Truth

Summary: Chakotay POV on Kathryn’s death.

Disclaimer: Paramount owns Star Trek and Star Trek: Voyager. I own the
story and make no profit off of this whatsoever. And I hope Paramount
doesn’t mind if I play in their sandbox.

Truth

by Karen Richardson (Warp47@aol.com)

I paced up and down the bridge. The away team had been looking for her
for two hours with no luck.

“Paris to Voyager.”

“Voyager here,” I replied.

“We found her, Commander,” he said.

I could hear the sadness in his voice, but I still had to check.
“Alive?” I asked hopefully.

“No.” My knees went weak and my mouth sealed shut. I grabbed onto the
nearby railing for support. “Commander?”

I clicked back into reality. “Mr. Paris, prepare for beam out,” I
ordered. “It’s time to bring Kathryn home.”

**********

The Doctor ran a medical tricorder over her lifeless body. “She died due
to moderate head injuries and mild internal bleeding,” he stated.

“Did she suffer?”I asked

“A little bit.” I closed my eyes, trying to block out images of Kathryn
enduring the agonizing pain that had seized her body. Lying on that cave
floor, helpless.

“Commander?” the Doctor asked.

My eyes snapped open. “Hmm?”

“Are you alright?” he inquired.

“I’m fine,” I lied. Kathryn was dead, how could I be alright? I’ll never
be “alright” again.

“Commander,” Lt. Paris came through the Sickbay doors.

“Yes?”

“Harry found this,” he handed me a tricorder. “It was set on record
mode. Perhaps, she was trying to stay conscious or she simply wanted to
say goodbye.”

I took the tricorder from him, “I intend to find out.”

**********

The door to my office closed behind me. The walk here had been pure
hell. I had made the ship-wide announcement that the Captain was dead
only thirty minutes ago; yet, crewmen were already giving me sympathetic
glances and nods. Sometimes I wonder if Kathryn was the only one in this
entire that didn’t know how I felt about her. Didn’t know that I loved
her, now she would never know.

I went over to my desk. I sat and placed the tricorder on the desk’s
smooth surface. “Computer, transfer recorded messages from tricorder to
database.”

After a slight pause the Computer responded, “Transfer complete.”

“Play messages,” I ordered.

Immediately Kathryn’s voice filled the room, like it always had. “I
can’t believe how irresponsible I was! Here I lay in a pit about six
meters deep, because I couldn’t control the explorer in me. Now I’m
stuck.

“The thing is no one knows I’m down here. I was off duty and heard
stories of how beautiful it was down here, so I decided to come down
here. Voyager can’t locate me through my commbadge, because it was
knocked off in the initial fall.

“Kathryn, stop thinking like that or this is going to turn into a very
grim recording. The away team was right, it is beautiful down here. It
reminds me of that place Mark use to whisk me away to every summer.
There you go and do it again, Kathryn, bringing up more painful
memories. Mark’s no longer part of my life. There, I said it.

“[pause] C’mon, Kathryn stay awake. I have this huge headache (probably
a concussion). I have to survive this for the crew.

“[long pause] It’s getting harder and harder to stay conscious. I wish
they’d come and find me. You know what? When you look death in the face
it makes you think about where you’ve been and where you’re going. I now
realize that I’m going nowhere. Everyday I sit in that chair, and every
evening I go to my quarters and read report upon endless report. It’s
been that way for the past for years. I have but one excuse: protocol.
I’ve used it as an excuse for many things. Hiding my feeling, for one.
Why couldn’t I have told him? If I don’t survive this, I want whoever
hears this to give it to Commander Chakotay. Chakotay, I hope you’re
listening. I have one thing to say to you, I love you.”

“Computer pause message.” So she had loved me, but she would never know
that I loved her back. Gods, why hadn’t I told her? Fear of rejection.
That was it. She had so many reasons to push me away that I had never
tried. “Computer continue message.”

“My headache’s gotten worse and I can feel my insides collapsing. No
one’s going to come and rescue me. They’ll find me, but I will have been
dead for several hours. This is goodbye.”

I listened intently. Waiting for something more, but nothing came. I
always knew Kathryn had a way of entering and exiting. Whether it be
room, or, in this case, life.

I stood up and walked out of the room. I continued down the corridor to
the turbolift. “Deck Five,” I ordered. Moments later, the doors swooshed
opened. I stepped out of the turbolift, took a deep breath and headed
down the empty hallway.

The Sickbay doors opened. “Please state the nature of the medical
emergency,” the Doctor said.

I looked over towards Kathryn’s body, “I would like a few minutes alone
with her.”

He looked at me, paused, then spoke, “Of course.” The Doctor
disappeared.

I walked over to the bio-bed and stood there looking at the empty shell
that she had become, not really sure why I had even bothered. The
nagging feeling in me made me do it, but I didn’t regret it. I leaned
over and gently kissed her. “I love you, too.”

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