The touch was soft and gentle
as it moved through his
hair, //Tom,// he thought, his senses becoming more in tuned, //Not
Tom!// His eyes slowly opened and what he first thought was soft,
was wet, and gentle, was careless and it continued. He looked, it was
the tongue of a strange animal, and he jumped up and out of its
reach, only to notice he was no longer alone.
His vision was still poor,
his ear, though stuffed with a
piece of cloth, still hurt and his headache was still present, and
the bright sunlight didn't help any. The figures closed around him,
and their voices seemed distant, echoed at first. It took him a
moment to realize that he could not hear out is left ear, and
whatever type of translator the devise was, was working slower.
"We will not hurt you," an
older woman's voice was saying,
but there was no compassion in it either.
He didn't feel the strength
he would need to fight off the
half dozen figures he could make out, plus, he was lost in a desert,
with no water, and he was hurt; there was little choice. "I won't let
you hurt my child," he snapped back, though his threat was more
verbal then physical. He didn't hear a reply, their voices seemed
even more distant, and he couldn't see them too well.
He then just made out the
same woman's voice, "She bares the symbol
of a slave from the city, perhaps we can profit from her."
"Hmm," a male said, "But we
won't get much for her in that
condition. We should take her to the healer, then back to the city,
all in all a day's journey and much profit."
"Agreed," the woman replied.
"She does appear to be with
fever, and a healthy body is worth more."
Chakotay closed his eyes,
they were going to take him back,
but they were going to heal him first, and he knew he needed the
care. When he was better, he would stop them from taking him back. He
simply closed his eyes and let the exhaustion take over again,
feeling that things would work out, as his dreams returned to strong
arms keeping him safe from harm.
The planet of Arteria was
mostly desert with huge cities
built around the main water supply, the twelve rivers of Cogosha.
There was only one space port or more precise where ship could land,
for Arteria had little in the area of space technology, though they
did have enough to benefit from, especially in their major market.
But that was not why Janeway
was walking down one of the side
ally ways, by the landing strip, her hand resting on her phaser.
Early in the day, when several Bentar were spotted, she sent teams to
confront them, contain them, and attempt to get answers, only to be
told they had no authority to do so, that the Bentar were protected
by the Arteria people. This of course irritated Janeway, though she
had to admit her method was more radical than usual, for she didn't
bother contacting the government, she simply acted.
But she was willing to cooperate,
since it was the right
thing to do, but when word got out on Voyager that she had to let the
Bentar go, she was not surprised that one of her crew went AWOL, only
that she expected it to be Tom, not B'Elanna. The Lieutenant was in
enough trouble, but sneaking off ship and from what Janeway just
learned, kidnapping a Bentar pilot, moments ago, was not helping her
cause; she wasn't ill anymore. //Well, not mentally, but
emotionally,// she corrected herself. She couldn't help but
wonder, //would the crew go all out like this for me?// A wave of
jealousy came over her, but she squashed it at the sound of something
screeching in pain.
Janeway had spit the search
party in the four different
directions, while she had Tom and Tuvok scout the main seller's
market. She quicken her pace and turned a back corner to see B'Elanna
holding down the Bentar pilot on the ground, using a metal bar and
pressing down on the neck, growling, till she let up, the Bentar was
no longer moving. "Oh, please tell me it isn't dead?"
B'Elanna looked up startled,
then guilt filled her eyes, "No,
it's not dead."
"You do know that you will
be seeing brig time for this?"
Janeway stated, her hands firm on her hips, her eyes crackling with
"Yes, but.I know where Chakotay
is, so it's worth it,"
B'Elanna states as she stands up.
Janeway's anger fades, "You do, where?"
"He's been sold to the house of D'trumel, here in the city."
Janeway smirked, only her
eyes letting B'Elanna know that she
may not be seeing the brig after all, as she touched her com
badge. "Janeway to Paris, seems you were right, he's here, and we
have a location," she smiled, glad for a break. "Meet me at the beam
down point, we'll discuss the rest there, Janeway out," she said,
hearing the hoop and hollering of Tom's reliefe before closing the
com unit. She then looked at her Chief Engineer, "you better take it
back where you got it, and then, Lieutenant, you are to return to
Voyager where you are confined to quarters do I make myself clear?"
"Yes, Captain, though I'd
like to help.?" B'Elanna saw by the
hand and the look, it was better to stop while the stopping was
good. "Yes, Captain."
Janeway turned to leave, then
stopped, "You did help,
B'Elanna," she said with a small smile, then left.as far as she was
concerned, she was never here.
The team consisted of Tom,
Tuvok, Alaya, Geron, and herself,
as they stood in a large white marble room, with a matching ceiling,
a red plush carpet, but little else, it was too clean and she felt
uncomfortable, but she was determined to try and be civil about this.
The large wooden doors that
she and her team had crossed
reopened to reveal a group of two Arteria people, the two classes
evident by their skin tone and markings. The man next to the woman,
though about Janeway's height, was wide, and muscular, his dark
lavender eyes seeing annoyed.
"I am Lord D'trumel, what
can I do for you?" he asked,
letting Janeway know by his tone she should make it quick.
"Lord D'trumel, I am Captain
Janeway of the USS Voyager, we
have reason to believe that you may have one of our people,
unwillingly sold to you by the Bentar, we wish to have him returned
D'trumel looked insulted,
but simply replied, "Him? Well,
then you must be mistaking, for I do not deal in alien males, too
much trouble. So, if that is all, I bid you a good day," he stated
and turned to leave.
Tom was not going to accept
this but he wouldn't embarrass
the Captain, he knew Chakotay was here, they proved that earlier
today that his gut was right. He reached out and took the tricorder
from Tuvok and turned it on, and started scanning. Before Tuvok could
speak, "Captain, I'm picking up traces of blood.human blood," he
stated, and then looked at her, his eyes deadly serious and with
barred anger, wondering what the Captain was going to do with this
Seconds passed like hours,
her thoughts tossing like waves on
the ocean, for she had time to look back and see how she had made
many poor decisions in the past months, and how low she had sunk,
trying to poison Chakotay so he would lose the child, for she was too
insecure with her position. She then started to play by the rules in
hopes of making it right, but it seemed not enough.she had to do
more. Her grey blue eyes locked in her determination, the steel in
her voice, though low was felt by those around her, "Arrest them,"
Greg Alaya and Geron pulled
their phasers and moved in on the
couple, as Tuvok stepped toward the Janeway, "Captain, may I remind
"No, you may not," she said
as she turned to face her
prisoners, her phaser in her hand pointed at D'trumel, "Now, I
suggest you start telling me the truth, for I have all but lost my
patients for games."
Tom was pleased to see Janeway
was taking this so serous and
doing something instead of talk, but he didn't want her to cross the
line, neither he nor Chakotay could let that happen, so he stepped
closer to her, to make sure.
"How dare you!" D'trumel roared.
"When the Arteria government
hears about this."
Janeway stepped closer, the
point of the phaser at his
forehead, "Have you ever seen what a phaser on pinpoint beam can do?"
she asked, her tone very threatening. Then suddenly she turned to the
doorway where several guards were coming in and fired, purposely
missing. The tiny thin beam still blasted the wall, leaving a very
fine hole in its path, making the guards take shelter around the
corner. "Now, the truth if you please."
D'trumel seemed more angry
than scared by the
demonstration, "You will regret this, for I have connections."
The women stepped forward
in front of D'trumel, "The one you
are speaking of, we thought female, for they were with child. They
resisted their situation and in a struggle went over that balcony and
fell into the river, but not before killing three of our guards and
injuring others; we know nothing more," she stated.
Tom dashed to the balcony
the woman suggested and his heart
lurched, it was quite a drop, but not an impossible one, then he
looked into the desert that lay on the other side. "We have to find,
him Captain, for he may be hurt."
Janeway stepped back from
her prisoners and lowered her
phaser, "don't worry, Tom, now that we know he's here, we'll get your
husband back safe and sound. Besides, he can't be that bad off if he
single handedly took out those guys," she said gesturing the men in
Tom turned to look at her,
it was the first time she
acknowledged their marriage in public, and Tom felt the offer of
goodwill on her behalf and was touched, "Thank you, Captain, I know
we will." Though he was disturbed by the turn of events he was
"Okay, let's get out of here
and down to the river, he
probably got washed down to the nearest shore, we'll start there,"
she ordered. Then she looked at her guards, "Thank you for your
cooperation," she smiled, and then with a nod, had her team fall in
and exited, the guards in the hall only armed with primitive weapons,
D'trumel advanced on to Gagora
and smacked her hard. She
immediately dropped to her knees without a sound. "How dare you," he
"Forgive me, Master, I was
only thinking of you; who is more
valuable than any alien scourge," she said sincerely.
He checked his temper at her
words, and leaned down, and used
his fingers gently under chin to raise her to her feet, "You can make
it up by succeeding in my instructions. The blond is the other's
mate, capture him without the others knowledge, do you understand
She nodded, "But."
"Are you questioning me?"
She shook her head no.
"Good. The blond will make
excellent bait, and the other has
shown to be of some value, and I will not be denied, especially after
all she/he, it, has done to my house, my men; and those people. They
all will rue the day they dared cross my threshold; now go!"
She bowed, "Yes, Master," and left in a hurry.
//Damn this world, damn these
people and damn this blasted
desert,// Tom's mind growled, as the tricorder went dead, too much
sand had penetrated it.again! The planet had an element that they
mine, but it caused havoc with the sensors, and finding one lone
human in this area was like finding a needle in a hay stack. They had
broken up into groups, four parties of two, then with the tricorder
going down, Tom sent Harry up to retrieve more equipment as he stood
here waiting. //My Mom once said, want to find the needle, don't look
for it, just sit down and roll, it'll find you.// he snickered, and
for the sake of it, sat down, but didn't roll. He opened the
tricorder and dumped the sand from it and placed it down and was in
the process of getting some water out of his bag when he felt the
The healer looked at the tiny
group of nomads, "I've done
all I can for this one. I do not know if she will live or die, it is
beyond my knowledge. I can tell you that this mark," the woman
touches the gold implant on Chakotay's left ear and neck, "Belongs to
the house of D'trumel. Take them there; perhaps you may get profit
for her anyway."
The nomadic woman who acted
as leader of the tiny group
nodded her understanding and tossed a few coins of payment, then
signaled the men to take the slave, "We go to the city and to the
house of D'trumel."
Having one Officer missing
was bad enough, but two.no way!
Had Harry not found the broken tricorder were he left Tom, she would
have thought Tom was simply lost out there, but now she knew better,
it was foul play. Three hours had passed.she was done waiting.
"Gather security, we're going
to pay D'trumel another visit,"
she stated coolly.
"Captain, with all due respect,
we have no evidence that he
is involved in the matter, along with the fact that we are currently
in contempt of the Arteria Government. They are demanding a full
"Tuvok, intuition got us here,
though it was Tom's, and mine,
is telling me that `cretin;' is involved now. So, note your objection
and meet me in the transporter room in fifteen minutes," she ordered
and moved off the bridge to the ready room, she was done playing nice
He felt himself going to be
sick as he also came into
awareness of his surroundings, and tried to move to his side to
vomit, but he couldn't, something was holding him down. He could only
turn his head as he coughed up the sickness.
"Ah, are we feeling ill?"
a familiar though not pleasing
Chakotay snapped open his
eyes, though his vision was still
poor, he recognized D'trumel's voice.and the fact that he was chained
on some kind of table. The touch of the cloth to his mouth made him
jerk his head. "Don't touch me," he growled.
"Hmm, seems your disposition
hasn't improved any," D'trumel
complained with annoyance. "But perhaps if you are willing to be more
cooperative, we can avoid the nasty little mess we had earlier, would
you like that?"
"You won't harm my child?"
he asked, knowing his options were
limited at the moment, as he summoned his streanght to say awake; he
knew he was sick.
"It's no longer on my top
things to do list, no," D'trumel
replied. "So, tell me about you little gift," he asked with excited
Chakotay was puzzled, "Gift? What gift?"
"If you are not going to cooperate."
"I'm trying; I just don't know what you are taking about."
D'trumel thought about it
a moment, "Okay, tell me how you
killed my guards, and almost leveled my play room?"
Chakotay closed his eyes,
he didn't know what this guy was
talking about, "I didn't kill anyone, stop playing games with me."
"Playing games.with you? How
dare you! It is you who is
playing games.a deadly one at that. Perhaps you need a reminder of
who is incharge here. Take the child, see they both live," he
Chakotay could see figures
approaching as he began to
struggle with his bonds, "No," he shouted, as the pain in his head
increased. They were coming closer, a flash of metal caught his eye,
his heart rate shot up, his struggle increased, the pressure in his
head was building. "GET AWAY FROM ME!" he shouted, and a white flash
of pain filled his brain.
It was a moment before he
could breathe again, his vision as
bad as before, the last time he had such pain, and he felt even
worse, tears of frustration rolled down his cheeks. He couldn't see
too well, the figures were now just light and dark shadows. "Don't
hurt her, please," he begged, not knowing what else to do. //I'm
sorry, I'm sorry,// his mind cried out to the spirits, pleading them
to not let this happen, that he was sorry.
"Bring.bring in the other
one," D'trumel's voice echoed in
the room, sounding distant and uneasy. "And clean up this mess," he
"The child," another asked, also sounding haggard.
"Leave it, for now."
Then there was quiet for a
while, and Chakotay simply
breathed, trying to calm himself, though he threw up again, glad that
he could turn his head and neck enough so he didn't choke on it.
He knew that voice.but it
couldn't be.could it? "Tom?" he
cried out with hope. "Tom is that you?"
"Chakotay," Tom called out
as he was being manhandled, his
arms chained behind him. "Are you all right? Tay.?" he turned to
D'trumel and noticed the normally well dressed Arteria was brushing
off dust and stone, and that the place looked like a something hit it.
hard. "What did you do to him? Let me go, can't you see he's sick?"
"Tom, take me home, Tom, please,"
Chakotay asked, for all he
wanted was to be back on Voyager, back in his quarters with Tom.
"I'll get you out of this,
Tay, just relax, you're not alone,
the Captain will."
"Not have a clue to your location.
Now, tell me about his
species, for I'm sure if you possessed such gifts, you would be using
Tom looked at D'trumel as
if he was nuts, "Commander Chakotay
and I are both human, and what `gifts' are you talking about?"
"Please, Tom, please take
me home, I don't feel well,"
Chakotay asked, his voice sounding weak.
Tom didn't need a tricorder
to see Chakotay was running a
high fever, his left ear was bleeding, and he looked exhausted as
well as dehydrated. "Soon, baby, soon," he reassured him, not caring
if his words were inappropriate, it did the job, it soothed
Chakotay. "Look, he's ill, just let us go, and we won't press
charges," he stated easily.
D'trumel looked at Tom, then
Chakotay, only knowing that the
Blond didn't really know what he was referring too, nor did the dark
one. //Perhaps a new development in the species.interesting. "You see
this.mess, and that man dead there on the floor?" He pointed
Tom looked, on the floor was
a man, having been crushed up
against the wall, by what, he couldn't see, and the place was in
"He did it, just ten minutes
ago, with his mind. Though I am
beginning to see that he may not be able to control it, I wonder, is
it totally a self survival instinct or." he gave a wicked grin, and
stepped back to the doorway. "You," he ordered, kill the blond!"
"No!" Chakotay shouted, "leave
him alon!e1 Leave us alone!"
He couldn't see, everything was a blur, but he could tell, Tom was to
his left, he was the one struggling, as another figure was
approaching. "Stop, please, no!" Once more a glint of metal caught
his eye.once more the pain in his head shot like fire and ice through
out his brain, "TOM!"
Tom struggled in his bonds,
seeing the man with the knife
approaching, his intention to plunge it in his chest. He could hear
Chakotay crying out for this not to occur, Tom braced himself, going
to use the thug behind him as a wall and jump kick this guy. All of a
sudden Chakotay shouted at the top of his lungs, and a force never
felt before struck at him and those around him. Tom was suddenly
tossed like a rag doll back against the other man, whose body
cushioned Tom as they smashed against the wall with enough force; it
could have killed him, but only stunning him. The blast was quick and
powerful, and as Tom found himself shifting to his feet, man behind
him dead, the one in front unconscious by the stairwell, D'trumel
having ducked out of the room, gloating, he understood; the force had
come from Chakotay.
"Excellent!" D'trumel said,
indifferent to his men's
condition. "I guess, I'll need to get some more men and a healer, he
stated, and closed the door and locked it.
Tom felt behind him, and grabbed
the key. It was difficult,
but he unlocked the chains and freed himself. Then he dashed over to
where Chakotay was panting heavily, crying harder, paler, and now
bleeding from both ears. "Tay, baby, can you hear me," he said,
wiping his brow, and saw the big guy flinch. "It's me, Tom."
Tom used the key and unlocked
the chains on Chakotay's wrists
and ankles and quickly moved back to stand next to him. "Yes, baby,
"I'm sorry, Tom, I'm so sorry," Chakotay started to cry.
"Shh, there's nothing to be
sorry for, it's going to be all
right." He said as he gently gathered Chakotay into his arms, using
his sleeve to wipe Chakotay's mouth.
"She's not moving, Tom, she's
stopped moving.I'm so sorry,"
Tom knew what Chakotay was
referring to, and though he didn't
know the particulars, he had to get Chakotay to sick bay, for
Chakotay looked like he was dying, the baby might be too. "I'm going
to get you out of here," Tom said, and laid Chakotay down on the
table and raced to the only door, it was locked. He check the key, it
didn't work. "Damn it!" he shouted. He stopped his temper
tantrum; //What would Chakotay do.think.that's what he would do.
Think his way out of here.// Tom took a cleansing breath and examined
the door, and he grinned, for the hinges of the door where inside.he
could open the door.
He ran back down to the mess
and found the knife and ran back
up and with a piece of stone and the knife and a lot of
determination, Tom removed the hinges of the door. Then he pushed it
open. He would have to get Chakotay out of here, to either the space
port, or the nearest medical facility, where he could contact the
Captain. He placed the knife in his pants, in case he would need it
defending Chakotay, and dashed back down the stairs. Chakotay was red
and burning to the touch. "Damn it, I'm not losing you, we've been
through to much shit, do you hear me," he cried as he picked Chakotay
up in his arms, no easy feet, for Chakotay without the baby was solid
muscles, and with the baby.//breathe and move,// was his chant as he
started toward the door.
"I'm sorry," was Chakotay's between sobs.
Gagora cared deeply for her
Master, but this was going too
far; five men dead over one alien? Her Master was bathing, having
ordered her to take men down to the dungeon and clean up the mess,
and get a healer for the alien. She was contemplating how badly it
would hurt her to simply kill the thing when the front door was
kicked in. She turned in surprise to see that the human crew was not
the fools D'trumel though them to be. The guards started to charge,
but she held a hand to stop them. //Enough is enough,// she thought.
She saw Janeway and her men enter, she knew why there were
here, "This way," she simply said. //Perhaps it won't hurt too badly
if I tell him they were going to kill him as punishment.// she
sighed, the sooner this was over with the better.
She started to lead the group
down a hall that had a large
tapestry. She snapped her fingers, and a guard moved it to reveal a
passage. She then lead the party down the passage only to run into
the blond carrying the one who started all this mess. She stepped
"Captain, we have to get him
to sickbay, they did something
to him, he's burning up," Tom stated, grateful for the hand, though
he didn't relinquish his hold on his husband.
"We just have to get outside
to beam up," she said, helping
Tom, so he could move faster.
"Just don't come back!" Gagora
shouted as she saw them exit
the passage. //Just don't come back,// she thought, as she slid down
the side of the wall, she knew, this was going to hurt and bad.
Instead of crying, she set her face in determination and got up.to
pack. D'trumel wasn't worth all this, and no one knew this place
better than she did, not even D'trumel. In fact, she could hide out
here, and they would never know it. She smiled; she liked that idea.a
Tom was pacing in the Doc's
office, not only did Chakotay
have a 105 fever, he had severe brain hemorrhage, both ear drums were
busted, and his blood vessels in the back of his eyes, had all burst.
and to top of it all the baby had suffered from server shock. Tom was
such a nervous wreck even Harry couldn't calm him down, so they let
Harry, was sitting next to
Janeway, letting Tuvok play peace
keeper and diplomat with the Arteria people, she was in no mood. She
told Tuvok as soon as he could get them as far away as possible from
this place; sadly they had a few obstacle. D'trumel was well
connected, but thankfully his `friends' didn't care for the idea of
experimentation on slaves, especially those with child. So, it was
only going to be a matter of time, and a bit of kiss up, and Tuvok
was stuck with the job.
After three hours of constant
pacing, Tom finally sat
down, //This isn't fair, why do we have to suffer so much.why? // he
cried, only silent tears falling down his face. He recalled Chakotay
constantly telling him he was sorry, as he felt he was to blame.Tom
didn't know what to think.
He sat there in the chair,
afraid to breathe, for it may be
the wrong thing, he could feel that everything was at a critical
juncture. //Please, I don't pray much.hell, I don't pray at all, but
please.please don't take them from me.Please.//
He felt a hand on his shoulder,
it was Janeway, she was
looking toward the door the Doc was coming in, still dressed in
surgical garb. Tom froze.
"Well?" was all Kathryn could
say, she too holding her
"The baby will be fine and
still snuggled safe in her
Father," he smiled, though it was not overly bright. "I was able to
fix most of the damage, and remove the device they had implanted in
the Commanders brain, but."
"But what?" Tom asked, fear filling his heart.
"He's going to be blind, I'm
sorry, there's nothing I can do
right now. Perhaps in a few months."
"Why in a few months?" Harry
asked what everyone else was
"Because of the baby; the
damage done had placed several
small clots and tumors on the nerves that not only control the vision
but the circulatory system. If I try to remove them now, with the
added stress of the baby, he won't survive it. He's in a much
weakened condition right now."
"That's not so.bad, in four
months." Tom could see there was
"In four moths the damage
may not be reversible, I'm sorry,"
He said softly. "Captain, at a later time I'd like to discuss the
Commanders ESP levels, if you don't mind?"
Tom looked up; "What about
them?" he snapped not going to be
kept out of any loops when it came to his husband.
Janeway knew these were delicate
issues, but simply nodded,
Tom was right, he should be here, and he would need Harry as support.
"I ran the Commanders records,
his initial tests were
minimal, typical for humans, but that was when he first entered
Starfleet, age 15. Since coming on board, I have run full tests on
all the crew, the Commander scored above average, not unusual for a
man of his nature and background of meditation and other mental
"There off the chart," Tom
replied, recalling what he
witness, and explained to the Captain.
"Indeed, but in certain areas.
Whether or not he will retain
the ESP level to maintain this telekinesis, is unknown, but I would
recommend Commander Tuvok examine him as soon as possible, to
determine if there are any other side effects from the implant."
Janeway looked at Tom who
nodded his consent, "Very well,
I'll talk with him."
"Can I see him?" Tom inquired.
"Of course, Lieutenant, but
he will be unconscious for
several more hours yet. Also."
Tom wanted to groan, //could
there be anymore bad
"I would like Tuvok to examine
him before he awakes. So far
from what I have been able to determine, each time he has one of
these telekinesis episodes, it not only cause him damage, but the
shock his unhealthy for the baby. Again, she's doing well, but a bit
weak.but I can't guarantee it if."
"I understand, Doctor," Janeway
replied, then looked at
Tom. "You go see him, then try and get some rest; he's going to need
you when he wakes up. I'll get with Tuvok and see how soon he can
check Chakotay out, and yes, I'll make sure you are there," she
stated, knowing what Tom would want.
"Thank you, Captain," Tom
said softly and then got up and
left the office. He saw his love, his husband, once more laying on
the biobed, and walked up to him, took his hand, and cried. "Please,
no more," he cried softly to any deity that would listen and
continued to stand there waiting for Chakotay to wake up and the
phase of their lives to begin.
TBC in Unwanted Guilt