Lean On Me II

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.


**I was returned to my cell after the ‘trial’, without getting a chance to talk to Captain Janeway or my friends.  Fear was beginning to eat away at me and Iyka was growing stronger with each wasted minute.  I could almost hear its thoughts.  I could almost feel its essence but every time I got too close it pulled away and I lost it again. 

From what I could tell it wanted a ‘cleansing’.  I don’t know what it meant by cleansing and it was willing to give up any information to me, a mere mortal, so I was left to speculate.  Of course I managed to think of the worst possible scenarios but the most disturbing part was, I could feel Iyka revelling in the awful visions. 

The night was the worst.  I couldn’t get any sleep.  When I slept it was in control and I wasn’t about to let go of the last ounce of control I still had.  Fatigue gnawed away at my resolve and every so often I felt my eyes begin to droop.  When I closed my eyes I saw it there in the darkness. I could more acutely feel its presence and its emotions.  I saw what it had planned for this planet and I tried my best to stay awake but eventually, sleep won and Iyka was free…**

            The guard walked by the small cell and noticed that its occupant had finally dosed off.  He shook his head and continued with his rounds.  He didn’t have much of an opinion on the trial.  As a child he had been told the stories but they were just that, stories created to scare children.  Sure, some people still believed them but the number was growing smaller with each passing generation.

            The ones who remembered the last time Iyka had appeared died off and a society of unbelievers was left behind.  The only thing remaining sacred with them was technological advancement and wealth.  They were too busy looking up at the stars to notice what was happening on their own planet.  Iyka was ready to show them the real picture, painted with their blood.

            Suddenly, all the lights in the hallway dimmed and provided nearly no lighting.  The guard looked around wondering what was happening.  He could see no visible reason for the malfunction but then again he could hardly see at all.  Walking blindly back the way he came he noticed that the hallway got darker and darker.  The minimal illumination faded near the cell of the off-worlder.  Thinking nothing of it he continued on his way back to the guard station.  He would never make it back there.

            Iyka stepped through the force-field, which had held Tom in the cell, without problem.  He saw the guard approaching.  Standing perfectly still the guard didn’t see him waiting in the shadows.

            As the guard passed Iyka reached out and grabbed the man by the neck.  The startled guard had dropped his weapon and was now defenceless.  The hold around his neck was tight but not choking.  He struggled for a few seconds before slumping and Iyka let go.  He watched with fascination as the nearly dead man fell to the ground.  Walking away from the body the lights dimmed as he neared them until finally all the lights burnt out and in the pure darkness Iyka had enough power to vanish from the jail taking his human form with him. 

            For hours that night, Iyka roamed the streets and was noticed by few.  His form absorbed nearly all the light that came in contact with it making him a dark spectre blending in with every shadow.  The only light was provided by the faint stars overhead and the twin moons suspended in space.  As he drifted through the streets the night became darker. 

            Iyka could feel the presence of his host in his mind trying to break free but he ignored it, or at least he tried to.  The continuous efforts for supremacy were distracting and ever so slightly, they weakened Iyka. 

            *Don’t do this,* he could hear the host, known as Tom, telling him.  Tom now had a full understanding of what Iyka intended and would do anything in his power to prevent it from happening.

            “Silence,” Iyka said softly out loud but in the mind it was a deafening scream. 

            “Tom!”  The voice caught the attention of both Iyka and Tom.  A few meters away stood Tuovk, Janeway, B’Elanna and Harry.  They had been informed of Iyka/Tom’s escape and had beamed to the surface.

            “This is your pretty one.  The one you hold dear,” Iyka said to Tom as he looked at B’Elanna. He could feel Tom’s fear and smiled slightly.  “She will be the first.”

            Iyka stepped towards B’Elanna, prepared to kill her but he had underestimated his host.

            *No!* Tom yelled and with every ounce of strength he had, he fought for control.  Iyka grabbed his head in pain and doubled over. 

            “You will not defeat me!” Iyka yelled. 

            B’Elanna was ready to go to Tom’s side but Tuvok stopped her knowing that until Tom was the one in control Iyka could still harm them.  They watched as internal struggle continued, unable to offer their aid.  When it ended Tom was the victor but the price had been high.

            He lay on the ground un-moving.  Cautiously they approached him.  Upon closer inspection they saw he was not breathing and called for transport to sickbay but once again a lock could not be established. 

            “Tom, breathe!” B’Elanna yelled as they tried to resuscitate him.  Tense seconds passed until Tom’s eyes flew open and he inhaled heavily, his body craving oxygen. 


**I heard her yelling at me! [smiles at the memory] It’s hard to ignore her when she’s yelling so loudly.  I didn’t die that day but sometimes I wish I had.  It would have made everything much simpler. 

They tried to assure me they were looking through the planets database for anything that could be used against Iyka.  At the time I didn’t notice the expressions on their faces, I was too busy enjoying breathing again, but their expressions would not have been comforting had I noticed.  They hadn’t found anything to help me and were probably worried that I wouldn’t make it.  I was worried of the same thing.

Looking in the literature for clues to defeat Iyka was going to be a dead end.  I had read nearly all of the works pertaining to the legends and myths and only one of them mentioned somebody else being possessed by Iyka.  He was executed but Iyka lived on.  I wondered how far the Captain was ready to go to protect me, part of her crew.  *If* they found a way to destroy Iyka and save me, would they have gone through with it?  How did the prime directive apply in this situation?

Iyka was a part of their culture, a forgotten and not highly recognized part but, even more importantly Iyka was a part of this planet.  I’m no ecologist or biologist and I can’t explain how this is possible but during the moments where our minds where linked I made several discoveries, and this is only one of those many.

I was hauled away again by the planet’s security force but this time I was taken to one of the medical facilities; well that’s where they wanted to take me anyway.  Before we reached the medical building Iyka came back.  This time however I didn’t have the strength to stop him but at least he didn’t have the strength to harm anybody.  He simply made me, I mean us, disappear. 

We ended up back in the temple and Iyka’s power began to grow.  This temple was the core of his power and as long as it existed so did Iyka.**

            In a meeting with the government officials, Tom/Iyka’s fate was decided.  All of the senior staff was present to hear the announcement.  They had suggested trying to find out what Iyka wanted and trying to make a truce but the government had quickly turned down the idea.  They had not believed the tales but now that it had come true they where scared.  The simplest way of stopping Iyka would be to kill him and that’s what they suggested.

            Upon sighting Tom Paris/Iyka, would be killed, no questions asked.  Understandably the senior officers where outraged.  Tom was part of their crew and thus under their protection and more than that he was a friend.  Despite the protests the decision was final.  The meeting ended and the manhunt for Tom began.

            Tom’s friends had only one chance.  They had to find Tom before the security teams did.

**If I thought the temple was unnerving before, it was nothing compared to being there with Iyka.  All the feelings I had the first time I entered had returned tenfold.  I was a spectator again and Iyka took my body through the large foyer.  All the markings, all the statues, they had new meaning now.  They held a significance that could not be recognized by anyone but Iyka and myself. 

It was nearly pitch black in the temple.  The blazes on the torches had died down to small flickering flames when we had appeared.  The dimness did not bother Iyka, me on the other hand…

The air seemed to get colder as we approached the back room where this all started.  I didn’t want to go back in there but with Iyka in control what I wanted  mattered little.  Stepping in to the pitch-black room.  Iyka peered into the abyss before us.  We couldn’t see it since it was so dark, but Iyka had been here for several millennia and knew the layout.  This place and this planet were his home.

For a few seconds I feared Iyka would jump in.  The pit looked endless but logically there had to be a bottom to it and even with Iyka in me I still felt all my weaknesses.  If you could get past Iyka’s powers underneath I was still Tom Paris. Mortal and as fragile as any other life form. 

For several minutes Iyka stared at the abyss as if looking for something.  I fervently hoped he didn’t find that something.  If he did, it would be the start of his plan and the end for a lot of people. 

Both of us went on alert when we heard the sounds coming from the other room.  We listened carefully for what it was.  It was the soft clicking of shoes on the hard surface of the temple floor echoing of the walls and into my ears. 

Captain Janeway, I thought instantly.  I was relieved that they had found me but I feared for their safety.  I wonder sometimes if Captain Janeway thought she was invincible.  She was always willing to help somebody in need even if it meant placing herself in danger.  And people complain about me taking risks.

Iyka was ready to fight off whoever it was and I was ready to defend but in my weakened state and with Iyka growing more powerful I knew my chances of success where slim to none.**

            With their weapons at the ready they moved through the large room looking for any signs of Tom or Iyka.  They had decided to search the temple for Tom first since this is where Iyka had come from and would be the most probable place for him to return to.  The security patrols where still looking through the city and the suburbs.  Their first duty was to protect the people not follow hunches.

            With the dim lighting it was hard to see clearly but they continued.  Four pairs of eyes scanned the room over and over again.  Tuvok was at point flanked by a security officer on one side and Kathryn to the other.  Bring up the rear was Harry.

            He had insisted on going with the group to the temple as had B’Elanna but if their plan was going to work they needed the chief engineer on Voyager.  Feelings of apprehension and fear crept into his mind but his determination to help his friend was greater and he pushed all other distraction to the side.

            Tuvok stopped walking abruptly and the others looked at him wondering why.  Following his gaze they saw the slight outline of Tom’s form in the archway to the next room.  They could not see his features, his clothing or any distinguishing characteristics –as if his body had been surrounded by shadows.

            “Lt. Paris,” Tuvok called hoping it was Tom who was in control but was expecting it to be Iyka.

            “He is here,” was the cold reply.

            “You are Iyka,” Tuvok stated.

            “I am,” Iyka replied. “And you do not belong here.”

            “We are here for Lt. Paris, your host,” Janeway spoke.  “We want him back.”

            “Your desires are insignificant as are your lives.” Iyka told them and suddenly a swift wind blew through the room and Tom’s form vanished from the doorway.  The four officer looked around.

            The security officer looked to his right and saw nothing he continued looking around but when he looked to his right for the second time the dark stature of Tom Paris was at his side.

            His startled cry was cut short as he fell unconscious for no apparent reason.  The other three officers turned at the sound only in time to watch Lt. Andrews fall to the floor.  Iyka looked curiously at the unconscious man for a few seconds.  His power was growing.  He no longer needed to make physical contact with his victim to harm them and soon he would no longer need this physical form.

            “Tom-” Janeway started but was interrupted.

            “I am not he!” Iyka said angrily and was about to attack Janeway as well but he stopped and fell to his knees.

            *Don’t touch them!* Tom said angrily from within.  He was weak but he was far from helpless.  He hadn’t been able to help Andrews but he had kept Iyka from killing the man.

            “Don’t tell me what to do!” Iyka yelled but Tom didn’t cower.

            The three officers took the opportunity to implement their plan.  Around Tom’s form they set up small devices and activated them.  Janeway took out her tricorder and scanned Tom before pressingher commbadge.

            “Janeway to Torres, now!” An instant later the devices came to life.  A force-field appeared and created a perimeter they hoped would hold Iyka back.  Kneeling close to the force-field Harry urged Tom to stay strong and to hold on.  They had a plan to extract Iyka’s energy from Tom but to do so Tom had to be the one in control.

            Finally the struggle ended and Tom looked up. “Tom?” Harry asked hopefully but when he saw the dark eyes he knew Iyka had won the battle.  Iyka looked at the barrier surrounding him and if he knew how to, he would have laughed.


**I was desperate to do something.  He was going to harm them but I couldn’t stop him.  I was only a nagging voice in the background, one which Iyka easily ignored.  They dropped to the ground unconscious and the force-field flickered and died. 

The Captain’s commbadge chirped and I heard Chakotay’s voice.  He didn’t get a response from them and I hoped he would beam them up to the ship –away from the temple, away from harm and away from me.  The always-dependable first officer had them beamed away and they shimmered out of existence leaving me alone with Iyka once more.

So far I was the only one who had been able to harm Iyka in anyway and I knew it was up to me to do something.  My friends had tried but this was beyond science and beyond reason.  I had to stop Iyka –easier said than done.

The building shook suddenly and dust fell from the ceiling.  A strange sensation went through me and for a brief moment I felt control of my body returning to me.  Looking at the entrance we saw a ship fly by.  The building shook again and the same feeling ran through me. 

They were trying to destroy the temple hoping they could destroy us with it.  I was glad somebody had figured out how to harm Iyka but this solution could be more detrimental for the planet than what Iyka was going to do.  Destroying the temple and Iyka would upset the delicate balance on the planet. 

He did his teleporting stunt again and we appeared at the entrance of the temple.  An entire fleet of ships was outside firing on the structure.  The onslaught of weapon fire produced surprisingly little damaged but every little crack took away from Iyka’s power. 

He was ready to obliterate the armada but I had other plans. 

‘Stop or I’ll kill you,’ Iyka had warned me. 

*I can’t let you do this,* I replied and continued to struggle against him. 

‘Are you willing to give up everything you’ve earned?’ he tried to use what he learnt of my past against me and for a moment it worked.  I paused.  For the first time in a long time I had friends, goals and a future I could look forward to and there I was about to through it all away defending a bunch of people who had cause me and my friends so much angst.  What was I thinking? 

That line of thought lasted for about a second.  Everybody deserved a second chance.  I had received one and had changed my ways why couldn’t these people. Iyka wanted to punish them for poisoning their planet and turning away from their heritage.  His methods where a little extreme but his reasons made sense to him. 

*I won’t let you!* and with that I summoned all my strength to vanquish this form of evil from my body.**

            “Grand Governor, our crewman is still inside-” Janeway began.

            “Your crewman is criminal and deserves this fate,” the man tried to justify.  On Voyager’s sensors they saw the fleet of ships trying to bring down the temple.  After leaving sickbay Captain Janeway had immediately hailed the planet to get them to stop their assault but they wouldn’t listen. 

            Unwilling to admit it was one of the shadow demons of their legends they preferred to charge Tom with attempted murder, heresy and other crimes he was innocent of.  They had turned their back on their past and where not willing to admit their mistake even when faced with this crisis.

            The Grand Governor ended the transmission leaving the Voayger crew to their own devices. 

            “Captain the Iyka’s energy signature is weakening.” Harry said from his console.  They had easily been able to identify Iyka’s energy signature using Voyager’s sensors.  It was a strange energy, which every object native to the planet emanated, in minute amounts.  The only time the energy signature had weakened was when the Tom fought for control.  “The temple’s beginning to collapse,” Harry informed the bridge crew. 

            “Can you get a transporter lock?” Janeway asked.  Harry tried for a few seconds but each attempt failed.  There was too much interference. “Chakotay take the conn, we need to get closer.”

            Pillars began to collapse as the building started to collapse inwards.  Ever increasing piles of debris littered the hard stone floor.  In the middle of it all Iyka stood in Tom’s body.  He could feel his strength diminishing.  The building had with stood a formidable attack for longer than anyone would have expected but only because of Iyka.  The building in and Iyka had a symbiotic relationship –the existence of each one strengthens the other but when one fall the other follows soon after.

            When Tom resisted Iyka he weakened Iyka and thus weakened the temple.  Only then could the weapons cause any damage.

            As Iyka weakened Tom started regaining more control of his body but the internal struggle was not quick or painless.  Each party fought with all their might knowing this was a battle for survival –the loser would not be spared.


**Things were unclear for a little while but I remember feeling Iyka exit my body almost as quickly as he had come.  I had one but it hadn’t been easy.  I was beamed to sickbay only a few seconds before the building completely collapsed, well that’s what Harry told me.  He could be exaggerating but I prefer not to dwell on how close to death I came again. 

Once on Voyager I wasn't out of the woods yet though.  When Iyka had left he didn’t do it quietly.  A strange power surge erupted from the temple.  It didn’t affect many systems but it did damage the transporters and I was nearly scrambled in process.  Luckily I materialized in sickbay in one piece (in general). 

Like the past struggles I had with Iyka this one took a physical toll as well.  It took the Doctor nearly two minutes to revive me but he managed.  During my recovery in Sickbay the Captain was speaking with the government officials.  I was later told, they apologized for how they treated me.  They should have apologized to Harry, B’Elanna and Seven [a touch of bitterness mixed with anger in his voice]. 

Like everybody else I was ready to leave this planet behind and continued on our journey to the Alpha Quadrant but they had one last request.  When the temple collapsed so did a section of the cliff.  Engraved deep into the new cliff face was a message but no one on the planet could read it and they hoped that somehow I would be able to. 

The Captain let me chose whether or not to go and despite what had happened I was still curious about their culture and legends. I now knew that some legends are more real than others but I went anyway.  Tuvok, the Captain, Harry and B’Elanna came with me.  Janeway, B’Elanna and Harry more for moral support but I gladly welcomed it.  WE arrived without incident and were greeted kindly by the officials.  The Captain was decidedly frosty when dealing with them but I couldn’t blame her.  They weren’t high on my list of favourites either. 

Boulders and shards of rock where spread across the ground with a large pile of rock where the temple used to be.  On the cliff above it, inscribed in large heirogliphics was a warning. I read it aloud to them… 

“I am in the wind,

I am in the ocean,

I am in every being.

Look for me, and I am not there.

I am the shadows,

I am the darkness,

I am watching…”

I felt something in me awaken as I read the passage.  I new right away it was Iyka, but only a small piece of him which was now, irreversible a piece of me.  My voice had changed as I read the lines, becoming colder and hollow, like Iyka’s.  When I had finished reading it I looked at the leader of their government who had decided to ignore my warnings at the beginning. 

Our eyes met and he startled and stepped back a few paces.  I blinked and just gave him a look that I can’t even describe.  Only he saw it and only I knew it but when I looked at him it wasn’t with my eyes.  It was Iyka’s, black, and dark absorbing all light and when I blinked, my eyes were blue again.  I hope now he believed. 

We left the planet immediately.  I finished my recuperation and the doctor pronounced me fit for duty.  I’m me again!  Boring old me, but I’ve never been more grateful.  I’m at the helm again guiding Voyager through the space towards our distant home. A part of me was lost on that planet and new part gained and even now I can feel the difference but ask me to describe it and all I draw is a blank. 

Shaking off the feeling, I return to my duties.  I can hear ships business going on around me and I decide to briefly glance behind me.  Seven’s arguing with B’Elanna at the engineering console.  Harry’s pretending to work at his console but is secretly listening to what B’Elanna and Seven are saying.  It’s actually quite funny when those to argue but don’t tell them I said that.  Kathryn and Chakotay are talking quietly to each other and I can only speculate about what.  Meanwhile Tuvok is watching the happenings with typical Vulcan serenity. 

I turn back to the helm controls and I can’t help but smile.  These people, they are my strength.  I doubt that without them I would have made it.  In the words of one of my favourite earth tunes 

“Sometimes in our life we all have pain, we all have sorrow.  But if we are wise we know that there’s always tomorrow…” 

And every today well spent makes yesterday a memorys of happiness and every tomorrow and vision of hope.  With my friends, colleagues, cohorts, chums, amigos, whatever you want to call them at my side, I hope I can truly appreciate them and each day together we’ve been given.** 


Lean On Me –by the Temptations

‘But today well-lived makes Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness, And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.’ –The Salutation of the Dawn (a small excerpt)   Please send me a message about what you think or leave a review.  This style is new to me.  zappyzaps@hotmail.com  All comments and constructive criticism is welcomed.  :-) Thank you