Disclaimer in first chapter
2 months later.
On his travels through Federation space, Tom Paris found and faced many obstacles. Some were petty, Frengi merchant ships curious about his age and Starfleet technology. These conflicts were often, the most common of his many confrontations so far. And luckily for him, the easiest to deal with.
The biggest problems he had were the Starfleet vessels. It was only last week he had been cornered when the caught up with him. He had thought it had been safe to stop for fuel. Tom had escaped their grasp, but only just. He had noticed a major difference between Starfleet officers, and the people they were sending after him. His pursuers were constant, and ruthless. Tom knew for sure now that if these people were given half a chance to shoot at him they would. In fact, after they last encounter, which wasn't the most pleasant situation he had ever been in. He was pretty sure that the new orders from the top had been short. Kill him.
Yep. It was official now; Starfleet had abandoned their little pet project. And had finally decided to kill him off.
Tom sighed, Part of him was hoping that the mans phaser that night two months ago, had been set on stun. But he knew it wasn't. The man had been aiming to kill. He had seen it in his eye. More than that he had felt it. That was that, Starfleet wanting him to be dead, and they were not going to stop until they got exactly what they wanted.
If any one had of been there in the shuttle with him, they would have seen his blue eyes sparkle, as if an actual light bulb had been switched on in his head. This expression that now spread among the young mans features would have told any one that he had a plan. But of course, no one was there. ...................................
15:47- USS Harrison. GO ship ...................................
They had come so close to nearly killing that boy. Commander Sampson thought as he paced his office on board the Harrison. When he had been given this ship, his first command. He had thought it a god send, and had taken it and the mission without as much as a second thought. He wished he had taken a minute to read the report. Stopped for a second to understand the situation, and the deal. Now he was pacing, and he never paced. This kid was infuriating. And both descriptions were accurate. He had been outsmarted by a 15 year old. And if that didn't make this Tom Paris infuriating, he didn't know what would.
"We were so close," Sampson repeated for the umpteenth time. And it was true, they had been unbelievably close. But then he had got away, again.
"Commander, we have got the shuttle on sensors. It appears to be dead in space, looks like the frengi work. I'm still reading a strong life sign though," The bridge officer said through the comm.
As glad as Sampson was that he was finally going to make the kid pay, in a painful way. The idea that the frengi had managed to do what he couldn't was not one he had ever wanted to come to mind. This was replaced with a slight shadow of doubt, and he went to reply to the message.
"I'm on my way. Proceed with caution, it could be a trap." And with that Commander, now soon to be Captain Sampson, made his way to the bridge with a smile etched across his face. ................................... 15:58- USS Harrison. GO ship ...................................
The moment that Sampson stepped on the bridge of *his* ship. Reports about the situation at hand were barked at him in a clip manner.
"Sir, the shuttle is completely dead. No shields, no power, It's unsalvageable," His second in command stated in a certain voice to his only superior currently on this vessel. Sampson was slightly taken back but hid it quickly. But not quickly enough so it seemed as his first officer went to explain why the boy was still alive.
"He is in the new V-type shuttle sir. It comes equipped with the latest technology, including an oxygen storage device. He must of found it and that's the most likely explanation to why he is alive."
Sampson was glad for the explanation, but was unpleased that his first officer had had to explain something too him. It was demeaning and he was starting to think that he needed to do something fast in order to get this crew completely on his side. He needed there trust and respect if he was ever going to become a great Captain.
Sampson thought for a moment, he had to think about his actions. What would they expect him to do? What did they secretly want him to do? Blow the up quickly, make his death as humane as possible. I do what he had been dreaming about for months, torturing him to death for being such a pain other the last two months. It was then that he decided, not knowing that his decision would cost him more than his rank.
"Beam the boy aboard, I want to see him before I kill him," Sampson said with a smirk. He saw one of his officers beam the boy onto the bridge. And sure enough the kid appeared phaser to his head. There was nothing anyone could do, the phaser fired and the bridge crew were surprised to find that the phaser had been set on disintegrate. Nothing remained of Thomas Eugene Paris. It was over.
11:47-Paris' shuttle ....................................
The plan was going to work he knew it. He had been working on it for almost a week now, and it was nearing the prefect mark. Pressing a button he turned to see the half human half frengi in the view screen. A rare sight, but not what you would call an unpleasant one like most frengi. She looked human expect for her large black eyes and her ears were a small version of a frengi's. The strangest thing of all in her characteristics, was her bright red hair that went all the way down to her waist. He would have never or guessed that somewhere frengi's had red hair in their genes, all the ones he had seen were bold. He realised that it must have been the mix with her human heritage that she now had red hair.
"Merchant, I have a proposition your going to find very hard to refuse," Tom said with his best smile spread a cross his face.
"Kid, unless your offering me that dear ship of your there for free, I suggest you not be so sure of your self. Me being part frengi means I am one of the best merchants in this here known Galaxy. I am the one who will tell you if your proposition is good or not. You here me *boy*," The half- breed said looking rather pleased with herself. Tom guessed it was because on this rare occasion she was taller, not by much, but still taller than someone who was human. He realised that was another trait she must of inherited by the frengi. Tom felt his smile turn into more of a smirk and bit his lip.
"Well, no," Tom said, seeing the half-breed smile in her victory, not knowing it would be short lived and killed instantly by the shock of Tom's next spoken works. "I will give you the means to build one though." The silence that followed his statement told him exactly what he needed to hear. They had a deal.
................................... 13.07- Merchant's Ship ...................................
"So you are sure about this, you want me to shoot at that pretty little shuttle of yours," Kenka Said looking at the now dead shuttle in front of her, looking pained at the very thought of such an act. "That my friend is one way to waste a shuttle, I'm starting to go back to my original theory. You are insane."
"Probably, but that's my problem," Tom answered; looking at the controls on board Kenka's ship, "Listen if my calculations are right they should be here at 1500. If we want to get out of this alive, we going to have to leave soon so we get out of their sensor range." Senka looked slightly confused, but that was soon followed by a tint of anger in her dark eyes.
"Hey, excuse me. But I am taking orders from a minor here. How would you feel in my position?"
"Very lucky and appreciative," Tom answered back again. This time turning to his new shipmate. " Right as much as I like you. You must understand that we have to be quick. As soon as we are out of range, the manual, and all of the details on its technology are yours. Just drop me off anywhere and I'll be gone for good." Senka's frown lightened up, and she turned to her controls.
"Bashed but not broken right." Lights streamed out of the ship, and the high-tech shuttle was left battered. .................................... 14:59 Senka's ship ....................................
"Just check one last time," Tom said to Kenka , he needed to make sure this worked. This had to work.
"We've checked it twice already. Didn't you say we had to get out of here about now " Senka said, already starting the third check on the battered shuttle. Tom just looked at her. Senka sighed; the boy was domineering, and stubborn. "Sensors say dead in space, with one life sign." Tom allowed himself a smile, The plan would work, they would come, assume because of the lack of the oxygen he would be easy to deal with. They would transport the hologram that was giving out his life sign on board. Then the hologram would disintegrate it's self with a phaser. The plan was perfect, even if they didn't beam him a board, he would still be classified as dead.
"Lets get out of here Senka," Tom said looking at the half-breed who was still waiting for an explanation. "I'll tell you on the way."
All Tom could do is wait and see if his plan would work now, his life depended on his death. ....................................
This had to be the hardest thing Sampson had ever had to do in his entire 15-year career in Starfleet. Everyone had always told him that telling a family that their son was dead was depressing, but this was different.
On the view screen in front of him laid a strange scene. As Sampson had only just been promoted to Captain after the success of his first commanding mission. This was the first time he had ever told a family about loss of a family member. He of course had seen other Captains before him, do it hundreds of times. But this was just a unique situation.
The late Thomas' sisters sat crying their eyes out on the sofa, comforting each other over the loss of a brother. But the father stood tall. Admiral Paris stood tall. Here he was, Captain Sampson trying desperately to act sympathetic to the man who had given him the order to kill the boy.
Today had been too long a day. But the boy was dead and he was finally going to get some sleep tonight.
"I am so sorry for the lose of your son, and we will do every thing we can to bring the frengi ship to justice." ....................................
He was dead. It had really worked; he was a free man for good now. Tom watched the view screen on Senka's ship. The news report had been non- stop about the death of Admiral's Paris' son. Him. It was for definite now, Starfleet had named him dead, the hologram had worked like a charm. Sitting down in the chair he listened to the report again.
.A Starfleet patrol vessel that had been searching for the boy since his disappearance just over 2 months ago found Thomas Paris' body today. Many people had fretted that the boy had been kidnapped because of his father's position in the federation and the current negotiations he is evolved in. We now have reason to believe that the teenager ran away after an argument with his girlfriend and was unfortunately killed by a frengi merchant who had been seen near where Thomas Paris was found dead. This is a sad day for his family and friends and.
The screen abruptly turned off, and Tom turned to see a rather angry looking Kenka.
"Are they blaming me for you alleged death, because that wasn't in the deal," Tom sighed, he hadn't even thought about that. Okay, so his plan wasn't quite perfect. "With the media pushing the search onwards, they are bound to find me."
"Don't worry Senka. They'll never find you. And anyway, I gave you the schematics for that shuttle" Tom said pointing to the padd on the co pilots seat.
"Give me one good reason why I should trust a kid like you," Kenka asked walking towards him, raising her voice. "I have half a mind to take you back to Earth and give you back to your mummy and daddy."
"If I were you I wouldn't," Tom said standing up, walking towards her, not at all threatened by her words. Kenka laughed and walked past him and sat in the sit Tom had recently occupied.
"Ha, you really do crack me up kid. I'll give you that much. But you think you can come and threaten me. You must have banged your head a lot when you were younger." Senka joked slouching down into her sit. "Humans, you're all the same, thinking you own the universe." If she had been facing him at that moment, she would have seen the smirk form across his young face.
"There's a flaw in your accusation Kenka. I'm not human." Tom said waiting for her reaction; it was not the type he was expecting.
"Yea right, and I'm a Vulcan really." Senka snorted out, not bothering to look at the boy.
"Well if that the way you feel, I'll take the schematics back," Tom said already locking on to the padd with his mind.
"Yea, over my dead bod." Senka stopped in mid sentence. Her gaze fell upon the padd floating at ease towards Tom. A gulp slid down her throat as she turned to see the grinning kid. "Ok, so maybe I got the human part wrong. Don't take it personally."
With that the padd dropped onto the chair beside her and she picked it up and grasped her payment in her hand.
"You believe me when I say you won't get caught now."
"Sure. Why not," Senka stood up and walked towards the pilots seat. "So, where you want to go." ...................................
"I want to know what happened. Captain just let me know what happened to my son," Admiral Paris pleaded in a voice that held more emotion than he was willing to admit. Today had been one of the strangest of days he had ever had. It was Thomas' funeral. Thomas' funeral. The words that kept playing through his mind as he watched the bodiless coffin being lowered into the ground. The brown box of course wasn't empty, there would be no point of putting an empty box in to the ground. So instead of the body of his only son, there sat his books and precious items that the boy had collected through out his year.
It sounded so strange, no matter what people had said about his rather strict treatment of the boy, he was still the only son he'd had, and now any chance of the Paris name carrying on through Starfleet was getting slimmer by the second. Now, standing in front of the man who had most probably killed his son, was the great Admiral who had given that very order. *I might as well of killed him my self*
Captain Sampson looked at the man who made his way over to him. It was the boy's father, or the closest thing he ever had to one anyway. The Admiral addressed him, a glimpse of pure pain and aguish flushing though his stoic features. It quickly dissipated as the admiral gained control to ask his all-important question. "I want to know what happened. Captain just let me know what happened to my son," Though his face remained blank, his eyes pleaded and Sampson thought he could even see the argument going in the older man head And older man he looked. Sampson swore his hair was greyer than it had been when he had last seen the other man, and that hadn't been that long ago. Sampson realised that he hadn't even answered the Admiral yet, but what was even more concerning was the fact his usually harsh superior, hadn't even noticed. "He refused to be taken. Alive," Sampson whispered cryptically, he turned and saw the last piece of earth be placed on top of the belongings. He almost felt sad, regretful, he almost felt like a guilty man. Almost.
The Admiral walked away, sympathy gone. Suicide, he hadn't brought up his son the end up killing himself. It didn't make sense. He nearly bumped in to the part of his family that he had left. They looked at him with anger, and he knew why. They blamed him. They thought he had run away because he had pressured him. He knew why his wife left him, and now his daughters would probably never speak to him again for the same reason. He was to obsessed with the fleet. But know, looking at them, tears streaming down his families faces, the look of shock in their faces. He knew something no one else did. He knew his son, no matter who he was or whom he was born to or where. He was his son, and he had loved him, he knew that now. And he knew that his son would not give up. His son was alive. And he promised himself then, looking at his family, that he would never tell. Let himself be a good father, just this once.
"So, now that you're dead, what are you going to do with your life? Other than make sure I get those schematics of course." Senka asked, looking across at the young man who sat before he now. Not that she actually cared, she'd been living on her own and looking after number one for far too long, and she could easily admit to herself that kindness wasn't one of her strong points. If it had been any other person sitting in front of her now, she would probably refuse to even speak to them. She would have considered it a waste of her times and her precious breath. But this was a kid, who she was sure was not older than sixteen, if that. She knew she was cold hearted sometimes, but she had a heart all the same. And part of her pitied the kid. But then again part of her feared him. She was pulled from her mindless thoughts with his answer.
"I got to go find the people who took something from me," Tom said vaguely. Even though the simple sentence sounded innocent, Senka could not help but think that the kid was looking for someone to blame. He seemed to have a lot of trouble going on for his age. No one should be worrying about things of this magnitude at his age; no one should be on their own at his age. She wanted to delve deeper into his troubles but she knew that it was to soon. They still had a week until they got to the drop off point just on the outskirts of the Alpha quadrant. Plenty of times to ask her little questions. She really wanted to know if he were human or not. She knew that it was possible for humans to be born with that sort of metal capacity. But he had indicated that he wasn't human. And if he wasn't human, what was he? He looked human. But even she knew that looks could be deceptive.
She was looking at him weirdly, but it wasn't like he wasn't used to it. And he definitely didn't blame her for it. He knew that if he were she, he'd have that same look on his face. One of total confusion. He liked her though, which, for him was a weird occurrence. He realised this probably had something to do with the fact that she was different, like him. And like him she was an outsider because of it. They had a week to get to know each other, and Tom felt it might be more interesting than he had first thought. A bit of company might not be so bad after to long a time alone.
"My name the Thomas Paris." The young boy was cut off by the sharp sound made by what these people called a ruler, hitting the table. Words equally as sharp followed, though he could only understand the basics.
"No!! Not the. Is. Is!! You.. this.boy.people.you.try again." He didn't like the look in this mans eyes. He was almost always angry. In fact it was always angry. The newly named Thomas had been on the Starfleet ship for a week, and over the last couple of days they had assigned a crewman to teach the boy standard. Thomas knew they had to finish before they got back to the planet Earth, and there he would not have the luxury of a universal translator all the time. So it was said on the third day he would have to learn, quickly. And he had been, but his 'teacher' was less than patient especially when it came to Thomas' most often mistake of mixing up connecting words and using the wrong accent. And now, was one of those times.
Thomas straightened his back and repeated his previous statement replacing the wrong with the right. He didn't know what to do about his accent though; he didn't even know where it had come from. He never remembered having an accent when he was back at home, but then they all spoke the same where he lived. Here was so different, so different it hurt to remember his old life. He felt as if he was betraying his family by allowing these people to call him by a name different to that they had given him. Mialka. And even more so did he regret actually accepting the name. But the truth of the matter was that his name reminded him too much of his friends and family. Too much of his mother who he knew was dead. The only thought that dulled the pain was that vengeance would be his, but only if he had these peoples help, for he couldn't do it by himself. And if they wanted him, no, needed him to be Thomas Eugene Paris, and learn to speak Standard with a normal American accent, he would. It was with this thought that he continued his lesson.
As his eyes opened he remembered the dream he had just had. He had been willing to give away his identity, everything that had made him who he was in order to get the chance for vengeance. Of course he hadn't known then that it was the humans who had ripped a part his world. Still he called himself Tom though. Still he felt uncomfortable using his real name, yet he didn't know why. He was free of them now, free of them trying to tame him, trying to control him. So that they could use him to destroy other peoples worlds. So that he would become one of them. Speaking their words and using their name made him that, yet he used them still. Mialka would have his vengeance one of these days. But first of all Tom Paris had to get the means to do so.
Looking round from the place he sat, back against the wall feet up against what looked like an old fashioned refresher. But he wasn't sure. The merchant ship consisted of three rooms. The bridge of the ship was tiny compared to the Starfleet ships that Tom had been accustomed to. And he was certainly not used to the unclean look that all equipment seemed to have. There was also what he could only describe as clutter around the room fill all space that was not already filled. Senka had told him any piece of her cargo could one day sell for a fortune, and she just had to meet someone who wanted what she had to offer. What he could tell of the quality of her good was that it was poor, and the chances were she didn't get many Buyers. At the end of the drive room were two doors, one in the wall and the other in the floor. The wall door led to Senka's room, she had shown him when she was given him to tour. It wasn't what he would call a room, but more a long the lines of a closet. In there was a bunk and that was it. Down the trap door as she called it, was a ladder which led to a long, dark and so narrow Tom only had two inches either side of his shoulders. Behind the ladder was the bathroom and on one side of the ladder was an old style replicators that looked like it had been bashed into shape and fixed up in order to get working to minimal efficiency. On the other side, on the wall was a fold down table and chairs, or more accurately three planks that folded down and fixed to the other side of the wall. Right next to that was that old style refresher that his feat lay against. It was probably the only thing original left on this ship as it was built in to the wall but it still fit in with the rest of the décor, just not in a good way.
As he remembered what the ship looked like, he thought that it was lucky that Senka had ran into him. A couple more weeks in this ship and it might just fall a part. At least now she could copy the schematics he had given her, make enough money to buy the parts and tools (and she would have enough, it was amazing how much people would pay for the latest technology) and then she would have a new ship, which was twice as big and better than her current one. Yes Senka was lucky. The sound of feet walking down the ladder brought Tom back to the present. Senka stopped when he turned to look at her.
"Are you comfortable there, cause I know I wouldn't be." She said smirking at squashed appearance. "Were nearly at the station, you better come up." Turning around Tom stretched himself out and got up. He was really starting to like Senka, now that they had started to get to know each other. Or, he had gotten to know her, he felt it best the less she knew the better off she was. One thing that he really liked about her was the fact that she treated him as an equal, and not as some troublesome kid. Yes, when they first met she had called him a kid, but know she treated him with respect, and he did the same to her. Part of him would miss her company after he left. He would miss any sort of company after he left. Those first two-month alone had almost made him crazy, the only thing that kept him from losing it was the fact he was always on the are on, and he was always thinking about how to get away. But once he left this station, he would be alone, no one would be thinking about him, and no one would be chasing him either. And he was dreading it, that and the fact he was going to have to find a ship, ok he was going to have to steal a ship. He hated being dishonest, but a guy has to do what a guy has to do. Walking up the ladder and into the drive room he looked at the view screen. What he saw was unlike anything he had ever seen before. It wasn't what he would call high tech but, the sight its self was an impressive one. It was a sphere, about the size of a small moon. However it looked like it had been made from old ships and metal. What made the sight impressive was the that it didn't fall apart at the slightest movement. It looked a long way from what Tom would consider a stable station. He continued to stare, a frown starting to appear on his young face. He was watching the station so intently, he didn't notice Senka rolling her eyes at him, as she watched the emotions flicker across his face.
"It's not fallen apart yet. Not seriously anyway" Senka answered turning towards the sight on the view screen. She smirk and said her next words with a humorous edge "No need to worry Tom," As she predicted, his head swiveled towards the merchant, anger and irritation showing on his face.
"I'm not worried, just curious." He knew she was teasing him, she knew what got on his nerves, and she used it to her advantage every chance she got. Tom could see through it though, she may seem tough , and cold hearted at times. But that was the world she had been brought up in, and this was the world she lived in , and the one he would have to learn to live in as well.
"Well, this may not seem like paradise, but I'm telling you, this is the place to be if you need something quick without questions. Perfect for you I'd say, especially since fleeters are not what you would call welcome here," The console in front of them started to beep, letting the occupants know they were being hailed. Answering it, an aging Frengi replaced the station,"
I am Surot, Frengi merchant ship, what is the purpose of you coming to my station, now." Glancing around the small ship he rested his eyes on the supposedly human boy in front of him, and behind the half breed. A frown spread across his large features, as he comprehended the unusual sight in front of him. "With a humon boy as well. There are places in my station where you fetch a good load of latiunim for such a specimen." He studied the boy with a traders eye and reached a quick conclusion. "Old enough to work, young enough not to die on you."
Senka almost smiled at his assumption, humans were rarely seen in this part of the quadrant, and most of the ones who did come to this station were slaves. The free among them never lasted long, especially the young. Though Senka could almost see the look upon young Paris' face now, she went through with her idea. "He is my slave, though he not for sale this time. I am here to trade." The frengi looked at her once more, scowled at her inherited characteristics which lay open on the peculiar face for everyone to see, and finally let her enter his domain.
The screen went blank, and the ship moved forward, toward the dry dock. I couple of seconds of silence filled the ship until a snort came from Tom, who was still standing behind the pilots chair. "A slave, a slave. Please tell me I don't look like a slave now" Looking down, Tom found himself agreeing with the frengi on the view screens guess. He had only got the clothes on his back, and now they were starting to wear. Both trousers and his short-sleeved shirt were worn. He did look like a slave. He made a note to himself to acquire new clothes at the station. He didn't want to give the impression he was broke, even if he was.
"Well, for the first time, I actually want to go shopping for clothes," Tom said, sitting down in the co-pilots seat as Senka brought it into the docking bay.
"Yea, they sell gear here. Though 'sell' is the operative as you need cash to buy them," Senka replied to his silent query. She knew he didn't have any money on him, neither did she for that matter. But all that was about to change, very soon hopefully.
"I know, I know. But I'm going to have to find a way around that," Tom looked at the half-breed in front of him. He smirked and she returned his smile with one of her own, but her face turned serious as she said
"Remember if you get caught, you don't know me, deal."
"Deal" as the ship came to a halt, and was powered down, the doors opened. Stepping out of the doors, the two, soon to be ex-shipmates walked out into the bustling port.
For the first time, in a long while. Tom felt free.
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