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Four Out Of Five
With Borg Space just a bad memory and ten years taken off her journey, Voyager continues on. For some crewmembers though this new area of the Delta Quadrant is just more of the same.
2nd January 2014
20th, 21st, 24th - 27th February 2014
October to November 2373
Most of the Bridge crew were trying desperately to stay awake, but for some their tempers were fraying a little. The problem seemed to be the bald and frail alien on the viewscreen.
"We are... a fleet..." the alien said, pausing every other word. "Of thirty ships."
One crewmember looked at his watch. "We are... desolate..." His voice made Kathryn jump out of her nap. Startled she looked towards Chakotay, he smiled at her. She reached for the flask sitting on her arm rest.
"Desperate," the alien said. Even his words were slow.
"God," Jessie angrily groaned. The awake crewmembers stared at her. She didn't notice, she just went to press Retry on whatever she was doing.
"We need... assistance," the alien continued.
Kathryn sat up a little, she got ready to answer him.
"If you..." Everyone quietly groaned, Kathryn retreated back into her chair. "Have any... food..." Even Tuvok looked a little irritated at this point. "Or fuel..." Kathryn tried to speak up again, only this time to stop him. "Or..." he breathed.
"Crap he can get slower," Harry whispered to himself.
"Medical... supplies," the alien wheezed. Seven raised her eyebrow. "Perhaps..."
The flask was already empty, to Kathryn this wasn't enough. Her other hand grabbed the armrest, her eyes began to flash.
"You can..." the alien said.
"Uhoh," Chakotay spotted the warning signs beside him.
"Be of..." the alien still continued!
"We're being messed with, right?" Tom asked quietly as he turned his head back. He noticed Kathryn too and quickly turned back.
"Yes, yes assistance. We get the picture..." Kathryn groaned.
Chakotay winced a little, "Kathryn."
"We'll beam you over, Chakotay here can discuss what supplies we can give you," Kathryn continued, casting a deathly stare at her first officer.
"Thank you... Captain," the alien seemed grateful. Everyone else was when he disappeared off the viewscreen.
"Why?" Chakotay stupidly asked.
Kathryn turned her head again, surprising him with a smile. "This one requires a little sensitivity. I haven't had enough coffee to listen to unnecessarily long drawn out sentences... slowed down... to..."
Chakotay sighed, "maybe Tuvok would be perfect for this."
"Great, take him too," Kathryn grunted. "I'm too busy for this nonsense," she sipped air from her empty flask.
As if on cue cries emanated out of the Ready Room. Chakotay quickly dashed to his feet with a smile on his face, "in that case... I'll do the honours."
Kathryn shrugged, smiling smugly. "Every time." As soon as he disappeared into the Ready Room she realised something, her spare hand slammed down on the armrest. "Damn it Chakotay, you scheming little bast..."
"Captain," Tuvok interrupted just in time. He stood at the turbolift, waiting for her. "Since the Commander is busy, perhaps you..."
"Yeah yeah, I figured that out all on my own," Kathryn huffed as she climbed out of her chair. As she passed by Tuvok to go into the turbolift, he heard her mutter, "only Neelix's coffee will work against that prick."
Tuvok followed her, feeling a little concerned. "Captain, the Doctor has classed it as hazardous, he's running tests."
"Fine! I'll stop by Sickbay instead," Kathryn snapped as the doors closed on them.
"Well, I think I'm going to escape before the Conference Room becomes a war zone," Tom said, standing up. He walked around the long way to the door by Harry's station, slowing down near a muttering Jessie. "If anyone needs me, I'll be with the second grouchiest girl on the ship." He stopped to put a casual arm around Jessie's shoulders, the look on her face afterwards would have made a Klingon have a heart attack. "Oh sorry, third."
All of the guys on the bridge cringed as Tom collapsed to the floor into a foetal position, cradling his favourite area. Jessie inspected one of her elbows with a disgusted look on her face, "going to have to bleach that, gross." Like nothing happened she got back to whatever she was doing on her station.
"Bit of an overreaction," Harry said quietly. Not quietly enough as Jessie's head turned quickly in his direction. His hands instinctively flew down to protect himself even though she was on the other side of the Bridge.
"Jessie," Chakotay's voice made her have to turn her chair around to look at him. He stood at the Ready Room door, staring directly at her sternly. "A word please."
"What? Tom made a move on me," she muttered angrily.
Chakotay groaned, "no doubt, but that's not the point. Now."
Jessie grumbled a few insults and swear words as she walked over to join him. He backed off a little as she walked by him, into the Ready Room, then followed her inside carefully.
Kathryn drummed her fingers impatiently across the table, her other hand provided a resting place for her chin. As Neelix had been in Sickbay trying to steal his coffee back and improve it, he had decided to follow her and Tuvok to the Transporter Room and Conference Room so he could help.
"Don't you remember, Captain? You made me ambassador after the Tak Tak incident," Neelix proudly said.
Kathryn resisted the urge to slap him across the head, mainly because she didn't know where his head had been. "Why, what did you cook with tic tacs you disturbing little hairball?"
Tuvok was torn; if he tried to calm her down she'd likely bring him along, but if he didn't she'd be too irritable to talk to the aliens. He decided on the first one as he was learning to tune Neelix out anyway, but then he thought of a third option. "Tak Tak's Captain, the aliens from the macro virus episode."
"We did that one? I'd remember kicking ass and taking virus names," Kathryn was confused.
Tuvok knew that once her confusion ended she'd be back to being irritable, there was only one thing to do. "It was between the Kes possession episode and the Pon Far episode."
That worked. Kathryn was too busy racking her brains trying to remember these episodes to really get mad or comment.
"Mr Neelix, this is just a routine trade mission. Your services are not needed. Excuse us," Tuvok said. He carefully guided the Captain out of Sickbay, he didn't want to push or pull her enough to set her off again. Luckily she was too busy counting how many episodes there were in the last season.
To Tuvok's silent annoyance Neelix followed anyway. "Trade missions are my forte. I do need some more food supplies now that my sweeting's on holiday, there's nobody to grow them."
"Holiday? She left you hedgehog," Kathryn said mid thought.
Neelix's eyes watered, "what? But she didn't say anything."
"Oh god, where was I up to!?" Kathryn growled. Tuvok would have sighed if he was Human. That'll do it. "You made me lose count, get a grip!" She stormed off without them. Neelix followed quickly, demanding more information.
"Almost," the Doctor beamed. Now that Neelix had left his mood had improved greatly, at least until he went back to examine the mutant coffee.
"I'm afraid we can only supply so much food supplies, we're running low as well," Neelix said.
The alien seemed flummoxed as he looked around the room. "Forgive me but... to me you live in a life of luxury..."
Kathryn almost snorted into laughter, she stopped herself after the snort. Tuvok's eyebrow raised even higher.
"Your ship is pristine, your..." the alien continued, unaware or uncaring of her snort.
"I'll have what this git is having," Kathryn muttered as she sipped the last of her lumpy coffee. Or rather she ate the last of it.
"Your crew is very well fed," the alien said.
Neelix and Tuvok heard a crunch from Kathryn's position, they each turned their heads to look. She was pulling a face while chewing, it fizzled away to a contented one. "Ungrounded bean. Nice."
"I suppose... keeping your bellies full is more important than helping those in need," the alien finished.
Kathryn's very brief good mood went away quicker than a finger click. "I beg your pardon!" she growled.
The alien didn't seem fazed at all. "We asked for your help, which you consented, then give us barely anything."
"That's funny cos once again nobody came to our aid when we were a drifting piece of metal in Borg Space, but we're supposed to bend over backwards for an ungrateful little git like you," Kathryn snarled. Tuvok and Neelix tried to hide behind their hands. "I bet if we gave you every bit of food we had, you'd still bitch about it. No, I bet if you had found us in the state I mentioned you would have not only mugged us, you'd have given us a wedgie as you were leaving."
"Captain," Tuvok tried to butt in.
"What next, steal our warp core and hold it to ransom? Well good luck with that cos it's just an oversized lava lamp at the moment," Kathryn rambled. "You want sympathy, here it is. I'm sorry the Borg found and assimilated your species, the Borg must be looking desperately for that receipt to return you. Oh and while we're on the subject, talking slower doesn't make people feel sorry for you, it just makes reasonable people want to torpedo the crap out of you."
The alien stared at her, almost whimpering with tears in his eyes. "How... how did you know about the warp core plot?"
"Duh, Tuvok had me double checking original episode lists," Kathryn snapped her response. She directed her intense glare Tuvok's way, "that reminds me, I owe you a gift for reminding me about your holodeck girlfriend episode." Tuvok was about to deny that existed when Kathryn continued, "AND the Harry's really an alien, look at all these desperate women, oh he's not an alien, oh god the idea of Harry offspring, the nightmares episode. I hope you enjoy your new job, Chef Tuvok."
Tuvok managed to look very surprised, he glanced over to Neelix who was just as shocked. "But... neither happened in Fifth Voyager. We got the rift arc instead." Next thing Tuvok knew the room was spinning around him and his jaw was aching.
"I'd rather have Favourite Son!" she spat at him.
Neelix looked a little confused, "why? Nobody does. Even though the rift arc was ridiculous, I bet 99% of Voyager fans would have preferred it to that episode."
Kathryn started to roll up her sleeves, Neelix hadn't seen this before so he figured it was bad. He ran out as fast as he could. "Jackass, give me a Voyager that has a reset button and is... what did you call it Neelix's nose face? Pristine, over this one any day."
"Um..." the alien stammered.
"I'll tell you what," Kathryn smiled sweetly. This relaxed the alien quite a bit. "I just remembered we have one food supply we neglected to mention. We'll give you that as an added bonus, I hope that clears up our... misunderstanding."
The alien dipped his head, "I am grateful, Captain Janeway."
"Are you, are you really?" Kathryn's sweet smile was cracking, but she kept it together. "We'll see about that," she said quietly.
Chakotay paced around the chair Jessie was sitting in while he talked, she had given up trying to follow him to avoid getting dizzy.
"So you see, that's why."
"Uh huh. Our Captain has a hissy fit every two seconds and it's hilarious. I defend myself against a pig and I'm in trouble," Jessie muttered.
Chakotay pulled a face, "I wouldn't call it hilarious."
"I do," Jessie shrugged.
"Maybe that's the problem," Chakotay mused to himself, thankfully he stopped walking to do so.
Jessie rolled her eyes as she span the chair around to face him. "I've hit Tom before and nobody cared. Why now?"
"Nobody cares about Tom," Chakotay admitted. Jessie shrugged casually. "Ever since you came back to work you've been moody, snappy and hostile."
"Isn't the first two the same thing?" Jessie asked with a sigh.
"Not necessarily," Chakotay answered. "The point of your sick leave was to help you, not turn you into another Janeway." He ignored the resulting growl he got for that. "Why are you so angry?"
"I'm not. The reason I came back to work when I did was 'cos being alone in my quarters for that long was so damn boring," Jessie said.
Chakotay sighed, "then you could have told someone. We'd have let you come back."
"Kes advised me to rest as long as I could, and technically I did tell someone, that was when I came back," Jessie said, rolling her eyes.
"Don't you have a roommate, where was he during all of this?" Chakotay asked.
Jessie's eyes narrowed, "why did you say roommate in an italics way?"
"Well no one ever has a clue what he is to you anymore," Chakotay admitted as carefully as he could. "I assume cos of the icy reception you gave him when you came back, that you two fell out."
"Well we haven't," Jessie hissed. She sighed to calm herself down a little. "He did night shifts and other shifts to cover for my crappy sick pay. I barely saw him. I'm sure I told you this already."
Chakotay shrugged, "I figured the reboot was here to explain things like this." Jessie shook her head. "I'm sorry Jessie but today was a last straw, yes even Tom is a straw, you have to get your temper managed."
"I'm normally like this, I don't get what the big deal is," Jessie complained.
"No you weren't... ok yes you were a bit, but this is all the time. In fact both of you have been a little odd since..." Chakotay said.
"Treading thin ice here," Jessie warned him in a sing song voice.
Chakotay couldn't help but sigh, "fine, I don't expect you to talk to me. That's why I'm doing this."
"Tough, I'm not going," Jessie muttered.
Chakotay smiled, "tough you are. I know now that you don't like spending most of your time at home, imagine doing that without the sick pay."
"Oh come on, I'm not that bad," Jessie groaned. "Janeway's a lot worse."
"True, but I'd never be able to get her to go to Counselling. You on the other hand..." Chakotay replied.
Jessie's eyes narrowed, "oh I see, you think I'm soft enough to be forced into this?"
"Nobody thinks that," Chakotay laughed. He stopped when her stare intensified. "Like I said, no counselling, no pay. It would be nice to be able to cure one of our angry, violent crewmembers."
"Will James be forced into this too, or attempted?" Jessie asked.
"No," Chakotay seemed more confused than amused, which Jessie found a little odd. "Though now that you mention it, is there a cure for sarcastic little crap syndrome?"
"Crap?" Jessie muttered.
Chakotay shrugged, "the S word is one of the swear words that gets censored by being interrupted. I wanted to say syndrome afterwards."
"Ah," Jessie understood, well that part anyway. "Not that I want him to be punished, but he's not violent or angry enough to be chucked into counselling, yet I am? This doesn't make any sense."
"No," Chakotay shook his head, frowning slightly. "Your appointment is tomorrow at 0800, you'll have to make up your lost hour after your shift."
"How come we still have the new counselling office? I thought it was closed when they couldn't find a second person," Jessie asked.
Chakotay smiled, "they did, and you're not getting out of this. Better get used to it."
Foster glanced at his teammate who had been snickering to himself for five minutes now. It was more than annoying now. "What's so funny?"
"Well, I was going to wait until it was over but..." Thompson chuckled. He turned away from the counter he was leaning on and pointed over to Craig sitting alone at a table, reading a PADD. "He left his toy behind during a bathroom break, I made a few tiny edits."
Foster stared at him blankly. "Why?"
"Why?" Thompson was surprised, he turned his head to show that to him. "The kid's a creep and it's fun. Why else?" Foster only rolled his eyes in response. Thompson then spotted movement from Craig's table so he looked back. Sure enough he was getting up off his seat. "We're on." Foster had turned around but Thompson forced him back round to face the kitchen again. "Don't be obvious."
"You're telling me you didn't do stupid things to get girls when you were a teenager?" Foster commented.
Thompson grinned, "no I didn't, I was a stud."
Foster shook his head, "that's a yes."
By now Craig was halfway across the room, his forehead dripping with nervous sweat. Foster turned his head and noticed there was only one table in his way that had somebody sitting there, and that was B'Elanna.
"Ohno," Foster had to groan. "She's been pissy all day about this Day of Honour thingamabob, she'll eat him alive."
"I know!" Thompson burst into laughter again.
"Know what?" a familiar voice behind him asked. He didn't expect it so he jumped out of his skin, Foster did too.
"Stop doing that," Thompson groaned, glancing briefly behind him at the voice's owner.
James shrugged and smiled, "why?" He noticed what the other two were watching, "oh god, he isn't is he?"
Thompson went back to laughing, "oooh yeah!"
Foster shook his head, "Thompson put something in his PADD to make him do this, I don't know what."
Craig finally reached the table B'Elanna was at, she was too busy poking some disgusting looking pie with her fork. He must have stood there for a few minutes just trying to find the courage to say hello.
"Easy, changed her status from as if to haven't asked," Thompson sniggered.
None of them could really hear the conversation between the two, they were too far away and the room was busy. Thompson decided to do some improv instead. "Hey baby, you want a piece of this?" he said for Craig. B'Elanna glanced up at the teenager, her face silently but harshly judging him. Craig did a meek little wave as his nervousness reached its peak. Thompson matched this with a really awful seductive growl.
"Do you think anyone will get pissy with me for killing him?" James asked Foster quietly. He shook his head.
Thompson cleared his throat to badly do a woman's voice, "yeah right, no wants a desperate punk like you, so..." He had to stop as B'Elanna did, her hand tightly gripped the plate. Next thing anybody knew the pie was in poor Craig's face. "Erm... er, have a piece of this!" Thompson badly improv'ed, trying badly not to laugh until it was over. Once she stomped off he allowed himself to laugh. "Oh, that was better than I imagined!"
Foster felt bad for Craig as he wiped the pie off his face. He thought about going over but the younger man hurried out of the Mess Hall once his eyes were clear. He instead directed a glare Thompson's way. "How can you find that funny?"
"How can you not? That'll put him in his place, ey," Thompson continued laughing. He glanced at his two remaining teammates, his laughter running out as both of them were staring at him. "God, you two need to lighten up."
Neelix walked up to the counter, the sight of three people waiting for him made a grin appear on his face. He dumped his latest creation, a bowl of purple and green slop in front of them. "I'll get some bowls," he quickly scampered back to the kitchen.
"Yeah, you're right," James said much to Foster's shock. He directed his judgmental stare his way instead. He didn't notice James' hand fly up to behind Thompson's head, obviously Thompson didn't either. The hand pushed his head down towards the counter, landing face first into the horrible looking stew Neelix had made. Foster's mouth dropped open in shock as James just smiled and walked away.
Neelix came back and for some reason smiled at what he was seeing. "Oh you, you couldn't wait ten seconds?"
Thompson pulled his head out of the stew, trying desperately not to gag or worse. The sight of the slop stuck to his face and the goopy bits running down on to his uniform made Foster snort into laughter. Thompson tried to get the stuff off his face, but some had already dried onto it. He glared at his teammate who by now was in hysterics.
"You just said it wasn't funny, how could you?" he stuttered.
Foster shrugged, "I'd love to take the credit but wasn't me." He continued his laughing fit as he walked off to another table.
Thompson's eyes tried to narrow, unfortunately some of the slop was stuck in the corner of his right eye. "James," he almost growled.
Neelix seemed oblivious to all of this, he started serving the slop into bowls. He frowned in confusion as it didn't seem as thick as he remembered. "Oh, did I forget an ingredient?" Grabbing a spoon from nearby he tasted it, for once he grimaced at his own creation. "Oh I did. How could I forget?" He dashed for the kitchen again.
"Oh god, is it starting to burn?" Thompson whimpered as his skin started to feel a little hot. His hands flew to his face to check.
Neelix laughed, "oh some little scamp has put my Talaxian chilli peppers in the place of my leola root." Thompson's eyes widened in horror. "Now where have they put it?"
Thompson didn't waste anymore time, he ran for the nearest door.
"I can't believe you did that," Foster snickered as he walked by James' table.
James groaned a little in annoyance, "does no one know me anymore?"
"Well yeah, you do put Thompson in his place but that... that was fricking funny," Foster chuckled as he continued on his way to another table.
Nobody paid any attention to it or cared for that matter as a scream emanated from Neelix's kitchen. The Talaxian ran out of his kitchen faster than he ever had.
"Really, what's going on here? It's like nobody's met me before," James asked the other person at his table.
Jessie shrugged, "well Chakotay's forgotten that I have a temper, so maybe everyone's going senile."
James tried his best not to laugh, Jessie still noticed it though and narrowed her eyes. "I doubt that."
"Oh yeah? Then why else would he dump me in counselling for it?" she questioned.
James figured he'd be in trouble if he answered that, in anyway. "I've always punished people for being prats, Thompson especially. I don't get why people are surprised."
"Hmm, well face in a stew is new to you," Jessie said.
James sighed, "yeah I suppose. You haven't forgotten have you?"
Jessie turned her head to smirk at him. "What, that you're the nicest guy ever who would never hurt or make fun of anyone ever? No."
"Funny," James muttered.
Jessie smiled sweetly, "I thought so."
"Captain, somebody has stolen my leola root supplies. I demand that Mr Tuvok investigate this intalaxian crime at once," Neelix spat as he ran across the bridge.
Kathryn tried not to laugh, "intalaxian?"
"Well I figured it was the same as inhumane," Neelix stuttered.
Kathryn snorted into laughter anyway, "oh you, you're funny." Neelix laughed with her until her glare appeared in an instant, it made him stumble back in fear. "Get out before I shave your whiskers off and force feed you them via your weird pasta sauce." Neelix of course ran for his life.
Chakotay smirked in her direction, "what did you do?"
Kathryn's glare vanished, she chuckled quietly. "The aliens wanted food, they bitched they weren't getting enough, so I gave them some more."
Chakotay couldn't help but laugh as well, "you always did have a flair for diplomacy."
"I did, didn't I," Kathryn laughed with him. "Did you tell Engineering to scrap their idea for enhancing our warp core?"
"No, Tuvok did," Chakotay said, pointing towards Tactical. Kathryn glanced over to see poor Tuvok sporting a new black eye. "I told him to go to Sickbay but..."
Kathryn looked a little concerned, "why is everyone so on edge lately?" Chakotay resisted the urge to laugh, only just. "Perhaps B'Elanna should go to anger management as well."
"Yes well, not everyone can be co-erced," Chakotay smiled. "You're not going to use that original series guide to cheat your way through this season, are you?"
"Not entirely," Kathryn replied innocently. "You're banned from the shuttles by the way."
"I thought I was already," Chakotay was confused.
Kathryn nodded, "just in case you forgot. Now let's get this bloody warp core fixed and get out of here before Slowmo steals the Doctor."
"Or Seven," Chakotay sniggered.
"Phew, dodged a bullet there," Kathryn sighed in relief, making Chakotay frown. "This is Fifth Voyager not the I Love Boobs of Nine Show, Chakotay. The less focus on her the better, god knows what would happen if we gave her an ego."
"True. I'll go down and give B'Elanna a hand," Chakotay said.
"Why?" Kathryn asked.
Chakotay glanced towards Tuvok, obviously having second thoughts, but then he remembered how angry Kathryn was with the slow aliens. "Well..."
B'Elanna slammed her hand on the console. "God damn it, what do you have to do to get some help around here?" she snarled.
She didn't get an answer. Everyone in Engineering were unconscious, each with at least one facial wound.
"Useless twats," B'Elanna grumbled.
"The more there are the quicker it will be," Chakotay said. It wasn't entirely a lie.
"Fine whatever, I don't care. I'm just glad we avoided more scenes with that stupid alien," Kathryn muttered.
"Er Captain," Harry stuttered as he pointed at the viewscreen.
"I'm busy!" Kathryn screamed as her fist raised once again into the air.
Harry cringed as the sight of the warp core seemed to get smaller and smaller, along with the ships towing it. "But..."
Kathryn growled as she let go of Chakotay's collar, he tumbled onto the floor as she was the only thing holding him up. "But what?" she hissed.
"The er... warp core's been core-napped," Harry stuttered.
Kathryn's intense glare managed to get even worse, it slowly made its way back over to a badly beaten Chakotay still trying to sit up. He tried to avoid looking directly at her so he wouldn't burst into flames on eye contact. He could still feel the heat of her eyes burning into him though.
B'Elanna casually shrugged, she was in a much better mood now that it was a new day. "At least now I don't have to go after it and be marooned in a spacesuit with Tom."
Tom pouted, "hey!"
"Great, thanks for sticking up for me," Chakotay huffed.
"I did. I said the warp core's been random since the overloads. We turned it on and... it was bound to happen," B'Elanna smiled.
"Random?" Kathryn's eyebrow twitched. Chakotay used this opportunity to crawl away. "Chief Engineer and all you can think of is random?"
"Why was Jessie volunteered for anger management first?" B'Elanna asked in Tuvok's direction.
He looked directly at her, the memory of his black eye still very clear. "That is an excellent question, Lieutenant."
An idea popped into Chakotay's head, "oh that reminds me. They're giving away mugs of coffee to anyone that volunteers for... optional counselling. You know they're getting a little bored in there."
Kathryn growled in his direction, "how stupid do you think I am?"
"I feel annoyed actually," Jessie replied.
The man sitting opposite her at the other side of the desk looked a little confused. "I didn't ask," he said in a stereotypical North American accent.
"Oh so no how does that make you feel rubbish then? Did I ruin the surprise?" Jessie huffed.
The man leaned forward to fold his arms across the desk. "You've only just sat down. I didn't even have a chance to say anything yet."
"Good, you won't need to ask me later," Jessie shrugged.
"Okay," the man frowned. He glanced down at the computer on his desk. "Well I'm Andy. Chakotay tells me that you have a short fuse lately and he thinks it has something to do with last year."
Jessie only stared at him, her eyes slowly narrowing.
"Of course I usually don't pry but he was specific," Andy said, unfazed by her stare. "If it's affecting your work, I've got to ask why you are angry."
"I'm not angry, I haven't changed since I joined Voyager. It's Janeway who's lost the plot," Jessie said.
"Yes but she was pregnant. I'm sure she's normal now," Andy said.
The door flew open, exposing Kathryn hovering over the reception area. She seemed to be looking for something and getting more irritable by the second.
"Yeah and Neelix is a master chef," Jessie muttered.
Andy frowned again, "no he isn't."
Jessie looked disgusted, her eyebrow raised. "Yeah I know, that was my point."
"Um, right?" Andy wasn't quite sure. "We're off track though, this is about you."
"Wow," Jessie sighed.
Meanwhile a woman approached Kathryn with a huge smile on her face. She gestured her arm in another direction. Kathryn's eyes widened so much it freaked the woman out. It didn't last as Kathryn dashed off in that direction. The woman looked inside Andy's office with a worried look on her face before following her.
"Why has Chakotay picked last year as the problem?" Andy asked.
Jessie rolled her eyes, she shook her head a few times. "I have no idea."
"Look Jessie, the sooner you tell me, the sooner we can help you. You won't have to come back then," Andy said.
"I'm fine!" Jessie snapped.
Andy nodded like she had said something else. "Your file says that you were off sick from October last year until March. Obviously something wasn't fine."
"Shouldn't that be a question the Doc asks, not you?" Jessie said.
"That maybe true but five months is a long time to be ill, so I doubt..." Andy said.
"Well I was. I've always been short tempered and I've always defended myself against Tom Parasite. Nothing's changed, okay?" Jessie snapped. "Can I go now?"
Andy studied her angry face, his hand rested against his chin and cheek. "Why is that?"
"Oh god," Jessie groaned into her hand. "Tom's a prick, I'm surprised nobody's killed him yet."
"A prick?" Andy appeared confused.
"Moron, idiot, asshole. It's not my fault you bloody Yanks changed our language to your liking," Jessie snarled.
Andy smiled at her which threw her off, he made a note on his computer. "I meant why have you got a short temper?"
"I don't know, dealing with one idiot too many," Jessie grumbled.
Andy once again made another note on his computer. "Yes, your file says that you were expelled from school for dealing with one idiot too many. The headmaster described it as uncharacteristic." Jessie rolled her eyes. "So being bullied makes you angry?"
"I never said bullied," Jessie said.
"I know, you didn't have to," Andy smiled. "Do you think you lash out at Mr Paris as he is like your school bullies? Or do you single him out for another reason, like..."
"Tom's got nothing to do with it, he just adds to my temper, that's all," Jessie quickly butted in.
"Ah," Andy looked like he'd won. "So you admit there is a problem."
Jessie shook her head, "no, I told you, I'm fine."
"If you don't mind me asking then, what was wrong with you during those five months?" Andy questioned.
"I do mind," Jessie muttered.
Before Andy could respond they both heard a loud muffled voice from next door. "What the hell do you mean by that!"
"I mean you've drank all of the coffee," another muffled voice said, but much quieter.
"Then with all due respect you can shove your psychobabble up your backside. Bye," the first voice hissed.
Andy cleared his throat, "well, can't cure them all, huh?"
Jessie's eyebrow raised. "There's nothing to cure. I'm better than I was. Back when I was bullied I was a shy little thing who couldn't defend herself, just because I was shy and meek. Now that I'm not shy and can fight back, people won't stop crying about it. I can't win, can I?"
"These are obviously different people, and your actions must have gone over the line if Chakotay made you come here," Andy said.
"Fine. You want to know why I snap at everyone?" Jessie said. Andy nodded. "All right. Five months ago my friend of ten plus years decided she knew best, kept butting her nose into everything and telling me what to do. I told her where to go, which meant that her boyfriend who I also was friends with went with her. Another friend left to better herself or some crap like that. Now I only have one friend again who I've rarely seen over the last few months and let's not get into that one. No offense to him he's not exactly a role model on self restraint and temper keeping either."
Andy nodded uncomfortably, "I see."
"I'm not done. Five stinking months stuck in my quarters, alone and very, very bored! What do you expect, huh? I wasn't going to come back all smiles and jokes, was I? There, I'm done. You happy now?" Jessie folded her arms tightly, glancing off to the side.
"Hmm, it's a start," Andy continued to nod.
Both of Jessie's fists clenched tightly. Her jaw did the same thing as well but she had to say something. "A start? I've just told you there's nothing you can do, so just sign me off this counselling program and let me go."
"You're wrong, there is something I can do. All you've done is admit that your problem is mainly down to having no one to talk to. Besides I have a feeling there's more to it than that. This five months, if it was so bad why did it last as long as it did?" Andy said.
Jessie this time groaned into both of her hands, "as if I would talk to some guy I've just met. I didn't say I was completely friendless, so just forget it. Okay."
"Sorry, the Commander told me not to sign you off until I was convinced you were calmer. You're not calmer," Andy said with a sympathetic smile. "Why don't we continue this in another appointment. Obviously you're still a little tense from yesterday. How about next week?"
"Like I have a choice," Jessie huffed.
Two Weeks Later
"Kathryn, maybe you should re-consider anger management," Chakotay winced.
"Why, I don't need my anger managed," Kathryn smiled. "I'm managing it just fine, thanks."
Chakotay didn't look too convinced, but that was probably because she was in the middle of strangling the life out of Tom. He was turning a little purple and waving his hands around for help.
"Lieutenant Reynolds promises she'll have a fresh pot of coffee ready this time," he said.
Kathryn scoffed, "that's what she said last time. One mug is not a pot!"
"I talked to her about that misunderstanding, it'll never happen again," Chakotay said quickly as Tom's face turned blue.
Kathryn turned her head to narrow her eyes at him, like she was studying his face. It felt to him like an eternity, of course it probably felt longer for Tom if he hadn't passed out yet. "Fine." She let go of her victim, he toppled to the floor in a giant heap.
"Great. Cos it has done wonders for Jessie," Chakotay said through gritted teeth.
"Uh huh," Kathryn scowled at him on route to the turbolift.
Once she was gone everyone relaxed, Harry did it a little too much and everyone stared at him.
"Good god, Harry. Lay off the eggs once in a while," Chakotay told him while holding his nose.
Harry blushed a crimson red, "it's for my training."
"I'm not touching that one," Chakotay muttered.
Both Thompson and Foster looked a little nervous, though for different reasons. Foster seemed to be getting worse the more Tuvok spoke, while Thompson was too busy worrying that his other teammate next to him would do something to him again. Craig stood on the other side of the room, clearly distracted by something on his mind.
"Repair crews are scheduled to continue the repairs at 1300, so I expect the report before then," Tuvok finished explaining. "Any questions?"
Foster shakily raised his hand, "um, when you said we had to investigate Thirteen, you meant Twelve. Right?"
"No," Tuvok's eyebrow raised as usual.
"In that case I'm not feeling well," Foster stuttered.
"I thought all of the power was off there, including life support," James said.
Tuvok nodded, "indeed." Foster's eyes widened even further. "Environmental suits will be provided. All Lieutenant Torres asked for was a brief visual analysis for anything strange, as she put it."
Thompson tried to put on his confident face. "So a ten minute walk around to see if there's any bogeymen and come back. That's no problem." He elbowed Foster in the arm, "is it?" All he got was a whimper in response.
"I'll send another team down to do regular checks during this week's repairs. The goal is to get the power systems all redirected away from the damage so we can get Fourteen and Fifteen back online. The Captain insists that the rest of Thirteen's repairs are of the lowest priority," Tuvok explained.
"Even if there are no bogeymen?" Thompson questioned.
James rolled his eyes, "it's like working with a six year old."
Thompson couldn't help but scowl in his direction, "I wasn't the one dunking people's heads in pepper and snot soup."
"I assumed you thought it would be funny as you laughed at Craig's blood pie face," James shrugged casually.
Craig glanced up as he heard his name mentioned, "what?"
"Most of the ship's damage has originated from that deck, so the Captain wants to keep the threat of it happening again as low as possible," Tuvok answered. He turned to leave, "remember, the report is needed before 1300."
Once he left Foster sighed, Thompson did soon after but his was in a mocking tone. Foster threw him a glare before leaving the office as well.
"Whilst travelling through our space we expect you to follow our... guidelines," a smug looking alien said.
Chakotay was starting to regret sending Kathryn to anger management, especially before this meeting. It was not going to end well.
"Anything for you sweet pea," Kathryn giggled. Chakotay covered his face with his hands when she added a wink on the end.
Tom's eyes were a little wide, but then again everyone's was by now. "Uh, how come it worked for her and not Jess..." He felt a foot slam into his leg, it took all the strength he had to restrain a yelp or a scream. As he did no one noticed a thing as Jessie hid her anger with a fake smile.
"Different counsellors," Chakotay groaned from behind his hands.
"Uh, shall we show them the route?" the second alien asked his comrade.
"Yes of course," alien one responded.
Alien two climbed out of his chair to walk towards the wall panel. He pressed one command in to make the screen change into a star chart. A line appeared, but then it started doing circles, semi circles and other strange shapes as it went across to the other side.
"Oh wow!" Kathryn gasped as she looked at it.
Everyone else were busy squinting or turning their heads to the side to make some sense of it. Chakotay was still covering his embarrassed face.
"This route will keep you away from any residential and commercial areas, as well as our research and military bases," alien one said smugly. "Deviation is not recommended."
"Who'd want to, it's beautiful," Kathryn cooed. "I mean look at that part!" She pointed at the part that looked like a drunk number eight. "We'll be like round and around and around."
Chakotay dared to look her way, only peeping through the cracks in between his fingers. "How much coffee did she make while you were there?"
Kathryn giggled, her hand reached out to ruffle his hair. "You're so cute!"
Luckily the aliens had already decided to judge them before they arrived, so their expressions hadn't changed. The senior staff though were either red with embarrassment or red from laughing so much.
"Um, maybe we can talk about this," Tom was the only one red cos his leg hurt. "That route will take us longer than going around your space. We're not going to cause any trouble."
The second alien managed a sigh. "Voyager is a known trouble maker."
"Aliens receiving a food supply that left them ill for a week..." the first alien continued.
"They stole our warp core because we didn't give them all of our food," Harry quickly defended that one. "And that was our Captain's idea." Luckily Kathryn was too busy laughing to defend herself.
"The Borg alliance," the first alien said.
The second alien nodded, "the intrusion into a war zone, the murder of a hologram."
Kathryn gasped, "did you take a shuttle out after all, you naughty naughty boy!" She slapped Chakotay on the arm. It stung him quite a bit.
"No, that was Tom joy riding the Cochrane when he got bored," he complained.
Tom laughed nervously, "I didn't intrude that much."
B'Elanna shook her head, "the hologram murdered his crew and tried to kill me. What should I have done, laughed at him to death like her?"
"No defence for the Borg alliance?" the first alien sneered. Everyone pointed at Kathryn, she responded by grabbing the nearest finger and and nibble on it.
"Captain?" Tuvok's eyes even widened as he pulled his poor finger back.
"I see," the aliens both said.
Chakotay sighed. "Look, if we keep her out of most of the command decisions, can we revise the course you've set us?" The two aliens looked at each other and rolled their eyes.
The Security team, each decked out in the environmental suits, had climbed so far down the Jeffries tube. Foster had stopped climbing when he had ran out of ladder, which had been torn off during the explosion. Of course this was holding the others up.
"The ledge is right there!" Thompson yelled at him.
Foster looked up at him, "then you jump to it!"
"I would but... that's three guys away compared to your tiny step away!" Thompson shouted back.
James shook his head as he glanced down to look at Craig. "You wanna tell them or should I?" Even in the dark he could see Craig smirking back at him.
"No power, no air, no gravity," Craig told them, or at least he tried to.
"It's not a tiny step away!" Foster yelled over the top of him.
Thompson scoffed, "it's still closer than me."
Craig decided to let go of the ladder and step off to the side of it, the lack of gravity kept him from falling. Thompson and Foster finally stopped arguing in time to see him float away and get a hold of a broken piece of the wall nearby. Now that he was gone James was free to get through the hole separating the decks and do something similar.
"Like you said it's just a step," Foster stuttered. He tried to step off the ladder and onto the charred remains of the Jeffries junction. Instead he floated off to the left, waving his arms around to try and stop it.
"Did anybody do zero gravity training, really? You guys are useless," Thompson scoffed just before he let go of the ladder. As he hadn't moved he just ended up getting his legs bashed against the opening his feet were barely through.
After a few minutes of floating and crashing around, mainly crashing as it was a tiny room, the team were finally on the ground. They headed through the mangled remains of the door leading to the damaged deck.
Each suit had a light activated on the right arm and a one on the helmet, but even with that the deck was so badly charred it was still pitch black. From what they could make out there were no longer corridors, the deck had been flattened by the explosion. The only traces of a wall were long piles of rubble.
"I knew about the gravity feet thing, I just liked the floating around," Foster said.
"Yeah just like Craig loves getting rejected and getting roses thrown in his face," Thompson snickered.
Craig stopped, he turned around to face him. The light on his helmet shined straight into Thompson's eyes. "Roses? How did you... why did you say that?"
"Ooops, said too much," Thompson continued to snigger.
Foster shook his head and overtook them to catch up to James. Luckily he had stopped to look back at the other two.
"She liked roses, it was in your notes. I don't know why you struck out either, man," Thompson laughed.
Craig stared at him for a while, Thompson dared him to say something using just his eyes. Instead he turned around to follow Foster. Both of them continued on towards what used to be a corner, now just a large pile of debris, leaving James behind. Thompson caught up with him, sniggering away.
"Perhaps she's not gay for girly pansies, huh," Thompson said loud enough for everyone to hear, but it was directed James' way.
James turned his head to watch the other two disappear from sight, once they did he put his arm out to stop Thompson from following. "If you do that one more time I'm going to leave you here without a helmet. You understand?"
Thompson stared at him, his eyes widened and shifting side to side. "I'm not afraid of you."
James turned to follow the others. Thompson shook his head and badly tried to smile smugly. He was about to follow as well when James stopped suddenly and turned to face him again, it made him jump out of his skin. James couldn't help but smirk, "yes you are."
Thompson growled. "It was the deck, not you." He stomped off after the others.
James looked around what was left of Deck Thirteen, which wasn't much. The strange feeling he and everyone used to get while they were here was still around. Without it this could have been any deck ripped to pieces by a huge explosion.
The corner of his eye caught movement behind him. With the lack of environment he didn't hear a thing. James turned around expecting it to be a member of his team. That wasn't what he saw though.
"What are you doing here?" he asked.
The person standing in front of him looked as shocked as he was. That wasn't the strangest part about it though. The only light she generated was a torch on her arm, the rest of her was hazy. The light on his helmet didn't light her up too well. Even in the dim light he could still see she was missing something important.
"I was about to ask you the same thing," she managed to say without it.
She shouldn't be able to breathe let alone talk. Also he wouldn't be able to hear her if she could. How was this woman standing in front of him without an environmental suit? Why was she there?
Before he could ask her she ran passed him. He quickly turned to follow but she had already disappeared into the darkness.
"I'm sure that counts as strange," he commented.
"So," Andy began whilst clasping his hands on his desk. "How's your temper been?"
Jessie shrugged and faked a smile. "Fine."
"Listen you big crappy head, you keep your fricking hands off me before I tear them off!"
Craig whimpered and he ran away. James meanwhile smirked. "Big crappy head? How old are you again?"
Jessie scowled at him, "don't think you're immune. Any age jokes and I'll pull your pretty boy blond hair out."
James actually looked a little shocked, his eyes were very wide. "Okeydokey." He quickly hurried off.
"Fine?" Andy smiled.
Jessie's eyes narrowed, "yes, fine!"
"So, what was with the original Season One threats?" Andy asked.
"How did you..." Jessie stuttered. She quickly grew angry again, "only one was one, the other was all new."
Craig was busy trying to flirt with a woman who was not listening at Opps. James and Jessie were left to babysit Janeway's baby instead of him. She lay sleeping in her mobile crib on top of the engineering station. Jessie was sitting there, drumming her fingers on the console. James stood opposite her with a laptop in his arm.
"Ok C5," he said.
Jessie's eyebrows both twitched. "Um... miss."
James stared at her suspiciously, "really? Then how come that ship I've already hit three times hasn't sank yet, and has misses surrounding it?"
"It... moved," Jessie said as she literally shook with rage.
"Really?" James asked as he turned the laptop around to show her. The next thing he knew his eye hurt and the laptop was lying on the floor.
"Mmm hmm, is that another altered scene from Once Upon A Time?" Andy asked.
Jessie saw that as an opportunity, "yes, so it didn't happen."
"So I assume teaching Kiara to play the game didn't either," Andy said.
"No, that's ridiculous. She's like seven months old," Jessie muttered.
Andy nodded, "yes, yes it was. It seems like your rage has gotten worse since we've started..." Jessie's face lit up. "That just means we're getting somewhere, not that we should stop."
"Er, that makes no bloody sense," Jessie grumbled.
"Yes it does. Your rage has become more focused as it has increased. Obviously our sessions have brought us to the real thing that is making you angry," Andy said.
Jessie used the stare she would use if someone told her, her clothes didn't match. "It's like you're speaking another language, and no I don't mean American."
"Think about it. I've been trying for weeks to get to the bottom of the issue. Each time you've come here you've had flashbacks to some temper issues," Andy said. Jessie's head shook quickly, Andy already knew by now that he was risking getting a beating if she kept that up. "Think about it. In every flashback, is there a common target, a person you always lose your temper with?"
Jessie groaned in disgust, "if I think about that, will you stop suddenly knowing what happens in my flashbacks? Some consistency would be nice."
"I wouldn't have to if you told me," Andy argued. A growl from her made him regret that quickly. "Fine, lets just pretend that you've told me what happens in them."
"Fine!" Jessie snapped. She cast her mind back to the last few incidents, her face started to pale slightly as she did. "Oh."
"Well?" Andy said softly.
Jessie looked a little guilty, "my god. I didn't even realise I was doing it." Andy nodded in understanding. "You were right. For the slightest thing I've lost my temper with him. Why?"
"That's what we're here to find out," Andy smiled. "Now we're getting somewhere."
"But I'm not even mad at him," Jessie argued.
Andrew shrugged, "obviously you are, even just subconsciously. Once we get to the source of that, we can start on the recovery. Now as I didn't see the flashbacks, who are you taking your rage out on?"
James had been waiting for about ten minutes now. He knew Kathryn was in Sickbay as well and he really didn't want to go in there while she was. He could hear her singing from outside anyway.
"Captain please! Those are not for juggling," the Doctor's voice yelled over the noise.
The singing seemed to get louder. James' eyes widened and he quickly backed away from the door. It was too late as it opened whilst he was on the second step. Luckily for him Kathryn skipped out of the doors, aiming for the opposite direction he was in.
Once she was definitely gone and out of earshot he walked into Sickbay. Inside the Doctor was trying to calm himself down so he could address his current patient. The patient appeared to be a nervous looking Seven of Nine.
"I don't believe that is what this is, Doctor. I feel like I'm being lead somewhere, driven somehow," she explained.
The Doctor knelt down to pick up some discarded hyposprays, tutting to himself. "Don't worry about that. Everyone who has been in a room with Captain Janeway today will be feeling like that. Driven mad naturally."
"That's not what I mean," Seven said.
"After a good meal you'll feel a lot better, just avoid Neelix and you'll survive the day," the Doctor smiled. He turned towards James. "State the nature of the medical emergency."
"No emergency, I just wanted to talk to Seven," he answered.
"Ah good, I've still got a mutated coffee supply to tame," the Doctor sighed in relief. He headed for the lab beside his office.
Seven's eyebrow raised as she took a step forward to approach James. "What can I do for you, Ensign?"
"You could answer some questions I have," James replied.
Seven nodded, "I have some of my own..."
"I'll think about it, I asked first," James quickly butt in. "What were you doing on Deck Thirteen?"
"I have never been on Deck Thirteen," Seven answered. As usual her eyes were wide and her face was mostly blank, so he couldn't tell if she was lying or not.
"I saw you there," James said.
Seven's eyebrow twitched up again, "you are mistaken."
"All right. Could you go there without an environmental suit, what with you being Borg and all?" James questioned.
"No," Seven answered plainly. "I have no reason to go there."
"No of course not," James groaned and rolled his eyes.
Seven studied him carefully, though her eyes still seemed bugged out to him. "You believe I am a threat, don't you?"
"No, not at all," James lied to her. His eyes narrowing slightly gave him away though. "Just keep away from that deck. It's dangerous."
The door behind him opened up. Before he could turn around to see who it was somebody grabbed a hold of him from behind and squeezed him tightly. James almost did what he would normally do if someone attacked from behind, but the person wreaked of coffee so he knew who it was.
"My baby," Kathryn cooed into his shoulder.
James wasn't sure whether to laugh or be creeped out. "Um, your baby's in the Ready Room."
Kathryn pulled away and gasped. "Oh yeah!" She turned and ran back out.
Seven's eyebrow seemed to be in her hair. "She did that to me before."
"And me," the Doctor's voice said from his lab.
"Wow. That hangover's going to be a bitch," James commented.
Seven frowned, as usual she didn't understand what he was saying. "Hangover? I thought she just had too much coffee."
James laughed as he turned to leave, "sorry, I spoilt the surprise."
"I don't understand him, at all," Seven said as the Doctor walked into his office. "I seem to have that trouble with everyone."
The Doctor chuckled, "you will once you get used to us. What did he say that has you flummoxed?"
"A number of things, one about the Captain's hangover," Seven replied.
"Ah, well unfortunately you'll see soon enough," the Doctor nodded. "I'd give her another hour at best."
Harry looked a little worried, the red alert signal wasn't helping either. "Well, Seven of Nine snapped, she's stolen a shuttle."
"That little snot nosed punk, she's in need of a bloody good spank," Kathryn hissed.
Tom snickered quietly to himself, "kinky."
Kathryn grabbed a hold of his ear and started to pull. "Arm the photon torpedoes..."
"That's a little extreme, don't you think?" Chakotay stuttered.
"Chakotay here," Kathryn said, gesturing her spare hand towards her. He shook his head. "Do it or I'll come over there and pull something else!" Chakotay was by her side in a shot, of course his ear was grabbed as well.
"She's setting a course for Bolmar space," Tuvok reported.
Kathryn growled, "am I talking to myself? Arm the fuc..."
"She's gone," Harry squeaked.
Kathryn glared directly ahead of her like she was aiming it for Seven. Her arms were outstretched, still attached to Chakotay and Tom's ears. Everyone was fearing the worst as steam began to rise from her. One crewmember even fainted from the stress of it, another two ran out.
When Kathryn let go of her victims and turned around she had a big smile on her face instead. "Finally!" She marched off towards her Ready Room, her hand reached inside her uniform jacket and she started to tug on something. "I can finally stop stuffing... it itches like hell."
Eyes were insanely wide across the whole bridge. Nobody dared to snigger. Of course there was always one who dared to do anything. "Why would she need to do that, she's just had a bab..." Tom said.
"Shut up Tom," Chakotay snapped.
Tom nodded, "shutting up."
Jessie shook her head, "so pigs can fly."
Tuvok stepped out from behind his station. "I'll go and get her back."
"Really? Once the replicators came back I was wondering what was making her so irritable," Chakotay said. "Perhaps we've found out the reason."
"Itchy bra?" Tom suggested seriously.
Chakotay slowly turned his head to glare at the helmsman. He quickly pretended to zip his mouth shut.
As usual there was a terrible smell wafting around the room, naturally originating from Neelix's kitchen. Whatever it was smelled like it was burning. Nobody had dared to approach it as usual and had chosen the replicators instead. There were a couple of people gossiping about somebody decking Neelix after he tried to feed them. Though it wouldn't be the first time so the gossip didn't spread any further.
Craig had a table to himself near the window. There were only a few potatoes left on his plate which he was poking at with his fork. He didn't notice somebody approach until they stood directly in front of him, casting a shadow over his table.
"You're alone?" Thompson muttered.
Craig looked around his table then back at him. "No."
Thompson sat down opposite him. "Did you learn the sarcasm from daddy?"
"What?" Craig said.
"Oh sorry, mummy?" Thompson scoffed. Craig shook his head with a confused look on his face. "Yeah real smooth to go tattle on me to your mummy. It's bad enough that he/she follows you around to make sure I don't pick on his precious snowflake. Now this?"
"Who are you talking about? And now what?" Craig questioned.
"Obviously your older, more annoying twin," Thompson muttered in response. He still got a blank stare. "Right, you're not a real blond so that's not fair. You know who I'm talking about anyway. You must know what he did."
"No," Craig sighed as his attention went back to his food.
"Well after our little argument, you ran to him crying. He decided to retaliate by locking me on Thirteen for two hours," Thompson huffed. Craig tried not to burst out laughing but Thompson's angry face was too much for him to handle, a small snigger managed to escape. "I had two hours and fifteen minutes of oxygen. The loon could have killed me. All cos of a tiny argument."
"I didn't tell on you to anyone," Craig groaned. "Besides I don't argue with you, I try to ignore you. You're just a bully."
Thompson looked a little shocked, "I'm the bully? Do you remember the put up a forcefield to block my escape from Thirteen?"
"Like I'd forget," Craig shook his head. "Since it was when we were leaving, I assume the argument was when you said I'd date my mother if it was legal, and I told you where to go."
Thompson chuckled to himself, "you would and all."
Craig put that comment in the back of his mind for the moment. "If you're talking about James cos Foster isn't like that, then I didn't say a thing to him. He was there."
"Look let's just put it this way. Me and you have this to and fro, man to man stuff going on. He doesn't get it as he's a big girl with temper problems," Thompson said just as Jessie was about to walk past. "Like Jessie, you know." He didn't see her at all, all he felt was a fist slam into his jaw.
"I don't always hit the same person," she muttered to herself as she found a table of her own.
Craig laughed quietly until Thompson mostly recovered. "It's what guys do. We give each other a hard time, take the piss out of each other. We don't get our boyfriends to dunk the other's head in a hot soup, or trap him in a death trap deck until he starts to hallucinate from very little oxygen."
"You take the piss out of me and get me into trouble. I don't do anything to you," Craig snapped.
Thompson's eyes rolled when James entered the room. He seemed to be heading their way. "Speak of the literal devil." James was just about to go past, towards Jessie's table when Thompson held his arm out. He didn't stop. "Ow, son of a..." Thompson cried as his arm was knocked too far back. He quickly pulled it back to him.
"Obviously James gives you a hard time, you give me a hard time. You say that's normal between guys. So what are you whining about?" Craig asked.
Thompson stared at him blankly as he tried to think of an answer. An obvious one popped into his head. "Two hours!"
James groaned as he sat down at his table. "It was only ten minutes."
"Liar," Thompson grumbled.
James shook his head, "one day he's gonna get hit again."
"Hmm," Jessie sighed as she wasn't really listening.
James looked down at the table as he leaned on it. "I'm sorry."
Jessie looked up in surprise, "what?"
"I've been a little snarky with everyone lately," James replied. Jessie's surprised face turned to a raised eyebrow you don't say one. "Well more so than usual. I think I've done that to you too many times so..."
"No, it's not you," Jessie sighed. "The worst thing you said to me was the comment about what I called Craig. I would have made fun of me for that."
"Hmm, well I feel like you're angry at me. Knowing what I'm like, I assumed it was something I've done," James said.
"I've been short with everyone. The fact that I've lost my temper so much with you bothers me a lot," Jessie said, ending on a sigh. "Remember when you said you were going to quit Security to keep you out of trouble, and try to stop doing things like that?" She pointed at Craig and Thompson. "You know?"
James smiled bitterly, "that lasted long didn't it? But I thought you said it wasn't me."
"Don't get me wrong, you have gotten more snarky lately, but I'm glad you didn't change anything else," Jessie said quietly. "I guess I'm just mad cos I thought changing yourself so drastically was a good idea." She looked down at the table. "Some friend I am."
James frowned sadly, he wasn't quite sure what to say to her or where this came from. He reached out to put a hand over one of hers. "You only thought quitting Security was a good idea, and it was. Look what I have to put up with?" He used his other hand to point towards Thompson who was making kissing gestures with his hands, Jessie looked over and couldn't help but laugh a little at it. Thompson quickly noticed they were looking and stopped.
"Maybe," she smiled.
"Maybe? I'm sure that's all I threatened to do anyway," James smiled back. In the corner of his eye he noticed Thompson doing the hands gesture again. "Speaking of threatening."
"Are you related to Tom, cos both of you whine when people don't put up with your crap," Craig asked while shaking his head.
Thompson stopped what he was doing and stared at the other man in horror. "Hardly! You're just jealous that your boyfriend is hanging out with someone else."
"Okay, he's my daddy, my mummy, my twin brother and now my boyfriend. Make your mind up sometime," Craig said. He climbed to his feet.
Thompson sat back in his chair, smiling in triumph. "Well I did say you wanted to date your mum."
Craig felt his jaw and fists clenching, but instead of kicking the annoying man in front of him he walked away instead. He headed straight towards James and Jessie's table, they both looked up at him as he stopped beside it.
"You don't have to stick up for me, I can take care of myself," he said.
James glanced towards Jessie then back at Craig, a confused expression was planted on his face. "I'm not."
"Yes, you are. Because of it he thinks I'm running to you for help. It'll only make him worse," Craig said.
Jessie nodded, James saw that in the corner of his eye and he turned his head back to look at her. She stopped nodding and smiled instead. "So I'm supposed to just stand there and glare whenever he..." he said. Jessie lightly nodded. "But this is me, that's what I do. I don't like doing nothing."
"Yeah well, mostly ignoring him is what I do," Craig said.
"If that's what you want, fine. I just don't know how you ignore him stealing your padd and altering it," James said, shrugging.
Craig managed a smile, he turned to walk away. "Thanks," he said with a smile.
Once he had walked away James turned back to Jessie, his face managed to look even more confused. "Help me out here, since you didn't like me sticking up for you either. You're mad when I help, but you claim to be grateful for it. I can't win, can I?"
Jessie giggled, "no you can't."
James sighed, "so what am I supposed to do then?"
"Be yourself," Jessie smiled.
James still looked confused. "So I have to stop sticking up for people like Craig, but still do what I usually do? That's a tricky one."
"I'm sure you'll figure something out," Jessie said.
Kathryn stepped out of the turbolift while wiping her hands. "Okay, that's the Borg Doll back in her box, now we can continue on our way home. Tom, go the shorter long way."
Tom nodded, "going around Bolmar space."
Chakotay watched Kathryn return to her seat. "Tuvok says she was reacting to a homing beacon left behind by the ship she was assimilated on."
"Yes, so?" Kathryn groaned.
"So when you say Seven's back in her box, what do you mean by that?" Chakotay asked.
Kathryn smiled deviously, "I mean how I said it."
Chakotay's eyes widened as an image popped into his head.
"There, all done," Kathryn cackled as she finished tying up the last chain. She turned back to her handiwork which was Seven with her hands and legs chained up to her alcove.
"Captain this is not necessary," Seven said.
"Don't worry. I'm only going to keep you here until after that stupid weapon specialist episode. You're definitely staying here for the Hirogen, 8472 one," Kathryn said. She placed two bowls next to the alcove, only just in arms reach. One of them had water in, the other just biscuits. "See you in a few months."
"But the Prey episode should be right after Hunters, which was two episodes ago," Seven protested. "How is that a few months?" She frowned, "we've already passed those two anyway. The last one was Unforgettable, which is odd because The Raven and Day Of Honour are before Year of Hell, let alone Hunters."
"Silly Seven, Fifth Voyager's never been in the right order. Why would it change now? Happy standing!" Kathryn cackled.
"Oh god, you didn't tie her up to her alcove did you? She wasn't herself when she escaped," Chakotay stammered.
Kathryn stared at him in disgust, "you've got a filthy mind, Chakotay." She climbed to her feet, her disgusted face turned into a glare. "Really, what's wrong with you?" Chakotay glanced down in shame. While he wasn't looking she backed off towards the turbolift. "It's like you don't know me at all." She accidentally backed into the railing. "Shame, shame!" He looked up as he heard the railing bump, but he only just caught her run into the turbolift.
"That was an accurate flashback, not my imagination, wasn't it?" he muttered. Everyone nodded. "Seven's going to need counselling next."
"Indeed," Tuvok agreed.
Another Two Weeks later...
Chakotay glanced around, "oh it's not over."
Kathryn scowled at him from her seat, "fourth wall Chakotay. Stop mentioning it or I'll make you kiss it."
The alien woman on the viewscreen looked a little concerned to say the least. "I'm sorry, we cannot help you."
"Don't mind the Commander, we've had an... interesting number of months and it's taking its toll," Kathryn said.
"It's not that. I'm afraid we're not allowing visitors at the moment. We're in the middle of a thought epidemic at the moment," the alien woman said. As she expected everyone were staring at her with confused looks on their faces. "As telepaths we've restricted unclean thoughts to avoid situations such as this. However our last Human visitor was less than tidy."
"Oh it's this one. Tell B'Elanna she's not allowed out of Engineering," Kathryn groaned. Chakotay stared at her with a raised eyebrow. "Don't say it."
"I'm sorry Captain, but there's nothing we can do. It's a disaster down here," the alien woman said.
"Wait, did you say Human?" Tom questioned. Everyone stared at him in surprise, he seemed to sense it and glanced back at everyone. "What, I notice things. Don't look so shocked."
"I did," the alien woman said. "He arrived in another vessel, very similar to yours. Ever since there's been nothing but turmoil amongst our citizens."
"Another Federation starship, here? Maybe Starfleet are..." Harry said in a giddy voice. An airborne flask lid shut him up.
Kathryn sipped on her coffee while Harry rubbed his sore face. Once she was done she spoke up, "if he is one of our own, maybe we can take him from you."
"No. We need the image the suspect has spread to the public and then it has to be purified. It's the only way to treat everyone," the woman said.
"We can wait. It's quite strange that a Human is here and we should investigate that," Chakotay said.
Kathryn groaned into her hand, "she looks Human, she's probably just getting mixed up. I mean all of these aliens look the same, I can barely tell the difference."
"No, he's definitely Human," the woman said. "I already said the ship looked like yours."
Harry was starting to get a little excited again, this time the whole flask flew into his face before he could say anything.
"Strange, where is the ship?" Chakotay asked with a smirk.
"It left without him, and fast too. It was a little strange," the alien woman answered. "When we're done with him, I'll send you him." The viewscreen switched back to a planet view.
Chakotay leaned closer to Kathryn, "are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
Kathryn smiled sneakily as she leaned on her armrest as well. "Dump Tom on the surface and run like hell."
Chakotay just blinked a few times. "No, but tempting."
Kathryn rolled her eyes as she rested her back into her chair again. "Then I find my interest has faded."
"I was thinking that a member of our crew disappeared a few months back, perhaps that would explain the Human on the planet," Chakotay said.
Kathryn nodded, a thoughtful look appeared on her face. "Hmm yes, I see what you mean. Yes, we should definitely retrieve that person then. I'm sure that person will be in big trouble when they return, maybe."
"You don't know who I'm talking about, do you?" Chakotay muttered.
Kathryn gasped, "of course I do! That telepath asshole who murdered some guy. He used to like to plant stuff. I haven't seen him around in a while."
"Now you remember who Suder was?" Chakotay groaned into his hand. "He's been dead for a year and was also not a Human."
"Oh well excuse me Commander doesn't tell me these things," Kathryn spat. "I was really thinking it was that Jetal girl, lazy cow hasn't been to duty in months."
"Probably cos she's dead," Chakotay muttered. "And a woman, so can't be who they were talking about."
Kathryn's eyes lit up, she slapped the armrest. "That stupid Marquis guy who tried to tell me to give the Kazon hugs and kisses, so they'd leave us alone. Hoggy or something."
"Hogan," Chakotay gave up. "Also dead."
"Oh bummer, do we have anyone left?" Kathryn asked, pouting her lips.
"Forget it okay!" Chakotay snapped.
Kathryn's eyes rolled, "ooh, someone's being snippy. Anger management time for you."
"Um Captain, there's a group of ships heading our way," Jessie reported from Tactical.
Kathryn's eyes suddenly widened, she leaned closer to a seething Chakotay. "Tuvok's gone back into puberty, that squeaky voice!"
"My voice is not squeaky," Jessie growled.
Chakotay lost the will to live a few wrong crewmembers ago, so he wasn't really in the mood to hold back. "That's not Tuvok, it's Jessie, and for god's sake learn to stop guzzling the coffee when you can no longer count how many you've had on two hands!"
"I'll make you an appointment, cutey," Kathryn whispered. She rushed off towards the turbolift.
Both Opps and Tactical started beeping madly, however Harry was too busy being unconscious to do anything about his station. "I have no idea how but the aliens are transporting things through our shields," Jessie said.
"Why not, sometimes we do," Chakotay said. "What are they taking?"
Jessie looked a little confused, "first place they took something from was the Cargo Bay. I doubt they got Seven, she's still there. I dunno what they've took."
"Neelix to Bridge. Some monster has stolen food and..." Everyone heard a transporter shimmer. "Oh never mind."
Jessie tried not to laugh, "they beamed whatever they took back and now they're off."
"Neelix what did they steal?" Chakotay knew the answer anyway.
"Luckily I had a few seeds left when my supply was stolen a month ago. Not to worry though Commander, they returned it."
Tom shook his head, "leola root?"
Chakotay nodded, "leola root. Lay in a pursuit course." Everyone looked at him, bemused at the strange order. "Try to mug us, they can have it."
Tom chuckled, "aye aye sir."
"What about the Human on the planet?" Jessie asked.
"Harry can leave them a message saying we'll be back for him later. Engage," Chakotay answered.
Jessie looked over to Opps, poor Harry was still lying on the floor with a bruise on his face. "Um, yeah... sure he will."
Tom did as he was told. "Okay so that's four episodes from Season Four we've managed to jam into this one episode. How many more are there?" he wondered as he glanced behind him.
The turbolift doors opened, most of the bridge crew looked briefly to see who it was. Each one had to look again to make sure they weren't imagining things. They weren't.
"Is there something wrong?" a very different looking Tuvok asked. Everyone burst out laughing, well almost everyone, Jessie looked away in disgust. "What?"
"I think you forgot something Tuvok," Tom pointed out.
Tuvok frowned, only then he realised that the Bridge was a lot colder than he remembered it. He glanced down to find himself uniform-less and underwear-less as well. "In my haste I must have neglected to put on my uniform." That comment just triggered louder laughter.
"Oh god. I thought that only happens in his nightmare. Why?" Jessie complained into her hands, which she had covered her face with.
Tuvok seemed very confused, "you're correct. Interesting." He turned around to go back in the turbolift. Once inside he found he wasn't alone, a terrifying presence was leering at him.
"My, my Tuvok," Kathryn purred, eyeing him up and down. What she said next made him feel nervous for the first time in many years.
Tuvok's eyebrow raised, "what did you say, Captain?"
Kathryn's demeanour instantly changed. "I said, are you done hogging the turbolift?"
"Oh," Tuvok almost sighed in relief. He glanced down to find he was no longer naked. "I apologise Captain, I seemed to have fallen asleep and in my waking your words got mumbled."
"Uh huh," Kathryn glared at him. She waved her fingers in his direction, "shoo now, the turbolift won't move until you skedaddle."
Tuvok quickly left the turbolift and stepped onto the Bridge.
"Harry can leave them a message saying we'll be back for him later. Engage," Chakotay answered.
Jessie looked over to Opps, poor Harry was still lying on the floor with a bruise on his face. "Um, yeah... sure he will."
Tom did as he was told. "Okay so that's four episodes from Season Four we've managed to jam into this one episode. How many more are there?" he wondered as he glanced behind him. When he turned back he saw what looked like Kathryn hanging upside down on the other side of the viewscreen, waving at him with a scary smile on her face. "Uh, what the fuc..."
Chakotay rolled his eyes, "damn it Tom, I don't pay you to snooze on the helm. But then again I don't pay you to annoy me either."
Tom glanced behind him while pointing at the viewscreen, "don't you see it?" When he looked back the screen was normal. "Oh, weird."
Kathryn couldn't remember where she was headed to before Tuvok distracted her, so she decided to stop in the Mess Hall. When she arrived she was greeted by a nightmare-ish scene, she couldn't help but gasp in terror.
Four crewmembers were meanwhile just minding their own business, drinking tea or hot chocolates at a table. Suddenly a high pitched scream startled the life out of them. Before they could figure out where it came from Kathryn was snatching away their cups, downing each one so inhumanely fast they wondered if time had slowed down for them. Every finished cup was hurtled across the room, one of which knocked another innocent person into unconsciousness.
"The coffee is mine! All mine!" Kathryn roared at them once she was done.
The four stared at her, each one frozen in fear. In Kathryn's eyes though they only laughed at her as new cups appeared out of nowhere. They drank it all down before she could do anything. "No!" she stuttered.
"All gone," one crewmember sneered.
"Forever!" another hissed.
Kathryn felt her heart thump louder and faster than usual. "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" she screamed.
Suddenly she found herself lying in her bed, she sat up very quickly, sweat dripped off her forehead. "My god, what a nightmare. I'm so glad that's over." As soon as she said that she saw a familiar figure standing at the foot of her bed. Only instead of her usual catsuit, she was wearing a red uniform with captain pips on her collar. Not only that the blonde ex-drone was eating coffee out of a jar with a giant spoon.
"Mmm, thanks for the last jar mummy," Seven giggled.
Kathryn lunged forward, "get your hands off my coffee you waste of silicone bitch!" She noticed immediately that Tuvok was standing in front of her, then she noticed she was in the turbolift again.
Tuvok's eyebrow raised, "what did you say, Captain?"
Kathryn's demeanour instantly changed. "I said, are you done hogging the turbolift?"
"Oh," Tuvok seemed to sigh in relief. He looked down at himself briefly. "I apologise Captain, I seemed to have fallen asleep and in my waking your words got mumbled."
"You dumb ass, falling asleep while standing up," Kathryn scolded him. "Excuse me." She quickly rushed out of the turbolift, Tuvok followed too.
Chakotay covered his face with his hand, "sometime today Tom, thanks."
"Uh huh," Tom nervously said. He tried to turn back to the helm without looking at the viewscreen.
Harry groaned as he pulled himself to his feet using opps. Jessie moved out from Tactical so Tuvok could take over. "Um, there's a report coming in from the Mess Hall. Somebody..." she said, eyeing Kathryn. "Stole drinks from a table and threw cups around."
Kathryn meanwhile was licking inside of her mouth, making an annoying lapping noise while she was doing so. "Why do I taste tea?"
"I see," Tuvok nodded.
Tom sighed, "I have no idea what's going on anymore, I've lost track."
"We all have, it's called being in Season One," Chakotay muttered.
Harry went back to work only to find Seven standing next to him, licking her lips seductively at him. He couldn't believe his eyes. "Ensign Kim, you must be the sexiest man on this ship. Since I am the best woman, it is obvious what we must do."
"Oh, okay," Harry drooled. He closed his eyes and pursued his lips forward, so did she. Instead of the kiss he was expecting, an excruciating pain suddenly appeared in between his legs. His voice squeaked as he fell to the floor.
Kathryn lowered her knee, snorting in disgust. "In your dreams Janitor Kim!" Everyone was looking at her and the now crying Harry on the floor, each one with a disgusted look on their face.
Tom's face lit up suddenly, "oh, this is FV's Waking Moment. Of course." Everyone's attention was soon on him instead, it made him a little nervous. "We all got that already? Cool."
"Anyone else want to have a nightmare before the episode ends?" Chakotay dared to ask. Kathryn winked at him. "Ok that's me done. Jessie?"
A strand of hair escaped from Jessie's ponytail right on cue. "Son of a... this is the worst day ever!" she complained as she headed for the turbolift.
"And the end!" Chakotay sighed in relief.
"This is just a formality," the alien woman said with a slight smirk. She lead her prisoner into the next room. Her hand gestured towards a very unfriendly chair with a circular device sticking out of the head of it. The man stared at it with disgust, he directed it at her.
"You insult me. My hair is perfect," he hissed.
The alien woman stared in disbelief, she tried to blink it away. "This is a mind scanner, designed to scan thoughts."
"I hardly think any machine could read a brain as brilliant as mine." Damien chuckled, passing her a patronising smile afterwards. "I'll humour you though."
"Good, this barbarity cannot be allowed to continue," the alien woman was relieved.
Nearby there was a window to the town outside. Even through the glass the woman and Damien could hear the over the top evil laughter coming from most of the people there. A lot of them were busy petting rabbit like creatures, some of which doing so while stuffing their face with yoghurts.
Damien had a good view of this as he sat in the chair, he smiled happily. "You know, I could live here. It's beautiful." The device was activated, it fired a few beams towards his head. It felt to him like drills piercing his skull.
The woman smiled while he grimaced in agony. "Finally, this nightmare will end."
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