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Old May 21 2010, 11:52 PM   #1
Whoa Nellie
Fleet Captain
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VOY: Desperate Measures

Title: Desperate Measures
Author: Whoa Nellie (
Series: VOY
Rating: PG-13
Codes: Janeway/Bateson, VOY crew

Summary: (post Endgame) When the Eh-Cu'oral catch Kathryn Janeway and Morgan Bateson off-guard during a shore leave, desperate times will lead to desperate measures on both sides. Follows events in previous Whoa Nellie TNG and TNG/VOY stories Speaking in Tongues, Eye of the Beholder and The Evil Within.

Author's notes: Feel free to archive to any pertinent site. This occurs in the Reasons of the Heart timeline accepting all TNG canon through the movie "Insurrection" while adding a post Endgame Chakotay onboard the Enterprise as ship's anthropologist.

As always: Paramount owns all the marbles, we just have a lot more fun playing with them.
Feedback is always appreciated - posted or e-mail.

Whoa Nellie's Romance Star Trek Fan Fiction Stories:


Captain Kathryn Janeway swam effortlessly through the beautiful blue waters of Pacifica. She was enjoying a well-deserved vacation from her duties as the captain of the U.S.S. Voluspa and the head of the Eh-Cu'oral task force. The sect of Borg worshipers had continued to infect individuals with nanites as part of their plan to create their own version of a Collective. While the task force did have an effective counter-measure, they were barely keeping up with all of the new infections. They hadn't made any significant progress in getting ahead of the sect's activities or locating their primary base. Restricting knowledge of the task force and its operations as a classified project had been somewhat successful in plugging information leaks to the sect; the cells and known members still had an uncanny tendency to disappear just prior to a raid but not with the same frequency as before. Task force ships had continued to monitor a test colony of infected individuals in hopes that those responsible would reveal themselves or their location, so far without luck. Hands suddenly grabbed her by the waist and pulled her backward.

"You do recall that the letters R and R stand for rest and relaxation," Captain Morgan Bateson said, his breathing a bit labored.

Janeway rested her hands on his shoulders and allowed him to pull her into his arms. The time alone with Morgan had been idyllic. Since the beginning of their relationship, they'd met up every chance they had, but an extended shore leave on Pacifica was a rare pleasure. "I thought at least one of those R's stood for recreation," she noted.

Morgan brushed a soft kiss across her lips. "I can think of much more enjoyable recreational activities, my dear."

"We've done quite of bit of that already," she replied. Their bodies worked in unison to tread water; she hadn't realized how far she'd swum out from the beach until he'd caught up with her. "As rarely as we get the chance to get off of our ships, it seems a shame to waste a vacation on Pacifica without ever seeing anything beyond the walls of our room. I can't even remember the last time I went swimming; it feels incredible."

"Well I certainly can't complain about the view." From the way he was ogling her breasts bobbing just above the water line, he left no doubt that he wasn't referring to the ocean or the shoreline behind him.

Chuckling, she shook her head. Alone along this stretch of water, she didn't even try to resist the impish urge. She wrapped her legs around his waist, trusting him to keep them both afloat, and rubbed sinuously against him.

"All right then," Morgan firmly pushed her away. "Unless you're trying to drown me out here, I suggest we take this up back on dry land."

Janeway dove into the water and surfaced swimming in the direction of the beach. "I'll race you," she challenged. She could just picture the grin on Morgan's face and pushed herself to swim faster. With his longer arms and legs, he wouldn't have any trouble beating her back to shore but she was determined to make a race of it nonetheless. There weren't many people in her life with whom she felt like she could let down her defenses and truly be herself, be vulnerable around. From the very first time they met, Morgan had made her feel like the most incredible woman he'd ever known; she felt safe with him. He was certainly the most amazing man she had ever known. They clicked in so many ways, as equals as well as man and woman, that it just felt perfect regardless of where they were or what they were doing. When she reached the shore, she realized that Morgan hadn't passed her and she looked back to tease him about letting her win but he wasn't there. She took several steps back, expecting him to grab her legs and pull her under the water. There was no sign of him in the clear, blue water. Just as the realization started to sink in that something was wrong, she felt a transporter beam envelop her.

.................................................. ...................................

Bateson watched helplessly as Janeway materialized on the transporter pad. He had materialized a couple of minutes before, unprepared for the men pointing phasers at him and unable to do anything as they re-established their lock on Kathryn.

The man handling the transporter spoke first. "Captain Kathryn Janeway, welcome aboard. I don't know your friend here, but I get the feeling that he's going to be quite useful." He gestured to the others. "Lock them up and get them some dry clothes, we wouldn't want them catching cold."

"Together?" one asked.

"Sure, they may as well be comfortable for the time being. Have helm set course and engage at full speed."

Janeway drew herself up to her full height, ignoring the fact that she was wearing only her bathing suit. "You know who I am, but I'm afraid your reputation doesn't precede you. Who are you and what do you want with me?"

"You know who we are--or at least what we are," he smirked at her. "Me, personally, I'm Alan. I'm the team leader of this Unimatrix of the Eh-Cu'oral. As for what we want? Well, we know that people whom we've already prepared are somehow now unprepared; in fact, the number of people ready for assimilation is barely holding steady in spite of all of our efforts. We don't know how that's possible, but our sources say that you may just have something to do with that. It was sheer dumb luck that we recognized you during our mission here and we weren't about to miss the chance to ask you directly. We'll talk more when we have the proper environment."

.................................................. ...................................

They were marched along the corridors of what was obviously a private ship, fairly old but in good repair. A single glance exchanged between Janeway and Bateson was all that was needed to acknowledge the potential in that fact. They both knew that a private vessel was unlikely to have more than rudimentary internal security systems. An advantage, but one that would have to be exploited at just the right time. The guards stopped them outside of a door at the end of a corridor. One of them keyed in a sequence to open the door while the other man gestured with his phaser for Janeway and Bateson to enter. The door slid shut behind them.

"I do believe I've been insulted," Bateson declared loudly. "I can't believe that they don't know who I am."

Janeway reached for his arm and turned him toward her. "Why would they know you, sweetheart? You have nothing to do with any of this." She nuzzled his bare chest and wrapped her arms around his waist. "I'm sorry that you were dragged into Starfleet business because of me."

Quizzically, he looked down, his arms automatically coming up to hold her. When he started to speak, she raised her hand to cover his lips, silencing him.

She pulled back and reached up to cradle his face in her hands. Mindful that they were likely being watched, Janeway drew him down to meet her lips in an urgent kiss. "Play along," she murmured softly against his mouth.

Bateson stiffened but stayed in what appeared to be a passionate embrace. He buried his face in her wet hair to muffle his reply to her. "If they think I'm more valuable than you are, then maybe they'll concentrate their efforts on me."

"Absolutely not," she hissed back. "I forbid you to do anything to reveal your identity; I'll make it an order if I have to. Please, Morgan, the gaps in their knowledge might point us toward some of their sources. Let's not waste this opportunity for some intelligence-gathering of our own."

He held her a little tighter, conflicting emotions warring within him. Heaving an exaggerated sigh, his loud response was a double entendre of melodrama and seriousness. "You're right, Kathryn. You can't blame me for wanting to protect you any way I can, but you're right." Lowering his face to hers for a tender kiss, he continued under his breath. "What if they simply decide to infect you with nanites to get the information they want?"

"They can't," Janeway whispered, occasionally nuzzling and kissing along his cheek for the benefit of any audience. "It's a one-way deal. As you've pointed out on more than one occasion, they're not Borg. The Borg assimilate the individual and all of their knowledge into the Collective mind; these people only assimilate the body. If they infect either of us with nanites, they won't be able to access our thoughts or memories. They suspect we have a way to detect and remove their nanites, which means that sending me to obtain information for them wouldn't work because the nanites would be neutralized before they got what they wanted. No, they'll do this the old-fashioned way; they'll have to."

The door to the quarters slid open, startling them. Clothes were thrown into the room and the door slid shut just as abruptly.

.................................................. ...................................

The conference table at Starfleet Headquarters was strewn with PADDs that detailed crew manifests, supply logs and assorted other updates. Captain Jean-Luc Picard was meeting with the two other captains in the final stages of preparation for their historic expedition back toward the Delta Quadrant. The three ship group would be a traveling interstellar colony focused on deep space exploration and first contacts. As the head of the expedition and Captain of the largest vessel, the U.S.S. Enterprise-F, there were a million details to attend to. To make matters worse, he was without his usual senior staff since his Chief Medical Officer, Beverly Crusher, and First Officer, Will Riker, had both accepted captaincies of their own. Fortunately those postings were onboard the other two ships in the expedition. Captain Beverly Crusher would be in command of the U.S.S. Pasteur, a medical and science ship and Captain William Riker would be in command of the U.S.S. Titan, a military escort ship. The three captains were in the middle of reviewing the last of the requests from individuals and families wanting to join the deep space mission when they were interrupted.

Commander Chakotay entered the room, giving his wife, Beverly, a tight smile before addressing his commanding officer. "Captain Picard, I apologize for the interruption but I'd like to request some personal time."

"Why?" Riker asked out of habit. It was still strange to not think of himself as Picard's right hand and a request like that would have traditionally come to him first.

Beverly had known from the moment that he entered the room that something wasn't right. "Chakotay?"

"I received a communique from Harry," he started to explain.

"Lieutenant Commander Kim?" Picard asked, too many names swirling in his head from the expedition preparations. "Security Chief on the Bozeman, right?"

Chakotay nodded. "Yes, sir. According to Harry, Captain Bateson and Captain Janeway took a two week shore leave together and now they're both more than two days late reporting back with no word."

Picard's brow furrowed. Morgan Bateson had been a friend for many years, since the day their ships had crossed paths quite literally and ending a ninety year time loop that the Bozeman had been trapped in. "That's not like Morgan."

"That's not Captain Janeway's style either," Chakotay added. "The task force has been put on alert. Tuvok is coordinating the task force efforts for the time being so that the Voluspa and Bozeman can investigate the disappearances. I'd like to join up with the Bozeman to help with the search."

Picard nodded. "As much as I'd like to join you, the Enterprise F isn't ready to leave drydock quite yet and, as you can see, we have our hands full with the expedition preparations. Request granted and keep me informed."

Beverly slipped out of her chair and followed Chakotay out into the corridor. Checking to see that no one was around, she traced the outline of his tattoo. "I understand why you need to help with the search and I want to wish you luck. I'll miss you, Chakotay, just please be careful."

Chakotay captured her lips in a long, passionate kiss, one hand sliding down to caress her hip where her uniform was hiding her tattoo. "I love you, Fireball; don't leave without me."

"That's Captain Fireball to you, mister," she tartly informed him, eliciting a grin and a glimpse of those gorgeous dimples. "The Pasteur's Delta Flyer-class shuttle complement has already been delivered. I'll contact the ship and have them get the Elizabeth Blackwell ready for you. Just bring it back in one piece or I'll take it out of your hide."

"Promise?" he waggled his eyebrow at her suggestively.

.................................................. ...................................

End Part 1
Recipient of the 2006 Alara Rogers ASC Award for Best Author Overall.
"I personally like to think Picard and Vash had a very active sex life. I can't believe Picard just read Shakespeare up there in his room all those years." Patrick Stewart.
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Old May 21 2010, 11:54 PM   #2
Whoa Nellie
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Re: VOY: Desperate Measures

Part 2

Janeway dozed fitfully nestled in Bateson's arms stretched out on the bed. Several days had passed by her estimation, although it was difficult to keep track of time. Food being slid in on occasion was the only contact they'd had with their captors. Both Morgan and she had initially taken turns standing guard and searching the room. Every access panel in the quarters had been welded over with plating, a crude yet effective measure to keep them from getting access to the controls. Under the circumstances, it felt awkward to engage in displays of affection, but the embraces and sharing the single bed in the room gave them ample opportunity to talk without the risk of being overheard. The sound of the door sliding open startled her awake and she could feel Morgan tense beside her.

"We know you're both awake," Alan's tone was condescending. He grabbed Janeway's arm and bodily dragged her off the bed while two other men held Bateson in place.

Taking the opportunity to study their captors, Janeway noted a fourth man standing in the doorway. He wasn't holding a weapon so it didn't seem like he was there to prevent escape; not that escape was much of an option at that point. She winced as she was slammed against the wall across the room from Morgan. "I was beginning to think that you'd forgotten about me," she said calmly.

"Not likely," Alan snorted. "We needed something special for your interrogation--just in case you weren't inclined to be forthcoming with answers."

"Count on it," she replied tersely.

Alan gestured toward the man in the doorway. "Our Betazed there will pull the answers from you whether you cooperate or not. It'll go a lot easier on the both of you if you just play nice."

The instant that she heard the word Betazed, Janeway began thinking of her experiences in the Delta Quadrant. She was trying to fill her thoughts with as much emotionally and psychologically intense but ultimately irrelevant material as possible.

"Let's start with something easy, shall we? Who is your friend over there?"

Janeway brought up memories of Fairhaven.

The telepath shook his head and stepped closer. "She's thinking the name Michael, but the image doesn't match that guy over there."

A pressure began building, it felt like something trying to burrow its way into her mind. The slap caught her by surprise and her head recoiled against the wall. She heard Morgan gasp her name and struggle against the men holding him. The pain helped her focus on blocking the telepath. She met Alan's gaze defiantly, almost daring him to hit her again.

"No, Captain Janeway," Alan said. "I didn't expect it to really be that easy. That was just to get your attention." He gestured to the men with Bateson who began punching him.

"Morgan," the telepath announced.

In spite of her efforts to hold the telepath off, watching Morgan being beaten was distracting. Unbidden, an image of Morgan with her at Commander Chakotay's wedding came to mind.

"Starfleet Captain Morgan . . . Bateson," the telepath finally forced the information out of her.

Janeway slumped against the wall, defeated. The mental battle with a telepath was draining enough but the emotional battle of watching Morgan being beaten and wanting to make it stop was worse. They had discussed various scenarios and agreed that compromising the task force's operations was unacceptable under any circumstances, regardless of the personal cost. One thing they hadn't counted on was having to contend with a telepath.

"Two Starfleet captains are going to be missed, Al," one of the men panted as he nursed his knuckles. He kicked at Bateson who was lying on the floor.

Alan's hand found Janeway's throat, squeezing. "Who will be looking for you? What do you have to do with our work?"

She couldn't breathe, she could feel the telepath forcing his way through her mind and she struggled to focus on Captain Ransom and the U.S.S. Equinox. Her vision began to swim, spots clouding her sight. Just then she saw one of the men kick Morgan in the head.

"Task force," the telepath answered. "Her ship is the Voluspa and his is the Bozeman. Both ships are part of a special task force to deal with us."

Coughing, she tried to calm her breathing. Alan had removed his hand as soon as the telepath had the information. Apparently they weren't going to let her pass out just yet. She noticed Morgan very subtly wagging a finger at her, letting her know that he was still with her.

"That may be," the telepath interrupted, "but he can't help you. You, however, can help him. You are in charge of this task force, you know more about its activities than he does. You're responsible for him, you're his superior officer. Stop fighting me and they stop hurting him."

"Go to hell," Morgan rasped spitting blood on the legs of the man standing closest to him.

Janeway realized that the worst was yet to come and pulled up memories that she hoped would keep her focused no matter what. The fact that she might be about to watch the man she loved be beaten to death in front of her sent a shiver down her spine. She covered the involuntary twitch by straightening herself and squaring her shoulders as if preparing for battle. They were both Starfleet captains and their duty came before anything else. It was a concept that few people could truly understand the depths of. If she betrayed her duty in order to protect Morgan--even to save his life, he'd never forgive her and he knew that speaking up to protect or save her would be unforgivable to her as well. If it came right down to it, they'd both willingly die for the uniforms they wore and what those insignia stood for. She pictured Kashyk and the sounds of Mahler's Symphony #1 began reverberating in her mind. With every question, every blow to Morgan, the music crescendo-ed. The pressure became unbearable, occasionally she felt a physical blow from Alan, those peripheral assaults all but lost amid the cacophony in her mind. Between the images of Kashyk, images of Morgan being pummeled, the telepath forcing his way deeper in her thoughts and the music that she had grown to hate during their trip through Devore space ringing in her ears, it felt like her head was about to explode. Tears flowed from her eyes, the mental struggle too overwhelming to spare any control for emotional reactions.

"They've broken our code," the telepath gasped. The strain of the battle was evident in his labored breathing and the sweat beading his forehead.

Alan swore. "What about . . . "

Janeway switched to Tchaikovsky and closed her eyes, letting Kashyk's face replace the sight of a battered Morgan. She felt herself fall to the floor but the pressure never let up. Pain shot up her arm and she dimly realized that someone--probably Alan-- was standing on her hand. Blood began dripping onto the floor beneath her head, the nosebleed physical evidence of the toll that the mental war was taking on her. The last thing she heard before she lost consciousness was the voice of the telepath.

"They know about the nanites and they have a counter-measure."

.................................................. ...................................

As soon as he docked on the Voluspa, Chakotay headed straight for the conference room where senior staff from both the Bozeman and Voluspa were meeting. Harry was there along with Commander Wickiser, the Bozeman's First Officer. Janeway's First Officer, Commander Raidar, and her Chief of Security, Lieutenant Commander Webb were seated directly across the table from the Bozeman officers. The EMH, Seven of Nine and B'Elanna Torres occupied the seats around the table between them. Chakotay noticed Tom sitting beside B'Elanna and wondered how he'd swung that considering his unofficial status. "Any news?" he asked as he took a seat.

B'Elanna answered first. "No, they never checked out of their hotel room on Pacifica and all of their luggage was still in the room. They just disappeared."

Commander Raidar added. "Sect communications have not implicated them as of yet."

"We haven't ruled it out, though," Harry interjected.

The EMH spoke up. "We ran a spectral scan on the planet from orbit, no nanite infections were identified."

"Do we have anything to go on?" Chakotay asked. "Suspects we can question, any recent threats--do we even know which one might have been the target?"

Wickiser sighed in frustration. "The obvious assumption is that one or both captains were targeted by the Eh-Cu'oral; however, there has been no recent communication specifically mentioning either of them by name or kidnapping in general."

"Tuvok should warn the rest of the task force ships about the possible threat anyway," Chakotay advised.

"Already done," Webb assured him.

Harry passed a PADD down the table to Chakotay. "At this point we're re-analyzing patterns of communication to see if there's anything useful to give us a starting point for a search."

Seven brought up a display. "I have been attempting to identify a primary cell, a Unimatrix One in a matter of speaking, based on a meta-analysis of transmissions. Of specific interest is the habitat that the Bozeman discovered previously. The probe monitoring the habitat has detected infrequent data stream transmissions to and from the habitat. The probe lacks the range to track the signal out of the system, but my analysis has provided some directional--"

"Go back," Chakotay interrupted.

"Commander?" Seven asked, complying with the request.

Chakotay got up, walking over to the display. "This distortion in the signal--"

"I have been unable to determine any significance in that anomaly," Seven informed him.

"That distortion is what happens when you send a signal from inside the Badlands," Chakotay explained. "It's an effect from the plasma storms in that region. Tracking the signal into the Badlands would be virtually impossible, but this signal definitely originated in the Badlands."

Wickiser had a question. "Could the signal simply have passed through that region coming from further away?"

Tom shook his head. "The Badlands would be a perfect hiding place; it's been used for that purpose forever. I agree with Chakotay, they're probably using the Badlands as a base of operations."

"If that's the case," Raidar began, "do you have any idea where they might be in that region?" His question was directed primarily at the former Maquis individuals at the table.

Chakotay shrugged. "A couple of possibilities; it's been well over a decade since I've been in that area. There are some former Voyager people back on Bajor who we can trust. I'll put a call in to Gerron, tell him that Janeway's been kidnapped and that we need someone familiar with that region to help us find her."

Commander Wickiser stood up and gestured to Harry. "We'll beam back over to the Bozeman and set course for Bajor."

"I'll have Gerron meet us at Deep Space Nine," Chakotay said.

.................................................. .................................

The first thing Janeway became aware of was throbbing pain in her head. When she tried to reach up, she realized that she was tied to a chair and that everyone, including Morgan, was gone. She was alone. Any escape was going to have to be improvised in the moment since the telepath would pick up on any planning that they attempted. She deliberately focused on her pain in order to avoid thinking about task force operations and to distract herself from what they could be doing to Morgan at that moment. While she was debating whether this headache was more or less painful than the three day headache she'd suffered after she acted as a pyllora in a mindmeld with Tuvok to help him resolve what turned out to be an alien virus in his mind, the door slid open. Alan and the telepath entered the room with Morgan walking behind them. When she tried to meet his gaze, she was met with a blank expression. His gait was controlled but wooden, completely unlike his usual stride.

"I believe you're already familiar with our nanites," Alan said.

She tensed every muscle in her body, sending pain shooting through herself from head to toe. From the way the telepath winced, she knew her strategy to avoid thinking about their knowledge of the nanites was effective. "I'm familiar with your supposed philosophy as well," she noted sardonically. "I can certainly understand how turning the majority of the population into empty automatons would be beneficial for you. I just don't see a benefit to anybody else in this."

"What do you want to do about your Captain Bateson," Alan asked intently.

Focusing on the throbbing pain in her head made her feel nauseous, but it kept the telepath at bay. She pressed her point, hoping that if she stalled long enough a solution might present itself. " How exactly is this mindless existence better for humanity?"

"They won't be mindless forever," Alan answered. "One of our members discovered some old journals of Dr. Richard Daystrom regarding his M series, multitronic computers. With advances in positronic technology and artificial intelligence, an M-6 computer could provide everyone with equal and productive lives without favoring any one person or race over another--a completely dispassionate, centralized mind. Better than the Borg even since there won't be any queen--or king--controlling anything."

Taken aback by the absolute absurdity of their plan, she couldn't even formulate a response. She watched Alan pull out a PADD and key in some commands, her incredulity being replaced with a sense of apprehension. Morgan moved toward her and she searched his face for any indication that he was aware of what was happening. His face remained expressionless even as his hand struck her face.

"What do you want to do about your Captain Bateson," Alan repeated.

She said nothing. Once again she used the pain as a focus to keep her thoughts away from the information they were seeking. Morgan began punching and slapping her methodically, hard but without intensity. He also wasn't demonstrating any restraint, she thought as one particular blow split her lip and sent blood trailing down her chin. Her right eye was already starting to swell up, the blood streaming down her face giving everything a red tint. Between every blow Alan repeated his question, trying to force her to think about--

"Nanoprobes," the telepath blurted out.

.................................................. ...................................

"The Delta Quadrant, Chakotay?" Tom asked, incredulous. "Why would you want to go back there?"

They had some time before arriving at DS9, so Harry had transported over and Tom, B'Elanna, Chakotay and he were having dinner. "Beverly," was Chakotay's answer.

"I'm done. May I go play, please, Daddy?" Miral asked, already hopping down from her chair.

"Apparently," Tom said, laughing.

Chakotay just shook his head. "It's hard to believe how big she's gotten. It doesn't feel like its been all that long since our return."

B'Elanna started clearing the dishes from the table. "And you're ready to do it all over again."

"We'll be going toward the Delta Quadrant taking time to explore along the way," he explained. "The expedition has been in the works more or less since Voyager's return. When they offered Beverly command of the medical ship in the convoy, she really wanted to take it; especially with Captain Picard and Captain Riker also part of the expedition. With three large ships and full crew complements, it's more of a traveling colony--kind of like the Varro."

Harry took a drink, idly wondering if the memory of Tal would ever not hurt. As concerned as he was about his current and his former captains, a quiet evening with old friends was a welcome respite from his responsibilities. Until they found Captain Bateson, Commander Wickiser was acting captain which placed him back in the position of temporary first officer. This was the first non-working meal he'd enjoyed since Captains Bateson and Janeway had failed to report back after their leave.

Chakotay handed B'Elanna his plate. "We'll be launching from Romulus and doing some exploration deeper into Romulan territory than any Federation ship has ever been at the outset of the trip courtesy of recent changes in Romulan government. We'll even have some Romulans on the expedition."

"Having a Cardassian with us was one thing," B'Elanna pointed out. "Romulans?"

"Civilian scientists," Chakotay specified. "Archaeologists assigned to . . well, me. Since the expedition will be focused on exploration and first contacts, there's an entire department devoted to Anthropological Sciences, which will include first contact teams, archaeology, anthropology and history. I'll be heading up that aspect of the expedition. If you're interested, I could--"

"Absolutely not," B'Elanna asserted. "We love you, Chakotay, and we'll miss you but have a nice trip."

Harry gave it a little more thought. It certainly sounded exciting. "I'm just starting to really work my way up the command track. Here in the Alpha Quadrant there would be plenty of opportunities to move up, but your expedition would put me back in a situation with more limited upward mobility. I understand they'll be using hyper-drive technology to send smaller ships on irregular supply runs to and from the expedition so maybe in another five or ten years, I'll catch up with you. Right now, I think I'm better off here."

"Makes sense," Chakotay replied. "I didn't really expect any of the Voyager people to apply for the expedition all things considered. I probably wouldn't be going if not for Beverly. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't want to go; this will be a well-planned, fully manned, fully supplied expedition as opposed to our catch-as-catch-can experience. Being with Beverly and her friends feels as much like a home as I've had in a long time and if that home is a ship on a mission of deep space exploration, so be it."

"Well our home is not going to be a ship for much longer," Tom said. "My dad arranged for B'Elanna to have a research lab back on Earth at Starfleet Headquarters."

Harry looked over at B'Elanna. "Does Captain Janeway know you're leaving the task force?"

"I'm not," she corrected him. "Since the sect seems to have given up the idea of calling the Borg in favor of creating their own little Collective, I can continue my research on defensive measures against the Borg back on Earth. With Miral old enough to start school and another one on the way, living and working planet-side will just be easier all way around and yes, Captain Janeway does know about this."

Chakotay did a double-take. "Another one on the way?"

Tom grinned. "We're pregnant again."

"We, flyboy?"

"I had a thing or two to do with it," he defended himself. "I'm just glad we got the chance to tell you before you left."

Chakotay offered the obviously happy couple a toast. "I expect pictures in those data stream transmissions."

"Congratulations," Harry echoed Chakotay's well-wishes. "I'm happy for you both. Now, unfortunately, I need to get back over to the Bozeman. We'll be at Deep Space Nine in a few hours and I should probably try to get a little bit of sleep before then."

End Part 2
Recipient of the 2006 Alara Rogers ASC Award for Best Author Overall.
"I personally like to think Picard and Vash had a very active sex life. I can't believe Picard just read Shakespeare up there in his room all those years." Patrick Stewart.
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Old May 21 2010, 11:56 PM   #3
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Re: VOY: Desperate Measures

Part 3

It wasn't Morgan, Janeway kept reminding herself. He wasn't in control of himself, he'd stop if he could. That thought didn't give her much comfort and the constant barrage of blows and questions were frustrating. Changing tactics, she started imagining the removal of nanites from the body. She concocted a procedure by which they marked the nanites with a radioactive isotope and beamed them out of the body using a modified fetal transport procedure.

"Radioactive isotopes," the telepath started trying to describe what he was seeing. He shook his head and exhaled sharply. "She's making it up. I don't know what's true and what's not."

Alan punched in some commands on his PADD. "We'll see about that."

She barely had time to catch her breath when Morgan stopped hitting her and stepped away. Recognizing the device that Alan handed Morgan as a laser scalpel, the first true twinge of fear struck her. That fear turned to utter horror as Morgan began slicing his own skin. "Oh my God," the words slipped out of her mouth before she could stop them.

"HOW WOULD YOU HELP CAPTAIN BATESON IF YOU COULD?" Alan yelled, his face mere centimeters from hers.

Knowing it was useless didn't stop her from struggling against her bonds. She watched Morgan draw the scalpel down his torso, the front of his clothing immediately darkening with blood. Desperately, she pictured a stroboscope, hoping to make the telepath believe that she was having a seizure. They had stopped the last time she passed out and if they thought it was going to happen again they might stop what they were forcing Morgan to do. Against all odds, it worked.

"Something's wrong with her," the telepath said, rubbing his eyes.

She threw herself into the deception, twitching and jerking against the restraints. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Alan lay the PADD down. He tried to hold her head still and look into her eyes but she intensified her spasmodic movements. She focused with all her strength on the image of a strobe light, shaking every muscle in her body to avoid giving anything away. Her twitching increased after the bonds holding her were untied, giving her a second of cover in which to drive the heel of her palm sideways across Alan's nose. She didn't wait to hear the crunch of the cartilage before driving her other fist into his throat. Immediately, she darted toward the telepath who was rushing for the door, presumably to call for reinforcements. She dove toward him, taking his legs out and simply slamming his head against the floor until he lost consciousness. Grabbing the laser scalpel out of Morgan's hand, she noticed that Alan had recovered enough to grab the PADD. Before he could use it, she was advancing on him. She slashed at him with the scalpel, hitting the PADD instead of him. Sparks flew from the now useless device. Pressing forward, her determined offensive sent Alan backpedaling, flailing at her with the damaged PADD. She dodged several swipes until finally getting an opening and ending the fight.

"Tuvok would tell me that the logical thing to do right now is leave you behind," Janeway eyed Morgan, trying to catch her breath. With the PADD destroyed, he was standing motionless, waiting for instructions. She ignored the thump as Alan's body slid to the floor behind her with the laser scalpel protruding from his eye. "I'm not feeling particularly logical right now."

.................................................. ................

It took some doing as well as a call to Tuvok for reinforcement, but Chakotay managed to convince Commanders Raidar and Wickiser to let him meet with Gerron and the contact. The only concession he made was to take Harry along. He left his uniform off, opting for both Harry and himself to be in civilian attire and took B'Elanna with them when they docked at Deep Space Nine. All three would be familiar faces to Gerron, trusted and unlikely to draw attention from anyone sympathetic to the sect who might be on the station. To any casual observer, it would just be a mini- Voyager reunion. Gerron was waiting for them just beyond the docking ring.

"Not here," Gerron said tensely. "Follow me."

Chakotay casually scanned the crowd as they made their way to the Promenade, trying to see if anyone was paying them undue attention. He wasn't really paying attention to where they were going, he trusted Gerron and with B'Elanna and Harry along, it was easy to fall into the old sense of teamwork they'd established on Voyager.

"I haven't been back to Deep Space Nine since Voyager docked here before heading into the Badlands after you guys," Harry murmured to B'Elanna. When they entered Quark's, he made a wry face. "I could have gone the rest of my life without setting foot back in this place."

Chakotay couldn't help but smile at the familiar face waiting for them at a table in the back of the bar. "Nerys," he greeted her.

"Chakotay, long time no see," Colonel Kira Nerys stood up to greet the group. "Torres, you're looking almost mellow."

B'Elanna started to growl but broke up laughing. "It's good to see you, too."

"You all know each other?" Harry asked.

They all took seats around the table and Kira gestured for Quark to bring some drinks over.

"Lieutenant Commander Harry Kim, meet Major Kira Nerys, former member of the Bajoran resistance," Chakotay made the introductions.

"It's Colonel now," she corrected him. "I run this station so if you're here to start trouble, you'll have to go through me."

Gerron spoke up. "You said you needed someone trustworthy who was familiar with this area. Colonel Kira knows everything that goes on around here."

"Good thinking, Gerron," Chakotay assured him.

Kira got down to business. "Gerron tells me that your former Captain from Voyager is missing. What makes you think she's being held around here?"

The half-truths that he'd worked on to fill in the gaps for whoever Gerron brought to this meeting were suddenly unnecessary. Chakotay knew Kira and had no doubt that she'd never sympathize with the Eh-Cu'oral. Tuvok had given his blessing for Chakotay to use his discretion in how much to tell Gerron and the contact so he wasted no time filling them in. "Long story short, Starfleet has been tracking a sect of Borg sympathizers for a while now. Captain Janeway was heading up the task force responsible for dealing with them and we intercepted a transmission from the sect that showed the Badlands distortion effect. If this sect is using the Badlands as a base for their activities and they did grab Captain Janeway, then it's likely that they're holding her there. I know a few places that were used by the Maquis, but it's been a long time and I thought someone with more recent familiarity with the region might have some better ideas on where to start looking. Maybe some increased traffic in a certain area?"

"Borg sympathizers?" Kira echoed. "Those crazies Jake wrote about? The ones who kidnapped that Borg drone from Voyager to try and call the Borg? Why didn't Starfleet advise us about their investigation? Don't tell me they did because I assure you if the Chamber of Ministers had been notified, I'd know about it."

"The task force is classified," Chakotay told her. "This group has spies everywhere, most of their founding members are academics at the highest levels of their specialties. Since their failed attempt to contact the Borg, they've resorted to waging their own little assimilation efforts. After information relating to the sect was restricted to eyes only, the task force had more success against them but the sect is still getting information from sources somewhere. The only reason I'm telling you all of this is because I know you and I trust you."

Kira leaned forward. "I'll help you look for Janeway, but when this is over, I expect to get in on your little task force, Chakotay. I'll hand pick people who can be trusted to work with me here, but I want answers and all of the information you have on these people. That's the deal, take it or leave."

That wasn't what he'd planned, but Chakotay was sure he could talk Janeway into it--assuming they found her. "I'll take it."

.................................................. ................

Checking to see that the telepath was still unconscious, Janeway peeked out into the corridor. The first stroke of good luck came when she realized that there were no guards in the hall. She grabbed Morgan's arm and dragged him along, not sure where she was going but determined not to waste what might be their only opportunity to escape. The first door she opened was private quarters. She grabbed a phaser sitting on a side table, checking the charge and the setting on it before she shoved it in the waistband of her pants. There was a computer console which she used to pull up the ship schematics. Memorizing the route she'd need to take to get to the shuttle bay, she shut the console down and headed for the door pausing only to renew her grasp on Morgan's arm. The sect's version of a Collective had the same weakness as the Borg in that they ignored anything not perceived as a threat. In a sense, the sect was weaker than the Borg since the individuals had to be told that there was a threat as well as what to do about it. Until the rest of the people on the ship discovered the situation, Morgan was just a shell. As for the nanites in his system, she'd cross that bridge if and when she came to it.

Trying to sneak through the ship while dragging Morgan along was excruciatingly slow. Every sound sent adrenaline surging through her body, a potential threat to their escape. In the back of her mind was the reality that she'd just killed a man, the fact that it was an unfortunate necessity of circumstance didn't make it any more palatable. She wouldn't waste time feeling guilty, her actions were justified however unpleasant the result might have been. Hopefully, that was the only person who would die today. She reached the shuttle bay without encountering anyone else and led Morgan to the shuttle nearest the bay doors. Just as she was pushing Morgan into a seat, he reached for her throat. Stumbling backward, she fell to the floor. It took just a second to double-check the setting on the phaser. "I'm sorry, Morgan," she whispered, firing at him.

Obviously their escape had been discovered, which meant that she probably wouldn't be able to access the controls for the shuttle bay doors fast enough to get them open and get a shuttle off the ship. Frantically searching the shuttle, she found another phaser and a disruptor pistol. She left the phaser where she found it, stepping over Morgan's body on her way out into the shuttle bay. It took less than a minute to set the disruptor to overload and brace it against the shuttle bay doors. Back in the shuttle, she waited, intentionally leaving the shuttle powered down to avoid detection. Behind her Morgan began to stir and she wasted barely a second stunning him with the phaser once again. As she'd hoped, the disruptor exploding against the seal of the shuttle bay doors caused a breach. Not entirely sure that the shuttle would hold together but lacking options, she used the navigational thrusters to ram the shuttle into the breach and force her way out.

Her second major stroke of luck came in the form of massive chunks of rock. An asteroid field showed up on sensors just as alarms sounded to warn her of the tractor beam attempting to lock onto the shuttle. It had been far too long since she had actually had to execute evasive maneuvers instead of just ordering evasive maneuvers. Swearing that she would start doing regular flight simulations on the holodeck if she made it out of this situation, she managed to avoid their efforts to stop her long enough to reach the asteroid field. She flew directly into it at full speed, the ship pursuing her too big to safely enter after her. Navigating around the asteroids took all of her attention, so she didn't realize that they'd managed to rouse Morgan again until he grabbed her by her hair and pulled her out of the pilot's chair. She kicked his legs out from under him and crawled to where she'd left the second phaser, stunning him before he was able to access the shuttle's systems. Reaching over him, she guided the shuttle to a relatively safe location and then dragged him off to the side out of her way.

Now that she had a moment to think, she assessed her situation. The shuttle's replicator didn't have any medical listings, which meant that she couldn't just sedate him. Her only option for the time being was to keep stunning him with the phaser. The task force ships would undoubtedly be searching for them, the trick was to get them a message that wouldn't give away their exact location. It was only a matter of time before the sect gave up trying to use Morgan and sent smaller vessels into the asteroid field after them. Replicating some components and scrounging other parts from the shuttle, she rigged up a crude probe with a transmitter to emit a coded message that she configured specifically to draw the attention of any task force ship in the system. She shot Morgan with the phaser again, not wanting to think about how many times she'd already stunned him. In order to get the probe successfully through the asteroids, she had to maneuver the shuttle dangerously close to the edge of the asteroid field. As soon as the probe was away, she retreated deeper into the field, replicated herself a cup of coffee and settled down to wait.

.................................................. ...................................

Taking the Voluspa and the Bozeman into the Badlands, it was decided that each ship should be piloted by someone with experience in the region. That was how Tom Paris found himself at the helm of the Voluspa. Given the more limited experience Tom had with the Badlands, Colonel Kira was onboard the Voluspa to navigate. The Bozeman was following the Voluspa into the Badlands with Chakotay piloting. The two ships were maintaining an open comm link to facilitate communication.

Kira looked up from the computer station she was working at on the Voluspa's bridge. "I'm sending you the coordinates for the first location," she said.

"Acknowledged," Tom said.

Over the open comm link, Chakotay acknowledged receipt of the coordinates as well. "Course laid in. I'm right behind you, Tom."

Commander Raidar took the captain's chair on the Voluspa. "Full impulse, Mr. Paris."

Seven's voice came over the system. "Astrometrics to the Bridge. I have picked up communication in the region; however, plasma storms are interfering with my readings. I am unable to determine a source for the signals. I am sending you the data on the signal location."

"Acknowledged," Commander Raidar replied.

Onboard the Bozeman, Harry studied the signal that Seven had located. It was far off the heading that they were on, at the edge of the Bozeman's sensors but well within the range of the Voluspa's more advanced sensor array. Just before they entered the Badlands, he noticed something on his screen. "All stop, Commander Chakotay."

"Harry?" Chakotay asked, keying in the helm command.

In response Harry called over to the Voluspa. "Seven, I'm picking up a very faint signal coming from Nivoch? Can you identify it."

"I see it, Harry," she responded. "It appears to be coming from a small probe on the far side of the planet between the planet and the border of the Badlands."

"Mr. Kim?" Commader Wickiser, in the captain's chair of the Bozeman waited for an update from his security chief and acting First Officer.

"I think it's a coded signal, sir; just give me a minute to boost the reception." Harry's fingers flew across the console. "It's from Captain Janeway," he announced less than a minute later. "It's an automated message with instructions. Chakotay, can you move us closer to the probe?"

"Adjusting course," Chakotay announced.

"The instructions are to use the probe as a communications relay," Harry said. "She's on a shuttle hiding in the asteroid field."

Seven's voice echoed Harry's findings. "Confirmed. Sensors have also detected a ship just inside the Badlands. They appear to have detected us and are leaving the area."

On the Voluspa, Raidar sat up straighter. "If you have this, Bozeman, we'll go have a discussion with that other ship." He nodded to Tom at the helm.

"Intercept course laid in," Tom said. "Full speed ahead."

Several minutes later, Harry and Chakotay were both relieved to hear Captain Janeway's voice.

She sounded strained even over the weak communication signal. "I could use some help in here. I've been playing cat and mouse with a couple of small vessels for at least an hour now."

"Is Captain Bateson with you?" Wickiser asked.

"Yes," Janeway replied. "He's unconscious."

"Weapons fire detected in the asteroid field," Harry called out. "They're using the comm signal to track her position."

Chakotay spun out of the pilot's seat and met Wickiser's gaze. No words needed to be said.

"Lieutenant Johns and Commander Chakotay," Wickiser began. "Take shuttles out to provide cover and escort for Captain Janeway. Helm, get us as close to the edge of that field as you can and Harry, have Janeway maintain comm silence until we can deal with those vessels."

End Part 3
Recipient of the 2006 Alara Rogers ASC Award for Best Author Overall.
"I personally like to think Picard and Vash had a very active sex life. I can't believe Picard just read Shakespeare up there in his room all those years." Patrick Stewart.
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Old May 21 2010, 11:58 PM   #4
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Re: VOY: Desperate Measures

Part 4
Executing a spin maneuver and pulling out just before the shuttle grazed a small piece of asteroid that had been shattered by the most recent phaser blast, Janeway allowed herself a sign of relief. "Help is here, Morgan. We're almost home."

She kept the shuttle moving, dodging and weaving between the asteroids. An alert on the console told her that once again, her pursuers had a weapons lock. Before she could initiate evasive maneuvers, an explosion rocked her shuttle and a second later the comm system indicated an incoming transmission.

'Chakotay to Captain Janeway, are you all right?'

"Good timing, Commander and great shooting," Janeway replied. "The shuttle has taken some damage but we're still in one piece."

'Lieutenant Johns is pursuing the other vessel,' Chakotay informed her. 'I'll stay with you until you're safely docked with the Bozeman.'

Emerging from the asteroid field, Janeway headed straight for the shuttle bay. "Permission to come aboard, Bozeman?" The question was unnecessary and everyone knew it, but it was a tradition that dated back to Earth sea-faring days and she made the request almost without thinking about it.

'Permission granted,' came the expected response. 'Shuttle bay is clear and ready for you.'

She was so concerned with docking the shuttle that she didn't hear Morgan begin to stir behind her. It was only after she powered down the engine that she heard a grunt and something scraping across the floor. Her reaction was pure instinct, her hand flying to the phaser laying in her lap. She spun around and fired at Morgan, her thumb already depressing the firing mechanism when she heard him say.


.................................................. ..................

Once Commander Wickiser had granted the shuttle permission to dock, Harry paused just long enough to signal for a security officer to man his post on the bridge before sprinting to the turbolift. "Have a medical team meet me in the shuttle bay."

Along with the extra responsibilities, there were also major perks to rank. As an ensign in Operations, Harry would have had to wait for a report from the shuttle bay; as a Lieutenant Commander and the Chief of Security, he could be in the shuttle bay to see the safe return of his former and current captains. The turbolift seemed to be moving slower than usual. Of course Tuvok and Seven would both suggest that it was merely a perception based on the fact that he was in a hurry. Finally the doors opened and he raced down the corridor to the shuttle bay where Janeway had just docked. The medical team wasn't there yet. He activated the shuttle door, stepping back to impatiently allow the ramp to lower with the expected hiss of the seal breaking and the hum of the door mechanism.

The first thing he heard upon entering the shuttle was the voice of Captain Bateson calling out to Captain Janeway. The first thing he saw in the shuttle was Captain Janeway fire a phaser at Captain Bateson and his captain fall to the floor. His hand went to the phaser at his belt that had become almost a part of his uniform since joining security. "Drop it," he ordered.

Janeway spun to face the shuttle door. "Mr. Kim, Morgan--"

"I said drop the phaser, Captain Janeway," Harry reiterated. "We'll sort this out but you need to put the weapon down."

Janeway tried once again to explain, gesturing with her hands. "Harry--"

As much respect and admiration as he had for her, she had been in the hands of the Eh-Cu'oral and he'd just heard Captain Bateson trying to plead with her right before he saw her shoot Captain Bateson. "Don't make me shoot you, Captain Janeway. We'll sort this out later, but right now I need to secure that weapon. Put it down and step back. I won't ask you again."

Her lips pursed tightly in annoyance, she laid the phaser on the floor and returned to the pilot's chair without saying a word.

Harry sidled over to where Bateson lay and knelt down to check for a pulse. His phaser remained pointed at Janeway and his expression left no doubt that he would use it if he had to. "Kim to med team, Captain Bateson needs medical attention. I need a security team to the shuttle bay."

"He was injected with nanites," Janeway said tersely. "I thought . . . "

Harry was watching his career go up in flames. He was threatening to phaser a decorated Starfleet captain. The fact that it was the same protocol that would be followed if it were anyone else under the same circumstances was small comfort at the moment. It was a judgment call and his report would explain his actions, but she looked furious at the moment. He carefully retrieved the phaser she'd laid on the floor and slipped it into his waistband. "With respect, Captain, you both need medical attention and you'll both be scanned for nanites. A security team will escort you to Sickbay after Captain Bateson has been seen to. I expect you to cooperate with my people until this matter has been resolved, Captain Janeway."

.................................................. ..................................

"He threatened to shoot you?" Bateson started to laugh and winced at the twinge of discomfort that shot through him. "That took guts. The boy definitely has the makings of a good command officer."

Janeway chuckled ruefully. "Harry has certainly grown up a lot since those first days on Voyager. Not that I appreciated it much when he was pointing a phaser at me, mind you."

The two were lying in the Bozeman's Sickbay. Only after Bateson had regained consciousness and confirmed their kidnapping and the circumstances of his infection with nanites did Harry allow Janeway to move to a biobed near Bateson's. Harry had left to complete his report and Janeway was filling Morgan in on what had happened after the nanites had been activated. Most of the events anyway; she hadn't mentioned that Bateson himself had been forced to inflict a lot of the injuries that she'd suffered. She wasn't sure if anyone--especially Morgan--needed to know that.

"I just wish there was more I could have done to help you," he sighed. "The last thing I remember is being kicked rather viciously in the head and then I woke up on the floor of a shuttle."

"When I promptly shot you," she said, remorse obvious in her tone. "I didn't realize--"

Bateson struggled to sit up. "Under the circumstances, you couldn't have known, Kathryn. You erred on the side of caution just as my security chief did when he took you into custody for shooting me."

"You're going to enjoy that for a while, aren't you?"

"Most likely," he grinned. "All's well that ends well."

Now it was Janeway's turn to sigh. "But it's not over, they got a lot of operational information from me."

"Using a telepath," he countered. "There wasn't much you could have done. And yes, I do know that I'm wasting my breath. You're going to mope and brood and blame yourself indefinitely over this no matter what I say."

Uncomfortable, more psychologically than physically, Janeway sat up and slid her legs off the side of the bed. "Everything you went through was for nothing; they got what they wanted anyway."

Gingerly Bateson situated himself so that he was sitting on the edge of the biobed facing Janeway. "I'm not the only one with injuries here. You suffered, too."

"And neither of you have permission to be sitting up yet much less partially out of bed," the Bozeman's Chief Medical Officer came out of his office. He walked over to review the readouts from the bed monitors.

Startled, both captains somewhat sheepishly laid back down just as Chakotay entered Sickbay.

"Are they giving you any trouble?" Chakotay asked the doctor.

"Not yet," the CMO grinned at his captain.

"Can they talk?" Chakotay asked.

Janeway sat back up, ignoring the disapproving look she got from the doctor. "I have, in fact, had the ability to talk for a very long time, Commander. What is it?"

After a reluctant nod from the Bozeman's doctor, Chakotay brought both captains up to date on the situation. "The vessel that Lieutenant Johns chased didn't make it out of the asteroid field; it collided with an asteroid near the edge of the field and exploded on impact. The ship that the Voluspa went after in the Badlands managed to send a transmission just before they were hit by a plasma storm. They lost anti-matter containment and suffered a warp core breach, no survivors. The Voluspa has retrieved the computer core for analysis and a Bajoran salvage ship is retrieving the debris."

"Bajoran?" Janeway asked.

"The commander of DS9 is a Colonel Kira Nerys--she was second in command under Commander Benjamin Sisko the last time you were through here," Chakotay prefaced his explanation. "We approached her for help in finding you when we thought you were being held in the Badlands. She's former Bajoran resistance; I knew her a long time ago. I trust her and given that we now know that the sect is using the Badlands to hide, I think she could be an asset in this sector."

Janeway considered it. Chakotay's endorsement meant a lot and someone with Kira's background would know the Badlands and Bajoran space better than anyone she had on her task force currently. "Unless they decide to relocate," she said. "Even so, their research and production of positronic matrices and nanites wouldn't be easy to move quickly. If they leave the region, we can intercept them but only if we have a strong presence in this area. The most likely place for them to go from the Badlands would be Cardassian space and a former Bajoran resistance fighter would know the best hiding places in both sectors. Could this Colonel Kira get a couple, maybe even three ships with trustworthy crew to patrol the borders of the Badlands?"

"I'd never bet against Nerys," Chaktoay assured her.

"I'll take care of the paperwork," Janeway said, her decision made. "As soon as the Voluspa joins us, I'll --"

"Go straight to your quarters," the doctor interrupted. "I've already transmitted my scans of your injuries and the treatments I've completed thus far to your Doctor and he agrees with me. Neither of you will be allowed to return to duty for the next week. Captain Janeway will be released to the care of her Chief Medical Officer as soon as the Voluspa returns. Captain Bateson will remain under my care. I'll release you to your quarters in a few hours, once the nanites have been completely cleared from your system and with strict orders to rest. No work."

Bateson leaned over to remark to Janeway. "I think they take a special class in medical school to learn that tone."

"The only class I aced," the doctor retorted, heading back to his office to record the latest scan results.

Janeway just smiled at the easy-going banter between the two men. She hated to admit it, but she was still feeling weak and tired. "Commanders Raidar and Wickiser can thoroughly brief Colonel Kira on the Eh-Cu'oral situation. Our ships will remain in the area until she has ships ready to take over patrolling this region."

Chakotay nodded to both captains. "Well, Captain Picard sends his best, he's relieved that you're both safe. Now I need to get my wife's shuttle back before I'm not safe. Take care, both of you."

"Goodbye, Chakotay," Janeway and Bateson replied in unison.

Alone once again, Morgan's eyebrow twitched suggestively at Janeway. "So, if we're going to be confined to quarters, what say we invalids convalesce together? Your place or mine?"

"Mine," Janeway said. "I have more comfortable quarters and my doctor comes with an off switch."

Recipient of the 2006 Alara Rogers ASC Award for Best Author Overall.
"I personally like to think Picard and Vash had a very active sex life. I can't believe Picard just read Shakespeare up there in his room all those years." Patrick Stewart.
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