Title: Nameless Part IV
Author: Zappy Zaps
Summary: Tom and Chakotay on an away mission that forces them to deal with the issues between them and the Doctor finally figures out what is causing Tomís migraines.
Authorís Note: A little more about Tomís past (only a little)
Rating: PG-13 (bad words)
Disclaimer: Paramount, A Viacom Company, owns the Star Trek Universe. Iím not getting any thing from this. Iím just borrowing the characters for a little adventure.
After Mortal Coil: Neelix dies but is brought back to life thanks to Borg Nanoprobes.
Tom Paris walked into his quarters and flopped onto his couch. He had a severe headache which was quickly turning into a migraine. The headaches where coming more often and with a much more force. He hadnít seen the doctor recently about them but if this continued, he would. Tom was lying as still as possible on his stomach, face in a pillow when the announcer rang.
"Come in." Tom called. It was slightly muffled but still intelligible. The doors slid open to allow the entrance of BíElanna Torres. She saw Tom lying on the couch and went over to him.
"Tom?" she said cautiously. Finally turning to see who he let into his quarters he saw her and smiled a small smile before he remembered the reason he was trying to be so still. He shut his eyes tightly as the pain became worse. He lay his head back down.
"Hey, BíElanna." He said quietly.
"Headache?" she inquired. Since she had been seeing Tom she learnt that every now and then he would get severe migraines. At Tomís affirmative nod she quickly went over to his beside table where he always kept a hypo. She grabbed it and pressed it to Tomís neck. "Better?"
"Slightly." Tom said softly. The room wasnít spinning anymore and he didnít feel like he was floating anymore so that was an improvement but the pain was only slightly better and his vision was still blurry. He blinked several times to try and clear his vision but to no avail.
"I think itís time you go see the doctor." BíElanna ordered. Tom nodded in agreement and together they went to Sickbay to see the Doc.
"Mr. Paris are you here for an extra shift?" the Doc asked happily. Before he could answer the Doctor continued. "Iím so glad that youíre taking your duties here so seriously-"
"As a patient Doc." Tom interjected. The Doctor sighed and directed him towards a biobed and grabbed his tricorder.
"I can hope canít I?" he said to BíElannaís amused visage. The Doctor ran the tricorder over Tomís head and chest and back up again. "Hmmm," he tapped a few buttons on the tricorder. "Hmmmmm," Tom exhaled
"Iíd like something a little more definitive than ĎHmmí Doc" Tom said in annoyance. His mood was never very amiable when he had a headache or migraine.
"I donít understandÖ" the Doctor trailed off.
"I wasnít that worried before, but now Iím worried." Tom mumbled from is seat on the biobed. BíElanna moved closer to the doctor to look at the tricorder readings. Not that she would be able to make much sense out of it but she just wanted a peek. The Doctor moved quickly to another console, brows furrowed, before she could sneak a peek.
The readings on the tricorder were slightly familiar but in another way they were a complete mystery. Checking the computer data base he didnít find any answers. He returned to the pair with a hypospray, which he pressed to Tomís neck.
"I canít give you any answers at the moment but you seem to be developing a tolerance for the pain killer. Youíve been needing larger doses more often for the last three years. I donít understand why and the tricorder scans arenít giving me any more answers." The Doctor sighed "The only option I have is to raise your dosesÖagain. However I would like to run a complete neural scan the first thing tomorrow morning. Report here at 0800"
"Your scan will have to wait Doc. The Senior Staff meeting is at eight tomorrow and Iíve got Alpha shift on the bridge." Tom explained.
"Iíll talk to the Captain and Commander. Iím sure they can find someone to fill in for you at the helm and I donít believe t hat there are any highly important matters that will be addressed in the meeting." The Doctor said turning away. Tom looked at BíElanna and shrugged. "If you have anymore headaches come back here immediately."
"Sure Doc." Tom called over his shoulder as he was exiting with BíElanna. His headache was gone and he was feeling more like himself. They headed to the Messahall to meet Harry for dinner but Tom was called to Forward Navigational Control to check something out there, so BíElanna went to the Mess Hall to meet Harry. When she got there Harry was just picking out what mush he wanted from Neelixís selection, I mean food.
"Hey, Harry. Whatís good?" she asked grabbing a tray. Harry just looked at her before saying:
"ĎGoodí is a relative term." Causing BíElanna to laugh and Harry cracked a smile too. The picked a spot at the table that sat a group of six. Soon each of those seats would be occupied. BíElanna was telling Harry why she was late.
"How long has he been suffering from migraines?" Harry asked curiously. For knowing a guy for nearly four years, he sure didnít know much Tom.
"I think heís always suffered from chronic migraines." BíElanna said as she pushed her food around her plate. "Did you know Tom could play the piano?" BíElanna asked out of the blue. Harry stared at her in complete astonishment.
"He playís the piano?" Harry asked again.
"I guess you didnít know." BíElanna said quietly.
"Who playís the piano?" Asked a voice from behind them. BíElanna had to turn to see Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay approaching their table.
"Tom." BíElanna answered Janewayís question. Kathryn and Chakotay joined them at the table. Four down, two to go.
"I didnít know that." Said Janeway.
"Neither did I," said Chakotay
"Neither did I," said BíElanna "Well not until I walked in on him playing in the holodeck." BíElanna clarified.
"I wonder why he didnít tell me?" Harry asked to no one in particular.
"Did you know he could draw?" Asked Chakotay to the group. Three surprised faces stared at him. "I know I didnít either but a while ago, when I dropped off a padd in his quarters I saw a whole bunch of old fashioned paper and pencils. They were very good but he packed them into a folder before I could look at all of them."
"Thereís a lot about him I donít know." Harry admitted.
"I think that thereís a lot about him nobody knows." BíElanna said. They were silent for a while when suddenly BíElanna began again. "Harry, remember when we were looking through our profiles on the computer?" she asked excitedly. Harry eyed her curiously and gave a slow:
"Yes," as a response. BíElanna realised Harryís mind was moving a little slowly at the moment so she elaborated.
"Remember Tomís" she hinted. Harryís eyes lit up and BíElanna could almost swear that she could see the little light bulb turning on.
"Oh yeah, what?" asked Janeway on her and Chakotayís behalf. Neither of them had any idea what they were talking about.
"Harry and I where comparing our pasts and looking up each others files from as far back as we could. Did you know Harry was a very shy in school?" BíElanna added out of nowhere causing Harry to blush a little. "his fourth grade teacher said so. Anyway we were looking through the files and we decided to look at Tomís too. The weird thing was, Tomís file seemsÖincomplete. We couldnít find anything about his spatial orientation test or psyche evaluation, not that I expect him to be a telepath or anything, but it was missing and there were a lot of kind of cryptic comments about his course load and his Ďserviceí." Harry and BíElanna looked at the Captain and Chakotay hoping that one of them could shed some light on the mystery. Chakotay looked confused and the Captain looked like she was holding something back but quickly returned her expression to that of curiosity.
The table was silent until former Seven of Nine Tertiary Adjunct of Unimatrix 01, currently just Seven, joined them at their table and sat beside the Captain with a plate of sludge, I mean food. She inquired as to what they were all thinking about and the conversation started again.
"I have learnt not to underestimate Lt. Paris. He has proven himself to be a person of many facilities and he is well liked among the crew. During my earlier period on Voyager I observed his interactions with the crew in an attempt to become more human." Seven stated. "He is also good with children particularly Naomi Wildman."
Janeway smiled "According to Sam, Tomís been baby-sitting Naomi since she was ten months old. Heís one of her favourite uncles I think."
Just then main topic of conversation entered the Mess Hall. Grabbing a tray of gruel, I mean food, he sat at the only vacant seat next to Chakotay across from Seven.
"So whatís the good new?." Tom asked innocently.
"Nothings broken." BíElanna replied causing everyone to laugh.
"Not yet anyway." Everyone looked at him each thinking Whatís he up to now? Tom saw the looks they were giving him and chuckled. "Iím not planning anything, donít worry. But the Delta Quadrant always has a surprise up its sleeve."
When they finished their nastiness, I mean food, each person parted their different ways except Tom, Harry and BíElanna who went together to the holodeck to spend some time in Sandrines. Tom went to the bar to get them some synthale while BíElanna and Harry found table. There was music playing and the hustlers and gigolos were around but the piano was empty.
"Harry donít let Tom know that you know that he can play the piano." Harry had to listen to that very carefully before he understood. "He doesnít know that I saw him playing. I just walked into the program since he was in there but I got the feeling that it was sort of a private thing so I left before he saw me." She explained.
"What program was it?" Harry asked.
"I donít know Iíve never seen it before-" she stopped abruptly when she saw that Tom was approaching.
"Drinks for all." Tom announced as he sat the drinks on the table. After a while Tom suggested a friendly game of pool. While they were playing Tomís thoughtís strayed for a few moments and his unfocused gaze rested on the piano.
"You play?" asked Harry. Even though he knew that he could Harry wanted to see what Tom would say to him. He hoped that Tom wouldnít lie to him. He liked to think that they were best friends that could talk about anything. Harry waited for Tomís answer and ignored BíElannaís murderous glare.
"UhÖa little." Tom said.
"Will you honour us with a song." Harry asked grandly. He was glad that Tom felt comfortable enough to share this part of himself with him.
"As soon as I win this game of pool." Tom said with a cocky smile.
"Donít count your chicks before theyíve hatched." Harry said warning him. When his next turn came around Tom sunk every last coloured ball and finally the eight ball.
"What were you saying, Harry, about counting things before theyíve hatched?" Tom said pretending to have trouble remembering.
"I said nothing of the sort! But I do remember you promising to play the piano. Maestro."
"Are you sure? After I play you may be afraid of music." Tom joked.
"Were brave souls. Weíll survive." BíElanna encouraged. Tom shrugged and went to the piano.
"Donít say I didnít warn you." Tom said
"Just play!" Harry told him. After a moment Tom began to play. It was a simple song that he had heard before. He had practiced the piece before trying to find the right cords that made just the right sound. It was a slow piece and the notes seemed to fill the bar. People stopped what they were doing to listen and crewmembers that had entered the bar refrained from speaking to listen to the music. When the song end softly Tom was momentarily startled by the chorus of clapping. He only expect Harry and BíElanna to here him but about half a dozen other crewmembers had come in while he was playing. He acknowledged the applause and then he, BíElanna and Harry went back to their table.
"That was great Tom. When did you learn to play?" Asked a curios Harry.
"Well my mom taught me a song before she died but I never actually learnt to read music I just play by ear."
"Why didnít you tell me? We could have played for talent night?"
"Harry, I canít read music." Tom said in his defense. "Iím not much of a performer anyway. I donít usually play for other people. It reminds me of my mother." Tom said looking at his glass on the table not meeting their eyes. " I only know a few songs anyway." He said raising his glass to take a drink. Harry and BíElanna both knew that they were reaching a very private topic with Tom. His family was never something that he talked about unless it was something about his sisters. They could almost see the shield come up behind his eyes.
"What other songs do you know?" BíElanna asked this time.
"Just a few. That one, the one my mother taught me and couple that Iíve heard before." A small smile came to his face and his eyes began to gain the twinkle that they had before he played for them. "Including, Harry you that song that I always ask you to play on your clarinet?"
Harry nodded "The Vivaldi one?"
"Thatís the one."
"You can play that?" Harry asked.
"Well not really I kind of made up the harmony but the melody is there."
"Maybe we can play for talent night." Harry said as he was already thinking of the other pieces they could play. Tom just rolled his eyes and BíElanna had to laugh.
After leaving Sandrines Tom and BíElanna went to Tomís quarters were they sat in each otherís arms on the couch. BíElanna wanted to ask him about his mother but she wasnít sure how Tom would react.
BíElanna had been rather quiet on the way back from the holodeck. So he decided to ask her about it.
"No nothingís wrong." She said quickly when he asked. "but I wanted to ask you somethingÖ" she sort of trailed off.
"About my mother." It was a statement.
"Yes." BíElanna looked up at him to see his expression. He still had his shield up. And she wondered what could have happened to him before to cause him to create such defences. She really wished that he didnít use those defences with her. She would never hurt him and she wished he understood. "If you donít want to talk about it-"
"No thatís okay." He said softly taking a hold of one of her hands. He took deep breath and told her about his mother. He told her nearly everything he could remember about her. "She died when I was six from a disease she contracted while visiting a planet on the outskirts of the Federation. She did a lot of diplomatic stuff for the Federation at the time. By the time they brought her back to earth to get proper treatment, the disease had progressed too far for them to do anything and she died in Starfleet medical. I remember that her skin was pale and clammy as I held her hand in mine. AndÖ she told me that she loved me and that sheíd always love me. And thenÖshe left me." He ended softly as he remembered her death.
"Iím so sorry Tom." BíElanna whispered.
"Donít worry about it. It was a long time ago and Iíve moved onÖbutÖI miss her so much." He whispered as he closed his eyes.
Soon after BíElannaís departure Tom went to bed as well. In the dim light of his quarters he thought about his mother and smiled as he remembered her love. He slept peacefully that night.
The next morning at exactly 0828 Lt. Paris walked onto the bridge looking less than pleased. The Doc could be so infuriating.
"What did the Doc say?" Harry asked quietly as Tom made his way to the helm.
"Other than Ďhmmí not much." Tom said still slightly annoyed. He took over the helm from Chakotay. He verified their course and prepared himself for another boring shift. An hour later the dull ness ended, for most anyway. They had found an interesting part of space and parked Voyager nearby to study it more closely. With Voyager parked there was nothing much for the pilots to do. Some were working with the science officers so they had something to do but others like Tom Paris were stuck in command of the bridge even though there was nothing happening on Voyager. At the moment though Tom was in his quarters babysitting little Naomi Wildman while her mother was on one of the shuttles doing scans of the spatial anomalies.
Naomi was content to draw with her crayons on the floor. What Tom was doing wasnít quite as entertaining. Writing the navigation report when they werenít moving was less than interesting. He had to write something substantial though. The commander wouldnít accept Ďall quiet on the western frontí. Heíd tried something like that before and needless to say the commander was less than amused. Tom quickly finished his report and joined Naomi on the floor of his quarters. "What are you drawing?" he asked her.
"Voyager. This is the bridge and thatís my quarters and there are your quarters." She said pointing to various parts of her picture. Tom smiled and got his own piece of paper and began to draw as well. Crayons. Not his favourite medium but it will do. He looked at Naomi and drew what he saw. Glancing up from his picture every so often a beautiful sketch began to take form. It was several minutes later when the door chime rang. Tom called for the person to enter. Commander Chakotay walked in. Tom was getting up when he saw who it was.
"At ease." Chakotay said and Tom sat back down, one arm resting on a drawn up knee.
"What can I do for you commander?" Tom asked hoping that he wasnít getting anymore boring duty-shifts on the bridge.
"The Captain has scheduled us to go on an away mission to a nearby planetoid to gather some food." Chakotay handed him a padd that had the details on it. Leaving Voyager at 1600 hours and not returning for three days. A class two shuttle. God help whoever first greets the commander when we get back. Class 2 shuttles are notorious for being very cramped but having ample cargo space. Tom seemed to have a natural ability to piss off the commander. Three whole days alone with him was not going to be a picnic. Tom tried to think of what he could have done recently to get on Janewayís bad side.
"Iíll see you in the Shuttle bay at 1600 hours then." Chakotay said. Tom nodded and Chakotay left. Tom went back to his drawing.
At 1550 Tom walked into the shuttleaby. He had just gone to tell BíElanna that he would be gone with Chakotay on an away mission for a few days. Needless to say, BíElanna thought that Chakotay and Tom alone on the same shuttle was a recipe for disaster and the jokes didnít end until he left Engineering. Tom saw the Chakotay standing by the shuttle that they would be taking and made his way their. Tom was carrying a bag with him and Chakotay enquired about what was in it.
"Just in case we have some extra time on the planetoid." Tom said with a small smile. Chakotay didnít bother asking anymore questions and went inside. He was wondering what he had done to get on the Captainís bad side. Three days with Tom Paris. What was Kathryn trying to do to him?
At exactly 1600 the shuttle received clearance from Janeway on the bridge and exited the shuttle bay. They both heard the smile in her voice when she gave them clearance. At least she thought that it was funny.
The first portion of the three hour journey was spent in silence. The only time they spoke to each other was when Chakotay asked Tom to stop fidgeting. Tom didnít even realize that he was doing it but Chakotay was noticing and he was getting rather irritated. Chakotay breathed a sigh of relief when they came up to an asteroid belt and had to drop out of warp. Piloting through the asteroids kept Tom busy so he wasnít fidgeting. Chakotay manned ops while Tom deftly guided the shuttle through the asteroids. To Chakotay though it seemed that Tom was a little pre-occupied with something else. "Paris if you need a break just say so." Chakotay offered not looking up from his console.
"Commander if you want to pilot just say so." Tom responded in the same tone not looking up from the helm controls. Chakotay didnít know what else to say and he never did when it came to talking to Paris. Chakotay felt slightly guilty about some of the things that he said to Tom during the first few months on Voyager. It didnít seem to bother Tom but he always kept his distance when it came to dealing with him. Chakotay had hoped that they would be able to put their pasts behind them but it wasnít that easy. Chakotay had a lot of questions to ask Tom but was afraid that they would re-ignite old battles and they would be bitter enemies again. He also still harboured a few old feelings about Tom.
Half an hour later Tom and Chakotay switched positions so that Chakotay got a chance to pilot through the asteroid field. Tom wasnít tired or anything but he had already guided the shuttle through fifty-six percent of the field and it was only fair to let Chakotay do the rest. Chakotay however found piloting the shuttle much more difficult than he would like to admit. After fifteen minutes of guiding the shuttle he gave the helm controls back to Paris and went back to ops. Chakotay watched Tom guide the shuttle through the most inconspicuous spaces with ease. Tom didnít seem tense at all. It made Chakotay wonder what happened at Kaldek prime that would have caused such a gifted pilot to make such a fatal mistake and what he did during his time with the Maquis to get caught by federation ships.
They had passed most of the asteroids but there were still a few ahead so they had to make the rest of the journey on impulse. Tom was at the helm while Chakotay sat back and read some reports. There were only a few asteroids here and there and Tom was getting really bored, really quick so he decided to have some fun and if he did it right Chakotay wouldnít even realize what was going on. Chakotay watched Tom curiously. From his position he could not see what Tom was doing on the helm controls but it seemed like more than whatís necessary to keep the shuttle moving in a straight line. Chakotay checked their speed and heading but everything checked out. Whatever Tom was doing wasnít having and effect on their course so Chakotay sat back again but kept an eye on Tom.
Tom was ready to try his little stunt. He had reconfigured the helm controls to give him full control of thrusters and impulse engines while turning up the sensitivity for the inertial dampers. Tom was going to perform some manoeuvres but that was the easy part. The hard part was to do it so smoothly that any other occupants of the shuttle would not notice that he had done anything. He remembered his friend Brandon doing this with the Phantom. He never got away with it when Tom was on the bridge. It was a game between the two of them. Brandon would try to do a manoeuvre without letting anybody detect it and Tom would try to determine when Brandon was doing the trick. Tom would send messages to Brandonís console saying things like ĎBUSTEDí to let Brandon know that he had caught him. They had to make sure that the Captain didnít catch them goofing off. Sometimes though tom thought the Captain knew and just didnít say anything.
Tom started the shuttle in a slow barrel roll. He used the thrusters to control the shuttle and keep the roll at a constant rate. He could have programmed the roll into the helm and had the computer do it and nobody would have noticed but since he was doing everything manually he had to work in tandem with the inertial dampers and not do anything that the computer would not be able to immediately compensate for or else the occupants of the shuttle would feel something and Tom would be caught red-handed. The shuttle was almost done the roll. The start the roll and ending the roll are the hardest parts. Tom slowed the roll and stopped it. He glanced back at the Commander who was still occupied with the report. Tom smiled to himself.
Chakotay looked at the back of Tomís head wondering what the man was up to. He saw Tom look back at him as if expecting to be reprimanded for doing something. Now what is he up to? Chakotay verified their heading and after sending Tom a warning look to the back of Tomís head he went back to reading reports.
After Chakotay had settled back into reading he began another manoeuvre. This time he would flip the shuttle so that the aft of the shuttle was in front and then continue the flip so that the shuttle was in itís original position. This one was trickier because he would have to cut the impulse engines but not let their speed drop too significantly or else Chakotay would feel it. Tom cut the impulse engines and using the thrusters began the flip. When the shuttle was horizontal but upside down he used the thrusters to keep up the shuttles momentum and then flipped the shuttle again so that it was back to normal and restarted the impulse engines. Tom looked back at Chakotay to see if he had felt anything. He hadnít and Tom went back to the helm controls to plan his next stunt.
They landed on the planet later and began scanned to see which areas they could collect the most fruits and vegetables in. They split up but remained within comm range. Tom found a large grove of vegetables that looked like tomatoes but unfortunately they were extremely sweet so he wouldnít be having any homemade tomato soup anytime soon. Hours later Tom was making trips back to the grove to carry the cargo case full of vegetables. When he brought the last one he saw the commander waiting at the entrance to the shuttle. "Paris," the commander began "What were you doing on the shuttle when I was reading reports."
"Sir?" Tom was hoping that Chakotay hadnít thoroughly checked the flight logs.
"The stunts that you were performing." Chakotay jogged said.
"Oh those." Tom said sheepishly.
"Yes those. If I hadnít checked the logs so carefully I would have missed it. It didnít cause any damage or endanger anybody but you still shouldnít deviate from the flight plan."
"I didnít. We stayed on course the entire time." Tom said in his defence.
"Technically yes, but you still shouldnít do that. Is that understood Lt.?"
"Yes Sir." Tom said emotionlessly and went back to moving the crates into the shuttle. Rats! He had gotten caught but not the conventional way. Tom just hoped that wouldnít sour the Commanderís mood for the rest of this trip.
"I think that weíve done enough for one day." The Commander said as he closed the cargo hatch. Tom wasnít listening however. "Paris." Tom turned to Chakotay and he had to stifle a laugh. Tom was rummaging through his bag and had one of the fruits of the planet held between his lips. "What are you doing?"
"Try one!" Tom said picking up the last fruit that he had and tossing it to Chakotay. It was a very sweet and juicy fruit.
"Where did you find it?" Chakotay asked after he swallowed his first bite.
"It fell from on of the plants that grows on a cliff." Tom said smiling. Chakotay had an idea what Tom was going to do.
"I take it your going to try and get more from the cliff using your climbing gear."
"Do you need help? You shouldnít climb alone."
"No, Iíll be fine. I always climb alone."
"Maybe." Tom was putting on some of his gear. "Besides I donít want to keep you from your vision quest."
"How did you know I was going to go on a vision quest?" Chakotay hadnít told him.
"I saw your akoonah." Tom nodded in the direction of the shuttle. He finished securing the last of his equipment and began down the path to the grove. "Have fun."
Chakotay was frustrated. He couldnít concentrate long enough to contact his spirit guide. His thoughts were occupied with a certain pilot. Tom Paris was an enigma to anyone. It seemed that no one really knows him. He was still curious about Tomís past just like most of the crew. Chakotay had talked to a lot of the crew, as a friend and as a councillor and had learnt a little bit about everyone. Tom Paris though he knew next to nothing about. Even Harry and BíElanna knew very little about his past. The Captain only knew what she read in the files and what she had heard from Admiral Paris but nothing from Tom himself.
Chakotay sighed and got up. He walked down the same path that Tom had gone down earlier and marvelled at the beauty of the plants. They hadnít seen any animals larger than a lizard. He came to a grove of plants that had the vegetables that Tom had picked. On one side of the grove was a sheer cliff face and the other was a steep grassy hill. The geography of this planetoid was very intriguing but they wouldnít have enough time to study it in any detail.
Chakotay heard a cracking sound and looked to the too of the cliff where he heard the sound coming from. At the top he could make out Tom hitting rocks off the cliff with a stick like he was playing baseball. Chakotay shook his head and turned back up the path to go back to the shuttle to try and contact his Spirit guide.
The sun had set completely when Tom returned carrying a backpack full of fruits and eating one. If Tom didnítí stop eating the fruit he picked they wouldnít have anything left to take to Voyager. Chakotay was eating his dinner from the replicator when Tom came back. Tom unloaded the contents of the pack into one of the cargo containers and then put his climbing gear away. When he had closed his bag he took it into the shuttle but didnít come out again and Chakotay began to wonder what he was doing. He walked into the shuttle and saw Tom sitting at the helm with his feet on a console. Tom had his eyes closed and head tilted back.
"You need something Commander?" Tom said not opening his eyes or moving an inch.
"No just wondering where you disappeared to. You should eat something."
"I think I ate too many of those fruits already." Tom said smiling slightly.
"Suit yourself." Chakotay left the shuttlecraft.
At 0512 Chakotay woke and found that the bunk across from him, where Tom was supposed to be sleeping, was empty. At first Chakotay thought that Tom had gone to the washroom but when he didnít here anything he got up to search for him. As he passed on of the consoles on his way to the exit Chakotay saw a blinking message.
The time the message was left read 0505. Chakotay was still curious as to what Tom could be doing at this time of day. He put on his uniform top and left the shuttle in search of Tom. After a few minutes of searching he saw Tom in a clearing doing some strange movements. Chakotay guessed that it was some martial art. Tom saw the Commander coming towards him and stopped what he was doing. JUST IN CASE YOUíRE WONDERING, IíM OUT AND ABOUT. IíLL BE BACK IN TIME TO HELP WITH THE HARVEST.
"Good morning." Tom said pleasantly.
"Morning? More like middle of the night. What are you doing up?"
"One could ask you the same question?" Tom said good-naturedly. Chakotay however was still half asleep and didnít seem to be in the mood for jokes so Tom answered. "Itís just something I do in the morning." Tom said.
"Tai-chi. Usually Iíd be in the gym but since I donít have that luxury at the moment, here I am. Didnít you get my message?"
"Yes, but you shouldnít be wandering off in the middle of the night."
"Morning," Tom corrected him.
"Night. Itís still dark out."
"Whatever floats your boat." Tom said shrugging.
"Donít stay out too long. Weíve still got a lot of work to do." Yes Dad! If Chakotay told him what to do one more time Tom was going to explode.
"Yes Sir." Tom went back to his Tai Chi and Chakotay went back to bed.
When Chakotay walked out of the shuttle at 0755 Tom was already outside, showered and changed and was bringing out more crates to hold the fruits and vegetable that they picked. The day went by slowly; picking fruits taking breaks and picking more fruit. Today however Tom and Chakotay were in the same area so they had to deal with each otherís company. For some unknown reason Tom began sneezing. When the sneezing fit ended Tom saw Chakotay looking at him trying not to laugh. Tom however didnít think that it was funny. He was getting a headache (and him without a hypo), his nose was itching, his throat was beginning to hurt and his eyes were watering.
"Are you okay, Paris?" Chakotay asked.
"Wipe that smile off your face. Thereís something in the air here and itís not agreeing with me." Tom took out his tricorder and scanned the air, he then scanned himself. He was having an allergic reaction to whatever was in the air but it hadnít gotten into his bloodstream yet. He turned the tricorder on Chakotay. He wasnít reacting to anything but he had to check. What he saw didnít make him feel better. "Commander, how do you feel?" Tom said still staring at the tricorder readings.
"Fine. Maybe a little tired, but weíve been doing a lot of work. Why?"
"Whatever is in the air is in your bloodstream. You didnít react to it so your body didnít recognize it as a foreign contaminant. You should get to the shuttle."
"What effect will it have on me?"
"It seems to be working as a depressant. Itís not serious yet but if prolonged exposure is only going to make it worse."
"Iíll go back to the shuttle within the hour." Chakotay went back to work.
"Commander, I donít think that you understand the threat here. The stuff in your blood is working as a depressant. If thereís too much of it your heart could stop." Tom said.
"Iíll be fine."
"As the medical officer on this mission, Iím ordering you back to the shuttle. Itís for your own good." Chakotay glared at him for a moment before sighing in defeat.
"What are you going to be doing? You shouldnít be out here either."
"I know. Iíll be climbing trees trying to find whatís emitting this substance. Once I find it I can study it more closely and find something that will combat its effects."
Twenty minutes later. "Paris to Chakotay."
"Are you in the shuttle yet?"
"Yes. Are you checking up on me?"
"Itís my job. Paris out." Tom was in the branches of one of the trees near the top where the blossoms where. This was the third tree he had climbed and he still hadnít found the source of the pollen. He sad scanned the plants and shrubs on the ground and hadnít found anything there either. Jumping down from the tree he looked around. There were at least a dozen different types of trees that he had yet to scan. He needed to narrow down the search. He was beginning to feel the effects of the pollen-his headache was getting worse, he was sneezing more and feeling tired. He kicked up some dirt as he walked to the next group of trees. He noticed the dust drifted before it settled again. The wind! He picked up a handful of dirt and tossed it into the air. It drifted in a westward direction towards the shuttle. The Wind was coming from the east and since whatever they were reacting to was airborne the wind must be carrying it. He wade his way further east and came to an area of forest where the ground was covered by little flowers. Scans indicated they were the source of the pollen. And they look so innocent. Tom collected some of plants in a small container and start back for the shuttle.
"Paris to Chakotay."
"Chakotay," a tired voice replied.
"How are you feeling?" Tom asked over the comm line.
"Iíll be back in a couple of minutes. Stay in the shuttle."
"I donít think I have the energy to go anywhere. Chakotay out."
Tom picked up the pace and made it back to the shuttle in record time. When he entered he found Chakotay lying on his bunk. Taking the medical tricorder from the med kit he scanned Chakotay. His heart rate was steady but slightly slow. His blood glucose levels were also low. Tom gave him a hypo to raise his glucose level. He didnít bother waking him since he would just have to lie there anyway. Tom went to work analysing the pollen. It was an hour later when he had found out enough about the pollen to give the right medication. The wrong medication could worsen the situation. Tom shot up the Commander with the medication and then gave himself a smaller dosage. Checking the Commanderís vitals, Tom left a message and then went back outside.
Every hour or so Tom would check on the Commander. He was slowly getting better but Tom was worried by the lack of progress. He woke Chakotay around dinner time.
"Commander! Time to wake up! Chakotay, up!" Tom said trying to rouse him. Chakotay mumbled and went back to sleep. If thatís the way you want to be! Tom started shaking Chakotay and calling his name. When Chakotay still ignored him he tried a different tactic. "Commander, Voyagerís under attack!" Tom said frantically. Chakotay immediately got up. He was standing and looking around when he saw Tomís smiling face and realized that they were still on the away mission. He sighed and sat heavily on the bunk.
"Paris, youíre more annoying than any alarm could ever be." Chakotay said rubbing a tired hand down his face. Tom smirked and started scanning Chakotay with a medical tricorder.
"Flattery will get you everywhere."
"How about off this away mission?" Chakotay was still half asleep.
"Not quite that far. But these tricorder reading might get you off this planet." Tom said trying to make sense of the odd tricorder readings. "How do you feel?"
"Odd." Tom made hand gestures for him to go on. "Tired, confused, irritatedÖ" he said glaring at Tom.
"Thereís a neurotransmitter imbalance in the frontal lobes of your brain. Thatís causing the irritability. Your glucose levels are still low so thatís why youíre tired." Tom explained to his patient.
"And the Confusion?"
"a combination of being tired and irritatedÖand half asleep." Tom gave him a hypo. "I think that we should take what we have and go back to Voyager. Thereís an imbalance of acetylcholine in your cerebral cortex."
"Skip the medical mumbo-jumbo and tell me what that means."
"Itís going to stimulate your more aggressive tendencies. If the imbalance gets too severe it could result in brain damage."
"How likely is the possibility of brain damage?"
"Thirty percent, if the imbalance goes untreated for too long."
"Iíll take that chance." Chakotay began to get up but Tom forced him back down.
"I wonít. I just need to finish packing up the crates and then weíll be off."
"Iím in charge of this mission Paris."
"Commander youíre in no condition to make decisions." Tom said trying to make him see that they needed to leave.
"Weíre going to complete this mission. Voyager needs the food supplies." Chakotay was standing again and heading for the exit. Tom quickly cut him off.
"Youíre right Commander, Voyager does need the supplies. Weíve got all the crates full except for two. I think weíll survive. If necessary we can send another away team here to get more but right now you need medical attention that I canít provide for you on this shuttle." Tom was trying to reason with him hoping that the ever-logical commander would understand.
"Fine but we need to load the last crates into the shuttle." Chakotay said, trying to get past Tom.
"Iíll do it. You should take it easy. Your blood sugar levels are too low."
"I can help-" Suddenly Chakotay was overcome by a dizzy spell and began to fall. Tom caught him and helped him back to his bunk. Chakotay shrugged off his help.
"I donít need your help."
"Obviously." Tom said under his breath. "Just rest here and Iíll load the shuttle. Weíll be back on Voyager before you know it."
"Just get to work." Chakotay lay back and closed his eyes.
"Yes Sir." Tom said giving him a mock salute. Tom walked outside the shuttle to finish loading the shuttle. He was hoping that he had enough patience to handle Chakotay in a bad mood. Twenty minutes later. Tom was at the helm and piloting the shuttle away from the planetoid. He checked on the Commander an hour later. He was asleep and Tom was relieved that he wouldnít have to deal with a cranky Chakotay. Tom knew that he wasnít Chakotayís favourite person so that would only make his mood worse.
It was hours later when Chakotay woke. The slight motion of the shuttle as Tom piloted the shuttle through the asteroid field woke him and he wasnít feeling very genial. He walked to the front of the shuttle and sat in the Ops station. He had enough good judgement left to know that he would not be able to pilot the shuttle through the asteroid field.
"Commander." Tom greeted.
"Paris." Chakotay practically spat his name.
"Nice to see you too." Tom said quietly.
"I said that weíre almost through." Tom lied. They were both silent for a while. The shuttle cleared the steroid field and jumped to the highest warp that it was capable of but it would still be at least an hour until they were within hailing range of Voyager. Chakotayís comment broke the silence.
"Too bad you didnít pilot that well when we you were part of the Maquis."
"Yeah too bad." Tom said impassively.
"Or at Kaldek Prime." Chakotay continued. Tom didnít comment. They sat in an uncomfortable silence for a while before Chakotay got up and went back to his bunk. Tom activated the auto-pilot and sat back to debate whether that was Chakotay talking or the chemical imbalance. After a few minutes he tired of the debate and came to a satisfactory resolution: It was a bit of both. The chemical imbalance in his brain made him say things that he would not have normally said to his face. So he meant everything? Tom sighed and got up. This debate was getting old. He had tried to earn the Commanderís respect since the two crews merged but everything seemed to be met with anger and hatred. After three years on Voyager he thought that he and Chakotay could, at the very least, put the past behind them if they wouldnít come to terms with it. Tom respected Chakotay, even though he may not show it very often, and had hoped to earn Chakotayís respect but it seems that everything he did was met with anger, hatred, suspicion and the list went on and onÖ.and on.
Tom walked to the back to where Chakotay lay. He wasnít sure if Chakotay was asleep but it didnít matter, he just wanted to check that the Commanderís condition didnít get any worse. He quietly walked over to Chakotay, crouched beside him and scanned him with the tricorder.
"Canít you leave me alone." Chakotay asked, his annoyance showing. He opened his eyes and glared at Tom. Chakotayís eyes were red and watering like his were earlier. Tom took it as a good sign that his body was trying to get rid of the foreign particles in his system.
"I just need to check that youíre okay." Tom said calmly.
"I donít want you to take care of me." Chakotay spat.
"Is my beside manner that bad?" Tom joked hoping to lift some of the tension.
"No, I just donít want you near me. In fact I donít want you near anybody, especially BíElanna!" He should have known that wouldnít work. Chakotay never did like many of his jokes.
"Chakotay, I assure you that my intension towards BíElanna are completely honourable." Tom said seriously. He tried to convince himself that it was the chemical imbalance talking and brush off what the Commander was saying but it was hitting pretty close to home.
"I donít care what you say. Just leave me alone." Chakotay turned his back to Tom. Somewhere in the back of his mind it registered that he was saying things that he didnít mean.
Tom went back to the helm and watched the stars go by. He was trying not to think about what Chakotay said but everything seemed to bring him back to that topic. Music would be nice right now. Tom glanced back at Chakotayís bunk and saw Chakotay glaring at him. Maybe music wouldnít be a good idea. He sighed and watched the stars go by.
Finally the shuttle was within hailing range of Voyager. Tom told them of their predicament and as soon as they were within range Tom and Chakotay were both beamed to sickbay while someone else brought the shuttle in.
In sickbay Tom and the Doctor where waking Chakotay so that he could move onto a biobed. Chakotay had fallen asleep before they reached Voyager and the transporters had deposited him on the floor of Sickbay. The doctor scanned Chakotay as soon as he appeared to make sure that he was just sleeping but he failed to warn Tom that the imbalance was worse and that Chakotay would be more violent. When Chakotay woke and saw Tom aver him he swung out with a fist. It didnít connect with anything but air-Tom had dodged the blow. Tom stood and Chakotay did the same.
"Paris! I told you to stay away from me. I donít want you help!" Chakotay said advancing on him. Tom didnítí move an inch.
"Okay Iíll stay away from you." Tom said deciding not to bother arguing.
"No you wonít! You donít learn anything until somebody dies!" Tom and the Doctor both knew that he was referring to Kaldek Prime. The doctor was talking to Chakotay trying to calm him but was being ignored. Chakotay walked up to Tom until he was about a meter from Tom. He suddenly swung his fist and punched Tom in the cheek. Tom had seen the punch coming and could have avoided it but didnít. Tomís head snapped to one side. Raising his head again he stared at Chakotay who was breathing heavily. Not an emotion was visible on his face or in his eyes.
"Better?" Tom asked calmly. Chakotay stepped back and turned away from him. The Doctor was getting a sedative when he saw that Chakotay was going to attack Tom but was not fast enough to stop it.
Chakotay was rather subdued after that and once the Doctor counteracted the effects of the pollen with Tom assisting him, Chakotay was feeling much more like himself but was feeling a lot of shame as well. He could remember every single thing that he had said and done to Tom.
Tom had been quiet the entire time he was helping treat Chakotay and was currently talking to the Doctor at the far biobed. "Youíll be fine. You didnít have much of the pollen in your blood stream and your implants have gotten rid of most of it." The Doctor said closing the tricorder. Tom didnít worry about the doctor knowing about the implants in his kidneys and liver. The Doctor couldnít say anything to anyone about them. "There is still the matter of the bruise forming on your face."
"I can take care of that." Tom said emotionlessly. He just wanted to leave sickbay. The doctor nodded and told Tom to check the Commanderís bio reading before he left. The Doc knew that Chakotay wanted to talk to Tom about what happened. For a hologram, he sure did understand a lot about human nature.
Tom would heal the bruise with the dermal regenerator in his quarters so all he had to do was check on the Commander. Oh joy. As if he hadnít done enough of that for the past several hours. He hopped of the bed with a sigh and walked over to the Commanderís bed. Tapped a few buttons and was about to leave when Chakotay called him.
"Paris," he sighed "Tom, Iím sorry for what I did to you and even more so for the things I said." Chakotay didnít see any emotion in Tom at all. No anger. No resentment. No nothing.
"Donít loose any sleep over it. Iím used to it." And he walked out of Sickbay. The Doctor and Chakotay watched his retreating form in silence both thinking the same thing. ĎHow does someone get used to being harassed?í
Captain Janeway was walking to Sickbay to check on her two crewmen. She passed Tom as he was leaving Sickbay. "Are you alright Tom?" she asked him.
"Iím fine." He answered quickly. Too quickly. He kept on walking. Janeway noticed the bruise of his cheek. She would ask him about it later. She walked in to Sickbay to check on Chakotay. The Doctor informed her that he was not going on duty until tomorrow. She nodded at the Doctor and proceeded to Chakotayís bed. He smiled weakly at her.
"Short trip." She said returning his smile. He sighed.
"Too long actually. And your little plan backfired."
"Oh? What plan is that?"
"Send Chakotay and Tom on an away mission together and maybe theyíll come back friends. That plan."
"Ohhh. That plan. How bad could it have been. I know Tom is a fidget and can get fairly annoying but he couldnít have done anything to warrant you punching him." Janeway said. She noticed Chakotay look intently at her and explained her deduction. "I saw the bruise on his face." She said quietly. Chakotay sighed again.
"Youíre right. He didnít do anything that he deserved to be punched for. Apparently the pollen on the planetoid brought out aggressive tendencies in me. IÖsaid and did some things that I shouldnít have." He said, unable to meet her eyes. Janeway placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"Iím sure that Tom understands that you didnít mean what you said."
"Iím not sure I didnít" he said quietly "I would never have said those things to Tom but I wonder if theirs some truth in what I said and what I felt."
"Something for you to talk to your Spirit Guide about and maybe your friends." She suggested. Giving him a pat on the shoulder she left Sickbay.
Hours later Tom was in his quarters eating a P&J sandwich (peanut butter and jelly) and thinking. He had only finished half of the sandwich and already didnít want to eat anymore of it. The chime rang and BíElanna walked in without waiting for a response. He smiled at her but it didnít reach his eyes. She sat on the couch next to him and he put his arm around her. They were both silent for a while until Bíelanna spoke.
"Chakotay talked to me." She said
"Oh yeah what did he tell you? To stay away from me?" Tom enquired expressionlessly. Bíelanna turned so that she could see his face.
"No. He told me about what happened." With her fingerís on his chin she forced him to look at her. "He told me that he was sorry for what he did to you-for what he said to you."
"I always knew he hated me but I had hoped that some of what I did would let us leave our past where it belonged. I guess I was wrong." Tom said shrugging.
"No you werenít. Chakotay doesnít hate you Tom. If he did then he wouldnít feel as bad as he does right now." She pauses. "He wants to talk to you. Donít roll your eyes! He wonít be throwing any punches. Yeah he told me about that too. But when he talks to you, let him speak and donít make any smart-ass comments."
"Iíll try not to." Tom said smiling slightly. BíElanna was rather pleased with herself for having put that little smile there.
Chakotay lay in bed staring at the ceiling of his quarters. He was still thinking about what he did to Tom. He had slept a few hours and woke up with his thoughts in turmoil. He had to talk to Tom and the sooner the better. He had talked with Kathryn, BíElanna and his Spirit guide but he still had to talk to Tom. He couldnít imagine what Tom was doing or feeling tight now. He looked at the chronometer. 0543. Actually he could guess what Tom was doing right now. He got up and dressed in some off-duty clothes. Asking the computer for Tomís location he proceeded to the holodeck.
When he got there the program running was called DOJO2. There was no privacy lock in place so Chakotay entered the holodeck. He walked into a large room where their were a few people practicing moves and techniques off to the side but in the middle on a matted floor was Tom using a long bow fighting with another man also armed with a long bow. Tom was dressed in the same black uniform that he others had. They were attacking each other quickly and neither seemed to have the upper hand. One would seem to be wining but the other would pull a quick move that would turn the table. They were taking rapid steps and using the bow as a weapon and for defence. Tom finally managed to trip the other man and won the battle. They bowed to each other and left the floor. Chakotay was impressed. He had seen Tom fight before but was still impressed. Chakotay walked across the mat to where Tom was working at a dummy that had targets marked on it. A young man walked up to Tom and whispered something to him. Tom turned and saw the Commander walking towards him. He sighed and nodded to the young man.
"Commander what brings you here?" Tom asked not quite as pleasantly as he usually would have.
"You. I was hoping that I could talk to you."
"Now? All right. Come with me." Tom and Chakotay walked in silence outside the dojo so that they were in a garden at the front of the building. There were cherry blossom trees in full bloom. The sun was just rising over the mountainous horizon casting soft sunlight over the entire place. The breeze was shaking petals onto the already covered ground. It was a beautiful place. Chakotay wished that he could come here again. Chakotay had his hands clasped behind his back. Tom was watching the sunrise with his back to Chakotay.
"Tom, Iím sorry for what I said and did to you. I didnít mean what I said to you about BíElanna. I do trust you and I hope that youíll forgive me." Tom turned to face him but was looking down.
"I said before that Iím used to it. It doesnít matter."
"Yes it does. No one should have to get used to the way I treated you. I do respect you and I trust you with my life. In fact I owe my life to you."
"I didnít mean that. Debts off. You donít owe me anything." Tom wanted to get this conversation over with. Talking to Commander Chakotay was too weird. He didnít know how to respond to anything. He was worried that he would unwittingly say something that the Commander would get mad at him for.
"Tom," Chakotay said after a pause. "I donít know what happened in your past that took you on the path your life has gone thus far but I know that youíre making an effort to rebuild your life. Youíve earned my respect and the respect of the entire crew. I donít know if my respect means anything to you but you have it." Tom and Chaktoay were looking each other in the eyes now. Chakotay extended his hand and Tom shook it. "I hope that we can move forward from here."
"I hope so too." Tom said sincerely. Tom wished he knew what else to say but didnít. Chakotay took care of what to say problem when he asked his next question after a long pause.
"Where are we?" Chakotay asked changing the subject to something else less serious.
"My Karate program. Itís a Dojo in Japan. I trained here for a while."
"Black belt?" he said looking at the belt tied around Tomís waist. Tom nodded. "What degree? There are degrees arenít there? Iím not very familiar with martial arts."
"Yes there are degrees. Iím fifth degree." Tom said smiling a bit. "If youíll excuse me I need to shower and stuff. Feel free to stay a while though Commander."
"You can call me Chakotay." Tom smiled and left the holodeck. Chakotay walked around the program for a while feeling more at piece with himself. He and Tom still had a long way to go before they were going to be friends, if they could be friends at all, but they had made a start today.
Two days later the doctor called Tom to sickbay. He had discovery to unveil. Tom walked into sickbay and joined the Doctor in his office. Taking a seat in one of the chairs the Doctor began. "Iíve examined the results of the neural scan and have found and compared them to another scan. Kesí. I thought I saw a similarity between yours and hers and Iíve isolated it."
"So Iím telepathic or something?" Tom said not believing the Doctor was entirely serious. The Doc seemed rather excited about something though.
"No. As far as I can tell you possess some psychokinetic abilities." The doctor said happily. Tom just stared at him not believing he was saying.
"Doc quit kidding around-"
"Iím not joking Mr. Paris. Iíll show you." The Doctor got up from his desk and walked to the main diagnostic console. Tom followed. The Doc called up Tomís scan and then that of Kes. He isolated the common reading from each scan and overlaid them. They were almost identical. Tom couldnít believe it.
"Are you sure? It might just be some fluke readings."
"I donít believe so but theirs only one way to find out. Iíll need to take you off the neural suppressant that you take for headaches." Tom was shaking his head already.
"I donít think thatís a good idea Doc."
"Itís the only way to confirm whether or not you have psychokinetic abilities. When I looked in your file for the Starfleet psyche evaluation it wasnít there. It may allow us to find another way to treat your migraines as well." Tom looked at the Doc and raised an eyebrow. The Doc knew what he was getting at "This is also an amazing medical phenomena. Psychokinetic abilities in humans are even more rare than telepathic abilities. Itís a once in a lifetime chance to study psychokinetic abilities in humans." The Doc was excited just as he is when heís making any other medical or scientific discovery. Tom sighed and thought about it. It meant a lot to the Doctor to study this sort of thing but he didnít want to be some science experiment. But they may be able to find another way of controlling his migraines if the Doctor was right about this abilities thing. The neural suppressant he was taking was reaching a dangerous level. They had to find another option.
"Okay Doc youíve got yourself a guinea pig."
"Youíll hardly be a guinea pig, Mr. Paris. But weíll will need to bring Mr. Tuvok in on this however."
"What? Why?" Tom wasnít sure if he wanted anyone else knowing about this thing.
"We need someone who is experienced in this sort of thing to help you control your abilities. You may use your abilities without knowing it and cause damage to something or someone. Mr. Tuvok worked with Kes, he should be able to help you too, if you cooperate."
"Youíre assuming I have abilities at all."
"Iíd bet my matrix that you have some sort of mental abilities. Iím assuming that youíve never used these abilities before."
"Iíve been taking medication for migraines since I can remember Doc. Iíve never used any of myÖabilities." Tom was smirking trying not to laugh. This was outrageous. The Doctor thinking he had a gift like Kesí and he was willing to bring Tuvok in on this. He really believed those scans. Tom was very sceptical but then a thought hit him. "How bad will my headaches be if I stop taking the suppressant."
"Iím not exactly sureÖYou could get quite bad headaches." The Doctor said.
"Severe migraine bad." The Doctor sighed thinking that Tom was going to back out.
"Well no pain no gainÖI guess." Tom said with resignation but was still unsure.
"Thatís the spirit. Iíll talk to Tuvok and you can start by taking this." The doc picked up a hypospray. "It will neutralize the suppressant that you have in your bloodstream." The Doctor pressed it to Tomís neck. "Some of it actually comes from the pollen that was in your and the Commanderís blood streams but his wonít have the same effect it had on you before."
"What about my duties?"
"I think that after a few days youíll be able to go on duty without your headaches bothering you if you do as Tuvok tells you."
"Iíll do what he says! Stop nagging. Youíre going to have to tell the Captain then and Chakotay so that they can arrange the duty roster around your experiments." Tom informed him. "Sheesh everybodyís going to know about this."
"No. I think that weíll keep this between the senior staff."
"The Senior Staff?"
"Well Iím assuming that youíre going to tell Ensign Kim and Lt. Torres about this. The rest of the Senior Staff will know."
"Yeah Iíll tell them. Can I go now?"
"Oh yes. When your headache gets very bad come back here." Tom nodded and left. The next few weeks were going to be hell. The Doctor and Tuvok, just great.
After Tom left the Doctor scheduled a meeting with Commander Chakotay and Captain Janeway and half an hour later they were both seated in his office.
"Are you sure?" Janeway asked. The Doctor sighed. Why did everybody keep asking that question. He turned the computer monitor to them and showed them the obvious similarities between Kesí and Tomís neural scan. Janeway and Chakotay were stunned.
"And he never knew about this?" Chakotay asked the Doctor. The Doctor shook his head.
"Mr. Paris has taking medication for migraines since he was seven years old. His doctors thought that they were just regular migraines but I think that Starfleet thought that there might be something more to it. You may have noticed that the Lt.ís psyche test was missing from his file." They both nodded. BíElanna had told them about that when they were eating in the mess hall.
"The medication that Tom takes now, what is it exactly?" Janeway asked.
"Itís a special neural suppressant." Before the Doctor could go on Chakotay interrupted.
"Wait. A neural suppressant? How can somebody take that without passing out?"
"If youíd let me continue I would have told you that the suppressant only affects areas of extremely high or erratic brain function, in small doses that is. Itís very necessary that we find another alternative to control Mr. Parisís migraines. They are becoming progressively more frequent and much worse. If this had not come up I would have had to take him off the suppressant and tried alternate treatments. The level of medication that he is taking now is already near the limit."
"What happens if you up the doseage?" Chakotay asked
"The suppressant would slow and possibly stop other brain functions including the autonomic functions. A higher doseage would cause unconsciousness loss of short term memory and possibly induce a comatose state. Continued use of such a high dosage would cause irreversible brain damage." Chakotay and Janeway sat there in silence, each of them thinking of the possible danger that Tom was in. They werenít sure at first whether it was necessary for Tom to go off the suppressant but now that theyíve seen the entire picture they see that the sooner Tom stops taking the suppressant the better.
"Commander start rotating the helm officers to cover Tomís shifts for an indefinite period of time. You may have to take some shifts as well." Janeway ordered to her second in command "Doctor do what you need to weíll manage without Tom at the helm for a while."
"Only a few days if things go well." The doctor said happily.
Now the only thing left for the Doctor to do was ask Tuvok for his assistance.
Sandrines that night. Tom, BíElanna and Harry were playing a round of pool. Tom was, as usual, schooling them. He was telling them about his visit to see the Holodoc. "No Way!" Harry exclaimed in disbelief. Several people in the bar looked at him.
"Pick your jaw up off the floor Harry." Tom said as he lined up his next shot.
"Who else is going to know about this?" BíElanna asked. She was stunned as well. Psychokinetic! Maybe thatís why his psyche test wasnít in his file.
"Only the Senior staff. Janeway and Chakotay so that they can fix the roster to cover my shifts, Tuvok to help out with myÖíabilityí for lack of a better word, and you guys know now."
"But what about your migraines? Theyíll get really bad." BíElanna said. She wasnít so sure that it would be a good idea for Tom to be off the medication. She has seen him with a migraine before and she didnít like to think that he would be living the next couple of days and possibly weeks in that sort of pain.
"Donít I know it." Tom sighed "But the Doc canít see an alternative. The medication Iím taking now isnít working as well as it used to and the dosage canít be increased." Tom shrugged. There was no way around it. If he kept taking the suppressant he would only be delaying the inevitable. "I have to warn you guys though, I wonít be my normal charming self when I have a migraine." Tom said smiling.
"You mean we get a break from the bad jokes, awful puns-" Harry said jokingly
"Donít forget the inappropriate comments on the bridge." BíElanna said smiling.
"Yeah, just keep acting like you wonít miss them." Tom said smiling as he lined up the eight ball. He knew that he probably wouldnít be up to joking with them when the suppressant completely wears off and he has a migraine.
The next morning, actually it was only 0352, Tom woke up with a raging migraine. He needed to get to sickbay. He donned some off-duty clothes since he wasnít on duty for the next little while. The lights in the halls of Voyager were as bright as ever and they only made the migraine worse. Each step he took made his head hurt more and the ride in the turbolift didnít seem as smooth as it usually was.
At long last he made it to his destination. The lights in Sickbay seemed even brighter than the ones in the corridor. The Doctor was working on the main diagnostic console singing to himself. Usually Tom could stand the Docís singing even if it wasnít quite his style but right now everything seemed to bother him and make his head hurt a bit more.
"Doc," Tom ground out.
"Ah Mr. Paris, headache?" he asked cheerfully. Tom just glared at him. What he wouldnít give to wipe that smile off his holographic face. "Lie down on the main biobed." Tom did as he was told and closed his eyes and tried to will the migraine away. The doctor ran the scans and tests that he had prepared last night.
"Excellent." The doc said as he finished the last in a series of scans.
"You may think so, but things arenít so peachy on this side." Tom said. He still had his eyes closed. The migraine wasnít as bad as before but it was still there.
"Thereís an increase in brain activity. I believe that supports my hypothesis."
"Whatever." Tom said tiredly.
"Iíll call Commander Tuvok."
"Doc it only a bit past four. You canít call Tuvok now." Just then the doors to Sickbay opened and Lt. Commander Tuvok entered.
Tom sighed "Speak of the devilÖ"
"Commander, We were just debating whether to wake you." The Doctor said, pleased that they wouldnít have to wait until a more suitable time of day to begin Tomís Ďtrainingí.
Tuvok nodded to the Doctor and walked over to Tom who greeted him briefly before concentrating on making his headache go away. Tuvok spoke to the Doc about where they should start.
"Just out of scientific curiousity," The Doc began "why did you come here at this time?" It seemed like more than a coincidence that Tuvok would just happen to be passing by Sickbay and decide to stop by.
"Mr. Parisí mental signature increased in power making his presence more similar to that of the other telepaths on board. It was a significant enough increase to wake me from sleep." The Doctor nodded as Tuvok spoke. It was all very fascinating. He wondered if the other telepaths on board would feel a change. He asked Tuvok about that.
"No. It takes a highly disciplined mind to be able to separate the individual signatures." Tuvok said. The Doc nodded and placed a cortical monitor on Tuvok and on Tom. He was glad that no one else would be able to identify the difference in Tom.
Tuvok explained to Tom what he was going to perform a short mind meld in order to isolate Tomís mental ability. Giving his consent Tuvok started the mind-meld while the Doctor monitored both of them. The Doc wasnít a big fan of mind-melds.
It was several minutes later that there was a noticeable change in Tom. His cortical readings became less erratic. Only slightly but it was enough for the Doctor to notice. Tomís eyes which had remained closed throughout the meld slowly opened. His eyes were open but he wasnít seeing. He was preoccupied with what was going on in side his head. He could feel a difference. Mostly that his headache was diminishing. Tuvok, however, was showing some signs of distress. Nothing serious but the Doctor would make sure to watch for any increase in anxiety in the Vulcan. A moment later the doctor heard a quiet rattling sound. He looked in the direction of the sound and saw a hypospray moving on one of the trays. A few seconds later other small objects around sickbay were moving a bit. The readings from Tom spiked for a short while as the objects moved but levelled off. Tuvoks readings became more erratic and the doctor was tempted to end the meld but Tuvoks readings levelled as well. Eventually and Sickbay was still, with the exception of the two people and one hologram.
After half an hour Tuvok ended the link. Tom sat up on the biobed feeling much better than he had earlier. Tuvok seemed a little tired. Tom was going to leave but the Doctor wouldnít let him and Tom was forced to lay back on the biobed. Tuovk and the Doc went into the Docís office while a scan was run on Tom. "What did you find in their? Though Iím not sure I want to know." The Doctor said. His attempt at humour falling flatter than a pancake.
Tuvok ignored the Doctorís attempt at humour "I have isolated what I believe to be some sort of mental power though I believe that you were correct in your hypothesis that Mr. Paris has some Psychokinetic ability. In fact it is very powerful but an undisciplined mind will not be able to harness the full potential." Tuvok said as he reflected on the mind meld. "The strength of his ability nearly overwhelmed me during the meld."
"Yes I noticed the change in your cortical readings. And some of the items in Sickbay began to vibrate for a brief moment."
"I was attempting to alleviate some of the force that I encountered during the meld by utilising his abilities." Tuvok said.
"So I do have some sort of mental ability." Tom said from the doorway of the office. The Doc had seen him enter but Tuvok had his back to him so didnít acknowledge his presence.
"Yes, but I will take many lessons to properly discipline yourself to be able to use and control your abilities."
"How do you feel Mr. Paris?" The Doc asked.
"Much better actually. No headache." He said merrily.
Four days later Tom returned to duty. His lessons with Tuvok were going well but they were both driving the other crazy. Tom constantly wanting to move onto the next lesson and Tuvok always wanting to make sure that they were being thorough. Tom had yet to do anything with his abilities but he knew how to keep from doing anything so that he wouldnít accidentally break something. It wasnít until a month later that he actually moved his first object. Tom was absolutely ecstatic when he moved the cup a few centimetres.
That was only a start to the things that he would be able to do when he had mastered his abilities. For the next year every week and sometimes twice a week when Tuvok thought it was necessary, Tom would go to Tuvokís quarters for another lesson. Tom was a quick study and quickly learnt and mastered the lessons that Tuvok taught him. Tom had always joked that he would be taking lessons with Tuvok until they reached earth. He didnít know that the day they got to earth would be much sooner than any of them would anticipate. It would bring out a lot about Tom that no one knew.
End Part IV