A Good Pilot is Hard to Find
Disclaimer: Voyager and all its characters do not belong to me.
A Good Pilot Is Hard To Find
Janeway sat in her ready room trying to read the padd before her, but
she couldnt concentrate. She gladly set it aside as she heard the door
The door opened and Chakotay entered.
Any word yet? asked Janeway.
No, I just came to tell you that weve been invited to see the
Im not really in the mood for fireworks. I wont be able to relax
until Tom and Harry are back.
I know and Im sure the Lodakians will understand.
If we dont hear from Tom and Harry in an hour I want to go after
Do you think that they have had enough time to get here? They must
be at least a good half a day or more behind us.
Janeway sighed. Perhaps youre right, but I cant shake the feeling
that if we dont go after them soon, it will be too late. Guntak said he
believed that Tom and Harry should have been able to get here in time for
the banquet. That was over hours ago.
I think that he was just trying to make you feel better or he wasnt
taking into account the certain things that could delay Tom and Harrys
Im sure that the minefield would have slowed even Tom down if its
as bad as they say. Then you have to allow time for the trade, and they
may have been invited to a banquet as we were.
Thats true. How long do you think we should give them?
Id say at least until after the fireworks.
When exactly are the fireworks?
In two hours and the show lasts an hour. I really think we should
give them till tomorrow morning, but I know you wouldnt want to wait that
long. Im worried about them, too. Tom was anxious to back in plenty of
time for the race.
I guess I can wait three hours.
Are you sure you dont want to go to the fireworks? Theres nothing
we can do for them now anyway.
No, I dont think so. I have some work I need to do here.
You know you wont get any of it done. Go to the fireworks. By the
time the fireworks are over, they may be back. If not well go after
Whatever happened to, ิthe Lodikians will understand?
Im sure they will understand, but you need this. You havent been
getting enough rest lately. Youve been worrying so much about the supply
shortage and the situation with Tom and Harry has just added on to that.
All right. You win. Come and get me when its time.
Chakotay smiled. Good. Ill see you in a couple of hours.
Chakotay left, and Janeway resignedly picked up the padd again.
Mind if I join you?
Tuvok looked up from the padd he was working on to see BEllana with
a tray of food in her hands.
It would be useless for me to say no.
BEllana sat down. I was wondering if I could talk with you about
Tuvok set down his padd. Am I right in assuming that it is about
Tom and Harry?
Yes. I was wondering what you thought of Lunai?
I have not met him so I can not form an adequate opinion of him.
What about Guntak?
He gave elusive answers and kept vital information from us. I think
it would be prudent to be wary of him.
So, if hes untrustworthy because of his elusive answers and Lunai
is even more elusive, he must be even more untrustworthy.
I believe your logic is flawed. An elusive answer would seem to
indicate that he is hiding something, but it does not necessarily mean that
he is untrustworthy. We do not know what he is hiding if indeed he is
hiding anything at all.
Of course hes hiding something! Tom and Harry are in trouble and I
dont see why we dont go after them now.
We can not be certain that they are in trouble. The wisest course
of action is to give them time to return before we set out to rescue them.
We have given them time to return and they havent. Guntak has told
us of the Dakans need pilots. How much longer are we going to wait?
Every second that we wait something bad could be happening to Tom and
I doubt very much that they would harm them if they need their
What about Harry? Guntak told us that they could hurt Harry to make
Guntak also said that their basis for assuming that Tom and Harry
are in danger is a 40 year old warning. I have learned from Commander
Chakotay that we will be leaving to get Tom and Harry as soon as the
fireworks are over.
Were staying for the fireworks? We should be leaving now! How can
we enjoy fireworks when Tom and Harrys lives are in danger?
We do not know that they are in danger. It is not that long to
wait. Events have been unsettling lately, and the fireworks may help lift
the crews spirits. If Tom and Harry are indeed in danger, we will get
I know. Im just not good at waiting.
So I have noticed.
What do you think of the fireworks? asked Chakotay.
Theyre amazing, answered Janeway.
You dont seem to be enjoying them.
I just cant enjoy them when I dont know if Tom and Harry are all
Do you want to leave now?
I dont want to make the crew leave. They seem to be enjoying the
show. They may never see another firework show like this. The technology
used in making the fireworks must be incredible.
The chirping of Janeways combadge interrupted them.
Captain, the shuttle is returning, but it seems to be badly damaged. The
warp core is fluctuating.
Theres one weak signal, which we beamed to sickbay.
Two to beam up.
As soon as they materialized in the transporter room, Janeway and
Chakotay headed for sickbay.
They entered to find Harry lying on a biobed with the doctor working
How is he, doctor? asked Janeway.
He received a rather nasty bump on his head, multiple plasma burns,
broken arm, two broken ribs, and several bruises. It was touch and go for a
while there, but of course my superior skills saved him.
Is he well enough to talk?
You can have one minute with him, no more. He needs to rest.
The doctor placed a hypo-spray on Harrys neck and Harrys eyes
How are you feeling, Harry? asked Janeway.
Okay, I guess. He looked around him. Wheres Tom?
Thats what we wanted to ask you.
He was supposed to be right behind me.
Why didnt he come with you?
There wasnt enough room in the shuttle for both of us and the
dilithium. They suggested loading the remainder in a ship that would
follow the shuttle.
Why didnt Lunai pilot the ship?
He said he wasnt a good enough pilot. The shuttle could be
programmed to follow the path we took to get there. It seemed logical
enough the way he said it. I guess Tom was right--I shouldnt have trusted
If the shuttle was programmed to follow the safe path, what
I dont know. I was almost out the second part of the minefield
when one of the mines exploded. That caused several of the surrounding
mines to explode as well. I was almost past the one that exploded first,
so the shuttle didnt get the full effect of the explosion. It just
doesnt make sense. Its as if it changed to a sensing mine as I passed
it. As it was, it took a lot of work to keep the shuttle together long
enough to make it back. For awhile, I didnt think I was going to make
You almost didnt, said the doctor. Im afraid thats all the
time I can allow you, captain. He needs his rest.
Very well. Well see you again after youve gotten some rest,
Harry nodded and the doctor placed another hypo-spray to his neck.
Janeway tapped her com badge. Janeway to Tuvok.
Inform the crew on the planet that they are to beam back
immediately. Then lay in a course for Daka.