TI: "Anima: Sequel to 'Arma Capere'." VOY (OP, P/T)
AU: SnoopMary (MillicentFawcett@aol.com)
DI: The Borg, I mean Paramount, own the characters and the setting. I'm
SU: This is the fifth in the "Latin" Series: _Passer Mortuus Est_, _Familia
Omnia Vincit_, _Perdido_, _Arma Capere_. A father's perspective........
I've never met you, but I truly hate you, Ms. Torres.
I hate what you did to him. The scars you've left on him. And your most recent
battering leads me to conclude that if I ever do meet you, I *will* keelhaul
Oh, I have to admit, Ms. Torres, this particular attack shows that you've
developed subtlety. Refined your talents. You constructed a siege worthy of
Vauban; meticulously constructed trenches with precisely placed access points,
and the terrain acutely mapped. You hit him from all three directions at once,
barrelled under his walls and lit the fuse. You knew exactly what buttons to
push, and how, and you did it.
Jericho couldn't've come down quicker.
He was resolute. Strong. Satisfied with the rightness of his decision, that he
hadn't acted injudiciously. Yes, it was a pyrrhic victory, but it was a victory
And then one day the mail came. The declaration of war was received and
I apologize if I'm resorting to a preponderance of tactical terminology. But it
seems appropriate, at least to me. After all, this is a war isn't it?
And my son is the objective.
I regret many things, Ms. Torres. I regret not getting counselling after the
Cardassians tortured me. I took my fears out on my son, trying to train him so
that he would avoid my mistakes, so that what they did to me would never
happen to him. But I won't apologize for being overprotective. For being what
my daughters refer to as 'psychotically involved with my children's choices for
the future', or what Tom calls the 'maniacal stage father years'.
I only wanted to keep them safe. I was their father, after all. I knew how to
do that, how to protect them. No matter how old they get, Ms. Torres, I look at
them and still see the babies that looked up at me with utter faith in their
But what I most regret inculcating in them is also what I ferociously defend
the rightness of instilling in my son and daughters: the Paris Mask. The skills
to fulfill their function within Starfleet and the Federation at large. To be
Create a persona and be that outside of our walls. Don't show fear. Don't show
pain. Don't show anger. Duty over drama. Lead compassionately, but firmly.
I enforced it as a tyrant does order after my wife left the family. Not
knowing, scared and hurt, I made them suck it up. You don't talk about it, you
just ignore it. It didn't happen.
When asked, Caroline Paris was "on vacation".
But then, she was, wasn't she? A vacation from duty, from living up to her
responsibilities. From being who and what she was. She forgot the first duty of
being a Paris: the family comes first. Always.
But even after her less than auspicious return, we would not acknowledge her
betrayal. We wouldn't let her blow us to hell and gone. Damn the torpedoes,
full steam ahead.
I won't deny Tom's guilt. He did it, he owned up to it, he paid for it. But I
will recognize my culpability, the role I played in his downfall. I was so
wrapped up in my own pain, my own rage, my own humiliation, that I didn't think
that maybe my son needed to hear someone tell him that she was wrong. That he
did matter, and that her inability to keep her word had nothing to do with him.
That it was her moral weakness, rather than his problem. I didn't bandage his
wounds before they became scars that still pull today.
He was just a boy. He'd just had his life blown apart, and as a Paris, the SOP
is that you keep breathing and you keep moving. Even if all you want to do is
curl up and cry.
It's a beautiful day, and if it isn't, you pretend that it is.
Hell, I did it for fifteen years. Pretended that my wife wasn't the village
bike. Pretended that I wasn't the walking wounded and that my children weren't
slowly becoming the walking wounded because of the sublimated anger and the
vicious undercurrents of betrayal, misery, and drunken "you ruined my life,
Owen!"s that ran through the halls of our home. That I wasn't trapped in a
marriage that had gone sour, that my wife didn't basically ignore the existence
of our children when it wasn't convenient to play Starfleet's premiere
wife/mother/socialite. Hell, sometimes I wonder if she even remembered their
names when we didn't have company over.
Raising children in the fleet, especially when their last name is Paris, isn't
easy. It's hard. You make too many sacrifices, miss too many soccer games and
birthdays. You know that people who don't like you or your family will take
their dissatisfaction out on your children. You know that officers who feel
slighted by your actions will ream your son out for no good reason. To try and
show that you don't play favourites, you give your son a B- in survival skills
when he damn well deserved an A. You know that your daughters face an uphill
battle in any field they enter, that people will try to use them to make a name
for themselves. And you take it, though you want to come out swinging on their
You know that your warm, loving and devoted-to-duty daughters face public and
media scrutiny every time they step out the door. You tolerate the nicknames
people use for your children, pretend you don't hear the comments about
Kathleen Paris, the Ice Queen of Earth, and Moira Paris, Supreme Bitch of the
Universe. You know that your son is a good man, that he'll fight the good fight
every day of his life, and will go out of his way to share any accolades he
receives. You know that he will let favour-currying people call him a hero for
his actions on VOYAGER, but is well aware that they call him the traitor riding
on Daddy's coattails the moment he leaves.
You tolerate the snidely posed questions about when your children are going to
move out of the family home, knowing that it's jealousy, that the home they
sneer at has been passed down through ten generations. That the home that sits
on a beautiful outcropping overlooking the Pacific with no-one around for miles
has been lusted after by many who cannot accept that it is a sanctuary where
few outside of a selected circle are welcome. That the home that housed your
grandparents and parents while you were being raised, that housed your parents
while you were raising your family, will be where you will watch over your
children while they raise their children.
Family is vital to a Paris. It is our reason for being. A duty that supercedes
any other cause or belief. Our children come first. And though I may be no
prize-winner, though I may have spent several years away from my children, Ms.
Torres, though I was harsh in my methods of bringing Tom to heel, I at least
made an effort. Caroline just gave up.
It's surprising how alike you and my darling devoted wife are.
You're both selfish. You both expect the universe to orient itself around
whatever your needs are at any particular moment. You both took the men who
visibly adored you for granted, didn't give your children the care,
consideration, or attention they deserved, and just expect forgiveness, or
worse, calm and unflinching acceptance of behaviour that can only be termed as
beneath contempt. The only difference I can see is that you hit with words and
fists; Caroline hit with words and adultery. And neither of you value the gift
that Tom is. The sheer joy he has for life, that he shares with those he cares
about. The love he has to give is unwavering. It cannot be killed. Once given,
it will not be withdrawn.
You could've received help. But you ran. Rather than face the lions in their
den, you ran like the coward you are.
Only a coward hits, B'Elanna. Only a coward strikes when a man can't defend
I raised my children in the Church, an oddity in this day and age, especially
for a Starfleet family. Private schooled them (despite requests from Command
that I not enroll them at the very disciplined, intellectually arduous and
competitive Sacred Heart and St. Michael's) to ensure that they were
well-prepared for their futures. Two schools that have repeatedly clashed with
the Federation over several issues, most notably politics and policy
My children were taught their principles from the ground up. We raised them
with the values that I know carry the Parises on, that carry on the
Federation's mission, that helped make Starfleet what it is today. Tell the
truth. Defend the weak. Help those who ask with good reason. Stand up for the
stupid and crazy. When you give your word, when you find a cause you hold fast
to your soul, die to keep it.
And most importantly, make sure it's a just war.
Would it surprise you to know, young lady, that disobeying the Prime Directive
is a Paris family tradition? That we actively oppose it? That I was nearly
court-martialled for it? That I have spent most of my years as an Admiral
pushing the General Order One amendments through the Starfleet/Federation
Policy Commission? That Tom's actions at Monea were seen as yet another
instance of Paris insurgency against a SOP that we see as amoral and
self-serving? That my daughters are the CEO and COO of the Federation
Humanitarian Relief Fund, an organization that exists to circumvent General
Tom's war was a just war. He found himself confronted with people who needed
help, who wouldn't listen to sweet reason. Who needed saved. He saw where his
duty lay, as an officer, and as a man. He put his life on the line for the
principles that make a Paris.
You are no Paris, madam. Neither the breeding nor the moral fibre necessary to
be a Paris exist within you.
And I will not let you destroy my son. I will not let your lack of character
compromise the man that he is.
I know what he's trying to do. He is putting his family first. Holding fast to
the principles he was raised in. Keeping his vows. Towing the Paris line. After
all, his father still wears the wedding ring he was given by a woman who
abandoned him and their family.
I made a promise. Above and forsaking all others, until death do we part. The
same vow my son made to you, that he will keep to, annullment notwithstanding.
And you, my cunning young woman, are using that, are using the honest feelings
of a very forthright and principled man to try and worm your way back into a
position of influence.
How is the Chancellor? I assume that your grandfather convinced you to help the
house advance by retaking your position as a Paris? Please convey my assurances
that it has no chance in hell of happening.
I still love Caroline. I always will. She's it for me. But that doesn't mean
that Kathleen, Moira and Tom would ever allow me to take her back, to submit to
Tom does love you. But that doesn't mean Kathleen, Moira and I will allow him
to take you back, to submit to your abuse. To endanger Hannah Belle.
It's an analogy I never would have seen, an analogy that Counselor Troi pointed
out. He's Persephone, you're Hades, and I'm Demeter.
We're battling over who gets him.
Unlike Demeter, I will not make any accomodations. I would rather raze the
world to the ground than make that sacrifice, than send my child to hell.
I have plans for him, Ms. Torres. Plans that entail making sure that my son is
They don't include you. In fact, it is my fervent prayer that he finds it
within himself to move on, to find a woman worthy of his shining heart.
Because this, my dear, is one war that I will not lose.
Admiral Owen Paris,
San Francisco, Earth
Next Up: "Carpe Diem".