She sat on the end of her bed, he left at least half and hour ago and this was all she had managed to do--move to the edge of the bed. She needed to compose herself, figure out what to do. This was not happening---it could not happen-- not here--- not to her---Oh gods---this was real. In her mind she knew it was true--gods when she tried to move, her body told her it was real-- something inside wouldn't accept it --not this --not --not -- HIM.
Collecting herself, she reached for her comm. badge, held it in her hand a few minutes than tapped it.
"Janeway to Tuvok." She noticed her voice shook as she spoke.
"Tuvok here, Captain." He sounded drowsy.
"Sorry to wake you Tuvok---please come to my quarters as soon as possible."
"On my way, Captain." He could hear the uncertainty in her voice and she could hear the concern in his.
"Tuvok---key in you're override and come right in -- I don't want anyone to see you in the corridor."
"Yes, Captain --I'll be right there. Tuvok out."
She went into the bathroom. In the harsh light, she witnessed the truth-- no not the whole truth -- it couldn't be. She tried to assess the damage. A nice bruise on her jaw, scratches, bite marks --she studied her face and neck then stepped back to get a larger view. What was left of her nightgown was torn to shreds ---abrasions everywhere ---looked like she had been fighting---she had. She fought him with every bit of her strength --it wasn't enough. She remembered and tears welled up in her eyes. No --she had to get control.
As she left the lighted doorway to go back and collect a bathrobe, she heard her door swish closed and she froze. In the darkness of the other room she could see the outline of a man, he stood just inside the door. She could not make out his features in the darkness, he could see her plainly in the light of the doorway.
"Captain!?" Shock reflected in Tuvok's voice.
"Tuvok--thank god." She started across the room but stopped before she reached him--suddenly afraid.
"Lights1/4 - -Captain, you're hurt.--What happened?" She thought she actually heard compassion in his voice.
"Tuvok..." Her voice broke and she fought to keep from breaking down.
"Captain." He crossed the room. Surveying the damage as he came toward her--she backed up slightly. "It's alright-- Kathryn-- I won't hurt you." He guided her to the couch and brought her a robe, helping her into it. He replicated a cup of tea and sat beside her. "Captain, you must tell me what happened." His calm Vulcan manner had returned, he waited for her to compose herself again. "Captain."
"I was raped." It was barely a whisper and she couldn't even look at him, as she waited for it to register.
"Do you know who did this?" By her appearance, he surmised he was large and powerful and that she had put up quite a fight.
"Yes." It was all she said and he waited quietly for her to continue.
"Captain, you need to go to sickbay." He paused, but no reaction. "You must tell me who did this, so no one else will be hurt."
"Yes--I will go--but first --I must---this must be sorted out ---I have to..." She looked at him now tears welling in her eyes ---then they went hard.
"Tell me who did this." He was calm and quiet. He watched emotions cross her face, she looked at him; then turned away.
"Chakotay." She spoke so low, even with his superior Vulcan hearing, he almost didn't hear her.
He wasn't sure he heard her correctly. He hesitated, then turned her face back to him, looking deeply into her eyes. There he saw it all, the hurt, the betrayal, the confusion, the pain --the love. He didn't ask again.
"You need to go to sickbay --- I'll take you." He stood and offered her his hand.
"No --I will go. You go to his quarters --he went there ---I could hear him." She stood and collected herself. "Let's keep this quiet for now ---don't bring anyone with you--yet." She took a deep breath. "I don't understand --but --something is wrong ---something is terribly wrong."
"Yes, Captain." He would handle this however she wanted -- for now. "Shall I bring him to the brig?"
"No ---maybe sickbay." She tightened her robe around her. "Keep him in his quarters ---I'll contact you."
"Yes Captain.--now you must see the doctor."
"Yes." She tapped her comm. badge "Janeway to Sickbay."
"Doctor here Captain, what can I do for you at this hour?"
"Are you alone, doctor? Any patients in sickbay?"
"Why, yes I have Ensign Roberts here."
"Is it serious? Will you be releasing him soon?"
"I'm just finishing up here. He will be leaving in a few minutes ---then I will be alone." It was 0230 and he thought this was a strange conversation, but he continued. "What can I do for you, Captain?"
"Please let me know when you are alone. Janeway out."
"I'll wait with you." Tuvok watched her carefully, surprised when she didn't object.
"Computer located Commander Chakotay." She inquired in a voice so calm it frightened Tuvok.
"COMMANDED CHOKATAY IS IN HIS QUARTERS."
"Computer--his current condition?"
"THE COMMANDER IS ASLEEP."
"Yes, I thought so." She turned to Tuvok. "As soon as I leave, go there and secure his quarters---I will contact you.
"Sickbay to Captain Janeway."
"Captain, I am alone in sickbay."
"Thank you--I'll be right there." She tapped her comm. badge again. "Janeway to transporter room one."
"Transporter room one--Captain."
"Please transport me to sickbay. Janeway out." She had barely finished when she shimmered out of Tuvok's sight.
The Captain materialized in sickbay only moments later. The doctor was waiting, but not prepared for what he saw.
"Captain, what brings...... Captain what happened?" He reached out for her, guiding her to a biobed. "Who did this?" He watched her drain all emotion from her face, as she formulated her answer.
"Doctor, I was raped." She spoke calmly, wincing as she lifted herself onto the biobed.
"Let me help you." He eased her down onto the bed and was surprised she allowed him to. "I'll be right back." He came back and erected a privacy screen around her bed. He raised the stirrups from the side of the bed and lifted her feet into them. "Captain, I will be taking some necessary samples and cleaning you up ---Let me know if this is too painful."
She tried to focus her mind elsewhere without much success. Her hands gripped the sides of the table and she bit her lip as the doctor proceeded with his examination. She endured as long as she could before a painful cry escaped.
"Sorry, Captain.---this is a little worse than I expected." He reached for a hypospray. "I'm going to administer some local anesthesia--it will help." He continued to talk as he worked; she tried to focus. "There are several small tears the vaginal wall, I'll repair them now, then I'll see to you other injuries." He fell silent for a time while he finished these repairs, lowering the stirrups and proceeding to inspect her other injuries. "Captain, who did this?" He was shaking his head in disgust, as he regenerated the damaged tissue of her breasts. "You put up quite a fight---you must have seen him."
"I know who--doctor." She steadied herself, a tear rolling down her face. "I don't understand ---why."
"Perhaps, I can help---maybe he will explain. Who did this?" He spoke quietly as he gently continued repairing her bruised and battered body.
"Doctor --you have to ---there must be an explanation." She breathed deeply. "Has anything strange happened ---has anyone done anything totally unlike themselves --anything at all, that you know about?"
"No --not that I recall." He considered this for a minute. "Captain, tell me who we're talking about and maybe I can help."
She turned to face him. "Chakotay --it was Chakotay." The tears freely flowing down her cheeks.
He stopped working, searching her eyes and knew she truly believed what she said--he couldn't. He knew how the Commander felt about her, he would never hurt her. He could not believe Chakotay was capable of doing this to her.
"Are you sure--was it dark--maybe you..."
"Doctor, I spoke with him ---I know who it was." She was angry for a minute. "Gods don't you think I want to be wrong ---He's my First Officer, my most trusted companion---my best friend-god I wish I was wrong." She pounded the side of the bed, startling the doctor. "When we are finished, Tuvok will bring him down here --you will see for yourself."
"What happened? I mean--I know the outcome--what happened before?"
"Oh is this the 'Did she ask for this? --defense?" Anger flared
in her eyes. "Thinking that I've teased him enough over the years
to justify this-- are you?"
"Captain." He jumped back from her in shock. "I think nothing of the sort -- no matter what you did or didn't do -nothing would excuse this." He calmed down and came closer. "I only thought if we knew what he said--how he acted--before he did this--it might give us a clue to the cause of this behavior."
"I'm sorry, doctor ---maybe I have a little guilt of my own. I know this is not like him --- I just don't know what is wrong."
"Captain, you are the victim here --you have no guilt. I've finished here." He helped her sit up. "You may experience some soreness -- internally you will take a few weeks to completely heal. Your appearance is back to normal --no one would suspect anything happened. You can go back to your quarters-- I want you to rest, I'll give you something." He filled a hypospray and injected her. "It will take about twenty minutes to take effect --we will talk in the morning -- you will not be reporting for duty tomorrow."
"OK, doctor." She tapped her badge. "Janeway to Tuvok."
"Give me five minutes, than bring the Commander to sickbay."
"Aye, Captain.---shall I return him here afterwards?"
"Yes--I think that would be best---I'll speak with you in the morning ---Janeway out." She slid off the bed. "Thank you doctor, I'll speak with you in the morning as well." She tapped the badge again. "Janeway to transporter room one--please return me to my quarters, now"
She closed her eyes as she shimmered and disappeared and opened them to find herself in her own quarters. She took a shower and changed, getting into bed just as the sedative was taking effect. She would sleep ---she had no choice.
The Captain had been gone only a minute when Tuvok and Chakotay appeared. It took only one glance to know this was indeed the other person involved. The Captain had inflicted a fair amount of damage. He was bruised and scratched, there were deep gouge marks down his back and several puncture wounds where she had actually drawn blood with her teeth. He appeared dazed and unsure of the circumstances.
"Commander, please take a seat on the biobed." The doctor coldly directed him--he didn't respond.
"Commander, this way." Tuvok put his hand on his shoulder to guide him. "Doctor he is disorientated and slightly unresponsive. He has been this way since I woke him up about half an hour ago."
"Yes-well---Commander I need to treat your wounds." He saw some recognition in those dark eyes.
"What happened?" Chakotay was looking at his arms, covered in crusted blood from numerous scratches.
"We were hoping you could tell us, Commander." Tuvok studied him. "Can you in fact tell us how you were injured?"
Chakotay searched his mind for an explanation, while the doctor treated his wounds. Although, she was surly no physical match for him, the Captain had held her own for a while, if these injuries were any indication. There were no serious injuries, but it was going to take some time to regenerate all the damaged tissue.
"Tuvok, what the hell are you keeping from me?' He was beginning to sound more like himself.
"Commander, If you could just tell me what you remember about yesterday." Tuvok remained calm and seemly unflustered.
"OK, It was just a normal day, eight hours on the bridge which were uneventful. I had dinner with the Captain and we went to Sandrine's for a drink and a game of pool. We went back to her quarters for a night cap and ..... I don't remember going home, but that's where you woke me." He looked from one to the other. "That's it."
"Thank you, Commander---when the doctor is finished we will return to your quarters."
"Tuvok what is going on?" He was becoming very unnerved by the Vulcan's calm. "Why are you staying with me---Tuvok what happened?" Then a thought occurred to him. "The Captain--did something happen to the Captain?" He looked at both men and when no one responded he jumped off the table at Tuvok. "Is Kathryn OK? Tuvok---where is she?"
"The Captain is in her quarters, I spoke to her just before we came here."
"Tuvok the truth!" He demanded standing directly in the Security Chief's face.
"Commander, sit back down." The doctor touched his shoulder. "She is fine, I saw her myself."
"Why did you see her? Did something like this happen to her?" He raised his now healed arm.
"She had some injuries--she is alright now." He continued with his work. "That's why it is important for you to tell us anything you remember."
"I want to see her." He leveled a glare at Tuvok.
"I'm afraid that's impossible. She has taken something to help her sleep." The doctor responded. "And I might advise you to do the same. I'm sure everything will be clearer in the morning."
"Fine ---first thing in the morning I will see her."
"As you wish, Commander."
"I'm finished here, Commander." The doctor gave him a sedative with out asking.
"What the hell was that?"
"Something to make you sleep. It will take effect in about twenty minutes. You need your rest." He turned to the Vulcan. "We are finished here."
Tuvok called for a transport and they vanished from sickbay. Once the Commander was safely asleep, Tuvok placed his quarters on lock down, disabling the Commander's computer authorization codes and opened a link to his own quarters as a precaution, then retired for what remained of the night. Alpha shift would be starting in under three hours---someone would need to command the ship.
Tuvok called a meeting of senior staff at the beginning of alpha shift. He explained that both the Captain and the Commander had been medically removed from duty and that he himself would probably be spending a great deal of time off the bridge. Mr. Paris was to have the bridge and Lieutenant Torres would handle tactical. In the event of an emergency he was to be contacted immediately for instructions. He allowed no questions and took his leave of them, almost immediately following the meeting.
Tuvok entered sickbay; the Doctor treating Ensign Roberts, paused and motioned him into the office.
"Ensign, you are free to go, but relieved of duty for today, please return to you quarters and I'll see you in the morning." The Ensign nodded. "Oh and Ensign, do try to be more careful."
"Mr. Tuvok." The doctor joined him in the office. "I have the..."
"Doctor, wasn't that Ensign Roberts?"
"Did you not treat him last night?" The doctor nodded. "May I ask why and why it is necessary to treat him again so soon."
"Well, last night he fell over a chair and I treated him for bruises and a nasty cut on the head. And this morning he was found in the corridor outside his quarters, he had apparently fallen, hit his head and sprained his wrist."
"Indeed, do you find that a little strange--two such accidents in such a short time? Is Ensign Roberts normally accident prone?"
"No he's not---I suppose it's a bit unusual--do you suspect something else?"
"I don't know. It is however unusual." The security officer turned his gaze form the window to the doctor. You have results, doctor?"
"Oh yes---just as she said, the DNA test prove that the Captain was indeed raped by Commander Chakotay. The semen as well as the tissue samples I removed from under her nails matches his exactly and conversely the tissue from his nails matches hers."
"Yes that was to be expected." He got up. "Thank you doctor."
"What do we do now? The Commander doesn't seem to know what happened."
“Curious, but I also believe him to be telling the truth---as well as he knows it." He contemplated this for a moment. "I will be speaking to the Captain and looking into Ensign Roberts injuries. Please let me know if you treat any other unusual cases."
"Yes, I will. Please let the Captain know I wish to see her today."
Tuvok instructed Ensign Nolan to make some inquiries into the circumstances of Roberts' recent accidents, checked on the status of the Commander and reported to the Captain's quarters.
"Come in." The Captain called from her seat on the couch. She had showered and dressed, knowing Tuvok would be uncomfortable otherwise.
"Captain, how are you this morning?"
"OK Tuvok, please come and sit down. May I get you something?" She was drinking coffee --her fourth--maybe fifth in the last hour.
"No thank you." He sat in the chair across from her. "The doctor wished me to convey that he would like to see you sometime today."
"Yes, I was sure he would. Did he give you the results?"
"Yes and they were just as you said they would be."
"I see." She took a sip of her coffee. "How is the--Chakotay?"
"The doctor treated his injuries--physically he is fine."
"Otherwise?" She knew there was more--she wasn't sure she wanted to know.
"He claims to have no recollection of what happened to either of you."
"Does he know---did you tell him what happened?"
"No, the doctor and I thought it best to see if he could recall anything and when he couldn't he became so agitated at----when he thought you were possibly injured as well, that we sedated him."
"I see--and now?"
"He is in his quarters--demanding answers and demanding to see you. He believes the doctor and I lied when we said you would be alright and were sleeping."
"Do you believe him?" She was so calm and in control it was unnatural, even for Janeway.
"I believe he has told us the truth as he knows it, but Captain we still do not have an explanation."
"Not at this time, but I found it curious that the doctor was treating Ensign Roberts this morning."
"Wasn't Roberts in sickbay when I called last night?"
"Yes and this was a second accidental --unwitnessed injury. I am looking into it--it may be nothing."
"Keep me advised." Tuvok nodded. "Now I suppose I need to go see the Commander."
"I don't think that advisable---what would you say to him?"
"I will simply show him I'm OK and say the matter is under investigation. You will be only a comm. link away. I'll be fine."
"I have removed his comm. badge and command codes as well as confining him to quarters--how will you explain that?"
"Security." She rose and put her cup in the recycler. "I think I should do this now." *Before I lose my nerve.* She thought.
"I'd advise against it --for your own sake, but if you insist---I will be outside the door."
"Thank you, Tuvok--let's go"
"Doctor to Tuvok."
"Tuvok here, doctor."
"Mr. Tuvok, can you come to sickbay? I found something unusual."
"Doctor, is this in reference to our current investigation?" The Captain stepped in.
"Yes, Captain, perhaps you both should come down here."
"On our way---Janeway out."
Janeway and Tuvok arrived in sickbay to find the doctor studying some test results on his console. They joined him in his office.
"Doctor, what have you found?" The Captain moved behind him to view the screen.
"I'm not sure, but something in the Commander's blood chemistry has been altered." He indicated the different patterns on the screen.
"Altered? As in intentionally?"
"Well maybe, or maybe it's a reaction to something he came in contact with." He tapped the padd and the screen changed. "This is Ensign Roberts' --he also shows a change. I became suspicious after our talk this morning and looked into it. I don't know what caused this or if it is having the effects we are seeing, but it's worth pursuing."
"Yes I agree---see what else you can turn up."
As they continued to study
the screen, comparing the chemical changes, a small voice reached them
from the other room.
"Computer activate the Emergency medical hologram." Naomi was very excited--or nervous.
"Naomi, I am active---what can I do for you?" The doctor walked out of the office.
"Doctor, I---I hurt myself." Naomi looked up, tears welling up in her eyes.
"Naomi, what happened ---How did you do this?" He was checking the bruises on her face, while Naomi held her right wrist with her left hand. "Wait Naomi---Captain could you come out here?"
"Yes Doctor--Oh Naomi --what happened?" She knelt next to the girl.
"I fell ---that's all." Naomi started to cry. "Can you fix it, Doctor?"
"Yes, yes of course Naomi." He lifted her onto the biobed, smiling. "You know I can fix almost everything--let me see." The Doctor examined her face then reached for her right wrist, running the tricorder over her as he went. He looked up at the Captain with concerned eyes. "Well young lady, I'm going to have to get an osteo regenerator for the wrist, why don't you chat with the Captain while I do?" He looked to the Captain again and nodded before leaving.
"How in the world did you do this?" The Captain leaned on the biobed.
"I fell---I was running---like mommy said never to do and ..." Naomi looked away from the Captain. "I shouldn't run ---it's bad and when you're bad ---well --I fell and ---I hit my face and arm." Naomi sniffled, smiling up at the Captain.
"I see, well I guess you shouldn't run around the ship---it can be fun though." She smiled at Naomi. "Where is your mother?"
"She is in our cabin---she's sleeping." Naomi looked scared. "Is it OK that I came here?"
"Yes, certainly it is. This is exactly where you should go if you're hurt." Kathryn looked around, Tuvok and the doctor were both in the office. "Will you be OK if I go and see what's keeping the doctor?"
"Sure, I'll be good---honest."
"I'm sure you will---I'll be right back." The Captain walked into the doctor’s office. "What's going on?"
"I don't like the look of this, Captain---Naomi would have to had run straight into a bulkhead full force to do what she did--a simple fall--well maybe an outside chance, but not likely."
"What are you saying Doctor? Someone deliberately hurt that child?!" She was appalled by the prospect. "Who would do such a thing? No one on this ship would hurt her!"
"Normally, I would concur, but Captain." Tuvok hesitated for only a moment. "Yesterday, I would have said the same about you."
"I see---so you think this is another case of --what ever this is?"
"It is possible. I have checked with the computer--Ensign Wildman is sleeping in her quarters--another similarity."
"Oh god---you don't think Samantha..."
"Captain again I remind you of your own case."
"And Wildman, Roberts and Chakotay were all on the away team to Celiena
Prime." She considered it for only a minute longer. "Doctor,
you take care of Naomi, Tuvok make sure Roberts is confined to quarters
and have Samantha brought here, I'm going to call up all sensor logs
from Celiena Prime.
The Captain was sifting through
information on the doctor's terminal, looking for---what? Anything-anything
unusual in the atmosphere of Celiena Prime that could cause these changes.
Naomi was all mended and came in to say good bye to the Captain, when Tuvok
and Ensign Wildman entered sickbay.
"Don't tell mommy, please Captain." Naomi pleaded hiding behind the Captain.
"It's OK Naomi--accidents happen and you are OK now." Kathryn looked down at the child, who was truly frightened. "Naomi, want to tell me what really happened?"
"She didn't mean it ---I was bad--it wasn't her fault." Naomi looked up at the Captain with big frightened eyes. "You won't put her in the brig?---you won't --will you Captain?" Naomi was crying and pulling on the Captain's uniform. "Please, Captain--it was me--I was bad--she didn't..."
"Naomi." Kathryn knelt down and wrapped her arms around the child. "Shh-don't cry baby---it's going to be alright." As she held Naomi she watched the scene unfolding in sickbay. Tuvok and the doctor were talking with a very confused Ensign, who wanted nothing more than to know where her child was.
Samantha was disorientated, confused and very frightened--not for herself, but for what she thought they weren't telling her about Naomi. The doctor took some blood samples, which Sam allowed, on the condition she could see Naomi. Sam waited on the biobed with Tuvok while the doctor came to the office.
"Naomi, your mother wants to see you." He explained as he came in and was surprised when Naomi stepped behind the Captain, who now stood facing him. "Captain?"
"Doctor, what does Sam remember?"
"Nothing, she is however very concerned about Naomi---she keeps --oh I see." He looked from the Captain to Naomi and back. "Well what should we do now?"
"Naomi." Kathryn bent to her again. "Honey, I think mommy has a Medical problem---it has something to do with her last away mission and ---look here." She showed Naomi the screen. "I've been working on it --see?" Naomi nodded. "Mommy doesn't remember hurting you---she never meant to do it--it's this sickness---the doctor and I are gonna find out more and fix it. The doctor will explain to her that you need to stay with Uncle Nelix until she gets better---we'll explain later about your injuries. If I go with you, will you go see your mommy? No one is going to hurt you---the doctor and Mr. Vulcan and myself will be right there."
"OK, Captain." Naomi looked up solemnly and reached for Kathryn's hand.
"Doctor --explain this to Sam and we'll be right out."
"Yes, Captain." He left and they could see him explaining to Sam about the away mission and she nodded
"Ready?" Kathryn looked down and smiled.
"Yes, Captain." Naomi led the way out of the office but didn't release Kathryn's hand.
As Kathryn watched Samantha hug Naomi, she remembered Chakotay was waiting for her. He must be crazy by now. She almost cried herself as Sam tearfully explained to Naomi that she needed to stay with Nelix until the doctor found out what happened on their away mission. Sam, like Chakotay had no idea what she had done. Finally a security officer came and returned Sam to her quarters.
"Janeway to Nelix"
"Yes Captain---what can I do for you?"
"Nelix, Please meet me in sickbay--I need a favor. Janeway out."
Nelix arrived on the run and the Captain quickly explained about Sam and the away mission. He was more than happy to keep Naomi as long as needed and the Captain was grateful.
"Doctor, you need to examine Sam's blood---if, as we suspect, she has the same chemical changes we must isolate it and find out what triggered this reaction---we need a cure." Tuvok, go to the bridge and make sure my ship is OK and I'll go speak to the Commander."
"Captain, I must advise against that. You don't know how or when this will effect him again. He may be hostile."
"I'll be fine---we have kept him waiting without explanation all day---I expect he will be hostile, on that count alone."
"At least let me accompany you."
"No, I need to do this alone and ---he deserves to hear this from me." She took a deep breath. "You have security stationed outside his quarters?"
"Yes I do."
"Than I will be fine." She smiled for her own benefit, as well as his and left sickbay.
She stood outside his quarters. The security detail pretended this was normal procedure and tried not to stare at their pacing Captain. Finally, she straightened up and rang the chime.
"Come." He ordered gruffly.
"Commander." She spoke in an official tone as she entered.
"Captain." His questions held in his eyes until the doors swished closed. "Kathryn, are you OK?"--- they said you were hurt."
"I'm OK Chakotay. How are you?" She advanced into the room, but stood stiffly.
"I'm OK---I have no idea what's going on." He ran his fingers through his hair. "What happened?" Why am I locked in here?"
"Please sit down." She gestured for him to sit on the couch; she took the chair across from him. "As far as we have been able to determine the away team -from the Celiena Prime mission--is suffering a chemical imbalance of some kind. We are trying to isolate it so we can correct it. You, Samantha and Ensign Roberts have been effected and confined to quarters until we solve this."
"Effected---How?" He looked more confused than ever.
"Apparently, something yesterday or last night set off a violent reaction in all three of you---we don't know what caused it yet--so it may happen again." She tried to relax.
"What do you mean 'violent reaction'? Did we get sick? Is that why I can't remember? Can they?"
"No, Ensigns Wildman and Roberts are no different in that regard---they have suffered a memory loss and the sleepy disorientation you experienced last night in sickbay. Ensign Roberts has had two episodes that we know of ---you and Sam only one."
"What kind of episodes?" He was growing impatient.
"Ensign Roberts has had what he thinks must be accidents and wound up in sickbay---we believe it to be self-inflicted injuries. Sam was---overly forceful with Naomi---she's OK now though."
"God--Sam hurt Naomi?---I can't believe it ---she would never." He was clearly as shocked as everyone else and temporally off the tract. "She never would do that in her right mind---something is very wrong."
"Yes, I agree and so we are working on finding the cause and fixing it." She took his moment of thought to try to take her leave. "So I'm sorry, but you must stay here for now and I must get back to work." She got up and quickly crossed to the door. Just before she reached the mechanism, which would have triggered the opening, he touched her arm and she jumped back, pulling herself free.
"Kathryn?" He studied her reaction and she tried to school her expression. "You didn't tell me what I did. I'm the reason you were in sickbay---aren't I?" His eyes pleaded for the truth she wasn't prepared to discuss just yet.
"Kathryn, please---did I hurt you?"
"Yes." She whispered closing her eyes trying not to relive last night--not to cry--not to let him see her pain. "Chakotay, please---let me go. I promise, I'll come back later and explain it all to you. Right now we have to find out how to fix this." She opened her eyes and found herself staring into deep brown puddles of pain---she looked away.
He backed away from her, nodding his head, not trusting himself to speak. He walked across to the view port and stood with his back to her. She watched him for a minute then turned and left.
Once outside his quarters she took the few steps to her own and entered, taking a minute to compose herself in the privacy of her own space. Then she went into action. She contacted Tuvok and was updated on the ships operations and security issues--neither Sam nor Ensign Roberts had had any more trouble and so far Chakotay hadn't either. She contacted the doctor to be updated on his progress. So far he had found nothing that could account for their behavior--or rather the sudden on set of it. She informed him that Tuvok had teams tracking the action of all three to find common ground--a place--a smell--a meal-anything that could have set it off. She contacted B'Elanna and set off to meet her in engineering to look for any external causes.
B'Elanna had come up with two possible components of Celiena Prime’s atmosphere, which were most likely to have caused the reaction. Once isolated she sent the data to sickbay and the doctor was able to identify the offending agent. Security had found that all three had eaten food that day that had common ingredients and these were also being tested. All possible combinations were being tested in an effort to solve the problem.
It was 2100 hours when the doctor sent the Captain to get some rest. She walked slowly down the corridor to her quarters, fully intending to follow his orders ---seeing the security detail changed her mind. She passed her own door and rang his chime. She received no answer, deciding he was sleeping, she turned in.
She changed, tried reading, tried sleeping and wound up starting out the view port and finally at 0130 she went to his quarters again. The Security team was well trained and if they thought it odd the Captain would be here at 0130 ---they didn't let it show. She keyed in her override and entered, not wanting to wake him if he indeed was sleeping. In the darkness, she stood allowing her eyes to grow accustom and then she saw him. He was seated on the floor under the view port his back to her. She knew he was awake, yet he didn't turn. She approached quietly, staying out of reach -she knelt down beside him.
"Chakotay." She spoke softly, not sure what she would find. "Chakotay."
He looked up at her, his eyes swollen and red, his expression grim. His eyes filled with self-loathing, he couldn't hold her gaze---he turned away. Silently they sat--three feet apart--under the stars of the delta quadrant--alone --together.
"Chakotay, we found several possible causes---the doctor is still working on it."
"Kathryn, --I'm sorry." It was a husky whisper, he didn't look at her.
"I know." They sat in silence for a while before she spoke again. "It wasn't your fault---there is a medical problem--a chemical imbalance--you..."
"Kathryn--I did it --no matter why or under what influence--I thought about it all day."
"No--he was not you--You had no control over his actions."
"Trying to convince me or yourself?" He looked at her with such anger; she involuntarily stiffened. "See---it's me you're afraid of---gods---you're afraid of me." He lowered his head.
"I'm alright--you can't blame yourself--you didn't.."
"Yes Kathryn, It was me---I was there. I wish it wasn't and you
probably do too but..." He turned to look at her now, started to move a
little closer until she stiffened again. "What? Kathryn, what
didn't I do? Are you going to tell me? Should I ask Tuvok---the
doctor?" He fell silent again, listening to her try to control herself---hearing
all the things he imagined she wouldn't say. He calmed himself again
and spoke softly. "Kathryn, what happened to you?"
They fell silent again and he could see she was trying to bring herself to tell him what he wanted to know, so he waited.
"I was raped." Her voice was stronger than she thought it would be, she stared at the floor unable to hold back the tears any longer. Silently they fell to the carpet.
"Noooo." It was a deep painful cry, a guttural sound. He looked at her for a moment and tried to speak. "Kat--Ka..." He dragged himself up and left the room.
He was in the bathroom ---she could hear the retching, it seemed to go on forever. He would get quiet, then it would start all over again. Time passed, she wasn't sure how much, she tried the door--it opened. He sat on the floor, his forehead resting against the seat, the color drained from his face. He didn't look up as she entered; he couldn't face her. She dampened a washcloth, putting it in his hand she reached out to him gently running her hand down his back. A shaky hand took the cool cloth, he didn't move, didn't look at her.
"Chakotay." She rubbed his back and spoke softly. "Come-on--you should rest." She gently prodded him. "Please get up--I can't lift you--Chakotay?"
"No--I suppose --I'm too heavy--too big--bigger-- stronger---ohmygod." He started to retch again, his whole body convulsing, at the horror of what he had done.
She stood waiting for the heaving to subside, never removing her hand from his back. As he calmed she tugged on his shoulders forcing him to sit up, she rinsed the wash cloth and wiped his face.
"Kathryn." It was a painful whisper.
"Shhh--later--now let's get you to bed."
He got up at her insistence, but looking down at her--made their size difference agonizingly clear. He always knew she was a small woman, but somehow her larger than life Command presence had always disguised her frailties. There were tears in her eyes and he could see her struggle to overcome the urge to back away from him---his eyes clouded again.
"Doctor to Captain Janeway." Her comm. badge sounded.
"Janeway here." Her tears could be heard clearly in her voice.
"Captain--are you alright? You don't sound--well."
"Fine doctor--have you found something?"
"Yes, I have isolated the agents causing the reaction---the atmosphere had heavy concentrations of neurogetric gas which accumulated in the blood stream and leola root was the catalyst which produced the chemical reaction. I am working on an agent to counteract the effects until the gas dissipates, which as far as I can tell is happening now and should take a few more weeks."
"Thank You, doctor."
"All in a day's work--oh my --I'm sorry -it's 0330--I didn't realize--sorry if I woke you."
"No --I wasn't sleeping--doctor speaking of sleeping --could you send a sedative to Commander Chakotay's replicator?---he needs to get some rest."
"Will he use it?"
"Yes, doctor---I'm here with him now--I'll make sure he uses it."
"Captain---will you be staying there much longer?--You should be getting rest yourself."
"I'll be heading to my own quarters as soon as he's settled--perhaps you should send me something also-- something light-doctor --I need to be awake and clear in a few hours."
"Captain, I believe you need your rest more ---Mr. Tuvok will handle things on.."
"Yes, Captain." He would argue with her another time, from the sound of her voice--now was clearly not the time.
"And doctor---good work. Janeway out." She cut the comm. link, going to the replicator before checking on Chakotay in the bedroom.
He sat on the edge of the bed, his head hanging down, his hands gripping the edge of the mattress. He was pale and she could see him tremble. He looked up as she came in.
"I have a sedative for you--no protests--just lie down." She covered him as he lay back, then touched the hypospray to his neck. "You'll sleep soon."
"Kathryn." His eyes were pleading with her.
"Shh-we'll talk tomorrow--close your eyes." She watched him as he drifted off to sleep, then returned to her own quarters.
She took the hypospray from the replicator--but decided not to use it. She went to bed but tossed and turned unable to get comfortable. She had been worried about Chakotay, Naomi, Ensigns Wildman and Roberts.----She had been so worried about them she had little time to worry about herself. Now in the silence of her room, in the lonely darkness she cried--she cried for all of them---she cried for herself---she cried until she fell asleep.
"CAPTAIN THE TIME IS 0500. CAPTAIN THE TIME IS 0500." The computer sounded
"Computer reset twenty four hours." She rolled over opening her eyes. "Computer light 1/2"
She got up and showered, dressed in her uniform and prepared for her normal work day. She was determined it would be as normal as possible. She went to the mess hall for breakfast--which she didn't want--and to check on Naomi--who seemed to be doing well. She was on the bridge half an hour before the start of alpha shift. As they arrived she greeted each officer and noticed no difference in any of their reactions---apparently this matter was handled discreetly. After everyone was settled she headed for her ready room.
"Mr. Paris, you have the bridge---Mr. Tuvok may I speak to you in my ready room?" She heard a chorus of 'Aye Captains' as she entered the ready room. She replicated coffee and sat behind her desk.
"Captain, the doctor tells me he informed you of his progress."
"Yes, and I assume you are well informed." He nodded and she knew he was aware not only of the doctor’s progress but of her whereabouts when they had spoken.
"I was however under the impression you would be resting."
"Yes, well I found that difficult." She paused watching him. "Tuvok, I want to commend you on the handling of this matter--it seems to be quiet an discreet."
"As it should be, Captain."
"Yes--this morning I would like you to personally check on the Commander and I believe we should return his comm. badge to him. He and the others will still need to remain confined, until the doctor has an antidote, but I believe we can restore some of his command codes so that he has some work to occupy his time."
"Agreed, Captain---I will see to it."
"Thank you Mr. Tuvok---dismissed." She turned to her console, even then knowing she would accomplish little, Tuvok left her ready room.
Tuvok left the bridge, checked in with security details at the Ensign's quarters and made his way to the senior officer quarters. He rang the Commander's chime.
"Come." Chakotay called from his position on the couch.
"Good morning, Commander." Tuvok took in his surroundings---the darkened quarters and the unshaven and disheveled look of the Commander.
"Tuvok---what can I do for you?" Chakotay spoke without much interest.
"Commander, I have restored your comm. link as well as your command codes, you will however, need to remain here until the doctor clears you for duty."
"Commander is there anything else I can do for you?"
"No I don't.." He stopped and looked up showing, for the first time some interest. "Yea there is one thing you can do for me. I want the reports---yours, the doctor's, the Captain's--if she wrote one."
"Commander, I'm not sure that is advisable."
"Look-- Tuvok--the Captain told me what happened---I know what I did--What I need now is the details." He stood up and came across the room. "I need to know exactly what happened."
"I think it would be better to put this behind you and..."
"Damn it!---I can't just forget this and I can't begin to deal with it until I know exactly what happened."
"Commander, you can't blame yourself for circumstances beyond your control."
“But I do and that is beyond my control also---I need those reports." He walked back around the table running his fingers through his hair. "Look, you can get the reports for me or I can ask Kathryn for the details----which do you think is better?"
"If you truly feel it necessary---I will get the reports for you." He turned to the door. "I will bring them to you---they are not available over the main computer."
Tuvok was, as always, true to his word, within half an hour he returned. He brought with him his own reports on all the recent incidents, the doctors reports for each, including a detail report on the Captain's injuries and the doctors conclusions and the DNA test results.
"Try to remember, you were influenced by a chemical imbalance in your brain---the actions described in these reports were not under taken of your own free will."
"You keep saying that---but it doesn't change the fact that I did this." Chakotay sat down at his desk with the reports.
"I will leave you to this, if I can be of assistance......." He walked to the door, turning back before it opened "Commander, it may help you to know, she never accepted that you were to blame---even while she was giving me your name---she held fast that it was not within your capabilities to do this."
"Thanks, Tuvok---I wish I had her faith in me." Shaking his head he said almost to himself. "How can she think of me? How can she even look at me?"
"She is a strong woman--she will get through this---but." He turned to the door and then back. "It is not my place to say this---but she loves you---Although, I myself do not experience these emotions--I do recognize and understand them in humans---how you handle this will have a great impact on her future-as well as your own. And Chakotay--for what it is worth---I believe you must help each other through this."
Tuvok left him to read the reports. He read the others first--Ensign Roberts, for some reason had chosen himself as the victim--his injuries were minor. Naomi --poor child had suffered more--and Sam was as yet unaware of what she did. They were going to need help with this. Having finished those, he replicated some tea and chose Tuvok's first.
As always it was concise and precise--no gory details--just facts. He looked over the DNA reports--nothing there he didn't expect. He tried to steel himself for the doctors reports. The physical description of the Captain's injuries and treatment were detailed and gruesome, as was the description of his own injuries. He stopped and tried to picture what kind of force it took to inflict such damage and it made his stomach turn. Reading of his own treatment gave him a very clear idea of just how hard she had fought to stop him. How could he have ever done this? What compelled a man to use such force on any woman---how could HE have done this to HER---the one woman he loved more than life."
He was alone all day--a full day to dwell on what he had done and contemplate what he could only envision as a cold, lonely future---without even her friendship. Right now she was making an effort to absolve him of the blame, but he assumed she was in shock and when she finally came to terms with this, things would be different. The more time he thought about it the less he even wanted to go on living. Oh --he would never take his own life--but maybe --not caring to live like that would find him taking chances--risks and maybe that way..... This was getting him no where. He was feeling sorry for himself--like he was a victim. He was not the victim here--he should be thinking about Kathryn---but that was too painful.
"Kathryn--god Kathryn--I'm so sorry." He spoke the words out loud to the empty room. Falling to his knees he broke down again.
It was a long day and an even longer night. Tuvok had stopped by --he tried to be a comfort --in his own Vulcan way. He brought dinner from Nelix and word that the doctor thought that he would have a treatment by tomorrow. The doctor had promised not to deactivate until this was taken care of. Tuvok had also told him the doctor had ordered Kathryn to rest and sedated her do she should sleep through to morning and wouldn't be coming to see him.
He tried sleeping to no avail--he read for a while--even reviewed sensor logs and engineering reports.
It was 0300 and he sat staring out at the warping stars. He heard a noise through the wall and wondered if she were awake. Then she screamed, and screamed again--He could hear her crying and thrashing in her bed. He tapped his badge and called her--there was no answer. He assumed they had deactivated or rerouted her calls. She quieted down and he made some tea.
He dozed off on the couch and was again startled into awareness by her screams. He heard her sob and his heart broke. She was crying again and when the screams started yet again he left his quarters only to be stopped by security.
"Commander, I'm sorry but I can't let you leave."
"I know Lieutenant--but." He looked toward Kathryn's door.
"Sorry, Sir." The lieutenant blocked his path.
Chakotay nodded and stepped back into his own rooms. She screamed again and he hit his badge.
"Chakotay to Tuvok."
"Commander--it is 0415. Is there a problem?"
"Tuvok--it's Kathryn--she's screaming and they won't let me go to her."
"Just a dream--I'm sure--but I will check on her."
"Thanks Tuvok---let me know. Chakotay out."
He sat in darkness and waited, he waited for an eternity--so it seemed--then the door chimed.
"Come." He called without turning around. The door opened and he waited until it slid closed. "Tuvok---is she OK?"
"It's not Tuvok." Her voice was quiet. "I'm OK---How are you?"
"Kathryn—gods." He turned and started toward her---stopping suddenly at the sight of her small and fragile, in a peach satin bathrobe. "I heard you--I --I was worried."
"It was only a dream."
"A nightmare--you mean" He turned away again. "One I caused."
"No---one that was caused by a chemical imbalance." She came up behind him and placed her hand on his arm to turn him toward her. "You were not responsible."
"I can't help feeling responsible." He gazed down into her eyes. "I'm so sorry."
"I know." She took both his hands and brought him over to the couch. Seated beside him she studied his face. "I need your help --We need each other. We can overcome this, if we do it together. First, you have to try to accept that this wasn't your fault."
"I'm not sure I can." He searched her eyes---if anywhere he would see through this act of kindness it would be in her eyes--he saw sincerity--compassion, forgiveness and ---love. He knew he could do this because she needed him to. "I'll try."
"That's all I ask." She watched him for a moment. "Well---I will ask one other thing--if I can."
"Kathryn?" He couldn't believe she meant this.
"Please, Chakotay ---please just hold me." She held out her arms to him.
Tentatively he put his arms around her drawing her slightly closer. She slid the rest of the way, wrapping her arms around him and resting her head on his chest. Slowly he relaxed, if she could do this for him---he would do it for her. She listened to his heart thumping in his chest, she knew this was difficult for him--it was for her--but they could --they would do this together.
Gradually, his heartbeat returned to normal and eventually the sound of it lulled her to sleep. He could feel her relax and so did himself, when her breathing became slow and even he knew she was sleeping--he slept also.
The following day the doctors 'cure' was available and only a week later all of the away team was free and clear of the neurogetric gas. Samantha had taken the news of Naomi's injuries very hard at first, but with a lot of help from her friends she would be alright. Naomi was holding up, although the Captain was still concerned about her. Time was their best friend now and they would take it one day at a time.
They were having dinner in the mess hall, the first time Chakotay had eaten here since the incident. Very few people knew exactly what happened --although most knew it was serious, Kathryn had gotten up for a second cup of coffee and turned back toward the table to see Naomi talking with Chakotay---she moved in their direction slowly so she was sure not to interrupt. They were talking quietly and she could see Samantha standing just far enough from them also. The two women smiled at each other and moved closer together. They came within ear shot for the last part of the conversation.
"Naomi, it seems this sickness made us do things we wouldn't normally do." He paused and studied the child's face.
"Did you do something too?" She was desperate to understand what had happened and move on.
“Yes, I did." He stopped than continued in almost a whisper. "Naomi---I--I hurt the Captain."
“But you love the Captain!" Her eyes were big and round---then she covered her mouth. "I'm sorry---I'm not supposed to say that."
"It's OK, Naomi-----you're right--I do love the Captain. That's what you have to understand---this -this sickness caused us to hurt the people we love the most."
Sam shot a worried look at the Captain, who smiled in return and signaled her to join the conversation. Kathryn walked over and placed a hand on Chakotay's shoulder. Naomi looked up uncertainly.
"And Naomi, because we love them too--we need to understand that they had no control over what they did." Kathryn spoke softly to the wide-eyed child---she gave his shoulder a slight squeeze. "What happened hurt them just as much as it hurt us ---we all need to help each other past this."
"I think I see." She reached for her mother’s hand. "Don't worry mom ---I still love you."
"I love you too, baby." Samantha hugged her, then looked up to the Captain and Commander. "Thank you---I think sharing this is really gonna help." Sam took Naomi's hand and started to leave, but Naomi turned back.
"Do you?---Do you love him?" Sam froze, Chakotay held his breath and Kathryn just smiled at her.
"Yes, Naomi---Yes, I love him." Kathryn winked at the little girl who walked away giggling.
Chakotay let out his breath, as Kathryn took the seat next to him--still smiling. There weren't many people seated near them who could have overheard the conversation, but the one table definitely close enough held their Ops Officer, Helmsman and now grinning Chief Engineer. This would spread like wildfire.
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