Fandom: Star Trek: Voyager
Rating: R - for swearing only
Summary: For Audabee's birthday - a Macguffin driven long epic tale about our trusty crew as they return to the AQ
Author’s Notes: None.
Prompt Number for fic101: list 2 - 5 - beautiful
Disclaimer: CBS/Paramount owns everything. No infringement intended.
Using the knife, she cut a square off Toral’s shirt. Holding back more tears of pain from using her broken arm, she held the material against the hole and then pushed the tip of the dagger slowly in to the hole, temporarily sealing the breach. She listened and was satisfied that the hissing of escaping air had mostly stopped.
Kathryn checked the life support panel. There was approximately three hours of oxygen left. The hole was still slowly leaking so she had doubts that she had that much time. Temperature control was malfunctioning as well. It was going to get a lot colder.
Next, she checked the status of the pod. Minimal power. No propulsion. No communications. The emergency EVA suit had been burnt in the fire. Even uninjured, she couldn’t fix the damaged engines or communications array. The blast had destroyed them. She could do nothing but wait and hope for rescue.
She looked around the pod, for a survival kit but found none. Her eyes came across Toral’s body. She will need to keep warm and so she stripped the Klingon of his jacket and shirt. It wasn’t much but it would help.
Collapsing on the chair, exhausted and cradling her near useless left arm over her stomach she winced. Her hand lay across her knife wounds that were still bleeding. In fixing the breach, she had moved and twisted, reopening the wounds, making them bleed again. She tucked Toral’s sleeve under her uniform jacket and she used her left arm to put pressure on the wound to stem the flow of blood.
Kathryn lent back and closed her eyes. She was tired. Her injuries, the reduced oxygen levels and the cold were beginning to affect her along with her second concussion in a day.
It was hard to focus on one thing. Her thoughts were jumbled, ranging from the damned Caretaker, the Kazon, the Borg and all the other major incidents in their travels through the Delta Quadrant to what her review board and debrief would be like. But through the chaos of her jumbled dreams a figure kept reappearing, making it feel like all the hardship of the last seven years had been worth it.
Finding him out there, developing their deep friendship and finally falling in love had been the best thing about the last seven years.
“Oh God.” Kathryn sobbed aloud. Chakotay would have pulled the crew together and got the ship fixed as quickly as possible but it meant that Voyager could have detected the anti-matter explosion by now. He would think that she’d been killed in the explosion.
Poor Chakotay and the crew.
She thought about all the good times they had on Voyager but after awhile she was struggling to concentrate and to keep awake. Her eyes were heavy, and the increasing cold sapped her strength making her even sleepier. Her last thoughts before sleep took hold of her were of how happy she and Chakotay had been just after they’d reached the Alpha Quadrant. She’d agreed to marry him and he’d twirled her around in the middle of her ready room before he’d kissed her thoroughly.
With that thought foremost in her mind, her eyes drifted shut and she sank into oblivion.
On USS Vigoro, near the Hromi Cluster
The operations officer, Lieutenant Suzanne Black, had been running a long-range scan to detect activity coming from the Hromi Cluster. Hromi pirates were an occasional nuisance and only dangerous when they attacked in numbers.
The scanner beeped, revealing a very faint power reading blip an hour away. Adjusting the sensors for a more detailed scan, she scanned the area again. It was a small escape pod. “Captain, I’ve detected a heavily damaged escape pod.”
Captain Ray White asked, “Position?”
“An hour away at warp five. Heading 034 mark 72.”
“Helm set course for those coordinates. Maximum warp.” If there was someone in the pod, they could be injured and an hour might be too long.
“Engage.” Ray scratched his nose. He had to inform Voyager. They were entitled to know. They’d lost so much to that ship. “Get me Voyager.”
“Stand by, Sir.” The tactical officer, Steven Waugh, checked his tactical board. “Captain, Voyager is heading toward those coordinates.”
“Helm, continue to the coordinates but do not get in Voyager’s way.” Voyager had obviously detected the escape pod too.
Chakotay could not believe what Seven had just told him. Icheb and Seven had found an escape pod. He prayed that it was Kathryn but he couldn’t get his hopes up yet. They still hadn’t detected any life signs.
He ordered Tom to get Voyager there at maximum warp. It would take eight minutes to get there and it would be the longest eight minutes of his life.
“Commander, the Vigoro is following us.”
Chakotay nodded. “Harry, anything new on the sensors?
Harry was still struggling with the sensors not functioning properly. “Nothing new, Sir.”
Seven was accessing the Astrometrics sensors from her bridge station. “No, Commander.”
The pod was drifting toward the Hromi Cluster. In another ten minutes it would be in the cluster and their chances of finding it would be virtually zero.
“From the cluster?”
“Nothing clear, Sir.”
“Yellow alert.” Chakotay had listened to Captain White’s report on the pirates operating out of the cluster. He wasn’t going to take any chances with them or who was ever in the pod. “Tuvok, have the transporter room ready to beam the occupants directly to sickbay. Have a security team standing by as well.”
“Yes, Commander.” Tuvok nodded, agreeing with the first officer’s orders. He would have done it any way. He was pleased that Chakotay had still been able to function relatively normally after the ship blew up in front of them with the probable loss of the captain.
The minutes ticked by. The small pod still wasn’t visible but the cluster now filled the view screen.
Chakotay gripped his fingers tightly as he waited. If he could will the ship to go faster, he would have. “Time to transporter range?”
“One minute, Sir.”
Chakotay leaned forward when he could finally see the grey pod against the background of the Hromi Cluster. “Magnify.”
The view of the escape pod came on to the main view screen. Chakotay wondered if anyone could survive in the pod. It was so badly damaged. The engine was hanging on to the main body just by a few conduits; it had almost been sheared off.
Seven watched the pod come into view. She quickly characterised the damage and the probability of surviving such damage. It was low but then if Captain Janeway was in the pod, she was a resourceful individual and could survive.
A moving shimmer of light distracted Seven. It was just out of the normal visual range for a human but her ocular implant improved her visual acuity allowing her to detect the slight shift in the light. The moving light drifted passed the pod, behind it and kept going. Seven checked the scans for anomalies. Nothing appeared on the sensors but they were still not functioning to the full potential. She started to inform the first officer but was interrupted. “Commander …”
“Commander, I’m detected a faint life sign and one deceased humanoid body.” Harry’s interrupted. He checked the board a second time to make sure he was reading the results correctly. The smile on his face grew and tears of relief welled in his eyes. “It’s human. It’s the captain, Sir. She’s alive. The body is Klingon.”
“Transporter room one, beam the captain to sickbay.” Chakotay stood up quickly, heading for the upper command deck. His heart pounded. Kathryn was alive. He would see her again. He wanted to bolt for sickbay right then and there but his duty and training stopped him. It wasn’t finished yet.
The relief on the bridge was immediately felt.
Chakotay said a silent prayer of thanks to the Spirits. Afterwards, he looked around the bridge and could see all the people sitting up straighter with smiles on their faces again. A few tried to wipe away the tears of joy. The cool professional detachment the crew had shown in the Delta Quadrant and that they’d continued in the face of the tragedy of losing their captain was heartening. Chakotay was so proud to be a part of this crew.
“Rollins to the bridge. Transport complete, Sir.”
“Thank you, Lieutenant.”
Seven was relieved too but when she looked at the view screen, the mysterious shimmer had returned but this time it was hovering just behind and the left of the pad. This wasn’t a natural phenomenon. “Commander …”
Before Seven could inform Chakotay, the sensors detected a massive energy build up. A ship de-cloaked, it was the same size as Voyager, but with the three phaser banks alone on its bow, it clearly outgunned Voyager.
Tuvok reacted quickly, raising shields and arming the phasers and torpedoes.
“Battle stations!” Chakotay swore to himself as he rushed back to the command deck. The red alert lights flashed and the warning alarms blared. “Tuvok?”
“Shields up and weapons ready. It’s a Klingon ship, unknown class.”
“The sensors can’t penetrate the hull.”
“It did not appear on the Astrometric sensors. I had detected a visual spectral disturbance using my Borg implant as we arrived. It moved behind the pod and after we had transported the captain, it returned.”
“Tom, get ready with evasive manoeuvre, pattern delta five.”
“Ready with evasive pattern delta five, Sir.”
A menacing green beam shot out of the Klingon ship.
“Sir, we are being scanned.”
“Modulate the shields!”
The pod disappeared as the Klingon ship beamed it onto their ship.
“Commander, the Klingons have just beamed the pod on to their ship and something from Captain Janeway’s quarters.”
“What was it?”
“A Klingon book.” Harry’s comm. panel beeped. “Incoming message, Sir.”
“On screen, Harry.” Chakotay had no idea why the Klingons wanted the pod and a book; part of him couldn’t care less at this stage.
“I am Captain Amar. Commander, the Protectors of the Sword will guard the qIrom taj now. You may leave.”
Chakotay knew that the Klingon wasn’t asking him to depart. He was ordering them to go and not to interfere.
“As the Sacred Scrolls foretold, the prophecy has been fulfilled. The qIrom taj has been returned. Captain Janeway’s, Denel’s and the other’s sacrifices will not be forgotten. Sto-Vo-Kor awaits those honoured warriors. It is over. Amar out.”
Chakotay shook his head. He didn’t know who the Protectors of the Sword were or what the prophecy was but what worried him was his use of the word sacrifice? What did he mean? Dread started to rise up in his chest. He spoke as if Kathryn was dead.
The Klingon ship re-cloaked and disappeared.
“I can no longer see the ship, Commander.”
“Stand down red alert.” To Chakotay, the crisis had passed. They couldn’t track the mysterious Klingon ship. It was over but they’d paid a high price for Toral’s mad quest for power. Tabor Nil had died when the ship blew up and Kathryn was in sickbay, her condition unknown.
He knew that Starfleet would want seemingly endless reports on what had happened but he had a more pressing need. He needed to go to sickbay to find out about Kathryn. “Tom, resume a course for Earth, warp five. Tuvok, you have the bridge. I’m going to sickbay.”
A chorus of ‘Aye, Commanders’ sounded as they replied.
Chakotay strode in to the turbolift and headed for the sickbay. He shook his head, trying to clear the image of his Kathryn battered telling him to get the knife and then there was the damage to the escape pod. Would it possible for anyone to survive that? He tried to remain positive and not to think about it but it was very hard.
He held his breath as he walked into sickbay.
The doctor was standing by the biobed with his medical assistant, Tal Celes. The doctor’s voice was strained, asking for the cortical stimulator.
Chakotay stopped dead in his tracks just inside the door.
Oh Spirits! Chakotay prayed. It was bad. It meant something was wrong with her brain. He threw his hand to his mouth, trying to stifle a sob. She had to make it. She couldn’t die when she’d gotten them all home.
Silently he watched as the medic and the Bajoran worked feverously on Kathryn. Tal administered several hypo-sprays while the doctor adjusted the instruments helping Kathryn and continued to analyse the results on the biobed readout panel.
After several minutes, Celes smiled and the Doctor relaxed.
The Doctor had known that Commander Chakotay had entered sickbay but the captain had been hanging on to life by a thread. He was completely focused on her. She needed him to be. It had been touch and go, her multiple injuries and blood loss, especially her fractured skull, on top of oxygen deprivation had nearly killed her.
The Doctor told Celes to put away the instruments then he walked toward the first officer. The medico knew that Chakotay didn’t want at detailed description of her injuries. “The captain will survive.”
Chakotay looked at him blankly. He couldn’t quite believe it.
“The captain sustained very serious injuries.” The Doctor repeated softly. “She is unconscious. I won’t know if there has been any permanent damage until she wakes up by herself but I am confident that she’ll make a full recovery.”
Chakotay slowly released the breath he was holding in. He looked over the hologram’s shoulder to the biobed where Kathryn was lying. “Can I see her?”
“Of course, Commander.”
Chakotay slowly walked over to the biobed. His hand ran along its side, to steady his wobbly legs. Even though she’d been in sickbay, lying on a biobed many times before, it never got any easier. In fact, he thought it got worse each time because one day she’d run out of the nine lives she’d been using since they met seven years ago and the Doctor wouldn’t be able to save her and she’d be lost to him.
Kathryn was covered in a medical blanket but her shoulders were bare. There were several faint bruises on her face and both shoulders but other than that she looked fine, peacefully sleeping. A cortical monitor was attached to the side her neck, flashing away, sending data to the biobed, keeping a check on her condition.
“Oh Kathryn,” he whispered as he took her hand in his. His other hand gently pushed a wayward strand of her auburn hair from her forehead so he could kiss her brow. Tears welled up in his eyes, a mixture of relief that she’d survive and sadness of what might have happened if they hadn’t found the pod in time.
Celes watched as Chakotay stood by the captain, tenderly holding her hand. From past experience, she knew that he wouldn’t leave her side until she was out of danger. Celes carried a stool over to the first officer to sit on. One day she hoped that she would find a love like the two senior officers shared. “Commander,” she said softly, indicating for him to sit.
“Thank you, Celes.” Chakotay sat down, still holding her hand, whispering his love for her, and hoping that she’d hear his pleas for her to come back to him. He then began his normal vigil of staying with her until the Doctor ordered him to bed or duty called.
In the two days since Kathryn had been found, Chakotay had only left her side four times. They were to get a few hours sleep and something to eat. Tuvok had been handling the ship and Starfleet for which he was eternally grateful. He really couldn’t care less about Starfleet at the moment. The only thing on his mind was the still unconscious captain and love of his life lying in sickbay.
The Doctor hadn’t wanted to rouse the captain up, preferring to let her wake up by herself, allowing her body to rest and heal itself; such was the level of the trauma she’d suffered.
He’d been sitting for an hour, holding her hand, his fingers tenderly running up and down hers, as he read the latest ship’s status report. Voyager was a day away from Earth, their goal for seven long hard years. He’d even slowed the ship down from warp five to warp four in the hope that Kathryn would be there, in her rightful place, in her command chair, to see her home come into view.
Kathryn slowly became out of the grey fog of a long deep sleep. She lay still as she slowly became aware of herself. It was a little disorientating as she normally slept lightly and was alert and aware very quickly.
The Doctor had been in his office, finishing up his report for Starfleet Medical regarding the health of the crew when the cortical monitor alerted him to a change to the captain’s condition. He saved the report and then walked toward the biobed.
Chakotay was focused on the report but stopped suddenly when Kathryn groaned and moved her hand. His sighed with relief as she was waking up but the worry wasn’t over yet.
The Doctor stood over the other side of the biobed, tricorder in hand, scanning the captain as she slowly regained consciousness.
“Kathryn, come on. Wake up.” Chakotay dropped the padd and bent closer, urging her on.
Kathryn could feel a warm hand holding hers. It had to be Chakotay. She’d loved the feeling of his large hands covering hers, stroking them. She felt him squeeze them and he was talking to her but she still wasn’t quite able to break through the fog to understand what he was saying.
Another hand was on her shoulder, it wasn’t warm like Chakotay’s hand but neutral. It had to be the Doctor’s, she thought. It was slowly becoming clearer now. She was in sickbay, on Voyager. She ran a quick self diagnostic on herself, finding out if she could wiggle all her toes and fingers and sighed in relief when she could. She blinked her eyes open and groaned again, her voice croaky even to her. As her vision cleared, she looked up at a smiling Doctor and then to Chakotay.
The Doctor continued to scan her with the tricorder. “How do you feel, Captain.”
“I … feel … fine.” It was her standard response but she added because she felt strange, her mind was a bit vague. “You tell me?”
“We will start with the basics. What is your name?” The Doctor then ran the captain through a barrage of tests, finding out if there had been any lasting effects from her injuries. All the while Chakotay stood on the other side, just watching her. After a while, he realised that she was indeed okay albeit tired. The Doctor left them to collate the results and plan any further treatment.
“Chakotay, the ship?”
“Voyager is fine. We’re a day away from Earth. The crew have been working overtime to get ship ready for inspection.” Chakotay filled her in on the details of everything that happened since she was beamed off Voyager until the Doctor came back.
“Captain, I’d like to keep you here for several more hours to monitor your recovery.” The Doctor was expecting a fight but that didn’t eventuate.
Any other time Kathryn may have fought to released, at least to their quarters but she knew she was still weak and very tired. “All right, Doctor.”
“I’ll be right back.” The Doctor took off the cortical monitor and went to put it away.
Chakotay stroked her cheek. “Kathryn, I love you. I thought I’d lost you when that ship blew …”
“I know. It must’ve been horrible.” She kissed his fingers as they ran across her lips. “I love you.”
Chakotay watched as she tried unsuccessfully to stifle a yawn which only made him yawn. They were both very tired.
“Go to sleep, Commander.” Kathryn said in her most authoritative tone that she could muster. She knew that he’d been spending a lot of time watching her just as she’d had done if he’d been hurt. They both needed the rest.
Kathryn watched as Chakotay left the sickbay. Her eyes were very heavy and as soon as she closed them she fell asleep.
“Captain on the bridge!” Harry called out as soon as he saw Janeway step out off the turbo lift.
Filled with pride, Kathryn smiled as all her officers were standing to attention by their stations. “As you were.”
All the bridge crew returned their focus to their stations as Kathryn gingerly made her way down to the command deck, using the railing for support. She should have still been in sickbay but there was absolutely no way she was going to miss this.
She timed her appearance well. They’d just passed Mars and were heading for Earth. She wanted to get her first glimpse of her home planet for seven long years.
Still standing, Chakotay smiled as his captain sat down in her command chair then he sat next to her and watched the screen too. Although concerned that she discharged herself early, he wasn’t going to deny her this. Nobody would. She’d fought seven long years for this moment. All the hardship, battles, injuries, deaths disappeared as the small beautiful blue and white dot grew ever larger on the view screen.
Smiling, Kathryn reached across and took Chakotay’s hand in hers. They’d done it together. And this was only the start of their journey together.
The end or ...