Many thanks to my chapter two betas elaraananke and archaeology!
And thank you to dmbjohn and xkawaiix for the reviews!
Author's notes: I know that in Jeri Taylor's novel, Mosaic, that Phoebe Janeway was only 4 years younger than Kathryn, but I decided increasing the age gap would be quite interesting!
"Captain's log, stardate 57946.3.Voyager will soon be in orbit around Loran II, a planet that holds vivid memories for several members of the crew. We will be parting company with our Chief Medical Officer, Jarem Kaz at Loran II following his request for an extended leave of absence. I have granted his request to allow him to continue to aid in the rehabilitation of the settlers that Crell Moset experimented on. Dr. Kaz also wishes to undergo the Trill right of Zhian'tara, something he should have done years ago but was unable to while serving on Voyager. We will pick up our acting Chief of Medicine, Julian Bashir, at Deep Space Nine. Our new deputy MD, Dr. Selar will be responsible for sickbay until Dr. Bashir comes aboard."
Chakotay never liked keeping an official log, feeling that he was monologuing like a bad guy in one of Tom Paris' holodeck programs. But keeping a log was standard procedure, thus he had to follow protocol. Chakotay far preferred writing in his journal, which he kept safe in the drawer of Kathryn's desk.
Feeling his spirits sink, Chakotay chided himself. Three years after being given command of Voyager, Chakotay still thought of the ready room as Kathryn's domain. Even now that she wasn't here, months after her memorial service, Chakotay spent the bare minimum of time in the ready room, preferring the Captain's office. The office was a room Kathryn had barely used during their journey home.
Chakotay was shaken from his thoughts by the chime of the door.
The doors swished open to allow Phoebe Janeway in. Anyone who did not know the Janeway sisters personally would never have guessed that they were related. At first glance, the only things they had in common were their heights (or lack thereof), their red hair, and a disarmingly fragile elegance.
Phoebe was a free spirit, set apart from her family. While her father and sister had both been admirals, and her mother a mathematician, Phoebe had never been gifted in the sciences. Instead her interests were in the arts. Even then, she lacked the high drive of the Janeways, never really applying herself to anything for an extended length of time.
"Hi,"she said simply before continuing, "I'm not disturbing you, am I?"
"Not at all." Chakotay smiled at her.
Relaxing a little, Phoebe smiled in return before Chakotay motioned towards the couch. The young woman diligently sat down.
That had been another thing that had surprised Chakotay. He'd always held the assumption that Phoebe was only a little younger than Kathryn. Instead, there was a twenty year age gap. Kathryn had always insisted that she and Phoebe were very similar, and despite their marked differences, Chakotay had to agree.
Phoebe flashed an all-too familiar grin at Chakotay. "Of course!"
Chakotay ordered a black coffee for Phoebe and an iced tea for himself before joining her on the couch.
"So what can I do for you, Phoebe?" Chakotay knew getting a straight answer from her was never easy.
"Uhm...I just wanted to thank you for letting me come onboard. I know you didn't have to, and I know that people like me can be a nuisance on a starship. Goodness knows Kathryn said she could have strangled me when I visited her on the Billings because of what I did to the...That's beside the point though..."
Chakotay glanced with bemusement at Phoebe. Kathryn had told him all about the incident her little sister had caused when she decided to tamper with the USS Billings's sonic showers.
Sensing that Chakotay knew what she was talking about, Phoebe tried to move the conversation along.
"Anyway...I won't be onboard for long...I know this crew thrives on deep space exploration, and while I like to travel, I'd rather not go too far from sector one."
"So where will you be leaving us then?"
"Deep Space Nine. Part of me desperately wants to go to Qo'noS, but common sense won out for once! So hopefully, I'll be spending some time on Bajor instead."
Chakotay didn't buy her story.
"Phoebe, why are you really here?"
Chakotay and Phoebe had developed an oddly paternal relationship since they'd first met, and Chakotay could read her like a book. Phoebe had been a child when Edward Janeway had died, and he had guessed that she'd missed a fatherly presence in her life. Gretchen Janeway had never remarried. Chakotay thought that Phoebe had seen in him what Kathryn had first seen – a confidante. But where attraction, and dare he admit it, even now, love had followed that initial trust between he and Kathryn, Phoebe had instead, and perhaps subconsciously, made Chakotay into a father figure in her life.
Phoebe seemed intent on examining every molecule of her coffee, refusing to look at him.
"Katie..."she started, reverting back to Kathryn's pet name, "Katie spent most of the last decade of her life on Voyager, and although all of you have told me a lot about this journey...This ship changed my sister so much...I'm hoping that even spending a few weeks on Voyager will give me some insight into her life here, and how it changed her."
"I had a feeling that was why you were here." Chakotay smiled sadly at her.
The door chimed again.
Sekaya walked into the ready room. "That's all the briefings complete."
"Anything of interest to report?"
"Not much. The usual...Dr. Selar seems very interesting...She even tried some Vulcan humour on me."
"That'll please Vorik, I'm sure." Chakotay grinned. Lt. Commander Vorik was straight-laced, even for a Vulcan, and had always appeared to cringe whenever Tuvok used his unique brand of sarcasm. Chakotay hadn't even thought Vulcans were capable of cringing.
Sekaya drew he brother a look reserved only for siblings, before asking quietly. "Was I interrupting something?"
"No, no, I was just telling your brother that you'll all be getting rid of me at Deep Space Nine." Phoebe stood up, smiling perhaps a little too much. "I'd better be going anyway...Chell is assigning me to my quarters...better not keep him waiting!"
Phoebe turned towards Chakotay. "Thank you for the coffee...And do you want me to call you sir or is Chakotay alright?"
Chakotay smiled. "Just call me Captain if we're someplace busy...other than that, Chakotay is fine."
Phoebe nodded, before turning and leaving the ready room.
Once she was gone, Sekaya leveled a faint scowl at her brother.
"Men." she tutted in answer. Seeing Chakotay's puzzlement, she rolled her eyes, "Phoebe was clearly upset, no matter how much she tried to cover it up just now...Couldn't you just have dismissed me?"
"What good would that have done? It would just have made her feel awkward if she knew I was putting off getting your report until I was finished talking to her."
Sekaya conceded the point, handing over a PADD. "Fine...He's my report."
Chakotay reviewed its contents.
"Told you...nothing of interest."
"Belmeth seemed 'pompous'? Oh, I see a clash with Chell on the horizon."
Sekaya sighed. "Belmeth seemed awfully sure of himself, and showed no respect for my position on the ship. He called it 'Terran hocus-pocus'."
Chakotay knew through his own experiences that Bolians could be quite a handful. It had taken him a lot of patience to forge a friendship with his Bolian roommate when he'd been a senior at the Academy. Chert had certainly been very chipper. Golwatt and Chell, Voyager's resident Bolians were both very sedate for their species, and Chell in particular seemed to hate the behaviour of certain members of his species.
"The last thing we want is more conflict on this ship. We've had enough tension between the original Voyager crew and those who served during the Dominion war." Chakotay rubbed his forehead. Even one awkward crew member could cause a lot of problems on a ship.
"I'll keep an eye on him...Hopefully he just has an issue with me."
The beep of Tom's voice over the intercom interrupted their chat.
"Captain, we'll be in orbit around Loran II momentarily."
Loran II looked bleak from orbit, grey cloud and bare volcanic rock giving the planet a less than appealing colour. On the surface, however, the highly volcanic planet provided fertile soils, perfect for the agrarian French colonists that now called Loran II home.
"Pretty," Lyssa said from tactical, with a hint of sarcasm.
Tom loved having Lyssa Campbell on the bridge, but he missed getting to be first with a cheeky comment when she was about.
"It's nice on the surface." Harry defended the colonial world.
"We'll take your word for it, Harry," Tom smirked.
Chakotay and Sekaya emerged from the ready room and joined the bridge crew.
"Assume standard orbit, Tom. Harry, open hailing frequencies."
As Harry input the command, Kaz arrived on the bridge, hanging back near the tactical station.
Marius Fortier's face appeared on the viewscreen, and Chakotay noted that the man seemed to be a lot more content and happy compared to when they'd last met.
"Captain Chakotay...It is a pleasure to welcome you and your crew back to our world," The gentle man beamed proudly.
"It's a pleasure to be here," Chakotay returned, and it was.
The crew had felt so disheartened when they'd believed Loran II's population to have been wiped out, so it was nice to come back and see the leader of the colonists in good spirits.
"Is that Dr. Kaz I see back there?" Marius inquired.
"It sure is," Chakotay turned to his Chief Medic, indicating for Kaz to join him on the command deck.
"I'd like to thank you for accepting my request, Marius."
"Your thanks are not necessary...You've already done more for my people than we can ever repay. And now you give up more of your time to help us once more. We are very grateful."
Kaz had the courtesy to blush at the praise.
"I'm afraid we're on a bit of a tight schedule, Marius. So we'll be leaving orbit in just a few minutes."
"Of course. We'll have to have a good long chat when you return in six months. In the meantime if we need anything, we'll contact Deep Space Nine."
Chakotay smiled at Marius as he signed off, and once again the stars of the Milky Way filled the viewscreen.
"All set, Jarem?" Chakotay turned to the Trill.
"All my belongings are in Transporter room 2."
Taking that as a cue, Harry reported, "Your belongings have been beamed down to the surface."
"Well, Jarem Kaz, it's been an honour having you onboard, and we look forward to your return," Chakotay extended a hand to his friend.
Kaz took it. "Yes, sir," Grinning, he nodded to Harry.
Kaz disappeared in the blue glow of the transporter beam.
"He's on the surface, sir."
Chakotay nodded. "Tom, set a course for Deep Space Nine."