Goodbyes

Legal Crapola:
Paramount officially owns the characters I am using in this story. I
am bending them around to fit my desires–even though I know what
they really do act like because I have watched enough episodes to
make my head spin.

This story takes place after Voyager arrives home.

*Goodbyes*
By Erin Kathrine O’Connor

Chakotay and his wife rocked back and forth in the gentle light
of the lamps on Earth, both painfully subject to all the grief caused
them by the past days events. They embraced in a tight bond, and
Chakotay didn’t let go. He couldn’t let go: he needed someone right
then, as did Kathryn.
Kes had died.
The away team mission had been in the numerous caves of Yeltek
Four, searching for the Tellerium that had been their downfall many
times before, in the farther reaches Delta Quadrant with the Mokra,
the Trennyik, and the Raff. Normally, Kathryn wouldn’t have told Kes
to accompany Tom Paris and herself, as she was eight years old and
the strains of age and child were beginning to show on her. However,
this was a special case; the Yeltekians were telepathic, and would
only communicate with other beings who shared that quality. They had
rounded a corner, guided by only the tricorder readings of Lieutenant
Commander Tom Paris, and had all fallen unconscious.
There was a force-field-like gravity wave barring their way,
which intensified their weight by ten times the normal gravity.
When the captain and the helmsman awoke, they found Kes lying dead by
their sides. Her frail body just couldn’t handle the strain.
They never got the Tellerium.
Kes had died.
And Kathryn blamed herself.
Chakotay finally pulled himself out of his dream-like state and
found his body still embracing Kathryn’s, who was openly sobbing. He
pulled away, gently, so as to assure his wife and former captain he
was still there. She collapsed into a limp pile on their sofa,
stared up at him with pathetically sad eyes for a moment, then
covered her face with a throw pillow. Chakotay felt like a bully,
leaving her here alone in her puddle of misery, but he had some
business he needed desperately to take care of. He slowly walked out
of the room, into their private holodeck.
“Computer, begin program Janeway/Chakotay twenty-three.” The
lights dimmed, and the computer began its programmed sequence. The
illusion was that of Voyager, still in the Delta Quadrant, set in the
days before they had arrived in the Alpha Quadrant, before Tom Paris’
promotion to Lieutenant Commander, before B’Elanna’s decision to stay
on the Verunan homeworld with Harry Kim, before his own promotion to
captain and the day he received his own Starfleet ship, before his
marriage to Kathryn . . .
He realized something important, in fact the most vital
character, would be missing from this program unless he added it; the
program was meant to be run with both Chakotay and his wife playing
themselves. He spoke, “Computer: retrieve character profile Kathryn
Janeway-1.”
The computer replied with a soft, yet unbearably loud beep.
“Profile retreived.”
“Add character Kathryn Janeway.” He would have to remember not
to call her Kathryn, here. “Start program.”
The people suddenly materialized around them, working busily.
He was in Engineering. “Chakotay! What are you *doing* here?!?
Don’t you know that there’s Kazon out there? We’d better get ready
for an attack!” It was B’Elanna Torres. He suddenly realized how
much he sorely missed B’Elanna’s presence in his life.
He pulled himself to the present. “I came down to see if
there’s anything I can do here; I’m an extra wheel on the bridge
right now. What’ve you got?”
His inquiry was met by a questioning stare. “Chakotay, are you
all right? Is there something going on that I should know about?”
Her expression softened. “Is everything okay between you and Captain
Janeway? I know you’ve been arguing with her a lot . . . ”
“Just butt out of my personal relationship! It’s none of your
business!” he snapped, suddenly remembering he *could* call Kathryn
Kathryn. Good; it would be a lot easier doing what he had to do.
“I’m going back to the bridge. Obviously I can’t help here.”
The ship suddenly shook with unimaginable force, throwing people
across the main Engineering deck, but Chakotay didn’t look back.
After all, he thought, it is just a holodeck simulation.
He collided with Kes in the hallway, her calm, young face
smiling when she glimpsed one of her commanding officers. Then she
got a look at the expression on his face and her own changed to one
of concern. “Is everything all right, Commander? You don’t look so
good.”
“I’m fine, Kes.” He missed her already, though she had died
just a day before. He realized that this was all that he would ever
see of his beloved friend again. He hadn’t really ever said farewell
. . . he straightened up, took a deep breath, and said, “Goodbye,
Kes.”

Kes looked at Chakotay quizzically, and tilted her head.
He followed up, “Where are you headed?”
“To the bridge! Why, aren’t you supposed to be up there? We’d
better run!” She sounded as if she was remembering something
important. “Oh, my God, Captain Janeway!” She sped down the
hallway as fast as her Ocampan legs would carry her.
“What do you mean? What’s going on? Is she all right?”
“No!” And that was all she said the remainder of the run up to
the bridge.
When the two reached the bridge, they were met by a grisly
sight; there was debris scattered everywhere, and Kathryn was pinned
under a large beam. She was obviously conscious, for she was showing
immense signs of pain, trying to move and then falling back. All the
bridge crew except Tom Paris and Harry Kim were doing their best at
assisting Tuvok in pulling the beam off their captain’s chest. Wait
a minute, Chakotay’s subconscious said, was this programmed to
happen?
Whatever programmed, he took command of the ship, yelling, “Tom!
What’s our status!”
He answered, “Hull breach in Engineering! All other systems
off-line! If we don’t get everyone out of here, we’ll all die!!”
“I didn’t ask for personal opinions! Tell Engineering to eject
the warp core and fast!” The ship shook, warning the crew of the
inevitable explosion. Then Chakotay remembered his initial purpose,
and this method was not getting him any closer to achieving his goal.

“Computer! End program!”
Everything paused. “Would you like to initiate save mode?” a
polite, yet extremely annoying female voice asked.
“No.” Chakotay stood, alone, in the dark room.

“Computer, create character Kathryn Janeway-4. Start program.”
The form of his wife appeared. She was facing the other wall.
Chakotay hailed her; “Kathryn.” She whirled, an expectant look
gracing her holographic face. She smiled when she saw it was him.
He, in turn, frowned back. She looked deep into his eyes, a
mannerism of hers he normally found rather amusing. It meant she was
touching his soul.
“What’s going on, Chakotay? Did I do something wrong?”
Such innocent words, with so much hiding behind them. He knew
what he was about to do would crush her life forever. No, he
silently thought, I’m going to do something wrong. I’m so sorry,
Kathryn!
He took a deep breath and began, “Kathryn, I love you. I really
do, but I can’t live like this. I want children. You can’t give
them to me, and I don’t blame you for that. But – – oh, it’s such a
simple issue, really, but it’s still so big to me. I know, this is
really a bad time, with Kes and everything, and I don’t know how to
break this to you, but I want *children.* I so much want *you* to
be the one to give them to me, but I can’t live without them.”
Here the hologram interjected, “How do you know I can’t give you
children? Did I ever tell you that?”
“I went to the doctor, Kathryn, and he told me that you only had
a one-in-ten chance of ever being able to get pregnant, which would
increase slowly as we got older. So, I don’t know any other way to
do this, but I suppose the simpler, the better.” Chakotay sighed.
If this was this hard with a hologram, how hard would it be with the
actual Kathryn? “I’m leaving you. I’m sorry. Goodbye, Kathryn.”
Then, the computer beeped, breaking the painful silence. “Captain
Kathryn Janeway is entering the holodeck.”

“Computer, end program.” Chakotay took a deep breath, then
exhaled sharply. Kathryn Janeway’s face was still streaked with
tears, though she was not crying anymore. The signs of wear and
mourning showed on her beautiful face. This was definitely not the
time to break it to her . . .
Kathryn smiled sadly at him, wondering what was going on. His
eyes were showing that little glimmer–he was holding something back,
she just knew it. She decided to bring whatever it was out into the
open. “Chakotay? What’s wrong? Why were you talking to a
holographic projection of me? What’s going on?”
Chakotay just broke down then. He kneeled at her feet and
sobbed into her dress, knowing what the emotional impact of his
decision would be.
Kathryn didn’t like this grovelling one bit. She put a stop to
it, reaching down to grab her husband by the shoulders and envelop
him in a tight hug. They stood this way for a matter of minutes,
then Chakotay began to quietly speak his rehearsed let-down.
“Kathryn, I love you. I really do, but I can’t live like this. I
want children. I *need* children. You can’t give them to me, and I
don’t blame you for that. But – – oh, it’s such a simple issue,
really, but it’s still so big to me. I know, this is really a bad
time, with Kes and everything, and I don’t know how to break this to
you, but I want *children.* I so much want *you* to be the one to
give them to me, but I can’t live without them.”
“Chakotay, I–”
“Please, don’t interrupt. I went to the doctor, Kathryn, and he
told me that you only had a one-in-ten chance of ever being able to
get pregnant, which would increase slowly as we got older. So, I
don’t know any other way to do this, but I suppose the simpler, the
better.”
“But, Chakotay, I–”
“Kathryn, I’m leaving you. I love you. Goodbye.”
“Dammit, Chakotay, why won’t you listen to me! Chakotay!!
Chakotay . . . ” for Chakotay had walked out the door. “Goodbye,
Chakotay.”

The End

This story is followed by *Hellos*

There shall be many others if I get positive responses. Please
e-mail comments to me at:

Nils40@worldnet.att.net

I hope you enjoyed *Goodbyes!* If you did, feel free to publicize,
copy, print, spread around, etc., etc., but keep my name on it please
and don’t change anything. Thank you!

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