by Adrian Tullberg

Janeway stared into the void, coffee steaming in her grasp, her mind wandering.

They were stranded, literally decades from home. She should be terrified, or racking her brains for the way she could get her people back.

At the moment, she could only think of one instant.

Before she ordered the volley that destroyed the Array, Kim had contacted her, stating how there was a simple setting in the torpedo operating system that would allow them to detonate the warheads on a timer. How their firepower was more than sufficient for them to ward off the Kazon, then send their remaining Engineering staff to figure out how to operate the Array.

Janeway still had to suppress the anger at the thought of it; an Ensign, telling Captain Janeway that her plan wasn't as good as the plan he'd thought up.

She sipped her coffee, thinking.

The ship would return. No doubt about that. They represented the Federation, and the Federation had always prevailed. The Klingons once tried to overwhelm the Federation, and were found to be nothing but sound and fury. Eventually, so would the Romulans, the Cardassians, and even the Borg.

However, when they returned, it might come to light that Kim had suggested a very prudent course of action as opposed to her own orders. Janeway wondered if she should monitor Kim's computer records.

Janeway wondered if Kim should meet with a suitably fatal accident. However, she dismissed the idea; her experience in arranging an event like that was limited, to say the least. Even so far from home.

There were other ways to stop Kim damaging her career. Leaving him in his position, for example. Even a Valedictorian would have his career track stalled by being passed over for promotion.

Little things, tiny, unnoticeable chipping away at his record, his ego, his capacity as a witness on the stand. The crew would soon sense where the wind was blowing and unconsciously help in her endeavours.

As Janeway's plan on destroying Ensign Harry Kim's life took form, she stared into the void.

And the void stared back at her.