Body Title - A Single Red Rose

Author - Jules

Date - 14/5/01

Summery - death through the eyes of a daughter

Disclaimer - I don't own the ship, or its enlisted crew, but I do own Emily!

Authors Notes - just a short sad angst piece for Mothers Day.

A Single Red Rose

Emily slowed walked the deserted corridors of the her familiar home. The decks throbbed ever so slightly beneath her feet, a subtle reminder that often went unnoticed, but to her was like a heartbeat and a way to know that everything was all right. Step after step she navigated the tunnels with a ease that only came from experience. This was the only home she knew, yet she was travelling towards a home she had never known. The people around her were insistent that one day they would reach this home, yet to Emily, it was a dream she didn't wish to remember. This place was her home. Pausing to wait for the turbo-lift her attention turned again to the slight vibration of the deckplates, and the time that vibration had stopped.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

"Report NOW!" Captain Kathryn Janeway barked as the ship rocked from yet another volley of enemy fire from yet another alien warship. For months the attacks, raids, and skirmishes had been a constant reminder of the fact that here in the Delta Quadrant, THEY were the aliens, not the species they encountered. She listened to the reports with half an ear, hands gripped like vices on her command chair resisting the bucks her ship gave. Her mind registered the word casualties with the word 'no' and she sighed slightly in relief. No-one yet. Every life was precious, but no more so than those aboard the Voyager. There were no replacement staff, no starbase to pick up fresh recruits. Out here they were truly alone.

The ship roiled beneath them again, this time unseating Janeway and sending her tumbling to the deck. For a blessed moment there was darkness, an absence of everything and nothing. Time stood still, then the agony made its ugly presence known.

" Return fire Tuvok!" Chakotay snapped as he knelt beside his fallen captain. Inwardly Kathryn blessed him for this attendance, but knew that someone had to give the commands if she was unable. She heard his voice crack as he called for a medical team, cursing the transporters for being off-line. Damnit this wasn't the time for the commanding officer to be emotionally connected with a fallen officer! Summoning the strength of her inner spirit she cracked open her eyes and saw for the first time something she had never seen in the eyes of her first officer, fear. Sheer unbridled fear, and it was fear for her. She gasped as she took an inward breath, knowing for sure her ribs were splintering into her lungs.

" Save... the Brunalli" she croaked, her voice small and weak. Her eyes told him more than her words, and he knew exactly what she meant. To save the peaceful aliens that were being slaughtered by their evil oppressors, no matter what the cost. Her eyes fluttered closed again and she welcomed the empty nothingness of unconsciousness.

Although inside Chakotay ached to know his Captain's condition as the medical crew finally arrived and loaded his commanding officer onto the pale grey stretcher, he knew that his primary responsibility was to the ship and its crew. In a crisis situation in which the Captain has been wounded or killed, the First officer must fluidly take over command. And he would be damned if he were going to let any more be slain in this battle.

" Tuvok, set phasers to a modulating frequency and fire photons at will. Lets end this here and now!" he shouted for the benefit of the entire bridge crew. They were shocked to see their pillar of strength crumble, for she seemed immortal to them all, and were inspired by Chakotay's words. They would end this now, or they would all die protecting the innocent race of aliens.

Soon after the lethal array of weaponry had been unleashed on the attacking warship an eerie silence filled the corridors of the USS Voyager. It was the silence that knew something was very wrong. Ever since Chakotay had started issuing orders everyone had known something had happened to their Captain. She had been transferred to sickbay during the battle and all non-medical personnel were locked out, forced to seek treatment for minor injuries in the mess hall where the field medic Lt Tom Paris was nursing the wounded.

Words were hushed and thoughts frequently strayed to their Captain and hours turned to days people feared to worst. Only a few select people were allowed into sickbay, the doors now guarded to all except medical emergencies. Nearly a week after the battle, an announcement was made comm.

" Chakotay to all hands. I'm deeply saddened to report the death of our Captain. Captain Kathryn Janeway passed on a little over an hour ago in sickbay due to injuries sustained in the battle for the Brunalli. The memorial service will be held in the Mess Hall tomorrow at midday. She will be sadly missed." His voice trembled through the entire delivery, but his need for the crew to know urged him to hold off the barrage of tears that would threatening to break through the exterior. For days he had watched her cling to life, on total life support, the doctor trying desperately to heal her horrific injuries. Ruptured spleen, 4 splintered ribs, punctured lung, and to deal the final blow, 5 fractured cervical vertebra which crushed her spinal cord. Valiantly she fought the battle, minutes, hours and days went by, and still she fought. The doctor could do little other than keep her unconscious and full of painkillers, for there was only so much damage he could repair. Prayers were murmured and rituals performed, preparing her for what might lay ahead. Although those around her prayed for a miracle, it was simply a matter of time. The young woman who had been present since the beginning of the battle began to weep as alarms went off at the bedside. The doctor tried to bring her back, repeating the procedure several times before conceding defeat. He turned slowly to the girl, now in a deep embrace from her father and simply muttered "I'm sorry" before raising the sheet over the dead woman's face.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Emily solemnly approached the memorial garden, taking the time to take in the immense beauty. The Cargobay Seven of Nine used to use for regenerating had now been converted to a lush garden. Fern's, trees, flowers and waterfalls adorned the once barren space , a meandering path leading to a simple plaque set into the central paved area. 'In the memory of Captain Kathryn Janeway, killed in the line of duty. May she still lead us home' with the stardates that marked her existence etched below. With a sad smile Emily knelt and placed a single red rose beneath the plaque.

" Happy Mother's Day Mum" she whispered before rising and leaving the sanctuary and returning her daily life that was the USS Voyager.

Finis