ZENDA
By TíPam

Standard Disclaimer: Voyager and all the crew are copyright of Paramount. I take them out, play with them for a little bit, mess up their minds and then put them back. No profit will be made from this story as itís just for fun.

Rated PG.
 

Part Four

Neelix stood in his little galley and watched Tom as he sat down at a table with Harry. He had found it difficult to look Tom in the eye that morning. He still felt more than a little hurt by the way that Tom had overreacted. Tom had a guilty conscience. Plain and simple. He had said some very hurtful and unfair things and Neelix still felt the sting from the attack.

What really upset him though was the way that Tom had acted just then. It was as if that now that heíd been put in his place, he should forget it. Neelix couldnít do that. Heíd seen a very mean and ugly man the morning before and it would take a while to get over it. He hadnít answered Tom when heíd suggested that they get together to go over the plans for the talent show. It was only two nights away.

His eyes narrowed as Zoe Hendricks strolled over to the table that Tom and Harry were sitting at and sat down. It wasnít long before Harry stood up and left the mess hall. Neelix couldnít see his face, but by the way the young Ensign walked - his back ramrod straight and his eyes staring straight ahead - he seemed to be upset.

Neelixís eyes went back to the table again and he watched as Zoe grabbed hold of Tomís arm as she laughed at something he was saying. Tom then brought his hand up and covered hers with his. This was not good. Not good at all. He would not be accused of spying again, or gossiping, so he turned away and went back to his cooking.

He wasnít the only one that noticed the way Tom and Zoe were acting though. Many people in the mess hall watched in astonishment when their heads came together as they both laughed quietly.

"Whatís going on with Tom and Zoe?" Ensign Porter asked as he got his breakfast from Neelix.

Neelix shrugged his shoulders. "I have no idea. Itís none of our business anyway."

Porter laughed. "I just hope Torres has already had breakfast. If she came in now and saw that - well - just think of the sparks."

"I heard that Tom and BíElanna had decided to have a break from each other," Ensign Samuels said coming up behind Porter.

"Really? Whereíd you hear that?" Porter looked at her with interest.

"Tom told me, in sickbay yesterday. He was flirting quite boldly with me, and I said - what would BíElanna say? - and thatís when he told me."

"Geez, he didnít waste much time."

"Zoe probably jumped him," Samuels said caustically. "Split up or not, I donít think that it would be very nice for BíElanna to have that rubbed in her face so soon. Zoe should know better."

"Well, I for one wouldnít mind watching the fireworks."

"Excuse me, but your breakfast is getting cold," Neelix pointed out. "I really donít think itís very polite to stand here and gossip about other people, do you?"

Neelix could feel his distress mounting as the two Ensigns moved away. He couldnít believe how blatant Tom was being. ĎItís none of my business. Itís none of my businessí he kept telling himself as he busily went about his morning duties.


"Hey Tom - hold the lift," Harry cried out as he raced down the corridor and rushed into the turbolift with Tom.

"I thought youíd already gone to the bridge."

Harry shook his head. "I went back to my quarters for a bit."

"You didnít have to rush off like that, just because Zoe sat with us."

Harry sighed. "She wants us to be friends, but I feel a little uncomfortable around her at the moment. I feel kind of embarrassed."

"Why?"

"She told me that she just wanted a good time. No strings attached and sheíd suddenly realized that I seemed to want more. Apparently a couple of her friends had told her about me wanting a meaningful relationship with her. It was really humiliating."

Tom slapped him on the back. "I wouldnít worry about it Har. By tomorrow you would have forgotten all about her."

Harry looked at him incredulously. "I donít think so Tom. I really liked her you know. I wonít forget her that easily. Anyway, whatís this I hear about you and BíElanna? Some one said last night that you two were having a break from each other. Is it true? And how come neither of you told me?"

"Yes, itís true."

"When did this happen?"

"Last night."

"Last night? But I was told at dinner about it."

"Yeah, well it was made official last night, but I decided at breakfast yesterday morning."

"You decided?"

Tom nodded. "BíElanna really isnít any fun. I thought it best if I let a few people know that Iím available again."

Harry looked at him in open-mouthed amazement. "But, you love her. I canít believe you just said that."

The lift doors opened onto the bridge and Tom stepped out. "Now that youíre free too, maybe we could double-date. That would be fun."

Harry stood in the lift, watching Tom skip lightheartedly down to his station. He shook his head in disbelief. "Mr. Kim, unless you intend to carry out your duties from the turbolift this morning I suggest you report to your station."

Harry jumped and turned to look at the security chief. Tuvok was staring at him with one eyebrow raised in polite enquiry.

"Huh?"

"A rather unintelligent response," Tuvok pronounced. "Your station Ensign."

Harry flushed. "Of course. Sorry sir."

As the day wore on he felt more and more uneasy. Tom spent the whole time joking and carrying on as if he hadnít a care in the world. Maybe he had had some sort of emotional breakdown. He certainly wasnít acting himself.

Harry found he was watching Tom more than his readouts. Heíd thought Tom was acting strange yesterday, but that was nothing to the way he was acting today.

As soon as their shifts were over Harry went down to Tomís station. "Can we go somewhere quiet? I need to talk to you."

Tom looked up in surprise. "I suppose. Whatís wrong?"

Harry saw Ensign Porter - Tomís replacement - give a knowing smile and wondered what that was about. "Not here Tom." Tom stood up quickly and Ensign Porter took over the controls.

As soon as they were in the turbolift Tom turned to him. "Where did you want to go? What did you want to talk about?"

"You. Iím really worried. Youíre not acting yourself at all. I thought that maybe---"

He didnít get any further as Tom cut in. "Thatís crazy. What do you mean - Iím not myself? Who else would I be?"

"I just meant that youíre acting differently. Not your usual self at all. Maybe you should go back to sickbay for a checkup."

Tom went red with anger. "Why? I donít need to go to sickbay." The turbo lift doors opened and Ensign Samuels stepped in. Tom brushed past her angrily on his way out.

"Tom, where are you going?" Harry called out anxiously.

"Anywhere away from you. With friends like you, who needs enemies?"

"Tom!" The doors closed and he looked unhappily at Samuels. "We had an argument," he told her, unnecessarily.

She nodded. "Iím not surprised. But he had a nerve saying that to you. You should have been saying that to him."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, when your best friend and ex-girlfriend get together only a day after breaking up with you, you have to wonder."

"What are you talking about?"

"Isnít that what you were arguing about?"

"No. I donít know what youíre talking about. What about Tom and Zoe?"

Samuels looked distressed. "Itís all over the ship Harry. They were kind of all over each other at breakfast this morning. Iím sorry. I thought you knew."

"I havenít spoken to anyone much today. Surely youíre exaggerating."

Samuels shook her head. "Ask any one."

"I will," Harry answered angrily. Tom had been acting really weird lately, but he wouldnít do that. Heíd never do anything like that to him. He just knew it.


Tom felt like he was drowning. He struggled against the bonds - struggled towards the light above him. One more push and he would be free. He just had to gather his strength. Finally he broke free. He could see a ceiling. Where was he? The ceiling wasnít much of a clue. He realized he was lying down and tried to sit up.

Nothing happened. He tried again. Still nothing. He attempted to move his arm. Nothing. All of a sudden he felt himself rolling over, but he hadnít initialized the movement. Thatís when he realized that he still had no control over his body. He could now see and hear what was going on, but that was all.

As his body rolled and sat up he heard a deep sigh from behind him. "Donít go Tom. Are you feeling better now?" Hands caressed his back.

He felt himself chuckle. "Iím not going anywhere. I just need to use the bathroom."

"Well hurry back baby."

As Tomís body stood up and moved towards the bathroom door, he realized he was naked. He tried with all his might to make his head turn around to see who was still on the bed. He knew that voice wasnít BíElannaís.

Soon he was looking at himself in the mirror again. "Hello there," he smiled to himself. "About time you showed up. You missed all the fun. You do know you canít get out, donít you? Iíve decided to let you stay here from now on. It must be awfully boring down in the depths of your own subconscious. Now you can join in the fun too."

Tom tried to move. Tried to do something - anything, but it was useless. WHO ARE YOU? he screamed silently.

"My name is Zenda. Iíll let you stay up here with me as long as you behave yourself. If you donít, Iíll have to send you back down again with another blast to make you learn. I donít want to do that and I know you donít want me to. Next time, it will be a lot more painful."

WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?

"I wanted your body. I donít have one you see. We can share it. It wonít be so bad, just wait and see. Weíll even be friends. I know we will. I liked you right from the start. This is the beginning of a great partnership."

NO! LEAVE ME ALONE. GET OUT OF MY BODY. GET OUT OF MY MIND.

He frowned at himself in the mirror. "Donít be like that. We need to be friends if this is going to work properly."

NEVER!!!!

"I need your advice. I donít really understand about emotions and feelings. Iíve made some people wonder about us. Iím not acting quite the way I should. You could help me."

GO TO HELL!!!!!

"You probably need a little more time to get used to the idea. I understand. In the mean time letís have some more fun."

He walked back out of the bathroom again.

"About time. Come here lover boy."

Tom felt shock as he saw Zoe Hendricks was the woman in the bed. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

WHATíS IT LOOK LIKE? Zenda chuckled back to him. THIS IS THE BEST FUN OF ALL.

NO!!!!!!!


Zenda smiled in delight. This was much better. Now he could talk to Tom and let him see everything. Heíd soon understand how they could coexist in the same body. He was just being stubborn. It would just take a little more patience.

He walked into his quarters, tired but happy - to be met by a fist in the face. He went flying backwards and landed on the floor with a loud thump. Rubbing his jaw he looked up into the angry face of Harry Kim standing over him.

"Get up you scum, so I can knock you back down again." Harryís hands were clenched into fists.

"Harry?"

"I said - GET UP."

He decided to remain on the floor. That had hurt! Really hurt!! He rubbed his jaw again.

Harry bent down and grabbing him by the collar hurled him to his feet. Shaking him, he yelled. "I THOUGHT YOU WERE MY FRIEND. FIVE YEARS TOM. FIVE YEARS. AND YOUíRE WILLING TO THROW THAT ALL AWAY. WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU?"

"N-N-Nothing," he stammered. "I donít understand. Why are you so mad?"

"I know about you and Zoe, Tom. Every sordid detail." Harry seemed to sag as he let him go. "Why Tom? How could you do that? How could you do that to me?"

"I - I didnít do anything to you. I had sex with Zoe. I didnít do anything to you."

Harry let out a string of curses and punched him in the stomach as hard as he could. He fell to the floor like a stone. The pain!!! It hurt!!! It hurt so bad. He was going. He wasnít staying for this. He sank back into the dark recesses and pushed Tom out. Let him handle it. Let him have the pain.

Tom gasped for breath as he clutched his stomach. It felt like it was on fire. "H- Harry. H-Help me!"

"Youíre sick, you know that?" Harry said in disgust.

Tom reached his arm out to him. "It wasnít me Harry. Please, you have to help me. I donít know how long Iíve got."

"What are you talking about?" Harry growled.

"Thereís something in me. Something that makes me do stuff."

"Yeah, itís called no morals."

"No Harry please. He calls himself Zenda. Heís taken me over."

"Iím not listening to anymore of this rubbish. If youíve suddenly developed a split personality, go and see the Doctor." Harry strode angrily towards the door.

"Harry!!!" The tears ran freely down his face but he made no attempt to wipe them away. "Harry, please."

Harry gave him one more disgusted look and then turned away. "Donít come anywhere near me Paris. I mean it." With those parting words he left.

Tom took a deep breath and tried to control his sobs. "P-Paris to S-Sickbay. Doc, please help m-me."

"Do you need an emergency beam out Mr. Paris?"

"Yes. Yes."

Tom felt the transporter beam take him just as he felt himself begin to fall again. NO!!!!!!


The EMH looked Tom over with a skeptical eye. "You called for an emergency medical transport for this? Really Mr. Paris, I find that highly unlikely. Thereís something youíre not telling me."

"My stomach hurts like hell. Not to mention my jaw. I think thatís reason enough."

The Doctor clicked his tongue in irritation as he ran the medical tricorder over him. "Other than a few bruises, youíre fine. A regenerator will have you fixed up in no time."

"Well hurry up."

As he ran the regenerator over Tomís jaw, the Doctor scowled thoughtfully. "You do realize that by bringing this to me, I now have to make out a full report."

Tom nodded. "I donít care."

The Doctor was surprised. "You donít? Very well then." He picked up a data padd. "First question - how did this happen?" He waited for the usual answer of ĎI fell overí or some such ridiculous statement.

"Harry did it."

The Doctor looked at him in amazement. "Ensign Kim did this? Why?"

"Beats me. Heís been a real pain lately. Sticking his nose into my business and being real emotional and stuff."

"Did you do anything to upset him?" The Doctor was shocked that Tom was telling him this. Usually he covered for the young Ensign. In fact he usually covered for everybody. A few years ago, Tom being beaten up was a regular occurrence, and each time it happened, he would make all sorts of unbelievable excuses for his bruised state.

"No. I didnít do anything to him." Tom answered. "I just walked through my doors and he hit me."

"I see." The Doctor felt sure that there was more to the story than that. "Commander Tuvok will have to be informed."

Tom sighed. "Hurry up and call him then. Iím really tired."

The Doctor shook his head in bewilderment. This was not like Tom at all.


Chakotay frowned at Tuvok in surprise. "Youíve got to be kidding."

"Vulcans do not - kid, Commander."

Chakotay sighed. "No of course not. I just meant that this was a little hard to believe. Tom has filed a formal complaint against Harry?"

"Mr. Paris was very insistent."

Chakotay gave a deep sigh. "Whatís he playing at now? If this is another one of his little tricks Iíll - Iíll-" Chakotay found he was unable to say exactly what he would do to Tom. He ran his hands through his hair in frustration. This was all he needed, and so early in the morning too.

"Mr. Paris seemed quite serious," Tuvok was able to tell him. "I did question him as to the wisdom of such an action but he was very determined."

"According to this report, Tomís injuries were easily treated. Some internal bruises and a sore jaw. I canít believe that he made a formal complaint about it. Especially considering it was Harry. From what I heard in the mess hall last night, he deserved it anyway."

"Be that as it may Commander, we can not have senior officers behaving this way. They are supposed to set an example. Ensign Kim should not be encouraged to take out his frustrations on a fellow officer in a physical way. I thought you would understand this. It could set a precedent."

Chakotay sighed heavily. "I understand that Tuvok, but normally we wouldnít have been involved at all. I just donít understand what heís doing. Iím finding it even harder to believe some of the rumors I heard last night."

"Rumors are just that Commander. Most are exaggerated and distorted from the original occurrence. My advice is to take them with Ďthe grains of the saltí as the Captain often advises."

Chakotay looked slightly nonplussed for a moment and then stood up from his desk to hide his grin. "Youíre probably right. I dread to think of BíElannaís reaction if any of them get back to her though. I think I should probably have a talk to her. I suppose Iíd better see to this matter first though."

Tuvok nodded his head in approval. "I shall notify the two Ensigns at once."

Chakotay sighed again as he sat down. "Thanks Tuvok."


Harry turned over in his bed. It was 0 seven hundred. He knew he should get up. His eyes felt heavy and sore and he rubbed them absently as he slowly sat up. He must have cried himself to sleep the night before he realized. That was something he hadnít done in a long time.

He felt terribly depressed. He would get over Zoe he knew, but it was Tomís betrayal that had left him so desolate. It was like a knife had pierced his heart. He didnít know whether heíd recover from the blow. All he felt like doing now was crawling back into bed and pulling the covers over his head.

As he still sat on the side of the bed trying to summon the energy to get up, his door chime sounded. If that were Tom, he didnít know what heíd do. Making a quick decision he stood up suddenly and headed for the door. Whoever it was could just go away and leave him the hell alone.

He was surprised to see Tuvok standing on the other side of the door as it opened. "Commander?"

"Ensign Kim, may I come in?" The question was a mere formality since Tuvok had already stepped into the room. "I have come to escort you to Commander Chakotayís office."

"Escort me?"

"That is correct Ensign."

"Why? Why didnít the Commander just comm me? Whatís going on?"

"There has been an official complaint filed against you."

"Complaint? Against me?" Harry was completely stunned. "What sort of complaint? Is it serious? Am I in trouble?"

"All of those questions will be answered in due course Ensign. In the meantime I would advise you to get dressed and accompany me as quickly as possible. I will try to answer all of your questions as you do so."

Harry couldnít believe what Tuvok was telling him. Tom had filed a formal complaint against him for last nightís attack. He shook his head in disbelief, as he adjusted his collar one last time. This was crazy. All right he shouldnít have lay in wait and then hit Tom like that, but heíd been so damn mad at the time.

He panicked for a moment thinking that he may have really hurt Tom, but Tuvok assured him that he hadnít. What the hell was Tom playing at? Swallowing nervously, he turned to Tuvok. "Okay, Iím ready."

"Please proceed," the Lieutenant Commander told him gravely.


Chakotay watched with interest as the two men waited before him. They both stood at attention, eyes front, shoulders back and their countenances ramrod straight.

There was a vague look of worry in Harryís eyes, although it was overshadowed by the hurt clearly visible. Tom on the other hand looked indignant and righteous.

Chakotay cleared his throat. "Ensign Paris. Are you quite certain you want to continue with this formal complaint?" he asked.

Tom answered briskly. "Yes sir."

"I see. Thatís a shame." There was a note of regret in Chakotayís voice. "I really wish youíd reconsider."

Tomís eyes shone with indignation. "Thereís nothing to reconsider Sir. It was a completely unprovoked attack, and I want to lay charges."

Harryís head swung around to look at Tom at this statement. "Unprovoked? How can you say that?" His face was incredulous.

Chakotay held up his hand. "Thatís enough Harry. Youíll have your chance to explain. Tom, I just want to make this clear that if you go ahead, everything will be on record. The reason why all this happened will be too. Do you really want that?"

Tom nodded. "There is no reason," he insisted. All of a sudden he frowned. All sorts of emotions flickered across his face at that moment, and Chakotay was surprised to see a plea for help in his eyes

"No reason?" Harry couldnít contain himself. "You know why---"

Tom had turned to him. "Har - Har--" he stuttered. His face was full of distress.

Harry frowned darkly at him. Chakotay looked across at Tuvok, who was watching Tom with interest. "Mr. Paris." Tuvok took a step forward.

Tom seemed to straighten and then turned around to look at the Vulcan. "Yes Sir?"

"Are you all right?"

"Yes Sir. Iím fine."

Tuvok looked at him thoughtfully and Chakotay decided to ask him about it after heíd finished with Tom and Harry.

"Iíve changed my mind," Tom said suddenly. "I wish to withdraw my formal complaint against Ensign Kim."

"Oh? May I ask what changed your mind?"

"I just suddenly realized that it wasnít the right thing to do."

Chakotay frowned at him and began a long lecture on wasting time and the importance of friends all rolled into one. He then proceeded to ream Harry out about using violence to solve a dispute. The whole time he was talking he had the distinct impression that neither of the two men before him were listening.

Tom had a far away, dreamy look in his eyes as if he was conducting an internal conversation with himself. And Harry had a thoughtful concerned look on his face as he continually watched Tom out of the corner of his eye. Chakotay pretended that they were listening and sent them both out of the room with no replicator privileges for two full days.

As soon as they left, he turned to Tuvok, who had a faint look of disapproval on his face. "You donít agree with my punishment?"

"It is not my place to say," Tuvok answered stiffly, sitting in the chair the Commander indicated. "However, I do believe that a more severe punishment was warranted."

Chakotay sighed as he sank back into his chair. "Perhaps, but I got the feeling there was a lot more going on. Something wasnít quite right with Tom. Didnít you think so?"

Tuvok nodded in agreement. "There for just a moment I felt something. A very strong emotion. It was definitely coming from Mr. Paris. As you know I do not open myself up to those around me, my telepathic powers are not that strong to begin with. However, somehow these emotions managed to penetrate my barriers."

"What sort of emotions are we talking about here, Tuvok?"

"It is hard to say. It was just for a moment and there were many. If I had to choose the most prevalent I would have to say despair. Complete and utter despair."


Harry walked thoughtfully down the corridor behind Tom, as they made their way to the bridge and their respective duty stations. He watched Tom closely. Something just wasnít right. The more he thought about it, the more sure he was. He remembered the way Tom had pleaded for help the night before, saying that something was making him do things. He had been too angry to listen then, but now he was thinking.

Tom was his friend. They had been friends for five years. The situation that they had been forced into had made them even closer than usual and he felt he knew Tom very, very well. This was not like him. He had been thinking that only the day before. Why didnít he listen to himself?

It had suddenly hit him in the Commanderís office. The look in Tomís eyes - for just a few seconds. That same desperate pleading, the same as the night before.

Tom turned around just then. "So Harry," he said with a smile. "Everything all right now? Are we still friends?"

"Of course," Harry said absently. He looked at Tom as he smiled over at him. What had he said last night? Something had taken him over? He had pleaded desperately for help. Harryís eyes narrowed as he thought about it. Could it be true?

Harry had learnt over time not to rule out anything. Weird things were always happening out here in the Delta Quadrant. He remembered the time that an alien had switched bodies with Tom. This wasnít quite the same. Tom was still here - somewhere.

Thatís of course if any of it were true. Tom could be having a mental breakdown - anything was possible. Tom walked ahead of him to the turbolift and Harry stared at him hard. Tom still walked the same. Looked the same. Even sounded the same. But he wasnít acting the same. No, there was definitely something wrong. Harry Kim was determined to find out what was going on.


Zenda gave a small internal sigh of relief. EVERYTHINGíS ALL RIGHT NOW, ISNíT IT? he asked Tom.

EVERYTHINGíS WONDERFUL, Tom answered sarcastically. WHY DONíT YOU GO AND FIND SOME OTHER BODY TO LIVE IN? PREFERABLY A PLANT OR SOMETHING.

THIS IS MUCH MORE FUN, Zenda replied. OF COURSE, YOU DO KNOW THAT I AM GOING TO HAVE TO PUNISH YOU FOR TRYING TO COME OUT IN THE COMMANDERíS OFFICE? THAT WAS NOT NICE.

Tom tried not to panic. He didnít think he could handle another Ďblastí. Heíd already received two. The strange part was that he knew that Zenda didnít like to hurt him. He knew that instinctively.

OF COURSE YOU DID END UP HELPING ME BACK THERE, Zenda continued. SO IíLL ONLY GIVE YOU A LITTLE BLAST. I REALLY WISH YOU WOULDNíT TRY TO FIGHT ME ALL THE TIME. YOUíRE SPOILING EVERYTHING.

IíLL ALWAYS FIGHT YOU. THIS IS MY BODY; NOT YOURS.

YOU STILL DONíT UNDERSTAND. IT IS NOW OUR BODY. YOU COULD SHARE IT WITH ME, IF YOUíD JUST BE SENSIBLE.

NEVER!!!!! Tom screamed as the blast hit him.


BíElanna stormed down the corridor towards Tomís quarters. She kept her eye out for security on the way. She knew she didnít have long. Her engineering crew would have called security before sheíd even left the room. She didnít care if she was thrown in the brig for the rest of the journey home, just so long as she managed to reach Tom first.

Sheíd just broken Zoe Hendrickís jaw and was now determined to inflict even more damage on one Thomas Eugene Paris. The man she loved. The man she trusted. The man she thought she had known so well. Of course Tom had always been an enigma. There were so many hidden depths within him. So many defenses and armors that sheíd had to push past to reach the real man within.

Almost as many as her own, sheíd thought at the time. It had been well worth it at the time. Their relationship was special. She had thought she had found the right man at last. Someone who she could relax and be herself with. Someone who understood her and loved her despite of all her shortcomings. All right, the last few days had been sort of strange with him, but she knew she still felt the same way about him.

To find out that he had betrayed her like this was more than she could bear.

As she reached his quarters Tuvok rounded the corner ahead of her. Not now!!! She was so close!!! So close to her goal.

"Ms. Torres. I must ask you to accompany me."

"Just give me one minute, Tuvok. Just one," she said between clenched teeth.

"I regret, I can not allow that. You must come with me now." Another security officer stood behind Tuvok.

BíElanna growled in frustration. "I suppose youíre taking me to the brig."

Tuvok raised his eyebrow. "You are mistaken Lieutenant. The Captain has called an emergency meeting in the briefing room and I thought I might accompany you."

BíElanna looked at him in confusion. "A meeting? Why? Whatís going on?"

"You will find out when we get there, Lieutenant."

"What about Hendricks? I donít understand."

"If you are referring to Ms. Hendricks unfortunate accident, she will be fine."

"Accident?"

"Ms. Hendricks has explained how she inadvertently walked into your fist. Now come along."

BíElanna shook her head to try and clear it. "Oh! Well thatís all right then. What about him?" She indicated Tomís quarters with her head.

"Ensign Paris has been confined to quarters. That is why Mr. Ayalla is here."

"I see," BíElanna answered, not seeing at all. She quickly walked alongside Tuvok as they made their way to the briefing room. "Tuvok, canít you tell me whatís going on? Why is Tom confined to quarters? What did he do? I donít think the Captain would ban him to his quarters for cheating on me."

"Mr. Paris had a temper tantrum on the bridge a short while ago."

"He what?"

"He had a violent outburst of temper," Tuvok explained patiently, as they entered the lift.

"Why?"

"The Captain would not let him pilot the way he wished to. He was quite insubordinate. When the Captain took him to task about it, he proceeded to have his little Ďdisplayí. It was quite reminiscent of a child of about the age of five years. Quite unseemly on a man of his age, of course."

Tuvok sniffed as the incident replayed itself in his mind. "Ensign Kim has also been behaving unusually. He has spent most of the morning in sickbay under some pretext or another. The Captain, who by this stage was not in a pleasant frame of mind, also took Mr. Kim to task over this."

"I can imagine," BíElanna stated. The Captain in a bad mood sent chills down her. The Captains temper was cold and controlled, not like her volatile and uncontrolled outbursts. She found it very unsettling. "Why the meeting though?"

"I am not sure. After the Captain and Ensign Kim returned from her ready room she simply stated she required a meeting immediately. The reason is open to conjecture. I surmise that it has something to do with Ensign Paris as she specified that she did not want him to be present." Tuvok beckoned her forward as the lift doors opened.

BíElanna noticed that they were the last two to arrive as they took their seats. Everyone was there, except Tom.

"Now that everyone is here, we can begin." The Captain stood up from her chair at the head of the table. "We may have a problem. Harry has found some disturbing evidence that Tom could be in trouble - again."

End Part Four