Part 34

The chaos that followed the unexpected explosion on board Voyager was short-lived, if loud and frightening for the time period that it did last.

The jolt that had thrown Harry Kim over his own console also shook every level of Voyager, damage and injuries secondary to the massive fire that erupted in the torpedo bay when Voyager tried to open fire upon the fleeing shuttle craft.

When everyone got back up from being violently thrown to the floor, the fire was actually contained quite quickly, but not before it caused extensive damage and injuries.

And then they had to listen to the damage report, with the information that it was going to take a lot of people and a lot of hours to repair it, in no small part because most of the people who normally made up the emergency repair teams were incarcerated or gone.

The explosion was clearly sabotage.

Someone had rigged it to activate when Voyager tried to fire its weapons systems.

There weren't a whole lot of suspects.

Well, there were, but most of them had either been locked up or not on board Voyager during the time in which the sabotage could have been rigged.

The process of elimination led almost instantly to someone on board the fleeing shuttle craft having the presence of mind and the skill to guarantee themselves a fire-fight free escape from Voyager.

Perhaps this was what Tom had meant when he had declared himself capable of solving every other obstacle to getting off Voyager.

But then again, Torres was so incredibly destructive and doubtless a skilled saboteur, she absolutely could have rigged it right before her escape.

At this point, even Sam could have decided to prove that she could indeed become a Maquis, by blasting a hole in Voyager.

Although at this point, almost everyone seemed to think that she and her daughter had been involuntarily abducted or otherwise forcibly removed from Voyager.

And that her abductors, Tom and Torres-though admittedly, no one could figure out why these particular two were collaborating-had now been captured the Peloran Border Guard vessel.

This should have been good news for Janeway.

And yet it wasn't.

The Peloran who appeared on the view screen-the same one who had earlier been so eager to keep the Maquis mess out of Peloran space-was no longer feeling very supportive.

Sam, the very same Sam who had allegedly been kidnapped from Voyager, had requested asylum on behalf of herself and her daughter. Tom had joined her in this request, and now Torres wanted the same conditions for the Maquis.

Sam had apparently accused Voyager of having deserved the mutiny, and the Maquis-surprise, surprise-had backed her up.

Or maybe it was the other way around.

Either way, the Pelorans were now less interested in helping Janeway and more interested in, well, developing some kind of 'resolution'.

Janeway's face, remarkably, was only a few shades pinker than normal.

She was composed enough to rattle off reasons why this was a very bad choice:

Tom was, at this moment, supposed to be a prisoner back in Alpha Quadrant.

Sam was the lover of one of the Maquis, therefore she was biased against Voyager, not too mention currently a fugitive.

Torres, or any one of the three adults, was likely responsible for the explosion on Voyager.

Lastly, the Maquis were unreformed terrorists, and one cannot support terrorism while claiming to support peace and to want to avoid chaos.

The Peloran was acceptably disturbed by this information, but showed no signs of changing his mind.

Their communication ended with the severe and emphatic order for Voyager to stay where it was and take no action while the Pelorans considered their options.

At some point, someone handed Kim a regenerator to run over the dripping scrape he had across his forehead. Rather sloppily, one-handed, he got the bleeding to stop.

It was little hard to do while stumbling in the conference room with the other senior staff, as Janeway had decided to have an emergency meeting to discuss how they could fix Voyager as quickly as possible and then be ready to take on the suddenly unfriendly Pelorans.

It was not an optimistic outcome.

The only feasible plan was presented by Tuvok, who suggested that they bombard the apparently judicious Pelorans with indestructible logic, that the Maquis were bad, dangerous people who could not be trusted or dealt with in any situation without the sincere threat of a quick and violent betrayal.

And Voyager certainly had experience with that aspect of the Maquis.

The fact that the Maquis were an incredibly menacing, if currently defunct, terrorist group back in the Alpha Quadrant, could only serve to encourage the Pelorans to keep such an element out of the Delta Quadrant or more specifically, Peloran space.

As the senior staff scattered to direct their various departments to do the proper repairs, Janeway called for Kim just as he was about to exit.

He turned around and stepped away from the door, hearing it slide shut behind him.

"Harry," Janeway said again, rising from her chair.

"Captain," he replied.

Janeway took hold of the back of the seat she had risen from.

"Earlier," she slowly, pensively. "You suggested I speak to Samantha Wildman."

Kim nodded, not offering any information.

"Was it in regard to..." she paused. "what happened?"

"Yes, Captain." It was his turn to pause. "But I had no idea that she would go to these measures. I thought that she would come to you. And if she didn't, I told you so that you would go to her. I didn't think that she'd decide to run away before you had the chance."

Janeway nodded, which Kim took as a dismissal, for he exited hastily.

She followed him after a moment, taking a seat in her chair in the center of the Bridge.

She was indescribably angry and disappointed, and sorrowful simultaneously.

Her ship had sustained a horrible mutiny, during which some had taken it upon themselves to flee the ship. Others had died. Yet another had apparently done something in regards to the mutiny to motivate fleeing afterwards to avoid being found out.

And now some alien race-involved only by a directional whim of the Maquis- was going to decide whether or not the Maquis -and Tom Paris and Samantha Wildman-should be returned to Voyager.

Janeway was deaf to the buzz of various stations and crew working on repairs, for all she could hear was her own thoughts on how to repair a much larger problem.

Part 35 | Index page