She awoke with a start. She was shaky and frightened; she could feel her own blood pumping through her body.
“Is someone here?” She felt a presence in the room, but could not make anyone out by the starlight. “Computer lights.” She squinted and looked around the room. “Computer, who is in the Captain’s quarters?”
“CAPTAIN JANEWAY IS IN HER QUARTERS.”
“Computer are there any other life signs in these quarters?”
“Computer, has anyone other than the Captain been in these quarters in the last three hours?”
Still feeling unsure; she replicated a cup of coffee sat on the
couch, curling her feet up under her. She had definitely felt that
she was not alone when she woke up, even if the computer told her otherwise.
Something had frightened her and struggled to remember what it was. It
could have been a dream but it was more than that; it was physical.
The mind could trick you into a physical reaction to a dream, she knew,
but still there was something more. Something had touched her; she
was sure of it and yet no one was there. Unable to determine the source
of her fear or find any logical explanation; she recycled her cup and returned
“The evil is close at hand, turn and eliminate it.” The deep voice droned over and over. “The evil is close a hand, turn and eliminate it.”
She tossed in her sleep; the voice played over and over again in her mind. It wanted her to do something-- She couldn’t see it. She was running, searching, her heart pumped; her blood pounded in her ears. She had to find it – eliminate the evil—she didn’t understand.
“WHAT?!” She jerked up to a sitting position. Her eyes were open, her heart raced; sweat was visible on her skin even in the darkness.
“Kath?” He reached out to her, surprised when she yanked herself out of his grasp. “Hey, what’s wrong?” Sitting up he took hold of her arms, watching her blank stare turn slowly to recognition. “You OK?”
“Huh? Yeah.” She relaxed a bit and forced a smile. “Humm, must have been a dream.”
“Some dream—look at you.” He pulled her sweat soaked body closer. “What was it about? What frightened you like this?”
“I don’t know--- I can’t remember.” She tilted her head back to look at him. “But it wasn’t good…” Her voice trailed off as she rested her head against his chest.
“It’s over now—think you can go back to sleep?” He lay back on the bed, gently lowering her beside him.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” She snuggled close to him as they settled back
down. He drifted back to sleep quickly; she lay listening to his
even breathing, but sleep never returned for her.
He woke before the computer sounded her wake up call, but found himself alone in bed. She often got up before the call so that didn’t concern him; the quiet in the bathroom did. He listened as he fixed their breakfast. He could hear her in there moving around, the water was running, he knew she was all right, but she wasn’t singing; she usually sang in the shower. He chuckled as he went about his chore; how many rations would that bit of information get him. Any scrap of personal information about the Captain was still a hot property on the small ship. The fact that the Captain sang in the shower—sang badly in the shower—would be greeted with almost as much enthusiasm as how he happened to come by that information.
“Someone’s happy this morning.”
“Good morning.” He turned smiling at the sight of his captain wearing nothing but a matching set of bath towels. “Coffee?” As he handed it to her he noticed the dark circles under her eyes.
“Thanks.” She smiled as she grabbed her coffee and headed for the bedroom. “Any news from the doctor this morning on our little epidemic?”
Somehow a strange virus had passed through the transport buffers and a large section of the crew had been on sick leave. With so many crewmen ill, Chakotay had worked gamma shift for almost two weeks; last night was the first time he had slept here in all that time.
“Nothing this morning.” He followed her into the bedroom.
“Let’s hope the worst is over.” She watched him in the mirror as she brushed out her hair.
“Miss me?” He drew her back against him, breathing in the slightly sweet smell of her freshly washed hair.
“You know I did.” She leaned back enjoying his solid presence. “I don’t sleep well without you anymore.”
As she turned in his arms, he could see the truth reflected in those dark circles under her eyes. They had so little time in the past weeks and that was usually just before his shift, which made it very late for her. He hadn’t found it unusual that she was tired then, but now he feared it was more than just a little lost sleep.
“You look tired, Kath—sure you’re OK?”
“I’m fine – no alien virus. You know how many times Doc. has checked me over.” She stretched to brush their lips. “Just a little tired. I’ll be fine, now that you’re home.”
“Feel fine to me already.” He cupped her bottom, pulling her closer; giving her a proper kiss.
“Ummm missed you.” She mumbled against his lips; her towel slipping to the floor as she reached her arms around his neck.
“We’ll be late if….” He guided her backwards toward the bed.
“S’ok I’ll clear it with the captain.” She settled back on the bed drawing him down with her.
“She’s…” He nibbled her neck; hands stroking her breasts. “..gonna - be- mad.” He moved to capture a taut nipple in his teeth.
“Not if you do this right…..”
Her gentle sighs quickly turned to moans as his lips closed around a tightly knotted nipple, his hand stroking the soft muscled surface of her inner thigh. Instinctively, she spread her thighs, arching her back, as his mouth paid homage to one breast and then the other. Arousing her so swiftly, as only he could do.
Her hands tugged at his tee shirt, desperate for the feel of his skin against hers. She raised it and he pulled his arms free; his mouth releasing its hold on her breast allowing her to toss the shirt aside. Her hands ran down the smooth surface of his back, pushing at the band on his boxers, forcing them as far as she could reach, he kicked them off. Their mouths came together in hot wet kisses, tongues dueling; he swallowed her groan as the full length of their flesh pressed together.
Kathryn's hands traveled over him, stroking down his back to the top of his legs, across to his hips, up and back down again, wanting to touch all of him, to make him lose control. His rock hard member pushing against her, she tried to force her hands between their moving bodies to reach it. He moved slightly allowing her access and wrapped her small hand around the hard shaft, stroking it, swallowing his gasp as she rubbed the pre-cum around the tip with her thumb.
He pulled back from her, catching her hand; kissing the fingers as he raised up to see her. With light teasing touches, his fingers grazed her inner thigh drawing a line to her hip, across her lower belly, running across her chest squeezing her nipples softly, then further down her belly, across her short curls, caressing her, studying her, he leaned in kissing her deeply.
Moving down, his mouth caressed her soft skin until it found her breast and as he encircled the nipple, licking it, sucking it, nipping it her sighs again turned to moans. Her pelvis rocked against him, his hand traveling up and down her thighs, lightly brushing fingertips along the inside, across her inner lips once more, dipping a finger to her clitoris, swirling it around and back out again. The moans were getting louder and his tongue move lower, stopping to toy with her navel. His hands pressed open her thighs, she felt his hot breath blow across her mound.
Ahhhh." She reached her fingers into his hair trying to force him closer; he resisted. "Godd." She pushed her hips toward him, but he maintained his slower pace. His tongue lapping her juices, nipping, sucking on her lips, finally centering on her engorged bud; until she writhed beneath him. "Chakotay." Her husky voice pleaded. “Now pleassse.”
He positioned himself between her legs, barely gliding against her, watching her face. She opened her eyes locking them with his. She sucked in her breath as he entered her slowly, withdrew and entered a little deeper. Her fingernails gripped his shoulders, she locked her feet behind him drawing him deeper and cried out, bucking her hips as he thrust his full length into her. She tried to match the rhythm of his thrusts; her inner muscles gripped and released him, her body shaking as her orgasm overtook her. He thrust deeply against her convulsing body; crying out as he stiffened and spilled himself within her.
He collapsed on top of her and she made no effort to move him. Her hands stroked his back, her legs still wrapped around him. This was safe; this was where she wanted to be—needed to be.
“Did I do it right?” He chucked softly into her hair as he rolled them to their side, still locked together.
“Humm, you always do.” She smiled; her hand gently caressing the side of his face. “I don’t want to move, but..”
“I know. Tuvok will send security to find us!” He hugged her, then moved her away. “Come on, back into the shower for you—I’ll fix fresh coffee.”
Grudgingly, she got up and restarted her day.
As the day wore on, she became increasingly distracted. Although she made an effort, she couldn’t concentrate on the mundane departmental reports. She was edgy and restless, bored with the quiet sector of space they were passing through. Most of the crew had returned to duty, all systems were functioning normally, which left very little to keep the Captain’s mind occupied. She gave up and retired to her ready room about half way through her shift.
Replicating coffee, she passed up her desk and took a seat on the couch. There was a stack of padds on the coffee table that cried out for her attention, but she knew they held no critical information. She pushed them aside and rested her head on the back of the couch, closing her eyes for only a moment.
“The evil is close at hand, it must be eliminated.” The deep voice startled her.
“Who’s there?” She snapped her head up; quickly scanning the room. “Computer, identify all life signs in the ready room.”
“ONLY LIFE SIGNS IN THE READY ROOM AT THIS TIME BELONG TO CAPTAIN JANEWAY.”
“Have any other life signs been present in this room in the last fifteen minutes?”
She rested her head back again; she was beginning to feel the strains of a headache coming on.
Alpha shift had ended twenty minutes ago and the Captain was still inside the ready room. Chakotay passed the bridge off to Lieutenant Simmons and rang the chime. With a sideways glance at the bridge crew, he keyed in his override, when the second ring went unanswered. The room was dark; he entered quickly allowing the door to close behind him shutting out the lights and the view from the bridge. After waiting a minute for his eyes to adjust; he saw her. She was on the couch, her head back and he thought she must be catching up on some lost sleep. Not wanting to wake her he silently crossed the room, but just before he reached her, she lifted her head and stared at him.
“Computer, identify life signs in the ready room.”
“Kath?” He knelt in front of her and she seemed to look right
through him. “Kath?” He touched her and she jumped back.
“CAPTAIN JANEWAY AND COMMANDER CHAKOTAY ARE IN THE READY ROOM.”
As the computer responded her eyes seemed to focus on his face.
“Chakotay?” She whispered.
“Yes, Kathryn it’s me-- what’s wrong?”
“I don’t know, I wasn’t alone but - - I was.” She shook her head. “I must have been dreaming—guess I’m too tired.”
“Maybe we should see the Doc.” He knew she wouldn’t like that but he was worried about the blank stare he had seen when she first raised her head.
“NO..” She stopped and smiled at him. “I’m OK, really.” She laughed. “Just over tired, I think.”
“OK, let’s get something to eat.” He extended his hand to her, easing her up off the couch. “Then you can soak in a nice hot bath.” He placed his hand on her shoulder and could feel the tight knots. “Then I’ll massage some of these knots away and maybe you can get some decent rest. Deal?”
“Sounds wonderful.” She leaned slightly into him. “You’re too good to me.”
“Probably.” He chuckled as he guided her toward the door, taking
a step away just before they opened.
They had dinner in the mess hall; not exactly what he had in mind but Kathryn said she felt the need to see and be seen so the mess hall it was. He watched her over dinner, something wasn’t right. Oh she looked well enough, if a little tired and her concentration was much better; she even held animated conversations with several of the crew. Still he was uncomfortable with her earlier actions and there was something frightening about that glazed look she had given him.
“Hey, you listening?” She tapped his arm to get his attention.
“Sorry, lost in thought.” He gave her a flash of the dimples.
“Anything I want to know about?”
“I think we better talk about it else where.” He leaned over the table and whispered.
“Right.” She rolled her eyes and pushed him back to his own side. “Ready when you are. That bath sounds better all the time.”
“Humm maybe I’ll join you.” He wagged his eyebrows and she laughed out loud causing more than a few heads to turn, as they left the room.
He left her to soak in a tub of hot scented bubbles, while he finished up some security reports she had left undone. After about an hour, he poured them each a glass of wine and went in to share it with her. He had heard her reheat the water several times, so he wasn’t surprised at the steam that greeted him when he slid back the door.
“Gods Kathryn, you’ll cook in here.” He left the door slightly open to cool off the room. “Brought you a glass of wine.” He made his way over to the tub. “Kathryn?”
The glazed look was back, as she sat rocking back in forth in the tub. She was mumbling something, he couldn’t understand, hugging herself tightly. He grabbed her arms; the cool of his hands shocked her over heated flesh, and she screamed.
“Kathryn..” He shook her. “Kathryn it’s me –Kath.”
“No noooooo the evil…” She struggled to free herself from his grasp.
“Kathryn., Its Chakotay –Kath it’s me ..” He held her still and she began to quiet. “Kath?”
“Chakotay..” She searched the room with her eyes. “He’s here..’
“Who Kath, who’s here?” He moved closer taking her shaking body in his arms. “Shhhhh it’s OK—Let’s get you out of here.” He eased back and watched her. She nodded and he helped her out of the water.
He wrapped her in a towel and guided her into the bedroom, sitting her on the bed while he brought her nightgown. She watched his movements silently, occasionally snapping her head around to see the back corners of the room.
“Here, let me help you.” He slipped the gown over her raised arms. “Kathryn, what is it? What happened in there?”
“I don’t – it’s… “ She shook her head as if that would clear it, looked all around the room then forced a smile. “It’s OK, I just need some sleep.”
“Kathryn it is anything but OK.” He sat on the bed next to her. “Who did you think was in there? What is the evil?”
“I don’t know.” She looked up at him with wide eyes. “OH godds Chakotay, I don’t know.”
“What Kathryn—try to think..”
“I don’t know—the evil ---he wants me to destroy the evil.”
“Him—the voice –I hear him… ‘eliminate the evil..” She twisted around. “He’s here—Chakotay, he’s in here.”
She was shaking and he took her in his arms. “Shhh, Kath no one is here but us.”
“NOO.” She pulled away shouting. “He’s here.”
“Computer identify all life signs in the Captain’s quarters.” He took hold of Kathryn’s hands.
“LIFE SIGNS BELONGING TO CAPTAIN JANEWAY AND COMMANDER CHAKOTAY ARE IN THE CAPTAIN’S QUARTER’S AT THIS TIME.”
“NO…” She tried to pull back from him.
“Computer search for all other life signs in these quarters in the past
“NO OTHER LIFE SIGNS DETECTED.”
“Kathryn.” He eased her back down on the edge of the bed. “Come sit, you heard the computer –no one is here. It’s OK.”
She sat on the bed and rested against him. He held her trying to soothe her; trying to figure out in his mind what had happened. He felt her start to shake softly and pulled her close to him, absorbing her tears with his tee shirt.
“Kathryn?” He eased away slightly. “Why don’t we lay
down, you need to rest.” She sniffled and nodded her head as she
allowed him to lay her back on the pillow and cover them both with the
blanket. “OK Kath, let’s get some rest and we can figure this out
in the morning. She just snuggled closer to him. He lay awake
a long time, thinking; seeking some explanation for her behavior before
finally drifting off to sleep.
“The evil is close at hand, turn and eliminate it.” The voice was back. “The evil is close a hand, turn and eliminate it. You must eliminate the evil.”
“No evil.” She tossed in the bed. “stop – I can’t.” The voice continued, she could see him in the room; feel him beside her. “go—stop.” She struggled against the force surrounding her, kicked out, tossing and turning in the bed.
He awoke to the commotion beside him, reaching out to try to calm her, but his touch only served to make her struggle more.
“Kathryn.” He tried to soothe her, draw her into his arms but she fought back.
“NOO.” She sat up pulling away from him, eyes open and blazing.
“You are the evil.” She lashed out at him. “NOO won’t ---stop.”
She pushed herself off the bed and backed against the wall, she was yelling, crying almost hysterically, frantically trying to fend off this imaginary enemy.
“Kathryn.” He tried to approach her slowly, but she backed up, searching for something to use for defense. He saw her eye the phaser and lunged to stop her but she reached it first. He backed away. “OK Kathryn—it’s OK.” She moved forward pointing the phaser at him and he stopped. “Chakotay to Sickbay.”
“You are the evil- you.” She waved the phaser in his direction.
“Doctor here, Commander.” The response startled her and she jumped back, sliding along the wall.
“Doctor, I need your assistance in the Captain’s quarters.” Chakotay worked to keep his voice level and calm.
“On my way.” The doctor could hear the Captain in the background; she sounded hysterical. As a precaution he prepared a hypospray and called for a site-to-site transport to the Captain’s living quarters. He heard them in the other room and slowly approached.
“Kathryn, put down the phaser.” Chakotay took a step toward her and she fired over his head.
“Alright, Kathryn.” He backed up again. “I’m leaving.” He watched her as he slowly backed toward the door, he could hear the doctor in the other room.
The doctor came close enough to survey the scene. Chakotay, wearing only boxers backed slowly toward the door, the Captain wore a sheer nightgown. At another time this would indeed be an interesting situation, but right now she looked as if she could kill with no effort at all.
“Commander.” He whispered, unsuccessfully, trying not to incite the Captain.
“Evil must be destroyed.” She advanced pointing the phaser at the doctor.
“Good evening, Captain.” His cheerful greeting was met with a direct blast of the phaser. “GET DOWN.” He shouted and lunged at the Captain sending both of them to the deck and knocking the phaser from her hand. “Commander, hold her.” He administered the hypospray while Chakotay pinned down the struggling captain.
Her eyes grew wide and she struggled to speak; then slumped from the sedative. Chakotay gently lifted her from the deck and placed her back in the bed.
“Thanks, Doc.” He turned and offered the Doctor a hand up. “You OK?”
“Yes, yes of course—I’m a hologram the phaser did no harm.” The doctor ran a scanner over the Captain. “Now would you mind telling me what happened here?”
“I’m not sure.” Chakotay drew the covers over Kathryn. “We were asleep and…”
“I see. That would explain your attire.” The doctor smirked.
“Doc. Look our sleeping arrangements aren’t the primary concern here.” Chakotay ran his fingers through his hair. “Besides she’s your patient, don’t you have to maintain some sort of ethical discretion?”
“Yes of course, I won’t mention this to anyone.” He motioned Chakotay to follow him into the other room. “Now tell me what you know about this strange behavior.”
“She’s over tired…”
“Nothing new there.”
“No but she told me she hasn’t slept well the past few weeks since I was----“
“On gamma shift----- of course, I see.”
“Yeah well, then she hears things--- something about getting rid of evil and she thinks someone is here. I even had the computer prove to her we were alone and she couldn’t seem to accept it.”
“How long has she—er—‘heard things’?”
“I don’t know, I found out about it earlier. She kept saying she was over tired, but she went into this trance or something.” He paced the room. “Guess I should have done something earlier but she seemed OK again and then this.”
“Let me get this—she isn’t sleeping, says she hears voices, goes into a trance and tried to kill us both. Is that about right?”
“Well, yeah—I guess.” He shook his head. “Sure doesn’t sound good when you say it.”
“Yes well, I want to run some tests. She will sleep until morning, I assume you will stay with her?” Chakotay nodded. “Bring her to sick bay first thing,”
“I will Doc.” He walked the EMH to the door.
“Commander, don’t concern yourself too much—it could be many things, we’ll get to the bottom of this.”
“Thanks, Doc. I’ll bring her in first thing.”
Chakotay contacted Tuvok; explained the situation and arranged for him to cover the morning shift. Kathryn was still sleeping soundly so he climbed in beside her and tried to rest.
“CAPTAIN THE TIME IS 0500 HOURS. CAPTAIN THE TIME IS 0500 HOURS.”
“Computer silence alarm; reset 24 hours.” He grumbled as he reached across the empty bed. “Kathryn?” He call trying to hold down the panic as he checked the bedroom, then exited to the living quarters. “Kathryn?” “Computer locate …..” He finally heard the water running and was relieved to hear some very off key singing. “Computer, belay that.”
He fixed his tea and waited for her to finish her shower. When the water stopped, he replicated her coffee and joined her in the bathroom.
“Morning, I see you’re feeling better this morning.” He handed her the coffee.
“Yes, finally got some sleep—see I told you I was just tired.”
“That wasn’t exactly sleep…” He watched her confused expression. “You don’t remember do you?”
“What? I wasn’t feeling right – tired --- but I’m OK now.” She breezed past him taking her coffee into the bedroom.
“Kathryn, we need to go to sickbay this morning.” He followed her.
“I told you I’m fine. Stop worrying so much.”
“You’re not fine—Kathryn. You…”
“There is no need to involve the doctor in this—I told you I just needed some rest.”
“Stop—I’m fine that’s it.”
“Kathryn.” He took her shoulders and turned her around to face him. “You are not fine—and the doctor is already involved.”
“How? When? I don’t remember….” She strained to remember what happened but nothing came.
“Sit down.” He eased her back on the bed. “Last night you tried to kill me and when the doctor came, you shot him with your phaser. He sedated you, Kathryn—that’s why you feel like you slept.”
“I don’t remember that---I …” She searched his face with uncertainly. “What did you tell him?”
“I told him what I know—that you heard voices; thought someone was in the room--- the evil, the trance and he saw the hysterics and the phaser for himself.”
“OH God!” She dropped her face to her hands. “What did he say?---he’ll relieve me—ohgod.”
“Kathryn, he is gonna help you—no one wants to hurt you.” He pulled her into his arms. “It’s OK. Tuvok is gonna take the bridge and we…”
“Tuvok too!” She raised her head and pulled away.
“He has to know, Kathryn. You can trust Tuvok –you know that.”
He raised her chin so she was forced to look at him. “Now get dressed
and we will go to sickbay and find out what is causing this.” She
just nodded and began to dress.
Three hours later the doctor had run every test, every scan and asked every question at least twice and still he found nothing. Some of the results would take a little longer but basically he could find nothing wrong with the captain. So he released her to her quarters pending further investigation.
Kathryn paced her living area; Chakotay sat on the couch watching, trying not to lose patience with her. She replicated coffee, recycled the cup, sat on the chair jumped up and went to the view port, she toured the room. Picked up a padd from her desk, tried to read it, then threw it against the wall.
“Damn it.” She banged her fist on the desk.
“Kathryn, sit down, try to relax”
“Relax?! How can I relax?” She stomped over to stand in front of him, hands on her hips.
“He said nothing was wrong with you, you need to relax.”
“No Chakotay, He said nothing was PHYSICALLY wrong with me.” She
glared at him. “He thinks I’m crazy!”
“He never said that—Kathryn….”
“He didn’t have to – nothing physically wrong, go back to your quarters and Commander stay with her. What the hell is that?!”
“That’s just the doctor’s way of being nice—giving us some time…”
“Bullshit! He thinks I’m crazy and you do too.”
“I do not…”
“Oh really?! Good then leave me.” She stepped back so he could get up. “go ahead ---leave.”
“Kathryn, please. Don’t do this….” He stood up and put his hand on her shoulder. “Please.”
“Please what? Please be good, please do what the doctor wants,
please don’t be nuts, please don’t fight—don’t hear voices-- don’t see
aliens ---what Chakotay, what should I do?”
“Kath, just try to relax. I don’t think you’re crazy. There is a reason for everything that happened to you ---we just need to find it.” He put his arm around her. “Why don’t you take a bath? That always makes you feel better.”
“I don’t want a bath, I don’t want to relax--- I want to go to the bridge; I want to run my ship. Damn it!”
“OK Kathryn, You relax while I fix lunch and then we will go to the bridge. Deal?” The last thing they needed was to stress her out anymore.
“If it’s the best I can get.” She glared at him but had to smile
when he flashed those irresistible dimples at her. “OK, OK, so I’m
being a brat—You win.” She gave him a gentle shove. “Go fix
lunch.” She flopped down on the couch.
After lunch they made their way to the bridge. It was still quiet and it didn’t take long for the Captain to retire to her ready room; Chakotay let her go. She stayed in there for a few hours then surprised him by leaving deck one on her own.
“Commander.” She smiled as she exited the ready room. “You have the bridge, I’ll be in my quarters if I’m needed.”
“Aye, Captain.” He nodded and smiled back. It was only another hour until he could join her.
She felt good. As she keyed in her code it occurred to her that she really did feel good; she hadn’t felt this good in weeks. Maybe it was having Chakotay back beside her, maybe it was as simple as the rest she had gotten— sedative or not. Maybe, it was knowing there was really nothing wrong with her. As much as she hated to admit it, the Doc. knew his stuff and if he said she was OK then she was OK. Whatever it was really didn’t matter--- she felt good.
She wanted to do something special—something to celebrate how she felt. They were in a quiet peaceful sector of space, the crew for the most part had recovered, Chakotay was off gamma shift and she felt wonderful—sounded like a reason to celebrate to her.
“I’ll make a special dinner.” She said out loud to the empty room,
then laughed. “Belay that, I will replicate a special dinner, sending
Chakotay to sick bay would spoil my plans.” She hummed to herself
as she programmed the replicator, set the table and sprinkled the room
with scented candles. No time for a bath she opted for a sonic shower.
Chakotay was giving last minute instructions to beta shift, the rest of alpha shift had exited the bridge almost twenty minutes ago. Satisfied all was in order he headed for the lift, anxious to check on Kathryn.
“Sir.” Lieutenant B’Etra called to him and he stopped. “Security breach—intruder alert; deck three section 00301.” Without looking up; she ordered two security details to the Captain’s quarters.
Chakotay stepped back and ordered the lift to deck three; pacing for the few seconds it took to descend two decks. The doors opened and he raced down the hall, along with the second security team. When he reached the door, he saw Kathryn in the middle of her living area dressed only in a towel. The first team was already inside, weapons ready.
“Ka ptain.” He crossed to her side; she was visibly shaken. “Are you OK?” She just stared at him. “Kathryn.” He took her shoulders.
“Captain.” Lieutenant Ayala stepped up to them; took note of the Captain’s state and addressed the commander instead. “Commander, preliminary sweeps turned up nothing. With your permission I will dismiss the second team and most of my own, Billings and I will conduct one more sweep.”
“Thank you, Lieutenant that will be fine.” Kathryn shivered and
he put his arm around her, for the first time noticing the setting.
Well, security got an eye full today— candles, dinner and the captain in
a towel. When she realized it, she was not going to be happy.
“Ayala.” He waited till Ayala had dismissed the others. “The bedroom secure?”
“Yes, sir.” He came closer and spoke in a soft voice. “Chak it’s all clear, take her in there and we’ll finish up out here. – And don’t worry, none of them will say a word.”
“Thanks.” He smiled at his friend and brought Kathryn into the bedroom. He sat her on the bed and reached for her bathrobe, she still had not spoken or acknowledged him in any way. “Here Kathryn, put this on your shivering.”
“He was here.” She slipped into the robe. “I felt him.”
“Who Kath?” He sat beside her.
“The voice—he was here.”
“Kath, security found nothing. How did he get here—where did he go?”
“I don’t know.” She looked up at him. “You think I’m crazy, but he was here; I know he was here.” She was getting louder and he could see the panic rising in her eyes.
“I believe you – but we have to find him.”
“Excuse me, Sir?” Ayala was standing in the doorway. “The quarters secure, we will be leaving. Would you like someone stationed outside?”
“No thank you, Lieutenant. We’ll be fine.” He nodded his appreciation.
“Yes Sir, then we’ll be leaving.” Ayala backed out of the room and they heard the outer door slide closed.
“Kathryn, tell me what happened. What did you do when you came back here?”
“Oh god.” She dropped her head to her hand, rubbing her fingers vigorously across her forehead. “OK.” She lifted her head. “I left the bridge and came here, I remember thinking how good I felt. Things were back to normal and going well and I wanted to have a special dinner to celebrate. I programmed dinner, lit some candles and took a sonic shower. Then he was there.”
“In the shower with you?”
“God Chakotay no – this isn’t some sexual fantasy ….” Her voice was louder and strained again. “For god’s sake he wants one of us dead!”
“How do you know that?”
“He said it – the evil must be destroyed – it’s here ---me or you –or- maybe both!” She ran her fingers through her hair. “I don’t know damn it!”
“OK—you were in the shower and he was..?”
“I don’t know—I turned around and he – I didn’t – its just…” She sighed and hung her head.
“Kathryn. Did you actually see someone?”
“NO, I never see him, but I know he…” She raised her head; her eyes pleaded with him to believe her. “I called security—Chakotay, I know he was here.”
“OK, so there is something we are overlooking--- Maybe Seven could help us--- shall I ask?”
“Don’t worry, I will be discrete and I think after dinner we should check in with the doctor.” He put his finger to her lips to stop her protest. “Please.”
“OK. What ever it takes.” She stood up. “If you will
start the replicator, I’ll get dressed then after dinner we can try another
angle on this.”
They started their dinner in an unusual quiet, each surrounded by their own thoughts.
“I’m sorry, this is not the way I planned it.” She forced a smile.
“I know and I appreciate the effort you put into it, we’ll have other dinners.” He reached across the table and covered her hand. “Right now I want to get to the bottom of this.” She looked down and he raised her chin with his finger. “ I believe you, you know.” She nodded. “We will get to the bottom of this.”
“Chakotay..” She bit her lip “The security team…? I don’t remember…”
“Two teams responded..” He saw the frightened look. “Ayala was in charge.” He saw her relax a bit. Ayala was a good man. Although he wasn’t officially second in command of security he might as well have been. He was well respected by fleet and maquis alike with just enough fear to maintain complete control. He was a good friend to Chakotay and had the utmost respect for the Captain; no one would be spreading any rumors about today’s call. “They found nothing, that’s why I want to talk to Seven. Maybe we are looking in the wrong places.”
“Could you talk to her alone? I…”
“I’ll go with you to sickbay, the doctor will probably want some time with you. I’ll go on to see Seven and come back for you.”
“Don’t trust me on my own?” She smiled, but there was real concern in her eyes.
“I trust you, Kathryn—it’s this voice - this alien - I don’t trust.”
Just as Chakotay had predicted, the doctor wanted to run some more tests on the Captain. Promising to be back to pick her up, Chakotay headed to Astrometrics to consult with Seven. The doctor ran an entire battery of test before ushering the Captain into his office.
“Captain, please take a seat.” He indicated the chair in front of his desk and she took it. “Now most of these tests were duplicates of the ones we did before and I don’t expect the results to be any different. However something is going on here and we must get to the bottom of it.”
“I know that doctor and I appreciate your efforts. I want…” She shifted in her chair and took a deep breath. “I want you to know that this is real. I’m not crazy even though I hear this voice--- it is real.”
“I have no doubt, Captain, that what you hear is very real. You
have twice voluntarily submitted to my tests, which is highly unusual behavior
but certainly nothing I would classify as crazy.” He leaned back
in his chair. “Now please, I need you to tell me as much as you know
about this voice—how it sounds, what it says, how it makes you feel.”
“It’s a deep voice—a male voice I would say. It is soft, kind of husky and monotone--- no emotion. It just states a message and repeats it over and over.”
“What type of message?”
“The evil—it keeps talking about the evil. The evil must be destroyed.”
“And does it tell you what or who the evil is?”
“No not by name, but I feel it means Chakotay, sometimes. ‘the evil is close turn and destroy it’ . I was asleep and…” She looked up realizing what she was about to tell him.
“It’s alright, Captain. I was in your quarters the other evening while the Commander was— present.”
“Yes, well –.” She paused looking down for a moment, then continued. “we were sleeping and he was behind me when it, the voice, kept telling me to turn and destroy the evil.”
“Is that what happen the other night, when the Commander called me?”
“It wouldn’t leave—it wouldn’t stop no matter how I tried to make it. I had to destroy the evil or it would destroy me. I don’t remember anymore of that night. I don’t remember what I did…” She took a deep breath. “Chakotay told me—I’m sorry.”
“Nothing to worry about, you weren’t yourself – no harm done. Now, when you say it wouldn’t leave—you mean the voice or the alien-a being of some sorts?”
“It’s real it’s a life form—with a body but -- I can’t - see it – I hear it, I feel the presence.”
“And are you afraid? Do you feel fear in its presence?”
“Yes—I don’t feel that it will hurt me. It’s more control—it wants to control me, make me do this for it. Destroy the evil. I’m afraid I won’t be able to fight it. It wants me to destroy someone ……..” She looked up at him surprised. “It wants me to destroy myself.”
“Captain—did it say that?” She shook her head never taking her wide eyes off of his. “How do you know this?”
“I just..” She shook her head. “I don’t know, but … yes, I am the evil—I feel that now.”
“Alright, Captain.” He didn’t want her to become overly stressed. “ I think that’s enough for now. If you feel anything new, I want you to tell me right away.” He tapped some notes into his console. “You did well the other night with the sedative I gave you—perhaps it can’t reach you through it. When the commander gets back I will give you another. You need your rest so that you can continue to fight this--- until we find a permanent solution.”
“You can’t keep me sedated indefinitely.”
“Of course not. I’m sure we will find a solution soon. I only want you to get a good night’s rest and the Commander too.” He placed a transceiver behind her ear. “I will need to keep a close watch on you.”
“Is this really necessary?” She touched the device behind her ear.
“I believe it is, Captain. You may of course remove it, if you plan to engage in - activities - you would prefer me not to monitor, however doing so would tell me as much about your activities as leaving it there and we would run the risk of missing important information.”
“I’ll keep that in mind, now may I return to my quarters?” She stood and walked toward the door.
“I would prefer you wait for the Commander.”
“And I would prefer to return to my quarters. Thank you, Doctor.” She left him standing in the doorway
“Fine.” He yelled after her. “I will send a hypospray to your replicator—please use it.” He watched the door slide close between them. “Hump.” He tapped his comm. badge. “Doctor to Chakotay”
“Commander please come to sick bay at your earliest convenience. I wish to speak to you about the Captain.”
“On my way, Chakotay out.”
Kathryn reached her quarters and keyed in her code without even realizing she had done it. Why had she told him all of that, now he surely thought her crazy. She tried to calm down; rationalize that she needed to be honest with him if he was gonna find a way to help her. It wasn’t working. She replicated coffee and paced the room. She was beginning to feel trapped; like a caged animal. As she paced she reached one hand up, tugging the fingers through her hair until they came in contact with the monitor. Her anger peeked and she ripped off the monitor and threw it across the room.
Chakotay leaned against the wall of the lift, he was trying to comprehend what the doctor had told him. He said he thought Kathryn might be suicidal—well not exactly suicidal—that she might harm herself. He couldn’t see the difference. Outside influence or not— either way Kathryn was in danger. He had even suggested that she was hearing things—that she was crazy or ‘a bit unstable’, possibly due to stress. Chakotay didn’t like what he heard. He understood the Doctor’s concern and certainly he was concerned himself, but he couldn’t believe Kathryn was hallucinating. She was too upset by this, certainly her fear was real. He had no explanation for the voices she heard, but many things in the Delta Quadrant went without explanation. The doctor planned on sedating her at night and wanted someone with her at all times. This would not be easy. He reached her quarters and rang the chime, no answer. Then he heard her—what? a growl? It sure sounded like a growl. With a sudden sense of panic, he keyed in his override and entered just in time to duck a flying object, which missed his head by centimeters and slammed into the closing door.
“Hey. Nice way to say hello.” Relieved to recognize her look as one of frustration; nothing serious.
“Oh Chakotay, I’m sorry.” She crossed over to him. “Did I hit you?”
“No, but you came close. What the hell was that?” He searched for the object on the carpet and stood up holding out the monitor. “Yours?”
“That damned doctor.” She snatched the monitor out of his hand, placing it back behind her ear.
“I’m sure it’s for your own good.” He smirked and drew her close to him. “Guess this means we have to behave.”
“Godds, that’s the worse part..” She rolled her eyes.
“No- well yes, but ---godds.” She took a step back and straightened up, imitating the doctor. “You may, of course, remove it, if you plan to engage in - activities - you would prefer me not to monitor, however doing so would tell me as much about your activities as leaving it there and we would run the risk of missing important information.” Chakotay laughed and she punched his arm. “You would think it’s funny.”
“So did you take his program off line?” He chuckled and pulled her back into his arms.
“Ahhh there’s a thought.” She laughed. “Want some tea?” She crossed over to the replicator ordering without waiting for an answer, then sat with him on the couch. “So?”
“What?” Feigning innocence, he quickly placed the tea on the table so it wouldn’t spill if she hit him.
“Oh please Chakotay.” She smiled and shook her head. “What did he tell you? Does he think I’ve lost it?”
“Ahhh – Yes the Doctor.” She gave him a playful push. “Don’t even pretend he didn’t call you down there the second I walked out on him."
“Clear evidence that this has not affected your mind.” He chuckled. “We still can’t get anything past you.”
“It doesn’t take a teleapath to figure it out. You two—three actually, I have to include Tuvok in this—are always conspiring against me.”
“Not against you, Kathryn. We are always on your side--- never against you.” She rolled her eyes at him. “For the record, he is anxious to get to the bottom of this.”
“Aren’t we all.”
Several days had passed without incident. It wasn’t easy but between them, Chakotay and Tuvok managed to keep someone within arms reach of the Captain most of the time. Grudgingly she continued to take the sedative each evening, but experienced nothing unusual, even in the daytime hours, which remained free of any medication. Tuvok or Chakotay were never any more than a shout away, just as a precaution and most of the crew remained blissfully unaware. On the fourth day, the Captain spend several hours alone in her ready room catching up on neglected reports and then retired to her quarters.
“Commander, the bridge is yours.” She smiled, she knew she was pushing him.
“Captain?” He was worried, but didn’t want to openly express his concern. She had done so well in the past days and had even stopped grilling him on whether or now she was crazy; he didn’t want to upset the status quo.
“I’m going to engineering to check with B’Elanna on the systems upgrade.” She walked over to where he sat and spoke softly. “Then I’ll meet you.”
“Aye, Captain.” He relaxed a little that she wouldn’t be alone in her quarters long.
Knowing Tuvok had been concerned also, she lightly brushed his
arm as she passed and he nodded his acceptance. Her trip to deck
11 was shorter than anticipated; B’Elanna as usual had everything well
in hand. She would have more time on her hands than she anticipated,
but it didn’t really concern her. She had had no further encounters
with the voice; perhaps it was a thing of the past. She stepped into
the lift, ordering it to deck three. The eight deck ride seemed longer
than usual, feeling warm and slightly weak she leaned against one wall.
“Captain.” Ensign Bruyn greeted her as he entered the lift on deck five.
“Ensign.” The sound of his voice brought her out of her daze; She nodded and straightened up.
She nodded once again when the doors opened on deck three and proceeded to her quarters. She must be more tired than she had thought; she wasn’t sure what had happened in the lift.
“Lights 75%.” The door to her quarters slid closed behind her
leaving her in darkness. “Computer lights.” She ordered a second
time. “What the…?” Then she felt it. “Computer, identify
life signs in these quarters.” Still no response. She made
her way to the viewport where the stars afforded her a small amount of
“It is time, the evil must be destroyed.” The gravelly voice repeated. “Destroy the evil”
“Who are you?” She whirled around as the voice came at her from another directions; she could see nothing.
“The evil is here; destroy it.” The voice came from behind her, then to the side. “Destroy it.” It came from everywhere at once.
“Intruder alert.” She stumbled to toward the door, but it didn’t respond either and she turned toward the bedroom.
“Evil evil evil.” The voice surrounded her. “Destroy it.”
“Captain to the bridge.” She frantically slapped her comm. badge without response.
She felt it come closer, the deep voice droning on; it was closing in on her. It surrounded her; her knees weakened her breath became labored; she struggled to free herself. It meant to destroy her she knew it; she was losing her battle, her mind was cloudy. She felt her arm stretch out and she tried to force it to her side without success.
“Noo.” She saw the phaser; understood its intent, but was powerless
to stop it as her fingers closed around it. She struggled with the
unseen force; it pushed her down on the bed, holding her there aligning
the weapon with her head. She focused all of her energy; it was powerful,
but she struggled against what she couldn’t see. So much depended
on her gaining control, but she couldn’t fight him anymore. She was
losing, she would fail her crew – she couldn’t do this without help.
“Chakotay.” She gasped in the darkness.
“Commander, weapons fire in the Captain’s quarters.” Tuvok’s voice remained calm but his hand went to his phaser and he immediately spun toward the lift. “Security deck three section 00301.”
“Chakotay to Janeway.” He shouted as he ran for the lift. “Chakotay to Janeway.”
The Captain didn’t answer; the lift took forever to get to deck three. He never should have let her go alone. Even Tuvok ran down the corridor when the doors opened. He swiftly entered his security override and the door slid back revealing the darkened quarters. Tuvok took one wall, Chakotay the other with the first team right behind them.
Chakotay was the first to reach the bedroom. He slipped inside quickly scanning the room. Kathryn lay across the bed, her feet dangled over the edge her hands out-stretched. In the darkness he couldn’t tell even if she was breathing. Tuvok was behind him and began a sweep of the room as Chakotay made his way to the Captain.
He held his breath at the sight of the phaser resting in her stilled hand. Her face was turned away from him, but he was finally close enough to see the rise and fall of her chest as she breathed. He touched her and she turned to face him.
“Kathryn.” He spoke quietly, watching her squint against the brightness when Tuvok called for lights.
“Chakotay.” She sat up then buried her face in his chest.
“It’s OK – you’re alright.” He held her close and searched the room for Tuvok. “Tuvok?”
“Commander, this alien is no longer a threat.” Tuvok stood on the other side of the bed, looking down on the still form.
“You see him?” She sat up, surprised. “Tuvok?”
“Yes, Captain.” His calm Vulcan manner assured her he expected nothing else.
“Oh god it’s real.” She pushed herself off the bed, allowing Chakotay to catch and assist her when she faltered. Together they circled the bed to where Tuvok stood. “I never saw him.” She stared down at the figure on the floor; it was no wonder he had overpowered her. He was at least a foot taller than Chakotay and had to outweigh him by half again. She leaned into Chakotay for support.
“I’ll have him beamed to sickbay, Captain. The doctor may be able to discover how he evaded us for so long.” Tuvok’s concern, now that the Captain was all right and the alien rendered harmless, was to seal off any breach in the security system
“Yes, Tuvok we could all use some answers.”
“Kathryn, maybe you should see the doctor, while security finishes up here.”
“Not tonight, Chakotay.” She reached up and removed the monitor from behind her ear. “A few bruises are not worth another session with the doctor.” She tossed the monitor on the dresser and watched as the alien was caught in the blue shimmer of the transporter beam. “Why do you suppose he chose me?”
“You’re the Captain, or maybe he had reasons we will never know.” He led her out to the living area. “Its over now Kathryn and you’re OK. That’s what really matters.”
They shared a cup of tea as security finished up finally leaving them by them selves. She absently rubbed the angry purple marks around her arms.
“I almost lost.” She shook her head, watching his face carefully. “Almost gave up.”
“But you didn’t.” His fingers caressed her cheek; thumb brushing away a stray tear.
“I didn’t have the strength to fight him anymore.” She smiled, but the tears still hung in her eyes. “He was so much bigger, stronger, I ..I couldn’t…”
“I’m glad you didn’t give up.” He brushed a light kiss across her lips. “You were strong enough to beat him in the end.”
‘No, I don’t think so.” She took his face in her hands. “We were strong enough. I was ready to give in, I had summoned all my strength to fight but it wasn’t enough….” She took a breath and blinked back her tears. “I called out to you, I said your name and… I don’t know what happened. Everything was still and dark and then, you were beside me and he was dead.” She collapsed against his chest and he wrapped her tightly in the safety of his arms.
“I don’t know, Captain.” The doctor paced the briefing room. He was attempting to explain his finding to the senior staff.
“Tell us what you do know, Doctor.” The Captain sat comfortably
next to her First Officer.
“The alien and the virus that affected the crew were essentially the same.” He brought up their molecular structures, side by side on the screen. “Without going into too much technical detail, you can look at the slides and see the similarities for yourself.” He began point to various colored sections on the screen. “If you will look…”
“Yes, doctor we see the similarities.” The Captain didn’t need or want a lesson in alien physiology. “What you are saying is that they were comprised of the same material.”
“So the alien was the virus and the virus the alien.” The doctor nodded at her. “I see, any indication as to why I was attacked by this virus differently than the rest of the crew?”
“I have conducted tests...” Kathryn felt Chakotay squeeze her hand under the table, try to give her the patience to deal with the longwinded doctor. “…on several of the crew who were unaffected, and numerous tests on you.”
“Yes, we are all aware.” She squeezed back. “Findings?”
“There is a common antibody which I assume kept you from contracting the virus. Now as to why he …..”
“Doctor.” Tuvok broke into the conversation, much to the relief of the Captain. “Is it not logical that the alien, being unable to affect the Captain biologically, attempted to overpower her physically instead.”
‘Why, yes Mr. Tuvok. That’s exactly what I think.” The doctor took a deep breath. “Now I believe…”
“Yes, we see now.” The Captain stood up. “Thank you doctor, well done.”
“Thank you Captain, but there is one more thing.”
“What is that doctor?” She stole a glance at Chakotay
“You didn’t kill him.”
“What? I fired the phaser; we found him dead in my quarters.”
“Yes but, … er… you.. he was not hit with phaser fire. I’m not sure exactly what killed him, but it wasn’t your phaser.”
She turned locking her eyes with Chakotay’s; he stood to join her. Slowly the smiles grew across their faces; she reached for his hand and turned to face the meeting room.
“Some things are stronger than phaser fire, doctor.” She glanced
back to Chakotay; he was still smiling at her. “Thank you people, dismissed.”
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