Comparisons
By TíPam

Disclaimer:Voyager and all her crew belong to Paramount/Viacom. No copyright infringement is intended. No profit will be made, as this story is just for fun.
 

Part Eight

Tom could hear the whirring sound of a medical tricorder, as he struggled back to awareness. For a moment he thought he was safely back in sickbay until, attempting to sit up, he discovered he was strapped down.

"Lie still," a voice told him and he managed to focus on a figure standing beside him, waving the tricorder over his body. "This one will be no good for the tunnels, his hands are damaged. Theyíll soon lose patience with him down there. He might as well stay here for organ processing."

Tom felt panic rising up within him as he recognized his captors. They were Vidiian. All they were interested in was harvesting body parts for their own disease-ridden bodies. He looked frantically around the room, but there was no sign of the other away team members.

Another Vidiian came over and peered at the tricorder readings and then at Tom. "Hmmn!" she said, running her hand down one side of his face. Tom shuddered and turned his head away. "This one will make an excellent source of raw materials. All of his organs are in prime condition. And his skin is so soft and smooth. Weíll be able to use it for many grafts."

Tom swallowed the bile rising in his throat. "Where are the others?" he managed to ask.

"All but one have been sent to the tunnels. When they can no longer work, they will be brought back here for organ processing. The other is in the laboratory next door."

Oh god!!! Had they already started organ processing on one of the others? "You cold-hearted leeches. Murdering swine." Tom struggled against his bindings, to no avail. "What is this? Some sort of processing plant? You go out and catch someone, kill them and strip them for their body parts? What sort of monsters are you anyway?"

"It is unfortunate, but necessary," the first Vidiian answered. "We are not monsters - just desperate. If you had experienced the devastation that this disease has caused, youíd be desperate too."

"Iíd never be desperate enough to go out and slaughter people for their organs. Youíre vile and disgusting."

"Our whole civilization is on the brink of being destroyed." The Vidiian bending over him straightened up. "We will do whatever is necessary to ensure that we survive."

"Well, from where Iím laying, you donít deserve to survive," Tom muttered.

"You naturally will never understand," she answered, turning away from him. She handed the tricorder to the other Vidiian. "Take these readings into Sulan. Let him have a look at them. This one is fully human, so I donít think he is of any use in the experiments. Sulan was only interested in the other one because of her other half - the Klingon. Let him decide however."

BíElanna! It must be BíElanna they were talking about. "What have you done with her?" Tom rasped out.

She turned back to look at him. "Doctor Sulan is one of our leading scientists. He has devoted his life to finding a cure for the Phage. The Klingon female has some interesting readings. He intends to separate her genetic material and then work with her. She could be very important."

Tom shook his head in disgust. "You make me sick."

She stepped back to his bed and once again stroked his cheek. "You are very good looking. Iím sure youíve been told that before. If you behave yourself, I might let you live a little longer."

Tom clenched his teeth. "Just get it over with," he answered, wishing his mouth wasnít so dry. All he really wanted to do was spit in her face.

"Weíll see," she said with a smile. "I like you. If Sulan doesnít want you, I might fix your hands and send you down to the tunnels after all. They need all the manpower they can get. That way I can always send for you whenever I want to. It would be a pity to kill you quite so soon."

"Gee, thanks. Youíre all heart," Tom said sarcastically. He wondered what she meant about fixing his hands. They were as fixed as they ever would be.

The other Vidiian returned. "Sulan says he doesnít need him. You can do whatever you want with him."

"Really? Thatís wonderful news. Isnít it my handsome one?"

Tom shuddered. He wasnít sure what was going to happen, but he was sure it wasnít going to be pleasant.

_____________________________

BíElanna slowly sat up. She felt weak and groggy and it took a few seconds for her eyes to adjust. Where was she? And what the hell was going on? Looking around the room, she realized she was in a medical facility of some sort and on a bed on the other side of the room was Tom Paris.

"Tom!" she cried, trying to go over to him. She really felt too weak to move. He didnít stir.

"Heís still unconscious." BíElanna turned around sharply at the voice. Her heart jumped into her throat as she saw the person walking towards her was a Vidiian.

"Whatís going on here?" she demanded. Her voice was even weaker than sheíd expected. "What have you done to us?"

"You will both be fine," the Vidiian woman answered. "You have both had surgery." She seemed to stumble over the last word.

BíElanna felt fear wash over her. "S-S-Surgery?" she stammered. She remembered what they had done to Neelix. "W-W-What kind of surgery?" She couldnít believe how frightened she was. Her heart was hammering so loudly that she wondered if the Vidiian woman could hear it.

"We have extracted all of your Klingon DNA. It will be quite useful to us in finding a cure for the phage. You are now fully human."

"What?" BíElanna thought she would be sick. "Thatís not possible." Her hands went immediately to her forehead. It was smooth, just as sheíd always secretly wished it to be.

"We have the technology to make it possible. It was quite a simple procedure. You will now be sent down to the tunnels to work. You seem quite weak. Iím sure I will see you again, quite soon."

As BíElanna was led away by two guards, she looked back at Tom, still lying unconscious. "What about Tom? What are you going to do to him?"

"He needs to stay here a little longer. If I were you, Iíd worry about myself."

BíElanna was surprised to realize that she was on the verge of tears. She didnít even have the strength to resist the guards; she just let them lead her away. She couldnít believe how weak and pathetic she was being, but couldnít seem to help herself. She stumbled a little and one of the guards dragged her the rest of the way.

"Why are they sending this one down here?" he grumbled. "Sheíll be lucky to last more than a day."

The other guard shrugged. "One days work is better than none."

She was dragged into a large darkened dormitory, where other prisoners were sleeping, and thrown onto the nearest empty bunk. By now she was feeling sick to the stomach and all she felt like doing was curling into a little ball and crying her eyes out.

She sniffed a couple of times and suddenly there was a hand on her shoulder. "Lieutenant Torres? BíElanna? Is that you?"

BíElanna looked up to see Ensign Palmer kneeling next to her bunk. "Janine!" she exclaimed, sitting up. "Is everyone else here?"

"Everyone but Tom. We donít know where he is, but the other prisoners thought youíd both been taken to organ processing."

BíElanna nodded. "We were there. Tom still is."

"Oh god! Does that mean that theyíve----?"

"Heís still alive. I donít know what theyíre doing to him though. You can see what theyíve done to me."

Janine looked her over. "You look human."

BíElanna sighed. "I feel so sick. They told me that theyíve extracted all of my Klingon DNA. Theyíre experimenting with it or something."

"Hey you," a guard suddenly called out and marched quickly over to Janine. "Get back to your bunk. You need to rest, so that you can work a full shift in the tunnels."

"All right, all right," she grumbled. The guard pushed her roughly onto her own bunk and then stared back over at BíElanna. "That goes for you too."

BíElannaís heart beat furiously and she lay down quickly. Shutting her eyes she tried to do as she was told.

___________________________________

BíElanna lay as still as she could, listening for any sign of movement. When she was sure that there was nobody in the room with her, she tried once again to free herself. She felt stronger now. Testing the locking mechanism that held her down, she concentrated on snapping it open. If she could just get one hand free, sheíd kill the lot of them.

The Klingon blood flowed strongly through her veins and she snarled in delight. She felt wonderful. Stronger than she ever had before. The Vidiians had no idea what they were dealing with. Somehow she would get free and then find the others. They were her responsibility. She was their leader.

A sudden noise from the end of the room; stilled her movements. "BíElanna? How are you feeling today?"

She turned to study the doctor who had done this to her. If she could just get him to trust her, she may find a way to escape. "I feel strong. Itís very frustrating to be restrained like this."

"I sympathize".

"I donít like being chained up like an animal."

The Vidiian shook his head. "Iím sorry. I wish there were some----"

"Iíve been thinking about what you said," she interrupted him. "Itís because of you, that I am Klingon and I like this feeling. In a strange way I suppose - I am grateful."

As the Vidiian scientist lent towards her, she continued. "Did you know that female Klingons are renown in the Alpha Quadrant, not only for their physical prowess, but also for their voracious - sexual - appetites as well." Sulan looked at her in surprise and she pressed her advantage, asking as she attempted to sit up, "Why not let you creation out of her harness? Study her in action." She smiled knowingly at him.

The scientist found it difficult to speak. "I wish it were possible, BíElanna," he said wistfully. "But Iím afraid I canít risk releasing you - just yet." He slowly reached out and stroked her face.

BíElanna steeled herself as the rotting, flesh eaten hand came towards her; but flinched nevertheless.

Sulan jumped back as if heíd been burnt. "Forgive me."

She tried to keep up the pretense. "For what?"

"Please!" the Vidiian struggled to continue. "Donít condescend. I may have a grotesque appearance, but I assure you my instincts are finely honed. And I do have feelings."

He came back to lean over her once again. "Hard as it may be for you to imagine BíElanna, my people were once handsome and vigorous, like yours. And with your help we will be again. Perhaps, when that time comes, I will not disgust you quite so much as I do now."

With that he walked away and BíElanna lay still for a moment feeling a little guilty and more than a little sorry for these people. That didnít excuse what they did however. They were a dishonorable people and she would not help them willingly. With that thought she struggled harder to snap open the locking mechanism around her wrist.

________________________________

Tom awoke to see another Viddian staring down at him. This was somebody different. "This face is very handsome. It will do nicely," the Vidiian stated.

"Sulan! No - not this one. Iíve just spent a lot of time working on his hands. It would be such a waste."

"Why did you do that in the first place, Saleem? Why waste time like that?"

"It was a challenge. The nerves were destroyed. I wanted to see whether I could fix them."

"And could you?"

"I donít know yet. Thatís why I want to keep him a bit longer."

"Well all experiments are important of course, but mine must take precedent. BíElanna finds it difficult to work with me, looking like this. This face would be perfect."

Tom struggled to sit up. "You disgusting animals," he yelled. The Vidiian woman, Saleem injected something into his neck and he fell back down again.

"I do not believe that this face would fit you very well, Sulan. Perhaps another of these humans has a better fit."

"Very well, Iíll see. But if not, Iíll be back for him."

Tom found that he could no longer stay awake and finally submitted to the darkness, hoping and praying that he would wake up again.

________________________________

BíElanna looked in shock at Pete Durstís features grafted onto Sulanís hideous face. She shuddered in revulsion. "Durst!"

"I thought that perhaps this face might make you more comfortable with me," the Vidiian said with a smile.

"Youíve killed him," BíElanna ground out angrily.

"Yes BíElanna, but his organs will save more than a dozen lives."

BíElanna growled in anger and with one final surge of strength managed to break free from the restraints holding her down. Sulan backed off in fear. Jumping off the bed quickly she grabbed Sulan around the neck, before he could get away, and squeezed with all her might.

Sulan started to choke, but she didnít let go - she squeezed all the harder. This creature deserved to die. A sudden noise from the other room alerted her to the fact that someone was coming and she threw him away from her in disgust. She didnít want to get caught now that she was finally free. Hurrying from the laboratory, she wondered where the others were being kept. She had to find them and get them out of here, before what had happened to Durst happened to any more of them.

________________________________

Tom woke up to the sound of alarms ringing and sat up slowly. He was still in the medical facility, but at least he was still alive. There was a mad scrambling going on in the next room, but before he could work out what was going on the two Vidiian doctors came back into the room. They were supporting the scientist named Sulan between them.

"She tried to strangle me," he was gasping. "If you hadnít come in when you did, Iíd be dead now."

"Sit down and let us see to you," Saleem told him, running a regenerator over his bruised neck.

Sulan shook his head in amazement. "Her strength is breathtaking. She is even stronger than we thought. A marvelous, marvelous creature. We must get her back. I cannot complete my work without her."

"Donít worry, the guards will soon have her."

"If she goes down into the tunnels it will be hard to find her."

Tom listened in amazement. It sounded like BíElanna had escaped. Hope surged through him. BíElanna was still alive and with any luck she may find a way out of here and contact Voyager. He chuckled softly. "So BíElanna got away from you, did she? What a shame."

Sulan jumped up and glared at him angrily. "You shut up."

Tom looked at him in horror. Heíd just gotten a good look at his face. "P-Pete? Oh god! What have you done? OH MY GOD!! YOU ANIMAL!!!!" Tom struggled with all his might to get free, anger giving him extra strength. He wasnít locked in the way BíElanna had been; his bindings werenít that strong. As one strap snapped, Saleem hurried over and injected him once more.

"Youíll have to go down to the tunnels. You canít stay here if youíre going to cause problems," she told him. "Iíve done all I can anyway. I believe the surgery was a success."

Surgery? What surgery? Oh god! What had she done to him? The blackness descended again as he was still trying to breathe.

____________________________________

"Tom! Tom! Wake up!" He turned over and groaned. Someone was shaking him, but all he wanted to do was sleep. He was so tired. Too tired to open his eyes. "Please Tom!" The voice was soft, but urgent. He groaned again.

"Leave me Ďlone," he managed to mumble.

"Iím so scared. Please Tom! Wake up." The voice caught on a sob. "Theyíre going to take me back to organ processing. I just know they are."

It suddenly dawned on Tom that it was BíElanna shaking him, but she sounded so different. Something tingled at the back of his mind. Hadnít she escaped? Oh no! They must have caught her again. He struggled to open his eyes.

"BíElanna?" he moaned.

"Yes. Itís me," she said breathlessly.

Tomís eyes focused on her face, but something was different. She looked different. And it wasnít the fact that she was crying, although that fact was startling in itself. Her forehead was smooth. The Klingon ridges werenít there anymore.

"What have they done to you?" he gasped as he managed to sit up.

"Theyíve made me human Tom. I didnít think it was possible. But look at me."

"How do you feel?" he asked as she dried her eyes.

"Sick. And weak. So weak. I havenít any strength at all. If this is how humans feel, I donít know how you do anything. And Iím scared Tom. Really scared. Iíve never been so scared in all my life."

Tom nodded. "Itís a pretty scary place." He ran his hands over his face and then checked his hands and arms.

"What are you doing?"

Tom gave an embarrassed laugh. "Checking myself. They did something to me, but I donít know what. I know I had surgery of some kind. Do I look any different?"

BíElanna shook her head. "They wouldnít tell me what they were doing to you. But you still look the same."

"They must have taken out one of my organs. It mustnít have been anything vital. I still feel the same." He ran his hands through his hair. "Howíd you get caught?"

BíElanna looked at him in surprise. "They snuck up on us. We didnít even know they were there until it was too late."

It was Tomís turn to look surprised. "No. I meant today. This morning. I know you escaped from the Lab. I was hoping you might find a way to contact Voyager."

"I donít know what youíre talking about. I was in the tunnels this morning. I couldnít work any longer, so they brought me back here to rest. When I woke up, you were here on this bunk."

Tom looked at her in confusion. "But you were in the Lab this morning. With Sulan. You tried to strangle him."

"God! What the hell have they been giving you? You must have been hallucinating."

Tom shook his head stubbornly. "No. It happened. I didnít see you, but they were all talking about it. Sulan says he canít finish his work without you."

"Tom! I wasnít there. I donít even know a Sulan. Whatís going on?"

"I donít know. Sulanís a Vidiian scientist thatís trying to find a cure for this phage. He seems to think that you can help." He screwed up his face as he tried to remember. "They told me that they were separating your genetic material so that they could work with you."

"When I woke up they told me that they had extracted all of my Klingon DNA. Then they sent me down here. They told me that if Iím no stronger tomorrow, Iím going back to organ processing. Iím no use to them in the tunnels. Iím too weak. Iíve certainly never been in any lab or met this Sulan."

"Iím not sure how or anything, but there must be two of you. It doesnít make sense otherwise. He was saying how strong you were."

"Well thatís certainly not me. You think theyíve made two of me? A Klingon me and a human me?"

"I - I guess. I donít know. I donít know how itís possible."

"Iím only half a person really. Thatís why I feel so bad." Tears rolled down her face. "Theyíre animals. Experimenting on us."

Tom swallowed. "I know. Theyíve killed Pete."

BíElanna moaned. "They took him this morning. I was too scared to stop them. Theyíve processed his organs?í

"Itís even worse than that. Sulan grafted Peteís face onto his. Itís hideous. Sickening."

BíElanna rocked back and forth. "Oh god! What are we going to do? Iíll be next. Iím getting weaker Tom - not stronger."

"Itís all right BíElanna. I wonít let them take you," Tom promised, although how the hell he could stop them he had no idea. He pulled her onto the bunk next to him and held her as she cried. He was becoming really worried about her. This wasnít like her at all.

"Iím sorry," she sniffed suddenly. "I donít know whatís wrong with me."

He hugged her tightly. "Itís all right. Iím scared too."

"Maybe. But youíre not letting it get to you the way I am."

"Hey, give me time," he joked. "I could be under the bunk, bawling my eyes out in just a few minutes." When she didnít say anything, he sighed. "Itís okay to be scared."

"Iíve never been scared like this though Tom. Never. I think theyíve turned me into some kind of coward. The strong, fearless me was the Klingon part of me and now thatís gone."

"BíElanna, sometimes fear can be a good thing. It stops you from taking unnecessary risks. Courage doesnít mean you donít have fear. It means that you have learnt to overcome it. And I know you have the courage to hang on till we can get out of here. If there is another you running around somewhere, maybe sheíll be able to get us out of here. We just have to stay positive." He squeezed her arm as tightly as he could.

"T-Tom, youíre hand is hurting me," BíElanna stammered.

"Oh god! Sorry." He hurriedly pulled away from her.

"NO! You donít understand. Your hand. It squeezed. Hard. Really hard."

Tom looked at her puzzled. "What do you mean?"

"Give me your hands," she said excitedly. She squeezed them as tightly as she could. "Can you feel that?"

Tom nodded. "A little."

"Damn! If I only had my Klingon strength, youíd know what I mean." She suddenly grabbed one of his fingers and bit it as hard as she could.

"Ow!!!! Whatíd you do that for? That hurt. That really - hurt." He looked at her in amazement "It - It stings." He said slowly. He curled his hands into fists and looked down at them in wonder. "I can really feel them. I mean properly." He jumped up off the bunk and wriggled his fingers. "I donít believe it. She said she was going to fix my hands, but I didnít know what she meant. I remember her saying that she had been working on them now. I didnít realize. Oh my god! Sheís fixed my hands."

"Properly? Are they the same as they were before? Do they feel the same?" BíElanna was as excited as he was.

"I donít know. But theyíre better. Much, much better. She said she thought the surgery had been successful, but I didnít know what she was talking about."

"Why would they do this Tom? Why would they help you? Weíre just replacement parts to them."

"She said it was a challenge. I guess she wanted to know if she could do it or not. They wanted me to work in the tunnels. I couldnít with my hands the way they were. Oh my god. BíElanna! Theyíve healed my hands." He laughed in delight and pulling her off the bunk spun her around the room.

"Well, Iím glad to see youíre both feeling better." Two Vidiian guards were standing behind them. "You can both get back down to the tunnels. Thereís work to be done."

Tom cursed. "Of course, we have to get out of here, if this is going to be good news."

The guard eyed him suspiciously. "Get moving," he ordered, waving his phaser in the direction of the doors. Tom started to walk slowly forward, BíElanna behind him, when the doors opened in front of him. He stopped in astonishment. BíElanna stood there. At least, it was BíElanna, but it wasnít. She was fully Klingon and growled as she took in the situation.

"Paris, get out of the way," she snarled. Tom reacted instinctively, throwing himself sideways and pulling BíElanna - the human BíElanna with him. The guards stood in total shock, and before they could react the Klingon BíElanna had charged, knocking them both to the ground. They were unconscious before they had even realized what was happening.

Klingon BíElanna helped human BíElanna to her feet and they stood looking at each other for several seconds, before human BíElanna fainted. Klingon BíElanna caught her before she could hit the ground and threw her over her shoulder.

She turned to Tom, who was still picking himself up off the ground. "You all right?" she asked gruffly.

Tom shook his head. "No. I think Iím seeing double."

BíElanna growled in response. "Come on. Weíve got to get out of here. There will be more guards here any second."

Tom nodded, still finding it hard to believe what was happening. "Wait. Iíll just grab the guardís phasers. I think we might need them."

"Hurry up!" BíElanna made her way to the doors, still with her human counterpart slung effortlessly over her shoulder. Tom quickly picked up the two phasers and hurried after her.

________________________________

"There you go again. Out of control. Leaping into action without thinking things through."

Tom sighed heavily, but didnít comment. Heíd tried to intervene before only to have Klingon BíElanna threaten to tear him limb from limb. He decided to let them argue, while he thought of a way out of here.

Not that anything came to mind at the moment, and it was difficult to concentrate with the two of them arguing all the time. Human BíElanna was right. They were arguing with themselves. If the situation werenít so serious, itíd be funny.

They had to find Janine and Brian and then find some way to contact Voyager. He stood up suddenly and walked over to them. "At the risk of getting my head caved in - this isnít helping." Both BíElannaís turned to glare at him. "We have to work together. You know - teamwork. I donít know how long weíll be able to hide in these tunnels, before they find us. We need to do something - now."

"My point exactly," Klingon BíElanna growled. "We should go and get the others from the tunnel theyíre in."

"There are too many guards. Weíll never get away," Human BíElanna said at once.

"We have weapons. We will kill as many as we can. I know we can do this. If you are too afraid, then stay here," Klingon BíElanna practically spat the last bit.

"I think Janine and Brian will be back in the prison barracks by now. I donít think weíll be able to get near them. Theyíll have guards everywhere," Tom said thoughtfully.

Klingon BíElanna looked at him carefully. "You are right," she finally said.

"We need to find a computer terminal," Human BíElanna said then. "I may be able to find a way out of here."

"Oh? How?" The question was a snarl.

"Voyager must be looking for us by now. They would have beamed us out if they could. I think there must be some sort of forcefield around these tunnels, blocking the sensors. Thatís why we didnít pick up any of this before we beamed down."

"If we can lower the forcefield, Voyager can get a lock on us and Janine and Brian too," Tom put in excitedly.

"There was a security console in the lab where they were holding me," Klingon BíElanna said slowly. "Itís the last place they would think we would go."

"Show us," Tom said in excitement.

______________________________________

Tom walked briskly down the corridor towards sickbay. His step was light and he wondered if anyone would mind if he danced the rest of the way. The Doctor had said that he could resume his normal shifts at the helm as soon as he was ready to and Chakotay had already had him flying simulations in the holodeck. His response time was a little below average, but he knew it wouldnít take long until he was back to his normal self.

His hands were completely healed. He still found it hard to believe. It was a dream come true for him and it was all thanks to the Viddians. His smile faded a little and his step faltered as he thought of Pete Durst. They had held a full military funeral for him the afternoon before and Tom had stood up and said the eulogy. He hadnít really known the Lieutenant that well, but thought it was the least he could do under the circumstances.

They had been lucky that he had been the only casualty in the end, although the Klingon BíElanna had been killed also. The Doctor had been forced to replicate her Klingon DNA and reintegrate it back into the Human BíElannaís cellular structure, when it became apparent that she could not survive without it. BíElanna was now almost back to her old self again.

He entered sickbay and smiled as he saw her sitting up on the biobed reading a data padd. "I bet thatís something to do with your engines," he said teasingly.

BíElanna frowned up at him. "Theyíre having a bit of a problem down there. Carey asked me to help."

Tom held up his hand. "Spare me," he said with a laugh. "Itís a wonder they didnít have your biobed wheeled down to engineering."

"Well, I did ask the Doctor to let me out for a little while to have a look for myself, but he wouldnít let me."

The EMH appeared around the doorway of his office. "Mr. Paris. It is not regular visiting hours."

Tom looked over at him in surprise. "Regular visiting hours? Since when did we have set visiting hours, Doc?"

"Since every Tom, Chakotay and Harry decided to visit Ms. Torres whenever they feel like it. There has been a steady stream of visitors the whole time she has been here."

"And thatís a bad thing?"

"It interferes with the efficient running of this facility." There was a definite sniff in the EMHís voice.

Tom laughed. "Come on Doc. Itís good for patient morale."

"Patient morale is not my concern," the Doctor said huffily. "I leave that to Kes and yourself. Although, of course, now that you can return to the helm full time, I believe I will have to find a replacement field medic."

"Um, thatís why Iím here actually. Iíve already spoken to the Captain and Chakotay and they are agreeable. Iím only going back to the helm part time. Iíll still be chief conn officer and everything, but the other pilots will be flying a lot of the time. Iíll be on call for the tricky flying and training the others. Iím still your nurse/field medic. Part time anyway. You donít really need me in here full time anyway."

"I see. Well it would have been nice to have been consulted about these arrangements," the EMH sniffed. "I am gratified that I do not need to train somebody else all over again, I suppose."

"Well donít sound so enthusiastic Doc. I thought you liked me."

"You are a very annoying person Mr. Paris. I am sure I have told you that before."

Tom pretended to clutch his heart. "Doc! You wound me."

The Doctor made a small harrumphing noise. "I suppose I can put up with you if I have to. Now since you are here, you can get straight to work. The first order of business is a sponge bath for Lieutenant Torres."

"What?" both Tom and BíElanna said at the same time. BíElanna, who had been listening to the conversation with a huge grin on her face, jumped off the bed in agitation. "There is no way in hell, he is doing that. I am perfectly capable of bathing myself thank you Doctor."

The Doctor smiled evilly. "Ms. Torres, I have found you to be a very troublesome, tiring patient. Please do not make the situation any worse."

Tom turned on the EMH, his face a fiery red. "And this is your way of getting her back? And me too, I suppose?"

The Doctor shrugged. "Your sense of humor has rubbed off on me Lieutenant."

"You are an evil, twisted man. And I love it," Tom laughed.

The Doctor beamed. "Thank you. Now, carry on. Iíll be in my office if you need me."

Tom turned back to BíElanna. "Well, you heard the Doc," he smiled.

"Paris! You come one step nearer and Iíll - Iíll - Youíll be the one needing the biobed."

Tom stepped closer.

The End

TíPam December 1999.
Feedback is always appreciated: t_pam@yahoo.com