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Still Burning Out Of Control

Fire: Still Burning Out of Control
Vickie T. — 30 Sep 1998, 10:42 AM

Kathryn Janeway watched as B'Elanna dashed into the burning barn. "Seeing my barns burn is one thing," Miss Kathryn said, "but I'll be d@mned if I'll let this fire take any of my people!" Then, she put her head down, and ran for the open door of the Big Barn. Once again, the firemen tried unsuccessfully to hold a determined woman back. Big Jimbo was heard to exclaim, "D@mn these independent women!"

Once Kathryn was inside the barn, she was able see quite well. It seemed that with the fire burning through the roof in several places, smoke was being vented out, clearing the inside atmosphere slightly. Kathryn could see Kona and Frisco, cowering inside an open stall, with B'Elanna sprawled, face-down, on the barn floor in front of them. Kathryn gasped and ran to B'Elanna's side, kneeling to roll B'Elanna over on her back. As she did, Kathryn was hit from the rear by a tremendous blow that knocked her to the floor and left her reeling. Before she could stagger fully to her feet, Kathryn was attacked by what felt like an enraged mountain lion, simultaneously kicking, clawing, hitting and screaming. Miss Kathryn struggled, but was handicapped by her full-length ball gown - there had been no time for clothing changes after the ball. "Who, or what, in the hell could this be?," she wondered, as she tried frantically to escape from the creature's grasp.

Finally, Miss Kathryn managed to twist around and lash out at her unidentified assailant with one high-heel boot clad foot. As the form doubled over and stepped back, her identity became clear. "Seska?," Kathryn puzzled, "The waitress from the cafe? But" Seska gave a humorless bark of laughter. "You female dog (Vantagenet censors strike again!). I hate you. I've sworn to destroy you and you don't even understand why. You don't care how your actions might affect the lives of others. You just make your decisions without giving any thought to how someone else might suffer. I loved Chakotay. If I had more time with him, back at the Maquis Ranch, I could have convinced him to betray the Maquis Cavalry and join me with the Cardassian Indians. But you and your ranch took him from me. You have ruined my life. Now I will never have him. I will never have his child. You deserve to die, here in this fire that will also burn your pitiful ranch to the ground."

B'Elanna, who had since regained her senses, watched the two women rush together and renew their battle. B'Elanna realized that the large support beam directly above the struggling women was about to come crashing down. She took two running steps and launched her body through the air, striking Miss Kathryn and knocking her backward across the barn floor. At that very instant, the burning beam crashed to the floor, striking Seska and crushing her body as it fell.

As B'Elanna helped Miss Kathryn to her feet, she said, "We've got to get out of here. Now." The two looked briefly at Seska, but it was obvious that the woman was dead. They ran to the stall, where the two horses still stood, trembling with fear. B'Elanna bent down, ripped two big strips of cloth off her petticoat and handed one to Miss Kathryn. "Here," B'Elanna said, "The horses will be too frightened to follow us out through the flames, but if we tie these blindfolds over their eyes, we will be able to lead them out."

B'Elanna, Miss Kathryn, Kona and Frisco burst out the barn door. They were a little singed and covered with soot and smoke, but in remarkable shape, all things considered. Moments later, the remnants of the barn roof collapsed into the barn, forming, in a sense, the traditional Cardassian Indian funeral pyre for Seska.

Hope that doesn't mess up your story, D'Alaire.