by VoyWriter

disclaimer: Paramount holds all rights to name and characters.
Please feel free to distribute this electronically intact and without revision.
Permission from the author is required to include it in any anthology or post it on
a web page.

email comments to VoyWriter@aol.com

The planet shook with the percussive force of successive meteor hits, screaming
its death throes.

On Voyager’s bridge, Kathryn Janeway cursed her decision to send down the
landing party, regardless of their urgent need for the dilithium which powered the
ship’s massive warp engines, and sustained the weapons, scanners, and life
support systems.

She’d let B’Elanna Torres and Chakotay talk her into their last dangerous mission.
They might both thrive on the excitement, but she was edgy was hell and at helm,
Tom Paris was as well, fidgeting with the thrusters, making minute insignificant
changes to their course – anything to keep his mind off the danger his wife was in

Janeway rose and walked over to the helm, resting a sympathetic hand on Tom’s
shoulder. Her husband was down there, too. Both Chakotay and Torres had been
unwilling to risk the danger to any of the junior crew.

“B’Elanna has no business being down there,” Tom muttered, remembering
belatedly that Janeway was at his back. “Sorry, Captain.”

“Apologizes unnecessary, Mr. Paris,” she said firmly. “You are absolutely right.”
B’Elanna was more than six months pregnant with their second child. As Tom had
so correctly put it, she had no business down on the surface of that planet.

“Janeway to Chakotay,” she called. She intended to recall them now, the dilithium
be damned. There was no response.

She turned to Harry Kim who shook his head. “Too much interference to even
locate their comm badges,” he advised. “And even if we could find them, Captain,
I’d be hesitant to beam them through this mess.”

Janeway slammed her hand against the top of Tom’s chair, echoing the absolute
frustration they all felt.

It had been six years since they wee brought into the Delta Quadrant by the array.
They were a family now in so many ways – through both the larger community of
the ship as well as the individual pairings, however unlikely – the volatile,
half-Klingon Torres with the hedonistic Tom Paris; Janeway herself with her
renegade First Officer; and many others among her crew had also found mates, or
at least companions.

There were nearly 30 children now – Paris and Torres’ daughter among that
number and Chakotay and Janeway’s three sons the largest brood – the most
recent was her whim and his surprised delight. He would have welcomed a half
dozen more, but she was content with their rambunctious trio, despite the
necessary and significant changes to her life.

“The meteor storm is temporarily abating, Captain,” Tuvok announced from
behind her.

“Harry, boost the gain on the comm badges. Get that link back,” she ordered.

The now Lieutenant JG, Harry Kim worked frantically, but to no avail. He could
not make the connection, nor could ship’s sensors pick up any humanoid life signs
anywhere on the planet.

They found Chakotay’s body arched over Torres, so badly battered that only the
color of the uniform and relative size of the man served as identification. Cause
of death was a crushing blow to the neck. It had been instantaneous.

Torres was miraculously still alive, though trauma to her head was so severe that
she had become little more than a lifeline, albeit an important one, for her child,
cocooning the life within her.

Once aboard Voyager, the holodoctor determined that the baby could not be
safely transferred from her and Tom was left to face the horrible knowledge that
to keep their child – another daughter – safe until she could be born, his wife
would have to remain alive as well, serving as little more than an incubator.
There could be no closure. Not yet. Grieving was postponed. His hair turned gray

Janeway faced the prospect of raising three sons alone – a daunting task. It was a
possibility she and Chakotay had discussed – it was not unlikely that one of them
might be killed some day – it was a hazard of the job, and the quadrant – but
nothing could have prepared Kathryn for the overwhelming sense of
responsibility she carried for the three boys. It made running Voyager pale by
comparison. And beyond that, the tremendous loneliness kept her from food and
rest and tormented her dreams.

She went dutifully with Tom to see B’Elanna every day, but selfishly it reminded
her that at least Tom had something of his wife, even if a shell of a being, to talk
to, while she had not even that comfort from Chakotay. The feelings made her
terribly guilty and even confused, but were outside her control.

Tom and B’Elanna’s second daughter was born two months later, a bit early, but
healthy, and her mother died the following day.

It wasn’t more than a week later that Janeway recognized the all too familiar first
symptoms of pregnancy and confirmed it with the doctor. Chakotay had left her
another child.

A year later Tom Paris and Kathryn Janeway combined their families, if not for
convenience, then for comfort, although in over 25 years, they never became


B’Elanna Paris pulled her feet up onto the couch in her quarters, trying to get
comfortable. It had been a long day, and she was exhausted, but the old were logs
she had uncovered were mesmerizing.

Tom Janeway found her hunched over them when he checked in from duty
several hours later.

“Hey, sis,” he greeted her, tousling her hair as he had for as long as she could
remember. “What do you have there?”

She looked up. “It’s the ship’s logs – from when we were born.”

“How in the hell did you get them?” Tom sat down at her side, his dark head a
counterpoint to her blonde one. They shared a special bond these two, born of
singular circumstance and common pain.

“There’s some advantage to being resident computer whiz,” B’Elanna told him,
and she handed him one of the padds laying carelessly in her lap.

“Here,” she said, “it’s your mother’s personal logs. They start when she found out
she was carrying you.”

Tom took it hesitantly. It almost seemed voyeuristic. He said so.

“Read it,” B’Elanna insisted. “I’m reading my father’s.”

Tom nodded then and thumbed the screen to active. His mother’s face appeared.

“My dear love,” it began. “We are going to have another child…”



Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.