History Lesson

By Katherine O'Riley

Codes: A bit of P/T

Rating: G, PG if you know much about Klingons.

Disclaimer/Legalbabble: The characters are Paramount's. The story is MINE!!! MINE MINE MINE!!! But I can do more stories then Paramount did. Why stop at seven seasons?

Archives: Take it if you want, but I want to know where it is. Keep my e- mail on it though.

(Note: I am sorry for the lack of Tuvok, Neelix and Seven. I will attempt to either rewrite this with more scenes for them, or give them bigger roles in a future story.)

(Author's note: This takes place in the fifth season, right before the events of "Thirty Days".)

Captain's Log, stardate *****.*

We have replenished our food supplies at the uninhabited planet we found on the long-range scanners and have once again resumed our course to the Alpha Quadrant. Neelix is overjoyed at having new food to create recipes with. The morale of the crew has received a tremendous boost. No one has attempted to steal technology or kidnap members of my crew for some time now. The ship is running perfectly. Commander Chakotay seems quite pleased about it, and I am also, but I just can't help but wonder what will go wrong next?

Kathryn Janeway leaned back in the chair. Her words were true. The ship was running so smoothly, you'd never guess it wasn't in the Alpha Quadrant. Shore leave had improved everyone's attitude, and they had enough food to last for months. She hated to be a pessimist, but things were going too good. She sighed and glanced out the window of her ready room. The stars streaked by, long ribbons of light. She tore her eyes away from the window and looked towards the pile of padds of reports on her desk. Then, with another sigh, she took the top padd from the pile and started to read it over.

=/\=

Tom Paris slipped around the corner. He'd heard someone. If he was right, they should be right around this corner…

Moving quickly, he turned the corner, weapon in front of him. Before him stood Harry Kim.

"Harry!" he gasped. "What are you trying to do, get yourself killed?"

"What are you trying to do, give me a heart attack?" Harry replied. "Besides, last I checked, the holodeck safeties were on. You couldn't kill me if you wanted."

"I'd be nuts to kill you. If I did, I'd have no one to hang out in the holodeck with except B'Elanna, and you know how moody she can be."

"I thought she's been in a good mood lately." Harry remarked.

"Yeah, now that the ship's not broken. Just wait. As soon as something breaks, she'll be back to normal." Paris said, frowning.

Just then, the holodeck flickered. A grid on the side blinked out. "Speaking of which…" Tom muttered under his breath.

"Oh well. It's getting close to time for our shifts anyway." Kim said.

Paris sighed. "Computer, end program." he said. The black and white world of Captain Proton blinked out and was replaced by the holodeck.

"Well," Harry said, "do you want to tell B'Elanna or should I?"

If looks could kill, Harry would have been dead right then.

=/\=

B'Elanna Torres had gotten to her shift on time, as usual. Not that she had much to do. The ship was running so perfectly for once that all she had to do was sit back. The other engineers sat around, talking or idly punching buttons as the ship sped along. Her tranquility was broken by her comm badge.

"Sickbay to Torres."

B'Elanna jumped. As undignified as it was, it startled her into jumping. She quickly glanced around to make sure no one had saw it. No one had, with the exception of Ensign Vorik. No problem there. Vulcans never gossiped.

"Torres here. What's the matter?" she asked.

"The computer is playing the wrong opera. I asked for it to play 'The Gallant Knight of Borswald' and it's playing 'The Night of the Marsh' instead." the Doctor's irritated reply came back.

She sighed. "On my way."

When she reached the sickbay, she discovered a much harsher sounding opera playing. "That sounds like KLINGON opera!" she yelled, trying to be heard over the computer, which was playing at full blast.

"That's because it is!" the Doctor yelled back. "I tried to get it to play 'The Gallant Knight of Borswald' again and that started! I haven't been able to get it off!"

B'Elanna went over to the panel, winching at the volume. As she opened it up, the music stopped.

She blinked. The silence was odd after the noise. A ringing persisted in her ears.

The Doctor whispered something. Why was he whispering?

"Could you say that out loud please?" she asked.

Louder this time, but she still couldn't hear a thing.

"I can't understand you if you talk that way!" Torres protested.

He frowned. Funny, with his nose scrunched that way, he looked almost Bajoran.

Grabbing her arm, he led her over to a bio bed, pushing her so she sat down. He then picked up a few tools and began fiddling with her ear.

After a moment, he stopped. "CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?" he bellowed. B'Elanna yelped.

"What did you yell for? Of course I could hear you. It was you who was whispering anyway." she snarled. "Something wrong with your program, hologram?"

The Doctor went back to the irritated look that seemed to be default for him, then he sighed and shook his head. "No, you had a problem with your ears. Next time, I'll fix it myself. I can't go deaf."

"Oh." B'Elanna felt utterly stupid. She sat while the Doctor fixed her other ear.

"There." he said, stepping back with his "I'm the best doctor in the universe" look on his face. "You're free to go." he said.

=/\=

Commander Chakotay sat on the bridge. Kathryn was pacing the floor in front of him, barely controlling her anger. He wondered where B'Elanna was. She had apparently just blown off Janeway's request for her to come, and Janeway was becoming increasingly mad. It was unlike her. Down at the flight control console, Tom was wearing a worried frown. He didn't like B'Elanna getting in trouble any more then Chakotay did.

The turbolift doors opened. Everyone turned at the sound.

B'Elanna walked out. She saw her captain's face. It wore the look Kathryn reserved for her enemies. Janeway began to stalk slowly towards B'Elanna

"Um, did I do something wrong?" Torres asked uncertainly. She watched the captain advance.

B'Elanna backed away warily. Janeway looked ready to leap on her and kill her where she stood. B'Elanna kept backing up until she bumped into Harry's Ops console. A look of panic grew on her face as the captain advanced.

If it hadn't been for the fact that Torres was in so much trouble, it could almost be funny, the half-Klingon being trapped by the captain.

"Captain?" Torres said. Her voice was reduced to a squeak. "Did I do something wrong?"

"Did you do something wrong. Did you do something wrong." Janeway growled. "You ignored me when I tried contacting you. Five times."

Torres looked confused and slightly panicked. "I never heard it. I did get some ear damage when I was trying to fix the Doctor's computer console, but he said nothing about you trying to contact me, and he would have. Then I came straight here."

Janeway stopped. B'Elanna eyed her warily. "Captain?"

"Let me get this straight. You never heard me." Janeway said, pronouncing each word carefully. "You had no idea that I wanted you to come up here."

"Y-yes." B'Elanna still looked unsure. The entire bridge was silent.

"Kathryn," Chakotay spoke up. "You know B'Elanna. She wouldn't ignore you."

Janeway relaxed. "That's true." she said. She looked at B'Elanna. "All right. You're off the hook, this time."

Thank goodness, Chakotay thought. Looked like things would be better. At least Kathryn wasn't going to kill B'Elanna. Not now, anyway.

A small chuckle came from the helm. Everyone turned their heads.

Tom was over there trying to contain his laughter. "What's so funny?" B'Elanna asked.

"You are." Tom laughed. "Captain Janeway looked like a cat, and you looked like the mouse she'd cornered!"

Small laughs came from all over the bridge. Even Janeway allowed herself a smile.

"Um, what did you need me for?" B'Elanna asked the captain. She really didn't like being laughed at. She'd have to have a word with Tom later.

"We just needed you to work on the helm a bit. According to Tom, it's acting sluggish."

B'Elanna opened the helm console and began to work. After a minute, she put the panel back on. "Try it now." she said to Tom. He sat down and pushed a button.

Instantly, the ship began a spin straight up, then flipping over into a barrel roll, it began more tricks. Flips and turns that would leave even the best targeters missing it in battle, until after several minutes it stopped.

"Lieutenant..." Janeway started.

"I didn't do it! I swear!" Paris said, holding his hands up.

Their attention was diverted to B'Elanna, however, who laid unconscious on the floor, a large gash on her head. Tom immediately knelt by her.

"Looks like she got banged up there." he said, the worry evident in his voice. He placed his hand on her shoulder and gently shook it. "B'Elanna?"

She moaned slightly.

"Harry, beam them to sickbay!" Janeway ordered. Sparkles obscured them as they disappeared.

=/\=

Tom stood by in sickbay while the Doctor fixed B'Elanna up. She'd gotten a nasty hit. Looked like she had to have had a concussion. "Is she OK? Can I do anything?" Tom said, hovering behind the Doctor.

The Doctor turned and frowned. "Mr. Paris, if you want to help, go sit over there, shut up, and put your extremely limited medical training to use!" he said, pointing to a bunk on the other side of sickbay. Tom meekly obeyed, sidestepping around people with various injuries from the ride.

"Well," the Doctor said, straightening up a moment later, "it looks like she'll be fine. A nasty concussion, but that's fixed. She'll just have a headache."

Paris sighed with relief. "Great! Can you wake her up?" He'd managed to work his way to be just a few feet away.

The Doctor handed him a hypospray. "Go ahead." he said, before turning and leaving. "I'll be tending to the other patients."

Tom walked over to the bed and looked. She didn't look too bad. She'd likely want to take a shower, to get the blood out of her hair, but otherwise, she looked fairly normal. He injected her with the hypospray.

Her hand came up to her head, touching it gingerly. She moaned and opened her eyes.

She closed them again. "I've seen too much of this place today. I try keeping a limit of one visit a day."

"How are you feeling?" Paris asked.

She opened her eyes again. "Like a warp core exploded in my head."

"Oh." he said.

"What the heck were you doing anyway?" she complained. "Give a person some warning next time!"

"It wasn't me. The whole thing just went loopy." he said, frowning. It still puzzled him.

"Did the Doctor say when I can go?" she demanded. "I have better things to do then laying around in sickbay."

Tom smiled. "Well, I see you're back to normal." He went to ask the Doctor.

Walking back over, he smiled. B'Elanna looked so impatient, if you handled her wrong, she'd probably explode. "Well?" she demanded. "What did he say?"

"You can go." Tom admitted. B'Elanna bolted up. "Agh!" she said, clutching her head. Tom moved in to help support her. "I'm fine, I'm fine." she said before he could. "I got to get back to work."

=/\=

Janeway wondered over the earlier events. Tom had come back to his post, saying that B'Elanna was fine and going to check out the comm system. It puzzled her, what had happened before.

Chakotay was sitting beside her, wearing his "I'm-thinking-about-something" look. Janeway suppressed a smile. He could be as easy to read as a book. Even when he didn't mean to be. She looked over her shoulder and saw Tuvok. The smile popped out and went straight to full-fledged grin. He looked the same way as Chakotay. Vulcans. All "we have no emotions" on the outside, but if Tuvok was an example, they were plain liars. He was even easier to read then Chakotay.

She turned back to him. "Well?" she prodded. He looked at her, startled. "What?" She grinned. "You're thinking about something."

Chakotay shook his head, but smiled. "I'm always thinking about something," he said. "The topic just changes."

Janeway cocked her head and studied his face. "You're thinking about the ship."

He looked at her. "How did you know?" His disbelief was evident. Janeway laughed.

"After all these years, I'd have to be blind not to know!" she said. Chakotay smiled.

"You're right. As usual." he said. "I'm wondering at some of the things that have been happening. The mechanical problems. They're just not…right."

Janeway raised an eyebrow. "Let's see. Faulty comm badge, ship starts strange manuvers on it's own, computer plays the wrong song…I don't know, seems like just another day in the Delta Quadrant to me."

Chakotay looked at her. "Kathryn…"

"I know. All kidding aside, this does need to be looked into. My ready room?" She stood.

Chakotay also stood. "Certainly." They walked off to the ready room.

=/\=

"I've already done three diagnostics in every level Captain." B'Elanna said, moving to check a console.

"Have you checked the bioneural gel packs for infection?" Janeway's voice came over B'Elanna's comm badge.

"I have run a diagnostic on them, and I've got teams out checking them individually with tricorders. However, that will take a while. We're predicting to be done around 1900."

Janeway's sigh was evident over the comm badge. "I just wish these problems would stop."

"Me too. I must admit, I like the lazy lifestyle. Not having to worry about which part of the ship will break next…" B'Elanna said.

Janeway gave a laugh. "Only problem then would be that we'd have a bunch of engineers out of a job. Then what would we do with you?"

"You'd let us have unlimited replicator and holodeck rations and let us sit in our quarters all day if we wanted to!" B'Elanna said, poking a panel.

Laughter was heard over the comm badge. From the sounds of it, Chakotay was there too.

"I'll keep working at it Captain. Torres out."

B'Elanna picked up her list of repairs to be made still. She skimmed it and finally sighed. Holodeck 2 was broken. Again. She picked up her tools and started off.

=/\=

B'Elanna was so intent in her work on Holodeck 2 that she didn't hear the footsteps behind her as someone walked up behind her, stopping behind where she was crouched on the floor working behind a panel. She had no clue anyone was there until…

"So. You want to-" the speaker was abruptly cut off when B'Elanna, who had been startled, went into auto-defense mode. With a yell, she swung herself around, throwing her arms out and knocking the speaker to the ground. She used the momentum to help push herself into a standing position, where she rose above the sprawled out mystery speaker.

"THOMAS EUGENE PARIS, what were you doing?!?" she exclaimed. Tom laid there and gasped. She'd knocked the wind out of him.

After a second, when he'd stopped gasping, he raised his hands. "You win!"

B'Elanna wasn't satisfied. "What were you doing?" she repeated.

"I was going to ask you if you wanted to have dinner with me tonight!"

"By sneaking up on me?"

"How was I to know you'd do that!?!"

B'Elanna sighed. "Don't sneak up on me. Ever again."

"I won't. I promise." Tom said.

She gave him a Look. "That's what you said last time."

"Last time?" He thought for a moment. "Ooohhh, last time. When you knocked me down the Jefferies tube ladder and I broke my leg."

"Yes, last time. Feel lucky nothing got broken this time." She turned back to her work.

"Oh, believe me, I do. So, are you going to have dinner with me?" He was nothing if not persistent.

"No, Flyboy, I can't. I have work to do."

"More work? How can you have more work?"

B'Elanna finished the repair and closed the panel. "In case you haven't noticed, things have been going out faster then I can repair them."

"Isn't that what the other engineers are for? And Seven?"

She began walking to the turbolift. "I want to do some myself."

"Some. Not all." Tom said.

She swung around. "You want to help?"

This got a response! "No, you don't want me to help." Tom said, backing up. "Remember the last time I helped?"

"Yes. You want to help?" she repeated. Last time he'd only ended up breaking the replicator he was trying to fix even worse. It took Joe Carey an hour to fix the damage.

"You know, I think I hear…Harry! Yeah, I think I hear Harry calling me. See you at 1900, my quarters." With a grin, he turned down a corridor.

B'Elanna sighed. He was impossible.

=/\=

"Seven! Just the person I wanted to see!"

Seven had walked into the mess hall. Neelix had called her, saying that he needed her to come there right away. "You wanted me?"

Neelix pulled her over to his cooking area. "My burner isn't working. As a matter of fact, the food seems to be getting colder." The Talaxian frowned, clearly puzzled.

Colder…Seven looked in the pot. It must be colder. She frowned and looked at Neelix.

"This is frozen. Is it meant to be?"

"Frozen!" Neelix peered into the pot. "Well, I'll be. It was boiling ten minutes ago, then it started cooling down. That's when I called you."

Seven felt a memory tingling in the back of her head. This was familiar…

"Seven to Captain Janeway. I believe I might know something about what is going on."

=/\=

"Go ahead Seven."

The senior staff was gathered in the briefing room. Seven was standing by the monitor.

"Species 4656. The Kylerians. A race of creatures from the Delta Quadrant. They are small, parasitic creatures with the ability to become invisible if they so wish. They are able to withstand open space. They travel in pairs and survive by going up on unsuspecting ships and causing numerous mechanical problems, which cause the ship to eventually destruct. They managed to get on Earth in the 1940's. I believe they were known as gremlins."

Tom let out a low whistle. Harry's jaw dropped. Tuvok raised his eyebrow. Janeway raised both of hers. B'Elanna stared at Seven in disbelief. Chakotay looked shocked. The Doctor was muttering something about invisible midgets who wrecked starships. Neelix looked confused.

"Gremlins?" he asked. He looked at Tom, the ship's twentieth-century expert.

"In the 1940's, Earth suffered World War Two. Gremlins were blamed for numerous mechanical problems in the airplanes at the time." Tom explained.

"Oh. And they're doing things to us? But what does freezing my soup have to do with mechanical problems?" Neelix said.

"They're mischief makers. They like to play jokes." B'Elanna said. She looked at Tom. "They were the subject of one of Tom's favorite cartoons. Along with a rabbit who kept saying 'What's up, Doc?'"

"B'ea!"

The Doctor, who hadn't been paying attention, jumped slighly. "Did someone say something to me?"

"No Doctor, B'Elanna was just explaining something to Neelix." Janeway told him.

"Oh." The Doctor said.

Chakotay spoke up. "You say they destroy starships?" His tone was worried.

Seven nodded.

"Then we have a big problem…" Chakotay said.

=/\=

"Try setting the scanners for EM frequencies." Harry suggested, peering over B'Elanna's shoulder. She turned.

"I tried that Starfleet. Now, will you let me think? Who's the engineer here?"

"Well, you are, but I know enough to be one too!" Harry said.

"Yeah, well, you're the Ops officer. I'M the engineer. The CHIEF engineer. Carey," she grabbed the passing lieutenant. "Go fix the replicator in the captain's ready room. She wants coffee, and soon."

Carey grabbed his tools. "Yes sir." He headed off to the captain's ready room. Goodness knows, no one wanted to mess with Janeway when she hadn't had her coffee!

B'Elanna kept twiddling with the tricorder she was holding, changing the type of scans and frequencies. Harry grabbed her arm.

"Did you see that?"

"See what?" She looked up.

"I thought I saw something."

"What?"

"Some little thing scurried across the floor when you were scanning."

"What?!?!"

"Try that last one again."

"All right." B'Elanna fiddled with the tricorder, then had it scan. She moved it to cover the area. Sure enough, there it was. What it looked like? You can think that yourself.

"Torres to bridge, we found one!"

=/\=

Janeway entered sickbay and beheld what looked like a war hospital. Crewmen - mostly engineers – were sitting on biobeds holding various body parts. It looked like they'd been scraped up, and one crewman was rubbing his head, where a large bump was visible. Another was holding her wrist gingerly; it had obviously been injured somehow.

However, B'Elanna was among them, her ridges scraped, like she'd taken a slide headfirst, but she was clutching a carrying case in triumph.

"What happened?" Janeway said, hurrying towards her.

"We got it!" she replied, holding her case up high. At the sight of the case, the people assembled cheered.

The Doctor frowned. "This is a sickbay, not a lecture hall." He mumbled, heading toward his next patient.

"What is it?" Janeway asked, looking at the case.

"It, Captain, is a gremlin. We managed to catch him and put him in here for safe-keeping."

"Good work. Now, why are all these people hurt?"

B'Elanna shifted a bit. "Well, it wasn't that easy to catch. It kept running around in places where it was hard for us to manuver. Ensign Jenkins bumped his head against a panel, and Ensign Smith tripped and sprained her wrist. Most of the rest of us got carpet burned."

"Including you, I see."

B'Elanna rubbed her forehead gingerly. "It's not too bad." She said.

"Good work Lieutenant. I'll put that in a stasis field." Janeway said. B'Elanna handed her the case.

Janeway headed out of sickbay. The science lab was where it needed to be. She shook her head as she walked through the crowd of people. She hoped there weren't many more. If one gremlin could put the entire engineering section in sickbay, what could two do? She didn't like that mental picture. The idea of her whole crew getting themselves injured…

=/\=

"Would you like some cheese? Apple? Leola root? I can get some from Uncle Neelix."

Naomi Wildman rested her head on her arms and looked at the creature she was playing with. She'd found it in Cargo Bay Two, when she was looking for Seven. Being bored, since her mom was working, she'd brought it with her to her quarters.

She sighed. "What do you think Flotter?" she asked, looking at her doll.

Before Flotter could say anything, the door to the quarters hissed open. "I'm back, Naomi!" her mom called.

"Mom! Look what I found! His name is Grethor. Can I keep him?"

Samantha Wildman looked shocked. "Grethor?" she repeated. "Where did you hear that?"

"I heard Aunt B'Elanna say it when she was mad at Uncle Tom 'cause he forgot he was supposed to meet her in the holodeck. She said if he was acting like that, he could go to Grethor." Naomi looked confused. "Who's Grethor?"

Samantha's attention, however, focused on what Naomi was holding. She'd been in the science lab when the captain had come in. She'd seen what the captain had. Now, she gasped.

"Naomi! Where did you get that?"

"I found him in Seven's cargo bay. Can I keep him?"

Samantha grabbed it. "No, you certainly may not. Wildman to bridge," she said, slapping her comm badge. "I have another one."

"Good work. I'll meet you at the science lab. Bridge out." Janeway replied.

Samantha grabbed Naomi's hand. "You're coming with me."

"Mommm…."

=/\=

"Seven!" Naomi said, running towards her and Captain Janeway. She hugged Seven. "I was looking for you."

"Naomi Wildman. What are you doing here?" Seven replied.

"I brought her." Samantha came up. "Seven. Captain." She greeted them.

"Mom brought me here 'cause of Grethor." Naomi explained.

"Grethor?" Janeway asked. She raised an eyebrow. "Care to explain?"

"Long story." Sam interuppted. "But, we did get this." She held the gremlin up.

"That would make two. We should have them all." Seven said.

"Thank goodness." Janeway muttered. "Put it in stasis."

Seven set it down and pushed a button. The stasis field rose around it.

"Good. Now, you said they can withstand open space?" Janeway asked.

Seven nodded. "That is correct."

"We'll beam them straight to space then. Do it."

Seven nodded and began operating some controls.

"No!" Naomi flung herself against Seven. "Don't!"

"Naomi," Janeway kneeled. "If we don't, they'll destroy Voyager."

"But Grethor's my friend." She said, sniffling. A tear ran down her face.

"But he needs to go away. Or else we'll have big problems." Janeway explained. "I'm sorry, Naomi."

Naomi sniffed. You could see she was thinking. Finally she sighed.

"All right. I understand. Can I tell him goodbye?" she asked. Janeway nodded as she stood back up.

Naomi went to the forcefield. "Good bye Grethor. I'm sorry you have to go. But we sorta need Voyager to go to the Alpha Quadrant. I hope you have a good life." She said. She had a flash of inspiration. She held up her fingers like Tuvok had taught her. "Live long and prosper."

"Very nice Naomi. Seven?" Janeway said.

Seven pushed the right buttons, and the familiar blue-purple sparkles began.

=/\=

"That would defy the law of gravity." Tuvok pointed out.

"It's a cartoon, Tuvok. The law of gravity doesn't apply." Tom pointed out. Several snickers came from the officers as Bugs Bunny panicked and tried to get back into the airplane.

"This form of entertainment is highly illogical." Tuvok said.

"It doesn't have to be logical Tuvok." B'Elanna said.

Captain Janeway had invited Tom to show the Bugs Bunny cartoon. The officers were watching it on the moniter in the briefing room.

Finally, it ended. The plane plunged from the sky so fast its wings tore off. Finally, just before it hit the earth, it stopped. It showed a gauge that read "Out of Fuel". Bugs Bunny finished the show, and the officers started to stand up and head for their respective places.

"So, what do you want for dinner?" Tom asked B'Elanna. She shook her head but smiled.

"You don't give up, do you?"

Janeway and Chakotay went to her ready room to review crew reports.

"Well, what do you think of the recent adventure?" Chakotay asked Janeway once they were sitting.

Janeway shook her head. "I'm still not sure. It was one of the craziest logs I'd ever done though." She laughed. "I'm just glad it's over."

Chakotay smiled. "I must say, so am I. But you have to admit one thing."

"What's that?" Janeway asked.

"It taught us a good history lesson."

"Yes, and the next thing you know, we'll find out that the 'UFO crash' in New Mexico in 1947 was actually several Ferengis!" Janeway said.

Chakotay shook his head but smiled. "You never know…"