Year Three

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50035.1

I have to apologize to you, Personal Log. It's been a while. You see, I was off the ship, and then once I got back on the ship, I was really, really busy, for quite some time. So, while my official logs are all up to date, you have been so sorely neglected . . .

I don't know if there's a protocol for apologizing to your own Personal Log, but I'm so exhausted, maybe I should just sign off and get some sleep.

Nah. I've got to talk to someone, and you're right here.

Voyager was taken by the Kazon Mistra, thanks to Seska the sneaky snake and her man Maje Cullah. I know I should probably not speak ill of the dead, and Seska has gone to whatever Cardassian Hell or Heaven she deserves-the former, I personally believe. But Hogan and Gaspar died on Hanon IV, so I'm not inclined to be particularly charitable towards her right now. I'm sorry for her baby, who is now motherless, but Hogan was a really good guy, one of the Maquis who was starting to be friendly towards me even when B'Elanna wasn't around. I'm going to miss him. And Gaspar was a young kid. He'd barely had a chance to start living. He was only a few months older than Harry.

It was bad enough they'd taken over the ship. I can understand she needed to get rid of the crew, actually. But to pick a planet that was so geologically unstable? With such skimpy resources? And dumping off an almost newborn baby? So much for understanding mother love. What did Sam Wildman ever do to Seska, other than to coexist?

If Seska had to dump them off, the least she could have done was pick a place where they would have a reasonable chance to survive. The crew was only there for a couple of days, and two of the crew had already been killed. Little Naomi was very sick for a while, I understand, and they almost lost her. And back here on Voyager, Suder is dead, too.

No, I'm not sorry Seska's dead. We never thought of her as our enemy until she made herself one. I get it. She was a Cardassian spy, so she was our enemy in the Alpha Quadrant. But when she was thrown out here with us, she could have stopped the warfare. Why bother? Barring a miracle, it's going to take us decades to get home. The war between Cardassia and the Federation should be long over by the time we even get close to getting back home, assuming we ever do. The Feds and the Cardies might be best buddies by the time we get back. Why continue a fight when it isn't really necessary?

And it turns out her kid wasn't Chakotay's after all. I don't know if the Maje knows the little boy really is his son. I have a hunch Seska was so used to lying about everything, she never told him the truth.

Oh, well. Time to get a grip on my anger. It's not going to help get everything back to normal. Thanks to the Doc and Suder, we managed to get the ship back. We did have to do some damage to Voyager to get it back, though. Paxim and the Talaxian convoy came through when we needed them. I was so grateful to them for their help. It was a little tough talking with Paxim sometimes, though. He reminded me of that Talaxian in the Vidiian mines. (I don't think I'll ever be able to get over leaving him behind. I'm reminded of him constantly.)

Anyway, once we were able to take back control of Voyager, we fixed it up enough to get it moving again and flew as fast as we could to Hanon IV. It's a good thing we weren't far away, because I don't know how long the captain and the crew could have held out there. Conditions were not good on that planet. It's a shame we had to leave the indigenous people there as they were, but, the Prime Directive you know. There's a limit to what we could do for them. Some admiral (hopefully not my father) will probably want to throw the book at Janeway for "granting pre-warp populations knowledge of starships."

If that happens and I'm around, I'll suggest to Mr. Admiral he should be gunning for Seska. She did the landing in front of these people first! Actually, if they remember it at all, the people will probably warp the story radically and transform it into myth. Maybe Voyager will be the "sky boat that came down from the gods of the stars."

I really should finish up now. I'm getting punchy. We're all pulling 12 to 16 hour shifts working on restoring all the systems we can from the parts available. And we're having Suder's funeral tomorrow. The serial killer who became a hero by killing Kazon warriors. Talk about your irony of ironies. Tuvok said he was finally beginning to get control of himself, too. We're doing a memorial service for Hogan and Gaspar at the same time. There's nothing of them to bury. A snake ate them.

Yup. That's the Delta Quadrant for you. People you think are your friends turn out to be the enemy and stab you in the back and die. Your crew mates take an unanticipated and undesired shore leave and die. A man who would have been condemned for murder in the Alpha Quadrant saves the skins of his crew mates and then dies.

There's a lot of death out here. We really need to do something about living in the time we've got, because who knows how long that's going to be? It's time to find some happiness. The future will just have to take care of itself. Carpe diem, I say.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50074.9

Did you hear the one about the elusive wormhole and the Ferengi prophets? Wait, Personal Log. Make sure you spell that "Ferengi Profits." They had a great gig there on that backwater planet. Beautiful "Oo-mox girls." Plenty of moolah from conjuring up what amounted to trinkets from the "holy icon" - really, a garden variety portable replicator - which they traded for really valuable stuff. Did I mention the very lovely "Oo-mox" girls?

Chakotay made a sotto voce comment about glass beads buying Manhattan, which took me a few minutes to process. And yeah, that's about right. Trade $24 old dollars of beaded necklaces for a gazillion dollars' worth of real estate. Trust Chakotay to pick up on that. He's not descended from that particular tribe, but I'm sure his people learn about the swindles pulled on their people by the time they're able to walk.

The captain was really eager to "out-Ferengi the Ferengi," but they used our own moral code against us. So we had to do a bit of swindling ourselves, with the help of that ballad "The Song of the Sages" that was being sold by another swindler - the beggar who couldn't remember which eye to put his fake patch on. They were pretending they were the "Great Sages" that were predicted to "come upon a burning flame." The Ferengi ship must have spiraled out of control when it came out of that wormhole several years ago, so it probably did fit the song that way. And then, as Ferengi are so adept at doing, they managed to find a weak spot in the local populace to fleece the people of their hard-earned goods. They got away with it for quite a while, too.

Neelix made a great imitation Grand Nagus - excuse me, the Grand Proxy - must keep my Ferengi luminaries straight - but he almost got burned at the stake along with the real Ferengi. Once the people finally had had enough, they tried to roast all three of them. Janeway saved them all at the last minute, and then the two real Ferengi snuck away and went up into the sky "with the ringing of the bell," beating us to the wormhole that drew us to that system in the first place. They destabilized it, of course, so we couldn't use it, too. They messed it up so much, God only knows where they ended up. Those two deserve to be dumped out at the edge of the event horizon of a black hole and sucked right in. With their luck, they probably landed in the Alpha Quadrant, right next to Deep Space Nine, or something.

I know a lot of the crew, and especially the captain, were really bummed because we couldn't use the wormhole to get home ourselves. Me, I didn't have a problem. I can't admit this to too many people (especially to Harry, who was really depressed by what happened), but I'm actually happier we're still in the Delta Quadrant. Yes, it's dangerous. We're on our own out here. But I also don't have to worry about any out-mate reviewers deciding I've been out of prison long enough and telling me I have to travel back down to Auckland to finish out my sentence. I was talking to B'Elanna, and she admitted she's not really in any hurry to get back "home" either. In fact, she says Voyager is more like home to her than just about any place she's ever lived. I can relate.

I also must admit that Chakotay and I worked together well in Takar City when we were investigating the Ferengi scam. It's the first time, since that other investigation ended, that I felt he didn't have that hovering in the back of his mind the entire time we were working the away team. We did our job, and that was it.

And I refuse to recycle that outfit, "lobe" necklace and all. It was so comfortable compared to our uniforms! I'm keeping them for lounging around my quarters, just in case a lovely crew member gets lonely and wants to visit me.

Right. Fat chance.

The lobe earring is cute, though. Maybe I'll give it to Naomi to play with when she gets a little bigger. For now, it will be a great touch for my costume if we have a Halloween party. Maybe Neelix would want to come as the Grand Nagus. Proxy. Whatever. I think he'll be able to laugh at what happened, since he didn't get too singed by that fire. And he doesn't mind about the wormhole doing a disappearing act, I gather. The Alpha Quadrant isn't his home, either, is it?

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50175.3

Prison, again. And this time, I didn't do anything at all to deserve getting thrown into the slammer. I didn't flirt with the wrong girl or join an illicit organization. Harry and I were just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Story of my life. NOT the story of Harry's, before now. I warned him I wasn't a good luck charm, way back when we first came on board Voyager. Did he listen? No, of course not. And thank God he didn't, because I'd be dead now if he didn't protect me in that Akritirian prison.

That Clamp thing they use to drive the prisoners crazy is a very insidious but effective device. Cuts down on the need for prison guards. They don't even pick up the garbage, I understand. That crazy "My Manifesto" Zio guy told us the rest of the prisoners strip the bodies of anything of value to them and use the bodies for "whatever else they need" (and I don't want to know any of the details at all about exactly what "using the bodies" entails). Then they simply zip whatever is left of the dearly departed down the garbage chute. Assuming there IS anything left.

"Lord of the Flies" for adults.

I was in a daze most of the time after I got stabbed. Harry told me I did something to this tool he'd made, and he almost killed me, he said. He was apologizing like crazy, and I told him it was okay. It was the Clamp doing that to him, of course. He DIDN'T kill me. The one thing I remember clearly was Harry standing over me with this pipe in his hand, ready to slam anyone who touched me, yelling, "This man is my friend."

If I did break that tool he needed, maybe I should have died down there. Or I should say "up there," since the prison was an isolated space station. Again, very cost effective. Dump the prisoners and a little food every now and then down the Chute, and that's all that prison administration had to do. The prisoners take care of the rest of the punishment themselves.

It's enough to make me want to swear off ever taking another shore leave forever.

I don't really remember much about the rescue. Harry told me afterwards that Neelix got the Away Team in position by pretending to be confused about where the local fueling station is. Quite inventive. Harry said it was really something to see the captain come flying down the Chute, lugging one of those big phaser rifles and making all the crazy prisoners keep their distance while we were scooped up and rescued. I wish I could remember it, but I was in Sickbay for a good five days afterwards recovering. I was really out of it. This time, I must admit, I have no guilty feelings at all that the rest of the prisoners weren't rescued. This was nothing like that Vidiian mine place, where those people were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, like we were. Most of those guys, like the guy who stabbed me, were absolutely, fucking crazy.

When I was doing better, Harry and B'Elanna visited me in Sickbay and filled me in on everything. Apparently the crew has decided the nickname "Big Betsy," as we've dubbed those phaser rifles, no longer fits. Now everyone is calling them "Action Kate Specials." Out of the captain's hearing, of course. Not that I think she'd really care, mind you. I wouldn't be surprised if she'd secretly love that name.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50204.2

We had a very nice gathering this evening with our guests, the Enarans. We're bringing them back to their home world. They're trading their energy conservation technology to us to pay for their transport. Neelix went all out with the decorations, the menu. I wasn't aware they were telepathic until one of them helped the captain play a musical instrument she'd never even seen before. Pretty cool.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50212.5

Those Enarans have a very dark history. B'Elanna found out the hard way. One of the old women, Jora Mirell they called her, was apparently really Korenna Mirell, who was telepathically communicating with B'Elanna about atrocities the Enarans committed against some of their people decades ago. Killed them off, apparently. And the old woman died under mysterious circumstances, too, right after she finished sending the last of her messages to B'Elanna. The Doctor confirms she didn't die of old age, I know that.

So, our trade deal and the planned shore leaves are killed off, too. After what happened on Akritiri after my last shore leave, I'm not as broken up about it as some of the crew are. I'm glad one of the Enaran engineers, a pretty girl named Jessen, agreed to take the memories Korenna sent to B'Elanna so that the truth would not die with the death of Korenna Mirell.

What B'Elanna told Harry and me about what happened to these "Regressives" was really horrifying, too. She was a little more reticent about some of the details, though. The rumor mill is going that before the memories - which B'Elanna initially thought were dreams - got really intense, they were on the erotic side. B'Elanna refused to confirm that when Harry and I hinted around the submect when we talked with her afterwards. However, she didn't deny it either. Very suspicious. But very good for B'Elanna. She deserves to have a little fun! Klingon women are supposed to have spectacular sex lives. If it doesn't have a warp core throbbing away inside of it, B'Elanna isn't interested.

I'd love to change that, but she's made it clear. We're good friends, but that's all. She's not interested in dating me. Sad, but true.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50257.1

Well, at least I'm out of Sickbay. Yup. I was back. These aliens the locals know of as "The Swarm" attacked B'Elanna and me when we were traveling back to Voyager, after investigating some odd, intermittent sensor readings. I'd been kidding her about how she's been living like a Tabern monk, although she told me that Freddy Bristow has a crush on her. Freddy fucking Bristow. Argh.

I admit it. I was flirting with her. It's about time we both had a good time socially. I make no apologies! She's a beautiful woman.

The next thing I know, I'm waking up in Sickbay after an operation. And what's really scary is that I found out afterwards, the Doctor actually forgot how to do the operation! It's all those opera logarithms and additions to his program - like the ones that make him a "fully functional hologram" - cluttering up his matrix. Fortunately, B'Elanna and her team were able to fix him up so he could fix me up.

Now I really owe B'Elanna a nice time. I wonder if she'd be interested in my '57 Chevy on Mars program? Or maybe something else fun? I'll have to see what she'd like to do, if she's ever willing to accept a date from me.

When Sto-Vo-Kor freezes over, I guess.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50314.3

Break out the champagne! We made it home to Earth!

Too bad it was in the wrong year, like, 300 years in the past sort of wrong year. And they've got these Time Police, we found out, who wouldn't let us stay.

I loved hanging around with "Mr. Freakasaurus Tuvok" on the beach and at the Griffith's Observatory, of all places. My mom took me there once years ago, when I was a little kid, but it didn't look at all like it did on that visit. They've rebuilt it a couple of times because of earthquake damage. I liked it better back in 1996, especially the way Rain Robinson decorated her workplace. All of those wonderful old vintage horror and sci-fi movie posters were just so cool. I think the coolest thing was that even back then, they were vintage posters.

Rain was a girl I would like to have gotten to know a little better. She was smart. She figured out we were out of step with the times (and I guess I've got to step up my 20th century research, because I'm not as up on it as I thought I was). It's too bad. Because of the possibility of polluting the time line, I really couldn't take advantage of my time with her. I know Captain James T. Kirk brought Dr. Gillian Taylor back to the 23rd century when he rescued those whales. When he was being court martialed for everything he'd done, the historians found out that according to all the historical records, this Dr. Taylor had disappeared without a trace in 1996, so no harm, no foul with her, apparently. I'm afraid to look up Rain. I'd hate to find out she was my great-great-grandmother or something.

I really would have loved to have gone on that date. I had to tell her we weren't going to be in town. Yeah, right. REALLY out of town. Like, on the other side of the galaxy out of town, courtesy of good old Captain Braxton. One of the Captain Braxtons. Man, I understand now why the captain says time paradoxes give her a headache.

I do treasure the memory of that trip, though. Tuvok and I made a great team. And the Doctor now is "Footloose and Fancy Free." I just love the new nickname Rain gave him. Mr. Leisure Suit is just as good as some of the names he's come up with on his own.

It's funny. I was going back over my log before I started dictating this entry, and I found something I slipped into the entry after we met Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan on the Briorii world. How the only thing that would be better than meeting them would be to go back to the 20th century myself. I thought that was absolutely impossible. And here we did it, and got "home" besides.

But we had to come back, for some reason that only that Captain Braxton and the Time Patrol, or whatever they are, knows about. Whatever it is, I hope it's a good one. It would have been nice to be one of the smartest guys in the room for once. I probably would have been, if I'd been able to stay there.

But, never piloting a starship again would not have been nice. And life would have been really tough for B'Elanna, Tuvok and Vorik, Neelix and Kes, the Bolians, and all the Bajorans on board. They sure wouldn't have fit in. Hell, even humans who "weren't our kind" had it tough back then.

I'm glad I'm back here on Voyager, and back in the Delta Quadrant.

I just hope Rain Robinson had a happy life after we left her. Found a nice guy who appreciated old monster movies and liked to watch sci-fi on television. She deserved it.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50467.4

Sick. Sick as a dog. Even B'Elanna with her redundant stomachs was sick. Afterwards, the Doctor called those things "macroviruses." I think he could have been a little more precise. I think Macro-disgusting-viruses would be a better name. I don't remember what the word for disgusting is in Latin, but I think Federation Standard works just fine.

Those things must have been auditioning for an appearance in a monster movie holoprogram. If the crew wouldn't be so turned off, I'd use them. Maybe I'll put them into the archive buffer, just in case I need something really disgusting for a future program.

Anyway, I was glad my cooking wasn't the reason we all got so sick. Thanks to our Captain "Action Kate" Janeway and her trusty special phaser rifle, we were saved before those Tick-Tack-Tock aliens, or whatever their names are, wiped out Voyager.

At least, if I had to hang out in the Mess Hall, feeling so sick, I was glad I was there with B'Elanna. This morning, after we were cured and felt well enough to eat again, we met there for a meal. No plain tomato soup or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for me today. We both had plain, hot chicken broth with crackers. Not exactly a romantic meal. It wasn't exactly a date, but I'll take it. Under the circumstances, it was a feast. We both managed to keep everything we ate down our respective stomachs, the redundant ones like B'Elanna's, and my unredundant one.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50460.9

We were supposed to meet Harry at the Resort tonight for the luau. I was wearing my genuine Big Daddy-O Surf Special Hawaiian shirt. Or a replicated genuine . . . etc. B'Elanna wore a really cute little sundress. I don't usually notice that sort of thing, but in that dress, her shoulders and upper back were bare, and I could see the faint pattern of her backbone under the skin. It's not fully Klingon, but it's not quite human, either. I told her she looked smashing in that dress. Really, she looked good enough to eat in that dress.

Maybe I should rephrase that.

Nah. She did look that good. I don't care if there are sexual connotations with that comment. It was all I could do from putting my arms around her and giving her a great big kiss, right in the middle of the resort. In front of everybody.

Too bad that friendly get-together between Harry, B'Elanna and I never came off. Vorik snatched B'Elanna away from me. He'd picked out a table for two, with a view she likes. I have to hand it to Vorik. He had it all planned out well in advance. He'd interrogated B'Elanna about her preferences while they were in engineering. She was flattered enough by his thoughtfulness to go with him, and not stick with me.

I didn't have Harry around for long, either. He's got a thing for this non-sentient holodeck character Marayna, who's the entertainment director of the resort. I told him it happens. He'll get over it eventually. (I almost told him about the Sainte Claire program, and Brigitte, but I caught myself in time. I could have mentioned Ricky instead, I suppose Harry's heard me say enough about her to know why she's in the Sandrine's program.)

At any rate, Harry got pretty irritated and stalked back to his quarters after seeing Tuvok hanging with Marayna at the resort luau. Maybe Tuvok is thinking of using her to help him out with his next seven-year-itch. It's bound to come sooner or later. With his wife so far away in the Alpha Quadrant, he'll be needing a substitute, I gather. I'm really curious about how that goes, but I doubt Tuvok will ever let me in on the Big Vulcan Secret. It has to do with having sex every seven years, I know that. The Vulcans I've known clam up if you ask them about it. If the Exeter didn't have to speed to Vulcan to get Ensign Sidrar home that time, I wouldn't even know that much.

Once every seven years? I'm glad I'm not a Vulcan, that's for sure. Although, if things keep going the way they are on this ship, I'm going to know exactly what that feels like. It's been way too long for me. Not seven years yet, but if the drought continues . . .

(audible sigh)

I had an early night. I drank a sugary concoction with an umbrella in it, and ate a little Polynesian-a-la-Neelix food, but then I was bored to tears and left to hang out in my quarters by myself.

No, I wasn't so much bored as pissed. Vorik was with B'Elanna. I wasn't. What else is there to say? There isn't anyone else on this ship like her. And she preferred a Vulcan to me. Obviously, I'm nothing like James T. Kirk, even though I tried to make people think I was when I first came on board. I may have to get into holodeck babes again myself.

Personal Log, you can take that any way you want to. Sexual connotations be damned.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50470.9

Not much to report today about me. I asked Torres out to dinner, and she said sorry, she's working on a plan to refit the warp core coils whenever we can find a supply of gallicite somewhere. That's not too likely any time soon. It's a very rare mineral.

It's so nice to be shot down because the woman you've asked out chooses work over you. I'm feeling so special now.

Speaking of special, Harry's love wasn't a hologram after all, but a lonely alien who wanted Tuvok to stay with her in that nebula. We know it should have dispersed decades ago. Marayna (don't know if that's her real name, but that's the one she went by on the holodeck) has been keeping the reactions damped down so it doesn't burn out. I don't know why her people can't more than one person at a time on that station. Even if it isn't too big, they could put a happily married couple there, or something. Tuvok said he told her he was a married man with children, and he needs to get back to them. He also suggested that Marayna ask to be relieved from her duties for a while. Take a vacation, make contact with her own people.

I understand completely about how lonely Marayna must be. I'm on a ship with a hundred and fifty other people, and I'm pretty lonely right now. I hope she has more luck getting someone interested in her than I seem to be having with B'Elanna.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50487.6

Ah, yes. Another day in the Delta Quadrant. Another trip to the slammer. This time, it was the Station Manager of the Nekrit Expanse Space who tossed me into jail. With Chakotay, no less. Getting thrown into jail might have been a first for him. I didn't ask him. I was too upset by the whole situation to want to talk much.

At this rate, I'll have gotten myself thrown into prison as many times as Chakotay's crashed shuttles.

That's not fair, I guess. Chakotay's still up on me with the number of shuttle crashings.

At least my stays in jail are getting shorter. This time it was only for a couple of days. It was a little scary when Bharat told us the punishment for trafficking in illicit substances is fifty years in cryostasis. And we weren't even guilty! Of course, the Akritirians weren't going to let us go even when the captain got proof Harry and I weren't guilty. Bahrat let us go after Neelix did the right thing. He helped them catch the real culprits.

Neelix will be scrubbing the plasma manifolds with a toothbrush for the next two weeks for his part in the illegal activities his so-called friend Wixiban pulled him into. The captain could have left Neelix on the station. She was really mad at him, but I don't think she'd really have left him there. The thing that saved him for sure was that he was trying to get a map to help us get through or around the Nekrit Expanse more safely.

That "Wixi," now. He's one Talaxian I'm NOT sorry to have left behind.

I've done a lot of things since Caldik Prime I'm not proud to remember. Most of my escapades involved imbibing way too much liquor or allowing myself to be sexually exploited to get the hell away from whatever hellhole I'd found my way into. Any way to make a buck-almost any way. I never got involved with smuggling or dealing in illicit substances, I'm happy to say. Not so Neelix, we've come to find out.

At dinner, before he picked up his toothbrush to work through Gamma Shift, Neelix and I talked a bit more about his checkered history. After what happened on Rynax, he did things-some with this Wixiban guy- he admits shouldn't have done. Then he tried to apologize to me for putting me down in the past, when he was pretending to Kes he'd never done anything wrong. I told him not to worry about it. The past is the past. You can't change it. You have to just live with it and try, every day, not to fall into the same bad habits again. I told him I have to remind myself of that every day. Whenever I feel tempted to do the easy, dumb thing instead of the harder but smart thing. He thanked me very sincerely for sharing that with him. I hope it made him feel a bit better.

I've come to appreciate Neelix for his good qualities. He's actually been through a rougher time than I have. I don't know what my dad will say to me when we finally get home, but I know my mom and sisters will be overjoyed to see me again. Neelix has nobody. His whole family died in the Metreon Cascade, and he doesn't have a relationship with Kes anymore to fill the empty spaces in his heart.

I have to think his break-up with Kes had a lot to do with his getting snared into this whole thing with Wixiban, too. Neelix was so devoted to her. I thought the feeling was mutual, and he did too. I guess we were both wrong. It could be that the jealousy and possessiveness he'd shown over the years finally got to be too much for her.

Obviously, Neelix wasn't thinking things through. He was actually afraid the captain would put him off the ship because he couldn't be our "guide" anymore. He lost faith in the captain's capacity for compassion. He projected his anxieties and fears onto her. He was really feeling bad about himself.

See, Dr. Andersen, I did learn something from you in all those "rehabilitation" sessions when you were shrinking my head (figuratively speaking only, of course) back in Auckland. Too bad it's not likely you'll ever find out that I did.

Well, once he's finished with the scrubbing, I hope we can find something for Neelix to do that will make him feel more positive about himself. The way Kes has been acting around the men on this ship since their break-up isn't going to help.

It's funny. Kes came on to me today. She literally invaded my personal space, got all chummy. Her voice was pitched even lower than it usually is, and she shot me a couple of come-hither looks that would have prompted an embarrassing reaction in my nether regions a couple of years ago. Back then, before Neelix and I had our bonding moment with the little baby dinosaur (or whatever he was), I'd have picked up on the hints Kes was floating my way (not to mention the pheromones), and I would have acted on them. I would have asked her out for a date for sure. I didn't, and I know why.

Blue-eyed blondes with breathy voices are really lovely. Kes is certainly a beautiful woman, even if she is only three years old. However, I can't get a certain dark-eyed, dark-haired, half-Klingon engineer out of my mind. My fantasies now are all about hot and painful Klingon love. As long as I've got a dermal regenerator handy and the Doc to patch me up from the more exotic after-effects of a wild Klingon mating (and wouldn't he just have the best time ragging me while doing the healing after that!), I'm ready, willing, and able to stay away from anybody else's overtures.

It's not likely I'll ever get the chance, of course. B'Elanna has made it really clear she wants to be friends, and only friends, with me. (audible sigh)

I'll get over my latest crush eventually. It's not going to be easy. B'Elanna is so . . . how can I put this? . . . invigorating. That's it. She makes every other woman on this ship-even Captain Janeway - seem pallid in comparison. Well, except when the captain glares at you. She's not pallid then! But Kes. No. As long as B'Elanna is around and not mated with anyone else, I won't give up complete hope. And with that possessiveness Klingons have towards their mates, as long as I have any hope at all about having something more with B'Elanna, I can't fool around with anyone else. I have to be careful. Be smart, just like I told Neelix today.

Who would guess that Voyager's "walking hormone," as Neelix called me a couple of years ago, would ever come to this?

Okay, Personal Log. You want to call me a hopeless romantic, go right ahead. I guess I am one.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50537.5

Just a quick entry right now. It's amazing. We discovered gallicite on long range scans. B'Elanna is going to get her wish to refit the warp coils! She remembered that I have experience rock climbing, so she asked me to come as one of her team. Yes, ma'am! It might not be a date, exactly, since we won't be going down alone, but it's not going to be a boring, routine away mission. I'm looking forward to having some fun for a change.

I'm really glad the captain remembered Neelix worked in mining colonies and suggested he come along, too. This might be exactly what he needs to feel better about himself again, post-Kes. B'Elanna has tabbed Vorik to come along on the mission, too, I heard.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50538.1

Not a boring, routine away mission.

I can't even begin to express how accurate that statement was. I don't know if I've blown my chances with B'Elanna for all time by dragging my feet when she needed my help or assured myself that we can at least stay friends. I have no idea what is going through her head right now.

Well, maybe I do. If looks could kill, Ensign Vorik would be stretched out in a photon torpedo casing right now. B'Elanna threw him off the team before we ever set foot on the Sakari colony world, but he showed up anyway. I would love to be hanging around Engineering the next time he comes on duty when B'Elanna's there. We might still need that photon torpedo casing.

And if ever there was a log entry I wanted to get right, this is it.

When B'Elanna appeared in the transporter room as we were getting ready to go down to the planet, she was talking a mile a minute about the mission. Neelix and I exchanged a look, because both of us were stunned. She was very . . . aggressive. That's what she was. She challenged me about how we planned to proceed, and I remember saying . . . oh, man, after what happened in those tunnels . . . I told her we would be fine as long as we took it slow and easy.

Talk about double meanings! Honestly, how could I know what that would sound like now, in the context of what was about to happen?

We went down, and when Neelix and I wanted to check out the surface ruins a bit, she challenged us again about the delay. She accused me of overstating my experience with rock climbing. So we went directly on to the cave entrance and set up our lines to go down to the levels we thought the gallicite ore would be located. Neelix's anchor must have been defective; it malfunctioned. His line came free, and when he went into freefall, he took B'Elanna down, too.

I was frantic when I saw them both fall. Forget "slow and easy." I released my line and flew down to the floor of the cave. I'm lucky I didn't break my own ankle. Neelix did break his leg. B'Elanna managed to roll as she was hitting the rock floor, so although she had some scrapes and bruises, they were superficial compared to Neelix's broken leg.

B'Elanna went berserk. Maybe she's been that bad before on Voyager- she did break Carey's nose that time-but I'd never seen her like that before. She screamed at Neelix, and when I tried to calm her down, she bit me on the cheek. It hurt. And it was scary, too, because she was growling when she bit me. I didn't think about what it could mean at the time. I was too worried about her when she stormed off to find the gallicite on her own. Neelix needed my help, so I had no choice but to stay. I called the bridge and explained what had happened.

There was a little delay, which I attributed to the fact that the crew had to assemble a rig to hoist Neelix up to where the transporters would work. The rock formation, with the gallicite in them, prevented us from transporting directly into those tunnels.

When Chakotay and Tuvok finally came down to help me hook Neelix up to the rig, Tuvok explained the real reason for the delay, and why Vorik wasn't part of our away team. He is undergoing the Vulcan pon farr, and he attacked B'Elanna in Engineering. B'Elanna slugged him and dislocated his jaw. The Doc confined Vorik to quarters because of his medical condition. Tuvok said he's trying to meditate away his overpowering urge to mate.

Oh, yea. I wondered about that every seven year thing? Well, now I know more than I ever wanted to know about it, including the fact that Vulcans-and now B'Elanna-could die if they don't take a mate or fight their way out of it, either physically or through meditation. Now I know why the Exeter flew Sidrar to Vulcan so abruptly. It really is a life or death situation. That old combination of sex and violence. Charming. It's a wonder there are any Vulcans around under those circumstances. Most of them must fight better than Vorik does. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

After we did what we needed to do to move Neelix to safety, the three of us looked for B'Elanna. We found her in a tunnel with gallicite in it. Not ore, though. The gallicite had been refined into active energy conduits. We found the guys who do the refining, too. We may not have been able to detect any signs of life beforehand, but there certainly are people down there. The survivors of the colony have been hiding out for decades from whoever it was who destroyed their colony on the surface. B'Elanna's erratic behavior did not go unnoticed by these Sakari guys, who were already very suspicious of our motives. Once we showed them our phaser and tricorders, they were starting to accept we didn't have any bad intentions towards them. The last thing we needed right then was to have any tunnels collapsing on us because of seismic tremors.

You guessed it. The walls came a-tumbling down. The Sakari guys disappeared, taking Chakotay and Tuvok with them. B'Elanna and I stumbled around in those tunnels for a while. We got trapped inside one area. Tuvok and Chakotay found us and were able to pull the loose rocks down to get us out. We managed to get out of the tunnels, but we had to wait because of technical difficulties before communications and transport was restored, for about a half hour or so. I did the best to comfort B'Elanna until we were able to get back on board . . .

What am I doing here? I'm acting like I'm dictating my official log of the incident, a bare bones account that scrubs out all the really important stuff so no one will ever figure out the full story. That's ridiculous. These are my own personal logs. If I can't be honest here, I have no reason at all to ever bother with a personal log again.

The truth is, something big did happen down there, and something even more important would have happened if that bastard of a PetaQ Vorik hadn't interrupted us.

The best way to resolve the pon farr, according to Tuvok, is sex. B'Elanna wanted me. In retrospect, I could see all of those challenges she was making when we started out were prompted by Vorik's attempt to mate with her, which infected her with the same "blood fever" he was experiencing. Except B'Elanna hadn't wanted him.

She wanted me.

I had no idea, and really still don't know, if she came onto me in the tunnels because she really is attracted to me, or if it was simply the pon farr speaking. She needed to resolve it, and she wanted me to "do" her. And when we were alone down there, after we fought over the gun, and I told her our fight was about sex, not the gun, I didn't give in. Oh, I couched it in noble terms. I told her that she'd made it clear she didn't really want me that way. I didn't want to ruin our friendship by doing something we would both regret in the morning. Yadda yadda yadda. Total bullshit.

And, crazed by a "chemical imbalance" or not, B'Elanna saw right through my bullshit. She called me on all those longing looks I'd been giving her when we were in the holodeck resort and the mess hall. She threw my requests to go out for dinner - the ones she's been refusing - right back in my face. She said she knew I had feelings for her, and she demanded to know why, of all times, I'd play hard to get when she was offering me what I really wanted.

Of course she was right. I had to admit it. But I told her I didn't want to take advantage of her when she wasn't herself. And then she started kissing me, and I almost fell apart.

Those damned away team suits are skin tight. When she started kissing me I got such a hard on, I was in complete agony. Did I want to take her right there on the rocks? When a wall could fall on us at any time? Hell, yes. But I stopped. I don't know how I managed it, but I did, because it really was for her own good. I did have to protect her from her own impulses at that moment. She wasn't herself right then, and yeah, she would have hated me afterwards.

She got angry then, and when I asked her if I had suddenly become irresistible (or something like that - I don't remember exactly how I said it), she said she wouldn't go that far. That lightened the mood for a little while. We managed to travel a little farther along, but we were still lost. Then another quake came, and we were trapped in a small area of the tunnels. By this time, B'Elanna was in pretty bad shape. She said she felt like she was ready to crawl out of her own skin.

I let her rest for a while. I tried to pull down some of the rocks blocking our way through, but I had to be careful. The last thing I needed to do was pull them all down on B'Elanna and me. I didn't want to find another way to resolve the pon farr - by getting crushed to death by a rock fall. Not something I want on my résumé.

For a while I watched her while she slept. Scraped and bruised, sweaty and flushed from the blood fever though she was, B'Elanna Torres was ravishingly beautiful. In that cave, I realized my feelings for B'Elanna Torres are no crush. I'm in love with her. I understood my real reason for refusing to along with what she wanted from me. I didn't want to ruin that love by fucking her under these absurd circumstances, because fucking her is all it would have been. She WOULD have hated me in the morning, and I don't want her to hate me. She's too precious to me for that. I want to make love with B'Elanna, over and over again. For years, if God and Kahless and the fucking Delta Quadrant ever let me.

When she woke up, I became really concerned. I'd wanted to avoid hurting B'Elanna by having sex with her when she asked me to, but now I was afraid I may have let things go for far too long. She was so out of it. She still thought we were looking for gallicite. She didn't remember anything I'd told her about the pon farr. I started to sweat, thinking she might die because I'd been overly cautious and thinking about a long-term relationship with her. I hadn't had the chance to ask Tuvok how long someone could have this blood fever without resolving it before death became imminent. The way she looked and sounded, I was afraid that might be closer than I'd thought. If B'Elanna had died when I could have avoided it by giving in to her, I'd have another death on my conscience. This one would be even worse than the others at Caldik Prime because it was so preventable.

That's when I heard sounds on the other side of the blocked tunnel. Chakotay and Tuvok were there. With the three of us working, we were able to open a way for B'Elanna and me to get out without pulling the roof down on our heads. The Sakari had told Chakotay how to get back to the surface, and we came out onto a lush green landscape. I figured we would be able to contact Voyager now, and get B'Elanna back to the ship. She'd be fine.

But we couldn't make contact, and Tuvok didn't like what he saw of B'Elanna's symptoms any more than I did. He told me I had to help her or she would die. Put that way, I could no longer resist doing what I'd wanted to do the entire time we were stuck in that cave. Hell, what I've wanted to do with her for months-maybe even years. I still didn't care for the circumstances; but I hoped, once her symptoms were resolved, I could tell her how I felt about her, to prevent her from pulling away from me in disgust that I'd allowed myself - and her - to be used that way. I know exactly what B'Elanna would have done. From her mortification over the whole situation, she'd turn it around. In her mind, I'd have been the one using her for sex when she wasn't really herself.

No time for any fastidiousness now. We went off into the glade.

Now, if I do say so myself, I'm extremely well-versed in many ways of pleasuring a human woman. I am perfectly capable of performing admirably in the bedroom with females of other species than my own, and I've done it in other places, too, like on hammocks, in a forest clearing, on the beach, under a boardwalk, and . . . well. I've been around the block plenty of times. But this was B'Elanna, and she had already gone all Klingon on me when she bit me. She'd tasted my blood, and taken my scent. Oh, yeah. She said all those things to me when she was trying to get me to take her in the tunnels.

I am acquainted with some Klingon mating practices, but I'd never exactly studied the subject. This would be my first time with a Klingon or half-Klingon. I knew a few things, like they like to throw heavy objects at you, preferably catching you in the clavicle to break it and "bless" the mating. They growl a lot, and yeah, they bite. That much I'd already experienced. When I asked B'Elanna for a little direction in what she'd like me to do for her, she got frustrated and threw me on the ground. She said she wanted me to show her I was enjoying myself.

Well, my body took care of that for me. I got a massive boner, and with the way she was straddling me, she could feel it. We both laughed, because then, I got it. We were going to roll around that grassy spot and really get it on. It didn't matter if it was Klingon-style or human-style, it would do the trick. I'd save her life, and then, with any luck, I'd get a chance to do the romantic talk I'd hoped for, so it wouldn't be a one night stand. One day stand. It was full daylight . . .

We didn't get to the fun part, because that bastard Vorik showed up, insisting B'Elanna was his mate. He was going to punch me out to win her away from me. I know Vulcans are stronger than humans, but adrenaline was rushing through me when he said that. He's smaller than me, too. I know I would have beaten him.

B'Elanna, however, was even angrier than I was. Sitting here now, I can't blame her. Vorik had done this to her, and she wanted to make him pay. Hell, he'd disabled the communication and transporter systems on her ship. He'd disabled the shuttles, too, so no one could rescue us until he'd gotten what he'd wanted - to claim his mate. Who wouldn't be claimed. She wanted me instead.

Tuvok told me about the . . . koala . . . koona . . . okay, I have to look that one up. I can't remember exactly what that Vulcan phrase is, but it's the fight challenge Tuvok had mentioned in the tunnels. Tuvok told Chakotay it would be best if we let the fight happen.

B'Elanna beat Vorik. I can't say I was surprised. B'Elanna is simply amazing in whatever she does. When Vorik couldn't get up for another round, I guess it meant he wouldn't have been able to get it up to take her as his mate, either. I didn't ask Tuvok about that. He was mortified enough at letting me know all I did know about the pon farr by this point. I'd wanted to know about the Big Vulcan Sex Secret. Now it was a matter of way too much information.

After she'd laid out Vorik, B'Elanna collapsed into my arms. She'd done a job on the Vulcan, but he'd managed to beat up on her pretty badly, too. I remembered my field medic training. Kept her immobile while Tuvok checked her over. He determined the fight had purged her of the blood fever. Neither of us could detect any serious physical damage to her. Chakotay examined Vorik and came to the same conclusion with him. I cradled B'Elanna in my arms while Chakotay and Tuvok reestablished communications and arranged transportation back to Voyager. Vorik stayed on the ground. I had no desire to help him at all. The jerk had done enough. He deserved to suffer.

I couldn't decide if I was relieved or depressed that we hadn't been able to resolve the pon farr the way it's supposed to be resolved, with sex. If we had "done the deed," she might be grateful I'd come to her rescue. Then again, maybe she would never want to speak to me again. I can honestly say I don't know which way it would have gone. I do know I would have been happy to have saved her life, no matter what the repercussions were, if it had come to that. If she'd been really ticked off at me and humiliated, I still might have been able to get back into her good graces someday. I'd have been willing to do anything I could to get there.

After Carey repaired one of the transporters, we beamed back to the ship. Chakotay and Tuvok whisked B'Elanna away to Sickbay, to have the Doc check her over and treat her abrasions. I tried to visit her, but the Doc and Tuvok wouldn't let me in. Later, Kes came by my quarters and scanned me. I told Kes there was nothing wrong with me, but she insisted anyway, "for the medical record." Later on, though, Tuvok was kind enough to come to my quarters. He told me B'Elanna and Vorik would both be fine (not that I cared what happened to Vorik at that moment, but I was relieved to hear about B'Elanna). Tuvok also explained that the real reason they'd sent Kes to examine me was to make sure B'Elanna hadn't given ME the blood fever when she bit me.

Now, if that had happened, no scans would have been needed. There wouldn't have been a fight with Vorik. The PetaQ would have to live with the fact that I'd mated with B'Elanna, and he'd have had to resolve his pon farr with somebody else. Because there is no way I could have held off from mating with her in the tunnels if I was feeling the way B'Elanna was. And afterwards . . .

I happen to know that Klingons have a tradition of mating for life. I would have held B'Elanna to that.

I would have tried to hold her to it. I know B'Elanna's not exactly fond of her Klingon side. Maybe I can help her work on appreciating that aspect of herself, because it is just wonderful to see. Spectacular. Dynamic.

What can I say? I'm in love again, and this time, I never want to fall out of love.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50541.6

Well, finally, we talked today. Not for long. Just a short ride in the turbolift. At first we talked about nothing substantial. The Sakari had given us enough gallicite for the refit in return for information about removing the remnants of their colony on the surface, and helping them hide themselves even more thoroughly in the caverns. She said the refit would be done by the end of the week. And then we said nothing for several awkward moments, until I halted the turbolift. There was no way I was going to let B'Elanna slide away from talking about what had happened when I had her as my captive audience in the 'lift.

She tried to tell me she didn't really mean what she'd said about being attracted to me. Thanks for being willing to help her, and all. More yadda, yadda, yadda bullshit. I didn't buy it. I could see it in her eyes. She was lying to me. B'Elanna really does care for me. She just can't admit it. Yet.

I told her that her Klingon side wasn't so scary, now that I'd seen it up close. And it isn't. I wasn't lying to her. It's exciting. She's exciting! But, it's just like I feared when she wouldn't let me come to see her in Sickbay. She was so upset by everything that happened, she wants to pretend it didn't happen at all. It did happen. I'm glad it happened. I told her so. I said I wanted to see her Klingon side again someday. (Preferably when Vorik is locked up in the brig, although I didn't mention that to her.)

She didn't respond to me. No declarations of love, even if I could see it in her eyes. It was time for me to back off again, let her take the lead.

We restarted the turbolift. When she got off at her level, though, as she was walking away, she suddenly said, "Be careful what you wish for, Lieutenant," without even turning around to look back in my direction.

At first I wasn't sure I'd heard what I thought I heard. Then it was like she'd punched me in the gut. Now I'm thinking maybe she DID make a declaration of love, and I was too dense to realize it.

I'm willing to wait to find out. I have a hunch I'll be able to tear down that stone wall around B'Elanna Torres' hearts someday, sooner rather than later. If I don't, I'll probably die trying.

End Personal Log

Personal Log Addendum

I'd barely finished my log entry before Captain Janeway called us into the conference room. She had just returned from the surface of the planet after Chakotay called her down to meet him there. He had something he needed to show her. While our teams were helping the Sakari clear away the last of the ruins, they discovered the identity of the destroyers of the Sakari colony.

It's the Borg.

We're to behave as if we are on yellow alert at all times for the immediate future.

I caught B'Elanna glancing my way when the captain announced this news. It looks like we've got a lot more to worry about than sex-crazed Vulcans screwing up our love lives.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50617.3

When we found that long-dead Borg drone in the ruins of the Sakari world, Captain Janeway thought we were coming into Borg space. Clearly, we have, even if it's "Ex Borg" space so far.

We had a memorial service for Ensign Marie Kaplan this afternoon. No body, of course. A bunch of the former Borg on that planet, the ones that attacked Chakotay and Kaplan, apparently tore her body apart. Why, we don't know. A throwback to their Collective days, maybe? Destroy whatever you can't assimilate?

We only know that when we tried to retrieve Marie's body, we couldn't find her.

Riley Frazier and her cohorts weren't all that much better. Yeah, they saved Chakotay's life, but they also possessed his consciousness and used that connection they made to heal him to force him to do what they wanted. The captain was really upset with him, I think. Disappointed, I should say, because he stole a shuttle at Riley's bidding to turn on the part in the Borg cube that Riley SAID would help them bring peace to the former Borg on that planet. As long as they stay put, fine. Let them be a "cooperative." The last thing we need is for any newly-created Borg running around in our vicinity. At least Riley had the decency to blow up the cube after Chakotay flew away in the shuttle. Of course, she probably did it to keep any other Borg from looking for them.

One good thing did come out of this experience. We'd retrieved a Borg drone's body from the derelict cube before it was blown up, and the Doc, Kes, and B'Elanna completed a post mortem on the corpse. They're discovering a lot of things about how drones work. They've been checking out those tubule things in their hands that they use to assimilate people with nanoprobes. They're mapping out what the different kinds of implants do. The Doc was able to speculate a bit on how their personal neural network works. He's collected a bunch of nanoprobes to experiment with, to see if he can turn them against the Borg. Or maybe use them to help with healing us, like Federation nanite technology does.

Who knows? Maybe we'll be able to use that information to defend ourselves against them some day.

Whistling in the graveyard? Maybe. But we've gotta have hope, right?

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50799.9

Gotta hand it to the Doc. He's trying to be more human than the humans on board. Not that I have a right to say anything if he wants to explore more about "real life" situations.

He came to me to discuss his plans for this new family program he's creating for himself. He says he doesn't want me to program it. He's just using me "as a sounding board," he says. I think he really does want me to help him with the programming, but he's afraid I'll get all snarky about it. I don't know why he thinks that. I lent him my '57 Chevy on Mars program when he wanted to romance Dr. Pel, didn't I? And that was when I was being ordered by the captain to be snarky, when she was trying to catch the spy who turned out to be Michael Jonas. But I was never snarky with the Doc during that time. Snarkier than usual, I should say.

Okay, maybe I was just as snarky with him as I usually am-but I helped him with his "adaptive programming" whenever he asked me. With a minimum of snark. Usually.

The Doctor wants to explore family life, logically enough, by having a family. He's got the parameters all set: a nice wife, two kids (a girl and a boy, both brilliant, of course), and a suburban house right out of the television sit-down-coms (I'm not sure that's the right term, but it's something like that). Anyway, I tried to show him some of his options.

He's already picked out his family. He found wifey Charlene in one of the bodice-ripper holonovels Sue Nicoletti has on file. His daughter Belle's template came from the captain's old Victorian mystery holonovel. They've both been updated by the Doc to have a more contemporary look. I think he dug up Jeffrey from another one of the captain's old holonovels. The kid's hair is kind of funky because he came from a Dickens-themed program. His hair is definitely not Starfleet-standard short.

Now, the Doc, as we all know, is not too expert in the hairstyle department. He complains about being bald all the time. I have no idea why, unless it's because he likes to have something to complain about. All he has to do to get himself a nice head of hair is reprogram himself to have hair! I wish it would be that easy for me. I can see the old hairline getting higher and higher all the time. But I digress . . .

Anyway, what the Doc showed me looks pretty interesting. I did ask him if maybe he'd like to take Charlene to the '57 Chevy on Mars program first. Do some preliminaries BEFORE the kiddies come. He got all offended at my "smarm."

Hey, I just thought he should have himself a good time before taking on the headaches of teenagers! After I made that suggestion, he told me he didn't need any "improper suggestions" from me. I could "butt out," he said.

I was only trying to help. I happen to know he's a fully functional hologram, so he's not kidding me about what he's really up to. Yeah, there are kids in that house, but there's also a very nice master bedroom, with a huge bed. He may be skipping some of the preliminaries-especially the messy diaper part-but I doubt he's going to completely ignore the marital relations part. More power to him, I say. Let the holoprograms get some up close and personal action!

It's more than I can say I'm getting from B'Elanna. Yet.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50836.2

This has been A DAY. I almost got killed trying to collect plasma particles in the wake of some astral eddies that erupt in this area of space. A big mother of an astral tornado almost collected me instead. The Cochrane and I were thisclose to becoming shards of debris in that interfold layer. I'm sure glad the captain, Harry, and B'Elanna managed to pull me out of there in time. They even got the Cochrane back!

While I was "engaging in this reckless activity," as the Doc put it, he was having a crisis of his own. He's been having a tough time in his family program since B'Elanna "tweaked" it to change his "lollipop" family into something closer to the real thing. B'Elanna told me she respected the fact he was hanging in there. But when I got back from making like the Wizard of Oz in the astral eddy tornado, he told me he wasn't going back to his program any more. He said he'd "finished" it.

From the way he was tearing into me, though, I knew there was more to this. For one thing, he'd only been going there for a few weeks. I found it hard to believe he'd fully explored family life in that amount of time. I was right. He'd run into something really tough. His little girl Belle was dying because of a head injury.

I felt bad for the Doc, but I knew condolences weren't called for here. I explained to him that we'd all like to avoid facing the pain of a loved one's death, but most of us can't do that. And if he didn't go back and help his wife and son deal with the loss of Belle, too, he'd miss out on what a family gives you: support and love in bad times as well as good times. Like our Voyager family has done for us over the past three years that we've been cut off from our families in the Alpha Quadrant. If he didn't see it through, he'd miss the whole point of having a family.

He seemed to be listening to me, but I didn't want to beat him over the head with the logic of it. I left. I hope he takes my advice.

I came back here to my quarters to rest. Of course, instead of resting, all I could think of was how my parents and sisters must have felt when Voyager was reported missing. They all think I'm dead. It's so frustrating not to be able to let them know that I'm not only alive, I'm actually doing a helluva lot better than they could possibly imagine, from the way I was the last time they saw me in the Alpha Quadrant. Yeah, our ship is alone out here. There's danger everywhere. We're heading further into Borg space every day, and we can only hope we'll get through without being assimilated.

But I've found really good friends here. I'm falling deeper in love every day with a wonderful woman. I hope maybe someday, if we can manage to stay alive out here long enough, creating a family is something I'll get to do for myself-and not one that's holographic, either. A real family, with a living, breathing Klingon/human hybrid who has captured my heart. Let me be honest with myself. I'm totally nuts about B'Elanna.

She was reading a Klingon romance novel today in the mess hall, before the whole astral eddy thing started. "Women Warriors at the River of Blood." I thought she left it behind when we were called to the bridge, but when I went back to the mess hall to pick up a snack before coming back here to quarters, it wasn't there. I guess B'Elanna remembered it and retrieved it after I was rescued. I know damn well she was on the bridge the entire time I was in danger. Harry confirmed that when he walked with me to Sickbay.

I looked for the novel in the Federation database. B'Elanna wasn't able to save much of her own stuff when she transported over here, just before the Maquis ship blew up. It was in the computer, just as I thought. I downloaded "Women Warrior at the River of Blood" (love that title!) into a PADD. It's a freebie, fortunately, since I'm flat out of replicator credits.

So, while I'm nibbling on a private dinner of Pleeka Rind and Grub Meal casserole, one of my least favorite entrées, I'll divert myself from the crappy taste by doing research into how to please a Klingon woman. B'Elanna laughed at me when I said the novel could be a technical manual. When she ran through the requirements, though, it fits! It certainly will tell me more about "specializing in a particular system." Mainly, hers. I think that tickled her, too. She was almost purring when she told me she couldn't promise not to put a dagger in my throat.

Some women love the romantic blather I like to say I'm an expert in-but really suck at. Others like you to talk dirty to them when you're wooing them. If you want to court an engineer-talk technical to them. I learned that in the Academy! And if you want to sweep a Klingon off her feet-start swinging a bat'leth. That much I knew even before reading my techie manual in the art of Klingon love.

End Personal Log

Personal Log Addendum

B'Elanna contacted me right before I went to bed. The Doctor did go back to his family program. His family was all together when Belle "died." When the captain heard about it (I don't know how, but she always seems to find out about everything), she told the Doc she would be willing to hold a memorial service for Belle on the holodeck tomorrow. He agreed. B'Elanna asked me if I wanted to go with her. I told her yes, of course.

I'm glad the Doc followed my advice. It's going to be strange having a service like this for a holodeck character, but it's the right thing to do. I hope he doesn't give up on the program now. The mourning process is just that. It's a process. It takes time to deal with grief. The Doc somehow is getting to be as human as all of us on Voyager. I hope he has the guts to stay with it. It can only help him in his work as a healer. It's not only bodies that have to be put back together. Psyches, too. If anyone knows that, it's me.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50887.4

A lot has happened over the past few days. Not much of it very good. We didn't exactly lose Voyager this time, but we might as well have. We're trapped inside a humongous star ship. The "City Ship," the Voth call it. They're not saying anything to us about what's going to happen to us, but with the advanced technology they possess, it's pretty clear. If the Voth don't let us go, we'll be stuck here for the rest of our lives. And the way the ones guarding us have been talking, that may not be for very long.

We're going to be the focus for some sort of trial. They haven't told us the particulars-only that Chakotay is going to speak for our crew in front of the chief minister of the Voth, elsewhere on the City Ship. Captain Janeway demanded to be allowed to speak, too, but the minister who has us under guard said there was no need. He was pretty insulting. The term "kangaroo court" comes to mind.

The captain is fit to be tied, and she might as well be. Captain Janeway and Tuvok are both confined to quarters. The Voth only let them out for meals in the mess hall, and they're always under guard. They are both completely cut off from any computer access. No comm access, either. They are allowed PADDs for "amusement," but one of us must bring them what they want to read. Needless to say, the Voth check over the PADDs before they're handed over to make sure there's nothing in them that could help them escape, or even to plan an escape. We know, because Harry slipped in a couple of rather innocuous references, just to see if the Voth could pick them up. They did. Like I said, they're technology is really impressive. Too bad they don't seem to like us too much. They could possibly ferry us home, if they were a bit more friendly. B'Elanna is sure they have transwarp capabilities, from what the guards have let slip.

I'm under guard, too. I guess it's because I fought back and set up our weapons array in a bid to shoot our way out. Once they knew, though, the Voth froze everything. I'm kind of glad they stopped me. If I was able to damage their City Ship in any way, I have a hunch I wouldn't be in any shape to make a personal log entry. Maybe there wouldn't even be a Voyager any more. Yes, their technology is that good.

Since the second day we were in custody, they've allowed me a little more freedom. That's due, partly, to the fact they've allowed me to work shifts in Sickbay in relief of Kes. They took away the Doc's mobile emitter. If there's an injury or illness anywhere on the ship, Kes or I do the triage. The Voth have control over the transporters. If they decide it's not enough of an emergency, the crew member must walk to Sickbay. Fortunately, nothing serious has occurred yet, but it's a worry. What if I miss something critical? I'm only allowed access to the medical database when I'm physically in Sickbay. We had to beg the Voth to allow us a medical tricorder if we go to examine anyone.

When I'm off Field Medic duty, I'm locked out of anything but the literature database. Unlike the captain and Tuvok, I have some degree of computer access. I can download a story to a PADD by myself instead of needing to have someone else do it for me. The Voth allow me to go to the holodeck to visit either of the two programs that are running there, too. Most of the time, I go to Holodeck two, where the resort is running, to visit with B'Elanna, Harry, Neelix, and Kes-always under the watchful eyes of our dinosaurian guards, of course. Sandrines is running on Holodeck One around the clock. The entire crew is locked out of every other rec program right now, though.

Computer access isn't restricted quite as much for the rest of the crew. There's no access to critical systems, of course, but if B'Elanna and Harry really wanted to raise a ruckus, with their skills they could work around the limitations. Since we've got almost a hundred Voth guarding the crew at any given moment, and with Chakotay off Voyager, Harry and B'Elanna don't want to rock the boat. I have to agree. We don't want to antagonize our supposed "cousins" any more than we already have.

To keep our minds away from some Very Bad Things our "cousins" might do to us, I've been talking about building a new "Delta Quadrant Special" shuttle with B'Elanna, Harry, and Neelix. They all agree it would be great to build one that is bigger, sturdier, and faster than the types we have on board Voyager right now. As B'Elanna said, "We have to build our replacements anyway. Why not do a proper job and design one that will hold up better under the conditions we find out here?" Of course, it will take some time to get it done, and we'll have to make sure to obtain all the raw materials we need before we start.

Right now, because I'm virtually shut out of the computer, I can't do any of the real planning, but Harry and B'Elanna do have access to the design programs,. Neelix and I brainstorm with them, which they put into the design plans. With any luck at all, we should have a better outcome with this project than the Warp 10 fiasco turned out to be.

The first bit of luck will be if the Voth let us go, so we have an opportunity to build the damn thing. Right now, that doesn't look all that promising.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50894.7

That was a close one. We're free. Our first officer impressed Professor Gegen, the originator of the "Distant Origin Theory." He found evidence that supports his contention that the Voth evolved on Earth as dinosaurs, most likely, hadrosaurs. There may not be any fossil record of hadrosaurs evolving far enough to achieve space flight, but there is evidence they had a social structure that was more sophisticated than many other species of dinosaur. They cared for their young in nests, for instance. An extended childhood suggests the parents protected and perhaps trained their young. Chakotay says the evidence of a more advanced civilization might still be on Earth, but underneath the sea or buried under many layers of rock.

We do know the Voth have 47 DNA markers which are the same as in human beings. That could be a coincidence, like the Voth "First Minister" insisted, although it's pretty unlikely there would be that many without some sort of relationship between our two species. Our database shows that many other species on Earth also have those same genetic markers. That's too much of a coincidence for us, and for Professor Gegen, too.

If Gegen continued to insist upon the rightness of his theory, the First Minister was going to trash Voyager as obsolete garbage. Professor Gegen and our entire crew were to be imprisoned in a detention center for the rest of our lives. That would get us a "home," all right, but I tend to doubt we'd thrive there. For one thing, Chakotay told us the Voth have a prejudice against mammalian species. How well would they treat us, then? And if they destroyed Voyager and its computer, how would we keep our Doctor? I've done fairly well in my medical studies, and Kes is much farther along than I am, but without our medical database available, we'd both have a tough time taking care of our people.

So, the professor renounced his theory. He told Chakotay he couldn't live with the consequences of what would happen to us if he didn't knuckle under to the First Minister. Chakotay said he really liked Gegen, once he got to know him. He's over at Gegen's ship now, saying goodbye. I understand he brought over a pretty glass ball representation of Earth to give him as a souvenir.

I feel badly for the professor, and for his people too, for denying the truth of their history. They seem to be ashamed of it, for some reason. But I'm really happy we got out of that City Ship, even if the Voth did confiscate that cloaking device of Gegen's before we left. That could have come in real handy in the future.

I hope the Borg never assimilated any of the Voth. If the Borg have access to Voth technology, it would take a miracle for us to get all the way home.

End Personal Log

Personal Log Addendum

Professor Gegen did a very nice thing before we parted company with him. Much of the evidence supporting his theory was the skeleton of Hogan he found on Hanon IV. Gegen made a holographic recording of the entire skeleton, but he gave us most of Hogan's skeleton for us to bury. Along with pieces of Hogan's uniform, his rank insignia, and a couple of finger bones for DNA evidence, Gegen kept a copy of our entire database "for future generations." Someday, the Voth might have their "eyes opened" enough to recognize the truth of what Professor Gegen theorized.

We packed up Hogan's remains into a photon torpedo and had another memorial service for him. I understand Chakotay gave Gegen the trajectory of the torpedo after we sent it off into space. Since the Voth are so enamored of their "doctrine," Professor Gegen doubts he'll ever need to look for Hogan's remains in his own lifetime. If there is a change in attitude, and a future First Minister is willing to reopen Gegen's case, Hogan will be waiting out there to bear silent witness to the Voth's relationship to humanity. Under the circumstances, I don't think Hogan would mind.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50912.4

Okay. This time we DID lose Voyager. The Nyrians snuck on board one by one, displacing our crew one by one, until they had our ship and we were stuck in a prison on a big ship heading nowhere. Captain Janeway never quits, though. We managed to get out of our "habitat," thanks to the captain and Tuvok.

B'Elanna and I did have our parts to play, but it was touch and go at times. If we never got out of our habitat, I wonder if B'Elanna and I would still have a chance for a relationship? We weren't getting along too well for a while.

To back up a bit, let me tell the whole story, because some of it dates back to when Professor Gegen and his assistant first came on board Voyager to "observe" us. I never bothered to record that part in my log before. It didn't seem all that important.

Gegen told Chakotay that he had observed B'Elanna and me in "courting behavior." That would be funny if it wasn't so true-from my point of view, anyway. B'Elanna and I were arguing over whether a problem was caused by a malfunction in a plasma conduit or an anodyne relay. It was a friendly sort of debate. I made a bet with B'Elanna. If the anodyne relay was causing the problem, and I won, she couldn't back out of going with me to my new Klingon martial arts program again. She had to at least try it out. When we got to engineering, I was able to prove it was the anodyne relay. I'd won our bet.

Of course, that's when the whole thing with the Voth blew up. For the next couple of days we were too busy with the professor's abduction of Chakotay and the Voth takeover to get a chance to go to the holodeck. The Voth wouldn't let me run my Klingon martial arts program during our captivity. Once we were free, neither of us was too interested in doing anything other than getting back into our normal routines. Well, that's not what happened. Really, whenever I suggested she come with me to the program, B'Elanna was "too tired." So I didn't push her. I was trying not to come on too strong, really!

Then, a couple of days ago, she weakened enough to say she'd try it out. It's a great physical training workout, really. I was ecstatic she was willing to try it.

Disaster. She hated it. She was waving that bat'leth around like she wanted to use it on me, just for making her try it. Then this seemingly weak little man appeared out of nowhere, complaining it was too cold and too bright, wanting to know why we'd abducted him. He thought B'Elanna was threatening him with the bat'leth (no, she was threatening me, but we didn't go into that at the time).

Anyway, that's how it started. One by one, our entire crew got stashed in the Nyrian's comfortable prison. Yes, once again, I landed in the slammer. And this time, the entire crew got slammed in with me.

While we were there and trying to figure a way to get out, Captain Janeway sent me to see B'Elanna and the Doc. B'Elanna was changing the Doc into a "tricorder" at the time. (See the official logs for that part of the story. I'm not bothering to put it in here.) Anyway, we were still being pretty tetchy at the time with each other, but B'Elanna apologized to me about getting so aggravated over the program. An olive branch! I was more than willing to take it. I admitted to being a little too pushy with her about trying it out, too. I thought everything was going to be all right.

Then the Doc opens his mouth about B'Elanna's defense mechanisms. And I was idiot enough to agree with him. Then B'Elanna got mad and pointed out that I had my own defense mechanisms. She said I made everything into a joke, pretending whatever happened didn't bother me. The Doc agreed with her, and I got all steamed up. We got into a nasty argument. She asked me, why did I keep trying to be her friend if it was so hard? I'm not sure exactly what I said then, but I know it was something like I wasn't going to bother to try any more, and I stalked off.

I was there to ask a simple work question, and basically, everything blew up in my face. I was sure I had ruined any chance of having my relationship with B'Elanna develop into anything more by uttering a few sentences spoken in anger, egged on by the Doc, I might add. B'Elanna had shut down his vocal subroutines about two minutes too late.

I went back to the captain to bring her the information I was sent to obtain. Then I found a cot in one of the back rooms in the habitat and tried to sleep. I couldn't. I tossed and turned all night. Why did I get so hostile towards her? Yes, she was getting hostile with me. She hates to admit it, but she does. I know that. I understand I have to be careful with her, because she's still having trouble accepting the part of her that is Klingon. She really doesn't understand how prickly she can be, or how that can hurt someone else. But I do understand. Hell, I'd had plenty of practice around Ro. She could be prickly, too. The difference, I now see, was that Ro Laren understood and accepted her Bajoran heritage. Ro had her demons, but they had nothing to do with being Bajoran. She didn't have to reconcile two very different cultural backgrounds, any more than I have to deal with being anything other than a human. I may fight against "the admiralty" part of my heritage, but that's family history, not genetics. I don't have any excuse for my failures and bad behavior, other than that I screw up so much.

B'Elanna doesn't know how to handle her double heritage. The way I reacted, I sure didn't help the situation any. I tortured myself all night long with "woulda, coulda, shoulda" scenarios about how I should have handled my apology to B'Elanna for being so pushy. I knew I should have ignored the Doc, who can be totally clueless about human behavior. His ability to recite facts uploaded into his database does not mean he really grasps the concepts, no matter what he thinks. I know that. Why was I so stupid? Why did I agree with him? A couple of ill-advised words, and the next thing I knew, B'Elanna and I were in a drag-out fight. It could be the end of all my hopes.

The next morning, I was exhausted, but I followed the Doc (vocal subroutines restored) and B'Elanna around when they went hunting for the way out of our comfortable but aggravating prison. When they found it, I was tabbed to go along with the captain, Tuvok, B'Elanna and this weird alien guy Jarlath, to see what we could find on the other side.

There were dozens of habitats, all different, as far as we could see. B'Elanna, Jarlath and I split away from Captain Janeway and Tuvok. The Nyrians caught on to us pretty fast, though. Jarlath, that whiner, decided he was too happy living in his own habitat to help us get away. He stayed behind to be recaptured by the Nyrians. B'Elanna and I sought refuge in something called the Argala habitat.

We didn't run into any Argala natives in there. Maybe they were hibernating or something, if anyone did live there now. It was an arctic environment, way too bright and frigid for the Nyrians. They sent their security people in after us, but they collapsed pretty quickly from the cold.

And I can't explain it any way other than brain freeze, but when two of the Nyrians collapsed right near us, we didn't grab their weapons! What were we thinking? We weren't thinking, that's what. But B'Elanna really was suffering terribly from the cold, and all I wanted then was to get away from the doorway into that habitat to avoid being captured again. Because of the frigid temperatures, I quickly realized we could only survive if we kept moving. We didn't dare try to escape to a pleasanter environment, because the Nyrians would just send us back to our own habitat (if they didn't decide to kill us for causing them too much trouble).

We walked for a while, but then B'Elanna said she couldn't keep on any longer. I ordered her to keep moving. When she fought me on it, I threatened to carry her. As independent as B'Elanna is, I figured anger would raise her body temperature, if nothing else! I put my arms around her to drag her along or, if necessary, fling her over my shoulder to carry her.

And that's when we were transported back to the Federation habitat.

Everyone laughed at us. I'm sure some of our crew mates who think they're funny are saying we took advantage of the fact that we were alone to snuggle up for sex, not warmth. I got ready for a Klingon punch from B'Elanna because I had humiliated her, but she didn't do anything to me. I was depressed, I admit, because I figured the Nyrians had won. Maybe she was, too.

Imagine our surprise when the captain announced that they had forced the Nyrians to give Voyager back to us. We found out later that Captain Janeway had learned how to use the Nyrian transporter. After sending us back to the Federation habitat, she'd whisked the head honchos of the Nyrians into that same Argala habitat we'd just left. She threatened to leave them there to freeze if they didn't agree to giving Voyager back to her.

The Nyrians may be clever, but at heart, they're cowards. Captain Janeway would have willingly allowed herself to freeze to death rather than give in, if she was on the other end of that threat. Of course, she would never have done anything as sneaky and underhanded as the Nyrians did to us in the first place, but you get my drift. The Nyrians caved in almost immediately.

We spent the next day imprisoning the Nyrians in one of their own habitats, carefully chosen to keep them warm without too much sun in the eyes. We contacted all of the other races whose citizens were trapped in their own prisons. There were over ninety habitats in all, I understand. Arrangements have been made with the other alien groups to pick up their people (a couple of them have already arrived to rescue their folks). Now that the Nyrian tactics are known to so many, I have a feeling they're not going to be able to steal people so easily again. That's if they have use of their fancy long range but low power transporter again. A couple of the species on their way to the habitat ship have already said they plan to destroy that technology. The Nyrians can probably rebuild it-if they aren't kept in prison themselves.

I wonder where they came from? They must have come from a planet somewhere. I'm willing to bet they're some sort of criminal element from a perfectly innocuous race, probably far from here.

At any rate, this evening after my shift was over I went to the Resort and sat in the (holographic) sun for a while. B'Elanna came in and took a seat on the loveseat next to me. The fact she was willing to sit right next to me was good. What made it even better is that she said that it was great to be warm again, because it was "chilly" there for a while. I got it. She wasn't talking about the temperature.

We had dinner together. Afterwards, I walked her to her quarters. For the last several steps, as we were approaching her door, she grabbed hold of my hand. On an impulse, I lifted her hand to my lips and gave her a very gentle kiss on the back of her hand. Sort of Sir Walter Raleigh style.

And for the first time since the Sakari caves, B'Elanna kissed me. On the lips. Nothing too passionate, but I got the message. We were back, maybe better than before.

I'm still kind of annoyed at the Doc for prodding us into that argument, but maybe it wasn't a totally bad thing. B'Elanna and I had a major disagreement. We uncovered some very unpleasant truths about each other, and now they're out in the open where we can deal with them. We've made up. I hope this means we'll go on to being even closer than before. I sure hope so. That little glimpse . . . well.

I've been dictating this log since 2340, and now it's past 0100 hours. I'm not sure how much sleep I'm going to get tonight, but at least it's not going to be a "woulda, coulda, shoulda" kind of night. I'm going to have much happier scenarios running through my mind tonight. Lots warmer scenarios. Passionate scenarios.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50940.8

Something weird happened today. I was waiting for B'Elanna at Neelix's resort. She was late, for the usual reason: there was a problem in engineering. Duh. What else is new? When Kes came into the resort and approached me, there was something in her manner that was a lot more familiar than usual. I was beginning to think I'd have to fend her off. Fortunately, B'Elanna swept in right after Kes did, apologizing profusely (as always) for being late. I gave her a kiss (which is about as much as B'Elanna lets me do-so far) when she got close to me.

Kes gave us the strangest look and said, "You must be B'Elanna." It was almost as if Kes had never met B'Elanna before! After that, Kes left us alone. She sat by herself at a table near ours.

B'Elanna and I had a very pleasant meal, discussing the new shuttle project we'd worked on while the Voth held Voyager captive. We both noticed Kes looking around constantly, like she was expecting something to happen. Nothing did, I'm glad to report.

B'Elanna and I couldn't figure out what was up with her. I wondered if Kes is sorry she threw away her relationship with Neelix. B'Elanna pointed out that every time Kes looked over her shoulder, poor Neelix was gazing over at her. Talk about having your heart on your sleeve! I'm pretty sure Neelix would be happy to take her back, if Kes would just be willing to let it happen. Unfortunately for him, I don't think she is.

We don't know when Kes left. Neither of us noticed her walking out of the resort. One minute she was there, and the next, she wasn't. I asked Neelix if he'd seen her go, and he hadn't, either. He looked puzzled, because he admitted he was just about staring at her. And then she suddenly wasn't there.

After dinner, I walked B'Elanna back to her quarters. We ran into Kes again. This time she greeted us like she always did. It was as if she hadn't been with us earlier at the resort. In fact, she said something about how the Doctor had really kept her going today and she'd just finished up her shift in Sickbay.

I am at a loss to explain what happened. Was there some sort of temporal displacement incident? Was that an imposter Kes in the resort? A holodeck recreation? There was no record of anything unusual when I checked the computer just now, before starting my log entry. We only have one Ocampa on board, and no unexplained entities seem to have appeared all day. I have no idea what went on there. It's a real mystery.

Maybe it was just Kes pulling our legs a little. I think she knows I'm finally making some progress with My Fair Chief Engineer.

B'Elanna and I are still just friends, but there's a definite warming trend. I have to keep being patient and take my own advice. I have to remember to let it happen only in its own time. You can't hurry love.

Sorry. Sometimes I just can't resist those ancient 20th century song references.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50956.2

You really have to hand it to Seska. She's persistent. Nothing stops her from trying to take her revenge on us. Even death can't stop her. The mistress of evil managed to return once again and almost destroyed Voyager. Hell, I thought Tuvok and I were both goners when she raised her rifle to kill us in the "Insurrection Alpha" holodeck program. With the safeties off, it might as well have been a real gun, fired by a still-alive and kicking Seska.

The "recreational program" by "Anonymous" that B'Elanna found was really exciting. As B'Elanna said, it was "all about us." A Maquis takeover of Voyager, with Chakotay, Seska, and our real crew appearing in holocharacter form. It really was fun to play the young and inexperienced ensign being recruited by the Maquis plotters. I played it both ways, as someone who tried to sabotage the takeover and then as someone who really went along with it.

Talk about freaky! When "Lieutenant Tom Paris" was staring into my eyes with the business end of a phaser pointed right at my head, and with me pointing mine down the nose of "Lieutenant Paris," one way or the other, Paris was going to die!

And then the program cut off. No more story. I was so frustrated. B'Elanna and I - and everyone else who was playing - had no idea who the holonovelist was, or why he or she had never finished the program.

I don't think - make that I know - that no one could have imagined the author was our very mature Vulcan Security Chief Tuvok. He devised it as a training program for the young staff on Voyager right after we were thrust into the Delta Quadrant. He thought a Maquis mutiny was a real possibility at one time. Looking back on it now, the only real threats were Seska, who was never a real Maquis at all but a Cardassian plant, and Michael Jonas, who was a cowardly sneak in thrall to Seska (who would have eaten him for lunch if he had managed to live long enough to turn Voyager over to her).

How did Seska find that abandoned program of Tuvok's? No idea. She did, though, and sabotaged it. If the entire holodeck had blown, the way she'd rigged it, the ship might very well have been wrecked beyond repair. Everyone would have died. Seska wouldn't have cared. She was a Cardassian. She hated Starfleet and the Maquis equally!

I like to tweak Mr. Super Serious Tuvok sometimes, like when we went back in time to Los Angeles and Rain Robinson called him "Freakasaurus," but I respect him, too. He saved my life when the Baneans were punishing me for a crime I didn't commit. I owe him my life for that incident alone. I owe him for helping save B'Elanna when she was infected by Vorik with the Vulcan love bug. And now I owe him again for figuring out a way to sabotage that holographic Action Kate Special so it blew up holographic Seska instead of taking me out.

I think we're going to make a great team writing new holonovels for the crew, like the captain has suggested. With his logic helping us with the plotting, and my ability to create colorful characters, we'll do great. I've been creating personas for Tom Paris for years, so I've had plenty of practice. I've revised a lot of our existing programs, and I have originated some, like the '57 Chevy on Mars, or the Sandrine's program - although in both of those cases, I was recreating real places, people I'd known, and so on, so they're not totally original. Oh, and I did do that adaptation to the Sainte Claire program, but that was only to change a face. Anyway, I've created programs, but nothing as elaborate as an actual holonovel. Yet. The Paris/Tuvok Holonovels - or maybe it should be the Tuvok/Paris Holonovels. Yeah, we've gotta go with seniority, I think, and give the old guy top billing. I love the sound of that, either way.

Since B'Elanna is so eager to have us inject a little "romance" in our stories, I think I'll ask her if she wants to work with us on that aspect. Get a woman's perspective. Yeah. Maybe even act out a scene or two while we're writing? Something romantic. Passionate. Sweaty. Yeah, that can work. I'll have to ask her about it tomorrow.

And Seska, the mistress of evil. I'll bet we can come up with a great scenario for a character like that. Maybe we can even have two mistresses of evil. Twin mistresses of evil! Yeah, that's it! Let me write that down.

(scratching sound for several seconds)

I think this is going to be great fun. Even if Tuvok will never admit to it being fun.

I just hope that Seska didn't leave any more surprises for us on the holodeck, or anyplace else. Like the Caretaker did, when he dragged Dreadnought into the Delta Quadrant after bringing us here. Having dead entities constantly reappearing and causing trouble for us is starting to get pretty old.

End Personal Log

Chief Helmsman's Personal Log, Stardate 50984.7

Well, it's finally happened. We knew it would eventually. We're entering Borg space.

At the senior staff meeting today, the captain and Chakotay showed us a diagram of the "Northwest Passage," the Borg-free zone running roughly in the direction we need to go to get to the Alpha Quadrant. The probe B'Elanna sent out about two months ago found it and sent us information about it-until the probe encountered a Borg cube and pfft! There goes the probe. Not to mention letting the Borg know we're here.

It's a scary prospect. We're all alone out here, with no back up, when an entire armada of ships at Wolf 359 were destroyed by the Borg. We just have to trust that Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay will pull out another rabbit from the hat and get us through.

End Personal Log