Spirit of the Flower
Kathryn strode down the darkened hall of Voyager, on her way to meet the rest of her crew; she shook her head at that thought. Once a crew of nearly 150 people now reduced to a mere fifteen. All because of another bad decision: using the slip stream drive.
She shivered and pulled the blanket more tightly around her, it seemed she could never quite get warm at times.
She reached her bedroom, knowing that her roommates would be busy in the common room. She fell onto the couch, bringing the blanket tighter around her. Her hand drifted to her swollen belly, caressing the life within; the life that would never know its father. She closed her eyes, allowing the memories of the past to come forth.
It was seven months ago that she sat at the table, her table, enjoying the dinner with Chakotay. She knew he hadn't been happy with her decision to go ahead with the slip stream flight, but they had suffered enough in the Delta Quadrant.
Once they got past the decision, Kathryn decided to simply have a nice dinner with Chakotay, to celebrate their last night in the Delta Quadrant. They ate in silence, Kathryn contemplating her next move. Her feelings for Chakotay had always been strong; she did not doubt that she loved him but never had a chance to let him know. Here they were, their last night in the Delta Quadrant, now was the time to tell him.
She didn't have to wait long, as soon as the finished dinner they retired to the couch, coffee cups in hand. Only minutes later they were in each other's arms, the passion rising faster then they could keep up.
They made love several times during the night, each time more passionately than before. Upon waking the following morning promises were made for the rest of their life before heading out to the bridge.
There was tension in the air, nervousness, yet no one knew what was about to happen.
Kathryn vaguely remembered yelling that they were coming in too fast and hearing B'Elanna saying she had transferred more power to the thrusters. She could feel the ship slow some as Tom applied the thrusters, then they hit and she remembered nothing.
She slowly woke up near the CON. She tried to sit up but pain shot through her, she wasn't sure where it started. She turned her head to find herself face to face with Tom; her hand gingerly snaked out to touch his face, afraid that he might be...
"Ooh, what the hell happened?" moaned Tom.
Kathryn licked her lips, " we fell out of the slip stream; I don't think that landing went very well."
"Last thing I remember was seeing that planet and..." realization hit him. " Oh god, we crashed." He shot up, wincing slightly, then moved to his feet. "Oh shit."
Kathryn tried to push herself up to a sitting position, she too looked around, "Oh shit is right," she groaned in pain; one leg was definitely broken. "We need to check ship systems, see what's working; we are going to have a lot of injured."
Tom limped a bit yet seemed relatively unharmed. "Lie still, let me get a medkit; you're not going far on that leg." He reached for her right arm then let go and put his arm around her waist, "I think you have a problem with that arm too."
He reached under his console and grabbed the medkit, pulling out the tricorder he scanned her, "Okay, the leg is definitely fractured and so is that arm."
"I'll be fine Tom, get me to my chair; I can get a look at the situation from there," said Kathryn.
Tom opened his mouth to protest but decided against it. He carefully scooped her up and moved her as gently as he could. Once he got Kathryn in her chair he looked around the bridge. "Oh damn. Seven doesn't look good and I don't see B'Elanna or Tuvok."
"Go check on them, Tom," she said, gritting her teeth to resist the pain of the fractures.
"I need to check on you..."
"You will after you see if anyone on the bridge needs you more; I'm fine right now and obviously not going anywhere."
Tom nodded in the dim lights of the emergency lighting, got out the medical tricorder from the med. kit and made his rounds. He was desperate to find B'Elanna but it was Tuvok's station he came to first. He didn't need the tricorder to tell him that Tuvok was dead but he ran the scan to confirm his assessment.
Next to Tuvok was Seven; she must have been thrown quite a distance. She was lying on the floor and had also been killed. Tom felt his heart rise to his throat, he moved to the engineering station and saw B'Elanna lying face down on the floor, pieces of the bridge lying next to her. Bending down he gently checked for a pulse, sighing in relief when he found one.
B'Elanna moaned slightly. "Take it easy, don't move yet," Tom spoke as he waved the tricorder over her. "You have some internal bleeding and a concussion, but for the most part you're okay. We'll have to get that internal bleeding stopped as soon as we can."
B'Elanna tried to sit up but Tom stopped her, "anyone else..."
"Stay still. The captain has a broken leg and arm, she'll be fine as soon as I get those mended."
"Okay," sighed B'Elanna. "The ship?"
"The ship is pretty screwed up right now, the Captain is checking the ship systems, seeing what we have. No word on the Flyer; they were still in the slipstream when we lost contact."
B'Elanna looked around the bridge and grimaced, "They are all dead." She watched Tom as he systematically moved from person to person shaking his head to let the two of them know they didn't make it. He finally made his way back to the Captain, "I'm going to head to sickbay, and see if the Doc is online and get some supplies to get you two up and running.
Kathryn nodded at him then watched him leave; she turned back to her console, hoping to find at least a glimmer of hope.
Tom returned a short time later to find B'Elanna sitting by the Captain, "B'Elanna, I thought I told you to stay put, if you keep moving around the internal bleeding will get worse."
B'Elanna sighed, "I'm okay. Right now the computer is dead. I'm not sure what I can get running, if anything." She laughed, " It's going to get awfully cold in here, and environmental controls is completely gone too, we'll have to think of something else."
"Any survivors, Tom?"
"So far it doesn't look good. I did run into Lieutenant Chapman who is fine. I've sent him to search for survivors, and told him we would make our way to the messhall. He said he had already been there, and it was in pretty good shape."
"The Doctor?" asked Kathryn.
"I couldn't get him online but I got what I need to fix your leg and arm. I'd need to take care of B'Elanna first." Seeing the Captain nod he helped B'Elanna lie down and did what he could to stop the internal bleeding. Once the tricorder confirmed she was okay, he moved to the Captain.
"Tom, all I need is a quick mend, we have a lot of work to do," said Kathryn.
"I don't think so, Captain. Think of it this way, you let me fix this completely and you'll be able to do much more later. Rather than limping around on it moving at the pace of a turtle, you'll be able to move quickly." He gave her a slight smile letting her know he wasn't going to back down.
Kathryn merely sighed and lay on the floor as instructed. He was right; she wouldn't be able to do much unless she allowed the leg to completely heal.
As soon as Tom was finished he turned to B'Elanna, "Okay, let's get to the messhall. Hopefully Chapman was able to find some more of the crew."
B'Elanna nodded, then followed the two of them through the jefferies tube; it was only one deck down yet was slow going.
They finally reached the messhall and were shocked to see a few people there. Ensign Ashmore didn't look too good, and he had quite the gash through his side and was bleeding profusely. Megan Delaney was doing her best to tend to him with an obviously broken arm. Tom moved over to them, grabbing the medkit, "Okay, Megan, I'll take it from here. Captain, I don't mean to give you orders, but I think it would be better if you kept off that leg for at least a little while, and I still have to mend that arm."
Kathryn sighed, "Fine, Tom, I can do some good here anyway. Where is Chapman?" she was exhausted, from crawling through the tube cradling her injured arm.
"Chapman went back out to look for more survivors," explained Megan.
"All right, let's see if I can do anything for that arm," said Kathryn gently.
"Your arm doesn't look much better, Captain."
"No, and it doesnít feel much better either, but," she began giving a quick glaring glance at Tom, "I've been confined here since my leg isn't in much better shape. So it would seem only right to get you up and running so you can give Chapman some help."
Megan nodded and allowed Kathryn to tend to her. Kathryn may not have been a doctor but she did know how to mend a broken bone. It was only a minor fracture and Megan soon felt much better. After a quick scan to make sure there was no other problems Megan got up and headed out. "I think it would also be wise to gather as much clothing and blankets as you can. It's going to get pretty cold in here soon. Take a tricorder and try to keep track of who you see, it..." started Kathryn.
"I will, Captain," said Megan realizing that the Captain probably was
right, they would have to know who was dead and who was missing.
As soon as they felt they could, they moved the survivors to sickbay realizing that it would better accommodate everyone in the long term.
As Tom and Kathryn worked on treating injuries, B'Elanna recruited a few of the others to find a heat source. Baytart came strolling in, a big grin on his face, "Captain, we found it."
"You found what?" asked Kathryn.
"A heat source. This barrel is designed to hold heat up to a couple thousand degrees Celsius. We put some metal in it that we can heat with a phaser and it should stay hot for quite sometime," said Baytart.
"That's an excellent idea, I even believe we could use this like...." began Kathryn.
"A radiator; I saw it in one of my twentieth century holonovel's. We can place barrels wherever we need them," added Tom.
"Well, we'll need to seal all area's that we aren't using to keep in the heat. Remember that we are going to be dealing with extreme cold here. Get that thing going, Baytart, the temperature is already dropping," ordered Kathryn.
"Captain?" began Ensign Brooks. " I know we are still attempting to search for survivors, but I was wondering what about the plants in hydroponics?"
"You are worrying about a few plants surviving?" yelled Chapman.
"Yes, I am. That may be our only food source," said Brooks.
"She's right, Chapman. Why don't you grab Megan and the two of you can begin bringing the plants up."
Megan looked up then back down. She had found her sister Jenny that morning who hadn't survived. Kathryn approached her, "I know this is hard, Megan, but we need you right now."
"I know, Captain, I'll be okay," sighed Megan. "What about the holodeck's? I think they would house the plants nicely, and we can put a barrel in there too."
"I don't see why not. Do it," said Kathryn, as she turned to one of the injured.
They worked diligently for weeks, first concentrating on getting heat to the holodeck containing the plants and to sickbay. They rearranged sickbay to accommodate them making it more of a living area. They brought in one of the stoves that Neelix cooked on and set up one of the power sources to it for cooking. They also collected a couches, chairs and a few tables for them to use; soon it looked as cozy as it was going to get.
They next concentrated on the adjoining areas; there were fifteen survivors and they had to decide how to group up. Tom, B'Elanna and Kathryn were to share one of the rooms; Roger Ashmore, Pablo Baytart, Noah Lessing, William Chapman, William McKenzie and Gerron decided to room in another. Ensign Tammy Brooks, Megan Delaney, Marla Gilmore, and Susan Nicoletti went to another room. There was one small room that couldn't accommodate many and that was assigned to Tal Celes and Billy Telfer.
B'Elanna had finally been able to download the Doctor and had the charger for his emitter on its own power cell. Of course, he could only be activated when needed; there was no need to have him active all the time and waste power; the Doctor wasn't thrilled but understood.
They also knew the remaining power cells wouldn't last forever, so they began to search for other sources of power, steering towards chemical power since they had the chemicals on board in one of the nearby labs. The lab had been utilized often so it too was kept minimally heated.
Kathryn lay in bed as still as possible, trying to calm her queasy stomach. For the past week she had been plagued with an upset stomach that seemed to come and go. She hadn't said anything to Tom or the Doctor yet, but was beginning to think it might be wise to do so.
She moved slightly and that was enough -- her stomach lurched and she ran to the bathroom, once again emptying the contents of her stomach. Of course her timing wasn't perfect; she had no idea her new roommates had come home. Tom was immediately by her side, "Kathryn, are you okay?"
She rested her head against the wall, "I don't think so," she admitted.
"I'll get the med. kit," said B'Elanna.
B'Elanna returned a minute later and handed Tom the medical tricorder; he scanned Kathryn then came up grinning, "Well the bad news is, until we can get a replicator online, if we can get one online, you'll have to suffer with this for quite a while."
"Tom, is there good news?" said Kathryn wearily.
"I would say so. Let's see if you agree," he said handing her the tricorder to show her the results.
Kathryn stared at it wordlessly; she finally broke out of her trance, "Is this right? I mean, it was only one... oh my god."
B'Elanna jumped in, "What is it?"
Kathryn looked up at her, "I'm pregnant."
"You are? How?" she asked bewildered.
"B'Elanna, I think that it's obvious how," said Tom.
"Well then the question should be who?" said B'Elanna.
Kathryn blushed; she hadn't intended on telling anyone about her last night with Chakotay. Soon it would be more than obvious that something happened, "Chakotay. The last night before we took the slip stream we..."
B'Elanna fought the smile creeping to her face, "You two? ...oh my."
"A baby... how am I going to raise a baby in these conditions. I can't believe I let this happen," stated Kathryn.
"Kathryn, you didn't let this happen, it just did. Think of it this way, we know we may be stranded here for quite sometime. We don't know if Chakotay and Harry survived the trip through the slip stream drive or not. You are giving us a little piece of Chakotay that we can treasure for a very long time," said B'Elanna.
"But raising a baby down on this damn ice planet, it's..."
"It's going to be fine; you'll see, we'll continue to think of Voyager as our home whether it's in space or down here in the deep freeze," said Tom. "There may not be many of us left, but this child will have plenty of auntie's and uncles to care for him or her."
Kathryn turned to Tom ready to say something but decided against it. Tom was right; they would work this all out. Besides that little piece of Chakotay may be just what she needed to survive here.
Kathryn sat back and watched out the window as the mirrors were raised to the roof. All others were in place throughout the living area; this was the last step. B'Elanna had thought of it, using mirrors during the daytime to reflect the light into the ship. Quite a few carefully placed mirrors would direct lighting to where ever they needed.
B'Elanna had been the source of so many of the things that made their lives a little easier. Tom had thought of the idea of using old-fashioned chemical batteries for power, but it was B'Elanna who found the spare parts and assembled them.
Kathryn had laughed when B'Elanna suggested they bring up the exercise bikes, hook them to the recharger for the battery and utilize both a place for them to exercise and recharge the recharger. At nearly six months pregnant, Kathryn had become quite self conscious about her size and found herself spending a lot of time on the bikes trying to keep some semblance of a figure. Despite all the setbacks they were slowly making a home here. The moods were slowly getting a little better, a closeness developing among the much smaller family.
Not many of the remaining crew referred to her as Captain anymore, something that at one time may have bothered Kathryn, but not anymore. She loved the late night talks she had with the girls, especially B'Elanna; the two of them were now the best of friends.
It went dark in the room causing a brief alarm in Kathryn, "What..."
"Just a moment Kathryn," said Tom.
Suddenly the whole room lit up, brighter than it had ever been, she spun around and noticed that the mirrors must be in place, "Congratulations everyone, let there be light." There were cheers all around as the crew marveled in the latest accomplishment.
She woke up sometime during the night, straining to remember just what it was that roused her. She heard Tom and B'Elanna in the other room; the couple was obviously making love. The young couple had always shown courtesy towards her, always trying to keep quiet and wait until she was asleep; tonight was no different, she could only vaguely hear their moans.
A sudden twinge in her belly finally told her what had roused her; she quietly groaned at the pain, her hand moving down to cover her belly. She lay back down, hoping she at least had time to wait for the couple to finish, but the sudden wetness between her legs let her know she didn't.
"Not now," she whispered to the life within. Another twinge, this kid wasn't going to wait, the contractions were, at the most, two minutes apart. "Tom!" she said loudly.
There was a moan from the other room; they obviously weren't happy being interrupted, "Sorry, Kathryn."
"No, Tom, I need you now," she called.
She heard rustling, he was probably pulling on some clothes, then he appeared in her door way, "What is it?" he said a bit gruffly.
"The baby is coming, the contractions are close..." she began but then was taken with another wave of pain.
Anger was quickly replaced with concern, "B'Elanna, go get the doctor online, someone is in a hurry to get here." He turned to Kathryn, "All right, just like we've discussed. You still want the baby delivered here?"
" I don't think I really want to move right now," Kathryn retorted.
Time flew as the doctor and Tom did their best to keep Kathryn comfortable. The baby was delivered a few hours later; a beautiful baby girl Kathryn named Rose.
Rose sat silently watching her mother tend to the garden. Her young mind didn't entirely understand what she was doing, but she did know this is where the food came from and she knew that if she misbehaved she would be in trouble; it was better to play with her toys rather than face her mother's wrath.
"Okay, Rose, are you ready to go find Uncle Tom? Mom is all done here," said Kathryn to the little girl. The small child had such good patience for a two-year-old. 'Had to be from Chakotay.' Kathryn thought.
"Flower?" asked the little girl.
"I almost forgot. Let's go see how Daddy's flowers are doing," said Kathryn moving to the back of the room. She had known for some time the care Chakotay put into the roses he had growing here and on an occasion would give her one. When they discovered them in the back of the hydroponics bay, Kathryn didn't have the heart to let them die. Sure, flowers didn't produce any food, yet they seemed to brighten the day when she would bring a small bouquet to the former sickbay; she was glad she had made sure the roses were moved along with the rest of the plants.
"It's so pretty," said Rose, pointing to the one bloom they had at the moment.
"It sure is, just like my little Rose. I think we need to share this lonely flower with everyone, do you?"
Rose smiled and nodded. She took the flower from her mom, carrying it carefully to its destination, "Mommy, I want a picture just like Daddy."
Kathryn stopped and looked at her daughter, she had Chakotay's hair and skin color yet otherwise looked just like a younger version of herself, "A picture like Daddy?"
"Yes, can I?" asked the small child.
"Honey, I gave you pictures of Daddy," said Kathryn. She had made it a strong point to collect any pictures she could find of Chakotay and give them to Rose; she wanted the girl to know just who her father was.
"No, Mommy, a picture," said the girl pointing to her forehead.
Kathryn smiled finally understanding what her daughter was asking for, "You are far too young for a tattoo, honey. Maybe when you get older, okay?"
Rose looked disappointed, "I want one."
"Now, Rose," she began.
Tears were brimming in the little girl's eyes, "Please."
"Rose, when you get older you can," explained Kathryn.
A small smile crept Rose's lips, "When I three?"
Rose's third birthday was in less than a month, and the little girl clearly knew it, "Quite a bit older than that, Rose."
Kathryn watched her daughter doing her best to lie as still as possible as the Doctor worked on her. The Doctor had grumbled when he discovered the reason he was activated; "I'm a doctor, not a tattooist," he had said. But the Doctor also understood the struggle these survivors went through to make a life in these dismal surroundings. He had finally agreed to it once he saw what it meant to the young girl.
Rose wanted that connection to her father, something to bring him closer to him, wherever he may be. She didn't completely understand everything about her people, but had listened to all her mother had told her and felt, understand the circumstances, she had grasped enough to bear the mark of her ancestors.
When the tattoo was finally completed, Rose sat up and grabbed the mirror her mom was holding and stared at the image within. "It's perfect, Doctor, thank you." She let her fingers slide over the lines, cringing as they stung a little.
"Let me run the dermal regenerator over that a bit, Rose, we don't want it to get infected," said Kathryn.
Rose nodded and smiled, "Thanks for letting me do this, Mom." She turned to Miral, only a couple years younger than she, "So what do you think?"
Miral laughed, "Now you have a funny forehead, too."
Rose burst out laughing, "You don't have a funny forehead, Miral. You're just plain funny looking."
"Am not, at least not any more funny looking than you,"
Kathryn stepped back over to B'Elanna, "They are our kids, you know."
"Oh yes, both as stubborn as their mothers," said B'Elanna beginning to smile as she listened to the girls' playful banter. "Chakotay would be proud to see this, Kathryn," said B'Elanna.
Kathryn looked to the floor, "I know, I just wish..."
"I know, Kathryn," said B'Elanna sympathetically.
Chakotay and Harry stood staring at one another in the middle of the bridge, "Where are they?" asked Harry.
"I'm picking up two bodies in the ready room: Seven is in there and Tuvok," said Chakotay, looking at his tricorder.
"But what about the Captain? Tom? B'Elanna? They should all be here on the bridge," stated Chakotay.
Chakotay looked at Harry, a shocked expression crossing his features, "Scan for life signs."
They both pulled out their tricorder's and began to scan, Harry looked up, "I'm getting several life signs down on deck five, nineteen life signs."
Chakotay slapped his COMM badge, "Tessa, can you transport us down to deck five, about six meters away from sickbay?" He was asking to be beamed a distance away from all of the lifesigns.
"Sure thing, energizing."
They shimmered onto the deck, tricorder's in hand; Chakotay pointed down the hall and began walking. The halls were dimly lit and the chill was down to a minimum. They were about to turn a corner when they heard voices; Chakotay put his hand up, stopping Harry.
He carefully peeked around the corner than shot back, held up two fingers indicating two people were walking their way.
"You know your mom will be mad if we go to the lab without telling her," said Miral.
"No, she won't, I know what I'm doing," said Rose.
"Of course," said Miral sarcastically.
Rose gave Miral a gentle push, "Come on, where is your sense of adventure? Mom doesn't mind if what we do turns out."
"And what makes you think this will turn out?" asked Miral. She got no response so she asked again, "And what makes you..."
She was cut off by Rose putting her finger to her mouth silencing her, "I thought I saw something."
"What? We are under meters of ice? What do you think would be here?" said Miral with a laugh.
"I think we should go back and get my mom and your parents," said Rose pulling Miral in the other direction.
Just as they turned they were nearly plowed over by two running forms, who ran swiftly past them, "Johnny and Jacob get back here."
They were about to go after them, laughing at the Delaney twins' energy when they heard the boys scream. The two girls took off after them but came to a sudden stop; the boys were standing frozen in spot in front of two men in environmental suits.
Rose was about to let out a scream but then she realized who was standing in front of her; the tattoo, identical to hers, on his forehead. "Da...Commander Chakotay?" she asked.
Chakotay couldn't take his eyes off the girl in front of him. She had long dark hair, golden skin and deep brown eyes with a tattoo just like his in the same place as his, "Yes, and you are?"
"Rose, Rose Janeway. This is Miral Paris and the two brats are Johnny and Jacob Lessing. Mom is just going to fall over from shock, come on," she said reaching out to take his hand.
Chakotay had to ask, "Your father?"
"I think that would be obvious," laughed Rose, "but if you want me to spell it out for you, I can."
He smiled, "I don't think that will be necessary. Can we go see everyone?"
"Sure, follow me," she said leading them down the hall to the former sickbay. She approached the door, "Okay, let's not shock them. You two wait here; kids, be quiet okay?" Chakotay and Harry nodded as the removed their environmental suits.
The boys nodded their head and followed Rose into the room; Miral wasn't that far behind.
"Mom?" yelled Rose.
"Over here, honey," said Kathryn.
"I have a surprise for you, Mom," said Rose.
Kathryn eyed her daughter, "You do? What?"
"Cover your eyes," ordered Rose.
"Please," pleaded Rose.
Kathryn obeyed putting her hands up to cover her eyes and allowed her daughter to guide her.
Rose turned around and motioned everyone to be silent, the group nodded and tried not to gasp when the door opened and Rose presented them with Chakotay and Harry.
Chakotay stepped forward and touched her cheek, Kathryn jerked and pulled her hands away from her eyes, "Chakotay?"
"It's been a long time, Kathryn," he said softly.
"Too long," she replied wrapping her arms around him. "I don't believe this; I've dreamed about it for so long, but never believed..."
He pulled back slightly, "A daughter?"
"Well, we did..."
"I clearly remember what we did, itís the one thing that's been a driving force in this great plan of ours," said Chakotay.
"Plan?" asked Kathryn.
"Nothing, thatís all changed," said Chakotay.
"Changed, why the hell has it changed?" Harry said angrily. "All those people are still dead, we can still fix this."
Chakotay turned to face Harry, "We aren't going to talk about this right now, Harry."
"Talk about what? Come on, I think you should fill us in here," said Kathryn.
Harry moved close to her, "We have found a way to send a message back in time and change all of this. I can send Seven of Nine new phase corrections and get Voyager home in one piece."
"Seven of Nine is dead, Harry," added Kathryn.
"Yes, I need to extract her cortical node, with that and the handy little device we have stashed on the Flyer, I can send a message back in time to the point when you were in the slip stream; I can give Seven the new phase corrections that will get us all home," explained Harry.
Kathryn put her hand on her head, "I hate dealing with time and... this is all a bit much. I know what you are trying to do and it's noble, Harry, but there are more than the original survivors here."
"I know that, but so many people, we can't just forget about them," cried Harry.
"How dare you think I would forget about them! There was nothing we could do with the bodies, most we left right where they died. I've had to live with this every day for the past fifteen years," shouted Kathryn.
Harry blinked then looked down, "You're right, I'm sorry."
Kathryn softened, "I know what you want to do, Harry, and a part of me understands it, but..."
"I know." he said, then turned to the others. "Well, we had a starship pursuing us, so I'm sure they'll be glad to bring you home."
"Harry, why don't you head back to the Flyer and explain this all to Tessa," said Chakotay.
"Why do you have a starship pursuing you?" asked Kathryn.
Chakotay turned to her, "itís a long story, Kathryn."
Kathryn eyed Chakotay then turned to Harry, "Why don't you take the Doctor with you. He knows a lot of what's been going on down here, he can give you a helping hand with the other starship."
Harry nodded, grabbed the emitter and called for the beam out. A part of him wanted to remain on the surface and get to know everyone again but Tessa would need to know. She had stood by his side for so long while they went after this crazy dream, maybe she could also help him understand why his dream had to crumble at his feet.
Tessa stared down at Harry, "I can't believe all of this. What has changed?"
"Tessa, they're right. We can't just dismiss the past fifteen years now. A lot has..."
"Don't give me that, Harry, I do understand what you are saying and I am not dismissing those four children. But the way I see it, the Captain's daughter will still be around and the other three..."
"Tessa, drop it, we aren't going to do it." He stood up and pulled her into his arms, "Besides, I've liked having you around. Now you won't be getting rid of me," he said forcing a smile.
"I don't want to get rid of you but I also know this is all you have thought about for the past fifteen years. There are still over one hundred people who did lose their lives; we can still save them."
"No, listen," he pulled out the Doctors holoemitter, "I'll activate the Doctor, he'll help you coordinate the rescue. I'm going back down. Get ahold of that ship that's been chasing us and inform them we need them for transport," said Harry.
Tessa looked at the floor, "Fine, Harry."
He reached up to touch her face than backed off; she had suffered all these years with him and his obsession. She had stood by him the whole time and he knew that although she didn't want to lose him, she was still disappointed at this turn of events.
Survivors, wasn't this something to celebrate? Harry sighed and transported back down to help his long lost friends.
Tessa stood before the Doctor not intending to back down, "I wish you could see my point of view, Doctor. Harry and Chakotay are in shock right now; the one thing they didn't plan on was finding people still alive."
"Yes, but what you are asking me to do is barbaric," he stated.
"Why would you say that? It would be saving over a hundred lives and these survivors would never have to know of this; it would be like it had never happened," said Tessa.
"But there are children that you have to consider; their lives have to count for something."
"I'm sorry if I sound cruel, but four children, one of whom should still exist considering she was obviously conceived before all of this. I'm not a horrible person but..."
The Doctor waved his hand in the air and began pacing the small floor of the flyer, "Can you do this without Harry's help?"
"I know how to do it all except I don't know the new phase corrections. I know how to work the Borg temporal transmitter and we can beam Seven up here and use her interplexing beacon to send... what?"
Tessa shook her head, "I don't know. So, Doctor, are you trying to say that you're with me?"
He sighed, "As much as I disagree, I equally agree. There have been a lot of good times down there but none of those children know what daylight is; it is far too cold to take them outside. I... I'm with you."
Tessa and the Doctor put their heads together. "There has to be something we can do. If I can find the padd Harry had his work on, I can use that."
"So we are going to try to send the new coordinates to Voyager? What makes you think those will work?"
"Harry worked on them for years, they have to work," stated Tessa.
"He had no means to properly test them, I don't understand why we don't simply tell Voyager not to use the drive?" said the Doctor.
Tessa turned to him, "Thatís it! We send them the coordinates to shut down the drive; it won't get them home but it will keep them alive."
"All right then, let's get to work."
"Captain, I'm receiving a transmission," said Seven.
"I thought you said the COMM link was down," replied Kathryn.
"It is," inserted Tuvok.
"It's being routed through one of my cranial implants. It contains a new set of phase corrections," explained Seven.
"Does Harry know how to access your Borg systems?"
"No," said Seven.
"Must have figured out a way," she said softly. "Enter the corrections."
There was a pause, "Captain, the quantum slip stream drive just went offline. We're dropping to impulse."
"Captain, we've fallen out of the slip stream," said Tuvok.
Both ships felt the jolt, back in the Flyer Chakotay turned to Harry, " We were thrown out right along with Voyager."
"We got the COMM system back up, "Delta Flyer to Voyager, what happened?"
"You miscalculated, Harry, we entered the exact phase corrections you sent to Seven of Nine, and they shut down the quantum slipstream drive," said Kathryn.
"Captain, I didn't send any phase corrections to Seven of Nine," explained Harry.
Kathryn turned to Seven of Nine and continued explaining, "She received a message through one of her cranial implants. That wasn't you?"
"No, ma'am," answered Harry.
Captain's log supplemental:
Our slip stream flight may have been brief, but it took nearly ten years off our journey. I've given the order to dismantle the slipstream drive until the technology can be perfected. Despite the setback we have renewed sense of momentum, it no longer seems if we get home, but when.
She headed to the messhall, after finally deciding to give Harry the message left for him through Seven. She had debated that decision, considering what the message had to say.
The stranger had told briefly of her decision to change the timeline despite the fact that the survivors of the crash did not wish it. She spoke of a slight guilt at dismissing the lives of the children who grew up on the icy planet and clearly said that at least the Captain and Chakotay's daughter would still have a chance at life, albeit a much better one.
A daughter, it was hard to comprehend that just one night with Chakotay could produce a child but then again...
She approached Harry who was sitting in the dimly lit messhall, "At ease," she said when he stood up to greet her. "Am I interrupting?"
"No, I just came here to figure things out," he said.
She looked at the view screen, "phase corrections."
"The corrections I tried to send you were wrong; if you had used them Voyager would have been heavily damaged, maybe even destroyed," he said. "What I can't figure out is who sent the other phase corrections to Seven of Nine?"
"Looks like we have a guardian angle," said Kathryn.
"Oh, I don't believe that," said Harry.
"Believe it," said Kathryn handing Harry a tricorder. "It seems you... or should I say, a much older you, had a woman who loved you very much."
"Seven found a Starfleet security code embedded in the transmission ... yours."
"Captain, I'm telling you..."
"It also had a temporal signature. I'm assuming this woman must have been very close to you to be able to get such information and we believe it originated in the future," explained Kathryn.
"Wait a minute. If a woman from my future sent a message to me in the past then that future can no longer exists. So how could she have sent the message? Am I making any sense?"
"My advise on making sense of temporal paradoxes is simple, don't even try. To me, all that matters is somewhere, sometime, someone came through for us. Seven found a log entry encoded in the telemetry, from a Tessa Omand to Harry Kim," said Kathryn as he moved to get up, "and Harry, you will hear some... personal information in there that I hope, for now, you will keep to yourself." She smiled at the young man, then got up to leave.
He watched his captain silently leave the room. He then turned to the computer and activated the log entry.
"Hello, Harry, I know you don't know who I am, but let's just simply say that I am someone who loves you very much. It pains me to know that by the time you receive this message the person I am right now will no longer exist. But please try to understand, fifteen years ago you made a mistake and you felt that you caused one hundred fifty people their lives. I stood by you for many years while you were obsessed with finding a way to change all of that."
The woman paused to take a deep breath then continued, "When we arrived we found that not only had a few of the crew survived, they had flourished, bringing children into the world. You and Chakotay decided that changing the timeline was no longer an option, but I see it differently.
"Harry, only fifteen people survived the crash and those fifteen people have lived in an icy tomb for the past fifteen years. The Captain has a daughter, your friend Tom also has a daughter, and there are also two younger boys. Those children don't even know what daylight is. I can change that and I know because of what I am about to do that three children may never be born but I still have to do it. I know deep down you wanted to do it, too. I just took it out of your hands so you wouldn't have to be responsible for your friends' daughter and those two young boys."
"Please, don't hate me for this, go on with your life, happy and fulfilled on Voyager and ... look me up when you get home, I'll be waiting."
The transmission closed leaving a completely stunned Harry Kim sitting silently trying to comprehend the news he had just received. It didn't dawn on him until a few minutes later what the Captain had meant. Tessa said she would be responsible for erasing three children from the time line -- Tom's daughter and someone else's two young boys. The Captain's daughter would still be alive, but how?
He got up from the chair, grabbed the computer and headed out, stopping just before the doors to the messhall opened, he let out a laugh... the Captain's daughter...he continued chuckling as he exited. Yeah, he could keep this to himself, for a little while at least.
Chakotay took the cup of tea from the replicator and joined Kathryn on the couch. He knew what this was all about; last night he and Kathryn expected to get home and had allowed protocol to finally be pushed aside. They made love, finally coming together as they had only dreamed . Now they still had to face a long journey home and he knew she would have doubts about the two of them.
"Have a seat, Chakotay," said Kathryn.
He sat down across from her, "Kathryn, I know we have a lot to talk about. After last night, and not getting home, well... I don't want to go back to how it was before."
"Chakotay, please let me speak," said Kathryn. Seeing she now had his attention she began again, "We crossed a line that I never intended to cross until we got home; something we shouldn't have done. But we can't go back and change that and to be honest I really don't regret it."
"Oh, Kathryn..." began Chakotay.
She interrupted him, "But there may be a lot more to talk about then just us. You know about the message that Seven discovered in that transmission?" Chakotay nodded so she continued, "It was to Harry from what I would best call a future girlfriend. I won't go into detail since it's basically in the report but the part I left out was about the survivors and their children."
"It sends chills up my spine to think of people surviving on that planet, frozen inside Voyager. I don't think I would want to even imagine that," said Chakotay.
"Yes, I can't imagine what it would have been like. What I left out was the fact that children were born down there; four children. Tom and B'Elanna had a daughter and the woman spoke of two boys. She also said I had a daughter." She saw Chakotay's shocked expression, "This Tessa spoke of guilt at allowing Tom and B'Elanna's daughter and those two boys be erased from existence. I don't blame her, that would have been a tough choice."
"I had survived in the Flyer; I'm assuming she did this all without my knowledge or Harry's. I know I wouldn't have been able to change time and allow those four children to just die basically."
"I said she spoke of three children who might never be born, not four," said Kathryn.
"Three, what about your daughter?" asked Chakotay.
"Chakotay, you really are smarter than that. Do I have to spell it out for you?" said Kathryn.
"What are you ... your daughter didn't get erased, she is still here?" he asked.
Kathryn smiled, "Well I haven't gone to the doctor to confirm it yet, but that may very well be the truth."
"Kathryn, I'm going to be a father?" he asked.
"Like I said, Chakotay, maybe. I want to wait a bit before rushing off to the Doctor, after all it's only been twenty four hours. Circumstances could have been different down there, let's wait and see," said Kathryn.
Chakotay moved out of his chair and pulled her into his arms, "I love you, Kathryn."
Kathryn didn't move for a moment then finally returned the hug, 'I love you too, Chakotay. I don't want to go back either. It won't be easy, but we can work this out, I'm sure of it."
" I know we can," said Chakotay finally pulling back. He stole a kiss then sat next to her and pulled her close as he leaned back on the couch. She didn't resist, snuggling into his warm embrace as he spoke, "Did you give Harry that log?"
"Yes, of course. The message was to him," said Kathryn.
"Do you think he will say anything?" said Chakotay.
"No, he won't. I trust him,"
Kathryn began to drift off. Chakotay just held her, happy that she didn't back off, happy to have her in his arms. Her breathing was even now; she was asleep. He allowed the moment of contentment and let his hand drift down to her flat belly, wondering if there really was a child growing there; his child.
So much had happened, two days or fifteen years, in the blink of an eye it could have been so different. He couldn't imagine the turmoil that other woman had gone through deciding to change history, but he knew now that she had made the right decision,a decision that gave him and Kathryn a second chance. He moved slightly and Kathryn stirred, "Rose."
"What?" he asked.
"Rose," she murmured sleepily again.
"What about a rose, Kathryn?" he asked again.
"The baby, I want to name her Rose," said Kathryn.
He smiled, "Our little flower, I like that -- Rose."
Kathryn once again snuggled against him, falling back asleep. Chakotay didn't realize that he too was drifting off. They dreamed of love and happiness and the spirit of the flower that traversed space and time and kept them together.
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