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It's Saturday night and the theme is revenge. The crew must discover just who is targeting the women of the crew before the perpetrator goes too far.
17th December 2018
13th January 2019
4th - 7th, 13th, 15th, 18th - 20th, 23rd February 2019
15th September 2001
Chakotay and Tuvok waited outside the Ready Room patiently, but with growing concern. Chakotay rang the chime again. Tuvok was about to order the door open when it did so anyway, revealing a very scornful Kathryn standing there glowering at them.
"Whatever it is, can it wait until you two get your ears checked?" she said, more raspy than usual.
The two men exchanged similar concerned glances. "Are you alright, Captain?" Tuvok asked.
"Fine," Kathryn groaned, then walked off back to her desk. They followed her in. "It's nothing a little sip of coffee won't cure."
Neither were surprised to see four empty cups and a fifth half empty on her desk. They knew better than to point that out though.
"Captain, we have something to report and you're not going to like it," Chakotay said.
Kathryn sat down at her chair and slouched so casually he assumed she didn't hear him. "I woke up this morning, got out of bed and put on my uniform." She got blank stares in return, it poked her already tired nerves. "I thought we were reporting generic daily things. My mistake! Well, what is it?" she asked while slurping at her fifth little sip of coffee.
"A member of the crew was found dead in her quarters this morning," Chakotay replied.
"Ohno," Kathryn groaned as if he told her they were out of clean teaspoons. "If you want my permission to do possession tests, go right ahead, but don't think you two are exempt."
Tuvok's eyebrow slowly raised. "She was beaten to death in her shower. I don't believe you are taking this seriously."
Chakotay widened his eyes and took a few steps to one side away from him.
"Oh I'm serious, serious as a smartass Vulcan," Kathryn snarled. Fortunately she remained in her chair, only less comfy. "It seems oh someone's dead is a regular occurrence on this ship these days. At some point I've got to question not only the murderers, but the security who keep letting them do it."
"It appears Captain, that the attacker knew how to force open a quarters door. Without a complete rewiring of the entire system, there's nothing I can do..." Tuvok said.
"Uh huh, if you don't hurry, someone else might solve this case for you," Kathryn muttered. Her next port of call appeared to be the replicator, she stopped part way to lightly nudge Tuvok and Chakotay backwards, they assumed out of her office. They turned to leave. "Oh that gives me a wonderful idea," she said mischievously.
Tuvok escaped before Chakotay did, leaving him wincing, expecting the worst but hoping it was merely coffee related. "What?"
"Whoever does solve this, and we all know it won't be Sir Eyebrows A Lot, will get his job," Kathryn said with a smirk. She ordered her drink; a gigantic glass mug of black coffee with whipped cream on top.
Chakotay decided to call her bluff, and since her back was still turned he allowed a smirk himself. "If you're going to do that, we should consider retroactive candidates. How we decide between all of them will be tricky." He saw her shoulders slightly tense. "I'll let Jessie know anyway in advance." He walked off.
Kathryn shuddered in rage, at least until she had a messy slurp of her coffee, leaving her with a white frothy nose.
Morgan walked inside to find it extremely busy, no tables were free. She walked up to a table which Tani was sharing with Danny and Ian.
Tani immediately got up. "Morgan, how are you?" she asked in a huffy tone.
"Oh give it up, Tani. Just get over it, you're still my best friend," Morgan said.
"Whatever you say, Morgan," Tani muttered as she walked away to the opposite side of the room.
Morgan reluctantly took her seat. "You think she would have gotten over it by now."
"Is it true?" Danny asked.
"Yeah, I don't know why she won't get over it," Morgan replied.
Danny and Ian looked at each other smirking. "Then I can see why she hasn't," Ian said first to Danny's disappointment.
"Okay?" Morgan said impatiently.
"Tani has a fancy for James. Can't say I blame her," Danny said, winking at her fiance beside her. He didn't react, Morgan wasn't sure if he was used to it or if he'd tuned her out.
"Yeah so? Nobody thinks otherwise. What's that got to do with anything?" Morgan grumbled, hiding her disgust for the moment.
Danny was about to answer her, but Ian nudged her lightly with his arm. Danny whined like a child told she couldn't have that toy she wanted. "Trust me, I saw this all the time back when we were your age. Once you grow up a bit, you'll stop fawning over the bad older boys. It's just a fad, you'll get over it, all teenagers do." Danny giving him another wink made him frown, "unless you're Danny."
Morgan's face scrunched up while her eyes drifted between the two. "What?" she finally spat out. "Why are you including me in this? Gross."
Danny and Ian looked at each other with confused expressions on their faces. "Tani said she wouldn't forgive you for pursuing him, knowing that she fancied him too. I mean I doubted the just to spite me part of her rant, but..." Danny said.
"I didn't, I'm not! And I don't fancy him!" Morgan screeched.
"Why would she lie about that? It doesn't help her," Ian mused aloud.
"Fancy who?" a familiar voice asked. The three looked up and they saw James standing near the table.
"Now look what you've done!" Morgan yelled.
James scanned the table, looking a little worried as he finally focused on Danny. "What have you done?"
"God, you have a real talent for popping up when you're being talked about," Ian sighed.
James twisted his face and looked to the side. "Oh, I must've misheard."
"Nope, Morgan fancies you," Danny said and she burst into giggles. Ian couldn't help but join her.
"I do not! Tani lied, she's just trying to get me back!" Morgan snapped.
Ian sniggered, "you know, I always said another Slayer would be just your type."
"What's the matter with you? She's a kid," James said, staring at him coldly. Ian instantly looked away to avoid freezing.
"Yeah well, he's an old man," Morgan said.
"I'm not old!" James snapped.
"Oh, they're having a lovers quarrel already," Danny said quietly, she and Ian burst out laughing again.
"Yeah, we'll leave them two alone to work it out," Ian said. The couple stood up and headed out talking quietly amongst themselves.
James watched them until they were gone, then sat down on the nearest seat. "I see they've moved on from teasing me about Jessie. Run out of original jokes, probably."
Morgan scowled. "No, they're idiots who believe anything they've been told. Tani lied and they bought it." She noticed the slightest of smirks on his face. "Do you honestly think I'd fancy you?"
"No, that's why it's funny," James answered.
"Oh please! Tani could've picked somebody more realistic," Morgan said.
"Like Craig?" James asked.
Morgan overexaggerated pretending to gag. "How is that more realistic?"
"It's not, but at least he's closer in age," James replied. Morgan seemed to buy it, she looked over her shoulder at the replicator queue. "Though he's still bleating on about you kissing him."
Morgan's attention snapped back to him, fully armed with the Janeway Glare. "No I didn't!"
"I've told him to stop, but he accuses me of being jealous and stealing his thunder, whatever that means," James said.
"Well duh, even I know that means you and Jessie's makeout session got more attention. Probably cos it's true," Morgan groaned.
James narrowed his eyes back at her. "And how would anyone other than you know about that?"
Morgan laughed nervously, "well you know, ship this size and rumours, and all. Oh look..." She hurried over to the free replicator to get a drink.
An ear piercing sound approached the Mess Hall, rendering the whole room in dreaded silence. Some people were prepared and popped ear muffs on. For once Neelix wasn't the cause of it, the sound came from behind the doors and it only got louder when they opened. On the other side was a frazzled looking Tom carrying a squirming bundle. He scanned the room like his life depended on it.
Next thing anyone knew, he was standing besides James' table with a wide eyed expression. "You, time to earn your keep," he mumbled, drowned out by the crying.
James slowly looked around and up at him with the smallest of frowns. "What?"
Tom groaned impatiently. "You," he grunted and pointed at him, James looked worried for a moment, "godfather." The crying settled to mere whimpers while he spoke louder and louder. "Babysit! Slow enough for ya?" Tom ended up shouting. Everyone looked at him but he couldn't care less.
A little squeaky whine brought James' eye down to the moving, much quieter lump in Tom's arms. He noticed then how high his own shoulders had tensed, trying to lower them he realised he was shaking too. He tried to smile to cover that, "I thought you didn't want me around him."
Tom didn't notice his reaction or care about it, he shrugged with indifference. "I already asked Jessie, but she gave me some busy excuse and hung up on me. So beggars can't be choosers." He noticed James' eyebrow raise, it ticked him off. "Hey with all that's going on, I need a bodyguard more than a babysitter. If you have to take that literally, be my guest."
"Why, what's happened?" James questioned.
Tom rolled his eyes. "I'll drop by yours at 2000 hours."
"Um, I didn't..." James said.
"You'll get paid," Tom quickly blurted out, his eyes wide again.
James once again eyed the bundle he assumed had fallen asleep since he hadn't made a peep for a while. "He can't be that hard to..."
Tom's tired eyes widened further, "fine, prove it! This kid relishes off making me suffer, so you two will get on." James held his tongue, it wasn't the right time. "See you tonight."
Tom turned to leave. James was momentarily distracted at the multiple scenarios playing in his head to notice he had at first. Tom bumping into Morgan with a painful, "ouch!" did the trick. The baby sounded like he laughed at him.
"Oh I like him already," Morgan said with a smirk.
"Really?" Tom said, abruptly turning to follow her. "Ok, want him? Tomorrow night, ten rations an hour."
Morgan turned up her nose as she sat down in her original seat. "No," she laughed.
"Okay twenty," Tom stuttered.
"No," Morgan said slowly. Her widening eyes drifted across the table towards the uncomfortable James.
He sighed, once more noticing he was shaking. "It's okay Tom, I'll do it."
"Thirty!" Tom blurted out, then frowned. "Oh wait, you said yes. I'm not raising the wage."
"Don't bother," James said, shaking his head. "Just don't talk to me for a week, or..."
"Deal!" Tom ran off, nearly bowling over Tani on her way to the replicator. Morgan watched her.
James sighed. "This'll be a disaster."
"Only if she comes over," Morgan said.
"She?" James said, "she who?"
Morgan only had to turn her head an inch to stare at him, so she assumed he didn't notice. "Oh, forget it."
Tani meanwhile took her seat besides Naomi, only to find someone new sitting there with them who she did a double take at. "Woah, who is the old bat?"
Samantha scowled, while Naomi laughed nervously. "That's my mom," the latter answered.
"You have a mum?" Tani stammered, eyes widening, "where's she been hiding all this time?" Samantha made a little grunt, opting to ignore her after that but the young girl focused on her. "You need to tell that girl to stop stalking grown men she fancies. She's just a kid, they can't date her."
Naomi's face flushed furiously, "Tani!"
Samantha's frown only grew, "excuse me?"
"It's just, I'm worried about her. She's still just an ickle 'un, naive, you know? It's a little sad and creepy, but you're welcome," Tani said. For no reason that her two tablemates could see, her eyes almost bugged out. She got up quickly and to their relief left them alone.
At the same time James had decided to get up and go as well. He noticed her gunning for him, so he quickly escaped long before she got to the table. "Wait! You didn't answer my letter, it says read." She ran after him.
Samantha turned to watch the teen disappear out the door. All anyone could hear was her shouting, "I'll be there at eight!"
Morgan shook her head, mouthing wow.
Tuvok waited patiently while the person sat in front of him spoke, on the outside anyway. Inside he had stopped listening ten minutes ago and was silently trying to meditate.
"So then I got a new one, and guess what?" Tuvok didn't hear that to answer, still she continued. "The prick installed a second blade on his, it looked so... awesome, all jagged edged and rrrr, fast. I took it from him, but the bitch took mine. So it was totally self defence. Right? Okay, I'm going now, bye."
Tuvok noticed his visitor getting up, bringing his attention back to the real world. "Miss Emma. You have not answered my questions."
Emma groaned and begrudgingly sat down again. "I did. I said it wasn't me."
"I did not accuse you," Tuvok said, eyebrow twitching. "Although, perhaps I should speak with this man you spoke of. What did you say his name was?"
"I dunno, Evil something, said it was backwards. So I called him Evil Cu..." Emma replied.
"Indeed, then perhaps you could go through the crew file head shots," Tuvok said. Emma's eyes lit up for no reason he could see. "To see if any one of them is familiar."
Emma sighed in disappointment, "aaw, fine."
"Getting back on topic. A woman was murdered this morning, and..." Tuvok said.
"Oooh how?" Emma asked.
Tuvok was more than put off by that, it left him speechless for a few seconds. "Thank you Miss Emma, that will be all."
"Okeydokey," Emma said cheerfully. She hurried out of the office, leaving Tuvok alone with his suspects list. He checked to see who was next. The name that followed Emma's made his whole body fall cold, he couldn't help but shudder. "No," he said while skipping to the next name.
After a few detours and a trip to the opposite end of the ship, James finally reached the deck he was aiming for. No one was following him anymore, so he made his way towards his quarters. To his surprise he found a man standing there pressing the door chime and waiting.
"Er, can I help you?" James asked on approach.
The man frowned in an almost mocking way. "What? No." James eyed his own door briefly and back again at the man. "I'm waiting for someone, not that it's any of your business."
"I see," James said as neutral as possible. He walked straight inside, leaving the stranger staring flummoxed at his previous spot. His proximity kept the door open.
"You're... you must be James, aren't you?" the man stuttered. "Oh dear, not good."
James stayed in the centre of the room by the table, pulling all manner of faces. "I think so, let me check."
The man laughed nervously. "It's funny, Jessie and I were meeting here at thirteen hundred and I thought being a few minutes early wouldn't be a problem."
James thought about what to say to that as he walked towards the replicator. All he could come up with was a disinterested, "okay."
"I'll come back at one, I'm not..." the man said, pointing to the right.
"It is one," James said before he ordered a drink. He didn't hear anything, so he assumed the guy was still there. "Either come in or go, you're letting a draft in."
The man stepped in enough for the door to close, he remained there looking very awkward. "It's not what you think," he blurted out.
James shook his head as he collected his cup, "really?" He turned back around, "but I was so sure you were some strange guy standing at my door. That's weird."
"Andy," the man said abruptly at the same time James was taking a drink. While still doing that he eyed him, raising an eyebrow. "Andrew Wright. I'm just her friend."
"Okay," James said again, glancing to one side.
Andrew sighed in a futile attempt to settle his nerves. James walking back towards the table undid any of his efforts. "I shouldn't be in here. You know, I assume. It's still new, she doesn't trust me alone yet."
James placed the cup down on the table, all while keeping a close eye on him. Andrew's guard tightened even more so, he looked like he was seconds away from bolting to the other side of the ship. "Why are you..." he said, gesturing toward him. "Did you think I only let you in so there were no witnesses?"
"What?" Andrew said, eyes shooting wide open. "No, no, of course not! It's just she's told me a lot about you, so I didn't want to give the wrong impression."
James glanced away briefly, sighing in frustration. "Okay," even he was getting sick of saying.
"She hasn't mentioned me, I know. She was going to, it's just..." Andrew said.
James held up a hand, signalling him to stop. "Then don't, it doesn't matter, it's none of my business."
Andrew's left shoulder and eyebrow twitched. "It does. I mean, that whole incident with that last guy."
"Yeah and if you know enough to bring him up now, then you shouldn't be all twitchy. I don't throw everyone I meet into glass tables, you know," James said.
"Oh..." Andrew sighed in relief for a moment, then his eyes widened again, "what?"
The door opened again, not because of him. They both glanced across to see Jessie stall on entry. "Oh... no."
James cleared his throat uncomfortably, then headed for his room. "No worries, I'll get out of the way."
"Wait!" Jessie stuttered, rushing after him. "Let me explain."
James stopped right at his door with a confused frown on his face. "Huh, explain?" He turned around to face her, "what's to explain?"
Jessie recoiled and started to stammer, "well..." Her reaction he wasn't expecting, it put him a little on edge, not helped by the smiling Andrew in the background. "After last time I thought it'd be best to wait until I was sure..." she winced, "no that's not right."
James glanced between them both as he started to feel like he was the stranger in someone elses' quarters. "Sure of what?" he asked slowly. "That I wouldn't get mad or it wouldn't be awkward?"
"That's working swimmingly," Andrew chuckled.
Jessie glanced briefly over her shoulder, pointing a skunk eye in his direction. He turned away and walked off to escape. "No," she said turning back, "I didn't want to upset or worry you so soon after my last attempt at making friends."
"Then," James said warily, his eyes drifting across to Andrew pacing the room, "what's with the ohno's and the tip toeing around me like I'm Janeway during a coffee shortage."
Jessie's face fell, she wasn't sure how to answer that. Andrew walked part way over to her, making her wince as if mad. "You can't blame her for that, can you?"
"No, no I can't," James said while still focusing on him over her shoulder. "If that's how I come across in Jessie's stories about me, then that's how I come across," he said, briefly making eye contact with Jessie. He headed for the exit.
"That's not what I meant at all, wait..." Jessie stuttered, before deciding to chase after him. The door closed long before she got to it. The resulting sigh was sad, so Andrew wasn't expecting her to swing around with a furious glint in her eye. "What the hell did you say to him?"
Andrew's jaw dropped. "Me? Nothing."
"Well what happened?" Jessie snapped on approach.
"I was early, he arrived. I told him I was waiting for you, he let me in..." Andrew explained.
Jessie huffed in surprise. "And you followed him despite the panic attacks you were having?"
Andrew looked offended, "I wasn't panicking, I was minding my words."
"And then what?" Jessie asked firmly.
"Nothing. We talked, I tried to explain," Andrew answered. Jessie groaned and walked away muttering incoherently. "I tried to soothe the situation."
Jessie laughed insincerely before turning back around. "What situation? Sounds like he was taking it well until you started giving him the crap your pants at the sight of him treatment."
"Uh..." Andrew once more was speechless. He shook it off quickly, "he was not taking it well, not until I tried to explain. He was nothing but rude and stand off-ish..."
"No, you've got it backwards. He has enough on his plate. If I told him on day one that I had made another new male friend, he'd be pleased for me but worried still. I was, so why wouldn't he be?" Jessie said.
Andrew stared at her sympathetically. "He didn't look pleased. He looked like a jealous ex. Which is exactly what he is."
Jessie's eyes narrowed dangerously, "and what do I look like?" Andrew chuckled, fidgeting nervously on the spot. "Yeah. James and I tell each other everything. This is the first big secret I've kept from him for more than an hour. He reacted better than I would if he did that to me. If he's upset, he has a right to be."
"Right," Andrew didn't sound convinced. "Nothing about this is right. It'd already be awkward enough living with him, but now?" He let out a little scoff, "he needs to let go, then you both can get over it."
Jessie rolled her eyes. "Get a new tune Andrew, you're tone deaf." She moved across the living room towards the sofa where two jackets were draped over the back. She peered over her shoulder cautiously as she picked them both up.
Andrew didn't notice that detail, he just laughed at her comment. "Right, I only do this for living."
"No," Jessie scolded, choosing the very light blue cardigan. "You said I was no longer your patient, so the psychobabble is over. Done." She folded the black one she didn't choose to put it back where she got it. Then she wandered over towards her room.
Andrew walked in the same direction as if following her but he stopped at the sofa, eyeing the black one with a grimace. "We're only going to the Mess Hall."
Jessie disappeared into her room, the door remained opened though. "Yeah so?"
"A bit much, isn't it? That blue one," Andrew said.
Jessie walked back out wearing the cardigan over the grey tank top of her uniform, trying not to laugh. "Yeah, like I'm going to take fashion advice from a ninny who thinks waistcoats are ever in." She continued laughing as she left the quarters. Andrew hurried after her while muttering protests.
"Well?" Kathryn said as soon as she entered.
The Doctor looked up from his surgery in dismay. Lee took the opportunity to steal a bite of his sandwich nearby. "Well wait in my office, I'm busy."
"Don't be snippy with me. Just tell me," Kathryn hissed. The Doctor stared back blankly, irritating her further. "Was this woman actually murdered, and do I need to install cameras on every part of the ship, because this is getting ridiculous."
"Hey!" the male patient snapped.
The Doctor sighed, patting their shoulder as a hint to lie back down. He walked away, leaving Lee to continue his work.
"I have nothing new to report. Ensign Lilneli's remains have been sent to the morgue. I gave Mr Tuvok cause of death and..." the Doctor said.
"That's it?" Kathryn interrupted harshly. "You don't have DNA, fingerprints or any forensic evidence at all?" The Doctor tried to reply. "No, you just assume it's ghosts again and call it a day."
"Captain," the Doctor protested over the top of her last few words. "I understand you're frustrated about this, but the incident happened in a shower that's designed to remove impurities. There was no evidence. This killer clearly knew what they were doing."
"Oh, so if I want to murder someone, I just gotta follow them into a shower," Kathryn said, quickly turning disgusted. "Nah, not worth it."
The Doctor chose to ignore everything she said for the sake of his sanity. "There's more to it than that. They covered their tracks when they entered and left the quarters. The ensign was well liked, no reason to kill her."
Kathryn attempted to clear the frog in her throat. "Fine, it's just another serial killer incident. I'll leave you with your heartburn patient, my apologies." She walked out, leaving the Doctor looking gobsmacked.
"I got this Doc," Lee said with a mouthful of food. The Doctor side eyed him as he burped loudly, spraying crumbs everywhere. The patient wiped away the few he saw on his face.
"Mr Williams, why don't you go to the morgue in my stead. I have an idea," the Doctor said.
Morgan walked through the door holding something behind her back. "Has the monster arrived yet?" she asked.
James tried to peer around and back at her. "Are we being literal here? I'm a little rusty."
"Huh?" Morgan stared at him blankly. "No, you dolt. The babysitting."
"No, Tom's not here yet," James said with a smirk.
Morgan huffed, then brought around what was behind her back. He recognised it immediately as one of his gaming devices. "I thought I'd replicate you a new one, since I kinda broke your old one."
"Kinda? Morgan, it was broken in half," James said.
"Well it was the Scyther's fault," Morgan moaned. "The bastard kept jumping out of the ball and dancing around. The controls are dumb!"
"You know, you're not supposed to actually throw it," James sniggered.
Morgan looked around sheepishly. "I know!" she tried to say smugly. "Here," she said while handing the new one over.
"Thanks," James continued to laugh as he walked off with it.
"No probs, I just stole some of mum's rations to replicate it. Mum owes me last week's rations anyway," Morgan said.
The door chimed. James stared at it like he knew Annika was standing behind it with a bouquet of flowers. "Well here goes."
He was about to walk over to it when it opened on its own. Tom let himself in, packed with bags upon bags.
"Did you remember the baby?" James asked.
Tom stared at him while he dropped one of the bags on his shoulders onto the floor. "Hilarious. Where's Jessie?"
James flinched, then looked back over his shoulder briefly. "Why? You said it yourself she was busy." Morgan peered at him curiously.
"Oh good," Tom sighed in relief as he unloaded more of the bags, leaving only the lump curled in the corner of his arm. "He's been fed and we have bottles, so there's no need for Morgan. Which by the way, creepy much?" He reached out to hand the lump over to James, "if you have to change him, just don't..."
"Hang on," James said without budging so Tom was standing with his arms outstretched. "What did you say?"
Tom groaned impatiently, "as I was saying, I don't want to scar the poor little guy for life, so just watch him and don't influence him, k?"
"Why was I mentioned?" Morgan asked.
James glanced over his shoulder at her, then back again, this time offering his arms out. Tom handed the baby over and abruptly turned to leave.
"Hey," Morgan complained.
James shook his head as the door closed. "Ignore him, he's just being a sexist prick."
"Pfft, I see," Morgan scoffed in realisation. "If you think I'm playing mummy, taking him to the loo and spoon feeding him, you got another thing coming."
James tried not to laugh. "Ohno, my scheme is ruined," he said in deadpan.
"Well, you're taking sudden daddy-hood well. It suits you," Morgan teased. She walked over to the table to retrieve the device she'd given him.
"Uh huh, good one. I need a drink," James stuttered. Even though he was going for the replicator, he kept a close eye on her making herself at home on the sofa.
The moment his head turned to the replicator, she smirked and spoke up, "so who is Andrew?"
James closed his eyes and grimaced. It didn't last, the baby made a little grunt that sounded like he was trying to show his disgust. He couldn't help but snigger quietly to himself.
"What have I told you about the telepathy thing?" he asked.
"I should ask you the same thing," Morgan said, pulling a know it all face before burying her nose into the device. It didn't take any longer than a minute for her to get mad at it and toss it to one side on the sofa.
Tani couldn't wait any longer. She laughed to herself, imagining the reaction she was going to get. Everytime the Mess Hall doors opened, she'd be disappointed that it wasn't who she wanted it to be. After a long five minutes she had to go inside. Typically that was when her target had chosen to leave and they almost collided.
"Oooh Jessie, who are you whoring around with this week?" she taunted.
Jessie's face hardened, temperatures dropped. The reaction was exactly what Tani wanted so she sniggered. "What?" Jessie spat at her.
"Er... maybe you should count to ten," Andrew said, fearing for his life.
Jessie clenched her fists. "Yes, ten sounds good." Andrew wasn't on her train of thought and smiled in relief. "Mind your own business, brat."
"Oops struck a nerve," Tani giggled. "It is my business anyhow. This means you're finished with James, right? I should see if he needs a shoulder to cry on."
"Do me a favour," Jessie muttered through near gritted teeth. She pushed by her, purposefully bumping her shoulder roughly, "drop dead."
Andrew cringed and hurried to follow her. Tani rubbed her sore shoulder with a smug smile on her face.
"See, that's exactly what I was talking about. A bit much," Andrew stammered. Jessie completely blanked him, and yet he continued to ramble until they got to the lift.
"Sorry Tuvok, I outrank you, you don't order me about."
Tuvok's inner resolve hung in the balance. Still he hung in there. "Miss Lilly, please..."
"Captain," Lilly pretended to cough.
"You're acquainted with the victim, correct?" Tuvok questioned. He hinted that she should look at the PADD lying on his desk in front of her.
Lilly acted as if it were a heavy box when she reached over to collect it. When she saw the picture her eyes shifted nervously. "Yes, I mean no." Tuvok's eyebrow raised. "It was nothing, just a little thing."
"She was found murdered in her bathroom this morning. How little of a thing was it?" Tuvok asked as patiently as he could.
"Oh," Lilly said as her face drained. "There's nothing to it, really. A misunderstanding. I wouldn't do anything like that."
Tuvok glanced at his computer to pretend to read it, though he had memorised it already. "You said and I quote; I look like a tangerine. You'll pay for this."
Lilly laughed nervously. "She did pay... er I mean, she paid for the replacement hair dye." She pointed at her hair as if that proved everything, "see. Nice and red again."
"I see," Tuvok sounded drained. "When was the last time you were on Voyager?"
"I dunno, two weeks ago. I forgot my favourite chai... er, chumper. It's what Ligers call jumpers," Lilly stuttered and started to shake. "Can I go now?"
"Very well," Tuvok sighed.
Once she was gone he studied his list of suspects. The name he crossed out previously was back on it, he hovered over that for a while.
Morgan put her feet up on the coffee table, once again with the gaming device in one of her hands. In the other, the baby was nestled in her arm, seemingly watching the screen. Only a few inches away James sat, slouched to one side, elbow deep in a cushion, sleeping quietly.
"Okay, what move should we use?" Morgan whispered. She waited a bit. Before she pressed one of the buttons the baby did a little arm stretch. "Oh good idea." She changed which button she was going to press.
The door chimed. She got up to answer it as quietly as possible.
"Morgan? You're still here?" Tom said.
"Shhh," Morgan shushed him, "keep it down."
Tom looked down at the wide awake baby. "Why?"
Morgan smirked and glanced over her shoulder. Tom followed her glance and couldn't help but laugh to himself.
"Even the mighty James was worn out, huh? Well done kiddo," he said while Morgan handed the fussing child over to him.
"Worn out, by what?" Morgan scoffed. "He doesn't do anything but lie there and occasionally point."
"Oh Morgan, ignorance is bliss, ey? Where were you when he was out screaming the red alert klaxon, or attempting to kick you in the face while you're trying to feed him?" Tom said in a mocking tone, staring at the console in her hands.
Morgan sniggered to his confusion, "he cried like once when he stunk the room out. I think that's what did James in, actually. I had to leave for a bit for some air but he couldn't."
"Huh?" Tom whimpered, turning a little pale. He looked down at the tiny little boy in his arms, currently scrunching up his face and looking away from him. "He must be ill or something. I'd better get him checked out."
He turned to leave. Morgan followed him until at least the doorframe, "oh, I figured out what you meant earlier." She stepped out, letting the door close behind her. Tom increased his speed to the turbolift. Neither of them noticed Jessie approach from the other direction. "So I gave Duncan a little treat before you stopped by."
"Duncan?" Jessie stammered as she stopped close to the door.
Tom disappeared into the turbolift, to Morgan's satisfaction mumbling something while pinching his nose.
Morgan made sure to stop smiling before she turned around to face Jessie. "Yeah um, James and I were watching him."
Jessie's face was blank, she blinked more than usual. "Why didn't he...?" she trailed off with a saddened sigh. "Yeah, course."
"So who is this Andrew guy?" Morgan asked.
Jessie's eyebrows twitched, "what? What did he say?"
"Nothing, not aloud anyway," Morgan replied, glancing toward the door. "You know, it's pretty crappy to be sneaking around behind his back with your new best mate and not telling him. Especially after all he's done for you."
"Butt out Morgan," Jessie snapped coldly. She attempted to walk around her to get in her quarters, Morgan intentionally got in her way. Jessie breathed in deeply to contain her temper. "Don't interfere with things you don't understand. Now move."
"You're right, I don't," Morgan said. She turned on her heel to walk away, leaving Jessie behind to stew.
Captain's Log Supplemental: It's been a week since the unfortunate incident, and we are no closer to figuring out who did it. Tuvok has requested a full postmortem on the body to see if we can narrow down the suspect pool.
Kathryn stepped onto the Bridge from her Ready Room, only to stall and wonder if she instead walked into the nursery they didn't have. With Bryan sitting on the floor leaving she hoped chocolate hand prints everywhere, and two kids on the command chairs, she suddenly thought having one would be a good idea.
"Tom. Why have you left your baby on my seat?" she tried to say calmly, but seethed.
Tom jumped out of his skin, partially turning his chair around for him. His eyes fell to the boy on the carpet first, only to panic further when he remembered. He dashed over to collect the only one month old baby boy lying snugly in his blanket on top of Kathryn's chair. "Sorry Captain, Bryan sorta broke the carrier for him so I had nowhere to put him."
Bryan made a little whining sound as he looked up at his dad accusingly.
For one brief moment, the gurgling baby softened Kathryn's bad mood when he was picked up. That was immediately destroyed by the reveal of the stained cushion that had been lurking beneath. "Thomas, forgetting something!?"
Tom hadn't noticed. He didn't dare look at her to find out what, only glance back at the chair. To his horror, not only did it look like the baby had spit up on the cushion, but it looked brown in colour, the same shade as Bryan's moose that he'd barely eaten.
"Sickbay to Janeway."
"Wooh, saved by the bell," Tom muttered.
Kathryn passed him a death glare as she tapped her commbadge. "Janeway here," she said.
"Captain, please report to Sickbay."
"On my way, Janeway out," Kathryn said and she tapped her commbadge again. She fixed another death glare on Tom as she headed towards the turbolift. "Tom, I want that clean when I get back," she said as she disappeared into the turbolift.
"Duncan, you got your daddy into trouble," Tom said. He got a little squeak that sounded almost like a giggle in response. He knew he was too young for that, so brushed it off.
Security Team One arrived outside the Cargo Bay, joining another anxious looking team already there.
"Never fear ladies, the numero uno team is here," Thompson said.
The other team glared at him. Even the fact that half of them were men didn't embarrass him one bit, he continued smiling broadly.
James rolled his eyes almost in sync with Foster. "At least you don't have to put up with him longer than two minutes," James remarked.
One of the women groaned uneasily. "Actually, we do. We've already relieved the night shift teams."
"Hmm? Tuvok asked both of us here, what's going on?" Foster asked, suddenly very nervous.
Another security officer tapped on the panel beside the door to open it. Team One immediately saw the mess inside, including blood and even hair that looked like it'd been pulled out.
Thompson winced through his teeth. "Oh boy."
"Yeah," James sounded relieved by it to his teammates surprise. "Annika has an episodely tradition she has to keep up."
"Oh it's not her," the other team leader said, gesturing to one of the hair samples. James noticed it wasn't blonde but dark brown, he regretted what he said immediately. "Apparently one of the other Borgs. Annika found her."
James walked through them to have a better look inside, his eyes widening in worry. "Who?"
The Doctor face palmed into his spare hand, the other continued treating the large cut on his patient's face. "Tani." He got no response, so groaned as well. "Your daughter's best friend."
"That doesn't look like Craig," Kathryn said, "or James. I can't keep up."
"Clearly," the Doctor instantly regretted saying. He felt Kathryn glaring into his database.
Tuvok thought to intervene before he was deleted. "Hansen called Security after she restored the power." Kathryn hmphed at him. "Whoever did this locked Miss Henderson... Tani in so she couldn't escape."
"And the one with the wannabe Mary Sue complex slept through it?" Kathryn said suspiciously.
"It seems that was when the attacker made their escape," Tuvok said.
Kathryn snarled, "sure. Do you think this is linked with the previous attack?" Tuvok didn't have time to answer. "Of course it is. The question is, do they have the same suspects so we can narrow it down?"
Tuvok nodded, "they do. I'd like to question them, again."
"Again? Why did you hesitate there?" the Doctor asked.
"There are one or two that I didn't question," Tuvok said uneasily, his eyes briefly drifting toward Kathryn.
She didn't notice, "oh I see, getting lazy in your old age Mr Tuvok?"
"What do you know about Miss Henderson?" Tuvok asked nonchalantly.
Kathryn's eyes flared up, "what, that cleaning obsessed woman's dead too? Or is she the killer, I doubt it, it was too messy in there. Get your head in the game." She stomped off angrily.
The Doctor stared bemused at Tuvok who looked the same as he always did. "That counts," the latter said.
"Oh," the Doctor got it, "I don't blame you."
"Indeed," Tuvok said, mentally crossing Kathryn from his suspects list again.
Three of the security officers stood guard, or at least pretended to, while the rest rummaged around the Cargo Bay for clues. Foster inadvertently peered into one of Neelix's containers, the room span around and turned pink. To everyone else he looked cross eyed and queasy.
"It seems like this happened during the regeneration cycles," James said. He stepped across to the neighbouring alcove to take another peek at the arm panel there. "Both say they were incomplete."
One of the nameless security officers crouched down nearby when she spotted some metallic scratches on the wall. A laugh caught in her throat, "is there anything you want to tell us?"
James frowned and looked down at her. "What?"
The woman pointed at the scratching. As he was walking over to check it out, she decided to read it for him. "Tani four James four-eva. Hot bod all mine."
"Oh god," James said mid shudder. He turned his attention back to Annika's alcove. "Anyway," he said urgently, "it looks more like Tani was attacked in her sleep so she didn't suffer."
"Hmm, so that crosses out a love rival, or an ex, current boyfriend," the woman chuckled.
James walked away, keeping his annoyed stare to himself. Then he noticed Foster passed out on the floor, humming away and drooling. James cautiously looked at the barrel, the smell from even a couple of metres away was strong enough to get him to back off. "Mystery solved. I'll go and arrest Neelix."
"Um, I'm sorry man but VIP only," Thompson's voice said. Nothing about that was unusual so the pair continued looking around as normal.
An ensign coughed, "he means Security personnel. Thompson's just a bit... delusional."
"Inadequate more than likely," Andrew's voice said chirpily. "Tuvok ordered me. A Stuart is next for his questioning."
"Ohno, not again," Thompson chuckled darkly. He stuck his head through the open doors. "James, we talked about this. Stop killing people."
James looked at him with a raised eyebrow. "Aaw, why not one more?" he taunted in a cold voice.
"Yeah good luck buddy," Thompson said in Andrew's direction. James then noticed him standing in between his two teammates, he looked almost smug and that was before Thompson let him walk in.
"Hold on," James said, hurrying over to get in his way. "This is a crime scene," he directed towards Thompson. He shrugged and turned his back. "Tuvok knows I'm here, working. Why did he send you?"
"Probably because I'm trained to deal with people like you," Andrew answered. James tried not to scowl, not helped by Thompson's annoying little laugh. "No but seriously, I was the last one interrogated. It's your turn."
James made a little frustrated sigh as he walked around him. "Anyone but Thompson," he said gesturing his thumb behind him. One of the other security officers took his place in the Cargo Bay as he left.
Andrew started to follow him much to his growing impatience. When they got to the turbolift door, he still awkwardly stood behind him while they waited.
"You know, a better or any friend would do the right thing," Andrew said.
James looked briefly in his general direction, but opted not to say anything.
"I do have a few open slots in my schedule to talk over your issues, if you'd like," Andrew continued, seemingly oblivious.
"Issues?" James only mouthed as the lift arrived. He held his tongue and stepped inside. Of course Andrew followed him, nodding for no reason he could see. "Deck Nine."
"It'd be better for both of you, I think. This can't go on much longer, poor Jessie," Andrew said, sighing and then clicking his tongue.
"Computer, stop the lift," James ordered and turned to face him. He was very surprised to find Andrew still looking smug, a far cry from their first meeting. "If you've got something to say, just say it, stop wasting my time."
"See," Andrew chuckled, "no patience."
James stared at him blankly. "Are you actually going to start talking to me, or keep up with the passive aggressive talking to yourself?"
"You really need to think before you speak. You're making no sense," Andrew said, and he sounded dead serious.
"Right, I'm not," James muttered to one side. "What did you mean with the poor Jessie remark?"
"What?" Andrew looked surprised, "you don't know, you haven't noticed?" James' face had hardened, which seemed to amuse Andrew more than anything. "You don't care do you, what you've done to her. That girl is broken, you did that to her and you don't even have the grace to leave her alone to heal."
"What the hell are you talking about?" James snapped, his eyes sharpening and narrowed.
Andrew at least had the sense to be unnerved slightly by that. "Computer, next deck please." The lift sprang back into motion and quickly stopped to open again. "You have dependency issues, you know that? That and bottles of anger." He made a step backwards to at least keep the door open.
"You're supposed to be a counsellor? No wonder this crew has so many problems," James said in disbelief.
"Hmph," Andrew huffed in offense. "Let me guess, daddy issues? Not around, abusive..." James' draining but still annoyed face seemingly answered his question, making him smug again, "all of the above, huh?" He stomped off looking like he won something.
Tuvok and Kathryn walked through the door, they headed straight over to the occupied biobed. Tani was awake and in the middle of a scan.
"How are you feeling?" Kathryn asked.
"I've been better, I guess," Tani replied.
"Who attacked you?" Tuvok asked.
"I don't know. The lights went out, I only saw a shadow," Tani replied.
"Can you tell us something about it?" Tuvok asked.
"Like a description of a shadow's going to get us anywhere," Kathryn muttered.
"I think it was a she, and she was rather tall," Tani replied.
"Can you tell me how tall?" Tuvok asked.
"I think she was a little taller than me, I'm not quite sure, it happened rather fast," Tani replied.
"Thank you. I think we've narrowed the list of suspects from 150 to 70," Tuvok said.
Kathryn side-eyed him coldly. The Doctor pretended to clear his throat to get Tani's attention instead. "We were told this happened during your regeneration cycle, yet you were conscious during your attack."
Tuvok raised his eyebrow suspiciously.
"I guess. Something woke me up, or that did," Tani said uneasily. Her eyes widened, skin paled. "Oh there was a voice. That's what did it."
"Your attacker said something to you?" Tuvok questioned.
Tani nodded, she squeezed her own arms tightly. "Not said. It was real creepy, like an axe murderer humming a bedtime song to his victim. After that it's a little fuzzy."
"Are you sure the attacker was female?" Kathryn questioned, briefly glancing toward the Doctor.
"Excuse me!" he snapped in dismay.
"Positive," Tani replied. Her hand hovered up to her sore scalp, she winced at the touch. "She pulled me out of the alcove by the hair. While humming."
"Hair pulling? Curious," Tuvok said.
Kathryn nodded, deep in thought until she noticed him glancing at her. She scowled at him into rushing out of Sickbay entirely.
"So one week, and all we know is that our wannabe serial killer is a hummer who likes to sneak into people's showers and steal their hair," Kathryn said. The Doctor and Tani glanced at each other, bemused and a little frightened. "What are you worried about? You have no hair and you never shower."
The Doctor chuckled nervously, "I'll keep you informed."
"Mmmhmm," Kathryn murmured on her way out, narrowing her eyes suspiciously at him.
Six Days Later
Jessie stepped out of her bedroom looking sullen until she spotted James in the living room finishing off a coffee. "Oh good, you're up. I was wondering if..." she trailed off when she noticed he was in his uniform. "You're working this weekend as well?"
"Yeah, until we solve this month's serial killer case," James said, about ready to leave. He noticed her earlier mood coming back so he stopped. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," Jessie answered instinctively, then groaned toward herself. "No, I'll wait until the end of your shift."
"It's okay, I'm not due for another ten minutes," James said. Jessie shook her head and meekly smiled. "Alright, I'll see you later," he said, smiling back.
As soon as he was gone, she made her way to the door as well and hurried after him. "No, no I can't. I've been doing that a lot lately."
James glanced at her confused as they walked together, "doing what?"
Jessie sighed impatiently at herself. "He... I thought it'd be easier if I didn't see you as much after..." she fidgeted uncomfortably, unable to look him in the eye, "the turbolift. The love spell. Everything."
"I see," James said, also uncomfortable. He did though manage to look at her quizzically. "He thought?"
Jessie winced. "Counselling. Said it'd help."
"Ah," James sighed. He stopped and turned, "did it?"
"No," Jessie slowed to a stop, turning around to face him. "I felt like I was sneaking around all the time, like I was doing something wrong. And you know what? I kinda was."
James frowned, "Jess, it's okay, you didn't. I get it."
Jessie smiled at him bitterly. "No you don't. You're my best friend, I don't want to lose you. I'd do anything to avoid that."
"I'm not going anywhere," James said, smiling weakly back.
"That's the thing," Jessie said, her voice sounded strained. His face meanwhile fell. "After the break up we drifted apart, it was horrible. It helped though. We got passed it, and then we were like it was before."
"And that's... bad?" James wondered quietly.
"No," Jessie replied, sounding surprised. "I just mean it got comfortable again. Too comfortable. We could do that before because, you know... but now."
"No, no I don't know," James mumbled, shaking his head.
"I didn't want to admit it either," Jessie said with a growing lump in her throat. "The things we'd do when we were drunk, the love spell, the turbolift. We're too used to one another, it becomes almost habit. It's making things awkward between us, and I don't like that."
James glanced around him looking a little lost, unsure what to say. "So um, what are you saying?"
"I think..." Jessie said hesitantly, "maybe I should move out, stay somewhere else for a while. Create a little space, so..." she trailed off when she noticed the colour leaving his face.
"What?" James stuttered.
Jessie was about to reply, but footsteps were approaching. She tried to straighten up and pretend nothing was wrong.
"Crewman Rex," Tuvok's voice called from behind her.
"What?" Jessie unintentionally snapped at him, wincing immediately after, "sorry."
"Indeed," Tuvok said neutrally. "I'd like to speak to you again about the attack on Miss Tani."
Jessie groaned, "I told you, she's not worth my energy."
"So you say, however..." Tuvok said. In the meantime James turned to continue walking down the corridor. Neither of them noticed. "You are what she calls love rivals." Jessie groaned in disgust. "You both have expressed an interest in the same person."
"No I... do you mind?" Jessie hissed, eyes briefly pointing in James' previous position. Then she noticed he was gone and looked around, shoulders lowering. "Great," she sighed.
"I didn't say who the person was," Tuvok said.
Jessie stared up at him icily, "yeah, Tani? I think even he knows you mean him there. Lucky for you..." She gestured her head in the direction James had been. Tuvok looked, eyebrow raised. "Look, why would I? Tani's not a threat," she started to stammer, "not that I like him like that or anything. Shut up."
"Please come with me," Tuvok said.
Jessie groaned and rolled her eyes.
Morgan rushed through the door, aiming straight for the bathroom. Before she could even open the door she dropped to the ground unconscious.
"Ohno, not again," Morgan groaned as she looked around her new misty environment. A figure emerged from the clouds to approach her.
"Hello again Morgan," Kes said softly.
"Isn't there a different method of communication? This place freaks me out," Morgan said.
"No, sorry," Kes replied.
"Well, what am I doing here this time?" Morgan asked.
"Well I noticed that your crew is faced with a confusing murder mystery," Kes said.
Morgan groaned, "so? What else is new?"
"You see the killer is not somebody you expected," Kes said.
"Really, who is it?" Morgan asked.
"Well when I was on Voyager, I was threatened to leave the ship by a crewmember," Kes said.
"But mum said that you left because you wanted to explore your new powers," Morgan said.
"That's what I told her, the person who threatened me told me that if I told anyone about the threat she would kill me," Kes said.
"What about your powers? You could've defended yourself with them," Morgan said.
"I was threatened before they even developed. She was still capable of hurting me when I decided to leave," Kes said.
"Who was it, and is it the same person who attacked Tani?" Morgan asked.
"I'm afraid so, she must be stopped," Kes said.
"Well, who is it?" Morgan asked.
Jessie stomped through her quarters door, heading straight for her room and muttering to herself. Inside her bedroom a few bags were on the bed and on the floor, wardrobe left half open. She looked around at them all with a growing sense of dread.
"No, forget it," she snapped, brushing one of the partly empty bags onto the floor, depositing the few tops everywhere. With a heavy sigh she walked over to collect them again, trying her best not to cry with a lump in her throat. "God, stop it. It's your own fault." She picked a few of them up.
The last one had landed by the wardrobe. Jessie had to shuffle forward to reach it. While she was doing that the lights went out. "What?" A ruffling sound in front of her put her on edge, so she backed away while tapping her badge. "Rex to Security." The only response she got was static noise.
Next thing she knew she was lying on the ground, cheek to carpet, her head pounding so much she felt sick. The last thing she remembered was a couple of hands grabbing her.
Morgan stared blankly at the ethereal Ocampa, expecting her to continue. A few minutes of her not doing so riled her up. "Well, who?"
Kes frowned, "that's odd. You should've seen the flashback."
"Why can't you just tell me?" Morgan asked while starting to dance on the spot.
"Perhaps the link is weakening a little," Kes mused aloud. Her gaze drifted off to one side, mouth open slightly.
Morgan growled in frustration, "well can you hang up and call back in five minutes? Or just leave a message saying the murderer's name, that'd be swell."
Kes shook her head, Morgan took that as a no until she stared at the girl in a blind panic. "Jessie's, she's the next victim."
"What, when...?" Morgan stuttered.
The strange mist faded away, leaving behind her quarters. She tapped her commbadge while getting up. "Janeway to Security. You need to get to Jessie Rex urgently, she's in trouble."
Morgan reached Jessie's quarters and promptly began to try pry them open. Inside the living area seemed normal, undisturbed. She rushed for one of the bedrooms. The door opened but she could see nothing.
"Jessie?" she called while rooting around her pocket for a PADD. Once she got it she used it as a light source, pointing it around the room. She noticed the bag on the floor first, then headed towards the bed.
There she saw her, lying slumped face down. Morgan hurried to check on her. "Sickbay, we have another victim. Can you get a lock on Jessie?"
She got no answer. Meanwhile she checked to see if she still had a pulse. Her fingers barely touched her throat when what looked like a Borg nanoprobe burst out of Jessie's cheek.
"What the hell..." Morgan stammered over the top of a small shuffling sound. She looked, it came from the wardrobe. "All right, come out. I know you're still here." The cupboard doors that were behind her suddenly opened and she was forcefully pushed into the dresser.
Someone approached, almost gliding to her side, the face hidden in the dark until the light from the other room shone on the side of her face.
"You!" Morgan snarled.
"I'm so glad you stopped by, it saved me the trip to your quarters," Annika sneered.
"Why don't you give up while you're ahead, it'll save me the energy I need to kick your ass," Morgan said. Annika quickly pulled a knife out of her pocket and she slashed Morgan's arm with it. "Is that the best you can do?" Morgan asked as she held her left arm. Annika pulled out a hypospray.
"Since I've always been the one to explain, I'll tell you what this is. It's a secret formula I've been working on. It re activates drones nanoprobes, but they end up going out of control in the end. There's no telling where they would erupt. Of course there is a high chance that the nanoprobes will attach onto vital organs. That could prove fatal. I doubt Jessie would last long if that were to happen," Annika said.
"You bitch!" Morgan yelled and she punched Annika in the face. She stumbled backwards, slamming into the wardrobe.
Like it was nothing, the ex-drone got her bearings back. "Nice try, Morgan," Annika sneered. She hit Morgan in the face hard enough to make her stumble backwards into the bed. Annika put the knife on a dresser on her way over to her. She sat in between Morgan and Jessie, leaning over the teen to hold her by the throat. "There's no need to resist Morgan. Don't you know resistance is futill," Annika said as she brought the hypospray down.
Morgan shuddered in disgust and anger. It gave her the boost she needed to push the woman off her towards the door as it was opening. A couple of unfortunate security guys were bowled over on their way in. The only one left stepped over them casually to get into the room quicker. He took one glance at Morgan and Jessie, he lunged forward to get to them. Annika's painful grumbles delayed him, bringing his attention back down to the ground.
"I'll get her to Sickbay," Morgan said while scooping up Jessie in her arms. "You get that cow locked up, she's finally flipped."
James didn't need to be told even once, he had already nonchalantly pointed a phaser at Annika as she hurriedly got back to her feet. One shot and she was down again.
Thompson chose that moment to leap onto his feet. "Ah, good job team, another one well done because of me." James and then Foster stared at him blankly. Morgan shook her head on her way through the doors. "I totally got in her way, stopped her from escaping. Who's the man?" James rolled his eyes and followed Morgan, leaving Thompson looking even more smug than before. "See, he can't deny it."
"One of these days, I'm going to get that transfer to another department," Foster moaned.
Kathryn made a b-line straight for her daughter, and Tom who was treating her. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah I suppose so," Morgan answered.
"What did that little Neelix's snot coffee in my vicinity do this time? I have half a mind to eject her into space," Kathryn said.
Morgan's lip curled. "It wouldn't be the first time."
"Ah you're right. I need something different," Kathryn said.
Tom looked at the both of them, both amused and a little worried. "Little what in your what?"
Kathryn brushed him off with a hand wave near his face. He groaned and wandered off.
"Apparently she's the one who attacked Lilneli and Tani as well. Jessie was next on her list," Morgan said.
"Yes, Lilneli. She will be missed," Kathryn said, eyes darting from side to side. "Unfortunately I will be busy during her funeral, so your father will have to make the speech."
"Mum," Morgan warned her with a little chuckle. "She's the one you said cuts your hair, remember?"
Kathryn's eyes bulged almost out. "Ohno! I've been calling her Lilly all this time. Who the hell is Lilly?"
The Doctor wandered over, albeit reluctantly. "If I can interrupt..." Kathryn's stare said no but she said nothing. "I seriously doubt the attacks during the last two weeks are related. What happened to Jessie is not the same."
"Why do you think Annika attacked those other two, it doesn't make sense," Kathryn asked.
"I don't, Kes told me," Morgan replied.
Kathryn smiled, "well that's me convinced."
The Doctor cleared his throat, then scowled at the teen. "Not this again. Morgan, you do not have telepathic abilities. Nor can you communicate with Kes."
"Well if I don't, how the hell do I know about her? It's not like anyone's ever mentioned her, ever," Morgan grumbled.
"Why would Annika attempt to murder Lilneli, Tani or Jessie? What do any of them have in common?" Tom asked on approach. "All I got are Tani and Jessie have been Borg before."
Morgan nodded, "yeah she was a bit sour about other Borgs..."
"Like I already said; Annika likely has nothing to do with the previous two attacks. Tani claims she was attacked in the dark by somebody humming some annoying little ditty, her words," the Doctor said. "That doesn't sound like something she'd do."
"It's not like this ship has that many suspects to pick from," Kathryn said. Tom was about to say something while turning his attention towards James. "Yes, that's it. James tried to kill Jessie. You solved the case, you utter plonker."
Tom sniggered, "what?"
"It's not my fault I'm running out of things to call you, Ensign Punchable Face," Kathryn hissed.
The Doctor had enough, he returned to his patient, quietly judging almost everyone.
"About that. The Ensign thing was a joke, so when are you going to re-instate me?" Tom asked.
Kathryn stared with a furrowing brow, then side eyed Morgan who giggled. With a normal face she focused completely on her daughter. "Did Kes tell you anything else?"
"She said that Annika threatened her to leave the ship," Morgan answered.
"She did? Kes told me she was concerned her powers were too dangerous," Kathryn said. "How, what?"
Morgan shrugged, "I dunno, it wasn't the part I was bothered about anyway." She wandered off towards the biobed, her mother followed. "Hey Doc, you didn't say if Jessie was fine."
"No, because that remains to be seen," the Doctor said.
James glumly turned his head toward Morgan, only lightly. "The Doc's put her in an induced coma to slow the nanoprobes."
Morgan gently placed a hand on his shoulder. "She'll be okay."
Kathryn's eyebrow twitched, however only the ever observant Tom noticed it so he struggled to keep a smirk from forming.
"I hope you're right. If she dies, so does Annika," James said.
"Murder again?" Kathryn snapped louder than she meant to. "Why don't we drop a chainsaw on her too, for old times sake."
Morgan laughed nervously, "I wouldn't call it dropped." Her mother's pointed scowl in their direction had her lower her hand back to her side.
"Too quick," James commented. He noticed Kathryn staring at him, so he turned to face her. "What, since when do you care about Seven dying?"
"I watched that bimbo get blown to bits in an explosion, yet she wandered back onto the ship without as much of a change of clothes," Kathryn said.
Morgan looked confused, "she does that?"
Kathryn continued as if she never spoke, "whoever came up with this so called joke, it's not funny. Killing her isn't going to solve anything."
"Finally, some sanity for once," the Doctor sighed in relief. "Clearly Annika is not well. Perhaps some understanding would make all the difference."
James tried to catch his laughter in his throat, of course everyone heard him. "Right. What did you say to me when I started my probation in Sickbay?"
"Try not to kill anyone, is what I say to everyone who works for me," the Doctor said. Tom shook his head. "Clearly yours was a different situation."
"Clearly, but I don't mind, I've had enough unwanted advances the last year," James said.
Kathryn bit her lip firmly. Tom didn't try, he laughed. The Doctor looked confused until he got it, then he stomped off in a huff.
"Yes well, putting the Doc's gross crush aside for the moment, if Annika really attacked those other two as well as Jessie, we need to know why, just in case," Kathryn said.
"Eeew, the Doc likes Annika?" Morgan groaned.
Tom tried to bring back a straight face. "Well she's getting better."
Morgan's face paled, everyone assumed it was because of her Doctor realisation. "Wait, an annoying ditty. What does ditty mean? I thought that Annika humming about herself was a bit strange, even for her."
"It probably means a song, why?" James answered.
"It probably means she was humming Barbie Girl," Tom added. James and Kathryn stared at him as if he admitted to being a Justin Timberlake fanboy. "What, it's annoying."
Morgan didn't look amused either. Tom slinked away a few steps. "I'm sure when I was approaching Jessie's quarters I heard something like that. So it must've been her who attacked Tani at least."
The Doctor marched back to them, brandishing a PADD. "Here, I'll prove why she didn't attack Tani and Lilneli. I videoed my interview with her while I was treating her in the brig." It was then shoved in the middle of them while he smiled proudly.
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine," it instead sang to them. The Doctor's face turned bright red in an impressive half a second. He went to turn it off, but Morgan grabbed it off him.
"Eeew again," Morgan complained, tossing it to James. She then wiped her hands on Tom and turned her back on them all.
"You make me happy when skies are grey. You never know dear..."
Kathryn groaned, she reached over to turn it off. Then she got a good look at who the singers were. James already had and was staring in disgust towards the Doctor. "No wonder she's flipping insane," Kathryn spat at the hologram.
The Doctor tried to snatch the PADD back. James groaned and let go so he could. "I played the wrong one. Here," he said while tapping on it. This time the inside of the brig was shown with Annika standing behind a forcefield.
"Have you seen how many there are? It's clear what's going on here. Not one of these imbeciles are good enough to replace me, so you bring more and more in," Annika's voice complained. "I mean, I was doing the ship a favour. How many times has that Jessie been a hindrance, causing all the trouble for the ship? I count three episodes out of seven. Disgusting."
"Annika, that's not even close to being right," the Doctor said.
"What, you want me to count Season One as well?" Annika snarled. "Very well." She stared into space for a second. "Twenty three. That's not including the things she's done before I joined. I can count those too if you wish."
"What the hell is she blabbering about?" Morgan asked.
The Doctor shushed her.
"What? You're on their side aren't you?" Annika snapped.
"Of course not. But whatever Jessie's done, doesn't justify what you did to her. You understand?" the Doctor said. "Tell me, why..."
"Don't get me started on that little Janeway terror. She thinks that because she's related to the Captain, she is better than me. No one will remember her, and no one can fantasize about her without it being incredibly skivvy."
Kathryn irritably groaned, "okay that's enough. That proves your point how?"
"Obviously, Tani and especially Lilneli wouldn't be on her radar. She targeted Jessie because she had an issue with her," the Doctor said.
"Since when? It's usually James she tries to piss off," Morgan said.
Kathryn's eyes widened a little knowingly. "That's true. Maybe she got the bedrooms mixed up, so attacked Jessie instead."
"But she's whining about her," Tom said, pointing at the PADD.
"Yes now. Before this, I don't think she even knew her name," Kathryn said. "You know her, she has to be perfect all the time. She wouldn't admit to a mistake."
Morgan scrunched up her face, "so what, are we assuming someone else did Tani and Lilneli in? What now?"
"If I'm correct, the answer to this problem is clear. I have the perfect treatment regime," the Doctor said.
"Euthanasia," James said.
The Doctor gasped in horror, "no! I couldn't do that."
"That's okay. I volunteer," James said.
"You... no, no," the Doctor stammered angrily. "Annika clearly has some issues she needs to work out. My suggestion is far more humane."
James shrugged without a care in the world, "you and I clearly have different definitions of the term."
The Doctor grunted, turning away to ignore him. "I agree that Annika should be confined as punishment. I suggest..."
"Ooh a nut house!" Morgan blurted out.
"I've got an old program in the archives. It's a mental health hospital," the Doctor said through gritted teeth. "Nut house is very offensive, by the way." Morgan rolled her eyes. "Since Annika would be the only patient, treatment would be quicker."
"Yes, this'll cure her of trying to kill people syndrome," James said, smiling bitterly at the hologram. He didn't see it, but the Doctor flinched at the words.
Kathryn hinted at him to be quiet with a finger to her own lips. "You're assuming her only problem is her jealousy of Morgan, James and/or Jessie. That's not being ill, that's just her. As is her decision to kill. And you call us offensive."
"I have diagnosed her with an actual disorder," the Doctor said in offense.
"Since when?" Morgan asked.
The Doctor visibly twitched in anger, "since the interview. Excuse me, I've got to focus on treating Jessie for the moment. I'd much prefer it without all the riff raff."
"That's too bad," James said, taking a seat on the nearest empty biobed.
"Morgan?" the Doctor said, almost pleadingly in the teen's direction.
She glanced between him and James. "Oh dear, that's a tough... nah." She turned to walk out.
"I don't suppose your refusal has anything to do with, what did you call it Captain, your gross crush on a certain someone," the Doctor said.
Tom's ears perked up. "What's that now?"
Morgan's cheeks flared up. "What? Oh for, Tani!" she screeched as she stormed out.
"Well, I think I figured out who really offed Tani," Tom chuckled.
"Morgan?" Kathryn said dangerously.
The oblivious Tom kept smirking, "no, Jessie."
"Oh for," Kathryn groaned and turned to leave as well. "Keep me posted, Pavarotti."
Unknown to her, the Doctor took that as a compliment and beamed proudly. Tom wished he could storm out as well.
Kathryn stepped onto the bridge, absentmindedly humming. A few people covered their ears as discreetly as possible so she wouldn't notice.
"What's that?" Chakotay asked.
"What?" Kathryn stared at him blankly.
Chakotay smirked. "That little tune you're humming."
Kathryn wasn't sure what he was talking about, not until she started humming again. She froze, her head pounded as if something had been thrown into her forehead.
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy..."
Kathryn groaned in her sleep, batting away anyone or thing near her face. "No no, Mark, you'll crack my favourite mug."
"You never know dear, how much I hate you..."
"Mmm coffee marshmallows and beans," Kathryn drooled, rolling over with her arms firmly grasping a cup against her chest.
Annika approached smiling her toothy grin, humming the same tune all the while. She reached down towards Kathryn's throat, still humming.
Kathryn moaned, smiling contently and very unaware of this. "Oh Tom, you shouldn't have." That put Annika off, she looked confused. Kathryn's smile turned into a disgusted grimace as her fingers shot out, poking Annika directly in both eyes. As if nothing happened, she rolled onto her other side and started snoring.
Annika couldn't help but cry on the ground for a few minutes. Once she was done, but still with blurry vision, she looked around even more confused than before. "Where am I? How peculiar." She got up and headed for the door.
Kathryn's snoring turned into humming the same tune she was earlier. Annika froze at the door for a while before wandering off outside.
"Kathryn?" Chakotay said in concern.
"Wh..." Kathryn shook her head, then looked at him. "Morgan was right. Annika did attack more than Jessie."
Chakotay didn't seem surprised in the slightest. "Was there really anyone other than the Doctor who doubted?"
Tuvok approached. "Captain, I believe I have found evidence linking the first incident with the second."
"Oh really?" Kathryn said while caressing her sore head.
"Indeed. Not only did the suspect have many awkward encounters with the second victim, he also allegedly broke into Lilneli's quarters to arrest her mate, rather violently I may add. Perhaps..." Tuvok explained.
"And Tuvok," Chakotay mumbled, confusing the Vulcan.
Kathryn squeezed the bridge of her nose before looking up at him. "Are you serious? Lilneli's ex boyfriend was a serial groper. So James was a little rough on him when he arrested the perv, he deserved it, even Lilneli thought so."
"But Captain," Tuvok protested.
"No buts, I know who did it," Kathryn said while standing up, "because I was going to be her first victim." Anyone who heard her stared with a mix of confusion and surprise. "I remember now, thanks to the Doctor's stupid little evidence."
Chakotay jumped up to his feet as well, concern all over his face. "What do you mean? When?"
"Tuvok, check for me when Annika's scheduled tune ups with the Doctor are," Kathryn ordered.
Tuvok wasn't sure what to make of it. He walked off to his station anyway.
"You think the Doctor did this to her?" Chakotay sounded very surprised.
"Not intentionally, at least I hope not," Kathryn grumbled.
Tuvok glanced up from his station, "she is scheduled Saturday at 2000 hours, every week."
"Oh really?" Kathryn said, smiling knowingly. "It's that stupid song. It's a trigger."
"That's..." Chakotay said while he thought about it, he trailed off. "Oh. A trigger implies someone did this to her."
"Not necessarily. The way she's been behaving lately, or even years ago for that matter. Remember the stupid squeaky alien she had a fling with, who then tried to attack Morgan?" Kathryn said. Chakotay winced and looked toward Tuvok. "I knew we were too lenient on her. She wouldn't need much convincing to attack the people she doesn't like. The problem is, why now and why the song?"
Annika sat in a sterile little bedroom with her back straight, staring blankly in the direction of the Doctor standing by the door.
"I realise this is a little confusing for you, unsettling even. So I thought we could continue our social lessons. It might help you relax," the Doctor said.
"I see no reason for this confinement, Doctor. Release me," Annika said, her eyes widening and fluttering robotically.
The Doctor sighed sympathetically. "We'll get to the bottom of this, together. I promise. I know you wouldn't kill anyone. Now..."
Annika's eyes drifted to one side. "Kill? Who have I killed?"
"Clear that from your mind for now. Do you recall our last few lessons?" the Doctor smiled.
"Yes," Annika replied, her gaze clicking back to match his. "You taught me to sing. You said I had a natural talent. That I'd be better than Morgan, and..."
"Hold on," the Doctor said, "I never said you were better than anyone, nor worse. Lets start from the top shall we?"
The lights dropped out one by one, leaving only the occupied biobed's panels as the only source of light.
As the doors opened, a soft humming echoed into the room. Annika stepped inside, smiling as she looked around. Her eyes lay on the occupied bed, her humming turned into singing, "but if you leave me to love another, you'll regret it all someday. You are my..."
Something collided into her from the left, pushing her into the wall. She found herself on the ground on her knees. Shakily, painfully she stood to look her attacker in the eye.
"I should have known," she said.
"You're not going to touch her while I'm here," James said.
"Ooh, I'm shaking," Annika said sarcastically, she grabbed a hold of his arm to pull him towards her. "Sorry chump, but you're no match for me. Besides, you're not the kind of guy who'd hurt a woman."
"Guess again," James said and he hit her in the face. It made her stumble backwards and crash into the console behind her. She looked shocked as she felt where she'd been hit. A bit of her hair had fallen out of place too.
"How dare you damage my perfection, now you'll pay!" Annika screamed, she brought out the hypospray again.
"God, you're just like Janeway," James muttered.
"How dare you compare me to that old hag!" Annika yelled.
"Yeah, I think I kinda insulted Janeway by saying that," James said.
"That's it, I wasn't going to kill you but I have no choice now," Annika said angrily. She approached him again but he just threw another punch her way, flooring her once more. "You," she spat.
James walked over to her so casually and with a blank face, she didn't expect the couple of brutal kicks to the ribs. The pain made her double over into a fetal position on the floor.
"Listen Barbie, if you mess with Jessie, you mess with me," James said.
"Ooh, do you see me trembling," Annika said. She used her right leg to kick him back, giving her the time to pull herself back on to her feet. She brought out her knife and she paced in front of him. "Don't mess with me, you're out of your league."
"Really? I guess you're..." James said. He hit Annika more forcefully and she fell back onto the floor, her knife slipped out of her hand. "Wrong."
Annika brought her left hand to her face. She felt dampness under her nose. It was bleeding heavily. Her right hand reached the knife but James stood on her hand. "I wouldn't try that, if I were you," he warned.
"Fine, what about this?" Annika said as she pressed the hypospray into his ankle.
He stumbled backwards and a few seconds later he collapsed. Annika pulled herself back onto her feet after picking up the knife. She walked over to Jessie's biobed. She looked back over at James. "Want to watch?" she asked. She raised the knife into the air and brought it back down into Jessie's stomach.
"That was fun," Annika said a few seconds later. She walked out the door.
Tom, Tuvok and his security team arrived in Sickbay. Tom rushed over to Jessie as Tuvok and the security team looked around the room.
"Commander, she was stabbed a few minutes ago. If I don't put her into stasis I won't be able to revive her at all," Tom said. A forcefield appeared around Jessie's biobed after he stepped away. He then rushed over to James who was unconscious. Tom scanned him with the tricorder. Tuvok walked over too.
"He has the virus that Jessie has," Tom said. His tricorder started screeching. "Ohno, we need to get the Doctor back! One nanoprobe has attached onto a major artery, he's bleeding internally," Tom said.
Tuvok rushed over to the nearest console and he started working at it.
Kathryn entered as well, her cheeks flexed as she looked around. Then she spotted something on the floor near to where James was lying.
"You will never beat me!" Annika barked at the same time she swung her fist.
Morgan grabbed that wrist, then delivered one of her own. Annika slamming into the wall, denting it, it did nothing to calm the younger girl down. She charged forward to continue the blows.
"Futile," Annika hissed whilst dodging down, tucking under the girl's arm to get out of her way. Then she threw herself at her from the side, pushing them both to the ground. The dagger was brandished, ready to impale her in the torso.
Morgan scrambled backwards to get away, only for the knife to plunge into her thigh. Her screams drowned out Annika's giggling. She pulled it out to attack again, Morgan swung her uninjured leg into her attacker's face. For a second Annika looked dazed, but she laughed it off and grinned.
An excruciating noise approached. Annika froze with a stunned look on her face.
"Hama da da do da da, hama da da do dada."
Morgan frowned, it was coming from behind her but there was no way she was going to turn around and look.
"Wo bamma ba ba," the noise which barely sounded like a voice was getting louder. "Mama ma heeeeeeeeeeee!" All of the glass panels in the corridor cracked from the pressure.
"What the hell is that?" Morgan asked mid cringe.
Annika twitched, Morgan swore she saw the gears turning and sparking behind her eyes. "What is happening?" she asked, standing up.
Neelix wandered down the corridor towards her in a world of his own, dancing, if you could call it that. He started to shake his butt on the spot, completely oblivious. "Mama do the hump hump, won't you pleeeeeeeeeeeease..." he screeched the last word, the panels couldn't take anymore, shattering glass everywhere. "Na na nah, har har haaaar!"
"Okay, now I'm torn between who to use this on," a voice behind Annika grumbled.
Morgan's attention darted up while Annika swung around. A hypospray pressed into Annika's neck, making her scream in agony. She dropped to the ground next to Morgan, almost landing on her bad leg.
"What..." Morgan stammered, shuffling backwards. "Mum?"
Kathryn glared in Neelix's direction. "I've saved a milligram of this crap for him. He doesn't have nanoprobes, what will it do to him?"
"Nothing," Morgan said, not sounding sure.
Annika lifted her head up just as a couple of nanoprobes pierced her face, "actually he doe..." Kathryn finished off the hypospray on her, causing her to pass out again.
Captain's Log Supplemental; I'd love to say that everything is back to normal, but Neelix's stupid torture song is stuck in my head. Annika of Nine has been confined in the Holodeck hospital until further notice. All of her surviving victims have now been released from Sickbay.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to continue headbutting the wall.
"Do you really need this many shoes?"
James stepped into his quarters at the same time, freezing him on the spot. He wasn't sure whether to go further in.
Jessie stepped out of her room grumbling to herself while repeatedly balling her fists. When she noticed James her hands dropped to her side and her face softened. "Oh good, you're back."
"Who?" Andrew's voice stammered. He made his appearance at the door. His reaction to seeing the new arrival was pretty much opposite.
"Do you need any help?" James asked only in Jessie's direction.
Jessie considered it but that immediately left her feeling guilty again. Andrew though scoffed at the thought. "No way, you're going to need a second, maybe third bag for those shoes. Why don't you leave some behind?"
"I'll get it," James said while shaking his head. He went into Jessie's room to Andrew's dismay.
"Yeah right," Andrew chuckled, still he followed him. His jaw almost fell out when James picked up a massive bag on the floor and flung it over his shoulder.
"No, no... He can't take it, he'll know where you're staying." Andrew hinted for him to pass the bag over.
Both James and Jessie gave him the same judgmental stares. James shrugged and put the bag down while keeping a hold of the strap, handing that over. Andrew smugly took it off from him.
Jessie walked back inside still armed with the same expression as before. That didn't change when Andrew strained to lift the bag. It didn't even lift a millimetre off the floor. His face was red, not just from the effort he was making. The pair watched him instead try to drag it out, very slowly.
When he was gone five minutes later, James allowed himself to smirk. "So, I didn't get the restraining order."
Jessie groaned, "ignore him, he..." she struggled to think of the word. "He takes everything too seriously."
James sighed, staring down at the floor. "Are you sure about... do you really have to do this? I can, I will do whatever."
"I know you would," Jessie said as her face fell. "But you shouldn't have to. This is my fault, my issue. I'll still see you, just not every morning or night. A few months or so we'll be back to norm..." She was interrupted by rapidly approaching screams, her eyes widened. "What the hell?"
The door chimed, the noise still continued. James warily approached the door to open it. It was no surprise to him but it was to Jessie that Tom and B'Elanna were on the other side, her with the baby in her arms.
"Morgan said he didn't cry here," Tom stuttered in panic. He flailed about wildly in James' direction as Jessie walked over as well. "Hand him over, quick, before my eardrums bleed."
B'Elanna frowned at him briefly, she still walked over to Jessie, offering her the baby.
"No, no, I dunno if he'll like her yet," Tom really panicked.
Jessie tensed and started to shake. The screaming and the panicked expression on Tom's face pushed her forward to take him anyway. Cries turned into whimpers, in seconds Duncan dozed off contently.
B'Elanna smiled and took off what looked like ear muffs hidden under her hair. She looked at Tom as he stared gormlessly in shock. "What did you say?"
"How... how do you do that?" Tom stammered.
"I dunno," Jessie mumbled while staring down at the little face.
Tom rapidly shook his head, "this is unbelievable. Even though Morgan said, thought it was a long shot."
B'Elanna pointed her smile towards Jessie. "Can you take care of him tonight? Bryan and us didn't get a wink last night."
"Um I..." Jessie stammered.
"No, the corner!" Andrew's voice cried out outside.
Tom took a peek and snickered. "He's still there?" He turned back towards the quarters, "maybe you should check that out, could be a dead body or two in that bag."
Jessie glanced towards B'Elanna. "Well seems like I've got a few hours, sure."
"That's optimistic," James tried not to smirk again.
Jessie gave him a discreet elbow to the arm. "After that?" she said knowingly towards him.
"Yeah no problem," James replied.
"Seriously, whatever's in there's pretty lumpy," Tom said, gesturing to outside. He left to go the way he came. B'Elanna followed with a growing smile. It took only a few steps to pass Andrew trying to drag the bag which had caught the corner. "Need any help?" Tom asked.
Andrew pretended he was merely holding the handle and put on a friendly smile. "No, I got it."
"Suit yourself bud," Tom chuckled.
Andrew waited for them to go before he tried again. Unknown to him Tom and even B'Elanna were watching from a nearby junction.
A few more desperate tugs and the handle snapped, sending Andrew hurtling backwards onto the floor. After he recovered he once again checked the coast was clear before he called the transporter room.
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