A Guardian From the Past

Disclaimer - Paramount and Viacom own the characters from Voyager, although they didn't often treat them right.  The story line belongs to me.

A special thanks to:  My friend and editor of all my stories, Mill3rs.

"It is now 0700, time to rise.   It is now 0700, time to rise,"   the computer intoned in its flat monotone voice.  

Tom Paris pulled the pillow over his head and moaned, "It's too early..."  

B'Elanna yanked the pillow off her husband's head and leaned over to give him a good morning kiss.   "If you didn't spend half the night in the shuttle bay last night you wouldn't have such a difficult time getting up this morning." 

Tom opened his eyes to be greeted by the deep brown eyes and smirking grin of his wife.  My God, she is so beautiful, even at this hour of the morning, he thought.  He pulled her into his arms for a huge hug and began to tickle her ribs.  Pulling away from him, she grabbed both of his hands, pushed them over his head, and held him in place.  Cobalt-blue eyes looked up into dark brown ones and he quickly stated, "I give, I give!  Let me up...... we have to be in the shuttle bay by 0800"

B'Elanna let go of his hands and let him sit up on the side of the bed.   Then she lay back on her pillow with her hands clasped behind her head, and smiled at Tom lazily"I don't have to be anywhere today, remember?   I have today off and I plan on getting my rest.   I am sleeping for two now."  She said, with a small grin on her face.  

Tom moaned again, this time about how unfair it was that expectant fathers didn't get more time off, and went into the bathroom to get ready for duty.  On his way out of the bedroom, he turned to B'Elanna still complaining. 

She looked up at him and said.  "I'll make it up to you with a big breakfast tomorrow." 

 "It's a date."  Tom smiled as he left their quarters.

*  *  *  *  *

Tom rushed into the mess hall, nearly running into Mike Ayala, who was leaving.  "What's Neelix's latest concoction for breakfast?"  Tom asked.

 "Something he calls Bajoran casserole.   I think it has some of those blue eggs he found on our last away mission.  It wouldn't be so bad, except he felt it was too bland and added some Telaxian spices to it.   I'd go easy with it and get an extra-large glass of juice."   

 "Thanks Mike."   Tom wandered over to the counter and peered at the bubbling blue mass in the bowl, then grabbed a purple fruit resembling a pear and poured himself a cup of coffee.   He spotted Harry at a corner table and went to sit down with his friend.

 "Good morning, Harry."  Tom settled into a seat across from the young ensign. 

 "Not feeling very brave this morning, Tom?"  Harry inquired, looking at the breakfast Tom had chosen. 

 "Somehow I can't picture that color blue as being anything edible.   I don't have much time; I'm supposed to be meeting the Captain and Commander Chakotay in the shuttle bay at 0800.   We're taking out the new shuttle for a test run to the third planet in this system this morning.   It's a two fold mission, testing the warp drive and scanning the planet for new dilithium crystals.  B'Elanna says the stores are getting low again and since long-range scanners show no other planetary systems for fifteen to twenty light years, we need to stock up."  Tom downed his coffee, finished off the fruit in several quick bites, and stood up to leave.

 "Well, good luck with your reconnaissance mission.  See you tonight for a game of pool?"  Harry asked.

 "If you're really ready to lose more replicator rations, who am I to decline."   Tom smiled at Harry and left for the shuttle bay.

*  *  *  *  *

 "Are you sure you packed enough food?  We'll only be gone for seven or eight hours at the most."  Captain Janeway questioned Chakotay as he put another basket into the hold of the shuttle Armstrong. 

With a big smile that showed off his dimples, Chakotay replied "Well you know how hungry Tom gets lately.  You'd think he was the one carrying that baby."  

Janeway smiled in return and thought fondly how much her chief pilot had changed over the course of the past seven years.   When she'd seen him at the penal colony at Aukland, he'd appeared arrogant and self centered.  But she had seen through his bravado and realized he was just scared and lacking focus.  

She had first met Tom at his father's home, when he was a boy of 10 and she was just a cadet at Starfleet.   Then, when his father, Admiral Owen Paris, became her mentor, she ran into the teenage boy at official functions.   Even then, he was shy around Starfleet personnel.  The exception to this was when he spoke of flying.  Then his entire face would light up, and he would be lost in thought as he spoke of different maneuvers he had accomplished on the simulators at Starfleet headquarters. 

Now he was her chief pilot, a very competent medical assistant and extremely creative holoprogrammer.  Tom was also a loving husband to B'Elanna Torres, and about to become a father.  He had certainly come far in the past few years, and she knew his father would be proud of him indeed when they finally returned to the Alpha Quadrant.

At that moment, Tom strode into the shuttle bay with a small knapsack slung over one shoulder.   "Good morning Captain, Commander.  Ready for the preflight check?"  

 "Yes, Tom, we're packed and ready to go," answered Janeway.  The three officers entered the shuttle and began the preflight check. 

When they were satisfied the shuttle was ready for take off, Chakotay notified the bridge.   "Shuttle Armstrong ready for take off" 

 "Yes, Commander, you are cleared.   Long-range scanners show clear weather over the third planet."  Tuvok responded.

 "Thank you, Mr. Tuvok.  See you in about 7 hours.   Chakotay out."

*  *  *  *  *

B'Elanna wandered into the mess hall looking for something that she could eat that wouldn't make her feel ill.  She was still experiencing morning sickness although she was now six months along in her pregnancy.  The doctor had warned both Tom and her that a hybrid pregnancy could have various symptoms similar to both Klingon and human pregnancies. 

Neelix was standing behind the counter.  "Good day Lieutenant and how are you and the little one feeling today?" 

 "Oh, I'm feeling a little under the weather, Neelix, but the little one is very feisty this morning and won't let me sleep in as I planned.  She's made it clear that she is hungry again and very restless.  I think she takes after her father a little too much." 

Neelix smiled at B'Elanna and offered her a plate of fresh fruit and toast.   She carried the tray to a table in the corner of the mess hall and began to eat, watching as the Alpha shift crew started straggling in for lunch. 

Harry Kim went through the line and selected some Plomeek soup and a strange, orange slice of bread.   He spotted B'Elanna across the room and went to join her.  "Hi, B'Elanna.  How are you feeling today?  Tom mentioned that you were still feeling sick in the mornings." 

 "Yes, Harry.  Unfortunately, my Klingon/human background seems to heighten my symptoms.  But Neelix found some fruit and dry toast that I'm able to keep down."  

The two friends sat quietly eating their meals when they were interrupted by an announcement from the bridge.  "All senior officers please report to the bridge," the voice of Commander Tuvok was heard.  Harry and B'Elanna put their trays in the recycler and headed for the bridge.

*  *  *  *  *

"Tell me, Lieutenant, why the Armstrong?"  The captain requested as she settled into the Ops seat on the small shuttle. 

Tom answered, "Neil Armstrong was one of the early American astronauts."  

Chakotay, who was sitting at the navigation station, turned to Janeway and stated.  "He was the first human to set foot on Earth's moon back in 1969."  

 "I forgot that the two of you are 20th century buffs, Chakotay."  The captain smiled at her first officer.  It's good to see Chakotay and Tom getting along so well and finding a common ground. 

Tom deftly piloted the shuttle around the first two planets in the system; avoiding the gravitational pull that Harry had advised them to be wary of.  "There's the third planet, Captain.  It looks beautiful, almost like Earth with the lakes and mountains over the northern continent." 

 "You're right, Tom, it reminds me of upstate New York.   That one lake looks rather like Lake George.  My family has a cabin at that lake."  She said.

Tom started the descent to the planet's surface on a gentle trajectory.  "We're entering the planet's atmosphere.   Should be on the ground within the next ten minutes."

Suddenly, out of the sky came two intensely bright flashes of light like lightening strikes from Earth but hundreds of times brighter and fairly long lasting.  The shuttle was jolted slightly, and then the lights on all of the panels went out, including the interior lights.  "Chakotay, what the hell was that?   Where's auxiliary power?" The Captain asked as she grabbed onto her console. 

 "I'm not sure what happened, Captain.  We've lost all power, including auxiliary.   Tom, can you still put the shuttle down?"  

 "I'm trying, Commander, but we're like a dead weight.  I'll try to glide it down to the surface, but you two had better brace for impact."

to be continued…

Author's Note:  This is a re-worked version of my very first fan fiction.  The original can be found in "RanDomZine 3: The Last Time I Saw Paris.