Prologues: On the Lower Decks
I don’t own the Star Trek: Voyager series or any recognizable franchises that will appear in this fanfiction. I'll post more of the story as time goes on. I'm having to post in segments to keep with the < 20,000 characters per post limit.
Delta Flyer is on an away mission led by Ensign Tom Paris when they find themselves confronting a threat from outside their dimension. On a quest the away team must save Voyager from an old foe and a villain from outside our dimension.
Mess Hall, 0830 hours:
Tal Celes sat down at the table with Billy Telfer at breakfast that morning. “So how’ve things been with Seven lately?” Billy asked.
“She’s been a little better with me at work.” Celes replied.
“That’s good to hear.” Billy said.
“It’s great she’s not breathing down my neck as much.” Celes added as a dark haired lieutenant with a lean swimmer’s build wearing the blue of the science department carrying a tray with fried eggs and smoked slices of meat together with a steaming cup of tea.
“Mind if I sit down?” an Australian accented voice sounded.
“Of course, Lieutenant.” Billy said.
“Oh for Christ’s sake, Billy. Knock off the ranks and the sodding lot when we’re off duty mate.” The Australian replied.
“Ok Henry.” Billy said.
“Better.” The Aussie replied.
“So how are things?” Celes asked.
“Breakfast actually looks appetizing right now.” Henry Kano replied as he dug into his meal.
“You actually like that stuff?” Billy said.
“Not quite steak and eggs from back home, but in this quadrant I’ll take it.” Henry replied as he dug in.
“You do realize that that stuff probably is gonna wind up clogging your arteries.” Billy replied.
“I stay in shape. And besides it’s not often that Neelix serves anything like this.” Henry replied, “And I wasn’t about to go for wasting replicator rations when a seemingly acceptable substitute is available.”
“Wasn’t that because you used most of them over the last two weeks?” Tal Celes added with a smile, “And you only have two of them left for the rest of the month?”
“Hey. It was that or eating some of Neelix’s more...interesting menu items.” Henry replied, between bites and a swallow of tea to wash them down, “And a steady diet of leola root stew. I really had no desire to munch down on that particular steady diet. Especially that mystery casserole he made three nights ago.”
“Ugh. Don’t remind me.” Tal groaned, “It was enough to induce Billy to have a legitimate reason to visit Sickbay.”
“Hey!” Billy remarked as both Henry and Tal laughed at his expense, “For your information, I’m no longer a hypochondriac!”
“I’m personally glad I replicated myself a nice steak, some sauteed onions and french fries for that night.” Henry said.
“I used my replicator ration that night too. For some hasperat.” Tal replied.
“Too spicy for me personally.” Henry replied.
“Don’t remind me of the time you shared some with Henry, Tal.” Billy replied, “Let’s just say he was smelly and noisy company in the lab. Samantha almost threw him out.”
“How was I supposed to know traditional Bajoran seasoning for hasperat causes serious gastrointestinal discomfort for one in every three hundred humans?” Henry replied.
“Aren’t Search and Rescue Operatives trained in medical techniques and analysis?” Billy countered.
“My primary specialty is security.” Henry replied, “I was part of the Extraction Flight of the 172nd Search and Rescue Squadron. I can stabilize patients and get them ready for transport, but I’m not a medical examiner or physician. That’s the job for the blokes from the Evaluation Flight.”
“Didn’t you cross train with the Evaluation Flight?” Billy asked.
“Yes. But I’m no finished physician. I’ve only got Level III Emergency Medical Certification.” Henry replied, “Most SAR operatives, save the Evaluation blokes have a Level II Certification. Evaluation has to have a Level III or higher.” Henry replied.
“Level III’s about the level of a civilian paramedic. Do you have a higher Certification than Ensign Paris?” Tal asked.
“No. Ensign Paris has a Level IV Certification.” Billy said.
“That’s what again?” Tal asked.
“About the same level as a civilian physician’s assistant or a nurse.” Billy asked.
“And how do you know Ensign Paris’ Emergency Medical Certification?” Tal asked.
“Let’s say I after I sprained my ankle when I fell out of Jeffries Tube 21 he treated me. However I wasn’t about to be reassured when he scanned me for complications. He tried reassuring me by saying he had a Level IV Emergency Medical Certification.” Billy replied.
“And that didn’t reassure you?” Henry replied.
“I sort of wanted a Level V Certified individual or higher treating my ankle.” Billy said.
“That’s a qualified emergency room physician.” Henry replied.
“What’s wrong with demanding the highest quality care possible?” Billy asked.
Tal nearly choked on her raktajino when she chuckled in mid sip. She started coughing as Henry administered a hearty pat on the back until she was able to breath normally.
When Tal regained her composure somewhat she remarked, “You don’t need a surgeon to fix a sprained ankle.”
“It was a broken ankle, not a strained one! Anyway, I believe that was before we visited that Class T cluster.” Billy said, “I’m better now.”
“I do recall you thought you had some rare Delta Quadrant bug yesterday when we were working in the lab.” Henry replied.
“I was running a fever.” Billy said.
“Considering I saw you scanning with a medical tricorder, pilfered from my Level III Medkit, I might add...” Henry replied.
“I was only borrowing it.” Billy protested.
“Sounds like someone should be a little more mindful of their gear.” Tal teased.
“Considering that one of the Borg children made off with your phase modulator in Astrometrics last week, you’re one to talk.” Henry replied.
“Don’t remind me. Seven gave me a very stern talking to about that. Especially when one of the secondary consoles decided to have a malfunction and I needed my phase modulator.” Tal replied.
Henry finished his meal and washed it down with the last of his tea, “I’ve gotta get moving. Me and three of my guys have our annual Level III Re-certification.”
Henry took his tray to the replicator for recycling before heading out of the Mess Hall.
“And how is breakfast this morning?” Neelix said as he approached their table.
“You just missed Lieutenant Kano. He gave breakfast a very enthusiastic two thumbs up.” Billy replied.
“You do a fair raktajino too.” Tal replied.
“I’m glad you approve.” Neelix replied.
“Where did you find the beans for it?” Tal asked.
“I replicated a quantity of them for a Klingon Heritage Day shortly after Lieutenant Torres had that shuttle accident early this year.” Neelix said, “And there were some seeds that we picked up from our last away mission. I’m gonna attempt to see if they’ll be an acceptable substitute. I’ve already started growing the in the airponics bay.”
“Oh great.” Billy groaned.
“What?” Neelix joked.
“Tal’s raktajino habit is gonna rear its head, again.” Billy groaned.
“Oh, I’m not aware that Crewman Celes has a raktajino habit.” Neelix said.
“She used to have one back when we were in the Alpha Quadrant. When we were on replicator rations she could only get raktajino occasionally and not long enough to form a habit.” Billy said.
Tal Celes rolled her eyes, “I have to get to Astrometrics. After a refill of course.”
“Happy to oblige.” Neelix said and refilled Tal’s half-way full cup before she headed out to Astrometrics.
Holodeck 1, 1600 hours
: The two men grappled while standing. It was when Michael Ayala stepped forward trying to press a perceived advantage that Henry Kano swept his rearmost leg with his own, creating a small destabilizing force.
As they fell, Ayala was quick to get his legs around his opponent in a good guard.
“It’s not like you to make a rookie mistake, not after six years of training. In Jiu jitsu you know that being on one’s back isn’t exactly a disadvantage.” Ayala replied.
Henry merely grunted with exertion as he pushed against one leg at the knee, managing to scramble a knee through, passing Ayala’s guard.
Henry looped an arm behind his opponent’s neck and began to crank on it to the side before he planted his elbow at the side of Ayala’s skull and began to position himself for side control.
Ayala quickly framed by tossing his arms up to keep Henry off at a distance.
“You’re reacting a little slower than usual.” Ayala baited, “Are you sure that Tal Celes doesn’t have anything to do with your state of mind.”
Henry began to keep pushing his advantage as he got a hold of one of Ayala’s arms and began to apply the pressure that was a kimura...
Ayala tapped the ground with a free hand and Henry let go. Henry stood up and helped Ayala to his feet.
“Three out of seven wins isn’t bad, but you’re doing a bit worse than usual.” Ayala said.
“Considering I’ve had less training than you have.” Henry replied, “Compared to the nearly two decades you’ve had.”
“Well my friend. Jiu-jitsu is a thinking man’s game. You can’t fight on raw emotion.” Ayala replied.
“That’s why I like the striking arts.” Henry replied.
“You also lose boxing matches on raw emotion too.” Ayala said.
“It does go a long way towards re-invigorating you near the end of a bout though.” Henry replied.
“Let’s prove your theory. Shall we my friend.” Ayala replied.
“Lets.” Henry replied.
They started in a standing position as they grappled with one another.
“So what is the deal with you and Tal Celes? Any reason you never made your move?” Ayala asked.
Henry angrily swept Ayala’s leg. As he fell Ayala knew Henry would follow him on the fall and try to pass guard. He managed to get Henry in the guard. As predicted he felt Henry attempting to pass the guard again.
It was then that Ayala grabbed hold of one of Henry’s arms and pulled on it before hooking one leg behind his head and the other on that hooking leg’s ankle in a classic triangle choke. Henry tapped Ayala’s side before Ayala released him.
“Told you.” Ayala replied as they both stood up.
“Nice recreation of the old training camp you told me about. The one in Sao Paolo.” Henry replied, “Amazing that after centuries the Gracie clan still maintains the no frills approach it had at their inception.”
“How about the other program this time tomorrow. We’ll roll a couple times and then break out the boards.” Ayala replied, “I’d say I’d be in the mood for a nice shortboarding session.”
“I’d forgotten most Brazilian Jiu Jitsu types were surfers too.” Henry replied, “An agreeable tradition if anything else. But I’d like to break out my longboard from the quiver. The one with the big single fin, glassed on.”
“Got some soul surfing to do?” Ayala said, “Celes?”
“Among other things, mate.” Henry replied.
“So I ask why not make your move with her? And before you mention Leslie, may I remind you that you’ve been single for two years.” Ayala replied.
“A fact I’m forever reminded of.” Henry replied, “Reading that letter. The first letter I received from home in four years I discovered I was single again.”
“You’ve liked Celes practically since you’ve met.” Ayala replied, “You’re single. She’s single. What’s stopping you.”
“It’s a bit more complicated than that.” Henry replied as the two men walked out into the hallway and almost smack into Tal Celes who was tucked into a PADD while walking.
“Oh. Sorry lieutenant.” Celes said, with a mild blush.
“It’s alright. No harm was done.” Henry replied.
“What’s with the funny costumes?” Tal asked.
“This is a jiu-jitsu gi. It’s made of sturdy fabric obviously because jiu jitsu and judo are of a similar vein.” Henry replied, “When Maeda immigrated to Brazil and started the martial art of Brazilian jiu jitsu he brought the traditional judo gi with him.”
“I thought gi’s were supposed to be plain white and so were the belts unless you’re a master or something.” Celes replied, “I mean you’re wearing a red belt and Lieutenant Kano’s wearing a purple belt.”
“Actually there are numerous colors of belt. The white belt is the lowest level of succession followed by the blue, purple, brown, red and black belts. The darkening of the belt suggests the darkening of the belt from age and experience.” Ayala replied.
“That still doesn’t explain why you’ve got a light blue gi with the funny flag on the right shoulder sir.” Celes replied.
“That’s the state flag of Brazil and a homage to my home. And call me Michael, we’re off duty.” Ayala replied with a smile.
“What does Gracie-Barra mean?” Celes said.
“That’s the line of Brazilian jiu-jitsu I trained under. The Gracies were a dynasty of hand to hand combat and arguably the world’s finest ground fighters.” Ayala replied.
“Dynasty? Henry’s mentioned that compared to traditional Japanese martial arts Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a little less concerned with tradition.” Celes replied.
“That’s right. Hence the relatively less uniform look to our gi’s.” Ayala replied.
“And what about the funny animal on your right sleeve?” Celes asked Henry.
“It’s a kangaroo. It’s an Australian animal.” Henry replied.
“Nice match with that giant continent of Australia on the back of your gi.” Ayala remarked.
“Customization of gis goes hand in hand with the relative informality of Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioners.” Henry added.
“I’d love to stay and chat, but unfortunately I’ve got to work.” Celes replied.
B’Elanna’s Quarters, 1700 hours
: B’Elanna smiled when she saw Tom walk through the door. “Sorry I’m late. I was doing a couple more checks on the Flyer.” Tom began.
“I have Ensign Vorik and a work crew on it, they've been working almost non-stop since that away mission gone awry last week.” B’Elanna replied.
“I know. I just wanted to check on a couple little quirks I noticed with the impulse manifolds after the last shakedown flight.” Tom replied as he rolled his sleeves down.
“Getting the Flyer running again is a top priority.” B’Elanna replied.
“Sometimes a pilot likes to get some hands on his ship.” Tom replied, “But I’m so sorry I lost track of time.”
“I forgive you for that.” B’Elanna replied.
“And I’m gonna make it up to you.” Tom added as he guided her into a standing position, took her into his arms, and kissed her at first gently but then deepened the kiss.
As they broke the kiss Tom added, “Consider it a downpayment.”
“You’ll have to do better than that...” B’Elanna said with a toothy grin that said dinner was just going to be a formality.
“And I can.” Tom replied as he held her closer his lips finding B’Elanna’s again.
B’Elanna kissed Tom’s lips hungrily, as she chased Tom’s lips with her own. Dinner forgotten both of them followed a familiar yet well beloved path. Her hands raced for the zipper of Tom’s jacket and tugged at it as she hungrily kissed at his lips and then down to his neck.
As their path continued towards the bedroom of Tom’s quarters more pieces of their respective uniforms lay on the floor.
Several hours later B’Elanna rested her head on Tom’s right shoulder. She lay awake and she could tell Tom was as well. She could feel his heartrate slowing down from their exertions, his fingers tracing the ridges on her forehead.
“So am I out of the dog house?” Tom asked.
“Hmm...” B’Elanna sighed contentedly, “You made it up to me.”
“Remind me to be late for dates more often.” Tom said with a smile.
B’Elanna shifted her position and closed her eyes, her head resting on Tom’s chest, his arm around her waistline still. He pulled the covers up to the underside of B’Elanna’s chin before closing his eyes and settling off to sleep.
Coming up, the first signs of trouble and the beginnings of the away mission...