The Price of Freedom: untitled

The Price of Freedom:
By Jessica Ferroni

Kathryn Janeway sighed, her head dropping to
rest for a moment in her hands. After a grueling
five-hour long questioning session, the Maquis
were finally allowed to go own with their lives.
Those who’d opted to remain with Starfleet had
been asked to remain on DS9 until further transfer
orders came through from Starfleet.
Janeway scrolled the list of Voyager’s crew sadly.
She’d never had a better crew, and she doubted she
ever would. She’d had the best of both worlds in
the Delta Quadrant.
She’d lost some crew members out there, though,
and each time a bit of her had stayed there with
them. But she’d lost the biggest piece to the Gamma
Quadrant, with the remains of Tom Paris’ shuttle.
Voyager herself would be completely restored,
with Chief Engineer B’Elanna Torres overseeing
repairs. In a galaxy of constant changes, Janeway
reflected, it was nice to know there were a few
staples.
So B’Elanna would remain on Voyager.
The rest of the crew were going their separate
ways, at least until Voyager was refitted.
Tuvok had accepted a teaching job at the Academy;
T’Pel and their children would be joining him on
Earth. Janeway and Chakotay, too, had accepted
temporary jobs, but only, they stressed, until the
Voyager was ready to go once again.
The Doctor would remain on Voyager; no one could
bear the thought of getting rid of the snarky
hologram they had all grown to love.
Kes and Neelix would be staying on Earth; Kes
wanted to continue her training with Tuvok, and
Neelix still couldn’t bear to part with her.
Harry Kim’s beloved Libby had remained true —
she would be arriving at Deep Space Nine within
a day. Harry could barely contain his excitement,
but he’d said, more than once, that he wished Tom
could be here to meet her.
Janeway sighed. Harry and B’Elanna hadn’t given
up hope on Tom. They believed he was still alive
and were watching anxiously for any news at all
from their missing friend.
Sometimes she wished they would give up and
accept the fact that their friend was dead,
but another part of her cheered silently at their
vigil.
“Captain?” B’Elanna poked her head into the room;
she looked exhausted, with dark rings under her eyes
and her normally neat uniform rumpled. “We’ve
finished up for the night and Harry and I are going
to get something to eat before Libby shows up.”
She hesitated. “Would you like to join us?”
“I’d love to, but I have to finish up these
reports,” Janeway replied automatically. Torres
looked disappointed, so Janeway smiled and
pushed her chair back. “Of course, they could
wait until later….”

Tom Paris sighed. Getting a transport to Earth
hadn’t been as easy as he’d hoped, but he was
finally here. The sky had darkened with the
onset of night, and the air was crisp and chilly.
He jammed his hands into his pockets as he
looked around for a shuttle, a transport, anything
that would get him out of the open. Laren had been
right; not much had changed at all. He’d just narrowly
managed to avoid being caught before he’d made it to
the transport bound for Earth, and he’d really
rather not have a repeat performance.
Of course, nothing ever, *ever* turned out the
way he’d hoped, and Tom absently wondered what
he’d done to get such a string of rotten luck.
A heavy hand clamped down on his shoulder.
“Tom Paris. How *nice* to see you again,” a voice
sneered. Tom tensed, muscles tightening. Why?
Why, why, why?

He ran. He could hear them behind him, but he
didn’t stop. If they were going to catch him,
they’d have to take him running. He’d managed
to break away, and now he ran as if his life
depended on it — which, incidentally, it did.
Tom cheered mentally at the sight of a transport
booth just a few more meters ahead….
A flash of light clipped the side of his vision
and a horrible pain began to spread through
his right arm. He staggered and almost fell at the
intensity of the pain, but, gritting his teeth,
he resolved to make it the last few feet.
Stumbling into the transport booth, Tom racked
his brain quickly. He needed somewhere he’d
be safe….somewhere he could get medical
attention….somewhere….
“Location: Marseilles,” he whispered as he
fought off the pain.
A transporter beam enveloped him and he
disappeared in a wash of sparkles.

The End? Naah…..just continued. 🙂
_____________________________________________________________________________
) Copyright March 1997 by Jessica Ferroni on all original story content.
Not meant to infringe on copyrights held by Paramount or any other
copyright
holders of STAR TREK: VOYAGER. Please do not reproduce for anything
other
than personal reading use (including fanzines) without written consent
of
the author. Comments are welcome at jessica@p24818.cle.ab.com.

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