TI: "If Guardian Angels Wrote Trek...." (VOY)
AU: SnoopMary (
DI: Paramount owns the characters and setting, I own the story.
SP: Yes. All seven years are up for grab.
SU: Response to challenge. Gotta wonder how guardian angels are recruited. ==========================================================

I was sitting at the table, waiting for the meeting to begin, contemplating how I was supposed to get blood, grass stains, oil, and grape juice out of my track pants. That Bastien Riker was wreaking havoc on my wardrobe. I still couldn‘t believe how rough and tumble that boy could be when his parents weren‘t around. I knew that I should‘ve known he‘d be a hellraiser. When I took the assignment, I was introduced to Will Riker‘s guardian, Aidan, and then to Moira Riker‘s Cosima. Heaven only knows why the stories they told didn‘t make my hair curl end over end. And I still don‘t know how Moira got away with shoving her baby brother into that dumbwaiter. No wonder the poor kid‘s claustrophobic; two hours in a 2x2x2 foot box on a rope when you‘re six will scar anyone for life!

I heard a funny noise behind me and turned around, barely stemming the gasp that I could feel rolling out of my chest. It was Aislinn, the guardian of Tom Paris. And damned if she didn‘t look like she‘d just fallen down a volcano, been spat back, and got run over by a tank. I can honestly say that the last time I saw one of my associates look that bad, his charge had just died trying to avoid being assimilated by the Borg.

She sort of slumped into the chair beside me. I leaned in and all I could think of to say was, "Still at it, is he?" Carlotta sent me a quelling glare as she passed a bottle of water to Aislinn with some pain-killers. I mouthed, ‚Details! Later!‘ at Aislinn, and returned my attention to the head of the table. Then Carlotta banged her gavel on the table, and summoned us to order. "This meeting of the Guardian Angels Co-Operative Guild Executive Committee is called to order. Tonight, we‘ll be nominating the next one-hundred year executive committee, as well as -." Suddenly, Aislinn pushed herself to her feet, hissing in pain as she leaned against the table. Then Aislinn did something that I‘d never seen anyone do since I was accepted to the guild. She interrupted Carlotta. But it was what she said that stunned me.

"I‘d like to table a motion to nominate my charge for immediate inclusion into the Guardian Angels Guild when he dies." Everyone started muttering, as this was highly unusual. Normally, the nominations for membership can only occur after a charge has died. and served as an angel-at-large. "I don‘t mean to be rude, but I need to do this before it‘s too late."

"All right, Aislinn. Please continue," Carlotta was polite, but her eyes were icy.

She took a deep breath and winced. "As you know, my charge‘s name is Tom Paris. You all know how many angels he‘s been through. I‘m only the most recent, and there will be an opening by morning." I felt my throat tighten. It wasn‘t often that angels died, but when they did, we all mourned hard.  "Before you ask, yes, he‘s all right. A few days in his sickbay and he‘ll be all right. Anyhow, this man is all ready perfect to be a guardian angel. These most recent injuries," she used a tight sweep at her body, letting us see the burns and blastpoint, "were taken keeping the command crew of his ship alive. He threw himself in front of a force 8 phaser blast inside a conference room much like this one. All to keep them safe. He has the most overdeveloped sense of personal responsibility for the people he loves. He would literally do anything and go anywhere for them. And he has the most well-developed sense of right and wrong. A sense that he developed by walking both sides of the line. He is, to be candid, a former bad boy. But we *are* all about redemption, aren‘t we? I have the right to request a review, and I‘m requesting one right now."

So, we spent the next few hours battering away at this particular hard case. Probably the hardest case. Cons: ex-con, caused the deaths of  three people, lied, cheated, stole, assaulted. This rap sheet was a long one. But his pros were longer. Let himself be taken by deadly enemies to flush out a spy, nearly died to save his crew over and over again, fought and survived the Borg, reached out to an ex-Borg and became her first friend, played with and helped parent a lonely little girl, became a husband, and what impressed me most, sacrificed what he‘d worked so hard for to try and help save a planet.

He never stopped believing. He‘d always had hope, had a sense that he was capable of goodness, that everyone deserved chances. Heck, he‘d even mourned that Cardassian chippy that tried to kill him on that Kazon ship. The man cared. He loved. He forgave. He had faith. He‘d developed a good set of morals, a good strength of purpose. But his dark side was still of great concern.

"Look, Aislinn, that boy has a killer‘s instinct. God knows, he had reason to develop it, but he will use any means necessary to achieve his goals. If anyone ever threatened my B‘Elanna, the man would have no compunction about killing his enemy. And he wouldn‘t pull his punches. He‘d go straight for their throats, no questions asked. She has his first loyalty, the Captain his second, and that ship and its crew comes third! He would sacrifice any scruple, any standard. Nothing matters to him except their safety!" Jocasta threw her hands up. "Do we really want a loose, lascivious, loquacious and frankly less-than-stable kid working with us?" she demanded, ticking off his flaws on her fingers.

I watched something transform Aislinn, change her eyes from the comfortable, friendly, approachable green I‘d been working with for three years now into a cold, arrogant, superior, disdainful jade. "Exactly. Our purpose, our prime directive, Jocasta, is that nothing matters save the safety of our charges. We have been....passive...for far too long. We have allowed the Borg to make inroads that are unacceptable. We have allowed them to violate our charges and kill us. You know what the future holds; we all do. We can stop it. We *must* stop it. And we need people with his faith, with his vision, and yes, with his venom to achieve the erradication of the Borg."

Her voice cut across the room, and sent chills down my spine.  "We have tried it your way, Carlotta. Unimatrix Zero was an utter and complete failure. It did nothing to modify the Borg consciousness, to dethrone the Queen. We tried through Hugh the drone; your own charge, Carlotta, chose what you viewed as the morally correct choice, rather than the efficacious though ethically questionable alternative. Every plan you have put into action, every choice you have forced upon us, has ended in abject failure. It is time that we fought back. It is time that we get angry, defensive. It is time to remember that the best defense is a good offense. We have taken as much as I think we should. It is time to fight back. Those who sow the wind must reap the whirlwind."

Carlotta had never been challenged by anyone on this issue. Her direction of our policy, her insistence that we must not sink to the level of the Borg, to the level of his servants, was ironclad. But not many of us supported it. We actively subverted it when we could. We had all lost friends, colleagues, lovers, to the Borg. I stood, taking a deep breath.

"I second Aislinn‘s nomination and her suggestion." I watched as the majority of the executive stood. Save Carlotta and Jocasta.

Carlotta was pale. Her defeat had been total. Her voice was faint. "Motion carried."

Aislinn smiled as she began to fade out of existence, the tears that had been shining in her beautiful eyes finally falling. "Thank you."

The Borg, I reflected later, had never known what hit them. Damia had accepted Tom Paris as her charge. Two forces of nature combined by a mutual hatred of all things Borg. Five years after Aislinn had altered the course of the history we were entrusted with, Tom Paris was captured by the Borg. The Queen, thinking him a rather pleasant mouse, tried to toy with him before she destroyed him. He shot the Borg Queen  using a .45 calibre hand gun from his beloved twentieth century, at point blank range. He was killed as the Borg sphere imploded; for without her mind, there was nothing to hold together the many minds, to direct the functions of the vessel. But his actions decapitated the Borg, let loose chaos and indecision within the collective. All members found themselves regaining their individuality, regaining what they had been. And they fought back.

Tom Paris became one of us, accepting only those troubled charges who had, like himself, walked both sides of the line.

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