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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.
“Come on Tom, stay with me,” Sal pleaded. He didn’t receive a response. “Just a little further.”
The Harsh wind bit at his skin but he forged on. They had to make it. The cavern was just a few meters up. The weight of his young friend and comrade draped over his back didn’t make the climb easy but Sal didn’t give up.
Finally, after what seemed like ages they made it. It was dark and dank but it was shelter. As gently as he could, Sal laid the Fieran-human hybrid on the ground.
“Tom, say something,” Sal said as he searched his suit for the med kit he had been carrying. He hoped he hadn’t lost it.
“Sal.” Tom’s voice was a whisper that was nearly lost in the wind but Tom had heard.
“I’m right here, Tom.” Sal moved into Tom’s field of vision.
“It hurts,” he croaked.
“I know it does. Hold on, I’m getting something for it.” Sal opened his med kit and removed a hypospray and a vial. He pressed it to Tom’s neck and waited but the pain didn’t seem to lessen at all. “Damn them,” Sal cursed as prepared another vial.
“Make it stop….”
“I’m trying Tom. Hold on,” Sal pleaded. He pressed the hypospray to Tom’s neck again and watched as his features relaxed. “Hold on, Tom. Help is on the way.”
Sal looked at the grey clouds outside and then looked down and the foggy village below were this particular nightmare had begun.
Tom had been working here looking for an escaped criminal. Unfortunately the criminal had found Tom first and had infected him with a horrible virus. Tom had been here alone without any assistance and Sal had gotten worried when his friend hadn’t responded to any of his messages.
When Sal arrived he found Tom’s small dwelling had been over run by the homeless citizens of the village and they had left Tom in an alley to die. Tom had been at death’s door when he arrived but with some intervention from the betazoid man, his condition had been upgraded.
The criminal Tom had been after had tried to finish Tom off for good but Sal took his friend and ran for the outskirts where he eventually lost their pursuer.
Now they just had to wait. Sal had filed a report before he left noting his concern for Tom. Tom was only nineteen years old and though he was a good at his job he was not prepared for this mission; partly his fault but mostly the fault to the person who had assigned Tom to this particular mission. The small file on the fugitive had been misread and this job, suited for an experienced operative, was given to Tom.
Sal sighed and looked out to the village again. Somebody would be along soon to find them, he hoped. They would have just gone to Sal’s shuttle but it was too far away for them to make it with somebody hunting them.
So for six days and nights they stayed in the cave letting Tom rest. His condition had improved slightly but he had lost consciousness two days into their wait and had not woken since.
Sal scanned Tom again and was discouraged to find that Tom was slipping into a coma. “Tom fight it!” Sal yelled hoping that Tom would here him. “I have to do something,” he mumbled to himself. But what else could he do? His limited medical; supplies were not enough.
Sal remembered his father telling him about a dangerous and radical procedure that could help stabilize ill people and possibly bring people out of comas but it had not been proven. But what else can I do, Sal thought to himself.
“Tom, forgive me,” Sal whispered as he closed his eyes.
Sal remained kneeled at Tom’s side for hours, as he probed into Tom’s mind looking for something to strengthen Tom. Suddenly Sal found something and Tom’s body jerked.
“Almost,” Sal whispered. Tom’s body jerked again and his eyes fluttered open.
‘Sal,’ Tom thought he had spoken the name but he hadn’t.
“I’m here.” Sal opened his eyes and looked at his awakened comrade. “How do you feel?”
‘Tired. My body hurts.’
Sal regarded his friend with wide eyes. What was happening? Tom’s lips hadn’t moved, yet somehow Sal could hear him. “What did you say?”
‘I don’t know,’ Tom said as he closed his eyes. Again Tom’s lips didn’t move but Sal heard him.
“We’ll figure this out later,” Sal said as he raised Tom to a sitting position. “Do you feel up for a bit of a run?” Sal asked hoping to make use of Tom’s recovery.
“Too bad, get up.” Sal hauled Tom to his feet and Tom managed to keep from falling over. “Let’s go.”
‘Wait! What happened? Something feels different.’
“I don’t know Tom but we have to go now.”
Two days later Tom was in an infirmary recovering from his illness. Sal examined Tom’s bio-readings noting that they were stable and strong. The young man would be alright. Sobey left the room to go speak with the Doctor. He had something to ask.
“Yes, I noticed something different when I performed my initial scans.”
“Do you know what it is?”
“I have a theory but I can’t confirm it until my patient awakens. The telepathic procedure you and Mr. Paris underwent during your time on the planet seems to have left a telepathic bond between you. I believe it will fade with time but not entirely. You two may always have a slightly empathic bond. For you it won’t be all that different but for Mr. Paris it will take some getting used to.”
“No, you don’t, but you will.” The Doctor walked away to go check on his patient.
Tom was on the turbolift and heading to the deck ten before Janeway could order a security detail to go with him. If the Kazon wanted a confrontation they’d get one. The turbolift stopped on said deck and the doors slid open with a hiss. A faint smell of smoke was already wafting through the corridors. They had just arrived, and already the Kazon had broke something.
Tom stopped at a weapons locker and stocked up before consulting the computer again to determine the exact location of the Kazon. The computer instructed him the Kazon where at Jefferies tube junction 10-3H, so Tom headed there. When he arrived he found that the Kazon had already entered the jefferies tube and were climbing down to deck 11, main engineering. Tom followed.
As he drew closer to the exit to engineering he heard the some of the Kazon officers ordering around the engineering crew. Tom peeked out the hatch and saw most of the engineering crew being rounded up by the armed Kazon men. Tom decided to climb the jefferies tube to the upper level of engineering. He would have a better vantage point from there.
The upper level was deserted. The Kazon had quickly rounded them up. Keeping his body low, Tom crept around the upper level looking for the best position, which he found. From there he could see nearly all of the lower level but shooting at him from down below would be very difficult.
Tom took out his phaser rifle and took aim. He tapped his commbadge while still looking through the scope of the weapon.
“Paris to Tuvok,” he whispered, “Where’s the security team?”
“We are coming towards main engineering,” Tuvok said.
Tom gave him the layout. Where the Kazon were positioned, how many of them there were and where they Voyager crewmembers were located. Just before the security team entered Tom expertly took out three Kazon officers causing enough confusion that when the security team entered they easily regained control of engineering.
Tom took the lift down to the lower level where Tuvok and Torres were the first to greet him.
“Mr. Paris,” Tuvok said.
“Lieutenant Tuvok,” Tom greeted in the same fashion. “There are probably more of them on the ship.”
Tuvok nodded in agreement and quickly split up his security detachment into smaller groups to sweep each deck, section-by-section. Tom joined one of the teams and together they cleared decks eleven through five but there were still more to go. They had only found a few Kazon during their search and Tom had the distinct feeling that there was something else going on.
They were climbing through the Jefferies tubes to deck four when Tom gave into the nagging feeling and tapped his commbadge.
“Paris to Janeway,” he waited for a response but none came. Around him, the other security officers listened as well. “Paris to the bridge, please respond.” Still there was no answer. “Hogan,” Tom called to the officer who was leading the group, “Stop. We need to go to the bridge.”
“He’s going to come here,” Chakotay said, after the comm. went dead. They both knew of the kind of damage Tom could do.
Seska crouched down to his level. “I’m counting on it.” Chakotay and the rest of the officers that were present on the bridge had been hoarded to the centre at gunpoint. They were currently all kneeling on the carpeted floor. While some of the Kazon officers kept watch.
Seska walked back to Maj Cullah who was standing at the helm. “We have to get rid of him first!” Cullah said, referring to Tom.
“I have a plan,” Seska said. Her plan would rid her of her two biggest problems, Tom and Cullah.
Meanwhile, the Voyager officers were trying to form a plan of their own. The bridge had been invaded so quickly they hadn’t had time to defend themselves. They needed to regroup and find something to help them regain control.
“We need to lock out all the bridge commands,” Janeway whispered to the small group.
“How do we get to a console without them noticing?” Harry asked? Before anyone could answer Seska interrupted.
“Everybody, get up,” she ordered and slowly the officer complied. Seska turned to the Kazon guards. “Take them into the conference room and make sure they stay there,” she said forcefully. As they were escorted to the room, Chakotay counted the number of Kazon going with them: four, they could take out four.
They waited in the conference room, hoping for something that would briefly distract their guards and a few minutes later it came. Shouts and the sounds of weapons discharging pierced the silence. One of the Kazon officers turned to the door and that moment of inattention was enough for Kim to jump him. They struggled for the weapon until, with the help of another crewman, Harry managed to get the weapon and knock out the officer. The other officers managed to get two of the other three but one got away and headed for the door to the bridge knowing he could not defeat all the Voyager officers alone.
As the door slid open he saw some voyager officers fighting his comrades and for the most part winning. Of the Voyagers, he recognized one. He raised his weapon and managed to fire one shot before being tackled from behind.
Janeway emerged on the bridge and after the chaos cleared she was able to assess the damage. Several unconscious Kazon officers littered the ground, among them Maj Cullah. She stepped over the fallen Maj to Tuvok and Tom. Tuvok was trying to get Tom to sit down but there was still one person missing. He could rest later, he had to find her now!
“Mr. Paris you are injured,” Tuvok stated needlessly.
Tom glared at him for a moment before moving away. Why were Vulcans always stating the obvious? “Tom go to, sickbay,” Janeway ordered. Tom just looked at her before walking away, his shirt soaking with blood from his wound. Harry glanced at the Captain before following Tom into a turbolift.
Janeway didn’t know what Tom was thinking until she looked around and realized that at least one of the perpetrators was missing, Seska. She turned to Tuvok, “Run a security sweep of all major systems. I want to know how Seska got them on the ship.” Tuvok nodded and went to work.
“Captain, I’m going join a security team and run another sweep of the ship,” Chakotay said. Janeway nodded her agreement. They couldn’t trust sensors right now. There must have been some sort of error introduced into the system. It hadn’t alerted them to the presence of intruders until it was nearly too late.
Tom walked purposely through deck three to his quarters. Harry followed silently, wondering what Tom was going to do. They arrived at his quarters and Tom immediately headed for his closet. He still had a few things with him from Mercury and they would come in handy now.
Harry watched as Tom pulled out some gadgets, most of which he didn’t recognize. “What is all this?” Harry asked.
Tom stood up and handed Harry what looked like a weapon. “I can’t do this alone,” Tom said. Harry took the weapon and examined it. Tom gave him a brief overview on how the weapon worked. It was a little heavier than a phaser and it was shape differently but Harry preferred the balance on this weapon to a phaser.
“Don’t loose that.” Tom warned. “It’s my favourite.” Tom handed Harry protective vest.
“What’s this for?” Harry asked as he put it on.
“It’ll keep you alive in the event we have some major problems,” Tom said.
“Where’s yours?” Harry asked.
“Destroyed, along with Mercury,” Tom said. “Let’s go.” Tom picked up a small weapon and another device before heading to the exit and again, Harry followed. They reached the turbolift and Tom was about to press the call button when he froze.
“Tom?” Harry asked wondering if something was wrong. Tom didn’t respond. He eyes remained fixed on the door panel in front of them but he was seeing something else.
Tom closed he eyes and then looked again at the door but the image remained. “Not again,” he whispered.
“Tom?” Harry looked at the door and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.
Tom was seeing an old nightmare that had plagued him for most of his life. The door was closed and only a small sliver of light passes through the small gap in the hinge. He knew what was on the other side and knew that once again she had died.
“Tom!” Harry cautiously placed a hand on his shoulder but pulled back immediately when Tom startled. “Are you alright?”
Tom looked around, recalling where he was. “I’m….” he rubbed his eyes, “I’ll be okay,” he said trying to convince himself.
“Maybe we should let Tuvok handle this,” Harry said but before Tom had a chance to respond, a phaser blast passed right between them striking the turbolift door. Tom and Harry took cover at he nearest side corridor and Tom peek around the edge to determine who had been shooting at them.
“You two, over there,” he heard a female voice order.
“Who is that?” Harry asked, also hearing the voice from down the corridor.
“Seska,” Tom said. Adrenaline was flowing through his veins and usually he would was able to control his nerves but after his recent traumas and the toxins that were still floating around inside him, he could hardly think straight. Leaning heavily against the wall he took deep breaths and tried to formulate a plan. Vaguely he heard Kim asking him something.
“This usually isn’t so difficult,” Tom mumbled to himself. He had to get a grip before Seska and her goons got there. Tom took another look around. It looked like the area was free of Kazon and Seska but he couldn’t be sure. “Stay sharp,” Tom said to Harry as they slowly started down the corridor, “One of us has to.”
“Tuvok, any answers yet?” Janeway asked as she strode to his station.
“Seska used her command codes to enter a delay subcommand into the processors.”
Janeway couldn’t believe they had overlooked Seska’s command codes. She looked at the information on the console and noticed that only s one of Seska’s codes was operational. The others were locked out.
“Who did this?” Janeway asked pointing to the codes. She hadn’t told anybody to take Seska’s codes online however two of three had been disbled and probably limited the damage Seska was able to cause them.
“I would have to assume, Mr. Paris,” Tuvok said.
Back in the corridor of deck three Harry and Tom were still creeping slowly along. When they came to a console on the wall. Tom went to work. They weren’t getting anything done at this rate. “Keep a look out.”
Harry kept watch while Tom worked. “What are you doing Harry asked taking a quick look around the corner.
“Keeping Seska isolated to this deck.” On the map of the deck, thirteen blue lines indication force-fields appeared. They were positioned to lock Seska and them into one quarter of deck three. “They aren’t going anywhere.”
Harry looked at the setup. “Neither are we.” As he turned to make sure they were still in the clear he saw a form coming from around a bend. “Tom,” he caught he other man’s attention as he fired a few shots. Three Kazon officers were coming after them and Tom and Harry had to retreat and find a place to take cover.
They rounded a sharp turn and Harry thought they were safe but was soon proven wrong. A shot hit him directly in the chest but before he fell to the ground Tom had caught him and pulled him into a small alcove.
The young ensign was conscious as Tom assessed the injury. The vest had stopped the blast but there would be bruising on the other side. “You’ll be fine, Harry,” Tom told him. “Stay here.” Tom darted out of the alcove firing a few shots as he did, narrowly missing Seska. He paused around a corner and reset his weapon before moving into the corridor and with one precise shot, he disabled Seska’s weapon.
A shock ran through the weapon in her hand. She tried to fire it at Tom who was approaching, but it didn’t work. Tossing it to the ground she pulled out a dagger and wielded it dangerously. Tom could easily have shot her and ended this confrontation but before he could more Kazon came from behind him.
Turing around quickly he disabled their weapons but before he could fire another shot he was tackled to the ground.
The Security team stepped off the turbolift on deck three having already cleared the decks above. They still hadn’t found Seska but that would soon change. As they walked down the corridor they were suddenly stopped when the security officer leading the group walked into a force-field. “What the hell is going on?” Chakotay asked no one in particular. They went to work trying to get the force -field down. While Chakotay tried to comm. Paris but there was not response.
Seska ripped the commbadge of his shirt and threw it down the hall. “You’re loosing your touch Paris. I didn’t think it would be nearly this easy to kill you,” she raised weapon she had acquired from one of the Kazon and fired.
End Part 16
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