DISCLAIMER: Star Trek Voyager and all who sail in her belong to Paramount/Viacom and no infringement of copyright/trade marks is intended. This story includes same sex relationships between women. If you are offended by this or it is illegal where you live or you are underage then please read no further.
SERIES: This story follows on from Families
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Thanks DeeJay for looking it over.

By Texbkwrm

Chapter 17

"Kathryn." Captain Picard said as they walked into the transporter room. He noticed the haggard look in her eyes and knew that she hadn't gotten much sleep that previous night and with this early call. The stark reality of those charges were setting in with the normally fiery captain. "Kathryn." he said again finally getting her attention. "I do not think it is a good idea to meet with Admiral Necheyev and certainly not without representation. This is extremely irregular as she is the one bringing the charges against you."

"She was a friend of my fathers. They served together. I owe her and him this much." Captain Janeway replied as she set herself for the coming encounter.

The transporter set them down at the entrance of Starfleet Academy's Memorial Garden the ceremonial guards on station normally would not have allowed them entrance at this hour. Silently another guard stepped forward unlike his companions he was not in the formal attire and sword worn to show honor to their fallen dead but the red work uniform of Starfleet security with a phaser at his side.

Silently they made their way past the monuments of Starfleets Heroes past fountains and eternal flames to a secluded area. Stopping Picard at the entrance of the monument he was most familiar with. The area dedicated to the Starfleet dead from the Borg wars. The entrance led her down stairs and into the imposing sight. Struck afresh by its stark power especially in the slowly brightening sky, it was a sober reminder of loss. The surrounding wall formed a circle, ten meters high and made of a dark blue gray material that almost shimmered like water. The interior of the monument was made of the same substance as the wall. Five octagon shapes rose from the center dedicated to the defenders at Wolf 359. Benches were placed for quiet contemplation and the ground in front of the walls and of each of the octagons had small private memorials placed respectfully in front of them. Letters, children's hand drawn artwork, shipmates insignia's, and others less easily identified. As you got closer to the stones you could see under the insignia of each ship the names of her dead etched in lines and as you got closer still you could see the images. Like ghosts looking back at you the face of each lost defender was imbedded into the stone. The unique quality of the monument was as you walked from side to side the visages seemed to wink in and out of existence adding to that ghostly impression. Looking closer at the interior of the circling wall you would also see the names of more ships and more dead. More ghostly images to haunt the predawn hours. That is where Captain Janeway found Fleet Admiral Alynna Nechayev.

"Admiral," She said not wanting to startle the older woman's contemplation.

Turning she nodded at the captain and motioned for her to sit down. As Kathryn Janeway sat down she noticed tears brimming at the other women's eyes before she quickly blinked them away. "It is good to see you Katie." using the familiar name from their long friendship.

"Is it?" the captain asked not able to keep a certain amount of hurt out of her voice.

"You may not believe me but it is." pausing for a moment. "I don't know who you have pissed off but I have had charges against you brought to me for everything from selling proscribed technology to attempted murder. I dismissed most of them without merit. The violations of the prime directive. Well we have all faced them and being in the extreme circumstances you know you will only get a minor reprimand." Collecting herself she continued. "I looked at every angle and every possible justification and finally I could not dismiss these." Pointing to the wall. "They would not let me."

"I understand." Captain Janeway knew what it was like to carry your ghosts with you.

"We have kept these charges classified as it goes to trial the news will get out. For the sake of your father and for the sake of the Federation I am offering to let you retire with a clean record. Don't answer me now but do let me know in a few days I can only hold the dogs off so long." Alynna Nechayev spoke to the daughter of one of her dearest friends with a heavy heart. Torn between her friendship and her duty.

As they made to rise the dawn sun broke through the clouds lighting up stone and suddenly they were surrounded by faces. Pointing to a blank section of the wall Admiral Nechayev said. "I hope your actions add no more faces to this wall."

Walking outside to face the chirping birds and the bright sunshine almost seemed obscene after the previous hour.

Admiral Nechayev was transported back to her ship leaving two captains to cope with the aftermath.

"Kathryn, I want to arrange a meeting for you with someone from the JAG corp. Someone I know that doesn't lose fights easily in fact she hates to lose." Captain Picard assured her.

"But do I deserve to win?"

Chapter 18

"I thought you were over me trying to court martial you, Jean Luc." Captain Phillipa Louvois asked as she looked up from her data pad.

Captain Picard grinned as he sat down the tea cup. "I know you like a challenge Pippa" The years had brought a strange friendship to the onetime adversaries. Whenever assignments brought him near Earth, her current station, he would invite her to dine. They both enjoyed fine food and excellent conversation. Sometimes debating various topics into the wee hours of the morning. The fierce intellect radiated out of her like an inner flame and if you were not careful you could get scorched. He recalled his first antagonistic meeting with the young Jag officer. Her zealous prosecution of him during the Stargazer inquiry had shown her to be an able and ambitious attorney. Later during the inquiry into Data's rights, her insightful decision had shown a dedication to the spirit of the law and the rights it protects. He also knew at least one thing that she had in common with Captain Janeway. They both were highly competitive and hated to lose.

"I don't think I have ever seen a file with so many violations of the prime directive. She could give Captain Kirk's record a run and those are the least of the charges. At least she hasn't violated General Order 7, but then I'm not at the end of the files yet." Capt Louvois. "She should take their offer of retirement."

"She won't do that." Capt. Picard informed her.

"Well unless she wants me to plead her as mentally impaired. I don't see much of a defense." The brunette replied as she pushed the data pads across the table.

Picard just relaxed into his chair and silently waited.

"Aren't you going to say anything Jean Luc?" Pippa Louvois said suspiciously.

"No Pippa I appreciate you reviewing it as a friend. If you don't want the case you don't want the case." he replied calmly.

"Oh you truly are evil. I was prepared to be cajoled or even you challenging my not so insignificant ego and here you go all Zen on me and say nothing." She frowned like someone who had just been checkmated. Pulling the pads forward again, she began to examine them more intently.

"Pippa you may use my ready room to examine the files." His offer only a formality as the Jag officer focused fully on the records in front of her barely acknowledging his departure. Several hours later Captain Kathryn Janeway was summoned.

Captain Picard made the introductions and then excused himself as the two women warily appraised each other. Finally Capt Louvois motioned towards a chair. "Sit" She commanded.

Kathryn Janeway's eyebrows raised slightly at the order but she complied.

Walking to the replicator the Jag officer asked. "Coffee?"

Nodding her assent Janeway watched as the other woman set down the coffee cups before taking the chair across from her.

Without preamble Captain Louvois said. "Capt Picard wants me to take this case. He thinks I will find it a challenge."

Janeway smiled knowing the woman was trying to rattle her. "I think that it is safe to say it won't be easy."

"They have a strong case and the charges are serious. You could be facing life in a federation penal colony. Why not retire?" Philippa Louvois asked "It is going to get ugly for your friends and for your family. Even if you get an acquittal, which is highly doubtful, the stigma will follow you throughout your career."

Kathryn's eyes flashed. "Because that's what they want me to do. Back out without a fight." .

Torres -Hansen Suite

"We carried less equipment on away missions" B'Elanna complained as she carried the baby's bag down to the ground car. Wanting to distract her wife from worrying and give the kids an outing before they started climbing the walls. Recruiting the additional back up of Seven's Aunt Claudia, and her cousin Maria as well as a security escort of five Klingons, B"Elanna had planned a little excursion First they were going to a mall and then to visit her Uncle Paul and her grandmother. Icheb took the carryall from his Sec Mau and placed it in the rear storage of the vehicle

"Remember stay with the group at all times." B'Elanna reminded them for at least the fiftieth time.

"It will be alright B'Elanna." Claudia reassured her niece's spouse. "They are in good hands with us and they even each have their own bodyguard relax and enjoy the time with your family."

"I do not understand the purpose of going to a mall to purchase things when we have replicators in the hotel?" Mezoti asked.

"Well first here you can actually see and handle an item and even try on completely different styles of clothing. Also some things are not licensed to be replicated. Most important though. It's fun." Maria Torres explained to the little girl beside her.

Pulling up in front of the Mall of the Federation, their driver dropped them at the entrance and arranged to meet them at 1600 hrs at this entrance. Entering the mall the kids stared around in wonder. Holographic art displays and ads wound down the center of the aisles. Beings from hundreds of different worlds wandered in and out of the five levels of stores and kiosks. There were restaurants and Holodeck game rooms, as well as salons that catered to the needs of an extremely varied clientele. Music and announcements were broadcast over a com system. The group stopped short to stare around in wonder. The former borg had never been among this many beings at one time and the children found it daunting. Clustering closer to their parents as they walked further into the building. The Klingons on the other hand were just amazed at how much stuff there was. After the initial hesitation wore off, Mezoti and Rebi questions began. Of course Rebi wanted to go into a store that featured martial arts equipment with a holographic instructor giving displays in the window. Mezoti's choice was a boutique. Her eyes caught by the long flowing gowns in the displays. Insisting upon a logical approach, Seven said. "We will proceed up the right side of the aisle and then return on the left. There will be no separating."

They had been shopping for about two hours and already were carrying several packages. Clothing for themselves and the kids took up most of the bags. Seven had also bought the doctor a selection of opera cubes from the music store and had bought Capt Janeway some new velocity equipment. The store that sold velocity equipment had a holodeck inside so that you could try it out. The only reason they were leaving it now was that the baby had let them know loudly that it was time to eat. As they entered the mall aisle B'Elanna looked around and said. "Where is Axan?"

Chapter 19

Torres-Hansen Suite

They had found Axan huddled behind boxes in a corner. He was shaking and visibly upset. Seeing their reserved son so distressed was devastating to the two mothers Seven gathered him up into her arms. "Axan, Axan what is causing your malfunction.'

"I want to return to our quarters." putting his head down and into her neck he said. "I want to go home."

Transporting Seven and Axan directly to the hotel, B'Elanna followed with the rest of the kids and packages in the ground car. By the time they arrived, Seven had already contacted Counselor Troi. Troi arranged to beam down immediately. Tasha Yar accompanied her lover. Unwilling for her to go unescorted among the Klingons and the former Borg. She wanted to be there incase things got out of hand. It was not unusual during a counseling session for emotions to become overwhelming and passionate outbursts among Klingons tended to be violent. Also having survived the Borg war Tasha truly understood the strength that both Seven and the boy possessed. So she went as backup to her partner whether she wanted it or not.

So that is why B'Elanna entered her quarters to see a Federation Security officer sitting and having tea with Neelix and telling old war stories with the Klingon guards. "Neelix what's going on? Where is Seven and Axan? Is he okay?" The rapid fire questions not giving Neelix time to answer one before going to another.

Neelix came forward and reassured her. "Seven and Axan are in with counselor Troi. He seemed to be calming down even before she got here."

Uncertain how to proceed she asked. "Do you think I should go in there?"

"I am sure she would want you to go on in." Yar told her. Moved to pity by the obvious distress the smaller woman was in.

Mezoti tugged on B'Elanna's sleeve. "Is Axan functioning within acceptable perimeters?"

"I am not sure right now but whatever is wrong we will fix it. He is going to be alright. Why don't you show Neelix what we bought." Whispering so the little man could not hear she said. "Neelix is worried too so you take care of him while I check on your mom and Axan okay."

Walking carefully into the other room she stopped in the doorway to see Axan sitting in Seven's lap. Counselor Troi motioned her over to the couch beside her wife. "Hello B'Elanna.

Sitting down she put her arm around Seven and placed a had on Axan shoulder enfolding and protecting her family. Both Seven and Axan relaxed even further at her presence. "B'Elanna I have been speaking with Axan and Seven for several minutes and let me assure you that what Axan experienced is not uncommon in fact I would be surprised if all of the children and Seven had it to lesser degrees. Axan is suffering from a moderate case of agoraphobia ( a fear of public and open places) . I am sure that it is something that he will overcome as he gets more used to it but I would advise shorter trips to areas with smaller groups of people to let him acclimatize. It affects lots of people who grow up on stations or ships. Axan I have even treated Starfleet officers who grew up on planets that when they came back from deep space missions had to readjust their own home planets." Troi reassured the young man.

"I am sorry that I ruined the trip, Sec Mau and that you did not get to see Uncle Paul and Grandma Torres." Axan's disappointment at letting his other mother down caused his shoulders to slump slightly.

"Axan." B`Elanna said "Don't you know you are more important to me than any shopping trip? Grandma and Uncle Paul are coming over as soon as we call them and tell them you are okay. Besides the way Seven and Mezoti were shopping you probably kept us from going broke." She teased bringing a smile to both brown and blue eyes. "Grandma is even going to bring the food over here so you will still get homemade tamales and buenoloes. Next time though if something is bothering you tell us okay. You disappearing like that scared me."

Seven nodded her agreement. Tears sparkled in her blue eyes. "I thought we had lost you."

"You know this is all my fault." B'Elanna said.

"No it isn't Sec Mau." Axan reassured her anxiously.

"Yes you see when I was a little girl I was always wandering away from my mom and she told me." pausing for dramatic effect, "She said I hope you have a child just like you so you will know what you put me through."

Seven laughed. "You need to call your mother and apologize."

B'Elanna responded. "Well she certainly got the last laugh. I have five of them."

They got up and returned to the others. Explaining to the children the cause of their brother's distress. Mezoti, Rebi, and Icheb shared that they too felt overwhelmed at times in large crowds.

Uncle Paul showed up a short time later laden down with food. As his mother instructed what was what , she helped set up the table. Tasha and Deana were invited to stay and enjoy the festivities.

Neelix discovered the joys of jalapenos and Grandma Torres deadly green sauce and they soon were exchanging recipes. As they were eating Uncle Paul said. "B'Elanna you ought to think about getting a house with this big of a family."

"I don't really think that we will be living on Earth. I have so many responsibilities in the Empire." B'Elanna looked up thinking again how hard it would be to leave the family she had just reconnected with.

"Are you going to be living on Qo'nos then?" Tasha Yar asked.

"No one in their right mind lives on Qo'nos if they have an option." B'Elanna replied. "Seven and I have been talking about one of the Maquis worlds."

"I don't want to live on a planet." Mezoti informed them.

"Where else would we reside?" Seven asked.

"I want to live in a ship like we did before." Mezoti told. "They are much more efficient and when we want to see our friends we can go to them."

B'Elanna looked at Seven and then at Mezoti. "You know little one that is a great idea." scooping the girl up from her chair for a hug. "Your so smart you must take after your mom." Mezoti just said. "Sec Mau." in that you are embarrassing me in front of company tone that kids have.

To Be Continued

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