Acknowledgements: Thank you Maja for the content beta. I take full responsibility for all bad punctuation. Thank you QS for challenging me to 'go dark' and Happy Birthday!
Disclaimer: Paramount owns all things Star Trek. Quotes used from Jeri Taylor's - Mosaic. No infringement intended.
Warning: This story contains violent imagery and depictions of rape. If this kind of story is not your cup of tea please stop reading now.
Breached by Cheshire
"A man shouldn't allow his enemies to outlive him." Enabran Tain
In the darkened corner of the tavern, the figure in the booth leaned forward in an attempt to better see the viewscreen that was flickering above the bar. He easily lifted the woman that was currently draped across his lap, and casually tossed her to the side. He heard her mutter some curse at him, but he hardly cared. The news feed was showing the long lost starship Voyager returning home. The ship swooped gracefully over the newly repaired bridge coming to a landing on the grounds of the Presidio.
He felt the woman's hand running up his thigh and he reached down and twisted the wrist at an odd angle pinning it to the seat without so much as a glance at her startled pain filled cry. His attention remained riveted on the images of Voyager and her crew. He couldn't help but sneer as the press agency showed images of the Maquis members of the crew. Not so long ago, those images would've had financial amounts captioned under them as rewards for bringing them in.
The newscaster ended the report with an image of the intrepid captain of Voyager. The dark man snarled and released the woman's hand barely noticing her hasty departure. He leaned forward deeply interested in the fate of this particular captain. He was just able to discern the words 'promotion' and 'admiral' floating to him through the din of the bar.
It was only because of his intense discipline and training over the years that he was able to refrain from upending his table and shattering the view screen. The image of the red haired captain had faded and the announcer had moved onto a different subject, but his thoughts were focused solely on his memory. Memories of the heroic captain as a frightened and scared ensign huddled inside a box. An ensign with spirit and fire that he'd eagerly anticipated getting to know better. He'd had plans for that one. Plans that had shattered with her escape the same way his career aspirations had shattered upon losing two highly valued prisoners at a facility under his command. He wanted to put her under his boot and shatter her. That thought warmed his blood, and he was able to sit back in the booth again. A plan already forming in his mind. A plan of revenge.
He was almost able to smile as he tasted the name on his lips. "Janeway."
B'Elanna shifted the duffel bag strap on her shoulder as she walked towards the waiting shuttle. She attracted more than a few curious looks, but she didn't care. If Starfleet was going to insist she give this lecture during her six month leave, she was going to wear whatever the hell she wanted to wear. Her older style uniform with engineering jacket was considerably more comfortable than the new grey uniforms. The only thing she wasn't sure about was how her traveling companion was going to accept her choice of attire.
As she rounded the last corner, she spotted the woman she now called friend, standing outside the shuttle reviewing a report on a PADD. Kathryn Janeway was of course decked out in perfect uniform without a single hair out of place. The grey and red uniform adorned with an admiral's rank bar made Janeway look even more formidable than usual. Just as B'Elanna began to regret her clothing decision, the Admiral glanced up and spotted her. B'Elanna wasn't entirely sure from this distance, but she could've sworn she spotted the corner of Janeway's mouth twitch upwards before she lowered her head again. "Commander Torres, I'm glad you could join us."
Despite their growing friendship since their return home, B'Elanna knew better than to be too informal with her former captain in public, but she couldn't help herself. "Admiral, I was wondering if it was you I had to thank for this delightful duty?"
Janeway looked up and again the corners of her mouth twitched slightly. "Actually, you were specifically requested by the planet. It seems they have a budding engineering program and all their young people have elevated you into hero status."
"What?" B'Elanna was stunned. "Are you telling me, that we're going on a two day shuttle trip to lecture to a bunch of high school students?"
"I'm sure there will be others in the crowd as well," Janeway now smiled openly, her eyes dancing with mischief. "But on the virtual tour that you will be presenting that will only include the students."
This was turning into the trip from hell. "Admiral, please tell me you're joking."
"Would I joke about a thing like this? This presentation: Voyaging Through the Stars, is very important and we must treat it with the utmost respect it deserves."
B'Elanna's eyes narrowed. This was not the same woman she had served with for the past seven years. This woman no longer carried the burden of command on her singular shoulders. As B'Elanna had found out, the Kathryn Janeway of the Alpha Quadrant was a vivacious and lively woman that allowed herself to freely show her emotions and knew how to let her hair down. She also had a bit of a wicked streak.
"Is it really called, Voyaging through the Stars?"
"Oh yes," Janeway answered. She gestured to the nervous young ensign standing just inside the shuttle hatch. "This is Ensign Daveek, and he's going to be our pilot for this venture."
B'Elanna looked up at the ensign and wondered how much of their conversation he'd overheard. She also wondered how he'd managed to pull this job, ushering two of the Voyager 'heroes' around space. She supposed she should be nice to him. It wasn't his fault she got called in to do this. B'Elanna nodded at him, and he wiped the palms of his hands on his trousers.
B'Elanna frowned at his response and then looked to Janeway. "He must not be one of yours."
"Sadly, no. My pilot is home babysitting our little kuva'magh," Janeway said with a wink. She turned to address the nervous young man. "Ensign Daveek…"
The ensign snapped to attention and B'Elanna cringed.
"At ease, Ensign," Janeway sighed a little as the ensign barely relaxed into a parade rest stance his eyes still focused on the wall. "You're going to be stuck with us for the next two days, Ensign. There are a few things you should know, the first being that neither of us likes to be called ma'am. Lieutenant Commander Torres and I both prefer that you address us by our ranks."
"Understood, ma'am….uh…I mean, Admiral."
B'Elanna rolled her eyes. This was going to be a long trip.
They had been traveling for a day and still had a day to go. B'Elanna and Kathryn sat at the table in the small mess area of the shuttle going over their speech notes together to make sure they weren't duplicating. They each had a two hour lecture each day of the conference. B'Elanna was just happy it was only a two day conference. She was speaking about the engineering improvements they'd made or tried to make to Voyager over the years on the first day while the Admiral spoke about first contacts. On the second day, Janeway would be discussing the various space anomalies they found over the years, while B'Elanna would cover how those same anomalies affected their space travel.
Kathryn set the PADD down on the table and rubbed at her temples.
"Are you all right?" B'Elanna asked, noticing her grimace.
"Oh, I think I'm just tired," she answered, giving her a small smile.
"Well, why don't you take a break? There's nothing that you have to be doing right now." B'Elanna said, and then stifled a yawn herself.
Janeway raised an eyebrow at her. "Tired, commander?"
"I wasn't, but now I feel like I could sleep for a week." Torres said, swallowing thickly and tasting a sweet film in her mouth. "Admiral, something's…."
"Not right. I agree." Janeway finished for her. She reached for her comm. badge and missed it the first time. Hitting it squarely the second time, she tried to hail the young pilot. "Ensign Daveek."
"Ensign Daveek this is Admiral Janeway," she paused, trying to concentrate. "Please respond."
B'Elanna frowned, either the Admiral's words were now slurred or her hearing was going funny. She swung her legs off the bench and attempted to stand so she could go and check on the young human. B'Elanna made it to her feet, but she slumped against the wall her legs feeling like jelly. She turned to help Janeway, but she was already slumped over on the table.
"Kathryn!" B'Elanna lurched back to the table and checked for a pulse. Trying to place her hand in the best position took quite an effort, but she finally found a strong pulse on the older woman's throat.
Feeling only slightly relieved, B'Elanna again turned towards the doorway leading into the control area of the shuttle. She managed two ungainly steps before cracking her shin against the bottom most step. Her vision had tunneled so much that she felt as though she were seeing through a very small pipe. She slapped at the controls for the door and nothing happened. B'Elanna sagged against the steps. She'd have to open the control panel and short circuit it or manually force the door open. But the tunnel had closed on her vision and she could see nothing. She felt her hand drop away from the rail, and she lost consciousness.
Thanks to her Klingon heritage, B'Elanna rarely regained consciousness in a slow manner. As soon as she grasped the edges of consciousness her body was already moving to a fighting position. Or at least, she tried. Waking up face down, she had immediately pushed herself up cracking the back of her head against a very low ceiling. Now fully conscious, she paused to actually assess her surroundings.
B'Elanna found herself in very tight quarters with metal on all sides of her and only a small amount of light filtering in through some sort of grate a few meters away from her. The grate appeared to be the only opening to the metal box. She sniffed at the air and caught a familiar scent seconds before she heard a groan from behind her. Crouching as best she could, B'Elanna turned around in the box hitting her knees on the side as she moved. Her body blocked most of the incoming light, but she could just make out the form of Kathryn Janeway. Because of the confined space, the only part of Janeway that B'Elanna could actually reach was her feet and lower calves.
She placed a firm hand on the Admiral's leg and shook it. "Kathryn."
Janeway groaned again, but luckily she was slower in coming around then B'Elanna was. She raised her head, squinting in the dim light. "Lanna?"
"Yeah, it's me. Careful, it's a low ceiling." B'Elanna warned as Janeway started to push herself up. "Are you okay?"
Janeway slowly maneuvered herself into a slouched sitting position. She grimaced at the movement and put a hand to her head. "Are you all right, Commander?"
B'Elanna rolled her eyes at Janeway's evasiveness. Some things never changed. "I'm fine. How about you?"
"Just a headache," she answered, now eyeing their confines. "Any ideas?"
Running her hands along the walls and ceiling, "I don't know. I only woke up myself just before you. It feels smooth. No seams or overlapping."
"No signs of Daveek?" Janeway asked. B'Elanna shook her head not having even thought about the ensign yet. Janeway's hand joined B'Elanna's in the search for a weak spot. "I hate to say it, but I've been held in something similar to this before."
B'Elanna did not like the ominous way that statement sounded, but before she could ask about it the two women heard a door open and movement outside their box.
The top of the metal cage was wrenched open, momentarily blinding the two women with the amount of light it suddenly let in. Both of them squinted and whoever had opened the box stepped back out of their sight. They heard a chuckle and slowly got to their feet. They were in a very large room that would've looked at home in a warehouse. Chains hung from the ceiling, the walls looked scorched in places, and there was only one obvious exit.
B'Elanna's pulse increased as she eyed the five men standing in a semicircle in front of them. Scanning from left to right she could easily discern a Klingon, two Cardassians, a Romulan, and one human. She snarled as she recognized 'Daveek' as the only human in the group. "petaQ!"
"Commander," Janeway said the word crisply enough to gain B'Elanna's attention, and it was obvious she too had noticed the suspect ensign. "Explain yourself, Ensign."
Another low chuckle from the Cardassian in the middle cut off any explanation that may have been offered. He stepped forward into the light and B'Elanna saw Janeway's back stiffen. Not good. Her eyes flicked between the two, but she didn't recognize the Cardassian.
He was old with his hair almost completely white, but he had a very regal bearing giving B'Elanna the impression that he had definitely been a person of some importance at some point. At least in his own mind. Scanning their current surroundings and his current companions she could only guess that his public standing had gone downhill at some point.
"Kathryn. Janeway." He pronounced her name like he was tasting each syllable. He took another step forward closing the distance between himself and the Admiral.
B'Elanna took it as another bad sign when Janeway's chin jutted out, and she raised one of her eyebrows when she spoke. "Gul Camet."
The Cardassian's hand moved fast, striking Janeway across the face. B'Elanna lunged, but Janeway caught her by the arm and pulled her back to her side.
"It's simply Camet now," he sneered. "I was stripped of my title shortly after our last meeting."
Janeway ran her thumb over the corner of her mouth as Camet continued. "Do you have any idea what it's like to be a Gul in command of a prison and have not one but two prisoners escape. Two highly valued Starfleet prisoners. If you humans are as humane as you seem to think you are, it would have been better if you had simply killed me."
"What do you want, Camet?" Janeway asked. Her voice was as hard as steel when she spoke.
B'Elanna could feel the tension rising in the room as Janeway faced off with the Cardassian. More than one of the men shifted their weight uncomfortably, and B'Elanna wondered if they knew any more than she did. She got the feeling this was a one man show.
The silence was broken by another chuckle from Camet, and he gestured to the main floor where he stood. "Please, Admiral, won't you join me?"
Janeway raised her foot and gracefully stepped out of the metal box. B'Elanna moved to join her, but Daveek raised a weapon pointing it in her direction. "You stay there."
Janeway glanced at B'Elanna and just barely nodded her head indicating for her to do as they said. B'Elanna gritted her teeth and settled for glaring at Daveek. She was concentrating her thoughts so much on how much she would like to strangle him that she missed the first part of the next exchange between Janeway and Camet. Her attention was quickly brought back as she heard Janeway's crisp reply to an unknown question.
"I will not."
"Either you will remove your jacket," Camet said quietly. "Or it will be removed for you."
This time the Klingon and Daveek moved towards B'Elanna with weapons trained on her while Camet was flanked by the young Cardassian and Romulan. Janeway's eyes never left Camet's, but she held up her hand in B'Elanna's direction effectively stopping any action B'Elanna had considered taking. B'Elanna was breathing hard, repressing her instincts to defend Janeway, but she understood this was the Admiral's play not hers.
Camet made a tsk-ing noise at Janeway's lack of cooperation. He motioned to the young Cardassian, but then a brief smile crossed his face when Janeway finally reached up and began to unfasten her uniform jacket. He glanced at B'Elanna when a growl escaped her. "Gentlemen, please put the mongrel back in the box. She's becoming distracting."
B'Elanna couldn't help it. That single word had her seeing red, and she made a lunge for Camet. She was knocked to the floor almost immediately. She fought back knowing it was the young Klingon that had tackled her, but before she could inflict much damage pain exploded behind her eyes as something slammed solidly into the side of her head. Momentarily stunned, her muscles relaxed and the young Klingon quickly took advantage and flipped her onto her stomach. As her senses returned, she realized it was Daveek's boot that had connected with the side of her head. She shook it off, but it was too late as she felt her arms being painfully pinned behind her.
The Klingon hauled her to her feet almost wrenching her arms out of their sockets. She managed to catch a glimpse of Janeway being restrained in the same manner by the Romulan. The Admiral had blood running down her chin, and Camet was picking himself up off the ground while the young Cardassian trained a weapon on the Admiral. Apparently Janeway had taken advantage of the momentary distraction and done a little fighting of her own. Unfortunately, neither of their gambits had paid off.
Daveek shoved B'Elanna down barely giving her time to duck before the lid of the box came crashing down. Now all she could do was listen as events unfolded.
She tried to get in a somewhat seated position so she could hear better, but in her movements she missed something because the first thing she heard was some sort of scuffle and then Camet's voice.
"I will only say this one more time," he said. "Get. On. Your. Knees. Admiral."
B'Elanna sucked in her breath and strained to listen. No wonder she'd heard a scuffle if that's what he'd told Kathryn to do the first time. It was quiet for a minute, and B'Elanna could only imagine what was going on.
"Good. Now cross your feet at the ankle and lace your hands together on top of your head."
B'Elanna squeezed her eyes shut and dug her fingernails into her palm. The idea of Kathryn being forced to kneel made her blood boil. Then she heard a metal clanking sound like a chain being run over a spool. She strained to hear more and to be able to discern what was going on, but no one was saying anything.
The clanking noise stopped followed by a few sounds of metal hitting against metal. It was hard to concentrate over her own throbbing pulse. The clanking noise started again causing B'Elanna to jump slightly. She thought she heard Kathryn grunt, but she couldn't be sure. She heard the door open and a lot of footsteps moving around. She couldn't tell if more people were coming in or if some of them were leaving. Then Camet was speaking again.
"At first, I thought you should have one lash for every year I've been in exile."
B'Elanna's breathing quickened at the word 'lash'. Surely, he didn't mean…
"But I do believe that would kill you," Camet chuckled again. "So instead, I think you'll receive exactly what I did that first day after your escape."
B'Elanna held her breath. Camet's voice sounded as though he was across the room, but nearer to the box she could hear the first ominous sound of a whip being unfurled. This could not be happening. Not after everything they'd been through. To come all the way home and to have this happen now was unreal. She was going through so much mental denial that she almost missed Camet's next words.
"Twelve lashes for the Admiral."
The crack of the whip cut through the air like a bullet. B'Elanna bit down on her fist as she heard Kathryn grunt as the whip lashed into its intended target. The sound of the leather once more unfurling in the air before it lashed again caused B'Elanna to draw blood as she heard a whimper escape from her former captain. The slap of the whip a third time followed by a short yelp of pain was B'Elanna's undoing.
She lay down on her back and used her feet to push against the ceiling of the box. The metal made a crunching noise as though it were denting, but it didn't budge from its position. Another stifled cry of pain made her give up all attempts at subtlety. B'Elanna began kicking at the roof of the cage causing an incredible din of thunder within the box that almost drowned out a shouted curse in what B'Elanna would've sworn was Chakotay's native language.
"Would someone please tend to the mongrel?" Camet's bored voice could be heard above the pounding. B'Elanna smiled a feral grin at the idea of someone opening the box. But that's not what happened. She wasn't entirely sure what happened next, but being an engineer she'd absorbed enough energy shocks throughout her career that she knew what a small shock felt like. And that was not what she felt now.
Blue white energy arced through her cage setting all of her muscles and synapses on fire at once. Each of the walls hummed with energy, leaving B'Elanna no where to escape the current. The jolt knocked all the breath from her body, and her lungs felt like they were contracting in on themselves as she was completely unable to draw air into them.
Then the buzzing stopped and the walls of her world stopped glowing. Her muscles were still contracting sharply, but she was finally able to take a small breath. Over her racing heart and labored breathing, B'Elanna heard the crack of the whip again. As darkness closed around her, she heard a sob. She just wasn't sure if it came from her or from the woman outside of the box.
B'Elanna's eyes snapped open, and she groaned. Her body's reflex to jump up did not work this time. She felt like she'd been hit by a shuttle. She managed to lift her head enough to discover she was still in the box, and her eyes slowly focused on the end of the cage where the gate allowed light to filter in. The gate was open. B'Elanna swallowed thickly and stretched out a shaky arm slowly pulling herself towards the opening. She got to the end and took a deep breath expecting something to happen when she got out of the box. She crouched as best she could, her legs still trembling slightly and then launched herself through the gate.
Nothing happened. B'Elanna leaned against the wall breathing heavily. And then she saw a sight that turned her blood to ice.
In the middle of the room a figure hung suspended from the ceiling. An involuntary cry escaped B'Elanna's throat, and she stumbled forward sinking to her knees.
Kathryn Janeway's wrists were shackled together and her arms were stretched out above her head. A chain ran between her two hands and was looped over a hook descending from the ceiling. Her knees were bent causing the tops of her feet to drag on the floor. Her limp body hung with all of her weight being held up only by the cuffs around her wrists. Her head was down showing no signs of life or consciousness.
B'Elanna reached her side swallowing back bile at the bloody tattered remains of Kathryn's back. She hesitated for a moment scared that her captain hadn't survived the beating after all. She knelt down in front of her and lifted her head feeling for a pulse. Kathryn groaned at the movement and B'Elanna exhaled a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding.
"Come on, Captain. Wake up." B'Elanna lightly patted the older woman's face. She was rewarded with seeing hazy, pain filled blue eyes slowly focus on her.
Kathryn sucked in a shaky breath and her whole body trembled. B'Elanna glanced upwards, examining the hook her friend was suspended from. It had a latch on it that would have to be pushed back before she could lift the chain that ran between Janeway's wrists off of it. She was going to have to have Kathryn's help to manage this.
"Kathryn, I'm going to get you free, but you're going to have to help me. Do you understand?" She lightly rapped Kathryn's face again. "Hey, Captain, come on."
B'Elanna needed to get Janeway on her feet for at least long enough to lift her hands free of the hook, but she couldn't put her hands anywhere near the Admiral's back without causing further pain. She settled for placing her hands on Janeway's hips and slowly rose to a standing position. Kathryn slumped forward against her unable to stand on her own.
"A little help here," B'Elanna mumbled, her face pressed into Janeway's shoulder. She shifted Janeway's weight so that her face was free. "Admiral, I can support you and pull the latch on the hook back, but you are going to have to lift your arms free yourself. Do you understand?"
When she received no response, B'Elanna craned her head back so she could see Janeway's face. Her eyes were closed again and B'Elanna could think of only one way to get her attention. She put as much authority in her voice as she could muster. "Janeway! I'm giving you an order."
At the insistent command voice, Janeway's eyes opened again. B'Elanna wrapped one arm around her friend's waist trying to ignore the hiss of pain that escaped the woman's lips. "When I say 'go', lift your arms. Do you understand me?"
Janeway nodded. B'Elanna reached up with her free arm and pulled back on the hook's latch. "Now! Lift up."
Kathryn was able to slip her hands upwards just enough to get the chain over the end of the hook. Her arms were numb dead weight that without the support of the hook came crashing down on B'Elanna's shoulders. Both women toppled to the floor with B'Elanna's backside hitting the deck first. She felt Kathryn begin to slide off of her, but she maintained her grip around the woman's waist. The last thing B'Elanna needed was for Janeway to roll over onto her back.
B'Elanna managed to slip out from beneath Kathryn and help her former commanding officer to lie face down on the cool surface of the floor. Taking off her engineer's jacket, she folded it and put it under Janeway's head. Then kneeling beside her, B'Elanna swore as she examined her injuries. Janeway's back was a bloody mess with only a few thin pieces of her red undershirt remaining intact.
"Sorry." A mumbled reply came from the woman lying face down.
"Kathryn?! You're awake?"
"Captain, I don't even know where to begin," B'Elanna said, her hands hovering over the exposed flesh. "This looks way worse than simple whip marks."
"Not…surprised. The end was….frayed and barbed." Janeway managed to force the words out.
B'Elanna was glad Kathryn couldn't see her face because she was sure her outrage and disgust were plain to see. Coming to a decision, she reached out and carefully tore the remaining pieces of fabric away from the open wounds. Janeway hissed with pain when B'Elanna unstuck a few of the pieces of cloth. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
"S'okay," Janeway breathed. "I'm sorry….you had….to hear me."
"Captain! Don't. You have nothing to apologize for. I just wish…" B'Elanna trailed off. They both knew wishing this situation hadn't happened wouldn't help anything.
"Why….do you keep….demoting me, Torres?" Janeway asked. Her voice sounding rougher than usual.
"What?" B'Elanna asked, concentrating on one last piece of shirt that was stuck to Janeway's skin.
"You keep…" Janeway hissed again as B'Elanna pulled the fragment away from her skin. "Calling me….Captain."
"Sorry," B'Elanna gave a small chuckle when she realized her former captain was right. "Old habits die hard."
There was a large clicking sound just outside the door. B'Elanna whirled around placing herself between Janeway and the opening door. She got into a fighting crouch and growled as the door slid open to reveal Daveek.
He aimed a weapon at B'Elanna. "Move to the corner."
"No way in hell."
"Commander." Janeway's voice held a warning.
Daveek reached into his pocket and withdrew a small dermal regenerator. "If you want me to leave this so you can help her, you'll move over to that corner."
B'Elanna glanced to the corner and then down noticing for the first time that Janeway had raised herself up to her side. Slowly she straightened and dropped her hands to her sides. "If you try and hurt her again, my being in that corner will not save you."
Daveek scoffed and watched as B'Elanna slowly backed to the corner never taking their eyes off of each other. He knelt down placing the regenerator on the floor. He pulled out a bottle of water, a few rags, and a key from his pockets. "I suggest you make good use of this stuff."
"What happened to Ensign Daveek?" Janeway asked, halting his departure.
He turned back to the woman on the floor. She was raised up on one elbow with her other arm surreptitiously holding the remains of her shirt in place across her chest. The chain still ran between her wrists. Her breathing was labored but she was putting on a good show of indifference. Daveek raised an eyebrow at her question. "How do you know I'm not him?"
"I didn't." She was careful not to shrug.
He glanced at B'Elanna pacing near the corner. "What do you care? It's not like you knew him."
The casual curiosity was gone from Janeway's voice and the inflection of steel returned. "Did you kill him?"
He debated lying to her, but he found no harm in telling her the truth. "No. it wasn't his fault he got stuck with the duty of ferrying you around."
Janeway gave him a small nod. "Thank you."
He rolled his eyes at her concern and left the room.
The door hadn't finished closing and B'Elanna was at her side again. "Lay down. You're dripping all over the floor."
With B'Elanna's help Janeway managed to get back to a prone position. Biting down on her molars, she managed to not let any more noises of pain escape. She watched as B'Elanna quickly collected the meager supplies. She savored the small sip of water her engineer administered and was more than eager to have the cuffs removed from her chafed wrists. She couldn't help the hiss that escaped as B'Elanna began to dab at the wounds on her back.
"B'Elanna, that dermal regenerator…"
"It's small, but I should be able to use it to at least close all these wounds," B'Elanna said, cutting her off. "I don't think it'll be powerful enough to actually heal them completely."
"Can you convert it to a weapon?" Janeway asked, and B'Elanna's hands immediately stilled in their ministrations.
"I'll only use that regenerator to heal these wounds." B'Elanna's voice was tight.
"Torres, if that can be used as a weapon it may be our only chance."
"Admiral, this regenerator is your only chance. There must have been something on the barbs of that whip because your blood isn't clotting. If I don't use it to close these, you're going to bleed out."
No wonder she was feeling so light headed, but she pressed on. "Commander, if you can make it into a weapon, I order you to do so."
"Sorry Captain," B'Elanna said, reaching for the tool. "You can court martial me when we get back."
Janeway heard the small hum and felt the skin on her shoulder tightening as B'Elanna ran the instrument over her flayed skin. She tried to push herself up, but B'Elanna gently held her down. "Torres, remove your hand."
"You know, this would be a lot easier if you'd hold still," B'Elanna complained, moving the instrument further down her back. "Relax Kathryn, please. The best this regenerator could ever be used for is to have something to throw at them."
"You weren't always this insolent," Janeway grumbled, settling back down.
"Ha. You should've seen me after you blew up the array," B'Elanna said, moving the regenerator along Kathryn's left shoulder. "Without Ayala holding me back, I would've torn apart the entire transporter room."
Janeway smiled slightly. She had a very vague recollection of seeing the scene that B'Elanna described, but that memory had always seemed like a dream that she couldn't remember. Her smile turned into a grimace as B'Elanna ran the medical instrument near the front of her ribs. She hadn't even noticed how far around her body the whip had reached. The buzz of the regenerator faltered and then stopped altogether.
"Well, that's that," B'Elanna said, confirming that the energy of the regenerator had been depleted.
The skin on Janeway's back felt taut and brittle with the underlying muscles still incredibly sore, but at least she was no longer bleeding. And she could move without feeling like she had acid pouring over her skin. Once she was sitting upright, B'Elanna retrieved the grey and black uniform jacket and handed it to her.
"I was able to close all of the open cuts except for a few on your upper arms," B'Elanna explained, helping her get the jacket pulled on over her aching muscles. It looked strange without the red turtleneck and rank insignia underneath it, but it was more clothing than they could've hoped for.
Once she had her jacket fastened again, Janeway accepted the proffered bottle of water. She sipped the water enjoying the cool feel of it on her throat. "Thank you, B'Elanna. At least now, I can face what comes next."
"What do you mean 'what comes next'?" B'Elanna asked, sitting down beside her.
"I cannot possibly believe even for a second that this is over. He's waited too long for this."
"Admiral, who is this guy?" B'Elanna ventured. "I mean, when the two of you spoke….it seemed rather personal."
Janeway stiffened. "I always knew it was personal for me. I guess I was naive to think there wasn't a personal stake involved for him as well."