Disclaimer: 'Star Trek Voyager' and the main characters belong to Paramount.

I'm just playing with them for a little while, before handing them back…unscathed.

Writing fan fiction is just for fun, not for profit.

Background: My first real and enduring love is 'The Invisible Man" - and I am currently working on my 4th I-Man fic - but 'Star Trek Voyager' and 'NCIS" both come in a close second.

Tom Paris and his background, and in particular his relationship with his father, Admiral Owen Paris, fascinates me. This story is just my attempt at a back story.

Summary: The realization of a dream for a young Tom Paris, brings trouble not only from his domineering father but also from another far more dangerous source.


The hybrid known only as Syrus barely flinched as a series of muffled explosions rocked his ship. A warning siren blared ominously.

All around him was controlled pandemonium as his small crew fought on desperately to save their stricken vessel, but Syrus knew in both his hearts that it was a wasted effort. With an air of calm that belied his seething rage, the alien captain checked the diagnostic data from the helm computer yet again, cursing softly in his native dialect as his worst fears were confirmed

Just to the right and a few paces behind stood his loyal second-in-command, Ortiz, a massively-built Klingon. He shifted nervously while awaiting his captain's orders.

Another of the consoles on the bridge exploded violently amid a spray of sparks and flames, and the unfortunate crewman who had been working closest to it was thrown back with the force of the blast. He now lay moaning in agony on the deck, blackened fingers clutching futilely at his badly burned and bloody face - or what was left of it.

With little more than a cursory glance at the injured man, Syrus dispassionately stepped over the prone form to get to another computer terminal, his long scaled fingers with yellowed nails flying over the keypad. Seconds later the view screen displayed the image from the large cargo hold several decks below, revealing row upon row of cylindrical shaped stasis pods.

"Cap'n. If we're going to get to the shuttle we need to do it soon, before full life support fails," Ortiz urged as respectfully as possible, doing his best not to choke on the thick cloying smoke enveloping them. Though a full head taller and broader than his Captain, he was no fool; Syrus's brute strength and murderously volatile temper were legendary.

"Are we sure they'll survive Ortiz?" Syrus asked, narrowing his cat-like amber eyes, the well-defined ridges and mottled skin along his brow and the bridge of his nose creasing in concern.

Ortiz nodded adamantly. "The hold is locked down and airtight captain, and the pods can sustain them for over 50 cycles. More than enough time for us to find another ship, locate and retrieve them. We may lose a few, but most should remain intact."

Syrus gave the view screen one last lingering look. He loathed the thought of abandoning such a precious and valuable cargo, but his ship was in its death throes and he had little choice in the matter. Their run in with a Starfleet patrol vessel had taken its toll, and though they had eventually outrun and then lost their pursuers within a well-timed ion storm, the old craft had taken a heavy battering

Wishing to allay his Captain's concerns further, Ortiz leaned across him to the computer. "As you ordered, we've laid in the course co-ordinates and the auto--pilot and tracking beacon is set. We anticipate that it will impact… here," he pointed at the map now displayed for them. " It's still sparsely populated and an excellent hiding place."

"Well, why are we wasting time?" With a curt decisive nod, Syrus spun on his heels and swept off the bridge heading for the shuttle bay, with Ortiz and the remaining crew hot on his heels.

Earth: Southern Hemisphere - Off the eastern coast of Australia.

The violent electrical storm came from nowhere.

One minute the seas were calm and the wind moderate and then the small fishing boat was being buffeted on all sides by a raging tempest.

A single powerful light cast a ghostly halo around the boat, though visibility was still minimal. Keeping a firm grip on the port rail as they were pounded by yet another large wave, the poacher stared with a mix of concern and puzzlement at the densely clouded heavens as thunder rumbled ominously followed by a brilliant flash and the loud crash of lightening.

"Can you see anything ?" asked the worried teenage boy from the helm.

"No," he growled back at his solitary member of crew. "Try to keep her steady."

He risked a quick glance back at their precious but illegal catch, currently secured mid-deck beneath a large net. A clever entrepreneur could make a lot of credits on the black market - both on and off-world - from the abundant and much-prized sea-life now thriving in these waters, as long as they were prepared to flout the strict environmental laws for this protected zone - which meant playing frequent cat and mouse with the ever vigilant coastal patrol.

"We need to find some shelter…and fast," he advised as he shoved his young partner in crime out of the way to take control at the helm.

"What about the coast guard? If they catch us with…"

He cast the boy an incredulous look. "You really think they're gonna be stupid enough to come out on patrol… in this?"

With a quick adjustment the poacher expertly brought the boat about. There were plenty of small islands and coves scattered all over the region which they could use to ride out the storm. With the help of the scanner it didn't take him long to find one and he had just programmed in the course co-ordinates when a startled yell from the youngster drew his attention.

"What the hell…" the rest of his words were obliterated by a thunderous explosion and an almost blinding light and all at once the air around them crackled and hissed with energy. Then it came. At first a soft droning hum, which increased rapidly until it reached an almost unbearable roaring crescendo as a large space craft suddenly broke through the dense cloud cover and flew right over them, so low that the pair instinctively hit the deck. From their prone positions they watched, fascinated as it hurtled erratically onwards until it nose dived into the water several kilometers away.

"Hold on to something," he shouted, pulling himself unsteadily to his feet and lacing his arms around the helm control. The after shock when it came was violent, and the small vessel was lifted up and almost capsized amid the turbulence.

With their boat still rolling beneath his feet, soaked to the skin now and panting heavily with the exertion, the boy struggled back to the man at the helm.

"What was that?" he asked, with his gaze routed to the horizon,

With his attention locked on the craft as it sank slowly into the churning waters, the older man didn't answer straight away. When he finally turned his mouth was set in a grim line.