(Sequel to "Reproach")
(R Series part 25)
Disclaimer: Tom, Chak et al belong to Paramount. I am only playing with them and promise to put them back relatively unscathed
"Well Iím glad you finally found the time to pay me a visit, Commander" The Doctor snapped "Considering the fact that I have been criminally holding three crew members for hours it would have been nice if you could have come here immediately you returned, of course. But I suppose itís too much to ask for some common courtesy or even basic politeness or Ė"
The Doctorís diatribe was completely ignored by the enraged First Officer who barged past him towards Tuvokís unconscious figure.
"Wake him up" he demanded
"Not until you tell me whatís going on. What did he do and what are YOU going to do?"
"He tried to rape Tom, and donít even THINK of telling me it was consensual this time!"
"And presumably BíElanna caught him in the act?"
"I thought I recognised the teeth marks" The Doctor replied dryly "So what are you planning on doing when I wake him."
"Iím going to kill him." Chakotay replied in a voice that convinced the Doctor that his words were no mere idle threat.
"Well thatís a damned selfish plan, isnít it?"
"Youíll spend the rest of your life in the brig."
"I donít care."
"What about Tom?"
The big manís face began to crumple and the anger drained out of his body as he sank down onto the edge of an empty bio bed.
"Heís left me." Chakotay whispered and began to cry.
The Doctor watched the Commander falling apart with the same incredulity he would have felt had Seven walked in and told him a dirty joke. Some people were as constant and unchangeable as night and day. That the stoic commander was crying in his sickbay over an unrequited love was almost too impossible for his program to compute.
"Heís left you?" He prompted softly
"He finally began to trust me, believe in me, hell this morning we actually planned that tonight would be THE night. I let him down. I let him get hurt. He canít forgive me. Heíll never trust me again."
"You arenít responsible for what Tuvok did."
"But itís my fault he canít cope with it. He was SAFE, Doc. He lived in a world of delusion where nothing hurt him. I made him face reality and he canít cope. Itís my fault heís hurting. I made him vulnerable and he knows it and hates me for it."
"Heís upset, Chakotay, give him time."
"He RAN from me. He cowered and flinched and RAN away. Heís not coming back." Chakotay sobbed "Tomorrow he will put on that old mask of indifference, because that is the only way he will be able to cope and Iíll never see the real Tom again." he said in defeat.
The commander rubbed his eyes and looked in surprise at the wetness transferred to his hand. Then his face distorted back into rage.
"Heís destroyed Tom. MY Tom is gone. Iím going to kill him." Chakotay promised solemnly and started towards the Vulcanís prone form, his eyes glinting with the madness of bereavement.
"Soooo" The Doctor drawled, "Youíre just like the rest of them. You were only using Tom too!"
Chakotay spun on his heel, looking at the Doctor in outraged astonishment
"If you canít have him, you evidently donít care what happens to him."
"How dare you?"
"If you kill Tuvok, there will be no-one to protect Tom, but you donít care, all you want is your revenge."
Slowly the madness died in Chakotayís eyes, the raging black fire dimming to sparks.
"But, I canít let him live. Heís going to always be a threat to Tom. Heís a rapist, Doctor."
"So apparently was Ayala."
"Ayala attacked Tom in passionate anger. He was an out of control sadistic bully who just needed someone meaner to slap him into line. But Tuvok is a Vulcan. He wasnít out of control. He knew EXACTLY what he was doing. He wasnít blinded by emotions. He methodically planned and executed a rape in cold blood. He is also the Second Officer on this ship. He has the power and authority to do pretty much what he likes.
What if something happens to me, Doctor? Who will stop him then? Tom could spend the rest of his life being tied up and terrorized by the bastard. Besides, what about BíElanna? I have to make sure that she never gets punished for what she did."
"Execution. If this were MY ship, I would have spaced Ayala and Tuvok both. Rape is indefensible."
"Then HELP me."
The Doctor pondered slowly. An idea had been germinating in his mind all evening, only he couldnít QUITE reach the logical conclusion.
"I have a solution, Commander, but you will need to disable my ethical sub-routine."
Chakotay looked at the hologram in astonishment as the Doctor outlined his plan.
"It would work." He agreed solemnly
"Of course, itís a shame for Ensign Kim, this kind of memory alteration usually causes horrific nightmares as the brain endlessly tries to reconcile itself with the artificially implanted memory engrams."
"I think I can live with the guilt" Chakotay replied callously.
"So you agree about Lieutenant Carrey?"
"Heís relatively innocent in all of this." Chakotay agreed reluctantly. "Are you sure that you can wipe his memory beyond possibility of detection?"
"I might accidentally remove too much, but I wonít fail to remove the memory of what ACTUALLY happened." The Doctor smirked nastily. Free of his ethical sub-routines he was quite a chilling piece of work.
"So?" Chakotay said heartlessly "Letís do it."
Kathryn Janeway woke to the insistent chime of her doorbell. Hurriedly wrapping herself in her favourite pink negligee and pausing to fluff her hair in the mirror (just in case) she gave permission for entry.
"Chakotay?" She gasped in surprise as her First Officer came in with a solemn look on his face and eyes that were definitely puffy. Good God, she thought, Chakotay had been CRYING!
"What is it? Whatís happened? Is it Tom?" She asked, gesturing him to sit down, feeling quite moist at the thought that Tom had already come back on the market.
"I regret to inform you that Lieutenant Commander Tuvok has died due to injuries received during the course of his duties, Captain."
"TUVOK?" Kathryn screeched "What the hell has happened?"
"Earlier today Ensign Kim and Lieutenant Carrey had a serious altercation in engineering. BíElanna attempted to break up the fight but was unsuccessful. She summoned Tuvok from the bridge and he managed to break them up but not before receiving a serious blow to the head."
"The Doctor told me, but he said the injuries were minor."
"On the surface of it they were. Tuvok sustained a fractured jaw and a concussion. Unaware that his tricorder was malfunctioning, the Doctor failed to notice a small splinter of tooth which entered Mr. Tuvokís blood stream. At 0054, Mr. Tuvok woke long enough to tell us which of the two had struck him. Unfortunately, his movement made the splinter move and it pierced one of his hearts killing him instantly."
"Surely the Doctor could have revived him?"
"Mr. Tuvokís medical records show a long standing problem with his left heart which had put undue strain on his right. Neither was strong enough to survive the process of defibrillation and by the time the Doctor managed to get an artificial heart in place, he had been brain-dead for 12 minutes. Under the circumstances I had no choice but to order him to cease his attempt at resuscitation."
Kathryn shuddered as she considered the huge energy requirements of keeping a brain-damaged Vulcan in permanent stasis.
"Of course, good call, Chakotay. I support you one hundred percent. Just make sure the paperwork is all in order and arrange some kind of memorial service. Nothing too fancy, he WAS a Vulcan, after all."
"And the charge? Manslaughter or murder?"
"WHO was it?"
"Ensign Kim. Unfortunately Lieutenant Carrey suffered a severe concussion. With the only witness having no memory of the incident and the victim being dead we canít be sure of exactly what happened. Kim remembers hitting Tuvok, but canít remember why."
"So there is no provable motive."
"Exactly. I doubt the intent was pre-meditated. It was an unfortunate accident, I am sure. We shouldnít be TOO harsh on the Ensign."
"Damn. Put him in the brig and Iíll think about what to do with the little idiot." Janeway hissed, excitedly imagining a number of interesting punishments involving whips, chains and a LOT of leather implements.
"Thank you Captain." Chakotay said softly "And goodnight Kathryn."
"I didnít know you were so fond of Tuvok." She said as he left
He looked at her in confusion.
"I can see that you have been crying, Chakotay."
Chakotay stiffened in embarrassment.
"Donít worry, I wonít tell anyone. Never liked the man myself, though." She shrugged carelessly.
Ethical sub-routines restored, the Doctor was bouncing with fear and considerable guilt. He shot to his feet when Chakotay returned.
"Well? Did she fall for it? Did we get away with it? Will there be an investigation?"
"Yes, Yes and No. To tell the truth, I donít think she gave a damn."
"Is it just me, or is the Captain getting stranger by the day?"
"The effects of prolonged cabin fever, perhaps."
"Perhaps I should start adding something to her coffee." The Doctor mused
The doctor looked at Chakotay in shock. The Commander shrugged nonchalantly.
"Oh well, it was just a happy thought."