Medical Assistant's Log

Medical Assistant's Log - Rated PG - P/T, K/K

General Disclaimer: Star Trek, the characters, and the backstory referring to events in the Star Trek Voyager episode "Before and After" are the property of Paramount, Inc. I have taken the incidents in that episode and used them to develop one view of what might happen to these characters in the future, given the premise stated in the episode. This was all just for fun, for my amusement and for the amusement of some other fans of the show. No money is being made off this story. Honest.

by J. A. Toner

Medical Assistant's Log, Stardate 50967.1:

At Lt. Tuvok's suggestion, and with the concurrence of the Doctor, I am beginning a formal Medical Assistant's Log for Voyager's permanent records. I did not think this was necessary before, as the Doctor has always kept the records for Sickbay. Recent events have convinced me that I should follow Starfleet's standard procedures in this matter, even though I am not formally a member of Starfleet, as there may be a need to consult my records some day.

I hope I am doing this right.

The official log will be brief. As much of what must be recorded is very confidential, my Personal Logs will have most of the necessary information in them. Access should be restricted to the Holodoctor, Lt. Tuvok, and to the captain, with the captain strongly advised not to look at them except in the event of my death or irrefutable evidence of permanent dementia. The Doctor and Lt. Tuvok will know if the records will need to be opened to share with me, in the event of a complete memory loss. If the Captain, the Doctor and Lt. Tuvok all are unavailable, then I place this responsibility in the hands of the commanding officer of Voyager. This is VERY IMPORTANT. Many people may be hurt if they learn about what is in these logs unnecessarily.

The confidential Personal Logs will be attached under privacy seals, Code Kes-Alpha-Beta-One ******** beginning with this day's entry. The attachments consist of my first Personal Log entry on Stardate 50372.7. That first entry contained my memories of what I believe is or was my life as it occurred in an alternate timeline, which I will refer to as the "The Year of Hell" timeline, to try to keep things straight. The second confidential entry bears Stardate 50967.1. On this Stardate, Voyager encountered the Krenim. Fire was exchanged between the Krenim warship and Voyager, but both ships survived intact. This encounter represents the first time that I became aware of a divergence of my life from the remembered Year of Hell timeline and what has actually happened in this one. Because of this divergence and its implications, I intend to keep my personal logs regularly from this time on, so that my memories of what happened in that other timeline can be compared to what has happened in this one. Lt. Tuvok, the Doctor, and I all feel that this must be done, for the safety of Voyager and of its crew.

Begin Personal Log of Kes, Voyager's Medical Assistant: Stardate 50967.1:

I do not know how much I should say in the official Voyager logs about what is happening. Much of it is better hidden in the personal logs. This has been a confusing time. I can now understand why Captain Janeway once said to me, "Time paradoxes always give me such a headache." My whole life now may be a time paradox, but I feel a great responsibility to keep the memories of my "two lives" straight. I owe it to Captain Janeway and all of the crew of Voyager, but especially to B'Elanna, to Tom, and to Harry.

The day started pleasantly. Although at least a skeleton crew must always man the stations for the ship to run smoothly, as many people as possible were given today off. Apparently on Earth, in the Alpha Quadrant, this Stardate is a major holiday called Federation Day, which commemorates the birth of the United Federation of Planets. Many people of the Federation have parties, picnics, or visit beaches and parks on this day to celebrate. Although the beach resort holodeck program has not been used much lately, Neelix decided it would be the appropriate setting for a Federation Day picnic/ party/celebration, complete with fireworks in the evening. When I first heard about this celebration, I thought nothing of the importance of this setting, and the fireworks sounded like fun.

Many of the crew were already there when I arrived. Tom Paris called me over to chat for a few moments, as B'Elanna Torres, our chief engineer, had found something she just had to fix that morning in Engineering, holiday or not. Tom said, "Kes, some party, huh," but before I could answer him, he turned away from me. He had heard B'Elanna's voice call out behind him, "Sorry I'm late, Tom," as she swirled into his arms.

Tom bent down to kiss her in greeting, and I had to smile at them. They had only become comfortable enough in their relationship in the past few weeks to be so openly affectionate. Even though many people on Voyager had always considered Tom to be a rather fickle playboy, I long ago had realized the truth. Tom seemed much more "easy" than he had ever really been because of his surface charm, his jokes, and his willingness to put others at ease with flattering chatter, even if he made himself look foolish in the process. He liked to talk about his pursuit of women, (and once he had even had a crush on me, I know) but there had never been as many girlfriends as the rumor mill had said that there were. Actually, I think his enthusiastic pursuit of so many was a way to keep women from getting too close to him, to protect himself from their pursuing him. Then he fell for B'Elanna.

At first glance, B'Elanna is probably the last woman most would match him up with, but, again, I know better. B'Elanna and I became much friendlier after I turned three years old and we found that we had more things in common than we had ever thought possible.

Several events occurred recently which made B'Elanna realize that while I may look soft and yielding, I'm really not. Strength is important to Klingons, even those who are only half-Klingon and try to "control" their Klingon side.

Both of us work frequently with the Doctor. Of course, I'm his assistant; and B'Elanna, as chief engineer, in a way is the Doctor's doctor. We have had to do some "surgery" on his program several times recently. We both visited his hologram "family," and both of us had advised him to make the changes in that program which led to the death of his holographic daughter Belle. That was difficult for all of us. Because we had interfered, we both felt obligated to help the Doctor adjust to his tragic loss.

B'Elanna and I are both the only representatives on Voyager of our races. There aren't many Ocampa anywhere, and people who are half-Klingon and half-human are apparently even rarer, even in the Alpha Quadrant, where those races originate. We have had occasion to talk about what that means for us, and it has brought us closer.

Much of our talk has also been about Lt. Paris. Both he and B'Elanna have had poor relationships with parents who pressured them to be what they themselves did not want to be. Their early years were very difficult, but both have finally found a measure of contentment since coming to the Delta Quadrant. B'Elanna and I also have had a chance to talk about how hard Tom tries to hide how nice he really is, as if being nice were something that needed to be hidden!

There is another thing we have in common about Tom, too, although only I know it. My first log tells all about that.

As Tom put his arm around his B'Elanna, I shivered. There is an old Earth expression to describe it, "Someone's walking on my grave." It is also called, in another old Earth language, Deja Vu, and I suddenly knew that I had already seen him do the very same thing, in another time. And I played my part too, for as I recognized the scene, I involuntarily quoted what I had said then, "You must be B'Elanna."

This is obviously a very silly thing to say about someone who is your friend, but B'Elanna took the statement at face value. She and Tom looked at each other in surprise and laughed a little nervously as she said, "Well, the last time I looked…."

I knew then that I would hear what I did not want to hear. Tom asked me if something was wrong, but before I could really answer him, Captain Janeway's voice over the comm lines interrupted me. "Red Alert, all hands to battle stations."

As soon as I heard her first words, I started to head to the Bridge, even though that is not my station, because I knew I would be needed there.

When we arrived at the Bridge, all was confusion. Tom rushed down to the helm while B'Elanna moved to the Bridge's engineering console. I tried to grab her to stop her, but she slipped by me. The captain was explaining that another ship was firing on Voyager, for no known reason. I called out to the captain, "It's the Krenim, Captain Janeway. They are using the temporal variance torpedoes. Remember? You need to modulate the targeting scanners to a parametric frequency to knock out the launchers."

I had given Captain Janeway a heavily edited recounting of my "other life," especially as it pertained to the Krenim, several months ago. Because of my information, we had requested assistance from other Delta Quadrant races on ways to avoid their space, but obviously, it had not worked. The captain ordered the adjustment of the targeting scanners and then asked B'Elanna about rerouting power to the forward shields. "I'm trying," B'Elanna replied from her station at the engineering console.

Although I had just given information that should have changed things, I again felt an overpowering feeling of Deja Vu, as I had on the holodeck. Even as B'Elanna responded to the Captain, I knew that a torpedo was en route for its deadly rendezvous with Voyager. I had to take drastic action to avoid a disaster to my friends.

I did what I had to do. As Captain Janeway started to move down from her station at the Bridge to join B'Elanna at the console, I shoved the captain back towards Commander Chakotay. She landed heavily on the floor. I don't think that I will ever forget the way she looked up at me in shock from where she was sprawled at Commander Chakotay's feet. As the commander helped the captain back to her feet, I jumped down the step to the engineering console, grabbed B'Elanna by the arm, and yanked her as hard as I could back toward me.

Had B'Elanna been expecting me to do something like that, she could have held her ground easily, for physically she is much stronger than I am. Dedicated engineer that she is, however, B'Elanna had been concentrating so hard on rerouting power to the shields that she did not even know I had floored the captain. As I pulled B'Elanna back, we both stumbled to the floor of the bridge. The engineering console exploded a second later, causing a few shards of the console's casing to become lodged in the back of the engineer's right shoulder as she fell away from it, but the burning burst of plasma that had killed B'Elanna in the Year of Hell time line never reached her. The face that she turned towards me wore an expression of astonishment, unscathed by injury and death.

I was expecting to feel Lt. Tuvok's strong Vulcan grip on my neck any second, but when I looked up at him, all I could see was the lift of his left eyebrow as he gazed down on us. He did not go into Chief Security Officer mode but only said in his usual, imperturbable way, "I believe that you must accompany Lt. Torres to Sickbay, Kes. She appears to need medical attention." As I helped B'Elanna up, I could hear Captain Janeway order Harry Kim to try to open hailing frequencies to the other ship, while Commander Chakotay was calling out the orders to reinforce the shields. As I gave B'Elanna a hand up from the floor, I looked over at the helm. Tom had half risen from his seat, but he sat back down when he saw B'Elanna standing up under her own power.

As B'Elanna and I rode down to Sickbay, leaving the acrid smell of burning components on the Bridge behind us, I saw her stare at me, as if she was unable to put into words what she was feeling. Needing to say something, I asked B'Elanna if she thought the attack was over. The terrible vibrations of a ship under attack could no longer be detected.

"Either it's over or the shields are holding now. We would probably still feel something if torpedoes were hitting the shields, so it's probably over. Kes…." The turbolift doors opened before she could say more, and I hustled her into Sickbay.

The Doctor was busy with several injured crewmen. Glancing at us as we entered, he saw that B'Elanna was not in any immediate danger and called me over to help him treat Joe Carey from Engineering. When Lt. Carey was comfortable, the Doctor came over to check out B'Elanna, as he had already triaged the other patients. I was ordered to use the medical transporter to remove the shards from B'Elanna's shoulder, close the wounds, and use the dermal regenerator to heal the injury site.

I followed the Doctor's orders, removing shards of metal with congealing crimson blood on them. I understand that a pure Klingon has blood that is more pink, while human blood is bright red. The color of B'Elanna's blood is somewhere in between, as is true of so much about her. (I'm sorry, I'm digressing.) Neither B'Elanna nor I said anything as I removed the metal from her body, but when I put the dermal regenerator to use, B'Elanna said to me, "Besides the captain and me, who else died? In the Year of Hell, I mean."

I tipped my head up to see her eyes were fastened on me, begging me to tell her what she wanted to know. How could I tell her? Then I realized what she was really asking and looked away, trying to find the words to satisfy her. "Eleven died-nine and-and-the two on the Bridge. I don't know all their names, B'Elanna, so don't ask me. But Tom wasn't one of them."

She clasped her hands and raised them to her lips before closing her eyes, almost as if she were saying some kind of ritual or prayer. "Was he hurt?"

"Not physically," I replied.

Her eyelids opened to reveal dark brown eyes that bored into my soul. At that moment, I thought that B'Elanna might possess the mental powers that sometimes have flashed into existence within me. She seemed to sense that I was holding back the words that would hurt her if she were to pursue them; but she seemed compelled to pursue them.

The tension was broken by the captain's voice over the comm. "Cancel Red Alert. Well done, everyone. We have concluded a brief negotiation with the Krenim, and they have supplied us with the boundaries of their claimed area of space. We have agreed to respect their borders, and they have pledged that there will be no further attacks. Janeway out."

"I certainly hope we can trust them," B'Elanna said. "I don't want to live through that Year of Hell you talked about all those months ago at the staff meeting." I do not know what my face must have looked like when she said that. Then she pushed me on the arm as she added, "Ask the Doc if I can go. I have to see to Engineering."

The Doctor released her after lecturing her about going to her quarters and resting rather than working on warp coils, not that it did any good. I know he doesn't really have any breath to save, but it was a waste of power to say that to B'Elanna. He knows that just as well as I do, but he just can't help himself. It's part of his programming.

B'Elanna stopped by Carey's bed to say a few words to him before leaving Sickbay to supervise the repairs to Voyager. I was glad to see it. Neither one had been alive after the first attack by the Krenim in the Time of Hell timeline.

The Doctor assigned me the task of circulating the ship with a medical tricorder to check on the chronoton radiation levels of the crew. He also ordered that I take a supply of hyposprays to begin treating everyone for the early stages of chronoton radiation poisoning. The Doctor remained in Sickbay to prepare the biotemporal chamber for treating the crew for permanent removal of the radiation. The Doctor is sure that the same principal that removed the chronoton radiation from me before-using a precisely modulated field of anti-chronoton particles on the patient-will remove the radiation from the crew's bodies. I'm sure that he's correct.

For the next several hours, everyone was busy with repairs and cleanup. Only two torpedoes had gotten through. One of them had done most of the damage, leaking radiation from fragments lodged in a Jeffries tube on Deck 11. With B'Elanna in charge, the torpedo was quickly removed and the hull breach repaired. Most of the ship's systems were on line again within a very reasonable amount of time.

I was very busy, checking everyone's chronoton levels while keeping track of everyone I had already checked and who I still needed to see. The most difficult visit I had to make was to Captain Janeway. When I arrived she was in her ready room with Lt. Tuvok and Commander Chakotay, who were reporting on the ship's status.

After a quick gulp, I started with "Captain Janeway, I'm here to do a medical scan on each of you, but before I begin, please accept my sincere apologizes for the way…"

In her wonderfully warm, smoky voice, she interrupted me. "Kes, please don't apologize for anything. It's not the first time I've landed on the floor in the middle of a fire fight, and it undoubtedly won't be the last." She hesitated a moment, glancing first at Tuvok briefly, then gazed for a much longer time at Commander Chakotay, before adding, "I think we all know what you really did. You were very careful about the wording of your tactical reports to Tuvok, Kes, but we know that in the "Year of Hell," Voyager must have sustained some...heavy casualties." At the last, her voice became even lower and breathier than usual.

Tuvok continued for her. "It should go without saying that there will be no charges or any repercussions for your actions on the bridge, Kes. It would be wise, however, to record this incident, as well as future events you believe are significant, as part of Voyager's official logs."

"I've never made any official log entries, Tuvok. In fact, the only personal log entry I have ever made was the one I completed after I did the report on the Krenim for you."

"It is time for that to change, Kes." Despite his calm demeanor, the importance of this request was clearly communicated by the quiet intensity of his words. I finished my work and was dismissed from the ready room. I had a lot to think about as I made my way to the rest of the crew for their scans.

At 2130 hours I finally made it to the mess hall to get something to eat. Tom and Harry both had contacted me over their comm badges to invite me to sit with them for dinner. With any luck, B'Elanna would be able to join us, too.

Neelix had transferred the food from the beach resort holodeck to the mess hall, so I knew that the food would be much better than it usually is. Before getting myself something to eat, I looked around the mess hall to see if I had missed checking anyone other than Harry and Tom. Knowing I was to meet them here, I had deliberately left them for last. The only ones I'd missed were Gerron and Dalby. After completing the scans on them, I grabbed a tray of food and went to where Tom and Harry were sitting.

Just as I reached their table to sit down, Tom jumped up and hurried past me. As B'Elanna walked into the room, he gathered her up in his arms. They held each other close for a very long time, her face buried into his shoulder, while he murmured something to her that could not be heard over the babble of the voices of the other diners.

No one paid much attention to them. After any serious attack on the ship, greetings like this between lovers are not uncommon. As B'Elanna looked up at him, he gently placed his hands at either side of her face and lifted her mouth to his for a very long kiss.

I found I had caught my breath, releasing it only when I felt a hand squeeze mine. I turned to look into Harry's eyes, which appeared to be glistening with unshed tears. "Thanks for saving my friends' lives, Kes. Both of them. Tom said that he would have wanted to die if he had lost B'Elanna."

"He told me that too-in the-other timeline," I stammered the last few words as I realized that I had let slip something I had sworn to keep secret always. Harry squeezed my hand again but said nothing more, as Tom and B'Elanna had ended their embrace and were coming to the table.

B'Elanna and I ate what we could. Neither of us had much of an appetite, even though the food was extremely tasty for a change. Tom and Harry had finished eating and spent the time speaking in soft voices, joking with us, although it was easy to see that Tom's heart was not in it. He repeatedly stroked B'Elanna's arms, shoulders, and hands, and his eyes never left her face for more than a few seconds.

After we had eaten what we were able to, I took out the medical tricorder and waved it in front of Tom and Harry. "What are our levels like, Kes?" asked Harry.

"Yours is 41 and Tom's is 34. Tuvok had the lowest level. Most of the human members of the crew have had radiation levels between 30 through 40 Roentgens. The highest human level was 47, which was the reading for Sam Wildman's baby. The Doctor wants to have her among the first treated tomorrow."

"That sounds about right, considering that the baby is so young and growing," said B'Elanna. "What was your level, Kes?"

"Mine is 81 Roentgens." Tom and Harry looked shocked, but B'Elanna nodded. "I knew it had to be up there. It probably has something to do with the accelerated Ocampa growth rate having an affinity for attracting chronoton radiation particles. I assume you'll be first in the chamber?"

"After the baby; since she's so young, she should go first."

Usually when the four of us shared a meal together, we had to tear ourselves away from the table because of all the joking and laughter. Tonight it was hard to keep any kind of conversation going. When Tom and B'Elanna exchanged the kind of secret look that I knew well from my time with Neelix, I turned away to find Harry looking at me, smilingly shrugging his eyebrows upwards. Obviously he had also exchanged looks like that with his fiancée Libby.

Neither one of us was surprised when B'Elanna stood up and said, "It's getting late. I guess I'll follow the doctor's orders at least for a little while and turn in. Good night, Harry, Kes." As she said good night to me, she flashed a quick smile and gave my hand a pat.

Tom stood up and said, "I'll walk you back to your quarters, ma'am, in case you need a friendly arm to lean on." There was a tender look in his eyes, and I knew that B'Elanna was in no danger of spending the night alone. Before they left, however, Tom leaned over the table, gave me a brief hug, and whispered a hurried "Thank you" softly in my ear. He offered B'Elanna his arm with a broad, gallant gesture, and they sailed out the door into the corridor.

I may have done my best not to let anyone know what their futures had been like in the Year of Hell timeline, but everyone seemed to know anyway.

After they left, Harry and I remained in the mess hall for a while, talking about inconsequential things. Although the other side of the table was now empty, Harry stayed close by my side.

I have always felt comfortable with Harry, but tonight, there was more than mere comfort between us. I was pretty sure by now that he was never going to be my son-in-law, and somehow that thought pleased me more than I can say. Harry has never hidden the fact that he is a nice man, much to his own chagrin. To me, the puzzling thing is that he seems to want to hide his passionate nature. He only allows glimpses of it, usually while he is playing the clarinet, yet I can always sense it locked deeply beneath his very handsome surface.

By 2300 hours, we were both pretty tired. Harry accompanied me to Sickbay so I could leave the medical tricorder with the radiation data for the Doctor. The Doctor agreed with Tuvok's idea about my keeping official and personal logs on a regular basis. When I noticed Harry's eyes glazing over from the Doctor's chatter, I said that I needed to get to my quarters to get some sleep. The Doctor graciously allowed us to leave.

At my door, Harry held me in his arms for a few minutes and gave me a very chaste, yet lingering, kiss before he mumbled "Good night." I watched him leave for his own quarters with regret, and when I lost sight of him, I wondered if I should have asked him to stay with me a while longer.

As I entered my rooms I saw my bed waiting for me, but I did not feel like sleeping, tired though I was. I thought of Tom and B'Elanna. Knowing their natures as I do, I suspected that they were not going to get much sleep tonight. I have observed that being confronted with death often causes a desire in the survivors to perform the act that can create a new life, helping to fill the void caused by the loss of someone close. It lets us forget about anything else for a time, or maybe the pleasurable sensations simply remind us that we are still alive. I'm not sure it matters what the reason is, but I know that I wished I hadn't let Harry leave.

If I were still with Neelix, I would have had someone to hold me all night. I wanted to be held, but not enough to go back to Neelix. I still love him, but not in that way anymore. Now he is more like a big brother to me. I may always have loved him more as a brother; I don't know if I would have known the difference when I met him. It has been a long time since the Ocampa lived on the surface of their world and had families with brothers and sisters in them. From the stories I've heard, though…but there-I'm getting off the subject again. I'm probably putting a lot of things into this entry that shouldn't even be in a personal log. I must be having trouble paying attention because of the lack of rest.

It is past 0400 now, and I have been dictating this log since Harry left. I should end it now, but before I do, I must record a few more observations.

First, it is vital that I keep a good record of what happens from now on, since I do not know what will happen next. Already there are significant differences between the timelines, as Tuvok had predicted there would be. My return backwards through the Year of Hell timeline undoubtedly changed things as surely as my actions have directly affected this one. For instance, when I checked my first log, I realized that the date of this Krenim attack is not the same as the date of the first attack in the Year of Hell, which was on 50973. This one was earlier, before we came too deeply into their claimed space. Could that be why we were able to negotiate this time? The events of the next several weeks will tell us whether the Year of Hell has been avoided or only had a changed time frame, but thankfully, so far the casualties and damage to Voyager have been much lighter than those sustained during my other life.

Greater differences will undoubtedly arise in the future. I can predict several of them:

I do not expect now ever to be the wife of Tom Paris. Life is still uncertain and dangerous for all of us on Voyager, and B'Elanna might die prematurely, I guess; but I devoutly hope that such a thing will never happen to her. B'Elanna has become too close a friend for me to even want to think about that. It is bad enough that I have ever seen it as a possibility.

The Year-of-Hell-Tom told me that at first he had thought the day we were married was the happiest day of his life, yet it had gotten better and better each day we were together. I think he was sincere in what he said; it may even have been true. But I remember how he looked when he spoke of his memories of B'Elanna, how joyfully he greeted her, how bitterly he grieved her death. I do not think his happiest days with me were as happy as they would have been with her.

Perhaps this is unfair, for I did not really see that much of my life with him. Much of the time, I was an old and dying woman, or we were amongst other people, with little chance for private moments. He cared for me, but the most passion from him that I was permitted to see was when Linnis was born, and that passion seemed due more to his joy at the birth of our daughter than it was for me. I would not want to be second choice, his second best, and that is what I think I was to him. And after I saw the way Tom looked at B'Elanna tonight, knowing how close he had been to losing her, I do not believe I would now want to be with him, no matter what the circumstances.

I will miss not meeting and knowing Linnis. What little I saw of her was wonderful, and she deserves to live. So does Andrew. But I would not trade their possibility of life for the lives of Captain Janeway, B'Elanna, and all of the others that died in the Year of Hell. Besides, I may yet meet them. Perhaps Linnis would not look quite the way she did, with a different father, yet she still might be the loving, intelligent daughter that I met. Andrew could turn out to be my son, rather than my grandson, and he might even look the same. I do not know. Now that the divergence has come, I will try not to fear the future, any more than I did before this experience changed my perception of it.

For all I know, even greater grief will come because the Year of Hell does NOT occur, but I will take that chance, for everyone's sakes. That is why I will keep up this log in case difficult future choices need to be made. After all, I have had the chronoton radiation poison my body now, as happened then. My jumping backward through my life was not a delusion; it was not all a dream; and the path may remain open for me to return to my earlier life again, as I did before.

Wouldn't it be ironic if I, the Ocampan with a life span of only 9 years, should constantly return to those 9 years, living them just a little differently each time? In that way, I might live longer than Tuvok!

I think I agree with Captain Janeway. Time paradoxes truly DO give one a headache!

End log/Stardate 50967.2