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We Always Get Our Man

We always get our man, pt. 1
Ruth — 25 Jan 1999, 9:21 AM

Time: this takes place after Jules' posse story. Some, but not all of the Nova gang have been captured.

In our last exciting installment, Constable Benton Fraser of the N.W.M.P. had just saved B'Elanna's life, by cutting the ropes that bound her to a train track, and pulling her from the tracks as a train neared. When they fell, B'Elanna landed on top of the good constable, and she was laughing at his apparent embarassment when Tom, Chakotay, Miss Kathryn, and Tuvok came upon them.

Taking pity on the constable, B'Elanna rolled off of him, and stood up. She then reached down her hand to help him up. Hesitating a second, he took it and stood up.

Her father said, "B'Elanna, what is this? What happened?"

"Lavelle happened, Pa.," she muttered darkly.

There were cries of "Lavelle," and "B'Elanna, are you alright," as the Voyager City group dismounted and rushed over to B'Elanna and the Mountie.

"Please, everyone I'm fine," B'Elanna insisted as she saw their concern. "Thanks to Constable Fraser, here."

Fraser held up a hand, "Just doing my duty, Miss." Not sure what he thought about this Mountie, and the way he'd been rolling around on the ground with his fiancee, Tom stepped closer to B'Elanna and put his arm around her shoulders.

Fraser was looking oddly at Tom, and Diefenbaker, who had been keeping his distance from B'Elanna, cautiously stepped up and sniffed at Tom's boots.

Fraser tilted his head to one side and uttered a puzzled, "huh."

Tom said, "excuse me? What was that?"

Fraser spoke up apologetically, "Oh, nothing." He tilted his head to the other side. "Huh."

B'Elanna interrupted, "Please, let me introduce everyone. This is Constable Benton Fraser, who is currently serving with the Canadian consulate in Federation City. Constable, this is my father, Chakotay Torres, Miss Kathryn Janeway, the owner of the Delta Q, Marshal Marshall Tuvok, and this is Tom Janeway, my, mmm, friend." She smiled sweetly at the Mountie. Tom looked sharply at his *friend,* and then suspiciously at Fraser.

"I'm pleased to make your acquaintance, especially yours Mr. ah, Janeway.....huh."

In an irritated tone, Tom said, "look you can call me Tom. Enough with the small talk. B'Elanna, what happened?" Tom enquired.

"We-ell," she said slowly, not sure where to begin, "I was riding back home after my call over to the Circle V, when I ran across evidence of a camp fire near a patch of woods on Cowgirl Vickie's property. I know we've all been a little nervous about our guests in the Voyager City jail, and the fact that we haven't yet captured the whole gang, so I thought I'd snoop around a little and see who the strangers were."

"B'Elaaaaanaa," her father said slowly.

"I know, I know - I should have headed on home, or at least gone back to Cowgirl Vickie's for some help. But I really wasn't expecting to see anyone. The fire was cold, and I figured whoever made it was long gone, but that I thought maybe I could find some sort of sign as to which way he went. I didn't want to wait, because I didn't want the trail to grow cold."

We always get our man, pt. 2
Ruth — 25 Jan 1999, 9:32 AM

"Good thinking, Miss Belle," Fraser said approvingly. "I estimate that we will be experiencing a heavy rain shower within the next," he stuck a finger in his mouth, pulled it up and held it up in the air, "quarter hour, obliterating Lavelle's trail. You did a wise thing"

B'Elanna glowed at receiving this complement from the handsome constable.

Tom spoke up in an exasperated voice, "She managed to get herself captured! And it's not going to rain. I mean look at that sky. It's as clear as a bell!"

"What does a bell and its potential for clarity have to do with whether or not it will rain?" the Mountie inquired politely.

"Clear as a bell," Tom repeated tersely. Fraser waited as if wanting more of an explanation. "You know. It's an expression, a turn of phrase, like, oh, I don't know, 'don't burn your candle at both ends.'"

Fraser shook his head, "That would hardly be an efficient method of fuel consumption, Tom."

Tom looked at B'Elanna, "Is he for real?"

Calling attention back to her story, B'Elanna interrupted. "As I was saying, I started looking for some sort of sign. I saw a bandana sitting on the ground, and I got off Kona .... Oh, no! What happened to Kona!"

Miss Kathryn leaned forward and said in a calm voice, "Kona's fine, B'Elanna and back at the stables. We got worried when she showed up at the ranch without you, and that's why we came looking for you."

B'Elanna took in a deep breath, and continued. "Alright, I got off Kona, and I leaned down to look at the bandana. That must be when Lavelle jumped me. I was out of it for a little while, and next thing I knew, he was tying me down on the railroad tracks saying we'd all pay for cheating him out of the gold."

Kathryn gasped at this bit of information, and Tom hugged B'Elanna closer, saying, "B'ela!"

"Please, everyone I'm fine. I was only here a few minutes, when the Constable rode up, and he managed to get me untied before that train that just went past sent me on a one way trip."

We always get our man, pt. 3
Ruth — 25 Jan 1999, 9:42 AM

Chakotay shook Fraser's hand, "Constable Fraser, how can we ever thank you!"

"Again, Mr. Torres, I was just doing my duty. But I do have one favor I'd like to ask the Marshal. I'd like to question the Nova gang members you have locked up in the Voyager City jail. I believe that Nicolas Locarno, in particular, can be of great use to me in the investigation that brought me to your country. I first came to Federation City on the trail of my father's killers..."

"I thought you said you wanted the Nova gang on littering charges," B'Elanna interrupted suspiciously.

"No, actually, you said that, Miss Belle. I merely defended Canada's strict anti-littering policies."

"Oh," she said.

"Although," he continued, "Taurik and Jacqueline Sito are wanted in the territories on two counts of conspiracy to commit eco-terrorism by attempting to introduce 1000 tons of a poisonous substance into the Great Slave Lake in the territories as part of an effort to corner the market on northern pike." He looked at Marshal Tuvok. "I have the extradition papers in my saddle bags, sir."

"Indeed," said Tuvok. "I'll look them over when we get back to the jail, Constable."

"What's this about Locarno and your father," Tom said frowning. "He didn't... that is, you don't believe he ki... had something to do with your father's death, do you?

"No, Nicolas Locarno is many things, but I do not believe he is a murderer." Tom visibly relaxed. "He has, however, the unfortunate habit of forming friendships with some very bad men. Including your friend, Sam Lavelle, Miss Belle."

Marshal Tuvok spoke. "I believe a meeting can be arranged."

"Speaking of Lavelle, was he alone, B'Elanna?," Chakotay asked.

"Yes. I mean, yes he was alone when he tied me up here. But I don't know about when he hit me. It looked like two or three people had made camp around the fire I found."

Miss Kathryn thought a moment. "Chakotay. Why don't you take B'Elanna home. The Marshal and I will ride over to the Circle V. I think I know the line of trees B'Elanna is talking about. We'll look for any more signs of Lavelle." She turned to look at Fraser. "Constable, let me thank you once more. B'Elanna is very special to the residents of the Delta Q. If you need a place to stay while you are in Voyager City, please come out to the house."

"Thank you kindly, Mrs. Janeway," the Mountie said courteously. "And can you direct me toward your town, so I can visit the jail?"

"Tom can take you," she said.

Tom, who had fiddling with a piece of B'Elanna's hair, looked up and gave an incredulous, "What? I thought I'd head back to the ranch with B'Elanna. She's been through a lot, and is going to need help with the horses."

"Chakotay can help her with the horses. You go into town with the constable and introduce him to the deputy."

"But I've already missed lunch and..." Tom stopped talking when his mother gave him the Look "Okay, we'll go into town. We can stop by Tom R's and Shelley's Diner. So, Constable," Tom asked conversationally. "Do you like chile?"

"Please, call me Benton. Actually, I try to avoid spicy foods. They don't happen to serve a good moose stew, do they?"

"Uh, no. But don't worry, Benny," Tom put his arm around the Mountie's shoulder," Shelley's Rodeo Red's Red Hot Rootin' Tootin' chile is so mild, a baby could eat it."

"I look forward to trying it."

Janeway was trying hard not to laugh as she watched the two walk off.

We always get our man, pt. 4
Ruth — 25 Jan 1999, 9:54 AM

As the rest saddled up and rode off, Fraser went back over to the spot where B'Elanna had been tied. He walked around for a couple of seconds, and then leaned over and stared at something intently. Tom walked over - "What is it?"

Fraser pointed to a hoof print near the tracks. "Do you see it," Fraser asked. "See what? It is a hoof print." Tom peered down. Fraser bent down and wiped up a small piece of mud from the center of the print onto his finger.

"This mud. It is a different color than the rest of the ground. It must have been stuck to the hoof of Lavelle's horse." Fraser then brought his finger to his mouth, and tasted the mud.

Tom bent over in disgust, "Oooh, why did you do that? That's disgusting!"

"Perhaps, Tom. But instructive. At some point in the last 24 hours, Lavelle's horse --- presumably with Lavelle on it, since the placement and density of the mud on the hoof would indicate that an average size horse was carrying the weight of an adult male, approximately 185 pounds, with brown hair and a chronic injury to his left arm --- has been in an area that has large deposits of copper. Is there such a place around here?"

"Yeah, Tom said slowly. "There used to be a copper mine near Big Rock Candy Mountain. But it has been tapped out for years. I guess there still could be some traces of it in the area."

Fraser nodded. "Yes, well perhaps we can go check that out after I speak with Mr. Locarno."

As Fraser walked toward his horse, Tom asked, "how can a hoof print tell you the color of a man's hair and whether or not he's injured?"

"Just basic detective work, Tom."

Tom went and got on his own horse, and then looked back to see Fraser pause to pull out a brown macintosh from one of his saddle bags, and put it on before he climbed into the saddle.

"You've got to be kidding, Benny" Tom said sarcastically. "You're going to wear a rain coat? It hasn't rained here in weeks. You're just going to ride into town, on a bright sunny day, wearing a mac and galoshes. I think my Mom has a pretty pink parasol back at the house. Would you like me to go get it and tie it to the wolf's tail, so he can protect himself from the non-existent rain?"

Just then, a flash of lightening lit the sky, accompanied by a crash of thunder. Within seconds, heavy rain was falling from the now dark sky.

"Of course not" Fraser said as he turned his horse toward town and motioned to Diefenbaker to follow. "That would be silly, Tom."

tbc when I get the chance (after all the ladies of VC deserve the chance to see Tom, Nick, and Ben together.)