Title: The Nameless
Series Part VII
Author: Zappy Zaps
Summary: Tom has to deal with
the repercussions of being part of Special Ops and having a life outside
of it when the two sides to his life clash. Trouble escalates when
the Viper Prime forces their hand.
Category: P, P/T (Action/Adventure)
Disclaimer: I don’t own Paris,
Torres Janeway, etc. I’m not getting anything from this except the satisfaction
of knowing that I am taking up space on the internet by posting my stories
(good enough for me). Holmes, Martinez, Davis, Jackson… you get the
idea …they are mine.
Author’s note: Hope fully
this series will end soon. How? When? I don not yet know.
In the meantime here’s another instalment.
Names of Agents and code names
Captain Mattey Jackson------------Arrow
Commander Tom Paris-------------Phoenix
Lt. Commander (Dr.) Ian Morris--Onyx
Lt. Commander Brandon Davis---Mase
Ensign Mia Holmes-----------------Jade
Ensign Drew Illis--------------------Falcon
Ensign Adrian Scott-----------------Saber
Tom walked numbly through the
halls of Voyager. He was on his way to the transporter room from
sickbay. His thoughts where not on his destination however; rather
they were focussed on his team member and friend that was lying in Sickaby
barely clinging to life. The Doctors had been able to stabilize her
but her prognosis was not very good.
“Lt. Paris.” Tom
acknowledged that someone was calling his name. He stopped walking
and turned around. “I had not expected to see you here this evening.”
Seven said as she approached him. Tom just shrugged and waited for
her to get to the point. “Is something wrong?” Seven asked when she noticed
that Tom wasn’t his chipper self.
“No. I’ll see you later
Seven.” Tom said and walked away. Seven watched him go.
His behaviour was peculiar. Something was bothering him but what, she did
Tom walked into transporter
room two. There was no one stationed here right now since it was
only a skeleton crew on duty. Transporter room one was the one being
used for any transports that where happening tonight. Tom walked
over to the controls. He pressed a few buttons before comming sickbay
to make sure that Dr. Morris (Ian/Onyx) and Mia Holmes (Jade) were ready
to be beamed back to the Phantom. He received an affirmative from
Sickbay and commed the Phantom to see if they were ready for Mia to be
beamed over to the ship. They had to fix some damage on the Phantom
to make sure that the power systems were not compromised in case Mia had
to be put on life support. After receiving an affirmative from Mossek
(Dacal) he proceeded to transport Morris and Holmes to the Phantom.
He then inputted some commands into the console and walked over to the
transporter padd. “Energize.” And he was beamed to the pre-programmed
“It was a God-damn trap!” Tom
nearly yelled as he paced the briefing room on the Phantom. Captain Mattey
Jackson (Arrow) watched as his first officer wore a hole in the carpet.
“Prime [Viper Prime] knew exactly what we were going to do and knew all
the weak points. It was a set up if I’ve ever seen one! We
knew it could be a trap. You’d never been able to trace the signal
before but this time Mia did. She even told us that it was a trap!”
Tom stopped pacing. “Why didn’t I see it coming?”
“Nobody saw it coming Tom.
Don’t blame yourself.” Jackson told him. Tom took a deep breath
to calm himself.
“Anything from Prime yet?”
he asked, wondering if Prime had called to gloat yet.
Jackson shook his head “Nothing.”
Tom flopped into one of the chairs and stared at the wall. Jackson
stared at Tom wondering what thoughts where going through that head.
Tom wasn’t the same man that that he knew nearly five years ago.
There are small yet profound changes. Tom pounded his fist on the
table and got up and began pacing again. Jackson nearly sighed, the
more they change the more they stay the same.
“I think that it’s time we
stopped waiting. Mia had been able to trace the signal. Maybe
we could use some of that information to track down the ship that attacked.”
“I don’t think that will work.”
Before he could even go on Tom said:
“I don’t think so either but
we have to do something!” Tom was still pacing.
“Commander sit down!”
Tom stopped walking at looked at his Captain. “You’re making me dizzy.”
Tom flopped back into the chair.
“I’m going to go over the
information in the sensor logs. Maybe I’ll find something that would
help us locate Primes ship.”
“I don’t know how much you’ll
get from the logs. The sensors were badly damaged during the attack.”
“There’s got to be something-”
“Tom why don’t you take it
easy tonight. As soon as the repairs are done I’ll have the rest
of the crew looking for any clues.”
“I can’t take it easy at the
moment. I need to do something constructive. The sooner we
find Prime the sooner we can catch him.” Jackson was silent for a
while. This was supposed to be a joyful evening for everybody but
it had turned into a disaster for Omega Team. He nodded at Tom who
quickly left the briefing room. The Captain stared at the chair that
Tom had been sitting in only a second earlier. He didn’t know how
far Tom would go but he could tell that he was on the verge of making a
radical and reckless decision. Tom hadn’t changed that much.
On Voyager Seven was talking
to the Doctor. She was telling him about Lt. Paris’ uncharacteristic
behaviour when she saw him in the corridor. “One of his team members
was injured severely on a mission this evening.” The Doctor said.
He couldn’t divulge too much information.
“I was unaware that they were
on a mission at all.” Seven said.
“That’s the idea Seven.
They don’t tell people when they’re on missions.”
“But why this evening?”
That the Doctor couldn’t answer.
“Damn it.” Tom hit the
console in front of him. His last attempt gain some knowledge about
the ship that had attacked, failed. No matter what algorithm he tried
nothing seemed to work. He had been trying for nearly three hours
and was no closer to getting any answers than he was when he started.
He shutdown the console and left the room glad that nobody had been in
there with him. He had been cursing nearly none stop for the past
He walked to the turbolift
and called for the deck of the ship’s Medical Bay. Upon arriving
he saw Drew Illis (Falcon) and Adrian Scott (Sabre). Illis was at
Mia’s side and held one hand in his own while Scott, a few steps behind
him just looked on in a daze. Tom walked over to them. Scott
noticed his presence first and went to attention. Tom eyed him critically
for a moment.
“At ease.” Tom said
and Scott relaxed marginally.
“Sir I’m sorry for-” he began
but Tom interrupted him.
“That happens once and it
doesn’t happen again.” Tom told him flatly. “Understood?”
“Yes sir.” Tom took
a calming breath and looked carefully at the younger man. He was
beating himself up over what had happened. Tom knew what self-recrimination
could do to a person having done it after Caldik Prime and to some extent
he still blamed himself.
“All you can do is learn from
this… don’t dwell on it, don’t beat yourself up over it. It won’t
change anything. Just learn from it.” Scott looked down at
the floor. Tom placed a hand on his shoulder before moving past him
to see Illis.
“Commander.” Illis greeted
him without taking his eyes of Mia. Tom placed a comforting hand
on his shoulder.
“She’ll pull through.
She’s strong.” Tom didn’t know who he was trying to convince, Illis
or himself. Drew only nodded but didn’t look at Tom who gave him
a final pat and walked out of the Medical Bay.
In a San Francisco hotel room
B’Elanna was talking with her parents. Well they weren’t really talking
anymore. They had moved past that. Now they where taking turns
yelling. “I’ve heard about him!” John Torres yelled trying to get
his point across.
“You don’t even know him!”
B’Elanna yelled back. The first time the three of them were in the
same room together in over twenty years and they’re fighting. She
stood defiantly in front of her father with her arms crossed. This
isn’t what she had been expecting. An argument over who she was seeing.
“B’Elanna you can do better
than him. You’re the chief Engineer of a Starship!”
“I don’t want anybody else.”
She said tersely. B’Elanna was surprised that her mother had not
said much on the topic. At least she was letting B’Elanna make her
own decisions about her life and relationships.
“He has no honour!”
His father said hoping that it would appeal to her klingon side.
“He has more honour than a
man who would walk out on his family!” Miral finally said.
There was silence in the room as old problems and old tensions came rushing
“B’Elanna, I’m sorry.”
John said softly. He wasn’t sure what he was apologizing for, he
had so many things to apologize for. He looked down at the floor
for a moment before he put a hand on her shoulder. “I’m so sorry
for leaving you, but I’ll never leave you again.” B’Elanna’s facial expression
softened. She looked into her father’s eyes and saw that they where
watering. “I’m sorry.” He hugged her and after a moment she
“I know daddy.” She
said softly. Miral watched the two of them. John she had no
feelings for (almost). She was…glad… that B’Elanna was reunited with
her father but she found it offensive towards B’Elanna that John, after
leaving long ago and making it clear that he wanted nothing to do with
either of them, was now telling B’Elanna who she could date.
B’Elanna left a few minutes
later to go back to Voyager. It had been a long day and she was physically
as well as emotionally worn out. She would see her parents tomorrow
for lunch. Right now she wanted nothing more than to find Tom and
spend the night with him. She hoped that he was back on Voyager.
When she got there however, the computer informed her that he wasn’t on
board. She wondered where he was.
The next day in the Phantom
Tom had Illis and Scott running scenarios in the holo-deck. There
were several visual cameras in the holodeck so that the people monitoring
where able to see what was going on inside. Tom and Mossek
where in the next room monitoring the two other agents. They were
in a dark room with several crates and machinery blocking their view.
They knew that there was somebody else in the room other than the two of
them. They had to take out the holographic enemy and secure the area.
A few minutes later the scenario ended. Illis and Scott had been
caught and killed by their holographic opponent.
“Congratulations,” Tom said
to them over the open comm to the holodeck “You’re both dead.” Tom
watched as the two young men looked around. The lighting was full
and they could now see clearly all the objects around them. “The
next simulation will but level seven; one level up from the last one.
I expect you to do better.” Scott and Illis nodded and got ready
for the next simulation. “Mossek, run another simulation after this
one and send the scores and any observations that you’ve made to my desk.
I’ll look at them later.” Mossek nodded and went back to work.
As Tom was leaving the room he could hear Mossek telling the two occupants
of the holodeck what the mission objective was and what they may encounter.
After stopping in the Medical
Bay to check on Mia and doing some thinking while he was there Tom went
to the bridge where he knew he would find the Captain. “Anything
from Prime?” Tom asked.
“Not yet.” At that moment
a few alerts sounded and Tom and the Captain rushed to the Ops console.
“There’s a buoy transmitting some sort of carrier signal. Theirs
another signal overlapping it but I can’t get at it.” Jackson said.
Tom looked at the frequency of the signal. It was low and faint,
almost indistinguishable from cosmic background radiation. If they
hadn’t been looking for some sort of signal they probably would not have
found this one. A thought struck Tom.
“We need to cut the signal.”
Tom said as he went to one of the mission ops stations.
“Why? No other ship
would pay any attention to a signal like this. They’d probably think
that it’s just some freak emission from a pulsar.”
“Voyager has integrated some
borg technology and the sensors are much more sensitive.”
“Nobody would pay attention
to such a weak signal though.”
“You don’t know Seven.”
Tom said over his shoulder.
On Voyager Seven was recording
the signal in the ships memory so that she could look at it more closely
later. The siganal was repeating itself every sixty-eight seconds.
She hoped to download all of it but before the cycle completed the signal
abruptly stopped. Seven looked for it again but found nothing but
debris. Somebody had destroyed the message buoy. She looked
at what she had gotten and went to work trying to decipher it. An
hour later she had gotten as much of the message as she could using what
data she had. She took the message to the Captain.
“Not now Seven, I’m busy.”
Janeway said. She had a lot to do. Starfleet wanted to know
everything about what had happened to them while they where in the Delta
Quadrant. That’s a lot of information and she had to muddle through
the years of reports picking out the most important ones and sending them
to Starfleet Command.
“It concerns…Commander Paris.”
Seven used Tom’s Special Ops rank and Janeway looked up at her knowing
that it was something important.
“No, Commander.” Jackson
said. The Agents where in the Breifing room of the Phantom discussing
the latest message from Prime. “It’s too risky.”
“What other option do we have?”
“It’s another trap.
I won’t allow you to go.”
“Probably but this time I
don’t think that all he’s after.” Tom said. They looked at him. “You
have to think like Viper.” Tom said. “If Viper had a plan to
get what he wanted, he-like most of us-would want to divert the enemies
attention away from what he wanted. The first time he used his diversion
he’d get them so that they were severely compromised; weaken them first,
then he’d do the same thing, with a slight variation –he’d make the enemy
come to him. The enemy, knowing what he was doing (or thinking so)
over compensates and ends up leaving opening on other things that are seemingly
unrelated and that’s what he was after all along.” The others thought
about what he was said.
“So how does that apply to
what’s happened so far?” Adrian Scott asked.
“The first diversion was during
our mission at the reception yesterday. Prime made it seem like he
was going after the Senior staff.”
“But he went after Mia instead.”
Brandon Davis (Mase) said as he picked up on what Tom was saying.
“And in doing so he weaken
Omega Team. Now he’s making us come to him.” Tom explained.
“So now he thinks that we’ll
be monitoring whoever goes so much that we’ll have left something unguarded.”
“But what is he after?”
Jackson asked to the assembled group. Nobody knew the answer to that
“What about the attacks during
the Dominion war? We know that he attacked us and others then but
how does that fit in with what he’s doing now?”
“If he was attacking us back
then, then it is most likely that what ever he is after has something to
do with the Dominion War. We should review all mission pertaining
to the war and look for patterns.” Tom said. The others agreed
and they went about collecting all the reports from every team about every
mission conducted that had something to do with the war. They had
a lot to look through but narrowed down the search by looking at missions
that had been botched up due to outside interference. They had to
work quickly the deadline was fast approaching.
In the Conference room on Voyager
Captain Janeway had assembled her Senior Staff. They had to discuss
some things due to their return and one other thing. Everybody had
noticed that Tom was not around and assumed that he was probably meeting
with somebody or that he was with his other crew. They finished talking
about all the issues and everybody thought that they were finished but
Janeway had one more topic that they had to discuss.
“Earlier, Seven downloaded
and decrypted a transmission from an unknown source. She only managed
to get about two thirds of the message but there’s enough information to
know what it’s about.” Janeway said.
“What’s in the message? Who’s
it for?” Harry asked.
“The message was for Commander
Paris.” Everybody understood the implications of using the rank of
Commander instead of Lt. “As for what’s in it… see for yourself.”
Janeway got up from her place at the head of the table and walked to the
wall monitor and activated the message. The display changed to the
distorted image of somebody’s face and a voice began speaking. It
was synthesized and unnatural but the words where intelligible.
‘How’s your friend doing?’
the distorted figure asked in a mocking tone. ‘Not that I particularly
care…If you want to resolve this battle now Commander, then send one members
of your team, in four days, to the co-ordinates at the end of this message.
I’m not making any guarantees about anything; you send somebody and I’ll
take it from there. If you refuse this offer then you’ll force me
to do something that you won’t like and it just may cost the lives of the
heroes of the hour. It’s your call Phoenix-” the message cut out
there and the screen went black.
“I’ve tried but haven’t been
able to contact Tom. I’m assuming that the rest of you don’t know
where he is either.” They all looked to another to see if anyone
knew of Tom’s whereabouts but no one knew. “He’ll have to come back
to Voyager or visit his family sooner or later and when he does we can
talk to him.”
“You don’t really think that
Tom would take this mission do you? We’ve just made it home and he
has his family waiting for him… he wouldn’t take such a risky mission.”
Harry looked around the conference room to see if anyone agreed with him
but no one wanted to meet his eyes.
“We’ll find him and ask Harry.”
Janeway soothed. “You’re dismissed.” Janeway said and her officers
filed out of the conference room.
Tom materialized in the Shuttlebay
of Voyager. He had to take a look at one of the systems on the Delta
Flyer. It had been nearly two days since he had been on Voyager and
was unaware that his friends knew more than they were supposed to.
Tom walked to the sleek vessel and entered. He had only been in the
shuttle for a few minutes when he heard approaching footsteps. Turning
around he saw the Captain coming towards him. He smiled at her as
if there was nothing wrong.
“Hello Tom.” She said.
“Captain,” Tom greeted her.
“What are you doing on the ship? I thought you’d be in Indiana by
now.” He joked lightly.
“There’s still a lot to be
done before I take a vacation.” Tom didn’t say anything, only nodded
and continued to work. “For instance, what my chief helmsman intends
to be doing in three days?”
“Seven got the message did
she?” Tom said.
“She did.” Tom was silent.
“Have you talked with your father?”
“No. I’ll do that later.”
Tom said as he was finishing up.
“Don’t wait too long.”
She warned. Tom shutdown the Flyer’s systems and rose for his seat
at the helm. He had gotten the information that he needed and was
more than ready to leave. This conversation was not going in a direction
that Tom was comfortable with. “Tom do you plan on taking that mission?”
Janeway asked. Tom just shrugged and began to walk out. “Lt.,”
Janeway called. Tom stopped walking and turned to face her. “Go see
your father. He misses you.” Janeway said softly. Tom
looked at her for a long moment before silently exiting the shuttle.
Tom stood outside the office
of Admiral Paris. He had not pressed the announcer or even warned
his father that he was coming. He stared at the bland, grey doors
in front of him and shifted his weight on his feet once again. Why
was this so hard? Tom kept asking himself. He thought about
leaving an coming back later but with everything that has been happening
lately with trying to catch ‘Prime’, his schedule was very hectic.
Captain Jackson had practically kicked Tom off the ship so that he could
take some down time.
Tom looked again at the announcer
and after gathering enough resolve he quickly tapped the button before
his doubts returned and he decided to leave. He hears his father’s
voice call for the person to enter and after taking a deep breath he stepped
forward and the doors opened to permits his entrance.
Owen Paris looked up from
the reports that he had been looking through and saw his son walk in.
Tom stopped walking just far in enough inside the room so that the doors
could shut behind him. Owen stood and walked around his desk so that
he could stand face to face with his estranged son. He looked at
the man before him. It had been a long time since he had last seen
Tom, not counting the reception a few nights before. Tom was older
now, wiser, more responsible and according his service record from Voyager
he was a fine officer and Owen couldn’t be prouder. He smiled faintly
at his son who in turn gave him a weak and fleeting smile.
“I…I’m glad to see that you’re
doing well.” Owen started awkwardly. He nearly winced at how
awful that sounded, but what was he supposed to say? Tom tried not
to read to deeply into what his father was saying that would only start
an argument. “Captain Janeway tells me you’re doing well and
I wanted you to know that I’m proud of you.” Tom smiled slightly.
His father’s approval meant a lot to him.
“Thanks.” Tom said quietly
and there was an uncomfortable silence between them for a while.
“Tom,” he took a breath and
tried to gather his thoughts. “I’m sorry, that I wasn’t more of a father
to you, especially when you needed me.” Owen began. He had
been thinking about what he was going to say to Tom if he ever saw him
again since he had found out that he and the crew of Voyager were alive
and in the Delta Quadrant. “I always wondered if it would have made
a difference if I had been there for you more. I can’t change the
past but I hope that you can forgive me so that we might have a future
together.” Owen waited silently for Tom to say something. “I’d like
to be your father again.” He said with tears stinging his eyes.
“That’s all I’ve ever wanted.”
Tom said. He had been momentarily shocked at seeing his farther on
the verge of crying but the realized that his eyes were watering as well.
Owen stepped closer to Tom and wrapped his arms around him. It was
slightly awkward due to the height difference but they managed. “I’m
so sorry Dad.” Tom said softly as, for the first time in a long time
he felt like he had a father again.
Tom walked through the corridors
of Voyager on Deck nine approaching section twelve. After leaving
his father’s office he had been doing a lot of thinking. He and his
father had reconciled for the most parts and could still salvage the father-son
relationship that they had managed to foul-up the first time. Tom
had left his father’s office with a sense of peace that had been missing
for so long he had forgotten what it was like. It hadn’t fully occurred
to him how much he had wanted his father’s acceptance; and now that he
had it he may never have time to enjoy it.
Special Ops didn’t leave much
time for an outside life. Not only that but he could die on any one
of his missions; one day he goes out and doesn’t come back leaving all
the people he cared about to speculate on what happened to him. He
didn’t want to give up his regular life when he had first come back and
he certainly hadn’t warmed to the idea any more. In fact going back
to his life before Voyager seemed like an increasingly depressing prospect.
He rang the chime to B’Elanna’s
quarters. He realised absently how odd that was. Usually he
would just enter B’Elanna’s code and enter her quarters. He knew
she was in there; he had checked with the computer. He heard her
voice call for the person to come in and so he did. The illumination
was at about eighty-percent and cast soft shadows over the room.
“Tom!” B’Elanna exclaimed.
She gave him a hug and a quick kiss. “Where have you been?” She asked.
She noticed that he seemed tense like the weight of the world was on his
shoulders. “Is something wrong?” He unwrapped her arms from
around his neck and held her hands.
“We have to talk.” He
said seriously and B’Elanna could help the butterflies in her stomach at
hearing his words and his tone. They went over to her couch and sat
down. It took Tom a minute to gather his thoughts in a coherent manner
before he began.
“B’Elanna, I have to let you
know what you’re getting into if you chose to… continue a relationship
with me.” Tom took a deep breath. “I have other obligations.
Obligations that are going to conflict with plans, with anniversaries…
things won’t be the same now that we’re back home.”
“You want to break up with
me?” B’Elanna asked her voice laced with shock.
“No!” Tom quickly answered.
“It’s just that things will be…”
“Different.” She finished
for him and he nodded.
“I can’t promise that I’ll
be home every night. I can’t promise that my work won’t interfere
with our personal lives. Every time I go on a mission, I can’t promise
you that I’ll be coming back.” There was a stretch of silence.
“So that’s it then… you’re
going to turn you’re back on everything that you have here: you’re responsibilities,
“B’Elanna try to understand,
I just don’t want to cause you any hurt. I don’t want to loose you
B’Elanna but I don’t want to be a source of pain in your life. Say
the words …and I’ll walk away.”
“You’re just going to drop
this decision on my shoulders!” she stood up quickly as anger and
pain seeped from every part of her being. “I can’t believe that you’d do
“B’Elanna…” Tom stood.
He wanted to say something but he didn’t know what.
“Do I really mean so little
to you that you could just walk away and not care?”
“You know that’s not true!”
B’Elanna paced the length of her quarters once and then came to a halt
in front of Tom.
“What would you like me to
tell you? What would you do if I told you to leave? Would I ever
see you again?” she asked defiantly.
“You may never see me again
even if you tell me to stay.”
“You’re going on that damn
mission aren’t you? Harry was right.”
“B’Elanna, please just tell
me what you want.” Tom pleaded. The suspense was more than
he could handle.
“Leave.” Tom felt as
if he had been struck in the heart. He had given B’Elanna the option
and now he was going to pay for it. He couldn’t have just left without
seeing her, without giving her the chance to walk away. “I’m not
enough to get you to stay, so leave.” Tom took a step back in the
general direction of the door. Their eyes were locked. “If
you ever truly loved me, you’d stay.” She said. Tom swallowed.
“It’s because I love you that
I have to go. I have to do this.” He said softly. Taking
what may well be his last look at his love he left her quarters.
//I have to protect you.// Tom thought but didn’t say.
B’Elanna watched him leave.
She nearly called him back. She had almost taken back what she had
said but she remained silent. The doors closed and Tom was out of
her life. She gazed without seeing at the point in space that Tom
had occupied only a few seconds ago. He had finally said the words
she’d been longing to hear just as she had thrown him out. She stumbled
backwards and dropped to the couch. She had just let go of the best
thing that had ever happened to her. A salty tear escaped her eye
and she realized that she was crying. With that realization came
more. Tom was gone. He wasn’t coming back and it was her fault.
Tears of grief pooled in her eyes before they too took a path down her
cheeks. Silently she cried in her quarters. He wasn’t coming
Tom walked a few meters before
he couldn’t go any farther. He leaned against the wall and closed
his eyes. Grief washed over him in waves each stronger than the last
but he held on, calling upon every ounce of strength he had left not to
let the emotions drown him. After a few shaky breaths and blinking
away the tears from his eyes before they could fall he continued onward.
He didn’t know where he was going but he had to get away. She didn’t
want him and he would accept it…. eventually…. hopefully.
“How did I know?”
“What do you want Commander?”
asked a surly Tom Paris. Chakotay looked at the man and sat at the
bar stool next to him.
“I found B’Elanna in her quarters
looking like hell and the first thing that came to mind was… Tom Paris.
I wondered to myself ‘what could Paris have done to hurt the one person
that I thought he really cared bout?’. B’Elanna didn’t tell me much
but I figured that I’d find you trying to drown your own grief in a drink.”
“Screw you.” Tom said
and took another sip of the potent liquor.
“Getting drunk won’t help.”
“I don’t intend on getting
drunk and I also can’t get drunk. Thank you Starfleet Medical!” Tom
raised his glass in a mock toast “Implants in my kidneys and liver filter
alcohol and other foreign agents out of my system quickly and thus I can
only get a light buzz. Can’t have a drunken officer giving away all
of SO’s secrets now can we.” Tom said and took another sip of his
“What about when we first
met-” Chaktoay asked, vividly remembering meeting drunken Tom Paris in
a seedy bar several years earlier.
“I’m a pretty good actor,
eh? I should have gone into the performing arts.” Tom laughed
at himself and took another sip.
“Why leave B’Elanna?”
Chakotay asked. He didn’t want to bring up past animosities between
himself and Paris. They were friends now but there were still questions
that Chakotay had to ask Paris but he would do it later; right now he was
here for a friend-two friends actually.
“Come on Chakotay! Open
your eyes! I can’t be there for her the way I wish I could be!
I can’t….I can’t be there for her all the time.” Chakotay could see
that Tom was hurting as much as B’Elanna was. “There are plenty of
guys out there for her to fall in love with; guys that can always be their
for her; guys that are better than me. No past to live down, no embarrassment
when she walks into a room with me and people start whispering. Hell,
I don’t know why she didn’t leave me the moment we got back? She
could do far better than me and I know that you agree.” Tom said.
“She doesn’t want anybody
“No, she’ll get over this
and realise that she made the right decision.” Tom finished off his
“I thought that you had changed.
That you wouldn’t run away form you’re problems, but I can see that I was
wrong about you this time.” Chakotay said.
“Yeah well you can add yourself
to the list of people that have been wrong about me.” Tom said bitterly.
“This isn’t the time for you
to be drinking, whether you get drunk or not.” Chakotay took the
bottle that Tom was reaching for and moved out so that it was out of his
reach. Tom glared at the Commander for a moment. He reached
into his pocket and pulled out a hypospray.
“I take this and this lovely
buzz of mine disappears in an instant and I’ll be clearheaded and miserable
again. Give me the bottle.” Tom ordered.
“Tom let’s get out of here.”
“Leave if you want but leave
me in peace.” Tom said as he stared at the empty glass in front of
him. Chakotay sat patiently and waited. Tom was never a patient
person and just as the commander had suspected Tom’s patience soon ran
out. Tom pressed the hypo to his neck and the haze around his mind
disappeared. He stood and turned to leave. “She’s better off
without me.” And with that he left that bar.
The next day was a busy one
for everybody. Tom was on the Phantom conversing privately with Captain
Jackson. Jackson informed Tom the it was his decision who he sent on the
mission, Tom would have to make these decision later anyways once he was
promoted to Captain. Tom was immediately going to say that he would
go but the Captain had cut him off saying that there may be somebody better
trained for this particular mission, which may be true. Each team
member has their own area of expertise and had their own strengths and
weaknesses. Jackson told him to think about it and that he could
inform him of the decision later.
Tom went to the Medical Bay
after he had seen the Captain to check on Mia. According to Dr. Morris
she was improving and looked like she would pull through. Prime would
not be claiming another member of his team.
Another day later. “Captain,
I believe I’ve found the location of the Phantom.” Said Seven to Janeway.
They where in Astrometrics. Janeway has not heard back from Tom since
she spoke to him in the flyer the day before but she had noticed the sullen
mood of her chief Engineer and after having a quick chat with her XO she
decided that she had to talk with Captain Jackson. They had to know
what was really going on.
“Hail them.” Janeway
ordered. A moment later the screen changed and showed the face of
the man she recognized as Captain Jackson, the first person to greet them
when they had arrived. “Captain I need to talk to you about one of
our crewmen.” She began.
Tom was in the holodeck running
some scenarios when the Captain walked into the monitoring room which was
empty. Jackson shook his head in dismay. Tom was running a
live fire exercise but had not gotten anybody to monitor him. Jackson
nodded for the other to enter the room. The room was small for the
seven people that where now crowded into it. They watched with fascination
as Tom subdued enemy after enemy, expertly. The simulation ended
when Tom had successfully reached his goal. He turned to the exit
and walked out of the holodeck.
Tom took off some of the equipment
and dropped in the room just outside the holodeck before he went to the
monitoring room. He massaged his temples as he walked. It had
been a while since he had done any of the exercises that Tuvok had taught
him and even longer since he had actually had a session with the Vulcan.
Tom nearly collided with Captain Jackson as he walked to the monitoring
“Excuse me.” Tom said
plainly and went to step by him but Jackson stopped him with a hand on
“Are you okay?”
“Just a headache.” Tom
“I feel I should inform you
that we’ve acquired a few new passengers.” Jackson began and Tom
looked at him quizzically for a moment. “Your friends wanted to help.”
Tom closed his eyes know exactly who he was talking about. He was
lucky to have such good friends but it would be best for them if they just
let him go and not look back.
“Do you know what he’s after?”
Harry asked. The large group was assembled in the conference room
of the Phantom going over what they knew.
“We have an idea but are not
entirely certain.” Davis said. The Senior staff of Voyager
minus that Doctor and the agents on the Phantom minus Dr. Morris where
in the conference room. They talked for a while longer before Tom
finally decided that enough was enough. There was nothing more anybody
“Look we appreciate your help
but there’s nothing more anybody can do. We have a plan and we’ll
follow it. You should go back to Earth. The more you know the
more danger you’re in.” Tom said.
“We could help you finish
your repairs.” Chakotay suggested. Tom was about to turn down their
offer for help but Captain Jackson spoke quickly before he could.
“We’d welcome your help.”
Jackson stated and ignored the glare the Tom threw his way. The officers
and agents teamed up and then went to help with repairs. Tom was
going to be working on navigation with Chakotay. Just what
he needed another lecture from the Commander. They walked silently
to forward Navigation with Tom leading way.
Walking slightly behind Paris
Chakotay could almost see the steam coming from his ears. They reached
their destination and after receiving a quick run down of the system and
it’s differences for that on Voyager, they got to work.
In the Ready room the two Captains
were conversing. Janeway had plenty of questions but Jackson didn’t
have many answers that he could give her.
“How long will the mission
take?” Janeway asked.
“We can’t be sure. It’ll
only take six hours to reach the co-ordinates that were given to us in
the message but since we don’t know what will be happening once there,”
Jackson shrugged and leaned against his desk.
“Is Tom planning on taking
this mission?” she asked.
“Probably but it’s his choice
who to send. If he feels that somebody else is more suited for this
mission and thus has a better chance of surviving then he’ll send them.”
“Is anybody else more suited
for this mission?” Janeway asked.
Jackson shook his head “No.
He’s one of the best Agents in Special Ops. Well rounded, level-headed,
responsible and hopefully more cautious than he was five years ago.”
Jackson described. Jackson could remember Tom’s near death experiences
from past missions. He noticed the disturbing trend in the types
of mission that Tom took after Caldik Prime and hoped back then that it
was only a phase he was going through but even now Tom still seemed reckless
with his own life. He read the mission reports from Voyager.
In Engineering Ensign Scott
was working with Torres and Kim. Harry and B’Elanna noticed that
not all the people on the ship wore the same uniforms as the Agents and
Harry asked what the different uniforms meant.
“They aren’t agents.”
Scott said “Special Ops is actually a subdivision of the Tactical forces
of the Federation. It just so happens that a lot of our business
overlaps with that of Starfleet and thus we have a lot of Agents from Starfleet.”
“So they don’t have the training
that you have.” B’Elanna asked.
“Some of the same training
but not enough for any of them to be put on missions. The Phantom
is an SO vessel but we need more people to help run all the systems so
we ‘borrow’ officers from the Tactical Forces and Starfleet Security.
They’ve all taken an oath so they won’t tell anybody what goes on here
but still, they aren’t given sensitive information.”
“That’s got to be annoying.
Taking orders but not knowing what they’re for.” Harry said while
he replaced a fused relay.
“It is and that’s why they
rotate every few months or so.” Scott started running a diagnostic.
“So any Starfleet Security
officer or anybody from the tactical forces will serve on a Special Ops
vessel at some point.” Harry asked as he was closing the wall panel.
“No. People are chosen
specifically from SfS[StarFleet Security] or the tactical forces as long
as they meet certain criteria.”
“Such as?” Harry prodded
for more information.
“Speciality, psyche evaluation,
“Species?” Harry asked.
“Yeah. Agents are also
chosen with species as a criteria. In General, it’s assumed that
Humans, Vulcans and a few other species would be more loyal to the Federation
than…let’s say a ferengi or a Klingon.” Scott turned to B’Elanna
who was working on a console near him. “No offence.”
“None taken.” She replied
curtly without taking her eyes from the diagnostic she was running.
She had only been listening with half an ear to what Ensign Scott had been
‘Paris to Scott.’
‘I need your help in the Vehicles
Bay.’ Tom said over the comm.
“Understood. I’m on
‘And bring another Engineer
with you. We’ll need some help.’ Tom said not knowing that
Harry and B’Elanna where in Engineering as well.
“Aye sir. Scott out”
Scott turned to Torres knowing that she was the chief Engineer but not
knowing about the tensions between Paris and Torres, and asked her to go
with him to the vehicles bay. She hesitate but then nodded her acquiescence.
Turning to Harry Scott said “They’ll need you here. Lt. Reames is
in charge.” He pointed to the tall gentleman a few metres away and
Harry nodded. Torres and Scott left for the Vehicles Bay.
“Where’s Lt. Commander Martinez?”
B’Elanna asked. She hadn’t seen her in Engineering.
“She’s not on Active Duty
right now so she’s serving on a Starfleet ship. We dropped her off
a couple of days ago.” Scott said as he pressed the call button for
the turbolift. When it arrived they stepped in and took the short
ride to the right deck. No words were spoken between the two until
they got to the bay.
The double doors slid open
and the two walked into the large bay. It was much larger than the
one on Voyager even though the Phantom was a smaller vessel. There
were several different vehicles in the bay. There was a clear lane
to the bay doors at the other end of the bay. One both sides of the
clear runway were the vehicles. They walked past one vehicles before
finding Tom. He walked out of a small, sleek, shuttle carrying a
relay that he wanted to replace. He saw Ensign Scott approaching but paused
when he saw who he was with.
Torres and Scott walked over
and Scott asked what needed to be done. He had no idea that Paris
and Torres had been involved and knew nothing of the tensions between the
two. Tom gave Scott the run down of what needed to be done and Scott
started on the tasks leaving Tom and B’Elanna alone.
They were both silent for
a minute before Tom managed to say something. He explained to B’Elanna
what he was trying to do with the shuttles systems. They too where
soon working. Long stretches of silence descended between the two.
They worked quickly and the work was soon done.
Tom walked around the outside
of the shuttle scanning the hull with a special device used to locate micro-fractures
in the hull that could weaken it. He absently ran his free hand over
the smooth surface of the dark grey hull. This particular shuttle
was Tom’s favourite. He had started building it when he was Lt. j.
g. It was baby, much like the Delta Flyer. This ship however
was built for speed and manoeuvrability hence it’s name ‘The Runner’.
It was made from one of the many shuttle specs that Tom had created back
then. It was just something that pilots do; conjure up the perfect
ship to pilot. The ship was created when they had needed a new shuttle
for a very important mission and the Runner became a reality. Since
then this is what his secondary role had been after piloting and when he
became a Commander after being the first officer.
‘Morris to Paris’ the voice
echoed in the large bay.
“Paris,” Tom tapped his comm
‘Report to the Medical Bay
immediately.’ Tom was ordered.
“Is Mia alright?” Tom asked
fearing that his friend had taken a turn for the worst.
‘She’s fine but your Doctor
and I need to discuss something with you.’ Morris said.
“I’m on my way.” Tom
closed the link and put the scanning device down. Telling B’Elanna
and Adrian the he would be back he went left. Tom had not even known
that the Doctor was on the ship. He had not been at the meeting earlier.
It seems that he had been in the Med Bay discussing medical stuff with
Tom arrived in the Med Bay.
The moment the doors opened an airborne object came at him. Tom caught
it with one hand without even flinching. He looked at what he had
caught -an empty hypospray vial. He looked at the two Doctors. “What
are you doing?” Tom asked irritably. He still had a headache
and wasn’t in the mood for games.
“Conducting an experiment.”
“Are you done? Can I
go?” Tom asked impatiently. He had just arrived and was already
itching to leave.
“No yet, Mr. Paris” The holo-doc
said scanning Tom with a tricorder. “How did you know to catch the
vial?” the Doctor asked.
“I saw it coming.” Tom
answered quickly. Both the Doctor’s where shaking their heads.
“You couldn’t have seen it
coming. I threw it before the doors had opened. Think carefully.
How did you know?” The Doc asked again.
“I…” Tom went to respond
but realized he couldn’t quite describe ho he knew to catch the vial.
He hadn’t seen it coming but he had known that it was coming. He
tried to describe it to the doctors but he doubted they understood, he
didn’t quite understand himself.
“Then it’s as we suspected.”
“What do you mean?”
Tom asked and walked over to where Morris was accessing something in the
computer database. “What’s this?” The Doctor joined them at
“Your spatial orientation
test.” Morris said. “Do you know what you got on it?” Tom shook
his head, no. “Perfect.” Tom looked at the console to confirm
what Ian had said and indeed it was true. A perfect score.
“So what does all this mean?
What was at you suspected?” Tom asked impatiently.
“That your abilities not only
allow you to move object but also sense them.” Said the Doc. Tom
looked at him, scepticism written clearly on his face. “We need to
conduct a few more tests.” The Doctor said.
“I have to prep the Runner
for the mission-” Tom began.
“That will have to wait.”
The Doctor said. The Doctor turned his back to Tom while he got a
different scanning device. Tom glared at the Doctor who wasn't facing
him and headed for the exit. As he was about to exit the doors slid
open and Lt. Commander Tuvok entered. “Ah, Mr. Tuvok, you’re here.
We can begin now.”
“Doctor I don’t have time
for this.” Tom stated.
“I’m sure that they can manage
without you for a few minutes.” The Doctor said and ushered Tom to a biobed.
Tuvok initiated a low level mind-meld with Tom. Ten minutes later
they were finished and Tom immediately headed for the door. He wasn’t
interested in any comments or analysis Morris, the Doc or Tuvok had.
He had work to do. The other three watched Tom make a quick exit.
Tuvok was the first one to speak.
“What are the results of the
tests?” Tuvok asked.
“Mr. Paris managed to move
each of the objects without opening his eyes and looking at them and without
knowing where in the room they were. It’s remarkable. With
more training he could master his abilities.” The Doctor said excitedly.
“He must learn control first.”
Tuvok stated, raining on the Doc’s parade.
In the Vehicles Bay Torres
and Scott were talking while they went over the Runner’s hull with the
micro-fracture sensor. With two of them doing it, the task would
be completed twice as fast. B’Elanna looked around the large room
every so often. The Vehicles where arranged according to the types.
Closest to the large bay door were two large shuttles. The Runner
was next and after it was the large hover car or truck(more like a hummer
but B’Elanna doesn’t know that). It looked normal but B’Elanna was
certain that the inside was much different than that of a regular hover
car. On the other side of the runway at the end closest to the bay
doors was a small vehicle. It looked vaguely like a shuttle but had
no nacelles leaving B’Elanna wondering what it was for. Next to it
was an open area. A large rectangle on the floor there looked like
it could be removed and it was outlined with the yellow and black warning
stripes. After that was the three bikes. One conventional and
two hover. B’Elanna smirked. That’s how Tom knew how to ride
hover bikes when they were on the Nerissian Homeworld in the early days
of their time in the Delta Quadrant.
“How’s it coming?” Adrian
Scott’s voice pulled her back to the present.
“I’m almost done.” She
said as she scanned the last part of the hull of the Runner. When
she had finished that they packed up the equipment. “Where’s the shuttle
that escorted us back to the Alpha Quadrant?” B’Elanna asked noticing
that she didn’t see the ship.
“The ‘Black Ice’ is actually
too big to fit in here. It fits into the ship itself; right underneath.
When the front bay doors of the Launch Bay are open it’s actually the bottom
of the Black Ice that you’re seeing. It fits flush against the bottom
of the Phantom.”
“How do get into it?” B’Elanna
asked. Adrian pointed over to where the bikes where near the back
wall. Behind them was a ladder that went up the tall wall to an opening
in the wall that led to one of the hatches to the Ice.
“Through there or the main
entrance to it on the deck above us.” Scott gathered the rest of
the equipment and put it away. B’Elanna looked the around the bay
once more. None of the vehicles had any Starfleet or federation markings
on it and they were all dark in colour. Not even the names of the ship
where written on the hulls of the vessels. It would be impossible
for somebody to say for certain where the ships where from.
That night the agents were
meeting in the briefing room. Tom was pretty much leading the meeting.
The each reported on the state of the preparations and repairs. All
repairs to the Phantom where complete. Now they only had to finalize
the plans for tomorrow.
“Who will be going to the
rendezvous co-ordinates?” Illis asked.
“I will be.” Tom said.
His statement was met with murmurs of disapproval from the occupants of
the room. Tom looked at each of them in turn. “Problem with that?”
“Can we ask why you chose
yourself for this mission?” Davis asked.
“I’m assuming that this is
pretty much a suicide mission. So who better than me to take it?”
Tom said humourlessly.
“Anyone of us could take that
mission Tom. If you that we aren’t willing to take that mission then
you should think again.”
“For whatever reason, Viper
has a something to settle with me and I want this to end. Too many
people have already been put in danger. I won’t let anybody else
die because of me.” Tom said solemnly.
“Amerra was our friend and
Mia is our friend too-”
“It wasn't you’re friends
that died at Caldik Prime.” Tom said sternly. “If this really is
Viper, back from the dead, then it was probably he who let the information
slip that there was an Ops agent on that shuttle. My decision is
final.” Tom said leaving no room for argument.
The rest of the meeting went
by quickly and when they had finalized all the plans they where dismissed.
Davis didn’t move from his seat in the room. The others filed out
leaving the two alone.
“What?” Tom asked irritably.
He rubbed his temples in an attempt to abate his headache. He had
done the exercise with Tuvok why did his head still hurt.
“You don’t think that we all
feel bad about Amerra’s death and Mia lying in the Med Bay?”
“I never said that.”
“Do you think that we wouldn’t
be willing to take that mission, whether it’s suicide or not? Why
didn’t you ask us?”
“Because I’m taking this mission.”
“You’re still blaming yourself
for thing that aren’t you’re fault. You have your life to go back
to but you’re willing to sacrifice everything because of your misplaced
sense of guilt and duty.” There was silence in the room for a minute.
“Watch the message that Amerra left for you.” Brandon said and walked
out of the room. Tom watched the doors slide shut. He hadn’t
watched the message yet. He had been busy and every time he had a
spare minute he could never bring himself to play the message. Now
seemed like as good a time as any.
Harry Kim rang the announcer
to what he was told was Tom’s quarters on the Phantom. He waited
a minute but no response came so he rang the it again and a few seconds
later he heard Tom’s voice telling him to enter. The room was about
slightly smaller than the one that he had on Voyager and the lighting was
at a fraction of the full intensity. Tom was sitting at the small
desk looking at the screen of the desk’s console. Soft words floated
through the room from the message that Tom was listening to. Tom
had not even acknowledged his presence so Harry walked around the desk
to see who was on the screen that Tom was watching so intensely.
Harry caught a glimpse of the face of a woman on the screen before the
message ended and the screen went black.
Tom stared at the black screen.
Harry watched him and tried to discern what his friend was feeling but
his face was a cold mask and nothing could be inferred from his current
“Who was that?” Harry
“An old friend.” Tom
said getting up from the desk. “What do you want?” Tom asked
“Just came to see how you
were doing.” Harry said ignoring Tom’s tone.
“Well as you can plainly see
I’m fine.” Tom started walking to the door of his quarters and Harry followed.
“Shouldn’t you be catching up on five years worth of news with your parents?”
Tom asked as they left the room.
“It’s late. I’ll see
them later.” Harry dismissed. Tom was silent for a while.
“You should leave.”
“Why? Where are you going?”
Harry didn’t know that Tom had a mission tomorrow.
“Right now I’m going to talk
with the Captain, and then I’m going to bed.”
“I think she’s-”
“My other Captain, Harry.”
Tom said as they entered the turbolift and went to the bridge.
“Captain Jackson, can I speak
with you, privately.” Tom said the moment he stepped on to the bridge.
Jackson nodded and the two went into the ready room leaving Janeway and
Kim wondering what was going on.
“Why are they still here?”
Tom asked the moment the doors slid shut.
“You don’t want them here?”
“They don’t belong here.”
Tom said fatly.
“They seem to think differently.”
Jackson said as he sat in his chair. “They just want to help.
They’re your friends, Tom.”
“And it’ll get them killed.”
Tom said to himself. “Repairs are just about done they don’t need
to be here.”
“You may never see them again
and I think that they know your planning something. Just let them
see you off.”
//’Cuase that will make it
so much easier to leave.// Tom thought sarcastically. “Fine, let
them stay but I’m going to sleep.” Tom said and walked out of the
He was leaving the ship the
morning (or night) at 0400. It was currently 2148 so he could get
a couple of hours of sleep before he had to get up and get ready.
On the bridge Janeway and Kim were waiting for him to exit. They
had to talk to him. Tom saw them waiting for him on the bridge and
suppressed a groan. Why won’t they just leave?
“We need to talk.” Janeway
Ten minutes later all of the
Voyager crewmembers on the Phantom were assembled in the briefing room.
Nobody was seated. The tension in the room was palpable and Tom cringed
slightly, knowing that he was the one causing it. They all wanted
to know what was going to happen next so Tom told them, plain and simple.
“You can’t!” Harry said
after he heard about the mission. Tom only looked at him.
“I’m not asking for your approval.”
Tom stated. “You wanted to know what was happening so I told you.”
“What about your family?”
“What about them?” They couldn’t
believe that this was Tom they were talking to. He was so cold.
“You can’t just leave them.”
“I’m doing this to keep them
safe.” Tom said. //To keep you all safe//.
“They will want to know where
you are.” Tuvok said.
“Meeting with the parole board.”
“They won’t believe it.”
This from Janeway.
“They’ll have to.” Tom
“So that’ it then. You’re
just going to forget about your friends and family?” Harry said in disbelief.
This wasn't the man he had come to know and like over the past five years.
“Would it be easier for you
to leave if I were the same person you knew five years ago?” They
were all silent as they remembered their initial impressions. Seven
didn’t have the same memories since she had only been on voyager for two
years but she knew of what it had been like for Tom at the beginning to
the journey; she had experienced the same thing at the beginning of hers.
“I can be that person again, and you can leave here without a doubt in
your mind that I’m getting what I deserve or that I’m not worth worrying
“That’s not you!” B’Elanna
“Closer than you might think.”
“As your friends we can not
allow you to take unacceptable risks.” Seven said.
“As my friends I can’t allow
you to take unacceptable risks either and hanging out around here is putting
you all in danger.” Tom said.
“Friends stick together.”
Seven repeated something that Tom had once told her.
“Friends know when to let
go.” Tom said.
“You won’t get rid of us that
easily.” Janeway said stubbornly.
“If you know what’s good for
you, you’ll walk away and not look back. My friends usually end up
dead.” Tom walked out of the room. Whether they left now or
not was of no consequence. Come 0400 and they’ll have to leave anyway.
Right now he had to go to bed. Being sleepy during an assignment
was not a good idea.
0300 rolled around. Around
the ship many people where waking up having to start their day extra early.
Tom was already awake and was dressing in his black uniform. He had
to put on the rest of his gear, grab his weapons, visit sickbay and run
a final check on the Runner before he left.
He left his quarters and
headed to sickbay. There he checked on Mia and got some supplies.
He was slightly surprised to find the holodoc in their working with Dr.
Morris who was still rather sleepy. Tom nodded to them and went directly
to the supply cabinet to grab what he needed.
“You have a headache.”
Tom heard the holodoc say form behind him and the beep of a tricorder.
“Give the man a prize.”
Tom put the last hypospray vial in the utility belt he was wearing.
The Doctor scanned it and raised and holographic eyebrow.
“Diazepam. Why do you
need that?” he asked. Tom closed the cabinet.
“Stills the nerves temporarily
so I can get a steady shot.” Tom walked over to where Mia lay and
looked at her bio-readings.
“She’ll make a full recovery.”
The Doctor stated. Tom nodded and without a word left the sickbay.
They walked into the weapons
locker and saw him testing the sight on one of his phaser rifles.
He was in all black as usual but he now wore more gear and accessories.
There were two dark harnesses, each of them going up his chest, over his
shoulders, down his back and each having several devices attached to them
Tom turned when he heard approaching footsteps. He saw them and turned
back to what he was doing. He put the rifle in the harness on his
back and reached out for another item on the wall.
“You’d think that there was
a party going on or something.” Tom said as he checked another weapon.
He placed it on the belt and walked to another storage locker. He
retrieved several small items and places them in the cargo pockets and
other pockets in his uniform.
“You weren’t going to tell
us when you where leaving.”
“No, I wasn’t. I had
hoped that you had already left.” Tom said. He closed the locker
and locked it shut. Picking up what looked like a hat that was rolled
up he put it on enough so that it would stay on his head. He looked
to the four other people that had joined him in the room. Captain
Janeway, commander Chakotay, Ensign Kim and Commander Tuvok. B’Elanna
wasn’t there and Tom had to ignore the momentary flash of pain and sorrow
that her absence caused. He noticed that Seven wasn’t their either
and wondered where she was. Maybe she had the sense to go back to
“I don’t suppose we could
convince you to reconsider.” Janeway said.
“Would I be able to convince
you from doing your duty as a Starfleet officer?” Tom asked but wasn’t
looking at her. He zipped closed a black bag and put the strap over
the opposite shoulder so that the strap crossed his chest. He looked
at the chronometer: 0343. “Time for me to depart.” Tom walked
past them towards the door.
“Tom,” Chakotay stopped him
from leaving with a hand on his shoulder, “Be careful. You’ve got
a lot to come back to.” Tom just nodded after glancing quickly at
each of them he walked out of the room aware that they followed him.
He walked down the short corridor towards the vehicles bay. Turning
the corner he saw B’Elanna waiting at the far end by the entrance.
Before her though was Captain Jackson. Tom walked to him and they
conversed quietly. Jackson left and Tom continued to the entrance to the
Tom stopped in front of B’Elanna.
This was just going to be a good-bye and see ya later between friends,
nothing….too personal. He could do this. Just walk away.
“Well…good luck.” She said
awkwardly. Tom nodded. He began to walk away. “Tom!”
She called and he turned back to her. “I…didn’t mean what I said.
I want you to stay and I want you to stay.” Tom was going to speak
but B’Elanna spoke quickly “I know that you have to do your job, but please….come
back. I…. need you.” She told him softly. Tom stepped
closer to her but not so much that he invaded her personal space.
“No you don’t. You’re
stronger than I could ever be.” Tom whispered to her. He wanted
to say more but the words failed him and he turned away. If he looked
into her eyes a moment longer he would have lost himself and possibly decided
that this mission was not worth giving up everything that he had. He rolled
down the rest of the mask he wore on his head and it covered his face except
for a long rectangle cut out in the fabric so that he could see and put
on a pair special goggles. He walked into the Vehicles bay without
The Runner was already on
the runway and all he had to was run a last check and he was off.
He noticed that the entrance was open. He looked in and saw Seven
at the helm. He cleared his throat loudly. After a moment Seven
emerged from the small ship.
“Seven.” Tom said with
a bit of a smirk though she could not see it through the mask.
“Commander Paris.” She
said. “I have increased the efficiency of the engines by eight percent.”
“Thank you, Seven.”
Tom said and walked past her to get to the shuttle.
“Tom,” Seven called and Tom
turned to look at her, noting that she had called him by his first name,
“Good luck.” Tom nodded once and pressed the button to close the
aft hatch. Seven left the shuttle vehicles bay so that the shuttle
“Phoenix to the Phantom, I’m
ready to go.” Brandon had command of the bridge for the time being.
Vehicle Bay doors.” He said as he tapped in the proper command.
“Phoenix out.” They
watched the small ship jump to warp and contacted Captain Jackson that
the Runner had cleared the ship.
A few minutes later the rest
of the Voyager crewmembers had been beamed off the ship and back to Voyager.
There was silence among them. Tom was gone and they didn’t know to where.
They couldn’t do anything to help him. There only option was to wait.
This group of people, however, where used to making their own options.
End Part VII
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