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8: The Dark Pages

Page 1: Scorpion's Sting

"Tensions aboard Voyager are on the rise due to their encounter with is would enable us to stop her from doing anymore damage to Voyager. Without the Collective, as an individual, she would not know how to function."

"Captain, I believe that we can do just that. We know that there is transponder somewhere in Cargo bay two near the regeneration alcoves that controls her neural link to Collective. The only thing is that as soon as someone begins to tamper with it, the drones notice it. If we can distract her somehow, I think that maybe B'Elanna can find away to disable it."

Kathryn looked pointedly at Chakotay, but she noticed that his forehead was lines and realized that he was deep in thought.

"Lt. Torres, please report to sickbay." He activated his Combadge

"On my way"

"How do you propose that we distract her Commander?"

"By linking me to the collective. From my experience, it seems that there is only one instruction that is heard over the link, the Collective's. I'm betting that she would not know how to deal with two conflicting messages over the link, that would certainly distract her."

The doors opened and B'Elanna entered Sickbay. She stared at the two senior officers who seemed to be facing off. They looked warily at each other. From being on the bridge during the entire collaboration between the Captain and the Borg, she knew that they did not agree with each other on the course of action for dealing with the Borg and 8472. She also knew Chakotay, and looking at him and listening to him bark out orders and reprimanding her especially, she realized that he was angry. Very angry. Still they were her commanding officers and now was certainly not the time for dealing with any personal feelings, they were all in grave danger.

"You wanted to see me?"

"Yes B'Elanna, we want to try and disable the neural net on the Borg done. Any ideas?"

B'Elanna's mind raced with possibilities. Finally she settled on one. The whole process took less than two minutes. "If we initiate a power surge while the link is active, we should be able to disrupt it. But as we learnt from the Borg autopsy, we can't do that without the drone being aware of it."

"We have some ideas on that. B'Elanna, I remember how to initiate a link using a subspace transceiver, and project my thoughts through the link." It took some effort to keep his thoughts off of Riley. "I believe that I can distract her by communicating with her over the link."

"Very well. Lt. Torres, inform the doctor of our plan and the two of you report to the Cargo Bay and begin the necessary modifications. Commander Chakotay will join you when he's finished here."

"Yes Captain." With that she left.

"Commander, understand that this is only going to be done if the Borg show any hint of trying to assimilate us. I am going to initiate Com silence between us, but I will contact you using a code if I want you to disable the link. Remain in Cargo bay two with Torres and the Doctor until I give the word."

"Aye captain, what is the code?"

Kathryn thought for a moment and looked directly into Chakotay's eyes. The rage he saw in them matched his own and the realization made him flinch involuntarily.


Chakotay looked at her in surprise. "Why Scorpion?"

"Because if I give the order, that's when the Scorpion would attempt to sting the fox that is helping it across the river."

Without another word, Kathryn marched out of Sickbay.

Chakotay got going quickly. There was no time to lose, because he knew she would give the order. He was certain of it.

"Bridge to Chakotay,


Kathryn had to give the order. She had realized that this would be a real possibility from the time that Chakotay told her that the Borg had started the war with species 8472. Chakotay was correct, the Borg were not to be trusted to uphold their end of the alliance, even if it meant that it would help them assimilate species 8472. She watched as Seven of Nine was distracted by Chakotay's thoughts and then rendered unconscious when the power surge shorted her neural link. With a cold voice, she ordered her to be taken to sickbay.

Chakotay sat at a corner table with his back to the messhall doors. He did not want to be disturbed. He didn't know what he was doing there. He didn't want to eat, but his body was calling out for nourishment. Three days had passed since they had disabled Seven of Nine making it the seventh day that they had been on 24 hour Red Alert Status. There had been no more engagements between either the Borg, Species 8472 and Voyager. But they knew that they were a long way from being out of the woods. From the long-range sensor scans, they had at least four months of crossing the heart of Borg Space and another four months maybe before they were on the perimeter of their space, traveling at maximum warp. He didn't know if the crew would be able to withstand being in Red Alert for that long. He didn't know if he would be able to.

"Chakotay," B'Elanna sat down opposite him. She had to draw up a chair and do some maneuvering to get into the small space at the table. She did so deliberately, ignoring his mental "do not disturb" signs. He sighed in surrender.

"Hi B'Elanna, how are you?"

"As well as can be expected at this time. But I think that the question is how are you?"

"Same as you."

"I don't think so. When I'm in a rage, I throw things, break people's noses and tend to make a lot of noise. People who have enraged me know it, without any doubt. You on the other hand get very quiet and when you do speak, you lash out at any and every one, regardless of if they are the one who pissed you off in the first place."

"I'm not angry"

B'Elanna snorted. "Try that one with Harry Chakotay, not with me. I've known you for too long. You're passed angry. You're enraged."

"Well then Lt., if that is so maybe you should take a hint and leave." His voice was unnaturally quiet.


Chakotay glared at her. B'Elanna glared back. He forgot who he was dealing with. She had come a long way since they had first boarded Voyager, but she was still very capable of being as stubborn and unmoving as she had always been.

"You and the Captain had a major fight over this situation didn't you?"

"I don't know what you are talking about?"

B'Elanna looked really hurt at that. "It must have been a really big one for you to lie to me Chakotay. You've refused to answer my questions before, but you have never lied to me."

Chakotay mentally kicked himself. He was lashing out, and she had been the one who was taking the brunt of it.

"Sorry B'Elanna. This goes no further than you and I. Yes we did have a large 'disagreement' her plans to deal with the Borg and Species 8472 and yes I am angry with her."


"Because she almost got us all killed or possibly assimilated, why else!?!"

"She is the Captain and we follow her orders. You of all people understand that. You've been Starfleet. You make your suggestions and unless you really don't trust your Captain, you follow, even if it means death."

"It has NOTHING to do with TRUST" Chakotay hissed through clenched teeth. He clenched his fists and stopped just short of hitting the table with them.

"It doesn't?

"No." Chakotay realized that he had indeed confirmed that it did by his own reactions.

"Then what does it have to do with?"

Even if he wanted to tell her, he couldn't. He didn't know. He had avoided all thoughts on the matter, filling his mind with duties and status reports. With her accusations, she was forcing him to think about it, something that he just did not want to do. He got up to leave.

"Chakotay sit down!!!" B'Elanna ordered.

Chakotay lost it. "I don't think so Lieutenant. And if you ever talk to me that way again, you'll find yourself spending the rest of the voyage home in the Brig. Clear!!!!

B'Elanna stood up and the rage in her face matched his. "Perfectly. Permission to Leave Sir!?!

"Dismissed" Chakotay almost spat out through clenched teeth. B'Elanna marched out of the messhall, hair flying and hands clenched.

Chakotay wheeled around meaning to storm out himself and his eyes fell on Tuvok's raised eyebrow and the Captain's veiled look. He didn't think that there was anyone else in the Messhall. They had been talking softly during most of their conversation, but when he reprimanded her, his voice had raised significantly and he knew that Tuvok and the Captain must have heard them. He came up to their table swiftly and said,

"Captain, Lt."

"Commander" came the various responses. With a sharp nod of his head, he exited the messhall passing Harry and Tom on his way.

"Being under constant red alert seems to be having a detrimental effect on the crew. There seem to be a marked increase in flares in temper and nervousness." Tuvok observed.

"I know Tuvok, it is to be expected. This situation has everyone on edge." Kathryn had a worried look on her face as she sighed.

"I must admit, I have never heard the Commander use such a tone with Lt. Torres. His voice lacks the usual calm with which he normally speaks; he sounds extremely angry. I'm not too sure what she would have done to warrant such behavior."

Kathryn's face hardened. "I don't think that it is anything that B'Elanna has done, I think that the Commander is lashing out and she just happened to be there."

"It is still non typical behavior for the Commander. What ever the issue is, it has caused him great disquiet to for him to give such an action."

Kathryn looked swiftly at her security officer. How long has it been since she was able to slip something past him. He was a picture of innocence, but she knew that he had picked up on the tension between her and Chakotay. She knew that he was giving her advice, without being intrusive.

"Yes it has."

Tuvok began to eat. He knew that Kathryn would do what was logical to ensure the emotional welfare of her crew. He knew that it would ensure her emotional well being also.

"Do you see what I mean?" Harry asked Tom in a quiet subdued voice. "Something is wrong with Chakotay and I know that it has something to do with the Captain. They are definitely not as close as they used to be."

"When Sam mentioned it to me, I thought that it was just because of the crises that we are in. But from the looks of it, it seems that something is definitely bothering Chakotay. I hope that B'Elanna is OK"

Harry looked at him. He knew where that sentiment was coming from. "I was on my way to Engineering to pick up some status updates that B'Elanna was working on, but Robin wanted me to take a look at the science consul. She says it's malfunctioning. Will you pick up those updates from Engineering for me before you go to the bridge."

"Sure, anything for you buddy."

Tom leaped off the chair and after quickly bussing his tray, he proceeded out of the messhall, leaving Harry staring at him, grinning.

"Well that took a lot of convincing."

"She was assimilated at a very young age, the collective is all she knows. She might not want to stay." For some unknown reason, he felt the resentment building again.

"I think that she might. We have something that the Borg could never offer...friendship." Kathryn focused on Chakotay. She knew that he was still upset over what had happened between them during the Borg and Species 8472. Frankly so was she. But she wanted him to know that she considered their friendship more important than those feelings.

Chakotay hesitated for a slight minute and did what he knew he had to do to ensure that their friendship, or at very least their working relationship, endured.

"I want you to know that disobeying your orders was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do."

"I understand." She didn't really, but she hoped that in time she would. "And I respect the decision you made even though I disagree with it. What's important is that in the end we got through this together. I don't ever want that to change."

That part he could agree with readily enough. "Agreed"

"Good. Well I think it's time we got back to our bridge."

"No argument there."

B'Elanna was seated on her couch and she groaned when she heard the chime. She had pulled a 15-hr shift that day and she had hoped to catch a good night's sleep before she reported back to duty in 8hrs. 'Well as good a night's sleep as anyone could get when they were traveling through the heart of Borg territory with Bio-ships which could appear at any time', she thought.

The door chime sounded.

"Come in" she called.

Chakotay entered.

B'Elanna's face darkened when she saw him as she remembered their argument at lunchtime. She stood at attention.


Chakotay winced. He knew that he brought her strict adherence to protocol on himself

"B'Elanna, at ease. I came here because I owe you a huge apology for my behavior at lunchtime. I know that you are concerned about me and you want to help. But you hit some sore points, you brought up some things that I didn't want to face now. I just reacted and I lashed out at you. I am sorry." He turned away from her.

B'Elanna was surprised at his apology. She didn't know what to expect when she saw him outside of her door, but this was not it. She walked over to the couch and made herself comfortable. She noticed that he seemed to be holding himself less rigidly than he did at lunch.

"Did you speak to the Captain?"

Chakotay turned and looked at her. Making a decision, he crossed the room and sat next to her on the couch.


"Are you two OK now? Harry, Tom, Ayala and Samantha have voiced their concern about what was going on between you and the Captain. They can see the strain in your relationship."

"We've begun to make amends, but I think it will take a while for us to go back to the way things were before."

B'Elanna got a mischievous glint in her eye. Chakotay caught it. "Which was what exactly?"

"Running the betting pool for Tom?" He knew. "Careful Lt." He wore a serious face, but she thought she could see a smile peeking through.

She raised her arms in mock surrender. "OK, OK just asking." They shared a laugh. B'Elanna got serious.

"Any time you need to talk Chakotay."

That surprised him. He didn't think that she would have opened up to him again like after what happened at lunch. He was grateful for it. He touched her arm.

"Thanks" and with that he left.

B'Elanna sat on the couch for a long time afterwards, deep in thought. At last she gave a deep sigh and got herself to bed.

Page 2: The Loss

Kathryn sat on the couch in her quarters, her whole body slack. Of all the days in the past week, this one was the most emotionally draining. She had experienced the full gamut of the emotions throughout the day. She had lost one of her most treasured crewmembers and had gained a traumatized new one. She had dealt with each of the situations, the best way that she knew how. Still it gave her little comfort knowing that she was right in letting Kes go, when it was going to be the source of grief for her and her crew. It also gave her little comfort, when she had to withhold the basic Federation right of every sentient being, the right to chose one's destiny, because she was sure that the person in question could not make an informed choice at this time.

Slowly she pulled herself off the couch and began to get dressed. As she did, her thoughts were still consumed by the day's experiences.

She knew that Seven of Nine was in a great deal of pain and that she was scared. Chakotay was correct when he observed that the Collective was all she knew for a long time. She did not want to become human. But Kathryn was confident that given time, a sense of purpose and connection to the crew, she would chose her humanity of her own free will. She knew that the transition was going to be difficult, for Seven of Nine, for the crew and for herself. But she had faith in the people on board her ship. They would help her regain what she had lost. She was once again going to be a mentor to one of her crew, but unlike Kes, these lessons were going to be thrust on someone who was unwillingly thrust in the situation that they found themselves in.

The loss of Kes was going to be felt greatly by her crew and by herself. Kathryn knew that Kes wasn't just another member of the crew to her. She was like the daughter that she always thought that she would have one day.....with Mark. She had been a mentor to Kes. The young Ocampan had looked up to her to help guide her through the strange new experiences of being in space, to help guide her in doing things that no other member of her race on her homeworld had ever done. She also looked to the captain when her mental abilities had begun to emerge. She and Tuvok had shared the mentoring duties of that stage of her development. Kathryn knew that she and Tuvok would miss Kes in a different way than the rest of the crew.

Kathryn hadn't expected that being the teacher, she would have had so much to learn from the student. Kes may have been only a little more than one year old when she first came aboard Voyager, however she was the person who thought Kathryn one of the most important lessons she had learned in her Captaincy during that first year. She had remembered an entry into her personal log that she had made during that time. Kes had a way of looking at the universe as it was unfolding in front of her with the wonder of her age and processing the experiences with the maturity of an adult. At times, Kes' maturity exceeded hers and Tuvok's. Kes was alien to them, but she made a lot of her crewmembers stop and take the time to ponder what it meant to be sentient, to live life with the values which the Federation espouses in the midst of the worst of situations. To be open to every experience that life had to give.

It was hard to imagine the journey without her, although in some ways, part of their journey would have had to be made without her. She was only going to live nine years, possibly fourteen. In the end they were only together four years. At least she didn't die. Chakotay had agreed that this was the position that they should take in front of the crew. Kes was indeed no longer part of their journey, but she had begun a new one, one that would make her more than she had ever imagined that she would be. She had evolved to a higher plane of existence, and she had given an incredible farewell gift to the crew. She had taken them 10 years closer to home, beyond Borg Space in the blink of an eye. After they finished the briefing in which they tried to interpret what ever little information they had gathered throughout their amazing trip, Chakotay stayed behind to suggest that they hold a farewell party for her in the messhall. He was on the bridge during the whole incident and he could tell from his fellow bridge officers that they needed to say good-bye. She had agreed. He emphasized that it was going to be a farewell party, not a memorial service. Kes was not dead, just gone.


Kathryn realized that she had finished dressing and was sitting on the couch waiting. She gave a small smile and sighed deeply. She had been waiting on Chakotay to ring her door chime. In the past he had always accompanied her to parties, services and concerts. But not this one. The rift that was formed between them during the Borg incident was still there. The apology which had been given a day ago had done a lot to soothe tensions between them professionally, however she was beginning to realize that it didn't begin to address the issues between them personally. They would have to be faced soon, if their friendship were to survive.

Her eyes filled for a moment, but she steeled herself. She had to be there for the crew this afternoon. A feeling of sadness and loneliness crossed her soul as she realized that there would be no one automatically to be there for her. She paused a moment, and then exited her quarters with a sense of determination.

"Neelix." Kathryn met the Talaxian as he was putting the finishing touches on a buffet table. Neelix looked up at the captain. His eyes were even more yellow than they normally were and she had a feeling it was because he had been crying. She embraced him and held him for a moment. When she broke her embrace she looked at him.

"Thanks Captain." She nodded and looked around the messhall. It was crowded. There wasn't a crewmember that Kes hadn't come into contact with in the three years that she had been aboard Voyager. A skeleton crew was at the critical stations on the ship, but the Com system on the ship was cued in to the Messhall so that they could be part of what was happening. Voyager was at a dead stop in space.

"It looks like you've done a wonderful job in preparing for this." The mood was jovial, almost forcibly so. It was as if the crew were holding on to her words for dear life and treating Kes' departure as if it were a promotion, in order to firmly push the feelings of loss out of the way. However, in some crewmembers, especially the bridge crew, she could see occasional sad looks cross faces. She felt her heart being pulled as her own sadness came to her face. She looked for Tuvok.

Tom and Harry were performing a jig of some sorts in order to entertain Neomi. B'Elanna, Jarvin, Samantha and a couple more of the crew were watching and clapping their hands in amusement. Kathryn spotted Tuvok just beyond Tom and Harry. She knew that he was observing them in mild amusement, but his face betrayed nothing. B'Elanna's and Samantha's back was towards her as she moved towards him. Just as she started, Harry and Tom had finished their jig and moved a little off to the side to talk to other crewmembers. It was then that she saw him.

Because of the position that she had before, Tom and Harry blocked Chakotay from her view. She was surprised to see him and it showed in her reaction. She stopped and for an instant, she felt her control mask slip. His face was set like flint, but in his eyes she saw a sadness that touched her deeply. Kathryn bit her tongue to prevent herself from calling his name and she realized that he had seen her face fall, because she could see the concern for her that she had always known in his eyes. A forced of indifference formed on his face.

When Chakotay saw the extent of her sadness, he felt a pull towards her, however he remained where he was and let her define the next move.

B'Elanna had been opposite Chakotay during Tom and Harry's jig caught the change of looks on Chakotay's face, she whirled around to see who caused such a reaction in her friend. She was not too surprised to see the Captain.

Tom had seen Kathryn approaching and also witnessed the change in her demeanor. The only difference between his and B'Elanna's reactions was that he didn't need to turn around to know that looks were being exchanged between the captain and the first officers. He whistled silently. There was indeed a big rift between the two chief officers and from the looks of the captain, a personal one. A look of sadness also crossed his face. It was not only for the two chief officers, but also for the whole crew and for himself. The past two weeks had been pure hell.

Tuvok didn't need to move to observe all of the deviant behaviors around him. He reflected momentarily on the wisdom of the Vulcan way of suppressing emotion and embracing the way of logic. The situation would not have occurred if everyone involved were Vulcan.

Harry missed everything. He was too busy playing with Naomi and worrying about Robin to pick up subtle clues about anyone else's' behavior

Kathryn put her face in place and forced herself to move over to Tuvok and Chakotay.


"Kathryn." She was surprised at how strange her name sounded in Chakotay's voice. She realized at once that it was due to the fact that he hadn't used it in a while, on or off duty. She struggled to keep her mask in place.

"Tuvok, Chakotay. Tuvok, when are you beginning the official part of the party?"

"In about an hour captain."

"Thank You. Excuse me." Without another word she left them.

Tuvok observed Chakotay watching Janeway's retreating figure. It was as he had deduced logically. The captain and the first officer still had some unresolved emotional issues about the encounter between Voyager, the Borg and Species 8472.

Tuvok blew a small whistle to get the crew's attention. The crowd in the messhall became quiet as he began. He was standing behind a makeshift podium that had been constructed for this occasion. Crewmembers made themselves comfortable on chairs that had been arranged in a semicircle around the podium. The bridge crew sat together. Chakotay had gestured to Kathryn to sit next to him. She was grateful. It would have been too awkward to sit apart from him. It would further confirm what a lot of people had already figured out; that there was something wrong between the captain and First Officer. They needed to be a united command for the sake of the crew.

"We are gathered here today to say good bye and to remember a crew member who has touched all our lives. Kes. I would like to begin the sharing with some reflections which I have made over the past 24 hrs, which I think are suitable for tonight's gathering."

Tuvok did not read from a PADD. As a Vulcan he remembered accurately the flow of his thoughts.

"At the point of death, Vulcans transfer their consciousness, their soul, their 'Katra' to another so that he or she lives on in another. Kes is not dead, and I believe in her transformation, is present to us as we journey towards the alpha quadrant. However in order to bring conclusion to her journey with us, we tell the stories of her influence on us, the impact that her life had on ours, so in that way her "Katra" is made tangible to us. We remember that though she may not be here physically, her spirit is part of us"

Tuvok took a vacant seat and Kathryn took a deep breath to stand up. This time Chakotay didn't resist the impulse he had to put his hand on her shoulder. It was a very brief touch and he gave her a look of encouragement at the end of it. Kathryn found her way to podium.

"When she first came on board this ship, Kes did what ever needed to be done to make her an indispensable member of the crew, of this family, at first in the aeroponics bay and then especially in sickbay. But she was more than just the nurse or field medic to this crew. To me, she was the daughter that someday I hope to have. Over the years, Kes has looked to me for guidance as she embraced her new life her on Voyager as part of this family. I remember when our journey was only a couple of months old, Kes came in to inform me of the treatment of the doctor by the crew. He was being treated as a hologram and she thought that he should be treated as a sentient being. I tried to make her understand that holograms were not sentient beings and as a result were treated differently, but she gave me one of the most logical arguments for the doctor being treated as a sentient being that I have ever heard. She made me remember than not all members of Starfleet are fully organic and one in particular was as artificial as the doctor and had been determined sentient by Starfleet. She reminded me that we are defined as sentient by our ability process our experiences and to learn from them. She also reminded me that the crew's attitude towards the doctor would be modeled by my example. She challenged me to step out of my narrow boundaries of what I considered to be sentient and to see the potential that was in our Emergency Medical Holographic Program."

She gave a slight pause and a small grin. She looked directly at Tom, who gave her a puzzled look.

"Someone get this next statement on paper because you will never hear it again," She gave a dramatic pause.

"I have never been so happy to be proven wrong in all my life"

A surprised set of guffaws came from the crew. Tom Paris' laughter was louder than most, but he attempted to straighten himself out as she gave him one of her famous looks. Kathryn did not look in Chakotay's direction.

"Doctor," she looked at him, "I may not say this often enough, but you are an indispensable member of this crew. You have saved this ship and this crew countless of times and have performed admirably throughout difficult situations. I am proud to have you as the CMO of this ship." She raised her glass to the Doctor

The whole crew gathered began to cheer and raise their glasses to the physician. At first the doctor looked embarrassed and then he beamed with pride.

"Kes, thank you for everything. Good luck on the journey that you are embarking now" she raised her glass again.

Kathryn spoke as if Kes were in the room with them. It was important for the crew and for herself, that she reinforce with her words what Tuvok had said earlier. As she moved away from the podium, she noticed that Neelix had tears streaming down his face and Harry was trying hard not to cry himself. Chakotay gave her a grateful look and took his place behind the podium.

"In our creation mythology, it is said that Great Father and Great Mother came together to give birth to the universe. The wisdom that is inherent in the order of the universe is a gift that was passed on from mother to offspring. In each tribe, the wisdom of the universe is imparted to a special woman and she is said to be Great Mother's messenger. Normally the woman chose is in her 80's. Her many experiences in life become the medium throughout which Great Mother imparts wisdom to the tribe. Many members of the tribe normally seek out great Mother in times of need. Sometimes, she doesn't need to be sought out, she knows instinctively when she is needed. It is said that the choice of great Mother's messenger is confirmed by one of the elders of the tribe seeing her in his vision quest performing her role.

Kes, when I saw you in my vision quest over a year and a half ago, I knew that great Mother had chosen well for this tribe. I never had a chance to tell you before how well you have guided this crew; how well you have guided me both in my subsequent vision quests and in person, in my times of greatest sorrow and confusion. You helped me to grow in wisdom. You did not have to be of advanced age, the wisdom which you contained was enough for Great Mother to work with. I know that you are using the wisdom of the universe to guide you on your new journey. I hope that you remember me as one who was proud to be with you on the journey that you made on this ship. I look forward to sharing all the wisdom that I am able to with you, as you continue to your journey among the stars of the universe."

Chakotay returned to his seat. If a pin dropped in the messhall it would have been heard. Ayla finally gave in to his tears of sorrow. B'Elanna's jaw refused to shut. Kathryn's required all of her energy to remain closed. She gave a swift look to B'Elanna to confirm what she had been thinking. Chakotay was an extremely private man, he never shared with them what he had said. The fact that he had done so in such a public forum, was as if he paraded naked at a talent show. Thankfully it was Tuvok's turn to speak as he may have been the only one able to break the silence.

"When I first began to work with Kes with her mental abilities, I found that was she was diligent and dutiful when it came to her studies. I had expected that given her young age and her emotional nature that she would have been difficult to work with. She was not. In time I found that she was not only an able student but also a good colleague," he hesitated slightly and looked a little more pensive, "a good friend. Kes has also bestowed a gift to me as a teacher. She has helped me tremendously in my dealings with the emotional aspect of this crew's behavior. As a Starfleet officer, I have always been in contact with emotional species, however as a Vulcan I have been perplexed by some of the emotional behaviors exhibited by some members." Tuvok looked at Tom, who for his part had an amused smile on his face. "At times I have not been able to respect the complexity of some of those emotions. Kes has helped me gain some insights so that I may better be able to do so." Tuvok looked at Harry. The ensign's eyes widened with understanding. Finally Tuvok looked at Kathryn "When the captain and first officer were stuck on the planet because of an insect bite, it was Kes who convinced me to go back for them. Had I not done so, we may not have been here today as one crew," he paused again, "as one family" Kathryn began to cry at that statement. "Kes, I am honored to have been your mentor on this journey and know that my thoughts are with you on your new journey as your thoughts are with me now on this one."

Tuvok sat down and was replaced by the doctor.

"Kes has been single handily been responsible for the type of physician that I am now. Well not single handedly, I was programmed by the best medical minds of Starfleet and was pretty much an exceptional physician from the first instant that I was activated." Out of the corner of his eye he saw Tom rolled his eyes. He frowned at him. Tom grinned. The Doctor continued, "Never the less, I was not intended to be a long term medical hologram and certainly not the chief medical officer of a starship. Kes helped me to outgrow my original programming and adapt to my new duties as chief medical officer on Voyager. She did that by encouraging me to explore certain aspects of organic life. There was one instance that I had programmed myself with a Nevodian flu in order to show the crew what is proper behavior during an illness. When I informed Kes about my project, she thought that I was doing it to understand being ill and in pain, how it makes one feel vulnerable. At the time she must have been taking lessons from Mr. Paris."

"I didn't have anything to do with it. Kes is capable of doing something underhanded and despicable all by her self." Tom answered with a knowing smirk, he knew the story from Harry. Some of the crew gathered laughed out loud.

"Kes, added two extra hours to my illness and then stood by as I acted in a non-professional manner because I was ill. It was quite embarrassing, but my program adapted. Kes had been present throughout all subsequent attempts to improve on my programming, and has always been supportive of me. Although some of my attempts have provided less than spectacular results."

"I'll say" B'Elanna intoned. The rest of the people who heard her chucked. The Doctor ignored her and continued.

"It is as Captain Janeway said, I began to think of my self and act as a sentient being because she treated me as if I was." The doctor had an amused expression on his face throughout the first part of his speech and he enjoyed the sparring that was going on between himself and Lt. Paris and Torres. Now however a sad looked crossed his face.

"Kes, I love you. You have been an exceptional friend to someone who was overbearing at times and definitely in need of a friend. I will miss you. Take care of yourself." He raised his glass, but his eyes teared. The appropriate subroutine kicked in as they processed the content of the words uttered by his matrix, which had been given by his diagnostic processors.

No one expected the Doctor to say what he had and he looked in as much pain as everyone else in the messhall was. It became clear again to everyone present that the doctor had long exceeded his original programming and was capable of experiencing and exhibiting emotions. He was grieving over Kes' departure like every other member of the crew.

Tom stood up slowly. He had planned what he was going to say, but after listening to the doctor's speech, he knew what he must to say.

"I had this witty speech about some of the more hilarious moments between Kes, myself, Harry, B'Elanna and other members of the crew, prepared. But that is not what I want to talk about, what I need to say." Tom looked down at his feet and B'Elanna felt something stir deep within her. Chakotay looked at Tom quizzically and Harry became a little concerned. Tom looked more serious than he had seen him in a long time.

"When I first came to this ship, I came as a traitor and a spy. I was on board because I was going to reveal the possible locations of the Marquis in the Badlands. No one trusted me and that was fine by me. I wasn't on board to make friends, I was on board to so I could get a reduced prison sentence when I returned. I didn't know at the time, it would be my second chance. Captain, I can't thank you enough for that." He looked directly at Kathryn. Her eyes filled again and she gave a small nod of her head.

"The first friend that I made here was Harry, who saw beyond the failure of a Starfleet Officer who saved him from a rather enterprising Ferengi. Kes was the second. She sought me out to eat with me, she asked me to give her shuttle lessons, spent time in Sandrine's in my company. She and Harry treated me with trust and respect that I hadn't experienced in a long time, and at that time didn't deserve. I don't blame any of you for your opinions of me. I would not have trusted me either if I were in your position. However, having people who were willing to be my friends taught me how to act like one again. In doing so, I was able to earn the respect and the friendship of many of you." He looked directly at B'Elanna and she faltered a little under his gaze. He raised his drink, "To Kes. Thank you for being my friend and for teaching me how to be one." All the officers who had drinks in their hands raised their drinks in silent toast.

Tom walked back to his seat and he saw that Harry was moved at what he had said, he dashed a hand against his eyes. Tom clasped him on the back as he took his seat. B'Elanna looked at him. Tom felt her eyes on him, but he didn't look up until she touched his arm. When he did, he could see her concern and he lowered his eyes as he felt the tears form. B'Elanna saw them and she didn't hesitate as she put her arm around his shoulder and gave him a short, fierce hug. Tom almost dropped his drink in surprise. He looked at her again and saw that she was watching Harry now as he walked to the podium.

"What I will remember the most about Kes was her exceptional bedside manner. I think that I have been in sickbay injured a little more than most of the crew.."

"There's an understatement. The only officer who frequents sickbay more than you do is Lt. Paris. You'd think that the two of you would be better patients. You certainly have had enough practice." There were loud chuckles heard when the Doctor interjected.

Harry tried to look stern, but it was a lost cause as the tears, which threatened to start again, revealed his true feelings.

"As I was saying, what I will miss the most about Kes was her exceptional beside manner." The doctor looked slightly affronted but remained silent. Harry continued. "She had a way of touching and speaking that brought calm and made me feel like I was always going to get better. Kes and Neelix were two aliens that joined our crew in the delta quadrant and became an instrumental part of the crew during our journey. It is difficult for me to imagine the rest of the journey without either of them, even though I have to now. Kes wherever you are, stay in touch if you can. You'll be missed" he raised his glass. Harry kept it short. He knew that there was someone else who needed him that night and he couldn't afford to break down now, no matter how much he wanted to.

"In two days time, Klingons will celebrate the Day of Honor. It is a day when Klingons examine their behavior over the past year and prove to themselves and to their house that they had indeed conducted themselves as Klingon Warriors. I think that it would be hard to imagine Kes as a Klingon, in fact, it would be just as impossible as to imagine Neelix as a Klingon," She got chuckles out of that remark, "but Kes does possess two of the most important character traits of a Klingon Warrior, courage and honor. Kes left her homeworld and joined our crew knowing no one but Neelix. She has been with us through our greatest joys and our greatest sorrows in this quadrant. She has embraced the unknown and did not hesitate to do what was necessary to ensure the health and the safety of this crew, even though she had the least amount of experience. It took courage and strength to make the decisions that she did, and honor to act in the manner that she had. Kes has given us a great gift by pushing us though Borg Space and taking ten years off our journey, but she gave us, and me especially, a greater gift by her presence. Kes has shown me by her actions, the true meaning of inner strength, conviction and courage. She was a quiet warrior who brought glory to this house. Kes, I know that where ever you are now that you will continue to reveal the glory of this crew which you helped to build, and give glory to the house that you are in now."

B'Elanna returned to her seat, her eyes were wet. Tom, glanced at her and when she met his eyes, she knew what she saw there, but she wasn't ready to face it yet. Tom put his arm around her shoulder and for a moment she leaned into it. She moved a little after, and Tom picking up her silent cue removed his arm, but she stood very close to her. B'Elanna for her part did not move away.

Chakotay had seen Tom and B'Elanna's reactions to each other's speech from where he was sitting. He was surprised by what he saw in Tom's eyes. He knew then that the rumors were true, that Tom was pursuing B'Elanna. When he saw B'Elanna's response to Tom's hug at the end of her speech, he realized that she had feelings for Tom also. He felt another pang of sadness. Although he knew that it probably wouldn't happen, he felt as if he would be losing another friend. He shook the thoughts out of his head as he concentrated on Neelix who was just beginning to speak.

"Just before the final phase of her transformation, Kes and I were in this messhall reflecting on the experiences that we had gone through as members of this crew. I want to thank you, and I know if she were here, she would want to thank you too for allowing us to become part of this family. Kes and I came aboard as lovers and throughout the journey our love for one another changed." Neelix dashed a tear away from his eyes. He looked so sorrowful, that Kathryn realized that he was mourning not only her transformation but also their breakup. She turned to Chakotay with a questioning look. He understood and shook his head with an amazed look of his own. He didn't know that the break up wasn't mutual or what had precipitated it. She turned her attention back to Neelix.

"Through it all, we remained good friends even though it was rough going for a while." Kathryn felt his eyes on her and she did turn against her better judgment. The look of longing that she caught unsettled her greatly. When he realized that she was looking at him, Chakotay placed a look of indifference on. That hurt her and she looked away.

"Kes, where ever you are, I repeat the toast that we made at the beginning of this journey and the beginning of this new journey.

To the adventure."

Samantha was up at the podium with Neomi clutching her ankle. She looked down at her daughter lovingly as her eyes filled with tears.

"When I first found out that I was pregnant, I was so scared. I had never felt so alone. I have never missed my husband as much as I missed him that day. When I decided to continue with the pregnancy, I was plagued with doubts, was I doing the right thing? what kind of life would I be giving my daughter on this starship so far from the Federation? Kes was with me in those moments of doubts. Sharing with me the thoughts and fears that she had when she had started the Elogium prematurely. Her wisdom and strength were two things that I clung to when I was most confused. I realize now that she had shared these gifts with most of the senior staff, with most of you, so you know how calming her influence can be. When I was dealing with the actual pregnancy, she was also there as a nurse and confidant. It was my first pregnancy and I was unaccustomed with the physical discomfort that comes from it. Kes went out of her way to make sure I was as comfortable as I could be"

Samantha bent down and held Neomi close to her. Neomi snuggled across her mother's chest contentedly and Samantha held her closer. At that moment Henley began to cry. Crewman Janaro held her close. Harry did the same for Robin Kingston but it was he who had the tears on his face

"If it wasn't for you and Harry Kes, Neomi would not be here. My reason for living would not be here in my arms. Thank you."

Ensign Lang began. "When Ensign Kaplan died on the planet with where the New Cooperative was formed, I was lost. She and I had been best friends through out our years at the academy...............

It went on for four hours.

At the end of the sharing, Neelix invited everyone present to stay for some food. Kathryn had been talked to various members of the crew and in time, she saw an empty spot near the windows of the messhall and she made her way to it. She stood in silence by herself for some time.

The level of sharing that went on tonight had touched her heart deeply. It was different than other services that she had attended for deceased crewmembers. Kes was the first member of the bridge crew to leave Voyager. She wasn't a senior officer, but as the nurse when the doctor was unable to leave sickbay, she had been the one to represent the CMO on the bridge. She had forged strong ties with all of the senior staff, herself included and in doing so she had left a part of herself with each and everyone of them. Until tonight, Kathryn had no idea how profoundly Kes had touched their each of their lives. It went out from there. Three quarter of the crew spoke tonight, even half of the skeleton crew on duty via the com link. From what had been said Kathryn had a sense that Kes helped bring the crew together during difficult times, when she and the bridge crew had to be busy concerning themselves with their physical safety. It seemed as if she had attended every memorial service and helped countless people through their respective grieving.

And she was doing it even now. When the service began, Kathryn had observed that the mood was one of forced joviality, as if the crew were avoiding expressing their pain which was a result of Kes' departure. Now with the sharing of the memories and the public expression of how Kes touched their lives seemed to help them accept the situation of her departure. The mood was quieter and sadder than before, but it had an undercurrent of acceptance, of hope. The sharing had reminded the crew Kes was still with them, and would always be a part of their journey because of the way that she touched their lives. It also reminded them that they still had each other that they were a family and would be there for each other through the tough times. Like this one.

The feeling of loneliness and sadness overcame Kathryn again. It had been a long day . She put her arm out to steady herself on the bulkhead. She had to regain control, she could not break down in front of the crew. She was the only one, who would have no one to be there for her.

Chakotay had been watching Kathryn from a distance. He also had found a secluded corner of the messhall and was quietly letting himself feel. He had talked to B'Elanna, Ayala, Neelix, Sam and little Neomi. He felt full with the conversations that he had with them. He could feel Kes' presence as she helped the crew grieve her passing. He turned his head in Kathryn's direction just as she put her hand out to steady herself and saw the look on her face. Chakotay moved swiftly towards her.


There was no masking the concern in his eyes and the vulnerability in hers. She wanted to go with him somewhere quiet where they could just be, as they would have been able to if this had occurred a month ago, but now, she couldn't. They weren't there yet. She was still angry and confused about what had happened between, and as she saw before, so was he.

"Are you OK?"

"No, but I will be. This will take time. It has been an overwhelming day. I think it I'm going to call it a night."

"I understand." A sad look crossed his face. He touched her arm briefly and left. Her eyes followed him as he bid farewell to Tom and B'Elanna, Neelix and Samantha, before leaving himself.

Tuvok materialized at her elbow. "Captain, I am about to retire for the evening."

She smiled gratefully, "So I'm I. I'll walk with you."

"Tuvok, I would like to thank you for the speech you gave tonight at the beginning of the sharing and for sharing your experience with Kes. I think it touched everyone, and it definitely touched me."

"You are welcome Captain." He hesitated before he continued. "The crew seem to be more emotionally stable now that the farewell service is over."

"There is a saying among emotional species Tuvok, pain shared is pain lessened."

"In this situation that does seem to be the case. It was a good idea to perform such a ceremony."

"It was Chakotay's idea." Her face changed.

Tuvok noticed it out of the corner of his eyes. He did not have to slow his stride or turn to do so. As a security officer, he had trained himself to be observant of all the things that occurred around him. Dealing primarily with emotional species, he also learnt how to deduce signs of emotions such as anger and rage in a humanoid, as these were early signs of impending treachery. Being colleagues with people like Kathryn Janeway, he respected their emotional make up enough to understand what certain series of other behaviors and demeanor conveyed. Tuvok had observed the Captain and Commander conversing and when he saw the Commander leave and the expression on the captains face as she watched him go, he logically deduced that she would be in need of an escort to her quarters tonight. He stopped and looked at the Captain.

"Based on what the Commander said during his farewell to Kes, the days ahead will be a difficult time for him."

"It will be a difficult time for all of us." Her eyes filled

"Indeed. Goodnight Captain."

"Good night, old friend."

He nodded and left her standing in front of her quarters.

As Kathryn tossed and turned in bed, her thoughts were jumbled. She knew why Tuvok had come up to her at the end of the service, why he had singled Chakotay out of all the people who had shared that night and why he had said what he did. He was trying to tell her something. The tears began to stream down her face;

'Oh Tuvok, I don't know how to reach him. I don't know how to make right what's wrong between us. I think that I have lost him as surely as I have lost Kes. I don't know what I am going to do without his friendship, his support, and his love'

She mourned the loss of two friends that night.

Page 3: Transitions

"Father it is good to see you."

Indeed it was. Chakotay had put off making this vision quest for a long time. He had a feeling that he wouldn't be prepared for the honesty that the quest would entail. He hadn't asked to see his spirit guide either. Somehow he knew that the person to guide him at this time would be his father. His father would also be gentler with him than she would. When Chakotay had that thought, he gave a smile. The people that he talked to in his vision quest were representatives of his truest self. That meant that he was the only person being hard on himself, gentle with himself.

"Walk with me Chakotay"

They walked together in silence. Chakotay thought he recognized where they were on earth in one of the preserved woodlands in the northern hemisphere. It seemed familiar and yet alien. He didn't give anything more than this passing thought to his surroundings. There was so much he wanted to say to his father, but he thought that he could not find the right words. But he had to start somewhere.

"Kes is no longer with us"

"I know, I felt the heavens welcome her addition. I know that you are in great sorrow over her departure, but it is where she needs to be now."

"Great Mother chose well when she chose her for our crew, our tribe"

"Yes she did. She knows of your great loss Chakotay, when the time is right she will send another. He or she will be the new vehicle through which she will guide your tribe."

"He?" Chakotay was surprised. He thought that all of the messengers were female.

"Great Mother chooses whom she wills, male or female. I'm surprised at you Chakotay, the belief that only a woman can be the soul of a tribe is very *ancient*" His father smiled.

"The crew is having a hard time with this. A lot of people are distracted. The department heads have all complained about it. Others are just as diligent as they used to be, but bouts of homesickness and loneliness have increased dramatically according to Neelix. He looks like Hell, he's trying to be there for everyone, but he's hurting more than most. Even Tom with his flippant manner has been more serious than I have ever seen him. And B'Elanna is more quiet."

"They are in mourning, as you are."

"I know."

They were silent for a long while.

"You never used to talk about these things with me before."

Chakotay's face became clouded.

"I used to be able to talk these things with the Captain. We had a major disagreement a couple of weeks ago. We're all right now, but it's still uncomfortable to talk about these things with her. She is also one of the people who is having a hard time with Kes' departure."

"How can the two be 'all right' if you are not able to be who you are with her.?"

"It will take time father."

Chakotay opened his eyes and found himself back in his quarters. He got off the floor and walked to the view port in his quarters. He watched and thought that he could see the stars and planets outline Kes' form. He also thought that he could see her face, full of wonder as she went through her new experiences. He felt selfish for wanting her back on the ship.

He hadn't lied to his father. He hadn't spoken to the captain about the crew's behavior. He left it on a PADD with the rest of the ships status reports. He didn't want to bring up the subject of Kes. They were both tip toeing around each other as it was. To bring up a sensitive issue now was to ask that everything that was unresolved be brought to light and he was not prepared for that and he didn't think that she was.

He sighed. He felt weary down to his bones. It was time for bed, he had an early watch in the morning. He doubted he would sleep well that night. He hadn't been ever since the long range sensors picked up that first Borg cube.

"Personal Log Supplemental.

It has been a good day, the first in a long time. We've managed to avoid making another enemy in the Delta Quadrant and we were able to help a race start to rebuild their civilization after the Borg. I was also able to retrieve Lts. Paris and Torres alive. The most interesting accomplishment for me this day was Seven of Nine's behavior. She has only been human again for less than two weeks and already I can see in her behavior her humanity asserting itself.

She was so young when she was assimilated. She doesn't know what it is like to be human. Of all her pleas, that was the one that touched my heart and made me realize the magnitude of the task before me. All she knew how to be, all that she wanted to be was a Borg drone and now she has been forced into this existence. I look at her now and I don't see a being that was our enemy, some one to be feared. I see a child in a woman's body, a person with an adult mind and intelligence but the emotional capability of a child. Her growing in emotional maturity is going to have to happen as an adult instead of a child, her teenage years are now in her twenties. Her emotions are now thriving now that most of the Borg technology has been removed. Now I ask myself, how do you teach an adult who has not dealt with them for over twenty years to deal with them now? Most of what humans learn in way of dealing with emotions comes from experience, most of them painful. There are going to be some tough times ahead for her and members of this crew as she interacts with them.

In a way, dealing with her transition has caused me to resurrecting the old argument. What has a greater effect on a person's humanity, their nature or their nurture. Underneath all of that Borg technology is a human being physically. We've managed to restore her physiology so at least 90% of it is human. What about psychologically? She was Borg for so long, that was her nature and her nurture. Under all that Borg mentality is there a human being? I believe that there is and her act of kindness today confirms it to me.

There is another question that flows from this transition. What does it mean to be human? Where is the line where we can say this human and this is not? What is essential for someone to be considered human? How much can you take away before a person stops being human, and starts being something else? Is the process irrevocable? Is it something that is cultural so we can say "this is human cuisine and this is not" or these are "human ethics and this is not" and therefore it can be learnt, or is it something that is ingrained, something that is part of our biological make up and science hasn't been able to isolated it yet?

I can still hear her saying, "I don't know what it is to be human" Do I know what it is? How am I going to teach all that is necessary. Would I be able to integrate her into the crew. Would they be able to get over their initial disgust of having a former member of the Borg and help in her new life as a human being? I know that they resent, fear, and some hate her outright. I can see it on their faces. Hear it in their voices when they talk about her. B'Elanna practically spat her words out to her in Engineering. Would I be able to make them see what I see in her, not a creature to be loathed or feared, but a human being who is just beginning to regain all that was taken from her?

I have to. She is part of the crew now and we need to be able to depend on each other in this unfamiliar region of space we need to...."

Kathryn stopped. A large heaviness descended onto her heart. She knew why. But she had to finish the log.

"be able to support one another."

Quietly she added.

"We're all that we have out here.

End Log"

Karthryn went slack on the couch in her quarters

The transformation of Seven was the last thing that Kathryn and Chakotay talked about willingly and openly. The only time that they mentioned it was when they had to, when there were duty assignments and medical considerations to take under advisement. She could see it when she talked to him about her in those times. She had tried to warm him up to Seven of Nine by showing him who she was before she was assimilated. Still, his face always hardened and he was like a voice in her ear saying that it wouldn't work. Seven was Borg and she will always be Borg, no matter what Kathryn did to make her human again. Sometimes he didn't even have to say it in so many words, his words, actions, posture just translated into that sentiment.

Kathryn felt herself grow angry.

'Damn you Chakotay, I don't want to have to fight you on this too. I don't want to have to do this without your support. I know that the New Co-operative hurt you, that Riley hurt you, but that is no reason not to give Seven a chance. Damn it, step outside of yourself for a minute."

Her hands were balled into fists. She was sitting rigid and upright on the couch where she had been reclining a moment ago. She felt her tension and willed herself to go slack. She knew that was the reason why Chakotay had been so opposed to her plan in the first place. He couldn't see beyond what was done to him. He refused to understand the threat that 8472 could have been to the entire quadrant just because he didn't want to have anything to do with a race who taken advantage of him, even when the lives of the crew, and possibly the entire universe were at stake.

Kathryn gave a short bitter laugh. 'And to think when that happened I was sexually attracted to him and I was jealous of Dr Fraiser. Six months later, look at us? I would have never thought that we would have ever been so far apart from each other, that our friendship would have been so strained.' Bitterness and sadness ate at her and she did the one thing that she knew what to do in that situation.

"Janeway to bridge."

"Paris here, Captain"

"Lt. Paris did Lt. Torres hand in the report on the performance ....................."

In the end, that was what she was, Captain of the lost Federation Starship Voyager, trying to get her crew home.


"We have a new passenger Father"

Chakotay and Kolopec were sitting on a rocky incline overlooking one of the seas on his homeworld. The sun was about to set. A small breeze blew against his back and the day was warm. It was summer. The waves below them seem to be gently lapping the shore, like a kitten with warm milk. It was tranquil and Chakotay tried to modify his mood to correspond with his surroundings. It didn't work. Not because he didn't want it to, but because of the nature of the subject that he was about to discuss with his father.

"Who is she?"

"Her name is Seven of Nine, she is an ex-Borg drone."

"Her presence on the ship must be difficult for you."

"Yes it is. The captain thinks that she can become human again. I don't think so, I think that the moment she is able to do so, she will betray us."

"You are not giving her a chance to prove your thoughts about her are wrong Chakotay."

Chakotay stared intently at this father. He had this urge to make his father understand how wrong it was to take that attitude with any member of the collective, active or ex. He had to show him how wrong he was in thinking that Seven of Nine could be anything but Borg.

"I know the Borg father. I was linked to their mind, I felt their thoughts and in the end, they forced their collective will on me. They did that after they had helped heal me, after we had given them supplies and helped them defend themselves against their neighbors. They are not to be trusted." His voice had grown lower and harsher with each word.

Kolopec looked at him and his eyes got a little sadder as they rested at his son who was so unsettled. He turned back to the sunset.

"I thought that they were no longer connected to the collective?"

Chakotay formed a triumphant thought, but he toned it down when he uttered the actual sentence.

"That is my point father. People who were Borg for six years and were then severed from the collective chose of their own free will to join a new one. How much so will this one be able to resist the call to her true nature, after twenty years of being Borg."

Chakotay calmed his voice and changed tactics. His father had been watching him throughout his speech but said nothing.

"I know that this is one of the Captain's reclamation projects, but this time she is in way over head. Seven of Nine is not Tom."

"Do you trust her Chakotay?"

"IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. IT IS NOT THE ISSUE HERE! The issue here is a Captain who is willing to put her ship, her crew and herself in mortal danger because she can't see past what she wants for her crew, for herself. She doesn't heed the consequences of her actions." Chakotay had jumped up from his sitting position and was standing peering down at his father. An expression of pure rage was on his face. He continued to shout.

"What did we leave behind in Borg space? What were the consequences of our actions? Have we helped the Borg assimilate 8472? And if so, what monster have we created? I think about that a lot, as much as I am grateful that we are past their space and we left without committing genocide, I have to wonder." Chakotay stamped his heel and turned away from his father.

"She wouldn't listen to me." He spoke through clenched teeth. "We could have avoided all of it and she wouldn't listen to me. She couldn't see beyond getting this crew home." Suddenly he whirled and faced his father

"You're asking about the issue of me trusting her, what about the issue of her trusting me?" His eyes were blazing as he waited for his father to answer

Kolopec looked at his son with love and said quietly,

"I think the real issue here is, do you trust yourself?"

The sun set completely at that moment and darkness fell.

Chakotay's mouth flew open and with that action his eyes opened also. Again he was back in his quarters.

Page 4: Shattered Peace

'How many times have I been in this position and I still can't get used to it. I've done this action throughout my whole Command career and still drives me nuts, I can't work effectively through it, I can't think of something else, so I stand and stare at the stars. I am waiting for someone else to tell me that one of my crew is safe. To make me grateful that they have been found. To make me thank the heavens that their lives have been spared. This time.

The Kradin Ambassador is confident that we will find Chakotay. I have to force myself to share his enthusiasm. I have lost too many members of my crew in this quadrant. Sometimes I feel like I have no enthusiasm left, like I'm running on instinct. The instinct of survival for my crew and for myself. I have to show that I believe that we are getting home, I have to act like there is no doubt in my mind. Even on the days when all I want to do is run and hide. The days when I myself have no hope.'

She gave a sad smile

'I used to be able to go to Chakotay. Actually I should say that Chakotay would come to me. He used to be able to read me so well, like Tuvok. Until recently. He and Tuvok had been my side, guiding me, advising me helping me throughout the loneliness of my command here in the delta quadrant. Now Tuvok has gone to help find him and I stand here and wait.

"Three days ago, I didn't know your name and now I can't imagine one day without you"

Our connection had been so strong. One touch communicated so much. Now, it's like were strangers. Not one day without him, I can't imagine one day without him. We could not have made it this far without him. We would have been drained of our neural energy by the Komar, the Marquis would have definitely not integrated themselves this well into our crew, Seska would have sold us out to the Kazon, I would have not found the extra strength I needed to fight that alien who posed as Daddy and

'We would have been assimilated.'

The thought was loud as it ricocheted off her mind. Kathryn gave a loud cry and her hands flew to her mouth. She stumbled to the table in her quarters and sat down nearly missing the chair. Her breathing was ragged and she struggled to control it. Her knees felt week, she felt as if her body was phasing in and out. She took deep breaths trying to regulate the rhythm of her heart. If Kathryn did not know herself well, she would have hailed the bridge to find out if they were under attack, if something was out of the ordinary.

The thought had come from her. She saw clearly what she couldn't see before. What had happened over the past three weeks suddenly came into focus and she understood.

'My God, what have I done?'

Another thought assailed her.

"Do you always have to be the Captain Kath?"


I hated when you said that. It meant that I wasn't listening to you. That I was going on without you, that I was so caught up in what I wanted, where I wanted to eat, to spend our vacation; that I wasn't listening to what you were saying'

Kathryn eyes were dry and in an instant the week knees straightened and she felt her body very much in phase with the things around her. The revelations flashed through her mind as she could see clearly now what was so muddled to her before. Her behavior.

'I didn't listen to him. I said that I heard and I understood, but the truth is that I didn't even listen to him. He has been at my side through everything. He and Tuvok, and in this instance I didn't even ask for counsel, I unilaterally decided. And I know why I didn't want to tell him anything, because I knew that he couldn't see beyond what the New Co-operative had done to him to work with the Borg, to see that my plan would be the only way to ensure that the crew would be safe. But my plan wasn't fool proof or safe was it? In the end if he hadn't forced me to listen to him, we would have been assimilated. I would have lost everything that I hold dear, my crew, our chance to get home, my individuality. At this time I would be part of the collective, another Locutus.

That's all I could have think about, getting home. I gave lip service to caring about this quadrant, about the effects of species 8472 conquering the Borg. Would not the effect be the same if the Borg had assimilated 8472?

"How much is our safety worth?

We will be giving an advantage to a race guilty of murdering billions. We'd be helping the Borg assimilate yet another species just to get ourselves back home! It's WRONG.

This conversation had replayed itself many times in her mind. It came to her when she looked up from her status reports after a long day on the bridge. It came to her in he silence of her quarters where she spent her nights alone. Sometimes it even came to her when she was observing Chakotay silently. She looked at him in anger, clutched at the knowledge that in this case, she was right and he was wrong.

"How much is our safety worth?

'It was worth a whole race to me wasn't it? At least Jean-Luc Picard stopped short of genocide. I was forced to stop. I wouldn't have stopped otherwise and why?

Tell that to Harry Kim! He's barely alive thanks to that species. Maybe helping to assimilate them isn't such a bad idea. We could be doing the Delta Quadrant a favor."

'That was the time that 8472 crossed the line with me wasn't it? They had hurt one of mine and I set myself up as judge jury and executioner of an entire race because that cinched it. They were worst than the Borg.'

Kathryn began to pace. At one time she passed the long mirror in her quarters. She stopped stared. For the first time, she didn't recognize the woman who looked back at her. She looked so strange. The expression on her face was hard, her eyes were constricted and her hair was disheveled. She looked like she had just seen a vision on of hell was determined to fight its coming.

'What have I become?'
'Who am I?'

Her face gave no indication of the racing inner thoughts that she was experiencing. It was perfectly calm.

'I am the woman who blew up the caretaker's Array so that the Ocampa race would be safe from the Kazon for another five years. I have put my ship on a collision course with Dreadnought in order to help a civilization fend off its effects, and now two years later I was willing to commit genocide, to get what I want.'

"I don't think that you really believe that. I think that you're struggling to justify your plan because your desire to get the crew home is blinding you to other options. I know you Kathryn! don't know when to step back."

God, how well does he know me!! I couldn't see beyond what I wanted. And I didn't want to step back and consider anything else. Especially his suggestion that we turn around. I don't back down; I was going to get this crew home, by any means necessary or die trying. He was so right and somehow, instinctively I knew it. I lashed out.

I reached out and I hurt

"Do you trust me Chakotay?"

The question that was haunting me was, do I trust myself?'

The reflection's face fell and on it Kathryn saw an expression of fear. It explained everything. She saw the look of fear being replaced by a look of stoicism. Kathryn was holding herself rigid.

'I need to be able to do this. To cover my fear, to act as I need to, to make the decisions that I have to make quickly, but this wasn't using fear, this was giving in to it. And Chakotay had taken the brunt of it.

If anything happens to Chakotay.'

It stopped. Her legs could not support her anymore and she sank onto her couch. She felt drained as if something had poured out of her, she was lighter. Somehow she knew that it was good, what had happened to her. She had no idea what it was, but it was OK, but just to make sure.....

"Paris to Janeway"

"Janeway here."

"Captain, Tuvok has just contacted us from the surface. They've found Chakotay. He's OK"

Kathryn just sat. She felt something stirring in her; she recognized it as hope.


Swiftly she got to her feet and straightened her hair as she left her quarters. "I'm on my way." What truly amazed Kathryn was that she shed no tears during the entire episode. It still felt like an alternate reality experience, but it may have been something else. She was on her way to the bridge. She would check on it.

All around them, undetected by any sensors that they had, there were ripples in the level of reality beyond the subatomic. The being that was Kes gave a sigh of relief. Somehow she *knew* it was going to be OK.


"I wish that it was as easy to stop hating as it was to start."

With that Chakotay left Kathryn standing in the corridor with a shocked and concerned look in her eye. She realized that she was correct when she had made her official log for the day. It was going to take some time to heal his psychological wounds. She wished that she could have gone after him then and there, but she had to deal with the bewildered Kradin Ambassador and an equally bewildered Neelix. She did. She had given Chakotay the day off and after leaving the Kradin and Vhori system, she left Tuvok in charge on the bridge and headed to Chakotay's Quarters

She rang the chime.

"Come in"

When she did, she saw Chakotay's silhouette by the viewport in his front room. His quarters were dark except for one candle that was burning. It cast and eerie glow about the room and she knew that he had intended it for that purpose. Kathryn took a deep breath and joined him at the view port. He did not turn, did not respond or acknowledge her presence in any way.

She felt silly. Why did she think that he was going to talk to her? After all the things that had happened between them, she would be the last person that he would want to talk to. It had been instinctive. He was in pain and she went to him. In the past she would have held back, waited until it was safe, but because of the insights that she had when he was lost on the Kradin sphere, she was afraid to wait. She was afraid that something would happen again, that she would not be able to say the things that she needed to say, that she would lose him. Looking at him now, she realized that their argument must be one of the last things on his mind.

"Chakotay, I know that things have been strained between us, but if there is anything that I can do."

He looked at her through the reflection in the viewport.

"Thank you Captain, but right now I think that I want to get some rest. It's been a long day for me already."

"Of course"

She left his quarters. As the door closed behind her, Kathryn let out a deep sigh. She knew exactly what had just happened. He closed himself off from her. Normally she was the one who kept the walls between them intact. But those walls had come down in the middle of the second year that they were stranded in the Delta Quadrant, and they had never but them up again. Until now.

Kathryn forced her feet to take her to the bridge. It was going to be a long day.

"Congratulations again Tuvok, you have definitely deserved it."

Kathryn and Tuvok were in her quarters on the night that he had received his commendation. When they had just finished going over the reports submitted by B'Elanna and the Doctor about the Isomorph that they had encountered on their mission, Kathryn had invited him to dinner to continue their celebration. Of all her senior officers, she had known Tuvok the longest and they had been firm friends before they ended up in the Delta Quadrant, it was something that she had wanted to do.

The conversation was light and pleasant during dinner. They had just finished eating, and Kathryn held up a glass of replicated Merlot to her security chief.

"Thank you Captain."

"You did an excellent job in retrieving Commander Chakotay."

Tuvok looked pensive, as if he was debating the logic of what he was going to say next.

"He seemed to have undergone great emotional turmoil in the Vhori indoctrinal camp."

"I'm worried Tuvok."

This was obvious to him as he watched the expression that had come over her face. He knew it to be a display of the emotion concern.

"He's closed himself off from me, and I can't reach him. I want to understand more of what happened with the Vhori. You said that you had to persuade him to recognize you in your Kradin uniform. Why? Vulcan's don't look anything like the Kradin and you weren't wearing a mask."

"Commander Chakotay had a weapon trained on me and was prepared to shoot me. Based on the Doctor's medical report that was included in the mission report, it may have been possible that the Commander mistook me for a Kradin soldier. I persuaded him by reminding him that he was a scientist and an explorer and not a killer. That argument seemed to have an affect on Commander Chakotay. However he still did not lower his weapon. He was," Tuvok hesitated trying to find the right name for the emotion that he had witnessed "enraged that I was wearing Kradin colors. It was only when I promised to verify my statements with proof did he lower his weapon."

He paused before continuing

"Looking back, it would have better if we were able to retrieving him sooner, however, I was extremely pleased that I was able to bring the Commander back safely to Voyager. If I had been unsuccessful, the loss to Voyager, to the crew and to myself would have been great."

Kathryn almost choked

"To yourself?"

"I must admit that at first, I found myself in the difficult position of questioning the wisdom of your appointment of the Commander as First Officer. However I have come to realize that it is better for the crew that he be in this position, even now. I have found that the Commander is indeed a competent first Officer and I have come to respect him as a good colleague to myself."

Tuvok paused again.

"You and the Commander have demonstrated effective leadership during this journey. I was *pleased* when you and the Commander developed a *friendship* which was outside of Command. He was able to be a good friend to you during the times that I could not be what you needed."

"I never knew that you thought so highly of him Tuvok." She was surprised. Even without emotions, he had realized what the crew would need, what she would need as an emotional being and had given his quiet approval and support.

He gave a swift nod of the head.

"It is curious Captain."

Kathryn was dreading what she knew was going to follow.

"What is?"

"Did you and the Commander have a disagreement over the course of action to be taken with the Borg and Species 8472?"

"Yes we did. He thought that we should have turned back and stayed out of harm's way. But I could see how we would be able to use the Borg's weakness to our advantage. In the end, we pulled away from each other. It was only when we were in fluidic space we could see what was going on between us and begin to work together to get the crew through the crisis."

Kathryn tried hard to answer his question without attaching any emotional weight on what she said, but the sadness came back to her as she spoke the words.

"Why do you ask?"

"By your actions and expressions when you came out of the ready room, I could see that something was different between the two of you. The commander was very quiet during the meeting, and from working with him, I had come to realize that he did not agree with your course of action. He was not going to voice his opinions until you were in private. If he had agreed, he would have voiced it in the meeting in front of all of us. It would have helped the senior officers' acceptance of your course of action. There was also the non-verbal communications between you and the Commander when you contacted us from the Borg cube and asked me to join you there. I must admit, I had to wait to see what the Commander would authorize my departure before I left. I didn't know if he would have rescinded your order. Finally, when you were in a coma and the Commander made his decision about breaking our alliance with the Borg, I understood how much he must have been in disagreement with your plan."

Kathryn looked at her friend almost sorrowfully.

"What did you think about what I was proposing?"

Tuvok had always thought it prudent not to lie or even dissemble.

"I must admit, Captain, I was skeptical at first. I could see the logic of your plan, however, I thought that a little more time may have been needed in order to perfect the plan and to ensure that the nanoprobes would work."

Kathryn looked down and Tuvok saw a tear escape her eyes.

"During our journey through this quadrant, I have been seeing parts of myself that I do not like. There are actions and attitudes that I have taken that I never thought I would before. The conflict between the Borg and Species 8472 seemed to highlight a lot of these attitudes and actions."

"Do you question the decisions that you have made since you have entered this quadrant?"

"Some yes, some no. More often than not, I do not question my own decisions. Where there was a loss of life, I do for a while, if only to ensure that if any mistakes are made, it will be corrected so that no more of my crew would be lost in this quadrant. So far that hasn't happened. But I find myself in this instance questioning my methods and motivations more than the actual decision that was made. Questioning my logic in my thinking process and the consequences of my actions."

"Of what has happened in Borg space I find myself going over the same questions in my head. What did we leave there? When Seven was last in contact with the Collective, species 8472 was in retreat. Did they stay in retreat? Did the Borg recover the nanoprobes and was able to discover how to modify them to assimilate species 8472? Or did species 8472 assimilate the Collective? Which would be the bigger threat? What about the other species in the Delta Quadrant? What happens to them now?"

Kathryn's voice lowered.

"My own behavior I have to question also. I almost got us assimilated Tuvok. Everything that we have endured for the past three years would have been for nothing and I would have failed to get the crew home. All because I wouldn't listen to what Chakotay had to say. Oversight is one thing, but refusing to listen to a legitimate concern is quite another."

"Captain." Tuvok tried to lower his voice to what he had observed was an intimate tone. He did not appreciate what he was hearing. It was unlike the Captain Janeway to sound so disturbed over a decision that she had made. And he did not think that she was being fair to herself by pursuing such doubts.

Kathryn heard him and faced him. She was indeed crying.

"You have guided this crew through hostile aliens, dangerous anomalies, forbidden space and have ensured that we have been safe for three years in this uncharted region of space. We have only lost 10 crewmen in the process. Other ships in charted space have lost more crewmen than Voyager. You have also done it without the help of Starfleet. These facts indicate that you are indeed a capable captain."

He continued.

"I have never seen you exhibit remorse. I do not think that you should. Remorse is illogical, and as Seven would say "irrelevant". If there are some things which disturb you about the incident, then what is needed is for you to discern what they are and modify your attitudes and behavior so that future mistakes are avoided."

Kathryn thought of Chakotay.

"It is what is needed, isn't it?"

The air was cool as it blew across his face. Chakotay turned his face to the sun and let it bathe his cheeks appreciating the warmth, something he was not able to do when he was on the Vhori sphere. He had too busy fighting, to pay anything but a quick thought to the scenery around him. It was as he remembered it.

He had been looking through the list of holodeck programs and found one of New Earth that Crewman Foster had made. He had made a holographic scan of the planet when they had first arrived and worked on it when some of the crew were on the planet gathering supplies. He had never used it by the date on the computer for the last activation of the program.

Chakotay was glad that he found it. If there was any place appropriate to think about the anger that he felt growing within him, it would be here. Here, where he had admitted to the Captain and to himself the real source of his peace. He sat on a rock and began to reflect on the three days that he had spent on the Vhori sphere.

It had started so innocently. He was fighting out of self-defense, keeping his mind on his mission; to get to communications and to contact Voyager so he could return. The Vhori were going to help him accomplish that, and he knew that if he was indeed in the middle of a battle zone, the Kradin would see him as an enemy.

He had tried to cut through their propaganda, to show them the true nature of their enemy. The Kradin were like them, a sentient race that lived and died in the same manner they did. He thought that he could have actually persuaded them to find a better way to settle their differences, other than waging war. But in the end, he was the one who was persuaded to fight their war.

Chakotay could feel himself growing angrier as he thought about all that he had experienced.

He wondered how they could have seen his blind spots. How could they have known how he would have reacted to seeing someone die in front of him? Or more importantly his reaction to seeing the desecration of their graves? He could have just decided to leave the Vhori to their war and worked on his own to try and find his way back to Voyager. Instead he turned his back on all that had become important to him. In three short days, he forgot about Voyager, her crew, their journey to the alpha quadrant and the promises he had made to their captain.

"Not that those promises weren't broken two weeks before" he mused. It was supposed to be a light comment, but as the thought crossed his mind, he felt the darkness enter, making a home with the anger that seemed to be a constant companion to him now.

"Wrestle your trembles to rages"

And what a rage he must have been in!! He had killed, and was ready to kill without thought, remorse or mercy. And the hate. He didn't even see Tuvok, all he could see was some Kradin beast because of it.

The anger had grown inside of him had grown so much that he could not sit still. Chakotay wanted to run, he wanted to hide. It was too soon, he did not want to face what was going on inside of him

"Crewman Gerron to Commander Chakotay"

"Yes Gerron what is it?"

"Henley just cancelled out on our game of hoverball and I wondered...."

"I'm on my way"

As he left the holodeck, a small voice reminded Chakotay that he could not run forever.

Chakotay was surprised by the darkness that surrounded him. Normally when he entered his visions it was always light. He looked around and saw a faint glow from a ceiling light. He was in sickbay. A lone figure was standing at the view port and he realized that this was going to be his guide in his vision. By the silhouette, he could see that the guide was female, shorter than he was and with long hair. He made his way towards her. She heard him coming and then turned to face him.


"Hello Com....Chakotay" She looked no different than she did the day that she left the ship and he had seen her one piece blue jumper countless number of times. Looking at her, it was hard to believe that she had left the ship a month ago.

"I waited for you a long time and I didn't think that you would come, but Kolopec assured me that you would, eventually."

"Will father join us?"

"In time. Come it is time for us to go."

She walked towards the door and he fell into step with her. When the door opened, it revealed the corridor on deck five. However the moment he stepped through it he found that the surroundings had changed.

They were in a forest. It was daylight, and from the position of the sun and the temperature of the air, Chakotay guessed that it was mid morning. It was unnaturally quiet. Every forest supported some kind of wild life unless it was an artificial projection. Bees, birds, rodents and mammals all made noises as they went through their normal daily routine. This forest was devoid of life. Chakotay could see why. There were large crater holes in the ground and he recognized that they were made from weapons fire. The smell of burnt wood and vegetation assailed his nostrils, confirming his suspicions. They were indeed in the middle of a war zone.

A low moan came from the ground and when Chakotay looked down he saw that what at first glance seemed like a pile of debris, was actually a humanoid covered with dead vegetation and pieces of broken trees and rocks. He stooped down and turned the heap.

It was a Kradin soldier.

He recoiled. It was still difficult to see that visage and prevent his immediate reaction of hatred. It had taken a couple of days away from Vhori and Kradin territories before he could make his report about his experiences on their sphere, because he could not bring himself to be objective about what had happened. The hatred of the Kradin and the anger towards the Vhori for what they did to him prevented that. He found that in time, the hatred had lessened, but for some reason the anger had increased. It was not directed at either the Kradin or the Vhori, it was free flowing and ever present.

Chakotay took a couple of seconds to recover and then turned the Kradin soldier back on his stomach. He turned to Kes but her eyes were somewhere else, she was looking to a cluster of tress that was to the north of where she stood. He spoke


"This way" She led the way and he followed. They made their way through a cluster of tress and when he moved the final set of branches out of his way, he was startled at the scene in front of him. There was a person, a man by his stature making his way through the clearing. He recognized what he was wearing. It was one of his outfits that he owned in the Marquis. The man turned and then Chakotay was able to make out who it was. It was him. At once Chakotay felt some kind of link being formed with him. When the Marquis turned, Chakotay could see that he was carrying Vhori arms and he recognized the look on his face. He knew what the Marquis soldier was feeling because he was feeling it also. Chakotay remained where he was as an observer, able to see the situation in which the Marquis soldier found himself and the way that he reacted.

By his feelings, Chakotay guessed that the Marquis soldier was being pursued. He heard weapons fire and saw the Marquis soldier duck to escape it. Turning towards the source of the fire, he saw men in black coming towards the Marquis soldier. He couldn't make out who they were until they came in to the clearing and then he recognized their race. Cardassians.

The Marquis soldier was making his way quickly through the forest. He knew his way around because Chakotay realized where he was. He was in the trunks near the Larhana settlement. Chakotay did not notice that he did not have to physically follow the Marquis soldier in order to keep him in his line of vision. The surroundings were always changing so that he could have the maximum view him. It also helped that Chakotay was feeling everything that the Marquis soldier was feeling.

At one point, realizing that he would not have the cover of the trees much longer, the Marquis soldier climbed the nearest one and waited. The Cardassians arrived at the foot of the tree and looked ahead of them and saw the beginning of the clearing. They realized that given the distance between them and the Marquis soldier, there was no way that he could have gotten that far ahead. The deduced his tactics correctly and looked up. The Marquis soldier was ready for them. He took the three Cardassians out one at a time, aiming for their heart. They were dead before they hit the ground. For some reason the rest of the squadron did not encircle the tree, they kept coming at him in a straight line. The Marquis soldier picked them off one by one until they were all dead.

Chakotay looked at the ten Cardassians lying at the foot of the tree and felt relief. It was over and he, the Marquis soldier, was safe. There would be no more fighting. He climbed down the tree and turned over the nearest Cardassian. It was Seska. A feeling of triumph filled him. He had gotten the best of her in the end, even though she had almost destroyed Voyager, almost destroyed him. He activated a Voyager combadge. This surprised Chakotay as he had not seen it on the Marquis soldier when he first looked at him.

"Chakotay to Kathryn"

"Kathryn here."

"I am ready to return."

"I will join you there immediately."

"Acknowledged, Chakotay out"

This conversation was puzzling. He never called the Captain Kathryn over the Comm lines and it made no sense to him that although he was ready to return to the ship, Kathryn was going to join him. The Marquis soldier sat and waited.

Chakotay heard a noise in the background and saw a figure coming to join the Marquis soldier.

"Kathryn!" he exclaimed.

"She can't hear you. She came here for the Marquis soldier." Kes answered him.

This looked like it was indeed her mission. However when she got within 10 feet of the soldier she stopped. The Marquis soldier heard it too, but he pretended, or was not aware of the Captain. Chakotay realized that it was because there was the sound of something else happening in the woods. Four young children came running towards the Marquis soldier.

"Chakotay help us, don't let them take us!"

He recognized the first child. It was Padya

The children ran pass the Marquis soldier. At that instant, Chakotay felt paralyzed. He could not move, he could not speak, all he could do was shift his head. He looked at Kes, but her eyes were on the Captain who was staring at the Marquis soldier in front of her. Concern lined her face. Chakotay understood why. The soldier was also paralyzed. He stood mute and watched the children pass him to run deeper into the woods. A figure appeared, it was a Kradin soldier, then another and another. They all passed the Marquis soldier and Kathryn as if they were not there, as they pursued the children. Chakotay had kept a silent count of the soldiers that passed him. The Kradin squadron numbered fifteen in all. The significance of the number was not lost on him.

Suddenly the feeling of paralysis passed and when Chakotay was able to speak.


The response to his call was a childlike scream that chilled him to the bone. He could see by the expression on the Marquis soldier's face that it had chilled him too, but it also spurred him into action. He moved again through the trunks. Chakotay shifted his gaze on Kathryn. She stood still in time and she seemed to be watching the soldier as he and Kes were doing. When his eyes shifted back to the soldier, he did a double take. The soldier was not Marquis any longer. He was Vhori, wearing their colors. By this time, the Vhori soldier had reached the first child who was lying face down in the dirt. He turned her over fear gripping his heart. He felt the side of her neck and there was no pulse. She was dead. Chakotay felt the anger replace the peace that the Marquis soldier had felt when he was waiting for the captain to join him. He turned the child back to face the earth so that she could go the glorified way after. He heard another scream and quickly moved towards the source. His heart was pounding in his ears when he reached anther point and saw another body on the ground. It was another of the children. She too was dead. Chakotay felt the anger inside of him intensify as the scene replayed itself over for the rest of the children. However by the time he found Padya, he felt a sense of calm. The rage, which was inside of him, had consumed all of him so that it was part of his being, not something strange and uncomfortable to him. And that realization brought calm. Chakotay knew what he had to do.

He tracked them. He was good at that. Somehow all of the knowledge that he thought he forgotten when he was in the Marquis came back to him and it intensified the Starfleet training he had received. As Chakotay, Kes and the Captain watched, the Vhori soldier tracked the Kradin through the forest. It became dark, light and then dark again but all through it Chakotay tracked the killers. On the dawn of the third day, Chakotay found the killers asleep in their camp for the night. He watched their chests rise and fall steadily and readied his weapon. He said a silent prayer of thanksgiving for the moment and began to fire.

He killed seven before any of the soldiers realized what was happening. Then rest awoke and began to plead with him.

"Please no, don't shoot" One said.

"We're sorry, we didn't mean to, we were ordered to the point of death" Another cried out.

"Please I am only 15 years old and I have two sisters to feed, they'll starve without me."

The remaining soldiers were on their knees as they watched Chakotay come into their view and stand four feet away from them, begging and pleading for their lives.

Chakotay was perfectly calm and said in a low tone that sent a chill through his body.

"Motherless beasts."

He shot all of them one at a time in the midst of their screams and pleas for mercy. Then he lowered his weapon and waited. A Vhori woman came towards him. It was Riley. She spoke with the voice of the new Co-operative.

"Thank you for taking care of the Kradin for us. Your services are not required anymore." and with that she vanished from view.

It was then that his counterpart realized what had happened to him and how he had been tricked into doing what he did. He lowered the weapon and a look of disgust came over his face. Chakotay knew that it was self-loathing. He was feeling was disgust at the slaughter that he had just witnessed, the one that he had just performed.

Chakotay stood still as he felt the connection between himself and the soldier being broken. He was no longer feeling what his counterpart was experiencing. The anger and the rage that was inside of him from his connection to the soldier gave way to something unexpected, sadness and hurt. He looked at Kes and at the Captain. Their sadness for him was on their faces. Kathryn was crying. He bowed his head in shame.

His counterpart sunk to the ground, he seemed unable to stand anymore. Kathryn was the one who moved first. She went to him and tried to touch his shoulder, but she couldn't. It seemed that there was an invisible forcefield in place, which prevented her hand from connecting with his body. She kept on trying. At one point, the soldier looked up and saw her. Chakotay realized that his counterpart had known that she had been watching him, but he hadn't acknowledged her. Now he was pushing her away. As he looked at her, she kept having to fall back, as if the forcefield was expanding. In the end she could get no closer than three feet from him.

Kes' hand found his. He squeezed it gratefully. The last scene between him and Kathryn struck him deeply. It came to him all at once what was being shown to him. He felt lightheaded with the realization and used Kes' hand as something to ground him. He looked at his counterpart and Kathryn again. Kathryn was hurt, he could see it in her eyes. His counterpart had a blank look on his face. They looked at each other in a face off.

Footsteps were heard in the distance coming towards them. It was Kolopec.

The instant that Chakotay recognized his father, he tried to look at Kes, but he was not looking into her eyes, he found himself looking into Kathryn's eyes. He had become his counterpart. He felt the tiredness in his bones and the sadness in his heart. It felt familiar somehow. He watched his father advance.

"Hello Chakotay."

He knew why it felt familiar. He was glad that it was. Kolopec put his arm on Chakotay's shoulder.

"We've done this before father"

"It think you would agree that we need to do this again."

"I do"

Kes came up to him and put her arm on one of his. Chakotay felt love from both his father and her. It gave him courage to say what he needed.

"I am ashamed of my actions, of my feelings. I can't believe that in three short days all that I had worked for, all the resolutions that I made would be undone. That I could hate so thoroughly." He added the last sentence in a low voice

"From what we saw, you weren't in control of your actions, it was not your fault" His father answered.

"That maybe so, but they were my actions and I am responsible for their consequences even though they may not have been my fault. I don't think that's what disturbs me the most is that there was some part of me that enjoyed it, that enjoys hurting, that enjoys killing"

"You are Commander Chakotay, you are a scientist, and explorer, you are not a killer." Tuvok stood in front of them in Kradin colors. Chakotay felt himself react again, but to a much lesser extent since he realized who it was standing before him.

"How can you say that Tuvok, I almost killed you."

Tuvok's voice spoke again and Chakotay found that he and Kolopec were inside of Tuvok's quarters watching Tuvok and Kes conversing.

"The Vulcan heart was forged out of barbarism and violence. We learned to control it, but it is still a part of us. To pretend that it does not exist is to create an opportunity for it to escape."

Tuvok understood.

They were back in the woods again. Tuvok had vanished. Kes and Kolopec still had their hands oh his arms. He felt the connection between he three of them. It was deep and powerful. Chakotay looked at Kes.

"I remember when you came to ask me about being in the Marquis after our encounter with Sisperia. I didn't know that you were worried about enjoying violence."

"I had never felt like that, I wanted to make sure that there wasn't something wrong with me so I asked you and I asked Tuvok about it afterwards. When he told me what you just heard, I realized that violence was part of everyone's being, even a Vulcan's. I began to forgive myself for hurting Tuvok and move on from the experience. However when it happened again when Tieron was in control of my body, it was a lot more difficult. I had killed. A Voyager crewman, people on Tieron's homeworld. It was true that I was under someone else's influence at that time, but it was still very hard to move on. I kept thinking that I should have fought harder, prevented that amount of people from dying. But the most sobering part of the experience was that some part of me enjoyed what Tieron did when he possessed my body."

"How did you move on?"

"I had a lot of help from my friends." With that she turned in Kathryn's direction and Kolopec did the same. Chakotay had forgotten that she had been there. When he looked at her, he realized that she still had a sad look on her face although she had stopped crying. He heard footsteps coming towards them and he recognized B'Elanna as she came into view. However she stood behind Kathryn.

"Anytime you need to talk Chakotay." With that she retreated.

Kathryn did not say anything, however when B'Elanna retreated, she looked Chakotay straight in the eye and held up her right hand with the palm open. Chakotay left his father and Kes and walked up to her and tried to touch her, but he found that he couldn't. With a sad face, Kathryn left them also.

"Why can't I touch her?" Chakotay asked in a low voice

"Because you are not there yet." Kolopec answered.

"In time you will be." Kes was joined by Kolopec as she walked towards him.

Both touched his arm and said to him.

"It is time for us to leave."

"Thank you both of you."

They smiled. Chakotay opened his eyes and found that he was in his quarters once more.

Chakotay sat in his lounger and faced the stars.

"There was so much in that vision, I don't even know where to start. Kes, I didn't expect to see you so soon. But I am glad that you came to me. I never would have thought that you knew violence so well. I knew what had happened to you but I was never aware of the impact that it had on you. You definitely weren't the same after the Tieron incident, but somehow you always managed to keep an air of goodness around you even though the innocence was gone.

I need to be able to do that, to be able to always see where I can help, to give that help willingly but to be able to see beyond the surface, to see possible hidden motives, possible deceptions"

"The question is, do you trust yourself?"

The words that his father had told him a few days ago came to his mind.

"No I don't. How can I? Let's see there were Paris and Tuvok at first, add to that Seska. I started our Delta Quadrant journey on a roll when it came to bad judgement. Then add to that Riley and the Vhori, I don't think I'll let myself trust another person, help another person, again.

"Helping people, that's part of who you are Chakotay."

He recalled the discussion that he and the captain had in sickbay after his encounter with the new co-operative

"Easy for you to say Kathryn, your trust has never been mislaid has it?. No one has ever pulled one over you except for the Borg. And even then, it wasn't personal, it was more professional. A duplicity that was a result of part of their nature, nothing intended to hurt you personally.

And then I asked you to trust me, precisely because I was duped. But you couldn't and wouldn't hear me. I still don't know about Seven of Nine. I can see that fire in your eyes when you talk of her and of her progress. You believe that it can be done."

He gave a wry smile

"I used to make a policy never to cross you when you got that look in your eye. But now the stakes are too high. If Seven wants us assimilated, she may end up in a position on this vessel that may do us a lot of harm. Do you a lot of harm."

He felt sadness sweep over his whole body.


The peace that the Marquis soldier felt that I felt while he was waiting for you to come was unlike anything that I have ever experienced. All the wars, out in the DMZ and within myself, were over. We had battles here, but they were easier as we were facing them together. I was no longer alone. But somehow, somewhere, the peace got lost, between the Borg, the Kradin and the Vhori. And now it seems like I'm fighting another war with myself and with you. I don't want to fight you anymore and I'm tired of fighting myself. I just want to move on.

"How did you move on?"
"I had a lot of help from my friends."

"You have no idea how much it hurts that I could not touch you, that you could not touch me. You were my best friend. What has happened between us? We are like two strangers passing the night, giving each other a wide birth, and not daring to stop. I didn't think that it was possible, that the two of us could have torn our friendship asunder, but we have haven't we? And the thing is I don't know if we can mend it."

The sadness Chakotay felt was all consuming. He got off the lounger and made his way to bed. It was very late.

When Chakotay opened his eyes and realized that again, nothing happened when he tried to contact his spirit guide, again, he threw the Akuna across the room in a sudden flare of anger

"Where the Hell are you? Aren't you supposed to be my guide, to know when you're needed. Why aren't you visiting me, I need to talk to you. Father, Kes I need you!!!!"

It was only when he felt the sharp pain in the back of his hand, he realized that he had jumped up from the floor, where he had been sitting and was yelling and waving his arms around in anger. The back of his hand had made contact with the bulkhead in the front room of his quarters.


It felt good to get angry. Lately it seemed that all he felt was sadness. It had been four days since he had the vision quest where he saw his father, Kes, Kathryn, Tuvok and B'Elanna, and he felt as if he were living in a vacuum. He had spoken to no one about his experiences. He couldn't speak to the Captain and since B'Elanna and Tom were now in the initial stages of being a couple, she was otherwise occupied. She didn't catch Chakotay's moods. She also could not see beyond the "First Officer" facade. Others had, Gerron, Henley and Robin. But he was not as close to them as he was to B'Elanna and Kathryn.

It didn't help that nothing had been happening in the Delta Quadrant since they left Vhori and Kradin space. Under normal circumstances, he would have welcomed the routine, but now it meant that he had a lot of time to spend with his thoughts, something that he really wished that he didn't. It seemed that a lot of things were just circling in his head going nowhere. They had no outlet, no expression, especially since he was not able to make contact with anyone on his subsequent vision quests.

His anger was spent quickly and the sadness returned.

"Janeway to Chakotay"

It deepened.

"Chakotay here."

"Commander, I was looking for the science labs status reports, I wanted to check something thing that Robin mentioned to me at dinner."


"I have them here in my quarters Captain, do you want me to bring them to the bridge in the morning?"


"I'm just outside your quarters now, I'll take them."

The door chimed


Chakotay had picked up the PADD from his table and was holding it in his hand waiting for her.

Kathryn entered. Chakotay appeared calm and had a look of indifference about him.

"Thank you Commander"

And with that she left.

Chakotay stared after the closed door for a long while.

"Three days ago, I didn't know your name and now I can't imagine one day without you"

Chakotay hadn't needed to say anything at that, he had felt the same way.

"We have to now don't we? Because I don't know if we can the type of friends we were before and I don't know what I am going to do without that." he said softly to a closed door.

Part 9: Coming Into The Light