Title: The Nameless Series Part VIII
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.
With his rifle at the ready Tom rounded another corner and quickly swept the area looking for any sign that he was not alone. A few small lights in the top corners of the hall way provided the only lighting. Taking a few more cautious steps he checked his tricorder before putting it away. It didn’t register any life signs but he knew several ways to hide from a tricorder and so did others.
Rounding another corner he checked the area and once again found nothing. He nearly sighed in frustration. He had been here for an hour already and nothing had happened. Upon arriving at the rendezvous destination there had been a buoy giving him the co-ordinates of a small space station. His scans of the structure had been inconclusive but the make of the station was Cardassian in design.
A soft sound behind him caught his attention and he swivelled around to get a clear shot but he saw nothing. He knew he wasn’t alone; it was just a matter of finding who else was here with him.
He kept walking and for a few minutes he heard nothing. The only sound registering in his ears were his own footsteps echoing off the dark metal walls. Slowly, another sound reached his ears and he stopped and listened to try and determine what it was. When he turned around however the sound stopped. //Okay, that’s creepy,// Tom thought to himself. He looked down the hallway which was identical to the others he had walked through previously. He took out his tricorder and conducted another scan. He didn’t expect to find anything but an odd reading caught his attention.
He followed the signal until he reached a set of locked doors. He tried to scan to the other side of the doors but the material of the doors and walls made it impossible to do so. He scanned around him to check for life-signs but found none. He placed his gun against the wall and started on the locking mechanism of the doors. He looked over his shoulder every so often to make sure nobody was sneaking up on him. Fortunately he finished before anybody had a chance to sneak up on him. He entered the pitch-black room and turned on his wrist-light. He swept the area with the light and in the last corner he saw a figure. They had their back to him and Tom stepped closer.
“Turn around,” he ordered and the person complied. “Viper?” Tom said once he saw the persons face. There was no forthcoming response and he didn’t move. It was as if he was waiting for something to happen and Tom immediately went on alert.
The lights in the room came on all at once and the bright lights assaulted Tom’s eyes for a few seconds before the goggles compensated. Viper was in a Cardassian soldier’s uniform and had two phasers with him.
Another door opened and several Cardassian soldiers marched out and took positions around Tom. “Just a precaution,” Viper said as he gestured to the soldiers. “Put your weapon away and follow me,” Viper pressed a button on the wall and another door opened. Tom glanced around and decided he better do as he was told. There where too many for him to fight off alone.
Tom followed Viper through a seemingly endless and very narrow corridor until they finally emerged in another room. “Welcome to my home,” Viper announced grandly. In the room where a few computer consoles but nothing more.
“Not one for decorating are you?” Tom said sarcastically as he looked around.
“Your mouth is still to big for your head,” Viper told him and approached one of the consoles. “This is where I do it all from,” he ran his fingers over the surface of the panel. “For the past decade this is where I’ve been most of the time. Sine you left me for dead during that mission,” Viper turned to Tom with maniacal glint in his eye.
“You were dead,” Tom said with absolute certainty. This person looked exactly like Viper but didn’t act anything like him.
“Obviously I wasn’t. I’m here today aren’t I,”
“You aren’t Viper. He died ten years ago during a mission. I don’t know who you are but you’re having an identity crisis.” Tom mocked. Viper stepped closer to him and roughly pulled off the goggles and mask. Viper looked into the clear blue eyes for a moment before retreating leaving Tom to wonder what was going on inside that head.
“What’s the status of our operation?” Viper asked to no one in particular but one of the officers went to console to find the information.
“Entering phase three,” he told Viper who nodded.
“Ah yes, your brilliant plan,” Tom said sarcastically.
“I hope you don’t expect me to tell it to you” Viper grumbled.
“No need to. I already know what it is,” That caught Viper’s attention. He walked back over to Tom and stared at him.
“You don’t know anything,”
“Anything?” Captian Jackson asked his bridge crew.
“Nothing on sensors,” Davis said from the helm. “Maybe he was wrong about this,”
“No, we just have to be patient,” The Captain advised. Their patience was rewarded with a small blip on the sensor readouts.
“I’ve got something!” Illis said. “One cloaked vessel, no, three, six, eleven…they have an armada out there. We should move into position,” suggested the young officer.
“No yet. Mossek contact the other vessels. Tell them to hold their position until I give the order to move,”
Back at the Cardassian station Viper watched with interest what was happening while Tom, under guard, stood back and watched.
“Everything is going according to plan,” He said confidently and turned to Tom. “Would you like to witness the largest shift of power this quadrant will ever see?”
“I’ll buy the vid,” Tom told him
with an unwavering gaze. Viper glared at him and went back to the monitor.
“Now!” Jackson ordered and the Phantom dropped its stealth shielding and advanced on the ships. Several other Special Ops vessels came out of hiding and engaged the enemy as well.
The Phantom rocked to one side as it took a direct hit. “Fire at will,” Jackson ordered.
“I guess he was right,” Davis said
through clenched teeth as he tried to avoid the attacks. The cloaked cardasian
ships had dropped their cloak so they could fire back but they were severely
out numbered and where taking heavy damage. Still, they refused to surrender.
They were willing to fight to the death for their cause.
“Our ships are outnumbered,” one of the Cardassian officers announced.
“I can see that!” Viper yelled at him and the officer flinched at the tone. “How did they know?” He turned around and looked at Tom who was looking around and purposely ignoring Viper. “You! How did you know?” Viper approached.
“I learnt from the best,” Tom enlightened him with a smug smirk on his face. He didn’t quite understand why he was doing this but he wanted to aggravate this man. Maybe he wanted Viper to know what it felt like to be completely frustrated.
“I’ll kill you!” Viper swung at Tom who ducked and then came up with an uppercut to Viper’s jaw. Viper wasn’t phased at all by the punch and proceeded to punch Tom in the gut causing him to hunch over. His hand wrapped around Tom’s neck in a vice like grip and picked him up the same way he had with Jade a few days earlier.
A strange sound registered in Tom’s ears and he listened closer. It sounded like gears of a machine straining against a force. Tom had to concentrate harder to try and determine where the sound was coming from but it was difficult to focus when being choked. Tom pulled out a blade and with all the force he could muster, jammed it into Viper’s elbow. He heard the sound of metal against metal but the metal device in his arm was already under too much stress and the added force of the blade caused it to break.
Viper let out a yell at the device in his elbow malfunctioned and sent a shock after shock up his arm. The grip around Tom’s neck eased and then released completely and Tom fell to the ground gasping. Before he could relish the feeling of air in his lungs the Cardassian soldiers where attacking him. Reaching in to his pocket Tom removed a few silver balls and threw them to the ground. They release a thick smoke screen and Tom moved from his position on the floor before they could get to him.
“Where is-” one soldier started but before he could finish he was attacked and fell to the floor unconscious. The other soldiers looked around but their visions was limited to only a few centimetres in front of them. As they staggered around Tom took out each one of them. The smoke cleared and Only Viper and Tom where still standing. Viper leaned against a console and was in a lot of pain.
“This doesn’t end here,” Viper ground out. Tom picked up his goggles as he went to one of the consoles. It displayed the sensor readout of what was happening several sectors away. Special Ops was wining the battle.
“I think it does end here,” Tom said and pulled out a phaser. He set it to high stun, pointed it at Viper and pressed the button. Viper remained conscious and glared at Tom.
“Phasers don’t work on me,” Viper informed and began towards Tom. Tom set the phaser to kill and tried again but Viper didn’t even flinch.
“What happened to you?” Tom stepped back. Viper was unimaginably strong and conventional weapons had not noticeable affect on him.
“Thanks to the Cardassian’s Doctors I’m stronger than I ever was before!” He lunged at Tom who neatly moved out of the way and as Viper passed him Tom pulled his blade out of Viper’s arm. Another scream filled the room and Viper fell to the ground in pain.
“You’re weaker than you were before,” Tom said as he went to another console and looked around. He brought up a schematic of the station. The schematic showed the different rooms but didn’t give any details as to what was contained in each room. He quickly memorized the layout and went into a different area of the database.
Hearing some shuffling Tom looked to where Viper lay on the floor struggling to get up. Tom pulled out his tricorder and looked for where else on Viper Prime’s body the mechanical implants were located. He was surprised to see that every joint had a mechanism in place and was directly connected to the surround muscle tissue. Tom noticed a strange reading and looked closer. His heart was artificial, his lungs had been altered so much that they were hardly lungs at all but the most disturbing ready came from the brain. He wasn’t one hundred percent sure but it looked like he was brain dead. The only thing keeping him alive was the implants in his brain sending impulses to stimulate the neurons and keep them from dying.
“What did they do to you?” Tom asked.
“They saved me, when you abandoned me!”
“Viper died ten years ago and these readings confirm that. What ever they did to bring you back was so radical that you aren’t even Viper anymore,”
“Very good Commander,” smebody clapped and Tom turned around and aimed his phaser at them.
“More surprises,” Tom mumbled to himself. “And who might you be?”
“I am the doctor who saved him,”
“You’re not cardassian. Why are you helping them?”
“No, I’m human. I help them because I do. No reason in particular. I just like a challenge and he was definitely a challenge.” The Doctor gestured to Viper Prime.
“How many people on this station?” Tom asked.
“Pardon?” The sudden change of subject confused the man.
“People on this station, how many?” Tom asked again.
“More than you’re willing to kill,” the doctor said and started towards Viper but Tom stepped in front of him.
“You don’t know me,” Tom said dangerously and the Doctor stepped back.
“At least sixty,” the doctor said. He glanced quickly down at Viper and hoped the Agent in front of him hadn’t noticed but Tom had. He turned to the saw Viper trying to grasp a weapon. Tom quickly kicked it out of his hand and rammed another blade into the other elbow, making Viper yell out in pain.
“That’s for Mia,” Tom said to Viper before he went back to the doctor. Tom had to keep reminding himself that this person wasn’t his friend from ten years ago. This person was a soulless murdered and traitor. He killed four of Tom’s close friends and nearly killed one more. This man didn’t deserve his pity.
“What do you intend to do now?” The doctor asked.
“I’m going to destroy this station after I’ve taken the information that I need. I suggest you start an evacuation.” Tom said and looked through the database.
“You can’t!” the Doctor dashed to the console. The lighting around the room changed to red and a siren was heard.
“I just did. Get out or die here. Your choice,” Tom downloaded some information to a memory unit, placed a lockout over the system and phasered the console.
“What about him?” He pointed to Viper who was trying to get up but was feeling so much pain it was nearly impossible for him.
“He’ll be coming with me, can’t have him helping you out anymore now can I,”
“And you’re just going to leave the rest of us alone,” the doctor incorrectly assumed.
“I will, but Starfleet Security and Starfleet itself will hunt you down,” Tom and the doctor locked eyes and after a moment the doctor retreated. “Now for you,” Tom said as he went to Viper Prime.
“Touch me and I’ll kill you,” Viper threatened.
“You tried doing that already,” Tom said and crouched down next to him.
“Leave me here, you left me once before why not this time?” Viper stared up at the ceiling.
“Listen and listen good!” Tom yelled at him. “Viper, Oliver Hill died ten years ago!”
“They saved me!” Viper Prime yelled back.
“They saved his corpse! You aren’t Oliver Hill! He had a family and friend which he cared about! I don’t even thing you remember you’re family.” Tom challenged and watched as Prime tried to prove him wrong by remembering something but he said nothing. “The phaser shot to his head killed him. To get you they had to put implants in you’re head which provide the stimulation to get you’re neurons firing but even with that, the neural damage must have been to much for them to fixed,”
“I am Viper! I am Viper!” Prime yelled over and over again.
“You may have his memories but with out his personality there’s no context for you to interpret them. You’re confused,”
“This is your fault!” Prime attacked Tom and pinned him to the ground. The sound of gears straining and breaking echoed in the room. “You let me die!”
“I did not…” Tom was cut off as Prime punched him in the stomach repeatedly. Tom reached and pulled the blade out of Prime’s elbow and when his gripped lessened Tom managed to struggle out of his grasp and roll away.
Just then the red lighting changed
back to the normal lighting. Somehow they managed to end the self-destruct
sequence Tom had programmed in. “Damn it,” Tom managed to stand with the
help of the wall. He had to destroy this place one way or another. He left
the room and left Prime to his turbulent thoughts. If he had time later,
Tom would come back for him but if not….
Several sectors away and bright explosion illuminated the surrounding ships as the last Cardassian battle cruiser was destroyed. They refused to give up and activated a self-destruct sequence.
“Any damage to the ring?” Captain Jackson asked.
“None,” Ensign Scott reported from the Engineering Station. On the veiwscreen the immense ring hung in space, once again safe.
“We are being hailed,” Mossek announced.
“Put it through,” The Captain ordered the screen change to show the bridge of another ship.
“Arrow the area is secure. No other ship are on long range sensors,” the other Captain said to Jackson.
“One question, how did you know they would go after the transwarp conduit?”
“I didn’t, my first officer did,”
“Where is he?” The other Captain asked. Noticing the empty seat.
“I don’t know but as soon as we’re done here were going to look for him.” Said Jackson to the other Captain who nodded.
“Good luck,” and the transmission ended.
“I’m sure Voyager’s Senior Staff will want to help,” Davis turned in his chair to look at the Captain.
“How much of a detour would it be to go back to earth before going to the co-ordinates?”
“None, it’s on the way,” Davis hoped it would be enough to convince the Captain.
“Mossek send a message to Captain
Janeway. Tell her were coming,”
A few hours later on Voyager Janeway was in the ready room talking with Chakotay about the message she had received from the Phantom. The announcer sounded and Janeway called for them to enter.
“Captain, Commander,” Harry greeted as he and B’Elanna entered. Chakotay noticed B’Elanna’s sullen state and hoped the news would pull her out of her funk.
“We received a message from the Phantom. They’re going to find Tom and their offering to have some of us join them. Chakotay and I can’t go. We have several meetings but if you’re interested-”
“I’ll go,” Harry jumped at the chance to help Tom.
“I’ll go too,” B’Elanna said a less enthusiastically.
“They’ll be here in about an hour,”
“Thanks,” B’Elanna said and walked out shadowed by Harry who actually said good-bye. Janeway and Chakotay watched them go.
“She’s just worried about him,” Chakotay said to Kathryn.
“We all are but it has to be especially hard for her. I don’t think they parted on the best of terms,” Janeway went to replicator and got some coffee fore herself and tea for Chakotay.
“They didn’t,” Chakotay said as he accepted the cup of tea, “but, I’m sure they’ll get it sorted out,”
“If he comes back,” Janeway said and sat down in the chair behind her desk. She stared at the cup of coffee, lost in thought.
“He’ll come back,” Kathryn looked up at him, “ he has to much to waiting for him not to come back. He’ll find a way,”
“I hope so,” Janeway said and the
pair lapsed into silence.
Tom avoided as many people as he could as he went to the main power source for the station. Every person he had to knock out was one person who probably wouldn’t make it off this station and while he didn’t particularly like the Cardassians he wasn’t interested in killing sixty of them. Tom used the small mirror he had to see around each corner to make sure there was nobody coming. The tricorder was still only working at close range.
After nearly an hour he made it to the central power source. It looked a lot like a giant warp core but Tom didn’t have time to admire the structure. Instead he proceeded to set up several charges in key area of the generator and set the timers.
In seven minutes this station would go up in the largest fire works display anyone had ever seen. When he had all the charges set Tom hacked into their comm. system. “Attention, this is your cruise director. We’re having technical difficulties of explosive proportions. I suggest you get to the escape pods or if you prefer to stay and watch the lights show close up then I suggest you bend over, so your face is between your legs, and kiss your but good-bye,” Tom ended in a cheerful tone of voice. He cut the link and counted down.
He estimated about thirty seconds for them to discover the explosive charges, ten seconds to realize they can’t prevent it and two seconds to suck it up and give the order to evacuate. About forty five seconds after Tom made the announcement he heard the order over the comm. system for evacuation. //A little slow,// Tom thought to himself as he did one last check to make sure all the explosives where working.
Tom went back to the control room where he had left Prime. He said he would come back if he had time and he did but when he arrived the room had been cleared. Tom looked around for a second before he left to get to his shuttle.
A few minutes later Tom was nearly to the level where he had docked the Runner when he felt a searing pain in the back of his leg. He leaned against the wall to take the pressure off his injured leg and looked behind him. Viper Prime was trying to aim a phaser at him but it was difficult for him due his injuries.
“I was aiming for your head so I could leave you here to die like you did me!” Prime yelled from down the corridor.
Tom sighed, “I didn’t leave you to die you were already dead!” Tom yelled as he moved to a small alcove with which provided some shielding from Prime’s shots. Tom took out his phaser and shot at Prime a few time. Although each shot hit it’s mark Prime wasn’t injured by them. Tom holstered the phaser and took out his rifle. He reached to his utility belt and took the diazepam he had put there before he left the Phantom. A unnatural feeling of calm flowed over him and he relaxed. Crouching down he set his phaser to the frequency he wanted. He waited a few seconds for the phaser shots form prime to slow down and then came out of hiding. Down on one knee he steadily aimed his phaser at his small target fifty meters away. He needed two full seconds to aim and fire -he got those two seconds.
Pulling the trigger the orange beam erupted from the tip of the phaser and blazed a path to the phaser in Prime’s hand. Tom stood up as he put the rifle back on the harness. Without another look back he turned and continued in a run to his destination. He still had to go down two decks to get to Runner. It was far from the energy core so if the charges detonated while he was still on the station he would get a few extra seconds to get to his shuttle but he still had to move quickly.
“I’ll kill you Phoenix!” Prime aimed his phaser at Paris’ retreating figure but when he pressed the button, nothing happened. He re-modulated the phaser and tried it again but still, nothing happened. “I’ll kill you with my bare hands if I have to,” Prime said quietly as he watched Phoenix turn the next corner. He got up and headed in a different direction. He knew this station better than Phoenix.
Tom kept running as he saw the docking port to his shuttle. Only a few more meters and he’d be home free. His run had slowed to a quick job due to his injured leg and desperately wanted to stop running but running into a highly charged force-field wasn’t what he meant but that’s what happened.
An electric current ran through him before he was hurtled through the air and landed with a thud on the floor. Clarity slowly returned to Tom and he tried to get up but found his muscles would not comply with his orders. //Where did that force-field come from?// Tom thought. He was certain it hadn’t been there before. Tom blinked his eyes a few time to clear his vision. He thought he saw Prime standing above him but that wasn’t possible. He couldn’t get there so quickly.
“Level ten force-field,” the man
above him said and Tom recognized the voice as Prime’s and tried to get
away but only managed to move a meter before a fist connected solidly with
his head and he lost consciousness.
“Can you find the shuttle?” Captain Jackson asked. The screen showed a field of debris Scott had classified as the wreckage of what was once a Cardassian space station. To the side of the bridge stood Torres and Kim looking at the picture before them hoping somehow Tom managed to survive that.
“I have it on sensors. It is mostly in tact,” there was silence on the bridge as they waited for more information. “No life-signs on board,” Harry’s closed his eyes but B’Elanna remained staring at the wreckage. She wouldn’t accept it. Tom wasn’t dead. Surely she would have felt a difference if he had parted this universe. “however, there is no body on board the shuttle,” Mossek stated.
“Maybe he took and escape pod it he couldn’t get to the Runner.” Illis suggested.
“I have twenty seven ion trails leaving this area. All but one of them are heading towards Cardassian territory,” Mase said from the helm.
“Tractor the Runner into the launch
bay. Plot a course and engage when ready. If he’s still alive then that’s
the shuttle he’ll be on,” Jackson still held hope that his successor was
still alive as did the rest of the officers on the bridge.
On the shuttle Tom was regaining consciousness and the first thing to greet him was voiolent shaking. He could tell he was on a shuttle the moment the fuzz around his mind cleared and by the looks of his surrounding he wasn’t on the Runner. He tried to get up but his wrists and ankles where bound to the chair he was in. Tom looked around and straining, he could see Prime at the helm trying to regain control of the ship but not succeeding.
“You never where much of a pilot,” Tom said loudly enough for Prime to hear him.
“Shut up!” Yelled Prime as he struggled to keep the shuttle from falling apart. When the station exploded it severely damaged the shuttles systems. A few minutes ago the warp core went offline and the impulse engines where nearly out as well.
On the sensors Prime located an M-class moon to land on only a few million kilometers away –perfect. The shuttle was only a few hundred meters above the surface when the impulse engines died and the shuttle was pulled towards the moon by its gravity. Tom was almost out of the restraints when the shuttle pitched to one side.
He recognized this feeling –they where in an uncontrolled descent. //Not again,// his mind screamed. Flashes of Caldik Prime returned to him and the moment the restraints released he dashed to the cockpit. He saw the surface of the planet approaching much to quickly and only had time to input one command before the shuttle collided with some large structures on the moon’s surface.
The command Tom entered rotated the shuttle so the aft section took the brunt of the impact and hopefully it would be enough to save the front end of the shuttle but he doubted it. Their velocity was too great and unfortunately Tom was right. The Shuttle somersaulted end over end several times through the large and small buildings that littered the surface. The high sound of the straining metal drowned out all other noises until finally the forces where too much and the hull tore apart like paper and shreds where sent in all directions. The shuttles occupants where thrown through the air until they where stopped by solid walls or slid to a halt on the ground.
For several minutes nothing moved until a groan shattered the silence. Tom pushed up and tired to get up but the piece of metal on his back was weighing him down and causing too much pain. He collapsed again with the weight of the metal atop him. After a minute he attempted it again and this time was successful. He staggered around for a few seconds before he fell to the ground again shouting as pain ripped through him.
“Good you’re still alive. I want the pleasure of killing you myself.”
Tom looked up and saw Prime limping towards him. He noticed the blood coming from the head injury and hoped Prime would fall before reaching him.
“There’s no one here to help you Phoenix,” Prime said as he nearly fell over. “This place was abandoned during the war,”
Tom was gratefully to hear nobody else had been hurt when the shuttle had crashed, a thought which hadn’t occurred to him until now. He tried to get up but his strength had deserted him. He lay back down. //I guess this is it,// Tom closed his eyes but rather than darkness he saw clear visions of his friends from Voyager, his family and his love. It was like a slide show of his life but it didn’t feel like he was about to die –rather, it was as if his mind was trying to urge him not to give up, that he had too much to live for to let go now. Whatever the meaning was it was enough for Tom to get a second wind.
Another attempt and he was standing. To his dismay, Prime was still coming towards him and Tom knew if it came down to a physical fight he would lose. He stumbled back trying to put some distance between himself and Prime. He reached around on his suit looking for a weapon of any kind but they were all missing. Prime must have disarmed him while he was unconscious or else he lost them when he crashed to the ground after being thrown out of the shuttle.
“Good, you’re standing. It’s harder to kill a person when they’re down,” Prime stated.
Tom was loosing his equilibrium as a massive migraine joined the headache he already had. He stopped moving and held his head in his hands hunched over as unbearable pain coursed through his head. He felt as if his head wanted to explode- like there was some unknown pressure building up. Tom tried to fight it using the mental techniques Tuvok had taught him but it wasn’t enough. Ultimately it was too much for Tom and he let go.
Without warning a wall of some unknown force collided with Prime and sent him flying. He quickly got up and looked around wondering where that had come from. The buildings near them shook for a moment and dust and debris fell to the ground. There was no one there besides himself and Phoenix so he ignored it as some freak occurrence and continued in Phoenix’s direction.
As he went, Prime picked a piece
of debris and flung it at Tom. The first piece hit is mark and Tom staggered
backwards and almost fell but he held on. Prime had the maniac smile again
and picked up another large piece of debris. That piece sailed through
the air as well but just as it was about to hit Tom it was stopped by some
invisible force and fell to the ground. Prime tried again and threw the
piece harder at Tom. The same thing happened but this time Tom had to take
a step back as if some of the force still hit him.
“Two lifesigns on the surface,” Mosek stated “One human and one…almost human,” the Vulcan described.
“When will we be in transporter range?” Jackson asked.
“Ten minutes,” Davis said.
“Captain there is a strong EM field emanating from the planet the moon orbits. We-” and odd sensation over came Mossek and he had to stop speaking to regain control. When he looked up all eyes where on him.
“Lt?” Captain Jackson looked at Mossek with concern.
“I felt a strong mental presence for a brief moment. It was overwhelming,” Mossek described.
“That could be Tom,” Harry said and Jackson nodded his agreement. They knew of Tom’s unique mental abilities.
“We will need to achieve a low orbit to transport the Commander,” Mossek completed his statement without interruptions this time.
“Understood. Mase you heard him.”
“I don’t know what you’re doing but you can’t keep it up forever!” Prime had been throwing objects at Tom non-stop and it was wearing him down. Prime was only a few meters in front to him when he collapsed to his knees. “Time to die,” Prime said and strode the short distance to Tom. He assumed Phoenix was too weak to defend himself anymore but he assumed wrong.
Prime swung his arm and his fist nearly connected with the side of Tom’s head but a few centimetres before contact was made a force stopped the fist and try as he might, Prime could not move his hand.
Tom was dazed and hardly registered anything was even happening. What he was doing was all instinct and emotion. He turned his head slightly to look at the fist near his face and suddenly Prime was struck with another unknown force and sent through the air until he impacted on the ground a few meters away.
“Stay away from me,” Tom said quietly but in the haunting silence it carried to Primes ears. Prime glared at Tom and got up heading towards Tom. “Don’t make me kill you,” Tom warned softly.
“You are far to weak-” He didn’t have a chance to finish as another wall of force passed through him but this time Prime didn’t go flying. He fell to the ground and was frozen with pain. The last attack had penetrated him and done damage internally.
“That was for Amerra,” Tom said.
“I can’t get a lock. There is some sort of neural energy deflecting the targeting beam,” Mossek stated.
“Can you beam us down?” B’Elanna asked.
“I would advise against it,” Mossek stated but B’Elanna wasn’t in the mood for Vulcan logic.
“Can you do it or not?” she growled.
“Illis, Davis, go down to the surface and give Tom some help. Lt. Torres Ensign Kim, you can join them,” Harry and B’Elanna nodded. “Give them some weapons and protective gear,” Captain Jackson ordered to Davis as he passed by and went to the turbolift with the others.
“They materialized on the surface of the planet and the air smelt or war and death. The charred remains of the city surrounded them as they moved through the alleys and streets. They had been forced to transport a kilometre away from where they believed Tom and Prime where located due to the interference.
They came upon some charred debris of the shuttle and walked on until they reached a more open area. In the middle of it Tom stood and kneeled and looked like he was struggling to stay conscious. B’Elanna made a dash for him but Illis stopped her. He had encountered Prime before and last time Mia had nearly been killed.
“We have to help him,” B’Elanna said angrily.
“We have to proceed with caution,” Illis stated seeming not the least but fazed by B’Elanna’s temper. Illis and Davis used their tricorders to confirm there was nothing dangerous out there other than Prime and they proceeded.
“Tom!” B’Elanna yelled, as they got closer. He turned his head and saw them coming towards him. Prime also saw them and picked up another large piece of debris and with superhuman might he threw it at the group of four. They scattered and the piece impacted harmlessly on the ground missing its intended targets.
“Stop it,” Tom tried to yell but it came out as a rasp. Prime picked up another object and threw it at the person closest to him, Harry. “No!” Tom yelled and this time it was clear, carrying long distances.
Harry dropped to the ground hoping to avoid the object. He waited but did not even feel the ground shake from the impact of the object. He looked up and to his astonishment the object hung in the air like a mobile. After the initial shock wore off Harry scrambled away and the object dropped straight down to the ground.
“What the hell…” Prime trailed off. “How are you doing that?” Prime asked and he menacingly approached Tom. Illis’ phaser discharge but despite the ‘kill’ setting the blast only threw Prime off balance.
B’Elanna ran towards Tom. The weapons weren’t affecting Prime so if it came down to it, she would defend Tom with her bare hands. She made it to Tom first and took up a protective position in front of Tom.
Prime looked at her and laughed. He lunged at her but froze in and awkward position. He should have fallen to the ground in that position but an invisible force kept him upright. He moved his eyes up and saw Phoenix standing up behind the little woman, looking angrier than he had ever seen anyone before. Neither Prime nor B’Elanna had heard him get up.
“I warned you,” Tom whispered but it seemed to echo through the air. Tom stepped closer to B’Elanna who was looking over her shoulder at Tom in some surprise. Prime may be frozen in place now but she wasn’t ready to turn her back on him just yet. She saw Harry and the other two agents reach her and Tom just as a strange feeling washed over everybody in the area. The air seemed to change and a powerful and invisible force surrounded them. Then for no apparent reason everything went back to normal except Prime who was still frozen in place.
Illis, Davis, Torres and Kim looked around and at each other wondering if the others had felt the changes too. Before any of them could voice their thoughts a massive energy discharge erupted and Prime was sent flying through the air. A shockwave travelled out wards from Tom but only Prime was the only person affected by it. As the shockwave travelled Debris was blown away creating a perimeter ring of garbage. The Shockwave hit the decrepit buildings and several of them toppled to the ground.
Tom stepped around B’Elanna and walked over to where Prime lay and looked down at him. Prime was still conscious though, barely. The other four joined Tom at Prime’s side.
“Who was that for?” Prime asked.
“Odile James and Armand,” Tom whispered down at him. Prime laughed and there was a note of hysteria in his voice. Tom stepped back a few meters.
“I suppose you already know but I’m going to tell you anyway. You’re under arrest,” Illis stated.
“I don’t think so,” were Prime’s last words before his eyes rolled back into his head.
“What happened to him?” Davis asked. Harry took out a tricorder and scanned the prone figure.
“He release a neural toxin in his brain. He’s dead,” Harry announced.
“Rather die than face his crimes, coward.” Davis looked at the dead body with contempt.
“Tom,” B’Elanna approached him and the distant look in his eyes disappeared and was replaced with complete awareness of where he was, with whom and his injuries. He smiled faintly at her before the expression changed to one of pain and he started to collapse. B’Elanna reached and tried to steady him but only fell to the ground with him. “Tom, stay with me,” she ordered.
“I can’t leave you,” he whispered before he lost consciousness.
‘Stand by for transport,’ Mossek’s
voice came over a commbadge and a moment later the five vanished, the trail
of destruction the only evidence of them ever being there.
A few hours later in Sickbay, Dr. Ian Morris worked along side holographic Doctor as they tried to stabilize Tom who lay unmoving on the biobed. The Phantom had arrived at Earth a few minutes ago after a four and a half hour journey. During that time, Morris had kept Tom alive. When he was first beamed aboard he was stable but over time his condition deteriorated. Neural damage developed and Morris determined it had something to do with his patient’s telekinetic abilities but he did not know enough about them to treat Tom so when they arrived at earth Morris and Tom were beamed to Voyager’s Sickbay so the holo-doctor could help.
“Anything?” Chakotya asked as he approached Harry and B’Elanna. They sat leaning against the wall across from the door to Sickbay. It was locked the Doctor had refused to open it so they had been left wait. They had been waiting for over an hour and hadn’t received any updates.
“Nothing,” B’Elanna said wearily. Chakotay looked at the two officers in front of him and decided he didn’t have anywhere important to be right now. He sat down next to B’Elanna and put a comforting hand on her shoulder.
“You’re going to wait?” B’Elanna asked him. Chakotay nodded.
“Tom would be surprised,” Harry said.
“He shouldn’t be,” Chakotay said and silence reigned.
As time wore on more and more people congregated outside the main entrance to Sickbay. Davis came with Scott and they decided to wait as well. Then Janeway joined them accompanied by Tuvok who wouldn’t admit to them how illogical it was to wait outside for news on Tom’s condition. The last person to join the group was Seven, who expressed worry as to her friend’s condition.
Thirty minutes after Seven arrived the doors slid open and Dr. Morris walked out and was nearly bowled over by people trying to get in.
“He’ll be fine in a few days but right now he’s very weak. We fixed his injuries but his neural patterns are still very erratic,” Morris reported.
“Is he conscious?” Harry asked.
“Yes and itching to leave sickbay but he’s confined hear for at least eight more hours. You can see him but not all at once.” Morris said as he looked at the large group.
Tom sat on the biobed and swung his legs back and forth much to the Doctor’s annoyance. He still had a pretty bad headache but the Doctor’s wouldn’t give him anything for it. He heard the doors to sickbay slide open and looked over to see Morris walking in followed by Davis and Scott. They were only the first wave of visitors. Janeway, Chakotay, Seven and Tuvok where next and lastly were Harry and B’Elanna.
Tom stood when he saw them knowing he hurt them the most when he took this mission. The Doctors retreated to the office toe give them more privacy. No one spoke for a full minute until Harry approached Tom who was looking at the floor. He put a hand on Tom’s shoulder and Tom looked at his best friend.
“Good to have you back,” was all he said before he pulled Tom into an embrace. Harry left a few minutes later leaving Tom and B’Elanna alone.
She approached. Tom had always prided himself at being able to distinguish B’Elanna’s mood but her expression at the moment was a mystery to him. She stopped less than a meter in front of him and their eyes were locked until B’Elanna did something Tom hadn’t been expecting. The palm of her hand hit him against his left cheek. She slapped him!
Tom looked at her his face calm but the red mark on his cheek was evidence of what she had just done. He didn’t protest. He knew he deserved more than a simple slap. There was no communication with words the entire time –they didn’t need them. Tom reached up and caressed her cheek. His touch melted the last barrier and her eyes watered and Tom wrapped her arms around her and held her as tears flowed from her eyes.
“I’m so sorry,” Tom whispered to her and a tear escaped his eye as well.
Over the next few days Tom repaired the damage he had done when he left for the last mission. He was officially relieved of duty by both of his Captains and Doctors. Tom spent a few hours on the Phantomm before it left getting the final report on Prime.
Tom’s conclusion had been right. Viper Prime was Viper only physically. Viper died ten years ago during the mission but the Cardassians found a way to bring him back with the help of the human doctor but doing so they had required such extreme procedures that what they brought back wasn’t Viper anymore. Just to get him moving they had to install implants into nearly all of the major muscles. They also enhanced his strength with mechanical components. In a medical scan, Prime looked like a poorly assimilated borg drone.
Tom’s hypothesis as to what Prim
was after was correct as well. The small Cardassian faction to which Prime
had belonged was attempting to bring power back to the Cardassian Empire
and if they had gotten the transwarp technology there’s no telling what
havoc they could have caused.
Tom sat on a biobed in sickbay as the doctor ran a tricorder over him. “Neural activity is still higher than normal but I suppose it’s expected after that episode,” the Doctor said and tom rolled his eyes. No matter what happened you could always count on the Doc’s wit (or lack thereof). “You’ll need to have another session with Commander Tuvok soon but other than that, your injuries are healing nicely, but not strenuous activities,” he Doctor warned and Tom nodded his compliance. “That is all. Get out of my Sickaby,” the Doctor said as he walked away. Tom had to smile the Doc was one heck of a character. He left sickbay after giving his thanks and went to his quarters. He entered his quarters and saw B’Elanna waiting for him on his couch.
“I hadn’t expected you to be here,” he said and went to her.
“Where did you expect me to be?” she asked as he sat down.
“I don’t know, with your engines, with your parents-” she silenced him with a single finger over his lips.
“I belong here,” she said softly, “with you.” Tom smiled and kissed her.
“I love you,” he whispered before
B’Elanna claimed his lips with her own, //More than you’ll ever know,//echoed
in Tom’s mind.
A week later there was another reception. At this one promotions where handed out by Captain Janeway with the help of her first officer and Admiral Hayes. Harry was promoted to a full Lt. as were B’Elanna and Tom. When Tom had been given his solid pip the applause was notably less than it had been for the others but him it didn’t matter. People would never let go of his past but the people who really mattered to him knew the truth and those who didn’t still accepted it. The crew of Voyager his family members clapped for him and a small group in the back of crowd was particularly loud. Tom could hear them calling his name and shook his head slightly as he fought to keep a straight face.
In the back, Brandon Davis, Adrian
Scott, Drew Illis and Mia Holmes, who had only been released form Sickbay
temporarily cheered for him. They were all dressed in regular Starfleet
uniforms so blended in with the rest of the crowd, as were Mossek, Captain
Mattey Jackson who stood a few meters away form the younger officers wondering
how this group was his crew.
A few days later Tom accepted another
promotion infront of a more serious group of officers. Two of the members
of Special Ops command were on Earth and they presented Tom with his another
black, paralleogram-shaped pip outlined in gold. Bhind him stood all of
Omega team standing at attention and behind them was the senior staff of
Voyager including the CMO and Seven. They witnessed as Commander Paris
became Captain Paris and right after the promotion. Captain Jackson congratulated
Tom and officially handed command of the Phantom over to Tom and retired.
Jackson gave His pips to one of the Command officials and handed over his
Ops commbadge, ready to leave this life behind him but never forget it.
“So how do you plan on serving in Starfleet and in Special Ops as a Captain?” Janeway asked.
“I’ll find a way,” Tom said in his cocky tone of voice. The others where glad to have their Tom Paris back. They didn’t fully understand what being a Special Operations agent meant to him personally but it was a part of they could not deny. I helped define him as a person and despite the fear they’ll experience when he was on a mission they knew it was something he had to do –protect people and most of all protect those who he held close to his heart.
End Part VIII
Okay, short, I know but it was just a conclusion to the last part. This series is not over yet. I know you’re all groaning wondering when I’m going t end this series. At least two more parts and then the end (maybe). There’s just so much I could do with this. So many possibilities.
To those of you who have read all of this story up to here you have read over 180 pages so far (according to ‘Word’)!
Kudos to you! Kudos!
You know the routine by now email@example.com
P.S. This was especially for rcher89 and any body else who had been patiently (some more patiently than others ;-) ) waiting for this part. Thanks for the incentive! :-) It’s nice to know people other than myself care what happens next.