Title: Blind Trust
Series: Blind Faith (sequel to the Unwanted series)
Author: Kim Riley a.k.a. MYSTIC
Disclaimer: The characters belong to Paramount. Since they are no longer using them I’ve decided to take our boys out of the ‘closet’ and let them play and be happy. Enjoy.
Summary: With all the changes Chakotay has gone through and will be going through, he finds it harder to come to terms with some of the changes then expected. Part VII following Leap of Faith, Blinded by the Truth, Blindsided, Faith in Shadows, Blind Ambitions, Faithless
Note: I decided to borrow from another show…hope no one minds!
Rating: R for language and sex
Feedback: Please! Mysticmcknight@hotmail.com
“Are you sure of this?” Kathryn asked Samantha Wilderman.
“Captain, I admit, I was a bit skeptical myself, but between knowing that Naomi has been raised on Voyager and keeps a calm head, and the fact that AJ was laying on top of her blanket not under it like I left her…yes I’m sure. There was an alien woman in here holding her; had Naomi…” she let her words trail off.
Kathryn Janeway looked at the sleeping Paris girl and was relieved that she seemed unharmed or bothered by her unexpected visitor. “I’ll have Tuvok increase internal sensors,” she commented, still in thought.
“Shouldn’t I call Chakotay and Tom?” Sam asked.
“No,” Kathryn stated with conviction. “They have enough on their plate without being concerned about strange aliens and their daughter. No. If we can’t protect one of our own, than what good are we?” she asked, more to herself than Samantha. “We’re going to but AJ Paris under twenty-four / seven observation, and when ever possible she’s not to be alone. Nothing, and I do mean nothing but her family will get with in twenty feet of her…understood?”
Kathryn turned to look at the piece of paper that Naomi had given her and looked at the child like drawing of the alien woman…long gold and black hair, brownish green skin, humanoid… and had the ability to come on her ship and invade the child’s room undetected. “I want Commander Tuvok, Ensign Kim, Lieutenant Torres, and Mr. Neelix along with you, Naomi and AJ to meet me in my ready room in half an hour, no one, and I do mean no one,” she looks at the little girl, “Says a word to Tom or Chakotay,” she ordered, then turned and left, taking the picture of the possible threat with her.
It had been a long time since he felt this good waking up in the morning, and feeling the heat of another body against his only added to the great sensation. It took a moment to recall that he was holding his husband, Tom Paris in his arms after a night of making love…they had made love, and it was wonderful.
//Look at the good things,// he recalled Tom telling him the night before. He knew that the bad things that haunted him in his past wouldn’t go away overnight, but Tom was right, had things not gone the way they did…good or bad, he wouldn’t be here now, holding the man he loved…his soul mate and the father of his daughter. He recalled the color of the soft hair his fingers were caressing, and how the light would shine off the blond hair as if it was made of fine gold and how Tom’s eyes were sky blue and could shine bright with life, and how he wish he could see it all now; but he rather have Tom in his life than in his sight any day, and he eased his wonderfully soar body, having had Tom sleep on top of him for a change, usual he used Tom’s chest as a pillow, but they had both been too tired from all the emotional release to move last night and he was feeling it now, as he melded around Tom’s body. He caressed the strong smooth muscles in Tom’s strong slim back and felt the heat of his skin and the slight twitching of a body starting to become aware of the world around it.
“Morning, Pooka,” he whispered and placed a small kiss on Tom’s hair.
“Mmmm, morning, Tiger,” Tom purred feeling very happy and satisfied.
“Feel up to a shower?”
“Mmmm, not just yet,” Tom purred as he slowly started placing small kisses on Chakotay’s face, and neck, his body waking to the blood starting to rush through it.
Chakotay chuckled as he realized he loved an affectionate Tom in the morning. “Are you this affectionate every morning?” he asked teasingly, caressing his lover’s back.
“No, some days I’m really energetic,” he replied, capturing his love’s lips with his own.
“Well, how about we take this playful nature of yours into the shower, I feel totally stick,” he said warmly sitting partly up in bed.
“Mr. Paris, are you propositioning me?” Tom asked with mock shock.
Tay smiled, “No, I’m only asking if you want to fuck in the shower?”
“Why, Mr. Paris…I never!” Tom cried out in mock offense.
Chakotay slipped himself out from underneath Tom and had his feet on the floor, “Too bad, I was looking forward to it. Oh well,” he sighed and got up and started heading for the bathroom. When he reached the door he held his hand out, seconds before Tom grabbed him, “I see you changed your mind, Mr. Paris,” Tay teased lightly.
“Well, there is a first time for everything,” Tom joked lovingly, glad to see some life back in his husband’s eyes and soul.
Chakotay snorted his response, “If you say so. By the way what’s on the agenda for today?”
“Well, after you receive a thorough loving from your husband, you’re going to get some rest while I make breakfast. Than we are going to retrieve our daughter and spend some family time while going over the schedule to cover our shifts once we go back to work. Then, you and I are heading to the holodeck, I have a program to show you.”
“Funny Tom,” Tay replied as they were now in the bathroom, and he was kissing soft pliable skin, while holding Tom’s body to him. “And just what is it you want to ‘show’ me?”
Tom understood that Chakotay was still a tad touchy about his blindness, but wouldn’t treat him any different, and he knew Tay loved him for it. “Remember I told you that you and I needed to get some exercise, and that I suggested upgrading our hand to hand combat, and how you scoffed at me? Well, hotshot, I have created a program just for you; now enough talk…love me Tiger, or I’ll divorce you,” he teased.
“You’d have to kill me before I’d let you leave me, Tom Paris,” Chakotay said teasingly, but a strong seriousness in the undercurrent.
Tom not only felt it, but saw it in his husbands eyes and glowed, “Not to worry, Big man, I’m not going anywhere,” he replied seriously and then both men once more embraces and made love under the warmth of the shower.
Tom and Chakotay stood in the empty holodeck as Tom saw his husband’s nervousness. “Tay, you have nothing to be upset about, this is the holodeck and the safeties are on. Just relax,” he said, trying to ease him. “I researched the computer’s library and with a lot of help from the Doc, B’Elanna, Harry, and even Tuvok, we’ve created not only a program to help you, but a teacher.”
“Teacher? A teacher of what, how to get your ass kicked 101? I think I can handle that all by myself,” he stated.
Tom took the comment in, he knew that Tay was seriously lacking his confidence, something so foreign to the man he knew; but understood why it had come about. “No, how to defend yourself; now, I admit I couldn’t find anyone that totally matched your beliefs, but I came as close as I could. There was an ancient earth practice called Shoelin well integrated in the Asian culture. They too valued life and the spirits and were vegetarians,” Tom added for spice.
“Tom, just because someone is a vegetarian doesn’t mean…”
“I know that, I’m just saying, give the program a chance, okay?”
“Alright, so what has this Shoelin have to do with anything?”
“Well, it’s a form of martial arts, and what struck me most was that it emphasized the use of other senses over visual, more so, inner senses. So, me, the Doc, and the others downloaded every file possible on the subject and the best teacher we found listed and every aspect of his personality into the program. We even made him like the Doc…”
“Great, arrogant and self righteous,” Chakotay growled.
Tom laughed, “No, I mean self aware, able to learn, so he can become a better teacher for you, Okay?”
“Fine, let’s get this over with, shall we?”
Tom’s lips pressed together, this was going to be more difficult than he first imagined, but than again, Tay was here and that was a start. “Computer, run program Tay20,” he stated, no code for it wasn’t a classified program.
“So you would remember the program,” Tom stated. He then looked about and saw the black and yellow walls of the holodeck shift to an old fashion dojo, and saw a human male, long grayish silver hair, dressed in Shoelin monk robes, sitting in the middle, in the famous lotus position, as if meditating. “Okay, Tay, here we go.”
Chakotay could feel the shift in his environment, but that was all. He let Tom take him by the arm and lead him forward, feeling the mat beneath his feet. As he walked he could sense the presence of something...
Tom saw the older man stand gracefully, no physical sign of his age showing, even if he was a hologram, and turned to face them, giving a slight respectful bow. “Ah, Thomas, this must by your friend that you have spoken to me about.”
“It is. Master, I like to present you Commander Chakotay Paris, my husband and hopefully your new student. Chakotay I would like to present to you, Master Kwi Chang Cain a Shoelin priest, and Shambala Master and hopefully your new teacher,” Tom said softly, as he watched the exchange that was about to transpire.
“Tom, are you telling me, the hologram might turn me down?” he asked, instead of giving a proper greeting.
Tom turned and looked embarrassed at Master Cain, “Ah, Chakotay, one shouldn’t be rude,” he stated.
“It is all right, young Thomas. He does not accept me as one capable of helping him, therefore his actions to protect his fear, I understand and I am not offended, however, if Commander Chakotay is not willing to learn, I can not teach.”
“You’re saying no?” Chakotay said in a bit of surprise.
“I am saying that I can not teach the unwilling, nothing more, Commander.” Cain replied gently.
“And what exactly can ‘you’ teach me?” he asked with much doubt.
Cain looked at Tom, “Something has rocked the confidence that you told me about; might I inquire as to what?”
“No you may not,” Tay snapped.
“Chakotay, please!” he said with insistence, “This is to help you, why are you fighting it? I thought you said you’d give it a try…this is not giving it a chance.”
Cain watched quietly as Chakotay dealt silently with his emotions, “Fine, but I don’t want to talk about my past…not yet, understood?”
“Okay, Tay, just relax,” Tom said soothingly.
Cain watched the dynamics and gave a slight nod of understanding, “Young Thomas, would you leave us alone?” he asked gently.
Tom’s eyes went wide, “Ah, shouldn’t I be here…”
“Thomas, you brought him here for you believed that I could teach him and help him to regain his confidence and self dependence, do you doubt me already?”
Tom seeing the corner he had walked into sighed, “No. Call me if you need me, Tay,” he said warmly, and then with a bow to Cain, left the holodeck.
Chakotay stood still not moving as he heard the soft sounds of the hologram and the holodeck around him. “So, what do you want me to do first?” he asked, still unsure about all this.
“First I would like you to sit down before you fall down,” Cain replied, only a gentle touch of humor in his tone. “Then we shall talk. If by the end of our discussion you feel that I can not help you, than we need not meet again, otherwise, you will agree to become my student. As such, you will learn the disciplines a Shoelin student must have in order to attempt mastery of the art. Young Thomas has told me much about you and your spiritual way, and I do not tend to disrespect them, only enforce them, for truth is truth no matter what language or form it is found.”
Chakotay took a relaxing breath and sat down on the mat, naturally taking the lotus position he uses in his own meditation. “Okay, we talk, and then we decide.”
Cain gave a soft chuckle.
“It is that in many ways you remind me of my son Peter; he to was contrary and strong willed. Though in time he found his path ask suspected you found yours and will find your way once more,” Cain replied as he took a seat across from Chakotay. “Let us talk.”
Tom was beside himself with concern, but understood that if he didn’t have any trust in the program how could Chakotay. He decided to see his daughter who was being looked after by Samantha and was surprised not to find them in her quarters. “Computer location of AJ Paris?”
<AJ Paris is in sickbay.>
//Shit!// Tom thought and ran to sickbay, filled with worry. He dashed inside to discover a very surprised group of people, “Ah, what’s going on here?” Tom asked.
Samantha looked nervous, as the Doc looked at Janeway, who smiled too easily. “I guess you caught us,” Janeway replied, stepping forward. “But since you’re here, we might as well include you in our plans for what was suppose to be a surprise for you and Chakotay’s anniversary,” she stated, a little embarrassed at being caught.
“Anniversary? That’s not for another…” Tom had to think about it, “Oh my word that’s next month…has it been a year already?” he asked shocked at how much time had flown by since all this had started.
Janeway smiled, “Yes it has, and believe me, you are not the only one shocked by it,” she teased softly. “So, we rather surprise you and Chakotay, but if you insist…?”
“Ah, no…no, I would hate to be a dampener to all your good efforts,” Tom smiled, feeling touched that they would be planning this for him and Chakotay. “I’ll just take AJ and leave you to it. Oh, and I won’t mention this to Tay either, we know how his about surprises,” Tom joked, knowing his husband would tell them not to do it. Tom moved to Sam and gently took up his daughter who cooed at him and smiled brightly, knowing her daddy. He then spotted the something gold on her ankle, “What’s this?”
“Just a present from me,” Kathryn said softly, “To my Goddaughter.”
Tom looked at the tiny charm anklet, and saw the letters AJ, and a tiny pair of wings, a tiny version of Voyager and something that looked like Chakotay’s tattoo, “Oh, Captain, it’s…it’s beautiful.”
“Thank you. I think the letters are obvious as is the tattoo, that’s Chakotay, the ship is voyager, her home, and of course the wings…represent you.”
Tom once more was touched, “Thank you, I know Tay will love it too.”
“Speaking of the Commander how is he?” the EMH asked.
“I’m not sure. He’s in the holodeck with Master Cain, I have to say they didn’t hit it off to well, but…well we’ll see. Again, thank you,” he said, his bright eyes shining his gratitude. “Well, angel, we better get home and make dinner for your Papa,” he said softly, then left the group in sickbay.
“Anniversary surprise?” the EMH stated with irritation.
“You didn’t expect me to tell him that you implanted a tiny homing device in his daughters arm, now did you; or the charm is a tracking device? I meant it, we will protect AJ, and Tom and Chakotay need not be the wiser.”
“Captain, there has not been a repeat of the alien’s visit…”
“True, but then again, AJ hasn’t been left alone long enough for that to occur, but we all know that Tom and Chakotay won’t put up with our interference for ever, and I’m not taking chances…are you?”
“No,” both of them said.
“Good. Now, if I were you two,” she smirks, “I’d start planning an anniversary party for Tom and the Commander.” With that she exited leaving two very agitated crewman behind, but knowing they would do their jobs and well.
Tom had dinner waiting and AJ changed and fed and down for a nap, after Neelix dropped by and read to her a story, and was still softly singing to her as she slept. He had tried to tell the little Talaxian that he didn’t need to be here, but Neelix insisted that AJ slept better when sang to. Tom smiled, for he knew that was true, and seeing the light in his friend’s eyes couldn’t toss him out…yet.
Chakotay came in and Tom turned with eagerness to know what happened after he left. “Well?”
Chakotay stepped farther in the room and stopped, “Neelix?”
Just then the Talaxian exited from AJ’s room. “Ah, yes, Commander, how did you know I was here?”
“I heard you singing. Is everything all right?”
“Everything’s fine, Commander. Well, I’d better be going,” he said and then shifted silently out the door.
“What was that all about?”
“Oh, he just wanted to sing AJ to sleep, no big deal. Now, what happened?” Tom asked again as he watched Tay move to the dinner table.
“Mmm, smells good, Tom. I’m starving,” he said, taking a seat and purposely avoiding Tom’s question.
Chakotay laughed, “Okay, okay,” he smiled, than got a bit more serious. “Master Cain and I had a long talk. At first I didn’t think it would work out, but after a while I realized that perhaps I was wrong, that maybe he could help me. After all, he told me that if I could save Voyager from the enemy while blind, how could I let something as simple as martial arts conquer me.”
“He said I was letting my fears get the best of me and well, he convinced me that perhaps…perhaps I was. So, we talked some more and I did agree to become his student, we meet for two hours everyday starting tomorrow…if that’s okay with you?”
Tom glowed, “Okay with me…hell yeah! It is why I made the program, Tay, for you to use.”
“Thank you, Pooka.”
Tom moved over to Chakotay and hugged him, “No, thank you, for giving it a shot and for…for being you,” he said and kissed his love. “Now, let’s eat before it gets cold.”
“Already a head of you,” Tay said, dishing himself a large portion of the vegetable lasagna Tom had made.
Time passed and all seemed to settle to what could be considered normal for Voyager in the Delta Quadrant. Tom was flying, Chakotay was back to work, with Ben Connors at his side to aid him in any small matter that Chakotay would need, which was a lot less then people first thought. Chakotay had made a lot of progress working with Master Cain, not only did he gain his confidence back, but his assertiveness that made him the leader so many admired, and taught himself brail, and had the computer to convert basic reports for him, so Connors didn’t have to read them all to him. As Tom had been quoted…the man was back!
Everything seemed to be going well, even the one year anniversary party for Commander and Lieutenant Paris went off without a hitch, as they all got lulled into the false security that the Delta had a tendency to offer its victims less they are wise enough to remember the deadly mistress they danced with; this month the crew of Voyager forgot.
Janeway was on the bridge with Chakotay, discussing the basics of ship business, with Tom at the helm when suddenly the collision klaxon sounded, but again nothing was on the screen. Tom brought them to an immediate halt, tossing a few people on to the floor, but this time not hitting anything.
“Sorry, Captain, reaction from the last time,” Tom said, even if it was over a year ago, he couldn’t forget how something like this almost killed his love and didn’t wish to test fate once more.
“That’s all right, Lieutenant,” she said as she climbed off the floor and saw Ben helping Chakotay to his seat. She then looked up and saw someone was standing on the bridge, “Can I help you?”
Chakotay was silent as he listened, and from the tension in the air and Kathryn’s voice he too knew someone was on the bridge that didn’t belong here.
“My name is Kymelya and I have returned for what should have been mine,” she stated her voice tight with disdain and forced calm.
“What do mean, what should have been yours?” Janeway replied.
“I am of the Eldorsha, my people travel the heavens as is our way. Our paths crossed before and by our laws we paid a price for our transgressions, but I have shown my council that you are unworthy of the gifts bestowed on you, and that I lost what should not have been lost, so I am here to reclaim…”
“AJ!” Chakotay said standing up with understanding. “You can not have my daughter!” he growled.
“I am not asking,” she said in a tight voice. “I am merely stating what shall be as is per custom. You have been found unworthy, and I have made claim to what should have been my child, and will be once more,” she stated and then vanished.
“Intruder alert! Tuvok get security to Samantha’s quarters; Mr. Kim notify her…”
“Captain, someone just took AJ!” Samantha’s voice rang out, sounding as if she at least put up a struggle and was hurt in her effort.
Tom turned in his chair, “They have AJ, what are we going to do?”
Kathryn turned to Tuvok, “Track her,” she ordered.
Chakotay heard Tuvok’s acknowledgment, “Captain, how are we going to track her, we can’t even…”
“I have her signal, Captain; I am feeding the coordinates to the helm now.”
“Tom, set course, then join me and Commander Paris in my ready room,” she said and then gave Tuvok the nod…he had the bridge.
She waited till Ben left and Tom entered, offering them both a drink, both turned it down.
“Okay, Captain, what is going on here, how did you pick up her signal?” Chakotay asked, though grateful they had.
“Tom, Chakotay, I have to tell you something, but I want you to understand, you had a lot on your plate, and ‘I” decided not to add more. I really felt we could protect her…”
“What do you mean protect her…from what?” Tom and Chakotay asked.
“Several months back, that woman visited Voyager, but only Naomi saw her. We took every precaution…”
Tom seemed to see the light, “That’s why for several months it seemed that we couldn’t get a moment alone with our daughter, you were watching over her?”
“Yes,” Janeway said as she took a seat, preparing for the wraith that would be coming her way. “That day you saw me in sickbay with the Doc and Sam, we…we implanted a homing device in her arm.”
“What!” Chakotay barked with anger. “You…you implanted something in my…my daughter without my permission?”
“Don’t Commander me, she’s my daughter, you had no right…”
“Tay, if she hadn’t we wouldn’t know where AJ is now…please,” Tom said, trying to contain his own anger at being duped. Then he looked at the Captain, “But what if she is out of range…?”
“The charm bracelet; it not only has another tracking signal, but a mini amplifier made by B’Elanna and Harry. Tom, I swear, we did everything we could to keep her safe…”
“But tell us,” Tom replied, his hurt showing.
“For that I am sorry, but you two were going through so much at the time, I…I didn’t want to add any more pressure.”
Tom was going to snap now, but it was Chakotay whose hand rested on his arm that quieted him, “She’s right, I don’t think we could have taken the added pressure of worrying over AJ at the time. Besides, what could we have done that she didn’t?” he asked.
“I guess your right, but still.”
“I agree, Tom, I agree, we should have been told. If not right away soon afterwards, but we should have been told.”
“I apologize, Chakotay. But I had begun to think it a one time occurrence…until today anyway.”
“Okay, we can’t change the past, so we’ll let it go for now, but ‘we’ will talk more about this later, Captain,” Chakotay stated in his firm tone. “Right now, we need to get our daughter back.”
“I agree. Preset orders were given that if the tracking devise was set off, which it was once she left Voyager, that all available power be directed to the sensors to track her. We may not be able to pick up their ship on sensors, but we can track her.”
“Then I’m going to the helm,” Tom said, squeezing his husband’s hand.
“I’ll be out there in a minute,” Chakotay said softly as he sensed Tom go. “Kathryn…besides the fact that you should have told me…thanks for trying to protect her; I know you didn’t want her…”
“Stop right there, mister. I know my mistakes and I’ll be damned to let them be placed back in my face,” she snapped.
“Kathryn I didn’t mean it that way, I…”
“No, I’m sorry, I’m on edge too. I guess…when I look at her I see what could have been, if I hadn’t been so foolish,” she stated softly.
“I’m afraid your wrong there, Kathryn. What Tom and I have we could never have had, you didn’t love me, and I know now that I didn’t love you the same way I love Tom, so no you were not being foolish, just honest. But I wanted to say that you have more than made up for your stupidity and you actions against her so long ago.”
“Kathryn, I know it was you who tampered with the replicator that day, but I was too shocked to admit it then, and then there was just too much shit to concern myself with to think about it anymore. Besides, as I said, you more than made up for it, so no matter what happens…thank you.”
“No, thank you Chakotay. Thank you for having her, thank you for being my friend, and for understanding that this ship would be lost without you.”
“Okay, enough mush, you have a ship to Captain, and I need a moment to think, if you don’t mind?”
“Not at all,” she said softly, and then left Chakotay to his thoughts.
//Well now, if you think you can simply come her and take my daughter, think again,// Chakotay growled as he closed his unfocused eyes and concentrated, his mind visualizing his daughter and the ship that carried her.
The collision klaxon sounded once more, and Chakotay opened his eyes, a deep wicked grin on his face as he stood up and wiped the blood from his nose with is sleeve and made his way to the bridge.
“We’re being hailed,” Harry stated as Chakotay entered the bridge.
“Put it through,” she stated and looked seriously at the screen.
A male, short black and gold hair, brownish green skin, dark eyes looked angry as he appeared on the screen. “How dare you assault us!” he roared.
“Assault you?” Janeway asked puzzled.
Chakotay stepped forward. “You have ‘my’ daughter, I want her returned to me,” he stated.
“She was reclaimed by Eldorsha law…”
“Laws I know nothing about, nor given the chance to defend my claim… is that how you people work, take from those who don’t know better? I may not know your laws, but I will not accept you taking my daughter and will hunt you down till the end of my days to find her if I must,” he vowed.
The male looked at Chakotay silently for a moment, “you were not given the challenge?”
“Kymelya,” he called out.
Tom saw the same woman holding his five month old daughter, “AJ,” he called out, but a strong hand on his shoulder from Tay kept him calm.
“Kymelya, this one states that he did not receive the challenge. You said he was an unworthy protector, how have you come before the council and state such a claim without a challenge?”
“I did not need to make a challenge, he is blind and unable to defend himself, and I have seen this for myself. If he can not defend himself, how can he defend the child?”
It took a few moments for Chakotay to process everything he had heard this day, “I thank you and your people for the gift of my life and ‘my’ daughter; but I dare say I am more than capable of raising her and protecting her if need be.”
“The council has found you unworthy…” Kymelya started to say.
“Based on your words alone. I demand my rights, even if I do not know your laws; I deserve to know how I may defend my claim as well as my daughter. You came here, said nothing and then swayed your people to take my daughter…what justice do you call that?”
“He is right, Kymelya, and you did misled the council, this will not bold well for you either. However, we must know if you are able to defend her as a guardian must, it is our way, and one we can not deny. I am Darlan leader of this ship, and I will contact the council to inform them of the situation. We will remain here till we can come to an understanding of what needs to transpire to set all well with the law once more,” he said, then bowed to them and closed the channel.
“At least they could give here back,” Tom growled.
“Patience Tom,” Chakotay said, all too calmly.
Tom looked up and saw that Chakotay may be calm, but he was in rare form, more than ready to fight for his daughter.
“You mind telling me, what assault?” Kathryn asked, looking at Chakotay.
Chakotay who was still standing by his husband, not seeing the Captain’s glare smirked, “Sorry, but I wanted to get their attention…and I did.”
Tom looked up and this time saw the little blood trace on Chakotay’s face. “Tay,” he whispered, knowing that every time Chakotay did this and bled, he was hurting himself; but he couldn’t fault him, he’d do the same thing to save AJ.
“Captain, we’re being hailed again,” Harry said.
“Put it through.” She looked to see Darlan once more.
“The Council has stated that a challenge must occur, the sooner the better. There is a planet not far from here where we can meet and finalize this situation.”
“What kind of challenge?” Janeway asked.
“He must prove himself worthy if he is to keep the child.”
“By doing what?”
“He first must fight the challenger, and then he must rescue the child in time…”
“What do you mean in time?” Chakotay demanded.
“I mean that if you fail in saving her, she will die.”
“I don’t believe this!” Tom roared. “You gave Chakotay the child, what right does that…that woman have to come here and mess with us anyway?”
“Kymelya was incharge of the ship that carelessly allowed your ship to hit it, for we are aware that our technology makes us blind to other vessels. She had to pay the price of the Commander’s death; by forfeiting a part of her life…it is our law. Unlike your kind, we can only have one child, she had to forfeit it to the commander as was his wish and desire, to make right the wrong that she did. However, our laws also state that one must be able to be a strong guardian to the life in which we are blessed with, she has made claim that you Commander are not; thus the challenge.”
“I won’t put AJ in any harm just because you…”
“Than you forfeit your clam to the child and leave peacefully?” Darlan asked, but not believing it for one second. “For either you fight for her or you give her up…there is no other choice I am afraid. Kymelya is a strong warrior and will not back down…I…I have tried.”
“Very well,” Chakotay said his voice tight. “I accept your challenge.”
“Good. I will send the coordinates to the planet and we will meet there by the sun’s zenith for that planet and begin the challenge. May the stars bless your efforts, Commander,” Darlan said sincerely and closed the channel.
“Tom, what choice did I have?” he said, knowing how Tom was feeling.
Tom stood up and held his husband,
not caring if it was appropriate or not, “none,” he whispered. “None.”
TBC in Blind Faith (the final chapter)