Author: Zappy Zaps
Summary: While engaging in
the festivities of a planet, things take a dangerous turn when a terrorist
group and a spy decide to take a hostage from the crew of Voyager.
Author’s Note: This story,
like the last one, raises more questions than it answers but don’t worry
I’ll explain things in the later parts.
Rating: Uh…PG-13 (because of the
violence, I guess)
Disclaimer: Paramount, A Viacom
Company, owns the Star Trek Universe. I’m not getting any thing from
this. I’m just borrowing the characters for a little adventure.
Computer begin recording:
It’s been getting easier. Life
in general that is. Gerron, I think has finally given up on the sessions
of twenty questions that we seem to have almost daily. Tuvok has
stopped looking at me like… like … I don’t know, a suspicious Vulcan.
Chakotay has eased off a bit too. I don’t know what stopped that;
maybe a good tongue-lashing from Janeway. Anyway life in general
is okay. Not as much to do as just Chief Helmsman and not First officer…it’s
a welcome change but it makes me… restless. It’s seems to be showing
too; even Harry said that I can hardly sit still for more that thirty seconds,
which I’m, not sure is completely accurate. Though he may be right.
Both Chakotay and Tuvok have chewed me out (in public and privately), for
my restlessness on the bridge. Half the time I don’t even realize
that I’m doing whatever I do that annoys them so much but since my back
is to the rest of the bridge I can’t tell that I’m bothering people.
[sigh] Oh well I said it once and I’ll say it again, You can’t please everybody
all the time.
On a lighter note, shoreleave is
coming soon. We met up with this very friendly and very enthusiastic
race of people. Neelix will fit right in. Were orbiting their
homeworld and Janeway is arranging shoreleave as I speak. I’ll be
heading down to see the sights with Harry and B’elanna. B’elanna’s
attendance at Harry’s insistance. Our ‘relationship’ has somewhat
improved. Since the Warp ten project and the Vidiian incident she
no longer actively hates me but we rarely hang out together unless Harry
is around, although I would like to get to know her better. She’s
very…complex. I like her…as a friend that is. I doubt that there
is much chance for anything other than a friendship with her. She’s
very picky and very defensive. If she believes a single iota of my
so called ‘reputation’ then she would really think that I’m a ‘pig’,
as she so nicely put it. Oh well. Anyway I should get to the bridge
for the first of the shoreleave rotations. End log.
At 1600 hours an impatient Tom Paris
waited in transporter room two for Harry and B’elanna to show up. Now I
know how Harry feels when I’m late. Tom thought as he watched another
couple of people transport to the surface. Just then a breathless
Harry Kim and a not quite as breathless
B’elanna Torres entered the transporter room.
“Sorry we’re late.” Harry
said breathlessly, “We were caught up in engineering looking at this compound
that the Nerisians-”
Tom raised his hands halting
the long tirade that Harry was about to get into, “Harry, Harry, you can
tell me all about that interesting glop that you’ve acquired later.
Right now though, we’re on a vacation. Just forget about the work.
Now come on”. Torres who had remained silent throughout their little
conversation, joined them on the transporter pad and within moments they
were on the surface of the Nerisian homeworld.
Nerisians where a tall species
in general. They looked a lot like humans but the men had an average
height of six feet five inches and the women were an average of six feet
They walked around the capital city
admiring the views and the vibrant culture. The Nerisian culture
was based mostly on the myth that the spirits of the dead would rise up
and live for eternity in the gaseous nebulae that was visible from the
planet on certain nights. They had countless festival that where
based on the myth and Voyager had arrived during one of the smaller ones.
The festivities where amazing. Several activities took place including
a race of hover bikes through a treacherous course through and around the
city. This event in particular captured Tom’s attention.
Tom traced the curves of one
of the bikes with the tips of his fingers. “Wow” he breathed, admiring
the contours of the machine. Torres watched as Tom meticulously studied
the bike. It was Navy Blue with a black streak running up each side.
B’elanna was slightly interested in the mechanisms of the propulsion system
that the bike use but other than that she wasn’t too interested.
Harry was getting into it asking lots of questions from one of the mechanics.
It must be a guy thing. B’elanna thought.
“What’s the top speed on this
one?” Tom asked Dilla, the chief mechanic of the ‘garage’ that they were
Dilla stepped over to Tom
and looked at the bike he had examined. “This one only reaches what you
would call 196 km/h before the engine cuts out.” Dilla stated “I tried
to increase that but I can seem to regulate the power flow through the
propulsion unit” It was easy to hear the exasperation in his voice.
This one was Dilla’s latest prototype but it could not enter the race and
be a contender unless it’s top speed was at least 208 km/h.
Tom circled the bike one more
time “Do you mind if I look at the propulsion unit?”
Here Torres interjected “What
do you know about propulsion systems?” Torres asked incredulously.
Tom was a good pilot she would admit but not an engineer. He could
do basic things in engineering and a few other ‘tricks’ that he had claimed
to pick here and there but to interpret a completely foreign system he
would not be very adept in, she thought.
“Oh, just a bit. I…used
to have something like this.” Tom explained easily.
Dilla started to remove the
outer casing that he called the armour. “Sure you can look at it if you
want too.” Dilla outlined the main parts of the system and Tom listened
carefully and asked questions. After getting an understanding of
the subtleties Tom a Dilla tossed ideas and theories back and forth trying
to make the bike work properly. Ten minutes later B’elanna was thoroughly
bored and Harry had run out of places and gizmos to explore in the garage.
“That’s exactly what I thought!”
exclaimed Dilla to Tom “ but when I tried it out the altinator over loaded
and I began to loose power.” Dilla said dejectedly. Both Tom and
Dilla went quiet, pondering what the problem could be. After a few moments
B’elanna interrupted their thinking.
“Dilla thanks for showing
us around. Where going to see the other sites. Tom are you coming?”
She said quickly showing her agitated state.
Tom looked at them then back
at the bike. “If it’s alright with Dilla, I’d like to stay and take a closer
look at this.” Tom turned to Dilla who nodded silently.
“Alright Tom we’ll see you
later. Don’t spend too long in here. There’s a lot to see.”
Harry warned him. He was beginning to worry. Tom could get
himself into trouble even in the most peaceful and seemingly harmless situations.
“Yeah yeah. Got it.”
Tom waved distractedly as he turned back to the bike. Harry and B’elanna
shook there heads and left the garage in search of other local treasures.
Two hours later Captain Janeway and
Commander Chakotay were walking with the High chancellor of the Nerisian
sector and Homeworld. Chancellor Masi was showing the city to the
Captain and Commander. He was outlining the importance of this particular
festival and the race that they are going to have in two days when they
came up to Dilla’s garage and Masi introduced Janeway and Chakotay to the
“Nice to meet you Dilla.”
Janeway said pleasantly, shaking his hand. As Dilla shook Chakotay’s
hand a voice called out.
“I got it!” Tom slipped
out from under the bike that he had raised on struts. His clothing
was covered in the engine coolant and his hair was a mess. Tom walked
over to Dilla and did not even notice Chakotay and Janeway staring at him.
“Look at this.” Tom showed him one of the parts that he had removed from
the engine. “You no how you said the problem was with the altinator,
well I checked it out and it seemed okay so I checked it’s sister component.
The voltage regulator is shot so the engine cuts out early. I replaced
the component but when I tried it again the second regulator burnt out
the same as the first so I looked at the second burnt component and devised
an attachment that will compensate for the higher current going through
the system.” Tom takes a breath and continues, “I reworked the other components
and changed the order of some of the conduits so that the voltage regulator
can actually do it’s job and regulate the voltage that passes through some
of the propulsion units. That’s when I realized that the propulsion
system could be reworked. I removed a couple of superfluous components
and with a little more tweaking the it should able to reach a top speed
of at least 235 km/h or so.”
“One of your crewmembers I
believe.” Masi stated to Janeway with a smile.
“Somewhere under that grimy
exterior lies our Chief Helmsmen, Tom Paris.” Janeway said.
Tom looked at the other people that he had ignored and for the first time
took notice of the Chancellor, Chakotay and Janeway.
“Captain, Commander, Chancellor”
Tom greeted them with a smile. Not even Chakotay’s glare could ruin
the good mood that he was in. Chakotay was always suspicious of Tom
Paris no matter what he was doing. Something about the man just didn’t
add up. Janeway, Chakotay and Masi said a brief goodbye and they
continued on their tour.
Tom turned to Dilla “We should probably
test the engines before the race.”
Dilla shook his head at Tom’s
suggestion. “Even if it does work I don’t have a pilot for the race.
Then man who usually pilots my vehicles didn’t think that I would finish
the bike in time so he joined another team.” Dilla sighed looking back
at the bike. Tom had the perfect solution to their little dilemma.
“No problem Dilla.” Tom placed
his hand on the large man’s shoulder. “I’ll pilot your bike.” Tom
said completely serious.
Dilla stared at him in shock
for a moment. “But…you…”
“I may not have a lot of experience,
or any, but I’m a quick study and I’m already a pilot. This contraption
can’t be much different than any of the other vehicles that I have used.”
“Are you…Are you sure?
Wouldn’t you need permission from your captain?”
“Hmm I might.” Tom said thoughtfully
“But I can deal with that later. The competition is open so I shouldn’t
have any problems entering. See it’s all taken care of. I’ll
operate your bike.” Tom finished
“No you won’t” Harry’s voice
sounded behind Dilla and Tom causing both of them to turn quickly around.
There stood Harry Kim with his arms folded across his chest looking very
stern and one B’elanna Torres beside him. Tom looked at Harry first
in astonishment then his features changed into that of amusement.
Harry was not about to let his friend endanger himself in a race if he
could stop him.
“Harry, Harry, Harry.” Tom
said shaking his head.
“I’m serious Tom. This
is dangerous.” Harry said as he stepped over to Tom and Dilla.
“You could be injured or worse.” Tom and Harry stared at each other
for a few moments. Harry really didn’t think that Tom should be racing.
Tom really thought that he should be racing. Torres seeing that this
argument was not going to be going anywhere finally said something.
“Listen, we have to head back
to the ship to get ready for tonight’s banquet.” Saying good-bye
to Dilla or in Tom’s case ‘See you later’, they made their way back to
the beam out point with Tom and Harry arguing all the way and B’elanna
Even at the banquet they were
still arguing. Tom never at a loss for words and Harry always with
a new argument; needless to say B’elanna was getting frustrated so she
decided to intervene.
“Harrry, shut up for a minute.
Tom I agree with Harry, it’s too dangerous for you to operate a vehicle
that you’ve never used before in such a large race.”
“Thank you for your concern,
but I’m telling you, I can handle this.”
B’elanna folded her arms coming
up with an infallible argument. “Neither Captain Janeway or Commander Chakotay
will authorize your dangerous endeavour.”
Tom snorted “You think I don’t
know that I know that? Chakotay won’t even give me the time of day,
let alone authorize anything for me. Besides,” Tom crossed his arms
imitating B’elanna “What makes you think that I’ll be taking official channels?”
Harry and B’elanna just stared
at him for a moment before B’elanna spoke. “Tom if you injure yourself,
Janeway will make sure you never pilot anything for the rest of your life.”
Tom just laughed.
“Mr. Paris,” Janeway called
as she and two others joined the group of Senior officers. “Mr. Dilla,
here tells me that you have certain plans, involving a certain race.”
One of the people with Janeway was Dilla. The other man was a member
of the high council.
“Dilla, I didn’t know that
you were going to be here.” Tom said trying to change the subject.
Dilla just smiled at him.
Janeway knowing what he was
trying to do brought the conversation back to the subject at hand.
“Mr. Paris, the race...”
“Yeah…well…Dilla here has
engineered this amazing hover bike for the race in two days but he didn’t
have a pilot. So, I, always looking for a new piloting challenge, volunteered
to pilot his bike.”
“Have you looked at the race
course?” Harry asked “It’s pretty dangerous.” Harry wasn’t sure whether
that would deter Tom or encourage him. Tom was the type of person
who flirted with danger on a regular basis.
“I assure you Captain countless
safety precautions are taken in the race. There has never been a
single fatality in the history of this race.” Councillor Herra assured
“So Captain what do you say?”
Tom asked anxiously.
Seeing the Captain’s wariness
Councillor Herra intervened once again “This is one of the largest events
in the entire festival and it would be an honour if your Mr. Paris here
could represent your people.”
The idea of bettering relations
between Voyager and the Nerisians clinched Janeway’s decision. “Mr. Paris,
permission granted!” Janeway said with an infectious smile. Soon
all in their little group were smiling except for Harry and B’elanna who
just looked at the rest of them. B’elanna and Tom noticed that the
smile on Herra’s face was a smile more of malice and they both made mental
notes to watch out for that man in the future. They had been in some
seedy places before and would recognize a look like that anywhere for the
rest of their lives.
The group separated with Janeway
joining Chakotay and Tuvok with the Chancellor, Dilla and Tom discussing
there plans, and Harry and B’elanna joining Gerron and trying to find a
way to minimise the chances for Tom to injure himself in the race and Councillor
Herra walking off alone. Tom watched as Herra inconspicuously slip
out of the banquet. His suspicion was heightened.
Herra walked several blocks
through the desolate streets of the city to the rendezvous point.
Herra was the only member of the high council that was not a Nerisian.
Herra was surgically altered several years ago and given an identity as
a long dead Nerisian citizen. Over the years Herra worked his was
through the system and maintained his identity. Slowly he made his
way to the High Council of the Nerisians. Here he is privy to all of the
most classified information of the Nerisian government.
Originally Herra was of a
race of people called the Mellary. When the Nerisians took over the
sector centuries ago, the Mellary were forced from their home planet.
For the past couple of decades the Mellary have been arguing with the Nerisians
over rights to their planet. The Mellary home-world has been colonized
by several different species that the Nerisian government said have nowhere
else to go. Did the Nerisians care whether the Mellary had any place
to go when they where forcefully removed from their home? Several
of the Mellary are tired of dealing with the government so they have banded
together to create the terrorist group known as the New World Force or
Herra reached his destination
and after a few moments a shadowy figure stepped out of the dark alley
into the relative brightness of the streetlights.
“Is it set?” the figure asked.
“Yes. All preparations
have been made and the Voyager crewmember will be in the race.” Herra
“Good. The Nerisians
will surely negotiate if we hold an innocent. They won’t endanger
the safety of anyone that has nothing to do with our conflict. They
will have to listen to us.”
“Are you sure that we are
not underestimating the Voyagers. There technology-”
“Will be useless against us.
Do your job and don’t question me.” The figure retreated into the
shadows without another word.
The next day Tom and Dilla
were busy preparing for tomorrow’s race. They finished tuning the
hover bike that morning and at the moment Tom was polishing the armour
giving the metal back it shine when Dilla stepped out of his office with
“Tom!” Dilla called.
“What is it?” Tom asked as
he wiped his hands on a rag.
“This.” Dill opened
the package and removed a racing suit. It was the same navy blue as the
bike with a black stripe running from each wrist over the shoulders to
the collar. “This is your racing uniform. It’s the one the
original pilot would be wearing. I had it made especially for this
race.” Tom walked over to Dilla a felt the material of the suit.
It had a leather feel to it but it was not as heavy. “The material won’t
rip apart if you fall off your bike. It’s also fire retardant and
will prevent you from getting any severe burns if you skid.” Dilla turned
the suit to show Tom the back. “The back here is were the transmitter
is installed so they can keep count of the number of laps that you’ve done
and track you through the course.” Dilla gave Tom the suit and went
to a get a box that was in his office. From the box Dilla brought
out a matching helmet and gave it to Tom. “It’s yours.”. Tom looked
at the helmet ad ran his finger over the smooth surface. The
helmet was (guess what colour) navy blue with a black visor. On the
side written in white italic lettering was ‘PARIS’. Tom looked at
Dilla snorted imitating Tom
“You think that I want a helmet with your name on the side.” He smiled
“Thank you.” Tom said sincerely.
For the rest of the day Dilla
gave Tom the detailed overview of all the controls, safeties and fail-safes
that are on the bike. After Tom had suited up in an older racing
suit and helmet and he and Dilla went to a track. There Tom and a few other
racers got used to their new bikes but not without a few accidents.
B’elanna and Gerron went to
the racetrack that Tom and Dilla were at. They immediately recognized
Tom on a black bike. He had just started another lap. They
joined Dilla on the side as he advised Tom on the communication device
that linked him to the earpiece in the practice helmet Tom wore.
As Tom came up to the next hairpin turn his speed was too great and the
bike slid onto its side and Tom was separated from the bike as it careened
into the wall of the track. Tom slid and rolled on the track until
he came to a stop. Gerron and B’elanna jumped the divider and ran
to the site of the accident. Dilla walked. When they reached
Tom he was rolling off his stomach onto his back. B’elanna carefully
removed his helmet.
“Tom? Are you alright?” B’elanna
asked worriedly. The expression on Tom’s face when she removed the
helmet was not what she expected. Tom’s smiling visage was what greeted
B’elanna’s worried one. Tom was chuckling quietly. His suit
was a scratched up and dirty as was his helmet but other that that he was
“That was one wild ride.”
Tom said happily.
“I told you that you were
taking that turn too quickly.” Dilla said as he walked up to them.
“Hey, it worked the last time.”
Tom said in his defence. He sat up and that’s when the pain hit him.
He grabbed his side. And his eyes shut in pain. After it had passed
he opened his eyes and the smile returned. “That’s gonna hurt tomorrow.”
He said as he felt a bruise forming.
“Tom maybe you shouldn’t do
this.” Gerron suggested.
“Don’t worry. This will
probably be the worst accident that Tom will have on the hover bike.
Now that he knows the limits he can adhere to then.” Dilla said giving
Tom a pointed look.
“Yeah, yeah! sure, sure!”
Tom said dismissively as Gerron and Dilla pulled him up. “How’s the
Dilla looked at the smoking
hover bike. “It could be worse. The coolant system probably needs
major repairs but it’s nothing worse than the first time I road a hover
bike. Anyway Tom I think that you’ve had enough for today.
Just study the layout of the track. There are turns where the track
is almost completely vertical, jumps and other assorted skill testing features
on the track this year. You need to know how to approach each one.
And speed isn’t everything.”
“Got it.” To said with
a cocky smile. B’elanna Gerron and Tom made there way back to the
beam out point after Tom had changed out of the race suit. Once on
the ship Tom headed for sickbay not looking forward to the lecture the
Doctor was about to give him on getting himself injured. He really
didn’t need that at the moment; he would probably be getting a similar
speech from Harry or Gerron later.
Tom stepped into the sterile
cleanliness that was Sickbay. Thankfully the Doctor was not activated
instead Kes was there.
“Hey Kes!” Tom greeted giving
her his most charming smile.
“Hello Tom. Your not hurt
are you?” she asked with concern.
“No just a couple of bruises.”
He took a seat on a biobed as Kes went to get a medical tricorder.
“From the hover biking racing
that you were doing?”
Tom hadn’t told anyone other
than Harry, B’elanna, Gerron and the Captain. “I guess news travels fast.”
Kes got the tissue regenerator.
In a few moments Tom was as good as new. “There you go Tom.
“Thanks Kes.” Tom said giving
her his winning smile. Tom hopped off the biobed and headed for the
doors. Just as he was about to leave Kes called to him.
“Tom,” he turned to face her
“be careful.” Tom nodded to her and gave her a gentle smile.
Kes watched silently as he walked out of sickbay and offered a little prayer
to whatever god that looked after reckless humans.
Later that night Tom was in his quarters
looking through the information about the course that Dilla gave him.
Looking through the specs it brought back memories from two years ago…
“Were in position.” The report
“Phoenix, it’s your show.”
The Captain of the Phantom nodded to his second in command. “Mase, bring
us into position.” Arrow ordered.
In the launch bay of the Phantom,
Phoenix got his black helmet and gloves and made his was to his ‘super-bike’.
Veta was manning the launch bay at the time.
“You’ve got thirty second to exit
the hanger, after that you won’t have enough time to compensate for your
velocity and make the manoeuvres.” Veta spoke through the comm system from
the launch room over the bay. Pheonix could see her through the window
as she worked through the sequences to open the hanger doors. “Rendezvous
in fourteen minutes. Commencing beta sequence.” Phoenix placed
his helmet on and got onto his bike. In all black, both the rider
and the bike, he would be camouflaged in the dark of this moon. “T
minus ten seconds.” The computer began to count down and the hanger ramp
lowered. “Deceleration in progress…300 kph….250kph…200kph!”
the ground outside went by at two hundred kilometres per hour. That
was standard launch speed for a bike. Phoenix positioned the bike
at the opposite end of the bay on the acceleration belt and lined up his
“…1” the computer’s voice sounded.
The thirty second window of opportunity began. Phoenix lowered his
“Come back in one piece.” Veta called
to him over the comm system. Phoenix could here the worry in her
voice though she tried to hide it with sarcasm. Turning to Veta in
the control room he gave her a thumbs up. He revved the engine and
began his acceleration. Less than thirty seconds to reach at least
170 kph. 150…160…170 kph, that’s it. The acceleration belt
locked and the bike took off still accelerating. Special inertial
dampeners kept the force from throwing him off the bike. 180…190…200…
202…205 kph was the speed when the bike was out of the launch bay, off
the ramp and falling the three meters to the ground.
“On screen.” Arrow ordered as he
received word the Phoenix had cleared the hanger. The screen tuned
to the picture of Phoenix on the bike accelerating away from them. “Launch
sequence complete. Mase get us out of here.”
“Yes sir.” The man at the
conn replied, deftly manoeuvring the craft out of the moons atmosphere.
On the ground moving at a speed
of 210 kph and still accelerating, phoenix lowered his upper body on the
bike to lower air resistance. His target was twelve kilometres in
the distance. Giving him a time of about 3.5 minutes to reach it
at his current speed but including the obstacles that he will have to get
around, his time will be about 4.25 minutes. As he approached the
Romulan base the automated defence system kicked in. The phaser cannons
instantly took aim of the intruder and fired.
Phoenix dodged each blast proving
to be too quick a target for a computer aiming system. Rock pieces
and debris flew in to Phoenix’s visor. Passing the range of the phaser
canons he was on the home stretch. Dodging craters he set his sights
on his target and accelerated. The last obstacle between he and his
target was a 15 meter wide and 50 meter deep gorge. Land vehicles
were the most common entry used by anyone trying to break in since aerial
assaults were much too difficult due to the superb anti-shuttlecraft system
installed at the base. The gorge proved to be a successful deterrent
except this one time.
Phoenix was less than a meter
from the edge of the gorge when with a push of a button he activated the
vertical thrusters. The vertical thrust launched the bike into the
air at just the right angle to carry him over the gorge and to the other
side. Landing about six meters from the edge Phoenix managed to keep the
bike under control. Braking as hard as he could allow the bike slowed
until it was moving slow enough for Phoenix to jump off at. Engaging
the autopilot he jumped from the bike. The stabilizers were activated
as well and the bike stayed up right and followed a pre-programmed route
to a hiding place. Rolling as he landed on the ground he ran for
the nearest cover. Drawing his two of several phasers he shot at
the first set of security personnel that emerged from the heavily reinforced
doors. Tapping a few buttons on the side of his helmet he activated
the helmet’s light shielding function. Re-holstering the phasers
he armed a flash grenade and without hesitation he threw the grenade to
the Romulan soldiers. The instant it impacted on the ground the grenade
released a blinding glow of light. The Romulan soldiers covered their
eyes in pain. Their glasses were specially made so that they could
see in the dark. Now that feature proved to be their undoing.
The light was twice as intense causing blinding pain. During their
temporary impediment Phoenix struck. The flash grenade is operational
for only four seconds. Four seconds was all it took for Phoenix to
take out the six soldiers. Using the security card from one of the
fallen soldiers and some hacking skills Phoenix entered into the base.
Recalling the layout of the base from the briefing he quickly made his
way to the shielding network mainframe. Removing a computer attachment
from one of his cargo pockets, Phoenix began implementing the codes and
commands necessary to bring down the mainframe. One minute later
there was a cascade failure of the shielding network. Romulan bases
within a radius of ten light-years experienced several difficulties with
their shielding systems. Phoenix’s job was done. Now he had
to get out and rendezvous with the Phantom.
Taking his attachment he made his
way out of the base ducking search parties and phasering anyone that got
in his way. When he reached the doors that he entered through there
were more than a dozen soldiers waiting for the intruder to make his way
back to his point of entry. Phoenix doubled back and used a turbolift
to take him to the next level. Getting off he ran towards his second
escape route. The base had brought out every soldier that they had
and it was now crawling with Romulans. Avoiding the parties was becoming
impossible and soon one found him. As Phoenix was about to turned
down a different corridor four Romulan soldiers rounded the corner.
Seeing the intruder they hesitated for only a moment and drew their weapons.
The moment of hesitation provided enough time for Phoenix to take out two
of them. The other two had enough time to fire a few shots.
Phoenix dodged the first couple but two shots managed to hit their target.
One shot hit him in his left thy and the other in his right shoulder.
Shooting with his left arm Phoenix managed to stun them and get away.
Crawling through the maintenance
shafts he made his way to the roof. Due to his injuries he was twenty
seconds behind schedule. Inputting some commands into the computer
on his wrist Phoenix ran to the end of the roof. He painfully jumped
down to the lower roof and then scaled the wall using the small ridges
on the walls and the air vents as foot and hand holds. When he landed
on the ground his bike rounded the corner and stopped in front of him.
Hopping on he made his escape. Accelerating to jump the gorge again
he activated the vertical thrusters and made it to the other side.
The Romulans had deployed their
cruisers and where in pursuit. One minute until the Phantom showed
up. Phoenix sped over the terrain weaving and turning changing his
direction and keeping the Romulans guessing what he was going to do next.
There were now four cruisers tailing him. Taking the compression
phaser rifle off his back Phoenix began firing shots at the cruisers.
He managed to damage one forcing it to end his pursuit but one of the others
got a direct hit on the back portion of his bike. Warnings were flashing
on the console. The computer predicted a systems failure in less
than a minute. It was then that the Phantom showed up. Firing precision
phaser shots at the cruisers it took each one of them out. The Phantom
was in position in front of Phoenix and the rear ramp was being lowered
until it was less than a meter from the ground. Raising the front
wheel Phoenix placed it on the ramp and then switched to front wheel drive
and accelerated. This successfully brought the bike back onto the
ship. Once the hanger was closed the Phantom began rapid ascent and
as soon as it cleared the atmosphere it jumped to warp.
In the launch bay Veta waited for
Phoenix. As soon as he was in the hanger she went to help him.
Phoenix was getting off of his bike when his leg collapsed under him.
Veta was at his side in an instant. She removed his helmet for him.
His face was fairly relaxed but she could see the pain that clouded his
eyes. Blood from the wound in him leg was pooling on the floor.
She then saw the blood from his shoulder. She removed part of the
torn suit. She hissed at the damage the weapon did to his shoulder.
“I told you to come back in one
piece.” She scolded him. Before he could comment Veta called for
an emergency transport for him to sickbay.
Overall the mission was a success
Tom thought as he reminisced. Getting into the target building was
rarely a problem the difficult part was getting out again. That’s
were most of the teams are lost. The success probability getting
in and getting the job done is usually close to one but the probability
of getting out again is usually around fifty-fifty. Getting the job
done usually means blowing your cover or alerting everyone to your presence.
That particular mission caused the
shielding failure of the Romulan stations in that area. This allowed
Starfleet to go in and get their people out. The Romulans had attacked
a science vessel that was near the border of their territory. The
Federation and the Romulans where at a temporary cease-fire so the Romulans
couldn’t report anything because that would mean incriminating themselves.
Tom’s train of thought was de-railed
by the chime of his door.
“Come in.” Harry walked into
“Hey Tom. What are you up
“Just looking over the race course.”
Tom replied waving a padd around. Harry took the padd and looked at the
diagram of the course. Harry let out a whistle.
“That looks like a killer.”
“Yeah I know. Isn’t it great!”
Tom said snatching the padd from Harry.
“Just don’t get yourself injured.
You don’t have to win, Tom.”
“But Harry,” Tom said in a mock
whine “Winning is half the fun.”
“Uh huh,” Harry wasn’t too sure
about this whole race idea “And what’s the other half?”
Being able to look back and say
that should have killed me but it didn’t, Tom thought but he didn’t say
that to Harry.
“The thrill of the ride Harry.”
Tom answered as if it was the most obvious answer in the universe.
That was true though. Tom could be classified as an adrenalin junkie.
“Just be careful.”
How many times have I heard that.
“I will be.” Tom changed the subject. “So, what brings you to my
neck of the woods. You didn’t just come by to lecture me I hope.”
“No. Actually I was wondering
if you wanted to join me for a game of pool in Sandrines.”
“Ahhh, you have rations that you
would like to part with.” Tom joked as he put the padd down and made his
way to the door.
“Not a chance” Harry said following
“Beware you have challenged the
“No, I don’t think that Captain
is there tonight.” Tom stopped walking and feigned outrage making
Sandrines was hopping that night.
Even though the Nerisian home-world was a nice place, there wasn’t much
of a night life. Tom and Harry played a few rounds of pool talking
and joking all the while. After Harry had lost his third game to
Tom they decided to call it a night, Tom calling it ‘giving up’ and Harry
calling it ‘tactical retreat’. Tom had to be up early to prepare
for the race so he didn’t argue…much.
Planet-side Herra had just ended
a communiqué with his commanding officers. During the third
of six laps of the race, the NWF battleships will de-cloak and begin their
attack. The ground troops, that came in as passengers on a transport
earlier today, will deploy and begin their attack. The explosives
have already been rigged and all they have to do is detonate it at the
right time to get the Voyager crewman. The NWF team will be the first
to the wreckage and get the Voyager crewman and bring him to the pick-up
point. It was all set. Tomorrow, the High council will listen to
The morning of the race came quickly
and the street where very busy. Merchants sold all sorts of things
in front of the main seating complex for the race. Tom was in the
race garage with Dilla going over everything again. The race would start
in less than an hour. Tom was decked out in his racing uniform.
The dark suit fit him perfectly and gave a nice contrast to his fair features.
The entire crew had heard that Tom was in the race and most of them came
to watch. Also, the race was the second biggest event at the festival
so while it was on the festival was pretty much at a standstill. Some of
the crewmembers came by to wish him good luck or just to not to get himself
killed. Most of the female crewmembers ran an appreciative eye over
Tom in the race suit. The navy pants weren’t skin tight but just
fitting enough to outline his long lean legs. The shirt traced his
well-toned upper body. The slightly messy hair, the dark gloves and
helmet added to the rebel persona that seemed to suit him.
B’elanna, Harry, Gerron and the
Captain were the last people to see him before his race. When they
were approaching B’elanna noticed the looks that the female crewmembers
were giving him. Tom was oblivious to them, as all his attention
was turned to Dilla and the bike. B’elanna and the Captain however
noticed and the Captain chuckled quietly while B’elanna snorted.
Harry and Gerron just looked at them, perplexed. They had no idea
what was wrong with them. After seeing Tom they made their way to
the stands where Chakotay was holding some seats for them. Tom and
Dilla positioned the bike in Tom’s starting position. Tom was way
at the back because this was his first time in the race. There were
a total of forty-three racers.
“Well that’s it Tom. Good
luck.” Dilla smiled to Tom as he made his way off the track to let the
race begin. Tom slid his helmet on and prepped the engine.
The announcer began:
“Welcome spectators, to the annual
Hover Bike Race.” Cheers went up in the rowdy crowd. Even some
of the Voyager crewmembers were getting into it. “This race will
test the speed of each bike and the skill of each of its pilots.
To start the race, let me present our Chancellor Masi!” Everyone
in the stands applauded. The announcers face on the jumbo-screen was replaced
by that of Chancellor Masi. “Racers, on you mark….” Tom lowered his
visor, “Get set…” BANG the starter shot rang out and the pilots shifted
their bikes into gear. With a roar of cheers the race began and the
racers were off.
B’elanna, Gerron and Harry watched
from the stands with a little of apprehension and excitement as Tom took
off down the track. On the jumbo-screen they could keep track of
the racers. Half of the screen was a layout of the race with coloured
dots as the racers positions. Tom was the navy blue dot.
“What’s his position?” Gerron asked
“He’s in twenty- eighth position.”
“No he’s in twenty-sixth,” B’elanna
corrected him “twenty-fifth…twenty fourth…” and his place kept getting
better through the entire first lap.
Inside rail. Tom thought to
himself as he took the inside to pass the rider in front of him.
Tom was making his way to the front of the pack at an alarming rate.
He had to pass as many people as possible before the track got trickier
and he wanted to keep as close to the leading pack as possible. A
few seconds later he had successfully passed another pair of riders.
The obstacles quickly approached and Tom followed the other riders through
the tunnel. The next was a ramp and a jump. Some of the riders
didn’t make it over; they were too cautious and took the ramp too slowly.
The part were most of the riders that didn’t make it past was the sharp
turn that came directly after the jump. The riders that took the
ramp too fast over shot the landing ramp and hit the padded wall of the
turn. Some of the riders collided with the fallen riders and they
went down as well. Tom estimated the right speed to take the jump
at and made it to the other side on the landing ramp. Swerving to
avoid fallen riders he mad his way through the mess and continued without
a look back. The next obstacle was a series of narrow bridges that
swerved and over lapped. There were four different bridges and each
bridge had no guardrails only padding on the sides and a few meters under
in case riders fell off the bridges. Tom chose the one he had decided,
the night before, to use. Carefully he manoeuvred the bike over the
bridges. Four more riders fell off leaving only 31 riders left.
The next obstacle was the pillars.
There were several pillars and the riders had to find their way around
them all. Some of the spaces between the pillars are too small for
the bikes and riders to fit through so they had to judge where they were
going to go. One rider was taken out of the race here. Through
the rest of the lap and the obstacles Tom made his way to the leading pack
and at the beginning of the second lap he was in sixth place.
The second lap was much the same
as the first. Some of the riders didn’t make it through certain obstacles
but not as many as before. The third lap was when the chaos began.
In the stands Captain Janeway’s commbadge went off.
“Captain there are several battle
cruisers of unknown origin de-cloaking and orbiting the planet.”
“Go to red alert-” but before she
could finish an explosion was heard and smoke and debris was seen rising
in the distance.
Tom was just entering the pillars
when the explosion occurred. It wasn’t just one explosion but several
small ones at the base of each of the pillars detonating simultaneously.
The pillars wobbled and then they began to fall. Several of the riders
were knocked off their hover bikes as the pillars fell. Tom ducked
under falling pillars just before they hit the ground. Riding over
some of the already fallen pillars Tom made his way to the exit at the
other end. The riders that were at the very front of the pack were
already through. The pillar near the exit was falling in front of
it. Increasing his speed as much as he dared Tom shifted all his
weight to the right side and turned the handles sharply to the right. This
caused the hover bike to slide on its right side and lay almost parallel
to the ground. Parts of the bike scrapes the ground causing some
sparks to fly and Tom could feel the heat on his right knee as it scraped
against the ground. There were only a few scant centimetres of clearance
when his head passed under the pillar.
Breathing a sigh of relief, he slowed
his bike to a stop after he had cleared the wreckage but couldn’t keep
a small smile from forming on his face. He still had it! The
smile was briefly lived as Tom eyed the wreckage behind him. Hoping
to offer his assistance Tom shut down the hover bike and removed his helmet.
His now unruly hair fell onto his forehead. As he dashed to the fallen
pillars he could see a crushed bike and he hoped to whatever gods were
listening that the rider wasn’t caught under that.
Climbing over pillars he made his
way to the first bike. The rider wasn’t near there. He called
out hoping that someone would respond. He heard moaning coming from
his right so he made his way over there. There a rider was just regaining
“Hey are you alright?” Tom called
to him as he looked for a way through the fallen pillars to help.
“What? yeah I’m all right.” The
dazed pilot responded. He took of his helmet and rubbed his temples.
Tom couldn’t find an opening that he could squeeze through so he went down
on his knees to talk to the other man.
“Do you need any help?” Tom
asked hoping that he could wait until some more people came. The
rider looked up to respond but when he saw someone with the weapon he had
to warn the man who was trying to help him. Tom saw the expression
on the other man’s face and as the rider yelled:
“Watch out!” Tom had rolled
on his shoulder successfully turning him while rolling to face his attacker.
The shot hit where Tom was a moment before and pieces of the pillar flew
off in all directions as the phaser fire hit it.
The aggressor was wearing a dark-brown
suit. He was about the same height as the Tom but a larger build.
He had dark glasses on so Tom could not see his eyes but he was defiantly
not a Nerisian. This man had dark skin and ridges on his cheek bone
and forearm. The aggressor fired a shot at Tom, which Tom dodged
again. All his training was coming out but Tom still had the disadvantage.
Tom was on a lower level of the fallen pillars than the attacker and Tom
wasn’t armed. Knowing that he would not be able to get away with
out being shot if he ran, he made a decision and started moving towards
the attacker. The attacker continued to shout as Tom advanced but
Tom was always a step ahead and smoothly dodged each shot. After
a few seconds Tom was on the same pillar as the attacker. The attacker
only looked at him for a moment and then returned to firing at him but
none of the shots hit the intended target. He raised his phaser level
with Tom but before he could fire the first shot Tom had ran towards him
and hit his arm forcing the phaser to fire into the open sky. The
attacker was stunned and Tom used that to his advantage. A high kick to
the attackers face and he stumbled backwards. The attacker regained
his balance but Tom was already attacking him again. A hard punch
to his midsection and the attacker doubled over. A round-house kick
knocked the attacker off the pillar and landed hard on the next one.
Tom check that the attacker still had a pulse and then went to retrieve
the weapon that had fallen from the attackers hand. It was just out
of his reach. As he repositioned himself to try again another shot
vaporized part of the pillar next to him. Two more armed men where
making their way toward him. Tom quickly found an opening that he
could fit through slipped into the maze of fallen pillars. Tom made his
way through the pillars crawling and slipping between trying to make his
way to his bike.
In the seating area all of the Voyager
crew was being transported to the ship to ensure their safety. The other
fans were fleeing the stands causing chaos. On Voyager Janeway was
in her command mode. Voyager rocked to one side as the battle cruisers
pummelled the hull with torpedoes.
“Primary power conduits are overloading!”
Kim called from ops. “long range transporters ore offline.
We’d have to move into a lower orbit to transport the remaining crewmembers
off the planet.”
“Who’s still down their.” Chakotay
asked before Janeway could.
“Tuvok, Rawlins, Meyer, Farely,
Foster, M. Delany and Paris.” Kim read off the list of people that
were unaccounted for.
“Chakotay take the conn. Mr.
Kim reroute as much power as you can to the shields; buy us as much extra
time as you can. As soon as we are within range drop the shields
and start transporting.” Janeway ordered “Chakotay take us down.”
Finally. Tom emerged from the
mess of pillars and headed for his hover bike. The two attackers
were too slow to get to him before he rode off. Tom wasn’t presumptuous
to think that he was home free so he kept his guard up. Those people
were pretty persistent. What did I do to bring this on, Tom thought
to himself. He hadn’t pissed off any of the natives yet. He
was planning to do that when he won this race. A shrill whistling
sound become louder in Tom’s ear. Some sort of missile? KABOOM. Yup.
An explosion erupted directly in Tom’s path. He was too close to
it and moving to quickly to stop or avoid it. Tom and his bike were
launched into the air. He landed hard on the ground and his momentum
slid him across the rough ground until he cam to a stop. The bike
landed behind him in a mangled wreck. After a moment Tom rolled onto
his front and attempted to get up. He pushed himself a few centimetres
off the ground before he collapsed again. The pain was everywhere.
Fortunately he was wearing his helmet so his head injury was minimal.
Unfortunately for the rest of his body, the padding the suit gave was minimal.
He tried one more time; ignoring the pain his exertion caused. He
was soon on his feet. He reached into his pocket to get his commbadge
but all he found was pieces. His commbadge was on the same side that
he had landed on. Just my luck. His bike was totalled so he
continued on foot to try and escape his attackers. His running was
more of a quick jog due to his injuries. He could see a part of the
course were the wall was low enough for him to climb. He picked up
his pace as he heard some sort of craft getting closer. A quick look
behind him confirmed that it was not one of the planets officials.
Tom reached the wall and attempted to climb it. As he finally got a good
grip on the ledge the craft clipped him as it sped by briefly crushing
him against the wall before he again fell to the ground. This time
he did not get up. He was still conscious and felt the intense pain
in his chest from where he was hit. He guessed that there were a
few broken and/or cracked ribs but he could still feel the pain in his
legs and extremities so at least his spine was in one piece.
The craft turned around and landed
near Tom. One of the rear doors slid open and three large men stepped
out. Tom had never seen their species before except for the first
attacker. They jogged over to where Tom lay.
“Pick him up.” One order and the
other two obeyed. They could not see through the tinted visor that
his eyes were open and remained that way until the one giving the orders
“Is he alive.” One of the men holding
Tom asked. The first one stepped closer to Tom and saw the rise and
fall of his chest indicating that he was breathing.
“He’s fine.” The first one said.
He took a good look at the man before him. Dark blond hair and fair
skin. Smaller than most of the Mellary and the Nerisians. This is
the weakling that we came for?. He shrugged his shoulders and turned
away indicating that they should bring the off-worlder with them. When
he turned his back Tom struck.
The element of surprise was the
only advantage Tom had in his weakened state so he had to use it wisely.
He slipped his arm out of the grasp of one of the men that was holding
him. His left arm free he slipped his left foot behind him and using
his free arm he pushed on the front of the man causing him to trip on to
his back. Tom swung his left knee around and it connected with the
gut of the other man holding him. He then kneed him in the head causing
him to fall backwards as well. Tom turned on the man who had his
back turned to him but he had already drawn his weapon and trained it on
Tom. Before he could take a step the man fired and Tom fell to the
“Pick him up and let’s go.” The
man said angrily as he put his weapon away. The two men picked themselves
up off the ground and roughly grabbed Tom and took him inside their craft.
The craft lifted off the ground and took off towards the open sky.
In the chaos few people noticed it leaving.
Back on Voyager Harry reported from
his station. “We’ve got everybody but Tom. I can’t locate his commbadge.”
“Try looking for human lifesigns.”
Janeway suggested. Harry tapped a series of commands into his console
and shook his head.
“I…I can’t find any.” Harry
looked up at the Captain confused.
Tuvok who had just made it to his
station reported “Captain shields at twenty-eight percent and dropping.
I suggest retreat and-” Just then the shaking stopped. The battle
cruisers were retreating quickly. Tuvok raised an eyebrow at the
odd behaviour and reported to the Captain.
“Hail the Nerisians.” Janeway ordered
staring at the viewscreeen that showed the view of the blue and purple
atmosphere of the planet.
“Captain Janeway do you require
assistance?” The Chancellor asked. The city was in upheaval
and he had forgotten about Voyager and her crew.
“Yes, one of our crewmembers is
missing. Tom Paris. He was in the race.”
“Some of the racers are still trapped
under the rubble caused from the explosions. An entire section of
the track was destroyed. It’s possible that he may be trapped under
“I’m afraid not. Is their
any part of your planet that our sensors would not be able to penetrate?”
“No. I’m sorry Captain but
I must go.” The Chancellor said hurriedly and cut the link.
“I don’t think that they’ll be any
help to us at the moment.” She turned back to Harry at Ops “Mr. Kim
are the battle cruisers still within scanning range?” an affirmative nod.
“Check the vessels for human life-signs.” Harry quickly went to work.
“Captain they have some sort of
shielding that our scanners can’t penetrate.”
“Tuvok, damage report. Are
we in any shape to go after them.”
“Aft shield emitters are down, long
range transporters are down. Primary power conduits are fused.
Warp engines off-line.” Tuvok read off the list as if it were a grocery
list. “In short, Captain, we are in no condition to pursue.”
“Begin repairs. I’ll be talking
with the Nerisians.” Janeway walked into her ready room. On
the bridge Harry worked diligently at his console. He did it again, Harry
thought, I leave him alone for ten minutes and he gets himself into trouble.
In her ready room Janeway had finally
gotten to talk with the Chancellor.
“Chancellor, who were the people
that attacked your planet?” Janeway asked trying to get as much information
as she could.
The Chancellor sighed and answered
her question. “They are part of a terrorist group called the New World
Force, NWF. They are mostly Mellary. They’ve argued with the
government for many years for a planet that was theirs centuries ago but
is now home to several different species from the sector. The Mellary
now want it back but they won’t agree to share it with the other inhabitants.”
“Do you think that they may have
taken our crewmember?”
“Possibly. It would give them
an advantage to have a hostage especially someone who is a guest of the
government but I don’t know where they would have taken him if they have.
I’ll tell our security force to begin a search of your crewmember.”
“Thank you Chancellor but if you
don’t mind I’d like to doing some searching as well.”
“Of course Captain.” Masi
had expected nothing less from the strong-minded captain. “I’ll send you
the information that we have on them. Perhaps we could co-ordinate
our search efforts.”
“That would make things move faster.
I’ll have my Chief of security contact you.”
Plans were set in motion and the
search for the missing crewmember was about to begin. In the
meantime, the missing crewmember was laying unconscious in a cold dark
cell. The first thing to greet him when he awoke was pain.
He was lying on his front and the pressure on his chest was causing intense
pain. As small moan escaped as he rolled himself onto his back.
There was a new pain in his chest. One that wasn’t their before he
passed out. He raised his hand to the pain in his chest. His hand
came into contact with a wet substance and Tom could tell by the texture
that it was blood. Tom looked around his cell. There was some
sort of force-field to keep him in his cell. The floor was bare except
for the cot in the far corner. The light above him flickered providing
minimal lighting. Hoping that he would be more comfortable on the
cot he carefully raised him self from the floor and staggered to the cot
were he fell heavily onto the hard mattress. He laid down on his
back, eyes shut until his breathing had evened out. He could feel
a headache coming on and he didn’t have any of his medication on him.
I mean you just don’t expect things like this to happen to you everyday.
Not only that but the dosage he took last week should be enough for another
week. Why now of all times? Why do things like this always
happen? Q if that’s you I’ll find a way to kick your omnipotent butt!
On the bridge of the battle cruiser
were Tom was being held prisoner the Captain (also the one who shot Tom
unconscious) gave out orders. The mission was a success. They
had captured one off the Voyagers, damaged Nerisian property and the Voyager
and they had not lost a single member of their group even Herra’s cover
was intact. It took longer than anticipated to subdue the Voyager
crewman but they had gotten him.
“Captain Isal, none of the Nerisian
forces or the Voyager are pursuing.” A young crewmember called from his
station. Isal nodded to him.
“Helm take us back to the base.
Engage the cloaking device when the quantum generator is charged.”
Captain Isal looked with pride at
his crew. They would achieve in a few days, when they contact the
Nerisian government with their terms, what their fathers had not achieved
in decades. He had a good crew, very obedient. They had to
be; Isal had a very short fuse. Few people opposed him and his bidding
was always done.
“Feigh!” Isal called. “Why don’t
we visit our guest.”
Footsteps in the corridor were coming
towards his cell. Tom sat up ignoring the pain that it caused.
Standing in the corridor before him were two large men with two armed guards.
“I am Isal, Captain of this vessel,
this is Feigh.” He said gesturing to the man to his left “And how is our
guest feeling?” Isal smiled at Tom.
“Guest?” Tom asked incredulously,
“You obviously haven’t been on this side of the force-field.”
“You, my friend will be the turning
point of the Mellary cause.” Isal said with an evil smile.
“Friend? You must mean fiend!”
Tom spoke without thinking.
“You may want to curb that mouth
of yours or else you will make this much harder on yourself.” Feigh,
the head of security warned. He signalled to the other security officers
to release the force-field. As the guards made their way towards
him he contemplated attacking them and trying to escape. He discarded
that idea. In his condition he could take out the two guards but he saw
that Feigh had his hand firmly on his weapon.
The guards grabbed Tom by each of
his arms and hauled him off the cot. Tom and the guards followed
Isal and Feigh out of the cell and down the hall to another room.
This room was larger and more brightly lit than his cell. The room
was very sterile looking with nothing adorning the walls except a large
veiwscreen and a communications panel. The guards stopped in the
center of the room in front of the viewscreeen. Feigh stopped in
front of Tom blocking his view.
“It’s time we contacted the Nerisians
with our terms don’t you think?” Isal walked to the console. After
contacting the bridge to set up the scrambling signal he tapped in the
command for a long range subspace communication to the Nerisians.
He then walked back to stand beside Feigh and wait for the communication
to go through.
Forty-five minutes later in Voyager’s
conference room, sat the Chancellor and Councillor Herra surrounded by
the rest of Voyager’s Senior Officers. The Chancellor sat with a
grim expression that made the Senior officers anxious. The Chancellor
had contacted Voyager twenty minutes ago saying that he had received news
from the terrorists about their crewmember. He began:
“This is the transmission from the
NWF that we recorded. I thought that you would want to see this.”
He stood and handed Janeway a file. She gave it to Harry who loaded it
on the viewer in the conference room. The screen fizzled to life.
Two Mellary men stood in the foreground blocking a couple of people behind
“Hello Chancellor.” Isal said
“Isal,” The recorded voice of the
“Very good Chancellor. I’m
glad to see that you remember me. Let me introduce Feigh my Head
“Isal where is the man from Voyager.
I know you have him.” Masi interjected.
“Patience Masi, my friend. You wouldn’t
want to jeopardize the safety of or dear guest would you?” no response
“I didn’t think so. Now we do have the man you are looking for and
we will return him…when you have agreed to meet our terms that is.
Until then he will remain here and receive our ‘special treatment’.”
The tone of Isal’s voice left no question in the minds of the Senior officers
what ‘special treatment’ meant.
“Isal he has nothing to do with
our conflict. Let him go.” Masi pleaded. “He is an innocent.”
“No one is innocent.” Isal
exclaimed infuriated. Masi had definitely said the wrong thing.
Isal’s calm demeanour was replaced with extreme anger. “I’ll send
him to you in a torpedo casing if you don’t fulfill each of our demands.”
“Your demands are unrealistic. We
can’t kick out the inhabitants of Nerisii Prime just to accommodate your
people.” Masi was not negotiator.
“Then we’ll get the weapons information
from the Voyager crewman we have in our possession and we will destroy
“Don’t do this Isal. It will achieve
Isal walked closer to the viewer.
“You think so? Well, we’ll see.” He gestured for Feigh to step
out of the way. The Senior Staff saw Tom Paris for the first time
in the transmission. He stood up straight with his head held high,
trying to look as dignified a possible in his current state. His
race suit was dirty and ripped. His hair was a mess, much of it falling
to his face and he had blood crusted scars on his arms and legs. His chest
had a large phaser burn that looks as if it had only recently stopped bleeding.
Two armed guards held his arms behind his back. He outwardly appeared
calm but they could only guess what was going through his mind.
Isal stepped up to Tom; in front
of him but slightly to the side so that he could still be seen. “What
type of shielding does your vessel use?” No answer. “Answer me!”
he backhanded Tom across his face causing Tom’s head to snap to one side.
He brought his head back and retuned to staring at some imaginary point
directly in front of him. “What are the shield frequencies?”
Again no answer. “YOU WILL ANWER ME!” he punctuated each word
with a punch to Tom’s mid section. Tom was hunched over his eyes
closed tightly as the pain ripped through him. The internal bleeding
he got from the missile that threw him off his bike and being hit by a
shuttle, had restarted.
“Isal stop this!” Masi yelled
“The shields!” Isal yelled to Tom
who was still looking calm but was in pain.
Right Hook! “The shields!”
Tom’s mouth opened to speak. Isal thought that he was going to get
an answer. Instead he got:
“Thomas Eugene Paris, Lieutenant
Junior Grade, 6439-” A Punch to his face stopped him in the middle of his
“Feigh!” Isal called slightly out
of breath. “Continue this for me.” Feigh nodded and continued to ask questions
and punch Tom when he didn’t answer or give the right answer. Isal
walked towards the viewer. “He’s not talking now but we will break
“I’m sending you our demands.” He
interrupted. “You have forty rotations.” He turned to Feigh and the
Two guards holding Tom. “Enough!” he commanded and Feigh stopped
his assault. Tom was barely able to stand under his own power.
He would have attacked them but he knew that Voyager would probably see
this transmission and him kicking these guys butts would raise a lot of
question. So he decided to take the more painful but less conspicuous
Isal walked over to Tom who’s he
was hunched over and was coughing up blood. Masi’s voice could be
heard yelling at Isal but Isal ignored him. With an evil smile on
his face he grabbed Tom by the hair and forced him to look up.
“Have you had enough Mr…Paris, I
believe it was.” Tom glared at Isal at first but then he smiled that
irritating smile and spit in Isal’s face. Isal wiped the blood off
his face still smiling evilly. Then he connected Tom’s head with
his knee. The blow caused a sharp pain in Tom’s head but he stayed
semiconscious. Isal turned and pointed to Masi on the viewer. “Forty
The screen went black. That
was the end of the communication. Janeway was the first one to speak.
“Harry how muck longer until we
are able to go after him?”
“We need at least eight more hours
to replace al the fused components and bring the primary processors back
online. Transporters will take longer-”
“B’elanna how long until we have
“The primary systems have to be
up before we can re-initialize that warp core. That will take at least
four hours if I have a large enough team to work on it.”
“Forty rotations is about twenty
hours captain. We will be ready to launch a rescue before the allotted
time runs out.” Tuvok stated calmly.
“We have to find them first.” Janeway
stated, more to herself than anyone else. “Chancellor did you track
“We tried but the signal was rerouted
through several relay stations and the signal used and subspace bandwidth
that it barely distinguishable from subspace echoes.”
“Harry I want you to take a look
at the information that they have recorded. If that all right with
the Nerisians.” The Chancellor nodded. “As soon as the repairs are
done we go after Tom. Dismissed.”
After Tom was thrown into his cell
he slowly made his way to the cot and lay on his back cataloguing his injuries.
A couple of broken ribs, internal bleeding of liver and maybe kidneys,
punctured lung, multiple phaser burns, bruised vertebrae, killer headache
and several assorted cuts and bruises; the Doctor is going to have a field
day when he got back to Voyager. Where the hell was Voyager anyway.
Most likely making repairs on the ship and planning a rescue. Tracking
Isal’s ship would be difficult due to the cloak. Maybe he could make
Isal’s ship a little more obvious. Voyager would plan a rescue for
before the forty rotations ended. Forty rotations that about twenty
hours. Just great almost a complete day in this hellhole of a ship.
I wonder if they’ll feed me.
Tom made his way to the force field.
The access panel was on the same wall as the force field that means that
the circuitry must be in the wall next to his cell. He carefully
looked over the wall of his cell that enclosed the panel’s circuitry.
The wall was one solid piece of metal so he looked to where the metal connected
to the floor. Some parts were not securely connected to the floor.
There was less than a millimetre of space between the floor and the wall’s
metal but it was enough to work with. He sat in front of the wall
close to the force field and using both feet he began to kick at the lowest
portion of the wall pausing only when he could hear footsteps. Twice
a guard came by to investigate the noise but each time Tom pretended to
be unconscious and the guard left. Soon there was an opening small
enough for Tom to fit a finger through. When the tip of his finger
came into contact with something in the wall he got an electric shock.
He noticed out of the corner of his eye that when he had touched that wiring,
the force field weakened.
Tom went back to his cot and twisted
off a large piece of one of the metal legs. He went back to the opening
at the base of the wall that he had made. He slid the metal in until
he thought that it was near the wire but not touching it. Sitting
back down he kicked the metal piece as hard as he could. The metal
dug into the connection almost severing the thick wiring. Tom watched
with anticipation as the force field flickered and then disappeared.
Cautiously Tom looked down the corridor for any signs of guards.
One was approaching his cell. Tom ducked back into his cell and waited
against the wall for the guard to pass by.
The guard walked down the corridor
towards the cell of their prisoner with his gun poised and ready.
When he was only a few steps from the force field he did not see any prisoner.
As he got closer he still did not see the prisoner on the cot or on the
floor. He took one more step and Tom jumped him.
Quickly rendering the guard unconscious
with a Vulcan neck pinch, Tom dragged him into his cell. He took
all the weapons and what looked to be some sort of access card and a communication
device. He placed the unconscious guard on the cot that
nearly collapsed since it was missing a leg. He rolled him onto his
side so that his face was not visible from the opening to the cell.
It would take them a while to find that he had escaped.
Tom went to the console that controlled
the force field and hacked into their system and changed the panel settings
so that it did not show that there was a malfunction. He then accessed
a design layout of the ship. Engineering is where he wanted to go.
He told the computer to highlight all the guard stations and the layout
was covered with green marks indicating the stations. Isal sure is
paranoid. Tom memorized the route that would take him to Engineering
and passed the fewest guard stations. He quickly closed the program
he was in when he heard the footsteps. He ducked into a dark corner
and kept as still as possible.
Two guards walked down the corridor
to Tom’s former cell they looked in and saw the body lying on the cot and
then kept on walking. As soon as they were out of sight Tom searched
for the maintenance shaft access that he had seen on the layout.
He found it and started crawling. The ship only had ten decks.
He was on deck four and main engineering was on deck eight. Only four decks
down. He would be taking the long way of course so he calculated
that he would be crawling and climbing for at least an hour. Not
that he didn’t have time though; he estimated that only four hours had
passed since Isal had sent the message to the Nerisians. About half
way through Tom’s slow journey to engineering and alarm went off and the
lighting changed to green. I guess they found the guard. Tom
crawled out of the maintenance shaft and dropped into a room that he knew
was a crew quarters from the layout. He activated the locking mechanism
for the door and went to the computer console. He easily hacked through
the system lockouts and then into the internal sensors. He instructed
the computer to delete any of the life signs that matched his. That
made internal sensors useless in finding him and they would have to rely
on hand held scanners and search parties.
Tom crawled back into the shaft,
leaving the room in the exact same state it was in when he had arrived
a few minutes earlier.
On the bridge the crew was frantically
trying to resolve the problem with the sensors but every command that they
tried had no effect on the sensors. Diagnostics also came up clean.
It was a crewman at his station on the bridge that found the glitch in
the system, but even then they could not get rid of it or even confirm
that that was what was causing all the sensor malfunctions.
Tom was forced out of the maintenance
shaft after he heard the voices of guards entering behind him. He
found himself on deck seven and in a fairly busy corridor. Hiding
out in the dark alcove by the maintenance shaft exit he waited until the
corridor was mostly deserted and started on his way to the turbo lift to
take him to the next deck. That was when the idea hit him. He was
on the same deck as the shuttlebay. He adjusted his course to take
him to the shuttlebay. He was ducking search parties all the way
there but managed avoid them.
When he reached his destination
he paused outside and used the console to access the internal scanners.
He scanned the shuttlebay and found that there were seven people guarding
the shuttlebay. Creating a quick plan Tom entered the shuttle bay.
In less than three minutes the only conscious person in the shuttlebay
Tom quickly found a shuttle to his
liking; one that was fast and manoeuvrable. He familiarized himself
with the controls, started the engines and piloted the shuttle flawlessly
through the force field that separated the atmosphere of the ship from
the cold vacuum of space.
“Captain Isal.” One of the
officers called “There has been an unauthorised launch of a shuttle from
Isal marched over to the officers
station. “Life signs.”
After a moment the officer answered.
“None sir.” He sounded slightly confused.
Isal guessed that was were the prisoner
had gotten to. “Lock phasers and fire at will.” Isal ordered.
Blue streaks flew from the larger
battleship to the small shuttle. Very few of the many shots actually
hit their mark. Tom had used another of his trick to project a false
image of the shuttle on the scanners of the battleship.
“He’s heading for the Kasarus debris
“He’s out of range.” Isal
slammed his fist on a console. The crew waited silently for his next
order “Follow him.” The crew was shocked! Several of their own vessals
had be lost trying to navigate the debris field. The debris was composed
of parts of several destroyed ships. The area had been used as a
kind of dump until the Mellary had moved into the neighbourhood.
The race that had dumped the garbage failed to disarm all the weapons and
some of the ships that were less damaged still had antimatter in some very
old containment fields. The containment fields were known to collapse
without cause and the resultant explosions would cripple or destroy and
vessels in the blast radius. Each ship lost in the field left more
weapons that could go off at any time.
“Sir the field…you can’t…you can’t-”
the officer at the helm sputtered.
“I can’t what ?” Isal bit out as
he grabbed the man’s collar and threw him to the floor. Isal took
over his station and plotted the course himself. The much larger
cruiser followed the small shuttle to the debris field.
In the shuttle Tom was examining
the sensor data and was already trying to find a safe route through the
field. The scanners had identified antimatter leaks all over the
area. A beep from the ops console next to the pilots console turned
Tom’s attention in that direction. The battlecruiser was following
him. Tom laugh for a moment. Isal was crazier than he thought
if he would to make it through the debris field in that hunk-of-junk.
Tom had reached the perimeter of the debris field. There was no turning
back now. He headed at half impulse into the hazard. Twenty
minute later the cruiser entered as well.
On Voyager repairs were running on
schedule. Chakotay was in command of the bridge while the Captain
and Tuvok were down on the planet trying to create a plan to rescue Mr.
Paris. Why did they always have to make repairs and then go and save
Paris? Chakotay was pondering this very question. This was
the second time that they would have to go and get him. Granted that
last time Gerron was with him but that’s besides the point.
Chakotay looked around and found
that the crew under that command of mostly Kim and Torres were working
furiously on repairs. He could understand there urgency. The
recording they had seen was disturbing. Tom was their friend (even
if Torres would deny it) and they did not want Tom to be treated so brutally.
Tom was a survivor though. He had survived a lot of pretty awful
situations and Chakotay knew Tom could hold his own in a fight and had
a lot of ingenuity. Chakotay had read the report that Gerron wrote
about how Tom had used a tricorder and commbadges to create some sort of
field that the Kazon could not scan through. Paris however had forgotten
to mention that in his report casually saying that he had found a way to
hide from the Kazon’s sensors.
If anyone had to be on that ship
Paris might be the best person, Chakotay thought to himself. Not
that he wanted the pilot to be tortured or anything but Paris seemed like
the kind of person who could find a way to survive more than any other
member of the crew could.
At Ops Harry was cursing under his
breath (something he had picked up from Tom). He had hoped that the
repairs would have been done early so they could launch a rescue but the
repairs were going as planned and not a second faster. When Harry
had first seen that they were not going to be done early he had asked the
Captain for permission to take a team in a shuttle and go after Tom that
way but the Captain nixed that plan and he was stuck on Voyager were his
over active imagination was conjuring up horrible pictures of the kind
of torture Tom was being put through.
As his mind wandered he inputted
an incorrect command and the work he had been doing for the last fifteen
minutes had been ruined. Harry took a deep breath to calm himself
and went back to work. Any delays could be the deciding factor between
life or death for Tom or his sanity.
In Engineering B’elanna worked with
her crew to get the warp core and other systems back online. B’elanna
had recruited people from all departments of the ship to assist in repairs.
Gerron was one of those people. She figured that Gerron would like
to be doing something to help get Tom back and working in Stellar cartography
wouldn’t do that. Gerron was working quietly in a corner. B’elanna
knew that Gerron didn’t trust readily and that Tom was one of his close
friends. Someone he looked up to and trusted. He saw something
in Tom that no one other than he Janeway and Harry have been able to see.
B’elann felt sorry for him to have
to go through the fear of losing a good friend. Gerron has had a
tough life. He didn’t deserve it, so B’elanna was trying extra hard
to get Paris back. Paris had been there for her in the Viddiian prison
and she would return the favour now. Paris was an acquaintance, nothing
more but she didn’t want him to be tortured. She had seen what torture
can do to a person during her time in the Maquis. She would do everything
she could to make sure that no one else would have to go through that sort
Gerron worked at the console in engineering.
He did his work and did not say a word to anyone except when absolutely
necessary. He knew why B’elanna had asked him to work in engineering
and help out with the repairs and he appreciated her compassion.
He didn’t know what was happening to Tom at the moment since he hasn’t
seen the recording but he had a few guesses mostly fuelled by the rumour
mill than any real facts.
The debris field was still except
for one battle cruiser precariously making its way through the debris field.
They had completely lost the shuttle on scanners and where now looking
through the debris field with no idea where the prisoner and shuttle were.
Tom sat in the shuttle with almost
no lighting and watched as the cruiser passed by him, again. Tom
sighed. Persistent little bastards aren’t they. Tom had placed the
shuttle in a type of grey mode where the energy emission levels were below
the level of the battle cruiser’s sensors so he was relatively safe from
them. Tom decided to do a little searching of his own. Accessing
the computers database he tried to find evidence to back his theory.
The explosives were planted at the
base of each pillar meaning that whoever put them up was one of the Mellary.
To get the clearance to enter the race prep area they would need some high
clearance from, let’s say a government official. Tom went through
the database find ways around barriers and hacking through others until
he came to a heavily classified area. Jackpot! Using his knowledge
of computers he found a surprisingly simple way around the blockade.
He found detailed accounts of past missions and plans for future ones.
Included were the names of all the undercover agents they had. He
opened up a search program and in the parameters he entered ‘HERRA’.
The information popped up before Tom and he read it all. He knew
it! All his suspicions had been confirmed. Tom saved the information
to a separate memory unit and shut down the computer files he had searched.
He slipped the unit into a pocket on his torn race suit.
Tom watched as the battle-cruiser
passed by in the distance, still looking. It stopped. Curioser
and curioser. They released some sort of large cylinder. After
it was a few kilometres from the ship the cylinder detonated. Tom
scanned and noticed that that thing had released a type of radiation that
the metals of the two Mellary ships readily absorbed. If they scanned
for the radiation they would find the shuttle. The cruiser turned
and changed its course to a direct route towards Tom’s shuttle. They
were charging weapons.
Another beep caught Tom’s attention.
Two of the antimatter containment field were about to fail. The containment
field generator must have been damaged by the radiation. Tom sent
a warning to the Mellary ship and then hightailed it out of that area.
He didn’t want to be in the area when the containment field finally went
down. Antimatter explosions could get really nasty.
Tom and the Mellary spent the next
few hours weaving through the debris and trading blows. The larger
cruiser could not keep up with the shuttle or the dexterity of the pilot
in the shuttle and quickly lost ground. Tom sent out a subspace
message using a Starfleet emergency frequency and encrypted the message.
He hoped that Voyager would be attempting a rescue about now since the
forty rotation deadline was rapidly approaching.
Voyager was only twenty minutes into
the rescue plan when Tom’s message came through.
“Captain.” Called Harry from Ops
“I’m receiving a subspace message.”
“From Isal?” Janeway rose
from her seat in ‘the big chair’.
Harry shook his head “It’s on the
Starfleet emergency frequency. It from Tom but it’s encrypted.”
Harry was working like mad on his console to find what it said. He
was relieved to get a message from Tom though. Maybe they weren’t
too late. “He’s given us a set of co-ordinates and some other information.”
The Captain made her way to Harry’s station. “There’s a debris field in
that area.” Harry looked at the scans again “More like a mine field
actually. That’s were he is and that’s that Mellary ship.”
Harry pointed out. Janeway was busy reading through the other information.
“Helm Change course to 117 mark
48. Hold position four hundred thousand kilometres from the edge of the
debris field. Harry transmit the same orders to the rest of the Nerisian
ships.” Janeway made her way back to her seat. “Tuvok raise
shields and arm phasers. Mr. Paris will be coming out of there in
a few minutes with a battleship right behind him. He said that there
is a high chance of some antimatter explosions coming from within the debris
field.” She explained to her crew.
Voyager and the Nerisian ships waited
for the shuttle. They could see what was going on with the sensors.
Tom neared the end of the debris field. Five, four, three, two, one…he
cleared it and headed straight to Voyager. The cruiser came through
the field a moment later. Even knowing that the Nerisians were waiting
they would rather take their chances in a battle than with an explosion
that would surely destroy them. The Mellary began an all out assault
on the shuttle. All though the cruiser was damaged the weapons were
still in working order and were doing considerable damage to the small
shuttles defences. Isal had decided to keep his promise to kill the
Voyager crewman since the Nerisians had not complied with their demands,
even if it meant that they went down as well.
Voyager had warned the Mellary ship
that they would open fire on them if they did not cease firing on the shuttle.
The Mellary ignored them and kept firing so Voyager and the Nerisians open
fired on the Mellary.
In the shuttle Tom was being thrown
from his seat and crawling frantically back into it. Consoles were
exploding and Tom fervently hoped that the pilots console wouldn’t be next.
Unfortunately Tom’s luck had just run out. He only had enough time
to raise his arms and shield his face before the console explode send shards
of the console flew at him as flames erupted from it. Tom was forced
out of his seat due to the force of the explosion and he fell to the deck
and into unconsciousness.
In the debris field the containment
units had finally given up and an antimatter explosion was the result.
The shockwave caused the second containment unit to breakdown and another
antimatter explosion followed soon after the first.
“Captain, I’m detecting two antimatter
explosions coming from within the debris field.” Harry reported at
his station. “The shockwave will hit us in sixteen seconds.”
“Divert extra power to the shield
emitters. Lock down all primary systems. Bridge to all hands,
brace for impact!” Each person grabbed onto the edges of their console
as Harry counted down the seconds until impact.
The wave crashed over them creating
only minimal damage to Voyager and the Nerisian vessels but the Mellary
ship was more heavily damaged and the shuttle even more so.
“Shields down, weapons down, life
support off-line,” Harry read off the list of damaged systems of
the shuttle Tom was in. “Propulsion is still on-line” just then an
explosion came from the shuttle. “Propulsion off-line.” Harry corrected.
“Helm move us within transporter
range.” Janeway ordered to Hamilton. “Tuvok prepare to drop the shields
for transport.” Tuvok nodded and went to his task.
Voyager moved closer to the dilapidated
shuttle and took a position between the crusier and the shuttle.
Tom’s head was swimming and his headache was getting much worse.
Probably another concussion, Tom thought. He was brought into consciousness
by a voice. He identified it as Janeway telling him to expect transport.
In a few moments Tom’s form shimmered out of the shuttle and onto Voyager.
Tuvok quickly raised the shields again and Voyager moved away from the
small, badly damaged shuttle. It exploded a few minutes later leaving
nothing but charred debris. Voyager pivoted and with one precision
shot The Mellary’s weapons were taken out.
Voyager sent a message to the Nerisians
that they had their crewmember and that they could leave but even as Voyager
turned to head back the Nerisians continued their assault on the defenceless
ship. They didn’t stop until the ship was barely a ship at all.
All of the systems of the ship were down except minimal life-support and
their warpcore was relatively stable. Two of the three Nerisian ships
went to apprehend the Mellary while the other one stayed near Voyager.
In Voyagers sickbay the Doctor and
Kes watched as Tom Paris’ battered and bloodied form materialized on the
floor. Kes was shocked at Tom’s state so much that she hadn’t moved.
Until Voyager Kes had lead a very sheltered life and not until she met
the Kazon and came to Voyager that she saw that the universe was a much
harsher place than the Caretaker would let them see. Tom’s moan as
he attempted to get up brought Kes back to the Present and she assisted
the Doctor in getting Tom on the surgical bed and raised the medical arch.
An hour later the Doctor was just
finishing the operation on Tom when Captain Janeway and Ensign Kim entered
Sickbay. The Doctor instructed Kes to finish putting away the instruments
while went to see them.
“How is he Doctor?” The Captain
asked as she looked at Tom’s still form on the surgical bed.
“Mr. Paris will make a full recovery
given proper rest and treatment but he will not be able to return to active
duty and his other reckless endeavours for at least four days. I’ll
be keeping him in Sickbay.”
“How badly was he injured?”
Harry asked in concern.
“Where to start,” that earned a
look from Janeway “ four broken ribs three cracked ribs, a punctured lung,
internal bleeding from a kidney and his liver, second degree phaser burns
on his arms and third degree on his chest, a concussion and several
cuts and abraisions.” Harry and the Captain were startled.
Looking at Tom on the biobed you would never be able to tell that he had
been so badly injured. He had a slightly pale cast to his skin tone
but other than that he looked well.
“When will he wake up?” Harry
“I’ve sedated him. He was
regaining consciousness when he arrived. He will sleep through the
night and awaken sometime tomorrow morning.”
“We’ll be here tomorrow morning
then.” Said Janeway.
The next morning Tom woke up and
again the first person he saw was the Doctor who was running a tricorder
over his body.
“Mr. Paris.” The Doctor greeted
with little enthusiasm.
“Doc.” Tom said still slightly
groggy. He noticed that there were others around him. Harry,
that didn’t surprise Tom but he was glad his friend was there. Janeway,
Masi, Herra, a guard; HERRA?! Tom remembered information
that he had seen and saved in the memory unit.
“Tom how do you feel?” said
Janeway. Tom seemed to ignore her and reached down to where his pocket
was but he then realised he was wearing the blue sickbay pyjamas.
“My suit.” Tom said weakly.
He was looking around him trying to find it.
“Tom?” Janeway asked again.
Tom finally looked directly at her and saw the concern in her eyes.
“In the pocket, the memory unit.”
He said as he tried to get up only to have several pairs of hands force
him down again. “You don’t understand.” He looked over to Herra
“Tom I’ll get your suit for you.”
Harry said as he patted his leg and went to a nearby stool were it was.
“The pocket.” Harry looked
at the tattered suit and looked for a pocket. He found one but it
was empty. He turned the material in his hand and found another.
In this one there was some sort of computer memory unit.
“Yes. It’s all on there.”
Tom said as he relaxed on the biobed.
The Doctor ushered them away from
Tom’s biobed. They moved to the Doctor’s office and Harry quickly
worked on retrieving the information on the unit. It was slightly
damaged but Harry managed to do it. The screen of the computer console
changed and showed Herra as a Nerisian and then another picture of him
as a Mellary. Reading the first line was enough to incriminate Herra.
“Gurad,” Masi turned to face
Herra “Arrest him.” But Herra had already seen the file and ran to Tom’s
biobed where Tom was chatting quietly with the Doctor.
“This is your fault!” Herra
yelled as he attacked Paris. Tom had caught Herra’s hand’s before
he could choke him but Herra pushing to get at him and Tom pushing to keep
Herra away forced Tom off the biobed and landed with a thud on the floor.
Herra quickly circled the bed. The others were exiting the Dotor’s
office to go after Herra.
Tom had the air knocked out of him
and some pain was retuning to his chest. Herra was about to attack
Tom again when he dropped to the floor unconscious. Tom turned over
to find the Doctor standing over Herra’s inert form with a hypospray in
his hand. Harry and the Doctor helped Tom back onto the biobed.
“Mr. Paris we are terribly sorry
for getting you involved in one of our conflicts. But we must thank
you. Herra must have been giving the Mellary very sensitive information.
We knew we had a spy among us but we never imagined it would be someone
so high on our government. Herra and the others on the Mellary ship
will be dealt with severely.” Masi said, with a look in his eye that
made Harry, Tom and Captain Janeway feel lucky that they weren’t the ones
he was talking about.
“I’m afraid that I must ask you
to leave now. I believe my patient has had enough excitement for
one day.” With that they said goodbye to Tom and left Sickbay.
For the rest of the day Tom was
visited by Gerron, B’elanna and Harry again. The last person to visit
him was Captain Janeway. She came into sickbay in the evening after
they had gotten the supplies from the Nerisians and left the planet.
She walked over to Tom who was reading a padd. Tom heard someone
coming and put down the padd. She smiled warmly at him.
“How are you feeling Tom?”
She asked for the second time that day. The first time she hadn’t
gotten an answer.
“A little tired.” He answered honestly.
She placed a hand on his shoulder. “Did Masi say what they were going
to do with those they had captured?” Tom asked. Janeway had
heard the tone of Masi’s voice when he said that the Mellary would be dealt
with and had her own fear. Tom saw the emotions flash across her
face and he feared the worst. He may not like the Mellary but he
could understand how desperate they were to get their home back.
“He didn’t say.” She answered simply.
Tom took a deep breath. “It’s not you fault Tom.” She was afraid
Tom would blame himself for getting the Mellary in trouble. Tom nodded
but he still worried.
“The Mellary are strong Tom.
And smart,” she added with a slight smile. At Tom’s questioning glance
she continued. “When the Mellary realised that they were going to be caught,
they wiped their computer system. The Nerisians couldn’t get any
information from their computer. The tried to salvage the computer
from the shuttle that you where in but it was to badly damaged to be of
any use. The Mellary secrets are still that. Secret.”
Janeway didn’t side with the Nerisians or the Mellary but she wanted the
Mellary to have fair chance of regaining their rightful home.
“I was tempted to save more information
but I only wanted to get Herra.” Tom explained “It was…personal.”
Tom said with a grin. Janeway patted his shoulder and left telling
him to get some rest. She expected him be completely healed in four
days, no more.
Great, Tom thought, four days with
the Doctor for company. He moaned internally and went back to reading.
End Part II
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