In which Voyagers crew start with a mystery, which becomes deeper and gain a new passenger...
Voyager and characters (except the Colonel) in this story are copyright of Paramount. No resemblance is intended to any person alive or dead.
The storyline and the Colonel are my own.
Constructive criticism and comments are welcome on e-mail story @ rgower.plus.com
This is the first story in a sequence, most I would rate at PG
©R Gower 2000
Captain Janeway tossed and turned on her bunk in a fitful mockery of sleep. She was near physical and mental exhaustion from the strains of their never ending voyage home to the Alpha Quadrant.
The last six months in particular had been an almost unbroken series of flights from enemies, Malon, Hirogen, Borg and others. Even when they had escaped them and had stopped to repair, there had been little rest for either her, or the crew. The crew trusted her and looked towards her for continuous support and command. During her lighter moments she appreciated their loyalty and trust and took strength from it. At the moment she wished they would just go away.
The Yellow alert klaxon sounded through the ship, disturbing her rest'.
"Captain to the bridge!" Tuvoks voice sounded over the communicator, snapping her awake with a start. As she struggled from her bunk, she cursed the post of Captain and it's never ending demands and duties. Perhaps she would have to get Chakotay to handle more for her, she thought leaving her room en-route for the Bridge. But she knew she would never find it in her to let anything go.
"Report", she snapped, as she stepped on the bridge.
"We have detected a vessel, range less than 250,000 kilometres," stated Tuvok, impassive as always.
"Damn, that's close," she claimed in alarm. "Why wasn't it picked up sooner?"
"The vessel is generating no emissions, and is stationary," stated Tuvok simply.
"No reply, Captain."
"Tom bring us in visual range," she ordered.
Chakotay staggered onto the bridge.
"Visual range, Captain!" Tom Paris exclaimed, "Putting it on screen," he pre-empted the next command.
There was a stunned silence, broken only by Tuvok's impassive voice.
"The vessel is a Klingon freighter. Engines are off-line. Severe damage to the hull. Life support is failing. One weak life sign," he reported.
"A mystery!" Exclaimed the Captain, "Chakotay, take an away team and find out what happened and why that ship is here," she commanded.
Chakotay nodded, tapping his communicator he intoned, "Torres, Seven of Nine, Doctor, to the transporter room," then beckoned to Tuvok to follow as he walked off the bridge.
It was dark aboard the ship where they materialised. Flashing his torch over the blackened bulkheads Chakotay signalled the ship, "We are aboard. It looks as though there has been a heck of a fire fight here. But no bodies."
"Take care," came the concerned reply.
"Torres, take Seven to engineering and try and get us some light," he ordered.
Torres nodded and the two women started off.
As they rounded the corner of the corridor, there was a scream, the rest of the party rushed after them. They found Torres holding her hand to her mouth, looking green in the flickering torch light, Seven was leaning, her head in her arm, against the bulkhead.
"What's the matter.." started Chakotay in alarm.
He was interrupted by Tuvok, "We have found our first bodies, Commander."
Everybody directed their lights into the corridor. Scattered over the floor were the large part of a number of Klingons, they looked as though they had been hacked to pieces, their dried blood, gleaming green in the torch light, caked to floor and walls.
Tuvok knelt by one of the corpses to examine it. "It looks as though the Borg may in part be responsible, this one appears to have been under assimilation, Commander. However it was not the Klingon weapons that killed them. "
Something even more dangerous than the Borg had been here at the same time, the potential horror hit them.
"B'Elanna, we must have power and light, can you do it?" Chakotay asked urgently this time, "We must find out what happened here!"
She nodded uncertainly and continued down the corridor with Seven in tow, stepping over the grizzly remains.
"The survivor, may be able to inform us what happened," suggested Tuvok.
"Unless it was him that killed these people," suggested Chakotay gravely.
They headed towards the life sign.
They picked their way through the corpses. One of the bodies, covered in blood, suddenly reared up with a blood curdling scream, and lunged at the doctor with a sword, passing straight through the holographic projection.
It collapsed again with a gasp, still gripping the primitive weapon firmly. The stunned party stood aghast at the suddenness of the action, shining their torches on the prostrate body, it looked as dead as any of the rest of the crew.
The corridor flooded with light!
"Well done B'Elanna," called Chakotay nervously, kicking himself into action, "Right on time, can you download the files from the computer?"
"I'll try," came the disjointed voice, "But things are pretty badly smashed down here almost nothing works, I can't even guarantee what you've got the power cell we've attached is almost totally drained!"
"Do what you can then get off the ship," he replied.
Meanwhile the doctor knelt to examine his attempted assassin.
"We have our living crew member," he announced, "I must get him to sickbay immediately," so saying he hit his communicator, "Doctor to Voyager, medical emergency two to sickbay immediate," and disappeared.
Tuvok and Chakotay looked around them.
"Commander, these appear to be primitive projectile weapons, however they are not of Klingon or Borg origin," claimed Tuvok, picking up what appeared as two metal tubes. One appeared to have a wooden stock, the other had two definite handles.
"We'll take them back with us, perhaps the computer can identify them," Chakotay decided, taking one of them to examine.
"I'm beginning to wonder just many races were involved and who was fighting who!"
Chakotay took a deep breath to steady his fraying nerves, "Let's get to the Bridge, there may be something more positive about what happened," he suggested.
They continued towards the ships control room, picking their path with care amongst the bodies and ruins.
The ships Bridge was in a worse state than the corridor had been. Those on the bridge had obviously used it as a last stronghold against attack, and they had fought to the last person, in the custom of cornered Klingons. Fighting off their feelings of nausea, they searched for anything that gave them clues as to what had happened. The task proved hopeless, the control panels were totally destroyed. Examining the dead showed signs of disruptor burns, physical wounds and Borg assimilation. The scene defied any attempt to decipher the nightmare of what had actually happened.
"I do not think there is much more to be learned here, Commander," Tuvok stated simply.
"I agree, let's collect Seven and B'Elanna and get off this ship, it gives me the creeps," affirmed Chakotay sweeping his eye's over the debris for the last time. In all his years both in Star Fleet and as a Maqui he had never seen such a scene of desperate confusion and barbarisim.
In Engineering Torres and Seven looked around, wondering where to start.
Torres swallowed, "Where do we start?" she exclaimed in exasperation, "This is a charnel house, even by Klingon standards," she waved her arm expansively at the mess of bodies and ruined equipment.
"There is a secondary terminal in the alcove, it may be undamaged. We should commence there," suggested Seven of Nine nervously. She like Torres had been shocked by the sight of the bodies in the corridor, it left her feeling uneasy as distant memories haunted her.
They picked their way carefully through the mess to the control alcove that Seven of Nine had pointed out.
"We're in luck," announced Torres, "The terminal is undamaged."
She activated the terminal, "I still can't get to the computer, there's no power available. I've never seen a ship exist with so little power," she exclaimed in frustration, "There isn't even enough power to operate life support!"
"A feature of the vessels design was to allow it to operate on minimal power, it allowed all power to be dedicated to the defensive systems," announced Seven calmly.
Torres looked at her sharply.
"I was involved in the assimilation of a similar vessel," she admitted without a trace of embarrassment, "The crew did not resist as this one appears to have done."
"B'Elanna?" They heard Chakotay calling from the main control room, "We're finished, you ready to beam out?"
"Nothing we can do here," she answered, leading Seven out to join Chakotay and Tuvok.
The Doctor sprang into action as soon as he and his new patient materialised in the sickbay.
"Corticle Stimulator, 10 cc Isocortisone quickly," he snapped at Tom Paris who was waiting for him. "Some of his wounds have reopened, we must stop them before he finishes bleeding to death! And take that sword out of his hand before he does some damage!"
"He's pretty far gone Doc'," Paris commented queasily, wresting the weapon out of their patients iron grip, "Are you sure we can save him?"
"He was alive enough to leap at me with that sword, he can't be that badly hurt!" The EMH snapped, "But we've got to stabilise his life signs, another stimulator, please!"
After ten minutes frantic activity the Doctor settled down a little. "His life signs are stable, now I can clean him up and find out what else is wrong," he announced.
"Lieutenant Paris to the Bridge," the Captain called Tom away.
"Got to go Doc! Duty calls," he quipped and fled gratefully.
The Doctor continued the examination on his own, stripping the remains of it's clothing as he did so and muttering. He found a cord around his neck, it held four coloured disks, each a different colour and material and a small leather pouch. He took a cursory look at them, then placed them aside for a more detailed examination later and finished his examination in an increasing state of amazement.
Seven of Nine entered the room fresh from her return from the Klingon freighter.
"Do you require assistance?" She asked, seeing the Doctor struggle with his patient.
"It would be appreciated. If you could avoid being sick?" The Doctor affirmed, "We need to clean him up to confirm who he is, the tri-corder readings don't make sense. Get those swabs and help clean him," he ordered.
Finally they stood back and examined the figure. It had obviously been tall, but the pain it had suffered and forced him into a stooped stance for some time, the skin hung loosely from a well structured skeleton, inferring it had been a well muscled body that had not been able to feed for a long time. The whole spectacle was distressing, they looked at each other.
"I am programmed to save lives at all costs, but I wonder if saving his life was the right thing to do?" The Doctor pondered uneasily.
An hour later Captain Janeway called a staff conference.
"Prognosis Doctor?" asked Janeway.
"I've stopped the bleeding. His life signs are very weak. He is suffering from severe blood loss, malnutrition, dehydration, exhaustion and severe lacerations, cracked skull, there isn't an organ that isn't damaged. The surgery will take a month if he lives. He ought to be dead!" opined the Doctor after cataloguing the injuries, hiding his shock.
"No chance of waking him then?" she interrupted sarcastically, "Nothing as to who he is?"
"On the contrary, he was wearing these," he answered levelly, tossing the four discs he had found onto the table.
As people started to reach for them he added, "And he is human!"
The bomb shell he dropped stunned the room, he had to repeat himself several times before it sank in.
"Well our little mystery, becomes bigger and deeper," the Captain said heavily after some reflection.
"We have one Lieutenant Colonel Alan Samuels, serial number J680502, human," she said, reading the small brown disk she had picked off the table, "The sole survivor on a Klingon ship, deep in the Delta Quadrant, thousands of light years from where it ought to be. The ship was apparently involved in its own war. When it was attacked by the Borg. Who seemingly left when they found something even stronger and more unpleasant than themselves," she finished.
"I suppose it is a start. But who is this Colonel? Why is he here? How did that ship get here? Who was fighting who? And above all what did the Borg leave it alone for? Any suggestions?"
"I've examined the weapon he was carrying and his clothing," interjected Tom, "The sword seems Eighteenth Century Earth, the remains of his clothing suggest late Twentieth, Tuvok found some projectile weapons where he lay, which also suggests Twentieth."
"So not only shouldn't he be here, but he is six hundred years old to boot. Keep looking!" exclaimed the Captain.
"The computer seems undamaged, there just isn't enough power to operate it. If I set up a power relay to the ship I may get something," volunteered Torres.
Turning to Tuvok she asked, "Can we attempt a mind meld with the Colonel?"
"I would not recommend it Captain," interjected the Doctor, "it will kill the patient," he disliked the Vulcan mind control techniques.
"We should deploy my nano-probes, they are capable of rebuilding his damaged tissues and would speed his recovery," volunteered Seven. She had been very quiet since returning from the mission.
"Will it work?" Janeway asked the Doctor.
"It may do, if we are careful, but only if I can improve some of his life signs" admitted the Doctor. He didn't like Sevens nano's either.
"Then do it as soon as possible, I want to know more, mysteries this big must be resolved," she claimed.
"How about possible intervention form other sources, I would hate to be here if the Borg suddenly remember they've lost and come to look again," she finished.
"Nothing on sensors," replied Chakotay.
"Long range scans show there are no planets within two weeks voyage. Habitable within six, and life in eight weeks," announced Seven.
"Good, keep checking," stated Janeway, "Meeting dismissed."
It took Torres three days to breath life back into the Klingon computer and retrieve it's information. Together, she, Chakotay and Kim, went over the data and brought it to the staff meeting.
"It seems," Chakotay started, "That a hundred years ago the Klingons found a worm hole that ended near the Earth in the late twentieth Century. They sent a vessel to Earth, to have a look and possibly take a few prisoners for interrogation. They landed near a company of British soldiers on a training mission in South America, and tried to take them by force. The British fought back, their superior local knowledge countering the Klingons superior weapons. The Klingon commander Gavikorn, comments 'They are like Krenag they appear from nowhere, create havoc and disappear again'. So I assume the battle was pretty bloody, with the Klingons on the receiving end. Eventually The Klingons withdrew, but not before they beamed up three of the soldiers. There was another battle in the transporter room. That resulted in five Klingons and one soldier killed, another soldier was beamed back to the Earth at the last moment. The final soldier, we assume it was the Colonel, was overpowered whilst he was beaming the escapee."
He stopped and Torres took over.
"At some point in the hole, something went wrong, the inertial dampers failed and the ship veered into the sides creating a vortex, dropping them into the Delta quadrant about a month ago. Gavikorn realised that the ship was lost. We're not sure if he realised just how lost. He made a truce with the Colonel, who it appears had not been very co-operative during imprisonment. The Borg found them and attacked a fortnight ago. The ships engines were rapidly disabled and they beamed aboard to assimilate the crew. They seem to have found it hard going, the Colonel lead the resistance to the attack after Gavikorn was taken. They found that the Borg were unable to adapt to blades. He ordered that anybody who was taken should be killed immediately. It is unclear how many Borg were terminated as they appear to have taken their dead, but we do know that there were nearly four hundred Klingons aboard the freighter. So it seems likely the Borg lost more than they took away with them."
Kim finished, "I've been doing a little checking in the records. The Colonel is not mentioned, but I have traced some of the tabs and insignia. He appears to have been the Commanding Officer of a British Regiment called the Royal Americas Rifles based in what was Belize. The flashes on his left breast suggest a number of decorations and from several countries and there were a number of conflicts that look as though they may have been involved. All in all, the Klingons bit off more than they could chew picking on him and his men."
"I don't know if I'm prepared to believe half of that story," stated Janeway shortly, "It's incredible!"
"Nor did we. But everything checked out, we tested it four times. There is no fault in the computer systems, or translation," said Torres.
"The doctor and I have agreed that we may begin transferring nano-probes to the Colonel today," interrupted Seven.
"Then lets do it," decided the Captain.
"Just a moment, Captain," Chakotay interjected, concerned over what he had seen and found, "Do we really intend to resurrect what could be the greatest murderer in the history of all mankind?"
"I do not think he is a murderer. I think if he gave that order to kill anybody who was overcome, it was rescue them from a worse fate, I'd like to think that I would give it in a similar circumstance. But we will take precautions, he must be given the opportunity to give his own side of the story."
In the sickbay, the Doctor briefed them on what was to happen.
"His haemoglobin is extremely active and resistant to infection, possibly because he is so primitive, he commented. It seems probable that it will destroy the probes quicker than we can create them. However Seven has assured me that her own probes are better able to withstand his blood than the replicated ones. So she is going to inject the probes direct from her own body. We then allow her own stock to rebuild itself again, so that we can treat him again. We will have to repeat the injections several times."
"The subject is extensively damaged, but not irreparable" she stated simply.
She approached the gaunt and wasted figure. Extending her injectors, she carefully injected him in the neck, whilst holding his head still. The body twitched impulsively, and whimpered.
"So far so good," said the doctor, "I shall erect a force field to contain him, in case he recovers quicker than we expect. I think a repeat treatment in about 48 hours will be in order."
"You may come away now Seven," he continued.
"He is holding my hand," she said, "It feels cold and wasted," she complained, levering her hand away.
"His body may improve, but I am worried about his mind if he recovers Captain," said the doctor quietly. "The stresses he faced on that ship, alone for so long amongst that mess, would derange anybody?"
The Captain nodded in thought, slightly disappointed by the lack of response. "We'll deal with it when we have to. Keep me informed."
Two days later the process was repeated, the doctor was more confident.
"Most of his internal organs are showing signs of recovery. We may be able to switch to replicated probes in a week,now Seven's have got his blood under control," he announced to the gathering.
This time the patient made no movement or sound during the injection. Despite the Doctors assurances, he appeared more dead than before.
The third treatment arrived. Again Seven approached the bed. The body was starting to fill out, no longer did it look like a skeleton, the skin showed signs of containing muscle. As she bent forward to inject the body, possibly for the last time, it suddenly yelled, "ANNEKA!" Sat up and kissed her full on the lips, then sank back again. The shaken Borg gasped and stepped back to be met by the concerned Captain.
"I am undamaged, Captain," she stated to the unasked question, "It was unexpected."
"All the same, I want him restrained. And you had better decant the probes to the doctor so that he can administer them," she ordered.
"He is still deeply unconscious, Captain," the doctor claimed, scanning the man. "The kiss was an autonomous reaction. But I think we can now switch to smaller doses of replicated probes," he continued.
Seven was thankful, the treatments had left her feeling a little washed out, she left for her regeneration cell.
Arriving at her booth, she opened her console.
"Seven of Nine, Personal Log. The human believed to be designated Lieutenant Colonel Alan Samuels, briefly recovered consciousness. He sat up when I bent to administer treatment, shouted my original name and pressed his lips against mine! I am told by the Doctor that this is a common human action called kissing. He claimed in lesson 21 of his course on Human Social Interactions, it is used to signify many human emotions, greeting, farewells or even love, in this case it is believed to be an autonomous reaction by his sub-conscious for somebody called Anneka. I am unsure if it was his actions, the feel of his lips or something else that caused most shock, but I found it disturbing, I shall have to examine my thoughts at another time. End log."
Then she stepped into her alcove and forgot all about it.
Eight days after treatment began the human regained consciousness, to be met by the Doctor.
"Good day, young man," started the doctor, using bedside voice number sixteen (reassurance for the simple), "You've had us worried at points."
The patient looked at him blankly.
He turned away and opened a comms link, "Sickbay to Captain, our guest is awake."
"I'll be right down," came the instant reply.
"Who are you?" the Captain asked.
He stared at her in non-comprehension.
"Are you Lieutenant Colonel Alan Samuels?"
Again a confused look.
"He's awake, but the lights aren't all on," said Chakotay, "He is going to need a little time to recover, having been at deaths door for more than a month."
Janeway nodded, "Doctor do what you can with him and contact me when he seems to have gained comprehension."
The human on the bed in sickbay was more voluble next day.
"Where am I? Who are you? what are you? why am I secured to this slab?" he demanded. He struggled weakly against the force field holding him down.
The doctor tried to reassure him, "You are safe in the sick bay of the Starship Voyager. We are your friends, and you are restrained for your own safety."
He stepped away as the Captain, Tuvok and Seven of Nine entered.
"I am Kathryn Janeway, Captain of the Federation Starship Voyager," she introduced herself, "This is my Security Officer Lieutenant Tuvok, and Seven of Nine who went most of the way to saving your life! Now who are you and where are you from?"
"Name: Samuels, Alan, Rank: Lieutenant Colonel, Serial Number: J680502," he replied automatically.
"Where are you from?" Janeway asked patiently.
"Name: Samuels Alan, Rank: Lieutenant Colonel, Serial Number: J680502," he pronounced again stubbornly.
Janeway sighed, this was going to be difficult.
"Look," she started again, "We are from a planet called Earth, it orbits around the sun sometimes known as Sol. It is the third planet of nine. The Earth consists of several continents, Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa Antartica and Australasia. It is orbited by a small planetoid, called appropriately the Moon. I believe you come from the same place," she stated finally.
They let this sink in for a few moments,watching his face change from impassive disinterest to one of surprise, then he uttered in a more normal voice, seemingly accepting this new fate, "Lieutenant Colonel Samuels, late of Her Majesties 1st battalion 60th rifle regiment, 'The Americas Rifles'. Pleased to make your acquaintance," he paused for a moment as if considering the last statement, then added, "Possibly!"
"But look, this ship cannot possibly be from Earth, there is nothing like this in existence there!" He protested.
The sudden change in attitude eased the tension that had been in the air, and threw Janeway a little off balance.
"Perhaps not when you were there last. But that was over six hundred years ago!"
The Colonel was stunned into silence for a little while, then said, "Well that son of a bitch Gavikorn said we were lost, but he didn't work out how lost!" He subsided into silence again.
Finally he asked, "Is it still possible to get tea in the twenty-sixth century? I'm gasping for a cuppa!"
All the tension was relieved from that moment.
"Yes, we can replicate some, if the doctor will allow it," laughed Janeway. He certainly didn't appear to be a mass killer.
The Doctor nodded his agreement. "He is physically repaired, but he will remain weak for several days," he informed them.
"If you promise not to try and escape, then we will release your restraints, so that you may drink your tea," the Captain announced, holding up a cup of the requested beverage.
He regarded her carefully, measuring her up. He could see strength behind the seemingly open and friendly face, but there was also strain as well.
Finally he came to his decision, "I don't think I can go anywhere for the moment, Captain! So you have my word."
He tried to sit, but found he was still too weak to do so, so they helped him. Captain Janeway carefully holding the cup to his lips.
"Ah! Nectar of the Gods!" He exclaimed, falling back onto the bed and slept again.
Two days later he awoke again. Silently he looked around him trying to make sense of what little he could see of this new world. The only thing he could actually understand was the colour of the walls, white. The rest left him baffled. He had never seen anything that even remotely matched the devices he could see. Seven of Nine entered the sickbay for her periodic adjustments and he transferred his examination to her. She was well worth the effort, he decided agreeably, blonde, tall, slender, exquisitely curved and ramrod straight. He caught sight of the implant around her left eye, it fascinated him over it's purpose.
Seven scanned the room and found the Doctor absent, she noticed the Colonel, propped up on his bed and examining her with interest. She approached him cautiously.
"During you recovery, I treated you. You called my name before assimilation. 'Annaka' and kissed me, why was this?" She demanded curiously.
"Did I!" he exclaimed in surprise, then looked embarrassed.
"Anneka was my wife on Earth, she died twenty years ago, sorry, twenty years before I left, I'm going to have difficulty with dates aren't I?"
He continued quickly, "Look, I am most dreadfully sorry for the embarrassment that I caused, all I can say is I wasn't quite with it at the time, please forgive me, it won't happen again!" He stammered in his own embarrassment.
The ex-borg was surprised by the obvious distress and embarrassment caused by her question.
"The apology is irrelevant. I was curious over the purpose!" she stated, slightly flustered herself.
To her relief the Doctor returned to the room at that point and she fled gratefully.
He smiled as he watched her go, appreciating her beauty and calm exterior. "I think I am going to like that girl! I wonder what it takes to get her to smile and if there are anymore like her?" he thought.
Curiosity saw her returning again the following day. This time she found him trying to stand up.
"You are not sufficiently repaired to stand," she scolded.
"Repaired be damned," he snapped, "I want out of here, before I take a violent dislike to your doctor. He keeps talking to me like a simpleton, then telling me I ought to be dead. Now where are my clothes?"
So saying he slid his feet to the deck and momentarily stood up. Then collapsed, to be caught by Seven of Nine. She struggled to put him back on the couch.
"Bloody doctors," he mumbled, "They'll be the death of me yet."
"That is unlikely, considering the status of your injuries on arrival," commented Seven coldly. She turned and left.
She met the Captain walking towards the sick bay to inspect their new guest.
"Captain! You are going to see the Colonel?" She queried bluntly.
"Yes, Seven. The Doctor thinks he is about ready to get up, care to come along?" She answered amiably.
"That will be acceptable," Seven replied calmly.
"He is unsure of us, Seven. I don't know how we can help him. He may be out of his depth on the ship. He could even be dangerous," the Captain confided as they walked.
"I was also a danger to the crew and had difficulty adjusting to its methods," Seven pointed out.
"Yes, you did," the Captain admitted, "And you still are. But think of it, he's facing an even bigger challenge. Not only does he have to get used to the crew and its methods, but our technology is well beyond anything he's ever dreamed off."
"I will help him to adapt!" Announced Seven of Nine flatly.
The Captain stopped dead in surprise. "Are you sure?" She asked, looking hard at her beautiful ex-borg.
"I believe I may be able to help him," she asserted. "I find him interesting."
"I have studied the log he kept. I believe there may be similarities in approach between the Borg and the army he served in, I believe I may be able to adapt them," she continued.
"He may not like you and it could put you in danger. After all, the only time he's met the Borg they were trying to assimilate him and he proved himself very dangerous to them," Janeway pointed out, not unkindly. "He will need a sensitive approach."
"I can be sensitive," Seven averred. "Please Captain. The crew has been kind in helping me. I wish to prove I can help somebody else!"
Janeway looked at her and smiled, "Okay," she agreed, "You can try. But it may not be easy!"
"I hear you are not enamoured by my medical staff?" Janeway asked entering the Sick Bay.
"I have no qualms about his medical expertise, Ma'am," he replied simply, "It's his bedside manner, it's the same everywhere, stating and asking the obvious, how do you feel, it's a virus, you have a temperature, you've been hurt, you should be dead and so on."
"Most of us think he's done well to perfect that attitude," smiled Janeway, "His earlier one was much more unsympathetic."
"However," she continued quickly, "The Doctor has said that you should be able to get out of bed for a little while tomorrow and Seven of Nine has volunteered to keep you safe. Don't over do it!" again she smiled.
"Thank you, Captain. I shall look forward to both the exercise and Miss Nine's company," he replied with a smile.
The following day they both turned up to get their new guest to his feet.
"Are you ready for your exercise," smiled Janeway, "We've come to get you off your lazy backside," she teased. She was still worried about how strong this man would be and how he would react, especially when he found out about Seven's history.
"Lazy be damned," he cursed, and swung his legs off the couch. He stopped momentarily as his head swam, then determinedly slid off the couch onto the floor. Janeway and Seven reached out together and balanced him before he fell, then stood back. The nano-probes had done their job well.
"Wow!" thought the Captain, taken back by the handsome apparition standing tall and erect before her, "If Seven is gaining her human senses I can understand her becoming helpful."
The man in his Star Fleet pyjama's stood before them, a little pale. He was about 6'4" tall, a mane of thick brown hair slicked back from his forehead. His eyes were slate grey, shrewd and slightly narrowed, with laughter lines etched from the corners. His face although lined and weather beaten was strong and appeared to belong to a man of about thirty. A small scar, that the probes had missed, marked one corner of his mouth, stretching it up into a slightly lopsided grin. A well muscled chest and arms filled the pyjama top, straining the top button, the chest tapered slightly to a muscular washboard stomach and long muscular legs.
"For a six hundred year old man you look like a man of thirty," complimented the Captain.
"Unfortunately, for a man of fifty I feel like a six hundred year old, Ma'am," he answered heavily.
"Can I have my uniform back now I'm upright?" he asked hopefully.
"We destroyed it when we were treating you. Still I'm sure Seven will find something for you," the Captain answered the Colonel.
"Now I shall have to return to the bridge." She left.
The Colonel turned to Seven, "Well Miss Nine, I am in your hands. Please lead on. Just one thought. I won't fit in one of those slinky suits of yours!"
He took a step and staggered, "Assuming I can actually walk that is," he gasped.
Seven of Nine stepped next door and returned with a wheel chair. He eyed it suspiciously.
"It will be efficient for getting you to the holodeck. I assume you will require clothing similar to your previous uniform and there is nothing in the standard replicator databanks of that nature. We will model it on the holodeck, then replicate the design" she said in explanation.
"And my weapons and equipment?" he asked.
"They are safe in Cargo Bay 2," she answered. Omitting to tell him that was where she lived.
Carry on, Ma'am, he accepted her proposal and sat himself in the chair nervously. Then held on tightly as she propelled him through the corridors.
"I am not fond of women drivers!" He quipped.
The Colonel was fussy in his selection of uniform, insisting that his clothing should be tailored exactly to specification. Finally they emerged from the Holodeck with him dressed in what he described as 'number two's' and two other sets. The uniform he wore was a deep bottle green single breasted suit with black buttons with the regimental crest moulded upon them. He wore black leather issue boots that shone. A black leather belt with shoulder strap was arranged around his waist. On his head he wore the undress flat hat of a British Army Officer, also bearing the regimental crest.
Arriving back at sickbay, Seven helped him back onto his couch and left him.
"I shall return at 10:00 hours tomorrow," she announced as she left.
He settled back on his slab and grinned to himself as he fell asleep, relaxed for the first time in many months.
She was as good as her word, arriving at exactly 10:00 the following day.
"What's on the agenda today nurse?" he asked brightly.
"I have found quarters for you on deck three," she announced.
"I shall take you there," she added unnecessarily.
"Will you require the wheelchair? It is not far."
"I think I shall attempt it on foot," he claimed bravely. In truth he didn't relish the thought of another high speed career along the ships corridors, even propelled by this beautiful driver.
In the end they took the chair, as a means of carrying his new belongings.
The new billet, to the Colonels eye's were unnecessarily spacious. The room was about 20 by 20 feet, divided to give an alcove effect for the sleeping area, and a bathroom with shower, was attached to one side. The sparse furnishings consisted of the bed, a couple of easy chairs, a table and two straight back chairs. A fan shaped partition in a block of shelves divided the easy chairs from the table/dining area. A window was set into one sloping wall. He went to it and looked out. He sighed, he had had much worse quarters.
"These are adequate?" Seven interrupted his reverie. "Additional furniture may be replicated at your convenience, I am aware of how humans like to clutter their personal space."
"Yes. Thank you. It is a ballroom compared to what I'm used to," he stammered.
"I shall collect your personal possessions and return," she said and left.
He carefully hung his new clothing in the lockers he found in the bedroom area, and sat down to gaze at the emptiness out the window.
He was startled by Seven of Nines return. She staggered into the room without introduction and laid out his things.
"I am unclear as to the function of some of these items, you will explain them?" she asked, holding up a rifle.
"That is a standard issue SA80 automatic light infantry rifle, effective range of 400 yards. Careful it may be loaded and dangerous."
"It is inefficient," she stated simply.
"Perhaps not the best," he admitted, "But quite adequate at close ranges."
"And this?" as she picked up a longer device.
"Enfield bolt action snipers rifle, effective range about 2000 yards. The pointed bit at the end is called a bayonet, it comes off like this," he said, taking the weapon from her and twisting the bayonet from the barrel. Picking up a leather sheath from the table he slipped the blade into it and secured it.
"This one is an infantry officers ceremonial sword. I still carry it because it is more effective than anything else at extremely close quarters, especially when dealing with rude Borgs."
She coloured slightly, "I shall leave," she stated.
"Why?" he asked nonplussed.
"Until two years ago, I was part of the Borg Collective."
"I am sorry, I didn't think," he apologised hurriedly.
"How many did you terminate on the Klingon vessel?" She demanded..
"I don't know. I didn't count, ten, a hundred, a thousand, it simply means nothing after a while," he answered hollowly.
"I must return to my duties," she said and turned to go.
"Will you be my guide tomorrow?" he asked hopefully.
"Perhaps. I have other duties to perform."
Cursing himself for his clumsiness, he put his meagre belongings into the lockers, finally picking up the last three items. One was the small leather bag he habitually wore around his neck, carefully he checked the contents and looped it over his neck again, tucking it inside his shirt. The next was a tattered Bible, from which he read a couple of passages from, then turned to the final object, a battered silver flute. He played a long and soulful tune on it, before finally settling to sleep.
He woke up the next morning, feeling hungry and thirsty. After experimenting with the replicator he managed to acquire a jug of water, but no glass and a bar of what appeared to be food, which he ate. Then he settled down to wait, he didn't want to wander around the ship without a guide of some sort. It would be safer and fewer complications would arise he thought.
At twelve the door chimed and the Captain walked in.
"You seem to have upset Seven," she said mildly.
"I know, Ma'am! It was not intentional on my behalf I assure you. Please make my apologies known to Miss Nine," he said contritely, "If I had known her origins I would have been more careful."
"No harm has been done, I think. She will be down later I'm sure, she conspired. In the meantime you appear to have settled in. Any problems?"
"I have a problem with the replicator, Ma'am. He indicated the jug that he had produced. Miss Nine omitted to give instructions on how to get it to produce what you want and not what the computer thinks it will give you."
"I'm sure I can help you there," she brightly answered. "How about some tea and chicken soup?"
"I think that would be admirable Captain, thank you."
"Computer, pot of tea for two, Darjeeling. Two bowls of soup, Cream of Chicken, two bread rolls with butter," she demanded of the computer.
The required goods materialised in the replicator.
"You are quite honoured," she stated as she settled down in front of the Colonel at the table.
"Honoured? Captain," he asked quizzically.
"Oh yes! Seven of Nine still does not take too well to most of the crew. Most of the crew find her, brusque, rude and uncooperative. It makes her seem remote. So she has no friends as such. But you, she volunteered to help!"
"To be frank," she added. "I've given up trying to get her to totally accept her situation, and settle within Voyager. Yet she thinks a lot of you and wanted to help you settle with us."
"Maybe there is a touch of kindred spirit," he suggested.
He pointed at the window. "What you see out there are stars to be explored. It's a game to you and you take everything you need and want with you to make it all seem as comfortable as home. All I see is a huge chasm between me and what I knew, with no prospect of a bridge. Miss Nine told me you are 50,000 light years from Earth. Well I'll tell you that is simply distance. She and I are trapped a whole culture away from what we knew, me because of time, her because people and Borg think differently about everything."
She looked at him sharply over the outburst, wondered at what strains were playing on the Colonel and how he was controlling them.
He caught her gaze and held it, "You are wondering if I'll suddenly crack, go berserk and kill everything I see," he stated.
"In truth, I don't know that I won't. I've seen people break under much less stress," he admitted.
"In your position, I would look for a nice little planet to put me on, then leave, and hope that I'll die a nice quiet death," he continued.
"Are you suggesting that is what I ought to do?" she asked.
"No, Ma'am. I cannot and will not impose a decision upon you or your ship, he protested. But it would be the most sensible reaction, based upon what you know of me. All you have is a scratchy computer record, a dead ship, several hundred bodies and me. I'm no angel, I'm a soldier, I've killed more people than is generally considered good for health. But that is the prime reason for a soldier to exist- Kill the enemy. If that is what you decided was the most appropriate course of action, then I would have no choice but to comply with your request to leave."
"What doesn't appear quite so readily on the mental job description is the other functions. Relief to the suffering, protection of the innocent. If it's any help, I've had as much experience saving lives as taking them and I have to adapt to the situations I find myself in, using what ever is available."
"But if you decide to give me passage a new set of problems present themselves. Where do you take me? You can't put me back where I came from, it doesn't exist. What will you do with me? I haven't a hope in hell of learning what all those flashing lights mean and you certainly don't need a passenger. All I have to offer is thirty plus years experience handling people and fighting, both of which are going to be rather out of date."
The Captain listened spell bound by the Colonels admissions.
Finally she said, "I think we can teach you how to live with us. I'll do you a deal. You look after Seven of Nine for me and I'll not put you off the ship."
"Thank you Captain, I'm not sure who has the better bargain, just as long as you don't try to make me part of your Star Fleet. I don't think either would survive the conflict of interest. Besides there may be an opportunity to go home one day," he finished wistfully.
"Agreed. Thank you for lunch, now I must go. Expect Seven about three," she turned and left.
She immediately went to Astrometrics to find Seven of Nine.
"Seven will you continue your indoctrination of the Colonel?" she asked immediately.
Seven stiffened, "He is hostile to me. There is no useful function to be gained by my befriending him."
"I disagree. He didn't know of your history, and he apologised. In fact you may have more in common than you think. You've both been torn from the world you knew and he is the nearest thing to a Borg that hasn't actually been one on this ship. We need to know more about him! You didn't expect the task you volunteered for would be easy did you?"
"I shall comply," said Seven stiffly.
"Try taking him to see Neelix," the Captain suggested as she left. "He needs feeding up!"
The Colonel was waiting for her when she arrived. He was fully dressed and had clipped the sword to his belt. He felt better fully dressed.
"Miss Nine, I must apologise for my statements yesterday," he started.
"Apologies are irrelevant," she said coolly.
"That is not relevant on this vessel," she pointed to the sword.
"You think so?" he asked mildly. "It makes me feel more at home. Still if you insist I shall remove it."
He did so.
"Where now?" He asked.
"We shall start with Engineering, the source of power on this vessel. This way," she stated.
He walked after her. They met with B'Elanna, shouting at her staff in Engineering.
"This is Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres, a Klingon/human cross, a very capable engineer, who knows the ships systems, but is prone to a volatile temper," she introduced Torres in her usual brusque manner.
"Seven I really don't have time just now.." she started.
"Lieutenant Torres, I am pleased to meet you, Ma'am. I'm sorry I left such a mess on the Klingon vessel for you to meet, it was remiss of me. I promise not to do it again," the Colonel announced happily.
She stopped turned and turned at the sound of his voice and the strange accent, it commanded attention, "I'm sure you couldn't help it, have you seen the warp drive?" she asked sweetly, "Come on I'll show you!"
Taking his arm she led him to the pulsing column in the centre of the room.
"This is the ships power source, it powers everything from lights, replicators and gives the ship it's motive power.." and launched into an explanation of how it worked.
"It would only be fair to advise you, I didn't understand a word of that," he grinned finally, "Would I be right in thinking that basically you take something called antimatter' and matter, shake it together with that crystal and harness the bang it produces?"
She grinned also, there was an open frankness about him that seemed to soften everybody near him.
"Rather simplistically, yes!" she answered.
She continued, "Beware of Miss Bossy over there, she warned, nodding towards Seven of Nine, who was watching them impassively. She'll turn you into a drone of efficiency, given half a chance.
"Miss Nine you mean. She has been most kind and pleasant to me!" he exclaimed in surprise.
"So far I've resisted all attempts from a lot of people to change me radically, I think It will take more than her beauty and mannerisms to change me from what I am," he boasted.
"Just take care," she warned.
He returned to Seven.
"Where to next Ma'am?" he asked.
"We shall go to the Mess Hall."
She turned and left, the Colonel trotting after her. As they left numerous heads turned to watch the two figures leave.
"This is Neelix, the ships cook, a Talaxian. Most meals are prepared and cooked here, the use of replicators for food is strictly rationed," she intoned.
"Greetings Colonel. You are quite a celebrity here, it is good to see you up and about. I trust Seven has been looking after you," the little cook babbled.
"She has been remarkably patient with me," the Colonel admitted, "Every whim has been handled with efficiency."
"Will you have something to eat. We have Talaxian Stew and vegetable, or would you prefer something more familiar?"
"Does it move around on its own?" the Colonel asked suspiciously.
"Dear me no!" laughed Neelix
"Then I'll take it," he said relieved. "Will you join me?" he turned to Seven.
"No. I am due regeneration," she excused herself.
"I've not upset her again, have I?" he asked the little cook, as she walked away.
"No. That's just her way. She doesn't eat very often, she prefers her Borg regeneration cell to company," the Talaxian explained.
"I think she is not entirely happy with her life," the Colonel said wistfully, "No wonder the Captain doesn't know what to do with her."
He sat down at a table and tried the food. It was more edible than anything that he had consumed recently.
"How is your dinner," asked the little Talaxian nervously.
"It starts at a better point than my last real meal, it's not alive!" the Colonel joked, "But perhaps a little zing is required, maybe a dash of Worcester Sauce?"
"I don't know what that is," confessed Neelix.
"It's a mild pepper sauce in a fermented beef stock," answered the Colonel.
"I shall try and make some, it sounds quite tasty. How about a drink?"
"A bitter ale or stout would be nice, but failing that tea would suffice nicely" the Colonel suggested.
"Coming right up," replied Neelix.
After the little Chef had supplied him with his drink, the Colonel was approached by the Captain and two Officers. He stood up and saluted.
"Do you mind if we join you? I see you are trying Neelix's food," she smiled, "I apologise for the standard in advance. Please continue."
"By Navy standards it is quite palatable," he replied happily, "And miles better than anything the Klingons can provide. It doesn't walk about on the plate."
Everybody laughed and sat with him.
He finished his plate, and wiped his mouth with a napkin.
"Now I'm sure you didn't join me simply for the enjoyment of watching me make a pig of myself," he quizzed.
"No we didn't, but it was good to see somebody who actually enjoys Neelix's food," admitted the Captain. "Do you mind if we talked?"
"In the absence of a pressing date, I seem to have an empty diary," he commented. "Do you wish to do it here, or is there a more suitable location for my interrogation?" He needled. I assume you wish me to explain myself?
"I think the Ready Room would be more suitable," agreed the Captain quickly and they all trooped off, to the combined stares of the whole Mess.
"How did you get on the Klingon ship? The full story!" Demanded Janeway.
They were sat in the Captains ready room, facing the Colonel.
"I had three platoons, thirty men. Two were engaged in a training exercise, the other was returning from a patrol," The Colonel began. "We detected the sudden arrival of a large company of rather ugly and seemingly heavily armed men. I didn't know where from, or how they got there. So I sent a captain and two men to say 'Hello' and find out who they were. The rest of the men I quietly deployed around their landing site."
"You were preparing for combat?" Tuvok asked.
"No!" The Colonel replied firmly. "If they had been genuine and friendly, there would have been no problem. As it was they started shooting, we simply defended ourselves, then persuaded them to leave again."
"How many Klingons landed?" Janeway asked.
"Three companies at least," the Colonel replied immediately. "Sorry, about 200," he elaborated, noting their confused looks.
"How long did the combat last?" From Tuvok
"Casualties?" Asked Janeway.
"I didn't have time to take a butchers bill," he pointed out. "I know I lost four and Carver on the ship. Of the Klingons, I know we were in double figures."
"Gavikorn stated eighty in his logs, Captain," advised Chakotay. "How could you keep the casualties so low?" He asked in fascination, remembering his efforts with the Maquis. There was no way he would have dared to take on such an overwhelming force, particularly Klingons.
"We were experts in jungle and guerilla warfare and were playing at home. They could have ten times that number and still have lost," the Colonel boasted proudly.
"How did you end up on the ship?"
"They captured Carver, I couldn't have that. So Sergeant Major O'Neil and I went to get him back. Unfortunately it was just when they withdrew. On the ship we had a bit of an argument. We wanted to go home, they wanted us to stay. Carver was killed, but I think I managed to get the Sergeant Major back. After that I was overcome."
"Then you made peace with the Commander on the ship?" Asked Chakotay.
"There wasn't a lot of choice, was there?" The Colonel pointed out bitterly. "I couldn't get home by then. Their leader, Gavikorn, seemed to be impressed by the fight. He promised to set me free and return me to Earth, after we reached his own world.
I won't hold it against him the fact I'm unlikely to see either," he added sadly.
"Who was Anneka?" The Captain asked, changing the subject.
"Anneka Holsen, was my wife. She was a Swedish diplomatic interpreter. We were married for two years, when she happened to be in the way of a terrorist bomb in London. She was pregnant with our first child at the time."
"I'm sorry," the Captain said sympathetically, "Were the people responsible caught?"
"Yes they were caught, and the people who ordered the event. I made sure of them myself."
"You killed them?" asked Chakotay.
"Yes!" the reply was final.
"Did it help?"
"Not in the long run perhaps, but at the time I thought so. So yes!"
"Did you love her?"
He stared at them incredulously, then reached inside he shirt for the leather pouch and emptied it into his hand. From the small items he extracted a gold ring and showed it to them carefully. The rest he put on the table beside him.
"Come on! Look. The ring hasn't tarnished, of course I did!"
"Look where is this going?" He demanded forcefully.
"We are concerned that you may have a violent reaction putting the crew at risk," explained Tuvok calmly. "The circumstantial evidence against you is very strong."
The Colonel turned to the Captain, "I told you this afternoon, Captain, I do not know whether I am mentally stable. In the last six weeks two out of three life forms I've met have made it their personal ambition to kill me. Should I be? I'm not even sure I know what the term means anymore!"
He drew a breath.
"As things are, I see no benefit in doing anything hostile towards anybody that isn't hostile to me. As that seemingly means at least two thirds of the Galaxy is after me, I think that is quite sufficient to be going on with!"
"I want to go home, but I can't fly this ship. If I could, I wouldn't know which way to point it, and if I got there, it still wouldn't be home. So I've nothing to gain by harming the ship or her crew! This ship has been kind enough to take me aboard, I have no intention of biting the hand that feeds me!" he finished.
"How many men were in you regiment?" asked Chakotay.
"240 officers and men, sixty army support," he replied.
"A lot of men!"
"Not really. In the Green Jackets I commanded a battalion of nearly a thousand."
"You have no objection to being commanded by our Captain?"
The Colonel started.
"Excuse me. That is another damned stupid question!"
"Explain?" demanded Tuvok.
"Let's start at the top," the Colonel started heavily, his anger rising.
"One, I'm not part of Star Fleet. As things stand I've no intention of being so, my pledge of loyalty lies with the Queen of England and her successors."
"Two, I've no orders to control the ship and not likely to get any!"
"Three, I'm a mud plugging squaddy. What would I do with a Space Ship?"
"Four, under Queens regulations, even though the Captain is a different service and may even hold a junior rank. She is designated the Captain. Aboard this ship she is the superior officer."
"What about ashore?"
"If that is the case, I would assume the Captain will designate as she sees fit. I cannot control her crew members without explicit permission from the Senior Officer in Command."
"If that is what you are worried about. I will offer you this as my word of honour," he glared at Tuvok. " I will respond as my own regulations require. The ship and crew are yours, you may do as you wish with them and I shall not interfere. I shall not knowingly put this ship in danger, or to allow it to fall into danger if the remedy is at my hand. That will include it's defence from outside sources, but exclude anything you do to yourselves. I will not attempt to usurp the Captain or her officers authority over the crew without permission. Or accepting the responsibility for both their and my actions. I shall undertake your requests for action, to the best of my ability, such as it maybe. The only thing I ask is that my rank is accepted as a valid rank of an ally, not as a convenience. If that is not reassurance enough, then put me off this ship, NOW!"
He emphasised the last statement by crashing his fist into the table.
"If you would excuse us for a moment Colonel?" asked the Captain calmly, "We shall call you shortly."
He stood, slammed a salute more precise than anything to be seen at the Academy, then marched out, head high.
"I think we've hurt his pride!" Said Chakotay mildly.
"Anything else? Questions? Comments?" asked the Captain sombrely.
"He is violent, prone to temper. From the evidence aboard the Klingon Freighter we would have significant problems in containing him should he decide to resist. It could put the ship in danger." Tuvok pointed out immediately.
"He offered me the option of putting him off the ship this afternoon." Responded the Captain, "He also claims he has saved as many lives as he has seemingly taken."
"That cannot be proved." Remarked Chakotay, "What are these Queens Regulations he quoted?"
"No we can't, yet." The Captain admitted, "The regulations, I think are his equivalent to Star Fleet Regulations. But I suspect they are much broader in scope and stricter in application."
"I suspect you have already made your decision, Captain." Tuvok remarked. "You intend to keep him on board."
She nodded. "We can't simply leave him in the depths of space. So we have to take him, somewhere where he will be safe."
The Colonel stalked back to his quarters, "They were still afraid of me! I'm not wanted! Well that figures, who needs a soldier?" He thought bitterly.
Determinedly he reattached his sword to his belt and waited.
"Colonel Samuels, to the ready room." The call came and he marched out at the double. If he was to be put of the ship it would be as a soldier.
Seven met him as he marched and ran to keep up with him.
"You are going to the Captains Ready Rooms?" she asked.
"You think they will put you off the ship?"
"You are thinking of resisting?"
"Why are you going armed?" She demanded.
He stopped suddenly and she crashed into him, he held her close to prevent her falling.
"If they wish to put me off, I will go. That is their right. I've been left in the lurch before, I'll survive. But I go as what I am, not as a broken cast-off no matter how it's taken," he snarled.
She was taken back. Even more so when he kissed her on the lips.
"I may never get the opportunity again," he whispered gently in her ear.
He turned and marched off again, at the strange double march, leaving her confused. He arrived at the Ready Room Door, chimed the bell and marched in, at the double, slammed to attention, snapping another parade ground salute.
"Lieutenant Colonel Samuels reporting, as ordered, Ma'am," he snapped and came to attention, gazing fixedly at a point on the wall above their heads.
"My senior officers and I have come to a decision," the Captain announced standing up, "We have decided to take your word and pledge."
The reply was snapped out as crisply as any parade ground command, devoid of any feeling.
She smiled, "You came armed, you were expecting a decision otherwise?"
"It was a possibility, Ma'am," the Colonel answered flatly.
"You were going to fight over it?" she questioned.
"No, Ma'am. I was going with honour intact."
It dawned upon the gathering that the Colonels word once given was total, they all relaxed. He drew his sword, saluted the gathering with it, then presented it handle first to the Captain.
"My bond," he stated.
She took the handle, tested the weight, then lifted it with both hands and examined it.
"It is a good weapon, very sharp, but heavy," she commented.
"It will make a mess of most of the ships bulkheads," he stated, "In the wrong hands."
"I think you had better keep hold of it then," she handed it back carefully.
In one smooth action he took it, twirled it around and slid it back into its scabbard where it locked into place.
"You left your pouch and ring behind," the Captain asserted, handing him the little leather bag, "Why do you carry it around your neck?"
"They are the only personal things I posses Ma'am," he informed her quietly, putting it back around his neck, "My wedding ring, a lock of hair, a bullet that should have killed me, a few gems acquired from here and there. Things to remind me that life is not always war, where else should I keep it?"
He gazed at their puzzled faces and smiled weakly, "If you will excuse me, Ma'am. I should like to retire to my billet, I still feel weak from recent activities."
"Very well, we shall have to find some worthwhile activities for you to do. For the time being I think Seven of Nine had better continue as your tutor and guide," the Captain agreed
He nodded, snapped another salute and marched out, sagging slightly as he left for his quarters.
"That could have gone worse," commented Chakotay, "Would he have resisted if we had decided otherwise."
Tuvok shook his head, "I do not think so, he had already given his word that he would respect the ships authority. He may prove a far more useful ally to us than we imagine. But we must find him suitable responsibilities."
"We will have to see how well he learns with Seven," said the Captain.
"Are you sure that Seven is the most suitable teacher?" Chakotay asked.
"Of all the people on this ship, the Colonel has been the first person she has ever taken a personal interest in without orders. He is also a lot more sensitive than we think, they could be good for each other," she explained, "And I expect everybody on this ship to assist her get through to him," she added forcefully.
"Seven of Nine, Personal Log."
In her alcove Seven of Nine was making up her personal log before regenerating.
"The Colonel 'kissed' me for the second time today. This time it appeared to be an expression of farewell. He did not expect to be remain on the ship but denied any desire to fight to remain. For my part, I found it as disturbing as the first time, but I wish it to happen again. More data is required. I shall assign two hours to investigate Star Fleet records to identify the nature of the feelings.
The Captain has instructed me to train him in Star Fleet protocols, procedures and methods. She believes there are similarities between myself and the Colonel and teaching him may be beneficial to me. I find I am not unhappy at the prospect of the task, he interests me! I shall make a point of making him efficient member of the crew."
Closing she stood in her alcove and initiated regeneration.
In his quarters the Colonel fiddled with a PADD and his own thoughts. Neither was helping the other, on one hand he was unsure of how to use the electronic terminal, he had already given up trying to dictate to the computer, on the other he was unsure of what he was going to record.
Throwing the PADD to one side, he demanded of the replicator. "Computer, I want a hard backed notebook 6"x8" two hundred pages of lined paper?" he asked. The replicator shimmered and to his amazement what he asked for appeared.
"Things are looking up," he thought.
He pulled out a pen from the remains of his possessions and settled down to write, using the brief note forms that he always used for sorting out his problems:-
'Voyager, high technology wonder ship- crew over reliant on technology to solve problems but good at/with it?'
'Discipline? Appears to be good, moulded by circumstance? Authority channels similar to RN but not as strong.'
'Captain- Kathryn Janeway- Strong leadership potentials, decisive, prone to act on impulse, loyal officers.'
'Seven of Nine- Ex-human-ExBorg, devastatingly attractive, outlook black and white, does not understand all human reactions therefore seems off hand to point of brusque in dealings with crew. Crew accept but don't like. Hyp. Crew afraid of what was. Not looking behind the mask. Prog. Rather like her the way she is actually!'
He studied the last comment, carefully. "Careful, Samuels old lad. You could be biting more than you can chew. She isn't going to be interested in you, even if she was, think of the age difference!" he thought, "Still even I have to have something to wish for."
He laid down his pen, and slept.
Sat 25/Nov 00