Disclaimer: All the Star Trek characters are Paramount’s. I don’t own them (yet). ;)
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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.
Part 17 (the last part in this series!)
Just as she was pulling the trigger Tom used all his strength to shift positions pulling one of the Kazon men holding him, into the line of fire. One of the Kazon officers seeing that they were loosing control, punched their prisoner on his already injured shoulder. Tom collapsed to one knee as the pain overwhelmed his senses.
From out of seemingly nowhere a phaser fire rained down on the kazon intruders. Tom couldn’t see them but knew who it was. He recognized the sound of the weapon. It was the one he had given to Harry. Before his line of vision was further obscured by the two Kazon still fighting him Tom saw Seska turn and prepare to fire. Sensations of fear that Tom usually kept well under control began to overwhelm him as flashes of the past invaded his present.
He was having trouble keeping up with her as they ran from their attackers. The main power for the palace had been taken off line and only a torchlight lit their path. Tommy glance behind him and saw flash of light just before they rounded a bend.
“He’s catching up!” he told his mother.
“Quickly in here.” Merra stopped suddenly and pushed Tom into a small closet. “Take this,” she handed the child a phaser.
“Mommy?” he asked, unsure what she expected him to do.
“Shhh. You have to be very quiet,” she whispered. Tommy trusted her blindly and nodded. Light from around the bend warned them of the attacker’s approach. “I love you,” she said just before he closed the door.
“Mommy,” he whispered. What was she doing? Was she going to leave him here? “Mommy,” he called a little louder. There was not response. He moved to look through the small opening at the hinge but he couldn’t see her. Suddenly somebody ran right in front of him. In the following seconds the exchange of weapons fire echoed through the eerily desolate corridors and then only Tommy’s frantic pleas for his mother.
The silence from the corridor was deafening and enclosed space of the closet was suffocating. He had long given into his panic and fear was frantically yelling for his mother. He kicked and pushed on the door until it opened unexpectedly and he fell forward onto his hands and knees. His hands landed in a pool of blood and he stared at it in horror. Looking up he saw her. He couldn’t speak and his limbs trembled with fear. Slowly he crawled to her ignoring the blood.
As he approached he saw that her eye were open and he thought she’d be okay, but when he reached her side he knew he was wrong. “Mommy,” he whispered, choking on his tears. He gingerly reached out to touch her face. He became startling aware of the blood that covered him when he saw the streak of red that his touch left on her.
He pleaded with her not to go but he knew that he was too late. Her dead gaze seemed to rest on him and Tommy couldn’t look away. His own tears fell to the floor and mingled with the ever-increasing pool of blood. He cried silently and alone for and unknown length of time before several footsteps approached.
Ready to defend himself and his mother and ready to die if necessary he picked up the phaser she had given him and aimed down corridor. Tears continuously flowed down his face as more fear welled up inside him.
“Tommy! Merra!” a familiar voice called. He recognized it but still he kept his weapon poised to fire. Kail was the first around the bend and stopped dead in his tracks when he saw the horrific sight.
He saw his sister’s dead body, the body of her assailant and her son kneeling in her blood and Kail couldn’t move. A whimper broke him out of his trance and he locked eyes with his young nephew. His blue eyes were distress and confused and he still had the phaser pointed at Kail.
“Tommy,” Kail started gently, “put the phaser down.” As the other security officer arrived Kail gestured for them to stay back. He cautiously approached. “Tommy, I won’t hurt you.” Tommy watched carefully as Kail approached and reached for the weapon. He was directly in front of him and had Tommy decided to press the trigger, Kail would be hit.
Kail finally reached Tommy and easily took the weapons from his loosed grip. He tossed the weapon to a security guard and picked up the child. He was totally silent and had stopped crying.
As Kail carried him away, Tommy’s eye remained locked with his mother’s until one of the security guards closed her eyes.
With strength he was unaware he possessed Tom pushed the Kazon man away from him and grabbed Seska’s arm before she could fire. He took the weapon from her and shot the advancing Kazon. They both fell to the floor like a ton of bricks.
Tom turned back to Seska knowing it wasn’t wise to have his back to her for very long. She had her dagger out again and Tom took a step back to get out of the range of her weapon.
“Come on Tom,” Seska said with a smile. She dropped her weapon. “No weapons.” She went into a fighting stance. She knew Tom, like any other person, would want revenge for what she had done. She hope that his clouded mind would give her the advantage she needed, but like many before her and many after, she underestimated him.
Tom dropped the weapon to the floor and Seska advanced.
About fifteen meters away, Harry couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Tom hadn’t really thrown down his weapon to fight Seska? He was still feeling winded from his injury but with the help of the wall he was getting closer to them.
The first punch Seska threw, Tom feinted out of the way and knocked her to the floor. He took out a relatively small phaser but no less deadly, and it aimed at the woman at his feet.
“Tom don’t!” Harry yelled as he tried to move more quickly to him.
Tom ignored the Ensing and continued to stare down at Seska. “What the hell are you waiting for?” Seska asked him. “Shoot me!” she yelled her request so loudy that it seemed to echo in his head. “You’ll make Sobey so proud.”
An eternity seemed to pass as conflicting thoughts and emotion raged within him. His tenuous grip on his emotion was slipping. He wanted to give into her taunts and give her what she so rightfully deserved but in spite of everything that had happened, that she had done, he was still at odds with himself.
Tom pulled the trigger of the small weapon and a blue beam of energy was released. Seska’s eyes were tightly shut as she waited for the end, that didn’t come. She smelt something burning and opened her eyes. The carpeted ground next to her head had been burnt by the blast. Tom was still standing over her she looked up at him hardly believing that he had spared her.
After a tense moment of silence Tom stepped over her and towards Harry who was having more difficulty walking. Seska allowed herself to breath again and thanked whoever was watching over her that she had the chance to finish what she had started.
Harry was thankful for Tom’s help as the older man helped him to the ground. The pain in his chest wasn’t getting any better and breathing was still a chore. When Harry looked over Tom’s shoulder he saw Seska standing over them a dagger raised above her head, ready to plunge it into Tom’s back.
Using his last bit of strength Harry fired his weapon at her and at the same moment another blast of energy hit Seska as well. She fell to the floor with a thump. Tom glanced over his shoulder and saw her dead eyes staring back at him he closed his eyes and looked away.
“Tom, are you okay?” Harry asked when he noticed that his friend seemed to be distressed.
“Tom, Harry,” Chakotay called as the security team approached. He briefly took in the seen before him and watched as one of the security officers checked Seska for a pulse but found none.
“She’s gone,” the officer said moving on.
Tom helped Harry to stand saying, “You need to go to sickbay.”
“So do you,” Harry replied.
Chakotay sent and security officer with them just in case while he and the others cleaned up the mess. He covered Seska’s dead form with a grey covering. He had seen Seska ready to kill Tom with her dagger and shot her with his phaser, which was set on stun. The two blasts simultaneously must have been too much and killed her. As he walked away he couldn’t help thinking that she had deserved that fate more than anyone.
In sickbay, Tom helped Harry to a biobed. There were only a few injured people as that Kazon threat had been swiftly extinguished. Tom walked to the Doctor’s office and sat down. He needed to be alone for a few moments.
“There you are Ensign. Good as new,” The Doctor said.
Harry sat up and was pleased to find that no pain accompanied the action. He saw Tom sitting in the Doctor’s office and he didn’t look very good. The doctor was already heading towards him.
“Mr. Paris,” the Doctor addressed him as he entered his office. Tom was hunched over, elbows on his knees and hands on the top of his head.
“What?” Tom replied listlessly.
“I need to treat your wound,” the Doc informed him.
“Can you do it later, please?” Tom asked politely hoping the Doc would leave him be. He couldn’t feel any pain, in fact he was totally numb.
Tom didn’t know it but the Doctor had his tricorder out and was scanning in him with it. The result caused a frown to pass over the usual unemotional features of the hologram. He had noticed that Tom was shivering but the tricorder confirmed that Tom was in shock. The remaining toxins in his bloodstream only heighten the symptoms and the Doc’s worries.
“Tom,” the Doctor crouched down, “You need medical attention,” he said gently. After a few moments Tom stood and the Doctor lead him to a biobed. Harry was still in sickbay and watched with worry as Tom quietly went with the doctor. “Ensign you can go.”
Harry nodded and after a few silent seconds he left. Tom looked so pale and so tired; hopefully he’d be alright.
“All Kazon have been moved to cargobay one,” Tuvok reported to the Captain.
She acknowledge his report and tapped her commbadge. “Janeway to Torres, how are you coming with the transporters?” she asked.
“We just got transporter two online but the buffer capacity is limited. You’ll only be able to transport two at a time,” B’Elanna said.
“Understood. Janeway out.”
“We’re in orbit of the planet, Captain,” Baytart announced from the helm.
“Tuvok transport our guests to the surface and then break orbit and set a course for home maximum warp,” Kathryn ordered as she left the bridge.
Two hours later, Voyager was still undergoing repairs and system diagnostics were still being conducted. Captain Janeway walked into Sickbay and found it empty except for the Doctor who was still working in his office. She had excepted Tom to be here and wanted to check up on him.
“Captain, what can I do for you?” the Doc asked as he exited the office.
“Where’s Tom?” she asked.
“He’s on a biobed….” The Doctor trailed off when he saw that all the biobed were empty. “He was just here! I just check him ten minutes ago!”
“How is he?” Janeway asked.
“He’s on the road to recovery but it will be a long one. He’s still experiencing some very realistic, memory-induced delusions but they are less frequent. I believe the toxins will be out of his system in a few days.”
“Thank you, Doctor,” Janeway said. She looked around the room before leaving. She wanted to talk to Tom but she could wait.
Four days later, Voyager was back in one piece and the crew was settling into the welcome monotony of life in the Delta Quadrant without the Kazon chasing them. It was late in the evening and Tom had been talking with Captain Janeway earlier in the day. She had offered him a position on voyager. Lieutenant Tom Paris, chief Helmsman. Tom smiled. It had a nice ring to it.
Currently, Tom was standing in the observation deck, taking in the sights. Tomorrow would be his first day as a Starfleet officer, and his first day wearing that dumb getup they call a uniform.
As his gaze settled on their distant destination, his thoughts turned towards his family and his home. He hoped that they were alright. Thinking about family brought the memories of Sobey and his mother and for once a smile upturned his lips. When he thought of his mother, he no longer saw her dead eyes staring back at him. He saw her warm smile and he remembered her eyes, full of life. Maybe this was what a good day was like?
The chirp of his commbadge interrupted his thoughts. “Kim to Paris, I just finished my reports, what was it you wanted to show me?” Harry asked. Tom had spoken with him earlier and eluded that he had something that Harry should see.
“Meet me at holodeck one,” Tom said. “And B’Elanna will be their too,” Tom added.
“Okay. I’ll be there in five. Kim out.”
Tom took one last look at the vast expanse of space ahead of them before moving to the exit. He had to stop by his quarters and pick up a datachip. It was labelled ‘2KIM’. Datachip in hand Tom commed B’Elanna asked her to meet him and Kim at holodeck one.
When he got there, Harry and B’Elanna were already there. “You’re late,” B’Elanna informed.
“No I’m not. I arrived precisely when I intended on arriving,” Tom said as he uploaded the information from the data chip to the holodeck processors. He walked into the holodeck when he had finished and Harry and B’Elanna followed.
They hologrid had been replaced with a foggy street with a few local establishments here and there. They followed Tom to a small bar called ‘Sandrine’s’ and were astounded by how real the program was. The sounds, the smell, the temperature, everything had been recreated to create a realistic environment. Harry knew that this was the bar in France that Tom had been telling him about those weeks ago.
When they enter the bar a small blonde woman greeted them, and apparently knew Tom very well. Although she was only a holocharacter, B’Elanna wondered what the woman, Sandrine would be able to tell them about Tom.
Tom also introduced his friends to the other holocharacters, each with personalities so unique they had to be modelled after real people. The trio sat at a table and enjoyed the atmosphere. They were soon joined by a few other crewmembers looking for a place to relax.
The evening became the night and the trio of friends decided to leave the quant little program for their respective quarters. Tom closed the program and handed the datachip to Harry.
Harry saw the label and remembered seeing the datachip in Tom’s quarters when he had been looking through Tom’s database.
“I made the program a while ago but due to…recent events I forgot about it,” Tom explained as they left.
“Thanks Tom,” Harry replied. It wasn’t home, but in his hand he held a little piece of earth and it was comforting. “I think I’ll put it on the public list of programs.” Harry said and looked to his right to see if Tom minded. Tom just shrugged.
The next morning came quickly and the activity in Voyager picked up once again, as the days tasks were started. Alpha shift was about to begin and all of the senior officers except one was present. At 7:59 exactly, Lieutenant Thomas Eugene Corrin-Paris stepped on the bridge. He stood at attention on the main level to the right of the command chairs. Captain Janeway regarded him for a silent moment. He was wearing the red shouldered command uniform and it fit his tall form well, even if Tom didn’t look entirely comfortable in it yet. The captain saw the edge of something shiny underneath one of Tom’s sleaves and recognized the silver shem. She had done a bit of research into Fieran culture. She wanted to know a little about Tom even if he wasn’t going to be her source of information. She’d let him where the silver brace, knowing that it must mean a lot to him, one of his few ties to his home.
“Lieutenant Paris, reporting for duty,” he said. His demeanour was once again like a well-trained officer as he waited for the Captain’s response.
“Take the conn Lieutenant,” she ordered. Tom relieved Ensing Hamilton.
“Heading 21 mark 8, destination Earth,” Tom announced from the helm.
“Warp seven. Engage when ready,” Janeway said as she settled into her chair for a hopefully uneventful shift.
Recently Tom had only been able to see what he had lost in the delta quadrant. His home, his family his friend, his identity but everyone else had lost things of great importance too. He was starting to notice, however, all the things that he had gained. Still he’d rather go back to the way things were before the Caretaker changed things but he can’t and they all had to accept that. No matter how much they wished it wasn’t the truth was that they were alone in an uncharted quadrant, a lifetime away from their home. Turning his atterion back to his duties he noted the weight of the shem on his fore arm and wondered when the day would come that he would feel strong enough to face this reality without it.
The whisper was so light Tom wasn’t even sure it was real. He surreptitiously glanced around wondering who had said it. The voice had sounded so familiar but he couldn’t place it. Was it another delusion? Tom couldn’t be sure. These past few weeks had bee some of the most trying in his life and he wondered who it was that was guiding him and helping him through it.
“Thank you,” he whispered and though he didn’t know whom had helped him, he directed his thanks to his mother and his friend.
There were still many things that were a mystery to the Voyager crew and one of them was sitting at the helm. Most of the crew didn’t know why his surname was Paris instead of Corrin but to them, especially so far away from home, it didn’t matter. Besides, “what’s in name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.
End Part 17 of 17
That’s it! Finally finished. You know the routine: email@example.com You’ll be hearing more from me soon! I know you’re all dreading but you just can’t shut me up! Freedom of speech, gotta love it!
Thanks to everyone left me a message! They were my incentive to finish the story! In the distant future I’ll write some stand alones about more of the adventures of Tom Corrin-Paris and the Voyager crew in the delta quadrant. Bye for now!
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