And This Is His Story 3
By Zappy Zaps
Author’s Notes:  Everything about the Enterprise is occurring four-five years early (use your imagination or else it won’t make sense). (Tasha Yar is dead already). 
Once again, thanks to Brigid for beta-reading!
Rating: PG-13

Part 3: Old Lies

 Poisonous gases filled the shuttle as more conduits ruptured.  Painful coughs racked his body as he tried to keep the warp core stable.  He had been attacked several times in the past eight days and only a few minutes ago the core had finally given up, leaving Thomas stranded in the shuttle, floating just inside the border of federation space.  He had to get the core back on line before somebody came to investigate but, due to the gases and his injuries, that was proving to be more difficult than he had anticipated.  
 A proximity alarm went off and he looked at the sensors.  A massive vessel was approaching his position.  He raised shields and hoped that they would pass by.  Upon closer inspection he was able to identify the ship as a Starfleet vessel.  //Damn it// he thought to himself.  He had to get out of here but with only thrusters, no weapons and minimal shielding he had little chance of doing so.

 “Life signs?”  Captain Picard asked.
 “One, human, adolescent male,” Data reported from his station.
 “Try hailing again,” Riker, the first officer, ordered.
 “Receiving a response, audio only,” Data said.  He tapped a few buttons and the audio signal was routed to the bridge.
 “Who are you and what do you want?” the voice asked.
 “I’m Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise.  We came to offer our help.  Your ship has been badly damaged,” Picard said.
 “Thanks, but I have everything under control,”
 “How old are you?” Picard asked seemingly out of nowhere.  There was no response for a short time.
 “Why does it matter?” the young male voice asked as a massive explosion on the shuttle.  
 “The hull has breached, shields are down,” Lt. Worf said.
 “Beam him aboard and send security officers to the transporter room,” Picard ordered.
 Thomas materialised on the transporter pad.  He looked around and guessed that he was on the Starfleet ship, Enterprise.  The only person in the room at the moment was the transporter chief.  Thomas pulled out one of his phasers and aimed it at the man behind the controls.  “Beam me back to my ship,” Thomas ordered.
 “I can’t and your phaser has been rendered useless by the transporters,” the man said with an accent that Thomas recognized as Irish.  Thomas pressed the button on the phaser and nothing happened.  He dropped it and pulled out on of his projectile weapons.
 “This I can assure you works fine,” he fired one shot into the wall behind the Irish man who flinched at the loud sound. “Now beam me back to my shuttle!” 
 “I can’t do that!”  Suddenly the doors to the transporter room opened and two men in black and gold uniforms walked in.  They immediately aimed their phasers at the boy. Thomas put away his weapon and put his hands up, he wanted them to think that he was giving up.

 Worf and another security officer were in the corridor just outside the transporter room.  As they were about to enter the doors opened and Thomas ran out and nearly into the security chief. “Shit,” he said quietly to himself when he saw the big Klingon.  Thomas tried to get away but the Klingon grabbed him and pressed him against the wall.  Thomas struggled and after a few moments he managed to free himself of the Klingon’s grip but just as he went to attack Worf the other security officer shot him and he slumped to the ground.  
 Worf checked Thomas to make sure that he was just unconscious before he went into the transporter room.  One of his two security officers was unconscious on the floor while the other one was trying to stand with Transport Chief O’Brien’s help.  Worf looked at what the teenager had done in the short time he had been on the ship.  
 “Do you have him?”  O'Brien asked and Worf nodded the affirmative.  “I suggest that you disarm him,” O’Brien continued and looked at the hole in the wall where the bullet had imbedded itself. 

 In Sickbay Dr. Beverly Crusher worked over her young patient while one of the other doctors fixed the injuries of the security officers.  There were four armed security guards posted in Sickbay to make sure the nothing like what happened in the transporter room happened here as well; Worf’s suggestion.  The doors to Sickbay opened and Captain Picard walked in.
 “How’s our guest?”  Picard asked looking at the adolescent on the biobed.  His blonde hair was in disarray and he wore a black headband.
 “He’ll be fine.  The phaser burn was the least of his worries.  He had other serious burns and was suffering from smoke inhalation,” the Doctor told him.  “Is it really necessary to have security guards in here?”  Crusher asked in annoyance.  They were just getting in her way.  
 “After what happened in the transporter room,” he left the rest of his statement unfinished.  “I can’t help but wonder why he was alone out here.  There aren’t any colonies for light years,”
 “I can’t tell you but it looks like he’s waking.  Maybe he can answer your questions,” Crusher said as she put away one of her instrument on a nearby tray.  
 Slowly awareness returned to him and blue eyes fluttered open.  As his eyes focussed on the two figures above him he remembered everything and instantly he reacted.  He did a backwards somersault bringing his feet and legs over his head where there biobed ended and he landed, standing on the floor.  The security guards immediately aimed their weapons at him.
 Thomas searched his clothing for one of his weapons but found they were all missing.  “We aren’t going to harm you,” the woman in the blue coat assured him. 
 “Why did you take me from my ship?” Thomas demanded.
 “The hull had breached. You were in danger.  Let us help you,” Picard said calmly.  After a few seconds of contemplation Thomas straightened out of his attack stance and walked back to the biobed.  
 “Where’s the shuttle?”  Thomas asked as he sat on the biobed.
 “In our shuttle bay,” Picard told him.  He didn’t tell the boy that he had his chief engineer looking through it.  “What is your name?”  
 “Do you have a last name?”  Picard asked.  Thomas was caught off guard by the question.  Nobody had ever asked for his last name before and he had to think hard for what the answer was. “You do have a last name don’t you?”
 “Paris,” he said quietly to himself, trying to see it the name fit. “Paris,” he said louder so that Picard could here him.
 “Thomas Paris?”  Picard said in disbelief.  The son of Admiral Paris?  He looked closely at the boy on the biobed.  Thomas noticed Picard’s scrutiny and glared at the older man.
 “Take a picture, it’ll last longer,” Thomas said.  Picard didn’t say anything, only turned to Crusher and whispered something to her before he left.  Crusher went back to healing Thomas’ injuries.  It went slowly since every time she brought an instrument near him he wouldn’t allow her to use it until she told him what it did. When she had finished she told him to lie down and get some rest.  After regarding the woman for a moment he complied and lay down.
 Thirty minutes later Lt. Worf arrived in Sickbay to escort Thomas to the briefing room.  Captain Picard wanted to have a talk with him about what they had found in his shuttle.  Upon arriving Thomas was introduced to three more officers: Commander Willian Riker, Lt Geordi La Forge and Lt. Data.  Picard then gestured to the pile of object that where laid out on the table.  
 “Would mind telling us what these are and why you were on a stolen Terrillean shuttle?”
 Thomas sighed and looked at the weapons, explosives and the other devices on the table.  “Plastic explosives, grenades, semi-automatic guns, phaser type LSII, switchblade, butterfly knife, code-breaker, thoron particle generator and a couple of scanning devices,” Thomas listed what they all were.
 “What about the shuttle?”  Riker asked.
 “What about it?”  
 “It’s stolen,” Riker told him.
 “I didn’t steal it from any Terrillean.  I took it from whoever stole it first,” Thomas shrugged.
 “Two wrongs, don’t make a right.” Riker told him.
 “Since when,” Thomas challenged.  The officers looked at each other.  Picard turned the desk console that was on the table of the briefing room and pressed a button.  The black screen changed to show some video surveillance footage.  Thomas recognized the interior and slouched in his seat.  He was in more trouble now.  
 On the screen two figures clad in dark clothing passed through the range of the camera.  The third person stopped, turned to the camera and aimed the phaser at it.  The footage paused and zoomed in to show a clear picture of the person’s face.  
 “Is that you?” Picard asked.
 “Where did you get this?” Thomas asked, not taking his eyes off the screen.
 “The system where this was taken, recently joined the Federation so we have the access to this information,” Picard told him.  “How long were you in that shuttle before we came?”
 “Eight days,” Thomas said looking at the top of the table.
 “We’ve identified weapons burns on the hull of the shuttle,” Geordi said, “Who was shooting at you?”
 “I don’t know, probably some of Weasel’s enemies who recognized the shuttle as his,” Thomas said shrugging.  The officer assumed that ‘Wease’l was the person that the boy had stolen the shuttle from . “So what happens to me now?  Prison?” Thomas said with resignation. 
 “We don’t send children to prison,” Picard told him.  Thomas mumbled something but the others didn’t hear him as Worf escorted the boy out of the room.
 A few minutes later the Senior officers of the Enterprise were meeting in the Conference room.  They were discussing their new guest and the mystery surrounding him.  “His DNA matches what’s in the database.  He is Thomas Paris,” Crusher informed them.
 “Any relation to Admiral Paris?” Geordi asked.
 “His son,” Picard said, “who was abducted ten years ago.”
 “How did he get here and where has he been?”  Riker asked.  Only Thomas could answer their questions.
 Counsellor Deanna Troi entered the brig where Thomas was being held.  She nodded to the security officer and approached Thomas’ cell.  He was lying face down on the small cot.  “Thomas,” she called his name but didn’t receive a response.  She asked the security officer to lower the force-field and after a moment he complied.  Two security officers took positions at the entrance to the cell just in case anything should happen.  Troi stepped in and Thomas raised his head to see who was entering.  The woman had long dark brown curls that went past her shoulders and dark eyes.  She was a betazoid.
 “Who are you?” Thomas asked quietly.
 “I’m Deanna Troi, the ship’s counsellor,” she told him as she approached.  Thomas quickly sat up when he saw she was coming closer to him.  “I won’t hurt you.  I just want to help,”
 “I don’t want your help,” He said stubbornly.  Troi sat down at the other end of the cot so that she didn’t infringe on his personal space.
 “Where were you going on that shuttle?”
 “They sent you to get some answers from me,” Thomas stated more to himself than to her but he told her about the colony that he wanted to go to.
 “Why not go back home to your family?” Deanna asked.
 “What family?”
 “The one that you have on Earth,” she said and she wasn’t expecting the indignant snort that accompanied her question.
 “They didn’t want me before, I doubt they’ll want me now,” he said looking down.  Troi was understandably surprised.  His family very much wanted him back.  Owen Paris had nearly resigned his commission to go and search for his missing son but friends and colleagues convinced him that if Starfleet couldn’t find his son then one person would not have much of a chance either.  The main reason that Owen had not left earth to search for his son was that the rest of his family needed him and he couldn’t leave them.
 Troi asked him to explain what he meant so he told her what Douglas had told him.  Troi was appalled by the lies that he had been told.  She decided to set the record straight and told Thomas what really happened.  “Thomas, your family has always loved you,”
 “No,” Thomas protested, “they told me-” 
 “They lied to you,” she reasoned with him. “When your father was contacted with the ransom demand there was a disturbance and they never finished the negotiation.  Despite all search efforts they couldn’t find you,” she explained quickly to keep him from interrupting.  He needed to hear this.  She had read his file before she had come, to familiarize herself with the Thomas’ history.  What she said now in explaining the events surrounding his kidnapping would prove to be essential in gaining his trust.  
 Various thoughts and emotions and ran through his mind, each contradictory to the one before.  One thing, which he was totally sure of, was somebody was lying and now he had to figure out who.  “These people you’ve been living with have been lying to you all this time, about everything,” Troi ended softly.
 Thomas was shaking his head constantly by the time Troi had finished telling him the truth.  They had lied to him?  Why did it surprise him so much?  Douglas was a killer being a liar shouldn’t have shocked him.
 “Thomas,” Troi put a hand on his shoulder but he flinched away from her touch and stood up.  The quick motion caused the guards to raise their weapons.
 Thomas ignored them and leaned against the adjacent wall.  This couldn’t be happening. //She’s lying,// he tried to convince himself.
 “Please, go away,” he said softly and after a moment she left his cell promising that she would come back.  The force-field flickered back to life and he was alone in the cell again.  He sat down on the floor leaning against the wall, wishing that for once things could be simpler.

 Troi talked to Picard and told him, without divulging too much information, what she pieced together about Thomas’ past.  After he had been abducted he grew up with his kidnappers who told him his family didn’t want him.  Troi also asked that Thomas be given some quarters instead of the brig.  Picard agreed and realized that he was now left with the responsibility of contacting Starfleet command and telling them about Thomas Paris.

 At Starfleet Headquarters Admiral Nimembeh pressed the announcer on the door to Admiral Paris’ office and waited for the response.  The familiar voice called for the person to enter.  Owen Paris was hard at work as always.  He looked up to see who had entered.
 “Mohan, what brings you here?”  Owen asked his friend pleasantly as he stood to greet him.
 “I have some news for you.  Sit down.”  Owen complied and waited for Nimembeh to continue. 
 “It’s about your son,” Owen glanced at the picture of his five year old son that sat on his desk “They found him,” Owen looked up at Nimembeh, shock written clearly in his features.  He had hoped everyday that his son would be found but he had been hoping so long that it seemed more like a dream than something that would actually ever come true.
 “W-where is he?”  Owen stuttered.
 “On the Enterprise.  They’re coming back to earth,” Owen looked down and stared at the picture of his son.  Blue eyes dancing merrily as he smiled for the imager.  They found him, after ten long years, they finally found him.

 Thomas looked around the quarters he would be staying in.   Troi and Worf were in there with him.  Worf had one of his bags.  Geordi had gone through it to make sure there was nothing that could be used as a weapon inside.  Thomas walked into the washroom to look around.  
 “So I’m stuck here now,” he said as he came out.
 “Would you prefer the brig?” Worf asked.
 “I’d prefer my ship so I can leave here,” Thomas said as he glared at Worf for a few seconds before looking out the window where the elongated stars gave evidence that the ship was at warp.  “Where are we going and how long till we reach it?”  Thomas asked with his back to them.
 “Ten days until we reach earth,” Troi said.  Thomas stayed silent so Worf used the time to outline what he could and could not do.  He could use the replicators and any other facility in the room but there were restrictions on what he could replicate.  He could not, however, leave the room unescorted or without permission and he could not access some parts of the ship’s database from the terminal in the room.  He would have to attend daily sessions with Counsellor Troi and would make the occasional visit to Sickbay to see Dr. Crusher.

 Over the next few days Counsellor Troi got to know Thomas.  She got him to talk about what had happened to him since his abduction and had given permission for her to write some of what he said in his file.  There were still several issues that she had to address.  The most pressing was why he had decided to leave the people he had been staying with.  When she asked all he said was: “I saw too much killing in one day.”  He wouldn’t go into details and he didn’t use any names but whatever he saw was affecting him seriously.  He was having trouble sleeping, only managing to get a few short hours of uninterrupted sleep per night but he wasn’t willing to take anything that Dr. Crusher prescribed.

 Thomas shifted on the biobed in Sickbay.  The bed was uncomfortable and he wanted to leave.  The good doctor however needed to update his file so he would be spending some time in here in order for her to conduct all her scans and what not.  Thomas stilled and listened to the voices of Troi and Crusher.  They were in the doctor’s office and he could not hear all of what they were saying but every now and then he would hear his name. “Write a book why don’t you!” Thomas yelled letting them know he could hear them.
 In her office Dr. Crusher paused before smiling slightly.  Typical teenager, she should know, she had one of her own.  “I’m nearly done here,”  Crusher said to Troi. “How are the counselling sessions going?” she asked but knew that Deanna wouldn’t be able to give any specific details.
 “Alright,” she said more quietly “He’s been fed a lot of lies.  I don’t think he knows what to believe.”
 “It’s a shame. Taken from his parents at such a young age,” Crusher said as she imagined what it would have been like for her if her son, Wesley, had been taken from her.  She concluded one report and she and Troi walked back into the main part of sickbay.  “I need you to take off the headband for the next scan,” Crusher told him. 
 “Fine,” Thomas removed the headband.
 “What happened here?”  Crusher asked moving a few strands of hair from his forehead to look at the scar on the right side.
 “Nothing,” Thomas said quickly and stared at the ceiling.  Dr. Crusher decided not to ask any more and conducted the scan.  A few minutes later she was done and Thomas was free to go back to his quarters.  She watched him go feeling sorry for Thomas and wondering what he must have gone through.  
 Later that day Beverly Crusher walked into the joint quarters that she shared with her son and saw him sitting on the couch and reading. “Hi Mom,” he said glancing up briefly when she entered and she smiled.  Walking over to him, she kissed him on the forehead. “Mom?”  Wesley asked wondering if something was wrong.  She just smiled softly at him.

 In his quarters Thomas was looking through some pictures that Counsellor Troi had given him; they were of his family, his mother, his father and his two sisters. They were mostly file photos but they brought back some memories from when he was still with them.  His sisters he didn’t really recognize but his parents looked familiar.  He couldn’t remember, clearly what they looked like but he was sure that the people in the pictures were his parents or maybe he just wanted to believe what Troi had said so much that it was clouding his judgment.  He put them down and ran his hand through his hair.  Three more days and they’d be back on earth.
 The chime to his door rang but he ignored it.  A few seconds later the doors slid open and Lt. Worf and Lt. Data walked in.  Thomas looked at them.  “What?” he asked in annoyance.
 “You have been allowed time to use the holodeck for recreation,” Data said.  Thomas perked up at this.
 “I can use one of my own programs?” 
 “Yes, but I am to review it to make sure that it is suitable,” Data told him and Thomas raised an eyebrow.
 “Whatever,” he got up from the couch and walked to where his bag was.  After searching for a minute he pulled out two data chips. “Okay,” He gave them to Data and the three left the room flanked by two security officers.
 Upon arriving at the holodeck Data downloaded the information in the chips to the computer and, after reviewing them, he ran the first program.  Thomas walked in and noticed Worf and Data entering with him.  He rolled his eyes and continued in.
 “What is this place?” Worf asked as he and Data looked around the room that looked to be a gym of some sort.  Thomas smiled.
 “It’s a practice area,” he walked to the beam and hopped on.
 “I should inform you that this program has no safety protocols in place,” Data said to Thomas.
 “Safety protocols?”  Thomas asked before he did a back flip on the narrow bar.
 “Do not do that,” Worf ordered.
 “Why not?”  Thomas did a back hand spring on the bar.
 “You will hurt yourself,” Worf replied.
 Thomas snorted.“Fat chance,” He jumped off the beam. “Why don’t you wait outside,” he suggested.
 “Our orders are-” Data began.  
 “Never mind,” Thomas raised his hands he didn’t care what their orders where.  A simple ‘no’ would have been enough.  Thomas walked off.  He didn’t care what they said.  For once he could do whatever he wanted in the holodeck and they weren’t about to stop him.

 Two days later in his quarters Thomas was trying to do some reading but found he could not concentrate long enough to read more than a few lines.  He couldn’t stop thinking about Takara.  He put the padd down and walked to his bed where he flopped face down into the pillow.  He could feel his eyes begin to sting with tears, which he fought back.  If he had been faster he could have saved her, he kept thinking to himself.  His grief was mixed with anger at Douglas.  He wished now that he’d had the courage to kill Douglas but he didn’t and now Takara was dead because of his cowardice.  
 The chime to his door rang and he wondered who was visiting.  Troi had already been by today.  He called for the person to enter and Captain Picard walked in.  Thomas sat at the side of his bed.
 “We’ll be arriving at earth in a few hours,” Picard stated.  He stood a few meters in front of the door.  Thomas nodded and didn’t look at the Captain.  “When we arrive you’ll be taken into custody by Starfleet Security officers but I’m sure that you’ll be acquitted of any crimes since you are a minor,” Thomas nodded again and Picard was about to leave when Thomas called him.
 “Sir,” Picard looked to the boy who was still looking at the floor “Do you…do you know my parents?” He finally looked up and for once he looked more like the child that he was and not the adult he had been forced to be.  
 “I’ve met your father,” Picard stated.  Thomas wanted to know more but he couldn’t formulate the proper words so he stayed silent.  “Your parents are good people.  They never gave up on you,” Picard told him.
 “Thank you Sir, for everything,” Thomas said.  Picard smiled slightly before leaving his quarters.  

 The Enterprise arrived at Earth at 1415 and immediately contacted HQ to tell them they had arrived.  Thomas was being beamed down escorted by Picard, Worf and another security officer.  Upon arrival Thomas was indeed taken into custody by some security officers and placed in a cell after meeting with an Admiral.  

 “Why is he in custody?”  Emily asked Owen.  She wanted to know why her son was being held in a cell at Starfleet Headquarters.  Owen had just finished reading the report and now had to explain it to his wife.
 “He’s been living and working with the same people that kidnapped him,” Owen told her in some confusion.  They had only received a preliminary report and were going to meet with Counsellor Troi so that she could inform them of what happened.  
 The meeting went well.  The Paris’ asked a lot of questions but were generally understanding, especially after hearing the lies that Thomas had been fed for the past ten years.  Moira and Kathleen had been informed that their brother was back but had not been at the meeting.  They also didn’t inform the press.  They wanted to keep this quiet for the time being, though it was inevitable that sooner or later they would find out but the Paris’ where hoping for later.  The hearing was tomorrow morning and Thomas would be acquitted of his crimes.  Tomorrow was also the day Owen and Emily would be meeting with Thomas for the first time in ten years.  Moira and Kathleen would see him a few days later when Thomas went home with his parents.  Counsellor Troi had informed them that it would be best if Thomas got to know them again before going to his old home and they had agreed.

 Thomas was found not guilty of his crimes since he was a juvenile but was placed on monitored probation, meaning that for the next four months he would have to wear a wrist band which allowed the authorities to check his position whenever they wanted.  There was some concern as to whether they could trust Thomas.  He had been reluctant to give out any information about his kidnappers and they didn’t understand why.
 After the hearing, which Owen and Emily attended, it was time for them to meet their long lost son.  In one of the lounges in the building Owen and Emily waited for Thomas to arrive; they didn’t have to wait long.  A pair of doors lid open and Thomas stepped into the room with Deanna at his side to provide support.  He stood just a few meters within the room letting the doors slide closed behind him and, he noted, closing off his way out.
 Nervously he moved a few steps closer to his parents.  They looked like the images he had seen but seeing them in person brought back memories from many years ago.  Only a few meters separated Thomas and his parents and Troi wondered who would take the first step.  Emily who was studying Thomas’ every feature stepped away form her husband and toward Thomas who was looking at her just as closely as she did him but he was feeling more apprehension than she.
 “Tommy,” Emily breathed and a tear fell to her cheek.  Emily reached up and touched Thomas cheek.
 “Mom,” Thomas said softly.  Owen finally approached and Thomas looked to his father who was shorter than he remembered. “Dad,” Thomas looked between the two for a few seconds before a gentle smile crossed his features.  Emily didn’t hold back and finally wrapped her arms around her son and cried.  Owen hugged Thomas as well and after a moment of surprise Thomas closed his eyes and enjoyed the feeling of having a family again.  
 Owen looked behind Thomas to where Deanna Troi still stood and mouthed: “Thank you,” to her.  She smiled and after glancing once more at the re-untied family she left the room so they could have a private reunion.

End Part 3: Old Lies

Comments/constructive criticism to 
The Part 4 won’t be posted for a little while.  I’m busy with university stuff, but soon it will up. -ZZ