The Sword of Janeway

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\”Sword of Janeway\”

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by emmyodd@aol.com

Humbly, meekly, and contritely dedicated to:

Anne Davenport
72560.1307@compuserve.com
for her keen observation of Janeway\’s quarters which inspired
this story

Kim Carnes
kilaina@aol.com
For her unabashed praise of everything I write – – except when it
messes up HER group stories 🙂

Rick
ActN Man@aol.com
For the technical support and the quickie fencing lesson 🙂

Becky Olsen
TrekyBecky@aol.com, RBOLadyaol.com
For loving a romance and being a human spellchecker 🙂

and especially

Michelle Green
ThePooh@aol.com, tigger@cais.com
For yelling when I screw up, and praising me when I forget to 🙂

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Kathryn Janeway stretched back in her Ready Room chair, a
luxury she was rarely allowed that day – – the constant stream of
senior officers that swept through her office keeping her in an
almost perpetual state of rigidness that becomes a Starfleet
captain. She smiled – – it was too late now for anyone else to
page her – – or so she thought. Almost as soon as she had
elongated her ill-used body wearily, another jarring tweep at the
door contorted her
body back into its contracted, authoritative position.

\”Come,\” she groaned, irritated. She instantly regretted
her gruffness when she saw the contrite face of her First
Officer.

\”Sorry to disturb you, Captain, but Tuvok insisted I give
you…\”

\”It\’s quite alright, Commander,\” sighed Janeway, massaging
her temple.

\”Permission to speak freely, Captain?\”

\”Of course.\”

\”You look like hell, Captain.\”

\”THANK you, Commander. Any more flattery?\”

\”No, but a suggestion: you should take a break – – a
holonovel…\”

\”NO.\” said Janeway sharply, then backtracked as she colored
under Chakotay\’s pointed gaze, \”I mean, the holonovel isn\’t my
favorite pastime, Commander – –
ecspecially as of late.\”

\”I wouldn\’t know.\”

Janeway blanked, puzzled as to his meaning, then, like a
photograph developing before her eyes, she realized: no one on
this ship really KNEW anything about her – – least of all
Chakotay. Somehow, the realization of this fact goaded her to
correct this error. But now was not the time, at least in her
mind, so she merely said, \”I am in no need of recreation,
Commander; merely those security reports you\’re holding.\”

Yes… right.\” he said brokenly, his keen concentration
broken as he handed her the PADD a bit jerkily.

\”Thank you Commander, you\’re dismissed.\”

\”Of course.\”

************************************************************

After he had left, Janeway studied the reports of the
Vulcan and the Maquis – – both of the same incident: a small
fistfight that broke out in the Mess Hall. Nothing had HAPPENED:
Chakotay and Tuvok had quickly intervened.
Nevertheless, Tuvok demanded (If a Vulcan did anything that
forcefully) a stern punishment, while Chakotay recommended a
lesser penalty. Two super-composed men, yet of totally different
ends of the spectrum!

Janeway\’s thought wandered from the reports to her First
Officer\’s words. No matter how she attempted to deny it, to
others as well as herself, she desprately needed some R & R. But
the holodeck terrified her, and any other… recreation… was
denied her. Janeway sighed, noticing the late hour, stood up,
heading across the Bridge, nodding to Chakotay groggily as she
made her way towards the turbolift, unheeding of the looming
masculine form shadowing her retreat.

Janeway yawned, leaning back on what she assumed to be a
wall – – it had always been before. But she was proven wrong – –
the \”wall\” shifted, vibrating so that she jumped to the opposite
wall, jolted wide awake.

A rumbling laugh echoed dimly in her foggy ears. She
crimsoned as she recognized the Commander\’s bright grin. At the
sound of his laughter, she vaugely recalled she had never heard
him laugh – – snicker maybe, grin definitely – –
but never really laugh – – like he was now – – at HER.

The shock turned to irritation, and she drew herself up to
her full height regally. \”What the HELL are you DOING here,
Commander?!?\”

Chakotay silenced his laughter, wiping his eyes. Thus
sobered, he smiled, \”I\’m sorry, Captain, I didn\’t mean to
frighten you…\”

\”I wasn\’t frightened… merely surprised.\”

\”Surprised, then. I just thought…\”

\”What?\”

\”Well, that lately you seemed to need…\”

\”A heart attack? THANK you Commander…\” snapped Janeway
sarcastically, regretting the words when she saw the genuine
empathy and emotion in his face.

\”No, Captain… a friend.\”

\”Oh.\”

\”Oh?\”

\”Well, I know Tuvok isn\’t exactly the perfect confidant for
a human… but am I acting that badly?\”

\”NO, Captain… you just seem… stranded at the top.\”

Janeway put her hands on her hips. \”Ever thought that\’s
what keeps this ship afloat?\”

\”No, Captain. I belive everyone needs someone to trust
implicitly.\”

Janeway was in no mood to mention his failure with Seska,
so she ignored that avenue to shut him up, and said archly, \”Any
candidates?\”

Chakotay smiled. \”Just me.\”

\”YOU?\”

\”But of course,\” he grinned, bowing mock-seriously.

Janeway pulled his shoulder up, mocking, \”How am I supposed
to be sure this isn\’t a Maquis trick to capture hapless
Federation Captains?\”

Chakotay grinned as the door slid open, as if on cue. \”How
can be sure of anything in this life unless you find out?\” he
said, the ring of challange in his voice.

************************************************************

Janeway, now in the security of her quarters, wandered
through her rooms lazily, stopping to pick up and examine various
trinkets and knicknacks from adventures long since past. Her
hands lingered over a long, thin object, a
sword, that gleamed in the dull light. She grasped it, holding
its light form in her two hands. Her eyes glittered with budding
tears, recalling the love and lessons, long forgotten, attached
to it as irrevocably as the bell hilt was soldered into place.

Her sad musings were interrupted by a beep from her door.
Janeway started, the blade slipping from her grasp. She winced
as the razor-sharp blade caught on her palm. She gripped her
hand in agony, murmuring tightly, \”Come.\”

Chakotay stepped cautiously into Janeway\’s quarters,
finding the large room empty. He eyed the surroundings more
critically than he had had he known the presence of the captain.
The room was filled with curios and snatches of
Kathryn Janeway\’s Earth : a small statuette here, a framed
picture there. A low groan interrupted his survey, and he turned
quickly to his left, rushing to where Janeway was bent over,
BLEEDING… \”Captain!\” he cried.

\”I\’m fine… really. The sword just slipped…\” said
Janeway, a trifle embarassed.

\”Sword?\”

Janeway rankled at the amusement tinging his voice. \”Is
that so shocking?\”

\”Uh – – you are Starfleet.\”

\”Does that somehow preclude me from owning a sword?\”

\”I just didn\’t expect you – – \”

\”Well, I DO, Commander.\”

\”Can you… use it?\”

\”That is the point of having a sword,\” said Janeway evenly,
the sword now back in her grasp, slightly inclined towards
Chakotay.

\”You fence?\”

\”A bit.\” – – which, with Janeway, could mean anything from
total ineptitude or that she could slice him up like a
Thanksgiving turkey.

\”Well, you were looking for something to do – – how about a
duel?\”

\”With YOU?\” Chakotay heard a waver in her voice that he
mistook for fear.

\”Why not?\”

\”I – -\” Seeing no real way out of this, Janeway grinned.
\”I don\’t see any reason why not. You\’re on.\”

\”Say… 0900 tommorow in the holodeck?\”

\”Deal.\”

************************************************************

At exactly 0900 the next morning, Janeway, clad in fencing
grey, walked into the holodeck, finding Chakotay, who had
obviously been there quite some time already, deep in a duel with
a hooded figure. After pinning it to the
ground, Chakotay heard clapping behind him. Pulling off his
hood, he spun around, finding Janeway smiling faintly at him.
Her hair was pulled back, but the lofty bun was gone – – the hood
wouldn\’t fit over it – – replaced by a long braid. She wore a
calm \”you\’re-gonna-regret-this\” look on her face, and her entire
body language reflected an attitude of smugness that riled him.

\”Ready?\” she grinned, brandishing the gleaming metal of her
sword in the light.

\”Just one thing,\” he said, goaded by her confidence.
\”Let\’s make this more interesting.\”

Janeway furrowed her brow. \”How?\”

\”A small wager… the winner gets to ask the loser any
question they want… no limits.\”

Janeway had a vauge discomfort at the idea, but
overconfidence clouded her judgement, and she nodded. \”Sure – –
NOW, are you ready?\”

\”And willing,\” he called merrily, yet unable to keep the
competitiveness out of his tone.

Janeway became changed, as if a new Janeway invaded her
body and turned her into a new, deadly serious opponent. She
lifted her sword, all business now. The only sound in that huge
light-filled room was:

\”En garde!\”

************************************************************

The duel was a long, intense battle, bravely fought by
both, the prize, a choice scrap of the other\’s inner being, more
valuable than gold. They fought tooth and nail to protect their
own: first Chakotay thought he had Janeway pinned, then with a
flip of her bright braid, she parried circles around him until
his head spun. The clatter and clank of foils went on for hours,
until Chakotay deftly slipped his foil under hers, forcing her to
the ground. He smiled, laying the thin tip of the blade at the
hollow of her neck.

And yet, even practically lying on the floor under a razor-
sharp blade, Janeway was totally mistress of the situation. Even
as she was about to lose part of her so carefully guarded inner
self, or perhaps because of it, she smiled. She fingered the end
of the blade lightly, smiling oddly. She pulled the blade from
her neck slowly, displacing it just far enough from her to get up
and grab her blade. She grinned, tracing the intricate design of
the hilt with a finger. She bowed low, her long braid, now half-
undone and haloed with an effulgence of stray wisps, catching the
bright light from a thousand points. She looked up, grinning
unabashedly. \”So… what\’s your question?\”

Chakotay blushed, looking away. \”Well, Captain, I didn\’t
actually expect to WIN…\”

Janeway patted Chakotay on the shoulder, an all-too serene
smile on her face. \”Take all the time you need.\”

Chakotay watched as she stepped out of the holodeck,
brushing her hair into some semblance of order, and, for some
reason even he couldn\’t fathom, smiled after her.

************************************************************

Janeway was calmly reading a book in her quarters after her
shift the next evening, when the buzz of her door shook her from
her intent reading. \”Come.\”

Chakotay burst into the room, eyes blazing. \”I\’ve decided
what to ask you, Captain!\” he pronounced triumphantly.

Janeway put her book down, and looked up. \”Which is…?\”

\”I want to know how you got that sword.\”

\”But I don\’t understand.\”

\”You know as well as I that that sword is of Ancient Earth
make – – its manufacture dating back hundreds of years – – it\’s a
priceless artifact, Captain. It\’s evidently been in your
possession for quite some time, and I doubt if you could afford
it when you first recieved it. It was a gift – – and there has
to be one hell of a story attached to it and its origin.\”

Janeway smiled, as if she knew he would ask. It was time
she told someone the story. She stood up, retreating into the
nearby room. She came back, bearing the gleaming weapon in both
hands. She set it down on a low, nearby
table, and gestured for Chakotay to sit as she moved towards the
replicator. \”Can I get you anything?\” she asked, \”It is a long
story, and I require coffee to tell it.\”

\”No, thank you. I\’d rather you just tell the story.\”

Janeway settled onto the sofa next to Chakotay, sighing.
She could refuse, she could pull rank and push him out of her
quarters for asking such a emotion-provoking question… but she
didn\’t. The story, for some reason
somehow unknown to her, MUST be told… to him and no one else.
She\’d waited a long time to tell someone, and now that she was
about to, a serene smile quirked her lips. \”It begins rather
dully…\”

************************************************************
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She was a young ensign, science division, fresh out of the
Academy. Her first assignment was aboard a starship, the U.S.S.
Encarta, under the commandership of Commander David Greene and
the captaincy of a Captain Evelyn Harris, whom young Ensign
Janeway found overly cautious and boring, as well as light-years
behind the times. She was grateful she had only signed up for
two years; the long months at first were unbearably dull, full of
diplomatic excursions and tiresome forays between Earth and
various innocuous planets.

But it wasn\’t until a few months into her commission that
the Encarta began to go on more interesting missions: aiding in
attempts to smooth the hostilities between Cardassia and the
Federation, as well as attempt to
evacuate the human settlers in a part of space ripped apart by
the Cardassian – Federation strife.

Ensign Janeway found herself in one of several away teams
that landed on Dorvan V. She had wanted to be on one of the
starships battling the Cardassians, but the Captain Harris had
accepted the more peaceful mission. Janeway, several ensigns,
and the Captain had headed for a remote village on Dorvan V, the
population hub of a tribe that had relocated there hundreds of
years before.

Much to her chagrin and surprise, Janeway was chosen to
accompany the Captain as she spoke with the leader of the tribe.
For hours after they arrived, Captain Harris spoke with the
leaders, trying as best she could to persuade them to give up and
come back to Federation space. For awhile, the trivial
banalities that led nowhere were boring, and Janeway sat, trying
to stifle an onrushing yawn.

But the tan young man about her age, the son of the tribal
leader, sitting next to her didn\’t bother with hiding his
boredom, instead tracing patterns in the dust around them.
Janeway didn\’t dare speak to him, however she
detested stuffy old Captain Harris, she also was scared to death
of her, as any proper ensign should. Nevertheless, she detected
an unspoken sympathy between them. Who knows what might have
happened if she hadn\’t suddenly heard the sound of a fist on the
ground.

Janeway and the boy had lifted their heads at the sound of
the fist, and saw the tribal leader, calm face flushed, talking
to Captain Harris with a fearsome intensity that sent shivers
down Janeway\’s spine. \”We will NEVER
leave our home, Captain.\”

\”But you won\’t be under the protection of the Federation –
– you will be at risk of Cardassian attacks.\”

\”We will risk it.\”

Janeway found new respect for Captain Harris as she watched
her delicately fight a battle that Janeway knew she couldn\’t win.
\”But you\’re putting your people…\” she nodded towards the boy,
\”your own children in danger.\”

\”My people do not wish to leave – – if they did, then I
would not stop them. As for my son, he is a brave young man,
unlike my other son Chakotay – – he is in Starfleet.\” He spat the
last words out with distaste.

************************************************************
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Janeway turned to look at Chakotay, aghast. \”I\’m sorry…\”
she said, reddening. \”I didn\’t mean to bring up old memories…\”

Chakotay looked up, smiling wryly. \”It\’s alright… I\’ve
put that behind me… I have the feeling that my father, wherever
he is, has forgiven me.\”

*I don\’t see what there is to forgive* thought Janeway, but
she went on with her story.

************************************************************
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Captain Harris raised her hands in surrender. In a
painstaking, foreign dialect Janeway could not discern, Harris
spoke to the leader as she rose from the floor. The leader
smiled, and Janeway turned to the boy, perplexed.
\”What did she say?\”

\”She said, \’Very well, I will tell Starfleet not to harass
you anymore,\’\” the boy said, awed. \”Very few speak our
language… how does she know it?\”

\”I… don\’t know.\”

Janeway was struck by the grace and thoughtfulness of her
action towards the stubborn leader, and suddenly Captain Harris
was deified in her eyes. It was also then that she decided to
transfer, with the Captain\’s blessing, to the command division.

After that incident, the months flew by for Kathryn
Janeway: even in the most mundane missions were lessons that she
put to good use as she flew up the ranks in the years to come.

Another revelation into the captain came a few weeks later,
as Janeway went to find her, as she was needed on the bridge.
She stepped into the holodeck, hearing the clank of metal. She
rushed inside, finding Captain Harris sword to sword with a
hologram. She turned, smiling as she saw Janeway. \”Ensign!\” she
smiled, stabbing the hologram. As he dematerialized, Captain
Harris turned to Janeway with a maternal smile. \”What can I do
for you, Ensign?\”

Umm… Commander Greene needed you on the Bridge.\”
sputtered Janeway, eyeing the long sword.

Harris saw Janeway\’s fearful look, and said, \”It\’s an old
Earth artifact – – been in my family for centuries. I like to
keep in practice, but I\’ve never killed another human being.
Would you like to learn, Ensign?\”

Janeway blubbered, \”I… uhh…\”

Harris smiled, patting her shoulder in a friendly gesture.
\”I\’ll take that as a yes, Ensign. See you at 0900.\”

************************************************************
************************************************************

A burst of masculine laughter filled the room, interrupting
Janeway\’s monolouge yet again. \”What a mental picture, Kathryn!\”
he snickered.

Janeway froze up immediately. \”Excuse me, Commander?\”

Chakotay stopped laughing, his eyes saucer-wide as he
realized what he\’d said. \”I\’m sorry, Captain… I didn\’t mean
to…\”

Janeway shook her head. \”It\’s alright, Commander, it was
just a little… unexpected. But what\’s of first names among
friends?\”

Chakotay\’s jaw dropped. \”You mean you don\’t mind?\”

\”No, Commander.\”

\”Then why are you still calling me \’Commander\’?\”

Janeway deftly avoided the question for reasons even she
didn\’t know. \”That\’s too many questions, Commander, and I
haven\’t finished my story.\”

\”Very well,\” sighed Chakotay, raising his hands in mock-
surrender… for now.

************************************************************
************************************************************

And so Ensign Kathryn Janeway, under the tutelage of
Captain Evelyn Harris, became an adept in the ancient art of
fencing. If it truly is the hope of a teacher for the student to
surpass the master, it didn\’t show in Captain
Harris\’s teaching: Kathryn Janeway never beat her teacher in the
months she was on Encarta. Janeway was always convinced the
sword was the key to her success.

************************************************************
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*And yet you lost today, with that sword* thought Chakotay,
arching an eyebrow.

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And yet, Janeway never disliked or resented Captain Harris:
even after her commission on the Encarta was ended, Captain
Harris was a mentor to her, a fountain of wisdom when she felt at
a loss and her parents couldn\’t help:
however intelligent and supportive, they just didn\’t understand
the rigors of Starfleet life.

A few years after her initial commission on the Encarta,
Lieutenant Commander Kathryn Janeway was offered the oppertunity
to serve under her old mentor once again, back onboard the
Encarta on a mission to survey a new planet on the edge of the
Demiliterized Zone. Janeway jumped at the chance, excited beyond
belief to be working with Harris again.

Once on Encarta, Janeway smiled. It was like going back to
her home away from home. She put her things in her quarters, and
headed straight for the holodeck.

\”Kathryn… Kathryn Janeway!\” smiled Captain Harris,
looking up from yet another holo-fencer. She was still the same:
except for a few more lines and a few strands of silver in her
hair, which betrayed her 57 years of age. \”It\’s good to have you
back, Ensign.\”

\”It\’s good to be back, though it\’s Lieutenant Commander
now, not Ensign.\”

\”You\’ll always be Ensign to me, young lady. Care for a
rematch?\” she said, another foil materializing before her.

\”Of course,\” grinned Janeway.

A few days later the Encarta was in orbit around the newly-
named Exonn 2. It was Encarta\’s mission to scan it for lifeforms
and determine its suitability for population.

************************************************************
************************************************************

Janeway fell silent. touching her arm, Chakotay asked,
\”What\’s wrong?\”

She sighed. \”This isn\’t my favorite part of the story…\”

************************************************************
************************************************************

After they had beamed down to the surface, Janeway and
Captain Harris had started exploring the surrounding area,
unaware of the fact that a small group of aliens had settled
there. Janeway had gone to survey a small thicket, leaving the
Captain and the Commander alone in the brush.

A few seconds later, Janeway heard the sound of phaser
fire. When Janeway reached the spot where she had left the
Captain, it was too late. She rushed over to where Harris lay,
yelling for an emergency beamout.

Once in sickbay, the doctor, a close friend of Janeway\’s,
shook her head. \”It\’s too late… all we can do is make them
comfortable – – their systems just can\’t handle the necessary
treatment.\”

Janeway turned to her mentor, eyes filled with tears.
\”It\’s all my fault, Captain. I shouldn\’t have left you…\”

\”It\’s no one\’s fault, Ensign,\” smiled Captain Harris wanly,
clenching the biobed\’s sheets feebly, the last of her energy
draining. \”But Kathryn,\”

\”Yes?\”

\”I want you to know, I\’ve signed a reccomendation for your
promotion to Commander, and someday Captain. I wasn\’t going to
tell you until this mission was over, but I see now I\’m not going
to make it, nor Commander Greene. You\’ll be commanding this ship
home.\”

\”Me?\”

\”Yes, Kathryn. I trust you. And I want you to have
something.\”

\”What?\”

\”I\’ve only regretted one thing: never having a daughter to
pass on my wisdom to, as well as my family sword. David and I
never had time to marry, much less raise a child.\”

Janeway gasped. \”David… Commander Greene?\” she
sputtered, looking over at the dying Commander.

\”Yes…\” sighed Harris, looking over at Commander Greene in
the next biobed with a little wistful smile crossing her lips.
Janeway never realized, as long as she had worked with her, that
the Captain and her First Officer had been in love… the crew
had been totally oblivious to the fact.

She turned back to Janeway with a glitter in her eye, her
breath coming short now. \”Do you know, Kathryn, that I ignored
how I felt about him for years?? I belived it would have
affected my performance with the ship. But
now I realize it didn\’t after all.\”

She smiled, patting the girl\’s shaking hands. \”If I taught
you nothing else, remember this: no matter what stands between
two people, if it\’s meant to be, love always finds a way.\” She
smiled, a last loving glance at Commander Greene and Janeway, and
she closed her eyes.

Doctor Anna Reagan\’s shadow loomed over Janeway, shaking
her head. \”They\’re both dead, Kathryn,\” she pronounced.

************************************************************
************************************************************

Janeway fell silent for a long time, and sighed. \”I spent
the rest of my stay on the Encarta on the Bridge and in my
quarters, mourning for all I\’d lost in such a short time.\”

\”Like now?\” murmured Chakotay. Janeway shot him a puzzled
glance, and Chakotay elaborated, \”You lost everyone you cared
about when we destroyed the Array, and since then you\’ve mostly
just done your job and stuck to yourself. You haven\’t let anyone
become a real friend.\”

Janeway looked at Chakotay, astonished. When one has had
the harsh truth shoved into one\’s face, one tends to react in
such a manner. Her mouth practically dropped to her knees, and
she didn\’t know whether to slap him or hang her head and mutely
agree with him. So she did both.

NOW Chakotay was the confused one. His cheek stung from
her hearty slap, and yet, instead of broiling like he would if
Seska or B\’Elanna had done so, he felt only empathy for his poor
friend. He put an arm around her sunken shoulder, causing her to
look up a little. He grinned chummily at her grave face. \”But
it was a lesson you needed to remember, Kathryn.\”

Janeway smiled a little, comforted by the gentle pressure
of Chakotay\’s arm on her shoulders and his hand on hers. She
rested her head slightly on his shoulder, very concious of the
fact that his face was now very close to hers. Chakotay was
right – – Captain Harris was right – – everything was RIGHT – –

A flicker of this resolution dawned in her eyes, which were
locked with Chakotay\’s. Chakotay\’s face broke into a softer,
more intimate smile, which didn\’t last long: seconds later, his
lips were invisible, covered by Janeway\’s.

************************************************************
************************************************************

And if either belived that the souls of the departed linger
and keep a loving watch over us after death, then somewhere, in
Valhalla or Hades or Heaven or Hell or some other place beyond
our grasp, there are two souls, once another Captain and her
First Officer, as kindred and in love as those whom they keep
watch over. And tonight they are smiling and joyful as their
greatest lesson is finally understood.

************************************************************
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FIN

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