warp 6 now. The second torpedo caused a break in the hull at deck 45. Two shuttle ramps were useless now, but all in all, Colossus was still functional.
The battle went on for a long while. Step by step, the gunboats got the upper hand, supported by the powerful weapons of Colossus. Tom counted 12 gunboats destroyed. There was no chance to save the pilots, because Colossus was under heavy attack and couldn't lower the shields at the proper moments. Tom felt helpless, because Colossus was in orbit and he had nothing to do except correcting the course when an attack caused a deviation. He felt bad when he saw how the gunboats were destroyed. With every little blue spot that vanished from his scanner, he felt that something was dying inside him.
After a long while, the Borg and the Breen ships were dramatically outnumbered. The last ships formed a group and withdrew behind the lines. Warren waited two more hours before he lowered the shields and called the squadrons back. The first mission was a success. Warren didn't even use Colossus' whole potential. He only had to launch three of the six available squadrons.
Romulus was now the nearest Starfleet base to the front. While the engineers started to repair Colossus and the gunboats, a group of security and medical officers were beamed to the surface to support the Romulans. There were still some Borg on the surface, but they were soon detected and disabled.
The ship was still on yellow alert when Lieutenant Allamoe reported a comm signal from the surface.
"Captain, we're being hailed by Senator Kaan."
A bloody face appeared on the screen. The Romulan was wounded and looked exhausted. Behind him there were still trails of smoke, and it took some time for Tom to realize that they came from the burned, dead bodies that lay behind the senator on the ground.
"Captain Warren, we have to thank you for your help. But I fear I have to ask for another favor. Our Head Praetor was heavily injured. Your doctors said there is no way to heal him with your technologies. We have to get Head Praetor Kjulak to Primus V. It is his last chance. Our best doctors are there, and they can help him. But, we have no ship to take him there."
"I understand. Of course, we will help you, Senator Kaan."
"Unfortunately we cannot beam Head Praetor Kjulak directly to your ship; your doctors say that it would destabilize him."
"We will send a shuttle to you, which will bring the Head Praetor directly to Primus V."
"Thank you, Captain Warren, we are transmitting the location to you. We are indebted to you. Kaan out."
Warren turned to face Chakotay.
"What options do we have, Commander?"
"We can't use the gunboats. They're all single-seaters. A transport of an injured man wouldn't be possible with them. Our shuttles would be ideal for this, but they don't have strong shields. I don't want to send a shuttle to Primus V, when we don't know where the New Collective will attack the next time."
"How about the Delta Flyer?"
Tom's eyes flew open when he heard that. His Delta Flyer was aboard this ship?
Chakotay answered Warren's suggestion.
"Yes, the Delta Flyer would be perfect for this mission. It has enough room for the pilot, the injured Head Praetor and some medical staff. The only problem is that we haven't tested the new shield systems of the Flyer yet."
"We don't have time to test them now. A man is dying down there. Primus V is far away from the front, I don't think the New Collective would select a target that is so much far behind their lines."
Warren then turned around.
"Lieutenant Paris, you'll fly to the surface and pick up the Head Praetor and the medical staff. Take them to Primus V and come back as fast as you can."
Before Tom could say anything, Chakotay stepped in front of Warren.
"Captain, I don't think it's a good idea to send the chief pilot on this mission. His assignment is to fly Colossus."
"His assignment is to follow my orders, Commander. The Delta Flyer was developed by him, right? So nobody knows the shuttle better than he does. And, as you always mention, he is the best pilot I could have. So, why should I not send him?"
"What if the New Collective starts a second attack?"
"Colossus will stay in orbit; the co-pilots can handle that without Lieutenant Paris. Now, Lieutenant Paris, would you please go to the shuttle bay and begin your mission."
Tom moved to the turbolifts. When he passed Chakotay he whispered: "No big deal, Chakotay, I'll be back in an instant, you'll see."
Before Chakotay could respond, Tom had already entered the lift. Chakotay closed his eyes, his thoughts with Tom. He didn't want Tom to fly to Primus V. The New Collective was incomprehensible. Even if Primus V was far behind Federation lines, you never knew where they'd attack the next time. Colossus was the only ship that could fight against the Breen. When Tom was gone he would be
on his own, as Colossus would stay here. Come back in one peace, Tom. I love you!<<
When Chakotay opened his eyes again, he noticed that Warren had watched him with interest the whole time.
Tom maneuvered the Flyer to the coordinates that were given him. Something looked strange to him. Nobody was nearby, buildings were burning, and he could see burns on the ground that had been caused by phasers. He landed the Flyer and opened the shuttle ramp, but not before he took his phaser and turned it on highest setting. He stepped out of the Flyer and went to the building where
the Head Praetor should have been. The door was destroyed, maybe by a photon torpedo. Now Tom studied the scene with all his senses. Something was really wrong here.
"Paris to Colossus."
It was Chakotay who answered.
"Something's wrong here. There are signs of a new fight. The Head Praetor isn't here. Nobody is here. I'm in front of the house where they should be, and the door has been destroyed."
"Don't go in there alone; we'll beam a security team down to you."
Suddenly Tom heard a phaser burst over the comm signal.
"Chakotay, what happened?"
"We're under attack again. Somehow, the Borg were able to deceive our scanners. We cannot beam the team down to you and we also cannot beam you up now; our shields are up. Get back to the Flyer and try to stay away from us until the fight is over. There are only a few little Borg cubes. We shouldn't need too much time to disable them. But be careful, one or another might have detected
"On my way, Paris out."
Tom hurried back to the Flyer. It was a short sprint, and he was soon at the shuttle ramp again. He was just about to enter the Flyer when he froze in shock. Two Borg drones were in the Flyer and were downloading the databanks when they noticed Tom standing on the ramp. One Borg turned around and moved towards Tom.
"We are Borg. Resistance is futile..."
In an instant, Tom raised his phaser and fired. He hit the Borg, who fell to the ground. Tom aimed at the other Borg and shot again. This time to no avail, as the Borg had already remodulated his shield. Now Tom drew the attention of the remaining Borg, who started to move towards him as well. Tom recalibrated the phaser and shot again. And again, the shields prevented a direct hit. Tom backed away, knowing he couldn't stop the Borg. When he turned around to run away, he noticed two more Borg, who came out of the building. Tom started to panic. He turned his head around just to see that more and more Borg were appearing and moving towards him. They started to encircle him, and again and again they repeated their sentences.
Tom made out a gap and tried to run through it. One Borg was able to grab him by his arm, but Tom ran so fast that he was spun around by the hold of the Borg and fell to the ground. The Borg couldn't keep a grip, so Tom was able to stand up again and run away. The Borg followed him, still repeating their sentences.
While Tom ran away, he hailed Colossus again. Gasping for air, he nearly screamed every syllable into his comm badge.
"Pa-ris to Co-los-sus."
"The shields are still up."
"Spirits, I'll try what I can. Hang on!"
Tom realized too late that he was running towards a cliff. He stopped in front of the edge and looked down. He saw small rocks that grew out of the roaring water. Close to the cliff there was a stony beach. Tom looked back and saw that the Borg were getting closer and closer. He was trapped, and there was no way to get away from that place. Now he shouted in panic into his comm badge.
"Beam me up now!"
"There are still too many cubes! We can't..."
"DO IT NOW!!!"
"We need a minute or two..."
Tom knew he didn't have a minute. When one Borg came within an arm's length, Tom stepped back. No, you will never get me. I'd rather die than become one of your drones.<<
The Borg activated his assimilation drain tubes on his right hand and moved to sink them into Tom's neck when Tom stepped over the edge and let himself fall down the cliff.
Tom closed his eyes and screamed aloud. Then he opened them again, just to see how fast the rocks were coming closer. He thought about how he should position himself to survive the fall. But he couldn't do much, it was too late. With a loud bang, his body smashed on the stony beach. Tom lay on the beach, covered in his own blood, which came from where his broken bones had pierced
his skin. A wave covered Tom's lifeless body and washed some of the blood away. Another wave was on its way to Tom when he was enveloped by the blue transporter beam.