Disclaimer: Voyager and all it's characters do not belong to me.

April's Fool
By Thomasina

B'Ellana walked into engineering to find it in total chaos.

"What's going on here?" she asked the nearest officer.

"We don't know exactly. One minute everything was fine. Next thing we know systems are failing left and right. We can't seem to get them under control."

"Warp core breach in five minutes," intoned the computer.

B'Ellana immediately took over a console and started working.

"I can't locate the problem," she growled in frustration.

"Warp core breach in two minutes."

B'Ellana looked up in surprise. "Three minutes can't have passed already!"

B'Ellana tapped her combadge. "Captain, we've got trouble down here."

"What's wrong, Lt?"responded Janeway.

"I'm not sure exactly. I can't locate the cause, but the warp core is about to breach in..."

"Warp core breach in one minute," interrupted the computer.

"One minute! I think something's wrong with the ship's chronometer as well."

"We're not reading a problem in engineering from the bridge," said the captain. "Are you feeling alright, B'Ellana?"

"I'm not going crazy! The warp core is about to breach!"

"Warp core breach in 10, 9, 8..."

"Everyone out now!" B'Ellana shouted.

B'Ellana started to run towards the door when she was stopped by the sound of laughter.

She turned to find Tom Paris coming out of hiding clutching his sides and shaking with laughter. He walked over to a console and after a few taps on the console engineering was back to normal. B'Ellana just stood there for a moment in shock and anger. The engineering crew recognized the signs and backed

quickly away from her. Tom noticed her expression and stopped laughing. Just in time he thought to run. He scrambled quickly up a ladder with B'Ellana close behind.

"Tom Paris, when I get my hands on you you'll be sorry!"

"Calm down B'Ellana! It's was just a joke!"

Tom suddenly found himself cornered. B'Ellana advanced slowly on him.

"You better have a good explanation for this, Paris."

"April Fool's," said Tom weakly.

"April Fool's?"

"It's a holiday where people play pranks on each other. It's celebrated on the first of April because that was when the new year was celebrated before the introduction of the new calendar. In France some refused to accept the new calendar and would still celebrate New Year's on April first. Other people would make fun of them and send them on "fool's errands" or try to make them believe things that were false."

"Can the history lesson and start saying your prayers,"growled B'Ellana.

"Come on B'Ellana, can't you take a joke?"

"I don't care what day this is, that wasn't funny," said B'Ellana advancing on him once more.

"Okay, okay. I'm sorry. I'm promise never to do it again."

"You better not."

To Tom's relief and surprise B'Ellana turned and walked away.

"Just don't try speaking to me for a while, Lt.," said B'Ellana as she disappeared down the ladder.

Harry walked into the mess hall to find things strewn all over the place and Neelix standing in the middle of it looking frustrated.

"What happened here?"asked Harry.

"I can't find my supply of Leola root. I had some here in readiness for lunch, but now I can't find it. I've check the cargo bay as well and there's none there either."

"Oh, that's such a shame,"said Harry trying to sound concerned.

"You didn't move it did you?"

"No, of course not! I wouldn't do that."

"I know all of you aren't all that fond of Leola root, although I don't see why, but..."

"Trust me, Neelix. I had nothing to do with it, but I think I know who's responsible. I'll see you later."

"What do you know?"

"I'll explain later when I'm sure."

Harry left and Neelix began sighed and began cleaning up the mess he had made. He paused as he heard laughter. Tom stepped out of hiding with a canister of Leola root in his arms.

"April Fool's, Neelix."

"April Fool's?"

"An old holiday where people played pranks on each other."

"I see, and people enjoyed having pranks played on them?"

"I guess it was more fun for the one playing the prank, but I think the other person was understanding."

Neelix took the Leola root back from Tom. "Fine, perhaps later I may see the humor in this, but right now I am behind in preparing lunch, so if you will kindly leave..."

"Okay, fine, I'm going. Can't anyone around here take a joke?"

Tom left and Neelix got started preparing lunch.

Janeway stood looking in confusion at the beverage that appeared in the replicator. She had requested coffee, but what appeared was a glass of orange juice. When she tried again an orange had appeared. She called Harry in and was waiting for him to arrive. She heard the door chime and called for him to enter.

"Was there something you needed from me, Captain," asked Harry uncertainly.

"Yes, Harry," said Janeway finally turning away from the replicator. "My replicator seems to be malfunctioning. I was wondering if you could repair it for me."


Harry got to work repairing it. When he was finished Janeway tried again. This time coffee and a note appeared. Janeway picked up the note and read it aloud.

"April Fool's? What's that?"

"I should have known Tom was behind this."

"How can you be sure it's Tom?"

"He's already gotten me this morning. He locked me in my quarters and almost made me late for my shift. He explained to me then that today is April Fool's Day-a day in which people play pranks on each other. From what I hear he's gotten other people as well."

"Thanks for the info Harry. You may leave now."

Harry left and Janeway sat down at her desk to think.

Tom dragged himself onto the bridge silently cursing Janeway for assigning him a second shift on the bridge. Apparently she couldn't take a joke either. He stopped short when he noticed that the bridge was empty. He tapped his combadge.

"Paris to Janeway."

He paused and waited for a response, but recieved none. Suddenly the ship rocked and alarms began to go off. He ran to a console to see what was wrong. The console indicated that sensors detected a ship was attacking Voyager.

"Paris to Janeway," he tried again.

He sat at his station and started to impement evasive manuveurs when it occured to him that this was likely a joke.

"Okay, joke's over you got me. Very funny. You can come out now."

No one appeared and Tom began to get irritated.

"Okay, I'm sorry about the jokes I played. Can you just come out now so I can go to sleep?"

The ship rocked again this time more violently and his console began beeping at him. The last hit seemed to have caused damage to several decks. He moved the ship around to face where the sensor indicated the attacking ship was. He expected not to see anything, but an unknown ship appeared in the viewscreen. That couldn't be faked could it? Tom decided not to risk it and fired back, targeting their weapons. The enemy ship, realizing it was against a more powerful ship than it realized, turned and fled.

A minute later Janeway, appeared on the bridge along with the night crew. He stood up to greet her.

"Where was everyone? Didn't you realize we were under attack?"

"Attack? I didn't hear any alarms," said Janeway innocently.

"So it was a joke. I'm impressed. It was very realistic."

"Well, I had to something to get you back for everyone."

"Kim to Janeway."

"Good work Mr. Kim. We really fooled him."

"I was just about to say the same thing to you. I wasn't able to get it ready in time, and I thought you must have gone ahead with it," responded Harry.

"Then, that means we were really under attack," said Janeway.

"I'm sorry, captain. This is all my fault. I promise next April Fool's no pranks," said Tom

"Good. I'm glad you've learned your lesson. You may go to bed now."

"Thank you, captain."

Tom turned to leave, but stopped as he heard Janeway contacting Harry again.

"Harry, contact our friends and thank them for their help."

Tom turned in shock to face Janeway again.

"You mean it was all planned? We were never under attack?"

"That's right, Lt. You shouldn't have messed with my coffee."

The End