Rebecca’s Revenge

REBECCA’S REVENGE, (P/T) by PJ in NH

Summary: In addition to an unusual engagement party, Tom and a
crewmate are captured during an away mission. Problem: Tom
feels just about as safe with the aliens as his crewmate.
Question: Did Tom leave behind a son in the Alpha Quadrant?

Disclaimer: Paramount owns Voyager and its characters. I’ve only
borrowed the characters to satisfy my own creative urges.
Archiving is okay, just e-mail me. Please keep disclaimer and my
name attached. Please allow the author ‘poetic license’ and
forgive any reference to time line or medical terminology that is
inaccurate. Note, I am assuming that Naomi is about 4 years old.
Also, most of the measurements in this story are in feet, sorry
for all the P/T’s out their in metric land, please do not
hesitate to convert.

Story takes place a little over five years after Voyager’s entry
into the Delta Quadrant and assumes that P&T have been engaged
for a four-five months. The story can be considered a sequel to
“And I Love You So, and “Deception” by the same author.

Special thanks to whomever runs the”Star Trek Voyager Encyclo-
pedia” web page at www.geocities.com/Hollywood/9299/enc.html.

REBECCA’S REVENGE
rated PG-13, 3/98
by PJ in NH
E-mail at kelhapam@lr.net

Chapter 1 – Sickbay

It had been a little over five years since they had entered the
Delta Quadrant he mused, he never would have imagined that when
their journey started that in a few days he would be attending
his and B’Elanna’s engagement party. During that time, to say
his life had changed could be considered an understatement. He
no longer thought of himself as an ex-convict or murderer, that
had been a huge accomplishment, and B’Elanna and he were
scheduled to be married in a few short weeks. he thought. And most of the
crew, if they didn’t like him or at least respect him, left him
alone. Most, that is, but not all. There were still a few
members of the crew whose opinions hadn’t changed at all and
didn’t hesitate to speak their mind. A few who still thought
that he shouldn’t be at the helm, let alone a senior officer.
Three of those crewmembers were now in Sickbay expecting to be
healed after a bar fight in Sandrine’s.

“Where’s the Doctor, Paris?” Ken McAfee spat, his tall 6’6′, 270-
pound frame made the 6’3″ pilot look small. His breath reeked of
real alcohol as did the other two who stood beside him.

Ed Huggins, whose build rivaled McAfee’s, joined in, “Yeah, we
don’ want some flunky patchin’ us up, espushaly you!”

Paris had manned Sickbay all day and had treated more than the
typical number of cases, everything ranging from a broken bone to
one crewmate who had been knocked unconscious, and that was in
addition to the the Bolian flu that was making the rounds again.
It was now 2330 and he was exhausted, these three, he determined
with their attitude, didn’t deserve the luxury of a ‘bedside
manner.’ “Well you know, if you three didn’t keep getting in bar
fights with each other, you wouldn’t have to worry about *who*
was patching you up,” countered Paris as he reached for the
dermal regenerator.

“Like your one to talk,” slurred Mack Evans, the third man who
was considered the midget of the group at only 6’4″ and 235
pounds.

The lieutenant crossed his arms over this chest and prepared to
take a stance. “Well, it’s like this,” he explained, “the Doctor
is on the planet and is not expected back until tomorrow. So you
three have two choices, either wait until tomorrow or lower your
standards and let me help you.” He looked them up and down as if
sizing them up. “I, myself, would suggest the second choice, you
three are ugly enough as it is without…” CRACK, he received a
fist to his mid-section, CRACK, and one to his jaw before he hit
the floor.

“How about a third option, we beat the shit out of you!” McAfee
spat with a smirk on his face leaning threateningly over the
pilot/nurse rubbing his left hand over his right fist, obviously
pleased that they had decked him.

“I’ll give you a fourth option — the brig,” said Chakotay as he
entered the Sickbay and hit his commbadge. “Chakotay to Tuvok.”

“Tuvok here.”

“Please have Ensign McAfee beamed to the brig. I’ll come down
later and press charges.”

“Acknowledged,” the Vulcan replied and proceeded to initiate the
intership transporter beam out.

The Commander turned to address the other two, “Mr. Huggins and
Mr. Riley, I suggest that after Mr. Paris treats you that you go
straight to your cabins and sleep this off. I had better not
remind you about the seriousness of this situation, or you will
find yourselves in the brig as well.

Chakotay then reached down and helped Paris to his feet. “You
don’t think it was something I said” joked the bruised pilot
clutching his stomach.

“Knowing you, I wouldn’t be surprised,” he said grimacing at the
bruise already forming on the Lieutenant’s face.

Paris, still holding the regenerator, proceeded to use it on a
chastened Huggins and Riley. “Now be still Mack and you and Ed
will be out of here in no time,” Tom instructed while the two
crewmen just sat there and glared at him. Paris was thankful
that the Commander was still there. It took a few more minutes
before both men were healed, ready to fight again another day.
“There all done, and please, can you guys try and space these
trips out a bit, your in here almost as much as I am,” his
attempt at humor falling as flat as he expected. The two men
just grumbled their thanks, due largely in part because Chakotay
was still there, and left to return to their quarters.

Chakotay was sitting on one of the biobeds as Tom turned around
to take care of the equipment.

“So Tom how did it start?”

Tom look up at the big Maquis noticing the look of concern on his
face. “Well the three of them came in after one of their famous
bar brawls, I swear I’ve never seen ‘friends’ fight so much.
Anyway, apparently my sheepskin didn’t meet their high
standards,” Paris explained as he rubbed his already swollen jaw.

“That’s no excuse for what they did to you.”

Tom nodded in agreement. “To tell you the truth, usually I can
ignore them, but it’s been a zoo in here today and I’m kind of
tired.”

“Are you telling me you’ve had a problem with them before?” asked
the concerned Commander as he got up from the bed and reached for
the regenerator and started to wave its beam over the pilot’s
jaw.

“Gee Commander give me that it’s not a
phaser you know,” he said as he grabbed the regenerator from the
older man’s grasp, “besides, I think this is going to require the
osteogenic stimulator. That McAfee throws a mean right punch, I
think he might have cracked the bone.”

“Tom, don’t change the subject,” he admonished, fully aware of
Paris’ attempt to sidestep the issue. “Has this happened
before?”

Tom looked at the Commander carefully and then refocused his
attention on the floor, he noticed that the Commander was totally
serious and would expect nothing less than the truth. He took a
deep breath and exhaled, talking about this kind of thing, about
how crewmen like those three felt about him, was something he
always tried to avoid. “No, Chakotay, it wasn’t the first time
and to be honest it probably won’t be the last. Those three
gorillas have had it out for me ever since I got on board five
years ago, especially McAfee, but lately, over the past six to
eight months, he’s changed.”

“Changed how?”

“I don’t know, like he’s going out of his way to confront me, to
provoke me,” confessed the pilot.

“Why didn’t you say anything before?”

Tom walked over to the mirror on the wall and began to use the
osteogenic stimulator on his jaw. “I shouldn’t have to remind
you that if I reported everyone who had a problem with me when I
first came on board, even you would be on that list.”

It was Chakotay’s turn to be rebuked. “Your right,” the
Commander admitted. “So much has happened since then, I’ve almost
forgotten.”

“It’s over and done with, and actually, except for McAfee and a
few others, for the past couple of years things have been fairly
quiet. The fact is, Chakotay, I would appreciate it if you could
get Ken out of the brig, I feel partially responsible. Maybe if
I hadn’t been so irritable, he never would thrown that punch.
Besides, one thing I don’t need, is for that goon to be any more
pissed off with me than is he already is. One lesson I learned
at the rehab colony was that it doesn’t pay to tick people off
that are bigger than you are, and this guy has also got friends
almost as big as him.”

“Well, that’s true, those guys are huge. Their mothers must have
fed them well growing up, but I’m afraid Ken’s going to have to
cool his heels in the brig for a couple of days before I’ll let
Tuvok release him. What he did was inexcusable, Tom, he’s should
be lucky it’s for only two days, striking a superior officer back
home would warrant a court martial. The other two are just lucky
they didn’t throw a punch as well.” He also knew that the
pilot/nurse had been lucky, for if he hadn’t come through the
door when he did, the other two would have been involved and Tom
would have required more medical attention than a dermal
regenerator or osteogenic stimulator could provide.

Tom could tell that it would be a waste of energy to try and
convince him to release McAfee and attempted to change the
subject. “By the way, Commander why *did* you come to Sickbay?”

“To tell you the truth, I came down because I’ve got a splitting
headache, and now after dealing with those three it’s even worse,
can you help me?”

“Sure, why don’t you sit back down and I’ll get you something.”
Tom replaced the osteogenic stimulator back in its case and
rubbed his jaw to determine that the pain was gone and went in
search of an analgesic.

“So Tom, I understand that you’ve been going back to school?” the
Commander asked with a knowing grin on his face.

“Who told you?” countered the
Lieutenant as he paused in his search for the medicine.

“Well, actually I walked in on your program last week by
accident. I thought that someone else was using Holodeck 2.” He
had expected to find Kathryn in there with Da Vinci and was
surprised to find Paris in a classroom setting, obviously in the
middle of some exam, complete with fellow students and an
instructor who resembled the Doctor except for a full head of
hair. “So what classes are you taking?”

“You mean the Captain didn’t tell you?” asked Tom as he ordered a
glass of water from the replicator.

“No,” he answered, now more than just curious. “What’s the
problem, is it a secret?”

“It’s not a secret really. It’s just that when the Doctor was in
the Alpha Quadrant and I was covering for him in sickbay, Harry
suggested that I should learn more about medicine. So, Harry and I developed the framework
for a medical instructional program for the holodeck and the
Doctor supplied the lessons.”

“What a good idea, it’ll be good to have someone to count on
besides the Doctor.”

“Hey, I have no intention of becoming a physician, just to
supplement my former medical education. I thought that it would
help me feel more confident in Sickbay.

Chakotay reached over a place his hand on Paris’ shoulder and
looked him right in the eye. “More confident in Sickbay, Tom, or
are you afraid you may have to permanently replace him someday?”

The Commander had obviously hit the mark, as he had temporarily
rendered the normally talkative Lieutenant speechless. Tom mused.
“I’d be lying if I told you that the thought never crossed my
mind.” Hell, it crossed his mind every time there was an
emergency on board. “If something did ever happen to the Doctor
and I was left with my current level of training…” he stopped
shaking his head. “Damn, Chakotay,I don’t even want to think
about it.”

“I believe I understand. So, Tom, how is it coming along?”

“Well, in the beginning I convinced myself I was doing it only
because Harry thought I should. That guy has a knack of being
able to talk me into doing things I wouldn’t normally do. But,
you know I now find myself actually enjoying the classes, even
though it’s lot of work,” he admitted. “Right now the Doctor has
me concentrating on toxins and viruses.”

“Your not saying that you’d rather be a doctor than a pilot are
you?” the Commander teased.

“Oh no, nothing like that, I’ll always be a pilot first,” he said
as he handed the Commander a couple of capsules and the glass of
water, which he immediately swallowed.

“Thanks “Doctor*. Well I think your doing the right thing, it’ll
be good for you *and* Voyager. Maybe even a few others should
also be taking those classes?”

“We are already ahead of you, in fact Samantha Wildman started
taking some emergency medical classes about a month ago. I guess
you could say she’s my backup.”

“I’m glad to hear that, Sam should do well. By the way, what are
you going to do about your friend in the brig, he still needs
medical treatment. Can you handle it yourself or do you want me
to come down with you?”

“No thanks, that won’t be necessary, besides I’m sure there is a
security guard or two down there that can give me a hand. If
not, I can always practice my bedside manner with a phaser in one
hand and a regenerator in the other,” he joked.

“You know, I think I’d like to see that,” the Commander chuckled.
“Ordering them to stop bleeding or else!”

Chapter 2 – The Brig

He had joked with Chakotay about not being worried about going
down to the brig, but his insides were in knots as he stepped
into the cell that contained McAfee, even though two of Tuvok’s
his best guards stood at the door.

So here he was, forced to tend to the care of an individual who,
despite his best efforts to get along with, despised him. He had
tried many things over the past five years and in particular the
last two, to get McAfee and his friends to change their minds.
He had joked with them, tried to get them to join him for a game
of pool, and he had even directly confronted them in an attempt
to find out what the problem was so he could make an attempt to
correct it, but nothing had worked. They were still the same men
as they had been those long years ago.

“It must gnaw at you Paris, knowing that you have to come down
here and fix me up,” taunted McAfee as he looked up to confront
the pilot.

“I can think of several things I’d rather be doing,” Tom
admitted, “but this won’t take long.”

As he bent over the seated McAfee to repair the damage one of his
own friends had done to his shoulder, McAfee said softly so only
Paris could hear while the pilot/nurse waved the regenerator over
the injured area. “This isn’t over Paris, not at all.”

“If this is about Caldik Prime or the Maquis situation…” trying
again to get McAfee to open up.

“You don’t even know, do you?” he interrupted. “Your kind are all
alike.”

“Look Ken, I don’t want any trouble.”

“It’s too late for that Paris, it was too late when you came
aboard Voyager, and it is way too late now.”

“Is everything alright in there Lieutenant?” questioned the
guard.

“Just fine, I’m almost done.” He then lowered his voice to leave
McAfee with a parting bit of advice as he gathered his medical
equipment together. “Don’t underestimate me Ken, being in prison
taught me a few things. So if I were you, I’d think twice before
threatening me.” He hoped that he sounded a lot more confident
that he felt.

Chapter 3 – Naomi and Fred

It had been one hell of an evening. He kept on playing the
conversation in the brig over and over again in his mind. He
knew that he had been in trouble more than once in the past, hell
a lot more than once, but he couldn’t remember a time when Ken
McAfee was part of his past, good or bad. Of course, he mused,
maybe it was someone that was a member of Ken’s family or a
friend. In the morning, he would access the ship’s records and
see if he could unearth something, but for now, he was just too
damn tired.

He settled himself down for the night, still in his uniform, on
one of the biobeds in order to be immediately available if there
was an emergency to attend, as he had promised the doctor. He
regretted that promise now as he struggled to get comfortable on
the hard bed. Of course, if B’Elanna were here it would make all
the difference. Eventually, he drifted off to sleep with visions
of a certain half-Klingon occupying his dreams. He was sound
asleep enjoying these dreams when the door to Sickbay slid open
and closed.

The figure that entered, quietly looked around the Sickbay, and
finally locating the pilot on the furthest biobed, walked up to
him, bent down, and kissed him on the cheek.

“Wha…ah…I’m up….” he mumbled and flailed his arms almost
falling off the bed as he blinked his blue eyes in an attempt to
focus. “B’Elanna…B’Elanna? Wha…what are you doing here? You
nearly scared the life out of me!”

She kissed him again, this time on the lips as she pulled him
toward her, her arms encircled around him. “Good morning to you
too. Actually, I just got up and thought that before I went to
the mess hall that I’d check on my favorite flyboy.”

He was tired, but not too tired to let that slip. “So, which
flyboy is you not-so-favorite,” he teased throwing in a mock
pout.

“Tom, shut up,” she giggled. She then wrapped her arms around
him tighter and proceeded to thoroughly kiss him tangling their
tongues together. With a nibble or two on his lips thrown in for
good measure, she started to unfastened the front of his uniform.
Her fingers itched to feel his chest hair.

“Bea…oh…you know what that does…oh..,” he murmured as the
Sickbay door slid open again and two people could be heard
entering.

“Tom, are you up? Can you help me?” Samantha Wildman asked
fretfully from the open doorway, her four-year-old daughter Naomi
clutching her hand while in Naomi’s other hand held a well-loved
teddy bear.

“I…I’ll be right there Sam,” he responded as he refastened his
uniform. “Sorry about that Bea,” he whispered, “one of the
pitfalls about being in medicine.” He gave her a little kiss on
the tip of her nose as he exited from the back of the Sickbay,
and B’Elanna followed. “So Sam what’s up?” he asked grabbing the
medical tricorder laying on the nearby table.

“It’s Naomi, she woke up early this morning running a fever and
throwing up.”

“She did?” Tom said concernedly as he crouched down to be at the
child’s level taking into account her pale face. “So tell Uncle
Tommy, where does it hurt, angel?”

B’Elanna thought.

“Here,” she pouted pointing to her mid section. “my tum-tum
hurts.”

“And is Fred okay?” he asked pointing to her teddy bear.

“Uh, huh, but he wanted to come along to see if he could help,”
the little girl explained.

“I’m sure he’s a big help. Let’s see what the tricorder has to
say, though it’s probably that pesky Bolian flu.”

“‘Kay,” she said looking at the man before her with a serious
expression on her face.

He proceeded to scan the little girl. “Yep, another case of the
flu.”

“Oh no, and I was suppose to go down and help the Captain with
plans for the engagement party before alpha shift starts, she’s
expecting me,” moaned the little girl’s mother.

“Why don’t you go ahead Sam,” Tom suggested as he tweaked the
litle girl’s nose which resulted in a giggle. “Naomi can stay
with me. By the time your done, she’ll probably even be feeling
a little better. Right munchkin?”

“You don’t mind Naomi?” asked her mother.

“Nope,” she said. Then the little girl crawled up into Tom’s
waiting arms and buried her head into his shoulder still holding
onto her teddy bear. “Nope, wanna stay with Uncle Tommy, bye
Mama!” she mumbled into his chest, seemingly more than content to
stay in Sickbay with the pilot.

“Well, I guess I know when I’m not wanted,” she grinned, relieved
that her daughter was in good hands. “Thanks Tom, I promise I
won’t be long.”

“No problem.”

“Don’t worry Sam, I’ll stay and give *Uncle Tommy* a hand for a
little while,” offered B’Elanna. This was a new side of him she
hadn’t seen and it intrigued her. This man, she contemplated,
will make a wonderful father, obviously much better than his own
had been.

“Thanks again, Tom.” Sam said and she kissed her little girl.
“You be good for your Uncle Tommy and Auntie B’Elanna, I’ll be
back soon.”

“*Auntie B’Elanna* you don’t have to stay if you don’t want to,”
Tom said as he settled Naomi down on one of the beds pulling a
blanket over her and he went to get some anti-nausea medicine.

B’Elanna followed after him, thinking about the honorary title
that had been recently bestowed. “It’s okay, it’s one of the
perks about being *Chief* Engineer and I think I’d like to stay
and see you in action,” she teased. “By the way, you seem pretty
comfortable with Naomi, can I ask why?”

“Well if you promise you won’t tell anyone, I do have a
reputation to uphold,” he joked.

“No seriously Tom, I want to know, she seems so comfortable with
you.”

“Actually,” he said lowering his voice and looking around the
Sickbay for eavesdroppers, “I’m her regular Thursday night date,
but don’t tell my fiance, okay?”

“Really?” she sensed that he was serious underneath the grin.

“Really, Bea. I’ve been babysitting Naomi almost ever since she
was born, in fact, it’s something I look forward to. But if you
tell anyone…”

“Your secret’s safe with me, at least until we have little ones
of our own. Deal?”

“Deal,” he relented giving her a little peck on the lips.

“Uncle Tommy!” whined Naomi, “my tum-tum hurts again!”

“I m getting you something to make you feel better sweetie.” Tom
vowed as he grabbed the medicine, went out, and injected the
little girl with an appropriate dosage. “There, you should feel
better soon, I promise. Now, would you like a story or a poem
before the medicine makes you fall asleep?”

“A song,” said the sleepy little girl, “the teddy bear song
please.”

“You mean the one about the picnic in the woods?”

“Uh, huh, it’s Fred’s favorite,” she confirmed already feeling
sleepy from the injection but still clutching her teddy bear
Fred. Tom started to sing softly. As she finally drifted off to
sleep, he bestowed a kiss on her dimpled forehead and tucked her
in.

B’Elanna had been leaning against the bulkhead wall watching the
whole exchange with a little wistful grin on her face, imaging
him tending to his own children, their own children. They
certainly had a lot to look forward to.

Chapter 4 – Popcorn and Cotton Candy

The Captain and Chakotay had done a wonderful job with the
engagement party. Everyone was having a wonderful time,
particularly the future bride and groom.

“Chakotay, I’ve got to hand it to you, your program for this
party is fantastic,” Tom said enthusiastically.

“Thanks, Tom, I was hoping that you’d like the setting, though it
did take a while to get it just right. Actually it was Samantha
Wildman’s idea at the last moment to add the popcorn and cotton
candy vendors. We were hesitant at first, we weren’t too sure if
you two would like having your party set in an old earth
amusement park, it’s a little unorthodox.

“Are you kidding, this is great!” B’Elanna chimed in. “Everyone is
having a blast! Did you see Harry and Seven on the
rollercoaster? Her eyes were as big as saucers, I think she was
actually scared!”

“And did you see Naomi,” Tom joined in, “if she eats anymore
cotton candy she’s going to burst.”

“She would have if it wasn’t for the fact that it was time for
bed,” joined in Janeway with a grin on her face.

“Captain, this is one program your going to have to save,” said
Tom.

“I agree,” concurred Chakotay finishing up a bag of popcorn, “it
seems to be a success all around. I’m glad you’re enjoying
yourselves.”

“Tom,” B’Elanna asked a gleam in her eye as she pulled on his
arm, “do you want to go try the Tilt-a-Whirl again?”

“I don’t know, I was thinking about the Tunnel-of-Love myself,”
he offered as he leaned over and gave her a quick love bite on
her ear, just where she liked it.

“Well alright,” she said with mocked reluctance, “but only if you
bribe the operator to stall the ride half-way,” she giggled
pulling him along after her. Chakotay chuckled at her response
and almost choked on the popcorn.

“What are you laughing at?” Janeway asked her first officer.

“Just the two lovebirds, their acting like two lovesick
teenagers. I’ve never seen B’Elanna so carefree and happy.”

“I know what you mean, those two have certainly changed over the
years. They seem to be made for each other, but it took them a
while to realize it.”

Chakotay nodded in understanding, thinking about another couple
closer to his heart. “You know Kathryn, if we hurry we could get
in line for the ferris wheel, and I understand that the captain
may possess enough influence to get the operator to pause the
ride at the top. What do you think?” he asked with a knowing
grin on his face.

“I think you know what I think,” she asked pulling him along in
the direction of the ferris wheel.

The party lasted to almost 0100 before Janeway and Chakotay wound
it up by assembling all the guests in front of a now quiet merry-
go-round.

“Everyone please gather round,” requested the Captain as she
stood up on a raised platform with Chakotay by her side. The
party guests all assembled around the Captain, Commander and the
guests of honor.

“We, the Commander and I, would like to thank all of you for
coming tonight to celebrate Tom and B’Elanna’s engagement.
Unfortunately, tomorrow is another busy day on Voyager and we are
going to have to call it a night,” she rose her hand in the air
in an attempt to quiet the collective groan, none louder than
B’Elanna’s and Tom’s. “I know, I feel the same way, I had a
wonderful time ,
but before we terminate this program, we just wanted to say how
happy we are to see two people so much in love and planning to
make their future together. I’m sure I speak for everyone here
when I say ‘congratulations.’ A round of applause emanated from
the crowd.

“Tom, B’Elanna?” she said as she relinquished the platform, “I
believe that you wanted to say something?”

“Thanks Captain, Chakotay,” said Tom.

“Yes thank you this party was very special,” echoed B’Elanna.

“Do you want to…?”

“No Tom, you go ahead and speak.”

Someone yelled, “You better take her up on it, Paris, just wait
until you get married, you won’t get a word in edgewise!” Which
caused everyone to laugh.

“Well you know you might be right,” he teased as he put his arm
around his future bride and drew her closer to him. “But,
B’Elanna and I would just like to say how much we appreciate
everyone coming to the party. It was certainly an evening we’ll
never forget. We hope the wedding reception will be this much
fun…

Someone else yelled, “I bet the *wedding night* will be!”

“You had better watch it Warren,” B’Elanna threatened with a
smile on her face, ” your working my shift tomorrow and I know of
some Jeffries tubes with your name on them.” Everyone laughed.

“Come on Bea, don’t be so touchy,” Tom teased and looked up to
make eye contact with the owner of the voice, “Warren, I’ll take
that bet, what are the odds?”

Shortly thereafter the two very tired, but very happy lovebirds
left the holodeck to adjourn to B’Elanna’s cabin. As they walked
through the corridors of the ship they paused every so often for
a little kiss, love bite, or hug, in an attempt to prolong the
evening.

He watched them from a distance, not wanting to be seen. They
seemed so happy together, he seemed so content, it wasn’t fair.
McAfee vowed.

Chapter 5 – Rebecca

B’Elanna grumpily got out of bed the next morning and stumbled
into the bathroom. Tom had already left for the bridge, an hour
before. After making her bed, taking a shower and changing into
her uniform she headed for the mess hall for breakfast before
finally reporting to work.

“Good morning, Lieutenant!” beamed Neelix as he handed her a cup
of coffee.

“Morning,” she replied trying to squelch a yawn. How could he be
so cheery in the morning? He probably had even less sleep than
she did last night. Well on second thought maybe not, Tom didn’t
really want to sleep when they got to her quarters, she mused a
small smile forming on her lips.

“I just wanted to let you know, B’Elanna, that I had a wonderful
time at your party!”

“I’m glad you did,” she said still trying to completely wake up,
“everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves.”

“That they did, they’re all talking about it this morning. I was
only sorry that Kes wasn’t here,” his voiced lowered in obvious
sorrow.

“Tom and I thought that same thing and I’d like to think that in
whatever existence she is now in, that she was there with us last
night” she said placing her hand on the Talaxian’s arm.

He nodded his head in concurrence. “I think your right.” Time to
change the subject he decided. “So what can I get you for
breakfast?”

“Just coffee and toast please.”

“Right away.” Within a few minutes he handed her her breakfast

She picked up the tray and turned around to the seating area to
find a place to sit down.

“Hey Maquis, join us over here,” yelled Harry waving his arm from
the other side of the room. B’Elanna waved back in
acknowledgment and headed over to join him, tray in hand.

After breakfast, Harry accompanied B’Elanna on her way to
engineering.

“You know Maquis, even Seven had a good time last night. I don’t
think I’ve ever seen her smile so much!” he said as they entered
Engineering.

“She certainly seemed to be having fun,” she agreed, “then again
so did you.”

“Your right. By the way the reason I came down to engineering
was…a…well…” Harry stammered as his face reddened.

“I think you’ll find her over on the other side of the warp core
helping Vorek, Harry.”

“Ah…thanks…I guess I’m pretty transparent,” Harry blushed.

“No problem, Starfleet, I’m glad your happy,” she said trying to
stifle another yawn. “Will you tell Carey that I’ll be in my
office if he needs anything?”

“Sure thing.”

The Chief Engineer entered her office and sat down in front of
her console and began to access her mail. Most were ordinary,
routine messages of people requesting repairs, but one stood out
from the rest.

All the reference line read was ‘Paris.’ When she accessed the
body of the text, it was almost as short, all it said was ‘Ask
Paris about Rebecca.’ She couldn’t remember an
Rebecca on Voyager, sure their was an Roxanne and a couple of
Rhondas, but no Rebecca. This she confirmed by double checking
the ship’s roster, she couldn’t even find anyone with Rebecca as
a middle name, let alone a first name.

When she went back to the message and checked to see who had sent
it, she found out that it wasn’t signed and had originated from a
computer located outside of the mess hall which was virtually
accessible to anyone. she thought.

That evening as they ate their evening meal on a table in the
back of the mess hall, B’Elanna told Tom about finding the
message. “So Tom, who is Rebecca?”

“I don’t know, who is she?”

“I’m serious Tom.”

“So am I, I really don’t know,” he said as he looked up to see
that they were being joined by the Delaney sisters.

Megan jumped right in to the conversation, always on the look out
for juicy gossip. “So who are you talking about?” she asked
bluntly.

“Nothing much, someone told B’Elanna that I know a Rebecca. I
told her that I don’t. That’s all, no big mystery.”

“That’s not quite true Tommy,” replied Jenny as she sat down next
to B’Elanna.

Tom shook his head “No Jenny, I’m sure I would remember, you see
I have a cousin named Rebecca, so I think I’d remember going out
with anyone with the same name.

“But,” she argued, “I don’t think you knew her as Rebecca, at the
time she went by R.C.”

Tom nodded his head and paused as reality hit him right between
the eyes, “Oh no, not R.C., wasn’t she a …”

“Yep, she was a ‘wanna-bee,’ interruped Meagan. “In fact, she
was the wanna-bee of all wanna-bees, to which Jenny nodded in
agreement as she rolled her eyes to the ceiling.

“I give up, what’s a ‘wanna-bee’?’ B’Elanna asked, totally
confused.

“Well, actually the full title would be a ‘Paris Wanna-bee,”
explained Jenny.

“I still don’t get it.”

“‘Paris Wanna-bees’ pursued Tom in hopes of marriage so their
last name would be ‘Paris.’ ” explained Meg, “as in ‘I wanna-be a
Paris.’ And let me tell you, R.C. wasn’t the only one, she was
only the most persistent.”

“What about you and…” began B’Elanna before she stopped
herself.”

“You mean, were Meagan and I ‘wanna-bees’? No. There was a
difference between wanting to date the blue-eyed wonder because
his last name was Paris and wanting to date him because his first
name was Tom. Do you understand?”

B’Elanna nodded her head. “I think I do, you mean some girls
wanted to date him hoping to marry him for all that came with
being a Paris and the son of an Admiral, fame, money,…”

“..but others, like us, wanted to date Tom because he was Tom, we
didn’t care who his father was,” Meagan finished.

“So, who is this Rebecca or R.C.?” the half-Klingon asked Meagan
returning to the original query.

“Well, if I remember right, she was a spoiled stepdaughter of
some Captain in Starfleet. I can’t seem to recall which Captain,
but anyway, she set her sights on Tom, and she was bound and
determined to have him. She would follow him all around and even
attempt to sabotage his dates. At the time, he and I were
dating, it was just after he broke up with Linda**.”

“Yeah, I don’t think I could ever forget that,” said Tom as he
took a sip of his beverage, “why don’t you tell the story Meg.”

“Okay, well it started one night when Tom took me out to
Murphy’s, I think it was for dining and dancing.” Tom nodded his
head in agreement. “The evening started out great and we were
having a good time, but every time I looked up there was R.C.,
and it wasn’t just that night, almost every time we were together
during the next few months you could count on R.C. not being far
behind.”

Tom added. “And she was always calling me, leaving me notes and
messages that would make a sailor blush. I kept on hoping that
she would tire of it, but if anything she just got more
relentless. Finally, I had enough and one day while Meg and I
were in the Academy cafeteria, I bluntly told R.C. in front of
several people not to bother me any more, to stay away or I
would be forced to call campus security. Apparently she was
embarrassed by the number of people in the cafeteria that heard
the exchange.”

“Tom, aren’t you forgetting something–you know the threat?”
asked Meagan.

“That’s right, as she walked away from us, she said something
about me regretting it.”

“I believe what she said was ‘Tom Paris, you’ll be sorry, I’ll
make your life a living hell, just you wait.’ ”

“You still remember that?”

“She scared the living daylights out of me, Tom, that girl was
really off balance,” she said making swirling motions with her
finger beside her head just as Ken McAfee walked past them
looking for a place to sit down to eat his meal, and he heard Tom
agree with her.

“Your right, Rebecca was demented, she really needed some
psychiatric help.”

He then
found a table on the other side of the room, out of earshot of
the Paris table, but he couldn’t stop thinking about what he had
overheard as he stabbed viciously at his leola root pie. His
little kid sister, was back on earth according to the letter he
received from the Hirogen communication array, raising Paris’
brat. What had the letter said? ‘He still owes me Ken, here I am
raising his kid all alone even Mom and Dad kicked me out. It
could have been so different, but he walked out on me just when I
needed him.’ He had been patient, but no more, this time, he
determined, Paris was going to get what was coming to him.

“So she was ‘stalking you,’ isn’t that the correct term?” asked
B’Elanna as the conversation continued at her table.

“Yep, that’s it alright, and that’s exactly what you feel like,
like your the prey just waiting to be pounced on,” said Tom.

“So what happened to R.C. after that? she asked.

“I really don’t know, it wasn’t long after that that I had to
pack up and go to Arctic Camp after the Mofek incident**, and
when I returned to the Academy for the next semester she was long
gone.

“Do you know what happened to R.C.?” B’Elanna asked the Delaneys.

Jenny was the one to supply the answer. “I heard from a friend
that she hooked up with Joshua Richards for a while. Not someone
her family would approve of–not good enough for their little
girl.”

“Your kidding, she went from me to Josh?” asked Tom
incredulously.

“What’s the matter helmboy, Josh wasn’t in your league?” prodded
B’Elanna.

“No, it’s not that, it was just that Josh was a bit rough around
the edges,” he explained.

“A bit rough is an understatement!” countered Meagan, “he was
downright crude. Everyone thought that R.C. finally found
someone of her caliber when she hooked up with him. I even heard
that she had his baby.”

“Yeah,” replied her sister, “you can bet Mom and Pop really
appreciated that.”

Chapter 6 – Away Mission

McAfee thought as he prepared to leave on an away
mission the next morning. He grumbled to himself all the way to
the shuttlebay to join the rest of the away team.

The two teams assembled in the shuttlebay dressed in their tan
two-piece work suits. They were scheduled to go down to a nearby
planet to obtain raw material for the magna-replicators for
creating spare parts for shuttlecraft, ship repairs, etc.
Chakotay was to pilot the Chamberlain and Paris the
Portsmouth***, with several cargo handlers along to perform the
manual labor. One of these men was McAfee, chosen because of
this strength. Chakotay purposely assigned him to his team, he
didn’t need any confrontations arising between him and Paris.

“Now everyone remember the purpose of this mission is to get what
we need and get out of there as soon as possible, we have picked
up signs of life, but if we are careful, we shouldn’t have any
problems. Any questions? No? Alright then, let’s be on our
way,” instructed the Commander.

They departed Voyager soon after, and it wasn’t long before they
were preparing to land in a location that had been determined to
contain a significant quantity of ore and other valuable
material.

Chakotay addressed the assembled away team. “Okay, let’s spread
out, teams of two, we should meet back here in say three hours.
And remember stay together, there are signs of alien life in the
area. If you run into any, try to get away from them, and
request immediate beam out.”

The chosen pairs went off together with anti-grav equipment in
hand. Each team was eager to be the one to come back with the
most material, as the lucky duo was to be awarded with precious
extra replicator rations.

McAfee had been teamed up with Mitchell and they were assigned an
area to the northeast of the landing site. They walked for quite
awhile occasionally phasering out some promising pieces of ore.
Mitchell tried several times to strike up a conversation, but Ken
wasn’t responding, his mind was obviously on other things.
Finally, Mitchell stopped trying and just concentrated on the job
at hand.

After they had walked about an hour Ken figured that it was time
to implement his plan. McAfee reasoned,

After a half an hour, McAfee found his opportunity. “Ah
Mitchell, I’ll catch up with you in a minute,” he said pointing
to some nearby bushes.

“Sure go ahead, Ken, I’ll just be over here checking out this
rock slide.”

he thought as he sprinted toward Paris’ location.

Paris and Max Bennett were trying their best to win the precious
rations, but were having limited luck, apparently having been
assigned to a barren location. “Well Max, looks like we’ll be
sampling Neelix’s fine cuisine tonight, this place is nothing but
a dust bowl,” he commented as he looked around seeing nothing but
some trees, bushes, and dirt.

“Maybe if we split up Tom, we could find something?” suggested
Bennett.

“You know what the Commander said, he said to stay together,”
argued the pilot.

“I know, but tell you what, you stay here and check out that
small cave over there in the side of the hill, and I’ll just be
up ahead over there,” he said pointing to another hill about a
half a kilometer away. “I’ll still be in sight, if you need
anything just holler. Okay?” Without affirmation Max quickly
sprinted for the other hill.

“Max! Come back here!” Paris called after the young ensign, who
after five years on Voyager, was still green, but it was too
late.

McAfee’s head shot up at the sound of Paris’ voice and zeroed in
on his location. This should be easier than he thought, the
pilot was apparently all alone. That was the last thing he
remembered before he was clubbed beside the head and he passed
out.

A little while later having determined that the cave, like the
rest of the area around him, was bereft of any ore, Tom started
looking for his missing partner. “Damn it Max, where did you
go?” grumbled Tom as he attempted to find the young ensign.
Hearing a noise behind him he started to turn around, “Well Max
it’s about time…” Tom was confronted
with four of the ugliest, largest aliens he had ever seen and
they were each carrying some type of weapon that looked like some
kind of primitive phaser rifle. They somewhat resembled the
Hirogen. Tom concluded. But
while the Hirogen were tall at about 7 feet, these creatures must
have been about seven and a half feet tall and broader across the
shoulders, with a green tone to their skin.

Well how about an attempt at being friendly? he thought. “Hello,
My name is Tom Paris, what’s yours? He
reached to activate his commbadge to request beam out, but before
his hand could make contact, one of the aliens swung his weapon
and it made contact with the side of the pilot’s head causing him
to black out.

At the agreed-upon time, all the teams started to drift towards
the landing site. As they neared the shuttles, many could be
heard arguing about who had acquired the most material.

“I’m telling you Matthews, we’ve got you beat hands down, just
wait until it is weighed, you’ll see I’m going to be eating well
tonight,” Wilson said as he rubbed in stomach in anticipation of
a fine meal.

“In your dreams Wilson, in your dreams,” Matthews countered.

After another fifteen minutes, all the away sub-teams except for
two had returned. “Chakotay to Paris and McAfee,” the Native
American winced internally as he spoke both of their names
together imaging what it might mean to have both of these
particular teams missing.

“Bennett here Commander.”

“Go ahead, Bennett.”

“Paris and I got separated about a half an hour ago and I can’t
locate him sir.”

“Mitchell here Commander.”

“Yes, Mitchell.”

“Um, Lt. McAfee is missing, he went off to ah… ah..”

“To do what? Mitchell, report!” shouted Chakotay clearly
agitated.

“He went off to relieve himself a little over a thirty minutes
ago and never returned, I’ve been searching for him ever since.”

“Mitchell and Bennett report back to the shuttles.” he pondered
running his fingers through his dark hair in frustration before
he punched his commbadge again. “Away Team to the Captain.”

“Go ahead Commander,” Janeway replied, “what’s your status?”

“Captain, we have two members of the team missing, Paris and
McAfee. Please initiate a scan of the area for them.”

“Acknowledged. Mr. Kim?”

“I’m on it ma’am,” Harry answered promptly his fingers flying
over the control panel, after a few minutes he had his answer.
“I’ve got them, they’re about five kilometers away and moving to
the north at a present speed of 30 kilometers per hour of the
shuttles’ present location.”

“Can we beam them up?”

“Not now, during the last hour there has been an upsurge in ionic
interference making transporting impossible, in fact it is
becoming so severe it’s not even advisable to even launch the
shuttlecraft.”

“Did you hear that Commander?” she asked.

“Yes, looks like we make the trip by foot. I’ll leave two
crewmen behind to guard the shuttles and to store the material we
gathered and the rest of us will go looking for Paris and
McAfee.”

“Affirmative. Check in every thirty minutes. Janeway out.”

*** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ ***

It was dusk when he finally awoke, face down on the ground, a
trail blood dripping down his face from where he had been struck.

“It’s about time you woke up from your beauty sleep,” snarled
McAfee.

“What?” said Paris still disorientated.

“Wake up Paris! Come on wake up before they get back.”

Tom rolled over and sat up cradling his sore head in his hands,
he finally looked around and noticed that they had placed him and
McAfee in some type of enclosure. It was round, about fifteen
feet across, with solid walls about a third of the way up with an
open mesh enclosure above that.

“Where’s everyone else Ken?”

“Probably back on Voyager, it’s just you and me,” he grumbled.

the pilot thought.

Tom gingerly rolled over on his back and reached up to activate
the commbadge and noticed that it had been cracked. “Don’t
bother, Paris, I’ve already tried yours and mine, and they are in
just about the same condition.”

“The universal translators?”

“Barely functioning, it can only make out a few words here and
there.”

“Great, looks like we’re stuck here until the crew finds us.
Have you seen our alien friends?” Tom asked.

“Just when they threw us in here, other than that no, they
probably think we’re still sleeping, but if you listen you can
hear them.”

Tom cocked his throbbing head toward the noise. “Yeah your
right, sounds almost like they’re, I don’t know, partying?”

“I wouldn’t know, that’s your forte,” he snarled, “your the *party
boy* aren’t you.”

“Come on Ken, cut the bullshit, if we are going to get out of
here, we have to rely on each other.” The alien sounds all of a
sudden became louder and clearer. “Listen, it sounds as if they
may be coming closer.”
“Your right they are, I don’t think I’m going to like this,”
McAfee admitted.

Half a dozen aliens approached the enclosure and opened the door,
the translators only picked out a few words in amongst the
aliens’ laughter. “Move now…play…time…game!” Then Tom and
Ken were forcibly dragged out to meet their fate. Three of the
aliens grabbed Paris and the other three grabbed McAfee.

The two men were brought outside and thrown down into a wide
depression in the ground and two of the aliens climbed down to
have their turn at their ‘game.’ As the biggest alien approached
Paris, the pilot assumed a guarded stance prepared for any move
the alien made. But none of his usual defensive moves, even the
unorthodox techniques he learned in prison, seemed to be
effective against the alien. Each time he made contact with the
alien, it felt as if he was impacting a titanium bulkhead. It
wasn’t long before he was on the ground, having sustained several
punches and kicks to his abdomen, chest, and face.

As he lay there trying to catch his breath, he could hear the
other two aliens assigned to him talking. “Turn….next…play.”
As he waited for the second one to take his turn playing the
‘game,’ he noticed McAfee was fairing almost as bad has he had.
A couple of hours later both men were thrown back in their
‘prison,’ bloody, bruised, and unconscious.

This time Paris was the first to wake. He gingerly turned over
holding his cracked ribs in one arm. He looked over and noticed
that his cell mate had still not woken up. Noticing that McAfee
was bleeding from a wound on his forehead, the pilot/nurse tore
off half of his tattered pant leg and pressed it against the
wound to try to stop the bleeding. The pressure against his
forehead caused McAfee to stir.

“Ken be still, I’m trying to help you,” Tom ordered.

“What are you doing?” mumbled McAfee. “Get your hands away from
me! I’m warning you!

“Be quiet, I’m just trying to stop the bleeding.”

“Why? For them to beat us up again?” he said as he roughly
shoved the pilot away.

“Arggh!” Paris grimaced as he clutched his sore ribs. “If this
is how you treat someone who is trying to help you, how to you
treat…”

“My enemies? Just wait, I’m sure you’ll find out,” McAfee
threatened.

Paris gently rolled over and sat down with his back to the wall
of the enclosure for support. “We’ve got enough to worry about
with those neanderthals, Ken, without us getting into a fight.”

“Then what do we do now, *Lieutenant*?” he spat out the rank with
venom in his voice.

Tom tried to ignore it, attempting to write it off to nerves.
“All we can do is wait. I have been over the interior of
this…ah…’prison’ and I can’t come up with a way to get out,
not unless your carrying a shovel or a laser cutter I don’t know
about,” said Paris sarcastically.

“So are we just going to stare at each other until they come back
to play their little games again?” he said motioning with his
head towards the group of aliens.

“Well I suppose we could talk?” “You know Ken,
there has been something troubling me ever since I found out it
was you who gave that note to B’Elanna.”

“How’d you find out?”

“So your not denying it?”

“No.”

“Let’s just say I spent a long night pawing over a lot of records
on the ship’s computer and leave it at that. What I want to know
is what do you think I did to or with R.C.?”

“R.C.?”

“Yeah, Rebecca, that’s what she called herself at the Academy.
So tell me Ken, what did I do?”

“You don’t remember?” The question was met with silence. “Seems
to me that getting someone pregnant and not standing by her would
be something you wouldn’t forget,” he spat. The pilot stared at
him in utter shock.

It took him a while to regain the use of his voice. “She told you
I got her pregnant?” he asked in disbelief.

Ken nodded his head. “By the way, *Daddy*,” he spat, “you have a
boy, a boy who’s never seen his father and Rebecca is living all
alone trying to raise him on her own.”

Over the years, he had developed a fairly thick skin, but he
wasn’t going to let that comment pass. “That boy may have never
seen his father, Ken, but that’s someone else’s fault, I’m *not*
his father.”

“How dare you call Rebecca a liar!” the big man yelled as he got
up, his anger blocking out any physical discomfort. He grabbed
the pilot by the shoulders and painfully pulled him up and pinned
him against the wall.

The sudden movement just about knocked the wind out of the
smaller man. “Easy Ken,” he gasped, “come on, relax!”

“Why should I? Just tell me why I shouldn’t pound you into the
ground now that I have the chance. If I happen to get rescued, I
can always tell the Commander that it was the aliens who killed
you, I’d have the perfect alibi,” he threatened.

Paris was now desperately racking his brain trying to come up
with a way to get the other man to calm down. “I’ll tell you
what, Ken, I’ll tell you all I know. By the time I’m done, if
you still want to beat my head in, I don’t think I could stop
you.”

“I already know all I need to Paris, Rebecca told me, and what
she didn’t tell me before we left earth she told me in the letter
I got through that Hirogen array,” he insisted as he gave the
pilot’s shoulders another painful shove against the wall.

Well that explained the change in his attitude since then Paris
rationalized. “For gods’ sake,” he gasped, “put me down, Ken,
please, or our friends will only have you to play with next
time.” But McAfee still held on, his eyes blazing with fury and
pent up rage. “Ken, your one of the strongest men I know, but I
don’t think even you could fend off all those aliens by
yourself.”

McAfee realized the truth to his statement and released him. Tom
fell painfully to his knees letting out a cry of agony. He
leaned his back against the wall again, while holding his sore
chest with both arms. He took him a few minutes, as he fought to
catch his breath, before he continued his explanation.

“Ken, Rebecca told you a lot of things I’m sure,” he interrupted
looking at the other man through tired, half-closed eyes that
expressed the pain he was feeling. “I don’t suppose she told you
she stalked me for almost three months while I was dating another
girl at the Academy.”

“No, but I don’t see what difference that makes.”

“Did she tell you that I had to threaten to call campus security
before she stopped.” He painfully took another breath. “Ask
Meagan or Jenny Delaney, they’ll tell you, it was Meagan I was
dating at the time. Meagan told me that Rebecca started seeing
Joshua Richards not too long after she stopped pursuing me. I
would suggest to you that it’s more likely that he’s the father
of the boy.”

“She never mentioned a Joshua Richards, but why would she lie to
me? I’m her brother,” he said trying to defend his sister.

“Maybe it’s something do to with the last thing she said to me.
She threatened me, Ken, she said that she’d make my life a living
hell. Well it looks like she succeeded,” he said looking around
at the enclosure and finally focusing on him. “Ken, I’m telling
you the truth, I never even touched her. Hell, I never even
shook her hand. I’m not the kind of person, no matter what you
might of heard, to get a girl pregnant and not stand by her, I
wouldn’t do that. I’ll admit, I’m no angel, but I’ve always made
sure to protect myself so I couldn’t become a father until I was
ready.”

“Why should I believe you?” he said becoming a little unsure.

“I don’t know, I honestly don’t know, other than for me to tell
you I am telling the truth. By the way, when was this baby
born?”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“Just answer me, Ken, please?”

“It was May 20th, old earth time, and he’s nine years old now.”

Tom thought for a while as he calculated the approximate date of
conception. “Then, Ken, if you count back she would have had to
conceive the baby the following year during the summer, depending
on whether she carried the baby to full term or not,” concluded
the pilot.

“Yeah, so what.”

“Well at that time of year Ken, I was freezing my butt off up in
the Arctic, that’s so what. If you don’t believe me, when we get
back to Voyager it’s in the files. You can look it up for
yourself.”

The other man just looked at him in shock, finally realizing that
it was his sister, his step-sister, that had been the dishonest
one.

The gate to the enclosure then crashed open and the six aliens
were standing there like before. The aliens were speaking and
gesturing but this time they were making no sense at all,
apparently the universal translators had finally stopped working.

As before, they were split up amongst the six, and as before they
each alien took turns playing their ‘game’ by slugging and
pounding them into unconsciousness.

*** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ ***

Chakotay and company were still trudging through the forest as
the morning approached, getting closer all the time to the last
known location of Paris and McAfee.

Another half an hour had passed, and it was time again to contact
the captain. “Chakotay to Voyager.”

“Go ahead Commander,” answered Janeway.

“We are approaching the alien encampment. With any luck we
should have Tom and Ken back soon, I assume they’re..,” he hated
to ask, “still alive.”

“According to Mr. Kim, he is still receiving two human life
signs, but of course he can’t determine from that as to what
condition they are in.”

“Any more news regarding the weather, Captain.”

“Yes, it appears that the ionic interference is still quite
active, negating any chance of beam out at this time. But,
things have apparently stabilized enough to launch the
shuttlecraft. In fact, I have ordered the two crewmen who have
been guarding the craft to rendezvous with you at your location
in a half an hour.”

“Very good, I’ll get back to you shortly,” Chakotay out.

*** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ ***

The day was brightening, although clouded over, and looked like
it was going to rain by the time McAfee awoke. He grimaced at
the pain in his head until he rolled over and determined that the
aches in his body were just as bad, if not worse. He looked
around the enclosure for Paris and found him about three meters
away lying on his stomach with his face turned away from him and
he could hear him mumbling, apparently still asleep.

“Stop, don’t, please stop …not that, no…not again…ohhh….
stop…”

McAfee slowly made his way over to the pilot. “Paris, wake up,
come on wake up, your having a nightmare.” He reached the
sleeping man and gently shook his shoulder. “Wake up.”

“Wha…what…oh….Ken?” the pilot asked as he turned his face
towards the other man. McAfee could hardly recognize him, his
right eye was swollen shut and the rest of his face was a mass of
bruises, and scrapes many of which were still seeping blood.

“Tom, you were having a nightmare, though I can’t imagine why in
this lovely setting,” he said as the wind began with stir up the
dust on the enclosure’s floor.

“Oh.”

“Why don’t you roll over so we can see the damage.”

“Okay,” Tom placed his hands underneath him and attempted to roll
over, but only ended up dropping back down on the earth.

“Come on Paris, you can do better than that.”

“I can’t. Oh gods! Aargh!” A jolt of pain erupted from the
middle of his back sending spasms all the way down to his toes
and back again.

“Sure you can.”

“I can’t, you don’t understand, I can’t move my legs!”

“How’d that happen?”

“I really don’t remember, ‘playtime’ was just a blur, except
for…wait a minute, now I remember. Ahhhh!” and another jolt of
pain erupted causing Paris to gasp for air before he could
continue. “I…I think it was the second alien, he threw me and
I landed on something hard, maybe a rock. Ken, do me a favor and
lift up the back of my shirt and tell me what you see.”

McAfee gently lifted up what was left of the shirt and saw the
problem. “Well, Paris, you have a large bruise, it’s all black
and blue and swollen, on your lower back. It doesn’t look very
good.”

“And it” Damn, another wave of pain hit. Ken could see the
muscles sharply contract as the pilot cried out, beads of sweat
erupting on his forehead. “it doesn’t feel good, not at all. I
must have a spinal tumefaction, in other words my spinal chord is
bruised and swollen. I can’t move my legs, but I sure as hell
can feel the pain. I suppose it’s a good sign.”

“How do you know all about that?” McAfee asked.

“It’s nothing, I’ve been doing some reading in my spare time, you
know when I wasn’t going around knocking up half the female
population on Voyager.” That comment was probably uncalled for,
but in his present state he really didn’t care.

McAfee chose to ignore the comment. “Hang in ther, Voyager will
come for us soon.”

“They had better, because I don’t know about you, but I don’t
think I could survive another game with those guys.” He paused
in reflection before continuing again. “Ken?”

“What is it?”

“I know I’m not your favorite person, but can you do me a favor?”

“I guess so.”

“If I don’t make it out of here and you do…Aargh!” he thought as the muscle’s painfully contracted
again.

“Take it easy,” Ken admonished.

“No, listen, if I don’t get out of here, tell B’Elanna that I
love… oh, no! Damn!” His plea was cut short by another wave of
agony worse than the last, which resulted in the pilot lapsing
into a welcomed unconsciousness just as large raindrops began to
fall heavily on them.

“I’ll tell her,” he promised, even though he knew that the
Lieutenant couldn’t hear him. He then slowly sat back resting
his back against the wall keeping one eye on the pilot as the
raindrops began to fall harder with each passing minute. Why he
cared what happened to Paris he couldn’t figure out. Maybe it
was guilt for having hated him and accusing him of something that
he had never done. With that thought in mind, he struggled over
to the pilot and gently rolled him over, out of the growing mud
puddle he had been laying in.

As he sat there in the mud contemplating the situation, he heard
raised voices again from outside accompanied by what sounded like
phaser fire. “Oh no, he thought not again, it’s too soon.” But,
wait something was different–he could understand some of the
words, he could recognize some of the voices. It was the away
team, they had come to rescue them! “Tom, wake up, help is here!
Come on Paris, we’re going home!” The pilot groaned and opened
is eyes slightly, looking up at McAfee and barely nodded his head
in understanding before once again closing his eyes in search of
oblivion.

The noise and commotion died down almost as suddenly as it began,
and the door of the enclosure once again slammed open causing Ken
to flinch, but this time familiar faces passed through the
entryway.

“Ken, it’s good to see you. How are you doing?” asked Mitchell
with Chakotay just behind him.

“I hurt but I’ll be okay, but Paris is worse, especially his
back, he is in a lot of pain.”

“We’ll take care of you both, the shuttles should be landing
shortly,” said Chakotay as he heard the sounds of the Portsmouth
and the Chamberlain as they approached. “Here they are now.
Mitchell and Cunningham, bring back a couple of stretchers from
the shuttles, I don’t want to waste any time getting back to
Voyager.”

“Yes, sir!” they both responded and went to meet the two
shuttlecraft.

“Chakotay to Voyager, please come in.”

“This is the Captain, report.”

“Captain, we have both McAfee and Paris, both have been injured,
but Paris has apparently suffered some serious injury to his
back. We’ll signal for transport directly to Sickbay as soon as
we are clear of the ionic interference. Please inform the Doctor
to expect two patients.”

“Very good. I look forward to your report when you return.
Janeway out.”

The men carefully placed the two stretchers in the Portsmouth,and
shortly lifted off from the plant en route to the ship. Not long
after they emerged from the ionic interference, and Chakotay was
able to contact Voyager for transport.

*** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ ***

B’Elanna hurried to Sickbay to be there when Tom arrived. She
had just entered the Sickbay when the glimmering of the transport
beam faded and the two patients materialized. The Doctor went
over to McAfee to place him on one of the biobeds. “Doctor, let
me help you,” offered the engineer.

He looked at her gratefully. “Thank you Lieutenant, let’s get
Ensign McAfee settled and then we’ll move Lt. Paris.”

“No,” argued McAfee, “take care of Paris first, I’m okay for the
time being and he needs your help more than I do. He said
something down on the planet about some injury to his spine,
something about swelling. All I do know is that when he was
awake he couldn’t move his legs but that he was in a lot of
pain.”

B’Elanna looked at the Doctor in shock.

“Come on, Lieutenant, help me get him on the bed. So I can
determine the extent of his injuries. Then, I would appreciate
it if you would contact Samantha Wildman, she sometimes helps out
in Sickbay when Tom isn’t available.”

The half-Klingon helped the Doctor place Paris on the bed, both
noticed that spasms were still coursing their way through his
body. After he was settled and the medical arch was activated,
B’Elanna contacted Sam Wildman. It wasn’t long after before she
came through the Sickbay doors.

“Hello, B’Elanna, what’s going on?” Sam asked as she entered
Sickbay and looked about “Oh, my God, its Tom!”

“And Ensign McAfee,” finished B’Elanna.

The Doctor looked up from his patient and greeted the ensign.
“Thank you for coming, Ensign Wildman, if you could see to Mr.
McAfee I would appreciate it. Mr. Paris’ injuries are going to
keep me busy for a while.”

The doors of the Sickbay slide open one more time, this time
emitted the Captain. “So how are they Doctor?”

“Ensign McAfee will be fine, his injuries are mostly superficial,
except for a bruised spleen and some cracked ribs. But Mr.
Paris, in addition to similar injuries, also sustained a spinal
injury. As far as I can tell, it is fully correctable but some
surgery will be required,” he explained.

Janeway noticing the look of concern on B’Elanna’s face went over
and placed her arm around her Chief Engineer. “B’Elanna, why
don’t you come up to the ready room and have some coffee with me
and we will wait together until the Doctor is finished.”

The Doctor spoke up. “I’ll let you know when I am done. Now
don’t worry, he looks worse than he is.”

*** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ ***

“B’Elanna,” the pilot murmured as he awoke a day and a half
later.

“I’m here Tom, you’re going to be alright,” she said as she
brushed a stray lock of hair away from his forehead.

“For a minute down there I was worried, Bea. I thought I would
never see you again,” he said drowsily still under the influence
of the sedative the EMH had administered earlier.

“Your safe now, the Doctor took care of all your injuries, even
your spinal injury is almost healed.”

“How’s McAfee?” he asked.

“He’s fine, he’s even back to work,” she responded. “He stops by
every once in a while to see how your doing.”

“Really?”

“You sound surprised?”

“I am I guess, did you know it was Ken who sent you that note?”

“Ken? What did he have to do with R.C.?” she asked, puzzled.

Tom related the story and the conversation he had had with McAfee
down on the planet. When he was finished, all B’Elanna could do
was shake her head in amazement.

“So it looks as if at least you two have called a truce,” she
commented.

“At the very least. But you know I almost don’t blame him.
Rebecca was playing him for a fool. She knew that because he
loved her, she could manipulate him.”

“I can almost feel sorry for him, Tom.”

“By the way, how long do I have to stay here?” he asked.

“Tired of my company already Mr. Paris?” asked the Doctor as he
approached his patient.

“Who me? I live just to see your smiling face Doc.”

B’Elanna smiled. “Seems to me if he’s complaining, he’s feeling
better already.”

“That may well be, but I want to be sure that the spinal injury
is healing properly, so I think he’ll be here at least another
twenty-four hours,” the doctor replied, “but tonight, Ms. Torres,
I think you had better sleep in your own bed.”

“You’ve been here with me all this time?” asked the pilot in
concern etched on his face.

The Doctor answered for her. “If she wasn’t working, she was
down here with you. I couldn’t get her to leave.”

“B’Elanna you shouldn’t have, you should have looked after
yourself, I would have been alright,” he admonished.

“Well someone has to look after you, you don’t do a very good job
of looking after yourself.”

“Have I told you lately that I love you?”

“Actually, no, for the past couple of days you haven’t said
anything at all,” she teased as she leaned over to press her lips
against his.

The Doctor in the background ran his tricorder over the two, and
going back to his office muttered something about increased
hormonal levels.

They finally pulled apart a short time later. “So Bea, how long
have I been back?”

“Oh you got back about two days ago, the doctor operated on you
and gave you a sedative so your muscles could relax while you
were healing,” she explained.

“So what day is it?”

“Why it’s Thursday.”

“Well I have this standing…”

“Don’t worry about it Tom, I’ve got you covered.”

“Your going to?”

“Yep, and if your a good patient, we may stop by and pay your a
visit. Okay?”

*** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ ***

“Hi Sam, I hope I’m not too late,” B’Elanna said when Samantha
Wildman welcomed her into her cabin that evening.

“No, not at all. Naomi’s been looking forward all day to your
time together tonight,” Sam said as she led B’Elanna further
inside.

“Naomi,” Sam called, “Auntie B’Elanna is here to babysit you
tonight.”

“Oh boy!” The little girl squealed as she ran out from the
sleeping area and hurried over to greet the half-Klingon. She
had always been intrigued by the half-Klingon having something in
common, unique foreheads.

B’Elanna, following Tom’s example in Sickbay, knelt down to be at
the girl’s level and welcomed her into her arms for a hug. “So
Naomi what are we going to do while Mom’s at work tonight? Would
you like to go visit Uncle Tommy in Sickbay?”

“Could we?”

“I don’t see why not, as long as we don’t stay too long, he still
needs his rest.

“Now be good for Auntie,” Samantha admonished as she bent down
you give her daughter a kiss.

“I will Mama. Love you.”

Not long after, B’Elanna and the little girl, prepared to leave
the cabin hand in hand to go to Sickbay when Naomi pulled on
B’Elanna’s hand and headed back to the sleeping area. “What’s
the matter Naomi?”

“Forgot somethin’,” she said as she released B’Elanna’s hand,
jumped up on the bed and grabbed her teddy bear and a picture
book.

They entered Sickbay not long after only to find that the Doctor
was examining Tom one last time before the pilot settled down for
the night. “Hello Doctor, how’s your patient doing?” asked
B’Elanna.

“Good evening Lieutenant. He’s getting better all the time, I
should be able to release him tomorrow morning,” he then noticed
that B’Elanna was not alone. “Oh and hello Miss Wildman have you
come to visit?”

It was Naomi who responded. “Yes, Auntie B’Elanna said we could
come and visit with Uncle Tommy, is that alright?”

“Of course, just don’t stay too long ‘Uncle Tommy’ tends to get
cranky if he doesn’t get enough sleep.” A remark which caused
Paris to give the Doctor a look that said ‘watch it.’ “Why don’t
you two have a seat, there are chairs over there by his bed, and
visit while I do some work in my office?”

“That sounds good, thanks Doc.”

Tom was clearly glad to see the little girl. “So sweetie, come
over here and give Uncle Tommy a hug, I’ve missed you.” Naomi
put the teddy bear down on the chair and went over and B’Elanna
helped her by lifting her up so she could reach him and the
little girl gave him a big hug.

“Uncle Tommy, are you feeling better?”

“Now that your here I am. You two must be good for me,” he said
as he winked at his fianc‚. “So I understand that *Auntie*
B’Elanna is babysitting you tonight?”

“Uh, huh.”

“So what do you two have planned?”

B’Elanna responded to the question. “Well after our visit with
you, I thought that we would go to the holodeck, I have it
reserved for an hour this evening. Naomi wants to show me the
park that you programmed for her. Then after that, I guess we
will go back to her cabin and get her ready for bed.”

“Sounds like your going to have a lot of fun tonight sweetie.
You behave for Auntie B’Elanna, okay?”

“Kay. Uh, Uncle Tommy, I brought you something.”

“You did, that’s nice, where is it?”

Naomi jumped down off the bed and went back to her chair to
retrieve the teddy bear and book and went back and crawled up on
Tom’s bed.

“I brought you Fred,” she said solemnly as she thrust her worn
teddy bear into Tom’s hands. “Fred will make you better.”

“Naomi, you didn’t need to do that,” he said as he took the bear.

“What to.”

“How about we consider it a loan, I’ll bring Fred back to you as
soon as the Doctor lets me out of Sickbay. Okay?”

“Kay. I also brought you a book, would you like a story?”

“Sure would, here sit beside me so I can see the pictures.” Tom
scooted over and made room for the little girl.

*** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ ***

Ken McAfee entered the mess hall, still going over the
conversation he had had the night before with the Delaneys. They
had confirmed all that Tom had said down on the planet. He
figured that it was time to make amends with the pilot. After
Ken filled his tray with this breakfast, he went in search of a
place to sit down. Mack Evans and Ed Huggins motioned from
across the room for him to join them.

“So Ken “How’s it going?” asked Mack, “We haven’t had a chance to
talk to you since you returned from that planet.”

“Yeah,” Ed joined in “I understand that Paris finally got what was
coming to him.”

Had he changed so much in just a few short days he pondered. He
used to consider these guys his friends. Now when he looked at
them, he could only see his former bitter self. “Paris didn’t
deserve what happened to him,” he replied, his response shocked
the other two. “No one deserved what happened to us down there,
in particular him.”

“But what about Rebecca?” Mack persisted, “What about her letter?”

“Let’s just say that I got my facts screwed up, Paris didn’t do
anything, in fact as much as I hate to say it, it was all
Rebecca’s fault. She was playing me for a fool, even in the
Delta Quadrant.” If…when we get back I’m going to see that she
gets some assistance to help straighten her life out. “I’m not
sure if she warrants it, but her son does. He’s innocent, he’s
the real victim.”

“So your saying that you don’t hate Paris anymore,” asked Ed
incredulously, still not believing what he had been told.

“That’s exactly what I’m saying, and if you two ever do anything
to him, you’ll have to answer to me. Understand,” threatened
McAfee.

“Yeah, we understand,” responded the two in unison both still
confused.

*** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ *** ^^^ ***

Later that morning as Tom prepared to leave Sickbay, Ken McAfee
came by the check up on the pilot.

“Ah Lieutenant, I came by to see how you were doing.”

Tom looked up, surprised to see Ken. “Oh hi, Ken, thanks for
coming by, I understand that I wasn’t too much company when you
were here before.”

“No problem. I just wanted to stop by now and tell you how much
I regret what happened. I feel bad for accusing you of, you
know…”

“Don’t even say it, far as I’m concerned it’s over and done with,
I’m just sorry that Rebecca is having such a hard time, I know
that it bothers you.”

“It does, I love her in spite of what she did. That doesn’t make
sense, does it?”

“Of course it does, even though I never got along with my father
or agreed with all he did, I somehow still love him. I still
don’t understand why. I guess in some ways you and I have a lot
in common.”

“In the past, I never would have thought so,” Ken admitted.

“Tell you what, why don’t you stop by Sandrine’s tomorrow night
and we can play a game or two of pool together.”

“I’d like that, thanks.”

“I’ll look forward to it,” Paris said sincerely.

The door to the Sickbay slide open and B’Elanna came through.
“Ready to get out of here Tom?”

“You bet.”

McAfee approached the engineer. “Lt. Torres?”

“Yes Ensign,” replied the engineer warily.

“I’d just like to say I’m sorry I left that message on your
terminal. I’m sorry if I upset you,” Ken said, his gaze focused
on his feet.

She almost had to laugh at this big man standing before her who
looked like a schoolboy who had lost his homework. “It’s okay
Ken, it’s been forgotten. I’m just glad you and Tom have
straightened things out,” she said.

“Me too. I think I may have found a friend,” replied Ken looking
at the pilot.

“Sounds good to me Ken, I can always use another friend, but do
you think we could avoid the bar brawls?” Tom replied with a
smile on his face.

“You bet!”

The End.

Please send E-mail to kelhapam@lr.net and let me know what part
of the story you liked the best.

Also, I’d really appreciate it if in your e-mail you could
include what state/country your from so I can keep track of how
far this story travels. Thanks.

Thanks again to my daughter and hubbie for letting me indulge in
this passion. I’m still mad my Labrador Retriever, last time it
was my gloves he chewed up, and this time its a pair of socks!:)

** To find out about Linda and the “Mofek Incident” read
“Deception” by yours truly.

*** The Chamberlain is named in honor of Col. Joshua Chamberlain
who commanded the 20th Maine at the Battle of Gettysburg as well
as being the former governor of the State of Maine, and the
Portsmouth is named after the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in
Kittery, Maine.

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