Another Time

Disclaimer: I don't own anything even remotely related to Star Trek, Star Trek: Voyager, or any of the characters. I just play with them every once in awhile.

Summary: Episode addition to 11:59, written in much the same fashion. Ensign Tom Paris mentioned an ancestor who flew the first orbital glider over the Martian plateau. This is his story. And yes, this is a canon story. It has nothing to do with my previous series.


Chapter 1—2375

Ensign Tom Paris yawned deeply, an action not missed by the Doctor, sitting immediately to his left. "You look like you can use some rest, Mr. Paris," the EMH scolded lightly.

"You're probably right, Doc," Paris replied, just as lightly. "And I can't even blame it on the shifts in Sickbay."

The other crewmembers chuckled at the joke as Paris stood to make his exit. "Thanks again for having us over, Captain," he said, nodding toward Captain Kathryn Janeway. "And I'll look into those Mars missions for you, if you'd like."

"I would appreciate that, Tom," Janeway replied. "I expect a full report in the morning. And next time, we'll see about dragging B'Elanna away from her engines long enough to join us."

Paris grinned back at her, rolling his eyes slightly; they all knew that B'Elanna would almost always prefer the company of her warp core to groups of people. "Yes, ma'am," he replied cheekily. Nodding goodnight to the others, he stepped out of the captain's quarters and into the corridor.

Crossing the threshold into his own quarters a few minutes later, he was met with an unexpected surprise. "Hi," he said toward the room's other occupant, slightly confused. "I thought you would be working on those warp modifications all night."

"I was," Lt. B'Elanna Torres replied. "I am, actually," she corrected, gesturing toward the computer monitor at Paris' desk, where she was sitting. "I decided I needed some company, but when I got here, you were nowhere to be found."

"I was at the Captain's," Paris replied, crossing the room to collapse onto his couch. "Harry, Seven, and I went in for a status meeting, which turned into a conversation about ancestors, of all things. Apparently, Neelix got her thinking about one of her ancestors, a Shannon O'Donnell, so we were trading stories."

"Anything interesting?" Torres asked, getting up from her chair to join Paris on the couch.

Paris chuckled slightly. "Apparently, Harry's 'Uncle Jack' is just as uneasy about disturbing others as Harry is. He piloted a crew in stasis for six months to Beta Capricus, discovered that Beta Capricus didn't actually exist, and piloted all the way back without waking up any of the crew."

Torres laughed quietly. "That sounds like Harry."

"Yeah, it does, doesn't it?" Paris agreed. "It was the captain's story that got me thinking. She was telling us how this ancestor--O'Donnell--was involved in one of the early Mars missions. I went through a phase as a kid, memorized everything about all of the Mars missions from the 1970's through the terraforming, and I don't remember a Shannon O'Donnell anywhere. It made me wonder how much any of us really know about any of our ancestors." He lapsed into a thoughtful silence for a few seconds. "So, what about you? Any notable forbearers?"

"Not that anybody has told me," Torres said quietly. Realizing his faux pas, that Torres wasn't close enough to any relatives to have heard any stories, he wrapped his arms around her, drawing her close and planting a kiss on the top of her head. They sat that way for a few moments in companionable silence before Torres spoke again. "What amazing Paris story did you have to tell?"

He chuckled at her choice of words. "There's really not much to tell. It wasn't until a few generations ago that anyone in my family had really done anything of note. Most of my ancestors were farmers, early colonists, and the like. When I was a kid, my dad told me about a colonel in the United States Air Force, Samuel Paris, who was the first person to fly an orbital glider over the Martian plateau. That's what first sparked my interest in Mars." He lapsed into silence again before continuing. "Although now, after hearing about Captain Janeway's ancestor and how much the stories have changed over the years, I can't help but wonder how much of what my dad had told me was actually true."

"I'm sure he didn't intentionally lie to you."

"No, I'm sure he didn't," Paris agreed. "But I don't think any of the captain's relatives intentionally lied to her about her ancestor, either. It's one of those things that every time the story is told, it's changed slightly, until it doesn't even resemble the truth anymore." He lapsed into silence again, trying to recall as much of the story as he could. "According to my father, Colonel Paris wanted to be a pilot from the time he was a kid and studied very hard—that might have been manufactured by my father—and entered the United States Air Force Academy. He was a decorated pilot through the Third World War and was key in the rebuilding after the war was over. The Vulcans helped in that after first contact in 2063, and people began to focus on exploration again, and Mars was the closest target. The Ares missions made it as far as landing on the surface and setting up some temporary shelters, but they were scrapped in 2032 in favor of the war effort after Ares IV disappeared. Colonel Paris was chosen to lead the new missions to Mars, and in 2065, flew the orbital glider over the plateau." He shrugged a shoulder. "That's pretty much all I know about him, and I don't even know how much of that is true. I know about the glider flight, because that's all documented, but I don't have any solid proof of any of the rest of it. It was, after all, more than three hundred years ago."

"It shouldn't be too difficult to find records from three hundred years ago," Torres pointed out.

"Three hundred years, no. Three hundred and fifty is another story. Events weren't recorded all that well during the war, and many records from before were destroyed." He shrugged a shoulder and gave her a quick grin, ready to forget about the whole thing. "But anyway, how was your day?"

Torres shrugged. "Nothing exciting happened. With any luck, we'll have the modifications completed by next week, that's been what's been occupying my attention for the past few weeks. I still have a few more hours of work on that to do tonight."

"Then I won't keep you from it any longer," Paris replied, giving her a grin as he leaned in for a quick kiss. "Besides, as the Doctor pointed out, I need to get some sleep. You staying here tonight?"

"Do you mind?"

"You know I would never kick you out of my quarters," Paris said with another grin as he got up and headed toward the sleeping area. "Just come to bed at some point, okay?"

Torres rolled her eyes at Paris's knowing expression. "Goodnight, Tom."

---

The chronometer on Paris's bedside table read 0347 when he woke, the remnants of a strange yet not disturbing dream fading away. He turned toward the warm body curled up next to him and smiled; he enjoyed waking up next to her, even when there was no sex involved. Maybe you should do something about that, a small voice chided him before he banished that thought to the back of his mind. They had been through enough obstacles already, between her depression, his demotion, her near-death experience, his time caught in a gravity well, and their all-too-recent encounter with Seven in the mess hall, which, amazingly enough, didn't cause the usual two-steps-back part of the dance of their relationship he was expecting. In fact, it almost seemed to have the opposite effect; with the exception of a few late night duty shifts, they rarely spent the night apart, and B'Elanna had gone so far as to install sound-proofing panels in both of their quarters. Not that they're getting much use, Paris mused with a sigh. With as much time as B'Elanna had been putting into the warp modifications, all she had energy for at the end of the day was sleep. Did she say they'll be complete next week?

Well, now you've done it, the voice inside his head mocked. Sleep now the furthest thing from his mind, Paris slid out of bed, careful not to wake the sleeping half-Klingon next to him. Although research was not quite the activity he had in mind, he replicated a glass of water and took a seat at his desk in front of his computer console.

Just as he thought, there was no one with the name Shannon O'Donnell or Shannon Janeway associated with any of the Mars projects. He saved those results to a PADD, with the intent of showing the captain the next morning. As an afterthought, he expanded the search on the Janus missions, 2064-2072.

"Tom?" He straightened at the sound of B'Elanna's voice from the doorway into his sleeping area. "What are you doing?"

"Hey," he replied, giving a quick apologetic smile. "I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. I've just been doing a little reading on the Mars missions."

"Hmm," Torres replied, crossing the small room to look at the monitor over Paris's shoulder. She frowned slightly at the image on the display. "I don't see the family resemblance."

"This was taken over three hundred years ago," Paris replied with a laugh. The man staring back at them was in his fifties, salt-and-pepper hair cut short, his expression neutral except for what Paris interpreted to be a humorous expression in his bright blue eyes. "It's not hard to find information on Colonel Paris during the Janus missions, but I haven't been able to find anything about his life before 2064."

"There should be something, if he was the decorated pilot your father told you he was," Torres pointed out. She leaned forward and tapped the display lightly with a fingernail, indicating another name from the Janus missions. "Did you see this? The name of the mission's physician."

"Colonel Anika Paris, MD," Paris said in wonder. "I never noticed that before."

"His wife?"

"I'd assume so," Paris replied, amused. "After all, he had to have had at least one son."

"Well, this is all very fascinating," Torres said after a moment of silent reading. "But it's far too early in the morning to be researching early Mars missions. I'm going back to bed." She made it about halfway back to the sleeping area before turning back to Paris, a come-hither look on her face that he was never able to resist. "Well? Are you coming?"

She didn't have to ask twice.