Peter Kamphuis (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)
08 May 2000
This is a completely fictitious story, containing references to a male/male relationship, and references to sexual abuse. If that's likely to bother or offend you, please go somewhere else, NOW!
The characters and television show belong to Paramount. I'm just 'borrowing' them for a short while. I'm not making any profit from their use... more's the pity! <grin>
I'm not so sure about this story...
It begged me to be written, but I'm not sure I can continue it. The themes in the story are not ones I'm comfortable with, or particularly keen to write about. But if you think it's worth continuing it, then let me know and I'll do my best.
It's also worth mentioning that it came out slightly 'darker' than I originally envisaged it... if I continue writing it, it will probably end up 'darker' still. I thought I should mention this up front.
Awakenings - Chapter 1
As soon as the captain's head turned in his direction, Chakotay knew what he was required to do.
He gave her a curt nod in understanding before standing up to walk to the turbolift. He entered the lift and gave it the necessary directions, letting part of his mind wander to what he had seen in her eyes.
Initially there had been irritation, something he himself had felt at the continued silence coming from the communications system. Then, after several other of her queries had gone unanswered, her eyes had widened into concern and a touch of fear.
He had not felt the same emotions as she. No, he had felt something else entirely: anger.
He absently looked around the small turbolift, as he continued to ruminate. 'Why?' he asked himself silently. 'Why won't he answer the summons?' Then feeling his irritation flare into anger, he said to himself, "I'm getting sick and tired of his damn games. When will he grow up?"
He sighed as he felt his unsupported anger slipping away like sand through his fingers. He knew better than that. Over the past couple of years there had been a marked improvement in the man's attitude and morale. So much so, that Chakotay and he had almost become friends.
But the one thing that irked Chakotay more than anything -- even more than it irked the captain -- was that Tom Paris still managed to be late to everything he was assigned to. He never started on time for his shifts in Sickbay -- not that Chakotay minded that delinquency so much: he could appreciate how Tom would feel about spending hours on end with the holographic Doctor -- and certainly never on time for his Bridge duties.
This particular morning was a case in point. They had waited patiently -- well, most of them had been patient -- for over 10 minutes for his arrival. Even Ensign Drazic had waited patiently for Tom to arrive and relieve him from his post at the helm. But all for nothing...
The captain's self-imposed time limit of 10 minutes had come and gone without an appearance, and by that time even she had started to fidget. When she had finally given up and asked for a location check, and was told: "Lieutenant Paris is in his quarters", that was when she - and he - had become somewhat irritated.
But the multiple summons over the communications system had gone unanswered. Tom was either ignoring them, or was unable to answer...
Perplexed, she had finally looked across at him, silently asking him to investigate, and he had caught the look of concern in her eyes just as he'd risen from his seat to leave the Bridge.
Now, with the lift coming to a halt on the deck where Tom's quarters were located, he was no longer certain what he felt, or what he'd find.
He made his way to Tom's door and rang the chime. He waited for a half minute or so, before he rang it again. There was no response to either chime.
He keyed in his override code into the door's pad, hoping that Tom hadn't engaged a privacy lock on his quarters, and was surprised to see the door hiss open in reply.
He took a couple of steps into the room before he stumbled to a halt. He felt his skin break out into goosebumps as he took in the devastated state of the living area. It looked like a tornado had gone through the place; not a single thing rested where it should have been, and all the furniture -- including the large couch -- had been overturned or scattered several metres from where it had originally rested. He let out the breath that he hadn't known he was holding and felt a sense of fear grip him.
'What the hell happened here?' he asked himself in a daze, as he urgently walked across to the bedroom, hoping to find Tom there - safe and sound. The fear in his guts increased a level as he gazed around the empty room. With mounting urgency, he walked across to the bathroom, hoping that Tom would be there, but came up blank again. Now, he was starting to tremble with real fear and worry.
"Computer, location of Tom Paris."
"Lieutenant Paris is in his quarters."
"Where in his quarters?" he barked out to the infernal machine, in mounting fright and anger.
His question was answered a fraction of a second before the computer responded. He heard a noise coming from the lounge area, and he walked out of the bedroom to locate it, even as the computer replied, "Lieutenant Paris is in his lounge room."
He looked around frantically, but still couldn't see Tom anywhere in the room. "Tom?" he called out, the fear in his voice sounding odd to him. He hadn't felt this scared since he had been a youngster and his father had taken him out on his first hunt.
"Go away," a small, pleading voice answered, from behind the overturned couch.
"Tom?" he said again, walking across to the couch. "Tom, are you okay?" The tinge of fear was still there in his voice, slightly mocking him. Here he was, a grown man who was supposedly in charge of his feelings and emotions -- the great hunter; the stoic warrior -- and yet, he was shaking like a leaf.
"I said, 'Go away'," Tom shouted, his voice breaking out into another sob. "Go away. Go away. Go AWAY! GO AWAY!"
Chakotay could hear the hysteria in Tom's voice and felt a stab of pain go through his heart. He stumbled to a halt, less than a foot away from the couch, and still unable to see fully behind it. Something was wrong. Something was really wrong.
"Tom, I'm not going to leave you," Chakotay called out, speaking loud enough to cut through the young man's litany. He took several tentative steps and rounded the couch. He was suddenly able to see Tom's figure, lying almost naked on the carpet in a foetal position, with several large purplish bruises spotting the pale smooth body.
His heart leapt into his mouth, and he held back an exclamation of anger and surprise by sheer force of will. 'What the hell's happened to him? Who the hell did this to him?!'
He approached Tom's recumbent figure, even as the man's shouting grew in intensity. He tried to soothe Tom, hoping to get him to stop his screaming litany of 'Go away's, but was unsuccessful. He then made the mistake of reaching out to touch Tom, and almost fell back in shock as Tom started screaming out, as if in mortal pain.
He stayed crouched on his heels, unsure of what to do, trying to recover from the fear and shock coursing through his body. He reviewed his options and found that he only had one...
"Tom? TOM? I'm going to call the Doctor, okay? I'm not going to leave you. I'll be right here. Okay? Hang in there, Tom. I'm going to get you some help."
He'd had to shout the words over Tom's screaming, but he didn't know if the tortured man had heard, or understood, him.
He stood up and walked as far away from Tom as he could - in the confines of the small room - but the screaming followed him. It sent shivers down his spine, but he couldn't stop to worry about it: he had to get Tom medical attention - and fast!
He tapped his comm badge and spoke. "Chakotay to Sickbay."
"Sickbay here. What can I do for you, Commander?"
Before he had a chance to reply, the Doctor spoke again. "Commander, what's that sound I can hear? It sounds like someone is in agony! Where are you? I'll be right there."
Chakotay could hear the shock and compassion in the Doctor's voice, and felt relieved to know that the Doctor would respond to the situation immediately. "I'm in Tom Paris's quarters. I think you should get here as soon as you can. Oh, and you may want to bring a sedative."
"On my way," responded the Doctor, succinctly.
Chakotay breathed a sigh of relief that the Doctor had understood the urgency of the situation. For a hologram, he had come a long way from his initial programming. Now, for the hard part. He had to let Kathryn know, but he couldn't do it over the Comm system. Even though it sounded like Tom's voice was becoming raw from all the screaming, it was still too loud to take the risk of it being heard on the Bridge's speakers.
He walked over to Tom's desk and activated the terminal. He quickly typed up a simple message for the captain, and sent it off to both the terminal in her ready room, and the terminal between their chairs on the bridge. It was programmed to 'beep' so that the captain would be informed that a message was waiting for her.
He hovered over the terminal for several seconds and was gratified to see a message flash up: "Understood."
He walked back to Tom's position and crouched down again, unable to do anything else for the gaunt young man. All he could do was wait; watching the pale lined face devoid of it's usual mask for once, as Tom continued to cry and scream...
He had never felt so helpless... He couldn't do anything to comfort the young man, or ease his pain or sorrow. He couldn't even speak to him, as he didn't know if Tom could hear him, and he didn't know what to say in any case...
The door chime sounded, bringing him out of his silent vigil.
"Computer, who's at the door?"
"The EMH is at the door."
"Computer, open the door."
The door hissed open, and the Doctor stepped in. He repeated the Commander's double-take at seeing the state of the room, but soon dragged himself back to his patient as his professionalism returned.
"What happened?" he asked, in a short tone, to the Commander.
"I don't know, unfortunately. He was late getting to his shift on the Bridge, and I was sent to find out why. When I came in, this is what I found. I haven't touched anything - oh, except for his terminal. I've notified the captain; she should be here shortly."
"I see," the Doctor replied, glancing down at his tricorder as he took some preliminary readings. His eyebrows furrowed at something he saw on the miniature screen. Chakotay was suddenly concerned to see the Doctor's expression become closed. "Lieutenant? Mr. Paris? Can you hear me?"
The Doctor didn't receive a response, not that he really expected one. Tom was too far in shock to be aware of his surroundings...
The door chime sounded again, and Chakotay went through the same routine as before, wanting to make sure that he only opened it for the captain.
Janeway entered much slower than either of them had done. Chakotay could see her body tense in shock at the disarray of the room, but she didn't pause on the way to their positions.
"What's the diagnosis, Doctor?" she asked, seemingly calm. Her eyes did not waver from the supine figure of her chief helmsman, even as he rocked himself and continued to scream his vocal chords raw.
"He's in deep shock, Captain. I'd like to sedate him and move him to Sickbay. I should be able to perform a more thorough examination there."
Janeway couldn't fail to notice that the Doctor hadn't divulged a lot of information, and realised that Tom's condition might be more sensitive than he was willing to reveal in front of Chakotay. She looked into the Doctor's concerned eyes, and gave a simple nod.
He reached across to his bag and withdrew a hypospray containing a heavy sedative. As he touched it to Tom's neck, he spoke gently. "Mr. Paris, I'm giving you a sedative. You'll pass out, but don't worry, when you come to, you'll be in Sickbay." He administered the sedative, and breathed a sigh of relief as Tom's cries died mid-scream.
"Captain, if I may ask a favour?"
"I will deactivate myself in a short while. Please place my mobile emitter next to Mr. Paris, and then beam it, and Mr. Paris directly to Sickbay. Once the transport is complete, please reactive me."
Janeway now knew for certain that something was amiss. She glanced across to Chakotay, and saw the confused look on his face and knew that he hadn't guessed - yet - why the Doctor was acting this way. She turned around again to look at the Doctor and gave him a curt nod.
He nodded back at her, gave them both a very tight smile -- though there was no matching humour in his eyes or expression, and said, "Computer, deactivate EMH program."
Janeway picked up the mobile emitter from where it had landed and placed it next to Tom's prone body. Then, while looking directly at Chakotay, she said, "Computer, initiate site to site transport. Transport Mr. Paris and the metallic object next to him to Sickbay."
She turned to watch both Tom and the mobile emitter disappear. Then, before Chakotay could speak, she held up a hand to forestall him and rattled off several other commands. "Computer, initiate Level 9 Lockdown of Sickbay, authorisation Janeway-Alpha-Nine-Zero. Computer, activate the Emergency Medical Hologram program."
"Kathryn?" Chakotay said, "Care to tell me what that was all about?"
"In a moment, Chakotay. First, I want to secure these quarters."
She stood and he followed suit. She walked out of Tom's quarters, and patiently waited for Chakotay to emerge. When he was outside, ready to question her again, she held up her hand again to forestall him. "Computer, initiate Level 9A Lockdown of Lieutenant Paris's quarters. Authorisation Janeway-Alpha-Nine-Alpha." Then, turning to face Chakotay, she extended her hand down the long hallway. "Commander, care to lead the way to my ready room?"
Chakotay's confused expression betrayed a hint of worry. "Captain, I was hoping to go to Sickbay to see what the Doctor had to say about Tom's condition."
"That's commendable of you, Commander, but you won't be able to enter Sickbay." She saw the narrowing of his eyes, as she'd half suspected she would, and spoke up again to clarify her statement. "No one will be able to enter Sickbay while the lockdown is in effect. Even the Doctor won't be able to override it until I rescind the order. Please, Commander, lead the way. We have a lot to discuss."
Chakotay looked at her strangely for a beat, then started silently walking down the hallway to the turbolift. She followed close behind, though she didn't remain silent -- she was busy issuing orders.
The first was for Ensign Calloway to excuse herself from duty and to go set up a temporary Sickbay in Holodeck 1, until further notice. Calloway was an engineer, by profession, but she had been taken on as the Doctor's 'second' trainee-cum-assistant, for occasions when Tom was away or not available to assist. She did not have as much experience as Tom, even though he himself was still a long way from the Doctor's standards, but she'd be able to cope with any basic medical problems that might arise.
Janeway then instructed both the computer, and the on-duty Transporter officer, that any emergency medical beam outs would need to be directed to Holodeck 1, instead of Sickbay. Not that they could have unintentionally beamed anyone into Sickbay anyway, as her lockdown command and authorisation code had activated a level 9 force-field around Sickbay. Nothing, short of the air in the ventilation system could get in or out of there...
Her third order, just about to be issued as they entered the Turbolift, was interrupted by the comm system.
"Sickbay to Janeway."
"Go ahead, Doctor," she replied, adding a quick "Deck 1" to get the lift in motion.
"Captain, I have a preliminary update on Mr. Paris's condition."
"Doctor, would you be able to wait for a minute or so? As soon as I get to my Ready Room, I'll comm you and we can talk on a secure channel."
"Certainly, Captain. I see that you have determined the importance - and the nature - of Mr. Paris's condition. Actually, I suspected as much when I tried to erect a force-field around Sickbay and found out that one was already in place."
"That's correct, Doctor. I am well aware of the importance, and the nature, of Mr. Paris's condition. I'll contact you shortly. Janeway out."
The lift had reached the Bridge by that point and she stepped out. "Lieutenant Tuvok, my ready room, now! Mr. Kim, you have the Bridge. You might want to wake Ensign Bateman to take over at helm." Even as she called out the orders - and suggestions - she continued to walk to her ready room, not giving Harry a chance to question her about Tom's whereabouts, nor explaining why it was necessary to call the Beta Shift pilot in to replace the missing Tom Paris.
Chakotay followed her into the room, followed closely by a silent and impervious Vulcan Chief of Security.
"Gentlemen, please take a seat," she said, sitting down in her chair and turning to face them with an unreadable expression on her face.
"Computer, open a secure channel to the Doctor's office in Sickbay."
"Unable to comply. Security protocols are in effect."
Tuvok raised an eyebrow at this, the only sign of surprise that either of them were likely to get from him.
"Override. Authorisation Janeway-One-One-Alpha."
The status screen on her terminal was replaced with a view of the Doctor, sitting at his desk. She swivelled the terminal around, so that the Doctor could see the other two occupants of her ready room. His eyebrows rose a fraction before he settled his features again.
"Before you begin, Doctor, I would like Commander Chakotay to brief Lieutenant Tuvok on what he found." The Doctor nodded his head in understanding.
Chakotay turned to look at Tuvok, and realised that he was about to become involved in a criminal investigation. There was no other reason why Tuvok would be included in this meeting otherwise. He looked into the composed countenance of the Security Officer as he quickly outlined what he had seen, and done, when he'd entered Tom's quarters.
Tuvok paid close attention to the Commander's words, as did the Doctor. Neither of them spoke -- not even when Chakotay had finished speaking.
"Doctor, do you have an update on Tom's condition?"
Chakotay looked at Kathryn -- really looked at her -- and saw a tightness to her expression that he'd never seen before. She was taking this matter very seriously. That, in addition to her bizarre actions so far, had him wondering if she was being a tad heavy handed. He wasn't exactly thrilled to see that Tom had been beaten up, but he didn't see why they were going overboard about it...
"Mr. Paris's condition has stabilised, Captain. He suffered quite a few scratches and abrasions, as well as several large bruises. Internally, he had several broken ribs, consistent with someone kicking him in the chest, which have now been re-set. He has also suffered some internal bleeding, most probably due to multiple large blows, or kicks, to his stomach.
"He has a hairline fracture of the skull, consistent with a blow to his head, or possibly due to having his head struck on something - most probably the floor. I'll be treating that, and the internal bleeding as soon as we've concluded the meeting. Neither injury is life-threatening, I'm relieved to say. And, of course, there's the other matter..."
Chakotay had listened to the list of injuries with mounting horror. Who could have possibly done this? And why? Why would anyone want to hurt Paris in this brutal way?
Tuvok remained tight-lipped, his usual mask of impassivity in place. He had also found the list of injuries to be unsettling, but the Doctor's final comment had re-inforced his suspicions about what else might have been perpetrated on the Lieutenant. He could now understand the captain's reason for calling him in so soon.
Janeway hadn't changed her expression, or moved an inch since the Doctor had started talking. Not even Tuvok could read what was going on behind the mask that had settled firmly over her face. "Go on, Doctor," she finally said, her voice barely above a whisper.
Chakotay looked at her before he turned to look at the Doctor. Suddenly, he wasn't sure he wanted to know what else the Doctor had found out. Try as he might, though, he couldn't get the Doctor's final words, or the look on Kathryn's face, out of his mind.
"As you've probably already surmised, Captain, Mr. Paris was not only abused physically, he was also abused sexually."
The Doctor's matter-of-fact tone hit both Janeway and Chakotay hard.
Janeway reeled from the announcement, even though the Doctor had been correct about her having guessed it already.
Chakotay not only fell back into his chair with shock, he also turned white as a sheet as the blood drained from his face. "No," he whispered, in disbelief.
The Doctor either didn't hear him, or ignored him, as he continued to speak. "There is evidence that at least two different men attacked Mr. Paris. It is possible that there may have been more, but it appears that only two of them... erm, 'forced'... themselves onto the lieutenant. I'll keep analyzing the fluid I retrieved, in case I can determine if anyone else was involved. However..."Chakotay had to swallow, hard, as the Doctor's calm, measured phrases rocked him. He found the whole discussion repugnant, not only because of the subject matter, but also because it had happened to someone he knew fairly well. Tom Paris, the flyboy pilot who had come to be almost a friend to him, had been raped, and almost killed... He felt physically sick at the thought of what had been done to him.
"However...?" Janeway prompted, her voice hard as steel, as she suddenly became attentive to the Doctor's resigned sigh.
"Captain, the DNA sequences I found in the ejaculate are badly damaged. I'd go so far as to say they've been 'corrupted'. I would hazard a guess that the attackers have deliberately damaged the samples. How, I don't know. Unfortunately, there is not enough raw, undamaged materièl for me to provide you with an accurate DNA signature for either attacker. I'm sorry, Captain."
Janeway closed her eyes, suddenly tired, as she tried to control her raging emotions. Two or more people -- 'animals!' her mind screamed -- had attacked Tom, and had done a thorough job of covering their tracks. And they were still out there, on her ship, walking free. She was going to track them down, if it was the last thing she ever did, and when she finally had them in her grasp...
"Captain?" Tuvok's voice broke into her thoughts.
"It is possible that we may still be able to track down the perpetrators by investigating Mr. Paris's quarters. If there's even a single folicle of hair, for example, we will be able to find them. There is also some hope that Mr. Paris will be able to identify his attackers when he revives. Your permission to secure Mr. Paris's quarters and to conduct an investigation into the matter?"
"Granted. Tom's quarters have already been secured. The code I've used will allow only you to enter and leave his quarters. No one else, not even I, will be able to do so until I've rescinded it."
Tuvok nodded, then stood, ready to leave.
"I want them found!" Her voice was almost lethal as she spat out the command.
He raised an eyebrow at the tone in her voice, but didn't comment. Nodding once to both the captain and Chakotay, he left the ready room without a backward glance.
"I'd like to see Tom."
She looked across at Chakotay and saw an unfamiliar expression on his face. "Unfortunately, Commander, that won't be possible until the Doctor has finished examining Tom, and repairing the damage. Once he has satisfied me that everything is okay, I'll rescind my lockdown of Sickbay, and you'll be able to see him then. Understood?"
She turned to face both of them; one sitting in front of her, the other on her terminal screen. Both nodded. The Doctor's nod was the professional one that she'd expected from him, but Chakotay's nod was just shy of insubordination.
"Thank you, Doctor. I'll let you get back to your patient. Please do your best for him."
"Certainly, Captain. I'll let you know when he's recovered and awake."
The link went dead. She looked back into the face of the man who had once been her lover, and realised that she didn't know him as well as she'd thought she did. His current expression, for example, was still a mystery to her. It was as unreadable as if he'd decided to paint it on.
Suddenly, she felt the weight of command settle on her shoulders and didn't want to deal with it anymore. Only the fact that a dear friend had been beaten and... raped -- she closed her eyes again, as she thought the ugly sounding word -- was enough to keep her going. She was going to find the people who did this and she was going to 'space' them as soon as she could arrange it. Even if it meant losing command...
"Dismissed, Commander," she said, eyes still closed. She heard him get up and exit the ready room. She waited for several more seconds, before she let herself break down. As the tears flowed unceasingly from her eyes, she recalled an image of Tom, grinning at his surprise birthday party the week before, and she brokenly sobbed, "Oh, Tom... What have they done to you?"
End of Chapter 1
To be continued?