Title: A Promise Kept
Author: Zappy Zaps
Summary: A trip to a DQ planet
and a special anomaly result in the acquisition of a new little crewmember.
(After ‘30 Days’)
Category: P, P/T
Author’s note: This story
was written just for the sake of getting this idea out of my head (it was
obstructing better ideas). ? Enjoy (if you can). By the way, if something
doesn’t make sense just ignore it or accept it. I wanted to go back
and add some more information to the story but I forgot what I was going
to add (I know, I know, stupid me).
It was early in the morning on Voyager.
The Senior Staff was having one of their meetings. The current topic
of discussion was the area of Space that they were approaching. Tom
had brought the anomalous reading to the attention of the Captain the day
before. He now had to explain the situation to the rest of the senior
“Mr. Paris, you were saying something
about an unstable area of subspace, yesterday.” The Captain asked.
“Yes,” Tom said getting up from
his seat. He walked over to the monitor in on the wall and
brought up an sensor scan of the next area of space they were bordering.
“Part of this sector we’re entering has some unusual subspace disturbances.
We aren’t sure what caused them but it may have been some early tests of
accelerating matter to light speed that cause these disturbances.”
“What effect will this have on Voyager.”
“Warp travel through this area will
be limited. If we ran into one of these pockets going at warp speed
Voyager would be torn apart even with shields up. There are however
areas of subspace that are undisturbed. We can go at Warp in theses
areas but it will be a bumpy ride.” Tapping a few keys on the panel
a scan of the area where there were no disturbances. There were patterns
in that area that looked like ripples in water. “The subspace ‘bubbles’,
as the navigational department has dubbed them, have had an effect on the
surrounding subspace. These won’t damage Voyager much as long as
whoever is at the helm can make adequate corrections to our course and
the nacelle outputs.”
“Are all the pilots competent enough
for this sort of thing.” Chakotay asked looking at the sensor data.
It would be hard enough for him to pilot through that mess; how would a
less experienced pilot handle it.
“Hamilton, Baytart, myself and you
Commander should be able to handle this. If you’re up to it that
is.” Tom said with a bit of a smile, issuing Chakotay a challenge
that Chakotay couldn’t refuse. “I would suggest however that we have
relief pilots on standby at all time in case whoever is at the helm is
tired and that no one does more than half a shift without at least a break
after a few hours. Fatigue will cause careless mistakes and unnecessary
damage to Voyager.”
Janeway nodded. “Agreed. Prepare
a schedule for the pilots that will be at the helm and the relief pilot
that will be stationed on the bridge.”
“Done and done, Captain.”
Tom said handing her a padd with the schedules already on it. “All it needs
is the Commanders approval.” Since he was the one in charge of the duty
roster. Janeway handed Chakotay the padd.
“Well then I guess all that’s needed
is some training for the pilots so they no what to expect.” Chakotay suggested.
Tom was always one step ahead of people when it came to issues about piloting.
“Already scheduled. During
Beta shift I have Baytart and Hamilton in the holodeck with me so that
we can go through some simulations. I still have to schedule at time
for you, Commander to take some time in the holodeck to run through the
program.” Chakotay nodded.
“When will be ready to go through
this area of space?” Janeway asked.
“It will be about six hours before
we reach it at our current velocity. I’ve got Jackson covering alpha
shift for me so I could finish plotting the course that we will be taking.
It’ll be on your desk by the end of Alpha shift. But I don’t suggest
that we start our journey through until each of the departments has had
enough time to do any systems checks or lockdowns that need to be done.”
Janeway turned to Harry and B’elanna.
“How long will you need?”
Harry answered first. “Alpha and
a bit of Beta shift probably.” B’elanna nodded her agreement.
There wasn’t much to be done. They had passed through a pretty dull
area of space recently and had ample time to do all repairs.
“All right. Mr. Paris when
we reach the border of this area we’ll go to all stop at until tomorrow
morning. If there’s nothing else-”
“Actually Captain, I’ll need you
to inform Seven that I have permission to use Astrometrics for Alpha shift.”
Tom said quickly.
Janeway nodded. “Dismissed.”
Each person filed out of the briefing room; Harry, Chakotay, Janeway and
Paris to the Bridge and B’elanna to Engineering. Tom told Jackson
to go to all stop when they reached the border of ‘bubble subspace’ before
he headed to Astrometrics.
“Hello Seven.” Tom greeted the former
“Ensign,” Seven said in her usual
tone. Tom stepped up to the main console and brought up a sensor
scan of ‘bubble subspace’. Using the Astrometrics scanners he refined
his previous scans. He punched in subroutines into the computer to
extrapolate the most efficient course through bubble subspace, which avoid
going at impulse. He then refined the course and took a closer look
at each segment of the course.
Seven watched Tom for a while, ready
to offer her assistance if needed. Seeing that she wasn’t needed
she went to occupy herself at one of the consoles on the wall. She
had briefly entertained the idea of going over the Doctor’s latest social
lesson for her but she discarded that idea.
A few hours later Commander Chakotay
walked into Astrometrics to check on Tom’s progress. He nodded to
Seven as he went to see Tom. “How’s it going Tom?” Chakotay inquired.
“All right.” he said distractedly
and not taking his eyes off the screen. “There are some interesting
patterns in the ripples in subspace. You see here,” Tom enlarged
a portion of the sensor scan “The subspace ripples are have interference
effects on each other. When two subspace bubble are fairly close
to each other the ripples they cause overlap and create interference patterns
like nodes and anti-nodes of a standing wave. Travelling through
the areas with nodes will make the ride smoother but if we happen to wander
off course there are areas of high interference on each side.” He
continued to tap commands into the console. Right now Tom reminded
him a lot of Janeway when she was in her scientist mode. Totally
engrossed in the task at hand and giving everything else around her nothing
more than a fleeting thought.
“Just don’t forget to eat and breathe.”
Chakotay reminded him with a friendly pat on the back as he turned to go.
“A message from B’Elanna no doubt.”
Tom threw over his shoulder to Chakotay.
“From Harry and B’Elanna and the
Captain and myself actually.” Chakotay threw back.
“Will do.” Chakotay left Astrometrics
and headed to Engineering to check on B’elanna’s progress but his thoughts
were elsewhere. He was thinking about how his relationship with Tom
Paris had progressed over the last few years. On Voyager Chakotay
had come to know a different Tom Paris than the one he knew in the Maquis.
Tom had proven himself several times that he could be trusted and had earned
the respect of everyone on the ship if not their friendship. He and
Tom had founded a relationship, based on mutual respect that had slowly
turned into a friendship. How things have changed; that he can stand
here today and call Tom Paris a friend.
Beta shift was just about to begin
and Irene Hamilton and Pablo Baytart walked together towards the holodeck
to meet Ensign Paris. They talked about various happenings around
the ship until the reached the holodeck. They had expected Tom to be outside
waiting for them. “I hope we aren’t late.” Irene said to Pablo as
they walked into the holodeck.
Stepping inside they founds themselves
on the bridge of Voyager. The duty stations were empty except for
the helm where Tom was sitting. The bridge shuddered a bit but Tom
soon compensated for the disturbance and the ride was smooth again.
They watched for a few moments before making their presence known.
“Oh, hi.” Tom said smiling “Your
right on time. I was a little early and waiting has never been my
forté so I decided to run a couple of sims through bubble subspace.”
He said rising from the seat at the helm. “Did you look over the
data I sent.” They both nodded “All right then who’s the first brave soul
to try my program.” He asked rubbing his hands together.
“You mean victim.” Pablo corrected
“Mr. Baytart, I’m glad you volunteered.”
Tom said ushering a surprised Pablo to the helm while Irene laughed.
Pablo went first but by the time the simulated Voyager had reached the
first subspace bubble ands dropped to impulse Pablo was pooped.
“I hope that you programmed this
simulation to be harder than reality.” He said
“Maybe just a little. But
then again I’ve never piloted through subspace ripples before” Tom said
walking back down to the helm from the Ops station. “You did a good
job though. Very little damage.”
“Maybe, but this is pretty tiring.
I don’t know if I could do this for four hours.”
“This is the type of challenge pilots
live for, Pablo.” Tom said enthusiastically. “Don’t worry so much.
You’ll get a little break every time we enter an subspace bubble and if
you feel too tired to continue at any time, all you have to do is get the
relief pilot to take over for a little while..”
“If you say so.” Pablo said getting
up from the helm to let Irene have a turn. Tom had more confidence
in Pablo and Irene as pilots than they had in themselves, he did train
them after all. For Pablo and Irene, Tom’s confidence in them was
a great compliment. Neither of them had ever met anyone with as more
skill at the helm than Tom. During there time at the academy no one
had beaten his records in the flight simulations. He had almost all
At 2030 Tom let Pablo and Irene
leave. They had run simulations for hours learning different techniques
and tricks that would make the trip through bubble subspace easier.
They had left the holodeck exhausted. Making so many calculations,
compensating for every single fluctuation in the nacelles or from subspace
was hard and tiring work. Tom decided to stay for a little while
longer to do some more practicing. It was 2310 when Captain Janeway
walked into holodeck two and kicked him out. She had checked the
logs and said that he had had enough practice for one night. They
couldn’t have a tired pilot at the helm tomorrow morning.
Tom walked into his quarters to find
B’elanna sitting on his couch waiting for him. “Hello.” She greeted
him giving him quick kiss. “The Captain finally got you out of the
holodeck?” she asked although she knew the answer.
“Why do I think that you had a hand
to play in that.” He said wrapping his arms around her waist.
“Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t.”
she said twisting out of his grip. “I know that you didn’t eat dinner
though, so…” she dragged him over to the table that was set up nicely for
a dinner for two. “I thought we could share a nice late-night dinner
Tom wrapped his arms around her
from behind and kissed the top of her head. “You didn’t have to wait for
me.” He said feeling guilty. She turned to face him.
“I wanted to.” She said looking
into his eyes. Tom could loose himself in those beautiful brown eyes.
He smiled and kissed her tenderly on the lips.
That night they shared a quiet evening
together enjoying each others company. A night that seemed to pass
by too quickly and they had to go to bed if they wanted to be awake the
next morning. B’elanna changed into one of Tom’s T- shirts and lay
next to him in his bed, deciding to stay the night in his quarters.
They fell asleep quickly, with one of Tom’s arms around B’elanna holding
her close to him.
The next morning Tom and B’elanna
made it to the bridge slightly early after eating a replicated breakfast.
Knowing glances flew around the bridge when they enter together but no
one said anything. Tuvok was in charge of the bridge at the time,
filling in for Janeway and Chakotay until one of them got there.
Only moments later Chakotay and Janeway arrived on the bridge ready to
begin alpha shift.
“Mr. Paris” Janeway said sitting
in her seat “Engage when ready.”
Voyager pivoted to the port and
in a flash of light jumped to warp. The bridge was more quiet than
usually. Due mostly to the fact the person who usually does most
of the talking was occupied.
The first moments after entering
bubble space was pretty turbulent but Tom had soon compensated and the
turbulence decreased tremendously. Tom was silent throughout his
half shift at the helm. For four hours Tom slid from one end of the
helm controls to the other, controlling each nacelle separately and constantly
monitoring engine readouts and external sensors. Tom seemed to be
enjoying himself though, sliding from one side to the other.
“Looks like fun.” Janeway said quietly
to the Commander making him smile.
When Hamilton came to take the conn
Tom didn’t seem tired at all. He had asked the Captain to let him
do full shifts at the conn but she had said that would be a double standard
and was reluctant to have anyone at the conn for such a long period of
time doing so much work. It will take Voyager at least a week to
transverse this part of space when it would usually take only four days
at warp six. Going around though would have taken at least
two months and since this area of space could be transversed with relatively
little difficulty the Captain decided to go through.
On the third day of travel through
this are of space the crew was getting fed up with the constant vibrations
when they were at warp. Everyone on board could tell when Paris was
at the helm; that’s when the ride was smoothest. He made several
minute adjustments that kept Voyager riding the ripples rather than going
through them. This of course required a lot of work on the part of
the pilot. Rotating the EM frequency so that it would coincide with
the fluctuations of subspace. All resulting in a smoother more pleasing
ride for the crew. Hamilton, Baytart and Chakotay found that they
were too busy keeping the nacelles on the ship to worry about a bit of
shaking. Some crewmembers even suggested that Tom pilot during Gamma
shift so that the crew could get a good night sleep.
Other than the almost constant vibrations,
it was a pretty boring trip. The only people that were busy were
the pilots. With some of the systems locked down many people where
left with very little to do. The holodecks were busy and Neelix was
planning some sort of party to break the monotony. Finally on the
seventh day the monotony ended -a day early too.
“We’re through Captain.
Back to regular subspace.” Hamilton said with a smile as her relief pilot
came to take the helm. She had just finished the second half of Gamma
shift after Ensign Paris and was going to bed. Janeway smiled and
nodded to the helm officer as she made her way to her quarters. Sleep
Three hours, at high warp, later
Voyager approached an M-class moon with warp fairing humanoids. “Hail
them.” Janeway ordered.
“They’re responding.” Said Harry
“Welcome to Obsadan Space.”
The man on the screen greeted. Janeway smiled. Finally a species
that didn’t shoot first.
“I’m Captain Kathryn Janeway of
the Starship Voyager. We’re travelling home to the alpha quadrant
and are hoping that we would be able to spend some time on your planet
and perhaps do some trading of resources.”
“Of course Captain.”
The next day, Thursday, people began
beaming down to see the planet. And just like every Thursday Tom
Paris had a date with Naomi Wildman. Tom and Naomi were going planetside
together and were dragging Seven along with them.
“It’ll be fun Seven. You’ll
see.” Naomi said pulling on Seven’s hand for her to hurry up.
Seven had restrained herself from making one of her usual ‘recreation is
an inefficient use of time’ comments. She had just picked up Naomi
from her quarters and were on their way to Transporter room two to meet
When they entered the transporter
room Tom was making conversation with the Ensign at the controls, until
he saw Naomi anyway. A huge smile spread across his face. Naomi
ran to Tom with open arms to be picked up and he gladly obliged.
“And how are you today Munchkin?”
“I’m not a munchkin.” Naomi protested.
“Are you sure?” Seven watched
as the two went through their usual script. Stepping onto the tranpsorter
pad Tom put Naomi down so that they could transport to the surface.
The blue transporter beam engulfed them and they were deposited in a busy
market place. Naomi looked around excitedly. There were shops
everywhere. The Obsandans were also very interesting. Their
skin was tanned and they had dark hair. They had spots on the sides
of their faces that were just slightly darker than the rest of their skin
Naomi grabbed one of Tom and one
of Seven’s hands and pulled them to a little shop that sold precious stones.
Naomi was captivated by an orb that changed colour depending on how much
light was on it. Tom bought it for her using some of the local currency
that they had. He also bought something for B’Elanna. She was
working with the Obsadan engineers, trading components and materials.
After leaving the marketplace the
trio walked through a park. Seven was holding Naomi’s hand while
Tom was holding a bunch of bags. Naomi had found a lot of things
that she liked and found a lot of things that she thought her mom would
like. Naomi even got Seven to buy a couple of things.
They decided to stay in the park
for a while and Tom was grateful. Carrying packages around wasn’t
his idea of shoreleave. A playground! Now that looked like
fun. The park had a small playground with swings and slide and a
jungle gym (sort of). Tom and Naomi took off to for the playground
racing each other. Tom was one of the few crewmembers that could
keep up with an active Naomi. They played together for a while before
they had to return to the ship.
Tom was holding Naomi’s hand as
they walked through the less crowded marketplace. Naomi was chatting
happily about everything they did that day and the people of the planet
when a small child ran into Tom’s leg and latched on. Tom was startled
and stopped walking. The child looked up to Tom and with pleading
blue eyes asked to help him. Tom let go of Naomi’s and telling her
to hold Seven’s and kneeled to talk with the frightened child.
The little boy had dark blonde hair
and light blue eyes exactly like another person that we know.
“Hey what’s the matter?” Tom said
softly as he looked at the child. If he were human he looked like
he would be about four years old.
“Don’t let them take me!” The little
boy cried and buried his face in Tom’s chest. Tom instinctively wrapped
an arm around the child and tried to soothe him. Tom looked up to
Seven for help but she was as confused as he was.
“There you are!” yelled a man in
a security uniform. The little boy moved closer to Tom. “Your
coming with me!” he said maliciously. He reached down to grab the
child but Tom grabbed his wrist and kept him from touching the boy.
“Who are you and what is going on?”
Tom picked up the child and stood to his full height towering over the
shorter security guard.
“Is he your child?” the guard asked
noting the similarities between the child and the man holding him.
Tom was confused. His child?
“What? No he’s not my-” Tom
was interrupted as the guard grabbed Tom’s wrist and looked at the back
of his hand and then looked at the back of the child’s hand.
“You’re not his father or of kin.”
The guard stated slightly perturbed. They looked so similar though.
“I said that already. Why
is he supposed to come with you?” Tom was tired of being in the dark
about what was going on.
“He stole a samby fruit from one
of the merchants.” Tom looked at the child and saw that he was holding
a small fruit in his hands. Tom rolled his eyes and reached into
his pocket. It was a tiny little pink fruit. Tom took out some
of the currency he had and dropped it in the guard’s hand.
“Will this cover it?” Tom asked.
The guard looked at the currency and did a quick count. He nodded
and walked away from them to the merchant. “Hey! Will you take this
child home?” Tom called to the retreating figure.
“Not my problem.” The guard called
over his shoulder to Tom. Tom looked to Seven and Naomi and then
back to the child in his arms. Tom couldn’t leave the child in the
Marketplace alone. He came to a decision.
“Seven you take Naomi back to the
ship. I’ll take him home.”
“I believe that your shift in Sickbay
starts in less then thirty minutes. You will not be able to take
the child home and be on time for your shift.” Seven said
“If you’ve gat a better idea Seven,
I’m listening.” She didn’t have one. “All right. I’ll
help you take the packages to the beam out point and after you two have
beamed up I’ll find where he lives.” Tom grabbed some more bags and
they made there way the short distance to the beam out point. Tom
tried to talk to the child he was carrying but the child remained silent.
He was eying Seven and Naomi curiously. His eyes grew as big as saucers
when he saw them disappear in the blue light.
Tom put the child down and crouched
so that he was eye level with him. “What’s your name?” Tom asked
for the third time.
“Demian,” he said quietly.
Tom smiled finally a response.
“Do you know how to get home?” Demian
nodded. Tom smiled more making Demian smile as well. “Well
then you lead and I’ll take you home. All right?” the little boy
nodded vivaciously. Tom lifted the child so that he sat on his shoulder.
The child put his hands on Tom’s forehead to sturdy himself. He was
amazed by the view from that height. Usually he saw everything from
a much lower perspective. From Tom’s shoulders it looked like he
could see forever.
“Lead on.” Demian was smiling
broadly and point in the direction of the other side of the marketplace.
Demian guided Tom away from the marketplace to the outskirts of the city.
The further from the marketplace they got the worse the housing got.
Finally Demian pointed to a run down little home. Tom took Demian
off his shoulders but carried him. He knocked on the door and waited
for someone to open. He waited for a while and Tom had a horrible
thought the child might be living alone. Just then a small woman
opened the door just a crack so that she could see who was at the door.
The moment she saw who Tom was carrying a huge smile spread across her
face and she opened the door fully.
“Demian!” she cried taking the boy
from Tom. Another man came from inside the house when heard her yell
‘Demian’. He eyed Tom dubiously and ushered Demian and the woman
closer to the house. The woman gave Demian to the man and approached
Tom smiling. “Thank you so much we had looked for him all day at
the marketplace. He was separated from us when we were there.”
“Are you his parents?” Tom asked.
Both her and the man had dark hair and dark eyes and he wondered if they
were his real parents. She shook her head and showed him the back
of her hand. It was glowing a faint blue colour.
“I’m his mother’s sister.
Our connection is not as strong as parent and child.” She said looking
at her hand. That was why the guard looked at the back of their hands
when he asked if the child was his. When in close proximity to those
of close relation the backs of their hands glowed blue.
“Your not Obsadan are you?” she
shook her head again.
“We are Hevan. We were workers
here years ago but gained our freedom. Most of the Hevan left for
our home planet but during the mass evacuation. Demian was separated
from his parents and was left behind. We’ve taken care of him for
the past year. We’ll be going home soon hopefully as well.
Hevan are not welcome here anymore.” She said quietly. Tom was about
to say something when Harry’s voice called.
“Kim to Paris.”
“Go ahead.” Tom said tapping
“You’re out of the designated area
for shore leave and your late getting back to the ship.” Kim said
“I’ll be back soon. Paris out.”
Tom cut the link before Harry could ask anymore questions. He turned
to the woman before him “I’m sorry…” he didn’t know her name.
“Aggel.” She supplied.
“Aggel, but I have to get back to
“Voyager?” she asked.
“Yes. I’m late I have to go. Bye
Demian.” Tom waved to the child who waved back smiling at him. “Aggel.”
Tom said and then began to jog away. Aggel watched him until he was
out of sight. Tom was in a full out sprint when he reached the beam
out point. Calling for transport he was beamed into the transporter
room. After nodding his thanks to the crewmen at the transporter
controls. Tom began to run toward Sickbay. He reached Sickbay
four minutes late for his shift.
“Mr. Paris you’re late.” The Doctor
said as soon as Tom enterd.
“Sorry Doc. I’ll make it up
to you. You can come back late from the planet. Just not too
late I have plans for tonight.” The Doctor nodded happily and after
telling Tom the things he wanted him to do while he was here he left to
take his shore leave and take some picture with his imager.
His shift in Sickbay was boring.
Most of the crew was on leave. He was going through the list of jobs
the Doc wanted him to do. ‘Take an invertory’. Tom went to
work. The work was mundane and monotonous. He began humming
to himself without realizing it.
Several minutes later Harry
Kim walked in to Sickbay. He was greeted by a tenor voice singing
softly. Harry knew that it wasn’t the doctor and had a suspicion
about who it was. He didn’t see anybody at first but as he walked
further into Sickbay he saw who it was.
The Doc arrived soon after
Harry had entered Sickbay and Tom and Harry left together. Harry
was chatting away while Tom was thinking more about the trip back to the
surface he and most of the crew of Voyager are going on tonight. The Obsadan
where through a huge bash; pulling out all the stops. It was formal
event but the Obsadan insisted to that uniforms where not worn which meant
something other than the dress uniform.
“I had no idea.” Harry said.
“What?” Tom hadn’t been
“That you could sing so well.
You’ve been holding out on us. Now you have no excuse not to participate
in talent night.” Harry said.
“Thanks, but no Thanks.”
Tom said as they entered the turbolift. “Deck eleven.” Tom called.
“Don’t worry Tom, I’ll make
sure that they leave you a space for your performance.” Harry said
playfully. Tom shook his head and stepped off the turbolift.
“I’ll be in the audience, front and center!” Harry yelled just before
the doors slid shut.
Tom entered main Engineering
and he exited a few minutes later though his mood was much worse than when
he entered. In the few minutes that he was in her company they had
managed to get into an argument. Tom had left before he said something
that he would regret. For some reason his presence at the time seemed
to irritate her. He couldn’t remember doing anything lately that
would make her angry at him. He returned to his quarters. He
had to get ready for this …thing that was happening later this evening.
He ran a hand through his hair. He still had to find something to
wear. Looks like he would be going to the party without a date tonight.
B’Elanna was already on the
surface of the planet and was talking with her long-time friend Chakotay.
She was feeling a little guilty about what she had said to Tom earlier.
He had just come in at the wrong time and caught her in a bad mood.
Everything was going wrong and she wasn’t in the mood for his usual light-hearted
banter. She hadn’t seen him yet and guessed that he had yet to beam
down from the ship.
At that moment a blue transporter
beam appeared not too far from the main gathering of people and Tom’s form
coalesced. He looked around the large hall. It was ornately
decorated with tapestries and paintings. Tom looked at the crowd
of people that were there. He noticed B’Elanna. She was wearing
a burgundy dress that ended just above her knees showing off her finely
toned legs. It was sleeveless with a ‘V’ neck. She looked amazing
in it. Their eyes met briefly before Tom turned and went to look
There were several of the
crewmembers and even more Obsadan officials present. Tom greeted them cordially
as he made his way from painting to painting. He wasn’t an artist
but he was curious of what era the paintings were from. Some seemed
more modern and other seemed archaic. So pre-occupied with his thoughts
he did not notice the eyes that followed him around.
Tom was wearing black pants
with a royal blue silk collarless shirt and a black fitting vest.
He looked very handsome and had caught the eye of several of the female
crewmembers and the female Obsadan when he had beamed down. The Voyager
women knew that Tom was taken even though they had all heard about the
argument that he and the chief engineer had earlier but they could still
look. The female Obsadan where very blatant. They just stared.
Obsadan where all very open about sexuality and made no secret of any attractions
Tom joined Harry who was talking
to a couple of Obsadan women. They talked for a while before the main event
happened. The main event was and arts show that displayed the history
and heritage of the many Obsadan tribes.
After the show people mingled
in and aroundthe building. Tom was outsides, alone, walking through
the gardens. The lamps provided soft lighting. Some of the
flowers seemed luminescent in the soft lighting. The path through the garden
was winding but Tom wasn’t in any hurry. He stopped walking and crouched
down to get a closer look at the plant.
“Do you like them?”
a voice from behind him asked. He turned and saw a young girl dressed
in formal attire. He smiled at her.
He satated. She seemed pleased with that.
“I helped plant them.” She
stated proudly. She couldn’t have been more that twelve in human
years. Tom stood and dusted off his hands. “There called Arysis
“Do they always glow like
that?” Tom asked.
“During the nights.
Most of the plants glow at one time or another, usually during the night.
It’s so pretty when they all glow at the same time.” She smiled.
“Would you like to see some more of my plants?” she asked excitedly.
“Sure.” Tom said.
He couldn’t say ‘no’ to her. She grabbed his hand and began leading
him to another patch of plants. While they were looking at them a
loud rumbling sound in the distance caught their attention. The sky
was streaked with several exhaust lines from the engines of some sort of
crafts. “What are those?” Tom asked.
“The Hevan are going away.”
She said a little sadly.
“They have a new home now.
There going to the vortex that will take them home. It only opens
once a years so they have to leave together. The grown ups don’t
want them here anymore.”
“But you do.”
“Imeer was my best friend
and now she’s going away.” The girl said sadly.
“Maybe you can visit her.”
She didn’t answer. Tom took her hand and they went back to the building.
Once there she rejoined her family. Her father was one of the officials
that the Captain had been trading with. Tom spent the rest of the
night hanging out with Harry. He guessed that the vortex that Reem,
the young girl spoke of was some sort of wormhole. He asked Harry
if he had heard about a wormhole around here. Harry had during one
of the discussions he had with some of the Obsadan scientists. It
was a wormhole but it was unstable, and only showed up about once a year.
It was too small to take Voyager through as well. It would only take
a couple of months off their trip anyway so it wasn’t a big loss.
The Voyager crewmembers left late in the night. They would be breaking
orbit the next day.
At 1000 Voyager left the Obsadan
home-world. Tom was at the conn. It was a normal day
on Voyager until the subspace disturbances appeared again. The ship
began to shake violently. The inertial dampeners where having trouble
compensating for all the motion.
“Mr. Paris, report.”
Janeway said as she tried to stay seated.
“There are more subspace bubble
“Why didn’t we detect these
before?” Chakotay asked.
“The just appeared now.”
Tom was working on finding the calmest areas and moved voyager along that
course. The shaking became less violent and crewmembers released
the death grips the had on their consoles.
“Captain I’m receiving a distress
call.” Harry said from his station.
“Can trace it?”
“It’s coming from heading
375 mark 43.”
“Tom.” Janeway said to her
helmsman who was still battling the helm controls. “Can you navigate Voyager
along that heading.”
“Probably, but I wouldn’t
recommend it. Voyager would take heavy damage.” He said not taking
his eyes off the helm controls. “A shuttle could make the trip more
easily though. It would be able to ride the subspace ripples more
easily.” Tom said.
“Commader take the conn, Tom
take the flyer and try to get to them.” Tom nodded and left his station.
“Tuvok.” The Vulcan nodded and entered the turbolift with Paris.
“Harry tell them that help is on the way.”
“Message has been sent but
I’m not receiving any response.”
A few minutes later on the
flyer. “The ship has appeared on sensors.” Tuvok stated.
Sensors weren’t completely accurate due to the subspace interference.
“No response from hails. I am detecting two life signs.”
“Can you get a transporter
lock?” Tom asked as he brought the flyer close to the damaged vessel.
It wasn’t very big. May two and a half time as big as the flyer.
It was badly damaged however. From the Flyer they could see some
hull breaches and the plasma leaking from the engines.
“I can not.”
“It still has an atmosphere.
We can go in and set up pattern enhancers.” Tom suggested and Tuvok agreed.
They equipped themselves accordingly, Tom also taking a mad kit with him,
and beamed to the other ship.
The was a strong smell of
burnt materials but the air was breathable. They were on the bridge
of the ship. Most of the consoles had exploded and bulkhead lay broken
on the floor of the. “Tuvok, over here.” Tom said. There
was a life-sign in that direction. Tom and Tuvk followed the sensors
and found a large piece of metal the was pinning somebody down. Together
they managed to lift the piece of the body.
“Aggel!” Tom exclaimed. He
scanned her with the medical tricorder.
“You know her.”
“I met her while we where
on the Obsadan homeworld. She’s badly injured I’m not sure even the
Doctor could save her.” Tom pressed a hypo to her neck. He
couldn’t do much but he had to do something. He closed the med kit
while Tuvok set up the transporter enhancers. Tom looked around using
his eyes and the tricorder. If Aggel was here then Demian and the
other man she was with might also be here. He came upon another body.
The body was badly burned and it was easy to tell that he was dead.
Tom continued walking. He followed his tricorder readings and came
up to a set of doors. They were jammed shut but according to the
tricorder the other life sign was on the other side. Tuvok came and
helped Tom pry the doors open after he had transported the woman to the
medical bay of the flyer. The doors slid open only a few centimetres
but it was enough for someone to slip through. Inside the room was
a light grey smoke that made it impossible to see more than an arm’s-length
in front of them. Tuvok scanned the smoke and determined that it
was toxic but short exposure would not do permanent damage. Without
another word Tom slipped in through the small opening. It had to
be Demian in there and he had to get him out before it was too late.
Tuvok waited outside.
If Tom didn’t come out soon he would go in and get him but both of them
should not go in at once so he waited. He didn’t wait long.
Tuvok heard Tom call his name and he hand a child through small opening
before he himself slipped back out. Tom was coughing as he took out
his medical tricorder. The child was Demian. He looked at the
tricorder readings and pressed a hypo to Demians neck. “He’s alright
just some smoke inhalation.” Tom said after a cough.
“The engines are unstable
we must leave.” Tovok said. Tuvok carried the child while they went
to where the transporter enhancers where ser up. The beamed back
to the flyer. Tuvok went to do what he could in the medical area
for the child and the woman while Tom took the shuttle back to Voyager.
He noticed absently on the sensors that the other vessel exploded.
The shuttle made it back to Voyager no problems. As soon as they
were within range Tom, Demian and Aggel where beamed to Sickbay while Tuvok
brought in the shuttle.
“Report.” Janeway said as she
entered Sickbay a few minutes later. The Doctor was still hovering
over the woman the was under the medical arch while Tom was talking to
and healing the now conscious little boy.
The Doctor stepped closer
to the Captain and spoke quietly so that the child couldn’t here them,
or so he thought. “The child will make a full recovery but there
is nothing that I can do for the woman. Her injuries are too severe.”
“Can you wake her.”
“Yes.” The doctor picked
up a hyposparay and they walked over to the woman. Her face had no
abrasions on it. The doctor had healed what he could. On the
other biobed. Demian was startled. “Is she going to die?” He
“What?” Tom was confused.
How did Demian know that Aggel was probably going to die.
“Aggel,” Tears were
“I don’t know.” Tom
“Where am I?” the woman
on the biobed asked.
“Your on the Starship Voyager.
We responded to your distress call.” Janeway informed her.
“We didn’t make it.”
She tried to get up but was too weak. “What’s wrong with me?”
She looked between the Doctor and Captain Janeway. They were hesitant
to tell her.
“You were injured very badly.”
“Am I going to die?” she asked
before the Doctor could go on.
“Yes, I’m sorry.”
She asked fearing the worst.
“Your companion didn’t survive.
The little boy id fine.” The Doctor said.
“Can I see him?” she
said. Tears where blurring her vision. The doctor hesitated
noticing that her bioreading where weakening. She didn’t have much
time. “Please.” The Doctor nodded and a moment later Tom brought
Demian over to Aggel.
“Aggel!” Demian cried
when he caught sight of her. Tom placed him on the biobed.
Aggel smiled weakly at him.
“Demian I have to leave you.”
She began. Demian didn’t understand. “I’m going to the ‘Life After’.”
She said trying to explain it to him.
“No, you have to stay here.”
He said. A tear escaped and coursed over his cheek.
“I’m sorry Demian.” She whispered.
Her strength was leaving her. “I love you and so do your parents.”
She wiped the tear from his face. She looked up to Tom. “Tom … please
take care of him.” He nodded to her last request. She looked back
at Demian. “I’m sorry.” She whispered with her last breath.
Her hand fell lifelessly to the bed.
“Aggel?” Demian waited
for her to respond. “Aggel! Wake up!” He began to shake her.
Tears of frustration and sorrow followed same path as the one before.
“Aggel!” he yelled her name. Trying vainly to bring her back.
He got no response. He understood death but was unwilling to accept
it. “Aggel.” He sobbed. He rested his head on her trying to
stay as close to her as he could. Sickbay was silent except for broken
pleas and sobbing. “Don’t leave me.”
The crying had softened when
Tom picked up Demian. He continued crying on his shoulder as the
doctor covered the body of the deceased. Tom sat on one of the other
biobeds while he gently rubbed Demian’s back trying to soothe the child.
Janeway and the Doctor went to the Doctor’s office to talk.
Half and hour later on the
bridge. Janeway walked out of the turbolift and onto the bridge,
her face set in a grim expression. What she had seen in Sickbay had
affected her as it would any other person. “Ensign Kim, Are
we within range to hail the Obsadan homeworld?” she asked.
“Hail them.” She sat heavily
in her command chair. From his seat next to her, Chakotat noted the
differences. He wondered what had happened to the survivors.
“On Screen.” The viewscreen
changed showing a picture of one of the officials that she had talked with
“Captain Janeway, I trust
your crew is well.” The man said neutrally.
“We’re fine, thank you, but
we have a passenger on board that is from your planet. We responded
to a distress call but there was only one survivor. I thought that
it was best that he be with his own people.” Janeway said. She had
talked briefly with Tom before she left sickbay since he seemed to know
the child and the woman who died.
“There is an Obsadan with
you?” The man didn’t understand how that was possible. Obsadan
rarely left the planet unless it was to get resoures from the asteroid
field and Voyager was in the opposite direction from it.
“No he’s Hevan-”
“I’m sorry Captain but there
is no place for him here. There are no Hevan here anymore.”
“But surely there is a place
where he can go, a home for children without family-”
“Not for him.”
“He’s very young and we can’t
take him with us back to the Alpha Quadrant.”
“I’m sorry Captain but we
will not accept him back.” The man was adamant. Janeway conceded.
They obviously did not want any Hevan on their planet. “We can send
you the information on the Hevan that we have: their culture, language,
biological records. You may be able to find their world. We
do not know exactly where it is but it is in the general direction of your
home. We’ll send you the information immediately.” Before Janeway
or anybody could say anything the man ended the communication. Janeway
nearly sighed. Nothing was ever easy in this quadrant.
“Captain?” Chakotay turned
to his Captain. Nobody had any idea what was going on.
“Assemble the Senior Staff.
We have something to discuss.” Chakotay nodded.
Twenty minutes later. Tom walked
into the conference room. He was the last to arrive. He had
to convince Demian that the Ensign Wildman was a friend and that he would
be back. He sat in the only vacant seat, which unfortunately for
him was across from B’Elanna. They hadn’t talked to each other since
the argument in Engineering.
The Captain explained what
had happened to the woman who had made it back to Voayger before dying.
“Mr. Paris, you seem to know them. When did you meet them?”
“While I was on shoreleave
I took Demian back to his home after he got into some trouble in the Market
place. That’s where I met Aggel.” He said. The Captain nodded
and then after a pause she continued.
“According to the information
that we were given the new homeworld of the Hevan is in the same path as
our’s to the Alpha Quadrant. The wormhole however streches for several
light years. Our sensors couldn’t determine the length exactly but
it will take us months to get to the other end. Until then Demian
will have to stay with one of the crewmembers.”
“How about Sam Wildman.
She knows how to take care of children.” Harry suggested. The
“It would be too much for
one person to have take care of two active children.”
“Demian seems most comfortable
with Mr. Paris.” The Doctor said “It would be advisable for the child
to remain with someone who he feels safe with.” Everybody looked
“You can’t be serious!”
“You already babysit for Naomi
Wildman and she is very comfortable around you.” The Doctor stated.
“I don’t see how. You’ll
just have to be Uncle Tommy more often.” The Doctor said.
“Tom, are you up to it?”
The Captain asked him. Tom nodded. “We’ll take care of the
additions to your quarters. Dismissed.” Tom and the Doctor
went back to Sickbay.
When they entered Sam was
reading Demian a story. The Doctor went into the office to read up
about Hevan physiology. Tom hung back waiting until Sam finished
the story before approaching. “Tom,” Demian raised his arms to be
picked up when he saw Tom coming over to him. Tom thanked Sam and
then talked to Demian.
“So you’ll be staying with
me for a while. Is that okay with you?” Demian nodded silently.
Demian was playing with some
toys on the floor of Tom’s quarters. They had already moved another
little bed into Tom’s quarters and put up some temporary dividers so Demian
could have something like his own room. Tom was reading up on the
information that the Doctor had given him. It was just one of four
padds that he still had to read. He would try to adhere to Hevan
customs and culture as much as possible so that when Demian was returned
to his people it would not be a cultural shock for him. Tom was sitting
on the couch looking up occasionally to check on Demian. A few minutes
later he felt a tugging on his pant leg. He lowered the padd.
Demian was looking rather saddened. Tom pulled him into his lap.
“Are you okay?” Tom asked gently. Demian leaned against Tom
and nodded. He just wanted to be held. Tom looked down at the
child that was in his lap. He had never noticed the similarities
in their appearance before. Same fair skin, same blue eyes, and same
dark blonde hair.
A child is a huge responsibility.
Tom could baby-sit children but this… this was much more. Having
Demian with him would mean more than a change in his daily schedule.
There was now someone depending on him to keep them safe and be there for
them. That meant no more taking the extremely dangerous missions.
He had always been willing to take those before thinking that it was worth
the risk but then he didn’t have someone depending on him. B’Elanna
and Harry are adults, they don’t need him but Demian does. B’Elanna,
where does this put them. They still haven’t talked about the argument
in Engineering. They had maybe once talked about having children
when they were talking about whether they ever wanted to have a family
but they had never had any conversation where they talked directly about
He shook his head to clear
his thoughts and went back to reading the padd, while Demian sat in his
lap content where he was.
Two days later in the Mess
hall it was lunch time. Most of the crew was talking about their
new crewmember. Very few people had seen Demian yet since Tom
was slowly introducing him to things around the ship so that Demian wasn’t
overwhelmed but those who had were astounded by the resemblance between
Tom and Demian. The doors to the mess hall opened and Tom Paris walked
in carrying little Demian. It was their first visit to the Mess hall.
Demian had only eaten replicated food until now. The doctor wanted
to make sure that Neelix’s cooking wouldn’t be harmful to Demian’s physiology.
Tom walked over to the always
boisterous Neelix and introduced Demian to him and vice versa. Demian
said a small hi to Neelix. Neelix smiled at the shy child and got
them something to eat. Tom joined Harry and Ensign McCormick at their
table. Neelix put the trays down and Tom thanked him before Neelix
went back to the kitchen.
“Demian this is Harry Kim
and Elise McCormick. Elise, Harry this is Demian.”
“Hi.” They said in unison.
Demian waved at them. Tom put him in the chair across from him but
noticed that the table was too high for him. He would have to get
Naomi’s old booster chair if it was still around. Unitl then…he picked
up Demian again and sat him in his lap and moved his tray of food over
to that side of the table.
Harry and Elise shared a smile.
Tom was very natural with Demian and the resemblance was uncanny.
Everybody in the Mess Hall noticed the resemblance. Several glances
went to the direction of Tom and Demian. After their meal Tom took
Demian to meet Naomi. Demian would be spending the afternoon with
her and Crewamn Celes who would be watching them. Tom had not gone
on duty yesterday so that Demian wasn’t alone.
Tom left the holodeck after
saying bye to Demian who was less than thrilled with having to spend the
afternoon with strangers. Tom took his usual place on the bridge
and he could almost feel the stares as he sat there at the front of the
bridge. He felt a hand on his shoulder and looked up to see the Captain.
“How are you holding up Tom?” she asked with a smile.
“Alright I suppose.
I can’t help wondering if I was as hard to dress as a child.” He
joked. He had grossly underestimated the time it would take to dress
a child. “Demian is alright too, I think. He’s really quiet.”
“He’s probably just getting
used to the crew and the ship.” Janeway said and patted him on the
shoulder before going back to her command chair.
Kathryn Janeway was right,
as always. Demian was just getting used to all the different people
on the ship and the ship itself. A week later Demian was just like
any other hyperactive child. He and Naomi where good friends now
and the two of them were finding more ways to get in trouble than Tom could
during an away mission. Demian was always wanting to explore and
press the buttons. Tom had to have a serious discussion with Demian
on why he should push buttons around the ship. He let Demian press
the button whenever they had to take the turbolift.
After the initial timing difficulties
Tom had found it easy to work his schedule around Demian. He also
found that he enjoyed having Demian around. Someone who would always
be happy to see him after a long and dull shift on the bridge or Sickbay.
He and B’Elanna had talked finally, but they hadn’t seen much of each other
lately since Tom was busy with Demian and B’Elanna was busy in Engineering.
Currently Tom was using his
day off to play with Naomi and Demian. This past Thursday Tom had
to cancel his usual date with Naomi but had promised to make it up to her.
It was just past lunch time
in the mess hall. The noon rush had passed and the Mess hall was
only moderately filled with crewmembers. The doors slid open and
in dashed Naomi Wildman followed by Demian. They ran right through
to the other exit and left. A few seconds later Tom Paris ran in.
He stopped momentarily to look around. “Have you seen-”
“That way.” Chorused several
people, pointing to the other exit.
“Thanks.” And with that
he ran out of the Mess hall I hot pursuit of the two little people.
They were playing tag and Tom was ‘it’. Home-free was the window
in the Mess Hall. Tom caught up with Demian first since he was smaller
and therefore slower. He ran up behind him and scoped him up.
Demian let out a squel of delight as he was caught. They soon caught
up with Naomi as well.
In General Demian’s presence on
board had enhanced Tom’s life, in most aspects. Tom’s love life,
or lack thereof, was a different story.
A few weeks later. Tom
was asleep in his bed when a soft scared voice was calling his name.
Tom woke up and went to Demian. He was having a nightmare of some
sort and was calling out for Tom in his sleep. “Dem!” Tom ran over
to him. “Demian, I’m here. You’re okay. You’re safe.”
Demian woke up and startled blue eyes stared at older calmer ones. Tom
sat on Demian’s bed and pulled Demian ont his lap and soothed him.
Tom had learnt that Demian liked to sit in other people’s laps. It
comforted him. After a few minutes Dem was calm again but was unwilling
to go back to sleep in case the bad dreams came back again. Tom lay
down in Demian’s bed with him so that Dem would know that he was not alone.
He fell asleep a few minutes later and so did Tom. The alarm woke
Tom early the next morning, too early in Tom’s opinion. They did
their usual morning routine and life was normal, well as normal as normal
gets on Voyager.
Voyager had not been involved
in a battle since Demian had been on the ship but everybody knew that could
change very quickly. That was one of Tom’s greatest fears.
That Voyager would come under attack and Demian would get injured, or worse.
But luck was with him and the rest of the crew and they were passing through
a fairly deserted and uninteresting area of space so there was no immediate
danger to the ship or its crew.
A few days. It was about
2030 hours and B’Elanna was at the entrance to Tom’s quarters. She
had confirmed with the computer that Tom was inside but he wasn’t answering
the chime. She inputted his code, the doors slid open and she walked
in. The illumination was low. She stopped when she saw Demian
and Tom. They were adorable. Tom had fallen asleep on the couch
and so had Demian. He was snuggled under Tom’s arm leaning against
his chest. She walked softly over to them being careful not to wake
them. She took the padd that was hanging loosely from Tom’s hand.
He stirred a bit but didn’t wake. It was Demian that woke.
B’Elanna hadn’t noticed. She placed the padd on a table and looked
back to the pair on the couch. She noticed that Demian was awake
and looking at her. She smiled at him and he smiled back. He
slipped out of Tom’s arms and went over to B’Elanna. The motion woke
up Tom as well. He had been sleeping more lightly since Dem had started
living with him.
He saw B’Elanna crouched down
talking to Dem. He yawned and stood up. It was Dem’s bedtime
anyway. The most dread time of day for any child. Actually
second most dreaded after bath-time. After dressing in his pyjamas
he got B’Elanna to read him his bedtime story. He fell asleep halfway
through the story and Tom put him to bed.
When he came out of Dem’s
‘room’ B’Elanna was smiling at him from the couch. It had been a
while since they had been alone together. Tom would have to arrange
for Harry to sit again so that he and B’Elanna could go out again.
Harry was always willing to baby-sit Dem. Dem loved listening to
Harry’s clarinet. Dem, like all Hevan, had exceptional hearing and
a good ear for music and tones. He could sometimes tell when Harry
played a wrong note, when the music sounded funny.
Tom joined B’Elanna on the
couch and they enjoyed the others company until B’Elanna left later that
A month later Demian was well
integrated into the crew and very well into the life of Tom Paris.
B’Elanna had also been taking a more active role in caring for Demian.
She would stay over nights in Tom and Dem’s quarter’s when Tom had to work
the night shift or was on an away mission. Demian was very comfortable
around B’Elanna and they got along easily. The crew had not been
particularly surprised when Tom first started taking care of Demian.
Tom was just a natural with children. B’Elanna on the other hand
had never spent much time with Naomi so it was more of a shock for the
crew when Dem would be sitting on B’Elanna’s lap when eating meals.
Naomi’s old booster seat was available but Dem preferred his usual place
on Tom or B’Elanna’s lap. Tom however wasn’t particularly surprised
when B’Elanna found it so easy to take care of Dem.
It was 1348 hours on Voyager
when one of Tom’s worst fears came true. They had just narrowly escaped
being annihilated by a hostile species and where working on repairs.
Tom had secured the helm controls when he tapped his commbadge. “Paris
to Demian,” There had been a few battles, emergencies, special anomalies
and other things that put the ship in danger since Dem had been on board
and it was well known custom that Tom would comm. Demian after the crisis
had passed just to make sure that he was alright. Everybody
was expecting the boy’s voice to come over the commline but there was only
silence. Tom tried again with the same result. “Computer location
‘Demian is on deck four section
B’ the computers voice intoned. Tom checked the internal sensors
from his console. There where no lifesigns with that commbadge. He
refused to believe that Demian was dead. He looked for the child’s
lifesigns and found them; deck three section C. That where their
quarters. Demian should have been with Neelix and Naomi, in the Mess
Hall or someone’s quarters but at least together. There were no other crewmembers
in that location.
“Captain-” Tom was going
to ask for permission to leave the bridge to get to Demian. He didn’t
know that the entire bridge crew was listening with half an ear for any
news on Dem’s condition. Janeway knew what Tom was going to ask.
“Go, Tom.” He nodded
his thanks and like a bullet headed to the turbolift. He got out
on Deck three and made his way towards his quarters. There was some
smoke wafting through the air and he had seen some damage to the ship.
He hoped fervently that Dem had not been near any of the falling debris.
Rounding the next corner where his quarters where located a huge pile of
debris lay where part to the bulk head had collapsed taking part of the
ceiling and several conduits with it. Tom started calling Demiann’s
name hoping to get some sort of response. He heard a small whimper
but thankfully it wasn’t coming from beneath the rubble. Fighting
his way through the debris Tom emerged on the other side. “Demian!”
Tom called. Only faint sobbing was heard. He followed the sounds.
Relief flooded through him when he found Demian huddled in a corner, crying
and scared but safe. “Demian!” Demian opened his eyes and saw
the answer to his pleas for help. Demian got up and Tom hugged him
and held him close. He pulled back and examined Demian with his eye
looking for any signs of injury. Tom noted the tear stains on his
cheeks the dishevelled hair and other features but there were no injuries.
He hugged Demian again and stood picking him up.
“Janeway to Paris,”
“I found him Captain, he’s
alright.” The relief in his voice was evident and made his words
soft and airy. Most of the bridge crew released a breath as they
heard the news that Dem was alright. He was the crews second child
for them to spoil and loosing him would have been loosing one of the members
of their closely knit family.
That night in Tom and Demian’s
quarters. Demian was sleeping peacefully while Tom just watched him
from the doorway to his little room. He was unimaginably thankful
to whatever deities where out there that Demian was safe. After he
had found Demian he asked the Computer for the location of Lt. Torres praying
that she was alright as well. She was in engineering tending to her
precious engines. Usually Tom would wait on the bridge for when the
usual report from Engineering came just so that he would know that B’Elanna
was safe. The good thing about being on the bridge is that he could
check up on everybody, whether they were close friends or just casual acquaintances.
They had been extremely lucky today; no fatalities.
The chime rang softly and
Tom called for the person to enter. He had turned down the volume
of the chime so that it wouldn’t disturb Demian. B’Elanna entered
the softly lit quarters and walked over to Tom. They ambraced.
“You okay?” she asked. She had heard about the scare with Demian.
“Uh-huh. How about you?”
“I’m fine.” She smiled up
at him. She could tell that he had some heavy thoughts on his mind.
They went over to the couch and sat down. “He had you scared for
“Scared is an understatement.”
He said wearily. “I don’t know how Sam does it.” B’Elanna understood
what he meant. Sam had to deal with the worry that Naomi may be in
danger every time there was a problem on the ship. It would be very
stressful and Tom was beginning to feel that stress. Voyager was
not the ideal place to raise a child but it was home.
“Do you think you could handle
it for the rest of both your lives? Always worrying?” B’Elanna asked.
“What are you talking about?
The Hevan home-world is only a few months away. Demian will grow
up with his people.” He stated as if it was law. B’Elanna shook
“The Obsadan thought that
their home-world was in this direction. Our scans of the wormhole
may be flawed as well.” Tom was about to protest but she continued.
“Hypothetically. What if you had to take care of Demian? What
if we can’t find the Hevan home-world?” Tom was about to respond
but closed his mouth again to think his response through.
“I would still take care of
him. I made a promise to Aggel. Unless we find his parents
or his family, he’s my responsibility, one that I am fully prepared to
take.” He answered seriously. He had given that some thought
before but he also believed that they would find the Hevan home-world and
thought that in a few months his life would be back to what it was before.
Tom had already forged a strong relationship with Demian and it would only
get stronger in the coming months. He wondered how willing he would
be to just let him go into the care of people he didn’t know and had never
B’Elanna noted Tom’s pensive
mood and was content to sit there with him in his arms. Tom had a
lot to work through.
Three months later. Tom
was sitting at the helm of the flyer. They had installed some new
additions to navigation and helm controls and he was testing them out while
the data was collected form the Flyer on Voyager. If the tests where
successful they would install similar components to Voyager. “Done and
done.” Tom said as he completed the last sequences that where planned
so that they could get the proper data from the system. “Now what?”
he asked. There was an open comm line betweent he Flyer and Voyager.
After a pause Janeway responded.
“Go wild.” She said
smiling. Tom paused.
“Yes, really. Just be careful.”
Janeway said. Her smile was evident in her voice.
“Yes ma’am.” Tom said
excitedly as he prepped the Flyer for some fancy flying. He moved
out to a greater distance from Voyager and had some fun.
The flyer jumped to low warp
and then out pivoted and then a split second later jumped to warp again.
Each time he did it the time spent turning would decrease. On Voyager
several people where watching the sensors. Harry was trying to keep
visuals of the shuttle. Chakotay being a pilot was particularly interested
in the sensor readings. He noted the pattern that Tom made was a
star (a pentangle to be exact). Chakotay had seen Tom doing theses
sort of manoeuvres before on the holodeck with Voyager. He was supposed
to be practicing tactical simulations but he was soon bored with running
conventional attack patterns.
The Flyer dropped out of warp.
Tom began doing some more moves. The shuttle spiralled, looped and
somersaulted (which was not and easy thing to do). The shuttle would
be going at high impulse in one direction and then suddenly change directions
and flip end over end at the moment of direction change such that the shuttle
was moving backwards. The shuttle then turned to go forwards again
with out slowing down in the least. “The inertial dampeners must
have been straining on that one.” Chakotay said only loud enough
for Janeway to here. Tom executed some more high speed turns with
flips and inverts all over the place.
“What is he doing to that
shuttle?” B’Elanna asked heatedly in Astrometrics. When those
engines gave out she could be the one having to fix them.
“Yes Captain.” Tom said
not letting up in his manoeuvres.
“I think that’s enough.” She
said smiling knowing that Tom would be out there for hours, practicing
moves that she would never allow him to do on Voyager, if he had his way.
“Alas all good things must
come to and end.” Tom said melodramatically.
“You done showing off?”
Harry asked from his station.
“How many times do you think
I’ll be able to do this again *with* the Captains permission?” Tom
asked as he was bringing the shuttle back to Voyager. Harry thought
about that and didn’t respond. “Yeah, that’s what I thought. I’ve
got to maximize these rare opportunities.” Tom said teasing his friend
over the comm line. A beep on his console too Harry’s mind back to
“Captain, I’m receiving a
distress call. There seems to be a ship caught in a nearby asteroid
“Tell them that we’re coming.”
Twenty minutes later Voyager
arrived at the asteroid field. Tom was back at the conn. “Voyager
is too large to go into the field, Captain.” Tom informed her. He
brought the ship to all stop just at the boarder of the field.
“I am detecting residual weapons
“They were attacked?”
“It is a logical assumption.”
“Can we tractor them, Mr.
“No, Captain. We’d only
cause them to collide with other asteroids. A shuttle would be small
enough to get in, beam out the survivors and bring them back to Voyager.”
“Tom, Chakotay, take the Flyer.”
Janeway ordered. They left for the shuttle bay. “Harry run
continuous scans. We need to keep and eye out for their attackers”
The Flyer was guided cautiously
into the asteroid field. Tom was at the helm while Chakotay manned
the sensors. They were careful to avoid hitting the asteroids.
It took fourteen long minutes to reach the damaged ship. They made
contact with the ships occupants and began beaming them over. The
ship had a small crew of only eleven people. It was some sort of
freighter that was transporting goods when they were attacked. They
fled into the asteroid field but where unable to manoeuvre the ship out
“Chakotay to Voyager.
We have the crew of the other ship and we’re on our way back.”
“Wait! What about our
cargo?” the Commanding officer of the ship was on the bridge of the
“Your ship is being bombarded
by the asteroids. I don’t know about you, but I’m not interested
in being here when the engines breach.” Tom said as he punched the
keys on the helm controls to bring the Flyer about.
“Our ship is strong.
Send me back so that I can try to get it out. We can’t loose our
“We can’t send you back.
It’s too dangerous.” Chakotay was saying.
“Maybe we could transport
as much of the Cargo to the flyer as possible.” Tom suggested seeing
that the man they had just saved wasn’t willing to go without the cargo.
At Tom’s suggestion the man seemed hesitant but then agreed to Tom’s suggestion.
Chakotay told the Captain what they were going to attempt and the closed
the line. The transporter beam could not lock on the cargo.
“We need to move closer.”
“We can’t. There isn’t
a clear path. I could beam over and move the freighter closer.”
“I’ll go with you.”
Said the freighter officer. Chakotay beamed them over and then placed
a force-field that separated the rest of the freighter officers from the
On the freighter. Tom
and the officer appeared on the bridge. Tom familiarized himself
with the controls before moving the ship.
Twenty minutes later on Voyager.
The Captain was pacing the bridge waiting for the freighter Captain to
contact her again. She wondered how her crew got dragged into these
messages and why Tom Paris was usually the one in the middle of it.
She stopped her pacing and went back to her chair. Things had gone
wrong the moment Tom was beamed over to the freighter. On long range
sensors they had detected several ships that had the same energy signatures
as the weapons fire that Tuvok had detected. They people had hailed
Voyager saying that they were chasing contraband and weapons smugglers.
They harboured no ill feelings towards Voyager for helping to save the
crew of the ship but they had been warned that if they helped the smugglers
they would be fired upon.
The Captain of the freighter
had also detected the ships and had put a gun to Tom’s head telling him
to pilot the ship out of the asteroid field. The Captain was not
a pilot himself, but thought that if Tom could get the shuttle into the
asteroid field without damaging it then he would be able to get this ship
out of the asteroid field. Tom communicated briefly with Commander Chakotay
to tell him to take the Flyer out of the field. If the ship exploded
the Flyer had to be out of the blast range to be able to survive.
Tom had managed to get the
ship out of the field but not without causing more damage. The spaces
between the asteroids where too small for the freighter so it required
using weapons to destroy some of them and just ploughing through some of
them. They had been reluctant to use phasers to destroy the asteroids
because they didn’t want to cause a chain reaction that would cause the
other asteroids to explode as well. The small fragments from the destroyed
asteroids also damaged the ship since the main deflector was offline but
they didn’t have choice.
The Captain of the freighter
had politely thanked the Captain of Voyager for her help and then asked
for the rest of his crew to be returned and said he would hold her officer
(Tom) as a hostage until. His crew was returned. Janeway was
in a pickle. She had the Freighter Captain holding one of her crewmen
hostage and then the vesseld that were pursuing the freighter saying that
if they in any way aided the freighter then Voyager would be considered
an enemy. One crewmember or her entire crew.
They have the freighter Captain’s
crew in the brig. “Captain, we’re being hailed.” Harry said
from his station.
“Captain Janeway.” The
other Captain greeted. On the screen the freighter Captain had the
phaser or disrupter aimed at Tom’s head. Tom was staring straight
ahead at some invisible point. He seemed calm but Janeway and Harry
could read the signs of nervousness. His breathing was coming a little
faster and he seemed tense, but he hid it well. The Captain was thankful
that B’Elanna wasn’t on the bridge right now. She shouldn’t have
to see this. “I hope that you have come to a descision regarding
the hostage transfer.”
“I have. We’ll give
you one of your crewmen back if you return Lt. Paris to us.” The
freighter had some sort of shielding that they could not transport through.
It was the same shielding that had been on the cargo when Chakotay had
originally tried to transport the cargo from the freighter to the Flyer.
Janeway could say anything else the freighter Captain shifted his position
and pulled the trigger on the weapon. A blue beam of energy erupted
from the weapon and hit Tom near his left shoulder, just above his heart.
Tom fell to the ground but was still conscious. His uniform was burnt
and blood was beginning to soak the material. “Next time I won’t
miss. You have fifteen more cycles to decide.” The screen went
black. There was silence on the bridge.
“He can’t kill Tom or else
he won’t have anything to bargain with.” Harry said, trying to believe
that his friend would be alright.
“I don’t want to take that
chance.” Janeway said. “Janeway to all Senior officers, meeting in
the conference room, now.” They had fifteen minutes to formulate
and plan and forty minutes before the authorities after the freighter came
into weapons range.
In the meeting no one came
up with any viable sure-fire ideas to get Tom out. They had to meet
the demands. They weren’t willing to give up one of their own for
a conflict that was, really, none of their business. They would beam
the occupants of the brig over to the freighter and then beam Tom of the
At the appointed time the
freighter Captain hailed Voyager. Tom was standing again with the
disrupter at his head. For the first time, B’Elanna saw Tom since
this ordeal began.
“Captain, I hope that
you have come to your senses.” The freighter Captain said.
“We’ll beam your crew over
to your ship but you’ll have to drop your shields.” Janeway told
him. That caught Tom’s attention. He had been struggling to
stay on his feet but now he was struggling to comprehend what the Captain
was thinking. He was aware of the fact that some people who were
after the freighter where on their way and out numbered Voyager.
If the Captain returned the freighter crew then Voyager would attacked.
One crewmember was a small price to pay for the safety of one-hundred fifty.
The Captain was thinking that
they would have a good chance of getting away if they had their chief pilot
with them. It wasn’t there place to arrest these people anyway.
They only wanted to offer their help and they had done that so they should
move on. Also Janeway was aware of the effect that Tom’s death would
have on her crew. He was a good and trusted friend to many and more
so to Harry and even more to B’Elanna and Demian. They could get
away if they were pursued. The odds had been stacked against them
before and they made it every time. This would be no different.
“Very well but I will not
allow you to beam back your crewman until I have my crew back on board.”
Janeway was not going to agree to that. The moment they had beamed
his crew over he could just kill Tom. “I give you my word that I
will not harm your crewmember.” The freighter Captain said knowing
that Janeway was reluctant to go with his plan. His word did not
make Janeway or anybody on the bridge feel any better. They didn’t
have much of a choice though. Agree or Tom’s dead. In the few
seconds that it took for Janeway to contemplate her decision, Tom made
a decision of his own.
His arms weren’t bound but
the weapon at his head had kept him from trying anything –well it had before.
Using his good arm Tom quickly hit the phaser out of the other man’s hand.
It landed and slid to the other side of the bridge. Tom was larger
ans stronger that the other man but was unarmed and for the moment so was
the freighter Captain. Tom went to work immediately on a console
hoping that he could get the shielding down. Before he could though
he saw the freighter Captain pullout another weapon that had been concealed
under another console. Tom ran for cover behind what he assumed was
the Captain’s chair on the bridge. A meter away was the phaser that
Tom had hit away only a moment earlier.
Taking a chance he swiftly
grabbed the weapon. He had not been injured during the brief moment
that he was not behind the chair. Tom took a quick peak around the
side of the chair to locate the console that he believed controlled the
shielding. The viewscreen was still active and Tom briefly saw Captain
Janeway giving out orders to the bridge crew. He took a few deep
breathes in preparation for his nest move but was interrupted when searing
pain coursed through his right side. He wasn’t completely protected
by the chair and his exposed area had finally taken a hit. He pushed
the pain to the side. He may only get one chance at this. Shifting
quickly he aimed the phaser at the console that he had located and fired.
The console sparked and died. The shielding however only faltered
but remained. Tom waited a few moments hoping that the shot had been
able to knock out the shielding but when he wasn’t transported he assumed
that it hadn’t been enough.
The next time he came out
of hiding he aimed at the Captain of the freighter. The shot hit
him square in the chest and he collapsed to the ground. Tom breathed
a sigh of relief along with the rest of the bridge crew. He came
out from behind the chair and saw Captain Janeway on the screen talking
but he couldn’t hear her. The communication system had been damaged
when he had destroyed on of the consoles and there was no audio.
Tom walked weakly over to
the console that was in front of the screen. He tried to bring down
the shielding again. He almost had it when the frantic movements
of people on the bridge caught his attention.
On the bridge of Voyager the
crew breathed a sigh of relief when Tom had phasered the other man.
They noticed that the shielding had gone offline for a second but it was
not long enough from them to lock on and beam him out. Harry reported
that the audio link had been severed. Tom was currently working on
a console. They could tell that he was having trouble staying awake.
His injuries where taking their toll.
Behind Tom they noticed some
movement. The Captain of the freighter was stirring but Tom had not
noticed. Tom didn’t notice when the Captain rose to his feet or when
he pulled out some sort of blade. The crew was waving their arms
trying to get Tom’s attention but he was having such difficulty concentrating
on the console in front of him that they didn’t notice the actions on the
When he finally looked up
the other man was only two steps behind him and had the blade raised above
his head ready to plunge it into Tom’s back. Tom rolled out of the
way as the blade came down smashing into the console. Tom had not
been injured by that attack but he feared that his last best chance to
get off this freighter had just flown out the window.
The puling the blade out of
the console he went after Tom who was struggling to stay on his feet.
Tom had difficulty protecting himself from the assaults and soon found
himself pinned against another console, the freighter Captain above him
trying to sink the blade into his torso. Tom tried to keep the blade
away from him but his injuries made him weak and he lost the battle.
“The shielding is faltering!”
Harry said from his station. The shielding was flickering in and
out of existence but never long enough that he could lock onto Tom and
beam him out. The knife in the console had damaged the shielding
and hopefully it would go down soon enough for them to get Tom out of there.
“It’s down!” Harry already had the targeting scanners working and
it took half than a second to beam Tom out. Half a second too much.
The rest of the bridge crew
watched helplessly as the end of the blade broke through the flesh and
into Tom and then a moment later he was gone.
“He’s in Sickbay.” Harry said.
“Beam *the Captain* to the brig.”
Janeway ordered, anger seeping into her words. “Janeway to Sickbay.
What’s Tom’s condition?”
“I have to operated on him.
I’ll have a full report later.” The doctor answered brusquely and
then closed the link. The bridge was eerily quiet. Janeway walked
over to B’Elanna who was staring blankly at her console.
“B’Elanna.” Janeway put and
hand on her shoulder. B’Elanna pulled her self out of her daze and
looked up to the Captain. She wanted to saw something but her brain
couldn’t formulate any coherent thought. “He’ll be alright.
The Doctor will take care of him.” Janeway reassured. B’Elanna
could only nod. He would be alright.
In the Mess Hall Demian and Naomi
where with Neelix. Neelix took care of them when the ship went on
alert. Seven had come in earlier and picked up Naomi but no one had
come to pick up Demian yet since Sam was helping the Doctor. Neelix
had been informed of Tom’s injuries but he had not told Demian. Feelings
that he had when Naomi had almost been left without a mother began to return
but this time centered around Demian. “Neelix,” He looked down
to see blue eyes identical to ones that he had seen for several years.
“Where is Tom?” Neelix tried to say something but he didn’t know
how to break the news to someone so young. He wouldn’t understand.
Neelix was saved trying to explain when the doors to the mess hall swished
open and Harry and B’Elanna entered. Demian saw them and ran to them,
Neelix forgotten. Harry picked him up thanked Neelix and they left
the Mess Hall.
“Where’s Tom?” Dem asked.
Harry and B’Elanna where reluctant to talk. They went to Tom’s quarters
where Demian would be most comfortable. They sat down with him and
told him in simple terms that Tom was hurt and that he would be away for
a while. Demian didn’t even entertain the thought that it was something
serious. Tom always came back in time for his nightime story no matter
what and he assumed that today would be no different.
It was 2300 hours and Tom was still
unconscious in Sickbay. There was poison on the blade that had done
some damage and the Doctor had kept Tom sedated so that the medication
would have time to work. The Doctor was confidant that Tom would
make a full recovery but B’Elanna still kept vigil at his side. She
held one of his hands in hers and idly traced a pattern on the back of
his hand. She heard the door slide open and then close again but
she did not turn to see who had entered.
Chakotay walked into Sickbay
where he knew he would find B’Elanna. She had been there for at least
two hours. Chakotay nearly sighed. He was going to have to
drag her out of here kicking an screaming. “B’Elanna he’s going t be fine.”
Chakotay told her.
“The Doctor *thinks* that
he’ll be fine.” B’Elanna corrected. They had never come into
contact with a poison like the one that was on the blade but the initial
tests held promise that the medication would work against it.
“And he will be. You
on the other hand need to get some rest.” Chakotay said. B’Elanna
nodded and got up from the stool. She kissed Tom lightly and whispered
something that Chakotay couldn’t hear. She left Sickbay with Chakotay.
He walked B’Elanna to her
quarters. She was silent most of the way. “How’s Demian taking
“He threw a tantrum when Tom
didn’t show up for his Story.” She said tiredly as she recalled what
happened. Usually Tom is the one to reason with Demian when he throws
a tantrum but it had been B’Elanna and Harry this time. After too
long Demian finally went to bed after he relented and let Harry read him
the story. “I think he’s scared that Tom won’t come back.” B’Elanna
said to Chakotay. “He’s dependent on Tom. I don’t know what
would happen if something happened to Tom … Why did he have to take so
many chances!” B’Elanna’s anger was coming through. Chakotay
knew this was coming and was prepared.
“He’s been careful lately
though. Not putting himself in dangerous situations but I doubt that
he’ll ever stop completely.”
“Why didn’t he just wait?”
Chakotay hadn’t been on the
bridge at the time, he was in the brig helping with security, but had been
briefed on what happen. “He probably didn’t want to put the ship
in danger. After the Captain gave the crew of the freighter back
we would be enemies of the Erasii Authorities instead of welcomed guests.”
The Erassi where the people that where pursuing the freighter. They
had invited Voyager to there home-world and offered to trade with them.
B’Elanna only grumbled and
entered her quarters after saying good night to Chakotay. He stared
at the closed door for a moment before going to the nearest turbolift.
The next day Tom awoke in Sickbay.
The Doctor was hovering nearby, tricorder in hand. “Good Morning
“Doc.” Tom greeted sleepily.
He tried to sit up but the pain in his side and chest stopped him half
way. He lay back down.
“You’ll experience some discomfort
for a few days. I want you to stay here for twelve more hours and
then I’ll release you to your quarters. You won’t be on duty for
another two days. I don’t want you overexerting yourself.”
Tom just nodded. “Doctor to Captain Janeway, he’s awake.”
“I’ll be right there.
Janeway out.” A few minutes late Captain Janeway and B’Elanna, who
she had called on her way to Sickbay, entered sickbay. Tom smiled
at them and they returned it. “How do you feel, Tom?”
“Tired, but mostly alright.”
“I’m glad to here it.”
She patted him on the shoulder and left sickbay. B’Elanna stepped
closer to him.
“Don’t ever do that again.”
She kissed him lightly. They talked to a short while. “Demian was
less than pleased that you missed story-time.” She said smiling.
She could smile about it now but yesterday it wasn’t nearly as funny.
“I can imagine. I have
to thank Harry for taking care of Demian.”
“Yes you should but he wouldn’t
have to if you would keep out of trouble.” She scolded him.
“Just be careful Tom.” She kissed him lightly again and left sickbay
saying that she would stop by again later.
Twelve hours later (2030) Tom
was getting ready to leave sickbay. The Doctor was giving the usual
lecture of dos and don’ts but Tom was only listening with half an ear.
He wondered absently how many times he had heard the Doctor give this speech.
The doors to sickbay slid open and a little ball of energy flew in and
into Tom’s welcoming arms. “Where were you?” Demian asked.
“I had to stay overnight in
Sickbay.” Tom explained.
“You better now?” Demian
“Mostly. I fact I’m on my
way out now.” Tom put Demian down. Usually Tom would have no
problem carrying Demian but his shoulder and side where still aching a
bit. Tom smiled at he dishevelled Harry Kim who stood just inside
the doorway of Sickbay. He could just imagine what Harry had to go
through to get Demian to take a bath and then get him dressed. They
left Sickbay and went back to Tom’s quarters, Harry went back to
his own. Tom and Demian entere their quarters. It was Dem’s
bedtime. Tom, continuing their usual routine, read Demians bedtime
story and then settled him into his bed. Demian was reluctant to
let go of his grip around Tom’s neck when Tom placed him in his bed.
“You’re going to have to let go sooner or later.” He tired to coax
him into letting go.
“Promise you won’t leave me.”
He whispered sleepily. Tom was a little taken aback.
“I promise.” The grip
around his neck loosened and then released. Demian smuggled into
his covers and clutched his stuffed by teddy bear to his chest. Tom
had replicated it when Demian had first come on board. He was soon
asleep while Tom was crouched next to him just looking at him as he slumbered
peacefully. He would never leave him. Tom knew what it was
like for a child to loose someone that they depended on from first hand
experience. His mother had died when he was eight. He would
do everything in his power to make sure that Demian didn’t have to go through
the same thing. Tom kissed him softly on the his head and then after
one last glance back he left Demian’s room. He didn’t know how he
was going to be able to just give him up when they found his people; that
was a recurring thought in Tom’s mind.
The five-month mark finally
rolled around. Five months since Demian had come on board and found
a place on the ship and in the heart of the crew. They had just found
what they believed was the termination point of the wormhole that was near
the Obsadan Homeworld. Initial scans didn’t find any M or L Class
planets with Hevan lifesigns. The small ships that had gone in the
wormhole where short range vessels they could not have gone too far too
quickly. Astrometrics and Stellar Catogrphy where being put to their
full use in trying to locate the Hevan home-world. There were no ion trails
to follow so they would just have to look.
Tom was nervous about having
to saw goodbye to Demian but he was also happy that Demian would be with
his family soon. Or so everybody hoped but even as they made their
way slowly through the area, going only at warp 2.5, so they didn’t miss
anything, they still did not find any Hevan and none of the species that
they contacted knew of the Hevan.
Demian had not been told that
they were looking for his people. They didn’t want to get his hopes
up and then disappoint him.
It was nearly six weeks later
when they met another Hevan. There was some sort of Military ship
that had tracked voyager down because they had heard that the crew was
looking for the Hevan. After hearing that there was a Hevan on board
they escorted Voyager to their system. Captain Janeway met with some
of the Hevan officials while Tom explained the situation to Demian.
“No!” The child yelled and
slid off Tom’s lap. He ran to his room and began playing with his
toys like nothing was wrong. Like his world wasn’t being ripped away
from him. Tom sighed and walked to Demian’s room.
“Demian, I know you’re scared.
You don’t know these people but that will change. You’ll have your
parents again and you’ll make lots of new friends.”
“No!” Tom sat down next
to Demian. What was he supposed to say? He had to convince
Demian that staying on this planet with a bunch of strangers was best when
Tom really needed someone to convince him of the same thing. He had
expected this to be hard but he didn’t expect all this turmoil and conflicted
thoughts. “You want me to go?” Demian asked sadly.
“No. I don’t want you
to go but these are your people. You belong with them. And
your parents, your mom and dad, I’m sure that they miss you.” Tom
wasn’t sure how much about his parents Demian remembered. He was
probably about two and a half three the last time he saw them. “They
want to see you.”
“What if they don’t like me?”
he crawled back into Tom’s lap.
“Impossible.” Tom smiled
at him. “Everybody likes you.” Demian was silent. “Just meet
them. We’re going to see them today. Okay?”
“Okay.” He acknowledged softly.
Tom and Janeway beamed back
up to Voyager. They had met with Demian’s parents and had decided
to leave Demian with them for a little while. They had some catching
up to do. Demian’s mother had blue eyes and platinum hair while his
father and greyish eyes and red-brown hair. They also had noticed
the similarities berween their son and Tom and had been a little tongue
tied at first. Demian had remembered them and had taken to them immediately.
Janeway and Tom stepped off
the transporter padd. Tom had been quiet on the was back to the transporter
beam out point but she could only imagine what it was like for him to have
to give up Demian. Tom walked out of the transporter room without
a word to anybody. He went back to his quarters. He compared
his quarters now to what they were before. The change astounded him.
Everything had happened so fast that he hadn’t had enough time to note
the changes. The living area was much smaller since most of it was
occupied by Demian’s room. There were several toys strewn about.
How could a child accumulate so many toys so quickly.
Tom got a bag and began putting
Demian’s items in it. Demian would probably want to keep most of
these. Tom placed Demian’s clothes in a different bag. After
he was done the room seemed much emptier.
That evening. Tom, B’Elanna,
Harry, Captain Janeway, Chakotay, Sam, Naomi and Neelix where on the planet
saying goodbye to Demian. Naomi was sad to see her playmate leaving
but she knew that she would want to be with her mom if she had to make
a decision like this. The other’s beamed back to the ship and only
Tom was left to say goodbye to Demian. He knelt down so that he was
on Demian’s level.
“Be good for your parents.”
Tom said. Demian nodded. He didn’t want Tom to go. Tears
fell from his eyes. Tom wiped them away. “Shh, don’t cry.
Everything will turn out fine. You’ll see.” He hugged Demian for
a long moment. Beore pulling away so that he could see his face again.
“Goodbye.” Tom whispered to him. Demian hugged Tom again. They
stayed that way for a while until Tom knew he had to go. He kissed
Demian on his head and then pulled away. Wiping the last tears from
his cheeks he stood up and stepped away.
Tears stung his eyes and blurred
his vision as he looked for the last time at Demian. “Take care of
him.” Tom said to his Demian’s parents. The nodded solemnly.
Tom looked back to Demian. More tears had taken the place of the
earlier ones. Tom knew that he wouldn’t be the one to comfort Demian
anymore; he would not be the one to make the hurt and sadness go
away. Not anymore. “Good bye, Demian.”
“Bye.” He had his blue teddy
bear clutched to his chest and more tears fell.
“Paris to Voyager,” Tom manged
to get out before his voice cracked with emotion, “One to beam up.”
“Don’t forget me.” Demian
said a second before the transpoter beam took Tom away.
“I’ll never.” Were the last
words he said before he disappeared and was out of Demian’s life.
Voyager broke orbit soon after
and continued on their way home, minus one special crewmember. It
was 2327 hours when B’Elanna entered the Observation deck. She saw
Tom sitting on the floor cross-legged in front of one of the large windows.
The stars outside went by quickly as the ship failed through the vastness
that was space at warp 7. She approached him slowly. If he
knew that she was there he didn’t make any indication.
“Tom.” she called softly.
He turned his head so that he could see her. He smiled briefly but
his expression changed back to that of sorrow.
“Hey, B’Elanna.” He
said despairingly. She sat down next to him.
“Penny for your thoughts.”
“I miss him already, and it’s
only been four hours.” He responded after a moment.
“It’ll get easier, Tom.” She
reassured him. Tom could only nodd not trustinghis voice. B’Elanna
kissed him on the cheek knowing that Tom probably wanted to be alone for
a little while. She got up and left him to his thoughts.
Demian was with his family,
with his people. It was where he belonged. His parents would
love him and care for him and he was safe. Tom nodded to himself.
He had done the right thing and in doing so kept his promise to Aggel.
He would never be able to play with Demain or carry him in his arms or
sing to him when he couldn’t sleep at night, but he had done what he had
to do. His mind understood but the single tear that rolled down his
cheek told him that his heart did not agree.
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