Part 1

Sequel to Revolution. The aftermath of the failed mutiny.

Warnings: less than graphic violence, less than happy people.

The strength of a ship depends not only on the sturdiness of its structure and the strength of its systems, but also on the soundness of its crew. The crew of the smallest ship is what keeps it afloat on the rockiest of seas. When a vessel is destroyed, it is because the metal shell gave out, not because of anything short of devotion from its crew.

But when the crew of a ship is shattered, ripped apart by betrayal, and the ship is only damaged, will it still survive?

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? True, maybe, if applied to something that benefits from being hurt. Like a muscle, which will ache and burn after being used excessively, but will strengthen and grow from the painful work. Muscles allow people to function, but it can be hard for one to accept such a concept in life.

Arguably, it doesn't even apply in some situations.

Certainly, it means nothing to the participants in a carefully planned uprising, which proved to less carefully planned than thought.

And therefore, a failure.

By all accounts, a failure which should have been a resounding victory. All the components were in place for the Maquis to trounce the Federation. Scoundrels versus a good, upstanding loyal crew, with the battle conditions favoring the Maquis. Or so they'd thought. Being outnumbered, outgunned, and fighting on the enemy's turf would hardly seem advantageous, but it truly had looked that way.

The Maquis always fought like that, relying on the emotion behind fierce and persistent, if meager, forces. And it was usually an effective, brutally quick strategy. A detailed strategy, with meticulous planning. One which normally didn't deteriorate at such an unbelievably fast-and unstoppable-rate. Reading of the opposite forces was usually good enough that it was possible to predict and hopefully prevent reactions that would threaten the completion of their mission.

A very big error would be to underestimate their enemy and be woefully unprepared to react to the retaliation.

They made a very big error.

If they had the patience, they would probably be able to identify the point at which the tables turned. Or, they might produce a variety of answers.

When Janeway stopped being totally oblivious.

When the entire Federation crew was given weapons.

When they had to cancel Plans A and B.

When Plan C didn't work.

When they decided to take on Captain Janeway in the first place, one of the more bitter ones might respond.

Bitter being one of the most common emotions among those who fled the scene of their failed attempt to take Voyager. All know better than to be openly resentful of the mastermind behind the entire thing. And most know to better than to internalize the anger and blame, making oneself completely miserable.

Which is why it's preferable to cover those feelings with more rage at the victors of this conflict. The Starfleet crew is to blame for the failure of the mission against the Starfleet crew. Pretty simple. Pretty self-explanatory. Pretty frustrating. And from this anger grows the desire to return and try again.

And win this time.

Because Maquis missions don't end with half being forced to flee and the others being left in the lap of their enemies, to an unknown fate.

The only way anything like that happened was if the mission wasn't over, and they were planning on coming back and finishing what they failed to complete the first time. And whether or not they'd originally thought they'd need an encore doesn't really matter. The Maquis won't accept that they went through the pain of the loss of their comrades and the humiliation of being defeated just to be taught some lesson in humbleness and resilience.

They are, however, perfectly willing to accept that the pain they feel will soon be transferred back on to those who caused it.

The concept that they shattered the crew of Voyager is entirely ignored by the Maquis, who for the most part never considered themselves part of the Voyager crew and were with this effort trying to remove those who they did consider Voyager's crew: people in Starfleet uniforms.

The winners of this conflict might have a slightly different perception of on what that battle was supposed to do, besides force the Maquis to retreat. But again, it's far more pleasant to dwell on the emotions stirred up by the fight, than think about what actually happened.

Most of these emotions are actually very similar to the feelings contained by the losers of the battle. Maybe a little less shame and finger-pointing, but anger is the prevalent emotion, again.

It could be because it is better to hate the Maquis for daring to revolt, than to think about why the Maquis thought they'd win or why they came so close to actually winning.

Well, it wasn't *that* close.

Close enough to disable the Bridge.

Close enough to gain control of Engineering, even if temporary.

Close enough to hurt *a lot* of Starfleet crew.

Close enough to shoot the Captain.

All of which are very close, actually.

And they all serve the purpose of heating the anger of the Starfleet crew.

Whether or not every individual Starfleet member will admit to feeling betrayed by the violence instigated by people wearing more or less identical uniforms, they do. Even if they never liked the Maquis, it was pretty much accepted that they had given up being terrorists. Even if they never trusted the Maquis, this kind of brutality was not on their minds. And so this crew is shattered, by betrayal and fury.

It's not very safe to be a Maquis prisoner on Voyager now. Those who were left behind because they were wounded, unconscious, or otherwise unable or unwilling to retreat now reside behind force fields in the Brig, overlooked by guards who, if it were a democracy, would certainly vote for a few public executions.

Ironic, how much the Maquis appreciate Starfleet regulations now.

Unmentioned is the Starfleet crew who fled the fight, neither participating in the attempted coup or defending against it. It's probably less dangerous to be one of them than one of the captured Maquis but not by much. Desertion ranks a little bit lower than mutiny in terms of ways to enrage the Voyager crew. Punishment is coming, the unfortunate few understand, but not before the mutineers who escaped are returned to the ship to face their own punishment.

Those without weapons played a part in fracturing Voyager, by their faithlessness in her strength.

In addition, there are those who never picked a side to win. Or maybe they did pick a side, but didn't take actually take part. And maybe the furious crew could construe that they did indeed take part.

There are only two people who fall under the last two categories, one under the former and one under the latter.

Only one remains on Voyager, one very lonely, very scared, very paranoid woman.

Samantha Wildman's heart had finally resumed a close to normal rhythm after-well, if one was counting the months of nervousness and anxiety leading up to the current situation, then a very long time. And if one was just counting from more recently, then just a week.

A week of glancing over her shoulder, fully expecting to see a team armed guards ready to take her into custody.

Worse yet, every time she heard footsteps behind her, the thought would surface that it had to be the Captain, hurt and infuriated upon discovering Sam's prior knowledge of what had occurred. Sam hadn't quite decided what Janeway's reaction would be, just that it would probably be between utter disappointment and violent anger. Either way, it ended with her spending the rest of Voyager's journey in the Brig, next to the actual conspirators. Maybe Naomi could visit weekly.

And while she harbored an incredible fear of the scenario, a part of her was wondering just *who* would be her potential neighbors. Unable to leave Sickbay due to critical patients-not that she would dare to check the inhabitants of the Brig if she could-Sam could only guess who had been caught and who had escaped.

If Ken had been caught. If Ken had been able to escape. If Ken had been killed.

His death, she had convinced herself, was unlikely. She'd personally put all the fatalities into the Morgue, and he hadn't been among them. Which didn't mean that he hadn't been disintegrated by weapons fire or caught up in the vacuum when the Shuttle Bays opened, or any of the other awful methods of obscure death that she was imagining.

Methods of death that certainly might have included being treated by an incompetent Acting Chief Medical Officer, had he been brought to Sickbay.

For when it wasn't her own mind concocting frightening ideas that sent her heart pounding, it was the explosion of sound from various medical monitors, alerting her that another patient was near death or dying.

She didn't think there could be a worse feeling than what she felt while leaning over a critical patient. It was surreal to know that the person before her was not part of a holographic medical exam, and that even though it was the life of a very real person at stake, there was no EMH to step in. Not too mention the incessant mental mantra of stricken guilt, blaming herself for the patient's injury and possible death.

She didn't even feel close to normal once the latest medical crisis was averted, because she new there would only be a matter of time until the poor Ensign on bio-bed 4 tried to bleed to death from the aorta again. She finally gave in to the part of her that was trying to assert some medical expertise-and maybe even some courage-over the side that was petrified of performing that kind of invasive surgery by herself.

It was after that surprisingly successful procedure that she was sitting in the CMO's chair, peaceful for the first time. She'd finally finished confirming to the computer that despite what appeared to be the EMH's last activity before he disappeared, the entire crew was not unfit. It had probably been an effort on his part to halt the violent mutiny, but he'd been interrupted before he could finish. Not that it would have worked, anyway.

Among her other thoughts was the one that she might be Voyager's permanent Chief Medical Officer, if the EMH's program could not be found or salvaged or replaced.

It was an overwhelming thought, comforting only in the knowledge that Voyager's only Doctor certainly would not be put in the Brig.

After that hope entered her mind, she apparently fell asleep, for when she opened her eyes to locate the voice calling her name, her face was pressed against the desk.

She peeled herself off the desk, climbing out from behind it. As she got to the doorway of the office, blearily rubbing her eyes, she saw who was calling for her.

Harry Kim was standing in front of the entrance, putting no weight on one leg and being unsteadily supported by a smaller crewman.

Part 2 | Index page