Log Entries: The B'Elanna Torres Logs

(Personal Logs of Voyager's Chief Engineer's Personal Logs)

by J. A. Toner (a.k.a. Jamelia)


Log Entries 3: Addenda


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 51748.2

This is the first entry in my personal log for quite a while, thanks to the Hirogen. I've been so busy fixing the damage they caused to the ship, after they turned Voyager into their personal playground, I haven't had time to record my thoughts in my personal log. I've just worked, slept, and eaten - the latter two with Tom occasionally, but not often enough.

sigh Maybe that's the reason I feel so strange. Strange. Right. That doesn't come close to saying how I actually feel. I don't feel much at all. I don't like to think too much, either. When Tom isn't around, I fall into bed and sleep as long as I can - as long as the dreams don't come . . .

Death. Destruction. When those dreams come, I can't sleep.

I see my friends in the Maquis. All dead - or almost all of them, at any rate. I don't know if that World War II simulation is part of that. There was plenty of death and destruction there, and Tom told me the word "Maquis" was borrowed from a group of French Resistance fighters during that war on Earth. Maybe that's the connection to my dreams.

Even though the Hirogen had us on the holodeck for the war simulations, now that it's fixed, I'm finding myself going back there from time to time, trying to lift my spirits with holoprograms. Going to the holodeck helps sometimes, but not much. Maybe if I went to the holodeck with Tom, it would be better, but he's off doing his own thing in there all the time. He's not letting me know what he's up to in there.

I guess he's decided I'm not such good company for him anymore.

I just wish I could shake this feeling I've got that everything is turning sour for us. Turning sour for me, period.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 51776.8

I wanted to tear that bastard into little bits and scatter them all over the floor. I'd like to have smashed him until he was nothing more than tiny smears of blood and bone. How dare that creep Steth take over Tom's body, and then do the things he did with me! When I think of it, I get so angry. I should have known.

Tom's been acting so distant lately. He spends almost all his spare time on the holodeck without me, missing dates, doing only as much as he has to.

The Doctor even called us the other day in the middle of dinner (one he actually showed up for) to complain about him not following through on his medical training. When I asked what was up, Tom said, "I don't know." And he seemed sincere. He really didn't seem to know what was happening with him. I should have called him on it, I guess, but I've been feeling so out of it lately, too. So I didn't.

I'd like to think that was why it never occurred to me Tom wasn't "himself" when I found him practicing putting in my quarters. He was supposed to be working in sickbay. When he started to cozy up next to me, I was so glad we were actually going to share some affection, I quelled that little red alert klaxon blaring in my skull. I mean, let's face it, Tom can be pretty smarmy sometimes - not that I don't love all those double entendres he makes, in that low-pitched, sexy voice of his. I haven't been hearing them enough lately. Maybe that's one reason I've been feeling so listless lately. But this Tom was just so . . . how do I say it? Smooth. That's it. I've never seen Tom act quite that way before.

Still, when he said, "I love you," to me - and we weren't in the middle of having sex - I was so pleased, I wouldn't have believed it wasn't my Tom talking even if he told me right then and there. I should have known.

But I didn't.

And then we did it.

It makes my skin crawl, now, just to think of that creep putting his hands on me. And . . . but at the time, all I remember feeling was kind of empty. I was satisfied, sure, but . . .

How do I say this? It isn't easy to put into words, but I'll try.

There's one the thing I know about Tom now that I didn't know before we became lovers. Didn't know? Could never imagine, is more like it. He might come off as the kind of guy who only wants one thing, but he isn't. Well, wait, he does want it. He's pretty much always up for whatever bedtime fun you want (or out of the bed, for that matter). But he's not the way some people, like Sue Nicoletti, say he is - only interested in his own pleasure.

Yeah, Tom wants to be satisfied, sure, but he's told me many times that if he hasn't made me just as happy, it isn't as good for him. I believe him. He really doesn't seem to be happy unless he knows I'm satisfied. I've seen how he gets when I don't get there the way he expects - and that one time I never got there at all - well. He got all down in the dumps, apologizing half the night until we did it again and he could get me to where we both wanted me to be. He was yelling, "yes, finally!" when he knew I was okay. And he just kept it up until I was exhausted and had to say, "Enough, already!"

This Tom got me there, but he didn't seem to care all that much that he did. He was only interested in himself. The little touches, those little looks, the finesse - all those things that make me feel good just weren't there. It was like his mind was back in the Alpha Quadrant, even though his body was most definitely here. It was so strange. But I've been feeling strange lately anyway. Kind of dead. So I thought it was just me.

When he insulted me in the transporter room? When I refused to cut out of my responsibilities to skip off on an unauthorized shore leave? I don't know why, but it wasn't a surprise. It was almost like I expected to hear him say he didn't know what he'd ever seen in me. For a long time, I've wondered what he could possibly be thinking, to be with me. I must have been down when he said it, because I know now I should have slugged him for talking to me that way.

But I didn't. I didn't feel like slugging him. I don't know why, but I just accepted it.

And then we found out, when Steth, or whatever his/her name really is, took over Janeway and stole the shuttle. It hadn't been Tom at all. He was locked up in that other body, helpless to do anything to change things, until Steth was in the shuttle and Tom could set things right. I should have been furious, because I think, somehow, I did know it wasn't really Tom; but, as Tom says, how could I have possibly realized that another mind had been in Tom's body? Who could have anticipated such a thing was even possible? Even here, in the Weird Quadrant.

I felt dirty and unclean from Steth's having sex with me. Dishonored. But what am I supposed to do to "satisfy honor?" Beat up Tom, now that he's back and himself again? I couldn't very well beat up that other creature Steth went back into. After all, she's apparently as much a victim of this as anyone. Who knows how far this goes back? I was just as helpless as Tom had been, because there was no one I could slam on the ground.

Tom did his best to make it up to me. He finally showed me the holodeck program that's been consuming so much of his time. "Grease Monkey." Deep down in his soul, that pilot is just itching to be an engineer. He just doesn't see it.

He did admit he had been shutting me out, spending time there when he should have been spending it with me. That was . . . sweet. It was sweeter still when he invited me inside that old Camaro and we "made out." We started out in the front seat, but it was really tight quarters in there. This stick thing kept getting in our way. So, we moved to the back seat, so he could "polish my headlights and rev my engines." I love it when he talks like that. We had a good time, and for a while, I felt better.

Tonight, though, I'm feeling down again. I don't know why I can't seem to get out of this funk I'm in. When I'm around Tom, it's okay. When I'm working, it's okay. But at times like this, when I'm hanging around here and Tom's on bridge duty, it's . . . it's not okay, and I can't figure out what I should do.

That's not really true, though. When I'm on the holodeck, I don't worry about it so much. But the holodeck is so . . . so sanitized. There's no real challenge to it. No test. No real risk, with the safeties on. Maybe if I picked a few programs I knew I could handle, I could take the safeties off line. Slam a few Cardies around, or something. Maybe then I could really test myself, find out what's in my heart. Assuming I've still got one.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 51854.2

How could I say no? With "Tom" looking at me that way, begging me to stay with him? Telling me he didn't want to live without me? The real Tom hasn't ever gotten around to saying anything like that to me yet - who knows if he ever will?

This was a clone of him, exactly like Tom in every detail. Except for the biochemistry. That was all Demon-class poison. So, does that mean "my" Tom really thinks of me that way, too? If he does, why doesn't the jerk say it? Or is it me? Can he see the empty shell I've been lately? Maybe that's why he can't say he loves me except when we're making love.

My Tom was still out cold, being treated by the Doctor to counteract all the Demon planet toxins that had almost killed him. Even though I was so angry about what had happened to my Tom that I didn't want to, I said yes. I'd allow myself to be cloned. After all, it wasn't this Clone Tom's fault. He didn't do anything intentional to trap Tom and be begotten/created/born - whatever it is that you call it when a clone is made like this.

And he was grateful, because then he wouldn't be alone on this godforsaken planet when Voyager left. Most of the crew was cloned and would be going e there, but the Clone Tom said it wouldn't matter. If I weren't there, he'd be alone.

When Voyager lifted off today, after all the deuterium we could store had been loaded onto the ship, I imagined the two of them, standing out in the open on Demon, watching Voyager disappear into the sky. Later, I had a chance to see the visual log made with the enhanced sensors in Astrometrics. They had been standing there, pretty much like I'd thought. The two of them were next to the cloned Harry and Seven. Clone Tom was behind Clone B'Elanna, his arms wrapped around her. His face was buried in her hair.

I guess I should be happy. In a way, I finally got home. It may not look like much. It was an awful place, truthfully. But, to them, it's home. They aren't going anywhere any time soon, that's for sure.

I wonder if that Tom will be able to tell his B'Elanna he loves her?

I hope they'll be happy.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 51986.9

I hate to admit it, but I understand why Seven wanted to be put off Voyager when it looked like we might be able to get home to the Alpha Quadrant. That isn't home to her.

Maybe it's not home to the rest of us, either. What does Tom have to go home for? Me? All my friends are gone. My mother could care less about me. My father, too. I didn't notice either of them trying to send me a message when we were in contact with that Array in Hirogen space. Maybe it got lost in transmission.

Right.

Like Tom's got lost in transmission? Could Neelix and Seven have decided not to let me see a message, the way I "lost" what we'd retrieved of Tom's?

It's not that I would mind facing up to whatever Starfleet was going to throw at us. It would be better than worrying about what would happen. But the more I think of it, the more I realize I'd rather we just kept on the way we're going. We'll get there sometime. What's the rush?

Actually, with all of the new technologies we've been discovering - folded space, slipstream, transwarp conduits - one of them should come through for us, someday. Maybe if we can figure out how one of them works, when we get back home, Starfleet will be so grateful to us they'll not only let us go, but we'll be able to bargain for the release of Sveta and all the other Maquis that are in prison.

Yeah. Sure.

Maybe Seven's got it right. We should just find a nice planet and stay here.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 51997.1

Gods, this is an awful place. All this blackness. No, that's not quite right. Black means the absence of light. This is the absence of anything - except theta radiation. That we've got plenty of here this Void.

The Demon planet was a miserable excuse for a world. And the poison nebula, where we had to go into stasis, with only the EMH and Seven to get us through, was really bad. I hated giving over my engines to Borgwoman while I took a month-long nap. I never expected to wake up. And with Tom constantly fighting his way out of his capsule because of his claustrophobia, it must've been just as bad for him. He won't talk about it, and I'm not pushing him. He'll only push me about being edgy, and I don't want to talk about it. To anyone. Even Tom.

Since we got into this Void, Tom's been trying to cheer me up. Not much seems to help. He's suggested maybe we could use Seven's Borg technology to build a new shuttle, one better suited to the Delta Quadrant than the Starfleet ones. We'd be combining our skills in engineering and piloting. Harry's and Seven's skills, too.

It's not that I can't work with Seven on a professional basis. Actually, we seem to be able to work okay with them now that Harry isn't quite so star struck around Seven. After she "demoted" him to lesser Drone status during the Omega crisis, that puppy love thing started to go away. And, after being alone going through that nebula, Seven isn't quite the same, either. Maybe she's feeling what I'm feeling - alone, adrift. Even when Tom's holding me, I get that way. I don't feel anything so much of the time. Just about the only time I can feel anything anymore is when Tom makes love to me, and even then, it has to be so Klingon-wild that I can't think about anything else except about how wild it is.

Rough, frantic sex. Klingon sex. It's the only way I'm satisfied anymore. Thrown objects and bites and pain. Tom looks at me like I'm crazy when I ask him to use pain sticks on me. I make a joke about it: "You always wanted to see my Klingon side, didn't you, Mister?" So he does it, every now and then, but I know he isn't very happy about it. I don't care. At least then, I can feel something. Pain is better than nothingness.

Anyway, Seven's almost - bearable. Sometimes. Not that I would ever let her know that. But I know we can get her to cooperate on technical matters once we convince the captain to let us build our own shuttle.

I wish I could get myself really involved in this project, the way I have in the past on others, like the Warp 10 fiasco. It just doesn't feel like it would be any use. I don't think we'll never get out of this Void anyway, so why bother?

This place is just another trap - without even one tiny star to steer by.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 52009.4

I hate games. I can't stand this new holodeck program he's trying to get me to play. Captain Electron, or Proton, or Protein, or whatever. It's "fun," he says. I'm not interested in fun.

I want a challenge. I want to pit myself against whatever the universe can throw at me, even if this stinking Void isn't letting me do anything real. The holodecks are the place to escape, Tom's right about that. But his insipid little program just won't cut it.

Climbing Mount Everest or Mount KrI'telth. Cliff diving. Using a mace and spear. Hand to hand combat. Bat'leths at the ready. That's what keeps my interest.

Tom's the one who wanted me to explore my Klingon side. Now he's afraid of it. At least he doesn't complain about using the pain sticks on me anymore. He just goes along with it. He gets his sex, which is all I'm good for. What does he really see in me anyway? What Steth said to me, when he was in Tom's body, was the truth. All I have to do is look in the mirror, and then at him, and I know. He just isn't honest enough to say it to me. I'm a good lay, so he's sticking with me.

I don't think he misses the dermal regenerator I took from the field medic kit in his quarters. He hasn't said anything about it. I mean, who's getting hurt in here, playing at checkers or silly science fiction farces? There's nothing. Nothing out there. Nothing in here. Blackness, wherever you look. Inside. Outside.

We'll never get to the other side.

But at least I'm going to get laid, regularly, until it's all over. As long as I don't have to talk, it's okay.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 52048.3

This Void is maddening. I'm not the only one who's saying it. If only I had more rations for the holodeck, I'd feel better, but no. I don't have enough to do my programs as often as I need to. And Tom with that Dr. Chaotica garbage - you'll never catch me in there.

I'm not the only one who feels it. I haven't seen the captain in over a month. Whenever I check in, it's Chakotay on the bridge. The captain doesn't even hide out in her ready room anymore, like she did the first couple of weeks. Now, she's in her quarters all the time.

I go to my duty shifts, at least.

But she knows. The captain knows. It's over. We're all going to die here. This is our final destination. Our prison. Eternal night, in the Void.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 52084.9

I can't believe we're out of the Void. Janeway came alive just in time to help us blow our way through those putrid, murdering aliens. Dumping their radioactive garbage into the home of another race because it was cheaper! I wanted to throw Emck into the warp core. I might have, if all the theta radiation in his body wouldn't have contaminated engineering.

I thought, once we got out of there, it would be better. I still don't feel like myself any more. I thought getting out of the Void would make a difference. It hasn't.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 52101.3

It's getting harder and harder to get through each day. I thought the bleakness of the Void was the reason I was on edge, but we've been out of it for a couple of weeks, and I'm no better. I can't seem to feel alive doing anything. Not that it matters. We're all dying off here, one by one. Sometimes more than one at a time, what with lovely races like the Hirogen to make us feel so at home. The list goes on and on. Kurt. Hogan. Bennett. Darwin. Pete Durst. Kes. I can't even remember all of them now off hand, but the list just keeps getting longer and longer.

And now, One. If only the Borgette we still have on board was as helpful as he was! What a mind! What a loss! Everyone on the ship is mourning him. I think Seven is even feeling something. Me? I've tried. Nothing.

The Delta Quadrant will claim us all. It's only a matter of time.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 52111.1

We're building that shuttle Tom wanted to build. Seven and Harry and him and me. It's an okay ship. I think it will work. Seven's doing a decent job. I've got enough on my mind that I don't care if she does a little real work for a change.

When I delivered those thruster specs to him last night, Tom wanted me to stay in his quarters for dinner. I said, "no." Actually, I don't think I said anything. I pushed his hands away. He just wanted to get me in bed after dinner, I know that. And I didn't want to. He's refusing to use the pain sticks anymore. Doesn't he see that I can't feel anything otherwise? And why bother anyway, just for a few seconds of feeling something?

I went to Neelix later on. He replicated me some banana pancakes, like Grandmother Torres made me on her visits to Kessik. I almost felt something when I tasted them, but it was regret. Even they don't taste any good to me anymore.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 52114.4

I invited him for dinner tonight. My quarters. Banana pancakes.

When he came to my door, the look in his eyes was so - hesitant - I didn't know what to say for a moment. I knew I needed to talk to him about what's been going on with me, but how could I begin?

He knows about the programs. All of them. About the injuries. About my lying to him. He knows about the dermal regenerator and osteoregenerator I stole. About how I betrayed his trust. And he didn't say one word about it. When I tried to talk about it all, he shushed me. All he did was hold me, for a long time. Gently, almost like he was afraid I would break.

I finally felt something again, all right. Humiliation. I felt bad, really bad, about the way I'd been treating him.

I think the worst part is knowing he thinks I was only using him for sex for all those months in between my trips to the holodeck. And there were a lot of trips to the holodeck. I didn't record very many of them here in my log. The less of a trail, the better, I knew that, even then.

And I must admit, yes, it's partially true. Maybe I was using him for sex. I felt something when we were - copulating. That's the word. Seven's word for doing it. I can't say we were making love, and I don't want to say it was just having sex, because that isn't all it was to him. He was making love to me, even if I was just "doing it." He wanted to bring me joy. If I had been capable of being happy when we were doing it, he would have. Kahless, it wasn't Tom's fault. It was me; I know that. I hope he does, too.

But I had to apologize to him somehow, and when he didn't want to talk about it, I was in despair. I told him we just had to talk.

When he suggested the holodeck, I looked at him like he was crazy. After all the things I'd been doing on the holodeck, why would he want to bring me there?

You know, he was right. And he picked the perfect program, too. No dangerous, safeties-off holodeck program. No stupid Captain Protein. It was the "Grease Monkey" program. Just Tom and me, working on his car until our hands were all smeared up and gooey. Good thing it was holographic grease, because when the car was humming the way it should, he switched programs to the "Car Parked on Mars" program. The garage and everything else disappeared except for the Camaro we'd been working on, perched on that hill on Mars.

He opened the door for me with one of those exaggerated flourishes he does, and then he climbed into the back seat with me and began kissing me all over. It was a while before he let me get a word in edgewise. My mouth was too full of his mouth. When I was able to talk, I told him how sorry I was about not letting him in. How I didn't let him know how bad I'd been feeling when we were in the Void. All he said was, "It's okay, B'Elanna," and began to kiss me again.

We didn't "go all the way." That's the way they used to talk, he said, back when the Camaro was new. "All the way" was to have actual intercourse. No, it was just kissing, hugging, and petting. A whole lot of petting and kissing, all over my body, and his too, when he gave me a chance to do to him what he'd been doing to me.

You know, it's funny, but I was more satisfied tonight than I'd been all those months when we were having all that hard, driving sex - with or without the pain sticks.

That look in his eyes, when he was touching me - oh, yes. I hope I'll remember that look until the day I die. Happy and proud I was smiling for him again. That he was finally making me happy again.

I'm not saying I felt much like smiling for myself; but for him, yes, I did. I can remember now how he was trying so hard to get me to open up to him. I pushed him away. I was a coward.

It's still going to be a struggle. The Doctor told me that when he put me on some kind of medication. He says it will help, in the long run. I don't know about that. We'll see. I don't think "happy medication" is the Klingon Way, exactly. Tom was there, though, and since Mr. Klingon Cultural Traditions kept his mouth shut about the medication. I did, too.

The funny thing is, when he was smiling at me tonight, when we were touching each other, I suddenly remembered. It had been a very long time since I'd seen Tom do much in the way of smiling. How come I didn't see that before?

Maybe I was too busy handing him the pain sticks to notice.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 52145.6

I listened to Tom's final message to me today. It's not that he's dead. We rescued him, and Tuvok and Samantha, too. When I was going over the Delta Flyer to identify the repairs it needed, after we'd recovered them safely, I found his message. I know I'm not supposed to listen to it when he's still alive, but I wasn't about to let that stop me. I had to know if he was thinking of me when he thought it was all over. I copied the message into my tricorder. After my shift was over, I brought it back to my quarters to listen to. And . . . I . . . well. I'm not copying all of it here in my log, but I don't think I'm erasing it from my tricorder, either. I may want to listen to it again.

Who knows. Maybe next time he won't have time to record a message, and this will be the only one I'll ever have from him.

In the beginning, he was really apologetic. "I'm sorry, B'Elanna, that it's going to end this way. I wanted so much more for you. Please, don't get down. I wouldn't want that to happen again. Blah, blah, blah." Pretty much berating himself for leaving me. I think he was worried about me sinking into a deep depression again, when I was just getting out of the one I've been in. I'm not sure he isn't right about that, either. I hated feeling so frightened, so helpless, the whole time they were missing. I was barking at everyone in engineering. Joe Carey and Vorik both said something to me about it, once we were all safe on the ship again - how they were afraid I was going to crumble again, if Tom was really gone.

That's not The Klingon Way, of course. Being depressed isn't the Way of the Warrior, is it? At least, you're not supposed to admit to ever being depressed. Taking charge and rescuing them is The Klingon Way.

I'm glad Tom and the others were saved. I have to face up to the fact I'm still recovering from a serious depression. If he had died, I don't know how I would have reacted. Thank God I didn't have to find out - this time.

His message, though. It was really . . . sweet. So solicitous of me. He never said, "I love you," but he did say, "You know what I told you, B'Elanna? Out in space, on the Day of Honor? That time, we were rescued, so you weren't the last thing I saw. You mean more to me than my own life, so I'm glad you're going to go on living. But I'm sorry that this time, you won't be the last thing I'll see." I think I can take that to mean he's feeling what I think he is.

Then it was back to the usual: to Tom cracking jokes to avoid letting anyone know his heart was breaking. About how the computer was jealous he was spending his last few minutes of living talking to me. About how I wouldn't have to worry about day-old pizza around my quarters or watching junky 2D movies with him anymore.

You know, he's right. I probably couldn't have ever brought myself to watch any of those old movies he loves if he'd died. I'd have hated pizza, too; and I've developed quite a taste for the stuff lately. Even those cold leftovers he's always leaving around. And his jokes. God, would I have missed his jokes! I wonder if I would have hated anybody joking with me, if . . . no. I hope I could have still joked around. Eventually. But it wouldn't have been easy, not for a very long time.

When Janeway asked me for my report on the condition of the shuttle and mentioned the final messages, I told her they'd been accidentally erased. I don't know if she believed me. Tuvok hadn't left a recorded message, and I don't think Sam would want Naomi to run into her last message accidentally, anyway. It's better this way.

I'm glad I saw Tom's. From that message, I know how much he cares. Even if he is too damned stubborn to say it to my face - while he's still alive.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 52166.7

I'm mortified I accused Tom of putting Seven up to the Klingon warrior thing. I mean, sure, it's something that Tom might do, the way he's been trying to introduce Seven to "playing" and "joking around" lately. But he didn't do it.

I was sorry I'd gotten upset with Seven, too, after I knew the truth. It's eerie to think that she had a whole bunch of people she'd personally destroyed running around in her brain. Well, maybe that's not completely fair, either. At the time she'd assimilated them, she'd been destroyed as an individual herself. It wasn't as if she'd had any choice in the matter. They certainly got their revenge, "possessing" her like that.

I'm glad we were able to save her. Not that we're good buddies now, or anything, but I have to admit, Seven has been different lately - and not only when she's in the middle of being possessed by the memories of people whose bodies probably turned into dust long ago. It's since One was lost. That's when I noticed the change in her.

One was her son, in a way - a twenty-ninth century Borg created literally overnight from her nanoprobes and DNA from Seven and Mulcahy. Tom and Harry say she was really devastated when One sacrificed himself. He realized the Borg would prey upon us to get at his advanced technology, once they'd found out he existed. He wouldn't let that happen.

So, maybe it's not surprising she's paying attention to Naomi now. Seven's learning to play. She is like a little kid in some ways, but it's not only that. Having One made her think about what it means to be a child, sure; but I think it also made her wonder about what it means to be a mother. And hearing all those voices in her head, some of them children, according to the Doctor, must have made an impression on her.

She told One that the people of Voyager, were "her Collective" now. When I first heard that, I didn't think much of it. But the way she's started helping Naomi with her star charts, I guess maybe she does feel that way. We are her Collective. Or maybe a better way to say it is, we're her family now.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 52172.3

She had the nerve to come in to talk to me tonight. She wants me to get over my anger. Hey - nothing to it! Who cares if a butcher's experiments saved my life?

Is my life a good trade for a hundred Bajorans, tortured painfully so this knowledge could be gained? I don't think so. Sorry. How about a thousand? Ten thousand?

Nobody really knows how many people were murdered for Crell Moset to gain this medical knowledge. But I'm the precious chief engineer of Voyager, and maybe the ship doesn't get home without me. So it doesn't matter what my opinions are. B'Elanna, you're saved. Too bad about your principles. What the captain says, goes. Your life gets saved so you can keep Voyager pieced together and get everybody home. Just forget about all the Bajoran blood on the hands of the doctor who saved you.

Easy for her to say.

The Cardassians have a lot to answer for, but that fiend of a doctor has got to be pretty high on the list for the people who deserve retribution. At least our Doctor realized it afterwards and deleted Moset - but not until after the damage was done.

I thought Janeway would understand. She's been captured by the Cardies herself. If anyone should know why I feel that way about them, she should! She didn't.

It's not that I'm bitter about Tom getting her to save me. I understand what was going on his head. He admitted it to me when he came here to have dinner with me tonight. He knows how selfish he was, because he knew what I would have wanted. But when he thought about how it would be to go on without me when there was a way to save me, he had to speak up. And he said he was afraid that maybe I didn't want to be saved because I was still suffering from depression. He knows that's a rationalization, but he clung to the idea anyway. It made it easier for him to argue for me with the captain.

The captain didn't have to listen to Tom when he begged her to order me to be treated. Tom obeys her orders. He doesn't get insolent to her when she tells him what he has to do. He owes her, and he knows it. She could have made him do the right thing, even though it might have hurt him to lose me.

Really, I do understand him, maybe better than he knows. His heart was speaking there, even if his mouth isn't too good at forming the words I want to hear. So I'll get over Tom the Selfish Pig's going against my wishes.

But Janeway, no. I don't understand her. I thought she understood me better than that.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 52189.2

Arrested. That foolhardy, impulsive, good-hearted, brave idiot! Pulling a stunt like that! I know he's got a hero complex. He's always off saving Voyager when he gets the chance. But to defy a direct order from the captain!

I realize he's got special feelings for the sea - it's just about his favorite pillow talk. I'd never have even met him if his father hadn't kept him from his first love, serving in the Earth navy. No wonder he was so happy seeing that world made entirely of water - I never did find out if they called it "Monea," or if the Monean race carried that name from wherever they came from. They were nomads, and for all that sanctimonious talk about "brine in the veins," I don't think they cared as much as they claimed about the planet. If they did, they would have taken the data and technology we offered and put it into effect immediately. Janeway was giving them a way to buy the time they needed to save themselves! Forget the Prime Directive. Our Captain Janeway has no problem breaking it herself when she feels like it, but if anybody else like Tom does it, she's all over them.

The Moneans aren't the only beings living on that world. The other creatures swimming in those seas must have been indigenous to the planet the sea world was created from. Their lives have value, too. They were the ones we should have considered the true dwellers of that world. The eel creature Tom, Harry and Seven saw - for all we know, he's the descendent of the ones who made it. He - or she - might even have been their leader! But whether they were sentient or not, they mattered. Their lives are all forfeit if the water world boils off into space because of the Monean's stupidity. The Moneans can just jump into their ships and go off to find someplace else. Those sea creatures can't.

"Brine in the veins." From what I saw, Tom has more in his than the Moneans do - more than Burkus does, certainly.

Well, maybe I can't say that about Riga. I don't know what's going to happen to him. I hope they aren't going to execute him for what Tom and Riga did. The worst thing is, we don't even know what's happened to him. Janeway was able to recover the Delta Flyer and Tom, but when the Moneans demanded Riga's return, she gave him back. He wanted to go back, in fact. He said that no matter what happened to him, he had to go back to "give testimony," because no one else would tell the truth now unless he did.

He's such a mild-mannered, unassuming little man. Riga doesn't look like the hero type, the way Tom does, but he is one. He was willing for today to be his "good day to die."

But it was a stupid stunt. Trying to blow up a factory - what were they thinking?

When I told him that maybe Tom Paris should go to the rescue instead of Captain Proton, I expected him to make some kind of gesture, to make sure that Burkus couldn't sweep the issue under the rug. Shooting up a factory is not a good way to make Janeway feel lenient towards Tom, even if they failed to do any major damage to the factory. Just a few minor leaks, quickly repaired. Harry told me it's lucky Tom wasn't killed. Janeway was ready to blast the Delta Flyer if that missile did get through. I wouldn't be surprised if she was hoping to blow Tom up, since he had the nerve to defy her.

sigh Tom was wrong. I don't mean to make it sound like he wasn't. He defied a direct order, and whether he agreed with it or not, he had to obey it. Even if Janeway should have done more when Burkus was being such a jerk about burying that report.

And I was wrong, too, to say anything at all to him about coming to the rescue. I know what being a hero means to Tom. Maybe I should admit what I said to Tom to Janeway. I should take responsibility for encouraging him to break the Prime Directive, even if it does mean I'd have to talk to Janeway, which I don't feel much like doing at the moment. I don't know what's happened to her. I can barely be civil to her lately.

No, not Janeway. I'll go to Tuvok. I can't stand being around her any more than I have to; she's gotten really hard-assed. Forces me to live when I didn't want to. And now, maybe she's going to want to force me to live without Tom.

If she puts him off the ship, I'm going, too. I don't care if they can't get the ship to the Alpha Quadrant without me. I'm staying with Tom.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 52190.7

Well, it wasn't being put off the ship, at least. He isn't being banished from Voyager.

There were some who said that might happen. Maybe a couple of Starfleet types who never liked Tom wanted it to happen. I'm not sure. Harry wouldn't tell me who, when he and Seven were holding me together in the mess hall, afterwards.

The two of them wouldn't let me try to claim responsibility for what Tom did. Seven said it wouldn't help Tom - that nothing I said could possibly be construed as encouraging him to act as he did.

The word from Tuvok, when I did get to speak to him about Tom, was that he wasn't punished for breaking the Prime Directive, the way I thought he was. It was for defying the captain's direct orders. I can't argue with that; he did defy her orders. Harry told me. He was there on the bridge. I certainly never told him to do that.

The wait in the hall was excruciating, though. Tuvok wouldn't let me talk to Tom before his lieutenancy was ripped away from him. Captain's orders. I started to run after Tom when he came by after being sentenced, but from the look on his face, I knew it wasn't a good idea to talk to him. He had that mask on his face - and his back was ramrod straight.

But I know the man now. His heart was breaking, probably as much because of worry about Riga and not knowing if what they'd tried to do would make a difference to that sea world. And I know how he feels about the captain. He often talks about how much he owes her. It must have just about killed him to defy her order.

If only I could have had one minute alone with him, to talk to him, to comfort him. But I won't have a chance to, not for a month. Ensign Thomas Paris is in solitary confinement for the next thirty days.

For a long time, I didn't feel much of anything. I'm over that. I'm painfully lonely already.

It's going to be a very long thirty days for me, but not as long as it's going to be for him.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 52208.7

I've been working as hard as I can, getting the ship's systems in shape. It keeps my mind occupied and my hands busy. When Tom's sentence is over, everything is going to be in perfect working order so we don't get interrupted, if I have anything to say about it. I've got other plans for keeping my hands busy when he gets out of the brig.

If I've been climbing the walls, what's it been like for Tom? Mr. Social Director?

At meetings, I've spoken to Janeway when I've had to. About business, nothing else. I don't care if she was right about stripping Tom's rank or putting him in the brig. After all that Tom's done for this ship, putting him on a "basic nutrition diet" of leola root is petty. I told Neelix that, and he didn't disagree; but if the captain wanted to make her point about everyone obeying her to the letter, she's obviously made it. Neelix hasn't snuck anything worth eating onto Tom's tray. I've tried to get him to bring him some pizza - just once, even - but he won't.

The cost to the captain has been high, though. I'm not the only one in the crew who's noticed. Most of the Maquis have frozen her out. Janeway looks like hell. From the circles under eyes, I doubt she's been sleeping much. She looks the way she did when we were in the Void. She's isolating herself from almost everyone, too. Chakotay and Tuvok are the only ones who see much of her. She's only on the bridge when she must be.

I have no intentions of wasting my time talking to Janeway. I feel sad about the gulf between us. I've always respected her. She always seemed like she wanted to be the mother of the crew, not just the captain. But now, I can't help it. I'm still angry Janeway is treating Tom so much more harshly than she has other people, even me, when I broke the Prime Directive. It's almost like she's taken what Tom did personally.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 52211.4

Harry saw Tom.

I might be able to, too, if I'd grovel to Janeway the way Harry did. I won't give her the satisfaction, no matter how lonely I am. I also won't give her the chance to say "no" to a "conjugal visit." Megan Delaney had the nerve to tell me to ask for one!

Well, maybe Megan meant well. It was one of the few times I'd taken a meal in the mess hall. Before suggesting the conjugal visit, she asked how I was doing. Everyone keeps asking me that. How the hell do they think I'm doing? I miss Tom!

Harry said he asked about me. Tom misses me, too.

He said he's been thinking a lot about things. About his father, apparently, because he started a letter to him. Harry said he's trying not to think about a lot of things, too. I hope I'm not in that category. I doubt it. He's probably "not thinking" about Janeway.

Speaking of nerve, Janeway pumped Harry about how Tom was when Harry came back. She could go speak to Tom herself, if she wanted. She could give herself permission without having to grovel to anyone.

Two more weeks.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 52225.5

One thing I can say: I've had lots of time lately to catch up on my reading. Technical manuals and treatises, of course, that goes without saying, but I've also dipped into a bunch of novels. Klingon romances, human fiction, and so on. The human ones had twentieth century settings, mostly. Some were futuristic fantasy novels written in the twentieth century. Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur Clarke, Anne McCaffrey, Ursula LeGuin - even after all this time, they're a good read. The science in them is ludicrous, of course. Instantaneous communication by "ansible" is feasible, but faster than light travel isn't? But I can't deny the power of the stories.

Harry's directed me to some video "movies" and "serials" that Tom based the Captain Proton program on, and I've been watching them, too. A few of them have been fun, and a couple were actually thought-provoking. They help pass the time. I'm beginning to see why Tom loves them so much.

I may as well do my research. It would be nice to know what he's talking about when he gets out, every now and then, at least.

Seven has been quite helpful lately. More cooperative about tasks, no problem at all with chain of command issues, asking for clearances from engineering before undertaking any kind of repair or upgrade to Astrometrics. She's been more sociable, too.

She surprised me by asking to join me for dinner when she saw me getting my dinner tray in the mess hall tonight. I don't remember her ever doing that before, unless Harry or Tom had put her up to it. We had quite a "stimulating" discussion - to use Seven's words when we said good-bye. We spoke about engineering problems, of course, but we shared some "girl talk," too. My words to her when we said good-bye.

She has some very interesting views on individuality and relationships. Maybe Harry's giving up on Seven to pursue Megan Delaney is a bit premature. His name seems to come up an awful lot in Seven's conversations. I must admit, however, that she's got a lot of maturing to do before she'll be ready for a love affair with Harry - or anyone else, for that matter.

Her manners have improved some, too. At least, when she was talking to me, she wasn't being obnoxious. I couldn't resist asking her about it. It seems she's been having some "illuminating" discussions - with Naomi Wildman - about social skills! I think it's the only time I've really laughed in the last few weeks, since Tom landed in the brig.

Everything is certainly screwed up around here. A three-year old is teaching a Borg how to behave - and I'm closer to the resident Borg than I am to the captain. Who would ever have thought it?

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 52230.5

The shift schedule came out today. For the first time in a month, Tom's name is on it. Gamma shift, six days straight. I went to see Chakotay. Tom will be on Gamma shift for at least the next month - captain's orders - with a few doubles thrown in just for laughs.

I put in a special request to adjust the engineering schedule. Chakotay went along with it. He understood.

Three more days until Tom is out. I never knew how bad I could want anyone, but now I do. I've missed him so much.

End personal log.


Chief Engineer's Personal Log, Stardate 52235.3

I woke up early from my nap to get ready for my shift. Tuvok was going to the brig to release Tom at 2100 so he could start his shift by 2200. Apparently Janeway wanted him off the bridge before she came on at 0700. That was fine with me.

At 2143, I contacted Tom, just before he was due to go to the bridge. "Rumor has it you're free for dinner. My quarters, 0700. That's an order, Ensign." He said, "Yes, ma'am," in that same, cheeky way he does when he says it on the bridge. I could just imagine his face, the way he would look saying it. And he didn't say word one about the time he was due for "dinner."

I got out of engineering a few minutes early and went to wait in my quarters. The door chime went off at 0659. And a half, probably, but who's counting? I called out to him to enter.

He marched in, all Starfleet spit and polish, and came to a halt in front of me at attention. "Ensign Paris, reporting for duty, Ma'am!"

What can I say? He can be such a brat, even after thirty days in the slammer.

"Glad to see you're prompt, Ensign," I emphasized. "At ease."

He went into the classic, legs apart, hands behind his butt, eyes forward, "at ease" pose. I wanted to slug him. Or hug him. At the moment, it was a toss-up. Then he looked at me, calmly, without flinching. I half expected to see that look he gets on his face when he's waiting to see if I'm angry at him, but it wasn't there. He didn't say anything; he just looked at me as if he wanted to say something really big. And then he said it.

"B'Elanna . . ."

That was all. He had a little break in his voice as he said my name, in that way he has that makes me melt away. I didn't have to worry about whether I was going to slug him anymore. Our arms were around each other so fast - we were squeezing each other so tight - I don't know how either of us could breathe. It felt so good to be in his arms again.

At that moment, any tiny crumb of anger I might have still carried in my heart about him speaking up to Janeway, begging for my life, dissolved. I knew what he'd been feeling during that meeting . . . how this might never have been possible again. It was just like Harry had said, Janeway could have killed him. She would have, if she thought it was necessary to preserve her precious protocols. I might have had to live the rest of my life without him. And he was staring at that same future when I had that slug on my chest. Life without me.

I think, if I had my choice, I'd rather die the way we almost did on the Day of Honor, together, than have to go on alone.

Anyway, when we eventually eased our hold on each other and could speak, Tom said, "I missed you." There was nothing false, no come-on in that, either. His eyes, as blue as the seas he had been so determined to save, were on me again. I could look through them into his heart. As nice as it would have been to have heard him say, "I love you," I'd rather have one, sincere, "I missed you," then a hundred deceitful, "I love you's," from somebody like Steth. The man may not be good about saying the words, but he does say it to me in his own way. Even better - he shows me.

Well. I don't remember if I said anything to him then. If I did, it certainly wasn't anything so deathless it needs to be recorded here. We were still close, arms around each other, just enjoying the moment. And then he said, "Isn't 0700 kind of an odd time to have dinner?"

"Not when you're on Gamma shift, the way both of us are going to be for quite a while." He knew he was going to be working Gamma, but he asked me how come I would. "Because I asked Chakotay, of course. We've got thirty days to make up for, Ensign, and I expect you to work very, very hard, every chance we get. Starting right now. After the first course of dinner. The Breakfast course."

He laughed and cast his eyes over to my table, where I'd left the bagels and coffee. It looked a lot better than the leola root he'd been eating, I'm sure; but he didn't move over to have anything to eat. He just looked at the table, then looked back over at me.

"You waiting for the order to eat?"

"Yes, ma'am," he said again, with a chuckle.

"So ordered, Ensign Paris."

We started to walk over the table, and then I said what I'd been wanting to say to him since I saw him in the corridor, on his way to the brig. "Oh, and Tom . . . by the way . . . welcome to the Maquis."

He looked at me. I saw his face change. His eyes suddenly got misty. I lost it then myself and started to cry. It was the first time I'd really cried since we heard about the Maquis, in the messages from the array. He reached out and wrapped me up close. I burrowed myself into his arms. Maybe we'd both have fallen over if either one of us let go. All I know is we didn't get to the table just then.

I still don't recall quite how it happened. Did he start to tear off my clothes, or did I tear off his, or maybe we just pulled them off any which way? But I found myself on my bed, with him on top of me, kissing like we wanted to inhale each other.

He apologized for it being over so quickly. I told him not to worry about it. We both were satisfied. I think we needed it that way right then - just to dive in and make up for all the time we'd been apart. Feeling alive.

We went over to the table and grabbed something to eat and drink, and then we went to bed again. This time was much slower, more gentle and romantic. I let him lead. After all that had happened, I thought he probably needed to be back in control again. He's too restless a man to be forced into passivity for so long.

After that, we both fell asleep for a while. The first night of Gamma shift is always tough anyway, and I think we were both exhausted emotionally. When we woke up, we made love again (big surprise there) before having our next course of food. Then we talked, a long time, about what he'd been thinking about in the brig, and about what had been happening on the ship while he'd been locked up. Except when Neelix brought him food, that one visit with Harry, and the time the Doc came to fix his cut when the Creleoli attacked us, Tom hadn't spoken to anyone for the entire month. Not one real conversation with any of the security guards, even. When Janeway says, "solitary confinement," she's not kidding.

So, I filled him in on the news. I let him listen to a few of my log entries from the last few months, too, because sometimes I say things here more easily than to his face. It was nice, just being wrapped up in each other's arms, our bodies touching from head to toe for the first time in way too long. Yes, head to toe - him, too. He was curled around me, as if he wanted every square centimeter of his skin to rub against mine.

I asked him about the letter to his father Harry'd told me about, and he said he'd finished it. As soon as we get within range of Federation communications, it will be sent to the admiral automatically. I'm glad. I've got my own reasons for disliking the admiral, of course, but it could be I'm wrong about him. Maybe that garbled letter wasn't saying what I thought it was. Not that it matters to me, really. Tom felt he needed to tell the story to his father, so he did.

I could care less what the admiral thinks. It's Tom who matters.

We spent the whole day talking, eating, sleeping, or making love. He's still in bed now, sleeping - or pretending to sleep. I'm not sure which. Wait - I think I see a blue eye looking at me right now, and a certain mouth twisted into a smirk. I should know better than try to dictate any log entries with him around to eavesdrop. I see you, Mr. Paris. You can't fool me. How long have you been listening this time?

[Not long.]

Uh-huh.

[It's almost time to get up for Gamma shift.]

Almost.

[It's good to be at the helm again.]

Yeah. It feels good to have you there . . .

[B'Elanna, you okay?]

Yeah. I'm okay.

[You sure?]

Sure. sniff

[You don't look okay.]

Now that you're here, I'm okay. I'm better than okay.

[Come here.]

rustle

[Don't cry, B'Elanna. We've still got a little time before we *have* to get up.]

A little.

[Enough.]

Uh-hunh. sniff

[You going to end that log entry of yours someday, or are you going to save this one for posterity, too?]

So posterity will know how we are, you mean? No, I think they've got a pretty good idea already from the rest of my log. Ensign.

[That cuts me to the quick, Lieutenant.]

I think I can make you feel better, Ensign. Like you said, we've got a little time.

[No time to waste, Lieutenant Torres.]

You're such a spoiled brat, Tom.

[I know.]

Come here, Ensign. I order you make me feel better.

[Yes, ma'am . . . ]

rustle

[Uh . . . B'Elanna?]

What? Oh . . . yeah . . . that's right.

End personal log.


Disclaimer: Paramount/Viacom own all. I'm just crawling inside B'Elanna's head and looking around, getting my impressions about what was going on inside it for the last year or so.

Summary: More excerpts from the personal logs of Chief Engineer B'Elanna Torres. Codas for episodes from "The Killing Game" through "Thirty Days," exploring her feelings about events that took place during the fourth and fifth years of Voyager's journey through the Delta Quadrant. Because the airdate of the episode "Infinite Regress" was shuffled to before "30 Days," the Stardate chronology on the show doesn't conform to the order of airing. Since I included "Infinite Regress," I adjusted the Stardate accordingly.

(This story was originally published on ASC in 1999)