Kathryn sat down heavily in her seat; weariness and fatigue had plagued for ever since she'd boarded the Marquis vessel and try as she might she couldn't seem to dispel the dark cloud of depression that hung over her. She had failed and been punished; her punishment that of the survivor forced to watch as everything she'd ever cared about had gone up in flames.
A sob escaped her dry lips. An old naval tradition maintained that a captain went down with his ship; never abandon his crew to the consequences of his actions. Kathryn had done just that, not intentionally, it was true, but it made no difference to her soul. Kathryn Janeway was dead inside.
One hundred and twenty-three members of her crew had died. That was nearly three hundred parents who would never again get to see their child's smile; fourteen children whose parent would not be returning from their assignment; thirty-one spouses and countless lovers who would never again find solace in love's arms.
Silent tears fell down her face.
Oblivion would be so welcome; its warm embrace extinguishing the horrors of life and providing the respite from existence that she craved. Death, once feared, now hoped for with such yearning it blighted all other thoughts; and yet, she would still fight against it, clawing and biting her way towards life, consuming her grief and wallowing in her guilt.
She had been their captain, she did not deserve forgiveness of relief, she deserved to remember and suffer for her sins; suffer for the lives she had blighted.
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