Star Trek Voyager


Chapter 9

In Flames

Jaddon stepped into his office and approached his desk. He reached out and ran a hand along the smooth steel surface of his desk. This was a ritual he did every time he sat at his desk. It was the little luxuries that he found the most enjoyable. There was something that the touch of the desk did to him. It was almost relaxing.

He sat down in his seat and looked at the assorted pads before him. Part of him wanted to get the work done he had to do today before he ate, but his dual stomach told otherwise. He touched his stomach as it growled loudly.

Before he was able to call in his cook, he heard a buzz at the door. He sighed slightly annoyed and then looked at the door. "It's open," He said.

The door opened abruptly and in walked Sazzon. Sazzon approached the desk and looked at leader. "Sal Jaddon," He said with a sense of urgency, "The latest medical reports are in."

Jaddon felt his heart do a flip. "How bad is it?" He asked ignoring another growl from his hungry stomach.

"Not good at all," Sazzon said shaking his head, "The virus is adaptable to every medical drug we have given to it. In fact since we started all the testing, the virus has reproduced even faster."

"How long do we have?" Jaddon asked suddenly not feeling hungry anymore.

Sazzon didn't answer right away. It seemed like he was almost hesitating to answer the question.

"Please don't hold anything back," Jaddon said his throat suddenly dry, "We are all in this together."

"Six months at the earliest," Sazzon said softly, "Maybe a year at most if we are lucky."

"Are you serious?" Jaddon asked hoping that Sazzon made a mistake. He knew it was a slim chance.

"Completely," Sazzon simply said.

Jaddon covered his eyes with the palm of his hand. He felt his eyes grow wet. "We can't end like this," He sniffled, "Our whole race can't be lost by some disease. It just can't." He stood up and began to pace around the room. "All of our history?" He looked at Sazzon with teary eyes, "What are we to do about it? All of it lost. Everything we have worked so hard for thousands of years over."

"There is rumor though," Sazzon said with feeling. He had never seen his leader this upset. But it was for obvious good reason. "On the fourth moon in the Zeesh sector is a possible cure."

"That's in enemy territory," Jaddon said giving him a curious look.

"Yeah it is," Sazzon said shrugging his shoulders, "It is just a speculation."

"Of course it is and it is a truthful one," Jaddon said approaching Sazzon, "Think about it. The Gintar want us dead, so they create a lethal virus to slowly eradicate our peoples. They knew how dangerous it is and how badly we need a cure. Now of course they have the cure, because they created the virus. Who would create a virus without having the knowledge of a cure?"

Sazzon shrugged his shoulders, but didn't say anything.

"It would be highly irregular for them to just leave out such an important part of their plan," Jaddon exclaimed, "What would happen if the virus contaminated their planet too?" Jaddon paused for Sazzon to answer, but he got no reply. So Jaddon continued, "They would not want to leave their planet with such a dangerous virus and no cure."

"I highly recommend going there and finding it," Sazzon said with slight eagerness in his voice.

"We are going to have to," Jaddon said walking up to the window in his office. "And what is even better, the enemy won't be expecting such an attack on our part."

He looked out into the capital city. His office was in one of the tallest buildings and had a view of the entire city. There was a population of two million. The sun was high in the morning sky, which brightly lit the streets below. The reflection of the sun glittered off all the building windows.

Small shuttle crafts flew by his office window. He got to work early in the morning, but now it was the usual hour when everyone began to get to work. He always enjoyed watching the hustle of the shuttle going throughout the city. It gave him pride that his city was so prosperous.

"I remember when I was a young boy," Jaddon began as he scanned the city below. "I was walking with my father through the streets. He was holding my hand tightly as we were making our way to his office. My mother was ill, so I went to work with him to let her sleep. This was one of the first times I was on the streets. I looked around at everything with such excitement. That was the only time I went with my dad to work and the last time I took that route until I was old enough to be allowed on my own." Jaddon paused and turned around to face Sazzon. "Do you know what I remember the most that one walk with my dad?"

Sazzon shook his head.

Jaddon smiled briefly at him. "I remember all the poverty I saw. I remember seeing children younger than me walking around sick and on their own. I saw elderly men and women sprawled on the streets waiting to die. Yes this city had a lot of wealth and it was the rich who were able to stay healthy. But as soon as the disease got the best of them, they were tossed in the streets ready die."

"If it wasn't for your help Sal Jaddon," Sazzon said emotionally, "We would have died a long time ago. You saved our people."

"And for what?" Jaddon asked his voice shaky with raw emption, "The Gintar want us dead and they are doing a good job in doing so."

"Then let us launch the biggest offensive we have ever put together," Sazzon said firmly.

"How soon can we have a fleet put together?" Jaddon asked his eyes twinkling with the cry of war.

"I will have sixty vessels in three hours," Sazzon said with excitement, "And I can pull ships from the fifth and sixth segment. We will have a total of two hundred ships in the matter of a day."

"Do it," Jaddon ordered.

Sazzon turned to leave the office. He paused by the doorway and looked back at his leader. "We will win this conflict and get the cure. The Zelmar race will not be defeated. We will survive and be stronger than ever."

"We better win this and find the cure," Jaddon said, "I don't have to tell you what will happen if we don't succeed."

"No you do not," Sazzon said, "But we won't have to worry about that, because we will succeed."

"Good luck," Jaddon said.

"Thanks," Sazzon said with a smile, "And good luck to you too."

Jaddon watched Sazzon leave the office. He turned back to the window with Sazzon's last comment ringing in his ears. He hoped that he was right. He hoped that there was a cure and that his people would not die from it. The war has killed billions of innocent lives, but the disease has killed even more. Jaddon turned back to his desk to begin his work, but he found himself unable to do so. His mind was completely elsewhere.

0 0 0

Tom knew he was not back on Voyager. He knew that he was still in the cave on an unknown planet with his Captain. He knew he was sleeping and dreaming about Voyager. Yet even though he knew this, the dream he was having was a relapse of their lethal battle two weeks ago.

In the dream he was at the helm, trying to maneuver Voyager through the alien ships weapons fire. Instead of fighting only a handful of them, there were hundreds of ships. They weren't too powerful individually, but all together they were a formidable force.

As he flew the ship, everything seemed to go in slow motion and in a blur. He heard the explosions on the bridge. He felt the ship shake and the shouts from his crew mates who were giving out orders and struggling to keep Voyager together. He felt a fire behind him, from one of the consuls close to him.

He looked at the view screen and saw the small ship firing at Voyager. He tried to maneuver through the horde of them. There was a nebula just dead ahead and if he could get there safely, maybe they'd have a chance.

Suddenly the entire bridge was engulfed in fire. Tom closed his eyes and prepared himself for the pain, but it didn't come. When he reopened them he found himself in a large area that was filled with brilliant light. He was about question where he was when he saw his father float toward him. He wasn't able to see below neither his dad's nor his knees.

His dad gave him a look of love for a few moments. Then it was replaced with a stern look. "Hello son," He said eyeing him.

"Hello dad," Tom said not sure what to feel about him.

"Do you know why you are here?" He asked floating around him.

"Am I dead?" Tom asked, "Because I know that I am dreaming."

His father didn't answer right away. "It's nice to see you wearing the uniform," He said with a thin smile, "I like it."

"Is that why I am here?" Tim asked giving him slightly disgusted look, "Because I don't have time for it."

"You are right about that," Tom's dad said reaching out to touch him.

As soon as he touched him, Tom was back on board Voyager and back in the battle. He sat at the helm, slightly confused. The bridge was in shambles. He turned his chair around and saw his dad sitting in his Captain's chair. "Is this better for you?" He asked with his arm wide out. "Somewhere familiar?"

"What is the pint of this?" Tom asked standing up.

"You are indeed dreaming," He said standing up and approaching his son. "I want to tell you how much I love you and how proud I am of you."

Tom gave his father an unsure look. His dad ignored it and turned away from him. He walked away and the further he walked away, he faded away. Soon he was gone and Tom was alone on the bridge. He looked at the view screen as an unknown ship approached. It fired on Voyager and he felt the ship shake and buckle. Loud explosions were heard and he was again engulfed in fire. This time when he opened his eyes, he was back in the cave and lying down on the uncomfortable floor.

He sat up and rubbed his tired eyes. "That must have been some insane dream," Janeway said smiling at him. "You were mumbling in your sleep."

Tom looked at her as he cracked his neck. "Yeah it was a crazy dream," He said standing up. He cracked his back and then continued, "I dreamt about my dad and Voyager. In fact I am surprised I slept at all."

"I closed my eyes for a few hours," Janeway said rubbing her arms. It was slightly cold in the cave. It must still be night. "Although I would question if it was sleep.'

"Yeah I know the feeling," Tom said looking around the cave for some reason. "I actually miss the beds on board Voyager."

For a few moments no one spoke. The only sounds that could be heard were the natural sounds from the cave. By now, the both of them grew accustomed to the silence and found it both soothing and extremely irritating.

Janeway closed her eyes and tried to fall back asleep. She listened to the sounds of the cave as sleep continued to elude her. She was still in pain and the rough cave floor wasn't helping the case.

Suddenly they heard a sound of a young child crying. Janeway opened her eyes abruptly and looked at Tom who was looking at the entrance of their chamber. He had a shocked look on his face. Janeway looked in the direction and her mouth opened in surprise. She heard Tom curse as they stared at the entrance of their chamber.

A young child, no older than ten had entered their chamber. He stumbled toward them crying softly. The child was naked and shivering visibly. The child's skin was covered in boils. Some were popped and producing some sort of green liquid. Over the rest of the child's body were wormlike red markings that seemed to be growing on its own. The child tripped and fell a few feet before Janeway. He reached out to her and said in a painful voice, "Help me please."

0 0 0

Tuvok scanned the infected aliens who slowly stumbled toward the away team. He pulled out his tricorder and scanned the alien, but was finding it difficult to do so. The tricorder couldn't penetrate through whatever the infected alien was producing. It reached and tried to grab Tuvok, but Tuvok side moved away from it. The alien landed on the floor and didn't get up.

"I think it is time to leave," Harry said aiming his phaser at the group of aliens who were approaching them.

"I second that," Gelvar said grabbing his weapon. "This does not look good."

Tuvok walked to Gelvar. "Are you sure about that?" He asked looking at him. "We have not found out anything about what occurred here."

"It's okay," Gelvar said his eyes glued at the infected aliens. "I don't want to stay here much longer."

They turned to leave the engineering, but strangely one of the infected blocked their way out. He looked at the away team and tried to talk, but only a sickening sucking sound was heard.

Gelvar cursed and looked at Tuvok as more aliens joined the other alien blocking their passageway. He looked back at the alien and then fired his weapon at it. The alien fell to the floor and didn't get up. He then made his way to the door. "I am leaving," Gelvar said with surprising newfound strength. "And I suggest you guys come with me."

Tuvok looked at his away team and said, "Gelvar is right. We are at risk if we stat here much longer."

The away team made their way out of the engine room as the other aliens followed them. Gelvar continued to fire on the aliens, who slowly approached them and were also making the same sickening sucking sound.

Harry cursed and fired at one of the infected aliens. The alien fell to the floor and didn't get up. Harry fired on another and then another alien as they slowly made their way down the corridor. "Tuvok," Harry said looking at him, "I am unable to reach Voyager."

"What does that mean?" Gelvar asked frightened. "We aren't going to be trapped here?"

"No, we will not," Tuvok said shaking his head as they quickly entered another corridor. He tried to contact their ship again, but only got static. "Gelvar is there a shuttle bay on this ship."

"Yes there is," Gelvar said firing at another alien. The alien fell to the floor. "Why do you ask?"

"I do not know why we cannot get a hold of Voyager," Tuvok said looking at Gelvar, "Since we are unable to get Voyager to transport us out of here, we have to find another way to leave this ship."

"And that way is by shuttle," Gelvar said glancing at Tuvok briefly, "The shuttle bay is on the fifth level. We are on the second level." He paused and fired at another alien. "It is a long way there. But I don't want to stay here much longer." He turned and walked down another corridor, "This is the quickest way to the elevator that will take us to the fifth section."

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