The Second Mistake

From jessica@p24818 Fri Oct 18 18:03:03 1996
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 09:25:41 -0400
From: Jessica Ferroni
To: David J Tremel Jr
Subject: Re: fan fiction.

The Second Mistake
By Jessie Ferroni

Yet another attempt at writing fanfic. *sigh* There is just
never enough Tom Paris fanfic. 🙂
Anyways, enjoy, and as always, I appreciate any comments, suggestions,
etc.

*******

Tom Paris, formerly of Starfleet, warily eyed the building
at whose entrance he now stood. Did he want to go through
with this?
Yes.
He shivered in the chilly wind and pulled the long overcoat
tighter around his lean frame. The sky was overcast, and the
clouds threatened to pour down rain upon him at any moment.
The perfect weather, considering how miserable he felt.
He sighed. May as well get it over with.
Tom had agreed to meet here with Chakotay, one of the more
prominent, daring Maquis leaders. He was here to offer the only
thing he had left.
Having been court-martialed and stripped of his rank,
disowned by his father, a Starfleet admiral, and cut off from
the only life he had ever known, Tom was here, willing and
ready–desperate, even,–to offer the one thing that the trial,
and Starfleet, and his father, could and would never take
away from him: his love for piloting. The feel, the thrill,
of flying, the feelings of freedom and security flying brought
him when he knew he could feel secure nowhere else. He had
been one of Starfleet’s best.
Tom shook the feeling off. Had been. As in, was no longer.
He took a deep breath, and pushed the door open.

As he was ushered into the room where the big Indian
waited, his sharp blue eyes, always cautious, discerned
the figure of a woman in the dim light. She was speaking
to the Maquis leader in a low voice.
“Chakotay,” she hissed softly, “are you sure about this?
This is different–he’s an admiral’s *son*! What if his father
finds out and sends Starfleet after us, too? The Cardassians
are enough–”
Paris cleared his throat quietly, too sick to hear more.
*Thomas, what *have* you gotten yourself into?*
The half-Klingon woman gave him a flat, disapproving stare
and stalked out of the room. Tom watched her go, then stepped
forward into the small circle of light.
“Tom Paris,” he said simply, though he knew that Chakotay
probably already knew that–more than likely, the Maquis
knew everything about him. The fact that he had gotten this
far into their confidence gave him a ray of hope, and
allowed a little of his natural cockiness to seep back in.
“Mister Paris.” Chakotay gestured to a chair across from
his own. “Have a seat.”

So, this was what it was like to be in the Maquis. So
different from Starfleet. Three weeks of training, and he
was ready for his first run.
Chakotay showed him the old ship he was to pilot on his
assignment. “Can you fly it?” he asked.
Paris looked it over and gave Chakotay a wounded look.
“Of course.”
Chakotay snorted. Arrogant kid. He found Paris annoying,
always ready with a sarcastic retort. But the young man did
have considerable skill when it came to piloting, and the
Maquis always needed good pilots. Or any pilots, for that
matter.
Paris strolled up the open hatch and meticulously examined
the pilot’s console. Yeah, he could handle this one. Piece of
cake.
That was, if the ship was in flying order. Tom Paris could
pilot anything that was able to fly, and he knew it; a fact that
made him proud. Perhaps a little too proud, sometimes.
A Bajoran woman entered at that moment and leaned close to
Chakotay, murmuring something in his ear, too low for Tom to
hear. Chakotay nodded sharply.
“Paris, get your gear. You’re taking off in ten minutes.”
He turned back to the woman. “Seska, tell Drake and Makal to
get ready.” He and Seska hurried off in opposite directions.
Tom sat for a moment in the now-quiet cockpit, memorizing
his board for and preparing himself for the task that lay
ahead.

Their shields were failing. *He* had failed, Tom realized.
*My first mission, and I failed it. Dad would be proud,* he
thought bitterly.
“Drake, we need more power to the shields!” he shouted over
the wailing alarms. Drake paused in his struggles with trying
to boost their power only long enough to throw Paris a scalding
glare over his shoulder.
“If you were as good a pilot as you claim to be, we wouldn’t
be in this mess!” he yelled back, infuriated with Paris’
failure to get the antiqudated ship a safe distance from the
Starfleet vessel that was trailing them.
“Makal?” Tom asked helplessly.
The third member of the Maquis team, a woman named
Makal Jhara, shook her head, causing ringlets of blond hair
to dance across her shoulders.
“I can’t get the warp drive back online,” she said,
frustrated. “We need more time,”
“There is no time!” Drake exploded. “And there is no power
left to divert to the warp enigines. We can barely keep
life-support going,”
“Then put all the power from life-support into the engines,”
Tom ordered. “Life-support’s not going to do us much good if
we get fried by that Starfleet ship,”
The ship shuddered suddenly, and Drake swore and looked at
his panel for confirmation, though he already knew what
had happened. “A tractor beam.” He refused to look at the
pilot. “Good job, Paris.”
Makal sighed and slapped a few switches in frustration,
shutting off the power to the engines to prevent the ship from
tearing itself apart. Tom tried desperately to do something,
anything, to prevent the inevitable. Makal laid a hand on his
arm. The pained look in the blue eyes that glanced back at her
was mirrored her brown ones.
“I’m sorry,” he told her.

It wasn’t bad, really, as prisons go. No, the worst pain
came from the fact his father had been present at the trial.
He’d refused to even acknowledge his son standing before
him, unspoken apology in his eyes.
Tom sighed as they unlocked the manacles around his
wrists and attatched the ankle bracelet. Oh yeah, *that*
could keep him here. But where would he go, anyway?
Drake and Makal had been sent here, too. Makal would
be a comfort with her soft words, but somehow Tom had the
feeling Drake would probably enjoy trying to make Tom’s life
more miserable than it already was.
As he reflected on the situation, Tom realized just how big
a mistake he had made in joining with the Maquis.
He had offered the one thing he’d had left, and now he’d
lost it.

*****

Copyright October 1996 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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