DISCLAIMER: Donít own Star Trek: Voyager. Donít own the characters. Donít own Macbeth, for that matter. Just borrowing. No money involved.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The Story That Dare Not Speak Its Name
By Jillo

 

Act II

Scene i—Last Night I Dreamed I Went to Gre'thor Again

Lieutenant Tom Paris and Ensign Harry Kim sat in a long-deserted Sandrine's. Harry watched his old friend worriedly. Something was eating Paris. They'd drunk well into the night, as they often did, but no matter how many the helmsman threw back, nothing could shake him out of his black mood.

"What time is it, Harry?" asked Tom.

"Well past four bells," answered Harry yawning, using the old maritime duty watch measure.

"And last call was at 0100 hours," mused Tom, looking down into the dregs of his beer, swirling them around in the bottom of the glass. "That was already some time ago."

"I'm calling it a night, Tom," said Harry, rising from his chair.

"Wait a minute," said Tom sharply, grabbing his friend's arm and pulling him back into his seat. "You can sleep when you're dead. I tell you, Harry, I'm feeling really weird about this whole B'Elanna-Chakotay thing. I wish I could close my eyes—sleep . . . ." He relaxed his grip on Harry's arm and sat back in his chair, his eyes shutting for a few seconds, his face losing its tension. "Gods! The things that come to me in my dreams since this whole business happened! Where's my phaser?" He half-rose from his chair, his hand moving toward his sidearm as the door to the bar swished open to admit Commander Torres.

"Whoa!" exclaimed Harry, placing a calming hand on Tom's shoulder and easing him back down into his chair. "Take is easy, buddy!"

"What's this, Tom, you old helmrat! You going to shoot me?" smiled Torres as she paused to stand next to their table.

"Just a little jumpy, I guess," answered Paris, not meeting her eyes. "Not in bed yet? An executive officer's work is never done, I guess." He forced a smile and looked up at her. "The Captain retired hours ago."

"I was just checking as to why this program is running past closing time, boys," said Torres, folding her arms and looking down at them in mock severity. "I think it's time we shut this down, don't you?"

For some reason, Paris couldn't stop himself from speaking the thought that flashed in his mind. "It's been pretty quiet tonight, sir. You know, last night I dreamed of the witches of Voyager. It seems they knew what they were talking about." His eyes narrowed as he watched her reaction to his words.

"The 'witches'?" asked Torres, frowning. "Oh, Wildman and the Delaneys! I'd forgotten about them." She made a study of her fingernails. "Actually, Tom, I'd like to talk with you about that some time," she said, looking at him directly, trying to read his expression.

"At your convenience, of course, Commander," he replied, dropping his eyes and inclining his head deferentially.

"Very well. I'll let you know, then," stated Torres, straightening her posture, responding to the helmsman's formality in kind. "Carry on."

"Yes, sir," said Paris before turning and walking rapidly toward the exit.

"Good night, Commander," said Harry as he turned to follow Tom out the door.

Once the two men had left and the door swished shut behind them, B'Elanna collapsed into the chair just abandoned by Paris and ordered a bloodwine. No sense in letting this quiet time alone in Sandrine's go to waste. She took a long pull on the mug and sat back, letting her eyes become unfocused and her mind drift. Seven was going to signal her tonight when she was sure that the Captain was asleep. She had rigged the sensors monitoring Janeway's quarters to recognize Torres and allow her entrance unimpeded. Seven was good at this shit, if B'Elanna did say so herself. She'd covered her tracks, avoiding all Borg encryption codes, and she never did anything in the computing system without leaving her Borg fingerprints all over the datastream. By the time anyone could crack the mystery of who'd entered the Captain's quarters in the wee hours of the Gamma shift, she'd be Captain and Seven could bury the data even further.

Suddenly Torres sat straight up in her chair, staring into the distance in wide-eyed alarm. What was this that was approaching her, seemingly out of the ether? A temporal anomaly? A force field? A small area of space a few yards before her shimmered as slowly a savage-looking weapon took shape and hung in mid-air.

"Is this a kut'luch I see before me, the handle toward my hand? Just what I was going to use! Let's have you, then! What's this?" She made to take the handle, but her hand passed right through it. "I can see it, but I can't grab it! What the fuck?" she demanded, looking around her in panic. "What is this, a hologram? Is someone playing a trick on me?" she shouted, standing up and looking wildly around. "Or is it my own guilty conscience, stabbing me in my Klingon heart, like this very kut'luch, made to do more damage coming out than going in?" She watched in horrified fascination as the kut'luch shivered and turned red. "It's still here, only now it's dripping in blood! Human blood! Kahless! What's the matter with me? This isn't real. I must be losing my mind. Ha! I'll be losing more than that! Seven'll kill me if I don't pull it together." She shook her head and rubbed her eyes.

She took a deep, steadying breath. "All right," she breathed, looking up and squaring her shoulders. "Keep your secrets, old girl," she told the ship as her eyes became more focused and she stared at her surroundings in Sandrine's. "The decks themselves should swallow my steps or the walls would ring out my murderous path to my fourth pip. Just do it, Torres," she told herself, "and it's done!" Her comm badge vibrated.

"The signal! It's time. She's asleep. The kut'luch leads me!" She looked down as the weapon materialized in her right hand. "Don't look now, Katie! Your time is nigh. You'll be dispatched in the near by and by."

With that, the Commander moved resolutely out the door, the bar dissolving into nothingness behind her.

 

Scene ii—Sleep No More

Seven paced around B'Elanna's quarters as she awaited her lover's return from her grisly errand, wondering at her indefatigable energy level. "The night," she murmured, "which brings weariness and relief to most of Voyager's crew, energizes me! The thought of bloodshed, which unmans the bravest of this puny lot, makes me laugh and wish I could take the kut'luch to her myself. If the memory of her mother-like behavior towards me had not stayed my hand, I would have done it, swiftly and surely. B'Elanna is bound to make a hash of it." She paused in her feverish pacing. "I mean of her!" She threw her head back and laughed at the macabre joke. "B'Elanna!" she cried as the door to the quarters slid open.

"It's done," said B'Elanna as she leaned back against the door, her legs buckling. She reached a hand up to push the hair out of her eyes but stopped and stared at it.

"This is a dishonorable sight." She raised both hands before her and looked from one to the other in increasing horror. Her horrified eyes traveled from her hands to her clothing. It seemed that her entire body was caked in drying blood.

"Nonsense!" snapped Seven as she pulled her away from the door and led her into the bathroom by the wrist. Seven began pulling the reeking uniform from her beloved's body and dropping it on the floor.

"I had to kill two crewmen who saw me leaving the captain's quarters looking like this," said B'Elanna, staring at some inward vision as she stood and let Seven strip her. "One of them told me that Halloween was already past and the other laughed." She spoke with no emotion, her voice curiously flat. "Then they stopped laughing. They said 'Commander, no!' and 'Please, spare us!'" She turned to focus her eyes on Seven's. "I told them I was sorry, but I couldn't. I had to kill them. Why did I have to kill them, Seven?" The rising panic in her voice was unnerving.

"Think no more upon it," ordered Seven as she shoved B'Elanna into the sonic shower.

"They'd done nothing—just showed up in the wrong place at the wrong time. And I told them I was sorry! Sorry as I killed them!" B'Elanna was getting hysterical.

"You must not think so deeply about it. You will drive us both mad if you continue," Seven told her as she held her under the sonic rays.

"Then I thought I heard a voice say 'Damned to Gre'thor! Torres shall be damned for all eternity to Gre'thor!' Gre'thor! Where the dishonored go! Where there is no rest, no respite from the shame!"

"B'Elanna! You must cease this unprofitable recriminating," stated Seven as she helped her out of the shower and pulled a night shirt over her head and down her body.

"And still the voice cried 'Damned to Gre'thor!' to all the ship! 'Torres shall be damned! Miral shall be damned! All the house of the half-human hybrid shall be damned!'" B'Elanna was becoming increasingly agitated, but then again so was Seven. She found among B'Elanna's discarded clothing the kut'luch, covered in gore.

"Why did you bring this back here with you? You should have left it with the crewmen. Go and take it back and lay it by them!" Seven ordered.

"Not me, sister," said B'Elanna, coming back to herself a bit. "I can hardly think about what I've done. I sure as hell can't bear to look at it again."

"Ohh!" cried Seven, exasperated. "Superstitious fool! I will take it. The dead cannot hurt you, B'Elanna! Nor can they stand up and accuse you. I will make it look as if they killed Captain Janeway. Then I am going to go back to Cargo Bay 2. We must not be seen together. When the deed is discovered, all must appear as normal between us." She paused and looked deeply into B'Elanna's eyes, taking her by her upper arms. "A moment's courage, my love. Let us brazen it out through this night, and we will have achieved our ends!" She kissed the half-Klingon soundly before releasing her and letting herself out of Torres's quarters.

Once alone, Torres wondered into her living room, holding her hands to her ears. "Again with the 'Damned to Gre'thor' shit! Tell it to someone who cares!" she shouted, looking around her quarters as if to find the source of the maddening accusations. She dropped her hands to her sides in defeat. "I guess they are," she mumbled.

 

Scene iii—Strange Screams of Death, and Prophesying

Tucked safely away on Deck 7 of Voyager, within the heavily guarded, electrostatically protected area known as the brig, Lieutenant Chakotay was pacing. He was having a hard time sleeping this night, and it had little to do with the uncomfortable, narrow bunk in his cell. An old spacedog, Chakotay knew to trust the strange sensations, the prickling of his flesh, the rising of the hair on the back of his neck, the eerie sense that all was not well aboard the ship. Superstitious mariners had long regarded signs and other portentous happenings when at sea or in space as serious matters, perhaps because they had entrusted their fortunes and lives to the vagaries of natural forces beyond their control. And even in this age of scientific knowledge that rendered even the most astonishing of phenomena comprehensible, many still carried with them a faith in good, old-fashioned feelings. The fact of his being an old school mariner and a Native American in the bargain made Chakotay a likely candidate for carrying around the odd rabbit's foot or worry stone. At any rate, tonight he could not rest, and it did not surprise him, even at this late hour, when the door to the room in which his cell was located slid open. He stopped his pacing and looked up as Tom Paris and Harry Kim approached the force field-protected opening to his cell.

"Chakotay, we need to talk to you," said Tom as the two men halted in front of the aperture.

"What's happened?" asked Chakotay.

"Nothing, really," said Harry. He turned to Tom in exasperation. "I told you we shouldn't bother him!"

"What is it?" insisted Chakotay. "What's going on?"

Tom stood for a moment, looking into Chakotay's dark, intelligent eyes, seemingly debating with himself about something. Then, apparently having arrived at a decision, he turned his head and gave a command.

"Computer, disable force field." Immediately, the force field fell and Tom stepped into the cell.

"Chakotay, I want you to come with us."

"Tom, what are you doing?" demanded Harry, looking over his shoulder, fearful of the entrance of a security officer.

"I'm breaking Chakotay out of jail," he told Harry. Then he turned to Chakotay. "I think we're in trouble, and I'll just feel a lot better if you're out of here."

"Let's go, then," said Chakotay. "You can tell me what's up as we walk." The three paused outside the door to the holding area, looking for unwanted company, and then slipped quietly down the deserted hallway.

 

Scene iv—A Most Bloody Piece of Work

"Sorry," murmured Lieutenant Carey, Voyager's new Chief of Engineering, as he hurried through the door to the Briefing Room and took his seat at the conference table. "I was kept in Engineering by a pressing matter." He looked around at those gathered and immediately felt the tension that flowed through the room like an electric current. As he took in the faces of the senior staff as they sat around him, he realized what was wrong—the Captain's chair was empty. He turned to look at Commander Torres but was surprised to find that her eyes were trained on Tuvok. He dutifully followed her gaze and looked at the Chief of Security's severe expression. He felt himself grow tense.

"I have called you to this meeting to announce the commission of a crime," Tuvok began. Wasting no time in dramatic pauses, he continued after the briefest of hesitations. "Captain Janeway is dead—murdered."

"What?" cried Carey, looking around at the others in stunned surprise.

Tuvok's eyes made a quick scan of the reactions of Voyager's senior staff, and he did not like what he saw. Lieutenant Paris looked sick. Ensign Kim was fighting back tears. Carey seemed unable to believe his ears, and the EMH's face registered sadness. Commander Torres had not spoken but appeared ready to bolt from the room and that only by a supreme act of will was able to remain seated. Seven of Nine looked to be on the verge of a swoon.

"Doctor, see to Seven of Nine," commanded Tuvok as the ex-Borg slid from her chair, unconscious.

"Oh, my goodness!" said the Doctor as he started up from his chair. He hurried to where Seven lay on the deck and began trying to revive her.

"Who? What?" sputtered Harry. "Who would do this?" he demanded, looking around the table as if the answer were forthcoming from one of them.

"How did it happen?" asked Tom quietly. Tuvok noticed that Lieutenant Paris seemed unsurprised by the announcement, almost as if he had been expecting it.

"She appears to have been stabbed to death," stated Tuvok matter-of-factly.

"Stabbed!" repeated Carey. He was having trouble assimilating the information. He had felt buffeted by the abrupt changes in his life recently, but this was impossible to comprehend. He found himself hoping to awaken from what had become an intolerable nightmare.

"In addition, Crewmen Jones and Snodgrass were also murdered last night, probably killed by the same weapon," Tuvok went on. "There is more. Lieutenant Chakotay has escaped from the brig and is presumably in hiding aboard the ship."

"What?" demanded Torres. Tuvok wondered that this had brought a reaction from the first officer while the murder of three members of the crew, including their Captain, had elicited no verbal response. She had been staring slack-jawed at the prone form of Seven of Nine as the EMH worked over her. "Now, how did that happen?" she asked, glancing around the table before settling her gaze upon Commander Tuvok.

"I am unsure at this time of many things, Commander, how Lieutenant Chakotay escaped from the brig but one of them," replied Tuvok.

"I want a full report in half an hour," ordered the number one. "I'll be in the Ready Room." She rose from her seat and made to leave the Briefing Room but turned to the EMH. "Doctor, please inform me when Seven regains consciousness." With that she disappeared into the Ready Room.

"Well, glad to see someone's in charge," cracked Paris, looking around at the rapidly shrinking group of senior officers.

"Lieutenant," admonished Tuvok, "I suggest that you refrain from adding to an already difficult situation. Lieutenant Carey, you are dismissed to Engineering."

"Aye, Commander," replied Tom.

"Aye, sir," said Carey, relieved to be leaving the Briefing Room. Maybe things would make more sense when he got back to the familiar, comforting surroundings of the Engine Room.

"I'll be at my post. Come on, Harry," Tom said as pulled the silently weeping Ensign Kim out of his chair. "Let's get to work." He helped his friend out the door and onto the Bridge.

"Doctor, how is Seven of Nine?" asked Tuvok.

"She's coming around now," replied the EMH as he helped Seven from the deck and into a chair.

"B'Elanna?" said Seven, looking around the room as she slowly regained her faculties.

"Commander Torres is in the Ready Room, Seven," the Doctor told her gently. "I think she wants to see you."

"Yes, I shall go to her at once," said Seven, getting unsteadily to her feet. "Thank you, Doctor," she told him, disengaging his hand from her arm. "I am recovered now. Commander," she said to Tuvok. Then she walked purposefully to the Ready Room, leaving the EMH and Tuvok staring after her.

"Have you finished your post mortem examinations, Doctor?" asked Tuvok, turning to look at the EMH.

"Yes," he answered. "They were all killed by the same weapon, that vicious Klingon dagger you brought in with the bodies."

"It is called a 'kut'luch,' Doctor, and it is the preferred weapon of Klingon assassins."

"Well, I don't care what it's called," sniffed the EMH. "It made mincemeat out of the victims. Whoever did this must have been drenched in blood."

"Indeed," agreed the Security Chief. "And it is the blood that will catch our assassin out when civilization is on the rout."

Act III

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