Title: Lean On Me
Author: Zappy Zaps
Rating: PG-13

Summary: A story of supernatural proportions of when warnings go unheeded; when profound ignorance is chosen over change; when you can’t escape your past and a future depends on you.  After ‘30 Days’

Pairing: P, P/T 

Author’s note:  Just read it.  Comments are always welcome.

It started innocently enough.  Just another planet in the Delta Quadrant.  A people with a rich culture and important traditions.  The Captain had granted the crew shore-leave and I as always was more than a little excited to be getting off the ship.  Voyager is home but every now and then a change of scenery is needed by all. 

Anyway I went down with Harry, B’Elanna and Seven.  You should have seen it!  The surface was magnificent.  People milled about happily, children played and it seemed like for the first time we had come across a planet that had a stable form of government and it seemed like all was as it should be on the planet.  Things are never as they seem.  [cycnical laugh]  We should have known that there was something wrong but…I don’t know…maybe it was just too well hidden or maybe we just didn’t want to see…

The people of the planet had a rich culture, full of myths and tales of powers that cannot be explained and as childish as they seemed, I was captivated by them.  I spent a lot of time in one of the literature archives just looking through the fables and tales.  If they every decided to put all the stories in order and create and anthology I’d have bought it in a second.

We visited many sites around the planet but one in particular gave me the chills.  It was an old temple at the base of a cliff.  It reminded me of the ancient Roman temples on earth.  Towering columns made of a white stone.  Immaculately carved stone statues guarded the entrance. I remember staring up at them and feeling a terrible sense of foreboding.  Every fibre of my being screamed at me not to go in, that something sinister lurked within but my friends urged me on.  Everybody was going inside and coming out perfectly fine.  I shook myself of my daze and followed them inside. 

The only lighting inside was provided by torches that lit up the interior of the two roomed structure.  The first room was large and lined by several more statues.  We walked farther into the building.  I kept looking over my shoulder.  There was something else in there and I felt it.  Seven noticed my behaviour and questioned me.  When I told her she just looked at me like she always does when I do something ‘illogical’ or just something that she doesn’t understand.  It’s almost a condescending look, now that I think about it and right then it really bothered me.  I told her to forget it and we kept going.

I heard every step I took as the sound bounced off the solid, stone walls.  I tried to shake off the feelings but I couldn’t.  They got worse when we entered the far room.  It was circular with columns around it.  In the center of the room was a deep chasm that had a foot high rim that had odd inscriptions on the side.  There weren’t enough torches in the room.  The columns cast awkward shadows and the lighting was not enough to see to the bottom of the abyss.   I couldn’t help feeling like the shadows where hiding something.  I wanted to leave.  I know it sounds irrational –letting my self get worked up over children’s stories and legends but I couldn’t help it.  I ignored my instincts and that was my greatest mistake.

            “Tom?”  B’Elanna said cautiously.  Tom had been edgy since they had arrived here and he was beginning to worry her.  Tom didn’t respond only looked into the dark crevice.  B’Elanna looked in it as well but didn’t see anything that could catch her eye.  “Tom!”  She shook him gently. 

            “We should leave.”  His voice was soft.

            “Why?”  Harry asked looking to his friend.  Tom only shook his head. The air in the room was suddenly too heavy, the lighting too faint and room too small.  Tom took a step back.  Suddenly a gust of wind from no apparent source blew through the small room and torches went out leaving only the darkness. 

            “What happened?”  Asked B’Elanna to her companions. 

            “I do not know.” Seven replied calmly from somewhere in the darkness. 

            “Where are you guys?”  Harry asked reaching out blindly to find his friends.  In the darkness Harry, B’Elanna and Seven talked quietly trying to scare the other and trying to get their bearings but Tom was silent.  He still stared at the well before him though he could not see it. 

            “Tom, where are you?”  B’Elanna asked.  The smile in her voice was evident.  No response was coming and she asked again but Tom still did not respond.

            Around him was nothing but darkness and he was now surer than ever that something was lurking in that darkness. All around him, permeating every place in the room.  He could feel it’s cold touch on the back of his hand and it caused goose bumps to rise over his skin.  It was in every breath that he took and he felt like it was seeping into him. 

            A faint light shone from the chasm.  It caught the attention of all four of the room’s occupants.  It was rising from the abyss and as it did it got brighter until the blinding light was hovering above the opening to the deep well.  Tom was the only one of the four that did not turn his or her head away as the bright light assaulted his eyes.  He stared at it.  Nothing happened for a while until without warning the object flew quickly at Tom and struck him in the chest.  The blow knocked him into one of the columns.  His friends cried out and where at his side in an instant. 

            Tom’s eye’s where clinched shut in pain.  As it began to recede he opened his eyes but to the surprise of his cohorts his eyes where not that blue that they expected but instead, white light shone forth providing the only source of light in the once again dark room.  The light faded and Tom closed his eyes. 

            The room was pitch black again.  In the darkness, Harry and B’Elanna called out Tom’s name to try and get a response from him.  The torches that had been blown out minutes earlier, spontaneously began burning again and provided the soft lighting once again. 

            “What happened?”  Tom asked groggily as he raised a hand to the spot on the back of his head that collided with the column.

            “I don’t know but we should get out of here.”  Harry said helping Tom stand.  Once he regained his equilibrium they headed for the exit.  Tom took a last glance over his shoulder to the dark gulf.  He could feel a change in him but it was so slight that he couldn’t identify it. 

It was so strange.  It all happened so fast I wasn’t even sure that it had happened at all.  We walked back out into the larger room where other crewmembers were looking at the statues.  They hadn’t noticed that anything had happened which struck the four of us as odd.  We continued walking and Seven, B’Elanna and Harry kept glancing at me to see if I was alright.  We were almost at the exit when we heard the Captain call us.  We stopped and turned to face her.  She was with Tuvok and one of the people of the planet, the governor or something like that.  I wish now that I had kept walking but I doubt I would have made it to the exit anyway. 

The Captain started introducing us to the Governor and when she came to me, the strangest thing happened.  Something in me changed and I couldn’t control anything that I did.

            “…Chief Helmsman, Ensign Tom Paris.”  Janeway introduced the Governor to the other member of her crew.  The governor nodded politely to him but Tom didn’t move and didn’t speak.  “Mr. Paris?”  Janeway wondered what was wrong with him.

            “The light only masks the darkness.” 

            “Tom?”  Harry looked at him in astonishment.  He looked into Tom’s eyes and the familiar blue was gone.  His eyes where now black.  There was no glisten from the light of the torches and no reflection could be seen in his eyes.  The darkness there devoured any light that came it’s way.  It was evident to all of them almost immediately that they were no longer talking to Tom Paris. 

            “Who are you?” asked the governor.

            “I am everything and I am nothing.”  Tom’s voice sounded hollow and lifeless. “I have power over everything and power over nothing.”  The Governor remembered that expression from the scriptures.

            “Iyka…” he breathed and took a step away from the form of Tom Paris. 

            “Fear in the heart of mortals, and it begins.”  Tom closed his eyes and when they opened again his eyes where blue again and normal.  Suddenly Tom began gasping for breath and fell to his knees. 

            “Tom!”  Torres and Janeway where on their knees trying to help Tom as he struggled for air.  “You’re hyperventilating!  Take slow deep breaths!”  Janeway told him but no matter how he tried he could not get his breathing under control.  His heart was racing.  He clutched at his chest as pain ripped through him.  “Janeway to Voyager, medical emergency.  Beam Ensign Paris to Sickbay!”  Janeway said.

            ‘I can’t get a lock on him.’ Said the officer that was manning the transporters.

            “Tom you have to calm yourself!”  After a few minutes Tom’s breathing became more regular and his heart rate dropped to a more normal rate.

            “Are you alright?”  B’Elanna asked him.  He nodded but didn’t say anything. 

From there things became even worse.  We were all taken back to the Capital by shuttle.  The Governor said that it was important and that all our questions would be answered.  We got to the Capital and went to meet with the other government officials of the planet.  The Governor was keeping us in the dark about something but we had no clue as to what it was. 

The meeting was strange.  The Governor told his colleagues that ‘Iyka’ had manifested itself.  This statement was met with several reactions.  Some were sceptical, others curious but the underlying feeling, was fear.  Fear of whatever this ‘Iyka’ thing inside me was. 

I could remember everything that I had said to the governor when.…Iyka was in control.  It was such a strange sensation.  I could feel everything, the air entering and leaving my lungs, the soft currents against my skin but I could not act on anything.  I had been cut off from my own body and became a spectator.  I couldn’t control myself and I didn’t like not being in control.  This thing had to come out of me.

The government official interrogated the governor and I as if we were criminals.  They may have thought we made it up.  The questioned the governors interpretation of what happened and they accused me of lying and making up what ‘Iyka’ had said.  I wasn’t offended or anything.  They had to make sure what happened was real but they took the interrogation thing a little too far.

            “Ensign,” one of them addressed Tom, “You have been in prison before have you not?”  I was confused as to why they were asking but I nodded.  The goverenment had received and summary of everybody on board.  It was one of the conditions so that they could be allowed to visit the planet.  “You lied to your superiors during and investigation into a shuttle accident,” Tom nodded after a moment.  “You stole a shuttle and disobeyed a direct order of your Captain.”  Tom nodded.  “After all this you expect us to believe you?”

            “I’m not lying or making this up.  Something happened in that…temple-” before he could finish the government official spoke again.

            “Guards take him into custody.”  He ordered and three burly looking men came up to Tom.

            “On what charges?”  Janeway asked.


They shackled my wrists and dragged me to a cell where I spent about a day wondering what was going on outside.  My only contact was with the guard who brought me my meals but I didn’t eat.  I was far too worried about what was going on outside.

The next day I was taken for a medical exam.  Their Doctors wanted to check if there where any physiological changes but how would they even know?  They weren’t familiar with the human body and the holo-Doc wasn’t around so it was just me and them.  Of course they didn’t find anything but I didn’t expect them too.  Whatever had happened to me went further than the physical realm.  It was a part of me.  A part of my being and nothing I tried changed that fact.

Finally the trial came.  It wasn’t quite a trial actually.  More like wild accusations and then defence.  For my defence, Harry, B’Elanna and Seven described what had happened in the temple.  I was so grateful for their help and hoped to tell them that after this was all over but….

During their testimonies the prosecutor tried to find faults in everything they said.  The worst was when they brought up their past.  We’ve all done things we’re not proud of and since the government had received a summary about everybody they had bits and pieces of our less admirable moments to show before the court.  B’Elanna’s time in the Maquis was blown out of proportion.  They didn’t understand what the Maquis where and what their cause for so they chose to assume the worst. 

For Seven being a former borg drone was held against her and no matter what she or anybody else said, they still believed she was an unfeeling drone.  At that point I just wanted them to convict me and leave my friends alone.  Seven had had a hard time fitting in on Voyager but had managed to find her place.  I knew she still had doubts about herself and still carried a lot of guilt because of her actions during her time with the collective.  This trial and the prosecutors words would have only reinforced those feelings.

As for Harry, they had little they could pick on him for but they still managed.  They asked him if he had ever gone against regulations and he responded honestly and said yes.  We’ve all done it once or twice but his ‘yes’ was all that was needed to damage his credibility.  They knew we were friends and accused Harry of being part of this ‘scandal’.  The prosecutor layed down allegation after allegation and Harry didn’t eve have time to defend himself.  He searched the crowd of people for support but most of it was composed of government officials who agreed with the prosecuter. 

Harry’s eyes met mine and I didn’t know what to do.  I had told him before that I wasn’t a good luck charm, maybe now he believes me.**

End Part 1

The second and final part is on its way.

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