by AerisM2000 (AdmiralAeris)
Disclaimer: All Voyager characters are the property of Paramount. No copyright infringement is intended.
"Thanks for the input, but Ive got to do what I think is right. I know it hasnt been easy living all these years without her, Chakotay but when Im through, things might be better for all of us. Trust me."
Admiral Kathryn Janeway caressed the gravestone in front of her, much as she would a lover.
Ill bring her back, Chakotay. For us. The thought both saddened and cheered Kathryn.
She turned to leave, intending to complete her mission, but something called her back. She returned to the gravesite and pulled a padd from her coat, placing it on the stone.
"And here is my final message to you," she said, touching the gravestone one last time.
Her task finally completed, she left.
"No, theres no sign of her here either," Tom Paris said to his wife as she was standing over her old friends grave, in her own private memorial.
BElanna called Tom over to the grave, saying, "Wait a minute, theres a padd here on the gravestone. Perhaps she left some kind of message. I know this is her padd; I recognize this salamander screensaver."
"We cant just read her private files, BE," Tom complained, scooping the padd up from the gravestone and holding it some distance away from BElanna.
"This padd may be the only way we can find out what happened to Kathryn, Tom. If youre not going to read it, I am." BElanna took the padd from Tom, deactivated Kathryns volcanic salamander screensaver, and began to read the message she found.
I know that you would not be able to read this, but I feel the need to explain what I am planning.
During our too many years in the Delta Quadrant, I lost sight of myself, of who I was. It all started with that mission to Rauga 4 that went so badly wrong, twenty-three years ago. Even as I lay in your arms on that sickbay biobed, I knew that because of both the radiation damage and the physical injuries inflicted by that strange weapon there was nothing the Doctor would be able to do that would allow me to have children. The depression that resulted from that knowledge destroyed us. Neither of us was ever the same. Even now, I cannot speak of my loss without completely losing my composure.
One of us has died already to bring this plan to fruition; I must make sure my younger self listens to me so that our comrades sacrifice was not in vain. I may have to scare myself a little.
Do you remember that holo-program we found twenty-six years ago? That program with the duplicates of you and Seven in romantic situations? I remember how sick we both felt when we entered the holodeck for a quiet dinner for two and found "you" in bed with "Seven". If I mentioned that you and Seven were a couple, I could shake my younger self up easily, especially given that meeting you and Seven had regarding that coffee recipe she recalled that you gave up a lunch with me to find out about. I just hope my younger self eventually gets the hint that Im not telling the complete truth.
Too many people have died under my command. I wish I could save them all, but there was only one viable way to return home earlier: the Borg transwarp hub hidden in that nebula near the border between the Delta and Beta Quadrants. That means I can only save the twenty-one people who died after we passed that nebula, Tuvok, and the children of ours that never got a chance to even be born.
But most of all, I plan to save Kathryn. I plan to save her so that we can be the couple we should have been all along. Im going back for US.
At the end of the text message was a holo-image of Janeway and Chakotay on that planet they had been left on over thirty years ago, seemingly without a care in the galaxy.
BElanna couldnt hold her tears any longer; she knew all too well how hard the long journey had been on Kathryn Janeway. When she was finally able to speak again, she prayed:
"May they find each other again, with no manipulative Borg, false bounty hunters, or malicious holo-programmers to come between them."
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