DISCLAIMER: Star Trek Voyager and all who sail in her belong to Paramount/Viacom and no infringement of copyright/trade marks is intended. The Dungeons and Dragons Roleplaying System is owned by Wizards of the Coast and no infringement of copyright/trademarks is intended. The only thing I would like to lay claim to is the original D&D character used in this story.
WARNING: This story deals to some extent with the subject of rape, and although by no means graphic reader discretion is advised.
STARDATE: 53692 (approximately a week after the events of Ashes to Ashes and prior to events of Child's Play)
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Arana is a 3rd level cleric; 10th level Paladin; 5th level Champion of Torm for a overall 13th level character. For the purposes of this story I'm limiting the spell equivalencies to Laying on of Hands, Cure Blindness/Deafness, Disease, Poison 1/day; Divine Wrath (Champion Of Torm ability ) 1/day
Cleric/Paladin spells Level One spells 2 per day, Level Two spells 1 per day all require a specific gesture and a spoken command (for convince I'm using Tolkien's Elvish for the command words)
Bless (1) aista minor increase in damage done by attacks and decrease in fear of caster and allies
Light (1) cala small light source created that moves along with the caster (13 hr duration)
Virtue (1) pica vanimo minor increase in endurance and health of caster
Bulls Strength (1) tulca minor increase in strength of target
Cure Light Wounds pica elessa (1) heal minor cuts and bruising
Aid (2) vanimo short duration attack damage increase and health increase
Endurance (2) voronwie minor endurance increase of target
Fox's Cunning/Owl's Wisdom (2) tercen minor mental ability increase of target
Cure Minor Wounds (2) elessa heal cuts and bruising
Resist Elements (2) varna short duration protection from most forms of weapons or environmental damage of target
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
I awoke to find myself staring into the concerned eyes of my rescuer, beside her stood the man I had seen earlier. He gave me a reassuring smile as he asked me "How are you feeling?"
I suddenly realized that I was no longer in pain and I raised my hands and stared at them only to find that there was not even a scar left from the wounds the nails had made. I was lying on a bed, still unclothed but with a silver colored sheet covering me for modesty's sake. "I am well, are you a priest to have healed me so quickly?"
He looked confused, "I am the Emergency Medical Hologram, not a priest."
I was not familiar with the word, "You did not heal me through prayer to your deity?"
"I healed you using my extensive medical knowledge, not through prayer " he was about to continue, but another voice broke in and my eyes were drawn to a shorter auburn haired woman in black and red clothing that now stood at the end of the bed I was lying on. She had an aura of power about her and the way the Emergency Medical Hologram immediately differed to her told me that she was the senior person in the room.
"Let's not get into modern medical techniques Doctor." She paused and then looked at me; I could see compassion in her eyes as she spoke, "I'm Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation Starship Voyager."
She paused and I replied, "I beg your pardon Milady for not rising, I do not appear to be appropriately dressed to greet you. I am Arana, Champion of Torm and Priestess of Ilmater. I thank you for your gracious hospitality and for the healing skills of your Emergency Medical Hologram." I was being as polite as possible, everyone that I had met so far appeared to be basically good in nature, but otherwise I knew nothing of these people and the strange place I found myself in, and I did not want to offend them by my ignorance of their customs.
She blinked and smiled at me, "You're quite welcome, I'm certain we can provide clothing for you if that would make you feel more comfortable?"
I returned her smile saying, "Clothing would be welcome, Milady. If it would not be too much of an imposition, might I bathe before robing?"
"Call me Captain, and no, a bath would not be an imposition. There is a shower here in Sickbay you can use," the woman said, "Here, let Seven and I help you up."
"Captain," I said, somewhat formally as I sat up and my rescuer wrapped the blanket about my bare back, "May I be introduced to the courageous lady who saved my life?" I looked at the blond woman by my side and my blood stains on her clothing, they indicated that she had carried me on her shoulder and I was surprised. I examined her more closely this time, noting more detail of the odd metal facial attachments and the metal that surrounded one of her hands. She was slender, but the fact that she had carried me over one shoulder spoke strongly of her strength.
"My designation is Seven of Nine, but I am referred to as Seven." My rescuer stated with her head slightly tilted, not waiting for her senior to introduce her. She was standing close beside me as she held the blanket over my back and I slid my legs off the bed so that I could stand beside her.
"Seven," I said the word somewhat softly, trying it out to see how it fit her, "A word I formerly associated only with numbers, but now it has gained much grace and honor by its use as the name of such a beautiful and noble lady as yourself."
I noticed Captain Janeway out of the corner of my eye looking decidedly amused as she watched Seven and I. Seven had turned slightly at my comment and as I was able to hold the blanket about me without her assistance. She stepped slightly away from me and a small smile graced her features. She raised the metallic ornament about her left eye and gave me what I thought was a dubious look which I returned solemnly.
After a few moments she appeared to accept that I meant my words and, walking away from me she said, "If you will follow me I will show you where the shower is located and familiarize you with the controls for its operation."
The man stopped me as I went to follow her, "Arana are you feeling dizzy or nauseated?"
Seven paused and turned back, watching and waiting for my answer, "The foul priests of Lovitar only struck me in the face once, Milord. My skull is uninjured; I am neither dizzy nor nauseated." I replied to him, understanding his concern.
"You can just call me Doctor, Arana," he said, smiling at me.
"With your permission, Doctor, Captain," I paused, waiting to see if either of them had any more questions for me.
The Captain looked mildly quizzical for a moment then her face cleared, "No more questions, Doctor, let her go take her shower." Then she made shooing gestures with her hands toward me. I nodded and holding the blanket close around me, politely gave her a short bow, mindful of my present state of undress, and turned to follow Seven.
She led me out of the odd circular room I had awoken in and around the area to the right. We passed another circular room with large clear windows and then went toward what looked like grey double doors which, to my surprise, opened from the center and slid into the walls on either side. Through the odd doors was a small room that contained the thing called a 'shower' that Seven had spoken of, which seemed to be a small depressed area that was enclosed with what appeared to be glass on three sides. The fourth side was solid and had the shower controls which seemed to be a colorful pictorial that was touched to control whether the shower used water or what she called sonic waves. It also controlled the temperature or intensity setting of whatever cleaning method was chosen.
Seeing my confused look as she tried to explain the sonic setting Seven paused and said, "Perhaps the water setting would be more familiar to you." Seven pointed out the pictorial I remembered for the water setting and then pointed toward the temperature pictorial which was easy to understand as it was shaded vertically from blue to red. "If you need any further assistance I will be immediately outside the doors of this room. What type of clothing would you prefer?" Seven asked me.
I paused before replying, the similarity between the Doctor's and Captain's clothing made me believe it was some type of uniform, therefore most likely inappropriate to wear. Seven's clothing, though attractive, was too revealing for my sense of modesty. "From what you and Captain Janeway are wearing I gather it is appropriate for females to wear clothing that shows the outline of the legs here?" I asked.
Seven looked like she was considering my words for a moment, then she replied, "Pants of various types are the most common style of clothing worn by the females of Voyager's crew."
I smiled; I preferred wearing breeches and shirts even though I often scandalized my brother and sister knights by doing so. "If it is not too much trouble a simple white shirt, dark brown, burgundy, blue or black breeches, black boots and a matching a jerkin or doublet would suffice if I am not required to wear a gown, Seven."
Seven tilted her head slightly then nodded and turned smartly around and left the room. I was surprised for a moment, then I smiled to myself in amusement, my rescuer certainly did not waste either actions or words if they were not clearly required.
I hung the blanket on some conveniently placed hooks and stepped into the shower and slid the glass across where I had stepped in as Seven had shown me. Then I turned on the water and played with the temperature settings til it was comfortably hot. It took a moment to get used to the idea of water pouring forth over my head instead of immersing myself in it, which I would have preferred, but as it was all that was available I chided myself for my ungraciousness.
I had prevented the foul priests from touching my mind and soul and now my body wanted to be cleansed of the memory of their touch. With no one watching I permitted myself a moment of weakness and shed some tears as I carefully cleansed every inch of skin and washed my hair.
As soon as Arana had disappeared into the bathing room with Seven, Janeway turned and asked the Doctor "What did you mean she has internal organs that you don't recognize?"
"Here, look," said the Doctor as he pulled up the internal scans, "See here and here. I've never seen anything like these. What are even more interesting are these readings." The Doctor pulled up some more scans and looked at the Captain expectantly.
"These are energy readings?" asked Janeway puzzled. At the Doctor's nod she examined them again, "The organs store energy?"
"That appears to be their function; I'm not certain why they store energy though " The Doctor looked at the readings again and hummed softly to himself, causing Janeway to give him a curious look which he finally caught, and, looking somewhat embarrassed, offered an explanation. "I am feeling some anticipation at the thought of discovering exactly what the function of these organs might be, and how they manage to store energy."
Janeway smiled in understanding and, seeing Seven emerge from the bathing room she called her over for her opinion of the information the Doctor had gathered.
Seven scanned through the information and angled her head to the side before she turned to them and admitted, "The Borg have not encountered any species whose physiology is comparable to Arana's. I agree with the Doctor's finding that these organs store energy. From this information I would theorize that they store bio-electric energy. I believe that energy is then made available to these secondary organelles but what happens to it after that I cannot determine from this information. More study will be needed."
Finished with her explanation, Seven walked over to the replicator and began searching for the clothing items Arana had mentioned. Janeway walked over beside her and Seven paused her search to let the Captain see what she was doing.
"Try medieval clothing for hologram programs," Janeway suggested after seeing what Seven was searching through.
Seven turned and looked at her surprised, then did as she suggested and raised her ocular implant at the outfits listed. They appeared to match the requested items and she quickly picked out a set in burgundy and black and transferred Arana's body measurements from the medical database. As she retrieved them she turned to the Captain and thanked her for the suggestion.
I heard the doors open and looked over my shoulder in surprise only to see that Seven had come in bearing clothing which she sat down on a bench then glanced at me. A brief emotion flickered across her features.
"You are in pain, I will inform the Doctor," she said and turned to leave.
"Milady, please," I beseeched and she stopped and turned back to me, "the good Doctor, for all his skill, can do nothing for this pain." I turned and breathed deeply, bringing myself back under control and chanted a small prayer to Ilmater. "I apologize for distressing you with my display of weakness." I said once I had brought my emotions back under my control.
"Apologies are not needed Arana, you did not distress me, I believed you to be injured. I am unfamiliar with the display of emotions and misinterpreted what I saw," Seven looked ill at ease but finally said, "I do not believe you are weak Arana." She then turned and left the room.
I finished bathing and turned off the shower, then used one of the towels hanging outside the shower enclosure to dry. Investigating the clothing I was pleased with Seven's choices. I dressed and straightened the doublet, admiring the tailored cut of it. I wondered how these people were able to produce clothing so precisely tailored. Shrugging I hoped that I would obtain some answers to my questions soon. Noticing a brush and toiletry items on a shelf over what I thought was a sink I walked over and took the opportunity to brush my hair and teeth. There were hair ties as well and I picked one up and tied back my hair as was my custom.
Taking one last look at my image in the mirror above the shelf and sink I was pleased by the calmness in my eyes. Bathing the touch of the priests of Lovitar from my skin and the short surrender to my emotions had helped calm the inner turmoil I had been experiencing. I walked toward the doors and paused as they opened, then stepped through them and found Seven waiting patiently for me.
She examined my face and appeared content with what she saw there, for she graced me with a slight smile before she spoke softly, "You are feeling better?" she inquired.
I was touched by her concern, "Your concern is as a balm to my soul, Milady. I am recovered well enough."
She gave me another one of those looks as if she were trying to figure out whether or not I was sincere. "Milady, I do not mean to make you uncomfortable with my words." I assured her.
She rocked back upon her heels at my words, tilting her head slightly at me. We were standing close enough that I noticed that she was as tall as I before she spoke. "Your phrasing does not cause me discomfort; I am simply unused to it. I am certain I will adapt quickly," she paused for a moment then asked questioningly, "I believe you are flattering me?"
I was not surprised by her doubt given her actions and paused as I considered how to make her understand that I was not in the habit of flattering people. "Milady, I do not speak empty meaningless phrases. Please do not doubt the sincerity and honesty of my words." I knelt before her on one knee impulsively and swore, for it was obvious that she did not know that I could not lie as a Paladin serving Torm. "By my honor as a Champion of Torm I swear I have spoken only the truth to you, and I will always do so. May Torm strike me down if I ever break this oath to you." I said to her earnestly.
I noticed that the Captain and Doctor had come into view behind Seven as I said these words and the astonished looks on their faces at seeing me kneeling in front of Seven was very humorous. Yet I waited solemnly for Seven to reply to my oath. A startled look had passed fleetingly over her face when I went down upon one knee and now she stared back at me curiously and I realized that, of course she had no idea that I needed a response from her. Gently I asked, "Milady, do you accept my oath?"
As she raised her left brow in a look I was already becoming accustomed to she nodded, and then, as I remained on bended knee replied, "I accept your oath that you will speak the truth to me."
My oath accepted I stood gracefully and replied, "Thank you Milady." I looked past her at the Captain and Doctor and Seven turned to see what I was looking at. When she noticed the other two she nodded to them and started walking toward them and I followed. We stepped into the circular area with the large glass windows and the three of us took seats in what I learned was the Doctor's office.
"Arana," said Janeway, "I had some questions for you about the place Seven rescued you from. We reached it through what we call a wormhole, which is a type of passage way in space that connects two widely separated parts of the galaxy. We are trying to figure out where exactly the other side of the wormhole, the place where you come from might be located. The wormhole that you came through has already collapsed but while conditions in this part of space remain the same there is a good chance that another will form that you can get back home through."
I did not understand what she meant by all the words she used but I understood enough to recognize that she was referring to a gate spell, "You are speaking of a Gate? Only the most powerful of Wizards can call those."
"A Gate?" she asked me.
"I have been through one once, the Grand Wizard Tyara called one. It appeared as a large oval and you could see the place we were going through it. When we stepped through there was a moment of disorientation and then we were there. We traveled 300 miles in an instant. I have heard they can even connect different planes of existence."
Janeway had a surprised look on her face at my words, "That sounds rather like what Seven saw in Astrometrics." She glanced at Seven who nodded.
"You are correct Captain, It was not like any wormhole I have ever encountered before and the description of a Gate matches my experiences with the phenomenon." said Seven.
"Was there anyone on your side who would have made a Gate?" asked Janeway of me.
I shook my head, "No Milady, if one was called perhaps it was by the will of Ilmater or Torm." I considered briefly what that might mean if Torm or Ilmater had called a Gate so that these people could rescue me.
"What is the planet you come from named." Janeway asked obviously deciding to move on from the subject of Gates for now.
"Toril," I replied, "The temple of Lovitar you rescued me from was in a region known as the Sword Coast, and I know not exactly where it was located. I was blindfolded for most of the trip but it was within two days ride of Luskan where I exchanged myself for the freedom of ten children held by the Lovitarians."
Janeway's face registered shock at my words. "You exchanged yourself?"
I nodded, "It is my duty as a Champion of Torm to protect the innocent from harm, I felt the exchange of my body for theirs was a worthy one." I paused for a moment and then continued, "I felt the approval of Torm right before I allowed them to strip me of my armor and weapons, at my willingness to sacrifice myself for their safety. Perhaps the Gateway was Torm's doing, a rescue where I expected none in reward of my actions."
"You knew they would torture you." Stated Seven who stared at me in what I thought was shock.
"Yes, I knew what torments they had planned for me," I answered her, "They were most forthcoming with their plans for me before the exchange was made. Yet they would have done the same to those children. I could not allow that to happen when it was within my power to prevent it, no matter the cost to myself."
"Surely no one could do that to children." Janeway interrupted with a disbelieving look on her face.
"They are Priests of Lovitar, they would have pleased their goddess greatly with the torment of those children." I explained to her, it was clear to me that she was unwilling to believe that they were as evil as I was saying. "Lovitar draws energy from the torment of those tortured in her name; children because of their innocence are highly valued by the Lovitar priesthood for sacrifice to her. Their torture will frequently darken their soul as they do not know how to resist her. Then their deaths will deliver their souls to her for her to feed off of."
A look of revulsion passed over Janeway's face before she asked, "Why then were they willing to trade them for you?"
"If they could have broken me, my soul would have provided her with more energy than the children would have. As well as striking a blow against Torm whom she hates." I explained.
I could still see stubborn disbelief on the Captain's face, it spoke well of her good nature that she held on to it even over my explanations. Seven's face was almost unreadable except for a slight tightness about her eyes which I was unable to interpret. The Doctor looked disgusted at my explanation and it was obvious to me that he at least believed what I had said.
Janeway shook her head and drew in a breath, "Well it was a very noble thing you did then to save them. Hopefully we can get you back to some place safe, now that you are healed we will approach the area of the spatial anomaly and see if we can detect another wormhole to get you home." She looked at me with an earnest and warm expression and I nodded.
"My thanks to you Captain." I assured her.
Suddenly I heard an odd chirp and a female voice came from the air about us, "Captain, Torres here. I'm picking up some type of energy signature in Astrometics, it's has characteristics of a cross between the wormhole we detected earlier and a transport beam. Also, the spatial anomaly is destabilizing rapidly, I'm estimating it will be in existence for a few seconds more... the anomaly is gone Captain."
Immediately following that there was another voice, this time male, "Captain this is Lt. Tuvok, what appears to be a set of armor and weapons has been transported to Astrometrics. I have examined them and am unfamiliar with the metal they are composed of; perhaps our guest might be familiar with their origin."
The Captain, who had stood up with a surprised look on her face after the first voice now said, "Seven, Arana if you would accompany me to Astrometrics please." She moved around the doctor and exited the circular room followed by Seven. I stood and quickened my pace to join them by another set of doors which opened at the Captain's approach and the three of us stepped out into what appeared to be a rug covered hallway. The walls were the same as the ones I had seen in what they called Sickbay, metallic looking and uniformly light grey in color with what looked like darker metal supports. The light in the hallway came from what looked like clear bright squares in the ceiling. As we walked along I had to restrain myself from stopping to stare at all the interesting sights.
We paused at the end of the corridor and walked through another set of doors into a very small round room with only the one exit. I was puzzled as the Captain said "Astrometrics" and I sensed the room moving, since neither the Captain nor Seven appeared alarmed I relaxed as well and wondered where the small chamber was taking us. Within a few seconds the doors opened and we walked out into another corridor which appeared to be identical to the one we had just left.
We continued down the corridor and I could see a gathering of men and women outside one of the doorways. They were wearing the same style uniform as the Captain but the upper shoulder area was yellow in color instead of red. A dark male with closely trimmed hair stepped forward, I immediately noted his ears and eyebrows and surprised I said in Elvish, "Lle quena i'lambe tel' Eldalie?" Everyone looked at me surprised and I saw no recognition on the man's face. "I beg your pardon sir, I asked if you knew Elvish," I spoke in the common tongue.
"Elvish?" said the Captain before the dark man could speak.
"I am of Human and Elven blood, is not your crewman as well?" I inquired.
"I am Lt. Tuvok, and I am Vulcan not Elven," the dark man informed me with a raised brow in an otherwise impassive face.
The Captain stood between us glancing back and forth once with a puzzled look, at what I did not know. I was surprised to hear that the dark man was not part Elven, this Vulcan race he spoke of was unfamiliar to me. "My pardon, Lt. Tuvok, I meant no insult to you, your race or your parentage. I am Arana, Champion of Torm."
I saw interest in his face at my words and he spoke slightly more warmly, "I perceived no insult, given the similarity of our physical features it is a reasonable query. I am not familiar with the Elven race." Lt. Tuvok glanced at the Captain who was looking slightly impatient and said, "Perhaps we can discuss this later Arana, Champion of Torm. I was hoping you might have some information on the items that were teleported into Astrometrics."
With that he stepped into the room and I followed, he pointed toward his left and I looked over to see what he was indicating. "Blessings of Torm!" I exclaimed. There was a suit of ceremonial Mithral full plate woman's armor on an armor stand with the emblem of Torm in gold on the breastplate, as well as a kite shield, mace and longsword.
Seven and the Captain had stepped in behind me and I heard Seven say in what I interpreted as a dry tone, "Given the style and sizing I believe the armor is meant for you Arana."
"Mithral, the metal is called mithral. It is very precious and rare; I've never seen it used for a full suit of armor before." I knew the awe I felt was reflected on my face and in my voice. I was trying to comprehend what the appearance of the armor meant to me. It was obvious to me that it was a gift from Torm, but what was his message to his Champion.
I noticed Seven moving further into the room and looked at her, she was standing next to some type of raised podium covered with more pictorials and was rapidly touching different ones. "Captain," she said drawing the woman's attention to her. "The spatial anomaly has completely dissipated. There are no signs of unusual spatial readings within range of our sensors."
She glanced at me as did the Captain and I stared back puzzled.
The Captain sighed and said to me, "Well, since armor obviously meant for you was sent here, it appears that whoever sent you plans on you staying with us for awhile."
I stared back at her and then glanced at the armor; Torm's will was becoming clear to me. I walked over to the armor and weapons and drew the longsword from its sheath. I noticed Lt. Tuvok stiffening and ignored him as I cradled the weapon horizontally in front of me and walked over in front of the Captain.
"Torm's will is clear to me," I informed her as she stared at me puzzled. "I am meant to remain here with you Captain Janeway. I have looked into your soul and it is an honorable one with much goodness in it. Therefore my path is apparent to me," I knelt and raised my longsword up to her. "I Arana, Champion of Torm and Priestess of Ilmater do offer you my fealty Milady, to follow your commands excepting ones that serve evil, to protect you and those who serve you from all harm, to serve you faithfully and loyally in the name of Torm. Will you accept my oath of fealty and my sword in your service Milady?"
I noted that the Captain looked extremely surprised by my action and words, well stunned would be perhaps a more accurate statement. Yet she reached out and tentatively touched the sword and that was all that was needed. A blue glow briefly surrounded both our figures and I could see her eyes widen as Torm blessed my oath indicating beyond any further doubt that this was my path.
"Captain?" I heard Lt. Tuvok inquire as the glow faded.
She and I were staring at each other, the voice of Torm resonating in both of our minds where he had blessed my oath of fealty. She stood with her hand on the hilt of my sword and I still knelt. Slowly she removed her hand, looking at the sword in amazement. I stood and lowered the sword to rest, point downward, on the floor of the room.
Out of the corner of my eye I noted that several of the people who had been standing out in the hallway were now staring curiously into the room from the doorway. I saw Lt. Tuvok turn and glance at them sternly and they quickly returned to their places.
She cleared her throat and asked, "That was Torm, I gather?"
"It was, My Liege," I answered.
She started at my use of the word and then shook her head at my statement, "Please call me Captain, or Ma'am will do in a pinch." She gave me a wry smile, "I'll never hear the end of it if you keep calling me 'My Liege'."
She looked over at Lt. Tuvok who was hovering and made reassuring movements with her hands, "I'm fine Tuvok, a bit surprised but fine. I'll even get the Doctor to make sure of that when we return to Sickbay. Would you arrange for quarters for Arana and have her armor and weapons delivered there please." She turned to me, "Arana, I know the Doctor wants you back in Sickbay to rest for a few hours. I'll escort you there now that you've identified these items."
Lt. Tuvok nodded his acknowledgement of her orders and I handed him my longsword. He took it with a raised eye and lifted it, examining the Elven runes running along the blade. "They read, Sword of the Loyal Fury," I informed him. "An interesting name as Loyal Fury is the name Torm earned when he fought Bane during the Time of Troubles. I have not heard of such a named sword before."
He raised an eyebrow at this, "Indeed. The writing is Elvish?" he asked and I nodded. He turned to the Captain, "I will see to it that Arana has quarters available to her when she is released from Sickbay, and that her items are delivered to them."
"Thank you, Tuvok." She acknowledged him and turned to me, preparing to leave. I looked at Seven inquiringly wondering if she would be accompanying us as well.
Seven noticed my look and responded, "I must return to my duties Arana. I will remain in Astrometrics."
I nodded and bowed to her, "I would not keep you from your assigned tasks, Milady. It is my hope, however, that time will not make of you a stranger to me."
Seven appeared confused by my words and the Captain said, "Arana means that she hopes you will talk with her soon Seven."
Seven nodded to the Captain and then said to me, "I would like that Arana."
"Until you grace me with your presence once again Milady, may Torm keep you safe." I replied to her.
Seven glanced at me after these words, but it seemed my oath to her had calmed her concerns that I was merely flattering her, for her eyes held surprise at my words, but no longer doubt. Slowly she nodded, "Thank you, Arana. Perhaps the Captain will permit me to assist you with your acclimation to Voyager."
The Captain looked surprised at Seven's offer but then nodded, "That sounds like an excellent idea Seven, Arana will have a lot of learning to do about the Federation and Voyager. I was thinking of having Tuvok tutor her, but perhaps two tutors would be better." The Captain turned as if to leave, then glanced back at Seven, "Perhaps you should consider changing your biosuit Seven."
Seven glanced at the bloodstains on her biosuit and nodded, "As soon as I start my scans Captain."
"Arana," the Captain said as she walked out and I turned smartly on my heel and followed her.
We returned to Sickbay where the Doctor supplied me with some type of bland liquid drink that he insisted I finish before he had me lay back down on what he termed a 'biobed' to rest. I was concerned that thoughts of my rape and torture would plague me now that events had slowed enough for me to think and prevent me from resting. To my surprise, however, I found myself so exhausted that I could not even order my thoughts enough for the memories to bother me. I fell asleep within a short while, the voices of the Doctor and Captain as they discussed her experience fading away from my consciousness.
"Good, she's asleep," said the Doctor quietly, "she needed more rest."
Janeway smiled at him, "I know you didn't want her to leave earlier, but we needed to know what the items in Astrometrics were."
"And what did you find out," the Doctor asked curiously.
"That someone, Arana believed it to be this Torm, sent us a set of armor and weapons for her. She said they were made of Mithryl, apparently a very rare metal where she comes from, given her reaction to them. They were beautiful, the armor looked like it was made of silver, but with a slight bluish sheen to it," the Captain commented.
"Hmm, and what will be happening to our guest? I assume that since the anomaly is gone we have no way of returning her?" he asked.
"Well, that's actually one of the reasons I'm here. I promised Tuvok I would have you run some scans on me." The Captain proceeded to tell the Doctor of the odd happenings in Astrometrics and of the strange glow that had surrounded her and Arana. "The voice in my head was warm and caring, yet very stern. It reminded me of Admiral Paris in a way." Janeway tried to describe what she had felt to the Doctor.
The Doctor had already begun running a scanner over her when she had described the glow to him and now he asked, "And what exactly did this voice tell you?"
Janeway thought back, "Blessings upon your oath, my Champion. Know that you walk the path I have placed before you, and I am well pleased with your actions."
The Doctor rocked back on his heels a bit and raised an eyebrow, "So whoever or whatever this Torm is intended for Arana to be brought here and pledge her fealty to you. Interesting. Well, I've completed my scans and you'll be happy to know that there is nothing wrong with you Captain."
"Thank you Doctor," Janeway replied, "Tuvok is arranging quarters for Arana, let me know when she wakes."
"Certainly," the Doctor replied.
Janeway left Sickbay and headed to the Bridge, trying to collect her thoughts. She hoped Arana would wake up early enough for her to ask more questions of the woman before tomorrow's Senior Staff Briefing. In the meantime Alpha shift was almost over and perhaps it would be useful to see what information the computer had about that Dungeons and Dragons game it had mentioned.
Three hours later Janeway stretched and got up to replicate herself another cup of coffee. It had been interesting reading, much of the description in the game of Faerun, or the Forgotten Realms Campaign, as it was called, sounded very like what Arana had described of her Faerun. The question was why? Had one of the eugenicists groups decided to use the game as a basis for a colony perhaps? Or was Arana's Faerun in another plane of reality, one with enough contact with this plane to be the inspiration for the game?
Then there were the unusual organs and energy readings the Doctor had found during his medical scans. Was it possible that Arana could actually replicate the effect of casting a spell with them? If she could, it meant that she would make an invaluable addition to the crew, as most of the priest and paladin spells concentrated on healing and protective effects.
Janeway shuddered as she thought of the spells that wizards apparently had access to in Arana's world. The Gate spell Arana had mentioned was, as she had said, limited to the abilities of only the most powerful wizards, but even beginning wizards had formidable powers. Hopefully the wormhole that had delivered them Arana would be the closest they would get to Faerun. Unless Arana ever wanted to go back, it didn't sound like a place the Captain particularly wanted to her crew to ever have to deal with.
Suddenly Janeway's combadge chirped, "This is the Doctor, you wanted to be informed when Arana wakened, Captain."
Janeway replied, "Yes Doctor thank you, I'll be right down to show her where her quarters are."
I awoke feeling much more refreshed and alert than I had previously.
"Ah, you're awake. I'll inform the Captain," The Doctor came over to me, running an instrument up and down my body and staring intently at the readings. "You're probably feeling much better now."
"I am feeling much better, thank you for your skilled care Doctor." I replied to him.
"Certainly." He replied.
After he had spoken to the Captain he walked back to his office, leaving me sitting on the biobed waiting for her to enter Sickbay and show me to my new quarters. I wondered briefly what they would look like; I could guess that the ever present grey metal walls would be there as well.
The Captain walked in and I quickly stood and properly bowed to her, greeting her with the directed form of address, "Captain, you honor me with your attention."
She smiled at me, "I would think that you were flattering me except for your statements to Seven. So I know you're not." She paused and frowned slightly, "Arana, I know it is the custom in your land to bow to show respect, but it is not the custom to do so here. One shows respect by using the persons rank when addressing them."
"I had begun to suspect that Captain, as no one but I was following that custom. Thank you for informing me of my social impropriety." I responded to her with a smile. I had indeed uneasily noticed that I was the only one bowing, but given the lack of my knowledge of their customs had decided to follow the ones I knew until I learned what the custom was here.
"You weren't being improper, I just didn't want you to feel uncomfortable," she smiled at me warmly before continuing. "Honestly, I'm curious about you and am hoping you can answer some of my questions."
"I will do my best to satisfy your curiosity, Captain." I reassured her.
"If you will follow me I will show you to your quarters. Tuvok found some for you on deck seven. They aren't large, but you won't have to share with another crewmember either. I'm sorry we couldn't arrange for better ones, but space is limited." the Captain informed, surprising me.
"I am certain they will be more than adequate Captain, I am used to simple quarters. A paladin does not covet worldly possessions." I paused and smiled then corrected myself, "Well, none except for our armor and weapons. I will confess that I will probably be attached to the armor and weapons Torm gifted me."
We had been walking through the ship throughout the conversation, including one of the odd tubes that moved, and now we seemed to have arrived at our destination.
"I would be as well, they are beautiful," agreed the Captain. "These are your quarters; we are on Deck 7 Section 9. Oh, I've almost forgotten, this is for you. You are required to wear it at all times, except, of course if you are bathing or sleeping."
She handed me one of the metal symbols I had noticed all the crew wearing and showed me how to press it against my clothing so that it would attached itself to the fabric.
"This is a communicator badge; we use them to speak to each other. You activate it by tapping it like so. The sound you just heard is the signal for an open communications channel. It is waiting for you to indicate who you wish to speak to." The Captain had reached out and tapped the badge as she spoke and I heard clearly the sound she said was for an open communications channel. "Is there anyone you would like to speak to?" the Captain asked me.
Slightly overwhelmed I spoke the name of my rescuer, "Seven, if it would not interrupt her."
The Captain smiled, "Ok, say, "Arana to Seven". Then wait for her reply, at that point the communications channel will remain open until either of you close the channel by tapping the communications badge again."
She waited and I realized she was expecting me to contact Seven, "Arana to Seven." I obediently followed her instructions and was slightly surprised to hear from the device "Seven here." I suddenly realized that the Captain's device had been the source of the mysterious voices earlier in the day.
"Excuse me, Milady for interrupting you. The Captain is instructing me in the use of my communication badge." I politely explained feeling somewhat impolite at the ease with which I could intrude upon her.
"You are not interrupting me Arana. May I inquire as to the location of your quarters?" came back the reply, curiosity apparent in the cool tones.
I thought back to what the Captain had said and replied, "Deck 7 Section 9." Looking at the Captain to make sure I was correct. She smiled and nodded to me, indicating that I had remembered the location correctly.
"Perhaps I may visit your quarters Arana." The voice of Seven queried.
"Milady you are always welcome within my quarters, I would be honored by your visit." I replied earnestly.
"Arana, you don't have to talk into the combadge, it will pick up your voice just fine if you speak normally." The Captain informed me with an amused look.
I knew I blushed slightly at the gentle correction. I could tell it was going to take me awhile to get used to all the very different things aboard this vessel.
The Captain seemed to pick up on my thoughts for she looked at me kindly, "I'm sure it won't take you long to get used to all this. Both Tuvok and Seven have agreed to teach you; between the two of them I'm certain you will be more comfortable with our technology in no time. And, in the mean time you should close the communication channel if you have nothing further to say to Seven."
I nodded, "Milady if I may take my leave of you?" I tried to remember not to bend my head as I spoke.
There was a pause and I could almost see Seven tilting her head at my statement, "You may close the communications channel Arana, I will be at your location in a few minutes to visit your quarters."
I brightened at the news, I had not been certain earlier that she meant that she would be visiting immediately. I tapped the communications badge and was satisfied to hear a second chime that I suspected indicated the channel had been closed. I glanced over at the Captain to confirm and she nodded at me.
"Well, I guess I had better show you your quarters, especially since you are expecting a guest already." The Captain smiled at me, "It's good to see you getting along so well with Seven, she needs to make more friends." The Captain motioned toward the doors that we were standing in front of, "Just step toward them, the computer will recognize you and open the door for you since these are your quarters."
I did as she instructed and we entered a medium sized rectangular room about twelve feet by ten feet. Along one of the long walls were two windows set back into the wall, the view outside held my attention, to the exclusion of everything else in the room. Outside the ship was blackness, broken only by the streaking lights going past.
"Are you alright Arana? I should have realized the view would be a shock to you." The voice of the Captain said from behind me, concern clear in the tone.
"Where what are we traveling through Captain." I asked, wondering what strange plane this ship was traveling through.
"Space, Arana. We are traveling through the space that separates the stars, or suns as you would probably call them." The Captain explained.
"Starship." I spoke aloud, suddenly realizing the reason for the name. A ship that literally traveled between the stars.
"Yes." The Captain smiled at me.
I tore my gaze from the windows to look at the remainder of the room. Directly underneath the windows there was a couch and next to it a bed. They were built into an alcove that also provided a shelf underneath the windows. The remainder of the room was fairly bare except for a corner which held my new armor and weapons. The Captain walked over to a wall unit and showed me shelving for clothing and then directed me to another door which led to my own small bathing room.
"Its pretty bare, but you can requisition plants and perhaps some artwork for the walls to make it look more inhabited." The Captain assured me.
"It is more than acceptable, Captain," I assured her. "This is more space than I have ever had for my personal quarters."
Just then a chime sounding noise interrupted us and I looked around curiously.
"It's probably Seven, just say 'enter'." The Captain informed me.
I nodded and spoke, "Enter," and watched as the entry door opened to admit Seven. I smiled at her welcomingly, "Welcome to my quarters Seven, please sit if you would like, and you as well Captain." I indicated the couch to them and remained standing as there were no other seats. "I would offer you drinks but I do not have any as yet." I said, slightly embarrassed at being a poor host though I could do little about the situation.
"There is a replicator available in these quarters, Arana," Seven informed me, as if it solved my problem.
"I'm sorry Arana, we haven't covered that piece of equipment yet," said the Captain as she walked over to what looked like a shelf set in the wall with more pictographs located next to it.
For the next few minutes she showed me how to replicate food and beverages, using up some of her own 'replicator rations' in the process. The Captain explained to me that I would accrue these rations starting from today, but I should make every attempt to eat in the mess hall. That, of course, precipitated a discussion of how the ship was laid out and how I might find my way around it.
My head was starting to reel with all the new information and I believe it was showing in my face, for the Captain laid a hand on my arm with a compassionate look on her face, "I suspect that's enough explanations for one day, and I really wanted to ask you some questions about the world you came from."
By this time we all had beverages of different kinds, the Captain was drinking something called coffee, black; Seven was drinking a nutritional supplement and I was pleased to find that the ale the Captain had ordered for me was most palatable.
I had insisted that the two of them sit on the couch while I made myself comfortable on the floor. Now I sat up straight, "Certainly Captain, I hope that I may be able to assist you."
"The Doctor found evidence of organs inside you that appear to store energy, do you know anything about them?" she asked.
I looked at her confused, "You are speaking of things like a heart and stomach? As a healer I know something about such things. I have never heard of these energy storing organs before, though. I know that there are several organs inside people that we do not yet know the purpose of, perhaps these are the organs you are speaking of?"
The Captain nodded, "I didn't really expect that you would know about them, but I had hoped you could shed some light on their function." The Captain paused for a moment obviously thinking, "I believe that the world we come from, called Earth, had some contact with Toril approximately four hundred years ago. Around that time a game called Dungeons and Dragons was developed, it was called a role-playing game and one of the worlds it described was Toril, specifically the landmass Faerun. Have you ever heard of our world?"
I looked at her, surprised, and then thought back to my history lessons, searching my memory for any sign of a mention of the word. "Captain, I know not how your people came to hear of ours. I have never heard of a world called Earth. I am sorry that my knowledge has failed to serve you better." I told her unhappily.
The Captain looked at me, surprised, "I don't blame you for not knowing anything about Earth, Arana." she reassured me.
Seven had been quietly listening through the conversation so far, "Perhaps the information came from a person such as Arana, someone who passed through a wormhole from Faerun to Earth."
"That might be so," allowed the Captain. She paused and then asked, "This game mentioned the ability of priests and paladins to cast spells such as ones that you mentioned in Sickbay when you first woke up; ones that heal the injured."
I nodded, "Yes, all priests and paladins have some power granted by their god or goddess to cast certain spells." I could see the interest in her eyes and I thought of the simplest spell that I could demonstrate with. I decided upon a simple orison for light, and said "cala" as I gestured appropriately. I smiled at the surprised look on both their faces as the small globe of light appeared and hovered above my hand.
Seven was the first to reach out toward it using the hand that had the odd metal bands upon it. "Intriguing. The sphere gives out light, but no heat and has no apparent power source. I must obtain a tricorder Captain. Arana, how long will this phenomenon continue?"
"I can maintain the light sphere for half a day with no further drain on my abilities, Seven." I wondered what this tricorder was that she considered so essential for her to obtain.
While Seven left to obtain the tricorder the Captain had me describe the rest of my spell abilities to her. I was still attempting to explain the difference between casting a spell and my ability to heal by the laying on of hands when Seven returned with two small rectangular devices, one of which she handed to the Captain. Both of them held out the device toward my light source and looked intently at the things as the devices made occasional odd noises. I watched curiously, apparently they used the devices to obtain information about various things and I wondered what their tricorders would make of my simple globe of light.
"It is emitting light only in the visual range, the amount of energy present is enough to power the light source for 13 hours," Seven stated.
"And the energy type matches that stored by Arana's organs." Continued the Captain.
They both looked at me with keen interest, leaving me feeling slightly unsettled as I was the focus of two sets of blue grey eyes.
"That's one of the simplest spells you can cast, correct?" Inquired the Captain.
"Actually, Captain, it is an orison. Spells require a greater expenditure of energy, and, as no one requires any healing and we are not in a battle, it would do little good beyond using up my source of divine energy." I explained to the Captain.
She nodded, "I'm certain the Doctor is going to want you to duplicate this several times while he figures out exactly how you manage to produce these effects." The Captain gave me what I took to be a somewhat sympathetic smile.
"Understandable, Captain. He appears to be a scholar of sorts and they always desire to understand the why of things." I replied to her.
She gave me a smile, "I don't think I could of put it any better. Well, I'll be going. I need to finish up some reports. Seven, are you planning on staying for while?" The Captain looked inquiringly at Seven.
Seven looked curiously at me, "I would like to stay."
"Milady, consider my quarters as your quarters, you are most welcome here," I replied sincerely.
The Captain's eyes widened at my statement and then she looked somewhat amused, but for what reason I did not know. Seven tilted her head to the side and examined me and then glanced at the Captain. I could not discern the meaning of the look that passed between them, but Seven turned back to me and I thought I sensed a question there.
"Milady, I have not broken my oath to speak only the truth to you." I said to her, sensing that she doubted my words despite my previous assurance.
I could see the Captain raise an eyebrow at this, but she merely said, "Seven, if you would assist Arana with any remaining questions she has about her quarters and show her where the mess hall is I would appreciate it."
"I will comply," Seven replied simply to the Captain.
The Captain nodded to her, "Arana, I will discuss your training schedule with Tuvok and Seven tomorrow and I will have one of them discuss it with you. After a few weeks Tuvok will discuss with you what department you might want to go into eventually."
"I will await their coming on the morrow, sleep well Captain." I replied to her respectfully.
"Sleep well Arana." she replied to me, smiling and left my quarters.
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