Part 7

There were still phaser blast holes on the corridor walls. In places, the rug was burned completely away. Half of the crew quarters' doors had been reduced to mangled pieces of metal after the Maquis had locked them inside. It made Voyager look so much more like a helpless vessel of castaways than the powerful starship it was.

It disgusted her to see the damage as she walked the halls.

She knew, of course, that it was far more important to fix the structural damage, to revive the failed systems, and to heal the injured than to patch minor scrapes for being eyesores.

But it turned her stomach, every scorched mark a reminder of one of her crew who had fallen, shot by one who had pretended to be one of their own, until such time that they thought they could wrench control of Voyager away.

A time that should never have come.

And hadn't, really, for what the Maquis did-* tried to do* failed miserably for they seemed to have thought that her crew would just cower and surrender.


If you didn't count the cowards who had fled rather than fight for the ship, that is.

And she wasn't counting them, not as part of her crew.

Every leader, every captain, learned from mistakes.

Her mistake was blindness, allowing infiltrators to enter her crew, serving along side them only to turn and try to destroy them. She had been so unseeing up until the very commencement of the attempted mutiny, even now she couldn't think of why she hadn't felt the uprising coming as quickly as it had, and why she hadn't known that certain members of her crew were so cowardly as to flee.

She did have inklings of ideas, but they repulsed her.

When she had demoted Jenny Delaney, among the others who had fled, the woman had been crying silently. It wasn't so odd that one would cry at a demotion and formal reprimand with the threat of future confinement but that Delaney was staring straight at her the entire time, as opposed to most of the others who wouldn't even make eye contact.

It was very easy to read the blame in Delaney's eyes: blame for not preventing the mutiny attempt -that badly injured Megan Delaney, incidentally-and made Jenny Delaney decide that it was necessary to drop her Starfleet duties and flee Voyager.

That accusation existed in the silent faces of everyone who had fled Voyager; everyone who didn't want to recognize their own cowardice.

She'd really wanted to toss them all into the Brig, just to quench her desire to punish them. She'd realized, though, with a little conference with Tuvok, that it wasn't that simple. Despite her loss of trust in them, they were needed on Voyager. With the sheer amount of crew who'd been lost-the Maquis, the injured, and the dead-Voyager had to use every last man they had. Everyone who wasn't in the Brig or in Sickbay was working around the clock to repair Voyager, she'd seen to that.

And everyone in the Brig or in Sickbay knew exactly why.

The Maquis in the Brig didn't need to be told why, although she'd made a point of visiting the Brig for that exact purpose.

They didn't seem to know how to react. It was plain to see that they'd lost a great deal of their fusion with the absence of Chakotay. Half of the Maquis glared silently at her, others flung whispered obscenities towards her, and still others looked away fearfully.

They all reacted to her intention to capture Chakotay and the other escaped Maquis in pretty much the same way. One collective smirk.

She'd left the Brig, even angrier than before if that was possible. She was heading to the Bridge, her eyes catching every scorched mark on the wall.

There was even one in the turbo lift.

She already seen the battle scars on the Bridge. Someone had had the sense to clean up the bloodstain besides Tactical. She didn't know where the burned patch on the floor a few feet in front of her chair came from, but she couldn't take her eyes off of it.

As she sat in her seat, listening to Joe Carey's report on Engineering, her gaze gravitated to the mark on the floor.

Engineering was functioning normally finally, despite significant water and fire damage. It could sustain warp and engage in battle. There were still a few questionable systems. The Maquis had raised hell by having shoot-outs in the Jefferies Tubes. The remaining systems would probably be up by the time they encountered the Maquis.

At maximum warp, starting now, and considering the fact that the Maquis had almost a week head start but also that the Maquis had only shuttles, Voyager would be close to the Maquis within two days, optimistically .

And then the escaped Maquis would wish very badly that they never tried to take Voyager away from her rightful Captain.

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