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Author’s note: And now back to my favourite genre! Drama/Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe!! Mwa-ha ha ha haaa!! ‘((=/=))’ marks flashbacks, beginning and end.
For seven days Tom Paris suffered under the effects of Seska’s drugs. The Doctor had only been able to help Tom a little as the chemicals would not break down without drastic and potentially harmful treatment.
On the eight day the Doctor noticed that Tom was fairing much better. The delusions had lessened and he seemed to be resting more peacefully. Late in the day Tom actually woke up much to the delight of his physician.
“Mr. Paris,” the Doctor greeted with what could be termed as a smile.
At first Tom was confused. His memory was hazy. “Who are you?” Tom asked. He slowly looked around and turned his head. “Where are we?”
“You don’t remember?” the Doctor scanned Tom’s head with a tricorder. He had arrived in sickbay with a severe concussion, no doubt from his crash landing on the moon he was found on, but there was also some chemical agent in his brain which may account for some memory loss. “You’re on the Federation Starship Voyager,” the Doctor informed him
“Voyager? We’re in the Delta Quadrant aren’t we,” Tom said not entirely sure that what he was remembering was accurate.
“Is Sal here?” Tom asked as he tried to get up only to realize that he was restrained by straps on his ankles and wrists.
“There’s nobody on the ship by that name?” The Doctor told him.
“But….I heard him. He was with me!” Tom started getting agitated and struggled against his bonds.
“Mr. Paris, you’re going to injure yourself.” The Doctor said.
Tom tried to force the straps to break but he found he was too weak. The Doctor watched as the straps strained with the force being applied but they did not break.
The Doctor gave Tom a mild sedative and he immediately calmed. “I heard him,” Tom said quietly to himself.
“You heard a drug induced delusion.”
“Then nothing I saw was real? Sal, Kail….” He trailed off.
“I’m afraid so.”
Tom looked away for a few moments. It had been so real. He had heard them so clearly. “What’s happened to me? What did she do to me?” Tom wearily as he looked at himself, clad in the standard blue sickbay pyjamas.
Tom closed his eyes trying to will away the memories. “Seska.”
The Doctor conversed with Captain Janeway on the Emergency medical channel. The Captain was in the ready room listening carefully to what the Doctor was saying. She and many others had been worrying about Tom. The rumour mill was overflowing with what could possibly be happening with Tom and little of it was based on fact. Sickaby had been closed except to the sick or injured.
“His injuries are healing but he will be sore for some time,” The Doctor told her.
“How did he act when he regained consciousness?” Kathryn asked.
“He was disoriented at first but after what he’s been through, I think he’s fairing quite well. He’s still dealing with what the Kazon did to him. I’d suggest he see the ship’s counsellor but we don’t have one.”
“Are you qualified to act as a counsellor?” Janeway asked.
“I have some knowledge of psychology but not enough to provide the type of counselling he’ll likely need.”
Janeway was silent for a few moments as she contemplated what they would do. “Thank you, doctor. Keep me posted.”
The screen went black and Captain Janeway leaned back in her chair. She quelled the anger that was growing inside her. She was furious at Seska for what she had done to Tom, a member of her crew but there were few options available to her. As long as Seska was with the Kazon, she would continue to be a threat.
Kathryn tiredly ran a hand over her face. For the time being her main concern was Tom. He would need help with his recovery.
She needlessly adjusted her bun before exiting the ready room. She made a mental note to discuss with Tuvok more security measures.
Meanwhile, on Cullah’s vessel they’d discovered the means of their prisoner’s escape. Due to an error in the computer system, they had not been informed when the escape pod had been launched. Seska suspected that Tom had created the fault so that he could make his escape. She refrained from telling that to the Maj though. He constantly underestimated the crew of Voyager, especially one, Tom Paris.
Seska watched but didn’t listen to Maj Cullah rant to his officers. He was an imbecile and his stupidity infuriated her to no end. She was tempted to walk out of the room and end this boredom now but she was already treading on thin ice with Cullah. One more act of insubordination and she’d be abandoned on the next planet they came across, habitable or not.
“Seska,” Cullah addressed the woman who was looking more like Cardassian with each wasted day. She tuned back into the lecture trying to look like an obedient officer but no amount of acting could hide the defiance in her eyes. “You were in charge of Paris how did you allow this to happen?”
Seska resisted the urge to glare at him by diverting her eyes. She realized that the two of them were alone in the room. She couldn’t remember when the other officers had vacated the room.
Seska looked back to Cullah who was standing too close to her, infuriating her further. “I did not allow anything to happen,” Seska stated, carefully enunciating each word. “He could barely move when I saw him last.”
“Then how did he leave his cell?” Cullah asked a question he knew she could not answer.
“Most likely, he walked.”
Her rude response was rewarded by a slap from the maj. He glared at her but Seska’s expression was frigid. “I want him found and I’ll hold you responsible if he’s not.” Cullah’s threat didn’t seem to affect the Cardassian spy in the least.
After a moment of tense silence Cullah went to leave, turning his back to Seska –a mistake on Cullah’s part that could one day prove to be fatal.
Seska unsheathed her dagger and held it ready to strike but she restrained herself. She would make her move when it suited her agenda best. Concealing the dagger again she followed the Kazon male out of the room, smiling slightly as she did. There were no Cardassian morals that frowned on stabbing someone when their back was turned.
Ignoring the patients near constant complaints the doctor tended to his duties to the best of his abilities. Once again Tom was awake and itching to leave Sickbay. The Doctor had informed Tom that his body required time to eradicate the foreign agents floating throughout him but Tom showed no concern for his well being and continued to ask the doctor for permission to leave.
“Mr. Paris,” The Doc turned to the man lying on the biobed, “You are not going to be leaving this place until I am satisfied that you are no longer in danger.” The Doctor sounded rather irate and Tom wondered briefly how long it would take to really annoy the hologram.
“I’m fine,” Tom told him.
“So you’ve been telling me.” The Doctor walked away. He wasn’t fine though. The drugs in his system were still reaping havoc with Tom’s body. One minute he’d be feverish and barely conscious, suffering from more delusions, the next he’d his old self and the next moment he’d once again be haunted by some horrible delusion or vivid memory of what had happened to him while in the care of the Kazon.
“Could you at least loosen these straps then?” Tom yelled but the Doctor ignored him. He figured that the Doctor would have to un-strap him sooner or later. Now that he was conscious he’d be able to eat.
Eating, the idea sounded promising but after two weeks of no food and only a few sips of water here and there, and then a week of intravenous nutrient supplements, his stomach would not be ready to digest the meals he dreamt of having.
He shook off those thoughts and returned his attention to the problem at hand, Sickbay. Tom tested the restraints again and sighed. With a little patience and effort he could free himself of his bonds but his brain was still a scrambled mess making concentrating on any one thing a fairly difficult task. At least it would keep his mind off the past few weeks, he hoped.
A few minutes later the Doctor walked passed his patient and found him lying silently on the bed, in his opinion being far too quiet. Eying him suspiciously for a few moments the Doc continued with his tasks leaving Tom continue trying to free himself.
A few hours later Tom’s patience had run out and the drugs were once again taking effect. The warnings started to sound catching the Doctor’s attention. He rushed over to his patients who was more animate than he had been for the past few hours.
“Mr. Paris try and stay calm,” the Doctor said as he examined his patient with a tricorder but Tom wasn’t listening.
Fear and panic were beginning to eat away at his composure and he had to get away from here.
“Mr. Paris!” The Doctor loaded a hypospray with a strong sedative and was prepared to use it on the struggling man but when Tom saw it coming he retaliated.
For his effort Tom had managed to loosen one strap that held down his right arm. It was enough for him to break the last one and continue to free himself of the remaining restraints.
The Doctor pressed the hypo to Tom’s neck but Tom’s movement caused the last half of the dosage to be released into the air. Tom, now free, got off the biobed and headed to the door.
“Computer erect a level six containment field around Sickbay,” The Doc ordered. In front of the entrance the force-field flickered to life trapping Tom inside.
Tom touched the force-field and was rewarded with a sizeable shock. He felt the tips of his fingers and found that his finger prints had been burnt off leaving a smooth surface. He slowly turned to face the CMO who thought he had won.
“I’m leaving,” Tom stated although he swayed slightly and the sedative started to take effect. He tried to focus his vision but objects were blurring together and he was becoming increasingly dizzy.
“Tom, you need time to recover. You’re still weak from-”
“I don’t care!” Tom interrupted. His outburst only made his head spin more. Closing his eyes and taking a few deep breaths he tried to regains his composure. “I’m leaving,” he stated more softly. Looking around sickbay he saw one of the Doctor’s instruments that would help him achieve his goal.
Kes was just about to enter Sickaby to start her shift. She had just started to help the Doctor and was excited about what she hoped to learn. She also wanted to see how Tom was doing. She had only seen him once in the past week and he had been near death at the time.
Just as she was about to enter Sickbay the lights dimmed for a moment before returning to their full brightness. Kes paused wondering if it was going to happen again but it seemed to be a one-time occurrence and she shrugged.
Suddenly the door to Sickbay open and the subject of her earlier thoughts walked out and nearly into her.
“Tom, are you alright?” Kes asked noticing that he didn’t look well. “You should be resting.”
Tom could feel his temper rising. Everything seemed to bother him but he withheld the rude comment he felt like making. “I am fine,” he said, eyes closed and breathes coming much too quickly.
“You are not,” they both heard the Doctor say. He stood in the doorway of sickbay unable to go any farther. “Return to your bed at once,” the hologram ordered but Tom ignored him and move to go by Kes but she blocked his path.
“It’s for your own good, Tom,” she tried to convince him but he didn’t want to listen.
Tom gave her a challenging look but Kes didn’t back down. Tom sighed. He picked her up, turned and placed down again so that she was out of his way. “Excuse me,” he said causally and walked away.
Kes looked on in surprise. She hadn’t been expecting that. She heard the Doctor sigh and tap his commbadge.
“Doctor to Janeway, we have a jail break.”
Ensign Kim entered his quarters after a long and tense shift at his station. They were still in Kazon territory and constant scans were necessary to make sure they weren’t heading into some sort of trap. They were also working on purging the systems of any trace of Seska to make sure she wouldn’t be as much of a threat as before.
Tiredly, Harry unzipped his jacket and called for lights. He’d change out of his uniform and go see if the Doc would allow Tom a visitor. From behind him he heard a voice start speaking and he jumped.
“You mind if I crash here for a while?”
Harry looked to the source of the voice and saw Tom seated on the floor next to the entrance to the quarters. “Tom what are you doing here?” Harry asked as he rushed over to him.
“Vacationing, what does it look like?” Tom said sarcastically giving him a sour look.
Harry reached out to lay a hand on Tom’s shoulder but stopped short when he noticed Tom’s condition. He was shaking slightly and his eyes were glassy. “You need to go to sickbay,” Harry announced.
“No.” Tom stated as he tried to get up but found that the sedative was making him feel heavy. “I don’t…want….”
“The holodoc can be pretty irritating, but he knows what’s best,” Harry said as he helped Tom stand.
“You’d think that,” Tom mumbled.
In her ready room Janeway rubbed her eyes as she listened to the Doctor rant. She interrupted him in mid-sentence, having listened to enough of his complaints.
“Have you tried to contact him?”
“Yes but he’s not wearing a commbadge,” the Doctor said though he doubted words alone would make Tom return.
“He couldn’t have gotten far in his condition.”
The Doctor harrumphed. “I’m sure that’s what the Kazon said when they discovered Mr. Paris was missing.”
“Doctor,” Janeway warned not liking his attitude. “I’ll have Tuvok scan for-”
Just then the doors to Sickbay opened and Harry and Tom entered. Tom looked far worse than he did a few minutes ago as Harry helped him on to a biobed.
“Were was he?” Janeway asked knowing that Kim had just been relieved of duty a few minutes ago.
“My quarters,” Harry answered.
“Mine were too far away,” Tom managed to say before he lost consciousness.
“Thank you for bringing him back, Mr. Kim. Doctor, keep me informed.” Janeway closed the link.
“Maybe you should release him to his quarters.” Kes suggested as she helped run the necessary scans.
“I don’t think he’s ready for that just yet.” The Doctor said.
“Why not? He obviously doesn’t want to stay here,” Harry said.
The Doctor faced Harry to give his explanation. “He can’t handle it right now. There are times when he can’t separate a dream from reality. He’s also not displaying any concern for his health or well-being. I don’t know if he’s dealing properly with what happened to him.”
“You don’t think that he’d….hurt himself?” Harry asked softly.
The Doctor shrugged and went back to work. “I can’t say but I’d rather not risk it.”
End Part 14
Not much happened, I know. The next part will be more interesting, I promise. email@example.com
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