Alpha Quad Days, Delta Quad Nights: Paragon’s Path

shelly@camcomp.com

Disclaimer: Paramount is God, they own everything to Voyager, except for
what I do to
the series and add to it. Like, I guess, the new Voyager ships are mine
for the time being.
.
Well, I finally did it. I started the second episode. Boy am I proud of
myself. You should
be too. I’m not really quite sure what’s going to happen in this
episode, so we shall see . . .

Alpha Quad Days, Delta Quad Nights
Episode Two, Part One
Paragon’s Path
By: Sforzando (a.k.a. Sforzie)

“Do you have everything packed?” Kathryn asked. She appeared
from the closet.
Chakotay was going through his bag.
“I think so,” he said, looking up, “boy, you look hot.”
“I am,” Kathryn uttered, ignoring the double meaning he was
implying, “I’ll be so glad
to go back somewhere cold.” Chakotay chuckled.
“You would have said just the opposite two weeks ago,” he
commented. Kathryn
laughed too, disappearing into the bathroom.
“So where are we headed now?” she called.
“To the lobby to check out,” said Chakotay.
“Ha ha,” Kathryn said, “very funny. I mean after we leave here?”
“You don’t remember?” Chakotay asked, peeking into the closet.
“No, I’m sorry, I don’t,” Kathryn sighed.
“We’re going to the Highwater Earth Shipyard,” Chakotay said, “to
take a look at-”
“At the Voyager-C! That’s right, I forgot!” Kathryn bobbed out
of the bathroom.
She sat down on a bed. “What are the other Intrepids?”
“Lets see,” Chakotay looked thoughtful, “last time I checked in,
the other eight
were all in the Gamma Quadrant, except for the Onyx. The others are the
Ibis, Falcon,
Range, Nile, Camden, Kindle, and…” he paused, stumped as to the name of
the last.
“What’s the last one?” Kathryn asked.
“I’m not sure,” Chakotay said, “hmm, maybe the Raven? No…”
“Well, don’t hurt yourself thinking about it,” Kathryn quipped,
as she stood up and
made a final check of their room.

“Oh, leaving so soon?” Neelix sounded truly hurt as Kathryn and
Chakotay stood
in the lobby a short while later.
“I’m afraid so Neelix,” said Chakotay, “we’ve been here two
weeks.”
“Oh, well, I understand if you have to be getting back to your job,”
Neelix burbled,
“did you two enjoy yourselves?”
“Immensely,” Kathryn said. Neelix grinned.
“That’s always good to hear,” he delcared, “well, I hope you’ll
come back down to
visit some time?”
“Of course we will Neelix,” Chakotay said.
“That’s good,” Neelix commented again.
“Say good-bye to Ariee for us,” Kathryn said.
“I will,” Neelix promised, “do you need any help with your things?”
“No, we can manage,” Chakotay said.
“Well, have a safe trip!”

“I didn’t think he was going to let us leave,” Kathryn said, as they
sat on a tram a few
minutes later.
“Neither did I,” sighed Chakotay, “so, did you enjoy yourself these
past few weeks?”
“Immensely,” Janeway said.
“I’m glad to hear that,” Chakotay said.
“You should have been able to figure that out for yourself,” Kathryn
mentioned, sighing
ruefully, “I’ve gained seven pounds.”
“That’s good,” Chakotay goaded her.
“Good?!”
“Yeah,” Chakotay laughed, “you needed it. Two weeks ago you looked
terrible.”
“Thanks for reminding me,” Kathryn near sneered.
“You’re nearly as tan as I am,” Chakotay said. Kathryn snorted.
“They’d never recognize me,” she said sarcastically, “I could show up
at Starfleet
headquarters and they’d call security on me.”
“They’d probably do that anyway,” Chakotay teased.
“So what exactly are we going to do when we get to the shipyard?”
Kathryn asked.
“I think we’re scheduled to go on a tour of the Voyager- C, and meet
the command
team,” Chakotay said, “they really didn’t say much this morning when I
called.”
“Interesting,” Kathryn looked thoughtfully out the window, “I wonder
what upgrades
they’ve added?”
“All I know is something from a rumor, saying that B’Elanna Torres
either designed the
engine room or she’s the Chief Engineer,” Chakotay said, “and that the top
speed is 9.983.”
“Really?” Kathryn asked.
“That’s what I’ve heard,” Chakotay told her, “that might be why
they’ve went through
three captains in the past four months.”
“Three?”
“I think B’Elanna scared them off,” Chakotay said. Kathryn grinned.
“This should be interesting.”

Kathryn Janeway’s breath caught in her throat as she got her first
real look at the
Voyager-C. She followed Chakotay down the paths that led to the main
storage building. The
hall they entered was glass plated, allowing visual access to what lay on
the other side. Energy
fields kept the ship poised somewhat precariously over the ground. She
(the ship) was tethered
only in the rear. Janeway swallowed, looking around. Somehow, she felt
out of place.
“Come on,” Chakotay said.
“I’m coming, ” Janeway said, picking up her pace a bit. They walked
down a hall that led
them closer to the Voyager. Chakotay stopped at a door near the end of the
hall, and rang the
chime.
“Come in,” a gravely voice came over the intercom. Janeway followed
Chakotay into the
room.
“Admiral Shifferon? I’m Commander Chakotay,” Chakotay offered his
hand to the man
sitting behind a desk, up to his elbows in padds.
“Ah, yes, Commander Chakotay,” Shifferon shook Chakotay’s hand, “so
good to see you
again. Might I assume this is Admiral Janeway?”
“Yes,” Janeway said, a bit timid.
“Didn’t recognize ya,” Shifferon apoligized. Janeway heard Chakotay
stifle a laugh.
“You look different from you picture in the archives.”
“I mean to get it updated,” Janeway shook Shifferon’s hand.
“Yes, the most famous Starfleet captain of our time,” he said.
Janeway blushed.
“Really, Admiral.”
“Call me Gene,” Shifferon said.
“Alright, Gene,” Janeway complied, “just don’t call me Kathryn.”
Shifferon grinned,
winking at Chakotay.
“You picked a good one.” Chakotay was smiling.
“So,” Shifferon said, “would you like to start your tour of the
Voyager?”
“I’d be glad to,” Janeway smiled. Shifferon nodded.
“Just go down to the boarding level, tell Mike I sent ya,” he said.
The other two nodded,
and left the room hastily.
“He was a bit different,” Janeway said.
“Aren’t we all?” Chakotay grinned at her.

“Hello Admiral, Commander,” a scrawny-looking Lieutenant greeted them
as they
approached, “Admiral Shifferon said you were on your way.”
“You’re Mike?” Janeway asked.
“Micelle Jennon, at your service,” the Bajoran woman said, smiling,
“my name usually
throws people off, don’t feel bad. I’m your tour guide, I suppose. Not
that I like the title.”
“You have better things to do?” Janeway asked.
“Actually, I’d rather escort one of the most famous people on Earth
around my ship than
clean transporter buffers any day,” Jennon admitted.
“I know how you feel,” Chakotay said. Jennon grinned.
“Shall we get started?”
“Why not?” Janeway said, “lead the way.”
“We’re going to start in Engineering, and go through the rest of the
main departments,”
Jennon said, “there are 16 decks total, and she’s almost 400 meters long.”
Chakotay whistled.

About an hour and half later, when Janeway stepped onto the Bridge,
she felt a pang. The
layout was so similar to that of the old Voyager, that if she imagined, she
could almost see Harry
Kim standing at Ops, in stead of a Vulcan woman. Scanning the Bridge, she
did, however notice
one familiar face.
“B’Elanna?” Janeway called questioningly. The dark haired woman
crouched over a panel
looked up.
“Captain?” Torres said, grinning, “oh, I mean, Admiral. Is that
really you?” B’Elanna
Torres looked the same as she had a year ago on Voyager.
“Yeah, and I brought Chakotay too,” Janeway said, turning to find
Chakotay, who had
wandered to look at a panel.
“Chakotay?” Torres still moved quickly, she was face to face with
Janeway in a matter of
seconds. “You left the Maquis?”
“You stayed with Starfleet?” Chakotay said tauntingly, arriving at
Janeway’s shoulder.
“Oh, wow, they made you a Commander,” Torres grinned.
“And you scolded me for not talking to you,” Janeway sighed to
Chakotay.
“Why haven’t you contacted me? I haven’t heard from him in almost
three months,”
Torres complained, motioning to Chakotay. She eyed Janeway and Chakotay.
“You left Tom?”
“How could you tell?” Janeway asked, smiling lightly.
“You look happy,” Torres said, absently, “we knew it wouldn’t last
long.”
“That’s what Vince Carrey said when we ran into him the other day,”
Chakotay remarked.
“So you two are…”
“You could say that,” Chakotay grinned.
“How’d Tom take it?” Torres asked Janeway.
“How does Tom take anything? He’s jealous, and thinks I left him for
Chakotay,”
Janeway said.
“Which is ridiculous.”
“Yes, because I hadn’t talked to Chakotay in almost half a year when
Tom and I got a
divorce,” Janeway said, then shrugged, “but he can think what he wants to.”
“So what are you two doing here?” Torres asked. The three were
receiving curious
glances from the crew that were working on the Bridge. Jennon was standing
a bit nervously near
the turbolift.
“Um, Admiral?” the Bajoran piped up, “I’m pretty much done showing you
around. If
you’d like, I’m such Lt. Torres could show you to the officer’s mess.”
Janeway nodded.
“Yes, thank you very much for showing us around,” she said. Jennon
nodded.
“So, why are you here, Torres?”
“I thought I asked you,” Torres smiled.
“You go first,” Janeway said, following Torres to the turbolift,
Chakotay trailing behind
them silently.
“Well, after we got back, I decided to remain in Starfleet,” Torres
said, “and I was offered
the job as chief Engineer on this ship. I couldn’t refuse really.”
“What about Harry?”Janeway asked.
“Well, we’re doing pretty good, but right now he’s stationed by the
Bajoran wormhole, on
Deep Space Nine,” Torres said, “once we get out of dock, which could be a
while, I’m making
plans to visit him.”
“Why could it be awhile before you leave dock?” Chakotay asked.
“Well, you can’t have a ship without a Captain,” Torres smirked, “I
seem to be the one to
blame for losing the latest one.”
“How’s that?”
“He didn’t seem to have the patience to deal with a half- Klingon
engineer,” Torres
scowled, “mainly he was biased against Klingons. So I kind of gave him a
few more reasons to
leave. I wasn’t very cooperative.” Janeway smiled, nodding.
“I heard Lt. Jennon call you Lt. Torres,” she said, “but things seem
to say differently.”
“She calls me that to get on my nerves,” Torres shook her head, “I
think she had a crush
on the Captain and is mad at me for scaring him off. But yes, I am
certified as Lieutenant
Commander B’Elanna Torres-Kim.”
“Has a nice ring to it,” Chakotay grinned.
“So would Admiral Kathryn Janeway-Chakotay,” Torres teased, almost
sticking her
tongue out at him.
“Don’t get any ideas,” Janeway said. The turbolift stopped, and
Torres led the way to the
officer’s mess.
“Are you hungry?” Torres asked.
“Actually yes, we missed lunch,” Janeway said, after looking at
Chakotay.
“Well, one of the better things about being back in the Alpha Quadrant
is unlimited
replicator usage,” Torres admitted.
“Hmm, I always thought the rations were better, made you guys more
responsible,”
Janeway said, smiling. “You know what, Neelix works at the hotel we stayed
at.”
“Really? Can he cook any better?” Torres asked, going up to a
replicator, “grilled cheese
on rye.”
“Grilled cheese on rye?” Chakotay said questioningly.
“Yeah, Harry introduced me to it,” Torres grinned. “And well,
pregnancy has a tendency
to make women crave strange foods.”
“You’re pregnant?” Chakotay asked. Torres smiled.
“Three months.”
“I didn’t notice,” Janeway said, “you eat grilled cheese but no gahk?”
“Please,” Torres snorted, “I’m not that pregnant.” Janeway grinned,
and ordered a pasta
dish.
“So B’Elanna, ” Janeway said, as they waited for Chakotay, “one thing
I didn’t ask when
we were being showed around was about the doctor…”
“You mean the holographic doctor,” Torres interjected, “well actually
its a long story.
After Voyager returned to the Alpha Quad, and the new Voyager was designed,
we still had the
Doctor running in the old Voyager.”
“Before she was decommissioned,” Janeway added.
“Yeah,” Torres sighed, “the Doctor himself actually asked me, *me*, to
save him. So I
lead a research team on how to expand the buffers in the Doctors program so
he could run
constantly if he wished. We were successful, and the Doctor’s program was
transferred to this
ship’s Sickbay.”
“So* he* is here?” Janeway asked.
“Yeah,” Torres said, “you didn’t check the system when you went by
Sickbay?”
“We didn’t go into Sickbay, actually,” Janeway said, “does he
recognize people? Would
he recognize me?”
“Sure, I don’t see why not,” Torres shrugged, “he’s exactly the same
as he was on
Voyager. We also installed holographic generators in Engineering, the
Bridge, and in here.”
Janeway looked thoughtful as Chakotay sat down next to her.
“Could you activate him in here?” she asked.
“If he’s not busy in Sickbay,” Torres said. “Computer, what is the
status of the Doctor?”
“The Doctor is current in hiatus,” the computer responded.
“He never took a name?” Janeway asked.
“What are you two doing?” Chakotay asked.
“Just saying hello,” Janeway said.
“Computer, activate the Doctor, sequence OM3, wall 3,” Torres
commanded. The
Doctor materialized next to their table.
“What’s the problem?” he asked. Torres had obviously never done
anything about the
Doctor’s brashness.
“There isn’t one actually,” Torres said. The Doctor sighed. “Have a
seat, I want you to
say hello to someone.” The Doctor grunted, then sat next to Torres. “This
is Admiral Janeway.”
The Doctor actually smiled, “Captain Janeway? It’s been a long time.”

“Well, yes,” Janeway said, “how are you enjoying yourself here on the
new Voyager?”
“It really isn’t much different than the old Voyager,” the Doctor
admitted, “Admiral.” He
corrected himself. “To what may I pay the honor of your visiting us?”
“Just passing through.”
“Well, it certainly is refreshing to see you,” the Doctor smiled
thinly, “there are so few
familiar faces these days, and we seem to have a problem with our
captains.” He seemed to
ignore Torres’s smirk. “The only recurring face I’ve seen lately is
B’Elanna here.” Torres rolled
her eyes.
“Who ever said you could call me by my first name?” she asked.
“You did, I believe,” the Doctor smirked. Torres grunted.
“That’s only because you find some reason for me to come down to
Sickbay every day,”
she said, “you’re lucky Harry’s not the jealous type.”
“Yes, your precious Lt. Kim,” the Doctor retorted, “father of your
child, love of you life,
what are the other terms you’ve used for him?”
“Doctor, I’m going to send you someplace else if you’re not polite,”
Torres growled.
“Fine,” the Doctor said, “have it your way.”
“We’ll be seeing you later, Doctor, I suppose,” Janeway added.
“Computer, transfer code 8i,” the Doctor said, and blipped out of the
room.
“Nice seeing that bitter face again,” Chakotay remarked.
“I think he has a crush on you,” Janeway grinned at Torres.
“I had the same feeling,” she said, “luckily Harry’s supposed to be
transferred to Voyager
within the next year.”
“Why don’t you go to DS9?” asked Chakotay.
“Please, that heap? I’d spend more time fixing things than I would
have free time to spend
with Harry,” Torres rolled her eyes, “Starfleet’s had that thing for over a
decade by now? And
they’re still working out bugs. Harry sends me a complaint note nearly
every day. He seems o be
having fun torturing that toad Quark though.”
“Healy to TK,” Torres’s commbadge chirped.
“Torres here,” she replied.
“We’re ready to go for a run,” Healy said.
“Good, let Shifferon know.”
“Yes, sir,” Healy cut off the line.
“Going for a run?” Janeway queried.
“Yeah, we’ve been working on the warp engines,” Torres said, “we’re
going to take her
out and let the ship stretch it’s muscles.”
“Do mind if we stay to watch?” Chakotay asked.
“You’ll have to asked the Admiral,” Torres said, “but I’m sure he
won’t mind.”

“We’re ready, sir,” Healy called. Torres turned to Janeway.
“Would you like to call the shots?” she asked.
“No, remember, I’m still retired, it’s your show,” Janeway declined.
Torres nodded, she
was the most senior officer on the ship at the moment.
“Healy, you know the drill.” The young man nodded.
“Initiating ground launching sequence,” Healy said. The ship
shuddered slightly. The
viewscreen showed the ceiling of the building pulling away. “We’re up.”
“Good, how are the systems?” Torres asked, remaining standing.
“Everything looks good,” a Lt. Nirose called from the Engineering
station. “All systems
are working at optimal.”
“Good,” Torres leaned on a railing, “take us up Healy.”
“Aye, sir.”
A few moments later, the blackness of space yawned at them. Earth’s
moon was barely
visible in the corner of the viewscreen.
“We’re ready to go to warp sir,” Healy announced. Torres shifted
nervously from foot to
foot.
“Is this your first time?” Janeway asked quietly. Torres nodded.
“Then just pick a star
that looks good, and go.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Torres grinned. “Healy, set a course for Gieale, warp
one.”
“Aye, sir,” Healy sounded a bit surprised. Gieale was a system that
had only been seen
from afar, never visited. “You don’t plan on going all the way there?”
“No, its just a good direction to go,” Torres said. Healy nodded.
The Voyager -C
lurched forward. The stars began streaking past.
“We’re at warp one, sir.”
“Take us to warp three.”
“Warp three.”
“Kick it to warp seven and hold there for a minute,” Torres commanded.
“Warp four,” Healy said, “warp five, six, seven.” Janeway felt a
tingle down her spine.
“How are the systems holding?” Torres asked.
“Still looking good,” Nirose reported, “a slight power loss in the aft
shields, but nothing
too serious.”
“Well then, lets see if a month on the blocks has hurt this horse,”
Torres grinned, “Healy,
take to warp 9.5.”
“Yes, sir,” Healy was grinning now too. There was a slight groan in
the ship as it passed
warp nine, but nothing too bad. “We’ve reached warp 9.5.”
“Should we go for it?” Torres asked, looking back at Janeway and
Chakotay. Janeway
nodded.
“I’ve only been past 9.975 once,” she said, “and I don’t remember any
of it. Go ahead.”
“You heard the Admiral. Healy, take us to warp 9.985,” Torres said,
her voice nearly
cracking under the excitement.
“Yes sir!” No one on the Voyager had every been to this point, none
of the earlier
captains had taken her past warp eight. The engines shrieked briefly.
“Warp 9.984…” Healy announced, “sir, the engines have a slight
imbalance, we can’t go
higher.”
“This’ll do,” Torres said, eyes glued on the viewscreen. “Take us
down to warp eight in
one minute.”
“Aye sir.”

END PART ONE

Disclaimers: Same as part one basically. I hope everyone’s enjoying the
ride? I know I’m cutting
this episode a bit short, but episode three will kinda be the continuation
of this one.

Alpha Quad Days, Delta Quad Nights
Episode Two, Part Two
Paragon’s Path
by: Sforzando

“So Admiral, did you enjoy yourself?” Admiral Shifferon asked Janeway,
after Voyager
had returned to the Highwater Ground Shipyard. Janeway leaned back in her
chair, staring up at
the ceiling.
“Very much,” she said. Chakotay chuckled.
“You were itching to take control, I know you were,” he whispered.
“Maybe,” Janeway admitted.
“Admiral, I was wondering, are you in a great hurry to get back home?”
Shifferon asked.
“Not really,” Janeway said, “why?”
“Well, we would just like to know if you’d like to stay around for a
few days,” Shifferon
inquired, “maybe inspire that crew to get off its lazy butt and prepare the
ship to be launched.”
Janeway cast a careful look at Chakotay, who shrugged.
“Well, sure,” she said after another moment.
“Good,” Shifferon smiled, “we’ll get you a cabin in the barracks.
Make yourselves at
home, feel free to roam the ship, it’ll keep the crew on its toes.”
Janeway returned the smile.
“You were always good at that,” Chakotay said to her. Janeway
laughed. Shifferon rang
the intercom.
“Louise, get Admiral Janeway and Commander Chakotay a cabin,” he
barked.
“Yes, sir,” a thick female voice responded.
“Get Lt. Yule to show them there,” Shifferon added.
“He’s on his way.”

“Interesting,” Kathryn said, leaning over the railing. The barracks
were actually on the
top floor of the Shipyard’s main building, and a small balcony offered an
impressive view of
whatever ship was in at the time. Right now, the Voyager-C sat quietly,
only a few external lights
blinking. “Though I find it a bit odd that the crew should still be on
board and present. Usually
part of the crew would get shore leave when the ship is docked.” Chakotay
shrugged. He was
inside their cabin, lying on the bed. Starfleet beds seemed to be the same
no matter where in the
galaxy one went.
“I know, it was a bit strange, even for the test run this afternoon,
the bridge seemed a bit
over staffed,” he said. Kathryn sighed, and turned away from the scene
below.
“But maybe they just stayed because they weren’t expecting to be
staying long.”
“B’Elanna said they had been there for nearly a month,” Chakotay said.
This time it was
Kathryn who shrugged, and came inside, pulling the glass door tight behind
her.
“Maybe we shouldn’t be dwelling on something as trivial as this,” she
decided, flopping
onto the bed next to Chakotay. He rolled over to face her.
“Let’s just hope that they don’t have the place bugged,” he grinned.
Kathryn gave a self
conscious laugh.
“Pity on them if they do,” she said. Chakotay rolled back onto his
stomach, chuckling.
Kathryn was already tracing circles on his back.
“Let’s hope B’Elanna doesn’t decide to pay us a visit,” Chakotay said,
“computer, kill the
lights.”

The next morning Kathryn and Chakotay sat quietly in the officer’s
mess on Voyager.
The crew milled nervously around them. Shifferon had been right, their
presence did put the crew
on its toes. At for everyone but Torres, who was arguing with the Doctor
as she entered the mess
hall. He went from a voice over the commbadge to a projection standing
next to her as she
entered the room.
“Doctor, I don’t really care, the power relays are fine,” Torres said,
hitting a few keys on
a replicator before removing its cover. “I’ve got more important things to
worry about than a
power system that is working perfectly.” The Doctor snorted.
“Fine,” he grumbled, “I’ll be in Sickbay if I’m needed.” The Doctor
blipped out of the
room.
“That thing is crazy,” Torres mumbled to herself, tinkering with a
connection to a bio-neural gel pack, and then replacing the cover. She
noticed Kathryn and Chakotay, and moved
over to their table.
“Good morning B’Elanna,” Janeway greeted her, “having fun?”
“Oodles,” Torres growled, “that program is really annoying.”
“So we noticed,” Chakotay said, “care to join us?”
“I’d love to, but I have to check the power relays on deck five
again,” Torres said. She
excused herself and continued on her way.
“Can’t let the Doctor get the upper hand, can she?” Chakotay grinned,
sipping his tea.
“Has she ever let him?” Janeway asked. She watched the crew continue
in its nervous
pattern. “I wonder if they think we’re here for an inspection.”
“Don’t get any ideas,” Chakotay chided her, seeing the playful glint
in her eyes.
“What, you don’t think it would be fun to torture them for awhile?”
Janeway asked.
“It wouldn’t be wise,” Chakotay said. She sighed.
“Why are we here again? Please remind me, I’m getting bored,” Janeway
downed the last
of her coffee.
“I know how you feel,” sighed Chakotay, “sitting in dock is not my
idea of fun. Even
though I *am* getting paid for it.”
“You’re getting paid for this?”
“I’m officially on duty,” Chakotay grinned.
“So that’s why you’re in uniform,” Janeway decided, “and why you’re
making me wear
this hideous get-up too.”
“It’s not my fault that Starfleet can’t decide on a uniform and stick
to it,” Chakotay said,
gesturing at their differing uniforms. Janeway was wearing the uniform
that had been associated
with Admirals for some time, and Chakotay wore the black and grey uniform.
The uniform they
had worn on Voyager was still seen around, usually over where the Maquis
and Cardassians and
Federation and Dominion and everyone else were fighting. The uniforms
there hadn’t stay black
and grey for too many years before reverting back. One could never be too
sure of what uniform
they were going to see when going into a Starfleet area.
“I personally liked the uniforms on Voyager best,” Janeway said,
tapping the side of her
empty coffee mug.
“Well, you really don’t have to worry much about uniforms, do you?”
Chakotay asked.
“It seems every time I get relocated I change uniform.”
“Poor thing,” Janeway crooned at him, standing. “It’s really
affecting your wardrobe isn’t
it?”
“And B’Elanna’s still wearing the Voyager uniform,” Chakotay said,
following her to the
disposal unit.
“What do you feel like doing today?” Janeway asked, changing the
subject.
“I dunno,” Chakotay watched his plate disappear, “sleeping?”
“Tempting, isn’t it?” Janeway grinned, as they made their way toward
the exit. “How
about we see what-” She was cut off by the chirp of her commbadge. It took
her a moment to
respond, still not used to wearing the thing again.
“Admiral Janeway? You’re needed on the Bridge,” Lt. Nirose sounded
over the line.
“Alright, I’m on my way,” Janeway threw a glance at Chakotay, who
shrugged.

“What seems to be the problem Lieutenant?” Janeway was grinning when
she stepped
onto the Bridge, Chakotay on her heels.
“We need you to settle a debate,” Nirose was grinning also, but in the
direction of Ensign
Nugui, the Vulcan standing at Ops. The Vulcan looked as exasperated as a
Vulcan could get.
“Trust me, Calle,” Nugui said to Nirose, “I know that I am correct in
this matter.”
“Please, T’gana, you may be Vulcan, but you’re wrong,” Nirose called
from her usual spot
at the Science station. Janeway raised a hand.
“What’s the problem?” she asked, smiling at the flustered group on the
bridge. Healy was
smothering a snicker down at his station. “Where’s Torres? Why can’t she
deal with this?”
Janeway herself was holding back laughter.
“Well, you’re more of the scientist, aren’t you?” Nirose said.
“I suppose,” Janeway smiled, “why?”
“Well, we’ve been working on the bio neural gel plates,” Nirose
explained.
“Plates?”
“Their like the packs, but just a big bunch of smaller ones,” Nirose
held up something that
looked exactly like what she had described. “When one of the smaller packs
in the plate gets
infected, what do you do?”
“I believe that it is required to replace the entire plate,” Nugui
said.
“I think its a waste,” Nirose declared, “so many regulations are a
waste.”
“I agree,” Janeway said to Nirose, taking the plate and looking at it.
Near the outer left
edge, a gel pack was considerably darker than the others. “It depends on
the situation.” Janeway
heard the turbolift doors open, and saw Torres enter out of the corner of
her eye. “Is this the only
infected plate?”
“Yeah, it’s the only one we’ve found thus far,” Nirose confirmed.
“Well, if you want a lecture, I’ll give you one,” Janeway grinned
slightly, watching Torres
lean against a console, smiling. Chakotay was smiling too. “Back, on the
original Voyager, we
had a lot of problems with the gel packs, and we couldn’t go replacing
everything by protocol.
So, if we were in that situation here, then I would have to agree with you,
Lt. Nirose.”
“I feel a but’ coming on,” Torres said. Janeway cast a look back at
Chakotay and Torres.
“But,” she affirmed, “in this case, where there is no shortage of
gel… pods? Then I’ll have
to agree with Nugui.” Nirose groaned.
“You always bet on the wrong things,” Healy snickered. Janeway
sighed, and turned back
to Chakotay.
“I guess you’re going to need another plate?” Torres asked, making her
way around them
and to Nirose.
“I guess so,” Nirose sighed lightly. Janeway chuckled.
“If that’s all, I’ll be going,” she said. Chakotay nodded to them as
they left.

“I have the feeling that they really didn’t need me up there,” Janeway
said. They were
walking around the grounds outside the shipyard.
“Like you were being tested?” Chakotay asked.
“Sorta,” Janeway laughed, “almost like…” She shrugged. Chakotay
chuckled.
“Con-speer-a-cee!” he drawled out. Janeway laughed, hanging onto his
arm.
“You’re crazy.” she said.
“It’s the age,” Chakotay said. Janeway paused in her step for a
moment to adjust her
intravenous unit. She rolled her sleeve back down, and they continued back
to the main dock
building. A shuttle landed on the far pad, and Janeway squinted.
“Is that Admiral Shifferon?” she asked, pointing to a figure advancing
toward the shuttle.
“I’m not sure,” Chakotay was squinting also.
“I’m curious,” Janeway said, “lets go see what’s going on.”
“It’s probably nothing,” Chakotay sighed, following her.
“I know, but we haven’t much else to do, now do we?” Janeway asked.
“Good point.”

There were three admirals standing in a group, conversing amongst
themselves. One was
Admiral Shifferon, but the other two were unrecognizable. Janeway and
Chakotay moved closer.
“Who are they?” Janeway whispered. Chakotay shrugged. Janeway led
Chakotay back
around into the building. “Lets go to our room. We might be able to watch
them better from the
balcony.”
“You’re really getting into this aren’t you?” Chakotay asked, but
continued following her.
Janeway leaned over the balcony.
“Can you see them?” Chakotay was changing his clothes.
“Yeah, they’re standing near the entrance ramp, talking,” Janeway
scratched her head. “I
wonder what they’re talking about.”
“Probably nothing important,” Chakotay said.
“If it wasn’t important, why would three admirals be needed?”
Chakotay just shrugged.
“I don’t know,” he admitted, “but its probably nothing for you to
worry about.” Janeway
sighed.
“You’re probably right,” she said, and turned from the balcony.
“Aren’t we supposed to meet B’Elanna for lunch?” Chakotay asked,
sitting on the edge of
the bed.
“I think so.”
“Well, then maybe you’ll get a chance to see your mysterious admirals
up close when we
go down there,” Chakotay grinned at her. Janeway smiled back.
“Don’t tempt me Chakotay,” she re-entered the room.

“So who are the admirals?” Janeway asked Torres as they sat in the
officer’s lounge
eating.
“Um, lets see,” Torres looked thoughtful, “I think they’re from the
committee that brings
in the new captains and officers.” She wiped her mouth off. “Admirals
Bi’Lousa and Yesterfield.
I think.”
“From the committee?”
“Yeah, why?”
“Kathryn was just playing spy commando again,” Chakotay grinned.
“Mm, sounds like fun,” Torres said.
“So B’Elanna, how’s the baby?”
“It depends whether you’re talking about the one in me or the Doctor,”
Torres sighed, “he
is so… weak. For a hologram. It’s like he’s dependent on me for
everything. Every little glitch,
every little problem, he comes crying to me.”
“You poor thing,” Janeway laughed, “but I was talking about *your*
baby.”
“Oh, she’s doing fine,” Torres patted her stomach.
“She?” Chakotay piped up.
“Yep,” Torres grinned, “the Doctor confirmed it this morning.”
“Have you and Harry been thinking of names?” Janeway asked.
“Not really, we haven’t had much time to talk lately,” she looked a
bit wistful. A beep
came from her commbadge. “Oh that’s right, I’m supposed to get a message
from Harry soon.
How convenient, I almost forgot. I’ll be right back.”
“Isn’t she just cute?” Janeway said a bit drily. “The momma to be,
get a comm message
from her husband living far, far away.”
“At least Torres can be pretty sure he’ll be faithful,” Chakotay said.
“Please,” Janeway snorted, “he’s so stuck on her that it probably
interferes with his job.”
Chakotay laughed.
“You’re probably right.”
“Excuse me, Admiral Janeway?” a rather squeaky soprano voice startled
them for a
moment. Janeway turned, to see one the Admirals looking down stoically at
her. She looked like
she was part Vulcan. The absence of the usual contralto threw her off for
a moment.
“Yes? May I help you?”
“I’m Admiral Yesterfield,” the woman introduced herself. “You are
wished to be spoken
with by Admirals Bi’Lousa, Shifferon and I.”
“Well, alright,” Janeway began to stand, “Chakotay, will you tell
B’Elanna I had to go?”
“The Commander is needed also,” Admiral Yesterfield said sternly.
“She’ll understand,” Chakotay said to Janeway. After a moment’s
deliberation, Janeway
nodded, and they followed the quiet admiral down to Shifferon’s office.

“Ah, Admiral Janeway, thanks for coming so quickly,” Shifferon rose to
shake Janeway’s
hand, “this is Admiral Bi’Lousa, I assume you’ve met Admiral Yesterfield.”
Janeway nodded,
shaking Bi’Lousa’s hand in turn. Chakotay remained quietly in the
background.
“I’m sorry to pull you two away from your lunch, but we’ve something a
bit more
pressing to discuss with you,” Bi’Lousa said.
“I understand,” Janeway nodded.
“Don’t worry about Lieutenant Commander Torres-Kim,” Yesterfield said,
“she will be
notified of where you are.”
“Thank you.”
“I’m aware of the fact that you and the Commander had the privilege of
accompanying the
crew of the Voyager on their run the other day,” Bi’Lousa said.
“That’s right,” Janeway didn’t like having Chakotay left out of the
conversation.
“Did you enjoy yourselves?”
“Yes, immensely.” Janeway wasn’t quite sure what they were getting
to.
“Admiral, may I ask, why did you retire from Starfleet?” Yesterfield
asked.
“Because I wasn’t made for a desk job,” Janeway said quickly.
“If you had been given the option to captain another ship, would have
you?” Yesterfield
asked.
“I suppose so,” Janeway said slowly, “but it would depend on the
conditions. Why?”
“We were wondering, that is, Starfleet was wondering, if you’d ever
consider coming out
of retirement,” Bi’Lousa asked.
“I don’t really think so, why?” she repeated the previous question.
“It is a shame,” Yesterfield said. She seemed to have ignored the
last question, and was
directing her comment toward the other two admirals. They nodded.
“If you would excuse us for a moment.”
“Of course.” Janeway led Chakotay back out into the hall.
“What the hell was that all about?” Chakotay whispered as soon as the
door had shut
behind them.
“I’m not sure,” Janeway said thoughtfully, looking between the Voyager
and the door to
Admiral Shifferon’s office. She shook her head. “I don’t know. But why
would they want to
know about my retiring?” Chakotay shrugged.
“Good question,” he stared at the door. Janeway sighed.
“Well, I’m going down to get some coffee,” she told Chakotay, “If they
need me before I
get back, tell them that’s where I am.” Chakotay nodded.

By the time she had returned, Chakotay had nearly fallen asleep as he
leaned against the
wall. Janeway grinned, and poked him in the side.
“Oh, back so soon?” Chakotay asked drowsily.
“Mm, yes.”
“Have a good coffee break?”
“Did you have a nice nap?” Janeway laughed.
“I wasn’t asleep,” Chakotay protested.
“I know,” Janeway said, patting his arm, “so, nothing from the
admiral’s office yet?”
“Nope,” Chakotay stifled a yawn. “How long has it been?”
“Almost an hour,” Janeway said.
“You really know how to nurse your coffee,” Chakotay grinned.
“No, I had three.”
“Oh, then they’ll be really safe if you get mad,” Chakotay chuckled.
“They?”
“The admirals.”
“Oh. Yes. Well, they’ll just have to be careful,” Janeway laughed,
planting a kiss on
Chakotay’s cheek. She leaned back against the wall next to Chakotay.
A few minutes passed, and then the intercom next to the door chirped.
Both Janeway and
Chakotay sighed when it did.
“Admiral, Commander, you can come back in now,” Bi’Lousa’s voice piped
out.
“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting,” Shifferon apologized as Janeway
and Chakotay
entered the office.
“That’s quite alright.”
“We just had some calls to make, a few people to contact,” Bi’Lousa
said, “but I think it
was worth the time that it took.” Janeway nodded, not quite sure as to
what the admirals were
getting at.
“Oh, I’m sorry we’ve kept you in the dark, Admiral,” Yesterfield said.
Janeway fought a
grin. Yes, definietly only half Vulcan. “But we had to get everything
cleared.”
“I see,” Janeway said, though she didn’t.
“As you know, the Voyager has had problems lately with keeping its
captains,” Shifferon
said. Janeway nodded slowly. “I understand that you’re aquainted with the
engineer, Ms. Torres-Kim. She has taken claim among the crew for being
responsible for Captain Hie’s withdrawl from
the post. And it seems Commander Playen its considering leaving too.”
Shifferon smiled behind
his steepled fingers. “We’ve been looking for someone to fill in Hiew’s
place.”
“Yes, I figured you would,” Janeway had a slightly confused look on
her face. Chakotay
nudged her from behind. When she glanced back at him, she saw the grin on
Chakotay’s face.
“Admiral, we would to know if you would be willing to come out of
retirement to become
the captain of the Voyager-C,” Shifferon looked directly at her, “with
Commander Chakotay as
your first officer.”
Janeway was struck dumb, she really hadn’t expected this. She looked
from Admiral
Yesterfield to Admiral Shifferon and Bi’Lousa, then back to Chakotay. He
was grinning.
“So, Admiral, would you like to be Voyager’s captain?”

END PART TWO
END EPISODE TWO

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