by VoyWriter

disclaimer – Paramount owns the rights to the names and characters – but not my
vision of their future. This is one version. There are others.

Rennit Janeway slipped quietly back into the dimly lit room. Her father lay dying
there, his strength ravaged by a series of strokes that had felled the body and
clouded the mind.

She crossed over to the bed and sat on the edge, taking his hand as so many times
had taken hers. She wondered now, even as an adult, who would keep her safe.

Her brother was here as well, on emergency leave from his ship, leaving the
Captain’s chair to come home to New Earth for this final gathering, his ship
patrolling the near star system without him.

Now he slipped into the room, as tall and dark as Rennit was slight and patrician.
She was her father’s daughter and he their mother’s son in every legacy save
appearance, and both parents had found it ironic that the daughter who so
resembled her mother and carried her name, had found her way as a leader among
their people on the New Earth colony, following the old ways and treasuring the
traditions; while the son had the face of a renegade and the soul of a Starfleet
career officer.

Rennit’s long braid twitched as she turned to greet her brother and he could see
the motion in the feather tied at it s end. She wore the casual tunic and pants of
New Earth fashion, while he still had on the scarlet and black which market
Starfleet’s command chain, 4 pips on his collar.

“Any word?” Rennit asked, reaching out her hand as her brother joined her.

Kolotay shook his head wearily – he’d been trying to contact their mother since
communications went on line with the first morning sun, but could do no better
than to learn her shuttle was still enroute.

“She’s been through the Paris Portal,” he told his sister, referring to the wormhole
now Admiral Tom Paris has discovered so many years before to bring Voyager
back into Alpha Quadrant space.

“She needs to be here,” Rennit murmured, a crease of concern contracting the
tattoo on her forehead, a marking which mirrored that on her father’s face.

He stirred now, and both son and daughter immediately turned to him. Amazingly
he had brief periods of lucidity during which he alternately recognized his
children and cursed his condition in the same soft voice that had cradled and
challenged them as they grew to adulthood.

“Father,” Rennit said, gently covering his hand with her own.

“Rennit.” He recognized her and managed to convey all his love and pride in the
one word. This daughter had taken his place as leader of the colony on New Earth
and he had passed generations of tradition along with that title.

“Kol’s here, too,” she said and her brother steeped forward and crouched at his
father’s bedside, opposite his sister.

“Father,” he said, resting a hand on his father’s shoulder.

Dark eyes met dark eyes, embracing son to father in a ritual perhaps older than
the traditions of their people.

Theirs had been as even and content a relationship as Rennit’s had been
contentious. Rennit was as contrary as her father, and the pair had locked horns
on many an occasion, their mother watching in amusement and smoothing the
way when needed.

“This is the child you deserve, Chakotay.” Kol could her his mothers teasing and
scolding voice and see his father’s scowling visage transform into an expression
of tenderness and love almost embarrassing to witness.

“This is all far more than I deserve, Kathryn,” his father would invariably reply,
the simple, heartfelt emotion touching them all and drawing them into its broad
embracing warmth.

And now his father lay dying, and his mother pressed to come home, calling in a
lifetime of favors to reach her husband before he was taken from her forever.

Kol caught Rennit’s worried glance. Both knew it was unlikely any transport
could close the distance across the quadrant in the short time that remained.

A shock shook their father and his eyes closed and his breathing slowed and
caught, before evening out again.

Another small stroke. It was so near the end.

“It’s time,” Rennit said softly, and her brother nodded his silent agreement
through threatening tears.

Rennit pulled a small pouch from the pocket of her tunic and from that a wrapped
packet. She opened it carefully and dipped one finger in the fine black powder it
held inside. She touched this finger to her father’s forehead and drew a streak
down its center, murmuring ritual words of comfort, mourning and passage.

Kol watched. He honored the traditions of his people, but had not adopted them.
This ceremony was for Rennit and their father. Kol would mark the passing in his
own way.

Rennit’s hands shook as she refolded the packet and tucked it away.

The soft adobe walls of the room were a pale yellow, warm in the dim light. The
bed was the same one where both children had been made, and born those forty
odd years before when at last their journey over, a legendary Starfleet Captain and
her renegade First Officer had finally set duty aside to make a home and start a

Over the years, their father had provided the structure in their lives as their
mother’s duties to the Admiralty drew her away, and his to the new colony
permitted his presence home.

But absences aside, it was their mother who was the grounding for them all, and
both of her children, however, mature and settled in their own lives and careers,
needed that comfort now.

“Kathryn.” Their father’s soft voice was barely a whisper. He blinked his eyes
open and then closed them again.

“She’s coming, father,” Rennit reassured him, her face streaked with tears. She
recalled a story her father had retold so many times over the years it had become
as legend for their family. It began

“There was an angry warrior….”

“I don’t know if I can do this,” she choked, as salty tears overtook her face. How
they just watch him die? No heroic measures, he had insisted with a finality that
could not be brooked. And they knew nothing else would be fair, although other
paths might be easier.

Their father’s breathing faltered now.

Kol exchanged glances with his sister. It hurt physically so hard it was to watch
and bear. His father still would not give up. Waiting. Trusting.

And as yet one more whispered breath touched his lips, a still slight, strong figure
reached his bedside and drew her silvered head close.

“It’s Kathryn, love,” she whispered. And as her lover’s hand tenderly caressed his
face, her children withdrew to the doorway.

“Rest now,” she said ever so gently. “It’s all right. It’s time to rest now, love.”

It was an example of courage, dignity and compassion, but more than that, a
lesson in love and an act of a generous heart that neither son nor daughter would


“I’m going to tell you a story about your great grandparents,” Rennit said,
touching the tattooed forehead of her oldest granddaughter, a newly
commissioned Starfleet officer. “It starts like this…”

“There was a fair and lonely maiden who was lost among the stars…”



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