Title: Plunged Into Darkness

Rating: PG-13

Author: Mac (col_sarah_mackenzie@yahoo.com)

Disclaimers: Voyager and her crew are property of Paramount Pictures.

*************

::Paris to Torres. Alpha shift ended 20 minutes ago::



"I know, Tom," B'Elanna responded. "I'm just finishing here. Give me 10 more minutes and I'll be up."



::I'm holding you to it. Paris out::



B'Elanna glanced up. She thought she saw movement on the upper level. Knowing that no one should be up there right now, she decided to investigate.



She stepped off the lift and looked around. Whoever it was seemed to be gone.



"Lieutenant Torres."



Or not. "Damn it, Patrick!" She eyed him warily. He didn't look like he was all there. "Are you all right?"



Something flashed in his eyes, but it was gone as quick as it appeared. "Just fine, Lieutenant." He laughed. "Although, I think I'm getting a serious case of cabin fever."



"Maybe I'll suggest shore leave to Captain Janeway."



"Sure..."



For some reason this guy was making B'Elanna really nervous, but she couldn't figure out why. He was just trying to make conversation... right?



"So what are you doing up here?" B'Elanna asked. He was knew very well he wasn't supposed to be there.



That look flashed in his eyes again. "I don't have to tell you anything!" he exclaimed.



B'Elanna glared at him. "I am the Chief Engineer on this ship and your direct superior, you'd better tell me something!"



"I'll tell you something, all right," Patrick said, pointing a phaser at her.



"Drop that right now, Lieutenant Stotler! That's an order!" Patrick just grinned evilly at her. "Torres to the brid-"



B'Elanna felt the sting of a phaser beam and slumped to the ground unconscious.



Patrick dropped the phaser, hastily picked it up again, then looked around nervously. He was going to be in so much trouble. He hadn't wanted to shoot her.



::Bridge to Engineering::



Patrick's eyes widened and he headed for the jeffries tube just as Carey arrived. "Carey, here," he replied, checking on B'Elanna.



::Phaser fire has been reported::



"Excuse me, Lieutenant Tuvok, but I need a medical transport. Maybe you could send a security team to investigate," he suggested.



**************



Tom rushed out the door, pinning on his commbadge. Captain Janeway had called all senior officers to the bridge. He was about to enter the turbolift when he heard someone call his name.



Tom turned around to see Patrick Stotler sticking his head out of jeffries tube 26. "Patrick?"



"Tom, I didn't mean to do it! I swear!"



"Take it easy," Tom replied. "What did you do?"



Patrick looked around uneasily. "Will you come with me?" Tom just stared at him, uncertain. Patrick made it easier by pointing the phaser at him. "Now."



Tom obeyed and climbed into the tube. "What's going on, Patrick? We've been friends for six years, you can tell me."



"Keep walking, we're going to see the Captain."



"Couldn't we take the turbolift?"



"Just go!" Patrick exclaimed.



Tom nodded, deciding it would be best to just listen to the distraught man for now. As long as Patrick didn't hurt anyone, everything would be fine.